Black Mage PvP Guide for FFXIV
This page contains an overview to Black Mage in the PvP mode 'Crystalline Conflict' for FFXIV. Below you will find information on the strengths and weaknesses of Black Mage as well as how their rotation interacts in this 5v5 game mode.
Crystalline Conflict Black Mage Overview
The PvP rework in Patch 6.1 saw a complete overhaul of the small-scale PvP battle mode. Along with the introduction of Cystalline Conflict, there was also a full rework of every job's kit. Black Mage is a high damage magical ranged job which excels in AoE damage and also offers good crowd control.
This document will mainly focus on the new Crystalline Conflict mode, so while portions of it may apply to other PvP game modes, it is intended to apply to Crystalline Conflict.
Basic Combat Interaction
The core gameplay of Black Mage has you build up stacks using either youror combo to build up stacks of Astral Warmth or Umbral Freeze before using for damage and debuffs. Your basic casts all have cast times, and as a result, staying at a distance and out of enemy crowd control and zoning tools as much as possible is ideal.
Your basic combos stem from theand spells. The damage dealt by them are both exactly the same and they do not combo into one another, so there is no requirement to use both or swap between them when in combat. The final hit of your combo, or are AoE, dealing a large 12,000 damage to your target and 8000 damage to anyone nearby.
Each hit of your Blizzard combo will apply one stack of Umbral Freeze to the target and grant you a stack of Umbral Ice, while each hit of your Fire combo will apply one stack of Astral Warmth and grant you one stack of Astral Fire. Each stack of Astral Fire and Umbral Ice grant you access to the next hit of your combo as well as cancel the cast time of the opposite element spell. The removed cast time from opposite element spells granted by Astral Fire and Umbral Ice can be useful if you are forced to move or kite, as it means you can keep dealing damage uninterrupted albeit with only your weak combo starters.
The remaining damaging spells at Black Mage's disposal are not attached to their combos and are instead tied to their own cooldowns or resources. The first of these,, is a powerful 16,000 damage AoE centered around yourself that also grants a 12,000 HP shield on a 20-second cooldown. This is both a useful survival tool as well as offering a high amount of damage, especially when paired up with the Swiftcast buff. The second of these spells, , is an instant cast 8000 damage single-target spell that is on a 15-second cooldown. More notably, it increases any stacks of Astral Warmth or Umbral Freeze on the target up to a maximum of three, the importance of which will be covered in the next section. The final of these spells, , is a powerful instant cast ranged spell dealing 16,000 damage to all targets. It can only be used under the effects of Polyglot, granted by Black Mage's Limit Break.
Black Mage also has a couple of non-damaging abilities in its toolkit.is a gap closer that targets both enemies and allies. In addition, it also grants the Swiftcast buff when used, removing the cast time from the next spell you use. Much like Burst, Aetherial Manipulation is a tool that can be both offensively and defensively as it enables you to frontload damage, which can be the difference between scoring a KO or not. It is useful to note that Aetherial Manipulation can also be targeted on yourself, allowing you to gain the Swiftcast buff without needing to change your position. If you want the Swiftcast buff but do not wish to switch target or move, then using the following self-targeting macro is a huge benefit:
/merror off /micon "Aetherial Manipulation" PvPaction /PvPac "Aetherial Manipulation" <me>
The second of these utility skills is, an AoE crowd control ability that applies a 3-second debuff, Half-asleep, to the target and any other opponents nearby. When this debuff times out, Sleep is applied, another 3-second debuff that prevents action for its duration. Any attacks that hit targets afflicted with Sleep will gain an extra 8000 potency, but will also wake up the target.
Astral Warmth and Umbral Freeze
The most important part of your Fire and Ice combos are the stacking Astral Warmth and Umbral Freeze debuffs they apply to their target. Note that only one stack of the Astral Warmth or Umbral Freeze debuff is applied at a time by each combo, whether that is your first, second, or third spell in the combo. Casting the opposite element combo when you already have stacks of one element built up on a target will remove all of their pre-existing stacks.
Another key tool in your kit for building up these stacks quickly on your target is. Paradox is an instant cast spell with a 15-second cooldown that deals 8000 damage as well as increases the target's stacks of Astral Warmth or Umbral Freeze to three. The target must already have at least one stack of Astral Warmth or Umbral Freeze on them when Paradox is used for their stacks to be increased to three.
is a massive 30-yalm instant-cast AoE originating from the caster. It has a 15-second cooldown and stacks up to two charges. Its potency and debuff inflicted will depend upon the number of Astral Warmth or Umbral Freeze stacks upon each target. Superflare will deal 3000, 6000, or 9000 damage with one, two, and three stacks of Astral Warmth of Umbral Freeze.
- At one stack, Umbral Freeze will apply a 2-second Heavy debuff, reducing movement speed.
- At two stacks, Umbral Freeze will apply a 2-second Bind debuff, preventing movement completely.
- At three stacks, Umbral Freeze will apply a 2-second Deep Freeze debuff, preventing all actions except .
Astral Warmth will grant a 6-second 3000 potency damage over time, with the damage over time increasing to 9 and 12 seconds at two and three stacks of Astral Warmth. The potency of the damage over time does not increase with Astral Warmth stacks. Superflare will miss any enemies without Astral Warmth or Umbral Freeze stacks upon them even if they are in range. It is important to note that following the 6.11 patch, Superflare can not be line-of-sighted, so it is excellent for picking off enemies that have stacks built up on them but have fled behind a wall.
Black Mage's Limit Break is. It has a fast 60-second recast and grants three buffs when used, as well as reducing the cooldown on by 15 seconds. The first of these buffs, Soul Resonance, has six stacks upgrading to and to , and it also removes the cast time on them. The second of these buffs, Polyglot, allows you use , a powerful instance-cast AoE attack. The final one of these, Apocatastasis, reduces damage taken by 10% for 15 seconds, aiding survivability. Due to the many benefits your Limit Break grants and taking into consideration that the cast of the Limit Break itself does no damage, it is important to use it proactively rather than reactively. Unless you know that you have a very high chance of dying before you can utilize its benefits, you are best using it as soon as it is available.
While Black Mage primarily excels in PvP with its AoE damage, it still has some noticeable options for single-target burst damage. One of the best options is as follows, dealing 33,000 damage over a span of approximately three seconds.
Either Blizzard or Fire work as your starting spell, and you should choose based on if you need the crowd control or a bit of extra damage. While it is not enough to kill a target from full on your own, even light coordinated burst from your teammates will allow you to quickly burn down a target. It is important to note that becauseis centered around you, this does require you to be in close range of your target, making it important to evaluate the danger of getting close to your target. If you have Polyglot left over from using Soul Resonance recently, then you can replace Aetherial Manipulation and Burst with the instant-cast Foul, dealing the same total damage but safely from a range.
- 18 Jul. 2022: Guide added.
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