Dragon Quest IX

The 5 Best Classes | Dragon Quest IX

More so than in any other Dragon Quest game, Classes, or Vocations, are crucial in the completion of the ninth installation. Some modern titles in the series completely eschew this system, opting rather for a defined set of characters replete with personalities and skills, however here your party is made up of player defined units, each coming with a choice of starting class. These classes define the skills and statistics of these members, and can be expanded upon as the player progresses, unlocking shiny new versions as the story and quest system moves forward. The question of which class is best then, holds even more importance than usual, so we’ve put together a list of what we believe are the five best on offer in the entirety of DQIX.


5. Warrior

Warrior Class, Dragon Quest IX

It might seem like a painfully basic class, but the Warrior is what we like to call a fantastic ‘baseline’ class. For us, this class acts like a gateway into the later classes, specifically for physically associated members, like physical damage or tank types. This is because the class features excellent defensive options, statistical upgrades and a good selection of weapons to choose from. In total you can unlock +40 Strength, +60 Resilience and +60 HP, all of which transfer between classes as you progress, giving you the great baseline that we mentioned above. The active skills that it learns are mainly tanking based, encouraging you to take damage with your Warrior rather than squishy members, but some of the later skills like Attack Attacker can be used to reduce the enemies effectiveness whilst also dealing damage.

The favoured option in the community is to begin with the Warrior class, then transition into the Gladiator, which focuses more on attack than defence. The stats noted above will help to patch up the Gladiators lower defences, and the weapon skills learned can be transitioned too, like the positively essential Shield skills. We’d argue that you shouldn’t restrict yourself to just this combination though; taking some time out to level every member through the Warrior class will be a great benefit to any eventual class – who wouldn’t want a healer with +60 more Resilience and HP?

Class Features

  • Excellent defensive benefits, with +60 Resilience and HP on your journey to mastering the class. These translate into any other class very well, and the +40 Strength will help subsequent classes to deal more damage.
  • Weapon selection is great, featuring the excellent Sword and Spear options.
  • The class also has access to Shields, which are fantastic defensive tools that should be used by as many members as possible.
  • Treat this class as a transition into other, latterly available types. Gladiator is the natural route, however if you double up on defences with the Paladin, you’ll end up with a unit that takes very little damage.

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4. Armamentalist

Armamentalist Class, Dragon Quest IX

Were we to sum up the Armamentalist in one word, it would be this: Underrated. To say that this class is slept on is a bit of an understatement. Yes, we’re all very well aware just how powerful the Sage and Gladiator are, which we’ll get to in a moment, but the unsuspecting Armamentalist can, when used correctly, make a massive difference to any team. In fact, we’d argue that you’ll need to bring one if you’re aiming to break any damage records.

This mainly comes down to two things; their excellent Fource skills, and the Oomph spell. The latter will double the damage that a member will do, making it a great option for buffing a Gladiator in the late game, but it’s the former that we really feel is not appreciated enough. The Fource skills will apply a given element to the attacks of a party member, which essentially adds another positive modifier to your damage dealer, assuming the opponent is weak to such things. These benefits are joined by an excellent weapon selection, some good stat increases and access to Shields, making it a powerful all round class choice.

Class Features

  • Fantastic supportive class that excels in boosting your own team’s success, whilst also debilitating the opponents.
  • Fource skills can increase the overall damage of your physical attackers, which is ideal for our number two class, or indeed any than primarily inflict physical damage.
  • Great equipment selection, including the ever-valuable Shield.
  • Fantastic ‘mid game’ class. Use this class to learn the Fource skills, master the Shield plus a weapon and then transition into another supportive class, like the Paladin or Sage.

3. Sage

Sage Class, Dragon Quest IX

Yes, we’ve chosen everyone’s favourite super caster in third place, but bear with us here. The class does have access to a fantastic selection of both Might and Mending based spells, but it’s worth noting that it doesn’t quite reach the ‘peak’ spells that the Mage and Priest do. Here in Dragon Quest IX, they act somewhere in between both of these classes, whilst having an excellent selection from a multitude of other sources.

So far we may have made the class sound a little worse than it actually is. We should clarify that the Sage is a tremendously powerful class, one that even has access to a guaranteed resurrection spell and some tremendous damaging abilities, and it’s statistical benefits are not to be sniffed at. It must be understood however that the bleeding edge, very late game portion of Dragon Quest IX will often call for the very best of any spell category, and only the Priest and Mage have access to these. For the majority of the game however, the Sage is very powerful, will be tremendously helpful and perform incredibly well in every situation. There is always the option of bringing more than one too, which patches up this very late game gap by basically just bringing more heals and attacking spells.

Class Features

  • The best, most balanced spell casting class in the game.
  • Excellent, varied skill list that accounts for both damage and healing options. Whilst it doesn’t excel at each quite as much as the Mage or Priest, it’s 90% of the way there in both.
  • Access to a 100% reliable resurrection spell, unlike the Priest. However, the Sage cannot access the highest level group heal, Omniheal. 
  • Ideally suited as the second vocation for any party member that was previously a Priest or Mage. This will expand their repertoire by adding offensive and defensive skills respectively.
  • Arguably, after having learned both Sage and either Mage or Priest fully, it’s worth returning to the base class with all of the statistical benefits.

2. Gladiator

Gladiator Class, Dragon Quest IX

Close your mouth, we know you’re agape with shock that this one didn’t reach our number one spot, at least those of you that have played the game or done some research. Yes, the Gladiator is capable of dealing tremendous amounts of physical damage, almost entirely due to its lopsided statistics, but there is more to the game than just this, which we’ll get to with our final choice.

Strangely enough, it’s also the class that has the least to write about. It does have some great statistical benefits, which total +40 Strength and +60 HP, but the rest of it really comes down to individual weapon skills, the weapons themselves and the buffs you apply to the Gladiator itself. That being the case, you’ll want to grab the best weapon you possibly have, apply the Oomph buff with a quicker character and then use your best weapon skill possible to deal damage. Whopper Chop with an Axe or Falcon Slash with the Sword are common favourites, and you’ll be hard pressed to find skills and class combinations that deal more damage than these.

Class Features

  • Highest Strength statistic of any class, and as such functions as the highest physical damage dealer in the game.
  • Physical damage attacks scale much better into the latter portions of DQIX, eclipsing the damage a spell can inflict, at least on single targets.
  • This class should be the recipient of your damage increasing buffs, and will likely end up being your main damage dealer in some late game fights, with the remainder of your team being built to support this.
  • Many players end up opting for 2 or more Gladiators in their final team. This will work well, however spare a thought for their defence and ensure you bring an option to alleviate the damage they will take. Speaking of which…

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1. Paladin

Paladin Class, Dragon Quest IX

Our choice for the absolute best class in Dragon Quest IX is the Paladin, which is likely to be a bit surprising for many players. Most would argue that our second choice, the Gladiator, is more essential than this, however whilst we would agree that this is the case, the damage dealing class will always require significant support. Yes, it’s possible to Omniheal a load of Gladiators through a lot of content, however one strategically chosen Paladin will make a huge difference to a team. Besides, even if we were to accept the argument that bringing a Paladin isn’t wholly necessary, which is debatable at best, the skills that you gain whilst levelling one are absolutely essential. They gain a huge amount of Resilience, which directly influences all damage that you take, and they even grab themselves some magical mending and a huge lump of HP when maxed!

That’s the eventual point here really. Even if you prefer the larger spell book or greater amounts of damage or healing available elsewhere, pushing your members through the Paladin tree will make them a better all round performer. In fact, we’d argue that making a class as frail as the Gladiator level as a Paladin first produces an overall better unit. This argument is even more valid for your spell casters, since they’ll likely have the lowest defence of all, and they’ll even benefit from things like the increased magical mending.

Class Features

  • Tremendous defensive capability, with the highest total HP and a massive Resilience stat, second only to the Warrior.
  • Essential late game defensive abilities, like Forbearance, which shields the entire party, along with standard defensive party buffs, Kabuff and Magic Barrier.
  • Capable of assisting with single target healing, and has some Magical Mending to boot.
  • It’s damage reduction capabilities, both personal and party based, make some of the post game bosses much easier.
  • Low Agility, however this allows for reliable planning of the next round.
  • For some reason people ignore Resilience. Do not do this, it can make your life much, much easier. 
  • The passive statistical benefits of the Warrior pair incredibly well with the Paladin, amounting to the most damage reduction you can achieve with two classes combined. Bring a shield and laugh at your opponents as they try to damage your mega tank.

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