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Thread: Black Mage

  1. #1
    Player
    Sfia's Avatar
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    Nov 2014
    Posts
    37
    Character
    Sfia Pirion
    World
    Gilgamesh
    Main Class
    Thaumaturge Lv 70

    Black Mage

    Black Mage has been the job I have stuck with since beta, all through ARR, HW and now SB. I have played it in solo play, casual raid teams, world prog raid teams and even tried bringing it to speed kill teams.
    Since ARR, BLM has kept very true to its identity. It stands still and it does damage. It has been given various defensive utilities over it's lifespan but these are minor additions which over time have become completely insignificant.
    To get a full understanding of the current state of Black Mage as a functioning job in Stormblood, we need to understand how the game has changed since ARR when I would last say Black Mage was truly in a viable and desired spot.


    1. Raid buffs.
    This is probably the single most detrimental contributor to my enjoyment of Black Mage, as well as it's viability in end game content. Raid buffs such as trick attack, hypercharge, and foe requiem add strong burst windows to your teams damage. When used correctly, these allow for huge damage spikes which can be capitalized on through smart use of cooldowns and manipulating timers. It creates a layer of complexity and enjoyment when running the same content in the months we have between each raid cycle.

    However. Black Mage has ZERO offensive utility. As a job it does not provide to any other team member in a positive way, in fact for many teams who are not at a higher level of play, bringing a Black Mage will cause the team to overcompensate when allowing for the turret class and this can be a hindrance to the teams overall damage.

    On top of their lack of offensive utility, they are not able to consistently capitalize on these burst windows provided by other raid members. Due to the RNG nature of the BLM rotation, you cannot reliably plan which GCDs will line up with your teams burst, creating a huge disparity between getting your powerful spells within buffs and getting your weaker phase inside the same window.


    2. The powercreep of ranged physical DPS.

    Back in ARR, bard was very powerful. It had very high personal DPS while it provided raid dps buffs through foe requiem on top of limitless mobility. However resource management was an issue during this content, and said bard would have to sacrifice it's own damage for the good of the team to allow TP spenders to keep spending and MP spenders to keep spending. This created a solid balance where it's power was gated and not allowed to be overbearing.

    HW rolls around and as the expansion progressed, bard and machinist both saw more and more aggressive buffs. Jobs which already provided higher raid dps total contributions than casters (when combining personal damage with hypercharge/foe) as well as having access to resource regeneration tools made them provide more overall damage than both BLM and SMN, which are purely DPS classes. During Heavensward balancing patches, classes started to be almost completely TP independent. Meaning the use of Army's Paeon as a DPS balancing tool became less and less important.

    So now we are in Stormblood, and I feel like we are still in Heavensward. Black Mage was released with rotation breaking issues with MP, timers too strict for the gear we had available all in all making the class feel very un-fun to play. While these issues were bandaid fixed (simply by giving more spell speed in the form of reduced cast times on f4/b4) it still didn't hold up because at the same time, ranged physical classes were being buffed as well. Machinist gets personal DPS buffs, while also providing raid utility, and even the already absurdly powerful bard gets buffs in 4.06. And now with 4.1 coming up, machinist is AGAIN being buffed while black mage gets nothing. Another important change that came with Stormblood is the free to cast MP and TP restoring abilities. Now the previously balancing factor is completely gone even further pushing ranged physical DPS ahead in viability.

    In previous fights, casters were incentivised through the use of physical damage resistant mob types. The last instance of this being used was in Floor 7 of Alexander Savage, which was a very weak check capable of being dealt with by a healer (and optimally so) as the fastest kill for this turn was with both bard and machinist, in place of a caster.

    So if we were to compare bringing a Black Mage and ANY ranged class right now we are trading Manashift, Apocatastasis, and Addle for significantly higher raid DPS contribution, a stronger form of MP sustain through Refresh (6kmp vs 3kmp and it is FREE), personalized forms of mitigation on par with or stronger than Addle (Troubadour and Dismantle), and the ability to do all of these while moving freely for mechanics.


    3. Homogenization of the caster role.

    Black Mage got the short end of the stick with the role changes in Stormblood. No way to argue it. Apocatastasis being made cross-role removed identity and value from the job. This was previously a small niche which the Black Mage could fill in coordinated teams to provide defensive utility to magic damage tank busters, or spot-apoc a low HP target party member during megaflares. Now that is shared between the other casters, which also provide more valuable contributions themselves. On top of this, the new combined manaward button took away defensive flexibility in the job itself.

    Both Summoner and Red Mage have their niche in the raid scene, and out of it. Red Mage is a blind progression godsend with its simple rotation and ability to verraise at will, on top of that it is the forerunner in the oh-so-competitive world of POTD solo runs. Summoner provides very high total raid dps (which is being hugely buffed in patch 4.1) as well as a raise which is valuable for progression. Black mage provides nothing outside of its lackluster damage contribution and slow learning curve for fights due to its turret playstyle.

    So after gutting the job of it's personal strengths and buffing other classes that already provided more to the team, Black Mage is left in a spot which is honestly disappointing.
    We still struggle with horrible execution of rotation due to forced GCD clipping, in a world where you have such small windows to maintain buffs while executing optimal rotation.

    At the end of the day you have to ask yourself why should I bring a Black Mage over any other class to any content. Casual Progression? Hardcore Progression? Speed kills?

    "I hate that every time I play the job that I want, I have it in the back of my mind that I'd be contributing more by picking almost anything else" - Blackcat Ofillomen
    (133)

  2. #2
    Player
    BlackcatChen's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2015
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    37
    Character
    Blackcat Ofillomen
    World
    Gilgamesh
    Main Class
    Black Mage Lv 70
    This is exactly the mindset that most BLM mains are in right now, and it's very disheartening. There's less and less reasons to use this job in raids, the actual challenging content in the game.

    But at the end of the day, we just want to throw fireballs, man.
    (34)

  3. #3
    Player
    RinchanNau's Avatar
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    Mar 2014
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    238
    Character
    Rinchan Nau
    World
    Gilgamesh
    Main Class
    Archer Lv 70
    If only they had gone the nerf BRD route instead of buff MCH route in 4.06 and again in 4.1.

    Do not be afraid to nerf.

    That doesn't fix BLMs issues compared to other casters, of course, which the OP addresses better than I would be able to.
    (21)
    Last edited by RinchanNau; 10-02-2017 at 10:32 PM.

  4. #4
    Player
    Lilyth's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2015
    Posts
    166
    Character
    Lilyth Chan
    World
    Gilgamesh
    Main Class
    Black Mage Lv 70
    Quote Originally Posted by BlackcatChen View Post
    This is exactly the mindset that most BLM mains are in right now, and it's very disheartening. There's less and less reasons to use this job in raids, the actual challenging content in the game.

    But at the end of the day, we just want to throw fireballs, man.
    We won't be throwing any more fireballs like this, not with any serious group at least. Casters are behind physical ranged DPS when it comes to total raid contribution and you can clearly see that when groups would rather bring a Bard and a Machinist instead of a single caster. Red Mage is still in an ok spot, but only because of its niche raise ability which is really useful when learning the fights during progression, and that's just enough to secure it a spot in a group. The new buffed Summoner is looking to be the same, they can also raise and will have a new AoE devotion to boost the party defense and offense.

    Black Mage, on the other hand, is just a worse Samurai. Not looking good honestly.
    (14)
    Last edited by Lilyth; 10-02-2017 at 10:48 PM.

  5. #5
    Player
    ManuelBravo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Milpitas , CA
    Posts
    1,995
    Character
    Manuel Bravo
    World
    Balmung
    Main Class
    Dragoon Lv 70
    Quote Originally Posted by Sfia View Post
    Black Mage has been the job I have stuck with since beta, ...

    "I hate that every time I play the job that I want, I have it in the back of my mind that I'd be contributing more by picking almost anything else" - Blackcat Ofillomen


    Hmmm I don't really agree with you. I play BLM and I don't feel that way at all. I consider my self well balanced and if anything prefer BLM over RDM or SUM ( haven't touched RDM enough in my main account and from what I've seen seems most players get ko'd faster than SUM or BLM ) Hopefully you have tried SUM and RDM to properly gauge their potential. Their will be times where I feel BLM is lacking ( mostly PvP ) other than that it's a solid job over RDM and SUM in almost all other instances. There are a lo of possibilities and that one of the things I love about this game. I know change can be hard for some people, yet it's a new challenge. Try RDM and SUM see it from their perspectives. Right now I too am Trying RDM and so far I really don't like it. yet I will get it to 70 to give it the benefit of the doubt. I'm sorry you feel you can contribute more with any other job, however have you maxed out your potential? DMG wise BLM is still king mage wise.
    (2)
    Last edited by ManuelBravo; 10-02-2017 at 10:36 PM. Reason: Character limit

  6. #6
    Player
    blindfoldedkaos's Avatar
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    Sep 2015
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    Character
    Variel Arkwright
    World
    Lamia
    Main Class
    Scholar Lv 70
    you do make the best mana battery for everyone else....

    also you are usually 2nd or 3rd on the DPS charts for raids and stuff according to FFLogs, so much for lackluster damage....
    (5)

  7. #7
    Player
    BlackcatChen's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2015
    Posts
    37
    Character
    Blackcat Ofillomen
    World
    Gilgamesh
    Main Class
    Black Mage Lv 70
    >you do make the best mana battery for everyone else....

    You cannot do it on demand and not lose anything, it must be done in umbral ice. If not done under a thundercloud proc, you will also clip. When comparing casters to double ranged, Refresh has no downsides whatsoever, and has double the effectiveness.

    >also you are usually 2nd or 3rd on the DPS charts for raids and stuff according to FFLogs, so much for lackluster damage....

    Try thinking about raid dps contribution, not personal damage. BLM is close to the bottom (same with SAM). Things look quite different once you start taking into account that BLM has no raid damage buffs.
    (27)

  8. #8
    Player
    Sfia's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2014
    Posts
    37
    Character
    Sfia Pirion
    World
    Gilgamesh
    Main Class
    Thaumaturge Lv 70
    Quote Originally Posted by blindfoldedkaos View Post
    you do make the best mana battery for everyone else....

    also you are usually 2nd or 3rd on the DPS charts for raids and stuff according to FFLogs, so much for lackluster damage....
    In fact, using manashift will very often require a hard gcd clip and it has to be in umbral or you lose 2 fire4 casts in astral. Refresh is a much more powerful mana restoration tool (6000 raidwide MP vs the ~3000 from manashift)

    As for the damage, black mages damage is severely lacking. A jobs DPS contribution is comprised of it's personal DPS and the DPS it adds through utilities (such as hypercharge) and BLM doesn't provide nearly enough to match the contributions of other jobs.

    Quote Originally Posted by ManuelBravo View Post
    Hmmm I don't really agree with you. I play BLM and I don't feel that way at all. I consider my self well balanced and if anything prefer BLM over RDM or SUM ( haven't touched RDM enough in my main account and from what I've seen seems most players get ko'd faster than SUM or BLM ) Hopefully you have tried SUM and RDM to properly gauge their potential. Their will be times where I feel BLM is lacking ( mostly PvP ) other than that it's a solid job over RDM and SUM in almost all other instances. There are a lo of possibilities and that one of the things I love about this game. I know change can be hard for some people, yet it's a new challenge. Try RDM and SUM see it from their perspectives. Right now I too am Trying RDM and so far I really don't like it. yet I will get it to 70 to give it the benefit of the doubt. I'm sorry you feel you can contribute more with any other job, however have you maxed out your potential? DMG wise BLM is still king mage wise.
    I have RDM/SMN/BLM bis across my different characters and have used them all a lot in various end game content. My judgements are a reflection of a lot of time put in by myself and a lot of other caster mains who feel similarly.
    (34)

  9. #9
    Player
    Miunih's Avatar
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    Apr 2012
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    45
    Character
    Miunih Evans
    World
    Ragnarok
    Main Class
    Conjurer Lv 70
    Blm, the whm of casters.. if rdm was a second healer..

    Wait a second...
    (6)
    Lalafell for life! o.o/

  10. #10
    Player
    ManuelBravo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Milpitas , CA
    Posts
    1,995
    Character
    Manuel Bravo
    World
    Balmung
    Main Class
    Dragoon Lv 70
    Quote Originally Posted by Sfia View Post
    I have RDM/SMN/BLM bis across my different characters and have used them all a lot in various end game content. My judgements are a reflection of a lot of time put in by myself and a lot of other caster mains who feel similarly.
    As they say experience can vary by play style. ^^ BLM is still over all the best Mage wise so far for me. Maybe over thinking can cause that sense of doubt. Enjoy and play the game the way you want to ^^.
    (2)

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