Part 32: Job Talk 7 - Berserker, SamuraiJob Talk 7
HP 1st MP 11th STR 4th MAG 13th DEF 9th MDEF 13th AGI 1st ACC 8th EVA 2nd LUCK 4th
Unlike in most FF games, the Berserker isn't an unmatched physical attacker. Its strength lies in its high HP and evasion, which makes it durable in physical-based slugfests, and the high agility, which translates into more frequent attacks. Sadly, the Berserker skill-set is pretty lackluster, and the job survives largely on the strength of its auto-abilities. This is a situational job, and its lack of versatility is a good illustration that, while strategy has been nerfed in FFX-2, it's not completely defanged.
increases strength by one level, inflicts berserk on self
It wouldn't be a berserker without Berserk, right? The mixed blessing of this ability is that it's not automatic; by the time you get your turn, charge this ability, pop it, and get your next turn to attack the first time, most other physical jobs will have already attacked once or twice. You're not likely to get around to using this in random battles, and in boss battles this represents a potentially undesirable loss of flexibility.
deals 50% of current HP fractional damage
deals 37.5% of current HP physical damage
removes one enemy from battle
Besides Eject, not that useful. You actually get access to an eject ability far earlier than this, in the form of the Thief's Steal Will. I can't tell whether this one has better accuracy or not.
deals more damage but reduces accuracy
This is going to miss every time you need it.
removes protect, shell, and reflect from target
Never let it be said that the Berserker can't contribute to magic-heavy battles. She won't, but she can.
deals damage and reduces target's accuracy by 5 levels, evasion by 10
If you need to debuff a target's evasion, do you think a physical attack is going to hit them?
deals damage and slows target
deals damage and poisons target
The charge time isn't worth the damage for the most part, especially when so many other jobs do status plus damage better.
doubles user's max HP
You probably want to use this before you Berserk, even though now you're two or three attacks behind the crowd.
immune to itchy
Berserker is designed to do one thing no matter what, so having immunity to a status that forces a job change makes some thematic sense. But Itchy is so non-threatening and infrequent that this feels like the result of a struggle to come up with something for the 16th ability slot.
reacts to physical attacks with a standard attack
reacts to magical attacks with a standard attack
dodges physical attacks and counters with a standard attack
always slowly regains health
These are the meat of the Berserker job and it's kind of a crime that they cost so many AP to learn. Learning all of these enables a single Berserker to use Berserk without losing out on contributing to damage or putting herself in too much danger. The extra attacks from the various Counter skills really help to counteract the Berserker's slight disadvantage in Strength, and when the ATB gets clogged with charge time abilities, you'll be glad to get the number of attacks you deserve.
HP 5th MP 7th STR 2th MAG 7th DEF 5-6th MDEF 6th AGI 5-6th ACC 6-7th EVA 3rd LUCK 4th
Samurai is an okay physical class loaded down with fixed-damage, defense-ignoring, and instant-kill abilities. Like most of the gimmicky abilities, they're pretty situational, but Samurai actually gives you some more opportunities to control or force those situations. Unfortunately, most defense-ignoring and fixed-damage abilities still don't do a whole lot of damage, and the Samurai is unusually fragile for a melee job.
throws gil to deal unblockable damage
Gil Toss has been around forever, and as usual it's most powerful in the early game when you can't really afford it. Once you figure one of the several infinite money tricks, though, the only thing holding you back is your patience.
deals damage equal to user's current damage
Because of how monster stats are scaled for balance, enemies are very likely to have more HP than you do, and you probably can deal as much or more damage with normal attacks. However, with HP decreasing and increasing accessories, we have more control over this ability than you'd think.
deals MP damage
attacks and cancels charging action of target
An interrupting attack with a charge time. Is there anything more useless? Either spam it or ignore it, because you'll never be able to use it strategically.
deals damage and nullifies stat modifiers on target
Enemies who buff themselves faster than you can debuff them are pretty rare, so I don't really understand the point of this skill over, say, the Break skills.
attacks one target and ignores defense
attacks multiple targets and ignores defense
Flashy and useful, but realizing you got Sparkler back in Chapter 1 when it was called Cheap Shot can be disheartening.
physical attack plus 1 damage for every enemy previously defeated
It's like the Tonberry's Karma, but in reverse. Attacks like these have been increasingly popular ways of artificially increasing your play time, but grinding it up to max damage is anti-fun.
attempts to instakill all enemies
special instakill against one enemy
You could be forgiven for thinking these two skills were related, or wondering why you learn the multi-target version first. Shin-Zantetsu is just a generic Death skill, meaning it's useless against bosses and certain enemy types, while Zantetsu is basically Yojimbo's Zanmato from the first game; anything might resist Zantetsu, but nothing is immune to it. Unfortunately there's no way of building up your success chances for Zantetsu other than leveling to 99.
increases Strength by two levels and Accuracy by 10
applies protect and shell to self
recovers 25% of max HP and cures some statuses
applies haste to self and increases Evasion by 10 levels
Samurai has some decent buffs, but they're all self-target only, and, except for maybe Hayate, there's nothing that a White Mage, Gun Mage, or Alchemist can't do better. Considering how fragile the Samurai is, though, it's nice of them to offer self-healing.
always deal criticals when in critical status
Those who got Auron's ultimate weapon in FFX should be comfortable exploiting this skill.