Final Fantasy XIV: Stormblood Preview

NIN – Like one of my Japanese Animes!

Ninja has seen some awesome changes over the course of Heavensward. Some ease of use, and some created fun rotational wrinkles. However, some like Dancing Edge and its’ slashing debuff, proved to be a thorn in its’ side, a mandatory button-press and a huge DPS loss if not present. With Stormblood, the time is right to condense some of the annoying and underutilized abilities and focus on what make a Ninja unique. To that end, Ninja has gained a new mudra enhancing cooldown, some new mobility buffs, and the ability to summon a giant frog. Believe it!

*Although the tool tip mentions the slashing debuff in relation to PvP, recent footage from the Live Letter showed this debuff proc in field areas.

First on the chopping block was Dancing Edge. Now, Shadow Fang also applies the Slashing Debuff and your one DoT. It is your only DoT as Mutilate is also out of here. Next up was the poisons, gone are the days of forgetting to put them on during a level synced instance! In their place are a couple of traits that give you the same percentage damage buff. This does mean that Jugulate will now always silence an enemy, and Mug loses the ability to drain HP. Ninja also loses Sneak Attack, as its’ usage was probably deemed to be to niche. Most of these changes are for the better, just pruning abilities and combining effects where it makes sense. This is all offset by the new features in Stormblood.

The major new addition that was shown during the Job Action trailer is Ninja’s Ninki Gauge that powers all of Ninja’s new abilities. A Ninja gains Ninki by landing auto-attacks and can gain 30 by using Mug, thanks to a new trait. Which adds even more importance to keeping Huton active.  The first of which is Hellfrog Medium, an instant cast ability which is a 400-potency AoE centered on your target that costs 80 Ninki. Depending on how Ninki generation works, this could be a great boon for the otherwise lack luster Ninja AoE. The second new ability is Bhavacakra, a 550-potency off-GCD attack that also costs 80 Ninki, with a 50 second cooldown. Bhavacakra gives Ninja much needed burst when compared with all of the new attacks the other Jobs are receiving.  The only problem is that as it uses the Ninki gauge, you can’t use it with this next ability.

Ten-Chi-Jin is the “Mudra leylines” ability shown in the Job ability trailer. It is an off-GCD with a 100 second cooldown that eliminates the consumption of mudras for Ninjutsu, while resetting the Ninjutsu cooldown. In better terms, it allows you to cast multiple mudra ninjutsu without having to wait on the cooldown. You can, for instance use Ten, cast a ninjutsu to activate Fuuma Shuriken, then use Chi, activate that to do Raiton (As you have now press Ten->Chi) and then finish it by using Jin, and casting Ninjutsu to use Suiton (Ten->Chi->Jin). Phew… It sounds complicated when you write it, but most ninja player will immediately understand it. This is a great boon as casting in that order would be 780 potency and set you up to use Trick attack immediately after. One question to think about is its’ interaction with Kassatsu, the ability to remove your ninjutsu cooldown and cause the next jutsu cast to be a crit. Does this expire on the first cast? Can it be held for that Raiton? We’ll just have to experiment. Ten-Chi-Jin seems like a great utilization of the ninja fantasy, casting jutsu at blistering speeds and with a multitude of different effects.

Go Next to see Tanks Role Actions & Jobs in action

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