Roles in Final Fantasy Brave Exvius depict the functions and tasks that each individual unit is made to do and is capable of doing. Roles are often used to describe the capabilities of certain units and/or to strategize adequately.
Roles are classified and/or sub-classified differently between the game and players, but more or less describe generally the same types of units. For example, if one unit is classified as a Physical Damage unit by both, players will usually classify it between chainer or finisher, while the game will refer to it simply as a Physical Damage dealer (see below for more details).
Although roles are different from jobs in Brave Exvius terminology, they are gameplay-wise akin to the famous class system.
Units who rely heavily in ATK to inflict damage are referred to as Physical Damage units. They favor a wide-arrange of weapons and abilities related to the ATK stat to increase their effectiveness. Since ATK is calculated against DEF, many Physical Damagers can reduce the DEF stat, making them partially support units at times. Physical Damagers often involve the typical, Warrior, Monk, Thief, Dragoon, and similar jobs. Physical units tend to have high HP and DEF, but low MP.
Physical Damagers can be sub-classified as Physical Chainers or Physical Finishers, according to their abilities, and can be either of these functions or both, each with their respective builds and strategies.
A Physical Chainer is a unit who specializes in chaining moves revolving around the ATK stat to rapidly build damage. Physical Chainers are among the most standard and most used units because of their ability to pile damage quick. Physical Chainers are usually geared with Dual Wield in mind to prolong the chain count, most recurrently with elemental weapons to make this task easier.
A Physical Finisher, often called a Physical Capper, specializes in finishing, which means unleashing a single, but extremely powerful strike on enemies, most notably on top of a growing chain to tremendously augment its damage for devastating results. They rely on high ATK values to cap a chain properly. The usual most recommended way to build them involves wielding a single weapon and heavily increase the ATK value through Doublehand or similar abilities. If this is not possible a Finisher can also be geared with Dual Wield.
Magic Damage units rely on their MAG stat to inflict damage on opponents. Since MAG is calculated against the SPR stat, MAG users can often debuff SPR by having small support abilities. Magic Damage users involve the typical Black and even Red Mages from the series, and similar jobs. Magic Damagers have high MAG, MP and sometimes SPR, but low HP and DEF, so they are rather frail.
Likewise, Magic Damagers can be sub-classified as Magic Chainers or Finishers and be either or both of them. However, since Magic attacks and those calculated using the MAG stat have different mechanics from Physical Damage ones, their equipment doesn't vary as much, although they benefit strongly from Dual Wielding as their attacks will be calculated using the full MAG stat rather than individually of each weapon as is the case of Physical units.
The counterpart of Physical Chainers, Magic Chainers use MAG based abilities either through Magic or Abilities to hit opponents several times in succession to build up damage. Since weapon elements do not factor into the Magic Attack, Magic Chainers rely on the element of their own skills to build elemental chains. This can be both beneficial or detrimental, depending on whether the player can chain their desired element or not without needing equipment.
Unlike Physical units, Dual Wield doesn't allow Magic Chainers to use their abilities twice due to the way they are configured. They need abilities that allow them to Dualcast their attacks to chain for prolonged time. They nonetheless benefit from Dual Wield as it adds to their MAG stat.
The counterpart of the Physical Finisher, Magic Finishers use single but very powerful strikes reliant on MAG to deal significant damage on opponents. They are often used to cap a chain to maximize their damage. However, unlike their Physical counterparts, Magic Finishers tend to enjoy more freedom because several Magic Finishers have abilities that grow stronger the more they are used during each battle. This makes them more viable, and if properly geared, can forsake the need for Chainers if the MAG user can strike strongly enough.
Like with the Magic Chainers, the element of their weapon does not factor into their abilities so they depend on how their abilities are made like.
Hybrid Damagers use ATK and MAG for their attacks, i.e. inflicting both Physical and Magical Damage simultaneously. Hybrid units require large ATK/MAG for their abilities to work, and tend to have bonuses that boost these stats. Their other stats and equipment selection tends to vary. Hybrid units only classified as such in the fandom, while the game treats them as either Physical or Magic Damage units (aligned mostly based on the stat of preference for said unit).
Hybrid Damage units tend to be made of Ninja (due to their Ninjutsu abilities) and Spellblade jobs. Hybrid Damage units are usually both chainers and finishers, as their abilities have abnormally high damage modifiers in comparison to other units. This is mostly because the damage formula for their attacks calculates physical damage and magic damage separately, sums it up and then halves it, hence a large modifier is used to compensate.
When using Hybrid Damagers players often focus more on the MAG stat because of how Magic Damage is calculated over Physical Damage. Physical Damage uses the ATK of each weapon the unit is wielding, while Magic Damage uses the total MAG value, hence the Magic Damage element deals the most damage. Nonetheless, it is advised to build both their ATK and MAG for best results.
One of the most fundamental roles of the game, Support units forsake damage to increase the party's advantage against certain foes. Support units are comprised of the typical Green Mages, Dancers, Bards and similar jobs.
Support units usually have high MP, SPR and different values for their other stats, although they almost never have any use for ATK or MAG. The Support role is the most ingrained role, since several others, like Physical/Magic Damagers, Healers, or Tanks, tend to have partial support abilities. Nonetheless, the Support role has units strongly dedicated to the task and are sub-classified as follows.
Buffers boost the player party's parameters: ATK, DEF, MAG, SPR, Elemental Resistance, Status Ailment resistance, Damage Reduction or MP recharge (often called MP Battery), among others or any mix of these functions. Between the Support units, Buffers are often the preferred choice over Debuffers, mostly because many bosses resist ailments, whereas the player is free to strengthen their own units.
Due to the many ways the player can buff their units, there are many ways to classify Support units, although they tend to follow the above guidelines. "Bards" are units whose buffing abilities demand them to remain inactive for a certain number of turns in exchange for powerful benefits.
Whereas Buffers strengthen the player's units, Debuffers weaken foes, decreasing their ATK, DEF, MAG, SPR, Elemental Resistance or inflicting status ailments of any mix of these. Debuffers are valuable assets since often, bosses are very strong on their own and a debuff can significantly decrease their damage output, although many resist debuffs in some form.
A mix of buffs with debuffs yields tremendous results if successful.
Tanks are the game's punching bags. They are geared for heavy resilience and to defend the party from damage putting themselves at the most risk out of any unit. To compensate, they have very high HP and DEF or SPR values, along with abilities that mitigate the damage they take. Tanks usually have low MP and MAG and average ATK values.
Tanks are often related to Knights or Paladins and similar jobs. Although their task is simple, they can be sub-classified in many categories.
A Cover Tank reacts and takes all the damage the party receives from a certain kind of attack. They are best at protecting the party from strikes that would affect all units, but only one kind of Cover can be active at a time, so the player cannot cover for both Physical and Magical damage at the same time. The kind of Cover Tank used depends on the foe in question. Covers are not guaranteed to always trigger, but react based on chance. Nonetheless, Cover Tanks are essential for survival against several foes.
Provoke Tanks defend the player against any kind of damage, provided those attacks strike a single unit. They enjoy more flexibility in the type of damage they take, but are ineffective against attacks that hit the entire party. Provoke Tanks often have an increased chance of being targeted, or use abilities that increase that likelihood while mitigating the damage incurred.
A mix of a Cover Tank with a Provoke Tank provides massive layers of defense, although proper equipment and strategy are still needed to succeed.
Counter Tanks react to the attacks inflicted on them by unleashing their own on enemies after being hit. Counter Tanks can yield Limit Burst Crystals and Esper Orbs with great efficiency, providing a supportive role at least, and depending on how they counter can also be strong damage dealers. Counter Tanks rarely exist on their own and most of the time this is a characteristic ingrained into the other subcategories.
Healers keep the party alive and healthy by restoring HP, removing or preventing status ailments, reviving KO'd characters and MP recharging (often debated whether it belongs to Support or to Healing). Healing units tend to be formed by the typical White Mages, Red Mages and similar jobs.
Healers have high SPR values and high MP with other stats usually being average or low. Healer is the most streamlined role, being almost the same no matter the healer in question. As such, it has no sub-classification. However, due to their duties, Healers are often filled with Support abilities, making them suitable for those functions as well.
Although they are not as expansive or versatile, Healers are one of the most important roles since no matter how strong the player is, if their units take too damage and are KO'd, they lose. It is a Healer's mission to ensure the party survives so the player can win.