Kind of reminds me of ff6. Though I don't think it did nothing your strength seemed pretty inconsequential. You'd like put on a hyper wrist and up it 50% and not really notice a difference. It was all about your weapon and character level. The magic stat helped though.
Now hold on a sec. Sabin with a hyper wrist and high str meant pummel did extreme damage. I think I remember reading somewhere though that magic defense in VI had a really bleh calculation which gave magic power an easier time in inflicting higher damage.
Early and mid game, most enemies have shit MDEF. It's only later that you'll meet stuff that's stronger against magic than physical.
The only real defence against magic is element resistance.
Sabin's Aura Cannon (with 2x earring for power up) is nice since it's holy (and pretty much nothing for the longest time resists holy), unavoidable AND ignores MDEF.
Then later there's Fire Dance and Wind Slice for manaless magical AoE. At the end there's Bum Rush which is also a magical attack that ignores MDEF.
As completely opposite as it looks, Sabin is a much better mage than physical fighter.