FFXIV Dark Knight Leveling Guide

Level up your Dark Knight (DRK) ASAP! Setting up – Early Rotations – Gear Checks and more!

If you’ve found yourself here, you’re likely leveling up a Dark Knight. You’ve found the right place. Hopefully, our Dark Knight Leveling Guide helps you out – especially with setting up and the early L30+ rotation!

Dark Knight Leveling Guide Navigation:
Page 1: Unlocking, L30 Skills & Rotation, L30 Gear, Class Quest List
Page 2: Leveling DRK 30 to 50 (Basic info for now)
Page 3: Leveling DRK 50 to 60 (Basic info for now)
Page 4: Leveling DRK 60 to 70 (Basic info for now)

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

Unlocking Dark Knight (DRK) Job

Quest Name: Our End
Quest Location: The Pillars (X:13, Y:9)
NPC Name: Ishgardian Citizen

You will be rewarded with the Soul of the Dark Knight, your main hand weapon (Steel Claymore), and a free coffer of 30 left side gear (Steel Cuirass and Padded Velveteen Trousers). Equip them as soon you have them!

Since Dark Knight starts at level 30 (although unlocked if you have a level 50 character), there are a few things you have to “catch up to”… Namely, your Skills, Rotation, and to a lesser extent, Gear.

Fresh Level 30 Dark Knight Rotation & Skills

Thankfully, there aren’t too many skills unlocked by L30 so you won’t be overwhelmed.

DRK Rotation Summary

The DRK rotation is all about mana management. While it doesn’t fully show yet at this low level, traces of it are seen.

Grit is your tank stance, which reduces damage and increases enmity.
Darkside is a substance that STOP MANA REGEN but increases damage.
Blood Weapon converts damage to MP, but cannot be used with Grit.

It’s useless to go into detail this early at L30, but at least the above gives you an idea of the “shuffling” and “tradeoffs” of the various DRK “stances”.
In the next tabs, we will mention ALL AVAILABLE SKILLS and the context wherein they’re used.

L30 DRK Tanking Basics

This should be your basic flowchart when inside dungeons.

Do I need Grit (L30) ? (Probably yes)
Is Darkside (L30) on? (It probably should be)
Unmend (L15) Ranged pulling skill (Optional)
Unleash (L6) x2: AoE Bonus Enmity
– (More experienced tanks can ditch one or both of these Unleashes)

Single Target rotation on one enemy

Hard Slash (L1)
Spinning Slash (L4): Bonus Enmity.
Power Slash (L26): Bonus Enmity.
You can do this once per enemy in the pack.

After the enemy group is “near death” and the risk to you is lower, start asking yourself these questions:

  • I should have full or near full mana by the next enemy group…
  • Can I SAFELY off Grit (L30)?
  • Should I use Hard Slash (L1) > Syphon Strike (L10) to regain mana?
  • Can/should I save Blood Weapon (L18) for the next pile?

After the enemies die, make sure to OFF Darkside to regain any lacking mana before the next pull.

L30 DRK Single Target Rotation
L30 DRK Basic Single Target Rotation

It feels a bit strange discussing a single target rotation in the context of a tank (I guess for soloing and “last enemies in a pack”). It seems redundant after the above tab but here it is.

  • Can I SAFELY off Grit (L30)?
  • Is Darkside (L30) on? Can I Darkside?
  • Is Blood Weapon (L18) available? Can I maximize the mana gained?

Hard Slash (L1)
Spinning Slash (L4): Bonus Enmity.
Power Slash (L26): Bonus Enmity.

I desperately need mana!

Is Blood Weapon (L18) available?
Hard Slash (L1)
Syphon Strike (L10) Regains mana on hit!

L30 DRK Basic AoE Rotation
L30 DRK Basic AoE Rotation

It’s pretty bad. You cannot contribute any meaningful AoE damage this early on.

4 Enemies or less: Use single target rotation on one of them.

5 or more: Unleash (L6) spam.

Sadly, even FOUR targets isn’t enough for Unleash to outrun your single target rotation.

L30 DRK Misc (Cooldowns, Utility)
L30 DRK Misc skills (Cooldowns, Utility)

Grit (L30): Tank stance which increases toughness and enmity produced.

Darkside (L30): Increases damage but SHUTS OFF mana regen.

Blood Weapon (L18): CANNOT BE USED WITH GRIT. Increases damage, converts damage to MP, reduces TP cost of skills and increases “skill speed”. Quite a huge buff, which you should maximize each time it’s up.

Unmend (L15): Ranged pulling skill.

Unleash (L6): AoE enmity generating skill with weak damage.

L30 DRK Role Actions
L30 DRK Role Actions

Long story short, for general use:
Provoke > Low Blow > Rampart > Any

For more detailed info, check our Tank Role Actions Guide.


Fresh level 30 Dark Knight: Gear Check

The free gear you get from completing the Dark Knight quest is, ultimately, lacking. You only get a chest and leg armor, while lacking Helm, Belt, Gloves, Boots - and the entire 5 right-side accessories. If you plan to maximize your options in leveling - you wanna shore this up ASAP.

Ignore this section if you’re one of those pure PotD types.


  • Sunstone Tier + MELDING VITALITY I, OR
  • Sphene Tier + MELDING STRENGTH I.

Personally, I prefer Sunstone, with or without VIT I melded.

L30 DRK Basic of the Basic gear
WeaponSteel ClaymoreFree from coffer
HeadHQ Steel CelataMarketboard / ARM
BodySteel CuirassFree from coffer
HandsHQ Steel GauntletMarketboard / ARM
BeltHQ Steel Plate BeltMarketboard / ARM
LegsPadded Velveteen TrousersFree from coffer
BootsHQ Steel SabatonsMarketboard / ARM
EarringHQ Sunstone EarringsMarketboard / GSM
NeckHQ Sunstone ChokerMarketboard / GSM
WristHQ Sunstone BraceletMarketboard / GSM
RingHQ Sunstone RingMarketboard / GSM
RingHQ Sunstone RingMarketboard / GSM

Dark Knight Class Quests: Where!?

It happens to everyone, don't worry. We will be listing the relevant chunks per tier on the respective page of this leveling guide as well, for easy reference.

Dark Knight Job Quests 30 to 50
30Ishgardian JusticeFoundation1112Fray
35The Voice in the AbyssFoundation1112Fray
40Heroic RepriseFoundation1112Fray
45Declaration of BloodFoundation1112Fray
50Our AnswerFoundation1112FrayDark Knight’s Armor Coffer
Dark Knight Job Quests 50 to 60
50The Wages of MercyCoerthas C.H.1316Unflinching Temple Knight
52The Knight and the Maiden FairFoundation1312Sidurgu
54Kindred SpiritsFoundation1312Sidurgu
56Original SinsFoundation1312Sidurgu
58The Flame in the AbyssFoundation1312Sidurgu
60AbsolutionFoundation1312SidurguChaos Armor Coffer
Dark Knight Job Quests 60 to 70
60In Memories We WalkedFoundation1312Sidurgu
63The Widow and Her LoveCoerthas Western Highlands3236Sidurgu
65The Orphans and the Broken BladeDravanian Forelands3223Sidurgu
68We Can Never Go HomeThe Churnign Mists2835Myste
70Our CompromiseFoundation1312SidurguAbyss Armor Coffer

Dark Knight Leveling Guide Navigation:
Page 1: Unlocking, L30 Skills & Rotation, L30 Gear, Class Quest List
Page 2: Leveling DRK 30 to 50 (Basic info for now)
Page 3: Leveling DRK 50 to 60 (Basic info for now)
Page 4: Leveling DRK 60 to 70 (Basic info for now)

I'm sure you're itching to level up - and I hope you took the above preparations to heart! Just continue onwards with the links just above!

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