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How to fight the spectral spooks of FFXIV’s Heroes’ Gauntlet dungeon

Your trip back to the Crystarium has been jeopardized. You’ve been cast from your ship down to the rocky cliffs of Amh Araeng, and it’s up to the friends you’ve made throughout Final Fantasy XIV‘s Shadowbringers expansion to help you get back to where you really ought to be.

The Heroes’ Gauntlet is a straightforward dungeon that really takes an understanding of the story to fully appreciate. Its mobs aren’t anything special. In fact, that’s part of the point. The delusional, tormented, and selfless souls are trying to do what they’re being told is right, and you have to put them down should you wish to do the same. Welcome to your own existential crisis.

Further Reading

Spectral Thief

FFXIV Spectral Thief boss
Image used with permission by copyright holder

To us, the Spectra Thief feels more like a Spectral Dragoon. It spends a lot of time doing nothing, then starts bouncing around for little benefit. It kicks things off with a fairly strong tank buster, Spectral Dream, so shield and mitigate as normal. Then begins the first of its frantic movements with Dash.

The boss places a large area attack circle beneath it, and a destination marker elsewhere on the map. After an audio cue ticks down, Spectral Thief dashes to the marker, taking its area attack with it, so you want to get out of where the strike will be, not where it spawns.

Following that comes its party-wide area damage Spectral Whirlwind. Healers will want to keep area heals going to ready for individual dive-bombs that follow.

Chicken Knife summons a bunch of daggers around the outer edges of the area then will then shoot forward when Spectral Thief casts Shadowdash.

Just as that’s set to resolve, two dash markers will appear with the boss channeling a linear area attack. Rather than hit one after the other, the boss instead splits to occupy both markers simultaneously, so you’ll just want to get to whichever third of the arena isn’t marked for death.

With all that done, things start to merge a little. Expect two dash markers as knives resolve and Spectral Gusts chop down each player’s HP. To account for anyone getting caught in the dashes, healers should get any heals, regens, and shields out before the team splits as gusts strike, as more party-wide damage will follow. From that point on, it’s rinse and repeat until death.

Spectral Necromancer

FFXIV Spectral Necromancer boss
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Doubtfully a sign of classes to come, the Spectral Necromancer wants nothing more than to pin you down and blow you up — all with the same tool, the dead.

Honestly, this one shouldn’t last long. Either her defense is terrible or her HP is laughably low to begin with. She starts with a conal strike that’s easy enough to dodge, then follows it up with a series of attempts at blowing you up. Summoned corpses tether to party members and root when they catch you.

With the first attempt, they’ll die automatically and sit on the battlefield until the Necromancer blows them up. Rather than fuss about where to kite them, just avoid standing wherever they are when they drop dead. Again.

After that, she’ll cover half of the arena in blood, limiting your movements. Her next set of summons will latch on and root you to your spot as your marker ticks down. These will explode, and there’s nothing you can do about it. Just don’t stack with your teammates and you’ll be golden. Healers just need to top the team up before Chaos Storm, a party-wide area attack, finishes them off.

After this, she merely doubles up. Each party member will get tethered to two corpses each. Regens will deal with the negligible auto-attack damage they put out.

Dark Deluge drops area attack markers under each party member. These can be used to kill the corpses. Fail to do this, though, and you’ll likely be rooted by the second wave and blown sky-high by Necroburst, so it’s probably worth taking the initial hit.

Spectral Berserker

FFXIV spectral Berserker boss
Image used with permission by copyright holder

This brute starts thing off with Beastly Fury, a hard-hitting shout that hurts the entire party and also turns the arena cross-shaped by adding a bleed field to the edges. There’s a reason for this, as you can imagine. But before that reason emerges, you’ll want to stack for the first instance of Wild Anguish.

The berserker then knocks a hole into one edge of the arena with Wild Rage, knocking players back. The only way to actually die from this is to practically sit under his fist, but the hole itself is important.

Large markers then drop rubble atop each player, which can then be used to act as individual stacks to protect from the incoming four uses of Wild Anguish. One rubble pile per player.

As the boss scurries to the edge of the area to cast Wild Rampage, you’ll need to hide in the hole to avoid the blade wave. Just don’t go in before the cast starts; you don’t want too many stacks of what the hole dishes out.

Now it’s time to avoid some unmarked uses of Raging Slice. Watch where the boss turns to face, and get behind him. Melee can walk right through, whereas ranged will want to strafe to the side.

At this point, the guy will attempt to make a second hole. You’ll want to climb into one not long after, so either position yourself so that you’re not knocked back into the other too soon, or use Arm’s Length or Surecast to negate the push.

Climb in for Wild Rampage, split for another instance of rubble and Wild Anguish, and you should be at the point where it’s rinse and repeat.

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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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