Dragon Quest IX

Starting Party Recommendations | Dragon Quest IX

Forming a party in the early portion of any Dragon Quest, particularly those that let you choose classes – or vocations as they’re known – tends to come with two caveats; the choices will entirely inform your opinion on the battle system, yet it’s also likely to be only the first in a long series of choices that you’ll make. On most occasions more classes can be unlocked as the game progresses, so whilst these choices aren’t necessarily those that you’ll end up with, they do inform your performance and influence the unlocking of further choices. In Dragon Quest 9 you will be able to change your vocation once the party reach Alltrades, which is around one fifth of the way through the game, so in order to set yourself up in the right way we have arranged two party choices below that, we feel at least, will get you off to a good start.

Balanced Party

Minstrel Class, Dragon Quest IX
  • Minstrel
  • Warrior
  • Mage
  • Priest

As you have no doubt noticed, your main character is stuck with the Minstrel class for a good portion of the game at the start. This isn’t much of a problem, since the class itself has a fairly good selection of skills as it levels up, including both healing spells and offensive damage options. For the modern Dragon Quest player, the best way to describe his class is that it’s essentially Sylvando from DQ11; good at everything, but lacking mastery in one particular field.

Both the Priest and the Mage are relatively self explanatory here, primarily offering healing and magic damage respectively, however it’s worth noting that both of these offer fantastic skills and statistical buffs no matter the level, so don’t just immediately switch them over to new classes when the option presents itself. Our final slot goes to either the Warrior over the Martial Artist, and if we’re honest the former is much better in our opinion. Not only is the Warrior capable of outputting good levels of damage, but it also gains a significant amount of Resilience during it’s levelling process and they are capable of wielding a shield, which is a huge benefit in this game, especially once Omnivocational skills are unlocked.

Starting Benefits

  • Combined, the Minstrel and Priest easily cover healing requirements.
  • Similarly, the Mage and Minstrel will be able to inflict a good deal of magical damage to those more physically resistant types.
  • Warrior will provide good damage and take very little, whilst also allowing a character to work on the excellent Shield skill points.
  • This party will easily cover the early portion of DQ9, and is actually capable of completing it entirely without any further changes.
  • Martial Artist is a reasonable alternative to the Warrior, however the lack of Shield and general durability is a real detriment.


Alternative Party

Female Minstrel Class, Dragon Quest IX
  • Minstrel
  • Martial Artist
  • Thief
  • Mage

We noted previously that the Minstrel is kind of a given, so whilst you’re stuck with it the skills that it possesses will do a good job for you, at least until you reach the vocation change point at Alltrades. The real changes here are the removal of the Priest in favour of the Thief, and the Martial Artist in place of the Warrior. As you might imagine, this lends itself to more of a physical damage blend, but the Mage is kept to ensure that you’re able to take down those tricky, high physical defence opponents.

No doubt some of you may also be wondering how the party will be kept alive, especially during those long dungeon dives. Well, Dragon Quest 9 actually has this covered, thanks to the Thief gaining access to the Heal spell at level 9. This, combined with the healing provided by the Minstrel, should easily keep your party going no matter the encounter. Should the proverbial hit the fan at all, there are plenty of consumable items to keep you going too, so this really isn’t an issue at all.

If we’re being completely honest, the Martial Artist isn’t a class that we enjoy too much. Yes, the weapon options will provide plenty of novel and useful skills, however it’s bereft of many benefits that the Warrior offers, not least the ability to level up Shields. Whilst not critical, eventually having the ability to wield a shield on any class you want is tremendously valuable, so working towards this from the start is a great choice. Some of you are unlikely to be bothered about this, however some of those late game Grotto dungeons can really hammer your weaker party members, and a shield will make a great difference.

Starting Benefits

  • As per the first party build above, the Minstrel will cover a variety of requirements.
  • This time, the Thief will assist with healing in the early portion of the game, thanks to the class learning the basic Heal spell at level 9.
  • Martial Artist will provide a great deal of physical damage, however it’s worth noting that they’re weaker defensively than the Warrior whilst having a more varied offensive arsenal.
  • We consider the Mage to be rather essential no matter your early game party build. Their ability to deal both group and single target damage is essential, and they scale fantastically well thanks to increasing buffs to offensive magic power.

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