Jobs are at the core of Bravely Default 2‘s combat system. Each comes with a unique set of abilities and stats, allowing characters to specialise in a style of play. Additionally, characters can equip two jobs at once. Even though they’ll only get the stats and Specialities of the first, this allows for a huge pool of strategic possibilities.
Jobs can combine up in any number of ways, and if split well across every character in the party, many tough battles can become a cakewalk. Naturally, though, there are going to be some that are inherently more useful than others. Bravely Default 2’s best jobs are ones that can combine up with many other jobs, or have such powerful abilities, that winning a battle without them is almost impossible.
A job mainly focused on support, the Pictomancer is a devious role focused on softening up opponents for big attacks. The asterisk for this job is obtained at the end of Chapter 2, after a battle with Folie near Wiswald. Her fight is one of the easier in the game because, as great as Pictomancer can be when backed up by strong attackers, it’s not useful on its own; Folie’s boss battle has several monsters as backup for this reason.
As far as abilities go, the majority of what Pictomancers can do revolves around lowing their opponent’s stats. They can drop Physical and Magical Attack/Defence by 10%. Additionally, with Splatter, resistances can be removed, and weaknesses can be created. They have the ability to remove a wide range of status effects. This can be helpful for your team but is actually more useful in removing the opponent’s buffs. Finally, they have access to powerful Light and Dark magic attacks, helping out with elemental coverage.
The Berserker is a job that hits extremely hard but is quite slow and not very durable. This means that, while it is great, it should usually be a secondary job, not a primary one. In that role, there are a fair few jobs it combos well with. Monk combines well with it to hit even harder and negate enemy defence. Shieldmaster is a good option, too, massively boosting defensive capabilities. Far and away, its best combination is the Vanguard. A fully-levelled Vanguard has insanely high attack and is very durable to boot.
The Vanguard/Berserker combo allows those hard-hitting attacks to be backed up by decent defences so that characters can stick around in the fight. It’s still rather slow, but it doesn’t really matter when it hits as hard as it can. Crescent Moon & Level Slash are powerful attacks that hit all enemies, making random encounters easy. Then it has its most powerful attack in the form of Amped Strike, a single-target attack that is one of the most powerful in the game. A maxed-out Vanguard/Berserker with the Hellbalde’s Surpassing Power ability can do 20,000-30,000 damage in a single attack.
Paralysis. That’s what this job is useful for. The Ranger’s asterisk is obtained fairly early on in Chapter 2, and it has the potential to make almost every boss fight an absolute breeze. At Level 3, it unlocks the Shadowbind ability, which has the chance to paralyse a target, making them unable to perform any action. It’s a potent ability, especially when combined with the Phantom or Salve-Maker, increasing the odds of inflicting status conditions. Some bosses are immune to it, but many tough late-game bosses aren’t, and the Ranger turns these deadly opponents into punching bags.
Outside of paralysis, this job has attacks that exploit the weakness of almost every type of enemy in the game. A fully levelled-up archer will have an effective attack against every enemy type it’s possible to come across. They also have one of the most essential passive abilities in Counter-Savvy. This allows characters to dodge physical counter-attacks 100% of the time. Given that most bosses have some form of counter ability, having guaranteed dodges is a huge boon.
As one may expect from the name, the Shieldmaster is a defensive class; they even get the ability to dual-wield shields just to hammer the point home. They’re not just about being able to take hits, though. They’re about actively drawing hits away from allies, or in some cases, taking the hits for them. The best Shieldmaster is the one who never lets their allies take a hit. Their chance to be targetted is high by default, but using abilities to boost it further will focus most offence onto the Shieldmaster.
From its very first ability, the Shieldmaster has the ability to intercept incoming attacks and take them in place of an ally, which only gets stronger in later abilities. They can almost inflict blindness onto enemies, meaning they have a lower chance to hit. It’s not the best for attacks, but it can hit somewhat hard when it needs to, as long as players stuff them full of heavy equipment. When the Shieldmaster really proves their worth, is when their allies are at critical HP. At this point, the Shieldmaster will always step in and take the hit without using up a turn. This makes coming into a tough fight with low HP a viable strategy, as the Shieldmaster will be the only one that takes damage.
Available from the first boss fight in the game, the Vanguard is technically the standard warrior class, but one players will likely want to keep around for their entire playthrough. Both offensively and defensively, the Vanguard has a lot to offer. It has a fairly high carrying capacity for this early on in the game, meaning it’s one of the few early classes that will reliably be able to wield two weapons (or a weapon and a shield). This can be used to great effect when it comes to exploiting enemy weaknesses.
Its abilities generally focus on either drawing aggro or hitting hard. Aggravate, Enrage and Infuriate all increase the odds of the user being targeted, while Cross Slash and Neo Cross Slash unleash two big attacks. Its passive abilities are great too. Pain Into Gain increases the user’s attack every time they take damage, and Defensive Offence raises defence every time the user attacks. There are a few utility abilities too. Shield Bash & Shield Stun are both weak attacks that delay the target’s next turn, while Defang and Skull Bash can lower the target’s Physical and Magical Attack, respectively.
One of the best mid-game jobs, Spiritmaster is the most versatile support job. Its main attraction is, unsurprisingly, the spirits it can summon. By default, only one spirit can be summoned at a time, but having them in play allows the team to have passive abilities to: Restore HP; Restore MP; Cure Status Conditions; Remove Debuffs. That’s not all, as in the late game, when the job can be boosted to Level 15, spirits can Resurrect fallen allies and restore BP.
But wait! There’s more! When a Spiritmaster reaches Level 12, their second speciality is unlocked, which will have every available spirit active at all times (as long as the Spiritmaster stays below 2 BP). This means that all of the effects listed above will be permanently active. Outside of the spirits, this job can reraise allies and give a passive regeneration to the party, as well as restore MP. They have a set of fairly powerful Light magic attacks stored up too, so they can pack a punch when need be.
From a narrative standpoint, Bravebearer is the most important job in the entire game. That, unfortunately, gives it a pretty major downside, in that it isn’t available until the game’s final chapter, not long before the final boss. That said, it absolutely lives up to the legend. As far as stats go, it’s unmatched. It’s great in just about everything and can carry tonnes of equipment for players who want to go all-out.
What’s interesting about the Bravebearer is that it uses factors outside of the game world to determine power. It has abilities that do more damage the longer the save file has been played and the more battles players have won. Its biggest strength, however, is the manipulation of BP. They gain give & take BP from allies and enemies alike. Players can even use Equaliser to take BP from enemies whilst giving it to allies. It has a passive that allows players to use the Specialties of their secondary job, and the Obliterate Passive Ability makes end-game level grinding a breeze. It really can do everything, but the fact that it can’t be used until the end of the game means it can’t be the best.
1. White Mage
The other job that is granted after the first boss fight, and easily the most useful in the game. No matter the situation or the battle, there is always a reason to have a White Mage on the team, as their healing capabilities are unmatched. Cure, Cura and Curaga are the focal points of this job, all being great healing abilities for the point in the game where they’ll be unlocked. While jobs like the Red Mage have decent healing abilities, too, they can’t compare to what a well-built White Mage can deal out.
Their supportive capabilities go beyond just healing. They can boost allies Physical and Magical Defence by 15%, and their Passive Abilities restore HP & MP like you wouldn’t believe. With Busana and Esuna, status conditions & debuffs can be removed with ease, and they can resurrect allies at full health. In fact, once the job can be pushed to Level 15, a White Mage can resurrect all allies and full health in a single move. Quite simply, NOT taking a White Mage into a tough battle is madness. They’re an essential job for victory.