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FFXIV Dark Knight Guide

FFXIV Dark Knight

While some classes specialize in offense or defense, the Dark Knights of Eorzea practice both. With their greatswords, these Berserker-like warriors serve at the frontlines to either protect their allies from harm or to inflict chaos on their enemies. Players who don't like being tied down to being a DPS or a Tank will enjoy playing Dark Knights immensely. 

What are FFXIV Dark Knights?

These Dark Knights are former clergy members who renounced their oath to their order, but not their pledge to the people. Embracing the power of darkness, these fallen knights now stand as the meek and helpless's sword and shield. They bear no allegiance to any order, lord, or liege and serve only the people. These knights are willing to punish any wrongdoers, whether they be downtrodden criminals or high-member clergymen. 

Dark Knights are greatsword-wielding characters who use the power of the darkness to do their duty to the people. This class is designated as tanks, but they are not played as the typical frontline. Unlike other beefier classes, Dark Knights tend to do more damage than their peers. Their ability to soak up damage and deal out significant damage is balanced because they are the least durable tanks in the game.

How to Unlock Dark Knight FFXIV

Unfortunately for free trial players, Dark Knights are content locked behind expansions. To become one, players need to own the Heavensward so that they can access the quests to unlock the class. Those who already have required expansion will have to satisfy certain conditions. 

While Dark Knights do not need a base class to unlock, the job requires players to be at least level 50 in either Disciples of War or Disciples of Magic, have access to Ishgard, and have finished all the MSQs related to A Realm reborn with the last mission being "Before the Dawn." Afterward, players become a Dark Knight by completing the "Our End" quest from the Ishgardian Citizen at (X:13.2, Y:8.8).

Gear and Materia

As a mix between offense and defense, Dark Knights should be tanky enough to survive as they level up their characters while dealing considerable damage. Here are stats that players using this class should focus on:

  • Defense
  • Vitality
  • Weapon Damage
  • Strength
  • Critical Hit
  • Direct hit
  • Determination
  • Tenacity

Defense and Vitality are the main focus of Dark Knights while they are leveling up. Once they reach a certain point, they should focus on building weapon damage and strength to increase the output. The next priority would be Critical Hit since it can boost the DPS capabilities of a Dark Knight. Direct Hit and Skill Speed are optional and should only be considered if Critical Hit is unavailable.

For the equipment, players should focus on trying out items that provide Direct Hit and Critical Hit. This slight increase in DPS capabilities from the gear can be a huge help, especially while leveling up the class. Here are the BiS items for Dark Knights:

  • Asphodelos Claymore – DH +36 | DET +36
  • Augmented Radiant's Helm of Fending – DH +36 | DH +36
  • Asphodelos Chiton of Fending – DH +36 | DH +36
  • Augmented Radiant's Gauntlets of Fending – DH +36 | DH +36
  • Augmented Radiant's Cuisses of Fending – CRIT +36 | CRIT +36
  • Asphodelos Boots of Fending – DH +36 | DH +36
  • Asphodelos Earrings of Fending – DH +36 | DH +36
  • Augmented Radiant's Choker of Fending – CRIT +36 | DH +36
  • Augmented Radiant's Bracelet of Fending – CRIT +36 | DH +36
  • Asphodelos Ring of Fending – DH +36 | DH +36
  • Classical Ring of Fending – DH +36 | DH +36 | CRT +12 | SKS +12 | SKS +12

Here is an alternative gear set which is also another great BiS option:

  • Asphodelos Claymore – DH +36 | DET +36
  • Asphodelos Circlet of Fending – CRIT +36 | DH +36
  • Asphodelos Chiton of Fending – DH +36 | DH +36
  • Augmented Radiant’s Gauntlets of Fending – DH +36 | DH +36
  • Augmented Radiant’s Cuisses of Fending – CRIT +36 | CRIT +36
  • Augmented Radiant’s Sabatons of Fending – CRIT +36 | DH +36
  • Asphodelos Earrings of Fending – DH +36 | DH +36
  • Augmented Radiant’s Choker of Fending – CRIT +36 | DH +36
  • Asphodelos Ring of Fending – DH +36 | DH +36
  • Augmented Classical Ring of Fending – CRIT +36 | DH +36

Dark Knight Required Quests

Most job missions for the Dark Knight yield skill unlock rewards, armor coffers, and material. All of these should be done so players can have all the necessary skillsets. Here are all the quests that Dark Knights need to complete:

  • Ishgardian Justice (lvl 30) – unlocks Flood of Darkness
  • The Voice in the Abyss (lvl 35) – unlocks Blood Weapon
  • Heroic Reprise (lvl 40) – unlocks Edge of Darkness
  • Our Answer (lvl 45) – unlocks Living Dead and A Dark Day's Knight I and rewards one Dark Knight's Armor Coffer
  • The Knight and the Maiden Fair (lvl 52) – unlocks Salted Earth
  • Kindred Spirits (lvl 54) – unlocks Plunge
  • Original Sins (lvl 56) – unlocks Abyssal Drain
  • Absolution (lvl 60) – unlocks Carve and Spit and A Dark Day's Knight II and rewards one Chaos Armor Coffer
  • Our Compromise (lvl 70) – unlocks The Blackest Night and A Dark Day's Knight III and rewards one Abyss Armor Coffer
  • Our Closure (lvl 80) – unlocks A Dark Day's Knight IV and rewards one Battledance Materia VII, one Savage Aim Materia VII, and one Savage Might Materia VII

How to Play Dark Knight

Dark Knights are meant to fight in the frontlines soaking up damage and packing some heat of their own. While they are less durable than most tanks, they should be able to survive long enough to get healed by their support. Understanding the Dark Knight's skills and rotations will help players become more efficient in their gameplay. Here are the skills of this particular FFXIV class: 

Weapon Skills

  • Hard Slash – deals 170 Potency
  • Syphon Strike – deals 120 Potency
  • Souleater – attacks with 120 Potency
  • Bloodspiller – attacks with 500 Potency
  • Quietus – deals 200 Potency to all nearby foes

Spells and Abilities

  • Unleash – deals 120 Potency unaspected damage to all nearby foes
  • Grit – provides considerable bonus enmity generation, which ends upon recast
  • Unmend – deals 150 Potency unaspected damage
  • Flood of Darkness – deals 100 Potency unaspected damage to foes in a straight line
  • Blood Weapon – gain 5 Blood Weapon stacks with each increasing Blood Gauge by 10 and allows MP recovery upon hitting with weaponskills and spells
  • Shadow Wall – mitigates damage received by 30%
  • Stalwart Soul – deal 100 Potency unaspected damage to all nearby foes
  • Edge of Darkness – deal 300 Potency unaspected damage
  • Dark Mind – mitigates magic vulnerability by 30%
  • Living Dead – activates the Living Dead effect, which grants players the Walking Dead status instead of being KO'd when reduced to 0 HP
  • Salted Earth – deals 50 Potency unaspected damage in a circular aura surrounding the character, which damages enemy who enters the area
  • Plunge – deals 150 Potency jump attack
  • Abyssal Drain – deals 150 Potency unaspected damage to a target and foes surrounding the target
  • Carve and Spit – deals 510 Potency with a threefold attack
  • Delirium – gains 3 Delirium stacks with each one enabling the use of Quietus or Bloodspiller without any cost and restores mana upon hitting a weaponskill
  • The Blackest Night – summons a barrier protecting a specific target and mitigating damage depending on 25% of the protected's max HP
  • Flood of Shadow – deals 160 Potency unaspected damage to foes in a straight line
  • Edge of Shadow – deals 460 Potency unaspected damage
  • Dark Missionary – provides 10% magic damage mitigation to self and nearby party members
  • Living Shadow – summons a clone to fight alongside the caster
  • Oblation – provides 10% damage mitigation to self and nearby party members
  • Salt and Darkness – deals 500 Potency unaspected damage to first foe standing on a patch of Salted Earth and 50% less to the rest
  • Shadowbringer – deals 600 Potency unaspected damage the first enemy hit in a straight line and 50% less to the rest

Role Action

  • Rampart – mitigates damage received by 20%
  • Low Blow – stuns target
  • Provoke – taunts a foe, placing priority enmity on self while gaining increasing enmity
  • Interject – disrupts a target using an action
  • Reprisal – mitigates 10% damage received by nearby enemies
  • Arm's Length – conjures a barrier that nullifies knockback and vacuum effects
  • Shirk – transfer 25% enmity to another party member

FFXIV Dark Knight Mechanics

This class has two unique gauges that players should monitor since they primarily affect the Dark Knight's kit. The first one is the Blood Gauge. Upon activating Grit, the Blood Gauge will first feature the enmity level the character gains for each action. Upon learning Blackblood, the gauge will now come with another feature showcasing the Blood Gauge. This bar or symbol fills up as Dark Knights use more abilities and will enable them to use specific actions such as Bloodspiller and Quietus.

The second mechanic that will be unlocked is the Darkside Gauge, acquired after learning Flood of Darkness. Every time this action is used, a new gauge will appear, which indicates how long Darkside will last. This status increases damage dealt by actions and can be extended using Flood of Darkness and Edge of Darkness. 

The Darkness gauge will also gain another feature when The Blackest Night is activated. Whenever the barrier created by action is absorbed, the Dark Knight can use Dark Arts, which enables the use of Flood of Darkness and Edge of Darkness without any cost. Using Living Shadow will also add another feature to the gauge, representing how long the simulacrum will remain on the field.

Dark Knight Tips

  • Unleash and Stalwart Soul can combine to aggro and gather multiple enemies. Unmend can be used to lure foes far away who weren't aggroed during the initial opener. This action is also an excellent opener to draw opponents closer to the party. This skill should also be consistently used when the Dark Knight cannot get close to the enemy.
  • Edge of Shadow or Flood of Shadow should be consistently up and used before every fight. Living Shadow should be popped whenever available so that it can be used again after its cooldowns.
  • The main trick with Dark Knights is to deal and tank damage while ensuring they do not run out of MP. An example of a good combo for this is Unmend > Blood Weapon > Hard Slash > Edge of Shadow or Flood of Shadow > Siphon Strike.
  • Hard Slash and Syphon Strike can be used in combination to maintain mana upkeep. Carve, Spit and Delirium will allow players free use of Bloodspiller and Quietus when MP gets low while recharging mana.
  • Scourge should be consistently up to ensure maximum damage. For any other skill, players should always ensure that they are never idle and are always casting.
  • Dark Knights are mainly off-tanks meaning they should play the role of secondary tanks and not be the first and primary frontline absorbing damage from bosses. They typically draw attention from adds and side minions.

Dark Knight can be an enjoyable class for people who like to play tanky but offensive characters. The mechanics of this class can be complex and challenging to monitor, but gamers will get the hang of it through practice. Those looking to become Dark Knights should master its spells and rotations to become invaluable to any party.

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