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Black Mage

Black Mages are the first offensive magic users you can get in the game. Their affinity with Black Magic lets them learn a variety of damaging spells and debilitating status ailments. Early on, the Black Mage's ability to target an opposing enemy's elemental weakness is very helpful, while status ailments are equally useful any time in the game. The cost to this is that Black Mage has the standard mage stat spread: powerful magic but weak defenses. Black Mages are valued more for their skill kit than their stats, and can be rendered obsolete by stronger mages later on. In spite of that, Black Mages remain a key part of any team, and both Black Magic and its various support abilities will still find uses at any stage of the game.

Specialty: Black Resonance[edit]

Black magic damage rises with each ally (excluding yourself) on which Black Resonance has been set. 0 allies with Black Resonance: No effect
1 ally with Black Resonance: Damage ×1.1
2 allies with Black Resonance: Damage ×1.15
3 allies with Black Resonance: Damage ×1.2
You probably won't feel the effects of Black Resonance for a while after obtaining the Black Mage asterisk, unless you decide to go for an unusual multi-Black Mage party. If you have the time to grind or the right Abilinks, you can get Black Resonance as a support ability to equip on your teammates instead, letting you boost your magic user's damage without affecting job balance.

Stat Affinities
HP C MP A
STR E INT A DEX D
VIT E MND B AGI C
Arms Aptitude
Swords E Rods S Bows E
Axes E Staves C Katana E
Spears E Daggers C Knuckles E
Armor Aptitude
Shields E Helms E Armor E

Job Command: Black Magic[edit]

Level Name Cost Type Description
1 Black Magic Lv.1 Command Enables the use of level 1 black magic: Fire, Blizzard, and Thunder. Note that these cannot be used without the appropriate scrolls. You'll find plenty of uses for these spells when you first get them. They are the earliest way to exploit elemental weaknesses, as well as the earliest ways to harm multiple enemies with one move.
2 Rod Lore 1 Support Raise arms aptitude for rods to S. This ability is really only used on support classes where you still want to maximize your spell's damage. It's a bad choice for physical attackers, as Rods are a pretty weak weapon type.
3 Black Magic Lv.2 Command Enables the use of level 2 black magic: Silence, Poison, and Sleep. Note that these cannot be used without the appropriate scrolls. These basic ailments give you good range of ways to cripple normal foes. Silence disables magic-using enemies while Sleep shuts down one for temporarily to let your team focus on the others. Lastly, Poison is simply used to wear down foes. Poison and Sleep will later be used to activate certain Arcanist spells. Status ailments are pretty bad for boss fights due to their high resistance and frequent immunities to status effects.
4 Abate Fire 1 Support Reduce damage taken from fire attacks. Note that you will not receive further reduction if this ability is used along with items with similar effects. Fire nullification effects take precedence over reduction effects. Fire attacks are fairly common among regular enemies, but its frequency depends on the region. Equip it based on your location and the type of enemies you might encounter.
5 Damage Dispersion 1 Support Disperse 15% of damage to each ally when hit by a single-target attack and sustain remaining damage yourself. Does not apply to magic damage reflected by Reflect. Given the low HP and Vitality of Black Mages, Damage Dispersion can keep them from getting KO'd, while the group damage can be healed off by group-casted cure spells. Do not use this against bosses that do guaranteed mortal damage like Qada or Alternis Dim, as you'll still be KO'd while leaving teammates heavily wounded.
6 Silence Immunity 1 Support Confer immunity to silence during battles. Black Mages along with any user of magic contribute to the fight mainly through their spells, so an opposing Silence will render them effectively useless. Therefore, protection against silences is extremely helpful, especially for White Mages, whose ability to cast healing spells can dictate your chances of victory.
7 Black Magic Lv.3 Command Enables the use of level 3 black magic: Fira, Blizzara, and Thundara. Note that these cannot be used without the appropriate scrolls. The same three elemental spells, just a bit stronger.
8 Black Resonance 1 Support Black magic damage rises with each ally (excluding yourself) on which Black Resonance has been set.

0 allies with Black Resonance: No effect
1 ally with Black Resonance: Damage ×1.1
2 allies with Black Resonance: Damage ×1.15
3 allies with Black Resonance: Damage ×1.2 This ability exists to let you boost the damage output of your Black Mage while using another job. 8 levels of JP grinding for each character makes it difficult to set up, but you can use Abilinks instead to quickly access the skill.

9 Black Magic Lv.4 Command Enables the use of level 4 black magic: Drain, Aspir, and Fear. Note that these cannot be used without the appropriate scrolls. Drain and Aspir drain HP and MP respectively, but their more for the user's own welfare than for harming the target. Fear inflicts dread, which can shut down several AI strategies on common enemies.
10 M.Attack 20% Up 2 Support Raises Magic Attack by 20%. There's nothing wrong with more M.Atk, but there are better abilities to fill two support slots.
11 Black Magic Lv.5 Command Enables the use of level 5 black magic: Firaga, Blizzaga, and Thundaga. Note that these cannot be used without the appropriate scrolls. These are the strongest elemental spells you can get without dabbling in Vampirism.
12 Pierce M.Defense 3 Support Ignore the target's Magic Defense when dealing magic damage.
13 Black Magic Lv.6 Command Enables the use of level 6 black magic: Dark, Kill, and Death. Note that these cannot be used without the appropriate scrolls. Dark is as strong as other level 5 Black Magic but uses up more mana, so reserve it for Dark-weak enemies. Kill and Death is for quick grinding, but they are a bit unreliable for how powerful their effects are.
14 Group-Cast All 3 Support Enable group-casting even for normally non-group-cast magic. However, this does not apply to magic targeting yourself. White, Black and Time Magic all have single-target spells that can benefit from Group-Cast All. This allows you to Drain the HP of every enemy, or even attempt to use Death to kill them all off. It also lets you use the White Mage's Esuna as a cheaper Esunaga, or use Graviga to strike all foes.

Black Magic[edit]

Job combinations[edit]

Black Mages can use any other magic or MP-heavy job commands well due to their innately high MP. The reverse is also true, as Black Magic is a strong job command for other offensive and supportive jobs. Most notably, Arcanists will effectively run Black Magic permanently as their spells depend on the Black Mage's status ailments, while they provide support abilities that can reduce Black Magic MP or amplify its strength. Besides all that, Silence Immunity, Pierce Magic Defense and Group-Cast All are excellent support moves for any magic user.