Final Fantasy XIV: Endwalker Hands-On with Black Mage

13 Oct 2021

We recently had a chance to play a preview build of Final Fantasy XIV: Endwalker as part of the North American Media Tour. During our hands-on time, we had a chance to play with many of the updates coming to each Job. For those that we weren’t able to personally get hands-on with, we still had an opportunity to look at the changes that will be coming when Final Fantasy XIV: Endwalker releases on November 23.

You can see all of the Black Mage changes, along with our thoughts below. Additionally, you can view the upcoming changes on our wiki by clicking on the Endwalker tab on the Black Mage Job page.

You can also find more coverage of the Endwalker Media Tour here.

This article is based on play of an in-development build of Final Fantasy XIV: Endwalker, and content in the final version is subject to change.

We both know that you aren’t worried. Summoner is always on fire, Red Mage is at least a bit stable, but Black Mage? Being Yoshi-P’s favorite Job, you have to be feeling pretty good right now. Nothing to worry about! Yeah, OK you right.

Enochian is gone! No, not really, it is now a trait like Greased Lightning, that you gain at Level 56. By max level it will buff overall damage by 20%. Any ability that required the Enochian buff has had that text removed. You’ll now only lose this buff if you are not in Astral Fire or Umbral Ice at all.

Enhanced Freeze is a reworked trait that just boosts the number of Umbral Hearts you gain from casting Freeze to 3. This is nice with the new AoE spells in mind as you may want to cast a few more fire spells. Sharpcast eventually receives a second charge at Level 88. Which is good because those Firestarters and Thunderclouds will be a little easier to hold on to now that they both last for 21 seconds, up from 18. Manafont now has a 120 second cooldown, reduced from 180, which just gives you more MP for EXPLOSIONS. Who can say no to that? Lastly in this rapid fire section we have a trait that makes Foul instant cast at Level 80. That’s pretty fun for dungeon burst, and it isn’t the only change to AoE.

At Level 82, Black Mage learns both High Fire II and High Blizzard II. They both deal a little more damage than their precursors and grant Astral Fire III or Umbral Ice III depending on element. In addition though, High Fire II grants the Enhanced Flare buff that increases the next Flare’s damage by about 20%. This can be stacked up to 2 which could mean you cast a couple of High Fires before you start blasting on longer lived dungeon pulls. Add in some Freeze to spam even more explosions and you’re looking at some fun AoE optimization options. You could combine all of that with Amplifier, a new 120 second cooldown that just grants you a stack of Polyglot. Did someone say Triple Foul for some world shattering dungeon/add burst? Be still my heart.

The capstone ability at Level 90 is Paradox, a new spell that interacts with your main Astral/Umbral mechanics. First and foremost, this is that “Frostfire” looking spell in the Job Abilities trailer. It is a single target spell with just under Foul’s potency (15% or so less) that can be cast in either Astral Fire, or Umbral Ice, refreshing the timer of either. Paradox also has a slightly different effect depending on which you are in. In Astral Fire, it has the same chance to proc Firestarter as Fire does. In Umbral Ice, it does not cost MP.

In order to cast it, you’ll need to have the Paradox buff, which is easier than it sounds. You gain this by switching from Astral Fire III to Umbral Ice of any level which you do… Literally all the time. Now the other way is slightly more complicated, but still always happening in normal play. This is when you switch from Umbral Ice III to Astral Fire of any level, but you also need to have three Umbral Hearts at the time. No big deal. I confess though, this confused the heck out of me during the Media Tour and it took reading it afterwards. This makes me think that it will be held to be used to extend Astral Fire and fish for Firestarter procs in place of Fire. It also should be affected by Sharpcast for that.

These changes are amazing on paper. More explosions, more weavable spells and instant casts for movement. We’ll need to see it in action and with the final potencies of course. But this looks like one of the best set of changes in this expansion.