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 Beginners Guide to Red Mage

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PostSubject: Beginners Guide to Red Mage   Beginners Guide to Red Mage Icon_minitimeSun 3 Mar - 23:29

Originally posted this on tumblr ages ago but thought this might be a nice spot to also transcribe a more cleaned-up version!  Beginners Guide to Red Mage 1f60a

Beginners Guide to Red Mage A4844e936eab62c157cb1ad8b1d5f38d3a4d7cf1

This is a guide to a basic rotation, without any eye-glazing acronyms, and a few tips on how RDM evolves at higher levels, hopefully in easy to understand terms for someone just starting out. It is not a min/max guide. It's not designed to get you Super Rainbow Diamond Parse. It will show you how to play red mage competently in Duty Roulette and MSQ and get through whatever regular content you want. (As long as you don't forget to keep your gear leveled with you!)

If you want to go MAX ULTRA DAMAGE UNREAL TRIALS mode there's plenty of other guides out there to can help you with more complicated, number-crunchy type rotations! My hope is that if you are new to RDM and want to get into that content someday, this will at least give you a foundational understanding to build up to that from.

And if you're a casual player, this guide will see you through just fine. You're who this is made for!

RDM is about balance, it's basically a repeating pattern.

There is a magic rotation to build up black and white mana in equal amounts, and then a melee rotation to spend that collected mana on high-damage sword attacks. Later, you'll get a second magic combo to use after your sword combo.

Here's my hotbar setup synced down to level 50:

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And here it is at level 90 with some upgraded skill icons:

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Because I'm very visual, it's set up to keep related abilities close together so that I can quickly input combos.

If you take a look at your spells, you'll notice Veraero and Verthunder (the green and blue buttons) do high damage but take almost 5 seconds to cast. A really long time. They also only increase either white or black mana, though by a significant amount:

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Jolt, the red one in the middle, only takes a remarkably short 2 seconds to cast and gives both black and white mana, but does much less damage and doesn't increase either color very much:

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This might initially seem clunky and frustrating.

But here's why.

Every second spell a Red Mage casts is instant.

Jolt is your ticket to flinging spells around like a dog with a roman candle.

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The goal is to start with a short-cast spell, and then follow up with a long-cast one, which will hit immediately instead of taking those agonizing 5 seconds.

So, if you are fighting a single target, that's Jolt, followed by Veraero or Verthunder. (Or, if like me your eyes want to glaze over with the fancy names for everything. Red, followed by Green or Blue.)

And how do you keep your black and white mana balanced? Easy. Each time you do your combo, switch up veraero and verthunder.

You basic magic combo is literally just Red, Green, Red, BlueRed, Green, Red, Blue. If you set up your hotbar with these in convenient places, you can just get your fingers into a rhythm and eventually won't even have to think about it at all.

If you end up off balance with too much of one color, just repeat the other color a few times in between Jolts until it's back close together.

The AoE Rotation, Though?

Since you know why the cast times vary so much between spells, you can probably already guess how this works! They're inverted! That's all! If you're fighting 3+ enemies at once, you should switch to your AoE set which damages all enemies around your target. Your basic magic combo is still just Red, Green, Red, BlueRed, Green, Red, Blue. But you start with Green or Blue first!

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When its time to stab things

While you can use your melee skills at any point, in any order - there's a pattern here, too. And its easy!

This is your mana bar when you enter a fight:

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And this is your mana bar as you build up black and white mana through casting spells:

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The white side, predictably, is white mana. The blue side is black mana. The gem on the top will light up in red when you have enough of both collected to perform a melee combo (which is 50 white and 50 black). It maxes out at 100 of each.

While your sword skills on your hotbar will color change from purple to red earlier than this, do not succumb to the allure. Wait until you get your magic red button. Every "Enchanted" sword strike you hit with will deplete your mana, so you need to make sure you have enough to do a full combo of all three attacks.

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An Enchanted combo does MUCH more damage and it is absolutely worth waiting until you can combo them. Start with Riposte, the one that costs 20, and the others will light up in order afterwards to show you the correct steps.

Once you're too low on mana to run a full sword combo, go back to casting spells until your red gem lights up again!

AoE Melee Rotation

It's not even a rotation, it's one attack - Moulinet. However, it should be noted that at later levels, when Mana Stacks are added, you'll need 60 black and white mana to get a full three mana stacks by using your AoE sword skill, instead of the 50 needed for single target sword skills.

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Imbalanced Meters

If you cast too much of one color without the other, your gem will change to reflect the imbalance. You get a penalty to gaining mana if the bars are off balance by around 30 points or more, so make sure to give the other color some attention until your gem turns red or clear again.

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Free Damage Buttons

Fleche, and its AoE version Contre Six, are free damage. They don't share any cooldowns with your regular spells/sword skills and cast instantly. It's free damage.

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Corps-a-corps is a gap closer, another attack that shares no cooldowns with any other skills. It's a great way to start out your sword-combo when you have enough mana collected, because it will put you in range of your target and deal damage in the process. A lot better than losing seconds to running up to them manually, during which time you can't attack.

It has two charges which refill over time, so in a short period you can use it twice if you need to. Like if you target the wrong enemy the first time. Whoops.

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Engagement is another free stab button, but it shares charges with Displacement, which is your run away button, so make sure to save a charge if you're going to need that!

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Displacement is a good way to end off your sword combo (or, later, your bonus spells combo.) It is also a good way to escape an enemy's attack if you stood in one place just a LITTLE too long and don't have time to run out of range. You will leap backwards immediately and quite far. Check before you jump, though! If your battleground has a ledge, you can fall off to your death this way, or land in other mechanics unseen behind you.

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(Slightly) More Advanced Rotation

If everything above feels like a lot to absorb already, you can ignore this section for now. Get a handle on the basic basics, and then start weaving the rest of these in later once you're more used to your patterns.

Occasionally when casting your single-target blue or green spells, you will get "Verstone Ready" or "Verfire Ready" You can cast them at any point in a fight as long as they're available (~25 seconds), but generally they should replace your short cast spell for one cycle. 

For example, use one of these instead of Jolt, and follow up with a Green or Blue spell after. They both give you a specific color of mana, but not quite as much as a regular long-cast spell, their benefit lies in how fast you can cast them and their high damage.

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Acceleration can be used to quickly rebalance your mana if something goes awry, or to deal heavy damage quickly. It's another tool that allows you to cast any of your main long-cast damage spells instantly. As an added treat, it makes your next Red AoE do significantly more damage, or ensures that your next single-target Green and Blue spells will unlock a Verstone/Verfire right after.

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Manafication will instantly grant you 50 black and white mana both. It's best to use it between Enchanted sword combos! Once you hit 50 on your own, perform a sword rotation, hit Manafication, and do another sword rotation. Or, when Mana Stacks come in (see below), use Manafication after completing your bonus spells to get another Sword-Spell rotation combo in right after.

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Embolden is a damage buff for you and close-by party members. There's a lot of ways to use damage buffs, but if you use it with Manafication, you can get two Enchanted sword combos in with the damage boost on top. Later, with Mana Stacks, you can get a sword and bonus-spell combo in, with a little extra room.

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Mana Stacks

At higher levels, you'll get Mana Stacks, three diamonds underneath your bar that light up when you use an Enchanted sword skill. These basically add a third pattern after you use your spells to build mana, and your sword to spend it.

By completing an Enchanted sword combo (the three red ones that cost 50 mana to complete) or casting 3 of the Enchanted AoE Moulinet in succession (which costs 60 mana), all your Blue and Green spells will transform into Verflare and Verholy respectively:

Beginners Guide to Red Mage Dcae8592b49f119342cde23ccecaa7f734ea670cBeginners Guide to Red Mage 401a3815912bd776e1047d336d573a5032ba8190

You get to cast ONE of them. If you attempt to cast any other spells and certain other abilities, you will lose these. Make sure to cast them when they appear. They do not, however, run on a short timer, so if the dungeon boss is at 0.1% hp you can hold your actions and just use these on your next ad pack.

If your black and white mana are not perfectly balanced when you get these spells, that's a good thing. Try to pick the spell that matches your lower color. If you have less black mana, cast Verflare. If you have less white mana, cast Verholy. This will guarantee that Verfire or Verstone, mentioned above, become available to you:

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If you pick the "wrong" one, don't worry! You still have a chance at getting your stone/fire spell. And if not, you can use Acceleration to quickly cast for whichever color you need to rebalance your mana.

A little down the line, you'll get a third bonus spell. Scorch replaces your Red spells and appears after casting Verflare or Verholy. That's a lotta damage!

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And at higher levels, you'll get another red spell to follow on the heels of Scorch, called Resolution. To really help you finish off nuking everything in front of you.

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So in short - magic combo till you have 50 of both mana colors, sword combo, bonus spell combo, rinse and repeat.

You can Red Mage!


But wait! There's more!

Saving the Party from a Wipe

At level 64 you get Verraise. And since you know all about dualcast now, you know that 10 second cast timer doesn't mean anything to you, a Red Mage.

While you should generally let your healer(s) handle raising so that they don't waste their swiftcast trying to get someone that you might reach first, if you notice multiple people go down close together, or the healer is low on spells/having to work really hard to keep the party alive, or the healer is dead... you can resurrect someone every 2 seconds. Do not be afraid to help save the party from a wipe. It feels very powerful.

Your healing spell, Vercure, also has a 2 second cast time and grants Dualcast, so you can give party members a little hp boost in between shoveling them off the floor.

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