Well well, another pupil in the Schulz School of magic. You just signed up and are probably wondering: just what does the life of a Scholar offer for me? Well for starters, you are a mage, make no mistake about that. But you are also so much more. You are a tactician, a person who analyzes the battle in front of him and changes tactics accordingly. As a Scholar you have acces to a very wide array of both Black Magic and White Magic spells. In fact, you have access to most WHM spells, and a hefty amount of BLM spells. Adittionaly, you have 2 series of spells that are exclusive to the Scholar job: the Storm spells, wich are white magic spells that allow you to change the weather affecting a player, and the Helix spells wich are high damage DoT spells. In adittion to that, you have access to 2 sets of strategems wich will make casting spells alot more interesting in many situations. All of these will be dealt with in further detail below.
==Scholar: The Basics==
Starting from level 10, a scholar will gain his 2 basic but most important abilities: Dark Arts
and Light Arts
. These have a great impact on the potency, cost and cast/recast time of the spells that you will be casting, so paying attention to what Arts you are currently in is very important. Why? Quite simple. As a scholar, your standard skill in all 6 types of magic you will be using is D. With an Arts active however, the situation is entirely different:
*White Magic MP cost, cast time and recast time -10%.
*Black Magic MP cost, cast time and recast time +20%.
*Increases Enhancing, Enfeebling, Divine and Healing magic skill to B+ level.
*Recast time: 1 minute.
Light Arts is basically your "White Mage mode". You will be in this Arts to heal, cast buffs and cast White Magic debuffs suchs as Slow
*Black Magic MP cost, cast time and recast time -10%.
*White Magic MP cost, cast time and recast time +20%.
*Increases Enfeebling, Elemental and Dark magic skill to B+ level.
*Recast time: 1 minute.
Dark Arts is basically your "Black Mage mode". You will be in this Arts to cast nukes, Black Magic debuffs such as Dispel
and Dark Magic spells such as Drain
The Arts abilities are mutually exclusive, that is, you can only be in one Arts mode, when you use the other it overwrites the first. Arts effects will last 2 hours, or untill you use another Arts or zone.
The ultimate effect of this is that if you are casting a spell with the wrong Arts effect on it'll be less effective, take longer to cast and cost more. This does not take away of course that you CAN cast any spells in your repertiore (apart from those that require an Addendum) regardless of wich Arts effect is on, in some cases you will even have to. Take for example you changed to Dark Arts, but you see one of your party members is in desperate need of healing and your Light Arts is still a while off on its recast timer, you can cast a cure spell without problems, but you'll pay the penalty in MP cost, cast and recast time. This will be a problem you will most likely encounter in party situations that force you to switch back and forth between Light and Dark Arts alot.
==Strategems: An Overvieuw==
The following part will handle Strategems. The 4 basic strategems run parralell between Light Arts and Dark Arts, that is, they ar learned at the same level and have the same effect. The only exceptions are the Addendum strategems, wich I will handle seperately. The name on the left will be the Light Arts strategem, the one on the right the Dark Arts one.
You learn this strategem at level 10. When used, this strategem will half the MP cost of the next spell you cast in line with the the Arts you are in.
This strategem is handy for many reasons, but will become even handier at higher levels when you get access to high-MP costing spells such as Raise and Reraise. Another good way to use it is in conjunction with Accession/Manifestation to undo the double MP cost that strategem brings.
You learn this strategem at level 25. When used, this strategem halves the cast and recast time of the next spell you cast in line with the Arts you are in.
A strategem you'll most often use for those long casting spells like Raise, but also for those spells that have a long recast time like Klimaform. This is also one of it's greatest applications in conjunction with Manifestation (as Manifestation doubles the cast and recast timer also): More AoE Klimaforms, the mages in your party will love you for it.
You learn this strategem at level 40. When used, this strategem makes certain spells area of effect, at the cost of double MP, cast and recast timers. Please refer to the individual pages for a list of wich spells can be turned into AoE.
This is one of THE best strategems you have at your disposal, and one you will be using, ALOT. Just a small list of possible applications you will be using: AoE Protect, Shell and Cure (it's our own version of Protectra, Shellra and Curaga so to speak), AoE enspell (giving those melee in your party even more damage output, extremely effective on dual wielders), AoE Stoneskin (for that extra bit of protection), AoE Phalanx (handy when the mob you're fighting uses lots of physical AoE moves, or in endgame situations), AoE Erase (who needs Divine Veil when you have Accession?), AoE Klimaform (the only way to get Klimaform on anyone but yourself), AoE Storms (giving the mage in your pary that extra buff). Sadly, some spells that can NOT be AoEd are: Raise, Reraise and Nukes.
A very fun thing to mention on Accession: during Campaign Battles or Besieged Battles, using Accession and casting Protect, Shell or a Cure on a NPC will cause the spell to take effect on EVERYONE around the target. This can be increadibly handy, especially during Campaign where you can easily hit 20 players and NPCs in one shot this way. Keep in mind that for example casting Cure IV on that many people, and having it actually cure for the full amount, will draw MASSIVE hate towards you.
When you cast a spell that is not AoEable by the strategem, the strategem is not consumed and will remain untill used or when it wears off.
You learn this strategem at level 55. The effect of these two is similar, but expressed differently due to the nature of the spells they affect. Both are meant to increase the potency of a spell.
Rapture increases the potency of a Cure, Banish or Dia spells by 50%. It's our own half Divine Seal sort of speak. Although it works on Banish and Dia, be serious, you'll never use it for anything but a Cure spell.
Ebullience increases the potency of a Nuke, Helix, Bio, Drain and Aspir spell by 20%. Pretty much used to give your Nuke or Helix that extra bit of zing, or to Aspir or Drain that tidbit more.
When you cast a spell that is not boostable by the strategem, the strategem is not consumed and will remain untill used ot when it wears off.
You learn this strategem at level 10. This strategem is what I like to call Light Arts +1. When used it replaces the Light Arts effect and, while retaining all the effects of Light Arts, gives you access to White Mage specific spells such as status removing spells like Poisona and Erase, and to Reraise, Reraise II and Raise II. You do not need to use this strategem each time you wish to cast a spell of its added repertiore, the effect will remain untill you zone, it wears off (this takes 2 hours) or you use Dark Arts.
You learn this strategem at level 30. This strategem is what I like to call Dark Arts +1. When used it replaces the Dark Arts effect and, while retaining all the effects of Dark Arts, gives you access to Black and Red mage specific spells such as Sleep, Dispel and Tier 4 nukes. You do not need to use this strategem each time you wish to cast a spell of its added repertiore, the effect will remain untill you zone, it wears off (this takes 2 hours) or you use Light Arts.
OK so these Strategems are all fine and dandy, but how often can we use them? Well, unlike other Job Abilities, Strategems work with a Strategem Charge system. Depending on our level, we have a maximum number of Charges available to us. All the Charges will fully recharge over a 4 minute period. Using a Strategem consumes 1 Charge.
*From Level 10 to 29, we have 1 charge, wich will recharge every 4 minutes.
*From level 30 to 49, we have 2 charges, each one will take 2 minutes to recharge.
*From level 50 to 69, we have 3 charges, each one will take 1 minute 20 seconds to recharge.
*From level 70 onwards we have 4 charges, each one will take 1 minute to recharge.
==Abilities: Beyond Strategems==
As Scholar, Strategems are not the only Job Abilities you have at your disposal. Apart from your 2hr ability, you have 2 more handy Abilities.
===2HR Ability: Tabula Rasa
Tabula Rasa's effect is twofold: it sets the stored Strategem charges back to its maximum value, and allows strategem use free of charge for one minute, effectively allowing you to spam your strategems.
Learned at level 35, his ability makes you build up a store of MP by consuming HP. It does this at a rate of 2 HP/tic. When wearing the Scholar's Mortarboard
this rate is increased to 3HP/tic. This HP drain will prevent you from using /heal to recover HP and MP, however using Stoneskin
will allow you to /heal. The storing will continiue untill either:
*Sublimation is used again.
*Maximum Store is reached.
*HP drops below 50%.
The Maximum Store is 25% of your maximum HP, so races with high HP such as Elvaan and Galka will be able to benifit the most from this ability.
Wether or not the Storing is complete, when Sublimation is used again, the stored MP will be transfered into your MP pool. This effectively makes Sublimation our very own mini-Convert. Keep in mind however that you cannot have both the Refresh and Sublimation effect active on you at the same time.
Using Sublimation effectively takes some skill and is dependent on your playstyle and current situation. You can for example use it at the start of a fight, then use it again when the fight ends just before resting, making you have to rest less. Or, you can just let it charge to full and use the Store as an emergency MP supply. A good practice when going off to do something, wether it be XPing or fighting some NM, use Sublimation immediately to let it build up the Store, by the time the action starts you'll have a full Store.
Learned at level 65, this ability is the key to getting the most out of your Helix spells. As you will read further down, Helix spells are DoT spells, as in that they last for a certain time and will do a certain amount of damage every 6 seconds. Modus Veritas has the effect that it will halve the duration of the Helix spell currently affectinv the mob, but double the damage it does every 6 seconds. Your total damage will remain unchanged, but it will be done in half the time period! This ability stacks between multiple Scholars, so 2 Scholars using this ability together will make a Helix last 1/4 the time for 4 times the damage per 6 seconds. Using this ability thus allows you to shift Helix spells from DoT to streight nuke usage.
==Equipment: Your Artifact Armour==
If you've played any job you'll have noticed that more often than not Artifact Armour is all fine and dandy when you just get it, but pretty soon it'll get old and you'll get much better equipment at higher levels, leaving to you do without all but maybe one or two pieces of AF on you at all times, if any. Scholar however is different, our AF is actually very USEFUL, even at higher levels. Why? Because almost all pieces strengthen one of our basic abilities. One should also note that a Scholar does not get an Artifact Weapon. Instead, we get an Artifact Spell: Klimaform. I will go into more detail about Klimaform further down. An overvieuw:
Scholar Artifact headgear. You get to wear this at level 60. Gives some MP, a nice boost in INT and enhances Sublimation. The effect on Sublimation is that the Store rate increases to 3HP/tic, effectively speeding up the process by 150%. You'll be wearing this piece almost all the time, as the enhances Sublimation effect is very wanted, and the added INT is crucial for your nukes and Helix spells.
Scholar Artifact bodygear. You get to wear this at level 58. The bonus stats it gives are pretty average, its most important trait however is that it enhances your Dark Arts effect, giving a +15 skill to all skills affected by Dark Arts. This effectively raises the B+ rating you get in them to an A rating, making you that much more potent. You'll need it too to make those nukes and Helixes stick well. When in Light Arts you can switch this out for another piece of equipment at higher levels.
Scholar Artifact leg armour. You get to wear this at level 56. Gives a nice MP boost, minor enmity reduction, but the biggest trait here is that it enhances your Light Arts effect, giving +15 skill to all skills affected by Light Arts, effectively raising your B+ skill to an A rating. This makes landing White Magic enfeebles alot easier, and will make enhancing spells such as Enblizzard or Phalanx that much more potent. When in Dark Arts you can switch this out for another piece of equipment at higher levels, like Errant Slops
Scholar Artifact feet armour. You get to wear this at level 54. Bit MP, bit enmity reduction, but again its main trait is that it reduces spellcasting and recast time if Dark or Light Arts is active. This means we pretty much get our own little Fast Cast! Stacked with the Fast Cast
from Red Mage subjob this makes casting spells for us quite fast, and can be handy for spells with long recast times such as Klimaform. If you dont feel like you need the faster spellcasting, feel free to switch it out with another foot armour like Rostrum Pumps
at higher levels.
Scholar Artifact hand armour. You get to wear this at level 52. Some MP, some MND, bit enmity reduction. This is the "-20% spell interruption rate" equipment for Scholar, every mage has at least one piece of AF that gives this. All in all not that handy at higher levels, unless you really want the spell interrupt down effect. Reccomend switching it out for other gear at higher levels such as Yigit Gages
==Storms: The Power of Weather==
Ah yes, the Storms, your first series of Scholar-only spells. They are White Magic spells with a base MP cost of 30MP, and one exists for every element. What's the use of them you say? Well im sure you've noticed, or if you haven't you will know now, that the weather has an effect on the spells you cast, pretty similar to how elemental staves affect them, only for weather the effect does not always manifest. Light weather for example (Aurorastorm
) will give you a chance to have +10% cure potency, or Banish damage. Dark weather (Voidstorm
) gives a chance of 10% increased potency of spells like Drain
. The 6 main elemental Storms (like Hailstorm
) have a chance of increasing the damage of a corresponding nuke by 10%. Storms are not only for yourself though, your party memebers will love them too. Give a Black Mage Thunderstorm or Hailstorm to increase his nuke damage (Black Mages can even wear special Obis at high level to make the effect of the weather always manifest, so can we for that matter, but this is discussed in more detail below), give your Summoner friend a weather effect corresponding to the avatar he or she is using, give your White Mage Aurorastorm to further increase Cure potency, etc. That gear that nobody used before because the effects were only active in certain weather? Well let them use it now!
Weather effects however are not only used for potency in nukes or heals, as discussed below, Weather plays a very important role in the workings of Klimaform and Helix spells.
==Klimaform: Further Harnessing The Power of Weather==
Klimaform is your Artifact Spell, learned at level 46. It's a Black Magic spell with a base MP cost of 30 MP, recast time of 3 minutes and a duration of 1 minute. Naturally all of this will be 10% less because you'll be casting it with Dark Arts on I hope. Its effect is that when a person is under the Klimaform effect, all spells with the ellement corresponding to the current Weather effect around them will have its magic accuracy drasticly increased. This is of course very good news for yourself, as you can make sure your nukes or Helix spells get cast virtually unresisted, but it's the best news for your Black Mage and Red Mage party members. Black Mages will love you because not only will the Weather effect increase their spell potency, your Klimaform effect will increased the accuracy, making their nukes land extra hard on those tough to beat monsters! Likewise, Red Mages will be able to land those debuffs like Gravity, Bind or Sleep alot easier further down certain battles, as monsters build resistances to debuffs. There are however several downsides to Klimaform:
*By default, Klimaform can only be cast on yourself, therefore you have no choice but to use Manifestation to get it on party members, wich will double its already large recast time. The use of Parsimony is therefore recommended. It also forces party members that want Klimaform to gather around you.
*Klimaform only lasts for 1 minute, wich is shorter than you'd want it to last.
*Klimaform is a Black Magic spell, Weather spells are White Magic, you'll be changing back and forth between Arts alot if you wanna use Klimaform effectively.
==Helix: The Ultimate DoT==
Ah Helix spells, the second line of Scholar-only spells. They are Black Magic spells with a baste MP cost of 87 MP, and one exists for every element. They are DoT spells, but not in your common knowledge of DoT. For you see, Helix have a unique way of doing DoT:
*A Helix spell will do an initial amount of damage.
*Whatever this initial amount of damage is, will be repeated every 6 seconds for one minute.
In short: a Helix spell does 10 times its initial damage as total damage, over a period of 1 minute, not hard to calculate is it? Now, Helix spell damage is calculated as follows:
''((YourINT -1) - EnemyINT) + 25 * Weather Bonus * Magic Attack Bonus)''
Notice something? Yes, Weather! Weather has a very drastic effect on the potency of Helix spells, increasing its damage by 10% easily. INT is also a very key factor, so buff up on that INT to make that damage count! Remember, every 1 damage you squeeze more out of that initial damage will manifest itself as 10 damage over time!
As a spell, Helixes float somewhere between debuffs and nukes, as of such they get their strengths and weaknesses from both:
*Elemental staves have a very positive effect, increasing both accuracy and potency of the spell. Wear them when casting Helixes!
*They will benifit in their accuracy from Klimaform.
*Helixes can suffer from duration resist: the Helix will not last for the full 1 minute, making the total DoT less than what you'd expect.
*Helixes can suffer from damage resist: the Helix initial damage will be reduced, and in that way also the total damage, as it is that initial damage that is repeated.
To sum Helixes up in one sentence: They are DoT spells with the power of a nuke, therefore they are the Ultimate DoT.
As I have mentioned above, the Job Ability Modus Veritas
speeds up the DoT process.
==Support Jobs: Maximising Your Potency==
There is one thing you have probably noticed if you've looked at the Scholar spell list: although we have Cures, Protect, Shell and nukes, we have absolutely no way to protect ourselves or our party members, or to aid our party members beyond Storm spells, nor do we have enfeebling magics! Your subjob choice therefore should be to add to your spell repertiore what you lack:
The support job you'll most likely be using the most at high levels. Red Mage gives you access to Stoneskin (allowing you to rest with Sublimation on), Blink and Phalanx, along with enfeebles like Silence, Slow, Gravity and Blind. Furhtermore it grants access to Bar spells and Enspells, wich in conjunction with Accession will make your party VERY happy, heck almost all buffs you get will make your party members happy if you use it on them. It also grants you Fast Cast, Magic Attack Bonus, Magic Defence Bonus and a good boost in INT and MND. It also gives access to Dispel and Sleep without having to use Addendum: Black. In short, subbing RDM gives you about everyting you were lacking in Scholar.
The main perk of White Mage is that you wont have to use Addendum:White to gain access to all those status removing spells and Reraise and stuff. You also get Auto-Regen and Divine Seal, along with a nice boost in MND. The main perk of subbing WHM is that as you are leveling you will get Stoneskin and Blink earler than on Red Mage. Use this sub if you're at lower levels and planning to be healing alot.
Black Mage is the sub you'll want to use if you're nuking alot, or if you want to be able to Warp out of somewhere. It gives a nice boost in MP and INT, and gives Elemental Seal, but thats about it. Otherwise, go with Red Mage.
==Equipment: Optimising Your Abilities==
Apart from your Artifact Armour, there are some other things to discuss pertaining gear choices for endgame. One endgame set that can really help and is free and easy to get is the Yigit Gomlek Set
. The 2 main pieces you will want to get here are the feet and the hands since we can't use the Zenith or Nashira set. There are of course some general pieces of equipment that are always good to get: Tamas Ring
A good practice is to have 3 sets of equipment:
*A nuking set
*A healing and buffing set
*An enfeebling set
For the nuking set, you can use the Yigit feet and hands for the INT bonus and the Magic Attack Bonus
, for body and head you can use your AF, for legs there is always the Jet Seraweels
piece which gives you a good amount of INT. One of the most important things however are the Elemental Staves (as with any mage, use HQ if possible) and Obis. I'll go into more detail on Obis in the section further down. As Helixes and your nukes are based on Elemental Magic, boosting your Elemental Magic skill with things like the Elemental Torque
or Elemental Magic skill merits will help them out quite alot by reducing the resist rate. In short: focus on your Obis and Staves, statwise focus on INT, Magic Accuracy, Magic Attack and Elemental Magic skill. Try not to focus on one item too much, try to raise them all as they all play a very important role.
For the healing and buffing set, think White Mage. Buff up on your MP pool for the most part, items like Ether Ring
or Serket Ring
help alot, and of course wear your Light Staff
. If you wish you can buff up your Enhancing Magic, but as the only spells that really benifit from it will be Bar spells, it's usually not worth it.
As for the enfeebling set, keep in mind that we are not Red Mages, but we do have a naturally higher Enfeebling Magic skill, especially with our Artifact Legs equipped, so we are able to enfeeble better than a White Mage or a Black Mage. Try boosting your Enfeebling Magic skill with things like Enfeebling Torque
(or Spider Torque
if you're low on funds) and things like Enfeebling Magic merits. Throwing in some extra MND and INT cant hurt either to give that debuff that extra zing. Naturally, Magic Accuracy helps too (Balrahn's Ring
for example). All in all we can enfeeble pretty well, just remember to have Red Mage, White Mage or Black Mage support job to enfeeble, as we do not have our own native enfeebling magic spells.
==Weather At Full Power: The Obis==
As I have told you above, the Weather bonus you get on your magic does not always manifest and is rather random. There is however one way to make them active all the time: the Obis. They are obtained from the quest In the Name of Science
(requires far advancement in the Chains of Promathia storyline to get these, as you need to be ablle to access Al'Taieu), and will require quite some effort and time to aqcuire, but trust me when I say that they are worth it as they will significantly increase your damage power, allowing us Scholars to rival and in certain cases even surpass a Black Mage in raw damage potential.
Unlike Black Mages however who usually only get the Ice and Thunder Obi as these are their 2 primary nuking elements (this is because they have to focus on these 2 elements to exploit the full potential of their category 1 and 2 Merits, along with the fact that monsters are more often weak to these elements), us Scholars gain benifits from having all the Obis, as we can easily change the weather to suit the day, and elemental weakness of the monster, getting the most out of the Obi's power, and thus out of our nukes and Helixes.
An easy sum: +15% Damage from Elemental Staff, +10% Damage from the day, +10% damage from Weather, makes an easy +35% Damage to your spells! Even without the correct day, or if you dont have HQ staves, you will still squeeze at least 20% more damage out of those nukes and Helixes, something that is well worth it.
==Scholar: Your Role In A Party==
As a Scholar, you will probably be called upon to be main heal in your party as you're leveling, or backup heal at least. As you progress in levels however, your task will shift alot more to buffing up your party, especially once you gain access to Accession
, as you will be able to do things like give your party Stoneskin or Enblizzard. Once Helixes come into play you'll be able to nuke a bit too, but alas as you progress in levels the monsters die faster and faster, so the DoT properties of Helixes make them not suitable in such situations. Nuking will always be an option for you, even though you get your nuke spells much later than a Black Mage or a Red Mage. Endgame, your flexibility will truly shine, as you will be able to adjust to any situation that comes and whatever role you are needed in.
==Scholar Macros: Some Tips==
As with any mage, macros are key on Scholar too. Adding elemental staves to Helix nukes, quickly switching between Arts while equipping the right gear, etc. There is also one nasty thing about Scholar: some spells require an Addendum to cast, so you cant just put the spell in the macro. I solved it this way, take for example, Dispel:
'''/equip main "Dark Staff"'''
'''/ja "Addendum: Black" <me>'''
'''/ma "Dispel" <t>'''
This way, if you press the macro, you will automatically use Addendum: Black if it's not active yet. If it is you will just get the message "This effect is already active" and will not lose any Strategem Charges.
==Scholar vs Red Mage: What's The Difference?==
As a final word, I'd like to talk about the difference between Red Mage and Scholar, because some people tend to put them in the same basket.
Well let's start with the equalities:
*Both can use spells from the White Magic and Black Magic lines of spells effectively.
And thats where it ends people.
A Red Mage is an enfeebling monster, having access to the broadest array of enfeebling spells of any Job, they can also enhance like no other, with spells like Phalanx and Refresh. They excell at quick spellcasting and can stand their ground in a melee fight because they can wield daggers and swords quite effecitvely, and have acces to medium armour. This makes them an excellent job to do things solo.
Scholar on the other hand is much more mage-oriented. Although we can get enfeebles and enhancing magic from RDM sub, and we have access to a broader array of spells and possiblities Heal and Nuke-wise (Tier 4 nukes, Raise II, Regen II), and can get our own kind of Fast Cast, both from AF and RDM sub, we lack 2 things a RDM has:
*Melee Capabilities: We have a C+ rating at best, in Club and Staff, not exactly much to write home about.
*Solo Survivability: We're on par with Black Mage on that pretty much. We can use their strategies of Gravity, Bind, Sleep, Nuke to solo stuff, but thats about it.
*Quick Flexibility: When it comes to the pure spellcasting, we're better at it than a Red Mage because of our higher skillcaps (apart from enfeebling that is), MP cost reduction and things like the ability to cast Tier 4 Nukes while a Red Mage can only cast up to Tier 3. What we do lack however is the ability to quickly switch back and forth between casting White Magic and Dark Magic effecitvely, due to the recast timers on our Arts. A Red Mage can cast Slow, Blind, and Paralyze in that order, or Cure, Nuke, Cure, in that order, without problems or any effects on the potency. A Scholar could be faced with having to wait for the recast on Arts, or forced to cast the spell in the wrong Arts. For certain spells we are also forced to use an Addendum to acces them, making it take longer to be able to cast the spell.