Patch 3.0 AST vs WHM vs SCH Healer Research: Single Target Healing

Please Note: The data in this Research is partially outdated and not 100% correct anymore. There have been some changes with HW release and in the patches after. There will also be an update to AST in Patch 3.07 or 3.1 so this data will become incorrect. When the new changes are released, I will make a new research!


While I have been lazy with blog posts, I have been working on some Healer Comparison Charts. I was curious if AST was really waaaay behind SCH and WHM. Was it true what everyone said?

Please note that I will not go too deep into figures. I will have some figures but will not offer deep mathematically proven statements. Also, my AST is only lvl44, so I can’t speak how AST feels or is played at lv60, just judge from what I read and how the AST skills align. Please feel free to comment on anything.

First of all, AST has cards. No other healer has those cards. They add one of the following buffs to the party. Before pulling, they can store one card to use later. The Card abilities are all oGCD and should be weaved inbetween GCD spells. (Click to enlarge. It’s way too small.)

2015-07-17 AST Cards 3-05

EDIT: In Patch 3.05, the effects of some AST cards were changed. Especially the MP and TP refresh instead of reduced MP/TP costs are really nice. Now, AST can replace Bards and Machinists! /sarcasm

Here you can find out why you should never AoE Ewer card. (I guess it’s similar for Spire(TP))

Cards can be drawn every 30 sec (30 sec cooldown after a drawn card has been used) and last 15-20 sec. So you can have 1 buff active (on a selected/changing person) 50% of the fight.

Now it gets a bit more complex. Using “Royal Road”, you can transform a Card for a special effect: Next card is 150% potency or AoE with 50% potency or double duration. If you get super lucky, you could theoretically keep one person buffed for an entire fight with double duration. This doesn’t make sense as each card should be used on a specific role, depending on the effect and situation. Or you could have the whole party buffed 25% of the fight or for 15 sec every 60 sec.

Once you have mastered and learned all cards and their effects, we can go back to the healing topic.


2015-07-17 Stance

WHM gets Cleric Stance. You can read what it does. And because WHM is so nice, it shares it with the other healers.

AST gets two stances:
Diurnal Sect adds Regen effects and increases the attack speed by 5% which means cast time, recast time and auto attack.  Not too bad.
Nocturnal Sect adds shield effects and increases healing magic potency by 5%. Only healing spells are affected by this.  This effect might be an attempt to make up for the non existing healing magic potency buff ability which WHM and SCH have. It’s not working well as in Diurnal Sect, it’s gone and the regens are not affected.

There are Healing SPELLS and ABILITIES.

Both are affected by Cleric Stance. Get weaker while in Cleric Stance, you know.

Healing Spells cost MP, have cast time (or are instant cast lol), are buffed by healing potency+ and are GCD.

Healing Abilities cost no MP, are instant cast, are not affected by healing potency+ and are oGCD.

Single Target Healing spells and abilities

2015-07-17 Healing Single

My listings of potencies will be AST(Diur)/AST(Noct)/WHM/SCH. This is because AST gets a permanent 5% healing magic bonus in Noct Sect. 

The first single target spell
Benefic (Diur)/Benefic (Noct)/Cure/Physick.
380/399/400/400 potency.

This isn’t too bad. AST loses 20 potency here. In Noct Sect, AST has the same potency. 

The second single target spell
Benefic II (Diur)/Benefic II (Noct)/Cure II/nothing.

SCH actually has no single target spell with higher potency than Physick. Way to go SCH! LOL
Or not? SCH gets supported by his fairy, either Selene or Eos. Both have a healing spell with 300 potency. Even if you are busy, trying to save lives, the fairy will automatically support you – or you tell the fairy who to heal. Yes, the fairy Embrace is a spell and can be buffed. The fairy heal is less than half of the potency that AST and WHM get but the fairy doesn’t use MP and will cast while you evade or do mechanics or cast even something completely different. If you use your fairy smartly, you can make up for the lost potency.
Looking at WHM, Cure sometimes gives a free Cure II. This is very MP saving. During later analysis, we will see, that SCH has other means to get MP back, while AST has also to rely on its MP cost reduction card to save MP in tough situations or long fights.
EDIT: In addition, AST has a 15% chance when casting Benefic that Benefic II is an instant cast. Nice life saver or chain instant opportunity.
An AST in Noct Sect has actually a stronger potency than WHM! Did you expect that? I bet you didn’t. I find that really surprising and good!

Instant single target healing abilities:
Essential Dignity/Tetragrammation&Benediction/Lustrate

AST: The ability of AST is special. It looks really bad at first, as the tooltext only states 400 potency. But: The less HP the target has, the higher the potency of the ability! Isn’t that awesome? In a 1HP situation (like after Holmgang or Living Dead), its potency is 1000. Unfortunately, it has a 40s cooldown so it cannot be spammed but it’s still pretty useful and more often available than WHM’s Tetragrammation.

EDIT: Thanks to astril445 for adding this: I’ve noticed if you use Essential Dignity IMMEDIATELY after casting Benefic I/II it heals for the exact same amount as before the target was healed.

WHM: Tetragrammation can be used every 60s. Highest potency (except whem target has super low HP, then Ess.Dig. is better) and highest cooldown. Sounds fair. Also, WHM has Benediction: Animation locked and thus slightly delayed after pressing the ability, it will heal your target to full HP. Benediction is usually saved and only used as a life saver in life menacing situations while Tetragrammation can be used on normal pulls to quickly top up your Tank or DPS or yourself while evading something or inbetween Cures.

SCH: 1s cooldown. If you have Aetherflow stacks, you can spam this ability to quickly top up tanks. Be careful with your Aetherflow stack management though, in case you need MP or Sacred Soil, don’t waste them.
Sustain is just to keep your fairy alive – which she will do herself in non critical situations.

Summary: Each healer has their way of Overpowered single target healing. Each has an “Oh shit! someone is about to die!” heal to save someone. Kinda balanced I’d say while WHM’s Benediction is clearly the most OP tool in this category.

Single target healing spells with additional effects

2015-07-17 Healing Single Effect

There are only spells, no abilities here.

WHM and AST (Diur) have a regen effect. SCH and AST (Noct) have a shield effect.

Regen effect: From pure healing numbers, you can see from the chart that the WHM Regen has the highest potency. It has no initial heal, only ticks every 3 seconds. The AST spell “Aspected Benefic” has different effects depending on the Stance AST is using. In “Diurnal Sect”, Asp. Benefic will receive an additional regen effect to its initial heal of 190 potency. Still, it gets nowhere near WHM Regen. Also, Regen from different WHMs inside or outside your party does stack. Aspected Benefic does not stack with other Aspected Benefics. They overwrite each other, doesn’t matter which has a stronger potency from buffs.

Shield effect: Aspected Benefic (Noct) gets a healing bonus from Noct Sect so the potency is actually 262,5. 
The shield is as strong as the HP healed. AST (Noct) as several disadvantages:
1) The healing potency of its shield is by 37,5 potency weaker. So the shield is weaker too.
2) When SCH crits a heal, the shield will shield double the healed HP. AST does not have this.
3) AST shield and SCH shield do not stack. So when paired up with a SCH, AST should never use Nocrutnal-Shield-Mode as he would overwrite a crit Adloquium.


Single target healing spells are quite balanced except for Aspected Benefic. Asp. Benefic sucks as regen or as shield spell. It can’t stack and gets nowhere near the power of WHM and SCH.

I assume, AST is supposed to make up for this with its cards or something. Spoiler: They don’t.

My rating:

17-07-2015 Rating Heal Single

2015-07-17 Rating how to read


2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Akhe
    Jul 20, 2015 @ 11:04:15

    Riiko has shown a different side of herself I never saw before. Good Job Riiko! This is an impressive piece of work.



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