Our hands-on preview with an early build of Final Fantasy XIV: Endwalker gave us access to all the current and upcoming Jobs all the way up to the new level 90 cap. This means we got to see all the changes and additions coming to the expansion and patch 6.0. Here, we’ve gathered everything we learned about the Magic and Physical Ranged DPS Jobs: Summoner, Black Mage, Red Mage, Bard, Dancer, and Machinist.
As a recent convert to the current version of Summoner, the Job’s big Endwalker overhaul got me super hyped up! I enjoy playing Summoner now, but after fully understanding what this new version is going for, the Job is going to be a lot more active (and truly live up to its name). While adjustments and additions to the other Jobs aren’t as drastic, we see some sensible streamlining and new abilities that build on their complexities. We have the details below, including screenshots of the tooltips for all the necessary actions to get you prepared for Endwalker‘s launch.
But wait, there’s more! For more on gameplay changes, peep our breakdowns of what’s coming to Melee DPS Jobs, Tank Jobs, and Healer Jobs. And for something as insightful as it is fun, read our interview with director and producer Naoki Yoshida. If you enjoy our efforts here, we have some news for you: Fanbyte’s dedicated Final Fantasy XIV section, called The Linkshell, is coming soon. Stay tuned!
You can also check out the rest of our coverage of the media tour:
- Tank Changes and All New Job Actions to Level 90
- Healer Changes and All New Job Actions to Level 90
- Melee DPS Changes and All New Job Actions to Level 90
- Tour of the New Zones — A Walkthrough of Old Sharlayan, Garlemald, and Thavnair
Please note that this article is based on playing an in-development build of Final Fantasy XIV: Endwalker, and content in the final version is subject to change.
Yoshida-san wasn’t lying when he said that Summoner is basically going to function like an all-new Job. We had a brief explanation and demonstration during the last Live Letter, but now we have a more detailed look at how it’ll play. There’s much to unpack, so we’ll focus on the major changes.
DoT spells have been removed entirely from the Job, meaning Bio and Miasma are gone. Fester is now a simple damage-dealing spell that otherwise functions the same. Tri-Disaster has been repurposed as an AoE spell that takes the place of Outburst once you reach level 74. It also serves as the AoE action that changes when Bahamut or Phoenix are summoned.
At early levels, you’ll use Aethercharge (Lv. 6) to grant yourself the three elements called Arcanum: Ruby (fire), Topaz (earth), and Emerald (wind). Then, you can call Ifrit (Lv. 30), Titan (Lv. 35), or Garuda (Lv. 45) one at a time — or the corresponding Carbuncles before you unlock these summons — to execute a limited number of attacks in a 30-second window. After you exhaust one summon, you can activate the next for another time window, and then the third; the order is up to you. During these phases, Gemshine (single-target) and Precious Brilliance (AoE) will turn into your main actions that change based on the active summon.
Aethercharge evolves into the new version of Dreadwyrm Trance (Lv. 58). While it’s active, Ruin III and Outburst/Tri-Disaster turn into Astral Impulse and Astral Flare, and you’ll still have the powerful Deathflare available. Once Dreadwyrm Trance wears off, you’ll have access to the three elemental Arcanum to cycle through your summons. Once you reach level 70, Summon Bahamut takes over Dreadwyrm Trance and retains all of its effects while activating Bahamut for 20 seconds. Bahamut functions the same as it currently does, then grants you the three elemental Arcanum for your other summons once it leaves the field.
Similar to the Job in its state before Endwalker, you unlock Summon Phoenix, which you can activate following a Summon Bahamut phase, at level 80. Phoenix functions similarly to its current version, granting all the perks and abilities while under Firebird Trance; but just like Bahamut, it gives you the three elemental Arcanum for your other summons once the phase is over.
With the revamped Summoner, you’ll find yourself alternating between these different summoning phases at later levels. It goes something like this: Start with Dreadwyrm Trance (Summon Bahamut), then move on to summoning Ifrit/Titan/Garuda (in whichever order), then to Firebird Trance (Summon Phoenix), then to summoning Ifrit/Titan/Garuda again, and repeat. The three elemental summons have their own unique attacks and attributes, which leave you room to wield them in different ways and adapt to various combat situations. They continue to evolve all the way up to level 90, so there seems to be plenty of variation and growth throughout the Job.
Below are the tooltips for every single action and trait from the revamped Summoner, as well as the new in-game explanation for the Trance Gauge.
Summoner Actions (Level 1 to 26 – Carbuncle Summons)
Summoner Actions (Lv 30 to 62 – Ifrit, Titan, and Garuda Summons)
Summoner Actions (Lv 66 to 74 – Bahamut Phase)
Summoner Actions (Level 80 – Phoenix Phase)
Summoner Actions (Level 82 to 90 – Ifrit, Titan, and Garuda Evolve)
All Summoner Traits
New Trance Gauge
Black Mage (BLM)
The fact that Black Mage isn’t getting significant overhauls speaks to the current state of the Job. It’s a well-balanced damage dealer that packs a huge punch and contains a degree of complexity, all while remaining fun. However, Black Mage players will want to take note of a few changes coming their way.
With Enochian becoming a passive trait, you’ll have one less action to juggle while still reaping the benefits that come with it. Enochian activates when under Astral Fire and/or Umbral Ice, still boosts your damage as you level up, and grants one count of Polyglot if you can maintain it for 30 seconds. Convenient! Another change at lower levels is that the Enhanced Freeze trait unlocks at level 58 instead of 68 and makes Freeze grant three Umbral Hearts. There’s a slight potency reduction for Foul and Xenoglossy, but they function just the same.
Black Mages get a new perk at level 80 with Enhanced Foul, which turns Foul into an instant-cast spell once it’s ready. At level 82, Fire II and Blizzard II evolve into stronger versions called High Fire II (granting Enhanced Flare, too) and High Blizzard II. At level 84, Manafront‘s cooldown gets reduced to 120 seconds. At level 86, Enochian improves to a 20% damage buff. At this level, you also get Amplifier, a 120-second cooldown ability that gives you one free count of Polyglot. At level 88, Sharpcast becomes a two-charge action.
Lastly, reaching the level 90 cap as Black Mage unlocks a new attack spell called Paradox. It’s granted after swapping Astral Fire III to the opposite element, or by swapping Umbral Ice III (while having three Umbral Hearts) to the opposite element. You’ll get different perks depending on which element you switch to and from. If you end up on Astral Fire, you refresh its timer and get Firestarter’s 40% chance of a free, instant-cast Fire III. If you end up on Umbral Ice, it also refreshes its timer and makes casting Paradox MP-free.
New Black Mage Actions and Traits
Red Mage (RDM)
Red Mage players will mostly be treading familiar territory, even as they reach the level 90 cap. When looking at the existing skillset, we see some minor number scaling in terms of how spells accumulate Black and White Mana. However, the Mana cost for the Enchanted versions of Riposte, Zwerchhau, and Redoublement have been adjusted accordingly. This likely won’t affect the current pace of the Job.
The most notable change is called Mana Stack, a level 68 trait that tweaks how you end up casting Verflare and Verholy. You’ll gain one Mana Stack for each Enchanted weaponskill you land, maxing out at three Mana Stacks. Once you have three, Verthunder becomes Verflare and Veraero becomes Verholy. Another noteworthy change is that Verflare, Verholy, and Scorch now inflict AoE damage yet only have a very slight reduction in main-target potency.
Moving forward, Displacement and Engagement both share the same potency, while Engagement is now unlocked at level 40 instead of 72. Enhanced Contra Sixte is now called Red Magic Mastery (same effects) and unlocks at Level 74 instead of 78, swapping with Enhanced Manafication, which now unlocks at level 78. Manafication got tweaked and now grants 50 points to Black and White Mana instead of doubling your current count; it also has a maximum stack of six once you reach level 90.
Other new abilities include Verthunder III and Veraero III, which are stronger versions of the original Verthunder and Veraero spells; they’re unlocked at level 82. At level 84, Verthunder II, Veraero II, Jolt II, Verfire, Verstone, and Enchanted Reprise all get potency boosts. At level 86, you get an ability called Magick Barrier, which grants party-wide damage reduction and a buff to HP recovered from healing spells. Acceleration becomes a two-charge action at level 88.
As for the big, new level 90 spell, Red Mages get what’s called Resolution. It’s a powerful line-style AoE that becomes available after executing Scorch. Simple as that.
New Red Mage Actions and Traits
Even more so than our two mages, Bard won’t play much differently. The Job does get some minor potency and timer adjustments, and a new party-wide damage buff and AoE weaponskill at later levels.
First off, Ranging Strikes gets a cooldown timer reduction to 60 seconds. When granted Straight Shot Ready, it’ll be available for 30 seconds instead of 10. What’s more notable is that Bard’s songs — Mage’s Ballad, Army’s Paeon, and Wanderer’s Minuet — now last a total of 45 seconds each, up from 30 seconds. Since the songs are still on an 80-second cooldown timer, I’m not sure how this will affect the current optimal Bard rotation, if at all. (More on the songs’ new feature in a bit.)
Approaching the new level cap, you get Ladonsbite, which is an evolution of Quick Nock, at level 82. Bloodletter and Rain of Death both become two-charge actions at level 84. The big new weaponskill Bard gets is called Blast Arrow — a powerful line-style AoE attack granted after executing Apex Arrow when the Soul Voice Gauge is at 80 or higher — at level 86. At level 88, Troubadour‘s cooldown is reduced to 90 seconds.
Once Bard hits level 90, songs feature an extra mechanic called Minstel’s Coda. Playing each song will grant a corresponding Coda: Mage’s Ballad grants Mage’s Coda, Army’s Paeon grants Army’s Coda, and Wanderer’s Minuet grants Wanderer’s Coda. Depending on the number of Coda accumulated, the new ability Radiant Finale will grant a party-wide damage buff: one Coda gives a 2% boost, two Coda give a 4% buff, and all three Coda give a 5% buff.
New Bard Actions and Traits
Dancing remains true to its current form, but one of the core changes for the Job is the streamlining of its procs. Instead of single-target and AoE weaponskills generating their own distinct procs for combos, specific ones will rely on the same effect that grants the proc-based combo action.
For example, both Cascade (single-target) and Windmill (AoE) have a 50% chance of now granting what’s called Flourishing Symmetry, which then lets you execute Reverse Cascade (single-target) or Rising Windmill (AoE). The same goes for Fountain (single-target) and Bladeshower (AoE), which have a 50% chance of granting Flourishing Flow to then let you execute Fountainfall (single-target) or Bloodshower (AoE).
Improvisation has been tweaked and now grants Rising Rhythm, an effect that stacks every three seconds to a maximum of four stacks. When you’re ready, you’ll execute Improvised Finish, which gives you and nearby party members a damage-absorbing barrier. The damage this barrier absorbs increases depending on the number of stacks accumulated. At zero stacks, it will absorb 5% of maximum HP. This number increases by 1% increments with each stack — with four stacks topping off the damage absorbed at 10% of maximum HP. Additionally, there’s a party-wide heal-over-time effect.
At level 82, you get the new effect of Flourishing Finish after successfully hitting a Technical Finish. This will let you execute a new ability called Tillana, an AoE attack that grants the effects of Standard Finish and Espirit to yourself and your Dance Partner. At level 86, you get Fan Dance IV, a strong cone AoE attack. At that same level, Flourish will grant one stack of Fourfold Fan Dance. At level 88, Shield Samba gets its cooldown reduced to 90 seconds.
Dancer’s final ability is Starfall Dance, a powerful line-style AoE unlocked at level 90. It can only be executed while under the effect Flourishing Starfall, which is granted after executing Devilment.
New Dancer Actions And Traits
Lastly, we have Machinist for the folks who prefer to shoot first and ask questions last (and call in a robot buddy to do the fighting). Of all the DPS Jobs, it features the fewest changes outside of some potency adjustments — but that doesn’t mean you won’t get some cool new toys to mess with.
At level 82, Spreadshot evolves into Scattergun and functions the same. At level 84, Reassemble becomes a two-charge action. Once you hit level 86, Automaton Queen gets a new and powerful finishing attack called Crowned Collider, which acts as a follow-up to Pile Bunker. When its timer runs out, or when it’s ordered with Queen Overdrive, Automaton Queen will execute Pile Bunker (as usual) then automatically use Crowned Collider for a big two-hit combo.
Tactician‘s cooldown gets reduced to 90 seconds at level 88. And for Machinist’s last ability, we have Chain Saw at level 90. It’s a strong line-style AoE oGCD weaponskill on a 60-second cooldown that also grants 20 points to the Battery Gauge. It’s also another one of Machinist’s nods to the Tools in Final Fantasy VI. Shouts out to Edgar.