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Eden's Verse: Iconoclasm is the third fight of the Eden's Verse raid in Final Fantasy XIV: Shadowbringers.

Story

As you and your comrades prepare to restore the last of the six elements, Gaia's mind is suddenly seized in the grip of an unknown and malevolent force. Dark aether swirls around her, and slowly coalesces into an ominous glyph, hovering high above Eden. From nowhere, a vast swarm of sin eaters circles around it, as moths to a flame, and a voice that emanates from within the core claims to hold dominion over these creatures of Light. While its true purpose remains unknown, one thing is abundantly clear: it must be vanquished before it is allowed to place your mission in jeopardy.

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Progression

Normal

Savage

The battle against the Idol of Darkness takes place on a square platform, which it is possible to fall off of. At the start of the fight, the Idol of Darkness is a cloud of sin eaters at the north end of the platform, which is omnidirectional in the sense that positionals automatically succeed. The platform is divided into four rows and four columns, forming 16 tiles in total. In what follows, we will always refer to the tiles with the following scheme:

  • The area where the Idol of Darkness is will always be referred to as "north".
  • The columns will be indexed, west to east, as A, B, C, and D.
  • The rows will be indexed, north to south, as 1, 2, 3, and 4.
  • The tiles will be referred to by their column index and then their row index. For example, the northwest-most tile will be referred to as A1.

A mechanic which is used throughout the fight, and is worth mentioning right at the beginning of the discussion, is Away with Thee. Away with Thee inflicts each party member with one randomly selected debuff: Forward with Thee, Back with Thee, Left with Thee, or Right with Thee. This debuff places a portal under the party member's feet and another in front of, behind, to the left of, or to the right of, the party member respectively. As the party member moves, their portals will move to preserve this relation. When the debuff expires, they will be teleported through the portal. To avoid being teleported off the platform, or into certain death, the party member must be positioned correctly and facing a certain direction whenever Away with Thee is about to expire. A good practice is to stop moving and attacking one or two GCDs (2.5-5 seconds) before Away with Thee expires. Another trick is to use the setting which causes the player character to face their target when using a GCD ability and use this to turn in the desired direction, though as the boss always remains at the north end of the platform, this will not always be helpful.

Introduction

The boss begins by casting Empty Wave, dealing heavy raid-wide damage. It follows by Unshadowed Strike, a tank buster which targets a random tank, regardless of who is top enmity. The first hit of Unshadowed Strike is a linear area-of-effect which inflicts Magic Vulnerability Up; the second hit, known as Silver Stake, will instantly kill anyone with Magic Vulnerability Up, but can be shared with the other tank or the party; the person in the stack closest to the boss will take the most damage.

Therefore, the tank who gets a marker for Unshadowed Strike must get away from the party, and then either go invulnerable to avoid both hits, or, if invulnerabilities are not available, the untargeted tank must stand in front of the targeted tank for the second hit. If the latter strategy is used, then either the tanks need to use heavy mitigation abilities or stack with the party for the second hit. However, Unshadowed Strike is only used three times throughout the fight, so it may be possible to use invulnerabilities on all three uses, depending on luck.

Words of Motion

Is that what's controlling them?

Ryne, referring to the Idol of Darkness, signaling the start of the first mechanic

The first more involved mechanic of the fight begins when the boss casts Words of Motion, spawning red and blue portals in tiles B4 and C4, and two untargetable clouds of sin eaters at the north edge of platform, either in columns A and C, B and D, A and B, or C and D. In particular, exactly two of columns B and C and will have sin eaters. Clouds of sin eaters then spawn in the other two columns, before the first two clouds dash through their columns, and the last two clouds dash through their columns. Being hit with a dashing cloud of sin eaters deals heavy damage and inflicts a stack of Vulnerability Up, and must be avoided. So the party must move to the columns where the last two clouds spawn, and then to the columns where the first two spawned as soon as the first two are done dashing. The player should whether the first clouds ended up in the red portal or in the blue portal. We will refer to these portals as "initial" portals.

For example, if sin eaters spawned first in A and C, and the red portal was at B4, then the blue portal will be at C4, and the player should start in either B or D, and then move to A or C as soon as the first clouds are done dashing. The player should note that the first cloud went into the blue portal (so the second cloud went into the red portal).

Portals now spawn along the edge of the platform. The behavior of the portals on the north and south edges of the platform an always be ignored, as long as the player always stays in columns A or D, as such portals will only ever spawn in columns B and C. The portals on the west and east edges cannot be ignored, however, and follow the following rules:

  • "Inward" portals spawn at A1, A2, A3, and A4. "Outward" portals spawn at D1, D2, D3, and D4.
  • Portals on one side always alternate between red and blue. For example, if there is a red portal at A1, then there will be a red portal at A3 and blue portals at A2 and A4.
  • Clouds of sin eaters dash across the rows from the outward portals towards the inward portals, in the order that they went into the initial portal.
  • The clouds of sin eaters dash three times. Each time, the order of the portals changes.

This all sounds quite complicated, but in reality the following strategy works:

  1. Note the color of the initial portal that the first wave of sin eaters went into. We will call this the "first color."
  2. Look at the outward portals at D1 and D2. If the first color is at D1, go to A2; otherwise, go to A1.
  3. Look at the inward portals at A1 and A2. If their colors match the colors of the outward portals at D1 and D2, call "swap"; otherwise, do nothing.
  4. After the first wave of sin eaters dashes, swap: i.e., if the player is at A2, go to A1; otherwise, go to A2.
  5. After the second wave of sin eaters dashes, if the raid leader called "swap", swap. Otherwise, do nothing.
  6. Repeat from Step 3 until the portals are gone.

Note that the decision to stand at A1 and A2 can be replaced with standing at D1 and D2 without consequence in the above strategy. In particular, no 90-second or 120-second raid buffs should occur during this phase, so the party does not need to be stacked.

After the third round of portals, the party should move to the center of the platform in preparation for the next mechanic.

Betwixt Worlds

The Idol of Darkness casts Betwixt Worlds, targeting the lines between columns A and B, and between columns C and D, for an area-of-effect spell that is fatal and must be avoided. The spell also places walls on those lines that can only be crossed using Away with Thee, and causes a knockback that randomly moves players left or right, cannot be mitigated, and will possibly kill anyone not in between the two walls. So the player must be in the center area of the platform, so they are knocked into one of the walls. (If someone is teleported into a wall by Away with Thee, they will immediately die.)

The boss then casts Words of Spite, spawning clouds of sin eaters at the north (A1, B1, C1, and D1). Each tethers to a random DPS, and after some time will dash in a line through that DPS, dealing heavy damage and inflicting Magic Vulnerability Up. In particular, if a player is hit by two clouds, they will die.

Before Words of Spite resolves, the boss casts Away with Thee, and then targets both healers for Silver Sledge, a stack marker that inflicts Magic Vulnerability Up and must be shared with a player that does not have Magic Vulnerability Up. Silver Sledge and Words of Spite resolve at the same time, immediately after Away with Thee.

The following strategy always works for this mechanic:

  • The DPS tethered to the clouds at A1 and D1 should use Away with Thee to teleport to their respective square, and then run to the corner of that square, so that their cloud just barely clips the platform as it dashes.
  • The DPS tethered to the clouds at B1 and C1 should use Away with Thee to teleport to a tile in their respective column, so that their clouds dash in a straight line along that column.
  • Each tank and healer should be assigned either "west" or "east", and should teleport to A3 (for "west") or D3 (for "east"). This way, the tank is still in melee range of the boss, the healer has a partner for Silver Sledge, and they are both far away from the clouds.

Care must be taken to avoid being teleported off the platform or into the wall. If a healer or DPS dies during teleportation, their marker will be transferred to a random party member, which will very likely wipe the group.

Idolatry and Blasphemy

Words of Unity

Words of Night

Words of Fervor

Timeline

Time Ability Notes
0:09 Empty Wave
0:25 Unshadowed Strike
0:40 Words of Motion The next minute is the blue/red portal phase.
1:42 Betwixt Worlds
1:48 Words of Spite
1:53 Away with Thee
2:16 Empty Wave
2:23 Unshadowed Striked
2:36 Words of Motion
2:40 False Moonlight
2:45 Silver Scourge
2:55 Away with Thee
3:00 False Midnight
3:25 Idolatry and Blasphemy spawn
3:42 Overwhelming Light
3:44 Insatiable Light
3:59 Advent of Light
4:07 Insatiable Light
4:11 Overwhelming Light
4:21 Away with Thee
4:22 Strength in Numbers
4:30 Insatiable Light
4:48 Overwhelming Light
4:48 Strength in Numbers
4:54 Insatiable Light
5:25 Unearned Envy Casts six times before enraging.
0:00 Empty Flood Casts some seconds after Blasphemy is destroyed, which depends on group DPS.
0:16 Unjoined Aspect Boss becomes targetable here.
0:23 Words of Unity
0:30 Boundless Light
0:38 Words of Entrapment
0:47 White Smoke
0:54 Boundless Light
1:08 Unjoined Aspect
1:17 Words of Night
1:23 False Dawn
1:46 Silver Spear
2:06 Empty Wave
2:13 Unshadowed Strike
2:38 Crusade Boss untargetable shortly before this cast.
2:47 Unjoined Aspect
2:53 Words of Fervor
3:26 Threefold Grace Casts three times.
3:46 Empty Wave
3:56 Empty Wave
4:05 Unjoined Aspect
4:11 Words of Fervor
4:44 Threefold Grace Casts three times.
5:14 Empty Wave Possibly skipped, depending on how long add phase took.
5:24 Empty Wave Possibly skipped, depending on how long add phase took.
5:34 Empty Wave Possibly skipped, depending on how long add phase took.
11:37 Empty Flood Enrage cast. Cast time determined by time since the start of the fight, not since the end of the add phase.

Musical themes

A orchestration of Force Your Way, the same that plays during Eden's Gate: Resurrection and Eden's Gate: Descent, plays during the fight against the Idol of Darkness.

Etymology

Iconoclasm is the destruction of certain "heretical" or "unholy" images for religious reasons; metaphorically, it can also refer to attacks on widely revered beliefs.


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