Part 3: Job Talk 1 - Gunner, Warrior, Thief, SongstressYou know what the worst job in FFX-2 is? Getting 100%! Heyo!
Job Talk 1 - Gunner, Warrior, Thief, Songstress
Perhaps the most popular feature of X-2 is the long-awaited return of the Job system. The game boasts 13 regular jobs, one completion-reward superjob, and three special jobs that take the place once occupied by Overdrives and summons. The main characters' base stats are determined entirely by their level and what job they're using. Most of the jobs have specific strengths and weaknesses, but there are also some hybrid jobs for players who don't want to deal with switching during combat.
Each job has abilities which are learned through Ability Points (AP), and you earn AP by defeating enemies or performing any successful action other than Attack. Because you can switch jobs in combat, there's not many options for multiclassing, but there is equipment that can grant you specific abilities regardless of job, and some that is almost like equipping two jobs at once.
Whenever we pick up a new job (or would have in a new game) I'll post a short description of the job, how its Lv. 99 stats compare to the other jobs, and my opinions on the job's abilities. So, without further delay;
Click the image to see all the transformation animations!
HP 7th MP 11th STR 6-7th MAG 9-10th DEF 4-5th MDEF 9th AGI 8-9th ACC 1st EVA 10th LUCK 3rd
Note: most of the jobs impart identical stats on each character, but one later job does not, which messes up these rankings a little. Here, for example, all three characters will have the same Strength as Gunners of identical level, but Gunner ranks 7th in Strength for Yuna and Paine and 6th for Rikku. The superjob and special jobs are omitted from the rankings, so 13 is the lowest rank.
The Gunner is the first ranged job you get and only dominates in Accuracy. X-2 did away with monsters that require ranged attacks or magic to hit, so ranged jobs aren't as necessary as they once were, but bees and birds are still evasive little assholes. Guns can stun a melee attacker if you hit it during its attack, but unless it's the kill shot, the attack won't be canceled. The Gunner's abilities all have the upside of activating instantly, just like a standard attack, but many of them are extremely situational, and the Gunner's dismal MP means you can't use them freely.
make multiple weak physical attacks within the time limit
Gunner's signature move. The player has to mash R1 to unleash a volley of wimpy shots until a timer runs out. It's most useful in the early game for earning extra AP and building up a Chain combo, but you'll find yourself doing 0 or 1 damage per shot until your stats get better. Sometimes you can stunlock an enemy with this, but the timer also doesn't stop if you get hit yourself.
physical attack that ignores target's defense
non-elemental magical attack
physical attack that deals ¼ of target's current HP
deals attacker's level times 16 damage
physical attack that deals more damage to targets with higher defense
All of these abilities are meant for targets with high defense and/or HP, so it's kind of weird that there's more than two of them on this job. On the Level's damage is capped at 1584, and Quarter Pounder is largely resisted by bosses and big enemies, but in general one of these will do the most damage, so figure out which one and use that.
damages one enemy's MP
Use Silence instead. Or just kill the damn thing.
deals about 30% increased physical damage to one target
critical physical attack on one target
physical attack on all enemies
critical physical attack on all enemies
Boring but dependable. Scatterburst is shockingly efficient when used against three or more enemies, but you're still severely limited by Gunner's MP pool. Just save your MP and use Burst Shot on bosses.
immune to Darkness
immune to Sleep
increases the allotted time for Trigger Happy
Some nerds on GameFAQs believe that the maximum number of hits for Trigger Happy is fixed, not actually dependent on your button-mashing skills. So the benefit of the duration-increasing abilities is finite, but if you plan to use Trigger Happy, you should definitely get them anyway.
HP 3rd MP 10th STR 3rd MAG 11th DEF 2nd MDEF 12th AGI 12th ACC 11th EVA 7th LUCK 5-6th
Warrior is a cross between Auron's abilities from FFX and the Mystic Knight from FFV. It's as weak in magic as it is strong in physicals, but hitting things with a big sword has always been a winning battle strategy. Armored enemies are gone in X-2, but now there's the Chain mechanic you have to consider when timing your attacks. Also, most of the Warrior's abilities come with charge times that make them not worth it. Largely, you'll just be holding down the button for your standard attack, with the occasional debuff thrown in against durable enemies.
reduces all physical damage to 1 until next turn
This is a powerful defensive ability and a good way to grind AP, but without the capacity to predict or control whom the enemy attacks, it's also a gamble.
adds fire element to physical attack
adds ice element to physical attack
adds thunder element to physical attack
adds water element to physical attack
adds gravity element to physical attack
adds holy element to physical attack
Elemental damage sounds nice, but flans and elements still have high physical defense, and 150% of bupkus is still just bupkusbup. If you know the fiends in the area are weak to certain elements, just shell out the 3,000 Gil for an elemental attack accessory and save yourself the interminable charge time.
physical attack that lowers target's Strength by two levels
physical attack that lowers target's Defense by two levels
physical attack that lowers target's Magic by two levels
physical attack that lowers target's Magic Defense by two levels
Note: changes to these values during battle have a proportional effect. Each level increases or decreases damage dealt or taken by one twelfth, up to a maximum of ten levels.
The Break abilities, like most status effects, have been severely nerfed since FFX. They do damage now, and can be stacked, but the effect is small, and it's hard not to remember that Armor Break reduced Defense to zero in the prequel. Use these on bosses and don't worry about them much otherwise.
physical attack that delays target's action
physical attack that delays target's action twice as much
These could be great if, again, they didn't have any charge time. Between that, the Warrior's dismal speed and the way the ATB system works, anything you're trying to prevent will have already happened by the time these abilities pop.
adds berserk, protect, shell, and haste to party
If you know you can win a battle without using any special abilities, go for it. But to get the most out of this ability, you'll want a physical-heavy party, and it's probably faster just to hold down X.
adds protect when in critical status
HP 6th MP 9th STR 10th MAG 8th DEF 3rd MDEF 5th AGI 2nd ACC 5th EVA 1st LUCK 2nd
The Thief is agile and surprisingly durable, with a handful of vital, if not powerful, skills. And don't let the Strength rating fool you; with an innate double attack, the Thief can dish out a respectable amount of damage and contribute to combos with your big hitters. You'll want to use the Thief a lot in the early game to build your empty coffers, as money is tight, and the equipment you can get from bosses will give you a nice boost.
takes an item from an enemy
takes money from an enemy
There's no equipment customization, so reagents aren't as important as they once were. Still, Steal is still a vital part of your party finances early on. Unfortunately, you can only steal once from any given enemy now.
applies stop on one enemy
applies berserk on one enemy
ejects one enemy
Instant status effects are nice, if you can remember all the immunities.
steal HP from enemy
steal MP from enemy
Your MP when you switch jobs is converted based on percentages, so a small amount of MP stolen as a Thief can be a large amount of MP as a primarily magic job. Topping up as a Thief can be an efficient way of keeping yourself going during a long dungeon. Stealing HP directly, not so much.
steal an item with 100% successes
only steal rare items
If you're going to use Master Thief, try to get it early so you can use it on as many bosses and powerful enemies as possible. It's usually a good way to stay on or ahead of the power curve. Sticky Fingers isn't as important unless you need to make every single turn count for something.
instantly escape from battle
Of limited use, but it's nice to have until you run across a No Encounters accessory.
raises chance of item drops
Even though monster drops aren't as useful any more, they're still saleable. Set this and forget it.
fills ATB bar at beginning of battle, even if ambushed
increases chances of ambushing enemy
These are very powerful for controlling and eliminating specific dangerous targets before they can act. First Strike also appears on a certain Garment Grid, and is hilariously broken.
immune to slow
immune to stop
Occasionally helpful, but these are not the statuses to really be afraid of.
HP 10th MP 6th STR 13th MAG 4th DEF 13th MDEF 7th AGI 3-4th ACC 13th EVA 4th LUCK 9-10th
What you get out of Songstress depends entirely on your playstyle. If you like buffs, debuffs and status effects, you should keep Songstress close on hand. If you don't, don't. The last place rankings in Strength and Accuracy are a bit misleading; Songstress, like a number of jobs, doesn't actually have a standard Attack command, so those stats won't come into play unless someone gets berserked. That abysmal defense will, though.
enemies inflicted with darkness for two turns
enemies inflicted with silence for two turns
enemies inflicted with sleep for two turns
enemies inflicted with slow for two turns
enemies inflicted with stop for two turns
The key to Songstress is knowing what status effects are worth applying and who's immune to what. For enemies that are vulnerable to them, silence, sleep and stop can win a fight outright. Darkness and slow aren't quite as dominating.
party's MP cost is reduced to zero for two turns
party is immune to magic for two turns
You don't get these abilities until the end of the game, which plays into how useful they actually are. At the same time you can get MP Mambo, you also have access to a half MP and zero MP cost accessory, so dedicating one party member to buff the other two isn't as good a deal as it sounds. The other one has limited potential against casters, but equipment matching can fill most of the same role.
restores 25% of party's max HP and doubles party's max HP for two turns
I guess I don't get the point of this one. Anything that can one-shot you at your normal HP can probably one-shot you at 125%. You need a healer topping you off to make full use of this ability, so between that and the dancer you only get three useful actions every two turns.
haste on party for two turns
makes all party's attacks critical hits for two turns
Both of these look like ways of doubling your party's effectiveness, but haste isn't as powerful as you might think. It mostly improves your party's animation speed. The real detriment to these buffs is their temporary nature, as well as keeping your support character from multitasking.
increases party's Strength by one level
increases party's Defense by one level
increases party's Magic by one level
increases party's Magic Defense by one level
increases party's Accuracy by ten levels
increases party's Evasion by ten levels
Note: temporary changes to Accuracy or Evasion, unlike the other four above, simply add or subtract 10 from the stat in question per level, up to a maximum of 10 levels. This applies also to changes to Luck.
The first four of these take forever to reach useful effects, but starting long battles with the Matador's Song can't hurt.