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Welcome to my first article. Since Dancer is my favorite job I figure it's a good place to start.
I'll try to cover gear, party strategy, and soloing as best as I can.


Store TP vs. Haste

What do they do?
  • Haste reduces delay of attacks and spells along with recast times.
  • Store TP increases the amount of TP gained per attack.
While both will increase TP gained over time, focus should be placed based on the desired goal.
Haste will grant more attacks in x amount of time, while receiving the same TP per hit.
Store TP will simply grant more TP per attack without increasing attack speeds.
Example: a weapon the gains 10TP per hit will gain the user 50% more TP with 33% haste = to +50 Store TP
In this example above we can see that haste does exceed Store TP at some point but at lower values Store TP will show greater gains.
While Haste may be better in the end from a simple numbers view there is a problem.
  • Haste means more attacks, more attacks mean more damage and more enmity even if you do not hit the target.
  • Store TP on the other hand will not increase the amount of enmity from attacks.
Store TP also shows greater TP gains at lower values vs Haste which only gets better as it gets to higher values.
In closing Store TP if you are trying to keep enmity low, Haste for increased enmity or damage.
see Duel Wield or Not for more related to TP and Enmity

Dual Wield or Not

Dual Wield unlike Haste reduces delay and TP normally gained from the 2 weapons.

This is good for additional damage, but the reduction to TP is actually greater than the delay.

Using a single weapon will reduce the amount of Enmity gained as you will be doing less damage.

You will also receive the full TP amount for the weapon.

Ninja the DD sub

  • Dual Wield DNC20/NIN10 (allows you to equip a weapon in off hand)
  • Utsusemi Ichi DNC24/NIN12 (absorbs next 3 melee attacks the would deal damage)
  • Dual Wield II DNC50/NIN25 (reduces the delay of Dual Wield)
  • Utsusemi Ni lvl DNC74/NIN37 (much faster cast time, but longer recast time than ichi)

Samurai the TP sub

  • Resist Blind lvl 10 (reduces chance and duration of blind)
  • Store TP lvl 20 (more TP per attack)
  • Third Eye lvl 30 (dodges next melee attack)
  • Zanshin lvl 40 (chance to swing again if you miss)
  • Resist Blind II lvl 50 (further reduces chance and duration of blind)
  • Store TP II lvl 60 (even more TP per attack)
  • Meditate lvl 60 (60 TP every 3 mins)


As we can see Samurai offers nearly twice as many bonuses that help a Dancer.
Samurai also has the bonus of everything being instant like Dancer.
Less worry of being Blinded, more TP and less chance of missing.


Ninja does offer 2 good things though.
Higher damage and better defense when you pull hate.
NIN sub may be higher damage per attack round, but SAM sub means faster TP gain = more chances to WS over time = greater damage over time Hi-chu 01:19, 15 April 2009 (UTC)


Samurai is a must for the main healer Dancer in my honest opinion.
Optional mage sub, I recommend Scholar for reduced casting times and Sublimation.


Ninja, Samurai and Warrior are all solid subs for the pure support Dancer.

Party Strategies

In parties there are 3 strategies for dancer, Main Healer (with support), Support and Damage Dealer

Main Healer

Your main focus early on is going to be accuracy and charisma but do not ignore attack as you will need enough to deal damage to :generate TP. Store TP to meet the increasing demand on your TP at higher levels.
You will also want gear to reduce hate. (crow and raven are excellent sets for this but are lvl 50)

Advantages of Dancer Main Healer

No down time. (unless your party is fighting things way too tough)
Can Aspir Samba to help PLD Tank keep MP high.
Drain Samba will greatly reduce you need to cure and reduce the amount you will need to cure for.
Cannot be silenced. (they can but they just laugh)
Except for the feared Amnesia, that is.
If you're main healer, and your party chooses to fight amnesia mobs. You find another party with smarter players.""
Can Cure for large amounts in a flash to keep party member from dying.
Can Aoe cure party.
Can Erase status effects on party members.
Can reduce weapon delay for all melee jobs attacking mob.
Cures heal for double the previous Waltz with only a 15tp increase in cost (curing waltz iv is the exception curing about 50% more)

Disadvantages of Dancer Main healer

All dancer abilities generate a decent amount of hate
Paralyze is the dancer's silence (avoid mobs with ice spikes)
Dancers must hit the mob to gain TP, which adds to your enmity
Poorly equipped tanks or tanks that do not maintain hate can quickly drain your TP (same is true of WHM MP)
Dancer has a global timer for each type of ability
Sambas 1 minute
Steps 15 seconds
Cures progressively longer starting at 5-6 seconds to 20 seconds
Dancer can not recover TP simply by resting like a normal healer

Tips for Dancers filling the role of main healer.

Do not Dual Wield with NIN sub before level 50. Without Dual Wield II, this ups your damage but ultimately lowers your TP over time.
-however most Dancers find it more beneficial to Dual Wield anyway for the additional stat bonuses that come from equipping an additional dagger, such as the extra +Attack and +ACC from Bone daggers.
Keep Drain Samba up (it doesn't have to be your highest one)
Stop using abilities if you pull hate unless your party is going to wipe otherwise.
Carry Icarus Wings for start of party and for those times your support runs out of mp and your TP is low.
Only use accuracy food to make sure you hit
Use Quickstep if you're still having trouble hitting - quickstep should *always* be used to improve accuracy of entire party!! It also makes your successive/other steps easier to land, so there should be NO excuse not to use this
Check your 2 handed weapon update, and if party is already using sushi on lower evasion mobs, defense down = faster kills, and I would never use evasion down in the merit parties I was main heal for.
Use Box Step if you're not hitting for at least 1 damage
Use reverse flourish often, even if you only have 2 finishing moves (4 is optimal TP cost to TP gain)
Rotate steps instead of repeating the same steps for 1 finishing move after you have reached the maximum level 5 for a same step.
While Ninja sub is great, at 60 you may want to consider Samurai as your sub
Store TP II, Meditate and Zanshin all help to maintain high TP

Support

The focus of the Dancer in the support role can be compared to Bard and Corsair
Assist the Main Healer, and improve party performance while pulling your own weight on damage
You may and probably will be asked to pull at some point as a dancer

Advantages of the Support Dancer

This is where a dancer really shines, pretty much every ability helps your party

Disadvantages of the Support Dancer

Again, your main problem is going to be Enmity that your abilities generate

Tips for Support Dancer

If you have a Melee Mage heavy party and you're fighting mobs that can be Aspir'd use your Aspir Samba
Paladin, Blue Mage, Red Mage and Dark Knight fall into this grouping
If your party is sustaining damage, in most cases it is actually more beneficial to use Drain samba than Aspir Samba. Drain restores HP much more quickly and efficiently than Aspir can restore MP. By using a higher tier Drain Samba you actually end up saving more MP by reducing the need for magic cures than the paltry amount of MP you could save from Aspir Samba.
If you have Haste Samba this is going to help your party Damage the mobs faster for quicker kills.
Drain Samba is great against AoE mobs like Goblins, and mobs that use Spike Spells.
Don't forget about Stutter Step, this helps your Black Mage and Red Mage spells land more successfully.
Stutter Step also helps improve the stun success rate for Violent Flourish.

Damage Dealer

So you want to turn an awesome support job into yet another damage dealer. Well so do I lol.
This is a purely for fun build so don't expect most parties to say oh ok
I call this the DDD cause it's kinda retarded but in a fun way

Advantages of the DDD

Your abilities don't just help you do more damage, they help your whole party do more damage
Self skill chains
Fast TP building for Weapon Skills
High Accuracy and Evasion bonus for pulling hate and dealing with it
Access to 2 weapons with chance to swing twice
Saber Dance which grants you Double Attack

Disadvantages of the DDD

Daggers do relatively low damage
Your other weapon choices are almost nonexistent (you'll need merits to bring them up)
Your first Multi-hit weapon skill that takes advantage of your high chr and improved accuracy is at level 60 (Dancing Edge)
You will need lots of haste and store tp gear while not totally ignoring gear that will bring your damage up

Tips for the DDD

Use a sword in your off hand (merits strongly suggested)
Wait till 60 to even attempt this
H2H is viable with Monk sub and destroyers but you won't have access to Asuran Fists
Haste gear can be expensive, fortunately 4 pieces with a combined haste of 16% can be obtained for free
Walahra Turban 5%, Rapparee Harness 4%, Swift Belt 4% and Etoile Tights 3% so get these
Haste Samba does not count towards the Haste caps and can be merited up to 10% total weapon haste

Solo Strategies

Shattering Stars

Like most LB5 fights this is in big part luck and is an easier fight at 75 This is for the people like myself that are 70 dancer main trying to beat this fight.

Gear

Dancer AF will work just fine for this fight, if you have a Scorpion Harness this will make the fight a little easier
Your accessories should focus on accuracy and evasion.
  • There are arguments that evasion isn't worth it, because even with extremely high evasion, she still has incredible accuracy and won't miss much. See Shattering Stars Strategies for more information or tips.
And we will want a dagger that has highest base damage that we can afford.

Food

Some say Tank food, others say DD food
I tried both of these with little success
Laila has fairly high evasion and Quickstep appears to have a hidden effect of lowering accuracy
So I highly recommend sticking with Sushi for getting the most hits with your Dancing Edge

Additional items

1 Icarus Wing 1 Hi-Potion Tank (make sure to use the tank and remove 7+ Hi-Potion before entering the Burning Circle

Strategy

Walk down the hallway and when you come to the circular room use your Drain Samba and engage Laila
If you do not have an Opo-opo Necklace then don't worry and just skip drain samba til you use Trance
Use your Hi-Potions to heal yourself till you run out or have 100% TP
While doing this use quickstep and reverse flourish to build tp quickly
(why quickstep? further enhancing our chance to hit Laila and reducing her chance to hit us if the suspected hidden effect is true)
Once Quickstep hits level 5 switch to Box Step
At 100% TP we will want to use Dancing Edge then immediately use the Icarus Wing and time a second Dancing Edge
We will want to use Trance at this point and heal ourselves to full and erase the effects on us
This also allows us to build TP for what should be a final Dancing Edge against Laila


Don't get discouraged if you don't beat her on the 1st or even the 10th attempt
Dancer is a low damage high survival job by nature, so trying to beat your self in 10 mins is a challenge in itself



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