The Heretical Art: Comprehensive Summoner Guide

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Welcome. If you're here, you're likely interested in leveling and using the Summoner job.
Well you have come to the right place.

First, a little about myself: I've been playing this game since late '05 (with a long break between '07 and 2012) and SMN has always been my job of choice. Which brings us to...
     A little history of the job: Summoner has always been a sort of a joke of a job in XI. It's sad (as it has always been my most favorite Final Fantasy job/aspect) but True. It's one of three jobs where Square had radically different ideas on how the job should be played. Originally envisioned to poop an avatar, use a Blood Pact (originally all Rages and Wards were on a single timer of 60s), and release it... pretty much immediately the playerbase decided how stupid that was. As the job Summoner is even more fragile than BLM, while their Avatars were fairly hardy. Though I can see why Square thought of the job that way, as it evokes the classical FF summoning style.
     Near the middle of the 75era, having essentially immediately given in to the players' chosen playstyle, they split the Blood Pact timer into the Rage and Ward timers we know and love today.[1] However, throughout the 75era, Summoner's damage dealing and buffing abilities were subpar. This would eventually come to being labeled "utterly useless except Hastega" with the advent of Scholar.
     But there was hope with the addition of the Empyrean Armor Set and Trial of the Magians weapons offering potent Avatar augments during the transition to the 99era. Sadly, this hope was never realized. At least not to the degree that other DD jobs benefited from both their Empyrean sets and Magian weapons. Furthermore, with Abyssea and Voidwatch gear offering great boons to almost every other job in the game... Summoner, as it was often in the 75era, was left out in the cold; having almost no worthwhile gear aside from their Empyrean set and Magian staves.
     In fact, this "less than everyone else" even continued relatively far into the Item Level era (henceforth referred to as 119era). When everyone else was getting their 113, 115 and even 119 weapons and armors, Summoner was left without anything but the Empyrean set still. Even with the pet adjustment, making Summoner and Puppetmaster's pets' level based on their ammo slot's item level, and Beastmaster and Dragoon's pets' level be based on their main hand weapon; Summoner was still bound to 113 pets at best (compared to BST and DRG's capability to have 119 pets and every other job's 119 weapons). This tradition would even continue all the way through the implementation of "Delve II" where other jobs got 119 gear, Summoner's Sachet (and PUP's animator) was 117 bound. And even when Summoner gained access to potent gear via Skirmish's Hagondes set's augments, they would often pale in comparison to the effort:reward of still the damnable Empyrean+2 set. (Though by this point there were other options than just the Empyrean set as Reforged Artifact Armor had been added, Summon still favored AF pieces over most any random drops.)

     But then everything changed... When the Alluvion Skirmish Armors were added. Finally. A full set of viable, and tailor-made Summoner Gear (via augments yes, but much less random augments than prior). AND it was all 119 to boot! (At this point we had 119 avatars, but unlike DRG or BST where any 119 weapon would give them "119" pets, there was only Seraphicaller
Seraphicaller description.png
) This was also the time when Summoner started to be taken seriously as a potential DD. And now, we have truly come into our own. Blood Pact Ability Delay, once capped to being 45s, can now be pushed down to 20s* with the right gear, bringing us in line with most every other DD. Massive Magic Attack Bonus AND Blood Pact Damage+ on nearly every slot of gear available. So our damage dealing capabilities are off the charts of what they used to be, and, at the time of writing this, they're examining Ward potency so that our buffs scale past lv50! Just like every other job's buffs!

The 119era is truly the greatest era for Summoner.

We've come a long way, haven't we?

Subjob Selection

Why no race selection section? Because that hasn't really been relevant since the 75era. With the level raised to 99, the differences between races' HP and MP (the main stats that SMN cares about, as INT and MND are only relevant for subjob related abilities and Weapon Skills) dropped to minute difference. And with the April 2014 update[2], those differences dropped to essentially nil. So, truthfully, race really doesn't matter at all in the least bit.

Useful Subjobs

Each one of these has its pros and cons to it... but ultimately all three are basically equal to each other. It's up to you which you find yourself most comfortable with. Personally, I favor RDM over the other two, but that doesn't mean that you necessarily have to as well. Think for yourself and find what's best for you. Remember, this is only a guide.
These are the three best subjobs that compliment SMN the most, hence why I call them the "useful" ones... as you will find yourself almost always on the one you favor.

Orison Cap icon.png - Offers the largest MP pool, and with the advent of Trust Magic, the refresh effects of the other two become less important. Also offers native Reraise, making for a quick recovery in case of death. Cure IV with the highest MND, direct access to -nas, and the highest natural Healing Magic Skill makes this an ideal support type subjob. However, remember that Trusts can take care of much of what any of these three subs do, and possibly do it better.
Duelist's Chapeau icon.png - The main draw here now is Convert. Elemental Siphon+Convert+Myrkr+large natural Auto Refresh = nigh infinite MP. The ability to refresh yourself is also a good ability to have, though mostly for playing with other people as Trusts ensure that solo you will always have a RDM to refresh you... a convenience not always afforded in a group of real people. There's also the benefit of having access to Flurry, which should you find yourself with a COR, which should be often enough, they will love your gift of 15% ranged haste... possibly moreso than a melee's love of Garuda's Hastega II (30%).
Argute M.board icon.png - This works best when you have a 119 staff to idle in, as most have both generic mage stats and Avatar specific ones. Which makes the B+ boost to magic skills to be more worthwhile than the olden days. The drawbacks here though are that everything really useful is hidden behind addendums (so there's a bit of very minor set-up involved), with mostly being relegated to T1 and a handful of T2 nukes and only Cure III (instead of RDM and WHM's C4 access). However, you also have access to both sets of Helix and Storm spells in their entirety.

Other Subjobs

These are the subjobs you'll find yourself on from time to time... but usually you're on one of the three above.

Wizard's Petasos icon.png - You're only here for the Warps. And with the abundance of warp items... As well as the Home Point warp system... And the warp system with Survival Guides... You're not likely to ever be subbing BLM except in very rare occasions. Besides, you should try to have such foresight, and carry no less than 5 warp items on you at all times, like a sensible person.
Raider's Bonnet icon.png - Treasure Hunter. There are THF Trusts. Sure they only have TH1.... but if you REALLY need more TH... like desperately enough to /thf and wear enough TH+ gear to reach the cap of +4[3]... You might as well be ON THF instead of SMN... or, here's a wild idea, call up a THF friend and team up for whatever you are trying to get.
Daurdabla (Level 85) icon.png - You'll only ever sub this for the Threnodies. And only in Abyssea for yellow procs... which is a much rarer occurance than it used to be. Especially with how often they release Empyrean armor slips in the Login Campaign.
Saotome Kabuto icon.png - There is one reason and one reason alone to /sam on SMN: Meditate for Aftermath Level 3. SMN is too squishy to readily survive on the frontlines, so the Store TP is wasted on it... and you'll only have Aftermath as an option if you commit and get Nirvana
Nirvana (Level 119 III) description.png
.
Iga Zukin icon.png - It's /nin. There's really nothing here but the same thing /nin offers all other jobs: Dual Wield (useless for SMN) and Utsusemi. /nin is the same regardless of your main job.
Navarch's Tricorne icon.png - There' two reasons you will be subbing Corsair. And they're both: Corsair's Roll. Either you'll be Lv.10+ and you either don't have Qultada yet or you've just gotten tired of having to rely on Dedication effects to get him to use it... or you're in an Apex party grinding Job Points and no one wanted to come COR.

Useless Subjobs

You will never use these. They are useless. And here's why:
Fighter's Mask icon.png - Double Attack. On the job that dies when something so much as looks at it.
Black Belt icon.png - I got nothing.
Creed Armet icon.png - The only possible draw here would be the Auto Refresh... but Summoner gets two ranks of it, and two rank 1s don't stack... so... /pld would give you nothing worthwhile. Even with something like Sentinel... SMN's defenses are just too low naturally to bolster to a point where they would be worthwhile.
Abyss Burgeonet icon.png - Let's reduce SMN's already low HP and paltry defense to negative values! Nope.
Monster Helm icon.png - You can only have one pet. And you can't use jugs. Literally nothing of value as a sub for SMN. Though at least the BST pet will be level 99 if you leveled BST to 99...
Hunter's Beret icon.png - If you /rng, you're going to have a bad time. Avatar's levels are tied to your ammo slot. So if you throw your 119 sachet, you just deleveled your Avatar by 20. And if you try and use one of the extremely rare ranged weapons SMN has access to... your Avatar will be 99 in a level 130~150 world. Just don't do it.
Drachen Armet icon.png - Basically a very crappy version of /sam. The idea is similar too: Jump until you have 3k TP to trigger AM3 on Nirvana
Nirvana (Level 119 III) description.png
. Except with DRG you'll have to be close or possibly in range of NM's really bad AoEs.
Mirage Keffiyeh icon.png - Weirdly this as a sub for most jobs pimps out their defense. It's even arguably one of, if not the, best subs for RUN, as it increases DEF by such a degree as to severely mitigate RUN's main weakness. However in SMN land... 0×100000% is still 0.
Cirque Cappello icon.png - Like BST, you can't have two pets. Unlike BST, your Automaton will be stuck at level 49.
Charis Tiara icon.png - Would have been a weirdly decent sub for solo... if Sambas affected your Avatar. Which they don't. So even solo, this sub is worthless.
Geomancy Galero icon.png - /brd gives you Ballad.... which is like a really crappy Refresh... /geo also gives you Indi-Refresh... and that's basically it. But at least it'll be twice the potency of Ballad I... Still less than Refresh I.
Futhark Bandeau icon.png - One could make the argument that the runes and Vallation make this worthwhile to use in a heavily magic damage fight... except the only ones that would be really relevant are Dakuwaqa and Tchakka
Rockfin 1.png
... All of which you should be well out of AoE range. Making /run basically just as useless as /pld.

Avatars

There's two ways to gain the ability to summon six of the eight "Celestial Avatars": a party, level uncapped "Trial by ELEMENT" versus a Lv.60 Prime Avatar; and a solo, level 20 capped "Trial-Size Trial by ELEMENT" versus a Lv.30 Prime Avatar with all summons restricted save Carbuncle.
While I used to recommend NEVER doing the Lv.20 fights, and I still recommend unlocking the gods via their full fights, the ability to use Home Point warps out to each of the Cloisters makes the utility of keeping the Mini Tuning Forks less valuable than they used to be.

That being said, I still recommend that you DO NOT complete the Lv.20 fights to gain the ability to summon the gods, as not only will you need to fight them all again to gain the ability to fight Fenrir but you must also fight them all again twice more (for a grand total of 4x) in order to get what is essentially the single most useful item you will ever get for SMN.
Evoker's Ring description.png
Furthermore, while it doesn't take long, should you not have completed the first chapter of Rhapsodies of Vana'diel, using the Home Points to warp that much over and over can get quite expensive. *Especially* for a SMN who is just starting out. And free is always better than any cost.

So please, do yourself a favor and have a friend kill the Lv.60 Primes (an especially easy feat at 99+) for you at first, and only complete the Lv.20 fights for AFTER you have obtained your Evoker's Ring and completed the first part of Rhapsodies Missions. Though why you would as they offer nothing except the ability to summon the six elemental gods, I have no idea. If you reach that point and just wanna toss the tuning forks, no one will fault you for it.


All "Celestial Avatars" have two primary Blood Pacts that will be your primary source of damage: a level "70" physical* and the level 75 Merit Points magical Blood Pact. The Light and Dark Avatars gain comparable magical BPs from levels 75~80 or so, but they tend to not follow as strict a mold as the "Celestial Avatars" do.

  • The "Celestial Avatar" of Fire.
  • Your "Big Gun". Ifrit has the only hybrid Blood Pact Rages: Burning Strike and Flaming Crush. If you see someone talking about 40/50/60/70/80k in a single shot, and it's not a Magic Burst, this is where it came from.
    • FC for the insane numbers, BS for one-shotting the little guys (15~30k with no de/buffs)
    • Burning Strike makes Ifrit your least MP intensive Avatar as it is a level 23 Blood Pact, dealing damage equal to everyone else's level 70s.
      • Making it ideal for fighting many little mobs (that you won't need to AoE) as each one should die in a single hit. (And by "little" I mean "nonNM".)
  • Ifrit also has Conflag Strike which is one of the few sources of Breath Damage Damage in the game that doesn't suck. (not only that, but it also decreases the target's INT, which makes the next magical BP hit even harder. An ideal Apogee target.)
  • For Wards, Ifrit only has two: Crimson and Inferno Howl
    • Crimson gives a large attack boost, which is the other reason why Ifrit is your "Big Gun" as its the only Avatar to be able to increase its pDIF on its own.
    • Inferno is a massively potent enfire effect, which further increases Ifrit's DPS, though not as much as Crimson does.
Favor Effect: "Double Attack"+25%
  • The "Terrestrial Avatar" of Rebirth.
  • Chains of Promathia was released September 21, 2004, with Phoenix playing a heavy role in the events of the missions' storyline.
  • Referenced again as reforming in the Rise of the Zilart and Chains of Promathia missions' combined Epilogue storyline, introduced in the February 2006 update[4].
  • Finally was revealed whole in the ultimate finale of Rhapsodies of Vanadiel... released in November 2015[5].
    • That's right. It took 11 years for her to finally be made whole enough to manifest in a physical form.
    • You may be curious about as to why she's in fragmentary form... well.... play the missions!
  • As of April 2020, she is unavailable to the players for summoning... and likely if/when she would be implemented... she'd probably follow suit with Atomos and be a single use spell-summon, rather than a full summon. (Probably a "fullcure" (restoring HP and MP) for the party, as Cait Sith's Astral Flow BP is Arisega... which is probably why we'll never get Phoenix and her classic FF ability is already in use via another summon. Though I could see her being like Alexander and Odin and be tied to Astral Flow... As well as being her classic massive AoE fire damage + arisega.)
  • The "Terrestrial Avatar" of Dragons.
  • Known by his moniker: The Wyrmking.
  • As of April 2020, he is unavailable to the players for summoning.
    • Even though the player already gets his Whisper of the Wyrmking Key Item from the first of the Rise of the Zilart and Chains of Promathia missions' combined Epilogue storyline quests, the Key Item normally used for obtaining Pacts with the Avatars... It's only used currently to grant access to the BCNM where you can fight him for various rewards.
    • Were he ever implemented, he'd likely be a full Avatar as his NM fight displays more than enough enough abilities that could easily be converted to Blood Pacts:
      • Mega/Giga/Tetraflare: increasingly more potent conal AoE fire damage. Teraflare would most likely be his Astral Flow, with the other two being his Lv.80ish Merit equivalent and a 99+ Blood Pact.
        • They would likely be Breath Damage damage as well, if they aren't already, as they are deific versions of the traditional Wyrm Breath attacks.
      • Fire V, Flare II and Firaga IV are spells he casts, so Fire spells can be converted, just as Fire II and IV are for Ifrit. So there's multiple options for the Lv.80ish Merit equivalent Blood Pact.
        • He also casts Protect V, Shell V, and Cure V... but as no Avatar has white magic variant Blood Pact, it would be unlikely to have those directly.
      • Absolute Terror (AoE Terror) and Touchdown (AoE Physical Damage + knockback) are traditional Wyrm moves he uses.
      • Tempest Wing (AoE Element: Wind), Sweeping Flail (conal Physical Damage + knockback), Horrible Roar (Aoe Dispel), Trample (AoE Physical Damage + Bind & knockback), and Impulsion (AoE Element: Fire + Petrify, Blind & knockback) make up more powerful variants on traditional Wyrm moves.
    • As for his Favor, it could be anything as simple as Attack+ or something more fancy like "Store TP"+... -Damage Taken... or even Weapon Skill Damage+!
  • The "Celestial Avatar" of Water.
  • Spinning Dive is your primary physical BP, but Tail Whip offers a gravity additional effect... for much less damage, though utilitarian.
  • Leviathan offers interesting wards, capable of applying Slow and Attack Down in AoE form, as well as being one of only three healing Avatars.
    • Slowga is generally a waste, as it's only Slow I. So Slow II from your RDMs will be more potent and useful. However, Tidal Roar is a unique effect of -25% Attack for all enemies hit.
    • Leviathan's Cura Blood Pact is one of my favorites, as it removes status effects as well as being a potent cure.
Favor Effect: Magic Accuracy+37
  • The "Terrestrial Avatar" of Rainbows.
  • Your first summon, and by the time you ding 99... you will likely hate the little guy. Which is a shame, as he's the best Light aligned summon you have.
    • This is mostly due to the two magical Blood Pacts he gets: Meteorite and Holy Mist
      • Meteorite will usually deal about the same as Holy Mist for much less MP cost, however this is reversed should you be Magic Bursting Light damage.
    • Carbuncle's lone physical BP: Poison Nails is garbage for damage and only has a small poison additional effect to compensate. And as it's the only damaging BP he gets until 55... you'll truly understand how bad it really is.
  • Wards on the other hand is where Carbuncle truly shines.
    • Healing Ruby/II offer you the most MP efficient single target and AoE cure BPs available respectively.
    • Furthermore, while neither heal statuses like Leviathan can with its cura, Carbuncle can -na-ga via Soothing Ruby. Though that's all it does.
    • Shining Ruby is his best buff, as it is a Protect and Shell effect, which stacks with the Pro/Shell proper!
Favor Effect: "Regen"+27
  • The "Avatar" of Hope.
  • Poor, unfinished Cait Sith. She lacks any Blood Pacts between levels 76~98. And at 99 she just gains a "larger" version of her level 1 BP... that has barely any damage increase... for over 20x the MP cost.
    • Not only that, but in order to form a pact with her, you'll have to complete all of Wings of the Goddess Missions in order to start the Epilogue Quest.
  • In fact, her only other offensive BP, Level ? Holy, is so random that more often than not will never deal any damage.
  • That all being said, she is SMN's only native Reraise. And it's even Reraise II! (/whm and /sch only offer RR1)
  • Also her other two wards are capable of completely shutting down NMs:
    • Mewing Lullaby: an AoE Light based sleep, that resets the TP of those hit by it. The TP reset is the main use, but the Horde Lullaby effect has its uses too.
    • Eerie Eye: one of the only ways for players to apply the amnesia effect. It's a bit tricky to land, and has a secondary enfeeble of also silencing the target. It's also sight based, so getting her into position is the hardest part.
Favor Effect: "Magic Defense Bonus"+26
  • The "Celestial Avatar" of Light.
  • One of the two "ultimate" Avatars, and as such is only available once every 1hr.
  • He offers Perfect Defense, mitigating the most damage of any buff in the game. However, in order to achieve this level of defense now-a-days, one must have 600 Summoning Magic Skill. A hardy feat, but one that is well within the realms of the achievable now.
  • The "Terrestrial Avatar" of The Moon.
  • The "first ultimate Avatar" of FFXI. Namely due to his lower than average Perpetuation Cost, as well as the rigamarole one must go through in order to just challenge him to attempt to get the pact.
    • You'll need to be able to summon ALL SIX non-Light&Dark aligned "Celestial Avatars", and then possess all six "Whisper" Key Items from each of them. Meaning it will take a full 12 fights just to prepare for getting Fenrir.
  • His primary physical BP is Eclipse Bite and is of the same caliber as the Lv70 line from the "Celestial Avatars"; and as of the November 10th, 2016 update[6], replicates ƒTP across all hits as well as increasing in ƒTP with how much TP Fenrir has.
    • Crescent Fang is still marginally useful as it also inflicts a light paralyze with a fair amount of accuracy.
      • As well as also increasing in ƒTP with how much TP Fenrir has, Crescent Fang is also the highest source of Piercing damage available to SMN.
    • Moonlit Charge's blind is much weaker and much less accurate, as well as dealing the least amount of damage.
  • Lunar Bay is his primary magic BP, on the level of the Merit BPs. However, the real shining magical BP is Impact, identical to the player spell only capable of being increased by large amounts of Summoning Magic Skill as well as dealing a much larger amount of Darkness damage than the player version.
  • His Wards are the most varied of any Avatar, but sadly are some of the most useless.
    • Lunar Cry offers accuracy and evasion down on the target... but by portions much less than Shiva's evasion down. Even at maximum moon phase.
    • Ecliptic Howl is the inverse version of Lunar Cry, as it boosts the party's acc and eva... but again, by paltry amounts dictated by the moon.
    • Heavenward Howl is... fun. Giving either en-drain or en-aspir... but, again, it's based on the moon and completely unreliable as to which you'll be able to get.
    • Ecliptic Growl and Lunar Roar are the only truly useful Wards he has.
      • Growl giving everyone all stat boosts, either mage oriented or melee oriented based on the moon.
      • Roar is a 2x Dispelga, and for once not based on the moon phase... so far as we know.
Favor Effect: Magic Evasion+37
  • The "Terrestrial Avatar" of Dreams.
  • Pact obtained by the quest Waking Dreams, and requires a portion of Chains of Promathia Missions in order to start.
  • If Fenrir is the "physically focused Dark Avatar", then Diabolos is the magical. As his main Rage BPs are both magical damage, and he is also the only Avatar with a damaging Ward (also magic damage).
    • Diabolos' physical BPs are both his first and last BP learned: Camisado and Blindside. Both are identical except for cost and damage. (though Blindside is nowhere near as offensive as Regal Gash is, it still is massively subpar compared to the level 70 equivalent BPs, but does offer a sizeable damage boost compared to Camisado's abysmal damage.)
    • As mentioned above, Diabolos is magically aligned. Nether Blast is also a Breath Damage move that deals a fixed amount regardless of the target's MDT, it also doesn't consume TP, a unique effect for damaging BPs (as they consume the Avatar's TP when used).
    • Night Terror is Diabolos' Merit equivalent BP, and has a massive damage boost if the target is asleep... which one of Diabolos' wards, Nightmare, does.
      • Which in addition to that Sleepga II effect, Nightmare gives a potent Bio effect that does not wake up the sleeper.
    • Somnolence is the Ward that deals damage, as well as giving a gravity effect to the target. But the primary use is being able to fire off two damaging BPs right back to back repeatedly without having to use Apogee.
    • And as if all of that wasn't good enough... Dream Shroud boosts MAB and MDB, making Diabolos both take less magic damage and deal more magic damage.
    • Noctoshield is a Phalanxga, but only offers -13 damage at the moment... so it's pretty worthless, as Phalanx will give you a higher damage reduction... even from /rdm.
    • Ultimate Terror steals random stats from random enemies in range, not particularly good but not terrible either. Though it's completely useless on enemies that resist dark, as it will fail constantly.
    • Pavor Nocturnus is an instant death move. I've only ever seen it once. And that was with the success rate bonus it gets from the target suffering from Nightmare. Regular sleep also boosts the success rate, but it's terribad. If it doesn't instadeath someone, it will dispel one effect.
Favor Effect: "Refresh"+7
  • The "Avatar" of Time.
  • Pact is obtained from the final quest in the Wings of the Goddess Missions Epilogue.
  • Summoning him doesn't require Astral Flow like Odin and Alexander do, but he behaves in a similar manner.
    • Will attempt to seal buffs from the target, and then will give any stolen to all party members in range. And then immediately is dismissed.
      • If the effect can be dispelled, Atomos seems to be near 100% accurate, and isn't a "dark based dispel", so even against dark resistant enemies Deconstruction has a high success rate.
    • Can be summoned many times, as unlike Odin and Alexander, he doesn't consume all your MP.
  • The "Celestial Avatar" of Darkness.
  • One of the two "ultimate" Avatars, and as such is only available once every 1hr.
  • Zantetsuken. It's all he does. Instadeath in a cone from him. But it basically never happens... and it's not even worth the gamble on a NM, as it only deals massive Element: Dark damage based on the amount of MP consumed. And by "massive" I mean a pittance. (As he consumes all your MP to do it, it's better to just use a Merit level BP.)
  • The "Celestial Avatar" of Ice.
  • Shiva is a very utilitarian Avatar. With Rush (lv.70) and her merit BP being her primary sources of damage.
    • She can boost Rush's damage via Diamond Storm, lowering evasion to enemies in range, and both via Crystal Blessing, granting a TP Bonus to herself and party members in range.
      • As of the November 10th, 2016 update[7], all BPs are now affected by TP level. Formerly it was just the magical BPs, so while you can no longer charge up your Avatar's TP with a physical BP... All physical BPs were overall strengthened by the change. Furthermore, Shiva is one of the Avatars to get one of the oh so vaunted ƒTP transferring "weaponskills", making her TP bonus boost very valuable to Rush in addition to her magical BPs.
  • And if that synergy wasn't enough, she comes with Sleepga and Frost Armor
    • While most spikes spells are subpar, Ice Spikes, which Frost Armor gives to the entire party, is on of the best.
Favor Effect: "Magic Attack Bonus"+39
  • The "Celestial Avatar" of Lightning.
  • Ramuh is the only Avatar who can use two high level BPs and make a self-Skillchain. (Most others can as well, but they tend to be Level 1 Skillchains... so aren't as good Ramuh's, damagewise.)
  • He is also the only one with a reliable AoE that isn't tied to Astral Flow: Thunderspark. (Again, the only other one who has a non-Astral Flow AoE damage BP is Cait Sith's Lv. ? Holy... so completely unreliable as to not exist.)
  • Like Ifrit, he has two buffing Wards:
  • However, he also has a unique Ward that isn't an inferior version of another Avatar's: Shock Squall an AoE Stun.
Favor Effect: "Critical Hit Rate"+23%
  • The "Celestial Avatar" of Wind.
  • As of the November 10th, 2016 update[9], Garuda was made to match Ifrit in terms of her potential damage output.
  • She also is one of the three Avatars with a curative BP. Whispering Wind is more costly than Carbuncle's, and it doesn't heal any status effects like Leviathan's, but point for point it heals the most.
  • She can also dish out Blink to everyone in the party via Aerial Armor, but the main thing you'll be summoning her for (after Hastega, of course) is her Fleet Wind Blood Pact: +25% Movement Speed.
Favor Effect: Evasion+37
  • The "Celestial Avatar" of Earth.
  • Titan is interesting as he has two lines of physical BPs:
    • A melee line which has the added effect of Bind and contains the Lv.70 BP, which as of the November 10th, 2016 update[11], all have their ƒTP increase with Titan's TP.
    • A ranged physical line which has the added effect of Slow with his final BP giving a whopping -30% Attack Speed and dealing comparable damage to his Lv.70 BP; and as of the November 10th, 2016 update[12], all have an accuracy/ranged accuracy bonus based on Titan's TP level.
  • For wards, Titan only has two:
Favor Effect: Defense+97

Elemental Spirits

Light-SMN-Icon.gif
Light Elemental.png
|| Fire-SMN-Icon.gif
Fire Elemental.png
|| Ice-SMN-Icon.gif
Ice Elemental.png
|| Wind-SMN-Icon.gif
Air Elemental.png
|| Earth-SMN-Icon.gif
Earth Elemental.png
|| Thunder-SMN-Icon.gif
Thunder Elemental.png
|| Water-SMN-Icon.gif
Water Elemental.png
|| Dark-SMN-Icon.gif
Dark Elemental.png

So... yeah. These are pretty much garbage. There was a time when that wasn't so... but in the 119era? They're trash. While they may have half the perpetuation cost of the above Avatars... their casting is very limited. And sadly with the introduction of Trust Magic... the only useful one, Light Spirit, as it gave native access to Protect V and Shell V for a SMN, is made redundant. However in the rare situation where you find yourself without Trusts or a RDM or a SCH or a WHM... it still remains a very useful ability that most Summoners seem to be wildly ignorant of. (Basically you'll want to idle with your Light Spirit out and it will give Pro/Shell5 to everyone in the party. To rig things so that it only gives our Pro/Shell, before you summon it, have Garuda use Hastega II and cast regen on everyone. That will force the Light Spirit AI to only apply the buffs Protect and Shell, as Haste-Regen-Protect I~V-Shell I~V are the buffs Light Spirit will try to apply to everyone.)

Now, while it may seem like there is no reason to bother with these guys, you should want to have all 8. Why? Well at Lv.1 they are the fastest and easiest way to get skill-ups as summoning them still counts as using Summoning Magic. So there's that.
There's also the fact that they are the way a Summoner utilizes the job ability Elemental Siphon starting at Lv.50. If you play things right, every Elemental Siphon will net you little over 900 MP with every use (every 5min). So you'll want all 8 to be able to make full use of that effect.

As you may have noticed, I have made notations denoting "true" and "false" gods. Final Fantasy XI's world of Vana'diel is built upon the ideas of Plato's The Cave. This serves as the backdrop for the central conflicts of Rise of the Zilart and Chains of Promathia. If you're interested in fully understanding it, I recommend buying a copy of Plato's Republic and reading it. (Or you can just read the Wikipedia article about the allegory here.)

And should you have any doubt as to my assertion, why not take it strait from the god-bunny's mouth himself
Carbuncle GUI.png
:

"Fenrir is, just as we are, one of the new energies born to the world of Vana'diel. We new powers are a part of Vana'diel. We must abide by its rules, and can die just like any other beast. The "avatars," on the other hand, are lifeforces that belong to an ancient order of things. As the ancient past of Vana'diel now sleeps, the lifeforces of the avatars are bound in torpor. Vana'diel belongs to you as much as it belongs to us. You must see the true nature of your world."

Leveling

Contents
1 Subjob Selection
1.1 Useful Subjobs
1.2 Other Subjobs
1.3 Useless Subjobs

2 Avatars

2.1 Elemental Spirits

3 Leveling

3.1 A Note on Skill-ups
3.2 The Baby Levels (1~15)
3.2.1 1~8:
3.2.2 8~15:
3.3 The RSE Levels (15~33)
3.3.1 15~27:
3.3.2 27~33:
3.4 The Stinky Crawly Levels (33~75)
3.4.1 33~56:
3.4.2 56~64:
3.4.3 64~75:
3.5 The Final Levels (75~99)

4 Merits

4.1 Job Points
4.1.1 0JP
4.1.2 Su1
4.1.3 Su2
4.1.4 550JP
4.1.5 1200JP
4.1.6 ★Master!

5 Endgame Battle Roles
6 Abilities and Macros

6.1 Macro Book 1
6.1.1 Page 1
6.1.2 Carbuncle Page
6.1.3 Ifrit Page
6.1.4 Shiva Page
6.1.5 Garuda Page
6.1.6 Titan Page
6.1.7 Ramuh Page
6.1.8 Leviathan Page
6.1.9 Fenrir Page
6.1.10 Diabolos Page
6.2 Macro Book 2
6.2.1 Cait Sith Page
6.2.2 Elemental Siphon Page

7 Equipment

7.1 Staves
7.1.1 Ultimate Weapons
7.1.2 Non-Ultimate Weapons
7.1.2.1 Idle Staves
7.1.2.2 "Physical" Blood Pact Staves
7.1.2.3 "Magical" Blood Pact Staves
7.2 Equipsets
7.2.1 "Alexander" Set
7.2.2 Idle Set
7.2.3 Fast Cast Set
7.2.4 Blood Pact Delay Set
7.2.5 Physical Blood Pact Set
7.2.6 Hybrid Blood Pact Set
7.2.7 Magical Blood Pact Set
7.2.8 Enfeebling Blood Pact Set
7.2.9 Enhancing/Healing Blood Pact Set
7.2.10 Elemental Siphon Set
7.2.11 Cure Potency Set
7.2.12 Weapon Skill Sets
7.2.12.1 Garland of Bliss Set
7.2.12.2 Shattersoul Set
Given that Summoner requires you to have leveled at least one job to Lv.30 before you can even start I Can Hear a Rainbow, the quest to unlock the job, you're likely to have found some places where you are comfortable with leveling.

That being said, here's my general step-by-step for when I have leveled a job to 99:
*Also: Be sure to always have the appropriate "kill 10 mobs in the area" Records of Eminence quest objective set, so you can increase your exp gain rate.*

A Note on Skill-ups

In Truth, there's but one skill that matters for SMN: Summoning Magic Skill
Some people like to hit Lv.99 and then level Summoning Magic... I find that to be terrible. As you either are sitting in one spot cycling elementals and/or avatars... or you're cheating with a script to do that. Of course, any way of leveling Summoning Magic is gonna be terrible...
But, how I did it is really what I feel is the best way to do it: cap it at Lv.1 and it should remain capped or near cap as you level.

Having a Destrier Beret
Destrier Beret description.png
is ideal, but if you don't have that... don't worry. Thanks to Astral Homelands being introduced, you can trade hours of summoning and dismissing avatars and/or elementals for hours of popping an item. Should you go the "never before 99" route. And best of all, if you are following my leveling recommendations, you'll have ample sparks to buy the Astral Homelands with... meaning it'll all be free! (You can buy them off the AH too, but why pay for something you can have gotten for free just as easily.)

So the method I recommend is to have saved up enough money to buy 6 of the 8 elemental pacts (all but Light and Dark as they are usually 500k-ish a pop, even now), and at Lv.1 to cycle through Carbuncle and as many elementals that you could afford until your Summoning Magic Skill is blue. Then you can start leveling as below... and so long as you're constantly using Blood Pacts, as using one has the potential to increase your Summoning Magic, you should remain relatively capped at all times. (As you get higher and higher it's a bit harder to stay capped, and once you hit 75, I recommend to stop caring about keeping it capped. You can try, but 76~99 is just easier to gain the exp first and then cycle all those levels at 99.)

Obviously you'll also want to eventually cap Staff and Evasion Skills and the like, but that can easily wait until 99 as they aren't that important compared to Summoning Magic. (and are much easier to do so.)

The Baby Levels (1~15)

These will go by super fast, you'll likely be 15 in under a single hour now-a-days. And that's crazy. Faster even if you make use of your chosen exp ring
Chariot Band description.png
.

You are more than welcome to run back and forth or plan ahead to get gear to wear as you level, but with how fast exp is now-a-days... I just use Lv.1 gear for these. Maybe some bodies or something from a shop, but it matters so little and goes by so quickly, you'll waste more time trying to "gear properly" than actual leveling. So I mostly just stick to the generic Lv.1 RSE gear. It's good enough. I'll be out of it quickly. And, best of all, it's free.

Or, better yet, if you have it: Chocobo Shirt
Chocobo Shirt description.png
and Destrier Beret
Destrier Beret description.png
. For levels 1~30, these are two of the best things to wear as they will help you keep your skills up to cap, as well as giving you a nice Reraise safety net.
You should stick to staves, as that's what you'll be using 51~99 guaranteed, and there really is no reason to gimp yourself and have 0 Staff Skill at 51. Any stave will do for these levels, just make sure it has MP. Same for any accessories. I'd also recommend picking up a pair of Astral Rings
Astral Ring description.png
, as they will increase your MP beyond any other ring available until Lv.30.
Much like how I don't care to go back and change my clothes in these levels, I tend to keep the same staff until 15. Which is where I swap to using a Pestle
Pestle description.png
. I highly recommend trying to get one in Buburimu Peninsula. The MP drain can be godly, and I used it all the way to 51.
If you would like to swap staves (from Ash Staff
Ash Staff description.png
/+1
Ash Staff +1 description.png
) to something before the Pestle
Pestle description.png
at 15, I'd recommend using a Legionnaire's Staff
Lgn. Staff description.png
at Lv.10.

1~8:

Any of the six starting areas using Fields of Valor page 1:

Zone FoV Book Location Hunt Enemies
North Gustaberg (I-6) (L-8) (D-10) (J-6) 6 members of the worm family
South Gustaberg (K-8) (H-9) 6 members of the bee family
East Ronfaure (G-6) (H-9) 6 members of the pugil family
West Ronfaure (G-9) (I-6) 6 members of the worm family
East Sarutabaruta (F-4) (G-11) (J-7) 6 members of the mandragora family
West Sarutabaruta (J-8) (H-6) (I-10) 6 members of the mandragora family

Upon reaching Lv.7, you'll encounter some mobs who are too low level, thus resulting in "dead kills" that don't further the FoV hunt-quest. Don't worry, as you should be using the area's Records of Eminence "Kill any 10 mobs" objective, you'll hit level 8 even with the occasional "dead kill".
Here is an example of gear for this level range:

Ash Staff icon.pngAsh Staff description.png 32x32.png 32x32.png Fortune Egg icon.pngFortune Egg description.png
Copper Hairpin icon.pngCopper Hairpin description.png 32x32.png 32x32.png 32x32.png
Cobra Tunica icon.pngCobra Tunica description.png Elvaan Gloves icon.pngElvaan Gloves description.png Windurstian Ring icon.pngWindurstian Ring description.png 32x32.png
32x32.png 32x32.png Elv. M Chausses icon.pngElv. M Chausses description.png Elv. M Ledelsens icon.pngElv. M Ledelsens description.png
  I'm an Elvaan Male, so that will be my RSE examples in this guide.
Remember, Chocobo Shirt
Chocobo Shirt description.png
and Destrier Beret
Destrier Beret description.png
will be Best in Slot all the way until 30, so if you have them, ignore any head and body examples and use them.

8~15:

At this point you're probably wondering why I started you on the FoVs. FoV hunts will not only give you bonus exp, but also gil. And not only that, but it builds tabs; which can be spent on various buffs... but the real value of them is in their teleportation utilities. With a fair amount of tabs under your belt, you'll never be far from a warp back to your Home Point or a repatriation to your home nation.

Any of the six starting areas using Fields of Valor page 5:

Zone FoV Book Location Hunt Enemies
North Gustaberg (I-6) (L-8) (D-10) (J-6) 3 members of the quadav family
4 Ornery Sheep
South Gustaberg (K-8) (H-9) 5 Rock Lizards
2 members of the Crab family
East Ronfaure (G-6) (H-9) 4 Wild Sheep
2 Scarab Beetles
West Ronfaure (G-9) (I-6) 3 Strolling Saplings
3 Huge Wasps
East Sarutabaruta (F-4) (G-11) (J-7) 4 Carrion Crows
3 members of the Crawler family
West Sarutabaruta (J-8) (H-6) (I-10) 3 Strolling Saplings
3 Killer Bees

Here is an example of gear for this level range:

Pestle icon.pngPestle description.png 32x32.png 32x32.png Fortune Egg icon.pngFortune Egg description.png
Brass Hairpin icon.pngBrass Hairpin description.png Rep.Bronze Medal icon.pngRep.Bronze Medal description.png Onyx Earring icon.pngOnyx Earring description.png Onyx Earring icon.pngOnyx Earring description.png
Cobra Tunica icon.pngCobra Tunica description.png Elvaan Gloves icon.pngElvaan Gloves description.png Astral Ring icon.pngAstral Ring description.png Astral Ring icon.pngAstral Ring description.png
32x32.png Friar's Rope icon.pngFriar's Rope description.png Elv. M Chausses icon.pngElv. M Chausses description.png Elv. M Ledelsens icon.pngElv. M Ledelsens description.png

The RSE Levels (15~33)

If you haven't already, try to grab a set of your race's Lv.30 RSE Set. As for many of these, they have multiple slots have large MP values. And there isn't much that SMN cares for at these low levels but MP. Chocobo Shirt
Chocobo Shirt description.png
and Destrier Beret
Destrier Beret description.png
should be worn all the way to 30, where you can replace them with a head of your choice and your Lv.30 RSE body armor. Personally, I like a Trump Crown
Trump Crown description.png
for 20+, as the HP boost is welcome while using multiple "converts HP to MP" items
Astral Ring description.png
... especially with how little base HP SMN has... and the HP and MP values increase every few levels! (Meaning you won't need to replace it until Lv.60!
Evoker's Horn description.png
)
Another option for these levels is the Lv.29 Seer's
Seer's Tunic description.png
Attire
Seer's Mitts description.png
Set
Seer's Slacks description.png
/+1.
Seer's Pumps description.png
And best of all, it's now even easier to get than your Lv.30 RSE Set! Remember all those sparks you got while leveling Lv.1~15? Well you likely have enough to get at least the body
Seer's Tunic description.png
, legs
Seer's Slacks description.png
and feet
Seer's Pumps description.png
pieces, which are the more important pieces as they have the MP. (Unlike Seer's Crown
Seer's Crown description.png
and Mitts
Seer's Mitts description.png
.) And while the set is really good for the level you can start wearing it, depending on your race, your Lv.30 RSE Set is likely to have pieces with much greater MP values.
There's also the exceedingly good Carbuncle Mitts
Carbuncle Mitts description.png
once you hit Lv.20. They have the hidden effect of cutting Carbuncle's perpetuation cost down by half... making him almost (or even) completely free! However they come from a SMN NM (Crimson-toothed Pawberry) who is from a much higher level area than you are by now (60~75). The fight is exceedingly easy for a 99+ character, but it takes a bit to get to the pop item... and Carbuncle Mitts
Carbuncle Mitts description.png
aren't a 100% drop... but if you have a THF friend to help you with it... you may even be lucky enough get a Light Spirit Pact in addition to the mitts!!
As for weapons, you're gonna get such mileage out of that Pestle
Pestle description.png
. You can use it all the way to Lv.51. Namely because: you won't be finding a staff with more MP for these levels. In fact, you won't find one with more MP until Lv. 40
Himmel Stock description.png
!

15~27:

Zone GoV Book Location Hunt Enemies GoV Page #
Gusgen Mines (H-9) (H-7) (H-10) 6 members of the skeleton family 1

27~33:

Zone GoV Book Location Hunt Enemies GoV Page #
Gusgen Mines (H-9) (H-7) (H-10) 2 Ore Eaters
4 Bandersnatches
3

The main reason why I recommend coming here is because of how Grounds of Valor differs from Fields of Valor: the exp bonus for completing a hunt page is increased with every completion. And best of all, when you change pages you keep the rank of the bonus exp! Meaning that if you reach the max exp rank of page 1 before you switch to page 3, your first completion of page 3 will be for the maximum amount of exp!! Keep in mind, however, that the completion bonus is reset should you leave the zone, but NOT if you log out.
The secondary reason is that in the 99era, Gusgen Mines was the spot to level 15~33. With the advent of Trusts everyone just kinda does whatever... but you may still find others coming to Gusgen, and you can team up! You may even be lucky enough to find a group already in progress!

Here is an example of gear for this level range:
Pestle icon.pngPestle description.png Succubus Grip icon.pngSuccubus Grip description.png 32x32.png Fortune Egg icon.pngFortune Egg description.png
Trump Crown icon.pngTrump Crown description.png Evoker's Torque icon.pngEvoker's Torque description.png
Augment-Icon.png
Black Earring icon.pngBlack Earring description.png Black Earring icon.pngBlack Earring description.png
Seer's Tunic icon.pngSeer's Tunic description.png Magna Gauntlets icon.pngMagna Gauntlets description.png Astral Ring icon.pngAstral Ring description.png Astral Ring icon.pngAstral Ring description.png
32x32.png Mohbwa Sash icon.pngMohbwa Sash description.png Magna M Chausses icon.pngMagna M Chausses description.png Mgn. M Ledelsens icon.pngMgn. M Ledelsens description.png

The Stinky Crawly Levels (33~75)

Generally when I level a new job, I'll quest the AF1 (Artifact Armor) and farm the AF2 (Relic Armor) and slip it until I'm leveling the job through the ranges where it can start to equip it: 50~60 for AF1 and 71~75 for Af2.

Generally, I keep with the RSE pieces (and anything else I've equipped from the previous section) until I can start to put on my AF1 pieces. And on most jobs I would say "be sure to get and use the Artifact Weapon when you hit 40!" ... But with SMN... Kukulcan's Staff
Kukulcan's Staff description.png
is just so lackluster when compared to Pestle
Pestle description.png
's MP drain... I'd just keep using Pestle until 51, and then get the AF weapon when you go to get the AF1 armor. And let Kukulcan's Staff rot in a slip. (Especially when Himmel Stock
Himmel Stock description.png
offers you over 3x the MP of Kukulcan's and 6x the MP of Pestle. And can be equipped a whole level sooner too! However... it comes with a relatively huge drawback: +3s to the recast of every BP you use. Now this doesn't really matter much, as at these low levels you're not "being serious" you're just leveling... but just be aware that should you want to make use of Himmel Stock's massive MP boon, you will be 3s slower with your BPs.)
But once you hit 51, there is only one of two weapons you will use... all the way until 99 (and even beyond): Iridal Staff
Iridal Staff description.png
(the NQ) and Chatoyant Staff
Chatoyant Staff description.png
(the HQ)

Chatoyant has the benefit of better stats and -3/tic perpetuation cost, but while Iridal only gives you -2/tic off your perp... I would actually recommend a new SMN buy an Iridal Staff
Iridal Staff description.png
. Because you'll need one eventually when you hit 99. (Though if you're planning to level other mage jobs you should buy the Chatoyant Staff
Chatoyant Staff description.png
. Not only that, but both make for excellent cure pieces. So while you can't use the Chatoyant later, it can still be used for curing. Though there are better options, and as a SMN, you should aim to cap cure potency without a staff change.)

33~56:

Zone GoV Book Location Hunt Enemies GoV Page #
Crawlers' Nest (L-8) (I-6) 3 Worker Crawlers
3 Death Jackets
1

Here is where you can get your Artifact Armor... at least after you ping Lv.50. And it's up to you if you want to take a break at 50 and go quest for it, or if you want to power through the final parts of this page to 56. Personally, I would go to 56 and then quest. They're a little difficult if you're perfectly at 50... but are super easy for a 99+ character.
You'll start this page at the entrance moving back and forth down the hall... but after a bit you'll be able to make the circle around and start to really crank out the exp.
Once again, this was a favored grinding spot in the 99era. So you may meet someone while you do page 1.
Here is an example of gear for this level range:

Chatoyant Staff icon.pngChatoyant Staff description.png Raptor Strap +1 icon.pngRaptor Strap +1 description.png 32x32.png Fortune Egg icon.pngFortune Egg description.png
Trump Crown icon.pngTrump Crown description.png Beak Necklace icon.pngBeak Necklace description.png Astral Earring icon.pngAstral Earring description.png Antivenom Earring icon.pngAntivenom Earring description.png
Seer's Tunic icon.pngSeer's Tunic description.png Magna Gauntlets icon.pngMagna Gauntlets description.png Ether Ring icon.pngEther Ring description.png Serket Ring icon.pngSerket Ring description.png
Fed. Army Mantle icon.pngFed. Army Mantle description.png Forest Stone icon.pngForest Stone description.png Evoker's Spats icon.pngEvoker's Spats description.png Evoker's Pigaches icon.pngEvoker's Pigaches description.png

56~64:

Zone GoV Book Location Hunt Enemies GoV Page #
Crawlers' Nest (L-8) (I-6) 3 Labyrinth Lizards
3 Witch Hazels
3

Now you can be in full AF1 if you wanted to. (Remember, Skill and MP are the things you want the most of.) And after completing this part, you have one of two options.
Here is an example of gear for this level range:

Chatoyant Staff icon.pngChatoyant Staff description.png Bugard Strap +1 icon.pngBugard Strap +1 description.png 32x32.png Fortune Egg icon.pngFortune Egg description.png
Evoker's Horn icon.pngEvoker's Horn description.png Beak Necklace icon.pngBeak Necklace description.png Astral Earring icon.pngAstral Earring description.png Antivenom Earring icon.pngAntivenom Earring description.png
Evoker's Doublet icon.pngEvoker's Doublet description.png Wood Gauntlets icon.pngWood Gauntlets description.png Ether Ring icon.pngEther Ring description.png Serket Ring icon.pngSerket Ring description.png
Invigorating Cape icon.pngInvigorating Cape description.png Forest Stone icon.pngForest Stone description.png Evoker's Spats icon.pngEvoker's Spats description.png Wood M Ledelsens icon.pngWood M Ledelsens description.png
A nice option for body and head at this point (or rather, Lv.59+) would be the mage half of the "red bodies": Royal Cloak
Royal Cloak description.png
. Always go for the +1 with these two (the melee "red body" being the fabled: Scorpion Harness +1
Scp. Harness +1 description.png
). The NQ is only about as good as an AF piece, as you'll only be in them for a short time, while the HQ beats out almost everything all the way until 76+.

64~75:

You can either continue with the exp bonus in Crawlers' Nest:

Zone GoV Book Location Hunt Enemies GoV Page #
Crawlers' Nest (L-8) (I-6) 3 Helm Beetles
3 Knight Crawlers
6

Or you can go to the 99era camp in Bostaunieux Oubliette:

Zone GoV Book Location Hunt Enemies GoV Page #
Bostaunieux Oubliette (I-6) (H-10) (G-9) 9 Bloodsuckers 4

If you left Crawlers' Nest at 64 then Bostaunieux Oubliette will be better, as it has a higher maximum page bonus. However, should you have remained in Crawlers' Nest, it will be the better one as even though its cap is lower, you'll already have been at the cap; so it evens out.|}

By the time you ping 75, and should you be fortunate enough to have been able to get AF2 pieces, you'll likely be in a mix of AF1 and AF2 using a Chatoyant/Iridal Staff. (Remember, Skill and MP are the things you want the most of.)

Here is an example of gear:
Chatoyant Staff icon.pngChatoyant Staff description.png Staff Strap icon.pngStaff Strap description.png 32x32.png Phtm. Tathlum icon.pngPhtm. Tathlum description.png
Evoker's Horn icon.pngEvoker's Horn description.png Beak Necklace icon.pngBeak Necklace description.png Astral Earring icon.pngAstral Earring description.png Star Earring icon.pngStar Earring description.png
Summoner's Dblt. icon.pngSummoner's Dblt. description.png Summoner's Brcr. icon.pngSummoner's Brcr. description.png Ether Ring icon.pngEther Ring description.png Serket Ring icon.pngSerket Ring description.png
Astute Cape icon.pngAstute Cape description.png Forest Rope icon.pngForest Rope description.png Evoker's Spats icon.pngEvoker's Spats description.png Summoner's Pgch. icon.pngSummoner's Pgch. description.png
You may have noted that Astute Cape
Astute Cape description.png
comes from Al'Taieu. Up to this point I've made sure to include only free, NQ, or easily obtainable (aka cheap off the AH) for the gear selection in the leveling guide. Here I skewed a bit more "advanced" as if SMN is your first 99, you likely won't be able to have access to either Dynamis or Al'Taieu. So don't feel bad if you can't get some of these items. After all, this is just a guide, so these are just recommendations. In order to have much of this last set, you'll either need a 99 job already to farm it (*coughcoughTHFcough*) or have a high level friend who is kind enough to farm Dynamis for your AF2 pieces and Al'Taieu for the cape. (Though to be perfectly honest, you can skip the cape. Sure it's really good and BiS until 99+... buuuuut, for what it's worth, it may be a larger hassle to get than just waiting to get the Reive or Ambuscade capes.)

The Final Levels (75~99)

Sadly these are the levels where I just don't have any place to really recommend out of experience.
In the 99era, there were Abyssea burns alliances... those are now deader than Colibri exp parties. Worms or Frogs in [A] La Theine Plateau... Birds or Raptors in [A] Misareaux Coast... No one exp alliances anymore. So the best I can give you is to tell you to go to:

Escha - Zi'Tah

EschaZi'Tah.jpg

Here you will find mobs that can take you from 75 to 99, just start at the entrance and work your way back further in.

With the death of Abyssea, you'll likely be starved for cruor (unless you decide to farm some Voidwatch at some point)... and not only that, but you'll also not be able to mooch any papers off of other people for your AF3+1 set... At least though you'll only ever need the +1 version, and you can get a whole set of +1 papers just from the Login Campaign.... that is when it's being offered as a reward. And you'll still need some cruor to buy some of the base items. At least there are Copper Vouchers that you can trade for the small cruor you'll need to get to buy your AF3.

Merits

Contents
1 Subjob Selection
1.1 Useful Subjobs
1.2 Other Subjobs
1.3 Useless Subjobs

2 Avatars

2.1 Elemental Spirits

3 Leveling

3.1 A Note on Skill-ups
3.2 The Baby Levels (1~15)
3.2.1 1~8:
3.2.2 8~15:
3.3 The RSE Levels (15~33)
3.3.1 15~27:
3.3.2 27~33:
3.4 The Stinky Crawly Levels (33~75)
3.4.1 33~56:
3.4.2 56~64:
3.4.3 64~75:
3.5 The Final Levels (75~99)

4 Merits

4.1 Job Points
4.1.1 0JP
4.1.2 Su1
4.1.3 Su2
4.1.4 550JP
4.1.5 1200JP
4.1.6 ★Master!

5 Endgame Battle Roles
6 Abilities and Macros

6.1 Macro Book 1
6.1.1 Page 1
6.1.2 Carbuncle Page
6.1.3 Ifrit Page
6.1.4 Shiva Page
6.1.5 Garuda Page
6.1.6 Titan Page
6.1.7 Ramuh Page
6.1.8 Leviathan Page
6.1.9 Fenrir Page
6.1.10 Diabolos Page
6.2 Macro Book 2
6.2.1 Cait Sith Page
6.2.2 Elemental Siphon Page

7 Equipment

7.1 Staves
7.1.1 Ultimate Weapons
7.1.2 Non-Ultimate Weapons
7.1.2.1 Idle Staves
7.1.2.2 "Physical" Blood Pact Staves
7.1.2.3 "Magical" Blood Pact Staves
7.2 Equipsets
7.2.1 "Alexander" Set
7.2.2 Idle Set
7.2.3 Fast Cast Set
7.2.4 Blood Pact Delay Set
7.2.5 Physical Blood Pact Set
7.2.6 Hybrid Blood Pact Set
7.2.7 Magical Blood Pact Set
7.2.8 Enfeebling Blood Pact Set
7.2.9 Enhancing/Healing Blood Pact Set
7.2.10 Elemental Siphon Set
7.2.11 Cure Potency Set
7.2.12 Weapon Skill Sets
7.2.12.1 Garland of Bliss Set
7.2.12.2 Shattersoul Set
Originally Merits were a lot more... singular... in their regard to player choice: 5/5 Acc, MAB, and 2 of your favorite Avatars' BP. But the 99era changed that slightly, and now that Job Points are a thing, there are actually real options.
Job Specific Merit Categories
Group 1
Name Description
Avatar Physical Accuracy Increase avatars' physical accuracy by 3.
Avatar Physical Attack Increase avatars' physical attack by 2.
Avatar Magical Accuracy Increase avatars' magical accuracy by 3.
Avatar Magical Attack Increase avatars' magic attack bonus by 2.
Summoning Magic Cast Time Shorten cast time of all summoning magic spells by 5%.
Like previously mentioned, 5/5 Accuracy & Magic Attack Bonus were the only way to go. And even now, it's the best you'll do. However... Once you hit 360 Job Points spent... That Acc+15 from Merits starts to depreciate in value, and as you gain more and more Job Point Gifts it will matter less and less. 15 accuracy is a lot when you don't have any else... but when you have +70...? There's not much of a functional difference between +70 and +85 accuracy. Especially now that there's a plethora of +acc gear and your avatar gets substantial amounts of Accuracy from having Item Levels... especially when you have a Lv.120 (+30ish Acc) or Lv.122 (+90ish Acc) Avatar.

So then what should you do? Well that's simple: 5/5 Accuracy & Magic Attack Bonus until you get 360 Job Points spent. Then you can drop your Accuracy Merits for one of the other groups. Personally, I'd recommend the Fast Cast group if you're wanting to change it up (+15 acc won't ever make or break you, but it does add up.), as having a -25% casting time lets you free up a rather large portion inventory you might have devoted to Fast Cast gear.
Why the "Summoning Magic Cast Time" and not attack or magic accuracy? Well +15 Atk is even less worthwhile than +15 Acc. And Macc is relatively the same argument for having dropped the Acc Merits. (Only Avatars have a larger natural Macc than they do Acc, and there's much more Macc gear readily available to compensate any Macc deficiencies.)
All that being said... if you have "Summoning Magic Cast Time" merited before you hit 360 Job Points spent... You're doing yourself a disservice and have likely gimped your damage and won't be close to "evening out" until you hit 360... so... Anything that's not 5/5 Accuracy & Magic Attack Bonus before 360 Job Points spent is doing it wrong.
And if you're wondering why MAB isn't up for discussion and should never not be merited: MAB is a soft multiplier. Which makes +10 MAB *almost* a direct 10% increase to your magic damage ala the magic damage formula: DamageBase × (100 + Magic Attack Bonus) ÷ (100 + Magic Defense Bonus)


Group 2
Name Description
Meteor Strike Ifrit
Ifrit GUI.png
Blood Pact Rage. Deals fire elemental damage. Increase TP bonus by 400.
Heavenly Strike Shiva
Shiva GUI.png
Blood Pact Rage. Deals ice elemental damage. Increase TP bonus by 400.
Wind Blade Garuda
Garuda GUI.png
Blood Pact Rage. Deals wind elemental damage. Increase TP bonus by 400.
Geocrush Titan
Titan GUI.png
Blood Pact Rage. Deals earth elemental damage. Increase TP bonus by 400.
Thunderstorm Ramuh
Ramuh GUI.png
Blood Pact Rage. Deals lightning elemental damage. Increase TP bonus by 400.
Grand Fall Leviathan
Leviathan GUI.png
Blood Pact Rage. Deals water elemental damage. Increase TP bonus by 400.
Originally you'd just pick your two favorite Avatars and 5/5 their BPs. Then in the 99era it started to be more prudent to have access to every BP, as before the June 2012 update [13], each merit BP was a Voidwatch proc. This eventually would carry its way through to the 119era, as variance and power are the two things a SMN needs to bring to the table.
So obviously you need 1/5 in all six BPs. And with that, you have just enough points to be able to max at least one. Which you don't necessarily have to do... but I would highly recommend that you 5/5 Garuda's
Garuda GUI.png
"Wind
Garuda GUI.png
Blade"
Garuda GUI.png
as that is the Blood Pact you will be asked to use in the hardest of endgame content.

Generic Merit Categories

Combat Skills
Name Description
Staff Increases Staff Skill by 2.
Evasion Increases Evasion Skill by 2.
Magic Skills
Name Description
Summoning Magic Increases Summoning Magic Skill by 2.
Weapon Skills
Name Description
Shattersoul 73% INT modifier on 1st merit, +3% for 2nd~5th merits. 85% INT mod at 5/5.
Other
Name Description
Critical Hit Rate Increases your Critical Hit Rate by 1%.
Spell Interruption Rate Decreases your spell interruption rate by 2%.
You don't really have much choice for the generic Merits anymore... as you can just max all of the ones available for your job now. HP, MP & Base Stats can all be maxed out (15/15) all on one job. And Combat Skills and Magic Skills can have each category capped (8/8) as well, but you'll need to have a job with that skill naturally at 75+ to be able to merit those skills. (eg: Summoner only has the ability to merit Dagger, Club, Staff, and Evasion Skills and Summoning Magic Skill.)

So for those categories where you'll eventually want all capped.... it's really a matter of what to cap first. I would recommend you cap Staff, Evasion, Summoning skills and MP first. Then the "Other" category (where you actually have to pick and choose), then at least 1/5 in Shattersoul before you move on to the monumental task of 15/15ing your Stats and "Merit Points" category. And when you're finally ready to start, I'd recommend focusing on getting INT and MND up to 15/15 before you add other stats... as those are your two main WS mods.

The "Other" and Weapon Skill categories are the only ones left where you have to consider your other jobs, as you can't just max all the categories therein. And I'd recommend at least 1 rank into Shattersoul as it's the only way for a SMN to apply a MDB down effect (thereby increasing BP damage). As for the "Other" category, the only one that really helps SMN is the Spell Interruption Rate down... that being said, you shouldn't really have much of an issue with or without it, because you shouldn't be getting hit. But even though you shouldn't be getting hit... better safe than sorry.
The other one you can cap (as you can only 5/5 two of the four in the "Other" category), should be +crit rate, as it should help out any other job you have. -enmity is tempting, but you shouldn't be able to pull enough hate for it to matter... and +enmity is a bad idea. -enemy crit rate may be a tempting idea, given how paper thin SMN is, but... it doesn't do a lot in practice and any physical DD you may have leveled will thank you more for the extra 5% crit rate.

Job Points

Introduced in the March 2014 update[14], Job Points are envisioned as a sort of "post 99" "leveling" system... However it wouldn't be until December of that year[15] that it would actually realize that idea with the addition of Job Point Gifts. And for that nine month interim, Job Points were nothing more than "super Merits" which cost more to get, gave less effects (original cap per category was 10, unlike now which is 20), and weren't especially amazing... namely because they dealt with 1hr abilities and for many jobs (namely any with a Circle-type Abilities) focused on abilities that, generally, range from lackluster to utterly useless. At least they initially did. Now we have a rather robust selection, and SMN managed to have not only one of the best Job Point categories in general, but also some of the better Gifts.
There are 10 different Job Point categories, 5 that augment certain Job Abilities and 5 that increase Avatars' and Elemental Spirits' various attributes:

Job Ability Augments
Two-Hour abilityAstral Flow Effect Increases attributes of Avatars and Spirits by 5 while under the effects of Astral Flow.
Two-Hour abilityAstral Conduit Effect Increases damage dealt by Blood Pact: Rages by 1% and duration of Blood Pact: Wards by 1% while under the effects of Astral Conduit.
Elemental Siphon Effect Increases amount of MP recovered by 3 when using Elemental Siphon.
Mana Cede Effect Increases the amount of TP by 50 given to Avatars and Spirits when using Mana Cede.
Avatar's Favor Effect Increases the starting value of the summoned Avatar's duration for the purposes of determining the effects of Avatar's Favor by 3s.
Avatar/Spirit Augments
Avatar/Spirit Accuracy Bonus Increases Avatar and Spirit physical accuracy by 1.
Avatar/Spirit Magic Accuracy Bonus Increases Avatar and Spirit magic accuracy by 1.
Avatar/Spirit Attack Increases Avatar and Spirit physical attack by 2.
Avatar/Spirit Magic Damage Increases Avatar and Spirit magic damage by 5.
Blood Pact Damage Increases damage dealt by Blood Pacts by 3.

There are ultimately 6 tiers to Job Points: 0JP, Su1(50JP), Su2(100jp), 550JP, 1200JP, and Master!(2100JP). All based on the number of Job Points spent on the job.

0JP

Everyone has to start somewhere... and Luckily, the first 100JP are the easiest to get. So don't despair if it seems like it's taking you a while, with each tier of the Capacity Points Bonus Gift you'll gain Job Points faster and faster.
You should prioritize the 5 Avatar/Spirit Augments over the 5 Job Ability Augments. Though to be honest, you'll want to build all of the categories... except "Mana Cede Effect". The Job Ability is garbage. The Job Point Category is garbage. Save your points for the other 9 categories and only put any into it if you can hit a new Gift tier with it, or if the other 9 categories are 20/20 (the max).

Su1

Totaled Gift Bonuses
Capacity Point Bonus +12%
Defense +3 Avatar/Spirit Attack, Ranged Attack, & Defense +15
Evasion +3
Magic Evasion +3
Magic Defense Bonus +3

What is "Su1" you ask? It's SE's fancy term for "Superior Item Level 1". Back when we started down this Item Level path, SE made the decision that no 119 item should ever be allowed on the Auction House. Why is that? Probably because there's no progression if you just buy yourself a full set of 119 armor and weapons. (as 119 is the "top of the line". Only SMN and PUP can break Level 119.)
BUT then they had the idea to allow iLv.119 items on the AH with a sort of caveat that a person couldn't just ding 99 and then be 119. And thus, "Superior Item"s were born. It takes 50 Job Points spent to be able to equip a Su1 item, which is mostly armor but also has the Arasy line of items whose NQ versions may be bought from Antonia in Upper Jeuno at (H-8).

Su2

Totaled Gift Bonuses
Capacity Point Bonus +32%
Defense +3 Avatar/Spirit Accuracy, Ranged Accuracy, & Evasion +10
Evasion +3 Avatar/Spirit Attack, Ranged Attack, & Defense +15
Magic Evasion +3 Avatar/Spirit Magic Attack Bonus & Magic Defense Bonus +5
Magic Defense Bonus +3
As should be obvious, "Su2" stands for "Superior Item Level 2". Su2 items are mostly weapons, including the "Blurred" line of crafted-only weapons and the "reforged" versions of the Su1 Arasy Sachet
Sancus Sachet description.png
and Animator
Animator P description.png
.

The main power here is the additional Gift at 100JP: -5s to your Blood Pact Ability Delay.
Originally thought to be BP Ability Delay II, it was in fact myself who disproved that errant belief. (Back then the only test done was with capped BP Ability Delay I in addition to BPdelayII and this gift totaling -15s. That singular test showed us that there is an overall cap to BPdelay (-30s) but due to it having more than one variable quantity, it was bad science and didn't actually test what this gift was.) Like I had theorized back then, it was most likely a "Job Trait Blood Pact Ability Delay" and not just BPdelayII. And by the time that there was enough BPdelayII equipment around (and me having enough Gifts to have the second tier of this effect to make things super easy to test), I was able to show that there are 3 different BPdelays: BPdelay (-15s cap), BPdelayII (likely -15s cap), JT-BPdelay (caps at -10s as that's all that is available with Gifts).
This is also the last time you'll be getting Gift levels quickly. As the rate that you gain and upgrade Job Points feels like it decreases significantly past 100. Given how easy it is to reach this level solo, and how slow it will be going from here on out solo... I highly recommend to start joining "Apex parties" whenever you see a shout for one (and are in the mood to grind out some Job Points). Depending on how good the party is, you can gain 100~300 Job Points in a single hour!

550JP

Totaled Gift Bonuses
Capacity Point Bonus +140%
Summoning Magic Skill +13
Defense +8 Avatar/Spirit Accuracy, Ranged Accuracy, & Evasion +25
Evasion +8 Avatar/Spirit Attack, Ranged Attack, & Defense +38
Magic Evasion +8 Avatar/Spirit Magic Accuracy & Magic Evasion +25
Magic Defense Bonus +8 Avatar/Spirit Magic Attack Bonus & Magic Defense Bonus +13

These next two tiers don't have fancy titles. (Though if they ever add more "Superior Item" Levels, my money is for any theoretical Su3 being at 550JP and any Su4 being at 1200JP.) The reason why this is a Gift Tier is because at 550JP you gain +1 to the maximum level of Avatar's Favor. It's not that substantial of a boon, as favor tiers only give you a buff to the tune of DEF+5 or Evasion+3... However the real boon that this gives is the fact that that extra tier of Favor will reduce your BPdelay past the hard capped delay reduction of -30s.
Now keep in mind that a capped Favor Tier (575 Skill +4 Tiers) is supposed to give you an extra -10s[16] off of your Wards and Rages. However, as of writing this, you can only get -8s off, as it would appear that the 575 and the fourth +1 tiers aren't being taken into account. So currently a Favor of 512+3 will give you the same BPdelay reduction as the cap of 575+4.
Furthermore, the "dry spell" of Job Point accumulation ends once you hit 550. Or rather, it starts to pick up.

1200JP

Totaled Gift Bonuses
Capacity Point Bonus +285%
Summoning Magic Skill +23
Defense +14 Avatar/Spirit Accuracy, Ranged Accuracy, & Evasion +45
Evasion +14 Avatar/Spirit Attack, Ranged Attack, & Defense +68
Magic Evasion +14 Avatar/Spirit Magic Accuracy & Magic Evasion +45
Magic Defense Bonus +14 Avatar/Spirit Magic Attack Bonus & Magic Defense Bonus +23

At Su2, you should have been able to reach the hard cap -30s thanks to the first -5s Gift (most likely thanks to -15s BPdelay and -10 BPdelay II). Now at 1200JP, you can reach it much easier. You'll likely be able to toss some gear and get some much needed inventory wiggle room once you reach this point. And furthermore, as this is NOT BPdelayII, you won't be needing to reach the two caps of BPdelay and BPdelayII. Truly giving you the freedom to use most any gear! So long as your total of all three types equals -30s and neither BPdelay or BPdelayII are over -15s.

Master!

Totaled Gift Bonuses
Capacity Point Bonus +320%
Summoning Magic Skill +36
Defense +22 Avatar/Spirit Accuracy, Ranged Accuracy, & Evasion +70
Evasion +22 Avatar/Spirit Attack, Ranged Attack, & Defense +106
Magic Evasion +22 Avatar/Spirit Magic Accuracy & Magic Evasion +70
Magic Defense Bonus +22 Avatar/Spirit Magic Attack Bonus & Magic Defense Bonus +36

Not much to really say about Job Mastery. You'll be gaining just slightly over 3x the amount of Capacity Points you were gaining when you started this "leveling" process... but you have nothing to spend them on anymore.
If you never have put any points into the "Mana Cede Effect" category, once you hit 20/20 in each of the other 9 categories... you'll be only 2 Gifts away from the 2100 needed for Job Mastery. So there really is 0 reason to ever put any points into that garbage category until the very end when all you have left is to get your .
The only thing that Job Mastery will give you is the unique title of "Master Evoker", which gives your one-hour abilities -15min to their recast... making them 45min abilities. Nothing insane, and you'll likely never really notice it... You also get a lovely above your name.

Endgame Battle Roles

Contents
1 Subjob Selection
1.1 Useful Subjobs
1.2 Other Subjobs
1.3 Useless Subjobs

2 Avatars

2.1 Elemental Spirits

3 Leveling

3.1 A Note on Skill-ups
3.2 The Baby Levels (1~15)
3.2.1 1~8:
3.2.2 8~15:
3.3 The RSE Levels (15~33)
3.3.1 15~27:
3.3.2 27~33:
3.4 The Stinky Crawly Levels (33~75)
3.4.1 33~56:
3.4.2 56~64:
3.4.3 64~75:
3.5 The Final Levels (75~99)

4 Merits

4.1 Job Points
4.1.1 0JP
4.1.2 Su1
4.1.3 Su2
4.1.4 550JP
4.1.5 1200JP
4.1.6 ★Master!

5 Endgame Battle Roles
6 Abilities and Macros

6.1 Macro Book 1
6.1.1 Page 1
6.1.2 Carbuncle Page
6.1.3 Ifrit Page
6.1.4 Shiva Page
6.1.5 Garuda Page
6.1.6 Titan Page
6.1.7 Ramuh Page
6.1.8 Leviathan Page
6.1.9 Fenrir Page
6.1.10 Diabolos Page
6.2 Macro Book 2
6.2.1 Cait Sith Page
6.2.2 Elemental Siphon Page

7 Equipment

7.1 Staves
7.1.1 Ultimate Weapons
7.1.2 Non-Ultimate Weapons
7.1.2.1 Idle Staves
7.1.2.2 "Physical" Blood Pact Staves
7.1.2.3 "Magical" Blood Pact Staves
7.2 Equipsets
7.2.1 "Alexander" Set
7.2.2 Idle Set
7.2.3 Fast Cast Set
7.2.4 Blood Pact Delay Set
7.2.5 Physical Blood Pact Set
7.2.6 Hybrid Blood Pact Set
7.2.7 Magical Blood Pact Set
7.2.8 Enfeebling Blood Pact Set
7.2.9 Enhancing/Healing Blood Pact Set
7.2.10 Elemental Siphon Set
7.2.11 Cure Potency Set
7.2.12 Weapon Skill Sets
7.2.12.1 Garland of Bliss Set
7.2.12.2 Shattersoul Set
Summoner is probably the most versatile job in the game. ... Well... After Blue Mage. (As if I haven't said it enough, SMN has the defenses of a wet tissue-paper bag. So... «Frontline» «Job» «No thanks.») We have some powerful and unique buffs, very powerful damaging Blood Pacts, and some of the most MP efficient cures in the game! (That being said, gone are the days of being /whm and essentially a replacement WHM. Though fret not if you find yourself passing out the Cures. You may be primarily there as a DD, but it won't hurt you to help with curing in between BPs.)

Avatars have a natural -50%DT, and Summoner gets two tiers of Stout Servant (which is multiplicative with that, and -7%). Which means at 99, your Avatars will be taking -53.5%DT. That being said, even at 119+, your Avatars have so little HP that they will often be 1shotted or barely survive many of the AoEs they'll be hit with..... at least that was the case before the September 2016 update[17]. While the update didn't do anything for the fact that at iLv.119 you will likely either match your Avatar's HP, if you're not exceeding their HP... what it did do was decrease the damage anything within range of the primary target takes by ~2/3. So, as of now... Your Avatars can actually survive for a fair amount of time compared to before! (Seriously though. They are sitting at around ~1500ish HP. 90% of all endgame NMs used to either flat out murdered them with their powerful AoEs, or left them barely hanging on.) Just don't expect to be able to properly tank anything >iLv.125 (with some exception).

There is another survivability trait that all Avatars have: extremely high Magic Evasion for the elements they represent and are strong to. So if you learn the elemental wheel
ElementRelations.jpg
(as I have arranged the Avatars above), you can make use of the right Avatar to keep them alive for a lot longer than they have any right to be.
For example: An enemy that deals lots of Element: Fire elemental damage would make either Ifrit (as he embodies Element: Fire) or Leviathan (as he embodies Element: Water which is strong to Element: Fire) would make good Avatars to use, as they have large Magic Evasions for the element of Element: Fire.

However even with all of these defensive traits, an Avatar just wasn't made for tanking. And with the death of Abyssea as the endgame, Summoner lost the one place where it could tank any of the NMs around. (Should you ever find the want or need, you will want to get yourself Atma of the Ducal Guard. Equipping that will push your Avatar's DT up to the true cap of -87.5%DT. With that you'll be able to solo any and all of Abyssea should you choose to do so.)

Which brings us to your actual role in the current endgame events: DD with a strong dash of Support. (the only times you'll ever get close to tanking is when things go south.)
Pretty much all events are the same for you: buff your party with w/e buffs are relevant to your fight (Earthen Armor, Crystal Blessing, Reraise II, Hastega II, etc.) and then you'll end with whichever Avatar is the relevant one for the NM at hand and switch to full DD mode. You will often be Magic Bursting off of another DD's Skillchains, I suggest you learn your SC elements. (or at the very least the four elements that make up Light and Darkness, as those are the favored SCs when not using a Scholar to make SCs.) And should you find the need, you might have to swap into Carbuncle/Garuda/Leviathan regardless of the elemental typing of the NM for their powerful curative power. Always be ready to change what you're doing on the fly.

Delve, Alluvion Skirmish, Incursion, Vagary, Sinister Reign, UCNMs, Ambuscade, M(erit)BCNMs, and Escha make up the current endgame.

Though you're basically doing the same general thing, as dictated above, in all of these, I should make special mention of a few things:

  • Alluvion Skirmish - For Rala&Cirdas: you're just killing things. Ifrit is often the most useful as his BPs target the majority of mob's weaknesses... but Garuda is especially useful for her ability to increase everyone's movement speed. For Yorcia: you'll either be exclusively 1shotting the mobs with your Merit BPs, or you will be making good use of Book duty in A!Yorcia as Garuda lets you Fleet Wind the party at the beginning of a level.
  • Vagary - You'll be on Ramuh almost exclusively, as the AoE cleaving with Thunderspark in a Brash Gate run. Ifrit will be your go to in a Deathborne Gate run. And you'll be using most, if not all, of your Avatars in a Duskbrood Gate run. With the bosses you'll usually want to use Ifrit on as they are usually weak to Element: Fire and/or Blunt, but the MegaBosses have varying resistances, and your Flaming Crush may heal those two if you aren't paying attention.
  • Sinister Reign - Unless you're in a Magic Burst set-up, you will want to stick to your Lv.70 physical BPs as enemies here are generally highly magic resistant. Garuda is especially useful as her Hastega II increases her (and the party's) damage.
  • Escha - Here is the reason I recommended meriting your one 5/5 Merit BP to be Wind Blade, one of the most popular strategies for Kirin in Escha - Ru'Aun is to Magic Burst Garuda's Wind Blade. Furthermore, this is the place (specifically against multiple HELM NMs in Reisenjima) where Cait Sith gets to shine by Astral Conduiting her Mewing Lullaby. Aside from those two instances, you'll be wanting to target the NM's elemental weakness and go with that. (You can also cover all the weaknesses of Caturae's shield's weaknesses! Though with piercing weakness, you'll be stuck with Claw/Poison Nails/Crescent Fang... all of which are very low level BPs, so they don't deal much... but your Crescent Fang *should* be able to knock out a piercing shield with a double shot (aka Apogee)... Though with an especially large group... that may not be realistic. But regardless of the number of people, you should be able to drop every other type of Caturae's shield with a single BP. So not easily being able to cover a Piercing weakness... isn't exactly the end of the world.)

Try to read up on the above content before you try to tackle it. Forehand knowledge will help you adapt to situations better.

Abilities and Macros

When I came back in 2012, I thought long and hard for how exactly to set up my Summoner macros... I was directed by a LSmate of mine to a guide on FFxiclopedia[18], and it's ultimately what I wound up using as the inspiration for my own macros which have slowly evolved over time. (Especially with the introduction of Equipsets in the August 2014 update[19].)
I'll detail the syntax that I have set up with my macros in this section, and I'll suggest what armor and weapons to use via the /equipset commands listed here in the next section.

A note: For the equipsets I use here I'll be using a simple code instead of numbers. You have 100 equipsets and the ability to use more than one job. I like to have my equipsets all in order based on Job order... so my SMN equipsets are in the early 40s. There's no right or wrong way to order your equipsets. Just be sure you keep track of them and have them labeled. See Equipment Sets below for more info on what gear you should want to use in these macros.

Ok, so the basic idea with this is to have a main hub that you link to other pages and back in a big old webbed network of macros.

Please Note: While it may be tempting to open all the collapsed macros at once, lower (and even many higher) resolution devices will find that the table exceeds the bounds of their window. (Meaning you will have to scroll to the right, and will mess with the guide's formatting. So if you don't want to scroll to the right, just don't open all the macros at once.)

Macro Book 1

Like equipsets, my Macro Books are arranged by Job, so the ones that mine take up are not #1 and #2... and you will need 2 Books to do this properly. But it doesn't matter which ones you use, just make sure that you keep everything pathed correctly.

Page 1

This is the example of how I have my Hub Page set up. You'll want it to be Page 1 so that when you swap macros, you'll be on the hub first thing.
You might be wondering why I have Odin, Alexander, and Atomos arranged as they are... it's very simple: Odin on 4 because is . My keyboard has a circular bubble around the 6 key, like a shield, so Alexander with his Perfect Defense sits there. And Atomos is on 8 because he 8s everything.
Also a bit of fun history: I used to have ALT1 and ALT2 be /heal on and /heal off respectively... back before refresh was everywhere on gear. (I can't even make a joke that the last time I /healed on SMN was for Swift Shoes... Because Garuda gives that everywhere. Unlike Swift Shoes being limited to the Middle Lands. And for a 5% larger effect too.)
A small note on the first equipsets mentioned: /equipset {FC}. As mentioned above, this will my stylized codes for Equipsets. It should be obvious, but "FC" stands for "Fast Cast". And as should be obvious, "{FC}" will be whatever number you have as your FC equipset.

Also: I like to use the "echo" command for my /equipset commands. Feel free to not use it, I just have been conditioned to make sure things equip in my logs... as that's how it is with the /equip command.
But if you don't like it, by all means, omit the word echo wherever you find it below.

As this is only a guide, and also so that I am perfectly honest with you, my personal macros deviate ever so slightly from my examples above. I like to have in between the /ma and the /equipset {I} lines a /jobemote RUN line. Why? Because it's fancy. (And reminds me of the old FFs where the SMN would have the magic circle under them when they summon.) I especially like it on the unconventional summons, as it makes them feel more epic. I also use /jobemote WHM in my cures... And you should feel free to think for yourself and tailor these macros to your own ends and fancies!

Carbuncle Page

It wouldn't be until just fairly recently that Carbuncle gained enough WardsBlood Pacts to fill his page's row... And you'll likely never really use him a whole lot 99+ as you'll be sick of him from leveling. But he is the only reliable source of Element: Light damage.
As this is the first Avatar page I'm talking about, I think I should clarify some choices I've made with my <wait> choices.
For BPs, I like to be 100% sure I'm in my damage set... so I like to stay in it for the animation. Obviously this isn't something that you need to do, as the damage is actually dealt before the animation completes... I'm just super paranoid about that kind of thing, so it gives me peace of mind to have <wait>s that swap after the animation finishes. And since everything I've macro'd starts with an /equipset line, there isn't any risk of needing to trigger another set swap before the animation finishes. (C3/4 being the two examples of "interrupting" a BP's animation.)
Same deal with the only two WSs that really matter: Garland of Bliss and Shattersoul. You could make an argument of Myrkr needing to have a macro'd exchange... but with how infrequently you'll have TP in serious content, I don't bother with that on SMN. (though you should have Myrkr unlocked. It's hella awesome, just not as good on SMN as say BLM or SCH.)
Originally I followed suit with the old guide and had the name of the Avatar page on Alt-6, but since I also doubled down and made the "nameplate" macro the macro for activating Mythic Aftermath, I moved it to 5. (My reasoning was 2 fold: 1) Garland of Bliss is a Lv.75 WS, and Shattersoul is Lv.96... I liked them in ascending order from left to right. 2) my 6 key has a bubble on it, as previously mentioned, and Shattersoul has a giant magic bubble in the animation.)

A huge difference between my recommended set-up and the aforementioned old macro guide, is the placement of the Release, Assault, and Retreat keys. I originally used their placements... but found that I would occasionally hit the release button when I went for Assault. Especially when I just started using this style of macros. So I moved Release over to the other side of they keyboard, which reduced my accidental releases to a rate of 0%.
The biggest change though would also probably not having subjob abilities/spells macro'd except for Cure III and Cure IV. As a WHM, I know first hand that cures need to be fast... so the old guide's method of hiding cures behind a secondary click can be the difference between life and death.
That being said, feel free to use that system. With the advent of Trusts, and the implementation of the Curio Moogle system... I have found little need to ever really -na myself; or even cast cures (while solo). (Plus if helping the party, Leviathan and Carbuncle can -na-ga, so... even less need for those to be macro'd on SMN.) The rare time that I've needed to -na or some other spell or a subjob's Job Ability... I've just used the context menu. The most used unmacro'd spell I cast is Flurry on the COR, everything else is either a spell cast by the party's WHM or an Avatar. (As I've said before, /RDM is my preferred subjob of the three best ones.)

Finally, the best thing I did was to set up Assault like I did. By using <stnpc> instead of something like <t>, you can use it constantly to check on your BP timers and other useful abilities! And no one will be the wiser.
Also, why did I put Astral Flow in the same macro as Astral Conduit? Because there is little reason to use one without the other. Together they make for unparalleled damage, apart... Conduit is really the only one of merit. (Without Job Points, Astral Flow doesn't really do anything aside from letting you use the over-costed, under-powered AoE AF BPs... But with JPs? It turns the otherwise useless ability into a true powerhouse of a boost, giving out a massive Base Stat boost.)

Ifrit Page

Ever since the December 2014 Update[20], the Celestial Avatars (and Carbuncle) have had one too many BPs for their Macro pages. (The other Element: Light/Element: Dark Avatars would get their Lv.99 BPs in the March 2015 Update[21].)
So you can no longer have EVERY BP on each page (except for the Element: Light summons... as those have either 1 less than everyone else, or are missing all BPs for levels 76~98).
The BP I dropped from Ifrit's repertoire was Punch. I tended to drop most of the Lv1 BPs as they are just too minimal in their damage to honestly keep using. (Especially the ones who don't have any additional effect, or larger potency versions.)

Shiva Page

Shiva is one of the few who I kept their Lv1 BP, namely because the one I dropped, Double Slap, has the same Skillchain Property as her Lv.70 BP, Rush.

Garuda Page

Garuda was an easy one to pick which BP had to go... her 99 is Hastega II... since there is never a reason to ever use the Lv.48 Hastega after Lv.99... It was the one on the floor.

Titan Page

As mentioned above in the Avatars Section, Titan has two lines of Physical Damage Blood Pacts: Rock/Megalith/Crag Throw and Rock/Mountain Buster. Since Megalith and Crag Throws are very similar, and Megalith's Skillchain Property is the secondary Property of Mountain Buster, I saw no reason to keep the weaker-but-similarly costed Megalith Throw.

Ramuh Page

Ramuh's three Strike BPs are all just increasingly larger versions of the previous ones... so... there's no reason to keep the Lv.1 one. (Especially because Chaotic Strike Volt Strike yields a Distortion Skillchain. Useful for Apogee and Astral Conduit damage boosting.)

Leviathan Page

Once again, I dropped the Lv.1 BP. This is because even though Tail Whip's Skillchain Property is the same as Spinning Dive's secondary Property, Tail Whip gives a very potent Gravity effect, whereas Barracuda Dive is nothing but a Lv.1 Spinning.

Fenrir Page

Moonlit Charge Blinds, Crescent Fang Paralyzes (and is the most powerful Piercing Blood Pact in the game), and Eclipse Bite is the most powerful Physical Damage Blood Pact Fenrir has. So I had no qualms dropping Moonlit for the macro for Impact.

Diabolos Page

Diabolos' Lv.99 Blindside is a more powerful version of his Lv.1 Blood Pact: Camisado. And as they make up the only Physical Damage Blood Pacts Diabolos has, I saw no reason to keep Camisado. Especially not when all his other BPs are actually super useful. Though the fact that I dropped the ability to apogee Camisado Blindside to make Transfixion and Camisado Blindside to make Compression, which Diabolos could Magic Burst off of... though the only Blood Pact he could make use of that 3 step Blood Pact chain is Somnolence... a Lv.20 BP that deals small damage, but is the only damaging Ward. Though what else could be dropped other than Camisado?? Nether Blast's Breath Damage damage? Night Terror's Merit BP level Element: Dark damage? Somnolence, the only damaging Ward? Nightmare's super Sleepga+Bio? Ultimate Terror's AoE Base Stat Absorb? Noctoshield's Phalanxga? Dream Shroud's MAB&MDB boost? Pavor Nocturnus' Dispel? I think the additive usefulness of all his other Blood Pacts outweigh the loss of the Magic Bursted Somnolence. (even more so when they boost the potency of buffing Wards... and the fact that these are just Level 1 Skillchains. The weakest of all Skillchains.)
This is especially compounded when Garland of Bliss Blindside makes Gravitation, a Level 2 Skillchain, which allows you to Apogee Magic Burst the more powerful Night Terror.

Macro Book 2

Book #2 is where the "extra stuff" goes.... so basically Cait Sith and Siphons. (Though you're welcome to have them anywhere... It just wound up like this for me as Cait Sith was the last full Avatar added, so she wound up in the "extra" Book with the Siphon page. Like with the previous Book, the order can be anything you want. Just make sure your Macro Page swaps link to the right pages.

Cait Sith Page

Poor Cait Sith.... She doesn't have the "issue" of having 11 BPs like the others... namely because she lacks any and all BPs from Lv.76 to Lv.98. But that means you can have all her BPs macro'd!! Joy.

You may have noticed that I break away from the style I have described in other buffing Ward BPs. Raise and RR, don't benefit from any skill or TP Bonus... so there isn't really any need or reason to swap into something. Though you could make the argument for Blood Boon.... but, personally... I'd rather just be refreshing.
Should you want to devote an entire equipset to just Re/Raise... By all means. Or if you just want to utilize the generic Buffing Ward equipset for it, the same <wait 2> will suffice for the swap back into your idle.

Elemental Siphon Page

Why the double line? Accident proof and convenience. This way no matter what you hit CTRL or ALT, you'll be looking at your Siphon commands. The Release command is included for when you decide to idle with Light Spirit. (Can just cast it from the context menu. You shouldn't have any issue with Perp. And this lets you swap into a high-skill set which decreases Light Spirit's recast. Then when you're all Pro/Shell5'd up, just hit Release from this page and you'll be back in idle and the hub.)
I also have the elements arranged according to the day of the week, as that makes better use of Zodiac Ring
Zodiac Ring description.png
's effect.

The idea with this is to almost automate the process of using elemental siphon: you equip your ES when you go to this page, then just push the element of the day (or double weather), and you'll be dumped back to the hub with no pet, ready to summon a proper Avatar.
As mentioned before, you can run around with Light Spirit out to get Pro/Shell-V natively. This is the reason for the inclusion of the release command on this page: you can just poop out your Light Spirit, and then hit alt+0 twice and dismiss it when ready to actually do something.

Equipment

Contents
1 Subjob Selection
1.1 Useful Subjobs
1.2 Other Subjobs
1.3 Useless Subjobs

2 Avatars

2.1 Elemental Spirits

3 Leveling

3.1 A Note on Skill-ups
3.2 The Baby Levels (1~15)
3.2.1 1~8:
3.2.2 8~15:
3.3 The RSE Levels (15~33)
3.3.1 15~27:
3.3.2 27~33:
3.4 The Stinky Crawly Levels (33~75)
3.4.1 33~56:
3.4.2 56~64:
3.4.3 64~75:
3.5 The Final Levels (75~99)

4 Merits

4.1 Job Points
4.1.1 0JP
4.1.2 Su1
4.1.3 Su2
4.1.4 550JP
4.1.5 1200JP
4.1.6 ★Master!

5 Endgame Battle Roles
6 Abilities and Macros

6.1 Macro Book 1
6.1.1 Page 1
6.1.2 Carbuncle Page
6.1.3 Ifrit Page
6.1.4 Shiva Page
6.1.5 Garuda Page
6.1.6 Titan Page
6.1.7 Ramuh Page
6.1.8 Leviathan Page
6.1.9 Fenrir Page
6.1.10 Diabolos Page
6.2 Macro Book 2
6.2.1 Cait Sith Page
6.2.2 Elemental Siphon Page

7 Equipment

7.1 Staves
7.1.1 Ultimate Weapons
7.1.2 Non-Ultimate Weapons
7.1.2.1 Idle Staves
7.1.2.2 "Physical" Blood Pact Staves
7.1.2.3 "Magical" Blood Pact Staves
7.2 Equipsets
7.2.1 "Alexander" Set
7.2.2 Idle Set
7.2.3 Fast Cast Set
7.2.4 Blood Pact Delay Set
7.2.5 Physical Blood Pact Set
7.2.6 Hybrid Blood Pact Set
7.2.7 Magical Blood Pact Set
7.2.8 Enfeebling Blood Pact Set
7.2.9 Enhancing/Healing Blood Pact Set
7.2.10 Elemental Siphon Set
7.2.11 Cure Potency Set
7.2.12 Weapon Skill Sets
7.2.12.1 Garland of Bliss Set
7.2.12.2 Shattersoul Set

Staves

Sure SMN has the ability to equip clubs as their main weapon... But with a dearth of worthwhile shields to choose from... compounded with no native Shield Skill... no native Dual Wield... And the relative lack of relevant stats for the job... Clubs are just the strictly inferior option in all regards, as I've previously mentioned above.

Ultimate Weapons

Claustrum (Level 119 III) description.png
Linked Weapon Skill: Gate of Tartarus

Oh, Claustrum. How I love you. And yet, you are so terrible. Though recently, you kinda-sorta-slightly aren't as terrible as you used to be.
All three of the "Relic-like" Ultimate Weapons tend to be bad for magery... and this is especially so for Summoner.

Claustrum is the first Staff Ultimate Weapon implemented in the game, first introduced sometime in 2004. And as the "Ultimate Weapon" for Black Mage and Summoner... the completed Lv.75
Claustrum (Level 75) description.png
was by in large much of a failure. Sure the +8MP/tic refresh effect sounds all fine and good... but for BLM it offers no nuking power, and for SMN nothing for the Avatar, our primary damage source.
Not to mention it was hidden behind an Aftermath... so it couldn't even be activated and then swap to a more relevant staff, as that would lose the Aftermath.
And this would continue all the way through its iLv.119
Claustrum (Level 119) description.png
, though at least it gained a paltry boost to nuking at that level... Even if most any other iLv staff outperformed it for that still... Claustrum being terrible and just the worst weapon to have was such a widespread belief that it grew to memetic levels!

And now? Well it still is pretty bad... but "Afterglow a Claustrum" isn't the 100% joke that it used to be. In fact, it's almost useable... sorta. Accuracy+60 is nothing to shake a stick at, and it's now applied to avatars too! So... that's something. But quite frankly... it's now a novelty rather than completely worthless. It's not the worst staff available... but by no means is it good either.
And there certainly are better options.

Hvergelmir (Level 119 III) description.png
Linked Weapon Skill: Myrkr

This is the worst staff available.
In the 99era, Empyreans (aka Relics V2) were generally the more easier to make into a functional level (Lv.85+, as that's the version that gains the Weapon Skill). And as they didn't need to be 99'd in order to be useable as a top tier weapon... most people made them to Lv.90 and stopped, as the Lv.90Lv.95 trial is rather a steep hill to climb... Even at the height of Voidwatch participation.

And while this staff does offer the most MP available of most any staff in the game... the lack of any magic relevant stats pre-iLv.119
Hvergelmir (Level 119) description.png
really pushed the staff into the garbage category... Which would be cemented completely with the ability to unlock Empyrean Weapon Skills in the November 2013 update[22].

Myrkr is probably the best Weapon Skill you can get a hold of, offering you absolutely unparalleled MP restoration. Which is what makes this such a bad weapon to use, as Myrkr is all it will give you that other staffs won't... Except now... all staves can use Myrkr. Even worse, you don't even need Hvergelmir to unlock it!
But what about the current iLv."121" version? It has "Fast Cast"+50%! Indeed it does... not that it has the INT or additional Magic Accuracy to make that worthwhile for stunning... not that SMN does that... And not that "Fast Cast" isn't a ubiquitous stat now-a-days...
And given that Empyrean weapons are the hardest/most expensive/most time consuming Ultimate Weapons to make... Do you really want to sink all those resources into a staff whose only worthwhile attribute is "Fast Cast"? Something you'd only wear for the second it takes to cast something? Certainly not me, but if you want to spend your time that way... More power to you.

Khatvanga description.png
Linked Weapon Skill: Shattersoul

And here is the third, and newest, "Relic" Weapon.
Weirdly though, unlike the other two, it actually is weirdly useful. Not particularly the best thing ever... but for Scholar (and to a slight lesser extent Black Mage), this staff offers a unique use as a near perfect infinite MP machine!
That being said, for Summoner, it's worthless outside of a Lockstyle. Offering nothing worthwhile.
Though... I suppose, in all honesty, it does offer you the ability to unmerit Shattersoul.... but... at the cost of any and all Summoner relevant stats.
It may also be completely out of your reach as Reisenjima's Geas Fete offers fights against some of the most powerful Notorious Monsters the game has ever seen.
Aeonics are really a "crapshoot" like that: either they are 100% easily obtainable as your group of friends is good enough to do so, or they are 100% unobtainable as you either don't know anyone or all the people you know can't do the content.

Nirvana (Level 119 III) description.png
Linked Weapon Skill: Garland of Bliss

The Ultimate Weapon.

In the 75era, sadly, this wasn't the top of the mountain that it is today... Introduced in the September 2008 update[23], it offered only "Magic Attack Bonus"+20 to increase in damage, only boosting magical and hybrid Blood Pacts... All for what was once the most monumental weapon building process in the game.
Furthermore, for barely any effort, the Ice aligned, pet MAB Magian Staff offered a half-Nirvana-strength MAB bonus... All for not even 1% of the effort. Even worse, as the level caps would rise, by the 99era... That same Magian Staff was still at ~1/2 the power of Nirvana
Nirvana (Level 99) description.png
, and to add insult to injury, the formerly superior idle potential of Nirvana's Perpetuation cost reduction was eclipsed by the trivially made Magian Staves that not only reduced Perpetuation to 1 more MP/tic than Nirvana, but also reduced Blood Pact Delay by almost the entire cap!
But that all changed when they introduced the iLv.119
Nirvana (Level 119) description.png
version in the November 2013 update[24]! For a time anyways. Ironically, as more and more 119 staves for SMN were added, it would be the magical blood pacts that would see less and less use for Nirvana. A complete reversal from the 75 and 99era Nirvana! And, alas, as the iLv."121" added no "Magic Attack Bonus" from the iLv.119
Nirvana (Level 119) description.png
, this trend of favoring other staves for magical Blood Pacts would be cemented.
Even with all of that, the Base Stat increase and the Magic Accuracy added from the additional two levels Nirvana provides[25], as well as the +40% Blood Pact Damage, makes Nirvana simply the best enfeebling and physical Blood Pact staff... as well as the best idle staff!
And with the November 2016 update[26] making certain Physical Damage BPs have their ƒTP replicating across all hits, Nirvana's AM3 has become the equal in absurd power boost as Epeolatry
Epeolatry (Level 119) description.png
's AM3 is for Resolution or Tizona's
Tizona (Level 119) description.png
AM3 is for Chant du Cygne, but for some of the best BPs available for your Avatars instead of a Weapon Skill.

Non-Ultimate Weapons

I'm keeping the list here to just iLv.119 options available. Why? Because non119 weapons generally pale in comparison to any 119 option available.

Idle Staves

Contemplator +1 description.png

I am only including Contemplator here as it is the only staff available with a Refresh effect. As it comes from one of the most powerful Notorious Monsters in the game... it's not really realistic to try and farm one for most people. So don't get your hopes up for getting one. At least that would be true if not for the periodic "Wanted Dial Campaign"! During the times when the campaign is held, you have a fair chance to get a Tumult's Coffer from the special Gobbie Mystery Box Dial.
Though to be perfectly honest, you're not very likely to actually get one from the Coffer, as equipment drops from UCNMs are rather uncommon.

Furthermore, as SMN has such a large natural Auto Refresh rate, and as detailed below, needing a pure refresh or /heal set is rather superfluous. Made even more redundant as most current endgame content restores your HP/MP to full as soon as you start. So if you really want a refresh option to have a full refresh set... there's always Bolelabunga
Bolelabunga description.png
or Owleyes
Owleyes description.png
... though those are only 1MP/tic... which is 1MP/tic less than if you're lucky enough to get a Contemplator during a Campaign. And they're also clubs and not staves.
Gridarvor description.png
Augment-Icon.png: Pet: Accuracy+70 Attack+70 "Double Attack"+15%

The first of what I like to call the "Ghetto-Mythic" weapons.

+95 Accuracy, and the "Double Attack" Rate of a Lv.75 Warrior? AND ~1/3 of your required cap of -14 Avatar Perpetuation Cost? AND a bit of Haste to boot?? Ever since they added augments, Gridarvor rivals Nirvana itself in terms of idle potency. If only the Monster Signa
Monster Signa description.png
texture wasn't so horribly ugly..... But that's what /lockstyle is for!

If you don't have one now, you should get one immediately. In terms of idling, there is no other staff that compares. So go out and make one as fast as you can! You won't regret it.

StaffCycle.gif
Augment-Icon.png:ElementCycleAug.gifAffinity: Avatar Perpetuation Cost -7
ElementCycleAug.gifAffinity: Blood Pact Ability Delay -12

While these used to be a viable option all the way until February 2016, I just can no longer recommend using one and only include them here out of nostalgia.
What made these so good was the fact that in a single slot, you had half of your perp cost done, and almost all of your Blood Pact Ability Delay taken care of. Only needing 7 more in perp and 3 more in delay! Even now that's still amazingly good... it's just that they can't compete with Gridarvor at all. (And of course, Nirvana reigns supreme.)
But don't feel like you can't work with them if they are all you have when you first come back, if you are returning from the 99era. They still are supremely good. But you should work on replacing them (if only for the +7 inventory) with a fully augmented Gridarvor ASAP. It's just too good.

"Physical" Blood Pact Staves
Tumafyrig description.png
Augment-Icon.pngA:MP+60 Avatar: Accuracy+15 Attack+15
Augment-Icon.pngB:MP+60 Avatar: Magic Accuracy+15 "Magic Attack Bonus"+15
What really made Tumafyrig good when it was first released was that native +7 to Summoning Magic. Sure a Kirin's Pole
Kirin's Pole description.png
, can potentially get you up to +12... but Tumafyrig was a good alternative. Furthermore, as skill converts to accuracies for Blood Pacts... the native +7 skill boosts the +15 Magic/Accuracy to roughly +21.

Nowadays, there are much better options, for not only both physical (path A) or magical (path B) Blood Pacts; but also for skill.
As for why I didn't list Path C... because it sucks. Sure +15 Attack/Magic Attack Bonus sounds nice and all... but you can have capped pDIF all you like, it won't matter if you can't hit something.

Arasy Staff +1 description.png

This is what I would call a "starter staff"... or at least I would... if not for the requirement to have at least 50 Job Points spent in order to just equip it.
That being said, if you lack for other alternatives... this staff isn't terrible. Purchasable off the Auction House too. The only thing is that it lacks any Accuracy or Attack to further boost physical Blood Pacts, as this is only really good for those.
Furthermore, there is some minor debate on the topic, but the overall consensus seems to be that while the +5% Magic Burst Bonus is theoretically really good (as it is II and thus not subject to the 40% cap that regular MBB is)... the lack of the Magic Accuracy that other options have makes the trade off not worthwhile for nuking. (Though not really relevant for SMN, you may have BLM/SCH/RDM leveled and may be considering conserving inventory with this option.)

Exemplar description.png

Speaking of multi-job staves for conserving space... this staff is probably the best option for the inventory challenged.
BPdmg+8 is almost the maximum you can get on more focused staffs, and +15 skill not only matches the highest available skill in the staff slot, but it also translates into a bit of Accuracy when this is used for physical Blood Pacts. (About +14ish, and as this lacks any Magic Attack Bonus this staff is rather worthless for magical Blood Pacts.)
Not only that, but the Enhancing Magic Skill+15 makes this a staff Scholars and Red Mages are likely to already want. Furthermore, in regards to nuking, this staff has more than ample Magic Accuracy with both hard Magic Accuracy and Elemental Magic Skill. And with nearly 30 INT and MND, this staff is just all around decent for so many things.

Keraunos description.png
Snoworbs:Pet: Accuracy&Ranged Accuracy+1~25 "Magic Attack Bonus"+1~25
Leaforbs:Pet: Critical Hit Rate+1~4% "Double Attack"&Critical Hit Rate+1~6%
Duskorbs:Blood Pact Damage+1~10

If you have no intention of ever making a Nirvana, then Keraunos will be the best physical and hybrid Blood Pact staff available to you.
Why I recommend you make this a physical and hybrid BP staff is because while the extra "Magic Attack Bonus" may be tempting, especially in regards to hybrid BPs... Espiritus and Grioavolr are generally strictly superior options for magical Blood Pacts, as they have larger MAB and Macc possibilities.
+10 Blood Pact Damage is the best nonNirvana statistic you can get in the weapon slot, and hybrid BPs' magical damage is determined by their physical damage hit(s). Plus all the Leafstone augments don't contribute to magical Blood Pacts in any way... so there is little reason to make this a purely magical one. Just "go all in" on the physical augments: Acc⨤25 DA&CritRate⨤6%.
And ever since the November 10, 2016 update[27], that "Double Attack" and Critical Hit Rate augment really boosts your best Blood Pacts further than any other NonNirvana staff currently available. (Even more so than Grioavolr's best possible augments, as Grioavolr can't get BPdmg and "Double Attack". Since the change to Eclipse Bite, Double Punch, Predator Claws, Rush, Chaotic Strike, and Volt Strike into being ƒTP transferring BPs, Keraunos will be the best physical staff you can make.)
While you can get Attack on Keraunos, you can't get both Accuracy and Attack. And like previously mentioned, you can cap pDIF all you like...

"Magical" Blood Pact Staves
Uffrat +2 description.png
Augment-Icon.png: DMG+1~19
INT+1~7 MND+1~7
Pet: Accuracy&Ranged Accuracy+1~24 Attack&Ranged Attack+1~24 Magic Accuracy+3~24 "Magic Attack Bonus"+2~24 Avatar Perpetuation Cost-1~5
Uffrat
Uffrat description.png
was the beginning of the love that Summoner would get in the 119era. And as the Skirmish content was completed Uffrat would grow in power to be a potent magical Blood Pact staff. Or a solid hybrid Blood Pact staff if you were lucky enough to get physical augments... though either way, given how the augment system works, all of the desired stats share the same slot... so having both Magic Accuracy and Magic Attack Bonus or Accuracy and Attack for augments is impossible.

As Skirmish weapons and armor used the "classic" random augment system.... you can expect to spend anywhere between 1 and 1,000,000,000 augment stones used before you get a worthwhile augment.
And as the random augment system is terribad... and this staff is heavily outclassed by a myriad of random drops (detailed below), don't bother with it if you don't already have it... and if you, for some reason, do have it... quickly ditch it for one of the many easy to get, and better staves below.

Frazil Staff description.png

There isn't much to say about this one.
It comes from the Shiva MBCNM, and to get it to have any reasonable drop rate, you'll need to complete the BCNM on at the very least Normal difficulty.
It's just a solid and quick to get magic damage Blood Pact, and a decent start for an enfeebling Blood Pact staff. Though the other staves below are likely easier for you to get a hold of... at the very least they have a better drop rate.

Nibiru Staff description.png
Augment-Icon.pngC: MP+80 Pet: Magic Accuracy+20 "Magic Attack Bonus"+25
Augment-Icon.pngD: Pet: Accuracy+20 Attack+20 "Double Attack"+3%
This is, in essence, a "Tumafyrig+1
Tumafyrig description.png
".

Paths A and B are for BLM and SCH, with C and D being the SMN relevant paths. Seeing as how easy this staff is to get, and how its drop rate is very good at that, this is the staff I would recommend you get as your "starter" staff. Get two even, a path C for magic and enfeebling; and a path D for physical and hybrid. Not only that, but once you get more worthwhile staves, you can keep one for the Fast Cast.

Marquetry Staff description.png
If Nibiru is a "Tumafyrig+1", then this is a "Frazil Staff+1
Frazil Staff description.png
".

Just like Frazil, it comes from the Carbuncle MBCNM, so its drop rate is just as poor compared to other options. The real boon here is the Blood Pact Damage in addition to the Magic Attack Bonus. While it changes depending on the monster you fight, on things that matter: 10MAB≈1BPdmg. So in essence, this has 20 "Magic Attack Bonus" and 15 Magic Accuracy over Frazil. All with +5 to Blood Boon to boot.
That being said, all of the last two on this list have the potential to be the best Magical Blood Pact staves available, and are generally easier to get a hold of than Marquetry Staff is.

Espiritus description.png
Augment-Icon.pngA:Enmity-6 Avatar: "Magic Attack Bonus"+30 Damage Taken-4%
Augment-Icon.pngB:Summoning Magic Skill+15 Avatar: Magic Accuracy+30 Damage Taken-4%
Augment-Icon.pngC:MP+50 Avatar: "Magic Attack Bonus"+20 Magic Accuracy+20

The "Other Ghetto-Mythic" weapon for Summoner.

This is one of the staves that is why I recommend you take Keraunos
Keraunos description.png
down the physical side of things. All things considered, this is one of the best magical staves, and can be by far the best nonNirvana enfeebling staff.

Path A offers you the most "Magic Attack Bonus"; Path B is by far one of the best Magic Accuracy options available for Summoners; Path C splits the difference. Augment paths can be changed at any time with no loss of rank for a mere 3k Bayld by trading the weapon to Nolan. So if you want to test out which will be better for your magical Blood Pacts, you have the ability to swap between paths. (Personally, I'm a cautious person, so I use path C... And I recommend you do the same. 10 less MAB for 20 Macc is more than a bargain.)
Path D pales in comparison to a well augmented Keraunos, as it lacks Accuracy or Summoning Magic Skill... and Keraunos has a larger BPdmg value, which is the more relevant stat for physical and hybrid BPs. So don't try and force this to be a physical staff, it's just not worthwhile when you can get a superb and better option in Keraunos.

Grioavolr description.png
Augment-Icon.png:Pet: Accuracy&Ranged Accuracy+1~40 Attack&Ranged Attack+1~40 Magic Accuracy+1~40 "Magic Attack Bonus"+1~40
Blood Pact Damage+1~10

This has the potential to be the best Magical staff available.
That being said, dear Lord in Heaven.... Reisenjima augments suck. While they tell you and give the appearance of being less random and "weighted" depending on the stone used.... It's arguably worse than the classic Skirmish augment system. Where you once had the option to "force" higher value augments (though lacked any control over the augment content) by using a +2 stone; there is only the NQ stones to use for Reisenjima augments. Furthermore, while yes... certain augments are technically forced based on the stone used... It's just that you are guaranteed that the augment will exist. So be ready to see a million "Attack+1" augments without regard to any other augment stat, be it worthwhile or garbage.

This is the only staff aside from Nirvana that gives both Accuracy and Attack in addition to Blood Pact Damage. But the likelihood of you getting anywhere near "cap" for either is... exceedingly low. Not to mention that the lack of ability to get both "Double Attack" and BPdmg... With the November 10th, 2016 update[28] making many of the best of your physical BPs you have into being ƒTP transferring BPs, that "Double Attack" you'll find higher spikes in physical damage from a well augmented Keraunos
Keraunos description.png
than you would in a perfectly augmented Grioavolr
So if you get one and want to take it down the SMN path of augmenting... This can serve as an "Espiritus+1". But given as how luck based it is, don't try and get this and only this. Get an Espiritus
Espiritus description.png
, augment it... (and you'll want one anyways for Path B's skill boost) and then you can spend the hell it is in Reisenjima augments to make a better staff with your Grioavolr.

So with that all being said... It is fairly easy to make one of these with better magic stats than Espiritus. All you need is at least +25 MAB and +3 BPdmg to just match a Path C Espiritus. While you're more likely to see closer to 20~22 MAB, the much higher cap on BPdmg allows for a slightly lower MAB total. Especially when it's under a 5 MAB difference. And give how common +5 and +8 BPdmg is for BPdmg augments... You likely won't take very many stones to replace a Path A/C Espiritus for Magical Damage BPs. But still. Get the safer option first. While it is possible to go 1/1x and have flawless augments... you could also spend hundreds... thousands... or even millions of stones searching for that elusive perfect augment. It all depends on Luck, and I don't rely on such things without reliable alternatives... and neither should you!

Equipsets

As you should have noticed by now, I have set up this guide with the needs and advice geared towards the new or returning player. And my gearing suggestions will follow that idea. Many guides will tell you what is the absolute best gear available in the game... which isn't really helpful to you unless you have powerful friends and/or deep pockets. Which the vast majority of people just don't have. And if you do have such resources available, you likely aren't needing a guide in the first place as you are either a veteran to the job in question, or learned enough to be able to recognize what the best gear there is.
That being said.
The jump from my recommendations to what is the "absolute best" is generally just a +1 variant, and I will be making note of other gear available that is equivalent or even better than what I suggest.

Remember my mantra: Think for yourself.
Remember that this is only a guide meant to suggest things to you, not the words of a living god meant to be followed to the letter.


So first things first. You just pinged 99 and now what is it that you should be wearing?

EquipsetTroll.pngWRONG-LE.gif

   


 

From here on, I will be showing you what you should strive for. As mentioned above, this is likely not the absolute best gear available... but it is the most preiswert. Furthermore, I will be assuming 1200+ Job Points, as, much like BLU, all SMNs should strive for 1200 to be truly worthwhile to their groups. Everything before 1200 should be you working towards being 1200+.
As I have said, this guide isn't for the iLv."121" Nirvana
Nirvana (Level 119 III) description.png
holder with 7 Aeonics and over 800M gil... It's for the average person. So don't expect anything like multiple Ultimate Weapons or anything like that. Reasonable recommendations.

"Alexander" Set

Espiritus icon.pngEspiritus description.png
Augment-Icon.png
Vox Grip icon.pngVox Grip description.png 32x32.png 32x32.png
Beckoner's Horn +1 icon.pngBeckoner's Horn +1 description.png Incanter's Torque icon.pngIncanter's Torque description.png Smn. Earring icon.pngSmn. Earring description.png Andoaa Earring icon.pngAndoaa Earring description.png
Apogee Dalmatica icon.pngApogee Dalmatica description.png
Augment-Icon.png
Lamassu Mitts +1 icon.pngLamassu Mitts +1 description.png Evoker's Ring icon.pngEvoker's Ring description.png Stikini Ring icon.pngStikini Ring description.png
Conveyance Cape icon.pngConveyance Cape description.png
Augment-Icon.png
Kobo Obi icon.pngKobo Obi description.png Beck. Spats +1 icon.pngBeck. Spats +1 description.png Apogee Pumps icon.pngApogee Pumps description.png
Augment-Icon.png

Skill: +156~157 (612~613Total)

Glyphic Bracers +1
Glyphic Bracers +1 description.png
are another option than what's listed above. You'll already need a pair for Magic Bursting with Garuda, as well as easily maximizing Favor for maximum BPdelay... so using them here and foregoing the Lamassu Mitts +1
Lamassu Mitts +1 description.png
is a space saving option.
And while Convoker's Horn +2
Convoker's Horn +2 description.png
/+3
Convoker's Horn +3 description.png
may have higher skill than Beckoner's Horn +1
Beckoner's Horn +1 description.png
... Given that you're already using Beckoner's in multiple places... For a paltry 6 skill, it's not really worth the inventory space, IMO.
Beckoner's Doublet +1
Beck. Doublet +1 description.png
offers you 1 less skill than a Path D Apogee Dalmatica
Apogee Dalmatica description.png
... but seeing as how you'll already want that Dalmatica for your idle set, and the Doublet is only good for for Physical and Hybrid Blood Pacts until you get your hands on a Convoker's Doublet +2
Con. Doublet +2 description.png
... It would make a viable alternative. Though if you find yourself unable to get Vagary wins... that might be less feasible for you.
There is also Lucidity Sash
Lucidity Sash description.png
should you be unable to have a group that is able to beat Seiryu in Escha Ru'Aun. Lucidity Sash's NM is fairly easy to solo on SMN to boot.
And, obviously, Stikini Ring +1
Stikini Ring +1 description.png
and Apogee Pumps +1
Apogee Pumps +1 description.png
are strictly better versions of their NQ... if you have the hundreds of millions. (And there's also Globidonta Ring
Globidonta Ring description.png
if you have the people for Incursion.)

In addition of the general Odin-Alexander-Atomos trio, you will also want to use this set for Fenrir's Impact; hence why "overcapping" the skill here is a benefit, as it will boost Impact's potency.
And if you wanted to be exceptionally lazy, or if you really need that one more equipset because you have so many other jobs that need them, you can get by on using this for your buffing Wards. There really isn't much of a difference between this set and that one.

A Note on Moonshade Earring

MoonshadeTPBonus.png   MoonshadeRefresh.png

There are only two real options for Moonshade augment options. And while many may argue with me, both are equally valid. It really comes down to what jobs you play. If you are like me and find yourself on hard mage jobs more often than not; the MP&Refresh is a perfectly valid choice. These jobs tend to not benefit from having a TP Bonus (which I freely admit you will more likely find yourself choosing as it is more universally useful) and the added Refresh rate is the larger boon to those jobs. So don't let someone berate you for picking the only refresh earring in the game. Hard mages tend to not be in melee range, let alone using a WS or even being engaged on the NM... And the type of person who is likely to berate your choice is probably heavily invested in their physical DD jobs. Which is fine too. Just that their experience isn't one that validates an exclusive or near exclusive user of hard mage jobs to make their Moonshade into an earring that they are likely to never use outside of solo ventures that don't really matter. So make and wear your Refresh Earring with pride!
Should there ever come a point where there is another Refresh or TP Bonus Earring, it is likely that one or the other paths for Moonshade will come to disuse.
And if you ever find yourself regretting or expanding your jobs selection to include more DDs, fret not. You can always go back and repeat the last fight of Wings of the Goddess, to get a new Moonshade after you toss your current one!

Idle Set

Gridarvor icon.pngGridarvor description.png
Augment-Icon.png
Oneiros Grip icon.pngOneiros Grip description.png 32x32.png Sancus Sachet icon.pngSancus Sachet description.png
Beckoner's Horn +1 icon.pngBeckoner's Horn +1 description.png Caller's Pendant icon.pngCaller's Pendant description.png Moonshade Earring icon.pngMoonshade Earring description.png
Augment-Icon.png
Evans Earring icon.pngEvans Earring description.png
Apogee Dalmatica icon.pngApogee Dalmatica description.png
Augment-Icon.png
Glyphic Bracers +1 icon.pngGlyphic Bracers +1 description.png Evoker's Ring icon.pngEvoker's Ring description.png Speaker's Ring icon.pngSpeaker's Ring description.png
Campestres's Cape icon.pngCampestres's Cape description.png
Augment-Icon.png
Klouskap Sash icon.pngKlouskap Sash description.png Assid. Pants +1 icon.pngAssid. Pants +1 description.png Apogee Pumps icon.pngApogee Pumps description.png
Augment-Icon.png

Refresh: 10~11/tic resting; 9~10/tic w/Avatar
Skill: +81 (537Total) Favor: 512Tier+4
Perp: -19 (-14cap)

Converted HP: +230
DT: -3%
Accuracy: +183
Haste: +24%
"Double Attack": +15%
Regain: 25/tic
I've always been a proponent for idling in Caller's Pendant
Caller's Pendant description.png
, because the regain has always "charged up" your magical Blood Pacts. But now that Physical Blood Pacts also consume TP[29], it's an even more important effect to have. So don't use some other necklace! The regain from Caller's Pendant is just too important, even more so now!
The reason for Evans Earring
Evans Earring description.png
and Speaker's Ring
Speaker's Ring description.png
is simple: there's not a whole bunch else. Etiolation Earring
Etiolation Earring description.png
is a decent option, it matches Evans' for the most MP available in that slot... with a touch of MDT to boot! So if your Moonshade is taken, it would make a good replacement. (And it has a chunk of HP bonus to help mitigate Apogee's substantial bite out of yours.) And if you can't get one of those, your best alternative to a Moonshade is probably Enmerkar Earring
Enmerkar Earring description.png
. Accuracy and "Store TP" all in sizeable amounts and all in one slot? Superb. And now that Physical BPs can't charge up your TP[30], that Store TP became much more worthwhile. It even has a touch more of DT on top of all that.
If you have the money for it, a Stikini Ring +1
Stikini Ring +1 description.png
would be best in lieu of Speaker's. But any large MP ring would be better than the NQ Stikini
Stikini Ring description.png
. There's so many to choose from, anything with ≥40 MP would work. I chose to use Speaker's because... Resist amnesia. It's not much... but it's something at least. Plus, unlike some of the larger MP rings, Speaker's doesn't reduce your already paltry HP further than it already is being reduced thanks to Apogee. I wouldn't recommend Thurandaut Ring
Thurandaut Ring description.png
for your Adoulin Ring choice... as there are better options, dependent on the other jobs you may have. But if you're also a PUP and/or BST, you'll probably want that one, so use it here too.
The new Tali'ah Crackows +1
Tali'ah Crackows +1 description.png
are a very tempting piece to have here. Large Haste and massive Accuracy, both for your Avatar and you! But... they kinda only work if you have a Nirvana
Nirvana (Level 119) description.png
. What I mean by that is, in order to maintain perp with this set, a Nirvana owner has exactly -14, the cap, without Apogee Pumps.
But someone with only a Gridarvor
Gridarvor description.png
will find themselves struggling a little to find the perp and maintain the above skill and refresh all at once. But there are almost equivalent items. For the cost of 1MP/tic, you can cap perp with a well augmented Hagondes Coat +1
Hagondes Coat +1 description.png
. You'll need at least a -3 for a perp augment, which Hagondes can get up to -5.

Perhaps with the RF2~3+3s that are on the way, there will be a set up with them that favors a Gridarvor owner more, but until we see, just slip the Crackows for now. Furthermore, the Nirvana owner benefits the most from the Haste, as with the set above, they would only have 21%.

You may be tempted by the RF1+3 pieces of Convoker's Horn +3
Convoker's Horn +3 description.png
and Convoker's Bracers +3
Convo. Bracers +3 description.png
... but Truth be told, they aren't really worth the excess inventory and loss of Favor tiers. Sure Favor may not be a huge boon, but 512+4 is currently the second best you can do... and dropping 3~4 levels of Favor just for a minimal increase in the already pathetic white damage... Not worth the bother of devoting Omen time for it.
However, if you're a Nirvana owner, the Convoker's Bracers +3
Convo. Bracers +3 description.png
offers similar accuracy as Glyphic Bracers +1
Glyphic Bracers +1 description.png
as well as giving the Nirvana owner almost as much Double Attack as the Gridarvor.

Fast Cast Set

/RDM  
Grioavolr icon.pngGrioavolr description.png Clerisy Strap icon.pngClerisy Strap description.png 32x32.png Impatiens icon.pngImpatiens description.png
Amalric Coif icon.pngAmalric Coif description.png
Augment-Icon.png
Voltsurge Torque icon.pngVoltsurge Torque description.png 32x32.png Loquac. Earring icon.pngLoquac. Earring description.png
Inyanga Jubbah +1 icon.pngInyanga Jubbah +1 description.png 32x32.png 32x32.png Kishar Ring icon.pngKishar Ring description.png
Campestres's Cape icon.pngCampestres's Cape description.png
Augment-Icon.png
Witful Belt icon.pngWitful Belt description.png Psycloth Lappas icon.pngPsycloth Lappas description.png
Augment-Icon.png
Regal Pumps +1 icon.pngRegal Pumps +1 description.png

"Fast Cast": +66% (80%Total)
"Quick Magic": +5%

5/5 Merits  
32x32.png 32x32.png 32x32.png Impatiens icon.pngImpatiens description.png
Amalric Coif icon.pngAmalric Coif description.png
Augment-Icon.png
Voltsurge Torque icon.pngVoltsurge Torque description.png 32x32.png Loquac. Earring icon.pngLoquac. Earring description.png
Inyanga Jubbah +1 icon.pngInyanga Jubbah +1 description.png 32x32.png 32x32.png 32x32.png
Campestres's Cape icon.pngCampestres's Cape description.png
Augment-Icon.png
Witful Belt icon.pngWitful Belt description.png Psycloth Lappas icon.pngPsycloth Lappas description.png
Augment-Icon.png
Regal Pumps +1 icon.pngRegal Pumps +1 description.png

"Fast Cast": +56% (80%Total)
"Quick Magic": +5%

/RDM + 5/5 Merits  
32x32.png 32x32.png 32x32.png Impatiens icon.pngImpatiens description.png
32x32.png Voltsurge Torque icon.pngVoltsurge Torque description.png 32x32.png 32x32.png
Inyanga Jubbah +1 icon.pngInyanga Jubbah +1 description.png 32x32.png 32x32.png Kishar Ring icon.pngKishar Ring description.png
Campestres's Cape icon.pngCampestres's Cape description.png
Augment-Icon.png
Witful Belt icon.pngWitful Belt description.png 32x32.png Regal Pumps +1 icon.pngRegal Pumps +1 description.png

"Fast Cast": +41% (80%Total)
"Quick Magic": +5%

Here is where I'm going to be the most demanding of you.... For I'm going to ask that you... do simple arithmetic. Because, as you can see, I have not given you an example of a FC set for /WHM or /SCH. This is namely because, just look at /RDM's set.
There's essentially only four open spaces (which makes you lose the Impatiens
Impatiens description.png
's protection and "Quick Magic"+2%), and all four are only going to give you FC+2% at most each. Which means that even with the four FC items for those slots: Magavan Mitts
Magavan Mitts description.png
/Repartie Gloves
Repartie Gloves description.png
, Enchanter Earring +1
Enchntr. Earring +1 description.png
, Prolix Ring
Prolix Ring description.png
/Rahab Ring
Rahab Ring description.png
, and Sapience Orb
Sapience Orb description.png
; you're only going to have 74% "Fast Cast" on /WHM and /SCH. This is one of the many reasons why I personally prefer /RDM over those, but feel free to work with whichever subjob you feel the most comfortable using. And also, at 74% FC, your summons will take just slightly under 2s to summon... so... not that different from /RDM's 1.4s.
And as mentioned above, if for some reason you can't get a Grioavolr
Grioavolr description.png
, Nibiru Staff
Nibiru Staff description.png
has the same "Fast Cast" and is much easier to come by.
As you can see, 5/5 Casting Time Merits really frees up a LOT of space in this set. And /RDM in addition to that allows you the most freedom of gear. Ideally, you will want to fill any open spaces with "Quick Magic" options. A popular choice for Adoulin Rings is one such option: Weatherspoon Ring
Weather. Ring description.png
. Not only does it have "Quick Magic", but it also has the most FC available in the ring slot. Furthermore, Weatherspoon is one of the best Adoulin Rings because of how ubiquitously helpful it is for so many jobs. Even SMN doubly benefits from it, as not only is it an ideal piece for your FC set... but as it is one of the only nonstaff sources for Element: Light Magic Affinity, it is a powerful ring choice for Summoner's Mythic Weapon Skill: Garland of Bliss. This is because the Element: Light Maff+10% is multiplicative with MAB, not additive; making it one of the best rings for Element: LightMagical Damage Weapon Skills.
Another good thing about most of these pieces are that should you be a RDM/SCH/GEO that stuns, much of these sets you'll be after as things like Amalric Coif
Amalric Coif description.png
and Psycloth Lappas
Psycloth Lappas description.png
are "Best in Slot" for Stun due to their high "Fast Cast" and Magic Accuracy stats.

Blood Pact Delay Set

32x32.png 32x32.png 32x32.png Sancus Sachet icon.pngSancus Sachet description.png
Beckoner's Horn +1 icon.pngBeckoner's Horn +1 description.png Caller's Pendant icon.pngCaller's Pendant description.png Smn. Earring icon.pngSmn. Earring description.png Andoaa Earring icon.pngAndoaa Earring description.png
Con. Doublet +3 icon.pngCon. Doublet +3 description.png Glyphic Bracers +1 icon.pngGlyphic Bracers +1 description.png Evoker's Ring icon.pngEvoker's Ring description.png Stikini Ring icon.pngStikini Ring description.png
32x32.png Kobo Obi icon.pngKobo Obi description.png Beck. Spats +1 icon.pngBeck. Spats +1 description.png Apogee Pumps icon.pngApogee Pumps description.png
Augment-Icon.png

Skill: +107 (563Total 512Tier+4) -8sFavor
BPdelayI: -21s (-15scap)
BPdelayII: -6s
BPdelayIII: -10s

Total: -38s
You might be wondering why I put so much skill here, it's very simple: When you hit 2000JP, you'll get an extra 13 skill. Which will bring the total skill in this set up to 576, making the total Favor tier: 575+4, the current maximum. Now you may be wondering why I posit to do this. Especially when I have made no qualms about pointing out that the last two Favor tiers don't reduce delay by 2s. So a tier of 512+3 = 575+4, any more tiers currently will not reduce delay further. However, with the RF+2~3s on the way... it's very likely that Beckoner's Horn +3 will increase total Favor tiers to the point where the maximum -10s becomes available. Furthermore, it's been discovered that there is a higher skill tier at 670... However, with current gear, reaching that skill level... as well as keeping BPdelay capped... as well as using Beckoner's Horn +1
Beckoner's Horn +1 description.png
to overcharge Favor with +4 more tiers... is not possible.

And with that being said, a 670+1 tier is only equal to 512+3. Which is 2 less skill tiers than 575+4. But who knows what the future holds, we will possibly need that 670 skill to cap the promised -10s delay, but for now, this is the best we can do.

You may have also noticed that I don't use either the grip slot, nor the back slot to reach "575". The grip is because a Nirvana owner may be using this guide, and losing their AM3 from swapping grips would be a bad idea... and if you're really serious about SMN... Nirvana should be what you aspire to.
As for the back slot... some people think that deleveling your avatar (from removing Campestres's Cape
Campestres's Cape description.png
) is no big deal. I disagree. While it's not the pathetic amount of HP loss that is damning... it's the DEF, Evasion, and Magic Evasion loss that hurt. And honestly... why tempt fate? It seems rather dumb to lose a level when you don't have to.
Finally, as with the Alexander Set, Lucidity Sash
Lucidity Sash description.png
makes a good replacement as it only has 1 less skill... Should you be unable to have a group that is able to beat Seiryu in Escha Ru'Aun, Lucidity Sash's NM is fairly easy to "solo" on SMN.

Physical Blood Pact Set

Keraunos icon.pngKeraunos description.png
Augment-Icon.png
Elan Strap icon.pngElan Strap description.png 32x32.png Sancus Sachet icon.pngSancus Sachet description.png
Apogee Crown icon.pngApogee Crown description.png
Augment-Icon.png
Shulmanu Collar icon.pngShulmanu Collar description.png Gelos Earring icon.pngGelos Earring description.png Lugalbanda Earring icon.pngLugalbanda Earring description.png
Con. Doublet +3 icon.pngCon. Doublet +3 description.png Merlinic Dastanas icon.pngMerlinic Dastanas description.png
Augment-Icon.png
Varar Ring icon.pngVarar Ring description.png Varar Ring icon.pngVarar Ring description.png
Campestres's Cape icon.pngCampestres's Cape description.png
Augment-Icon.png
Incarnation Sash icon.pngIncarnation Sash description.png Enticer's Pants icon.pngEnticer's Pants description.png
Augment-Icon.png
Convo. Pigaches +3 icon.pngConvo. Pigaches +3 description.png

Accuracy: ⨤294~304
Attack: ⨤115~120
BPdmg: ⨤104~109%

"Double Attack": ⨤18%
Critical Hit Rate: ⨤11%
With the November 2016 update[31], Enticer's Pants
Enticer's Pants description.png
became hands down the best in slot pants to wear for any physical and hybrid BPs. This is because before November 10th, 2016, physical BPs didn't use any TP in their damage... while losing the ability to charge up Magical Damage BPs with Physical Damage BPs was a bit sad... the extreme boost to physical damage was well worth that trade off. Furthermore, multiple BPs now have their ƒTP replicating across all hits... making Enticer's even better, as not only is it one of the only two TP Bonus items available to SMN for our Avatars, but the Critical Hit Rate boost and "Double Attack" pushes them to likely always be the best BP pants available for the foreseeable future.
And with the December 2016 update[32], Convoker's Doublet +3
Con. Doublet +3 description.png
became hands down the best Physical Damage BP body in the game. And it's not too shabby for Hybrid BPs either. Same thing with Convoker's Pigaches +3
Convo. Pigaches +3 description.png
, equaling perfect BPdmg augments on Merlinic and Apogee +1 options. And having more accuracy than Apogee +1 and equaling potential accuracy for Merlinic.
And until you +2 your Convoker's Doublet
Con. Doublet +2 description.png
, I recommend using Beckoner's Doublet +1
Beck. Doublet +1 description.png
over Convoker's Doublet +1
Con. Doublet +1 description.png
. The why is simple: for 1% less BPdmg you gain accuracy. And accuracy is always a premium for anything that actually matters.
A thing to note is that you might be hard pressed to get two Varar Rings
Varar Ring description.png
. Especially since in recent times they seem to have grown a rather substantial amount in price. So, for some alternatives, there's the wonderful Stikini Ring
Stikini Ring description.png
(or Fervor Ring
Fervor Ring description.png
if you're especially pressed for cash) giving you a touch more accuracy... not as much as a Varar... but more than nothing.
You also may have noticed that the cape used here is the same as that in your idle set, while you are welcome to make another with 10 more attack in lieu of 10 accuracy for your Abdhaljs Dye Augment... I don't see much reason to do that. Especially when you can only make 1 cape a month. And accuracy is always more of a premium.

Hybrid Blood Pact Set

Keraunos icon.pngKeraunos description.png
Augment-Icon.png
Elan Strap icon.pngElan Strap description.png 32x32.png Sancus Sachet icon.pngSancus Sachet description.png
Apogee Crown icon.pngApogee Crown description.png
Augment-Icon.png
Shulmanu Collar icon.pngShulmanu Collar description.png Gelos Earring icon.pngGelos Earring description.png Lugalbanda Earring icon.pngLugalbanda Earring description.png
Con. Doublet +3 icon.pngCon. Doublet +3 description.png Merlinic Dastanas icon.pngMerlinic Dastanas description.png
Augment-Icon.png
Varar Ring icon.pngVarar Ring description.png Speaker's Ring icon.pngSpeaker's Ring description.png
Campestres's Cape icon.pngCampestres's Cape description.png
Augment-Icon.png
Incarnation Sash icon.pngIncarnation Sash description.png Enticer's Pants icon.pngEnticer's Pants description.png
Augment-Icon.png
Apogee Pumps icon.pngApogee Pumps description.png
Augment-Icon.png

Accuracy: ⨤232~242
Attack: ⨤85~90
MAB: +186
BPdmg: ⨤99~104%

"Double Attack": ⨤18%
Critical Hit Rate: ⨤11%
While Burning Strike and Flaming Crush don't have replicating ƒTP, Enticer's Pants
Enticer's Pants description.png
' Critical Hit Rate allows them to spike to absolutely ridiculous levels. And to a lesser extent so does its "Double Attack".
Unlike your magical BPs a Speaker's Ring
Speaker's Ring description.png
is just slightly more potent than a second Varar, equaling roughly the same as if you had ~480 MAB.
And should you be a person with extremely deep pockets, or in some other fashion have the ability for Apogee Dalmatica +1
Apo. Dalmatica +1 description.png
, so long as you have at least one other +1 Apogee piece, it can be better than Convoker's Doublet +3
Con. Doublet +3 description.png
. You're looking at a loss of 6%BPdmg, but you'll gain 35 MAB. There's also the rather substantial loss of +45 accuracy; which can potentially make Convoker's the better piece overall... But Apogee +1's MAB shouldn't be overlooked as 35 MAB from one slot is equally substantial as that lost accuracy.
For the same reasons in the purely physical set, Beckoner's Doublet +1
Beck. Doublet +1 description.png
over Convoker's Doublet +1
Con. Doublet +1 description.png
will net you better, more consistent results until you +2 your Convoker's Doublet
Con. Doublet +2 description.png
.
And some people like to go the Merlinic route.... which... can potentially replace certain pieces in every BP set... but... I don't think it's worth the time. The only Merlinic piece contrary to that is the singular piece that comes with SMN relevant stats: the gloves
Merlinic Dastanas description.png
. And seeing as how they have the potential to exceed every other available piece of gear by ~5%BPdmg... They are worth the hell of Reisenjima augments.

Magical Blood Pact Set

Grioavolr icon.pngGrioavolr description.png
Augment-Icon.png
Elan Strap icon.pngElan Strap description.png 32x32.png Sancus Sachet icon.pngSancus Sachet description.png
Apogee Crown icon.pngApogee Crown description.png
Augment-Icon.png
Adad Amulet icon.pngAdad Amulet description.png Gelos Earring icon.pngGelos Earring description.png Lugalbanda Earring icon.pngLugalbanda Earring description.png
Con. Doublet +3 icon.pngCon. Doublet +3 description.png Merlinic Dastanas icon.pngMerlinic Dastanas description.png
Augment-Icon.png
Varar Ring icon.pngVarar Ring description.png Varar Ring icon.pngVarar Ring description.png
Campestres's Cape icon.pngCampestres's Cape description.png
Augment-Icon.png
Incarnation Sash icon.pngIncarnation Sash description.png Apogee Slacks icon.pngApogee Slacks description.png
Augment-Icon.png
Apogee Pumps icon.pngApogee Pumps description.png
Augment-Icon.png

Magic Accuracy: ⨤190~195
Mdmg: +30
MAB: ⨤285~295
BPdmg: ⨤98~108%

Should you be hard pressed to get two Varar Rings
Varar Ring description.png
a Speaker's Ring
Speaker's Ring description.png
can serve as a slightly less potent alternative to the second Varar. As mentioned above, a Path A or Path C Espiritus
Espiritus description.png
is the best you'll be able to do for Magical Damage BPs should you not be able to get a hold of a Grioavolr
Grioavolr description.png
. (Or if you just don't want to deal with Reisenjima augments... though Grioavolr can easily far exceed Espiritus' magical damage capabilities.)
Some people like to use Enticer's Pants
Enticer's Pants description.png
over Apogee Slacks
Apogee Slacks description.png
/+1
Apogee Slacks +1 description.png
. Should you be using Caller's Pendant
Caller's Pendant description.png
, like a sensible person... I've found that the TP Bonus on Enticer's depreciates for Magical Damage BPs the more MAB and BPdmg you have with the more TP your Avatar has. Which Caller's Pendant charges every tic. Not to mention that MAB becomes more potent when there's a Malaising GEO.
As for why I recommend Mdmg over Macc for your Abdhaljs Dye Augment... with pushing +150 Macc, you're not looking at resisting much... and since that's the only slot where you can get Mdmg for your Avatars... best to make the most of what little you can get.
You may have also noticed up in the Fast Cast Sets that I've doubled down on FC and Magical Damage BP capes. This is because there's not really anything that benefits Magical Damage BPs in the Abdhaljs Sap Augment slot. And since you only get 1 cape per month... I see no reason to waste 4 months worth of effort and points when you get the same thing in only two with a whole two inventory slots to boot.

Enfeebling Blood Pact Set

Espiritus icon.pngEspiritus description.png
Augment-Icon.png
Vox Grip icon.pngVox Grip description.png 32x32.png Sancus Sachet icon.pngSancus Sachet description.png
Beckoner's Horn +1 icon.pngBeckoner's Horn +1 description.png Caller's Pendant icon.pngCaller's Pendant description.png Andoaa Earring icon.pngAndoaa Earring description.png Lugalbanda Earring icon.pngLugalbanda Earring description.png
Con. Doublet +3 icon.pngCon. Doublet +3 description.png Lamassu Mitts +1 icon.pngLamassu Mitts +1 description.png Evoker's Ring icon.pngEvoker's Ring description.png Stikini Ring icon.pngStikini Ring description.png
Campestres's Cape icon.pngCampestres's Cape description.png
Augment-Icon.png
Incarnation Sash icon.pngIncarnation Sash description.png Tali'ah Sera. +1 icon.pngTali'ah Sera. +1 description.png Convo. Pigaches +3 icon.pngConvo. Pigaches +3 description.png

Skill: +82 ⨤74 Macc
Magic Accuracy: +275

Total: ⨤349
Caller's Pendant
Caller's Pendant description.png
in lieu of other skill or hard magic accuracy options... because that regain is even more important now than it has ever been[33]. So don't waste a tic of regain by using a 1 skill more or larger hard Macc necklaces.
If you don't want to get Lamassu Mitts +1
Lamassu Mitts +1 description.png
, as you've been substituting them in the other sets... Instead of Glyphic Bracers +1
Glyphic Bracers +1 description.png
, Apogee Mitts
Apogee Mitts description.png
make a good substitution. You'll want a pair for your damaging BPs before you get good augments on Merlinic Dastanas
Merlinic Dastanas description.png
, and when you get those good augments you can swap to the near-idential Macc as Lamassu Mitts of Apogee's PathD augment.
Some people like to get Merlinic or other hard Macc gear in each slot... but... I don't get resists from the above, and you shouldn't either. So I wouldn't recommend bothering with Merlinic augments for Macc. More Tali'ah pieces is also a little unnecessary. Remember, none of those have any perpetuation down or refresh, meaning each second you're in them will be shaving off more of your MP in addition to the already steep costs of BPs. So while Nirvana owners can cap perp with just the feet above, if you don't have that, you may want to use Beckoner's Doublet +1
Beck. Doublet +1 description.png
for the body. Sure it will reduce your overall Macc by ~32, but you can take that hit. Especially since it will cap your perp.

Enhancing/Healing Blood Pact Set

Espiritus icon.pngEspiritus description.png
Augment-Icon.png
Vox Grip icon.pngVox Grip description.png 32x32.png 32x32.png
Beckoner's Horn +1 icon.pngBeckoner's Horn +1 description.png Caller's Pendant icon.pngCaller's Pendant description.png 32x32.png Andoaa Earring icon.pngAndoaa Earring description.png
Beck. Doublet +1 icon.pngBeck. Doublet +1 description.png Lamassu Mitts +1 icon.pngLamassu Mitts +1 description.png Evoker's Ring icon.pngEvoker's Ring description.png Stikini Ring icon.pngStikini Ring description.png
32x32.png Kobo Obi icon.pngKobo Obi description.png Beck. Spats +1 icon.pngBeck. Spats +1 description.png Apogee Pumps icon.pngApogee Pumps description.png
Augment-Icon.png

Skill: +139 (595Total)

I'm not a fan of deleveling my Avatars. So while you can get more skill out of the cape slot... that's -1 level. Same with Nirvana
Nirvana (Level 119) description.png
, the skill change from a staff and grip aren't worth the two levels lost from Nirvana.
Caller's Pendant
Caller's Pendant description.png
and that blank earring slot is because Moonshade's refresh will benefit you more than 3 skill from a Summoning Earring
Smn. Earring description.png
. Hence why I leave it open, so nothing replaces the Moonshade from your idle set. But feel free to use that if your Moonshade is tied up in TPbonus or if you just want that paltry more skill.
As you can see, this set is near identical to your Alexander Set, so any valid substitutions above for pieces from that set are the same here.
Also, I should make note that some people like to use 5/5 Beckoner's Attire Set +1 for that rare set bonus proc, increasing ward duration. And that's fine and dandy... I even favor 3 Beckoner's pieces for that reason too. But I prefer the more stable duration boon from the larger skill pieces over a chance at maybe having the possibility of a longer ward. (And that I don't feel like wasting the money on +1ing the hands... as they are beyond garbage. And I'm not wasting the inventory on garbage just for a chance at something good. And neither should you.)
Healing BPs are based on two factors: TP and HP of your Avatar. And while you can make a set of 4/5 Apogee pieces with Beckoner's Spats +1
Beck. Spats +1 description.png
or Enticer's Pants
Enticer's Pants description.png
, the above can serve your needs well enough. But if your really want to max your cures, there really are no other options but the aforementioned 4/5 Apogee and pants.

Elemental Siphon Set

Espiritus icon.pngEspiritus description.png
Augment-Icon.png
Vox Grip icon.pngVox Grip description.png 32x32.png Esper Stone +1 icon.pngEsper Stone +1 description.png
Beckoner's Horn +1 icon.pngBeckoner's Horn +1 description.png Incanter's Torque icon.pngIncanter's Torque description.png Moonshade Earring icon.pngMoonshade Earring description.png
Augment-Icon.png
Andoaa Earring icon.pngAndoaa Earring description.png
Beck. Doublet +1 icon.pngBeck. Doublet +1 description.png Lamassu Mitts +1 icon.pngLamassu Mitts +1 description.png Evoker's Ring icon.pngEvoker's Ring description.png Zodiac Ring icon.pngZodiac Ring description.png
Conveyance Cape icon.pngConveyance Cape description.png
Augment-Icon.png
Kobo Obi icon.pngKobo Obi description.png Beck. Spats +1 icon.pngBeck. Spats +1 description.png Beck. Pigaches +1 icon.pngBeck. Pigaches +1 description.png

Skill: +132~133 (588~589Total)
Siphon: +110
Refresh: 4/tic

For the Head, Body, Hands, and Legs slots, some people like to use Telchine pieces Leaforb Augmented with Elemental Siphon +20~30. (Duskdim Augment: MP+30~50; Snow-stone augment slot can't contribute to this ability.) With the May 10th, 2016 update[34], SE made skill more important than it used to be. Not only that, but as I have mentioned in the macro and Elemental Spirits sections, by using Skill here, you can double down and idle in it and get much faster buffs from your Light Spirit than you would had you spent the time getting Telchine pieces. So I recommend you follow suit and forgo the effort of Telchine augments. While it's not especially hard, the added inventory and less utility you'll get isn't as optimal in my opinion.
And with the new Baayami Set offering you ~30+ skill in each slot, a well augmented Telchine piece is replaced as soon as you hit 500+ Job Points.

Furthermore, seeing as how this should be netting you ~900MP (depending on the weather), it's not like you're gimping yourself by not using Telchine.
Just remember to match the day unless there's double weather, as Zodiac Ring
Zodiac Ring description.png
brings the day bonus to 13%, but double weather gives a bonus of 25%. And if you can match them, then you'll be getting a +38% bonus.
You may be wondering why I have my refresh Moonshade
MoonshadeRefresh.png
and Beckoner's Horn +1
Beckoner's Horn +1 description.png
, instead of larger skill pieces... because a constant stream of refresh helps you restore MP. (Plus it's only a possible 5 more skill... so... I'd rather have more refresh than ~5ish more MP restored. With 4/tic, two tics and you already have 3 more MP than that. Though you're likely just to have 1 tic happen while in this set when Siphoning. But even then, that's just 1MP less for a potential 3 MP more.)

And don't worry about trying to use Elemental Obis for this, as Elemental Siphon "auto-procs" day and weather bonuses similarly to SCH's Helix Spells.
And as you can see, this set is near identical to your Alexander Set, so any valid substitutions above for pieces from that set are the same here.

Cure Potency Set

32x32.png 32x32.png 32x32.png 32x32.png
Vanya Hood icon.pngVanya Hood description.png
Augment-Icon.png
Incanter's Torque icon.pngIncanter's Torque description.png Mendi. Earring icon.pngMendi. Earring description.png Loquac. Earring icon.pngLoquac. Earring description.png
Heka's Kalasiris icon.pngHeka's Kalasiris description.png Telchine Gloves icon.pngTelchine Gloves description.png
Augment-Icon.png
Sirona's Ring icon.pngSirona's Ring description.png Prolix Ring icon.pngProlix Ring description.png
Campestres's Cape icon.pngCampestres's Cape description.png
Augment-Icon.png
Witful Belt icon.pngWitful Belt description.png 32x32.png Vanya Clogs icon.pngVanya Clogs description.png
Augment-Icon.png

Cure Potency: +50%
Skill: +60 (210/WHM•Total 199/RDM•Total 464/SCH•Total)
"Cure Casting Time": -63~66% (-78~80%/RDM•Total -~67~69%/SCH•Total)

What really matters here is the Cure Potency, as you're not main healing (except in very rare, very lax occasions)... everything else is just making your better than you are. Gone are the days of SMN being a WHM with a larger MP pool... and good riddance!
And as such, having capped casting time is useful... but it's not the life or death that it is on WHM/RDM/SCH. Our main curing power stems from our Avatars, especially so after the June 7, 2016 update[35] really cracked out the curing potential of Garuda, Carbuncle and Leviathan's curing BPs; and your support job cure spells should be just that: supportive.
So while you can, and many do, devote the inventory to a few more pieces for that last ~14% of "Fast Cast"... It's not really worthwhile IMO. Either you'll have a real WHM/SCH/RDM or you'll be using a Trust healer. So the demand for auxiliary heals to be of the caliber of main healer's heals... is kinda... unnecessary. And it's not like you'll be letting people die with the above. Remember. you're not there to keep people alive, you're there for the damage you can provide. The fact that you can pass out some heals on the side is no different than BLU's ability to do the same.

You may have noticed that I don't have anything in the ammo or staff slot (and that I keep that Ambuscade Cape on). The reason is very simple: Perp and Level. Your staff will help keep your perp cost down, and since you're using a Gridarvor
Gridarvor description.png
, it'll also come with that +95 accuracy boost. Furthermore, if you are planning to take on the dedicated effort to make a Nirvana, it's best to get into the habit of not changing your staff... as Nirvana's best two assets (+2 Levels and AM3) are lost when Nirvana isn't worn. And your ammo slot is what determines your Avatar's level... swapping it out for a non119 ammo... is literally deleveling your Avatar by 20 levels. So... don't do that.
But feel free to use a staff like Chatoyant Staff
Chatoyant Staff description.png
or Serenity
Serenity description.png
(+30% potency -10% cast time with perfect augments) should you not be using a Nirvana. Serenity
Serenity description.png
even allows you to free up a massive amount of potency gear for more "Fast Cast" or "Cure" casting time down gear. Which then you can double down on pieces from your FC set above here too, or if you just want to burn all your inventory: Vanya pieces offer -7% cast time down via Path B augments. (Vanya also offers you +20 Healing magic skill for every Path B piece you use; which, after capping Cure Potency, is the best way to increase your cures' power.)
You may be curious as to why I don't use the FC and then a pure potency set... unless you're using a third party tool... cures are so fast now, it's possible to be in the wrong sets. So I say, just have it all in one. Cure Potency is really all that matters and it's easy enough to do with one set... and the less changes, the less possibility for the game to derp on you.

Weapon Skill Sets

Garland of Bliss Set

32x32.png 32x32.png 32x32.png 32x32.png
Welkin Crown icon.pngWelkin Crown description.png Fotia Gorget icon.pngFotia Gorget description.png Crematio Earring icon.pngCrematio Earring description.png Friomisi Earring icon.pngFriomisi Earring description.png
Amalric Doublet icon.pngAmalric Doublet description.png
Augment-Icon.png
Amalric Gages icon.pngAmalric Gages description.png
Augment-Icon.png
Fenrir Ring +1 icon.pngFenrir Ring +1 description.png Fenrir Ring +1 icon.pngFenrir Ring +1 description.png
Campestres's Cape icon.pngCampestres's Cape description.png
Augment-Icon.png
Fotia Belt icon.pngFotia Belt description.png Amalric Slops icon.pngAmalric Slops description.png
Augment-Icon.png
Amalric Nails icon.pngAmalric Nails description.png
Augment-Icon.png

MND: +168
Mdmg: +46
MAB: +225
WSdmg: +10%

Shattersoul Set

32x32.png 32x32.png 32x32.png 32x32.png
Sukeroku Hachi. icon.pngSukeroku Hachi. description.png Fotia Gorget icon.pngFotia Gorget description.png Cessance Earring icon.pngCessance Earring description.png Ishvara Earring icon.pngIshvara Earring description.png
Con. Doublet +3 icon.pngCon. Doublet +3 description.png Amalric Gages icon.pngAmalric Gages description.png
Augment-Icon.png
Shiva Ring +1 icon.pngShiva Ring +1 description.png Shiva Ring +1 icon.pngShiva Ring +1 description.png
Campestres's Cape icon.pngCampestres's Cape description.png
Augment-Icon.png
Fotia Belt icon.pngFotia Belt description.png Tali'ah Sera. +1 icon.pngTali'ah Sera. +1 description.png Convo. Pigaches +3 icon.pngConvo. Pigaches +3 description.png

STR: +112
INT: +187
Accuracy: +211
Attack: +30
WSdmg: +12%

"Double Attack": +3%
There's not much I have to say about the Weapon Skills.
Garland of Bliss is pretty straight forward. It's magical, so it benefits the most from Magic Attack Bonus gear. And if you can only afford one Fenrir Ring +1
Fenrir Ring +1 description.png
, Acumen Ring
Acumen Ring description.png
would suffice as an alternative for one of them. Furthermore, it's Element: LightMagical Damage damage, so that Weatherspoon Ring
Weather. Ring description.png
you might have chosen for your Adoulin Ring is super good for it. And it's for that same reason that you'll want Weapon Skill Damage instead of MAB for your Ambuscade cape. (Since WSdmg is multiplicative with MAB, with 226 MAB and 10% WSdmg... that equates to the same as ~259 MAB. And with Weatherspoon in lieu of one of the Fenrir Ring +1
Fenrir Ring +1 description.png
, that equates to the same as ~290 MAB.) Also, while you may have heard that you'll want ΔINT for magical Weapon Skills... Garland of Bliss is one of the ones that works slightly different, being a ΔMND instead of INT, hence why you'll want that MND for your Abdhaljs Thread Augment/Abdhaljs Dye Augment.

Shattersoul is also a simple Physical Damage WS. It doesn't have replicating ƒTP across all hits, so multi-attack effects are less effective than on the WSs that do. Weapon Skill Damage is the primary raw booster for it, which is in rather short supply for SMN. So the general +STR (for the boost to fSTR) and +INT (the statmod) will be what you want to stack as much as possible. More Tali'ah pieces can be used in lieu of the above, especially good if you have those in the interim of making the above.
Merlinic pieces all have the potential to beat the pieces above..... but.... damn if that is worth it. Not only will you have to take the time to get multiples of them, just for a single WS... but any piece you do get is much more worthwhile used as a BP piece or a nuking piece. Not to mention the terribad crapshoot that trying to get worthwhile augments on them... and since SMN isn't a frontline WS heavy job... I wouldn't waste the time or inventory just for the occasional WS use. However, with that in mind, compare and contrast your nuking Merlinic pieces to the above for Garland of Bliss; as that is a Magical Damage WS, it's quite possible for your nuking augments to eclipse the above pieces for that.

Finally, the ammo slot is off limits, as mentioned above: -20 levels is a bad thing. And, just in case you somehow didn't know, the grip and staff slots will prevent you from using the WS, as it resets your TP. And, personally, I like to use the Elemental Belts and Elemental Gorgets over other options... as while /SCH may get more of a use out of a Korin Obi
Korin Obi description.png
or Hachirin-no-Obi
Hachirin-no-Obi description.png
for Garland of Bliss... the Fotias' 2% chance at a free WS is worth the trade off what other pieces offer. Not to mention that the +.2 ƒTP isn't nothing.


That's all y'all♥!
Betty'sKiss.png


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