Learn everything there is to know about Dancer and how to make your performance shine!
Have you ever desired to be the popular kid? Everyone wants to be your partner and be in close proximity to you, and you're just coasting through life on the efforts of someone else? If you're at least considering this then maybe the Dancer is up your alley. It is probably the easiest DPS in Final Fantasy XIV and yes, that also includes all the pre-job classes like Gladiator or Lancer.
Is that a bad thing though? Not really, while Dancer doesn't have the biggest damage output in town, especially compared to the other ranged DPS. It makes up for it with ease of play and amazing buff potential. It's great for beginners and easy to grasp, especially for someone new to the role of a support DPS, and with its great mobility and simple gameplay it's also perfect to dip your toes into harder content without the pressure of having to perform.
But don't be fooled by the job being simple. It is still more than valid in all forms of content, especially when you have a big scary DPS in your party that needs their ego inflated even further. Everyone loves Dancer and so will you. Here you'll learn everything you'll need to know about Thavnair's finest!
The Dancer is another one of Final Fantasy's staple jobs, first appearing in Final Fantasy V as well as Final Fantasy VI and Final Fantasy Tactics. The version of the dancer in Final Fantasy XIV is however closest to its Final Fantasy XI outing where it was also prominent for being a support class with healing abilities. Only that this time around, it's a DPS with some healing and a heavy focus on party and individual buffs.
In the world of Final Fantasy XIV, Dancers are mostly known as performers from the near eastern isle of Thavnair. Cloaked in exotic silks, these performers often travel the world to spread their craft and bring joy to the citizens of the towns they visit. The art of dancing is cloaked in some amount of mystery, especially with some of its more fantastic properties.
If you decide to do the job quests, you'll learn all about them. Some of it might even tie into later revelations of the Main Scenario.
How to Become A Dancer
The unlock the Dancer job, you have to meet two conditions: Reach at least level 60 on any combat class/job and own the Shadowbringers expansion on your Final Fantasy XIV account. From there on, you can unlock Dancer in the Lower Decks of Limsa Lominsa by speaking to the Eager Lominsan and accepting the quest ‘Shall We Dance'.
The Dancer only has 10 job quests which will go from level 60 to 70. You'll have to do all of those as the final quest of the chain unlocks your Technical Step ability which is essential to your rotation and gameplay. And during the quests instanced scenarios you'll have ample chance to practice the job in a safe environment.
The game of the dancer is a few things, first is selecting your dance partner by using Closed Position on someone. Preferably a melee DPS or whoever has the highest number output in your party. This changes with gear, patch, or sometimes even the current weather so stick with a melee DPS if you can. Preferably a Samurai, Ninja, or Monk.
Your dance partner will only get a damage buff as long as Standard Finish is up. Standard Finish is a buff you gain by performing the Standard Step ability, which has you press two random buttons from your standard rotation and finish with Standard Finish. This applies a 5% damage buff to you and your dance partner for 60 seconds and allows you to generate Espirit in your Esprit Gauge which you can then spend on abilities. It also deals some amount of damage.
Later you'll also get Technical Step which functions very similar to Standard Step, only that it has four steps instead of two. With the ability Tillana which you unlock at level 82, it has all the benefits of the Standard Finish on top of big damage and a party-wide damage buff that comes up every 2 minutes. So ideally you want to switch between the two every minute. But we'll get into that once we talk about rotations.
It's important that Technical Finish never falls off. It's your number one priority.
The Dancer is a very proc-heavy job so don't worry too much about combos anymore, because there are only two and they are pretty short. But on Dancer it's basically, you press some skill and chances are another one will light up on your hotbar. You press that one and another one will light up on your hotbar again! If that's not the case, just start your basic combo again or use Flourish to proc all your abilities at once.
There is not much room for error here, so as long as you're using all your abilities and keep your Standard Finish up, there's not much more to it. Besides using Devilment together with Technical Step for the big two-minute buff window.
Out of all the ranged DPS, Dancer has the most Utility for the party, this comes in some very useful heals as well as Improvisation which can help your healers massively in a pinch.
You have Curing Waltz which will heal yourself and everyone close to you for a potency of 300. Doesn't sound like much, but this ability should be used after a raid-wide or a stack mechanic. Since it's on a relatively short cooldown, make sure to use it regularly. Then you have Shield Samba which functions the same as every other ranged DPS big defensive buff. Try to use it before big partywide damage to take some of the pressure from your healers.
Then there is Improvisation. It functions a little weirdly, but in its essence, you have to stand still and generate stacks. Takes a while but if it goes off, you can heal up to 10% of everyone's HP for free. There is a very specific use case for this ability. Big boss phase transitions, or whenever they become unattackable for a moment. This skill will probably see the most use in Ultimate and rarely in Savage encounters.
Once you have all your buffs sorted, it's time to fight. Luckily, both the single-target as well as the multi-target rotation are pretty much the same, you'll just have to pick between the single-target and multi-target version of the skill.
Whenever you use a weaponskill as a Dancer, it will proc another weaponskill which then has the chance to proc yet another weaponskill. This puts you at the mercy of the RNG gods and it can sometimes feel like you're slacking just because of a bad dice throw. So the general flow of things has you use your two standard weaponskills, which might trigger Silken Symmetry and or Silken Flow which allows you to use an additional weaponskill, which in turn can trigger a Fourfold Feather which allows you to use Fan Dance or Fan Dance II.
That then can trigger the use of Fan Dance III. But for some reason, not Fan Dance IV. For some reason, you can only use that one under the effect of Flourish. Besides that, you also have Saber Dance which you spend your Espirit Gauge on. Espirit is generated whenever you use a weaponskill or a party member under the effect of Espirit using a weaponskill or a cast.
Like many other DPS, on a dancer multi-target is viable the moment there are more than two enemies around. In dungeons, you should also consider holding off on your bigger cooldowns like Technical Step and Devilment when you know the boss fight is coming up. Wasting big cooldowns on trash mobs that'll die fast anyways isn't always worth it.
But usually, we still want to start off with either Standard Step or Technical Step to get our buffs rolling, as well as some big damage out the gate. If you start with Technical Step, don't forget to use Tillana. Next, we weave Flourish and Devilment and use all the abilities that are now available to us. Starting with Starfall Dance, then Fan Dance IV and Fan Dance III. Then you use Rising Windmill and Bloodshower and use Fan Dance II if it procs and maybe you'll even get another Fan Dance III to proc.
And now you use Windmill and Bladeshower, hope that Rising Windmill and Bloodshower proc again, which then hopefully proc another Fan Dance II for you to use. And if you have enough Espirit, you can and should always use Saber Dance whenever possible.
Now on single-target, we do basically the same as above, just that we exchange all the multi-hit weaponskills with their single-target counterparts. We start off with Technical Step and Tillana and weave Devilment and Flourish in between the two and shoot off all the skills that have just become available.
First, we use Starfall Dance, followed up by Fan Dance IV and Fan Dance III. Then we use Reverse Cascade and Fountainfall in hope that we get a Fourfold Feather that we can then use on Fan Dance which will then hopefully proc another Fan Dance III for us to use. If that's not the case, we default to using Cascade and Fountain in the hope they'll proc Reverse Cascade and Fountainfall which then has a chance to proc another Fourfold Feather.
Another thing you should consider is making Standard Step part of your rotation. Having a total cast time of ca. 4.5 seconds on the global cooldown, its 720 damage potency beats a Cascade + Fountain combo by a long shot. And since it comes up every 30 seconds, its a great way to fill gaps and make up for certain abilities not having proced. But all of this is also highly situational and you'll just have to feel your way through it. Just make sure you don't miss using Technical Step every 2 minutes.
Since Dancer is already so straightforward, the opener itself isn't really that hard either. The only thing you have to keep an eye out for is the many procs you might be getting, as well as the timing of all your cooldowns.
You start using Standard Step early, by ca. 15 seconds before the pull but only activate Standard Finish at the start of the encounter. Then you start Technical Step and Technical Finish, then weave Devilment and use Starfall Dance. Next, you weave Flourish and Fan Dance III, and use Tillana and weave Fan Dance IV. If you have Saber Dance available use that, if not use Fountainfall instead and weave Fan Dance I and Fan Dance III if available. Then finish all of it up with Standard Step and Standard Finish.
It's a bit cluttered, so make sure to practice this opener at a target dummy to get it down. and make sure to place all the skills on a comfortable spot on your hotbar so you don't break your fingers using it.
The Dancer Burst window functions a little differently from other jobs. Instead of just being ready for it, you both initialize and prepare for it. Some of it comes down to luck, the rest is just getting a feel for it.
Your burst window starts whenever you use Technical Finish and weave Devilment for a damage buff. Then you continue similarly to the opener with Flourish, Fan Dance III, Tillana, Fan Dance IV and Saber Dance, and so forth. You can however save up some of your proc's for this. So if you're getting a Fourfold Feather or your Espirit Gauge is at 50 and will hit 100 by the time the 2-minute buff window lands, it's worth holding on to them to use them under party buffs.
This is never guaranteed, so it's a decision you have to make in the moment. Generally, it's fine to overfill on Esprit Gauge a little as the increased damage more than makes up for what you'd lose.
Dancer is a job that gives you a lot of flexibility and has a freeform kinda gameplay. While it looks weak on paper against other jobs, it more than makes up for that with extreme party utility and high mobility as well. En Avant is an extremely useful ability especially if you're trying to get out of something nasty.
There are not many cool gamer tricks here either, just that it's totally fine for you to drop a combo to use other abilities as they tend to be worth more in terms of damage. The only thing we can tell you is to practice getting a feel for your resources and how to properly integrate them into your Burst Window.
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