Disclaimer: This is meant to be an introduction to the basics of red mage. This is NOT an all-inclusive guide. Information found in this piece is subject to change as more data is gathered.

Red Mage Basics and Overview 

Introduction

Red Mage is a very active Job, which rewards fast proc reaction and quick thinking to get yourself into your finisher as soon as possible, while not quite having a rotation, but rather more of a priority system, akin to Machinist in 3.0.

Red Mage has two main gimmicks that affect how you play, the first being the Mana gauge (not to be confused with your MP bar) that keeps track of your Black and White Mana, which are gained by casting spells of the appropriate elements. Spells such as Thunder, Fire and Flare all contribute towards your Black Mana, while spells such as Aero, Stone and Holy all contribute to your White Mana. There are two unique single target mana gain spells that are also used regularly, Jolt and Impact, both of which contribute to both mana bars simultaneously.

The second of the jobs main gimmicks is the Dualcasting system, which allows for a swiftcast effect that can be procced at anytime during a fight without a cooldown. While under the effect of dualcast, your next spell will be cast instantly. However, to gain the effect of dualcast you must cast a spell, the keyword being cast, meaning you cannot use swiftcast or any instant cast spells to gain a dualcast effect.

The key to dualcast is making use of the instant cast effect to use spells that take a lot longer to cast than others. Such as Thunder and Aero, the main single target mana gains for their respective element sets (not counting the finishers). Both Thunder and Aero take roughly 5 seconds to cast depending on your spell speed. This is way too long to consider using in the middle of a fight, so we use shorter cast spells to proc into the longer cast spells.

Dualcasting

The following spells are what we will be actively using to grant the dualcast effect:

Verfire – 2s cast time – requires a proc from Verthunder – high priority usage
Verstone – 2s cast time – requires a proc from Veraero – high priority usage
Vercure – 2s cast time – does not require an enemy to be targetable – curing yourself or others grants the proc – top priority usage during a phase swap where there is no target
Scatter/Enchanter Scatter – 2s cast time – only recommended during AoE sections
Verthunder – 5s cast time – (ONLY USE PRE-PULL) not recommended to use this to grant the dualcast effect during an active encounter
Veraero – 5s cast time – (ONLY USE PRE-PULL) not recommended to use this to grant the dualcast effect during an active encounter

 

OGCDs and Abilities

Fleche – 420 Potency OGCD – 25 Second Cooldown – Single Target
Contre Sixte – 300 Potency OGCD – 45 Second Cooldown – Multi Target – Potency Decay of up to 50%
Corps-a-Corps – 130 Potency OGCD – 40 Second Cooldown – Single Target – Gap Closer
Displacement – 130 Potency OGCD – 35 Second Cooldown – Single Target – Jump Back
Manafication – 120 Second Cooldown – Doubles your current Mana Gauge values (Up to 100 mana each) and resets the cooldown on Corps-a-Corps and Displacement
Embolden – 120 Second Cooldown – Applies a self buff that increases your magic damage done by 10% for 20 seconds, as well as a party buff that increases physical damage done by the party by 10%. However, the skill decays over time, losing 2% to each buff every 4 seconds (20s – 10%, 16s – 8%, 12s – 6%, 8s – 4%, 4s – 2%)
Acceleration (35 second cooldown) guarantees that your next Verthunder or Veraero will proc (10 Second Duration) and is lost upon the use of Thunder or Aero.

 

Mana Values

Gain Spells (Gives Mana)

Jolt/Jolt 2 – Gains 3 Black Mana, 3 White Mana
Impact – Gains 4 Black Mana, 4 White Mana
Scatter – Gains 3 Black Mana, 3 White Mana

Enhanced Scatter – Gains 8 Black Mana, 8 White Mana
Verthunder – Gains 11 Black Mana
Verfire – Gains 9 Black Mana
Verflare – Gains 21 Black Mana
Veraero – Gains 11 White Mana
Verstone – Gains 9 White Mana
Verholy – Gains 21 White Mana

Spend Spells (Costs Mana)

Enchanted Riposte – Costs 30 Black Mana, 30 White Mana
Enchanted Zwerchhau – Costs 25 Black Mana, 25 White Mana
Enchanted Redoublement – Costs 25 Black Mana, 25 White Mana
Enchanted Moulinet – Costs 30 Black Mana, 30 White Mana

So how do we take all this information and turn it into something we can actually use? Simple.

The Rotation(s)

So, as I previously stated, due to the nature of the class being very proc heavy, we cannot actually guarantee that we will see the same rotation every time we fight. That being said, we can follow a very simple priority system that allows us to still reach the same end goal of Flare/Holy.

Single Target

(Assumes 364 Spellspeed and Skillspeed)

Okay, so our main goal in a single target rotation is simple, get 80 Black Mana, 80 White Mana, and use our finisher combo. That being said, there are many ways to get there and our choice of how to get there is often dependant on proc luck.

Another thing to note is that you want to keep your mana values (Black and White) somewhat balanced. If you imbalance your mana by +30, it will create issues within your rotation. For example, if you have 0 Black Mana, but 31 White Mana, then any gains that affect your Black Mana value will be halved until the mana values are within 30 of each other. This is used to punish single sided spell play, and causes you to get to your finisher a lot slower.

The spell you begin with is personal preference, there is no difference in the opener. If you begin with Aero ( my rotation begins with Thunder) just use the opposite spells to each mentioned.

 

Perfect Procs

10s Prepull – (Acceleration) 5s Prepull – Verthunder(11B/0W) -> Pull – (Dualcast) Veraero(11B/11W) – (Weave)Fleche – (Double Weave)Contre Sixte -> Verfire(20B/11W) -> (Dualcast) Verthunder(31B/11W) – (Weave)Corps-a-Corps -> Verstone(31B/20W) -> (Dualcast) Veraero(31B/31W) – (Weave)Displacement -> Verstone(31B/40W) ->(Dualcast)Verthunder(42B/40W) – (Weave)Manafication(84B/80W) – (Double Weave)Corps-a-Corps -> Enchanted Riposte(54B/50W) – (Weave)Embolden -> Enchanted Zwerchhau(29B/25W) -> Enchanted Redoublement(4B/0W) – (Weave)Displacement -> Verholy(4B/21W)

 

Zero Procs

10s Prepull – (Acceleration) 5s Prepull –  Verthunder(11B/0W) -> Pull – (Dualcast) Veraero(11B/11W) – (Weave)Fleche – (Double Weave)Contre Sixte -> Verfire(20B/11W) -> (Dualcast) Veraero(20B/22W) – (Weave)Corps-a-Corps -> Jolt II(23B/25W) -> (Dualcast) Verthunder(34B/25W) – (Weave)Displacement -> Impact(38B/29W) -> (Dualcast) Veraero(38B/40W) – (Weave)Swiftcast -> Verthunder (49B/40W) – (Weave)Manafication(98B/80W) – (Double Weave)Corps-a-Corps -> Enchanted Riposte(68B/50W) -> Enchanted Zwerchhau(43B/25W) -> Enchanted Redoublement(18B/0W) – (Weave)Displacement -> Verholy(18B/21W)

So, lets explain what’s going on here.

Most of our single target mana gain (non finisher) comes from Thunder and Aero. These spells, as previously stated, take 5 seconds to cast. Standing still casting for 5 seconds during an active encounter would be a huge dps loss, so the way we get around the long cast times while also making full use of the extra mana they give is to use the dualcasting system. We cast shorter cast time spells (Fire, Stone, Jolt, Impact, Cure) to give ourselves the dualcast effect. But, of cours,e there is a priority to which ones we use. I will cover that soon.

The proc system is the main thing that determines our rotation. Thunder and Aero both have a 50% chance to proc into a “Ver**** Ready,” which allows for the usage of Fire or Stone (Thunder procs into Fire, Aero procs into stone). We can guarantee a single proc every 35 seconds, however, through the usage of Acceleration.

The priority for granting yourself the effect of dualcast (during an active encounter while the boss is targetable) is as follows:

Verfire/Verstone – if not active then
Impact – if not active then
Jolt 2

“But Ryder,” I hear you scream. “What do I prioritise once I have my dualcast proc?” Well, lucky for you, it’s pretty easy to fill out this priority system.

Once you have a dualcast, your priority is as follows:

If your White Mana is lower than your Black Mana – Veraero
If your Black Mana is lower than your White Mana – Verthunder

Then go back to the gaining dualcast priority system.

“But Ryder,” I hear you scream once again. “I’m at 80 Black Mana and 80 White Mana, please help!” Okay, now for the fun part. It’s time to use your finisher combo. (Note – You must be within melee range to use your weaponskills)

Enchanted Riposte
Enchanted Zwerchhau
Enchanted Redoublement

If your White Mana is lower than your Black Mana – Verholy
If your Black Mana is lower than your White Mana – Verflare

Okay, so the last thing to cover; why does the spell that you finish with (Verholy/Verflare) differ depending on your mana gauge? Well, once your melee combo is finished and you have your spell proc ready (you get a choice between the two, but you should prioritise the lower one) the additional effect of Verholy and Verflare is that they have a 20% chance to proc into Ver**** Ready. Similar to Verthunder and Veraero, Holy procs into Stone and Flare procs into Fire, however, this effect goes up to 100% if you use the mana spell that is equivalent to the lowest mana on your gauge. So if your White Mana is lower than your Black Mana after the finisher and you use Verholy, then you will 100% get a Verstone ready proc.

Multi-Target

On the surface, RDM AoE looks really underwhelming. However, when used it can ramp up very quickly, not to mention how sustainable it is. I personally believe it can hold its own in an AoE situation, so don’t let its simplicity fool you.

For an AoE rotation, I could just say, “spam scatter and use moulinet when 30/30,” but some of the new RDMs out there may want reasoning behind it.

One thing to note is that scatter applies the dualcast effect, thus every 2nd scatter you use will be an instant cast. As such, you can weave between your scatters using your AoE OGCDs, such as Contre Sixte, or your single target OGCDs (since you lose nothing from doing so). The other great thing about scatter is that it also comes with a 25% chance to proc into Enchanted Scatter, meaning the next scatter you use will give you 8 Black Mana and 8 White Mana, as opposed to 3 of each that vanilla scatter gives.

The Spam/Burst skill of your AoE is Enchanted Moulinet. This weaponskill requires 30 Black Mana and 30 White Mana to use. However, it is also on a 1.5s recast time, meaning you can spam it incredibly quickly

Conclusion

RDM is an incredibly fun job to play. Not only that, but it also pushes out very respectable DPS, while also bringing very good raid tools to a group. The job feels smooth to play both inside dungeons and endgame content, and as long as you don’t tunnel vision and forget about your Lucid Dreaming, your MP economy is perfectly fine.

That being said, there are a few issues to note – Displacement is a very big jumpback, akin to Elusive jump, and as such you should be wary of falling out of arenas when using it. The other issue is a potential bug in a set of skills, that can be abused for gain. The keyword, though, is potential, as it may be a part of the job design after all. But for now, myself and the RDM discord are under the belief that it is a bug, and as such, any rotations making use of it have been exempt from this guide.

To those looking to play RDM, whether casually, as a side job, or full time and in raid content, I hope, and believe, that you will enjoy the job as much as I, and many others do.

 

 

Author: It’s Ryder

It’s Ryder on FFlogs
It’s Ryder on Twitch

No BiS yet, will be updated for main guide.

About The Author

Raid Mom to the Rhalgr's Reacharounds, Serena is also an Editor and the organizing genius of TMP. Rather than sleeping, she spends her time writing, teaching old bears new tricks, crafting for her friends and searching for needles in haystacks.

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