A common mechanic in tactical role playing games is the ability to recruit monsters to your party. Final Fantasy Tactics is no exception to this rule. The Ahriman monster type in Final Fantasy Tactics is extremely mobile and behaves very similar to a human with the Oracle job. In general, you will prefer to use a human character as a support character, but most human support characters don’t have good mobility. That difference makes the advanced versions of the Ahriman a solid choice in some battles. The following guide to Ahrimans in Final Fantasy Tactics will help you optimally use this monster in your party.
How to Acquire – You can acquire Ahrimans at Zirekile Falls, Grog Hill, or Fovoham Plains.
Innate Ability: Counter (All) – All monsters have the ability to counterattack. Ahriman physical damage is pathetic, so this benefit doesn’t really help much.
Innate Ability: Weak to Ice (All) – Enemy casters commonly use ice magic, so this weakness is particularly concerning. Add that to the fact that Ahrimans have very low hit points and this weakness could allow an enemy to one-shot your monster. Use that mobility to keep an Ahriman out of range of any caster with ice magic.
Innate Ability: Half Wind (All) – Wind damage is incredibly rare in this game, so this benefit will almost never come up. You might as well pretend it doesn’t exist.
Innate Ability: Can’t Enter Water (All) – Ahrimans can never enter a square with water. This limitation isn’t too bad since they have a very high movement speed and can usually go around any water easily enough.
Innate Ability: Fly (All) – An Ahriman ignores all movement penalties, can pass through enemy squares, and can end in any terrain type, with the exception of water which is prohibited by its drawback. The main benefit of this ability is to move through enemy squares and usually for the purpose of fleeing when an enemy has flanked the Ahriman.
Special Ability: Wing Attack (All) – Wing Attack is the basic attack of an Ahriman. The damage is pitiful, so you should never use this. Since a Flotiball has no other special ability without a nearby ally with the Monster Skill ability, the Flotiball is basically worthless in battle.
Special Ability: Look of Fright (Flotiball w/ Monster Skill, Basic Ahriman) – Look of Fright is one of the main reasons to use an Ahriman in combat. It can reduce the Brave of an enemy by 10. You don’t care about the long term effects of this, but the immediate effect in any battle is reduced damage from most physical attacks and a lower chance to activate most Reaction abilities. The latter is nearly critical when facing enemies that use skills like Blade Grasp or Hamedo.
Special Ability: Look of Devil (Basic Ahriman, Plague) – Look of Devil can apply Petrify, Stop, Don’t Act, Don’t Move, Silence, or Darkness to an enemy. Due to the high magic attack of the Ahriman, it actually has a rather good chance of success once the Ahriman is mid level or so. While Silence and Darkness are pretty conditional in usefulness, the other four status effects are generally quite excellent.
Special Ability: Death Sentence (Basic Ahriman w/ Monster Skill, Plague) – Death Sentence is usually pretty worthless because the ability doesn’t synergize with damage in any way. It is a little more useful for an Ahriman because this monster can apply Stop, Petrify, or Don’t Act with Look of Devil and then apply Death Sentence to the neutralized enemy.
Special Ability: Circle (Plague w/ Monster Skill) – Circle decreases the magic attack of an enemy by 2 points, which just isn’t enough of a benefit to be worth using instead of Look of Devil. The singular advantage of this ability is that it has a reasonably low failure chance, but unless an enemy is completely immune to the status effects of Look of Devil, this is never the optimal choice.
Strategy – Oddly, with both Look of Fright and Look of Devil, the Basic Ahriman is the best of the three types of this monster, rather than the more advanced Plague. But both are massively better than the Flotiball. In combat, you pretty much just want an Ahriman to fly around the edges of the battlefield and use Look of Devil on key enemies, particularly spell casters if possible. Look of Fright will also be important at times, but generally only in specific battles where there is an enemy with a very powerful Reaction ability and a very high Brave. Of course, there is a good chance your Ahriman will die in that situation, but if it lowers the Brave of an enemy by enough, it was a good trade off.