Samurais live by honor and their bladed katanas. These warriors abide by the Bushido code and serve their liege honorably. Samurais have tons of skills in their arsenal where they can masterfully weave through their enemies and take down their opponents with beautiful strikes, and in FFXIV, they're no different. They are one of the most popular Melee DPS classes in the game, and many players are still looking to become one. Fortunately, this guide will cover the most basic but essential things gamers need to learn about this job in FFXIV.
What is a Samurai in FFXIV?
Samurais are honorable warriors who hail from the island nation of Hingashi. Wielding their long and sharp katanas, these swordsmen initially fought for their masters during their country's warring state. Upon the unification of the clans under one banner, these once war-hungry veterans became protectors of peace for their unified country. However, their blades and souls long to feel the heat of battle once more to display their skill in the art of war.
The class's uniqueness and role as a Melee DPS make this class a prevalent one in Eorzea. While these swordsmen are called Samurais, they are closer to their lordless counterparts, known as Ronins. These warriors focus mainly on strength to boost their attacks and are one of the strongest DPS classes.
FFXIV How to Unlock Samurai?
The main requirement to unlock this class is to have the Stormblood expansion. Unfortunately, this means that free trial players have no way of gaining access to this job without spending any money. Players who already have Stormblood will have to satisfy a few more conditions before starting their training to become Samurais.
Aside from Stormblood, gamers should be at least level 50 in any Disciple of War or Magic class. Upon reaching this level, they will now be allowed to talk to an Ul'dahn Citizen at the back of the Gladiator's Guild. This NPC will give out the quest "The Way of the Samurai," which fully unlocks the class to the players.
Gear and Materia
Samurais are purely DPS and do not have any form of party utility. This point can be a blessing and a curse since players do not have anything else to offer to their team other than damage. However, this makes choosing the correct stats for the class much more accessible. Samurais focus on getting stats that will boost their damage. Here are the best attributes to get for this FFXIV class:
- Weapon Damage
- Skill Speed
- Critical Hit
- Direct Hit
The Samurai's damage and power depend highly on STR and Weapon Damage, making these two the leading stats players should focus on developing. Other attributes such as Skill Speed, Critical Hit, Direct Hit, and Determination are secondary combat allotments that players will have varying effects on the total damage output. Skill Speed and Critical Hit take precedence over the latter two.
For equipment, the items should have varying stats such as Direct Hit, Skill Speed, and Determination. A lot of the Samurais trait provides increased chances of Critical Hit, so players don't need to dump too many points for this attribute. Therefore, gamers should focus on gear with other stats to further improve the DPS capabilities of their class. Here are the BiS items for this class:
- Asphodelos Samurai Blade – DH +36 | DH +36
- Augmented Radiant’s Mask of Striking – CRT +36 | DET +36
- Asphodelos Himation of Striking – CRT +36 | CRT +36
- Augmented Radiant’s Wristgloves of Striking – DH +36 | DH +36
- Augmented Radiant’s Hose of Striking – CRT +36 | CRT +36
- Asphodelos Shoes of Striking – DET +36 | DET +36
- Augmented Radiant’s Earrings of Slaying – CRT +36 | DH +36
- Augmented Radiant’s Choker of Slaying – CRT +36 | DH +36
- Asphodelos Amulet of Slaying – CRT +36 | DET +36
- Asphodelos Ring of Slaying – CRT +36| CRT +36
- Augmented Radiant’s Ring of Slaying – DH +36 | DH +36
- Classical Samurai Blade – CRT +36 | CRT +36 | DET +36 | DET +12 | DET +12
- Classical Secutor’s Mask – CRT +36 | DET +36 | DET +36 | DET +12 | DET +12
- Classical Secutor’s Lorica – CRT +36 | CRT +36 | CRT +36 | CRT +12 | CRT +12
- Classical Secutor’s Manicae – DET +36 | DET +36 | DET +36 | DH +12 | DH +12
- Classical Secutor’s Loincloth – CRT +36 | CRT +36 | DH +36 | DH +12 | DH +12
- Classical Secutor’s Caligae – CRT +36 | CRT +36 | CRT +36 | CRT +12 | CRT +12
- Classical Earrings of Slaying – DH +36 | DH +36 | DH +12 | DH +12 | DH +12
- Classical Choker of Slaying – DH +36 | DET +36 | DET +12 | DET +12 | DET +12
- Classical Wristband of Slaying – CRT +36 | CRT +36 | CRT +12 | DH +12 | DH +12
- Classical Ring of Slaying – DET +36 | DH +36 | DH +12 | DH +12 | DH +12
- Classical Ring of Slaying – DH +36 | DH +36 | DH +12 | DH +12 | DH +12
Though players need to do every job quest in the Samurai questline, specific missions should be accomplished right away since they unlock relevant skills to players as well as items and materia. Here are the typical tasks that are very important to the class:
- The Face of True Evil (lvl 60) - unlocks Meditate and SAM I Am I
- The Battle of Bekkko (lvl 70) - unlocks Hissatsu: Guren and SAM I Am II and rewards one Myochin Armor Coffer
- The Legend of Musosai (lvl 80) - unlock SAM I Am III and rewards one Heaven's Eye Materia VII, one Savage Aim Materia VII, and Savage Might Materia VII
How to Play Samurai
Samurais are meant to be purely Melee DPS, focusing only on damaging opponents. They have a lot of single-target attacks that can deal with high potency damage and several lethal multi-target abilities. Though they don't have party utilities, they are still very much welcome at any raiding party. Here are all the actions that gamers should understand from the class:
- Hakaze – deals 200 Potency damage
- Jinpu – deals 120 Potency damage
- Enpi – deals 100 Potency range damage
- Shifu – deals 120 Potency damage
- Fuga – deals 90 Potency to enemies in a cone in front
- Gekko – deals 120 Potency damage and 150 Potency when done as a back attack
- Iaijutsu – activates a weaponskill depending on the Sen Gauge
- Higanbanda (Iaijutsu) - deals 200 Potency damage
- Tenka Goken (Iaijutsu) - deals 280 Potency damage to all nearby foes
- Midaere Setsugekka – deals 640 Potency critical damage
- Mangetsu – deals 100 Potency damage to nearby enemies
- Kasha – deals 120 Potency damage and 150 Potency when done as a flank attack
- Oka – deals 100 Potency damage to nearby foes
- Yukikaze – deals 120 Potency damage
- Fuko – deals 100 Potency damage to nearby foes
- Ogi Namikiri – deals 800 Potency critical damage to the first enemy hit and 75% less to the rest
- Third Eye – provides 10% damage mitigation for the next attack taken
- Meikyo Shisui – enables the use of three weaponskill combos with no prerequisites (not applicable to Iaijutsu or Ogi Namikiri)
- Hissatsu: Shinten – deals 250 Potency damage
- Hissatsu: Goyen – deals 100 Potency with a rush attack
- Hissatsu: Yaten – deals 100 Potency damage
- Meditate – increases Kenki Gauge considerably
- Hissatsu: Kyuten – deals 110 Potency damage to nearby foes
- Hagakure – transmutes Setsu, Getsu, and Ka to Kenki. Sen stacks changed provides an additional 10 Kenki Gauge.
- Ikishoten – grants 50 stacks to Kenki Gauge
- Hissatsu: Guren – delivers 500 Potency damage to the first enemy hit in a straight line and 50% to the rest
- Hissatsu: Senei – delivers 800 Potency damage
- Tsubame-gaeshi – repeats the previous Iaijutsu used with additional potency
- Shoha – deals 520 Potency damage
- Shoha II – deals 200 Potency damage to nearby foes
- Kaeshi: Namikiri – delivers 800 Potency critical damage to the first enemy hit and 75% to the rest
- Kaeshi: Higanbana (Iaijutsu) - deals 200 Potency damage
- Kaeshi: Goken (Iaijutsu) - deals 280 Potency damage to all nearby foes
- Kaeshi: Setsugekka (Iaijutsu) - deals 640 Potency critical damage
Melee DPS Actions
- Second Wind – instantly recovers HP
- Leg Sweep – stuns a target
- Bloodbath – recovers HP based on the portion of physical damage dealt
- Feint – reduces a target's physical damage by 10% and magic damage by 5%
- Arm's Length – conjures a barrier that nullifies knockback and vacuum effects
- True North – voids all action direction requirements
The Samurai is unique because it has three gauges that players should monitor to maximize their use of skills and damage output. These bars are the Sen, Kenki, and Meditation Gauges. Each of these has varying effects and can be used to enable the execution of specific skills.
- This gauge is unlocked by learning Gekko. This meter allows the execution of Iaijutsu-based attacks. The number of Sen stacks also determines which skills will be used. The gauge is made up of three Sens: Setsu (top), Getsu (left), and Ka (right).
- Kenki Gauge
- This gauge is unlocked after learning Kenki Mastery. This meter allows using specific skills such as Hissatsu: Shinten, Hissatsu: Gyoten, and Hissatsu: Guren. The gauge is filled by using weaponskills and successful use of Third Eye.
- Meditation Gauge
- This gauge is unlocked after learning Shoha. The meter allows the use of Shoha or Shoha II. The stacks for Meditation are gained by using Iaijutsu, Meditate, and Ogi Namikiri.
To be an effective DPS, players must learn the possible and most effective skill rotations. Doing so maximizes the global cooldowns, skill cooldowns, damage upkeep, and mana costs. Here are the best combinations for the Samurai:
- Meikyo Shisui > True North > Gekko > Kasha > Yukikaze > Midare > Setsugekka > Kaeshi: Setsugekka > Gekko > Higanbanda > Kasha > Ogi Namikiri > Kaeshi: Namikiri > Gekko > Hakaze > Yukikaze > Midare Setsugekka > Kaeshi: Setsugekka
Cooldown Phase (while bursts skills are on CD)
- Hakaze > Yukikaze > Hakaze > Jinpu > Gekko > Hakaze > Shifu > Kasha > Midare Setsugekka > Hakaze > Yukikaze > Hakaze > Jinpu > Gekko > Hakaze > Shifu > Kasha
High Burst Rotation
- Midare Setsugekka > Kaeshi: Setsugekka > Hissatsu: Senei > Meikyo Shisui > Gekko > Higanbana > Gekko > Ogi Namikiri > Kaeshi: Namikiri > Kasha > Hakaze > Yukikaze > Midare Setsugekka
- Hakaze > Jinpu > Gekko
- Hakaze > Shifu Kasha
- Hakaze > Yukikaze
- Fuko > Mangetsu
- Fuko > Oka
Note: It is always recommended to start any engagements with raid bosses using any opener. These combos will allow more efficient upkeep and cooldown of skills.
Aspiring Samurais should be very familiar with the actions and mechanics present in the class so that they can deal out as much damage as possible. Raid parties will place a high value on DPS classes who are efficient in their use of skills. Following this guide will help gamers improve their skills with their katanas.