Black Mage DPS Rotation, Openers, and Abilities — Endwalker 6.4
On this page, you will learn how to optimise your opener and rotation in both single-target and multi-target situations. We also cover the use of your cooldowns, to ensure you can achieve the best use of them every time as a Black Mage DPS in Final Fantasy XIV: Endwalker (Patch 6.4).
Black Mage Rotation Guide
This page covers the endgame rotation for Black Mage. The base rotation for Black Mage is fairly simple, structured around maintaining Astral Fire/Umbral Ice while using long, potent casts like Fire IV and Despair. The rotation has some flexibility which can be utilized in order to keep the Thunder III DoT up, use Xenoglossy as needed, and overall provide some level of leniency. As a Black Mage, your goal is to take advantage of this flexibility as well as other personal utility and resources to keep casting as much as possible amidst mechanics, making as few concessions to your rotation as possible.
Basic Black Mage Concepts/Resources
Below is an overview of various high-level concepts and resources utilized by Black Mage throughout the rotation.
Astral Fire/Umbral Ice
Astral Fire provides increased damage to all fire-aspected spells while doubling their MP cost. Ice-aspected spells have lowered potency and are free in Astral Fire. At three stacks of Astral Fire, ice-aspected spell cast times are reduced by half. Astral Fire halts regular MP recovery other than Manafont and Ethers. Below is a table displaying the effects of Astral Fire:
|Fire Spells||Ice Spells|
|MP cost||Damage||MP cost||Damage||Cast time|
Umbral Ice increases MP recovery while lowering the damage of fire-aspected spells. At three stacks of Umbral Ice, ice-aspected spells are free, and fire-aspected spell cast times are reduced by half. Below is a table detailing the effects of Umbral Ice:
|MP Recovery||Fire Spells||Ice Spells|
|MP cost||Damage||Cast time||MP cost|
|1 stack||3200 MP/tick||0x||0.9x||1x||0.75x|
|2 stacks||4700 MP/tick||0x||0.8x||1x||0.5x|
|3 stacks||6200 MP/tick||0x||0.7x||0.5x||0x|
Enochian grants a passive damage bonus while Astral Fire or Umbral Ice is active. Enochian remains active while switching between phases, and it is only lost when letting the Astral Fire or Umbral Ice timer run out. Maintaining Enochian for 30 seconds provides a charge of Polyglot, allowing for the use of Xenoglossy and Foul. Due to this, it is a high priority to maintain Enochian throughout your rotation, as well as during downtime.
Umbral Hearts are obtained in single-target by using Blizzard IV, during AoE via Freeze, and built up during downtime via Umbral Soul. Umbral Hearts negate the increased MP cost of fire-aspected spells (other than Flare/ Despair) in Astral Fire, using up one Umbral Heart per spell. Casting Flare with Umbral Hearts will use up all remaining hearts and lower the cost of Flare by a third.
Paradox replaces both Fire and Blizzard on your hotbars when conditions are met. It should be used in the middle of your Astral Fire phase to refresh the timer, as well as during Umbral Ice as a strong, instant cast spell. You can generate a charge of Paradox by swapping from Astral Fire III to Umbral Ice, as well as from Umbral Ice III with three Umbral Hearts back to Astral Fire.
The overall flow of the single-target rotation for Black Mage revolves around spending all of your MP in Astral Fire, ending in Despair, then switching over to Umbral Ice to recover MP. Since our main spell in Astral Fire, Fire IV, does not refresh Astral Fire, you must use Paradox in the middle of the phase to do so. This is how your base rotation should look:
- Blizzard III
- Blizzard IV
- Fire III
- Fire IV x3
- Fire IV x3
Instead of having a set place in the rotation, Thunder III should be used when the DoT is about to fall off on the target. Ideally, this is paired with Sharpcast every 30s in order to maintain the DoT with Thundercloud procs. Regardless of Spell Speed, there is extra room for two additional spells each Astral Fire cycle (one between the Fire III and Paradox, the other between the Paradox and Despair) which can be utilized to refresh Thunder even mid-Astral Fire without losing out on any Fire IV casts.
Like Thunder III, Xenoglossy does not have a set place in the rotation. Xenoglossy costs one Polyglot charge to cast and is your strongest spell, so it is vital to not miss uses in a fight. However, being able to hold onto two Polyglot stacks without overcapping allows flexibility in its use - since it is instant cast, it is useful for helping with movement, weaving abilities, and dumping excess charges under buffs. If not needed for anything specific, it should just be used before overcapping on Polyglot stacks, and all charges used up before the end of a fight.
Off-Global Cooldown Abilities
The off-global cooldown abilities for Black Mage do not directly deal damage or increase damage dealt. However, they increase the rate at which you can cast spells, as well as enable uptime while dealing with movement and mechanics. As a result, utilizing these abilities properly can have a large effect on your damage output.
Standing within your Ley Lines grants a buff that decreases both cast and recast time of all of your spells. Therefore, even instant-cast spells still gain benefit when used within Ley Lines, and there is no specific need to line it up with Astral Fire. Since you need to stay within your Ley Lines to benefit from them, timing and placement are important to consider to maximize your Ley Lines uptime in a given fight.
Black Mage has a few spells that have a longer cast time than recast - notably for single-target, Fire IV, and Despair. Since using Triplecast and Swiftcast removes the cast time for spells they are used on, you can gain a small amount of time with each Fire IV/Despair that you use them on. This will ultimately lead to more casts over the course of an encounter, so it is recommended to aim to maximize uses of both abilities in a fight. However, both of these abilities can also be used to keep casting uptime while moving. If using them in a given situation allows for extra casts that you would not get otherwise from using your other abilities, it can be worthwhile to plan for their use there, even if they do not end up on Fire IV/Despair.
Using Sharpcast grants a 30-second buff. Using Paradox in Astral Fire while the buff is active grants a Firestarter proc (free, instant cast Fire III), and using any thunder spell (including a proc) while Sharpcast is active grants a Thundercloud proc (refreshes Thunder DoT with extra on-hit potency). It is generally recommended to prioritize Sharpcast use with Thunder III - Sharpcast is a 30-second cooldown, the Thunder III DoT lasts for 30s, and a Thundercloud proc lasts for 40s, which means it is viable to guarantee maintaining the DoT completely via Thundercloud procs. However, if it is difficult/unviable to sharp Thunder in a given situation, it is still comparable to sharp Paradox instead.
Manafont can be used at the end of an Astral Fire cycle for an additional Fire IV and Despair for single-target, or an additional Flare for AoE.
Amplifier should be used approximately on cooldown to allow for maximum charges of Polyglot in a fight.
Aetherial Manipulation can be used to quickly move to a party member, which can be very useful when a longer-distance movement is required for a mechanic where a party member may already be in a good position.
Transpose can be used when ending uptime phases in Astral Fire in order to use Umbral Soul during downtime or as a last resort with low Astral Fire timer to prevent dropping Enochian.
Manaward provides a personal shield to help live through some damage, either planned for proactively for big hits or reactively used in the case of mistakes.
The general purpose opener for Black Mage, generally referred to as the "Fire III Opener," is listed below. You may choose to alter the opener slightly based on fight-specific requirements/alignment (e.g., prepull Ley Lines, Triplecast moved until after the first F4 to save one charge of Triplecast for movement, skipping the Xenoglossy, etc).
- Use Sharpcast around 12 seconds before pull
- Precast Fire III around 4 seconds before pull
- Thunder III → Triplecast
- Fire IV → Grade 8 Tincture of Intelligence
- Fire IV → Amplifier + Ley Lines
- Fire IV → Swiftcast
- Fire IV → Triplecast
- Despair → Manafont
- Fire IV → Sharpcast
- Blizzard III
- Blizzard IV
- Thunder III
The multi-target rotation is somewhat similar to the single-target rotation, with some filler spells cut out in favor of an additional Flare.
For two targets, use the general single-target rotation with the following substitutions:
- High Blizzard II instead of Blizzard III
- High Fire II instead of Fire III
- Flare instead of Despair if you can make it instant-cast
- Thunder III should be used on both targets ( Sharpcast is very useful for this)
Three or More Targets
- High Blizzard II
- Thunder IV
- High Fire II x3
- Flare x2
Consider skipping one of the High Fire II casts when using Triplecast to catch both Flare casts. Manafont has high value when used for a third Flare. Use Foul for movement/damage when available/needed.
- 27 May 2023: Updated for Patch 6.4.
- 11 Jan. 2023: Updated for Patch 6.3.
- 28 Aug. 2022: Updated for Patch 6.2.
- 20 Apr. 2022: Updated for Patch 6.1.
- 28 Feb. 2022: Guide added.
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