Final Fantasy XIV: Shadowbringers Hands-On with Summoner

A couple of weeks ago we had the chance to sit down with an early build of Final Fantasy XIV: Shadowbringers at the media tour. During our time with the upcoming expansion, we had a chance to check out all of the Job changes.

You can find our master post about the media tour, and a list of links to each job here.

This article is based on play of an in-development build of FINAL FANTASY XIV: Shadowbringers, and content in the final version is subject to change.

Caster Role Actions

Role Actions in Final Fantasy XIV: Shadowbringers will no longer be selectable. Once players obtain the level of the Role Action, it will be automatically unlocked. Depending on the Role, players will have a different number of actions available to them.

Summoner will have the following Role Actions.

Summoner

Welcome to the fourth new job in Shadowbringers! I kid. But, Summoner has undergone a few sweeping changes and many more that are small but essential to understand. Yes, Phoenix is real and amazing, Aetherflow is completely changed, pets are free and instant to summon and so much more. This Job is my main, and I will try not to go too far into minutia… But that is kind of my thing. So here goes!

The life blood of Summoner is Aetherflow. This was a buff with a 30 second cooldown that gave you three stacks to use on abilities that spent it. Now, Aetherflow is gained by casting Energy Drain, an oft maligned ability, or the new Energy Siphon, its’ new AoE little brother. Casting either one of those will give you two stacks to use on Fester or Painflare. Because of this, Aetherflow is not longer accessible without a target. A loss, but not entirely unwelcome. This is due to the fact that entering Dreadwyrm Trance now only costs two Aetherflow stacks, which reduces the time you are waiting to use that ability.

Dreadwyrm Trance itself has been drastically changed as well. Activating trance in Stormblood would increase your magic damage, and reduce the cost of Ruin III for its duration. In Shadowbringers, Dreadwyrm Trance still resets your Tri-Disaster cooldown, however now the main effect reduces all spell casting times by 2.5 seconds, essentially making most of your spells instant casts. it would also reduce the cast time of raise in a pinch… But let’s agree to never speak of that again. That is great news, but it isn’t the biggest change to the ability. Now when Dreadwyrm Trance ends, you will receive two stacks of Dreadwyrm Aether, which is coincidentally exactly how much you need to summon Bahamut. Rejoice! Bahamut is here with speed once thought impossible. Speaking of Bahamut… Not much has changed, moving on.

After summoning Bahamut once, you will gain a new icon on your Job Gauge indicating that you may now enter Firebird Trance. This new phase of the rotation shares the cast time reduction and Tri-disaster cooldown reset. New to it though are two spells: Fountain of Fire, and Brand of Purgatory. The first, Fountain of Fire, replaces Ruin III while in the trance, hits harder than Ruin IV and gives you the buff: Burgeoning Flame which allows you to cast Fountain of Fire. This spell replaces a spell that replaced Tri-Bind named Outburst, which is usually a small AoE Ruin that is enhanced by the Ruination effect granted by Tri-Disaster. Brand of Purgatory is a slightly weaker Deathflare that can be cast multiple times during Firebird Trance. Oh and also, Phoenix shows up when you enter the Trance at level 80, no big deal.

Phoenix itself works similarly to Bahamut in that it has a not-so-auto-attack triggered by your spell casts, it can be enkindled to cast Revelation, which is a twin of Ahk Morn. New to Phoenix though, is an ability that it automatically casts when it is summoned Everlasting Flight. This ability gives every party member within 15 yalms of Phoenix a tiny Regen effect for 20 seconds. Currently the Regen is of very low potency, but all potencies are subject to change, and this might increase.

Our other pets have also completely changed, not in form, definitely in function. Now summoning Ifrit, Titan, and Garuda is instant and free. You are free to switch pets for any occasion. For those of you laughing at the idea of summoning Titan at all, let’s have a chat about how we control pets now. Gone are the pet actions on the pet bar, minus the commands like Come, Obey, etc. Now there are the abilities Egi Assault I and Egi Assault II. These are how you will control your pet. Each commands the currently summoned pet to execute one of their two actions which are things like Aerial Slash and Crimson Cyclone. New to Titan is the ability Earthen Armor which commands Titan to grant the Summoner a barrier equal to 20% of their health at the time of casting.

If I were to go over every change here, I’d never get to the rest of the Jobs but suffice to say: Read all of the tool tips. Potencies may change, in fact I’d bet they will, but even little things like Bane spreading the effect of Ruination (Ruin does more damage after applying dots via Tri-Disaster) enhances the AoE rotation in awesome ways. I am very excited to get my hands on Summoner ASAP. Mostly so I can re-learn how to play.