Before players step foot in raids, some of the hardest fights in Final Fantasy 14 are the trials. Final Fantasy 14: Shadowbringers offers a total of three different trials, and two of them currently offer even harder Extreme versions. The first Trial is called The Dancing Plague, pitting you and full party of eight again the faerie king Titania.
The Dancing Plague is intended for level 73 players who have completed the storyline of Il Mheg. Like other Trials, you'll fight against a single boss across multiple phases. This guide will also cover The Dancing Plague (Extreme), the level 80 version of the same fight.
How to Beat The Dancing Plague
The normal version of The Dancing Phase will pit your full party against a total of four phases. Titania is your enemy for three of those phases, while she summons an additional group of enemies for the third phase.
For the first 30% of her health bar, Titania will use the moves in this phase. It's a pretty normal fight at this point, as players simply near to dodge or mitigate Titania's attacks. Note, tanks should face Titania away from the rest of the party.
- Divination Rune: This is Titania's tankbuster. Unlike some tankbuster attacks, this is actually a frontal cone attack, and anyone in front of Titania will take the damage. Off-tanks, DPS, and healers should move if they're in range, though the main tank should have Titania faced away from the rest of the party.
- Bright Sabbath: This is a groupwide AoE. Healers be prepared with a group heal.
- Phantom Rune: This is a standard target AoE in one of two patterns. The first has a circular safe zone under Titania, while she attacks the rest of the arena. The second is reversed, with Titania attacking a circular region under her.
- Mist Rune: This is one-half of Titania's primary mechanic for Phase 1. Water Rune has no cast time, but causes four puddles of water to appear around the arena. These puddles will have purple bubbles that slowly surround them, acting as a lock timer: once the puddles are enclosed by bubbles, you can't enter them anymore. Unlike many attacks, you want to stand in these puddles, as they provide a Fire Resistance buff that key for dealing with...
- Flame Rune: After Water Rune is cast, Titania will summon a flaming fist in the center of the arena. She'll then target one random player with the stack marker. That player should move to a puddle and the rest of the party should stack on them to spread the damage.
Once you've depleted 30% percent of her health, Titania will transition to this phase. She will cast Midsummer Night's Dream, which isn't actually an attack, but merely a stage transition. Titania will also add new attacks to her repertoire.
- Growth Rune: After the stage transition, Titania will immediately use this attack. It'll create an AoE marker in the shape of an eight pointed star. Roots will grow out from the center in eight directions, like a compass. You want to avoid these, as they will stun and damage any player they touch.
- Frost Rune: Titania will mark the entire arena with nine circular AoE markers, starting in the center, and moving around sequence. These markers will explode in the order they were dropped on the arena. Your best bet it to stand on the last marker, wait for the center space to explode, and then move to the safe zone left behind.
- Uplift: This attack comes immediately after Frost Rune, and puts targeted AoE markers on each player. Separate to minimize damage, and healer be ready to heal everyone.
The add phase is where parties facing Titania for the first time usually fall apart. Once you've brought Titania down to half her health, she leaves the battlefield and summons three Treant adds to fight for her. The first add is Puck (spawns North), who has a small square AoE called Gentle Breeze, and a tankbuster-style attack called Hard Swipe. This is a cleave with no telegraph, and it lowers your overall damage resistance. Too many stacks of this debuff will cause the tank to die to Hard Swipe. Peaseblossom (West) is the second add, who has a heavy-hitting slam attack and will randomly spawn Peasebomb, a targeted AoE circle on each player. Finally, there's Mustardseed (East), who attacks in a spread out pattern of straight line AoE attacks. Mustardseed is the easiest one to deal with, but also has an enrage move; if you don't kill it in time, it'll deal a lot of damage.
Kill order varies by group in the normal version of this fight. Some kill Mustardseed first to avoid the enrage timer and allow the party to do a little less moving around. Killing Puck or Peaseblossom first is focused on preventing their powerful attacks from stacking on the party. At the very least, it's worthwhile for your tanks to split Puck and Peaseblossom, with your strongest tank on Puck. I'd recommend the kill order of Puck > Peaseblossom > Mustardseed.
Once all three are down, Titania will resummon them in much larger versions. Unlike before, they will be permanently parked at the north, east, and west sides of the arena. They'll also have updated versions of their previous attacks.
- Leafstorm: Mustardseed's previous split cone AoE attack, but his positioning and increased number of lines means it'll cover most of the arena.
- Puck's Breath: A stack marker that will do crazy damage to your tank.
- Peasebomb: Same as before, but larger AoE circles, more frequently.
Titania will also cast an attack that causes directional markers to radiate out from the center. If you're in the center when this move goes off, it will hurt. You want to stand as close as possible to the center otherwise, because the attack has a pushback.
As you're killing the adds, Titania will slowly charge up her power, indicated by a meter shown on screen. The adds must be downed before the Titania's Power meter reaches 100%. If that happens, she'll cast Being Mortal, which is a groupwide AoE that'll wipe the party. Titania's Power determines the strength of Being Mortal, so healers be prepared if you're on the high end.
You survived the hard part. This phase sees Titania return to using attacks from the first and second phases, but paired together. You'll see two Growth Runes at once, or Phantom Rune combined with the Water/Flame Rune set. You know these moves at this point. Don't panic and Titania will be down.
How to Beat The Dancing Plague Extreme
So you've polished off the easy version of Titania and finished the Shadowbringers main scenario quests. Now it's time to face Titania again. You have a vague idea of what you're in for, but Titania has learned a few new moves since you faced her last.
Right off the bar, you're going to need more organization. You need to have two groups, each comprised of a tank, a healer, and two DPS. Stick with your group for the early fight mechanics. With that out of the way, you can kick off Phase 1. Most of her moveset will look familiar, but with new wrinkles.
- Divination Rune and Bright Sabbath: These moves remain unchanged.
- Phantom Rune: The two versions of Titania's basic AoE attack are unchanged. If you're hit by it, you'll take a debuff called Hysteria, which will confuse you. Pay attention to Titania physically: if she's glowing green with her wings pulled back, she's doing the AoE where the safe zone is near her. If her wings are spread out with a purple sheen, then she's doing the close-range AoE.
- Mist Rune: The number of water puddles jumps from four to eight in the Extreme version, and every member of the full party needs to have their own puddle. It's probably better that both tanks, take two of the inner puddles, while your healers and ranged DPS split up the outside puddles. Some suggest that your healers stay on the south side puddles, while DPS takes the north side.
- Flame Rune: Like Mist Rune, Flame Rune is doubled up. Titania will cast two stack markers, one on each of the healers. You need to split the party to stack up in each marker, but if you've set your groups, it's just a matter of each group stacking on opposite sides of the boss. Titania will do Divination Rune directly after this mechanic.
- Chains of Bramble: This is a brand-new mechanic for the EX version of the fight. Titania will tether your tanks/healers to your DPS. The tethered pair needs to separate, so you should decide which opposite corners you're going to head towards. Move far enough, and you'll break the tethers. Everyone should be stacked together near the center when Titania casts this, and each group should immediately run to their set corner (Northwest/Southeast, etc)
Like the normal version, upon loses 30% of her health, Titania will cast Midsummer Night's Dream and change the arena. Like Phase 1, the Extreme version sees unique twists on previous moves.
- Lightning Tether: Titania will tether herself to a random player. After a short period of time, she'll cast a small, targeted lightning AoE on her tethered target. This also gives that target a debuff that lowers lightning resistance. You can pick up the by stepping in-between Titania and her current tethered target. The idea here is you want to cycle through the party one by one, so each player takes one lightning bolt. The main tank should probably not take it, but otherwise, who takes each shot and in which order, is ultimately up to you. Titania will cast a total of six lightning bolts.
- Fae Light: Titania gains a second tankbuster! This is still cone-based like Divination Rune, but you want the main and off-tank to stack and take this together to spread the damage.
- Growth Rune + Chains of Bramble: This combines the new Chains attack with dual Growth Runes at opposite corners. You still need to separate as group to break the tethers, but the separation directions at determined by the corners where the Growth Rune didn't spawn. You also have to do it fairly quickly, as the Growth Runes will eventually grow into the adjacent corners. Titania will probably follow this up with Divination Rune.
- Frost Rune + Uplift: These moves have not changed from their normal versions.
Even on Extreme, this is likely the spot that's going to cause groups to fracture and fail. Puck, Peaseblossom, and Mustardseed spawn at North, West, and East respectively. Unlike before, Mustardseed has an enrage timer, meaning it jumps ahead in the kill order. I recommend the kill order are Mustardseed > Puck > Peaseblossom (East, North, West), but you can switch the last two. There is a new mechanic though.
- Vines: Titania will summon two walls of vines on either side of her that will divide the arena. One set of vines will do a straight line AoE in one direction, while the other set will go in the opposite direction. Titania will combine with Chains of Bramble, so each set group needs to stack on the safe side of each vine wall. Titania will also use her pushback attack that hits the center of the arena. Position your group on the edge of the blue circle in the center, and the safe side of the vines, but still close to them. The knockback should push you towards the corners. This actually helps you break the tethers. Be ready to move out of the adds' attacks.
Take the adds down before Titania's Power is full and you'll move on to the final phase.
You're screaming around the bend coming to the end of this fight! Titania is going to start stacking moves together to trick you.
- Phantom Rune + Mist Rune: Phantom Rune will go off before you'll be locked out of Mist Rune's puddles. Dodge Phantom Run first, then go to your assigned puddle.
- Flame Rune + Growth Rune: This is the same dual stack markers on the healer, but two Growth Runes will spawn on the cardinal points of the arena: North/South, East/West. This may force you to slightly rotate which puddles each group is stacking on. I'd say your best bet is to shift clockwise, so you don't have two groups in the same puddle.
And if you don't mess it up, you'll have down Titania Extreme. Congratulations!