Final Fantasy XIV: Stormblood Job Reviews

by July 31, 2017 0 comments

Last week we published a review of Final Fantasy XIV: Stormblood, and we now continue our coverage of the MMO’s latest expansion with a comprehensive look at each job in the game. We asked members of our community to give their thoughts on the jobs that they have been able to raise to level 70.

Before we dig in, there are some important disclaimers:

  • While we have detailed several of the jobs in this review, it does not include all of the jobs at this time. As our players explore new jobs and reach level 70, we will edit this article to include thoughts on previously overlooked jobs.
  • If you would prefer not to be spoiled with regards to new job skills that you haven’t personally seen yet, please be aware that many of our job reviews detail these new skills!
  • All reviews were written prior to Patch 4.05, so unless someone made special mention of any changes made in that patch, they are not explained here.
  • Some reviews were submitted before we sent out a general guideline of questions, so they might not all follow the same format.

Scholar (SCH)

Review by Cthulhu, Owner and Founder of The Lifestream
Character name: Shub Niggurath
Server: Cerberus
Free Company: The Lifestream «TLS»

The damage-dealing aspects of Scholar have been seriously nerfed in this patch; it’s lost several of its damage over time (DoT) abilities (including a cross-class one, Aero), and the remainder were heavily nerfed: Miasma no longer applies half a dozen status effects, Shadow Flare runs out very quickly, and Bane, the ability that would spread three DoTs to other enemies nearby, has dropped severely in potency, making it pretty much useless for three or more enemies.

On the other hand, with the changes to Cleric Stance (it’s no longer a permanent status/toggle but instead a 15 second, 5% damage buff – effectively useless) and with how damage is calculated (now based on Mind instead of Intelligence, so the previous effect of Cleric Stance, which switched the Mind and Intelligence stats around, is no longer necessary), it’s become a much simpler class to play – there’s no longer a need to switch between damage per second (DPS) and healing mode (when the opportunity presents itself), and it plays much easier.

With regards to its main role, healing, that too seems to have been nerfed; in the current batch of Stormblood dungeons and trials, healing has become a full-time job, where one has to apply heals at all times, and maybe toss in a bit of damage here and there – but nowhere near as much as before Stormblood. I’ve read that it’s not a very effective healer: fairy healing was nerfed, mana and mana recovery were nerfed, its shield ability is not as effective as that of the Astrologian, its healing abilities are not as strong as those of the White Mage, and so forth; it’s pretty much the weakest healer, with no longer as much extra DPS to make up for it, and no additional support abilities besides a 15 second damage buff which increases critical hit (crit) chance.

Dragoon (DRG)

Review by Lex, Site Director
Character name: Rinh’aeza Viera
Server: Cerberus
Free Company: The Lifestream «TLS»

How long have you been maining Dragoon?

I’ve been maining DRG since the A Realm Reborn (2.0) beta in 2013, so that’s hitting four years now. Side-main Warrior and White Mage.

Did you read up on the changes that were going to happen to the job for Stormblood before playing? Did it affect your decision to either stick with that job or change to a different one?

I read the job patch notes while waiting for servers to go live on Stormblood early access. I was always going to level DRG through main story for DPS queue optimisation, so the notes didn’t make much difference to me. I was initially concerned about the removal of some damage dealing skills (Phlebotomise, lowered potency Disembowel, Leg Sweep) but the new skills and potency boosts adequately make up the difference.

What do you think of the new Role abilities replacing cross-class skills?

A good move, even if it reduces the flavour of individual classes a little. It’s also reduced the utility of some classes given the skills that have been made role abilities, but not to a crippling degree. They made Feint actually useful, which is insane.

What do you think of the 60-70 abilities? What works/doesn’t work, in your opinion? How have they changed how you play the job? Are there things you’re hoping that Square Enix “fixes” about any of the abilities in upcoming patches?

Sonic Thrust: Finally an Area of Effect (AoE) rotation for DRG! Well… if you can call it a rotation. It’s at least more fun than just spamming Doom Spike, and with the TP reduction now more sustained (if less burst) damage.

Lance Mastery (trait): 5 step combo, woot. With the addition of the change whereby Wheeling Thrust is enhanced by Chaos Thrust and Fang and Claw is enhanced by Full Thrust, this is welcome. Makes the rotation simple and effective with increased potency, if a little bit lengthy.

Dragon Sight: Love it, more DRG utility get. Also adds a bit of an extra dimension (if tiny) to battles where you’re attempting to coordinate with other melee DPS or an off-tank (OT) in the event that it’s you and three/four ranged DPS in order to keep the buff up. My very minor complaint is that having to stop and target a party member to use it is a bit clunky in the middle of a rotation; trying to fit it in as an off-global cooldown (oGCD) has been challenging.

Mirage Dive: An oGCD damage move which is available whenever you use one of two oGCD damage moves that you use every 30/60 seconds? Yes please! The animation is nice, but I wish it was another “real” jump move, and I also wish it could be double-weaved (like Geirskogul/Nastrond/any buff move). In terms of animation length it looks like you should be able to, but the eye animation on the DRG gauge causes an extra delay so it has to be used as a single oGCD. That’s a minor gripe though, great addition.

Nastrond: Absolutely love it, but building up to it can be a pain in the ass. Effective use in primals/raid fights requires knowing the mechanics so you know when NOT to trigger it, and with the time it takes to build up it’s really frustrating – in say, dungeons – when your DPS ceiling is dictated by Nastrond and you have a tank that likes to wait around between pulls, though this was an issue before with Blood of the Dragon (BoTD) anyway. Still, with the decreased cooldown (CD) on BoTD and the stage 4 and 5 combo moves both giving an additional 10 seconds to the timer, it’s easier to keep BotD up and tactically use it to boost the timer. That’s been a fun challenge, particularly in the likes of Susano Extreme where you’ll build up the Dragon Gauge enough to use Nastrond right as the sword phase pops. Life of the Dragon and Nastrond both look cool as fuck, and making sure you have enough of a timer before triggering Nastrond so that you can pop 3 before Life of the Dragon (LotD) runs out without wasting Mirage Dives is a nice tactical side of DRG that just wasn’t there before.

I’m quite happy with where they’ve taken DRG, I hope there aren’t many changes.

What are your personal thoughts/opinions on how the new jobs/abilities might affect the overall meta for those who take raiding uber-seriously?

Remains to be seen, to be fair. I haven’t seriously raided since the Coils of Bahamut (read: progression as part of a static) but I’ll be trying to find a group for Stormblood.

In terms of tanks (and if the classes stay as they are now) I think we’ll be seeing PLD take the priority spot again with side DRK/WAR, and healers we’ll have AST as the must with WHM/SCH (preference for WHM just based on current ability potencies and utilities), potentially even double AST.

DPS-wise I haven’t looked into things too much but I know DRG already had raid utility and that has increased, so we’re in a good spot.

Dark Knight (DRK)

Review by Godot
Character name: Charlotte Tenebres
Server: Cerberus
Free Company: The Lifestream «TLS»

How long have you been maining DRK?

I found I enjoyed tanking the most somewhere around 2.3, and made DRK my main in Heavensward. That said, I spent a lot of time off-tanking as a WAR for mid-core raiding, and have done my fair share of PLD play as well. I off-main DRG/SMN and SCH/AST. SAM just came out, so that’s a new one for me!

Did you read up on the changes that were going to happen to the job for Stormblood before playing? Did it affect your decision to either stick with that job or change to a different one?

I found myself constantly checking for updates on job changes, new actions, and everything else I could find in the month or so before Stormblood dropped. I saw some good changes and some poor ones (farewell, Low Blow), but I still thought DRK looked very promising. That said, the job guide made it clear that PLD was about to get much, much better, and the changes to WAR seemed a bit… mediocre, I guess? It made me a bit sad because I spent my raiding time as a WAR OT. I’m sticking with DRK, but will be dabbling in PLD once again (I feel the change to Royal Authority in particular is going to make it a lot more fun to play).

Of the two new jobs, though, it was solely the reading up on them which told me I’d want to play SAM – in particular, the enormous damage of the Iaijutsu skills called me to action.

What do you think of the new Role abilities replacing cross-class skills?

Well, here’s the thing. I had always wished that DRK could contribute some cross-class skills to the tank sets (Dark Mind, maybe?). The new role actions for tanks are GREAT, though – everyone gets Provoke and Rampart (I hate to see Shadowskin go), and Convalescence is kept as well. This is great, because literally every tank needs these things (though perhaps not for every encounter in raiding?). The fun part is the rest – Shirk and Ultimatum are excellent skills, and Ultimatum in particular, I think, has been needed for a while (as any tank who has died during a huge trash pull or add phase can tell you – or worse, while Provoke is on cooldown). But some of the others are just really… poor. When will you ever need Interject (though it would be different if it dealt damage)? How much use will you really get out of Anticipation (it’s Dark Dance, but without the sweet Dark Arts bonus, and no skills proc off of a parry anymore)? The damage reduction is nice, but it’s still just a bit too niche. I think the change I dislike the most, though, is the removal of WAR and DRK’s stun moves, and making the 25s oGCD stun a role action. Not only did these two moves deal damage (albeit small), they didn’t use up a cross-class slot, which is pretty critical now that there are 8 very viable choices (it would’ve made it 7, one of them only being used for specific tank swap situations and another only being in add-heavy boss fights, for a total of 5 general purpose options). I’m also not a huge fan of the loss of Reprisal for DRK, but it’s not as bad as PLD losing three (!) of its leveling abilities to the role action system, all of which are near-mandatory. So personally, I run Rampart, Provoke, Convalescence, Reprisal, and Low Blow (the last of which is swapped out for Shirk as needed, or Awareness for Warrior). Lastly, RIP Bloodbath. We will remember your service.

On the melee DPS side of things, I’m kind of undecided. It’s nice to still have access to Bloodbath (sigh), Invigorate, and Leg Sweep (RIP DRG), and Goad is a godsend. I’m not a huge fan of the removal of Virus/Supervirus in favor of Feint/Addle, though. Diversion is nice, but the other melee role actions are kind of mediocre. The exception, though, is True North, which is AMAZING for classes like MNK, DRG, and NIN, which rely heavily on positionals. Fortunately, SAM only has one move with a positional requirement, and it only adds a small amount (5) to your gauge growth when this is met – not terribly earthshaking, though still useful. True North doesn’t have a chance to shine here. That said, Bloodbath is the SAM MVP, allowing the player to regain most, if not all, of their lost health by continuing on their rotation (thank goodness they deal so much damage!).

What do you think of the 60-70 abilities? What works/doesn’t work, in your opinion? How have they changed how you play the job? Are there things you’re hoping that Square Enix “fixes” about any of the abilities in upcoming patches?

Delirium: regaining a good chunk of MP and increasing the duration of Blood Price and Blood Weapon is always good. The cooldown (two minutes) is a bit high, though. Awesome skill, uses half a gauge.

Quietus: my favorite new addition, giving DRK a good, solid AoE damage skill. No cooldown is nice, but my favorite part is that, as a GCD move, it doesn’t interrupt combos! Amazing, uses half a gauge.

Bloodspiller: similar to Quietus, except is a single target nuke. Deals very large damage, more in Grit. This just recently (yesterday) was changed, though, so it only deals slightly more damage with Grit active. Also amazing, and uses half a gauge.

The Blackest Night: the best new DRK skill, this functions as our beloved Stoneskin. However, this move is much, MUCH better, for several reasons. First, it’s an oGCD, meaning you can weave it into your rotation. Second, the shield scales off of YOUR OWN health, rather than the target’s (you can use this on allies, by the way). This will grant an ally a shield of 10% of your max HP, or will give you one for 20% of same (tank-busters beware!). But wait, there’s more! It ALSO instantly gives you half a gauge upon the shield breaking, which is exceptionally useful, and gives you the chance to build gauge while saving your healer’s life (or a DPS, or the other tank… whoever). Oh, and it’s only a 15 second cooldown, doesn’t need Dark Arts, and costs the same amount as such. I can’t praise this enough.

Essentially, the changes here mean that you spend a lot more time just trying to deal damage while trying to keep MP high to spam Dark Arts. Not much has really changed, to be honest, outside of the very noticeable loss of nice cooldowns (RIP Dark Dance/Reprisal). I would say that it’s somewhat less fun, though, when you’ve contracted PLD 2.X syndrome, where you essentially spam one ability combo repeatedly, which is less satisfying than before. Overall, though, with the addition of the new Blood Gauge global cooldowns (GCDs), it doesn’t detract from the feel of the job too much. That said, I would like to see the MP regeneration of Blood Price increased somewhat (it’s been reduced by approximately 83% per hit).

Warrior (WAR)

Review by Godot (as above)

What do you think of the 60-70 abilities? What works/doesn’t work, in your opinion? How have they changed how you play the job? Are there things you’re hoping that Square Enix “fixes” about any of the abilities in upcoming patches?

Onslaught: Plunge plus aggro generation. This ability would be great (15 second cooldown!) if it weren’t for the fact that it costs 20 gauge and only has a 100 potency (Plunge deals twice the damage on double the cooldown, but costs no gauge). Mediocre at best.

Upheaval: What a great skill! Dealing more damage the higher your HP is is great, and that the skill factors in HP-increasing effects like Thrill of Battle is icing on the cake. Better yet (icing on top of icing?) is that it ignores the damage penalty from Defiance – I can’t praise this skill enough.

Shake it Off: This skill is awful. It removes status effects (most of them), and doesn’t cost gauge, but the problem is that it is just…useless. Warrior had the Pacification status from Berserk removed, so it literally serves no purpose at all. Just plain bad.

Inner Release: A neat skill, most notable because it halves the cost of all gauge-using skills (i.e. Fell Cleave) for just 20 gauge. The major pitfalls here are twofold: first, you have to be in Deliverance; not a huge deal, but swapping stances eats half a gauge in and of itself, which means you can’t stance dance and Inner Release to real effect when a tank swap is called for, or when an add phase ends. This is mostly an issue because of the second problem: it shares a cooldown with Unchained (a Defiance-only ability that removes the tank stance’s damage penalty). Essentially, if you use Unchained to increase your damage output, you’re sacrificing the higher damage output you would be able to put out by changing stances. Once you activate Unchained, Inner Release is put on the same two minute cooldown. A good skill bogged down by restrictions.

The changes to a ton of its skills (swapping around where its buffs and debuffs are in combos, removing the debuff on Storm’s Path, etc) makes for a lot of changes to rotation and skill usage. That being said, it just doesn’t feel as satisfying as it did in 3.X. Hopefully, Warrior will receive some quality of life buffs that won’t make it feel so clunky (Inner Release not sharing a cooldown, maybe a potency buff for Fell Cleave?)

Samurai (SAM)

Review by Godot (as above)

What do you think of the 60-70 abilities? What works/doesn’t work, in your opinion? How have they changed how you play the job? Are there things you’re hoping that Square Enix “fixes” about any of the abilities in upcoming patches?

(I’ll be covering the best skills from 50-70 out of fairness):

Hissatsu: Kaiten: For a minor gauge cost, it increases the potency of your next weaponskill by 50%. In other words, that Higanbana or Midare Setsugekka you’re about to use? Yeah, it just got a lot stronger. I’ve already seen crits with this of over 25k, and that was before I even got to level 70.

Hissatsu: Gyoten: For a small amount of gauge, dash a huge distance to reach melee range on your target. Weak, but high in personal utility.

Hissatsu: Yaten: The reverse of Gyoten, giving you damage while backstepping. Good for an AOE dodge, especially when it triples the potency of your next Enpi (ranged attack).

Merciful Eyes: Extremely minor, but I really enjoy a 200 potency self-heal just for getting hit after using Third Eye (a damage reduction buff). It’s free and is only limited by Third Eye’s 15 second cooldown. Nothing major, but every bit of healing helps your party.

Hissatsu: Shinten: Near-spammable, 300 potency oGCD. Uses a good chunk of gauge, but given just how quickly you generate it, it’s your third priority for usage (more on that later). Excellent skill.

Hissatsu: Kyuten: An AOE version of Shinten.

Hagakure: Converts your Sen to gauge. Extremely useful for getting rid of unwanted Sen (like right before a boss fight when you’re got Tenka Goken ready), or for generating huge amounts of gauge quickly. 40s cooldown makes this an excellent ability.

Hissatsu: Guren: The final skill, and one of the best. This is your first priority for gauge (followed by Kaiten and Shinten), because it is a line AoE that eats half your gauge for an 800 base potency attack. Its two minute cooldown is what keeps it from being stupidly overpowered. That said, it deals ridiculous amounts of damage, and is a “use on cooldown” ability. It also looks cool, which has to count for something.

The class flows really well, so it’s a blast to play. I suppose I wouldn’t mind Gyoten having a shorter cooldown, but there’s really nothing that needs fixing here. Merciful Eyes 300 potency? Regardless, this class is a lot of fun and deals absurd amounts of damage, and is incredibly satisfying to play. The sounds and visuals are excellent, though the Iaijutsu sound can be a bit grating.

What are your personal thoughts/opinions on how the new jobs/abilities might affect the overall meta for those who take raiding uber-seriously?

The biggest change to the tank meta is that PLD will be the undisputed god-king of main tanking (MT). It was very good at this in Heavensward, but the general idea was that Dark Knight was almost as good at being tanky as PLD while dealing loads more damage, so why bother with PLD? This has changed dramatically now. I have a feeling that DRK will replace WAR as the preferred OT, though, given the actual utility that DRK offers in Blackest Night, and the increase in DPS that Delirium-backed Blood Weapon grants. Warrior’s only saving grace will be the slashing debuff, but since that’s an integral part of the Samurai rotation (it’s literally the only skill that gives one of the Sen), it’s mostly irrelevant, I think. Non-SAM parties that want NIN, though, will probably take them along anyway.

Samurai will have a huge impact on the meta, being the job with one of, if not the highest damage output of any in the game. The lack of utility (outside of a slashing debuff) is mostly mitigated by the insane amounts of damage it pumps out – like a better version of 3.X MNK, which offered next to nothing outside of damage. I have a feeling that a lot of high-end raid groups are going to be running one for jobs like DRG and RDM to stack buffs onto – Dragon Sight, Battle Litany, Balance, Embolden, Trick Attack, and a BRD song would be heaven.

I have a feeling that BLM is going to become one of the less-desired raid picks due to the heavy amounts of movement required in what we’ve seen in the normal mode of Omega. This will give rise to SMN, which has always had more mobility, as well as the nimble, popular, and buff-bearing RDM. NIN will, of course, be almost obligatory, and DRG will be immensely popular due to Dragon Sight and Battle Litany. The removal of cast times will also dramatically increase the popularity of BRD and especially MCN. MNK is… still MNK, sadly.

Summoner (SMN)

Review by The Engineer, Site Designer
Character name: Kharagal Mierqid
Server: Cerberus
Free Company: The Lifestream «TLS»

How long have you been maining SMN?

Summoner is what I usually play as. I’ve been maining the class since I started playing FFXIV about a year ago and am into mid-core raiding. I also play AST and have been playing quite a bit of DRK.

Did you read up on the changes that were going to happen to the job for Stormblood before playing? Did it affect your decision to either stick with that job or change to a different one?

Going into Stormblood I read up on the changes to the class. For the most part it looked like it was building off the the burst aspect of Summoner more then the DOT aspect. But it still had what I liked about it which was a lack of an enforced/suggested rotation and a ton of mobility. I also knew I was going to be playing it as soon as it was revealed that Summoner was going to be summoning Bahamut.

What do you think of the new Role abilities replacing cross-class skills?

The new Role Actions mostly help SMN, but they also mean it loses access to Blizzard II, the only AOE ability it had that wasn’t locked behind Aetherflow Stacks. So until Dreadwrym Trance is gotten, the AOE feels very lackluster.

Other then that, most of the new Role Actions are either the same, straight up buffs, or more utility. Swiftcast returns as does Quelling Strikes in the form of Diversion. SMN get a huge buff with Lucid Dreaming which essentially lets it use Ruin III outside of Dreadwyrm Trance. Addle is a reskin of Virus, and the way it interacts with Demi-Bahamut means it will be taken. The utility abilities that bear mentioning are Apocatastasis and Mana Shift. While both of them aren’t useful for solo content, both can be used in party well. The other Role Actions are very lackluster which maybe the exception of erase which is an oGCD heal that removes DoTs.

What do you think of the 60-70 abilities? What works/doesn’t work, in your opinion? How have they changed how you play the job? Are there things you’re hoping that Square Enix “fixes” about any of the abilities in upcoming patches?

The biggest changes to Summoner aren’t even the Lvl 60-70 changes. Aetherflow and Attunement stacks were changed and this has a lot of impact on how the job plays even at Lvl 60. Where Aetherflow and Attunement used to be two separate buffs, one stack of Attunement now replaces one stack of Aetherflow. However, Aetherflow stacks will now always become Attunement stacks even if an Aetherflow ability does not do an effect (Fester/Painflare on invulnerable targets, Bane doesn’t spread the DOTs, etc.). Refreshing Aetherflow with three Attunement stacks will not give more Aetherflow stacks unless the Attunement stacks have been spent to go into Dreadwrym Trance. To offset this, Attunement stacks now no longer have a duration and are permanent. The other major change is that abilities that use Aetherflow have had their CDs shortened to 5 seconds.

Dreadwrym Trance has also been changed and it is now no longer possible to have Aetherflow stacks while in it. It also resets Tri-Disaster’s CD, which is awesome. The end result of all of this is that Summoner can now be much more aggressive with their Aetherflow use and don’t have to worry about loosing Attunement because of it. On the other hand, if they mess up on their Aetherflow usage and loose a stack, they are punished much more as their entire rotation gets set back by an entire Aetherflow CD.

Other changes would be that Ruin and Ruin II got buffed to 100 potency, Ruin III got nerfed to 150 potency, Shadow Flare is now an ability with a 60 second CD, and Tri-Disaster now provides an on-target buff that adds an extra 20 potency to all Ruin spells.

Pets also got some changes. Garuda lost her ability to extend DoTs in exchange for Magic Vulnerability on a target. Ifrit’s Radiant Shield now causes Physical Vulnerability when the shield is hit. This greatly increases Ifrit’s value when doing dungeons with physical DPS and if you’re the only Magical DPS on bosses, he can be better then Garuda is. Long story short, Summoner can bring both their DPS pets out now instead of just one.

As for the Lvl 60-70 skills:

Ruin IV: This skill is awesome. Every single time the pet lands an ability there’s a 15% chance Ruin and Ruin III will change into Ruin IV. And pets will land an ability every 3 seconds, not counting their other skills. It doesn’t take up an extra slot on the hot bar and it’s technically a buff not a programmed random occurrence (proc). I end up getting to use it a lot more then the numbers made me think I would.

Aetherpact/Devotion: This is the most lackluster of the new skills. The buff itself is fine, but it’s given to the party member closest to the pet, and is not targeted. Probably the best thing about it is that Ruin IV can proc off it. It could easily be improved by making it targetable. Currently, the healers are the ones who most often get the buff from it when you really want to give it to the DPS.

Bio III/Miasma III: The new DoTs combine the best parts of Bio (tick potency) and Bio II (duration) into the two different DoTs. They’re also now the same length and we finally get some flashy animations for them.

Enhanced Enkindle: So technically this is a trait, not an ability, but the overall effect of it is that Enkindle is now on a pseudo two minute CD as Ruin IV will nearly always proc more than six times in two minutes. So more damage over the course of a fight.

Summon Bahamut: Yey!

Bahamut is crazy. Unlike Deathflare, Ahk Morn does not end this phase and can be used twice. For every targeted ability the Summoner uses on an enemy Bahamut casts Wyrmwave. The catch is that Wyrmwave has an internal CD of 1.5 seconds so the summoner has to pace themselves so that they aren’t losing Wyrmwave casts from casting abilities too fast. Aetherflow is not locked in this mode either so, using Fester, etc. is very much recommended.

Lke all pets, Bahamut does have some issues. Any attack (Wyrmwave or Akh Morn) Bahamut does in the last two seconds he’s summoned will not register on the target even if the animation goes off. Also, the AI prioritizes him following the Summoner instead of attacking which makes it even harder to fit this into an enemy’s rotation optimally. It pretty much can’t be used while anything the requires lots of movement is going on or else you loose out on a tone of potency. He also only does 80% of your damage just like all pets do, so the potencies of Wyrmwave and Akh Morn are less in practice then they are on the tool-tips.

My overall feelings at level 70 are that Summoner is one of the High-Risk/High-Reward classes of Stormblood. The biggest difficulty Summoner has to overcome is not just knowing how their own priority based “rotation” works, but knowing how to optimally fit it into the enemy’s rotation. It’s almost like the same mindset behind tanking, but instead of knowing the correct time to mitigate damage, it’s about knowing the correct time to cause damage. Other difficulties Summoner faces is that its priority “rotation” is the longest rotation in the game. Out of all the classes, they are the class that is hurt the most by dying (Dragoon is the runner up). The Aetherflow CD is the clock that runs the class and not using it on CD is a direct DPS loss.

On the flip side, Summoner is a very mobile class for a mage. Ruin II is less of a DPS loss then it used to be and given the huge amount of oGCDs it has, Ruin II gets used a lot. It’s very satisfying to dodge every AOE that gets thrown your way all while knowing that your DPS is the least penalized out of all the casters. Playing the class well is a ton of fun, it just takes a lot of planning to get there as it doesn’t have a clear rotation.

What are your personal thoughts/opinions on how the new jobs/abilities might affect the overall meta for those who take raiding uber-seriously?

As far as the meta goes… how well does your class buff Samurai? If it can buff it, then there will be a place in the meta for it. If it can’t, then it will be harder to justify it. If your class is mobile, then even better. Your healers will thank you for the time they can spend DPSing the boss instead of healing you.

Red Mage (RDM)

Review by Joe, Social Media Manager
Character name: Raya’na Arcise
Server: Cerberus
Free Company: The Lifestream «TLS»

Did you read up on the changes that were going to happen to the job for Stormblood before playing? Did it affect your decision to either stick with that job or change to a different one?

Though Red Mage is new, I did look at some of the moves the job would have. I wanted to get a general feel for the gameplay of the job before getting into it. Ultimately the idea of balancing black and white magic sounded very appealing to me.

I also checked out the changes to the main job I played before Stormblood, Scholar. At the time it didn’t seem like the class changed much and the additional abilities added a little more variety to the tactical gameplay Scholars are used to.

What do you think of the new Role abilities replacing cross-class skills?

I think the inclusion of role abilities is something the game has needed for a while. Locking crucial abilities behind classes and jobs you may have no interest in playing always seemed like poor game design. Swiftcast is a more or less essential tool for healers – allowing you to instantly Raise fallen party members – yet it was previously locked behind having a level 26 Thaumaturge. I found THM to be very boring, gameplay-wise, so it seemed like a totally mindless slog leveling the class for the sake of a healing tool.

The same can be said of the ability Provoke and its Gladiator level requirement.

What do you think of the 60-70 abilities? What works/doesn’t work, in your opinion? How have they changed how you play the job? Are there things you’re hoping that Square Enix “fixes” about any of the abilities in upcoming patches?

It stands to point out that all of Red Mage’s abilities feel like they’ve been created as a package, making the 60-70 actions an intrinsic part of the job. With that in mind, I’ll mention the abilities outside of the major dps rotation:

Dualcast: A passive ability that shapes how Red Mage performs on the battlefield. It allows RDM to cast a spell instantly after any spell cast in the standard manner. This means that, effectively, every second spell for Red Mage is instantly cast. In my opinion, this is what makes the job feel unique among the rest of the DPS lineup.

Vercure and Verraise: These allow the Red Mage to be a sort of demi-healer. They can heal themselves and the party much more than any of the other non-healer jobs. Verraise even allows RDM to resurrect fallen party members quickly and efficiently. Combined with the Dualcast passive, these supporting actions can be dealt swiftly unto party members. Red Mage can bring a party back from the brink of despair, even if both of their healers have fallen.

Embolden: A great damage buff for both the user and any physical damage-dealers in the party. Not much to say here. I like that it starts off strong and diminishes over time, with a fairly decent duration.

Corps-a-corps and Displacement: These act as mobility actions for when you want to switch between ranged and melee combat. This gives Red Mage that style and excitement on the battlefield, charging in with their rapier to hit a boss with their melee combo before backflipping to safety and using ranged spells. Perfection.

On top of all these abilities and the way they interact with each other, the Red Mage is just flashy as anything. Visually they truly are the most fun job to watch.

What are your personal thoughts/opinions on how the new jobs/abilities might affect the overall meta for those who take raiding uber-seriously?

In terms of the meta itself, it seems like Red Mage is in a comfy place. It has high burst damage along with raid utility in its party-wide buffs and the ability to raise and cure if the situation requires it.

White Mage (WHM)

Review by AvecAloes, Site Author
Character name: Brynn Sunseer
Server: Malboro
Free Company: Guardians of the Centra «GUARD»

How long have you been maining WHM?

I’ve been maining WHM since early 2015, and raised my AST pretty quickly after Heavensward came out. After getting my WHM to 70 in Stormblood, it only took a week or so to get my AST from 60 to 70.

Did you read up on the changes that were going to happen to the job for Stormblood before playing? Did it affect your decision to either stick with that job or change to a different one?

I did my research, yes. I watched various videos that highlighted all of the job changes, and heard everyone bitching about the changes to WHM. I wanted to give it a go, though, and form my own opinion, so I stuck with WHM initially, but still had plans to get my AST to 70 shortly thereafter.

What do you think of the new Role abilities replacing cross-class skills?

I heard a lot of complaints about WHM losing some of their unique abilities and having them added to the Role abilities. I don’t really have a negative opinion of this. I think that it evens the playing field out a little bit. I know it can be a bit of a pain to try to prioritize which abilities go in which level slots, especially when keeping lower level content in mind, but honestly, I’m not running a lot of low level content these days, so I typically have all of the skills I feel that I need at the ready. I absolutely LOVE that I no longer have to switch Cleric Stance on and off at the drop of a hat. I was worried that it would make playing a healer feel a little too easy, but all it does is avoid that awful “OHHH SHIT” moment when you realize that you’ve been trying to heal your tank while in Cleric Stance, only to have them die on you and your entire party hate you >.>

What do you think of the 60-70 abilities? What works/doesn’t work, in your opinion? How have they changed how you play the job? Are there things you’re hoping that Square Enix “fixes” about any of the abilities in upcoming patches?

Thin Air (level 62): Reduces the cost of all spells to zero for 12 seconds? Oh man. Pair this baby with Lucid Dreaming and watch your MP come back in a flash. Super, super useful for MP management. Now when I’m playing AST, I find myself longing for this skill. Its 2 minute cooldown isn’t too shabby, either.

Stone IV (level 64): A heavy hitter. Pop Cleric Stance and Presence of Mind, and watch enemies melt before you. God Queeeeeeen

Divine Benison (level 66): Creates a barrier that shield for 15% of the target’s total HP with a recast of 30 seconds. So if you cast it on a tank who has 50,000HP, you’re shielding for 7,500 damage. It can only be used when you have at least one lily on your Lily Gauge, and it consumes all available lilies. It’s about time WHM got some sort of instant shield ability. It’s not as good as AST’s Nocturnal Sect Aspected Benefic or SCH’s Adloquium, in that you can’t cast it whenever you want, and WHM still lacks full party shielding like AST’s Noctunal Sect Aspected Helios and SCH’s Succor, but this is at least something useful that WHM’s can do to help mitigate things such as tank busters and the like.

Plenary Indulgence (level 70): Every time you cast an AOE cure spell, there is a 20% chance of each target hit gaining a Confession stack. You can have up to three Confessions on a party member at any given time. Using Plenary Indulgence while you have active Confession stacks will grant a free heal, with the potency depending upon the number of Confession stacks active. This can be a useful way to recover from group-wide AOE damage – throw out one or two Medicas, gain one or two confession stacks, and instead of using MP to heal the rest of the way, hit Plenary Indulgence for free AOE heal. This version of the skill is a reworking of the original Plenary Indulgence, which only added a Confession stack when using Cure I or Cure II, which meant that really only the tank was getting stacks. The current version offers much more utility, and I am really glad that they reworked it.

Astrologian (AST)

Review by AvecAloes (as above)

What do you think of the 60-70 abilities? What works/doesn’t work, in your opinion? How have they changed how you play the job? Are there things you’re hoping that Square Enix “fixes” about any of the abilities in upcoming patches?

Earthly Star (level 62): This skill is SO COOL. Execute the ability to draw the very stars from the heavens ;-; No OK so it creates a circular field (Earthly Dominance) which, at first, just hangs around and looks cool. For best effect, place it so that it encompasses large groups of mobs and also party members. After 10 seconds, if you haven’t executed Stellar Detonation, Earthly Dominance becomes Giant Dominance. If you execute Stellar Detonation while under the effect of Earthly Dominance, your field will explode, dealing damage to all enemies within its bounds for 150 potency, while ALSO healing any party members within its bounds for 540 potency. If you let Earthly Dominance become Giant Dominance, the damage dealt increases to 200 potency, and the healing increases to a delicious 720 potency. So you can play with this in multiple ways – you can set it up prior to a group-wide damage mechanic for quick (and free!) heals, or you can use it to do some free damage (though not a TON of damage) to a group of annoying enemies while ALSO healing anyone in range. I’ve seen ASTs use it to great effect in some of the Extreme Primals and Savage fights, and when I run dungeons, it’s my favorite skill to spam (as soon as it’s off cooldown, of course).

Malefic III (level 64): Just an upgraded version of Malefic, nothing to really write home about. It does look cool, though!

Minor Arcana (level 66): I really like this skill. When you Draw a card, you now have the option to convert it into a new card: either a Lord of Crowns of Lady of Crowns (randomly), which goes into its own spread. Executing Minor Arcana again will use the card on your target. Lord of Crowns deals unaspected damage with 300 potency, and Lady of Crowns heals your target for 500 potency. So you’re getting either an instant free damage dealer or an instant free HP restorative move. Personally, I like it best when I get a Lady of Crowns, as I just add it to my healing arsenal, along with my normal Benefic/Benefic II and Essential Dignity. It can be great in a pinch when your tank is taking big damage, and you need every bit of quick heals you can get. It’s also a good way to use up a card that you don’t need, say, if you draw the Spire but you’ve already Royal Roaded a Spire or Ewer and no one needs TP.

Sleeve Draw (level 70):
This is an interesting skill. Upon using it, you will automatically execute Draw, Royal Road, Spread, and Minor Arcana in succession. You don’t always end up with the cards/effects that you want, but sometimes you’ll get lucky, or you can execute Minor Arcana to get rid of whatever is held there in order to use Minor Arcana again (it only has a 5 sec recast timer) to get rid of whatever card is currently waiting to be used if it’s something you don’t want (see Spire example above). So there are ways that this skill can be useful, and it is fun to use, and maybe I’m just missing something but it can sometimes be such a crap shoot that I’m not exactly sure of its utility.

What are your personal thoughts/opinions on how the new jobs/abilities might affect the overall meta for those who take raiding uber-seriously?

So Stormblood is the first time that I’ve ever really given the Extreme Primals and the Savage versions of raids a serious go. With WHM’s extra healing potency (Cure II has a higher potency than any other healing job’s healing skills, other than Giant Dominance but that can’t be used as often or reliably as Cure II, and SCH’s Excogitation, which, again, can’t be used as often) and their new, free AoE heal potential (Plenary Indulgence), plus their ability to dish out some serious damage (Stone IV’s damage potency + two DoTs), AND their superior MP management, I think that WHM is going to be clutch for some of the higher end content. I have tried to run Susano Ex as an AST, and while group-wide shields can be a serious boon, I found that my heals had a hard time keeping up with the incoming damage, and my MP management was so, so bad. I’ll definitely be sticking to WHM for most of the high end content, and I think that raiding groups recognize WHM as a boon to their team.

Which jobs have you been playing in Stormblood, for better or for worse? Let us know on our forum or in the comments below!

No comments yet

  1. Micah Rodney
    #1 Micah Rodney 1 August, 2017, 09:38

    Very impressive work Avec! Looks great and packed with a lot of good content from the community! Thanks everybody for pitching in! *Flies away to go level his SAM and LTW.

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  2. Rebekah
    #2 Rebekah 17 November, 2021, 22:54

    Thanks for finally talking about > Final Fantasy XIV: Stormblood Job Reviews
    – The Lifestream situs slot online

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