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Dragon Quest IX: VUST - Minstrel's Litheness

Updated on October 1, 2010


VUST stands for Vocation Unique Skill Tree, and is a series of Dragon Quest IX articles I will be creating as time passes for each of the vocations. This is the sixth article of the series (wow, we're at the halfway point already!), and will detail Litheness.

Litheness is the Minstrel's VUST and has a myriad of stat boosts and abilities. The stat boosts follow the Minstrel's concept of being a jack of all trades (as each stat boost is different; there's no conformity as is the case with most other VUSTs). The abilities show the Minstrel's skills as an entertainer, which include the ability to cause uncontrollable laughter in a group of enemies and an increased dodge rate while critically injured.

Read on as I dissect this skill tree! :D

Litheness Skill Tree Rundown

I am going to list the perks you get for leveling up this skill tree. The format will be:

Skill points required. Skill name here MP Cost (if applicable)


Let the entertainment begin!


4. Hot Lick 2 MP

The Litheness skill tree starts out with a very peculiar ability. Hot Lick allows you to attack an enemy, dealing fire damage. I personally don't use it much myself, but perhaps you'll see greater use out of it. ;)

10. Spry in a Crisis

If you have been following my VUST articles, then the fact that this isn't a stat boost might feel a bit strange (after all, two straight skill levels without a stat boost?). What this bonus does is relatively similar though. Essentially, if you're critically injured, your dodge rate goes up. Mind you, I think it's a nasty idea to rely on this, as random effects are random, but you never know when it may save you.

16. Pratfall 0 MP

We've reached an ability that I find rather useful. Pratfall has your character taking a dive to the ground (yes, you read that correctly). Of course, there's a chance your enemies might find it so funny that they skip their turn in uncontrollable laughter. ;)

So, if you have a large group of enemies you need to slow down a bit, use this.

22. Natural Charm +30

It's a stat boost! :P

According to the manual, Charm is your character's general attractiveness to others. In game terms, the more Charm you have, the higher the chance a monster skips its turn to just stare at you lovingly. Or, something like that. It's underwhelming when you compare it to HP, MP, Strength and Resilience boosts, but take what you can I always say. ;)

32. Sobering Slap 2 MP

With this ability, your Minstrel can remove confusion from any of your party members. Here's the problem: Unless confusion as a monster strategy becomes more common in high-level grottos, then it's virtually useless, as I've yet to see a single monster in all of my grotto travels even attempt a confusing attack.

42. Natural Magical Might +30

It's another stat boost. Unlike the previous one, this boost also happens to be pretty good. You can dabble in this tree for the bonus points if you're a magic damage dealer, or just use those extra points to hit harder with Kaswoosh (which is the Minstrel's strongest attack spell).

55. Tap Dance 0 MP

Another showcase of the Minstrel's role as an entertainer, this ability allows increases the character's dodge rate. This is good if you have time to prepare in a boss fight, but under normal circumstances I'd prefer something a bit more...solid.

68. Natural Magical Mending +30

The previous stat boost increased our Minstrel's prowess as an offensive spellcaster. This boost increases his capabilities as a healer. Granted, Minstrels have modest healing spells, but the more Magical Mending you have, the better your healing spells are, so it definitely doesn't hurt.

82. Have a Ball 8 MP

So, this ability deals damage to an enemy, costs 8 MP, and is strictly inferior to most other skills in the same price range. Unless you really want the stat boost for maxing out this tree, I would've stopped at 68 points. :P

100. Natural Deftness +50

To top off this wacky skill tree, we have a 50 point boost to the Deftness stat. I had to fetch my manual again and it said the following: "Governs a character's ability to make preemptive strikes, perform critical attacks, and flee from battle."

So, essentially, it boosts things that have a random chance of occurring. -_-

I suppose the chance to perform a critical attack is nice, but the other bonuses are a bit lackluster. Your mileage may vary on this one.


So, that's all for this latest entry to my VUST series!

Feel free to comment on the Minstrel vocation in the comments section. The jack of all trades is good at everything, but great at nothing. The skill tree is not as cool as previous ones I have written about. Even so, I'm sure this character will probably find a place on your team!

Until the next time, take care and have fun! ;)



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      Lord of the Sword 5 years ago

      In the minstrel's defence, maxing out the stat tree is good for alchemiracles, as each one is based on one of your stats.

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      Archmage 6 years ago

      A few minutes after I was browsing your hubs, which I must say are quite informative, I found the boss Hammibal at the end of a grotto. When he swings his flail(chain with mace on the end)it has a chance to confuse an ally. I used Sobering Slap to remove the confusion.

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      drew 6 years ago

      CYoung75, combine minstrel* w/ gladiator to egg on gladiator. also, need healer.**

      *make minstrel main character.

      **most likely priest.

    • CYoung75 profile image

      CYoung75 6 years ago from Largs, United Kingdom

      I absolutely love Pratfall. I think out of all the taunts I have seen in games over the years this one has to be the best.

      I have maxed out my minstrel and am undecided what other profession to mix with it to make him as powerful as possible.

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      Having a Ball 6 years ago

      If you go through the whole tree I found Have a Ball is nice for XP farming on the metal monsters. It hits 6 times. Down fall can be if there is more than one monster, but in my current set up it still matches Metal Slash or better despite 1 or 2 extra mobs since another character has the Falcon Blade.