The 2 Minute Cycle
A key concept for Summoner is timing Miasma III & Bio III DoTs appropriately.
The goals are:
- to have DoTs up at all times
- to avoid unnecessary DoT clipping
- to make the most of party buff synergy with snapshots
Here are the DoT cycle timings with the 3rd GCD DWT Opener:
These timings are with the goal having as much DoT uptime with damage buffs as possible without compromising the general structure.
We open with Tri-disaster (TriD) then clip it with a super buffed TriD at ~12s into a pull. This buffed TriD marks the beginning of the core DoT cycle.
It is important to understand that for every 30s there will be a DoT set applied in the standard 2 minute cycle for a total of 4 DoT set refreshes (4x30s: 2mins):
- 1 TriD in raid buffs in Dreadwyrm Trance before Summon Bahamut
- 1 unbuffed hardcast Miasma III & Bio III pair after Summon Bahamut
- 1 TriD in raid buffs just before entering Firebird Trance
- 1 unbuffed TriD after Firebird Trance
With careful planning of DoTs in a full uptime scenario by maintaining the above cycle it is possible to reduce needing to manually cast Miasma III & Bio III to only once every 2 minutes.
This DoT hardcast pair is unavoidable due to the nature of TriD resets with the strict Trance cooldowns so keep in mind that it is not possible to keep DoTs up with only TriD.
Note: Extra DoT hardcast pairs in addition to the core cycle will result in an initial loss of 350p when compared to the potency of 2 Ruin III GCDs (400p-50p) before accounting for any losses from losing buff snapshots. Don’t overwrite your existing DoTs with extra hardcasts needlessly!
One thing to be aware of is that TriD will always be cast either just before or immediately after a Trance, where the TriD just before FBT, is being held for ~10s after it becomes available to keep the DoT cycle timings in check.
Downtime may cause the standard DoT cycle to drift & desync such that TriD comes before DWT & after FBT. The general cycle & TriD ideas are the same where whether DWT & FBT are reversed.
Below are some DoT rules of thumb to keep in mind to best plan out & execute your DoT cycle.
DoT Rules Of Thumb
- Try to daisy-chain DoTs cleanly. TriD as they fade, M3 + B3 at ~2-3s left
- About to go into a Trance & have TriD available? Use it. Don’t lose any uses!
- DoTs are running out & Trance is soon available? Trance to reset & use TriD
- DoTs are running out & Trance is not available, but have TriD ready? Use it
- DoTs are running out & you have neither Trance, nor TriD up? Hardcast DoTs
- Hardcast DoTs are worth it vs 2 Ruin IIIs on a fresh target after 12s (4 ticks)
The first phase in the 2 Minute Cycle will always be Dreadwyrm Trance (DWT).
Upon entering DWT the following benefits happen:
- Deathflare becomes available to use
- Tri-disaster’s cooldown resets
- all GCDs have their base cast time reduced by 2.5s making Ruin III instant cast
The last change allows for DWT to be a cooldown for mobility & extra weaving space. It is most important when thinking about Resurrection as its base cast time becomes 5.5s before Spell Speed reductions. The faster raise can be the difference for getting people back up in time for mechanics to salvage runs & progress further on in encounters.
Note: DWT no longer provides a 10% bonus to magic damage while active.
Unlike previous iterations of Summoner where DWT would be used at least once per minute, in Shadowbringers there will only be 1 DWT every 2 minutes due to it sharing a cooldown with Firebird Trance (FBT). As of 5.10 its cooldown is 55s.
In the rotation it is used in the following ways:
- the initial opener & specific encounter reopeners
- core 2 Minute Cycle Trance timings
While DWT has a 15s duration, it is important to note that DWTs are ended early for the sake of aligning burst under raid buffs in a standard full uptime scenario.
For the standard 6th GCD Summon opener DWT there will be 3 GCDs in the Trance before ending with Deathflare into Summon Bahamut.
For all later DWTs in full uptime that will occur every 2 minutes after the opener, provided Trance cooldowns are not drifting too much, you can use it as soon as it comes off of cooldown where you are expected to use between 2-4 GCDs before ending the Trance.
This GCD number depends on where you are in relation to not only raid buff timings but also your personal DoT alignment.
You want the minimum weaving space to be enough to use your oGCDs which will occur in these DWT windows:
- Summon Bahamut
Given the presence of 5 OGCDs & keeping 2 OGCDs to each GCD, at a minimum you would be looking at 3 Ruin III GCDs before ending Trance, however, in the 2 GCD case you can always push the Fester back into the Summon Bahamut window.
By ending early not only are you getting Deathflare into a full buff window, you are also beginning your next Bahamut phase before buffs disappear.
In theory you can extend a DWT up to the max possible GCDs for movement before the timer elapses, however, doing so:
- pushes Summon Bahamut further outside of raid buffs
- can make your DoTs fall off at an awkward time during or after Summon Bahamut
This awkward DoT timing can make the following DoT hardcast set lose you a Wyrmwave.
Only consider extending DWT if it saves you from extra Ruin II casts down the line.
Be mindful of using Ruin IVs in DWT without following them with Egi Assaults as you do not want to enter the Bahamut phase without 4 Ruin IVs.
Summon Bahamut requires 2 Dreadwyrm Aether from a completed DWT phase in order to summon him. Every 2 minute cycle will have 1 Bahamut phase.
Assuming standard timings it begins with the end of DWT where Summon Bahamut will always late weaved by doing:
- Ruin III + Deathflare + Summon Bahamut
Our single target golden standards for Bahamut are:
- summoning Bahamut with 4 Further Ruin stacks for 4 Ruin IVs
- to have 8 real Wyrmwaves (WW) & 2 real Akh Morns (AM)
The 4 Ruin IV requirement is due to Bahamut sequences requiring at least 4 instant casts & that we want to minimise Ruin II casts as much as is possible.
We can be more lax with the 8 WW goal when multi-target scenarios are at play, however, we should always strive to maximise our WW output where able to do so.
For all the rotation information and videos regarding Bahamut click here.
Post-Bahamut Filler Phase
Following the DWT & Summon Bahamut is the first Filler phase.
Filler phases do not follow a specific rotation or sequencing, however, they require maintaining the foundations of casting GCDs & using weaving space efficiently.
The priorities for the first Filler phase are to:
- cast Ruin III as much as possible while maintaining proper GCD uptime
- use Egi Assaults efficiently for movement & weaving
- avoid overcapping on Ruin IV procs
- take advantage of free weaving space, such as the Miasma III > Bio III window
- make sure Devotion recasts are correctly aligned for party gains
- set the scene for the upcoming Firebird Trance (FBT)
The initial part of the first Filler phase is all about efficiently using Egi Assaults & Ruin IVs for movement & weaving over the next 26s up to the next Energy Drain.
At the tail end of the Bahamut phase a charge is gained for EA1 & EA2 each with the next pair of charges being gained around around the next Energy Drain timing at ~x:01. This means that there will be 4 charges to use.
During this 26s window there are two mandatory weaves that must happen:
- the 2nd Fester after Bio III
- the next Energy Drain use
The timing of FBT is important with raid buff alignment in mind. Not only to ensure that the Tri-Disaster which will naturally come off cooldown is delayed until our previous DoTs fall off, but our FBT is also delayed accordingly that placing both within the window for raid buff timings.
Example Sequence: Energy Drain (ED) to FBT (Triple Weave method)
The remainder of the first Filler phase will continue from ED’s timing up until FBT. This last portion depends on which method we decide to use for FBT itself. The above image being an example sequence for the Triple Weave method.
Ruin IV should always be prioritised to be the GCD weaving FBT.
Using an Egi Assault instead has a considerable risk to ghosting the pet action due to the very limited time the pet has to resolve the action before despawning in order to summon Demi-Phoenix. This would not only lose the damage of the action but lose a Ruin IV proc.
Any spare Ruin IV procs should only be used during this filler phase for maintaining GCD uptime as necessary, otherwise, they should be held until the 2nd filler phase following FBT.
Aetherflow Stack Priority
With the ED recast coming at x:01, these stacks should always be priortised for upcoming raid buff windows. For repeated cycles, this will eventually align for 3 minute raid buff windows including our own Devotion.
It is very important to ensure that the filler phase does not last longer than intended. Allowing the Filler phases to continue past the cooldown timers of DWT and FBT (exclusion being the 1st FBT) will in turn cause your future Trance usages to be delayed, and this is not an ideal situation.
Dreadwyrm Trance (DWT) transforms into Firebird Trance (FBT) after having completed a Bahamut phase.
It is important to note that both of the Trances share the same 55s cooldown, however unlike DWT having a 15s duration, FBT lasts for 20s allowing for 8 GCDs at typical Spell Speed values before it ends.
Due to Trance cooldowns & party buffs happening at windows every minute, we are presented with a timing problem.
If DWT & FBT are used on cooldown they would operate on a 2 * 55s cycle, or 1m50s instead of our preferred 2 minute cycle. Repeated use of this would further cause our Trances & DoTs to desync from everything, while further causing us to clip DoTs.
In order to resolve this for a full uptime scenario we must delay FBT, where if DWT is used immediately then that means FBT must be delayed by 10s. Any drift on the first Trance means the delay on the next Trance must be reduced accordingly to keep to time.
A simpler way to also consider it is that TriD must always happen first so that a use is not wasted & lost. If the DoT timeline is maintained then the TriD will be cast as the earlier hardcast DoT set fades right before entering FBT. Keeping to time allows the rest to fall into place.
There are situations where we will want to deviate from these timings & choose to accelerate FBT for AoE, killtime or downtime reasons, however, these are exceptions to the rule & are discussed as fight specific advice.
Never use an Egi Assault as the instant GCD just before FBT as this risks not only ghosting the damage of the Egi Assault but losing a Ruin IV proc entirely.
Instead there are 3 GCD use cases to be aware of for each Firebird Trance method:
- Triple Weave: [ Ruin IV + TriD + FBT + Revelation]
- Hold method: [ Ruin IV + TriD + FBT] [~0.6s delay + FoF]
- Single Weave: [ Ruin IV + TriD] [ Ruin IV + mid GCD FBT]
From the above we know that the Triple Weave & Hold methods use 1 Ruin IV while the Single Weave method uses 2 Ruin IVs, although using an Egi Assault instead of the first Ruin IV in the Single Weave method is acceptable.
Note: While these are for the ideal cases, Ruin IVs may have been used for movement earlier due to mechanics & there are no stacks left. In this situation it is fine to Ruin II at a 40p loss than it is to not cast anything at all. Keep that GCD rolling, however, be mindful of ways to improve movement & uptime to avoid this scenario.
Upon entering FBT the following benefits happen:
- Ruin III becomes Fountain of Fire (FoF): 250p single target
- Outburst becomes Brand of Purgatory (BoP): 350p target AoE with 50% falloff
- Everlasting Flight (EF), a party wide Heal over Time, is cast by Demi-Phoenix
- Tri-disaster’s cooldown resets
- all GCDs have their base cast time reduced by 2.5s
Fountain of Fire when used grants the Hellish Conduit buff which allows for us to use Brand of Purgatory which when cast consumes the buff requiring another FoF for another BoP.
As a result the rotation must always be 4 x [ FoF into BoP] for 8 GCDs total.
Any deviation from this sequence, such as two FoF casts in a row, will result in losing a BoP at a minimum. Never hardcast DoTs during this window.
Everlasting Flight (EF) is an appreciable HoT that healers can factor in to their healing rotation, especially if it aligns with any raidwide damage. It does have a 15y range so be mindful of distances relative to other party members. Summoners however should not be expected to hold Phoenix for better healing windows. FBT remains first & foremost one of our high potency windows for buff alignment.
Unlike the TriD reset from DWT that is used during the Trance, the one from FBT is held until the DoTs from the TriD used just before FBT fade, which will put it into the filler phase afterwards.
The last benefit is once more most important when thinking about Resurrection as its base cast time becomes 5.5s before Spell Speed reductions.
Our golden standards for FBT & Phoenix are:
- to cast 4 Fountain of Fire (FoF) & 4 Brand of Purgatory (BoP) GCDs
- to have 8 real Scarlet Flames (SF) & 2 real Revelations (R)
While it is possible in theory to get a 9th GCD FoF & potentially a 9th SF with much higher than standard Spell Speed, this the loss in damage overall for all other sources outweighs this potency gain. It is not possible to obtain enough Spell Speed for a 10th GCD.
For all the rotation information, videos & nuances regarding Phoenix click here.
Post-Phoenix Filler Phase
The second Filler phase priorities are to:
- Cast Ruin III as much as possible while maintaining proper GCD uptime
- Use Egi Assaults efficiently for movement and weaving purposes
- Use free weaving space to your advantage, such as the Fester after the last BoP
- Avoid overcapping on Ruin IV procs, but prioritise setting up 4x procs for Summon Bahamut
Like with the first Filler phase, there will be ~26s until the next Energy Drain.
In this window there are again two mandatory weaves that must happen:
- the double weave of TriD & the 2nd Fester
- the next Energy Drain use
Be mindful of overcapping Further Ruin** stacks if already sitting at 4 procs. Do not use an Egi Assault if already at max procs, use a Ruin IV first.
While you do want to prioritise 4 procs for the upcoming buff window phase, it is better to use Ruin IV casts to keep GCD uptime & have to use Ruin IIs at a 40p loss than it is to lose 200p casts altogether. Enough small delays from moving & not casting will eventually result in GCDs lost at.
After this phase we return back to the Dreadwyrm Trance phase resuming the 2 minute cycle loop.
Tying It Together
Here is a 5 minute video of the rotation in action giving enough time to observe the 2 minute cycle twice, as well as the 3rd GCD DWT Opener:
While the parts separately may appear initially intimidating to learn, once you get the ball rolling the rotation in full uptime will play into itself more seamlessly where even if there are stumbles in action sequences & drifting cooldowns, there are places where you can correct your timings with Trance cooldowns & DoT resets.
The main rotation problems arise when downtime is thrown to the mix where figuring out how to adapt more optimally can be tricky. This is where fight specific advice comes to play where after brainstorming & much trial & error we learn through our experiences for what works out better.
Akhmorning’s SMN Encounter Advice section has been created to help with tried and tested methods.
General Rotation Considerations
A large part of higher level Summoner play revolves around aligning burst phases with party buffs due to how it can condense a high amount of potency into a small window.
Summoner’s burst windows align every 60s where every:
- even minute (0m, 2m, 4m) has DWT with TriD, DF, Enkindle, Festers & part of Bahamut
- odd minute (1m, 3m, 5m) has TriD into FBT, Festers & part of Phoenix
With the 60s burst windows many buffs will align with them, while we offer our own raid utility with Devotion on a 3 minute cooldown.
Below is the Raid Utility sheet by Jahaudant showing the various buffs & burst window timings for each job.
Prioritise Devotion usage around 3 minute raid buff windows. This also aligns it with your personal damage burst windows beginning with the opener & alternating between being used prior to Bahamut or Firebird Trance windows.
More on the merits of pet actions can be found here.
Ruin IV is best used to replace a Ruin II cast for:
- weaving 1-2 oGCDs
- big movements that cannot be slidecast
- both of the above
When Ruin II is not required in the near future, Ruin IV upgrades Ruin III.
Potency gains via Ruin IV replacements:
- Ruin II -> Ruin IV: +140 potency (300-160)
- Ruin III -> Ruin IV: +100 potency (300-200)
Note: The Bahamut Phase wants 4 Ruin IV stacks ready to use.
The Firebird Trance phase wants 1-2 Ruin IV stacks ready to use depending on the method chosen.
Be mindful of not overcapping stacks.
Alternate Rotation Considerations