Black Mage has a streamlined and elegant AoE toolkit as the only caster with purely GCD damage.
It was improved upon in Shadowbringers with the changes to Freeze
Below we’ll cover these tools available to us:
In Shadowbringers Freeze was given a new lease of life on several fronts where:
- it is now a target AoE spell without a ground AoE circle
- it now has a base GCD cast time
- it grants Umbral Ice III like Blizzard III
- at Lv. 68 the Enhanced Freeze trait grants an Umbral Heart upon casting Freeze
When paired alongside Lv. 72 trait Aspect Mastery which causes all opposing element spells under AF3 / UI3 to cost 0 mp (with the exception of Flare), AoE with Freeze is seamless.
Thunder IV (T4) remains unchanged from Stormblood.
Use at 3+ targets, otherwise Sharp Thunder III (T3) at 2 targets.
Note: Only one type of Thunder DoT can be on a target at any time. T4’s DoT will overwrite T3’s and vice versa. This is important to keep in mind for Thundercloud procs.
General AoE Advice
Black Mage AoE is free-flowing and should be adapted to the encounter.
The same concepts of the Ice and Fire Phases apply to the AoE rotation.
The Ice Phase includes 1 filler spell, usually Foul or T4. Unlike single-target, use procs freely rather than waiting out the proc / DoT timer.
Use Sharp on T4, or on T3 single-target in preparation for adds.
If possible hold Foul or T4P until after Freeze to keep casting while waiting for MP.
Use Swift on Flare.
Use Triple on Flares with the Hot Flare variation even at high enemy counts.
In the below methods the empty GCDs represent filler of which the following are expected:
Hot Flare (3-4 Targets)
→ → → →
Use at 3-4 targets or if the mobs will die just after both Flares.
Cold Flare (5+ Targets)
→ → →
Use at 5+ targets or if the mobs will die before the second Flare of the Hot Flare variation.
Triple Flare (AF3, 1 Umbral Heart)
→ → → → → →