Blue Dragon is one of three RPGs that are very nostalgic for me, and although the game is divisive in being either dubbed as mediocre or a masterpiece, most agree that the Shadow class system is a highlight to this brainchild of Hironobu Sakaguchi. I’m going to delve deep and attempt to rank all nine well-balanced job classes to the best of my ability. The format of this list will not only include end-game content, but will cover the entire game, with an individual score for Disc 1 and for Discs 2 and 3. Remember that this list is subjective. Now it is time for… Blue Dragon All Classes RANKED!
Notable Skills: Steal, Treasure Hunt, Double Strike
Disc One Score: 9th
Disc Two & Three Score: 9th
The Assassin Class excels in agility, field skills, and versatility in battle that can not be replicated by the other classes. This class is suitable for physical fighters due the agility boost that this class grants as well as for many physical-oriented skills such as Long-Range Attack and Double Strike. The most notable skills that the Assassin provides are: Steal, which, like the name implies, steals an item from the enemy, Treasure Hunt, which increases the rare steal chance from 10% to 50%, and Double Strike, which hits the enemy twice with the basic Attack command. Another great skill comes in the form of Ninja Swiftness, which allows you to carry over the agility from the Assassin over to slower classes. Last of all, the Long-Range Attack skill can be paired with Mow Down 2 or other attacking commands to take out enemies without having to use magic.
However, the issue with the Assassin class comes with comparing it to the better options. In the grand scheme of things, Double Strike trembles in comparison to a strong Magic Sword attack. Even Steal can be replicated with items like The Way of the Thief and the Master Thief’s Manual. The same issue applies to the Stealth field command, which can be replicated by Invisibility Elixirs and is usually not that effective in comparison to Field Barrier. The Stun Bomb command is fun and unique, but the same effect can be achieved with a well-timed back attack. The Surprise command is helpful, but much weaker than other skills and is not really worth the skill slot. Security is nice in dungeons like Gul Mountains and The Forest of the Dead, but like Surprise, it is overshadowed by the competition. Long-Range Attack is great, but Water magic is usually the best course of action for a full row of rear enemies. The Loot command tends to be overshadowed by the steal command, as the Loot command may accidentally kill an enemy upon use and the Loot command tends to have a much lower success rate than its seemingly-weaker counterpart. The Negotiate command is decent right upon gaining Zola, but due to the fact that the best gear is found in dungeons and spells from then on leaves only the occasional visit to the Item Shop to be affected by the Negotiate skill, making it almost obsolete. Last of all, Control, although one of the most unique skills in the game, tends to fall flat when your party members will almost always have stronger attacks than the enemies that can be controlled. Overall, although possibly the most unique and fun fighter class in the game, the agility, field skills, and the versatility of the Assassin do not really measure up to the strength of the rest of the classes in the game.
8. Support Magic
Notable Skills: Double-Cast, Support Magic, Magic Essence
Notable Spells: Sleep, Quick series, Attack Up series
Disc One Score: 6th
Disc Two & Three Score: 7th
The Support Magic class has the best stats of all the mage classes, and although it doesn’t seem like a better class than the Assassin at first glance, it gets better and better the more you invest into it. The most notable skills are Double-Cast, which is absolutely fantastic because it doubles the magic prowess that mages can perform, Support Magic, their main skill that can debuff and buff allies and enemies in almost any imaginable way, and Magic Essence, which allows you to carry your magic stat over to fighters to make them a jack-of-all-trades, Red Mage-esque character that can bring more variety to one or more of your characters. The final Support Magic Class skill is Spell Duration +50% is also decent as well, especially to extend the length of the Quick series spells as well as the underrated Sleep spell to reach new heights.
In the first disc, Support Magic is rather unassuming and seems to be only beneficial in boss fights to use Quick or Quicka to increase the amount of turns the team can get. However, the Support Magic Class is also useful in using the powerful Sleep spell to put pretty much any early to mid-game enemies (with the exception of Ghost and Mecha Robo enemies) to sleep and allow your team to fully charge spells and attacks without having to worry about the enemies acting before you can. The Slow and Slowa spells are also decent, as they can slow down more powerful enemies like the Double Axe or Broadsword Fish so more leeway can be made to stay alive in battle. This class would likely move up a rank or two in the first disc if this ranking was based off of the Hard Mode DLC, as enemies like Steel-Eating Tigers and Magic Jellyfish will decimate Shu and his friends if they don’t fire off a sleep spell as soon as possible. Overall, throughout the first disc, incorporating the Sleep and Slow spells within enemy fights and the Quick series spells will bring leverage and flair to otherwise repetitive battles.
In the second and third discs, Support Magic shines even more, however it is outclassed by all other classes except the Monk and Assassin in this disc, therefore putting it at a lower ranking. Here’s why it’s amazing. By this point, you will be able to have access to Double-Cast, one of the best skills in the game. Also, with newer Field Barrier skills accessible at this point, it is possible to easily level a fighter in magic and create a character with both physical and magical prowess, which fits perfectly with the objective of the Magic Essence ability. Adding to that, by the time you get around to the beginning of Disc 3, you gain the Attack Up and Mag Atk Up abilities, which completely change the greatness of Support Magic itself. Fire up Double-Cast, use both of these fantastic spells, and your party will instantly be more capable for slaying the game’s harder bosses. Not to mention how overpowered Quickus is, but that is pretty self-explanatory. Overall, Support Magic becomes fantastic with Double-Cast for your magic casters, Magic Essence for your fighters, and the three new, amazing buffing spells for the entire party.
However, now for the cons. There are so many either bad or very situational spells in the Support Magic selection, and although some could be useful, they require full charges to hit multiple enemies. For example, Poison is great against enemies with high really high defense early in the game, but tapers off later on. Anchor is great against the tigers so they don’t butcher you, but it doesn’t have great utility because by the time you charge the spell to hit all of the enemies, the enemies will kill you. Due to this, Support Magic ends up becoming the least helpful school of magic, even though it has a few amazing spells within the class. If these spells were more powerful and all of the spells were worth using, then the Support Magic class would be fantastic and top tier. Overall, Support Magic has very high highs and very low lows, but is still a worthy choice for a class.
7. Barrier Magic
Notable Skills: Field Barrier 3, Barrier Magic, Distress Barrier
Notable Spells: Wall series, Shield/Shell series, Heal Up
Disc One Score: 7th
Disc Two & Three Score: 5th
The Barrier Magic class has solid stats, better than Black and White Magic but not as good as Support Magic. The notable skills of the Barrier Magic class include Barrier Magic, a great school of magic for providing defensive support, Distress Barrier, an ability that gives you all possible Barrier Magic buffs upon hitting low health (a fantastic combo with Endure and Berserker from the Guardian Class), and the amazing Field Barrier 3 ability, that for 1 MP, will kill almost any enemy and give you that enemies SP for pretty much no cost. Other skills include Field Barrier 1, which is alright but way too costly, Field Barrier 2, which is fantastic but not groundbreaking, and Magic Fence, which gives other classes the magic defense of the Barrier Magic class.
In the first disc, Barrier Magic suffers for most of the disc. The most notable uses of Barrier Magic in the whole disc would most likely be putting up the Shield spell during the tricky Icefire Wolf Ghost boss (this is pretty much essential in Hard Mode) as well as Resist and Resista during the Raging Kesu boss fight. Wall certainly helps in many boss fights as well, however, the bosses of Disc 1 aren’t particularly hard. At this point in the game, the player will most likely only have Field Barrier 1, which is very pricey and only should be used for killing enemies when HP is low on the field or if the enemy is too hard for the player. Coming from left field, I found that Heal Up was actually the most effective Barrier Magic spell for the first disc, because it allows you to heal a lot more with Heal and Zephyr spells and it lasts for a long time, making it more worth it than casting two healing spells. Overall, unless the player is playing in either Hard Mode or attempting a low-level game, most of the Barrier Magic and the weak Field Barrier 1 tend to fall short compared to the other classes.
In the second and third discs, Barrier Magic climbs up a few ranks due to the stronger versions of each spell. Wallus prevents magic and physical attacks, Shieldus and Shellus are able to envelop the whole party, Trapfloorus is able to cover the entire front row, and gaining the Resistus spell is always a bonus. These spells are all fantastic for some of the harder bosses in the game, but they still suffer even heavily from the fact they aren’t necessary in regular battles. However, the main reason that Barrier Magic beats Support Magic, even though Support Magic is more useful in regular battles (at least Barrier Magic has more than six or seven useful spells though), is due to the Field Barrier 3 ability. This ability, although it will take a little bit of time, can pretty much speed up ranking up so fast you can get to rank 99 for a class within less than 2 hours without even having to touch the controller. This skill elevates all of the other classes by a long shot, letting them gain huge stat boosts in a short amount of time that is only superseded by using rare Heart items. Overall, the Barrier Magic class is pretty great for casting powerful Barrier Magic for tough bosses and gaining huge boosts via the Field Barrier 3 skill in the second and third discs.
Notable Skills: Charged Attack, Counterattack series, Critical Hit Lift
Disc One Score: 4th
Disc Two & Three Score: 8th
The Monk Shadow class boasts the highest attack stat in the game, and not only that, but also is amazing for strengthening the stronger Guardian and Sword Master classes to the best of their ability. The notable skills of this class include Charged Attack, which allows you to charge physical attacks as well as Sword Magic attacks, Critical Hit Lift, which allows huge damage in combination with Magic Sword as well as with the Boost Critical Damage ability, and the two Counterattack-related skills, that allow the playable characters (especially Guardians) to hit for lots of damage without even needing a turn to do so. Other skills include the Attack Amp ability, which sounds much better on paper than in the actual game, Battle Essence, which allows you to carry attack to other classes such as mages, Repel and Attract Aura, which allow you to control enemy behavior to keep away or draw in enemies, and Less Is More, which allows you to gain stats for accessories you don’t have equipped (Less Is More sounds much better than it is; I believe it is the worst or second worst skill in the game).
In the first disc, Monk is very, very powerful. Using Charged Attack, you can deal even more damage than a Magic Sword attack—at least until you get the second tier spells—as well as hit more often by allowing your frontline fighters to do damage outside of their typical turn with Counterattack Boost. Once you learn Charged Attack at rank 13, you can bring it over to the Sword Magic or even the Assassin class to hit for much stronger attacks, and combine that with the Critical Hit Lift and Boost Critical Damage skills to hit for possibly triple to quadruple damage! However, other than these three abilities, Attract Aura is simply outshined by the simple Stink status ailment that can be inflicted via a Fresh or Stout Garlic item, and Repel Aura is outshined by Stealth or simply popping an Invisibility Elixir. Meditation is great, but it is also made obsolete by White Magic. Attack Amp is also very unreliable, and overall, there are only four skills that are useful in the Monk Class. However, compared to the other classes in Disc 1, Monk still shines due to the greatness of the first few skills being so good that they put Support Magic, Barrier Magic and Assassin to shame at this point in the game. Overall, Monk is fantastic for damage in the early-game, but doesn’t have the best skills to make it measure up to other classes.
In the second and third disc, Monk falls in the ranking due to not only learning relatively weak skills in the higher ranks, but due to other classes learning fantastic skills at the higher ranks. And although Monk has great stats, so the class may be decent to stay in if your character has already learned skills from other classes, Monk still falls behind since their overall skillset beats only the Assassin in utility. Overall, the Monk should simply be used in the third disc to get your fighters to learn Charged Attack and Critical Hit Lift, your mages to get Battle Essence if you want to make them more well-rounded as a character, and your Guardian to gain Absolute Counterattack. Other than that, pursuing the Monk after learning these skills is only worth it for their attack stat as well as if the player is trying to gain achievements and/or max out their game.
5. Sword Master
Notable Skills: Sword Magic, Mow Down 2, Boost Critical Damage
Notable Spells: Flare Sword series, Water Sword series, Shine Sword series
Disc One Score: 5th
Disc Two & Three Score: 6th
The Sword Master boasts fantastic stats, possibly the best in the game. The stats of this class are very well rounded and can be tailored to fit a mage or a fighter, however, seeing that the Sword Master can only hit single enemies at a time with its main skillset, their attacks aren’t quite as well-rounded as their stats. The Sword Master’s most notable skills are Magic Sword, which allows you to do enormous elemental damage to a single target that outshines the damage that could be dealt with even a Flare or Shadow series spell, Mow Down 2, which allows you to hit a full row of enemies with a single physical attack (this is great paired with Long-Range Attack), and Boost Critical Damage, which in tandem with Critical Hit Lift and possibly even a Kelolon Elixir will give you enormous opportunity to deal up to five or six times the damage of an uncharged Magic Sword attack. Other skills include Mow Down 1, a weaker version of Mow Down 2 that doesn’t measure up very well to its superior upgrade nor a standard Water spell, and Absorb HP and MP, which are cool but not too crucial with White Magic and the Extract series spells around.
In the first disc, Sword Master is a force to be reckoned with against single targets, but not much else. Similar to the Support Magic and Barrier Magic classes, Magic Sword is primarily useful when tackling single enemies that are very tough such as bear type enemies, centipede type enemies, and of course, boss type enemies. Magic Sword is very cheap to use, making it highly accessible during regular battles, but using Water, Ground, or even Wind type spells is much more useful as it can wipe enemies out much quicker. Mow Down 1 seems to be a counter to the single-target-limited Magic Sword, but it fails in this regard due to its weak demeanor. Another problem with the Sword Master is that a charged Attack command with the Monk can outshine a regular Magic Sword attack, especially against enemies with no weakness or with little agility. This, however, can be countered by learning Charged Attack on your Sword Master,, thereby benefiting Magic Sword to outshine both of them. Overall, even with a lot of weaknesses, the Sword Master has arguably the best stats in the game and has the best damage capability against single targets than any other class.
In the second and third discs, Magic Sword gets even better due to the combinations it can create with both Critical Hit Lift, Critical Damage Boost, Berserker, and the Attack Up Support Magic spell. However, other than the vast array of new combinations that can be created to up the gusto of this class, this class ends up suffering from the exact same problems as it does in the first two discs, whereas other classes (like the Guardian and Generalist) skyrocket in power and rid of most weaknesses they have as the party progresses more in their journey. However, there is a small remedy to this problem, and that is in the form of Mow Down 2, a skill that allows the user to hit an entire row of enemies with a physical attack. However, this still is simply a physical attack, which in the grand scheme of things, can not compare to the power of a good-old Water spell. Overall, in all three discs, the power of the Sword Master class stays rather constant, shining in stats and single-target attacks but suffering in regard to hitting multiple enemies as well as gaining amazing skills in the later discs like the White Magic, Guardian, and Generalist classes do.
Notable Skills: Total Guard, Endure, HP Max Up Series, Berserker
Disc One Score: 8th
Disc Two & Three Score: 2nd
The Guardian is the latest-blooming class in Blue Dragon, but boy does it pay off in the end. The Guardian has so many fantastic skills that I just had to put four skills in the Notable Skills category. The Total Guard ability is the best non-Magic or skill increasing ability in the entire game, Endure is the best skill in the game for surviving against the superbosses fought in Blue Dragon, the HP Max Up series allows those who pursue the class to be much stronger than their allies, and the Berserker ability works in perfect tandem with Endure to do insane damage to enemies with physical attacks. Other skills include Guard, which guards allies who are in the critical health range as opposed to guarding allies at all times like Total Guard does, Sentinel Shield, which gives the user a defense stat equivalent to the Guardian class, Caution and Vigilance, both mediocre but solid skills that help with having the upper hand against enemies, and the amazing Charged Defense and Magic Defense Up abilities that play so well with playing the role of the meat shield along with the Total Guard ability.
In the first disc, Guardian is just pretty bad. The reason for this is the fact that the utter amazingness of the Total Guard ability is the only way to really build up the strength of the Guardian to be an amazing class. The problem with this skill being the focal point of the class is that you gain it at rank 30, a rank that will not be commonly reached until Disc 2 or at the very least the tail end of Disc 1. Within the first disc, Guardian is still good for gaining the Boost Max HP +25% ability, which can give them more of a fighting chance against harder enemies, but by the time you get around to the end of the disc, that will be the only good ability the Guardian grants at this point in the game. Sure, it can be argued that Guard can be helpful, but it is much too situational to be called a great ability. Overall, without the overpowered setup that Total Guard provides for the user of the Guardian class, it is just a mediocre class that is barely better than the Assassin.
In the second and third discs, the Guardian grants not only the most interesting setup in Blue Dragon, but perhaps the most powerful. Once Total Guard is unlocked, the Boost Max HP series, Charged Defense, Endure, and Magic Defense Up abilities double or even triple in effectiveness. Combining all of these defensive abilities will make the Guardian an unstoppable force that will make all single target attacks so weak that the most of the game will be a breeze, but that’s not it. Using all of the aforementioned skills along with the Resurrection skill, the Berserker skill that is unlocked after Total Guard, the Absolute Counterattack ability, and the Double Strike ability to make the Absolute Counterattack ability even better will make this character outshine the rest. Yes, that is a lot of ranks, yet it will definitely pay off if you try it out. Overall, not only can the Guardian grow into the second best class in the game within the second and third discs via its amazing skill combinations, but it can also build itself into its very own (as Szabo says and Justin Timberlake writes in his Spotify bio) “powerful, self-sustained, and quintessential battle machine”.
3. Black Magic
Notable Skills: Black Magic, MP Max Up Series, Regenerate MP
Notable Spells: Flare series, Extract series, Water series
Disc One Score: 2nd
Disc Two & Three Score: 4th
The Black Magic class is the best offensive class in the game by quite a long-shot. They are the most versatile, and where all classes hit only one enemy without Attack Amp or Mow Down (sorry Attack Amp and Mow Down, Water spells and Ground spells are simply better) The Black Magic class can use any spell to adapt to the right situation. Want to hit an entire army of Rolling Barbs? Ground. Wanna hit a row of Mecha Robos? Water. Wanna murder a single-target that isn’t a Mecha Robo or an undead creature? Shadow. Wanna reliable single-target spell that isn’t random like Shadow? Flare. Want to hit a group of flying enemies you can’t hit with Ground? Wind. Want some HP or MP? Extract, Extracta, or Extractus! The Black Magic class simply has it all! (However, Magic Sword reigns supreme in single hit attacks, don’t get me wrong here). There are only three skills by the time you master this class, so I ranked them all as notable. The notable skills include Black Magic, which as I previously mentioned, is absolutely fantastic, Regenerate MP, a great way to get MP early in the game, and Boost Max MP which allows you to not only cast spells more often, but even buff fighters who need some extra health using the Endure skill.
In the first disc, Black Magic tends to outclass even single hit Magic Sword for at least the first half of Disc One, making it rank extremely high because it is without a doubt the best way to deal damage to anybody at that point in the game. Regenerate MP also allows you to cast magic as often as you want for a large portion of the first disc, and as soon as it becomes weaker, Extracta comes in to replace Regenerate MP for another fantastic way to restore MP. Due to this, in the first disc, those with Black Magic can continually cast magic no matter the situation. One downside to Black Magic for the large portion of the game is that there is a large abundance of flying enemies, which causes Ground to be a much worse spell than it is in portions of the game (like Disc 2) where Mecha Robos are the main enemies. Shadow also falls behind Flare in so many cases because they can’t be charged to exactly where you would like them to and both undead enemies and Mecha Robos resist the dark element. However, due to the versatility of the class, Shadow and Flare can be used interchangeably. Even once Magic Sword catches up to Black Magic for single target attacks, Black Magic is still fantastic due to the area attacks. Overall, Black Magic is the most powerful and versatile offensive class in the game throughout the first disc.
In the second and third disc, Black Magic continues to be very strong, with the only thing falling behind significantly being the Regenerate MP skill (which is really only useful for grinding with Field Barrier at this point). The reason it falls down in the rank is because the Guardian and Generalist classes become significantly better at this point in the game, not due to the class itself. Overall, the strength of the Black Magic class stays about the same throughout the entire game, but is one of the best due to the versatility in the damage the class can cause.
2. White Magic
Notable Skills: White Magic, Quick Magic Charge, Resurrection
Notable Spells: Heal/Zephyr series, Shine series, Cure series
Disc One Score: 1st
Disc Two & Three Score: 3rd
The White Magic class is pretty much the only way to heal in the game. You want to use Grand Light Crystals and not use the White Magic class? Have fun with that, because they only heal 100 health to the whole party. Wait? What about Double Item and Enhance Item Effect? That’ll let me get to 400 health with just items! Oh, right, the only way you can use those two skills is with the White Magic class. Honestly, unless you give everybody the Meditation skill (which is not close to as useful as a Zephyr spell), then you can barely heal yourself without the amazing White Magic class. Notable skills include White Magic, which has every healing and recovery spell you will ever need, the Quick Magic Charge ability, which allows you to cast very strong spells for very short charge times, and Resurrection, which is not only fantastic for surviving in boss fights, but is also good for killing your own party members for full MP recovery. Other skills include the aforementioned item-related skills (Double Item and Enhance Item Effect) and the laughable Regenerate HP skill, which could possibly be the worst skill in the game.
In the first disc, the White Magic class is the most essential class in the game. Using this class, you can heal. Heal health, cure status ailments, and revive allies. Overall, there is not much to say, except that this class is absolutely essential.
In the second and third discs, it gets better but so do other classes. The reason Guardian beats White Magic in this category is due to the fact that in theory, most attacks will hit the Guardian and Ultra Medicines or Meditation would work most of the time. However, the bigger reason the Guardian beats the White Magic class is due to just how strong that combination of like seven skills just works fantastically. White Magic is just so amazing, and the Quick Magic Charge ability and the Resurrection ability are both top ten skill material at this point in the game, and they are both essential for at least three of the party members to have. Overall, the White Magic class is so amazing in the second and third disc, but two classes top it in the later game category due to those two classes’ capability for insane combinations; however, it is still the most essential class in the game, so it hits the number two spot overall.
Notable Skills: Skill+ series, Accessories+ series
Disc One Score: 3rd
Disc Two & Three Score: 1st
If you have used the Generalist class, you know why this is the best class in the game. If you have not used it, you may be wondering why in tarnation this class with abysmal early-game stat gains and only two types of skills is the best class in the game. The Generalist class is the best in the game, not only because it makes the combat at least ten times more fun upon learning skills from it, but its notable skills grant up to eight bonus skill slots and three extra special accessories.
In the first disc, the stats of the class and the time it takes for extra skill slots takes a long time to get used to, but by the end of the disc, if you chose it as one of your starting new classes, you can gain at least three or four new skill slots if you pursue the Generalist class for a sufficient amount of time. Although this class kind of sucks at the beginning of the disc and it is not necessary since you need to learn some skills before you can utilize the Skill+ abilities, it becomes fantastic by the end of the disc. Overall, Generalist is one of the best classes in the first disc, but since it is unnecessary (especially for mages) for about half of the first disc, it falls further than the White and Black Magic classes.
In the second and third discs, the Generalist class does not fall behind whatsoever because the Skill+ and Accessories+ abilities are essential abilities that all five party members should definitely learn. Since they only have two types of skills, there isn’t much else to say. Overall, without pursuing the Generalist class with all of the party members, you can not create the fantastic combos that are available in Blue Dragon, and honestly, without the Generalist class, the combat in this game would be at least five times more boring.
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