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The Final Fantasy franchise wholeheartedly embraces the presence of magic in all of its games. After all, the word Fantasy is right there. The Red Mage job class, as first introduced in Final Fantasy I, has stood the test of time and continued to grow throughout the different games. Square Enix’s MMORPG Final Fantasy XIV is no exception to the rule, as it brings its own version of the Red Mage right to the table.
The long-standing criticism for FF’s Red Mage is that they are a jack of all trades and a master of none. This, of course, stems from the fact that they can wield both black and white magic, which is useful but never actually get to the higher level spells to prevent them from being overpowered.
However, Final Fantasy XIV provides one of the strongest representations of Red Mages in history, and it is all thanks to the games’ deviation from the “white magic is for healers and black magic, for damage dealers” cliche.
Add a bit of fun balance and casting mechanics to the recipe and you will have laid your hands upon not only an extremely fun to play class but also a potentially deadly one. Let’s start our Red Mage FFXIV guide by describing what exactly the Red Mage is.
Red Mage Description
Red Mage is one of three DPS Casters in Final Fantasy XIV, a spell caster capable of both wielding black and white magic with an outstanding Intelligence attribute. However, don’t expect a purely long-range battle with a black dress-wearing witch casting spells from far away. (We are looking at you, Lula).
In fact, FFXIV’s Red Mage can imbue weapons with magic, enabling them to deal melee damage. Yes, Red Mages can do close-range combat, too.
That means that, should you go down the path of the Red Mage, you will be constantly shifting between bursting DPS during party buffs and learning melee combos to deal consistent damage thorough the fight. With a sword for close-range battles to your right and a crystal with which to cast spells to your left, you will be ready to face any enemy that comes your way.
Key Info Up Front
- Hat? Check.
- Sword? Check.
- Floating crystal? Check.
- Confusing casting system? CHECK.
If a bunch of unknown spells and two weird-looking bars just showed up on your screen and you are feeling confused, I have got you covered.
Red Mages have both a white and black mana bar (a Balance Gauge, if you will), which you will constantly work to increase and balance. When you cast a black magic spell, the black mana level increases; when you cast a white magic spell, the white mana level increases.
Note that if one type of mana far exceeds the other, it will be more difficult to accumulate mana of the disadvantaged color. So, your basic strategy will consist of two phases: a first ranged phase to accumulate mana and a second melee phase to spend it all.
The other key point is the Dualcast feature, the catalyst of our most imposing combinations, which allows us to skip the cooldown time of any spell.
After casting a spell with a cooldown time, the next spell will be cast instantly. This means you will be casting two spells for half the time.
The only drawback of Dualcast is that the second spell must be cast as soon as the first one is cast since any other action or auto-attack will cancel its effect; we can, however, move between the execution of both spells.
Special Skills and Traits
Before digging deeper into the synergies of this swordsmithing mage, let’s take a look at their Job Actions and Traits, as well as his Role Actions.
Job Actions are our basic skills and with which we will create the rotation, that is to say, the combination of techniques to be used during combat and their possible variations. They can be classified as follows:
Short cooldown spells (start rotation):
|Jolt (Jolt II)||Deals unaspected damage with a potency of 170.||Lv. 2
|Scatter||Deals unaspected damage with a potency of 120 to target and all enemies nearby it.||Lv. 15|
|Verfire||Deals fire damage with a potency of 330.||Lv. 26|
|Verstone||Deals earth damage with a potency of 330.||Lv. 30|
|Impact||Deals unaspected damage with a potency of 210 to target and all enemies nearby it.||Lv. 66|
Long cooldown spells (continue rotation):
|Verthunder||Deals lightning damage with a potency of 360.
Additional Effect: Increases Black Mana by 6
Additional Effect: 50% chance of becoming Verfire Ready
|Veraero||Deals wind damage with a potency of 360.
Additional Effect: Increases White Mana by 6
Additional Effect: 50% chance of becoming Verstone Ready
Melee skills (final stage of rotation):
|Riposte (Enchanted Riposte)||Delivers an attack with a potency of 130.||Lv. 1|
|Zwerchhau (Enchanted Zwerchhau)||Delivers an attack with a potency of 100.||Lv. 35|
|Redoublement (Enchanted Redoublement)||Delivers an attack with a potency of 100.||Lv. 50|
|Moulinet (Enchanted Moulinet)||Delivers an attack with a potency of 60 to all enemies in a cone before you.||Lv. 52|
Finishers (to finish the rotation):
|Verflare||Deals fire damage to target and all enemies nearby it with a potency of 580 for the first enemy, and 60% less for all remaining enemies.||Lv. 62|
|Verholy||Deals unaspected damage to target and all enemies nearby it with a potency of 580 for the first enemy, and 60% less for all remaining enemies.||Lv. 70|
Mobility (to alternate long and short distances):
|Corps-a-corps||Rushes target and delivers an attack with a potency of 130.||Lv. 6|
|Displacement||Delivers an attack with a potency of 180.||Lv. 40|
Cooldowns (instantaneous with long reuse time):
|Fleche||Delivers an attack with a potency of 460.||Lv. 45|
|Contre Sixte||Delivers an attack with a potency of 360 to target and all enemies nearby it.||Lv. 56|
|Acceleration||Ensures the next Verthunder III, Veraero III, or Impact can be cast immediately.||Lv. 50|
|Manafication||Increases both Black Mana and White Mana by 50.||Lv. 60|
|Embolden||Increases own magic damage dealt by 5% and damage dealt by nearby party members by 5%.||Lv. 58|
|Vercure||Restores target’s HP.||Lv. 54|
|Verraise||Resurrects target to a weakened state.||Lv. 64|
As you make your way through the different levels, you will unlock the following role actions.
|Addle||Lowers the target’s physical damage dealt by 5% and magic damage dealt by 10% for 10 seconds.||Lv. 4|
|Sleep||Puts target and all nearby enemies to sleep for 30 seconds.||Lv. 10|
|Swiftcast||The next spell is cast immediately.||Lv. 18|
|Lucid Dreaming||Gradually restores own MP.||Lv. 24|
|Surecast||Spells can be cast without interruption. Nullifies most knockback and draw-in effects||Lv. 44|
While you will unlock several traits as you level up, your most valuable traits will be the following:
|Dualcast||While under the effect of Dualcast, your next spell will require no time to cast. The effect is canceled upon execution of any action other than an ability. Auto-attacks do not cancel the effect.||Lv. 1|
|Enhanced Jolt||Upgrades Jolt to Jolt II. Also increases the potency of Verthunder and Veraero to 360, and the potency of Verfire and Verstone to 300.||Lv. 62|
You get what each action does on its own. Now it’s time to climb onto the higher ground: what is the best way to combine them.
If you want to cast a spell with a long cooldown duration, you should first use a spell with a shorter cooldown to exploit Dualcast. Melee skills, mobility skills, and finishers can be cast instantly.
The goal is to increase both the levels of black and white mana and then attack the enemy with Corps-a-corps to slaughter them all. Take a look at the following rotation structure:
Phase 1: Accumulating Black and White Mana
If you get enough mana, the melee techniques become enchanted and you will be able to do more damage and add a devastating finisher to the combo.
The way to increase your mana levels is by casting spells. Remember to keep both colors even.
- White mana spells: Veraero and Verstone.
- Black mana spells: Verthunder and Verfire.
- Mixed Spells: Jolt, Jolt II, Scatter, and Impact.
We will always follow the short cooldown-long cooldown cycle to activate Dualcast and get the most out of it.
- Short cooldown spells: Verfire and Verstone are the most efficient, followed by Impact and finally Jolt, Jolt II, and Scatter.
- Long cooldown spells: Verthunder and Veraero
The Fine Print
Verfire and Verstone can only be activated under the Verfire Ready or Verstone Ready effect, respectively. You can obtain these benefits after casting Verthunder or Veraero respectively, or if you have activated Acceleration before. You can also get these states after a Verflare or a Verholy.
Impact can only be used with the Impactful state, which is obtained after casting a Jolt II.
So, always start with Verfire or Verstone if possible, otherwise with Impact and, if none of them can be activated, with Jolt, Jolt II, or Scatter depending on whether there is only one enemy or several of them.
Then we must cast the long cooldown spell, choosing between Verthunder and Veraero depending on the color of mana we need. These skills must be performed immediately to avoid losing the Dualcast effect.
We repeat the cycle until we have a minimum of 80 mana points for both colors. If we reach 40 points of each mana, Manafication will instantly increase them up to 80, although it must be used after approaching with Corps-a-corps.
- TIP: Want to improve this opening? Starting with Swiftcast → Acceleration → Verthunder/Veraero to engage in combat. This will give you 11 direct mana points and can start the rotation with Verfire/Verstone.
Phase 2: Unleashing a melee attack and finisher
Jump towards the enemy using Corps-a-corps and start the assault. If you have Fleche, Contre Sixe, or Embolden, now is the time to use them.
The melee rotation starts: Riposte combo with Zwerchhau and Zwerchhau with Redoublement. If we have enough mana, these actions will consume it and switch to their enchanted version.
If you finish the combo with an Enchanted Redoublement, you can cast Verflare or Verholy. If your white mana level is higher than the black mana, just resort to Velfare, and if the black mana is higher than the white mana go for Verholy. This will activate Verfire Ready or Verstone Ready, respectively.
Use Displacement to step away from the enemy. Rinse and repeat.
So, in theory, you now know how the skills, combos, and rotations of a Red Mage work. You can definitely talk the talk. In this section, I will help you walk the walk and level your Red Mage from 50 to 90.
|Taking the Red||Lv. 50||Distraught Lass (X: 14.1, Y:11.7)||1 Soul of the Red Mage
1 Mythrite Rapier
1 Red Attire Coffer
|The Crimson Duelist||Lv. 50||X’rhun Tia (X:19.5, Y:20.5)|
|A Rewarding Struggle||Lv. 52||X’rhun Tia (X:19.5, Y:20.5)|
|Tracking the Cabal||Lv. 54||X’rhun Tia (X:19.5, Y:20.5)|
|A Vermilion Vendetta||Lv. 56||X’rhun Tia (X:19.5, Y:20.5)|
|On Lambard’s Trail||Lv. 58||X’rhun Tia (X:19.5, Y:20.5)|
|Stained in Scarlet||Lv. 60||X’rhun Tia (X:19.5, Y:20.5)|
|The Color of Her Hair||Lv. 60||X’rhun Tia (X:19.5, Y:20.5)|
|Traced in Blood||Lv. 63||X’rhun Tia (X:19.5, Y:20.5)|
|Nightkin||Lv. 65||X’rhun Tia (X:19.5, Y:20.5)|
|Child of Lilith||Lv. 68||X’rhun Tia (X:19.5, Y:20.5)|
|With Heart and Steel||Lv. 70||X’rhun Tia (X:19.5, Y:20.5)||1 Duelist’s Attire Coffer|
|Succession of Steel||Lv. 80||Arya
|1 Heavens’ Eye Materia VII
1 Savage Aim Materia VII
1 Savage Might Materia VII
|Our Aching Souls||Lv. 85||Yuj
|No Forgiveness, No Deliverance||Lv. 86||Artoirel
|Only Justice, Only Vengeance||Lv. 87||Artoirel
|Wills Unending, Faith Unbending||Lv. 88||Artoirel
|O Mighty Fury, Guide Us to Victory||Lv. 89||Artoirel
|1 Coconut Cod Chowder|
|Ever March Heavensward||Lv. 90||Artoirel
|2 Savage Aim Materia IX
2 Savage Might Materia IX
2 Heaven’s Eye Materia IX
Question: Is Red Mage Good for Beginners?
Answer: Red Mage is a pretty straightforward class for those who are just starting out in the game, especially if they have never tried a caster class before.
Question: Is Red Mage Melee or Ranged?
Answer: Both! Red Mage can engage in both close-range and long-range combat.
Question: How Can I Become a Red Mage in Final Fantasy XIV?
Answer: Want to wear the red? All you need is the Stormblood expansion and level your character up to level 50 or higher. Head to Ul’dah – Steps of Thal (X:14.1, Y:11.7) and accept the mission to unlock the Red Mage, Taking the Red. This will also give you the appropriate equipment.
Question: What Do I Do Until I Get to Level 50?
Answer: If you ultimately want to become a Red Mage and want to pick up a temporary job until you get to Lv. 50, it might be a good idea to go for another Caster, such as the Black Mage, to get used to the mechanics. Another good idea is to go for the White Mage, which will give you an idea of how Healing spells work and also grant you zero party queues.
Question: What Stats Should I Level Up for Red Mage?
Answer: As a damage-dealer, you definitely want to prioritize your weapon damage above all else. However, also keep an eye out on the following: Intelligence, Vitality, and Critical Hit.
The Red Mage is indeed a powerhouse of versatility. The ability to blend damage-dealing with healing skills makes for both a potential party-saver and an absolute killing machine.
Once you master Phase 1 and Phase 2 of the casting and melee rotation, you will be able to dominate a system so satisfying that it will keep you coming back for more.