The FFXIV White Mage makes for a perfect starting place on the healing role in Endwalker. Do you enjoy being the pillar of a group? Not in that weird “ooh, I’m gonna make monsters hit me” way, either. Whether you want to get shorter Duty Finder queues or play chicken with your party members’ health bars, healing in Final Fantasy XIV is an extremely rewarding role — but also the most demanding to do properly. Many players tend to shy away from the larger responsibility that comes with assuming a healing Job. But never fear, adventurers! If you want to dip your toes into healing, White Mage is the easiest to start with.
White Mage as a Job enjoys fantastic, wide-ranging Area of Effect (AoE) healing spells and some of the best off-Global Cooldown (oGCD) abilities in the game. If you’re new to healing, this is the job to learn the role on. But 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 based on the timeline of the fight. Practice (and knowledge) makes perfect!
- Perhaps more so than any other healer, White Mage is reliant on positioning to get the most benefit from your spells. Many of these spells work on a radius around your character, so you’ll want to try and stay in between party members as much as possible!
- Healing effectively in FFXIV revolves around oGCDs. This means you want to avoid “hardcasting” (i.e. casting with no active benefits or buffs) spells like Medica II and Cure II as much as possible. This will be very tough to do while leveling up to 90, but gets easier every 10 levels or so.
Note: Our FFXIV Job guides for Endwalker are based on our preview time with the new expansion. As such, we might make minor changes after the full release, based on new information or changes to the live game with Patch 6.0. Meanwhile, if you’re purely interested in Endwalker Job changes, we have a feature detailing all new healer abilities and reworks here!
Editor’s note (1/14/2022): Amendments were made to a section that referred to instant-casts as oGCDs and another section about double-weaving.
Glaring At Your Enemies
Healers in general don’t have “rotations” for their healing spells until you’ve mapped out a boss encounter to the very millisecond, so this section of the guide will instead explain when and how to most effectively use your spells.
That being said, healers do have a rotation for their damage-dealing spells — particularly the White Mage. So I’ll cover that real quick. Note that Stone I through Stone IV eventually become Glare, which becomes Glare III. Each skill functions exactly the same; they just do more damage as you level up. So any time you see the skill names, know that they’re interchangeable!
Base Damage Combo:
Stone (Lvl. 1) / Glare (Lvl. 72) → Mind Potion → Aero (Lvl. 4) / Dia (Lvl. 72) → Assize (Lvl. 56) → Presence of Mind (Lvl. 30) → Glare until Dia needs reapplication.
Be sure to keep a few things in mind: Your first Glare should start casting pre-pull (try to line it up so that it finishes casting right as your tank engages the enemy). For the Mind Potion, simply use your best one available or none at all if you’re not in a serious encounter. (I’ll talk a bit more about potions later). Additionally, be sure to use Assize and Presence of Mind on cooldown.
Lastly, cast Afflatus Misery (Lvl. 74) every time it’s available. This is a unique, powerful AoE that only becomes available when you have a “Blood Lily.” The Blood Lily charges on your Job gauge every time you cast three other “Afflatus” skills.
That’s it! Pretty cut and dry, especially since you’ll have a billion other things to worry about during an encounter. For non-serious party play, you can skip the potions and even Presence of Mind, but always keep Dia applied and use Assize on cooldown between your Glare casts! Before Level 30 and Level 56, you can just use your two basic damage skills: Stone and Aero.
The Right Heals for the Job
Let’s go over the entire healing kit. These are my thoughts on what you, as a White Mage, will be using throughout most of the game, outside of the damage combo listed above. Most of these simply use MP. However, “Afflatus” heals consume “Lilies,” a resource that grows in the White Mage Job Gauge every 30 seconds during combat — up to a maximum of three at one time. As mentioned above, Afflatus Misery instead consumes the unique “Blood Lily” from the same gauge, which charges every time you consume three normal Lilies.
Cure (Lvl. 2) / Cure II (Lvl. 30) are your primary healing spells at low levels, which become obsolete at max level outside of synced content like Leveling Roulette. I have Cure II taken off my hotbar except for when I run it on roulettes below the level cap.
Regen (Lvl. 35) is a heal-over-time ability with a total of 1200 potency spread out over 18 seconds. It’s great in dungeons in between trash pulls (when a tank rounds up all available enemies), but not as good in endgame content. Every cast of this is a Glare cast you’re not doing! It’s also sort of a waste on fights where your tank knows how to mitigate properly. However, it can be useful when you need to move since it’s one of your instant casts.
Cure III (Lvl. 40) is a stellar AoE heal, terrible range. Many boss fights have stack mechanics, so utilize this when everyone is clumped up together. The mana cost is massive, however, so consider pairing it with Thin Air (more on this later).
Medica (Lvl. 10) is your only reliable AoE heal before reaching level 50. Once you hit level 50 and unlock Medica II, you should take this off of your hotbars permanently if you’re struggling for space. With its high mana cost and low throughput, Medica ceases to have a practical use. While Medica II (Lvl. 50) packs slightly less oomph on cast, it comes with a heal-over-time effect. This means its total potency exceeds Medica’s by more than double over its full 15-second lifespan! This is your go-to AoE heal, but it comes with a high mana cost.
Benediction (Lvl. 50) fully restores your target’s HP. Useful as a get-out-of-jail-free card, but also extremely good to use when your tanks pop their invulnerability skills (such as Superbolide and Living Dead). It has a three-minute cooldown, but don’t be afraid to use it if the tank is super low. Most group content provides some downtime between really dangerous events.
Not only is Asylum (Lvl. 52) an AoE heal, but it’s also a free oGCD AoE heal (oof, that’s a lot of letters) that makes other healing even better. You should use this as often as possible on as many people as possible. Some fights require the party to split up, so it is perfectly acceptable to drop this on the tank. It’s free real estate!
Afflatus Solace (Lvl. 52) is one of your single-target healing nukes. It’s an MP-free instant-cast spell, which means you can cast this on the go for nothing but a cooldown. You can also stack it with another healing spell to get a huge burst of healing on a target. This skill consumes one Lily from the Lily Gauge, but also helps charge Afflatus Misery.
Say it with me: Tetragrammaton (Lvl. 60) is an MP-free oGCD healing spell that you can use every minute. This is the other reason Cure II should be off your hotbars. Between this and Solace, you shouldn’t need Cure II at all.
Divine Benison (Lvl. 66) is an MP-free oGCD shield spell you can use every 30 seconds (then twice back-to-back at Level 88 when the Enhanced Divine Benison trait grants it two charges). Don’t sleep on this; it’s something you should use early and as often as possible. Aim to put it on the tank (or someone about to take major damage).
Plenary Indulgence (Lvl. 70) is a MP-free oGCD buff that makes your healing spells better! It effectively adds 200 potency to your Medica II, Cure III, or Afflatus Rapture. If you need to heal several people fast, pop this first and then use your healing spell.
Afflatus Rapture (Lvl. 76) is your AoE healing nuke. While it costs a Lily, it’s an MP-free instant-cast spell, so this is more than likely gonna be your first weapon of choice when multiple party members take significant damage. This skill consumes one Lily from the Lily Gauge, but also helps charge Afflatus Misery.
Temperance (Lvl. 80) boosts your healing potency by 20% and reduces damage taken by everyone within 30 yalms by 10%. This is fantastic to use when people are stacking for heavy AoE damage, but also can be useful if everyone is spread out and you need that extra 20% oomph.
Aquaveil (Lvl. 86) is like a better Divine Benison with twice the cooldown and no charges. It mitigates 15% of incoming damage on yourself or any target for eight seconds.
Lilybell (Lvl. 90) will be your ultimate heal circa Endwalker. This creates an AoE healing flower that restores your entire party and turns you into a walking heal-bomb yourself. For 15 seconds, you will pulse with a healing field that also restores nearby allies during the next five times you take damage. Even if you don’t take damage, every stack of the original five that you don’t consume will pulse for half the usual healing once your 15 seconds are up. This lets you passively heal your team through massive, consecutive AoE attacks while you continue to Glare, Raise, focus on barriers, etc.
The Healer’s Utility Belt
Now let’s look at some specialty items — abilities that keep you casting longer or otherwise protect your allies through unconventional means. Some of these are shared across all healers and even some DPS classes as “Role Actions,” so they may be familiar to you.
Since most of your good heals are oGCD, Swiftcast (Lvl. 18) should primarily be used to quickly Raise someone in the party who died. Can also be used to get a Medica II off if you need to move, but that’s rarely necessary.
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% 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.
Holy (Lvl. 45) is not a healing spell, exactly, but it does provide stuns for trash pulls for approximately four seconds. If everything is stunned, no one is taking damage! It becomes Holy III at Level 82 in Endwalker, which adds even more damage. It’s useless on bosses, however.
Rescue (Lvl. 48) pulls a party member directly toward you. It’s the best spell in the game because, every time you use it, someone gets mad. It’s great! Ruin friendships and make everyone hate you! You could use this to save someone from a life-threatening mechanic — especially new players who don’t know what to do in certain fights. Really, though, I always try to kill people with it (just kidding)!
Thin Air (Lvl. 58) is used to remove all mana costs from spells for 12 seconds. With Endwalker it only affects the next spell you cast after using Thin Air. Though it does have two charges, you need to think carefully about which spell you use (Cure III and other heals with hefty MP costs while you’re out of oGCD options are the obvious choices).
Finally, while not a player ability, “Slidecasting” is the act of moving your character right as a spell is about to finish casting. This is a required skill for all magic Jobs. Not only does it maximize your damage and healing output, it 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% 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.
General Best Practices
Pre-pull: Wait for a party-wide countdown if possible. When the countdown reaches the final two seconds, start your cast on Glare. From there, monitor the boss, the arena, the health bars in your party list, your MP, and your cooldowns. Healers — and White Mages in particular — need to be more reactive than intuitive (like DPS) or proactive (like tanks). So, there’s not much of a “flowchart” mentality to follow.
As you cast Glare, take note of who is getting damaged and for how much. Is AoE damage coming out? Afflatus Rapture and Plenary Indulgence have you covered to heal the group in a pinch. If it’s more severe, Lilybell turns you into a walking font of healing, allowing you to keep on Glaring. Finally, if that’s still not enough or if Lilybell is on cooldown, your last resort is to drop a Glare or two to use Medica II. Once health bars stabilize… you guessed it! Go back to Glare.
What about incoming single-target damage? Is your tank about to get chunked by a Tankbuster — those telegraphed skills that deal immense damage to whoever the boss is directly targeting? Use Divine Benison or Aquaveil before the hit to mitigate damage. Then use Afflatus Solace or Tetragrammaton after the hit. Tanks can “self-mitigate” with their own shields and barriers, however, so the damage might not be severe enough to warrant the restoration. Remember: Always Be Casting (Glare). Only stop casting Glare when you need to move or cast Medica II!
Generally, you want to be somewhere in between the target and your casters/ranged DPS. Some Savage fights require more precise positioning. But for dungeons and regular encounters, you simply want to be in the middle of your group as much as possible so that you can heal everyone with your AoEs — such as the self-centered heal from Lilybell.
When your MP hits 70%, use Lucid Dreaming. It’s still difficult to run out of MP as a White Mage except on extremely hard encounters. However, the Endwalker changes to Thin Air will force you to lean on the basics more often. If you find yourself running out of MP on an encounter of normal difficulty, you probably need to use Lucid Dreaming and Assize more and Medica II less.
At Level 50, your tools are limited to Cure, Cure II, Cure III, Medica II, Regen, and Benediction. The trait “Freecure” gives you a 15% chance to lower the MP cost of Cure II to zero after landing a successful Cure, so take advantage of that while Cure II is still useful.
At Level 60, you can remove Cure and Cure II if you wish and replace them with Afflatus Solace and Tetragrammaton, as well as adding Assize and Asylum to your bars.
At Level 70, you gain Divine Benison and Plenary Indulgence.
The primary spells you use at Level 80 in dungeons and raids are:
Afflatus Solace, Afflatus Rapture, Regen, Cure III, Medica II, Asylum, Divine Bension, Tetragrammaton, and Plenary Indulgence, alongside your supportive abilities like Swiftcast, Temperance, Benediction, and so on. Also Glare, Dia, Assize — and, if you’re in a dungeon, Holy to use on roaming squads.
Finally, things don’t change very much for White Mage at Level 90. You get Aquaveil and Lilybell while Divine Benison gets two charges. These give the original “pure healer” more chances to preemptively deal with damage. Everything else on the road from 80-90 is just passive damage increases.
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.
White Mage Stat Priorities
White Mage 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!
After you figure out your Piety sweet spot, your sub-stats should be:
Critical Hit > Direct Hit Rate or Determination > Spell Speed.
You want your heals and damage spells to Crit as much as possible, making Critical Hit a priority. Direct Hit Rate is great for Glare but does nothing for your heals. On the other hand, Determination provides a small boost to everything you do. This makes Direct Hit and Determination equally valuable on a White Mage. Spell Speed is useful, but only up until you can no longer squeeze two oGCDs in-between a GCD (a.k.a. double-weaving), so it’s less useful than the other sub-stats.
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, Strength, Vitality, and that all-important Critical Hit tend to top the charts. This made Smoked Chicken the go-to meal by the end of Shadowbringers for most players. Worth noting: Healers want the Mind stat over Strength, for it determines not just their healing effectiveness but also the damage they deal. By the end of Shadowbringers, the most potent concoction for this was a Grade 4 Tincture of Mind.
White Mages are the bread-and-butter healers in FFXIV. They act as a central pillar for every type of content imaginable — from Treasure Maps and Savage Raids to Duty Roulettes and Ultimate bosses. A good White Mage can keep you alive through most things, but a great White Mage can do that while also increasing the party’s damage output and efficiency through smart oGCD usage and slidecasting.
It takes practice, but once you get the hang of it, you will find invitations and group content invites landing at your feet. And remember: If you’re not Rescuing party members into fire, are you really even playing a healer? Best of luck, adventurers!