Overview – The Oracle in Final Fantasy Tactics casts a large number of eclectic spells, many of which have effects that no other skill or spell in the game mimics. The unique benefits are great, but it is a job that you rarely want more than one character to ever take skills from and isn’t particularly good at helping your party win battles quickly. Instead, it is a job that applies status effects that control the flow of battle. The following guide to the Oracle job in Final Fantasy Tactics will help you best take advantage of the job benefits and spend your job points wisely.
Prerequisites – In order to unlock Oracle you need a level 2 Priest. Unfortunately, neither Priest nor Chemist, the prerequisite for Priest, possesses offensive abilities, so your Oracle will be severely limited in offense unless you also had the character dabble in Wizard briefly before becoming an Oracle.
Advancement – A level 2 Oracle is required to unlock the Mediator job. Due to the lack of offense of an Oracle, you might want to quickly advance an Oracle to a Mediator, learn Equip Gun, and then return to Oracle after that.
Equipment – Oracles can equip sticks, rods, dictionaries, staves, hats, robes, and clothes. This equipment set is nearly identical to most other spell casting jobs, which makes it easy to swap between spell casting jobs rather freely.
Yin-Yang Magic: Blind (100 JP) – Darkness is absolutely brutal against warriors. By the time you unlock Oracle, spell casters will be relatively common in battles, which means this skill is only modestly useful, rather than amazing. You should learn it early, but not necessarily first.
Yin-Yang Magic: Spell Absorb (200 JP) – If your Oracle has any magic as a secondary skill, this is the first ability the character should learn. It will drain MP from an enemy and grant that MP to the Oracle. The ability to recover MP is amazing and nearly critical for any dual casting character.
Yin-Yang Magic: Life Drain (350 JP) – Life Drain damages an enemy and heals the Oracle. The damage isn’t particularly high, but the reason to get this spell is the healing benefit. If your Oracle can’t already heal with either White Magic or Item skill, this should be one of the first skills your Oracle learns.
Yin-Yang Magic: Pray Faith (400 JP) – Pray Faith grants the Faith effect to a character. The exact benefits are varied, but the main benefit is that the character takes massively reduced damage from magic. This is very helpful in the second half of the game, but Shell from White Magic is a better option in the early game.
Yin-Yang Magic: Doubt Faith (400 JP) – Effectively, this can make a character incredibly susceptible to magic. Combine this with either Black Magic or Yin-Yang spells which cause status effects and you have a nasty combination. While the combination is nice, the spell is usually not worth the MP in the early portion of the game.
Yin-Yang Magic: Zombie (300 JP) – The Undead status makes a character incapable of being healed. This is devastating against your party, but rarely is meaningful against enemies. In general it is more effective to kill the healer than to try to cast Zombie on the target of the healing.
Yin-Yang Magic: Silence Song (170 JP) – At about the time you unlock Oracle spell casters are becoming a rather formidable nuisance in the game. As such, Silence Song should one of the first skills that your Oracle learns. It will pretty much completely neutralize a spell caster with just a single spell.
Yin-Yang Magic: Blind Rage (400 JP) – Blind Rage costs more job points than Silence Song and only affects one target. This pretty much makes it a waste of JP. The best use for this spell is neutralizing spell casters. Don’t bother spending job points on this until you have picked up almost every other spell and skill.
Yin-Yang Magic: Foxbird (200 JP) – There are two main uses for Foxbird. First, you can use this spell to lower the Brave of an ally with the Move-Item Find skill. This will increase the chance of finding good items. If you use it this way, be careful not to lower the Brave to less than 10. Second, if an enemy has a counterattack or avoidance ability that constantly activates, Foxbird will decrease the activation rate by lowering Brave. The second use is nearly critical in some battles, so this is a skill that you should prioritize on an Oracle.
Yin-Yang Magic: Confusion Song (400 JP) – Confusion is just too expensive to be a good deal. If you keep a character an Oracle for long time you should eventually learn the skill, but it is not a priority.
Yin-Yang Magic: Dispel Magic (700 JP) – The moment that your Oracle has at least 34 MP, the Oracle should learn this spell. It is the only skill or spell in the game that can remove Reflect. It also removes a host of other beneficial status effects on the target, but the Reflect is the critical effect to remove because otherwise the enemy is all but immune to spells.
Yin-Yang Magic: Paralyze (100 JP) – Don’t Act is like Stop, except the target can move around. Paralyze may not always succeed, but when it does, enemies are effectively neutralized. The spell is so cheap both in terms of MP and JP that your Oracle should learn it early, possibly even as the first spell the Oracle learns.
Yin-Yang Magic: Sleep (350 JP) – Sleep is a weaker version of Stop, because damage ends the effect. Additionally, this spell has a very high MP cost. If a character remains an Oracle for a very long time, this is worth learning just a little before Confusion song, but it is not a priority.
Yin-Yang Magic: Petrify (600 JP) – Petrify is about as important as Sleep. The spell has a better effect and costs less MP, but it costs more JP and only affects one target. Those details roughly balance out.
Reaction: Absorb MP Used (250 JP) – When an enemy uses a spell on your Oracle, your Oracle gains MP equal to what the enemy spent. Since you have no control over whether this will happen in a battle or when it will happen, this is unlikely to be useful in a majority of cases. This is particularly weak since Oracles have the Spell Absorb spell.
Support: Defense UP (400 JP) – Defense UP seems like a good skill, but has roughly the same flaw as any defense boosting skill does for spell casters. Auto Potion is just a better option in the vast majority of situations. If for some reason a character hasn’t learned Auto Potion, then this is a good skill to protect against Archers.
Move: Any Weather (200 JP) – The only reason to take this skill is because neither Priest nor Chemist offered a better skill for increasing mobility. There is no reason to learn it early unless you have absolutely no use for Yin-Yang Magic.
Move: Move-MP Up (350 JP) – The one minor benefit to this skill is that it will always give your character enough MP to cast Spell Absorb after moving. Beyond that, the MP recovery is low enough that it simply isn’t very useful, especially if the character has Spell Absorb. If you skipped Spell Absorb and the character has actual spell casting jobs, as opposed to Chemist, this may matter over the course of a long battle.
Strategy – Battles simply take longer when you employ an Oracle, because the Oracle almost never deals damage directly. This doesn’t have to be true if you build a character in a certain way, but it is generally true. An Oracle with Black Magic actually is rather offensive, being able to cast attack spells, recover MP, and lower the Faith of enemies. But, the average Oracle build simply cripples the enemy’s ability to fight back. This doesn’t speed up a battle, but significantly decreases the damage your party takes while fighting. Since your Oracle is almost certain to have some sort of healing powers as well as Yin-Yang Magic, you should treat your oracle as a purely support character and expect the rest of your party to deal damage.