Black Mage Guide 5.35

FFXIV Shadowbringers Black Mage Openers

Good Openers

One of most frequently asked questions is: What is an example of a good opener?

Openers should put abilities on cooldown, fit strong spells within buff windows, and minimize clipping.

All openers assume there is a pull countdown and the boss is pulled at 0. If your group pulls earlier, adjust them as necessary.

Use the highest tier Tincture of Intelligence available where appropriate.

While they form only fraction of total fight time, for Black Mage the opener is very important to set the scene for future ability timings.

In this section we’ll cover:

  • our preferred opener methods
  • the reasoning & importance for various timings

All of the openers are intended for single target at Lv. 80.

They are very close in estimated output over the course of the entire encounter and as such it is instead recommended to choose your opener based on your current Spell Speed, with consideration towards potential fight-specific requirements.

See the advised opener Spell Speed thresholds below:

SpS @ Lv. 80 Recommended Opener
< 558 Meld more SpS
558 - 2500 No B4 or Double Sharp Opener
2500 - 3600 Modified JP Opener or Double Sharp Opener
> 3600 JP Opener

JP Opener

JP Opener

  • Prepull Sharpcast @ roughly -12s.
  • Prepull Fire III @ roughly -4s. Adjust with SpS and ping in mind.
  • Enochian (hardclip)
  • GCD 1: Thunder III
  • GCD 2: Fire IV + Triplecast (hardclip)
  • GCD 3: Fire IV (instant) + Tincture
  • GCD 4: Fire IV (instant) + Leylines
  • GCD 5: Fire IV (instant) + Swiftcast
  • GCD 6: Despair (instant) + Manafont
  • GCD 7: Fire IV
  • GCD 8: Despair
  • GCD 9: Blizzard III + Sharpcast (fastclip)
  • GCD 10: Thunder III proc (Instant)
  • GCD 11: Blizzard IV
JP Opener Video at 3881 SpS

This is a reliable opener for especially high Spell Speed sets as it does not rely on having a Polyglot stack available in time for Xenoglossy for filler at the end that other openers require.

However, in order to ensure that the Thundercloud proc will last long enough to use instead, 3600+ SpS is required. Below this threshold, the Thundercloud proc can fall off losing you a chunk of damage.

Named the JP Opener after being popularised by the Japanese player Kurone San at a time where few players had reached such a high SpS value back in Eden’s Gate.

Modified JP Opener

Modified JP Opener

  • Prepull Sharpcast @ roughly -12s.
  • Prepull Leylines @ roughly -4s. Adjust with ping in mind.
  • Prepull Fire III @ roughly -3s. Adjust with SpS and ping in mind.
  • Enochian (hardclip)
  • GCD 1: Thunder III
  • GCD 2: Fire IV + Triplecast (hardclip)
  • GCD 3: Fire IV (instant) + Tincture
  • GCD 4: Fire IV (instant) + Swiftcast
  • GCD 5: Fire IV (instant)
  • GCD 6: Despair (instant) + Manafont
  • GCD 7: Fire IV
  • GCD 8: Despair
  • GCD 9: Blizzard III + Sharpcast (fastclip)
  • GCD 10: Thunder III proc (Instant)
  • GCD 11: Blizzard IV
Modified JP Opener Video at 1879 SpS

This is an extension of the JP Opener which utilizes pre-pull LL use to lower the Spell Speed requirement while still taking advantage of not having Xenoglossy available in time for UI filler that you need for other openers.

While technically possible around the 1929 SpS tier for lower ping players, this variant is mostly recommended as an option for the 2500-3600 SpS range.

No B4 Opener

No B4 Opener

  • Prepull Sharpcast anywhere between -12s and -5s
  • Prepull Blizzard III @ roughly -4s. Adjust with SpS and ping in mind.
  • Enochian (hardclip)
  • GCD 1: Thunder III
  • GCD 2: Fire III + Triplecast (hardclip)
  • GCD 3: Fire IV (instant) + Tincture
  • GCD 4: Fire IV (instant) + Leylines
  • GCD 5: Fire IV (instant)
  • GCD 6: Fire IV
  • GCD 7: Fire IV
  • GCD 8: Despair
  • GCD 9: Thunder III proc (Instant) + Manafont
  • GCD 10: Fire IV
  • GCD 11: Despair
  • GCD 12: Blizzard III
  • GCD 13: Blizzard IV
  • GCD 14: Xenoglossy
No B4 Opener Video at 1879 SpS

This opener is viable at low to moderate Spell Speed values and is usually the most recommended opener to use in the 558-2500 SpS range, however, do be mindful of your latency when feeling out what range works best for you.

Here is an additional video to show that it works at the lower end of that Spell Speed range (578 SpS).

No B4 Opener Video at 578 SpS

Below ~1421 SpS you will need to weave in Swift under Triple in order to get to the Despair in time, as performed in the above video and seen here:

Above 2500 SpS, you begin to run into the issue where Xeno will not be available at the end of the opener as pictured, even when not using Swiftcast. At this point, it is still viable to use the No B4 opener by using F3 immediately after the B4 instead of waiting on Xeno.

Depending on MP tick timing, sometimes you will only get one MP tick here, and sometimes you will get two ticks, resulting in a variable second AF cycle.

Extending out the openers to include these two possibilities:

One tick:

This abbreviated F4 x4 -> Despair AF cycle is a bit more immobile/tight on AF timing and might not work out well in a given fight.

Two ticks:

With two MP ticks you have enough MP to do a standard AF cycle.

Double Sharp Opener

Double Sharp Opener

  • Prepull Sharpcast @ roughly -12s.
  • Prepull Blizzard III @ roughly -3s. Adjust with SpS and ping in mind.
  • Enochian (hardclip)
  • GCD 1: Thunder III
  • GCD 2: Blizzard IV
  • GCD 3: Fire III + Triplecast (fastclip)
  • GCD 4: Fire IV (instant) + Tincture
  • GCD 5: Fire IV (instant) + Leylines
  • GCD 6: Fire IV (instant)
  • GCD 7: Fire IV
  • GCD 8: Thunder III proc (instant) + Sharpcast
  • GCD 9: Fire
  • GCD 10: Fire IV
  • GCD 11: Fire IV
  • GCD 12: Fire III proc (instant) + Swiftcast
  • GCD 13: Despair + Manafont
  • GCD 14: Fire IV
  • GCD 15: Despair
  • GCD 16: Blizzard III
  • GCD 17: Blizzard IV
  • GCD 18: Xenoglossy
Double Sharp Opener Video at 1879 SpS

Good general purpose opener to fall back on, if other openers are not as viable, for whatever reason.

The opener is long enough that there is no issue with Xenoglossy being available in UI in time.

Variations

The openers above aren’t absolute. Alter them to fit fight requirements. Add Swift after an instant to cover an extra F4 / Despair or hold for fight mechanics.

Do not precast Swiftcast or Triplecast. This puts you behind a GCD, due to waiting for the recast before your next Spell. If there’s no pull countdown or you’re unable to precast, then precast Swiftcast is fine.

Hopefully these openers provide a framework to think about when certain approaches are the more sensible choice for dealing DPS. As with any encounter, think about how your cooldowns map out as a fight progresses.