The Archer class needs no introduction to any fantasy RPG lover.
With bows and arrows as their primary weapons, and light armor to prevent capping their agility, this Discipline of War class utilizes ranged skills to provide heavy DPS from afar.
FFXIV Online: ARR Archer
The Archer is ranged DPS class, and the lead class for the Bard job. Because of the Bard job, the Archer can be very versatile in a MMO setup such as that of FFXIV.
The Bard job further amplifies that ranged DPS characteristics of the class, and also grants the Archer additional support abilities, making it extremely useful.
The recommended race for the Archer class are the Elezen and Miqo’te. These two races grant large amounts of Dexterity, which is the central stat for all Archers.
The Miqo’te also give added vitality, which could prove to be very useful for a relatively weak (in-terms of durability) class.
The Archer possesses a highly passive-aggressive combat role in battles. Their nature is to constantly assess the battlefield, scanning for regions that would grant them upper hand and allow for optimum use of their ranged weaponry. The range afford them great freedom, which the other Discipline of War classes lack.
However, the Archers are much weaker, and thus one playing in this class would require constant decision-making and avoidance of all enemy attacks. Typically, in groups Archers will tend to stay at the back, just behind the front-initiators.
Archer are primarily restricted to classic ranged weapons such as the Bow, Shortbow, and Longbow. The most important stat to go along with these weapons is Dexterity, which increases chance of Critical Damage, giving the class the high damage ranged DPS trait.
The Archer’s primary skills all focus on increasing damage and dominating enemies from range. These offensive skills range from single-target DoTs to heavy-hitting AoEs, giving the Archer the capability to focus on groups or high-priority enemies.
The following is the list of skills that the Archer can unlock.
Delivers a heavy attack. Acquired at Level 1.
Delivers a strong quick attack with short recharge time. Acquired at Level 2.
Increases attack power every time Light Shot hits while the effect is active. This can stack up to three times. Acquired at Level 4.
Deliver a shot that applies venom for 9 seconds. Acquired at Level 6.
Delivers an attack with a potency of 190. This can only be executed when target’s HP is below 20%. Acquired at Level 8.
A CC skill that Binds target. Acquired at Level 10.
Delivers an attack with a potency of 150. Acquired at Level 12.
Delivers an attack with a potency of 80, and an additional effect of a 10-yalm step back. Acquired at Level 15.
Delivers an attack with a potency of 110 to all enemies in a cone in front of you. Acquired at Level 18.
Increases movement speed of nearby party members within range. Acquired at Level 22.
Increases physical accuracy by 20%. Acquired at Level 26.
Deals wind damage for over 18 seconds. Acquired at Level 30.
Reduces enmity generated by each attack. Acquired at Level 34.
Increases the number of strikes per auto-attack to two. Acquired at Level 38.
Delivers an attack that Silences a target for 1 second. Acquired at Level 42.
Sets the ground ablaze, dealing damage to any enemy that steps on it. Acquired at Level 46.
Delivers an attack to a target and additional enemies near it. Acquired at Level 50.
Traits are passive skills that enhance a character’s defensive or offensive effectiveness in battle. In case of the Archer, almost all the traits are primarily for enhancing damage, while some add to the Dexterity stat for improved DPS and crits.
The following are the traits for the Archer:
Adds to Heavy Shot a 20% chance that your next Straight Shot will deal critical damage.
Increases Dexterity by 2.
Enhanced Dexterity II
Increases Dexterity by 4.
Increased Action Damage
Increases base action damage by 10%.
Enhanced Venomous Bite
Extends Venomous Bite duration to 18 seconds.
Enhanced Raging Strike
Shortens Raging Strike recast time to 120 seconds.
Enhanced Dexterity III
Increases Dexterity by 6.
Enhanced Quick Knock
Extends Quick Nock range to 12 yalms.
Increased Action Damage II
Increases base action damage by 20%.
Increases number of strikes per auto-attack to three.
River of Blood
20% chance for DoT from Venomous Bite or Windbite to reset the Bloodletter recast timer.
If you’re not looking for extreme specializing with Jobs, then you can grind levels in other classes as well to give your main class the abilities from them.
The abilities that you can give are limited however – only certain skills are “shared” amongst the classes of the same Disciple, while fewer are shared for all classes, irrespective of the Disciple.
These abilities can only be used for the main class once the main class is at least at level 10. Once you do this, consider immediately going for another class and leveling it.
Know that you need to reach the level required for unlocking a skill in the native class in order to use it with your other classes, provided that skill is shared.
Recommended Off-Class Ability for Archer
If you aren’t going for Jobs, then the best abilities that combine with the Archer’s are that of the Conjurer class and the Lancer class.
If you feel you do not have enough defensive abilities, or are finding yourself requiring them, consider the following Conjurer Skills:
- Cure (Level 2)
- Protect (Level 8)
If you feel you need additional offensive abilities, consider the following Lancer Skills:
- Feint (Level 2)
- Impulse Drive (Level 8)
Of course, you can choose to level above eight for either of the classes, or any other class you would like yourself to link to. However, know that the best class abilities are class-exclusive, so it is never wise to over-level alternate classes before you have reached level 50 on your starting class.
Right, now for the rotation.
Archers generally don’t have much of a rotation, since they are not as skill-dependent as some of the other classes. For this reason, you will need to time various skills for occasional spike damage and buffs.
You can consider the following sequence of skills:
- Venomous Bite
- Straight Shot
- Heavy Shot
If you have been rightfully investing a lot in Dexterity, then chances are you will land critical strikes with Venomous Bite. This will allow Bloodletter to automatically recycle.
In order to gain increased critical hit rate, you want to keep the Straight Shot buff on you at all times. This will increase your chance of getting crits on Venomous Bite and thus resetting Bloodletter.
Of course, this is your primary skill rotation. Make sure you always consider skills like Misery’s End and Raging Strike, and use them occasionally against tougher enemies. This, along with the odd defensive ability, is pretty much what you would be doing throughout your play as an Archer.
The primary job for the Archer is the Bard. In order to unlock the Job, the Archer must have a level of 30, while 15 levels must be reached in the Pugilist class as well.
If you are planning to solo, Jobs won’t quite cut it for you, and thus it is recommended to stick to off-class abilities. However, if in advance you plan to play with friends, and are attempting to build a selfless class, then consider the 15 Pugilist levels first.
Acquiring the Job
The Bards Job can be unlocked Georjeaux of the Quiver’s Hold in Gredania. You will need to complete the “A Song of Bards and Bowmen” quest to receive the Soul of the Bard.
The Combat Role of the Bard is a highly specialized Archer with slight supportive skills. This allows the Archer to be a vital member of a specialized team setup. Since the base of the Job is Archery itself, the Bard’s main stat is Dexterity, despite the supportive skills that come with it
The Bard mainly has offensive-supportive abilities, with one single powerful DPS ability. These skills combine well to enhance damage against enemies and protect allies. The skills are listed below.
Refreshes MP of nearby party members while lowering own damage dealt by 20%. MP is also drained while this ability is active. Acquired at Level 30.
Reduces all enemy elemental resistances by 10%. Own MP is drained while singing. Acquired at Level 35.
Refreshes TP of all nearby party members while lowering own damage dealt by 20%. MP drained while singing. Acquired at Level 40.
Rain of Death
Delivers a strong attack to a target and also to enemies near it. Acquired at Level 45.
Doubles the effectiveness of all Songs except Swiftsong. Acquired at Level 50.
Since these skills are primarily supportive, the Bard’s role should be to stay behind cover of the tanking classes such as the Marauder, while constantly aiding the entire team with the buffs.
The Bard is a very effective and highly specialized character, and requires a strict role-based gameplay.
Don’t forget to share your recommended skill rotations, skills, traits and jobs for Archer in FFXIV Online: ARR.