Class: Red Mage
Traits: Magic Versatility, BP Manipulation
Class Rating: 3/10
Subclass Rating: 6/10

The Red Mage sounds like a good class on paper. That is, until you realize how fundamentally confused this class actually is as a main. Red Mages have access to both Black and White Magic, yes this is good, but then you only get up to level 4 on both. At level 4 magic for both black and white, you're missing some of the CRUCIAL late game spells that can change the tides of a fight. As a result, there isn't much of a point to using the Red Mage if you're in need of any sort of burst damage or burst healing (which is kind of the point you're using mages in the first place). Their stats are also all over the place, excelling in neither INT or MND, their heals and damage spells will be subpar when compared to your real mages. They can play around with BP really well (which their only redeeming quality), but they are generally quite squishy, meaning that they die while trying to play around with their BP.

While the Red Mage blows as a main class, they aren't exactly great as a subclass either. You really don't gain anything with your puny leverage of Black/White magic, so they kind of suck as either a form of support or damage. HOWEVER, don't write them off just yet, they have good skills to pass on to other classes that can MILK the living shit out of the BP mechanics that the Red Mage skills provide. Ninja's abuse Turn Tables with Utsusemi, Revenge and Revival are amazing on tank classes that thrive on soaking damage (Knights, Templars, Swordmasters), and In The Red is great for magic damage dealing classes late game IF you can manage BP well.

Class: Salve Maker
Traits: Compounding, Healing, Magic Damage, Resurrect
Class Rating: 8/10
Subclass Rating: 10/10

This is it. The Salve Maker is one of the best classes in the game to invest into. If you've Norende in the higher levels, the Salve Maker actually becomes one of the most versatile classes in the game, both in the healing and damage department. As long as you've got materials, the Salve Maker provides you with EVERYTHING that you could ever ask for, even more so than the shitty Merchant trying to throw money at enemies. Sure, there's a massive list of Compounding combinations to look up, but if you've got the important ones memorized, you could be dishing out massive damage, healing your team for tons, or giving your team ridiculous buffs and boosts. They may not be the tankiest class out there, but like most teams, make sure they are topped up at all times and you've got yourself a very powerful addition to your team. Plus Resurrect, a full team revive + 25% heal with NO EXTRA COST? Yes please.

That being said, the only reason why the Salve Maker doesn't score higher as a main class is because with it as a subclass, you can do EXACTLY THE SAME THING. That is the absolute BEAUTY of the Salve Maker, it fills up the roles of an offensive damage dealer, a healer, or a support type buff character, ALL IN ONE. That being said, you can toss Salve Maker pretty much onto ANYTHING. A Ninja for speedy heals in a pinch, a White Mage for some good damage or buffs if your team is full HP, or a Knight/Templar for damage if you've already laid out the defenses. They are absolutely amazing on almost everything, as usual though, make sure you have the ingredients, then you're gold throughout.

Class: Performer
Traits: Party Wide Buffs, BP Manipulation
Class Rating: 9/10
Subclass Rating: 9/10

This may just be me, but I find the Performer to be one of the most broken piece of shit classes in the game. Sure the Salve Maker may just be wonderful all in all, but you need ingredients. The Performer is just sickening when you hit late game...with the right set ups. You can immediately shoot your team up to ridiculous levels of strong with their party wide buffs. Damage, defense. speed. magic, magic name it, these guys can put it out on your entire team in 1 turn. Hell, if you rush 4 actions in a single turn you can get your party to Max ATK and DEF, in just that one turn. However, that's not all they can do, they can draw aggro, give them a set-up with high evasion and you have an easy time. PLUS, BP manipulation via skills like One More For You or My Hero give your team LOTS of leeway. With mimic, the Performer is unstoppable.

They are amazing as a solo class, but as a subclass, they are pretty damn awesome as well. As mentioned, their buffs are amazing, and you can slap them on anyone else because these buffs do not scale. Yes, you can pretty much put them on anyone, and that's the beauty of it, very much like other non scaling classes such as the Salve Maker. However, My Hero tends to be better if used last, so Performer is exceptionally good on slower classes. They provide no damage, but they sure as hell help the other classes do what they need to do, SO MUCH better.

Class: Pirate
Traits: Physical Damage, Debuffs
Class Rating: 8/10
Subclass Rating: 3/10

Pirates are a quick, one way ticket to dealing tons and tons of physical damage. They have some of the highest single target damage in the game. They are obtained somewhere around mid game, but its somewhere towards the end where they truly shine. They have various methods to wear the enemy down with their good amount of debuff abilities. They can strip down physical defense, magic defense, or even decrease their damage for an easier time. Then when its time for them to lay down the hurt, they have stuff like Torrent or Amped strike, which can very, very easily hit the 9999 limit. Provided though, that you have good mana management (Free Lunch Strike is a popular option for the Pirate). One of the very viable damage classes late game, but no the best.

The Pirates are strong on their own, but as a subclass, I'd say otherwise. Their skill set really only works for themselves, dealing massive amounts of physical damage and debuffing their enemies so that they can do even MORE damage. However, not many classes have the physical attack power of a Pirate, so not many classes can make the full use of its high damage kit. If you want to slap it on as a subclass, I'd say that the only thing that they have going for you, is the fact that their attacks slap on debuffs. Actually, they are one of the only few classes in the game with debuffs, so you can weaken the enemy during your idle turns.

Class: Ninja
Traits: High Speed, High Dex, Evasion Tactics, Dual Wield, Frenetic Fighting
Class Rating: 8/10
Subclass Rating: 5/10

Ninja's are massive power spikes to your team the moment you gain access to them. They deal great damage mid-game, and with little effort, their damage can skyrocket to absolutely ridiculous amounts. They have trouble against high defense enemies, but otherwise, they are a very BP efficient class and they can do quite a good deal of damage if you have debuffs set up on the enemy. Late into the game with the proper equipment and skill set up (Frenetic Fighting, Hawkeye, Precision, Ikkikasei), your Ninjas can hit for easy 9999 x 2 for a single action, with 3 BP that's an easy 750000+ damage. For added effect, a spell fencer subclass for weakness application works wonders. Other than having great damage, they also play around with their various evasion skills for counters and even extra BP management with skills like Turn Tables.

Ninja's are an amazing source of damage as a main class, as a subclass however, they are quite situational. Having a Ninjutstu as your sub command, you have skills like Utsusemi, Kairai and Shunshin at your disposal, all of these play with evasion. If you put these into context, you have a very safe set of skills to make sure you survive fights, but you'll be wasting turns into making them work. IMO the best way to make use of a Ninja subclass is for a tank class (best for Swordmaster), as they can draw attention with Kairai. Otherwise, they have Dual Wield, which works for SOME classes (generally Two Handed is better), and Frenetic Fighting, which is amazing for high speed classes.

Class: Swordmaster
Traits: Counters, Physical Damage, Free Lunch
Class Rating: 5/10
Subclass Rating: 7/10

The Swordmaster is a fun class. Yes, its fun, its oh so fun to play and to build. But is it effective? Not really. The Swordmaster is a tank/DPS class hybrid that wants people to hit them. Yes, get your masochistic Agnes/Edea out there, have them take all the pain, and then watch them dish it back out in return. The Swordmaster plays around counters, which is a very iffy mechanic to rely on. If you are not hit, then you will dish out ANY damage at've just wasted a turn. And since you revolve around trying to get people to hit you, you need to be somewhat tanky, and not to worry, the Swordmaster tanks decently well. Do know that if you die you don't get to hit back at all. Trying to risk turns trying to get enemies to hit you is never logical, especially with 4 members still alive. Unless you have a Ninja to direct attention to you via Kairai, you're a sitting duck with no damage. Make no mistake, when you deal damage as a Swordmaster, you deal damage in BULK, your damage is insane, but other classes can deal that damage easier without so much effort.

As a subclass, they suffer the same issue: counters. Their kit revolves around countering, meaning you'll be wanting people to hit you. For other tank classes like the Knight, this works with skills like Protect Ally or Full Cover, but for most other classes, its not very useful. There is however, one ability that is invaluable to most classes: Free Lunch. No mana cost for 2 turns is UNBELIEVABLY good for many of the main DPS classes in the game. Imagine, no mana costs for skills like Amped Strike or Meteor can really crank up the damage game against your opponent. Still skill alone makes the Swordmaster subclass a rather tempting one.

Class: Arcanist
Traits: Magic Damage, Status Ailments, Black Magic Amp, Sacrifice, Convergence, Max Black Magic
Class Rating: 8/10
Subclass Rating: 5/10

The Arcanist are the better alternative for Black Mages. If you're playing a Black Mage and you've just unlocked the Arcanist: its time to switch. The Arcanist can deal more damage then the Black Mage, just slap Black Mage subclass onto them and watch them do damage. Their kit revolves around playing with status ailments, which I'm not too much of a fan of. They also tend to have abilities that deal dark damage to their opponents, which also scales off magic, which works. However, to get the Arcanist to work as you want it to, you pretty much almost ALWAYS have to set a Black Mage subclass, which hurts your options. If you're fine with that, you'll definitely go quite far with the Arcanist.

As a subclass, they function well only for the Black Mage because they rely so much on status ailments. Coincidentally, their passive brought over abilities, while amazing, only work well for the Black Mage or any coherent classes that want to use Black Magic. If you stick all of the classes passives together, you've got one heck of a powerful black magic truck caster. The damage can get rather obscene, but you'll need to choose wisely, you can't fit everything into your skill slots.

Class: Spiritmaster
Traits: Heals, Ailment Immunity, Damage Immunity, Holy One, Maximize HP
Class Rating: 7/10
Subclass Rating: 7/10

Like how the Arcanist is the upgraded version of the Black Mage, Spiritmaster is the better White Mage. Any sort of heals that your Spiritmaster throws going to be absolutely massive. Unlike the White Mage where you're going to be idle for a few turns because your team does not need healing, the Spiritmaster will almost always be busy. They can set up their team with buffs and put up all sorts of immunities on your team. You name it, damage immunity, ailment immunity, elemental damage immunity...the Spiritmaster will make things easy for your turn. However, they are hard to use, with many of their key skills costing a lot of BP to use. They are certainly a handy support class to have on your team.

As a subclass, the Spiritmaster is also very effective. Like most classes with abilities that don't scale, the Spiritmaster doesn't have scaling abilities, so they can easily be slapped onto other classes, like say a Ninja for emergency Stillness when your team is in a pinch. They can be attached to many classes, and that versatility makes it oh-so wonderful. To make things even better they have 2 wonderful passive abilities in the form of Holy One and Maximize HP. Holy One increases your recovery magic's effectiveness by 2.5 times, on a White Mage or any subclass with healing magic, this is absolutely massive. Maximize HP doubles your effective max HP in battle, perfect for Monks or Dark Knights, with their HP shooting to about 18-19K.

Class: Templar
Traits: High Defense, Rampart, Armor Lore, BP Limit Up
Class Rating: 5/10
Subclass Rating: 5/10

The Templar is a really weird class IMO. It serves as a tank AND a damage dealer, and as we all know, we can't have a class that's too good at everything. The Templar has both tankiness and damage, but it lacks the protection of the Knight and its damage is rather pitiful, to be perfectly honest. For a mid-late game class the Templar honestly does not offer much with its measly damage, and the class's only good defensive ability is Rampart, even then, that thing costs 2 BP. Also, that thing only blocks physical attacks. Even late into the game, the Templar is only situational, with little form of damage or defensive options.

As a subclass, the Templar doesn't function too well either. It fits for a defensive class who wants to further increase their defensive option with Rampart, or just with something like the Spiritmaster, then they can provide both magic damage and physical damage immunity. All in all, that's about it, since the Templar's damage options are so pathetic. Then you've got BP Limit Up, which is a godsend to classes who tend to stack BP (Swordmaster, Spiritmaster), and Armor Lore, which is the only lore ability I'm going to list. Because Armor is a godsend, and having everybody get the most out of their defense by equipping armors is just amazing.

Class: Dark Knight
Traits: Physical Damage, P.ATK Up 30%, Helm Lore
Class Rating: 8/10
Subclass Rating: 4/10

Dark Knight is the suicidal class in the game, and this thing just might work. When it comes to dealing damage to bosses, the Dark Knight is actually one of the most viable choices that the game has to offer. Their damage is crazy good, we all know, you will be killing yourself in exchange for damage. There is an easy way to bypass this with the Spell Fencer Subclass spell drain, with that in mind, the Dark Knight class becomes extremely effective with a buttload of damage boosts. Dark Bane and Black Bane suddenly become very manageable abilities with Drain, and you'll be able to sustain through Rage, one of the best damage skills in the game for its cost. 6.25 times damage with 5 Dark Banes is rather insane.

As a subclass though, the Dark Knight honestly isn't too hot. All of their skills require them to kill themselves, and honestly, not many classes in the game would want to wound themselves just for damage, considering that some of them can do more damage with their own class skills that DON'T require them to kill themselves. With that in mind, the Dark Knight does set up for some good synergy with classes like Swordmaster, and they have 2 good skills to pass down, P.ATK Up 30% and Helm Lore. The former is amazing for physical damage dealers to exert their damage dominance, while the latter gives you defense, which is always nice to have.

Class: Vampire
Traits: Genome, Healing, Magical Damage, Physical Damage, Life Steal
Class Rating: 10/10
Subclass Rating: 9/10

This class is so f**king ridiculous. The Vampire is just all sorts of broken in so many ways because of one reason: they are hands down the hardest class to make the strongest. Genome has you flying around the entire world hunting for monster abilities to add to your list, but when you have every monster ability in the is oh-so satisfying. Trust me, the payoff is insane, you'll end up with the most badass character in your party. A damage dealing, self healing, support hybrid caster badass with a swag-tastic outfit is your final result. A Vampire with all of his/her key abilities is just a slaughtering machine that can support your party at the same time. Fireball ignores defense and does good damage. White Wind is a disgusting good heal. The Ja spells are EXCLUSIVE to vampires too. Feeling tempted yet? Just be prepared to grind for hours looking for all those abilities.

Because of their massive pool of abilities and sheer versatility, the Vampire is generally a really good class to have as a sub. However, unlike lets say, the Salve Maker, for example, the Vampire's ability pool actually scales according to stats, so its not always perfect on every class. It gets a very close 9 because many of its abilities work well on most classes, but it doesn't work on EVERY class. White Wind is a great heal on tanky classes, and many more. As long as you've Genomed everything, you can add everything, to your list of options in a battle, that is always sweet.

Class: Conjurer
Traits: Invocation, Obliterate
Class Rating: 5/10
Subclass Rating: 9/10

The Conjurer is a very subjective class to have on your team as a main. By itself, it brings almost no damage to the field because its entire active ability pool is based on buffing itself, but it has very good stats for a caster (can function with something like a Black Mage Subclass). The Invocations that it provides are AMAZING, allowing you to boost your stats to insane levels, provided that you have the summons. Of course, by itself, its useless, you're going to want a subclass that lets you do damage for this to actually work, for that, it kind of hurts the score. Slap an offensive subclass on it and watch it go to work, otherwise, being a subclass is what the Conjurer excels at.

This is where things get fun. Like some of the classes that get high subclass scores, the Conjurer does well here because Invocations do not scale. Anyone can use them, and depending on your class, these invocations can really kick some serious ass. Massive defense boosts, damage boosts or speed boosts are always welcome, and unlike the boosts from other support classes, the boosts you get from invocations get good quickly (most hit 150% with one cast). You can slap Conjurer on any class as a sub and it would most probably do well with the buffs. Plus, it gets Obliterate, a skill that instantly ends normal encounters if your levels are high enough, which means grind city is a coming.


That's all for the unique classes of "Bravely Default". There are so many combinations you can mess around with, which is what makes this game so darn fun. I hope you enjoyed the readup as much as I did the writing.