The Most Useful Espers For Your Party in FF6 (Ranked)This post may contain affiliate links. If you buy something we may get a small commission at no extra cost to you. (Learn more).
Espers form the overall magic system of Final Fantasy VI.
Once you reach a certain point in the game and start obtaining them as Magicite, you’ll then be faced with who to assign them to – both to learn their magic and gain their stat boosts.
Magic is learned through acquiring AP, otherwise known as Action Points, through combat encounters.
Each Esper then has a multiplier added for each spell – some at a rate of x10, and some at a low rate of x1.
In FF6 there are a total of 31 Espers to obtain. And while all of them have some use, there are some you might find essential for your party to master.
For this ranking I’m sharing some of the best Espers in FF6 that you’ll want every member to learn from!
Phantom was a hard Esper to place.
But after doing an extensive review, I feel it did deserves the 15th spot.
Its spells aren’t super useful except for Vanish, which has fantastic utility and is used in a number of strategies for grinding. Plus its level up bonus isn’t terrible!
Spells: Gravity – x5, Berserk – x3, Vanish – x3
Level Up Bonus: MP +10%
Bismarck is one of the earliest Espers you’ll obtain.
And it will immediately become the most utilized!
You can have your entire party rocking the basic elemental spells very quickly, and give them access to Raise which is useful in a pinch.
Though it’s likely you’ll want the damage spells learned ASAP, and then maybe do a second rotation for Raise.
Spells: Thunder – x20, Fire – x20, Blizzard – x20, Raise – x2
Level up boost: Strength +2
Next up we have the mighty Fenrir!
I’d say that Fenrir’s spells are pretty good, and this is one of the few ways to learn the Banish spell.
But perhaps what you’ll mostly be using Fenrir for is the massive MP boost that he offers on level up.
Spells: Teleport – x10, Banish – x5, Stop – x3
Level up Boost: MP +30%
Okay, I know this is going to confuse many of you, because yes Odin does have a fantastic summon spell named “Zantetsuken”.
But this list is about utility for your characters.
Odin offers one spell, at a rate of x1.
So while it is powerful, there are other Espers that you’ll want to priorities for your group’s overall combat advantage – which is why he lands here on this particular list.
Spell: Meteor – x1
Level Up Bonus: Agility +1
Lakshmi gives you every HP recovery spell in the game, and is one of only two Espers that can teach your party Curaga.
And I think it’s obvious that’s a must-have spell for the late game!
And while Curaga is the cap stone, Lakshmi has a learn rate of x1 – which is low compared to all the other healing spells it offers.
So you may find yourself rotating this Esper around your party a couple of times for the other spells before going after Curaga.
Spells: Cure – x25, Regen – x20, Esuna – x20, Curaga – x1, Cura – x16
Level Up Bonus: Stamina +2
Crusader is a fan favorite, and generally obtained quite late in the game.
Its Meltdown spell is disgustingly powerful. And I say “disgusting” because it harms both your enemies and your allies.
But perhaps the real treasure here is the other spell it offers, and its very tasty Level up Bonus.
I feel that Crusader has its flaws. But it can absolutely shore up the weaknesses of a party just when you need it to.
Spells: Meteor – x10, Meltdown – x1
Level Up Bonus: MP + 50%
Maduin is essentially the bigger, stronger cousin of Bismarck, offering the Mid-level Elemental spells, but at a much slower rate.
It’s ideal to give to Celes or Terra as soon as possible – they’re natural casters, and will make great use of these spells from the outset, while the others get brought up to speed by Bismarck.
Just make sure and watch your MP gauge, as the costs may take you by surprise at first.
Spells: Thundara – x3, Fira – x3, Blizzara – x3
Level Up Bonus: Magic +1
Going to be honest here: I love how this Esper’s name sounds.
It just rolls off the tongue! Cahrrr-BUN-kell!
But my own preferences for naming aside, this is an absolutely fantastic Esper.
This is of the earliest obtained Espers, and it’s all about buffing your party and keeping you safe.
Haste, Shell, and Protect are must-haves without a doubt. But the cap stone is Reflect.
You’ll want every single party member to have Reflect for sure. And since you’ll already be running this thing anyway, you may as well get the rest of the spells too.
There’s not a single bad spell in its roster!
Spells: Reflect – x5, Haste – x3, Protect – x2, Shell – x2, Teleport – x2
Level Up Bonus: None
Following on from Carbuncle, this Esper takes your buffs up a notch.
Quetzalli is the only way to learn the powerful spells Hastega and Slowga in FF6.
And they’re both fantastic options that target whole parties (whether that’s yours or your enemies).
Having every party member able to cast these is a god-send. Even if the learning rate were x1, I would still say go for it.
Spells: Haste – x20, Slow – x20, Float – x5, Hastega – x2, Slowga – x2
Level Up Bonus: None
Appearing in nearly every Final Fantasy game there is, along with its Iconic attack “Flare”, no list would be complete without Bahamut.
And in FF6, Bahamut offers great utility in the form of Flare – which does a lot of damage to a single target.
And the level up bonus here will certainly have you smiling!
I would say more, but as we all know, Bahamut needs no explanation. It’s just that awesome.
Spell: Flare – x2
Level Up Bonus: HP +50%
Getting near the top of our list we have this little darling.
Valigarmanda teaches your party the most powerful elemental spells, albeit at a slow rate.
But good things come to those who wait, as these spells are deadly to most enemies. So she’s an Esper worth sticking with.
The Non-elemental spells may be the most prized for utility. But when facing an enemy weak to one of these Elements, then a quick thunder/fire/ice attack is always nice to have handy.
Spells: Thundaga – x1, Firaga – x1, Blizzaga – x1
Level Up Bonus: Magic +2
The mighty Alexander.
So Alexander does offer great utility spells with Protect and Shell, but you likely have them already.
But how about Dispel?
Dispel removes the Buffs of opponents, and even some of the peskier Debuffs from your party. But is Dispel really enough to warrant a top pick on this list?
But we also have to consider Alexander’s capstone ability: the almighty Holy!
There should be no question in your mind that every party member should have this in their toolbox, and you should try to make good use of it straight away!
Many bosses and enemies are weak to Holy, so absolutely worth the time spent learning it.
Spells: Esuna – x15, Dispel – x10, Protect – x10, Shell – x10, Holy – x2
Level Up Bonus: None
Catoblepas is one of the earlier Espers you can get.
And yes, it’s very much deserving of a top 3 spot!
The spells it offers may seem out of place in an Esper that you’d get so early in the game. But don’t let that hold you back here.
Bio is okay for sure. I mean, I never really use it personally, but Break (and then later on Death) both being part of this roster?
Come on, these are absolute must-haves!
Spells: Bio – x8, Break – x5, Death – x2
Level Up Bonus: HP +10%
Here’s another icon of the Final Fantasy series.
And in FF6, Phoenix is an absolute must-have Esper. And I mean really, you’ve gotta get it!
This is the only other Esper to offer the spell Curaga, but it also offers you both Arise and Re-Raise.
All of which I guarantee you’ll find use for in many of the later game encounters (especially with the harder bosses).
To summarize the Phoenix esper: don’t leave home without it.
Spells: Raise – x10, Firaga – x3, Curaga – x2, Arise – x2, Reraise – x1
Level Up Bonus: None
Could there be any other Esper taking the top spot?
When you first encounter Ragnarok, you’ll be given a choice:
The Esper in Magicite form, or in sword form.
It’s a difficult decision.
The sword can eventually be made into the most powerful weapon in the game, Lightbringer. But this means you lose out of the chance to help your party learn Ultima.
Ultima is overwhelmingly powerful, and unblockable, high MP cost not withstanding.
It’s a tough choice, but also depends on how you’re playing.
The weapon… or the Magicite…
But what’s an RPG without a bit of choice, right?
Sidenote: The Paladin’s Shield can also teach Ultima, but it’s not a short side quest to complete. And it does mean spending extra time getting that shield, where learning Ultima in Magicite form can massively speed things up.
Spells: Ultima – x1
Level Up Bonus: None