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Summoner (SMN) Guide

If you are looking for THE FASTEST WAY to reach the level cap with any class or job within 7 days, this FFXIV Leveling Guide by Killer Guides is a definite must have! It comes with step-by-step leveling tips, quest walkthroughs, detailed primal battle strategies, extensive dungeon guides, and more.


The part of the guide that deals with skill rotations has not yet been updated for Heavensward.

The Summoner is a classic magic damage dealing job making use of the power of primals to boost their damage. Damage over time skills are also highly important for the summoner as this is where a lot of their damage will come from. This guide will talk about how to play the job at level 50 and it should be noted that it may not be the only way to play it. Others may disagree, but see it as a starting point and build on it from there.


Summoner GuideAs a Summoner your main attribute is going to be Intelligence (INT) as this increases magical damage. You should be placing all of your attribute points into this stat because the benefits of INT outweigh the defensive benefits of Vitality or the extra MP from Piety. Unfortunately SMN shares its attributes with Scholar so it is difficult to play both well.

With equipment however you could focus on more stats than just INT. Attack Magic Potency, Determination, Critical Hit Rate and Spell Speed are the main stats to consider in addition to simply boosting INT. With the exception of Determination, the names of the attributes are self explanatory in what they do. Determination will boost the amount of damage dealt by all attacks and the amount of HP recovered when healed. It is not yet known whether this is better than attack magic potency for increasing your damage so for now it is best to go for a mix.


Before we get into rotations it is important to understand the differences between the various summons (egis) as you will have one out at all times. Currently only Ifrit, Titan and Garuda are available and they all serve different purposes as they belong to different roles. Ifrit is a melee damage dealer and will be found up front in battle, he is best at single target fights. Garuda is a caster and will keep her distance, she is best with multiple target fights. Titan is a tank and you should almost never have him out in party play. He is there to absorb damage when you are soloing.

While it might seem like a simple choice between using Ifrit for single target fights and Garuda for multi target fights it does not always work out that way. For example Titan is a single target fight but you never use Ifrit on this fight because he can receive Weight of the Land and cause problems for the party. Garuda on the other hand can stand far back out the way and it is way safer. Similar exceptions can be found with other content so it is important to decide on a case by case basis.

Skill Rotation

For a full explanation of skills see our Summoner and Arcanist pages.

As a SMN you will be dealing damage through damage over time skills (DoTs) as well as burst damage through Fester. Your egis will also contribute to your damage output but in most cases you do not have to worry about using their abilities as they will do damage on their own.

My ideal rotation at level 50 is the following:

*Bio II
Shadow Flare

* Every other rotation only.
** Multi target fights only.

I start with Aetherflow because it is on a 60 second recast and you need to use it as often as possible to boost your damage. You won't use any skill under Aetherflow until you have cast your DoTs but using it at the start means there is less time to wait before you can use it again. The effect only wears off after you use three skills under the effect of Aetherflow.

Next I cast my DoTs. Bio first because it is instant cast and gives you an extra tick of DoT. Bio II and Miasma are next, and these three form your core DoT abilities. These should never drop off.

I then use some basic logic. If it is a multi target fight I use Bane as this will spread my DoTs on to the other monsters we're fighting. If it is a single target fight (most bosses) I use Fester. Even if I use Bane I still use Fester afterwards. As Fester has a 10 second recast you can not use it repeatedly.

What you need to be aware off with these abilities is that they are heavily reliant on Bio, Bio II and Miasma being on a monster and that you should use all three Aetherflow stacks before the recast on Aetherflow is back up. Interrupt your rotation if need be, and likewise interrupt your rotation to recast Aetherflow if need be.

Shadow Flare is not part of your Aetherflow damage so it makes sense to cast this afterwards. Shadow Flare has a 30 second recast so you will only need to use this every other rotation.

If you have time before your Bio runs out, use Ruin. If not then restart your rotation. If you are using Garuda and Contagion has been activated then your DoTs will last longer, meaning you get more Ruin damage in before having to reapply your DoTs.

This is the basic rotation for the Summoner.

With regards to other abilities there are some others which you will find yourself using and may take the place of those Ruins in terms of time. As your DoTs are on timers and you don't want these to expire you should sacrifice Ruin before anything else. So what other skills may be useful?

Resurrection is the obvious one. Use it when a party member dies; preferably with Swiftcast to make it instant. This should be your main use of Swiftcast. Also use Swiftcast to resummon an egi should they die.

Virus is highly beneficial to your tank as it reduces the damage they take, which in turn reduces the amount of HP you need to heal. This is a small amount but it helps.

Raging Strikes is another ability you should use whenever it is available as it boosts your damage by 20%. If you can get a couple of Festers in while under this effect then even better.

Rouse and Spur should be used whenever they are available in order to boost the damage of your summons.

Cross Class Abilities

SMN can take cross class skills from the ARC and BLM classes and at level 50 you can equip up to 5.

What is extremely useful from Archer is Raging Strikes. This will increase your spell damage by 20%. It is a good idea to use this to maximise damage with Fester and DoTs. Quelling Strikes is also useful for reducing the amount of enmity you are accumulating. If your tank is good then you may not need to use this.

From Black Mage you should equip Swift Cast as it will help when you need to Resurrect people. Blizzard II is also worth taking as it will give you an additional AoE spell. Surecast is nice as a fifth skill however you may not use it very often.


The best gear for your Summoner constantly changes depending on what was added in the latest patch so it is important to do your own research on top of this guide. We have broken the gear down into tiers in order to give some indication of what you can use before you get up to that item level tier.

Slot Best Next Tier Third Tier
Main Hand Midan Metal Grimoire
Prototype Midan Metal Grimoire
Augmented Hailstorm Grimoire
Horde Grimoire
Head Augmented Hailstorm Crown of Casting
Midan Horn of Casting
Hailstorm Crown of Casting
Yafaemi Hat of Casting
Prototype Midan Horn of Casting
Eikon Leather Headgear of Casting
Body Augmented Hailstorm Coat of Casting
Midan Coat of Casting
Yafaemi Jacket of Casting
Hailstorm Coat of Casting
Eikon Leather Corselet of Casting
Prototype Midan Coat of Casting
Hands Midan Gloves of Casting
Augmented Hailstorm Gloves of Casting
Hailstorm Gloves of Casting
Yafaemi Halfgloves of Casting
Prototype Midan Gloves of Casting
Eikon Leather Armguards of Casting
Legs Midan Trousers of Casting
Augmented Hailstorm Bottoms of Casting
Yafaemi Trousers of Casting
Hailstorm Bottoms of Casting
Eikon Cloth Brais of Casting
Prototype Midan Trousers of Casting
Feet Augmented Hailstorm Boots of Casting
Midan Boots of Casting
Yafaemi Boots of Casting
Hailstorm Boots of Casting
Prototype Midan Boots of Casting
Eikon Leather Leg Guards of Casting
Waist Midan Belt of Casting
Augmented Hailstorm Belt of Casting
Hailstorm Belt of Casting
Yafaemi Belt of Casting
Prototype Midan Belt of Casting
Eikon Cloth Corset of Casting
Neck Augmented Primal Choker of Casting
Midan Neckband of Casting
Primal Choker of Casting
Prototype Midan Neckband of Casting
Ear Augmented Primal Earrings of Casting
Midan Earrings of Casting
Primal Earrings of Casting
Prototype Midan Earrings of Casting
Rings Midan Ring of Casting
Augmented Primal Ring of Casting
Primal Ring of Casting
Prototype Midan Ring of Casting
Wrist Augmented Primal Bracelet of Casting
Midan Bracelets of Casting
Primal Bracelet of Casting
Prototype Midan Bracelets of Casting


In FFXIV all materia can be added to any slot so this guide only lists the materia that is useful for the Summoner rather than where to put it.

Intelligence - Magic damage
Savage Might - Determination
Savage Aim - Critical Hit Rating

As you will be limited by how much of a certain stat you can apply to gear through stat caps it is a good idea to use a variety and add stats to gear which aren't already on the piece.

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Mar 15, 2015 - 22:29:48 | Location: Durham, United Kingdom

The equipment section of the guide does not list BIS. It lists all of the options for each ilevel tier and as such there's no manual input.

The guide was also written around 2.1 so it can certainly be improved. 3.0 will see big changes to how all jobs play so I don't think it's worth making big changes to this until then.
Mar 14, 2015 - 15:14:24 | Location: Nowhere, In a Box

Bad guide... most of the BIS are way out... you have just gone for the most INT in each slot rsther than overall effect.
Ifrit for multiple for multiple, garuda for single bosses.
For most effective dmg on materia go full det and crit hit
bobbo [Anon]
Jul 11, 2014 - 15:29:54 | Location: Nowhere, In a Box

I put all points into int. And when playing scholar i use cleric stance. Best of both worlds
Mar 12, 2014 - 04:50:18 | Location: Nowhere, In a Box

Bio before bio II

Bio is instant and will start doing damage while you are casting Bio II and Miasma
Krissy [Anon]
Dec 05, 2013 - 03:32:19 | Location: Nowhere, In a Box

"What I am unsure of is whether RS applies to DoTs that have already been cast."

Any buff that increases the damage of your spells only applies to dots cast while you have the buff. (any debufs also only apply while casting).

On the plus side, the bonus granted by the buff lasts for the dots entire duration, even if the buff clears before the dot does.

If you have garuda out, she can extend the duration of these enhanced dots, for even more benefit.

So, for fullest effect, you want to:

Raging strikes
fester (if all dots are already applied)
apply dots (longest durations first)
Garuda's dot extender (if she's out)
bane (if it's multi target)

You should be able to do all of that while it's up, and then maybe a little more. try to reapply the shorter duration dots before raging strikes ends if you have time.
Mercurio [Anon]
Nov 29, 2013 - 03:43:35 | Location: Nowhere, In a Box

Nice guide, thanks, it is really helpfull.
Nov 03, 2013 - 15:54:52 | Location: Durham, United Kingdom

With regards to the accessories and melding, that really depends on the combinations of materia you use. It's difficult to factor that kind of thing into a gear guide because how many players will have 5x melded gear? That's more for advanced play which goes beyond this guide, and in reality I can't test all the different materia combinations for writing the guide.

There are lots of variables to consider, because you will hit the INT cap on those pieces of gear and do we really know which secondary/third stats are best right now? I hear a lot of talk about critical hit being good. I have heard that some 5x melded ilevel 70 gear can be better than the ilevel 90 piece however so it's not something to ignore.
Nov 03, 2013 - 15:47:49 | Location: Durham, United Kingdom

It was indeed copy and pasted from the BLM guide, and I have fixed it. You still want Raging Strikes, that much is obvious. But when to use it is a difficult one, unlike with BLM where it is obvious when.

Fester is your best burst damage so it helps to have it on for that, and you can get two Festers during your Raging Strikes. What I am unsure of is whether RS applies to DoTs that have already been cast. I know it affects those you cast while under RS but ones already applied? I don't know. If it doesn't then the best use is probably Fester > DoTs > Fester then whatever.
Krissy [Anon]
Nov 03, 2013 - 00:17:34 | Location: Nowhere, In a Box

"What is useful from Archer is Raging Strikes. It is a good idea to use this right before you start spamming Fire."

I'm gonna guess this paragraph was copy/pasted from BLM. When do you want to use it on SMN? Before applying dots? Before fester?
Nagoshi [Anon]
Nov 02, 2013 - 19:57:15 | Location: Nowhere, In a Box

So for the gear are you saying Astral Accessories and Rose Gold Earrings are still secondary to allagan/hero gear even after a x5 materia meld?

Oct 20, 2013 - 22:31:18 | Location: Durham, United Kingdom

Well spotted guys, I never use Miasma II myself as SMN and that was an error in the guide. I agree it should only be used for multi target fights. This has been fixed.
Oct 17, 2013 - 19:07:32 | Location: Durham, United Kingdom

Hey Sinincarnate. I just replied to this in the forums. That was an error in the guide, the * should have been next to Bio II not Bio. Fixed now.
Oct 15, 2013 - 14:56:42 | Location: Nowhere, In a Box

Miasma II should only be use in mutli-target fight and Miasma should be use all the time. If you use Bio II, Miasma and then Bio in that order, you'll then need to reapply them in the reverse order Bio, Miasma then Bio II.
vivi [Anon]
Oct 15, 2013 - 09:46:10 | Location: Nowhere, In a Box

Hi the rotation section for this is pretty messed up. Bio, bio 2 and miasma are the only things effected by fester.
Should keep these up at all times to deliver fester with 300 potency. miasma 2 is used to attack groups. I agree thunder to is a good skill to use after this combo is in effect to keep additional damage i also try to use raging strikes at the start to boost effects of combo. thunder is thrown in on bosses whenever i have a chance but not used very commonly on map enemies. ruin is useless towards end of game use ruin II to deliver damage endbetween rotations.
best thing i use to kite bosses when other players die is bio.
ruin II and bio can be used to kite enemies because they have no cast time.
Oct 14, 2013 - 16:03:21 | Location: Unknown, United States

so i see that you have bio as cast only every other rotation even tho the cool down for it is shorter than bio II, that being said its ok to let bio fall off ?