- To become a Black Mage in FFXIV, you need level 30 Thaumaturge and to complete the Sylph quests.
- Black Mages specialize in high damage spells with great AOE potential.
- The Black Mage playstyle involves steady damage output through long casts.
- Key tips include maintaining Thunder, spending mana on Fire, and switching to Ice when out of mana.
- Optimization comes from maximizing damage during Astral Fire and Umbral Ice phases.
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Final Fantasy XIV offers a wide variety of jobs and classes to choose from. For those looking to play a powerful spellcasting DPS, Black Mage is an excellent option. But how exactly does one become a Black Mage in FFXIV? What is the Black Mage playstyle? What abilities and spells define this job? This comprehensive guide will walk through all the steps and provide key tips for successfully playing as a Black Mage.
Understanding the requirements, unlock process, abilities, and playstyle for Black Mage will allow both new and experienced players to master this satisfying job. With the depth of combat in FFXIV, truly optimizing performance takes time. However, by following the advice here, any player can go from picking up their Black Mage soul stone to dishing out explosive magical damage. The information will enable you to level up quickly, participate in end-game content, and make the most of FFXIV’s phenomenal battles as a sly Black Mage.
How Do You Unlock Black Mage in FFXIV?
To gain access to the Black Mage job, you must first level Thaumaturge to 30 and complete the “Sylph Management” Main Scenario Quest. Let’s break down the requirements:
Step 1: Reach Level 30 as a Thaumaturge
Thaumaturge is the base class that unlocks Black Mage. Thaumaturges use elemental magic to damage enemies. They make an excellent starting place to learn Black Mage, as many key skills transfer over.
You can begin as a Thaumaturge by completing the “Way of the Thaumaturge” quest available in Ul’dah from the Thaumaturge’s Guild at level 1. From there, continue leveling to 30 through a combination of completing quests, running dungeons via the duty finder, and grinding on overworld enemies.
Focus on understanding the basics of casting spells and managing your mana levels. This will prepare you for the nuances of balancing Astral Fire and Umbral Ice phases as a Black Mage.
Step 2: Complete the Level 30 Thaumaturge Quest “Facing Your Demons”
This pivotal quest will have you face off against an image of yourself to complete your Thaumaturge training. Seek out Brother E-Sumi-Yan in the Thaumaturge Guild to unlock it.
Defeating your doppelganger proves you are ready to advance as a more powerful mage. This completes your training as a Thaumaturge, allowing you to take on the mantle of Black Mage.
Step 3: Complete the Main Scenario Quest “Sylph Management”
This level 20 Main Scenario Quest takes you to Little Solace in East Shroud to make peace with the sylphs. Finishing it is the final requirement for Black Mage.
To catch up if behind, focus on completing Main Scenario Quests, as they unlock all subsequent content. The quest rewards will also help boost your level.
Once you finish “Sylph Management,” head to Ul’dah to formally become a Black Mage!
How to Equip the Black Mage Job Stone and Begin as BLM
After meeting the requirements outlined above, visit the Thaumaturge’s Guild in Ul’dah to formally become a Black Mage:
- Speak with Mursshl Aliapoh to obtain the quest “Taking the Black.”
- Complete the quest to receive your Black Mage Job Stone.
- Equip the soul stone and select Black Mage as your job to begin playing as BLM.
You can always re-equip the Job Stone to switch between Thaumaturge and Black Mage. As Black Mage, you’ll continue gaining experience to level up, unlocking new skills for both Black Mage and Thaumaturge.
Now the real fun begins – it’s time to head out and incinerate enemies with your potent Black Mage spells!
What are the Key Black Mage Abilities and Spells?
Black Mages excel at dishing out high damage with spells using the Aetherial elements of Fire, Ice, and Lightning. Some key abilities you will use include:
- Fire – Your main direct damage spell. Has a chance to grant the damage boosting Astral Fire effect when used.
- Blizzard – Grants Umbral Ice effect, restoring MP used in the Astral Fire phase.
- Thunder – Damage over time spell that is key to maintain on targets.
- Fire III – Powerful Fire damage spell that ensures Astral Fire is activated.
- Blizzard III – Swaps you into Umbral Ice and rapidly restores MP.
- Ley Lines – Draws on ground to enhance spell damage and speed.
- Sharpcast – Makes next Fire or Thunder spell instant cast and more likely to crit.
- Enochian – Allows access to strong spells Fire IV and Blizzard IV.
Mastering when to use these abilities leads to maximizing your DPS as a Black Mage.
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What is the Black Mage Playstyle and Rotation?
The key to playing Black Mage effectively is mastering the balancing act between the Astral Fire and Umbral Ice stances. Here is an overview of the BLM playstyle:
- Apply Thunder – Start by casting Thunder to put a damage over time effect on the target. Keep it applied throughout the fight.
- Enter Astral Fire – Cast Fire III to enter Astral Fire, boosting damage but rapidly draining MP.
- Fire Away – spam Fire I and Fire IV for high damage, weaving in Thunder and Firestarter procs. This quickly consumes MP.
- Switch to Umbral Ice – Cast Blizzard III to enter Umbral Ice, refreshing MP.
- Recover MP with Ice – Cast Blizzard spells until MP regenerates. Use Thunder and any procs as available.
- Repeat the Cycle – Go back into the Astral Fire phase with Fire III when MP is full.
Optimizing this rotation takes practice. Key tips help master Black Mage:
Tips for Mastering Black Mage Rotation
- Stay within Ley Lines when possible for boosts.
- Use Swiftcast when needed for instant spells.
- Weave oGCD abilities like Sharpcast between spells.
- Learn enemy attack patterns to minimize cancelled casts.
- Keep Enochian up for strong Fire IV/Blizzard IV.
- Keep Thunder on enemies and use procs promptly.
- Maximize time in Astral Fire when enemies will live.
With practice, Black Mage offers a highly rewarding playstyle. The better you balance your Astral and Umbral phases, the more destruction you can dish out!
What are Some Advanced Black Mage Tips and Optimization?
Reaching peak Black Mage performance takes practice and skill. Here are some key ways to optimize advanced play:
- Manage Transpose – Learn when to use Transpose to switch stances when certain spells are unavailable.
- Minimize Movement – Stay in your Ley Lines and pre-position for mechanics with slide casting to avoid cancelling spells.
- Learn the Opener – Practice nailing your opening rotation for strong initial damage.
- Maximize Triplecast – Take advantage of Triplecast for mobile casting during mechanics for uptime.
- Overprepare with Umbral Ice – End fights in Umbral Ice for the MP refresh needed in the next encounter.
- Weave Continuation Abilities – Strategically use Xenoglossy, Paradox, and Amplifier for big damage boosts.
- Plan Manafont Usage – Align 2-minute Manafont with raid buffs windows and burn phases.
Taking the time to master advanced Black Mage gameplay is extremely rewarding. With practice, Black Mages can consistently top the DPS charts in all content!
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What Content is Black Mage Good For?
With their powerful AOE and single target damage, Black Mages excel in nearly all content:
- Dungeons – Great AOE demolishes trash packs. Single target still solid on bosses.
- Trials/Raids – Shines on bosses and in intermission phases with cleave.
- Alliance Raids – Excels at nuking down adds and putting out sustained boss damage.
- Bozja/Eureka – AOE potency melts down trash mobs with ease.
- Deep Dungeons – Sustain and short cast times make BLM a top DD option.
- PvP – Strong utility and burst, plus more mobility than in PvE.
The key is learning each encounter to maximize uptime and avoid cancelling casts. Black Mage has the tools to dominate any content when mastered.
What are the Pros and Cons of Black Mage?
- Very high single target and AOE damage potential
- Satisfying explosion-filled playstyle
- Strong utility like Ley Lines and Manaward
- Mobility tools with Triplecast and Swiftcast
- Independent playstyle with self-buffs
- Low defense and mobility require tight movement
- Long cast times can mean cancelled spells
- Maintaining Enochian can be punishing
- Not very beginner friendly compared to some jobs
- Often needs extra healer attention in harder content
The key is weighing whether the pros of big numbers and mastering a complex rotation outweigh the cons of a challenging immobile playstyle. For those up for the challenge, Black Mage is extremely fun and rewarding to play well!
Is Black Mage Right for You?
Black Mage is a great job if you enjoy:
- Executing complex rotations with finesse
- Seeing huge crits and numbers
- Balancing risk and reward gameplay
- Bringing phenomenal AOE damage
- Overcoming challenging mechanics with skill
- Playing a classic mage fantasy archetype
However, it may not be the best choice if:
- You dislike long cast times and standing still
- You want high defense and mobility
- You are new to high difficulty jobs
- You prefer direct reaction gameplay
- You have high ping or latency issues
Take time to consider your playstyle preferences. For the right person, Black Mage offers an immensely fun and deep job.
Mastering the Black Mage job in FFXIV provides one of the most satisfying yet challenging experiences in the game. With intricate rotations, big risk-reward gameplay, and giant explosions, those who put in the time to learn Black Mage can unleash destruction like no other job.
By following this guide, any player can go from picking up their Black Mage soul stone to excelling as a master of explosive magic. Learning when to unleash the full force of Astral Fire and when to recover in an Umbral Ice phase is key. Optimizing movement, cooldown alignment, and skill usage takes practice but pays off immensely.
For lovers of magic wielding high risk and even higher damage potential, Black Mage is an excellent choice. Follow this guide to begin your journey with the iconic job and soon you’ll be leaving enemies charred in your wake on your path to magical mastery. Now get out there and start blowing things up – the realm isn’t going to incinerate itself!