Final Fantasy XIV Shadowbringers came roaring into being earlier this month, bringing with it plenty of thrills and extra frills for both series veterans and newcomers alike. The new jobs accompanying the expansion having been enticing to the existing community and a nod to previous releases in Square Enix's mainline Final Fantasy series, so the interest in both classes has been understandably immense. There's a new sheriff in town; Gunbreaker is the flavor of the month when it comes to Tanks now, and we think it's delicious. Check out our FFXIV Gunbreaker guide to learn how to unlock the job and how to be the fastest shooter in Norvrandt.
The Gunbreaker was the second job to be announced for Shadowbringers after the Dancer made its debut at the Tokyo Fan Festival. With plenty of magical tricks in its arsenal, the high-risk and high-damage playstyle of the Gunbreaker is a nice change of pace from the current jobs making up the traditional Tank roster. This isn't for the faint-hearted, especially when some of those tricks can be a double-edged sword.
FFXIV Gunbreaker Guide: How to Unlock
Before you take on the Wild West, you're going to have to actually figure out the basics of being a Gunbreaker, including which end of the gunblade is the lethal one. In order to pick up the starting job quest, you have to have at least one existing combat job at Level 60, and you'll need to own Shadowbringers. The quest to kick off your Gunbreaker adventures is picked up from Gridania, and you'll notice it on your map as soon as you teleport to the New Gridania aetheryte.
Completing the quest The Makings of a Gunbreaker will unlock Gunbreaker for you, and you'll also get a flash set of clothes to match your new profession. Like the Dancer, Gunbreaker starts at Level 60 so you can hop into something like Heaven on High for a relatively quick way to get enough firepower to take this new job into Shadowbringers content. If that isn't your speed, our FFXIV beginner's guide has some other tips on how to get to your desired level quicker. Also, don't forget that you'll have to pick up the Tank role quests from The Crystarium if you're choosing to go guns blazing through the expansion. Like all other jobs, you'll get one final job-specific quest once you hit max level and will have to complete this before the credits can roll.
FFXIV Gunbreaker Guide: Rotation Tips
Gunbreaker's current position is an interesting one. While it's a Tank job, it has the added benefit of doing ridiculous amounts of damage, enough that it can hold its own amongst existing DPS roles. It's unlikely that Square Enix leaves this as the status quo for long, so we would recommend enjoying this while it lasts. That being said, nerfs to the job aren't going to touch its core mechanical design, and Gunbreaker will likely always occupy a space as a much squishier alternative to the likes of Paladin and Warrior.
What makes Gunbreaker fun to play for even those who aren't overly concerned with the numbers game is that it's an incredibly reactive class that has a focus on party synergy. Of course, the flashy attacks don't hurt, but Gunbreaker gives you a number of competing considerations to manage, the first of these being juggling your combinations.
One key point we want to make with this FFXIV Gunbreaker guide is the importance of those combinations. Learn to open with Keen Edge or Demon Slice depending on what you're facing. To proc your AOE combo, you're going to want to use the latter which segues into Demon Slaughter. Like all other Tank classes, your focus is going to be on enmity generation and keeping enemies off your more vulnerable party members. Forget the Overpower spam that Warriors do, you get to slice and shoot your way to the top of the enmity table as long as you don't forget to turn on your tanking stance — Royal Guard. This lets you accumulate cartridges in your weapon, which then let you execute important high-damage combos like the use of Burst Strike in a hell of bullets.
However, the key part of playing a more vulnerable Tank class is arguably managing your own health; you're going to have to be a little more active to keep yourself alive when you're taking a beating. The Gunbreaker's mercenary-for-hire feel means that you're given the tools to pick yourself up in a pinch when the going gets tough. The Brutal Shell skill allows you to restore your own health whilst also granting a shield preventing further damage up to the amount of health restored if used after Keen Edge. There's another useful heal in your arsenal called Aurora, which doesn't necessarily need to be cast on yourself.
Another feature of the Gunbreaker that relies on a solid grasp of mechanics of a fight and of your own limits is Superbolide. This will reduce your health to 1 and make you invulnerable to most attacks for 8 seconds. It's been a bit of a learning curve for Healers to see Superbolide in action in recent weeks since the trade-off with the invulnerability is so significant, so communication with your party has to be tight if you want to pull this off in truly deadly situations.
Now to see how your abilities come full circle — it's all about synergy with said party. Keeping your Brutal Shell uptime consistent will also benefit your fellow adventurers; your physical damage reduction skill, Heart of Stone, will also grant the effects of Brutal Shell to the target you're protecting as long as those effects are active on you. This is a nice way to repay your local White Mage for using their Benediction on you after one too many hair-raising Superbolide pulls, or a way to keep your largely well-meaning DPS safe as they ignore AOE damage markers.
The dynamic playstyle of this job is unlikely to get old any time soon, so those wanting a change of pace from the usual sword and board fodder will be well-served by this new addition in Shadowbringers. Now that our FFXIV Gunbreaker guide has you primed for a shoot-out, it's time to take that gunblade into the First to see some real action!