Final Fantasy 12: The Zodiac Age - Best Jobs - Prima Games

Final Fantasy 12: The Zodiac Age – Best Jobs

by Bryan Dawson

One of the biggest alterations to Final Fantasy 12: The Zodiac Age is the new job system that allows players to select multiple jobs or classes for each character. This article covers the best jobs in Final Fantasy 12: The Zodiac Age, but we won’t stop there. Instead of just telling you which is the best job in Final Fantasy 12: The Zodiac Age, we’ll cover all classes in Final Fantasy 12: The Zodiac Age and offer some insight into each one so you know what you should be focusing on as your first job in Final Fantasy 12: The Zodiac Age and where to steer your party composition for each additional job.

Party Composition

If you’ve played almost any other RPG, you probably have a decent idea of what your ideal party composition should look like. In Final Fantasy 12: The Zodiac Age you have three party members, with each member having access to two different jobs (pairings). That means you basically have six jobs available to you throughout the game, and should be ready for almost any situation if you make good use of those six job slots. Keep in mind, once you assign a job to a party member, that selection cannot be changed. Make sure you do your homework before you make a final decision.

Healer – Arguably the most important job role in Final Fantasy 12: The Zodiac Age is the healer. Doing any major encounter, your party will take significant damage. Without a healer keeping your party alive, you won’t last long.

Varied Damage – It’s not enough to have just one damage dealer or dps in your party. You should have at least a couple of different ranged dps. A mage of some sort and an Archer or some other ranged attacker will go a long way to make sure all of your bases are covered. You don’t want to get caught fighting an enemy with high magick resistance when your only damage is a Black Mage.

Tank – Unlike some other RPGs, a tank job (Knight) in Final Fantasy 12: The Zodiac Age doesn’t have a wide range of abilities to keep the rest of the party safe. However, give them Decoy and a few other abilities and they can still soak up most of the damage during major encounters. It won’t be enough to forego a healer role, but with at least one healer and one tank you should be in pretty good shape.

Support – Some RPGs consider a healer to be a support job. While you can certainly give a healer in Final Fantasy 12: The Zodiac Age some support-like abilities, they’re really two separate jobs. A support job in Final Fantasy 12: The Zodiac Age weakens enemies and buffs allies to increase your chances of taking down an enemy quickly, or surviving longer in battles. Typically support jobs can also dish out some damage or even heal the party, so they can do more than just enfeeble and buff.

Party Roles and Characters

Job Role Ideal Characters
Archer Ranged Damage Basch
Black Mage Magick Damage Ashe, Penelo, Vaan
Bushi Melee Damage Ashe, Vaan
Forbreaker Melee Damage / Off Tank Balthier, Vaan
Knight Main Tank / Melee Damage Basch, Ashe, Vaan
Machinist Ranged Damage Fran
Monk Melee Damage / Off Healer Penelo, Vaan, Ashe
Red Battlemage Support Fran, Balthier, Penelo
Shikari Melee Damage / Off Tank Vaan, Balthier
Time Battlemage Support / Ranged Damage Ashe, Vaan, Penelo
Uhlan Melee Damage Penelo
White Mage Healer Balthier

Healer – Your primary healing job.

Off Healer – Has the ability to heal when needed, but this isn’t their primary role.

Support – Provide offensive buffs while enfeebling enemies. Usually has the ability to heal or perform other job duties.

Main Tank – Can take a beating better than any other job and can probably dish out a moderate amount of damage.

Off Tank – Can soak up more damage than most other jobs, but shouldn’t be your only tanking job.

Magick Damage – Attacks from a distance with Magick-based attacks and can inflict significant damage.

Melee Damage – Attacks from close range and can inflict significant damage.

Ranged Damage – Attacks from a distance and can inflict significant damage.

Best Jobs

White Mage

  • Main Role: Healer
  • Good Pairings: Archer, Shikari
  • Ideal Character: Balthier

Your White Mage is almost always going to be your main healer in the party. What you pair them with for the second job doesn’t matter all that much, but you can go with an Archer to keep them away from the front lines. You can also opt for a Shikari or similar melee damage job that will allow the White Mage to get some MP back. No matter which second job you go with, you’re primary focus is healing.

The White Mage job can be played well by almost any character, but the ideal White Mage is probably Balthier. This is mainly because he offers solid melee damage when needed, and he doesn’t fit into as many jobs as Vaan, Ashe or some of the other characters. You don’t need to worry about his Magick Power due to the Mystic Armor and Magick Lores.


  • Main Role: Main Tank
  • Good Pairings: Time Battlemage, Black Mage
  • Ideal Characters: Ashe, Vaan, Basch

The Knight is basically your main tank and should soak up most of the damage your party receives. In addition to all of the damage reduction abilities, the Shield Block licenses and access to all shields and heavy armor, you can spec the Knight a few different ways to inflict significant damage, soak up a lot of damage, or even as an off-healer. In fact, if you have a Knight with access to White Magick and another off-healer, you may be able to get away with no White Mage (although not ideal). Pair this job with a Time Battlemage to get additional Swiftness License and a Channeling and get a huge boost!

Ideally you want a character who has a high maximum HP for the Knight. This would place Ashe, Vaan and Basch as the ideal characters to take on the Knight job. If you’re going for a healing-focused Knight, you should use Ashe or Vaan to take advantage of their higher Magick Power. If you’re going for a more straightforward tanking job or even one that focuses more on damage, any of the three characters can work well.


  • Main Role: Melee Damage
  • Good Pairings: Red Battlemage, Uhlan
  • Ideal Characters: Vaan, Balthier

While a Shikari is primarily a melee damage dealer, dishing out tons of damage with their daggers, they can also tank decently well. Pair them with basically any job that allows the Shikari to access high level shields and they come close to rivaling the Knight as a proper tanking job. If you’re looking for straight damage, it’s best to go with a pairing such as the Uhlan, but knowing you have options for big damage or tanking is what makes the Shikari one of the better jobs in the game.

Vaan and Balthier generally make the best Shikari, but it’s highly likely that you’ve already used both characters for other jobs. In this case you want a character who can make up for the weaknesses of the Shikari job. The job doesn’t have high damage by itself, and also can’t use Heavy Armor or Battle Lores by default. This makes speed a key factor for the Shikari, so match your character accordingly if Vaan or Balthier are not available.

Time Battlemage

  • Main Role: Support
  • Good Paring: Bushi, Monk
  • Ideal Characters: Ashe, Vaan, Penelo

As a support job, the Time Battlemage is a valuable member to the party. Time Magick and Green Magick can both be extremely valuable when used correctly. Bushi is a nice pairing for the Time Battlemage because of the Strength stats and various magic buffs that combine well with the Bushi. Monk is also a decent option if you don’t mind the fact that it’s a bit slower in comparison.

While crossbows use Strength for damage, max Strength isn’t a significant issue when it comes to the Time Battlemage unless you’re opting to go with something other than Heavy Armor. Because of this, the character you choose to for Time Battlemage should be more dependent on what job you pair with it.  Generally speaking Ashe, Vaan or Penelo make decent Time Battlemages, but that’s assuming you go with a Bushi or Monk pairing.

Don’t forget to pick up the official strategy guide for a more in-depth look at the jobs in Final Fantasy 12: The Zodiac Age, and stay tuned to Prima Games for more coverage!