Encounter Advice 5.35

FFXIV Shadowbringers Red Mage: The Epic of Alexander (TEA)

Authors

Lana White
Lana White Contributor | NA | Leviathan
Velox Vulpes
Velox Vulpes Contributor | EU | Cerberus

The Epic of Alexander (Ultimate)

TEA
TEA

This page will serve as an optimisation resource for The Epic of Alexander (TEA) Ultimate encounter. Not only will it cover rotation optimisation choices, but will also highlight optimisation around party wide utility & mitigation.

With additional information, checking & theorycrafting from Phoebe No’Saa, Hinoka Shirasagi, Laille Ormesaing, Velox Vulpes, Elevation Xx & maintenance by Nemekh Kinryuu.

Before You Begin

Disclaimer

While this resource will attempt to cover various situations involving kill times & group strategies, the ideas detailed within will ultimately depend on these situations existing. Therefore, it may not be in your best interest to follow one specific timeline labeled, rather use multiple timeline examples to adapt to your own group.

5.3 Build Options

i475 - 2.50s GCD | with Ultimate Vorpal Sword (maximum damage potential)

i475 - 2.48s GCD | with Ultimate Vorpal Sword

Choices Between Builds

A very common question asked is “Which BiS should I use?”

Your choice of which build to use will primarily rest upon personal preference.

While the base Spell Speed build (2.50s GCD) maintains the maximum theoretical damage gain, 2.48s is a known GCD which can play out better with OGCD alignment. Your mileage may vary, however, even faster sets will be a greater loss.

General Fight Tips

Managing Resources

For all phases in TEA you should aim to finish capped with, or very close to 100 | 100 Black and White mana.

One of RDM’s greatest strengths is the ability to pool resources for use in later parts of the fight, and ending the phase capped on mana allows you to execute a strong reopener in the next phase with two melee combos under raid buffs thanks to Manafication.

The only exception to this is if your group decides to use buffs at the end of Brute Justice and Cruise Chaser, which is explained below.

Potion Usage

Potions in TEA should be used during buff windows, which will most likely be at the start of phases, but can also vary for each group.

Manafication should always be used during potion windows to allow for two melee combos under the potion buff with the exception being if you decide to use a potion at the start of Living Liquid.

Embolden usage

As always, Embolden should be used to achieve the best possible gains for your group. With this in mind, your Embolden usage will vary depending on how fast your group pushes the first two phases.

You should discuss with your group whether or not you will use two minute buffs at the end of Brute Justice and Cruise Chaser, or save them for the beginning of Alexander Prime.

Vercure Usage

As with other fights in the game, Vercure can be used during downtime in-between phases in order to prepare a Dualcast for when the boss becomes targetable again.

In addition to this, in phases where the boss isn’t targetable and heavy raid damage is going out, such as Phase 3’s Wormhole Formation and Phase 4’s Fate Calibration Beta, using Vercure to assist your healers is generally advisable.

Phase 1: Living Liquid

Living Liquid (LL)
Living Liquid (LL)

Phase 1: Opener

For Living Liquid, you can do either of the standard RDM openers of X-8 or X-10.

Using the X-8 opener, your melee hits would be on Living Liquid while your Verholy/Verflare and Scorch would be on one of the bosses after they are split.

Using X-10, your melee combo would start after the bosses have already split, allowing you to use your full combo on one boss. Using this opener also allows your last Dualcast before the melee combo to be an Impact, as the bosses will be split and close together.

You should try both openers and use whichever one feels more comfortable for you.

Phase 1: Jagd Dolls

If you are feeding first or second in your group, it may be advisable to save your second Fleche to help with your doll, but that will not be necessary if you are the third or fourth feed. Additionally, It is possible for a Critical Direct Hit Veraero or Verthunder to chunk your doll for a large amount of damage, killing it. It may be wise to exclusively use Jolt II on the doll once it passes a certain health threshold for safety and consistency.

Phase 1: Contre Sixte

If you are killing Living Liquid before second splashes, you will only be able to get three uses of Contre Sixte before the end of the phase, while still having it up for your reopener next phase. This gives you some leeway allowing you to hold it in a few instances for when it will be hitting two targets. Something to consider is holding it in your opener until Liquid Hand spawns rather than using it for single target damage

Phase 1: Impact Usage

As Impact deals damage with a potency of 220 to each target, versus Veraero and Verthunder dealing damage with a potency of 370 to a single target, it is a gain of 70 potency to cast Impact when both Living Liquid and Liquid Hand are stacked together.

You should be aiming to cast as many Impacts as you can while the bosses are stacked in order to maximize your damage output.

Here’s an image showing Impact Usage in Phase 1:

Phase 1: Impact Usage
Phase 1: Impact Usage

A caveat for this is that Impact generates less mana than single target casting does, so you may have to do some single target casts while the bosses are stacked towards the end of the phase in order to cap your mana. This can usually be done around the beginning of second Protean Waves, but may vary depending on your push timings.

Phase 1: Addle Mitigation

There are several uses for Addle during Living Liquid to assist with group mitigation. Be mindful that group mitigation should always be planned in coordination with your Healers & Tanks.

For ideas on where Addle may be used in the event such coordination does not exist (or you wish to make a recommendation to your group):

  • 1st Cascade (Good Value)
  • 1st set of Protean Waves (Decent Value)
  • Splashes > 2nd Cascade (Preferred Usage)
  • 2nd set of Protean Waves (Mediocre Value)

Phase 2: Brute Justice + Cruise Chaser

BJCC
BJCC

Phase 2: Reopener

As long as you end the previous phase with enough mana, prepping Dualcast during Limit Cut and using Acceleration before the phase begins will allow you to generate enough mana for two melee combos before you need to move out for Chakrams and Optical Sight.

Phase 2: BJ CC Reopener
Phase 2: BJ CC Reopener

The Embolden timing represented in the reopener image is not set in stone, feel free to adjust forwards or backwards depending on your team’s needs.

Phase 2: Impact Usage

As with Living Liquid, you should be using Impact in this phase whenever you are able to hit both bosses with it.

However, this phase has a lot more variance in strategies used depending on the group, so it is entirely possible that the bosses will not be stacked at all outside of the beginning of the phase. In this scenario, feel free to simply single target cast as usual.

Keep in mind that there is a certain mana threshold you will want to hit before the end of the phase, varying depending on your buff usage. Reaching this may require single target casting even when the bosses are together. If your group is holding 2m buffs at the end of this phase, you’ll want at least 100|95 mana going into Alexander Prime. Whereas if your group is using 2m buffs at the end of BJCC, you can afford to end the phase with just enough mana for a single melee combo.

Phase 2: Melee Combos & Displacement

Due to the Nisi mechanic in this phase if your group has two melee DPS in it you may sometimes have difficulty finding room to use a melee combo during mechanics depending on your group’s strategies.

In this scenario, it would be best to discuss this with your group members to try and find places where you can fit a melee combo in safely.

If this is not possible, however, you can use reprise to avoid overcapping on mana until you are able to use your next combo.

Extreme caution must also be practiced when using Displacement in this phase. It is highly recommended to use Engagement instead for the majority of this phase unless you can be certain that you can use it safely around the Nisi and Water Tornado mechanics, particularly for progression.

Phase 2: Hidden Minefield

While ideally your group would have the Cruise Chaser tank and a physical ranged baiting Hidden Minefields, the strategies of some groups may ask their caster to bait for this mechanic.

In this scenario feel free to use Reprise as necessary to avoid being killed by the AOEs you are baiting.

Phase 2: Second Manafication & Embolden

Depending on when your party decides to use their buff windows, you may end up using a second Manafication and Embolden at the end of this phase.

If your group is using raid buffs after Gavel, you can safely Manafication here without losing damage in Alexander Prime. Doing this, however, will push your next buff window and Manafication to after Inception Formation.

If you’re using your 120s here, consider potting here as a potion here will be more valuable for you than a pot during Alexander Prime.

Phase 2: Addle Mitigation

Addle in this phase can primarily be used on two things- the Whirlwind raidwide from Cruise Chaser and the Water and Thunder casts from Brute Justice. To mitigate Water and Thunder damage, cast Addle on Brute Justice at around 3-4s of the debuff timer ticking down.

As there are many casts of this throughout the phase which one you decide to Addle should be discussed with your healers, however, it is recommended to not Addle the first Whirlwind as Photon will be cast shortly afterwards, bringing all players to 1 HP regardless of mitigation used.

Phase 3: Alexander Prime

Alexander Prime
Alexander Prime

Phase 3: Reopener with Two Minute Buffs

If you are not using a two-minute buff window at the end of phase 2, you will be reopening with a double melee combo here. You can do this reopener as normal, however, due to the tight window of Alexander Prime being targetable, you should clip your final dualcast by using Fleche in between your hardcasted spell and your dualcasted spell. By doing this, you will be guaranteed the higher potency from Fleche without the risk of it ghosting, while still getting the mana from your final dualcast, even if the spell clips.

Phase 3: Temporal Stasis

As Temporal Stasis completely freezes all of your buff timers, if you’re reopening under buffs with Manafication, you can use your potion before Temporal Stasis.

Phase 3: Inception Formation

During Inception Formation, you can cast spells on the True Heart to generate more mana for when Alexander becomes targetable again.

You should also use a Vercure towards the end of the mechanic to prepare Dualcast.

Phase 3: Post-Inception Buff Window

As mentioned previously, if your group opts to use buffs at the end of Brute Justice and Cruise Chaser, this would be where you use your next Manafication and Embolden.

If your group uses buffs at the beginning of Alexander Prime, you can disregard this.

Phase 3: Burn Phase

After Wormhole Formation, many groups will choose to hold their buffs for the burn phase where all three bosses become targetable. Both Manafication and Embolden should be held for this, and you should use the time in between Alexander being targetable post-Wormhole and the Summon Alexander cast to cap on mana for two quick melee combos when the adds spawn. After using your initial two melee combos, this is also a prime chance to cap on resources so you can have full mana at the start of Perfect Alexander.

Push timings here may affect how much time you have to accomplish this but consider asking your group to slow down their push so you can get more mana if you’re pushing Perfect Alexander’s enrage.

Phase 3: Addle Mitigation

Addle in this phase has multiple possible usages, with the two most common being double Mega Holy casts following Wormhole Formation, and for J Waves from Brute Justice during burn phase.

In addition to this, Addle can also be used to help mitigate a Chastening Heat tankbuster.

Which cast you can Addle depends on where your other Addle is being used:

  • If Addle is wanted for Mega Holy, use the 1st Addle for the 1st Chastening Heat after Stasis
  • If Addle is wanted for J Waves, use the 1st Addle for the 1st or 2nd Chastening Heat depending on Tank cooldowns (The 2nd will occur following Inception Formation)

Phase 4: Perfect Alexander

Perfect Alexander
Perfect Alexander

Phase 4: Opener

You should use previously saved resources and open Perfect Alexander with a double melee combo under potion. However, caution must be exercised if Perfect Alexander uses Ordained Stillness first, as this will align with the usage of your second melee combo.

In this scenario, you must respect Ordained Stillness and complete the combo after it has resolved. See the Opener image below:

Phase 4: Perfect Alexander Opener
Phase 4: Perfect Alexander Opener

You should also untarget the boss by using Escape if you are playing KB+M or pressing the Circle/B twice if you are playing on controller, which will ensure that auto-attacks do not trigger Ordained Stillness. Alternatively, you can choose to sheathe your weapon instead.

If Perfect Alexander uses Ordained Stillness second, you can safely use one instant cast after the beacon stuns and forced march end before being forced to stop.

Phase 4: Final Pot, Manafication & Embolden

Perfect Alexander begins to cast Temporal Interference just a little over 5 minutes into the phase, beginning the enrage sequence. Due to this, we have an allotted use of 2 potions and 3 uses of Embolden and Manafication.

The final use of each ability should therefore be held until the final potion window where you can align 2 minute and 3 minute raid buffs. Some groups may do this during Almighty Judgement, while some may choose to wait the beginning of the enrage sequence.

Phase 4: Addle Mitigation

Similarly to Alexander Prime, there are several abilities to use Addle on, which are:

  • Optical Sight 1 + 2 (Good value)
  • First Ordained Capital Punishment + Ordained Punishment (Okay value)
  • First Irresistible Grace (Good value)
  • Second Irresistible Grace (Good value)

If Addling the Optical Sights or the tank buster combo, Addle should be timed towards the end of the cast bar to ensure that it covers both abilities for extra mitigation value. Again, similarly to Alexander Prime, where you can Addle depends on your other Addle uses:

You must choose between Addling the Optical Sights and the tank buster combo. You must choose which Irresistible Grace to Addle.

Additional Resources

Red Mage PoVs & Logs

Majority of the clears below happened prior to 5.20. While damage potential has since increased, the underlying logic and reasonings detailed above remain the same.

Hinoka Shirasagi's Clear PoV

Hinoka Shirasagi’s Clear Log

Velox Vulpe's Clear PoV

Velox Vulpe’s Clear Log

Laille Ormesaing's Clear PoV
Lana White's 5.3 Clear PoV

Elevation Xx’s Clears - Log 1 - Log 2