The nature of the Fire Crystal jobs means that this is a bit of a grab bag. The Fire Crystal is special in that you don’t get all of the jobs associated with it at the same time. Geomancer, Ninja, and Beastmaster appear initially, then you’ll get Bard and Ranger a bit after the Ancient Library.
Master of the bow and arrow, Ranger has some of the best abilities in the game. Their command, !Aim, delivers an attack that never misses, but it’s disabled while blinded. Their other commands include !Animals, which has a variety of random effects based on your level, and !Rapid Fire, which is potentially the best ability for physical attackers. It delivers 4 attacks at random enemies for half damage, but these attacks never miss and ignore defense. (It’s 1/3 of the traditional power combo.) On a single target, this can more than double your damage output (thanks to the defense ignoring effect) while still allowing shield use, unlike Twohanded or Dual-Wield. Rangers also learn Equip Bows.
- !Animals has some disappointing damage effects, but Nightingale is a heal that also cures blind and poison on the entire party. If you give !Animals to a caster, it’s even heals for a decent amount.
- Bows require two hands, but are relatively strong weapons. Ones to note include the Hayate bow in Exdeath’s castle (which will sometimes use Rapid Fire automatically) and the Artemis Bow found in Istory falls, which is more powerful than the Sealed Weapon Yoichi Bow (but unlike the Yoichi bow, doesn’t crit).
- !Rapid Fire does not trigger additional effects on weapons that have them. This means you can’t critically strike with it, but at the same time you’ll never accidentally run from battle with the Chicken Knife, or heal undead enemies with the Assassin’s dagger.
The purpose of the Ninja is to flip out and kill people. The Ninja command is !Throw, which can fling weapons or certain other items (scrolls and shuriken) at enemies. Their innate passives are Dual-Wield and First Strike. Dual-Wield allows holding a weapon in each hand, and it’s another 1/3 of the game’s traditional power combo (Seriously, they made it Bartz’s EX burst in Dissidia). First Strike causes you to get preemptive attacks more often. Ninjas can also learn !Image, which is identical to the White Mage spell Blink, and gives you two copies that let you avoid physical attacks. Finishing out the list is !Smoke, which guarantees an escape from battle (as long as you are able to run normally).
- Scrolls deal magic damage when thrown, so giving a ninja a magic ability (or conversely giving !Throw to a mage) can boost the damage done by scrolls significantly.
- This is a one-shot trick, but Throwing the Excalipoor uses its listed attack power. It’s kind of hilarious to get a few thousand damage out of a weapon that does 1 damage if you swing it normally.
- The comment I’ve already left for White Mages and Knights applies here too: !Image makes it really hard for things to hit you with physical attacks. Some enemies only use physical attacks. Other enemies can be berserked into only using physical attacks.
Beastmaster is a class that varies in power depending on where you are in the game. Their innate command is !Catch/Release, which can catch an enemy at low health and later unleash it in battle for an effect. Their other commands are !Calm, which Stops “magical beasts” (but also Omega in most versions, for some reason) and !Control, which takes control of an enemy. Berserk/Confused enemies can’t be controlled, and physical attacks will break it. Berserkers and Beastmasters aren’t exactly friends. Beastmasters also learn Equip Whips.
- The HP Threshold for !Catch and the chance of success for !Control are both made better by equipment. The Korango Gourd can be earned in Quelb (check the well) and the Hypno Crown can be found shortly after that in Drakenvale.
- In World 1, Sand Bears are one of the best capture options, as they perform a strong physical attack when released.
- The attacks Blaze, Breath Wing, and Lightning all do 25% Max HP damage to anything not immune to that element. 4 of these will kill (or nearly kill because of rounding) anything with less than 39,996 HP. Yellow Dragons in Exdeath’s castle have Lightning. Exdeath has 32,768 HP. Sadly I’m told this doesn’t work anymore in the mobile version.
- If you want to get AP early, Skull Eaters in Jachol Cave can be controlled. Winning a Skull Eater encounter gets you 5 AP, just be careful not to use magic on them.
Bard is a very strong support class, and I’d actually consider it one of the best. Their innate command is !Sing. There are two types of songs: The first (and more common) type has an effect on either all enemies or all allies. The second causes the user to sing continuously, raising the party’s stats until they either die or take a physical attack. They also learn !Hide, which removes the user from battle until you use Reveal. Bards also learn Equip Harps, which is more useful for passing some speed and magic to another class than for actually equipping harps.
- Bards come in at #2 on the “Worst HP in the game” list. Keep them in the back row!
- Most harps do %current health damage, and don’t work on bosses. The Sealed Weapon harp, the Apollo Harp, instead does a decent chunk of non-elemental magic damage, and x8 damage to Undead and Dragons. (For whatever reason, it doesn’t work on Bahamut.)
- If all of the living members of your party are hiding, and the battle is escapable, it will count as an escape. If the battle isn’t escapable (and you don’t highly value your time) you can run some bosses out of MP by doing this.
- Bardsongs tend to be quite miss-able. Romeo’s Ballad is in Istory, Alluring Air is in Lix, and Mana’s Paean has a very short acquisition window in the Ancient Library, when you get the quest for the four tablets.
- One of the best songs requires mastering the piano. Every place that has a Bar has a piano, although these are sometimes well-hidden. Collect your prize (Hero’s Rime) from the minstrel in Crescent.
If you’re wondering, the third part of that combination I mentioned twice is Spellblade. Tomorrow I’ll be finishing up with the final jobs you’ll receive, the ones from the Earth Crystal. The Fiesta starts on Monday!