FFXIV Endwalker: Summoner Has Become the Simplest DPS (Quick Guide)

Summoner went through a major overhaul with Patch 6.0 and Endwalker, making it much easier to handle. Here's a guide on how to play the Job.

Summoner is one of the main Jobs I play in Final Fantasy XIV, and it’s essentially a brand-new one with a major overhaul alongside the launch of Endwalker and Patch 6.0. It was shown off leading up to the expansion’s release through a Live Letter and demonstration, and many of us got a chance to try it during the media tour preview. After taking it for a spin in high-level content in Endwalker, I can say Summoner went from one of the busiest and hard-to-handle Jobs to possibly the simplest DPS in the current roster.

I’m quite surprised by how streamlined Summoner is now. I didn’t get to really dig deep into it during the hands-on preview event since I dedicated that time to learning Reaper and Sage, so here I am, firing off my summons’ spells without a care in the world.

Players might be overwhelmed by the sheer volume of changes, and the lengthy tooltips can be quite difficult to parse. But I want to boil it down to the basics. Once you realize how each ability and spell evolves, it’s rather simple. First off, make sure you summon Carbuncle before going into battle. Good ol’ Bunky is your everything, really.

Around level 80, the basic flow of Summoner is like this:

  • Summon Bahamut.
    • Spam Astral Impulse for single-target or spam Astral Flare for AoE, both are instant-cast.
      • Ruin III and Tri-disaster automatically change to the respective spells above.
    • Weave in Akh Morn and Deathflare.
  • Summon Garuda, Titan, and Ifrit one after the other in whichever order.
    • Regardless of summon, spam your Gemshine button for single-target or spam your Precious Brilliance button for AoE until the gem runs out.
      • Both the spell buttons above automatically change according to the summon.
  • Summon Phoenix.
    • Spam Fountain of Fire for single-target or spam Brand of Purgatory for AoE, both are instant-cast.
      • Like the Bahamut phase, Ruin III and Tri-disaster automatically change to the respective spells.
    • Weave in Revelation, heal someone with Rekindle.
  • Repeat the phase of summoning Garuda, Titan, and Ifrit as outlined above.
  • Repeat the rotation starting with summoning Bahamut again.
    • There will be a bit of downtime before Bahamut comes back from cooldown. In that case, use Ruin III or Tri-disaster to your heart’s content.
    • The key thing to remember: Summoning Bahamut or Phoenix refreshes the Job gauge’s gems, which signify your ability to summon Garuda, Titan, and Ifrit afterward.

Please note that the list above is written to demonstrate the core flow of Summoner’s bread-and-butter spells. There are important spells to weave in the process. For example, you’ll want to cast Energy Drain (single-target) or Energy Siphon (AoE) to fill the Aetherflow gauge so you can use Fester (single-target) or Painflare (AoE). These are easy oGCDs to weave in for straightforward damage. For every Energy Drain or Siphon, you also get one stack of Further Ruin, which lets you use Ruin IV, a strong instant-cast GCD.

Then you have a buff called Seering Light, which grants a 3% damage boost to all party members for 30 seconds (it’s on a 120-second cooldown, however). Keep in mind that this ability is only available when Carbuncle is on the field.

Hot Tips for Hotbars

That’s pretty much it in terms of the Summoner’s key abilities among its skillset. Below, you can see how I’ve configured my hotbars to help create a sensible flow throughout the rotation.

FFXIV Endwalker Summoner Hotbar

Of course, you’ll want to configure your controls to fit your playstyle, but organization is the key takeaway here. I’ve divided the different types of casting to separate hotbars — the first is for single-target spells, the Ctrl hotbar is for AoE spells, the Shift hotbar is for gem-based summons, and the QERF row is for the bigger summons and the buff. The keybinds shown are as follows:

1 = Ruin III
2 = Energy Drain
3 = Fester
4 = Gemshine
5 = Ruin IV
Ctrl + 1 = Tri-disaster
Ctrl + 2 = Energy Siphon
Ctrl + 3 = Painflare
Ctrl + 4 = Precious Brilliance
Shift + 1 = Summon Ifrit
Shift + 2 = Summon Titan
Shift + 3 = Summon Garuda
Shift + 4 = Summon Carbuncle
Q = Summon Bahamut / Summon Phoenix
E = Enkindle Bahamut / Enkindle Phoenix (the big strong attacks)
R = Astral Flow (Deathflare for Bahamut / Rekindle for Phoenix)
F = Seering Light

How Abilities Change Based on Phases

What’s likely to confuse players is that many of Summoner’s abilities only apply to certain phases, and the tooltips may not adequately explain how this works. Let’s try to distill it a bit further for clarity:

  • Ruin (single-target) and Tri-disaster (AoE) are the actions that change for Bahamut and Phoenix.
  • Gemshine (single-target) and Precious Brilliance (AoE) are the actions that change for Garuda, Titan, and Ifrit.
  • Energy Drain (single-target) and Energy Siphon (AoE) grant Aetherflow in order to cast Fester (single-target) and Painflare (AoE).
    • Get a free Ruin IV, too!
  • Seering Light is only available when Carbuncle is present.
  • Enkindle Bahamut is the action that lets you cast Akh Morn as Bahamut and Revelation as Phoenix.
  • Astral Flow turns into Deathflare for Bahamut and Rekindle for Phoenix.

How Garuda, Titan, and Ifrit Differ

The main thing to remember is that the two main actions for Garuda, Titan, and Ifrit work slightly differently even though they serve the same purpose. While they deal damage when summoned and have their own auto-attack, you should account for the spells you cast for them. Take note of the following:

  • Garuda’s spells — instant-cast, quick recast timers, low potency (4 uses)
  • Titan’s spells — instant-cast, regular recast timers, medium potency (4 uses)
  • Ifrit’s spells — regular cast timers, regular recast timers, high potency (2 uses)

In more complex battles, you’ll want to account for the situations you face. For example, if you have to deal with several AoEs, which requires a lot of movement, and have a choice of who to summon, go with Garuda and/or Titan. If you have the opportunity to hold still, summon Ifrit. Regardless, you should summon each one before moving onto Bahamut/Phoenix. Remember: they refresh your Job gauge gems for more summons.

The Evolution of Summoner Spells

The last thing that can help provide clarity is to outline how spells change as you level up. With the overwhelming number of things in your Job actions page, it can be hard to tell which ones are related or evolved versions of an early-level spell. Here’s how part of the new Summoner’s skillset progresses:

  • Ruin I (Lv. 1) -> Ruin II (Lv. 30) -> Ruin III (Lv. 54)
  • Outburst (Lv. 26) -> Tri-disaster (Lv. 74)
  • Aethercharge (Lv. 6) -> Dreadwyrm Trance (Lv. 58) -> Summon Bahamut (Lv. 70) + Summon Phoenix (Lv. 80)
  • Summon Emerald (Lv. 22) -> Summon Garuda (Lv. 45) -> Summon Garuda II (Lv. 90)
  • Summon Topaz (Lv. 15) -> Summon Titan (Lv. 35) -> Summon Titan II (Lv. 90)
  • Summon Ruby (Lv. 6) -> Summon Ifrit (Lv. 30) -> Summon Ifrit II (Lv. 90)

The Big Takeaways From the New Summoner

Summoner was previously a challenge to play; it had some good complexity but was a bit unwieldy and cluttered. And I’m saying that as someone who has loved playing the Job — its skillset was satisfying to use, especially when properly adapting to whatever combat situations. I’m not one to get excited about damage-over-time; managing DoTs was probably one of my least favorite aspects, but I understood its purpose, and along with the old version of Fester, it added a fun layer to the mix.

The thing I thought about after hearing Summoner would lose its DoT spells was that DoT management didn’t feel like something a “Summoner” should be worrying about. So this new focus on actually summoning each of these iconic beasts has me hyped up, if anything, for the Job to align more with its namesake.

It’s still satisfying to play, but for slightly different reasons. And that sweet, heavy burst damage window Summoner was known for is still present in this rework. I’m still not sure how I feel overall about the revamp so far — sometimes it feels a little too simple. But as someone who struggles with processing the sheer amount of information on-screen during high-level content while staying on top of an attack rotation, I can appreciate the simplicity. Instead of stressing out about DoTs and trying to account for whatever phase of the rotation I was in, I can use some of that leftover mental capacity to focus on processing boss mechanics instead.

From parsing the tooltips, I can already tell that new layers will be added onto the core Summoner rotation as it progresses to level 90. I will also say that this redesign gives Summoner a lot of room to grow in the future content. It had to be redesigned in some fashion if the Job were to have a sense of progression and be sustainable for whatever is next in Final Fantasy XIV, and this is a solid foundation.

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