Melee DPS are close-range attackers, focused on combos and careful positioning to inflict the maximum amount of damage while dancing around the enemy’s hitbox and trying not to disengage as much as possible.
Monk is a fast-paced, flexible melee DPS job that finds strength in its adaptability. The job plays by juggling its various buffs and debuffs - Leaden Fist, Disciplined Fist, and Demolish - in order to maximise its damage, and as such its rotation is incredibly fluid as it flows from one Riddle of Fire burst window to the next.
Dragoon is a very static melee DPS job. You have strict, long combos to execute and timers within those combos that need to be maintained. Unlike other jobs - especially other melee - which rely upon a priority system for their basic GCD rotation, Dragoon instead has static buttons to press in a specific order with very little variance. Shadowbringers brings with it a new reliance on hitting proper positionals to trigger new skills.
Ninja is a melee DPS focused on high-output burst windows. The rotation is extremely flexible, with one of the strongest raid buff contributions in the game. Mudras are the backbone of our burst, and combined with their charge system, allow us to do insane damage inside of buffs while also having plenty of options when forced to disconnect. On top of that, Ninja is the most mobile melee and can adapt easily to any situation which presents itself.
At a glance, a Samurai’s GCD structure is simplistic and easy to digest - there are three different combos you execute after one another in order to collect their corresponding “Sen”. As such, it’s a job that’s easy to get into and do moderately well with, even if your knowledge of the higher arts isn’t as refined yet. At higher levels, there are two resources to manage - Sen and Kenki - and understanding how to manipulate them in order to have a smooth rotation which lines up with party buffs and encounter mechanics is what makes Samurai stand out as job with one of the highest skill ceilings in the game.
Reaper is a flexible burst job that revolves around gauge and resource management. While Reaper itself has a few strict damage windows, the majority of the rotation can be moved around to align better with mechanics, or to fit into the burst windows of other jobs’ raid buffs. Reaper also has the benefit of being mobile for short periods of time through intelligent usage of its mobility-based abilities and ranged spells.