A significant portion of Final Fantasy XIV's jobs focus on the magical DPS classes. With four in total if you include Blue Mage, one of the most popular is the Red Mage. Arguably the most flexible of the three core spellcasters, it is quite fun to use.
Red Mage is one of the easier DPS classes to learn. Ever since its introduction in Stormblood, it has largely been a case of ‘rinse and repeat’ for the same general results.
There are some situational options for Red Mage, and players certainly have the ability to go rogue and be a pseudo-healer when necessary, but other than that, it doesn’t change all that much between its expansion levels 50-60 and the end game at level 90.
The crux of the Red Mage is all about using certain skills to make most of your instant casts, allowing you to freely move around the battlefield. This makes the job excellent for players who have trouble with dodging AOEs, and for those who like to occasionally heal and resurrect.
How to unlock the Red Mage job in FFXIV
If you want to take the oath to become a Red Mage, you’ll first want to get to the FFXIV expansion Stormblood, which will be included in the trial when Patch 6.5 drops.The only other requirement is to have a Disciple of War or Magic with at least level 50.
Once those are taken care of, head to Ul’dah - Steps of Thal X: 14.1 Y: 11.7 and speak with the Distraught Lass to begin the Taking the Red quest. This will unlock the job for you.
An introduction to Red Mage in FFXIV
Red Mage is one of the least complicated magical ranged DPS jobs in FFXIV. There are only a few skills and spells you need to keep in mind that act as the foundation for the job.
- Jolt: This is the two second cast basic spell that you’ll want to use as your opening skill. It deals decent damage, but more importantly, gives you Dualcast, which you can use to instantly cast other spells.
- Verthunder/Veraero: These are the skills you use in a combo after Jolt to instantly cast them. Otherwise, it would take an obnoxiously long five seconds. They deal the same damage potency of 360, but Verthunder raises Black Mana, while Veraero raises White Mana.
- Verfire/Verstone: These two spells are only active roughly 50 percent of the time after using Verthunder and Veraero, respectively. They both deal 330 potency damage, but increase the Black and White Mana gauges by five points, respectively.
- Vercure: This level 54 spell is your basic healing spell, like you would find on dedicated healers. It takes two seconds to cast and uses a cure potency of 350.
- Verraise: This level 64 ability is the resurrection spell for the Red Mage. While it has an unsurprising cast time of 10 seconds, you can instantly cast it if you have Dualcast or Swiftcast active.
These are the most basic skills you’ll use as a Red Mage. They set up the basic combo that you’ll use all the way from when you unlock the job at level 50 all the way to the endgame. There are some other situational cooldowns and spells, but this is the foundation you’ll want to remember.
Level 90 Red Mage skill rotation and opener
Given how relatively simple the Red Mage is to play, the opener for the job is equally easy to accomplish, but is fairly long.
- Verthunder III (Pre-cast at five seconds before the pull)
- Veraero III
- Verthunder III
- Verthunder III
- Manafication (to get your gauge to 50)
- Enchanted Riposte
- Enchanted Zwerchhau
- Contre Sixste
- Enchanted Redoublement
- Verthunder III
- Verareo III
- Jolt II (Or Verfire/Verstone if proc'd)
- Verthunder III
If you happen to be dealing with a multi-target situation, such as in dungeons or Alliance Raids, here is the basic combo for handling that:
- Contre Sixte
- Verthunder II or Veraero II
- Veraero II or Verthunder II (use the opposite of whichever you used first)
- Keep repeating and alternating in whatever order you like for the Balance Gauge
You can throw in some AOE spells like Scatter and Enchanted Moulinet, but some players find those are almost useless for the Red Mage since their damage output isn’t great compared to other AOE spells, and they’re highly situational.
What to do with Dualcast and the Balance Gauge
Red Mage only has one job gauge, but there are a couple of quirks about it, plus the Dualcast feature. Dualcast is the most important aspect of the Red Mage that every player should understand from the moment they start playing it.
Essentially, it is the Swiftcast role action, but present throughout the job. You should generally never have a cast longer than two seconds. Most spells you hard cast, such as Jolt or Verthunder II, will give you Dualcast, which lasts for 15 seconds in total.
The next spell you use that has a cast time it will be instant, meaning you can move around and dodge AOEs while using it. This is best saved for the lengthier spells like Verfire, Verstone, Impact, and even Verraise.
The Balance Gauge has two parts to it: the Black Mana section and the White Mana section. As the Red Mage, you always want these to be as equal to each other as possible, noted by the crystal at the top turning red. Most spells you use give points to one or both parts.
Once you get the Balance Gauge to at least 90 points on both sides, you are then able to do the Verflare, Verholy, Scorch, and Resolution finishing combo. However, it is recommended to reach 100 points on both sides, so you can use Manafication after for instant access to the combo again.
Red Mage utility skills and when to use them
There are only a few Red Mage cooldown skills and they are generally easy to use. The first couple of them are Fléche, a single-target spell, and Contre Sixte, the multi-target variant. Always have these on cooldown, which is pretty short for both.
Acceleration is the only utility spell that automatically lets you cast the next Verthunder III, Veraero III, or Impact for free. If you keep up with your combo, though, you never really need this.
Embolden is the go-to party buff utility skill. It should always be used in boss fights, trials, etc, at the start and again later in the fight for DPS checks and whenever you have it available. It gives a boost to your magic damage and a general damage boost to all nearby party members.
Manafication is a must for your finishing combo. It increases both sides of the Balance Gauge by 50 points each. This lets you use your finishing combo, if done right, and it gives you a damage boost as well.
Finally, there is Magick Barrier at level 86. This is a powerful utility skill, but it must be used at the right time. If you know a fight, generally use it before a massive raid-wide attack from the boss. This is due to its ability to reduce the damage taken by the party by 10 percent, and its boost to healing actions for nearby party members by five percent.
Red Mage food, pots, and gear - current for Patch 6.5
When it comes to food, the Red Mage focuses on the stats in this order of importance: Critical Hit, Direct Hit Rate, Determination, and Spell Speed. For players in Patch 6.4, this means you want food like Honeyed Dragonfruit or Baked Eggplant.
When it comes to pots for maximizing your stats, you want to boost your Intelligence. For Patch 6.5, that means using a Grade 8 Tincture of Intelligence.
If you are a level 90 Red Mage gearing up for the endgame content, you want to simply grab a full set of high-quality Diadochos of Casting from top to bottom. You then want to pentameld materia with a mix of Critical Hit, Direct Hit, and Determination materia.
For Savage raiders, check out the Etro build for what is BiS while going through Savage fights.