Dragon Quest IX

The 3 Worst Weapon Types | Dragon Quest 9

Wielding the correct weapon is more important in Dragon Quest IX than any other entry in the series. There is a massive amount of content on offer, partly because it was initially designed to be an MMO of sorts, and traversing its many labyrinths and grottos will require a serious arsenal. Now, we’ve already put to rights the very best weapons that DQIX has to offer, but what about the worst? Which of the numerous options on offer should you avoid, and why? At this point in most games we’d tell you that almost any option is viable with enough time, but that’s not strictly true when it comes to the following three…


3. Staves

Martial Artist, Dragon Quest 9

We’ll admit here first, that Staves are categorically the least bad of our options here today. In another world, perhaps where some other weapons didn’t give fantastic ultimate skills, it may have made it onto the lower end of some ‘best’ weapon lists in Dragon Quest IX. Similarly, if the developers had perhaps made it a default choice for more than two classes, then it may naturally see more popularity and use.

As it is, Staves do offer a reasonable route forward for those looking to deal damage to groups of opponents, whilst possibly knocking them down. Skills like Party Pooper and Crushed Ice will damage multiple opponents, and with a good model and statistics, the damage will not be insignificant. It’s outside of this that the Stave will begin to fall down. There’s no high damage single target skill, nor anything for dealing with Metal Slimes, and the final skill is essentially a counter stance of sorts, which is nowhere near as useful as other weapons, which tend to gain massively damaging attack skills.  

Weapon Failings

  • By far the ‘least bad’ of the models detailed here today.
  • Capable of dealing some good group damage, but marred by a lack of single target options.
  • Ultimate skill, which is essentially a counter stance, is woeful compared to other weapon choices.
  • Both base classes – Martial Artist and Priest – have much better options for investing points early, like Claws and Spears respectively. 
  • Knock Downs, which appear to be the main gimmick of the Staves, will work less and less as the game progresses, to the point of being useless in the late and post game sections.
  • Lacks any extra benefits, like a Metal attack of sorts, though it is worth noting that a great deal of it’s skills are free of MP costs.

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2. Fisticuffs

Gladiator, Dragon Quest 9

Unfortunately, the tremendous performance of the Fist weapon in Dragon Quest VIII has adversely influenced its effectiveness in IX. Gone are the days when a party member – Yangus was our choice FYI – can completely wipe out an enemy team through judicious use of the Thin Air skill. Some of the skills have been retained, like the powerful and cheap single target attack Knuckle Sandwich, and the random quad attack Multifists, but outside of this the pickings are slim to say the least.

Technically speaking, almost all of the Fisticuff arsenal is designed to deal with groups of enemies, but it unfortunately falls short in terms of damage output. Some of this is due to the scaling, like Boulder Toss that scales with both Strength and Deftness, two stats that can only really be maximised by taking a rather strange class route through both Ranger and Gladiator. Yet, even in that case, other weapons will still perform better! Capping it all off is the ultimate skill, which for some reason decided to spend it’s hypothetical balance points on self healing alongside damage, which is pitiful in both amount and usefulness.

Weapon Failings

  • Largely group damage based, in which it falls short of other weapons and indeed most magical spells in terms of damage.
  • Some of this is due to the scaling, like Boulder Toss which scales through Deftness and Strength, two stats that require an unusual class route to maximise.
  • Limited to one single target attack, which in itself isn’t very powerful, causing it to fall way behind others on single target damage.
  • Technically speaking, attacking unarmed is powerful through the early and mid game, but other weapon models will gradually overtake them, before leaving them way behind towards and end and post game.

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1. Knives

Thief, Dragon Quest 9

Some of you may have played through the eleventh instalment of this fantastic series, and found yourself enamoured with the tremendous damage that a certain spiky haired thief can deal with a dagger. Well, we have bad news for you here in DQIX: Knives are terrible.

Technically speaking, they do function as the best weapon in the game for the purpose of inflicting status ailments, however this is tempered by said effects being fairly useless, and follow up skills that rely on them tend to have rather poor damage modifiers. In Dragon Quest XI, resident Knife user Erik can expect to deal a whopping 620% damage to an enemy suffering with Poison status, through judicious use of the Victimiser skill. Sadly, here in IX the very same move simply deals 50% more damage, for a total of 150%. Even the ultimate move Persecutter, awarded by having the Knifing Know-How manual in your inventory, just does exactly the same versus enemies that are confused or asleep! When other weapons are throwing around massive, group destroying damage or conferring tide changing abilities, the Knife falls short. Way, way short.

Weapon Failings

  • Skills revolve around either inflicting status effects, or dealing more damage to those suffering, which are next to useless in DQIX. Even if you can inflict difficult bosses with the status, the bonus to subsequent damage is a paltry 50%.
  • Pieces of Knife equipment will not reach the heights of damage that other models do, like the Sword or Axe.
  • Each class that has access to the Knife – Warrior, Mage and Thief – also has access to better options, such as the Sword, Wand or Bow.
  • Good luck trying to get status ailments to land on late game bosses, never mind Grotto and Legacy versions.
  • Feels like an afterthought. A weapon added to flesh out the selection available, with very limited skills and no major upside. If they had perhaps made it interact with Half Inch in a positive way, or helped to deal with Metal Slimes perhaps, then we could get on board. As it is, the Knife is a very poor weapon choice all round. 
  • The only positives we can find is that some models have a chance to instantly kill the opponent, and the Falcon Knife Earring model hits twice, which is powerful in the mid game. None of this remains relevant for long.

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