Since there are only 4 characters in "Bravely Default" and they're all almost the same thing with just small stat differences, there's no point in diving into these 4 characters, I'll be doing some standard run downs of all the classes available in the game. Like in most RPGs with customizable party options, different class combinations can really make or break your game. Some are better than others, but all classes are useful for something, which is what I love in this game. Without any further are the classes in "Bravely Default".

*Note that Subclass Rating also includes skills that you can bring over to other classes as a passive.

Class: Freelancer
Traits: Stat Equality, Equipment Diversity, Examine, Flee, JP Up, Mimic
Class Rating: 1/10
Subclass Rating: 7/10

The Freelancer is the starting class of the game, and thus its understandable that it pretty much sucks at almost everything. As a Freelancer, your stats are mediocre throughout, you can equip pretty much anything and everything, but you're not particularly good at using any of the stuff that you have on. Other than that...there's really not much reason for you to stay as a Freelancer throughout the game, at all. Sure you might want to grind it for some of its more useful skills later in the game, but to use Freelancer as your main class? ....No, I see no point to it.

As a subclass however, Freelancer is decent. You'll actually be using it quite a bit early in the game for stuff like Examine and Dungeon master, for dealing with bosses and pesky dungeons. As you level the class up, you get JP up, which is CRUCIAL, for grinding other classes IF you're looking to level up every class (you should). Flee is also wonderful against those loosing ambush battles, provided that your Freelancer sub is still alive. You also get Mimic, which has WONDERFUL synergy with one of the most broken abilities in the game: Performer's My Hero.

Class: Monk
Traits: Highest HP Among Classes, Physical Damage, Unarmed, Ignores Defense
Class Rating: 8/10
Subclass Rating: 7/10

The Monk is probably one of the first classes you get at the start of the game, and fortunately, its a damn good one. The Monk has naturally high HP, and since early in the game, you don't have a lot of choices, the Monk does naturally high damage unarmed, meaning that you won't have to think a lot and the Monk can do decent damage. Thing is, the Monk starts to fall off when you get the other classes as you continue, but if you stick to it, the Monk is pretty strong late into the game. With the proper item and skill set-up, your Monk will be set to destroy with his/her massive physical damage, and as a main class, they are really, really tanky (when combined with Spiritmaster's Maximize HP, you become god).

As a subclass, the Monk has some decent options. More specifically, you'll want 2 skills, Invigorate, which is good, but becomes slightly deteriorated later on, and more importantly, Pressure Point. Pressure Point is a GODLIKE ability that bypasses defensive stats, barriers, and abilities that reduce damage. Chaugmaur won't stand a chance against this move, even with his barrier. Pressure Point is actually one of the legit choices for damage late into the game, and that by itself justifies you to use the Monk as a subclass.

Class: White Mage
Traits: Heals, High Magic Defense, Epic Group Cast (MND scales on heals)
Class Rating: 6/10
Subclass Rating: 7/10

The White Mage is a support class, like we all know. True to its name, the White Mage exists to heal, heal, heal, revive, cure status ailments....and heal. Oh yeah, they can put up defensive buffs as well....wait, that's it? Yeah, that's the extent you're going to get with the White Mage, which is not really a problem actually. They have the Aero skill line and Holy for damage, but otherwise, they are a purely support class, with almost nothing to offer but heals and buffs. If most other games, the White Mage would be invaluable, but here in "Bravely Default", there are a lot of support classes in the game, giving the Whie Mage some competition. As a main class, they work early on, but are outclassed later in the  game.

As a subclass, the White Mage is pretty good because of one obvious reason: they let ANY other class heal. Slap White Mage on top of a Black Mage, he/she becomes a hybrid healer/destroyer type caster. Slap White Mage on anything that runs on MND for that class to become a secondary support type. Hell, sometimes all you need is a character with a White Mage subclass to cover all your healing needs. Its a versatile and useful subclass, you can definitely always rely on it, but it may not always be the most useful when you compare it to other support classes, which is why its only a 7. If you do level the class up though, Epic Group Cast is very powerful and cost efficient late into the game, letting you put skills like Reraise on your entire team instantly.

Class: Black Mage
Traits: Magic Damage, Elemental Damage, Silence Immunity, Pierce M.Def, Status Ailments
Class rating: 7/10
Subclass Rating: 5/10

The Black Mage is what it is. It does magic damage, it inflicts status ailments...and it does a whole lot of nothing else. HOWEVER, the class itself IS great at what it does. Against most enemies with elemental weaknesses, the Black Mage does pull through and can do a great deal of damage at the expense of a lot of mana. Like in most games prior, the Black Mage's damage is not to be sneezed at, early game, it might not be the best, but later in the game, with the right skill set-up, the class does bring a lot of magic damage to the table, even when stacked up with all the other classes available to you. As a main class, it works, since it has the stats needed for great magic damage.

As a subclass though, its hard to justify the Black Mage. Black Resonance is only good if you have multiple people with it on your team, again, this does not justify the skill slots of your allies for the honestly rather meager damage boost. There's not much of a subclass synergy for the Black Mage, unless you want to make your healer into a semi damage dealer, with somewhat piss poor damage compared to the rest of your DPS characters. However, the Black Mage does have some good skills to learn from its tree, more specifically Silence Immunity (amazing for casters) and Pierce M.Def, which works wonders late game against those enemies with godly defense.

Class: Knight
Traits: High Defense, Ally Protection, P.Def 30% Up, Two Handed
Class Rating: 3/10
Subclass Rating: 5/10

I don't like the Knight Class, I'll be frank with you. Unlike the defenders of the "EO" series, in "Bravely Default", the Knight, which exists to serve the same function, pales in comparison. They exist solely to protect their team mates. They have damage options, but they are so pitiful that I'll give you cookies for trying. All the Knights can do is tank it out, they take damage in place of their allies with skills like Protect Ally or Full Cover. 3 GLARING issues with the Knight, One: Only Full Cover is truly useful for protecting allies. Two: Full Cover only blocks physical attacks. Three: the entire class itself has no way to defend the team from AOE attacks. Yeap, there you go, that's the Knight being useless in a nutshell. Unless you go for some full defense build with 2 shields for maximum damage with Super Charge, you won't be able to do much else.

As a subclass, they are also, unfortunately, rather pitiful if your main class is not Swordmaster. I mean, if your main class is not one meant to tank any sort of damage whatsoever, then chances are the Knight's Kit isn't going to do jack shit for you. Its going to suck, painfully, you will die trying to protect your team. HOWEVER, its not the end of the world for the Knight Class. They do have one saving grace: P.Def 30% Up. This skill is great for the squishier classes out there that need a little bit of beef in their survivability. And who could forget Two Handed, the bread and butter skill for most damage classes. Two Handed increases your damage output by quite a nice bit...its great that way.

Class: Thief
Traits: High Speed, High Dex, Steal Items, Life Steal, Physical Damage, Ignores Defense, Speed 30% Up
Class Rating: 7/10
Subclass Rating: 5/10

I actually quite like the Thief class in this game. The Thief class is obtained rather early into the game, and for such an early game class, they've got some sickening damage, especially with the bow. They are also the first class in the game with high amount of dex, allowing your character to go for some high, multi-hitting attacks, as well as beautiful critical hits. For the damage department, they've got you covered for the early game. Sure, they fall off about mid game, but when they get Godspeed Strike AND you have a proper, speedy item set, you're going to be hitting pretty f**king hard (GodSpeed Strike ignores defense). Plus, they can steal (a nice bonus) and  HEAL themselves through Life Thief (always great to be able to heal yourself without your healer's help).

While the Thief is pretty good as a main class, they aren't so hot as a subclass. When you pick a Thief Subclass, all you're bringing to the table is the ability to steal (not really useful in intense battles) and Godspeed Strike. The latter is really all you want if you're going for the Thief subclass, but honestly, its only worth it if you have godly speed, which most classes don't offer. You also have the Speed 30% Up skill that you can slap to some of your other slower classes, which really does matter if you think about it (you'd really want your healer going first sometimes, don't you?).

Class: Merhcant
Traits: More Money
Class Rating: 3/10
Subclass Rating: 2/10

I honestly detest this job because its so freaking useless unless you're willing to throw away alllllllll the freaking money that you have on you. If you're willing to throw money at your enemies, don't get me wrong, the Merchant is a pretty good class (the only reason why its not a 1), with skills like Takeover and Payoff. Hell, Takeover is actually a wonderful way to buy your way out of boss fights through PG, but always note that you could have just used that money to buy better stuff for your team. Not even a good class by any means unless your goal is to buy your way out of every battle, you'll be at a net loss before you know it.

As a subclass....don't even think about it. Its the same affair of spending money to actually has no synergy with almost every other class in the game, putting it at quite a sad spot. Sure, you can use the merchant to milk money out of monsters for a farming exploit, but that's about it, in an actual battle, you're toast if you don't throw all your money at the dude. The only reason why the subclass rating isn't a 1, again, is because of More Money. Throw this baby on 4 of your guys for maximum cash expenditure, which is great for saving time when you don't want to grind for the best stuff.

Class: Spell Fencer
Traits: Stat Equality, Elemental Damage, Physical damage
Class Rating: 5/10
Subclass Rating: 7/10

The Spell Fencer is a pretty versatile class, and is especially quite effective in the early stages in the game. You get the Spell Fencer rather early on, which is great because as a main class that's where it shines. The Spell Fencer specializes in adding elemental damage to your physical weapon, allowing you for some sick damage output against an enemy that is weak to the element that you applied to your sword. This is surprisingly good early on, and even though the Spell Fencer has no damage skills, having your Spell Fencer attack multiple times with an enemy weak to your element, your damage is not to be trifled with. Late game though, your damage drops, HARD, compared to what other classes provide, so...its time to switch.

The Spell Fencer might not work so hot as a main class late game, but as a subclass, I actually do like it. There are plenty of physical damage classes late into the game, and you've got plenty of ways to do tons of damage with the various magical enchantments that the Spell Fencer provides. Imagine Valkyrie + Spell Fencer + Super Jump. Yeah...that's a shit load of damage if the enemy is weak to the element that you've put on your spear. What about drain on a precision fighter dual wielding ninja? You're pretty much full health at all times since you immediately drain to full without effort. The synergy is real, and the subclass dream is there if you want to play with it.

Class: Time Mage
Traits: Speed Manipulation, Reraise, Magic Damage, M.Attack 30% Up
Class Rating: 8/10
Subclass Rating: 7/10

The Time Mage is SO FUN. You've got SO MUCH to play around with as long as you've got a Time Mage on your team, and believe me when I say the Time Mage is super effective against boss battles. They excel at playing around with speed. Hastes and slows galore, they even bring stop to the table, which is a godsend if it connects on bosses. They also have some magic damage with the Quake spell line, and later into the game, Meteor, which does a ridiculous amount of damage (albeit that the costs are insane). Early on, they aren't the best, but as you approach mid-late game and get some of the better skills, you'll see that the Time Mage is actually a valuable asset to your team against bosses. Reraise late into the game pretty much guarantees a second chance, combine that with Epic Group Cast for a fun time.

Even as a subclass, the Time Mage isn't too shabby. Because most of the Time Mage abilities don't actually scale on anything (you're playing with speed, there are no numbers), it actually works well as a subclass more than anything. Albeit, it only works as a support class, because you are bringing no damage to your table if you're slapping Time Mage onto a class with zero magic scaling. If you don't already have a Time Mage on your team, a subclass Time Mage works if you slap it on a support character, like a White Mage or something, put up some hastes or Reraises if you have nothing to do. That and you get M.Attack 30% Up, which works very well on magic damage classes.

Class: Ranger
Traits: Physical Damage, Ignores Default, Hawkeye, Precision
Class Rating: 6/10
Subclass Rating: 5/10

 The Ranger is actually in quite a weird spot. You get the class itself in the early-mid game, and during that point in the game, if you've invested into the Thief class, you'll find the Ranger somewhat similar, albeit they have lousier stats. The Ranger does a good amount of damage since Bows are a particularly powerful weapon early on, and throughout the game, I'd say that they are the most consistent. Their damage is mediocre-moderate throughout, and they don't really get much that boosts their damage until WAY later on, then they get Multiburst. Even then, Multiburst isn't the best skill late game, since there are better options out there. If you ask me, Ranger is more of a early-mid game class, they get outscaled later on.

As a subclass, the Ranger doesn't offer much except for a few minor abilities that are only useful to some other classes. For one, you'll get a lot of abilities that are good for killing monster archetypes, but since mos of the bosses are human types...these abilities are not very useful. Targeting is okay early on, but useless late game. You also get Multiburst, but that's not saying much as you have a lot better options later in the game. Hawkeye and Precision work for classes with high DEX builds (especially amazing on Ninja).

Class: Summoner
Traits: AOE Clear, Magic Damage
Class Rating: 4/10
Subclass Rating: 2/10

The Summoner is too impractical of a class to even work. Its a class that specializes in dealing magic damage. Its good that we have more magic damage classes...but how does the Summoner even work? They specialize in heavy AOE magic damage summons that cost a boatload of mana. In all honesty, you're never going to use this, its too impractical. You're going to need HEAVY mana management to make the Summoner work, and even then, something else would be better. They are very good against bosses with multiple enemies at once, but very inefficient against single target bosses. That being said though, their damage can be quite good, so there's that. Multiple summoners against the end game boss gauntlet is OKAY, but there are better, more consistent options.

As a subclass, the Summoner is probably one of the worst ones out there. Once again, they exist solely for damage, and you'll need the likes of summoning amp to make the summons stronger. The mana management is DREADFUL, even as a subclass. Running something like Free Lunch + 3 x Susasno-oh is okay, but as mentioned above, you'll need to be up against an AOE boss team for that to work. EVEN THEN, if you're playing for summon damage, you might as well use it as a main class. The only reason its not a 2 is that you can slap Summoner on a support class, have them pull out some damage when your team is full HP and all buffs are up.

Class: Valkyrie
Traits: Physical Damage, Airborne Immunity, Pierce Default
Class Rating: 7/10
Subclass Rating: 6/10

Valkyrie is ridiculously strong in the mid game, that much I cannot deny. When you get it, it might not be the best thing ever, but put a few levels into it and you'll most definitely see the results. They deal OBSCENE damage while being decently tanky. And since they can play around with their airborne immunity, there are plenty of turns where they take no damage at all. Give them some speedy equipment and watch them perma-jump every single boss to oblivion. They've got plenty of solid damage dealing methods, and their synergies with other subclasses can be quite phenomenal (amazing with Spell Fencer). Late into the game, their damage game is slowed down in comparison to other classes, but their immunity into the air still makes them a strong choice.

As a subclass the Valkyrie isn't bad. It certainly works with a fair share of many other classes in the game, albeit that the Valkyrie has a lot of abilities that require you to be using a spear. Slap on Spear Lore and watch your Ninjas, Spell Fencers or Dark Knights do ALLLLL the work. Especially on something like the Ninja, with such speed, you can pretty much become untargettable in the most cheese-tactic strategy in all of RPG history. Plus, as mentioned, skills like Judgement are really universal, with the damage that it can put out.

End Of Part 1