Kuja, the Conductor of Death - A Kuja Evaluation Guide

Kuja is my main there so I thought I would get this chance to start. I apologize in advance for spelling mistakes that may be here and there. I’m looking forward your comments and suggestions on how to write and the character itself. Enjoy the reading!


General Information

  • Game: Final Fantasy IX
  • Roles: AoE Brv Shaver, Brv+HP Attacker, Self Buffer, (later) AoE killer, Aura Buffer
  • Attack Type: Magic
  • Weapon Type: Other
  • Crystal: Red
  • Optimal Use: Multiple Enemies, Light Weakness

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Who Is He

Kuja was created by Garland with the intent of assimilating the two planets Gaia and Terra. He is a genome with limited potential since he was created adult and without emotions. This means that, as a genome, he will not enjoy an afterlife and, as deprived of emotions, he cannot theoretically enter the state of trance. Considering Kuja’s big ego, he rebels against this fate as he cannot imagine the world going on without him.

I will not add much as my knowledge comes from the wikia. Sorry…

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  • HP: 2/5
  • INT BRV: 4/5
  • MAX BRV: 5/5
  • ATK: 3/5
  • DEF: 1/5
  • SPD: 5/5

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AbilityBase DescriptionTypeUses*Weapon
Ring Holy3-Hit Brv attack with light element (30%×3). The hits are randomly dispersed if there is more than one enemy. Grants 2 stacks of Soul Divider, which buffs Max Brv (20%, 22%, 25%, or 30% of maximum) and gives Brv regen (20%, 22%, 25%, or 30% of INT Brv) based on the amount of stacks.AoE Brv Shaver, Self-Buff7Increase potency to 60%×3 and increase the stacks of Soul Divider received by 1
Ring Holy+3-Hit stronger Brv attack with light element (50%×3). Removes Soul Divider.
Ultima (IX)9-Hit Brv+HP attack (10%×9). The hits are randomly dispersed and the HP damage equally divided if there is more than one enemy. Grants 2 stacks of Soul Divider5Double potency to 20%×9 and increase the uses by 1. Grants to self MAX Brv up (20%) and Mark up (20%) for 5 turns. Increase the stacks of Soul Divider received by 1
Ultima (IX)+Repeats again the attack and removes Soul Diver (10%×9×2). The Break Bonus is applied again if it breaks an enemy.

*Max Uses with ‘Charged’ passives and weapons equipped

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High Priorities Passives

PassiveDescriptionCP cost
Buff attack upIncrease ATK by 10% when buffed10
Soul ConductorIncrease MAX Brv and speed by 10% while buffed20
Ultima (IX) power upIncrease by 10% damage dealt by skill10
Ring Holy chargeIncrease use of skill by 110
Ring Holy power upIncrease by 10% damage dealt by skill10
Ultima (IX) attack upthe turn after using Ultima (IX) increase attack by 10%

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Low Priorities Passives

Break Bonus up | Increases Brv gained by breaking an enemy by 20% | 10 Break speed up | Gives a small buff to speed for one turn after breaking an enemy | 10 Brv speed up | Gives a small buff to speed when Brv is above 50% MAX | 10

As you can see, Kuja’s arsenal is all about getting power! After all he is now a free elf he has to be strong to fight on his own. For this reason, much importance is put on his self-buffing passives. Speed is kept second so that he does not Lightning steal too many turns. You may decide to give them some priority if you have a really fast team (i.e. pairing him with Eiko and Lightning). All those passives that are kept as secondary are very situational.

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Artifact Priorities

  • ATK +108

  • Ultima (IX) ☆☆

  • Holy Ring ☆☆

  • Max Brv +330

  • Soul Conductor ☆☆

Again, our conductor needs all the power he can get. You want to get as much damage as possible as quickly as possible. The only exception is that if you want to prepare for his awakening (and you kind of should), you should instead give priority to MAX Brv. In fact, at that time he will easily hit cap every time. So you want to raise the bar as much as possible. It’s up to you whether you prefer a slightly better Kuja now or to grind for artifacts only once.

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Brilliant CoresIncreases the potency of Ring Holy and Ring Holy+. Makes them grant an additional stack of Soul Diver15CP
Scintillant CoresIncreases the potency of Ultima (IX) and Ultima (IX)+. Increase its MAX uses by 1. Grants small MAX Brv up and small Magical Attack up for five turns after use. Makes them grant an additional stack of Soul Diver. Lowers their action delay35CP

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Weapon Priorities

*35CP *15CP

There is no doubt here. Both weapons are good in increase the potency of the respective ability, but the 35CP gives far too much to Kuja. Firstly, it increases the uses of his more powerful weapon and lowers its action delay. But, more importantly, it gives Kuja two good buffs. This means that Kuja will be buffed even in those rare moments when Soul Diver is not up. And, trust me, Kuja loves being buffed.

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  • The first strong AoE damage dealer we get

  • His stronger ability has no element so it can be infused with the most useful summon

  • Can potentially surpass his own cap with Ultima (IX)+ for every use

  • Large amount of invisible buffs and compatible with ATK buffers

  • Can be either your husbando or waifu depending on how you look at ‘him’

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  • Requires quite some micromanagement of Soul Divider to work efficiently all the time

  • Lack full control of Ultima (IX)’s targets

  • Does not provide any utility for the party

  • Struggle on not breaking multiple enemies at the same wasting break bonus

  • Can be either your husbando or waifu depending on how you look at ‘him’

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Where He Currently Stands

Kuja is unlucky… He is added right before the true power of his environment kicks in. In fact, he is generated before Trance joins our ranks before awakening starts being a thing. For this reason he will have is bright moment and a subsequent time to live in the shadows of the true angels of death. Especially in GL, where awakenings are expected to be right being the corner, his time to shine won’t last long…

Kuja has a very strong kit. However, he will simply lack in power in front of those who gets their awakenings. Additionally, AoE damage won’t be that major quirk anymore as more and more character get that or splashing damage. For this reason, he lost usefulness and was bottom tier in JP and on Terra and Gaia by the time the stronger awakenings started kicked in until his LC came back. Unfortunately, this will be a lot of time, compared to a shorter time to truly shine.

But what is his strength? Many have pointed out to me that both of his abilities are really potent. Especially Ultima (IX), of course, that will be the most powerful in terms of percentages. This pairs up well with Kuja already high damaging side. Also, until Squall gets his awakening Kuja will be the best character to clean cycle quests. So, he can be really useful to level up characters, esoecially since he will probably be faster than the small fries you are going to bring with him.


Also, in his favour, I will say that he has good synergy with many buffers like our God (Sazh if you happen to live under a rock) and Eiko. In fact, he gains from their buff to max brv and enjoys that ATK buffbuff as he can only buff his MAtk. Also, having someone putting buffs on him means he won’t need to be so hasty on using the precious Ultima (IX) to get his own buffs.

However, as you probably know, Kuja becomes an absolute monster when his awakening and EX kicks in. These two together fix all the troubles he had before. Firstly, they raise the potency of his abilities. Ring Holy+ triggers an HP attack in the end while the second round of Ultima (IX)+ becomes an absolute monstrosity of numbers. Additionally he gets tons of juicy buffs. Finally, his EX gives him Permanente four stack of Soul Divider and aura buffs. This is great. He will no longer be the selfish self-buffer he is now, but will greatly increase everyone’s efficiency with a single framed buff on himself. Also, he will be able to spam his + abilities continuously. And, trust me, it feels great to see those numbers rolling. The icing on the cake is that, just in virtue of MLB his EX, you get Brv+ and HP+. The first being a stronger move whereas the second is a Brv+HP attack. But, more importantly, he enters the field with all five abilities in red if you MLBed all his weapons. So, he will be aesthetically pleasing to all the OCDs like me!!!

An important question that may come to mind is “what if he does get his awakening”? After all, they are behind the corner! So why not with the early releases banner? Two things… To begin with, I think this is very unlikely. Awakening are not something to mess with. If you change the order tootoo much, you’ll end up in big trouble. For example, if Setzer came with his, he would easily break the meta. And for quite a while. Prishe 35CP was big but not as much as some awakenings. Kuja’s is one of these… Furthermore, you really need his EX to complement his kit. Otherwise, he won’t keep up when his LC come around. So, having him release with the awakening won’t do much to help him in the long run.

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Preferred Environment

Kuja likes big orchestras with many spectators. He enjoys the presence of a good buffer play their strings to increase his already great fire power. Also, he likes with many monsters come to see his shows. The more, the merrier: you will enjoy hitting all those enemies at the same time. Especially with awakening when you get the chance to use Ultima (IX)+ for 54 Brv attack with 2 HP attacks…

Also, as mentioned earlier, he is great for cycle quests. A good Kuja should be able to clear them in around 5 turns. And it’s not that hard… Just spam Ultima (IX) until you run out of souls enemies.

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Should I pull?

The big question… I’m sorry for the fans, but this is an absolute no. This banner has a major problem. Kuja is not that great investment for the present as explained so far. And no, he is not an investment for the future either. To get him working (as explained earlier), you need his EX or you will feel the loss in power once characters keep getting stronger. This means you will have to pull on a really similar banner (i.e. that of his LC). This, loads of duplicates that are not worth the gems you’re spending. I already explained this in a post some ago about not pulling for event characters you desire the EX of. Unless ‘he’ is husbando or waifu, pull just for Setzer and Yuna’s 35CP.

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0 out of all the allies he started with.

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Special credit: Watershaman


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