At the beginning of the game, - Final Fantasy VIII
At the beginning of the game, you should play a bunch of card games. If Quezacotl has learned card mod, then it will be really helpful.
Also have Shiva and Ifrit learn Fire and Ice Magic RF. Here is how to get some really strong magic by modifying magic from items from cards:
Card | Item | Magic
Blitz | Dynamo Stone | 20 Thundaga
Snow Lion | North Wind | 20 Blizzaga
3Hexadragon| Fire Fang | 20 Firaga
Abyss Worm | Windmill | 20 Tornado
These all Junction really well to your stats. Also, you can get Squall's second best weapon before you begin the field exam in Dollet. You must get 6 Iron Giants, 3 Adamantoises, 1 Tonberry, and 2 Geezards.
If you use Card Mod and change these cards, you can go to the Junk Shop in Balamb and remodel his weapon.
If you want to remodel other characters' weapons, you can refine the following cards:
Cockatrice, Mesmerize, 3Grand Mantis, 2Buel, Grendel, Caterchipillar, 10 Red Dragon, 5 Turtapod.
When you get back to Balamb after the Dollet exam, you can remodel Zell's, Selphie's, and Quisties' weapons with it.