Kakashe Management replied

36 weeks ago

Dragoon guide by Rydie Forscythe.

Updated on the 6th of april 2016

Many Dragoon guides are out there and as everyone else that has put out a guide I would also like to share with you my perspective on how to play a Dragoon.

I will explain the basics on how to play Dragoon as well as show indepth information on how to optimize your dps and usefullness in endgame raiding!

Contents of this guide

  • Actions
  • A basic how to play for Dragoons
  • Opener
  • Rotation
  • Multiple targets and AoE usage
  • Indepth Blood of the Dragon information
  • Gear, stat weights and accuracy caps
  • Dummy and raid parses


Full list of actions available to the Dragoon:




Actions that are new or adjusted since Heavensward

New actions:

  1. Level 52 - http://xivdb.com/action/3557/Battle+Litany: As the tooltip states it will increase the critical hit rate of yourself and all party members by 15% within 15 yalms (this is the same range as your http://xivdb.com/action/90/Piercing+Talon action). This ability is very usefull and makes Dragoons one of the most wanted DPS classes since Heavensward!
  2. Level 54 - http://xivdb.com/action/3553/Blood+of+the+Dragon: Your all new and unique signature ability AND mechanic! Blood of the Dragon has several mechanics to it which can't be derived from 1 tooltip, I will explain these in the "Indepth Blood of the Dragon information section".
  3. Level 56 - http://xivdb.com/action/3554/Fang+and+Claw: Is one part of your Blood of the Dragon mechanic
  4. Level 58 - http://xivdb.com/action/3556/Wheeling+Thrust: Has the exact same use as Fang and Claw.
  5. Level 60 - http://xivdb.com/action/3555/Geirskogul: Is a skill that is similar to Doom Spike or Howling Fist (Monk). This is the last piece of the Blood of the Dragon puzzle.

Updated Actions:

  1. http://xivdb.com/action/79/Heavy+Thrust has had it's duration increased to 24 seconds from 20 seconds.
  2. http://xivdb.com/action/91/Phlebotomize has had it's duration increased to 24 seconds from 18 seconds
  3. http://xivdb.com/action/83/Life+Surge now ONLY works on weaponskills and not on abilities such as Jump.

The animations of all jumps/dives have been made smoother and faster so they are easier to weave in between a GCD and keep you locked in the animation for a shorter time!

A basic how to play for Dragoons

This is a short basic how to play Dragoon for new players. (For level 60 players)

A small introduction.

The Dragoon is a spear-wielding damage dealer who can take a hit or two due to their high physical resistance and health pool. They can use many different actions to reduce their targets piercing resistance, jump from distances, assist their allies by increasing their critical hit rate and more!

How do you actually play a Dragoon?

The Dragoon has 3 key-actions:

Why do I say that these are key-actions? Because being able to keep these buffs/debuffs up you will be able to draw the full potential out of the Dragoon.

http://xivdb.com/action/79/Heavy+Thrust will increase your damage dealt by 15% so this is very important to have active.

http://xivdb.com/action/87/Disembowel will reduce the piercing resistance on your target by 10% which effectively increase all direct damage you do by another 10% as well as making your Bard/Machinist very happy as they will also do 10% more damage with their direct damaging attacks. Furthermore using http://xivdb.com/action/87/Disembowel will allow you to use http://xivdb.com/action/88/Chaos+Thrust which is your highest total potency action available. **Keep in mind that to use http://xivdb.com/action/87/Disembowel effectively it must be followed up from http://xivdb.com/action/81/Impulse+Drive**.

Lastly we have http://xivdb.com/action/3553/Blood+of+the+Dragon, this ability has many nice benefits but can also be tricky to keep active! The reason that http://xivdb.com/action/action/Blood+of+the+Dragon is important is because of it's many benefits such as increasing the potency of your http://xivdb.com/action/92/Jump and http://xivdb.com/action/95/Spineshatter+Dive ability by 30%, allowing the use of http://xivdb.com/action/3555/Geirskogul and of course to extend your http://xivdb.com/action/88/Chaos+Thrust and http://xivdb.com/action/84/Full+Thrust combo's with that 4th combo action (http://xivdb.com/action/3554/Fang+and+Claw or http://xivdb.com/action/3556/Wheeling+Thrust) which increases your total damage output as well! Each time you use http://xivdb.com/action/3554/Fang+and+Claw or http://xivdb.com/action/3556/Wheeling+Thrust you will increase the remaining duration of your http://xivdb.com/action/3553/Blood+of+the+Dragon buff by 15 seconds up to a maximum of 30 seconds, this will allow you to keep it up indefinitely.
**A more indepth guide on how to use the benefits of http://xivdb.com/action/3553/Blood+of+the+Dragon can be found in the "Indepth Blood of the Dragon information" section**

My advice for everyone reading this is that you practice as much on keeping up http://xivdb.com/action/79/Heavy+Thrust while also using your http://xivdb.com/action/87/Disembowel > http://xivdb.com/?skill/88/Chaos+Thrust combo to keep up the piercing resistance debuff and try to keep http://xivdb.com/action/3553/Blood+of+the+Dragon active as much as possible!

The proper rotation of skills for this would the following:

*With Blood of the Dragon active*
http://xivdb.com/action/79/Heavy+Thrust -> http://xivdb.com/action/81/Impulse+Drive -> http://xivdb.com/action/87/Disembowel -> http://xivdb.com/action/88/Chaos+Thrust -> http://xivdb.com/action/3554/Fang+and+Claw / http://xivdb.com/action/3556/Wheeling+Thrust
http://xivdb.com/action/91/Phlebotomize -> http://xivdb.com/action/75/True+Thrust -> http://xivdb.com/action/78/Vorpal+Thrust -> http://xivdb.com/action/84/Full+Thrust -> http://xivdb.com/action/3554/Fang+and+Claw / http://xivdb.com/action/3556/Wheeling+Thrust

As you can see it is a sequence of 10 weaponskills repeated, this is the rotation that optimizes the damage of every single Dragoon! Once you are comfortable with doing the above noted in that order you can try to weave in some of your abilities (http://xivdb.com/action/82/Leg+Sweep, http://xivdb.com/action/92/Jump, http://xivdb.com/action/95/Spineshatter+Dive, http://xivdb.com/action/96/Dragonfire+Dive, http://xivdb.com/action/85/Blood+for+Blood, http://xivdb.com/action/93/Power+Surge and http://xivdb.com/action/83/Life+Surge)

To go a bit further into the basics.

One of my most favorite things in this game is the directional system. This means that a target has 4 sides; the front, the rear, the right flank and the left flank. With these directions there are certain actions for certain classes that have an added effect when you manage to strike your target from the correct direction. Dragoon has exactly 4 abilities that will have an increased attack potency when striking from the correct position. These are the following:

The following picture will explain the positions a target usually has and as you can see each direction is exactly 90° large (the reason I said usually is because there are targets that have no directionals so you can strike them from any direction while still gaining the directional benefit):

The Dragoon has one more thing to keep in mind and that is TP. As many other classes the main recourse for a Dragoon's abilities is TP, this means that after a certain period of time from using actions you will start getting lower and eventually run out. That is where http://xivdb.com/action/80/Invigorate becomes a crucial ability! Using this will regenerate 500 TP and keep you going for a longer period during combat.

Learning how to properly do the rotation I described above and do the corresponding positionals correctly will set you on your way to become a master at Dragoon. Remember that practice makes perfect!


The idea of this opener is to use as much high potency actions while all cooldowns including potion are up.

Below you will find a short video of me performing the opener rotation.
(Certain actions cannot be seen in my UI because they are hidden, I do use them!)


This is the most effective rotation to keep up all buffs/debuffs and DoTs.

http://xivdb.com/action/3554/Fang+and+Claw / http://xivdb.com/action/3556/Wheeling+Thrust
http://xivdb.com/action/3554/Fang+and+Claw / http://xivdb.com/action/3556/Wheeling+Thrust

After using your opener you will constantly have off-gcd actions come off cooldown, try to use these as followed:

http://xivdb.com/action/82/Leg+Sweep: Try to use this skill as much as possible unless the target has to become stunned at a certain time
http://xivdb.com/action/92/Jump: This skill needs to be used as much as possible and always try to combine every odd (1, 3, 5,…) http://xivdb.com/action/92/Jump with http://xivdb.com/action/93/Power-Surge.
http://xivdb.com/action/95/Spineshatter+Dive: This is a good gap closer but if you know that a gap closer is not needed then it is good to use it as often as possible.
http://xivdb.com/action/96/Dragonfire+Dive: This can be used as a gap closer but it is better to use it as a burst skill during a http://xivdb.com/action/85/Blood+for+Blood or to strike multiple targets.
http://xivdb.com/action/83/Life+Surge: Only use this for a http://xivdb.com/action/84/Full+Thrust or either of the 4th combo whenever it is up.
http://xivdb.com/action/3557/Battle+Litany: Try to use this as much as possible as it will benefit the entire party and will line up with most big cooldowns like Raging Strikes. (make sure to use it at a time where you can affect every party member as well as when it is usefull for it's full duration)
http://xivdb.com/action/94/Elusive+Jump: This is a "difficult" skill to master but it can be used very well to reposition yourself or to use it as a gap closer.
http://xivdb.com/action/59/Internal+Release: Use it as ofter as you possibly can.
http://xivdb.com/action/85/Blood+for+Blood: Use it as often as you possibly can.
http://xivdb.com/action/36/Mercy+Stroke: Use it as much as you can whenever a target gets beneath 20% hp!

Do not forget to use http://xivdb.com/action/80/Invigorate when you need TP (at 440 TP and less is the most optimal).

Multiple targets and AoE usage

Depending on the conditions of the encounter you are in there are several ways to deal with multiple targets:

There are several actions that can be used to deal damage to multiple enemies at once:

http://xivdb.com/action/86/Doom+Spike: Straight line towards your target
http://xivdb.com/action/89/Ring+of+Thorns: Circle AoE around yourself. Will deal 150 potency instead of 100 if combo'd from http://xivdb.com/action/79/Heavy+Thrust.
http://xivdb.com/action/96/Dragonfire+Dive Will jump towards the target and deal AoE damage to and around that target.
http://xivdb.com/action/3555/Geirskogul Similar to http://xivdb.com/action/86/Doom+Spike, has a broader line and more range.

If there are at least 3 targets it will be worth to use http://xivdb.com/action/79/Heavy+Thrust > http://xivdb.com/action/89/Ring+of+Thorns with http://xivdb.com/action/86/Doom+Spike. This is mostly usefull on wanting to clear a pack of many targets very fast, It is very TP inefficient and you will run out fast so be wary of your TP.

Alternatively if the targets have too much hp for your AoE to kill them before your tp runs out, you can use the http://xivdb.com/action/88/Chaos+Thrust combo on different targets to save TP and still do decent multi-target damage. Another advantage of doing this ensures you to use more http://xivdb.com/action/3555/Geirskogul in general and also while multiple targets are affected by http://xivdb.com/status/121/Disembowel to still dish out good AoE damage. This also is a good way to clear multiple targets that come in quick succession where there is no room in between pulls/spawns to regain TP (Alexander: Cuff of the Father - Savage for example).

Indepth Blood of the Dragon information

Using the Blood of the Dragon mechanic has the following benefits:

How to properly use Geirskogul.

You want to do as much damage as possible and also as fast as possible, a great mindset to have as a damage dealer, but with http://xivdb.com/action/3555/Geirskogul patience and calm thinking is the key. You want to keep up http://xivdb.com/status/736/Blood+Of+The+Dragon so you don´t lose all of the nice perks you get from it but also want to burn it´s duration for the 200 extra potency.

To do this properly you can do several things like set up a rule for yourself like: "at 23 seconds or more after using my 4th combo hit I can use 1 http://xivdb.com/action/3555/Geirskogul!". This is not bad to hold unto, although there are many situations where you might want to burn through the duration anyway because you could refresh it again with a new usage of http://xivdb.com/action/3553/Blood+of+the+Dragon. Or maybe you want to save it to get it during that http://xivdb.com/action/85/Blood+for+Blood.

All of these scenario's may and will occur eventually and you will have to think about what to do with it. Always try to plan out your http://xivdb.com/action/3555/Geirskogul usages, this often requires you to know an encounter quite well but it is worth it all together.

Below you will find my timings for http://xivdb.com/action/3555/Geirskogul usages where you can see which can be lined up with http://xivdb.com/action/85/Blood+for+Blood, keep in mind that in several encounters this will not be possible due to disconnects and such!

This image shows you an rotation only possible in an encounter without any disconnects such as a dummy!

Aside from using http://xivdb.com/action/3555/Geirskogul as that extra burst it is also very usefull to strike multiple targets and in nearly every encounter there will be oppurtunities to make good use of this.

My advice for http://xivdb.com/action/3555/Geirskogul is to get used to the encounters as much as possible and plan out the usage of your http://xivdb.com/action/3555/Geirskogul while keeping in mind as many factors as possible. If you are not to sure about it you can try to make a small spreadsheet on when to use http://xivdb.com/action/3555/Geirskogul and when to save it so you can optimize everything to your own liking.

Gear, stat weights and accuracy caps

As with the newest patch (3.2) there can be many different ways to optimize your stats now because of the new materia melding feature!

My own personal BiS list based on my experience in the current content regarding accuracy (the acc might be short of 1 point for the true A8S frontal cap but I have yet to confirm this) and stat weighting:

My thoughts on Skill Speed:
I have heard many people talk about having the "required minimum" Skill Speed. What is being meant by this would be the minimum to do your rotation properly, have cooldowns line up nicely and give you an advantage on http://xivdb.com/action/3555/Geirskogul usage.
However I have done a lot of testing around Skill Speed and I noticed that with my current latency I have no problems with my opener, cooldown management or http://xivdb.com/action/3555/Geirskogul.

About the required minimum Skill Speed people say 616+ for DRG is optimal but that is just personal preference and dependant on your connection in my opinion.

After testing over 150 different skill speed values I found the sweet spot for myself to be 467, less than this I won't be able to do what I want, more would be a waste but does give you a slight leeway for mistakes and such. Therefore I also cannot give skill speed a stat weight, as for me, this is a cap just like accuracy.

That said I have yet to find "good" reasons aside from personal preference to go for a higher amount of skill speed.

The current stat weights for Dragoon as calculated by Dervy (I do not personally use these for reference, I do my testings on a dummy to base my gear setups on that):

Weapon Damage: 10,625
Strength: 1
Critical Hit Rate: 0,162
Determination: 0,139
Skill Speed: 0,104

In my opinion it is always the most important to prioritize your stats like this due to their weights and importance:
Weapon damage > Accuracy CAP > Skill Speed CAP > Strength > Critical Hit Rate > Determination > Skill Speed.

Accuracy cap:

Accuracy caps for Alxander Savage turns (these numbers might not be 100% correct as there is more testing to be done but with these numbers you will be very close to if not on top of the cap):

A1S: Front 600 // Flank 570
A2S: Front 610 // Flank 580
A3S: Front 640 // Flank 610
A4S: Front 649 // Flank 630

For the newer fights I have yet to confirm the exact accuracy caps but with these I was sure to hit:

A5S: Front 658? // Flank 640?
A6S: Front 670? // Flank 650?
A7S: Front 684? // Flank 664?
A8S: Front 699(700) // Flank 682?

Keep in mind that especially in A7S and in A8S it is important to meet the Frontal accuracy cap as you will be regularly striking a target from the front, missing will mess up your rotation and might even cause a wipe!

Dummy and raid parses

For Alexander - Savage parses check out the following link

Thank you for taking the time to read my guide and I hope it helped you in becoming more informed about Dragoons!
"I take things like honor and loyalty seriously. It's more important to me than any materialistic thing I could have."
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