Kyo’s 4.X Ninja Guide

Greetings! I’m Kyorakun Shunsui of Tonberry. I’ve been playing Ninja since 3.2 (Midas), and I would like to share with you what I’ve learned about 4.0 Ninja thus far.

To start off, I feel that Ninja has not changed a lot from its 3.X counterpart, so we’ll briefly review the basic skills and ability before moving on to covering 4.0 changes. I’ll be clarifying what raid buffs affect Ninjas because we have skills that are affected quite differently. I’ll also be looking into the new resource system that was added in 4.0: Ninki, and how to use this effectively and efficiently.

This guide should be considered a continual work in progress, as I’ll update it regularly to reflect future patches and new information. Comments, questions and suggestions are always welcome.

Kyo’s Links:

FFLogs  /  Youtube  /  Twitch  /  Twitter

 

Table of Contents

1. Skills and Abilities
2. Openers
3. DPS Rotation
4. Ninki Rotation
5. AoE Rotation
6. Role Actions
7. Fuma vs Raiton
8. Best in Slot Gear Sets
9. Basic Optimization
10. Cheatsheet for Easy Orange Logs
11. Consolidated TL;DR Recap
12. Credits

 

Skills & Abilities

Weaponskills:

These are the basic skills that form the core of your rotation.

Spinning Edge (Lv. 1): Delivers an attack with a potency of 150.

 

Gust Slash (Lv. 4): Used after Spinning Edge, delivers an attack with a potency of 200.

 

Throwing Dagger (Lv. 15): Delivers a ranged attack with a potency of 120. Range: 15y. Ninja’s only ranged weaponskill. Can be useful when mechanics force you out of melee range, but it will break your combo, so use carefully.

Aeolian Edge (Lv. 26): Used after Gust Slash, a 280 potency attack (340 from rear). Your hardest-hitting combo finisher. Use this if you don’t need to refresh the slashing debuff or extend your Huton duration.

Shadow Fang (Lv. 38): Used after Gust Slash, a 200 potency attack that also does damage over time of 40 potency for 21s (480 total potency). Slashing debuff only affects the initial potency. The DoT potency is snapshotted when it is applied. You’ll need to clip SF at 2-3s unless it’s right after a Ten Chi Jin, in which case you can execute an Aeolian Edge combo before refreshing it due to GCD loss in TCJ. Try to use Shadow Fang inside every TA window. TA last 10s, or 5 GCDs, one of which we want to be Shadow Fang.

To illustrate, in the following rotation TA can be used any time between the 3rd SE and the second SF (right after 3rd SE is ideal):

SE > Gust > SF (first application) > SE > GS > AE > SE (TA from here) > GS > AE > SE > GS (TA to here) > SF

Death Blossom (Lv. 42): Delivers an attack with a potency of 110 to all nearby enemies. Radius: 5y. Ninja’s only AoE weaponskill. Spam this if there are 4 or more targets to hit.

Armor Crush (Lv. 54): Used after Gust Slash, a 240 potency attack (300 from flank) that also extends Huton duration by 30 seconds to a maximum of 70 seconds.

 

Offensive oGCDs:

These are your offensive off-global cooldown abilities, which you can weave in between your basic weaponskills.

Assassinate (Lv. 12): Delivers an attack with a potency of 200. Can only be executed when target’s HP is below 20%. Recast: 40s. This ability will cause a short animation lock, so use carefully!

Mug (Lv. 15): Delivers an attack with a potency of 140. Additional Effect: Increases Ninki Gauge by 30. Recast: 90s. Uses: Use on CD unless your ninki is above 70 to prevent ninki overflow. You may use it when your ninki is above 70 if you messed up your TA timing and want to get a Ninki inside the TA urgently. Use in TA if you don’t gain an extra Ninki finisher from the 30 Ninki increment or another use of Mug.

Trick Attack (Lv. 18): Delivers an attack with a potency of 240. 400 when executed from a target’s rear. Rear Bonus: Increases target’s damage taken by 10%. Duration: 10s. Recast: 60s. Requires Suiton buff to use.

Jugulate (Lv. 30): Delivers an attack with a potency of 80. Additional Effect: Silence. Duration 1s. Recast: 30s.

Kassatsu (Lv. 50): Resets the ninjutsu recast timer while ensuring critical damage for the next ninjutsu action. Duration: 15s. Recast: 120s. There will be a slight server delay before you mudra is reset, so it is best not to try to double weave Kassatsu + mudra.

Duality (Lv. 58): Doubles the number of strikes for a single-target weaponskill. Combo bonuses and additional effects will only be applied once. Duration: 10s. Recast: 90s. Use this with your highest potency weaponskill – Aeolian Edge. Use on CD or hold to use under TA if TA is less than 10s away. As with all oGCDs, if you can’t get another use of it in a fight then it’s best to hold it and line it up with TA. Duality will naturally line up with your 4th TA, but if you need to get off your 4th TA immediately (due to phasing), it is better to double weave Duality with TA as you redo your opener.

Dream Within a Dream (Lv. 60): Delivers a threefold attack, each hit with a potency of 150 (450 potency total). Recast: 60s. Damaging OGCD, line it up with Trick Attack due to similar CD.

 

Utility Abilities:

Shade Shift (Lv. 2): Create shadows that nullify physical damage up to 20% of maximum HP. Duration: 20s. Recast 120s.

Hide (Lv. 10): Grants stealth. Additional Effect: Resets ninjutsu recast timers if out of combat. Recast: 20s. Uses: To reset your mudra for a shorter countdown, ability to precast Doton for a significant potency gain, very useful in gauntlet-esque pulls in dungeons.

Shukuchi (Lv. 40): Move quickly to the specified location. Cannot use when bound. Recast: 60s.

 

Smoke Screen (Lv. 52): Creates a wall of smoke, reducing enmity generation of a single party member. Duration: 20s. Recast: 180s.

Shadewalker (Lv. 56): Grants target party member the effect of Silhouette, diverting to target 80% of all enmity generated by caster. Duration: 15s. Recast: 120s.

 

Ninjutsu:

Mudra – Ten, Chi, and Jin: Make the ritual mudra hand gesture for “Heaven”, “Earth”, and “Man” Duration: 5s. Recast: 0.5s. All three share a recast timer.

Ninjutsu: Executes a specific ninjutsu action coinciding with the combination of mudra made immediately beforehand. Recast: 20s.

Huton: Reduces weaponskill recast time, and auto-attack delay by 15%. Duration: 70s. Mudra Combination: Jin > Chi > Ten or Chi > Jin > Ten. Use this pre-pull and never let it fall off (if you can help it). Huton timer can be extended with Armor Crush.

Fuma Shuriken: Delivers a ranged ninjutsu attack with a potency of 240. Range: 25y. Mudra Combination: Any one of the Ten, Chi, or Jin mudra. This is affected by the slashing debuff (1.1 multiplier) and the Dripping Blades trait (1.2 multiplier). Take note that all buffs in this game are multiplicative. With both considered, the actual potency of fuma is 1.2 x 240 (Dripping blades is a passive skill, so it takes priority) + 0.1 x 1.2 x 240 = 316.8

Raiton: Delivers lightning damage with a potency of 360. Range: 15y. Mudra Combination: Ten > Chi or Jin > Chi.

Katon: Delivers fire damage with a potency of 250 to target and all enemies nearby it. Range: 15y. Radius: 5y. Mudra Combination: Chi > Ten or Jin > Ten. When used after Kassatsu, all hits will be crits.

Doton: Creates a patch of corrupted earth, dealing damage with a potency of 40 to any enemies who enter. Duration: 24 seconds. Radius: 5y. Additional effect: Heavy +40%. Mudra Combination: Ten > Jin > Chi or Jin > Ten > Chi. When used after Kassatsu, each tick of Doton will crit. Doton is affected by dripping blades trait (1.2 multiplier).

Suiton: Delivers water damage with a potency of 180. Additional Effect: Grants Suiton. Duration: 10s. Range: 15y. Mudra Combination: Ten > Chi > Jin or Chi >Ten > Jin. The Suiton buff allows the use of Trick Attack or Sneak attack without using Hide (which can’t be used in combat).

Hyoton: Delivers ice damage with a potency of 140. Range: 25y. Additional Effect: Bind. Duration: 15s. Mudra Combination: Ten > Jin or Chi > Jin. Useless in the current raid tier.

 

Changes from 3.0:

Hide – Now resets ninjitsu timers when out of combat.

Dream Within a Dream – Cooldown shortened from 90s to 60s, potency increased from 300 to 450. Now lines up perfectly with Trick Attack.

Mug (90s CD) : Now grants 30 ninki upon use.

Duality – Duality hits can now crit/direct hit.

Shadow Fang – Now applies slashing debuff and is the 3rd skill of a combo (Spinning Edge > Gust Slash > Shadow Fang).

Auto Attack “AA” – 110 potency. Gives 6 ninki every auto attack. Affected by all buffs except contagion.

Removed Skills: Kiss of the Wasp, Kiss of the Viper, Mutilate, Dancing Edge, Sneak Attack, Goad, Blood for Blood (no BfB/Duality windows anymore), Internal Release (no TA/IR windows).

 

New skills:

Ten Chi Jin “TCJ” (Level 70)

Resets ninjutsu recast timer, twice reduces ninjutsu recast time to 1 second, and eliminates required mudra consumption for ninjutsu execution. Also doubles ninjutsu potency. Duration: 10s. Ninki Gauge Cost: 80. Recast: 100s. Only mudra and ninjutsu available while active. The same ninjutsu cannot be executed twice. Ninjutsu recast timer will begin cooldown upon fading. Effect ends upon moving.

Resets the current cooldown of your mudra and allows you to use 3 consecutive mudras without breaking the chain of mudras used. The 3 mudras used inside TCJ have their potencies doubled (it does not double the duration of Huton, though). You are required to use ninjutsu after every mudra and are unable to use any other skills (including auto attacks) while under the TCJ buff. If you bunny your mudra, you’re screwed. Any movement while in TCJ cancels the buff. It acts like a kassatsu-esque oGCD, which means there’s a slight server delay before your mudra is reset. It is imperative to check how many GCDs + AAs you lose in a TCJ. Personally, with my 70-80 ping, I lose 2 GCDs + 2 AAs in a 3 mudra TCJ. If you lose more than that, you should execute a 2 mudra TCJ instead. I highly recommend that you invest some time to test this skill out and understand its intricacies.

The most efficient use of TCJ is to use it to set up a TA. This means skipping out on a hard cast Suiton and using a Raiton/Fuma instead for more potency and less clipping of GCDs. It is better than using TCJ in a TA. Here are the results:

Potency gain from Raiton/Fuma vs Suiton + 2 GCDs + 2 AAs (assumed to be Spinning Edge and Gust Slash) = 214.68 (Fuma) or 257.88 (Raiton)

Potency gain from using TCJ in TA = 171.36

You can also execute a Fuma/Katon/Doton, which is a potency gain. Here are the results:

With slashing:

Fuma + Raiton + Suiton  = 1,713.6
Fuma + Katon + Doton = 1,901.6
Difference = 188

This means that TCJ Doton > TCJ Suiton by more than 1.9 ticks of Doton.

With slashing and TA for first 2 mudras:

Fuma + Raiton + Suiton = 1,848.96
Fuma + Katon + Doton = 2,014.96

With slashing and TA for all 3 mudras, assuming Doton’s 1st tick is buffed by TA:

Fuma + Raiton + Suiton = 1,884.96
Fuma + Katon + Doton = 2,024.56

TL;DR: Fuma + Katon + Doton > Fuma + Raiton + Suiton, if boss does not move.

 

Bhavacakra “Bhava” (Level 68)

Deals unaspected damage with a potency of 600. Ninki Gauge Cost: 80. Recast: 50s.

Deals 600 unaspected damage (non-physical) for a cost of 80 Ninki. Unaffected by: Embolden, Brotherhood, slashing debuff and dripping blades trait. Affected by: Trick Attack, Contagion, Hypercharge, Foes Requiem, Battle Litany, Chain Strategem, Balance, Dragon Sight, and Devotion.

Bhavacakra vs. TCJ
The type of GCDs lost can only be calculated at the end of a phase or the fight. However, the type of GCDs lost in the opening TA is fixed, which means the 10% of a GCD is fixed, and in this case, they’re Spinning Edge and Gust Slash.

With slashing, 2 GCDS + 2 AAs and Gust Slash + Aeolian Edge as your GCDs :

TCJ Suiton and Doton = 1,713.6 or 1,901.6, respectively
Bhavacakra = 600 + 1,029.6 = 1,629.6
Difference = 84 or 272

With slashing, 2 GCDs + 2 AAs + TA (10% of Gust Slash + Spinning Edge + 2 AAs):

TCJ = 1,848.96 or 2,014.96 – 2 mudras in TA, 1,884.96 or 1,868.96 – 3 mudras in TA

When comparing potencies in the opener for Bhavacakra vs TCJ,  Spinning Edge and Gust Slash and two auto attacks are the GCDs/AAs lost in TA while doing TCJ. However, it is not accurate to state that they are the GCDs lost at the end of the fight due to using TCJ over Bhavacakra. Hence, we will be using 10% of their total potencies (SE + GS + 2 AAs, taking into account slashing and Dripping Blades trait) as they happen in TA (which is a 10% damage buff) in addition to the total Bhavacakra + Gust Slash + Aeolian Edge.

Bhavacakra =  1,629.6 + (0.1 x 198) + (0.1 x  290.4) + (0.1 x 290.4 = 2 AAs) = 1,707.48
Difference = at least 141.48

TL;DR: TCJ > Bhava, Bhava 2nd priority.

 

Hellfrog Medium “Frog” (Level 62)

Delivers fire damage with a potency of 400 to target and all enemies nearby it. Ninki Gauge Cost: 80.

400 magical damage for a cost of 80 Ninki. 0s CD. Unaffected by: Embolden, Brotherhood, slashing debuff and dripping blades trait. Affected by: Trick Attack, Contagion, Hypercharge, Foes Requiem, Battle Litany, Chain Strategem, Balance, Dragon Sight, and Devotion.

TCJ vs. Hellfrog Medium
On the surface, it’s pretty obvious that TCJ is better than Hellfrog. However, there will come a point in your rotation where TCJ is off CD, but you can’t use it to set it up for TA unless you delay it by an 80 ninki cycle (~30s). If you’re at a point in the fight where delaying TCJ won’t cost you a TCJ use overall, then the delay may be worth it.

TL;DR: Use Hellfrog Medium as little as possible, delay TCJ to set up TA if it won’t cost you a TCJ use overall.

 

Openers

Pre-pull Tip: If possible, do a pre-pull Doton for every fight. I don’t exactly recommend this in progression, as it’ll consume a significant amount of time in the countdown, but it is a 240-280 potency gain (not 320 because the boss will likely be needed to be pulled into your Doton, and you still have to be precasting your Suiton before the boss is pulled).

How to execute a pre-pull Doton: Find the max aggro range of the boss (may cause a wipe or two) – Huton at countdown from 23-24s, Sprint (3s from mudra CD), Smokescreen (2s from mudra), Shadewalker (1s from mudra), Doton, Hide (to reset mudra CD), Suiton, and then have the tank pull the boss into your Doton.

 

Preferred Openers:

5th GCD TA TCJ Opener:

Precast Doton > Suiton  > Spinning Edge (SE) > Kassatsu > Gust Slash (GS) > Infusion > Shadow Fang (SF) > Mug > SE > Jugulate > GS > Trick Attack (TA) > Aeolian Edge (AE) > Fuma > SE > Dream within a Dream (Dream) > GS > Duality > AE > Ten Chi Jin (Fuma – Katon – Doton)

Follow up Ninkis: TCJ > Bhava > Frog (TA) > Bhava (Mug + Duality) > TCJ to set up TA

  1. Before you Suiton your target, make sure you are as close to it as possible to get an auto right after your first GCD. This is to ensure that you have enough ninki to use TCJ right after Duality + AE.
  2. Delay the TA for half a GCD before applying; to ensure you can get off at least one mudra of TCJ inside the TA. You use Fuma for your Kassatsu to reduce clipping as much as possible to attempt to fit a TCJ – Raiton inside the TA.
  3. If the boss does not move out of your Doton in the next 24s after your TCJ, executing a Doton TCJ is better than a Suiton TCJ (ignoring raid buffs).
  4. Apart from the extremely unforgiving nature of the AA window, the other problem with this particular opener is the big risk of losing a cast of Bhavacakra over the course of the entire fight.

Use this if:

  • You are certain you can get enough AAs in to get in 2 mudras
  • You are unable to use TCJ to set up your second TA
  • You would lose a cast of TCJ overall by using the Bhavacakra Opener
  • You will not lose a cast of Bhavacakra overall by using this opener

Use this in:

  • Exdeath (refer to optimisation section)

 

5th GCD TA Bhava Opener:


Precast Doton > Suiton  > Spinning Edge (SE) > Kassatsu > Gust Slash (GS) > Infusion > Shadow Fang (SF) > Mug  > SE > Jugulate > GS > Trick Attack (TA) > Aeolian Edge (AE) > Raiton > SE > Dream within a Dream (Dream) > GS > Duality > AE > Bhavacakra

Follow up Ninkis: Bhava > TCJ to set up TA > Bhava > Frog (Mug + Duality) > Bhava (TA)

  1. This opener is incredibly easy to use and allows you to use TCJ to set up your second TA.
  2. It has two major hidden benefits: You are very unlikely to lose a cast of Bhavacakra, and your third and more important TA (which is aligned with Embolden, Battle Voice, and Chain Strategem) will not be delayed because you did not use TCJ to set it up.

Use this if:

  • You can use TCJ to set up your second TA
  • You will not lose a cast of TCJ in the fight by using this opener
  • If you want to maximise GCDs at the start of the fight due to phasing

Use this in:

  • O3S (refer to optimisation section)

 

6th GCD TA TCJ Opener:

Precast Doton > Spinning Edge (SE) > Suiton > Gust Slash (GS) > Pot (Infusion) > Shadow Fang (SF) > Jugulate > SE > Mug > GS > Kassatsu > Aeolian Edge (AE) > TA > SE >  Raiton > GS > Duality + Dream > AE > Ten Chi Jin (Fuma – Katon – Doton)

Follow up Ninkis: TCJ > Bhava > Frog (TA) > Bhava (Mug + Duality) > TCJ (to set up TA)

  1. Delay your TA by half a GCD.
  2. Use Raiton for the Kassatsu as all your mudras in TCJ should be inside the TA. Kassatsu Raiton is also a DPS gain over Kassatsu Fuma.
  3. For your TCJ, it’s a DPS gain to execute a Doton TCJ over a Suiton TCJ.
  4. This is your 2nd highest PPS opener and a much easier version of the 5th GCD TA TCJ opener.

Use this if:

  • You are unable to use TCJ to set up your second TA
  • You would lose a cast of TCJ overall by using the Bhavacakra Opener
  • Do not lose a cast of Bhavacakra overall by using this opener
  • Your group likes to early pull and you can Shukuchi in at 1s to get the first GCD in on time

Use this in:

  • O1s, O2s, Neo Exdeath (refer to optimisation guide)

 

Other Openers:

5th GCD TA Aeolian Bhava Opener:

Precast Doton > Suiton > Spinning Edge (SE) > Kassatsu > Gust Slash (GS) > Infusion > Aeolian Edge (AE) > Mug > SE > Jugulate > GS > Trick Attack (TA) > Shadow Fang (SF) > Fuma > SE > Dream within a Dream (Dream) > GS > Duality > AE > Bhavacakra

Follow up Ninkis: Bhava > TCJ to set up TA > Bhava > Frog (Mug + Duality) > Bhava (TA)

  1. Delay your TA by half a GCD.
  2. This opener requires good knowledge of the fight and a warrior. You are losing 2 ticks of SF at the end of the phase because your reapplication of your final SF would be a DPS loss vs. using AE. In exchange, you gain a 10% potency increase on your very first SF, as it is applied under TA.
  3. This can be tricky to use, as delaying the TA may result in the SF not being snapshotted with the buff included. Use this when you are extremely familiar with the fight and your group is consistent enough to always phase at the same time. Upload to FFlogs to verify the TA – SF relationship.

Use this if:

  • You lose two to four ticks of Shadow Fang at the end of a phase/fight
  • You have a Warrior applying slashing on the second GCD for you

 

Shasta’s 11th GCD TA TCJ Opener:

Precast Doton > Spinning Edge (SE) > Jugulate > Gust Slash (GS) > Shadow Fang (SF) > SE > Mug > GS > Aeolian Edge (AE) > Fuma > SE > Kassatsu > GS > Pot > AE > Fuma > SE > TCJ (Fuma – Raiton – Suiton) > GS > TA > SF > Dream > SE > GS > Duality > AE > Jugulate > SE > GS > AE > SE > GS > Fuma > SF > Bhava

Follow-up Ninkis: TCJ > Bhava > Hellfrog (TA) > Bhava > TCJ > Bhava (TA)

 

TCJ Set Up TA Opener:

Precast Doton > Raiton > Spinning Edge (SE) > Gust Slash (GS) > Shadow Fang (SF) > Jugulate > SE > Mug > GS > Duality > Aeolian Edge (AE) > SE > GS > AE > SE > Raiton > Gust > Infusion > SF > TCJ (Fuma – Raiton – Suiton) > SE > Kassatsu > GS > TA > AE > Dream > SE > Jug > GS > AE

Follow up Ninkis: TCJ > Bhava > Frog > Bhava (TA + Mug + Duality) > TCJ > Bhava (TA)

Uses your first TCJ to set up your first super buffed TA. Very situational. Can be used in Lakshmi.

 

TL;DR: Choose between the 5th GCD TA Bhava opener and 6th GCD TA TCJ opener and adapt accordingly.

 

PPS Calculation of Openers

The following PPS calculations are the work of Kaladin Stormbless of Balmung and Hasu Wasu of Behemoth. They are still a work in progress, but I encourage you to take a look, and many thanks to them.

Illustration of 5th GCD vs 6th GCD opener with raid buffs and composition

PPS calculation of 5th GCD TA, 6th GCD TA and ultra delayed TA openers [Excel file]

 

DPS Rotation

Apply SF and use Armor Crush at 20-30s. Refresh SF at 3s, which is every 2 Aeolian Edge combos (example: SF combo > AE combo > AE combo > SF combo). If there is a TA window coming up, which is usually aligned with raid buffs, it may be wise to Armor Crush early so that Aeolian Edge/SF combos can be used during the upcoming raid buffs. Be aware of what different raid damage buffs look like! It is a good habit to always know what raid buffs are active so that you can delay the usage of Armor Crush and maximize the benefit of existing buffs.

Sometimes TCJ will mess with your SF reapplication, and you find yourself at 5s left on SF. In this case, you should AE instead, and reapply SF on the next combo. If you do not have a warrior in your group, refresh the SF at 5s.

 

Ninki Rotation

The generally priority order is: TCJ > Bhava > Frog.

Following the opener, every time you set up TA with TCJ your rotation becomes: TCJ (TA) > Bhava > Frog (TA) > Bhava > TCJ (non-TA, can be delayed to set up next TA).

Always be planning ahead.  At least 20-30s in advance of your next Trick Attack you want to be asking yourself what ninki and oGCDs you want to get in under that buff window. Unlike 3.0, your only buff now is TA (apart from raid buffs), so you need to find out how many uses of your big oGCDs you can get in a fight and try to maximize their effectiveness. I can’t emphasize enough how important this is.

TL;DR: TCJ > Bhava > Frog, TCJ to set up TA if it won’t cost you a TCJ use overall.

 

AOE Rotation

Now that our auto attacks generate Ninki, you will want to target a mob and hit it with a oGCD/GCD before using Death Blossom.

< 3 Targets: SF both targets; TCJ (Fuma/Katon/Doton); If TCJ is on CD, use Hellfrog Medium.

3+ Targets: Death Blossom spam with Hellfrog Medium if targets will die in 3s or less, or  TCJ (Fuma/Katon/Doton) otherwise.

 

Role Actions

True North – very useful for hitting positionals when you’re unable to due to mechanics.

 

Goad/Diversion – to Goad the people who die or you can use Diversion after your shadewalker ends to help manage your threat.

 

Second Wind – useful for tanking mechanics.

 

Bloodbath – very useful if you happen to eat a damage dealing mechanic, and also to lessen the load of healers (especially in white holes from Exdeath)

 

Arm’s length/Feint – Arm’s length is good to prevent knockbacks like in Lakshmi and O4S; Feint is to be a team player and reduce damage from physical tankbusters.

 

Fuma vs Raiton

You can go to all the Ninja guides, and they’ll have statistical reasons on why you should fuma over raiton or vice versa. My take is you should always do fights with Fuma until you realize that there is a consistency in the GCD you end the phase on, and the duration before the next GCD, With that knowledge, you should adjust your previous mudra accordingly.

If you end the fight just after a GCD, then keep using Fuma. If you end the fight halfway to the next GCD, switch two of your Fumas to Raitons. A Kassatsu Raiton is a gain over a Kassatsu Fuma, but the gain is eclipsed by any GCD gained from using Fuma over Raiton.

TL;DR: Use Fuma.

 

Best in Slot Gear Sets

Direct Hit is king, followed by Critical Hit and Determination. The meta party composition consists of Dragoon, Scholar, and Bard, as these classes have buffs that increase your chance to crit. With a meta composition, crit is better than det. Outside of a meta composition, det is slightly stronger than crit. That said, I would still recommend that you prioritize Direct Hit and Crit in speedruns, as a lucky dh/crit run will go a long way. I’ve included a higher SS build because in some fights (O1s and O4s) you may get the extra GCD off while dealing with mechanics that require you to disengage from the target (depending on your latency).

Non-Meta Comp (no DRG/SCH/BRD) – http://ffxiv.ariyala.com/1211G

Meta Comp (DRG/SCH/BRD) – http://ffxiv.ariyala.com/1351L

High SS Build –  http://ffxiv.ariyala.com/137YD

 

Basic Optimisation

  1. DON’T DIE!
  2. Adapt your dummy oGCD rotation (mainly ninki and TA) to the fight
  3. Uptime, uptime, uptime!
  4. Try to align your 60/90/120s cooldowns with the rest of your party, especially with buffs like Embolden and Hypercharge
  5. If you don’t know the fight length or if you are mainly unsure of the fight, just use your oGCDs on cooldown until you’re ready for more advanced planning

To truly optimise your DPS, you should delve thoroughly into FFlogs and POVs, if available. Here’s a quick video on how I do it:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3h3VbNgU-eU&feature=youtu.be

 

Cheatsheet For Easy Orange Logs

 This is a work in progress! I don’t claim to have optimized everything, so take this advice with a grain of salt. I, too, am always learning new things. There will not be a TL;DR recap for this section because it is intended only for players who want detailed advice on optimization.

 

O1S:

Recommended Role Actions: True North, Bloodbath, Second Wind, Feint, Diversion

Uptime Tips:

  • If your tank is being a twat (not moving the boss slightly north to get maximum GCDs and dodge exploding inner fires simultaneously), move out once Levinbolt has finished casting
  • Shukuchi rubberband every downburst, count to 2-3 GCDs as Downburst starts being cast, then Shukuchi right before the knockback happens to maintain uptime
  • For the first Classical Elements, if your tank is not cooperative (not standing in front of the boss after it teleports to middle), remember that the boss turns after the fire explosion occurs, instead of right after Classical Elements, so plan your positionals.

Non-Speedrun Ninki Rotation:

  1. 6th GCD TA TCJ Opener – Shukuchi in for the first GCD, Kassatsu Fuma to reduce clipping as you want your GCD to be cooling down as the boss teleports to the middle for Classical Elements, watch your buffs (Dragon Sight, Balance, Hypercharge, Embolden, Brotherhood, Infusion) and only Armour Crush after they wear off
  2. Bhavacakra after the Shukuchi rubberband
  3. Hellfrog + TA > Suiton > Armour Crush combo > TA after Spinning Edge and get Shadow Fang + Hellfrog in
  4. Bhava with Duality and Mug
  5. TCJ set up TA + Kassatsu, make sure you have ample time left on Huton
  6. Bhava
  7. Hellfrog + Mug + Duality + TA; pop True North in advance, and Suiton as early as you can (to put mudra on CD, so you Raiton to reset Shukuchi before Clamp rotation)
  8. Bhava
  9. TCJ (if you can get off an additional cast in the fight) or Hellfrog (if you can’t) to set up
  10. TCJ to set up TA (if you used Hellfrog earlier) or Bhava in TA (if you used TCJ earlier)
  11. Hellfrog (if you set up TA with TCJ) or Bhava (if you didn’t) > Duality > Mug
  12. Bhava or Hellfrog – TA (speedkills should end even before this TA).
  13. Bhava
  14. TCJ to set up final TA (fight should end here for non-speed kills)

12 Ninki Speedrun Rotation (5:40-5:50 Kill Time):

  1. 5th GCD TA Bhava opener + Kassatsu + Duality + Mug
  2. TCJ to set up TA
  3. Bhava + Mug + Duality
  4. Hellfrog + Kassatsu + TA
  5. Bhava
  6. TCJ (Doton)
  7. Bhava + Duality + Mug + TA
  8. Hellfrog
  9. Bhava + TA
  10. Hellfrog + Mug
  11. TCJ to set up TA + Duality + Infusion + Kassatsu
  12. LB and Bhava

11 Ninki Speedrun Rotation (~5:30 Kill Time):

  1. 5th GCD TA Bhava opener + Kassatsu + Duality + Mug
  2. TCJ to set up TA
  3. Bhava + Mug + Duality
  4. Hellfrog + kassatsu + TA
  5. Bhava
  6. TCJ (Doton)
  7. Bhava + Duality + Mug + TA
  8. Hellfrog
  9. Bhava + TA + Kassatsu
  10. TCJ + Infusion + Duality + Mug
  11. Bhava  + TA and LB

10 Ninki Speedrun Rotation (<5:30 Kill Time):

  1. 5th GCD TA Bhava opener + Kassatsu + Duality + Mug
  2. TCJ to set up TA
  3. Bhava + Mug + Duality
  4. Hellfrog + Kassatsu + TA
  5. Bhava
  6. TCJ (Doton)
  7. Bhava + Duality + Mug + TA
  8. Hellfrog
  9. Bhava (delay TA)
  10. TCJ to set up TA + Duality + Mug + Kassatsu + Infusion

 

O2S:

Recommended Role Actions: True North, Bloodbath, Second Wind, Feint, Diversion

Uptime tips:

  1. If you are using the 6th GCD TA TCJ Opener, after your 18th GCD, you’ll need to stack middle for venn diagram mechanic (I don’t know the actual name lol). So an estimate of 20-21st GCD is where you need to go middle for 5th GCD TA Bhava Opener. Plan your positionals based on that.
  2. Death Gaze – face away between GCDs
  3. Put all of your DPS on the same side for -100 GS (punt up mechanic)
  4. -100 GS (punt up, as you come down, you can hit the boss for 2 GCDs, if the boss is in melee range, 1 GCD if the boss isn’t, before the death gaze)

Non-Speedrun Ninki Rotation (~7:20 Kill Time):

  1. 6th GCD TA TCJ Opener
  2. Bhavacakra
  3. HellFrog – TA
  4. Bhava + Duality + Mug (hit the Bhava before the Mug, Death Gaze happens close to this part)
  5. TCJ set up TA + Kassatsu; weave True North and Sprint before the Fuma into TCJ as you are moving here to dodge tentacles
  6. Bhava
  7. Hellfrog (delay the TA and Duality for after the punt)
  8. Bhava + TA + Duality (treat this as a Bhava reopener)
  9. TCJ to set up TA + Kassatsu
  10. Bhava
  11. Hellfrog + Mug + Duality
  12. Bhava + TA; try to TA as early as possible to maximise uptime in TA before the knockback, pop True North, too; DO NOT Shukuchi rubber band the knockback or use Arm’s Length, it’ll kill the party
  13. TCJ (Doton)
  14. Bhava + TA + Kassatsu + Duality

13 Ninki Speedrun Rotation (6:40-6:50 Kill Time):

  1. 6th GCD TA TCJ Opener
  2. Bhavacakra
  3. HellFrog > TA
  4. Bhava + Duality + Mug
  5. TCJ set up TA + Kassatsu
  6. Bhava
  7. Hellfrog + Dream + TA + Duality
  8. Bhava
  9. TCJ to set up TA; delay Kassatsu, unless kill time is above 6:40, then use Kassatsu here
  10. Bhava + Duality + Mug
  11. Hellfrog > TA
  12. Bhava
  13. TCJ to set up TA + Duality + Kassatsu + Infusion

12 Ninki Speedrun Rotation (< 6:00 Kill Time):

  1. 5th GCD TA Bhava Opener, early Duality
  2. TCJ to set up TA, clip the Shadow Fang in this TA, use the TA ASAP
  3. Bhava
  4. Hellfrog + Mug + Duality
  5. Bhava + TA + Kassatsu
  6. Hellfrog
  7. TCJ setup TA + Duality (before -100Gs)
  8. Bhava; second mudra after -100Gs to Suiton and TA at 10s
  9. Hellfrog + TA; delay Kassatsu
  10. Bhava; delay Duality
  11. TCJ to set up TA + Duality + Mug + Kassatsu + Infusion (after tentacles)
  12. Bhava

 

O3S:

Recommended Role Actions: True North, Bloodbath, Second Wind, Feint, Diversion

Uptime Tips:

  1. Try to clip as little as possible in your opener to get the 2nd Shadow Fang refresh in before Spellblade Holy. This means you should use Fuma on your Kassatsu mudra
  2. For Spellblade Holy, have the two tethered AoEs on opposite flanks, the person with the stack mechanic front of the boss, and the person tethered to the stack marker at the rear
  3. For White Flame, if you group’s DPS is good, have your tank move the boss back to the middle after he dodges the Blizzard
  4. I used to create strats for my old static’s O3S speedruns using the following for final phase scenarios:

Non-Speedrun and Speedrun Ninki Rotation:

  1. Bhava + Duality + Kassatsu in TA
  2. TCJ after SF refresh after mudra to set up TA
  3. Bhava before briars, end on Spinning Edge, Duality + Mug after briars
  4. Frog – Delay Suiton by 2 GCDs, weave in True North and Kassatsu before TA. If DPS is low, use TA on White Flame with Bhava, Assassinate Flame
  5. Bhava (either on White Flame with low DPS or boss with high DPS)
  6. Hellfrog after briars – Double DoT Dragon and boss, Katon Dragon and boss, dodge Ribbit, Mug to get to 80 ninki
  7. TCJ (Fuma/Katon/Suiton), Assassinate the Dragon, TA on boss with Shadow Fang + Duality
  8. Bhava
  9. Hellfrog in TA, Kassatsu
  10. TCJ (Doton), Katon for the mudra pre-TCJ, dodge puddles and Squelch, Duality + Mug after TCJ
  11. Bhava + TA
  12. Hellfrog + LB after The Game
  13. TCJ set up TA + Kassatsu + Infusion + Duality (after Spellblade Holy)
  14. Bhava
  15. Rage at your teammates if the fight hasn’t ended yet (probably Hellfrog into TA into Bhava)

13 to 14 Ninki Speedrun Rotation (< 7:00, Double LB 3):

  1. 5th GCD TA Bhava Opener
  2. TCJ after SF refresh after mudra to set up TA
  3. Bhava before briars, end on Spinning Edge, Duality + Mug after briars
  4. Hellfrog – Delay Suiton by 2 GCDs, weave in True North and Kassatsu before TA. If DPS is low, use TA on White Flame with Bhava, Assassinate Flame
  5. Bhava + TA (either on Flame with low DPS or boss with high DPS)
  6. TCJ (Doton)
  7. Bhava (Suiton into TA + Duality + Mug)
  8. Hellfrog
  9. Bhava out of TA on boss + TA after + Kassatsu
  10. TCJ (wait for puddles) + Apanda + Duality
  11. Bhava + TA  (before Spellblade Holy)
  12. Hellfrog + Bhava + LB before Spellblade Holy; hope you don’t get briars
  13. TCJ setup TA before Spellblade Holy + Kassatsu + Duality

 

Exdeath:

Recommended Role Actions: True North, Bloodbath, Second Wind, Arm’s Length, Diversion

Uptime Tips:

  1. Arm’s Length and True North are a must; If you’re not pre-casting Doton (no reason not to), Huton at 6s on countdown to maximise Huton buff
  2. During the first Flares, have everyone stand slightly off the edge so that the boss spawns in a spot where you don’t have to waste TN to hit the rear
  3. After the first Flare, pop Sprint right after and Shukuchi to the boss if it’s far away; for Thunder 3, you can get a GCD in before having to move out, move back in at 80% of Thunder 3 cast bar

Non-Speedrun Rotation (~4:10 Kill Time):

  1. 5th GCD TA TCJ Opener; Double weave TA and Duality (TA comes first)
  2. Bhava
  3. Bhava + TA + Duality + Mug
  4. TCJ (Doton); make sure Black Holes are out of the way before you TCJ
  5. Bhava + TA + Kassatsu; Kassatsu right after the Suiton to get an extra mudra in this phase
  6. Bhava
  7. TCJ set up TA + Duality; try your best to use the TCJ ASAP

With good ping, you ideally get off a full TCJ Doton without losing a mudra or the third skill in your three skill combo before the boss becomes untargetable.  If you are unable to get any of those off, you should go switch to a TCJ Fuma + Raiton opener, instead. If you get Thunder 3 as your first elemental skill after tentacles, you will not be able to get off the Bhavacakra in Trick before the boss becomes untargetable for the second tentacle phase. In order to keep Huton active throughout the downtime during the FIRST tentacles, remember to Armor Crush at ideal points of the fight.

6 Ninki Speedrun Rotation (~3:40 Kill Time):

  1. 5th GCD TA Bhava Opener, since you only get  2 x TCJs; also allows you to get off an additional mudra in phase 1
  2. TCJ (Suiton)
  3. Bhava + TA + Duality
  4. Hellfrog + Kassatsu on CD to get off 1 more mudra
  5. TCJ set up TA (potential Bhava)
  6. Bhava + Duality

5 Ninki Speedrun Rotation for Good Ping (Pre-Tentacle Kill):

  1. 5th GCD TA TCJ Opener; double weave TA + Duality
  2. Bhava
  3. Bhava + TA
  4. TCJ (Doton)
  5. Suiton + Bhava

 

Neo Exdeath

Recommended Role Actions: Bloodbath, Second Wind, Feint, Diversion, Invigorate

Uptime Tips:

  1. Due to the long run-up to Neo, I prefer to Shukuchi in to hit the 1st GCD as the pull happens
  2. As Grand Cross Alpha reaches the end of its cast, get the final GCD on the boss (should be a spinning edge on TCJ openers, and Shadow Fang on Bhava openers) and jump towards the middle; Jumping delays the animation of hysteria until after you land
  3. Shukuchi is your most important movement skill in this fight to maximise uptime; the idea is to create a rubber band effect with your Shukuchi by using its delayed animation to cancel the animation of the knockback. In essence, it looks as if you were knocked back halfway and dragged back to the boss by Shukuchi. For me, I use Shukuchi at the end of the cast of Flood of Naught. You should practice this.
  4. For instance, if you are using the TCJ opener, you will have a mudra available as Hysteria from the first Grand Cross Alpha ends. Pop Sprint after Hysteria ends and if the boss teleports close to where your Hysteria ends, you should use a GCD before weaving Fuma into another GCD. This allows you to use 3 GCDs before the knockback happens.
  5. During the first Meteors, you should delay your Hellfrog out of TA and overcap your ninki to use it on one of the closest meteors to the boss. You will also find yourself having a mudra off cooldown – delay that to use it on the closest meteor to the boss after it teleports. Both Katon and Hellfrog Medium will hit the targeted meteor and the nearby boss, resulting in a potency gain.

Non-Speedrun Rotation (~10:40 Kill Time):

  1. 6 GCD TA TCJ Opener
  2. Bhava after Grand Cross Alpha
  3. Hellfrog + TA; Spinning Edge into TA after refreshing Shadow Fang, your ninki bar should be at 56 to catch the Hellfrog
  4. Bhava + Duality
  5. TCJ set up TA + Kassatsu
  6. Bhava
  7. TA + Duality; delay Mug; Hellfrog, Mug and Katon on meteors
  8. Bhava
  9. TCJ set up TA (after vacuum wave) + Kassatsu
  10. Bhava + Duality + Infusion
  11. Hellfrog ASAP, outside of TA (Grand Cross Omega)
  12. Huton
  13. TCJ set up TA + Duality + Mug + Kassatsu
  14. Bhava
  15. Hellfrog
  16. Bhava + TA
  17. Hellfrog
  18. Bhava + TA (before meteors) + Duality
  19. Hellfrog (meteors)
  20. TCJ set up TA + Kassatsu
  21. Bhava  + Duality

Untested Speedrun Rotation (~9:30 Kill Time):

  1. 6 GCD TA TCJ Opener
  2. Bhava after Grand Cross Alpha
  3. Hellfrog + TA; Spinning Edge into TA after refreshing Shadow Fang, your ninki bar should be at 56 to catch the Hellfrog
  4. Bhava + Duality
  5. TCJ set up TA + Kassatsu
  6. Bhava
  7. TA + Duality; delay Mug; Hellfrog, Mug and Katon on meteors
  8. Bhava
  9. TCJ set up TA (after Vacuum Wave) + Kassatsu
  10. Bhava + Duality + Infusion
  11. Hellfrog ASAP, outside of TA (Grand Cross Omega)
  12. Huton
  13. TCJ set up TA + Duality + Mug + Kassatsu
  14. Bhava
  15. Hellfrog
  16. Bhava + TA
  17. Hellfrog
  18. Bhava (delay TA)
  19. Hellfrog (meteors)
  20. TCJ set up TA + Kassatsu + Duality

Optimal Speedrun Rotation (~9:30 Kill Time):

  1. 5th GCD Bhava opener; double weave TA + Duality, to allow for duality in TA before meteor; Sprint at 15s
  2. TCJ set up TA
  3. Bhava + Duality
  4. Hellfrog
  5. Bhava  + TA + Kassatsu
  6. TCJ (Suiton)
  7. Bhava + TA + Duality
  8. Hellfrog or Bhava (on meteors or boss) + mudra
  9. Bhava or Hellfrog (you can overcap ninki for this Bhava) + TA + Kassatsu + Infusion; it’s extremely important to save the mudra to Suiton when TA CD has 10s remaining, allowing you to put TA back on CD ASAP and get a full TA before GCO
  10. TCJ to set up TA
  11. Bhava + TA
  12. Huton (Grand Cross Omega)
  13. Bhava after TA
  14. Hellfrog
  15. TCJ (Doton)
  16. Bhava + TA
  17. Hellfrog + Duality; if 9:20, delay this Duality to use with TA after meteors
  18. Bhava; delay TA; Infusion after meteor
  19. TCJ set up TA + Kassatsu; TA may have to be done manually if TCJ is on CD
  20. Bhava + Duality

 

Consolidated TL;DR Recap

  • Ninki Priority: TCJ > Bhava > Frog
  • TCJ Doton > TCJ Suiton if boss does not move
  • Choose between 6th GCD TA TCJ Opener and 5th GCD TA Bhavacakra Opener
  • Delay using TCJ to set up for TA if you cannot get another one off
  • Use oGCDs on cooldown unless within 10s of a TA or unable to use another in a fight
  • Line up Dream/Kassatsu with TA

 

Credits

I have quite a number of people I would like to thank. First of all, I would like to thank Momo Sama for inspiring me to push the Ninja class to its absolute limits back when we first met in Creator on his Youtube channel. I would also like to thank Sheenda Naweh for our incessant discussions on optimisation and continued mutual motivation in maximising the class; he’s an amazing and criminally underrated Ninja, Ez Katka for past discussions on class nuances and his introduction to TMP, Kaladin Stormbless and Hasu Wasu for their theorycrafting help in the early stages of this guide, Holy Goatmilk for being the best student I could ever ask for, Takashi Yukimura for being the beastly controller ninja whom I exchanged few but meaningful words with, Kotoo Atsu (even though I don’t speak Japanese) for pushing me to greater heights, Kairi L for the memes and Aio Auroka for being the best player in the world. Big shoutout to my static (hopefully we’re still together by the time this is released) for being the light in my darkness created by people who lambasted at my undeserved toxicity.

About The Author

Kyorakun Shunsui

Kyorakun is a part-time journalist, aspiring poet and a full-time pixel ninja. He's been playing MMOs since 2012 with Lord of the Rings online (LOTRO) as his first ever. He's been raiding in FFXIV since the days of binding coil of bahamut and started off as a really bad monk. Kyo was midcore throughout 2.X and took the game seriously in Gordias and have been competitive ever since. Outside of the game, he's a qualified twitch chat memer and quite a clowny romantic. He's also reformed from his previous toxic incarnation.

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6 Responses

  1. Tamamo Mae

    For runs that are not speedruns, when in my rotation should I use 2nd and 3rd Infusions? Should I delay my Kassatu, trick, and such by 30s to fit under that window?

    Reply
    • Kyorakun

      You can use your infusions before the 2nd or 3rd gcd in a combo. You shouldn’t be delaying your trick window for pots unless you can’t get another trick window off in the fight.

      Reply
  2. Anuko

    Great write up, one of the best I have read. This is now my NIN bible until the next huge update 😀

    Reply
  3. Jonathan Jarvis

    Any chance of a downloadable .pdf of this being made available similar to Ari’s Paladin guide, there is so much information here I would love to have an offline version.

    Reply

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