In Ni No Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch, one of the many ways you can improve your hero Oliver is with Merit Awards. You obtain Merit Awards by purchasing them from Swift Solutions with completed Merit Stamp Cards. To complete Merit Stamp Cards, you need to perform errands and complete bounties. The game is designed so that you can only possibly earn exactly enough Merit Stamp Cards to purchase every Merit Award once. And since some Merit Stamp Cards can only be completed after you finish the game, it is important to purchase optimal rewards first. Each of the Merit Awards belongs to one of three tiers and you must buy all of one tier before you unlock the next tier. The following guide to Merit Awards in Ni No Kuni will help you make the optimal purchases.
Jumping Jack (Tier 1 / 1 Card / F) – You are required to buy this before you can unlock Tier 2 options, but that is the only reason to buy it. Jumping gives you no meaningful mechanical advantage.
Jack Be Nimble (Tier 1 / 1 Card / B+) – Moving around faster on the overworld makes it easier to avoid enemies when you don’t want to fight and easier to ambush enemies when you want to fight.
Little Jack Horner (Tier 1 / 1 Card / C) – Little Jack Horner will occasionally cause you to get extra items when you search a foraging location. The ability is useful once you unlock alchemy. But until then, it is pretty meaningless.
Jack-in-the-Box (Tier 1 / 1 Card / C-) – Effectively, this Merit Award is roughly half as good as Jack Be Nimble. It makes it easier for you to sneak up on enemies. Moving more quickly also gives you that benefit, just in a different way.
Jackpot (Tier 1 / 2 Cards / A+) – You should almost certainly purchase this Merit Award first. It makes glims more likely to appear during battle. Extra healing and magic points is a great advantage that is easily worth two Merit Stamp Cards.
Jolly Jack-Tar (Tier 1 / 1 Card / C+) – Arguably the value of this ability is entirely dependent on how patient you are. If you don’t mind a longer sea voyage, then it isn’t as valuable. If you want to get to the plot faster, it is much more valuable. Obviously, it is worthless until you get a ship.
Cheapjack (Tier 2 / 3 Cards / B+) – Money isn’t too hard to acquire in this game and the minor discount will only save you a few battles. Effectively, all this Merit Award does is save you time.
Crackerjack (Tier 2 / 3 Cards / A) – Crackerjack is another ability that effectively just saves you time. The difference is that experience is a little slower to acquire than money and generally more useful in the long run.
Jack-o’-Lantern (Tier 2 / 3 Cards / A+) – There are a lot of items in this game that you can only acquire, or primarily acquire, from fighting enemies. This Merit Award makes enemies drop items a little more commonly. You want to acquire this as early as possible to get great items.
Jackpot II (Tier 2 / 3 Cards / C) – At the end of battles, you will automatically collect any glims still present on the field. This assures you don’t miss any, but is mostly meaningless since you can move around for a second or two at the end of battle and collect them anyway.
Jack-at-a-Pinch (Tier 2 / 3 Cards / D-) – Normally you lose 10% of your money when you are defeated in battle. With this ability you lose less. That might matter in a more difficult game, but it nearly impossible to lose at this game, even playing at normal difficulty.
Flapjack (Tier 2 / 2 Cards / C-) – This is another speed boosting Merit Award, but this one is for your flying speed. If you are impatient you may care more about it, but it doesn’t really offer a great benefit and it is meaningless until you obtain Tengri.
Jack of Hearts (Tier 3 / 4 Cards / C-) – If you are a completionist this Merit Award will matter a lot to you. But if you aren’t, it is underpowered. It makes monsters more likely to join you as a familiar. If you could get this earlier in the game it would be really useful. But, by the time you have access to it, you probably already have a good set of familiars and don’t need a slight increase in collecting more.
Jack-Amend-All (Tier 3 / 4 Cards / B) – As previously noted, the game is not that difficult, so improving healing at this point in the game isn’t that big a deal. But, if you are having difficulty, this ability will heal Oliver while you walk around the overworld. The main benefit of this is to save magic points that you would otherwise spend on healing.
Crackerjack II (Tier 3 / 4 Cards / B) – Having already gained an increase in experience gain, a second one is effectively diminishing returns. It still saves you time, though, so it isn’t terrible.
Jack-of-all-Trades (Tier 3 / 5 Cards / A) – Magic points are always in short supply in this game, especially given the high cost of familiar tricks. This Merit Award decreases the cost of everything that costs magic points. It is nearly the best Merit Award in the game.
Jack-o’-Lantern II (Tier 3 / 5 Cards / A+) – This may technically offer diminishing returns since you already have the previous version of this ability, but that is still great returns. If you want rare items, purchase this ability as quickly as possible.
Jack the Giant Killer (Tier 3 / 8 Cards / A+) – Jack the Giant Killer increases the hit points and magic points of Oliver by 100 each. The hit point increase is rather trivial at this point in the game, but the magic point increase is amazing. It is a difficult decision whether to purchase this ability or Jack-o’-Lantern II first, but one of the two should be your first purchase for tier 3 abilities.