Choosing Your FF12TZA Jobs

The Zodiac Age version of Final Fantasy XII presents an additional layer of customization for the player in that the jobs present in the Zodiac Job System version return with the twist that you can now choose two for each character. The first you get upon having the character join your party, the other is unlocked after defeating Belias at Raithwall's Tomb. The jobs can't be changed once they're set. This means that some deliberation is required to create usable combinations.

For those of us who are heavily into the lore of the game, there is also that nagging feeling in the back of our minds to have the jobs you choose be compatible with the weapons and abilities the characters use in other games. Indeed, you might even be a completionist and insist you have one of each job present in the party. If lore-compatible job combinations is what you seek, this guide is for you.


Suggested combo 1: Shikari / Bushi
Suggested combo 2: Shikari / Time Battlemage
Suggested combo 3: Bushi / Time Battlemage
Suggested combo 4: Shikari / Foebreaker
Other suggestions: anything involving a combination of Shikari, Bushi, Time Battlemage, Machinist, Foebreaker and Uhlan

Vaan is presented as much of an oddball in other games. On one hand, there is his presentation in Revenant Wings and Grimoire of the Rift as well as various phone games, where he is very much the speedy thief type, telling us his job should be Shikari, and maybe Bushi or Time Battlemage. On the other hand there is his Dissidia series presentation, where he is the weapons master, capable of wielding swords, katana, guns, axes, spears and crossbows, which includes not only all of the three abovementioned, but also Machinist, Foebreaker and Uhlan as well.

Now, while the game doesn't require you to pick the best combinations of jobs to clear it, it's always nice to consider playability as well. Shikari/Bushi is not recommended if you do care about playability, the two do not work all that well together. On the other hand, there is hardly anything that works amazing with Shikari, leaving you with the choice of not using the job or having unoptimal job combinations for at least one character. Out of all the most lore-compatible choices, Bushi/Time Battlemage may be the best option in terms of stat compatibility.


Suggested combo 1: White Mage / Monk

In a direct contrast to Vaan, Penelo's portrayal across games has been very consistent. She is a dancer and a healer, using white magic and dancing with poles. This leaves us with the immediate and optimal choice of White Mage/Monk. It is good for survivability as well, as the Monk support gives the White Mage some sorely needed HP and an option for physical attacking as well.

It bears noting that while both the suggested jobs are rather slow, giving the Esper Ultima to Penelo unlocks the two missing Swiftness licenses to make her act as fast as she can. This also fits in for lore reasons, as in Revenant Wings Penelo's quickening was unlocked by defeating Ultima.


Suggested combo 1: Machinist / Time Battlemage
Suggested combo 2: Machinist / Uhlan

Balthier's presentation in battle has been very one-sided. He is portrayed as a Machinist, and while he's been known to use buffs or debuffs from time to time a good majority of them have been Machinist-related abilities instead of spells. This makes it very hard to determine what his second job could be. One could decide that the buffs and debuffs he has means Time Battlemage could be a fit, but one could also completely ignore that and go for something like Uhlan, as spear-wielders (read: dragoons) have been associated many times throughout the series with gun-wielders (who tend to be inventors). The connection to Cid with a spear-wielding job is obvious. However, the tenuous connections of both these options to the official portrayal of Balthier's combat capabilities really does drive home how little there is to it.

Mechanics-wise, while Machinist and Time Battlemage work rather well together, they also produce a very frail character constrained to always fight at range. Uhlan is the better choice for someone concerned with Balthier's ability to take hits and his short-range combat capabilities.


Suggested combo 1: Archer / Red Battlemage
Suggested combo 2: Archer / Black Mage
Other suggestions: any combination of physical fighters such as Foebreaker, Uhlan, Bushi, Shikari, Archer

Fran's battle style has two portrayals, the one mostly used for everything else and the original FF12 description of her as a weapons specialist. This latter comes into play with the long list of other job suggestions for her, as any combination constructed out of these would be perfectly lore-compatible with the original description. However, her portrayal outside of that one sentence in the OG is that of an archer who can cast black magic, black magic being available to her in all her appearances except Revenant Wings where she is a pure Archer. Presuming that her expertise applies to magicks as well as weapons, the best fitting mage job for her is Red Battlemage who has the greatest access to spells (and the only to access Arcane magicks), but Black Mage would do just as well.

Now, while making Fran a combination of Archer/mage makes her frail, it is also undeniable that the Archer/Red Battlemage combination has one of the highest damage potentials in the game. However, either combination would be perfectly in line with both lore and with aspirations to have viable job combinations.


Suggested combo 1: Black Mage / Knight
Suggested combo 2: Time Battlemage / Knight
Suggested combo 3: Black Mage / Bushi
Suggested combo 4: Time Battlemage / Bushi

Ashe is very prominently associated with greatswords, making Knight a rather obvious choice for her. However, delving deeper into her portrayal her battle style is heavily skewed towards black magic in most cases (Record Keeper, Brave Exvius), she sometimes wields katana as well as greatswords (Opera Omnia), and then there is the case of Revenant Wings to consider where she eschewed both close-range combat and black magic and instead became a pure Time Battlemage, wielding handbombs and casting strong party-wide buffs.

Stats-wise, all combinations above are very viable and recommended. Knight gives the mages more survivability as well as access to high-level white magic, while Bushi relies on the magic stat to deal out damage.

It bears noting that Ashe has a strong connection to the Esper Belias through lore. As Belias doesn't really unlock anything important for any job, for maximum lore compatibility you can use him on Ashe's license boards.


Suggested combo 1: Knight / Foebreaker
Suggested combo 2: Knight / Time Battlemage

Basch is another character whose presentation has been fairly constant. Regardless of the specifics he is always a heavy hitter and much of the time can take hits well too. His past as a knight in the Order gives the obvious choice of Knight, and his heavy-hitting side immediately points to Foebreaker.

However, the Knight/Foebreaker combination doesn't really bring much anything to either job that they don't already have. Another combination such as Knight/Time Battlemage could be considered for those who care about stats and job compatibility. It gives him some extra arsenal in the form of spells while still keeping him in that role of a knight protecting his allies, and it allows him extra ranged attacks from Time Battlemage's crossbows.


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