Wisdom of Nym: Final Fantasy XIV’s removed skills, Ranged/Caster edition

My track record has been pretty good!
Well, folks, by all reasonable estimation we’re going to have the final story patch of Heavensward next week. Why? Because there’s no more March for it to exist in after that. So it seems like a reasonable prediction, and it also gives me just enough time to finish up with these Final Fantasy XIV skill predictions before I want to move on to reviewing the expansion in hindsight anyhow. So everybody wins, if I double up today.

The first installment is all about tanks, while the second installment is all about melee DPS. As always, the usual disclaimer applies that this is all speculation, not absolute fact; I don’t have a clearer picture than you do about how abilities are actually being arranged. If you think I’m wrong? I might very well be wrong! All I can do is justify what I say and make my case. Let’s move on.

I really have no screenshots of Bards, huh? I wonder why that.. wait, no I don't.


Misery’s End: It makes more sense to just have one cross-class “finisher” skill, like Mercy Stroke. (Yes, this should have also been noted under Assassinate; that has a particularly unique animation, but it slipped my mind. The point stands.)

Raging Strikes: Another fine candidate to be lost from a specific skillset and added as a cross-class skill, since this is a pretty ubiquitous damage up skill that applies to every ranged combatant.

Shadowbind: This is up there with Feint as something that’s theoretically useful but rarely actually has a use; it’s best removed, or relegated to PvP-only.

Swiftsong: If you’re looking for buttons to turn into traits, this one is an obvious removal. You could do this without making any functional changes to the job whatsoever, so it’s a net benefit.

Hawk’s Eye: Same rationale as Raging Strikes, really.

Wanderer’s Minuet: This is a prime candidate for making a passive trait rather than an active ability, and part of the reason for that is that currently it makes a big difference as an active ability. Weaving this ability on and off depending on movement phases is actually relevant, and it can contribute to your DPS substantially. So why would removing it be a good thing? Because that’s also the sort of high-end skill-based metric that Yoshida has said he specifically wants to remove, by and large. It affects your bottom line, but it mostly serves to create a bigger gap between skilled and novice players. Better to make it perpetual.

Sweet gun children.


Gauss Barrel: Same basic philosophy as Wanderer’s Minuet, with the added benefit that no one has ever liked the actual Gauss Barrel look. Yes, I’ll miss using it to weave in and out as necessary, but the benefits outweigh the drawbacks.

Leg Graze: I get why so many different ranged jobs have the ability to Heavy things in PvE. It’s just not actually useful most of the time. Losing it would not be unwelcome.

Foot Graze: We also have another bind here? Yeah, we can lose that.

Dismantle/Rend Mind: Under no circumstances should we lose both of these abilities; they’re a great way of adding utility and support to the job. But we don’t need both of them turning every big incoming attack into a guessing game of “is this physical or mental.” Considering that they share a cooldown anyhow, just rolling them into one ability makes much more sense.

Heartbreak: See above vis-a-vis finishing blows.

Sassy Grandma should be everyone's BLM goal.

Black Mage

Thunder II/III: It’s already been heavily hinted that the Thunder line will be rolled into one spell improved by traits, and frankly that makes the most sense. You can downrank for minor benefits, yes, but that’s still in the lineup of “arbitrary skill gate” from above, so better to remove the option.

Enochian: At this point, we know Enochian is going to become passive to some extent, so I feel comfortable putting this on here. Exactly how it’s going to work remains to be seen, but it’ll tie in with the Black Mage rotation, and seeing as how Fire IV/Blizzard IV have become so vital, it remains to be seen how it’ll all play off of itself.

Blizzard II: While this fills out an otherwise unsightly gap, Blizzard II lacks the utility of Fire II and mostly sees use in PvP or for early AoE while spamming FATEs for leveling. Replacing it with a proper targeted AoE like Fire II would be a better option, or just relegating it to cross-class magical classes in general.

Surecast: Has anyone ever used this ability outside of PvP? Probably not.

Swiftcast: The spell that ensures every single healer needs to spend a lengthy time on THM, this is definitely being moved into cross-class skills. It’s a great skill, but it’s something that is nigh-on fundamental to any caster class.

Manaward/Manawall: Essentially, the complaints here are the same as about Rend Mind and Dismantle; the guessing game involved makes these abilities less useful, not more. It’d make more sense to roll them together as a general-purpose cooldown.



Tri-bind: This one at least lost the “Tri-Disaster” name, which was a cool spell name for what long served as a very underwhelming actual ability. But it still has little to no actual use in most of the game, so it’s best removed and left alone.

Ruin II: This is an odd one. In the strictest sense, Ruin II is a functional spell. It’s not actually worse than Ruin; in some ways, it’s arguably better. (It costs a tiny bit more MP, but it’s instant and adds Blind, both of which are good.) But it doesn’t actually have any new impact. Either you can functionally replace Ruin with Ruin II or you just ignore that it exists, and neither one makes for an interesting spell. It’s the sort of thing that could easily be rolled into a trait.

Spur: Rouse-but-more would make more sense as an added trait for Rouse. Useful? Yes. In desperate need of its own button? No.

Miasma II: This one I’m pretty iffy on, because Miasma II does have some utility. It’s just that the game tacitly acknowledges that it’s not really part of the core rotation for your debuffs, with stuff like Fester and Bane ignoring its presence. While I think it’s a cool spell, I also think it’s something that could be removed without much impact on Summoner’s damage capacity, mostly ensuring that you didn’t need to run into melee range just to apply this one debuff (if you even bother).

Energy Drain: I kind of like Energy Drain, don’t get me wrong, but it really just serves as something to spend your Aetherflow stacks on until you get abilities like Bane, Fester, and Painflare. Removing it would have a slight impact on lower levels, but you could get over it.

Eye for an Eye: This is of mixed utility anyway, but it makes more sense in the cross-class pool. A power buff of some kind would be nice, too.

Agree? Disagree? Have your own speculation? Let me know down in the comments, folks, or mail your thoughts along to eliot@massivelyop.com. Next week, I’ll be wrapping up this series, and I fully expect we’ll be getting a patch on Tuesday. Let’s see how right that prediction is.

The Nymian civilization hosted an immense amount of knowledge and learning, but so much of it has been lost to the people of Eorzea. That doesn’t stop Eliot Lefebvre from scrutinizing Final Fantasy XIV each week in Wisdom of Nym, hosting guides, discussion, and opinions without so much as a trace of rancor.
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Aaron Biegalski

I would LOVE to see Wanderer’s / Gauss turned into some type of trait instead. The addition of Wanderer’s pretty much made me lose interest in my Bard.

No chance of Energy Drain going away, I think. It’s far too useful and necessary to both Summoner and Scholar.

Matt Redding

Well you clearly don’t play a summoner, that’s for certain. Tri-bind can certainly go away or be made PVP only. Ruin 2 is not a junk spell. It’s INSTANT cast. It’s the staple spam attack when you’re under heavy fire and have to dodge like crazy, and Ruin 3 is NOT something you can upgrade to and use continuously. At level 60, Ruin 3 costs 1,060 mana per cast if you’re not in Dreadwyrm Trance. If you are, then it’s 126. To prevent yourself from running dry of mana, and to take advantage of various optimal rotation timings, you need to mix some Ruin 2’s in with Ruin 3’s. And Energy drain? I need it if I go nuts with the Ruin 3 spam. It’s also a valid use of an aether charge for triggering Trance.

Eye for an eye would be ok going to some kind of pool healers use … but keep in mind that soloing summoners can apply it to their own pets and considering that at level 60 titan-egi gets chewed up pretty severely it’s actively useful. Miasma 2 has some use but it’s more of a bonus AoE. It certainly makes having Blizzard 2 as a cross-class skill pointless though, and it’s sorta helpful in PvP.

Mr Poolaty

Please don’t take my swiftsong away!

Knight Porter

Energy Drain is an arcanist skill and rather important to Scholar.

Piros the Third

I disagree with losing Energy Drain. It has an important niche – helping you get MP back in case you had to burn it all, usually because you got stuck raising people a lot. Removing it would be a slight reduction to a Summoner’s versatility. It’s just useful enough, in a situation that comes up frequently enough, that I think it deserves to stay.

I agree with all the rest here, though, by and large. My concern is just that they won’t cut ENOUGH; FFXIV has severe skill bloat issues right now, for almost all jobs. Them saying they want to keep numbers about the same is a bad thing, in my book.


I agree with you. As an occasional scholar (I main Astro these days) I would be kinda sad to loose energy drain. Be it needing to rez people or just a long fight, there have times I have needed mana and energy drain was there for me. So I dunno, energy drain has its place.

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Lights and Music

I thought for sure aetherial manipulation would make the list for BLM – I know it has like one specific use in an instance or two, but it really makes no sense in a BLM kit if you ask me.


They really need to make their first, in what WoW has done several times over the last decade or so, full skill-revamp. There are so many skills in this game that are either entirely useless, overlap with other skills in some way, or are useful but like Energy Drain, don’t make it into your rotation for many reasons. A lot of these abilities need to be entirely removed and/or combined with existing abilities to make something functional that will actually be used more than on rare occasions.

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I’m still in the camp of people who misses how Bard played before Heavensward. I want Wanderer’s Minuet gone, not forced on me. Sure, I always have it on by default in the content it’s relevant for. But there’s a high chance that if I’m forced to always be bowmage because WM becomes a trait, I’ll retire my Bard for good.


They’ve already said it is mandatory going forward. You’re not supposed to weave it on and off in current HW or future content. So I can’t see them doing something to fix that.

Making it permanent would be one solution, but not a very nice one in my opinion. I generally turn it off on trivial content and when soloing, so would really not like it to be permanent.

I also think they could do a lot more to slim down out ability bloat, it isn’t massive, but there is plenty there we don’t really use much.

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Chris Neal

I desperately hope that Gauss Barrel will be axed. That’s really about the only commentary I can provide here. Just…screw Gauss Barrel. Screw it so hard.