How To Improve As Ninja — Endwalker 6.4
On this page, we will show you some of the most common mistakes players make when playing as a Ninja DPS in Final Fantasy XIV: Endwalker (Patch 6.4).
Always Keep Your GCD Rolling
This is a very common thing for almost all players, regardless of what job they play. What this means is that you should always aim to have a gcd going while you do things. Any time that the gcd is not rolling is free damage that is just entirely lost. This means that you should not double weave if possible, unless you have very low ping to the point where it will not clip. For ninja specifically, this also means using your ranged attacks if you ever have to disconnect. Ideally you plan around the downtime by moving a Raiton or two out of Trick Attack and using them during the downtime. If this not possible or the downtime lasts longer than that, make sure you use Throwing Dagger to still be doing some damage at range.
This same concept also applies to positionals. While hitting every positional is optimal, if you are not able to get to the positional by the time the gcd is ready, do not wait to get in position for the positional before using the next attack. Positionals on Ninja are pretty irrelevant compared to gaining a use of an attack. And if absolutely necessary, you can always use True North to mitigate this.
Drifting Your oGCDs
Another very common mistake overall is people drifting their oGCDs. This often happens with Trick Attack and Bunshin because they need to be set up ahead of time, with Suiton and Ninki respectively. A huge portion of Ninja's damage is reliant on their oGCDs, so drifting them is very detrimental. The more you drift them, the more likely you are to lose uses, or put them entirely out of buffs, which is a huge loss because of the multiplicative nature of buffs. Unless you are planning around specific downtime or killtimes, you should avoid drifting as much as possible.
Trick Attack Window Bursts
Because of Ninja's high reliance on burst, making sure you do the right burst each time is vital. Every Trick Attack window should be very similar to how the opener Trick Attack window is. The only major difference each time should be whether you have Ten Chi Jin or not for that window. Oftentimes, players will force Ninjutsus earlier than necessary, which can often delay oGCDs like Dream Within a Dream or TCJ. And if you go the other way of holding your Ninjutsus too long, you end up overcapping them and potentially losing out on uses later on in a fight because of that, or pushing them outside of buffs. Make sure to plan out what you need to use when so that you do not lose damage in these windows, as they will make up a large portion of your damage in a fight.
Setting Up For Burst Too Early
It is a pretty common occurence to look at a log and see a Hyoton and be confused. This often occurs because people start preparing for the Trick Attack burst window too early. Suiton has a buff duration of 20 seconds, but Kassatsu only has a buff duration of 15 seconds. On top of this, you often want to use other attacks before casting Hyosho Ranryu, so you can often get into a situation where you use Kassatsu but the buff then falls off before you can cast Hyosho Ranryu. Ideally you should want to use Kassatsu at around 5 seconds before Trick Attack so that this never becomes an issue.
A similar issue also happens with Ninki. Optimally we go into Trick Attack with as much Ninki as possible so that we can cast the most amount of Ninki spenders as possible, but oftentimes people will go too far and overcap Ninki in order to do this. This is almost always a loss because of the chance of losing a usage of a Ninki spender by overcapping. Getting into Trick Attack with anything over 50 Ninki is perfectly acceptable, do not push for close to 100 unless you are very experienced and have the fight mapped out to make sure you dont lose out by doing that.
Tools Outside of Game to Improve
Outside of the game itself, there are a few ways to analyze your gameplay and improve.
The first of these that I recommend heavily is FFlogs. FFlogs is a website that lets you look into the logs you can get from Advanced Combat Tracker if you are using that, breaking down every skill you used and when. It also lets you see which buffs you put the attacks into, which is very important for us especially because of how bursty we are.
Another similar but more specialized tool is XIVAnalysis. XIVAnalysis is a website that lets you plug in a log from FFlogs and will give you back tips to improve what you did in that run. While this tool does not go into the more advanced rotations and optimizations, it can be a very helpful tool to a player newer to the job. All of the basics of your Trick Attack windows are in there, on top of most of the other things shown here.
- 27 May 2023: Reviewed for Patch 6.4.
- 11 Jan. 2023: Updated for Patch 6.3
- 29 Aug. 2022: Updated for Patch 6.2
- 20 Apr. 2022: Updated for Patch 6.1
- 17 Nov. 2021: Guide added.
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- Join Us Live on Twitch for the Icy Veins Podcast
- FFXIV PLL #74 Recap - 6.3 Live Letter Part 1
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