This is the Trials of Mana Best Classes guide.
There are six characters to choose from in Trials of Mana, but which characters and classes are the best? I’ve played through this game solidly a dozen or more times and I’ve already done the research and gotten the experience, so let me just fill you in.
NOTE: This guide was originally written for the original Trials of Mana/Seiken Densetsu 3 on SNES. It’s updated for the new Remake. Click the link in each section to view class tier lists for each individual character.
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Trials of Mana Remake Best Characters TIER LIST
Kevin – Trials of Mana Best Classes
Kevin is the powerhouse damage dealer. He deals the most damage, he turns into a werewolf at night and deals even more damage, and he doesn’t provide much utility, although he does provide a little bit. His final class options are: Warrior Monk, Godhand, Deathhand and Dervish. Overall, his best class is Deathhand. This is the most physically powerfully class in the game and does nothing else. You can sacrifice a little power for a little utility and go Godhand to get a spell called Aura Wave, which is pretty good, or Warrior Monk if you need a healer, but for the most part if you’re picking Kevin, you want power, and that’s Deathhand.
NOTE: In the Remake, Deathhand is called Fatal Fist and it’s… still probably Kevin’s best class. Most of what I’ve written above still holds true for Kevin.
Hawkeye – Trials of Mana Best Classes
Hawkeye is a sort of jack of all trades character. He’s moderately strong, has pretty good magic, and provides a lot of utility. His class options are: Wanderer, Rogue, Nightblade and Ninja Master. Rogue straight up sucks, don’t pick rogue. Rogue is sort of a specialized caster who’s a little physically stronger than Angela. Ninja Master also is not very good, as it’s weaker than Nightblade, missing several spells, and what it gets in exchange is multitargeted stat downs, which is not something you’ll ever use because stat downs are mostly reserved for bosses. Nightblade is the way to go. It gets stat downs and several other high utility spells with secondary effects. There’s a case to be made for Wanderer, but I won’t make it. Nightblade is the way to go with Hawk for sure. Nightblade might be, overall, the best of all the classes in Trials of Mana.
NOTE: The value of Hawkeye’s dark-side stat downs is diminished in the remake since most melee characters can equip a chain skill that inflicts Defense Down on crit. Also, magic is immensely more useful in the Remake. Rogue in particular is very strong. As a result, in the Remake, Rogue is probably Hawkeye’s best class, followed by Ninja Master.
Duran – Trials of Mana Best Classes
Duran is the second strongest character and, in his dark side classes, he gets spells that imbue characters’ weapons with an element, which is a fairly significant powerup. His final classes are Paladin, Lord, Swordmaster and Duelist. Stay away from Paladin and Lord for the most part — if you want a damage dealing healer, Warrior Monk is way better at it. Paladin and Lord get shields which are supposed to provide evasion and elemental resistance, but shields are bugged and actually do nothing, so the biggest argument in their favor doesn’t work. His strongest class is Duelist, but I think overall his best class is Swordmaster. You’ll find when you pick Duran for a party, you’re picking him because you want those sabre spells, and Swordmaster gets more of them and can target-all. Duelist is marginally stronger, but losing two elements of coverage is not a great trade off.
NOTE: In the Remake, everything stated here for Duran still holds true except Swordmaster is called Edelfrei now. You’re gonna want Edelfrei, it’s even better than before since Duran gets passives to increase the damage boost from saber magic.
Riesz – Trials of Mana Best Classes
Riesz is the third strongest attacker after Duran, and specializes in stat buffs and debuffs and, additionally, learns a unique summon skill in each class. Dark side classes get stat downs, light side classes get stat ups. Her final classes are Vanadis, Star Lancer, Dragon Master and Fenrir Knight. Overall, if you’re going to go dark side, you should just use Hawk instead unless you really like Reisz and really dislike Hawk. Her best class hands down is Star Lancer, not only because it gives full party stat ups, but because it has the best summon of all the classes.
NOTE: All of this still holds true for Riesz. Starlancer remains her best class by far.
Angela – Trials of Mana Best Classes
Angela is the spellcaster. Her physical attacks are abysmal and she is very frail. However, magic has the advantage of hitstunning enemies and being able to target bosses while they’re out of melee range. Her final class options are Grand Divina, Archmage, Rune Master and Magus. Basically, every class except Rune Master is focused on area of effect damage/screen clear, but Rune Master’s AoE damage is just fine and it gets the best endgame spell arsenal. That’s her best class.
NOTE: Things have changed in the remake. All of Angela’s final classes are quite good, but because her light-side classes get a ton of MP regen, they’re great on a first playthrough. Grand Diviner & Magus are probably her best classes overall, especially in subsequent playthroughs where MP is irrelevant due to the Black Rabite chain skill. Grand Diviner can spam level 2 spells quickly and Ancient Curse from Magus wrecks bosses who have multiple body parts.
Charlotte – Trials of Mana Best Classes
Charlotte is the healer, which, in this game, is not totally necessary since there is an abundance of healing items which get you through the game just fine right up until the very end. Having a healer is very convenient, but also Duran and Kevin both get classes with healing options, so that further blunts Charlotte’s usefulness. Basically, her class options are to be a worse version of someone else + a healer. So you can go dark side classes and be a worse Angela with a heal, or you can go light side and be a worse Duran with a heal. I think light side is better, and Sage is probably her best class.
NOTE: Everything said above still holds true in the Remake. Charlotte is pretty much just as useless as ever, and Sage remains her best class (as long as you don’t have Duran).