Final Fantasy XIV: Dawntrail Hands-On with Dark Knight

6 Jun 2024
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Last month we had a chance to play a preview build of Final Fantasy XIV: Dawntrail as part of the North American Media Tour. During our hands-on time, we were able to experience many of the Job changes that are in the works. For the Jobs that we weren’t able to personally get hands-on with, we still had an opportunity to look into the changes that will be coming when Final Fantasy XIV: Dawntrail arrives on July 2 for PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox Series, Mac, Windows, and Steam.

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

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

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


Alright Dark Knight enjoyers, I am a dabbler myself and I want to start with a hot topic. I don’t know how I feel about Plunge getting the axe. The replacement, Shadowstride does no damage, so you won’t have to worry about weaving it in, but I don’t like the animation as much. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and maybe it will grow on me. I hope you like it more than I do.

We’ll talk about Defensive cooldowns next as all tanks have received an upgrade to their two-minute defensive cooldown. Shadow Wall has now become Shadowed Vigil at level 92. It received a boost to its’ damage reduction, up to 40% now, but also gains a new effect granting you the Vigilant status. This is a 20 second buff, during which if your HP falls below 50% (or the 20 seconds elapse before you do) you will be healed for a whole lot of potency. This potency is around four times that of Souleater but not as much as a Weaponskill under Living Dead. Welcome to having a self-Excogitation-like spell, Dark Knight. I know Dark Knight self-healing is a hot topic as well, but with this and the fact that Rampart will be upgraded at level 96 to additionally give a Mantra-like 15% self-healing bonus under its effect, maybe that helps enough? Let me know, I’m very interested to hear what effect this has. Lastly Reprisal has been upgrade for all tanks, extending its’ duration to 15 seconds from 10.

Blood Weapon has also changed, now giving you three stacks of Blood Weapon (down from five) with the same effects on weaponskill or spell usage. That’s not the whole picture though as at level 68 Delirium has been changed as well. Now Delirium grants its’ usual three stacks which have different uses which we’ll get to, but also adds three stacks of Blood Weapon. That is because Blood Weapon now directly upgrades into Delirium consolidating those buttons and ensuring that the Blood Weapon stacks will be used on the new Delirium stack spending Weaponskills Scarlet Delirium and Impalement. When you have stacks of Delirium, Bloodspiller becomes Scarlet Delirium and Quietus becomes Impalement, both at a slightly increased potency from their progenitor skills.

Neither of these attacks spend your Blood Gauge when used and as mentioned before, both Blood Weapon and Delirium stacks are consumed on use, so you’ll be regenerating MP and Blood Gauge charge. Scarlet Delirium is the beginning of a three-part combo enabled by the Delirium buff that also includes the weaponskills Comeuppance and Torcleaver that your Bloodspiller keybind will morph into when applicable. They each do escalating damage and all three of them deal more damage than Bloodspiller.  The full implications of this are beyond my grasp of the Dark Knight rotation but, as Delirium and Blood Weapon already had a bit of overlap in the burst phase, I’m hesitant to say that it will change all that much.

Living Shadow is next up for changes, as the ability now grants a new buff, Scorn for 30 seconds and allows for your Simulacrum to execute a new AoE weaponskill, Disesteem alongside Shadowbringer that it already has access to. That Scorn buff also allows you to use Disesteem once while it is active as well, though for you it is an AoE weaponskill GCD with more damage than Shadowbringer. This weaponskill doesn’t have its’ own button as Living Shadow will morph into Disesteem once you use it.

So, we’ve had some consolidation, a few damage dealing additions, and a very little bit of extra healing here on Dark Knight. I don’t believe that any of these are major changes that will re-contextualize the Job, but I’d love to hear career Dark Knights sound off about this versus what you may have expected.

Fallen’s Attire