Final Fantasy XIV: Asphodelos, The First Circle Savage raid guide

The first of a long series of raids.

Screengrab via Square Enix

Final Fantasy XIV’s new and returning raiding enthusiasts are in for a treat with Pandaemonium. The first Savage raids from Endwalker were introduced on Jan. 4. The first of the four—Asphodelos: The First Circle—is a fitting introduction for players.

It’s the least challenging of the four raids and can be completed in one to three hours of progression with a stable party, provided players coordinate in voice chat and assign themselves to specific roles.

The Pandaemonium Savage raids can be unlocked in Labyrinthos and offer among the best gear in the game via weekly-capped coffers and Mythos tokens. They’re also considered the bread and butter of raiding for competitive players, who sharpen their skills to and climb the ladder by “logging,” which designates the completion of high-end content in the shortest time possible and the highest DPS outputs.

Here’s a guide on Pandaemonium’s Asphodelos: The First Circle Savage raid.

Asphodelos: The First Circle Savage raid

First Phase

  • Heavy Hand: Tankbuster. There is no need for a tankswap.
  • Aetherial Shackles: Two players receive a chain buff, either purple or red. All other players will receive chains depending on their position on the field. They will all deal damage around them. This mechanic will resolve shortly after Warder’s Wrath.
    • The players assigned on the red chain group or who receive this buff have to position themselves on each corner of the area.
    • The players with the purple chain role or buff will remain in the center in each cardinal position to prevent overlap (East side, West side, North side or South side of the boss).
    • Though all players may have one chain assigned before the fight, the boss’ random chain buff will force two players to adjust if it isn’t the same as the one they selected.
  • Warder’s Wrath: Raid-wide attack. Wait for this attack to occur before heading to your chain’s position to receive AoE heals.
Screengrab via Square Enix
  • Gaoler’s Flail: The boss draws a weapon that will drop on the floor. Depending on the weapon, the mechanic will be different.
    • If it’s an anchor, the boss will swing the weapon and hit the area in an over 300-degrees blow. Stand near the boss, on the opposite side of the anchor (East or West), and switch to the other side following the first hit.
    • If it’s his flail, the boss will hit the whole area around him, before hitting the corners. Head far from him and then return back to him to dodge both blows.
    • The chakram is the opposite of the flail mechanic; players will have to stay near the boss, and then go far from him to dodge both blows.
  • Pitiless Flail of Grace or Purgation: the main tank is targeted by a heavy attack that will knock them back. Then, another attack will occur depending on the mechanic’s name.
    • The knock back can’t be prevented by Arm’s Length: if you’re the main tank, don’t stand near the sides—or you’ll instantly die.
    • If it’s the Grace attack, the offtank will receive a blow that has to be stacked by the rest of the party.
    • The Purgation attack, on the contrary, hits the offtank with a flare. They’ll have to go far from other players in the raid to reduce the raid-wide damage.
  • Another Warder’s Wrath attack.
  • Intemperance, then Intemperate Torment: the field transforms and divides in nine tiles, with three cubes each that will successively explode, similar to the Normal mode. This time, however, purple cubes are added on the tiles from the sides.
    • Each player has one tile assigned and will all soak the first cube.
    • Then, the players with a purple cube must leave the tile when they explode because they’ll deal critical damage.
    • Some players will have to head to another tile instead of the center to soak another cube.
  • A new Warder’s Wrath will deal significant damage, and all players must go near the center to be topped off by the healers.
    • After that, another Warder’s Wrath will deal more damage shortly before the explosion of all last cubes. Be prepared to heal and pop an OGCD if necessary.
    • Lastly, the area will regain its initial form.
  • Pitiless Flail of Purgation or Grace.
  • Shining Cells: raid-wide attack which divides the field into multiple cells.
    • It’s similar to Normal mode but with more mechanics resolving at once that will reduce the size of safe zones.
  • Aetherflail: The color buff appears around the boss (red or white). At the same time, the boss drops an anchor to the ground and starts swinging his flail or chakram on one side.
    • Identify the color of the buff first to know if you’ll have to stand on a red or white tile.
    • Identify which side of the area the anchor is dropped and head to the opposite side.
    • Lastly, identify the weapon the boss is swinging: the flail means out, the chakram means in. The tiles will explode two times, so stay on them.
    • Being on voice chat and following shotcalls is crucial during progression of this phase because all players must be alive at the end to survive the next phase: there’s only a small margin for mistakes.
  • Pitiless Flail of Grace or Purgation.
  • Shackles of time: The boss applies a debuff on some players. They’ll have to stand on the tile from the same color, instead of the opposite, to clear this debuff.
  • Heavy Hand.
  • Slam Shut: Raid-wide attack that transforms the field back to its initial state.

Second Phase

In the second phase, the players should already know all attacks. But this time, the mechanics will become more challenging and will overlap. Keep your Limit Break in mind and don’t hesitate to pop the Healer LB3 if things start to look bleak.

  • Fourfold Shackles: Be careful, this attack resolves quite fast. It applies a chain buff on every player, either red or purple, and will hit four times.
    • All players must stand on their position as soon as they know their debuff. Players with the purple chain must stand at the center of the area and those with the red one on each corner.
    • If you’re too slow, you’ll get a double chain debuff and die.
    • If one player dies, the party will likely wipe due to the successive chain hits.
  • Warder’s Wrath.
  • Intemperance and Intemperate Torment: Both first cubes are the same. But then, the boss will cast Gaoler’s Flail and it will resolve at the same time as the third cubes explosion.
    • The first hit will come before the third cubes’ explosion, so dodge the first hit accordingly.
    • Then, head immediately to your assigned tile and adjust for the second Gaoler’s Flail blow.
    • Once again, shotcalling will help tremendously when attempting to survive this mechanic.
  • Warder’s Wrath.
  • Shining Cells.
  • Shackles of Time: This attack will resolve immediately after the next one, so keep your buff in mind.
  • Pitiless Flail of Grace or Purgation.
  • Warder’s Wrath.
  • Aetherial Shackles and Aetherchain: This is the last tricky part. On top of standing on the correct tiles to avoid damage, you’ll have to head to your initial assigned chain position and slightly adjust to step on the correct tile. Once again, two players might have to adjust if getting the random chain buff.
    • Head to your chain position first, then identify which color is safe to adjust.
    • Two consecutive Aetherchain will hit the tiles. Adjust if the colors switch.
  • Warder’s Wrath.
  • Aetherflail: A new set of attacks with a small safe zone where you need to identify the right color, the right weapon and the anchor’s side simultaneously.

Then, successive Warder’s Wrath attacks will occur and if the boss isn’t killed yet, he’ll enrage and you will wipe due to insufficient damage dealt to him.

Example of macro commands for the fight

Here is an example of macro to set up a specific strategy to clear the fight. Several playstyles can be chosen and are shared in community hubs. This is nothing more than a suggestion. It was posted by the character Log Kagan in FFXIV‘s German official forum.

Screengrab via Lod Kagan
  • Chains strategy

Those assigned chain positions aim at assigning Melees near the boss so that they can deal damage while resolving the chain mechanics. If you have yet to fully grasp this mechanic, here’s a concrete example: here, the M1 player will assign to purple chain position, like MT, M2, and OT.

If they get the random red chain buff from the boss, however, they’ll have to take the spot of another player: either R1, R2, H1, or H2. M1 must head to a corner, forcing their teammate to adjust accordingly and take his place.

  • Intemperance’s strategy

Following this Intemperance’s strategy, the players who’ll have two cubes from the same color in their tiles will have to head either to the Main Tank’s or Offtank’s tile, depending on the cube color, instead of waiting at the center for the purple cubes to explode. This move is possible due to the tanks’ tiles not having purple cubes, contrary to all others in the area.

The aim is to switch their ice of fire effect to be able to explode the last cube in their initial tile with the correct buff. Following the purple cube’s explosion, they’ll be able to resolve the mechanic as usual for the last cube.

If H1 has two fire cubes in their tile, for example, and the MT has an ice cube on theirs, H1 will have to head to MT after soaking their first cube to get the ice effect. Then, they’ll be able to soak the last fire cube on their own tile following the purple cubes’ explosion.