The Let's Play Archive

Final Fantasy Tactics A2: Grimoire of the Rift

by Solumin

Part 88: Bad Job Teardown: Scholar, Flintlock, Arcanist, Chocobo Knight

The Bad Job Teardown: Scholar, Flintlock, Arcanist, Chocobo Knight (Job Roundup #11)

What makes a good job? In my opinion, there's four criteria.

Useful abilities. "Hit the target for massive damage" is useful. "Hit the fours squares around you for half damage" is situational at best. "May harm allies" is not useful at all.

Action Economy. In order to succeed, you must get the most out of every turn. A Double Cast Blood Price Summoner can hit multiple targets with two powerful spells in one action. They can do this every turn and heal themselves at the same time. Very efficient! A good job will give you the tools to use every turn to the fullest.

Ease of use. How quickly and easily can a unit start making an impact? The Summoner above needs Double Cast, Blood Price, an elemental-absorbing item and a spell of that element. That's a lot to gather for one unit. Other units may be hard to use in-battle. For example, Illusionists have powerful but very expensive spells, and they require support to be maximally useful.

Good stats. At the very least, the stat growths should support the unit's abilities, e.g. high magick growths for a mage. Good speed is a major plus.

The four jobs discussed in this post fail several of these criteria.



Races: Nu Mou
Locked By: 1 Sage + 1 Time Mage + "Treasured Tomes" quest
Unlocks: Nothing

- Weapons: Tomes
- Armor: Light Armor

Growths: Top-tier W.ATK, great speed, average everything else.

There's an argument to be made that the game designers don't really like Nu Mou. Exhibit A: This job. One of the two new Nu Mou jobs, Scholar's gimmick is inflicting damage on every unit on the battlefield. Yes, every unit, including friendlies. Some people like to use them as a clan-wide healer, since every job can equip at least one item that will absorb all damage of a particular element. They're one of the few jobs that can deal Dark damage, which is a rare but useful element. Two of their abilities are chock-full of flavor: Mad Scientist inflicts a random status ailment, while Force gives you a random buff. Natural Selection deals damage to all enemies of the same race, which can be useful in certain battles, though it doesn't work on monsters. And that's all they really have going for them!

Outfitting your clan to absorb your Scholar's spells locks you into a single elemental damage type, which is never a great idea. Of course, you also need to have all the gear necessary to absorb the damage, which can be difficult until late in the game. At 28 mana each, Scholar's abilities are as expensive as an Illusionist's, though they deal every-so-slightly more damage. Their other spells aren't much better: Study reveals enemy loot tables (useless), and the Spellbound passive prevents buffs and debuffs from being removed from the unit (double-edged sword). It's just all so underwhelming and hard to use.

By the way, Exhibit B: Those stat growths. +10 W.ATK on a magick job is useless. Scholar has exactly the same stats as the Morpher job from FFTA, which seems to have been removed wholesale and replaced with Scholar.

Scholar is possibly the least worst of the jobs in this roundup. Their action economy is quite good and their abilities can be useful, but these both depend on setting up the rest of your clan.



Races: Moogle
Locked By: 2 Fusilier + 2 Tinker + "Of Kupos and Cannons" quest
Unlocks: Nothing

- Weapons: Hand Cannons
- Armor: Light Armor

Growths: Average everything. Bleh.

Flintlocks are the new ranged Moogle job. They wield the new Hand Cannon weapon type, and boy do they not live up to how awesome "Hand Cannon" should be.

Conceptually, Flintlocks are support Fusiliers. Their abilities can restore MP, heal, cure statuses, grant Protect, Regen or Shell, and even teleport targets around the battlefield! Plus their passive ability Charged Attacks let them use MP to power up their attacks. Neat, right? There's a catch: every one of those abilities consumes the Primed buff, which is granted by the "Prime" ability. Flintlocks can at best use one of their powerful abilities every other turn. Those abilities are all single-target, so there's no efficiency to the job at all. Couple that with underwhelming stat growths and you're looking at an overall bad job.

Their saving graces are the huge range on their Hand Cannons, letting them make good use of Ultima. They also work well with Fusilier as their secondary ability set. That's not enough to make them worth using.

Oh, and since Primed is a buff, it can be stripped away or even outlawed. Fun.



Races: Nu Mou
Locked by: 2 Time Mage and "Nu Mou Nobles" quest
Unlocks: Nothing, thankfully

- Weapons: Rods
- Armor: Light Armor, Robes

Growths: Highest MP growth in the game. Slowest speed in the game. At or below average for everything else.

It's hard to say exactly which is the worst job in FFTA2, but Arcanist is a strong contender. First, the stat growths: Literally the lowest speed in the game, tied with the Bangaa Templar. +8 M.POW and +7 M.RES for a race that has 3 jobs with 10 or higher in both those stats. Sure, +8 MP is the highest in the game, but with how MP works, that's next to useless. Below average in everything else is just icing on the cake. 34% speed growth, holy shit.

Alright, maybe the spells can salvage this. Drain and Syphon steal HP and MP respectively and restore HP, giving the Arcanist a bit of sustain. Wait, why doesn't Syphon restore MP? That would be really useful! Um, what's next. Gravity and Graviga do 25% and 50% respectively of the target's current HP, which aren't too bad and were stolen from Time Mage. Death is an instant KO, which means it has abysmal accuracy, but OK, Time Mage's Stop could help there. Too bad bosses tend to be immune to it. Also, all of these spells cost at least 12 MP, so you'd better grab Half MP from Illusionist if you want to use them at all. Arcanist's passive is Pierce, which ignores Reflect, which I think one enemy in the whole game has. MP Shield, Arcanist's R-ability, means you'll never have enough MP on your turn if you get hit.

OK, what's left? Ah yes, Level 3 Dark, Level 5 Haste and Level ? S Flare, the Three Musketeers of Shitty Gimmick Spells. Level 3 Dark and Level 5 Haste (which cost only 8 MP each!) target units whose levels are multiples of 3 or 5, while Level ? S(hadow) Flare deals damage to anyone whose level has the same last digit as yours. By the way, the level cap is 99, so at that point Haste won't ever target you while Level 3 Dark always will.

To recap: Hard to use, likely to harm allies, terrible stat growths, only regularly-usable spells might not target anything, only good spells were stolen from a much better job.


Chocobo Knight

Races: Moogle
Locked By: 2 Animist + "Popocho's Chocobo's" quest
Unlocks: Nothing

- Weapons: All non-ranged weapons
- Armor: Light Armor

Growths: Average or below average in everything, except for 99% Speed.

Chocobo Knight is new melee moogle job, and in my opinion wins the "Most Gimmick" award. You see, Chocobo Knights don't learn any abilities. Instead, they have chocobos.

In some battles, you'll fight against chocobos. Weaken one, and your Chocobo Knight will be able to mount it. Every chocobo knows Choco Cure, Choco Barrier (grants Shell + Protect) and Choco Beak (a basic attack). But you can find more than just regular yellow ones! For example, black chocobos can fly and cast Choco Flame, a fire element attack that ignores the target's defenses. There's five different chocobos, besides the regular yellow: green, brown, red, black and white. Green, Brown and White are defensive/support builds, while Black and Red are offensively built.

Let me lay this out more clearly: Every chocobo knows three basic abilities, and colorful ones have an additional ability. Chocobo knights have no other abilities. When riding a chocobo, they can't do anything but basic attacks and the chocobo's three or four abilities. Secondary ability sets are only available if the moogle is not riding a chocobo. They also gain the chocobo's innate weaknesses to Water, Lightning and Holy damage. If the unit is slain or petrified, the chocobo runs away. There's no way to switch chocobos without losing the one you're riding.

The only upsides to Chocobo Knight is the 99% Speed growth and being able to equip any melee weapon.