I've seen a lot of people ask about what the best weapon types are in Final Fantasy II. And I haven't seen a whole lot of in-depth answers out there! So I wanted to help my brudda men and women out by helping you decide what weapon types are best for you in the game! I will be staying as objective as possible in ranking the weapon types... don't worry, I'm not ranking them on how cool they look! I will also not be including shields in this ranking, even though they do in fact level up, because they are much too different to rank along with the weapons. So without further ado, RPG Ranked presents... Final Fantasy II: All Weapon Types RANKED!
Okay. Knives are usually one of the weakest equipment options available in RPGs... and understandably so, because just like in the real world, who would want to defend themselves with a tiny blade when you get get a Sephiroth or Gaius-size blade? Heck, or even a Cloud or Nachtigal style blade? Like, why would you ever take a knife to a sword fight? Or, do you want a spear like Cid, Kain, or Ricard Highwind—a blade on a stick? Well, still, that's infinitely better than a tiny knife! Now in Final Fantasy II? Knives suck more in this game than in most games! Here's the thing. The only buyable knives are the Knife, the Dagger, and the Mythril Knife. This is already highly problematic, as this makes knives highly unreliable. Because of this, even if knives were worth equipping, you'd only be able to realistically train one person in knives! In addition to this, Knives have the lowest attack power of any weapon, and rarely have any good special effects. Also, none of the four endgame party members or four Soul of Rebirth characters wield a knife as an ultimate weapon. And, no, I am not counting Josef's Dragon Claws as an Ultimate Weapon because those suck and they are weak and there's no point of leveling up knives on a Monk character! Overall, knives are very weak and unreliable to acquire, so my recommendation is to level up knives with Leila and nobody else!
Okay. From her on out, all of these weapons have their advantages, so any of them can be more useful in some way or another! The main draw of using staves is some of them have useful special effects! The Werebuster is strong against beasts, the Mage's Staff casts Thunder V, the Wizard's Staff casts Scourge XVI, and the Healing Staff heals the target attacked! These effects are all really nice and should be worth it? And should be better than the other weapon classes that don't have this, right? Well, let me tell you my reasoning for placing staves this low. Staves are not better than swords, axes, or bows. They aren't worse either. But since they are not drastically better and they are similar in stats, the three main characters should wield the weapon type that corresponds with their ultimate weapon! Because of this, when it comes to the main party, Staves are simply outclassed by other weapons. However, Staves are still leagues better than Knives, and that's why I left two whole tiers between the two! Minwu's ultimate staves... oh, chef's kiss! Those are some of my favorite weapons in the game! Overall, definitely keep Minwu wielding staves, but otherwise? Don't bother.
Like Staves and Knives, only one character should stay barehanded throughout the game... and that is Josef! To recap, Staves are stronger than Knives, and since a Soul of Rebirth character equips Staves, they become much more impactful than Leila's Knives. Using this logic, with Josef being the only one who should stay barehanded throughout the game, shouldn't Staves be better due to their special effects and stat boosts? No. Because when I say Josef is the one who should stick with his fists throughout the game, that doesn't mean your main three shouldn't dabble a bit in leveling up their barehandedness! For quite a long time, fists are the strongest attacking option! Maybe the whole first half of the game! However, due to the soft weapon level cap of 9-10 in this game (it's really hard to get to level 16 with your weapons in this game!), the Barehanded weapon type drops off because this weapon type's Attack Power is solely reliant upon weapon levels, not attack! Simply put, up until the point you are reaching weapon levels around 8, Barehanded will be your most powerful option. However, weapons will triumph in the last half of the game, making Barehanded obsolete unless you can find a way to level it to 16! One other downside to using your fists is that you can not equip a shield, which is a huge detriment to that character's agility stat. On one hand, using fists will drastically lower your agility. And on the other hand, using a Bow will let you be in the back row, where all physical attacks miss anyway! Now let me explain why I feel Josef should stay with his fists. One, he doesn't have a real Ultimate Weapon, so fists are the obvious choice for him and, two, the Soul of Rebirth dungeons makes it significantly easier to level up your weapons! Overall, Barehanded ranks above Staves because using bare fists on your characters for the beginning of the game is incredibly overpowered, but since their Ultimate Weapons are much more powerful, and they won't gain very much agility barehanded, barehands should not be used too much except for with the true Monk himself, Josef!
The Gigant Ax is the strongest weapon in Final Fantasy II in terms of pure power. Though it is my least favorite of the main three's Ultimate Weapons (see more about that here), it is very powerful! But, like I mentioned in my Final Fantasy II: All Characters RANKED! article, Axes are not a very reliable weapon class—unless you essentially cheat, you don't get any new Axes between when you get Josef in your party until arriving at Mysidia... simply put, that's far too long of a gap in which Axes are the most useless weapon class in the game! This alone, along with a couple of other issues, make me put the very powerful Axe weapon type in fourth place! Overall, Axes are generally stronger than their counterparts, with the Gigant Axe being the strongest weapon in the game, but since there is a large chunk of the game in which Axes are the weakest weapon type, I couldn't rank this higher than fourth.
Okay, Bows may not be all that strong, but the novelty of being able to attack from the back row when enemies can't attack you is quite awesome! Add that Maria's Artemis Bow is overpowered and that you can get the powerful Flame Bow extremely early in the game by killing Captain in Fynn, and Bows end up becoming the best weapon during the time that Axes are the worst weapon. Ovearll, Bows are much weaker than Axes early and late in the game, but since Bows are much better mid-game and they allow you to attack from the back, I think Bows simply have the advantage over Axes in Final Fantasy II.
I was surprised that I felt like I should rank Spears in second place... but there's definitely plenty of solid evidence to back up this ranking! First of all, spears are always a reliable option. No buying limitations like Knives. No random drop-offs like Axes...nothing like that. Secondly, THREE characters have spears as their Ultimate Weapons: Gordon, Ricard, and Leon! Thirdly, spears are the best weapons for exploiting all elements because of their very high attack power! They have great attack, accuracy, and elemental damage! Overall, make sure you train Gordon, Ricard, and Leon in spears. You won't regret it. Especially in the Soul of Rebirth.
Anyone who has beaten Final Fantasy II knew that this was coming. Let's talk about why they are good, for those who don't know! Both Firion and Scott use swords as their Ultimate Weapons, which is awesome! Outside of Ultimate Weapons, the next best weapons are as follows: Masamune, Level 16 fists, Excalibur, Rune Axe, and Holy Spear. And throw Blood Sword in there somewhere. Three of the most top five most powerful non-character weapons are swords! I think that speaks well enough on its own. Overall, swords are easily the most powerful weapons type, even though spears are also insanely powerful, bows allow you to hit from the back row, and the strongest weapon is an axe. Did I say S Tier? More like Spears and Swords Tier. Because swords are the best weapon type in Final Fantasy II.
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