FF12: The Best Grimoire Monographs, All Ranked

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Monographs in Final Fantasy XII are items that augment which items certain enemy species drop, such as dragons or plants, as well as how many items they drop.

They’re obtained through the bazaar, and each one is called a Forbidden Grimoire until purchased.

And you don’t need to bother with them much – they just sit in your key items and work their magic.

Most of the time, the new item that a monograph adds to an enemy’s item pool is a worthless pebble… but there are truly amazing additions out there.

Let’s take a look at all the monographs in FFXII and see which ones stand out the most.


8. Sage’s Monograph

Obtaining Sage’s Monograph in FFXII: TZA

The Sage’s Monograph affects Entite and Elemental enemies.

You’d think that such a tough type of foe would drop fantastic stuff, but honestly no.

The Sage’s Monograph adds pebbles to every Elemental and Electrum to Entites.

The Sage’s Monograph has one real purpose: Electrum.

This item can be sold for about 3500 gil (but the low drop rate discourages farming) and is otherwise used for one bazaar item: the Golden Axe, which is the strongest axe in the game.

How to Obtain: Speak to any shopkeeper over 100 times to unlock the Sage’s Monograph in the bazaar.


7. Canopic Jar

Getting Canopic Jar from bazaar / FFXII TZA

Yes, you’re right: this isn’t really a monograph.

However, it still serves the same purpose as one – and is unlocked in the same way.

It’s like a monograph cousin from out-of-state.

This doesn’t diminish its importance, however.

The Canopic Jar affects all types of enemies and gives them the chance to drop Arcana.

Arcana are items that are used primarily in the creation of high-end bazaar items, such as Hermes Sandals, Empyreal Souls and Serpentariuses, with the last two being required items for making the game’s strongest sword The Tournesol.

How to Obtain: Three hunts drop three unique items: Gil Snapper drops Phobos Glaze, Orthos drops Horakhty’s Flame, and Trickster drops Deimos Clay. Sell all three items at once to unlock the Jar in the bazaar.


6. Dragoon’s Monograph

Buying the Dragoon’s Monograph in FFXII: TZA

The Dragoon’s Monograph increases the drop rate, and items dropped, for dragon and plant enemies.

Dragons don’t get too much added. But Wild Saurians in the Estersand and Giruveganus in the Feywood still drop stuff useful for bazaars.

This monograph’s true use with dragons is helping you farm their normal drops by increasing the yield.

As far as plants, both Cassies and Treants in the Feywood now drop items for the Gugnir spear.

Farming Malboro and Malboro-type enemies is also much more lucrative with the monograph and its increased drop rate.

How to Obtain: Check the Hunt Board 40 times or more. No need to read any of the hunts and this can even be done with no hunts available.


5. Mage’s Monograph

Vaan entering magic shop in Rabanastre / FFXII TZA

Now we’re getting somewhere!

The Dragoon’s Monograph works with Fiend and Ichthyoid (fish) enemies.

The range of enemies included within this monograph’s effect is staggeringly high.

Fiends are things like Chimeras, Gargoyles, and Bombs, all of which have varieties that the Mage’s Monograph adds very valuable loot drops to – such as ingredients for the Stoneblade or Kumbha swords.

It also helps those fiends are among the better enemies to farm, so the extra drops are just more money in your pocket!

Fish enemies benefit from this too, but not nearly to the extent that Fiends do.

How to Obtain: Speak to any Magic store owner 25 times or more and it’ll unlock. That’s all there is to it.


4. Knight’s Monograph

Outside the weapons merchant in Rabanastre / FFXII TZA

Now it’s time for Giants and Insects.

The Knight’s Monograph is worth its price from the easier acquisition of rare items like Damascus Steel and Beastlord Horns.

Getting it early even helps you farm Werewolves in the Giza Plains for a tremendous early-game profit.

How to Obtain: Speak to any weapon merchant thirty times or more.


3. Scholar’s Monograph

Speaking to a shop clerk for Scholar’s Monograph / FFXII TZA

The Scholar’s Monograph affects only one type of enemy: constructs.

These include golems and those weird face-statue enemies you see in the Tomb of Raithwall and the Pharos at Ridorana.

Constructs are a fantastic source of rare materials like mythril and orichalcum.

These are tricky to find otherwise, but with the monograph they’re added to the drop lists of more normal enemies – like Deidars in the Pharos and Mythril Golems in Giruvegan.

How to Obtain: Speak to any armor shop clerk 15 times or more.


2. Warmage’s Monograph

Vaan reading hunt board for Warmage’s Monograph / FFXII TZA

If you’re looking to hunt either undead folk or flans, certainly don’t forget to bring your Warmage’s Monograph with you.

Of course, there are few good added drops – such as materials for the useful Nihopalaoa accessory. But the real magic of the Warmage’s Monograph comes with the grind!

Two of the best grind spots in the game are those that center around undead.

The second bridge in the Lhusu Mines is an early-game goldmine for experience, LP, and gil, and all you’ll fight are skeletons.

And in the late-game Nabreus Deadlands hidden area you’ll fight dozens of zombies for stupid amounts of goodies.

The extra drops provided by the Warmage’s Monograph is incredible for all of this.

How to Obtain: Read a Hunt Board 20 times or more. This and the Dragoon’s Monograph are easily unlocked at the same time.


1. Hunter’s Monograph

Vaan speaking with Gatsly in FFXII TZA

If we’re talking about Monographs that’ll have a large effect on your adventure, then the conversation will probably be about the Hunter’s Monograph.

This key item will affect the drops and rates of beasts and birds. And guess what?

For a large part of the game, you’ll be fighting birds and beasts!

Wolves, toads, bird people – they’re all included.

Getting it when you’re just Vaan (which is surprisingly easy to do) will increase the drops of all that wildlife you’re going to be fighting while farming and grinding.

There are other great monographs too. But as far as generally increasing your quality of life through enemy drops in FF12, you can’t do much better than the Hunter’s version.

How to Obtain: After defeating the Thextera hunt (the second hunt in the game), speak to Gatsly in the Muthru Bazaar.

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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.