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Black magic is simply great to have, because even if you have strong attackers a physical attack (no matter how strong) can only kill one enemy at a time. Black Magic can debuff enemies, e.g. stun, confuse and weaken them. This buys time for the party, that can attack without suffering too much damage.

Black magic can also be used to augment your attackers, letting them deal hundreds of points in damage to even the strongest bosses.

Finally, Black Magic is the main weapon for Black Mages. A mid or high level spells can hit every thing at once, and once you start finding items capable of casting spells, you don't even need physical attacks for many fights.

Spell types[edit]

Spell suffixes

Suffixes that tell you more about a spell's power. As spells get more powerful, suffixes distinguish them from similar spells in the same family.

  • -ra: More powerful than the original.
  • -ga: Even more powerful than "-ra".

Many mid and high levels spells are not unique, but are improved versions of low levels spells. Each "family" of spells usually contains three versions, though some have two or four.

  • Elemental families: Casts Ice, Fire, or Lightning spells, 2nd and 3rd levels can hit all enemies.
  • Death family: Kills enemies instantly. Low chance of success, some target all enemies.
  • Sleep family: Put enemies to sleep until they are hit or wake up
  • Slow family: Reduces the number of hits per attack

There are several other spells that do not belong in a specific family, but cause status ailments, such as darkness, stone, or stop. Black magic also includes the spells Temper and Saber, which raises the targets strength and the spell Haste, which increases the number of hits per attack.

Users[edit]

See also: spell recommendations
  • Black mages: Uses any level 1 - 6 spell (except Teleport) and Blizzaga
  • Black wizards: Uses any spell
  • Red mages: Uses level 1 - 4 spells, Firaga and Slowara
  • Red wizards: Uses most level 1 - 5 spells, Thundaga and Blizzaga
  • Ninjas: Uses level 1 - 4 spells

Spell listings[edit]

Spells are listed under the Dawn of Souls and Anniversary names. These may differ from the original names given to the spells in the NES version, and from the updated names in Origins. Spell MP cost refers to the amount of MP required to cast a spell in the Dawn of Souls and Anniversary editions. All versions prior to that simply require one allocation of spell casting for their respective levels.

Level 1[edit]

All Level 1 spells are sold in Cornelia and cost 100 Gil to purchase (or 50 Gil in the Easy Mode and GBA versions).

Spell Fire Thunder Focus Sleep
Alternate Names NES: FIRE
PSX: Fire1
NES: LIT
PSX: Bolt1
NES: LOCK
PSX:Focus1
NES: SLEP
PSX: Sleep1
MP Cost 5 5 3 3
Range One enemy One enemy One ally All enemies
Effect Causes light fire damage to one enemy Causes light electric damage to one enemy Increases one ally's hit rate Puts enemies to sleep, disabling attacks
Cast by FFI black mage.gifFFI black wizard.gifFFI red mage.gifFFI red wizard.gifFFI ninja.gif FFI black mage.gifFFI black wizard.gifFFI red mage.gifFFI red wizard.gifFFI ninja.gif FFI black mage.gifFFI black wizard.gifFFI red mage.gifFFI red wizard.gifFFI ninja.gif FFI black mage.gifFFI black wizard.gifFFI red mage.gifFFI red wizard.gifFFI ninja.gif

Level 2[edit]

All Level 2 spells are sold in Pravoka and cost 400 Gil to purchase (or 250 Gil in the Easy Mode and GBA versions).

Spell Blizzard Slow Dark Temper
Alternate Names NES: ICE
PSX: Ice1
NES: SLOW
PSX: Slow
NES: DARK
PSX: Fog
NES: TMPR
PSX: Steel
MP Cost 8 5 5 10
Range One enemy All enemies All enemies One ally
Effect Causes light ice damage to one enemy Decreases all enemies' hit rate Causes blind status to enemies Increases one ally's attack power
Cast by FFI black mage.gifFFI black wizard.gifFFI red mage.gifFFI red wizard.gifFFI ninja.gif FFI black mage.gifFFI black wizard.gifFFI red mage.gifFFI red wizard.gifFFI ninja.gif FFI black mage.gifFFI black wizard.gifFFI red mage.gifFFI red wizard.gifFFI ninja.gif FFI black mage.gifFFI black wizard.gifFFI red mage.gifFFI red wizard.gifFFI ninja.gif

Level 3[edit]

All Level 3 spells are sold in Elfheim and cost 1500 Gil to purchase (or 1000 Gil in the Easy Mode and GBA versions).

Fira can be cast for free by using the Mage staff as an item; it can be equipped by the Ninja, the Black Mage and the Black Wizard.

Thundara can be cast for free by using the Gauntlets or Thor's hammer as an item; the gauntlets can be equipped by the Ninja, the Knight and the Red Wizard, the hammer by the Ninja, the Knight and the White Wizard.

Spell Fira Thundara Hold Focara
Alternate Names NES: FIR2
PSX: Fire2
NES: LIT2
PSX: Bolt2
NES: HOLD
PSX: Bind
NES: LOK2
PSX: Focus2
MP Cost 15 15 10 10
Range All enemies All enemies One enemy All enemies
Effect Causes medium fire damage to all enemies Causes medium electric damage to all enemies Binds one enemy, disabling attacks Decreases all enemies' evade
Cast by FFI black mage.gifFFI black wizard.gifFFI red mage.gifFFI red wizard.gifFFI ninja.gif FFI black mage.gifFFI black wizard.gifFFI red mage.gifFFI red wizard.gifFFI ninja.gif FFI black mage.gifFFI black wizard.gifFFI red mage.gifFFI red wizard.gifFFI ninja.gif FFI black mage.gifFFI black wizard.gifFFI red mage.gifFFI red wizard.gifFFI ninja.gif
Using
equipment
as item
FFI red wizard.gifFFI ninja.gifFFI knight.gif FFI red wizard.gifFFI ninja.gifFFI white wizard.gif

Level 4[edit]

All Level 4 spells are sold in Elfheim and cost 4000 Gil to purchase (or 2500 Gil in the Easy Mode and GBA versions).

Blizzara can be cast for free by using the Black robe as an item; it can be equipped by the Black Wizard.

Confuse can be cast for free by using the Wizard staff as an item; it can be equipped by the Black Wizard.


Spell Blizzara Haste Sleepara Confuse
Alternate Names NES: ICE2
PSX: Ice2
NES: FAST
PSX: Haste
NES: SLP2
PSX: Sleep2
NES: CONF
PSX: Muddle
MP Cost 18 15 15 15
Range All enemies One ally One enemy All enemies
Effect Causes medium ice damage to all enemies Increases one character's hit rate 1 enemy put to sleep Causes enemies to attack other enemies
Cast by FFI black mage.gifFFI black wizard.gifFFI red mage.gifFFI red wizard.gifFFI ninja.gif FFI black mage.gifFFI black wizard.gifFFI red mage.gifFFI red wizard.gifFFI ninja.gif FFI black mage.gifFFI black wizard.gifFFI red mage.gifFFI red wizard.gifFFI ninja.gif FFI black mage.gifFFI black wizard.gifFFI red mage.gifFFI red wizard.gifFFI ninja.gif
Using
equipment
as item
FFI black wizard.gif FFI black wizard.gif

Level 5[edit]

All Level 5 spells are sold in Melmond and cost 8000 Gil to purchase (or 4000 Gil in the Easy Mode and GBA versions).

Scourge can be cast for free by using the Bane sword as an item; it can be equipped by the Ninja, the Knight and the Red Wizard.

Spell Firaga Teleport Scourge Slowara
Alternate Names NES: FIR3
PSX: Fire3
NES: WARP
PSX: Warp1
NES: BANE
PSX: Poison
NES: SLO2
PSX: Slow2
MP Cost 30 5 28 18
Range All enemies Entire party All enemies One enemy
Effect Causes heavy fire damage to all enemies Teleports party back one floor in dungeons Potentially kills each enemy Decreases one enemies' hit rate
Cast by FFI black mage.gifFFI black wizard.gifFFI red mage.gifFFI red wizard.gif FFI black wizard.gifFFI red wizard.gif FFI black mage.gifFFI black wizard.gifFFI red wizard.gif FFI black mage.gifFFI black wizard.gifFFI red mage.gifFFI red wizard.gif
Using
equipment
as item
FFI red wizard.gifFFI ninja.gifFFI knight.gif

Level 6[edit]

All Level 6 spells are sold in Crescent Lake and cost 20,000 Gil to purchase (or 13,000 Gil in the Easy Mode and GBA versions).

Spell Thundaga Death Quake Stun
Alternate Names NES: LIT3
PSX: Bolt3
NES: RUB
PSX: Reaper
NES: QAKE
PSX: Quake
NES: STUN
PSX: Stun
MP Cost 35 30 32 20
Range All enemies One enemy All enemies One enemy
Effect Causes heavy electric damage to
all enemies
Kills one enemy Potentially kills each enemy Stuns one enemy, disabling attacks
Cast by FFI black mage.gifFFI black wizard.gifFFI red wizard.gif FFI black mage.gifFFI black wizard.gif FFI black mage.gifFFI black wizard.gif FFI black mage.gifFFI black wizard.gif

Level 7[edit]

Blizzaga and Break are sold in Gaia. Saber and Blind are sold in Onrac. These spells cost 45,000 Gil to purchase (or 30,000 Gil in the Easy Mode and GBA versions).

Saber can be cast for free by using the Giant's gloves as an item; it can be equipped by the Ninja, the Warrior, the Knight and the Red Wizard.

Spell Blizzaga Break Saber Blind
Alternate Names NES: ICE3
PSX: Ice3
NES: BRAK
PSX: Break
NES: SABR
PSX: Saber
NES: BLND
PSX: Blind
MP Cost 40 30 25 25
Range All enemies One enemy Self One enemy
Effect Causes heavy ice damage to all enemies Turns enemy into stone Increases caster's attack power Causes blind status to enemy
Cast by FFI black mage.gifFFI black wizard.gifFFI red wizard.gif FFI black wizard.gif FFI black wizard.gif FFI black mage.gifFFI black wizard.gif
Using
equipment
as item
FFI red wizard.gifFFI ninja.gifFFI warrior.gifFFI knight.gif

Level 8[edit]

All Level 8 spells are sold in Gaia, except for Flare, which is sold in Lufenia. These spells cost 60,000 Gil to purchase (or 40,000 Gil in the Easy Mode and GBA versions).

Spell Flare Kill Stop Banish
Alternate Names NES: NUKE
PSX: Flare
NES: XXXX
PSX: Doom
NES: Stop
PSX: Stop
NES: ZAP!
PSX: Banish
MP Cost 50 40 30 38
Range All enemies One enemy All enemies All enemies
Effect Causes massive damage to all enemies Kills one enemy Stuns all enemies, disabling attacks Kills all enemies
Cast by FFI black wizard.gif FFI black wizard.gif FFI black wizard.gif FFI black wizard.gif

Summary table[edit]

The following tables are for quick reference, once you got familiar with the contents above. The class abbreviations are as follows: bB = Black Mage and Black Wizard; rR = Red Mage and Red Wizard; N = Ninja.

Lv Spell names
(NES/PSX/GBA)
MP Type & Target Effect bB rR N Item
1 Fire/Fire1/Fire 5 Attacks one Element: fire bB rR N -
1 Lit/Bolt1/Thunder 5 Attacks one Element: lightning bB rR N -
1 Lock/Focus1/Focus 3 Debuffs one Lowers evasion bB rR N -
1 Slep/Sleep1/Sleep 3 Debuffs all Inflicts "sleep" status bB rR N -
2 Ice/Ice1/Blizzard 8 Attacks one Element: ice bB rR N -
2 Slow/Slow/Slow 5 Debuffs all Lowers hit rate bB rR N -
2 Dark/Dark/Dark 5 Debuffs all Inflicts "blind" status bB rR N -
2 Tmpr/Steel/Temper 10 Supports one Increases strength bB rR N -
3 Fir2/Fire2/Fira 15 Attacks all Element: fire bB rR N Mage staff
3 Lit2/Bolt2/Thundara 15 Attacks all Element: lightning bB rR N Thor hammer, Gauntlets
3 Hold/Bind/Hold 10 Debuffs one Inflicts "paralysis" status bB rR N -
3 Lok2/Focus2/Focara 10 Debuffs all Lowers evasion bB rR N -
4 Ice2/Ice2/Blizzara 18 Attacks all Element: ice bB rR N Black robe
4 Conf/Muddle/Confuse 15 Debuffs all Enemies attack each other bB rR N Wizard staff
4 Slp2/Sleep2/Sleepara 15 Debuffs one Inflicts "sleep" status bB rR N -
4 Fast/Haste/Haste 15 Supports one Increases hit rate bB rR N -
5 Fir3/Fire3/Firaga 30 Attacks all Element: fire bB rR - -
5 Slo2/Slow2/Slowara 18 Debuffs one Lowers hit rate bB rR - -
5 Bane/Poison/Scourge 28 Attacks all Instant-kill attack bB R - Venom sword
5 Warp/Warp1/Teleport 5 Field Teleports one floor up in dungeons B R - -
6 Lit3/Bolt3/Thundaga 35 Attacks all Element: lightning bB R - -
6 Rub/Reaper/Death 30 Attacks one Instant-kill attack bB - - -
6 Qake/Quake/Quake 32 Attacks all Instant-kill attack (petrify) bB - - -
6 Stun/Stun/Stun 20 Debuffs one Inflicts "paralysis" status bB - - -
7 Ice3/Ice3/Blizzaga 40 Attacks all Element: ice bB R - -
7 Blnd/Blind/Blind 25 Debuffs one Inflicts "blind" status bB - - -
7 Sabr/Saber/Saber 25 Supports self Increases strength B - - Giant's gloves
7 Brak/Break/Break 30 Attacks one Instant-kill attack (petrify) B - - -
8 XXXX/Doom/Kill 40 Attacks one Instant-kill attack B - - -
8 Nuke/Flare/Flare 50 Attacks all Non-elemental attack B - - -
8 Zap!/Banish/Banish 38 Attacks all Instant-kill attack B - - -
8 Stop/Stop/Stop 30 Debuffs all Inflicts "paralysis" status B - - -

The following table shows spell prices and magic shop locations for each level of Black Magic:

Lv. Cost (NES) Cost (remakes) Shop
1 100 50 Cornelia
2 400 250 Pravoka
3 1500 1000 Elfheim
4 4000 2500 Elfheim
5 8000 4000 Melmond
6 20000 13000 Crescent Lake
7 45000 30000 Gaia, Onrac
8 60000 40000 Gaia, Lufenia

Recommendations[edit]

* denotes the bare minimum spells to get

Black Mages/Wizards[edit]

Black Wizards can be incredibly powerful, especially later in the game. They can cast spells that do elemental damage (great against the Fiends), cause status aliments, and enhance your characters' physical power. They can also learn a number of instant-death spells (these are not particularly useful since they only work a small percentage of the time). The debuff spells (status ailment) and support spells (allies' enhancement) are very useful throughout the game.

The direct attack spells have the same effect of the direct attack of physical classes (Warrior, Monk, Thief). This is even more true considering elemental swords (for the Warrior/Knight only). Use the Black Mage mostly to debuff the enemies and every now and then to support the allies, but leave the bulk of direct attacks to physical attackers (Warrior, Monk and Thief).

  • Level 1: Sleep*, Focus*; Fire/Thunder (either one)
Sleep affects all the enemies, and it should be the very first Black Spell you purchase. Focus lowers the evasion of the enemies, and is useful too. Fire and Thunder do pretty much the same: choose any one of them.
  • Level 2: Temper*, Blizzard*, Dark
Temper raises the attack power of a character in your party, which makes it a spell that you should use against every boss you encounter. It is also stackable, so the character's attack can go higher and higher. Note: TMPR is bugged in the NES version, and does nothing. Bizzard is quite a bit more powerful than the Fire and Thunder spells, Blizzard will be very useful before you get Bizzara. Dark inflicts the "Blind" status and reduces the likelihood of an enemy attack, however it has little effect when it works. Blizzard deals more damage than Fire or Thunder, but if you cast instead Temper on two allies the party will deal definitely more damage.
Hold works against Marilith, and should be very useful. Stopping an enemy in their tracks for a few rounds may give you an edge. Fira and Thundara are useful spells since they hit every enemy on the screen at once. Both of these spells are useful throughout the game since you will often be facing large groups of enemies at once. Fire is better against some enemies, while Thunder is better against others.
  • Level 4: Blizzara*, Haste*, Sleepara
Haste doubles the number of hits your character can do per attack, so it is a spell that is useful for every boss fight. Confuse works a surprising amount of the time. Level 1 Sleep works on all enemies while Sleepara works only on one, but Sleepara has a higher success rate and works on stronger enemies. Late in the game there is an item (a staff for Black Wizards) that can cast Confuse for free. When you find it, focus on Sleepara and Haste. Blizzara is just a stronger direct attack spell, but it can be helpful in the Volcano, which is a relatively hard dungeon.
  • Level 5: Teleport*, Scourge*, Slowara
Teleport is nice as it can pull you out of a dungeon, but you cannot get it until after the class change. Like all instant-death spells, Scourge rarely works, but the chance to kill multiple enemies makes it useful against large groups of opponents. Vice versa, against few or single enemies, Slowara provides a significant status ailment on one target. You might want Firaga before going into the Ice Cavern or before going into the Terra Cave, in which you will fight wave after wave of the undead, but the White Magic is more effective against this enemy type.
Stun turns one enemy into a bystander while your physical attackers get rid of the others. Thundaga is the strongest lightning-elemental attack, and it targets all opponents at once. Quake is a petrification spell: it can instantly defeat enemies that are immune to normal instant-death.
Many enemies are immune to Blind by the time you get it, but it's still worth experimenting with it. Blizzaga is the strongest ice-elemental spell. Break works often, and technically isn't an instant-death spell, so more enemies are vulnerable to it. Saber would be potentially useful, except you can only use it on the caster. Better to cast it using the Giant's Gloves from the Item menu.
  • Level 8: Stop*, Flare, Kill/Warp (either one)
Stop is a must, being the only non-attack spell on this level; it's a version of Lv.6 Stun that affects all enemies at once. Flare is the strongest attack spell in the game, and especially useful against Chaos and WarMech. Kill and Warp are both instant-death spells; Warp works against all enemies, while Kill only works on one at a time but has a higher success rate.

Red Mages/Wizards[edit]

main article: Red magic

Since a Red Mage can only equip three spells of each level you have to pick three of eight (well, of six or seven in many cases) spells. This is why it is not recommended that you replace both a Black and White Wizard with a single Red Wizard. Additionally, there are a lot of white spells that are very useful that the Red Wizard cannot cast (Dias, Heals, Curaja, Full-life specifically). Fortunately there aren't too many instances where there are more than three "must have" spells that the Red Wizard can learn.

Generally the magic that the Red Wizard should learn is the same as the other Wizards, however a lot of it depends on if there is another Black, Red, or White Wizard in the party.

Please see the Red Magicians' magic page for recommendations based on party configuration.

Ninjas[edit]

The Ninja can use every weapon in the game, therefore learning direct attack spells would be redundant for him. The best choice for him are the Support spells (like Temper and Haste), especially if cast on himself. Debuff spells can be very useful, too: they do what weapons don't.

Few enemies are vulnerable to Focus and Sleep late in the game. On the other hand, the low-level elementals spells are useless, as the Ninja will always do more damage using weapons.
Get Temper, especially if nobody else knows it. If it is cast on a reasonably powerful Knight, you can double or triple their attack with a few rounds of Temper. Combined with Haste you can take out a boss in two hits.
Hold prevents an enemy from attacking you. Focus2 makes one enemy more vulnerable, thus upgrading Temper. Fira might be useful since you can clear out multiple weak enemies at once. However, by the time you get a Ninja you will have the Gauntlets, which can cast Thundara for free.
  • Level 4: Haste*, Sleepara, Confuse
Sleepara is similar to Hold. Confuse turns an enemy into an ally. Haste is a must have: it doubles the number of hits per attack a character gets. If "hit & heal" is your game, Haste and Temper will soon be the two black magic spells you use the most. Blizzara can be good to have for minor enemies, since the Ninja is usually faster than the Black and Red Wizards. The aforementioned Gauntlets would do the job, anyway.

Black & Red Mages/Wizards[edit]

If you have both a Black and a Red Mage in your party, you have the opportunity of using every Black Spell in a single game, except one (of your choice).

Thumb rule: for every level, give three Black Spells to the Black Mage, and the last one to the Red Mage. Debuff spells should all be given to the Black Mage, because they can miss often if given to the Red Mage. Vice versa, support spells should be given to the Red Mage, because they always succeed anyway. The Red Wizard can only learn one spell from level 6 and one from level 7. You will have to choose and discard one spell from level 8.

For detailed comments, check the sections above.

The following table shows an example of assignment of the spells. The Red Mage/Wizard will also have to learn some White Spells, especially if you don't have a White Mage/Wizard.

Lv. Red Mage/Wizard Black Mage/Wizard
Support
spells
Attack
spells
Attack
spells
Debuff
spells
1 - Bolt1 Fire1 Sleep
Focus
2 Temper - Ice1 Dark
Slow
3 - Fire2 Bolt2 Hold
Focus2
4 Haste - Ice2 Sleep2
Confuse
5 Teleport - Fire3
Poison
Slow2
6 - Bolt3 Quake
Death
Stun
7 - Ice3 Break Saber
Blind
8 - - Flare
Kill/Warp
Stop

Tips[edit]

  • Status aliment inducing spells are generally considered useless by beginners. In fact, debuff spells should be used to reduce damage from small enemies, because although small, the damage they inflict stacks up. Therefore, black debuff spells give great relief to the White Mage's healing duties.
  • Instant-death spells work almost always on weaker enemies, thus speeding up less challenging (and less interesting) fights.
  • Quake and Break, while they instantly kill an enemy, are not members of the death family of spells. As a result many common enemies that cannot be killed by instant-death spells can be killed by one of these. Most bosses are immune to these two spells, unfortunately.
  • Haste and Temper are probably the two most useful Black Magic spells. They increase the number of hits and the strength of each blow on a character. They can also be stacked in some versions of the game, which means that in a few rounds you can make a Knight ridiculously powerful, and able to kill bosses in one or two hits. Always open a boss fight by casting these two spells on your physical attackers. Saber fits into the same category but only affects the caster so it is better used from the spellcasting Power/Giant's gloves.