Healer Tier List for FFXIV (Patch 6.5)

Last updated on Oct 14, 2023 at 02:00 by Wynn 1 comment

This page contains Healer-specific information regarding what you should expect from the role, as well as what others may expect from you in FFXIV. We've also ranked each job within the role, dependent on what type of content you're aiming to complete.


Healer Tier List

Tier lists in Final Fantasy XIV are fairly nuanced, so if you'd like a more detailed explanation on the jobs within this role, feel free to read on beyond the initial tier list we've provided.

Healers in FFXIV occupy a role which makes them a bit more complicated to balance than other classes. What makes a healer good in prog may not necessarily make them good for maximizing DPS. In addition, there is the split of regen versus shield healers, often referred to as "pure healers" and "barrier healers" respectively. Which healer works best for you depends massively on your personal strengths and weaknesses as a player, so this guide will attempt to shed some light on some of the factors you may consider when choosing a healer job.

Healer gameplay can vary massively in different situations. Some situations, like Ultimate progression, require significantly more attention to healing. Other times, such as Savage world prog, may require a healer to squeeze out a bit more damage to meet a DPS check. An effective player can adapt to any situation, but picking the right job certainly plays a part.

Before we begin, I'd like to start with a terminology note. "Lossless" healing refers to healing which does not come with a direct or indirect loss of DPS, while "lossy" healing does. For example, a GCD heal is "lossy", as is a heal that costs you a resource which could otherwise be spent on damage. Run-of-the-mill oGCD heals with no resource cost other than the cooldown itself are lossless, as long as you do not clip your GCD to cast them.


Difficulty Tiering

Each of the healers plays a bit differently, so tiers cannot properly convey all of the nuance. However, both healing roles, regen and shield, there are clear options for which one is easier.

  • White Mage is the easier of the two regen healers, with simple heal mechanics, no raid buff, and GCD heals which are not only lossless, but also allow free movement.
  • Sage is the simpler of the two shield healers. Like White Mage, it has a lot of free healing with no damage cost, plenty of movement options, and powerful heals.
  • Astrologian is the more difficult regen healer. It features healing mechanics that require more forethought to use effectively, and has both party-wide and single-target damage buffs.
  • Scholar is the more complicated shield healer. It has busy burst windows, more complicated healing mechanics, and even has some lossy oGCD abilities.

Healers in a Nutshell

The gameplay of a healer will look a lot different depending on what type of content you're doing, and how familiar you are with the fight. Early Savage or Ultimate prog may involve a good amount of GCD healing, spot healing to cover mistakes, and resource management. On the other hand, a reclear or speed kill of a Savage fight will involve as few GCD heals as possible in order to maximize damage output.

Good healers are invaluable to any raid team. Being able to play multiple healers will make you even more attractive of a prospect, especially if you can fulfill both the shield healer and regen healer sub-roles. Healers are frequently in-demand for both statics and party finder. If you can play both sub-roles, you will have no trouble finding a group that fits your needs.

While the basics of healing do not change from job to job, each job has its own nuances that can make it more or less difficult or rewarding than the other jobs. In addition, some fights clearly favor some healers over others, so it makes sense to know the ups and downs of each healer.


Expectations of the Role

The first and foremost role of a healer is to keep the team alive, through your heals and mitigations. This does not mean you need to heal every little bit of chip damage - the last hit point is the only one that matters. The next concern is damage output. Healers in FFXIV are expected to output approximately half of the damage of a DPS. With two healers on the team, this means you'd be missing out on an entire DPS player worth of damage if your healers are not doing damage. Fortunately, healer DPS rotations tend to be relatively simple, though some are simpler than others.



The tools that healers have at their disposal are generally overkill for the amount of damage in FFXIV fights. However, you generally do not use all of your tools, because some of them have a damage cost. This is most obvious with GCD heals - if you're using a GCD to heal, you're not using it to deal damage. Some healers, like Scholar, have additional resources that much be spent on DPS or healing.

In addition, some healing actions are simple, straightforward heals. Others are more complicated and they may need to be prepared in advance, or they may have interactions with other healing actions. Some may cost resources which could alternatively be spent on dealing damage, so it is important to save enough resources for healing when using such abilities.

  • Sage is pretty straightforward in terms of healing. While it does have many mitigations which you'd want to pop right before damage, it does not require anywhere close to the pre-planning of Astrologian. It has many lossless healing options, including a potential 900p AoE heal that deals the same damage as a normal GCD, and free tank upkeep. Some of the abilities can be a bit tricky to plan out, such getting maximum use out of Panhaima Icon Panhaima, or optimally using Pepsis Icon Pepsis correctly which requires knowing precisely when enemy abilities snapshot.
  • Astrologian has a variety of GCD and oGCD heal options. However, they need to be planned out a bit more carefully. For example, you want to be able to use Earthly Star Icon Earthly Star 10-20 seconds before you actually want the healing, so that you get the full damage out of it. In addition, some skills, like Horoscope Icon Horoscope, can be used in different ways depending on the situation. It is worth noting that Macrocosmos Icon Macrocosmos can be extremely powerful in some fights.
  • Scholar has lossy oGCD heals in the form of abilities that cost Aetherflow stacks. It also has some abilities, like Dissipation, that lock out some of your healing abilities. Thus, it requires careful planning to avoid backing yourself into a corner. The fairy mechanic allows Scholar to heal from a very long range, because the fairy can be positioned where the healing is needed. However, this also means that you need to pay attention to fairy positioning, as mis-positioning it can cause you to miss with heals.
  • White Mage has Lily heals - Afflatus Rapture Icon Afflatus Rapture and Afflatus Solace Icon Afflatus Solace. Lily heals add one charge to the Blood Lily when used. Once you have three charges, you can use Afflatus Misery Icon Afflatus Misery to deal a whopping 1240 potency damage - meaning that casting three heals and a Misery will deal the same potency as if you had used those four GCDs for damage. White Mage has other heal options as well, but Lily heals are its unique job mechanic.


Healer damage output is very important. While you should still be keeping everyone alive, a healer that doesn't do damage is generally not useful to a team. Knowing how to effectively deal damage while keeping everyone alive is what makes a good healer player.

All the healers have a 30-second DoT GCD, and a filler damage GCD. Generally, the DoT should be kept up at all times, and the filler should occupy as many other GCDs are possible. Some healers have additional burst damage GCDs, or special instant-cast GCDs for movement. Then, there are oGCD damage skills. Every healer is a little bit different in this regard. As before, this results in some of them being more complicated than others.

  • Astrologian's high damage contribution comes from its card mechanic, as well as Divination Icon Divination. As such, you need to be aware of your group's burst timings, as well as when each DPS peaks. This will require you to be proficient in quickly targeting allies, which can be easier said than done if you have not practiced this. There is also some RNG element, such as with Minor Arcana Icon Minor Arcana, as well as ensuring that you are timing your Earthly Star Icon Earthly Stars such that you maximize both the damage and healing you get from them.
  • Scholar is quite complex along with Astrologian. Scholar's main unique mechanic is Aetherflow. You can hold three stacks, and you can instantly refill those stacks using Aetherflow Icon Aetherflow or Dissipation Icon Dissipation. Each stack can be spent on certain oGCD heals, or on Energy Drain Icon Energy Drain, so you will need to choose what to spend them on carefully lest you run out of healing.
  • Sage's unique mechanic is Phlegma Icon Phlegma. Phlegma is an ability that can store two charges, and regenerates one charge every 40 seconds. This means that you can use two Phlegmas on every two minute burst window, with the remaining charge usable for free movement. Sage has other damage GCDs with other benefits attached, such as Toxikon Icon Toxikon and Pneuma Icon Pneuma, but these deal the same damage as your filler Dosis Icon Dosis and thus should only be used when required.
  • White Mage features Assize Icon Assize as an extra burst, as well as the unique Presence of Mind Icon Presence of Mind to temporarily increase your GCD speed. These should both be used during a burst window. In addition, while the primary use of Lily heals and Afflatus Misery Icon Afflatus Misery are to provide free movement, damage can be optimized by using the Misery under raid buffs, while using the Lily heals outside of burst.


As a caster-type role, most healer GCDs are hard-casts. That is, you must remain still for a short amount of time in order to cast the spell. This presents a mobility challenge - you want to continue dealing damage (or possibly healing), but you can't cast those GCDs while moving.

Like other casters, all healers can "slidecast" - that is, moving 0.5 seconds before the end of the cast bar will still allow the cast to complete. Since healer filler GCDs last 1.5 seconds before applying Spell Speed, this means that you only have a one-second window of immobility. However, this may still not be enough. Not to mention, your DoT skill is naturally an instant cast, of which you would use two per minute.

If you need additional mobility, each healer has unique mechanics which can help in this regard. Some of these options cost damage (but less so than dropping an entire GCD to move), while others may have some other resource cost.

In addition, once runs are optimized to the point of player deaths being a non-issue, all healers can safely use Swiftcast Icon Swiftcast as an additional movement tool. This will give you another instant-cast GCD every 60 seconds. Combined with your DoTs, this gives you three instant-cast GCDs per minute.

  • Sage has very good lossless movement. You get three stacks of Toxikon Icon Toxikon at the start of the fight, giving you three GCDs of free movement. One stack is recharged when one of your GCD shields is fully consumed, so in heal-intensive fights, you may get even more stacks. Icarus Icon Icarus is a gap closer which can be used on enemies or allies for a burst of movement. Phlegma Icon Phlegma is an instant cast, but you should still try to keep 2/3 Phlegmas in the two-minute burst windows. Should you need to GCD heal, Sage has a unique advantage in that Eukrasian Prognosis Icon Eukrasian Prognosis and Eukrasian Diagnosis Icon Eukrasian Diagnosis are instant cast GCD shielding and healing abilities.
  • White Mage features Lilies as its primary movement mechanic. As previously mentioned in the damage and healing sections, Lilies are a lossless heal. However, they also provide free movement, as they are instant cast. That goes for both the heals, as well as the Misery. This means that you could potentially have four instant GCDs per minute, on top of the two or three you'd have anyway as a healer. Additionally, Presence of Mind Icon Presence of Mind's faster GCDs will decrease the proportion of time in which you are locked in place.
  • Scholar is a very unique case. Expedient Icon Expedient is a party-wide movement speed buff, giving not just the Scholar, but the entire party more movement speed. Apart from that, Scholar can use Ruin Icon Ruin as a free movement GCD, with a small damage penalty. However, the penalty is still less than if you had dropped an entire GCD to move.
  • Astrologian's main movement ability is Lightspeed Icon Lightspeed, which reduces GCD cast times by 2.5 seconds. This will cause all of your skills apart from Ascend Icon Ascend to be instant cast. However, keep in mind that this skill is often needed to make burst windows manageable, as it opens more weave slots. Finally, while it is on a rather long cooldown, and should be used for healing rather than movement, Macrocosmos Icon Macrocosmos is also an instant GCD.


  • 15 Oct. 2023: Guide added.
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