FFXIV Pugilist (PGL) Leveling Guide & Rotation (Shb Updated)

How to level up your Pugilist (PGL) fast! Rotation, useful reminders, and the best places to be in any level – HERE!

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Taking matters into your own hands, it seems. Well, if you’re leveling up Pugilist, you’ve found the right place. Our Pugilist Leveling Guide will help you punch right through!

This page is strictly for Pugilist – focusing more on PGL specific info like skills, traits, and playstyle notes. The GENERAL PROCESS that you should be following is outlined in our GENERAL LEVELING GUIDE: which you should be using ALONGSIDE THIS GUIDE.

Pugilist: Unlocking, and other basics

How to unlock the PGL Class?

Location: Old Ul’dah – Steps of Nald, Pugilists’ Guild (x:9.7, y:10.3)
NPCs: Gagaruna, Hamon
Related Quests: (all in the same place)
> So you want to be a Pugilist
> Way of the Pugilist
> My First Hora
Others: You may also begin the game as Pugilist

Pugilists are Melee DPS classes, falling under the Disciple of War category. STR is your main stat which increases your damage.

You should be using a Healer or Tank chocobo companion (maybe a hybrid of the two). Honestly I’ve never really tried Tank… is it good? Lemme try now…

You may also want to check out our Pugilist General Guide & FAQ for other basic info.

Leveling Methods, References and Reminders

In these boxes, I’ll put info that you’ll likely be referring to (or discovering) while leveling up your Pugilist.

EXP Grinding Methods

Here’s a generic outline of what you should be doing at any given time. The higher it is, the more value it is for EXP.

Leveling ActivityUnlocks & Notes
Main Scenario QuestIf this is your first character. Only stop and go down the list if you’re locked out.
Duty Roulette: LevelingComplete Sastasha and Tam-tara Deepcroft in the main scenario.
Palace of the DeadUnlocks at L17 for your first character, and you can zone in at L1 thereafter.
FATESThe baseline activity for gaining incidental EXP.
GuildhestComplete each one ONCE for each class. Roulette version optional.
Hunting LogGives some decent EXP if you’re bored or in queue. Terrible if you skip a tier.
Challenge LogUnlocks at L17 for your first character. Best done “passively” until nearing week end.
Dungeon GrindGrinding dungeons via Duty Roulette: Leveling or straight queue.
LevequestsHonestly, Battlecraft leves are only so-so… Where? See: Levequests Guide

I give you many options because sanity, boredom, and changing it up are important to many people. Again, more detailed info can be found in the General Leveling guide.

Bonus EXP and other EXP effects

There are a few bonus EXP items you can equip for some minimal gains.

Heat of Battle (Free Company Action) 10/20/30%
Eating ANY FOOD BUFF +3% (You can buy from NPC IE Boiled Egg)

Moogle Hat until L10
Friendship Circlet until L25
Brand-new Ring until L30
Ala Mhigan Earrings until L50

These mainly work for monster kills, so don’t sweat it if you don’t have ‘em. Your journey is long, and killing monsters isn’t that large of a source of EXP.

Last but not least of these reminders, always logout at a sanctuary. It’s noted by the moon icon on the right side of your EXP bar. You gain rested EXP in these areas!

Pugilist Leveling – 01 to 30

If this is your first character:

L1 Skill UnlockedBootshine: Your basic attack! It does critical damage from behind (difficult while solo…), and turns your form into Coeurl.

L4 Skill UnlockedTrue Strike: Requires Coeurl form and deals more damage from behind, then switches your stance to Raptor.

L5 PGL Class Quest – check in on your guildmaster in Ul’dah – Steps of Nald – Pugilists’ Guild. These spawn every 5 levels up until 50, and can give you notable rewards (besides, you NEED to do them to become a Monk).

L6 Skill UnlockedSnap Punch: And just like that, you have your first complete combo!!! Requires Raptor and deals bonus damage from flank. It gives you a stack of Greased Lightning (commonly known as GL), and changes your form to Opo-Opo.

L8 Role Actions unlocked!

So you’ve unlocked your first role action as Pugilist. If you’re new, you access this by pressing (default) P > Role. Slots for role actions are unlocked at 8, 12, 16, 20, and 24 for base classes. Technically you unlock more at 32 onward, but you should advance to Monk by then.

Check out this list of Melee DPS Role Actions for Pugilist.

L8 Role Action slot I unlockedSecond Wind: A heal is a heal. Since you’re not a healer – this is pretty good early on as you can imagine!

L10 Skill UnlockedInternal Release: A DPS cooldown that has quite a short recast time… use it often!

L10 PGL Class Quest – check in on your guildmaster in Ul’dah – Steps of Nald – Pugilists’ Guild.

L10 Hmm... Guildhests?

Are guildhests worth it while leveling? Note that you get a large bonus EXP for the first time you complete a guildhest with that class. This is pretty worth it!

I mention this now at level 10 since we have a special guildhest – Under the Armor. It’s the fastest guildhest and people use this as the unofficial hest to queue up for to nail the Challenge Log entries quickly. It also helps for the quick completion of the “Player Commendation” entry.

The roulette is so-so. I like it very early on when the hests are limited to the extremely easy ones.

L12 Role Action slot II unlockedArm’s Length: Virtually useless in the early levels. Don’t bother binding it yet.

L15 PGL Class Quest unlocks Fists of Earth: check in on your guildmaster in Ul’dah – Steps of Nald – Pugilists’ Guild.

Fists of Earth: Your first stance! It reduces damage taken so it’s okay for soloing. In high tier content you can use this form to reduce damage taken from certain mechanics. For now, ALWAYS KEEP IT UP! It’s free defense!

L15 Unlocks - Duty Roulette Leveling

DR Leveling is an insane source of EXP and you shouldn’t let a day pass without doing it!

However, in this day and age there is a problem.

There are people who are the “Pure Palace of the Dead all the way BBY” types (nothing wrong with that), who may shun doing DR Leveling simply because they have no gear to speak of.

Don’t be dismayed due to a lack of gear! Grand Company seal gear is more than enough during this phase of the leveling period. It’s essentially FREE! NQ’s or cheap pieces from the market board can supplement the blanks. You can even buy from NPC’s!

These dungeons aren’t tuned to be very punishing, and being at a lower item level isn’t the end of the world.

L16 Role Actions Slot III UnlockedLeg Sweep: Ahhh, pure VALUE! Switch this up to the first slot in your Role Actions. It’s main use is still stunning enemies to cancel their AoE abilities. This little gem also allows us to hit our positionals while solo! It’s also a small boon in dungeons, as stunning enemies makes them not hit your tank. Every little bit helps!

L17 Unlocks - Challenge Log

Keep in mind it unlocks at L17 FOR FIRST TIMERS, but if you do have it unlocked, the Challenge Log can be abused from L1 for other classes.

The Challenge log is a great way to gain EXP on the side. You should seek to complete as many relevant entries as you can before the week resets – at which time try to chase the good ones before it’s too late!

Not all entries are equally good – check the General Leveling Guide for tips.


L18 Class Quest Skill UnlockedTwin Snakes: Ahh, your first branch in the combo. It requires Coeurl (2nd hit of combo), and gives you increased damage for a while! It’s always smart to go for this whenever you don’t have the Twin Snakes buff. So not you not only have to maintain GL, but Twin Snakes, too…. the plot thickens.

L20 Role Actions Slot IV unlockedDiversion: Useless while soloing. The main use is to help out your tank so you don’t pull. You may as well practice using this in dungeons and bosses early as now.

L20 Trait UnlockedEnhanced Greased Lightning: Allows for a second stack of Greased Lightning!

L20 PGL Class Quest – check in on your guildmaster in Ul’dah – Steps of Nald – Pugilists’ Guild.

L24 Role Actions Slot V unlockedInvigorate: Without TP you don’t do DPS. Simple as that! Switch this up to your second Role Action slot, as it will be useful for ANY kind of content. It’s especially useful to regain TP after death.

L25 PGL Class Quest check in on your guildmaster in Ul’dah – Steps of Nald – Pugilists’ Guild.

L26 Skill UnlockedArm of the Destroyer: An AoE attack which is only good against 4+ enemies. It changes your form to Raptor, so maintaining GL even in an AoE scenario isn’t too bad.

Once you hit level 30 FULL STOP!
It’s time you evolve into a job class – in your case that’s Monk (MNK)!

The prerequisites to unlocking the quest are
simply finishing ALL PGL class quests up to level 30.

L30 Class quest unlocksDemolish, and the prereq for Monk:

Demolish: is your first Damage over Time skill. It’s a combo finisher (requires Raptor), but grants GL as well. Always a decent practice to open up with this combo! So now, against bosses, you have three things to look out for. GL, Demolish and Twin Snakes

Completing this quest marks your final class quest as Pugilist. You now have the right to become a Monk!

How to become a Monk?

The quest to become a Monk is Brother from Another Mother, found in Pugilists’ Guild. Completing this quest gives you Soul of the Monk, and Rockbreaker skill.

Soul of the Monk is your job soul crystal. To become a Monk you merely have to equip it (it’s on the lower right most equipment slot). Equipping the soul crystal is a tiny bit of a hassle since you have to rebind your skills, and reconfigure your equipment set. But it’s okay since you’ll likely never be a Pugilist again.

And with that YOU’RE DONE WITH LEVELING Pugilist! Congrats! Feel free to proceed to the Monk Leveling Guide. Hopefully our Pugilist Leveling Guide helped you out

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4 thoughts on “FFXIV Pugilist (PGL) Leveling Guide & Rotation (Shb Updated)”

  1. “In your case (Pugilist), you’ll be wandering around Central and North shroud often.” Might wanna change that to Central and Western Thanalan.

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