FFXIV Ninja Guide - Trick and Slash Your Enemies!
FFXIV Ninja Guide
Ninja is not the typical rogue/thief/assassin class known from other RPGs. While there’s a lot of skill expression and complicated combos to pull off, the damage output is not sky-high. FFXIV Ninja is a semi-supportive, combo-focused job that brings a lot of value by empowering teammates.
Overview of Ninja
We wouldn’t recommend playing Ninja to players who are just starting their adventure with Final Fantasy XIV. It’s one of the most challenging jobs that you could choose to play. Some players are frustrated with the high difficulty level of Ninja and the fact that it doesn’t translate into personal damage numbers. You have to put a lot of effort into playing everything perfectly, and you’re still likely to end up with the lowest DPS among the non-tank melee characters.
On the other hand, the sheer value of Trick Attack is enormous. It’s a skill that significantly increases the damage output of your whole raid group! That being said, a considerable portion of the power budget for group content is packed in this ability alone. Ninja used to be a much more supportive job in the earlier versions of the game. However, as FFXIV changed over time, they were losing more and more utility tools (especially if you compare the current shape of Ninja to the one from Heavensward). In Shadowbringers, there isn’t much more of that than Trick Attack.
Fortunately, Square Enix started to notice the problem. Recent potency buffs to many updated skills can indicate that Ninja will find a slightly different niche, and it seems like the changes are going in an interesting direction. Especially since the addition of Dancer, there’s more competition in the field of hybrid support-physical DPS jobs. The difficult, action-packed Ninja mechanics will likely be more and more rewarding to players who can execute them efficiently.
If a challenging character is something that you’re looking for and you already know a thing or two about FF14, Ninja might be the perfect job for you. Let’s jump right into this guide and talk about all the essential aspects of playing Ninja!
Basics of Ninja
In Final Fantasy XIV, Ninja is a melee job that utilizes daggers and wears leather armors. It’s one of the original jobs in FF14, so it’s tied to a combat class. To become a Ninja, you first have to be a level, 30 Rogue. You can both become a Rogue and advance into Ninja (when you meet the requirements) in the Rogue Guild. It’s located in Limsa Lominsa Lower Decks.
In terms of attributes, Dexterity is by far the most important one. Unlike other melee jobs, Ninja’s damage scales mostly off of DEX. In terms of secondary stats, you should try and get as much critical hit as possible, filling with direct hit and determination.
Ninja is one of the most complex FFXIV jobs in terms of unique mechanics. They have access to a Ninjutsu skill that can have nine different effects, depending on a combination of Mudras used beforehand. Ninjas also have to keep track of two gauges. Huton Gauge allows them to keep a powerful buff that reduces weaponskill recast timer and auto-attack delay. At the same time, Ninki Gauge gets filled as you use weaponskills. It gives you access to three strong skills that use Ninki as a resource.
Mudra and Ninjutsu
As we mentioned, Ninja has access to three Mudra skills. They’re called Ten, Chi, and Jin. They don’t do anything by themselves, but you’ll need to use them in the right sequences to access all your Ninjutsus. The mechanic is not easy, and it takes a while to get used to it. Luckily, there’s also some good news: the sequences are short, and for the most part, you’re not going to use all seven of those skills.
All the Ninjutsu skills alongside their required Mudra combinations:
Fuma Shuriken – any single Mudra – a ranged attack with a potency of 280.
Katon – Chi + Ten or Jin + Ten – AoE fire attack with a potency of 250.
Raiton – Ten + Chi or Jin + Chi – single target lightning attack with a potency of 400.
Hyoton – Ten + Jin or Chi + Jin – an ice attack with a potency of 140 that also binds the target.
Huton – Jin + Chi + Ten or Chi + Jin + Ten – a reduction to weapon skill recast time and auto-attack delay. You want to have it up at all times when you’re in combat.
Doton – Ten + Jin + Chi or Jin + Ten + Chi – creates a mark on the ground that deals AoE damage over time.
Suiton – Ten + Chi + Jin or Chi + Ten + Jin – a single water damage attack that also lets you use the skills that normally require the “Hide” status. You’re going to use it in order to access Trick Attack during combat.
If you use your Ninjutsu ability after an invalid combination of Mudra, you will cast Rabbit Medium – an ability that doesn’t do anything but makes you look silly.
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Huton Gauge – it’s unlocked at level 45, upon learning the Ninjutsu ability called Huton. The gauge is pretty much just a special indicator that shows how much time is left on your Huton. As we mentioned, you want to keep it up all the time when you’re in combat, so refresh it when it goes low. You can do it by merely using the Armor Crash weaponskill.
Ninki Gauge – you can get access to it at level 62. Overall, it’s an additional resource bar. You can generate Ninki with your weaponskills. Ninja has three abilities that consume this resource: Bhavacakra, Hellfrog Medium, and Bunshin.
Most important skills
We’re not going to go deep into every Ninja ability, but it’s essential to understand some of the most impactful tools that are available to this job.
Weaponskills are affected by the Global Cooldown (GCD) feature. When you use a weaponskill, all the remaining ones go on a shared 2.5 seconds cooldown.
Spinning Edge – an attack with a potency of 220, used to start combos.
Gust Slash – if used after Spinning Edge, it has a potency of 330. In other scenarios, a feeble attack.
Shadow Fang – also needs to follow Spinning Edge in order to be fully effective. It applies 24 seconds of damage over time. If it’s allowed to go for its entire duration, it sums up to a high total potency of 780. You should keep it running on bosses all the time.
Armor Crush – use it after Gust Slash for extra potency (it goes up to 380 and 440 if executed from a flank). However, it’s mostly used for extending the Huton duration by 30 seconds, to a maximum of 70. You should learn squeeze in an Armor Crush rotation every time that your Huton Gauge goes below 40.
Aeolian Edge – it’s your leading single target combo finisher. Use it after Gust Slash to reach a potency of 400 (460 when hitting the enemy from behind).
Death Blossom – an AoE attack with a potency of 120 that hits all the surrounding enemies (5y radius).
Hakke Mujinatsu – another 5y AoE attack. Used after Death Blossom, it gets a potency of 140 and extends your Huton by 10 seconds to the cap of 70.
Ninja Weaponskill Combos
Combos are important for most FFXV damage-dealing jobs. In the case of Ninja, they’re crucial if you want to deal with any damage. As a player, you’re going to have to get into the flow and have the most important sequences in the muscle memory. If you press the wrong button, it’s vital to get back into the rhythm. Failing a single one in a long fight is not the end of the world, but if you mess up multiple times, it will result in a major damage loss.
Luckily, the combos by themselves are not that difficult, and you’ll probably get the hang of them in no time!
Shadow Fang (SF) combo is just Spinning Edge -> Shadow Fang. It is the opening single target rotation. Overall, it’s optimal if the target is going to live for at least 12 seconds (four DoT ticks). It might be hard to tell at times, but you’re going to learn eventually. Keep it running on bosses for the whole fight time.
Aeolian Edge (AE) combo is Spinning Edge -> Gust Strike -> Aeolian Edge. The main spammable single target sequence. You’re going to use it repeatedly, as Shadow Fang keeps running. It’s also useful when the target won’t live long enough for the DoT to make sense.
Armor Crush (AC) combo is Spinning Edge -> Gust Strike -> Armor Crush. It provides slightly less potency but increases the Huton duration. Use this instead of the Aeolian Edge when Huton falls below 40.
Finally, your AoE combo is Death Blossom -> Hakke Mujinatsu. Spam this rotation when you’re surrounded by multiple weak monsters. If you’re facing a strong enemy and a bunch of adds, keep Shadow Fang on the primary target and clear the rest with this rotation. It restores some Huton, so you don’t have to worry about weaving in Armor Crush.
In general, these are the only ways in which you should use your weaponskills. When going for as high DPS as possible, you should also keep in mind that some of these attacks are positional – they get extra potency when you attack from a side or the back. You might want to make use of that. It’s not nearly as crucial as executing these skills in the right succession.
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As we mentioned, weaponskills generate Ninki. You can and should spend that resource on the three powerful off Global Cooldown (oGCD) skills. Each of them costs 80 Ninki. They are relatively straightforward.
Bhavacakra – a single target attack with a potency of 500.
Hellfrog Medium – an AoE ability that hits its main target with a potency of 400 and all the surrounding ones for half the damage.
Bunshin – an ability that animates your shadow for 15 seconds and makes it attack every time you use a weaponskill. It’s extremely powerful, as it provides a lot of extra damage and Ninki generation (+4 per weaponskill). It’s the only Ninki skill that has a cooldown – 110 seconds. It’s the most powerful amplifier of your damage output.
Ninja also has access to a few oGCD abilities that are not based on Ninki.
Mug – a relatively weak attack that generates 40 Ninki, it has a 110 seconds recast timer.
Dream Within a Dream – delivers three attacks, each with a potency of 200 and provides the Assassinate Ready status. It has a minute cooldown.
Assassinate – an attack with 200 potency that will always strike critically. It doesn’t have its long recast timer, but it requires the Assassinate Ready status, provided by Dream Within a Dream.
Trick Attack – this is the ability that keeps Ninja as a viable job for raids, no matter how underwhelming their DPS is. It’s a pretty strong attack, but more importantly, it makes the target take 10% more damage from all sources, if you struck them from behind - this effect can set your team up for success. It lasts 10 seconds and has a 60 seconds recast timer. This short window is enough for a well-coordinated raid group to get a ton of value from Trick Attack. In terms of optimizing your damage output, you should always try to combine Bunshin with Trick Attack.
Shade Shift – a shield that equals 20% of your max HP. It lasts 20 seconds and has a two-minute cooldown.
Shukuchi – lets you teleport to a target location. It has a 60 seconds recast timer.
Hide – allows you to enter stealth, usable only out of combat.
Ninjutsu – it’s an ability on your bar. It has a 20 seconds recast timer. Its effect varies depending on the Mudra combination used beforehand.
Meisui – if you’re under the effect of Suiton Ninjutsu, you can end it and gain 40 Ninki for that. It has a 60 seconds cooldown.
Kassatsu – resets the cooldown of Ninjutsu and increases the damage of your next Ninjutsu by 30%. It has a 60 seconds recast timer.
Ten Chi Jin – it’s a pretty complicated ability that lets you use your Ninjutsu more effectively. First of all, it resets your Ninjutsu cooldown and reduces it to 1 second for the next two casts. Second of all, it makes it so for the next three casts Mudra is not consumed, and it stays memorized. That lets the player use three different Ninjutsu in quick succession. However, you can’t move between the casts, because it will end the effect prematurely. It has a 100 seconds cooldown.
The example of using this effectively would look like this:
Ten Chi Jin->Ten->Ninjutsu (Fuma Shuriken)->Chi->Ninjutsu (Raiton)->Jin->Ninjutsu (Suiton).
You can use any combination that you want, but it has to start with Fuma Shuriken and then go into 2 Mudra Ninjutsu and end in 3 Mudra Ninjutsu. As we said, it’s quite tricky and requires some practice. Besides knowing the right sequence, you’ll also have to choose the time and place carefully – this ability keeps you stationary for a few seconds.
As a max level Ninja, you’re going to have access to 2 Rogue and 6 Ninja traits. They are:
All Fours – reduced fall damage
Fleet of Foot – increased movement speed
Shukiho – provides 6 Ninki for landing weaponskills and completing combos
Enhanced Shukuchi – resets the recast timer of Shukuchi when you land Katon, Riaton or Hyoton on most targets
Enhanced Mug – makes your Mug ability generate 40 Ninki
Enhanced Shukuchi II – lets you hold up to two charges of Shukuchi that you’ll be able to use consecutively
Enhanced Kassatsu – when you’re under the effect of Kassatsu, your Katon transforms into more powerful Goka Mekkyaku, and a much stronger Hyosho Ranryu replaces Hyoton.
Shukiho II – increases the Ninki generation with weaponskills, and combo finishes to 8.
As you can see, there is a ton of things to manage as a Ninja player. You have to take care of Mudra and Ninjutsu, keep Huton running, execute your weaponskill combos flawlessly, weave in Ninki abilities whenever you can, and use your cooldowns efficiently.
FFXIV, in general, is a quite complex MMO in terms of mechanics (if you want to play your job to its fullest, of course), and Ninja is one of the most challenging characters to master. That being said, we’re going to try and explain it as simple as possible.
Your most essential cooldowns are by far Trick Attack and Bunshin. You want to use them together as much as possible (the 50 seconds cooldown difference makes it two Trick Attacks per 1 Bunshin. It’s worth to wait the 10 seconds for the third Trick Attack before using the second Bunshin). You’re going to need Suiton Ninjutsu to perform this combo.
Against single target
For single target encounters, you should enter the fight with Suiton active, and when you have enough Ninki, use Bunshin and Trick Attack from the back of the opponent. After that, go back to your standard single target rotation. Start with SF combo, then spam AE combo, reapplying Shadow Fang when it’s running out, and using Armor Crush instead of Aeolian Edge when Huton falls below 40. Every Time you have 80 Ninki and Bunshin is on cooldown, use Bhavacakra between combos for extra damage – don’t sit on more than 80 Ninki, it’s a damage loss. Also, make sure to use the Dream Within a Dream and Assassinate combo when you have it available.
The timing of using Ninjutsu abilities is pretty situational, but you’ll want to prioritize Raiton as an additional damage source – it’s the most potent choice against single targets. You don’t have to worry about optimizing positional other than Trick Attack. If you want to optimize your DPS, you want to have perfect positioning for every skill. However, failing to proc this single ability results in a substantial DPS loss for your whole group – it’s much more important than all the others.
Against multiple targets
When you’re facing multiple targets, the situation is slightly different. Depending on their durability, you might still want to apply Shadow Fang to them, but it’s pretty much up to you. Instead of Aeolian Edge, you’re going to use the AoE rotation. The value of Trick Attack is reduced here, but Bunshin remains extremely strong.
Instead of Bhavacakra, you want to use your extra Ninki on Hellfrog Medium, and Katon becomes the Ninjutsu of choice because of the AoE damage. You shouldn’t have to worry about Huton since Hake Mujinatsu will keep it running.
Playing Ninja is not easy, but it can be satisfying. The job is getting nothing but buffs, since the Shadowbringers release. It requires an active playstyle with a lot of things to keep track of. While the sheer personal damage numbers might not always justify the mechanical complexity, the eye-popping animations do! Placing yourself somewhere between a traditional DPS and support is also a really interesting role to play.
It’s a perfect FFXIV job for players who like to keep themselves busy during rotations. There are a lot of actions to execute, and plenty of room for optimizing your performance! In general, the gameplay is much more engaging than in most other MMORPGs and plenty of other FFXIV jobs.
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Is FFXIV Ninja easy to play?
Ninja is one of the most difficult jobs in FFXIV. It has a very complex skillset, while also being very challenging in terms of sheer mechanics and actions per minute. We don’t recommend this character to newbie players.
How to unlock Ninja in FFXIV?
To unlock Ninja, you first have to be a level 30 Rogue. After that, you have to visit Rogue’s Guild in Limsa Lominsa Lower Decks to complete the quest called Cloying Victory.
How to use Trick Attack?
Trick Attack is one of the most powerful raid buffs in the game. You should always coordinate using this ability with the rest of your party. It’s important to make sure that everyone’s ready to utilize this buff window by using their most potent damage combos and abilities.