Guide:NIN Ability Guide by Urthdigger
Strategies and information in guides may not work for everyone.
Welcome to my guide for Rogue/Ninja. Unlike other guides, this won't be focused on endgame. Rather, I will be going through each ability level by level covering the uses they have, and where to fit them into your rotation. This guide is based on the information on 4.0 received from the Media Tour and will be updated accordingly upon release. Likewise, I do not claim to be the best DPS ever, and I am always open to constructive criticism on how I can better use these abilities.
- 1 A Realm Reborn
- 1.1 Level 1: Spinning Edge
- 1.2 Level 2: Shade Shift
- 1.3 Level 4: Gust Slash
- 1.4 Level 8: Second Wind
- 1.5 Level 10: Hide
- 1.6 Level 12: Arm's Length
- 1.7 Level 12: Assassinate
- 1.8 Level 14: All Fours
- 1.9 Level 15: Mug
- 1.10 Level 15: Throwing Dagger
- 1.11 Level 16: Leg Sweep
- 1.12 Level 18: Trick Attack
- 1.13 Level 20: Diversion
- 1.14 Level 20: Fleet of Foot
- 1.15 Level 24: Invigorate=
- 1.16 Level 26: Aeolian Edge
- 1.17 Level 30: Jugulate
- 1.18 Level 30: Ten
- 1.19 Level 30: Fuma Shuriken
- 1.20 Level 30: Ninjutsu
- 1.21 Level 35: Chi
- 1.22 Level 35: Katon
- 1.23 Level 35: Raiton
- 1.24 Level 32: Bloodbath
- 1.25 Level 36: Goad
- 1.26 Level 38: Shadow Fang
- 1.27 Level 40: Feint
- 1.28 Level 40: Shukuchi
- 1.29 Level 42: Death Blossom
- 1.30 Level 44: Crutch
- 1.31 Level 45: Jin
- 1.32 Level 45: Hyoton
- 1.33 Level 45: Huton
- 1.34 Level 45: Doton
- 1.35 Level 45: Suiton
- 1.36 Level 48: True North
- 1.37 Level 50: Kassatsu
- 2 Heavensward
- 3 Stormblood
A Realm Reborn
Level 1: Spinning Edge
Your basic attack, with a potency of 150 and a TP cost of 50. This is your basic move, 50% stronger than auto-attacks. By itself, that's 150 potency per global cooldown (GCD) and 3 per TP spent. Not much one can do at this level but spam this.
Level 2: Shade Shift
This ability lets you put up a shield for 20 seconds that nullifies up to 20% of your max HP in damage every 2 minutes. This is quite the potent defensive ability, and it's crazy that you get it so early. Use this often when soloing, or before or large physical AoE goes out during parties.
Level 4: Gust Slash
Your first combo move, this deals 100 potency for 50 TP when used incorrectly, but when following Spinning Edge it deals 220 potency (4.4 per TP). The entire combo deals 370 potency over 2 GCDs and 100 TP, or 185 per GCD and 3.7 per TP.
Level 8: Second Wind
Your first shared role ability. You're limited in how many of these can be set (currently unknown how it scales, but assuming for now it will be one every 5 levels for classes and one every 10 levels for jobs until level 50, like 2.x cross-class abilities), so choose wisely.
Second Wind is a 500 potency heal based on your attack power that can only be used on yourself every 2 minutes. It's quite useful when soloing or to recover after AoE attacks, but in a party with a decent healer this may see little use.
Level 10: Hide
This allows you to sneak past plenty of enemies, but it slows your movement speed and doesn't work on most/all? dungeon monsters. For the time being, not much use besides certain rogue class quests.
Level 12: Arm's Length
Your second shared role ability, this 60 second cooldown grants a buff that inflicts anyone that hits you with a 30% slow, while also nullifying knockback or draw-in effects. Useful when soloing, or on fights where you know something will knock you around.
Level 12: Assassinate
This ability has a 40-second recast and deals an instant 200 damage. The only downsides are that it can only be used when the enemy is at 20% HP or lower, and it has a length animation that prevents you from moving, which may lead to you eating an AoE. Use whenever available, just be careful.
Level 14: All Fours
Reduces falling damage. Why... just why. This trait changes nothing.
Level 15: Mug
This 90 second ability deals 140 potency of free damage and allows for extra items to drop. This only applies to items that drop directly off the monster, so mostly this is just useful for the extra free damage.
Level 15: Throwing Dagger
Your first ranged attack! This deals 120 potency for 120 TP. Never use this unless for some reason you can't get close to a monster and have a lot of TP to burn, or as an initial attack while approaching a monster.
Level 16: Leg Sweep
Your third shared role ability, this 40 second cooldown allows you to stun a target. While this can be used to keep them from hitting the tank, it's not terribly effective especially as monsters will quickly gain resistance, with the duration shortening until they're immune, though it wears off with time. The most effective use of Stun is to interrupt an enemy's weaponskill or spell. This can prevent many deadly or annoying moves from going off, and even many bosses can be interrupted in this manner.
Level 18: Trick Attack
Once a minute his can deliver a 240 potency attack, but when done from the rear it becomes a massive 400 potency AND increases the target's damage taken by 10% for 10 seconds. The catch is that it can only used during Hide, which means it can only be used for an initial attack, and may be difficult to use in dungeons.
A note on positionals: When targteing an enemy, the break in the targeting ring indicates the monster's rear. To either side of that is the flank. Clear on the other side from the break is the front. For DPS doing positionals, it's recommended to stay right where the ring breaks, so one step can move you between the rear and the flank.
Level 20: Diversion
Your fourth shared role ability, this 2 minute cooldown halves your enmity generation. It won't due anything to enmity you've already accrued, but using it alongside damage buffs to offset the increased enmity from the extra damage can help your tank damage more instead of fighting for hate.
Level 20: Fleet of Foot
Those poor monks and ranged folk need to use an ability to do this. You're just faster all the time with this trait.
Level 24: Invigorate=
Your fifth shared role ability, this 2 minute cooldown immediately restores 400 TP. While not useful with your rotation so far, this will become invaluable once you start using Area of Effect (AoE) abilities and gaining more spell speed.
Level 26: Aeolian Edge
This is another combo, following Gust Slash, and deals 260 potency, 80 more (340 total) from the rear for 40 TP (8.5 per TP). The entire combo deals 710 potency over 3 GCDs and 140 TP, or 236.6 per GCD and 5 per TP.
Level 30: Jugulate
This ability is on a 30-second cooldown and deals 80 potency, and silences for 1 second. The silence is intended to interrupt enemy spells, but if you don't need to save it for that feel free to use it just for the extra damage.
Level 30: Ten
Your first Mudra. For now, use this on its own for Fuma Shuriken. Mudra have an extremely short cast time and with practice you can nab all three within a GCD. On a side note, you now have a use for hide during parties: It will reset the cooldown of your ninjutsu when used out of combat, ensuring you have it ready for your next fight.
Level 30: Fuma Shuriken
Delivers a ranged attack with 240 potency. This can be every 20 seconds for just a single mudra. It's free damage, use it whenever it's up.
Level 30: Ninjutsu
Use this after using up to 3 mudra to cast a ninjutsu. At the moment, Fuma Shuriken is your only option. There's a 20-second cooldown shared between all ninjutsu, it's up to you to choose which one.
Level 35: Chi
Your second Mudra, this unlocks Katon (by ending a two-step mudra with Ten) or Raiton (By ending a two-step mudra with Chi).
Level 35: Katon
Deals 250 damage to a target and anything within 5 yalms of it. Even on just two monsters that's a ton of total damage dealt.
Level 35: Raiton
Deals 360 potency to a single target. Your most potent single-target mudra, this will usually wind up your go-to ninjutsu when there's no situationally better option.
Use either of these over Fuma Shuriken now, Katon for multiple targets and Raiton for one.
Level 32: Bloodbath
Your sixth shared role ability, this 90 second cooldown converts a portion of the physical damage you deal into HP. Another defensive cooldown, this is mostly useful for soloing, don't expect to use it much in parties.
Level 36: Goad
Your seventh shared role ability, this 3 minute cooldown restores the TP of a fellow party member over time for 30 seconds. Only useful in parties, and only useful if one of your party members is using a lot of physical AoE attacks. That said, when it is useful it's VERY much appreciated.
Level 38: Shadow Fang
Another combo finisher following Gust Slash, this deals 200 base potency for 40 TP when dealt properly and also deals a DoT, and like most DoTs this is immense damage if it lasts its full duration. That's 40 damage over 21 seconds, and since they activate every 3 seconds that's 480 total damage for this one skill, or 850 damage over 3 GCDs and 140 TP, 283 per GCD and 6 per TP. In addition, it reduces the target's slashing resistance by 10%, boosting the damage of yourself and all others who use slashing weapons (like tanks!)
Use this instead of Aeolian Edge any time the debuff has 3 or less seconds on it.
Level 40: Feint
Your eighth shared role ability, this 2 minute cooldown lowers a foe's strength and dexterity by 10% for 10 seconds. The duration isn't very long, so this is mostly used to mitigate powerful physical moves some boss monsters may have. Knowledge of the fight helps to use this effectively, but it's a potent way to help the tank when used properly.
Level 40: Shukuchi
Instantly moves to a location within 20 yalms. Only real use I've found for this is getting back into melee quickly after dodging a mechanic.
Level 42: Death Blossom
Your first real spammable AoE attack, this deals 110 potency to every enemy within 5 yalms of you for 100 TP. On a group of 3 monsters, this deals more damage than your single target options. At 6 or more monsters this becomes more efficient TP-wise than them.
So, basically on 1-2 monsters stick to your single target rotation, on 3-5 monsters use Death Blossom until low on TP, then switch to single target, and on 6+ monsters just use this until you're running dry. Remember to use ninjutsu, Mug, and Jugulate between GCDs as they become available too.
Level 44: Crutch
Your ninth shared role ability, this 90 second cooldown removes Bind and Heavy from a target party member other than yourself. Literally unusable solo, this is a highly situational skill that depends on bosses using Bind or Heavy as part of their mechanics.
Level 45: Jin
Your third and final mudra, with this you unlock tier 3 ninjutsu and the final tier 2 ninjutsu.
Level 45: Hyoton
This is done by doing two mudra ending with Jin. Deals 140 potency to a single target and inflicts bind. Unless you really REALLY need to bind something, this isn't worth it. Use it if a mechanic calls for it and nobody has a more dedicated bind.
Level 45: Huton
Use all three mudra with Ten last and welcome to your new friend. This ninjutsu is so important they reserved a space on your bar for it! This increases the speed of basically everything you do by 15%. Put it up, keep it up, always refresh it if it falls down to 10 seconds or less. It lasts for 70 seconds, so every 3rd ninjutsu you should apply it.
Level 45: Doton
3 mudra ending in Chi puts down this little damaging circle around yourself. This deals 40 damage to anything inside every 3 seconds for 24 seconds (So, 320 total damage to everything inside). If the monsters stay put inside for the full duration it's your best AoE ninjutsu for every other cast, but don't use it against single targets. It also inflicts Heavy, but if you're using it for that you're trying to keep a monster from getting somewhere, and as soon as it leaves the circle it will be cured.
Level 45: Suiton
This is actually your most potent single-target ninjutsu, and second in priority over Huton for single targets. This deals 180 potency to the target, but more importantly grants the Suiton buff. This allows you to use Trick Attack without using Hide first, allowing you to use it on bosses and multiple times during a fight. Essentially this makes Suiton a 580 potency attack that boosts the damage of your whole party by 10% for 10 seconds. Use this every minute when Trick Attack is off its cooldown in a party, though you'll need to use True North to utilize it when solo.
Level 48: True North
Your tenth shared role ability, this 2.5 minute cooldown removes all direction requirements, allowing you to get full damage from all your weaponskills regardless of direction. This is most useful for fights where the foe just won't sit still or is otherwise difficult to hit from the required directions.
Level 50: Kassatsu
Every 2 minutes this allows you to reset the 20 second cooldown on ninjutsu and makes your next ninjutsu deal critical damage. While you can use this if you really need a support ninjutsu, it's likely best used to get in an extra critical Raiton (Or Katon? Unsure if it works for AoE).
Level 52: Smoke Screen
Every 3 minutes this allows you to reduce the enmity generation of a party member other than yourself for 20 seconds. Use it if one of your fellow DPS is sneaking up on the aggro meter.
Level 54: Armor Crush
Yet another combo finisher for Gust Slash, this deals 240 potency for 40 TP, plus 60 more for attacking from the flank (300 total). The total combo deals 670 potency over 3 GCDs and 140 TP, or 223.3 per GCD and 4.78 per TP.
The REAL reason to use this finisher is that it extends your huton duration by 30 seconds, up to a maximum of 70. Use this any time you drop below 40 seconds on Huton, freeing up your ninjutsu for other uses.
Level 56: Shadewalker
Every 2 minutes you can grant a buff to a party member that gives them 80% of the enmity you generate over the next 15 seconds. Toss this on your tank at the start of a boss fight (when most party members toss out their most damaging attacks) and they will be quite grateful.
Level 58: Duality
Every 90 seconds this allows you to double the number of strikes for a weaponskill. However, it should be noted that this only works on weaponskills, not abilities or ninjutsu, nor does it double up on additional effects like refreshing Huton. As such, the best use for this ability is to double up Aeolian Edge.
Level 60: Dream Within a Dream
The wordy mouthful delivers 3 150 potency attacks (450 total) once a minute. That's really about it. As it's an ability, not a weaponskill, you can't even buff it with Duality, but you can use it between GCDs.
Level 62: Shukiho
Increases your Ninki gauge by 6 with each auto-attack.
Level 62: Hellfrog Medium
This massive ability deals 400 damage to a target and everything within 5 yalms of it for 80 points on the Ninki gauge. Use this whenever possible inside your AoE combo, or even when solo for now.
Level 64: Enhanced Shukuchi
The recast timer for Shukuchi is reset upon casting any of your tier 2 ninjutsu (Katon or Raiton... or Hyoton I guess.) I never found myself using Shukuchi much in combat anyway, so I guess this depends on the kind of content Stormblood brings?
Level 66: Enhanced Mug
Now Mug gives 30 points to your Ninki gauge. You should be using this almost every time it's available anyway, but now you get to throw frogs around more often as a bonus.
Level 68: Bhavacakra
Once every 50 seconds you can deal 550 potency to a single target for 80 Ninki gauge. This is more effective on single targets than Hellfrog Medium, and even costs the same on your bar, but the cooldown means you still need to use your frog occasionally even on single targets (depends on how fast auto-attacks fill the gauge...)
Level 70: Ten Chi Jin
The next three ninjutsu you cast can be done back to back (two with no recast and a third with one), doubles the potency for them (Making this quite potent with Katon and Raiton) and "eliminates required mudra consumption", whatever that means. The only drawbacks are it costs 80 from your Ninki gauge, only mudra and ninjutsu are available while active, you can't use the same mudra twice, and the effect automatically fades upon moving. Maybe Shukuchi doesn't count as moving, giving a benefit to that earlier trait.