[Archived] FFXIV Summoner Guide: Leveling and Rotation (5.x Shadowbringers)

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[Archived] FFXIV Summoner Guide: Leveling and Rotation (5.x Shadowbringers)

The land of Eorzea is under constant threat from the beings known as Primals, summoned forth unto the world by the many beast tribes who seek their protection. In ancient times, there existed practitioners of magic who could bend these god-like beings to their will. Those mages were known as Summoners, and you can unearth the history of their techniques to gain mastery over Primals just as they did. In this FFXIV Summoner job guide, we’ll cover you’re role as a Summoner, the top spells you should be using at each level, and a recommended Summoner rotation to maximize your damage output.

The Summoner job is known for being vastly different from expansion to expansion, but it has always involved casting spells and using pets. It is one of the more complex jobs that Final Fantasy XIV has on offer, but it can become a DPS powerhouse for an experienced player who puts in the time to learn its ins and outs. The Summoner job quests also expand upon elements of the main story, so it’s a great choice for lore hunters.

The Summoner’s Role

Summoners are a caster DPS job, and they are one of FFXIV’s two pet jobs (the other being their starting class buddy, Scholar). They have very little party utility; their kit is much more focused on doing damage. At later levels, Summoners gain a party-wide damage buff and a party-wide heal, but these are not abilities that your rotation should be structured around. The Summoner’s role is all about hitting the enemy as hard as possible.

Summoner Levels 1-29

Ruin (LVL 1) is going to be your primary single target attack that you use when there’s nothing else left to do. Bio (LVL 2) and Miasma (LVL 6) are DoT (damage over time) skills that you always need to keep up. Bio is an instant cast spell that will turn into Bio II at Level 26, and Miasma has a cast time of 2.5 seconds. This makes it ideal to cast Miasma first and Bio immediately after when attacking a new target.

The focus on DoT skills is reinforced when you pick up Energy Drain and Fester at Level 18 and unlock your Aetherflow Gauge. Using Energy Drain will fill the gauge with 2 charges and allow you to cast Fester twice, executing a single target attack that deals more damage if you’ve applied both DoT skills to the target.

At Level 4, you’ll receive Physick, a light healing spell that you will mostly use on yourself, but you can help your party’s healer in a pinch. You’ll also get Resurrection at Level 12, so you’ll be able to rez other players if needed.

Emerald Carbuncle executing Gust and Downburst gif
Emerald Carbuncle executing Gust and Downburst / Square Enix via HGG

Of course, the meat of the Summoner is in its summons, and you’ll receive two at this stage: Summon at Level 4 and Summon II at Level 15. Summon will bring forth an Emerald Carbuncle that will auto-cast Gust, dealing AoE damage to whatever target you are focused on. Summon II puts a Topaz Carbuncle at your side, who will auto-cast Gouge, a single target attack, in the same manner. You will also gain access to a Pet Hotbar with a variety of commands, but it is easiest to keep your pets in Guard mode, as this will cause them to attack when you are attacked.

Egi Assault (LVL 10) will command your pet to use Downburst if the Emerald Carbuncle is summoned, or Glittering Topaz if the Topaz Carbuncle is summoned. Downburst is another AoE attack similar to Gust, and Glittering Topaz is a defense buff. This makes the Topaz Carbuncle great for solo content, as it offers you a way to protect yourself. Egi Assault will be your primary attack with all of your summons going forward. It has 2 charges, and if both of them are used, it will take a while to replenish them.

Summoner Levels 30-50

Once you pick up your Summoner soul crystal at Level 30, you will unlock Summon III, which will allow you to summon Ifrit-Egi. His auto-cast is a single target ability called Burning Strike, and his Egi Assault is Crimson Cyclone, a more powerful single target attack. You will also pick up Bane, which will spread DoTs from one target across all nearby targets, decreasing the amount of work you have to do to apply your poisons.

Ifrit-Egi executing his Egi Assault gif
Ifrit-Egi executing his Egi Assault / Square Enix via HGG

Energy Siphon (LVL 35) is an AoE attack that will give you another option to fill up your Aetherflow Gauge. It shares a recast timer with Energy Drain, so it should only be used against multiple targets. Ruin will upgrade to Ruin II at Level 38, and it will becomw an instant cast spell. This will help you deal more damage in situations where you are required to move around. Outburst (LVL 40) will give you another AoE attack.

Your pets will get some big upgrades during this stage. At Level 35, your Topaz Carbuncle will become Titan-Egi, and at Level 45, your Emerald Carbuncle will become Garuda-Egi. Egi Assault will now result in stronger versions of the original carbuncles’ abilities, and the egis will have similar auto-cast attacks. At Level 40, you will unlock Egi Assault II, which gives you access to a new ability for each egi. Like Egi Assault, it has 2 charges and will take some time to replenish if both are used. All three Egi Assault II abilities are AoE attacks, but Garuda-Egi’s will create a windstorm around the target that will damage any other enemies that enter it.

Garuda-Egi executing her Egi Assault gif
Garuda-Egi executing her Egi Assault / Square Enix via HGG

The last ability you will acquire from this stage is Enkindle (LVL 50), which gives each of your egis a signature ability. Ifrit-Egi gets Inferno, a cone AoE attack that will apply a fire damage DoT. Titan-Egi gets Earthen Fury, which does AoE damage and creates a circle of molten earth around the Summoner, damaging enemies who enter it. Garuda-Egi gets Aerial Blast, which is a simple but powerful AoE attack.

Titan-Egi executing his Egi Assault gif
Titan-Egi executing his Egi Assault / Square Enix via HGG

Each pet serves a purpose, and you will have to decide when it’s best to use them. Garuda-Egi is your go-to for ranged combat with crowds of enemies due to her far-reaching AoE abilities. Ifrit-Egi is best suited to melee combat with one or two enemies. Titan-Egi is best for mitigating incoming damage; he’s not as good in melee situations as Ifrit-Egi, but his defensive buff will keep you alive when you’re getting wailed on.

Summoner Levels 51-60

The Heavensward expansion gives the Summoner more single-target spells that they can cast without needing the help of their pets, and it also adds one of two Trances.

The 3 single target attacks are as follows: Painflare (LVL 52), Ruin III (LVL 54), and Tri-disaster (LVL 56). Painflare uses one charge of your Aetherflow Gauge, and Tri-disaster will afflict the target with Bio III and Miasma III. Tri-disaster will become a major part of your kit going forward because it instantly applies both DoTs to a single target. It also ties into the Trance you will unlock.

Dreadwyrm Trance and Deathflare gif
Dreadwyrm Trance and Deathflare / Square Enix via HGG

At Level 58, you will receive Dreadwyrm Trance, a buff ability that requires a full Aetherflow Gauge and does a few things. Firstly, all of your spells (aside from Resurrection) will be cast instantly while Dreadwyrm Trance is active. Using Dreadwyrm Trance will also reset the recast timer for Tri-disaster, making it available immediately. Entering Dreadwyrm Trance will accumulate 2 units of Dreadwyrm Aether in your new Trance Gauge; this will be used as a resource for later abilities.

Lastly, Dreadwyrm Trance grants access to Deathflare (LVL 60), a powerful AoE finisher. Using Deathflare will end the Trance.

Summoner Levels 61-70

Stormblood gives the Summoner a touch of party utility and upgrades their DoT skills, but it also adds another incredibly powerful primal to their arsenal: Bahamut himself.

Ruin IV (LVL 62) can only be executed after using either Egi Assault or Egi Assault II. Bio III (LVL 66) and Miasma III (LVL 66) will upgrade your DoT skills, allowing you to cast these upgraded versions separately without the use of Tri-disaster.

Party utility enters with the addition of Aetherpact at Level 64, which allows you to command your pet to execute Devotion, increasing the damage done of nearby party members by 5%.

The big addition in this stage is Bahamut. You will unlock Summon Bahamut at Level 70 and gain the ability to bring Demi-Bahamut forth to do your bidding for 20 seconds. Certain conditions must be met to summon him. It costs 2 Dreadwyrm Aether to use Summon Bahamut, which means you must use Dreadwyrm Trance prior to this, which means you must have a full Aetherflow Gauge.

Bahamut casting Akh Morn gif
Bahamut casting Akh Morn / Square Enix via HGG

Like your other summons, he has an auto-cast attack called Wyrmwave which will go off every time you use a GCD (global cooldown) skill. Using Enkindle Bahamut will cause him to execute Akh Morn, an AoE skill that deals huge damage to a single target and 50% to the surrounding targets.

Summoner Levels 71-80

Shadowbringers adds another Trance and another big summon to your toolkit.

At Level 72, Summoners gain Firebird Trance. Firebird Trance can only be cast after Demi-Bahamut disappears, meaning you must meet all the conditions to use Summon Bahamut first. Dreadwyrm Trance will then turn into Firebird Trance. Using Firebird Trance will summon Demi-Phoenix, and it will reduce your cast time and reset Tri-disaster in the same manner as the previous Trance.

Entering Firebird Trance and casting Fountain of Fire gif
Entering Firebird Trance and casting Fountain of Fire / Square Enix via HGG

Using Firebird Trance will turn Ruin III into Fountain of Fire (a single target attack) and Outburst to Brand of Purgatory (an AoE attack). Fountain of Fire must be used first.

At Level 80, the Summoner unlocks the last set of Phoenix abilities. Enkindle Phoenix will order Demi-Phoenix to execute Revelation, another massive AoE finisher. Demi-Phoenix will gain a single target auto-cast attack, Scarlet Flame, that works in the same way as Demi-Bahamut’s. You will also pick up a party-wide heal, Everlasting Flight, that will heal over time.

Summoner Job Rotation

Summoner Job Rotation - character studying spellbook
Study up! / Square Enix via HGG

Here, we’ll go over the Summoner’s rotation in Final Fantasy 14. It should be clear by now that the Summoner has a lot going on and needs to manage a lot of different resources in order to pull off their rotation. You’ll notice that a lot of new abilities replace old ones as you level up, and the Summoner will enter Trances that can replace skills with different ones for the duration of that Trance. At Level 80, your hotbar will be changing constantly as you move through the different phases of your rotation, so make sure you pay attention which skills replace each other.

The Summoner rotation is commonly viewed in “phases”. Each phase builds upon the previous one in order to pull off your big summons and maximize your damage during them. It’s also important to keep your DoTs up throughout all of this!

First, you build up your Aetherflow Gauge to execute Dreadwyrm Trance. This will build up your Trance Gauge so that you can Summon Bahamut and use Akh Morn. After the Bahamut phase ends, you will have a filler phase while you wait for Firebird Trance to come off cooldown. In this filler phase, you want to be using Ruins and Egi Assaults as much as possible. Then, you will enter Firebird Trance and use the Phoenix abilities it grants. You will then have another filler phase similar to the first, but you also need to focus on refilling your Aetherflow Gauge to execute Dreadwyrm Trance again. From there on, the cycle will repeat.

Summoner: Endwalker Changes

Summoner is known for being a job that changes greatly with each expansion, and Endwalker will be no exception. A full outline of the changes is not yet available and this is subject to change, but here is what we know about Summoner in 6.0.

  • All DoT skills will be removed, and a gap closer ability will be added.
  • Bahamut and Phoenix’s summons will be reduced from 20 to 15 seconds.
  • Summoning Bahamut will unlock elemental jewels that can be used to summon the 3 primals after he’s gone, and after those jewels are expended, Phoenix will be available for summoning.
  • All primal egis will be replaced with their full forms, now called Ifrit Ruby, Titan Topaz, and Garuda Emerald. The primals will have new movesets to differentiate them from each other, and they will augment certain abilities to their respective elements.
  • Summoning a primal will cause an initial AoE attack to go off.

This is going to drastically change the Summoner’s rotation phases, though it will certainly make the job easier without all the DoT skills to manage between summons. It will also make the primals much more exciting and give them each a distinct identity.

Join the High Ground

That’s it for our overview of our FFXIV Summoner job guide! In its current state, this is one of FFXIV‘s most complex jobs, but it’s also one of the game’s biggest damage dealers. The changes coming in Endwalker will certainly shake things up for Summoners, so be sure to subscribe to our newsletter and follow us on social media for more FFXIV content and guides like this!


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