FF9: Best Eidolon Summons In The Game (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).
Final Fantasy IX has a unique aspect to its party members. Unlike most Final Fantasy games, FF9 boasts two summoners.
Naturally, this means there are a good number of Eidolons(or summons) you can find throughout the game.
Eidolons are powerful entities that only a small tribe of people living in Madain Sari could call upon for assistance. Sadly, Madain was wiped out, leaving only one survivor.
With all the Eidolons available in FF9, I’ve taken the liberty of arranging them in order of least to most useful.
I want to note that time of acquisition is a factor in this list, so some choices that may seem great on paper likely aren’t going to appear where you’d expect.
What a shocker, right?
Yes, Dagger’s ultimate summon is actually considered the least useful in the entire game. Why is this, you might be wondering?
Simply put, Ark is available at the butt end of the entire game. By the time you can summon him, you’ve already beaten the hardest boss.
Admittedly, his summon sequence looks pretty awesome if you’re into Transformers. But between the lateness of his appearance and the fact that he deals Dark damage (not the most helpful against Hades or Necron…), Ark just isn’t very good.
How to obtain: Ark is learned from the Pumice, acquired by defeating Ozma. Yes, THAT Ozma.
On the far far, faaaaar other end of the spectrum is Fenrir.
Available almost the second you obtain Eiko, Fenrir deals Earth damage to all enemies, or Wind Damage if EIko has the Maiden’s Prayer equipped.
This might be useful against Lich or Tiamat late in the game. But outside of those two there’s almost no reason to even use Fenrir in the first place.
How to obtain: Fenrir is learned from Sapphire, dropped from Gnolls.
Atomos is slightly more useful than Fenrir.
Atomos deals gravity damage, meaning he does damage relative to the target’s HP.
This could be a potentially phenomenal skill were it not for the fact that it doesn’t work against bosses.
Additionally, the damage is based on the target’s current HP, rather than their max.
It’s decent enough for trash mobs and gauging how much HP the crowd has left (if for some reason you don’t have scan). But outside this, you probably won’t be watching his animation any longer than you saw him in the FMV sequence.
How to obtain: Learned from Amethyst, obtained from Doctor Tot on Disc 3.
These three were hard to put in any particular order, so I elected to grant them a shared spot on this list.
They’re very middle-of-the-road elemental summons, and they do respectable amounts of damage if you have enough stones in your inventory that correlate to them (and the Boost skill equipped).
However, the elemental nature of these summons makes them a bit unreliable.
They do a reasonable amount of damage to enemies and bosses that are weak to their element. But don’t feel bad if you weren’t considering turning Shiva loose on Marilis.
How to obtain Leviathan: Leviathan is learned from Aquamarine, which Dagger finds at the end of Disc 2 in the Iifa Tree.
How to obtain Ifrit and Shiva: Doctor Tot gives Dagger several stones in Disc 3. Among these are Topaz and Opal, which carry Ifrit and Shiva respectively.
Okay, so Zantetsuken is pretty cool.
It instantly kills the target. That’s pretty sweet.
Unfortunately, contractual boss insta-death immunity exists. Which keeps Odin in the middle of this list.
However, he’s fantastic for trash mobs and tougher encounters.
He can also be acquired relatively early compared to Dagger’s other summons, so he could come in handy in a pinch during the mid-game.
Unlike Atomos, he almost lives up to his FMV scene.
How to obtain: Dark Matter is Odin’s item, obtained from the Treno Auction House, as well as from Ozma via stealing and a drop.
It was hard to choose between her or Odin, as Madeen is learned a bit later than Odin.
But she has a distinct advantage.
Madeen deals Holy damage.
Holy damage is actually rather effective against a couple bosses in the late game. And unlike Dagger’s elemental summons, Madeen consistently deals good damage right off the bat.
Her edge above Odin is the fact that she can be used against bosses. And any time you use Eiko, Madeen can be summoned reliably.
How to obtain: Madeen is learned from the Ribbon Eiko receives in Disc 3.
Ramuh ranks a bit higher than his contemporaries for one single reason:
Ramuh is the first Eidolon Dagger obtains after the events in Alexandria Castle.
He also deals lightning damage which makes him surprisingly useful in Fossil Roo.
His damage is augmented by the amount of Peridot stones in your inventory, so you could see him dealing with trash mobs regularly long before you even think about Ifrit again.
He starts good and is likely to stay good, as he can be a great boon against Kraken.
How to obtain: Ramuh is learned from Peridot, obtained both in disc 2 as part of the story, as well as dropped by Zaghnols.
Likely not a surprise at all, but Bahamut is Dagger’s best summon, period.
The King of Dragons deals non-elemental damage and he hits hard. Great for bosses, trash mobs, and getting out of awkward conversations at the buffet table.
Not much else can really be said about Bahamut. He’s obtained midway through disc 3 and he’ll very quickly become Ol’ Reliable.
Also he’s a bloody Dragon. Doesn’t get much cooler than that.
How to obtain: Bahamut is learned from Garnet (see what they did there?) given to Dagger by Beatrix in Disc 3.
Eiko takes the rest of this list over. Carbuncle is the best support move in the game you can get.
Depending on which item Eiko has equipped, Carbuncle will either cast Reflect, Vanish, Haste or Shell on the whole team, as well as Protect if the full animation plays.
This summon can easily last until you have a team of auto-haste monsters, and still prove useful even after combined with a certain reflect-boosted spell skill and Flare.
Never mind that this is the only move in the game that can put Vanish on your whole team. This could realistically trivialize Marilis or Deathguise.
How to obtain: Carbuncle is learned from Rubies, one of which can be found in the Iifa Tree.
Okay so when I said it doesn’t get much cooler than a Dragon, I might have underestimated our other flying friend.
Phoenix deals fire damage that’s likely more potent than Ifrit’s. But more importantly, he heals your KO’d party members. All of them.
Even better: if the entire team is KO’d, there’s a chance Phoenix will summon itself to revive your whole party.
This is an absolute life saver against bosses like Deathguise or Necron who have ludicrously powerful partywide attacks.
How to obtain: Phoenix Pinions, which as just as well since you’ll likely have a few kicking around by the time Eiko joins!