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

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

Looking for a fistful of EXP? If you’re leveling a Pugilist, you’ve found the right place – avoid all the hooks go for the straights! Hopefully, our Pugilist Leveling Guide helps you out!

While this page focuses on Pugilist info like skills, traits, rotation, and playstyle notes. The GENERAL PROCESS that you follow is outlined in our FFXIV General Leveling Guide use it alongside this guide. Looking at that, we’re in the “A Realm Reborn Tier” as we’re only looking to level our Rogue up to 30.

Pugilist Unlocking? Other basics?

How to unlock the PGL Class? Taken from Rogue General Guide & FAQ – which you should read if you need more basic info about PGL.

Location: Ul’dah – Stept of Nald, Pugilist’s Guild (9, 10)
Related Quests: (all in the same place)
> So you want to be an Pugilist
> Way of the Pugilist
> My First Hora
Others: You may also begin the game as Pugilist

Pugilist is a melee dps class, falling under the Disciple of War category. Also, if you’re curious about the job you turn into, Pugilist is the prerequisite class for unlocking Monk.

This guide has three major segments:

  • Pugilist Leveling Rotation & Skill Changes – How new skills affect your play.
  • Pugilist L1 to L16 – General reminders and notes.
  • Pugilist L15 to 30 – General reminders and notes.
  • I’ll mention it again, knowledge from General Leveling Guide is REQUIRED.

I put rotation changes up top as you might reference it often. Without further ado, let’s get to it.

Pugilist Rotation for Leveling, Skills, Traits, Etc.

In this segment we run down how each skill and trait affects your Pugilist’s rotation during the leveling process.

L1 Skill Unlocked Bootshine – An attack that always crits from BEHIND. Your combo starter – but don’t bother with the positional bonus if soloing…

That being said, for 99% of situations you’ll be ignoring positional bonuses for solo content. Barring niche scenarios like Stun / True North etc.

L4 Skill Unlocked True Strike – Your first combo attack. Combo actions should be pressed within a certain timeframe or else they fall off. As an aspiring Pugilist and Monk, you’ll be learning A LOT about combo’s lemme tell ya. 

L6 Skill Unlocked Snap Punch – Weirdly, Pugilists gain a combo finisher at such an early level. Bootshine > True Strike > Snap Punch (Back Back Flank) is your basic rotation.

What is GREASED LIGHTNING
Is a buff you get typically from your combo finishers.
It DECREASES your GCD (Increases skillspeed), and increases your damage.
It’s the PGL/MNK cornerstone buff. Keep it up as often as you can!

L8 Role Action Unlocked Second Wind – A personal, instant self-heal. Useful both in soloing and leveling, dungeons, raids, ANYTHING! For the purpose of this guide, Second Wind will definitely help you in the leveling process. One habit to get into is, USE IT EARLY so you can use it again soon  (for example, when soloing a FATE boss). 

L10 Role Action Unlocked Leg Sweep – An instant OGCD stun. Interrupting enemy spells is the most basic use case here, but honestly keep in mind that in dungeons stunning an enemy will greatly reduce the damage your tank receives, and helps your healer out. 

L12 Role Action Unlocked Bloodbath – Your third “self-heal”, this one essentially gives you a “lifesteal” effect that scales on your own DPS. This is actually great. Again, it’s better to use these kinds of skills early if you know you’re soloing a long fight, or just to help your healer out.

L15 Skill Unlocked Fists of Earth – A toggleable stance skill. No reason to ever off this for now, as it’s a “free and passive” damage reduction. We take those.

L18 Skill Unlocked Twin Snakes –  “second attack” flank combo that gives you an increased damage buff. Keep this buff up at all times!

Instead of using the “animal stances”  I’ll be calling them
“first, second, and third” attack, or something a little more “intuitive”.

L20 Trait Unlocked Enhanced Greased Lightning – allows you to stack a second pip or Greased Lightning! Zoom zoom! Doesn’t really affect your active gameplay, except for your GCD that will get increasingly faster as you unlock more and more “GL” stacks.

L22 Role Action Unlocked Feint – Reduces an enemy’s physical damage dealt. Almost useless in soloing (reduces mostly auto attacks and the rare physical boss skill). Of course, very good in terms of group mitigation options in a group scenario. In the leveling process, however, this wil almost never be used.

L26 Skill Unlocked Arm of the Destroyer – An AoE “first skill”. You DO NOT have to continue the combo, you can simply spam it if you choose (wise at 4+ enemies). Typically this is safe to use at 2 enemies, but continue your normal combo after.

L30 Skill Unlocked Demolish – A rear attack DoT (Damage over time) combo finisher, which should only be used on enemies that have a longer life expectancy. As a quick rule, you don’t wanna use this on enemies with less than 15 or so seconds of life remaining. Of course, against bosses just keep this DoT up!

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


Pugilist Rotation – L1 to 30 SUMMARY

Here’s an overarching shot of what your PGL rotation is in the early leveling process. Adjust to your currently learned skills.

PGL 30 Single Target RotationPGL AoE Rotation

PGL L30 Single Target Rotation

    • Demolish (DoT) if enemy will live for more than 15s~ ish.
    • Keep Twin Snakes buff up. (Bootshine > Twin Snakes > Either finisher)
    • Otherwise, Bootshine > True Strike > Snap Punch

PGL L30 AoE Rotation

    • 4+ Enemies, straight up spam Arm of the Destroyer.
    • 3 or 2 Enemies, Use single target rotation but Arm of the Destroyer replaces Bootshine.

At 3 enemies or less, Demolish on every target is good. Basically it’s your single target rotation but you swap Bootshine for Arm of the Destroyer.

Keeping up Greased Lightning is your highest priority
in essentially almost all cases.

Pugilist Leveling: L1 to 30

As per the general leveling guide, this tier is divided into two sub-chunks. So I’ll be sub-chunking the following segments into two “tabs” as well. These two tabs represent A) L1 to 16, and B) L16 to 30.


Pugilist Leveling L1 to 30 Activity Flowchart

A rundown of things you can do to gain EXP – again split “to 16”, and “to 30”.

PGL 1 to 16PGL 16 to 30

PGL Leveling Activities to L16

Remember the universal truths: Main Scenario Quest is king, and always have your passive EXP buffs (FC, Food, Chocobo, etc)

Renewable EXP sources

    • FATES (Great when you're in queue)
    • Levequests (Actually good EXP but better saved for DoH or DoL)
    • Deep Dungeon -Palace of the Dead (Repetitive, terrible for LOW levels)

Burst EXP sources

    • Challenge Log* (Complete passively until nearing reset, then force it)
    • Guildhests (First completions per class is mega bonus EXP)
    • Hunting Log (Great source of EXP this early on)
    • Sidequests (Personal preference. Better if in tandem with MSQ!)
    • Duty Roulette: Guildhest (Pretty irrelevant...)

*Challenge Log won't be unlocked in this tier if it's your first time around. While you need to be L16 to initially unlock it, it can be used by any level character thereafter. 

Well, there’s not much to point your bow at this early on, but here’s where the arrow falls nonetheless. It’s slim, but you gotta start somewhere.

Of course, adjust this to your own personal preference.

PGL Leveling Activities to L30

Remember the universal truths: Main Scenario Quest is king, and always have your passive EXP buffs (FC, Food, Chocobo, etc)

Renewable EXP sources

    • Dungeons (Stable, "fun", massive EXP easpecially with rested bonus)
    • FATES (Great when you're in queue)
    • Deep Dungeon -Palace of the Dead (Repetitive, but fast)
    • Levequests (Actually good EXP but better saved for DoH or DoL)
    • Beast Tribe (EXP is meh, but great for getting cosmetic items)

Burst EXP sources

    • Duty Roulette: Leveling (The ultimate EXP source until L50)
    • Challenge Log (Complete passively until nearing reset, then force it)
    • Guildhests (First completions per class is mega bonus EXP)
    • Hunting Log (More for completionism or first timers, it's "alright")
    • Sidequests (Personal preference. Better if in tandem with MSQ!)
    • Duty Roulette: Guildhest (Pretty irrelevant...)

A few adjustments to your leveling mentality here, mainly the addition of  Duty Roulette: Leveling, as a daily burst, and straight queuing Dungeons as an option as well.

Of course, adjust this to your own personal preference.

Important Notes (PGL L1 to 30)

Here’s the one-two about the leveling process. Make sure to hit the unlocks so you won’t miss out on unique EXP sources.

PGL L1 to 30 Gear Updates:  Needed?

TLDR: Not really significant. This applies to both sub-tiers. Just make sure to pick up whatever along the way, or find dirt cheap upgrades in the MB or wherever (quests etc).

More detailed answer?

In all honesty you DO NOT NEED to put much thought into your gear from Level 1 to Level 30. Simply “get what you can”, with Weapons being the highest priority. You can get gear from Quests, buy from NPCs, Marketboard, Crafting, GC – it’s purely up to you and your budget as to what you wanna get.

Of course getting gear will increase your efficiency (being a little stronger helps kill speed), but this tier is pretty “newb friendly”, and designed as such – PLUS you “outgrow” gear by gaining levels so rapidly that tryharding on gear up to Level 30 is pretty irrelevant.

Just try not to run around naked, and get “what you can” without being outright negligent.


Important notes to keep in mind

PGL 1 to 16PGL 16 to 30

As always, Main Scenario Quest takes the highest priority.

There are too many skills that get unlocked here for me to talk about individually, which is why the skill unlock / rotation segment above should be your guiding light in that regard.

Limited Burst EXP sources take priority: Newly unlocked Guildhests, Challenge Log entries, Hunting Log.

Renewable EXP sources if you need to grind: FATE’s are great, followed by Levequests and if so you choose, Sidequests. (Deep Dungeon: POTD – can you zone it from Level 1? Even if you could, I don’t think I would…)

At level 15 you get access to your first Dungeon, Sastasha, but I don’t see much reason to grind there, unless you wanna burn rested EXP and want to hit 16 ASAP.

At 15 you should catch up and do your class quests, as you do get a skill form it – Fists of Earth. Meh, it makes you tougher – which is only relevant when soloing. Even if this skill ain’t so hot, it’s best to keep up with class quests.

A note on Levequests: Can be an attractive source of EXP. Every tier has “good and bad” levequests so it’s up to you if you wanna go try them out. Main downside is using them up in place of DoH / DoL. Consider using them if you’re at or near the Levequest allowance cap!

As always, Main Scenario Quest takes the highest priority.

Starting L16, you open up Duty Roulette: Leveling, which is you should be doing everyday! This is an important source of EXP – it’s a huge daily burst! Also at L16 you can unlock Challenge Log if you haven’t already.

Overall, the same concept applies. Daily and Weekly bursts of EXP > Basic Renewable EXP sources of your choice > Other side activities to alleviate boredom or monotony.

 Renewable EXP sources? At this point it’s Dungeons, FATES and Deep Dungeons, and maybe some Levequests. Burst EXP sources? Roulettes, new Guildhests, Hunting and Challenge Logs.

As a DPS class, you’ll likely queue up for dungeons or POTD then do FATES and “other activities” while you’re in queue.

at L20 If you haven’t unlocked your Companion (combat Chocobo), do so now. You can begin the process now – it entails getting your first mount as well (at least for most new players).

At level 30 get your class quests done, as it’s one of the prerequisites to transform into Monk!

Levequests notes, same as usual. Sad to take ’em away from crafters and gatherers, but it’s viable EXP. Definitely use them up if you’re overcapped on allowances.

Stop at Level 30! Unlock your advanced job as soon as you can!
(PGL turns into Monk at Level 30)

Pugilist L30 Onward: Unlocking Monk

STOP WHAT YOU’RE DOING ONCE YOU HIT Pugilist LEVEL 30.
Unlock Monk ASAP!

How to become a Monk? Unlocking Monk requires a Level 30 Pugilist, and completion of the L30 PGL Class Quest. From there, return to your guild and it should point you to the quest! See: Unlocking all jobs.

The reason we unlock ASAP is, not only to get a new skill at L30 (In your case Rockbreaker, another AoE), but most if not all new skills and traits going forward are for MONK and not PUGILIST, so you have no reason to stay as an PGL any longer.

Pugilist Leveling – Related Reads

Some good reads and related links here:

Summary and Closing

And with that YOU’RE DONE WITH LEVELING Pugilist! Congrats! Hopefully our Pugilist Leveling Guide helped you out. In no time you’ll be striking fear, among other things, into your enemies.


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FFXIV Pugilist (PGL) Basics Guide & FAQ – Shadowbringers Updated!

Pondering on Pugilist? Pray you peruse our prose in our FFXIV Pugilist Basics Guide & FAQ. As implied, this is for players wanting to know the absolute basics, and answer some of the most common questions regarding PGL.

Likely, one of the main reasons you’re here is either unlocking Pugilist, or wondering about the eventual advanced jobs you can evolve into, Monk.

How to become a Pugilist? Unlocking PGL:

Primarily, you can begin your journey into Eorzea and start the game as a Pugilist – simply choose it as your starting option upon character creation.

If you didn’t start as a PGL, you can unlock the Pugilist class by going to the Pugilist Guild in Ul’dah – Steps of Nald (around 9,10), look out for the quests either “Way of the Pugilist”, or “So you want to be a Pugilist”.

Other unlocking prerequisites? I’m 99% sure you need to complete the Level 10 class quest of your STARTING CLASS if you want to unlock any other new ones.

Why should I play or choose Pugilist?

This question is semi irrelevant as, along with any of the other base classes, the only reason you’re a Pugilist is simply a stepping stone into Monk. But, I’ll give you a little description of what to expect anyway.

Monks are your mobile, hectic, “martial artist” melee DPS job. They’re a fair bit demanding on positional requirements, and have an extremely fast GCD – which may or may not be to your liking. Beating people up with fist weapons is an MMO aesthetic many get knocked out for, so if you’re hyped about Monk, you gotta first get your Pugilist stronk.

You’ll do well to learn a little more about what you’ll eventually BECOME:
FFXIV Monk Basics Guide.

Pugilist Crafters and Gatherers?

I often get asked “What Disciple of Hand or Disciple of Land classes go well with PGL?” Another related question to this is “Should I level them with my Pugilist simultaneously”? 

Leveling up your DoH and DoL classes should be thought of as a separate goal all on its own. I suggest leveling up DoH classes all together, and all DoL classes together (except the optional Fishing). Do not try to align your combat class levels to your non-combat levels. Trust me.

My only advice related to this is to never cap your levequests. If you’re at max leve allowances, feel free to spend them on Fieldcraft, Tradecraft, or Battlecraft leves just to uncap ‘em.

What’s the best race for Pugilist?

TLDR: I don’t know a single person who changes race for their main class for stats. The gain is not even .1% from worst to best. My advice? Choose for aesthetics.

If you REALLY wanna do it, check out our FFXIV Racial Stats Guide, which, FAIR WARNING – I am about to recheck and update next week. But honestly, it’s best you don’t even click on that – THE MICROSCOPIC INCREASE IN STATS IS NEAR IRRELEVANT.

Related Pugilist Guides – Read More!

Here are a few useful links for you:

Upcoming Odds and Ends

Here’s a few things we’ll be adding on here in the near future:

  • A small skill list for “human readability”, as the in-game one seems like the best source for EXACT information.
  • List of relevant links for this for Pugilist, and some links for Monk.

Feel free to suggest anything else via comment or socials!

Summary & In Closing

Well that’s it for our Pugilist Basics Guide & FAQ. There’s not much to say but these are really basic little guides to help out the budding or confused PGL, and hopefully future MNK! Hopefully we answered a few of your questions.


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Contact us about anything and everything. Don't be shy! Love our guides and want to let us know? Got questions or corrections? Suggestions for improvement? TALK TO US! How, you say?

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FFXIV Monk (MNK) Basics Guide & FAQ – Shadowbringers Updated!

Motivated to be a Monk? Before you mull over the massive mixture of moves, learn the absolute basics of the MNK job! Basic information and FAQs in our Monk Basics Guide. Read on if you’re expecting to learn about unlocking MNK, Monk Job Identity, trait and skill list, crafters and gatherers related to MNK, and link to other important Monk info!

Monk is a Melee DPS job, and one of nine jobs that came out at release, 2.0 A Realm Reborn. MNKs came out with Dragoons are the other melee DPS at the time.

How to become a Monk? Unlocking MNK:

First and foremost you need to have a Level 30 Pugilist, and have completed the L30 PGL class quest, “Return of the Holyfist”. After doing this you can unlock the actual quest to become a Monk, “Brother from Another Mother” – the quest is issued by Gagaruna in the Pugilists guild at Ul’dah – Steps of Thal.

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

Note that, upon completing Brother from Another Mother you MUST EQUIP the “Soul of the Monk” to actually formally BECOME a MNK. Interestingly, in the old days, unlocking Monk required L15 Lancer – that’s no longer the case.

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

Monk Playstyle & MNK Job Identity

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

Monk is our resident “combo class”. Super fast attacks, lots of tracking timers, loads of  positionals… they’re probably the most hectic melee DPS class.

Monks have a decent balance of Raid utility and personal DPS. Historically, they have been known to put up great DPS, but… Monks have the shortest GCD in the game thanks to their stacking Greased Lightning buff, and the heaviest positional requirements of any job. The combination of those two can sound interesting to some, but daunting to others.

Aesthetically and thematically, they’re the typical “lightning fast” fist fighter. While their OG artifact armor is a little meme-tier (it’s improved since!), one cannot argue how cool double fist weapons are, and just how “right” the class playstyle and expectations align.

DISCLAIMER

DISCLAIMER: This is not meant to be a blurb that aligns with the current meta. That changes from patch to patch. Our goal here is to provide you with an idea of what the job is trying to be, getting cues from both the Developers’ concrete decisions on job design, as well as our own feedback.

What Crafters & Gatherers should Monk level?

While it’s common in MMORPG’s to think you want to craft your own gear as you level up your MNK… I DO NOT RECOMMEND IT.

Leveling up your DoH and DoL jobs should be thought of as a different activity completely. To be honest, if you’re a newer player, simply ensure that you DO NOT OVERCAP Levequests (always have less than 100).

The only relation a combat job has to a crafter or gatherer class is “which classes do you need to repair your gear”? My advice, ultimately, is pretty much all or nothing – level up all DoH classes in tandem. As a separate project, level up all DoL classes in tandem (with the optional Fisher).

What’s the best race for Monk?

Racial stats are (was?) a thing. However, I highly recommend not caring about it. The difference in performance between the “best” and “worst” race for you is not even 0.1%.

My advice? Pick for aesthetics. Will you stay the same job forever? If you change mains, will you race change? Ultimately, the difference is so microscopic that I cannot in good faith tell you that racial stats are an integral part of your character.

I won’t even link the Racial Stats Guide, as I haven’t checked up on this in a while – and I don’t want to cement the idea that the “best race” really matters.

Related Monk Guides – Read More!

Here are a few useful links for you:

Upcoming Odds and Ends

Here’s a few things we’ll be adding on here in the near future:

  • Adding a “links to further resources”, we’re doing a site restructure so once those links are set, they’ll go in here.
  • Human-readable, newbie-friendly skill and trait list.
    > I used to have the in-game skill list here, but I found it useless as the in-game one is better… I’d rather have a new player friendly rundown.
  • More descriptive job identity? Pics?
    > I dunno… pictures of the job gauges? A gif of some flashy skills?
  • Feel free to suggest anything else via comment or socials!

Summary & Outro

Well that’s about it for a really, really basic guide that hopefully points some lost souls in the right direction, or answers some of your questions regarding Monk.


Join our IRL Cross-World Linkshells (socials lol): 

Contact us about anything and everything. Don't be shy! Love our guides and want to let us know? Got questions or corrections? Suggestions for improvement? TALK TO US! How, you say?

Comment below if it's about this guide. Message us on any of our socials above about anything.  We're organizing our email situation if you're into that.