How to Pick and Unlock FFXIV Melee DPS Job Classes?
The Melee DPS job classes in FFXIV are Paladin, Warrior, Monk, Dragoon, Ninja, and Samurai. All of these classes require you to remain in close proximity to the boss to maximize your damage output. To optimize your uptime, it is important to use your job abilities to quickly return to the boss after having to run away to avoid mechanics. Additionally, you should look for ways to cheat at max melee range, such as using movement skills to stay close to the boss while still avoiding mechanics.
Dragoon - TIER S
Dragoon is a great job for those looking for a straightforward rotation, with a focus on the combination of thrusting and jumping to maximize DPS. It is a great option for players who want to bring utility to the raid group, as well as for those who want to learn the basics of DPS rotation. The dragoon's unique mechanics, such as animation lock, dragon sight, and battle litany, make it a great job for both newcomers and veterans alike.
Where can I unlock the Dragoons?
Location: Old Gridania (X: 14.3 / Y: 5.8)
Class Quest: Eye of the Dragon
Requirements: Level 30 basic professional spearman and complete all professional tasks
- High mobility with powerful Jump abilities
- Strict rotational melee DPS with a slow base rotation
- Powerful raid utility with Battle Litany and Dragon Sight
- Potent burst windows
- Simple rotation with a push everything on cooldown approach to maximization
- Beginner-friendly option among the Melee DPS options
- Animation lock mechanics can make newer players prone to staying too long in AoEs
- Requires acclimatization to the animation lock timing for jumps
- Strict rotational playstyle can become repetitive
Monk - TIER A
Monk is a fast-paced melee DPS job in FFXIV that uses their fists and feet to deliver powerful attacks every 40 seconds or so. They have Brotherhood Icon Brotherhood to boost raid damage and Mantra Icon Mantra for healing utility, and their core gameplay loop revolves around GCD manipulation and building up to a large burst every two minutes. Monks also have Greased Lightning Icon Greased Lightning which gives them an innately faster GCD, Perfect Balance Icon Perfect Balance for squeezing more damage into buff windows, and Nadi - a unique resource that can be spent on an even bigger AoE nuke.
Where is the Monk unlocked?
Location: Nald Cloister, Ul'dah (X: 9.4 / Y: 10.2)
Class Quest: Four Fists Duo
Requirements: Level 30 green martial artist, complete all professional tasks
- Fast GCD due to Greased Lightning, allowing for quick combo strings and increased damage output.
- Strong burst windows every 2 minutes.
- Unique resource generation mechanic with Nadi.
- Utility in the form of Brotherhood and Mantra.
- Very fun and dynamic rotation.
- Highly reliant on chance and positional attacks.
- Can be very finicky and requires a lot of micromanagement to use correctly.
- Constantly shifting rotation with each patch.
- Can be difficult to learn due to its complexity.
Ninja - TIER B
Ninja is a dual-dagger wielding melee job that revolves around high burst damage from Trick Attack, buffing the raid with Mug and using Ninjutsu abilities to deal AoE damage. Its high damage output is balanced out by its complex Mudras, long animations, and punishment for making mistakes. It's highly versatile and one of the strongest DPS jobs in FFXIV, but requires dedication and patience to master.
Where to unlock ninjas?
Location: Limsa Lominsa, Lower Decks (X: 8.1 / Y: 16.5)
Class Quest: The Secret Power of Ninjutsu
Requirements: Rogue base class level 30 and complete all class quests
- Highest burst damage in the game with Trick Attack
- Highest raid buff contribution in the game with Mug
- Extreme mobility and flexibility due to Ninjutsu’s having charges and being ranged
- Unique and powerful Mudra abilities
- High barrier to entry due to Mudra abilities
- Not as strong on single target as some of the other melee DPS jobs
- Can be difficult to position correctly due to ranged abilities
Samurai - TIER C
Samurai is a high-damage, no-utility melee job with a semi-flexible burst window. Their main stat is Strength and they share Striking gear with Monk. They have no raid buffs or party utility, but excel at exploiting the buffs from other members of the party. The core gameplay revolves around rotating through three basic combos to upkeep a pair of buffs and gather resources in the form of Sen and Kenki. Every 120 seconds, Samurai unleashes a massive burst of heavy-hitting abilities, with a slightly lower burst every 60 seconds. Meditate is their only Job resource recovery option, while Hissatsu: Yaten provides a buff to spam Enpi for 15 seconds.
Where to unlock Samurai?
Location: Nald Cloister, Ul'dah (X: 9.2 / Y: 9.1)
NPC: Super Urdana
Class Quest: Bushido
Requirements: Own the Stormblood expansion and have at least one level 50 combat class
- High damage output, especially during burst windows
- Low barrier to entry with a high skill ceiling for optimization
- Unique, interesting skills like Meditate to rebuild resources
- Shifu buff increases weapon skill speed
- Access to ranged attack with Hissatsu: Yaten
- No raid buffs or party utility of its own
- Limited range, especially outside of burst windows
- Need to perform three distinct combos before unleashing Midare Setsugekka
- Can be awkward to move or hold burst windows
Reaper - TIER B
Reaper is a scythe-wielding melee job that focuses on using GCD Weaponskills to build up two different gauges and then unleash a powerful burst window with an explosive finisher. It boasts a high barrier to entry due to its complex gauge interactions but provides a fast-paced and flexible burst window that can be optimized for maximum damage. The job has an Arcane Circle raid buff and an AoE healing ability. It is an easy-to-play but difficult-to-master job that requires optimization for the best results.
Where to unlock Reaper?
Location: Nald Cloister, Ul'dah (X: 12.8 / Y: 8.6)
NPC: Haunted Servant
Class Quest: Scythe
Prerequisites: Own the Endwalker expansion pack and have at least one fighter or mage class of level 70
- Fast-paced burst window with explosive finisher.
- Flexible burst window for optimized damage.
- Raid buff and powerful AoE healing ability.
- Good Strength-based armor set.
- High barrier to entry due to its complicated nature.
- Requires precise timing and execution to maximize damage.
- Relatively low sustained damage compared to other jobs.
- Limited raid utility outside of Arcane Circle and Arcane Crest.
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