The first offensive magic-caster job. As expected of a spell-caster, it has high MP, Intelligence and Mind, but everything else is poor or average at best. As such, your Black Mage will solely be focusing with their magic and not whacking people with their rod.
Black Mage is a good pick early on, as it allows you to target a variety of elemental weaknesses, while also hurting enemies with high Physical Defense, but lower Magic Defense. They can also group-cast magic to hit all enemies in battle; great for mob control.
Later on, Black Mages will start to lag behind as Black Magic becomes rather costly and its damage less impressive in the face of superior abilities. Still, their magical prowess is appreciated while it lasts.
Specialty: Black Resonance
Black Magic damage rises with each ally that has Black Resonance as a Specialty or equipped ability.
- Just one ally with Black Resonance: No effect
- Two allies with Black Resonance: Damage times 1.1
- Three allies with Black Resonance: Damage time 1.15
- All four allies have Black Resonance: Damage times 1.2
As a means of raising the damage output of Black Magic, it’s interesting, but rather restrictive in terms of team composition. Unless you absolutely love Black Mages, having more than two around is not a good idea. Especially if you run into foes with high magic defense.
Level 1: Black Magic Lv.1
Allows use of Fire, Blizzard, Thunder with the appropriate scrolls in possession. You can now hurt enemies with fire, water or thunder-based spells–these spells can also be group-cast to damage mobs, but note that the individual damage falls as more enemies are targeted.
Level 2: Rod Lore
Raises the arms aptitude for Rods to S. Now your character can gain the highest Attack bonus for Rods in any job (doesn’t affect Magic Attack). Rods are even worse weapons than Staves, so…
Level 3: Black Magic Lv.2
Allows use of Silence, Poison and Sleep with the appropriate scrolls in possession. These spells are good for weakening enemies, especially for silencing pesky magic-casters. Just note that bosses can’t be silenced and they take reduced poison damage.
Level 4: Abate Fire
Reduces damage taken from fire-based attacks (doesn’t stack with equipment). This is fantastic for withstanding enemies with fire-based attacks.
Level 5: Damage Dispersion
When user takes single-hit damage, their non-fallen allies each sustain 15% of the damage in place of the user. Doesn’t work for magic that’s been reflected by Reflect. This ability helps to keep your Black Mage alive; if you have three other party members, your Black Mage will only take 55% damage! Also useful for snapping allies out of Charm or Sleep.
Level 6: Silence Immunity
Gives your character immunity to Silence. Perfect for any type of spell-caster, whether it be your Black Mage or healer, so their spells are never interrupted by Silence.
Level 7: Black Magic Lv.3
Allows use of Fira, Blizzara, Thundara with the appropriate scrolls in possession. Add stronger fire, water or thunder spells to your Black Mage’s arsenal.
Level 8: Black Resonance
Black Magic damage rises with each ally that has Black Resonance as a Specialty or equipped ability. Same as the Black Mage’s Specialty, but now anybody can use it even if they’re not a Black Mage.
Level 9: Black Magic Lv.4
Allows use of Drain, Aspir and Fear with the appropriate scrolls in possession. Drain lets your Black Mage absorb HP from an enemy, while Aspir lets them absorb MP instead; of the two, the latter is particularly useful for our MP-guzzling Black Mage. Fear prevents enemies from using Default or Brave–damaging their offense and defense.
Level 10: Magic Attack 20% Up
Raises the character’s Magic Attack by 20%. Good when you need to up your Black Mage’s firepower.
Level 11: Black Magic Lv.5
Allows use of Firaga, Blizzaga and Thundaga with the appropriate scrolls in possession. Did you say you wanted to blast the enemy with even stronger fire, water or thunder spells? We think the game heard your plea loud and clear.
Level 12: Pierce Magic Defense
Ignore the enemy’s Magic Defense when dealing magic damage. This ability is very interesting–it treats all enemies as having 0 Magic Defense when you use magic, guaranteeing maximum damage for all your magic spells. You can even use this to hurt enemies with maximum Magic Defense; sweet!
Level 13: Black Magic Lv.6
Allows use of Dark, Kill and Death with the appropriate scrolls in possession. Things suddenly get extra dark here… Dark deals powerful Dark-based damage to a single target, Kill instantly slays all enemies 10 or more Levels lower than the caster (except bosses of course) and Death may instantly K.O. an enemy (again, ineffective against bosses).
Level 14: Group-Cast All
Enables the user to group-cast all White Magic, Black Magic or Time Magic spells. This ability opens up many new opportunities–you can now group-cast Raise or Arise to resurrect multiple characters, Dark, Holy and Graviga on all enemies; the list goes on. The best use is probably with Dispel to get rid of debuffs on your party.