Dragon Quest IX

Class Tier List | Dragon Quest 9

Delineating between tiers for classes in a game such as Dragon Quest is no easy task, and isn’t helped by the largest selection ever being on offer ever in DQ IX. All of them come with particular equipment choices, skill lists and spells to consider, all of which must then be considered alongside their availability and practical effectiveness. Having played through the title lord knows how many times we do feel acutely qualified to rank such things, but this doesn’t stop the following from being a deeply personal opinion, and one that you’ll likely differ from. Still, more than anything creating a tier list is quite fun, so let’s set about these classes shall we?


S Tier

Gladiator Class, Dragon Quest 9
  • Gladiator
  • Sage
  • Paladin

Somehow we doubt that the three classes we have chosen for S Tier are likely to raise any eyebrows. Rather, it may be those that we have chosen to rank lower that cause some consternation among the fanbase. We should clarify then, that these are classes that we consider offer something that the others don’t quite manage, or perform in a way that separates them from the crowd.

To start with, the Gladiator offers damage possibilities unlike any other, thanks to its sky high Strength statistic and complete disregard for anything else. Similarly, the Paladin offers unmatched party defence options, which it does by pairing amazing statistical benefits, particularly resilience, whilst also having access to an incredible skill and spell repertoire. Finally we’ve also included everyone’s favourite class, the Sage. This is a class that takes two others – the Priest and the Mage – and manages to account for 80 – 90% of their entire classes, all wrapped up in one. Yes, the Mage is surely capable of dealing slightly more group damage, and the Priest does have the magnificent Omniheal, but for 99% of Dragon Quest IX neither of these are necessary when you have the Sage available.

Class Considerations

  • We feel that these three in particular offer something that others do not.
  • The Gladiator has access to unrivalled levels of damage. Others may approach this, but never achieve the same level.
  • Paladin has access to more damage mitigation and defensive skills than any other, and no other class comes close to their party defending options and possibilities.
  • Despite not having access to the absolute pinnacle of both mending and might magic, the Sage will effectively perform as 80% of both the Mage and Priest, wrapped into one. They’re the only class with a 100% resurrect spell, and the only real gap in their arsenal could be argued as Omniheal, but for 99% of the game this isn’t strictly necessary.

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A Tier

Armamentalist Class, Dragon Quest 9
  • Priest
  • Mage
  • Armamentalist
  • Warrior
  • Thief
  • Martial Artist

Next up is our A Tier, which features what we like to call the good performers. These are classes that perform very well at their given task, regularly approaching and even overtaking some of the S Tier options, albeit in very limited ways. They’re a group of classes that are fundamentally very good, and they’re those that we would thoroughly recommend playing precursor to those in the higher tier.

The Thief is a great example of this. As you might imagine it’s fantastic at stealing things, and such things are very important in a game that features a huge alchemy list, however its usefulness very much stops there. Sure you could argue that the heal makes it useful in the early game, and we’d agree, but when things start getting serious in the mid and late game, you’ll want something better in battle. The same is true of the Warrior, which performs well in the early game, provides some absolutely fantastic passive statistics, but is found wanting when the going gets tough and dealing damage becomes a priority.

At the end of the day, these classes are very good in their own right and offer perfectly valid reasons to spend some time levelling, but they eventually lose out to better options when everything is considered. Niche party builds will find them useful, like abusing Oomph and Fource, or using a solo healer with Omniheal, but overall they’re not quite up there with the very best. 

Class Considerations

  • Each of these classes perform very well at one specific task, but notably fall slightly short in key characteristics. 
  • The Armamentalist is fantastic at buffing and debuffing, but are hurt by the diminished performance of Oomph in DQ IX, and they’re very limited when it comes to dealing damage or healing.
  • A Warrior will provide excellent defensive statistics, but lacks the power of a Paladin when it comes to party defence, or the strength of a Gladiator in attack.
  • Thieves are amazing for those that look to Alchemise at every possible point, or indeed any hoping to collect everything that DQ IX has to offer, but they’ll perform poorly in battle and feel next to useless on Grotto runs.
  • The Mage and Priest are both the pinnacle of magical damage and healing respectively, but the actual requirement for such is very limited in the face of having a Sage do both, or indeed two Sages in their place.
  • The Martial Artist has some fantastic skills, but doesn’t quite reach the pinnacle of damage dealing like the Gladiator.
  • Lastly, these are all excellent choices for mastering, then switching to an S Tier class.

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B Tier

Minstrel Class, Dragon Quest 9
  • Minstrel
  • Ranger
  • Luminary

Before we get into our final, B Tier choices for this list, it’s worth noting that we do enjoy all of the classes on offer in Dragon Quest IX. They’re all great fun to play with and we’d certainly recommend that you do not discount some on the basis of what we’ve written today. Even here in what must be described as our lowest tier, the classes on offer are well worth playing around with. That said, in our experience at least, these classes do not perform up to standard when compared to the rest.

We’ll give the Minstrel a pass, because it’s clear to see that the start of the game required an everyman of sorts, which is a role that it fulfils very well. The same cannot be said for something like the Luminary, which essentially leans into the Charm statistic quite significantly, and seems to offer little of benefits that you can find elsewhere, on classes more suited to the role. Finally, the Ranger class is one that may actually have potential, since it’s critical strikes and skills can do some reasonable damage, but outside of this and it’s supportive spell list, it just doesn’t quite match up with the others. They do have a great deal of Deftness however, which can be very useful for boosting your Half Inch success rate as a Thief. 

Class Considerations

  • These classes are limited to performing well at quite a few things, but nowhere near the peak performance or usefulness of others.
  • The Minstrel embodies this tier, by being reasonably good at everything, but not good enough to justify their usage when things start getting heavy in the mid to late game.
  • The Ranger’s ‘thing’ is having amazing Agility, and this isn’t really a great selling point in a game that features Acceleratle. 
  • Luminary is more of a fun class than anything else, and whilst Charm stacking can be fun, it really doesn’t perform well in battle on it’s own. Also, they have a terrible selection of skills and spells, at least compared to other options.

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