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Strategies and information in guides may not work for everyone.
Red Mages are called the Jack of All Trades by many, and this is an accurate description. Red Mages have the ability to cast white magic, black magic, and fight with swords and daggers. Though their healing, nuking, and fighting skills aren't as good as those of the specialists, White Mages, Black Mages, Paladins, and Thieves, they are still competent. Their real strength relies in their enhancing and enfeebling skills.
Strengths and Weaknesses
- Highest Enfeebling Magic skill and Enhancing Magic skills of all jobs in the game.
- One of five jobs (RDM, BRD, BLU, SMN, COR) with the ability to remove enemy buffs.
- Possess the spell Refresh to replenish MP of the Red Mage itself or other magic users in party.
- Unique job ability, Convert, which gives a Red Mage up to as much MP as it has HP (and vice versa) every 10 minutes.
- A powerful and flexible two-hour ability, Chainspell, which, depending on subjob, can guarantee a successful Escape (BLM sub) or teleport from dangerous situations (WHM sub), or provide one minute of continuous Stun casting (DRK sub) to neutralize a very dangerous foe, among other uses.
- Together with Convert and Refresh, an impressive array of different Enhancing and Enfeebling magic spells, including the signature spells Gravity and Phalanx, giving Red Mage many tools to outlast difficult enemies while soloing.
- Flexible and adaptive with many native combat skills and magic skills, and a large selection of equipment and useful support jobs.
- Attack magic and melee abilities fall short of more specialized jobs.
- Generally limited to a support/healer role in higher level exp parties.
- Competes somewhat with the more popular Bard for support job role in exp parties.
- High workload in exp parties; at a minimum, responsible for keeping up with a Refresh cycle and enfeebs; handle crowd control; and, help out with Haste cycle and backup healing (if not the main healer).
- Although able to sustain higher rate of MP usage over time than other mage jobs, has a smaller MP pool to work with.
- Humes want to be Red Mages because they can excel at all aspects of the job. Average stats means their Enfeebling, Enhancing, Curing, and Nuking will do well with proper equipment. Good HP means they can survive a few hits if they pull hate, and good MP means they can last longer without having to rest or use Convert.
- Elvaan want to be Red Mages because they excel at melee. High strength means they hit harder, and high mind helps their cures hit for more, and white magic enfeebles hit harder. Lower intelligence can be remedied with gear, as can their lower MP pool.
- Tarutaru want to be Red Mages because they excel at anything magical. High intelligence means their nukes and black magic enfeebles hit harder. Tarutaru have the highest MP pool, making their use of Convert the most efficient when at full HP. If wanted, any physical weakness can be remedied with vitality and strength boosting gear.
- Galka want to be Red Mages so they can dabble in magic, while still smashing monsters in the fray. High strength and vitality make their soloing ability impressive. Comparable mind to a Hume makes their cures just as good, as well as their white magic enfeebles. Lower intelligence can be remedied with gear, and their low mp pool will require them to rest more often without +MP gear.
- Mithra want to be Red Mages for the same reason as Humes. Their high dexterity and agility means they are more accurate in combat, and will evade more hits than a Hume. Like for any Red Mage, additional boosts in MP make their Converts better, and additional mind and intelligence will help with their spellcasting.
- Starting Stats
Support Job Options
The choices listed here are by no means the only ones available. Feel free to try out whatever combination suits your fancy.
Partying As Red Mage
- Regardless of level, Red Mage is primarily a support role, and will rarely melee in an EXP party. Meleeing should typically only be done when there is prior agreement among the other party members. Meleeing in non-EXP parties, such as quests and missions, is generally more acceptable, but it depends on the situation.
- All Mages should carry a supply of Echo Drops when potentially fighting mobs with silence ability.
- Red Mage should always be prepared to sleep any undesirable links. Macros should be readily available for Sleep, Sleep II, and Sleepga as these spells become available (be ready to cast Sleep if Sleep II fails to stick). Elemental Seal, when subjob is BLM, is very useful minimizing resistance.
- Note: Be careful not to use a damage-over-time (DOT) spell on an enemy that potentially might need to be slept.
- Red Mage should always try to cure the Main Healer if he/she gets hate from the mob. If the main healer has to cure himself/herself, it will only increase hate and make the situation worse.
- Keep your spells current and your subjob level capped. Parties are not pleased when they find out a mage doesn't have a spell he/she is expected to have at that level.
- Levels 10-40
- Prior to getting Refresh at level 41, the Red Mage's role in a party is typically either enfeebler or main healer.
- As enfeebler:
- Subjobs of black mage or white mage are acceptable.
- Your primary role is to cast the applicable enfeebles necessary to protect the party and speed up the kill. Typical combination of enfeebles is Dia (lowers mob defenses) -> Paralyze (reduces the number of attacks the mob makes) -> Slow (increases the amount of time between mob attacks). In some cases, it might be preferable to use Bio instead of Dia, to reduce the potency of the mobs attacks. Gravity may be useful when fighting mobs with high evasion.
- Some enfeebles should be top priority, such as Silence and Dispel, depending on the situation.
- Do your research to know what spells are appropriate for the enemies being fought. You should know which mobs should be silenced and what should be dispelled.
- You will need to watch for resistance to enfeebles. There will be times when multiple casts are required to get the spell to stick.
- You will usually also be a back-up healer.
- You will occasionally nuke (especially if there is not a Black Mage in the party).
- As main healer:
- It is typically best to sub white mage when main healer, since you will be required to buff the entire party (ie. Protectra, Shellra and applicable Bar-spells). However, at lower levels, BLM subjob is generally accepted.
- Unless there is another RDM, you will still need to cast the basic enfeebles applicable to the enemy (such as Silence on a mage enemy).
- You will rarely nuke.
- Levels 41+
- After level 41, the Red Mage's role changes significantly, with the Refresh spell. You will still be invited to parties either as an enfeebler or main healer, but especially for your ability to keep all mages in the party refreshed.
- The "enfeebler" and "main healer" comments shown for levels 10-40 continue to apply after level 41.
- It is imperative, that you learn to manage MP and master the refresh cycle technique.
- Typically, the Red Mage refreshes himself/herself first, followed by Paladin, Main Healer, other Mages (BLU, SMN), and then Dark Knights and/or party members with a mage subjob (such as BRD/WHM).
- Note: Dark Knights and party members with mage subjob typically do not need to be included in every refresh cycle, since they may not use a lot of MP. You can use discretion when refreshing them, depending on how much MP they have. They may only need an occasional refresh. Some DRKs may use the Parade Gorget for auto refresh.
- The cycle should start when (or slightly before) your own refresh wears off, with successive casts at 18-20 seconds intervals.
- Refresh always lasts 1 Vana'diel hour (2min 24sec), and recast time is 18 seconds.
- After level 48, you may need to include Haste in this cycle as well. One effective way of doing this is casting Haste between two of the Refresh casts. Haste lasts 2min 58sec, so it will still be up when it is recast. As a minimum, Ninja tanks must be hasted at all times to minimize the recast time for Utsusemi. White Mage may also assume the role of casting Haste.
- While maintaining the Refresh cycle, you will need to cast the basic enfeebles applicable to the mob being fought. Some enfeebles should be top priority, such as Silence and Dispel, depending on the situation. Likewise, sleeping unwanted links should be a top priority.
- Nuking at higher levels is generally acceptable when 1) you are not main healer, 2) there is no BLM in the party, and 3) provided it does not deplete your MP pool and cause party downtime. For maximum effectiveness, equip +INT and +MAB gear and use the staff associated witht he spell
- Effective enfeebling requires high intelligence, mind and enfeebling skill. Keep skills capped (casting in beseiged is an excellent way), and equip +INT and +MND gear in your macros.
- Other gear that maximizes your effectiveness should also be equipped in your macros. For example: