Welcome to Astrologian guide from 30-70. In this guide we are going to talk about how to ease up the learning curve as an Astrologian healer in Final Fantasy 14.
Before we start the guide please note that this is to be taken as merely extra info on the class, and not as THE proper ultimate way to play it. Remember to have fun playing the class enjoying it in your style as these are merely guidelines that would help you get better understanding of your class.
Unlocking Astrologian requires you to finish the “A Realm Reborn” storyline and access Heavensward main city in order to pick up the quest to unlock it. It will provide you with a soul stone and some initial level 30 gear as you will start the class from level 30.
What is Astrologian?
Astrologian is one of three healing classes available for you to play in FFXIV. The Astrologian is considered a hybrid between the two healing styles the other two healers specialise in. While White Mages rely on raw healing power and regen effects, and Scholars rely on shielding and preemptive shielding to keep the party alive, as an Astrologian you have the power to easily switch between either style between fights, and you can be pretty good at either. The Astrologian might look like it has a very steep start, seeing that you begin at level 30 (especially if it’s the first healing class you try in the game) but I can guarantee that despite being given the class with a lot of skills available, it is very easy to group them and organise them to know which does what.
Role Action Skills:
As a healer, you get access to a group of Role Actions that other healer classes share. Below are skills that are crucial to you as a healer that I strongly recommend you choose, I might even say all of them are mandatory:
Protect – Increases the defence of all party members for 30 minutes.
Esuna – Dispells harmful debuffs from party members. Needless to say, this is a must.
Swiftcast – Makes your next spell cast in the next 10 secs instant.
Lucid Dreaming – Regenerates your MP for 21 seconds. This is really needed especially for long-duration fights. It also doubles as an aggro dump cooldown since it halves it.
Largesse – Increases the potency of your heals by 20% for 20 seconds. This is amazing in periods of extremely heavy damage.
Once you unlock Astrologian you will get all the spells and cooldowns up till level 30. The easiest way to remove the confusion is to group up skills by their main role:
Single Target Heals:
Benefic, Benefic II, Essential Dignity.
Lightspeed, Lucid Dreaming.
First, the single target heals comprise of Benefic, which is a cheap heal that is mana-efficient and should be your default healing spell under most circumstances, and Benefic II, which is a stronger version of Benefic, it heals more but also costs more mana and it should be used whenever you need a powerful boost to heal someone back to good health or if the damage is too much for Benefic to cover. And finally you have Essential Dignity which is an off global cooldown spell which can be used at any time you are not casting, has a 40 sec cooldown but its unique trait is that its potency increases the more the target has lower HP. For example, it heals a target for 2000 on full health, if they have 50% health it would heal them for 4000, if 30% health then 5000 and so on. The ratio might not be exactly accurate but you get the idea.
Secondly, AoE heals at this point comprises of Helios, which heals all targets within range for a good amount of HP, but of course it uses a considerable amount of MP.
Dispells are to take off negative debuffs from your party members. So if any member gets something like “Heavy”, “Poison”, etc, you use Esuna to clear the debuff. You should do it immediately if you see a member getting inflicted. The debuffs are generally red icons next to the players name on the party list.
Offensive Spells are used when there is nothing to heal and you want to contribute to the damage of the party. In this case you start off by casting Combust to deal damage over time to the enemy followed by casts of Malefic.
Cooldowns will help you keep up with the fight through various effects. Lucid Dreaming is your main mana regeneration cooldown. Use it whenever your mana reaches around 50-60%. Lightspeed will make all your spells be instant cast and cost 25% less mana for the next 10 seconds. This cooldown is especially useful in heavy AoE-Damage areas where you need to deliver massive amounts of healing in very little time.
You will also have something called Diurnal Sect, this is a Stance. The stance increases your healing potency by 10% while adding a regen effect to 2 spells. These spells are unlocked later and I will cover that at their respective levels. But you should always make sure to have a Diurnal Sect active. Later on you will unlock another one so always make sure one of them is up.
Healing doesn’t have a specific “rotation” that I can state here and you follow. Healing is all about predicting the damage and reacting swiftly and firmly to it. Now that you have grouped up the spells you have, be ready to react according to the situation. Only heal when its beneficial and try not to overheal. Overhealing can easily happen by just continuously healing the target while little to no damage is being inflicted, best way to not overheal is to know how much your heals heal for, and then use them when they are covering that amount. For example, if your Benefic heals for 500, don’t heal your target if it only takes 100 damage, wait till they take more and then heal, this will save your mana considerably.
In addition to healing, Astrologian can provide support buffs to party members using a Card System. This is used through a skill you have called Draw. Once used, you will draw one of six cards randomly, and you will have 30 secs to decide what to do with it. Each card of the six provides a unique buff that can be applied to ONE party member. The cards that you have are as follows:
Spire (Yellow): regenerates target’s TP for the next 15 seconds.
Use on: NIN, MNK, DRG, BRD, MCH.
Ewer (Blue): regenerates target’s MP for the next 15 seconds.
Use on: SMN, AST, WHM, SCH.
Bole (Green): reduces the damage a target takes by 20% for 30 seconds.
Use on: WAR, PLD, DRK.
Balance (Orange): increases the damage dealt by a target by 10% for 30 seconds.
Use on: NIN, MNK, DRG, BLM, SMN, BRD, MCH, SAM, RDM
Spear (Purple): increases the crit chance of a target by 10%.
Use on: MNK, DRG, DRK, PLD, WAR, SAM, RDM.
Arrow (Light Blue): increases the target’s attack speed by 10%.
Use on: DRG, BLM, SMN, BRD, MCH.
When you draw, you draw only one of those, and when you use it on a member, you will then wait for 30 seconds before you can draw another one. I have listed above (from my personal experience) which classes work well with which cards. You can also use these cards on yourself.
Additions of level 35:
At this level you will gain a new spell called Aspected Benefic. This spell is your most versatile spell you will have, as it will adapt depending on your active stance. As of now, if you use it while you have Diurnal Sect active you will heal the target while also adding a regenerating effect on them for the next 18 seconds. Healing them for additional HP every 3 seconds. If you use it with the other stance/Sect that you get at level 50 called Nocturnal Sect, you will apply a shield effect on the target for 30 secs. This allows you to adapt to 2 different play styles, either regen or shielding. One thing to note is that this spell is an expensive one, so make sure to use it when you feel it will do its job fully because spamming it will cause you to have serious mana issues.
You also get a skill called Royal Road. This allows you to use up one card you have drawn and use it to enhance your next draw. Not at all cards give the same bonuses though, here is how they are divided:
Balance or Bole: increase the potency of your next card by 50%
Arrow or Spear: increases the duration of your next card by 100% (to 1 min)
Ewer or Spire: spreads your next card on all nearby targets but reduces its potency by 50%.
This gives you flexibility on how to approach different scenarios, like prepare a spreading effect to use right on pulling the boss so that everyone gets the same bonus. This can take a bit to get used to, but after some practice, you can really change the tide of many battles.
Once you get to level 50 you gain a new sect, called Nocturnal Sect which increases your healing done by 15% and makes 2 of your spells give shielding effect. The spells are Aspected Benefic and Aspected Helios. The latter is one that heals everyone in a radius, but also puts a shield on them if you use Nocturnal Sect, or regen if you are using Diurnal Sect. At this point it all boils down to experimenting with which playstyle is more suited to you.
Level 60 and Tricks:
At level 60 things don’t change much in general when it comes to playstyle, all you get is more cooldowns to use and each of them has situational uses that can really turn the tide of a battle, which will be discussed below:
- A good way to stack up heals on your tank is to use several of your cooldowns together in order to maximise both healing output, and duration of the regen effects in Dirunal Sect.
Largesse > Collective Unconscious > Aspected helios > Aspected Benefic > Time Dilation > Celestial Opposition.
This should give you around 40 secs of very powerful healing (almost equal to or more than Benefic), allowing you to dps or to easily keep your target up.
- Once in an “OH CRAP!” situation, use Lightspeed and then start spamming your most powerful heals. The amount of healing that you can dish out with this cooldown is not to be underestimated.
- Celestial Opposition can work on your cooldowns as well. A safe strategy to maximise the efficiency of Lucid Dreaming or Lightspeed by using either of them (or both of them) then using Celestial. This will increase their duration to 31 secs and 20 secs respectively giving you a massive boost.
- A good strategy to use before a fight is to use Aspected Benefic on the tank while in Nocturnal Sect which will apply a shield, then immediately switch back to Diurnal Sect to use the regen bonuses. That way, your tank will have a shield while going in, and you will still have the flexibility of the regen stance.
Astrologian is one of the jobs that don’t change dramatically at level 70, it only gets improved. Your healing strategies shouldn’t really differ much from the level 60 ones. Below I will be explaining the new additions as well as how to use them.
At level 62 you gain the spell Earthly Star. This gives the astrologian its first ground AoE heal. This spell adds a star on the ground which forms a visible radius around it that allies can stand in. This spell does not periodically heal or anything like that, instead it bursts in a huge explosion both healing allies and damaging enemies. The star lasts for 10 seconds on the ground, once they are up, the star will grow larger transforming into a bigger star that will last on the ground for another 10 seconds. The first star will be called Earthly Dominance on your buff bar, while the second star will be called Giant Dominance. Before you get confused, in practice this is a very easy spell to use. you can either leave it till it finishes the full duration of the two stars and it will detonate, or you can reclick the button of the spell during either during Earthly or Giant Dominance to cause it to explode manually. Be mindful that the heal and the damage are much greater in the Giant Dominance half.
Now if you think you are already having your hands full with everything you can do with your cards, at level 64 you get to be proven wrong! This unlocks Minor Arcana. Say you are in one of those horrible situations in which you get a Spire card that no one needs, so you Royal Road it and it changes to an Ewer card that no one needs either. Usually you would have to get rid of it somehow but Minor Arcana helps you with that. Minor Arcana basically takes your current drawn card and transforms it randomly to either Lord of Crowns or Lady of Crowns. The Lord card can be used on an enemy to deal 300 potency damage, and the Lady card can be used on an ally or self to heal for 500 potency. Best part is that Minor Arcana has its own slot, which means you can prep one in advance and keep it in the Minor Arcana deck just like what you do with a card that you saved in Spread. While unpredictable, Minor Arcana can be a great help offensively or defensively.
At level 70 you pretty much turn into a Yu-gi-Oh and you draw all your cards at the same time using the Sleeve Draw cooldown. This cooldown basically fills any EMPTY card or royal road on your deck. So if your deck is completely EMPTY then Sleeve Draw is going to fill it with everything, a card, a spread, a royal road and a minor arcana. If your deck is FULL as in you have everything already prepped, then Sleeve Draw will do nothing. If you have half your deck empty, as in you do not have a spread for example, the sleeve draw will fill that for you. This is great to make you combat ready in an instant.. BUT all cards are random. This means its completely normal if you use it on an empty deck and you end up with a spire on spread. This can be countered either by using the undraw skills, or spreading the card you want first (such as an Arrow, or Balance or Spear) then use Sleeve Draw, that way you get to keep your spread.
As said before, you are exactly the same astrologian you are used to be. All you will need to do is to get used to the new spells you now got. Earthly star can be a life saver for either tanks or heavy aoe damage, Minor Arcana can be used to supplement your healing\damage and make use of unwanted cards and Sleeve Draw can help you fill in any blanks you want to fill in quickly in your deck without having to wait. Beware though that Sleeve Draw does not reset your “Draw”, “Royal Road” or “Spread” skills. So if you just drew a card, and used it, then used Sleeve Draw right afterwards, you will have to wait till Draw comes off cooldown again, which could possibly mean the new card you got will be lost. Once you get these basics practiced you can easily fit in the new Stormblood content. The only thing regarding Stormblood content is that everything hits harder, so more heals will be needed. If you are one of the healers that likes to DPS a lot, you will have to let go some of that DPS cause tanks and your party in general will need a lot more constant care.
Wish you Happy Astrologianing!