There are many melee DPS jobs in Final Fantasy XIV, such as Dragoon, Monk, Ninja, and Samurai. Once mastered, the newest DPS job released with Endwalker, Reaper, is a force to be reckoned with.
Reaper is a simple job compared to the others in its role. At its core, its main mechanic is to keep a debuff on enemies at all times while delivering as much pain as possible through bursts. Mastering the class requires some skill in managing job gauges and resources but mainly relies on knowledge of the duty's mechanics to know when it is safe to use your abilities.
How to unlock the Reaper Job in Final Fantasy XIV
Reaper can only be unlocked by those who have purchased Endwalker for their account and have a Disciple of War or Magic job at level 70 or higher. By speaking to the Flustered Attendant in Ul'dah (X: 12.8, Y: 8.6), you will obtain the quest "The Killer Instinct," which unlocks the job upon completion.
An introduction to Reaper in Final Fantasy XIV
Reaper begins at level 70, which can be intimidating for those unfamiliar with melee DPS mechanics such as positionals. However, Reaper's starting set of abilities is relatively simple, consisting of a 1-2-3 single target combo and a 1-2 AoE combo. Besides those basic attacks, here are Reaper-specific skills and features that those looking to master the job will need to know:
- Shadow of Death/Whorl of Death: These abilities hold one of the main mechanics of the job. Using these attacks will apply the debuff Death's Design to a target for 30 seconds, which increases the amount of damage they receive from you by 10 percent. Shadow of Death is the single-target application of this debuff, while Whorl of Death is AoE.
- Blood Stalk/Grim Swathe/Gluttony: When performing the main 1-2-3 combo, each attack increases the Soul Gauge, one of Reaper's Job gauges, by 10. When the gauge reaches 50, these three skills will proc, and which of them you decide to use should be situational.
- Blood Stalk/Grim Swathe/Gluttony: Blood Stalk is intended for single-target situations, Grim Swathe for three or more targets in a cone, and Gluttony in either scenario. What makes Gluttony different is that it grants two stacks of the Soul Reaver buff, compared to the one that the other skills grant. It also has a 60-second recast timer, so it should take priority and be used whenever off cooldown.
- Soul Slice/Soul Scythe: Another set of skills that achieve the same goal in different scenarios, Soul Slice and Soul Scythe both immediately increase the Reaper's Soul Gauge by 50, allowing for immediate use of Blood Stalk, Grim Swathe, or Gluttony. Soul Slice is for single-target situations, while Soul Scythe attacks in a cone. These should be used off cooldown to bypass the need to fill the gauge with the standard combo.
- Gibbet/Gallows: These are your positional skills. When the Soul Reaver buff activates from Blood Stalk, Grim Swathe, or Gluttony, you are presented with two sets of options to use for single target enemies – a proc of either Gibbet or Gallows.Gibbet deals the most damage from the target's flank and Gallows from the target's rear. Using either of these skills increases the Shroud Gauge by 10.
- Guillotine: Guillotine deals damage in a cone. This skill is for packs of three or more enemies and also procs from Blood Stalk, Grim Swathe, or Gluttony with the Soul Reaver buff active. Guillotine also increases the Shroud Gauge by 10.
- Arcane Circle: When unlocked at level 72, Arcane Circle first acts only as a simple attack buff, increasing the damage you and nearby party members deal. At level 88, when under the effects of Arcane Circle, party members who land a weapon skill or spell on an enemy will grant you one stack Immortal Sacrifice. Stacks of Immortal Sacrifice are used by the ability Plentiful Harvest, which will increase your Shroud Gauge by 50.
- Enshroud: Unlocked at level 80, this skill is where Reapers will be dealing the most significant chunks of their damage that all previous abilities have been building up towards. When the Shroud Gauge reaches 50, using Enshroud transforms the Reaper as the host of their Void Avatar, grants five stacks of Lemure Shroud to the job’s Death Gauge, and changes several skills on your hotbar.
- Gibbet, Gallows, and Guillotine become Void Reaping, Cross Reaping, and Grim Reaping, respectively, while Blood Stalk and Grim Swathe become Lemure's Slice and Lemure's Scythe. Each of these new abilities costs one of the five stacks of Lemure Shroud that Enshroud grants. Reapers can only use Lemure's Slice and Lemure's Scythe after spending two charges of Lemure Shroud.
- Communio: This level 90 ability can only be used under the effects of Enshroud, dealing massive damage to a single target and 60 percent of said damage to surrounding enemies. While it only costs one stack of Lemure Shroud, using it will end Enshroud prematurely if more than one stack remains. It is best to use it as the final attack of your Enshroud's burst window.
For details on every tool in Reaper’s arsenal, check out the official job guide from Square Enix.
Level 90 Reaper rotation and opener
There are a few ways to begin a battle as a Reaper. The opener in this guide focuses on using Gluttony early to quickly build the Shroud Gauge on top of what Plentiful Harvest provides.
- Soul Soul (pre-pull)
- Harpe (-2 seconds)
- Shadow of Death
- Tincture of Strength
- Soul Slice
- Arcane Circle
- Plentiful Harvest
- Void Reaping
- Cross Reaping
- Lemure's Slice
- Void Reaping
- Cross Reaping
- Lemure's Slice
- Soul Slice
- Unveiled Gibbet
With the opener complete, the Reaper's rotation is almost identical to the opener itself. Focus on keeping the Death's Design debuff up at all times while using abilities like Soul Slice off cooldown to build your Shroud Gauge. Your priority is using whatever skills necessary to lead toward the next burst of Enshroud.
Reaper utility skills and when to use them
Reapers can zip forward and backward out of harm's way using the skills Hell's Ingress and Hell's Egress. While this may be similar to the leaping abilities of their fellow DPS jobs, Dragoon and Red Mage, Reapers are unique in leaving a portal behind when they do so. At level 74, both Hell's Ingress and Hell's Egress will change to Regress once used, which returns you to the starting point you originally moved from. The ability to teleport is useful in dodging pesky AOEs and quickly returning to battle once the enemy's attack has resolved.
Arcane Crest acts as Reaper's damage mitigation, but at level 84, it also grants a temporary health regen on yourself and nearby party members once the shield breaks. While the regen might not be the strongest, it could be enough to save you and your fellow party members from an untimely wipe if used before an incoming attack.
Harvest Moon is proc’d from Soulsow, which is an instant cast when out of battle but is five-second cast when engaged in battle. Being a ranged attack, Harvest Moon is useful for dealing a large amount of damage from a distance if mechanics place you out of melee range from an enemy. Waiting until the boss becomes untargetable during phase changes or certain attacks is the proper time to charge your next Harvest Moon.
Reaper food, pots, and gear - current for Patch 6.4
As of Patch 6.4, Reapers trying their hand at the newest Savage tier and other endgame content will need to keep a supply of high-quality Baked Eggplant and high-quality Grade 8 Tinctures of Strength. Food is best used for the entire duration of the fight, but players must refer to a guide for the specific Duty to learn the best time to use the tincture.
Those looking to begin the latest Pandaemonium Savage Raids must equip their Best in Slot (BiS) gear, which at the time of writing, is the entirety of the Diadochos "Slaying" crafted set, except for the weapon and gloves. The gloves required are the Anabaseios Gauntlets of Maiming, earned by completing the Pandaemonium normal-tier raids, and the weapon is the Voidcast War Scythe from the Trial "The Voidcast Dais (Extreme)."
Players can use Etro for the recommended gear and Materia melds to determine which pieces of Savage gear to work towards for the true BiS gearset.
Your priority when melding for Reaper should be to get your Skill Speed to the preferred GCD tier, then targeting Critical Hit Rate onward. If a piece of gear isn't able to take any more materia that affects Critical Hit, players should then choose between whatever stat is lower between Direct Hit and Determination.