First there's the assist duo. Thoth, my wizard, increases the party's speed and then attack power while my priest Peridot heals and boosts defense.
Then there's the attack duo. My thief Kleftis (weirdly tank-like) attacks or heals my main character Nizk. Nizk, always uses the "Falcon Slash" ability since it attacks twice (and after all the magic buffs he hits for around three times the damage of a single strike).
And the bout with the the Gittingham big bad himself, King Godwyn.
Not to mention the battle with bad King Godwyn's second form as well.
Though being levels 40, 40, 39, and 38 (Nizk, Kleftis, Thoth, Peridot) no doubt helps, I think my strategy is doing more than grinding ever could. And this, using the game's stat-boosters to concentrate attack power in a few select characters, is definitely the way to play. Dragon Quest IX's combat is purely turn-based after all.
RPGs like Chrono Trigger, where there's less time to make decisions about stat-boosts cut back on the players' ability to do so.
RPGs like Tales of Phantasia, where the battles play out like arcade fighting games, include such abilities usually only for the AI controlled characters. In doing so, these games release the player from having to actively use them in combat and thus release them from case by case strategizing for the most part.
But purely turn-based games like Dragon Quest IX are much more contemplative. Having finally figured that out, I'm now ready for the last leg of the game. And surely that's what's coming next.