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CAUTION!
This article is only a guide. Information expressed in a guide is usually more opinion than fact and should be taken as such. Guides are written by players, based upon their experiences, successes and mistakes, and are meant to aid other players. However, there may be differing opinions than those expressed in a guide.
Strategies and information in guides may not work for everyone.


Opening Remarks

Hello and thank you for choosing to read this guide. It is my first one on the first job I leveled to 90. I intend to make it as comprehensive as possible and suggestions are welcome. Enjoy!

Races and Subjobs

Race Selection

Keeping with the apparent tradition of writing job guides I figured I would throw this in here, but keep it short sweet and to the point.

Hume - This is what I chose when making my character. Very well rounded race, decent mp (summoner's only required stat) with decent agility and vitality that gives humes a slightly higher survivability rate over some other races.

Mithra - Like humes but with a slightly smaller mp pool.

Tarutaru - If you start out the gate wanting to match a job with the race that was made for it then pick tarutaru for mage jobs. The stats of a taru are built for mage jobs, they have the highest mp and intelligence with a decent dexterity and agility rating making them perfect for black mage and in our case summoner. However, let it be known that gear and player skill are more important than race.

Elvaan - Elvaan are unfortunately lacking in MP, however they make up for it with high HP, VIT, and MND. Their high MND makes them decent healers with a WHM subjob.

Galka - Galka are in a similar boat as the Elvaan, lacking in MP but higher physical stats than other race choices. Galka probably have the highest chance of surviving should the avatar die or if they start taking hits in a party.

Subjob Selection

Only going to list viable subjobs here.

White Mage - White Mage is almost necessary if a Summoner wants regular exp party invites. Usually they want you to do 2 things, heal and buff the party. Though a Red Mage, Scholar, or White Mage make much better healers or buffers because of their native spells and skills it is possible for a Summoner to be main healer in a party if they are geared properly and know what to do. This is your best option until endgame.

Red Mage - Quite possibly the best choice of subjob for a Summoner at endgame. Refresh, Convert, plus all of White Mage buffs made better because of higher skills. Summoner becomes a force to be reckoned with.

Black Mage - Black Mage gives the most MP as a support job out of any other option. Sadly, this is about the only thing useful that this job has to offer other than Warp and Warp II.

Scholar - Scholar also makes a great support job not quite as awesome as Red Mage but still an excellent choice. Possible B+ ranking in all magic skills, a few of the weather spells at 90 to help with Elemental Siphon, Sublimation at 70, and Accession at 80 make this one a good choice for endgame.

General Equipment Guidelines

Weapons

Stick with a Staff as your main weapon because Summoner's highest weapon rank is in Staff plus these usually give more MP bonuses than other weapons. Also at 51 you get Elemental Staves which are a Summoner's best friend until 70+ for their Avatar Perpetuation Cost reduction. Also, don't be afraid when soloing to help your pet out with some melee. At 66 you can learn Spirit Taker with high enough skill which can be really useful during those drawn out fights.

Armor

Get anything that gives +MP or +Summoning Magic skill. +MP > Summoning Magic until 50 when it gets switched and you'll want to start building a max Summoning Magic set of armor. The same applies to weapons.

Leveling

I pretty much had to solo summoner from 1 to 74 so most of the leveling tips will be for soloing.

1-10

These levels you should do just like any other, go outside into the starter zones and kill until you hit 10. Even if you've gotten the other avatars, stick with using Carbuncle while soloing at lower levels as he has the lowest perpetuation cost and your mp pool wont last long enough with other avatars.

11-20

Put up your party flag and go out to where the mobs are easy prey and solo while you wait for party invites.

    • If you're feeling adventurous however and you can make Yagudo Drinks or Melon Juice, take several stacks of materials with you to North Gustaberg (S) or East Ronfaure (S) and kill the Tunnel Worms in North Gustaberg (S) or Carrion Worm in East Ronfaure (S) both are level 10-12.
      • If you choose to kill worms use carbuncle to assault the worm while you stay out of its casting range and use a juice to pad your mp. The strategy is really very simple: 1) Summon Carbuncle, 2) Assault Worm, 3) Use a Blood Pact: Rage, 4) Get out of the worm's casting range and use a juice, 5) Wait for Carby to die off then resummon, 6) if your mp gets low or you run out cast a DoT on the worm then pop a juice and heal until full just make sure the worm doesn't depop or deaggro.
    • Level 12 - At level 12 and beyond keep at least 2 hi-ethers with you all times. This is when you'll start getting invites for Astral Flow parties.
      • Special note - While Astral Flow parties are the quickest and probably easiest way to level Summoner you shouldn't jump at every one you get invited to. If you burn from 12 all the way to 80 your skills will be no better than level 24 and summoning magic takes a really long time to level.

21-30

At level 20 you get Carbuncle Mitts which will make soloing a lot easier and you also get the opportunity to do the mini avatar fights if you haven't gotten the other avatars yet.

31-40

Worms worms and more worms

41-50

At 40 you have the chance to get a Dragon Staff but it's nearly impossible to get. If you do get it however it will decrease your Avatar Perpetuation Cost by 1 making carbuncle's perpetuation 0 until you reach level 45 if you have carbuncle mitts.

    • Oldton Movalpolos - Ancient Bombs 40-45
      • New Strategy - This strategy is similar to that of the worms: 1) Summon Carbuncle 2) Assault a Bomb 3) Run away until Carbuncle's HP bar disappears and pop a juice 4) When carbuncle dies immediately resummon him and let him run after the bomb 5) If the bomb starts hitting you have carby use Poison Nails and Healing Ruby until carby has hate again 6) Repeat steps 1-4 until the bomb uses Self-Destruct.
    • Other than the bombs there's not much else to solo on thats even match or better

51-60

At 51 Elemental Staves become available as well as Austere gear at 50. I highly recommend getting the Austere Robe Set, also get Light Staff/Apollo's Staff and Dark Staff/Pluto's Staff before anything else.

61-70

70-90

From 70 to 90 you'll be mostly doing Fields of Valor pages in Cape Teriggan.

  • Azouph Isle Staging Point - Exit the staging point through the iron gate. At the end of the ramp there is a Heraldic Imp you can kill for really good exp. Keep in mind that this is extremely dangerous and you should come /whm or bring reraise items in case you die. Also if you plan on doing Imps bring plenty of echo drops, and if you have one, an ecphoria ring to remove amnesia.
    • The Strategy - Before you engage the imp make sure you put up buffs (Blink, Stoneskin, Phalanx, Reraise, etc.). After buffs rest to full, then run up until the imp is just barely in view. Summon an avatar, preferably Garuda or Leviathan, and Assault the imp then quickly use your level 70 Blood Pact: Rage and run back to the gate, if you reach the gate and your avatar's hp bar is still visible go ahead and walk through the gate to zone the mob and get ready to try again. If you didn't have to zone, wait until your Blood Pact: Rage timer is at 10 seconds remaining then Release your avatar and resummon and use your level 70 Blood Pact: Rage. Don't worry about assaulting the imp again, your avatar will automatically start attacking it when it's in range. Keep kiting the imp up and down the ramp until it dies.

Final Notes on Soloing

  • Always keep your party flag up when soloing and Fields of Valor pages are always an option.
    • Keep in mind however that when doing pages you'll want to be 3-5 levels lower than the level the page you're doing stops giving experience, if you go at the level the page suggests you'll most likely die if you're soloing unless you have capped Summoning Magic and all the best gear.
  • At level 70 you'll start getting Abyssea invites, take these as often as possible but only if you have ~6 hours of free time
  • You don't have to stick with worms and bombs all the time when soloing. Those are just what I chose to do as they were the easiest and usually safest things to kill.

Partying as Summoner

So, after having leveled the job all the way I think it's time to set the record straight about what a Summoner's role should be in a party. First and foremost, the ridiculous notion that any Summoner at any time can be a main healer needs to be done away with. Keep in mind Summoner's get their cure spells at double the level of the other jobs, it's like Black Mage and nobody ever asks a Black Mage to main heal. While there are blood pacts that restore hp and we do have Avatar's Favor with Carbuncle those won't replace a good White Mage. Blood Pact: Ward takes 60 seconds to recast not counting for reductions from gear, that makes our little blue squirrel more of a liability if you plan on depending on him for cures. All that being said I don't want to discourage anyone from trying to play a healer's role as a Summoner, it can be done. However, it requires a set of gear all its own AND capped healing skills on your subjob if you want to be even remotely close to being as good as a job more geared for keeping people alive.

So, what does a Summoner have to do in a party? What contributions can we make you ask? Geared properly a Summoner can keep their avatars out indefinitely, which essentially adds an extra DD to the party, not to mention some of our Blood Pact: Rage abilities are ridiculously strong for their level. We also have Blood Pact: Ward abilities which buff the entire party which allows some other jobs to do something other than keeping buffs up on the whole party, we also have Avatar's Favor which, with the right avatar, can make things a lot easier. Finally, as mentioned above we can do support healing.

Gear Guide By Slot

Weapon

  • Note On weapons: Only Clubs and Staves will be listed as daggers are pretty much useless for the job.

Staves

Level Item Stats Notes
1 Ash Staff/Ash Staff +1 HP/MP +2 (+1 Gives HP/MP +3)
5 Ash Pole/Ash Pole +1 Only reason to get this is higher DPS
10 Freesword's Staff/Legionnaire's Staff HP/MP +6 Get one of these for CP if you're from Basty or Windy. Legionnaire's has higher DPS.
10 Gelong Staff HHP +4 Rare/Exclusive Higher DPS than Legionnaire's
15 Bastokan Staff/Republic Staff HP/MP +6 Accuracy +1 (Republic gives Accuracy +2) Republic Staff has more DPS than Gelong Staff
15 Federation Staff/Windurstian Staff Same Stats as Bastokan and Republic Staves only these don't hit as hard. Don't bother unless you can make these yourself.
15 Pestle MP +10 Add. Effect: MP Drain Rare/ExclusiveMost MP you get from a staff until 40 and the added effect is nice. However, drops from a casket in Buburimu Peninsula. I wouldn't bother unless you already have it and don't plan on doing a lot of meleeing.
23 Elm Staff/Elm Staff +1 HP/MP +6 (HP/MP +7 from +1) Only upgrade for higher DPS from a previous weapon or the +1 for an extra point of mp
27 Dolphin Staff HP/MP +7, Trans Water +6, Add. Effect Water Damage If you can't get an Elm Staff +1 but you can get this go for it if you think the cost is worth it.
29 Spiro Staff HMP +4 RareYour first HMP staff and worth every penny spent or hour camped. Get it and keep it 'til 51.
32 Whale Staff/Whale Staff +1 HP +14, MP +7, Trans Water +7, Add. Effect Water Damage Upgrade from Dolphin Staff, Whale Staff +1 gives an extra point of HP and water resist. Higher DPS than Dolphin
39 Oak Staff/Oak Staff +1 HP/MP +8 (HP/MP+9) Don't bother unless you need the upgraded damage from a previous choice
40 Dragon Staff MP +20, Avatar Perpetuation Cost -1 Rare/Exclusive Get this from level 75 BCNM The Wyrmking Descends if you can as it's the only staff until elemental staves that gives a perp. cost reduction.
40 Himmel Stock MP +63, Blood Pact Ability Delay +3 the +3 to blood pact delay is worth the MP +63, it's the most MP you'll get from a staff until endgame
40 Kukulcan's Staff MP+20 Get it because it's your AF weapon then put it in storage.
51 Elemental Staves Avatar Perpetuation Cost-2 (-3 for HQ) on matching avatar. Avatar Perpetuation Cost +2 (+3 for HQ) on opposing avatar. See Elemental Staves page for detailed list. Get Light/Apollo's and Dark/Pluto's staff first. Dark gives HMP and Light enhances cure potency.
70 Astral Signa HP/MP +18, Avatar Perpetuation Cost -2 EXTREMELY rare drop. You can get this to save space on Elemental Staves but other than that reason alone I wouldn't bother.
75 Bahamut's Staff MP +30, Summoning Magic Skill +5, Avatar Perpetuation Cost -3 Rare/Exclusive This is your dream staff until 89 because it's one of only 2 weapons in the game that give a bonus to summoning magic skill.
75 Kirin's Pole HP/MP +20, INT/MND +10, Trans Fire Trans Earth Trans Water Trans Wind Trans Ice Trans Lightning Trans Light Trans Dark +15 I don't know a mage that doesn't have this. It's really more of an MP user's standard than anything practical for Summoner get it if you want it.
75 Claustrum Accuracy +20, "Gate of Tartarus", Additional effect: Dispel Rare/Exclusive Relic Weapon. It's a pain to get but it's worth the effort.
75 Nirvana Accuracy +30, Avatar perpetuation cost -4, Avatar: "Magic Atk. Bonus" +20, "Garland of Bliss", Aftermath (Incl. Avatars): Inc. Acc./Atk., Occ. attacks twice Rare/Exclusive Mythic Weapon. It's a pain to get but again it's worth the effort.
89 Soulscourge Summoning Magic Skill +7, Blood Boon +5, Avatar: Attack +10, MAB +5 Highest Summoning Magic Skill bonus on a weapon that exists in the game.
    • Special Note On Weapons: There are trials for the relic and mythic weapons. There is Hvergelmir and another set of staves that gives Avatar Perpetuation Cost -6 which are obtained only from Staff Trials. Look at the Staff Trials page for more details. I must warn you though, trials are extremely time consuming. Also, there are upgraded versions of Nirvana that give a higher Avatar Perpetuation Cost reduction than the elemental staff trials. Get Nirvana and save the space if you can.

END

Thanks for reading!! More updates coming soon!!

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