FFXIV Astrologian Guide - Victory Is Written in the Stars!
FFXIV Astrologian Guide
If you enjoy looking at the stars, predicting the future, and playing more of a supportive role in a team, you're in the right place! Read this Shadowbringers updated FFXIV Astrologian guide to learn all the ins and outs of this fascinating job.
Astrologian, alongside Dark Knight, has been added to Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn with its first expansion – Heavensward in 2015. It's primarily a healing class, but it also offers decent damage output, plenty of mobility, and the unique supportive mechanic of drawing cards from their deck. The last thing enables you to give powerful buffs to your allies and makes the Astrologian's play style more exciting and engaging.
Astrologians wear cloth armors and use Star Globes that increase the power of their spells as their weapons. While creating your build, you can use everything that will increase your MP recovery, spell casting speed, and the power of your healing skills. You should prioritize Critical Hit and Piety over the other stats.
Before we dive into the Astrologian's kit, we have to talk about an important design feature of FFXIV – the Global Cooldown. It means that every time you use a skill, all your other skills will also go on cooldown for a short period (the base value is 2.5 seconds, but there are some ways to reduce it slightly). Moreover, some of your skills won't activate the Global Cooldown. We will refer to them as oGCD (off Global Cooldown). In general, spells and weaponskills are attached to the GCD, while abilities are not. In the right circumstances, the oGCD actions can be weaved in between your spells – it's an essential aspect of playing every job in FFXIV.
Every 30 seconds, Astrologian can use their oGCD skill called Draw to pick a card from their deck. They can then use this card to either buff themselves or a party member. You get access to Draw, Play, and all six cards at level 30.
Since the Shadowbringers rework, all the cards provide the identical buff of an additional 6% or 3% damage dealt for 15 seconds (Lord of Crowns and Lady of Crowns are slightly stronger). However, the card that you pull determines the viable targets for these buffs. Moreover, the six base cards are connected to a mechanic called Seals of Arcana – they're necessary to use and empower your amazing raid buff - Divination. A card is always picked randomly (there's a bit of RNG you're going to have put up with when playing Astrologian) out of six possible options, which are:
The Arrow – provides +6% damage to melee DPS or tanks, 3% to other jobs. It's connected to Lunar Seal.
The Balance – gives 6% extra damage to melee DPS or tanks, 3% to everyone else. It grants Solar Seal to the caster.
The Bole – increases the damage output by 6% for healers and ranged DPS, 3% to other jobs. It's associated with Lunar Seal.
The Ewer – provides +6% damage to healers and ranged DPS, 3% to the rest. It's related to Lunar Seal.
The Spear – grants +6% additional damage to melee DPS and tanks, 3% to the remaining characters. It's connected to Celestial Seal.
The Spire – increases the damage output of a healer or ranged DPS by 6%, provides half of that if used on another job. It grants the Celestial Seal.
Lord of Crowns – provides an extra 8% damage to tanks and melee DPS characters, 4% to other jobs.
Lady of Crowns – grants +8% damage to a ranged DPS or a healer, 4% to other jobs.
Whenever you pull a new card, you'll have to choose the target to buff (unless you want to Redraw). You should usually prioritize the target that can get the stronger buff. A good Astrologian has to be aware of the strongest damage dealer in their party. Usually, you'll want to give the melee cards to characters like Samurai and Dragoon, while the ranged ones will go to Black Mage, Machinist, or Summoner.
However, if you see that some players have weaker gear, or don't perform their rotations properly, it might be a good idea to buff someone else. You can only increase the percentage of damage that your target already deals – the stronger the buff receiver, the more valuable the card.
Additional FFXIV Astrologian deck actions
Besides the ability to draw a random card every 30 seconds and buff a single party member with it, you also have some other options as an Astrologian. All the skills related to using the divining deck are oGCD that use no MP! These abilities are:
Undraw – return your current card to the deck.
Redraw – allows for replacing the card you drew with another randomly chosen one. It has a 30 seconds cooldown, but you can hold up to three charges of it.
Minor Arcana – replaces your currently drawn card with either Lady of Crowns or Lord of Crowns and instantly plays it. The buff will be slightly stronger, but you won't get the seal effect.
Sleeve Draw – draws a random card from your deck and provides two stacks of Sleeve Draw. When you play a card, another one is automatically drawn, and a single stack is consumed. This ability has a 3 minutes recast timer.
Stances - sects
As an Astrologian, you're going to get access to three sects that can add bonus effects on some of your skills. Those stances will only empower Aspected Benefic, Aspected Helios, Celestial Intersection, and Collective Unconscious. If you happen to have two Astrologians in one party, it's essential to make sure that they use other sects, because multiple effects of the same stance don't stack with each other.
Diurnal Sect – adds healing over time effect to those spells, makes this part of the playstyle similar to White Mage.
Nocturnal Sect – provides extra shields for targets of those spells, works kind of like Scholar. That's also the reason you should never use this sect when you have a Scholar in your party because shields don't stack in FFXIV.
Being primarily a healing job, Astrologians have access to multiple heals that differ in the cast and recast time, potency, mana cost, and in some other ways. Your most important pure healing skills are:
Benefic – primary single target heal with a relatively low potency of 400 and low MP cost. It grants a 15% chance of your next Benefic II having a critical effect.
Benefic II – a stronger GCD single target heal with a potency of 700 and a higher MP cost. It has 2 seconds of casting time.
Malefic I/II/III/IV – a single target damage spell with a potency of 150/170/210/250. It has 1.5 seconds of casting time.
Combust I/II/III – single target damage over time spell that has a tick potency of 40/50/60 and a duration of 18/30/30 seconds.
Aspected Benefic – a single target heal with a potency of 200, that additionally grants powerful bonus effects based on your stance, instant cast.
Helios – a basic AoE heal, only worth using when multiple allies are taking damage. It has a potency of 330 and 2 seconds casting time.
Aspected Helios – an AoE heal that can provide your whole party with the powerful sect bonuses. It has a base potency of 200 and 2 seconds casting time.
Ascend – not really a pure healing spell, but allows you to resurrect an ally when the healing wasn't enough. Huge MP cost and 8 seconds of cast time should be a motivation to keep your teammates alive. As a healer, you won't ever use this spell in combat – other jobs can revive teammates faster.
Gravity – an AoE offensive spell that has a potency of 140 and a 1.5 seconds casting time.
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Astrologian oGCD Abilities
Celestial Opposition – an AoE defensive ability that heals all nearby party members with a potency of 200 and provides additional effect depending on the sect you're using. It has a 1-minute recast timer.
Essential Dignity – a healing ability that has a potency of 400, but it gets stronger, based on your target's missing HP. It can get up to 1100 potency when you're healing someone at 1% HP. You can hold two charges of Essential Dignity. It has a 40 seconds cooldown.
Lightspeed – a 15 seconds buff that reduces MP cost of your spells by 50% and their casting time by 2.5 seconds. This ability has a 90 seconds recast timer.
Collective Unconscious – a channeled ability that can be kept active up to 18 seconds. It provides AoE 10% damage reduction and healing over time effect. It has a 1-minute recast timer.
Synastry – allows you to create a bond with a target party member for 20 seconds. During that time, whenever you cast a single-target heal on anybody, the teammate you're connected with will receive an extra 40% of the healing. Synastry has a 2 minutes cooldown.
Divination – a 15 seconds buff that increases the damage output of you and all your nearby party members. It's connected to the Seals of Arcanum. With a single type of seal, it provides 4% damage. With two seals, it increases to 5%, and with 3 seals, it becomes 6%. It's a vital ability, especially for optimizing your team's DPS during raids. Divination has a two minutes recast timer. You will often want to control the cards you play in a way that gives you all three seals.
Earthly Star – you summon an Earthly Star that can later be detonated what causes both AoE damage to the enemies and AoE heal for your allies who are in range. In the beginning, the damage potency is 100, and the healing potency equals 540. If the Earthly Star remains on the ground for longer than 10 seconds, it becomes stronger. The detonation provides damage with a potency of 150 and healing with a potency of 720. Earthly Star has a 1-minute cooldown.
Celestial Intersection – a single target heal with a potency of 200 that also applies the sect bonuses. It has a 30 seconds cooldown.
Horoscope – it places a 10 seconds buff called Horoscope on all the party members. Reactivating this ability consumes the buff and heals them with 200 potencies. If a character that's under the effect of Horoscope gets healed with Helios or Aspected Helios, the buff becomes stronger. It then gets a 30 seconds duration and a 400 potency heal.
Neutral Sect – a 20 seconds buff that makes all your healing spells 20% stronger. It also provides your Aspected Helios and Aspected Benefic with both the Diurnal and Nocturnal Sect effects.
Lucid Dreaming – a cross-class self-buff that increases your MP recovery. It lasts 21 seconds and has a one-minute recast timer.
Swiftcast – another useful role action. It makes your next spell an instant cast. This ability has a 6 seconds cooldown.
How to play Astrologian
There's a lot of things to look at if you want to play Astrologian as efficiently as possible. Since we already talked about all the parts of the complex skill set you're going to have at your disposal, now let's discuss which ones of these actions you should use at what times.
The first important thing to do is choosing the right stance. In most of the situations, it will be the Diurnal Sect. Looking at your MP efficiency, you will find out that the HP regeneration bonuses are far more cost-efficient and easier to use than the shields.
Shields can increase your target's effective HP pool, and they can be handy in certain situations, but in most cases, you're going to want to use the Diurnal Sect. Shielding is a viable option if you have a White Mage in your party and you're going as a secondary healer. Another good thing to do is shielding your tank before he pulls the monsters and then using the time window to swap to recovery before the fight. Just remember that you can't switch sects while you're in combat.
The cards that you draw are always random. It can sometimes be a little bit frustrating. You have a 50% chance of getting the buff that you want (assuming that you prefer one over the other) and only a 33% chance of getting the right seal. You can always use Redraw for a chance of getting another card or Minor Arcana to buff a target without getting a duplicate seal, but it can make getting all three seals a bit tricky. You should always try to get all three seals before casting Divination, but timing it with other raid buffs is far more important than getting the extra 1 or 2%, so don't overvalue these seals.
Healing and dealing damage
It's a more general tip for healers than something really specific to Astrologian, but make sure not to overheal. By doing that, you are sending your MP and cooldowns down the drain. Heal only when it's necessary, and if you have a lot of MP and time to cast some spells, just help with DPSing. In general, an FFXIV healer is effectively a half-DPS. Efficiency-wise you shouldn't even keep your party members at 100% HP. You just need them to be alive and keep tanking/dealing damage. At the same time, it's easy to go overboard on dealing damage and neglect your healer duties. Remember not to nuke monsters, when your teammates are dying, but it's more of an obvious one.
A similar principle applies to AoE heals. Don't spam Helios if you're only healing a single person with it. It is the easiest way to run out of MP. The only AoE you want to use every time it's available is Earthly Star since it's both healing and damage for no cost. Gravity is also a decent AoE damage spell, but it has a cast time and high MP cost, which makes it trickier to use.
In the single target encounters, you will want to keep the damage over time effect from Combust III on the boss all the time, by refreshing it every time it's getting close to running out. Then, you want to spam Malefic IV as much as possible. If you can keep your party alive with just the oGCD heals, you should always strive to do that. The only ability that you can weave in for damage is Earthly Star, and it also heals your teammates, so you should use it whenever it's available in combat.
For AoE fights, you only have a single spammable spell – Gravity. You should spam it as much as you can when your tank doesn't need the additional healing.
There are some things to keep in mind about the correct card usage too. You should always try to buff the stronger damage dealers while also collecting all three seals without getting duplicates. It's quite tricky and requires a lot of practice. The tools at your disposal are Redraw, Sleeve Draw, and Minor Arcana.
Another thing to look at when deciding who to give the single target buffs is a general strength and ability to play the game properly. The player with better gear and knowledge of how to best utilize their character's skill set will use the buffs better than a bad player, no matter what job they're playing.
That's going to do it for a beginner's FFXIV Astrologian guide. As you can see, there's plenty to do while playing this job at a party. In general, healing classes in Final Fantasy XIV are quite engaging, and Astrologian might just be the most complex of them all.
You not only have to learn how to balance your heals correctly and shields efficiently, while also trying to deal as much damage as possible, without letting your party members die. Moreover, you have to properly manage your deck, giving out the right buffs to the right targets, and collecting all three seals. All that is not easy to do in battle. Another thing to keep in mind is the placement of your AoE spells and abilities to get the most value out of them. Perfecting all those aspects of Astrologian's playstyle is definitely going to take some practice, but the class is mighty and satisfying to play.
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How do you unlock Astrologian in FFXIV?
To unlock Astrologian, you have to own the Heavensward expansions. Moreover, your character needs to be level 50 at any other job and have access to the city of Ishgard. Then you have to talk to Jannequinard in The Pillars and take the quest called Stairway to the Heavens.
Is FFXIV Astrologian hard?
Yes, Astrologian is the hardest healer to play in Final Fantasy XIV. This job has some incredibly complex, RNG-based mechanics that can be difficult to grasp for the new players. However, it's also a really powerful and versatile job.
What are the best stats for FFXIV Astrologian?
The most useful stats for Astrologian are Critical Hit and Piety since they provide the most damage and healing power.