Hello! I’m Jump Man, a Caster main on the Behemoth Server. This is an extensive and in depth guide to playing Red Mage and will cover everything from the basics to advanced optimization of the job. I believe any Red Mage player, brand new or self-proclaimed veterans, will gain something from reading this guide since it covers a lot of unanswered questions in the Red Mage community. This guide will be continuously updated with future patches. If you wish to further discuss Red Mage with me, please post in the reddit thread or come to the Red Mage Channels in The Balance Discord: https://discord.gg/CjQkEn3.
Table of Contents
II. Red Mage Cheat Sheet (TL;DR)
III. Skills & Abilities
IV. Role Actions
VI. Balancing Your Mana
VII. oGCD Usage
VIII. Managing Your Procs
IX. Infusion Usage
X. Embolden Timings
XI. Stats & BiS
XII. (Not So) Scary Math
XIII. Fight Specific Tips
XIV. Special Thanks
The bare minimum to playing Red Mage is simply building your Mana to 80|80 and then unleashing your melee combo with a powerful finisher. At its base, it is extremely simple and probably has the very lowest skill floor of any DPS job, making it a very attractive pick for new players. However, Red Mage has a surprising amount of hidden depth when it comes to optimization and an awful lot of thought is involved when trying to play at a high level. This guide will show that there is definitely much more to optimizing Red Mage than your basic ABCs.
Red Mage Cheat Sheet (TL;DR)
The following is a list of rules and priorities that every Red Mage should follow. The reasoning for each rule is explained throughout the guide, but for those that just want to know the hows and whats without the whys, here is what to do:
Managing Mana and Procs:
- Don’t Dualcast Veraero if you already have Verstone (with exceptions).
- Don’t Dualcast Verthunder if you already have Verfire (with exceptions).
- If both Verstone/fire procs are up, alternate between Verstone->Veraero and Verfire->Verthunder until one of the procs falls off.
- Don’t let Impactful fall off. Use this no matter what even if it means overwriting a proc.
- Overwriting a proc will only be a last resort, if Impactful is <7 seconds away from falling off. Otherwise prioritize Verstone/fire until one of them falls off, then fish for the proc with Impact.
- Use Impact and Swiftcast to fish for additional procs.
- Prioritize using Impact over Swiftcast when fishing for procs.
- Don’t imbalance your Mana when fishing for procs.
- When to fish for a proc:
- If you are below 80|80 Mana and ran out of both Verstone and Verfire procs, fish for a proc.
- If you are below 60|60 Mana and only have a single Verstone proc OR a Verfire proc, fish for the other proc.
- If you are between 60|60 and 80|80 Mana and only have a Verstone proc OR a Verfire proc, do NOT fish for the other proc.
- Whenever there is downtime cast Vercure so that you may start with a Dualcasted spell as soon as the boss is targetable. Do this regardless of what procs you have available.
- Don’t forget Acceleration works on finishers!
- If you are between 60|60 and 80|80 Mana and have both a Verstone proc AND a Verfire proc, do NOT use Acceleration.
- If you have <12 seconds on Impactful and still have both procs, do NOT use Acceleration.
When Above 80|80 Mana and Acceleration is on Cooldown, Fix your Mana/Procs:
- If you have a proc of your lower Mana, use it before going into your melee combo (i.e. 84|82 with Verfire proc, use Verfire->Veraero to become 95|91 before going into melee combo and get another 100% Verfire from Verflare).
- If you have both procs, dump the proc of your lower mana before going into your melee combo (i.e. 80|85 with both procs, use Verstone->Verthunder to become 89|96 before going into melee combo and get another 100% Verstone from Verholy).
Don’t use Manafication when under 45|45 or above 65|65
- You can use Manafication as low as 44|43 if doing a Hardcast->Dualcast will cause you to lose a 100% proc from your finisher.
- Before Enchanted Riposte if Swiftcast is down or you have Verstone/fire procs.
- After Enchanted Riposte when Swiftcast is up AND you have NO Verstone/fire procs.
- Best used in the opener at 5th GCD (end of 3rd Dualcast)
- Line it up with Trick Attack or other raid buffs throughout the rest of the fight, regardless of how it lines up with your melee combo.
Skills and Abilities
Please refer to https://na.finalfantasyxiv.com/jobguide/redmage/ for the most up to date tooltips.
Dualcast: Grants the effect of Dualcast upon casting any spell with a cast time. While under the effect of Dualcast, your next spell will require no time to cast. Effect is canceled upon execution of any action other than an ability. Auto-attacks do not cancel effect.
To clarify, any oGCDs and Battle Actions (gimble in OS2) will NOT cancel Dualcast. Sprint, item usage (potions), and mount summons WILL cancel Dualcast. A Swiftcasted spell will NOT grant the effect of Dualcast, nor will it consume a Dualcast.
Jolt: Deals unaspected damage with a potency of 180. Additional Effect: Increases both Black Mana and White Mana by 3. Cast: 2s. Cost: 360 MP. Range: 25y.
Jolt II: Deals unaspected damage with a potency of 240. Additional Effect: Increases both Black Mana and White Mana by 3. Additional Effect: Grants Impactful status. Duration: 30s. Cast: 2s. Cost: 360 MP. Range: 25y.
Your most basic spell. Minimal damage and minimal Mana gain. Use this only after exhausting all other options. Always hardcast this.
Impact: Deals unaspected damage with a potency of 270. Additional Effect: Increases both Black Mana and White Mana by 4. Can only be executed while under the effect of Impactful. Cast: 2s. Cost: 360 MP. Range: 25y.
Same potency as your other proc spells and only inferior to your other procs by 1 Mana (+4|+4 vs +9). You should never let the Impactful buff fall off. Always hardcast this.
Veraero: Deals wind damage with a potency of 300. Additional Effect: Increases White Mana by 11. Additional Effect: 50% chance of becoming Verstone Ready. Duration: 30s. Cast: 5s. Cost: 480 MP. Range: 25y.
Verthunder: Deals lightning damage with a potency of 300. Additional Effect: Increases Black Mana by 11. Additional Effect: 50% chance of becoming Verfire Ready. Duration: 30s. Cast: 5s. Cost: 480 MP. Range: 25y.
Due to the abnormally long cast times of Veraero and Verthunder, these should only ever be used pre-pull or with the Dualcast effect.
Verstone: Deals earth damage with a potency of 270. Additional Effect: Increases White Mana by 9. Can only be executed while Verstone Ready is active. Cast: 2s. Cost: 360 MP. Range: 25y.
Verfire: Deals fire damage with a potency of 270. Additional Effect: Increases Black Mana by 9. Can only be executed while Verfire Ready is active. Cast: 2s. Cost: 360 MP. Range: 25y.
Your proc’d spells. These are 30 potency stronger than Jolt II as well as grant 3 more total Mana. The primary gameplay for Red Mage centers around fishing for and balancing your procs in order to cast these spells as much as possible. Always hard cast these.
Riposte: Delivers an attack with a potency of 130. Action upgraded to Enchanted Riposte if both Black Mana and White Mana are at 30 or more. Cast: Instant. Cost: 100 TP. Range: 3y.
Enchanted Riposte: Deals unaspected damage with a potency of 210. Balance Gauge Cost: 30 Black Mana. Balance Gauge Cost: 30 White Mana. Cast: Instant. Cost: 100 TP. Range: 3y.
Zwerchhau: Deals an attack with a potency of 100. Combo Action: Riposte or Enchanted Riposte. Combo Potency: 150. Action upgraded to Enchanted Zwerchhau if both Black Mana and White Mana are at 25 or more. Cast: Instant. Cost: 100 TP. Range: 3y.
Enchanted Zwerchhau: Deals unaspected damage with a potency of 100. Combo Action: Riposte or Enchanted Riposte. Combo Potency: 290. Balance Gauge Cost: 25 Black Mana. Balance Gauge Cost: 25 White Mana. Cast: Instant. Cost: 100 TP. Range: 3y.
Redoublement: Delivers an attack with a potency of 100. Combo Action: Zwerchhau or Enchanted Zwerchhau. Combo Potency: 230. Action upgraded to Enchanted Redoublement if both Black Mana and White Mana are at 25 or more. Cast: Instant. Cost: 100 TP. Range: 3y.
Enchanted Redoublement: Deals unaspected damage with a potency of 100. Combo Action: Enchanted Zwerchhau. Combo Potency: 470. Balance Gauge Cost: 25 Black Mana. Balance Gauge Cost: 25 White Mana. Cast: Instant. Cost: 100 TP. Range: 3y.
Your melee combo. Due to the lower potency and higher recast, there is absolutely no situation in which you would want to do your melee combo un-Enchanted. You will need a total of at least 80/80 Mana in order to perform the full melee combo. The Enchanted versions of each attack deal Magic Damage and are affected by your own Embolden.
Verholy: Deals unaspected damage with a potency of 550. Additional Effect: Increases White Mana by 21. Additional Effect: 20% chance of becoming Verstone Ready. Duration: 30s. Chance to become Verstone Ready increases to 100% if Black Mana is higher than White Mana at time of execution. Can only be executed after landing Enchanted Redoublement. Cast: Instant. Cost: 600 MP. Range: 25y
Verflare: Deals fire damage with a potency of 550. Additional Effect: Increases Black Mana by 21. Additional Effect: 20% chance of becoming Verfire Ready. Duration: 30s. Chance to become Verfire Ready increases to 100% if White Mana is higher than Black Mana at time of execution. Can only be executed after landing Enchanted Redoublement. Cast: Instant. Cost: 600 MP. Range: 25y.
The finishers to your melee combo. Generally you will want to use the finisher corresponding to your lower Mana in order to get the 100% proc chance, although there are exceptions to this.
Scatter: Deals unaspected damage with a potency of 100 to target and all enemies nearby it. Additional Effect: Increases both Black Mana and White Mana by 3. Additional Effect: 25% chance you are granted Enhanced Scatter. Duration: 10s. Enhanced Scatter Bonus: Increases Black Mana and White Mana by 8 instead of 3. Cast: 2s. Cost: 480 MP. Range: 25y. Radius: 5y.
Your AoE spell. Spam this until you have enough Mana to use Enchanted Moulinet. This is a DPS loss when using on 2 targets, even after taking Enhanced Scatter into consideration. When using on 3 targets hardcast Scatter and then Dualcast Veraero/thunder for higher Mana gain with no potency tradeoff. When using on 4+ targets just keep spamming Scatter.
Tether: Binds target and all nearby enemies. Duration: 20s. Cancels auto-attack upon execution. Cast: 2.5s. Cost: 1200 MP. Range: 30y. Radius: 5y.
We have this because Black Mages have Freeze and Summoners have Tri-bind. Why the 3 spells weren’t merged into a Role Action is beyond me. Currently useless and can be removed from your hotbar, but perhaps in a future raid an AoE bind may come in handy for certain mechanics.
Moulinet: Delivers an attack with a potency of 60 to all enemies in a cone before you. Action upgraded to Enchanted Moulinet if both Black Mana and White Mana are at 30 or more. Cast: Instant. Cost: 200 TP. Range: 6y.
Enchanted Moulinet: Deals unaspected damage with a potency of 200 to all enemies in a cone before you. Balance Gauge Cost: 30 Black Mana. Balance Gauge Cost: 30 White Mana. Cast: Instant. Cost: 100 TP. Range: 6y.
Your AoE melee skill. Just like your regular melee combo, the lower potency and higher recast means there is absolutely no situation where using Moulinet un-Enchanted is viable. Enchanted Moulinet is a DPS loss at 2 targets and a DPS gain at 3+ targets. Enchanted Moulinet is Magic Damage and is affected by your own Embolden. Your Embolden + Manafication rotation will look like this: Build Mana to 100|100, Embolden, Enchanted Moulinet x2, Scatter->Scatter, Manafication, Enchanted Moulinet x3.
Vercure: Restores target’s HP. Cure Potency: 350. Cast: 2s. Cost: 600 MP. Range: 30y.
A pretty potent healing spell since it scales off of INT. Can be used for clutch saves if the healers are down or out of MP. The most practical use for this is casting it while the boss is untargetable in order to gain the effect of Dualcast and immediately hit the boss with a Veraero/thunder once it is targetable again.
Verraise: Resurrects target to a weakened state. Cast: 10s. Cost: 3600 MP. Range: 30y.
An extremely useful Battle Raise. Due to the fact that we can use this with Dualcast we can throw out many raises in quick succession, effectively making Red Mage the most useful caster for progression. Red Mage is first in line to raise any fallen party member in order to save the healers their much needed MP and Swiftcasts. Do NOT use Verraise if you are under 5k MP and have more than 30 seconds left on Lucid Dreaming.
Fleche: Deals an attack with a potency of 420. Recast: 25s. Range: 25y.
Contre Sixte: Delivers an attack 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: 45s. Range: 25y. Radius: 6y.
These are standard damage oGCDs and should be used on cooldown. Save Contre Sixte if an add is coming up in order to hit multiple targets with it for a DPS gain.
Corps-a-corps: Rushes target and delivers an attack with a potency of 130. Cannot be executed while bound. Recast: 40s. Range: 25y.
Displacement: Delivers an attack with a potency of 130. Additional Effect: 15-yalm backstep. Cannot be executed while bound. Recast: 35s. Range: 5y.
These are movement oGCDs that compliment your melee combo well. However, they should be treated as standard damage oGCDs and be used on cooldown in most cases. Displacement has a longer animation lock and cannot be double weaved without clipping your GCD.
Acceleration: Ensures the next Verthunder/Verflare or Veraero/Verholy spell cast will, for the first hit, trigger Verfire Ready or Verstone Ready respectively. Duration: 10s. Recast: 35s.
Useful ability that should be used on cooldown in most cases. In the patch notes for Patch 4.05, the following was listed under Resolved Issues: “An issue wherein the effects of the Red Mage ability Acceleration would apply to Verflare and Verholy.” This is extremely misleading because in the same patch they also added Verflare and Verholy to the Acceleration tooltip. Acceleration does in fact work on Verflare and Verholy. More on this is covered on the Acceleration Usage section of this guide.
Manafication: Doubles current Black Mana and White Mana levels. Additional Effect: Resets Corps-a-corps and Displacement recast timers. All combos are canceled upon execution of Manafication. Recast: 120s.
The optimal range of Mana to use this is 45|45 (or 10 Mana less than 50|50) to 65|65 (or 30 Mana more than 50|50). This spell has a horrible cooldown timing and should actually NOT be used on cooldown. More on this is covered in the Manafication Usage section of this guide.
Embolden: Increases own magic damage dealt by 10% and physical damage dealt by nearby party members by 10%. Both effects are reduced by 20% every 4s. Duration: 20s. Recast: 120s. Radius: 15y.
A relatively weak raid cooldown. For clarification, it drops 20% of the initial value, so the buff timings look like this: 10%(4s)->8%(4s)->6%(4s)->4%(4s)->2%(4s). You should prioritize using this whenever it is best for the party, which is usually when everyone has their 1 minute and 2 minute abilities and buffs coming off cooldown. More on this is covered in the Selfish Embolden Timings and Raid Openers section of the guide.
Swiftcast: Next spell is cast immediately. Duration: 10s. Recast: 60s.
At first, Swiftcast may not seem necessary due to Dualcast granting us instant casts every other GCD, but using Swiftcast to cast more Veraero/thunders is a DPS gain in any situation. We’ll go more into this later in the guide, but Swiftcast is an absolute must for Red Mage DPS. Also due to our lack of on-demand instant cast spells (like Summoners Ruin II), Swiftcast can be used to maintain uptime when you need to move for mechanics.
Lucid Dreaming: Reduces enmity by half. Additional Effect: Refresh. Refresh Potency: 80. Duration: 21s. Recast: 120s.
Without this, Red Mage cannot regenerate any MP, making this a must have if you don’t want to run dry a few minutes into the fight. The enmity halving is also very useful to have. Typically, in a raid setting you will have a Bard or Machinist in your party. Red Mage cannot actually spend MP faster than it is restored when using Lucid Dreaming and Refresh on cooldown unless they are spamming Verraises. Therefore, don’t use this ability on cooldown, but only when you’re below 70% Mana.
Addle: Lowers target’s intelligence and mind by 10%. Duration: 10s. Recast: 90s. Range: 25y.
Very useful for mitigating raid-wide Magic AoE damage or magical tankbusters. Coordinate with your healers for the best time to use this.
Apocatastasis: Reduces a party member’s magic vulnerability by 20%. Duration: 10s. Recast: 90s. Range: 30y.
An extra defensive cooldown for your tanks to handle magical tankbusters with. Coordinate with your tanks for the best time to use this.
Diversion: Reduces enmity generation. Duration: 15s. Recast: 120s.
Useful on pull if you’re not using potions. Otherwise useful for jumping on adds right away without pulling aggro. Usually this one is the first to go when trying to fit in other useful Role Actions. The value of this Role Action increases in PUG situations.
Mana Shift: Transfers up to 20% of own maximum MP to target party member. Recast: 120s. Range: 30y.
With Lucid Dreaming and Refresh from the Bard and/or Machinist, Red Mage has an abundant amount of excess MP. Use Mana Shift on the Bard to extend Foe Requiem in the opener, or after Foe Requiem has ended in order to have the next Foe Requiem happen sooner. During progression use this on your healers to help recover from mistakes. This Role Action should be considered Mandatory for progression.
Surecast: Spells can be cast without interruption. Additional Effect: Nullifies most knockback and draw-in effects. Duration: 5s. Recast: 30s.
In the current raid tier, Omega: Deltascape (Savage), this is useful for Exdeath’s Vacuum Wave knockback and Catastrophe’s Long Drop knockback.
Break: Deals unaspected damage with a potency of 50. Additional Effect: Heavy +20%. Duration: 20s. Cast: 2.5s. Range: 25y.
This will be useful when you need to hinder the movement speed of an add, but in Omega: Deltascape (Savage) there is no use for this.
Erase: Removes a single damage over time effect from target party member other than self. Additional Effect: Restores target’s HP. Cure Potency: 200. Recast: 90s. Range: 30y.
This may be useful in certain fights with frequent/heavy DoT debuffs, but in Omega: Deltascape (Savage) there is little to no use for this.
Drain: Deals unaspected damage with a potency of 80. Additional Effect: Absorbs a portion of damage dealt as HP. Cast: 2.5s. Cost: 600 MP. Range: 25y.
A weaker heal than Vercure, a lower potency than literally all of your skills and abilities, a higher cast time than all your hard-casted spells, and a higher MP cost than most of your hard-casted spells, as well. This Role Action will never be useful outside of leveling.
Red Mage has no DoTs, no debuffs to put on the boss, and their only buff doesn’t even affect their oGCDs and is most of the time prioritized to be used for the raid. This makes the Red Mage opener extremely versatile depending on your group comp and whether you’re playing with PUGs or an actual raid group, but the general idea is to just get all of your oGCDs out before the melee combo and time your Embolden to your group’s best interest. I will cover all the relevant openers that any Red Mage will want to use. One thing I want to note about all of these openers is that Acceleration will always be precast at 11s before the pull, Diversion precast at 6s before the pull, and a Veraero/thunder precast at 5s before the pull. Unless otherwise stated, each opener also assumes no procs are gained from anything other than the initial Acceleration precasted Veraero/thunder.
There are way too many things to consider when trying to use any procs you gain, but as long as you end up over 40|40 Mana within the same amount of GCDs, it should work out fine, so use your judgement to replace Jolt II or Impact with any procs you gain in these openers, and then adjust your Dualcasted spells and finisher to keep your Mana balanced. For all the 9 GCD openers, if you only get 1 proc other than the initial one from Acceleration you may end up at 45|45 Mana before using Manafication. Don’t fret it too much, using the proc is still a DPS gain over losing the guaranteed proc from Verholy/flare due to avoiding wasted Dualcasts. All you need to do is switch around Displacement and Acceleration in the opener in order to force a proc from the Verholy/flare. Furthermore, every single potion used in these openers are High Quality Infusions of Intelligence. I considered including openers that used 15s potions from Heavensward, but decided against it since it essentially doubles the amount of openers and would take up too much space, as well as the fact that Infusions are now cheaper than Heavensward potions in nearly all servers.
First let’s cover the selfish openers since we just went over the selfish Embolden timings. These selfish openers exist solely for the purpose of getting personal parses or for pleb content like dungeon runs. There is really only one thing to consider when deciding which selfish opener to use, whether you have the proper raid buffs or not. First let’s go over the opener that assumes you have no raid buffs. It will look like this:
This opener has 10 GCDs before the melee combo and ensures maximum Mana gain from Manafication as well as maximum potency gain from Embolden. If you have perfect procs, you will actually reach 51|51 before using Manafication, which will cause your Mana to be even for your melee combo. Acceleration conveniently comes back up right before you perform the Verholy/flare, so you are able to gain the proc anyways. If your Mana is uneven, use the finisher of which you have lower Mana of, this way your Acceleration will not be consumed and will instead give you a proc off of the Swiftcasted Veraero/thunder at the end of the opener. Another thing to note is that Fleche is used twice under the Infusion window.
There are quite a few raid buffs that will benefit Red Mage. Ninjas have Trick Attack, Summoners have Contagion, Scholars have Chain Stratagem, Dragoons have Battle Litany, Dragon Sight, and Disembowel, Machinists have Hypercharge, and Bards have a passive crit buff, Battle Voice, and Foe Requiem. In order to take advantage of a Trick Attack you will need to ask your Ninja to do a 6th GCD Trick Attack opener. If you want to take advantage of a Chain Stratagem and/or Contagion, you will need to ask for those to be used on the 4th GCD. Dragoons don’t need to adjust any of their cooldowns in their opener as they line up well with yours, so all you need to do is ask for the Dragon Sight. Machinist Hypercharge also lasts long enough for your opener and requires no change. If you have a Bard, Battle Voice already lines up well with your opener, but you’ll want to Mana Shift them during your opener in order to extend Foe Requiem and have it buff your melee combo. This true scumbag opener which completely caters to the Red Mage and takes advantage of raid buffs but denies the rest of your party a proper Embolden will look like this:
The difference here from the previous opener is that you are saving Contre Sixte to catch all the raid buffs (except Contagion since it doesn’t affect your Physical Piercing Damage oGCDs). You do not save Fleche because it’s extremely short cooldown will likely cause you to lose a use of it, so stick with getting 2 Fleches inside your Infusion. If you are sure you won’t miss a Fleche use then you can just swap Swiftcast with your first Fleche. You are also using 9 GCDs instead of 10 before the melee combo, allowing your Enchanted Redoublement to catch the tail end of Trick Attack, Contagion, and Chain Stratagem. You could ask for a 7th GCD Trick Attack and 5th GCD Contagion/Chain Stratagem so that they will also cover your Verholy/flare, but at this point the raid buffs are now suboptimal for the rest of your party and it becomes too much of a detriment to the raidwide DPS. You will likely have a hard time getting your group to agree to it.
You may also notice that Embolden is placed after Enchanted Riposte, rather than before it, despite using Swiftcast before the melee combo. This is due to lack of oGCD space in the opener due to having to Mana Shift the Bard. As shown in the previous section, the difference is only 10 potency, which is made up for by having Foe Requiem buff your melee combo. If you instead have a Machinist or can somehow get your Bard to Refresh pre-pull (which again is suboptimal and more of a detriment to the group) then you can omit Mana Shift and use Manafication->Embolden before the Enchanted Riposte. Be sure to Mana Shift your Bard sometime after the opener anyways so that the next Foe Requiem will happen sooner.
The convenient thing about Selfish openers is that they are very flexible. You can easily swap the oGCDs around to cater to your needs. You can also aggressively fish for procs with Swiftcast by swapping it with your early Corps-a-corps or Displacement, which can and should be done to prevent yourself from having to cast Jolt II in the opener. (when swapping with Displacement make sure you’re still double weaving Contre Sixte with your Swiftcast).
Next I will cover the raid openers. These openers are meant to be used with a raid group and will use Embolden to cover your fellow DPS’ burst most optimally. The thing about buffs in this game is that they stack multiplicatively. This means that two 10% buffs are stronger than a single 20% buff since 10% of 110% added onto it is 121%, as opposed to just 120%. While it may not initially seem like much, the more buffs you stack the more extra damage you are gaining, and so you want to coordinate with your raid members and use all of your raid-wide buffs together. Kaladin Stormbless of Balmung made an extremely handy sheet for everyone to see when raid-wide buffs are generally thrown out: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1aSzKYCsE4_DUdDcxbxrRR272JECmETw3Hoq644ZWUZM/edit#gid=1564032043.
The two most important raid-wide buffs that you’re going to want to line up your Embolden with are Trick Attack and Brotherhood. Lining it up with other raid buffs are also important, but most raid buffs last more than 15s, meaning that it will overlap with the majority of raid buffs anyways without having to adjust it. The only one that doesn’t is Chain Stratagem and Contagion, but those aren’t locked to a part of the rotation and can be popped whenever it’s needed. Monks want to use Brotherhood on the 5th GCD and Ninjas will want to use Trick Attack on the 5th or 6th GCD, so those are the two that we have to make an effort to line up our Embolden with. When using Embolden, make sure you are in melee range of the boss so that your Embolden will reach the melee and tanks. If you are having trouble with this, try popping sprint before Diversion pre-pull.
Generally, Ninjas will use Trick Attack on the 5th GCD as it can cover the burst for most jobs this way, so it is up to us to time our Embolden to go off on the 5th GCD. You will also want to Mana Shift your Bard (if you have one) no later than the 8th GCD so that their Foe Requiem can last 24~27s instead of ~21s. Here is the opener that you will use to do that:
This is considered your ultimate team player opener. You will only catch one Swiftcasted GCD inside your Embolden’s 10% buff, Embolden falls off to 6% by the time you’re hitting Enchanted Zwerchhau, and you have to double weave Corps-a-corps with Displacement due to having a lack of oGCD space due to having to Mana Shift the Bard, causing you to clip your GCD. If you happen to have a Machinist instead you can omit Mana Shift and replace the oGCD spot with Corps-a-corps, thus removing any clipping from your opener. If you are sure you won’t lose a use of Contre Sixte, you can swap it with Corps-a-corps in order to catch more raid buffs with it, however I wouldn’t recommend doing this without a Machinist because Corps-a-corps has an insanely small animation lock, which makes it the best candidate to double weave with Displacement in order to minimize clipping. Unfortunately there is little to no flexibility with fishing for procs with Swiftcast as you cannot use Swiftcast any earlier in the opener since it will cause you to be hardcasting during the 5th GCD and unable to use Embolden, and using it later will end up causing you to double weave it with Displacement even if you don’t have to Mana Shift.
No Mana Shift Variation: http://ffxivrotations.com/14fw
Save Contre for Buffs Variation: http://ffxivrotations.com/14fx
No Mana Shift + Save Contre for Buffs Variation: http://ffxivrotations.com/14fy
Exdeath Variation: http://ffxivrotations.com/14gh
If you happen to have a Samurai and Ninja in your group, then your Ninja should opt to do a 6th GCD Trick Attack opener since it will benefit you and your Samurai’s 3 Sen opener the most. Here is how a 6th GCD Embolden opener looks like:
This opener is a good compromise between buffing the raid and buffing yourself. Your Enchanted Redoublement should catch the tail end of the 8% buff from your Embolden as well as the tail end of the 6th GCD Trick Attack. You are once again clipping your GCD if you have to Mana Shift the Bard. Swiftcast must come out at least one GCD before Embolden so you have a little bit of flexibility and are allowed to swap it with Contre Sixte. You again can swap Contre Sixte with Corps-a-corps in order to catch raid buffs with it if you are sure it won’t cause you to lose a use of it before the phase ends.
No Mana Shift Variation: http://ffxivrotations.com/14fz
Early Swift w/ Mana Shift Variation: http://ffxivrotations.com/14g0
Balancing your Mana
The Balance Gauge displays the current amount of Black Mana and White Mana a Red Mage has accumulated. Black Mana is accumulated by casting Verfire, Verthunder, and Verflare, while White Mana is accumulated by casting Verstone, Veraero, and Verholy. Jolt (II) and Impact will generate both Black and White Mana.
If the gap between Black and White Mana accumulation grows too large, the crystal at the top of the gauge will change color, and it will become more difficult to accumulate the lesser of the two. This happens when the gap is at 31 Mana and more. With that in mind, you’re going to want to try and keep your Mana as close to each other as possible.
Your general rotation is very simple. If you have any procs (Impact, Verstone, or Verfire), hardcast them and then Dualcast the Mana you have lower of (Veraero for White Mana and Verfire for Black Mana). Do NOT Dualcast a Mana if you already have a proc for that Mana (don’t use Verstone->Verthunder if you already have Verfire, don’t use Verfire->Veraero if you already have Verstone). It is okay to Dualcast a higher Mana in this way so long as the distance between the two Manas does not exceed 30 and cause you go to unbalanced. When you run out of procs, use Jolt II. Once you have 80|80 Mana (80 White Mana and 80 Black Mana) you can then perform your melee combo. Finish your melee combo with a finisher that correlates with the Mana you have lower of (Verholy when White Mana is lower and Verflare when Black Mana is lower).
Your priority for oGCDs will be as follows:
Fleche > Contre Sixte > Acceleration > Corps-a-corps > Displacement
The first and most important thing you need to know about using oGCDs is to NEVER use them between your hardcast and your Dualcast. Hardcasted spells (Jolt II, Impact, Verstone, and Verfire) have a 2.0s cast while the GCD is 2.5s (assuming no spell speed). This 0.5s gap between your hardcast and your Dualcast is NOT ENOUGH to use an oGCD without clipping your GCD. All oGCDs tend to have an approximately ~0.7s animation lock. Using an oGCD after a hardcast would lock you out of your GCD for a minimum of 0.2s which will result in a DPS loss. Realistically, it will always be more than a 0.2s lockout as there is never any 0 Spell Speed builds, as well as the time lost from taking your ping and latency into account.
You CAN single weave any oGCD other than Displacement in your melee combo. The recast is 1.5s for Enchanted Riposte and Enchanted Zwerchhau. All GCDs also have an animation lock of ~0.7s. So using an oGCD ~0.7s after an Enchanted Riposte and then being animation locked for another ~0.7s will still free you up in time to use Enchanted Zwerchhau on the GCD (~0.7s + ~0.7s = ~1.4s, less than 1.5s). It’s a very tight window and you are likely to very slightly clip without perfect ping, but still a gain to do so. Enchanted Redoublement has a 2.2s recast, meaning you can still double weave any oGCD other than Displacement (~0.7s + ~0.7s + ~0.7s = ~2.1s, less than 2.2s). Double weaving after Enchanted Redoublement is just as tight a window as single weaving after Enchanted Riposte and Enchanted Zwerchhau.
An interesting thing to note about Fleche, Contre Sixte, Corps-a-corps, and Displacement is that they deal Physical Piercing Damage and are NOT buffed by your own Embolden. These ARE however buffed by another Red Mage’s Embolden, a Monk’s Brotherhood, and a Dragoon’s Disembowel. The damage still scales off of INT, so they will still be buffed by Infusions of Intelligence.
Displacement has a significantly longer animation lock than any other oGCD and CANNOT be double weaved with any other oGCD without clipping your GCD. It also CANNOT be single weaved after Enchanted Riposte and Enchanted Zwerchhau (even if your back is against a wall and you stay in melee range, you will still clip) but it CAN be single weaved after Enchanted Redoublement. Assuming 100% uptime, when you use Manafication optimally you will actually have approximately 5 seconds left on Displacement and 10 seconds left on Corps-a-corps. Since Manafication resets the CD for these two abilities this means that you can hold both for up to 30s each per Manafication use in order to use them to deal with mechanics and not lose a use. This is convenient as there are times where we do not want to use Displacement on cooldown since it will cause us to move out of heal range during a heavy AoE damage part of the fight. We can safely wait until after the healing is done to use Displacement and not have to worry about missing a use of it. This also places them in the bottom of your priority list for oGCD usage.
Managing Your Procs
The core of Red Mage optimization revolves around hardcasting Jolt II as little as possible. You have 3 spells that replace Jolt II but can only be used when under the effect of procs: Verstone, Verfire, and Impact. Verstone/fire are the two procs you’re always going to be fishing for. Using Verholy/flare at the end of your melee combo and Dualcasting Veraero/thunder are your primary ways to fish for Verstone/fire procs, but there are a few more ways to fish for these procs.
Use Swiftcast to instantly cast Veraero/thunder. Red Mage has no on-demand instant cast, so your primary use of Swiftcast will be holding it for when you have to move for mechanics that don’t line up well with your Dualcast in order to maintain uptime. Otherwise, Swiftcast will always be a net DPS gain no matter how you use it due to how much stronger Veraero/thunder is, but you’re mostly going to want to use Swiftcast to fish for another proc, meaning you likely won’t be using it on cooldown. Let’s look at one situation where you use Swiftcast to fish for procs.
240 + 300 + 270 + 300 + 240 + 300 + 270 = 1920 total potency
3BW+ 11B+ 4BW+ 11W+3BW+ 11B+ 4BW= 36B 26W = 60 total Mana generated
the , get no proc:
300 + 240 + 300 + 270 + 300 + 240 + 300 = 1950 total potency
11B + 3BW+ 11W+4BW+ 11B+ 3BW+11W = 32B 32W = 64 total Mana generated
the , get proc:
300 + 270 + 300 + 240 + 300 + 270 + 300 = 1980 total potency
11B+9B +11W+3BW+11W+4BW+11B = 38B 29W = 67 total Mana generated
As you can see, in a span of 7 GCDs, even if you don’t get a proc, Swiftcasting a Veraero/thunder will net you 30 potency and 4 more Mana regardless, and when you DO get a proc, you gain ANOTHER 30 potency as well as another 3 Mana.
Technically, it is still a DPS gain to use Swiftcast on Cooldown, but there is more value in using Swiftcast to fish for Verstone/fire procs. If you already have both Verstone/fire procs, wait until one of them falls off to use Swiftcast. You will want to use Swiftcast as often as possible to fish for procs.
NEVER let Impactful fall off. Always use it to fish for another proc. If you have both Verstone and Verfire and Impactful has <8 seconds left, use Impact anyways. This will still result in a net DPS gain.
Inevitably, you will end up having to cast Jolt II at some point in the fight. Jolt II will grant you the Impactful buff, allowing you to use Impact. At first glance, Impact appears to be a “cast me instead of Jolt II” button when you run out of Verstone/fire procs. However, in most cases you’re actually going to want to prioritize Impact over Verstone/fire. Impact should be considered a “proc fisher” just like Swiftcast and be used as often as possible. Furthermore, you should NEVER let Impactful fall off. Even if you have both Verstone/fire procs up, it is still a DPS gain to use Impact. Ideally, you would want to use Verstone/fire procs until one of them falls off and then use Impact to fish for the proc that just fell off, but if you have less than 8 seconds left on Impactful, go ahead and use Impact, regardless of how many procs you have.
Yes, using Impact and then Dualcasting a Veraero/thunder while having both procs can sometimes overwrite one of your procs, which may feel nonoptimal or wrong, but it is still a gain. Overwriting your proc means you just wasted 30 potency and 3 Mana (the difference between the proc and Jolt II), however you will only overwrite it 50% of the time. This means that statistically, using a Dualcasted Veraero/thunder when you already have both procs is only wasting 15 potency and 1.5 Mana. Meanwhile, 100% of the time you let Impactful fall off you are losing 30 potency and 2 Mana (the difference between Impact and Jolt II). Statistically you are gaining 15 potency and 0.5 Mana whenever you use Impactful right before it falls off while already having both Verstone/fire procs. Ultimately, the worst case scenario is that you lose 1 Mana when you overwrite a proc (lose 30 potency and 3 Mana from overwritten proc, gain 30 potency and 2 Mana from not letting Impactful fall off), and the best case scenario is that you gain a free 30 potency and 2 Mana from not letting Impactful fall off.
Efficiently Fishing for Procs When Below 80|80
Now that we have established Swiftcast and Impact as our two primary methods of fishing for additional procs, we can create a set of rules for how and when we should fish for procs.
- Whenever there is downtime cast Vercure so that you may start with a Dualcasted spell as soon as the boss is targetable.
- Don’t imbalance your Mana when fishing for procs.
- Don’t let Impactful fall off.
- Don’t Dualcast Veraero if you already have Verstone (unless Impactful is about to fall off and you already have both procs).
- Don’t Dualcast Verthunder if you already have Verfire (unless Impactful is about to fall off and you already have both procs).
- If both Verstone/fire procs are up, alternate between Verstone->Veraero and Verfire->Verthunder until one of the procs falls off.
- If you are below 80|80 Mana and ran out of both Verstone and Verfire procs, fish for a proc.
- If you are between 60|60 and 80|80 Mana and have both a Verstone proc AND a Verfire proc, do NOT use Acceleration.
- If you have <12 seconds on Impactful and still have both procs, do NOT use Acceleration.
- Prioritize using Impact over Swiftcast when fishing for procs.
The reason why we do not want to fish for procs if we already have one or don’t use Acceleration if we already have both when between 60|60 and 80|80 Mana is because we do not want to go over 80|80 Mana with both Verstone and Verfire procs. Going into the melee combo with 2 procs will cause one of our procs to be overwritten by the 100% proc chance from Verholy or Verflare, thus negating the proc we just gained. Of course, if we get really lucky with proc RNG this can happen regardless, but we should make a conscious effort to avoid this situation as much as we can.
Handling Procs When Above 80|80
Having Either Verstone OR Verfire:
If you have a Verstone proc while White Mana is higher, or a Verfire proc while Black Mana is higher, go ahead and dive right into the melee combo and get your second proc from Verholy/flare. However if you have a Verstone proc while White Mana is lower, a Verfire proc while Black Mana is lower, or either proc while White and Black Mana are equal, then use the proc and Dualcast the opposite Mana before going into the melee combo. By freeing up the proc space of the lower Mana you are ensuring a proc gain from the 100% proc chance from Verholy/flare. This can be referred to as “fixing” your Mana before going into the melee combo.
Having Both Verstone AND Verfire:
If you have both Verstone and Verfire procs while above 80|80 Mana, you will need to “dump” one of your procs. To dump a proc, use the proc for which you have lower Mana of, and then Dualcast the Mana you have higher of. The proc chance from your Dualcasted spell will be wasted (dumped), but you can now pick up another proc from your Verholy/flare after the melee combo. The end result is not very different from not dumping the proc. In one scenario, you have 80 White Mana and 89 Black Mana with both Verstone and Verfire procs up. If you cast Verstone->Veraero, you’ll end up with 100 White Mana and possibly a Verstone proc. You go into your melee combo, and since your White Mana is higher than your Black Mana by over 9, you are forced to use Verflare, overwriting your Verfire proc and wasting your 100% chance proc gain. Your end result is 20 White Mana and 30 Black Mana (50 total Mana) with a for-sure Verfire proc and a 50% chance to have a Verstone proc. In another scenario with the same Mana and procs, you instead cast Verstone->Verthunder. You already have a Verfire proc so you are wasting your proc chance from the Dualcasted Verthunder, but now you can go into your melee combo and get a 100% chance Verstone proc from Verholy. The end result is 30 White Mana and 20 Black Mana (50 total Mana) with both Verstone and Verfire procs up. The only difference is that you are dumping the Dualcasted 50% proc chance in order to gain from the Verholy/flare 100% proc chance, which ensures you leave the melee combo with both procs 100% of the time.
Having Neither Verstone NOR Verfire:
Most of the time if you have neither Verstone nor Verfire procs and are above 80|80 Mana you can go right into your melee combo and gain a proc from your finisher. However if your White and Black Mana values are equal, you are NOT guaranteed a proc from Verholy/flare. In this case you will want to uneven your Mana before going into the melee combo. Impact will work perfectly for this, but when we don’t have the Impactful buff then even using Jolt II to uneven your Mana here will still be a gain. This may seem counter-intuitive since the whole point of fishing for procs is to prevent yourself from casting Jolt II, but in the long run the number of extra procs you gain from unevening your Mana before going into the melee combo will add up to a DPS gain. The only time you don’t want to use Jolt II here is if the boss will die before your next hardcast after your melee combo.
Sometimes your Mana is too high and you are unable to fix your Mana without wasting some of it. For example, you have 98 White Mana and 90 Black Mana and have a Verfire proc. You can avoid having to waste anything if you have Acceleration up. Use it and then immediately go into your melee combo, then finish with Verholy. There are some rules with how Verholy/flare interact with Acceleration.
- If you have equal White and Black Mana and use either finisher, Acceleration will be consumed and guarantee a proc from whichever finisher you use.
- If you have more White Mana than Black Mana and use Verholy, Acceleration will be consumed and guarantee a proc from Verholy, and vice versa with higher Black Mana and using Verflare.
- If you have less White Mana than Black Mana and use Verholy, Acceleration is NOT consumed. You can then use Verstone->Verthunder and get a Verfire proc from your Acceleration.
This is a pretty nifty trick that every Red Mage should utilize. You can use Acceleration as early as after the Enchanted Riposte, and it will last until the Veraero/thunder following your finisher. Just make sure that your White and Black Mana are no more than 9 Mana apart if you’re going to force a proc of the higher Mana with Acceleration, otherwise you will go Unbalanced. You go Unbalanced once your White and Black Mana are MORE than 30 apart. Exactly 30 apart is still okay. This means that even if your two Mana are equal when forcing a proc from Verholy/flare with Acceleration, you can still comfortably use that proc without going Unbalanced, since 21 from the finisher and then 9 from the proc will leave you at exactly 30.
Mana vs. Procs
If you run into the same situation in the previous section (98 White Mana and 90 Black Mana with a Verfire proc) when Acceleration isn’t up, you have 4 options.
- Go into your melee combo right away and waste your 100% guaranteed proc, aiming for the 20% proc chance from Verholy.
- Cast Verfire->Veraero and waste White Mana, but gain a 100% Verfire proc and a possible 50% Verstone proc.
- Just cast Verfire and then go into your melee combo, wasting your Dualcast.
- Swiftcast Verthunder and then go into your melee combo.
If Swiftcast is up, go with Option 4, otherwise, if you are gaining at least 4 or more Mana with Veraero, go with Option 2, otherwise go with Option 1. Option 3 should NEVER be used.
The simplest answer is Option 4, Swiftcasting Verthunder. With only a 50% chance of overwriting your Verfire proc this will allow for minimal loss while still allowing you to gain a free Verstone proc from Verholy. If Swiftcast is down then we will need to consider the other 3 options. Wasting a Dualcast is essentially wasting 60 potency and 5 Mana (the difference between Veraero/thunder and Jolt II), along with the 50% chance to gain a proc, which statistically adds up to 75 potency and 6.5 Mana wasted, a way heavier loss than the gain of a 100% proc chance from Verholy/flare. Therefore Option 3 should never be considered. Dualcast is powerful in the sense that it allows you to cast 300 potency spells that grant 11 Mana, but in option #2 a Dualcasted Veraero would only grant 2 Mana. Option #2 would only be viable so long as you are gaining at least 4 Mana. The math behind this can be found in the Math section of this guide under Potency Per Mana.
The absolute bare minimum in which Manafication should be used is 44|43 (or any Mana combination that is at most 13 Mana away from 50|50 and is uneven, e.g. NOT 43|43) and are able to get a 100% proc from the Verflare/holy. Otherwise, so long as we are between 10 and 14 Mana away from 50|50 and are not forfeiting a proc, we should aim to close the distance with another set of hardcast->Dualcast spells. This puts the minimum at 45|45 (or any Mana combination that is 10 Mana away from 50|50) when you are unable to get a 100% proc from Verholy/flare.
Since we know what the calculated potency per Mana is, we can go in depth about when is the optimal time to use Manafication. Your goal is to get as close to 50|50 as you can before using Manafication in order to get the full value of 100 Mana from it, ideally being just under it in order to not cap out to an even 100|100 and get a finisher from your proc. However sometimes capping out on Mana will be a gain over gaining that proc assuming you are far enough from 50|50. From the Math section we already know that the calculated potency loss from forfeiting the 100% proc by capping your Mana is ~34.8 potency, and the amount of Mana that is needed to overtake that amount is 8 (36 potency). Therefore, so long as we are at least gaining 8 Mana, it is okay to cap out on Mana and forfeit the proc.
Assume that we have 45 White Mana, 41 Black Mana, and a Verstone proc. Manafication is off cooldown and ready to be used. Using it now will put us at 90 White Mana and 82 Black Mana, which is perfect for us since it allows us to get a 100% Verfire proc from Verflare. However you are only gaining 87 Mana from this Manafication. Normally, casting Verstone->Verthunder will net you 9 White Mana and 11 Black Mana, for a total of 20 Mana. Using it here where the “cap” is 50|50 will “waste” 4 White Mana and 2 Black Mana, causing you to only gain 14 Mana instead of 20. However that 14 Mana is then doubled by Manafication, for a total of 28 Mana gained from that Verstone->Verthunder, 8 more than what you would originally gain. The 8 extra Mana gained (36 potency) will outweigh the loss of a 100% proc (~34.8 potency), making this a gain. Therefore, the absolute bare minimum in which Manafication should be used is 44|43 (or any Mana combination that is at most 13 Mana away from 50|50 and is uneven, e.g. NOT 43|43) in order to gain a proc from the finisher.
Now, what if we are entirely unable to even get a 100% proc in the first place? Meaning our White and Black Mana are both at 43 or perhaps we are at 44 White Mana and 43 Black but already have a Verfire proc. Well in this case, your goal is simply to not waste any Mana from your casts. If we are at 44 White Mana and 43 Black Mana with a Verfire proc and cast Verfire->Veraero, we are wasting 2 Black Mana and 5 White Mana, bringing our total Mana generated down to 13, 7 less than 20. The 13 Mana then gets doubled by Manafication for a total of 26 Mana, 6 more than 20. Using Verfire->Veraero here was a gain. So long as we are over 10 Mana away from 50|50 and are not forfeiting a proc, we should aim to close the distance with another set of hardcast->Dualcast spells. This puts the minimum at 45|45 (or any Mana combination that is 10 Mana away from 50|50).
Manafications cooldown is a bit inconvenient because it seems to always come up after you have passed the 50|50 mark on Mana. So at what point is it still a gain to use it as opposed to holding it for the next go around? The math here is done in the Math section of this guide under Holding on to Manafication. The latest we can use our Manafication while still having it be a gain is 64|64 (or any combination of 28 Mana over 50|50).
Unfortunately, assuming 100% uptime, even if you get absolutely no procs outside of Acceleration and free procs from Verholy/flare, you STILL will be well over 64|64 Mana when Manafication comes off cooldown, meaning you will almost always be holding it for the next go around. The only time you will want to pop it above 64|64 is if the fight will end before you can reach 45|45 again. Do this to ensure you get one last melee combo in the fight.
Fleche has a 25s cooldown, meaning you can fit it twice inside a 30 second Infusion. We do this in the opener, but it is also a good idea to try and do this with potions mid fight so long as you are not holding on to Fleche for more than 10 seconds. The best use of an Infusion is getting 2 Fleches and 2 melee combos + finishers inside it. In order to get 2 melee combos inside your Infusion, you’re going to need Manafication up and build up to 95|95+ Mana before using your Infusion. This will allow you to get to the 45|45+ range and use Manafication to get another melee combo off before your Infusion falls off. Ideally, the first Melee combo will also have an Embolden weaved in for maximum potency gain from your Infusion.
I will go over when it is most optimal to use Embolden for yourself and for your raid group. The only thing here that really applies to both is how you weave Embolden into your rotation. NEVER weave Embolden between a hardcast and a Dualcast. When double weaving Embolden, make sure Embolden is the second double weaved ability. When single weaving Embolden, make sure you delay it until about halfway through your GCD. The goal here is to use Embolden right before one of your GCDs. If this is causing Embolden to come out 1 GCD too late, then it is better to use Embolden one-two GCDs too early (end of the previous Dualcast).
In order to gain maximum potency from your Embolden, use it BEFORE Enchanted Riposte if you don’t have Swiftcast up, or AFTER Enchanted Riposte if you DO have Swiftcast up AND no procs.
I will go into raid prioritized Embolden Timings in the next section, but first I want to cover selfish Embolden timings. Currently there are two ways that people are suggesting to time your Emboldens, after Enchanted Riposte and after Enchanted Zwerchhau. While many advocate these uses for several reasons, most don’t really understand just how Embolden works out in the long run for your total Potency gained. I would first like to address two claims that have been going around.
Claim #1: Use Embolden after Enchanted Riposte because it is only 210 potency, weaker than all of your other moves (including Jolt II) and not worthy of getting buffed by Embolden.
This is false. When looking at how much damage any given move does, you want to look at PPS (Potency Per Second), not just the Potency. The math here is done under Damage Distribution in the Math section, but basically Enchanted Riposte is considerably stronger than all of your casted spells, including Veraero/thunder, and thus should absolutely be used under Embolden.
Claim #2: Use Embolden after Enchanted Zwerchhau because using it any earlier will not catch Verholy/flare inside the 10% buff.
Unless you have absolutely terrible ping, this claim is also false, and it’s proven in this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j43n7YUeruI&list=PLiizXviYykzwbOTEIaGX9tNzLDmsqVkiF&index=3
In the video Embolden is used after Enchanted Riposte. You can see that there are a few frames where Verfire ready is gained from Verflare while the Embolden stack still says 5. At the point the proc is added, the damage has already been calculated, and Verflare has already snapshotted your buff bar at the time when the animation begins. So even if it looks like your animation is going off during the 8% buff of Embolden, rest assured, it snapshotted your buffs while Embolden was at 10%.
At the moment, most Red Mages use Embolden after Enchanted Riposte. This allows you to get Enchanted Zwerchhau, Enchanted Redoublement, and Verholy/flare inside the 10% stack for Embolden (first 4 seconds). At a glance, this seems like a pretty good idea since those 3 skills are the strongest hitting moves in your kit. But in terms of PPS Enchanted Riposte is actually your 4th strongest move (140 PPS vs Veraero/thunder 120 PPS). So if Enchanted Riposte is stronger than even Veraero/thunder when looking at PPS, wouldn’t that mean you want to pop Embolden before Enchanted Riposte? Well actually, the answer is yes. Assuming normal rotation of hardcast->Dualcast after Verholy/flare, popping Embolden before Enchanted Riposte is actually a very slight Potency gain. However, depending on how you use Swiftcast, it may also result in a DPS loss. Observe this google spreadsheet. https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/15a6KNAEzljebs1H_-gTmxkNzDpZKZvkMKage7tNACvk/edit?usp=sharing
As shown on the tables, in order to gain maximum potency from your Embolden, use it BEFORE Enchanted Riposte if you don’t have Swiftcast up, or AFTER Enchanted Riposte if you DO have Swiftcast up and have NO procs.
Credits for these tables go to Bella Belmont of Cactuar. She originally made them and did all the boring math, I just took it and used it to show more scenarios. Go ahead and make a copy of this sheet and plug in your own GCD values to see how to best use Embolden for yourself. But for the purposes of this guide, I’m going to assume 2.42s GCD since that is where Red Mages are going to be sitting at with BiS.
In a nutshell, outside the opener, you’re going to want to use Embolden before Enchanted Riposte most of the time, because it is better to save Swiftcast for proc fishing or mechanics, rather than gaining extra potency on Embolden. The only time using Swiftcast after a Verholy/flare is viable is if you’re going into your melee combo with NO procs. This way you gain one proc with your Verholy/flare and then immediately fish for the other proc with Swiftcast. If you have at least one proc up going into the melee combo you’re going to want to use Embolden before Enchanted Riposte because wasting the proc gain from the Swiftcasted spell is a 15 potency and 1.5 Mana loss, whereas using Swiftcast in Embolden after a Verholy/flare is only a 10 potency gain in BiS. Most openers have you use Swiftcast before going into melee, so you’re actually going to want to pop Embolden before Enchanted Riposte anyways. Oddly enough, using Swiftcast any time after your melee combo when using Embolden before Enchanted Riposte will actually result in a DPS LOSS.
If you are running with a raid group holding your Embolden until your melee combo will not line up well with everyone else’s cooldowns. You generally will want to use it on cooldown to line up with everyone else’s cooldowns, especially raid-wide ones like Trick Attack, Brotherhood, Hypercharge, Contagion, Dragon Sight, etc. In order to ensure everything lines up well, coordinate with your raid members on what point of the fight you want to all simultaneously use your buffs. In the opener, nearly every DPS job will prefer a 5th GCD (3rd Dualcast) Embolden. The only one that wants a 6th GCD Embolden is Samurai. We will go more in depth with this in the opener section.
Stats and BiS
Best in Slot Gearset: http://ffxiv.ariyala.com/12UG3
Explanation by Nemekh the Math Warlock:
Gearing as in Stormblood as a dps has changed quite a bit due to the removal of accuracy requirements and replacing the accuracy stat with a new stat – Direct Hit. This has given us a situation where we now have 4 viable stats that all result in a gain in dps. In short, we can consider the net total of all 4 substats as the benefit of crit * dh * det * sps. So what gives us the best mix? The answer to that is especially tricky for this raid tier and depends not only on your current stats but also your available gear options!
Spell speed is the hardest to solve for since its overall impact on GCDs can vary per player with clipping delays and latency but also how quickly you can burn through your MP. We also need to look at the % of damage comes from sources that sps does not affect at all (i.e. oGCDs and the melee combo itself), but we also have to try to account for the significance of faster mana generation to get to a combo. Until robust simulations are completed, the current approach is to try and simplify sps by picking a suitable GCD value or the lowest GCD value gear can offer in order to maximise the rest. Then we solve for crit, det and dh by using their (expected) damage multipliers. How this is done can be a bit of a convoluted solution process but as long as you keep in mind that a higher end result is more damage than a lower result, then we can adjust stats until we’re happy or the solving script has come up with the best possible outcome. This is the basis of how BiS’ are calculated while trying to account for the impact of sps as well as further potential once raid buffs are also included. This process resulted in the current BiS for Deltascape.
So why is it not just DH > all? The math surrounding what stats become better when is tricky because of what we refer to as substat tiers (i.e. how many points you need to add until your next increase in that substat), but also because the net result of Crit is not linear like the other functions. When you keep all that in mind it becomes a bit messy. What helps is referring to sheets such as this: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1Y6wP1rq0b-3Oh45Oo1slFQGyKUqrkfGYk5TjNandLqE/edit#gid=0
So let’s do an example. First let’s look at the multipliers from the mentioned i340 Genji BiS in a no buff situation.
We can get the total effective damage multiplier by multiplying together the results of the three core substats by using their expected damage formula calculations:
2034 Crit = 1.112259
1570 DH = 1.07625
1079 Det = 1.047
Total multiplier from all 3 = 1.25333097994125
Assuming a 10,000 damage nuke, expected damage becomes 12,533.
Let’s assume gear was flexible enough that we could swap it around and have it be
1570 Crit = 1.082271
2034 DH = 1.10575
1079 Det = 1.047
Total multiplier from all 3 = 1.25296705268775
Assuming a 10,000 damage nuke, expected damage becomes 12,529.
How about in a buff window with only Battle Litany (15% Crit), Chain Stratagem (15% Crit), Critical Up (2% Crit) and Battle Voice (15% DH)?
2034 Crit = 1.289219
1570 DH = 1.11375
1079 Det = 1.047
Total multiplier from all 3 = 1.50335344132875
Assuming a 10,000 damage nuke, expected damage becomes 15,033.
1570 Crit = 1.245791
2034 DH = 1.14325
1079 Det = 1.047
Total multiplier from all 3 = 1.49119033710525
Assuming a 10,000 damage nuke, expected damage becomes 14,911.
As you can see, the maximal DH build maths out to a lower result than the current bis. However in a non buff situation they are really close. When you also factor in rate buffs from SCH, DRG, BRD, and even AST it’ll swing towards the higher crit sets for expected damage windows and the gap between sets will grow.
This is just one of many examples and cases that can be looked at to show that it’s not just DH is king, but that substats are a little more complicated. There are many many substat combinations with different results! However, at this current Deltascape raid tier the difference between substat builds isn’t as significant because their potential is so much closer at our current gear ilvls. As we progress in the expansion we will expect to be even heavier on Crit, than DH and Det.
As long as you aim for the highest ilvl gear and meld DPS Materia VI instead of having no melds at all you’ll be well on your way to having strong performing gear. Especially when the difference between BiS with BiS melds against e.g. BiS with random DPS 6 melds chosen is about a 1% dps difference at most. Calculated BiS’ are nonetheless named Best in Slot because they have been worked out to have the highest expected potential especially with buff windows in mind and are what people should strive to aim for via their weekly clears. Happy farming and good luck on your parses!
(Not so) Scary Math
This section will provide all the mathematical proof that will back any decision making covered in the rest of this guide. If you are not interested in seeing proof of concept and instead want to just go on to seeing which options are optimal, you can skip this section.
Observe this half hour striking dummy parse: https://www.fflogs.com/reports/g8wW2dcxrmaPvBtn#boss=0&difficulty=0&type=damage-done&source=1&options=256
Make sure you click “Include Overkill” in the top right. The main thing I would like to point out here is the total damage contribution of your oGCDs. Fleche is ~10.34%, Contre Sixte is ~4%, and Displacement and Corps-a-corps are both ~2.2% each. These 4 oGCDs make up 18.56% of your damage. This means that Spell Speed does not affect 18.56% of your damage. Along with the fact that Red Mage has no DoTs, there is no doubt that Spell Speed is the least impactful substat for your DPS.
For this parse, I stood with my back against a wall so that even if I used Displacement I would still be in melee range in order to pad my Auto Attack damage. Auto Attacks still only came out to be 0.36% of my damage. Auto Attack damage for Red Mage is negligible, please don’t meld STR.
When looking at how much damage any given move does, you want to look at PPS (Potency Per Second), not just the Potency. Riposte is on a 1.5s recast, which makes it quite strong. 210 potency / 1.5 seconds = 140 PPS. Veraero/thunder, which are 300 potency and are bound by the GCD when Dualcasted, are 300 potency / 2.5 seconds = 120 PPS. This is assuming no spell speed, but even with 2.42 recast (which is where Red Mages will be at with the BiS) it is still only 123.97 PPS. Here is a table of your single target damage moves sorted by PPS.
|Spell||Potency||2.5s Recast PPS||2.42s Recast PPS|
As you can see, the PPS values for the Enchanted melee skills are the same no matter what your recast is, because your spell speed does not affect the recast of your melee skills. Enchanted Riposte alone should be considered significantly stronger than any of your casted spells, and so even when doing a level synced dungeon where you only have access to Enchanted Riposte, spamming that is still a DPS gain.
Potency Per Mana
The following table contains data for all kinds of math based on Mana: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/15a6KNAEzljebs1H_-gTmxkNzDpZKZvkMKage7tNACvk/edit#gid=1310428108
At 160 Mana (80|80) you are able to perform the melee combo which adds up to 1520 potency (210 + 290 + 470 + 550 = 1520). Because the melee combo takes up your GCD, we need to calculate how much more potency you are gaining over casting your regular spells within the duration of your melee combo. At BiS your recast is 2.42s, which makes your melee combo 7.62s. From the Mana table we can observe that the distribution of your spell casts is~ 5.6% for Jolt II, ~5.6% for Impact, ~32% for Verstone + Verfire, and ~52% for Veraero + Verthunder. Thus we can calculate that the average potency per cast is roughly ~284.04. In 7.62s (duration of melee combo) we can cast ~3.15 spells for a total of ~894.36 potency. Subtract this from the total potency of the melee combo (1520) and we get ~625.64 potency. Divide that by 160 Mana (cost of the melee combo) and we get 3.91 potency per Mana in the opener. The melee combo finisher returns 21 mana, effectively reducing the cost of the melee combo by 21. Dividing this number by 139 Mana yields a result of 4.5 potency per Mana after the opener.
This means a Verstone/fire proc is worth about ~43.5 potency (30 + (3 * 4.5)). The statistical proc potency value of using a Verholy/flare with a 20% proc chance can thus be calculated as ~8.7 potency (~43.5 * 0.2). The difference in proc potency value between a 100% chance and a 20% chance is thus ~34.8 potency. This means that converting a 20% proc chance to a 100% proc chance is effectively a ~34.8 potency gain. You would need at least 8 Mana to overtake this difference (8 * 4.5 = 36).
Holding on to Manafication
The maximum and optimal amount of Mana we can gain from Manafication is 100 (doubling Mana at 50|50). With a cooldown of 120s, this puts the effective Mana per second gain at ~0.833 (100/120). From the same distribution of casts we used in the last section to determine that your average potency per cast is ~284.04 we can also determine that the average Mana gained per cast is ~9.82. Divide this by our BiS recast and we have an average of 4.059 Mana generated per second outside of the melee combo.
Let’s assume Manafication came off cooldown at 70|70 Mana (140 Mana total). Using Manafication here will only grant 60 Mana. If we were to instead hold it until we are 50|50 again, it would take a certain amount of time. First we subtract the cost of the melee combo from our total Mana value (-160 + 21) to bring us down to 1 Mana and add 7.62s to the clock. To reach 50|50 we need to generate 99 Mana. At 4.059 Mana generated per second, this would take us about 24.39s. Add that onto our initial 7.62s and we have a total of 32.01s of holding on to Manafication. Every second Manafication is off cooldown we are losing 0.8333 Mana. At 32.01s this results to a total of ~26.675 Mana lost. Using Manafication at 50|50 rather than 70|70 will result in 40 more Mana generated. Thus the net gain in Mana we achieved with holding on to Manafication is approximately 13.33.
At 64|64, the amount of Mana we gain using Manafication here is 72, 28 lower than the optimal usage. The amount of time it would take us to build up to 50|50 from here is about ~34.97s, resulting in a Mana loss of 29.14. This means that 64|64 Mana is the absolute latest you can pop Manafication in order for it to be a gain. Otherwise, wait until you’re (close to or at) 50|50 again.
Fight Specific Tips
- Don’t be afraid to use Displacement on cooldown here. You’ll need to walk inside the boss’ hitbox and be nearly directly under it in order to safely Displacement.
- Using Corps-a-corps on cooldown tends to have it come back up in time for the second knockback. This allows you to pre-position and ignore the safe spot by dashing back in before the outer fireballs blow up.
- Save Swiftcast and Sprint for when the boss teleports to the edge of the map so that you can reach the safe spot without losing uptime.
- In the 9 GCD openers, save Displacement for after your Verholy/flare. It may seem like you are Displacing too soon, but rest assured the 100Gs snapshots fairly early before the animation, so it will still bring you down. You can then double weave Acceleration and Fleche in the next oGCD window. Be careful that your next Displacement does not remove you from the Gravitational Manipulation stack.
- If you are having a hard time sneaking in a GCD before the gaze, you can opt to turn around and cast a Vercure since you are going to lose a GCD anyways and net yourself a free Dualcast.
- If you happen to be in melee range and have enough Mana to go into your melee combo after -100Gs, you can fit in 2 melee hits before turning around.
- If you aren’t in melee range, you can still squeeze in a hardcast as shown in this clip: https://clips.twitch.tv/SpotlessFunAlbatrossKappa
- The concept behind this is slide-rotating, the same as slide-casting, but rotating your character instead of moving.
- Save Swiftcast for when you need to move to the safe spot for tentacle quakes in order to maintain uptime.
- Surecast will prevent you from getting knocked back by the Long Drop in the event you are incidentally still up without the gravity explosion debuff.
- DO NOT use Displacement in your opener if you are targeted by the initial Spellblade Holy, you will likely grief any melee you are tethered to by throwing them outside of melee range and they can end up outside of AoE heal range.
- Save Swiftcast for the first Queens Waltz in the second phase in order to maintain uptime.
- Alternatively, if you did NOT get targeted by Spellblade Holy in the opener and were able to freely use Displacement, using Displacement on cooldown will have it come up just in time for this particular Queens Waltz. The movement from Displacement counts towards breaking the tether and will also put you outside of the Fire III range, so go ahead and use it there. This frees up Swiftcast for proc fishing earlier in the fight.
- Save Swiftcast for the second Queens Waltz in the Library Phase in order to maintain uptime.
- If you are in charge of LB3’ing the adds, learn the timing of when the adds spawn and pre-cast the LB3 before they even spawn. This way you will get out of the animation lock faster and have a chance to throw an AoE or two at the Ninjas.
OS4 – Exdeath:
- Use one of these two openers to deal with dodging Blizzard.
- Bring Surecast. Yes you can save Corps-a-corps for the knockback, but saving Corps-a-corps for that knockback means you are holding it for 32 seconds and it causes you to lose a whole use of it.
- You will notice that you cannot build enough Mana to do a second melee combo before Decisive Battle unless you get perfect proc RNG. This is OKAY because it allows you to maintain uptime during Void Blizzard. If you happen to get perfect Proc RNG go ahead and use your melee combo before he disappears.
- Make sure you use all your oGCDs before he disappears for the first Decisive Battle. It’s a tight squeeze since they all come up within the last two-three GCDs before he jumps but you should be able to get them all off.
- Handling Decisive Battle.
- Didn’t use melee combo in first phase:
- During flares, you should cast Vercure and queue up a Dualcast for when he reappears.
- Void Thunder: Hit your Dualcast and then run to the center. Hardcast->Dualcast while you wait for Thunder to Dissipate and then run in and do your melee combo if you can. This is the worst one because you are wasting a lot of Mana here casting 3 spells before the melee combo.
- Void Fire: Hit your Dualcast and then run up to the boss and immediately land an Enchanted Riposte (if you are having trouble reaching the boss in time try using Sprint right before your Vercure). Untarget the boss or sheathe your weapon to prevent auto attacks during fire, then once the fire debuff falls off hit the boss with Enchanted Zwerchhau and then pop Surecast.
- Void Blizzard: Hit your Dualcast and then run up to the boss and do your melee combo while remaining in motion.
- Used melee combo in first phase:
- Do NOT precast Vercure for the Dualcast.
- Swiftcast should be up when he returns. Run to the middle and do a Hardcast->Dualcast->Swiftcast. This should cover all 3 elements.
- Didn’t use melee combo in first phase:
- Save Swiftcast for the second Decisive Battle in case you do not have a melee combo ready.
- If you Addle the second Dual Thunder III just before the cast bar finishes, it will last until the first Meteor, as well as conveniently come off cooldown in time for the second Meteor.
OS4 – Neo Exdeath:
- Fitting Addle in your opener can be a mess. With perfect ping you can replace the first Contre Sixte in your opener with Addle and then push Contre Sixte all the way back to your melee combo. Otherwise just use it before the potion and deal with the clipping.
- Don’t be late on the pull. Ideally your Verholy/flare should come out before the first Blizzard, which will enable you to slidecast out of the second Blizzard.
- Use Vercure during every Alpha, Holy/Flare, and Omega while the boss is untargetable, that way you have a Dualcast prepped for when he becomes targetable again.
- Save Swiftcast for when you get knocked back with Beyond Death during Grand Cross Delta.
- Don’t wait for raid leader call outs for emptiness patterns. Sometimes dealing with them in melee range is harder than it needs to be, and only melee classes need to deal with that to maintain uptime. Look at emptiness patterns yourself and determine when it’s okay to go far east or far west in order to easily avoid the puddles.
- You can save a Contre Sixte for Meteors and target one of the Meteors next to Neo in order to hit 2 targets with it.
- If you ever want to use Displacement during an Almagest or during the enrage but are afraid of going out of heal range, run right under the boss, inside his hitbox, and use Displacement in there, you should end up landing right behind the healers and still inside AoE heals range.
- Be careful not to run too far to the north as you can actually cross the middle of the boss and Displace off the North edge instead.
- Use the 6th GCD opener to handle Twisters: http://ffxivrotations.com/un7
- Be careful not to Displacement while the BRD/MCH is baiting Liquid Hell.
- When waiting inside a Neurolink for the hatch to reach you cast Jolt II to build a little mana and queue up a Dualcast.
- Save Swiftcast for Twisters in order to maintain uptime.
- Cast Vercure during Heavensfall to queue up a Dualcast.
- Be careful not to Displacement during Doom puddles or you might place a puddle very far out of range which will cause your melee DPS to lost a lot of uptime.
- You can save Displacement to use to get out of the group for Lightning, Chariot, or Fire out.
- Cast Vercure during divebombs to queue up a Dualcast.
- There is room between two cardinal directions to stay in max melee range of the boss while everyone is spreading out for jump in case you need to do your melee combo.
- Save Swiftcast for doom puddles and/or divebomb placing in order to maintain uptime.
- This boss jumps a lot and you’re going to want to have a Dualcast ready for every time he becomes targetable again.
- Seventh Umbral Era: Cast Vercure anytime.
- Quickmarch Trio: Use Sprint then cast Vercure after dodging your Twister, you should be able to get this off in time to move out of a Megaflare puddle if you are targeted by one.
- Blackfire Trio: If you are targeted by the Megaflare stack, get to your stack position and then cast Vercure. If you are getting a tower, request that your group allows you to always get the closer one so that you may cast Vercure while baiting the bleed puddles before going into your tower.
- Fellruin Trio: Cast Vercure when you’re waiting inside the Neurolink for Aetheric Profusion to go off.
- Heavensfall Trio: Cast Vercure after getting knocked back into your designated tower.
- Tenstrike Trio: Cast Vercure after you get to your Earthshaker spot (if you made it in time) or after you get to your groups designated safe spot.
- Grand Octet: Assuming you’re not LB’ing you have a lot of time to Vercure after dodging Twisters and going into add phase.
- Between Seventh Umbral Era and Quickmarch Trio you have less than 25 seconds, so save Fleche for raid buffs since you can’t get a second use out of it.
- For every other phase, use Fleche right away so that you can get a second use out of it before Bahamut jumps again.
- Use Addle on the boss after 1st Dualcast for Gigaflares and Apoc on the tank after 3rd Dualcast for Triple Flares.
- Whenever tanks are eating tankbusters is usually a good time to use Displacement since Healers will be focusing on the tank rather than AoE healing.
- Don’t burn any cooldowns after Tenstrike Trio. Save all the cooldowns for the add phase. This includes your melee combo, you want to go into add phase with 100|100 mana and Manafication and Embolden up.
- If your group is struggling to get Bahamut below 60% after Tenstrike Trio (the DPS check), then go ahead and use cooldowns here, but realize that your group will fail the DPS check on adds as well as Golden Bahamut if they cannot easily meet the 60% DPS check on Blue Bahamut).
- Save Swiftcast to quickly raise someone if they’ve died during a Trio mechanic while the boss isn’t targetable.
- This boss jumps a lot and you’re going to want to have a Dualcast ready for every time he becomes targetable again.
- If you are on LB3 duty, you can start casting once the circle inside the red square in the following picture is halfway gone. This will ensure minimal uptime lost and will always snapshot as soon as they are targetable.
- Assuming you saved cooldowns and mana for this phase, after your initial melee combo with Embolden, you should be able to get into 40|50 mana after hatches are done. If the next Nael mechanic is Lunar Dynamo, pop Manafication and quickly go in for the melee combo, then Displace out after Lunar Dynamo in the direction of your spread/jump/dive spot. If the next Nael mechanic is Chariot, DON’T use Manafication as you will NOT be able to go into melee range here. Save it for the next time you are in Manafication mana range and it will still be up for your opener on Golden Bahamut.
- Make sure you’re always hitting both targets with Contre Sixte (i.e. don’t use it when Nael has used Raven Dive on a ranged and is far away from Twin).
- DON’T use Manafication and Embolden a second time, save them for the much tighter DPS check in Golden Bahamut so that you can get two uses out of them.
- Save Swiftcast for Twisters or Nael mechanics, whichever saves you more uptime.
- Use this opener: http://ffxivrotations.com/18gz
- Wait for Bahamut to jump to the middle and turn into a ball of fire before hitting Acceleration and Vercure.
- It is absolutely imperative that you get Addle off as your first oGCD or it will not be up in time for the 3rd Morn Afah.
- Notice there is no second Displacement, you will be in the process of dodging Exaflares around the time you cast your Verfinisher so a Displacement here will kill you. Wait until after Exaflares are done.
- No selfish opener version because the DPS check is too tight for Golden Bahamut and you absolutely need to prioritize buffing your raid.
- A good time to use Displacement is after Exaflares (if there’s no Morn Afahs coming immediately after) or during Akh Morns.
- After the opener Swiftcast save Swiftcast for Exaflares in order to maintain uptime.
- If you need to get out a melee combo during the enrage, look at the party list and find the melee that is lowest in aggro, they will be the last of the melee to get hit. Assuming you used Lucid Dreaming at least once you should be lower than them on aggro, so it is safe to stand there and get your melee combo off, then quickly get out.
- Use this opener: http://ffxivrotations.com/18gz
- Nemekh the Math Warlock for the BiS and his blurb on stats.
- Bella Belmont of Cactuar for making the awesome spreadsheet on Embolden timings, which I then improved upon.
- Greetings-Goodbye (No Harm) for pointing me in the right direction with proc math.
- Yue Rose of Excalibur for correcting my proc math logic.
- My static, the Unreal FC in Behemoth, that puts up with me playing Red Mage for speed runs and doing countless 30 second pulls so that I could figure out all my openers. None of this would be possible without them <3.
- The following people for providing amazing feedback and helped me improve this guide:
- Light Seeker of Behemoth
- Timmy Blacke of Leviathan
- Tiffany Liz of Gilgamesh
- Mai Fault of Gilgamesh
- Simon Magus of Sargatanas
- Trikkte Taal of Excalibur
- Kocuro Noctem of Siren
- Kitiara Blue of Moogle
- Saya Amemiya of Chocobo
- Brynhildr VI of Ragnarok
- The Red Mage channels in the Balance Discord. A bully free zone where everyone is actually pretty constructive in discussing and theorycrafting Red Mage.
- TMP for publishing my guide!
- Amelia Amber (Kirsi), Malboro
- Roxie Heart, Gilgamesh
- Junye Erenza, Moogle
- Trishelle Sangeki, Ultros