Dancer 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 Dancer DPS in Final Fantasy XIV: Endwalker (Patch 6.4).
Dancer Rotation Guide
This page will cover the basic rotation for Dancer at level 90. At its core, Dancer revolves around dealing with its proc-based combo system, intelligent usage of its resource systems, and using its powerful Standard Step on cooldown. The job also boasts a plethora of raid buffs, both raid-wide and single target, that when used appropriately allow your party members to deal a devastating amount of damage.
It is important to take note that Dancer is effectively a support job. As far as DPS jobs are concerned, it offers the most healing support out of any of them. While it also does the least personal damage out of all of the three physical ranged jobs, the amount of damage it gives to the party through Technical Step, Closed Position, and Devilment is enough to make it a competitive choice in raid content.
If you're not a fan of text guides, Julia Care has made a great video guide that outlines everything on this page. Julia is a member of The Balance community and provides content for all three Physical Ranged jobs.
The Basics of Dancing
The main gimmick of playing Dancer is their ability to "Partner" a party member and provide them with a massive amount of single target buffs. The single target buffs include Devilment and the shared buff portion of Standard Step that is granted by using the dance while under the effect of Closed Position. Due to the fact Dancer has the lowest personal damage out of all of the DPS jobs in the game, it is prudent you keep your raid buffs aligned with not only your Dance Partner, but also your party as a whole.
Who you decide to be your Dance Partner should be based on each individual job's rotation (some jobs are more bursty than others in buff windows and benefit more so than others), but also on a player's ability to perform well. While there is a generalized Dance Partner priority (we will discuss this later), it is important to Partner a player who is performing well and the person who will best utilize your unique raid buffs.
Dancer Single Target Rotational Structure
Due to the randomness of the combo system, Dancer does not have a set rotation. The rotation is a combination of long-timer cooldown GCDs, resource management, and combo actions used as filler.
For the filler portion, there is a 50% chance each time either Fountain or Cascade is used that they will generate a proc (Silken Flow and Silken Symmetry, respectfully) that allows usage of either Fountainfall or Reverse Cascade.
Standard Step, Technical Step, Devilment, and Flourish are the four portions of the rotation that are, for the most part, immovable in their placement. Their position in the rotation is dictated by where they are placed in the opener. There is a small exception to this, but we will get into that a bit later.
Technical Finish, Devilment, and Flourish also come with their own procs in the form of Tillana, Starfall Dance, and Fan Dance IV. These actions are part of your burst window and should be used within raid buffs to reach their maximum potential.
Flourish procs your Flourishing Flow and Flourishing Symmetry buffs, which act in the same way as their Silken counterparts, but avoid overwriting them.
The final aspect of the rotation is going to be your resources: Esprit and Fourfold Feathers.
Esprit is generated every time Dancer uses a combo action (five for Cascade/ Fountain and ten for Reverse Cascade/ Fountainfall). There is also a chance for 10 Esprit generation from anyone under the effect of Esprit every time they use a weaponskill or spell. This effect is either triggered by having Dance Partner while under the effect of Standard Finish or party members under the effect of Technical Finish. The Esprit, once you have collected 50 of it, can then be used on the action Saber Dance.
Fourfold Feathers have a 50% chance of being generated by using either Cascade or Fountain. This resource can then be spent on Fan Dance which, again, has a 50% chance to proc another ability called Fan Dance III. Using Flourish will also generate the proc on Fan Dance III.
Both of these resources can be held slightly for raid buff windows, but they should never be allowed to overcap. Esprit caps at 100 gauge while the Feathers cap at four.
To summarize and simplify...
- Cascade → Reverse Cascade
- Fountain → Fountainfall
- Technical Finish → Tillana
- Devilment → Starfall Dance
- Flourish → Fan Dance IV
- Reverse Cascade/ Fountainfall → Fan Dance → Fan Dance III
Considering everything we just discussed, putting it together to form an opener looks like this:
- -15.5s Prepull Standard Step
- -1.5s Prepull Grade 6 Tincture of Dexterity
- Standard Finish
- Technical Step
- Technical Finish → Devilment
- Starfall Dance → Flourish + Fan Dance III
- Tillana → Fan Dance IV
- Saber Dance OR Fountainfall → possible Fan Dance + Fan Dance III
- Standard Step
- Standard Finish
Dance Partner Priority
Listed below is a rough order of who to Dance Partner, from best to worst. Things to keep in mind; This listing is assuming the same gear and same skill level when being compared. It is also removing the consideration that certain fight mechanics and/or downtime will affect certain jobs' ability to perform their rotation, or may give another job an advantage. The order is as follows:
Samurai → Ninja → Reaper/Monk → Dragoon → Black Mage/Red Mage → Summoner → Machinist → Bard → Dancer
The Dance Partner Calculator can be used to determine who the best Dance Partner was in any given Standard Step window. Simply link your log into it and get results!
Skill Speed Considerations
At a base Skill Speed of 2.50, Dancer's full rotation is 121 seconds long. Due to the GCD recast speed on Tillana (1.5 seconds), the rotation will not loop perfectly. This can be an issue for a few reasons. The most important being your raid buff alignment. With Technical Step being 120 seconds, this creates a problem of drift where you will just delay your own burst further the longer a fight lasts. There is also Standard Step's 30-second cooldown. Because of Tillana, this dance does not line up perfectly anymore. The slight drift on Standard Step gives us two options; allow the dance to drift slightly, or "clip" the dance (do nothing, essentially and wait for the dance to come off cooldown) before it is ready to be pressed again.
To smooth these problems out, we add a small amount of Skill Speed into our stat distribution to reach a GCD of 2.47. This not only forces Dancer rotation to be much closer to 120 seconds, but it also solves our Standard Step issue -- you allow it to drift slightly in favor of a combo action. Clipping becomes too much of a loss at this point. The increased speed comes with the added benefits that you have a much easier time getting an eighth GCD under your own Standard Finish buff, and there is a bit more wiggle room for carrying combo procs through burst windows without fear of your combo dropping. 2.50 gearsets are still a viable option, especially in encounters without full uptime or where delayed buff windows are planned out by your group.
Dancer AoE Rotational Structure
The AoE combo actions keep the randomness that the single target rotation has. You will manage the same cooldowns and resources as you do in the single target rotation, but your combo actions and procs will be replaced with the AoE versions.
Your combo actions for AoE when there are three targets or more are Windmill and Bladeshower. These will proc the same Silken Flow and Silken Symmetry buffs that the single target action combos give you, but for AoE, you will spend them on two different GCDs. These are Rising Windmill and Bloodshower.
In addition to the change in what you spend your filler procs on, instead of using your Fourfold Feathers on Fan Dance, you will spend them on Fan Dance II instead of starting at two targets.
The usage of your other cooldowns will be similar to a single target rotation. You will spend Esprit on Saber Dance, but you will spend your Flourish procs on the AoE combo actions. Standard Step and Technical Step will be used on cooldown.
Being a support job, Dancer has a ton of utility they bring to the party. During an encounter, you will want to make sure you use these abilities to help out and support your party.
In addition to the support buffs already mentioned ( Closed Position, Standard Finish, Technical Finish, and Devilment), Dancer also has an AoE mitigation like the other physical ranged jobs in the form of Shield Samba. Keep in mind, Shield Samba will not stack with its counterparts, Tactician, and Troubadour. What sets Dancer apart from the other physical ranged is the healing tools at their disposal. Using them helps take the burden off of your party members while costing you nothing.
The first of these is Curing Waltz, an AoE heal that originates on yourself and your Dance Partner chosen by Closed Position. This powerful healing oGCD will heal any allies near you or your partner. Curing Waltz will heal the party twice if everyone is stacked with both you and your partner.
The other healing ability is Improvisation. This ability will heal all nearby allies with a small regen, and for every three seconds you are using it, you will gain a stack of Rising Rhythm. These stacks will then be used on Improvised Finish, which will give all nearby allies a barrier. This barrier will gain strength based on the number of Rising Rhythm stacks you have. It is important to note that Improvisation will be canceled upon the execution of any other action. It is worth weaving Improvised Finish solely for the regen, but outside of fight downtime, waiting for the stacks of Rising Rhythm is not worth it.
- 25 May 2023: Updated for Patch 6.4.
- 11 Jan. 2023: Updated for Patch 6.3.
- 26 Aug. 2022: Updated for Patch 6.2.
- 20 Apr. 2022: Updated for Patch 6.1.
- 21 Feb. 2022: Guide added.
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