Hi there! If you’re here, then you’re probably interested in learning a little bit more about White Mage gameplay. Well, you’ve made the right choice! In this White Mage Healing guide, we will be discussing all aspects of WHM in-game mechanics – Healing, Cooldowns, DPS, and a smattering of my thoughts / experiences. Hopefully you guys will learn even a bit!
DISCLAIMER: This guides main purpose isn’t to tell you EXACTLY how to play your White Mage. My aim is to give you the tools necessary to make decisions, form up new strategies, or get value where you might not have before.
White Mage Healing: The tools of the trade
Regen: in 99.9% cases, Regen should always be up on your current main tank while actively engaging enemies/boss. That’s non-negotiable – but there are things you should consider:
DO NOT reapply Regen if your tank is in immediate danger. If your tank MAY die in the next 2.5-5s, DO NOT reapply Regen if it’s down. Regen is a tool to be used when things are relatively safe, and helps you incrementally. It definitely won’t solve anything RIGHT NOW, and don’t be too anal about the 100% uptime.
Clipping Regen? Most of the time you DO NOT want to clip Regen (Reapplying it before it’s icon disappears). Before we discuss this we have to study some of Regens stats…
It takes 15 seconds for Regen to be equally mana efficient as Cure I. (6s left on Regen)
It takes 9 seconds for Regen to be equally strong as a Cure I (12s left on Regen)
Regen costs around 40% more than Cure I, but heals for around 160% more.
I would only clip my own Regen if I know my GCD’s will be very valuable in the immediate future. Some examples:
The height of T13’s Zoo phase is coming, I want to make sure my Regen will be “fresh” for the upcoming heavy damage. If there’s an existing Regen, I wont hesitate to clip it.
Divine Seal+Regen: My Divine Seal is about to wear off – squeeze value by making regen your last skill (even if it’s already on)
36s Divine Seal Regen: Applying Regen upon casting Divine Seal, and once again before it wears off results in a 36~ second mega-Regen.
Don’t be too anal about this. It’s not the end of the world if you clip regen – just make sure you do it for a reason.
The most experienced White Mages will have this simple mantra: “I will use the RIGHT spell for the situation”.
Cure I or Cure II?: Most white mages have a misconception about when to use Cure I versus Cure II. Some people have a mysterious stigma against using Cure II at all, which is laughable. First, ask yourself what is the CORE difference between these two heals.
“At the cost of a mana, we get out of potentially troublesome situations faster”
FASTER – that’s the feeling that drives most WHM’s from using Cure II. Two Cure I’s would be even stronger than a Cure II, but people want to be stress free NOW. The difference between a common and experienced White Mage? One of them knows when “faster is necessary”. What’s the main determining factor of this? RISK. The higher the risk of the situation, the better Cure II becomes. How do you know when it’s risky? EXPERIENCE with the encounter.
Doing too many Cure II’s is the sign of a panicked White Mage, and your mana will go dry asap. Doing too few? It’s a sign of an all too fussy WHM who’s obsessed with the thought that mana conservation gives you style points. The most experienced White Mages will have this simple mantra “I will use the RIGHT spell for the situation”.
Identifying and squeezing value out of Stoneskin, and integrating it into your raid strategy
is a mark of an exceptional WHM
Stoneskin: Our only shield, and an extremely important weapon in the White Mage repertoire. It’s main use is to prepare people for massive incoming damage. the downside? Its slow-ass cast time. Hopefully I don’t need to explain this (It’s primary use) further. But is that all there is to Stoneskin? Certainly not.
– In about 5 seconds, you know an add will spawn. SS your off-tank!
– You’ve just switched on Cleric Stance and something ‘feels wrong’. After Aero II you decide that, to reduce risk, you need to heal somebody. Stoneskin isn’t affected by cleric stance! It still shields for the full amount.
-Stoneskin while MT is running to pull. It blocks another hit.
Need a more advanced example?
In T13 (early on) enrage was a real threat. Healing was also very tight in some phases (Mega->Rage->Giga). Megaflare stack + tower was FATAL even with succor + soil. This caused our BLM to move unnecessarily when MEGA+Tower happens.By Stoneskinning him, he didn’t have to move out for tower, allowing him to cast without interruption. Same for myself, I can IMMEDIATELY channel an AoE heal for Rage of Bahamut right after Mega+Tower, not needing to move out of tower. Instead of “wondering if tower will spawn on me, and having to move out” – a simple Stoneskin streamlined the process.
Remember, It’s our only shield. Yes, it has a prohibitive cast time and not always usable. But identifying and squeezing value out of Stoneskin, and integrating it into your raid strategy is one of the many points that separate a basic WHM froman exceptional one.
Medica II is the hero we deserve, but not always the hero we need
Medica, Medica II, Cure III?: White Mages have 3 AoE skills. What’s the right time for each?
The basic answer is: Medica II. Medica II is hyper-efficient and amazing as long as you’re actually healing anything. 99.9% of the time Medica II is mana WELL SPENT. But what about the others?
Medica I serves a niche purpose. When you need to heal more than 2 people NOW. It has a faster cast time and costs less than Medica II, but is much much weaker. Never feel bad about using it though, as long as those few guys NEED to be healed ASAP. Never, NEVER use Medica I after Medica II just so “their life bar is full”. Again the main feeling you need in your gut before you channel Medica I is “Do these people need to be topped up RIGHT NOW?”.
Here’s an example of when that’s necessary: AoE comes out and Medica II is, of course, the max value heal you can do. Now, some guys took heavier damage than normal (no DK or Path…). While Med II would usually be safe… due to error some guys need to be topped up. Multiple cures would be a waste of mana and time… just bite the bullet and Medica I.
Cure III? The oft forgotten brother in the bunch. Cure III is the strongest AoE cure (in terms of burst). It’s weakness? Proximity. Cure III isn’t always heard about because it requires 1 thing to pull off successfully: Strategy.
Okay, example. Megaflare followed by Giga right away. You Medica II’d because that’s SOP. Well, Gigaflare is coming in about 4 seconds. Your teammates are too spread out! Desperately, you attempt to Medica I but still get crushed by Giga. Cure III would have gotten you out of this situation quite easily. But everyone has to get the memo. Your raid must know that, even in fringe cases, WHEN to stack for Cure III. So while there are situation only CIII can handle, everyone has to be on the same page strat-wise.
Finding creative uses for Cure III should always be on your mind. Healing both tanks with Akh Morn? Check. Need a big heal on myself and the guy running toward me? Channel Cure III. There’s a ton of ways to use Cure III, but be careful – don’t try to force it just to show off.
WHM Cooldowns: Best Practices
Shroud of Saints: Our most important cooldown. It gives us back some mana – the reduced enmity part doesn’t matter most of the time. Shroud has a 2 minute CD. In a 12 minute fight, I would realistically want to use Saints 5 times. Any less, and you should consider it YOUR ERROR. A general rule? try to use it after the first or second minute of the fight, and on cooldown from there. Holding on to if for “when you’re really low” makes NO SENSE. Using Saints actively keeps you further away from the “really low” state.
Divine Seal: is our basic cooldown. Short duration, short cooldown. Basic increase to healing potency! What’s not to love. You know what’s not to love? When you aren’t using it enough!! Let’s run down the basics of DS. DS has a CD of one minute. Thankfully this lines up perfectly with alot of mechanics. It lines up with alot of mechanics. T13 P2 adds? Once a minute. Final phase Megaflare? Once a minute. T12? Bennu? Once a minute. So on so forth. DS has three main uses if we analyze the core of what drives us to use it. One is “saving mana“, “fixing errors“, and “increased output”
Saving Mana: There are some lull phases in every encounter. You can do the “36 second Regen” during this time. This saves alot of mana since SCH pet + this can heal through alot of basic attacks. Also in some mechanics (T13 final phase Mega as an example) where Med II wont heal your team fast enough in preparation for the next mechanic. You can use Divine Seal to make sure it does. (A side note on medica 2… it leaves a HoT on MT so there really is alot of value in that spell)
Fixing Error: In any case wherein a sudden burst of healing may help you – IE partner healer dies, tank must get another add since OT dies, etc. Divine Seal can definitely help you out of a bind. Not much to explain here
Increased Output: would be the standard category wherein most DS uses fall. If an add spawns, use DSEAL and regen both tanks, greatly preventing risk to both. Increased CI/CII of course. Basically, stronger healing = lesser risk.
The best White Mages are aware of these scenarios, and balances the usage of Divine Seal so that it’s never “up for too long”. Only saving DS for the same niche scenarios every time is definitely value lost. Hell, you can even DS Regen on pull – that’s some value gained right there.
Presence of Mind: The ultimate WHM cooldown. Double Spell Speed is no joke (and a small bonus why I itemize SS~DET for my BiS). Presence of Mind will allow you, practically, to solo heal almost any known encounter for its duration. That’s not a joke when you think about it. PoM is so strong that I almost feel guilty using it. Identify the riskiest parts of each encounter and feel free to use PoM there! Combined with Divine Seal, this can lead to even more disgusting things. Note that PoM reduces cast AND recast rate, so enjoy your GCD’s!
Sadly, alot of PoM’s are wasted via “both healers have swiftcast down” scenario wherein it becomes a speed-up for Raise. This isn’t a bad use, take note, it’s a necessary evil sometimes.
Eye for an Eye: Often underused or misused. First, I’ll break down what E4E does:
Your target gets the buff for 30 seconds.
Anyone hitting the buffed party member has a 10% chance to be “tagged” each time they hit that person.
Any enemy tagged by E4E deals 20% less damage for 20 seconds. This can refresh.
So what are we looking for in targeting someone with E4E?
Must player must be “getting hit” for the next 30s at least. (Nearing tankswap? Just tanking an add? NOPE)
The enemy must be present in the battlefield for (at most) 50s. (Add that dies quickly? Boss about to invul? NOPE)
So 99% of the time using E4E on main tank is the correct choice, since most of the damage comes from the boss. The boss also has the highest chance of triggering E4E, and will likely live long enough. Lets study a specific scenario and how to improve E4E’s use:
T8 – Dread spawns in 15 seconds:
Scenario A: One or both E4E are used on MT and OT respectively upon dread spawn.
Scenario B: Apply E4E on MT right now.
Which scenario is best?
Scenario B is the right choice. Why? A doesn’t really do anything unless you have extreme luck. E4E might not even proc fast enough for it to help during this “heightened risk” time in the raid. So why is B more legit? If we E4E the MT early, we give it more time to proc on the boss. So once the dread comes out, our MT will be at less of a risk, and we can focus a little more on the OT’s survival!
Remember guys, the longer E4E has time to bite, the better it is. Don’t expect E4E to take effect ASAP – the best healers know to precast E4E so it will help them when they need it. Not leaving things up to RNG.
Virus: As a White Mage, virus sucks a bit. It doesn’t reduce magical damage unlike our Arcanist buddies. So most of the time we can throw Virus on adds without having the feeling of wasting it. In fact, you should be doing this! I can give billion examples of adds worth virusing by White Mage, since the SCH/SMN virus is far more important. T8 Dreads, T12 Bennu, T13 Red, T5 Asceplius, T6 superslugs, T7 Deathdancer – the list goes on.
Long story short, since Virus for WHM only reduces physical attacks, it severely lessens its practical applications. That doesn’t mean we shouldn’t use it as much as we can. We can even throw it to main boss if we’re sure Virus wont be needed in the next 45s (You cannot virus the same target 45s after initial Virus expires). Smart communication with your other casters in your raid should yield an optimal Virus setup for any encounter!
White Mage DPS Rotation
While a very unpopular choice, WHM’s can still DPS. In fact, if you do zero DPS, there’s something wrong with you. But sadly our horrific accuracy prevents us from doing this efficiently if we don’t specifically meld gear for it. Lets look at all the WHM DPS skills at the table below:
What does this table tell us? Well first of all our point of comparison is Stone II, which is for all intents and purposes, the WHM basic attack. Our only 2 other basic attacks are Aero and Aero II (DoT’s). The WHM DoT’s match up quite poorly to Stone II. Clipping them in any way doesn’t give a net gain of Potency at any practical point. Good news it they’re more mana efficient than Stone II. Bottomline is do not clip Aero or Aero II. On a side note – Holy is our strongest potency skill, but has a restrictive cast time and mana cost. Only use in packs of 3 or more (sometimes 2). IE, AoE situations.
DoT’s fell off? It’s not the end of the world. Aero I should never be cast on an enemy whose life expectancy is less than 15s. Aero II should never be cast on an enemy whose life expectancy is less than 9s. Basic stuff, but it should be mentioned.
Here are some guidelines to get max value from your DoT’s
– Once Aero I has 1 second left on enemy, it’s 100% safe to recast it.
– Once Aero II has 2 Seconds left on enemy, its 100% safe to (pre)cast it.
Aero I is a little special, though. It’s a zero cast time skill, which WHM’s only have 2 of (Regen, and Aero). So it’s an excellent filler while moving even when out of cleric stance. It also serves as a great spell to use before using any of your buffs. Clipping it because you’re moving isn’t so bad. It’s better than just staring into space.
Most of the time, I consider WHM baseline DPS to be switching to Cleric, doing Aero II, Aero I, Fluid Aura then switch out. If you do this every 30s (CD of fluid), you’re probably doing more DPS than 90% of WHM’s out there.
I can go on a long explanation why SCH’s are supposed to do more DPS than a WHM. There’s plenty of reasons, but the main one would be SCH’s 3 skills which CANNOT MISS, as well as being in Cleric Stance as less disruptive to the SCH kit as compared to WHM’s. I guess portion belongs in my upcoming geberal healing guide.
Best DPS opener for WHM
Areo II, Aero, (Walk during GCD + Swiftcast), Holy (Stone II if mana may be an issue), Fluid Aura (on GCD), consider Saints Shroud (Revert to healing, or continue to use Stone II). Consider using PoM in this opener, too! But like all things healing, this isn’t so cut and dry. This opener does 1950 potency if you used 7 Stone II’s in your PoM. You can use a Mind Potion, too. That’s a ton of burst.
Related WHM Resources
White Mage BiS
(more resources to be added when they’re fixed, I guess)
Well thanks for reading my White Mage healing (and other things) guide. “But Mahiko San-” ADD IT IN COMMENTS! I’d love to hear from you guys. This is feels a little bloated at nearly 3000 words so I’m consideration halving it or… well I just kept writing and this is where it’s at (for now). As always, Like us on Facebook for more FFXIV updates! Have fun with your White Mage!