Learn all there is to know about how to train your primal dragon Bahamut and his friends!
The moment I finish writing this, Summoner has probably undergone yet another massive rework.. so why bother. Ehm. Anyways. Hello! Welcome to the Summoner Guide for Final Fantasy XIV. Here we're talking about the pet-DPS with the destruction capabilities of an ancient superweapon within the lore of Final Fantasy XIV, in gameplay not so much.
Summoner is all about setting your pets to the maximum size, cluttering up everyone else's screen, and wondering why your static always wipes whenever Titan's on screen. Besides that, it's the caster with the most mobility and comes in with a decent amount of utility by having a partywide heal built into your rotation, as well as some hefty DPS buffs.
And the only downside is that your rotation is very static and drifting out of it is a bit of a pain in the butt. But at least you can always skip parts of it to get back on track.
The Summoner is another of Final Fantasy's classic jobs. It made its debut in Final Fantasy III as a powered-up version of the Evoker, to call on the powers of the summons and unleash devastating attacks. It is probably most remembered for its implementation in Final Fantasy IV, being the job of Rydia who gets taken in and trained by the summons to assist Cecile in his fight against Golbez.
In Final Fantasy XIV, however, the art of summoning has only recently been rediscovered. Back in the 3rd Astral Era, members of the Allagan Empire developed the arts as a means to control and better understand Primals or Eikons as they called them.
They can summon forth weaker versions of the tribes' deities and use them in battle. But as the Empire grew, so grew suspicion that those Summoners might be tempered by the beings they claimed to control. This is why the art was banned and only recently rediscovered by the scholar Y'mithra Rhul.
During the Summoner's job quest, you'll learn more about the ins and out of the art of summoning and you might even learn something important about the concept of Primals and Eikons in the world of Final Fantasy XIV.
From Arcanist to Summoner
If you plan to go down the path of the Summoner, you'll first have to unlock the Arcanist class. If you're making a new character, this is one of the starting classes you can pick, otherwise, you can unlock it after hitting level 10 in Limsa Lominsa's Lower Decks by accepting Way of the Arcanist Murie.
You're then required to hit level 30 on Arcanist and complete the quest Sinking Doesmaga. Then the Arcanist can split off into either Scholar or Summoner. To unlock Summoner, simply accept Austerities of Flame from Thubyrgeim in the Lower Decks of Limsa Lominsa. Do however note that Scholar and Summoner share their leveling experience. So if you decide to pick up Scholar sometime down the road, you won't have to level it separately.
It is however essential that you complete all the Summoner job quests, they don't only drop new gear but also unlock most of your skills. So when leveling make sure to check in on the quests every few levels, the final job quest ends at level 70, and at level 80 you get a little epilogue.
The Summoner is something that looks a whole lot more complicated than it actually is. If you scroll down its almost exhausting list of skills, you're probably wondering how all of this is supposed to fit on your hotbar. But once you actually start sorting all of it, you'll notice that with 25 abilities on your hotbar, Summoner might be the most button economic job in the game.
Summoner is a ‘pet' job in the loosest sense of the term. Yes, you technically summon a carbuncle that will then transform into a primal being of questionable power, but most of the time it'll end up being the conduit of your casts instead of having its own mind.
Instead, Summoner is a caster that shifts through phases, going from the explosive Bahamut phase, through Garuda, Titan, and Ifrit and finishing off with Pheonix to start it all again. The only thing you have some amount of control over is how you place Garuda, Titan, and Ifrit who all have their own quirks for you to learn and optimize around.
With Garuda, you get a damage over time effect and time to weave your extra skills like Fester, with Titan you have quick casts on top of a weave for extra damage, and for Ifrit, you get a mobility option and three lengthy casts.
And we can't forget about the Aetherflow mechanic either, once every 60 seconds you get to use Energy Drain or Energy Siphon. This gives you two stacks of Aetherflow which allow you to use Fester and Pain Flare, which are high-damage abilities you can then weave into your rotation. It also enables Further Ruin which allows you to cast Ruin IV which is a high-damage instant cast spell that allows some movement and further weave potential.
As a Summoner, you have a fast array of supportive skills and abilities that make Summoner a great choice for progression and learning groups. For once you have a combat Raise, just like Red Mage that can despite its long cast time, Raise is absolutely worth bringing.
Then there's Searing Light with is a partywide damage buff that lasts for a total of 30 seconds. While the 3% damage increase doesn't seem much at first, its long runtime and the potential to be stacked with other buffs make it a great damage buff to bring into a party. Just make sure to hit those 2-minute buff windows regularly.
Then there's your Phoenix which allows you to use Everlasting Flight and Rekindle. Making Summoner the only job in Final Fantasy XIV whose healing is part of their rotation. Another reason to bring a Summoner regularly, you can easily throw out some mighty heals without bleeding any damage.
As mentioned above, most of Summoner's gameplay is about cycling through all your summons and making use of their abilities. All of them have a specific vibe to them with Bahamut being your big burst damage phase, Garuda giving your ample opportunity to weave Fester or Painflare, Titan offering you a lot of movement options and Ifrit locking you down for three casts while also giving you a dash towards the boss for quick repositioning.
Then you have Aetherflow management you'll have to find the right placement in your rotation while making sure it's always on cooldown. You also have your Ruin IV cast that deals high damage but isn't always prioritized.
But Summoner is the kind of job that looks overwhelming and complicated at first and turns out to be straightforward and kinda simple once you get the hang of it. Certainly something you have to practice a little, but out of all the casters it's probably the easiest to pick up and adjust with should something mess up your rotation.
Unlike many other DPS, the Summoner's AoE damage is actually a gain on 3. So you should only resort to the Multi-Target skills in your arsenal if there are 3 or more enemies around. From there on, your rotation is pretty straightforward. You Summon Bahamut and weave Searing Light your damage buff, then you start spamming Astral Flare and weave Enkindle Bahamut and Deathflare in between. You should be able to do that up to 6 times. Also don't forget to use Energy Syphon here after the 3rd Astral Flare cast.
Now you move into the primal phase by summoning Garuda, make sure to weave Swiftcast for Slipstream first, then you can start using Emerald Catastrophe. You can also start to weave Painflare here. Once Garuda is burned out, you move on to Titan and cast Topaz Catastrophe instead, just don't forget to weave Mountain Buster.
Then you move on to Ifrit and cast Ruby Catastrophe and use Crimson Cyclone and Crimson Strike in between. Don't forget that your Ifrit phase has a global cooldown cast time.
You finish off by using Firebird Trance and start casting Brand of Purgatory as much as possible and weave Rekindle and Enkindle Phoenix in between for maximum damage output. If you've done everything correctly, you should now repeat the primal phase of this rotation until it all restarts with Summon Bahamut.
Your Single-Target rotation is basically the same, you just use the single-target versions of these spells instead. But for the sake of completion, we're gonna walk you through these as well.
You start by using Summon Bahamut and weave Searing Light, then start using Astral Pulse, you should be able to cast up to 6 of those. In between those casts, you'll also weave Energy Drain as well as Enkindle Bahamut, Deathflare, and Fester.
Next, you use Summon Garuda, weave in your Swiftcast ability, and cast Slipstream then cast Emerald Rite four times until we move on to Summon Titan. Here you'll cast Topaz Rite and weave Mountain Buster four times and move on to Ifrit. Use Summon Ifrit and best start using Crimson Cyclone, then Crimson Strike until you can go back to casting Ruby Rite three times.
You should now also cast Ruin IV and depending on your Spell Speed, you might need a Ruin III cast to bridge until Firebird Trance comes back up.
Next, we move to the Phoenix phase, cast Firebird Trance, and start using Fountain of Fire. You should be able to cast this ability up to 6 times. Around the third cast, Energy Drain should come off cooldown and you'll be able to weave Fester as well as Rekindle and Enkindle Phoenix. After you loop back into your rotation with the primal summons and start over again at Bahamut.
This bears repeating, as it's mostly the same thing as up above.
You precast Ruin II by about 2 seconds before you use Summon Bahamut and weave Searing Light for the partywide DPS buff. Now you can cast Astral Impulse 6 times in a row. And you'll weave Energy Drain on the third cast. Weave Enkindle Bahamut and Fester on the fourth one, and weave Deathflare and Fester on the fifth one. Technically there is nothing stopping you from spacing these out a little if you find the weaving window a little too tight.
Then use Summon Garuda and weave Swiftcast to cast Slipstream, and use Emerald Rite four times. Next, you Summon Titan, use Topay Rite and weave in Mountain Buster and from here on just continue as described above.
Technically, Summoner doesn't have much of a burst window. Technically it occurs every time Searing Light comes off cooldown and you Summon Bahamut. But this is just a natural part of your rotation unless you've drifted your rotation a little. So try not to do that. Just keep an eye out for Searing Light's cooldown timer and make sure it aligns with Summon Bahamut.
Summoner is as straightforward as a job in Final Fantasy XIV gets. Its rotation is easy to pick up and learn and if you messed it up due to butterfingers or untimely demise, you can just skip the primal part of your rotation and jump back in.
Besides that, your Raise is pretty useful during progression and Phoenix and that Cure spell will make your healers happy. And that's about it. You can do a little experimenting when it comes to gear though, either prioritize Critical Hit damage or Spellspeed. Technically they'll come out around the same damage output, but if you prefer a faster pace and an extra cast or so added to your rotation, why not?
For more on Final Fantasy XIV, esports and all sorts of gaming news visit us here on ESTNN