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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, this FFXIV Leveling Guide by Killer Guides is a definite must have! There is nothing that comes even close in regards to level of detail and overall quality.

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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.


Attributes


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.


Summons


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:

Aetherflow
Bio
*Bio II
Miasma
**Bane
Fester
Shadow Flare
Ruin
Repeat

* 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.


Gear


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. It may also be that you feel a different piece works better for you in that slot but in most cases the best item is the one listed. We have broken the gear down into tiers, because once you have an item of say ilevel 70 you don't need to aim for another of the same ilevel, you should be aiming for ilevel 80 or 90.

Currently only weapons have ilevel 80, which is why the armour goes 90, 70, 60. With patch 2.1 this will change and be consistent. As a general guide you should be aiming for a setup such as this:

Slot Best Next Tier Third Tier
Main Hand Dreadwyrm Grimoire
Augmented Ironworks Magitek Grimoire
Ironworks Magitek Grimoire
Head Augmented Ironworks Hood of Casting
Dreadwyrm Petasos of Casting
Ironworks Hood of Casting
High Allagan Mask of Casting
Elkliege Hat
Evenstar Hat
Platinum Circlet of Casting
Body Augmented Ironworks Doublet of Casting
Dreadwyrm Robe of Casting
Ironworks Doublet of Casting
Elkliege Robe
Evenstar Coat
High Allagan Coat of Casting
Arachne Bolero
Hands Dreadwyrm Gloves of Casting
Augmented Ironworks Gloves of Casting
Ironworks Gloves of Casting
Evenstar Gloves of Casting
High Allagan Gloves of Casting
Evenstar Gloves
Elkliege Gloves
Kirimu Gloves of Casting
Legs Augmented Ironworks Breeches of Casting
Dreadwyrm Tonban of Casting
Ironworks Breeches of Casting
Evenstar Tights
Elkliege Slops
High Allagan Breeches of Casting
Arachne Culottes of Casting
Feet Augmented Ironworks Boots of Casting
Dreadwyrm Shoes of Casting
Ironworks Boots of Casting
Evenstar Bootees
Elkliege Thighboots
High Allagan Boots of Casting
Kirimu Boots of Casting
Waist Augmented Ironworks Belt of Casting
Dreadwyrm Belt of Casting
Ironworks Belt of Casting
High Allagan Belt of Casting
Elkliege Belt
Evenstar Sash
Evenstar Sash of Casting
Kirimu Belt of Casting
Neck Augmented Ironworks Choker of Casting
Dreadwyrm Choker of Casting
Ironworks Choker of Casting
Werewolf Choker of Casting
Evenstar Necklace of Casting
High Allagan Choker of Casting
Evenstar Necklace
Ear Augmented Ironworks Earrings of Casting
Dreadwyrm Earring of Casting
Ironworks Earrings of Casting
Evenstar Earrings
Werewolf Earrings of Casting
High Allagan Earrings of Casting
Rings Dreadwyrm Ring of Casting
Augmented Ironworks Ring of Casting
Ironworks Ring of Casting
High Allagan Ring of Casting
Evenstar Ring
Judgment Ring of Casting
Evenstar Ring of Casting
Werewolf Ring of Casting
Wrist Dreadwyrm Bracelet of Casting
Augmented Ironworks Bracelet of Casting
Ironworks Bracelet of Casting
True Ice Bracelet of Casting
Werewolf Bracelet of Casting
Evenstar Armillae of Casting
Evenstar Armillae
High Allagan Bracelets of Casting

* This guide only lists gear which is confirmed to be in FFXIV: ARR.

Materia


In FFXIV: ARR 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
Piety - MP
Quicktongue - Spell Speed
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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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
 
Anonymous
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)
fester.

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.
 
Xenor
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.
 
Xenor
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?

 
Xenor
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.
 
Xenor
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.
 
Anonymous
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.
 
sinincarnate
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 ?