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Ruin Yoko Taro’s day by mastering The Puppets’ Bunker with this FFXIV raid guide

Lali-we’re all going to die-Ho, Warrior of Darkness! The machine lifeforms launched a devastating offensive against the Dwarf camp. Now that the dust has settled, it’s time to track the color-changing bots down to The Puppets’ Bunker — the penultimate raid of the YoRHa: Dark Apocalypse FFXIV/Nier crossover scenario, following on from the Copied Factory.

This new 24-man raid was introduced in patch 5.3, and it’s barely noticeable which targets are boss encounters and which are just trash pulls. No matter what they are, there are a lot of energy bullets to dodge, and plenty of ways to wipe whole groups off the map. Let us guide you away from certain doom with this full boss strategy guide.

Further Reading

813P-operating Aegis Unit

Puppet's Bunker Aegis Unit
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If there’s one rule to FFXIV, it’s that circular battlefields mean business. This boss’s attacks have two prefixes to denote their range: Firing Order for single-target markers and Maneuver for wide-range. Players will place the former away from the group, and you’ll move as one to avoid the latter. The only exception to this is Maneuver: Diffusion Cannon, the unavoidable raid-wide damage dealer.

Things start off simply enough with Firing Order: Anti-Personnel Laser. This is a targeted tank buster that they should take to the left or right portion of the area. Then, it’s the team’s turn with Maneuver: Beam Cannons. This one looks intimidating, but just stand in the smallest overlapping zone to be safe — it inverts to create a safe zone. The bigger overlap ones won’t have time to open back up.

Collider Cannons will cook anyone in the final zones as it completes its spin. It stops when it nests back into the center of the arena, so use this to time where you stand.

Firing Order: Surface Laser, a pulsing Ahk-Mohn-type attack, then targets a random DPS. Drop this marker off to the side and run back. At the same time, three Flight Units pop out and attempt to run the rest of the team over, so they’ll need to back up or advance accordingly.

Flight Units will mix with other attacks as the fight goes on, so watch your enemy list and keep an eye out for them around the arena.

After that, Refraction Cannons will see the big boss turn its wings on their side. Just stay close to the smooth top side of a wing to avoid the massive nozzles underneath. After that, there should be another use of Beam Cannons.

Next up is a DPS check against stationary Flight Units. During this, Surface Laser and stack markers go out simultaneously, so pay attention.

Life’s Last Song

Puppet's Bunker Aegis Unit
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The boss with then begin to attack with music, essentially. Long, thin strips will slowly push out toward the group and detonate the path they took when they reach the end. Just look for openings in these effects and let them pass by. You’ll probably want to save Sprint for the many times this attack will take place over the course of the rest of the fight.

At this point, you’ve seen every attack it can offer. Expect these to start blending, like Surface Lasers with Beam Cannons and Flight Units with Collider Cannons.

Superior Flight Units

FFXIV Puppet's Bunker superior flight unit laser strategy
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This is the first instance of a fight that feels more like a lengthy trash pull for a good few minutes. Teams will take on their A, B, and C corresponding targets, but it’s worth noting you’re not locked in place — this is important.

The big thing about this fight is not aiming linear attacks out of the area. Otherwise, you’ll beam the team behind you (this has happened). This won’t happen until the team is pelted with three hits of Missile Command and a couple of other red markers.

After that potential disaster, Sharp Turn has the three flight units dash from one team’s point to another, creating a triangular strike zone you’ll want to run into the center of to avoid. They’ll return to their original positions after this, so don’t worry about changing places — shield or otherwise prep for a Guided Missile tank buster.

Formation: Air Raid

FFXIV Puppet's Bunker superior flight unit air raid strategy
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Once this finishes casting, the mechs will position themselves closer to the middle and fire off Lethal Revolution, dropping red markers all over the area. To dodge the edge blasts that make their way down, stand as far away from an edge strike as you can. The three corners of the arena resolve first, so sprint there to stay safe.

For Sliding Swipe, large fire circles will force the raid to the north point. Then it’s a case of taking note of when each Flight Unit positioned itself against the point so you can dodge the dashes.

Things should simply repeat after this, starting with a tank buster and the Missile Command trio of party-wide hits before moving onto the Air Raid/Lethal Revolution combo.

The only thing to watch out for is for bad placement of Incendiary Bombing causing issues with the cardinal and inter-cardinal path of Explosive Blast. So long as you’re not in a puddle of fire, standing between two arrows of the same blast marker should give you time to move before they hit.

Heavy Artillery Unit

FFXIV Puppet's Bunker heavy artillery laser mechanic
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For this one, you’ll want to take note of the orb in the middle of the arena. It lifts up when in use, creating attacks that have levels to them.

Volt Array will deal raid-wide damage, so pre-shields are beneficial. As it casts Activate Laser Turret, you’ll want to position yourself against the edge of the area in-line with a top set of lasers. As soon as a bottom set dissipates, run to their spot to avoid taking the final top laser. After this comes a High-Powered Laser — a dual tank buster.

Unconventional Voltage then targets four players with large conal strikes. Targeted players should attempt to take the markers to either flank — two on each side work best. Energy Bombardment will then cover most of the space around the boss with those signature Nier bullets, so prepare to move when you see them spew out of its cannons.

As those go out, the boss will designate three drop zones to jump between, with the final landing spot then becoming a safe zone from the large Revolution attack that comes thereafter. After that long sequence of attacks, teams will need to be topped up ASAP to take the impending Volt Array.

Self-Consciousness Data

FFXIV Puppet's Bunker heavy artillery unit pod mechanic
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Congratulations. You’re about 20% through the fight. Now things get tricky. The cast of Self-Consciousness Data gives the middle orb more control over the fight. From here on out, it’ll summon Pods around the outer arena and command them to execute different attacks. It can be difficult to know what each pod is about to do, but by reading the screens they’re tethered to, you can get a solid idea.

Before the Pods make their way down, though, you’ll have to dodge a barrage of energy bullets creeping in from the cannons adorning the arena edge. Take too many of these, and the vulnerability stacks will mean certain death from the Volt Array that signals the end of the barrage. Healers will need to keep watch and top-up as it’s cast.

Following that, it’s Pod time. Again, you want to watch the screens tethered to each pod to know which attack they’ll deal, which comes out as the timer on the screen reaches zero.

  • R030: Hammer (large, circular impact strike).
    • Solution: Hug arena edge equal distance between two pods (cardinals).
  • R010: Cannon (wide linear beams across the arena).
    • Solution: Hug arena edge equal distance between two pods (inter-cardinals).

Once these two modes are introduced separately, they’ll begin to be used simultaneously, with tethers from the screens going out on diagonals, making reading each move a little more involved.

Synthesis Compound

FFXIV Puppet's Bunker heavy artillery unit pod mechanic two
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Another screen mechanic emerges shortly after the pod phase. It’s a meteor-style stack marker with white lines on the screen denoting how many players should stand in each. They’ll turn black as a player enters, so aim to turn them all black to avoid any unnecessary damage. Volt Array will finish anyone off if things aren’t done properly.

After that, Heavy Artillery Unit will repeat a few mechanics from just before the Self-Consciousness Data phase, so expect bullet rain, conal strikes, and tank busters, followed by another couple uses of Volt Array before summoning a set of Pods that can use both R0 attacks. For this, search for two adjacent R010 Pod tethers and sit between them on the outer edge. Any other mix will be potent.

The next pod use will be the diagonal tethers explained earlier. Basically, each screen is tethered to the next pod along (clockwise) rather than the one directly in front of it. Again, find two adjacent laser tethers and nest yourself between them. At that point, the fight repeats from the beginning, so Laser Turret fields from the middle, with a Volt Array right after.

The Compound

Puppet's Bunker raid guide Compound
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The ball kicks things off with four Mechanical attacks in sequence: Laceration, Decapitation, Dissection, and Contusion. The first is a simple raid-wide blow, and the second is a hard-hitting laser that will kill anyone topped-up unless they hug the boss. The third is a front and rear slice across the arena, and the fourth is a simple case of area attacks above or below many players.

At around 50%, Compound floats off saying, “Burn,” and two Compounds will appear along the edges of the arena and open up. You want to position yourself so that you’ll slide through both of their openings as they dash across. If you get hit by the red beams, you’ll die.

Compound will then repeat its Mechanical attacks in a seemingly random sequence until dead, at which point it’ll deal one more arena attack, dealing Down for the Count (or killing you, if you’re low) and morphing into its second phase — Compound 2P.

Compound 2P

FFXIV Puppet's Bunker Compound 2B Prime Blade
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What you have here is Centrifugal Slice as raid-wide damage and Relentless Spiral, a triple-hitting ground attack to side-step through. Pay attention as she casts Prime Blade. Her stance and text line will let you know which version of it she’s casting.

  • Gri…nd… (weapon mid): Melee-range swing.
    • Solution: Run away from boss.
  • Cr…ush… (weapon up): Linear frontal smash.
    • Solution: Stay away from front.
  • Anni…hi…late…(weapon down): Full-range area attack.
    • Solution: Run into boss.

From this point on, Compound 2P will use a technique recently seen in The Heroes’ Gauntlet where she’ll start an attack, teleport, then execute it. This starts with another Prime Blade, which she seems to only do in the weapon down (run in) stance from here on out.

She’ll teleport to the spot with the pulsing path to finish the attack (the others explode), so you’ll need to take this new spot into account to dodge accordingly. Centrifugal Slice comes out after, so healers will need to top up anyone who made a mistake.

Three Parts Disdain, a stack marker, will then hit three times. There’s a knockback to each hit, but as you need to stick with the stack, don’t use Arm’s Length or similar skills to negate it. After Pod R012 comes out to stick markers above virtually everyone’s head, Four Parts Resolve kicks off, marking four people in sequence.

She alternates between a ground slam and linear sword slice with each marker, so targeted players should position themselves in a square formation away from the group (targets one and three are at opposite corners) to avoid sending the sword strike through the middle of the arena.


Puppet's Bunker phase 2
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With that potential catastrophe averted, Compound 2P will summon clones in the four corners of the room and begin casting Prime Blade. Again, take note of her sword stance. After it resolves, the clone will begin casting the same version, so you’ll need to move accordingly. The clones will then vanish.

One she darts back into the middle, Energy Compression summons meteors. Soak these as normal. During the second wave, these will gain the ability to teleport along a path with Forced Transfer in the same way the boss did earlier, so figure out their final destination and stand there.

She’ll then do the same with Compound Pod R011 summons along the edge. These are linear lasers, so figure out their teleport destination and find a spot they won’t cover. After a quick use of Relentless Spiral, she’ll plot another use of Prime Blade — this time with three potential teleport locations — and then do the same again with the Reproduce clones.

From that point on, she’ll cycle between previously-used attacks like Pod variants, meteors, Three Parts Disdain, and Centrifugal Strike — that sort of thing — until she is defeated.

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Josh Brown
Josh Brown is a UK-based freelancer with devoted interests in video games, tech, film, and anime/manga. Just don't talk to…
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