Believe it or not, the majority of the playerbase for FFXIV doesn’t do savage raids. It may seem like everyone does it if you look online on the main forums or reddit, but that’s because those tend to be hubs for players who are pretty invested in the game and are looking for the biggest challenges and rewards. Of course, even if you’re a newer player, or you didn’t jump in from week one of the tier, you can still get started with savage raiding anytime.
First, you should know that many people run the fights with the same group of 8 players each week, called a static. You can look for one recruiting members on your data centre in this subreddit, but these are not required; Many people cannot commit to a static schedule, and instead use PUGs (pick-up groups) in the party finder. In this guide I’m going to help prepare you to take on savage raids, and also let you know what to expect using the party finder.
Get Your Gear iLvl Up
To start off, you need to make sure you have high enough gear to even enter the fights. i440 is required to enter the first floor of Eden’s Gate. i445 is what you need for the second floor, and i450 is needed for the third and fourth fights.
Obviously, the higher your iLvl the better your stats, survivability, and damage, so if you can easily get more than the bare minimum, go for it. It will make the fight easier. Some enrage timers this tier are really tight, so every bit of damage helps. You have a few options improve your gear.
The Ronkan set is i440 and can be bought with the uncapped tomestones of Goetia. Grab these tomestones from level 80 dungeons or by running various daily roulettes on a level 80 job.
The crafted Facet set is i450 and can be bought from the marketboard. It can also be overmelded, though that is expensive and not really worth it late in the raid tier.
The Edengate set is i450 (no weapon though) and can be acquired by exchanging tokens from Eden’s Gate normal raids. These are currently limited on how many tokens you can loot each week, but the limit will be lifted later on.
The Extreme Trials (Innocence and Titania) also drop i450 weapons and accessories, and are slightly easier than savage raids if you want to get your feet wet with the format of endgame raiding.
Finally, the Deepshadow set is i460 (upgradeable to i470) and is bought using your weekly capped tomestones of Phantasmagoria. Check out this post to see how best to spend these tomestones while prioritizing your weapon.
Once you start doing Eden savage you can earn i470 Edengrace gear, and the augmenting items to upgrade your Deepshadow gear to i470 as well.
Know Your Job and Rotation
The next thing to do is make sure you have a good understanding of your job and its rotation. The biggest resource we have for this is The Balance Discord. They have guides posted on optimizing each job’s rotation, and there are channels for each job for you to ask other players some more specific questions (but read the pinned guides first since the answers are likely to be in there).
Aside from the theorycrafting of your rotation, you should also practice it! You could do this on a striking dummy in player housing, or in the overworld. The Ondo Cups in the Tempest have a few level 80 striking dummies just south of the aetheryte.
You can also take advantage of the Stone, Sky, Sea trials found just outside Eulmore in Kholusia. Unlock this by doing the quest Yet Another Striking Opportunity. Speak to the Soft-faced Bloke at Kholusia (23.8, 37.8) and he’ll teleport you to the dummy which you have a set amount of time to defeat.
Entering also resets all your cooldowns which is more convenient than the overworld striking dummies. There are different dummies with different HP totals to mimic the required dps to defeat various endgame encounters. They’re also tuned based on your job so a tank or ‘support’ dps can still defeat the same dummy as a high dps job.
Still, don’t get discouraged if you can’t beat it. The tuning isn’t perfect, so if you’re close to killing it then you should be good enough to jump into the real fight.
Read or Watch a Fight Guide
Once your gear and rotation are solid, then you should look at the specific encounter you’re looking to fight. There are plenty of resources for this, both in text guide and video guide format.
For videos, MTQCapture on YouTube is probably the most popular and will give you a thorough step by step guide to the fight, but keep in mind the strategy used in her video may differ slightly from the ones you encounter in your party finder groups. This is common since her guides come out relatively quickly, and newer strategies may have developed over time.
Mrhappy1227 puts out a lot of different types of content, but among them are guides or ‘walkthroughs’ where he explains how the mechanics work and how his particular group dealt with them. He also has gameplay videos of his group’s clears which show the full fight from his PoV.
Lycona DaCheeChee also makes awesome guides with added humour. His videos for Eden’s Gate weren’t released very early, but for anyone joining the raiding scene later that doesn’t really matter.
If you’re curious about how other people handle a fight on your specific job, there are many, many creators who make PoV videos of their group’s clear, so searching for the encounter + job or role PoV should turn up some results, though these are unlikely to explain the mechanics verbally. Also check out Twitch for the encounters being done live. I often see players progging with their static or just helping others out in party finder.
For text guides, personally I just go to the ffxiv subreddit and search for the fight name. There are some really helpful slideshows, documents, and diagrams that have all the information you need.
For example, these slides created and posted by u/Miaya (Aiyamai Airol of Gilgamesh) and their group have detailed explanations, diagrams, and strategies, as well as comments at the bottom on what their group tried and experienced.
Some other really good ones I’ve used have been these fight rotations and timelines by u/Syldris (Syldris Lia of Exodus), which list the order of mechanics and a description of each one. This is great once you’ve been practicing a bit and already know how to handle the mechanics, but you need a quick cheatsheet on what happens in which order for each phase of the fight.
Encounter Macros (Positions)
At the beginning of a fight, someone will usually put a fight macro in party chat with a quick map of positions for important mechanics. Macros can be a little harder to find online. They vary a lot, and you’ll see some different but similar ones. It’s not always necessary to have a macro because someone else in the party may have one.
You can of course do it without a macro, but they just speed up the preamble to the fight and sorting out peoples’ positions so I highly recommend using one to save time.
Here’s an example of an old Alphascape V3S macro someone made. Typically the person will post an image of what the macro looks like in chat, as well as a pastebin link which is what you copy and paste into your user macros in game. When you need to use it just right click and execute, or put it on a hotbar and click it that way.
Food and Potions
I highly recommend using food during all stages of progression throughout savage fights since it lasts for many pulls, but potions I prefer to use at personal discretion. If I’m running with a group that has already done the fight and is just getting a weekly reclear, potions are pretty good to use.
If It’s a practice party, or even a duty completion party that I’m not too sure of yet, I personally hold off on potions, since the group may end up dying to mechanics and never even reach the fight’s enrage timer; Once I have a good idea of the group’s competence, I bring potions into my rotation.
Your job’s best potion to use will match your job’s mainstat. So, a BLM would use a (Grade 2) Tincture of Intelligence, while a SCH would use one of Mind, a NIN would use Dexterity, and so on. Tanks usually use tinctures of strength for the damage, rather than vitality for the extra health (it only lasts the duration of the potion anyway).
The best food is less obvious, and will depend on your job and current gear, but the differences between the different high-end foods are relatively small, so if you use a food that has crit instead of direct hit, it’s not the end of the world. You can check your job’s channel in The Balance Discord for the specific information, but the generally safe one is Robe Lettuce Salad for any job.
Perhaps most importantly, all the i450 foods give you extra vitality for surviving raidwide damage, and at least one other useful substat. Using the ‘wrong’ one is unlikely to ruin anything for you unless it has a lot of (or not enough) skill speed or spell speed and your job’s rotation is extremely sensitive to that. Just eat food.
Etiquette of the Party Finder
Ah, the Party Finder. Love it or hate it – probably hate it – it’s something we rely on to gather allies who will hopefully display some measure of competence at their job, the fight’s mechanics, and social interaction. In my experience most people are decent and not total dirtbags, but you do get some negative encounters every now and then.
The first thing you’ll look for is a party labelled [Practice], and the description usually saying what part of the fight they’re practicing. It’s common to see a ‘practice from start’ party, but sometimes you’ll see one that says something like ‘2nd flare’ meaning they’re practicing the later part of E2S, where you see the flare mechanic for the second time, or a party might have in the description: ‘black smokers practice’ meaning they’re practicing the last mechanic of E3S. The expectation for these kinds of parties is that you are already competent at the earlier mechanics up to that point.
Some players like to run content for the first time blind, but their party finder recruitment description should specifically say so. In most cases, it’s fine (expected, even) to have read or watched a guide beforehand, and people shouldn’t be upset if someone explains how a particular mechanic works. A macro can be very useful to bring here in case nobody else has one, since they let you quickly assign positions for the most important mechanics of the fight.
Once you’ve seen all the mechanics of the fight AND you can consistently handle them correctly, I recommend starting to look at parties marked [Duty Completion] instead, since all you need to do is keep up your damage while performing mechanics, and nobody (in theory) needs to be taught any parts of the fight. These are also sometimes called clear parties.
If it’s late in the week, don’t worry if it’s a 2 chest party or not (savage loot is penalized if some party members have cleared it already that week, as detailed in this post), the important thing is to just get your clear so the following week you can join the more reliable category of parties below.
The [Duty Complete] parties are technically just [Loot] parties with the additional recruitment criteria that you have beaten the fight at least once before. You could have a practice party with the duty complete rule for example, although it’s doubtful that party would ever fill up.
You do sometimes see Duty Completion parties with the Duty Complete requirement, which may be created by someone trying to help a friend get a clear, or just by an impatient person who feels very entitled to their clear. Either way, once you get your first clear of a fight, join Loot parties in the future, since the quality of players in those tend to be better, and you should (again, in theory) get your weekly clear very quickly and easily.
I thought I’d mention the concept of ‘trap parties’ since you may hear that term thrown around. Trap parties are parties advertised as a higher-experience category than the players in it actually display. For instance, a Loot party where the party damage is too low to clear enrage is a trap party. A Duty Completion party where half the party wipes to the first mechanic is a trap party.
We don’t like running into these, and the more skilled players in the party will usually leave once they recognize it for what it is. A party doesn’t have to be an intentional trap party of course. Some people just overestimate their skill, which brings me to my next point.
Be Honest About Your Skill
Be honest with yourself about where you are in your progression. If you don’t quite understand a mechanic in the first phase of the encounter, but you got past it once by dumb luck, you are not ready for a clear party, or even for a party practicing the final stage of the fight.
On the flip side, if you are consistently handling every mechanic in the fight and your damage is really good, you may be ready for a clear party even if you haven’t seen the enrage timer, and you can probably stop wasting your time in ‘practice from start’ parties. You’ll have to be the judge for yourself, so try to look at your own performance objectively.
A parser like Advanced Combat Tracker comes in very handy here, so you can see how you’re doing. If you aren’t dying to mechanics or losing much uptime, but your dps is still lagging a little, it’s possible you’re not keeping your GCD rolling, so go back and work on your rotation to better commit it to muscle memory.
This is the big one. If you’re interested in savage raiding, you’ll have to be ready to wipe to the same boss many times over, making progress a little bit at a time. This is easier to do in a static group where you all gain experience together, rather than a party finder PUG setting where you may have people in your party with less experience than you, even after you’ve been working on it for a while.
Make the most of your practice parties, learn the mechanics, and set aside a chunk of time where you can sit in party finder waiting for it to fill up, watching netflix or working on other in-game things like beast tribes, crafting and gathering, the gold saucer, whatever.
If you’re really struggling getting your clear after a long time because of underskilled party members, try creating your own party finder listing, and be firm about how much experience or skill you expect. It’s ok to kick people who are holding the rest of the team back if you were clear about expectations in your recruitment.
At some point later in this expansion, the weekly lockouts will be lifted and you should be able to find more people interested in PUGs, so even if you don’t get it done right now, you’ll still have time to try to beat all the fights then. As long as you keep a positive attitude (i.e. don’t be one of those toxic players that you don’t want to run into) and remain goal-oriented, you’ll get there.
What have your experiences been with the Eden savage raids so far? How have you found the party finder on your data centre? Let me know in the comments.