Everthing you ever wanted to know about RDM tanking (but were afraid to ask) Introduction: Why I wrote this guide
Ever since I got my Duelist's Tabard last month, I've been itching to tank something on RDM/NIN, but haven't really been sure of myself being ready for the endeavor; the hardest thing I've tanked to date is Scythefang Liger (I once showed up to tank Proto-Omega RDM/NIN, but accidentally left my Shihei in my mog house--this was pre-Satchel days). Looking around, I've seen snippets of advice given here and there, but haven't seen it all pooled in one location to compare my knowledge against and make sure it all meshed together in my head properly, so I took it upon myself to create this guide to display to the best of my ability how I understand RDM tanking to work. I did this in the hope that any factual inaccuracies will be pointed out so they can be fixed and the correct knowledge passed on to everyone who reads this. Reflecting this, I sent out a copy of this to Rog in advance of posting it, and I have added in some of his commentary, marked in red text
, where I felt it was more beneficial to hear exactly why he said something should be changed, rather than just change it. Other changes have been made from his suggestions as well.
In short, I wanted to create a resource for up-and-coming RDM tanks that they can read, implement, and feel confident that they are using the right approach for their RDM tank. For now, this guide aims to focus on RDM/NIN tanking as a natural complement to the current #1 preferred endgame tank: PLD/NIN. In the future, I wouldn't mind expanding it to RDM/WAR lower-level tanking (for level-capped events and XP parties) and RDM/PLD bloodtanking if the RDM/NIN guide works out well. Section 1: Why tank on RDM?
You may be wondering why you should bother putting together a tanking set on RDM at all. If you have PLD75 or NIN75, it may not be that appealing, and it may not be for you. When you get down to it, though, it's because RDM tanking is fun. Secondly, RDM excels as a tank in low-support situations: a sufficiently-geared RDM can hit the recast cap for shadows with only a single outside March spell (everthing else is native to the RDM), we can self-cure, self-refresh, self-haste, and Slow (II) + Paralyze (II) the mob being tanked, meaning that a BRD/WHM + RDM/NIN is an absolute powerhouse when it comes to holding mobs. RDM also does well in situations where reducing magic damage taken is a real concern (Proto-Ultima, for example), and in situations where low-to-no TP feed is important (since engaging/damage-dealing is not a significant source of RDM enmity, unlike PLD).
It offers an exciting change of pace for RDMs normally stuck in the Refresh/Haste/Cure rut, and if you choose to do put in the effort, you can excel as a tank. PLD/NIN vs. RDM/NIN: a quick rundown
There are obviously advantages to using PLDs as main tanks, since it's such a common occurance in LSs from the newest of the new to the most elite endgame shells, but before I dive into how it all works, I thought I'd break down the advantages/disadvantages of both jobs in tanking in an easy-to-understand bullet list.
Most PLDs are already geared to tank, and have been doing it for 75 levels +
Top-tier PLDs have access to Aegis +
Atonement deals consistent damage against any foe, regardless of level differences +
Invincible makes PLD temporarily immune to any melee or ranged attacks, while giving a giant VE boost. -
Requires significant support to make it work effectively/dependent on outside Refresh -
Most PLDs' tank gear is from 2004 (this is not an issue for smart DD PLD/NINs) -
Feeds TP to the mob (may or may not be an issue depending on mob)
RED MAGE: +
Requires very little support to make it work effectively/can regenerate own MP +
Feeds 0 TP to the mob +
Can provide debuffs to help with tanking (Slow/Paralyze), while tanking +
Chainspell + Utsusemi makes RDM basically untouchable by any single-target move for the duration of the 2hour (including magic, unlike PLD's Invincible) +
Has ridiculously good defensive capability -
Ridiculously good defensive capability is usually overkill -
Does not contribute to killing speed -
Most RDMs are not geared to tank, may take convincing to even be allowed to try Section 2: Enmity
While I would like to jump right into tanking gearsets, and macro suggestions, but I would be remiss if I didn't start out with the mechanics behind how it all works, which is FFXI's Enmity system. I realize it may be tempting to skim over this section, but I highly recommend reading it before moving on to the later sections if you are not already familiar with Kaeko's enmity model and PLD's + RDM's enmity tools.
First of all, there are two types of enmity in FFXI: Volatile Enmity (VE), and Cumulative Enmity (CE). Both cap at a value of 10,000, and are added together to determine your total enmity. Whoever on a mob's hate list has the highest total enmity is who the mob will attempt to attack. Volatile Enmity decays at a rate of 60 VE per second, or 3600 VE/min. Cumulative Enmity, on the other hand builds up and stays (it does not normally decay). As a PLD/NIN or RDM/NIN tank, there are 2 main ways to lose CE; take damage (variable by amount of damage taken) or lose an Utsusemi shadow (-25 CE). Additionally, Enmity+ and Enmity- gear/merits work by taking enmity numbers from the below tables and increasing them as a percentage (i.e. Enmity+5 will increase the enmity of an action by 5%, while Enmity-5 will decrease the enmity of an action by 5%. As a note, all Enmity numbers, research, and tables used in this guide were taken from Kaeko's enmity guide (kanican.livejournal.com), I take no credit for them.
Now that we know how enmity works as a model, let's review PLD's enmity tools, followed by RDM's enmity tools. For the sake of simplicity, we will ignore enmity tools of /NIN because they are both negligible for the purpose of tanking, and usable by both PLD and RDM (which means they have no place in a comparative guide). /NIN's most important tool (Utsusemi shadows which drastically reduce CE loss) will already be in use by both to reduce damage taken. PALADIN
Job Ability CE VE Level MP Casting
Shield Bash 1 900 15 0 0.00
Sentinel 1 1800 30 0 0.00
Spells CE VE Level MP Casting
Cure -- C -- -- C -- 5 8 2.00
Cure II -- C -- -- C -- 17 24 2.25
Cure III -- C -- -- C -- 30 46 2.50
Flash 180 1280 37 25 0.50
Cure IV -- C -- -- C -- 55 88 2.50
Weapon Skill CE VE Level MP Casting
Atonement -- D -- -- D -- Mythic 0 0.00 RED MAGE
Spells CE VE Level MP Casting
Cure -- C -- -- C -- 3 8 2.00
Blind 1 640 8 5 2.00
Bind 1 640 11 8 2:00
Cure II -- C -- -- C -- 14 24 2.25
Sleep 320 320 25 19 2.50
Cure III -- C -- -- C -- 26 46 2.50
Dispel 320 320 32 25 3.00
Sleep II 480 480 46 29 3.00
Cure IV -- C -- -- C -- 48 88 2.50 C and D mean the amount of enmity varies depending on the amount cured/damage dealt. For more information, please read Kanican's livejournal, where he explains how C and D work more in-depth than I will cover here. For the purposes of this guide, just note that while RDM has 3 very good enmity spells to generate CE, PLD is very reliant on C-and-D-derived enmity as a source of CE.
I have cropped the enmity tables from Kanican's livejournal to include only spells/abilities that are significant to the generation of enmity. As the above note says, you can see that PLD is reliant on cure-cheats and Atonement damage to consistently rack up CE, while RDM has a comparatively easy time of it with only magic. What this means is that as a RDM, when you need to generate CE, you should stick to Sleep/Dispel/Sleep II instead of spending more MP on less MP-efficient cures for enmity. The one obvious exception to this is post-Convert cures, which provide a nice enmity spike after you refill your MP.
An argument can be made for the inclusion of Poison as an enmity-generating spell, but because it costs the same as Blind, which also shares a short recast, and gives double the enmity, I chose not to include it. Poison also renders the tanking target unsleepable, which may be undesirable in some cases. Rog Commentary: There really is no reason to ever use poison for hate. The recast on blind is low enough to spam it, with little delay. Same thing with bind (though it's even worse than poison because of the long recast, blind's low mp cost, and ridiculously fast recast make it irrelevant).
VE, on the other hand, comes to PLDs very easily. Flash alone gives 1280 VE (which is increased to 2560 VE under the effects of Sentinel, which itself generates 1800 VE). Added up, a PLD using Sentinel + Flash with no Enmity+ gear will generate 4360 VE, nearly halfway to the VE cap in just a few seconds. When Sentinel is down, though, a PLD with capped Flash recast (22 seconds) will typically generate 4147 VE per minute from spells (from 2.7 Flash casts per minute and assuming +20 Enmity gear/merits), for a gain of ~600 VE per minute, after negating natural VE loss (-3600 VE per minute). This means that any actions taken beyond casting Flash (such as cure-cheating) contribute to a net gain in VE for the PLD (again, assuming his Flash recast is capped).
As a RDM, you will need to cast 6.5 Blinds/Binds (they both give the same VE gain) per minute to keep up with a capped-recast PLD's Flashes, and bypass normal VE loss. Unlike PLD, you are not restricted by the recast time on Blind (Bind's recast can be somewhat restrictive), so any Blinds you cast beyond the usual 6.5 per minute contribute to a net gain in VE. This means you should be aiming to cast Blind/Bind at the very
least every 9 seconds.
When we break down the mechanics of this, a RDM casting Blind every 8 seconds will eventually cap VE, and a RDM casting Blind every 7 seconds will cap it faster. Obviously, time needs to be taken to increase CE as well, so make sure not to neglect your Sleeps and Dispels to counteract the 25CE loss every time a shadow is lost, because you will want to hit the CE cap before your healers do (and they will, given a long enough fight). If you're solo-tanking, feel free to try to hit the enmity cap as quickly as possible, but if you're duo-tanking you will generally want to match your partner's enmity gain so the mob will bounce between the two of you, making it easier to keep up shadows. Rog Commentary: Tbh, i'd have to disagree with that. Solo tanking is not particularly hard for rdm, and when your cotank realizes he has not pulled hate off you for awhile, he's probably going to pick up the pace. Section 3: Gearsets The Shadows Cast/Recast Set
At last, past the mechanics of how enmity works under the hood, we now come to talking about gearsets. Your first goal as a RDM tank should be to cap your Utsusemi recasts (15 seconds for Ichi, 22 seconds for Ni), since it doesn't really matter if you can keep hate if your healers have to curebomb you just to keep you alive because you can't spam shadows fast enough. You naturally have an advantage over other jobs in this category due to RDM's delicious signature job trait: Fast Cast. Every 2% of Fast Cast you have reduces your recast times by 1%, meaning every 75 RDM will natively have only 90% of the normal recast time on every spell they cast (due to 20% native Fast Cast). Your native Haste spell will cut recasts by 15% whenever it is on, as well. This means that all spells cast by a RDM with haste will have 75% of their normal recast, right? Well, not quite.
You see, while Haste and Fast Cast both decrease recast time of a spell, they act independently of each other. What this means is that instead of calculating recast time as: Normal Cast Time (100% - (Fast Cast%/2 + Haste%), it's calculated as: Normal Cast Time (100% - Fast Cast%/2) (100% - Haste%). So, in actuality, a 75 RDM with Haste active will have a native recast time on all spells of (100% - 20%/2) (100% - 15%) = (90%) (85%) = 76.5%. So, it's close to the 75% you'd expect, but it's not quite there.
For a more dramatic example, 25% Haste + 50% Fast Cast should cap recasts down to 50%, right? Let's calculate it and find out. (100% - 50%/2) (100% - 25%) = (75%) (75%) = 56.25% recast. So, while you'd think off the top of your head that 50% Fast Cast + 25% Haste would cap your recasts, you'd actually need a Victory March (9% Haste) on top of that to cap your recast for real. (75%) (66%) = 49.5% which rounds to 50%, the recast cap.
This, however, brings up a dilemma: your trusty Warlock's Chapeau will decrease recasts by 5% (as it gives 10% Fast Cast), and a Walahra Turban will also decrease recasts by 5%, so which do you choose? Well, in this case the answer will diverge depending on whether you use SpellCast (a Windower plugin) or not. If you do, you'll start casting in Warlock's Chapeau to speed up your cast (cast time is determined at the beginning of the cast), and then macro in Walahra Turban mid-cast (recast time is determined when the spell fires). A non-SpellCast user will likely just use Warlock's Chapeau for the cast time reduction, because while the Walahra Turban is slightly better for recast (explained below), that advantage is negated by Warlock's Chapeau speeding up the cast itself. Of course, it is possible for a player to hit a macro mid-cast to switch from Chapeau to Turban, giving the same net effect; it's really up to the player how far they want to go with their macros.
An interesting thing about Fast Cast and Haste, is that they each individually get better as you stack more of them, while reducing the relative effectiveness of the other. That is to say, 25% Haste + 50% Fast Cast will not
cap recasts (as was previously shown), but 50% Haste (currently possible) or 100% Fast Cast (currently impossible) by themselves will
. Back to Walahra Turban being slightly better than Warlock's Chapeau for recasts: why is this the case? Let's imagine for a second that you have the best Fast Cast gear possible for RDM. This means 20% in Job Traits, 10% from Warlock's Chapeau, 10% from Duelist's Tabard, and 2% from Loquacious Earring. That's a total of 42% Fast Cast, for a 21% Recast reduction, before the effects of Haste. We have a native Haste spell, which gives 15% Recast reduction normally, so it requires 6% Haste in gear to match Fast Cast's 21% reduction, a pathetically easy benchmark for any RDM seriously considering tanking (after all, Turban gives 5% so if you have any other Haste gear at all
, you can match Fast Cast). However, let's do the math to prove this, and not just take it as an assumption. I'm going to assume an Auction-House available Haste build for the RDM (Dusk Gloves + Dusk Ledelsens + Headlong Belt = 8% Haste), and compare the effectiveness of Chapeau vs. Turban.
Warlock's Chapeau: (100% - (20% JT + 10% Chapeau)/2) (100% - (15% Spell + 8% Gear)) = (85%) (77%) = 65.45% Recast.
Walahra Turban: (100% - (20% JT)/2) (100% - (15% Spell + 8% Gear + 5% Turban)) = (90%) (72%) = 64.48% Recast.
As you can see, the race is close, but Walahra Turban is slightly better for recasts, but the difference is small enough for non-SpellCast users not to bother with swapping gear mid-spell (although the difference becomes larger as more Haste gear is added). 29% total Haste is the turning point for Goliard Saio (4% Haste), at which it matches, and past which it outperforms, Duelist's Tabard (10% Fast Cast) for recast.
Now that it's established how the two stats you want to focus on for Utsusemi (Haste and Fast Cast) work, let's look at the options for each of them. Bolded
selections are the best for recast, and italicized
selections are the best for starting the spell in.
Sub: Sentinel's Shield (1% Haste)
Head: Walahra Turban (5% Haste), Selenian Cap (up to 5% Haste), Warlock's Chapeau (10% Fast Cast)
Ear: Loquacious Earring
Body: Nashira Manteel (3% Haste), Goliard Saio (4% Haste), Royal Redingote (5% Fast Cast), Duelist's Tabard (10% Fast Cast)
Hands: Dusk Gloves (3% Haste), Dusk Gloves +1 (4% Haste)
Rings: Technically there is one, but it's ridiculously rare, and only works in Assault (Imperial Ring). Wouldn't bother with it.
Waist: Ninurta's Sash/Speed Belt/Velocious Belt (6% Haste), Tempest Belt (6% Haste; Only in Windy Weather), Swift Belt (4% Haste), Headlong Belt (3% Haste), Quick Belt (2% Haste)
Legs: Nashira Seraweels (2% Haste), Tatsumaki Sitagoromo (3% Haste), Augmented Clown's Subligar (up to 3% Haste)
Feet: Dusk Ledelsens (2% Haste), Dusk Ledelsens +1 (3% Haste)
Technically Selenian Cap can match Walahra Turban, but it would be pretty dumb to waste your mission reward making one like that.
These will run you a lot of gil, they are the best, so they got bolded, but don't consider them necessary by any means. You will still need a BRD to cap your recasts, with NQ or HQ.
Put this all together, and you'll find the ideal Utsusemi Cast set (to be worn as the spell begins) is:
Warlock's Chapeau/--/Loquacious Earring/--
+22% Fast Cast
And the ideal Utsusemi Recast set (to be swapped in mid-cast) is:
Walahra Turban/--/Loquacious Earring
Goliard Saio/Dusk Gloves +1/--/--
--/Speed Belt/Tatsumaki Sitagoromo/Dusk Ledelsens +1
2% Fast Cast, 26% Haste (25% is the Haste Cap, but generally requires 26% to actually hit it due to the fractional way Haste is calculated in-game)
Even with the best Recast set, you will still need 1 March spell to cap your recasts, but you should always aim for at least 20% gear Haste so that it will only
take 1 March to cap you, leaving you open to get Mage's Ballad. You probably won't hit this at first, but the closer you get, the better. The +Enmity Set
Contrary to what you may believe, the +Enmity set isn't as important for RDM as it is for PLD. While PLD has great Enmity-generaing Job Abilities (which are affected by +Enmity but not Haste), RDM relies on magic (which is affected by Haste) for enmity generation. This means your +Enmity set for spells is going to look a lot like your Recast set, with a few notable exceptions. First off, Duelist's Tabard and Nashira Manteel will always beat Goliard Saio in the +Enmity set, due to lacking Goliard Saio's -5 Enmity. Secondly, you can macro in things like Resentment Cape, Eris's Earring (+1), Mermaid Ring, and Harmonia's Torque. Since +Enmity is a lot more straightforward than Haste/Fast Cast, let's get down to brass tacks and list the gear + optimal set.
Main: Macuahuitl +1 (+4 Enmity)
Sub: Shark Strap (+3 Enmity, only with 2handed Main weapon)
Ammo: Aumoniere (+1 Enmity), Aumoniere +1 (+2 Enmity)
Head: Use Haste
Neck: Harmonia's Torque (+3 Enmity), Ritter Gorget (+3 Enmity), Hateful Collar (+1 Enmity)
Ear: Nemesis Earring (+1 Enmity), Eris's Earring (+2 Enmity), Eris's Earring +1 (+3 Enmity), Hades Earring (Enmity +1), Hades Earring +1 (Enmity +2)
Body: Use Haste/Fast Cast
Hands: Use Haste
Rings: Mermaid Ring (+2 Enmity), Sattva Ring (+3 Enmity)
Back: Resentment Cape (+2 Enmity), Breath Mantle (+3 Enmity: Enchantment), High Breath Mantle (+5 Enmity: Enchantment), Cerberus Mantle (+3 Enmity), Cerberus Mantle +1 (+4 Enmity)
Waist: Use Haste
Legs: Use Haste
Feet: Use Haste
Macuahuitl +1/Sentinel's Shield/Aumoniere +1
Walahra Turban/Ritter Gorget/Loquacious Earring/Eris's Earring +1
Duelist's Tabard/Dusk Gloves +1/Mermaid Ring/Sattva Ring
Cerberus Mantle +1/Speed Belt/Tatsumaki Sitagoromo/Dusk Ledelsens +1
I can not stress enough that this set is not as important as the other sets. It's nice to have good +Enmity on your spells, but realistically, if you're gimping your other sets to build this one (especially something drastic, like changing Rajas or Tamas to Sattva, merely for RDM), you're doing yourself a disservice. The -Interruption Set
Here's an interesting set that I only learned about recently. -Spell Interruption % gear doesn't work as labeled; a -15% piece won't make you see 15% fewer interruptions, as I'm sure any mage has become familiar with. However, apparently hitting the magic number of 102% in -Interruption gear makes you literally uninterruptable other than by movement (and, therefore, knockback), Paralyze, Sleep, Silence, and Stun. The general idea of the -Interruption Set is to (like the +Enmity set) stack as much of the stat as you can without using slots you already have Haste gear in. There are figurative tons
of -Interruption Gear, so I will not list it all. Instead, I will list the optimal set, and let each reader work their own set out for themself. Note: The spell Aquaveil counts as 25% Spell Interruption rate towards the 102% goal.
Spell: Aquaveil (25%)
Main: Eremite's Wand (25%)
Sub: Eremite's Wand (25%)
Head: Use Haste
Neck: Willpower Torque (5%)
Ear: Magnetic Earring (8%), Use Fast Cast
Body: Use Haste
Hands: Use Haste
Back: Solitaire Cape (8%)
Waist: Use Haste (Alternatively, Ninurta's Sash for 6% Haste and 6% Spell interruption, but if you have Ninurta's and wouldn't use it here, you're stupid enough that you don't deserve to have it)
Legs: Use Haste
Feet: Use Haste
Merits: 3 Interrupt Merits (6%)
Total -Interruption: 102%
The above set sacrifices 1% Haste for Utsusemi recast in order to make the spell uninterruptable, but requires a specific Apocalypse Nigh reward, and 3 merits in -Interruption. This set is primarily used when shadows are down, and hits are causing interruption to attempts to get the Shadows back up. I recommend only using this set with Utsusemi: Ichi, partially because it will affect its shorter recast less, and partially because Utsusemi: Ni is quite easy to fit between mob swings, particularly for RDM, and the fact that this set increases its recast more than it should have to makes it undesirable for Ni. The exception, obviously, being if you have the above ideal set (or at least 20% Gear Haste), with March and Haste on (which will cap your recasts as long as you have 20% Gear Haste + 15% Haste Spell), since you'll have capped recasts anyway and this set will make you uninterruptable in the case of a double/triple attack from the mob breaking through your shadows as you try to recast. If you're not willing to spend merits/Apocalypse Nigh reward on your -Interrupt set, though, you can use something like the below.
The -Magical Damage Set
Spell: Aquaveil (25%)
Main: Eremite's Wand (25%)
Sub: Eremite's Wand (25%)
Head: Use Haste
Neck: Willpower Torque (5%)
Ear: Use Fast Cast
Body: Use Haste
Hands: Use Haste
Back: Solitaire Cape (8%)
Waist: Use Haste
Legs: Use Haste
Feet: Karasutengu Kogake (15%)
Total -Interruption: 103%
This set and the next set are pretty straightforward. The purpose of each is to reduce a specific type of damage, in this case, magical damage. To use this set, generally, I just have a macro to swap into it when I need to, though it's possible to have different macro sets for Magical/Physical/Idle and use them as needed. In this case, you'll want to switch into this set to survive special moves such as Citadel Buster (Proto-Ultima), Mega Flare (Bahamut), or AoE nukes used against you (single target nukes will be absorbed by your shadows). The primary stats to focus on in this case are Magic Defense Bonus (MDB), and -Magic Damage Taken (-MDT%) which caps at -50%. INT also helps, but I mainly put it in slots where you can't get a lot of MDB/-MDT%. Like -Interruption and -Physical Damage sets, there are many options for this set, so I will not list them all, instead listing the ideal set.
Note on Defending Ring: if you have this ring and don't use it for this set, the Physical Damage set, and the Idle set, I will personally come to your house and hack your account myself.
Spell: Shellra V (-24% MDT)
Main: Kebbie (5 MDB)
Ranged: Lamian Kaman +1 (2 MDB)
Head: Storm Turban (2 MDB)
Neck: Prudence Torque (+5 INT)
Ear: Merman's Earring x2 (-2% MDT Each)
Body: Dalmatica +1 (6 MDB)
Hands: Duelist's Gloves (2 MDB)
Rings: Defending Ring (-10% Damage Taken), Minerva's Ring (-8% Magic Damage Taken); (Most players will cap out at Mermans Ring x2 for -4% MDT each)
Back: Resentment Cape (-5% MDT)
Waist: Resolute Belt (2 MDB)
Legs: Morrigan's Slops (+10 INT)
Feet: Mahant Sandals (2 MDB)
Total -50% MDT, 21 MDB
You may avoid the Mahant Sandals if you need to move around (they have -Movement on them), and if that's the case you should probably include Crimson Cuisses for their Movement+ (it never hurts), which also have Elemental Resistances on them, which can help depending on the element of damage you're getting hit with (if you're stacking elemental resistance/have barspell + carol up on you). Just don't try to cast against Dragons (or cure Dragoons) while wearing them. The -Physical Damage Set
The Physical Damage set is primarily used when you're getting pummeled and shadows are down (and you can't get them up for one reason or another). Examples would be while tanking a MNK that used Hundred Fists (so your shadows are down and so are your recast timers), while silenced, out of shadows, and out of Echo Drops. Basically, in a situation where things are going really bad are the times this set will see use. The stat to focus on is -Physical Damage Taken (-PDT%), and the ideal set is as follows:
Main: Terra's Staff (-20% PDT)
Head: Darksteel Cap +1 (-2% PDT)
Body: Darksteel Harness +1 (-4% PDT)
Hands: Darksteel Mittens +1 (-2% PDT)
Rings: Patronus Ring (-2% PDT), Jelly Ring (-5% PDT)
Back: Umbra Cape (-6% PDT, -12% PDT at night)
Legs: Goliard Trews (-3% PDT), Crimson Cuisses (+12% Movement Speed)
Feet: Darksteel Leggings (-2% PDT)
Total -46%/-50% PDT (Day/Night)
One thing to note about this set is the inclusion of Crimson Cuisses. They will not be useful in every case, but if you are, for example, tanking for a manaburn kill (so kiting won't be an issue) and get silenced, it may cause less enmity loss to simply kite the mob until you are not silenced anymore (providing the mob does not have enhanced movement speed). The Idle Set
The purpose of the idle set is to wear when you're not doing anything. It should include Refresh, Regen, -Damage%, +Movement Speed, and +MP never killed anyone. Generally, just swap into this set when you're done casting, and wear it while you're running around. If you do Assaults, the Yigit Set is a prime example of Idle set gear, although there is much better (and much more highly-contested) gear out there for this same purpose. The ideal set is as follows:
Main: Terra's Staff
Sub: Elemental Grip (any, it's for the +MP)
Ranged: Arco de Velocidad (Regen)
Head: Duelist's Chapeau (Refresh)
Neck: Orochi Nodowa (Regen)
Ear: Ethereal Earring, Reraise Earring
Body: Dalmatica/Morrigan's Robe (Refresh)
Hands: Garden Bangles (Regen)
Rings: Defending Ring, Balrahn's Ring (Refresh, when latent is active)/Jelly Ring
Back: Umbra Cape
Waist: Lycopodium Sash (Regen)
Legs: Crimson Cuisses
Feet: Cobra Crackows
During daytime only
For the sake of the idle set, they're basically the same, though Morrigan's is better for nuking and actually casting in.
While technically the Daytime-latent Regen items ARE the best for the idle set when they are active, I don't consider them worth the inventory space they use up, so I would probably just replace them with +MP gear (I would still keep the Orochi Nodowa, though). You should already have a similar setup for your RDM, even if you don't tank; it's just good sense to at least macro in a Vermillion Cloak, a Terra's Staff, and a Reraise Earring when you're not doing anything. Section 4: Tying it all together
Ok, so you have your macros set up, your gear collected, and you understand how Enmity works. Now what? First of all, I'd recommend you try your hand at RDM tanking on something your LS is used to fighting, and show up as a backup tank. Scythefang Liger would be a good choice, since he's what I cut my teeth on, but realistically he's so easy you might not learn anything at all from him. Primary things to look for in a mob to start your career as a RDM tank against: 1) Does it double-attack? 2) Is it primarily evasion-tanked (think Charybdis)? 3) Is it kited? I'd recommend against making your maiden voyage into RDM tanking against any foe who fulfills one of these 3 conditions, saving them for when you have at least a little bit of experience and know that you can count on having your macros/gear set up properly. Something like Byakko is a lot less forgiving than Proto-Ultima or Proto-Omega, both of which look to be ideal starting mobs to tank. I realize not everyone has Sea access, so I will attempt to update this guide with my experiences with different mobs as I actually get a chance to tank them. Rog Commentary: Any non-byakko sky god is a good starting place. They do DA, but so do 99% of mobs, so i think it IS best to start there. Mobs that do not DA are simply too easy to tank, that it's hard to learn anything by practicing against them. A note about Composure:
Composure was added earlier this year, and has great potential for a tanking RDM, but can also ***** you up really
bad if you handle it improperly. It makes your White and Black magic enhancing spells on yourself last 3 times as long, but adds a 25% Slow to spell recasts. You should aim to pop Composure while 3 shadows are up, cast Refresh, Haste, and Aquaveil on yourself, then cancel it before you re-cast either of your Utsusemi spells. Realistically, you probably won't have enough time to cast all 3 spells under just 3 shadows, so you can probably get away with casting Utsusemi: Ichi once to give you enough time to put up Aquaveil after Refresh and Haste, but I strongly recommend against ever casting Utsusemi: Ni under Composure. Remember, it's nice to have your buffs last 3 times as long, but it's nicer to not be ripped to shreds by the mob you're tanking. RDM tanking was completely do-able before Composure ever existed, so when in doubt, you can always drop Composure, cast your shadows, and live with casting Refresh/Haste/Aquaveil a little more often. Stoneskin will last 3 times as long under Composure, but since it has a 5 minute duration, it's not too much of a pain to just re-cast it every time it wears. A side
note rant about RDM's responsibilities as a tank:
This should be obvious, but seems to come as a shock to some event planners who are looking into using RDM tanks. When a RDM is a tank, treat the RDM like a tank.
You wouldn't expect a PLD or NIN to cure/haste DDs while keeping hate and keeping themselves alive, would you? No! So don't expect your RDM to!
Once upon a time someone, who shall remain nameless (you know who you are if you're reading this), wanted me to A) hold/kite a secondary mob, while B) healing DDs, and C) debuffing the mob being fought. Surprise, surprise, we all died. I'm not bitter about it, it happened a while ago, but the lesson was learned: when RDM tanks, it's a tank. It needs less outside support than a PLD or NIN usually, but outside of maybe
Refreshing your PLD co-tank or tossing a Cure to keep them from dying when they're in the red, you should expect a RDM tank to focus on keeping hate, and staying alive; thereby keeping your alliance alive. If you do not include a dedicated healer in your tank party ("because RDM is a healer") when you normally would for a PLD or NIN (i.e. not low-man situations), you're doing it wrong and will probably die. Rog Commentary: This is situational. With 2 rdm tanks (or solo tanking most things), you really should NOT need any support at all, except for the brd. Trying to babysit a pld who cannot haste/refresh himself, and doesn't have enough mp (and damage mitigation) to handle keeping himself alive on the other hand is obviously ridiculous, but rdm can handle themselves just fine.
Finally, if you have something to add/something to correct, please let me know and I'll fix it to the best of my ability. Good luck in your RDM tanking endeavors!
Edit: Removed Chainspell, Composure, and Convert from Enmity table. Edited, Dec 9th 2009 4:15pm by Aliekber Edited, Dec 9th 2009 4:17pm by Aliekber