FFXIV Black Mage (BLM) Guide & FAQ – Shadowbringers Updated!

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…

Bent on being a Black Mage? Bolster your knowledge on the BLM job, basic information and FAQs in our Black Mage Basics Guide. Read on if you’re expecting to learn about unlocking BLM, Black Mage Job Identity, trait and skill list, crafters and gatherers related to BLM, and link to other important Black Mage info!

Black Mage is a Ranged Magical DPS job (“caster”), and is one of the very first nine jobs released in 2.0 A Realm Reborn. BLM’s came out along with another caster, the Summoner.

How to become a Black Mage? Unlocking BLM:

First and foremost you need to have a Level 30 Thaumaturge, and have completed the L30 THM class quest, “Facing your Demons”. After doing this you can unlock the actual quest to become a Black Mage, “Taking the Black”. You can get the quest at the usual place, Ul’dah – Steps of Nald by Yayake.

You also have to complete a Level 20 MSQ, “Sylph Management”, which realistically should be completed by the time you’re looking to unlock Black Mage. 

Note that, upon completing the quest you MUST EQUIP the “Soul of the Black Mage” to actually formally BECOME a BLM. Interestingly, in the old days, unlocking Black Mage required L15 Archer – that’s no longer the case.

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

Black Mage Playstyle & BLM Job Identity

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

Have you ever wanted to be a turret? Dream of just staying in one place and pew pew? Black Mage is just for you! The BLM rotation is wholly determined by your cast bar, and few bursts of instacasts. Heck your signature cooldown, Leylines, requires you to STAND on a ground rune you generate!

Historically Black Mage DPS has been VERY good. There is a catch though. It’s easy to be a terrible Black Mage (their rotation actually punishes you HEAVILY for the myriad mistakes you can make at every step). Oh, and it’s difficult to be a GOOD one. Optimizing your BLM rotation requires serious study of the encounter, your job, execution… This high mastery aspect of Black Mage can be a draw or turn-off depending on the person.

Aesthetically and thematically, the FFXIV BLM feels real good. It pays great homage to the general Final Fantasy Black Mage. It also captures the feel of a “pure spellcaster” with devastating success. The ice / fire phase rotation is quite unique.


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 Black Mage level?

While it’s common in MMORPG’s to think you want to craft your own gear as you level up your BLM… 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 Black Mage?

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 Black Mage Guides – Read More!

Here are 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 Black Mage.

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10 thoughts on “FFXIV Black Mage (BLM) Guide & FAQ – Shadowbringers Updated!”

  1. I jave level 43 Thaumaturge and level 34 Archer finished both Guild Quest and still do not read the Black Mage Quest available in Thamaturge guild. What am I missing?

    1. Maybe you’ve finished the quest. Just check if you’ve done “Taking the Black” (level 30 quest) on your completed quest log. Make sure you equip your soul crystal (Soul of the Black Mage). It’s at the lower right most of the gear slot

  2. The link for Archer in the “How do I become a Black Mage in ARR?” section goes to the Pugilist.

  3. quick question might be a stupid one just got my frist black mage class so i wondered is there any side job that i would need to do like (gold smiting, weaver ect.) that would be help full for the black mage class i know weaver would be good but are there any other choices i should work into and when should i start then after i hit lvl 50 or sooner thank you.

    1. To be honest, if you want end-game crafting you will need to get ALL crafting classes. Goldsmith and Weaver will help you along the way, though.

  4. As for being a pugilist, not sure that is accurate anymore due to BLM not being able to use pugilist skills.

      1. Teloc, ethanrae,

        Yeah, this is the information currently available. Once P4 rolls out we will be checking the accuracy of all job requirements! Thanks for the heads up and we will definitely update it needed.

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