If you’re looking to find the best healer Final Fantasy XIV has to offer, you’re in the right place! We’ve analyzed the game’s quartet of healing jobs to determine which one comes out on top and laid it all out for you in a convenient FFXIV healer tier list.
Final Fantasy XIV currently has two different types of healers: pure healers, who focus on restoring HP, and shield healers, who focus on preventing damage. All of them do have pure healing abilities, but shield healers have a little less. Because there are different types, in high end raid content, people often look to have one of each to fill their two healer slots.
The Best Healers in FFXIV, Ranked Good to Great
Before we start ranking anything, we have to give the disclaimer FFXIV is a historically well-balanced game. There are no “bad” picks when it comes to healers. The only people splitting hairs about what healers to use are in high end raid content. Even then, the “top tier” healer may not always be the best choice. These things are situational and, more often than not, come down to a matter of personal preference in the end.
While some healers do have advantages over others, these differences don’t make a major difference in the grand scheme of things. The best healer for you is always the one that you feel comfortable and confident playing.
A Tier: White Mage
First and lowest on our list of the best healing classes in FFXIV is the classic White Mage. We struggled with this placement because, as we’ve said, there are no “bad” healers in FFXIV. However, White Mage is lacking in a lot of areas that all the other healers have covered.
Those areas are party utility and mitigation. White Mage doesn’t really have DPS buffs, nor does it have shields. Sure, WHM isn’t a shield healer, but even Astrologian has some shielding capabilities. No matter how good WHM’s healing throughput and personal DPS are, it is lacking elements that all other healers have. This puts it behind the other three no matter how you look at it.
It’s not all bad for the White Mage, though. As we noted, WHM has powerful healing capabilities. It is the purest pure healer on this list — Astrologian is really more of a jack of all trades. WHM has regen heals, AOE heals, full heals, and AOE heals with regen. Truly, every kind of heal you would need for any situation is in this job’s kit.
Because White Mage has every bit of healing you could ever need and decent MP management, it makes this job very easy to play. In fact, WHM is the easiest healer to pick up if you’re a beginner. The kit is simple and straightforward, and your overwhelming healing power allows you to easily recover from what could be fatal mistakes for a more complex healer.
While it’s at the bottom of our tier list, we have to emphasize that White Mage is the best healer for new players. It also provides the most traditional “healer fantasy” and it’s an iconic staple of the Final Fantasy franchise.
A+ Tier: Sage
Second on our tier list is the new kid on the block: Sage. Sage is classified as a shield healer, meaning that it tends to focus on mitigating damage rather than healing after damage is taken. Out of the gate, this requires more advanced knowledge on the part of the player. You must be able to remember fights and read attacks to keep your party members safe. Whereas pure healers, like White Mage, can use their big heals to recover from mistakes, shield healers don’t have that luxury.
Being one of the jobs added to the game in the latest expansion, Endwalker, Sage is still relatively popular due to its novelty. Being new doesn’t necessarily mean being better, though. SGE currently doesn’t hold a candle to its older shield healer sibling, Scholar. We’ve placed Sage in A+ tier because it can do more than White Mage can, but it lacks the power and refinement that Scholar has.
But what can it do? Well, a lot. Sage is honestly pretty complex, and its mechanics are very different from the other three healers. It uses lots of gauge resources, and a lot of your healing will actually stem from dealing damage. Yes, you heard that right. Placing Kardia on another player grants the Kardion effect, which will heal them when you use certain attacks. The heals from Kardion aren’t massive, but this is a great thing to set-and-forget on your tank or to put on a struggling DPS player to give them an extra boost.
Eukrasia is another big element of the Sage’s kit. This ability augments your other actions, granting shields, regens, and damage over time effects to what would normally be simple heals and attacks. Augmenting actions is a big part of SGE’s mechanics and—along with more of a focus on DPSing—this is what makes it so different from the other three. Different doesn’t mean better or worse, but this is worth noting.
Sage’s strengths lie in damage and shielding, but it also has decent healing capabilities and good mobility. For cons, we talked about how its shields just aren’t as good as Scholar’s, but it’s also pretty “selfish”, lacking in party utility. Sage currently does not have any DPS buffs, which is part of why it’s lower on our list.
Though it’s simultaneously the new kid and the odd one out, this means that Sage feels fresh and distinct. Sage’s unique take on healing may actually make more sense to you than something as straightforward as WHM or SCH. Just make sure you understand how shield healing works before you charge into a fight.
S Tier: Scholar
Next up, we have Summoner’s twin job, Scholar. Like Summoner, Scholar relies on summoned pets. Instead of a carbuncle and a bunch of primals, Scholar uses a variety of faeries to do its healing. The primary two used are Eos and Selene and, as of the current patch (6.3) there is no difference between the two. In the past, Eos had better heals while Selene buffed party members’ damage, but this mechanic has since been removed.
A big point in Scholar’s favor is that the faeries take care of most of the direct healing for you. They automatically heal party members with low HP, and you can even command them to tether to a specific target and heal it exclusively.
With the faeries focused on healing, you can focus on the bread and butter of Scholar’s gameplay—shields. Like Sage, SCH is a shield healer. Unlike Sage, its shields are much more powerful. Scholar has tons on tons of mitigation and, when played right, will keep its faeries from having too much work to do. On top of the shields, SCH has great party utility, including its new level 90 ability, Expedient, which not only grants a shield but also gives party members a free 10s sprint.
Like its twin, Scholar has seen a lot of reworks over the years, but it has always remained a shielding powerhouse. This constant tweaking and refinement is why we’ve placed it over Sage. There may come a day when SGE is refined more and surpasses its older sibling, but that is not today.
We’ve said a lot of great things about Scholar, but there are still a few cons to the job. It can be pretty tough to learn. The amount of buttons can be overwhelming for new players, and proper mitigation requires good fight knowledge. SCH is the darling child of the high end raiding scene, but its complex kit is a lot less useful in casual content. While this is a matter of preference, Scholar also suffers from being a little bit boring in its current state.
Those aren’t huge cons, though, and if you’re a raider, Scholar is probably looking pretty appealing right now!
S+ Tier: Astrologian
At the top of our list is Astrologian. AST is an incredibly powerful healer with a diverse kit, but it’s also very complex—more than Sage and Scholar. Like Scholar, it’s had its fair share of tweaks and reworks and is now in a fairly streamlined state. That’s saying something, because it still has the busiest kit of all the healers.
Astrologian is centered around the use of arcanum cards that are drawn and used to buff other players. There are six cards: three for melee (including tanks), and three for ranged (included casters and other healers). When you draw a card, you have to be able to quickly determine what to do with it. On top of this, cards also have astrosigns that you need to collect, and there are also Minor Arcana to consider.
This is the biggest point against Astrologian—it’s hard to learn and harder to master. Our only other cons would be noting that it has low personal DPS and that AST is expecting a rework in the next expansion, so it may not stay as powerful as it currently is. We aren’t Astrologians, and we can’t predict what the future holds, so let’s talk about some of the stellar qualities of this job!
AST has a little something for everyone. Its cards give it tons of utility, it has big heals, good MP management, and it even has shields! Neutral Sect adds barriers to Aspected Benefic and Aspected Helios, which is a crazy good bonus for those healing abilities. Synastry is another great ability, letting you select a party member to receive bonus heals whenever you heal yourself or someone else. Lightspeed will reduce most of your spells to instant casts for 15s, giving you incredible mobility.
There’s really nothing that Astrologian can’t do. Its capabilities go way beyond FFXIV’s other pure healer, White Mage. With its utility and shields, it stands out as a clear winner—with Scholar not far behind.
Join the High Ground
If you read our tank tier list, you might remember that we chose the easiest tank for our top pick. That works for tanks because they’re really only concerned about themselves and the boss. Being easy to play means an easier time doing your job.
With healers, on the other hand, complexity tends to mean more utility. Sure, a White Mage can run high end content just as well as anyone else. However, in savage and ultimate tiers, players are often splitting hairs over DPS and heal checks. In those situations, you need a healer that can make that difference. As we mentioned earlier, what one healer lacks can be made up for by the other in an eight man group. But if you’re not playing high end content, there’s really no need to worry about this! Pick the healer that you like playing and have fun.
We hope you enjoyed our FFXIV healer tier list! For more FFXIV tier lists and job guides, make sure to subscribe to our newsletter and follow us on social media!