Are you a healer main considering switching to Sage in 6.0? Are you interested in hearing an in-depth analysis of the upcoming healer abilities from some of the game’s best healers? This digest follows MogTalk: Episode 245, featuring Oryza Mercury, Momo, and Kionu as they join Frosty in discussing the many changes coming to healers in 6.0.
Oryza is a world prog raider who enjoys playing Astrologian. Known for his countless healing resources, Momo is a Scholar main and FFXIV content creator. Last but not least, Kionu is a healer for Thoughts Per Second, the team that won world first for both TEA and Eden’s Promise.
FrostyTV: Right off the bat, what are your opinions about healers and the new information coming out? Are you excited, a little bit sad, or cautious? [2:43]
Momo: It probably depends on fight design. That’s the biggest thing. [2:59]
Kionu: Based on the changes made, there are certain aspects that I like. For example, getting a tank cooldown is pretty cool. I agree with Momo that it’s going to depend a lot on fight design. Yet again, our heals were augmented a lot, so the encounters need to step up to require that, or we might feel bored again. [3:06]
Oryza: I feel the same way. I also think that many players believe the fight design is going to change as a result. These changes imply that the encounters will change, but I do not agree. I guess you could call me cautious or cynical. [3:33]
Kionu: We’ve been saying that every expansion. “Oh, there’s a lot of new healing stuff – I guess the fights are going to change.” Then, they don’t change. [3:52]
Oryza: Tank cooldowns are also really strong now, so we’ll see. [4:05]
Momo: When looking at the healers’ toolkits, it’s important to look at other abilities, too, and overarching job roles. Red Mage now has a magic barrier, tanks all have more mitigation, Gubreaker has an Excog, and Reaper has Arcane Crest, which is absolutely nutty. We have all of these new actions across all jobs, which is worrying if they don’t increase a fight’s outgoing damage. [4:12]
As noted by Frosty, all information regarding tooltips from the media tour is still subject to change before Endwalker’s release next month.
FrostyTV: You’re right in talking about the other job roles because it’s important to see how they all correlate with healers. Regarding tanks, one of the big changes is that three tank jobs will now have a four-second window with a super strong defensive ability. Do we think that tanks are going to be able to execute that? [6:10]
Momo: Good ones will be able to. That’s actually what you should be doing right now. The most optimized cooldown tanks usually press their cooldowns 10-15 seconds in advance of a buster. [6:40]
Kionu: It’s similar to Sheltron and The Blackest Night in a lot of ways. We’ve basically had these abilities before, but these will be a lot tighter. [7:20]
Oryza: We now have a lot of mitigation for free. [9:02]
Kionu: We either have to get really hard-hitting busters that need all of these abilities stacked towards, or very frequent busters to where we have to spread them out. If we continue busters as designed, it’s going to be silly, and we’ll have too many tools. [9:04]
FrostyTV: I can definitely see that. We have no clue what the battle design is going to be like for raids. We’ve only seen one dungeon. [9:20]
Kionu: Dungeons are meant to teach you the skills that allow you to jump into raiding at a basic level. If this dungeon is an indicator, we’re going to get even more mechanics than before, right? [9:48]
Momo: I agree but also kind of disagree. Until you got your full toolkit, the dungeons in Shadowbringers were fairly more difficult than the previous iterations throughout the expansions. [10:11]
Those wanting to take a look at the new dungeon’s mechanics can watch Frosty’s Media Tour video here.
FrostyTV: Let’s talk about what we’ve seen regarding healing in Endwalker. It seems like it won’t be as hard to heal in the expansion. Is that what you all believe at the moment? [11:08]
Kinou: Historically, healing has been a lot about timing. You can create difficulty by making it so that the heals have to go out during very specific times. That can maintain the difficulty no matter what the toolkits. [11:32]
Momo: Interestingly, they made a healing mastery trait. By increasing these potencies, it seems like they’re trying to make off-global healing much less valuable than before. [11:55]
Healer mains around the globe were delighted to hear that one of Endwalker’s new jobs is a healer, marking the first new job in this category since Heavensward. Next month, players will now have the option to play as a Sage, a barrier healer that can heal allies by dealing damage to foes.
FrostyTV: What are your thoughts on Sage, the new healer? [12:37]
Momo: It feels like it’s quite literally almost a Scholar copy. [12:58]
Kionu: I’m a little sad they gave it two of the quality of life increases that I was hoping Scholar would get for years. It has a more usable version of emergency tactics and directed fairy heals on Embrace. Sage has Embrace without awkwardness, and it also doesn’t seem to have any contradictions like Scholar does regarding things not interacting well within its own kit. [13:02]
FrostyTV: It was confusing to me. [13:43]
Kionu: If you push certain buttons wrong, you waste a lot. “I need to shield for this, or we die.” Well, I hope you pushed the button to make your heals actually shield. If you mess that up, then you don’t shield. [13:56]
Momo: On the flip side, Sage’s shields have a much faster application, which is nice. They’re also able to shield on the move pretty easily versus Scholar having to plant and cast a Succor. The downside is that their shields are weaker than Scholar’s overall. [14:23]
Sage utilizes Addersgall as its job gauge. Every 20 seconds, Sage gains one stack of Addersgall for up to a total of three stacks. These stacks can be used for single-target and party-wide healing. Unlike Scholar using Aetherflow on Energy Drain, Addersgall cannot be used on a damaging ability.
Sage has quite a few comparable abilities to Scholar, including Kerachole, an ability that reduces damage taken by self and nearby party members by 10%. Like Sacred Soil, this ability forms a barrier for your party to stand inside and lasts 15 seconds.
Oryza: Unlike these two, I’m not a Scholar main, but I always felt bad using Sacred Soil because I wanted an Energy Drain. With Sage, you can only use your stacks on healing, so you might as well hit Kerachole when it’s up as long as you don’t need it in the next 30 seconds. [15:20]
Momo: One of Sage’s pros is that they have a weaker version of Medica, which is a 300 potency, spammable heal. This is something Scholar can’t do because they’re locked to Emergency Tactics every 15 seconds. [16:34]
FrostyTV How do you like the look of Sage? Do you like it aesthetically? To me, it looks like the best healer they’ve made so far. It’s beautiful. [17:08]
Momo: I feel like this comes from it being a new job. It’s the same with Reaper, which has really nice animations compared to current jobs. [17:32]
Oryza: I like Astro better. [17:44]
FrostyTV: In every single sound effect, those lasers shooting sound so cool. I think that an entry-level healer that wants to do shield healing will pick Sage. [17:51]
Momo: I think they should, as Scholar is the hardest. I feel like Scholar will still be the hardest to learn in Endwalker. [18:14]
FrostyTV: Do you think that Sage is too similar to Scholar? [21:43]
Oryza: Some of the skills are almost one for one. It’s pretty close, but Sage does have some different abilities. Panhaima is a pretty good example of that. [21:47]
Momo: The biggest strength of Scholar versus Sage is that Scholar can heal away from the party, whereas Sage can’t. I feel like that’s always been one of Scholar’s core strengths that people don’t really talk about much. [22:47]
Kionu: For mechanics where the party has to be spread really far out, Seraph is great. Currently, Nocturnal Astro can use Horoscope to compensate, which is a good substitute in terms of far-range healing. Sage doesn’t have that, so it’s a weakness. [23:03]
Regardless of the similarities between Scholar and Sage, the three healers are excited to try Sage in raid encounters.
Oryza: For me, I like to theorycraft about the changes, but it’s hard to understand the effectiveness of some of the weirder tools before trying them out in a raid environment. For example, I know people are excited to use Macrocosmos, but I’m very unsure about it. I’m trying to reserve my judgement on it before I can actually use it. [23:57]
Macrocosmos is Astroglogian’s upcoming level 90 spell. The spell begins by casting AoE damage and granting the Macrocosmos effect to the party. For 15 seconds, half the damage taken by the party is accumulated. This amount can then be dispelled as a heal by using the follow-up action Microcosmos.
FrostyTV: Many people said that Scholar is dead because of Sage. Do you believe that to be the case? [26:22]
Kionu: Absolutely not. Scholar is very strong, and it’s the only healer that got a significant damage buff from these updates. The rest got small increases, like White Mage. Scholar doesn’t get 10 potency from Energy Drains anymore – it gets 100, which is a huge change. [26:28]
Oryza: The 1.5-second Broil change is also huge for Scholar. [27:04]
Kionu: In an optimized setting, Scholar wants to lean on their co-healer a lot and Broil as much as possible. Now, that’s not the case, as Scholars can use all their tools while still being optimal on damage. Scholar’s co-healer also gains a bunch from that, as they won’t have to do an extra Aspected Helios or Medica 2. [27:44]
A new skill landing for Scholar is Expedient, which grants a movement speed buff and reduces damage taken for party members by 10% for 20 seconds.
Momo: On the topic of Scholar, how do we feel about Expedient? Personally, I feel like this skill is one of the biggest mistakes in the game’s history. I don’t think this skill is healthy for the game because they won’t balance around it. I had no idea that it was a Sprint, and I figured it’d be like Peloton or something. [28:12]
Oryza: Are you saying it’s too good? [28:34]
Kionu: I think it’s good, but it’s got a lot of potential to throw away a pull with a misuse. It’s a double-edged sword in that regard. [28:37]
Momo: My biggest issue is that Square Enix will never balance mechanics around it, so it’s only going to give you that edge versus other healers. [29:44]
Oryza: In a perfect environment, the skill isn’t the best compared to others because you shouldn’t need Sprint. However, it could help those who mess up and often run to the wrong spot and try to adjust. Sprint is really fast, and in a lot of cases, Expedient will give an extra bit of leeway for you to not kill each other in raid. [30:35]
Kionu: This skill is above level 80, meaning it won’t work in any of the content we currently have. [32:07]
All healers were granted a new healing buff that will likely be used for tank busters, shown in the tooltips below.
Momo: I think the most versatile out of all of these is probably Astrologian’s. [42:10]
FrostyTV: I want to quickly talk about the concept of giving healers this tank buster mitigation. Do we think healers will just apply it, or will they be applying it on top of tank mitigation? [46:34]
Oryza: If healers can mitigate for tanks now, why did tanks get all these new mitigation skills? I will say it’s nice for dungeons when you get Duty Finder tanks who don’t know how to hit Rampart until they’re at 1 HP. [46:54]
FrostyTV: Let’s imagine that tank busters will require both the healer and tank to put up their mitigation. It doesn’t feel that different, right? You still have to throw up a shield on a tank buster, and both jobs are still working together to reduce that damage overall. Although, a single tank cooldown can help you live through almost every tank buster. [47:27]
Kionu: For the most part, yes. There’s a couple of notable busters that are really strong, where Rampart and Sheltron aren’t enough, and you’ll need more. Most busters require one cooldown. However, don’t underestimate how much a healer focuses on tank busters. They know when the big hits are coming. [48:05]
Oryza: You’re touching on something that concerns me when I think about the new healer and tank kits. When you add more tools and design a fight that makes these tools necessary, it becomes harder for lower-level players to be able to clear the fight. But if you design it so that the lower-level players are still able to clear at the same rates, then the better players with these tools will find the fights easier. If this new healer mitigation becomes mandatory, then lower-level tanks may die if their healers don’t use these buffs. Based on experience, Square Enix balances Savage tiers around the lower end of players, where these extra tools may not be taken into account. [49:23]
FrostyTV: We’ve talked a little bit about White Mage and Astrologian but haven’t gone into these jobs too much. Is there anything you’d like to touch on regarding those? [58:52]
Momo: We could talk about Lilybell. [59:24]
Lilybell is White Mage’s new level 90 ability that does the following:
Kionu: It’s a little frustrating because we have confirmed that White Mage needs to take damage to proc Lilybell. This means you have to do some shenanigans to get the White Mage to take damage when they shouldn’t or that you can only use the ability to its full extent when there are repeated raid AOEs, which is extremely rare. [59:35]
Momo: It’s a 15-second duration, and I think it should be 20-30 seconds in duration so you can utilize it more fully. This could change in Endwalker, but with the encounters we have now, there’s hardly any mechanics where you can fully utilize more than maybe three hits in that 15-second duration. This makes it hard to fully optimize and less versatile than something like Macrocosmos or Panhaima, which is applied individually to each player and doesn’t require the healer to get hit to utilize the healing effect. [1:00:01]
Momo also noted that Lilybell has the potential to miss targets due to having a smaller radius, in addition to being on a three-minute cooldown. However, he did note a strength in the ability, as it can be placed strategically in a boss arena.
White Mage also will see a nerf to Thin Air, which will now have two charges and cast the next spell without MP cost.
Kionu: Even with proper Thin Air utilization, White Mage mana was running very low in optimized scenarios. Nerfing Thin Air is going to be scary because nothing else has changed. We still have the same mana costs on all of our healing abilities. It’s going to be interesting to see if Piety becomes mandatory again. [1:12:00]
FrostyTV: How do we feel about Astrologian? It’s no longer both a shield and regen healer. Now, it’s just a pure healer. [1:15:06]
Momo: Astro is really strong. Astrodyne is a strong tool that is going to be really fun for optimizers and in prog. [1:21:50]
Kionu: Astrodyne is pretty much a no-cooldown ability that Astro can use with their seals. Right now, seals are used on Divination, but in Endwalker, if you have one type of seal in your gauge, you get an MP regeneration buff. If you have two, you get a 10% speed buff. If you have three, you also get a 5% damage buff. [1:22:41]
Come Endwalker, Astrologian is losing Sleeve Draw and seeing a change with Redraw.
Momo: No more Sleeve Draw means that we’ve lost our guaranteed card, which was pretty much the only saving grace of the seal system, in my opinion. [1:24:10]
Additionally, Minor Arcana now functions separately from regular cards. Now, you can draw either Lord of Crowns, an AoE damage spell, or Lady of Crowns, an AoE healing spell.
Oryza: The heal is pretty good. I feel like you’ll find a use for it, so it’s not the worst thing in the world. For optimization, it’s pretty frustrating if you don’t need to heal at all in that minute. In prog, it’s going to be useful in some way. The Lord card is the same as using a Malefic, so if you substitute a GCD heal out for a Lady, it’s the same thing as if you drew a Lord. [1:26:27]
Momo: Another thing to keep in mind about Lady is that it’s also a 20-yalm AoE, which Astro had none of before. That’s pretty strong. [1:26:58]
Near the end of the show, Frosty shared his personal cool-factor ranking for the four healers:
- White Mage
Kionu: I’m just jazzed we finally got a new healer, man. It’s been since Heavensward. [2:08:01]
Momo: It’s been a long time coming. [2:08:07]
FrostyTV: During this conversation, it seems like you’ve been in this semi-excited, cautious limbo. Are you optimistic in any way going into Endwalker regarding healers? [2:17:34]
Kionu: I’m excited. I think the fight designs have gotten better and better as the game has gone on. They were trying new things in Shadowbringers. I feel like a lot of the healing was really satisfying. From a healer perspective, E9S-E12S all had very satisfying healer checks. I’m hopeful that Pandæmonium will have a lot of interesting healing dynamics to it. With increased kits, who knows? Maybe they’ll make it pretty challenging. [2:17:48]
Click here to enjoy the entire conversation.
MogTalk is a weekly podcast airing every Saturday at 5PM ET on twitch.tv/Frosty_TV. The show is entirely focused on bringing the community together to discuss topics of interest regarding FFXIV, including patch notes, game mechanics, and raid insights. Mogtalk Digests are now available thanks to Patreon supporters! If you are interested in supporting all of the content MogTalk has to offer, please visit our Patreon page.