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How to Beat Corvus in "Dragon Quest IX"

I've been playing video games since the tender age of four. As a result, most of my articles are related to video games.


So, I'm sure you stumbled onto this article after wanting to pull your hair out for being unable to beat Corvus' second form, which is also the final main boss in Dragon Quest IX. (Corvus' first form isn't particularly worthy of its own article.) I can't guarantee that I can make this fight painless, but I will give you a character setup to strive for that should work most of the time unless he gets lucky with critical hits or with his attack routine. Let's start with the recommended character setup.

The Final Boss of Dragon Quest IX

Corvus' second form. Menacing, ain't it?

Corvus' second form. Menacing, ain't it?

Suggested Character Setup

There are many ways to set up your party in Dragon Quest IX which can be a source of confusion for many players. While there's no right or wrong way to do so most of the time, I can tell you that for the Corvus fight, you want to have certain constants, even if the rest of your party differs.

  • Your party should be at level 35 as a bare minimum. Level 40-45 is preferable if you want to attempt this fight without having skills from other vocations.
  • Your whole party should be equipped with Life Bracers. 25 HP regeneration every turn adds up fast, and reduces the strain on your healer. Speaking of healers...
  • Your healer MUST have a Wand and 100 Wand Skill. Seriously, the myriad of MP boosters you get from the Wand skill tree become ridiculous, and this is going to be a long fight unless you're incredibly lucky. I had a Level 35 Sage doing my healing for me.
  • Your healer MUST have Multiheal. The ability to heal everyone is awesome in this fight, especially if he gets trigger happy with breath attacks. Good luck healing through that if he does it several turns straight and you don't have Multiheal.
  • If your healer is a Priest with Omniheal, that's even better, but that may be overkill for this fight.
  • A Paladin is a recommended boost to your defensive setup. Paladins can Kabuff long before they hit 35, and their Coup de Grace is Knight Watch, which renders him/her invulnerable for several turns, as well as forcing Corvus to attack him/her for one or two of those turns. If you managed to get Forbearance, then Knight Watch becomes cheese, since the Paladin will absorb ALL attacks until Knight Watch wears off. I didn't have it in my playthrough though.
  • I recommend keeping your main character as a Minstrel since they have the ability to cast Zing. This is essential when Corvus decides it's a cute idea to kill your healer in one round.
  • My fourth slot was occupied by a Warrior, who was my damage dealer and resident Whipping Boy (as in the skill that shields an ally of your choosing), but the Paladin could easily fill that niche if you don't want to use a Warrior.
  • Your party members should have their shield skill as high as possible. Reaching 100 in the Shield skill tree allows you to use a shield with any class and, among other things, gives you a whopping +6% chance to block with a shield. Blocking can also block critical hits, so this is very good indeed.

Corvus: His Battle Strategy

I can summarize it in one sentence.

Corvus' battle strategy is completely random.


I wish I were joking.

He does have certain patterns within his battle style but, for the most part, what he'll do in one battle will differ greatly from what he does in another.

Some constants in his chaos:

  • He attacks twice per turn. (Although it's more accurate to say that he acts twice per turn, because sometimes he'll waste an attack on "laughing confidently" which does nothing).
  • After he uses Magic Burst, he won't use another attack for that turn. Either you're so unlucky that he Magic Burst you after he had already attacked once, or he does it as his first attack and skips his next action.
  • When his health is low, he'll start using Meditate more and more often. This skill heals Corvus for 500 HP. Since it's not a spell, Antimagic isn't going to stop him from using it. In any case, I doubt you can Antimagic him. (Bosses stink like that.)
  • He has the ability to land critical blows. His criticals do 210-220 damage, so I recommend dabbling in vocations that have a skill tree with +HP boosters, unless you fancy dying every turn.
  • He casts Kafrizzle. Since it's the only spell he casts, I don't particularly suggest you use Magic Mirror (a skill in the Shield skill tree) unless you truly feel like it. On the upside, a reflected Kafrizzle does upwards of 200 damage to Corvus, and he's reckless in casting (at times using it on a character he saw use Magic Mirror not more than two turns ago).
  • He uses Disruptive Wave at times, especially if you try to use a lot of buffs on your party. If you don't use too many beneficial spells, you may never see him use it. I saw it twice in my winning run.
  • He uses Burning Breath at times, but the chances of success are rather low so no worries. On the other hand, he likes to use a Sleep attack ("gleaming eyes") that always connects, so I recommend having some Panaceas in your inventory, just in case.

Suggested Battle Strategy

So, you have a level 35-40 party set up just like I recommended. However, you still need a good strategy to use against Corvus. My best piece of advice for you is to assume the worst. Assume he's going to land a critical every turn. Assume he will use two breath attacks a turn. If you can beat his worst-case scenario, his real attack sequence will probably be much easier to thwart.

Some general tips:

  • Have your healer use Multiheal (or Omniheal if he/she is a Priest and has learned it) every turn. I mean this, EVERY turn. You should be able to survive two breath attacks in one turn, but not four in a row.
  • When one of your characters is near death, use Whipping Boy with your tank character. This is especially important if it's the healer at death's door.
  • Know when to use your Coup de Graces. Just because you're able to use it doesn't mean it's always the best moment to use it. An obvious exception to what I just said is the Paladin Coup; use that one ASAP.
  • Stay Kabuffed at all times. Having a high defense prevents his regular attacks from doing too much damage. This won't stop critical hits though.
  • Smack Corvus hard with Psyche Up cheese (Use Egg On with your main character on your damage dealer and have your damage dealer Psyche Up. If you're lucky, he/she will be at 100 Tension by the end of the second turn). An attack at Max Tension does from 12x-16x normal damage, so you shouldn't need too many, as long as you don't get overeager and try to finish him off instead of holding back in a crucial moment, getting your damage dealer killed.
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In Conclusion

This is an insanely hard fight to predict, and as such you should prepare your party as best as possible to withstand his relentless assault. If your party is set up adequately, I have no doubts that you'll prevail!

If you have any questions or suggestions on how to improve this article, feel free to comment on it in the comments sections!

Until the next time, take care and have fun!



Pikachubro49 on February 23, 2019:

My characters are anakin (main) level 49 minstrel

Neon level 50 warrior high attack

Fiona level 49 warrior tank all shield skill

Goku level 35 martial artist but still does lots of damage

I’m still stuck any idea without changing my vocations?

Autum on August 29, 2017:

My characters are at level 43 and 42 but they always get killed I heal every time needed.

I don't know if it's a good team but

(Leader) Raf minstrel level 43

Sulfus thief level 43

Almudena minstrel level 42

George priest level 42

Sorry if you think this was a waste of your time

... on August 06, 2017:

Hi! If your still mnaging comments, Would I have a chance against Corvus with this setup?

Minstrel, level 49

Mage, level 47 or so

Priest, level 43

Martial Artist, level 48 or so

I changed the vocations around on my mage and martial artist so im not quite sure levels wise :/ around there though!

gepeTooRs on July 27, 2016:

Fantastic article. Looking forward for more posts like this.

Connor on April 11, 2014:

Pikachu is now on lv 36 sword skill 90

Connor on April 11, 2014:

Is this all right to fight Corvus ?

Gladiator (Ash) lv 35 HP 219 MP 19 Defence 256 Attack 323 (Axe skill 64 Hammer skill 24 sword skill 9 Guts 3 Fisticuff 3)

Priest (Brock) lv 35 HP 158 MP 219 Defence 179 Attack 94 (wand skill 84)

Warrior (Pikachu) lv 35 HP215 MP 32 Defence 289 Attack 300 (sword skill 84) (courage skill 8)

Priest (Misty) lv 34 HP 157 MP 248 Defence 162 Attack 144 (Wand skill 1000

and I cant get no life bracer.

Masterbdg701 on October 27, 2013:


Same here. I've got a team of 50's and I have only recently learned that Sage's have a multiheal ability. I'll try to get them to 60 anyway and see how that goes...

A.J. on July 25, 2013:

OMG you only have to be 35-40!?!?! I've been trying to hit 70 and I'm in early sixties now!! ughhh I wish I saw this earlier -_-

Matthew on May 24, 2013:

the article told me that you need to egg on your damage dealer but I am the damage dealer get it now, lord of the sword?

Matthew on May 24, 2013:

just in case if you are wondering what sword I have I have erdrick's sword a 4 star weapon with 158 attack

Matthew on May 24, 2013:

to be more exact I'm a lv 35 gladiator with a lv 45 warrior a lv28 priest and a lv39 mage (I killed the king of the house of git with that party)

Lord of the Sword on May 22, 2013:

We HAVE to start back up this article! If anyone is listening, let's do it.

Lord of the Sword on May 13, 2013:

Could you elaborate on that? A bit more info than "if you are the damage dealer?". For what? Stats? Gotta help me out here, man.

Matthew on May 12, 2013:

what if you are the damage dealer what do you do now?

Lord of the Sword on April 23, 2013:

All games must end eventually, even one as difficult and as massive as DQIX. That is one of the great sadnesses of video games and books: however big the programmer or author makes them, they still must end sometime, and you must move on to the next adventure.

Justin on April 22, 2013:

I spent 250 hrs playing to get my team of 4 up to level 25 in every vocation (except luminary). My team was in the 30s and 40s upon facing Corvus. Pally had 550hp at level 42. The team obliterated him. He was a complete disappointment and i am actually really pissed off I invested so many hours. The grottos are repetitive and boring to me too :( I guess i spoiled the game for myself.

Lord of the Sword on April 19, 2013:

Yeah, everything is going fine here.

You know... there is that new DQX game for... I believe the PC? You should check it out.

Darrin Perez (author) from Puerto Rico on April 08, 2013:

@Lord of the Sword: Hello there! Well, there wasn't a lot for me to do anymore in DQIX, besides max out the stats of all of my characters (which takes a LONG time) and try to get all of the Legacy Boss maps. :/

Thanks for worrying. I'm doing great. Hope you're doing great as well. :)

Lord of the Sword on April 08, 2013:

Hello, Winter! It's me again. I just wanted to say hi, since we haven't met in so long. It sucks that you don't play DQIX anymore, because you gave the best advice. Hope everything is going alright.

CB on April 07, 2013:

thanks :) i think im gonna change him to a sage

Darrin Perez (author) from Puerto Rico on March 28, 2013:

Well, hello there DQ 9 player. I haven't played this game in ages, but it seems to me that you should be able to beat Corvus. If you get beat up by Corvus repeatedly, you could always get 100 Fans on your Paladin and get Reverse Cycle. This will reflect any breath attacks Corvus may use. You can use Magic Mirror (40 Shields) to reflect magic spells. Then, you just have your Paladin use Forbearance and block every non-physical attack for a few turns. Of course, that takes a LOT of grinding, and I don't feel like you should need it. :)

@CB: You need a Priest or a Sage, and Thieves are pretty bad unless you have a lot of different skills for them. Rangers make better Thieves than actual Thieves do if you get 100 in the Thief's vocation unique skill tree (VUST for short).

DQ 9 player on March 28, 2013:

Ok so i have:

A paladin level 42

Strength 160

Hp 272

Attack 315

Defence 383

Sword skill 100

Martial artist level 43

Strength 191

HP 245

Attack 333

Defence 159

Staff skill 100

Priest level 42 (also the healer)

Str 89

HP 187

Att 163

Def 185

Wand skill 86

And a gladiator level 42

Str 237

HP 255

Att 390

Def 210

Hammer skill 100

So do you think i should be able to defeat corvus? I tried a few times and failed miserably. I was also thinking of making a character a sage, but i don't know. I want the sage to take a bit of pressure off my priest for healing. But raising a character from level one to 42 seems like a long ordeal, but i'll do it if i have to. Also, should i change weapons on a character? Any help is appreciated!

CB on March 11, 2013:

And if i DO have to change... which one should i change? And to what?

CB on March 11, 2013:

ok in my party i have

Minstrel (level 50)

Warrior (level 50)

Martial Artist (level 50)

Thief (level 50)

and i CANNOT beat him.. AT ALL! its really pissing me off. is there anything i can do to fix it.. without changing my party? :) i dont like changing it, cuz i only changed vocations once and then i have to train them and everything -___- but if i really have to... i guess i will

Lord of the Sword on February 19, 2013:

The minstrel looks a bit low leveled to be facing Corvus.

The mage, warrior, and minstrel are good, but what would you use a thief for. Corvus doesn't have any steals, and they have mediocre attack and defence.

I would recommend changing the thief to a priest or sage and level it until it gets Multiheal.

What all that means: Level up the Minstrel, and change thief to priest/sage and level THAT up until it gets Multiheal.

carly on February 16, 2013:

I have a level 43 warrior as my main character

I have a level 42 theif with fire claws

I have a level 43 mage

and a level 35 minstrel...

how do I beat corvus with these guys?

jilyforever on February 10, 2013:

i've played dq9 before, but then i moved and my mum threw it out accidently :( i've bought it again though and i was wondering if you could give me some tips on how to start up again as i have not played in a year... Thanks!!

Lord of the Sword on January 08, 2013:


Hey, I'm back Winterfate!

I just wanted to say that the game automatically saves once you get an alchemiracle (or not) to prevent save-abusing. E.G. If you don't get an alchemiracle, you have to reset to the first in the line of that top tier line and start all over.

DQIX noob on January 04, 2013:

Thanks for the info and for getting back so quick. Great article as well really helped.:-)

Darrin Perez (author) from Puerto Rico on January 04, 2013:

Well, I do know that they are actually the third highest tier of armor. To get the top tier of armor requires that you use the alchemy pot and roll a successful Alchemiracle. An Alchemiracle occurs 10% of the time that you use alchemy to make the second highest tier of armor.

So, in other words, the ability to max out any piece of equipment is dependent on luck. Better start save-abusing. :P

Also, here's a full list of recipes from the Dragon's Den.

Hope this helps! :)

DQIX noob on January 04, 2013:

Do you know anything about the legendary armour set? I got them after fighting a grotto boss

Darrin Perez (author) from Puerto Rico on January 02, 2013:

Well, if I can still remember the answer to the question asked. :P

I haven't actually played DQIX in over a year, and I'm kind of busy with other things, but if you ask me a question and I can answer it, I'll do my best.

DQIX noob on January 02, 2013:


Are you still answering DQ IX questions?

Sebastian Michaelis on October 24, 2012:

I beat Corvus with a party of 2 gladiators and two priests. All were level 40. I pumbled him with the gladiators while the priests healed when necessary. The priests were set on auto. (Focus on healing) I finished the quests for level forty: thief, minstrel, warrior, gladiator and priest. It takes awhile but it’s worth it. You gain: Gritty Ditty, the chance to counter normal attacks, the chance to do double damage on a normal strike, Wave of relief, and the thief was just good for normal battles: it sometimes steals items on its own. I gave my gladiators moonwart bulbs and 2 of the revive leafs. I gave one of them the healing dew as well. The easy way to gain skill points is to go to Alltrades Abby and change your characters vocations. When you gain skill points: DON’T USE THEM. Use them for the skill you want, I recommend maxing out the shield and the paladin’s virtue (You gain resilience and 80+ to your natural hp!). Then use the rest to max out your preferred weapon. If you have a ranger, I recommend maxing out the bow then taking the quest from that guy at swinedimples. The first request is to use Flutter Disaster on 10 pekerals. Easy. If your box skill is maxed, exit the building then enter and talk to him again. He’ll have two requests: the first one is kill 10 boss trolls with Rain of Pain, the second one is requested after you tell him you beat the boss trolls. You have to give him Wonder Pants, I don’t have the recipe but you should have it. He’ll give you a scroll giving that character the skill: Shining Shot, it does around 100-300 damage to all enemies and is great when training. My gladiators had shields and maxed virtue as well as my priests. I head one extreme magical mending with a wand, as well as maxed enlightenment (For the Sage vocation) and he had 400 mp. The other priest had exceptionally high magical mending and a bow. I equipped two spirit bracers to the gladiators and they had tons of mp, so I kept using parallex. Remember this was the long way to victory but it was flawless. Happy questing! 