Dun Scaith is a 24-player alliance raid for level 60 characters introduced in The Far Edge of Fate (Part I), patch 3.5 of Final Fantasy XIV.
It is the third and final installment in the series of Mhachi raids that began with The Void Ark and continued through The Weeping City of Mhach. It requires an item level of at least 235 to enter, and the three parties of the alliance are in what has been standard alliance raid configuration since Syrcus Tower in A Realm Reborn: one tank, two healers, five DPS.
The raid drops item level 260 gear (which, at the time of writing, players are limited to acquiring one piece of per week) along with the Paladin glamour weapon Blood Sword, a Wind-Up Scathach minion, a Diabolos Hollow Triple Triad card, and Void Matter, an item needed to craft a few Dun Scaith-related housing items.
Dun Scaith gets immediately underway with a boss fight against Deathgaze Hollow, who knocks the railings off your airship and apparently isn’t all that happy about you showing up with the intention to invade his mistress’ lair.
This is a fight with a number of important mechanics that you need to pay close attention to. The lack of railings also means it’s possible to fall off and immediately KO yourself, though unlike many other similar situations in the game it’s possible to be Raised even if you fall.
Void Death: Probably the first mechanic you will encounter, Void Death will summon a large purple AoE in the middle of the arena and will draw everyone in twice. You need to be out of the circle by the time Deathgaze Hollow’s cast time for Void Death finishes, otherwise you will suffer an immediate KO.
Void Aero II: Several players will be marked with green AoE markers that move with them. After a few seconds, they will drop a tornado where they were standing. The targets of Void Aero II should move to the edges of the arena to put the tornadoes well out of the way of the rest of the alliance.
Void Aero III: After casting Void Aero III, Deathgaze Hollow will drop a large swirling green AoE in the middle of the arena. After a few seconds, this whirlwind will KO anyone standing in it and knock everyone else backwards without damage. To avoid being knocked off, stand facing the whirlwind looking along the long direction of the arena — in other words, with your back to one of the barriers at either end of the deck. You’ll be knocked into the barrier and remain safe.
Later in the fight, Deathgaze Hollow will rise up out of the clouds and start casting a Darkness beam attack while Aero III’s whirlwind is in the middle of the arena. When this happens, follow the same process, but move to the end of the deck where Deathgaze Hollow is not floating to avoid being afflicted with a Bleeding debuff.
Void Blizzard IV: Shortly after casting Void Blizzard IV, two (first time) or one (second time) pulsing AoE markers will show where the spell’s icebergs will land. Move to the opposite side of the deck to the pulsing marker to avoid being crushed by them, but keep your back to where the iceberg lands, as shortly afterwards a deck-covering Aero AoE will knock everyone backwards. You need to position yourself so when you’re knocked back you will be stopped from falling off by the iceberg.
Void Death IV: As the fight progresses, Deathgaze Hollow will drop square markers on the deck, eventually covering the entire deck if the raid’s DPS is too low. These are harmless most of the time, but when they begin to pulse purple and Deathgaze Hollow casts Void Death IV, they will kill anyone left standing in them when the spell fires.
Doom: Healers need to watch out for this; two people in each party in the alliance will be afflicted with Doom, which needs to be Esunaed off. Unlike Angra Mainyu’s Mortal Gaze attack in World of Darkness, this can’t be dodged by looking away.
The final boss of Amdapor Keep (Hard) finally makes his return with a bunch of new mechanics. Atomos also put in an appearance here, because it wouldn’t be an alliance raid without numerous Atomos giving the group grief.
Ferdiad Hollow has a couple of tankbusters and cone AoEs that are easily avoided or mitigated. Watch out for the Voidsent signature move of dropping hard-to-see spinning swords on the ground; avoid these to keep your healers happy.
The key mechanic in this fight is Wormhole.
Wormhole: Ferdiad Hollow will summon four Atomos — two blue, two gold — and one of two shapes in front of him: either a swirling set of two brown-gold rings, or a pulsing ball of lightning. The shape will tether to one of the Atomos; this indicates which one it is going to go into, and shortly after entering that Atomos it will emerge from its matching partner. If the shape is the brown-gold swirling rings, you will want to move to the destination Atomos. If the shape is the lightning ball, you will want to move away from the destination Atomos. The reason for this is that immediately after emerging the shape will cast an almost-instant AoE: a ring with a safe central area for the brown-gold swirling rings, or a large solid circle for the lightning ball. There is no time to move out of this AoE when the telegraph appears, so you will need to be in position ahead of time.
In the second half of the fight (after the add phase), Ferdiad will launch two shapes instead of just one. If one or both are the brown-gold swirling rings, go to the destination Atomos. If both are the lightning balls, move to the “safe zone” — the opposite side of the arena to where the four Atomos are spread out — to safely dodge both circle AoEs.
Add phase: Ferdiad Hollow will become untargetable and launch numerous Atomos out from himself. Stand between two Atomos to avoid being hit. At this point, simply knock down all the Jesters as quickly as possible, taking care to avoid their AoEs and watching out for a Petrification gaze attack that can be avoided by turning away. Occasionally the remaining Jesters will jump into an Atomos before being launched back out somewhere else, so keep an eye on their positions.
Q-Bert phase: Ferdiad Hollow will afflict the entire raid with a debuff reducing either its fire or water resistance, and numerous coloured circles will spawn on the floor. These circles need to be changed to the opposite colour of your debuff by stepping in them: if you have Fire Resistance Down, the circles should be changed to blue; if you have Water Resistance Down, the circles should be changed to red. The more circles that are the “wrong” colour when Ferdiad’s cast finishes, the more damage everyone will take. You can get away with one or two mistakes, but try to nail this. It’s best to assign just a few people to this duty to minimise accidental interference.
Blackfire: Circle AoEs will drop on various characters and gradually expand as Ferdiad Hollow’s cast time proceeds. Quickly determine where the safe spot is likely to be based on the position of the circles and make your way to that location.
The main challenge with Scathach is that many of her attacks aren’t telegraphed in the typical manner, so you’ll need to pay attention to her animations and prepare accordingly.
Thirty Thorns: This is likely the first troublesome attack you’ll run into. Scathach will cleave the tank, then trigger an almost-instant circle AoE around herself, inflicting Vulnerability Up on everyone still in melee range. When you see the tank take the initial hit, move away from Scathach to avoid the follow-up AoE.
This large circle AoE is repeated whenever Scathach jumps to another location. Resist the temptation to pursue her immediately until she has fired off this attack.
Shadowspin: Scathach’s ribbon will grow very large and extend out to either side of her. Stand in front or behind of the ribbon (so it’s extending out to the left and right of you) to avoid the enormous, almost-instant double cone AoE that will follow shortly after.
Shadowthrust: Similarly, if Scathach’s ribbon gathers in front of her (also marked with a swirling circular pattern behind her) stand to one side of her to avoid an enormous untelegraphed line AoE.
Shadow Links: As soon as the floor flashes orange and you get a message about “shadows gathering”, stop moving. You can continue attacking if you’re in range, but don’t move. If you do move, you’ll be afflicted with Shadow Links, which deals heavy damage over time and slows you for a short period. This will often kill you, particularly when followed up by Thirty Souls, which it usually is.
Thirty Souls: Raidwide unavoidable damage. Heal through.
Thirty Arrows: A series of arrows will drop in a circular pattern before radiating out line AoEs in all directions. These are simple enough to avoid.
Connla: Scathach will spawn an add which must be tanked away from her to avoid buffing her — a tether will appear if you’re too close. Connla hits extremely hard, so healers should pay special attention to the tank handling him, but otherwise his low HP pool means that he’s generally dispatched quickly if the alliance is paying attention.
Shadow Limbs: Scathach will summon two adds that will tether to two random players. If the tethered players turn away, the adds will quickly approach and kill them before tethering to someone else. Remain facing them if you are tethered, and kill them as quickly as possible.
Particle Beam: The floor markers from Cloud of Darkness’ Particle Beam attack will occasionally spawn around the outside and in the centre of the room. One person should be in each of these to mitigate the damage to the raid; an occupied marker will have a blue circle around it, so no-one else needs to get into it at this point.
Cocoon of Light: Scathach will become untargetable and encase herself in a cocoon of light, then spawn several waves of adds. First will come a large ring of weak adds similar to Ferdiad’s Jesters, then three Chimera Poppets that are mostly harmless, and finally a full-on Chimera, complete with its usual Voice attacks. These can be Silenced or otherwise handled in the usual way: get in close to avoid the doughnut-shaped Dragon’s Voice, get away to avoid the close-range circle AoE of Ram’s Voice. Scathach will use her ultimate ability when this phase is over, with damage increasing if any adds were left over.
Following the DPS check of the Cocoon of Light phase, most of Scathach’s mechanics will repeat until she is defeated.
This is it: time to take down the big bad behind all this trouble! Diabolos will use a lot of familiar mechanics from his first appearance in the Lost City of Amdapor, though thankfully his doors are much more straightforward to deal with this time around.
Most of Diabolos’ attacks are easy enough to deal with; make sure to turn away from the gaze attack of Nightmare, though.
Void Call: The main mechanic in the Diabolos fight is the fact he summons a number of gates, which will start casting Void Call as soon as they appear. These gates must be destroyed before their cast time completes to avoid problems.
Lifegate: Two small gates and one big gate (the Lifegate) will spawn. Destroy the two smaller gates first, then wail on the Lifegate, defeating it three times in quick succession before Diabolos charges his aether in order to reflect his dark magic back on him.
Diabolos understands how final bosses work: “behold my true form” and all that. This fight will begin with him enjoying the benefits of a buff that not only makes him completely immune to damage, it guarantees critical hits. Healers need to keep on top of the main tank’s HP during this phase, while everyone else needs to pull out all the stops to break through Diabolos’ shield and be able to inflict damage on him. Don’t be deterred by all the zeroes popping out of Diabolos; the shield will eventually break and his HP will start getting chipped away.
Shadowthrust: This works in the same way as Scathach: watch for the animation indicating this attack is about to go off (“ribbons” flapping in front of Diabolos, a large circular magic pattern behind him), then don’t be standing in front when it does.
Particle Beam: These markers also show up from Scathach’s fight: handle them in the same way by having one person per marker to mitigate their damage.
Earthshaker: Much like its appearance in Turn 4 of the Final Coil of Bahamut, Earthshaker will mark two players with a swirling marker over their heads, and after a moment shoot out a line AoE from Diabolos to them. Unlike Bahamut’s version of this move, only one line shoots out, however, so simply bait this away from the rest of the alliance.
Void Call: Gates return from the previous phase and must be destroyed. In order to destroy the big gate, a number of players must go inside and defeat the add within. Keep this to one of the three alliances at most to ensure people are left outside to deal with the small gates.
Stack Gaze: A player will be marked with the typical “stack” marker (inward-pointing arrows) but they will be purple instead of the usual orange. The alliances should stack as normal, but also ensure they are facing away from the target of the move, as they will be the source of a gaze attack at the same time. More conventional orange stack markers are also used in this battle, so make sure you stack on the target to spread the damage as much as possible.
Once Diabolos Hollow is down for the count, grab your loot and enjoy the cutscenes.
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