The Way of the Black Mage

Who am I?
I am Osyris, apprentice of Master Vivi, and currently an assistant of Dr.
Shantotto.    I am a Tarutaru who resides in the city of Windurst.  I was
recently elected as minister of Black Arts in the Windurst Aurestary as well as
an ordained War Warlock.  This Black Mage Handbook, is a culmination of my
research and experience of the last few years, designed to teach the beginning
and intermediate Black Mage how to do the job most efficiently.  I have come
back home from fighting to write this guide, so the enclosed strategies are
fresh and current with today’s trends.  As the Alpha and Omega of the party, it
is important for the young students of Black Magic to understand their role and
purpose in a party situation in order to fully utilize their abilities.

The black mage is the supreme damage dealing class.  Our power is unrivaled by
any class.  Some may argue that at higher levels they can rival our power, but
when the dust settles, and you stay true to your training, you will see that
not only you will deal the most damage, but you will deal high damage
consistently, and quickly.  Thus you may find yourself being the one to kill
the enemy after a long fight.  Spells don’t miss, so while a melee is swinging
wildly at a mob, we sit back and fire at our enemy with full confidence our
attack will strike.  It is best to consider yourself artillery support, whilst
the melee are ground troops.  The strength of an army lies in its ability to
strike quick and accurate blows to the enemy, thus weakening its core (that’s
the melee).  Our heavy attacks is what deals the finishing blow (that’s you?).
There will be many times when the melee are fighting an enemy with high defense
and even at lv.50 still ringing up numbers like 0-20 damage on the enemy.  Our
single strike can literally hit for 10 times that amount or greater!  If you
are an aspiring Black Mage, want to brush on some skills and tactics, or not
sure if you want to give this job a try, read on!

Races
Vana’diel consists of 5 races, Elvaan, Galka, Hume, Mithra, and Tarutaru.  Due
to the natural talents a race possesses, some races can perform the role of a
black mage better than others.  However, I would never discourage any race from
becoming a black mage for anyone can tell you, it’s not about the statistics,
it’s about the skill.  Each race has a starting statistic which as been
researched and developed by the War Warlocks of the Windurst Aurestary.  They
are as follows:

Elvaan: HP-27 MP-22 STR-6 DEX-7 VIT-6 AGI-6 INT-7 MND-7 CHR-6
Galka: HP-30 MP-18 STR-6 DEX-7 VIT-7 AGI-7 INT-8 MND-6 CHR-5
Hume: HP-25 MP-24 STR-5 DEX-7 VIT-5 AGI-7 INT-8 MND-6 CHR-6
Mithra: HP-25 MP-24 STR-5 DEX-8 VIT-5 AGI-8 INT-8 MND-6 CHR-5
Tarutaru:HP-21 MP-30 STR-4 DEX-7 VIT-5 AGI-8 INT-10 MND-6 CHR-6

The noteworthy statistics are: INT, MP, MND, and HP
INT – this is the MOST important statistic for the black mage.  INT determines
several factors.  First and foremost it determines the potency of your
elemental spells, and the potency of you buff/debuff spells.  (*Note: buff
means to boost you and/or your party’s attributes.  Debuff means to lower and
enemies attributes.  This is because most debuffs are still based on an
element, usually dark magic*) From my experiences, 1 point of INT can add from
1 to 7 points of damage on an elemental spell.  INT also determines the level
to which you can break an enemy’s resistance to an elemental spell.  Though
spells won’t miss the target, stronger enemies can resist the damage thus
rendering an attack weaker.  Debuffs will be resisted and will not work all
together.  The increased INT will allow your spells and debuffs to operate at
their maximum potential.

MP determines the amount of mana, or available magical energy you will have to
cast spells.  Stronger spells require more energy to cast, so they use more MP.
Having more MP potentially means more casting stamina.

MND comes into play later on in your career when you choose a sub-job (to be
discussed later).  MND affects your ability to heal others.  When you
eventually take on the sub-job of white mage, you will gain healing abilities.
MND directly affects the potency of healing spells.  It also affects your
resistance to debuffs cast on you.

Finally the last stat to consider is HP.  Black mages go through intense
training to cast spells and as a result, this devotion takes a toll on personal
well being.  Thus, Black mages have fewer HP than every job, save the summoner.
Keep this in mind, for our enemies can deal great damage to us, and it doesn’t
take much for an enemy to kill you.   It is guaranteed that during the course
of your study you will be knocked out unconscious.  Hope you can get healed by
a white mage or get to an infirmary before Orcs eat you!

With this in mind, lets discuss the different race’s natural talents and how
they relate to the study of black magic.

The races will be ranked with stars, 1 star being the lowest, 5 the highest

Elvaan:HP-27 MP-22 STR-6 DEX-7 VIT-6 AGI-6 INT-7 MND-7 CHR-6
Elvaan – With all due respect, Elvaans are not the smartest in the group.  They
rank last in INTelligence (and first in massively overblown egos…*ahem*).
However, they do have the highest MiND, so they will make good use of the white
mage sub-job.  Their mind also allows them to resist magic more often.  Elvaans
are strong and tie the Galka for strength.  However, it is rare that you will
ever draw your weapon for battle so this statistic is moot.  Though their
higher HP gives them stamina in melee battles, their lower MP gives them less
stamina with magic casting which is more important.  To compensate, Elvaans
need to exercise great patience and conservation in battle.  Though most would
say it is better to boost MP with your gear, I believe the Elvaan should still
mainly focus on building INT.  Reason is simple, our effectiveness lies within
our power.  Going back to the artillery idea, if the impact of our attacks are
too insignificant, the party will not benefit from our strikes and would be
better off with another melee for offensive support. The rank of the Elvaan
black mage is * *

Galka: HP-30 MP-18 STR-6 DEX-7 VIT-7 AGI-7 INT-8 MND-6 CHR-5
Galka – This mammoth of a race are very humble and from my experiences friendly
and loyal.  People, especially humes of Bastok, cast this image of the Galka
being inept and stupid.  However, this is far from the case.  Galka are as
smart as they are friendly.  With a high intelligence rating they would seem to
be great casters.  However, because of their great bulk, they tire very
quickly, thus their MP is very low.  Galka, however, can survive much longer
than any other mage.  The Galka in my opinion has the ability become great
black mages, if they increase their MP.  If you are a Galka who aspires to
become a mage someday after being a warrior sticking up for people who don’t
respect you has worn off, get equipment that boosts you MP.  Your natural
Intelligence curve should be enough to get you by, but when you can, get INT
boosting gear as well.  The rank of the Galka black mage is  * * *

Hume: HP-25 MP-24 STR-5 DEX-7 VIT-5 AGI-7 INT-8 MND-6 CHR-6
Hume – Humes are an adaptable race.  They really can do anything they set their
mind to.  Throughout the course of study, research has revealed that Hume black
mages are rather average with no apparent strengths or weakness.  Although the
jack of all trades, masters of none saying does apply to this overachieving
race, but it does not mean they are inefficient.  They are good at what they
do.  Hume mages have the advantage of being a decent damage dealer, as well as
having good defense. The rank of the Hume black mage is  * * *

Mithra: HP-25 MP-24 STR-5 DEX-8 VIT-5 AGI-8 INT-8 MND-6 CHR-5
Mithra – One of my best friends is a Mithra.  They are so fun to be around!
However when it come to studying black magic, the Mithra are about the same as
Humes.  The Mithra are more agile and dexterous by nature, but it doesn’t have
much bearing as a black mage on the whole.  The learning curve for the Mithra
is about  the same as a hume as well, so it’s no wonder they tend to get the
same grades in magic schools!  The rank of the Mitrha black mage * * * 1/2

Tarutaru:HP-21 MP-30 STR-4 DEX-7 VIT-5 AGI-8 INT-10 MND-6 CHR-6
Tarutaru – Now trust me when I say I state the following without a bias, but
Tarutarus are the supreme race for black mage.  It is our life, our history,
our heritage.  Tarus can be a bit obnoxious I’ll admit, but we make up for it
by being fun-loving, happy and cute people.  We get picked on for being short,
but we more than make up for it in magical power!  Some of the best discoveries
in Vana’diel have been made by Taru scholars.  Throughout our history we’ve
always had high academic standards, and you will be hard pressed to find an
unintelligent Taru.  Our knowledge of magic, plus our deep roots in the history
of magic grant us great casting powers.  We learn spells as early as the age of
2, learning simple spells like stone.  All gloating aside, Tarus have the
highest INT and Highest MP.  Since our natural MP curve is high you never have
to buy MP+ equipment (at lv.50, my base MP is 617, more than an outstanding
Elvaan Black Mage I know with plenty of MP+ gear.)  By focusing your training
on building INT, you will be the strongest member on the team.  With time and
age, you may become a great War Warlock like myself ;) !  The rank of the
Tarutaru black mage * * * * *

Job Abilities
As a black mage, there are a couple of special talents we possess.  They are
	Mana Front – Lv1, instant cast, 30 second time window, 2 hour recast
Mana front reduces the cost of each spell to 0.  Your potential is unlocked and
energy will surge within you.  Thus you will be able to cast an infinite number
of spells for 30 seconds.  Use this ability in emergencies only.  This is when
you party is going down and you are completely out of MP.  You can use this to
either heal your party (when you have a white mage sub-job) or to blast your
enemy to smithereens.  Also, you will not be interrupted whilst casting.
However, if an enemy focuses its attention on you, your days are numbered.
Elemental Seal – lv15, instant cast, lasts until you cast your next spell, or
2 minutes (in which case the spell is wasted) recast time 10 minutes
Elemental Seal drastically improves the chance of landing a Debuff spell such
as poison and bio.  Although there is much speculation on what this ability
actually does, I have hypothesized that Elemental Seal either sharply raises
you INT, or sharply lowers your enemies INT.  What this ability essentially
allows you to do is break an enemy’s resistance to spells which in turn ensures
the landing of a debuff or the increased strength of a spell.   Tips on using
this ability in a tactical situation will be discussed later.

Job Traits
There are abilities we learn that are characteristic to our job.  Once learned,
they are always active.
	Magic attack bonus – lv 10
Grants a small boost to the strength of your spells.
	Clear Mind – lv 15,
A type of ancient meditation that help to regain mana more quickly whilst
resting.
	Conserve MP – lv 20
Occasionally, we will gain a burst of energy, thus using less mana to cast a
spell.  The amount of MP reduced is about 1/8 of the amount needed to cast.
However, you must have sufficient MP to cast the spell to receive this bonus.
	Magic Attack bonus II – lv 30
Grants us even more power to our spells
	Clear Mind II – lv 30
Zen techniques from the far eastern lands that help regain even more mana
whlist resting
	Clear Mind III – lv 45
Advanced Zen techniques that help regain even more MP whilst resting
	Magic Attack bonus III – lv 50
Increase our power to still higher levels
	Clear Mind IV
Expert level mediation to regain more MP whlist resting – lv 60
	Magic Atk up – lv 75
Increases magic power to unprecedented levels


The heart and soul… how to do the job
Elemental Chain Chart
There is nothing magical about this aspect of our job, just Mother Nature’s
work.  Scholars of the Windurst Aurestery developed the Elemental Chain chart
centuries ago.  This treatise explains the connection between the elements.
The chart shows the strength against the weakness, so Fire > Ice means fire is
strong against ice.  Likewise, if you read this backwards, ice is  weak o fire.
With that said, this is the complete chart.
Fire > Ice > Wind > Earth > Thunder > Water > Fire      Light – Dark
Light and dark magic cancel each other out.  It explains why there is good and
evil in the world, for as long as there is dark forces the light will try to
fight it.  Likewise, if there is light and peace, the dark forces will try to
conquer.

This is the first lesson in any school of magic to which you belong.  This
chart is the be all and end all of black magic.  We have to end fights as
quickly as possible and knowing you enemy’s weakness is the key.

The first day
So you’re fresh out of schooling and ready to enter the large world of
Vana’diel.  The first thing you must be wondering is “what do I need to be a
black mage?  This section will cover the equipment you will need.

What to buy
Though it seems obvious, your primary concern should be having your spells.
Even I have forgotten that from time to time.  Nothing frustrates a party more
when you come to the field ill-equipped.  Just as you expect the warrior to
have the best armor, you need spells first and foremost.
Next concern is weapons.  I often think of the Hogwartz School of Magic when
it comes to weapons.  Despite it’s recent popularity, they produce some of the
worst black mages I’ve ever seen (Harry Potter is a joke!).  One thing they
stress however that is important (and the only thing the school does right) is
the mandatory purchase of a wand. Black Mages use wands.  The legendary mages,
from Merlin, to Gandolf, to the up and coming Hermione (the only worthwhile
Hogwartz student) and my teacher Vivi use wands in the beginning of their
careers.  It is the tradition.  However, there is a more important reason.
Wands are infused with magical energy and therefore increase our INT and a lot
of times MND.  Staves tend to increase your magical stamina and thus boost your
MP.  However, there are some staves that improve INT as well as elemental skill
(a magic attack boost).  Once you are a Master Magician (lv.51 and up) it is
time to pass your wands to your own apprentices and use staves.  I would not
use a stave prior to lv.51 unless you are a Galka mage.  I suggest boosting MP
with any available chance for Galka.  Otherwise, stick with wands.  If you have
the cash, get the +1 models.
Next is your armor.  Unlike melee jobs, it isn’t necessary to change your
armor, and truthfully, there really isn’t much of a selection for what I would
deem as good black mage armor.  In terms of INT boost from armor, I’d recommend
getting the best you can afford.  Always get armor with some boost to your
abilities whenever possible.  In all honesty, I wore the Royal Footman’s tunic
for 10 levels (10-20) because of its INT boost.  Increased DEFense is nice, but
in a party situation you shouldn’t be taking many hits if at all any way.  This
includes hand, leg, and foot armor.  You can get these in sets at later levels,
and that is sometimes beneficial depending on the set.  Mix and matching is
perfectly fine.  All in all, I’d say use your best judgment.

Personally, from lv.1-10, I used the most up-to-date wand’s +1 version a robe,
slops, cape, cuffs, ash clogs, copper hairpin, and shell earrings.  Not many
options here, at this level and it doesn’t matter much anyway for the enemies
don’t hit terribly hard at this point.  Keep in mind +1 crafts are made by
crafters and can only be found in the Auction House.  They are considerably
more expensive, so turn in stacks of crystals to the Auction House or do quests
to make your money.

From lv.11- …well … 28  I used the Royal Footman’s Tunic.  At some point the
Black tunic becomes available (I think lv.20) which is better, but I didn’t
have 10k to drop on it ?.  Again, I used up-to-date wands, and pretty much the
rest of my gear stayed the same.

From lv.29-50 I wore the full Seer’s Set.  (Tunic, crown, mitts, slacks, pumps)
If you can swing it get +1 Seer’s right away.  Seer’s is only crafted, so you
have to buy it at an Auction House or someone’s Bazaar.  Seer’s +1 gear at the
time of this publication will cost about 150-200k (I’m on the Titan Server), so
definitely get the regular Seer’s until you can afford +1 Seers.  I used a
Black Cape +1 which will continue to serve you well past lv.50 (red cape+1
lv.50 I think, adds a +3 MND boost, but I don’t think it’s necessary to drop a
bunch of money on a stat black mages don’t need to build up)  Also I switched
from Seer’s Pumps to Inferno Sabots around lv.46.  The sabots give you more MP
plus on a new moon you get +1 INT boost.  Since the Seer’s pumps give you less
MP boost and no INT boost at all, I figured it was a better buy.  As always
stay current with your wands (I had a yew wand+1 and the solid wand).  The rose
wand +1 will be your last wand so don’t break it!

Lv.50 and beyond…
Well this is where my expertise ends for I am sill level 54.  But like I said,
this publication is intended for beginners and intermediates. ?  I do know that
the only gear change you will make is getting the Tactician Magician’s Coat
(purchasable at Auction House or with 16,000 CP from a City Guard if you’re
Rank 5)  Also, buy your first staff now.  At lv.51 you will be an expert Black
Mage and among the greats like Merlin and Gandolf!  I recommend the Ice Staff,
since it provides INT boost, as well as elemental magic boost (think of it like
a second INT boost).  Eventually, you should have all the staves.  They boost
the power of the corresponding elemental by 15% (So if you Aero II while using
a wind staff, that spell’s power is raised by 15%)  Also you get to do your
first AF (ArtiFact) quest (you can do it earlier, but unless you have friends,
it is a difficult quest prior to lv.50).  Quite frankly, this wand sucks.  But
you do need it to unlock the rest of the AF quests.  I only use it to buff up
my MP (+20MP boost) so parties think I have more MP than I actually do lol.
The rest of the AF gear is actually quite good and will serve you well.  There
are better alternatives after lv.60 it seems, but until I own all the pieces,
That’s the best I can tell you.


With accessories, get accessories that increase your defense to elements to
start.  At later levels there are accessories to boost the INT.  When those
items become available, get those.  Remember, INT is the key stat.  However, in
the case of some items like earrings, the INT boosting ones can be expensive.
In that case, I would then recommend MP boosting accessories.  I use a
mercenary captain’s belt, dual cunning earrings, and dual wisdom rings.  I also
have a morion  tantalum (ammo slot) for an INT boost as well.
The reason why I don’t like the MP boosting items too much is because in the
long run, a boost of 12 or 20 MP isn’t too big of a deal later on in your
career. (again, this is not true for Galka, for every MP counts)  At my current
level of 54, a 30MP boost wouldn’t be enough to cast Stone II for example.  If
you follow my advice about MP conservation (discussed later on) then you won’t
have to worry about running out of MP in almost every case.  Having high INT
helps to increase you power so you would be in turn using less MP anyway.

Your Spells
This is a list of all the spells you can acquire throughout your career.

Spells are listed as:
Name
Level
MP used
Comment

Stone
1
9
Deals earth damage

Poison
3
5
Poisons and gradually reduces enemy's HP

Blind
4
5
Lowers accuracy

Water
5
13
Deals water damage

Bind
7
8
Immobilizes enemy

Aero
9
18
Deals wind damage

Bio
10
22
Weakens attacks and gradually reduces enemy's HP

Blaze Spikes
10
8
Adds Fire to your attacks

Drain
12
21
Steals enemy's HP. Ineffective to the undead.

Fire
13
24
Deals fire damage

Stonega
15
37
Deals earth damage at a distance

Shock
16
25
Deals lightening damage that lowers enemy's MIND and gradually reduces its HP

Blizzard
17
30
Deals ice damage

Warp
17
100
Warps you to your Home Point

Rasp
18
25
Deals earth damage that lowers enemy's Dexterity and gradually reduces its HP

Waterga
19
47
Deals water damage at a distance

Choke
20
25
Deals wind damage that lowers enemy's Vitality and gradually reduces its HP

Ice Spikes
20
16
Adds Ice to your attacks

Sleep
20
19
Puts enemy to sleep

Thunder
21
37
Deals lightening damage

Frost
22
25
Deals ice damage that lowers enemy's Agility and gradually reduces its HP

Aeroga
23
57
Deals wind damage at a distance

Poisonga
24
44
Poisons enemy and gradually reduces its HP at a distance

Burn
24
25
Deals fire damage that lowers enemy's Agility and reduces its HP

Aspir
25
10
Steals some of enemy’s MP

Tractor
25
26
Places a KO'd target close to you

Stone II
26
43
Deals stronger earth damage

Drown
27
25
Deals water damage that lowers enemy's Strength and reduces HP

Firaga
28
71
Deals fire damage at a distance

Escape
29
125
Warps party members within range out of a dungeon

Water II
30
51
Deals stronger water damage

Shock Spikes
30
24
Adds lightening to your attacks

Blizzaga
32
82
Deals ice damage at a distance

Aero II
34
59
Deals stronger wind damage

Bio II
35
66
Deals stronger dark damage that weakens enemy's attacks and reduces its HP

Thundaga
36
95
Deals lightning damage at a distance

Fire II
38
68
Deals stronger fire damage

Stonega II
40
109
Deals stronger earth damage

Warp II
40
150
Warps a party member to their Home Point

Sleep II
41
29
Puts an enemy to sleep

Blizzard II
42
77
Deals stronger ice damage

Poison II
43
38
Poisons and enemy and reduces its HP

Waterga II
44
123
Deals stronger water damage at a distance

Stun
45
25
Enemy is unable to perform temporarily

Thunder II
46
86
Deals stronger lightning damage

Aeroga II
48
138
Deals stronger wind damage at a distance

Freeze
50
307
Deals strong ice damage and lowers enemy's resistance to fire

Stone III
51
92
Deals very strong earth damage

Tornado
52
322
Deals strong wind damage and lowers enemy's resistance to ice

Firaga II
53
158
Deals stronger fire damage at a distance

Quake
54
337
Deals strong earth damage to an enemy and lowers its resistance to wind

Water III
55
98
Deals very strong water damage

Burst
56
352
Deals strong lightning damage and lowers enemy's resistance to earth

Blizzaga II
57
175
Deals stonger ice damage at a distance

Flood
58
368
Deals strong water damage and lowers enemy's resistance to lightning

Aero III
59
106
Deals very strong wind damage

Flare
60
383
Deals strong fire damage and lowers enemy's resistance to water

Thundaga II
61
193
Deals stronger lightning damage at a distance

Fire III
62
113
Deals very strong fire damage

Stonega III
63
211
Deals very strong earth damage at a distance

Blizzard III
64
120
Deals very strong ice damage

Waterga III
65
231
Deals very strong water damage at a distance

Thunder III
66
128
Deals very strong lightning damage

Aeroaga III
67
252
Deals very strong wind damage at a distance

Stone IV
68
138
Deals extremely strong earth damage

Firaga III
69
277
Deals very strong fire damage at a distance

Water IV
70
144
Deals extremely strong water damage

Blizzaga III
71
299
Deals very strong ice damage at a distance

Aero IV
72
150
Deals extremely strong wind damage

Fire IV
73
157
Deals extremely strong fire damage

Thundaga III
73
322
Deals very strong lightning damage at a distance

Blizzard IV
74
164
Deals extremely strong ice damage

Thunder IV
75
171
Deals extremely strong lightning damage

Even amongst the High Wizards and War Warlocks, there is great controversy over
learning every spell.  Mages from the 1st and 2nd schools of Black magic
believe that in order to be the best black mage you need to know every spell.
Mages from the 3rd and 4th school believe it is best to master the best spells
and not even bother with other spells.

My teacher Master Vivi is from the 2nd school, he taught me to learn the value
of each spell.  It will cost a lot of money, but each spell is important in
some way.  3rd school mages believe that having all the elemental spells is a
must, while 4th school mages believe having all the elemental spells and some
debuffs is a must.  If you are low on cash, I would recommend the advice for
the 4th school and at least be well wounded in your spell selection.

Elemental Magic
You need elemental magic like stone, fire etc.  There is no reason why you
shouldn’t have these spells in your arsenal.  Party members will be very upset
if you come to battle without having learned your spells

Enhancing Magic
These spells usually Buff your attributes, so in a party situation these are of
the least importance.  Spells like blaze spikes won’t do you much good for a
long fight, but it does come in handy sometimes.

Enfeebling Magic
This is the next level of priority.  3rd school mages don’t learn much
enfeeblement past bio and 4th school mages get them if they want to.  Many
times, a red mage will not be available to debuff a monster, and that will
become part of your job.  I recommend buying all enfeeblements after you have
all the elemental spells.

Your best friends
There are a few spells you will be using a lot as your career progresses.  Most
popular is warp.  This is nifty when doing quest that take you far away from a
city.  When your quest is complete, you can warp back to town while everyone
has to walk back.  Also after you finish partying, you can warp back to town to
get away from danger.  You will find great ways to use this ability.  Like if a
party isn’t going well and you want out… (You didn’t hear that from me ?)

The Battle… your role and your purpose

Ok, so you know what gear to get, what spells to buy (ALL OF THEM I HOPE!) when
you learn each spell… now it’s time to get to the heart of the matter: how to
actually put all this info together!

Early Levels
From levels 1 – 8 (maybe even 9) you are useless in parties so don’t bother
asking.  The process of learning the first 10 levels is long and tedious.  But
worry not… things will speed up when other people are involved.

Lv1- forever**
ALWAYS CHECK YOUR ENEMY.  Underestimating your enemies will undoubtedly kill
you.


Lv-1 -5

Spend this time getting acquainted with the real world.  Use a mix of magic and
melee to start.  You want your club skill to get to lv.10 around level 5.  Rest
often... don’t waste time by fighting when your weak.  I see a lot of young
mages forgetting to draw their weapons.  It is good idea to build your club
skills as high as you can.  Knowing a weapon skill speeds up the early levels.
During this time you should stay close to the city walls.  Enemies farther away
from the city walls will be too tough to fight.  It is better in the long run
to fight easy prey and decent challenges, for small xp amounts, but for faster
and safer kills, than risk your life with a even match or higher.

Lv-5 – 9

By this time you will have learned some debuffs. (poison, blind, bind)  I
recommend pulling with your debuffs to start.  This will help build your
enfeebling and elemental magic skill.  For me that skill built up quickly since
I was debuffing in parties often.  It is a good idea to work up that skill
early on.  You can venture a little deeper into the city’s region now.  I would
advise you to stay away from the next zone (the next map, Saratarubuta is a
zone, the next zone is Tahrongi Canyon for example.) unless you enjoy pain.



Lv10-11

It’ finally time to leave your home region!  You have enough firepower to party
now, so put your flag up!  Try not to wander too deep into the next zone as the
enemies will get tougher the farther out you go.

Lv12-14

The bane of everyone’s existence, Valkurm dunes.   This will be one of the
longest moments of your life.  Expect to die a bunch because everyone there is
learning their new jobs.  A lot of life ending mistakes will be made and exp
will be lost.  Count on it.  For the 1st two levels of the dunes experience,
fight lizards near the Konschat Highlands/Valkrm dunes boarder.  If someone
tells you to zone (and you will hear this frequently) then proceed to the next
map.  From valkurm, the next map at this level is Konschat Highlands.  An
alternative location is the Maze of Shakrami.  Fight only worms here.  You will
get a lot of exp. for relatively easy work.

Lv.15-19

By now people are getting the hang of their role in the party as will you.
Parties operate a bit more  smoothly and the pace will begin to pickup.
Alternative locations include Buburimu Peninsula and Korokala Tunnel.  The
enemies are about the same level as thse found in the dunes.  However, these
locations are sparsely populated and finding parties may be hard.

Lv.20-24

During this time you will make your first of many treks to Jeuno.  From Port
Jeuno to you traverse a tunnel leading to Quifm.  There you will begin with
works till lv.21 or 22 then move up to pugs and crabs at 22-23 and giants from
23-24.  Many people hate Qufim but it was my best experience in a party
situation.  Most people understand their role by now so partying situations
tend to be pretty smooth.  Some claim to have gained all four Qufim levels in a
day’s work.

Lv.25-32

Get your airship pass from Guppal in Port Jeuno and your on your way to the
Elshimo region.  Here you will find the tropical area of Kahzam.  Out side
Kahzam is yuhtunga jungle where you will fight goblins galore.  Around lv28 you
go deeper into the jungle into the Yhoator Jungle region to fight even more
gobs.  This was a great leveling experience and the battle music is very cool
here.

Lv.33-36

On the other side of Port Jeuno lies Sauromounge Chapaign.  To the south west
lies the ruins of the Garlaige Citadel.  This dark and dank place is full of
bats and bugs and the undead.  This was a dreadful place at first for enemies
feel either too hard or impossible to fight.  Howver, it gets better with time
like a good Tarutaru lagger and will go by pretty fast as well.

lv.37 – 55
Finally some options here!  From 37 to 46 you will be in the crawler’s nest.
You will start with worker crawlers until lv.40, then move on to soldier
crawlers at lv.42, tack on flies at lv.44, and tack on exoray’s around 46.
Then you move to another area to fight beetles and rumbler crawlers.  Some
people like this place so much, they stay here from 37-55.  I like a change of
scenery.

lv.40-45
If you have the Chains of Promathia Expansion, and a altep crystal, you will be
in for the time of you life!  Easiest to pull off with a White mage in your
party, have them teleport you to the altepa desert.  Sneak up, and avoid to the
anticans.  Head to rabao and pick up some dirty birds(aka chocobos), then head
to west altepa, and then the beetle camp (I think its near G-5, but someone in
your party will know, or send a shout in jeuno)  The beetles here seem to lack
high magical defense like the rest of their kin, so they are super easy kills.
Even better, they are super incredibly tough when u check them.  For a
relatively easy fight, you get a minimum of 145 xp per fight.  They are also
plentiful so exp chains are good.  I’ve gotten an exp chain 5 for 250 xp
before.  Suffice to say I blew through those levels.

lv.46-55
Back to the ancient decrepit castle of Garlaige.  Bats and beetles are at it
again, stinking up the place, and it’s your mission to kill them.  Bats are
easy to fight, but they become to easy, too quickly.  Jet Stream sucks too.
Beetles have high magical defense… well high everything defense.  You need to
choose carefully which debuffs to use.

lv.50 – well… I don’t know haven’t gotten that far
Kuftal tunnel is a good spot if you have patience, CoP expansion, and a good
cast of characters.  The robber crabs are your target here and they are no
joke.  Their physical and magical defense is ridiculously high, and I’m not
thoroughly convinced that the effort require to bring them down is worth the
196 exp they drop on average.  King Ranperre's Tomb is also viable at lv.54
parties.  You'll fight bats and bettles there.  Unlike Garlaige, the bats
actually drop really good XP given the respcetie ease of the fights.



Now you have an outline of where your going, so I assume you wonder how you’re
going to get there!  Well the answer lies ahead.

The Partying Experience

Black mages have the ability to deal a great amount of damage.  As a result we
can attract unwanted attention to ourselves called hate.  Hate is bad.  Hate
(or its official name enmity)  is when an enemy focus its attacks on you.   The
enemy (aka mob) fights whoever posses the greatest threat.  Too much healing
means you are prolonging the life of the mobs target, thus you are the clear
and present danger.  If you do too much damage too soon, you will undoubtedly
get a lot of hate.  You wont last long if you keep getting hit, so stay out of
trouble!

To lower our chances of catching hate, we do the following things;

Party positioning
Before a battle starts each member should know what he or she are doing.  Your
tanks, (usually a warrior or some variation like ninja/warrior etc.) should be
in the front, the direct damage melee directly in front and you and the other
mages in the backfield.  Create an imaginary line, approximating a close,
medium, and long distance from the tank.  This will help you from getting to
close to the battle.  Standing too close to the enemy puts you at risk from
taking damage from enemy area effect spells and attacks like a goblin’s bomb.
Black mages are like artillery strike firing our magic from long range.

When to start casting
Never cast immediately after the battle starts.  Your tanks should be provoking
every 30 seconds, so I usually wait for the 2nd provoke from the tank or 30
seconds after the first provoke to start attacking.  This allows the tank to
build enmity (aka hate).  When you begin to cast, you will steal away the hate
from the tank and it will get transferred to you.  The enemy always attacks
whomever it feels is the greater threat.

How Long to cast
You should wait 15 to 20 seconds between each cast to let the tank build the
hate back.  It happens to the best of us that we chain our spells together
because we do a lot of damage.  However, if the enemy focuses its attention on
you, prepare to get hurt… badly.  Another reason why you should wait 15 to 20
seconds s for MP conservation.  Remember 9.9 out of 10 times you are doing the
most damage on the field.  There’s no need to overdo it.   Good rule of thumb
is to not exceed 50% of your total MP in battle.  So if you have 420 MP, plan
on using only 210 MP in battle.  The other 50% serves as your reserve supply.
After you have a sub-job, the reserve can be used to cure the party during and
after battle.  The less MP you use more effective you are.  Black mages are
direct damage dealers, just like thieves and samurai.  They continue to attack
with their weapons.  Your magic, being your only viable weapon should be able
be used at all battles.

Magic Burst?
After level 20 or so the melee characters will do skill chains.  A skill chain
is the use of certain weapon skills in succession.  Each weapon skill has an
element associated with it.  When a 2 characters chain certain weapon skills
together, the attack power is raised and does a lot of damage.  Now with this
in mind, to do a Magic Burst, you have to time the casting of your spell with
the corresponding element for the skill chain.  The power of your Magic will
drastically increase for that spell.  A good way to time a magic burst is to
begin casting your spell after you see the animation of the 2nd weapon skill.
It takes practice, but in time you will master this technique and parties will
love you for your skills.



These are the skillchain effects, and their elements, gathered in a
collaboration between Windurst, San’dorian, Bastokan, and Jeunoan Scholars

Level 1:

Induration: Ice (Cast Blizzard or Frost)
Reverberation: Water (Cast Water or Drown)
Compression: Dark (Cast Drain)
Scission: Earth (Cast Stone or Rasp)
Liqefaction: Fire (Cast Fire or Burn)
Transfixion: Light (not a very good one for black mage)
Impaction: Thunder (Cast Thunder or Shock)
Detonation: Wind (Cast Aero or Choke)

Level 2:

Distortion: Water/Ice
Gravitation: Earth/Dark
Fusion: Fire/Light
Fragmenation: Wind/Thunder

After the Fight
After the battle is over, it is crucial that you rest.  Casting requires a lot
of energy.  Thus it is important to regain most of your stamina before fighting
again.  The amount of time between battles is called downtime.  During the
downtime you should drink juice or eat cookies to help regain your MP quickly.
Remember you can only eat one food at a time, so if you eating something else,
like a pie, you can’t have a cookie.  Keep the party updated.  Don’t be afraid
to let someone know you need more time to rest.  When the party pulls (lures)
the next monster, stay resting while you wait for the 2 provokes or the provoke
and 30 second countdown.  You shouldn’t be fighting then anyway and those 30
seconds could yield a bunch more MP

Battle Strategies
I may have given you the impression that being a black mage is all about
blowing things up.  And, well, that’s true.  However, the key to being the best
is blowing stuff up strategically.  In short, I’m going to teach you how to
cripple your enemy, help your party, and of course put the hurt on your enemy-
all without going below 50% MP and for the most part, without taking away the
hate from your tank.  What did you say?  That’s Impossible?!  Well why the heck
do you think I’m a War Warlock!  Of course it’s possible!!  And I’ll do you one
better, it’s easy to do! And to 1-up that, your tank doesn’t even have to be
that good!  Did I hear gasps?! Sighs of relief?!  Yea I thought so.  That’s ok
though.  Stay sharp and listen up to these strategies.  All you need is from
your tank is one provoke.  That’s it.  Save the applause, no, wait, cheer! J/k

The strategy changes for each level area.  Your first party experience is most
likely in Valkurm Dunes.  Your arsenal will be pretty limited, as you go along,
will have more tools with which to work.  Read on carefully.

First I’ll talk about food.  Young black mages who are new to the game and
partying for the first time, may not be able to afford food.  People on their
second or more go-around shouldn’t have an excuse.  Use your food at the start
of the party, right before your first pull (for the unacquainted, pulling is
luring an enemy to the stationary spot where your party is fighting.  That spot
is called a camp.)  Mages use pies and cookies (which explains why Tarutarus
are chubby =/).  Apple pies I believe are the cheapest while Rolanberry Pies
are the most expensive.  All give INT and MP boosts.  I’ll list the food stats
later on.  Cookies improve the amount of MP gained while resting.  You can’t
have a cookie and pie at the same time, so at earlier levels, stick with pies.
There are drinks too.  These regenerate your MP for a certain amount of time.
Drinks are not stackable so I usually don’t have the inventory to store them.
If you do however, get them, it is a nice bonus.  Plus you can have a drink and
food at the same time.

At this point you need not draw your weapon.  When you have your sub-job
however, DO NOT draw your weapon since it slows your reaction time to helping
your party.  If you follow the tactics discussed earlier about being on the
back line, your weapon isn’t going to reach anyway.

Levels 10 – 14 Arsenal = stone, blind, water, poison, bind, fire, aero, bio
Ok here we go!  Our first foray into the black mage experience!  First pop in
some food before you start if you have it.  Then wait for the tank to provoke.
Then count 30 seconds.  This 30 seconds allows your melees and particularly
your tank to build hate.  Now spell number 1, bio.  This will do Damage Over
Time (DoT) as well as lower the attack of the mob (the nickname for enemy).
Now count 15 seconds and cast poison.  Another DoT.  For the Nay Sayers that
claim bio and poison do not stack you are wrong.  Bio is dark magic, and Poison
is Water magic.  They are not opposing force and therefore stack.  Plus I have
been poisoned and Bioed by a mob before so I know its true (I’m very much into
my research ;)  )   If there is a red mage in your party, they will cast dia
most likely.  Bio and Dia are of opposing forces, so one spell cancels the
other. (I told you to become one with the elemental chart!).  After poison,
wait another 20 seconds.  By this time significant damage will have been done
to the mob, thus the hate settled.  At this point you can either cast blind on
the mob or begin your attack.  Use your best judgment depending on the
situation.  If your melee are getting the snot beat out of them, it may be a
good idea to blind the mob to buy your white mage some time.  Now cast stone or
water or blind. (*a lot of times, parties will have red mages casting these
spells bio poison and blind.  If not, then use the strategy above.  If so skip
to this step after waiting 30 seconds after the provoke*).  Wait another 30
seconds, then cast fire or aero.   Wait 30 seconds. Cast stone or water.  Rinse
wash and repeat.  You should not take any hate if you do this right, plus your
MP should be around 50% at the end of the battle.  Rest and stay rested until
30 second after the first provoke of your new prey.

Lv.15-19 arsenal: add – stonega, shock, blizzard, rasp, waterga
Now we’re adding some heavy hitters and plenty of opportunity to get hate.
First thing’s first, we’ll talk about Ga spells.  Ga spells (StoneGa WaterGa
etc) are Area of Effect spells (AoE).  Unlike the previous spells, these spells
target enemies within range of the attack.  From my studies it seems the area
of effect is determined by either how far you are from the mob, or the power of
the AoE.  This isn’t confirmed yet, but the point is. BE CAREFUL.  THESE SPELLS
HIT EVERY MOB IN ITS AREA OF EFFECT.  I have purposely chained up to 18 weak
mobs and killed them in one shot.  AoE hits EVERYTHING in its area of effect.
I can not over emphasize this point enough.  One mistake can make your party
dead, and you go from hero to hated in .00001827 seconds flat!   With that
said, AoE spells are about as powerful as the spell series of the next tier.
This means Stonega is about as strong as Stone II, Stonega II is about as
strong as Stone III etc.  The drawback is its high MP consumption.  In our
previous example in partying from 10-14, the bio, poison, blind, and
stone/water setup is about the same MP as stonega.  So with great power comes
great responsibility.  MP conservation becomes a must now, for you can run out
quickly.  To start, wait for the first provoke.  Then wait 30 seconds as usual.
By now, the party is stronger and has more tools to hold hate.  After 30
seconds, cast bio then immediately poison.  Wait a few moments then cast blind.
Now wait for the mob’s health until it has about 2/3 left.  Hit it with Fire or
Aero.  Wait 30 seconds.  Hit it with another fire or aero.  Wait 60 seconds.
This is crucial because what you are about to do will generate a lot of hate.
In this period, if your tank is not Provoking every 30 seconds ask for one.
What you’re about to do is going to draw a lot of hate.  Imagine if you will an
imaginary line that runs from you to the mob.  Using that distance, make a
square, with the mob being in the middle of that square.  If there is an
unclaimed enemy in this box, DO NOT CAST GA spells.  If the coast is clear
however, get ready for a show!  The casting time is a little bit longer, so
keep that in mind when judging when to cast this spell.  Then watch the mobs HP
drop.  Take a glance at the chat log and admire the great work you’ve done.
You did more damage than you thought you can do huh? And guess what, it gets
better!  Now after you cast this spell, hopefully you followed the steps right
and you didn’t take any hate.  Anything you do here on out will get the enemies
attention, so wait another 40-60 seconds, and if the mob is still alive, hit it
with a stone or water.  All this action will send everything but a Tarutaru
under 50% I think, and even so a Taru will probably be at 40%.  Keep that in
mind when fighting.  Use the Ga spells sparingly, only when u have a 100% clear
shot.  I’d be remiss in mot mentioning the new DoT spell Shock.  This spell you
can cast right away along with poison and bio.  Shock lowers a mobs MND so it
is more likely to land spells like dia (or rather make dia last longer) blind,
bind, and other enfeebling magic. If a mob can cure itself, its potency will be
greatly diminished by shock as well.

Levels 20-25 Arsenal: add – choke, sleep, thunder, frost, aeroga, poisonga,
burn, tractor
Behold the wonderful island of Quifm!  This is your next stop and it is an
exciting one, for your powers will begin to develop here.  At this point you
should have a white mage sub-job.  At the end I’ll discuss sub-jobs, but trust
me, just use the white mage sub.  Now you can cure and use dia yourself.  Your
role in the party changes now too, for you will be automatically responsible
for back up healing.  The mobs here have high defense, so don’t be afraid if
you run out of MP.  Also, at this point, I’d rather use cookies than pies now
so your MP regens  faster.  You are going to have a rough time getting poison
to stick, so I abandoned this spell and left the enfeebling to red mages.  At
this point, I think its more important to attack and heal.  MP conservation is
a must now.  I would recommend dedicating 50% of your MP for attack, 25% for
healing and the rest for back up.  Now that the party is stronger, the tanks
will be able to better hold the hate.  First wait for the voke.   Then as
usual, wait 30 seconds.  Now fire a fire or aero.  (*At this point, choosing
between fire and aero is a matter of how much MP you want to use.  Consider
this, aero uses 18MP and fire 24MP.  If aero does 45 to a mob, while fire does
50, is 6 MP really worth doing only 5 more damage? These numbers aren’t exact,
but consider that scenario when casting your spells*)  Again, use GA spells
sparingly towards the end of battles if the coast is clear.  If you follow the
30 second rule when casting you should be ok (45 seconds b4 GA spell).
Now for some special tactics.  You will not use sleep in battle unless A) your
party is near death, but you have just enough to kill the mob.   You put it to
sleep and rest briefly.  B) you get a link, then you sleep the linking monster
and hope you kill the intended monster fast enough before it wakes up.(some
monsters will assist each other if you are engaged with another mob of the same
family. It’s the mob’s version of call for help.) C) things just go wrong and
you are the brave mage who helps the party make its grand escape.  Keep in mind
sleep draws a lot of hate, especially when it doesn’t stick.  If you sleep a
linking monster and it doesn’t stick, you’re most likely as good as dead.
Also, be careful not to hit the sleeping monster by accident.  If you’re using
<bt> macros (more on macros later) you will have two red targets for a while.
Burn and Rasp are DoT spells and will wake up the monster.  Best bet is to just
leave it alone and focus on the attacking mob.
You will almost never use posionga in a party.  Though poisonga  is about as
strong as poison II, it’s a silly risk to take for not too big a deal a spell.
In truth I really never use this spell, but you never know when you’ll need it.
It’s good for pulling a lot of weak mobs at the same time when farming.
Thunder is your best bet in the damage : hate ratio.  Use that in the middle
of the battle when hate is settled on the tank.
At level 24, you get a spell that you will use from here on out, Burn!  Burn
lowers the INT of the mob.  This in turn helps to break the resistance to your
magic for more damage!   To put it in perspective how big a deal this is, I
cast aeroga II on a mob (I was lv.50).  without burn the spell did a mere 49
damage.  Then I burned it.  Aeroga II did 396.   Burn Burn Burn!!!!!!!  Need I
say more?!  Cast burn immediately after the voke.  Then wait 30 seconds before
you unleash your fury.
Tractor, though very rarely used is a cool spell.  It drags a fallen body out
of danger so a caster can raise in a safe area.  So now for my favorite tractor
story. I was in a party in Yuhtunga Jungle.  We were fighting a mandragora when
a goblin pathfinder came with his pet bee.  The gob aggroed and we cursed a
lot.  The ranger pulled the gob so it would stop hitting the white mage.
Somehow we managed to kill the mandragora but we lost the main tank.  The white
mage died too.  We didn’t bother running away since we’d die anyway, but out of
nowhere a lv.65 mob came out of nowhere and was going to attack.  The brave
ranger lured it away from us and died down the road.  Left with a thief, a
samurai, and myself we had to deal with the goblin.  I killed the bee with one
hit from thunder, and assisted in miraculously killing the gob too!  A white
mage raised my white mage and the tank, but wouldn’t go near the ranger cause
if was surrounded by gobs.  So *dum da dum dummm!* Osyris to the rescue!  I
find a safe distance from the gobs and used tractor about 5 times to get the
ranger to camp for a safe raise!

Levels 26-50 (after this lengthy explanation the strategy doesn’t change much)
Arsenal – Add: Stone II, Firaga, Escape, Water II, Blizzaga
Speaking of Yuhtunga Jungle, that is the next stop in your adventures.  I LOVE
this place.  With the exception of occasional Gob links, I find this area to be
smooth sailing.  Besides, how hard can an onion be? (The Mandragoras if you
didn’t already know is an onion… but not very tasty ?)  Advice for the wise,
mages… stand as far away from mandragoras as you can!  They have an AoE sleep
attack that can spell certain doom for your party!
Now for the tactics.  These tactics will work from here on out the same way,
so I’m going to spill it all out at once.  As the tanks get better, your spells
get stronger, your MP reserve is increased and the number of melee strategies
increase, the tactics you will use will begin to change.  There are two ways to
approach black magic now, guesstimated and precise.  The Guesstimated approach
is what we have been using.  We estimate 30 second intervals between spells is
enough to not steal hate. If you stuck with this text, you should have been
showered with praise by the parties you were in for not taking hate.  They may
even forgive you if you AoE link a billion gobs because you come through in a
pinch.  Though the guesstimating approach works, there is I believe a better
way.  Welcome to the world of precision black magic.
In order to pull this off, you need to do mental math, and become very aware
of what is happening around you.  I prefer this style of play because it keeps
my mind occupied in battle.  First let’s discuss hate.  Hate I important
because, well, you don’t want to have it at any time.  Problem is with your
arsenal of white magic as well, you make yourself a juicy target for an enemy.
Think of hate as a balance.  Think of your spells as weight, and think of the
melees as another weight.  Optimally, you want the scale to be tipped all the
way for melee of course.  Each time you cast you add weight.  If you cast too
much, or hit too hard or cure too much, the scale will tip the other way.
That’s bad.  You can also have equal weight.  That’s bad too.  In this case the
mob will hit you, then return to fighting the melee.  When this happens it
disturbs the flow with the other members.  It can ruin SATA (sneak attack,
trick attack) strategies and just make people mad.  From what I’ve found curing
someone for 50% or more, or casting a spell that takes away 18% or more of the
mobs HP will instantly steal hate in most cases.   That’s why you want to wait
to cast spells.  Every other member of the part is a part of the opposite scale
(  Party-------------0-----------you ).  If the other members are involved with
the fighting, it takes more than 50% cure and 18% damage to steal hate.  Get
it?   (told you mental math was involved).
With this background information, I can explain the precision strategy.  First
thing that you need to pay attention to is the chat window.  I suggest turning
off party chat from other people.  Their business is not important to you and
it clogs the important info.  The next important thing is your party
information.  If you ever see red, STOP WHAT YOU’RE DOING AND HELP CURE.  Dying
sucks.  You can make a difference.  Death slows down progress, kills moods,
destroys whatever flow you’ve developed… just put away the ego and help the
white mage ?.   Finally, have your macros in a quick easy to access spot that
works for you.
The mob is pulled and the tank vokes.  From this point, switch your attention
to the chat log.  You need to be able to process this information very quickly.
Instead of counting to 30, we are instead going to count damage points.  Reason
is from here on out we need to become more aggressive as the enemies get
harder.  First thing you will do is burn the mob.  Now watch the chat log and
add up the numbers the melee are doing.  Then when the sum total of damage
exceeds the amount of damage your spell will do, cast it.  (*You plan on
casting Stone II.  The spell should do 145 (made up number).  The melees
attack.  35, 15, 25, 50, 25, 50…  Now after the melee hit for that last 50, the
total exceeded the 145 you project your stone to do.  When you cast it now, you
be safe from harm.*)  This method speeds up the amount of damage you do without
taking hate.  “I have blizzaga now. It does 250 to the mob.  Do I really have
to wait for the melee to do 250 damage?!?  That takes longer than waiting 30
seconds!  The answer is no.  There are many other factors that go into hate.
Provoke is one of them. Thinking back to our scale, provoke is a rock on the
scale versus you feather.  Another tactic post lv.30 is SATA.  I know what it
does, but I can’t clearly articulate how it’s done.  All I can say is don’t
cast while they are setting up.  What SATA basically is though is the thief and
tank setup up in a certain position with the mob while the backup tank holds it
off.  Then something happens where the thief does major damage but the mob
thinks the main tank did it.  What this means for you is you have a lot of
leeway.  DO NOT CAST A HIGH POWERED SPELL BECAUSE THE SATA DOES A LOT OF
DAMAGE.  Instead you ant to pretend the SATA never happened and continue as
business as usual.  If you do, I can near guarantee you won’t get hate.  And at
the end of a fight when it comes time to end the battle, a high powered spell
shouldn’t take hate either.  Thieves I believe are a party’s best friend and
are indispensable after lv.30.

Lest we not forget the cool spells you get during your time in Yuhtunga.  Stone
II will get a lot of mileage because its high powered with minimal risks.  The
GA spells before it are about as strong as Stone II, so you can cast safely.
Firaga is sweet.  A lot of enemies in Yuhtunga are weak to fire.  Be careful
again, not to hit any other mobs.  Blizzaga is great also because with a lot of
party setups, distortion is a popular skill chain.  The corresponding magic
burst is Water/Ice.  Blizzaga is your strongest MB so far so if the coast is
clear fire with this, if not water II.  Escape.   Let me say this much.  You
get the spell at 29.  Have it in your possession at lv.27.  You will be the
MOST hated person in the world if you don’t have it.  It’s a cheap spell.  I’ll
do you better. Banshee (Qufim Island) (Level: 31-33)  Banshee (Gusgen Mines)
(Level: 31-34)   They drop the scroll.  Have a friend help you get it.  Point
is you NEED this spell.  When your party is getting roughed up, or a mob links
and death is imminent, who do you call? The super black mage of course!  Escape
is a variant of warp that warps your party out of a dungeon into the outside
zone closest to your position.  Tell everyone to gather together, for its AoE
is very short ranged.  It takes 15 looooong seconds to cast.  So commit to the
spell, for recasting it will certainly spell someone’s death.  Ask whoever can
voke or draw hate to do so, because this heavily tips the hate scale in your
favor.  If you get interrupted, someone will probably die.  A lot of pressure,
you bet it is!  Black mages are cool under pressure though ?.  (*With this
spell, use your best judgement.  I will typically ask the party if they want
escape by simply saying “Escape?”  I’ve been yelled at for escaping when they
could’ve killed the mob and/or the link.  I tell the leader before the party
starts I only accept escape request from the leader of the party.  That takes
the heat off me.  However I will escape if I do not think we can make it.  If
you are toggling the idea of escape, DO NOT drop below 150 MP.  Conserve MP
will not kick in if you don’t have enough to cast, so if you have to rest to
get MP for warp, you might as well remain sitting because **in Chris Rock
voice** ya gonna die!  *)

In terms of strategy, the rest of the spells are nukes for the most part.  The
same strategies apply.  There are two more spells I want to discuss.  First is
stun.  Stun is a cool spell because it is the fastest thing to cast at .5
seconds.  If someone is running for their life from a mob, use this to pull it
away.  Also this is a good way to build up your dark magic.  Stun prevents an
enemy from moving.  If you cast this spell right before a goblin bomb toss, the
toss gets cancelled.  And finally, you’ve waited 50 levels to use this… Ancient
magic!  Starting with Freeze, you get new Ancient Magic every 2 levels (like
your AF gear).  As a Taru Black Mage, with high quality gear, my highest freeze
did 975.  The highest magic burst with freeze I did was 1201.  Yes, go get a
diaper now, it’s ok to crap yourself.   I won’t tell.  There is a special macro
for magic bursting freeze so refer to the macro section for details!

Your other role… the healer!
Whew! That was a whole mess of black mage information.  Let me tell you about
being a white mage.  Being a white mage is not for everyone.  I personally
dislike it.  You have to do it though.  The white mage sub-job gives you a MP
boost, big MND boost, and small a INT boost.  You really reap the true benefits
of any sub-job by having it half the level of your main job.  You also hurt
your black mage abilities by not having you sub job maxed.  I attest to this
from personal experiences.  Your white magic serves as a backup healing for the
party, as well as protection for yourself.   Since your sub job can not exceed
1 half of your current level, you can not have a sub higher than lv.37.



Sub job options
White mage – the best choice.  Useful in parties and for yourself.  Wide array
of spells for attack, but your healing ability is actually very good.  Auto
regen is nice at lv.50 as well.  You add to your job abilities Divine seal
which greatly increases the potency of healing spells.

Red Mage – The complete black mage.  You gain all the black magic spells with
this sub.  You also get increased def, more INT, and more DEF.  Plus you will
have most of the white magic you’ll have with white mage sub.  Whooooa what the
heck?!  Why aren’t I blm/rdm?!?  Well, because you getting healing magic sooner
with white mage, and red mage cures aren’t as potent as white mage.  Your
backup healing abilities suffer.  Offensive black mages will sub this if their
party lets them though.  However, after lv.60 I plan on switching to this sub
for Fast Cast and an additional magic attack bonus.

Summoner – the ultimate warlock!  Don’t bother casting summons because they
drain your HP and they are very weak.  However you will have a HUGE, MASSIVE,
GIGANTIC increase to you INT and MP.  AND! You get auto refresh at lv.50.
Drawback is you become one dimensional.  You can not back up heal at all.  You
lose half your spells (the healing spells you get from whm or rdm).  So as
powerful as this is, this is not a great choice keeping your party in mind.
However, if you party setup allows, you can wreak havoc upon you foes.

Other battle strategies
Elemental Debuffs

There are 8 elemental debuffs at your disposal.  I’ve only mentioned burn
because I feel it’s the best one for black mages, but you need to understand
how to use all of them.  Enemies with super duper trooper high resistance pose
a big threat to your strategy.  If your burn sticks at all, the window you have
to cast spells before it wears in small.  Shock helps break magical resistance,
which in turn does help your spells (since you are after all casting magic) but
not as greatly as burn does.  Think of this like a Sci-Fi show, you have a
spaceship with shields.  Shock will break through the shields leaving the hull
of the ship vulnerable.  The hull will still continue to absorb your attacks,
but can only do so for a limited time.  Burn breaks through the shield and
hull.  Each attack is devastating, like a blast from a torpedo.

With this in mind, it’s time to think about an alternate strategy.  See, we do
have to do what is best for the party.  Shock and burn is the optimal combo for
us, but when you look at the chat window, the party is struggling to damage the
mob.  Hitting an enemy who has well over 1200 HP for 0-20 damage will take
FOREVER.  That’s where you come in.  For all the “Lesser Elements” (Fire, Ice,
Wind, Earth, Thunder, and Water) there is an elemental debuff (burn, frost,
choke, rasp, shock, and drown respectively).  The “Greater Elements” (Light and
Dark) also have elemental debuffs (Dia and Bio respectively).  You can stack up
to 3 elemental debuffs on a mob.  The condition is the elements do not oppose
each other.  Thus, if you cast burn, you can not cast frost until burn wears
off.  With a mob of moderate magical resistance, the debuff should last the
entirety of the match, so choose carefully.  The debuffs you chose should help
both you and the party.

Burn – I talked about it a bunch so you should get the picture. Lowers the INT
of the mob.  Having more INT than the mob significantly helps to break the
elemental resistance.

Shock – Your next best choice.  Lowers MND which aids in breaking magical
resistance.  If you need to use frost, you can’t use burn.  Thus shock is your
best bet.

Frost – Versus high evasion mobs, your parties will beg you to use this.  Now
you face moral dilemma.  You see that your party is missing a whole bunch but
when the do strike, they do ok.  With burn, you can save the day by blowing the
mob a new hole.   What do you do??? Decisions decisions! You jerk!  You were
thinking about casting burn anyway weren’t you?!  Well I don’t blame you, but
cast frost anyways.  You need the party to be able to hit the mob for them to
get hate, so at the sacrifice of power, you get safety.

Choke – This spell lowers a mobs HP curve.  Thus it is a direct shot to the
defense of the mob, even more so than dia.  This is a good spell against high
defense monsters, as well as moderate defense with high HP monsters like
beetles.

Rasp – This lowers dexterity.  I find this to be most effective on beastmen,
since they seem to critical hit a lot.

Drown – Lowers the strength of a mob.  This helps out the tank (and
consequently the white mage) by lowering the amount of damage the mob will do.
However, if you use drown, you can’t use shock.

Bio – Lowers the mobs attack.  Same deal as drown, but can be used with any
“Lesser Element” debuff.

Dia – Lowers the mobs defense. Similar to choke, but again can be used with any
“Lesser Element” debuff.

Elemental Debuff combos:
Using these debuffs in combination can turn the tides of battle into your
favor.  Depending on the situation, you will need to cast the right debuffs to
maximize performance.  Remember, although you can use 3 debuffs, the elements
can not oppose each other.

Burn – Shock – Best combination for dealing high magical damage.  Helps white
and red mages stick debuffs and enfeebling magic.  Virtually useless for melee

Burn – choke – rasp – Good mix of help for magic and melee.  Lowers mobs hp and
chance of delivering critical hits.

Burn – shock – dia – If you need the extra magic power, the least you can do is
lower the defense of the mob.

Burn – Choke – dia – The ultimate defense destruction.  Going back to our
sci-fi analogy, the shields are down from burn, but you also cut life-support
with choke and dia.  The mob takes a huge defense hit.

Burn – drown – bio – Mob hitting the tank harder than you’d like?  This combo
will be a big hit to the attack power of the mob.

Shock – Frost – Ok, so we can’t use burn because the party keeps missing
(/fume).  We go to plan B with this combo.  Shock will help land your spells,
while frost makes it easier for the party to hit the enemy.

Shock – frost – choke – tack on a defense hit for the mob here.

At lower levels, stick with burn, or burn and one more element.  3 debuffs
aren’t always necessary and it uses a bunch of HP.  You can cast these in a row
right after the voke, since they don’t create a lot of hate.  Also, enemies
with a weakness to a debuff will not resist easily, even with high magical
defense.  Conversely, enemies with a strength to a debuff will almost always
resist, and even if it sticks, it won’t last long.

Bio or drown? Choke or dia?  Well, here’s the break down.  The greater elements
have bigger effects and they always stick.  The duration of their sticking
power depends on a) the level of your magic skills, so keep them on or close to
capped  b) the mobs ability to resist magic.  Lesser elements are not as
powerful an effect and are easily resisted, but usually last the whole battle.
If the greater elements are effective on the mob, then it may be worth while to
cast it again when the spell wears off.

Elemental Seal… Plan X
At lv.15, you get a cool ability Elemental seal.  There is much controversy of
what this ability does, but I think that that it either drastically lowers the
mobs INT or greatly raises your INT.  at any rate, the result is inarguable,
the next spell you cast operates on or very close to maximum potency.  Thus
your elemental debuffs will almost definitely stick, and your elemental spell
will hit for its maximum value.  Choose carefully when to cast this, because it
takes 10 minutes to cast again.

Ancient Magic
When you reach lv.50 you begin to learn ancient magic.  These spells are super
powerful and can render an enemy dead very quickly at the expense of high MP
cost.  One tactic to use is the “3 spell method” that I’ve titled this
strategy.  The tank vokes.  And you wait for the mobs health to be at 75%.
Then cast burn.  Wait the usual 30 seconds and cast your strongest elemental
spell.  Then when the mobs health is about 45%, prepare to unleash you fury!
Cast your ancient magic and watch the HP swiftly drop to 0.  /bow as your
teammates praise you and your greatness.  Even better, you don’t need TP to hit
that hard ?.  Rest to full, rinse wash and repeat.  In case the ancient magic
doesn’t kill the mob with one blow, then have your strongest spells on standby
to finish it off.  If the enemy does not die, there is little that can be done
to save you.  A few provokes and a cover if you have paladin can buy you some
time, but you need to finish the enemy off quickly if you want to survive.






Last but not least…..

INT, Elemental Magic, Magic Attack Bonus… who is your Daddy, and what does he
do??

We spent a lot of time talking about INT.  However, there is more that goes
into doing damage.  Enter Elemental skills.  If you go to the menu status ->
magic skills  you will see a list.  These numbers are your… well… magic skills
as the name implies (I’m Mr. Obvious, I know…)  There are six traits, Healing,
Divine, Enfeebling, Enhancing, Dark, and Elemental listed.  Healing and diving
pop up after you have a white mage sub-job.  The higher the number the more
effective the corresponding spells will be.  If your dark magic is high, drain
and aspir will do more.  If you’re your healing is high, cures will do more.
If enhancing is high elemental spikes, sneak, and invisible last longer.  You
will almost never cast divine magic (banish for example).  Enfeebling helps dia
last longer and decreases resistance towards paralyze and slow.  That brings us
to the most important, Elemental magic.  This skill should ALWAYS be capped.
Elemental magic determine a few things.  First it determines your magic attack
power.  Second high numbers approve your accuracy, therefore your magic will be
resisted less often.  I’ve heard that higher elemental skills slightly increase
casting speed, especially of low level spells.  I have to compare my casting
speed to a low level black mage, but I think it is true.  The elemental staves
you get at lv.51 increase the attack power of the corresponding element by 15%.
So if your elemental skill is 150 and you cast fire II with a fire staff, for
that spell your elemental skill rises to 172.5.  Many mages will carry 7 staves
(one for the 6 elements, and a dark staff to speed up MP recovery when
resting).  Mages also use an equipment change macro, so all you have to do is
cast the spell, and the game does the rest.  Finally, you gain about 5 points
of elemental magic per level.  In this light, having +15 elemental magic
skills, gives you the damage potential you would have 3 levels later.

Magic Attack Bonuses is a boost to your natural job trait.  There are equipment
at higher levels that increase this trait.  One Magic Attack Bonus equals .8
INT.  There is the Moldavite Eaaring that increases your magic attack bonus by
5.  This means the INT is increased by 4.  Having two of these equal a hefty
bonus.

So if elemental magic skills boosts attack power, then what does INT do?  Well
INT or Intelligence is the understanding of your power.  The more intelligence
you have, the more potential you unlock from the elemental skill strait.  You
will have many more opportunities to increase INT than elemental skills, so
that is why I believe it is best to have as high of INT as possible.  Just as
MND increases potency of cure spells, INT increases potency of magic attacks.
Learn to find the ultimate balance of might and magic to conquer your craft!

Macros
Macros speed up the casting process by decreasing the number of buttons to push
to cast spells.  It is a great way to organize your spells in a manner that
works for you.  Finally, you can add text to macros which inform the party of
what you are doing.  There are 10 pages of macros with two rows each, for a
total of 200 macros.  There are, by default the ctrl macros and alt macros (L2
and R2 I believe on PS2 controller).
The important thing to know about macros are the command shortcuts.  The common
ones are:
/ma – for casting a magic spell
/ja – for using a job ability
/ws – for using a weapon skill
/p talk in party chat
/s talk in say chat
/t talk in tell chat
/l talk in Linkshell chat
/sh talk in shout chat
<t> - currently targeted enemy
<bt> - battle target, the monster that is in red
<me> spells casted on yourself
<job> displays you job info like BLM54/WHM28
/wait # - waits to go to the next line of the macro in seconds, the value of #
<call#> makes a sound in party chat to alert party. The value # determines 1 of
about 40 sounds.  <call10> and <call11> are my favorites
Elemental Magic Macros: type in spells EXACTLY as they appear in spell list
Line 1: /ma “Aero II”
Line 2: <me> is casting {Aero} II

The {} refers to auto translate.  In line 2, I like dramatic flare, so I try to
make up exciting macros.  I have gotten a lot of compliments on them, but if
you want a more practical approach, the above will suffice.  Here is what my
macro would read:

Line 1: /ma “Water”
Line 2: May this torrential storm purge you and you kind of sin…

Cool huh? (although water is a bunch a bubbles…) ?

Spell that can only be used on yourself:
Line 1: /ma “Blaze Spikes” <me>
Line 2: The wall of fire from the hand of Ifrit (since this spell only affects
you, a 2nd line isn’t necessary)

Sometimes you may want to pull a specific target:
Line 1: /target “Stray Mary”
Line 2: /ma “Stun”

For curing:
Line 1: /ma “Cure II”
Line 2: The refreshing breeze to heal your wounds <t>

<t> refers to the player you are targeting.  Only player characters and undead
can be the targets of cure.  Curing undead (skeletons, weapons, ghosts, etc.)
will damage them, but you will gain hate as if you cast a regular spell.


For combining spells:
Line 1: {Protectra} {Shellra} {Gather together} in 3 secs…
Line 2: /wait 3
Line 3: /ma “Protectra” <me>
Line 4: /wait 2
Line 5: /ma “Shellra” <me>
Line 6: Bestowed with protection, victory is imminent.



For a Ancient Magic Magic Burst:
Line 1: /ma “Freeze”
Line 2: Get Ready for {Skill Chain} {Freeze} {in 7 seconds
Line 3: /wait 7.75
Line 4: Start {Skill Chain} {Distortion} Now! <call6>
Line 5: /wait 7.75
Line 6: Feel the bitter {Freeze} of Shiva’s touch

Line 5 and 6 aren’t necessary, but they are fun!

All lines of the macros default to the currently selected chat mode.  To always
say a particular line in a mode, party chat for example,

Line 1: /ma “Protectra” <me>
Line 2: /p Casting {Protectra} on party

Or

Line 1: /sh <job> {Looking for party} {Please Invite Me}

Using a job ability:
Line:1 /ja “Elemental Seal”

And a weapon skill

Line 1: /ws “Shinning Strike”
Line 2: I smite you <t>, with the might of Gods!

That about does it for this guide.  I hope you find the information here useful
and enjoyable as you explore black arts.  It is an exciting job and you will be
needed in most every party setup, so you’ll have no trouble finding work.  I
for one am going back out onto the field to fight and research.  As I learn
more, I will add to this guide for education is an ongoing process.  Good luck
to you, and may the light of Altana shine upon you!


Credit – I spent a lot of time on this guide, so if you want to use it on your
own website, please ask me.  I will always say yes, but I want to know who is
using it.  I can be reached at cltcleff@yahoo.com.  Include with your request
the link to your site.  When crediting this guide in your site, credit it as
Osyris of Titan.  Also, the information here is as accurate as I could make it.
However, if I am incorrect, or could’ve said something better or you want to
add your own tidbit, my all means email me the fix!  I will credit you in the
revisions of this guide.  You can email me the corrections of this guide.  By
the way, I am into the “role-playing”aspects of this game, so as far as I know,
it is not really possible to become a real War Warlock, or an assistant of Dr.
Shantotto (although many were her flavor of the month lol)  so I’m just keeping
with the spirits of the game.  Good luck on your adventures!