Red Mage Job Guide: FFXIV Endwalker Changes, Rework, & Skills

Long ago, the two mana types lived together in harmony...

The Final Fantasy XIV: Endwalker edition of Red Mage is getting some serious buffs. But otherwise, this hybrid class remains awfully familiar. It’s still a ranged DPS class with a smattering of melee moves and a touch of healing. Thanks to that versatility, the average FFXIV group will never be upset to see you enter the fray. And perhaps thanks to its increased potencies, Red Mage will finally climb a bit on the overall damage charts in endgame content. Let’s take a look at the Job in our Endwalker Red Mage guide!

Starting, of course, with some very basic of basics:

  • Remember your ABCs: “Always Be Casting.” A damage dealer’s utility is in helping the party clear content quickly. That means always using abilities via weaving and “double-weaving” — the practice of using off-Global Cooldown (oGCD) skills while your faster, more basic Global Cooldown (GCD) skills reset.
  • Don’t be afraid to heal in dire situations. Be even less afraid to resurrect. Proper healers screw up just like the rest of us, and a Red Mage with a well-targeted Verraise is a godsend. The support skill won’t get you through Duty Roulettes any faster as a DPS, but it might just snag you some commendations.
  • You can find a glossary of terms like weaving and oGCD in our FFXIV glossary!

Note: Our FFXIV Job guides for Endwalker are based on our preview time with the new expansion. As such, we might make minor changes after the full release, based on new information or changes to the live game with Patch 6.0. Meanwhile, if you’re purely interested in Endwalker Job changes, we have a feature detailing all new ranged DPS abilities and reworks here!

Dualcast for the Duelist Class

At its very core, Red Mage is about Dualcast, a passive ability unique to the Job and available at all levels. Dualcast activates after a Red Mage casts any spell with a cast time. It appears as a purple buff icon at the top of your screen and lasts 15 seconds before expiring. If you use another spell that would normally have a cast time while Dualcast is active, the spell will instead launch instantly.

In theory, this means Red Mages cast spells about twice as fast as other casters — though keep in mind that the spell executed under Dualcast still triggers a global cooldown timer. It’s during that GCD downtime — after using a Dualcasted spell — that you’ll cast most of your off-global cooldown abilities.

Speaking of GCD spells, let’s familiarize ourselves with all of them very quickly.

Jolt (Lvl. 1) is your basic damage spell, like a magic missile. It generates two points of White Mana and two points of Black Mana for the Balance Gauge — the only special Red Mage Job resources. At level 62, it becomes Jolt II, which just does more damage.

Verthunder (Lvl. 4) does more damage than Jolt but takes twice as long to cast. It also generates six Black Mana and zero White Mana. And just like Jolt II, the upgraded Verthunder III (Lvl. 82) just deals more damage.

Veraero (Lvl. 10) / Veraero III (Lvl. 82) is almost identical to Verthunder, but it does the inverse: it generates six White Mana and zero Black Mana.

Scatter (Lvl. 15) splits the difference between Jolt and the proc-only damage skills. Plus, it’s an area-of-effect (AoE) attack. Scatter has a super long cast time that you want to offset with Dualcast. However, it generates three White and Black Mana instead of just one color. Impact (Lvl. 66) is the higher damage version you receive at Level 66, but is otherwise identical to Scatter.

Verthunder II (Lvl. 18) is similar to Jolt but does less damage and costs more mana (normal mana, that is, not the black and white stuff on your Balance Gauge). The tradeoff is that this spell hits in an AoE and generates seven Black Mana. Though it creates zero White Mana. You rarely use this skill except on groups of “trash mobs” in dungeons, or to even out the Balance Gauge if your combos get thrown off.

Veraero II (Lvl. 22) is almost identical to Verthunder II, but generates seven White Mana and zero Black Mana. Again, you rarely need this outside of clearing dungeon trash. Except when your White Mana gets too much lower than your Black Mana.

Verfire (Lvl. 26) is like a baby version of Verthunder III. It deals slightly less damage and generates slightly less Black Mana (five points instead of six). However, it requires half the casting time. The rub is that you can only cast Verfire while under the 30-second buff, “Verfire Ready.” Every time you cast Verthunder, there’s a 50 percent chance you’ll trigger (or “proc”) Verfire Ready.

Verstone (Lvl. 30) is the White Mana equivalent of Verfire. Like its shadowy cousin, it can only be cast when you have “Verstone Ready,” which has a 50 percent chance to proc after casting Veraero.

Vercure (Lvl. 54) is what it sounds like: a small healing spell that’s good in a tight spot. More than that, it activates Dualcast. You can use it on yourself or an ally anytime (notably during downtime when a boss is untargetable) to ready Dualcast.

Verraise (Lvl. 64) lets the Red Mage revive downed allies. Alongside Summoner, they are the two non-healer Jobs that can resurrect fallen friends mid-fight. Plus,you can use this skill with Dualcast.

You might already see where this is going. The general flow of Red Mage spells is to cast a weaker, shorter one — typically Jolt II — to trigger Dualcast. With Dualcast, you can skip the usual windup on a longer, stronger spell — always either Verthunder III or Veraero III. If one of those latter two spells triggers Verfire or Verstone, use that to get Dualcast back. You can then reinvest Dualcast into another Verthunder III or Veraero III without resorting to wimpy old Jolt II.

Red Mage Job Gauge

A Balancing Act on the Balance Gauge

Besides an obvious damage increase, the benefit of constantly zigzagging between Veraero III / Verthunder III and Verfire / Verstone is filling your Balance Gauge faster. You can hold up to 100 White and Black Mana apiece at any given time. And, whenever you reach 50 points of both, you can power up the potent three-hit Red Mage melee combo: Riposte (Lvl. 1), Zwerchhau (Lvl. 35), and Redoublement (Lvl. 50).

Technically, you can perform this combo at any time — the damage will just be abysmal. With sufficient White and Black Mana, however, the three skills temporarily become Enchanted Riposte, Enchanted Zwerchhau, and Enchanted Redoublement. Filling your Balance Gauge halfway ensures you get maximum damage from all three hits. Performing all three hits of the combo will eat up 50 points of White and Black Mana, encouraging you to switch back to spells until you refill.

There’s also Moulinet (Lvl. 52), which becomes Enchanted Moulinet whenever you have 20 points on either side of the Balance Gauge. The enchanted attack expends 20 points from each half of the Balance Gauge to deal damage in an AoE cone ahead of your character.

Finally, Reprise (Lvl. 76) becomes Enchanted Reprise when you have at least five White and Black Mana. It costs five of each to cast, as well. This one is just another weak melee attack that becomes an instant, fairly powerful ranged spell when “enchanted.” It’s a way to burn off excess Balance Gauge when you can’t get close to a boss for a melee combo, or don’t have time to channel a longer ability (e.g. when you’re running away). Like the other skills in this section, you should never bother using it when it’s non-enchanted.

Cutting to the Chase (with a Big Z Shape)

Red Mage, like many expansion Jobs, has quite the simple suite of skills. The caster looks complex on paper, but like its younger sibling the Dancer, it’s pretty much a flowchart of things you can and can’t do at any given time. These are indicated on your hotbar in the form of procs, which appear as golden, dotted outlines circling around the skills Verstone and Verfire. Once again: you cannot use Verstone or Verfire without a matching proc from Veraero or Verthunder. The skills will just appear grayed out and unusable.

But which spell should you use with Dualcast: Verthunder III or Veraero III? Use whichever one matches the lower side of your Balance Gauge. If your White Mana is lower than your Black Mana, choose Veraero and fish for a Verstone proc. If your Black Mana is lower than your White Mana, do the same with Verthunder and Verfire.

There’s a reason to keep your Balance Gauge, well, balanced like this. If the difference between White and Black Mana exceeds 30 points, your gauge will become “unbalanced.” This is indicated by the crystal atop your gauge turning either white or blue. An unbalanced gauge will cause you to generate less of whichever is the smaller pool of mana, per spell, until you realign the bars to within 30 points of each other.

An uneven gauge is fine; in fact, it’s a good thing! However, an unbalanced gauge, in the FFXIV sense of the word, is a bad thing. Less White and Black Mana means fewer melee combos — and fewer melee combos means less damage.

Endwalker Red Mage Glamour

Moment-to-Moment Magic

The vast majority of the time, you won’t need to worry about complex openers, lining up teamwide buffs, popping potions, and counting out your Balance Gauge. Instead, playing a Red Mage mostly looks a lot like the combo below.

Basic GCD Combo:

Jolt II → Veraero III Verstone if it procs → Verthunder III Verfire if it procs → and finally back to Jolt II if nothing procs.

During any GCD cooldown, after rattling off a spell with Dualcast, you can also weave Fleche (Lvl. 45) and Contre Six (Lvl. 56) — two very basic Red Mage oGCD spells that just deal damage on 45-second cooldowns. There’s also a partywide damage buff called Embolden (Lvl. 58). It decays over time, but you should try to time it so that you get at least some of the buff during your melee combo, since that’s the highest DPS Red Mage has.

Note: For the next part of this section, I try to lay out some very basic addition and subtraction to explain why Red Mage works the way it does. If you don’t care about the specific numbers too much, you can mostly look at the combos.

Whenever it’s off cooldown and you’re not about to start your melee combo, you can also use the oGCD skill Acceleration (Lvl. 50). This guarantees three procs of Verstone and/or Verfire on your next three casts of Veraero and/or Verthunder. That means faster Black and White Mana generation and faster uses of Verthunder and Veraero (which means more damage per second).

However, you want to keep your White and Black Mana numbers uneven while using up all three charges of Acceleration. An even or slightly unequal Balance Gauge will guarantee a Verstone or Verfire proc during your finisher. This occurs after your melee combo, when you can cast Verflare (Lvl. 68) or Verholy (Lvl. 70) while your Black Mana is lower than your White Mana, or vice versa.

TL;DR: White Mana > Black Mana = Verflare. Black Mana > White Mana = Verholy.

For now, though, let’s look at one way to get safely off-kilter with Acceleration. The numbers in parentheses below indicate how much White Mana (the left numbers) and Black Mana (the right numbers) each spell generates.

Acceleration Combo:

Jolt II (2|2) → Acceleration (0|0) → Veraero III (6|0) → Verthunder III (0|6) → Verstone (5|0) → Veraero III (6|0) → Verfire (0|5) → Verthunder III (0|6) → Verstone (5|0) → Verthunder III (0|6).

Assuming you start with nothing on the Balance Gauge, these spells add up to 24 White Mana and 25 Black Mana after the changes made in Endwalker. You can then use Corps-a-corps (Lvl. 6), the Red Mage gap-closer, to enter melee range of your target. Finally, activate Manafication (Lvl. 60) to generate an additional 50|50 on the Balance Gauge, bringing you up to 74|75.

That’s more than enough White and Black Mana to use the Red Mage’s signature finisher. Of course, you could use Manafication immediately to generate 50|50 and go straight into your melee combo. But there are two major reasons to wait.

First, Manafication can only be cast during combat. This eliminates the “pre-pull” advantage of starting to hardcast Jolt II, Veraero, or Verthunder in the seconds before a fight. Second, Manafication doubles as a damage buff. It makes your next six magic attacks over the next 15 seconds hit harder!

Last of all, Manafication generates an even number of White and Black Mana. As previously mentioned, when you cast Verholy or Verflare, there’s only a 20 percent chance to proc Verstone / Verfire by default. Having an uneven Balance Gauge guarantees a proc if you use the correct spell (i.e. Verholy if your White Mana is lower than your Black Mana, Verflare when your Black Mana is lower than your White Mana).

Red Mage Displacement

This leads into the Red Mage melee combo, which leads into the finisher combo.

Basic Melee Combo:

Enchanted Riposte → Enchanted Zwerchhau → Enchanted Redoublement → Verholy (Lvl. 68) → Scorch (Lvl. 80) → Resolution (Lvl. 90) → Verfire Verthunder Verstone.

Similar to Fleche and Contre Six among your sequence of ranged skills, use melee oGCDs while Riposte, Zwerchhau, and Redoublement cool down (i.e. always be casting). Corps-a-corps followed by Engagement are your bread and butter. Both should be used before Manafication, for this resets the cooldown on both skills, as well as that of Displacement (Lvl. 40).

Displacement does the same damage as Engagement as of Endwalker, but isn’t always useful (except as one of the funniest moves in FFXIV). Whereas Engagement is just a decent oGCD melee attack, Displacement launches your Red Mage backwards — away from the hitbox of whatever you’re targeting. It’s mostly known for launching players off cliffs. To their deaths.

Anyway, the first three melee skills drain a total of 50 White and Black Mana from the Balance Gauge. Verholy, Scorch, and Resolution then immediately start to refill it. Verholy will add 11 Black Mana while Scorch and Resolution raise both bars by four mana each. You should still have a Verfire proc from before starting the melee combo, so cast that to get a Dualcast buff. Then, launch Verthunder since your Black Mana is lower. There’s also the Verstone proc from Verholy, so use that next to load another Dualcast in the chamber.

When all is said and done, you’ll get yet another five White and Black Mana from Verstone and Verfire, plus the six from Verthunder. This should ultimately leave you with 41 White and 43 Black Mana.

Acceleration actually has two charges circa Endwalker, as well. That means you can start the entire process over again with another Acceleration combo immediately after your melee finisher. Only this time, you can skip Jolt II and instead use the Dualcast buff received from the final Verstone to go straight into Veraero.

This second Acceleration combo will add up to 65 White Mana and 68 Black Mana — enough to the melee finisher listed above, once again, just seconds after the first. The only difference is that you need to use Verholy instead of Verflare since your Black Mana will be higher than your White Mana this time.

Other Actions for the Red Faction

Next, we have some utility skills. Specifically, these are mostly Role Actions shared by all DPS casting jobs. Nothing here is too terribly special for Red Mage, unfortunately, but they’re still helpful in a pinch.

Addle (Lvl. 8) reduces your target’s Intelligence and Mind stats for a short time. In the case of Red Mage, that just means your target will do less magic damage for the duration. Good for activating right before a raidwide AoE, but not much else.

Red Mage already has an infinitely rolling “Swiftcast” in the form of Dualcast, so Swiftcast (Lvl. 18) isn’t the most exciting skill on the Job. It does, however, let you cast Veraero III or Verthunder III without casting Jolt II. That makes for a small DPS gain every time you use it. Otherwise, you can save it for an emergency Verraise if you need to revive someone immediately or fall exceptionally low on mana.

Lucid Dreaming (Lvl. 24) is the reason you probably won’t fall exceptionally low on mana. Red Mage isn’t much of a mana hog to begin with, but this oGCD Role Action restores MP over the course of 21 seconds. Use this if you drop below 70 percent MP and whenever else you might need.

Surecast (Lvl. 44) is a Role Action that keeps you from getting pushed around the arena, even while channeling a spell. It’s primarily used in Savage raiding.

Magick Barrier (Lvl. 86) is one of only two truly new skills for Red Mage at the launch of Endwalker. This barrier is pretty straightforward. It makes nearby allies take less damage and get healed for more over the course of 10 seconds. Less mechanically, it also helps the Red Mage fit its “mage of all trades” flavor just a tiny bit better.

General Best Practices

Pre-pull: Hardcast Veraero III or Verthunder III. If you’re in a serious party, prime yourself with Acceleration first and time it so the attack spell starts channeling five seconds before the Tank pulls. This lets you skip casting Jolt II, as mentioned above, while ensuring a smooth few procs of Verstone and Verfire right out of the gate.

Also remember that, outside of dodging mechanics, nothing says a Red Mage can’t cast at point blank range. You can use Corps-a-corps and Engagement and continue firing spells at a boss without moving (and thereby losing DPS). You usually want to use both melee oGCDs before Manafication since it resets their cooldowns, before weaving Corps-a-corps and Engagement into the melee combo.

Speaking of Manafication, there’s rarely a good reason not to use it as soon as possible — like, as soon as it’s off cooldown — and then immediately follow it with a melee combo. Thanks to Endwalker changes, the skill all but guarantees said melee combo, which all but guarantees a finisher, which generates more total White and Black Mana to start the whole process over. Simple!

By the way: The buff portion of Manafication is best used on your melee combo and finisher since those are your most damaging skills. Unless you’re somehow already well over 50|50 on the Balance Gauge and can safely use a melee combo immediately, get Manafication cooling back down for its next use.

As for your melee combos, Endwalker ensures they should always result in a finisher. All “Enchanted” skills sans Enchanted Reprise now generate pips on your Balance Gauge called “Mana Stacks.” Once you hit the maximum of three, you can fire off Verholy or Verflare at any time. You typically want to do this right away, so as not to accidentally overcap on Mana Stacks. However, this means you can time your finisher (Verholy / Verflare → Scorch → Resolution) more freely. It’s a good move for when you know the boss is about to become untargetable.

These finishing skills are instant. That’s obviously not true for the entire Red Mage suite of skills! And an important thing to note about channeling abilities is that you cannot weave oGCDs while they’re casting. Thanks to Dualcast, though, you have far more windows to weave skills like Fleche. Make use of them if you can.

Given the expanding length of the Red Mage combo, however, it’s very difficult to stretch Shadowbringers era openers over the entire duration. It’s been common to pop a potion, Embolden, two uses of Fleche, Manafication, your entire melee/finisher combo, and more under one buff window. With Resolution, something has to give in those opening moments. But during the fight, try to make sure the Embolden and Manafication buffs encompass your super-combo: starting with Enchanted Riposte and ending with Resolution.

Finally, “slidecasting” is the act of moving your character right as a spell is about to finish channeling. It’s a required skill for all magic Jobs. Not only does it maximize your damage and healing output, it also allows you to reposition without sacrificing an action (which would normally create unwanted downtime).

In order to slidecast, simply start casting a spell. Then, before the channeling bar reaches the end (e.g. when it’s about 90 percent full or shows about 0.5 seconds left on the timer), move your character! The spell will fire while you move without canceling out. You might need to practice the timing to get it just right, however.

Speaking of movement… Try not to flip off any ledges with Displacement.

Resurrection Priorities

In group play, you might need to pick up the healers’ slack and Verraise your teammates. The general order is:

Tanks → fellow healers → Red Mages or Summoners (who also have resurrection skills) → everyone else.

Tanks often have solo-healing and mitigation abilities they can spend to stay alive while you get your fellow healer up. Even more importantly: Their primary job is to take hits from enemies so the rest of the group doesn’t, making them the priority. Bosses that take 30 seconds to kill a tank might one-hit-kill a Black Mage or Bard. You need the breathing room more than a second healer in the heat of the moment.

Fellow Red Mages and Summoners should then be Verraised before other DPS classes since they also have the ability to Raise (and heal) in a pinch.

Red Mage Stat Priorities

Red Mages don’t get too fancy with stat priorities. They are generally:

Critical Hit > Direct Hit Rate > Determination > Spell Speed.

Critical Hit is king by virtue of increasing its own frequency and damage. It also affects heals, which is pretty negligible for Red Mages but certainly doesn’t hurt. Direct Hit Rate adds more damage, but not as much. Determination also adds more damage, alongside a tiny bit of healing, but even less than the previous stat. Finally, spell speed just increases the rate at which you channel spells and how quickly they come off cooldown. You just want to add as much as you feel comfortable with, as too much speed can cause “clipping” when you try to weave oGCD skills like Fleche and Contre Six.

The best food and potions to use change with the tides (i.e. new recipes with each patch and what you can afford from the market board or make yourself). But anything with Intelligence and that all-important Critical Hit tops the charts for Red Mage.

Magic DPS classes like dealing magic damage over anything else, though. In FFXIV, that means Intelligence for your potions. By the end of Shadowbringers, the most potent concoction for this Job is a Grade 4 Tincture of Intelligence.

Final Thoughts

Red Mages look fancy as they flip about and as you describe the seemingly endless combos they create, but give them a try. You’ll quickly find they’re one of the easiest FFXIV Jobs to play in actual practice. On the bright side, that makes them great, uh, practice! If you’re new to magic classes and need a place to start, this is pretty much the best spot. And on top of it all, you can save a party member or three with a perfectly timed Verraise.

Best of luck, you flippy little weirdos!

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Steven Strom

Senior Managing Editor of Fanbyte. Everyone else at the site should listen to their recommendations sooner, honestly.

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