Balthier’s Best Job Combos in Final Fantasy XII: The Zodiac Age

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Balthier is an interesting dude.

He’s billed everywhere as a sky pirate who uses a gun and pals around with his BFF Fran, doing whatever it is sky pirates tend to do.

Even when he makes appearances in other bits of media, he’s always glued to his gun – it’s essentially a part of his character.

But here’s the deep dark secret that I’m sure Balthier doesn’t want you to know: he’s not that good with a gun.

As iconic as it is, Balthier’s core stats don’t at all make him good at using guns.

So, if he’s not too good at what he’s known for, what is Balthier good at? Well let’s look into some job options and let me tell you what’s best for our pirate friend.


3. Archer + Foebreaker

If guns are no good, then let’s get a little more primitive and switch to bows.

Unlike the firearm, bows use strength and speed in their damage formula.

While Balthier isn’t top dog when it comes to strength, he is the naturally fastest character, and will excel with weapons that incorporate that stat.

Bows hit hard. And as a bonus, their ammunition can cover all the elements.

With Foebreaker added to the mix here, you can alter the enemy’s defenses by using the technics Expose and Shear.

When you add this to the Archer’s Achilles (which allows you to give a baddie an elemental weakness) you have a Balthier that can open up enemies to a much larger realm of damage, something that benefits the entire party.

Foebreaker also helps Balthier with his strength and hit points – two attributes that, without help, he’d be low on.

And all that heavy armor can’t hurt (but the hand bombs certainly will hurt your enemies).


2. Bushi + Knight

For everything he lacks, Balthier makes up for it in speed.

He has the highest natural speed in the game, and this helps him excel in melee combat.

Again, despite everything you’ve been told, guns aren’t great for Balthier. So it’s best to give him something else.

Something with a bit more punch, and that can more benefit his strengths.

And in FF12, Bushi can use katanas.

This famous eastern sword is known in Ivalice for two things: its high damage and hit rate.

Katanas are great at forming combo attacks. And characters with high speed can add so much to these combinations.

I know it’s odd to see Balthier with a katana. But he’s right at home with it.

The Bushi also has all three swiftness panels on its board, giving the already quick Balthier 30% more speed.

So where does the knight fit in?

It gives Balthier strength!

The knight fills in that natural gap in his stats, as well as giving him heavy armor and big boy weapons.

This job combo might be the best way to make Balthier into a very respectable damage dealer. One that can stand toe-to-toe with the real strong boys in the party, such as Basch.


1. Shikari + Time Battlemage

Balthier is good at being a frontline warrior.

So making him a Shikari is a solid choice.

His natural speed very much facilitates the job, such as using ninja swords and daggers to their fullest potential. Plus a Shikari can use potions and remedies at full power, which can be extremely handy with somebody who’s so speedy.

And we know that by himself, Balthier’s magical abilities aren’t great.

However, one of the great things about the Zodiac Job system is that it can address any weakness, and turn it into a strength.

The Shikari emphasizes Balthier’s strengths. And the Time Battlemage helps the weakness.

While it’s true that Balthier won’t ever be a top-class caster, he won’t really need to be.

Time Battlemage lets him use crossbows and heavy armor. But more importantly, this job lets him cast time magic.

In the end, you get a speedy multi-hit damage dealer that can also stick enemies with status effects – as well as help out the team with a buff every now and then.

Think of it as a mix between a damage dealer and support.

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Brian Conley

Brian knows more about RPGs than he does world history. Combine with his love of writing and you get somebody who can, and will, go on forever about every nuance of every game he's played.