This list is based on the original NES version.
Dragon Warrior II is a huge step up over the original Dragon Warrior, and with all the new additions, the spell count is increased from a mere 10 to almost double, at 22 (not nearly as much as Dragon Warrior III though). Some spells, like Revive and Infernos, are based on the addition of multiple characters and battles with more than one enemy, while others, like the Open spell, were just added for quality of life.
#22 - Open
Moonbrooke - Lv. 23
Open is on the brink of uselessness. As the penultimate spell learned by the Princess of Moonbrooke, all this spell does is allow you to open doors without needing one of the three keys. I didn't even learn this spell before reaching Rhone, and having three extra items in your inventory isn't a huge deal. There just isn't any reason to use 2 MP on this spell when you can just use the item.
#21 - FireBane
Cannock - Lv. 18
FireBane is the Prince of Cannock's counterpart to Infernos, dealing almost the exact same amount of damage. The problem is, the Princess of Moonbrooke learns her spell, Infernos at level 4, but the prince learns his, FireBane, at level 18, which is just straight absurd. Heck, the Princess of Moonbrooke will almost have learned Explodet, the most powerful offensive spell, by the time the Prince of Cannock learns this fairly weak one. At least in the remakes it was buffed to heck, but that's not the point of this article.
#20 - Chance
Moonbrooke - Lv. 25
The Chance spell is clearly just novelty. Being the last spell learned by the Princess of Moonbrooke, costing a whopping 15 MP, and doing something random that ranges from decent to bad, this spell is just not worth casting. I know the spell was just implemented to be funny or test the NES's capabilities, but if the spell was supposed to actually be good, Enix could have made it like Gamble from Lost Odyssey, one of the best spells in the game, that deals a random amount of damage that is usually pretty high. Chance is fun, as it was meant to be, but it isn't a good spell.
#19 - Defeat
Cannock - Lv. 23
This spell rarely works. As I will argue many more times on this list, if it was just learned earlier on then it wouldn't be as bad. But since Defeat is learned late in the game, many enemies will be automatically immune. As an instant death spell, you probably expected this spell to be this early on the list, especially as this is one of the earliest cases of said spell type.
#18 - Sacrifice
Cannock - Lv. 28
Unlike Defeat, Sacrifice actually works as an instant death spell, which is something you don't see very often. The problem is the only character that can cast it is the same character that can cast Revive, which in and of itself is bad in this game. Unless you need to make a last stand or you have a Leaf of the World Tree, don't cast this spell. Ever. This beats the other two spells since it has its uses (although they are limited).
#17 - Revive
Cannock - Lv. 25
Revive is very flawed in this game. Introducing a spell like this was a good move by Enix for the transition to having multiple characters, but the way it was implemented makes it this low. Revive can be used only in battle, which makes it hard to use well. Also, it is learned far too late in the game by the worst character in the game. You're better off just carrying a Leaf of the World Tree and hoping you don't have more than one death. Revivification in this game is just bad, but you can't judge it because of the game's age.
#16 - StopSpell
Cannock - Lv. 8
This spell is pretty much unnecessary. I never found myself having to cast it, and it's just so situational that it falls behind most other spells in the game. StopSpell nullifies the enemy's spells. The spell also has a low chance to work against most enemies. The biggest problem, however, is that there are very few enemies that actually cast magic against the party. The concept of StopSpell is good, but the implementation and actual amount of use cases drags it down.
#15 - Repel
Moonbrooke - Lv. 8
Once again, Repel places low on this list. Having 127 steps without random encounters isn't all that useful. My same argument from the article about the first game applies here too. Repel will not work against enemies that aren't leagues below the party's current strength. If you really don't want to fight the easy enemies, fleeing works just as well. If your patience isn't great, the Repel spell can help you, but otherwise,
#14 - Increase
Cannock - Lv. 20
I can't remember if I ever even casted this spell during my playthrough, but according to the stats, it doesn't seem all that great. After casting the spell, the damage the enemy dealt was reduced from 16 to 12 against my endgame characters. That seems pretty nice. The problem is, the spell is learned very late in the game, and the potency of spells such as HealMore or HealAll kind of negate the usefulness of the Increase spell.
#13 - Surround
Moonbrooke - Lv. 6
I casted this spell against a late-game enemy, and (I think) it worked. Surround reduces the accuracy of an enemy group, but even while the enemy was under the effects of Surround, I was hit like eight times without it missing. If you're up against the final boss and have a free turn, go ahead and cast Surround. But the spell is not reliable enough to earn a high spot on this list.
#12 - Heal
Cannock - Lv. 1
The Heal spell is good for two or three dungeons: from the time the Prince of Cannock is found to when the Princess is found. The spell heals about 30 HP, which is not that bad. The problem is, as soon as the Princess of Moonbrooke joins your party, the HealMore spell instantly takes its place as the superior option for healing. Also, spending 2 extra MP for HealMore is a great deal when it's possible to heal almost triple the HP of the Heal spell. Unless the Princess of Moonbrooke is out of MP, it is better to use her as a healer rather than use the Prince of Cannock's Heal spell.
#11 - Sleep
Moonbrooke - Lv. 2
The Sleep spell puts an enemy to sleep, as anyone would expect. The spell isn't bad, especially considering how early on in the game it is learned, but, as with most status spells, it is situational. Oftentimes, the enemy will wake up after just a turn or two of being asleep. Since my characters are overpowered, I couldn't get a great estimate of how often the spell would work. But with maxed characters, I could put almost any enemy to sleep. Due to the early time it's learned and the low MP cost, Sleep is a good spell, but still situational.
#10 - FireBal
Cannock - Lv. 3
Where on earth is the other L? It's not like "FireBall" wouldn't fit the text limit, "Surround" is eight characters too! Anyway, this is the first offensive spell available in the game, and similarly to Heal, it's the best option until you get the Princess of Moonbrooke. The reason this spell is better is that, during battle, it will still be the Prince of Cannock's best option for dealing damage. The Infernos spell, however, is a lot better, not only because of higher damage, but because said spell can hit every enemy in a group instead of just one.
#9 - DeFence
Moonbrooke - Lv. 10
Honestly, I have no idea what the heck this spell's name is supposed to mean. It's like some British person took the word "defense", then put a capital 'F' for good measure, and then made it lower the enemies' defense. What? I guess if it's trying to use the suffix "de" then kind of I guess, but still, why? Anyway, enough rambling about the name, let's actually talk about the spell. DeFence lowers a group of enemies's defense, which makes attacks more effective. If you're trying to get through a bunch of difficult enemies, the DeFence spell can help out in a pinch, especially since it has a low MP cost.
#8 - StepGuard
Cannock - Lv. 17; Moonbrooke - Lv. 21
The most important use case I can remember for the StepGuard spell is on the way to the Rhone and the final dungeon. The fact that these spells are learned late doesn't make too much of an impact if the main use cases are late in the game. Since damaging tiles can do one heck of a lot of damage, StepGuard nullifying that damage is perfect.
#7 - Antidote
Cannock - Lv. 6; Moonbrooke - Lv. 12
Antidote is great for what it does. But that's the problem: what it does. While it isn't horribly rare, the Poison status effect is still something that doesn't pop up all that often. Antidote Herbs are also dirt cheap which means that the Antidote spell isn't amazing. But due to limited inventory space, Antidote is still the better option. This spell cures a status ailment. That's what it does, and it does it as good as it can.
#6 - Infernos
Moonbrooke - Lv. 4
The Princess of Moonbrooke is vastly superior to the Prince of Cannock, and her counterpart to the FireBane spell, Infernos, is one reason why (just look at where on the list FireBane is). This spell is practically a carbon copy of FireBane, except the Princess of Moonbrooke actually learns it at a good point in the game: level 4 rather than 18. When I played through this game, Infernos did a lot for me during the early to middle portions of the game.
#5 - Explodet
Moonbrooke - Lv. 19
While this spell has a high MP cost, it's explosive power makes up for it. I don't know what an "Explodet" is, but I don't care. As the most powerful offensive spell and the only of such spells that can hit every enemy on the battlefield. Unlike HurtMore from Dragon Warrior, Explodet actually works against enemies that are found at the time the spell is learned. This spell far exceeds other offensive spells in this game and gives the Princess of Moonbrooke something to do when healing is not required.
#4 - Outside
Cannock - Lv. 12; Moonbrooke - Lv. 17
Outside, once again, can be a lifesaver. In your typical Dragon Warrior II dungeon, there's an entrance, a key item at the end, and then backtracking back to the entrance. With the Outside spell, dungeons can take half as long to get in and out of because you only have to take one trip instead of two through the place. Since this game is considered to be very difficult, having an easy way to exit a dangerous location is incredibly useful.
#3 - Return
Cannock - Lv. 10
As with in Dragon Warrior, the Return spell is pretty much required for the game to be fun. Nobody wants to die far away from town without having saved for hours. However, in Dragon Warrior II, saving is available in multiple locations, which makes this spell both better and worse. Since there are more spots to save at, it would be easier to find one than have to go all the way back to the castle like in the first game. But that doesn't matter since you should just use the Return spell anyway. Since Return warps you back to the last save spot, there are some pretty cool things that can be done. After reaching Rhone, it is implied that you cannot leave until after Hargon is defeated. Well, just use the travel door and don't save anywhere else. Cast Return, and boom, back at the Rhone Sanctuary.
#2 - HealMore
Cannock - Lv. 14; Moonbrooke - Lv. 1
The fact that the Princess of Moonbrooke has a spell that can heal 60 HP as soon as she is recruited is just awesome. Unless you can't heal fast enough, there's almost no way to die for a large chunk in the middle of the game. If the Princess of Moonbrooke keeps casting HealMore every turn in a boss fight, the boss should go down pretty easily, assuming that full-party attacks aren't used often. Overall, the fact that HealMore can be used as soon as the Princess of Moonbrooke joins the party means that this spell deserves a high spot on this list.
#1 - HealAll
Moonbrooke - Lv. 15
Full HP to a character? Heck yes! Get it relatively early on? Heck yeah!! Only 8 MP? HECK TO THE YEAH!!! HealAll does what it sounds like. It heals all of a character's health for just 8 MP. The Princess of Moonbrooke holds 210 MP at her max level, which means you can heal a character back to full health 26 times. Healing spells are always some of the best in the game, but HealAll blows away its competition as the best spell in the game.
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