Final Fantasy XIV: Endwalker Hands-On with Sage

We recently had a chance to play a preview build of Final Fantasy XIV: Endwalker as part of the North American Media Tour. During our hands-on time, we had a chance to play with many of the updates coming to each Job. For those that we weren’t able to personally get hands-on with, we still had an opportunity to look at the changes that will be coming when Final Fantasy XIV: Endwalker releases on November 23.

You can see all of the Sage changes, along with our thoughts below. Additionally, you can view the upcoming changes on our wiki by clicking on the Endwalker tab on the Sage Job page.

You can also find more coverage of the Endwalker Media Tour here.

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

Sage is the new hotness for healing and because it is so new, this was always going to be a long one. New buffs, damage converting to healing, a weird stacking shield and a whole lotta lasers. Let’s get into it.

First and foremost we’ll talk about their unique buff/mechanic Kardia. This ability is gained early (level 4) and is the cornerstone of the Job, somewhat like Fairies are for Scholar. OK, stop laughing, I really mean it for this Job.

Once you cast this on a party member they will have the Kardion buff until you select another target and recast Kardia. This is similar to Dance Partner and probably will be the cause of quite a few first pull wipes in roulettes when you forget to set it. Once that is on, when you land a damaging spell on an enemy, the party member with the Kardion buff will receive some healing. Right now, that is 170 potency per cast, and just like all potency numbers, that is subject to change. This means that the amount of damage you do does not affect the healing received by the Kardion target and damage buffs would also not boost this. This implementation makes a lot of sense and will most likely result in easier balancing for Sage if it is out of whack on release.

Next we have another unique mechanic, Addersgall. OK, maybe “unique” is a stretch. It is sort of a mélange of a few Job mechanics in a new and interesting wrapper. Addersgall is shown in the Job Gauge as the oval-shaped indicator. You receive one of these every 30 seconds similar to White Mage’s Lilies. They can be spent on powerful OGCD healing spells with similar effects as Scholar’s Aetherflow stack abilities. These are the “-chole” abilities; Druochole, a Lustrate doppelganger that is a single target with comparable potency. Kerachole a Sacred Soils-like AoE damage resistance bubble with a regen. Ixochole, the Indomitability analog, an AoE heal with the same potency. The last ability breaks this pattern by not being an Excogitation clone and instead Taurochole is Lustrate with a 10% damage resistance buff for 15 seconds. These abilities might feel like some homogeneity sneaking in between the healers, and you right- But, they are legally distinct enough to give Sage a different flavor as a slightly more in the moment healer with the lack of Excogitation.

Phew, we’re not even close to done yet, before we can talk about the last Job Gauge mechanic, Addersting we need to talk about Sage’s “sorta Dark Arts” spell Eukrasia. This ability gained at level 30 changes the effects of three of your main GCD spells. The first of these, Dosis and its upgrades, are your single target damage spells similar to Glare, Broil, etc. Once you are under the effects of Eukrasia this changes to Eukrasian Dosis (at least that’s easy to remember). Once altered in this way, Eukrasian Dosis becomes a DoT spell like Dia, and will heal the party member you picked for the Kardion buff with each tick.

Following this pattern the second spell with this interaction is Diagnosis your single target Physick analog. When under the effects of Eukrasia, Eukrasian Diagnosis evolves into… Adloquium! No really, including the usual doubling of critical shields. This shield is not stackable with the Galvanize from Scholar’s abilities or your own AoE shield affects. Speaking of that, the last spell alterable by Eukrasia is Prognosis. This is your AoE healing GCD, and as Eukrasian Prognosis it becomes similar to Succor. One thing to note about all of these is that they are all instant casts unlike Succor and Adloquium but still invoke the GCD on cast, most likely because they are all locked behind the OGCD activation of Eukrasia.

Let’s stick with barriers for a moment, as there are more! Haima is an OGCD barrier on a 120 second cooldown with some really interesting effects. When you cast this, your target gains a small barrier and 5 stacks of a buff called Haimatinon. When this barrier is broken, a stack is consumed and the barrier is replaced. If the target still has stacks once their timer is up, the target will receive a heal that is equal to 150 potency per stack remaining. There is also an AoE version of this with the same mechanics called Panhaima. These cannot be stacked so make sure that the single target version has fallen off or timed out before casting the AoE version!

We’re still going! Let’s talk about the rest of the healing kit of spells and cooldowns. Physis is an OGCD AoE healing spell with a 60 second cooldown, a nice weaving/emergency button there. Soteria doubles the cure potency of your Kardion heals for 10 seconds every 90 seconds. Zoe is similar to Recitation, but instead of guaranteed crit on some spells, it doubles the healing from a healing spell (not OGCD).

On to damage, like the damage I am feeling right now looking at how much more there is to talk about… We’ve talked about Dosis, so now we’ll get into AoE with Dyskrasia and its’ upgrade. This is the AoE ability shown in the trailer that is similar to Art of War and it procs the healing effect from Kardion as well.

The next spell is Phlegma and its upgrades. “What’s Phlegma?” you ask? Ha, Phlegma- is a damaging AoE spell with two charges and a lot of potency on a 45 second cooldown. Just like most of the damaging spells it triggers the Kardion healing effect. Lastly, your big laser beam is Pneuma, which I will be calling “Pew-ma” from now on. This is a line AoE with a 2 minute cooldown that does less damage than Phlegma but also heals for nearly as much as the single target Diagnosis and reduces damage taken by party members by 10%.

OK, Addersting finally. This one is easier now that we’ve talked about the shields and damage, and cooldowns… You will receive a stack of Addersting only when your shield from Eukrasian Diagnosis (Adloquium) is broken. These stacks can be used on Toxikon and its’ upgrade. This is an instant cast AoE spell that does more than Dyskrasia (Art of War) but less than the powerful Phlegma series of spells.

If you’re still here, first of all, thanks for bearing with that dissertation. I think it is fair to say that this is a very unique Job with a kit that makes it well suited to fill in for a Scholar in that Barrier healer role. I do wonder though, if because of the large amount of emergency OGCDs and trickle healing if Scholar and Sage might have a little more synergy than we think. Time will tell.