Viper action feature image © SQUARE ENIX

FINAL FANTASY XIV’s newest expansion, Dawntrail, is available for preorder NOW on PC/Steam, PlayStation 4/5, and on Xbox Series X/S.

This article is based on play of an in-development build of FINAL FANTASY XIV: Dawntrail, and content in the final version is subject to change.

Introduction to Viper

Viper is the other new DPS job introduced in the upcoming Dawntrail expansion, which uses two one-handed blades that can be combined into a single two-handed weapon to fight with. This job utilizes weapon skills to attack enemies and calls upon the memories of ancient hunters contained within their soul crystal to enfeeble opponents and enhance themselves for a period of time.

Because this job does not have such an obvious inspiration as Pictomancer does from FINAL FANTASY VI, Viper has the opportunity to make its own unique mark on the FINAL FANTASY job canon. I was able to take up this job and spend some serious time with it in Tural as part of the Dawntrail Media Tour, and I found it to be a complicated but incredibly fun job.

Playing as Viper

Viper is a complicated job that focuses primarily around enfeebling foes and enhancing your Viper, pulling off multiple basic combo variations, gaining and using Rattling Coil stacks, and finally using the Reawaken ability to pull off a nine-ability combo sequence that you can then do a second time through the 120 second cool down Serpent’s Ire action.

Please note that I was able to demo Viper at the 100-level cap.

Enfeeblement and Enhancements

The longer I kept killing enemies in Tural, the more I realized Viper’s first priority is to enfeeble your enemies and enhance your own Warrior of Light. Unlike Pictomancer, Viper does not enhance anyone but themselves, and does not increase damage to the enemy for anyone else but themselves. As for what options you have, please look below:


Noxious Gnash increases enemy damage received by 10% by the Viper


Hunter’s Instinct increases damage dealt by 10% by the Viper

Swiftscaled reduces weaponskill cast and recast time, spell cast and recast time, and auto-attack delay all by 15%

Swiftskin’s Venom Effect increases potency of Twinblood Bite by 100

Fellskin’s Venom Effect increases potency of Twinblood Thresh by 50


Activating Hunter's Instinct
The Viper class activated the Hunter’s Instinct enhancement during combat by using Hunter’s Sting as part of a combo. © SQUARE ENIX

These are not minor enhancement/enfeeblements but are instead quite significant to have in effect during battle. For instance, if you have both Noxious Gnash and Hunter’s Instinct in effect, then you’re doing quite a bit more harm to your enemy than you would otherwise.


Combining Noxious Gnash, Hunter’s Instinct, and Swiftscaled together significantly increases the amount of damage Viper can dish out by a significant amount by both pure numbers and the reduced cast/recast delay. Thankfully, these can be initiated by the first two steps of the 1-2-3 combo with Dread Fangs > Swiftskin’s Sting or Steel Fangs > Hunter’s Sting. You’ll want to complete out the full 1-2-3 combo to enhance the potency of another combo finisher as well in order to increase the Serpent Ire Gauge by 10 before switching to the other combo. These combos will be your standard combo cycle, and thankfully the 1-2-3 combo rotates through a single hotkey.

AoE combos start off with Steel Maw or Dread Maw, and they also combo out from there like above.

In addition to all of that, there is a lot of combo crossover in order to maximize damage through Swiftskin’s Venom Effect and Fellskin’s Venom Effect. These two effects bolster the damage potential of the third step of the combo, which gives a real incentive to do both combos back-to-back. And if that wasn’t enough, then you can execute Death Rattle or Last Lash on top of all that at the end of each combo.

Dread Fangs Attack
Dread Fangs (above) and Steel Fangs (below) are two different combo starters for the Viper job being released as part of the Dawntrail expansion. © SQUARE ENIX

Steel Fangs Action

Every 40 seconds, you can also fire off Dreadwinder into Hunter’s Coil/Swiftskin’s Coil and then into the other second skill of Hunter’s Coil/Swiftskin’s Coil that you did not use moments before. Furthermore, using Hunter’s Coil/Swiftskin’s Coil as a finisher to that second combo gives you access to Twinblood Bite and Twinfang Bite. Not only does this second combo grant the full array of enfeeblement and enhancements, but it also increases the Serpent Ire Gauge and grants a Rattling Coil. These Rattling Coil stacks appear as the red gems on the Vipersight bar. Rattling Coil stacks can be used to activate Uncoiled Fury, which does significant AoE damage.

I’ve barely discussed some of the combo possibilities here, and so I would urge you to review the action assignable and unassignable charts below to see how everything can be utilized. I promise you: it is a lot.

Finally, when you have 50 in the Serpent’s Ire Gauge, you can use Reawaken. Reawaken does solid AoE damage to surrounding enemies, but more importantly…it grants five stacks of Anguine Tribute. At this point, you can utilize the insanely complicated combo at level 100 of First Generation > First Legacy > Second Generation > Second Legacy > Third Generation > Third Legacy > Fourth Generation > Fourth Legacy > Ouroboros. Each Generation step uses up one Anguine Tribute, and Ouroboros uses up the fifth and final Anguine Tribute. If you then pop the Serpent’s Ire action (120 second timer) immediately afterwards, you not only are granted a stack of Rattling Coil, but you then have the ability to use Reawaken, and all nine other linked actions, in the combo a second time.

Combine that with a Role Action such as Bloodbath, and you’re a walking, damaging, self-healing DPS machine…especially if you have all three major enfeeblement and enhancements active as well. Please check out the end of the YouTube video linked at the top to see this full Reawaken combo in action!

Direction-Oriented Attacks

In what is probably the baffling decision for Viper, Swiftskin’s Coil and Hindsting Strike/Hindsbane Fang does more damage when executed from the target’s rear, and Flanksting Strike/Flanksbane Fang does more damage from the target’s flank. Thankfully, you do get Truth North as a Role Action to negate the directional angling, but it is still something that is quite a surprise to find for this job and it honestly does not fit in as you already have enough to worry about already.

Flankesbane Venom is activated here.
Unfortunately, I could not position myself to gain the extra damage from using Hindsting Strike from behind here, but it did grant me Flanksbane Venom to increase the damage to Flanksbane Fang during my next combo. © SQUARE ENIX

Viper Actions Charts

Viper Actions 1 Chart

Viper Actions 2

Viper Unassignable Actions Charts

Viper Unassignable Actions 1

Viper Unassignable Actions 1

Viper Role Chart

Viper Role Chart

Viper Traits Chart

Viper Traits Chart

Final Thoughts on Viper

If you’ve followed along with this all so far, then you’ve probably reached the same conclusion that I have: Viper is a very weaponskill heavy, complicated job. In fact, I suspect that Viper will be the most complicated job in all of FINAL FANTASY XIV Online when Dawntrail is released.

It can be very easy to lose your place in the weapon skill rotation, as both the single target and the AoE rotations have multiple weapon skill paths to go down to complete the combo — and you’ll want to do so in order to max out your enfeeblement and enhancements. FINAL FANTASY XIV Online’s smart AI is a Twelvesended gift, because the hotbar will light up the weapon skill with a higher effect to do next, and this will help you keep pace with alternating between the different combos. For me, this meant I could hit the combos constantly and consistently without remembering exactly what I had already hit. Without this, Viper would be infinitely harder to play and utilize appropriately in combo for anyone but the most skilled of players.

Viper from behind
A female Hrothgar Viper looks down a street in Tural. © SQUARE ENIX

I do think that the directional-oriented bonuses to damage are something that requires quite a bit of movement and makes Viper a bit like Dragoon because of it. Thankfully, True North can negate that need to direct yourself if you don’t want to deal with repositioning every so often during the fight. I frankly don’t care for that mechanic because it feels a bit tacked on, and I am glad that not every combo and weapon skill requires me to be rotating to different positions around the enemy in order to execute effectively.

Finally, you’ll notice that I haven’t talked about single bladed and dual bladed weapons, despite that being what is advertised in the Viper job description. Watching the blades come together and come apart is quite cool looking graphically, but I found myself focusing on enhancing/enfeebling, filling up the Rattling Coil and Serpent’s Ire Gauge, and trying to pull off back-to-back nine-hit combos through Reawaken action and Serpent’s Ire action when I wasn’t utilizing my other combo sets.

Viper is ultimately a lot of fun to play, make no mistake about it. It is also the one job that I am dying to see be utilized in Crystalline Conflict PVP due to simply how much damage it is expected to dish out as quickly as possible. I really think that if players take the time to experiment and learn this job, then they will fall quickly in love with Viper like I ended up doing.

Please check out my thoughts on the new Pictomancer job, and about Naoki Yoshida’s Media Q&A from Day 1, and my opinion on the Dawntrail demo as a whole.

If you want more FINAL FANTASY XIV Online-themed content, then be sure to check out my ongoing cooking series, Cooking Eorzea!

Also, check out what eleven FINAL FANTASY XI Online enemies that I think need to be part of the upcoming Echoes of Vana’diel raid series in Dawntrail.

Are you going to pick up Viper when the upcoming Dawntrail expansion releases?

What do you think about directional-based actions?

Let us know in the comments below!

Quentin H.
I have been a journalist for oprainfall since 2015, and I have loved every moment of it.