This is an extensive guide to the Scholar job in FFXIV. It will cover the information necessary to play Scholar at a high level, how Scholar synergizes with other healer jobs, and how to become a better healer overall.

This guide is going to be long. VERY long. I will provide TL;DR recaps at the end of some of the longer sections if you’re just looking for a quick overview of that material.

If you have any questions, you can contact me on Discord, in game, or on Reddit. I will always respond to Discord messages and in game /tells.

Discord: @DickTornado#6317
Reddit: /u/Razgri
Ingame: Video Games – Phoenix Server.
Twitch: www.twitch.tv/videosch

Thank you for your time, and I hope you enjoy this guide.

 

Why Play Scholar?

Scholar is a very flexible healing job that is capable of combining impressive healing output with significant personal DPS. It’s a highly versatile class, with a huge assortment of useful tools that can be extremely powerful in the hands of a skilled and knowledgeable player. One of the defining characteristics of the Scholar job is our faerie companions that join us in battle to help heal and support the party. The presence of our faerie pet greatly reduces the amount of direct healing we need to do. This paired with an exceptional arsenal of oGCD heals such as Lustrate and Indomitability allows skilled Scholars to achieve exceptionally high DPS uptime.

Such incredible capability and versatility comes at a cost, though. Scholar is definitely NOT an easy job to master (as the length of this guide can attest). The proactive healing style of a Scholar can be challenging for inexperienced players, and being responsible for your pet’s actions and positioning in addition to your own adds an additional degree of complexity to what is already a demanding job. If you’d rather just watch the party list and play Health Bar Whack-A-Mole, or don’t want to bother managing a pet companion, then one of the other healer jobs would definitely be a better choice for you.

Scholars, and healers in general, are responsible for healing the party and keeping everyone alive, but that’s not all that they can do. Healers also have the opportunity to buff allies, debuff enemies, and deal a significant amount of damage themselves. Using the full range of your skills is vital if you want to become a GOOD player. A GREAT player, however, will use these skills at key times to maximize their effectiveness, increasing the damage output of the group and reducing incoming damage, allowing the Scholar to use more of their GCDs to dish out damage.

This guide will teach you all about the Scholar job, their spells and abilities, and how to use these effectively. We’ll also examine how Scholars deal damage, how their buffs synergize with the rest of the group, and how Scholars synergize with other healing jobs.

Healing as a Scholar

The ultimate goal of healing in FFXIV is to keep everyone alive, and to do so using as few healing GCDs as possible. Trying to keep the entire raid at 100% HP at all times is NOT efficient healer play, and will lead to excessive overhealing, wasted MP and DPS potential, and in some cases even take aggro from the tank. Excessive healing is a suboptimal playstyle and should be avoided whenever possible.

Efficient healing requires careful planning, extensive knowledge of the encounter (specifically how much damage your party members will be taking and when), coordination with the rest of your group, and confident decision making on your part. Weak healers see raid members at half health and think “Holy s#*t – I need to heal those guys NOW!” and then proceed to waste valuable MP and cooldowns panic healing. Skilled healers, on the other hand, will see raid members at half health and plan oGCD heals accordingly to make sure party members have sufficient HP for the next mechanic. There is no point in spending GCDs on healing if Embrace or HoTs are giving party members enough HP for the next AoE attack.

Your job is to make sure that everyone in your party has enough HP and mitigation to survive the incoming damage. Scholars have a faerie pet that’s pumping out heals, making this a LOT easier. Monitor your faerie’s healing output, look at the rate of incoming tank damage, and then decide if and when you need to step in and help. Just don’t go overboard with this! An auto attack can always crit and murder your tank even when you thought things would be fine.

For general content, I apply a 20% rule when determining the amount of HP necessary to survive incoming damage. Under this 20% rule, my aim is to keep the tank alive PLUS maintain a cushion of at least 20% of their maximum HP, in order to prevent deaths from unfortunate crit RNG. This is an aggressive style that requires a lot of attention and might not be suitable for new healers until they get comfortable with healing. It is always better to play it safe and keep your tank alive than to let them die just to get that juicy Broil II off!

Also keep in mind that Healing is heavily dependant on your group and other factors such as overall group competence, people doing mechanics correctly, mitigation for certain attacks. Things like these all impact the amount of healing that is needed for a fight. The biggest factor however is a proper communication with your co-healer. Make sure that you’re both on the same page to get optimal results!

With that out of the way, let’s take a look at our healing skills and what they do.

 

Healing Spells and Abilities

Note: The cast timers assume a base GCD of 2.5 seconds. Your cast times may vary depending on how much spellspeed you have.

Physick (Lv. 4) – Restores target’s HP. Cure Potency: 400. MP Cost: 600. Cast: 2s.

Scholar’s basic heal. Does exactly what the description says – heals your target for a potency of 400 and nothing more. In all honestly, this particular heal is rarely used because of it’s low healing per GCD efficiency. Physick mainly gets used if you need to throw out another heal right after an Adloquium on the same target.

Adloquium (Lv. 30) – Restores target’s HP. Cure Potency: 300. Additional Effect: Erects a magicked barrier which nullifies damage equaling the amount of HP restored. When critical HP is restored, damage nullification is doubled. Duration: 30s. MP Cost: 1,800. Cast: 2s.

* Effect cannot be stacked with Nocturnal Sect.

Adloquium is where the fun bit of Scholar healing starts. Requiring a whopping 1,800 MP, it is Scholar’s most expensive single target heal, but it’s versatility and usefulness make it well worth the cost. Not only does Adloquium heal your target, it also shields them for the amount healed. If you get a critical hit with Adloquium the strength of the shield is doubled. Say that you crit an Adloquium for 10,000, the amount of the shield will be 20,000 HP! To make things even better, you can use Deployment Tactics to spread this shield to the whole party, providing some amazing raid-wide mitigation. With the shield from a crit Adlo, anyone can be a tank!

Succor (Lv. 35) – Restores own HP and the HP of all nearby party members. Cure Potency: 150. Additional Effect: Erects a magicked barrier which nullifies damage equaling the amount of HP restored. Duration: 30s. Radius: 15y. MP Cost: 2,280. Cast: 2.5s.

* Effect cannot be stacked with Nocturnal Sect.

Succor is Scholar’s AoE heal. Unlike Astrologian and White Mage, we only get one AoE heal that we get to spam freely, and it’s not a strong skill when spammed due to the shield delay. This is especially noticeable on succor because AoE heals do not heal everyone at the same time, and instead heal the people closest to you first before healing people further away. Succor is best used when you need a raid-wide shield or a quick boost of healing to give people that extra cushion to make sure they stay alive. For restoring HP, however, both of the other healing jobs have far more effective means of doing so.

Unlike Adloquium, a critical hit with Succor does NOT double the strength of the shield. Succor is also extremely MP inefficient and you should avoid using it too heavily. It also has a higher MP cost than its respective counterparts from the other healing classes – Medica and Helios. Succor is tied with White Mage’s Cure 3 for the most expensive healing spell in the game, and is pretty underwhelming when you consider it’s cost.

Lustrate (Lv. 50) – Restores target’s HP. Cure Potency: 600. Additional Effect: Increases Faerie Gauge by 10. Aetherflow Gauge Cost: 1. MP Cost: 0. Cast: Instant. Recast: 1s. GCD: No.

Lustrate is an extremely powerful tool and can provide a lot of healing in a pinch. It heals the target with a potency of 600 and is Instant Cast. Being instant cast makes this skill really stand out, as it allows you to rescue someone if they need a heal immediately. Since a Lustrate costs one Aetherflow stack, we can tie an MP cost to it. If we were to use that Aetherflow stack on Energy Drain, instead, we would gain 1,200 MP and 150 potency of damage, so we could say that each Lustrate “costs” us 1,200 MP and a 150 potency loss, in a sense. This is still far less than the cost of an Adloquium, though, which requires a GCD and costs 1,800 MP.

Indomitability (Lv. 52) – Restores own HP and the HP of all nearby party members. Cure Potency: 500. Additional Effect: Increases Faerie Gauge by 10. Aetherflow Gauge Cost: 1. Radius: 15y. MP Cost: 0. Cast: Instant. Recast: 30s.

This is hands down the strongest Aetherflow ability Scholar has. Indomitability perfectly covers the glaring weakness that Scholar has when it comes to AoE healing, and should always be used over succor if AoE healing is needed. Just like Lustrate, it costs one Aetherflow stack and is Instant Cast, but this cost is easily justified when you compare it to Succor. The 30s recast is shorter than that of Assize and Earthly Star, the White Mage and Astrologian equivalents.

Excogitation (Lv. 62) – Grants target party member other than self the effect of Excogitation, restoring HP when member’s HP falls below 50%. Cure Potency: 800. Duration: 45s. Additional Effect: Increases Faerie Gauge by 10. Aetherflow Gauge Cost: 1. MP Cost: 0. Cast: Instant. Recast: 45s.

Excogitation is our newest plaything. With a potency of 800 it’s a lot stronger than Lustrate, but that’s pretty much all it has going for it. Just like Lustrate, this is an extremely powerful tool when placed in the right hands. Unlike Lustrate, though, it doesn’t instantly heal, but triggers as a sort of heal bomb if/when the target dips below 50% HP. You CANNOT use this skill on yourself.

Excogitation is extremely useful on multi-hit tank busters, allowing you to continue to DPS while Excogitation and your faerie heal up the tank. Like all Aetherflow abilities, Excogitation is Instant Cast and costs one Aetherflow stack. It therefore has an opportunity cost of 1,200 MP and a loss of 150 potency of damage when compared to Energy Drain. EXCOGITATION CANNOT CRIT.

A note about Aetherflow skills: All Aetherflow skills are listed as ABILITIES instead of SPELLS in the game. This means they are UNAFFECTED by both BUFFS and DEBUFFS. This can either be useful or hindering, depending on the situation. For example, Fey Illumination and Largesse will NOT buff any of your Aetherflow skills. However, any healing down debuffs that might be active will also not affect your Aetherflow skills (or your faerie for that matter). This means that if the situation calls for it, you still have an answer to deal with healing even when inflicted with debuffs. 

Sacred Soil (Lv. 45) – Creates a designated area in which party members will only suffer 90% of all damage inflicted. Duration: 15s. Additional Effect: 20% chance that next Succor will cost no MP. Duration: 15s. Additional Effect: Increases Faerie Gauge by 10. Aetherflow Gauge Cost: 1.

Cannot be used with any other area-creating actions. MP Cost: 0. Cast: Instant. Recast: 30s. GCD: No.

While it may sound impressive on paper, in practice Sacred Soil is by far the weakest Aetherflow ability, in my opinion. It reduces damage by 10%, which may sound strong, but really isn’t that impressive. Sacred Soil is very nice for progression, where the extra raid-wide mitigation makes attacks such as Neo Exdeath’s Almagest a lot more manageable, but as your group’s item levels increase it quickly fades into obscurity. It does have some very niche uses in that you can use it to ignore certain mechanics by stacking excessive amounts of mitigation. Like all Aetherflow abilities, Sacred Soil has an opportunity cost of 1,200 MP and 150 potency of damage, when compared to Energy Drain.

One of the big issues with Sacred Soil is that the buff isn’t actually applied until the next server tick. This means it could take up to 3 seconds to receive the effect, so be sure to place it at least 3 seconds prior to the damage you want to mitigate. The other big issue with Sacred Soil is that it’s outclassed by the Astrologian skill Collective Unconscious. Collective Unconscious reduces damage taken by the same 10%, but it also applies a 150 potency regen with a duration of 15s (sure, the Astrologian cannot move or use any other abilities while using this skill, but they can cancel the channel as soon as the damage has gone out, and the regen still persists, hell the regen is the strongest HoT in the game). The damage reduction from Sacred Soil and Collective Unconscious does stack, but there’s very few situations that require such excessive mitigation in needed (Neo Exdeath’s Almagest comes to mind, making the DoT tick far more manageable), so if there’s an Astrologian present there’s not much point to using Sacred Soil. Sacred Soil also stacks with the Paladin ability Passage of Arms, but should be used before Passage of Arms if needed. A Paladin is capable of weaving Passage of Arms between GCDs, but this is generally unreliable due to how this game relies on server ticks and should not be relied upon.

Emergency Tactics (Lv. 58) – Transforms the next Galvanize status into HP recovery equaling the amount of damage reduction intended for the barrier. Duration: 15s. MP Cost: 0. Cast: Instant. Recast: 20s. GCD: No.

Emergency Tactics is a skill with fairly niche uses. It swaps out your shields for additional healing. Generally speaking, shields are better than healing because you can apply shields even if everyone is at full HP. Emergency Tactics does not see a whole lot of use except for when using it on Succor, and even then it’s not done very often.

That doesn’t mean it’s useless, however. As the name suggests, Emergency Tactics is best used in emergencies. It complements Scholar’s limited AoE healing by allowing us to use succor twice in a row, once to apply the shield and once to do a full healing version. Emergency Tactics is useful when paired with Swiftcast to provide a lot of burst healing in a short timeframe. Succor > Emergency Tactics + Swiftcast > Succor will take care of a LOT of healing. That said, Emergency Tactics should only be used if Indomitability won’t cut it for healing purposes, or if you need to hold Indomitability for another heal check in the near future.

Deployment Tactics (Lv. 56) – Extends Eye for an Eye and Galvanize effects cast by you to party members nearby the target. Duration: The time remaining on the original target’s effects. No effect when target is not under the effect of either Eye for an Eye or Galvanize. Radius: 10y. MP Cost: 0. Cast: Instant. Recast: 120s. GCD: No.

This skill is what makes Scholar the king of mitigation. Deployment Tactics allows you to spread a shield from your party member to all other party members in range. The ability to spread the shield from Adloquium to the rest of the party makes this Scholar’s most powerful mitigation tool. If your Adloquium crits and you get that juicy modifier Deployment Tactics takes this into account and provides everyone with a massive shield. This is especially hilarious if you’re also under the effect of any healing buffs, and suddenly potentially raid threatening attacks deal next to no damage to the party. Effective usage of Deployment Tactics can drastically reduce the amount of healing that needs to be done.

Deployment Tactics copies all of the shield details from your current target, including the duration. This means that if a shield has 20 seconds remaining when you deploy it, everyone in range receives a 20 second shield. As with all shielding abilities, Deployment Tactics also suffers from the shield delay. Deployment Tactics cannot be used on yourself, but it can be used on your faerie, allowing you to position your faerie appropriately so they deploy will hit everyone, maximizing the efficiency.

A note about shields: All Scholar shields have a duration of 30 seconds and all have an innate delay before they are actually applied to the target. The delay between the time your cast finishes and the time when the shield becomes active on the target is roughly 2 seconds. This means that you need to apply your shields a full 2 seconds before incoming damage occurs if you want the shield to successfully mitigate that damage. This might sound daunting at first, but the Scholar playstyle is very proactive rather than reactive. Planning ahead to mitigate incoming damage is a necessity if you want to play Scholar well, and as you grow more comfortable with the job you’ll rarely notice these shield delays. 

 

Protip #1: Never cast two Adloquiums back to back on the same target, or the second Adloquium will land before the shield from the first has even registered!

Protip #2: There are some rare occasions where the shield delay can actually be used to your advantage. One such situation is if you decide to use Deployment Tactics to spread an Adloquium that was applied to a target taking DoT damage. Your Adloquium target receives the 300 potency heal from Adloquium right away and, thanks to the shield delay, you can still deploy a full-strength shield to the rest of the party a few seconds later. Any DoT damage suffered during the shield delay won’t consume the shield, because it technically hasn’t appeared yet. 

A good example of this is in Zurvan Extreme, where I use an Adloquium to heal the Wave Cannon target and then spread the full-strength shield to the rest of the party a few seconds later. This allows me to direct heal a target taking heavy DoT damage AND apply a full-strength shield to the whole party – the best of both worlds!

 

Summary

Scholar has a wide arsenal of healing abilities, some of which synergize really nicely with each other (Succor + Emergency Tactics, Adloquium + Deployment Tactics). Scholars also have a ton of juicy oGCD abilities thanks to our Aetherflow skills, and we have a faerie pet that provides additional healing, mitigation and support to help us out. This makes Scholar a highly versatile healer capable of tackling almost any situation. Should our faerie die, though, or if we use our stacks incorrectly, we’ll be punished accordingly by being weaker than the other two healing jobs and being unable to use our strongest skills.

 

Healing Skills Recap

  1. Physick is your weakest heal in terms of GCD/potency conversion, but can be useful in situations where you’re low on MP and need to heal.
  2. Adloquium is a strong heal that also applies a shield (shield value doubles if it crits), but it comes at a heavy MP cost. Amazing when paired with Deployment Tactics.
  3. Succor is our AoE heal. It recovers a small amount of HP and shields for the same amount. Can be paired with Emergency Tactics if heavy AoE healing is needed.
  4. Lustrate is arguably our strongest single target heal. It instantly heals the target with a potency of 600 and has a recast timer of only one second, allowing you to fire Lustrates off in rapid succession, if necessary.
  5. Indomitability is an extremely powerful AoE heal on a cooldown of only 30 seconds. It is by far the strongest and most useful Aetherflow ability we have in our arsenal.
  6. Excogitation can be seen as a delayed Lustrate with an even higher potency. It triggers when the target dips below 50% HP and heals with a potency of 800. It has a cooldown of 45 seconds and cannot be used on yourself.
  7. All of our shields last for 30 seconds before expiring. This means you shouldn’t mindlessly spam shields if people are not going to take damage, especially since they also cost enormous amounts of MP.

 

Protip: All single target heals have a cast timer shorter than the GCD. This allows you to sneak in oGCDs after every heal which will clip far less than clipping after a DPS spell. 

 

All About Fairies

The faerie pet is what makes the Scholar job so unique, and is definitely the most important part of a Scholar’s toolkit. A BAD Scholar will leave their faerie on sic and just let her do her thing, but a GOOD Scholar will use the faerie pet as an extension of their own toolkit, compensating for some of the glaring weaknesses Scholars would have if they didn’t have their trusty faerie companions.

Before we take a closer look at the fairies and their associated abilities I’d like to discuss one of the oddities about the faerie companions – Pet Scaling. Both SMN and SCH pets scale off their owner’s current stats, including weapon damage, intelligence/mind, and secondary stats such as critical hit. Pet companions scale to ROUGHLY 70% of their owner’s stats. We don’t know the exact math behind this yet, but this is a good estimate to start with. This means that the potencies listed on the pet tooltips are slightly misleading – the 250 potency of Embrace isn’t actually 250, but closer to 170. This applies to all the healing your faerie pet does. Pets also benefit from food buffs, mind potions, and any stat boosting buffs that are active on the owner.

Scholars have one ability that, although not technically a pet action, has no impact at all on the Scholar themselves and ONLY affects their summoned pet:

 

  Rouse (Lv. 42) – Increases healing magic potency and damage dealt by pet by 40%. While roused, pet will be immune to Stun, Sleep, Bind, and Heavy. Duration: 20s. Cast: Instant. Recast: 60s.

Rouse increases your pet’s healing potency by 40%. For example, Embrace heals for 250 potency under normal conditions, but when under the effects of Rouse, your faerie’s Embrace will heal for 350 potency (250 x 140% = 350). Learning how to master Rouse will help you greatly in saving those precious healer GCDs in a fight.

Scholars have two different fairy pets to choose from: Eos and Selene, each with their own unique toolkit. Below is a summary of the fairies and their associated skills.

 

EOS

Whispering Dawn (Lv. 1) – Gradually restores own HP and the HP of all nearby party members. Cure Potency: 100. Duration: 21s. Radius: 15y. Recast: 60s.

This is the Scholar version of Medica 2/Aspected benefic. Whispering Dawn is an extremely strong AoE regen. When buffed by Rouse and Fey Illumination it becomes one of the best AoE HoTs in the game, with a potency of 100 * 154% = 154 per tick, increasing the total healing potency up from 700 to 1078.  This is an insane number and is sure to top off anyone that needs healing. Even when you factor in pet scaling, Whispering Dawn is still extremely strong.

Fey covenant.pngFey Covenant (Lv. 20) –  Increases Magic Defense by 20%. Duration: 20s. Radius: 15y. Recast: 120s.

On paper 20% extra magic defense sounds amazing, but it’s the same as Foresight and physical damage in that it’s still a very good skill, but the actual mitigation provided is nowhere near the 20% mentioned in the tooltip. The actual mitigation is closer to  around 6-7% for physical DPS, 9-10% for healers and casters, and about 17% for tanks, due to the different magic defense values between jobs. The higher your magic defense, the more mitigation you’ll get from this skill. You should still actively use this to mitigate raid wide magic damage, or perhaps even to help out your tank on magical tank busters.

Fey illumination.pngFey Illumination (Lv. 40) – Healing Magic is increased by 10%. Duration: 20s. Radius: 15y. Recast: 120s.

As if Eos didn’t provide enough support already, Fey Illumination provides anyone in range of the spell with a 10% increase to healing magic. This stacks multiplicatively with Largesse. If both are combined you gain a total of 132% healing. (120+10%) Scholar is the only healer that is capable of providing their co-healer with a beefy healing up buff. This makes it an extremely versatile skill to use, whether it’s to shave off a few healer GCDs, or to survive a big heal check, this skill is going to be a big help.

 

SELENE

Silent dawn.pngSilent Dusk (Lv. 1) – Silences the target, interrupting the current cast. Duration: 1s. Range: 25y. Recast: 40s.

A useful skill in theory, that’s rarely actually used in a raid. The issue with Silent Dusk is that you need to either wait for Selene to finish her current Embrace cast, or interrupt her cast and lose useful healing potency to make sure she uses this in time to silence whatever it is you want to silence. In my personal opinion, this skill is worthless and isn’t even on my hotbars.

Fey caress.pngFey Caress (Lv. 20) – Removes one debuff from all party members in range. Radius: 20y. Recast: 60s.

Basically an AoE Esuna. Extremely useful when needed, but there aren’t many places in current content where you need Esuna. This skill is also useless in Omega! Almagest CANNOT be cleansed and the only cleansable debuffs are from mechanical failures which deal insignificant damage.

Fey wind.pngFey Wind (Lv. 40) –  Increases spell speed and attack speed by 3%. Duration: 30s. Radius: 20y. Recast: 60s.

It’s a speed buff that lasts for 30s and is extremely useful in a raid scenario. Selene is best used in fights where healing output matters less, and this DPS boosting buff is the main reason why you’d bring her into a raid fight. Fey Wind also lines up nicely with other raid buffs.

 

BOTH

Embrace summon ii.pngEmbrace (Lv. 1) – Heals the target with a potency of 250. Cast: 2s. Range: 30y. Recast: 3s.

Both of the fairy pets have an ability called Embrace. This skill acts as their primary heal, which they will use on ANY party member that is below 80% HP. The skill has a potency of 250, and can be thought of as a passive regen of sorts. Eos and Selene will also heal themselves with Embrace if they’ve taken damage and no one else is below 80% HP.

Embrace is the most important skill your fairy has, and is the reason why Scholars can have such high DPS uptime. While the Scholar is casting Broil II, their fairy will be healing away with Embrace. This allows tanks to survive more damage due to the passive healing from a fairy. A GOOD Scholar will be able to judge whether a tank will be able to be sustained with Embrace, or if they need to step in. A BAD Scholar steps in too early, wasting GCDs on unnecessary healing, and squandering precious MP and DPS potential.

A note about macros: never, ever, EVER macro Embrace to Physick, Adloquium or any DPS spells. If you absolutely feel the need to macro Embrace, make a <mo> macro for it, but for the love of god, don’t macro this to your actual skills. It will make skill queueing impossible, delaying the start of your next cast, and will make the class feel sluggish.

Dissipation.pngDissipation (Lv. 60) – Dismiss your fairy in exchange for 3 Aetherflow stacks and the Dissipation buff. Dissipation lasts for 30 seconds and increases your Healing output by 20%. You will be unable to resummon a fairy while under the effect of Dissipation.

Duration: 30s. Recast: 180s.

Dissipation is a double edged sword. The Aetherflow stacks you gain and the healing up buff you receive are very nice, but losing your fairy is a tremendous drawback. Being locked out of summoning another fairy for 30s means you’ll have to carefully plan when to use this skill. Dissipation also synergizes with the new Aetherflow trait Scholars have, reducing Aetherflow recast by 5s for each Aetherflow skill used. This means that using Dissipation could potentially allow you to get another Aetherflow off in a fight.

Dissipation is best used in the following situations:

  1. There’s going to be a lot of downtime soon and your fairy won’t be needed, such as A12S ultimate and Inceptions, or Zurvan’s ultimate attack. Dissipation can be used in these situations for free Aetherflow stacks to pump out additional damage.
  2. You’re in trouble. You’re out of Aetherflow stacks, your co-healer is dead, and you need some burst healing NOW! In situations like this Dissipation may be your best hope of rescuing the situation, as it allows you to get your most important healing skills out when you really need them. A well timed Dissipation can turn an ugly situation into a salvageable situation.

It will cost you 2,400 MP to resummon your fairy, which means that Dissipation isn’t a cheap skill to use. The MP cost can be negated, though, if you decide to use any of your newfound Aetherflow stacks on Energy Drain, which restores 1,200 MP per use. This could turn Dissipation into a MP positive skill, if desired.

 

Fey Union.png Aetherpact (Scholar).pngFey Union/Aetherpact (Lv. 70) – Gradually restores HP of party member with which faerie has a Fey Union. Cure Potency: 480. Faerie Gauge is depleted while HP is restored. Faerie cannot execute other actions while Fey Union is active. Party member must be within 15 yalms.

Fey Union provides a decent regen that makes sure that the target is topped off quite quickly. Fey Union requires 10 Faerie Gauge to initiate, and drains 10 Faerie Gauge per regen tick (every 3 seconds). Proper Fey Union use will cut down on Healer GCDs and allow you to DPS more.

Unfortunately, there’s a number of reasons why Fey Union is pretty underwhelming. Fey Union does not scale with Rouse, and the regen is subject to pet scaling, meaning the actual healing potency is less than the 480 advertised on the tooltip. When you cast Aetherpact the faerie first moves towards the target, and then sets up the tether and begins healing, which can take up to 5 seconds, and gives the skill a very clunky feel. If the targeted player moves out of the 15y range the Faerie Gauge will stop draining and the Faerie will simply do nothing until the player moves back in the 15y range.

 

The Faerie Gauge

Faerie gauge1.png

The Faerie Gauge is our fancy new job gauge mechanic, and it includes a new UI element that displays how much faerie energy we have for Fey Union. We can fill the gauge by using Aetherflow skills, and each Aetherflow skill used fills the gauge by 10 points, as long as the faerie is present on the battlefield at the time. This means we will completely fill the gauge roughly every 2:30. To make the most out of these new mechanics you want to properly managing your Faerie Gauge and use Fey Union at times when heavy single target healing is required.

Any Aetherflow ability will add 10 points to the gauge, even if you whiff it and it ends up doing nothing. The only prerequisite for abilities to add points to the gauge is that a faerie MUST be summoned and that you must be in combat. If you use Dissipation or your faerie dies for any reason any current gauge will be kept and stored until she is resummoned. Fairy switching will also transfer over the current gauge without any penalty. If you happen to die yourself all Faerie Gauge is lost.

 

Choosing A Faerie

In most fights, Scholars tend to prefer Eos over Selene. Eos provides a tremendous amount of support for both healers and is easily capable of shaving off those vital healing GCDs with her utility, allowing both healers to DPS more. Selene, however, shines in situations where it’s primarily just one player taking damage, like the early stages of Zurvan Extreme, A9S and Ravana Extreme.

Selene can also be useful to have pre-pull. You can begin summoning Eos right before the pull starts and use Fey Wind right before the cast completes. Selene will use her Fey Wind ability to buff the party before being dismissed and replaced by the newly summoned Eos. This means your opener will have the best of both worlds – the utility of Eos and the buff from Selene.

Faeries do share cooldowns timers, however, and this is tied to the level at which the skill gets unlocked. For example, if you were to use Eos’ level 1 ability Whispering Dawn and then immediately summon Selene, Selene’s level 1 ability Silent Dusk will be on cooldown for 60 seconds instead of the usual 40 seconds, due to the fact that Whispering Dawn has a 60 second cooldown.

 

Pet Management

Managing your faerie’s skills is just as important as managing your own skills. Your faerie is an extension of your own toolkit, NOT an independant pet that you should ignore and let run free. Left on Sic, your faerie will simply use each of her abilities on cooldown, which is extremely inefficient. Eos may use Fey Covenant when there’s no magic damage happening, for example, or cast Whispering Dawn right at the start of the fight when everyone is already at full HP, completely wasting these valuable skills. Micromanaging your pet abilities is a requirement if you want to play Scholar well. If you have no interest in managing a pet you’re much better off playing one of the other healing jobs.

 

Faerie Placement

Another important aspect of managing your faerie is faerie placement. By default your faerie will be on Follow, and will follow you as you move around the arena. This is inefficient for a couple of reasons. First, your faerie can’t heal when she’s moving, so each time she moves she’s wasting possible Embrace casts, leaving you or your co-healer to pick up the slack. The second is that there’s a lot of mechanics that require the party to spread out, and if your faerie follows you to the far edge of the arena many party members will be out of range, when she could have just stayed in the middle and continued healing. Faerie placement is a vital part of playing Scholar and is something you should really pay attention to. Also keep in mind that if you re-summon a faerie mid fight they will automatically default to Follow, so don’t forget to use Place to reassign their position!

 

 

Dealing Damage as a Scholar

But I’m a HEALER! Why do I care about dealing damage?

A lot of healers that I encounter in Party Finder groups don’t make any effort to try to deal damage at all, claiming that, as a healer, it’s not their job to deal damage. It’s my personal view that regardless of your chosen class, your “job” is to contribute as much as possible to the success of your group. A tank’s primary job is to hold threat and mitigate damage, but you don’t see tanks going AFK after they’ve secured hate, do you? Healers who twiddle their thumbs for 10 seconds in between Physick casts are just being lazy, and are not doing their best to help their group. While healing is a Scholar’s primary responsibility, you’re doing your group a disservice if you ignore your ability to deal damage while still keeping everyone alive.

There’s two reasons why Scholar lends itself to a more DPS oriented approach, these being the Faerie and the excellent oGCD heals they provide. Whereas a White Mage or an Astrologian needs to manually cast a regen each time they want to provide a HoT to the tank, a Scholar can simply let their Faerie take care of all the chip damage. Their oGCD heals are also extremely strong and more important, tied to a very low cooldown. This means that Scholars are capable of recovering from damage easier than other healers if they have Aetherflow stacks available.

 

DPS Spells and Abilities

In addition to a diverse set of healing spells and abilities, Scholar also has a core set of skills used for dealing damage. Scholar may be a healing job, but the class is also capable of dishing out some serious DPS. In this section we’ll cover each of the DPS skills and their particular use.

 

Note: Only the skills available at level 70 will be covered. Lower level characters may have different skills due to the changes to the skill acquisition system/traits.

 

Broil II.pngBroil II (Lv. 64) – Deals unaspected damage with a potency of 230. MP Cost: 720. Cast: 2.5s. GCD: Yes.

This is our “filler” DPS spell. Once both your DoTs are up, you spam Broil II to continue dealing damage. It’s also our hardest hitting direct damage ability, and should be used on targets that won’t live long enough to justify applying DoTs.

Ruin II.pngRuin II (Lv. 38) – Deals unaspected damage with a potency of 100. MP Cost: 480. Cast: Instant.  GCD: Yes.

Ruin II is your second filler spell. It’s far weaker than Broil II, but costs less MP and has no cast time. This allows you to weave your oGCDs and move while casting Ruin II, making it a useful ability despite the lower potency. If you are using Ruin II to weave oGCDs, make sure you weave 2 oGCDs after each use. It is not worth the potency loss to weave just one oGCD. Miasma II is also instant cast, and Ruin II should only be used if you cannot afford Miasma II’s high MP cost or if you happen to not be in Melee range and need to move.

Bio II.pngBio II (Lv. 26) – Deals unaspected damage over time. Potency: 35. Duration: 30s. MP Cost: 720. Cast: Instant. GCD: Yes.

In terms of total potency, Bio II is our strongest ability. The 35 potency DoT will tick 10 times over the 30s duration, for a total potency of 350. Bio II exceeds Broil II after 21 seconds of uptime, but it may be worth reapplying Bio II even if it can only tick for 18 or 15 seconds due to the fact it is instant cast and allows you to weave oGCDs. As with other instant cast spells, you should always try to weave in two oGCDs after each use.

Miasma.pngMiasma (Lv. 10) – Deals unaspected damage with a potency of 20. Additional Effect: Unaspected damage over time. Potency: 35. Duration: 24s. MP Cost: 600. Cast: 2.5s. GCD: Yes.

Miasma is our second DoT, and is just as important to keep up as Bio II. It has the same potency per tick as Bio II but doesn’t last as long, and also includes an initial hit of 20 potency. This means Miasma will be doing the same potency as Broil II at 18 seconds (20 + 35 * 6 = 230). Miasma also costs less MP than Bio II and thus is a valuable tool if it’s allowed to tick for 18 seconds or longer. Unlike Bio II, however, it is not an instant cast and thus should not be used unless it will tick for more potency than a Broil II. When spread with Bane the initial 20 potency is NOT applied to the additional targets.

Shadow Flare.pngShadow Flare (Lv. 50) – Envelops a designated area in a veil of magicked shadows, dealing damage with a potency of 50 to any enemies who enter. Duration: 15s. Additional Effect: Slow +5%. Cannot be used with any other area-creating actions. Radius: 5y. MP Cost: 0. Cast: Instant. Recast: 60s.

Shadow Flare is an oGCD skill that synergizes really well with Bio II. Since Shadow Flare has a 60s cooldown and Bio II is instant cast it allows you to re-apply Shadow Flare every other Bio II without clipping your GCD. In some cases it’s may be worth it to hold Shadow Flare if doing so will allow you to use it on multiple targets, but most of the time you should pair it with your Bio II. Shadow Flare ticks 5 times over the 15s duration, for a total potency of 250.

File:Miasama ii.pngMiasma II (Lv. 46) – Deals unaspected damage with a potency of 100 to all nearby enemies.

Additional Effect: Unaspected damage over time. Potency: 25. Duration: 12s. Radius: 5y. MP Cost: 1,680. Cast: Instant. GCD: Yes.

Miasma II is our AoE “filler” skill. With a total potency of 200 and an initial potency of 100 it’s a fairly strong skill. When used on a single target it’s weaker than Broil II, but when used on two targets it starts to pull ahead as long as both targets take at least one tick of damage. The biggest drawback is the hefty MP cost. At 1,680 MP per use, you won’t be able to freely spam it. Spamming Miasma II is discouraged anyway, since half of the damage comes from the DoT effect. Miasma II is also great on single targets if you need to push out oGCDs. The 200 total potency is just barely behind Broil 2, making it worthwhile to use Miasma II even if you’re only going to weave in a single oGCD (assuming you can afford the crippling MP cost).

Energy Drain.pngEnergy Drain (Lv. 6) – Deals unaspected damage with a potency of 150. Additional Effect: Absorbs a portion of damage dealt as HP and restores MP. Additional Effect: Increases Faerie Gauge by 10. Aetherflow Gauge Cost: 1. MP Cost: 0. Cast: Instant. Recast: 3s. GCD: No.

Energy Drain is your main oGCD DPS skill. It requires an Aetherflow stack to use, which means that you can’t spam it. Energy Drain doesn’t just deal damage though, each Energy Drain also restores 1,200 MP and 50% of the damage dealt as HP. The HP restoration is fairly insignificant, but the MP restoration is huge. Energy Drain should be weaved in after an instant cast skill such as Bio 2, if possible. You can reliably use one Energy Drain each time you apply Bio II and still have Aetherflow stacks remaining for other Aetherflow skills.

Bane.pngBane (Lv. 30) – Spreads a target’s Bio and Miasma effects to nearby enemies. Potency is reduced by 20% for the second enemy, 40% for the third, 60% for the fourth, and 80% for all remaining enemies. Duration: Time remaining on original effect. Additional Effect: 15% chance that Bio and Miasma duration resets if shorter than original effect duration. Additional Effect: Increases Faerie Gauge by 10. Aetherflow Gauge Cost: 1. MP Cost: 0. Cast: Instant. Recast: 10s. GCD: No.

Bane is your AoE skill. It copies your DoTs, including any and all buffs/debuffs, from your current target to all nearby targets. This means that if you apply DoTs to an enemy under the effect of Trick Attack and then use Bane it will spread those buffed DoTs to all the nearby targets. There’s also a 15% chance that the spread DoTs will be reset to their full duration. This brings us to the “Chain Bane” theory, which you can read more about HERE.

 

Amount of Targets DoT potency
Original Target (Bane used on this) 100%
Add 1 100%
Add 2 80%
Add 3 60%
Add 4 40%
Add 5 to 15 20%

 

Chain Strategem.pngChain Strategem (Lv. 66) – Increases rate at which target takes critical hits by 15%.

Duration: 15s. Cast: Instant. Recast: 120s. MP Cost: 0. GCD: No.

Chain Strategem is an amazing raid-wide offensive buff which provides a significant DPS boost for all members of your group. Chain Strategem is best used right before your party members start their burst. If there’s a Ninja in your group, Chain Strategem should be paired with every other Trick Attack to maximize the benefit of both buffs and increase their efficiency. As Chain Strategem scales off the critical hit stat and critical damage also scales off Chain Strategem, the actual damage increase will vary, and becomes stronger the more crit you have.

 

CLICK HERE for more details about the effective DPS increase from Chain Strategem and how Chain Strategem can be aligned with Battle Litany and Trick Attack to maximize the benefits of these buffs.

 

Aetherflow.pngAetherflow (Lv. 6) – Restores 10% of maximum MP and grants 3 Aetherflow stacks. MP Cost: 0. Cast: Instant. Recast: 60s. GCD: No.

Aetherflow is one of the defining mechanics of Scholar play (the other being the faerie companions). Aetherflow is your most important skill in the entire skillset and provides the Aetherflow stacks you need in order to use your extremely powerful Aetherflow skills. Managing your Aetherflow usage is your most important responsibility as a Scholar. You want to use all of your Aetherflow stacks before Aetherflow comes off cooldown again so that you can keep Aetherflow rolling.

Aetherflow is also vital for managing your MP since it restores 10% of your maximum MP with each use. This means that you’ll see greater returns from Aetherflow as your piety increases. Scholars have a trait that reduces the Aetherflow cooldown by 5s for each Aetherflow skill used. Since you get 3 stacks with each Aetherflow use, using these will reduce the cooldown by 15s, effectively bringing the cooldown of Aetherflow down to 45s, or even as low as 30s if you decide to use Dissipation. This allows for a very versatile playstyle, with plenty of Aetherflow stacks at your disposal.

The following is a list of Aetherflow skills. Each one requires an Aetherflow stack to be used.

Damage:  Energy Drain, Bane
Healing: Lustrate, Excogitation, Indomitability
Support/Mitigation: Sacred Soil

Aetherflow skills are by far the most powerful skills Scholar has access to thanks to their low cooldowns and instant cast times. On top of that, all Aetherflow skills are off the global cooldown and can be used in rapid succession. A great Scholar will keep the job gauge in mind, plan ahead in the fight, and use their Aetherflow stacks at opportune times to maximize their benefit.

Aetherflow gauge1.png

How DoTs Work

In order to understand the finer points of Scholar DPS, we first have to understand how DoTs work in this game. All DoTs tick on server ticks, which are every 3 seconds. This means that the every 3 seconds the server will check and see what DoTs are on the target. Any DoTs active on the target when the server ticks will deal damage, and any DoTs that have fallen off will not. Tracking server ticks is extremely tedious, and generally not worth the effort. Instead, a good rule of thumb is to try to refresh as close as possible to 0 without letting your DoTs fall off.

 

CLICK HERE for a detailed discussion of DoT mechanics and DoT clipping.

 

Now that we understand DoT ticks, let’s clarify how DoT potencies and “snapshotting” works. When you cast a DoT, the characteristics of that DoT are “snapshotted” when the DoT is applied, and the DoT will continue to tick with those characteristics for it’s entire duration. This means that DoTs cast while you’re under the effect of any buffs will continue to tick at that buffed potency for the full duration, regardless of when the buff falls off the caster.

 

Scholar Opener & DPS Rotation

With the introduction of Stormblood, our rotation has become a lot simpler. Back in Heavensward we had 5 DoTs to manage (Shadow Flare, Bio II, Bio, Miasma, Aero), but in Stormblood this has been reduced to just two (Bio II and Miasma). Shadow Flare still exists, and is technically a DoT, but it’s been reworked completely and can’t really be considered a DoT that you need to manage.

The challenge now is that after losing both Bio I and Aero, which were instant cast spells, we have fewer opportunities to weave in our oGCDs. Thanks to Bio 2 and Miasma 2 though, there’s still plenty of options to weave in our oGCDs. Bio 2 has a 30 second duration and Miasma 2 has a 12 second duration. The downside of Miasma 2 however is that it costs a truckload of MP. If we do not use our oGCDs while doing an instant cast attack we’ll be clipping. “Clipping” in this sense refers to using an oGCD skill while the global cooldown is available. You want to avoid this as much as possible to maximize cast times and spell output. Clipping an oGCD takes approximately 1/3rd of a GCD. This may be longer on certain skills if they have punishing animation locks.

The SCH opener is fairly simple. This opener assumes you have Selene summoned pre-pull and have 3 stacks of Aetherflow along with Aetherflow being off cooldown already.

 

Note: These openers are subject to change.

 

SOLO OPENER

Pre-pull: -7.5s Summon Eos > -5s Fey Wind (Cleric Stance if crossclassed) > –2.5s Broil II > Pull: 0s Swiftcast > 0.5s Broil II + Mind Pot + Chain strategem > Bio II + Energy Drain + Shadow Flare > Miasma > Miasma II + Energy drain > Broil II > Broil II + Energy Drain > Broil II > Miasma II + Aetherflow + Energy Drain > Broil II > Broil II > Broil II > Broil II > Miasma > Bio II + Energy Drain + another oGCD

This is the best opener for your personal DPS. But, of course, most content won’t be done solo, so we’ll want to adjust this for a more group focused scenario.

 

GROUP OPENER

Pre-pull: -8.5s Summon Eos -5s Fey Wind + Mind Pot + (Cleric if Crossclassed) -2.5s Miasma Pull: Bio II + Shadow Flare + Energy Drain Broil II Miasma II + Chain Strategem + Energy Drain Broil II + Swiftcast Broil II + Energy drain + Aetherflow Broil II Broil II Broil II Miasma Broil II Broil II Broil II Bio II + Energy Drain + another oGCD

 

This opener is better for group content. Delaying Chain Strategem for a few GCDs lines it up better with other raid buffs and really improves your group’s opening burst. The Miasma II + Chain Strategem can be freely moved up and down in this rotation to suit your group’s composition and buff timing. If a Ninja is present, you should use Chain Strategem on the 4th GCD so that it’s up for the full duration of Trick Attack.

Once the opener is done, optimizing Scholar DPS becomes very simple. Just reapply Miasma and Bio II when needed, use Energy Drain after Bio II, and Shadow Flare after every other Bio II. Energy Drain and Aetherflow can be fit in where you feel they work best. Make sure there’s at least a full GCD in between Energy Drains due to the 3s recast.

After the opener, your rotation should look something like this:

Broil II > Broil II > Broil II > Broil II  > Miasma > Broil II > Broil II > Broil II > Broil II > Bio II > Shadow Flare + Energy Drain

It literally b(r)oils down to keeping your DoTs up, and making use of the fact that Bio II is instant cast to weave in your oGCDs. It’s almost impossible to make this any simpler.

The exception to this is if your target is about to disappear (or die) and your DoTs won’t be able to tick for their full duration. In this case, it’s time to count DoT ticks to see if it’s better to reapply DoTs or just spam Broil II instead. Miasma needs 18 seconds (6 ticks) to equal the potency of a Broil II. Bio II needs 21 seconds (7 ticks) to beat Broil II, but Bio II is instant cast and allows you to use oGCDs. This means if you have oGCDs to use, it may be correct to use Bio II even if it will tick for less than 21 seconds. Personally, if I have oGCDs to use, I would apply Bio II if will tick for 15 seconds or more.

Aetherflow Stacks can be expended on Energy Drain every other Broil II, if you decide to use them for that. Always make sure you’re refreshing Aetherflow when it comes off cooldown. You should try to use your last Aetherflow stack no later than 5s before Aetherflow comes of cooldown, so you don’t waste the 5s cooldown reduction we get from the new Aetherflow trait.

 

Scholar DPS Recap:

  1. Broil II is your strongest filler attack at 230 potency.
  2. Miasma is a 300 potency DoT, Bio II is a 350 potency DoT, and both should be kept up at all times unless the boss is about to disappear. Bio II is instant cast and allows you to weave in 2 oGCDs after each use.
  3. Ruin II is a weaker filler attack at 100 potency, but is instant cast and allows oGCD weaving.
  4. Energy Drain is a great oGCD skill that deals damage and recovers MP.
  5. Shadow Flare is an oGCD AoE DoT with a total potency of 250. It has a 60s recast and should be paired with every other Bio II.
  6. Miasma II is your filler AoE skill. It has a initial potency of 100 and has a total potency of 200. It’s also your strongest instant cast skill and is great for weaving if you can afford it’s crippling MP cost.
  7. Chain Strategem is a powerful raid-wide crit buff, and is best used when aligned with other raid buffs.
  8. Bane is an AoE ability that spreads your DoTs to nearby targets and has a chance of resetting the DoT duration.

 

Healer Role Actions

In patch 4.0, the old cross class system was replaced by new role actions. This section will cover the role actions available to healers and which, in my opinion, are the best for Scholar. Some role actions are so good they should be considered mandatory in high level content, while others are extremely situational. All role skills cost 0 MP, except for Esuna, which costs 509 MP.

 

Cleric Stance (Lv. 8) – Increases attack magic potency by 5% for 15 seconds. Duration: 15s. Cast: Instant. Recast: 90s. GCD: No.

I personally consider the new Cleric Stance an insult and a slap in the face to the old version. Cleric Stance now gives a 5% damage increase with 16% uptime, resulting in a 0.8% DPS increase if used without any other cooldowns. If used in a raid scenario this number will increase slightly when lined up with other raid buffs and debuffs, but it still won’t make a significant impact on your damage output. On top of that, it’s also uses up a oGCD window, and when you consider the opportunity cost it puts Cleric Stance into the “situational” category for me. I’d use it for speedrunning and optimization, but not for progression.

Break (Lv. 12) – Deals unaspected damage with a potency of 50 and applies Heavy. Duration: 20s. Cast: 2.5s.

Another fairly useless skill. The low potency isn’t worth the GCD unless you desperately need to Heavy something (which you don’t in any current content). Even with 0 MP cost I don’t see this skill getting much use.

Protect (Lv. 16) – Increases the physical and magic defense of all party members in range. Duration: 30m. Cast: 3s.

The first good healer role action. Protect is a must have in a raid scenario and should always been taken by one of the healers. The mitigation saves lives and helps you cut down on healing GCDs. Protect raises the magical and physical defense stat by 20%. Just like with Fey Covenant, the actual mitigation is much lower than 20%, and depends on your actual defense values, scaling with your gear and becoming stronger as your item level increases.

Esuna (Lv. 20) – Removes a single detrimental effect from target. Cast: 1s.

Esuna does what it says on the tin – cleanses one debuff from the target. Amazing when the fight requires you to remove debuffs, and useless otherwise. A situational yet useful role action. Alternatively, Selene’s Fey Cleanse can be used to remove debuffs, as long as they occur infrequently.

Lucid Dreaming (Lv. 24) – Reduces enmity by half and 80 potency MP refresh. Duration: 21s. Cast: Instant. Recast: 120s. GCD: No.

Lucid Dreaming is our second must pick role action. It provides essential MP regeneration, which is sorely needed thanks to the massive MP costs on SCH healing spells. Lucid Dreaming ticks 7 times over the 21 second duration and restores 960 MP per tick, for a total of 6720 MP, and can be used every 2 minutes. In the Mana Management section you can read more about how these calculations work.

Swiftcast (Lv. 32) – Next spell is cast immediately. Duration: 10s. Cast: Instant. Recast: 60s. GCD: No.

Swiftcast is our third must pick role action. It turns your next spell into an instant cast when used. This is great for resummoning your fairy, or if you need to raise a fallen party member. It is also useful for turning one of your broils into an instant cast, allowing you to weave 2 oGCDs in afterward. Swiftcast really improves your versatility as a healer, and is an essential part of your toolkit.

Eye for an Eye (Lv. 36) – Erects a magicked barrier around a single party member or pet. Duration: 20s. Barrier Effect: 20% chance that when barrier is struck, the striker will deal 10% less damage. Duration: 10s. Cast: Instant. Recast: 180s. GCD: No.

A good skill, but with a very long (arguably TOO long) cooldown. Amazing when it procs, useless when it doesn’t. Eye for an Eye should be applied at least 10s prior to the damage you’re hoping to mitigate to maximize the chance of a proc. The proc can only be triggered by physical attacks, but once it procs it mitigates both physical and magical damage. Eye for an Eye can be spread to the group using Deployment Tactics, but this is only really useful if both the tanks are taking damage from different mobs. This role action isn’t a must pick, but it’s still extremely useful.

Largesse (Lv. 40) – Increases healing magic potency by 20%. Duration: 20s. Cast: Instant. Recast: 90s. GCD: No.

Scholar’s fourth must pick role action, in my opinion. Largesse provides you with a 20% boost to healing potency, which is significant and makes healing checks a lot easier. This helps cut down on healing GCDs, saving you MP and allowing you to spend more time DPSing. The 90 second recast isn’t too bad, either, allowing you to make good use of it during a fight. Largesse stacks with other healing up abilities such as Fey Illumination, Mantra, and Convalescence.

Surecast (Lv. 44) – Next spell is cast without interruption. Additional Effect: Nullifies knockback and draw-in effects. Duration 10s. Cast: Instant. Recast: 30s. GCD: No.

A very situational ability. Surecast can be useful if there are a lot of knockbacks and stuns in an encounter, though this is generally not the case in current content. The short cooldown is nice, but I personally don’t use this skill very often. Keep in mind that as soon as you start any cast, the buff is consumed. The only way to avoid this penalty is to use instant cast spells.

Rescue (Lv. 48) – Instantly draw target party member to your side. Range: 30y. Cast: Instant. Recast: 150s. GCD: No.

Another useful yet situational healer role action. It allows you to pull a party member to you, potentially removing them from danger. The 30y range is fairly long. In addition to it’s actual useful utility, Rescue also has great troll potential and can be used to pull melee DPS out of melee range, or interrupting the casts of caster DPS. Rescue can also be used to cancel limit break animation lock by Rescuing a party member just as their LB3 cast finishes, reducing the lost uptime when using LB3.

 

TL;DR on Role Actions:

Mandatory – Largesse, Lucid Dreaming, Protect, Swiftcast
Useful – Eye for an Eye, Rescue
Situational – Surecast, Esuna, Cleric Stance
Don’t Bother – Break

MP Management

MP management is essential to good healer play. You can’t heal or deal damage if you’re out of MP. In FFXIV, all MP costs are based off the base level 70 MP pool of 12,000 MP. Unlike MP costs, however, some MP refresh calculations are based on your Base MP, some are based on your Maximum MP, and others restore a fixed amount of MP.

MP restoring abilities such as Lucid Dreaming and Energy Drain are based off your base MP. Natural MP regeneration and the MP restored through Aetherflow are based off your maximum MP. The ranged DPS (BRD/MCH) role action Refresh restores a fixed amount of MP regardless of your base and maximum MP values (600 MP per tick and ticks 10 times over the 30s duration, restoring a total of 6,000 MP)

 

Scholar has 3 abilities they can use to regain MP:

  1. Aetherflow – restores 10% of your maximum MP
  2. Energy Drain – restores 1,200 MP per use (100 refresh potency)
  3. Lucid Dreaming – restores 960 MP per tick for a total of 6720 MP (80 refresh potency)

 

If we use a MP pool of 15,000 as an example, every 60 seconds a Scholar will be able to restore 1,500 MP from Aetherflow, 3,600 MP from Energy Drain (1,200×3), and 3,360 MP from Lucid Dreaming (6,720/2), for a total of 8,460 MP restored each minute from abilities.

You also passively regain 2% of your maximum MP each server tick (3 seconds) while in combat. Using the 15,000 MP pool example, this translates to 300 MP regained per tick for an additional 6,000 MP restored each minute, boosting our maximum possible MP restoration up to a total of 14,460 MP per minute. This assumes that each MP restoring ability will be used on cooldown, that all of your Aetherflow stacks will be spent on Energy Drain, and a example maximum MP pool of 15,000 (the values will change based on your own maximum MP pool).

Understanding MP costs and MP recovery is essential if you want to become a great Scholar, and will allow you to make informed MP management decisions.

(click here for more details of MP cost and MP restoring calculations)

 

Personal BiS List

Below is a link of my current personal BiS. Note that this may or may not be true BiS. Since we do not know stat weights yet I decided to go with the gear in the following link. This set aims for a high crit rate and is supplemented with direct hit melds. If you do not wish to meld Direct Hit because it doesn’t affect your heals I’d recommend melding either determination or more crit.

http://ffxiv.ariyala.com/12JHB

 

Closing Thoughts

The ultimate goal of healing in FFXIV is to keep everyone alive, and to do so using as few healing GCDs as possible. Every GCD you spend healing is a GCD you’re not DPSing. This may seem insignificant at first, but has a huge impact on your DPS over the course of a fight. Most heals also have a high MP cost, and learning to heal efficiently will save you a lot of MP.

The Scholar playstyle is a proactive playstyle that requires planning ahead to mitigate incoming damage. This guide has gone over the various tools that Scholars and their faerie pets have available, and offered advice on how to best use them. Once you understand how your own skills work, you can start combining them with the utility available from other members of your party to really elevate your group’s performance. A good example of this would be having a caster DPS use Addle on the boss while you have Fey Covenant up to minimize the damage taken by the group. Just remember that mitigating damage is great as long as you don’t go overboard with it. You should view all of the mitigation tools that your party has access to as one big shared pool of cooldowns. If you blow everything at once to mitigate one big attack you’ll have nothing left for the next big hit, and then you’re in trouble! Coordinating cooldowns and available utility with your tanks, co-healer and the rest of your raid members is vital for high level play and early progression.

Last but not least – ALWAYS BE CASTING! A GCD spent doing nothing is a wasted GCD. You could have done something useful in that timeframe. This is arguably even worse than inefficient healing, because you’re literally doing nothing, and might as well have not existed for that GCD. Thankfully your fairy is there to pick up the slack for you!

 

TL;DR Version

    1. Excessive and inefficient healing wastes your MP and limits your ability to deal damage. You should always attempt to heal raid damage with HoT’s and oGCD heals.
    2. Mitigation is good, but too much mitigation leads to overkill. Always try to coordinate mitigation with the rest of your group (Addle, Apocatastasis, Reprisal, Palisade, etc.)
    3. Pet management is vital and saves both you and your co-healer a lot of healing if done correctly.
    4. Communication with your co-healer is the key to good healer DPS. A pair of mute healers not speaking with each other won’t perform as well as a pair of well coordinated healers.

 

  • ABC – ALWAYS BE CASTING! I can’t stress this enough. A GCD spent doing nothing is a wasted GCD.

 

Credits

I want to thank the following people for helping me to make this guide. Without them I wouldn’t have done it.

  • My static for letting me play Scholar in an excellent environment. (Thoro Heavypunch, Polka Lullaby, Spool Spoolington, Dave Ackerman, Jo Musse, Neelia Eris, Pasuno Gremory)
  • The Math Warlocks from the Balance Discord, Nemekh and Pimoh Orinx in particular
  • Nemekh for providing the graph of Chain Strategem
  • The Balance Discord, most notably the Scholar channels for confirming my suspicions about Fey Union and Chain Strategem
  • The Moogle Post, for turning this guide from an absolute mess into a work of art
  • You, for slogging through all of these pages of elitist rambling about the good ol’ days!

 

About The Author

Video Games

Video has been a long time MMO player, Starting with RuneScape in 2006 and Guild Wars 2 in 2012. Since 2014 he made the jump to FFXIV, still playing both of the other games casually on the side. Video has cleared every raid tier FFXIV has to offer back when they were new and fresh content. Originally Video played both Scholar and Summoner, but made the permament transition to Scholar when Second Coil released. These days, Video spends most of his time analyzing FFlogs, not only to look at his own performance but also to look at how others handle certain situations. If one thing is true, it’s the fact that you can never have too much game knowledge. Outside of MMO’s Video also enjoys playing racing games such as Forza Horizon and GRID.

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8 Responses

  1. Ririten

    “It is always better to play it safe and keep your tank alive than to let them die just to get that juicy Broil II off!” No
    This guide is wrong delete it. My numbers matter more than the tanks health. Something they just have to fall to 5% so I can get my DoTs up and thats how it is. I’ll lustrate you in a sec hold on.

    Reply
    • Sorator

      And if you can indeed lustrate them before they die, then that’s great, you’re fine.

      If you mis-judge it and the tank dies, though, you’ve just significantly lowered the groups DPS and wasted a bunch of your mana and the tank’s mana, as well as wiping any buffs the tank may have had, and that’s definitely not worth getting one more DPS GCD out.

      So if you aren’t sure if you can get that DPS GCD done and then heal without the tank dying, you’re better off playing it safe and healing the tank before you DPS.

      Reply
  2. Sorator

    You may want to add a section talking about casting Protect before the pull timer starts and then swapping it for another role action if you don’t expect anyone to die in the ensuing fight. Savage may necessitate keeping Protect for the entire fight, but for most other content, it’s a wasted slot during the fight.

    Reply
    • Sorator

      Oh, also, I think it’s worth pointing out that Shadow Flare’s 5% slow makes it a somewhat useful mitigation tool, as well as dealing damage!

      Reply
  3. Lodinn

    >> This is the Scholar version of Medica 2/Aspected benefic
    TFW VG doesn’t know the difference between st and aoe heal :^)

    Reply
  4. Joshua

    Very nice guide! I was curious if you have any QoL Macros you use or you think are essential to optimize playing a SCH?

    Reply

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