01 Jul 2017

Tags: ffxiv,astrologian

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FFXIV Astrologian guide

Astrologian is stance based healer, which can an fill in both main- and off- healer roles. This guide aims mostly to help new players which just got job crystals and have only vague idea how to play as an Astrologian. On the other hand I hope some experienced players may find some useful tips as well. Please note that I'm not going to describe each skill, because there is a very detailed official Astrologian skills and abilities guide here which can be used for further reference.

Disclamer

As I said, the primary goal of this guide is to discuss general Astrologian gameplay, core skills, their basic and advanced conjoint usage. This implies basic knowledge of skills and abilities, so please read skills descriptions first. Also, take into account that this guide is just one of point of views of a raiding healer and it aims mostly to discuss how to play in end-game content. This guide does not teach you how to play in casual content (like usual 4-ppl dungeons), but you can certainly use all advises and raiding practices in casual content. No pictures (yet?).

The guide is actual for 4.05.

Special thanks to Nan Talion (Odin) and Marisha White (Odin) for reading this template and pointing out some shortcomings and vaguenesses.

NOTE this guide is currently under development.

Changelog

Terms and concepts

Before we bury ourselves with advanced stuff let’s introduce some basic terms and concepts we will be using further.

So, for example Helios (base cast and recast times are 2.5 sec) affects 8 players and have potency 300: (300 * 8) / 2.5 = 960.

Stances

There are two stances which an Astrologian can use. These stances determine additional effects of two skills, Aspected Benefic and Aspected Helios. That might seem not too much at first glance, but stance effects of these two skills are what determine two very different Astrologian play styles and her or his role in raid.

Your stance when you are going to play as HoT-based healer, boosts your healing potency by 10% and adds HoT effects to Aspected skills.

Your stance when you are going to play as shielding healer. boosts your healing potency by 15% and adds shielding effect to Aspected skills.

Healing efficiency

Main skills

For Benefic or Benefic II a window when you want to use it is 50-70%. The choice of which skill to use depends on several factors. If you need to heal a target to full HP as soon as possible, you will generally prefer Benefic II. But a tank with 50% HP and a mage with 50% HP are two very different things because they have very different HP pool. So using Benefic I for a mage might be more than enough. It leads us to a very interesting thing: experimenting with our skills. Just try to use Benefic II on as low HP as you (and tank) are comfortable. For example, I found that during active movement and mechanics avoidance phases (also referred as "dancing") on Susano Extreme Benefic I is more than enough despite the fact that lightning damage is more than 50% of DPS' HP.

oGCD skills

General rule - use them as soon as they are up when appropriate.

Stance based skills

General rule - never spam any of it.

Short notes

Core mechanics

Astrologian is not only a healer (I think it is even not a healer), but a party buffer. Astrologian core mechanics is using buff cards. It has 6 different buffs which can be further amplified using another mechanics – Royal Road. Royal Road has 3 variants:

The following table represents basic card usage.

Short notes:

Minor Arcana

Lightspeed

Synastry

Situational skill which should be used when you need to heal several targets, usually the best target is tanking player (during add in A11S, while dancing on Susano EX and so on). Almost useless when you want to increase potency of healing to single target.

Time Dilation

Should be only used to prolong card buffs, but it would be cool if you will prolong other buffs (like Aspected spells) as well. Better usage is to prolong Enhanced card versions, but please note that prolonged buff will not be stacked with your Draw CD anymore.

Collective Unconscious

Should be used to mitigate incoming AoE damage basically by CD. The one of the best usages is on rephases (if there is incoming damage of course), because it can be extended by Celestial Opposition with damage buffs after (in this case be sure that you have already drawn card and ready to buff party). Please note that you need some time to buff being applied, so you need to stay for several seconds.

Celestial Opposition

The one of questionable astrologian skills. In my opinion the only one usage for it is to extend party Expanded buff (like Balance, Arrow and Spear). Never use it to extend your own buffs (e.g. Lucid Dreaming); if you really want to prolong your own buffs align it with applying party buffs. Also I should note that it can be used to stun multiple enemies if it is required by fight mechanics (like A6S adds).

Earthly Star

In short it is the best healing ability an Astrologian has. It is instant with minimal animation lock, it's 720 AoE healing potency and it also deals damage, and it has only 60 seconds cooldown. But it’s usefulness requires one very important thing: you need to know each fight well to predict the best places to use it. Teach your party to stay in circle (it is easy, trust me, just don't heal outsiders). Despite the fact that you basically want to use it by CD, it is better to hold it a bit to heal party during incoming AoE damage. The best usage should be in about 15 sec before incoming damage - so you can detonate sphere in any time and will get maximal healing and damaging effect.

Sleeve Draw

You can use it if you have holded card or you already have additional effect. There are situations during boss fights when all of your card slots are empty. It might be useful to wait have Expanded Royal Road before using Sleeve Draw. That way you are almost always guaranteed to have one of 3 DPS increase cards in your Draw or Spread slots (sometimes both). So if your draw CD is close and you have Sleeve Draw off CD it might be beneficial to wait for Draw and hope to get Expanded Royal Road first.

Role skills

Mandatory

Optional

Situational

Trash

The best opener deck

Never use Sleeve Draw for your opener, let party wait for your deck, trust me, they want to have good numbers during opener. Expanded Balance should be followed by Celestial Opposition. Balance can be replaced by Arrow or Spear, but they are not so good as Balance is.

Gearing and melding

In general you might want to prioritize stats in the following order:

Mind >> Crit Hit >> Determination ~ Spell Speed > Piety

Potions and food

Get some good HQ Ether potions and Mind ones. Ether can be used to restore your MP (it is probably not so actual with 4.0, but still useful sometimes, for example right after ressurection). Mind potions is a good alternative to Largesse.

In other hand you can choose any food you like and comfortable. I would prefer to up Crit Hit and Spell Speed.

Healing and damaging

Being a healer you must maximize your DPS and minimize your HPS. It also should be accompanied by 99% uptime (when you cast anything), it means that if there is nothing else to heal, you need to find something useful and effective to do - deal damage.

Heal and resurrection order

In short - it depends.

Resurrection

Several rules first:

  1. Resurrect main-tank as soon as possible. You might be next in aggro list, trust me, you don't want to die.
  2. Resurrect jobs which are required by mechanics (e.g. caster/range LB).
  3. If several people died prioritize resurrection for DPS jobs which can resurrect too (RDM, SMN, especially RDM).
  4. If you need MP here and caster or range DPS can give it to you - resurrect them.
  5. Resurrect other DPS'es, you might want to prioritize people who does more damage.
  6. If you can heal solo (you should be able at least to do it) - resurrect your co-healer one of last, or don't resurrect at all. In my practice I had several A10S kills, when my co-healer was died during all fight after tractor. Exception: you might want to resurrect your healer for shields.
  7. Resurrect off-tank last unless you need them for tank swap or add.

Healing

  1. Heal yourself. Really, if you will die - whole party will die.
  2. Heal tank which receives damage at the moment, don't waste MP to heal another tank as soon as possible.
  3. Heal party member which can be required by mechanics (e.g. caster/range LB).
  4. Heal people with debuffs (like vulnerability up or after death).
  5. Heal DPS. Does not matter how bad gear they have, they should have same priority.
  6. Heal co-healer.