Final Fantasy XIV: Endwalker Hands-On with Monk

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 Monk changes, along with our thoughts below. Additionally, you can view the upcoming changes on our wiki by clicking on the Endwalker tab on the Monk 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.

Monk mains are some of the most dedicated players out there. With the recent changes to Monk I have heard mostly good things, with a little bit of chatter about the Job becoming too easy. But every Monk I have talked to is concerned about what Endwalker will bring. Can we get two back to back rounds of good Monk adjustments, or will we get “two for flinching” here?

A few Jobs have received a fix for a very specific quality of life issue. In most cases with a combo that grants a damage buff from the second GCD it feels horrible to have to do two single target GCDs to get that buff, then you can start AoE. Now, for most Jobs that buff has now been made generic and both the second GCD of a single target combo and the second part of an AoE combo apply and extend the effect. Is Monk one of those Jobs? Nope. Not at all. Twin Snakes is still the ability that applies the damage buff, and Four-Point Fury still just extends the buff. That’s just probably because Formless First can let you start with Twin Snakes anyway, or use it in the AoE combo. An inauspicious start but, I promise it isn’t all “meh”.

Next up, Fists are gone! Fists of Earth, Wind and Fire have all been removed, however both elemental Riddles remain and one has been added. Riddle of Fire has been adjusted and now only buffs damage dealt by 15% down from 25%. Though, with that it has also received a cooldown reduction to 60 seconds, basically gaining one use per 3 minutes. Riddle of Wind has been added as a 90 second cooldown that reduces your auto-attack delay by 50% for 15 seconds. Final Fantasy XI fans are having flashbacks to Hundred Fists. I am not qualified to say exactly when you should use this, or how amazing it might be in structured play, but in my play during the Media Tour- this slaps. Oh Riddle of Earth is here too, no changes. Brotherhood has been adjusted to become a 120 second cooldown but you will always open a Chakra when you execute an attack so that should be a pretty good increase per cast.

The largest change is certainly Perfect Balance. As illustrated in the Live Letter demo, Perfect Balance is now a 40 second cooldown that grants 3 stacks of a buff of the same name. This buff allows you to use one weaponskill as if you were in the correct form without actually being in that form. This might seem like a definite nerf, but we have a lot more to talk about. Now, executing a weaponskill will light up an indicator in your Job Gauge with a Chakra related to the Form it requires. This means you will gain three Chakras of whatever type over the course of Perfect Balance. After three Weaponskills you can execute a new finisher Masterful Blitz, gained at level 60. I see you eyeing it, but believe me that is not a great tooltip and there is a little explanation needed.

Masterful Blitz operates similarly to Ninjutsu on Ninja. Depending on the combination of Chakra you have gained from Perfect Balance it will morph into another ability. If you have 3 of the same type of Chakra (e.g. All Opo-opo since you pressed Dragon Kick -> Bootshine -> Dragon Kick) you will then be able to execute Elixir Field which is still an AoE but a much more powerful one with AoE damage falloff that gives you a Lunar Nadi. These are the two light and dark circles on the side of the Beast Chakra indicators more about this in a sec. Back to Masterful Blitz, If you were to have 3 distinct Chakras before pressing Masterful Blitz it would execute Flint Strike which does the same amount of damage as Elixir Field but grants a Solar Nadi for your gauge. The next ability Masterful Blitz could morph to is Celestial Revolution, this will only happen if you have two of the same Beast Chakra and one other distinct type. This attack is single target and also has much less potency, but it will give either Lunar or Solar Nadi depending on what you already have so that could help recover from any fat-finger incidents.

OK, third paragraph about Perfect Balance/Masterful Blitz. Now that you have both Nadi, the next time you execute Perfect Balance you will be able to execute Tornado Kick once you gain three of any combination of Beast Chakra. Tornado Kick hits like a truck now. We all know potencies will change, but this amount is probably a good indicator of what the dev team wants to see, and as you read… It takes a while to get to it anyway. But the best part is that once you execute any of these Masterful Blitz attacks to end Perfect Balance you will gain Formless Fist to use to restart your rotation where you want to. Oh sweet sweet relief. You’d think I was done talking about this system… But now we have to talk about new stuff and the majority of that is part of Masterful Blitz.

At Level 86 you learn Rising Phoenix, but don’t worry, it is just an upgrade for Flint Strike the Solar Nadi granting attack from Masterful Blitz. This will be something like a 30% potency increase if these numbers hold so that’s great! It could also have some implications on which Perfect Balance string you’ll do for burst. At level 90, Tornado Kick is finally gone! It is upgraded to Phantom Rush, the awesome looking Masterful Blitz finisher shown in the Job ability trailer. This upgrade increases its’ potency a bit and also reduces the damage falloff in AoE by 10%. Finally! Perfect Balance/Masterful Blitz is done, what is left to talk about? Uhh Arm of the Destroyer gets an upgrade at Level 82 to become Shadow of the Destroyer. Cool.

So… Things are pretty different but I am excited to see how this whole new system is optimized. What does an opener look like here with the new Perfect Balance, Riddle of Wind timing and how the Chakra gain from Brotherhood ends up. One thing remains the same, there will always be at least 1 weird vestigial ability with no changes. Thank you for your service this time Anatman, thank you.