The eastern-style Swordmaster prides itself on its deftly counter attacks, punishing enemies that choose the wrong moves. It has solid stats in all the right areas, making it a proficient offensive-focused job. With its counters, it can function as a versatile defensive job too. Despite its name, the Swordmaster is so-so with swords; instead, it prefers the katana.
In terms of damaging attacks, the Swordmaster has few of its own; what it does instead is counter the enemies’ attacks for massive damage. You’ve got Nothing Ventured, which counters physical moves, and Before Swine for countering magic spells. When you know what’s coming next, Know Thine Enemy deals a deadly counter attack on a chosen enemy.
Swordmasters are thus ideal for dealing damage while playing defensively. Although to make the best use of their counters, you’ll need to be cunning and be able to predict the enemy’s moves, which isn’t always easy. Another reason to train a Swordmaster is to learn their Free Lunch ability, which sets MP cost to zero for two turns–great for spamming your high cost moves!
When the user is hit by a single-target physical attack, there’s a 60% chance they’ll counter attack the enemy. Can’t complain about free damage!
Level 1: Nothing Ventured
If the user is hit by a physical attack (single or multiple-hitting), they’ll take half the damage and counter attack to do twice the normal damage to the enemy. If you’re facing physical enemies, this ability is good for reducing the damage taken, while dishing out impressive damage yourself.
Level 2: Abate Earth
Reduces damage taken from earth-based attacks (doesn’t stack with equipment). Helps your character survive sudden earthquakes and whatnot.
Level 3: Katana Lore
Raises the arms aptitude for Katanas to S. Now your character can gain the highest Attack bonus for Katanas in any job.
Level 4: Squeaky Wheel
Reduces one enemy’s BP by 1; against bosses, the chance of success is 30%. Sacrifice two of your turns to keep the enemy one turn behind.
Level 5: Multitask
When using normal attacks (via the Attack command), there’s a 25% chance of performing an additional attack. Not totally reliable and a bit costly, but if you need an extra attack, you have this option.
Level 6: Counter
When the user is hit by a single-target physical attack, there’s a 60% chance they’ll counter attack the enemy. More reliable than Multitask, but requires your character to be hit.
Level 7: Confuse Immunity
Gives your character immunity to Confuse. A massive help, since Confuse makes your characters ignore you and use random commands instead, which can totally mess up your battle plans.
Level 8: Before Swine
If the user is hit by a magic attack (single or multiple-hitting), they will take half the damage and counter attack to do triple the normal damage to the enemy. Doesn’t work against magic that is reflected. A more powerful version of Nothing Ventured for magic attacks; it’s ace against magic users.
Level 9: Counter Amp
Increases the damage of your counter attacks by 1.5 times; applies for counter attacks other than the Swordmaster’s. Makes abilities like Nothing Ventured, Counter and the Ninja’s Transience hurt harder; extra sweet considering its low cost.
Level 10: Know Thine Enemy
If the user is hit by a single-target physical attack from a selected enemy, they will counter attack to do four times the normal attack to that enemy. Works better against single enemies, such as bosses, and when you use abilities to make the enemy target your Swordmaster, such as the Pirate’s Provoke, Performer‘s Catch Me or Ninja’s Kairai. Just note that you take full damage from the enemy.
Level 11: Redoubled Effort
The higher your BP, the stronger your physical attacks.
- 0 BP or less: No effect
- 1 BP: 1.1 times stronger
- 2 BP: 1.21 times stronger
- 3 BP: 1.33 times stronger
- 4 BP: 1.46 times stronger
To use this ability well, you have to forsake spending BP. Not a problem if you’re using one counter ability per turn.
Level 12: The Worm Turns
If the user is hit by an attack (single or multiple-hitting) when they have less than 20%, they will counter attack to do 7.5 times damage to the enemy. Doesn’t work for reflected magic. Normally, when you have 20% HP, you’re unlikely to survive an extra hit, making this ability very risky. Could be combined with the Freelancer’s Stand Ground for safer results.
Level 13: Slow and Steady
After the character uses Default, their Speed is raised to 150% for two turns. This ability is good for situations where you’ll often be using Default. For instance, you could Default, then next turn Brave to heal twice with increased Speed.
Level 14: Free Lunch
Set MP cost to zero for two turns. It doesn’t take much thinking to realize this ability is amazing. Technically, it’s a waste of a turn, but who cares when you can dish out a string of Amped Strikes or Meteors without a care in the world?
To maximize Free Lunch, you’ll want to gather 3 BP first before Braving three times to use it and three lots of a high-cost ability in one turn. Then on the next turn–the last turn Free Lunch works–unleash four more high-cost abilities. This will leave you well in the red, but the result is usually worth it.