What’s Up With White Mage?

White Mage: the pure, unadulterated healer.  An iconic Final Fantasy job.  A necessary addition to any and every group willing to traverse the….

Zzzzzzzzzzzzzz…

Ugh, sorry, I fell asleep playing it.

If you’re anything like me, you enjoy healing on all three jobs in Final Fantasy XIV.  Healing is such a dynamic and interesting role that it’s really tough to make it boring.  And yet somehow, the play of White Mage at the moment is just that: boring.  And not because White Mage is inherently boring, but because the other two healers are so much more involved and bring so much more to the table.

Now don’t get me wrong, White Mage is still completely viable and still used quite often in Savage/Ex Primal progression, but its lack of utility is really its downfall.  Players are wise to it, and seeing as the crazy Astrologian buffs are probably here to stay, a good Astrologian can easily heal on par with a White Mage, in addition to supporting the group with cards.  And while the WHM/AST combo might be semi-decent now after the AST buffs, Scholar is still an unbridled powerhouse when it comes to effective raid DPS, emergency healing, and overall group balance.

So how do we bring White Mage back up from its fall from grace?  Well, AST and SCH play very well right now, and while they’ll likely get some fun new abilities with Stormblood, I don’t expect too many changes to their repertoire.  Instead, I think White Mage will get some new abilities that focus on raid utility without changing the core of the job itself.

For example, in the Stormblood Benchmark trailer, there’s a heal that a White Mage casts during the (SPOILERS) Yojimbo scene that may or may not be charging up a Paladin, who then casts what looks like a mini-holy.  Now I don’t think those two abilities are specifically related, but instead I would almost hope for White Mage to get a sort of spot MP refresh for a party member, much like a Ninja’s Goad.  They could even use it on themselves (although if there was such an ability, you probably couldn’t), which, combined with Shroud/Assize, would actually alleviate a lot of White Mage’s MP issues when trying to balance DPS/healing.

Another unique ability that’d be neat for a White Mage would be something similar to Sole Survivor — hear me out.  It would actually be either a single target or AoE ability that would prevent a party member or members from getting Weakness or Brink of Death on KO.  This could, in a LOT of ways, be a game-changing ability in Savage/Ex progression if used correctly and while it maybe wouldn’t see a ton of use in dungeons, it would still be a neat utility that would fit in with the job.

So please don’t misunderstand me – if you’re a White Mage main, I get it, it’s a class I still love to play as well.  But much like the past issues with Paladin, it could get easily swept aside if it doesn’t measure up to the other two healers.  So hopefully with Stormblood we’ll see some really good changes to White Mage that are unique and interesting and not just…Cure IV and Aero IV.

Please look forward to it.

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