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These openers work stand alone and are both able to settle in to a looping rotation or ad hoc rotation at any GCD tier. If you do not know what this means please consider familiarising yourself with how Samurais full rotation works by reading the Samurai Compendium.
Alternative Higanbana 1st
Works with high ping as well
Alt. Higanbana 1st presents a real loop in which your burst phase plays exactly like your opener. This delays the start of your burst by 1 GCD compared to the regular Higanbana 1st opener and is useful for encounters with awkward timing on mechanics with your regular openers or as an entry into looping for newcomers.
Why is looping important for our rotation?
In order to minimise personal ability cooldown drift and maintain perfect alignment with raid buffs on intervals of 60/120/180 seconds, it is important that our rotation allows us to use our 2 least flexible abilities – Meikyo Shisui and Tsubame-gaeshi – as soon as they are available. Since Tsubame is on a 60 second cooldown we need to target a specific GCD tier to achieve a clean GCD cycle that comes as close to 60 seconds in length as possible. (Refer to http://bit.ly/Compendium-Loop for in-depth explanation.)
Viable GCD/SkS ranges (post-Shifu) for looping:
|Viable GCD Tiers for Looping||Viable Skill|
|60s Loop GCD Count||Required Filler GCDs|
|2.16 < 2.15 > 2.14||457 to 811||28||2|
|2.08 < 2.07 > 2.06||1,370 to 1,725||29||3|
|2.01 < 2.00 > 1.99||2,208 to 2,537||30||4|
If you find your SkS to not be in any of those ranges, you want to either meld more SkS or lose SkS without equipping lower ilvl pieces.
1) Yaten-Enpi = 1 Filler GCD 2) Yukikaze-Hagakure = 2 Filler GCDs 3) Gekko-/Kasha-Hagakure = 3 Filler GCDs
Avoid using Yaten-Enpi as filler unless necessary for boss mechanics or when only a single filler GCD is needed.