FFXIV Dragoon Guide - High Jumps and Powerful Combos!
FFXIV Dragoon Guide
Dragoons (DRG) are heavy armored melee damage dealers. Their weapons and style of combat are inspired by the everlasting conflict between men and dragons. It’s a very mobile, acrobatic job that uses jumps to move around and deal damage at the same time. Dragoon is also very reliant on positioning to get as much as possible from their standard combos. Besides that, it’s a really straightforward job with a stable rotation and a really good damage output.
Basics of Dragoon
Being one of the original FFXIV jobs, Dragoon has a combat class associated with it. In order to become a Dragoon, you first need to be a level 30 Lancer. You can unlock this class in the Lancer’s Guild in Old Gridania. Dragoons wear plate armors and fight with polearms – different types of spears, lances, halberds et cetera.
This job is currently one of the most powerful DPS characters in the game. As long as you’re able to hit your positions and execute on the main combo you should be ending up close to the top of the charts. At the same time, Dragoon is arguably one of the easiest jobs in FFXIV. You should be able to learn the basics with relative ease and the reward in the form of your damage output can be more than satisfying.
At the same time, it’s not braindead either. While the complexity of your rotation is not overwhelming, standing in the right position at all times is a nice mechanic to keep the player engaged in the game. In terms of gear stats, you definitely want some Skill Speed, but besides that, your main priorities are Critical Hit and Direct Hit.
Overall, Dragoon is easy to pick up and it offers really fun gameplay with significant damage output. It’s a good choice for someone who’s new to the DPS role. It’s also a great character to play if you’re starting your adventure with Final Fantasy XIV.
Dragoon’s job gauge shows the remaining duration of a special buff called Blood of the Dragon. It increases the potency of your two abilities – Jump/High Jump and Spineshatter Dive. After the initial use of Blood of the Dragon, you can extend its effect by attacking with two of your weaponskills: Fang and Claw, as well as Wheeling Thrust.
At level 70, you’ll get access to an additional effect associated with Dragon Gauge. It’s called gaze and it’s indicated by the dragon eyes next to your gauge. You can charge this resource with an ability called Mirage Dive. When you get the maximum two stacks, you can use another ability – Geirskogul to transform your Blood of the Dragon buff into the Life of the Dragon. It provides access to some high potency attacks. Life of the Dragon duration can’t be extended, but after it ends, you simply go back to Blood of the Dragon.
True Thrust – a single target attack with a potency of 290. It’s our combo opener.
Vorpal Thrust – a single target attack that gets extra potency when used after True Thrust.
Full Thrust – another single-target attack, this one gains extra potency when executed after Vorpal Thrust. It provides the Sharper Fang and Claw status.
Disembowel – a single target attack that increases your personal damage output by 10% for 30 seconds. It hits harder when used after True Thrust.
Chaos Thrust – when executed after Disembowel, it inflicts damage over time effect. It gets a bit of extra potency when hitting an enemy in the back. This attack provides the Enhanced Wheeling Thrust Status.
Fang and Claw – a single target attack with a potency of 320 (increased to 360 when used from a flank). It extends the duration of Blood of the Dragon by 10 seconds to a maximum of 30. You need to be under the effect of both Blood of the Dragon and Sharper Fang and Claw status. You can follow it up with Wheeling Thrust. If you use it from the flank position, it grants the Raiden Thrust ready status.
Wheeling Thrust – a single target attack with a potency of 320 (increased to 360 when attacked from the back). It also extends the Blood of the Dragon by 10 seconds. Blood of the Dragon and Enhanced Wheeling Thrust status are required to use this attack. You can execute Fang and Claw afterward. If you hit your enemy in the back with it, it makes your Raiden Thrust ready.
Raiden Thrust – it replaces True Thrust when you have Raiden Thrust ready status. It gives you a more powerful opener.
Doom Spike – an AoE attack with a potency of 170 that hits all enemies in a line in front of you.
Sonic Thrust – another line-shaped AoE attack with a potency of 200 when used after Doom Spike.
Coerthan Torment – the AoE combo finisher that has a combo potency of 230 when it’s executed after Sonic Thrust. It also extends the duration of Blood of the Dragon by 10 seconds.
Piercing Talon – a ranged attack with a potency of 150.
What are the Dragoon’s combos in FF XIV
Dragoon has access to two single-target combos and one AoE combo. Unlike almost all the other physical damage jobs, Dragoons have five-piece single target combos, with Raiden Thrust replacing True Thrust after the opener.
Chaos Thrust combo
True Thrust->Disembowel->Chaos Thrust->Wheeling Thrust->Fang and Claw->Raiden Thrust.
You should use this combo at the beginning of the fight, to inflict your damage over time from Chaos Thrust and get the buff from Disembowel. Later on, you’re going to switch to the standard, instant damage combo.
Full Thrust combo
True Thrust->Vorpal Thrust->Full Thrust->Fang and Claw->Wheeling Thrust->Raiden Thrust…
This is the combo that you should go with when you don’t have to refresh the Disembowel buff. It provides more instant damage but doesn’t inflict the damage over time effect and the personal damage boost. In general, you should aim to use the pattern of:
Chaos Thrust combo->Full Thrust combo->Chaos Thrust combo->Full Thrust combo…
It’s the most efficient usage of weaponskills in terms of single target DPS.
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Doom Spike->Sonic Thrust->Coerthan Torment
It is the weaponskill to go for when facing multiple enemies. Remember that the AoE is line shaped, so you have to position accordingly. Luckily, Coearthan Torment extends the duration of Blood of the Dragon, so you don’t have to worry about losing that buff.
Life Surge – guarantees, that your next weaponskill will strike critically. The effect cannot be applied to damage over time. Life Surge has a 45 seconds recast timer.
Lance Charge – a 20 seconds buff that increases Dragoon’s damage output by 15%. It has a 90 seconds cooldowns.
Jump – a single target attack that returns you to a position you used it in. It has a potency of 310 and a 30 seconds recast timer. Later on, it gets replaced by High Jump. It makes your Dive ready.
High Jump – a point blank AoE attack with a potency of 400. It grants the Dive ready status.
Elusive Jump – a dodging skill that makes you jump back. It’s rarely used, but you can avoid some AoE with it.
Spineshatter Dive – a single target attack with a potency of 240. It has a 60 seconds cooldown.
Dragonfire Dive – a point blank fire damage AoE attack with a potency of 380. It has a 2 minutes recast timer.
Mirage Dive – a single target attack with a potency of 300. It uses the Dive ready status provided by other abilities. Provides 1 Dragon Gaze.
Battle Litany – a 20 seconds buff that increases yours and your party members’ critical rate by 10% for 20 seconds. It has a 3 minutes cooldown.
Blood of the Dragon – a Dragon Gauge buff that can be extended indefinitely. It increases the potency of Jump/High Jump and Spineshatter Dive. It has a base duration of 30 seconds and an identical recast timer.
Dragon Sight – a 20 seconds buff that increases your damage dealt by 10% and a nearby party member’s damage dealt by 5%. The allies will lose the buff when they get too far away from you.
Geirskogul – a line-shaped AoE attack with a potency of 300. When you have 2 Dragon Gaze, you can use this ability to enter the Life of the Dragon. It can only be executed when Blood of the Dragon is active. It has a 30 seconds cooldown.
Nastrond – an empowered version of Gierskogul. It works similarly, but has a potency of 400 and can only be used during Life of the Dragon. Its recast timer is reduced to 10 seconds.
Stardiver – a powerful fire AoE attack with a potency of 600 (reduced for additional targets). It can only be executed during the Life of the Dragon. Stardiver has a 30 seconds cooldown.
True North – this role action can be quite important during your combos. You don’t always have time to perfectly switch positions while DPSing. True North allows your next weaponskill to provide its positional effect, even if it wasn’t executed from the perfect angle. You can use it to keep your full power combos going when it would be impossible otherwise.
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Lance Mastery – allows executing Fang and Claw after Wheeling Thrust as well as Wheeling Thrust after Fang and Claw. It also increases their combo potency.
Life of the Dragon – unlocks the Dragon Gaze resource. It can be generated with Mirage Dive and spent with Geirskogul to get the Life of the Dragon buff. It then provides access to powerful moves like Nastrond and Stardiver.
Jump Mastery - upgrades Jump into High Jump.
Lance Mastery II – increases the potency of True Thrust, Vorpal Thrust and Disembowel.
Blood of the Dragon Mastery – extends the duration of Blood of the Dragon and Life of the Dragon to 30 seconds.
Gameplay Tips and Full Rotations
In the weaponskill section, we talked about the basic combos. While they’re the foundations of Dragoon’s gameplay, there’s still much more to keep in mind.
GCD and weaving
As you probably know, Final Fantasy XIV features a Global Cooldown mechanic. Every weaponskill that you use puts all your other weaponskills on a 2.5 seconds cooldown. Optimizing DPS in FFXIV usually means keeping your global cooldown ticking basically all the time. Additionally, there are off Global Cooldown (oGCD) abilities that are excluded from that mechanic. Rotations are usually based on weaving them in, between your GCDs, in a way that they don’t delay your weaponskills.
Some damage jobs can even double-weave. It means using two oGCDs after a single weaponskill. It’s extremely important to understand, that for the most part, Dragoon can’t do it. All the jumps and dives have too long animations and, even with perfect ping, it would be impossible to double weave without clipping (delaying your next GCD). Some of your buffs can be used in that manner, but in general, you should practice your Dragoon rotation with only single-weaving.
Three of Dragoon’s weaponskills get additional effects when executed from a certain position. Fang and Claw should be executed from a flank, while Chaos Thrust and Wheeling Thrust are more effective from the rear. Each one of these skills gains 40 extra potency, so landing them is a nice DPS boost, but at the same time, missing out on the right position is not the end of the world. The most important part is the fifth attack in your combo. Landing it from the correct position makes you Raiden Strike ready, further increasing the total potency of your rotation.
Overall, landing the positionals should never be your first priority. First, you need to take care of raid mechanics, make sure that you’re staying alive and optimize your GCD usage. Then you can start worrying about the positionals. Don’t forget about True North. You can use it once every 45 seconds to get a free positional effect, without having to move.
Opener and general combo
As we already mentioned, the general single target rotation consists of your two five-skill combos: the Chaos Thrust combo and the Full Thrust combo that should be used one after the other. The damage abilities that you can weave in are High Jump, Spineshatter Dive, Dragonfire Dive, Mirage Dive, and Geirskogul. In Life of the Dragon, you also get Nastrond (instead of Geirskogul) and Stardiver.
You can also increase yours (and to some extent your team’s) damage output with your four buffs: Lance Charge, Dragon Sight, Battle Litany, and Life Surge. When using them, you should pay attention to two interactions. Firstly, Chaos Thrust is the highest potency weaponskill that you have, so you want to make sure that it’s buffed with either Lance Charge or Dragon’s Sight if you have the possibility. Secondly, Life Surge should only be used on Full Thrust, since it’s your most powerful attack that’s not a DoT. At the same time, Lance Charge and Dragon Sight are substantial DPS boosts, so you should aim to optimize their uptime.
Of course, you also have Blood of the Dragon – you should be able to keep it up for the whole combat during most encounters.
Having all these useful tools in mind, this is an example of a strong Dragoon opener:
Blood of the Dragon->True Thrust->(Battle Litany)->Disembowel->(Dragon Sight + Lance Charge)->Chaos Thrust->(High Jump)->Wheeling Thrust->(Spineshatter Dive)->Fang and Claw->(Mirage Dive + Geirskogul)->Raiden Thrust->(Dragonfire Dive)-> Vorpal Thrust->(Life Surge)->Full Thrust->Fang and Claw->Wheeling Thrust->Raiden Thrust.
It’s a relatively long sequence of weaponskills and abilities. It comes down to using a single Chaos Thrust combo and a single Full Thrust combo, just with using all the buffs and weaving in as many abilities as you can. Later on, you can pretty much use your cooldowns as they come up unless you’re trying to coordinate certain burst windows with your party.
This opener provides a single stack of Dragon Gaze. It means that after your High Jump goes off cooldown, you’re going to be able to get the second stack and activate Life of the Dragon.
Life of the Dragon combo
When you have a Dragon Gaze stack and your High Jump and Geirskogul are available to be used again, you should activate Life of the Dragon with this combo:
High Jump->Mirage Dive->Geirskogul
At this point, you enter Life of the Dragon. During this 30 seconds window, you need to make sure to squeeze in three uses of Nastrond and a single cast of Stardiver. While they’re extremely powerful, they are oGCD abilities, so you’re going to keep executing your standard rotation, just prioritizing these two abilities when weaving.
For the most part, the AoE rotation is really straightforward. You just execute your three-piece AoE combo, while weaving the three AoE oGCDs: High Jump, Dragonfire Dive and Geirskogul (Nastrond and Stardiver in Life of the Dragon). The only annoying part is the fact that doing this results in missing out on your damage buff from Disembowel.
If you don’t want that to happen, you can open up with True Thrust and Disembowel, to then switch into the AoE rotation. Here’s an example of this kind of opener:
Blood of the Dragon->True Thrust->(Battle Litany)->Disembowel->(Dragon Sight + Lance Charge)->Doom Spike->(High Jump)->Sonic Thrust->(Life Surge)->Coerthan Torment->(Geirskogul)->Doom Spike…
You can also completely skip the True Thrust and Disembowel part if you don’t want to spend two GCDs on a 10% damage buff. The differences in efficiency aren’t that significant and both options are definitely viable.
FF14 Dragoon - Summary
While at first glance, Dragoon’s combos can seem a bit overwhelming with the number of actions required to perform them, but it is actually one of the simplest DPS jobs to learn. You’re going to have to memorize the somewhat long rotations, but it’s basically the only difficult part. The resource management is extremely easy and all you have to do upon activating Life of the Dragon is weaving two extra abilities in your standard combo. The rotation is extremely stable – the game doesn’t throw you any curveballs or procs to respond to.
Lack of double-weaving makes the job viable even if you have some latency issues. It also makes Dragoon less mechanically demanding. Furthermore, you’re not entirely selfish as a damage dealer – you can offer some support in the form of Battle Litany and Dragon Sight. At the same time, if you execute your combos and utilize cooldowns properly, your personal DPS will also be really high. If you‘re looking for a powerful FFXIV Shadowbringers damage dealer that won’t overwhelm you with all the intricate mechanics, you definitely should give Dragoon a shot!
How to become a Dragoon in FFXIV?
Only a level 30 Lancer can advance into Dragoon. When you get to level 30 on this class, come back to the Lancer’s Guild and complete a quest called Proof of Might.
What are the best stats for Dragoon?
Besides weapon damage and Strength, Dragoons can get a lot of value from the Critical Hit rate. Then, stats like Direct Hit rate and Determination have a bit lower priority. Finally, you can also get some Skill Speed - the exact amount comes down to personal preference. Some players like a really high Skill Speed on their Dragoons, but it’s not that necessary.
When to use Jump as Dragoon?
Dragoon has two leap abilities: High Jump and Dragonfire Dive. You should weave them in, anytime they’re available. Just remember that they have long animations, so you can’t double-weave with them.