The Akh Afah Amphitheatre (Unreal) 5.3

FFXIV Shadowbringers Raid Guide

Authors

Joonbob
Joonbob NA | Excalibur
Nemekh Kinryuu
Nemekh Kinryuu EU | Leviathan

Overview

The faux commander demands of you a tale to tear at the heart and grip the soul, and for this there is certainly no better inspiration than your fateful confrontation with Shiva.

Turn your mind to that most tragic of primals, and find what dreams of ice may come…

The Akh Afah Ampthitheatre (Unreal) is an upscaled retelling released in 5.3 of the A Realm Reborn Extreme Trial by the same name “The Akh Afah Ampthiteatre (Extreme)”, aka Shiva (Ex).

To access this you must first unlock the “Faux Hollows” by talking to the Painfully Ishgardian Man (X:7.0 Y:5.9) in Idyllshire to start a very brief quest.

Requires Wondrous Tails to have been unlocked.

Due to the fight being unchanged from its original incarnation mechanically for many of you the encounter will be familiar, however, for those of you new to experiencing the original Shiva and those of you for whom it’s been a very long time, this guide is for you!

If you have any suggestions, corrections or feedback for particular phases please let us know at feedback@akhmorning.com.

General Considerations

  • Shiva’s core mechanic are her weapon stances. Her abilities are dictated by her current form.
  • Assign safe spots for Icicle Impact Hailstorms, or play by ear and be safe with it.
  • Her hard enrage is after 11 Damage Up stacks.

Tanks

Use cooldowns throughout to reduce the damage of autos as weapon Resistance Down stacks increase.

Swap on the fly or pick a stance to grab. One tank for Sword Stance + one tank for Staff Stance.

As MT move into the party for Icebrand during Sword Stance but face Shiva away to bait Glacier Bash, moving through Shiva during the latter’s cast bar to dodge it.

Mechanics

Here we’ll explain the underlying mechanics throughout the encounter.

Unarmed Stance

  • Dreams of Ice: Shiva gains a permanent Damage Up stack.
  • Icicle Impact: Shiva’s signature AoE circles. Look for the safe region and move over.
  • Diamond Dust: Transition raidwide. Heal up and strike a pose!


Sword Stance

  • Sword Autos: Stacking Blunt Resistance Down stacks on the MT, weakening them to Staff Form damage.
  • Ice Brand: Opening heavy damage cleave attack. MT runs through to share it with the party to split up the damage.
  • Glacier Bash: Baitable cleave attack that deals heavy damage + stuns those hit. MT can avoid by running through Shiva during the cast bar.
  • Heavenly Strike: Raidwide with knockback. No castbar. Shielding the damage negates the knockback.
  • Whiteout: Donut AoE. Get close to Shiva and stay in to avoid damage.


Staff Stance

  • Staff Autos: Stacking Slashing Resistance Down stacks on the MT, weakening them to Sword Form damage.
  • Hail Storm: AoE markers target numerous players. Spread out and avoid overlapping the AoE damage.
  • Absolute Zero: Magic raidwide damage with no cast bar. Used periodically.


Bow Stance (Phase 2 Only)

  • Glass Dance: 270 degree cone used at the start of Bow Form. Stand directly behind to avoid..
  • Avalanche: Marks a random player for a line AoE. Knocks back. Position sensibly away from the marked player to avoid being knocked back into the arena wall or you will be frozen in ice.
  • Permafrost: Frostbite Damage over Time + slippery ice floor. Movement will make you slide across the arena into the wall freezing you.


Phase 1: 100-80%

Shiva (Unreal)
Shiva (Unreal)

Shiva starts the fight changing to a random weapon stance out of Staff Stance or Sword Stance. She will always swap to the other later on.

Sword Stance

Sword Stance always opens with the Icebrand cleave attack. Have the MT soak this with the party by running through and standing with them before it snapshots.

She will periodically cast Heavenly Strike dealing raidwide damage with a knockback. Taking 0 damage with shields negates the knockback, as do knockback immunities like Surecast and Arm’s Length.

Glacier Bash is another cleave attack that must be baited away from the party. During the cast bar the MT must run through Shiva to not be hit by the damage and stun.

Shiva will eventually cast Whiteout. This is a donut AoE so just get close to Shiva while she casts it and stay in.

Staff Stance

Staff Stance always opens with Hailstorm. Random players will be targeted with an AoE marker. Spread out and avoid overlapping the AoEs - though note the circles can overlap some, just don’t have your AoE touch other players!

Absolute Zero will be cast periodically throughout Staff Stance. Mitigate and heal up.

Unarmed Stance

In between weapon stances Shiva will be unarmed and will cast her signature AoE circle mechanic Icicle Impact. Find the safe spot and move there, or if you are eating a vuln in the middle for uptime make sure you’re only hit by the one circle.

After this she casts Dreams of Ice gaining a permanent damage up stack.

At 79% she will transition to her Adds phase.

Adds: 79-70%

Adds Phase
Adds Phase

Shiva will spawn 4 Ice Soldier adds. Round them up and burn them down before 60s elapses or her hitting 70% hp. If too many adds are alive during Diamond Dust it will wipe the party at the end of the phase.

Have the Sword Stance tank be ready to pick her up as she swaps to Sword Stance. Shiva will open with Icebrand so be sure to have the MT stack with the party to soak this, then move back to bait Glacier Bash away from the party running through Shiva during the cast to dodge it.

Heal up after all adds are dead and be ready to strike a pose for Diamond Dust!

Phase 2: 70-0%

Phase 2
Phase 2

When you’re free to move after you strike your pose, Shiva will freeze the edge of the arena. Touching the edge will freeze you, however, you can be freed from your ice prison as long as the party breaks you out by destroying the ice boulder.

During her weapon stances she will now have access to different Icicle Impacts:

Icicle Impact 01: Staff Stance

  • First set of AoE circles are cardinal or intercardinal
  • Shiva weapon changes to Staff Stance
  • Second set of AoE circles are center and the opposite of where the first set were (intercardinal then cardinal and vice versa)
  • Go to your assigned safe spots and spread Hailstorms (there’s room to fit 2)

She will then spam Absolute Zero until the next Icicle Impact where she will weapon stance swap again.

Icicle Impact 02: Sword Stance

  • First set of AoE circles are cardinal or intercardinal
  • Shiva weapon changes to Sword Stance
  • Second set of AoE circles are center and the opposite of where the first set were (intercardinal then cardinal and vice versa)
  • Stack together for Icebrand then move to the safe areas

As usual have the MT bait Glacier Bash then move in for Whiteout. Shield, anti-knockback or position yourself safely for the Heavenly Strike knockback right after.

Icicle Impact 03:

This is the AoE circle mechanic more of you will remember from Titania in Shadowbringers or Tsukuyomi in Stormblood with Zashiki-asobi.

  • Center circle forms first
  • The rest appear in order in a circle clockwise or counter-clockwise around the center
  • Stand at the final circle then move to the middle after the it falls

Alternatively you can stack center and eat a vuln stack if that’s the party’s wish, but generally, if you can play safer it’s a good idea to do so.

Phase 2: Bow Stance

In addition to her original weapon stances she now gains access to the Bow Stance. Its opening attack is Glass Dance - a 270 degree cone in front of her shooting ice shards all over. Get behind her to dodge this.

Shiva will also target a player with Avalanche - a line AoE with a knockback on the targeted player. Have her tanked near the edge and players position to her sides unless they are marked, then they should be the only one behind Shiva to be knocked back safely.

Thirdly her last ability introduced with Bow Stance is Permafrost. This applies a Frostbite DoT to the party while making the floor slippery. Movement will have you slide across so be sure to stay still. After the first loop she will use this ability outside of Bow Stance.

Phase 2 Loop

Phase 2 Loop
Phase 2 Loop

Shiva’s rotation in this phase will follow this sequence. The fight rewinds back to [Icicle Impact 02] and loops where she will go into either Sword Stance or Staff Stance.

Throughout this phase she will continue to gain Damage Up stacks with Dreams of Ice. At 11 stacks she will begin to hard enrage.

Bid Ysale goodbye and get that clear!

Joonbob’s Video Guide

Joonbob's Pickup Guide | Shiva Unreal

Change Log

  • 14/08/2020: Release of Joon’s Video and this page