The number of players logging in to the hit MMO Final Fantasy XIV has increased drastically throughout the span of the game's previous expansion, Shadowbringers. Now with the launch of the game's newest expansion, Endwalker, that player count has reached an all-time high with expansive login queues that carried on for weeks after its initial launch. Endwalker sees the addition of new zones, a new main questline that ties up a story almost nine years in the making, and two new jobs, the Sage and the Reaper, which players have been readily anticipating since the expansion's original announcement.
The Reaper is a scythe-wielding arcane warrior who fulfills the role of melee DPS in a party's composition. Using their Soul Gauge mechanic, they can unleash arcane devastation on large groups of enemies with their array of high-damage abilities. To unlock the Reaper, a player must first purchase the Endwalker expansion and have at least one Disciple of War or Disciple of Magic job at level 70. The Reaper questline can be started by visiting the Flustered Attendant in Ul'dah, The Steps of Nald, who will activate the starting quest "The Killer Instinct."
The Reaper's Main Rotation
The basics of Reaper involve using their main rotation to build up their Soul Gauge bar to cast Off Global Cooldown skills. The main rotation for single-target is Slice, Waxing Slice and Infernal Slice, while for multi-target it's Spinning Scythe and Nightmare Scythe. Skills like Soul Slice and Soul Scythe are also part of the Reaper's Global Cooldown and can be used to add 50 Soul Gauge each. Both skills have up to two shared charges with a 30-second cooldown for each.
Remember to also keep the Death's Design debuff active on enemies as it grants the Reaper an additional 10% increase in damage and 10 Soul Gauge for each enemy that dies under its effects. The debuff can be applied through the Global Cooldown skills of Shadow of Death (for single-target) and Whorl of Death (for multi-target). This is the Reaper's bread and butter in terms of gaining rapid Soul Gauge to cast its more potent abilities.
Useful Off-Cooldown Abilities
As the Soul Gauge bar fills, it can be spent to activate more powerful abilities like Blood Stalk and Grim Swathe. These both grant a single stack of Soul Reaver, a buff that lets the Reaper cast the rotation of Gibbet, Gallows and the multi-target variant of these abilities, Guillotine. Gluttony is a 60-second cooldown ability that can further help the Reaper maintain its rotation by granting them two charges of Soul Reaver. A useful skill to remember for when the Reaper's rotation is running behind.
Enshroud is another key skill for the Reaper. It grants them five stacks of Lemure Shroud and causes the Reaper to enter an empowered state for 30 seconds, or until all five stacks are spent. In this state Gibbet, Gallows and Guillotine are replaced with Void Reaping, Cross Reaper and Grim Reaping. Each of which consumes a stack of Lemure Shroud. For every stack of Lemure Shroud consumed, a stack of Void Shroud is gained. Void Shroud can be used to cast Lemure Slice and Lemure Scythe, which will have replaced Blood Stalk and Grim Swathe respectively. While under the effects of Enshroud, the Reaper can also use the skill Communio, a quick cast spell that causes massive multi-target damage, but costs one stack of Lemure Shroud and instantly ends Enshroud.
Arcane Circle and Soulsow are two great Off Global Cooldown skills that shouldn't be ignored. The former is a party-wide effect that increases damage by 3% and grants stacks of Immortal Sacrifice, which can be consumed by the Reaper at eight stacks for 50 Soul Gauge via the ability Plentiful Harvest, while the latter grants access to the ability Harvest Moon, an extra damaging ability. Finally, Hell's Ingress and Hell's Egress can be used to teleport the Reaper either forward or backward to help them maneuver quickly through an encounter. A portal is left open when the Reaper teleports and the spell Regress can be used to warp back to the point at which the portal was left.
Playing The Reaper
The basic playstyle of Reaper involves using its main rotation on enemies afflicted by Death's Design to build up its Soul Gauge, which then allows the Reaper to start using damaging abilities like Blood Stalk and Grim Swathe. This also allows the Reaper to gain a stack of Soul Reaver which lets the Reaper continue a second powerful rotation with skills Gibbet, Gallows and Guillotine. Remember that the Reaper is melee DPS, so watching out for boss mechanics and having good positioning is essential.
While it's a pretty simple job, the Reaper is highly effective and brings a unique skill set, playstyle and flavor that finds its own niche in a game world already rich with character, story and theme. Reaper is the perfect class to weather the content provided by Final Fantasy XIV's renowned main questline and beyond.
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