Red Mage DPS DPS Melding, Stat Priority, and Consumables — Endwalker 6.5
On this page, you will find the best melding choices and consumables, as well as the stat priority they are based on, for Red Mage in Final Fantasy XIV: Endwalker (Patch 6.5).
Stat Priority for Red Mage
On Red Mage, our stat priority is as follows:
- Weapon Damage;
- Intelligence and Vitality;
- Critical Hit;
- Determination ≥ Direct Hit;
- Spell Speed.
Weapon Damage and Intelligence, our main stat, have the biggest impact on our damage. Substats have less of an impact, but they are also important. Vitality is also a main stat, but it is universal to all jobs, as it increases our HP.
Substats is where there are more variables at play. Note that in FFXIV, substats work in terms of "stat tiers," i.e. you don't actually gain damage per one point of each stat. Instead, we gain damage only when we hit certain values at regular intervals.
Critical Hit scales quadratically, as it boosts both critical chance and critical damage. Determination and Direct Hit scale linearly and provide a set % increase of damage in some form (flat damage and Direct Hit %, respectively).
As Red Mage, we usually avoid Spell Speed even if it lets us get more casts per minute because it does not affect large portions of our damage, including our oGCDs and parts of our melee combo, and it can also cause some misalignment in our rotation. With that said, Spell Speed is not a DPS loss in itself - it just provides less of an increase than Critical Hit, Determination, and Direct Hit do.
Skill Speed is almost entirely useless on Red Mage. Piety and Tenacity are healer and tank only stats, meaning they are irrelevant to us.
Materia Melds for Red Mage
A generally safe approach when gearing up is to meld Critical Hit wherever possible (i.e. it does not go past the gear piece's innate limit, which you will be given a warning about in game about). Following that, you can prioritize Determination, then Direct Hit.
Since Determination and Direct Hit are so close in DPS value, best-in-slot sets will sometimes meld Direct Hit over Determination to maximize value by hitting "stat tiers." The gains from doing so tend to be minor and time consuming to calculate, and it is not recommended until reaching best-in-slot, as changing even one piece of equipment can throw tiers into disarray.
The Impact of Spell Speed on Red Mage
Spell Speed reduces the recast time on our GCD spells, allowing us to cast more spells and generate a bit more mana through an encounter. However, there are two key reasons why we avoid Spell Speed if given the choice to equip Critical Hit, Determination, or Direct Hit instead:
- A large portion of our damage comes from damaging oGCDs and melee combo hits, which are unaffected by Spell Speed: , , , , , , and . Critical Hit, Determination, and Direct Hit boost the damage of all these abilities, making these stats more efficient.
- Too much Spell Speed can cause increasingly noticeable misalignment with our oGCDs. The generally accepted cutoff point for "too fast" is debatable, but it will usually be somewhere around 2.46 or faster. This is because we can only weave oGCDs during the instant cast portion of every two casts granted by . With all of our oGCDs having cooldowns in multiples of five (e.g. 25, 35, 110 seconds), it is helpful to keep our recast timer close to 2.5 seconds to avoid drift over time.
While a lot of Spell Speed can let us eventually do a couple more melee combos in an encounter depending on the length, this is not enough to compensate for what we lose from the factors mentioned above.
Weapon Damage dramatically increases our DPS, so we should always prioritize equipping weapons with a higher Weapon Damage stat. Following that, Intelligence is our main stat. With rare exceptions, items with higher item level will have more Intelligence.
We start to pay attention to substats when equipment is of an equal or very similar item level. In those scenarios, we prioritize the piece with more Critical Hit, followed by Determination and Direct Hit. Determination and Direct Hit are very close in terms of how they boost our DPS, so there is usually no need to worry about which one there is more of. The general rules are:
- Between equipment pieces of equal or 5 item levels, we do not take the piece with Spell Speed on it, even if it has Critical Hit.
- If the Spell Speed piece is 10 item levels higher, they are usually similar in terms of DPS output, with the risk of a slightly worse oGCD alignment but more HP from higher Vitality, making it a sidegrade.
- If the Spell Speed piece is 20 item levels or more higher, the piece with higher item level will be stronger in a vacuum and often recommended for progression. But since alignment issues will persist, it is still a situational choice depending on the content and other available pieces of gear.
There are occasional exceptions to these rules, but they tend to be rare and for niche optimization reasons.
Consumables for Red Mage
Potions are used to boost our damage output within a 30-second window. We always take the highest tier potion for our main stat, Intelligence. We can also use Vitality potions to boost our HP, but it is not optimal to do in most situations.
Food that boosts our damage and HP for a 30-minute to 45-minute period. We generally pick the one that gives the most combined Critical Hit and either Determination or Direct Hit, with rare niche exceptions. Current best-in-slot food is listed on the Red Mage Gear Guide page.
- 05 Oct. 2023: Updated for Patch 6.5.
- 28 May 2023: Updated for Patch 6.4.
- 14 Jan. 2023: Updated for Patch 6.3.
- 20 Apr. 2022: Updated for Patch 6.1.
- 14 Feb. 2022: Guide added.
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