Well, for starters, I’m not sure about the metamorph spell, but the Ultima Spell is at first a better choice than the sword Ragnarok if you don’t take into account the fact that a Genji glove and offering can have you attacking and killing the final boss of FFVI in one round.
The Esper is the right choice for two reasons. First, IIRC, the Esper is the only way to get multiple copies of some critical items. Second, Atma Weapons are the best weapons anyway, due to the ridiculous way they calculate damage.
The one advantage in dual-wielding Ragnaroks or Lightbringers is that, with a Genji Glove and Offering, plus the random Flares and Holies, you can do the max single-target damage in the game. 9999 * 8, plus a couple 9999s for the Flares and Holies.
Anyway, FF6 becomes so laughably unbalanced around level 50, this is a moot point.
Ah, the Ultima. That’s why you get the Esper: You teach it to half a dozen characters and drive everything to the ground 255 battles to uncurse the damn things, are you kidding me?. Actually I’ve never even got to level 50, IIRC (though I should check my saves) my ~38-40 was unstoppable, there was a mediocre lower level party that did OK and the crappy guys™+Celes to up the life expectancy, who I prayed they could beat that thing in Kefka’s castle to press a switch. I had Shadow throw half my items in that battle.
FFVI challenges the player only up till you find Terra as an esper and a bit in the beginning of World of Ruin.
My battle plan for uncursing the shield was to level my guys up to 50 in the Dinosaur forest before entering Kefka’s Tower - Each group had it’s share of fighters and magicians. Heck, even Group Mog/Umaro/Gogo/Gau beat one of the Celestriads (I was originally planning on making Gau some mean berserked Imp dude since I had all pieces of the Imp equipment…)
As for the Metamorphose part…
Marvel Shoes, gotta get me a few pairs of those. Ribbons, maybe. It’s just that if the one with the Genji Glove/Master Scroll gets confused, then it’s a big hurt to the whole party. Were there Intangirs in WoR? Megalixirs for Dragon’s Den could be a real help.
Double Ultima Weapons with previous setup is lovely, as the damage doesn’t get halved… Unless you’re taking a beating. I do like equipping just a GG instead of the 8-attack combo.
I liked Setzer with the Fixed Dice/Atma Weapon/Genji Glove/Offering combo as I can waste most anybody with this combo without such contingencies such as losing to many HP or bad luck.
Also if you’re talking about 6 Advance then yeah go with the Esper since you can get unlimited Ragnaroks and Ultima Weapons and by proxy Lightbringers by refighting the final battle over and over again.
Otherwise go with the sword since it’s impossible to get another.
Intangirs can be found on the Veldt in both the WoB and the WoR. Otherwise, No.
Everything you can get through Metamorphose can also be gotten by abusing the Colosseum.
Other things that you can do in Advance that you couldn’t do in previous versions.
Get the Gold Hairpin from the lone wolf and still get Water Rondo.
Learning Quasar and Force Field from somewhere other than Kefka’s Tower.
Learning Quick without losing Odin.
And gaining a Speed bonus without Odin (+2 even).
Edit: Should’ve realized sooner that Setzer can’t equip an Atma Weapon naturally. Still there’s always the dice/fixed dice/offering/genji glove combo.
QFT. Also, that’s why I like Cyan’s auto-cast swords. It’s insane how differently the game plays at lower levels, where Bum Rush and the Drill are still your most powerful moves, Quadra Slam is still impressive, and Terra’s morph is still actually worth using. It’s funner to play that way imo. There’s nothing fun about being able to kill Brachosaurs in one shot.
I think I like the Economizer/Gem Box combination better. You have to go dino hunting for a hell of a long time to outfit your entire party with those though. But the rate at which you can vanish/doom or double-ultima shit is unbelievable and so damn unforgivably cheap.