Why hello there! It looks like you’re interested in becoming one of the toughest Jobs to play in FFXIV.
Though the Black Mage is by far one of the most fun jobs to play in FFXIV, it is quite challenging due to having long cast times and having to dodge enemy attacks.
You may or may not know, but one of the first Classes I ever played was the Thaumaturge, which is the Class which becomes the Black Mage. At first, I didn’t know that the Black Mage was one of the highest DPS Jobs in the game and only picked it up because it was a more intuitive caster to me than the Summoner. The only reason I ended up putting it down was due to the difficulty I had while trying to make my way around the overworld simply because I kept getting interrupted every time I tried to deal damage to mobs.
Though the Black Mage can be tremendously difficult to play, at maximum level players have a good amount of utility to move around and ensure that you still deal your maximum DPS.
As a Job, the Black Mage is terribly greedy and while other casters can provide players with shields and damage buffs, the Black Mage’s primary focus is to deal massive amounts of damage, meaning that if a player wants to pick up the Black Mage it’s going to be more important to tighten up your rotation since you can’t help your team deal more damage by buffing them.
The Black Mage is one of the Jobs that has the biggest skill gap. While many skilled players have been able to maximize their potential on the Black Mage, players have done a great amount of testing to see whether remaining in a single portion of your phase can deal more damage than having a sloppy rotation and… well… you can definitely deal more damage by spending all of your time in the weaker portion of your rotation that if you were to stumble through your actual rotation. Now, of course, you don’t want to remain in the weaker portion of your rotation as the DPS loss is severely significant, however, it does speak to how punishing this Job can be to play especially when you are learning how to play it or if you’re someone who doesn’t care about their rotation.
Though I brush off my Black Mage every so often, I personally only play it whenever I’m in a Trial or Raid setting. As I’m someone who enjoys and plays the majority of Jobs in FFXIV, I’m not very limited in what I take into a Duty. Whenever I’m selecting a DPS job to play, I’ll make my decision based on the instance we’re about to complete. If it’s new to me or the players around me, I’ll take in the Red Mage so I can resurrect quickly, if I know there’s a lot of mobility necessary I will go Machinest or Samurai and if it’s content that requires small amounts of mobility and I know it well enough I will play the Black Mage.
Now, none of this is to discourage players from picking up the Black Mage as players should be encouraged to play the Jobs they think or know they will enjoy, however, if you don’t know much about the Black Mage it’s good information to know since it has one of the longest learning curves in the game. Of all the Jobs to play in FFXIV I have to say that the Black Mage has felt the most rewarding and while it is often compared to the Ninja I personally didn’t find myself feeling as invested since I’m truly a caster at heart.
So let’s get started and talk about how you can begin this exciting journey!
Note: If you have any questions about FFXIV that you want me to cover feel free to leave them in a comment below, you can also ask me while I am streaming on Twitch, YouTube or in our community discord.
FIRST YOU MUST BECOME A THAUMATURGE
Every Black Mage must begin as a Thaumaturge as originally all Jobs began as a starter Class and only became their specialized Job when they received their Soul Stone.
While this mechanic was later retired, having players begin as their Job as soon as they begin rather than having to wait and being able to troll players by removing their Soul Stone when running duties, this mechanic was not removed from the game but remains as a reminder of what the game used to be like.
Though the Thaumaturge is one of the Classes a player can choose while creating their Character, players can unlock it anytime they have access to Ul’dah – Steps of Nald. Now, though players who began in Uldah – Steps of Nald will be able to grab this Class immediately, those who did not will have to complete the main story quest line to around level 15 as this is when the other starting cities begin to unlock. This shouldn’t take a player too much time and chances are you’ve already hit this threshold if you are thinking about changing your Job.
To begin players must meet up with Yayake in Ul’dah – Steps of Nald at X:7.3, Y:12.4 to accept the quest “Way of the Thaumaturge.”
After this quest players will begin regularly meeting with Cocobuki in Ul’dah – Steps of Nald at X:6.2, Y:12.8 and will need to both hit level 30 and complete the following quest lines:
At level 1 players must complete My First Scepter.
At level 5 players must complete The Threat of Intimacy.
At level 10 players must complete The Threat of Paucity.
At level 15 players must complete The Threat of Superiority.
At level 20 players must complete The Threat of Perplexity.
At level 25 players must complete The Hidden Chapter.
At level 30 players must complete Facing Your Demons.
Typically I would tell players that they don’t need to rush to complete these quests since they would usually only provide you with subpar gear and less-than-ideal abilities, the Thamaturge has a few skills that are going to be tremendously useful, especially in solo settings.
When players complete the level 15 quest “The Threat for Superiority” they will receive the Spell Scathe. Though players will avoid using Scathe at higher levels since it deals such little damage, when a player is just starting it is extremely useful as it is an instant cast ability.
As I mentioned, the Black Mage was difficult for me to play the overworld because my casts were always interrupted and while this was somewhat remedied by levelling my Chocobo companion and setting it to Tank Stance, realistically my Chocobo couldn’t keep hold of aggro and I would have to regularly have to weave Scathe in to deal any damage. This is completely remedied by the mid-to-late game as players will get access to a toolkit that makes casting more reliable if not instant.
At level 30 players will gain Manaward and while this Ability isn’t the most important at this stage, players will want to complete the level 30 quest as soon as possible as it unlocks the quest that allows you to become the Black Mage. Manaward allows players to put up a shield that protects you for 30% of their maximum HP and while I’m a player who always uses my shields for Raid-wide damage and solo content, I recognize that many players do not.
If players have not changed the default UI they will be able to tell what Class Quest they left off at by switching on the Thaumaturge and looking directly under their Main Quest indicator.
HOW TO BECOME A BLACK MAGE
Upon hitting level 30 and completing Facing Your Demons, players will unlock the quest “Taking the Black.”
This quest is given by Yayake in Ul’dah – Steps of Nald at X:7.3, Y:12.4 and it’s completion will give you both the Soul of the Black Mage (the Black Mage Soul Stone) and the Manafont ability that restores 30% of your MP.
I won’t lie, I’d rush this. Manafont becomes one of the most useful Abilities to have as it can greatly improve the amount of damage you deal and will begin to introduce you to the Black Mage’s end rotation.
Taking the Black requires players to complete the level 20 Main Scenario Quest “Sylph-management” and will take you through the following steps:
- Investigate the planar fissure at Highbridge and procure the blood of any fiends that emerge.
- Pour the voidsent blood into the planar fissure.
- Speak with Yayake at the Thaumaturges’ Guild.
- Report to Lalai at Milvaneth Sacrarium.
Players should note that the Thaumaturge and the Black Mage are considered two different things. This means that your hotbar will change anytime you take off your Soulstone.
Due to this, I would strongly recommend that you update your Gearset in your character menu so you never forget to have your Soulstone on and you can actually utilize the Thamaturge’s Hotbar for future macros and added menus.
Since several community members have been bringing up how they like my macro Hotbars, I’ll cover this topic soon.