Strategies for Picking Jobs
How to create the best party in Final Fantasy XII

There are many people who report spending hours and hours strategizing over different job combinations and trying to decide which jobs they should select. While there are some very powerful job combinations, it is important to keep in mind that each of the jobs on their own was designed to be self sufficient and strong enough to play through the entire game.

The International Zodiac Job System version, which was only released in Japan, only allowed you to select one job per character. The fact that you can now select two jobs and two License Boards means that your characters will be that much stronger and have access to more abilities, Magick, etc. so don’t spend too much time agonizing over which jobs to select. You can complete this game with nearly all job combinations.

  • Vaan - All of his stats are strong and he does well in any job.
  • Balthier - Strong HP and Strength, does better with physical jobs.
  • Fran - Her stats are the weakest, she does not excel at anything; you may want to have her be an Archer or a Machinist if you intend to choose every job once.
  • Basch - Strong HP and similarly high strength to Vaan, he does well with physical jobs.
  • Ashe - High Magick and high strength, she does well with many jobs.
  • Penelo - Highest MP, she is strongest with mage jobs.

There are some key abilities that you should make sure that your party has, no matter which jobs you select:

  • Ability to equip and use the Genji Gloves, one of the strongest accessories in the game, which can only be worn by Bushi, Knights and Foebreakers

  • Vaan, Balthier and Basch have the highest combo speed which makes them ideal for physical jobs

  • The “break” Technicks, specifically Addle, Sheer, Wither and Expose, are incredibly important abilities, they can be learned by the following classes:
    • Addle: Archer, Foebreaker, Time Battlemage
    • Shear: Archer, Foebreaker, Time Battlemage
    • Expose: Foebreaker, Monk, Uhlan
    • Wither: Foebreaker, Monk, Uhlan

  • The Swiftness Licenses are very valuable no matter what job your characters select; jobs that include the Swiftness Licenses are inherently stronger

As mentioned, all jobs were originally designed to be self sufficient on their own, and there are no truly bad combinations. There are only less optimal combinations so don’t be afraid to be creative with your job selections. That being said, here are the strongest:

Strongest Job Combination

Shikari / Foebreaker
This job combination makes it to the top of the list for two key reasons. The first reason is that the Foebreaker has access to all four “break” abilities (Addle, Expose, Shear and Wither). These abilities on their own are extremely strong and are very useful during the most difficult battles of the game.

The Shikari job allows access to some of the stronger weapons and accessories – namely to ninja swords and to the Genji Gloves. It also provides access to the three Swiftness Licenses making this job combination nearly unstoppable.

Knight / Bushi
The Knight and Bushi combination is great because the two jobs offset one another’s weaknesses. The Bushi relies on katana swords as the primary weapon which do damage based on strength as well as a character’s magick power stat. This combination of jobs increases the amount of damage done by utilizing the strength from the Knight class and the higher Magick stat from the Bushi class.

This job combination also has access to a few different White Magick spells for healing and to the three Swiftness Licenses.

White Mage / Machinist
Every party should have a White Mage for obvious reasons, but why pair it with the Machinist? The Machinist uses guns to do damage and the amount of damage that a gun does is not based on your stats; it is based on the type and level of the gun equipped, which makes it a useful weapon for a character that will not have high strength or be wearing heavy armor (like a White Mage).

This job combination will give the White Mage a decent means of adding to your party’s damage when they are not casting curative spells.

Black Mage / Red Battlemage
The strongest offensive Magick user combination. Magick users received a number of buffs in the Zodiac Age version of the game, from the way that MP now scales and lasts longer, to the amount of damage that can be done due to the increased Magick-based Licenses on the different License Boards. The amount of damage that this job combination can accomplish is ridiculously high.

Black Mage / Monk
An alternative to the Black Mage / Red Battlemage combination is to swap the Red Battlemage class for the Monk class. The Monk class provides an increase in HP, strength and all three Swiftness Licenses. This allows the character to do damage without always expending MP and casting spells.

Shikari / White Mage
You can use this job combination to create a nearly unstoppable tank. The Shikari has access to high amounts of HP granting Licenses, access to Shields and access to all of the healing spells that are needed to keep a tank alive.

Shikari / Bushi
Less powerful than the Shikari / Foebreaker combination, but it does provide the Bushi (Samurai) access to ninja swords rather than Katanas, which is a combination that will come in extremely useful during the battle against Yiazmat. Just equip a Yagyu Darkblade and Black Robes (which increase Dark-elemental damage by 50%).

Worst Jobs

It is important to note that, while it is possible to complete a playthrough of the entire game with these jobs, the Machinist and Uhlan jobs have some serious limitations. As mentioned above, the Machinist uses guns to inflict damage and gun damage is not based on any specific character stat, which means that the Machinist’s damage output will be limited. The Uhlan uses spears as the primary weapon. Spears can do some half-decent damage, but the animation times for each attack are abnormally long, making the Uhlan a less ideal job to select.

Recommended Combination to Use All Jobs

I would recommend using either of the following setup if your intention is to use all jobs across your six characters:

  • Shikari / Foebreaker
  • Uhlan / Machinist
  • Archer / Red Battlemage
  • Knight / Bushi
  • White Mage / Time Battlemage
  • Black Mage / Monk

Alternatively, the following combination may work:

  • Shikari / Foebreaker
  • Bushi / Knight
  • White Mage / Machinist
  • Black Mage / Monk
  • Uhlan / Time Battlemage
  • Red Battlemage / Archer

After you have selected your 12 jobs for each of your 6 characters, you should now consider which character/job will unlock which Esper and Quickening combinations. Each character can only unlock 3 out of 4 Quickening Licenses and they often provide access to additional skills and abilities. Similarly for the Esper Licenses, they often provide access to new abilities for certain classes, and they can only be unlocked by one character (it will be unlocked on both job boards). Check out the List of Jobs page for more information or go back to the previous page about jobs.