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  3. Red mage vs black mage, red wizard vs black wizard.
Alushen 5 months ago#1
So I pretty much agree with the standard argument Usually, red mages are “better” than black mages at the beginning of the game, while black wizards are “better” than red wizards in the endgame. I would like to break it down a bit and have a discussion though.

Point 1: Chain armor vs cloth. Red mage clearly wins this battle here, as he can take hits MUCH better than the black mage and his paltry 1 absorb, but, after the chain armor (and possibly silver armor) begins to end its usefulness, both wizards become bracelet users while the black mage gets level 2 elemental charges faster and more of them.

Point 2 : Important white magic spells. Being able to use LIFE and EXIT clearly gives red an advantage here, black magic level 5 is decent, especially with the earlier FIR3 charges, and possibly WARP and BANE , but level 6 spells with the exception of LIT3 are not that great.

Point 3: The great NUKE debate: NUKE is a great spell, I’m not arguing that. However , in a typical playthrough it’s not uncommon to have only 2, maybe 3 level 8 charges. Chances are, with such limited charges, XXXX and the like aren’t getting any use. Is having limited access to NUKE better than having a fairly competent attacker with Defense or the Sun Sword, or is having more lower level charges worth it?

I think as a fair assessment, Red, in the ALdi Sea area due to attack and defense, Black in the Earth cave area for more/ quicker access to spell charges, and either towards the late game, they both have different strengths. Thoughts?
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CranberryPSO 5 months ago#2
I don't think there is a definitive "best" between them. But as I am currently doing a "no start" challenge where I'm not allowed to press the Start button, I'm seeing the differences more clearly in this run.

One important point that you didn't mention is that Black Mages get spell charges faster than a Red Mage does. For a magic dependent party, this is a relevant point.

In the run I'm doing now, I might "have" a spell like say Lit3, but I don't actually have any spell charges for that level of spell. Comparatively, my White Mage does have a few spell charges for the same level of magic.

Of course, that is a problem that could be solved by sitting and grinding. But let's assume I don't want to spend extra time grinding for levels and I want to keep making pretty good progress. Because really if we factor in grinding, you could grind pretty much any team up to level 50 and have very little trouble with the game.

I've also found that a Red Mage starts to get pretty limited on what he can learn when you get to the level 5 magic and above. Becoming a Red Wizard helps a lot, but there's a lot of spells a Red Mage can learn that a Red Mage can't. Class changing harms a Black Belt's growth, so depending on your party you might want to put off class change for a while. Delaying class change is a lot more crippling to a Red Mage than it is to a Black Mage.

And of course once you reach Level 7 magic, your choices are limited to exactly 1 black magic spell and 1 white magic spell for the Red Wizard.

So where does this leave us? The Red Mage is definitely a flexible character, but that flexibility is not without a price. You have a more limited pool of spells, both in what you can learn and in how many times you can cast them. But you get better physical and defensive capabilities that give you a melee option the Black Mage doesn't really have.

If you are really counting on magic to carry you, I think the Black Mage is the clear winner. But the less dependent you are on magic, the more the Red Mage starts to make his case.
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beege_man 4 months ago#3
Alushen posted...
I think as a fair assessment, Red, in the ALdi Sea area due to attack and defense, Black in the Earth cave area for more/ quicker access to spell charges, and either towards the late game, they both have different strengths. Thoughts?
I agree with this completely. It always comes down to party makeup and other factors, but generally speaking this is very true.
L44 482/482 9/9/9/8/8/8/8/7 Int/MDef: 58/106
HDCEA: 116-111-106/51-53-46/3-4-6.5/83/43(37) Resist: Ice/(Fire)/(Lit)/Death AtkElem: Ice-Fire-Coral
Fogsprig 4 months ago#4
NUKE is good, but Red Mage's FOG2 (combined with a WW's White Shirt or INV2) is a deal breaker. In my opinion, RM is absolutely better than BM and RW is still among the worthier re-classes.
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FreshFeeling 4 months ago#6
Armor availability for Red Wizards and Black Wizards is actually sort of a wash.

Off the top of my head, what Red Wizards get that Black Wizards don't:
-Chain Armor (inconsequential by class change)
-Silver Armor (rarely useful post class-change)
-Buckler (not bad but not a big difference; an itemcast might be more useful in this slot)
-some gauntlets (outclassed by ProRing as soon as class change is available, if you can afford them)

And stuff that Black Wizards get that Red Wizards don't:
-Black Robe (absorb equivalent to Gold Bracelet, but with nicer resistances if you're lacking Ribbons; sometimes there are reasons to throw this on an arbitrary other character)

I could be missing something, but I doubt it's anything significant. In terms of armor access, it's not really a big or significant list either way.
The weapons are pretty meaningful though.
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Diamond_Dragon 4 months ago#8
I am fully on board with the argument that the Red Mage is almost always better than the Black Mage.

Early game, the RM has Chain Armor, Rapier, Short Sword, Silver Sword. He doesn't need magic to be consistently useful, but he's got the Cure spells, and Tier 2 Elementals a few levels behind the BM. BM on the other hand has very poor weapon and armor choices as well as the lowest HP. His access to LIT2 at Lv5 is the shining point, but consistently in battle he is a liability.

Earth Cave time, the Red Mage is still going strong with Silver Armor, fruity swords or Silver Sword, Buckler (minor), and will probably have Lv4 spells available with Ice2 and Fast. The BM can get Fire3 at Lv12 (I think that's right), sometimes just in time to have one or two charges for the second trip in. Seriously though, one or two battles of a great spell can't compete with being useful in every battle.

Mid-Late game, the Red Mage/Wizard continues to upgrade his weapon choices with Ice Sword, Defense, and Sun Sword. He lacks the physical offense of the Knight or Master, but is pretty close to the Ninja and better than the White or Black Wizards. His armor benefit is pretty much gone and he'll be using a Gold or Opal Bracelet. He still has useful spells, including Life, Cure3, Exit, Invis2, Fire3, and Lit3. The Black Mage/Wizard is in a strange place here. The Silver Knife doesn't cut it anymore (pun intended), and the CatClaws are so expensive that they usually aren't acquired until later. He gets earlier access to some offense, but again, it's only a few battles he will be more helpful than the RW. His HP weakness is very noticeable around this time when Ghosts and Sentry will be around. His earlier Warp access is nice for the Waterfall.

End game, both are pretty weak. The RW wishes he could be a Knight, or a White Wizard, but kind of fails at both. The high level Black Magic isn't nearly powerful enough. There are some nice places for Ice3 (Water) and Fire3 (Earth), but overall, the RW is just underwhelming. The BW is even less useful as the CatClaws are only slightly better than using the Black Shirt on a single target. Neither of them have any good armor choices. I'd still prefer the RW here thanks to Life and Cure3.

There is no point in the game I would rather have a BM than a RM.

All that said, they're both very fun classes to bring with due to the choices you have in battle. I love long battles with four BMs where using Dark and Sleep is actually useful. But this discussion was about which class is more useful, so the fun factor isn't my main focus.
_Kaz 4 months ago#9
Flannel_Ninja posted...
I've never heard anyone argue in favor of having a black wizard in the party. If we're talking about the NES/Famicom version with all its original bugs and absent features, then black wizards are definitely the least useful of the class upgrades.
Were there ever arguments for them on any of the ports? (I can't think of any...)
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beege_man 4 months ago#10
Flannel_Ninja posted...
^ Remember that the RM/Wiz has better defense growth too.
Huh? There is no defense growth. Unless you mean MDef, which is the same between them.
L44 482/482 9/9/9/8/8/8/8/7 Int/MDef: 58/106
HDCEA: 116-111-106/51-53-46/3-4-6.5/83/43(37) Resist: Ice/(Fire)/(Lit)/Death AtkElem: Ice-Fire-Coral
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