One of the biggest shifts are the tanking subjobs, with many of the common hate generating spells being nerfed this changes how a NIN has to approach tanking. The familiar subjobs are still there and they are still viable, but a new one has been added and it will eventually jump to the front of the pack.
- NIN/WAR: This sub will always be the preferred sub for leveling or meriting since it's easy enough to manage and more often than not you're only there for first voke anyway. The other subjob choices require MP and expecting refresh and ballad will do nothing but gimp your entire party (and piss off your refreshers). Additionally /WAR is the best choice for Tank/DD hybrids which are ideal in the above parties.
- NIN/DRK: While not totally nerfed by SE with the adjustments to Bind and Sleep, NINs will have to take more time to lock hate in with /DRK. Stun and Aspir were not affected so they still have their CE enmity, and after the next update Absorb-TP will also be in this group so this still remains a good option for NIN. In addition to the CE spells, NIN will still have the high VE job abilities Last Resort, Weapon Bash and Souleater for those oh shit moments.
- NIN/RDM: Sub RDM was never the popular choice, and it looks like it will be regulated to soloing and small groups even more so now. There are no instant CE spells here anymore, but literally any spell you cast will generate VE so it isn't totally dead, the difference is you have to constantly keep up the casting. I was really hoping this would move ahead of /DRK with the update because it offers a lot more self defense, but this is the hand we've been dealt so people just need to learn to deal with it.
- NIN/BLU: The new kid on the block and the one I think will eventually move to the front of the pack. The reason BLU becomes an option is because in this update is the ability to cast Blank Gaze is gained at Level 76. It has a 10 second recast and pulls 320 CE, which is equivalent to what Dispel used to be able to do. It doesn't stop there, Sheep Song and Soporific are also available right now and they both generate 320 CE. This update isn't moving it to the front of the pack just yet, but by the December update that will all change. In addition to the above spells, MP Drainkiss (Level 82), Stinking Gas (Level 88), Geist Wall (Level 92) and Jettatura (Level 96) will all be available, making this a very powerful subjob for anyone tanking, not just NIN.
- NIN/WAR: As I stated above, /WAR is a great DD subjob, with the Double Attack job trait, a hasted NIN can almost appear to be constantly hitting the mob and over time that damage will move ahead of any frontline DD except a Black Belt MNK.
- NIN/SAM: The real game changer here is Sekkanoki, before this was a niche subjob that most would use when they needed TP without hitting the mob (this meant using Meditate). The problem with using /SAM is you need to be using a Great Katana to get to Hasso and that just kills a NIN's potential for straight DDing (not to mention, Weaponskills on Great Katana suck ass for NIN).
- NIN/RDM: I'm still using this in Campaign, for mobs that take time you just can't beat having Enspells. As a DD subjob though, /RDM still has a few updates before we see it's full potential, it won't be a top choice obviously, but depending on the situation it has the potential to be a great DD subjob.
- NIN/THF: As of this update /THF doesn't offer anything it didn't at 37 (unless you want to be picky and claim Resist Gravity II). But let's face it, this is a farming subjob, you could possibly tank with it, but it's not advised and DDing with it in a party is just asinine. The good news is the September update will give everyone access to TH2 at Level 90, so there is that.
- NIN/RNG: This isn't something you see often, but there are some benefits, in particular Sidewinder (if you have the Ranged Accuracy that is). Wide Scan IV becomes available at 80 as well as Shadowbind so if you're hunting NMs solo or in a small group, this is a highly useful subjob choice.
- NIN/DNC: It's obvious SE wants every job in the game to start subbing DNC, but you know what? I don't give a fuck how awesome it is, I refuse to dance. I'm not a fucking monkey.
- NIN/BLU: Like tanking with BLU, before the update this wasn't the best of choices, but with the new magical direction SE seems to be pushing on NIN, it's time to take a look at this and possibly get some use out of it. I don't think I need to go into any great detail here, but there are some very nice offensive spells, coupled with the curing and enhancing spells, I think BLU will make a fine choice as a DD (assuming you have Refresh).
Abilities, Spells, and Job Traits
Sometimes it's hard to guess just what the hell SE expects NIN to do in the game. Recently they finally admitted to looking at NIN as a viable tank option in the game and we started seeing enmity+ gear, so most NINs were expecting that trend to continue. It didn't…or at least not in a way that's obvious to anyone but the developers.
- Tactical Parry: Of the new things available to NIN, this is the only one where we have to be tanking to get use out of it. My Parry skill is still shit (like 195 or something) so this isn't something that triggers that often for me, but I can see where this is will be something very useful. Basically you get 2% TP for each time Parry triggers, even triggering once this removes an attack round for Weaponskills (at least for me, I see 98% and 99% quite often).
- Magic Burst Bonus: Huh? Granted, we've always been able to MB on mobs, but I'd be surprised is most NINs have any idea when to start casting and to be quite honest, elemental nukes aren't going to return big numbers regardless of whether we MB or not. The only way this works is if…
- Futae: …we use this Job Ability beforehand in conjunction with a San nuke and Innin. This means we could very well approach Tier IV nuke numbers, but only once a minute. There are just too many things have to be lined up just right to see the big numbers though, and neither help any with tanking, it's strictly DD stuff.
- Aisha (Ichi): Instead of getting our Ni tier finished off, SE decided to give us a new spell that is like Bio, but without the DoT (Attack Down). How this helps NIN in anyway is beyond me. As tanks we are supposed to avoid getting hit to begin with as DD this will only benefit whomever is tanking and that will most likely be a PLD who didn't exactly need the help to begin with. Had this been a Defense Down spell then I would have been all over it, the benefit there is obvious, but this one just has me scratching my head. I just don't get it.
Next up will be BLM and then hopefully Gear (I'm waiting to go over the gear until people start obtaining it, no point getting excited about stuff that may be near impossible to get).