Reaper Basic Guide
Guide Info
Last Updated: 30 May, 2023
Patch Applicable: 6.5

Basic Reaper Guide

Welcome to the Basic Guide for Reaper, which will cover everything you need to know to get started with becoming a Reaper! Included are an overview of the job’s playstyle, basic priority, abilities and core concepts.

Whether you’re a fresh level 90, a returning player, or just need a refresh, this guide will give you the tools you need to feel comfortable playing Reaper.

This guide is intended to be relatively basic and doesn’t go into huge explanations of specific situations or small nuances. If you’re looking for something specific, check out the more detailed guides below:

How the Job Plays

Reaper is a fluid build-spender job with a flexible and fast paced burst window. Reaper has an upkeep mechanic in the form of a debuff called Death’s Design and has a small party buff that increases damage. It has a few powerful disconnect tools, including a gate-like ability that lets you teleport somewhere then teleport back to where you came from.

While Reaper has a powerful and flexible burst window, it does come with a few downsides. Its main burst mechanic, Enshroud, has the player using abilities between fast weaponskills which with high ping can feel incredibly clunky. It also has an extremely punishing mechanic in the form of Soul Reavers, which will be lost if not spent properly.

Reaper can be played fluidly as a priority system or rigidly with planned burst windows allowing the job to have a low barrier of entry but have a very high skill expression ceiling. 

Resources and Job Gauges

Reaper has access to a few resources that you will need to master to play the job:

Soul: Soul is one of the main Resources that Reaper has and is represented by the red bar on the job gauge. You build 10 of it by using your combo weaponskills (Slice, Waxing Slice, Infernal Slice, Spinning Scythe, Nightmare Scythe) and 50 by using Soul Slice / Scythe. You spend it on off-global abilities that generate Soul Reavers (Blood Stalk, Grim Swathe, Unveiled Gibbet, Unveiled Gallows, Gluttony). You spend 50 Soul at a time and can store up to 100 so that you have some wiggle room on when you use it.

Shroud: Shroud is the other main resource that Reaper has and is represented by the Blue bar on the job gauge. You build 10 Shroud by spending Soul Reavers (the resource you get from spending Soul) on the powerful weapon skills Gibbet, Gallows or Guillotine. Reavers must be spent on Shroud generating skills, using any other weaponskill will have them fall off immediately. While most Soul Spenders generate 1 Soul Reaver, Gluttony will generate two. You can also build 50 Shroud by using Plentiful Harvest, which is only available once every two minutes. 50 Shroud is spent on a transformative buff called Enshroud and you can hold up to 100 Shroud at a time.

Enshroud: Enshroud is Reaper’s burst window which changes how the Reaper looks, activates a job gauge and changes a few abilities and weaponskills. For more detailed information on what changes, visit the Skill Details page. When you first Enshroud you generate five blue orbs (Lemure Shroud) which can be spent on the rapid 1.5s global cooldown weaponskills Void Reaping, Cross Reaping and Grim Reaping. When spending a blue orb, this way it will generate a purple orb (Void Shroud), which you can spend in sets of two on off-global abilities – Lemure’s Slice and Lemure’s Scythe. Lastly, you can end the Enshroud phase by spending all of your Lemure Shroud, or by using the powerful spell Communio. 

Melee Positionals:

All melee DPS have skills that deal additional potency when used from the Rear of Flank of the target. This means you must be positioned correctly relative to the target’s hitbox ring to meet the requirement. Positional zones are shown here on the left image under this section.

Some targets have a closed circle target ring or are a “wall-style” target that it is impossible to get to the rear of. Positional requirements are fulfilled no matter where you stand relative to the target. These types of enemies can be identified by the front-facing arrow being inside the hitbox instead of outside of the hitbox (as shown in the image to the right).

Do be aware, that Gibbet and Gallows are the only skills that have positional requirements. Void Reaping and Cross Reaping DO NOT have positional requirements.

Basic Rotation

Reaper Fundamentals

  • Gibbet and Gallows are positional weaponskills. Gibbet receives additional damage if you use it from the target’s flank and Gallows receives the bonus if used from target’s rear. These abilities also buff each other, whenever you use Gibbet your next Gallows will be buffed and when you use Gallows your next Gibbet will be buffed. This buff lasts for 60 seconds and will also upgrade your Blood Stalk into an Unveiled Gibbet or Unveiled Gallows based on whichever buff you have. When you see these weaponskills mentioned, you can do either/or, but always make sure you are using the buffed version if applicable.

    • The Unveiled Gibbet or Gallows does not consume the buff.
  • Shadow of Death applies the Death’s Design debuff to your target, Whorl of Death applies the debuff to all targets within five yalms. This debuff can stack on itself with a maximum duration of 60s.

  • The following skills are upgraded when you use Enshroud:

    • Gibbet turns into Void Reaping
    • Gallows turns into Cross Reaping
    • Guillotine turns into Grim Reaping
    • Blood Stalk turns into Lemure’s Slice
    • Grim Swathe turns into Lemure’s Scythe
  • Void Reaping and Cross Reaping buff each other similarly to how Gibbet and Gallows do. Whenever you use Void Reaping, your next Cross Reaping will deal more damage. This buff does not persist when Enshroud ends so you are able to start on whichever Reaping skill you want every Enshroud. When you see these weaponskills mentioned, you can do either/or, but always make sure you are using the buffed version if applicable.

  • Soul Sow is spell with a five second cast time in combat but is instant outside of combat. When applied, the Soul Sow ability will change into Harvest Moon. Harvest Moon is a long-range spell that does a large amount of AoE damage. There are a few ways to utilize this ability:

    • Harvest Moon whenever you have to disengage from an enemy for longer than global cooldown.
    • Harvest Moon when you are able to deal AoE damage with it.
    • Harvest Moon at least once each encounter.
    • Soul Sow before every boss pull and in-between dungeon packs.

The Opener:

  • Soul Sow before the pull
  • (If your GCD is < 2.47 pre-pull Pot at 3s on countdown if you can’t at two minutes)
  • Begin casting Harpe shortly after 2s appears on the countdown > Ingress into boss if necessary
  • Shadow of Death > Middle weave Potion (If you can’t at two minutes)
  • Soul Slice > Arcane Circle (If your GCD is < 2.47 use AC one GCD earlier) > Gluttony
  • Gibbet
  • Gallows
  • Plentiful Harvest > Enshroud
  • Void Reaping
  • Cross Reaping > Lemure’s Slice
  • Void Reaping
  • Cross Reaping  > Lemure’s Slice
  • Communio
  • Soul Slice > Unveiled Gibbet
  • Gibbet

Priority System

Reaper can be played well by just following a priority system. Below is the recommended priority system for single target

  • Spend Soul Reavers on Gibbet or Gallows (whichever is buffed) if you have them.

    • Use Guillotine if you can hit three or more enemies.
  • Maintain Death’s design by using Shadow of Death.

    • Use Whorl of Death if you can hit three or more enemies.
  • Arcane Circle on Cooldown (unless boss will jump during duration).

  • Gluttony on Cooldown (as long as you can spend both reavers).

  • Soul Slice on Cooldown (Do not overcap your Soul!)

    • Use Soul Scythe if you can hit three or more enemies.
  • Plentiful Harvest if available.

  • Enshroud when at 50 or more Shroud.

    • Alternate Void and Cross Reaping four times, as they buff each other.

      • Use Grim Reaping if you can hit three or more enemies.
    • Weave Lemure’s Slice after every other weapon skills.

      • Use Lemure’s Scythe if you can hit three or more enemies.
    • Use Communio when you have one Blue Orb remaining.

  • Unveiled Gibbet / Unveiled Gallows / Blood Stalk if at 50 or more Soul.

    • Use Grim Swathe if you can hit three or more enemies.
  • Combo actions as filler (Slice, Waxing Slice, Infernal Slice).

    • Use AoE combo (Spinning Scythe, Nightmare Scythe) if you can hit three or more enemies.
  • Harvest Moon if you are not in melee range of the boss and it’s available.

    • Ensure to get one Harvest Moon between each pull and downtime!
  • Harpe if you are not in melee range of the boss.

Notable Utility

  • Hell’s Ingress / Egress / Regress: Gap closer and disengage abilities, respectively. Using the other after using one will activate Regress, returning you to your previous location. Great for moving around boss mechanics.
  • Arcane Crest: Provides a strong shield to yourself, that if broken gives the party a strong AoE regen. Use this often to help support the party.
  • Feint: Reduces an enemies physical damage by a lot and magic damage by a little. Use on raidwides, tank busters, or as requested from your healer or tanks.
  • Arm’s Length: Prevents most knockbacks, great for maintaining uptime on the boss.
  • True North: Allows you to ignore positional requirements. Use it when you can’t hit the flank or rear for Gibbet and Gallows respectively.
  • Second Wind / Bloodbath: Self heal tools that can aid you in a pinch. Use them if you take unnecessary damage or find your health lower than the rest of the groups.

Core Concepts

  • Maintain uptime: Try to solve mechanics in a way that would allow you to stay on the bosses hit box. If you have to disengage you can utilize Harvest Moon to not lose any DPS. Harpe is also excellent if you have to disengage and can’t attack the boss.
  • Hit your positionals: Gibbet and Gallows have rear and flank positionals respectively. Make sure you are attacking in the correct position when using them. Reaper has a lot of flexibility on when you can use these abilities so try to hold them if you can’t hit them. If you must hit them then utilize True North to hit them from any angle.
  • Slidecasting: Soul Sow, Harpe and Communio all have cast times associated with them. You can start moving about 80% through the cast bar and still execute the ability. Utilize this to not miss damage and not take unnecessary damage. 

Adjustments for High Ping on Reaper

You may have noticed Enshroud windows feeling somewhat unresponsive to your button pushing. This is a common occurrence that can happen for a multitude of reasons, almost always related to poor connection to the server. What you’re experiencing is referred to as “clipping”, due to prolonged animation lock that happens when your ping exceeds the allotted time the game gives you between GCDs to use your oGCDs. Reaper suffers more than most other jobs simply because of the Enshroud window forcing a 1.5 second GCD and also requiring you to weave between two Lemure’s Slices. There are a few ways to handle this:

  • If possible, ensure you are using a wired connection. WiFi can be spotty and result in packet loss.
  • If playing on an older computer, lower graphics settings and turn off particle effects to increase your framerate. This only matters when your frame rate is so low that it is visibly affecting your gameplay.
  • Utilize a gaming VPN. Occasionally, ISPs will route your connection inefficiently, and a VPN can correct the issue by lowering packet loss and ping, creating a more stable connection to the server. Listed below are VPN options.
    • Mudfish
    • ExitLag
    • WTFast
    • Pingzapper
    • NoPing
    • BattlePing

A full explanation on how VPNs work and how to check your ping for FFXIV specifically can be found in this guide. The best VPN for you will differ based on location and ISP. It’s suggested that you try all possible options before deciding on one since they do cost money to use on top of your sub. Most, if not all of these should come with free trials so you can see if they help your connection.

After attempting to fix these issues with the above suggestions, the only thing you can really do without the use of illegal ToS breaking software, is adjust your rotation. Avoid Double Communio and focus on a rotation based more around priority spending of resources. This lessens the clipping you’ll see in burst windows. Using Shadow of Death mid-Enshroud and using it to weave Lemure Slice is also a very viable option. The longer GCD on Shadow of Death should help avoid clipping. Just make sure you’re not overcapping your Death’s Design timer to do this. 

If you’re on a PC, and you’re okay with the morality issues of injection based programs, QuickLauncher has a plug-in called NoClippy that will help your clipping issue. This program will simulate a low ping environment specifically for the animation lock of combat actions. This will not actually lower your ping or make your connection to the servers any more stable than it already is or isn’t. The instructions on how to enable NoClippy are listed on the GitHub page. While I’ve not heard of anyone being punished by Square Enix for using programs like this, the reality of the situation is they could potentially endanger your service account. Please keep this in mind if you decide to use QuickLauncher and any plug-in associated with it.

Next Level

When you feel like you have mastered the basics of Reaper, head over the Advanced Guide to learn how to play the job into raid buffs. The Advanced guide will cover a lot from Double Shroud windows to specific fight mapping tools!

Special thanks to Moth Kira and Jackal for the infographs!

  • Have any questions?
    Ellunavi Sevald
  • 2 Jan, 2022
    Created page
    13 Sep, 2022
    Updated patch number
    12 Jan, 2023
    Updated patch number
    30 May, 2023
    Patch Update
    4 Oct, 2023
    Updated patch number to 6.5