Final Fantasy XIV: Stormblood Preview

Black Mage

Black Mage, like its fellow caster Summoner, was left out in the colds of Coerthas for Heavensward. The prevalent meta composition eschewed casters for Ranged DPS with more synergistic group buffs. Black Mage also had a huge jump in complexity with the introduction of Enochian. With all of the movement and invulnerability phases in harder content, a giant rift was created between average Black mages, and those that could manage it all. In order to fix this, Stormblood adds some mobility options, including an awesome cooldown, and a fun teleportation spell, while further emphasizing the Black Mage’s deepening mastery of the darker side of magic.

Let’s talk about that Job UI first. Black Mage has the busiest UI however it will be easy for long time Black Mages to understand after watching it in action. First off, there are Red and Blue pips for your stacks of Astral Fire and Umbral Ice around the center ring. On the right side is a graphic that ticks down according to your Enochian timer, which I will explain later. And at the bottom are your current Umbral Hearts. Umbral Hearts are obtained by casting Blizzard IV. These hearts reduce the cost of your next spell that is affected by Astral Fire to their normal MP cost. This gives you so many more casts of Fire IV in the long run, as they all are reduced to their base cost of 1200 MP. Flare also benefits from Umbral Hearts. A trait after level 60 allows you to use all of your remaining hearts to decrease Flare’s cost by 2/3rds so it will only take a third of your remaining mana when you cast it.

The developers mentioned that they wanted to change Enochian to help bridge the gap between skilled and lesser skilled players. So what happened? Enochian is now a 5% magic damage buff that is maintained by keeping either Astral Fire, or Umbral Ice up. In fact, you can only initiate Enochian while already under those effects. This means that as long as you don’t drop either buff you will always have Enochian’s buff. Now, for those with more skill, keeping Enochian up for 30 seconds grants a buff called Polyglot which allows you to cast a new spell. Foul is an AoE spell shown in the Job Ability trailer, that delivers a 650-potency attack to one enemy and then 10% less for each other enemy affected until it drops to 325 potency to everything after the fifth target.

Black Mage also receives new cooldowns and more new spells. The first of which is Between the Lines, a spell like Aetherial Manipulation that teleports the caster to their ley lines on a 3 second cooldown. This will have a skilled Black Mage zipping around, Aetherial Manipulating to their party members for mechanics and quickly returning to ley lines for continued exploding.

Next, Black Mage gets an AoE DoT in the form of Thunder IV, which replaces Thunder II which has been made an AoE as well. Thunder IV is 50 potency, and leaves a 30 potency DoT on every enemy hit for 18 seconds and yes, it does proc thundercloud. Up next is the 90 second cooldown Triplecast which makes the next three casts have no cast time as long as you cast all three within its’ duration of 15 seconds. This is perhaps the most exciting new ability as it will help immensely with movement. Being able to continue up to 3 casts of your rotation while navigating hazards will be invaluable. Lastly, I want to mention that Manawall and Manaward have been combined into the new Manaward spell. Manaward now negates damage up to 30% of the caster’s maximum HP. Black Mages have had their kit streamlined and the developers have answered most of the player’s concerns. Go forth and explode!

Go Next to see Summoner in action

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