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The Last Dance II: The Show Must Go On

The Last Dance II: The Show Must Go On



Last updated: 2015-12-19
Next major update topic: Rework the entire guide, because a LOT has happened during the last 9 months.
DPS Spreadsheet: https://goo.gl/tk10gx


Table of contents



Foreword

1. What is a dancer?
1. 1. Job Abilities
1. 2. Merits
1. 3. Job Points & Gifts

2. Weaponry and Weapon Skills
2. 1. Weapon Skills
2. 2. Useful daggers
2. 3. "Entry-level" daggers

3. Armoury
3. 1. DD gear sets
3. 2. Other gear sets

4. Duties, Tasks, And Deeds
4. 1. Support jobs
4. 2. Damage Dealer
4. 3. Tank
4. 4. Supporter
4. 5. Healer
4. 6. Forever Alone (Soloist)

5. Resources
5. 1. GearSwap files
5. 2. DPS spreadsheet

6. Credits


Changelog



2015-03-08:
* Re-adjust Ipetam evaluation.
* Talk about Taeon Tabard gear set augments.
* Added augments for Taeon Tabard gear set and Ipetam.
* Updated gear sets. Semi-useful, because ffxiah.com item sets don't support augments.
* Updated Ipetam evaluation, because "Save TP"+300 was a lie. ;-(

2015-02-26:
* Updated Ipetam (and Twashtar, wtf...) evaluation.
* Added table of contents.
* Minor wording improvements.

2015-01-13:
* Revamped gear sets.

2015-01-01:
* Added Support Jobs section.

2014-12-30:
* Added two new sections.
* Layout for gear sets.
* Sexier tables in general.

2014-12-25:
* First release on ffxiah.com.


Foreword



Tis the beatin' of the heart what lays the foundation. Ye embrace it with yer whole body, and then e'er so gently start tappin' out the steps. Yer blood gets t'bubblin' an' ye can hear it percolatin' about in there. An' then ye might stick a twirlin' turn and send it rushin' t'all yer extremities. Shimmies straight up the spine and sends a shudder clean through ye, it does. After that, then she's mine an' no mistakin'. Haven't the faintest where I be or how I got there, I just am. An' everyone around fuels me, each of 'em offerin' up their own—a symphony o' souls. An' that's yer rhythm. Ye cannot help but dance.

— Laila Brillioth




When I decided to take over Sylow's guide, I did not expect things to be that difficult. Being a hybrid job, what you can do with it is completely up to you and your play style. As such, instead of telling how to play Dancer, I would rather love to tell you of what Dancers are capable, helping you with the decision on what you want your Dancer to be and providing information on how to excel at it.


To-do list



Since I love to forget about things I haven't written down, here's the list of outstanding to-do items for this guide. Feel free to suggest more things to be added to this list, so I can make this guide as helpful to others as possible. And maybe give Seha's COR guide a run for its status as the best-maintained guide on ffxiah.com! ;-D

* Finish Job Points & Gifts.
* Fodder gear sets.
* Do gear sets for Mythic wielders


What is a Dancer?




Job Traits



The following table only lists the Job Traits of a level 99 Dancer and their effects at that level alphabetically. For more information about these Job Traits, e. g. its tiers (if any) and at which level they are attained, they are linked to their BG Wiki pages.


Job Trait Effect
Accuracy Bonus Accuracy +35
Closed Position Accuracy +3 and Evasion +3 per merit level when facing the target
Conserve TP Cuts down the TP cost of weapon skills 25% of the time
Critical Attack Bonus Critical hit damage +11%
Dual Wield Combined delay -30%
Evasion bonus Evasion +48
Resist Slow Increases resistance against Slow
Skillchain Bonus Skillchain damage +23%
Subtle Blow Reduced TP fed to enemies by 20%
Tactical Parry 5 TP per parry




These Job Traits define Dancer's base capabilities: a fast-hitting and evasive front-line job with a lot of accuracy and bonuses to both white damage and weapon skills when you close Skillchains with them.


Job Abilities



Dancers have a multitude of Job Abilities, many of which can be found in different "groups". Job Abilities within the same group share recast timers, so using an ability will lock out all other abilities in that group.

Steps

Steps inflict status ailments on the target by applying so-called "Dazes" to them. The first Step of a Daze effect sets its duration to 1 minute and each subsequent Step applying the same Daze effect increase its remaining duration by 30 seconds, capping at 2 minutes. You have to spend 100 TP for each Step you perform and their shared recast timer is 5 seconds for all steps.


Step Effect Potency
Box Step Lowers target's defense. 3% + 2% * (Sluggish Daze level)
Feather Step Lowers target's critical hit evasion (increases player critical hit rate). (Charis Shoes +1/+2 bonus) + 1% * (Bewildered Daze level)
Quickstep Lowers target's evasion. 4 * (Lethargic Daze level + 1)
Stutter Step Lowers target's magic evasion. 3 * (Weakened Daze level)



Using Feather Step (applying Bewildered Daze) with Charis Shoes +1 adds 1% to the critical hit rate bonus. Using Charis Shoes +2 add 2% to the critical hit rate bonus instead.

Unless the Daze effect level has reached the cap (currently level 10) already, each successful Step grants you 2 Finishing Moves and wielding a Terpsichore adds 1 Finishing Move on top of that for a total of up to 3 Finishing Moves per Step. If however the Daze effect level was capped already, you will gain only 1 Finishing Move, no matter what.

The success rate of Steps depends on the Dancer's physical hit rate and therefore caps at 99%. Each Step gets an innate Accuracy +10 bonus and a level 99+ Terpsichore adds another Accuracy +60 to that. Gear that specifically enhances "Step Accuracy" should not be carried for the sole purpose of increasing Step Accuracy, because there are pieces that give you at least the same increase to accuracy, if not more, in every slot.

The effect of Steps cannot be resisted, so if you can hit the target, you can apply Dazes. They however can be removed by effects that remove status ailments, e. g. Erase.

Most of the time, you are going to use either Quickstep and/or Box Step. Having both at level 10 and maintaining that level lowers your target's defense by 23% and evasion by 44, effectively increasing attack by (at least) 29.8% and accuracy by 44 for everyone attacking your target. Especially Box Step is useful for low-man sitautions where accuracy is likely to be capped with attack being far from cap due to lack of buffs and/or debuffs.

In party situations, the rise of GEO means that you very often have absurd amounts of defense reduction and attack enhancing effects up, so ratio is more likely to be capped. Here, it might be more useful to use Feather Step instead, because critical hit rate is something that often is not affected by buffs. Feather Step also has another use case: For things that are being whacked by many players at the same time, e. g. Wildskeeper Reives, it might more reliable than Box Step or Quickstep for building Finishing Moves. Feather Step is limited to main job Dancers, whereas the other Steps can be used by anyone with a Dancer sub job.

Over the course of many years, Stutter Step probably only has been used to increase the accuracy of the Stun effect caused by Violent Flourish. Which sounds like a bad strategy to begin with, if you actually need Stun effects, but now that Dancers might see the inside of harder content more often, Stutter Step might be used for a similar purpose in pinch: If your stunners are close to hitting the Stun wall, you can help them a bit and hope that your target goes down before crashing into the Stun wall.


Job Ability Recast Effect
Presto 15 seconds Enhances the effect of the next Step and grants an additional Finishing Move.



Using a Step with Presto up gives it an accuracy bonus of +50, as well as adding two levels to the Daze effect associated with the Step, if possible. It will not magically let you break the Daze hard cap of level 10. Presto also grants you an additional Finishing Move, if you get 2 or more normally. You still get only one Finishing Move upon successfully using a Step that is "capped" already.

Waltzes

These probably are the defining Job Ability groups for Dancers. "Groups"? I am listening them together, but technically, Waltzes are split into three groups that each have their own recast timer. Similar to Steps, you have to spend TP to use Waltzes, but the exact amount of TP is different for each Waltz.


Job Ability Recast TP cost
Curing Waltz 6 seconds 200
Curing Waltz II 8 seconds 350
Curing Waltz III 10 seconds 500
Curing Waltz IV 12 seconds 650
Curing Waltz V 16 seconds 800



Curing Waltzes are single target cures for any target within casting range. You will find that most of the time, you are going to use these ones.


Job Ability Recast TP cost
Divine Waltz 13 seconds 400
Divine Waltz II 20 seconds 800



Divine Waltzes are the Curaga equivalents for Waltzes. They can target anyone in your party and anyone in range around that target will be cured.

Note that Divine Waltzes and Curing Waltzes do not share the same recast timer, which can help getting your entire party back to healthy HP levels quickly in a pinch.


Job Ability Recast TP cost
Healing Waltz 8 seconds 200



Healing Waltz is our (almost) all-purpose Erase. It can get rid of pretty much any status ailment that a WHM can remove with Erase or their -na spells.


Job Ability Recast Effect
Contradance 5 minutes Enhances your next Waltz.



If Healing Waltz is our Erase, then Contradance is our Divine Seal. It doubles the potency for your next Curing Waltz or Divine Waltz; using Contradance with Healing Waltz lets it remove one status ailment from each party member.

Flourishes I

Flourishes I consume Finishing Moves to inflict an effect on your target.


Flourishes I Recast FMs consumed Effect
Animated Flourish 30 seconds 1 or 2 Provokes target.
Desperate Flourish 20 seconds 1 Weighs target down with a low rate of success.
Violent Flourish 20 seconds 1 Stuns target with a low rate of success.



The main purpose of this group is to provide Dynamis and Voidwatch procs. Rarely will you use any of these in other places.

Animated Flourish is a claiming tool at best, because its effect is weaker than Provoke: If you have only one Finishing Move, it will consume that and generate 1000 Volatile Enmity. If you have two or more Finishing Moves, it will consume two and generate 1500 Volatile Enmity.

Desperate Flourish will only be used as a Voidwatch proc. If you want to weigh down your target, Rudra's Storm is a lot better at doing that. In fact, I don't even know why you would want to weigh down your target to begin with.

Violent Flourish on the other hand comes with a high accuracy bonus, but that's limited to the physical hit. The Stun effect unfortunately is resisted by many targets. Etoile Casaque and all its upgraded versions enhance the accuracy of the Stun effect, but even then, the "real" Stun spell from a mage or a Dark Knight will be much more reliable in places where you actually want stuns.

Flourishes II


Flourishes II Recast FMs consumed Effect
Building Flourish 10 seconds 1-3 Enhances the next weapon skill.
Reverse Flourish 30 seconds All Converts Finishing Moves to TP.
Wild Flourish 20 seconds 2 Readies target for a skillchain.



Reverse Flourish is the most valuable of all Flourishes II. By converting your remaining Finishing Moves into TP, you can get instant TP to perform back to back weapon skills for a Skillchain or to close a Skillchain off of someone else's weapon skill. Along with No Foot Rise, it also can be used as a source for starting TP, letting you being fights with a good amount of TP. With merits and gear, Reverse Flourish can generate more than 5 times the amount of TP that had been spent to build Finishing Moves, capping at 1150 TP with 5 Finishing Moves, 5/5 merits, Charis Bangles +2, and a Toetapper Mantle augmented with "Reverse Flourish" +30. The amount of TP restored is calculated using this formula:

Quote:
(95 + "Reverse Flourish" Bonus) * (Finishing Moves) + s * (Finishing Moves)^2 + 30 * (Merit Level)

"s" normally is 5, but it can be increased by using Charis Bangles +1 or Charis Bangles +2.


Item s
Charis Bangles +1 10
Charis Bangles +2 15



The effect of Building Flourish depends on the number of Finishing Moves available when using it. The maximum number of Finishing Moves it consumes is 3.


Number of FMs Effect
1 Accuracy bonus
2 Accuracy bonus, attack +25%
3 Accuracy bonus, attack +25%, critical hit rate bonus



Between Reverse Flourish and Wild Flourish, it is hard to justify using Building Flourish, even though its effect is powerful, because those Finishing moves might either be used for Wild Flourish or Reverse Flourish for more overall damage.

Wild Flourish is best used in places where two weapon skills and the resulting Skillchain would be overkill, but one weapon skill and the resulting Skillchain deal enough damage to deplete your target's HP. Since it affects your target, it can be used as a Dynamis proc. It also is a possible Voidwatch proc.


Weapon Skill Resulting Skillchain
Dancing Edge Scission
Evisceration Transfixion
Exenterator Scission
Pyrrhic Kleos Scission



Flourishes III

Flourishes III consume Finishing Moves for offensive buffs affecting the Dancer.


Flourishes III Recast FMs consumed Effect
Climactic Flourish 90 seconds All Enforces a critical hit for the first hit of a certain number of attack rounds. Adds a base damage bonus of 50% CHR.
Striking Flourish 30 seconds 2 Enforces a double attack for the next attack round. Adds a base damage bonus of 100% CHR for the first hit.
Ternary Flourish 30 seconds 2 Enforces a double attack for the next attack round. Adds a base damage bonus of 100% CHR for the first hit.



Climactic Flourish enforces a critical hit for the first hit of one attack around per consumed Finishing Move. Due to the nature of Rudra's Storm, Climactic Flourish is best paired with that weapon skill. Performing back to back Rudra's Storms for Darkness can deal devastating amounts of damage very fast.

It however is a little bit complicated to create a solo Skillchain involving Climactic Flourish, because it consumes all Finishing Moves. You can perform a Step, preferably with Presto, after activating Climactic Flourish and before your weapon skill and/or use No Foot Rise after your weapon skill. Stepping before the first weapon skill means you have more TP towards your second weapon skill. For the same reason, No Foot Rise is used after your first weapon skill, because it also grants you TP when used with an augmented Etoile Casaque +2 or its upgraded versions. An easier way to perform solo Skillchains with Climactic Flourish is using Sekkanoki when using a Samurai sub job.

Charis Tiara +2 is crucial for Climactic Flourish. Wearing it upon activation adds another critical hit, up to 6 attack rounds with critical first hits for 5 consumed Finishing Moves. Wearing it during the actual hits grants you a 20% critical attack bonus, which is a huge boost to weapon skills that deal the majority of their damage during the initial hit, e. g. Rudra's Storm.

Striking Flourish and Ternary Flourish on the other hand are best used with Dancer's multi-hit weapon skills, especially Pyrrhic Kleos. When using the appropriate elemental belt and elemental gorget for this weapon skill, each extra hit adds another 1.95 fTP to damage calculation.

The CHR bonus works exactly like Sneak Attack and Trick Attack: It is added to the base damage outside the fTP term:

Quote:
WS damage = ((DMG + fSTR + WSC) * fTP + (CHR bonus)) * pDIF

SP Abilities


Job Ability Effect
Trance Reduces the TP cost of all Job Abilities to 0 and reduces recast timers for all Waltzes.
Grand Pas Grants 5 Finishing Moves. Resets recast timers for Flourishes to 0 while active and Flourishes don't consume Finishing Moves.



Trance used to be your emergency button for when you really need to spam Waltzes in quick succession. Thanks to Job Points, it now grants you up to 1000 TP upon using it, turning it into another source of instant TP.

Grand Pas also can be used for that purpose by repeatedly using Reverse Flourish. Most of the time, Grand Pas is used as a zerg tool by chaining multiple weapon skills, possibly stacked with Climactic Flourish, in short order.


Merits




Group I merit Effect
Building Flourish effect Increases Building Flourish accuracy by 2, attack by 1%, and critical hit rate by 1% per merit level each.
Haste Samba effect Adds 1% Job Ability Haste to Haste Samba per merit level.
Reverse Flourish effect Increases TP returned by Reverse Flourish by 3 TP per merit level.
Steps accuracy Increases the accuracy of Steps by 3 per merit level.



Dancer's group I merits are pretty clear: 5/5 Haste Samba effect and 5/5 Reverse Flourish effect. Steps don't need any extra help with accuracy between their innate accuracy bonus of +10 and Presto. As for Building Flourish... you won't find yourself using that Job Ability that often, if at all.


Group II merit Recast Effect
Closed Position - Increases accuracy and evasion by 3 per merit level when face-to-face with the enemy.
Fan Dance 3 minutes Reduces physical damage taken and gives "Enmity +15". Reduces Waltz recast timers by 5% for each merit level past the first one. Renders Sambas unusable.
No Foot Rise 3 minutes Grants 1 Finishing Move per merit level.
Saber Dance 3 minutes Increases Double Attack rate. Increases Samba duration by 5% for each merit level past the first one. Renders Waltzes unusable.



The group II merits used to be more complicated and the "right" setup has changed many times during the last few years. These days, the most common setup is this one:

5/5 Closed Position
3/5 No Foot Rise
1/5 Fan Dance
1/5 Saber Dance

5/5 Closed Position is enhanced by Horos Toe Shoes (+1), which provide Store TP +15 (+3 per merit level) in addition to the "Store TP +5" printed on them. The Dances are useful to have, especially Saber Dance, but the additional effects for extra merit levels are so minuscule, it is not worth considering them.

3/5 No Foot Rise feels like the right number, because it caps Finishing Moves from scratch with just one extra Step. It also provides enough TP by itself to get to 1000 TP with Reverse Flourish after a WS and 1-2 attack rounds for a self-Skillchain, when used with Horos Casaque (+1).


Job Points & Gifts



Under construction.


Weaponry And Weapon Skills



Dancers are super proficient at wielding daggers. And super non-proficient at wielding other weapons. While swords and some fists are actually wearable options, they only are useful in... maybe spots where piercing damage does not work. But then, Dancers should not be there to begin with. Let alone the fact that all swords Dancers can equip deal piercing damage and the only source of slashing damage is Vampiric Claws...

For what it's worth, Dancers could not have any skills in Hand-to-Hand or Sword at all and it would not hurt much. All it does is make some things easier, e. g. Apollyon SW or Jailer of Temperance. Therefore, I will just omit any talk about non-dagger weapons and skip right ahead to daggers. For now.


Weapon Skills



Before moving on to actually choosing daggers, Dancers should know what they need when they choose daggers. WSs can affect that decision heavily with their WSC. Fortunately, Dancer only really has to look at a few of their WSs with two of them being considered for their Skillchain properties solely.

Rudra's Storm

How to get it: Unlock it with a Twashtar (90 or higher) or a completed Khandroma.
Skillchain properties: Darkness, Distortion
WS modifiers: 80% DEX
fTP progression: 5.0 / 10.1875 / 13
Additional effect: Weighs down the enemy for one minute.

SE has decided that Rudra's Storm was WAY too strong after the December 2014 update, so they changed the fTP progression from 6/15/19.5 to 5/10.1875/13.

This change however means that Rudra's Storm only is useful at high TP levels these days. The turning point depends on multiple factors, but it is somewhere above ~1900 effective TP (after taking TP Bonus gear into consideration) where Rudra's Storm starts to pull ahead.

In the December 2014 update, Rudra's Storm got another significant improvement, which turned it into an eveUnfortunately, its Skillchain properties do not play that well with other top-tier WSs. It does not open or close anything with Chant du Cygne or Tachi: Fudo and it can only close Distortion with Victory Smite and Resolution. It however does open and close Darkness with Blade: Hi, Leaden Salute, Evisceration, and another Rudra's Storm.

Due to its 1-hit wonder nature, Climactic Flourish boosts Rudra's Storm by a lot.

Exenterator

How to get it: Spend merit points.
Skillchain properties: Fragmentation, Scission
WS modifiers: 73%~85% AGI
fTP progression: 1.0 / 1.0 / 1.0 (replicated on all hits)
Additional effect: "Accuracy -20" on the enemy.

The only real purpose for this WS is creating a multi-step Skillchain, because our options for a Fragmentation-aligned WS are limited to Shark Bite and Exenterator. The accuracy down effect it inflicts was a nice bonus, but nothing you would really use this WS for, especially since anything you would really want to miss you still caps hit rate on you even with the additional effect of Exenterator.

All other WSs listed here deal a lot more damage.

Pyrrhic Kleos

How to get it: Unlock it with a Main Gauche from Nyzul Isle Investigation.
Skillchain properties: Distortion, Scission
WS modifiers: 40% STR, 40% DEX
fTP progression: 1.75 / 1.75 / 1.75 (replicated on all hits)
Additional effect: "Evasion -10" on the enemy.

This Dancer only WS is a really strong one. When your Attack is significantly higher than your target's Defense, this is the strongest WS you can use at close to 1000 TP. With a Terpsichore, this is the strongest WS (bar Rudra's Storm with Climactic Flourish, of course) a Dancer can use.

Skillchain-wise, it suffers from the same problems Rudra's Storm has. And then some more: The lack of Darkness as a Skillchain property by itself means that it only opens and close Darkness to Blade: Hi, Leaden Salute, and Evisceration.

Evisceration

How to get it: Unlock it by finishing "Cloak and Dagger".
Skillchain properties: Gravitation, Transfixion
WS modifiers: 50% DEX
fTP progression: 1.25 / 1.25 / 1.25 (replicated on all hits)
Other bonuses by TP: +10% critical hit rate / +25% critical hit rate (unverified) / +50% critical hit rate

Evisceration is yet another strong WS in our repertoire. Especially on high-defense enemies, its critical hits can boost its damage output significantly. This is the go-to WS to use when there are no SCs to think about or when you don't have enough buffs to let Pyrrhic Kleos pull ahead. If you get TP fast enough, alternating Evisceration and Pyrrhic Kleos for Darkness, preferably closing with the stronger WS, however is much better than spamming one single WS without any SCs, of course.

Its Gravitation Skillchain property however can be really useful, opening and closing Darkness to a multitude of commonly used WSs these days, including Tachi: Fudo, Chant du Cygne, Rudra's Storm, and Pyrrhic Kleos. This kind of creates a useful niche for Evisceration: It can open and close "single Darkness", which can then be used to close "double Darkness" with 2x Rudra's Storm.


Useful Daggers



With (finally) A+ dagger skill and the native Accuracy Bonus job trait, Dancers can stab their enemies very accurately. Being capable to wield two daggers at the same time also means that you can actually benefit from more stats enhancements than people wielding 2-handed weapons.

To save words, you can consider any dagger not listed here to not be worth chasing.


Terpsichore

How to get it: Sell your first-born to Satan.

A Dancer's Mythic weapon. It can slightly change the way you actually play by giving you 1 extra Finishing Move to any successful Step that would have given you 2 or more Finishing Moves, because you can now get four Finishing Moves with one single Step, generating even more TP with Reverse Flourish.

Apart from that however, it is not as warping as some other Mythic weapons are. Especially a Taming Sari with good augments is a real beast, which can even outperform Terpsichore in many spots.

The effect of AM3 is not as strong on a 1-handed weapon, because it can only proc on the main hand, so it does not grant ~50% more attacks per attack round like 2-handed weapons would do by themselves. It however is an effect worth keeping up and it is not as tedious as on some other jobs, because Dancers can generate TP rather fast with Reverse Flourish and No Foot Rise.


taming sari

How to get it: Sell your first-born to Malobra in Inner Ra'Kazna Court and hope he likes your first-born.

This weapon is so strong when properly augmented, it's not even fair. Its augments cap at "DMG+15, STR+10, DEX+10, Treasure Hunter +1" and it's this stat vomit that makes this weapon superb. So far, the only weapon potentially surpassing it is Terpsichore.

However, as fast and easy Sinister Reign might be, you are at the mercy of RNGesus. You need Arciela II to pop for the 3rd round, then you need her to "drop" a Taming Sari. Then, you need that Taming Sari to have capped augments.

Good luck!


enchufla

How to get it: Kill Hanbi until it drops.

Escha - Ru'Aun gave every job their own augmentable weapon and Dancer's job-specific weapon turns out to be somewhat decent.

When augmented, this effectively is a DMG:122 weapon which can be tailored to your needs. Depending on if you need some more easily attained accuracy, choose path A or path B for your Enchufla. The other two paths are good for corner cases at best.


Skinflayer

How to get it: Kill Strophadia until it drops.

This dagger is augmentable, as well, but its augments are somewhat random. There is not much information about it, but if you rather gamble with Oseem (the NPC who augments Reisenjima gear) than with Malobra, you might be able to get a dagger that is pretty close to Taming Sari.

For that to happen though, you need a really high DMG+ augment and some high Triple Attack+ augment (caps at TA+4, I think). Preferably, you'd want accuracy and/or attack on it, too, as well as some STR+ or DEX+.

Yes, the stars must align quite a bit for Skinflayer to actually be good. But it might be worth it, depending on where DMG+ caps. I've seen DMG+20 myself, which puts it close to Taming Sari.



"Entry-level" daggers



Unless you have one or more of the weapons listed above from other jobs and/or activities, the following daggers will help you kick off easily. As you will see, these daggers can be purchased for (the equivalent of) little money, making them good choices to get started with.


nibiru knife

How to get it: One of Sensual Sandy's possible drops in Escha - Zi'Tah.

Formerly the "best" non-Mythic dagger with proper augments, it has been crushed by Taming Sari. Sensual Sandy is easy, but unless all those (potentially) better options are out of reach, a pair of Nibiru Knives will not last you very long. They are very good options until you acquire better weapons though.


Odium

How to get it: Tag along with people who kill Plouton, hoping for Tartarus Platemail. Then, pick up the Odium that drops instead.

While Odium's Additional Effect can be fun at times, the dagger itself actually is a rather mediocre one. The weapons that followed after, namely Nibiru Knife and Taming Sari, were just that much better.


ternion dagger +1

How to get it: Clear the Mephitas Unity Concord fight in Garlaige Citadel and hope you're lucky with boxes.

This weapon's low delay combined with its boost to Triple Attack rate lets you gain TP very fast. Unfortunately, its DMG is rather low as well these days, so it's better off as an off-hand dagger.


izhiikoh

How to get it: Slay Dakuwaqa and hope it drops. If it does not ever, buy it for 200,000 Plasm.

Given how easy it is to get an Izhiikoh, it is an outstanding weapon and a decent entry-level option for any Dancer. If you just want to give Dancer a try and you happen to have one, it will serve you well.


atoyac

How to get it: Clear the Wildskeeper Reive in Foret de Hennetiel. If it does not ever drop, trade all 6 KIs for it.

I don't know where sharks get all those good daggers, but this one is useful when properly augmented and is a very good off-hand weapon in any situation where your accuracy is not horribad.

The first augment is so clear and can't be argued with: "Occasionally attacks twice". Being the equivalent of something in the ballpark of Double Attack +25% for your off-hand swings does that. Unfortunately, that effect cannot proc during WSs.

The second augment pretty much can be either "Store TP +5" or "Critical hit rate +4%". All other options are clearly worse, even though "Accuracy +15" might be tempting to some people.

Generally spoken, if one of those two augments are more useful to some of your other jobs, e. g. your Ranger spamming Jishnu's Radiance, augment your Atoyac to those needs.


eminent dagger

How to get it: Buy it for 7,000 sparks.

This is the best entry-level dagger you can get. With its "Accuracy +39", it is as accurate as an item level 119 dagger while lacking some attack. Its latent effect is active whenever you have less than 1000 TP, which you need to keep in mind, because you will be at more than that a fair share of your time. The latent effect also is active when you use a WS, since you "pay" TP before using the WS.

As a starting Dancer, this is a really good off-hand weapon to Atoyac. If you cannot get a better dagger for some time, remember that Eminent Dagger is a really good one for the time being.

nanti knife

How to get it: Consult the auction house nearest to you.

Nanti Knife (and its HQ, implicitly) is only listed here, because you can buy it on the auction house and immediately step outside to stab stuff when starting from scratch. It is a mediocre weapon at best and should be replaced by something better, e. g. an augmented Atoyac, as soon as possible. Until then, wielding this as a main-hand weapon with an Eminent Dagger in your off-hand is the most easily attainable combination.

Its main selling point over something like Polyhymnia is that it can be re-sold once you don't need it anymore. Pun intended.



"Skill testers"



Some weapons look better than they are and the skill testing part of them is checking if you recognise their useless-ness and discard them as a good, useful weapon. The baseline however is set by the group of "useful daggers"; some of the following weapons can be somewhere between entry-level daggers and useful daggers, but there is no reason to pursue one of these, if you have access to the useful daggers already.


Twashtar

How to get it: Don't. If you still insist, do 956530958723984573846034 NMs.

A Dancer's other shiny weapon. But that's it. Ever since Rudra's Storm can be used without actually wielding a Twasthar in the main hand, Twashtars all over the place are only used by a Dancer's mannequin at best. Its Aftermath effect does not affect off-hand swings and featuring a low base damage, Twashtar cannot feasibly keep up with other options that are a LOT more attainable.

Even with full-time AM3, it barely beats Izhiikoh, if you have zero downtime from switching mobs or moving. This is both due to Twashtar being a bad weapon and Izhiikoh being an amazing one though.


Polyhymnia

How to get it: Don't. Or trade a Cehuetzi Claw, a Darksteel Kukri, a Jambiya, and 150 of either Plutons, Beitetsu, or Riftborn Boulders to Oboro.

Polyhymnia's Regain effect does pay for maintaining the Samba effect, but with its rather low base damage, it is a mediocre off-hand weapon to Atoyac at best. Don't waste money on a really bad weapon, just because it has an item level of 119.



Armoury



With all the weaponry having been dealt with, it's time to actually look pretty useful.

Due to the many possible situations a Dancer can find themselves in, it is difficult, if not impossible, to cover all of them. WS gear sets usually stay the same, but TP sets depend a lot on which buffs a Dancer is benefitting from. To simplify things, I will provide gear sets for different levels of magic Haste: 15% (Haste spell only), 30% (Haste II spell only), and "sufficient" (37% or more) magic Haste with Haste Samba active.

In general, you can figure the amount of Dual Wield required to cap delay reduction by putting your total Haste into this equation and solving it:

Quote:
(1 - (Dual Wield)) * (1 - (total Haste)) = 0.2
1 - (Dual Wield) = 0.2 / (1 - (total Haste))
(Dual Wield) = 1 - 0.2 / (1 - (total Haste))

By solving it for "total Haste", you will find that you will need 72% total Haste, i. e. ~37% magic Haste to cap delay reduction without any additional Dual Wield gear, assuming fully merited Haste Samba (10%) and capped gear Haste (25%).

For common situations with different magic Haste levels, this might help you:


Magic Haste Additional Dual Wield required to cap delay reduction Situation
0% 40% Forever alone with no source of magic Haste at all.
15% 31% Haste I effect only.
30% 14% Haste II effect or Indi-Haste / Geo-Haste only.
36.4% 1% Haste II effect + Trust NPC Advancing March.



Any other realistic situation will leave you at capped delay reduction: Both Haste II + Victory March and player-sung Haste I + Advancing March + Victory March will hit the required 37% threshold.

If you decide to not use Haste Samba, e. g. because you need to maintain Runes, numbers change a bit:


Magic Haste Additional Dual Wield required to cap delay reduction Situation
0% 44% Forever alone with no source of magic Haste at all.
15% 36% Haste I effect only.
30% 26% Haste II effect or Indi-Haste / Geo-Haste only.
36.4% 19% Haste II effect + Trust NPC Advancing March.



With that out of the way, let's look at possible gear sets. Given in how many different situations in which Dancers can find themselves, it is difficult to cover them all. Add another layer of complexity, namely gear availability, and things get out of hand fast. My approach to this issue is to cover as much as possible by looking at...

...different magic Haste levels:
* 0% magic Haste
* 15% magic Haste
* 30% magic Haste
* Capped magic Haste


...different masochism levels:
* Gear from any content + endless resources ("HQ3")
* Gear from any content, but no random augments ("HQ2")
* Possible sidegrades or downgrades that don't necessarily qualify as "easy to get" ("HQ1")
* "Easily" attainable gear only ("NQ")

Here, "easily attainable" means one of these:

* You can get it on the AH or an NPC in exchange for some kind of in-game currency without any Delve KIs.
* For anything on the AH, we're posting the NQ version. If you decide to get the HQ version instead, more power to you.
* You can get it by running into Abyssea and doing easy stuff there by yourself without a brew.
* You can get it by finishing old mission lines, namely Rise of the Zilart, Chains of Promathia, Treasures of Aht Urghan, and Wings of the Goddess.
* You can get it by finishing a quest by yourself.



DD Gear Sets



TP

HQ3 HQ2 HQ1 NQ
0% / 15% magic Haste
ItemSet 333840

ItemSet 332325

ItemSet 332326

ItemSet 332328
30% magic Haste
ItemSet 333841

ItemSet 332329

ItemSet 332330

ItemSet 332332
"Capped" magic Haste
ItemSet 333842

ItemSet 332333

ItemSet 332334

ItemSet 332336


While each slot can be filled with gear from different "HQ tiers", keep in mind that you don't add/remove too much Dual Wield gear. Also keep in mind to maintain capped gear Haste.


Weapon Skills

HQ3 HQ2 HQ1 NQ
Evisceration
ItemSet 333846

ItemSet 332337

ItemSet 332338

ItemSet 332340
Pyrrhic Kleos
ItemSet 333847

ItemSet 332341

ItemSet 332342

ItemSet 332344
Rudra's Storm
ItemSet 333848

ItemSet 332345

ItemSet 332346

ItemSet 332348



Whenever a Dancer is under the effect of Madrigal, kuwunga earring becomes a really, really strong earring. Kuwunga Earring + Moonshade Earring is the best combination for Rudra's Storm and Kuwunga Earring + Brutal Earring is second to Kuwunga Earring + Tati Earring (+1) only for Evisceration and Pyrrhic Kleos.



Other gear sets



Accuracy

Dancers are lacking attack (I totally cannot stop emphasising this), so more often than not, it is a better choice to compensate the lack of accuracy with gear than to use e. g. sushi instead of meat. Ideally, you'd use Riverfin Soup, anyway, but 3h food might not be viable for everyone, especially given its price tag.

Essentially, pick as much gear from this item set and use it in your own TP set, until your hit rate is acceptable. Gear should be replaced in this order: Ammo > Head > Legs > Neck > Body > Rings > Waist > Hands.

Also, this entire gear set can be used for Steps and Wild Flourish, which can miss depending on the Dancer's hit rate. Since they don't deal any damage directly, there is no negative impact from losing offensive stats.

(Under construction.)

Fast Cast

Dancers have access to some gear with Fast Cast, which essentially is used for casting Utsusemi solely. Even though it's not much, it helps with successfully casting Utsusemi: Ichi, even if the Dancer's timing is a little bit off.

(Under construction.)

DT-, MDT-, PDT-

A lot of enemies in endgame can hit very hard, so wearing some PDT-/MDT-/DT- gear can be a wise choice in such spots, especially when the Dancer has the enemy's attention for a longer period of time or when they can be 1-shot by enemies at any given time.

Similar to accuracy gear, pick as much as you deem appropriate. Due to the nature of hard-hitting enemies being somewhat evasive, too, accuracy bonuses on gear are very useful.

(Under construction.)


For Mythic wielders



Under construction. Sapphire, Byrth, and all the other Derp wielders don't (shouldn't) need help anyway, seeing how Dancer is not exactly a bandwagoned job. Thank you, Samurais, Blue Mages and Thieves.


Duties, Tasks, And Deeds



We have many different Job Abilities as shown above and the extent of their usage as well as your personal approach to Dancer means that Dancers potentially can do a lot of different things. This versatility however does not change on single important fact: Dancer is a front-line job.

Now Paladin might be the only front-line job that does not get mean looks for not contributing a relevant chunk to damage output. This might apply to other tank classes, too, but in the end, those classes usually justify their presence by dealing more damage than a Paladin does. At the end of the day, Dancer as a front-line job has to justify its presence by at least being a decent damage dealer. It therefore has to focus on minimising any sacrifices to its offensive capabilities while still fulfilling Dancer-esque duties as they appear, e. g. emergency heals or debuffing your enemies with Steps.

All that also means that you have to at least put some thought into what you want to do next in order to minimise the impact of Job Ability delay. A good start is to try and use Job Abilities only right before you use a WS, so you can get rid of that one extra second of Job Ability delay. To do that, you need to know you are going to do it. Otherwise, you might end up not having enough TP to do all the things you have wanted to do or waste overflown TP.



Support jobs



Unlike some other front-line jobs, Dancers unfortunately don't benefit from their support job as much as other jobs might do. With a native source of Job Ability Haste, native Dual Wield, and - most importantly - native curing, those things do not have to come from a Dancer's support job.




Warrior

Warrior as a support job comes with some offensive buffs, helping with the lack of attack that Dancers suffer from. Aggressor also is one of the few accuracy buffs that can come from a support job, which makes it very useful for fights that require at least some gearing towards accuracy. Be it by letting Dancers wear more offensive gear while maintaining capped hit rate or by helping with accuracy issues to begin with; being highly accurate does not mean Dancers have capped hit rate all the time, after all.

Warrior also provides "Double Attack +10%", which unfortunately does not stack with the effect Saber Dance. For fights where maintaining Saber Dance is not viable, e. g. because of constant Dispel effects, this Job Trait ends up being useful.

This support job is one of the prevalent ones for group content, especially if there is no need for damage mitigation.





Samurai

Samurai as a support job also adds to a Dancer's offensive capabilities, but it does so from a different angle. Both Meditate and Sekkanoki can be used for significantly easier multi-step Skillchains. Store TP +15 also makes it easier for Dancers with capped delay reduction to pull of self-Skillchains without any further help.

On the defensive side of Samurai, Third Eye can be useful, but with its 60 seconds recast timer, it unfortunately is not something to build strategies around, due to the lack of Seigan. Hasso, the main reason for 2-handed front-line jobs to use Samurai as a support job, does not work with 1-handed weapons, either.

If there is not need for the extra attack and/or accuracy from a Warrior support job and maintaining Saber Dance is not an issue, Samurai pulls ahead. By enabling easier self-skillchains, it can also be very useful solo with Trust NPCs.





Ninja

Ninja as a support job comes with just two useful things. Namely Utsusemi: Ichi and Utsusemi: Ni. Anything else is either Ninja main job only or we already have it natively. Those two spells however are the main selling point for this support job, providing almost unconditional damage mitigation against a lot of current content. Dancers also have access to at least some equipment with "Fast Cast", which makes maintaining shadows a lot easier.

This support job is the other prevalent one for group content. Utsusemi, while a defensive effect by itself, can add a lot to a Dancer's damage output by letting them equip more offensive gear without any additional risk, especially if having shadows up does mean that there is no way for a Dancer to be hurt.





Rune Fencer

Rune Fencer as a support job mainly is about its Runes and the resulting additional effect damage they generate. Unfortunately, they block Haste Samba, which however means that you can use Fan Dance and maintain it without giving up anything. Pflug and Vallation are the two defensive Job Abilities that come with a Rune Fencer support job, adding to a Dancer's magical defense capabilities, as well as the "Magic Defense Bonus II" Job Trait.

Out of all the spells that come with this support job, Flash might be the most notable one, giving Dancers another source for fast enmity, in case of enmity resets. The Barspells can be useful, especially in solo situations with Trust NPCs only, because those do not cast Barspells (yet?), but wherever a mage is around, their Barspells will be better.

Last but not least, Swipe and Lunge are nice sources for elemental damage, which usually are used to handle some NM gimmicks. They however have long recast timers, which a Dancer needs to keep in mind, if there are potential gimmicks to be taken care of. These Job Abilities are the only way to get rid of Runes (you cannot manually click them away), which can be used to enable Sambas again, should there be no need for gimmicks anytime in the near future.

This support job can be crucial for some fights by giving Dancers a way to address their gimmick. The most notable spots for this support jobs are Wildskeeper Reives, the new high-level Avatar fights, and some other fights with heavy magic damage of one single element.





Red Mage

Red Mage as a support job has about one purpose: Haste. Other spells like Protect III and Shell II are nice to have, but Haste is the main selling point with Dia II probably being a distant second.

This support job pretty much only is useful when there is no access to Trust NPCs and there is no need for anything else from any other support job. It is capable of maintaining its MP Pool with Refresh, which is its advantage over White Mage.





White Mage

White Mage as a support job comes with Reraise and Haste. Similar to Red Mage, all other spells happen to be there, but they are no reason to use White Mage as a support job. It does not have any means of maintaining its MP pool, so it relies on MP replenishing gear to be able to cast the spells a Dancer is using this support job for, e. g. Refresh gear or "Converts damage taken to MP".

This support job is even moreso limited than Red Mage, because of its nearly inevitable MP issues. Since Reraise is its USP, a Dancer might be better off bringing items granting a Reraise effect and using another support job instead.




Damage Dealer



As mentioned before, the easiest metric for people to evaluate the usefulness Dancers is their damage output. While it might not appear to be fair - "Dancers can do more than just stab things" -, it rarely is completely wrong to do so. Fortunately, Dancers can bring a lot of damage to the table these days. It can go the last mile to capping delay reduction and its enhanced critical hit rate, critical attack bonus, and high multi-attack rate with Saber Dance add up to dealing good amounts of white damage, as well as providing a really high WS frequency.

I mentioned Saber Dance there. Having this job ability adds a sizable chunk to a Dancer's overall damage output, but it restricts your access to Waltzes. This however is a downside with little actual impact, because you should not be using Waltzes anyway, unless in emergency situations.

With all that TP from stabbing your target that fast, the best line is to use Evisceration or Pyrrhic Kleos as soon as you have 1000+ TP, ideally closing/opening SCs with other DDs. If you however end up in a sufficiently coordinated group, you can do multi-step SCs and finish off with a big Rudra's Storm, powered by Climactic Flourish. If you are the solo DD, this is the preferable order:

Evisceration > Shark Bite (or Exenterator) > Pyrrhic Kleos > Evisceration > Rudra's Storm.

You will have to use Reverse Flourish for the last WS though, because you very likely will not have enough time to get TP before the SC window closes.

With another DD of any flavour, you can try and talk them into doing this with you:

BLU: Evisceration > Savage Blade > Pyrrhic Kleos > Swift Blade (or Requiescat) > Rudra's Storm.
SAM: Tachi: Shoha > Pyrrhic Kleos > Tachi: Kasha > Evisceration > Tachi: Fudo > Rudra's Storm.
NIN: Blade: Hi > Shark Bite (or Exenterator) > Pyrrhic Kleos > Blade: Hi > Rudra's Storm.

As you can see, the other DD needs to hold TP and/or use not-so-strong WSs in order to keep the SC going. Therefore, good luck talking them into pulling off multi-step SCs with you. Assuming the target takes relevant SC damage at all, of course.



Tank



As a tank, a Dancer's primary job is to keep their target focused on them, so it smacks them instead of potentially more fragile members of their group. Dancers are pretty survivable, having high evasion, access to a lot of evasion and/or damage reducing gear and, if needed, Fan Dance.

The most reliable way to keep an enemy glued to them is by hitting them fast and hard. These days, front-line jobs cap enmity really fast, so the enemy's target of the moment often is determined by who swung at it last. Swinging fast fortunately is one of the things at which Dancers are really good, so the only thing to really worry about is to not take too much damage. Read: Don't die.

A tanking Dancer therefore is "just" one dealing damage while trying to avoid losing big chunks of enmity to damage taken, which usually is dealt with by choosing different gear.



Supporter



On the very far end of a damage dealing Dancer, you likely will not be using Steps too much. Those seconds of Job Ability delay add up fast and even when playing optimally, you lose damage worth about one attack round each time at capped delay reduction. Rudra's Storm actually converting TP into damage turns using Steps into an even more complicated thing, because you have to consider that part of lost damage, too.

Unless your group has sufficient support in the realm of Bard + Geomancer + Corsair, depending on your target, of course, it is easier to justify stepping away from that extreme end of the scale and use Steps more frequently to improve your entire group's damage capabilities.



Healer



Dancers can be viable healers for low-man groups and/or some random other activities, but the days of "real" main healing Dancers are long gone. If you ever happen to end up in a spot where you're planning to take over a healing role, keep in mind that you are not a mage that can stay back. You still are a front-line job and you still need to get TP to function at all. Haste Samba therefore is superior to Drain Samba, because it increases your (as well as other's) TP gain. Also, you need to minimise the damage you take, especially in these days of devastating TP moves, so bring some evasion sets and DT- sets to the table and use them accordingly.

You however should not be more defensive than you have to be. Constantly having "too much" TP is a sign for playing too defensively, so you should add some WSs to the mix. Reverse Flourish can refill your TP stock fast in a pinch.

The main thing to keep in mind though: Dancers are not White Mages. You will not be able to keep up with too much AoE damage and/or too many status ailments.



Forever Alone (Soloist)



With the rise of Trust NPCs, this "role" is not as clear as it had been before. For some things you do, you can be a damage-dealing machine that totally does not have to care about staying alive, because your NPCs cover that already. For some things you do, you have to try and mitigate at least some damage in order to not take more damage than your NPCs can deal with. And then, you sometimes really are all by yourself, i. e. you don't even have Trust NPCs.

In such spots however, your best bet is to have a support job that can cast Haste on yourself, as long as your MP pool can support it. The difference between having Haste or not is so huge, it easily makes up for the lack of things other seemingly more offensive support jobs like Samurai or Warrior can offer. Due to the small MP pool of a mage support job, Red Mage usually is the preferred one, unless you really want that Reraise spell, which is pretty rare. Maybe for some Wildskeeper Reives...


Resources




GearSwap files



If you have a .lua file you want to share with everyone else here, feel free to post it here in this thread or send it to me via PM. I will add a link to your file as soon as possible.

For starters, Motenten's collection of .lua files is a good place:

* https://github.com/Kinematics/GearSwap-Jobs


DPS speadsheet



When comparing different pieces of gear, DPS spreadsheets can be very helpful.

* https://goo.gl/tk10gx

Byrth has another spreadsheet that includes the impact of JA delay. I however admit that I have not used it myself yet, but coming from Byrth, it should be good. It's likely based on Motenten's spreadsheet, which means that some bugs might have been fixed by Byrth.

* https://www.dropbox.com/s/ayejryvsfpzxfi5/DPS%20Calculator%20-%20Dnc.xlsx?dl=0


Credits



This guide probably would not exist, if Sylow had not started writing the original Dancer guide three years ago. His guide inspired many other people to write and maintain a guide for their favourite jobs, which in turn inspired me to pick up the Dancer guide and maintain it. Thank you for being the first spark!

Many pieces of detailed information you can find in this guide have been unraveled by Byrth during the last few years. I am glad that he (presumably) loves his Dancer a lot, which means that he's always eager to provide very useful and up-to-date information whenever something comes up. Thank you for being such an awesome source of information about game mechanics in general and Dancer in particular.

Byrth however is not the only contributor at BG wiki and Wikia, so a lot of thanks to all the contributors there. Without you, finding information would have been a lot more difficult.

Last, but not least: Thank you, Legato, for always trying to make me do things on Dancer. I miss you! <3
Author: SKudo
Date Created: 2014-11-04 02:09:36
Date Last Modified: 2015-12-19 15:21:56
Updates: 37
Bytes: 77011