Red Mage Leveling Guide for 6.x
The purpose of this guide is to assist players new to either Red Mage, or to the game entirely in learning how to properly play both their job and their role as they level up to 90. It will be split into sections for different level ranges that cover new abilities gained at these levels, as well as covering other basic concepts that will assist players in playing Red Mage.
An important thing to keep in mind when leveling is the gear you are using. You should always aim to use the highest item level gear available to you throughout your leveling experience. At every capstone level (i.e 50, 60, 70, 80), maximum item level gear for that level can be purchased using Allagan Tomestones of Poetics in a given expansion’s city zones or endgame zones. These zones include Limsa Lominsa, New Gridania, Ul’dah, Mor Dhona, Foundation, Idyllshire, Kugane, Rhalgr’s Reach, The Crystarium, and Eulmore.
Throughout this guide, different terminology will be used to refer to specific concepts in game. Here is a reference list for some of the terms you may encounter:
AoE - Area of Effect
Area of Effect abilities are abilities that will hit multiple targets in a given range rather than one single target.
CD - Cooldown
Cooldown refers to how long it takes for an ability to be available again after being used. Using an ability on cooldown means using it as soon as it is available.
GCD - Global Cooldown
Global cooldown refers to the default 2.5 second cooldown shared by all spells and weaponskills. This is not the same as cast time. After initiating a use of one spell or weaponskill, you will be able to use your next GCD in 2.5s. The global cooldown can be reduced with spellspeed, but certain abilities can also have shorter, unique cooldowns.
*You can check your Global Cooldown by hovering over Jolt and checking the recast timer
oGCD - Off-Global Cooldown
Off-Global Cooldowns are abilities that are not a part of the Global Cooldown. These abilities have their own cooldown that is separate from all other cooldowns unless otherwise stated, and can be used when the Global Cooldown is not yet available.
Weaving refers to the act of using your off-Global Cooldown abilities in between your Global Cooldowns. For example, if a Red Mage were to instant cast a spell and then press Fleche and Engagement before their next Global Cooldown was available, this would be called a **double weave, **as they have used two off-Global Cooldowns. It is common to double weave for many spells, but there are also faster Global Cooldowns in the game that only allow you to single weave.
Clipping refers to the forced delay on a Global Cooldown caused by attempting to weave too many off-Global Cooldowns at once, or by using an off-Global Cooldown too late into the Global Cooldown. This is generally something to avoid. Clipping can also be affected by a player’s ping, where the animation lock tied to certain off-Global Cooldowns may not allow players at higher pings to double weave certain abilities.
An infographic that further explains weaving and clipping can be found here.
Drifting is the act of not using an ability when it comes off cooldown, delaying its usage as well as delaying the timer on it from resetting. Using an ability on cooldown allows you to maximize its usage.
A hardcast is when a spell has a cast time before it is actually used. During this cast time, the user must stand still while the cast is completed.
Slidecasting is the act of being able to move before a cast finishes without canceling the cast itself. How early into a cast a player can move will vary with ping. An example of this being done can be found here.
Uptime refers to continually doing damage when an enemy is able to be targeted. Your goal is to always be casting throughout a fight to maximize your uptime, which will require efficient use of your movement tools listed below.
Introduction to Red Mage
Red Mage’s rotation revolves around casting spells to build up Black Mana and White Mana, then spending our accumulated mana on powerful enchanted weaponskills. Your goal is to keep black and white mana levels within 30 of each other to avoid unbalancing, which will cause the lower mana to increase at half of the normal rate. When both Black and White Mana reach 50 or above, you can unleash a powerful melee combo that spends this Mana (at level 50+). Below is a list of what spells will increase what color Mana and by what amount.
|Black Mana||Both||White Mana|
|Verthunder I + III (+6)||Jolt I + II (+2)||Veraero I + III|
|Verfire (+5)||Scatter/Impact (+3)||Verstone (+5)|
|Verthunder II (+7)||Scorch (+4)||Veraero II (+7)|
|Verflare (+11)||Resolution (+4)||Verholy (+11)|
Our casting phase is primarily defined by our “Dualcast” trait, which grants us a buff after every hardcasted spell that turns our next spell into an instantly cast spell. This means we will be alternating between hardcasting spells with low cast time, and using the Dualcast buff to instantly cast spells with a longer cast time. As a result, we will never hardcast a spell with a 5s+ cast time outside of pre-pull scenarios.
|Hardcast these spells to get dualcast proc…||…so that these can be instantly cast|
|Jolt I + II||Scatter + Impact|
|Verstone/Verfire||Verthunder/Veraero I + III|
|Veraero II / Verthunder II||Verraise|
A large portion of Red Mage’s damage comes from its powerful oGCDs that will be mentioned throughout this guide. It is important to use these abilities as close to cooldown as possible to avoid drifting, aside from Corps-a-corps and Engagement/Displacement, both of which have two charges. These charges allow you to have the ability available, while also continuing the CD for a second use of it. You should still avoid these abilities from overcapping at two stacks.
As Red Mage is a job that starts at 50, you’re guaranteed to have your AoE tools no matter which dungeon you sync to. 3+ target AoE in this level range is simply Verthunder II and Veraero II into Scatter. We do not have an AoE mana spender, so do not bother using any enchanted weaponskills outside of single target.
In single target scenarios, we alternate between casting Jolt -> Verthunder and Jolt -> Veraero, keeping our mana levels relatively balanced. For weaponskills, you will only have Enchanted Riposte at this level range, but it is still worth using whenever you amass enough mana.
Use Corps-a-corps on cooldown and not for movement. It is a damaging oGCD that simply happens to move you.
In addition to this, you will also have access to your role actions at all level ranges.
Swiftcast is an ability that allows you to instantly cast your next GCD. This should be used to continue using spells when you are forced to move in a fight, keeping uptime on the boss. Swiftcast should be used on Verthunder or Veraero in single target, and Scatter in AoE.
Addle is an ability that lowers a single target’s magical damage dealt by 10% and physical damage dealt by 5%. It should be used where possible to assist the healer in keeping the party alive. While there may not be many uses for it at this level range, a good starting place for Addle is to use it to mitigate any casts from a boss that damage the entire party.
Finally, Lucid Dreaming is an ability that will restore your own MP for 21 seconds. While it is rare to run out of MP at this level range, you should remember to use this ability as much as possible.
To use these abilities properly, you should weave them after your dualcast spell is used, with up to two being weaved at a time. You can also weave one ability at a time after using a weaponskill.
Our AoE rotation only has a minor change in this level range with the addition of Acceleration at level 50, a buff that will make our next Scatter instant-cast and boost its potency. Acceleration can be used on CD during our AoE rotation.
In terms of single target, we get our Verfire and Verstone procs at level 26 and 30 respectively. Casting Veraero or Verthunder will have a 50% chance of giving us Verstone Ready or Verfire Ready respectively. These abilities will replace Jolt in our dualcast GCD pairs when they are available. Acceleration removes the cast time on our next Verthunder or Veraero and ensures they will give us a proc. Prioritize using this skill for movement and keeping uptime.
At 35 and 50, we will get additions to our single target melee combos. At level 35, we learn Enchanted Zwerchau. This increases the mana cost of our combo to 35. At level 50, we learn Enchanted Redoublement, increasing the mana cost of our full combo to 50. Build up enough mana to fully utilize whatever combo steps are available to you at that level before using them.
We get a few damaging oGCDs in this level range, namely Displacement/Engagement at level 40 and Fleche at level 45. Displacement and Engagement share the same cooldown and do the same potency, so we generally prefer Engagement for the shorter animation lock unless the movement from Displacement is useful. Fleche is one of our most powerful oGCDs and should always be used on CD.
Our AoE rotation changes with the addition of Enchanted Moulinet at level 52, our AoE mana spender. We can now mix in Enchanted Moulinets between our Verthunder II/Veraero II -> Scatter GCD pairs.
At level 54, we get Vercure, which can actually be used offensively during downtime to prepare a dualcast so that we can instantly open on the next mob pack/boss with a strong GCD. Vercuring during downtime is a trick often used in endgame raids whenever the boss disappears, so it’s a good habit to get into early on.
Level 56 adds Contre Sixte, another powerful damaging oGCD that should be used on cooldown. This ability also hits multiple targets.
Jolt is upgraded to Jolt II at level 62, while Scatter becomes Impact at level 66. While those upgrades do not affect our rotation in any meaningful manner, we do get two new oGCDs that become very important parts of Red Mage’s kit:
Embolden: Acquired at level 58, this is RDM’s party buff that increases all damage dealt by party members by 5%, and our own magical damage dealt by 5%. This buff lasts for 20 seconds. As it only buffs our personal magic damage, it only affects our spells and weaponskills, not any of our oGCDs, as they all deal physical damage. It should be used both in trash packs and bosses in dungeons instead of being saved exclusively for bosses. In general, Embolden is worth using on trash packs if your party can benefit from the full duration, though you may choose to hold it during smaller pulls that die too quickly. In boss scenarios, this ability should be used on cooldown as long as the boss is targetable and will not disappear during its 20 second duration.
Manafication: Learned at level 60, Manafication instantly gives us 50 black and white Mana. We should use it in both AoE scenarios (granting us at least two free Enchanted Moulinets) and single target (for a free melee combo). This ability should be used as close to cooldown as possible without overcapping your black or white Mana. Losing a use of this in a fight means losing a melee combo, which is a large damage loss.
At level 64, we get Verraise, RDM’s most powerful recovery tool, as we can dualcast a raise every other GCD. In dungeons, Verraise is generally not needed unless the healer is dead. In eight man content, Verraise can easily salvage almost-wipes and should be used liberally for recovery when multiple people are dead.
At levels 68 and 70, we learn Verholy and Verflare. These are our first combo finishers, which change how we use Enchanted Moulinet in AoE situations. Verholy/Verflare can be used when we have accumulated three Mana stacks via our enchanted melee combo steps or Enchanted Moulinet, but the stacks disappear if we use any other GCD. Therefore, we want to make sure that we have at least 60|60 mana before using Enchanted Moulinet so we can combo three of them into Verholy or Verflare, both of which do AoE damage. As a side note, Mana stacks persist indefinitely as long as we do not use another GCD, so it is possible to finish off a pack with 3x Moulinet and hold the Verholy/Verflare finisher until the next pack. This will also apply in single target situations where downtime is included.
Our single target rotation does not change aside from the addition of Verholy/Verflare at the end of our melee combo.
At level 76, we also learn Enchanted Reprise. This is a single target ranged weaponskill that costs five black and white Mana to use. Because of this, this ability is not used commonly in our rotation. Enchanted Reprise should only be used when you need it to keep uptime on the boss and all other movement options (Swiftcast, Acceleration, melee combo) have been expended. Using Enchanted Reprise is better than not casting at all.
Level 78 introduces the Enhanced Manafication trait, which makes Manafication grant five stacks of a 5% magical damage buff. This essentially means that we always want to go into a combo (whether 3x Enchanted Moulinet or Enchanted Riposte > Enchanted Zwerchau > Enchanted Redoublement) immediately after a use of Manafication so as to not waste our 5% magical damage buff on weaker GCDs. Be aware that Manafication by itself does not guarantee enough Mana for a full AoE combo, so make sure you have at least 10|10 Mana before using Manafication in AoE situations.
At level 80 we learn Scorch, a second combo finisher that is used after either Verholy or Verflare. This does not affect our AoE or single target combos aside from giving us an extra finisher to use.
At level 82 we learn Verthunder III and Veraero III, both of which have their functions unchanged from Verthunder and Veraero and are simply potency upgrades.
Level 86 adds Magick Barrier. Similar to Addle, this is a mitigation tool to help make the healer’s job easier, and should be used as often as possible. Unlike Addle, however, rather than applying a debuff to the target it is used on, Magick Barrier instead applies a buff to all party members who are in its range. This allows it to mitigate magical damage from all sources. Magick Barrier also increases the healing received from healing actions by 5%, making Magick Barrier an effective tool to assist with healing the tank in large dungeon pulls. \
At level 88, we gain a second charge of Acceleration. This allows us to always keep a charge on us for movement without drifting its cooldown.
Finally, at level 90, we learn Resolution, our third and final combo finisher. Resolution casts a line AoE that damages the targeted enemy and all other targets in its vicinity. Resolution will always hit the targeted enemy no matter where it is aimed, but in order to hit additional enemies, you must position yourself properly for the line to go through each of them.
Congratulations on hitting level 90!