I reached level 80 with AST at last, and did some endgame content!
But wait! Before I tell you all about that, for those AST who are strugging to heal ShB dungeons, don't give up. Because at level 74, you obtain what might be the most overpowered ability you have: Celestial Intersection.
In Diurnal sect, this gives a 200 potency heal and 400 potency shield (effectively 600 potency healing)... every 30s! Yes, a free, huge shield every thirty seconds! For comparison, WHM's tetragrammaton is only 700 potency every 60s. In Nocturnal Sect, the effect is a powerful regen, which is arguably even stronger.
In fact, I would suggest to wait until level 74 before doing Dohn Mheg, because having Celestial Intersection makes healing the double pulls there 500 times easier.
I healed the remaining ShB dungeons, and did a Copied Factory for practice. Even in poor gear, I did not find any real challenge. While multitasking and quick thinking are required to manage cards well, I felt the healing part was very easy. I was curious, perhaps it is just my teammates who are good at avoiding mechanics?
Of course, it is not fair to claim that the game is easy unless we are actually playing difficult content. So, I opened some of my Savage coffers to raise my ilvl to 465, and joined an E1S clear party.
I was very confident: after all, I have cleared this many times as a tank, and am well aware of all the problem spots and where mitigation is needed. Being 25 ilvls overgeared and armed with the raid weapon from Titan, I thought to myself, how hard can this be? Well, you can see for yourself how well the first pull went:
...I died... it was horrible...
Let's just say this permanently cured me of my elitism. I was not even able to do the proper AST opener, which gives out 5 cards + divination at the start.
I gained a new respect for healer in Savage. It's really not easy. Maybe it is my inexperience at the role, but I found tanking simpler by far.
After 80 levels, I am still unsure if I like the healing role. I miss the mobility I had as a tank, and playing healer feels like being permanently stuck in the Stormblood PLD's spellcasting phase, haha.
I am definitely not yet qualified to heal in Savage, but at least I can do casual content no problem with it, and it's something to play when friends or FC mates want to tank instead. I think I learned a little more of how to work with a healer, and understand better the stress new healers feel when learning Savage for the first time.
I guess that ends my healing journey! Remember to use your ogcd's, do not save them for emergencies, and always be casting something!