A FFXIV Summoner Guide part2:Shadow Flare How to guide
Learning to master Shadowflare placement and timing is fairly important to maintaining your numbers and not breaking your casting. This Final Fantasy XIV skill should always generally be up unless a mob is very rapidly in motion, IE: T11 adds. Also being your strongest standalone Final Fantasy XIV AoE DoT, this is an amazing ability when it is in fact hitting multiple targets. You will usually use Swiftcast you cast this skill due to its very long cast time, however you will need to manually cast this skill once every minute. Due to the nature of how long this Final Fantasy XIV skill takes to cast, should you be placing a Shadowflare from afar you must be able to eyeball distance well. Failing to place a ShadowFlare well will not only cost you Final Fantasy XIV DPS, but you will have a marker for everyone to see and tell you done goofed.
1) The first step I recommend anyone to do, is learning how to use the camera to aim Shadowflares. The purpose of this is to not break any of your casting while also reducing all movement to placing a Shadowflare or switching targets. A lot of players tend to simply have Shadowflare placed in front of them for ease of use, so they will instead walk over closer to a mob to get them within the Shadowflare target zone. You should not do this ever. Learn to use the camera tilt to aim Shadowflares. The closer you place your camera to the floor, the farther the Final Fantasy XIV AoE circle will move away from you, while the more you place the camera in a top down bird view, the closer it will be to you. If you swivel your camera left or right, the Shadowflare will follow.
When you in fact master the ability to placing shadowflares at a distance using your camera, you can now start experimenting with target swapping mid-cast to opposite sides of an arena without breaking any casts or moving an inch and still returning to your original side.
2) Shadowflare also exists on a separate timing from the global server tick of DoTs. There is a DoT tick of Shadowflare both at 30 seconds and at 0. This means that if ever possible, you should recast Shadowflare as soon as the timer hits 0. If this is done correctly, you will in fact get two ticks within the same given second. While this won’t generally happen, it is something to keep in mind if the situation should ever come up.
3) Pre-casting Shadowflare in front of a boss before a pull is a great way to increasing your numbers. Even though the Shadowflare will be replaced very soon by a buffed one in your opener, free damage is free damage. Should you have an idea of where certain adds will spawn or where a tank will pull adds to, try to get a Shadowflare down before hand in these set locations.
Enkindle: The Two Shot Wonder.
Harnessing all the nearby aether whether it be from primal being or hatred seething from you with your failed shadowflare placement, you pet is able to use its signature ability. Each pet has its own ability which corresponds to its primal.
Inferno(Final Fantasy XIV Ifrit): A cone in front of him that will do 200 Potency magic damage as well as apply a DoT that does 20 potency over 15 seconds.
Aerial Blast(Final Fantasy XIV Garuda): An AoE with 250 potency that uses a target currently selected as an axis point. All mobs located around the target are also hit.
Earthen Fury (Final Fantasy XIV Titan): An AoE around titan that does 200 potency. It also leaves a puddle on the floor that does 20 potency over 15 seconds to anything inside it.
On single targets, Ifrit as of 2.55 is the best user of Enkindle. As more targets are factored in however, Garuda’s Enkindle will overcome it. Now Ifrit’s Enkindle can in fact still beat Garuda’s if the mobs are stacked very close and within its cone AoE. This however tends to fall within the line of impossible on most fights, so Garuda falls to being the AoE friendly Enkindle.
*Overall, this skill is a very wipe unfriendly skill. With a massive CD of 5 mins in 2.55, you will on average use this ffxiv skill only 2 times over the course of an encounter. Should you not have Enkindle at the beginning of a pull, it is impeccable that you stall your party as long as possible. Lie about the timer by saying it’s for Raging Strikes (more people are patient to wait for that), or take frequent bathroom/ cookie breaks. If mid fight, you see things start to go bad quick, stop all DPS and Physick spam, anything to draw out that CD. All for the sake of maximum ffxiv DPS.
Mastering your cast time: Is it worth it?
One of the most important things as a SMN is to constantly ask if placing this DoT on said mob worth it.
Because of the nature of DoTs applying there full damage over a duration, you must be able to see what is worth actually putting on a mob at any given time. A general rule to this is figuring out how much time roughly something will stay alive and then comparing that to a Ruin cast. If something is dying especially fast remove a DoT from left to right in the application in the Bio II -> Miasma - > Bio order. Bio II needs 9 seconds on the server tick to beat a Ruin cast.
If you decide to use a stack of Aetherflow to burn something down but do not have all three Final Fantasy XIV DoTs up, as long as you have 2 of the 3 up, you should still Fester not Energy Drain. If however you only have time to get Bio up and want to use a stack, go with Energy Drain instead. Bio however is only worth it if something will survive for more than 6 seconds otherwise, Ruin II and auto attacks will beat it.
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