Final Fantasy XIV How to play Astrologian

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Final Fantasy XIV How to play Astrologian

Summon the power of the stars and cards! Here you'll learn how to be top Astrologian in no time.


First of all, congratulations. By just reading this guide you've taken one very important step to become the Astrologian you've always meant to be. While other healers only get to heal and do damage, you get to deal blackjack card on top of those to support your party. That also means Astrologian is not only the busiest healer, but also one of the busiest jobs in Final Fantasy XIV. So if you like having to press many button's at the speed of light this is the job for you.

Astrologian for Beginners

 

Compared to the other pure healer White Mage, Astrologian seems to lack some options. At least in terms of quick healing options. But it looks a lot worse than it actually is, more so than White Mage, you can't just rely on reactionary healing. Knowing how to apply your kit really makes this job. With this guide you should be able to heal effortlessly anything the game throws your way. And become a top pick to for clear and progression parties thanks to your amazing support abilities.

What's an Astrologian and Where do they Come From?

This version of the Astrologian is a little odd compared to other installments of the franchise. First showing up in Final Fantasy Tactics as the Astrologer. This version however is more like several of Final Fantasy XIV's jobs being rolled up into one. Here you'll find elements of the Geomancer, Gambler, Time Mage, Final Fantasy XI's Scholar and some others.

Final Fantasy XIV's version of the Astrologian originates in the nation of Sharlayan. The land of scholars and the learned. Some of these lofty minds mastered the energies of the stars. It is a relatively new kind of magic, which you'll see evolve throughout the jobs questline. But gazing into the stars is just part of it, another is reading them. There are six major star calculations, which are on the cards you draw and dish out. Relate to the twelve, the gods commonly worshiped in Eorzea. (Just know that the Sharlayan's are not too happy that their unique magic is shared with the rest of the world.)

Astrologian and How to Get There

To become an Astrologian, you don't have any prerequisites. Its part of the free trial for the critically acclaimed MMORPG. The only requirements are that you've reached level 50 and entered Ishgard in the Heavensward expansion. But keep in mind, even though the quest needs to to be level 50, your Astrologian career will start at level 30. So if you want to continue your Heavensward adventure, you'll need to catch up on levels.

Playing your Cards

While healing is your number one priority as a green DPS, Astrologians set themselves apart from other healers with their Arcana mechanic. In very broad terms, during combat you have to deal out cards to your party. You get six major arcanas depending on who you deal them to, they get either a 3% or a 6% bonus to their total damage. Playing them will grant you one of three seals, which then feed into one of your abilities. And then there are the two minor arcana you'll also get to play. But don't worry, it might sound like a lot but its quite intuitive once you get the hang of it.

Major Arcana

These Major Arcana also happen to be a major mechanic! Ha.. please laugh. But there are six of them, split into two groups while sharing seals with one card of the opposite group. I assure you, this looks at first lots more complicated than it is. The Balance, Arrow and Spear go on melee DPS and tanks. And the Bole, Ewer and Spire go on an job with ranged attacks, so casters, healers and ranged DPS. So you use the ability Draw to draw a card, and target a party member and use the ability Play to put the buff into effect. Should you not like the card you've drawn for any reason. You can use Redraw one per draw, to draw a new card. This is considered you signature ability, and one of the main ways you recover MP. So make sure to use your cards all the time!
Considering this, you should get the card priorities down since some jobs do more damage individually than others. DPS classes will of course always have priority, unless they already have a card buff or are dead. Then you can slap them on one of your tanks or healers. But as a little cheat sheet, should you have multiple jobs of a type in your party here is a list of priorities for DPS:

For Balance, Arrow and Spear: Samurai > Ninja > Monk > Dragoon > Reaper
For Bole, Ever and Spire: Black Mage > Summoner > Red Mage > Machinist > Bard > Dancer

Do keep in mind that this is just very general, you should of course always prioritize those who perform the best in your party. So keep an eye on their number in the enmity list.

Seals

This is another, smaller mechanic that goes in tandem with your Major Arcana. Every card drawn, will come with one of three seals. Once you've collected three seals, you can cast Astrodyne to recover MP and boost your casting speed, damage and healing. This is tied to how many different seals you've collected. Keep in mind that seals are only collected once you are considered in combat. So cast at least one damaging spell before you start. You get one Redraw per Draw ability, and while you can and should use this to get all the seals. Don't make it your number one priority. Don't hold your seals until you have the perfect set of three to get the maximum out of your buff. You get to use Astrodyne almost every 90 seconds, so its not worth being at the mercy of the RNG gods.

Minor Arcanas

These are secondary cards you get to play besides your major arcana. They only come in two types, Lady of Crowns for healing and Lords of Crowns for damage. They are relatively powerful abilities you get to use every 60 seconds. While you can and should use the Lord of Crowns almost immediately, since its rarely worth holding, the Lady of Crowns you should keep and use during the 60 second cooldown window.

Healing 101 as Astrologian

While the cards can be quite a handful on top of combat, healing as an Astrologian is comparatively pretty straight forward. We've covered the basics of healing already here. Now we'll explain to you all your Astrologian abilities and give you some suggestions on when to use them.

Benefic & Benefic II

These are your bread and butter healing abilities. But here we have a similar scenario to the Cure and Cure II dilemma that faces the White Mage. Benefic does cost less MP and heals for 500 potency and has a chance to prog a free Benefic II. This is a trap. Why cast Benefic if you can wait a little to cast Benefic II instead? The only reason to ever use Benefic over Benefic II, is you need to heal up your tank just a little. Which is most likely never the case. And while the bigger heal might look scary in terms of MP costs, don't worry. You're an Astrologian, it is really, really hard for you to run out of MP, unless you have to raise like 5 people in a row.

Aspected Benefic

Another of your mainstay abilities. This will grant a heal over time effect on anyone you'll cast it on. The ability will usually go on the main tank or anyone who only requires a full HP in a few seconds. Healing for a total potency of 1500 with the chance of the over time effect to land critically on any of the 5 ticks. That makes Aspected Benefic one of the most useful abilities in your kit, so make sure to keep it up on your tank.

Ascend

You use this spell to raise downed party members. I know, a cure to death seems unlikely, but here it is. It's commonly used in combination with the ability Swiftcast. Since a hard raise usually takes about 7.5 seconds and is not worth being hit by mechanics over. Just wait for Swiftcast to come back up or till you have some breathing room. It goes without saying but the raising priority is as follows: Make sure at least one Tank is alive and well, raise your co healer if they went for a nap. Then the rest. Unless you have a Red Mage past level 64 in your party. Raise them first. Red Mages can, if they have MP, raise an entire party within seconds and usually recover MP pretty fast.

Essential Dignity

Consider this one your your main abilities when it comes to healing. An instant, off global cooldown (oGDC) ability that can heal for more than your Benefic II. You just need to be brave and learn the timing for it. If your targeted party member is below 30% of their total health, you can heal for a potency of 900 instead of the regular 400. This is especially rewarded by you knowing fights and your ability to foresee incoming damage. (It will also make your tank poop their pants if they don't trust you.) If you know the next ability won't kill them, wait it out till they are just below that 30% health mark to maximize your healing value. Its also pretty great to refresh freshly raised party members with just one press. Since you'll get a charge every 40 seconds, there is no reason to hold on to it either. But if you're not confident enough, keep at least one charge on you for emergencies. Just make sure you always have that cooldown rolling.

Helios

This is your basic group heal, it will heal every party member within range for a potency of 400. Which is almost as much as a simple Benefic cast for only double the MP. Just make sure that you're healing at least 2 or more people with it to avoid wasting any MP in the first place. You'll want to use it to just freshen up your party or add to other abilities you might've used before. This spell is commonly used right after regular partywide damage goes off.

Helios II

With a regen effect that will heal over time (HoT) for the entire group. A Helios II cast will heal for a total potency of 1000. Do keep in mind that any 150 potency heal over time ticks can land a critical hit and double its effect. If your group just received damage. Or is going to receive even more damage right after, this is the first thing you cast. Paired with another healers group heal, this should usually be enough to heal through most incoming damage right after big partywide damage or a stack mechanic.

Collective Unconscious

One of Astrologian's signature abilities is this neat little dome that will absorb 10% of the damage taken from everyone that's within its reach. And for 15 seconds after it is used, it will apply a small heal over time effect that will total out at 500 potency. You usually want to use this ability before a stack mechanic for multiple party members is incoming. But do keep in mind that once you move, the damage mitigation effect will drop. So only start moving or casting again after damage has registered. Most Astrologians, depending on the damage will opt to cast Helios II right after using this skill. If you have multiple hits on a stack mechanic incoming. Cast Helios II before, and use this. Your healing partner should then be able to mitigate the rest in most situations.

Celestial Opposition

A weaker, but oGDC version of Helios II that you'll get to cast every 60 seconds. You'll often want to use this over or before any other groupwide healing spell. Especially in the heat of battle, it's easy to weave in before or right after that Helios II or Helios cast. But all of that will depend on your current situation and your healer partner. But don't be greedy while using it either. Celestial Opposition comes off cooldown every 60 seconds, so don't hold on for it for too long.

Earthly Star

This a very powerful ability that will not only heal a lot within its huge target radius. It'll also deal deal some damage on top of it. If you use the ability, and immediately use it again it will heal and do some damage. But to get full use out of Earthly Star, you'll have to let it sit for at least 10 seconds until the Giant Dominance buff activates. Now your heals and your damage will be significantly larger. This also means that Earthly Star rewards players for practice some amount of planning and foresight, which plays into the jobs identity of a fortune teller. So if you see a boss start a big and scary cast bar. Place Earthly Star and use it right after the boss' ability goes off and Giant Dominance becomes available. That way you'll always get the most of it. And since it's on a relatively short cooldown, don't hold on to it for too long.

Celestial Intersection

Being on a relatively short cooldown, there is absolutely no reason to slap this on your tank right after there was trouble. Holding two charges, this ability will heal for a flat potency of 200 and grant that double as a shield. Why after you ask? Well the 200 potency heal should not be wasted, instead use shield as a buffer right after someone took damage to heal them back up.

Other Useful Astrologian Abilities

Now that we've discussed healing, there are plenty of other, unique abilities for you to consider. Some play into the previously discussed healing and mitigation, others offer additional buffs.

Lightspeed

Now only does this ability offer us movement options, since it will let you ignore most cast times for 15 seconds. It will also allow you the ability to double weave. Which is very important once we get into optimization strategies later on. For now you only have to know that this skill will give you movement options every 90 seconds if you don't plan to optimize around it. It's also pretty useful when things go south. And you also have to get out as many oGDC heals as possible.

Synastry

This ability allows you to heal two people at once! You bind yourself to another party member, and if you cast a single target heal someone the bound party member will receive 40% of that heal themselves. It's a great way to heal your off tank after a tank swap while keeping the other tank alive. Or refreshing a team mate while you go about your other healing duties. Just keep in mind that this only works with Benefic, Benefic II, Essential Dignity and the initial heal of Aspected Benefic.

Divination

One of the great utility tools and the main reason people want an Astrologian in their party. Besides the card buffs of course. Divination will grant your entire party, within range of course, a 6% damage buff ever 120 seconds. You usually want to use it on cooldown to line it up with other partywide buff's and other players burst windows. Just be sure to be positioned favourable, because its range always seems a little small.

Horoscope

Think of Horoscope as an augmentation of your regular Helios. While it can be used to relatively quickly heal everyone in range for 200 potency. If you cast Helios within the 10 second window, you can easily double that healing potency. You'll just have to use the Horoscope skill again right after.

Neutral Sect

Using this ability, will further aspect your Aspected Benefic and Aspected Helios. It'll add an additional shield effect to both of them, while still keeping their heal over time effect. Especially useful if you need to protect your tank and or your party on quick notice. Or need a buffer until you and your healing partner can get those big heals out. The shields can also land a critical hit, doubling that shield. Beware however that shield effects generally don't stack. So you won't be able to mitigate mechanics that way.

Exaltation

Being on a relatively short cooldown, there is little to no reason not to use this one. Not only will it grant 10% damage mitigation for the target. After the effect runs out after 8 seconds, it will heal for a potency of 500. That makes this skill a great care package for any party member that is about to take damage for a mechanic. Its especially recommended for tank busters.

Macrocosmos

While looking like a damage ability on paper, Macrocosmos is a simple, yet effective damage mitigation tool. That will also take some of the pressure that comes from healing off you. It's damage will definitely make up for the missed Malefic cast you'll sacrifice for it. But we use it for its bonuses. After casting the spell, half of the damage complied during the 15 seconds of the effect, will be refunded to all players effected by the buff. In addition you'll get a nice 200 potency heal on top. Because it is on a 180 second cooldown, we'll save this ability for certain cases. Especially big continuous damage our party receives, that we'll have to out heal in the moment it's happening. But we won't have to worry about freshening everybody up after. It also looks pretty.

Astronomical Damage

I know, I know, playing cards on top of having to juggle both healing and buffs seems like a lot of work already. But there is also your primary objective, killing the baddies. Astrologian luckily features a very straight forward kit when it comes to dealing damage.

Single Target

This is as easy as it'll get on Astrologian. Keep the varying versions of Combust you'll gather throughout your journey always up on single target. And spam the other version of Malefic you'll get during that window. And don't forget to heal either. The real challenge of playing Astro here is to line up your Divination buff with the card buffs and your own Astrodyne buff. That's the challenging part of the job, and will always leave lots of room for optimization. But here is the short version if you want to try it out. Divination runs on a 120 second timer, while an Astrodyne buff should be available every 90 seconds. That's a trap!

You can draw a card and hold it, by that you can delay the Astrodyne buff by another 30 seconds. Optimally, you want to dump all your cards in that 15 seconds of the Divination buff for your party. And by using the ability Lightspeed, you should be able to comfortably play and draw in-between Malefic casts. You can find a more detailed timeline on that here courtesy of the Balance discord. Just don't make the mistake of fussing too much about optimization if you're still leaning the job. This is just what you should strife for, not what you should 100% execute all the time.

Multi Target

While still keeping the stuff with buffing from above in mind, multiple targets on Astrologian are pretty straight forward as well. But you get cool spell which has probably also the coolest sound effect in the entire game. Gravity. This is a gain on two. Since Malefic will end up with a potency of 250, we need to do some math and figure out when casting Gravity is worth it. Gravity II has at level 90 a potency of 130, that on two enemies is a total potency of 260. So we use Gravity II whenever there are two or more enemies for us to beat up. Gravity comes with quite the range, but a relatively small impact zone, so make sure to target enemies in the centre to hit everything. And don't forget to frequently use Earthly Star to its full effect. Not only will it make healing easier, its damage should also be considered.

Sneaky Astrologian Tips n' Ticks

While I wish I had more for you here at journey's end. You might've realized that most of the legwork comes form optimizing around those buffs. But a frequent trouble most Astrologian's run into is what cards go on whom. And playing memory with a set of six cards can be quite daunting, but luckily the developers left a cheatcode within the game. If you draw a card for melee DPS and tanks, there is a blue + on both sides of the cards as an indicator. If the card is supposed to go on on a ranged, caster or healer, there is a purple circle next to it. It's however not recommended to use macros for any of the Astrologian's skills. Your input window is already tight enough as it is, and the macro delay will only make it worse. Without them you can at least queue up action's while you're still casting. If you're playing on mouse and keyboard, make a habit out of quickly selecting those on the receiving end of your card on the party list. Then queue up the ability Play so you can go back to casting.

For all the Astro's out There

This seems like a lot.. because it is. I don't think anyone would argue that Astrologian isn't a busy job. It takes a lot of effort to learn and optimize, but the gain is usually substantial. Where the White Mage shines in raw healing ability, Astrologian makes up for in the sheer amount of utility it offers. And mastering the job is definitely a reward worth reaping for. But if this seems still too much for you, director and producer Naoki Yoshida has recently stated that they consider Astrologian in its current installment very busy. So don't act too surprised, or maybe hold off on it, till we get a slight overhaul an trimming to the abilities by the time 6.2 or 6.3 roll around. But I suspect most of those adjustments will make the currently very tight input windows more forgiving.

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