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Dark Knight Guide by Ninjakid69

Version: 1.3 | Updated: 11/03/07

Dark Knight FAQ v.1.1
Author: Ninjakid69
FFXI: Chaosbringer, lvl 33DRK, server: Ragnarok
email: N/A as I no longer have the time to answer game-related emails. 

This faq is for those interested in the paths of darkness. What does the path
of darkness entail? Heavy Damage, some nice black magic, etc. Dark Knights
Won't do the damage that rangers can, or Black mages for that matter. But if
you want a job that can dish out good damage without the upkeep needed for
ranger or the expensive spells of black mage, dark knight may be for you.I
wrote this guide because I wanted to inform all about my favorite class (DRK).
I will try to base all my ideas on facts and knowledge, so please no flames.
Yes I know Samurais can gain tp faster than drks, and DRG's get pentrathrust
faster than DRK's get guillotine. DRK's are still an awesome class.

Legal mumbo jumbo:
This is my faq. You are welcome to read it, save it on your computer, but you
must not steal it and pass it off as your own work. I will allow you to host
the faq if you tell me about it.

Table of contents:
1a) Questions
2a) Dark Knight Quest
3a) Job Abilities and Job Traits
4a) Spell List
5a) Strategy and Party set-ups
6a) Great subs and Bad subs
7a) Equipment
8a) Level Strategies
9a) revisions list
10a) Thank You Section

1a) Questions:

Is Dark knight a good tank?
-No, No, and No. According to the FFXI official guide (which isn't that great)
it has the same growth in VIT as DRG and samurai, but this does not mean it
can tank like either, mostly because of Last Resort (which lowers defense and
raises offense) or souleater (which eats HP to raise damage). Any party that
relies on DRK to be a main tank will have a harder time exping. And even if
DRKs didnt use the skills, does not mean that the VIT of DRKs, SAMs, and DRGs
make it a very strong tank. Think about paladins and warriors, and ninjas with
blink. A lot of people might think Dark Knight can be decent tank, and it can,
but you would sacrifice the use of Soul Eater, Last resort, etc. If you 
absolutely LOVE to tank, pick galka race for Dark Knight.

Is Dark Knight the most damaging?
-Nope. IT is one of the most damaging classes, and will be very deadly once it
aquires guillotine, but not as damaging as Ranger or BLM. DRGs may dish out 
more damage because of  the wyvern (DRG) + pentathrust. I hear sams can do
more damage than DRKs can, but I really don't see how. A samurai can unleash 
tp, meditate, unleash tp, but it won't do the damage that a dark knight can
using souleater.Experienced players tell me that DRGS will be doing more 
damage than DRKs because DRGS aquire pentrathrust before guillotine. However,
with soul eater, we will be respectable,and with guillotine,we will be doing 
more damage than even pentathrust. Although this is not a "which job is 
better FAQ," my lst version misguided a lot of players into thinking that
dark knight is overrated and weak. I am going to flat out say it, when all 
melee jobs are stripped of their skills (timer is not up), darks do the most
damage hit for hit. Also, its a common misconception that we are worthless
without guillotine...How so? DRG don't get pentathrust until their late 40s,
SAM weapon skills don't get any better, etc. I absolutely think Sams and DRG
are great jobs (one chains renkeis, other has good Weapon Skills, extra
wyvern damage, breath attacks), but I don't know why people see Dark Knight
as the only "Sucks till later" class when a lot of advanced jobs don't get
better until later levels.

IF dark Knight isnt the most damaging, isnt that the point? why should I care?
-Low upkeep, scythes are way cheaper than other job weapons, Soul Eater lvl 30
 skill (I do 90+dmg to an Incredibly tough mob each hit while other heavy 
melee do 20-30)

How hard is the DRK quest?
-very easy. I will go in detail on how to acquire dark knight in a moment.

What is the best race for DRK?
- the guide says to pick mithra, I asked my linkshell and they said no way.
Pick Elvann or Galka for most damage and health, pick hume and mithra for ok
damage and decent black magic, and tarus for Great black magic, accuracy and
pure shock factor.I am personally a hume because it is more accurate than
Elvann and Galka. I really suggest you don't pick Taru LOL

So I have a class that can Hit for UBER damage and can Nuke for Uber damage!
this job makes all melee jobs and BLM jobs obsolete! oh yeah!
-No. As I already said, this is a job that deals good damage for the cost
efficient in mind. And you will never, ever nuke like a black mage, even if
your magic skills are capped. The Dark Knights magic is not used to nuke, but
to be an addition to the physical damage. You can still magic burst with your
dark, so the magic is still useful. Leave real nuking to the nukers, BLM.
It is the Drain-stat spells that set our magic apart from caster jobs.
Imagine draining Agility, or strength and adding it to your own.

2a) Dark Knight Quest:

You must be at least lvl 30 in any job. I suggest leveling Warrior or Thief
to 30 so that you could sub it until dark knight gets to lvl 60. Unless you
want to level BLM to 30, change to Dark knight, lvl warrior or thf sub to lvl
30...see my reasoning?
quest- Talk to gumbah in the bastok mines region, hes on the second floor.You
will know you are in the right area if you are near the Weapon shop icon
on the map. 
Talk to him until you get the cutscene. With your level 30, head to palborough
 mines and take the elevator (I highly suggest buying the map in bastok
market). Take the boat near H-8,and you will go into a cutscene with dark
knight Zeid. He will give you the Chaosbringer,a very bad but looking sword
which you must then vanquish 100 enemies with. Change to warrior, kill 100
weak mobs (you must keep count, the game doesnt keep count for you.)
Then ride a chocobo (change back to your lvl 30 job) to the southeast corner
 of Pashow marshes and into Beadeaux to get into a cutscene with Zeid.
Now you can change into Dark Knight! Enjoy!

3a) Job Abilities and Job Traits

Job Abilities:

Blood Weapon lvl 1, interval 2hours, duration 30 seconds
-Drains your targets HP during melee attacks
notes on blood weapon*
- In my opinion Dark Knights get shafted on the 2-hour. It sounds really good
 at first,but do not rely on it to save your party. The best time to use this
2-hour is if you have 50% health and you know the mob is decimating your
party.Do not wait till you have 10 health because you will die before even
hitting and draining the mob's health.
*update- Blood Weapon is useful when you get last resort, soul eater, berserk
(if subbing Warrior). You will drain a lot more HP using these skills
 (Thank you Kessen 99 for pointing that out)

Arcane Circle lvl 5, interval 5 min, duration 3 min
-Raises party defense vs. arcana
-Good to use against the monster family bombs, evil weapons, cardians, and 
Elementals. If I left out any arcana, let me know

Last Resort lvl 15, interval 5 min, duration 30 seconds
-enhances attacks but lowers defense
-What no one will tell you is that last resort has a built-in provoke. And it
 doesnt lastas long as berserk. If you have a warrior sub, use berserk
instead. I'm not sure if last resort and berserk stack, but I heard that they
Kessen 99 confirms that last resort does stack with berserk. Also best used
before a weapon skill to maximize damage. (Thanks again Kessen99). 

Do not use last resort until the tank has
drawn enough aggro, unless you want to draw aggro.

Weapon Bash lvl 20, interval 5 min, duration none
-Delivers an attack that stuns the monster (you need a two-handed weapon)
-Best used when you can predict the monster will do a special attack, like
goblin bomb.It almost will never stun incredibly toughs. Also, at lvl 33
I am doing 11 damage (yes I know, disapointing). This is not a damage
dealing move, but one that interrupts the enemy.

Souleater lvl 30 interval 6 min, duration 1 min
-Consumes HP to enhance attacks
-Finally a great job ability! This attack blows away last resort and berserk,
 and can be stacked with either. Last resort and berserk will do an extra 5
dmg or so, Soul eater will do an extra 50 (at my level). This attack is HP
dependant, so the more HP you have, the more damage it will do. It does not
draw aggro until you hit the mob for 100 damage each hit =).Use only if you
have a white mage you can trust (also, for bad pt's using this move is not
good, you will mostly be red health or die.

Job Traits:

Attack Bonus, lvl 10
Resist Paralyze, lvl 20
Arcana Killer, lvl 25
Attack Bonus, lvl 30
Resist Paralyze, lvl 40
Attack Bonus, lvl 50

-well at least Darks get good job traits. Each attack bonus raises a lot of

4a) Spell List

-Here are all the Black Magic spells a Dark Knight can get

| Spell name | level | MP | Element |   Type   |
|    Stone   |   5   | 9  | Earth   | Elemental|
|    Poison  |   6   | 5  | Water   | Enfeeb   |
|    Drain   |   10  | 21 | Darkness| Darkness |
|    Water   |   11  | 13 | Water   | Elemntal |
|    Bio     |   15  | 22 | Darkness| Darkness |
|    Aero    |   17  | 18 | Wind    | Elemental|
|    Aspir   |   20  | 10 | Darkness| Darkness |
|    Bind    |   20  | 8  | Ice     | Enfeeb   |
|    Fire    |   23  | 24 | Fire    | Elemental|
|    Poisonga|   26  | 44 | Water   | Enfeeb   |
|    Blizzard|   29  | 30 | Ice     | Elemental|
|    Sleep   |   30  | 19 | Darkness| Enfeeb   |
|    Abs-MND |   31  | 33 | Darkness| Darkness |
|    Tractor |   32  | 26 | Darkness| Darkness |
|    Abs-CHR |   33  | 33 | Darkness| Darkness |
|    Abs-VIT |   35  | 33 | Darkness| Darkness |
|    Thunder |   35  | 37 | Lightnng| Elemental|
|    Abs-AGI |   37  | 33 | Darkness| Darkness |
|    Abs-INT |   39  | 33 | Darkness| Darkness |
|    Bio II  |   40  | 66 | Darkness| Darkness |
|    Abs-DEX |   41  | 33 | Darkness| Darkness |
|    Stone II|   42  | 43 | Earth   | Elemental|
|    Abs-STR |   43  | 33 | Darkness| Darkness |
|    PoisonII|   46  | 38 | Water   | Enfeeb   |
|    WaterII |   48  | 51 | Water   | Elemental|
|    Aero II |   54  | 64 | Wind    | Elemental|
|    Fire II |   60  | 73 | Fire    | Elemental|
|  BlizzardII|   66  | 83 | Ice     | Elemental|
|  PoisongaII|   66  | 112| Water   | Enfeeb   |

5a) Strategy and Party set-ups

-The one piece of advice I can give you is that playing Dark Knight is
dangerous. If you make a mistake, you will die. Paper thin armor rating, low
 VIT, and doing tons of damage to draw lots of aggro. If you are subbing
warrior, don't use provoke unless you need to (you and white mage are the only
 ones left.) At lower lvls, it is ok to tank, but when mobs get harder, don't.
Always upgrade weapon and inexpensive spells first, then armor.You are not a
tank, so you shouldn't be buying new armor before a new weapon. Think about
it,would you invite a paladin lvl 30 with lizard gear (I've seen tons of
them)? No, and the same goes for Darks with old scythes or great swords.

Ideal party:
-At low levels, people will invite you solely to see you in action. At
mid-levels, it will be harder to get invites (but they still come frequently
 enough). Higher levels, people will love you and your souleater+guillotine.

A great party is DRK, main tank (paladin or warrior even), A respectable
damage dealer like samurai or dragoon, or thief (monk too for his awesome
Combo Weapon skill) or ninja for backup tank.and 3 mages. WHM,
BLM, and either a RDM or another WHM would be ideal. Rangers would be a
welcome addition, but they would have to kick out the DRK *sob. Thankfully
rangers are a lot fewer in number than Darks.

6a) Great subs and Bad subs

*note, these are all from my playing experiences. Pick the one you like
the most, I've seen many different combinations. Yes, you will have more of a
challenge being different and might not get as many PT invites, but be the one
you want to be. I've seen warrior/WHM handle their own in PTs for example. But
know this, there is a good reason why people adhere to certain job structures.
You will be doing yourself and your party a favor if you pick a better sub
more suited for your job.

the most common subs:
A great sub. Added str, VIT, health. You have provoke to use in certain
situations, and can berserk when Last resort is charging. The defense bonus,
double attack, and attack bonus all gained by lvl 30 make this a perfecty fine

The sub I have. I subbed Warrior until I got dark to lvl 30, then switched to
thf sub. Why? Well it might be because I was lazy to level warrior to 30, but
the dex and agility helpme hit more often  (important when using 2 handed
weapons like scythe and great sword) and dodge hits more often. You get
evasion bonuses, gil finder,treasure hunter. Sneak attack is good with scythe,
 even though its not the same sneak attack as you would get with thief as a
main job. Normally, sneak attack would be worthless subbed with a main that
uses one handed weapons, but for scythe it works well (100+ dmg, 130+ with
souleater on incredibly tough mobs at lvl 33). Trick attack is good when dark
 knight gets lvl 60, but at that point you will probably pick samurai as a sub
to do guillotine more.

I cannot wait until I get my dark to lvl 60 and sub samurai. Why? Meditate.
period. It has a pretty quick reload, meaning you can use it a lot and build
tp fast for guillotine. A sub that allows no room for error, subbing Sam means
drawing aggro would be hazardous.You miss out on the defense and attack
bonuses of subbing warrior, and the evasion bonuses of subbing thief. But this
is the ideal damage dealing combo for Dark, You will most likely draw aggro
from doing guillotine even once, so make sure your pt knows what they are

Subs that are a little challenging:

well, I guess you can use blink when Dark hits lvl 24 (blink is a lvl 12
ninjitsu, and subs are half of you main). Dual Wield would be useless because
 you would be using 2hand weapons anyways. Ok gains in dex and agility, but
not as good as thief. I dont see many darks sub ninja, mainly because dual-
wield would be useless (unless you like 2 one-hand swords). If you do dual
wield, make sure to get swords with stat adding properties. This combo
might be obsolete when you drop it for guillotine. One thing, this job is more
expensive than picking any other sub. The ninjitsu that lowers resistance to
elements (mob) may be useful because you can cast certain elemental spells

Dodge, Focus, boost. Good abilities. Good gains in dex. Why don't people sub
monk? mainly because there are better sub choices. I've seen Drk/mnks do
pretty well, but not as well as other darks. Martial art job traits would be
useless. In the end you have a Dark Knight hitting more, evading more, but
less gains in dex and agil than subbing thf, and less gains in STR
subbing warrior. The HP gain is nice. If you want something that can tank more
pick this sub, they get a lot of VIT. But you will never be a main tank
without provoke (but can use last resort to draw aggro).

Red mage:
If you want to play a spellcasting Darkknight, this would be a good sub.
Magic attack bonus,magic defense bonus, and fast cast. But the stat gain
is horrible and as a Dark you don't want to be using spells most of the
battle. However, this job could be a good sub if played right at higher
levels. When you almost hit 70, you will acquire the red mage magics
phalanx and stone skin. I am keeping my eye out on this combo, because if
they raise the cap to lvl 80, dark/RDM get raise, and Convert.

Subs that are very hard to play:

Wow, Picking a dark knight as main and subbing PLD would give you uber attack
and defense right? Maybe. Sure, you will get 2 defense bonuses and good VIT
bonuses. So if this class seems right to you, pick Paladin as a main and
warrior as a sub. You will miss out on many better subs, especially because
darks shouldnt be tanking usually. It's weird, this sub sounds very good on
paper, but I've never seen it effective in playing experience.Plus, paladins
get horrible dex and agility, which 2handed users desperately need. picking
this sub would give you a less effective tank that can't hit incredibly tough
mobs very much. I will actually experiment this class later to tell you if it
plays as good as it sounds, partly because my favorite FF character Cecil, was
both paladin and dark knight. =)

forget what people say, WHM makes one of the best subs when you are soloing.
that is, in the beginning when you should only fight easy and decent challenge
mobs. Once you start having to party, ditch this sub. you will get a minimum
of WHM spells that a full WHM could get,very useless gained stats subbing
this, etc. There are far more effective subs than this.

Since being Dark Knight gives you the spells that subbing BLM would give you,
you would only gain a few new spells by subbing this job. Your int gain would
be great. here is a list of the new spells you will get when you hit lvl70 DRK
subbing BLM.

Order of Lowest lvl to highest lvl:

Blaze Spikes
Ice spikes
Shock Spikes
Aero II

So you do gain a good number of spells when you hit lvl 70. Choke, shock, frost,
burn, and drown could be used right after the corresponding drain-stat spell
to be extra effective. I can see warp and escape being very useful. Perfect if
you want to spell cast with your dark knight the majority of the time. But if
thats your aim, you are better off going full BLM.


-two are good damage dealers, one is great for solo. I'm afraid I don't know
enough about subbing either of the three, but thats because no one does.
subbing DRG, you don't have the wyvern or breath attacks, subbing ranger is
useless when your main weapon scythe or great sword. there are much better job
combos. subbing BST, you will only get to charm mobs half your level, and a
lvl 15 monster doesnt fare well against a lvl 30 monster. Imagine yourself lvl
30 fighting a lvl 15 snipper. Yep,the lvl15 they will die quick, miss most
of the time, etc. Also, to add to ranger, Dark Knights accuracy with a bow is
not great, so expect to miss a lot.


-With subbing BRD, you will not be any good. Without the ability to use
instruments, your songs would suck and you could only have one at a time.
Summoner sounds like a cool sub, but being summoner main is hard enough
as it is,although you get a lot of mp. To have an effective sum sub you'd need
all the avatars and thats a lot of work for a sub.

7a) Equipment

-I will have very detailed equipment setups for every ten lvls of dark, but
for now, I can give advice.


Scythes are the way to go for Dark. Less expensive, more damage, and better
later weapon skills than great swords. They have about 30-50 or so more delay
than great swords, but do more damage.The advantage to great swords would be
for hard slash in the beginning (better than slice), but scythes get much
better weapon skills later on. The best weapons are ones with added effects and
stats. The best scythes are the ones that do the most damage for your level.
Low delay scythes usually do less damage.


As a Dark Knight, armor isn't a focus. Still, its nice to take a few hits. You
don't always need the most current upgrade, but something thats fairly recent.
The best way for me to buy armor for my character is to wait longer intervals
than normal (instead of buying every 4 levels, buy at every 8, in some cases
higher lvl armor can be cheaper than lower level ones). Or use conquest points
to buy armor. Heavy armor, ones that allow you to use headgear, is ideal.At
lvl 30 do buy centurion however, it adds very good stats and can be bought
with conquest points.Most darks will always upgrade weapons first, so ones
that have good armor will be more attractive to invite to parties.


Things that add in DEX, STR, AGIL, or INT (in that order), and Attack are
always helpful. Items to look for could be spike necklaces, bone necklaces,
ONYX rings, I dont know what snipper earings are,but I've heard they are
useful for dark knights. Warrior belts are good (added STR and VIT), but I am
waiting for money to buy better belts. If you pick a race/sub, try to get
items that can round up your combination. If elvann, try to get more dex
items. If hume, try to get more STR. In no way will 2 Onyx rings make up for a
humes 5 or less STR than elvanns STR, but it will help you do almost as much
damage, or hit almost as much. A well equipped hume can outdamage a
poorly equipped elvann, so remember that. Also, DEX is very important when 
using 2-handed weapons.

Best stuff to wear:

Lets say you have a ton of money/done all the quests, etc. Look for/buy RSE
equipment, or hunt rare equipment off notorius monsters, or get AF gear (Drop
the AF scythe as soon as possible, its horrible).These equipment can make a
poorly equipped dark knight a run for his money. Emperor' hairpin, Valkrye
mask, Leaping boots, vagassos scythe, are all welcome additions. JSE is very
good as well,but the requirements are in the late 60's. I will list the stats
of the AF armor in my next update. Did I mention AF armor looks cool? Its why
I wanted to be DRK =)

10a) Level Strategies

-In this section, I will explain the best way to survive and level...could be 
up for discussion so constructive emails only

Before lvl 10-

No attack up, no ATK adding abilities yet. You will be a slightly stronger
warrior, with less defense. Soloing is suggested in this level 
period. If you leveled warrior up to lvl 10, you know exactly what to expect.
Easy and decent challenges (when you have enough TP) repeatedly can get you
to the next lvls fast and safely. Rest often.

lvl 10-30:

Attack Bonus, resist paralyze, and arcana killer. I highly suggest subbing
something useful to give you a better range of skills and atributes, like
warrior. Even a lvl 10 sub for warrior can help a lot, with the added 
defense and stats. You will begin to party in the early tens; by lvl 13 
make your way into valkrum or a zone with similar difficulty and fight the
easiest enemies there. Until you hit the later levels of this range, tanking
should be safe if you need to be the tank.Your weapon skills won't really
help the party out except to set up renkeis and magic bursts, but it won't
hurt a party to have you in it if you do consistent hits wearing a lot of 
dex gear.At level 21, I suggest going to sauromague, heading along the right
wall and find the spot with a lot of beetles. The spot is usually less crowded
than qufim, so gaining experience should be faster. lvl 23-24, make your way 
to quifim. Clippers should be hard, but doable unless the puller gets 
something too incredibly tough. By lvl 25, head to kazham and fight 
mandragoras in Yhutunga jungle. Lvl 27, head to Yhoator jungle. I suggest 
putting work into building up your magic skills. Try to join balanced parties
for less deaths (obvious, but just in case)

lvl 30+:

You will still need to level in yhoator jungle until lvl 33. At level 30, your
role in the party changes. You will need to tank less and use soul eater as
often as you can, unless you are the only tankable job on your team. If you
wish to change your sub into something other than warrior, like theif, you
can and still inflict a lot of heavy damage (but not with your weapon skills).
Try to manage your level of hate that the enemy counts on you so that in 
case you peel aggro the tank can provoke it off you.Start getting into a habit
of timing your casting between weapon attacks. Getting to lvl 30 will not be
easy, but if you can form decent parties you will do fine, and the drain stat
spells should make you more attractive to parties.
*note- I cannot give a specific leveling guide past the mid 30s because I have
not played that far (too much school). 

lvl 60+:

I have not played anywhere close to this point of a Dark Knights career, so
everything is pure speculation (read: informed guessing).
Once you hit lvl 60, your weapon skills will be the backbone of your damage 
dealing capabilities (guillotine). You and anyone with a paladin job will 
become fast friends (you deal the damage, he draws the hate). To maximize
your potential, sub at least a lvl 30 samurai job for meditate (with your
leveling experience, getting to lvl 30 should be a piece of cake). Congratz,
enjoy being the strongest melee (close range fighting for you ranger 
enthusiasts ^^). I would like the opinion of someone whos reached this point,
so please email me =).

9a) revisions list

-December 08, 2003- v.1.0 Submitted FAQ to gamefaqs
-December 09, 2003- v.1.1 Changed information concerning Sams vs. DRKs
-December 10, 2003- v.1.2 Added Spell list, Thank you Section, also added in
some strategies to use for certain job abilities.
-December 11, 2003- v.1.3 Added Level Strategies section

10a) Thank You Section

-For my girlfriend having great patience while I am playing this game. 
I don't play as much for you, but its worth it (wink wink).
-Big thanks for Allakhazam.com for the full spell list guide
-Thanks to Kessen99 for added info on Souleater and Last resort
-My friends on Ragnarok (Crimsonblood, Darklightsyndicate, and none Linkshell 
Friends) especially Savage, Shinrai, Kiwi, Antonius, Lordkappa, and all those
that have helped me along the way. This FAQ is for you guys.

- AND SQUARESOFT ENIX, You have captivated my mind again and again. My love 
for videogames would be stale if it wasn't for your great games!!! From 
fighting alongside lunarians, taking down Shinra, to triple kicking lavos into
oblivion, I've been there every step of the way.

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