FFXIV Scholar Guide - Protect Your Allies With Enduring Barriers!
FFXIV Scholar Guide
Scholar (SCH) is one of the healing jobs in Final Fantasy XIV. They can conjure faeries that heal and support their allies. Scholars can restore HP, but they also have access to various shields and barriers to protect their party members. At the same time, the damage tools are pretty limited and really simple. With Cleric Stance long gone, combining a decent damage output with efficient healing is also much easier. Let's get right into this Shadowbringers accordant Scholar guide.
Basics of Scholar
Since the beginning of Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn, Scholar has always been the shielding job. It still is the healer with access to damage mitigation tools, while having slightly less powerful healing options (at least when compared to the "true" healer in White Mage).
Being one of the original jobs, Scholar has a prerequisite combat class. To become a Scholar, you first have to be a level 30 Arcanist. If you want to follow that path, you will to have to visit the Arcanist's Guild in Limsa Lominsa's Lower Decks. Arcanist is the only combat class that can advance into two jobs - the advancement quest is called Sinking Doesmaga.
Similarly to Summoners, Scholars also wear cloth armor and use books to cast their spells. At the same time, Scholars also have access to a few summons. The basic ones are Eos and Selene. In previous iterations of the game, they used to have separate skillsets that could have been used in different situations. Currently, the differences are purely cosmetic, as both faeries have identical abilities.
In terms of stats provided by equipment, you should prioritize weapon damage and your primary stat - Mind. Then, you should focus on Piety, but not over-invest on it. It's responsible for your MP regen in combat. If you're able to keep casting at all times, without running out of MP - then you don't need any more Piety. Besides, stats like Critical Hit, Spell Speed, and Direct Hit are also worthwhile.
Scholar has access to two job gauges: Aetherflow Gauge and Faerie Gauge. Aetherflow Gauge has three stacks, but you can fill it with a single use of an ability called Aetherflow. This resource can later be used on specific abilities like Energy Drain, Lustrate, and Excogitation that, in turn, charge your Faerie Gauge.
This resource is strictly connected to the abilities that your summons can use. Precisely speaking, you order them to cast these abilities by using Aetherpact or Fey Blessing. Both of them are heals, the former is a single target cure, and the latter can affect all the party members in range. Unlike Summoner's Egi Assaults, these two are oGCD abilities.
Scholar offensive spells
Ruin/Broil/Broil II/Broil III – a single target spell with a potency of 160/240/260/280. It has a 2.5 seconds casting time. It's your main spammable damage spell when you don't have to weave or change position.
Ruin II – a single target spell with a potency of 200. It's an instant cast. You can use it as the basic damage GCD whenever you need mobility or weaving.
Bio/Bio II/Biolysis – a 30 seconds damage over time spell that has a tick potency of 20/40/60. You should keep it running on the main target at all times.
Art of War – the spammable AoE damage spell. It has a potency of 160 and an instant casting time.
Scholar defensive spells
Physick – a single target heal with a potency of 400. It has a 1.5 casting time. It's significantly weaker than some of the White Mage's spells, but it can be still useful before you get access to stronger tools. That being said, you're most likely going to avoid this spell after you get to high levels.
Summon Eos/Summon Selene – summons one of the faeries that have some healing spells of their own. Eos and Selene automatically use their 150 potency heal called Embrace. Unlike Summoner's pets, conjuring faeries has a 2.5 seconds casting time.
Resurrection – revives selected party member. It has a 8 seconds casting time, so you should only use it with Swiftcast.
Adloquium – a single target heal that also shields its target. The healing effect has a potency of 300 and the shield, called Galvanize, which is slightly stronger – it equals 375 potency. If you manage to get a critical hit, it applies another 375 potency barrier called Catalyze. It might be tricky to use at first since it heals and shields at the same time, which makes spamming this spell rather inefficient. It has a 2 seconds casting time.
Succor – an AoE healing spell that also shields all the affected players. The heal has a potency of 180, and shield is, once again, a bit stronger, and it has a potency of 225. It also has a 2 seconds casting time. Succor is pretty much the AoE equivalent of Adloquium.
Aetherflow – restores 10% of your max MP and provides three stacks of Aetherflow. This ability can only be executed in combat, and it has a 1-minute cooldown.
Energy Drain – a single target damage ability with a potency of 150. It costs 1 Aetherflow and generates 10 Fairy Gauge. It restores a bit of HP and MP to its caster. It is your only offensive oGCD and the best place to dump Aetherflow if the extra healing is not necessary. It has a 3 seconds recast timer, but it's further gated by the Aetherflow generation.
Lustrate – a single target heal with a potency of 600. It consumes an Aetherflow stack and generates 10 Fairy Gauge. It has a 1-second cooldown.
Indomitability – an AoE heal with a potency of 400. It costs 1 Aetherflow and increases your Fairy Gauge by 10. This ability has a 30 seconds cooldown.
Excogitation – a 45 seconds spell that heals the target when below 50% of maximum HP. It has a potency of 800 and a 45 seconds recast timer. Excogitation also consumes 1 Aetherflow and provides 10 Fairy Gauge.
Sacred Soil – an AoE ability that you use on the ground to create a dome. Allies inside of it will only take 90% of the damage. It also provides some healing over time. Sacred Soil has a 15 seconds duration and a 30 seconds cooldown. It costs an Aetherflow Stack and provides 10 Faerie Gauge.
Emergency Tactics – makes your next Adloquium/Succor shield become healing instead. Effectively making a single cast of Adloquium a 675 heal and Succor a 405 potency AoE heal. It's beneficial when you need to heal your team after an AoE hit. Emergency Tactics has a short, 20 seconds cooldown.
Deployment Tactics – extends the Galvanize shield from a single target to all the nearby party members. It's an extremely powerful tool that can help you mitigate AoE damage. You have to use Adloquium on a single target and then follow it up with Deployment Tactics. This ability has a 2 minutes recast timer.
Chain Stratagem – a peculiar utility action. It increases the chance of targeted enemy receiving critical hits by 10%. It's the Scholar's raid buff. Chain Stratagem has two minutes cooldown.
Dissipation – a 30-second buff that increases the healing done with spells by 20%. It also grants a full Aetherflow Gauge. When you cast it, your Eos/Selene disappears, and they can't be summoned throughout the duration. Dissipation has a 3 minutes recast timer. Overall, it's a rather underwhelming ability since losing the faerie is quite significant, and the healing buff doesn't even work on oGCDs. The faerie will automatically return when Dissipation ends.
Recitation – guarantees your next Adloquium, Succor, Excogitation, or Indomitability to cost no resources (MP and Aetherflow) as well as get a critical hit. It has a 90 seconds cooldown.
Summon Seraph – conjures your most powerful summon. Seraph has empowered versions of faerie abilities. It has a two-minute recast timer.
Lucid Dreaming – a vital role action that increases your MP regeneration for 21 seconds. It has a one-minute recast timer. The Scholar is one of the few jobs that still can have issues with MP in certain situations, even when played optimally. During long fights, you're going to want to use it every time it's available.
Swiftcast – this cross-class role action is a 60 seconds cooldown that makes your next spell an instant cast. You can use it on recast to accelerate your Broil or a healing spell. You can also hold it for unexpected situations when you have to revive someone.
As we already mentioned, most actions performed by faeries and Seraph have to be ordered by the Scholar. At the same time, they're all oGCDs, so they don't disrupt the spell casting that much. It's important to note that these abilities are affected by a mechanic called pet scaling. Unfortunately, it means that their actual potencies are lower than the ones presented in their tooltips. Pet abilities do roughly 70% of these values.
Embrace – a single target heal with a potency of 150. Faeries perform this action automatically, picking a random party member that doesn't have full HP. That will sometimes result in selecting a suboptimal target. However, it provides some additional healing that doesn't even have to be weaved or micromanaged.
Whispering Dawn/Angel's Whisper – an AoE healing over time ability with 21 seconds duration and a tick potency of 120. It has a 1-minute cooldown.
Fey Illumination/Seraphic Illumination – increases the healing potency of nearby party members by 10% and reduces their damage taken by 5%. It has a 2 minutes recast timer.
Aetherpact/Fey Union – sends your faerie to a target party member. This ally will receive a 400 potency heal every three seconds, as long as the Fey Union persists. This ability costs 10 Faerie Gauge per tick. It has a 3 seconds cooldown. There's also a secondary ability, Dissolve Union, that lets you end Fey Union before running out of Faerie Gauge.
Fey Blessing – an AoE heal with a potency of 350. It has a 1-minute recast timer and costs 10 Faerie Gauge.
Seraphic Veil – Seraph's version of Embrace. Its potency is increased to 200, and additionally, it shields the target for the healed amount. Just like Embrace, it's executed automatically on a random party member who's under 100% HP.
Consolation – an AoE heal with a potency of 300 that also shields all the targets with an equally strong barrier for 30 seconds. Consolation has two charges and a 20 seconds cooldown.
Playstyle and tips
While your main job is without question keeping your party alive, your personal damage output is also important. Every FFXIV job is, to some extent, a DPS character. As a Scholar, you have access to multiple strong oGCDs that provide healing and mitigation. Make sure that you avoid complex macros. They seem to make things easier, but they're actually rather inefficient. You can do much better if you learn to play this job properly.
Optimally, you want to use your GCDs mostly for damage and keep the allies alive with your faeries and weaved abilities. Of course, it won't always be possible. Sometimes you're going to have to sacrifice some damage in order to cast Succor or Adloquium. The right judgment in these situations comes with experience, and it is one of the most critical skills of a good healer.
As you probably know by now, your DPS tools are limited and straightforward. All that you're going to do in terms of dealing damage is keeping your damage over time effect from Biolysis on the enemy and spamming one of the two spells. Broil for the highest potency and longer cast time, Ruin II for a slightly weaker hit, but better mobility and weaving, due to the instant casting time. Your only damage oGCD is Energy Drain, and it's dependent on the Aetherflow Gauge. It makes your overall DPS rotation really easy.
There are some things to keep in mind before the pull. Excogitation has a 45 seconds duration, so you can use it on your tank before the combat even starts. Recitation lets you cast that ability without the Aetherflow cost for a guaranteed crit.
(Recitation+Excogitation)->Broil III->Biolysis->(Aetherflow+Energy Drain)->Broil III->Ruin II->(Swiftcast+Chain Strategam)->Broil III->(Energy Drain)->Broil III->Ruin II->(Energy Drain+Dissipation)->Broil III-Ruin II->(Energy Drain)->Broil III->Ruin II-> (Energy Drain)->Broil III…
It can happen in a perfect world, where nobody needs healing, and you don't have to move that much. Ruin II is prioritized over Broil III only when there's an Energy Drain available (because combined potencies of Ruin II and Energy Drain are higher than just Broil III). In general, you shouldn't weave after a cast of Broil III, because it'll cause clipping. The only exception comes from the Swiftcast usage.
Later in the rotation, you can keep following that principle if you need an oGCD - use Ruin II. When there's no need for abilities, you can go with Broil III. This way, you will be able to dish out decent amounts of damage, while healing with faerie and oGCDs.
Ruin II and Biolysis are instant casts, so they allow for double-weaving. It's not the easiest thing to do, and with high latency, it might even turn out to be impossible. You should learn to do it if your Internet connection allows. That being said, it's not an essential thing for Scholars. Jobs like Ninja or Machinist are much more gated by ping. You can play Scholar effectively without double-weaving, but it can be useful in some situations.
For AoE encounters, you have only one spammable spell – Art of War. Luckily, it's an instant cast, which makes weaving easy. Your AoE "rotation" consists of multiple casts of this spell while weaving Energy Drain and defensive oGCDs if they're necessary.
Whispering Dawn and Sacred Soil are great healing over time abilities for the whole party. Usually, you don't need to instantly heal all your allies to full HP after an AoE hit. Letting one of these abilities tick for its whole duration is a very efficient way of playing Scholar. Sacred Soil is slightly more powerful, and it has a shorter – 30 seconds - cooldown, but it requires Aetherflow. Meanwhile, Whispering Dawn has a one-minute recast timer, but the pet scaling makes it a bit weaker.
Fey/Seraph Illumination is significantly more powerful if you have a White Mage as the other healer. It only affects GCD heals, and they have the most powerful ones. As we already mentioned, you generally want to avoid using GCD heals, because they cause a DPS loss. That's why you should hold onto this cooldown for emergencies.
Aetherflow (the ability) should be used every time that it's available. It regenerates some of your MP, which is extremely useful. Scholar is one of the hungriest jobs in terms of this resource, so you should always make sure to use all the tools for MP sustain that you have available. The stacks of Aetherflow that it generates can be used later in multiple ways, including your only damage oGCD – Energy Drain. If the situation calls for using this resource on a defensive cooldown instead – feel free to do so. Just don't sit on this ability or this resource for too long.
Besides the shields, the Scholar also has two other mitigation tools. We already mentioned Sacred Soil that additionally provides a substantial healing over time effect. The second ability is Fey Illumination. It only works on magic damage, though. They both can affect the whole party. You can try and use them before an AoE hit. Another tool that's useful for these situations is Deployment Tactics, as it allows you to shield every ally at the same time.
Emergency Tactics has an adequate name. Whenever your tank is getting dangerously low, use this ability and then cast Adloquium for a powerful heal. Recitation can make it a guaranteed crit for the even higher value. But it might be a better idea to sue the critical effect on Excogitation that will act as an insurance policy for your tank.
Chain Strategam is your raid buff that can significantly increase the damage output of your whole party. You should try to coordinate it with your team. Using multiple powerful offensive cooldowns at the same time is the optimal use of these abilities. It creates a burst window during which you'll be able to take a large portion of the target's HP bar.
Scholar is a fairly complex healer job. It has a ton of defensive cooldowns that can be useful in different situations, as well as two resources that it can generate and spend. This abundance of oGCD heals can often allow you to use most of your GCDs for damage (as long as the teammates don't take too much unnecessary damage).
Another aspect that can seem difficult for some players is the shielding, still very much present in Scholar's identity. After all, to mitigate damage with a barrier, you have to use it preemptively – before the target gets hit. At the same time, healing can be purely reactive. That being said, Scholar still has a lot of ways to restore his teammates' HP. They're just not as powerful and efficient as the ones in White Mage's skillset.
Overall, it's a great support that brings a lot of utility to the table. The shields, combined with the ability to summon faeries and Seraph as the "assistant healers," provide Scholar with a unique identity. It's a particular take on a healer job that's always prepared for every encounter. The Scholar can be very useful and fun, both during story quests as well as on your raiding days.
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How to become an FFXIV Scholar?
In order to become a Scholar, you have to be a level 30 Arcanist. Then you have to visit Arcanist's Guild in Lower Decks of Limsa Lominsa and complete a quest called Sinking Doesmaga.
Do the Summoner and Scholar level together?
Yes, both of these jobs are connected to a class called Arcanist. It's the Arcanist that gets levels, while both Scholar and Summoner assume the level of their base class.
FFXIV Scholar - Eos or Selene?
Currently, the difference between the two faeries is purely visual - they both have identical skills and potencies. Pick the one that you believe looks better. You can also swap between them when you're out of combat.