Final Fantasy XIV‘s Season 6 of PvP is vastly different from previous seasons. Damage is at an all time high, with several jobs seeing massive buffs. The result is that poor preparation and positioning is now more severely punished. Thus, the Gunbreaker (GNB) needs to adapt if they are to survive this new era in the arena.
A Jack-Of-All-Trades yet Master-of-None, it has access to offensive, defensive and healing abilities, but is limited by its reliance on the opposing team for access. However, if you read the situation correctly and load your Gunblade with the correct tools, your enemies will be naught but scorch marks under the Crystal. As this guide is comprehensive, use the contents table and stick to the basics until you’re more familiar with the Job. As always, special thanks to the Revival PvP Discord for helping with the research for this guide.
Gunbreaker Basics; Gunblade 101
Before we begin, we recommend customizing your user interface. PvP can be hectic, so you want to make it easier to keep track of your buffs and cooldowns. Consider increasing the size of your buff and debuff icons, moving them into a more visible spot. You may also choose to set up hotbars that display key abilities in the center of your screen.
This is so that you maintain focus on the fight rather than looking down. It will also aid you in synchronizing your key abilities with your No Mercy buff. Your key abilities are Double Down, Draw and Junction and Rough Divide. Specifics on what each Weaponskill and ability does can be found at Square Enix’s Final Fantasy XIV Gunbreaker Job Guide. For the sake of brevity, the focus of this section will be on how to effectively utilize the Gunbreaker’s kit.
This is your main damage tool for pressure and kill confirmation, and is highly effective in choke points. As it struggles in hitting quick-moving targets due to its short range, try to use it on stationary enemies or on opponents advancing towards and attacking your team, preferably after using Rough Divide. Furthermore, you should hit multiple targets whenever possible as it will force multiple opponents to waste resources on Recuperate, discouraging aggression and creating openings.
To utilize Double Down effectively, always try to synchronize it with Rough Divide and, if you are in DPS Junction, Blasting Zone for max damage and kill potential. In addition, pay attention to your Limit Break gauge. If it is nearly filled, consider delaying its usage so that you can confirm kills with it after using Terminal Trigger.
Draw and Junction
Proper mastery of this ability is what separates the good Gunbreakers from the bad. Ideally, you want to save its use for stance changes, unless you are certain that the extra Burst Strike will confirm a kill or you were going to remain in that Junction anyway. We recommend moving your enemy list to a more comfortable position, so it is easier to select players. You may also consider using macros, to automate targeting certain players like Tanks and DPS.
It is important to be purposeful with Junction. Once you use it, you essentially lock yourself into a playstyle for 20 seconds. Observe the enemy head count, position and resources to determine what Junction best suits the situation.
Tank Junction is your main priority, as Nebula is incredibly strong. The 20% damage mitigation and Thorn effect, allows you to stay in combat longer, which is important for ensuring your team has a strong vanguard. Your aim in this form is to punish the enemy for attacking you with Nebula, whilst building up your shields with Gnashing Fang under the No Mercy buff from Rough Divide. Typically, you want to be in this Junction when pushing the crystal.
Threaten the enemies into attacking you by playing aggressive in this form and passively waste the enemy team’s MP as they Recuperate from damage they received from attacking you. Pushing the crystal with this ability will achieve that. Do note that, if you need to negate incoming status afflictions with Guard, Nebula’s thorns will still work whilst Guard is active.
DPS Junction is effective at creating opportunities for kills and pushing the advantage after eliminating an opponent. At higher levels, players will know to focus on you when you are in this Junction to force you into retreating. This is because you are significantly more vulnerable due to non-existent mitigation and your short attack range forces you to expose yourself.
Therefore, use this Junction when flanking and when your teammates are being focused, pressuring opponents with your damage output. Prioritize attacking hostiles that are under status afflictions (e.g. stun). Be wary of where your nearest cover is and do not play aggressive when Guard and Purify are unavailable.
If you find yourself targeted by multiple enemies, get behind cover and Junction the Tank as soon as possible. If that is not possible, you will need to use Elixir more liberally; do not force yourself into combat without low MP reserves.
Healer Junction is capable of outputting minor health recovery for the team. Its usage however is niche, as Aurora is only slightly better than a single Recuperate cast and the healing from your ability attacks (e.g. Abdomen Tear and Hypervelocity) have limited range, doing little to off-set incoming damage. Moreover, you lose access to options that either allow you to kill opponents or reduce incoming damage.
Even so, this Junction can be effective against high Area-of-Effect (AoE) attacks. For instance, it can counter the Sage’s Limit Break (LB) which damages enemies inside it over time; using Healer Junction will allow your team to stay in the ring to continue fighting. It can also be used to save high-value teammate or stall for time if your team is generally low on MP and they need some time to either fall back or charge their LB. Avoid using this Junction when Relentless Rush is fully or almost charged, since it has no synergy with it.
Rough Divide is a core part of your offense and survivability. As such, you need to pace yourself between its usages and activate it to apply or reapply the No Mercy buff, instead of using it as a mobility tool (unless you are in an emergency and need to escape). The general rule is to have it always active when using Double Down, Burst Strike, Blasting Zone and Relentless Rush.
What makes GNB such a potent duelist is the healing and movement speed bonus they get from No Mercy. Preferably, you should avoid using Recuperate outside of this buff to maximise your mana efficiency and use the extra movement speed to weave in and out of cover. The increased mobility can also interrupt targeting from ranged jobs and cause certain abilities to miss if you create enough distance or head into cover quick enough.
Furthermore, Rough Divide increases the amount of shields generated in Tank Junction. So in this stance, using it during your Gnashing Fang combo is worthwhile. Whilst you should prioritize using Rough Divide for bursting down enemies, do not hesitate to use it for staying alive if necessary.
Relentless Rush and Terminal Trigger
This Limit Break is tied with the White Mage for currently having the shortest charge time of all Jobs. For the best results, the GNB needs to plan their gameplay around their LB. The key is to be economical and efficient with its usage. So whenever possible, activate Terminal Trigger on multiple targets and try to secure at least one elimination. Most importantly, try to use Rough Divide before activating your LB and ensure Double Down is available as a follow-up attack.
That said, don’t hold it for too long and try to use it as soon as its fully charged. Delay it only for a short time if it means you can synchronise with another with another teammate’s Limit Break. It is generally advised to activate the stun after 2 spins, as any longer risks your targets escaping. That said, sometimes letting the full duration of Relentless Rush can be useful in stalling crystal pushes or building stacks on opponents in Guard. Decide based on the circumstances and what defensive abilities the enemy has used.
The above example demonstrates how it can be used to punish enemies in Guard. I pressure the enemy with Burst Strike first and then timed the LB activation so that it applies the vulnerability debuff whilst they’re guarding. Their Guard drops at the same time Terminal Trigger activates, securing the double kill. Combine the LB it with Nebula for astounding survivability or Blasting Zone to eliminate hostiles easier.
Look out for enemy LBs, such as the White Mage and Samurai which will interrupt and ruin your plays. Either bait them out with Guard and non-committal attacks or hold off until your teammates compromise an opponent with a status affliction and follow up. If you are initiating a fight, don’t start with your LB too early. Use Guard first to negate any immobilization. Remember all of your abilities are unavailable until you use Terminal Trigger. If it looks like you’ll die, just trigger early so you can Recuperate, Guard or Purify.
- Optimal melee combo: “Renzokuken 2.0”
Savage Claw > Abdomen Tear > Rough Divide > Double Down > Blasting Zone > Draw and Junction > Wicked Talon > Eye Gouge > Burst Strike > Hypervelocity
- Quick Burst Combo: “Ride The Fire”
Draw and Junction > Rough Divide > Double Down > Blasting Zone > Burst Strike > Hypervelocity > Gnashing Fang > Jugular Rip
- Optimal Solid Barrel Combo: “Double Tap”
Solid Barrel > Brutal Shell > Keen Edge > Rough Divide > Burst Strike > Hypervelocity > Draw and Junction > Burst Strike > Hypervelocity
What’s Your Job?
The GNB is a Bruiser Duelist. Your main responsibility is to reduce enemy health to create kill opportunities and push the crystal with Nebula. Since enemies will be compelled to attack you, you will also alleviate pressure off your team, letting them attack more freely. When Nebula isn’t available, adopt a hit-and-run playstyle and play more passively near cover, ensuring that you remain near your team to support them if needed. Your main concern in general, is to reduce the amount of Recuperates you use.
This is because without it, you will be unable to withstand incoming damage and be forced to use the Elixir to recover. Using this is a lengthy process that deprives your team of your support. This is why Nebula is mandatory when in wide open spaces. In short, stay near the fight and continuously pressure the enemy.
Gunbreakers need to be aware of the enemy attention and switch Junctions accordingly. By planning your aggression around Nebula’s cooldown and duration, you become incredibly difficult to kill. This is beneficial when trying to gain control of the Crystal or giving your team breathing space to deal damage. Combine this with the damage boost from DPS Junction once your team outnumbers your enemies and you can drastically push your advantage.
Know when to retreat. Whilst the goal is to stay as long as possible in combat, consider falling back or playing defensively near corners and walls when your defensives are unavailable or if your mana points drop below 3000. Also note that, no matter the Junction, never fight the entire team by yourself. Keep an eye on enemy movement and positioning; back out before they surround and isolate you.
Since Gunbreakers have access to a movement speed buff, they are particularly good at moving behind walls to interrupt targeting. This is known as “cutting the line of sight” (LOS).
As such, they are particularly oppressive near corners and walls. If you manage to secure a takedown or lock down an opponent, position yourself more aggressively so you can steal the enemy team’s potion when needed. To this end, you should take note of the potion spawn points and the quickest routes to them.
Near corners, you can attack any hostiles that come near whilst forcing ranged enemies to take exposed wide angles to target you. That said, do not neglect the point. Nebula allows you to fight in the open, so take advantage of that to push the objective.
How to Make an Impact and Carry Your Team
Contrary to popular belief, Gunbreakers have the tools to swing the advantage. You achieve this by:
- Prioritizing team fights instead of pursuing enemies too deep into their base.
- Punishing enemies that push aggressively into your team.
- Following up with damage whenever an enemy is afflicted with a stun, bind, silence or polymorph.
- Staying mobile, not remaining in one position for too long. You survival is integral to your impact.
- Announcing to your team whenever your LB is ready so they can follow up.
- Shutting down high threat targets like Healers and Ranged DPS.
The main aim is to be a constant threat to the enemy team. The high damage output is what stops enemies from pushing in, as you protect your teammates by ensuring the enemy damage never reaches them.
How Do You Initiate the Match?
The objective is to control the middle of the map and potentially secure an early kill. Do not rush ahead of your team. If you find that your teammates are not moving in with you, do not proceed. Use quick-chats to inform your team when you wish to charge in.
When the enemy has not pushed you, it is recommended you position yourself just behind the middle of the map and wait until a teammate pins down an opponent with hard CC. Move with your team; do not dive in unless your team is nearby and ready to follow.
Once this happens, follow up with a Double Down to establish high pressure and potentially, score a kill. It is advised to use Tank Junction here, but DPS Junction can better if you’re not being focused by the enemy. If nobody makes a move, start moving the Crystal, but be ready to Guard when the enemy targets you.
In scenarios where the opposition is near the middle and is pushing in, attack the player heading the charge. Once they use Guard, attack their teammates in meantime, prioritising the ones in your backline.
If you aren’t being targeted, use DPS Junction to pressure the attackers into using defensives, ceasing their damage output whilst preparing yourself to exploit any opportunities your teammates create if they use status afflictions. Your goal is to manage the enemy aggression, giving your teammates opportunities to recover and set-up for a counter attack.
If you find yourself being targeted, then prioritize using Guard to move towards cover and use Nebula if there is a Tank available. Alternatively, you may position yourself near your team and use Double Down whilst in Guard on the opponents around you, to create a massive opening.
You can use the game’s netcode to utilise niche benefits that may give you the edge in a fight. To preface, there is a delay between the perceived position of a character and their actual position according to the server. As skills and abilities register faster on the server, this causes an inconsistency between attacks that function on a target’s position.
You can use this engine quirk to your advantage. In this instance, you can outmaneuver Jobs with gap-closing abilities by timing Rough Divide with their dash. Whilst inconsistent, it can allow you avoid follow-up attacks such as a Pressure Point activation or the Samurai’s bind (Hyosetsu) if successful and even juke pursuers. That said, this benefit is lost if you miss your Double Down as a result. So avoid being too “trigger happy”.
Resilient Relentless Rush
The main issue with the Gunbreaker’s Limit Break is that you are unable to use any other abilities even when interrupted by status afflictions. To counter this, time its usage after using Purify. If you successfully clear an affliction with it, you can use the resilient status to make you immune to immobilization.
This allows you to more easily stay near enemies so they do not escape Terminal Trigger’s range. Be warned however, that this tactic leaves you vulnerable to being pinned down once resilience ends. It is a high-risk technique with great advantages, but can be costly if you fail to secure a kill with it.
In Crystalline Conflict, you sometimes may need to adapt your tactics depending on what Jobs you play against. This is because certain abilities will hinder or negate your own, meaning you may struggle to make an impact or even participate in fights.
Below are the main Jobs that the Gunbreaker needs to be wary of. Whilst they will be difficult to counter, you may be able to reduce the issues they will cause you, giving you enough of an opportunity to take them down.
White Mage (WHM)
The WHM has two main tools that will sabotage your offense and increase the risk of any aggression. Miracle of Nature is a polymorphthat stops you from using any skills or abilities. This is detrimental as GNBs lack any sort of passive regeneration, so you will likely perish if you are poorly positioned.
Play near corners and reduce your time spent in the open so that you are rarely targeted and can reduce incoming damage if you are polymorphed. Do not dive the backline to attack this Job, as you will get surrounded as you run around helplessly.
The other major tool is their Limit Break, which is on a 60 second charge time just like the GNB. So when you activate your LB, a WHM is likely to use their own and pin you in place. This means you will be unable to activate Terminal Trigger, giving the enemy time to retreat, whilst preventing you from using Guard and Purify. Either hold your LB until the team creates an opening or until the WHM retreats. You may also choose to just use your LB on the WHM themselves.
Bard (BRD) and Machinist (MCH)
Despite the Gunbreaker’s name implying that you destroy projectile-based weaponry, you will encounter several problems when engaging these Jobs. For MCHs, you need to be wary of their high burst damage. Drill ignores Guard, a full Wildfire is an extra 12,000 damage on top of it and Air Anchor can stun you, making this Job especially dangerous to pursue when they have their LB.
To counter this, immediately head behind cover or Guard whenever you see that Wildfire has been applied on you. MCH sometimes come close to use their Scattergun, so immediately focus on them, as their lacking mobility means that they are unlikely to escape. Moreover, pay attention to where their turret is, as it applies a nasty 10% vulnerability debuff on you on hit.
For BRDs, avoid exposing yourself in open areas as their long-range silence will force you to use a Purify. With this in mind, you should play passively and near cover when Guard and Purify are not available. Bards however are weak to being rushed down as their attacks lose damage the closer they are to their target. So, try approaching them from behind or the side.
In typical combat, the Samurai isn’t especially dangerous to you. However, Chiten is a hard counter to your two main damage sources when their Limit Breakis ready. It effectively means that when it’s available, they can get a free kill from you if you use any of your high damage skills.
Kuzushi lasts longer than your Limit Break’s stun and can be cleansed if they survive. Therefore, you will need to either time your offense so that you eliminate the SAM whilst their Chiten is on cooldown, or wait till your team can stun-lock or silence the them whilst they do not have Purify. In this state, keeping track of their cooldowns is vital.
You may also choose to bait out Chiten by using Rough Divide on them and then immediately backing off. This could fool them into activating Chiten early as they think you are going to attack.
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