One of the best things about our time playing the preview build of Final Fantasy XIV: Endwalker during the recent media tour was having access to every Job at level 90, including the upcoming Reaper and Sage. While we’ve covered Tanks, Melee DPS, and Ranged/Magic DPS extensively, here, we’ll be taking a closer look at Healers. So if you’ve been keeping us alive as White Mage, Astrologian, or Scholar (and plan to do so as Sage), this is your breakdown of what to expect when Endwalker drops, including the tooltips for all your new actions.
A broad change coming to Healers is the distinction between “Barrier Healers” and “Pure Healers.” While the designations speak to the design philosophies of the four Jobs (and become important in high-level content in Party and Raid Finders), not much changes in practice. That’s because White Mage and Scholar are getting some new useful abilities but no major tweaks. Additionally, Astrologian will get a few adjustments that will make its core functions lean more towards straightforward healing. The star of the show, however, is Sage with its mecha anime-inspired Nouliths, wild spell names, and layered mechanics.
I’d be remiss if I didn’t plug all of our FFXIV Endwalker preview coverage, so be cool and check everything out from changes to Melee DPS, Ranged/Magic DPS, and Tanks to tours of the new Endwalker zones. You’ll also want to check out our interview with director and producer Naoki Yoshida about Endwalker‘s development in unprecedented times, as well as how our very own Sage boy Alphinaud would’ve been a Reddit shitposter in today’s world. And keep your eyes peeled for Fanbyte’s dedicated Final Fantasy XIV section, called The Linkshell, coming soon!
You can also check out the rest of our coverage of the media tour:
- Tank Changes and All New Job Actions to Level 90
- Melee DPS Changes and All New Job Actions to Level 90
- Ranged/Magic DPS Changes and All New Job Actions to Level 90
- Tour of the New Zones — A Walkthrough of Old Sharlayan, Garlemald, and Thavnair
This article is based on play of an in-development build of Final Fantasy XIV: Endwalker, and content in the final version is subject to change.
White Mage (WHM)
I think most players are pretty happy with the current state of White Mage as a straightforward and effective Pure Healer that can also lay down some decent damage. As such, not much has changed outside of gaining new abilities as you approach the level 90 cap.
First off, Thin Air‘s cooldown timer has been reduced to 60 seconds (down from 120 seconds) and is now a two-charge action. At level 82, Glare evolves into Glare III and Holy evolves into Holy III, which means slight potency boosts for both spells. At level 85, you get Enhanced Healing Magic as a trait, which boosts healing potency for all core spells: all Cures, Regen, Medica, Afflatus Solace, and Afflatus Rapture. At level 86, you get Aquaveil, which is a spell on a 60-second cooldown that reduces damage taken by 15% for eight seconds on you or a party member. Then, Divine Benison gets two charges once you make it to level 88.
As for White Mage’s big addition, you get Lilybell at level 90. It’s a spell on a 180-second cooldown that lets you designate an area for healing and grants you five stacks of Lilybell. Whenever you’re hit, one stack of Lilybell is expended and sets off a 400 potency heal to anyone around you. (Stacks will only expend from hits once per second at the fastest.) The overall effect lasts for 15 seconds, and any remaining Lilybell stacks will dispel and heal for 200 potency.
New White Mage Changes, Actions, and Traits
Scholar also doesn’t see many changes. But it gets more than a running speed boost, I’ll give you that much! Ultimately, the Job gets some adjustments to emphasize its role as a Barrier Healer.
Changes include Aetherflow restoring 20% of maximum MP (up from 10% previously), as well as very slight potency decreases to Whispering Dawn, Angel’s Whisper, Aetherpact / Fey Union, Fey Blessing, Consolation, and Seraphic Veil.
Both Art of War and Broil III upgrade to the stronger Art of War II and Broil IV at level 82. At level 85, you get the trait Enhanced Healing Magic, which boosts potency for Physick, Embrace, and Seraphic Veil. It also increases the barrier strength of Adloquium to 180% (from 125%) and Succor to 160% (from 125%) — there’s that sweet barrier magic we want to see!
At level 86, you get Protraction, an oGCD spell that increases the maximum HP for yourself or a party member by 10%. It also buffs the healing actions on whomever it’s cast on by 10% for a duration of 10 seconds. Then, at level 88, Deployment Tactics‘ cooldown is reduced to 90 seconds. Scholar’s level 90 ability is that famous speed boost, which is called Expedient. It grants a movement speed buff and reduces damage taken by 10% for all nearby party members over a duration of 20 seconds. It’s handy for when you and the crew gotta dip out of an AoE and endure a bit more damage.
New Scholar Changes, Actions, and Traits
Now it’s time for some significant overhauls. Astrologian gets the most changes that will definitely affect the way the Job is played, even if it still relies on the heart of the cards.
First off, no more sects. Well, while Nocturnal Sect and Diurnal Sect are no longer here, their effects can still be felt in many of Astrologian’s spells. Neutral Sect (Lv. 80) has been modified so that it grants barrier effects to Aspected Benefic and Aspected Helios, which is currently granted by Nocturnal Sect (Lv. 50).
Redraw is no longer a charge action and is instead made available once every time you execute Draw. A more minor change is that Seals granted from playing cards are now called Signs (Solar Sign, Lunar Sign, and Celestial Sign) — they effectively function the same way. A not-so-minor change, however, is the restructuring of Minor Arcana. It is now for specifically drawing Lord of Crowns (now a strong AoE damage spell) or Lady of Crowns (now an AoE healing spell), and essentially acts like a separate deck. They’re executed through the new action called Crown Play.
But wait, there’s more! A new action called Astrodyne has been implemented at level 50. It kind of replaces Divination’s current function, as its effects change based on the Signs you’ve accumulated from cards you’ve played. One Sign type grants Harmony of Spirit (MP regeneration). Two Sign types grant Harmony of Mind (5% damage and healing buff) plus Harmony of Spirit. Three Sign types grant Harmony of Body (10% cast-time reduction) plus Harmony of Spirit and Harmony of Mind.
As for Divination, it’s now simply a 6% damage buff for the party. Additionally, Celestial Opposition no longer has the barrier effect of Nocturnal Sect, while Celestial Intersection drops its regen effect (but becomes an action with two charges at level 88). Earthly Star functions the same as a two-part AoE spell but gets a very significant damage boost: Stellar Burst is now at 240 damage potency and Stellar Explosion is at 320 damage potency; their healing potencies remain the same.
Finally, let’s move beyond level 80. At level 82, Malefic IV evolves into the more powerful Fall Malefic and Gravity upgrades to Gravity II. Then, the Enhanced Healing Magic trait gives potency boosts to Benefic, Aspected Benefic, Helios, and Aspected Helios at level 85. A new oGCD spell called Exaltation is unlocked at level 86; over the course of eight seconds, it reduces the damage you or a specific party member takes by 10%. It also executes a 500 potency heal after the effect expires.
Lastly, Astrologian gets Macrocosmos at level 90. It deals AoE damage at first, then grants the Macrocosmos effect to you and the whole party for 15 seconds. During those 15 seconds, half the damage everyone takes is compiled. The total amount accumulated is then dispelled as a party-wide heal after the effect expires or when you execute the follow-up action called Microcosmos.
New Astrologian Changes, Actions, and Traits
Alright, now I want everyone to give a warm welcome to the newcomer! Sage has been built to be a Barrier Healer that excels in mitigating damage while keeping the party alive. While the Gundam-inspired Nouliths look dope as hell, Sage isn’t quite the heavy damage dealer as you may think. Since this is a brand-new Job, I’ll talk about it from a broader perspective here. (My colleague Mike Williams has an in-depth analysis on playing as Sage, so please check that out.)
First off, Kardia grants the perpetual effect of Kardion to yourself or a party member. When active, a portion of the damage you deal will be converted to HP restored for the designee. To deal damage, you have Dosis for a single-target attack that fires off cool lasers, Dyskrasia for AoE damage, and Phlegma, a powerful two-charge oGCD with a cooldown timer of 45 seconds. I’ll get to the other spell, Toxikon, in a moment.
Let’s begin with the core casts. Diagnosis is your basic Cure, Prognosis is the party-wide heal, and Physis is the party-wide regen-style heal. These spells can be further modified to also apply barriers for damage mitigation by activating Eukrasia before casting, and it is always available to use. (Eukrasia also turns Dosis into a DoT spell.)
Moving onto the Job Gauge, Sage has Addersgall, which accumulates up to three stacks (one every 20 seconds) and grants access to your “-chole” healing spells. Durochole is for single-target healing, Ixochole is for party-wide healing, Kerachole is for regen healing and damage mitigation, and Taurochole is for party-wide regen and mitigation. Each “-chole” spell is an instant cast and costs one Addersgall.
Two other major abilities that are central to Sage’s core are Haima and Panhaima — the latter of which is a party-wide version unlocked at level 80. Over the course of 30 seconds, Haima applies a barrier that features five stacks of Haimatinon. Each stack mitigates 150 potency; think of each stack as a layer in the barrier. After those 30 seconds, any remaining stacks will activate a 150 potency heal.
The other element to the Sage’s Job Gauge is Addersting. Every time one of your Eukrasian-based barriers gets absorbed, you gain one stack of Addersting up to a total of three stacks. This gives you access to the aforementioned damage AoE spell called Toxikon, which costs one Addersting per cast.
Sage’s skillset is rife with other abilities that strengthen your spells and optimize your capabilities in battle. As you get closer to the level 90, those skills continue to grow, topped off with a big damage-dealer called Pneuma. It’s a line-style AoE on a 120-second cooldown that does a lot: it inflicts a decent amount of damage, heals nearby party members by 400 potency, reduces the damage they take by 10% for 20 seconds, and heals your Kardion partner. Overall, Sage has some fascinating mechanics going on with a good deal of complexity, especially when you start thinking about how to best manage all those barriers!