There are few things in FFXIV that will give you greater satisfaction than conquering a Deep Dungeon. If you like the idea of a tough personal challenge, there are two of these duties to check out: Palace of the Dead and Heaven on High. These coliseum style dungeons pit you against floor after floor of increasingly difficult enemies, and can be attempted either alone or with a party.
You’ll have to deal with a wide variety of monsters, traps, enchantments, and bosses in order to progress, but you can be rewarded for your efforts with experience, gil, tomestones, cosmetic items, and even a few prestigious titles.
Aside from being a personal accomplishment, these Deep Dungeons are also used by players as an option to quickly group up with each other and grind out some combat experience to level their alt jobs. Levelling up inside the Deep Dungeon also gives you a glimpse at what your Job is going to look like at higher levels, since you’ll be able to play around with your higher level actions.
In this post I’ll cover what you can expect when entering a Deep Dungeon, how players tackle them cooperatively, what kinds of rewards you can grind for, and several specific tips when it comes to adventuring safely and efficiently inside.
Unlocking Deep Dungeons
Palace of the Dead (PotD)
Palace of the Dead is the first Deep Dungeon, located in South Shroud at Quarrymill, for combat Jobs level one and up. It’s unlocked via the level 17 quest ‘The House That Death Built‘ in Gridania. It requires a little bit of MSQ progression, specifically making it past the early MSQ dungeon Copperbell Mines.
You can enter PotD by speaking to the Wood Wailer Expeditionary Captain in South Shroud at Quarrymill [25.2, 20.6], and it’s available to any combat job starting from level one. Note that if you enter as a Class, you won’t have access to the corresponding Job‘s actions. So, levelling up here below level 30 could be a little bit boring.
The experience you get at the end of a run scales with your level. Practically speaking, you’ll want to level up using other exp sources at first since the early levels fly by in no time at all. I’d recommend at least level 15 before the time spent in PotD is worth the experience gain.
Heaven on High (HoH)
Heaven on High is the Deep Dungeon located in the Ruby Sea at Onokoro for combat Jobs level 61 and up. It’s unlocked by completing the level 61 quest ‘Knocking on Heaven’s Door‘ in the Ruby Sea. You’ll need to have done the MSQ ‘Tide Goes In, Imperials Go Out’, right after the Pool of Tribute trial. An extra requirement for this one is that you’ll need to have cleared floor 50 of Palace of the Dead.
You can enter HoH by speaking to Kyusei in The Ruby Sea at Onokoro [21.4, 9.3]. Remember that you need to be at least level 61 to enter, not 60.
Side note: I used to get confused on which Ruby Sea teleport was which, between Tamamizu and Onokoro. Now I remember by thinking of “Heaven ‘On-okoro’ High”, and I know that’s the Northern aetheryte to go to for Heaven on High access.
Solo vs Party (Matched or Fixed)
You’ve got a few options on how to run these duties, so let’s look at whether you want to enter a deep dungeon on your own, or if you should queue with (or be matched with) a party.
Unlike regular dungeons, there’s no unsynced option for deep dungeons where you can run it at a high level on your own and just blast through grabbing all the loot for yourself. So, going solo will just be more difficult and dangerous than with a party. When I was a newer player I thought that the off-peak queue time for PotD was taking too long, so I just went in solo. Definitely not a wise move, and I was thoroughly trounced.
Solo runs can go south very quickly if you step on a trap or trigger a mimic because you have no teammates to back you up, or to revive you if you go down. Extra stats on your aetherpool gear will become very important, as will a more cautious approach to how you tackle the dungeon.
What’s more is that there’s a very narrow incentive for choosing to enter alone. Since I was new and just trying to level, there was no reason to put myself at such a disadvantage because I had almost nothing to gain from a solo attempt. Solo runs are typically done for a personal challenge, a measure of esteem by placing on the leaderboards, or to obtain the exclusive title for reaching specific high level floors all by yourself.
There are titles for reaching level 100 and 200 in PotD, and a title for reaching level 100 in HoH. In all cases you have to do it in a single save file with no deaths. This doesn’t have to be done all in one sitting of course; the dungeon is divided in sections of ten floors each. Your progress saves after each set and you can come back and tackle the next floors later, but a failure at any point will leave you ineligible for these titles, and you’ll need to begin a new attempt all the way back at floor one.
You’ll want to come prepared for a serious solo attempt, so consider using one of your Potsherds to purchase some potions to help you out.
If your goal is simply to use deep dungeons as a quick-queue option for levelling a job, then a matched party is a more sensible option. Fixed parties would work as well, but it’s usually not necessary to search for a group before queuing, since the Duty Finder queue is often active enough. In my scenario mentioned above when I was new, all I was looking for was combat experience for an alt job, so waiting for the party to fill would have been the much more efficient option, in terms of time and effort.
To be matched up quickly with other players in queue, you’ll want to select the right starting floor (once you unlock it by reaching that floor at least once). If you’re levelling a job below level 60, you’ll want to use PotD, and select floor 51. That’s the most efficient experience/time and is what other players will be queuing for. If you’re levelling a job 61+, HoH is the appropriate choice, and your levelling floor set will start at level 21.
Since you’re queueing for the same set of floors repeatedly, you’ll have to have a clear save slot each time, as it will remember that save slot as being ready to move on to the next set of floors. Just select ‘Reset your progress’ and then use it to queue up again.
If the job you’re levelling is still below level 15 or so, you won’t get very efficient experience gains here, and I would actually recommend doing your class’ hunting log, class quests, and FATEs instead. These will level you up quickly due to the armory bonus, especially if you have experience enhancing equipment such as the brand-new ring, friendship circlet, or aetheryte earrings.
While we’re on the subject of these items, keep in mind that experience-boosting equipment doesn’t work in Deep Dungeons. They only affect individual mob experience gains, and the mobs in Deep Dungeons don’t give you any experience in the first place. You’re getting all your experience here at the end by clearing the duty.
Fixed Party (a.k.a. Premade Party)
Deep Dungeons have a few cool reward items that may drop from treasure coffers inside. The rewards inside are random, so it can take some time farming in order to obtain what you’re after. Some of these items only drop from high level floors, so it will take time and interest to get there. A fixed party is often the best choice because you’ll all want to be on the same page about how far you’re going, and what your goals are. Try using the Party Finder or a discord server for your Data Center to search for other interested players.
Make sure you and your group are on the same page about your goals and your time commitment. If you’re trying to get to high level floors (150+) of PotD for example, that’s going to take a significant amount of time, even starting from floor 51. A party I recently joined in party finder took about 6 hours to get from 51-190. If you want to plan one long session or several short sessions, just make sure everyone’s aware and available, because you need to keep the same party to make progress from floor to floor.
You can also discuss whether you’re going to be fully exploring each floor’s map, and how thoroughly you’re going to check for gold and silver treasure chests. It can also be helpful for one person to be in charge of the Pomanders, but that’s not a hard and fast rule needed for every group.
In this window you’ll see your Job, Experience needed to level up (inside the dungeon), Aetherpool Arm and Armor levels, Pomanders in your inventory, active Pomander effects, and Accursed Hoards collected.
I try to keep this visible at all times so that I can click on Pomanders immediately, and keep an eye on active item effects like Intuition. The keybind to toggle this window on and off is the same one you use to open your Character screen. Or, from the main menus: Character > Character.
The map of each floor will only show rooms that you (or a party member) have already entered. The Flag denotes the starting room (safe from monster spawns). Your current location is marked by a large oval arrow, and your party members appear as small dots. You can also see on the map which rooms have different treasure chests in them, so keep an eye out if you’re looking to open gold or silver chests.
If you use a Pomander of Sight, you’ll immediately reveal the floor’s entire map (and you’ll be able to see traps on the floor, too). If you’re the type to aim for a high score, note that fully revealing a floor’s map will earn you bonus points.
Cairn of Passage
In order to proceed to the next floor, you’ll need to slay a certain number of enemies. Then you’ll receive a message saying the Cairn of Passage is open, and you can navigate to that room. It’s marked on the map with a key, which will light up when it’s activated. Stand by the cairn to teleport to the next floor.
It’s not the same number of enemies each time; there’s a range and you could get lucky or unlucky from floor to floor. Use a Pomander of Flight to reduce the required number for the next floor.
Cairn of Return
If you’re in a party and you don’t happen to have a healer (or the healer died), you can raise all party members by using the Cairn of Return. It’s marked on the map as a sort of…plant looking thing. It will have to be activated first by slaying a certain number of enemies, just like the Cairn of Passage.
This cairn usually doesn’t see a whole lot of use. A fixed party will often have a healer, and a matched party will usually be doing easy enough floors that people rarely die. Even if they do die, you can just use a Phoenix Down (which drops from bronze coffers) instead of running to the cairn.
Whenever someone asks how to level an alternate job quickly, PotD and HoH are very common suggestions given for DPS players. The reason is because these deep dungeons don’t require a typical light party composition (1 Tank, 1 Healer, 2 DPS). Since your role doesn’t affect your queue time, DPS jobs don’t have to wait the typical 15+ minutes just to get into the duty.
I don’t see Tanks and Healers using deep dungeons for levelling as frequently, probably because they already enjoy fast queues for appropriate level dungeons. As a side note, dungeons actually give better experience as long as you’re doing the one closest to your job’s current level, because you get experience for every enemy you kill, which can be further boosted by food, scroll, and FC buffs as well as the Armory Bonus.
I suppose if you just wanted to level up a Tank or Healer without the stress of your party depending on you to perform your role, deep dungeons would fill that niche as well. Just be aware that you won’t be gaining much practical experience on how to play a job, because the nature of combat in deep dungeons is drastically different from typical dungeons, trials, and raids.
While it may not be your primary source of Tomestones, entering as a level 50+ job will reward you between 10-50 Tomestones of Poetics upon completion. The amount earned depends on the specific set of floors, with the earliest entry floors giving the least, and the ‘milestone’ floors 50 and 100 giving the most. If you’re running floors 51-60 of PotD for quick combat experience, you’ll gain 30 Poetics.
Pretty much every activity in this game gives you some gil, and this is no exception. For example, the set of floors 51-60 in PotD gives you 2000 gil. It’s not that much for the time spent, but it’s something.
There are a bunch of rare items that are only obtainable from deep dungeon ‘loot boxes’, including mounts, minions, hairstyles, emotes, and chocobo bardings. Some of these can be obtained from the marketboard, but many cannot.
The two primary ways of earning your desired loot are going to be Banded Coffers (lootboxes) and Potsherds (tokens).
Banded Coffers (The Accursed Hoard)
You’ll find Banded Coffers inside the dungeon, mostly by using Pomanders of Intuition. The higher level the floor, the fancier the coffer, and the more likely it is to contain rare items. You can discover expensive barding and glamour equipment, but expect a fair amount of silly fireworks as well.
You’ll have these hauls appraised by an NPC just outside the respective Deep Dungeon in order to collect your spoils. The Expedition Bishop will handle your PotD loot, and the Confederate Appraiser will help you with HoH treasure.
Gelmorran and Empyrean Potsherds
Potsherds are tokens you’ll obtain from the dungeons which can be exchanged for items of your choice. You’ll earn a Gelmorran Potsherd each time you clear floor 50 of PotD, and an Empyrean Potsherd each time you clear floor 30 of HoH. You can also find these Potsherd in bronze coffers inside their respective dungeons.
You’ll spend Gelmorran Potsherds outside PotD with E-Una-Kotor, and spend Empyrean Potsherds with the Confederate Custodian outside HoH. Minions, mounts, orchestrion rolls, emotes, and materia are some of the things you can buy.
You can also exchange one Potsherd for a supply of potions to use inside the dungeon, which give you a temporary regen effect. Sustaining Potions for PotD and Empyrean Potions for HoH. These are invaluable for those players attempting serious solo runs.
There are two categories of titles. The lesser talked about titles are much easier to get since all you need is a clear of a specific floor. You can be in a party (you’d want a fixed party, assembled before entering), and you don’t have to start from the first floor.
The titles most players are interested in are those where you have to take on the challenge of a long solo run without failing any sets along the way.
|Palace of the Dead||Title|
|Clear floor 100||‘…Hero of Gelmorra’|
|Solo floors 1-100||‘Lonely Explorer…’|
|Solo floors 1-200||‘…The Necromancer’|
|Heaven on High||Title|
|Clear floor 30||‘Hiruko Hunter…’|
|Clear floor 100||‘Heavenly Gate Crasher…’|
|Solo floors 1-100||‘Lone Hero…’|
Deep dungeons are also an opportunity to stroke your ego a bit by comparing your scores to other players on your data center. There are leaderboards for both PotD and HoH. You’ll find the solo rankings divided by job, which you navigate by clicking on the pixel art style job icons.
There are party rankings as well, open to anyone who enters with a premade party, but it seems like those spots aren’t really sought after competitively.
There are a few general practices you can do in order to increase your score. Some bonuses in a nutshell: kill more enemies, open more treasure chests, reveal the whole map for each floor, and complete each set within 30 minutes.
Mob Aggro & Movement
You need to slay a certain number of enemies on each floor in order to open the path to the next level. However, you don’t usually need to completely clear the floor of enemies. If the Cairn of Passage is already open, you can try to get there without any further fighting. Avoiding battles can be a useful skill that saves you time finishing your set, and minimizes the risk of making a critical mistake while in combat. This is especially true for solo play.
To avoid combat when prudent, you should know there are three different types of ways a mob can notice and ‘aggro’ you. There’s no visual indicator that tells you which aggro type a particular mob is, so you’ll probably get caught by surprise from time to time. For less dangerous foes it won’t matter too much, but as you get more practice climbing through floors you’ll remember the nasty enemies who aggro you when you thought you were safe. I would say just don’t expect to have a perfect run your first time out.
Standard practice is to travel through the rooms by hugging the walls, and fighting one monster at a time, and healing up before you do just about anything slightly risky.
This is a really common one for most mobs you’ll encounter when you’re just starting out. The lower level floors are likely to contain mobs that aggro you if you move into their field of vision. Think of it like a cone from the center of their hitbox out in front of them. You’ll have to watch where these mobs are facing to avoid them.
Keep in mind that mobs will turn and walk in a direction periodically, so if you haven’t seen one move in the last few moments, be ready for it to turn, in which case it could spot you as you’re trying to sneak behind it. ‘Patrolling’ mobs follow a different moving pattern, since they’re pretty much always moving from room to room.
This is the next most common aggro type. For these mobs, it doesn’t matter if you’re moving behind them or in front. Simply stepping too close to them will cause them to notice you and attack. Keeping to the edge of the room can help stay far enough away from these enemies. Unfortunately, if something is blocking the doorway to the next room, you’ll have to wait for it to move away, or fight through it.
This is a slightly less frequent type of enemy, especially on lower floors. It’s similar to proximity aggro except you can still avoid combat by toggling your movement to ‘walk’. The default keybind for this toggle is NUM/ for mouse & keyboard users. If you’re playing on a controller, hold down the B button while using the left analog stick to ‘walk’.
Remember that even if you’re creeping around at a ‘walk’, or even standing still, a sound-aggro mob can still notice you if you make direct contact with each other. While sneaking past, be alert of when they move around so you don’t collide with them.
Most mobs will stay within a single room of the floor until they aggro a player, and then will chase them down to the death. You can use this to your advantage by picking your battles and drawing enemies out to fight one by one in the hallways or the starting room. Quick side note here: Monk is the only Job that doesn’t have a ranged ability, making it a little bit trickier to select and pull a single mob.
Enemies can trigger certain floor traps as well, like the Landmine. This can be handy in niche situations to deal large amounts of damage to a group, but it can also be dangerous, for example if a nearby enemy triggers an explosion as it approaches you, leaving you suddenly low on health.
There are certain enemies that will ‘patrol’ the rooms of the Deep Dungeon, wandering from room to room. These can be dangerous, as they can sometimes force you into battle before you’re necessarily ready. It’s recommended to deal with patrols first if you can, because taking on multiple enemies can be dangerous at high levels, even for a group.
In general, you want to check each treasure chest you see, but don’t do it while you’re in combat. The chest may be booby-trapped and could explode, dealing high damage, or reveal itself to be a mimic, which is a dangerous enemy you’ll need to focus on. There are several different types of chests you can encounter.
These are often skipped over, as they’ll usually contain items like potions or a phoenix down. However, they can sometimes contain Potsherds, which are used to buy reward items from the vendors outside the Deep Dungeon. Gelmorran Potsherds drop from Palace of the Dead, and Empyrean Potsherds drop from Heaven on High. You may also want to open Bronze Coffers if you’re trying to score points for a solo leaderboard run, but remember they still carry the risk of being trapped chests.
These chests are very important if you haven’t maxed out your Aetherpool for your weapon and armor yet, since these chests can increase one of those values by a single point.
If your current Aetherpool level is much higher than the floor you’re on, it’s likely that you’ll get the message saying your Aetherpool remains unchanged. To keep powering up, you’ll have to open silver chests on more challenging floors to get those higher levels of Aetherpool. Could be a good reason to get a fixed party together and climb those floors.
Even if your Aetherpool is maxed, in Heaven on High you should still prioritize these chests when you see them, because they can contain Magicite, a consumable item like Pomanders, but more powerful.
Actually the most common type of chest, these will contain Pomanders, which you’ll be relying on to make your way safely through the dungeon. If you are already carrying the maximum (3) number of a particular Pomander, you’ll return it to the chest, unused.
Consider using one of that Pomander right away since it’s essentially a free use. Then you can open the chest again to immediately refill your supply. Depending on the map layout, you might also want to leave the Pomander inside and do this on your way back. This can give you an extra couple of minutes’ use if you already have an active Pomander of Strength or Steel buff for example.
Banded Coffer (Accursed Hoard)
These are hidden chests that may or may not be present on each floor. If you stand on their location for a couple seconds, they’ll reveal themselves. While it’s possible for you to find them by accident, most of the time you’re going to have to use a Pomander of Intuition to reveal their location. You’ll be alerted with a message if the floor contains the hidden chest. It won’t be marked on the minimap, but on your screen it will look like a glowing golden post.
These treasures are special because they drop loot boxes that you actually open outside of the deep dungeon. The low level ones mostly contain ‘junk’ like fireworks, or mid level materia. However, you might get some rarer stuff like minions, glamours, and even some orchestrion rolls, mounts, and hairstyles. Some of these can fetch a lot of gil on the marketboard.
|Palace of the Dead||Sack|
|Heaven on High||Sack|
Pomanders are consumable items you’ll find in treasure chests. You can hold three of each type, and you can see your Pomanders in your character window. I recommend keeping that window visible at all times in case you need to quickly use a Pomander in an emergency.
Pomander of Affluence
“Increases the number of treasure coffers on the next floor”
Use these as soon as you get them in order to build up a good supply of Pomanders. If you’re running solo, consider saving these if you already have a decently full inventory; You can use them to help restock your Pomanders after using a lot of them. This can help you out after being in an emergency situation, a boss fight, or set of floors where you had bad luck with chests.
Pomander of Alteration
“Changes the enemy occupying a random room on the next floor into a mimic or a mandragora”
A bit of a risk, but this could make a room on the next floor extremely easy to clear. Mandragoras go down in a single hit. Mimics…do not. They’re kind of tough, and should be handled one at a time. If you’ve got an interrupt (Interject, Head Graze), make sure it’s available to prevent the Mimic from giving you the Pox status effect. Otherwise, try to have cooldowns ready to burst the Mimic before it gets the cast off. Alternatively, you can try to just ignore Mimic rooms and kill other enemies to progress.
Pomander of Concealment
“Renders party invisible to enemies and traps”
I haven’t seen this Pomander get much use to be honest, and it seems more aimed at solo runs. It would make sense to use it to get your party to the Cairn of Passage, while avoiding combat with any sight-aggro monsters. This could speed up progress a little bit, and maybe come in handy if there’s a group of enemies standing around in the Passage room. Usually a party can take down individual monsters fairly easily and they won’t need this one.
Pomander of Flight
“Decreases the number of enemies on the next floor”
This Pomander’s usefulness kind of depends on how you’re running the deep dungeon. If you’re in a matched or fixed party, you can use it as soon as you get it to speed up the run. Note that if you’ve used a Pomander of Flight, Pomanders of Rage and Fortune lose some value on that floor.
If you’re solo, you may still want to use Flight in some spots to speed up the run and make it a little safer. If you’re going for a high score on the leaderboards though, Flight can limit your potential by not allowing you to get as many kills. It can also leave you underlevelled on early floors, and you probably want to kill more enemies to level up before facing the boss.
Consider using Flight after you kill a boss to dump it from your inventory while allowing you to continue grabbing them from chests for more points.
Pomander of Fortune
“Increases the chance enemies on current floor will drop treasure coffers”
Generally speaking, I would use these as soon as you get them, but obviously only once per floor. These are great early on to quickly build up a supply of pomanders. Interestingly though, you might be wiser to save them on later levels when it starts getting tough.
If you’re conservative with your pomanders, your inventory might be in great shape most of the time. It would be more prudent to wait for a time of need, say after spending some valuable consumables to deal with an unlucky set of floors. You can then pop one of the fortunes to help replenish your pomanders.
Pomander of Frailty
“Weakens all enemies on current floor”
This Pomander can help counteract the ‘Gloom’ floor effect and make enemies not hit so hard. Otherwise, this one usually gets used when your inventory is full of them, so you can pick up another one.
Pomander of Intuition
“Reveals the current floor’s hidden traps”
Usually someone pops this Pomander as soon as it’s obtained, assuming you don’t already have one active. It allows you to see the little yellow floor indicator where a coffer of the Accursed Hoard is, but not every floor will have one. The buff lasts until you discover one of those coffers.
Pomander of Lust
“Transforms user into a succubus”
You’ll transform for 60 seconds, during which time you cannot use any of your normal abilities, or open treasure chests. You have access to a single attack: Void Fire II. This is a ranged AoE Spell that applies a stacking vulnerability debuff to enemies it hits, up to 5 stacks. It can be useful when facing the boss at the end of a set of floors, since they can accumulate many stacks over the course of the fight.
Just be careful because you may have a hard time keeping yourself alive in succubus form when you don’t have access to most of your abilities. To transform back, you can remove the buff manually. For Mouse/Keyboard players this is done by right clicking the buff on your status bar.
Pomander of Petrification
“Turns all enemies on current floor to stone”
Heaven on High only. Turning enemies to stone will stop them from attacking or even noticing you. It also allows you to kill them with a single hit, which is especially easy for ranged jobs. You could use this to very quickly clear a floor if you need to pick up the pace of your run. Just be aware that any mobs that spawn after you use it will not be petrified.
Having one of these handy will also give you an easy way out if you accidentally step on a luring trap, or get caught fighting multiple mobs at the same time.
Pomander of Purity
“Removes the Pox status”
This Pomander has just one use: to remove the Pox status that Mimics will cast on you. It’s a bleed effect that lasts for many minutes, so it can be deadly if you’re not playing a healer. If you’re early into your set of floors you could try saving the Pomander and just being extra cautious for a few minutes. You don’t want to deal with this bleed effect on you during a boss fight, though.
Pomander of Rage
“Transforms user into a manticore”
An excellent Pomander for clearing a floor out fast. It won’t help you if the floor’s penalties include ‘no knockback’, since it negates the manticore’s one-hit-kill attack. Just like the other transformation Pomanders, you can’t use other abilities while it’s in effect.
Pomander of Raising
“Instantly raises the first party member to be KO’d”
Having this effect active will cause you to raise you when you die. You’ll stand up in the same spot you fell, after a few seconds delay. The effect is good for a single raise, and will last the duration of the duty. So, it will cover you for a set of 10 floors, and you’ll need a new one for the next set.
This Pomander can also act as another emergency button. If you find yourself in a situation where you won’t make it out alive, pop the Raising, and then run somewhere safe. Enemies in combat with you will reset when you die, moving back to their starting point. You can plan your next move from this new safe spot.
Pomander of Resolution
“Transforms user into Kuribu”
This is another transformation Pomander, that turns you into a Kuribu. It’s kind of like being a Succubus, except you use a holy AoE spell, which deals increased damage against undead monsters.
Pomander of Safety
“Removes all traps from the current floor”
This is another Pomander that, in a group, will pretty much only see use if your inventory is full. If you’re doing a solo run, you could use it to speed up your progress, since moving carefully will slow you down. You may be able to get through a floor more quickly without worrying about traps.
Pomander of Serenity
“Removes all enchantments from the current floor”
Use Pomanders of Serenity when a floor has particularly nasty effects in play, like Gloom, no Abilities, or no HP regen (for non-healers). You can even use it to remove ‘no items’, despite it being an item.
Pomander of Sight
“Reveals the current floor’s map and the location of all hidden traps”
This Pomander is used almost identically to the Pomander of Safety, except you have to manoeuvre around the traps you see, and you know where important things are like treasure chests and the Cairn of Passage.
Pomander of Steel
“Decreases damage received by 40%”
For solo runs, this will help you immensely in getting through boss fights. In a party, these are typically used to prevent a full inventory, prioritizing the Tank, then Healer, then DPS.
Pomander of Strength
“Increased damage dealt and HP recovered via healing magic by 30%”
Same as Steel, you may want one of these Pomanders to help you out going into a boss fight. In a party, these are used in reverse priority order as above: DPS first, then Tank/Healer.
Pomander of Witching
“Transforms all targets within range into a frog, imp, or chicken”
This is another great Pomander to have in an emergency situation, like stepping on a luring trap. If you’re in a group you can easily AoE down the enemies before they transform back. It won’t reduce incoming damage down to nothing, but it will be significantly less and at least give you a fighting chance if you’re running solo.
Magicite is only available in Heaven on High, from silver chests. A piece of Magicite destroys all enemies on the current floor immediately. In solo runs, this can be used to save a lot of time and pass a high level floor with ease. You can also use Magicite on a boss floor to deal significant damage in one hit.
A common strategy to avoid traps when moving through rooms is to stick close to the walls. Traps are more likely to be somewhere in the middle of the room, and this also makes it easier to retrace your steps exactly, minimizing the amount of floor space you walk over.
Follow behind party members, tracing the exact path they walked over, since you know it’s free of traps. Don’t walk too close behind them, since most traps have AoE effects. It’s better to lag a little behind rather than have everyone affected by a debilitating effect.
Heal yourself (or wait for auto-heal) back up near full health before exploring a new area, in case you step on a Landmine or Luring Trap.
Don’t move around during combat unless it’s necessary since traps are especially deadly if something’s currently attacking you. You don’t need to worry about hitting positionals in Deep Dungeons, but you may need to move out of AoE indicators.
A landmine will explode when triggered, either by a player or an enemy. It also damages everything around, friend or foe. It’s nice to have a healing cooldown or item ready for these, just in case one explodes while you’re in combat. Wait until you’re healthy again before continuing on.
A Toading Trap will turn you into a Toad for about 20 seconds, during which time you’ll be unable to use skills or items. If you’re in combat, try to kite back into a safe hallway or the starting room. Many enemies need to be in melee range to strike, or have line of sight for their attacks, so use corners and distance to your advantage.
A Luring Trap summons several enemies that immediately aggro you, forcing a fight. If you’re with a party, you may be able to pop cooldowns and deal with them fairly easily.
The safest thing to do though is to let the person who triggered the trap die, while the rest of the party makes sure not to gain aggro. This means no dealing damage, and no healing or shielding the person who triggered it. After they die, the rest of the party can raise them and proceed.
When solo, you’ll often need to use an item, and there are several options.
Use a Pomander of Raising, then run to a safe, deserted area like the starting room. Once the enemies kill you, they’ll de-aggro and walk back to wherever they spawned, allowing you to reraise and carry on safely.
Use a Pomander of Petrification (HoH) and kill everything.
Use a Pomander of Witching and kill everything, though it will still require some work, and won’t be one-hit kills like Petrification. You’ll also still be taking some damage.
Use a Pomander of Rage, and one-shot each enemy in turn. This won’t work if the floor has an anti-knockback enchantment.
An Impeding Trap debuffs all players in an area for 30 seconds with Pacification and Silence, preventing them from using Weaponskills or Spells. Only Abilities will be usable. This can definitely be deadly if you’re in combat, especially solo. If you’re playing a Healer and your party members trigger this, cast Esuna to remove their debuffs.
The Enfeebling Trap afflicts players with Enervation for one minute, decreasing their damage dealt and increasing their damage taken. This cannot be removed, so you’ll have to wait it out, preferably avoiding combat.
If you’re cautious, this won’t be too bad, and will only slow you down a bit. In a party, make sure a Healer keeps everyone up. If there’s no Healer, stick together and try to let the healthiest person take the lead.
For solo runs, Healers should be pretty much fine, and Tanks and Melee have a few tools to help sustain them. Most other Jobs could definitely benefit from healing items, such as the ones you buy for Potsherds.
This is an annoyance, but is rarely deadly. Take your time, fight one enemy at a time, and keep an eye on your combo indicators in case they miss and you have to restart them.
Nothing really to adjust here, you’ll just kill things slightly slower.
Don’t underestimate enemies on these floors. They’ll hit you harder and you’ll have to pay more attention to combat.
Simply a small boost to your GCD speed.
Again, a small boost to your maximum HP/MP.
You’ll have a lower maximum HP, so be more careful in combat.
You’ll be afflicted with the Amnesia debuff and be unable to use Abilities. This limits you to just Weaponskills and Spells. The impact of this enchantment varies significantly based on your Job, just take a quick look at what you won’t have access to so you’re not suddenly surprised in the middle of combat when you reach for an instant heal, shield, or interrupt.
You won’t be able to use items. This includes recovery items like Potions and Phoenix Downs, as well as Pomanders, except for the Pomander of Serenity, which can be used to nullify the floor’s enchantments.
For the longest time I didn’t know exactly what this did, and how it was supposed to be a hindrance. It prevents the Manticore form from being able to one-shot enemies with its knockback kill.
Sprint is unavailable. It’ll slow you down only slightly, and isn’t a serious drawback, especially if you’re playing a Ranged Job with access to Peloton.
If you haven’t given Deep Dungeons a try, I highly recommend unlocking Palace of the Dead and jumping into a matched party for a quick run. It’s a very different feel from dungeons, so if you’re looking to change things up a bit, or are sick of exceptionally long DPS queues, then you may enjoy this for a change of pace.
Many gamers go looking for a personal challenge, and a solo run of a Deep Dungeon is definitely one of FFXIV’s most long term goals you can work on. It will take patience and practice, but if this is the kind of thing you like to do in video games, there it is.
Do you have a preference between PotD and HoH, either thematically or mechanically? And do you like to use them for levelling alts, or stick to the dungeon grind? If you think of any extra tips for players new to Deep Dungeons, let us know down below!