Dragon Quest IX

4 Fantastic Vocation Combinations | Dragon Quest 9

Choosing the right Vocations for your party members is critical in Dragon Quest IX. Technically speaking, it’s possible to level each of your teammates in every single vocation, such is the scope of this massive game, but in reality the average player is going to pick two or three for each member on their way to the end of the game. Assuming that this is the case, after all the grinders out there will experiment more than enough on their own, we’ve put together a few of our favourite options, in which we’ll combine 2 or more vocations to great effect.


Thief & Ranger

  • 55 Points Minimum in Acquisitiveness (Thief).
  • 100 Points in Ruggedness (Ranger).
Ranger Vocation, Dragon Quest 9

Our first combination choice is likely to seem rather obvious, after all it’s somewhat of a natural progression for your Thief to turn into a Ranger, but we’re highlighting it here for one thing and one thing only: Half Inch, which is DQIX’s version of stealing items from opponents. We apportion quite a bit of importance on this skill, because this particular entry in the series has a massive selection of alchemy recipes, some of which are very powerful pieces of equipment.

Why the Ranger then, if the Thief has the necessary skill? Well, the Ranger has the highest Deftness in the game, which is the statistic that scales your chance of successfully stealing an item. On top of this, it also has Deftness stat increases within it’s Ruggedness skill tree. All of which combines to make it the best option for pilfering items, which is something you’ll want to do as much as possible. It helps that the Ranger actually has a reasonable spell list too, with a few handy heals included.

Vocation Combination Benefits

  • Massive Deftness bonus from the Ranger will benefit the success rate of Half Inch, which is a steal skill learned by the Thief. In a game such as DQIX, with it’s massive Alchemy list, having a steal skill with a high success rate is invaluable.
  • The Ranger, with the support of the Thief skills and statistics, will be powerful enough to support progress throughout the story portion of DQIX. 
  • Whilst the above is true, towards the end game it’s performance may begin to wane, even when supported by some excellent equipment. This is even more true in the post game, where you’ll need a powerful and well optimised team, and the Ranger will fall behind better damage options. Still useful for stealing and completing Alchemy, however.
  • It’s worth considering returning to the Thief. Whilst their overall Deftness is not as high as the Ranger, they do have the ‘Itemised Kill’ coup de grace skill, which guarantees an item drop after battle. It’s debatable whether this is more worthwhile than the additional Deftness provided by the base stats of the Ranger class, and you’ll be dealing with a reduced spell list on the Thief.

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Mage, Priest & Sage

  • 100 Points in Spellcraft (Mage).
  • 100 Points in Faith (Priest).
  • 100 Points in Enlightenment (Sage).
Sage Vocation, Dragon Quest 9

Well, this is likely to be by far the most ‘obvious’ of vocation combinations in this article, but it’s one that is worth highlighting nonetheless. Yes, the three main casters available to you should be combined to make one all-powerful Sage, the result of which is a unit that is capable of restoring large amounts of health to your team whilst simultaneously removing vast chunks of it from the opposition. This being a Dragon Quest however, and a relatively modern one in fact, things aren’t quite that simple…

For the duration of the story section in DQIX, whatever is left of it by the time you get the Sage and level it, this particular combination will perform immaculately. However, by the time the late and post game roll around, things start to get a little dicey, specifically because even a powered up Sage such as this can no longer provide enough healing. Thus the choice becomes, either design a party to have more than one of these, through which multiple casts of multiheal are enough, or to switch it back to the Omniheal casting Priest, hence our recommendation to level both fully. We’ll admit that it’s unlikely to ever be a requirement to have a max level Mage on the team, but this is contingent on your Sage having the Magical Might that comes from getting said Mage all the way to 100 points, so it’s the same amount of work either way!

Vocation Combination Benefits

  • This combination ensures that the eventual Sage will deal high damage and heal for large amounts of health. For the story portion, and indeed some of the post game, this combination makes the ideal spell caster.
  • It’s possible to simply choose to fully invest into either Mage or Priest prior to the Sage, however this will mean there is a loss in either Magical Might or Magical Mending respectively. All three are invariably best, but may require some grinding to complete.
  • Defensively this unit will be lacking, so be sure to master Shields and potentially even take some points into the Paladin tree for additional Resilience.
  • In the very late game, post game actually, the Sage will lack in overall party healing because it misses out on Omniheal. In this case, you can pivot back into the Priest class whilst enjoying the statistical benefits of the Sage.

Paladin & Armamentalist

  • 82 Points in Litheness (Minstrel).
  • 100 Points in Virtue (Paladin).
  • 100 Points in Fource (Armamentalist).
Armamentalist Vocation, Dragon Quest 9

The temptation in any game, RPG or otherwise, is to make your main character the most powerful of all, but things in DQIX are a little different. You are forced to start out life as a Minstrel, and it’s a fair few hours before you get the opportunity to change this. This being the case, our preference tends towards creating 3 very focused additional party members, and having our main unit be the ultimate supportive type, for which this combination is excellent.

What is formed by this particular selection is the ultimate party buffing unit that can survive almost anything and keep going. By taking the Minstrel up to 82 points you’ll gain access to Have a Ball, which is a multi hit skill that can be used either for damage or taking down Metal Slimes. Taking on the Paladin next, you’ll gain access to excellent party defence options, such as Forbearance which shields every member, and indeed have access to it’s excellent passive buffs to your own defence. Finally, taking up the end result in Armamentalist will garner you access to tremendous buffs, including the excellent elemental Fource buffs and the almighty Oomph! Having one of these alongside one of our final combinations makes for quite the party.

Vocation Combination Benefits

  • Ideal combination for the main character, which will naturally level through the Minstrel vocation at the start of the game.
  • Through Paladin and Armamentalist, you’ll gain access to the very best party buffs, both defensive and offensive in nature. 
  • Having pushed through the Virtue skills, your unit will gain excellent survivability.
  • Whilst being somewhat unspectacular, the Minstrel does gain Have a Ball at 82 points, which can be used for taking down Metal Slimes. It’s also an offensive damage spell, which the eventual Armamentalist does not naturally have in its kit at all.

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Warrior, Paladin & Gladiator

  • 90 Points minimum in Courage (Warrior).
  • 100 Points in Virtue (Paladin).
  • 100 Points in Guts (Gladiator).
Gladiator Vocation, Dragon Quest 9

Opting simply for the Warrior into Gladiator combination is certainly a good progression option for a physical damage dealer. However, whilst your character will pick up a good amount of HP and Resilience from the Warrior skill tree, the Gladiator is still very weak defensively. As you progress into the late and post game, such a shortcoming will become a bit of a liability.

Enter the Paladin, otherwise known as the defensive passive battery of DQIX. We’re not interested in the skills here, after all the eventual Gladiator will have no time to cast a great deal of spells, but rather those amazing statistics. Pushing through the Virtue tree will grant your Glad vital further Resilience and HP. No, it won’t offer any additional damage and yes, you can attempt to glass cannon the Glad, but going the extra mile to make it more survivable will make all the difference, especially in the post game.

Vocation Combination Benefits

  • Warrior and Gladiator form a very powerful physical attacker, of which the latter has the highest Strength in DQIX.
  • Levelling through Paladin will grant the member a host of Resilience, which reduces all forms of damage, and HP. These make the eventual Gladiator much more survivable.
  • Focusing on the Sword during the initial levelling through Warrior and Paladin will allow the Gladiator to focus on skilling up the Guts and Axe tree. The Spear is an excellent secondary option here, to allow farming of Metal Slimes.
  • Shields too will make the eventual unit very survivable, and should be prioritised for levelling.

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