Endgame raids in FFXIV reward players with some of the best gear they can obtain, along with some other cosmetics or collectables. However, finding many people to run the content with and learning the required mechanics become obstacles once these savage raids are no longer current content.
Why Farm A4S?
Personally I find the Alexander raid gear to have some of the coolest designs for my favourite jobs, and this fight drops the dyeable Gordian chestpieces and weapons. I knew I wanted to get my hands on these versions of the glamours so I could have the versatility of adding colour to them.
It’s also the source of the Gobwalker mount, a cool little tank that looks slightly ridiculous when piloted by Hrothgar.
Finally, A4S drops crafting materials. There’s the Gobwalker shielding you can use to make a minion. Additionally you might get the large Gordian gear which is used to make furniture, specifically a bureau and chair (which is more like a bench really) that are animated when you interact with them.
How Many Players Do You Need?
I farmed A4S with just two other friends and our runs were probably about 5 minutes each. We did wipe a couple times while learning what mechanics we had to pay attention to and how we wanted to handle them.
We were easily able to do it enough times to earn our 8 tokens (and some extra random chestpiece drops). Our composition was a tank (WAR), healer (WHM), and DPS (SMN), all level 80. It may be possible with just two players. If I were to try I would probably pick a tank and healer.
What Mechanics Should I Know?
First off, it doesn’t seem to matter which legs you attack in what order. The mechanics happen in the same sequence every time depending on how many legs you’ve killed, but not which specific legs they were. Just make sure everyone attacks the same leg, since any damage on other legs is healed after one is killed.
The first two legs are easy. You can ignore the Discoid orbs and Carnage tethers since they aren’t super dangerous for level 80s, especially a tank. A healer might want to just top players up after.
When you get Quarantined during the first two legs, simply kill the Panzer Doll add. It should just take a few GCDs.
Occasionally a leg will emit steam. This leg can be stunned by a tank or melee to prevent it from draining a player’s MP, but we didn’t do this so I guess it’s not really necessary.
For the second two legs, there are new adds. Three Jagd Dolls will spawn around the edges of the arena, and one Straf Doll in the middle. This is the mechanic that ended up wiping my group until we decided how we wanted to handle it.
The Jagd Dolls deal raidwide damage proportional to how much health they had when they were sacrificed. If you kill the Jagd Dolls without sacrificing them to the Straf Doll, they will respawn after about 10 seconds. If a player takes too many stacks (4) of the Jagd Doll’s aoe debuff the raid will wipe.
We had the Healer and DPS completely ignore all the adds while I grabbed the Jagd Dolls with Tomahawks and worked on killing the Straf Doll in the center facing away from my party members to avoid a cleave.
The Jagd Dolls got sacrificed to the Straf Doll while I killed it, and the healer and DPS just continued damaging the next leg (while healing the damage from the exploding Jagd Dolls).
We did the same thing for the adds that spawned during the fourth leg, and we just let the Judgment Nisi stacks tick down and fall off the players that got them.
After all the legs are done, just burn the boss down while mitigating and healing Royal Pentacle.
Can You Solo A4S?
Unfortunately, you can’t solo this fight on savage mode. I’ve tried to complete this on my level 80 Warrior but once you get to the fourth leg the boss puts both the Decree Nisi A and B buffs on you, which is an automatic wipe.
I imagine you would have to deal enough damage to kill the leg incredibly quickly to skip the debuff cast. This just might not be possible at Level 80, but maybe with higher ilvl later in this expansion a DPS job may have a shot at it, if they can make it to the fourth leg on their own.
Which Gordian chestpieces do you prefer? And have you had any interesting experiences attempting this fight unsynced? Let me know in the comments.