Introduction

Machinist (MCH) is a Support DPS job meant to primarily provide damage and secondarily help sustain party resources, be that TP or MP, as well as bring very strong defensive mitigation tools such as Dismantle and Palisade. When played correctly, Machinist can bring a very competitive amount of DPS due to their instant cast attacks from afar allowing for little to no downtime and their extremely high burst damage. Machinist becomes their strongest when synergized with any other job that rotates raid buffs on a 1-minute rotation due to Wildfire going off every 60 seconds so optimization of Machinist is a very tight process that gives virtually no room for error in order to see the best damage possible. This being said, Machinist is not for the faint of heart due to its very fast paced rotation during Wildfire windows and learning to properly use cooldowns so that everything continues to align correctly with other raid buffs and every Wildfire.

So far in Stormblood, Machinist has received MANY changes to date. This needs to be kept in mind because we are constantly revamping openers and having to optimize new rotations depending on what core mechanics are changed. However, even with all of these changes, Machinist still remains one of the best, if not the best, when it comes to overall burst damage. So let’s get into the nitty gritty and all become masochists, err…. Machinists together!

 

Skills and Abilities

WEAPONSKILLS

Split Shot (Lv. 1)
Delivers an attack with a potency of 160. Additional Effect: 50% chance of increasing next Slug Shot potency by 100 or Heated Slug Shot potency by 130. Duration: 10s. Ammunition Effect: Increases current Split Shot potency by 25. Ammunition Effect: 100% chance of increasing next Slug Shot potency. Gauss Barrel Effect: Increases Heat Gauge by 5.

Slug Shot (Lv. 2)
Delivers an attack with a potency of 100. Split Shot Bonus Potency: 200. Additional Effect: 50% chance of increasing next Clean Shot potency by 140 or Heated Clean Shot by 170. Duration: 10s. Ammunition Effect: Increases current Slug Shot potency by 25. Ammunition Effect: 100% chance of increasing next Clean Shot potency. Gauss Barrel Effect: Increases Heat Gauge by 5.

Spread Shot (Lv. 18)
Delivers an attack with a potency of 80 to all enemies in a cone before you. Ammunition Effect: Increases Spread Shot potency by 25. Gauss Barrel Effect: Increases Heat Gauge by 5. Note: Will be used on 3+ enemies.

Hotshot (Lv. 30)
Delivers an attack with a potency of 120. Additional Effect: Increases physical damage dealt by 8%. Duration: 60s. Ammunition Effect: Increases current Hot Shot potency by 25. Gauss Barrel
Effect: Increases Heat Gauge by 5. Note: This is to be kept up nearly 100% with the exception of the GCD it falls off and is reapplied.

Clean Shot (Lv. 35)
Delivers an attack with a potency of 100. Slug Shot Bonus Potency: 240. Ammunition Effect: Increases current Clean Shot potency by 25. Gauss Barrel Effect: Increases Heat Gauge by 5.

Cooldown (Lv. 62)
Delivers an attack with a potency of 150 if Heat Gauge is under 50, 230 if the gauge is 50 or over. Ammunition Effect: Increases Cooldown potency by 25. Additional Effect: Reduces Heat Gauge by 25.

Heated Split Shot (Lv. 64)
Delivers an attack with a potency of 190. Additional Effect: 50% chance of increasing next Slug Shot potency by 100 or Heated Slug Shot by 130. Duration: 10s. Ammunition Effect: Increases current Heated Split Shot potency by 25. Ammunition Effect: 100% chance of increasing next Slug Shot or Heated Slug Shot potency. Additional Effect: Increases Heat Gauge by 5.

Heated Slug Shot (Lv. 64)
Delivers an attack with a potency of 100. Split Shot Bonus Potency: 230. Additional Effect: 50% chance of increasing next Clean Shot potency by 140 or Heated Clean Shot by 170. Duration: 10s. Ammunition Effect: Increases current Heated Slug Shot potency by 25. Ammunition Effect: 100% chance of increasing next Clean Shot or Heated Clean Shot potency. Additional Effect: Increases Heat Gauge by 5.

Heated Clean Shot (Lv. 64)
Delivers an attack with a potency of 100. Slug Shot Bonus Potency: 270. Ammunition Effect: Increases current Heated Clean Shot potency by 25. Additional Effect: Increases Heat Gauge by 5.

ABILITIES

Reload (Lv. 4)
Loads firearm with three rounds of special ammunition. One round of ammunition is used each time a weaponskill is executed, increasing that weaponskill’s potency. Ammunition use may also increase the rate at which a weaponskill’s additional effect is triggered as well as lower the accompanying Heat Gauge increase. No more than three rounds can be loaded at one time. Recast: 30s.

Heartbreak (Lv. 6)
Delivers an attack with a potency of 240. Can only be executed when target’s HP is below 20%. Recast: 30s.

Reassemble (Lv. 10)
Next weaponskill will result in a critical hit. If the next action is an area of effect attack, only the first enemy hit will be ensured critical damage. Duration: 20s. Recast: 60s. Blank (lv.15) Deals a 15-yalm knockback. Note: Delete this ability, completely useless.

Quick Reload (Lv. 26)
Replenishes your ammo by 1. Recast: 15s. Rapid Fire (Lv. 30) Reduces weaponskill recast time to 1.5 seconds. Effect ends upon executing 3 weaponskills. Duration: 15s. Recast: 60s

Wildfire (Lv. 38)
Covers target’s body in a slow-burning pitch. For the next 10 seconds, 25% of most damage you inflict upon the target is compiled, then dealt at the end of the effect’s duration. Recast: 60s.

Rook Autoturret (Lv. 40)
Deploys a single-target battle turret which will deliver auto-attacks with a potency of 80 to its master’s target. Using a weaponskill will cause turret to change targets. Hypercharge Potency: 160. Hypercharge Effect: Increases target’s damage taken by 6%. Duration: 10s. Shares a recast timer with Bishop Autoturret. Recast: 10s. Turret Retrieval (Lv. 40) Removes an autoturret from the battlefield. Recast: 5s.

Bishop Autoturret (Lv. 50)
Deploys an area of effect battle turret which will deliver auto-attacks to enemies within range with a potency of 60 for the first enemy, 10% less for the second, 20% less for the third, 30% less for the fourth, 40% less for the fifth, and 50% less for all remaining enemies. Hypercharge Potency: 90. Hypercharge Effect: Increases target’s damage taken by 6%. Duration: 10s. Shares a recast timer with Rook Autoturret. Recast: 10s.

Gauss Barrel (Lv. 52)
Equips your current firearm with a gauss barrel, increasing damage by 5%. While barrel is equipped, your weapon’s Heat Gauge will increase each time a weaponskill is executed. When the Heat Gauge reaches 100%, your weapon will become Overheated and damage will be increased by 20%. Duration: 10s. Gauss Barrel effect ends automatically once weapon is no longer Overheated and cannot be applied again for 10s.

Remove Barrel (Lv. 52)
Removes Gauss Barrel from your weapon.

 

Gauss Round (Lv. 54)
Delivers an attack with a potency of 200.

 

Dismantle (Lv.56)
Lowers target’s damage dealt by 10%. Duration: 5s. Recast: 60s.

 

Hypercharge (Lv. 58)
Overcharges your autoturret, increasing its attack potency. Duration: 20s. Recast: 120s. Can only be executed while a turret is deployed.

Ricochet (Lv. 60)
Deals damage to all nearby enemies with a potency of 300 for the first enemy, 10% less for the second, 20% less for the third, 30% less for the fourth, 40% less for the fifth, and 50% less for all remaining enemies. Recast: 60s.

Barrel Stabilizer (Lv. 66)
Sets Heat Gauge to 50. Recast: 60s. Can only be executed when in combat, your weapon is not Overheated, and a Gauss Barrel is attached.

Rook/Bishop Overdrive (Lv. 68)
Sends deployed Rook/Bishop Autoturret into overdrive. While in overdrive, the autoturret will launch a powerful attack, damaging the unit. The autoturret is removed from the battlefield after execution for repairs and cannot be deployed for 30s. Recast: 120s.

Rook Overload (Lv.68)
Rook Autoturret under the effect of Rook Overdrive delivers an attack with a potency of 800. Range: 40y. Autoturret is removed from the battlefield after execution. Recast: 120s.

Bishop Overload (Lv.68)
Bishop Autoturret under the effect of Bishop Overdrive deals damage with a potency of 600 to all nearby enemies. Range: 6y. Autoturret is removed from the battlefield after execution. Recast: 60s.

Role Actions

We will use a star system similar to that of the Dragoon guide by Momo to designate the necessity of each ability as well as discuss which abilities are best in specific scenarios. The role actions a MCH chooses are very static in a raiding scenario and do not change with 1 exception being O3S and that is only if you have a kill time where you see Iron Giant, but we will discuss this more with the abilities themselves.

***= Mandatory, **= Useful, *=Situational, x= Worthless

*** Second Wind – Instantly restores own HP. Cure Potency: 500. Cure potency varies with current attack power. This is an absolute must-have for any raiding scenario. Recast: 120s.

x Foot Graze – Binds target. Duration: 10s. Cancels auto-attack upon execution. Target unbound if damage taken. Delete this. Recast: 30s.

* Leg Graze – Inflicts target with Heavy +40%. Duration: 10s. Practically useless but the effect of Heavy could have its use again one day. Recast: 30s.

x Peloton – Increases movement speed of self and party nearby party members as long as they remain within distance. Duration: 30s. Effect ends when enmity is generated. Cannot be used in battle. This is nice when running about town or in a dungeon but cannot be used in combat so there are far better choices. Recast: 5s.

** Invigorate – Instantly restores 400 TP. This isn’t necessary due to having Tactician and using it on cooldown already for enmity purposes but it is nice to have for those inevitable progression deaths and not really anything better to take in most cases. Recast: 120s.

*** Tactician – Gradually restores own TP and the TP of all nearby party members. Duration: 30s.
Additional Effect: Halves enmity. This is a must-have for the simple fact that enmity control is always nice to have and since we can no longer use Quelling Strikes this is what we get. Recast: 180s.

*** Refresh – Gradually restores own MP and the MP of all nearby party members. Duration: 30s. Additional Effect: Halves enmity. This one is obvious for the fact that being a Machinist means you are a support role DPS. Giving MP is what you were technically recruited to do so bring this puppy. Recast: 180s.

* Head Graze – Silences target. Duration: 1s. This is necessary for fights like O3S if you have a kill time where you see Iron Giant in which you need to silence his cast called Overheat otherwise there is much unneeded stress put on the tanks and healers. Recast: 30s.

* Arm Graze – Stuns target. Duration: 2s. This is in the same boat as Head Graze, however, there is nothing right now that requires this, Just keep
this ability in mind if a fight comes in which stuns
becoming more prevalent. Recast: 30s.

*** Palisade – Reduces physical damage taken by a party member by 20%. Duration: 10s. This is absolutely required and you should discuss with your tanks and healers when they feel would be the best benefit to use this in each fight to help alleviate a lot of pressure. Recast: 150s.

Recommended MCH Role Actions by Encounter:

O1 Savage
Second Wind, Invigorate, Tactician, Refresh, Palisade

O2 Savage
Second Wind, Invigorate, Tactician, Refresh, Palisade

O3 Savage
Second Wind, Tactician, Refresh, Palisade and depending on your clear time Invigorate or Head Graze with Head Graze being used if you have a kill time to still see Iron Giant

O4 Savage (Exdeath)
Second Wind, Invigorate, Tactician, Refresh, Palisade

O4 Savage (Neo Exdeath)
Second Wind, Invigorate, Tactician, Refresh, Palisade

Openers, Rotations and Priorities

So are you ready to go and grab a drink and maybe run some errands in your opener?! Because it will feel like you have that kind of time regardless of the opener you use due to wanting to Overheat your opening Wildfire. The primary reason that these have been found as the best openers is because, while you do sit there with Flamethrower for 5s unable to auto-attack, move or use any other weaponskills or abilities, this also delays you enough to align with all other raid buffs and get the most burst possible early on. There are only 2 openers that I have found that are usable to maximize damage in the opener and keep a smooth rotation following it and they will be termed the 2 ammo and 3 ammo respectively. I will discuss some pros and cons to each and what
to consider when choosing the opener for you as I show both. (Prepull for all openers begins at 3s if using Infusion or 2s if omitting Infusion.)

2 AMMO OPENER

Video representation

This is my personal favorite because it makes the rotation following it much more methodical while still ensuring a high damage opener aligned with other raid buffs.

Pros:

  • More static mid fight Wildfire rotations and more consistent mid fight Wildfire damage than the 3 ammo
  • Lines up Reload prior to each Wildfire to make for easy Wildfire prep
  • Allows for flexibility to adapt your opener Overdrive to 5th GCD or 6th GCD Trick Attack without delaying other oGCDs

Cons:

  • Slightly weaker opener potency than that of the 3 ammo (Approximately 1-2% weaker)

Note: This opener is assuming you have a Ninja, if you do not have a Ninja then you want to postpone your Rook Overload until one more GCD, so immediately after your final Cooldown.

 

3 AMMO OPENER

Video representation

This opener is great for something like O4 Savage Exdeath because you have a lot of forced downtime within the first couple minutes allowing you to reset all cooldowns and align them correctly. However, to some this is also simply most comfortable. The damage difference will be negligible between this and that of the 2 ammo so just choose what is best for you. Something to note, the QR used just prior to the final CD of the WF rotation can be delayed 1 GCD to fit the Rook Overload if TA doesn’t last long enough to use after the final CD.

Pros:

  • Higher overall opener potency
  • Stacks more ammo inside each mid fight Wildfire

Cons:

  • Aligns Reload and Wildfire together which means there will be fishing for Wildfire prep. I’ll discuss this more later
  • Forces your Overdrive to be used only following your final Cooldown in your opener making it so you can’t align correctly with Trick Attack unless you drop the Quick Reloaded Cooldown

 

CHOOSING THE OPENER FOR YOU

Link to math showing the Potency per Second of both 2 ammo and 3 ammo openers.
Credit to @Lynn for the math provided in the previous link.

Flamethrower pro tip: Running does not cancel the first tick of Flamethrower meaning you do not have to stand still in order to use Flamethrower, so long as you don’t need more than 1 tick. So, if you’re having trouble deciding between the two or afraid you won’t pick the one that will contribute the most DPS, fear not! The choice is as simple as which one feels best for you. The potency differences between the openers and their respective rotations that follow are so minimal if existent whatsoever. The 3 ammo has the highest potential damage ceiling but it is also all placed behind RNG as to whether or not you’ll get better mid fight Wildfires than the consistent 2 ammo. So just try both, ingrain them into your brain and learn the full rotations following the openers as well and go with the one you feel most comfortable. However, it is very beneficial to learn both like I said because each has their benefits in different scenarios.

ROTATION SPECIFICS

Here we are going to delve into what the full 1 minute rotation should look like for both the 2 ammo and 3 ammo openers. I am only showing the 1 minute rotation for each because MCH is like clockwork with its rotation which resets every 60s and needs to be done without flaws otherwise you’ll need to lose oGCD uses in order to realign or keep them misaligned which will, in turn, weaken each following Wildfire. It is also important to understand that the reason we are going over the 1 minute rotation in such thoroughness is because regardless of what people tell you when they simplify an explanation of MCH, the reason that MCHs can have very high burst is due to what goes on between burst phases. The burst phase only lasts 10s out of every minute so for the other 83.33% of your rotation you are preparing for the next burst phase and if it isn’t prepared correctly your damage will suffer. This section should help you visualize MCH past just the opener and see that it requires many things done properly in order to see its potential.

2 AMMO ROTATION

Here we will show what a full 1 minute rotation will look like. The reason this is important is because the rotation already lasts approximately 61.xx seconds which is slightly longer than the typical NIN TA application unless coordination is good for buff alignment. Knowing this, the normal TA usage will slowly move out of alignment with WF throughout a fight. This is why I said earlier that MCH is extremely punishing and requires near perfection play to get the most usage of its damage so here I will show you GCD by GCD and ability by ability what it should look like every minute.

Full 1min Rotation:

Pre-pull Infusion/HC > HS > GR > Split(nh) > RL > Slug(nh) > FT5(OH) > Begin 1min rotation > Split(h) > WF/Reass > Clean(h) > QR/RF > Slug(h) > Rico > Clean(h) > GR > CD > Overload) > CD > Split(nh) > Refresh > Split(nh) > HS > QR > Split(nh) > GB/BS > Slug(h) > GR/RL > Split(h) > Slug(h) > Split(h) > Clean(h) > QR > Slug(h) > Clean(h) > GR > Split(h) > Deploy Rook > Split(h) > Split(h) > Split(h) > QR > Split(h) > Slug(h) > GR/RL > Split(h) > Slug(h) > Split(h) > FT1(OH) > End 1min Rotation

The important notes to take away from this is the oGCD usage. Don’t pay too much mind to all of the GCDs I’ve listed, all of this is assuming no procs other than what is given by ammo so of course in an actual scenario you will use what procs you gain. Back to oGCD usage, the most important thing to note is that you must use your oGCDs as soon as they come off cooldown. It’s even, in my personal opinion, good to clip occasionally, so long as the clip isn’t too dramatic, in order to keep all of your oGCDs aligned correctly because delaying them will inevitably delay your WF slightly or delay certain oGCDs inside your WF which will over time become more problematic and prevalent as a fight goes on.

The reasoning to avoid delaying your WFs or cooldowns is because as we discussed earlier it is very easy to find yourself drifting away from TA timings even without delaying so the fewer mistakes the better in order to get the most benefit from raid buffs. Something else I’m sure you are questioning is why is there a HS reapplication so early? This is because we clip the very first HS while in our lockout phase in order to align it there every full rotation. Doing this now will allow you to only have to reapply it during each lockout of GB which will get you one more heated shot use every minute since you won’t be reapplying HS during each heated phase instead. The reason that we do blow up Rook in the opener is because of all the raid buffs making it so that it is a gain, we will however discuss Rook and Bishop Overload scenarios later on. Also, do NOT forget to put your turret back out since you used Overload. If it helps, you can make ACT triggers to help with remembering this. Although I don’t use them personally, I will provide some helpful macros and ACT triggers I’ve heard of for this towards the end of the guide.

3 AMMO ROTATION

This rotations timing will be nearly identical to the 2 ammo with the only visibly noticeable change being the alignments of cooldowns. I do not use the 3 ammo rotation except for the Ex Death opener in which I use the forced cooldown reset to go back to the 2 ammo rotation so I am not an expert with this rotation. That being said, I will be comparing it to the 3 ammo while explaining how it is done in order to make it more clear.

Full 1min Rotation:

Pre-pull Infusion/HC > HS > QR/GR > Split(nh) > Slug(nh) > FT5(OH) > Begin 1min rotation Split(h) > WF/RL > Clean(h) > RF/Rico > Slug(h) > Reass > Clean(h) > GR > CD > QR > CD > Overload > Split(nh) > Split(nh) > Split(nh) > HS > GB/BS > Split(h) > GR/QR > Split(h) > Slug(h) > Split(h) > RL > Split(h) > Slug(h) > Split(h) > GR > Clean(h) > QR > Slug(h) > Deploy Rook > Clean(h) > CD > Split(h) > Split(h) > GR > Split(h) > Split(h) > QR > Split(h) > FT2(OH) > End 1min Rotation

The key difference between this rotation and that of the 2 ammo is that instead of going in to OH WF with full procs loaded, this one relies on rng in its prep. The goal is the same as the 2 ammo, meaning that you are attempting to still go in with Slug Shot and Clean Shot procced and ready to go. However, since you don’t Reload to prep prior to OHing, you have to optimize on the fly. You will also notice once you do this rotation that QR is delayed 2 GCDs in order to allow you to go in with one guaranteed proc at minimum so this rotation will feel a lot less static but requires the same usage of your oGCDs as the 2 ammo. HS isn’t applied until the 4th GCD in lockout for this one due to not having any oGCDs that come up so it allows you to just have a larger buffer for HS to still be up during OH WF if you have to force delay your WF for any reason. Following the end of the 1min rotation you will notice while continuing that QR no longer aligns with the final CD in your OH WF. This is due to forcing the delay of QR in order to make sure you go into WF with one guaranteed proc. It also isn’t considered a gain outside of opener due to the potency loss without all of the opening buffs being active. With this rotation, you use 2 FT ticks instead of 1 since you have to CD during your heated rotation. If you don’t CD with this rotation then you will OH without using FT and WF won’t be ready so it will thoroughly mess up your rotation.

Rotation Recap

2 and 3 Ammo Full Rotations Video

2 AMMO

  • Always use oGCDs as soon as they come off cooldown without delay to keep everything aligned and not delay WF or make it weak.
  • Remember to replace your turret when the Turret Reset debuff falls off.
  • Clip your first HS reapplication during the lockout following OH in order to be able to gain one more heated shot per minute and then reapply it at the exact same point every minute that is shown in the opener.
  • 2 ammo will only require 1 tick of FT to OH so delay its use until the second half of your GCD roll in order to maximize time available in your OH window for any subsequent OH following the opener.
  • There are cases where you go into your WF prep with procs and depending on the procs available there are different methods to use them for a potency gain, albeit fairly negligible. For now, just ignore procs and only do the Split>Slug>Split prep and we will discuss proc optimizations at a later time.

3 AMMO

  • Use all oGCDs on cooldown with the exception of QR during the duration following your opener in order to realign QR outside your
    WF window.
  • Always use a CD at some point when you have 75 heat or more in order to not OH prior to WF being ready.
  • 3 ammo will require 2 ticks of FT to OH so instead of delaying it like in the 2 Ammo, use it immediately after you roll your GCD in order to allow for a minimal amount of clipping.
  • Same as in 2 Ammo, you will clip your first reapplication of HS but just one GCD later than that of the 2 Ammo and you will reapply it in that same spot every 1 minute rotation.
  • Place your turret as soon as the Turret Reset debuff falls off.

 

High Ping Information

Unfortunately, MCH becomes very wonky when you hit a certain threshold of ping. What this threshold is I honestly have no idea but I live in a place where without the use a VPN I can’t even begin to dream of getting 6 GCDs inside of OH but with a VPN I hit them fairly consistently, with exception to packet loss or a major spike in latency. This being said, without a VPN I do sit around 125-145ms ping so if you are around this range and have the means to use a VPN to reroute your connection I highly recommend it. The job becomes a lot more fun when able to be played optimally. Now, for those that play PS4 (those that live close enough to have stable ping need not worry), can’t afford a VPN or live too far that even the use of a VPN doesn’t fix the latency issue, fear not! There are some alternatives, albeit weaker than that of a normal latency rotation.

2 AMMO OPENER (HIGH PING)

The key differences from a high ping rotation and a normal rotation is that instead of 6 GCDs inside of OH you only get 5. This means that you will get 5 GCDs inside of the GB lockout rather than 4. With this difference, you will see slight changes to when certain oGCDs are used in order to maximize potential damage output to work around the new timing while ensuring that a full rotation to the next WF should start, relatively speaking, about the same time as a normal latency rotation.

3 AMMO OPENER (HIGH PING)

This opener under higher latency will result in a massive overflow of things done inside of the OH window and since you are already working with less time, I personally recommend staying away from this. It is a viable option however, and I know a couple that use this, but it is highly conducive to clipping. Just attempt to learn both and pick the one that is most comfortable for you. The damage won’t look different over the course of a drawn out encounter, but I couldn’t imagine this becoming “smooth” enough to feel comfortable.

 

Rookkun

Rook is going to become your new #1 bae. However, in order to utilize it to its fullest potential requires a lot of raid awareness and knowing what fight mechanics are coming up next. I want to first explain why we use Rook Overload in our opener. As of now (4.1), Rook’s auto-attack potency is 80. This means that every 3s (this is static and can easily be tested on a dummy no matter the SkS), the Rook will shoot a volley of 80 potency. Now, the Rook Overload is a single attack for 800 potency but then takes your turret out of the fight for 30s. “30s Turret Reset / 3s per AA = 10 AA in Turret Reset window, where each AA is worth 80 potency. Thus, 80 potency * 10 AA = 800 potency of AAs.“ So, without buffs or considering any Crits/DHits/DCrits, you will get 800 potency of AAs over 30s. However, you can’t simply say this due to all of the other variables. It is safe to assume however, that if you take the 800 potency under buffs such as TA, HC, Embolden, Foe’s, or Brotherhood, with the effects of any crit or DH buffs that you will almost certainly achieve a higher end result by using Overload. In order for Overload to be considered more useful than not using it you will need to ensure that you are maximizing the buffs you are using it in, as I stated above. Ergo, if you have a lack of buffs available on the boss or a lack of raid utility from other party members, (e.g. no NIN or BRD etc) then it would be more useful to keep your turret out. In these situations it is still useful to use Overload in scenarios where the boss is disappearing for any amount of time, in the opener and as the boss is dying. Keep in mind, you want to know the fight and what mechanics are coming up when because there are plenty of occasions where it becomes a gain to hold an Overload if there is some upcoming downtime regardless of buffs. Bishop Overload is much simpler. If there are 2+ mobs, then you will want to use Bishop Overload because with it having 600 potency on explosion per target, this means that it is a 400 potency gain over 30s rather than leaving your Rook Overload out. There is much more to Overloads but this is enough to note for now.

AOE ROTATION

The AoE rotation for MCH is extremely simple so I won’t waste much space on this. If there are 2 or more mobs, use Bishop Autoturret. 3 or more mobs, use Spreadshot. There is some debate as to whether or not Flamethrower is more useful after overheating or prior but it is simpler to use Flamethrower first until it runs out and then Rapid Fire Spreadshot until everything dies. The reason I say this is that since we only gain 5 heat per GCD, it would take too long to Overheat prior to using Flamethrower and since Flamethrower is your strongest AoE tool, I feel it’s best to just use it from the beginning.

USEFUL MCH MACROS

There are only 2 abilities that I use macros for, Palisade and Autoturret placement. Outside of these I highly advise not using macros because they register much slower than non macro’d abilities. The best way to get better is to learn how and when to press your buttons so learn to not rely on macros. These are helpful because they reduce clicking and selecting targets allowing you to maintain focus on the boss more.

ROOK AUTOTURRET MACRO
/ac “Rook Autoturret” <me>
/ac “Rook Autoturret” <me>
/ac “Rook Autoturret” <me>
/ac “Rook Autoturret” <me>
/ac “Rook Autoturret” <me>
/ac “Rook Autoturret” <me>
/ac “Rook Autoturret” <me>
/ac “Rook Autoturret” <me>
/ac “Rook Autoturret” <me>
/ac “Rook Autoturret” <me>
/ac “Rook Autoturret” <me>
/micon “Rook Autoturret”

PALISADE MACRO
/ac “Palisade” <5>
/ac “Palisade” <5>
/ac “Palisade” <5>
/ac “Palisade” <5>
/ac “Palisade” <5>
/ac “Palisade” <5>
/ac “Palisade” <5>
/ac “Palisade” <5>
/ac “Palisade” <5>
/ac “Palisade” <5>
/micon “Palisade”
* This particular example
targets the 5th player in
your party list. Adjust as
necessary to target the
desired player.

 

Fight Specific MCH Tips

In this section, my intention is to give insightful advice for each fight in order to help everyone maximize their DPS potential.

O1-4S Primary Tip: ALWAYS BE PRESSING BUTTONS. I can’t begin to explain how many people have asked for my assistance in getting better at any DPS and how often it comes down to the fact that they need to simply be riding their GCDs constantly and instead they sit on them a lot. Lost GCDs and oGCDs equals lots of lost DPS. Now on the the fights themselves.

O1S: Alte Roite

The primary tips for this fight will revolve around defensive mitigation and movement so long as you have used your abilities properly and have not delayed since this is practically a dummy fight for MCH.

  • Use Palisade on the main tank during moments that Alte Roite does its double Tail Whip. The safest moments to expect this if you do not know their timings is a few seconds after Roar.
  • I have found it best to use Dismantle for the stack marker to help alleviate heals following its resolution to allow more healer DPS.
  • When ice is on the floor and you need to move in order to spread out the individual AoE markers, do not rush. You have a lot of time so wait to move until you have pressed your GCD for maximum up-time. You also do not need to move to your exact position that has been set, there is plenty of arena space to fit elsewhere and you do have a small window to move after the ice goes away to make small adjustments if you are somewhat stacked with someone.


O2S: Catastrophe

This fight has extremely tight timing and very little margin for error from the beginning up until -100g due to its relation in timing with WF. This is almost when you need to learn to perform MCHs static 1 minute rotation flawlessly.

  • USE. EVERYTHING. ON. COOLDOWN. I cannot emphasize this enough. If you do not follow this to a T, you will feel it come -100g. I say this because you have approximately a 4s error window allotted to you between when your OH WF window ends and when -100g is finished casting to knock you into the air.

  • When it comes time to place your tentacle in your designated area, you will notice that a few things are happening. Your WF window and Catastrophe’s gaze both lineup very unfortunately. That being said, you have 2 choices here. You can either be as greedy as me and continue on with you WF meaning that you will need to gauge your GCD timing with that of the gaze and ensure you face away whilst maintaining uptime. The safer route is of course to delay your OH WF until after the gaze resolves.Video example of WF during GazeAs you can see, the timing of it can be very close to the end of the cast bar and you can still manage to survive but it takes some practice to get the timing and feels extremely satisfying to achieve.
  • Be sure to utilize Sprint. Sprint I have found is most useful when you are about to have to move to the safe tentacle during Epicenter. Keep in mind from before that you can be running and still get the 1 tick of Flamethrower to overheat so long as you are using the 2 ammo because the OH WF window aligns with the movement here when you need to get in to the AoE circles with everyone to get pushed down to the ground. Pop sprint just before the cast bar finishes for Gravitational Wave to be able to more easily make it to the safe spot and the AoE marker.
  • Palisade is completely useless in this fight since everything is magical damage.
  • Dismantle is best used for Gravitational Waves with them being the hardest hitting in the fight almost with the exception of the tank busters but this is something you’ll want to coordinate with your healers. If they don’t know what they want or you are pugging then I would recommend prioritizing Gravitational Waves unless told otherwise by someone in the group.


O3S: Halicarnassus

This fights cooldown and WF window management is weird depending on what kind of group you are playing with so I will recommend tips for no NIN and then with NIN respectively followed by all of the tips shared by both scenarios.

No NIN:

  • You will want to use things as soon as they come off cooldown just like in O2S also due to the same problem except this time it involves The Queen’s Waltz – Folio. You will have a very small amount of time between when your WF ends and when this mechanic resolves meaning you need to not make any mistakes in your rotation or delay whatsoever up to this point in order to fit it in otherwise it is best to delay until afterward.

With NIN:

  • With a NIN you do not need to worry about The Queen’s Waltz during book phase because you will have already delayed previously in the fight in order to match the NIN’s trick timing. The first time you delay your WF is during the White Flame. You will instead not press Hypercharge when it comes up and instead wait 2-4 GCDs before pressing it, depending on your groups DPS. This being said, you will also need to delay Reload by the same amount of GCDs in order to keep alignment correct. You will then, during your WF prep, use the first 2 ammo’d shots on the White Flame and then move the final ammo’d shot to Halicarnassus in order to ensure Hypercharge gets applied to the boss for your WF. This should, so long as you delayed enough GCDs, align your OH window with your NIN’s Trick.Note: You will need to use 1 Cooldown in order to delay properly if you are using the 2 ammo so you will require a 2 tick Flamethrower in order to OH when it comes time to.

Shared:

  • Overloads are fairly simple. First overload will occur in opener with Rook, second you will want to use Bishop Overload on the Dragon and Hali. Finally, if you finish before the ninja adds then you want to use Rook Overload when the boss is at about 1-2%. If you are finishing on adds you want to use Bishop Overload when boss is at about 1-2%. If you have a long enough kill time following adds that you can use Overload again, then of course use Rook Overload at about 1-2%.
  • Dismantle is best used during Dimensional Waves.
  • Palisade is best used on the tank getting hit by Critical Hit when they aren’t using Hallowed/Holmgang/Living Dead.
  • Pop Sprint for every Thorns tether in order to break it faster, especially during the last phase if she jumps to a thorn spot because this will allow you to not have too much down time from having to run away from her to break tether.


O4S: Exdeath

This fight has very weird optimizations due to the timings of the forced disconnects and the fact that Hot Shot lasts for 60s. Regardless of composition though, this optimization will remain the same.

Use the 3 ammo opener, it is the highest potency and you will be able to easily reset to the 2 ammo rotation before you are able to do the second WF.

  • Use the 3 ammo opener, it is the highest potency and you will be able to easily reset to the 2 ammo rotation before you are able to do the second WF.
  • DO NOT clip Hotshot in the opener like normal. Postpone reapplying it until it is has expired its entire duration. The reason you do this is because it is best to reapply it right before he disconnects in order to have plenty of it left when he comes back so that you don’t have to waste any ammo reapplying it and can get in to your WF window 1 GCD faster.
  • DO NOT use Rook Overload in the opener, hold it until right as the White Hole cast bar is finishing to take advantage of the disconnect. Your only other Overload will be when he is about to die.
  • Don’t forget to put your turret back out when he comes back from his disconnect.
  • Reload during both Decisive Battles so that you have your ammo ready to go when he is targetable again.
  • Hold your second HC use until your 3rd WF window. You will want to press HC when you have ~17s left on your WF cooldown in order to gain the maximum amount of heated shot and OH’d shots without carrying over too much in to your unheated shots.
  • Use Palisade after the second White Hole but prior to the first Black Hole to mitigate autos.
  • Dismantle is best used first during the Fire III cast following your opener, second during the stack marker that resolves the first Black Hole, and last during the spread markers that resolve the second Black Hole.


O4S: Neo Exdeath

This fight has some tight optimizations due to Dismantle being so crucial to survival and the tight errors for WF window timings.

Modified Opener for Neo Exdeath.

  • In the modified opener for Neo you should notice that the only change is the Dismantle was wedged in to the window with Reload. This is due to the Almagest cast at the very start of the fight. You will be Dismantling every single Almagest in the entire fight since Dismantle has only a 60s recast.
  • Again, use everything on cooldown, with one single exception. The second WF you will want to delay by one GCD. This is done so that you can fit Dismantle in without interrupting your OH WF rotation for the rest of the fight because unfortunately Almagest and WF align a lot throughout the fight. However, since Grand Cross Alpha occurs between your opener and your second WF, it can be difficult to tell whether or not you have delayed by that 1 GCD. The sure fire way to tell is by recognizing that Reload is the primary oGCD not affected by the GCA downtime so if you pay attention to that, just make sure to delay pressing it for 1 GCD.
  • If you have a NIN and are pressing all abilities off of cooldown as you should then you should notice that it is easy to use Overload throughout the fight with proper alignment between HC and TA. My typical Overload uses are as follows: opener, second is off cooldown to align with 3s left in TA and HC, third is as he disappears for Grand Cross Omega, final use is as he is dying.
  • Remember during the puddles that you are ranged, you do not need to pull off melee moves in order to dodge, just move to the outside or whatever is the easiest route to dodge and create the least amount of undue stress on yourself.
  • Palisade is best used during the second Double Attack and second Earth Shaker.

 

Advanced MCH Tips

PROC OPTIMIZATION

There are a lot of weird moments where you will have procs when using either Reload or QR and up to this point you have been told to just spend or ignore them depending upon the situation. Here we will discuss each scenario you may find yourself in when using these abilities and when we should throw them out or spend them and adapt differently. This will only pertain to the 2 Ammo rotation because as far as I am aware, the 3 ammo rotation going in with only QR prior makes it so that this isn’t applicable.

2 AMMO

Reloading in to WF prep:

When you have no procs available going in to reload you will simply: Split Shot > Slug Shot > Split Shot > Flamethrower (1 tick)

This is what you’ve been doing up until this point so it should feel comfortable.

When you have only a Slug Shot proc available AND you must have a minimum of 85 heat: Slug Shot > Split Shot > Cooldown > Flamethrower (2 tick)

The use of Cooldown is why you must have 85 heat for this because if you have any lower you will have to do 3 ticks of FT which will become a loss. This proc optimization will slow down your WF to WF window by approximately .5s and the FT ticks will clip your GCD slightly so you must ensure that you are in a position that will not require you to move when doing this, otherwise you will not OH your WF. Also, note that with this, instead of the typical delay of the use of FT, you will use it at the moment you use your GCD without delay in order to minimize clipping.

When you only have a Clean Shot proc available: Split Shot > Slug Shot > Split Shot > Flamethrower (1 tick)

The reasoning for “throwing away” the Clean Shot proc is that you’re not actually throwing away the Clean Shot by doing this. When looking at the entire WF prep and WF window simultaneously, when holding a Clean Shot proc, you will only get two Clean Shot uses regardless of whether you throw the proc away during the prep, or use it in the prep. The primary difference is that if you throw it away during the prep you get 2 OH’d Clean Shot procs instead of only 1 OH’d Clean Shot proc and 1 non OH’d Clean Shot proc.

Last, if you for some reason get both a Slug Shot proc and a Clean Shot proc, then you have not used your procs correctly as they came up, but regardless this is the best case scenario you could possibly have going into WF prep and it is very simple: Clean Shot > Slug Shot > Split Shot > Flamethrower (1 tick)

This is the most potency of any proc optimizations but if you are aiming for this you are relying on rng. The only way you can do this is if you have a Clean Shot proc 1 GCD prior to Reload coming up and you use Split Shot in an attempt to proc Slug Shot rather than spending your Clean Shot proc. This means that you have a 50/50 chance of it either being a gain or a loss overall because you take the risk of not getting the Slug Shot proc and thus have to throw away the Clean Shot proc making it so you only get 2 OH’d Clean Shots rather than 1 non OH’d Clean Shot and 2 OH’d Clean Shots. I advise against this but if you’re feeling lucky, this is a gain.

ROOK/BISHOP OVERLOAD AND AUTOTURRET DETAILS

I am going to use this section to go more in depth on when, and when not to use Rook and Bishop Overload in the course of a fight. These will be separated in to points regarding Rook Overload and Bishop Overload respectively.

Rook Overload Buff Optimization:

Buffs can be put on to your turret and the buffs you want to watch out for are Battle Litany (DRG), some AST cards (Balance and Spear), Chain Stratagem (SCH), Devotion (SMN), and Infusion. Debuffs on boss to be aware of are Hypercharge (MCH), Trick Attack (NIN), Foe Requiem (BRD), Radiant Shield (SMN, only affects Rook), and Contagion (SMN, only affects Bishop). All other raid buffs do not alter either Overloads.

These buffs and debuffs being stated, these are what need to be looked for when deciding whether or not to use Rook Overload as well as if a disconnect is coming up soon in the fight. There are several factors that have to be considered here, so I will organize them into bullet points and then discuss them following.

  1. Is there a disconnect within the next 30s or is the boss dying within the next 120s? If not, then continue to priority 2.
  2. Will the disconnect last longer than ~10s? If not, then continue to priority 3.
  3. Is there at least 2 forms of Damage Up or boss Vulnerability Down? (e.g. Trick Attack, Hypercharge, Balance, etc.) If not, then we do not blow up Rook at this time.

In priority 1, it is slightly more complicated than just whether or not there is a disconnect within the next 30s. There is also the factor of whether or not there is a disconnect within the next 110s as well, however, this one is slightly more obscure because this is dependent upon whether or not we are postponing the opener Overload and whether or not the disconnect is long enough to constitute Overloading there rather than with buffs, hence priority 2. This mostly takes trial and error to gauge properly, but it is usually considered the safest bet that if the disconnect lasts roughly 20s or more, then it is best used on the disconnect, even if postponing the opener. You also want to make sure that you know your killtime and that you won’t miss a use in the course of a fight by delaying too much to match mechanics. Then there is priority 3, which makes things much more complex. This definitely takes trial and error and maybe even some potency math of different scenarios in order to know what to try. The reason for this is that, say a disconnect coming up in approximately 30s and lasts roughly 15s, but you have Foe Requiem, Hypercharge, Trick Attack and Chain Stratagem up right now. In this scenario the buffs don’t matter whatsoever because you’ll be missing 30s worth of autos and not taking advantage of the disconnect which will also lose 15s worth of autos for when your turret will just be sitting there. In order to reduce the time affected by Turret reset, you will want to use Overload in such a way that the Turret Reset debuff will overlap the forced disconnect. I will show this in a 60s window. The rough math of this goes like so;

Overload potency (buffed) – 15s Turret autos + 15s Turret autos = Net potency

Scenario A

 

 

 

This being said, I will primarily only show raw potency gains, rather than showing DH/Crit/DCrits scenarios since the turret will have a chance to do all these regardless of when you use it.

951 – 0 + 485 = 1,436 net potency

Then, there is the scenario of if you were to instead use it anywhere from 15s prior to the disconnect up until the disconnect itself.

Overload potency (not buffed) + 30s Turret autos = Net potency

Scenario B

 

 

 

Now, it may look weird, but the reason you are adding the turret autos for this is because you are effectively gaining 15s worth of autos by making your Turret Reset time align with the disconnect. Thus, it will look like so;

800 + 970 = 1770 net potency

So, as you can see, there are a many variables to consider when deciding whether or not it is a good time to go for that extra damage. The primary thing to ensure is that your Turret Reset debuff does not fall off until as soon as, or anytime after, the boss has become targetable again. That being said, it is very important that you become comfortable with noticing specific buffs and debuff icons between yourself and the boss so that you can more easily decide when is a good time. Last thing to note on this topic is, do not be afraid to just try! You won’t be completely optimized on run 1, not even run 20 most likely, so just try as much as possible and note what changes you noticed.

Bishop Overload Uses:
As I said in the original portion of Overload information, you want to use this any time there are 2+ mobs, however, there are a few things to keep in mind when deciding to use Bishop Overload and here we will state them and discuss some of the other nuances to note when using Bishop Autoturret in general.

The Bishop Autoturret has an interesting damage fall off mechanic in that it hits its first target for 80 potency with a 10% potency fall off to the second, 20% fall off to the third, 30% fall off to the fourth, 40% fall off to the fifth, and 50% fall off to the rest. However, the Bishop Overload has no fall off damage whatsoever, it is simply 600 potency per target, making it extremely strong in any scenario that has more than 1 target and definitely a gain.

To get the most out of the Bishop Autoturret, you want to deploy it to hit each target with its auto-attacks and delay using Overload until each mob is about to die.

With Bishop Autoturret, if you use Hypercharge, it does add the 6% more damage taken effect to all mobs that it hits which makes it that much stronger in AoE situations and allows Bishop Overload to do that much more damage to all mobs it hits, do not hesitate to use this at the beginning of a large group of mobs.

o = Overload x = Turret Reset falls off  <–> = Dissconnect begins

MCH BiS Gear Set

Primary BiS

Stat priorities: Crit > DH > Det > SkS

If you are having trouble getting the 6 GCD OH by clipping a lot you can replace 1 Det meld with SkS melds though it is highly advised to not do this. Unless you know for sure that your timing of pressing GCDs and oGCDs is being done as well as possible under your specific circumstances, attempt to stay away from this. Not many should see this to be a gain.

 

Credits

There are many people that deserve my thanks in the creation of this MCH guide and I would like to mention them here.

First and foremost, my girlfriend, Gwyneth Pari, for helping me through this whole process. (Especially the video editing)

Bevin, Ephe, Fox and LiterallyWho from The Balance Discord for testing and perfecting
the openers

Lynn, also from The Balance Discord, for all of his math and spreadsheet contributions

Mai Fault for being the primary proofreader and critiquer of this guide

The FFXIV Recruiter Discord and all those that discussed ideas with me

And any others that I forgot to mention because there were many that have helped me in learning Machinist as much as I have.

Thanks to everyone for the proofreading and thank you for checking this guide out. I hope it helps and I look forward to feedback. Cheers!

 

Onishi’s Links

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This Youtube playlist has all of the visuals used throughout this guide, as well as some extras, please enjoy!

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