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Openers are attacks used in Final Fantasy XIV by players to begin encounters. They’re usually employed for big bursts of damage at the start of a fight, but serve a few other beneficial purposes at the same time.
Every class will use different skills for their opener, but the end result is essentially the same:
Hit the boss hard, stack a few debuffs on it, and buff the party.
If everybody is using openers to get the fight started, their skills will all be cooled down and ready to use again around the same time. This maximizes the amount of uptime that buffs and debuffs have, since everyone can cast them again in regular intervals.
You’ll probably already be aware of your job’s rotation – the optimal order in which to use your skills against different encounters (if not, definitely do some research – it’s generally easier to learn it as you progress instead of all at once).
Openers will either be at the very start of that rotation, or involve using a certain part of it, depending on the situation.
How Do Openers Differ From My Usual Rotation?
For some jobs, your opener will just be part of your standard rotation.
Others require adaptation.
As a quick example, I main Gunbreaker (you know, the broody, trenchcoated tank job). I have a buff called No Mercy. It increases my damage dealt by 20% for 20 seconds, with a cooldown of 60 seconds.
If I want to hit the boss as hard as I can at the start of the encounter, I’d use No Mercy first, following it up with Bloodfest to fill my aether cartridge gauge (allowing me to use more powerful attacks).
From there I can go straight into my high damage combo with basically no build up.
Because I’ve used No Mercy at the very start of the encounter, it’ll be cooled down and ready to go again forty seconds after the effect has passed. I’m maximizing the amount of time I can have it up in the fight, and it quickly adds up when everyone in the party is doing the same.
In an ordinary encounter against a group of mobs, that tactic wouldn’t work.
I’d need to use Bow Shock, which applies a damage over time effect to enemies around me. Then I’d use No Mercy, and go from there into my normal AOE rotation.
Obviously this will differ depending on what role you’re playing, and what job your character is.
Luckily, there are plenty of helpful resources and video guides to help you figure out your optimal opener.
So you don’t have to figure it all out yourself – the FFXIV community has already tried and tested the best solutions for every situation.
And high-end raid content relies on the kind of efficiency that openers provide, getting the timing of everybody’s cooldown into perfect synchronization.
If you’re not interested in heading into those tough encounters, you might not need to micromanage your cooldowns to the second.
In that case, just being aware of your rotation, each fight’s mechanics, and the best opener to use will do the job.