Final Fantasy XIV: Stormblood Preview

SAM – You’ll need to study the blade

 

Samurai is here! As shown in the live letter stream and Job trailer, Samurai is a stylish DPS with a unique battle flow. What wasn’t shown is that they hit like a 10-ton truck, have very interesting optimization options and are the most selfish Job we’ve had so far.

Samurai has two unique resources. The first, Sen, are three tokens used to power a weaponskill called Iaijutsu. Depending on the number of Sen you have, casting Iaijutsu will use a different skill. 1 allows you to use Higanbana, a 60 second, 35 potency DoT with an immediate 240 potency hit. 2 Sen casts Tenka Goken a circular AoE with 360 potency but scaling akin to flare or holy. 3 Sen allows you to use Midare Setsugekka – a 720 potency attack that makes Fell cleave seem like angrily bashing someone with a pool noodle.

The second resource is your Kenki (Keniki) gauge. This is charged by most weaponskills and powers a sub set of moves all beginning with Hissatsu (certain kill). These consist of things like your gap closer, Hissatsu: Gyoten and, the disengage Hissatsu: Yaten that both deal 100 potency and cost 10 Kenki. Hissatsu: Kyuten is an off-GCD AoE at a potency of 150 and a cost of 25 Kenki that you will be weaving into the AoE rotation. Hissatsu: Shinten, is an off-GCD 300 potency attack that costs 25 Kenki but has a really short recast of 1 second probably meant to be weaved in to your rotation as a way to keep from capping Kenki. Hissatsu: Kaiten is a buff that increases the potency of your next weaponskill by an astonishing 150%. Yeah, you read that right. This would increase the potency of Midare Setsugekka to over 1000, and should boost the damage of your DoT, Higanbana as well. This ability costs 20 Kenki, and has a 5 second recast so you can bet that any time you plan on using either of those Sen attacks, you will be using this. Finally, we have Hissatsu: Gurren an AoE attack that costs 50 kenki, but for that you will be using the highest potency attack in the game at a hilarious 800 potency.  It does scale with enemies hit however, 800 to the first, 600 to the second and only 400 to all others hit.

Samurai build Sen and Kenki by rotating through a series of weapon skills that start with Hakaze a rote 150 potency skill that branches into three combos, each building Kenki per hit and ending in an ability that gains one unique Sen. Because of this, you will need to perform each branch to gain all three Sen, gaining and spending Kenki along the way to utilize the Hissatsu skills mentioned earlier. Even Samurai’s AoE abilities build Kenki, and Sen, though there is one less branch to traverse as you are meant to use the 2 Sen spender Tenka Goken. Kenki, while usually generated by using the weaponskills in your combos, can also be generated during downtime by using Meditation, a once a minute ability that regenerates Kenki while not attacking. Ageha, an off-GCD 250 potency attack also has an interesting bonus for the Samurai. If you deal the killing blow to an enemy with this ability, it will generate 20 Kenki instead of its’ normal 10 which will probably be a boon in quick pulls or short AoE phases. Lastly, there is an ability that converts Sen to Kenki at 20 Kenki per Sen called Hagakure which can be used every 40 seconds. Balancing both resources while using every GCD to its’ full potential will be the mark of a good Samurai.

Samurai has a bit of utility in a damage reduction cooldown called Third Eye that dampens damage from one attack by 20% every 15 seconds. Even that branches into two abilities, one which allows you to heal yourself for 500 potency in Merciful Eyes or you could lash out with a 200 potency off-GCD strike at the cost of 25 Kenki. That’s about it… Notice something missing? Samurai has no party utility at all outside of the slashing debuff that it shares with Ninja and Warrior. Hopefully the raw damage that it deals will ensure Samurai a slot in your party. But, heck, even Monk had Mantra and Dragon kick…

Go Next to see Monk in action

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