FFXIV Samurai (SAM) Basics Guide & FAQ – Shadowbringers Updated!

Shadowbringers Updated! A guide on the basics of Samurai! SAM unlocking & requirements, why play a Samurai, and other FAQ’s

MIN & BTN Leveling Guides updated. Other notes...

Botanist Leveling to 90, as well as Miner Leveling to 90 are updated for the Endwalker tier. Older tiers needs some fixing, although I modernized what I could quickly – I placed the important notes on the top of the aforementioned guides reflecting the major things that you need to take note of.

I will post a personal update soon, for those that are curious…

Seeking to scale up as a Samurai? Surmount your lack of schooling about the SAM job! Find basic information and FAQs in our Samurai Basics Guide. Read on if you’re expecting to learn about unlocking SAM, Samurai Job Identity, trait and skill list, crafters and gatherers related to SAM, and link to other important Samurai info!

Samurai is a Melee DPS job, and was released at 4.0 Stormblood alongside Red Mage. In their role as Melee DPS, SAM is preceded by Monk and Dragoon.

How to become a Samurai? Unlocking SAM:

Unlock and become a Samurai by doing the quest, “The Way of the Samurai”, which is found at Ul’dah – Steps of Nald (NPC: Ul’dahn Citizen). The only requirement is having a level 50 Disciple of War or Disciple of Magic leveled.

Unlike the Heavensward classes, I’m almost certain you can rush into using SAM once you have the level requirement – and is not gated behind unlocking Stormblood content.

Note that, upon completing the quest you MUST EQUIP the “Soul of the Samurai” to actually formally BECOME a SAM.

Rushing to or want to know how to unlock a certain class? Learn more:
FFXIV Job Unlock & Requirements Guide.

Samurai Playstyle & SAM Job Identity

If you’ve asked yourself, “Why play, try, or choose Samurai?” – here’s my attempt at selling you the SAM class.

The SAM playstyle is based on managing two resource types. Sen and Kenki. While easy to understand and pull off decently, there’s a ton of micro optimization you can pull here. Their GCD is faster than most classes, so that can be a good or bad thing for you!

Samurais in FFXIV are a “greedy” Melee DPS class, meaning they give little to no raid utility in exchange for a higher personal DPS. They’re reasonably mobile, having both a dash and a disengage.

Aesthetically and thematically, the FFXIV Samurai is the “lone swordsman with straw in their mouth” kind of  Samurai. Their signature move, Midare Satsugekka, is your typical draw-slash “Iai” FFS. These guys are definitely based off “real world japan” and I know that’s something a lot of people resonate with.


DISCLAIMER: This is not meant to be a blurb that aligns with the current meta. That changes from patch to patch. Our goal here is to provide you with an idea of what the job is trying to be, getting cues from both the Developers’ concrete decisions on job design, as well as our own feedback.

What Crafters & Gatherers should Samurai level?

While it’s common in MMORPG’s to think you want to craft your own gear as you level up your SAM… I DO NOT RECOMMEND IT.

Leveling up your DoH and DoL jobs should be thought of as a different activity completely. To be honest, if you’re a newer player, simply ensure that you DO NOT OVERCAP Levequests (always have less than 100).

The only relation a combat job has to a crafter or gatherer class is “which classes do you need to repair your gear”? My advice, ultimately, is pretty much all or nothing – level up all DoH classes in tandem. As a separate project, level up all DoL classes in tandem (with the optional Fisher).

What’s the best race for Samurai?

Racial stats are (was?) a thing. However, I highly recommend not caring about it. The difference in performance between the “best” and “worst” race for you is not even 0.1%.

My advice? Pick for aesthetics. Will you stay the same job forever? If you change mains, will you race change? Ultimately, the difference is so microscopic that I cannot in good faith tell you that racial stats are an integral part of your character.

I won’t even link the Racial Stats Guide, as I haven’t checked up on this in a while – and I don’t want to cement the idea that the “best race” really matters.

Related Samurai Guides – Read More!

Here are s a few useful links for you:

Upcoming Odds and Ends

Here’s a few things we’ll be adding on here in the near future:

  • Adding a “links to further resources”, we’re doing a site restructure so once those links are set, they’ll go in here.
  • Human-readable, newbie-friendly skill and trait list.
    > I used to have the in-game skill list here, but I found it useless as the in-game one is better… I’d rather have a new player friendly rundown.
  • More descriptive job identity? Pics?
    > I dunno… pictures of the job gauges? A gif of some flashy skills?
  • Feel free to suggest anything else via comment or socials!

Summary & Outro

Well that’s about it for a really, really basic guide that hopefully points some lost souls in the right direction, or answers some of your questions regarding Samurai.

Join our IRL Cross-World Linkshells (socials lol): 

Contact us about anything and everything. Don't be shy! Love our guides and want to let us know? Got questions or corrections? Suggestions for improvement? TALK TO US! How, you say?

Comment below if it's about this guide. Message us on any of our socials above about anything.  We're organizing our email situation if you're into that.

FFXIV Melee DPS Role Actions: Guide & FAQ

All you need to know about the Melee Role Actions in Shadowbringers!

Here’s a quick guide for the Melee DPS Role Actions available in Shadowbringers.  We no longer have to choose – and have access to all Role Actions!

What Jobs benefit from the Melee DPS Role Actions?

Job Class

Monk (MNK)
Dragoon (DRG)
Ninja (NIN)
Reaper (RPR)
Samurai (SAM)

Base Class

Pugilist (PUG)
Lancer (LNC)
Rogue (ROG)

Melee DPS Role Actions – Navigation:
Melee DPS Actions List | Role Actions Uses & Discussion

Melee DPS Role Actions List

8Second WindRestore own HP, scales with attack power.Instant120
10Leg SweepStuns target for 3s.Instant40
12BloodbathConverts part of your damage to HP for 20s.Instant90
22FeintLower target's strength and dexterity by 10% for 10s.Instant90
32Arm's LengthIgnore most position altering effects for 6s. Cause Slow +20% when struck.Instant120
50True NorthNullifies all action direction requirements. Duration: 10s. Max charges 2.Instant45

Melee DPS Role Actions: Quick Strategy & Discussion

Here we talk a little bit about each of the role actions and their applications.

Second Wind

Can save your life in raids when expertly used. Learn how to use it well! Never bad to have a self-heal while soloing too, of course.

Note: As a healer main there are very few instances where Second Wind ACTUALLY helps. It’s great for when you accidentally took a hit before a damaging mechanic. Ask your healers about it!

Leg Sweep

Great for soloing and dungeons, rare for raids. a 3 second stun works wonders for mass dungeon pulls.


A strange skill that has limited usefulness outside of soloing. As for raiding, this is about as useful anytime a regen would be…

Ask your healers when’s the best time to pop this per encounter as they would give you the best use-case.


Reduces enemy physical damage by a large amount for a short duration. Best used to help mitigate heavy physical tank busters (and the rare physical AoE) in raids. Coordinate with your tanks and healers about it!

Arm’s Length

A niche skill that rarely comes up in raids. Anytime there’s a knockback in an encounter try to imagine how this skill would be best utilized to mitigate its effect on your DPS, or to ease up the mechanics.

True North

Oh boy… a godlike cheese when your raid needs to take sub-optimal melee positioning. You’ll be using this often.

Melee DPS Role Actions – Navigation:
Melee DPS Role Actions List | Role Actions Uses & Discussion

Well, that’s about it for Melee DPS Role Actions! FOR NOW! I’ll be adding to this soon.

Like us on Facebook for more updates!

FFXIV Samurai Leveling Guide

Level up your Samurai ASAP! Setting up – Early Rotations – Gear Checks and more!

If you’ve found yourself here, you’re likely leveling up a Samurai. Welp! You’ve found the right place. Hopefully, our Samurai Leveling Guide helps you out – especially with setting up and the early L50+ rotation!

Samurai Leveling Guide – Navigation:
Page 1: Unlocking | L50 Skills & Rotation | L50 Gear | Class Quest List
Page 2: SAM Leveling 50 to 60 (Basic info for now)
Page 3: SAM Leveling 60 to 70 (Basic info for now)

For those who jumped right into this page, we will add a little blurb about unlocking Samurai, if you haven’t already.

Unlocking Samurai (SAM) Job

Quest Name: The Way of the Samurai
Quest Location: Ul’dah – Steps of Nald (X:9, Y:9)
NPC Name: Ul’dahn Citizen

You will be rewarded with the Soul of the Samurai, your main hand weapon (Mythrite Uchigatana), and a free coffer of 115 left side gear (Nameless Armor Coffer)! Equip them as soon you have them!

Since Samurai starts at level 50, there are a few things you have to “catch up on”. Namely, your Skills, Rotation, and to a lesser extent, Gear.

Fresh Level 50 Samurai Rotation & Skills

SAM Rotation Summary

Lemme tell you the absolute basics of the Samurai rotation. It revolves around generating any number of those three fancy orbs (called Sen – Samurai’s Primary Resource) “Getsu, Ka, and Setsu” then expending these using Iaijutsu. Depending on how many of these you have, Iaijutsu’s actual skill changes.

At 52 onwards (I might as well mention it now), you will gain a secondary resource called Kenki to expend on various utility skills. You can Kenki naturally as you do various weapon skills.

In the next tab we go into the nitty gritty, and talk about EVERY SKILL you’ve unlocked just now.

L50 Samurai Single Target Rotation

Samurais have “3 basic combo trees” since you need to gain three different types of Sen. This is a basic single target rotation.

L50 SAM Basic Single Target Rotation

Hakaze (L1)
Jinpu (L4) (Grants 10% Damage up buff)
Gekko (L30) (Gain Getsu!)

Hakaze (L1)
Shifu (L18) (Grants 10% “Offensive Speed” buff)
Kasha (L40) (Gain Ka!)

Hakaze (L1)
Yukikaze (L50) (Gain Setsu!)

Iaijutsu (L30) (3 Sen: Midare Satsugekka)


Note: For long fights such as bosses (or anything more than a minute) using Iaijutsu on 1 Sen is Higanbana – a ONE MINUTE DoT!

Note: Try to keep up both the “Speed” buff from Shifu and the damage buff from Jinpu at all times. Remember that while the Samurai doesn’t care WHICH Sen you choose for Iaijutsu, choosing the wrong “path” might lead to dropping one of these powerful buffs.

Note: Personally, I start with the chain which leads up to the “speed bonus” buff – as it’s more “valuable” than 10% damage UNLESS you plan to open with 1 Sen Higanbana – then the 10% Damage buff is better.

L50 SAM Basic AoE Rotation
L50 SAM Basic AoE Rotation

This is typically used on “3 or more guys”.

Fuga (L26) : This is a cone skill.
Mangetsu (L35) (Gain Getsu!) : Circular AoE centered on yourself.

Fuga (L26) : This is a cone skill.
Oka (L35) (Gain Setsu!) : Circular AoE centered on yourself.

Iaijutsu (L30) (2 Sen: Tenka Goken) : Large cone nuke.

Note: Against 2 guys, the “SPEED” wherein you gain sen is the upside here. You will be using Tenka Goken every 5th GCD. Using the AoE rotation against 2 enemies has a very very strong case, unlike most other classes whose clear breakpoint is usually at 3.

Note: The problem with this rotation is heavy TP use, and you will never actually trigger your buffs. This is the primary reason why the AoE rotation “sucks” against 2 enemies.

L50 SAM Misc (Cooldowns, Utility)
L50 SAM Misc skill rundown

Meikyo Shisui (L50): God… discussions on this can get complicated at max level but for now basically it allows you to “cheat” combos. If it isn’t obvious by now, the best use of this is to do combo finishers which grant you Sen! (Gekko – Kasha – Yukikaze > Midare!)

Third Eye (L6): Reduced your damage taken on the next hit by a tiny amount. This is connected to other skills later on, but try and practice it early and often.

Ageha (L10): Only usable on low life enemies. Grants a Kenki (more on this at L52…) bonus if its a “last hit”.

Enpi (L15): Is a ranged skill typical of most melee classes. Junk (for now…).

Iaijutsu (L30): Again, I might as well mention it here.
1 Sen: Higanbana – Long DoT, only used for long fights.
2 Sen: Tenko Goken – Large cone AoE.
3 Sen: Midare Satsugekka – Massive single target damage.

L50 SAM Role Actions
L50 SAM Role Actions

To summarize, for general purposes use:
Invigorate > Second Wind > Leg Sweep > Any

For more information about this, check our Melee DPS Role Actions Guide.


Fresh level 50 Samurai: Gear Check

The free gear you get from completing the Samurai quest is item level 115. All things considered this ain’t so bad. HOWEVER, it is missing the right-side accessories, and belt.

Ignore this section if you plan to sully yourself in PotD forever.

I want better than 115 item level!

There are only 2 possible item level upgrades from 115, and 4 possible sources:

  • 120 gear from World of Darkness (hassle if you don’t have it already)
  • 120 Ironworks gear from “old tomestone” (not too bad to obtain!)
  • 130 Dreadwyrm gear from Final Coil (hassle if you don’t have it already)
  • 130 Augmented Ironworks gear (needs Carbontwine and Carboncoat…)

While I imagine many people have these lying around – I can only faithfully vouch for only ONE of these tiers – 120 Ironworks from older tomestone gear is easy to obtain, and can be fairly worth it as they’re shared between many classes.

And, if you happen to get Carboncoat and Carbontwine from WoD (queue up that Alliance Raid!), great!

If you read the clicky above, you can FILL UP THE BLANKS with the left table, or TRYHARD AND UPGRADE with the right table. I will not be listing Dreadwyrm or WoD gear in these tables, due to their difficulty to obtain for people who weren’t there at the time.

L50 SAM Basic GearL50 SAM Better Gear
L50 Samurai Gear – Basic of the Basic (i115)
WeaponMythrite UchigatanaFREE from coffer
HeadNameless HachiganeFREE from coffer
ChestNameless TogiFREE from coffer
HandsNameless TekkoFREE from coffer
BeltHQ Archaeoskin Belt of StrikingCrafting / Market
LegsNameless HakamaFREE from coffer
BootsNameless KyahanFREE from coffer
EarringHQ Mythrite Earrings of SlayingCrafting / Market
NeckHQ Rainbow Ribbon of SlayingCrafting / Market
WristHQ Mythrite Bangle of SlayingCrafting / Market
RingHQ Agate Ring of SlayingCrafting / Market
RingHQ Agate Ring of SlayingCrafting / Market
L50 Samurai Gear – Tomestone (i120+)
WeaponIronworks Magitek Samurai BladeTomestone
HeadIronworks Visor of StrikingTomestone
ChestIronworks Cuirass of StrikingTomestone
HandsIronworks Armguards of StrikingTomestone
BeltIronworks Belt of StrikingTomestone
LegsIronworks Hose of StrikingTomestone
BootsIronworks Sollerets of StrikingTomestone
EarringIronworks Earrings of SlayingTomestone
NeckIronworks Choker of SlayingTomestone
WristIronworks Bracelet of SlayingTomestone
RingIronworks Ring of SlayingTomestone
Ring(Cannot use 2 of the same!)

Purchased from Auriana – Mor Dhona (X: 22.7, Y: 6.6)
For the other ring, use one from the other tab, Dreadwyrm, or Augmented Ironworks.

Samurai Class Quests: Where!?

It happens to everyone, dont worry. If you’re lost we have reminders on the relevant pages AS YOU LEVEL UP, but we may as well put the entire list here… for reasons.

Samurai Job Quests 50 to 60
50Master MusosaiUl’dah – Steps of Thal912Musosai
52The Sands of DebtUl’dah – Steps of Nald1210Musosai
54Blood on the DeckLimsa Lominsa Upper Decks1111Musosai
56A Fraudster in the ForestNew Gridania1213Musosai
58Tears in the SnowFoundation1413Musosai
60The Face of True EvilFoundation1412MomozigoMeditate
Samurai Job Quests 60 to 70
60A Dignified VisitorUl’dah – Steps of Nald1210Momozigo
63Trials of the SekiseigumiUl’dah – Steps of Nald1210Momozigo
65Matsuba MayhemKugane148Makoto
68The Hunt for UgetsuKugane148Makoto
70The Battle on BekkoKugane148MakotoHisatsu: Guren; Myochin Armor Coffer

Samurai Leveling Guide – Navigation:
Page 1: Unlocking | L50 Skills & Rotation | L50 Gear | Class Quest List
Page 2: SAM Leveling 50 to 60 (Basic info for now)
Page 3: SAM Leveling 60 to 70 (Basic info for now)

Well, hopefully this page helped you out in setting up your Samurai so your leveling process will come along much more smoothly. Proceed to the next pages with the links above!

Don’t forget to like us on Facebook!