A Guide to The Minstrel's Ballad: Thordan's Reign Extreme Raid in Final Fantasy XIV
A complete guide to The Minstrel's Ballad: Thordan's Reign Extreme Raid in Square Enix's critically acclaimed MMORPG Final Fantasy XIV.
Your Warrior of Light has defeated King Thordan and brought peace to the lands of Eorzea once more. Your feats are recounted across the land, garnering you praise and infamy wherever you go. But what's a story without a little embellishment? The Minstrel's Ballad: Thordan's Reign will see you revisit this momentous battle, but things aren't quite as you remember, and the stakes are higher than ever.
The Extreme version of this Raid has a maximum of 9 phases for your team of warriors to survive, each packing more of a punch than the last. To begin, make sure everyone on your team knows their role. Tanks should be divided into Main Tank (MT) and Off Tank (OT), and you should also have a Main Healer (MH) and an Off Healer (OH). Having these roles assigned early on will make coordination much easier when it's time to dance around Thordan's mechanics.
In the first phase, the Main Tank should pivot Thordan away from the party, and all other party members should avoid stepping in front of Thordan. Thordan's cone of damage can easily tear through less defense-heavy party members, so instead focus your attacks at his back. Phase 1's attacks have a decent announcement buffer so your team can dodge high-damage blows.
Meteorain is an AOE that spawns under all characters, and players can stack prior to this attack to bait the AOE's to 1 spot to be easily avoided. When Thordan casts Ascalon's Mercy, an AOE will appear in front of him. To avoid this, you can dance the thin lines between the AOE in front of him, but it's best to run behind him and avoid the attack altogether. If you find yourself caught in this attack, prepare for a massive knockback that could spell doom in later phases when the map size decreases.
Next, you'll want to avoid the Dragon's Gaze spell by turning your character's back to Thordan when you see the red eye appear over him. Getting struck by this will inflict your Warrior of Light with Fear, another mechanic that can easily wipe your team in later phases as you're forced to run away from Thordan. Next up is his Lightning Storm, indicated by a purple marker appearing above some of the party. Marked players should spread to avoid splashing damage on each other, but don't go too far - a stack marker will appear above one player, indicating that Dragon's Rage is about to begin and all players should converge on the stack marker.
When Thordan casts Heavenly Heel, the Tanks will want to stack their defensive abilities to ward off this Tank buster and prepare for Phase 2. As Thordan disappears from the field, players should stack in the center of the arena and prepare to run for the cardinal directions. Two attacks happen at once here, the first being Heavensflare which drops a pool of fire under the grouped players. Holy Chain will appear at random, linking two players together. Your goal is to break these chains by spreading apart from your chained comrade. If you've survived this far, look for the 4 Conviction Towers that will appear around the map. Each conviction tower will require at least 1 party member to be standing inside it, or everyone in the party will be hit with massive damage and suffer debuffs.
Sir Zephirin will then appear in the middle of the map and begin casting his Sacred Cross attack. This is your DPS check, and all team members should pour as much damage as possible into Sir Zephirin before the attack is cast, as the damage is equal to how much health Sir Zephirin has left before casting. As Sacred Cross nears completion, 3 knights will spawn at the edges of the arena for their Spiral Thrust, a dive bomb that intersects the map in cones. Follow the patterns on the floor between knights to safely dodge this attack. If hit, players will be knocked back to the edge of the arena, an instant kill mechanic in later phases.
Phase 3 begins with Ser Janlenoux and Ser Adelphel spawning on the map. The Main Tank and the Off Tank will each need to aggro one of these knights and pull them to opposite sides of the map to avoid their stance sharing. When casting Divine Right, one knight will enter Sword stance and one will enter the Shield stance, indicated by a sword or shield icon below their focus bars. DPS's should focus whichever knight has entered Sword stance before these tank busters can wipe your team. While your team is whittling away at the two knights, DPS's will need to keep an eye out for Skyward Leap. Marked DPS's should separate perpendicular to the knights and away from the rest of the party to avoid splashing damage. Healers should keep an eye out for the Holiest of Holy attack, an AOE that hits every party member with massive damage and will require hasty healing to keep from wiping.
Once both knights have been defeated, the battle will enter Phase 3. The party should stack in the center of the arena once more to prepare for Spiral Pierce, an attack that tethers 3 party members to a knight that will charge them upon casting. Spread to avoid hitting other teammates with this attack, and to avoid the circle AOE's that will spawn under each player at the start of this phase. Non-tethered players will need to spread to the edge of the map to take their unavoidable Hiemal Storm, an ice AOE that lingers to inflict frostbite on any who enter the affected area. After this series of attacks, quickly stack in the center of the arena again to prepare for Faith Unmoving, a knockback attack that can send your character to their death in later phases.
Meteor Circles will then spawn around the map, with 8 small meteors slowly descending towards the ground and a much larger Comet incoming at the center of the map. Destroy the smaller meteors first before they can reach the ground and explode, and then focus the giant comet in the middle to avoid a wipe. While taking out these meteors, be sure to dodge the AOE's that will begin around the map. Once you've dealt with the meteors, Thordan will return for an ultimate attack with a series of knockbacks. Push forward through each attack and prepare for the next phase.
Thordan will begin the next phase by casting Dragon's Eye, though this one will spawn a massive Dragon's eye outside of the arena. Players will need to turn away from both Thordan and the massive eye to avoid being hit with Hysteria. Tanking Thordan towards the eye can allow your team to easily dodge Dragon's Gaze by only needing to turn away from 1 direction. Next up is a combo that can easily wipe your team, Holy Shield Bash and Spear of Fury. A healer will be marked for damage at the start of this attack, and the party should form a line between the marked healer and the knight. The Off Tank should be at the front of this line to soak as much damage as possible, because if anyone dies to this attack, your entire team will likely wipe. Thordan will then begin incorporating attacks from Phase 1, ultimately finishing his cycle with the Ancient Quagga AOE.
Once Thordan has completed his attack cycle, get ready, as he's about to repeat it all. But this time, players will have to contend with all mechanics from the raid, dodging AOE's, meteors, conviction towers, and of course, more knights. As this phase continues, more attacks will be combo-ed, so you'll want to sink as much damage into Thordan as possible while dodging these attacks to avoid dragging the fight out.
If you've managed to bring Thordan to his knees once more, pat your Warrior of Light on the back and be sure to endorse your teammates for surviving this extreme raid. Now all you have to do is roll for your loot, and there are some great prizes in store. The most common drop is a Weapons Coffer, which will contain Heavensward series of weapons for whichever class you consume the coffer with. In addition to weapons, you can also obtain the Faded Copy of Heroes Orchestrion roll and the Round Lanner whistle, an item that allows you to summon a Heavenly Falcon mount.