Dragoon Opener and Rotation
The primary use of the Opener is to prepare your cooldown alignment for the rest of the encounter. With our new job design, it’s possible that we’ll actually have fight-specific openers down the stretch.
The backbone of ten GCDs in sequence will - in general - never be changed, but the two blocks of oGCDs (Buffs and Attacks) can be shuffled around within their respective slots if necessary to accommodate specific encounter timings.
The default order of Geirskogul and High Jump remains this way for forever, with every odd Geirskogul landing immediately after Lance Charge or Lance Charge, Dragon Sight and Battle Litany and entering Life of the Dragon. As such, we no longer need to think about early/late life and double life as those windows are a thing of the past, barring potential fight-specific optimizations.
This video shows a full six minute rotation at a 2.50 GCD, using the opener above.
2.46 GCD Opener and Rotation
Due to our preferred GCD of 2.50 having to avoid any gear and food with Skill Speed, there will often be sets that can use these Skill Speed pieces to hit slightly better stat tiers or have more crit than 2.50, this combined with 2.46 giving us the best result for a low amount of Skill Speed with easy to hit 9GCD buffs and minimal oGCD drift causes it to often be on par, or better in performance at perfect play than 2.50. There are also fights in which 2.46 will let you hit a GCD before downtime where 2.50 would be near the end of its GCD spin giving even more value to 2.46.
Should you play 2.46?
If your ping is higher than 50ms, no.
If you’re not yet comfortable with the basics of Dragoon gameplay on 2.50, no.
If you’re not looking to squeeze out 0.1% more damage by performing a more difficult rotation, no. \
2.46 is there as an option for people who want to maximise their damage, or are looking for a less static rotation than 2.50.
The most important thing is that you want to avoid clipping your GCD to keep the benefit of the faster Skill Speed, due to this there will be times you delay an oGCD to the next GCD to ensure it doesn’t clip.
For both of these cooldowns you will use them 3 times on cooldown, and then hold it for your next GCD, which then counts as the 1st usage of your next 123 set.
Similar to 2.5 you will always try to hold both charges of Spineshatter Dive for the 2 minute burst window, Dragonfire Dive is used on cooldown during your buffs and the 2 charges of Spineshatter Dive are used to fill space where nothing else can be pressed.
Since our GCD loop takes around 2 minutes to match back up with our oGCDs it means that your 2 minute cooldowns will come up in almost the exact same spot everytime, you will always be attempting to hit 9 buffed GCDs with your Dragon Sight and keep Battle Litany on cooldown to maintain party buff alignment.
Lance Charge will always come up at the opposite spot of where you used it before, if you use it at the start of your GCD the next one will become ready before the end of your GCD. Because of this you will always alternate hitting Lance Charge late into your GCD to get 9 buffed GCDs, and weaving it right after a GCD on cooldown to prevent drifting it.
The slightly faster GCD speed allows us to hit a 9th GCD in our 20s buffs ( :lc: & :ds~1: ) when they are weaved late enough into our GCD, about 75% into the GCD spin.
Your Tincture of Strength can catch 13 GCDs instead of the standard 12 by using your pot as late as you can, due to the higher animation lock than your oGCD buffs you will have to weave it at around half of your GCD spin depending on ping.
This video shows a full six minute rotation at a 2.46 GCD, using the opener above.