Final Fantasy XIV: Stormblood Preview

Red Mage

Red Mage, the traditional Final Fantasy “jack of all trades, master of none”, comes to FFXIV with familiar style and grace, but a new-found speed. At first level RDM gains a trait called Dualcast. This allows them to cast any spell with a cast time instantly after previously casting a spell with a cast time allowing them to cram two spells in one normal GCD time period. The results of which are a very fun and rhythmic flow, and some interesting rotational complexity.

Red Mage has access to both black and white magic in the form of familiar spells with a new prefix ‘Ver’. Veraero and Verthunder are twin 5 second cast time 300 potency attacks that raise white and black mana respectively, by 11. 5 Seconds is a heck of a long time to be casting, but here is where we find the first interaction of dualcast on the rotation. Jolt and Jolt II are 2 second cast spells that raise black and white mana by 3. By casting a quick Jolt, then casting Veraero or Verthunder you will cast both spells within a GCD, using Jolt in this way seems to be the intended coupling. Two other spells Verstone and Verfire, both 2 second casts and both raising their respective mana by 9 are only available when you proc Verstone/Verfire ready after casting Veraero/Verthunder. This is how we find the normal rotation for RDM, cycling through a fast cast spell to a longer one that is instantly cast.

Red Mage is all about balance. Their Job Gauge tracks how much Black or White mana you have gained from casting the respective types of magic. The trick here is that this gauge directly powers your melee abilities, and until you have enough of both, you are stuck with lesser versions of each. The three melee weaponskills; Riposte, Zwerchhau, and Redoublement combine for a potency of 510, however if you have at least 80 of both mana you will instead do the “Enchanted” version of each weaponskill, which combine for (tent) 930 potency, nearly doubling the power. Because your melee abilities are fueled by mana you will need to build using your spell rotation before laying down the hurt.

The last portion of the rotation concerns RDM’s two nukes Verflare and Verholy. They can only be used after casting Enchanted Redoublement. Their place in the main rotation is as the end cap after building mana and striking in melee range, you will burst with one of these two 550 potency spells. Once you do, however, you will be imbalanced as whichever you used will add 21 to its’ type of mana. With your rotation reset, you will have to deal with that imbalance as you start again.

Red Mage brings some group synergy with Embolden a 20% magic damage self-buff with a 10% physical damage buff to all those around the RDM though, both of these effects decay by a fifth every 4 seconds. At first, it seems weird that RDM can only buff half of its’ own damage, however the tooltips for each melee skill say that they deal “Unaspected” damage and are likely treated as magic! Red Mage also brings utility in the fact that it can cure with the same potency as Summoner’s Physic with Vercure and even raise with Verraise.

It seems like Red Mage will be an easy swap in for Summoner in statics that had one. The only suspect area of its’ kit is the AoE which traditionally is the purview of the caster slot. They have Scatter, a fast casting 100 potency spell that gains 3 black and white mana normally, and is enhanced to 8 of both due to a proc called Enhanced Scatter. Moulinet is their AoE weaponskill that deals 60 potency unless you have more than 30 of both mana, in which case it is upgraded to Enchanted Moulinet, the potency of which, we are not sure of yet. Lastly, they gain a 300 potency off-GCD spell called Contre Sixte, although it has a hefty 45 second cooldown. All this together will definitely put Red Mage ahead of most Melee in AoE damage, but it may fall slightly short versus the other Caster options. We’ll have to see the numbers in practice. Though if things pan out, we’ll be able to remove that “Master of None” part of their description.

Go Next to see Black Mage in action

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