Dark Knight Tank DPS Melding, Stat Priority, and Consumables — Endwalker 6.4
On this page, you will find the best melding choices and consumables, as well as the stat priority they are based on, for Dark Knight in Final Fantasy XIV: Endwalker (Patch 6.4).
Materia Melding, Stat Priority, and Consumables for Dark Knight
This section details the various substats and general priorities for deciding the optimal gear, materia melds, and consumable items for Dark Knight. You can find specific, pre-made gearsets at the Dark Knight Gear page.
Dark Knight Stat Priority
The priority for stats on Dark Knight is as follows:
- Defense and Vitality (while leveling)
- Weapon damage
- Critical Hit
- Direct Hit
- Skill Speed
Comparing the value of different pieces is usually not difficult, though there are some nuances to be aware of.
While in the process of leveling, be aware of what kind of gear you are wearing; many low-level pieces are intended for DPS jobs and have correspondingly low defense, but can still be worn by tanks. Do not blindly trust the "Recommended Gear" button on your character menu, as it does not always properly prioritize Defense.
Both Strength and Weapon Damage scale up predictably with item level. Because of the high priority of these stats, higher-level armor and accessories are usually better than lower-level equivalents, and higher-level weapons nearly always are. At endgame, secondary stats are typically only worth looking at for armor pieces and accessories if the gap between two pieces is about ten item levels or fewer. While leveling or when choosing between weapons, higher item level is better almost without exception.
Critical Hit, Direct Hit, Determination, and Tenacity all directly increase your damage in some way. Of these four, Critical Hit is the most desirable because it increases both the frequency and damage of your criticals. This dual scaling also means that each point of Critical Hit is more powerful than the last. As such, there is no cap on how much of the stat you want. Optimized sets usually have maximum Critical Hit on most, if not all, pieces.
Direct Hit adds a chance of dealing 25% more damage on a given attack. This bonus damage stacks multiplicatively with critical hits, making Direct Hit an attractive stat. Because tank gear past level 60 cannot naturally roll it, you will usually want to meld Direct Hit into any materia slot not already filled with Skill Speed or Critical Hit.
Determination is a simple multiplier on all damage dealt and healing done by you. While it has been buffed slightly in Endwalker, it remains less desirable for Dark Knight than Critical Hit or Direct Hit. However, it is not a weak stat by any means and is often the second-best stat to have on a given piece of gear.
Tenacity increases your damage and healing in the same manner as Determination, and also offers a matching amount of passive damage reduction. While this sounds strong on paper, Tenacity is your last priority in most cases because it scales about 30% more slowly than Determination and the damage reduction rarely makes the difference between life and death. Still, the presence of Tenacity does not ruin a piece of gear, and it can have some utility while leveling where incoming damage is less predictable and survival is more important than damage output.
Skill Speed is generally the least desirable stat, as the majority of a Dark Knight's damage comes from cooldown skills and passive regeneration that are unaffected by it. However, there are still times when melding Skill Speed can be desirable. GCD speeds of 2.40, 2.45, and 2.50 are particularly desirable because they divide evenly into intervals of 60 or 120 seconds. This means that most cooldowns used in the space between two GCDs will keep that alignment and can be used again immediately when they become available again. Skill Speed can be used to target those exact GCD speeds, or 0.01 seconds faster to add some room for error.
Consumables for Dark Knight
The best food for Dark Knight varies by situation. While leveling, any food will do for the 3% increased experience gain. At endgame, the choices are Baba Ghanoush or Baked Eggplant. Which one you use will depend on the specific gearset you are running; the former provides Critical Hit and Skill Speed, and is usually better for faster sets, and the latter provides Critical Hit and Determination, and is usually better for slower sets.
In addition to food, stat potions are important in situations where damage is a concern. The best stat potion currently available for Dark Knight is Grade 8 Tincture of Strength. If you are running sub-80 content such as The Unending Coil of Bahamut or The Weapon's Refrain, Tinctures of at least grade three or four, respectively, will provide the full benefit.
- 27 May 2023: Updated for Patch 6.4.
- 13 Jan. 2023: Updated for Patch 6.3.
- 28 Aug. 2022: Updated for Patch 6.2.
- 20 Apr. 2022: Updated for Patch 6.1
- 27 Nov. 2021: Guide added.
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