I'm playing the iPhone version of Final Fantasy Tactics: War of the Lions and I've got a level 25 samurai as one of my characters. He's doing significantly less damage than I would expect a class of its type to do. Ex. - My samurai and my ninja attack the exact same gray goblin. The samurai, equipped with the Murasame katana, does a measly 40 damage, while the ninja, equipped with 2 Ninja Blades, does 72 damage per hand.

The samurai's weapon power (WA) is 10, Bravery is 61, and his strength (PA) is 9. The ninja's weapon power is 8, and his strength is 10. Dual wielding of the ninja aside, why is the samurai hitting for so much less?

  • 1
    It is important to know whether your samurai's sub-par performance is sporadic or consistent. It seems the latter is the case when you say "He's doing significantly less damage than I would expect." Also, it is important to know the Samurai's Bravery and the Ninja's Speed.
    – bpcookson
    Commented Aug 28, 2013 at 2:29

3 Answers 3


Zodiac alignment can augment base damage either positively or negatively by 25%, 50%, or not at all. As such, assuming two characters have the exact same base damage despite differences in equipment, class, level, or otherwise and are attacking the same enemy, the character with poor zodiac alignment can do as little as 1/3 the damage of a character with good zodiac alignment.

   x = base damage
1.5x = damage with best zodiac alignment
0.5x = damage with worst zodiac alignment

However, while people often confer all numerical anomalies to the complicated Zodiac system, there is a second, much more likely reason for your discrepancy: Katana damage (Samurai) is a function of Bravery while Ninja Sword damage (Ninja) is a function of speed.

Katana ........... damage = [(PA * Br) / 100] * WP    XA = [(PA * Br) / 100]
Ninja Sword ...... damage = [(PA + Sp) / 2] * WP      XA = [(PA * Sp) / 2]

Actual damage is typically PA * WP along with a single modifier. You can see here that Bravery directly reduces your Samurai's damage unless you have exactly 100 Bravery. Ninjas, on the other hand, can very easily use equipment to increase their Speed to improve their actual damage.

If the large discrepancy you witnessed occurred only once or just occasionally, you could attribute it to Zodiac alignment, and therefore luck. If you're consistently getting poor performance from your Samurai, it has everything to do with his stats.

That being said, the Samurai class is very demanding. You need a character with high Bravery and you need gear to support both Physical (PA) and Magic (MA) attack power; Faith bears little weight beyond resistance rolls for a Samurai. If you focus on high PA your Katana Draws will suffer, and if you focus on high MA your physical strikes will suffer.

Source: Aerostar's Battle Mechanics Guide v6.5


I'm answering outside my comfort zone here, but I still regularly play Final Fantasy Tactics for the PS1 and I remember the mechanics quite well. I've never played it for the iPhone so this may not be relavent.

That being said, if bravery and zodiac signs still play a part in the game, they may also be your culprit for the low damage output. If your Samurai character has a low zodiac compatibility with the target to be damaged, then the damage will be considerably less. Also if your Samurai has considerably less bravery than the Ninja, his damage will definitely be less.

  • You may be right. The Samurai has a Bravery of 61, while the Ninja has a Bravery of 68. I'll take my Orator out with them and see how much his damage is boosted when I bump up his Bravery. Commented Dec 25, 2011 at 21:36
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    another thought co-incides with agent 86'd theory of ninja's out dpsing samurai normally. this is true, and the formulae for their damage is extremely different. It should be noted that (in the ps1 version remember) the samurai never realized their full dmg potential with the standard attack command until they unlocked their "BOTH HANDS" skill to wield a weapon with both hands.
    – Ender
    Commented Dec 25, 2011 at 23:09
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    You should use Ramza and Luso's "Steel" and "Shout" commands, which boost bravery about twice as much per turn compared to the orator's "Praise". (They boost by 5 rather than 4, and hit 100% of the time, rather than ~50%). Commented Apr 27, 2012 at 20:03
  • If your Samurai is consistently doing less damage than his peers, then Zodiac alignment is not the root cause. Bravery is a factor here, but only for the Samurai; the Ninja's damage is instead a function of his Speed attribute.
    – bpcookson
    Commented Aug 27, 2013 at 4:26

The Samurai is kind of a "all-around/balanced" class and the Ninja's more of a "high damage, low HP" class. I think the technical term for the ninja is "glass cannon."

The Ninja's always going to be one of your highest damage output classes per level, regardless of equipment. The only one that does better is perhaps the Calculator/Arithmetician (which is so overpowered it's not even funny...)

I never really found the Samurai to be a top-tier class choice, since the class special move has a chance of breaking his weapon. The Dragoon tends to be able to do damage from a distance with its special moves, and I believe equips heavier armor. The Geomancer's also generally a better choice, as it has a similar balanced defense but can use powerful abilities depending on the environment.

  • 1
    This answer is entirely subjective without any evidence supporting the stated opinions.
    – bpcookson
    Commented Aug 27, 2013 at 5:04

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