When the Final Fantasy XIV: Shadowbringers patch 5.2 was first announced, I certainly wasn’t expecting someone just to become Shiva. Sure, it has happened before, but a recurrence never registered as a possibility. Yet it is possible, it did happen — and she’s out of control yet again.
Ryne has dethroned the original Shiva and will henceforth be known as the better of the two. She’s cute, deadly, and, like all of us, just needs a good coffee biscuit to make everything better. If you’re having trouble pulling her back from the brink of insanity, let this E8 guide help warm your heart.
Shiva begins with Absolute Zero, a raid-wide blast that healers should familiarize themselves with, before introducing us to Redress — which is a name that works on multiple levels, grammatically speaking. She’s changing outfits, so unless you want to get stunned (and maybe arrested), look away.
After swapping outfits, Shiva will resemble Hydaelen herself. Back up toward the edge of the arena to avoid Axe Kick. Like regular Shiva, the type of weapon she uses can hint at the reach of her attack.
Beat her up while she uses Redress again, returning to normal and freezing the battlefield. You’ll want to be behind her for her sweeping Biting Frost attack, but expect to have to slide back to her front/flank when she doubles this up with a rear strike later in the fight. Double Slap amounts to two large chunks of damage to the main tank. While it looks like a static swipe attack, don’t think about running to the group with it.
Phase 2 – Diamond Frost
Diamond Frost then delivers raid-wide damage and is followed up with spread markers, red markers, and familiar shard drops around the arena. Spreads should be taken to the safe outer edges while red markers split evenly in the middle of the arena.
Once the shards drop, a second set is placed, and four party members are targeted by follow markers. These all strike three times, so start close to the boss and run them out toward the edge. Survive another Heavenly Strike blast and she’ll use Mirror, Mirror and introduce Driving Frost — the rear attack mentioned earlier. Mirror, Mirror copies Shiva’s next attack, so after fleeing from her rear, you’ll have to run to the edges to avoid the paired 90-degree swipes the mirrors will spit out a few seconds later.
After another Redress (look away) she’ll use Scythe Kick, leaving only the area beneath her safe. She’ll soon hop out of the arena, so group together and shield/buff up for her Hydaelen-inspired Zodiark stomp.
After said stomp, the team is split across two small platforms and tasked with fending off elemental aether mobs trying to attack a crystal.
These creatures do all sorts of attacks, but as long as a tank takes the visible tethers of one, incoming damage shouldn’t be too difficult. Raid-wide damage does go out as each new wave spawns, however, so healers will want to keep the team topped up. Defeat the waves before the crystal takes too much damage, and you’ll move into phase three.
Still in her Hydaelen form, Shiva begins with Holy and places bombs around the arena. Start on the edge as the initial area pulse ticks, then head into the middle once it resolves to avoid the bombs. Light Rampant will then deal additional raid-wide damage.
She then casts The Path of Light, with each subsequent use differing slightly. The first use targets two DPS with conal attack markers, leaving four meteor drops for the remaining players to soak. Position these to go between meteor drops. The second set brings the sets of four down to sets of two.
This time, each circle needs two players while the red markers must be positioned away from them to avoid the conal strike. The third use retains the same amount of markers but requires four players to enter the single drop zone. The damage here isn’t too bad, so stacking two mechanics won’t always prove fatal.
A quad Mirror Mirror setup then attempts to copy Shiva’s Axe kick, so get away from her while she kicks, and run back to her to avoid the mirror image. She’ll Redress back into her original Shiva attire, freeze the ground, and execute Twin Silence – the Biting/Driving Frost combo that has you slide to her rear as the first strike resolves.
After a Double Slap on the tank, she’ll produce a Mirror Mirror/Biting Frost combo will push you to the south edge. Absolute Zero hits next, followed by a Redress (look away), and an in/out Embittered Dance combo. If she’s not “dead” by now, healers will have to deal with an Absolute Zero spam until she is. Think of it as a soft enrage.
After losing control yet again, Ryne freezes herself and the team. Gaia flies in (complete with hammer) and shatters all but Ryne’s prison. It’s a gripping cutscene, but there isn’t much to do once it ends. It’s a DPS race to free her before Endless Ice Age finishes casting.
Through personal experience, having only a tank alive right before this cutscene makes for some prime entertainment. Gaia flinging corpses all over the arena really is something.
And with that, our time in the latest Final Fantasy XIV: Shadowbringers raid tier comes to a close — unless you’re brave enough to do the Savage difficulty. Good luck.
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