FFXIV Healer Tier List – Best Healer Classes for Patch 6.1, June 2022

Save friends and fools alike with the best healer in Final Fantasy XIV.

Rounding out the traditional MMO trinity with their life-saving kit, healers in Final Fantasy XIV keep tanks and DPS alive through group content while eschewing older MMO concepts that pigeonhole the role into strictly healing. This FFXIV healer tier list takes the guesswork out of finding a proper match for your playstyle and needs, explaining all four Endwalker era jobs with their highs and lows.

Perpetually in demand, healers make for a tempting job to tackle with quick Duty Finder queue times and occasional bonus rewards. However, short waits and extra goodies come with plenty of responsibility, so it’s important to understand that FFXIV’s community largely expects every Scholar, Sage, White Mage, and Astrologian to master the dance of juggling heals with damage contributions.

With that being said, there’s no traditional party composition in FFXIV that doesn’t work as Square Enix maintains balance — albeit occasionally messy — between the four jobs. We’ll explain those nuances here, along with the clear divides in barrier healing and pure healing introduced in Endwalker. To that end, we’ve separated the two subtypes of healers (barrier healers and pure healers) to talk about them back-to-back. The tiers are still included as normal, however.

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The Barrier Healers

While Scholar has been with us since A Realm Reborn’s debut, Sage is the new kid added in Endwalker. With 6.0’s launch, lines between jobs with shield-driven kits and raw heal potency become more definitive. Your role as a shield healer focuses on skills that absorb damage, but both Scholar and Sage have powerful, restorative instant casts and playstyles built for mobility.

Instinct may suggest the two barrier healers don’t play nice together, but parties focused on shaving even just a few seconds from Savage speed clears bring the pair along as a duo. Outside of the strictest of endgame compositions, you’ll typically find one of these paired with a pure healer.

S Tier: Sage — FFXIV Healer Tier List

Endwalker’s flashy new poster child may have better animations between the barrier healers, but how does it stack up to the veteran Scholar? Pretty well, actually. Its initial draw tends to lure players in with promises of healing while doing damage, but that’s kind of the same thing Scholars do with their pets. Instead, Sage finds itself situated as a desirable healing ally due to how fluid that concept works without the pet, individual mobility, and personal DPS highs that are just as impressive as its heals.

When comparing the barrier healers, think of Sage as an interesting mix of Scholar and Dancer. Like when picking a dance partner, Sage uses Kardia to funnel heals from its damage to one ally. Scholars can do this with their fairy, but Sage keeps things more concise — it’s a curse and a blessing if you enjoy the freedoms a pet provides through AI targeting or grow annoyed by the fairy’s bad decisions and clunky response.

It’s a “selfish” class in that it lacks utility, but Sage makes up for that with its own performance. You won’t be beloved for your party-wide DPS boost or speed boosts, but a good Sage does enough damage to compete with the bonuses Scholar shares with allies. Its biggest disappointment is that it has no equivalent to the other barrier user’s free sprint, but you can at least entertain yourself as the only healer with a gap closer. Let your team worry about themselves; you’ve got places to be.

Anyway, most allies won’t begrudge a good Sage as a selfish Scholar alternative. Your stacks of Addersgall feel like a less punitive version of Aetherflow, encouraging you to use resources on healing allies versus the Scholar’s difficult choice between aiding the party or personal damage. And even if you do mismanage some of these instant spells, Sage sports the more potent healing casts between the two barrier roles. Recent 6.1 buffs sweeten the pot a bit more, too, as Sage saw small tweaks to give it free stacks upon entering an instance for damage and movement.

As a Sage, you’ll also augment some spells to swap between types of damage and healing with Eukrasia. Toggling between the sets of Eukrasia-based abilities keeps the class busy in a way that may be intimidating at first glance but leaves you less reliant on avoiding clunky job mechanics tied to difficult judgment calls and messy AI. It’s some extra personal responsibility when a fairy isn’t there to cover for your mistakes, but folks looking to dive into endgame min-maxing may want to consider Sage above all else. It plays nice with any of the other healers in raids, and even for folks more interested in relaxed dungeon play, the loss of the fairy’s auto-targeting doesn’t feel so bad once you’ve got a handle on Addersgall management.

A Tier: Scholar — FFXIV Healer Tier List

After Summoner saw its kit reworked, Scholar is now the only job with an in-depth pet management system. Pros and cons with the role largely boil down to gameplay involving its fairy healing companion, Eos or Selene, and managing stacks of Aetherflow that cast instant aid or deal damage. It plays second fiddle to Sage’s personal DPS, but party-wide utility keeps it competitive with the newer healer.

Scholar’s core gimmick is comparable to Sage, in that its pet can heal while the player focuses on casting damage spells. DPS moves don’t directly restore any health, but your fairy tends to the healing part while you beat up on the boss. Eos and Selene also sport a robust kit of regens, shields, healing potency buffs, and a single-target tether that can take care of any ally in crisis.

The micromanagement part of Scholar through its pet adds an element to play that’s fun and strategic like Astrologian, but it’s also a bit of a pain. Those looking to perform best on the role should order the fairy around — not letting her go on auto-pilot — adding an element to encounters Sage doesn’t have to worry over. While the system saw improvements to the pet’s responsiveness in Endwalker, Eos and Selene aren’t always cooperative, but that’s only an issue in the most difficult fights.

The pet may be a divisive piece of the puzzle for Scholar, but the job’s party-wide utility adds significant appeal. Expedient, arguably Scholar’s most attractive tool, provides damage reduction and a free sprint. Even with a nerf in patch 6.1, movement speed in combat can help with dodging nasty hits or give melee DPS allies that extra half-second to hit a boss. Chain Strategem, another buff allies will fawn over, provides the party with a limited window to get in some extra damage.

Scholar’s Aetherflow allowances provide handy tools for quickly pre-empting damage to all allies or ways to brace a tank for heavy hits you can forget about. It’s a satisfying kit to master, and even with some of the hiccups, juggling fairy resources, party buffs, and Aetherflow management add levels of complexity that keep it engaging.

The Pure Healers

Astrologian and White Mage make up the other side of the healing coin in FFXIV, focused more on restoring missing health instead of absorbing hits. In Endwalker, Astrologian saw a rework that brought it more in line with the White Mage healing philosophy and evenly split the healer role divide.

Pure healers are valuable allies in raid progression, with their restorative capabilities carrying some parties through mistakes their barrier counterparts may not recover well from. Astrologian and White Mage don’t complement each other in the same ways Sage and Scholar do, but they eliminate concerns over failed healing checks when paired with a single shielding ally.

A Tier: Astrologian — FFXIV Healer Tier List

Astrologian’s Endwalker makeover may be the most significant rework among the healing jobs. Version 6.0’s cosmic ally feels worlds apart from where it was back in Heavensward, but new changes have streamlined the card system and given it a clear role when partnered with another healer. You won’t outpace other healers at similar skill levels when it comes to raw damage, but the Astrolgian’s healing potency makes it an attractive pick with some minor caveats.

Just as the name suggests, Astrologian players leave it all up to the cards. Like the Scholar, think of Astrologians as a healer with their own little minigame. You don’t have a pet to manage, but you will draw, discard, deal, and redraw cards to use on allies or throw at a boss for damage.

This system no longer requires some of the long division it did in earlier iterations, and allies will adore you for deploying individualized damage buffs, but Astrologian can still feel rewarding or irritating in the same way gambling does. Players who draw favorable plays from their deck will rejoice, while unlucky healers may grow frustrated with the deck, and long redraw cooldowns fail again.

But if you’re willing to grit your teeth and master making do with less fortunate plays, Astrologian’s kit can feel worth it. Sure, it can’t hit the same highs a White Mage may see in personal damage, but that weakness hardly matters to even fledging Astrologians. Macrocosmos—its monstrous healing spell in terms of range and potency—simply negates some heavy-hitting boss mechanics in Endwalker’s Savage encounters. When compared to the other three, Astrologian slots itself in as what’s most likely the most beloved among the healers for that mega heal and its tailored DPS buffs.  Astrologian’s kit may ask you to put in some extra effort, but it’s worth learning for players with the time and patience to deal with the card RNG.

S Tier: White Mage — FFXIV Healer Tier List

As a series classic, FFXIV’s White Mage shines as one of the “easiest” healers to pick up while still remaining a challenge to maximize rewards from. It was the original pure healer of the MMO and has maintained that identity over the years despite the host of changes that accompany every expansion. Prior to Patch 6.1, White Mage was our only B-tier healer on the list as its mana situation grew woefully painful. However, the job’s latest changes give it Astrologian’s old spot on the list and slot its starry counterpart into a close second place.

In the best ways, White Mage’s kit feels comfortable and intuitive, relying on a careful juggle between casting regens, free instant healing abilities, and heavy-hitting personal damage spells. It doesn’t offer a robust kit of party buffs like Astrologian, but after maximizing your Glare casts for DPS no observant party members should complain. Endwalker also gave the job a handy tool that can aid with AoE healing at a distance in the form of Liturgy of the Bell. It’s no Macrocosmos and is stuck pigeon-holed into more niche uses, but does afford the job more movement freedoms with its massive range.

After adjusting those old balance woes, White Mage is no longer a mana-starved mess. With those reduced mana costs, it’s back to a more acceptable pick for groups looking to progress through new raid tiers, and its Secret of the Lily resources no longer feel like a punishment when opting for personal damage. Those changes may make White Mage more appealing over Astrologian, as this job can make up for a lack of party buffs with its own damage and doesn’t rely on RNG.

Even outside of endgame play,  White Mage still makes for a rewarding endeavor when you want to just pick something up and try. You won’t be among the best of the White Mages, but you’ll still skirt by in FFXIV’s more relaxed content without much trouble. It’s also a blast to cruise through dungeons with, as spamming its AoE ability, Holy, delivers a satisfying stun to enemy mobs before they can even touch the tank.

The back and forth amongst the healers in balance hiccups has always existed. But, historically, White Mage has felt a bit more contentious in conversations around endgame healer risk and reward. All healing jobs have seen shifts towards homogenized gameplay elements, and that’s put the more straightforward role in some funky positions. However, truly mastering White Mage is a tall order, and recent kit buffs return it to a compelling healer pick.