This guide was written by Akashi for players who are seeking to, or are currently leveling Ninja. The guide aims to inform players about how to initially play as Ninja, what gear they should use while they level and where to find it, the key basics of the job, as well as some example openers for lower levels. If you are already a level 90 Ninja and are looking for information pertaining to the job at level 90, please see the Basic Ninja Guide.
Rogue, which later evolves into Ninja, is a melee DPS role, which focuses on dealing a large percentage of their damage within a burst window. This burst window begins once Trick Attack is applied to the boss, increasing your damage dealt by 10% for 15 seconds. Once you obtain your job stone at level 30 after completing the quest “Peasants by Day, Ninjas by Night”, you will learn your first ‘mudra’. Mudras are hand signs that Ninjas use in sequences to cast a wide array of attacks that will become one of the core parts of your rotation as you level.
How to Become a Ninja
Unfortunately you cannot start the game as a Rogue/Ninja, so if you’re dedicated to playing as a Ninja throughout your Main Story Quest (MSQ) journey then you’ll want to start the game as either an Arcanist or a Marauder. Both of these classes start in the city of Limsa Lominsa, which is also where you can pick up Rogue. Once you get either of these classes to level 10 and complete the associated class quests up to that level, you can then pick up the first quest to unlock Rogue from Lonwoerd in the Limsa Lominsa Lower Decks (x:8.1, y:16.1).
Rogue/Ninja currently has its own unique subclass of gear, called Scouting. However, Ninja uses Aiming accessories, as Scouting accessories do not exist.
Generally the gear you receive from the MSQ and dungeons is substantial enough to ensure you’re not undergeared until you reach level 50.
Once you hit level 50 you can purchase item level 130 Augmented Ironworks gear from Auriana in Mor Dhona (x:22, y:6) using Allagan Tomestones of Poetics. A full set will set you back around 4,000 poetics and will last you until level 60, though level 54 gear and beyond will have a higher iLevel.
From level 60 you can purchase iLevel 270 Augmented Shire gear from Hismena in Idyllshire (x:5.6, y:5.2) using Allagan Tomestones of Poetics. A full set should cost you the same as a full set of Augmented Ironworks gear. Similar to Ironworks gear, this will last you until level 70 but is outscaled by gear from level 64 and beyond.
From level 70 you can purchase iLevel 400 Augmented Scaevan gear from Eschina in Rhalgr’s Reach (x:13.8, y:11.8) using Allagan Tomestones of Poetics. A full set should, once again, cost you around 4,000 Tomestones and last you all the way to 80 unless you replace it with level 74 or higher pieces. Shadowbringers MSQ will give you gear coffers as you progress through it.
From level 80 you can purchase iLevel 530 Augmented Cryptlurker gear from Fathard in Eulmore (x:10.3, y:11.8). This will also cost the same amount of Allagan Tomestones of Poetics and last the same amount of levels, though the Endwalker MSQ will also give gear coffers similar to Shadowbringers.
Once you reach level 89, and have progressed through the MSQ far enough, you can obtain iLevel 560 Artifact Armor from Varsarudh in Old Sharlayan (x:11.8, y:9.9).
Stat Priority and Gear iLevel
Ninja currently follows the stat priority of: Weapon Damage »> Dexterity »> Critical Hit > Determination > Direct Hit, while avoiding Skill Speed as much as possible. However, always use the highest iLevel gear you have available to you, as it will always be a DPS gain over lower iLevel alternatives with more desirable stats.
Materia & BiS
Materia can be melded following the stat priority list above. Due to the nature of gearsets frequently changing, you can find the most up to date BiS gearsets in the #nin_resources channel in the Balance discord server, or on the Ninja Best In Slot page on this website.
Firstly, do not use Doton on single-target at any level. It is a significant damage loss.
⦿ Unlocked at level 45, the Huton Gauge is an icon on your HUD in the shape of a fan that indicates the duration remaining on your Huton buff.
⦿ The Huton buff is granted by casting the Ninjutsu Huton. It decreases your GCD recast speed by 15%, changing your 2.50 seconds GCD into 2.12 seconds, and has a duration of 60 seconds.
- From when you unlock Huton, you should aim to have Huton active 100% of the time.
- Always cast Huton as your first action when you enter a dungeon, or right before a boss (you can use Hide outside of combat to reset your mudra stacks back to maximum).
- You can continue to keep Huton active during combat by recasting Huton once a minute as it is about to run out.
- Once you reach level 54 you can start refreshing Huton with Armor Crush instead, once the duration is less than 30 seconds.
- Unlocked at level 62, the Ninki Gauge is an icon on your HUD in the shape of a scroll that indicates the amount of Ninki you currently have.
- You can have a maximum of 100 Ninki, and actions that spend it cost 50 Ninki to use.
- Ninki is gained by executing any weaponskill, and can be used to perform oGCD attacks such as Bhavacakra.
- Ninki is also gained from Mug (40 Ninki per use), and Meisui (50 Ninki per use).
- From level 62, use a Ninki spender before your Ninki reaches 100 to avoid capping.
- Hellfrog Medium is better to use if there are three or more targets.
- Bhavacakra is better for less than three targets.
- From level 80 onward Bunshin should always be used on cooldown, so ensure you have enough Ninki aside to execute Bunshin as soon as it is able to be used.
Filler is defined by our rotation between our primary burst window (Trick Attack once per minute, with Mug alongside it once every two minutes). Given Trick Attack is only 15s long, most of our time is spent within our filler.
Make sure between your burst windows you:
- Refresh Huton when it has less than 30 seconds of duration left.
(Or less than 10 seconds, if you are refreshing with Huton and you’re below level 54).
- Cast Suiton once Trick Attack’s cooldown is below 20 seconds, but before you hit two charges on your mudras.
- Don’t use any Ninjutsu other than the Suiton outside of your Trick window.
(Unless you’re below level 54, and you’re using Huton to refresh Huton).
- Use Kassatsu off cooldown before your next Trick window. The buff from it lasts 15 seconds, so there is no need to delay it.
Ensure before each opener you always cast ‘Huton’ roughly 10 seconds before the pull, and use ‘Hide’ to reset your mudra stacks back to full.
Once you hit level 54 you start refreshing Huton with Armor Crush instead of manually with the Huton Ninjutsu, once the duration is less than 30 seconds.
The level 60 opener and rotation is mostly identical to the level 50 one, however Assassinate is now upgraded to Dream within a Dream.
If you drop Huton during a fight, either due to > 60s cutscene/stunned downtime or death, you can now use Huraijin to recover the full duration. However, you should still use Huton > Hide to apply Huton before combat, and not use Hurajin in any other situation.
NOTE: Due to this opener only being useful for a couple of levels, it is recommended to skip this opener and do the Levels 73 - 79 opener instead, unless you plan on doing Level 70 Ultimate content such as the Unending Coil of Bahamut (Ultimate), or the Ultima Weapon’s Refrain (Ultimate).
For more information on the level 70 rotation, see the pin in the #nin_questions channel.
It is important to note that once you reach Level 76, you swap the first Raiton after Trick Attack with Hyosho Ranryu, which has the same input as Hyoton.
From level 82, replace the first Aeolian Edge with Phantom Kamaitachi, pushing your first Aeolian Edge to the Spinning Edge after Meisui. The trick attack in the opener should be weaved as late as possible after Aeolian Edge while still avoiding clipping or delaying your GCD.
Less Than Three Targets
- Standard 1-2-3 combo.
- Doton, if the enemies will live longer than 12 seconds (Unless level 90, then use Raiton).
- Katon (Unless level 90, then use Raiton).
- Single-Target TCJ (Fuma > Raiton > Suiton).
- Hyosho Ranryu.
More Than Three Targets
- Death Blossom > Hakke Mujinsatsu combo.
- Doton if the enemies will live longer than 12 seconds (Otherwise use Katon).
- Multi-Target TCJ (Fuma > Katon > Doton).
- Hellfrog Medium.
- Goka Mekkyaku.
- Meisui-enhanced Bhavacakra