The Lost Ark Mage is, unsurprisingly, the magic class. However, each of its advanced classes — while focusing on ranged combat — are very different from each other. In the western release, you’ll have the choice between the damaging elemental spells of Sorceress, and the musical support of Bard. In this guide, we’ll go over each of Mage’s options, and why both are worth trying out for lovers of magic classes.
Lost Ark Bard Advanced Class
Bard is one of Lost Ark’s few support classes (the western launch only features two total), meaning that it will be in high demand by parties. It can create shields, heal allies, and increase damage dealt via buffs. The latter is noteworthy since it means, despite Bards doing lower damage than other classes, the party will still be doing more damage overall than if you took another pure DPS class instead.
You’ll mostly fight at range while playing Bard, firing homing magical notes via your regular attack, along with a number of ground targeted AOE skills. These types of skills linger on the ground for a few seconds, allowing you to move and cast other skills while still dealing damage.
For leveling, you’ll want to stick with upgrading the aforementioned ground targeted AOE skills, since they’re good at both dealing with groups of mobs and bosses. Dissonance and Stigma are good choices, since they’re available right from the start. Both can be upgraded via the Tripod system to attack a larger area, letting you group up and kill multiple packs of enemies in dungeons at once.
Meanwhile, Heavenly Tune will be a key part of your rotation, since it buffs the attack speed of you and your allies. Eventually, it can also buff the damage of your party’s attacks via the level 3 Tripod effect Intense Tune.
Another skill to have equipped at all times is Soundholic — basically a giant laser beam. While it has a long cooldown, the damage this skill can put out makes it essential for both questing and dungeons (it does even more damage when attacking from behind too). Soundholic works best with the Focus Fire Tripod effect, which massively boosts its damage at the cost of not being able to aim the beam any more.
Bard’s two Specialty Skills lean further into the advanced class’ support role. By dealing damage, you’ll build the resource Bubbles, up to a max of three. These can either be spent on Serenace of Courage, which is a hefty party-wide damage boost, or Serenade of Salvation, a party HP regen.
Lost Ark Sorceress Advanced Class
Sorceress is what you’d expect from a typical mage-style class, wielding a number of elemental spells to deal high damage to enemies. Spells are split into three main elements, Flame, Frost, Lightning, plus a handful of normal non-elemental skills. Sorceresses can deal a high amount of damage at range, at the cost of dealing with cast times for its best skills, and an overall lack of defence.
As with Bard, you’ll want to stick with AOE skills most of the time, though you can also make an additional skill preset that focuses on single target damage to kill bosses faster. Seraphic Hail is unlocked by default, unleashing a wave of water with no cast time. It has a lengthy default cast time, but this can be reduced via the Tripod level 1 effect Quick Prep.
Punishing Strike is another solid choice, which can be upgraded to boost its AOE size and damage. At lower levels, this and Seraphic Hail will generally be enough to deal with most packs, but you can also rotate in Lightning Vortex for a quick way to deal damage and CC enemies.
While most of Sorceress’ most damaging spells have high cast times, even when reduced via the Tripod system, its Specialty Skill Arcane Rupture can help to mitigate this. As you deal damage, the Arcane Meter is filled. At 30%, this meter can be spent to enter the Magick Enhanced State. In this state, you deal more damage, and all cast times are reduced by half.
Using Arcane Rupture when the meter is full will instead make you enter Arcane Torrent, reducing the cooldown of skills that have already been used, boosting your damage even further, while also keeping the faster casting times.
While in Magick Enhanced State or Arcane Torrent, the Arcane Meter will continuously drain. Because of this, you’re essentially making a choice between building smaller boosts faster via Magick Enhanced State, or taking longer to gain a larger and longer lasting boost via Arcane Torrent.
Sorceress does have another Specialty Skill in the form of Blink, letting her teleport short distances. While this is a movement option on an advanced class that generally lacks any mobility, using the meter on Blink instead of higher damage is a waste. Only use this if you’re absolutely in a pinch and need to escape (though you’ll probably die as Sorceress if you’re in that situation to begin with).
That's it for the Lost Ark Mage Guide - for more class guides check out the hub and class guides below!