FFXIV The best of Garuda and Aiatar

Aiatar (Brayflox’s Longstop)
I make no secret of the fact that I absolutely adore Brayflox, and the final boss is one of the reasons. The trick is that the boss is actually very simple to face, with only a couple of abilities that anyone needs to worry about. But the complexity all comes entirely down to execution. Tanks have to learn to dodge his breath and drag him, DPS has to react quickly to pools and positioning, and healers either force through the slowly accumulating poison or clear it off.

This is also a fight where a lot of people struggle, partly because keeping track of all the subtle ways things change can be a really hard skill to learn. Tanks especially have to learn that the breath is about where most dodged abilities will be later in the game — you do not have a wide margin for error. When you see it, move.

Garuda (The Howling Eye)
In stark contrast to Aiatar, both versions of Garuda have a lot of stuff going on at once. Unlike a lot of fights, though, Garuda isn’t a battle with a single failure point. There are ways to screw up that still result in a clear, albeit a harder one. So the trick becomes minimizing those mistakes rather than having a flawless run and learning to recover after something goes cross-eyed.

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When I first did Garuda’s story version, our tank opined that Garuda is the fight that teaches you how to wipe and learn. I think it’s an appropriate description. The good groups with Garuda might not pull her down the first time, but each try will bring you a little closer. That’s commendable.

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