Part 81: Early-Game Unlocks: Green Mage, Beastmaster, DragoonJob Roundup #4: Green Mage, Beastmaster, Dragoon
These three are the early-game unlocks, the first 3 jobs you unlock. They're pretty solid upgrades to the base jo-- wait no, Beastmaster is in this group. They're mostly solid upgrades over the base jobs.
Locked By: 1 White Mage + "Green Dominion" quest
- Weapons: Hammers, Maces
- Armor: Robes, Light Armor
Growths: 2nd highest Viera Speed growth, average everything else.
The first new Viera job, and also the first job you unlock. Green Mage is one of the few pure support jobs, in addition to White Mage, Time Mage and, uh, Tinker, I guess? "Support job" is not exactly a common thing in FFTA2, so it's cool that they added a good one. The Green Mage spell list has some really unique effects. Besides the common Sleep, Blind and Silence, they can inflict the new Oil effect, which makes the target vulnerable to Fire damage. Their buffs are more impressive: Besides the prosaic Shell, they get Tranq and Leap. The former buffs accuracy, which stacks with Concentration, and the latter raises Move and Jump. Suddenly, "pure support" doesn't sound so bad, huh?
In terms of growth, Green Mages are a straight upgrade over White Mages. Though their other growths are only average, 86% Speed growth is hard to dismiss, and their defensive growths are really good for a Viera. Since staves are so hard to find and you unlock this job so early on, you're going to want to move any Viera White Mages you have into Green Mage as soon as possible. I doubt you'll have a main Green Mage later in the game, but that support skill set will always be useful as a secondary.
Races: Nu Mou
Locked By: "Knowing the Beast" quest
- 2 Abilities: Sage (+2 White Mage)
- Weapons: Instruments
- Armor: Light Armor
Growths: Top-tier Nu Mou speed, W.ATK and W.DEF growths, lowest Nu Mou magick
Beast Master fills a single niche: getting abilities for your Blue Mage. Full stop, end of story, don't even consider using them for anything else. They aren't a _bad_ job, they're just a one-trick gimmick for a race that has Sage and Time Mage. Like Animist, they're stymied by the lack of early-game instruments, though in my experience, the few you find are all for Beast Master. Those stat growths are nice, but no other job needs W.ATK and Beast Masters should never attack on their own anyway.
Get one long enough to help your Blue Mage and a couple abilities for Sage and then move on.
Locked by: 2 Warrior + "Kyrra, Dragoon" quest
- 2 Abilities: Cannoneer (+ a quest)
- Weapons: Spears, Swords
- Armor: Heavy Armor
Growths: Top-tier W.ATK and great W.DEF, great speed (for a Bangaa).
Dragoon is a classic Final Fantasy job, and all the usual hallmarks are here. Spears? Check. Dragon-based abilities? Check. Jump? Check. They're the perfect example of the difference between "gimmick" and "thematic."
Jump is better than in most FF games, since you don't have to wait a second turn to actually attack. It's very inaccurate though -- usually a 50% chance to hit. Dragoon also has elemental breath attacks, which deal damage in a T-shape in front of you. They come in fire, thunder and blizzard flavors. They also get Dragonheart, an R-Ability that grants them Reraise when hit. They're basically unchanged from FFTA, really.
Overall, Dragoons are a solid melee job. The 2-square range of Spears has a lot of applications -- you can't get countered if you're out of range! The breath attacks give Dragoons even more flexibility. You could really do worse than spend some time as a Dragoon. Even better, those elemental breath attacks work great as secondary skills for other jobs. (Too bad Jump is restricted to Spears only.)