Following the opener comes one of the most important concepts to understand for Shadowbringers Summoner:
The Rushed (110s) Trance 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 Accelerated Trance Openers:
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), however unlike the 120s rotation, we will NOT clip Tri-Disaster in the opener and will wait until this initial duration of DoTs are falling off before refreshing.
It is important to understand that for every 30s there will be a DoT set applied for the initial 3 refreshes, while the final refresh timing will intentionally clip DoTs by ~10s in the standard 110s cycle for a total of 4 DoT set refreshes (3x30s + 1x20s: 110s):
- 1 TriD just before entering Dreadwyrm Trance
- 1 TriD during your Bahamut rotation
- 1 TriD just after entering Firebird Trance
- 1 unbuffed hardcast Miasma III & Bio III 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 DWT, is intentionally clipped with up to ~10s remaining on the previous DoT duration to keep the DoT cycle timings in check.
Downtime may cause the standard DoT cycle to drift & desync such that TriD comes after DWT & before 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 Accelerated Trance 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 can also be important when thinking about Resurrection, as its base cast time becomes 5.5s before Spell Speed reductions. Reducing the time to battle raise can be the difference for getting people back up in time for mechanics to salvage runs & progress further on in encounters.
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 110s Trance timings
While DWT has a 15s duration, it is important to note that DWTs may be ended early for the sake of aligning burst under raid buffs, as well as other encounter specific priorities
Example: For the 2nd GCD DWT opener, DWT will utilize only 4 GCDs during the Trance duration before ending with Deathflare into Summon Bahamut.
Each consecutive Dreadwyrm Trance assuming full uptime scenarios will occur every 110s, provided Trance cooldowns are not drifted significantly.
Since these timings will generally place DWT ahead of common buff timings, this means you will be able to use the full 15s duration, regardless of whether the additional instant cast GCDs are needed or not.
Summon Bahamut requires 2 Dreadwyrm Aether from a completed DWT phase in order to summon him. Every 110s cycle will have 1 Bahamut phase.
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.
It’s important to understand the alignment of your Bahamut phase with accelerated Trance timings. Since the 110s cycle will push your Trances ahead of common buff timings, this means each consecutive Bahamut outside of the opener will need to be delayed in order to maintain your buff alignment priorities. This concept is known as Decouplement.
Decoupling your Bahamut will be a common theme for each of your Bahamut phases outside of the opener or reopener sequences.
Since 110s cycles will prioritize activating your Trances immediately upon availability, you will be limited to how long you may hold your Bahamut to avoid delaying your Firebird Trance. Assuming you use the full DWT duration, your Bahamut may be delayed for a total of ~20 seconds.
An easy method for timing this decoupled Bahamut correctly is by following the cooldown of your Enkindle. As Enkindle will be aligned for the very beginning of common buff timings, starting with the opener, you can then follow this up with your Bahamut on the next GCD with a simple sequence:
- Ruin IV + Enkindle –> Egi-Assault I + Summon Bahamut
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
- Make sure Devotion recasts are correctly aligned for party gains
- Set the scene for the upcoming Firebird Trance (FBT)
Be mindful that with 110s cycles, the timeline of your Filler phase will not be consistent across each consecutive rotation cycle. This means the alignment of your Egi-Assault and Energy Drain cooldowns will change each time through, therefore you cannot rely on a specific defined timeline for this phase as you can with 120s rotation cycles.
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.
With 110s cycles, Firebird Trance will be prioritized to be used IMMEDIATELY as it becomes available. This is a key deviation compared to 120s cycles, that will prioritize delaying Firebird Trance for improved buff alignment with 60s and 180s buffs. Forgoing this alignment is designed by intention, as using accelerated Trance timings is made under the assumption that this acceleration will result in an extra Demi-Summon phase that would not be received with delayed timings.
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.
With 110s cycles, you will commonly use two different entrance methods for each Firebird Trance method:
- Single Weave: [ Ruin IV + mid GCD FBT]
- Double Weave: [ Ruin IV + mid GCD FBT + TriD] –> [forced clip FoF]
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
- take advantage of free weaving space, such as the Miasma III > Bio III window
- Avoid overcapping on Ruin IV procs, but prioritise setting up 4x procs for Summon Bahamut
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 full video of the rotation, showcasing repeated 110s rotation cycles and alignments, as well as the 2nd 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.
With 110s timings, raid buff alignment is not always guaranteed, as Trance timings are pushed ahead of the 60s/120s/180s timeline of raid buffs. As mentioned earlier, this is by intention as accelerating Trance timings is based around the goal of gaining additional Demi-Summon windows.
We can break down the guaranteed raid buff alignment with these accelerated timings as such:
- Even minute buffs (2 min, 4 min, 6 min) has Tri-Disaster, Enkindle, Festers & part of Bahamut
With utilizing the Decouplement concept with consecutive Bahamut phases, Summoner’s alignment with each 2 minute buff window can remain consistent. While Deathflare will be pushed ahead of such buff windows after the 2:0x timing, your other core oGCDs can all be aligned here.
- Odd minute buffs
- (1 min) has Festers & part of Phoenix
- (3 min, 5 min, 7 min) has Festers
Odd minute buff windows will become the sacrifice with accelerated timings. While the 1:0x buff window ( Trick Attack) will include the latter half of your Phoenix window, the 3:0x, 5:0x, and 7:0x windows will only have Festers available to be used.
- 90s buffs
- (1:40) has Festers & a possible Ruin IV dump
- (4:40) has Festers & a Phoenix window
With the 5.4 change to Brotherhood, Summoner can now take advantage of these specific buff windows as well.
While aligning for other party buffs, Summoner can also offer its 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.