The Scale Armor is a heavy armor in Final Fantasy XII that boosts the wearer's Defense by 9, Strength by 3 and—unusually for a heavy armor—Speed by 3. The latter makes it potentially good equipment for those who wield weapons that count the user's Speed stat toward damage calculation: bows, ninja swords, and daggers. However, in the Zodiac versions, the Archer and Shikari don't natively equip heavy armor. Scale Armor is the third weakest armor and basic equipment. It is metallic for the purposes of the Magnetize debuff present in the boss battles against Vinuskar and Ultima.
In the original PlayStation 2 version, the Scale Armor is sold for 1000 gil in Rabanastre after Barheim Passage, Bhujerba, and Dreadnought Leviathan, as well as in Dalmasca Westersand after the Leviathan but before obtaining the Treaty-Blade.
In the updated Zodiac versions, the Scale Armor is sold for 800 gil in Bhujerba, in Rabanastre after fighting Ba'Gamnan in the Lhusu Mines, and in Dreadnought Leviathan. It is found as a treasure in Trial Mode Stage 16 with the Diamond Armlet equipped.
Scale Armor is a low level helm giving 9 Defense and 3 Strength, as well as 3 to Speed. The strength bonuses make heavy armor ideal for frontline fighters, though the HP boost from light armor can be valuable in the beginning of the game. Scale Armor is a good helm to equip over any inferior equipment the player starts with on anyone who attacks physically, although a gun-wielder does not benefit from the strength-boost. The Speed increase affects damage for bows, ninja swords and daggers in a small way, but the boost to Charge Time is minimal and not worth prioritizing over a better Strength boost from another armor piece.
In the original version, Basch and Ashe start with the license to equip the Scale Armor, Heavy Armor 2. In the Zodiac versions, Uhlan, Knight, Time Battlemage, and Foebreaker can equip it, and so it is only useful to buy if the player has chosen these License Boards as a party member's first job.