The Shadowbringers expansion for FF14 is here, and with it comes a whole host of new, interesting mechanics and revamps of old content. They’ve added an entire new campaign and two entirely new Jobs, but that doesn’t mean that the existing Jobs fell by the wayside.
Shadowbringers has given us a new take on FF14’s most unique support class, the Astrologian. These mystical healers have undergone major mechanical changes, so even veteran Astrologian players might want to start from scratch and see what the new expansion has to offer.
What is an Astrologian?
Astrologians were originally introduced at the 2014 Fan Fest in Tokyo. They’re native to the Heavensward Expansion and are built primarily to be support characters with an emphasis on healing. Their primary weapon is a star globe, and they mostly wear cloth armour.
The most unique thing about Astrologians is that they aren’t simply focused on providing HP to their allies – many of their abilities also provide damage buffs. However, there is a certain element of chance of playing the Astrologian. They draw cards from a deck that determine which of their abilities they can use. Drawing a card is an action, and the card is placed in your Arcana Gauge until you’re ready to use it. Drawing cards also gives you seals; once you have three of these seals, you can execute an ability called Divination. Divination is a powerful AOE buff that increases the damage that you and your allies can deal for 15 seconds.
How to Unlock the Astrologian Job
Unlike most other jobs, you can’t just choose to be an Astrologian right from the beginning. Astrologians are unlocked in the Heavensward Expansion content. To reach this, you must play the whole “A Realm Reborn” campaign. After reaching the “Before the Dawn” quest, you will be given access to a new map area, the city of Ishgard. Go to the Pillars in this city and speak to an NPC called Jannequinard to acquire the “Stairway to the Heavens” questline, which is your path to unlocking the Astrologian.
This questline is relatively simple – it consists entirely of speaking to different NPCs at different observatories until you reach Quarrymill, where you will see the final cutscene and receive your reward.
Reworks for Shadowbringers
Shadowbringers has brought a whole host of reworked mechanics to the Astrologian. The card system has been reworked to be more intuitive and the random number generator is easier to deal with. The “Draw” and “Play” abilities have been revamped; originally, you would have to play your cards quickly to maintain their effectiveness, preventing you from using any sort of strategy with your abilities. Now, Draw enters a cooldown phase as soon as you use it, and the Play ability allows you to activate the card you currently have on deck whenever you choose.
Astrologians were also given the use of the new “charge” mechanics. Your Redraw skill now has three charges for you to expand as fast or as slow as you please, allowing you to better get the cards you want when you want them. This is especially useful for charging up Divination.
You can still use your Nocturnal and Diurnal stances before each fight – Diurnal gives certain healing spells a regenerative boost, and Nocturnal erects a damage barrier around your targets. But the Level 80 ability has been reworked into something called Neutral Sect. Neutral Sect is an ultimate ability that adds 20% potency to healing spells for 20 seconds and can be used regardless of whether you’re using your Diurnal or Nocturnal stance.
Tips for Playing an Astrologian
Don’t Be Afraid to Throw Away Cards that Don’t Serve You
Playing a higher level Astrologian means that you should be focusing on maximizing the damage buffs you can provide for yourself and your enemies. To do this, you may need to rapidly use your Draw and Redraw actions to ensure that you’re getting the special icons required to use Divinity. Don’t be afraid to burn through your entire deck if it means being more useful to your allies.
Utilize Your Sects Correctly
The Diurnal and Nocturnal sects are great for customizing your build to different types of battles if you use them correctly. Boss fights, in particular, will require you to choose your Sect carefully.
The Diurnal Sect’s regenerative bonuses are best for bosses that use abilities that do sustained damage or are surrounded by poison hazards. It’s also best for situations when you’re worried that you could be separated from your allies for any length of time.
The barriers provided by the Nocturnal Sect are better at blocking bursts of damage from enemies that could severely weaken your party.
Make Use of Collective Unconscious
Collective Unconscious is a level 58 ability for the Astrologian that generates a sort of damage-blocking bubble around you. It reduces the damage you take by 10% while you’re inside it, and it applies Wheel of Fortune to you and any of your allies that enter it. It lasts for 18 seconds, and it is perfect for counteracting charged attacks from bosses. Many later dungeon and raid bosses have attacks that they have to charge up, indicated by a gauge. This gives you time to prepare for the onslaught, and Collective Unconscious is an excellent way to protect your allies from the coming damage.
And that’s it! Enjoy learning this unique, challenging Job and becoming great support for your allies!