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.

FOR THE ACCESSORIES either:

  • 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
Slot Item Note
Weapon Steel Claymore Free from coffer
Head HQ Steel Celata Marketboard / ARM
Body Steel Cuirass Free from coffer
Hands HQ Steel Gauntlet Marketboard / ARM
Belt HQ Steel Plate Belt Marketboard / ARM
Legs Padded Velveteen Trousers Free from coffer
Boots HQ Steel Sabatons Marketboard / ARM
Earring HQ Sunstone Earrings Marketboard / GSM
Neck HQ Sunstone Choker Marketboard / GSM
Wrist HQ Sunstone Bracelet Marketboard / GSM
Ring HQ Sunstone Ring Marketboard / GSM
Ring HQ Sunstone Ring Marketboard / 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
LVL QUEST LOCATION COORDS ISSUER REWARDS
      X Y
30 Ishgardian Justice Foundation 11 12 Fray
35 The Voice in the Abyss Foundation 11 12 Fray
40 Heroic Reprise Foundation 11 12 Fray
45 Declaration of Blood Foundation 11 12 Fray
50 Our Answer Foundation 11 12 Fray Dark Knight’s Armor Coffer
Dark Knight Job Quests 50 to 60
LVL QUEST LOCATION COORDS ISSUER REWARDS
      X Y  
50 The Wages of Mercy Coerthas C.H. 13 16 Unflinching Temple Knight
52 The Knight and the Maiden Fair Foundation 13 12 Sidurgu
54 Kindred Spirits Foundation 13 12 Sidurgu
56 Original Sins Foundation 13 12 Sidurgu
58 The Flame in the Abyss Foundation 13 12 Sidurgu
60 Absolution Foundation 13 12 Sidurgu Chaos Armor Coffer
Dark Knight Job Quests 60 to 70
LVL QUEST LOCATION COORDS ISSUER REWARDS
      X Y
60 In Memories We Walked Foundation 13 12 Sidurgu
63 The Widow and Her Love Coerthas Western Highlands 32 36 Sidurgu
65 The Orphans and the Broken Blade Dravanian Forelands 32 23 Sidurgu
68 We Can Never Go Home The Churnign Mists 28 35 Myste
70 Our Compromise Foundation 13 12 Sidurgu Abyss 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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FFXIV 3.0 Dark Knight (DRK) BiS for Heavensward

HEAVENSWARD UPDATED! DRK Best in slot guide! “I need BALLAD AND PAEON!”, DRK Esoterics buy order, melding and more!

Sadly, there isn’t any Piety on ’em! Welcome to our Dark Knight Best-in-slot gear guide! We discuss here gearing options for BOTH DPS CENTRIC DRK’s and PARRY/EHP CENTRIC DRK’s. So no matter which camp of tanking you follow, or whatever your group needs – you can see both options right here!

Navigation: Dark Knight BiS
DRK BiS | Discussion | Esoterics Buy Order

Heavensward Dark Knight Best-in-Slot

TANK BiS DISCLAIMER: I don’t buy into the whole ALL TANKS SHOULD DPS or ALL TANKS SHOULD HAVE MAX EHP! It all depends on your group, level & speed of progression, and personal preference. As such, I will list both options. (Related Read: Parry vs DPS)

For the sake of “interchangeable filler slots”, Chaos <-> Gordian serve as natural replacements to each other (May or may not be discussed within guide, but take that as an ‘unspoken truth’).

DRK SlotDPSNo gil to meld?Parry & EHP
WeaponDeathbringer-Gordian Greatsword
Offhand--
HeadChaos BurgeonnetChaos Burgeonnet
BodyGordian Plate Mail of FendingChaos Cuirass
GlovesChaos GauntletsGordian Gauntlets of Fending
BeltFabled Belt of Fending Gordian Tassets of Fending
LegsGordian Breeches of FendingChaos Flanchard
BootsChaos SolleretsBest 210 MixGordian Sollerets of Fending
NeckFabled Necklace of SlayingGordian Neckband of FendingFabled Necklace of Fending
EarringsGordian Earrings of SlayingGordian Earrings of SlayingGordian Earrings of Fending
BraceletFabled Bracelet of SlayingFabled Bracelet of SlayingGordian Wristbands of Fending
RingGordian Ring of SlayingGordian Ring of SlayingGordian Ring of Fending
RingFabled Ring of SlayingFabled Ring of SlayingFabled Ring of Fending
FoodBaked Pipira Pira-Almond Cream Croissant
Liver Cheese Sandwhich
This guide contains critical info: Please use our Feedback form to let us know if you see something off, or want to suggest anything!

SINCE MELDED RIGHT SIDE IS SO STRONG FOR TANKS, tank gear should be thought as two separate entities: Leftside (armor) and right side (accessories). There’s a million ways to setup the right side, but the left is pretty much set in stone given your goals. (Purely ignoring the top accessories and using melded is A GREAT CHOICE / OPTION)

 

Dark Knight Accessories: Choices & Melding

Considering crafted right as BiS for tanks is 100% legit

Equip onSlot 1Slot 2Slot 3Slot 4Slot 5
Citrine Choker of SlayingVIT IVVIT IVVIT IVCRIT IIIVIT III+
Chrysolite Earrings of FendingSTR IVSTR IVSTR IVSTR IVSTR III
Chrysolite Bracelets of FendingSTR IVSTR IVSTR IVSTR IVSTR III
Chrysolite Ring of SlayingVIT IVVIT IVVIT IVFREEVIT III+
Chrysolite Ring of SlayingVIT IVVIT IVVIT IVFREEVIT III+

For the (FREE) Slot, you can put ACC, DET or SS (rings).

Here’s how it works. Melded accessories will always have the highest overall power level. However, they will never be as tanky as a Fending accessory, and never be as strong as a Slaying one. The melding strategy above makes it so you can wear crafted from A1S to A4S no problemo.

DRK BiS Discussion, Notes & Options

DPS DRK Set

Going for PURE SLAYING right side is a bit greedy, but definitely possible with a competent team. So we identify the suckiest accessories to replace with crafted.

  1. Fabled Ring of Slaying: It has accuracy… so it has that goin’ for it. Personally, I wouldn’t waste eso on these.
  2. Fabled Wristband of Slaying… SS/DET. Again, I wouldn’t buy these and just go for crafted.

The A3S legs are a KEY PART of this set, and hopefully you’ll get em! The Chaos counterpart is a poor filler – I wouldn’t waste eso on it.

Tanking / Parry DRK Set

Legs & Head – interchangeable: In the tanking list above we use Chaos Head and Chaos Leg. Keep in mind that this can be changed for Gordian Head, Gordian Leg. So if you’re lucky enough to get one of the gordian pieces early, just shoot for the gordian counterpart as well. A small but worthwhile to note value point, thay may save you over 1k ESO.

Chaos Cuirass is a MASSIVE increase in HP, Armor, MRes, Parry… basically a huge part of your defensive game. Tanks who choose to Gobtwine the chests over weapon are very common, and you should be one of them!!!

3.0 Dark Knight Esoterics Buy Order

“What should I purchase first with Esoterics for my DRK!?” Well, here you go!

DPS Dark Knight

  1. Weapon: The Deathbringer should be bought FIRST for DPS DRK’s. No question.
  2. Chaos Helm: Might as well, plus save A3 pages for Legs!
  3. Chaos Boots
  4. Fabled Belt
  5. Fabled Necklace, Ring (Any Order)
  6. EVERYTHING ELSE IS OPTIONAL, and NON-BiS
  7. Chest can be bought if you want to help your raid group. It’s quite the upgrade still.

With very few pieces needed, this set is powerful and easy to obtain.

On belt: If you have the Illuminati Gobcoat, buy it sooner than you would have.

PARRY / EHP Dark Knight

  1. Chest: Get these first and Gobtwine it if you can!
  2. Legs: Hmm.. (If you have the A3S legs – you can push this waaaaay down or optional)
  3. Weapon: You can buy this at any point during 1-3.
  4. Fabled Necklace, Ring (Any Order)
  5. EVERYTHING ELSE IS OPTIONAL, and NON-BiS

Navigation: Dark Knight BiS
DRK BiS | Discussion | Esoterics Buy Order

I hope you don’t break your back in search of your Dark Knight gear!

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FFXIV Dark Knight (DRK) Guide & FAQ

All you need to know about the Dark Knight job in FFXIV! How to unlock DRK, what skills, stats, and other supporting info. Also links to advanced guides!

“Ah, you think darkness your ally. You merely adopted it… I… uh… I’m a Zombie” – Mahiko ‘Bane’ San.

Hey guys! Welcome to our FFXIV Dark Knight guide. Here, we discuss all basic Dark Knight information, and post links to find more advanced Dark Knight resources. The Dark Knight is a tank class which was introduced in Heavensward 3.0, and have a special requirements (Like Astrologian and Machinist) compared to the original jobs. If you’re a newer DRK, the Dark Knight leveling guide may be useful.

How do I become a Dark Knight in FFXIV? What are the DRK Requirements?

1) You must have an existing Level 50 combat class (DoW or DoM).
2) You must have completed “Before the Dawn” (all story quests prior to 3.0).
3) Only then will the Dark Knight unlock quest open up –

Where do I unlock Dark Knight?
The quest name is “Our End”, which is found in The Pillars (13,8). The questgiver is an NPC names ‘Ishgardian Citizen’.

Help! I’m a new player rushing to Dark Knight! Then you’re best off starting the game as Gladiator and hitting the requirements as a Paladin. Then switch to DRK once you’re good to go.

 

Dark Knight stats: What stats to allocate and gear up for?

DRK’s, being a tank class, have only two stats to choose from. VIT will be the go-to choice for 80% of Dark Knights, and would be correct most of the time. Many tank players like to allocate STR to increase their DPS. This may not be the optimal choice depending on your level of play, and your static group. But either way VIT, STR or a mix of both would be the way to go.

THERE MAY BE A PIETY ‘CAP’ LIKE BLACK MAGES – WE WILL SEE.

As for secondary stats, we don’t quite know yet. But if we boil it down to the basics (ignoring DRK specifics), you can have a read on: Parry vs DPS stats as tanks.
(More info: DRK Stats & Materia)

What are the Dark Knight Skills & Traits?
Unlike other jobs, you jump straight into DRK at level 30. So you might get a bit overwhelmed. The skills and traits are listed near the bottom of the post.

What classes are Dark Knight Cross-class skills from?
Gladiator and Marauder. (More info: DRK Cross-class skills)

Crafting & Gathering classes suitable for Dark Knight?
Going by trends we can assume…
DRK Armor: Armorsmith
DRK Greatsword: Blacksmith
DRK Accessories: Goldsmith

For gathering, Mining supports all the above crafters quite well, which is quite fortunate for DRK and other heavy armor users.

Advanced Dark Knight resources

  • Dark Knight Best-in-slot & End-game gear: Well, you need to suit up right?
  • Dark Knight rotation: Play your DRK to the highest efficiency!
  • Anything else to add?

Dark Knight Skills

NameLevelCastRecastMPTPRangeRadius
Hard Slash1
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Shadowskin2
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Spinning Slash4
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Scourge6
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Unleash8
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Low Blow10
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Syphon Strike12
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Unmend15
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Blood Weapon18
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Power Slash26
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Darkside30
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Grit30
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Dark Dance34
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Blood Price35
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Soul Eater38
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Dark Passenger40
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Dark Mind42
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Dark Arts45
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Shadow Wall46
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Delirium50
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Living Dead50
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Salted Earth52
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Plunge54
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Abyssal Drain56
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Sole Survivor58
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Carve and Spit60
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Dark Knight Traits

 Lv.NameDescription
>Icon<8Enhanced VitalityIncrease VIT by 2.
>Icon<14Enhanced Shadowskin>effect<
>Icon<16Enhanced Vitality IIIncrease VIT by 4.
>Icon<20Clean Weapon>effect<
>Icon<24Enhanced Vitality IIIIncrease VIT by 6.
>Icon<28Hasty Reprisal>effect<
>Icon<32Enhanced Scourge>effect<
>Icon<36Low Blows>effect<
>Icon<40Enhanced Unmend>effect<
>Icon<44Enhanced Dark Dance>effect<
>Icon<48Soul Devourer>effect<

Be the hero Eorzea deserves with your Dark Knight! For more information about DRK’s and anything about FFXIV, make sure to keep in touch!

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