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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.

Overview

This is a guide for those who've gained the Summoner job and are wondering how to get started. Of course, you can choose to start in a different way, but doing it this way gives you:

  1. Decent summoning skill.
  2. Six of the avatars, in addition to Carbuncle.
  3. Completion of the six 'trial size' quests.
  4. Lots of gil.

In summary, you solo all the way to level 22, at which point you can sub White Mage and get Cure II, so that most parties will accept you in the place of a White Mage.

Levelling Spots

This involves a bit of travelling, to all three ends of Vana'diel:

(These level ranges are inclusive - once you go beyond them, move to the next area)

With the exception of the Yughott Grotto orcs, most of these won't give good exp - that isn't the goal. The goal is to farm as well as gain exp, and to practice summoning as much as possible.

Summoning Skill

It is crucial to get this as high as possible. Not for the actual mini-avatar battles themselves - it has been proven that summoning skill has absolutely no bearing on the power of Blood Pacts[however due to an update it does go to accuracy] - but eventually people in parties are going to want you to bring out Light Spirit, and without a good summoning skill the spirit will take a long time to cast spells, and be very stupid.[and you'll get less punch out of avatars due to the update mentioned before] Better to start early than have to stand outside Jeuno resummoning for many hours and/or using BPs to death.

To raise Summoning Skill, you need to summon, and you'll need to do it a lot. While soloing, resummon Carbuncle every time you face a new enemy, even if Carbuncle could take another enemy. The more you summon him, the more your Summoning Skill increases.

Try to play the game at full moon (Vana'diel full moon) as well, as skill increases happen a lot more frequently around this time - if you have to spend ages outside Jeuno summoning, this time of the moon phase produces the best results, and you should spend all other times doing something else more profitable.

Also, while walking to each leveling spot (Yes, you should walk. Even after level 15, don't use chocobos), summon and dismiss Carbuncle as many times as the recast timer on summoning him allows.

And if you have enough MP, summon and dismiss him once more before resting.

Farming

Soloing in the way this guide describes will give you a lot of items that you can sell to the Auction House. The beginner areas will give Wind Crystals, the bats will give bat wings (2 of them can be traded for 200 gil a pair, see Fear of the Dark - bear in mind that you can sell them for more at the Auction House most of the time, if you don't need San D'Oria fame) and Wind Crystals, the Goblins will give Fire Crystals and assorted items, the Funguar will give Dark Crystals and Sleepshrooms and the Orcs will give Fire Crystals.

Also, while you're leveling in Palborough Mines and Yughott Grotto, you can mine as well if a mining point comes up and you have a pickaxe handy.

Avatar Quests

Some of you might have a high enough job to be able to do the main avatar quests and get the avatars that way. My advice would be to not do this - if you do the trial size avatar quests, you can get six more quests done (useful if you're intent on doing every single quest in the game). Also, if you've done the trial size quests you don't need to claim the ability to summon as a reward from the main ones, allowing you to choose other rewards - or not at all, if you want to save all six up for Fenrir.

In Northern San d'Oria, Port Bastok, Mhaura, Rabao, Norg and Kazham there are two characters stood together, a taru and a warrior-type. These are the avatar quest givers. Once you have enough fame (Level 6 fame with all except Norg which requires level 4 fame) in the area in question, speak to the Tarutaru's companion while you have summoner as your main job and they will give you the trial size quest and a mini tuning fork. Trade this to the warrior and you will be transported to the protocrystal. Now trade the mini tuning fork to the crystal to enter the battle.

(to do: quest tactics and items to bring)

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