FFXI: The Best Subjobs For Black Mage

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Black mages are widely known for the destructive force they can bring down onto their enemies.

They forego nearly all utility and support, in pursuit of dealing high amounts of burst damage in both single target and AoE situations – which makes them fantastic at crowd control.

Due to their simplistic but effective role in a party, a black mage’s best options for subjobs would ideally be jobs that feature skills a black mage might lack. Or even a subjob to help them wreak havoc even more!

Let’s take a look at some of the best choices to help these spell-slinging sorcerers.

 

5. Summoner

Summoner is a very niche subjob in this scenario.

But it’s one worth mentioning due to its considerable range of utility for a black mage.

Most often, a black mage will be using this subjob to support their crowd control capabilities – such as with Cait Sith’s Mewing Lullaby, Fenrir’s Lunar Roar or Diablos’ Nightmare.

They’re AoE, so they help a black mage with their crowd control (a lot).

The Max MP Boost and Auto Refresh traits are welcome too, but not necessarily make-or-break, and are negligible bonuses at best.

 

4. Blue Mage

Here’s an interesting subjob that some black mages will take advantage of, especially experienced ones.

If they’re using a blue mage subjob, then their intention is to tank via their Mana Wall ability. And this has seen popular use in the game as of late, especially inside Omen—a trick commonly referred to as super tanking.

Cocoon will ensure that a black mage’s defenses are up to scratch by increasing it by 50%, and they’ll even get some minor healing abilities due to Wild Carrot.

Sheep Song even gives them access to a light-based AoE sleep to coincide with Sleepga.

But for anything else, this job doesn’t do much in the way of increasing the black mage’s utility, and serves exclusively as way for them to tank in niche scenarios.

 

3. White Mage

White Mage used to be a common subjob for black mage, but over time it has fallen out of favor due to some other better support jobs (the others in this list!)

That said, white mage does offer a nice Magic Defense bonus trait. This is helpful especially in conjunction with the wide range of defensive utility this job provides.

Access to Raise, Reraise, Erase, all -Na spells, and Cure IV are surely to help in a pinch, considering the fact that black mages have no way to naturally buff themselves (apart from some minor black magic spells).

Haste, Stoneskin, Aquaveil, and Blink also increase their otherwise bleak survivability by a considerable margin.

And with this subjob you’ll also get access to Repose, the light-based form of Sleep, allowing you to siesta undead monsters; rarely ever doable with Sleep itself, since it’s dark-based.

Additionally, white mage offers Slow, Paralyze, and Silence. All spells that a black mage lacks, but definitely needs.

Aside from all of this this, you also get access to the Teleport spells, but they aren’t that useful anymore simply because of how much easier traveling is in FFXI these days.

 

2. Red Mage

Red mage is definitely a popular sub to accompany black mage.

In addition to its valuable Fast Cast and Magic Defense Bonus traits, it gives black mages some much-needed versatility in their spells.

Phalanx is very valuable combined with Mana Wall’s already-potent defense mechanics to make them harder to kill.

And Stoneskin, Aquaveil, Haste, and Refresh are all perfect additions to their kit.

But unlike our #1 pick for this ranking, red mage also grants access to Cure IV. So emergency healing is also a viable option here.

Black mages who solo will most likely use RDM as a support job, because it offers the tools to quickly and efficiently deal with any situation at hand – even if it changes suddenly.

In dire cases when MP is sparse but players have no way to restore it, Convert is always on hand, too.

This works especially well with Mana Wall, when players want to add a more longevity to the effect.

 

1. Scholar

Scholar is the most commonly used subjob for a black mage in FFXI by a considerable margin.

More experienced and geared black mages will see the strengths of this subjob better than newer players. But the capabilities they bring to a black mage can’t be understated!

While the Addendum: White side of scholar gives you access to Aquaveil, Stoneskin, Raise, Reraise, Erase and –Na spells, you’re unfortunately limited to just Cure III.

This is a notable drawback if you want to provide some emergency healing. But with that said, Cure III is certainly better than nothing.

Scholar’s strength lies in supporting what black mages do best: dish out some black magic.

Dark Arts massively increases the capabilities of black magic by lowering casting and recast times, pushing DPS up while also lowering the MP cost of black magic considerably.

Alacrity is one of Scholar’s unique job abilities that you’ll also gain access to. It allows a black mage to cast their slowest spell—Death—much more often.

This is a huge benefit, since black mages often use Death as a magic burst spell for incredibly high amounts of damage!

And Manifestation is capable of providing AoE Drain, Aspir, Bio and Stun, all of which are incredible resource or crowd control tools. Having a black mage stun a group of enemies could grant a party precious time to recuperate.

Addendum: Black also grants access to Dispel!

Additionally, Sublimation is a fantastic way to passively accumulate MP; if you happen to get put to sleep by an enemy, Sublimation will also instantly wake you up, provided you don’t have Stoneskin absorbing the HP reduction effect of the ability.

This can be very helpful in situations where an enemy may sleep the whole party and begin to cast another nasty spell on the group.

A black mage subbing scholar can easily step in and stun them to prevent casualties.

But that’s not all!

You’d also gain access to Helix spells, in addition to Klimaform and weather spells, which a black mage can take ample advantage of – especially in magic bursts (their specialty!)

Scholar as a support job is just a really effective way for any black mage to double down on their already-incredible power.

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