A FFXIV Summoner Guide part3(Aetherflow: How to use it.)
So we know Aetherflow is used for a few of our Final Fantasy XIV skills:
1) Fester - Using one aetherflow stack will deal damage equal to each Final Fantasy XIV DoT present
(Bio II, Miasma, Bio) x 100 potency to a single target for a max of 300 potency.
2) Energy Drain – Using one aetherflow stack, you will deal damage of 150 potency as well as recover some MP.
3) Bane – Using one aetherflow stack, you can transfer the duration of your DoTs present on a current mob to adjacent targets (max 3). There is a 15% chance that the DoTs transferred will renew all of their durations to full, this however is on a mob to mob basis.
The big two you will largely focus on is Fester and Bane. These two skills will constantly need to be weighed against each other depending on how your raid Final Fantasy XIV DPS is when pushing into phases as well as positioning with regards to the boss and additional mob spawn locations. On average, saving an Aetherflow for a nearby Bane opportunity will be a bigger increase then a Fester on one target. This is assuming you aren’t about to fresh Aetherflow Stacks.
The Opening Rotation: Your greatest moment, in half a minute.
Let’s talk the optimal single target rotation. Some points to note:
1) You will need a fair amount of Hotkeys nearby. Ifrit requires one more over Garuda. For a total of 16 to 15 respectively.
2) Art of Obey: Something else to remember is mainly that for Garuda or Ifrit (or any pet) should be on Obey before a fight begins. Placing a pet on Obey basically makes it so I cannot execute it’s skills whenever they are available and simply defaults the pet to aut0 attacks as well as a default attack Final Fantasy XIV skill.
• Alternate function 1: Allow you to redirect your pets target to any currently selected target.
• Alternate function 2: Obey operates as a super command which essentially resets the pet. Sometimes for whatever reason, Garuda will bug out and refuse to use skills in que. So should you ever find your pet is refusing to use a skill press Obey, then the pet skill again and it should execute soon after.
3) Another point about Garuda in particular is placement before a fight begins. Try to find a location where Garuda can safely attack the target while taking as little damage possible over the course of a fight. Ifrit can also be prepositioned but I feel it’s better to let him free roam in case for whatever reason, he decides to bug out and not move into melee again to attack a target that has moved. Pet positioning is important, because one of the first things I believe is to have to resummons a pet due to an untimely death mid fight for a whomping 532MP ( over a 1/5 of your mana!!!)
So after those few tips, you should have Contagion and Obey hotkeyed. If you don’t play with your pet hotbar visible, additional slots for remaining skills like Ifrits, Crimson Cyclone and Flaming Crush.
Now as to the classic single target rotation as of 2.55:
Raging Strikes -> Bio II -> Miasma -> Bio I -> Fester -> Miasma II (If Garuda) / Ruin II (If Ifrit) -> Contagion (If Garuda) / Swiftcast -> Shadowflare -> Rouse -> Ruin II -> Spur -> Ruin II -> Fester -> Ruin II -> Enkindle -> Ruin II -> …..
At this point your opener will deviate based off the pet you are using. If you are using Garuda:
-> Ruin II -> Ruin II -> Fester -> Ruin II -> Aetherflow.
However if you are using Ifrit:
-> Bio -> Miasma -> Ruin II -> Fester -> Aetherflow -> Bio II.
Should you be using Ifrit, you will want to make sure to use his Crimson Cyclone, and Flaming Crush while both Rouse and Spur are up.
As you can see the actual opening rotation does not end when Raging Strikes falls off, but until after the third Fester. You want to be using as many Ruin II’s as possible before this third Fester for maximum burst.
Auto attacks: The Unlikely Ally
Generally speaking, you want to make sure you are auto attacking the target as much as possible in a fight especially in your opening rotation. An auto-attack will occur every time you finish casting a skill and the timing lines up for it post animation or after every Instant skill you cast that shares GCD such as Ruin II, Miasma 2 or Bio. This includes any skill casted under Swiftcast.
SMN is also a melee class at heart. Do not let anyone tell you different. You are doing roughly 15-20 DPS less over the course of a fight by not being in melee. Unless there is a mechanic in a fight, that for safety reasons you must move away to cast at range, you should be in melee whenever possible.
Primarily, you should immediately set up auto attacks when you are casting Bio II to get this over with. Next, on most fights (mainly bosses) you will not immediately be within auto-attack range so you want to start moving into range before Miasma finishes casting and already in front of the target by the time you use the first Fester.
This brings me to my next point: Stutter Stepping
Essentially, in order to get into melee range quickly, you want to be able to perform this mid opener on your Miasma cast. Basically, Stutter Stepping is the art of moving mid cast while still being able to finish a cast. For Miasma, you want to start moving roughly at 75% - 80% of the cast bar full followed up by a Bio in movement. Get use to performing a Stutter Step on various skills to be able to maximize on fights that require movement. EX: T10, T11.
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