Table of Contents
Section 1: Introduction
Section 2: Why Level 50?
Section 3: Phases
Section 4: Class Skills
Section 5: Cross Class Skills
Section 6: Single Target Rotation
Section 7: Dealing with Awkwardly Timed Procs
Section 8: AOE Rotation
Section 9: Maximizing DPS
Section 10: Moving While Casting
Section 11: Trash Pull Tips
Section 12: Boss/Primal/Raid Tips
Section 1: Introduction
I will open by saying I do not claim to know everything about BLM. In fact, I consider myself fairly average at best in my mastery of the class. Having said that, I believe I have a solid grasp of the fundamentals behind playing BLM at a respectable level, and I hope to convey what little knowledge I have through this guide in order to hopefully help other players improve their understanding of the class.
BLM are, in my opinion, the epitome of "easy to learn, difficult to master". They provide chart topping single target, area of effect, and burst damage on demand, and they are the only class with truly unlimited resources to do so. BLM have one of the simplest rotations in the game, and they perform their job exclusively from range. BLM also need to be standing completely still to attack. While this may seem like a minor inconvenience at best, being locked in one place for as many as 4 seconds at a time to deal damage is a major problem in movement intensive fights. When you consider BLM deal their damage as single large chunks every 2 to 4 seconds, missing out on even a handful of attacks is a severe decrease in damage. Being able to juggle mechanics while at the same time maximizing uptime for casting is arguably the most important factor for becoming an effective BLM, and it is the main reason I consider the class deceptively difficult to play at a high level.
Section 2: Why Level 50?
The main reason I am writing a level 50 guide is that BLM undergo drastic changes during the leveling process. While many other classes acquire skills which logically build upon each other over time, BLM acquire skills which break their current rotations completely every handful of levels. As an example, BLM acquiring a third stack of Umbral Ice or Astral Fire at level 40 is significantly more game-changing than a SCH or SMN acquiring a third stack of Aetherflow at the same level.
Section 3: Phases
BLM at any given time can be in one of three phases: Astral Fire, Umbral Ice, or neither. Astral Fire and Umbral Ice provide unique effects, and each of these two phases can be stacked up to three times, further increasing their benefits. Each phase lasts up to 10 seconds, with their timer resetting when an additional stack is added or subtracted. Making smooth transitions between these phases as well as juggling them accordingly when necessary is one of the keys to being a successful BLM.
Section 4: Class Skills
Blizzard: Blizzard either grants 1 stack of Umbral Ice or removes all stacks of Astral Fire. Ice spells cost less MP while in Astral Fire, but they deal only 90%/80%/70% damage depending on how many stacks of Astral Fire are up. At three stacks of Astral Fire, ice spells have their cast time cut in half. Blizzard is mostly a filler spell to be used while in Umbral Ice and waiting for MP to regenerate before transitioning back into Astral Fire.
Blizzard II: Blizzard II retains the fire/ice mechanics of Blizzard, and it is a weak AOE circled around the caster which has minor added benefits of binding targets and having a quick cast time. This is a fairly worthless spell at level 50. I personally consider it more useful on WHM as filler after an initial Holy to maximize stun duration or on SMN as filler in AOE rotations. Use it only when you happen to be in Umbral Ice and absolutely must have a quick AOE (vacuum/bombs in the first boss of Keeper of the Lake) or a quick short ranged bind.
Freeze: Freeze is essentially a long range Blizzard II providing greater damage with a longer cast time. It is another fairly useless skill outside of niche scenarios such as pushing groups of bombs in Brayflox HM or binding a group of enemies from distance.
Blizzard III: Blizzard III grants 3 stacks of Umbral Ice regardless of your current phase. It is the skill of choice for transitioning from Astral Fire to Umbral Ice or allowing yourself to quickly regain MP when you happen to be in neither Astral Fire nor Umbral Ice. Blizzard III has a fairly long cast time (3.5 seconds, 1.75 seconds when in Astral Fire III) as well as a fairly high MP cost, making it inferior to Blizzard as a filler spell in Umbral Ice under most circumstances.
Fire: Fire either grants 1 stack of Astral Fire or removes all stacks of Umbral Ice. Fire spells cost more MP while in Astral Fire and less MP while in Umbral Ice, and they deal 140%/160%/180% damage while in Astral Fire and 90%/80%/70% damage while in Umbral Ice. At three stacks of Umbral Ice, fire spells have their cast time cut in half. Fire is the main damage dealer against single targets while in Astral Fire, and each successful cast of Fire grants a 40% chance to receive a Firestarter proc. Firestarter allows you to instant cast Fire 3 at zero MP cost during a 12 second window after it procs.
Fire II: Fire II retains the fire/ice mechanics of Fire, and it is a potent AOE with a slightly longer cast timer and higher MP cost than Fire. Fire II is your skill of choice when dealing with three or more targets while in Astral Fire.
Fire III: Fire III grants 3 stacks of Astral Fire regardless of your current phase. It is the skill of choice for transitioning from Umbral Ice to Astral Fire or allowing yourself to quickly be put into Astral Fire from a unaspected state. Fire III has a fairly long cast time (3.5 seconds, 1.75 seconds when in Umbral Ice III) as well as a fairly high MP cost, making it inferior to Fire as a main damage dealing skill in Astral Fire except when a Firestarter proc is available.
Flare: Flare grants 3 stacks of Astral Fire regardless of your current phase, has a minimum casting MP of 266, and sets your current MP to 0. It is your most powerful AOE skill as well as a situationally effective skill for heavy single target damage. As it sets your MP to 0 and has an extremely long cast time, however, Flare must be used carefully.
Transpose: Transpose is an off-GCD skill which removes all of your stacks of one particular phase and grants you exactly one stack of its opposite. It is the skill generally used after Flare in order to remove Astral Fire stacks and allow MP regeneration in Umbral Ice. Transpose is also the skill of choice for fixing mistakes which may occur towards the end of an Astral Fire phase.
Convert: Convert removes 20% of your maximum HP and returns 30% of your maximum MP in exchange. Convert is generally paired with Flare in order to chain consecutive Flare casts together, but it is also useful for squeezing out an extra cast of Fire during a phase which requires significant burst. Convert has a 180 second cooldown, making it fairly important to understand and plan ahead for the best possible timings for utilizing it in any given fight.
Thunder: Thunder, Thunder II, and Thunder III are all skills which provide a significant damage over time effect. Thunder has the shortest cast time and lowest MP cost, and it is the best of the three for using as filler while in Umbral Ice phase. Thunder III has the longest cast time and highest MP cost, but it is also the most damaging of the three. Thunder III is the skill of choice for utilizing Thundercloud procs. Thundercloud procs have a 5% chance to occur every time Thunder, Thunder II, or Thunder III deal damage, and they give you a 12 second window in which you can instant cast a Thunder spell of choice at zero MP, dealing the spell's total damage (initial hit as well as damage over time effects) as up front damage in addition to applying its damage over time effect.
Scathe: Scathe is a fairly weak filler attack which sets itself apart from all other BLM attacks by being a reliable instant cast spell. It is a spell which is only to be utilized when movement is absolutely required.
Swiftcast: Swiftcast allows you to instant cast any spell. It has a 60 second cooldown, allowing it to be used fairly often, and it is best used as a means to instant cast spells when movement would otherwise cancel the cast or quickly cast spells with relatively long cast times.
Surecast: Surecast guarantees that the next spell you attempt to cast will not be interrupted by an enemy attack. The spell will still be interrupted if your target moves outside of your casting window or you move before the spell has finished casting. It is useful for situations where you know a large amount of damage is coming soon and will potentially interrupt your cast when it hits you.
Aetherial Manipulation: Aetherial Manipulation allows you to quickly move from your current position to that of one of your party members. It has a 30 second cooldown, allowing you to use it relatively frequently as your movement method of choice when possible. The gap closing ability it provides you allows you to increase your uptime on a boss and therefore your overall damage output.
Manawall: Manawall grants you the ability to receive zero damage from the next two physical damage based attacks. It is a fairly clutch ability which allows you to mitigate damage in scenarios which would otherwise normally result in your death. Manawall allows you to stand and cast in Titan's Landslide without being pushed back, and it blocks damage from other potentially annoying skills such as Twintania's Divebomb in T5 or a double Meteor Stream in T9.
Manaward: Manaward grants you the ability to mitigate a set amount of magical damage, up to 30% of your maximum HP. It is another fairly clutch ability which can help keep you alive when your healers are struggling or simply unable to heal you, such as Fireball in T7 or Megaflare in T9.
Lethargy: Lethargy is a situationally useful skill which puts a heavy and slow debuff on an enemy. Many enemies will resist one if not both of these effects, but there are enough exceptions such as Experimental Products in Syrcus Tower or Dreadnaughts in T5 for it to be worth using or simply experimenting with.
Apocatastasis: Apocatastasis places a magic resist buff on a party member of choice. It can not be cast upon yourself, and it serves as a pseudo-Manaward which you can place on a party member. It can only be used once on a particular target every 72 seconds.
Raging Strikes: Raging Strikes is a level 4 Archer cross class skill which grants a 20% damage increase for 20 seconds. It should be utilized whenever it is off cooldown or saved for particular phases of a fight where maximum damage is required.
Physick: Physick is a level 4 Arcanist cross class skill which provides BLM with an extremely mediocre healing spell. It heals for approximately 25-40% of a WHM Cure or SCH Physick, and therefore should only be utilized when absolutely necessary.
Virus: Virus is a level 12 Arcanist cross class skill which places a 15% strength and dexterity debuff on an enemy. It can only be used once on a particular target every 70 seconds, and it is worse than the Arcanist version of the spell, making it very important to understand when exactly to utilize it.
Eye for an Eye: Eye for an Eye is a level 34 Arcanist cross class skill which grants a party member a buff with a 20% chance to cause an enemy to deal 10% less damage whenever the enemy attacks. Eye for an Eye has a fairly long cooldown, making it useful for a BLM to cast Eye for an Eye even in a party with multiple healers.
Quelling Strikes: Quelling Strikes is a level 34 Archer cross class skill which reduces enmity generation by 50%. It is useful for reducing the amount of enmity you generate when performing an AOE damage rotation or when attacking a freshly spawned enemy which needs to be bursted down.
Section 5: Single Target Rotation
The single target damage rotation for a level 50 BLM is as follows.
Thunder III > Fire III > Fire x4 > [Blizzard III > Thunder > Blizzard > Fire III > Fire x5] > Repeat
This is the basic rotation without considering any procs. Thunder III is utilized only as part of the opener, and it should be cast while a tank is pulling a boss. After the initial Thunder III, proceed into the standard rotation of Fire III, Fire until MP is as close to 929 as possible without going under. This is generally 4x Fire casts on the initial cycle and 5x Fire casts on any subsequent cycles. After the final Fire cast, transition into Umbral Ice with Blizzard III. At this point, you should have just enough MP to cast Thunder. Keep an eye on your MP at all times during this phase transition. If your MP is regenerating quickly, transition immediately back into Astral Fire by casting Fire III after casting Thunder. Do this only if you believe you will end up with full MP after your Fire III cast. In a situation where MP is regenerating slowly, you are uncertain, or you simply cannot afford to observe your MP, perform a more safe Umbral Ice transition of Blizzard III, Thunder, Blizzard, and Fire III.
If you receive a Firestarter proc at any point, move on to the next Fire, then use the Firestarter proc. If you get a Thundercloud proc, move on to the next spell, then use Thundercloud unless you happen to also acquire a Firestarter proc. In that case, use the Firestarter proc, move on to the next spell, then use Thundercloud.
Note that casting Fire at MP values slightly under 929 will not necessarily break the rotation completely. Depending on the exact amount of MP available after the transition to Umbral Ice has been made, Blizzard can be cast before Thunder to remedy the problem. This will generally lead to your rotation being reset back to normal after anywhere from 0 to 2-3 cycles depending on your piety as well as how your MP is regenerating.
0:00: I open with Thunder III before transitioning into Fire III. Thunder III should only be used if you can precast it. If an enemy is already pulled before you are completely ready, open with Thunder or Fire III instead.
0:14: 929 MP. This is the final Fire cast I can afford to make before transitioning into Umbral Ice with Blizzard III. If you slow down the video enough, you can catch a moment where I have exactly 212 MP, which is incidentally the exact amount required to cast Thunder.
0:19: This is an example of a quick Umbral Ice transition. Thunder is not even halfway done casting, and my MP has already regenerated. As such, Blizzard is not required as filler in this cycle, and I can immediate transition back into Astral Fire after Thunder with Fire III.
0:24: Fire III has a cast time of only 1.75 seconds, whereas a full GCD is 2.5 seconds. This allows me to pop Raging Strikes without sacrificing any uptime. It also presents a scenario where I have full MP to go along with it, as opposed to using Raging Strikes as a part of the opener. Note that opening with Blizzard III, Thunder, and Fire III allows for the use of Raging Strikes in a full MP opener as needed.
0:27: The ideal timing for using an X-Potion of Intelligence is after the first Fire cast in your Raging Strikes cycle, as it allows you to line up your damage buffs nicely.
0:33: Firestarter proc. I do not cancel my current Fire cast to take the proc. Rather, I wait until after my next Fire has finished before doing so.
0:39: A slight deviation from the standard rotation. If both Convert and Swiftcast are available, use Swiftcast, Flare, Convert, and Fire before transitioning into Umbral Ice normally. Flare will almost always be cast under the effect of both Raging Strikes and your potion if your current Astral Fire cycle had included them.
0:45: Firestarter proc on the final Fire cast. More on this later.
0:49: This is an example of a slow Umbral Ice transition. Thunder has nearly finished casting before my MP regenerates. As such, I use another spell (namely Scathe, in this particular case) before transitioning back into Astral Fire with Fire III.
1:09: Firestarter proc on the final Fire cast again.
1:14: Another slow Umbral Ice transition. I use Blizzard instead of Scathe after Thunder this time. The advantage of Blizzard is it deals more damage, while the advantage of Scathe is it is an instant cast spell which gives you 2.5 seconds of free movement.
1:59: Firestarter proc on the final Fire cast for a third time. I handle this one slightly different than the previous two. Why do I keep emphasizing these? There are no subsequent Fire casts after which you can use your free Fire III. This presents a dilemma of determining the best possible way of handling them.
Section 7: Dealing with Awkwardly Timed Procs
There are four ways, at least to my knowledge, to handle Firestarter procs on the final Fire cast of a cycle.
Method 1: Proceed into Umbral Ice phase normally, then use the Firestarter proc as your Fire III to transition back into Astral Fire. This method produces the lowest overall damage, but it is not without benefits. First, it allows you to guarantee that you will start your Astral Fire phase with maximum MP by timing your Firestarter. Second, it is the most straight forward method and arguably the easiest to execute in an otherwise hectic fight.
Method 2: Proceed into Umbral Ice phase normally, Transpose as your MP is going to full, and finish with the Firestarter proc. This method provides a DPS increase over the previous method by giving you one stack of Astral Fire for your Fire III instead of three stacks of Umbral Ice. It is still relatively simple, but it requires you to properly time your Transpose. If you hit Transpose too early, you risk having less than full MP as you transition into Astral Fire. If you hit Transpose too late, you risk lowering your uptime. Examples of the Transpose method can be found at around 0:45 and 1:09. The 0:45 transition with Scathe allows me to time my Transpose such that I am in Astral Fire ready to use my Firestarter proc as soon as my MP is fully regenerated, while the 1:09 transition with Blizzard requires me to finish casting Blizzard completely before using Transpose. Both methods are perfectly viable depending on the exact situation. Scathe grants freedom of movement and speeds up the transition in most cases, but Blizzard deals more raw damage when dealing with extremely slow MP regeneration.
Method 3: Fire weaving. Fire weaving involves using an off-GCD skill between Fire casts to grant yourself a roughly 0.60-0.65 second window while the off-GCD skill is being cast in which you can check for a Firestarter proc. This is a fairly popular method among BLM, and it is generally accepted as a net DPS increase over time when utilized on the final Fire cast of an Astral Fire cycle before the Umbral Ice transition is made. It should not be used for Fire casts outside of the last one in a cycle, except in the case where the off-GCD skill would have been needed regardless, such as Aetherial Manipulation, Virus, Eye for an Eye, and so on. Lethargy and Surecast are the most popular off-GCD skills for this method, as it is fairly likely that a given fight will have little to no place for at least one of the two.
Method 4: This is my personal method. I have zero feedback on whether it is actually an effective approach, as I have never heard of another BLM using it. If you slow down the video enough, you will see me spamming the Fire III button at around 1:59. This causes me to precast Fire III ahead of time, launching the Fire III proc as soon as it can possibly occur. This method is actually fairly similar to fire weaving. Fire weaving creates a scenario where the Firestarter proc is visually displayed immediately and is usable directly after the off-GCD skill has finished casting, whereas this method waits until the Firestarter proc is registered and uses it immediately thereafter. If you slow the video down enough at around 0:15, you will see an example of this method in a case where a Firestarter proc does not occur. I spam Fire III while my final Fire is casting, but I cast Blizzard III quickly thereafter once I believe enough time has passed to ensure that Firestarter did not proc. I prefer using this method as it feels more fluid to me and cuts out the need for an off-GCD skill to be cast, but your mileage may vary, especially with this method being the most influenced by latency.
Please note that both fire weaving methods require you to have either very quick reflexes or a strong sense of timing, as even a small delay in your transition will result in a net DPS loss over time. BLM prioritizing spell speed in the current meta compounds this problem, as a faster GCD makes your timing window for fire weaving as a DPS increase even smaller.
My suggestion would be to learn how to use both the Transpose method as well as the fire weaving method. There are moments when each of these methods can shine. Transpose is much easier to execute, has a larger margin for error, and allows you to plan ahead in advance for a 2.5 second window in which you will have free movement. Fire weaving is more of a gambit. There are times when potentially squeezing out a final Fire III in an Astral Fire cycle to burst down an add or push a phase in a fight could make it worth it to attempt a fire weave.
Section 8: AOE Rotation
The AOE rotation for a level 50 BLM is as follows.
Fire III > Fire II x3 > [Flare > Transpose > Fire III > Fire II x2 or Fire] > Repeat
There are two possible scenarios after hitting Transpose. The first is one in which you have roughly 2000 MP after your Fire III cast. The second is one in which you have roughly 1000 MP after your Fire III cast. In the former case, you would use Fire II x2 before casting Flare again, while in the latter case you would use Fire before casting Flare. Whether you end up with 1000 or 2000 MP is fairly random, but having relatively high spell speed will result in you regaining only 1000 MP more often than not.
There are two things I would like to point out here. First, note that you can delay your Fire III cast ever so slightly to ensure that you always end up in the 2000 MP rotation regardless of your spell speed. Second, if you end up in the 1000 MP rotation and receive a Firestarter proc from your Fire, I would recommend dealing with it using the first method from above, replacing Blizzard III with Transpose. This allows you to instantly get back into Astral Fire III as soon as you have 1000 MP, while also giving you enough MP to squeeze in a Fire II instead of a Fire due to your zero MP Fire III cast.
0:23: 1000 MP transition.
0:47: 2000 MP transition.
0:57: A slight deviation from the standard rotation. I use Convert and a Mega-Ether to generate two extra Flare casts. Note that an NQ Mega-Ether provides just enough MP for this.
Section 9: Maximizing DPS
There are three keys to maximizing DPS. The first is fully understanding all the skills in your toolbox and knowing where you can make little tweaks in your rotation to adjust for different scenarios you are presented with. The second is fully understanding an actual fight. Knowing mechanics inside and out let you predict where you need to be and how to effectively utilize your skills in advance. The final key is to learn how to effectively move while casting.
Firestarter/Thundercloud: If you get a proc, it is occasionally in your best interest to hold on to it. Thundercloud is generally much better to hold on to than Firestarter, but holding on to Firestarter has its place, and you often will not have much of a choice in the matter. Why would you hold on to a proc? Movement. If you know you need to move in the relatively near future, holding on to a proc allows you to deal large damage while moving instead of resorting to Scathe. Holding on to Firestarter also allows you to deal with awkward phase transitions and keep yourself in Astral Fire in spite of not being able to attack for a significant amount of time.
Swiftcast: The same principle applies as with holding on to a Firestarter proc. There are times when a boss will jump away for much longer than your Astral Fire or Umbral Ice lasts. In these cases, you can Swiftcast a Blizzard III or Fire III to immediately get back into your rotation when the enemy returns. Swiftcast can also be used to continue your Astral Fire rotation by getting in a Fire while moving to deal with a mechanic. Even in a fight without any major movement or mechanics, remember that Swiftcast has a 60 second cooldown, 120 seconds shorter than Convert. This means you can safely Swiftcast a Blizzard III to replace Blizzard in an Umbral Ice transition once or twice to marginally increase DPS without sacrificing your Swiftcast, Flare, and Convert combination.
Manawall/Manaward: There are times when it's simply better to use Manawall or Manaward to tank a mechanic instead of dodging it. I use Manaward with Ifrit eruptions and very occasionally use Manawall with Titan landslides, and the principle holds for many other mechanics such as Garuda HM Mistral Shriek or Garuda EX Downburst.
Aetherial Manipulation: With a little planning ahead, you can use Aetherial Manipulation to maximize your DPS while being out of position before pulling yourself towards a party member. An example of this would be Shiva EX, where you can continue your rotation for an additional cast or two in certain phases before pulling yourself towards a party member. Another example would be if you need to quickly get in position for Thunderstorm in Ramuh EX. As an aside, it can also be used to save yourself or your party, such as if you happen to slide towards the wall when the ground freezes in Shiva EX or want to get away from a meteor in T9.
Sprint: As a caster, BLM can freely use Sprint as needed to get somewhere quickly. If you get caught in a spot where Aetherial Manipulation is down, or you simply do not have an appropriate target to pull yourself towards, Sprint can save the day. An example of this would be getting to divebomb locations in T9. A slightly more questionable use of Sprint would be popping it to truly push the limits of how much time you can spend casting before dealing with a mechanic. As an example, it could grant you that extra split second you need to get off another Fire cast before attempting to successfully dodge a stack of Weight of the Land, but it could also just as easily leave you DPS'ing the floor. Proceed with caution.
Scathe: When all else fails, use Scathe as a filler. I would suggest only doing this in Umbral Ice until you develop a good feel for your MP, as using Scathe in Astral Fire can and will create MP problems in your rotation.
Transpose: For longer phase transitions which cause your stacks to fall off completely, use Transpose accordingly. If you are in Astral Fire, use Transpose to put yourself in Umbral Ice to regenerate MP. If you are in Umbral Ice, use Transpose before Umbral Ice falls off to put yourself in Astral Fire to potentially increase the damage of your rotation restarting Fire III.
Foe Requiem: If you have a Bard in your party who is singing Foe Requiem, pop all of your relevant cooldowns while the song is still in effect to maximize damage, especially if you see Battle Voice.
X-Potion of Intelligence: Aside from what has already been mentioned, there are two things to note here. First, using a potion gives you a free fire weave for a Firestarter proc. Second, an HQ X-Potion of Intelligence has a 270 second cooldown, 90 seconds longer than Raging Strikes. Adjust your rotation accordingly as you best see fit for a given fight.
Section 10: Moving While Casting
Moving while casting is a bit of an inexact science. There is a very small window at the end of a cast where you can move before it has completed its timer without interrupting the spell.
0:13: Firestarter proc. This provides 2.5 seconds of free movement.
0:16: Blizzard III has only a 1.75 second cast time while in Astral Fire, allotting me a little more than half a second of free movement before my next GCD.
0:18: Scathe provides free movement as needed.
0:23: The same principle as with Blizzard III applies for Fire III.
0:42: Swiftcast provides free movement as well, but be wary of its cooldown.
Section 11: Trash Pull Tips
For pulls, Quelling Strikes is your best friend. Many tanks are simply unprepared for the sheer damage output that a BLM can do with an efficient AOE rotation. Even with tanks who know what is coming, Quelling Strikes offers them (mostly PLD) an opportunity to conserve a few of their resources for subsequent pulls while also just making runs less stressful for all parties involved in general.
The only major problem BLM will run into for trash pulls, enmity aside, would be enemies dying too quickly. If an enemy dies before you complete a cast, you may or may not be able to complete your cast depending on the exact timing. What does that mean? If you see a MNK going ham on a single target in a pull, target your Flare at another enemy to ensure that it actually casts. This principle applies to adds in boss fights as well.
Section 12: Boss/Primal/Raid Tips
In more hectic fights, one of the problems BLM will encounter in boss fights are enemies in motion disrupting their casts. If an enemy moves laterally on your screen, there is a chance you will no longer be able to complete your cast depending on its proximity to you at the end of your cast. In order to fix this, predict where you believe the enemy will be at the end of your cast, and rotate your screen accordingly after your cast has begun. Another option is to simply follow the enemy with your camera.
As for more general advice, the best thing you can do as a BLM in a raid environment is understand what you can or cannot get away with doing to maximize your own output while not compromising the output of others. Juggling your utility skills appropriately also goes a long way towards getting the most out of your toolbox to help your party clear content.
Here is an example of a Titan EX run. It is the first run I have ever recorded, and it is extremely sloppy. Having said that, I feel it still serves as a good example as a result, especially with Titan EX being one of the best places, at least in my opinion, to practice playing BLM.
0:00: Before we even begin, I want to say I did not use a single helpful utility skill in this run. A nicely timed Virus or an Eye for an Eye would have helped the healers a bit for sure.
0:27: Swiftcast to get into Astral Fire as soon as possible, since I was completely out of position on the pull.
0:41: Firestarter proc. That gives me a few seconds to move just a little further back to put my Weight of the Land as far away from the party as possible. I like to stand away from the group to keep myself from dying due to being a little too enthusiastic about damage, yet I also do not want to get anyone killed with an awkwardly placed plume.
0:59: I have three seconds left on my Astral Fire. As soon as Titan lands, I cast Fire immediately to keep Astral Fire at three stacks, then use the Thundercloud proc to move back into position. I am technically not actually in position, but a three way landslide targeting me would not change the dodging mechanic for anyone.
1:12: Do not do this. I tried to get a little too cute moving before casting, and I ended up cutting my cast off.
1:19: The gaol is not on me, and I am low on MP, so I precast a Flare to hit both Titan and the gaol, Convert, and try to target the other gaol for a Fire. Obviously, I fail. At this point, I do not even bother hitting the second gaol, since I believe the other DPS will be done with it before I finish a cast.
2:14: Swiftcast again. I saved Raging Strikes for this phase to burn the heart as soon as possible.
2:19: I messed up and did not take the Firestarter proc after dodging.
2:28: I tried to hit Transpose to get my MP back to full, but I failed. I also did not cast anything in this time, which was silly. Do not panic like me! Firestarter was held in order to get back into my rotation as soon as the gaol was killed.
2:51: I used Thunder here when the heart was almost dead. Do not be bad like me and use damage over time skills on something that is about to die.
3:05: Do not casually miss Cure III stacks.
3:24: I canceled my Fire here on purpose. Having a SCH in your party will occasionally throw your MP off. I had 701 MP left, which was enough to cast another Fire. If I had done so, I would have left myself without enough MP to cast Blizzard III.
3:59: I cut my Umbral Ice phase short here to get back into Astral Fire as quickly as possible for another Flare. I would only suggest doing this if Convert is actually up. Again, I ignored the second gaol.
4:36: I used only one Scathe here to ensure I had enough MP to get off all five of my Fire casts. Note that I could have used Swiftcast to get off a Fire instead of wasting time doing nothing.
4:51: Manawall in case Titan decided to landslide the spot for dodging bombs.
4:57: Fire III cast failed twice in a row. I failed to notice the second one, so I cast Fire, putting me in the ever so awkward unaspected state. Do. Not. Be. Me.
Level 50 Black Mage Guide
A guide covering my approach on playing BLM in level 50 content.