Final Fantasy XIV: Dawntrail Hands-On with Monk

6 Jun 2024

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

Hello Monks, and welcome to the third new Job added in Dawntrail. Don’t worry, I’m kidding, though there are a long list of changes to get into, and how they’ll effect your rotation isn’t apparent to me. But I’m just a Monk dabbler, so lets’ get into it, and you can see for yourself.

We’ll start with that new Job Gauge. In Dawntrail, the Leaden Fist, Disciplined Fist and DoT from Demolish are all gone- poof. Now most of those effects have been converted into a new system or three called Opo-opo’s Fury, Raptor’s Fury, and Coeurl’s Fury. Each of these are shown on the new Job Gauge as circles that are filled in based on effect when you have a stack of any of those three. You gain stacks from using the abilities that lost buff timers or other effects. Dragon Kick now grants a stack of the Opo-opo buff, Twin Snakes grants two stacks of the Raptor buff and Demolish grants three stacks of Coeurl’s Fury. None of these buffs have timers and it is unclear if they will be lost on death or when leaving a zone. What do they do though? They buff the damage of the three harder hitting form GCDs, Bootshine, True Strike and Snap Punch. That’s all. So, you’ll gain and spend these stacks rotationally to buff these skills. There are no changes to the fundamentals of your form shifting, so it would feel much the same without the timers looming overhead. Simple to grasp, and not too different at first glance- but how that really effects the disparate systems of Monk is beyond me.

Over the course of leveling, there are newly renamed variants of Meditation. There are no big changes though, this amounts to giving you a new Mediation each time you gain an upgraded way to spend them. For example, at level 15 Meditation is named Steeled Meditation which can be spent on Steel Peak. When you reach level 40, it is renamed to Inspirited Meditation to show that it can also be used with Howling Fist. Finally at level 54, when you learn The Forbidden Chakra as an upgrade to Steel Peak, it is renamed to Forbidden Meditation. That’s a lot of words to say that they’ve just made it a little less complicated to figure out what can be followed up with what. At level 64 Riddle of Earth is changed by adding an additional buff, Earth’s Rumination. This is a 30 second buff that you can consume to use a new oGCD follow up- Earth’s Reply. This is an AoE heal for you and your party with boosted potency if you use it while the original heal over time from Riddle of Earth is still active. That’s a weird utility add, but hey, it is basically free- if you have the space to weave it, do it. The sequence of elemental Riddle granting you a Rumination buff, that is lost when you Reply is a cool concept. It’ll come up later with the other Riddles as well. We’re still not into the new abilities yet, we’ve just a few more changes to talk about.

Have you ever overcapped on Chakra during Brotherhood, I certainly have. Well- that’ll be harder to do in Dawntrail. While the Brotherhood buff is active, your Chakra Gauge will expand to hold up to 10 charges. Most Chakra spenders have had their tooltips updated to say that they will use at most 5 charges at a time though, so it doesn’t supercharge any of those. Six-Sided Star is the one potential exception as it has been changed as well. It still has a longer recast to contend with, but it now removes all your stored Chakra and gains a potency boost per Chakra consumed in that way. That text I mentioned before limiting it to 5 Chakra at a time is not there as of the Media Tour build so… That would mean that its’ potency is literally doubled with 10 Chakra. Will this be a new way to get use out of this skill? I hope so, that sounds like fun. Anatman wasn’t ever fun though, so it is gone, deleted- goodbye. It lost what little use it had left with the removal of those rotational timers we talked about. That’s finally all the changes before even getting into Dawntrail leveling, phew. Now what?

Three upgraded GCDs are what. The three GCDs buffed by your new Gauge will receive upgrades at level 92. Bootshine becomes Leaping Opo, True Strike upgrades to Rising Raptor and Snap Punch becomes Pouncing Coeurl. These are just animation and potency upgrades, so they won’t be changing how you play at all. Jumping around a bit to talk Defensive cooldowns for a moment, both Second Wind and Feint receive buffs at level 94 and 98 respectively. Second Wind just gets more healing potency, and Feint lasts longer, 15 seconds up from 10. Monks now have a good amount of healing utility and self-mitigation so if more damage is really coming in harder content, bring it on.

Your last two new abilities are very similar. They are both follow up GCDs to your other ‘Riddle’ weaponskills. Riddle of Wind receives a new buff called Wind’s Rumination under which you can use Wind’s Reply- a new 10 yalm long line based AoE that hits like a truck. We’re talking on the level of Rising Phoenix. Finally, at level 100 Riddle of Fire receives similar treatment. A new buff called Fire’s Rumination and a new 25 yalm range targeted AoE, Fire’s Reply. This does even more damage, approaching a Phantom Rush, but also grants you Formless Fist so that you can hop back into your rotation wherever you’d need to after using it. This will be used in every even minute burst so you’ll be trying to fit another GCD in anyway and this should give you the maximum wiggle room to do so.

Monks, please tell me what this all means. From my view, I love most of this, I am just unsure what effect it will have on the top end of rotation-craft and how this all works with Perfect Balance. One thing is for sure though, I don’t think Wind or Fire’s reply truly count as finally getting a “Ranged” attack since they are locked behind cooldowns- Sorry about that.

Hesychast’s Attire