Overview – The main advantage of the Priest job in Final Fantasy Tactics is that it can apply healing and defensive benefits to multiple allies with a single action. The Chemist has a similar set of abilities that cost less and activate more quickly, but can only affect one ally at a time. The Priest becomes more useful as you get further in the game and MP consumption is less of a concern. The following guide to the Priest job in Final Fantasy Tactics will help you best take advantage of the job benefits and spend your job points wisely.
Prerequisites – You need a level 2 Chemist before you can make a Priest. In general, you should make a character has learned Auto Potion from Chemist before switching to this job.
Advancement – A Priest can progress directly to an Oracle once it has reached level 2. Priest level 4 along with Oracle level 4 is also required to create a Calculator. Before creating an Oracle, you should either invest in a lot of Priest skills or a lot of Chemist skills.
Equipment – Priests can equip staves, hats, robes, and clothes. This equipment set is nearly identical to most other spell casting classes, which makes it easy to swap between spell casting classes rather freely.
White Magic: Cure (50 JP) – Cure is a low level healing spell. If this character already has the Potion skill, skip Cure and go straight to Cure 2. Otherwise, this is the first skill a Priest should learn.
White Magic: Cure 2 (180 JP) – Cure 2 heals more than Cure, but also costs nearly twice as many MP. Even in the early game, 10 MP shouldn’t be too high a cost, so this is an excellent early spell, especially when you need to heal a group of characters at the same time.
White Magic: Cure 3 (400 JP) – This spell cures just about the perfect amount of hit points for most of the game. While it is an excellent spell, you shouldn’t bother learning it too early in the game. The 16 MP cost is high for early game and you don’t really need the healing at first. It is also slower to cast than the previous two cure spells.
White Magic: Cure 4 (700 JP) – You will rarely need all the healing available from Cure 4. What you might need is the ability to cure two allies that are vertically 3 square apart and this is the only spell that can do that. You should pick it up eventually, but it is safe to wait until the second half of the game.
White Magic: Raise (180 JP) – It is much better to use Phoenix Down than to use the Raise spell. Raise can fail and has a delay. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t learn this skill, but it isn’t a priority until you have picked up the more generally useful spells.
White Magic: Raise 2 (500 JP) – The big advantage of Raise 2 is that it fully heals the target as well as resurrects, assuming the spell doesn’t fail. That failure rate is once again the problem with this spell and the main reason you shouldn’t bother learning it early in the game.
White Magic: Reraise (800 JP) – This spell is almost infinitely better than Raise. You have to cast it before an ally dies, but it can’t fail and automatically resurrects the ally on death. Once you reach the point that you have enough job points to start considering expensive skills, this should be one of your top priorities.
White Magic: Regen (300 JP) – Regen is one of the best spells in the game. After you have learned Cure and Cure 2, either this, Protect, or Esuna should be your top priority. Regen grants constant healing allies for the remainder of the battle. If is also a much better way to counter Poison than Antidote, Esuna, or Remedy.
White Magic: Protect (70 JP) – This spell is useful throughout the game. It reduces the damage that allies take from physical attacks. Especially in the early portion of the game when many battles have only physical opponents, this is a great way to start a battle and is practically critical during many of the boss battles in the game.
White Magic: Protect 2 (500 JP) – The main advantage of this spell is that it has a vertical component. This usually doesn’t matter because starting areas for you units tend to be flat, but when it does matter, it could be the difference between life and death. You should learn it eventually, but don’t save JP early for it.
White Magic: Shell (70 JP) – Shell works exactly like Protect except that it defends against magic attacks. By the time magic attacks are common, you should easily have 70 spare job points lying around.
White Magic: Shell 2 (500 JP) – Shell 2 is the magic version of Protect 2 and is roughly equally important. By the time you can afford Shell 2, magic is common enough that this spell is slightly more important than Protect 2.
White Magic: Wall (380 JP) – Wall casts both Protect and Shell on a single ally. While it costs twice as many MP, it saves you an action. This is a nearly critical spell once you reach the mid game and you should learn it before Protect 2 or Shell 2.
White Magic: Esuna (280 JP) – Esuna can remove just about every effect in the game, including hard to remove effects like Don’t Act, Don’t Move, and Berserk. It is incredibly expensive in terms of MP, but it can affect multiple targets at once and remove multiple status effects at the same time. You should generally keep a Chemist or a character with the Item skill around for simple status effect removal and only rely on this when you need mass removal.
White Magic: Holy (600 JP) – This should be the last White Magic skill you learn, not because it is bad, but because it has such a high MP cost that you can’t afford to use it until very late in the game. Do not waste job points on this before you even have a character capable of casting this spell.
Reaction: Regenerator (400 JP) – Your Priest gains Regen when attacked. This may sound really good, but Regen after a character has already taken damage often doesn’t heal quickly enough to keep the character alive. This is better if you intend for the character to be a warrior that dabbles in White Magic rather than a spell caster.
Support: Magic DefendUP (400 JP) – Similar to Regenerator, this is a much better skill if you intend for the character to actually be a warrior. The armor that spell casters can wear usually defends rather well against magic. Still, if the only other job this character has been is Chemist, you should learn this skill because it is the best Support option currently available.
Strategy – Priests basically can’t deal damage until they learn the Holy spell and then you will be chugging Hi-Ether like crazy if you want to keep casting that spell. If you make a Priest, you generally want to make sure that at least one of your other characters is completely focused on offense to make up for the loss of damage potential of the Priest. In the early game, Priest and Chemist are nearly identical for the benefits they provide. As such, you may want to switch your Priest to a Chemist occasionally so that you can use White Magic and a gun at the same time. This dynamic changes in the late game and a Priest will often be one of your final characters unless you choose to use Priest abilities through Calculator. If your goal in changing the character to a Priest is simply to move on to Oracle, then make sure you have taught the character some healing skills either from Chemist or Priest before switching classes.