Final Fantasy XIV – How to Play Reaper

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Final Fantasy XIV – How to Play Reaper

Scythes, Spooky Ghosts, and big DPS! Here you'll learn all you need to know about the Reaper.

The Reaper is a new job, unique to Final Fantasy XIV that is entirely its own thing. Really. Just ignore that it is Shadowbringers Dragoon with little more mobility and even flashier skills. Actually, why isn't it more like Shadowbringers Dragoon? Why isn't Death's Design a buff? Yoshida explain! Please!

But seriously, Reaper is a great job especially if you don't want to deal with the hectic weaving of its maiming colleague Dragoon or the fast pace of the Ninja. Instead, you get a slower, tempered experience with flashy moves and great utility.

Unlike the Dragoon, Reaper doesn't go for pure damage buffs, instead, it comes with damage and a defensive buff as well as great mobility. Which makes it a much have for any progression and clear party. And the job also has a high skill ceiling if you really, really want to get into optimization.

The only thing that's just a little bit upsetting about Reaper is the way Death's Design works, it's perfectly fine the way it is right now. But at times it feels more like busy work to make the job feel a little less stale. Something the job doesn't really need, but that's a personal preference.


Now I'm sad to report that the Reaper has not appeared in any previous Final Fantasy game, it made its debut appearance in Final Fantasy XIV Endwalker. Maybe it will pop up in a future Final Fantasy title?

Within the lore of Final Fantasy XIV, they play a small part in the survival and the eventual rise of the Garlean Empire. They also tie a little into the narrative of the void and the voidsent.

As Garleans are naturally unable to use magic, they often fell victim to the other races over the course of history. After being driven from their native home into the wastes of northern Ilsabard, a few farmers managed to forge unholy unions with the minions of the void to harvest their powers.

At first, the art was used only for defensive means. But as the Garlean Republic started to rise, the Reapers started to play a more prominent role within its structure. They kept those power in check and made sure the young republic would prosper.

But after the rise of Emperor Solus, the order was slowly phased out and withered into obscurity. Today not many Reapers remain and the few who do struggle to survive.

Becoming a Reaper

The Road to becoming a reaper is rather effortless. You only need to be in possession of the Endwalker expansion and have at least one Disciple of War or Disciple of Magic at level 70.

You can unlock the job by accepting the quest ‘The Killer Instinct' in Uldah from the Flustered Attendant. Finishing this initial quest will reward you with the soul stone, the job itself, and some equipment to start with. The following quest ‘The Harvest Begins' serves as a small tutorial on the basics of the job.

As always it's highly recommended to complete the job quests as you level up to level 80. There are only six job quests in total, but completing the final one unlocks the Shourd Gauge and Enshroud, two valuable skills in the Reapers toolkit.


Reaper 101

Reaper revolves around managing two different resources as well as a completely separate rotation.

First is the Soul and Shroud Gauge which are colored red and blue respectively. You spend Soul, the red gauge to use special abilities which in turn will charge your Shroud. Shoud is then used to trigger the Enshrouded skill that lets you use even more abilities.

Then you have the Death Gauge which will activate whenever you trigger the Enshrouded status. Here you'll get a new resource, Lemure Orbs in blue and Void Orbs in purple. Spending Lemure Orbs on abilities gains you Void Orbs which you can then spend on even more abilities.

Cool right? All of this is rather straightforward and is best seen in practice. Sounds lots more complicated than it actually is. But we'll get into this once we're talking about rotations.

Reaper Utility

Reaper has two big utility skills, one of them is the Arcane Crest, which is a big defensive skill that creates a barrier around yourself that makes up 10 of your total HP. Doesn't sound like party utility right?

As soon as the barrier breaks a secondary effect is triggered that puts a heal-over-time effect on players within reach. This will heal for a total potency of 250 with a chance to crit on every deal tick. It's not much but it isn't nothing either.

Then you'll have Arcane Circle which comes with two effects! First is that it grants everyone within reach a 3% damage buff for 20 seconds. The second is that with every skill or spell landed under the effect of its secondary ability, Circle of Sacrifice you can build stacks of Immortal Sacrifice.

You can then spend these stacks of Immortal Sacrifice to use a special ability called Plentiful Harvest. Not only does it deal massive damage, but depending on how many stacks of Immortal Sacrifice you have it also fills up your Shroud Gauge by 50. Getting you basically a free Enshroud.

Outside of that, you get the usual array of melee utilities with Feint which reduced physical damage by 10% and magic damage by 5% for 10 seconds. As well as Leg Sweep which is your basic interrupt move.


As it related to combat, Reaper technically juggles two rotations at the same time. You have your regular melee combo that just the usual 1-2-3 to build up a meter, as well as some special off-global cooldown abilities that meter even further.

And then there is your Lemure's combo which also requires positionals for additional damage. You activate those by using either Blood Stalk or Grim Swathe. Then you rotate between the two positional skills.

Then there is Gluttony which lets you use two of the positional abilities. This is on a 60-second cooldown and costs 50 Soul Gauge. This could be considered your regular one-minute burst.

The other big feature of the Reaper is your Enshroud ability. Here you fuse with your Lemure and gain access to more powerful abilities. This is your burst phase.

While it looks cool and deals more, all it does is enhance your Lemure combos and give you access to Communio as an explosive finisher.

Last, but not least don't forget the Death's Design debuff. You'll apply this to one enemy by using Shadow of Death or to multiple enemies by using Whorl of Death. It increases your basic damage by 10%, you want to keep this up at all times.

Reaper doesn't really have a rotation in the same vein as other jobs. Instead, you have a list of skills that you should use with a priority system. So we're gonna list the basic rotation along with the list of skills you should use as a priority.


Multi-Target Encounters

Your basic rotation on Reaper for multiple targets will always be Spinning Sycthe into Nightmare Scythe. Just remember to use this combo when there are 3 or more enemies around. And then weave or plop the following skills:

  1. Use Guillotine if you have a Reaver stack.
  2. Do not drop your combo. Combos last 30 seconds, so make sure you use Nightmare Scythe if your combo will drop.
  3. Maintain the Death's Design debuff at all times by using  Whorl of Death.
  4. Use Arcane Circle on cooldown.
  5. Use Plentiful Harvest if you have 50 or less Shroud and you have Immortal Sacrifice stacks.
  6. Use Soul Scythe if you have 50 or less Soul.
  7. Use Gluttony if you have 50 or more Soul.
  8. Enter your Enshroud phase if you have 50 or more Shroud.
    • Use  Grim Reaping 4 times.
    • Use  Lemure's Scythe in between every other  Grim Reaping.
    • Use  Communio to finish the phase.
  9. Use Harvest Moon if you have the Soul Sow buff.
  10. Use Grim Swathe if you have 50 or more Soul and 90 or less Shroud.
  11. Use your combo actions( Spinning Scythe or Nightmare Scythe) as fillers.
  12. Use  Harpe if you are not in melee range of the target.
  13. Use  Soulsow if the target is untargetable for 5 seconds or more.

Single-Target Encounters

Your proper Single-Target rotation will go Slice into Waxing Slice and finish with Infernal Slice. Like the Multi-Target rotation, this is something you can always fall back onto. Just make sure to always keep it going and the 30 seconds you have on any rotation, will always last you long enough.

  1. Use Gibbet or Gallows if you have a Reaver stack.
    • Use Gibbet if you have the “Enhanced Gibbet” buff
    • Use Gallows if you have the “Enhanced Gallows” buff
    • Use either if you have no buff.
  2. Maintain the Death's Design debuff at all times by using Shadow of Death.
  3. Use Arcane Circle on cooldown.
  4. Use Plentiful Harvest if you have 50 or less Shroud and you have Immortal Sacrifice stacks.
  5. Use Soul Slice if you have 50 or less Soul.
  6. Use Gluttony if you have 50 or more Soul and it is off cooldown.
  7. Enter your Enshroud phase if you have 50 or more Shroud.
    • Start with Void Reaping or Cross Reaping
    • Alternate these two weapon skills four times.
    • Use Lemure's Slice in between every other weaponskill.
    • Use Communio to finish the phase.
  8. Use Harvest Moon if the target is about to jump or die and you still have the Soul Sow buff up.
  9. Use an Unveiled action variant if you have 50 or more Soul and 90 or less Shroud.
  10. Use Harvest Moon if you are not in melee range of the target and have the Soul Sow buff up
  11. Use Harpe if you are not in melee range of the target.
  12. Use Soulsow if the target is untargetable for 5 seconds or more.


Let's get into your opener then.

You want to pre-cast Harpe about 2 seconds before the pull. When you start applying your debuff with Shadow of Death and weave Arcane Circle. Now use Soul Slice and Soul Slice again. Then you use Plentiful Harvest and weave Enshroud.

Then you use Void Reaping. When you use Cross Reaping and weave Lemure's Slice (Don't worry they don't have positionals). Again use Void Reaping into Cross Reaping and weave Lemure's Slice before finishing the Enshroud off by using Communio and Gluttony.

And you finish your opener by using Gibbet then Gallows and weave Unveiled Gibbet before finishing off with Gibbet.


Bursting with Reaper is all about restraint. You'll have to hold off on your Enshroud and resist the urge to use it whenever it is available. Instead, you want to hold it off right before you start using Arcane Circle.

You'll initiate your burst around 9 seconds before Arcade Circle comes off cooldown by weaving Enshroud. Then you use Void Reaping, when Shadow of Death, then Cross Reaping again. Then you use Shadow of Death and weave Arcane Circle for the buff window.

Now use Void Reaping and Lemure's Slice, Cross Reaping into Lemure's Slice, and end the Enshroud with Communio.

Now you should also have Plentiful Harvest available, use it, and weave Enshroud again. Then use Void Reaping, Cross Reaping, and weave Lemure's Slice. Repeat that combo again and finish with Communio again and weave Gluttony.

Closing Thoughts

As you can probably tell, Reaper as a job is a very straightforward affair. It all really comes down to hoarding your resources and finding the right spots to pug the right skills into. So if you want a job that is easy to play with a high skill ceiling, this worth digging your teeth into.

As for tips, remind yourself that your basic 1-2-3 combo is something you fall back on, your bread and butter are all the off-global cooldown abilities. So make good use of that 30-second timer for combos.

It's also worth reminding yourself that keeping Death's Design up at all times is where most of your damage comes from. And luckily it doesn't break your regular combo, it will break however Gibbet and Gallows combo, so try and apply it before.

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Final Fantasy XIV – How to Play Reaper
Timo Reinecke
Has once claimed that FSH is the only job in FFXIV worth playing and stands by that firmly. Top Guy, Smart Guy, Educated Speaker. (sometimes) Writer of all things FFXIV, FGC, News, Reviews and More