Shadowbringers, the third expansion for Final Fantasy 14, is appropriately bringing the darkness this time around. Magical shenanigans have necessitated that player characters become the “Warrior of Darkness.” And no Job in FF14 encompasses that particular ethos better than the Dark Knight. This tank Job came as a level 30 backup class in Heavensward (the first FF14 expansion). Though it has endured some ridicule and dodgy design decisions in the time since. Now, with Shadowbringers, the Dark Knight is getting a rework. And the buffs seem appropriately sinister.
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FF14 Jobs are all going through some major changes in Shadowbringers. The new expansion includes major reworks across the board, as well as two entirely new classes: Dancer and Gunbreaker. Between these additions and another massive payload of story content, Shadowbringers almost makes FF14 feel like an entirely new game. And that’s exactly why you might need help picking your new main Job or Jobs this time around. We’re here to help with another FF14 Job guide — this time for the ever-shady Dark Knight.
Dark Knight Role – FF14 Shadowbringers Guide
Despite their wicked appearances, the Dark Knight is not a DPS Job in FF14. They’re tanks! And they get all the advantages that every tank in FF14 does. That means they wear heavier armor, get access to damage mitigating skills, and can become temporarily invincible.
Less directly, they also benefit from the relative rarity of tank players in FF14. Dark Knights can often get “Hero in Need” XP and gil bonuses by participating in daily roulettes. This makes Dark Knights (and any other tank for that matter) somewhat easier to level up than DPS Jobs and even healers in Final Fantasy. They can also be quite complicated to play, however, as most dungeons, raids, and trials have unique (and complicated) mechanics exclusive to tank players. There’s a lot of responsibility on your broad shoulders!
Tanks received some across-the-board changes in Shadowbringers, as well. Whereas the role previously had two stances — one that increased damage output and one that lowered the damage you take — each tank now only has a defensive stance. The reworked modes don’t decrease damage, either. They only increase enmity generation. The upside is that defensive stances no longer reduce the damage you do, either. Tanks also have new area of effect combos to complement their normal, single-target damage combos.
Dark Knight Rework – FF14 Shadowbringers Guide
Before Shadowbringers, the Dark Knight was a tricky beast. The Job was both too simple and too complex, in various ways, since it required you to constantly spam a single move. Keeping up enough mana to use this move was the complicated part. Overall, the moveset just didn’t flow very well.
That’s why Dark Knight changes in Shadowbringers are among the most comprehensive. Their all-important spam ability, Dark Arts, has been removed completely. In its place is a special buff (also called Dark Arts) that triggers automatically, after you unlock The Blackest Night skill at level 70. The Blackest Night still works more-or-less the same as it did before Shadowbringers; it triggers a barrier that reduces damage on you or an ally. But it no longer increases your the Dark Knight Blood Gauge. Instead, whenever the barrier is fully destroyed, it triggers Dark Arts.
In turn, Dark Arts now lets you cast two new damage abilities, Flood of Darkness and Edge of Darkness, for zero mana. Extending the chain even further, both of these skills grant a new gauge. Darkside — the “damage stance” for Dark Knights — has been removed, like all other damage stances for tanks. In its place is the other aforementioned new gauge (also called Darkside). This buff can last for up to 60 seconds, and provides a damage 10 percent damage buff. That’s only half of what the old Darkside used to provide, but it no longer comes with the caveat that you can’t regenerate MP.
TL;DR Dark Knights no longer rely on Dark Arts to deal damage. Instead, they have a much more fluid combo system. It requires slightly more forethought than before, but seems a whole lot more fun to play. Oh, and you can summon a shadow clone to fight by your side at level 80. You can read a full account of every Dark Knight change in Shadowbringers here.
Dark Knight Tips – FF14 Shadowbringers Guide
- Darkside duration can stack. Several abilities provide the Darkside damage bonus, which ticks down over time. But not one of them gives you a full bar of the buff. Instead, you get 30 seconds of duration per ability. This can stack up to 60 seconds.
- Use The Blackest Night on allies. This is a great skill to keep yourself alive. It’s an even better skill to keep allies alive. The Blackest Night creates a barrier worth 25 percent of the target’s maximum HP. That’s obviously not as potent on DPS and healers, since they fewer hit points than tanks. But tanks have other ways to protect themselves. In addition, weaker barriers pop to AoE damage more frequently — triggering Dark Arts more often in turn.
- Go wild with Quietus and Bloodspiller. These classic damage skills are no longer massive mana hogs. You can use Dark Arts to make them completely free. And since you can only store one charge of Dark Arts at any given time, it makes sense to use these powerful skills any time the buff is ready.
- Dark Missionary can save a team. Late in FF14, most raid and trial bosses do “ultimate” attacks: unavoidable, team-wide blasts of damage. Unless these ultimates reach 100 percent charge, your team will likely survive them. But they will still take damage. Dark Missionary finally gives Dark Knights a way to mitigate this damage and help healers keep their heads above water.
- Grit is no longer mandatory. Grit only increases enmity now. That makes it largely useless outside of group content. It also might just get in the way if you’re playing as the off tank — without the benefit of reduced damage. If you’re used to the old system, well, get used to turning this off from time to time.
How to Unlock the Dark Knight Job – FF14 Shadowbringers Guide
Unlike most Jobs in FF14, the Dark Knight isn’t accessible at the outset. Instead you need to play through the entire “A Realm Reborn” campaign and reach the Heavensward expansion content. When you reach the quest “Before the Dawn,” you will gain access to the city of Ishgard. This is where you can accept the quest “Our End” — found in the Pillars region of the city. “Our End” will unlock the Dark Knight in FF14. And unlike base game classes, the Dark Knight begins at level 30.
That’s all for now, folks! Thanks for taking the time to read our guide to the Dark Knight in FF14: Shadowbringers. We hope it helps you master this edgy tank to the best of your ability. Until then, good luck learning the new reworks, abilities, and intricacies of the Dark Knight going forward.