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Male Rune Fencer in Artifact Armor.

The rune fencer is a job capable of controlling the ebb and flow of battle through the use of offensive and defensive runes inscribed upon their flesh to bolster their combat capabilities. Just as with paladin and ninja, they excel in keeping their comrades safe, particularly with respect to magical damage from the elements. They are also practitioners of divine and enhancing spells, enabling them to be prepared for any engagement.

Official description

Rune Fencer (魔導剣士, Madō Kenshi?, lit. Sorcery Fencer) is one of the jobs released in the Final Fantasy XI: Seekers of Adoulin expansion.

Rune Fencer is the third "tank"-type job, and the first job to specialize in the use of the greatsword. Rune Fencers are intended to use their damage-dealing capabilities to help draw the foe's attention and use their spells and special job abilities to mitigate magic damage.

Rune Fencer's magical attacks and defenses have a strong elemental aspect, determined by which runes they are "harboring" at the time. Built-up harbored runes provide elemental attack and defense, and furthermore can be expended for various effects.

Becoming a Rune Fencer[]

The quest to become a Rune Fencer is undertaken at Eastern Adoulin. The player must speak with Octavien to begin the quest "Children of the Rune". They then must acquire a Yahse wildflower petal to draw the runes on their body, and repeatedly attempt to use the rune enhancement until they succeed.


Job Abilities[]

Level Name Level Name
1 Elemental Sforzo 5 Flabra
5 Gelus 5 Ignis
5 Lux 5 Sulpor
5 Tellus 5 Tenebrae
5 Unda 10 Vallation
20 Swordplay 25 Lunge
40 Pflug 50 Valiance
60 Embolden 70 Gambit
85 Liement 95 One For All
96 Odyllic Subterfuge

Job traits[]

Level Name Level Name
5 Tenacity 10 Magic Defense Bonus
15 Inquartata 35 Auto Regen
40 Tactical Parry 65 Auto Regen II
95 Auto Regen III

Spell list[]

Level Spell
4 Barstone
6 Barsleep
8 Barwater
9 Barpoison
10 Shell
11 Barparalyze
12 Baraero
15 Aquaveil
16 Barfire
17 Barblind
20 Barblizzard
20 Protect
22 Barsilence
Level Spell
23 Regen
24 Barthunder
30 Shell II
35 Blink
38 Barvirus
40 Protect II
42 Barpetrify
45 Blaze Spikes
45 Flash
48 Regen II
50 Shell III
55 Stoneskin
Level Spell
58 Foil
60 Protect III
62 Refresh
65 Ice Spikes
68 Phalanx
70 Regen III
70 Shell IV
76 Baramnesia
80 Protect IV
85 Shock Spikes
90 Shell V
99 Regen IV

Skill ratings[]

Combat Skill Rank Caps by Level
1 49 99
Greatsword A+ 6 150 424
Sword A- 6 150 417
Greataxe B 5 144 398
Axe B- 5 144 388
Club C- 5 139 368
Parrying A+ 6 150 424
Evasion B+ 5 144 404
Magic Skill Rank Caps by Level
1 49 99
Divine Magic B 5 144 398
Enhancing Magic B- 5 144 388



  • Rune Fencer is a more capable "magic swordsman"-type than Red Mage, whose archetype it somewhat overlaps with.
  • It is a greatsword specialist. Greatswords are very powerful weapons with an extremely powerful merit weapon skill, Resolution. It can effectively double as both tank and DD with proper gear and support.
  • Rune Fencer has a number of abilities to support its party, such as granting a temporary immunity to magic and weakening an enemy's magic defense, strengthening all damaging spells cast by your party on the target. The latter is much used in today's endgame in mage parties.
  • It has the highest Parrying skill. This, plus the Inquartata trait and the Battuta job ability, help to mitigate lots of damage. Although parrying is less reliable when compared to shield blocking, its activation rate is a fixed value (unlike shield block which is based on player's and enemy's levels) and it fully absorbs all damage instead of partially. In fact, against extremely high-level foes Rune Fencer is more physically resistant than Paladin.
  • Rune Fencer's base magic evasion is the highest in the game, making it very resistant to enfeebling magics and effects. Its job abilities, traits and gifts push this even further.
  • Rune Fencer isn't dependent on legendary-type equipment to have a place in today's endgame. Paladin, on other hand, is required to have at least an Aegis (Relic shield).
  • It is the tank job of choice of some of the best endgame linkshells.
  • At first, most of Rune Fencer's magic defense capabilities are effectively limited to a single element at a time. While many magic-using monsters focus on a single element, there are also many that do not. However, acquiring Job Points dramatically increase its general magic defenses, making Rune Fencer much more powerful against all sorts of magic damage regardless of the runes harbored.


  • Rune Fencers can only use light armor, cannot equip shields and its gear selection is much narrower than Paladin's. Although it doesn't need legendary-type gear to be useful, it's somewhat hard for a new player to get basic equipment.
  • Rune Fencer is usually overlooked by the average player in its defining role since it needs an above-average skill level to be played properly. Rune Fencer's playstyle is more demanding when compared to Paladin's and leaves way less room for errors.


Blue Mage[]

Blue Mage sub is the best defensive sub job. Players can access the potent Cocoon spell which buffs defense by 50% in addition to a bevy of enmity generating spells (including AoE) and niche traits such as Resist Sleep and some basic Killer effects. Use it on anything if expecting to take a lot of physical damage and shadows will either be a waste of time or ineffective.


Ninja is the second best option for tanking. If the player is fighting something with a lot of powerful single target attacks, consider subbing Ninja. Rune Fencer can cap both the recast and casting time reduction on Utsusemi fairly effortlessly, allowing one to basically chaincast shadows as necessary.


While Warrior is not the best for Rune Fencer, it has its uses. Defender doesn't come close to Cocoon or Utsusemi and Provoke is better on Paladin because it has some nice enmity manipulating abilities. However, since Provoke isn't affected by Silence and Defender can't be overwritten by Defense Down, Warrior sub can be used on fights when both effects are issues. On the DD side, Berserk, Warcry, Aggressor and Double Attack don't overcome the benefits of Smite and Last Resort for damage dealing purposes, but they can be useful nevertheless.

Dark Knight[]

Due to the recent addition and buffs to Smite, subbing Dark Knight has never been a better choice. In addition to a staggering passive bonus of 14.8% attack, players also gain access to Last Resort, Weapon Bash, and a new powerful hate accruing spell on Stun. Poisonga is also a nice tool for AoE pulling.


Samurai is a sort of Hybrid subjob. It won't always be worth more damage to sub Samurai over Dark Knight (unless planning on capping attack, in which case Samurai is the best choice), however Samurai sub offers some extra utility that Dark Knight sub cannot. Seigan and Third Eye make a great emergency defense combo, and Zanshin is nice if one happens to fall under the hit rate cap.

White Mage[]

The spells that the player gains access to—most notably status removal, cures, and Haste—make White Mage a very strong candidate for when the player is solo or in a very low man situation. Being able to heal, remove a bad status ailment, and cast haste more than makes up for the loss of offensive power by switching from Samurai when battling a powerful enemy.

Other appearances[]

Final Fantasy Trading Card Game[]

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Runes are the letters in a set of related alphabets known as runic alphabets, which were used to write various Germanic languages before the adoption of the Latin alphabet and for specialized purposes thereafter. Historic anthropology regarding the Germanic and Norse peoples that used runes also note that the language was also highly used in magical practices related to these cultures, whether it be in divination, enchantment, and incantation.


  • Rune Fencer's job name in Japanese (魔導剣士, madoukenshi?) is almost the same as the name of the traditional Mystic Knight job (魔法剣士, mahoukenshi?).
  • Rune Fencer's design concept was derived both from suggestions made for other jobs over the years as well as the Mystic Knight from other games.