Here you'll learn everything there is to know about Final Fantasy XIVs Dragoon Job, everyone's favorite floor tank.
The Dragoon probably has one of the worst reputations of all the jobs in Final Fantasy XIV. For good reasons, Dragoons are next to Red Mages and Samurai one of the most frequent sources of comedy in a raid setting. After all, no other job has a button dedicated to flinging yourself off cliffs into death walls.
Even if the ‘LoL Dragoon'-days are behind us, not that we don't have to clear Titan Extreme on a 200ms server ping and aren't stuck in what feels like an eternity of animation locks with our jumps. But it made for some hilarious clips.
But if you ignore all that, Dragoon might be one of the best jobs in Final Fantasy XIV. Sure it has some downsides like being all over the place in terms of burst windows. But you get high mobility, strong raid buffs for the entire party, and a partner of your choosing as well as an easy rotation with no nonsense.
And who wouldn't want to be a Dragoon? The prospect of jumping into the stratosphere only to plummet down with the force of an orbital missile does have its charms. The only thing you'll have to worry about to some degree is just that nasty draconic influence.
The Dragoon is probably one of the rare cases where a job got first introduced to the Final Fantasy franchise as an enemy type. After they got introduced properly into the series as a playable job in Final Fantasy III and featured as a full character in Final Fantasy IV with Kain Highwind.
They usually are always involved with Dragons, Wyrms, and the skies. Popular characters in the franchise include Cid Highwind from Final Fantasy VII and Freya Crescent from Final Fantasy IX.
In Final Fantasy XIV, they are closely tied to the city-state of Ishgard and their ongoing Dragonsong War. Knights who through vigorous and relentless training learn how to soar the skies to hunt dragons. Even their armor is specifically designed to kill dragons when being eaten.
There is of course a little more to them, but for now, think of them as insanely skilled fighters who can jump into the air and are trained to take down foes that regular people shouldn't be able to kill.
Becoming a Dragoon
The only way to become a Dragoon is to pick up the Lancer class. If you make a new character you can start out as a Lancer in Gridania or you can pick it up later once you've unlocked the gear-set feature. To pick it up, accept the quest Way of the Lancer from Jillian at the Lancers' Guild in Old Gridania
After hitting level 30 and completing all the Lancer quests up till that point. You'll be able to accept the quest Eye of the Dragon by Ywain at the Lancers' Guild in Old Gridania which will unlock the Dragoon Soulstone and the job itself.
It's highly recommended to do all the job quests as you level the Dragoon job, as they unlock new skills as well as equipment. And if you have completed the Dragoon job quests up to level 50 you even get special dialog during the story of the Heavensward expansion.
Dragoon Gameplay is straightforward and structured around frequently mixing up your positionals and using your abilities as they come up.
These abilities are your various jumps that technically all do the same but not really. There is a jump that gets you close to the boss, one that locks you in place and does damage and whatnot. But they mostly exist to be weaved in between your melee combos.
In both melee combos, one comes with a damage over time effect and an additional combo ender, and the other combo ender that'll force you to switch sides for maximum damage. Sounds weird in text but once you get the hang of it functions quite well.
So the Dragoon is probably, next to Ninja the most button-heavy melee job in Final Fantasy XIV as there is always something to weave in between your many skills.
Then there are also two resources you'll have to manage, the Dragon Gauge, which you should pray to now that it doesn't time anymore, and the Firstminds' Focus.
The Dragon Gauge activates once you unlock the trait at level 54. Whenever you execute Jump or High Jump, later on, you'll the status effect Dive Ready which will then allow you to use Mirage Dive. Executing Mirage Dive twice and then Geirskogul, will grand you Life of the Dragon.
Life of the Dragon is a temporary buff that lasts for 30 seconds and lets you use the abilities Nastrond which is a higher damage version of Geirskogul and Stardiver an additional jump that deals massive damage.
Firstminds' Focus on the other hand is just obtained by cycling through an entire melee combo. Obtaining two stacks by executing two full combos lets you weave Wyrmwind Thrust another powerful ability that deals massive damage.
Outside of that, your duties are the same as everyone else's, don't die, don't jump into or off something and make sure to hit those sweet buff windows.
The Utility of Dragoon comes mostly in two skills: Dragon Sight and Battle Litany.
Dragon Sight is a damage buff that is on a 120-second cooldown that gives you a 10% damage buff and your chosen partner a 5% damage buff for 20 seconds. Who you'll put this on really depends on the current party composition, but chances are it'll go on another melee DPS.
Battle Litany on the other hand is a party-wide damage buff that increases the critical hit rate by 10% for 15 seconds. This one also comes up every 120 seconds.
You'll want to time both of these with your party's damage buffs to get the most damage out of them, so coordinate with them.
Other than that, the only things that technically fall under Utility are the usual skills like Feint for lowering physical damage by 10% and Bloodbath and Second Wind for self-sustain. Get out there and be someone!
Since Dragoon is rather weave-heavy, it can quickly look very overwhelming if you don't have a solid grasp on your priorities. Especially with your two damage buffs that you'll have to find the proper placement for. But if you do your opener right, you're set up as everything tends to click into place neatly.
So your main rotation is all about keeping a damage-over-time effect up, while flipping between your two combo enders and hitting your positionals. Now it's all about weaving your other abilities properly in between and you'll be good to go.
From here on, things get rather busy as you have to just slot your weaves in whenever they come from their respective cooldown. And here many Dragoons as any melee DPS will suffer from tunnel vision so let's get priorities down just in case.
First, keep your damage over time effect up, that should come naturally when you just flip between your two combos so don't worry too much. Next is making frequent use of the High Jump, Mirage Dive, and Geirskogul. Those are the important skills you don't want to line up with buff windows.
All the other jumps are not as important and can be ignored for weaving if you have to. Especially since they can lock you in place just enough to get hit by mechanics.
Your Multi-Target rotation goes two ways, either for two enemies or three and more enemies. Let's cover the rotation for two enemies first:
When you're up against two enemies you start out by using Raiden Thrust, Disembowl, and finish with Chaotic Spring. Now hit Wheeling Thrust, then Fang and Claw. Repeat this rotation again and apply the damage over time effect to the other enemy.
For the rest you just weave in all your jumps between your skills and you should be good to go.
For three or more enemies: If you're up against three or more enemies, your rotation becomes way easier, especially since you can ignore all those pesky positions. First, use Draconian Fury, then Sonic Thrust, and finish off with Coerthan Torment.
Make sure to pair Life Surge with Coerthan Torment for extra damage and execute Wyrmwind Thrust as often as possible. Besides that just weave your jumps as usual and everything should be alright.
So your basic rotation will look as follows: Start with Raiden Thrust, Disembowl and apply your damage over time effect with Chaotic Spring (remember to hit it from the rear). Now hit Wheeling Thrust (also from the rear) and Fang and Claw from the flank.
Next, you'll start with Raiden Thrust again, hit Vorpal Thrust, and then Heavens' Thrust. Now hit Fang and Claw from the flank and Wheeling Thrust from the rear.
Now instead of giving you the full rundown of all the things you're supposed to weave, we'll instead give you a list in which order you should weave them. As this can get a little out of synch depending on the encounter but generally you want to keep it in this order:
Let's talk opener then, your opener starts on pull. First, you use True Thrust into Disembowl and weave Lance Charge and Dragon Sight before applying your damage over time effect with Chaotic Spring. Don't forget the positional here. Next, you weave Battle Litany before you use Wheeling Thrust.
Then you weave Geirskogul and Life Surge before you use Fang and Claw and weave High Jump. Now use Raiden Thrust, weave Dragonfire Dive into Vorpal Thrust. And next, you weave Life Surge and Mirage Dive before Heavens' Thrust and then weave Spineshatter Dive.
For your last go around use Fang and Claw, and weave another Spineshatter Dive before using Wheeling Thrust again. You finish up by using Raiden Thrust and weave Wyrmwind Thrust before using Disembowl and Chaotic Spring.
Since we're gonna use everything on cooldown as soon as it comes up, there is not much we can do in terms of burst damage. The Dragoon technically has his damage phase every minute so it should line up naturally with party buffs.
So every minute you should be able to use both Nastrond and Stardiver. These should also line up Lance Charge as well as every two minutes with Battle Litany and Dragon Sight. You only want to weave your two Nastrond charges and Stardiver under influence of buffs.
So as you can see, once you get rolling on Dragoon everything just plops into place and you only have to worry about doing mechanics and not getting tunnel vision.
It is definitely recommended to use a macro for Dragon Sight to weave it properly and avoid messing up your rotation. There is an option in the Character Configuration under Control Settings and Target that lets you automatically target an enemy again if you're using a combat skill.
And then there is not really much else to talk about here, at least when it comes to Dragoon and rotation outside of trying to avoid being too flashy with your Elusive Jump. Because getting the distance down takes time.
Everything else, you can just practice. Because Dragoons rotation is very linear, it is one of the easiest jobs to just practice on a target dummy until you have it down. And little specifics such as jump placement have to be adjusted from encounter to encounter.
Especially if you're just getting into melee DPS and don't want to carry the responsibility of being a Samurai. Dragoon is easy to learn, has a decent skill ceiling to master and your two big buffs will make up for sloppy performance.
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