The Best Magick Spells in Final Fantasy XII: The Zodiac Age

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Final Fantasy XII has a lot of magic.

So much that to create some kind of “order”, the game had to break all this magic into five different kinds:

Black, White, Green, Arcane, and Time.

Each one of these magic types has a variety of spells that can help the party achieve Ivalician independence .

But as it is with most RPGs, some spells are much more useful than the rest.

So let’s take a tour of Final Fantasy XII’s magic and check out what the best three spells are for each school of magic.

That way you can be as prepared as possible for the adventure ahead.


Best Black Magick

There’s no better magick when it comes to dealing lots of damage in a short amount of time.

Any character designated a black mage will have lots of choices when it comes to delivering big numbers. And you can’t really go wrong with any of them…

But a few certainly stand out as being the crème de la crème of offensive wizardry.


3. Poison

Poison is a spell that can be obtained very early, both in location and on the license board.

And it’s also super useful!

Inflicting poison at the start of battle can add up to a lot of extra damage, and in turn, can lead to a lot less headache for you and your healers.

The spell even has a high chance of sticking, even at low levels. Which makes it perfect for a new adventurer.

How to Obtain: Found in a chest in the Sand-Swept Naze area of the Dalmasca Westersand.


2. Flare

This is a Final Fantasy classic.

Flare does lots of damage to a single target. It may look like it’s made of fire, and probably is, but it’s totally non-elemental.

Not only does it have a lot of power, but Flare also has a very low Effect Capacity, meaning that multiple flares can be cast by multiple casters at the same time – which is something that can’t be said about a lot of higher-end Black Magics.

How to Obtain: Found in the Pharos at Ridorana in the Third Ascent’s Spire Ravel – 1st Flight area.


1. Scathe

If Flare is the king of single targets, Scathe is the king for groups.

It has a higher magic power than Flare, too. But it can’t be cast by more than one person. Not like you’d need to, though:

Scathe cleans house all by itself.

It does tons of damage to groups of enemies, and is the perfect choice when you need to farm for items or get out of a sticky situation.

You can even get the occasional Scathe out of the Shades of Black technick long before you get it legit.

How to Obtain: Found in the Lhusu Mines in the Staging Area zone after defeating the Antlion Hunt and gaining access to Site 11.


Best Green Magick

Green Magick is a new variant color introduced in Final Fantasy XII.

Not quite Time Magick and not quite White Magick, Green Magick is a subset that focuses on very specific character augmentations that aid the party in very specific ways.

There’s not a lot of spells here. But what’s available is helpful, with a few spells being more helpful than others.

Green Magick may be the newcomer in FF titles – but these spells are always worth hunting down.


3. Decoy

This is the quintessential spell for tanks.

Casting Decoy on a party member gives them the Lure status, which makes surrounding enemies target them.

This doesn’t remove enmity from other party members. But making the bad guys focus on one person, even for a few moments, can make all the difference.

The best use case for this spell is to start a fight with Decoy on the tank, meaning enemies will be all the more likely to stick with that one person.

How to Obtain: Sold by the Clan Provisioner at the Muthru Bazaar any time after joining Clan Centurio.


2. Bubble

Do you ever think “gosh, I wish I had more HP right now?”

Well wait no more – just cast Bubble!

This spell temporarily doubles your max HP. This is one of the best ways to bolster yourself for a boss. And with this buff you can easily hit the HP cap way earlier than you would through leveling.

Bubble should be a part of every pre-pull preparation.

How to Obtain: Available to purchase from the Clan Provisioner in the Muthru Bazaar after completing 16 Hunts and obtaining the Riskbreaker title.


1. Reverse

Reverse switches the effects of damage and recovery.

Attacks heal you and healing hurts – it sure sounds silly, but it’s actually super useful.

In long battles with the game’s superbosses, for instance, being able to recover from their relentless attacks is a blessing.

Healing large amounts of HP is a snap with Reverse because you’re essentially healing for how much damage you can deal – and late game that’s a lot.

With the right gambit setups, Reverse can make a party just about invincible.

How to Obtain: Available to purchase from the Clan Provisioner in the Muthru Bazaar after completing 32 Hunts and obtaining 500,000 Clan Points.


Best White Magick

As the backbone of any adventuring party, White Magick provides not just solid support spells, but also vital healing magicks to keep the party on their feet.

Every White Magick spell is useful in some capacity.

But there are certainly some spells that stand out above the rest in their ability to keep the battle for justice going strong.


3. Curaja

There are other healing spells, yes. But once you get Curaja they’ll just about be obsolete.

Curaja heals a dump truck’s worth of HP to surrounding party members – and for a pretty modest amount of MP (with the right setup it can be as low as 24!)

It also decimates groups of undead enemies.

Curaja is what will keep the group going until the end of their adventures.

How to Obtain: Can be purchased in Balfonheim Port after completing the Draklor Laboratory.


2. Arise

Dying isn’t fun (or maybe it is for you?)

Losing a party member mid-scuffle is a real downer.

The Raise spell is a good solution, but it only restores a fallen member with around 40% of their hit points. I know, you deserve better!

Arise revives defeated friends and brings them back with full life.

So they can get right back into the fight fast, and also have a much better chance at survival.

How to Obtain: After obtaining the Treaty Blade, you can purchase this spell at Balfonheim Port.


1. Esunaga

Once you get into the deep underbelly of Final Fantasy XII’s content you’ll see that the game throws tons of negative status effects at you.

Common endgame enemies and the big bad bosses all really enjoy inflicting annoying effects on the whole party, leaving them a blinded & petrified mess.

Esuna can cure a single member of status ailments. But when the whole group is debilitated, you’ll need something that can treat them all – and that’s what Esunaga is.

Trust me when I say that an AOE status heal is just about the most amazing thing you’ll see all day.

How to Obtain: After defeating the Hydro boss at the entrance to the Pharos at Ridorana, Esunaga shows up in a chest in the Necrohol of Nabudis.


Best Arcane Magick

With the Red Battlemage job comes a variety of spells, most of which are taken from other colors of magick.

What’s unique to the Red Battlemage in FFXII is the Arcane school of magick.

While it has a small roster, Arcane magick provides a strong selection of offensive spells that stand out as some of the best in the game.


3. Death

If you’re looking to kill something, then the spell called “Death” is probably a good place to start.

It has a low rate of success. But when it hits, it does the job.

Spamming death is a good way to farm otherwise annoying enemies, such as the Wild Saurian in the Estersand.

And you get Death fairly early on, making it that much more useful.

Better to cast death than experience it, I always say!

How to Obtain: Found in a chest in the Karydine Glacier area of the Paramina Rift.


2. Dark

Dark is a spell that attacks a group of enemies with – yep you guessed it, dark elemental magick.

What makes Dark stand out is both its wide area of effect, and that you can get it very early in the game, right after escaping the Barheim Passage.

It’s a great way to deal with groups of enemies early on, and even later it’s a reliable way to deal Dark damage.

And it’s an element that doesn’t get too much representation elsewhere.

How to Obtain: Available to buy in Rabanastre right after obtaining the Shadestone with Vaan and Penelo.


1. Ardor

The Arcane school of magick is something unique to the Red Battlemage. It doesn’t have too many spells in the roster, but what it does have are pretty potent – and none are more powerful than Ardor, which is easily the strongest fire-elemental spell in the game.

And since it is fire elemental, Ardor can be powered up by equipping items like the Burning Bow or Flame Staff.

If you cover an enemy in oil and hit them with a Flame Staff Ardor, you can easily do even more damage than Scathe – which is really impressive.

How to Obtain: In the Pharos’ Third Ascent Spire Ravel – 2nd Flight area you can find the spell in a chest.


Best Time Magick

Time Magick is all about support.

It doesn’t heal like white magick or cater to the niche purposes like green magick, but instead it focuses on buffing the party and de-buffing your foes.

A Time Mage is great at standing back from the frontline and making sure all their allies are as strong as they can be.


3. Float

One of the Ivalice’s biggest annoyances are traps.

They’re not too prevalent early in the adventure, but once you start digging deep into places like the Necrohol and the Henne Mines Special Charter Shaft, you’ll see traps everywhere.

There are accessories to protect you from them, but the simplest way to make sure they don’t bother you is with Float.

Float makes your party, well, float off the ground. That way you can just walk over traps.

And even better: Float affects the whole party!

How to Obtain: In a chest in the Oliphzak Rise area of the Tchita Uplands.


2. Disable

Sometimes it would really help if the enemies attacking you would just take a break.

Disable is a spell that forces them to do that!

Disable inflicts enemies with the “disabled” status, which takes away their ability to do anything but move around for a bit.

And Disable is one of those spells that affects a group of enemies, despite not having a -ga suffix.

How to Obtain: After dealing with Ba’Gamnan in the Lhusu Mines, this spell will be available to buy in any major city’s magic shop.


1. Hastega

Haste is good. Great, even.

It doubles the speed of the ATB bar, resulting in more turns, which itself results in easier battles. I think Haste is one of those spells that once you get a taste of its power, you’ll never want to be without it.

But in FFXII the base Haste spell is fairly expensive in MP cost. So you’re going to want to find its better brother, Hastega.

With Hastega, you can apply the wonderful haste effect onto the entire party in seconds – and at a much lower cost than casting the base spell thrice.

Haste is good. But Hastega is way better.

How to Obtain: In the Uldobi Phullam Pratii area of the Great Crystal. Nobody said greatness would come easy!

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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.