In Dragon Quest IX, every vocation has access to a variety of weapons, each replete with skills to earn as you level them up. However, with each featuring a 100 point cap and a limited amount of points being on offer, at least under normal levelling circumstances, you’ll have to pick which of these that you choose to level. The class tree itself is likely to soak up quite a few of these points, thanks to them often housing some of the best spells in the game, so your remainder will likely be spent on a single weapon at a time. Thus we arrive at the question we’re seeking to answer today; which weapon should you choose for each class, and why?
Yes it’s likely to appear quite a few times in this article, but the Sword truly is very powerful in Dragon Quest IX. It has access to skills that help kill dragons and Metal Slimes, restore your health whilst doing damage, strike twice in one attack and even deal massive damage to groups of enemies. It’s the one stop, reliable, all round best performing weapon in the game, and it even gains access to a more powerful group attack upon its mastery.
The only real alternative from the Minstrels stock that we feel worth paying attention to is the Fan. Not only does this have access to some reasonable damage skills, including the excellent Fan Dango that strikes 8 times for 50% damage, but it’s eventual mastery will allow usage of Hustle Dance, which is essentially a Multiheal spell that costs absolutely nothing to cast. Thus, if you’re planning on keeping your Minstrel as a supportive character in the team, this is an ideal goal to shoot for, positioning it as an excellent all round healer.
We’ll not go into too much detail surrounding our choice of sword for the Warrior, after all we’ve already established that it’s a great performer in most areas, featuring as it does some incredible damage abilities for both single and group targets. However, despite featuring a skill that will assist in defeating them, it does tend to lose out in one particular area: Metal Slime farming.
Should you be unaware, Metal Slimes are versions of the regular Slime enemy that grant massive amounts of EXP points. They have barely any health but a tremendously powerful defence, which makes them take a single point of damage from regular attacks whilst being immune to all spells. They’re also incredibly evasive and often tend to flee from battle. To counter this there are skills which increase your damage dealt to them (1 up to 2), and this is great for taking down the weakest of their versions, however higher level takes on the enemy will require something a little more powerful: Critical Strikes, which the Metal Slime will take full damage from.
This is where our secondary weapon option, the Spear, separates itself from the pack. Not only does it have a great selection of damaging abilities and quite a diverse choice of models throughout the game, but it also learns the Thunder Thrust skill. This skill essentially has a 50% chance to critical strike, otherwise missing the target. Well, when you’re trying to chip down a flighty enemy before it runs away, this actually works out as one of the best options for taking them down. Having a Warrior in the early and mid game that is capable of taking down Metal Slimes is a fantastic way to boost your level, especially once revocation is unlocked.
As a class, the Thief is essentially only useful for one thing: Stealing. Technically the class does have access to a few spells, but it’s performance in any one role in battle will quickly be outclassed by other, more focused options. That said, stealing items is tremendously useful in a game such as Dragon Quest IX, thanks in no small part to it’s huge list of Alchemy recipes and their requirements. When it comes to equipment however, the use of Half Inch is only really contingent on Deftness to do its job, so your choice of weapon will have little bearing on this particular task.
That being said, we actually tend to prefer the Claw for the Thief. It features some powerful early skills that will ensure that the Thief does some great damage in the early and mid portions of the game. They will eventually lose out to others as the game progresses, but then so does the Thief, so they work well together in this regard. Opting for the Sword is technically a good option too, given that it’s essentially capable of pretty much everything you could need, but it’s nice to opt for something a little different from time to time.
Assuming you choose to avoid the absolutely awful Staves, which you absolutely should do, then the choice for a Priest weapon comes down to one question: Are you comfortable with your healer attacking and, more to the point, missing out on the MP benefits of the Wand?
In truth, both of these options are those that we would consider essential to the Priest. The Spear can be used to deal increased physical damage in the early game, whilst having access to some excellent group damage options later, with the added benefit of Thunder Thrust for Metal Slime farming. The Wand is the de facto choice for someone that you expect to cast spells almost every turn, since it supplies additional passive MP and absorption options, and it’s mastery will unlock passive restoration of MP every round. In short, we’d advise you to go with the Wand if the Priest is your only source of healing, but the Spear if you’re splitting the responsibilities with another member. Either way, you’ll eventually want to master both.
Much like our choice above, your preference here will likely come down to just how much you expect to rely on spell casting for your damage output. We tend to prefer slinging spells with our Mage, hence positioning the Wand above the Whip, but if you’d rather they get their hands dirty a bit, and help out with things like Metal Slime killing, then the Whip will work for you.
As the game progresses, the argument for the Wand will become more and more appealing, mainly thanks to rising spell power and costs. We should note however that unlike our Priest advice above, it’s not absolutely crucial that the Whip be taken at all. It lacks the critical strike option, and if you’re going to transition your Mage away from casting spells then you’re much more likely to take on a better weapon in your subsequent vocation. It’s still a fun choice no doubt, and it’ll help you to conserve MP whilst still attacking groups of opponents, but when certain equipment can be used as an item to achieve the same effect, it’s probably best to focus on the Wand and it’s excellent MP benefits.
Were we to simply consider the early and mid game portion of Dragon Quest IX, then the Claw would likely be competing for the top spots in terms of weaponry as a whole. This is because it borrows skills from other excellent weapons, like Hardclaw, which attacks twice and essentially echoes the fantastic Falcon Slash sword skill. Your Martial Artist will love the amount of damage that this weapon does, but it’s worth noting that all of it’s skills strike a singular target, which can limit its effectiveness in farming regular battles.
Thankfully the Martial Artist has additional options, and by far the best of these alternatives is the Fan. We’ve already detailed some of it’s finer points in the Minstrel section, suffice to say that it holds up as a great damage option against groups, and even eventually unlocks a powerful group heal that’s completely free of charge. That final point isn’t likely to scale too well, given that your Martial Artist isn’t going to rack up a great deal of Magical Mending, but it’s still a good weapon nonetheless and one that could allow your party member to pivot into other roles. Certainly better than the awful Stave option at least.
We realise that it’s far more likely that you’ve mastered something such as the Sword by the time you unlock the Paladin, but we’re going to consider it’s options in a vacuum here, and in this regard there can only really be two options. Technically the Wand isn’t a bad option by the way, but that would only really apply to those pivoting into the Paladin class from one that previously used a Wand, and this is highly unlikely, although we’d certainly recommend getting your squishy team members the massive amounts of Resilience on offer there. A spell casting Paladin with the skills and benefits of other classes is not necessarily a bad thing, but the opposite combination tends to work much better in DQIX.
Our second choice is one that’s likely to cause some concern among players, since it’s effectively a weaker version of other group damaging options, but we’ve included it here because some of the late game abilities are actually rather good. Crackerwhack and Big Banga are the highlights here, the latter of which deals Darkness element damage to every single enemy, which is actually quite useful in some late game locations. Equally likely however, is that you’re transitioning another class over that has mastered something like the Sword, which is orders of magnitude better in every single way, so consider this before you spend all of your skill points.
If one of our previous choices – the Hammer – was slightly underrated, then we’d like to welcome you to one of the most underrated vocations in the entire game, the Armamentalist. Yes, we’re aware that it has a strange name, and we’re equally aware that it doesn’t seem to excel in any particularly tangible statistic, but to ignore it on account of this would be folly. It may be a resolutely supportive party member choice, but It features some of the best buffs in the entire game and these can be used to enable other, more pointedly powerful unit choices.
You can of course just take the Sword here, and experience it’s myriad benefits in damage, slime killing and general performance, but the statistics of the Armamentalist will mean that such things are reduced somewhat. Rather we’d advocate choosing the Bow. Not only does it feature some powerful group attacks, a lot of which will be familiar to prior DQ players, but it also retains Hallowed Arrow, which is a great way to restore MP whilst dealing damage. Given its limited statistics on the whole, the Armamentalist is likely to be using MP more so than anything else, so this is a great skill to use between rounds of casting Fource and Oomph buffs.
From an underrated class we settle now one that we can only describe as being, well, correctly rated. This is because they’re mostly ignored on the whole, and whilst it’s not right to completely disavow a class, the Ranger doesn’t exactly have that many highlights, outside of having a great deal of deftness, for which the main use is likely to be increasing the Half Inch success rate of your Thief.
Anyhow, should you decide to bring a Ranger along on your journey, then the prime goal of it will be to deal damage, and in this regard the choices of Axe and Boomerang are best. The former has an excellent selection of damaging skills and comes with Hatchet Man, which can be used to farm Metal Slimes. Where the Axe falls down is when faced with groups of enemies, for which the Boomerang specialises. In fact, we’d probably call the Boomerang one of the best in the game for dealing with groups, at least in an inexpensive way. Your choice really comes down to the type of damage that you’d like the Ranger to contribute, group or single target, Boomerang or Axe. Just don’t blame us when you realise certain skills scale with your Strength stat, and that a different choice may have left you feeling a little more… Glad.
Something we’ve noticed about the Dragon Quest community, is that when a class is particularly powerful, such as the Sage, a lot of people will go out of their way to disprove that they’re actually necessary. Now, this may be factually true, but why not just enjoy what has to be one of the most interesting and fun classes in DQIX? Yes, a Mage will do more damage when maxed out, and the Priest will restore more health with Omniheal, but the Sage is around 80% of both combined, and that’s no bad thing.
Anyway, the Sage is essentially a combination of a Priest and Mage, albeit with some of their own skills and a guaranteed resurrection spell. This means that whilst their equipment recommendations are likely to be somewhat similar, we’d argue that it leans even more in favour of the Wand than they. The class has some very MP heavy spells, and whilst something like the Bow can certainly be used to supplement your damage in various ways, the allure of a greater stock and constant MP regeneration is too good to pass up.
Let’s be honest here: Both of these are excellent choices for the Gladiator. In fact, with it’s massive base Strength stat, the Gladiator will make almost any choice look powerful, but the Sword and Axe feature some of the most damaging skills in the entirety of Dragon Quest IX, so they’re amplified even further.
We’d be hard pressed to pick one over the other here to be honest. The Axe is capable of dealing absolutely incredible single target damage, fishing for criticals with Hatchet Man and it’s master skill Whopper Chop will likely result in damage numbers higher than anything you’ve ever seen before. Equally the Sword features some massive group damage skills, is more balanced during the early and mid portion of the game, and it also features by far the best equipment selection thanks to a certain ‘Uber’ model. The best option then, is to level both and experience the best of both worlds.
As much as we enjoy the Luminary vocation, mainly because it’s essentially a self reverential nod to the quirkiness of the DQ series, there’s no denying that the class itself is rather weak in DQIX. Technically it has some useful skills, but it’s statistics and spell list completely let it down, relegating it to what was likely to be it’s actual purpose: Novelty.
That said, if you absolutely must attempt to make one work, then we’d recommend you either choose the Fan or Boomerang options. They both have some great group damage options, though we’d argue that they’re both equally weak at dealing with single targets, but we’d give the Fan a special mention once again, because it eventually learns Hustle Dance, which is essentially a Multiheal completely free of charge – if your class of choice is all about standing around looking charming, might as well have it contribute a few heals whilst it’s doing so, right?
Categories: Dragon Quest IX