FFXIV Scholar Job Guide: Rotations, Abilities, Stat Priority, Unlock (2022)

Endwalker approaches, and your party can follow a bit quicker with the new Scholar sprint button.

In FFXIV, Scholar was the original “barrier healer.” The Job supports its allies not just by restoring health, but by making sure they don’t take damage in the first place. It’s aided by a tiny, tricky faerie which you can summon and more-or-less control on a whim. They provide a shot of passive healing while you prepare your teammates for incoming blows! With Endwalker additions, you even get a party-wide movement buff that also helps prevent damage by getting your friends to safety faster.

Scholar doesn’t have the same direct “just heal everybody” power of White Mage. Instead, its faerie acts as a remote area-of-effect (AoE) tool that throws out healing spells to more gently take the pressure off. You still have a few explosive off-Global Cooldown (oGCD) abilities to work with, as well, but they often require a more predictive approach. Before we get into the details of the job, some key points to keep in mind as you play:

  • Remember your ABC’s — “Always Be Casting.” If no one needs healing, throw out some damage spells! Healer damage is not insignificant and can speed up boss fights and dungeons considerably. It may seem counter-intuitive, but you want to get away with healing as little as possible while doing as much damage as possible!
  • A huge part of being a good healer is battle and dungeon knowledge. Significant portions of fights are fairly scripted out, so you can almost always anticipate when you’re going to need to heal — and shield — based on the timeline of the fight. Scholars need to be more aware of this than other healers, as proper timing and resource management is key to erecting barriers on allies.
  • Make sure your faerie is active. Similar to a tank stance in FFXIV, it’s shockingly easy to lose track of the last time you summoned your healing buddy. The faerie disappears when you switch classes, as well as if you order it to stay somewhere and then walk much too far away from it, after which the companion must be resummoned.

If you’d like a point of reference for terms like “AoE” and “oGCD,” you can check out our FFXIV glossary for a whole host of commonly used words and phrases!

Originally written by Nerium Strom, updated by Cody Perez.

Guide last updated on November 29, 2022 for Patch 6.25.


Throw the Book at Them

Much has been made about what Scholar got, or rather didn’t get, in Endwalker. The fact is very little has changed — particularly when it comes to the ways you deal damage. Scholar is a healer at the end of the day! Their damage-dealing abilities, while useful, are really simple. Like tremendously simple. You, uh, mostly just cast Ruin (Lvl. 1).

Ruin eventually upgrades to Broil (Lvl. 54), which becomes Broil II, which used to finish evolving at Broil III. Now — shock of all shocks — we have Broil IV (Lvl. 82) with Endwalker. They all function identically (dealing a bit of damage after a short cast time), but the higher versions deal slightly more as you level up.

There’s also Biolysis (Lvl. 72), which starts as Bio (Lvl. 2) before going through the same glow-up as Ruin and Broil. As is the case with your other damage-dealing spells, every upgrade is functionally identical and just adds a bit more damage. Biolysis is a damage-over-time (DoT) spell that casts instantly and poisons a target for 30 seconds, though, so you can use it early and simply reapply it whenever the timer is about to run out.

Beyond this, you have the instant damage-dealing skills Ruin II (Lvl. 38) and Energy Drain (Lvl. 45). Ruin II is a weaker, quicker version of Broil. Like Broil, it’s a ranged attack on the Global Cooldown (GCD) — meaning it shares a recast timer with most of your basic abilities. Since it casts instantly, Ruin II is a useful backup plan when you need to attack on the move — usually out of the way of incoming attacks. You can also “weave” Energy Drain after Ruin II since it doesn’t require channeling (which pauses all other actions until you finish or cancel the spell) like Broil. Energy Drain also casts instantly, but is an off-Global Cooldown (oGCD) spell that restores a bit of your MP, as well.

One issue with Energy Drain is it requires Aetherflow (Lvl. 45). This skill also restores MP, but more importantly it provides three charges of, well, Aetherflow. You can see them on the Scholar’s Job Gauge (more on that later). You can generate three charges of Aetherflow this way every 60 seconds — and you’ll want to stay on top of this because aside from Energy Drain, most instant Scholar heals and barriers consume one Aetherflow charge to cast.

Finally, Scholar has Art of War (Lvl. 46), which becomes Art of War II at Level 82. It’s another instant damage-dealer, but this one is an AoE spell that hits all enemies in a circle around you. Though it’s a bit awkward for the ranged healer, as it requires you to get up close, it’s useful for clearing groups of enemies in dungeons.

“Awkward” is a good way to describe damage-dealing as a Scholar in general. Energy Drain has a cooldown of 3 seconds, Biolysis has no AoE equivalent, and you mostly want your Aetherflow for healing. Obviously, healers should focus on healing within group content. But in single-player and low-stress content, rotating between these damage spells has felt cumbersome for a while. At your very core, though, you want to apply Biolysis and continuously fire Broil until the poison needs reapplication. Simple enough!

Scholar Job Gauge

The Heals You Have on Hand

Let’s go over the real heart of the Scholar: healing. Scholar is the original “barrier healer.” The Job focuses on preventing damage as much as restoring it — meaning you need to be proactive and have a somewhat better understanding of boss fights than if you were just filling bars back up.

Physick (Lvl. 4) is your most basic of all healing spells.  It’s a GCD healing spell with a short cast time you can use for a quick burst of health outside of emergency situations.

Summon Eos / Summon Selene (Lvl. 4) aren’t exactly healing skills, but changes to the summons in recent years have more-or-less turned them into such. The two skills are almost identical; whichever one you cast only determines the color of your faerie. Said faerie will then follow you around and passively heal you and nearby party members.

Whispering Dawn (Lvl. 20) is one of your earliest AoE heals. It restores health to all party members in a radius… around your faerie. Yes, as you might have guessed, several Scholar abilities center around your glowing friend. Literally. Usually after a tiny delay, the faerie will spread regenerative dust around its location, providing a regen effect for 21 seconds to all within.

Adloquium (Lvl. 30) winds up being your signature Scholar healing spell. It restores slightly less health than Physick, but that’s not all it does. “Adlo,” as it’s often called, also casts a damage-nullifying barrier on the target — equal to 125 percent of the HP restored by the initial heal. This barrier lasts 30 seconds. In most cases, however, it won’t get to run out on its own before enemies chew through it. Adloquium also heals and shields more if your target has extremely low health.

Succor (Lvl. 35) is effectively an AoE version of Adloquium (without the bonus healing at critical HP). The spell heals all nearby allies, including yourself, while providing a barrier for 125 percent of that initial value.

Your next faerie power, Fey Illumination (Lvl. 40), is also an AoE, though its benefits are a bit less direct. The spell makes everyone standing near your faerie (including you) deal 10 percent extra healing for 20 seconds. Those party members also take 5 percent less magic damage for the same duration. It’s not the most explosive skill, but it’s great in large-scale group content — particularly during unavoidable party-wide damage.

Lustrate (Lvl. 45) is your most basic Aetherflow heal. For the price of one Aetherflow stack, it heals a single target for 50 percent more HP than Physick. As one of your few instant heals, it’s your go-to move when a tank needs emergency healing and you don’t have time for Adloquium.

Another skill that costs one Aetherflow is Sacred Soil (Lvl. 50). The targeted spell instantly creates an energy bubble on the ground for allied players to stand inside. Within the Sacred Soil circle, you take 10 percent less damage from all sources and regenerate HP over time (starting with a trait at Level 78).

Indomitability (Lvl. 52) costs one Aetherflow to cast and activates instantly, healing all nearby allies. Sadly, it doesn’t have the barrier effect of Succor.

Excogitation (Lvl. 62) is a “heal bomb.” It costs one Aetherflow charge to cast, comes out instantly, and puts a buff on you or a friendly target for 45 seconds. During this time, if the player with the buff falls below 50 percent HP, the Excogitation buff will trigger for a massive burst of health. The heal also activates at the 45-second mark if the target does not fall below 50 percent during that time. Though you’ll most likely use this skill when you already know it’s likely to trigger anyway — such as right before a highly damaging “Tankbuster” attack from a boss.

Aetherpact (Lvl. 70) functions like a very potent regen for a single target. It lets you order your faerie to tether itself to a single target (e.g. the tank). For as long as the two are tethered, the faerie will continuously heal said target. But only for as long as the Scholar has points in its “Faerie Gauge” (the Scholar’s second Job gauge unlocked at Level 70). You can cancel the tether at any time to save on Faerie Gauge when Aetherpact is not needed.

Note: The Faerie Gauge increases by 10 points — up to a maximum of 100 — whenever you cast a skill that consumes Aetherflow. Skills which fill the Faerie Gauge include: Energy Drain, Lustrate, Sacred Soil, Indomitability, and Excogitation.

Another way to burn Faerie Gauge is with Fey Blessing (Lvl. 76). This causes the faerie to instantly heal nearby allies — pretty much like Indomitability. Only Fey Blessing costs 10 points of Faerie Gauge instead of an Aetherflow Charge.

Summon Seraph (Lvl. 80) can then supercharge your faerie for a short time. The effect lasts 22 seconds, during which your so-called seraph heals harder and casts barriers on your ally with the lowest HP. You can also order it to heal and shield all nearby allies twice per Summon Seraph.

This command, called Consolation (Lvl. 80), is basically two free uses of Succor that cast almost instantly. While some visuals and even the names of certain faerie skills change while your seraph is on the field, it functions almost identically to your normal companion. It’s just a bit stronger and provides those aforementioned uses of Consolation.

Finally, with Endwalker, you get Protraction (Lvl. 86), which is… odd. It raises the maximum HP of one party member (no matter how distant they are) while also healing for that amount (10 percent of their normal max). Then, it increases the amount of healing they receive — all for 10 seconds. While the margins are fairly small, this basically acts as a secondary barrier that can stack with existing shields.

Utility Skills for the Bookworm

Next up are the odd ducks. These abilities keep you casting longer or otherwise protect your allies through more unconventional means (which is more true for Scholar than some other healers). Several of these skills are shared across multiple classes as “Role Actions,” so they may already be familiar to you.

Repose (Lvl. 8) is a skill that will put a target to sleep for up to 30 seconds or whenever they are awakened by an attack.

Esuna (Lvl. 10) is your basic status effect heal. If someone has poison, Doom, burn, or any other status effect that can be healed, Esuna is the skill to remove it.

Resurrection (Lvl. 12) does exactly what it sounds like. It brings one ally back from the dead after a very lengthy channeling animation. You typically pair it with the next skill, Swiftcast, to raise your unfortunate friends quickly.

Swiftcast (Lvl. 18) should primarily be used to quickly Resurrect someone in the party who died. You can also pop it for a super quick Adloquium if someone desperately needs HP and you have no Aetherflow to spare!

Lucid Dreaming (Lvl. 24) is your oGCD MP restore Role Action that requires 21 seconds for the full effect. Use this when you drop to around 70 percent of your mana, then use it on cooldown as needed.

Surecast (Lvl. 44) is a Role Action that keeps you from getting pushed around the arena, even while channeling a spell. It’s primarily used in Savage raiding and Extreme Trials.

Rescue (Lvl. 48) pulls a party member directly toward you. It’s infuriating (if it happens to you) and hilarious (if you’re the one using it). The main case for using this is “helping” new players learn proper positioning by, for example, pulling them out of boss AoEs.

Deployment Tactics (Lvl. 56) has nothing to do with healing. Instead, it spreads the barrier effect from Adloquium and other such skills from one target to all nearby allies. It doesn’t add extra time to the barrier’s clock, however. This isn’t a super commonly used skill, but it’s nice to use before a big raidwide AoE attack is about to damage your whole party. Or perhaps if your tanks swap — use it on whoever has aggro.

Emergency Tactics (Lvl. 58) is a little more commonly used than its similarly named cousin. This makes the next barrier you cast (e.g. the Adloquium shield) into a regenerative buff instead. This lets you stack two uses of, say, Adloquium for a barrier and regenerating health for double the effective HP. It’s great if someone is exceptionally low. It’s also good on… let’s say unlucky DPS players. Since these aren’t priority healing targets, you can fire and forget Adloquium or Succor while saving Aetherflow charges to spend on your tank.

Dissipation (Lvl. 60) is a mildly risky move that, like its name suggests, dissipates your faerie for 30 seconds. During that time, you can’t use Whispering Dawn and other faerie skills. Nor does your companion passively heal allies. However, your “normal” heals are 20 percent more effective for the duration. This is especially useful since Dissipation also refills your Aetherflow Gauge. So you’ll be 20 percent more effective on your own and suddenly gain access to  your most powerful heals.

Chain Strategem (Lvl. 66) is something every raid party will be glad to see. It’s a debuff that causes a single target to take 10 percent more Critical Hits for 15 seconds. It’s simple, but quite effective, since the defense debuff is tied to the target. Similar to the Ninja’s Trick Attack, this means the bonus isn’t lost if allies are too far away or die.

Recitation (Lvl. 74) is a less-used skill that instantly allows you to use Adlo, Succor, Indomitability, or Excogitation without using up your MP or Aether stacks. In addition, each of these for the 15 seconds Recitation is around will have a guaranteed critical HP restore. The 90-second cooldown means that this is best used in pinch situations or just before the massive raid-wide attack.

Last and, yes, perhaps least in some players’ eyes, we have Expedient (Lvl. 90). This skill has seen quite a lot of ridicule among FFXIV players. It’s the endgame Scholar spell for Endwalker and it’s… a sprint button. Kinda. Expedient causes all nearby allies to move faster for 20 seconds, but also reduces their damage taken by 10 percent for that same span of time. As such, it’s more of a potent defensive buff with the added benefit of faster movement speed. Said speed can then be used to escape attacks, which is a sort of defensive buff in its own right. Right?

endwalker scholar glamour

General Best Practices at Level 90

In general, there is no real set rotation for Scholar, even at level 90 when doing endgame content. As a healer class, it is dependent on everyone else, but unlike some others like White Mage and Astrologian, it is a more proactive healer class. Because of that, you have to work with a delicate balance of situational spells but also preventative ones before major hits.

Pre-pull: You can apply Adloquium to the tank before the battle begins to start them off with more effective HP. Then, make sure to cast Biolysis to start passively damaging the boss immediately. You can weave in Aetherflow next to grab your first set of charges. Sacred Soil is the perfect skill to place next as it gives you, your fellow healers, and your tank extra breathing room while also charging your Faerie Gauge.

In low-level content, your faerie can do a lot of the work for you from here on out. No matter what, though, you should set the commands “Place” and “Heel” from your actions list on your hotbar. The former lets you literally place the faerie wherever you choose — forcing them to stay in that spot until you tell them otherwise. Pets are immune to damage in FFXIV, differing from how it used to be. That means you can safely set them anywhere nearby without worrying for their safety.

The benefit of “Placing” the faerie like this is that it won’t move unless you tell it to, or if you get too far away (which is far enough that it will never happen during boss fights). Faeries tend to follow you by default. And much like spellcasting players, they can’t use their skills while moving. That means they’ll simply stop healing altogether if you move around too much. You don’t want that! Your tank doesn’t want that, either!

“Heel” is then what you use while walking through dungeons or moving through especially huge boss arenas. This command manually tells your faerie to return to your side, after which you can place them again at your leisure. The reason you use Heel instead of simply walking away is that, if you get too far from your faerie, it simply disappears. Then, you need to spend time summoning it all over again. Once again: this is mostly only an issue in dungeons between trash mobs.

From this point on, you should almost always use up all three Aetherflow charges before the Aetherflow skill comes off cooldown. The ability gives you three stacks no matter what, so using it when you have charges to spare is a waste. A quick, simple Energy Drain is good if you don’t need to heal anyone urgently. (Though Excogitation lasts long enough that you can reapply it to the tank fairly often instead.) The same goes for Sacred Soil, which can be placed as often as it’s off cooldown.

The same also goes for your Faerie Gauge. You can safely attach it to any tank when the bar reaches 100 to save yourself from overcapping — even if the tank doesn’t desperately need healing. This just frees you up to focus on damage. Take the time to reapply Biolysis, recharge mana with Energy Drain, and just spam Broil. Your damage isn’t incredible as a Scholar, but neither is it negligible.

When the tank does desperately need healing, Emergency Tactics lives up to its name. As mentioned above, it allows you to double up on protective buffs: regen and barriers. Though your instant-use Aetherflow skills will likely be your first line of defense against exceptionally low health bars.

Another way to keep ahead of the curve is by constantly reapplying Fey Illumination when it’s up. The light sprinkle of regenerating health has a short cooldown and typically takes more pressure off you as a healer. That means more time to spam Broil.

Speaking of damage: Ruin II is always useful when you’re on the move and want to keep hitting enemies. However, since it’s an instant GCD, you can also use it to continue dealing damage while weaving! It’s good for hitting bosses and other foes while you pop Energy Drain, Lustrate, and similar oGCd skills in order to keep your total damage up. Though once again: that shouldn’t be your priority over keeping allies alive.

“Slidecasting” — the act of moving your character right as a spell is about to finish channeling — is important to all magic users.. Not only does it maximize your damage and healing output, but it also allows you to reposition without sacrificing an action (which would normally create unwanted downtime).

In order to slidecast, simply cast a spell! Then, before the channeling bar reaches the end (e.g. when it’s about 90 percent full or shows about 0.5 seconds left on the timer), move your character. The spell will fire while you move without canceling out. You might need to practice the timing to get it just right.

Oh, and don’t forget to summon your faerie before the start of a dungeon or trial. And resummon it if you move too far away and it disappears, or you use Dissipation.

Level 80 Rotation

Scholar is by and large a rinse and repeat Job class, meaning that its rotation changes very little at most breakpoints. The above tips and rules of thumb for level 90 almost entirely apply to level 80 FFXIV content, too, for those still leveling up or just level-syncing for Shadowbringers content.

There is almost no difference between Scholar at level 80, other than the removal of Protraction and Expedient. You also only have Broil III and Act of War. You are arguably not too badly off without those two newer spells so it should be generally the same.

Level 70 Rotation

When still at level 70 or doing Stormblood content, there are some major changes you should know about. For one, you no longer have the ability to Summon Seraph and Fey Blessing is no longer an option.

Those are the biggest hits as you will now have to rely solely on Selene or Eos. Recitation, Biolysis, and Broil III are also gone, though those aren’t the worst losses.

Level 60 Rotation

For those at level 60 or running Heavensward content, you’ll find that even more spells are unavailable, but the general idea of being a barrier healer remains. Aetherpact is gone, which is a shame, along with the ability to buff your team with Chain Stratagem.

You’ll also only have Broil at your disposal but by far the biggest problem here is the lack of Excogitation. This is one of your best Tank preventative spells in longer trials and boss fights, so you’ll have to be much more proactive with your Adlos, Sacred Soils, and other healing spells.

Resurrection Priorities

In group play, you will often be faced with a choice of needing to Raise your teammates. The general order is:

Tanks → fellow healers → Red Mages or Summoners (who also have resurrection skills) → everyone else.

Tanks often have solo-healing and mitigation abilities they can spend to stay alive while you get your fellow healer up. Even more importantly: Their primary job is to take hits from enemies so the rest of the group doesn’t, making them the priority. Bosses that take 30 seconds to kill a tank might one-hit-kill a Black Mage or Bard. You need the breathing room more than a second healer in the heat of the moment.

Red Mages and Summoners should then be raised before other DPS classes since they also have the ability to Raise (and heal) in a pinch.

Scholar Stat Priorities

Scholar stats require a little more testing when compared to damage dealers or tanks. Generally, Healers require Piety — the healer-only stat that boosts mana regeneration — to maintain good MP levels during lengthier fights. However, this need may diminish as you improve and unlock more skills. As you optimize your spell usage, you’ll find yourself not needing as much Piety because you’re not spending as much MP. If you notice yourself sitting at near full MP throughout a fight, odds are you can safely remove some Piety Materia in exchange for something else!

This is especially true for Scholars who aren’t starving for MP as much as, say, White Mages. With spells like Aetherflow, Lucid Dreaming, and Energy Drain, this shouldn’t nearly be as crucial to most Scholars who can time everything nicely.

Whether you feel you need Piety or not, your next most-important sub-stats should be:

Critical Hit > Determination > Direct Hit Rate > Spell Speed.

You want your heals and damage spells to Crit as much as possible, making Critical Hit a priority on pretty much every class in the game. Determination provides a small boost to everything you do (i.e. damage and healing). Direct Hit Rate only affects damage, which isn’t your strong suit. Spell Speed is useful, but only up to a point. You never want to add so much that you can no longer comfortably squeeze two oGCDs in-between a GCD (a.k.a. double-weaving), so it’s less useful than the other sub-stats. Simply add enough to make you comfortable.

The best food and potions to use change with the tides (i.e. new recipes with each patch and what you can afford from the market board or make yourself). But, generally, Determination, Vitality, and that all-important Critical Hit tend to top the charts. You could also trade Determination out for Spell Speed. In the case of Endwalker, this means meals like Carrot Pudding or Sunset Carrot Nibbles. But healers also want the Mind stat, since it determines not just their healing effectiveness but also the damage they deal. In this case, you want to consume the latest iteration of Tincture of Mind, in addition to your meal. In the case of Endwalker, that is the Grade 7 Tincture of Mind.

Final Thoughts

Scholar is a slightly strange — but still very powerful — healer in Final Fantasy XIV. Your faerie friend makes for a nice safety net in the hardest content, while also helping low-level Duty Roulettes to fly by as you skip healing and focus on damage. It’s not the flashiest healer in the game but it can still make a huge impact and save your party before they even find themselves in any danger by piling on the barriers. Though it might not be as damage-effective as its fellow barrier healer, Sage, it is arguably even better at preventing damage.