Containment Bay Z1T9 (Extreme) - Zurvan
By David Bacalus of Death and Taxes <DnT> on Gilgamesh
"You hold a tomestone recovered from the research facility of Azys Lla. According to Unukalhai, this recording device contains the data required to generate a simulacrum of Zurvan at the peak of his original, unmitigated power-the final trial of a program designed to test the mightiest of Allag's elite champions. If you would subject yourself to the dangers of this ancient challenge, you need only approach the verification node and stretch forth your hand..."
Hi guys! Welcome to Death and Taxes' guide for Zurvan EX, a primal more toxic than Titan :) The required minimum average item level is 250 and the fight drops ilvl265 weapons.
Zurvan is a relatively easy primal, in many ways easier than Sophia. Almost all of the mechanics are recycled from previous trials and raids so most players will have an easy time understanding mechanics. The most unique mechanic is arguably Broken Seal, and even that has familiarities to fights like T11 and Chrysalis.
Yes, there has been a lot of toxic discussion over a certain mechanic, and I briefly discuss this before going over fight strategy below. Please read that section before reading the rest of the guide: "Note About Skipping Soar." What I will say here is that in order to successfully kill this primal you must have a basic understanding of your job/dps opener/dps rotation, know your positioning and where to place yourself for mechanics like Soar and Broken Seal, and be able to adapt quickly in case the worst happens with tethers.
As always, some of the strats outlined here do not need to be followed exactly. This is just what I've personally found to work the best for my groups. Your group could be very different and require alternate strats so adjust as needed.
Standard Comp: PLD PoV
Solo Tank, 2 Healers Comp: NIN PoV
Solo Tank, Solo Heal Comp: AST PoV
Quick Fight Guide
Enemy HP & DPS Requirements
Enemy Ability List
Note: Damage amounts listed DO include Protect mitigation but nothing else. Due to the difficulty with calculating damage reduction due to physical defense and magical defense, the "Dmg Target" column will tell what type of player the "Dmg Estimate" is for. Example: If "Dmg Estimate" says "20k" and "Dmg Target" says "DPS" that means a DPS with Protect but no other mitigation would take about 20k damage from the attack; a tank would take less damage from the same attack.
These damage estimates are for players with an average item level of 270.
Note About Skipping Soar
Before I get into the guide, it's important to address the current issue in the community concerning a particular mechanic in this fight. This may be different on other data centers, but on Aether this is possibly one of the most toxic arguments concerning primals since Titan HM back in the day. Many mechanics in this fight are skippable with even just average dps, including the first Soar mechanic in phase two. I have heard both sides of this argument and I need to clarify some things. Yes, soar is a very easy mechanic, possibly the easiest divebomb mechanic in the game. Many players upset with the current "must skip soar" PFs seem to think that those wishing to skip soar just can't do the mechanic. That may be true for some, but the desire to skip soar comes more from a dps argument and not a mechanic one. The dps required to skip the first soar in Phase 2 is relatively low compared to other phase skips in both EX primals and Savage raids in Heavensward. Now add to this the fact that the most popular comp for this fight seems to be 1 Tank, 2 Healers, and 5 DPS. Now add on top of that the extremely low amount of healing required from the start of the fight up to 75% HP, which frees up both healers to dps. If in this comp a group does not skip soar, it implies that at least one person in the party is not "pulling their weight" and instead doing a subpar job.
I am not expecting standard comps to skip soar. My group does with a normal compe but that's only because we're a savage static that has been playing together for a while. But in a comp with 5 dps, even in a PUG group, the first soar can be easily skipped if people do at least average dps. Nothing extraordinary; average is all you need. I've personally joined party finder groups and have seen bards doing sub 1000 openers, blms without Enochian, and healers who just stand there spamming cures on a tank with full health. When in a farm party trying to get birds or weapons, these kinds of players who are giving the absolute minimum can rub others the wrong way. Though I will agree some people (what you might call an "elitist") can frankly be jackasses in PF, I would say that the majority of people who wish to skip soar just don't want severely underperforming players in a farm party.
In this guide I try my best to explain phase two, however I acknowledge that there are mechanics towards the end of phase two that I missed because I simply have never seen them, even in pugs. That does not mean that you must skip them, or that I don't care about them.Example: There is supposedly a Demon's claw in Phase two, but I have never seen it so I did not include it in the guide.
6 Metal Cutter
10 Metal Cutter
13 Flare Star
16 Flare Star Damage
22 Metal Cutter
28 Metal Cutter
31 Flare Star
34 Flare Star Damage
46 The Purge
Time-based phase change
Before pulling, there are a few things you need to do:
Positioning the Boss
In phases 2, 4, and 5 try to keep Zurvan in the middle and have him face North unless Southern Cross. After every Broken Seal Zurvan should be faced North again. This way the rest of the party know North will almost always be unsafe due to cleaves.
He will cleave the Main Tank so MT should stand North and move counterclockwise. Party can remain south and not worry about the arena disappearing.
He will remove ¼ of the arena throughout phase one. Starting with East → North → West. A large AoE will appear. If you are on the platform when the aoe goes off you will either die to the initial damage or fall off. Same as Titan.
Fire puddles will appear as circular AoEs under random targets. Melee stack right and move left. DO NOT stack on the caster. It is ok to eat one fire puddle and normally a caster will eat it in order to push dps.
Once all platforms but the southern one are gone Zurvan will take the party down to "ground level" and begin phase 2.
0 --Zurvan Becomes Targetable--
9 Metal Cutter
-- Metal Cutter
--Zurvan reaches 75% HP--
0 Ice spawns in hitbox
6 Metal Cutter
11 Metal Cutter
15 Metal Cutter
17 Biting Halberd
25 Southern Cross
35 Metal Cutter
39 Halberd/Tail End/Cicircle
--Zurvan jumps if below 60% after this resolution--
As stated at the start of this guide, you can approach phase 2 with many different mindsets and every mindset has a legitimate point to make. However it is my view that you want to dps Zurvan down to 75% before Soar in order to skip it. This will make phase 2 a lot less complicated, reduce the risk of deaths to soar, and most importantly demonstrate that all 8 members are "pulling their own weight." That being said, I will be covering the "skip soar" mentality first. Because Soar is still a legitimate mechanic and during prog many groups will see this first Soar, I will discussSoar at the end of this section.
**NOTE** Many groups, even in farm parties, will not skip thesecond Soar (also known as the first Soar in Phase 4). Every Soar is identical, so even if you plan on skipping phase 2 Soar you should still read about it here.
Edge of the arena
There is now fire surrounding the outside of the arena, and similar to Thordan EX it will not kill you instantly, but instead will deal around 9999 damage per tick. Avoid it at all costs.
Biting Halberd / Southern Cross
At 75% (whether it's before or after Soar), Zurvan will spawn an ice puddle under him the size of his hitbox. Standing in it will give you a powerful heavy and a significant ice DoT. Avoid standing in his hitbox. The ice spawning will be followed by 3 tank cleaves: heal and mitigate as needed.
Zurvan will turn and target one random party member with Biting Halberd. Quickly move to his back during the cast to avoid the conal AoE. If you are hit by this the damage alone won't kill you but it is a fair amount of damage and it will place one Vulnerability Up stack on you. Don't get hit.
Immediately after Zurvan will start to cast Southern Cross. This is similar to the stacked Optical Sight from A11S. Stay tightly stacked as a group for the duration of the cast. Your position will be snapshotted at the end of the cast, and moments later ice will fall in your location. You must dodge the ice quickly otherwise you will take all of the party's ice AoEs at once and you will die. I recommend the tank move counterclockwise while the rest of the party moves clockwise to avoid the AoEs and the tank cleave that happens right after. Learning this dance now is vital to P4 when you have other mechanics to worry about simultaneously.
A lil' bit o' RNG
Next Zurvan will do one of three abilities; the one he picks is completely random. He will either cast Biting Halberd again (treat it as normal), Cicircle, or Tail End. Cicircle just means get close to the boss's hitbox, and Tail End means get to the very edge of the arena. You need to act fast for Tail End because it is a short cast and if you are not far enough it will knock you into the wall and kill you. If you see you are not going to make it to the edge in time just stay close and take the damage, provided you are both fuly healed and do not already have a Vulnerability Up stack from a previous mechanic.
After this my group and many groups with average to good dps will have pushed into Add Phase. If you have not pushed to around 60% he will do Biting Halberd again into another Southern Cross. There is also possibly a Tyrfing, but I have never seen it so I will cover it in Phase 4.
Three aoe line markers will appear in one of two possible patterns. This is when you can tell which of the two soar types is happening. Soon after the aoes will go off and Zurvan will leave the arena and. 3 zurvans will spawn on the outside and more aoes will spawn on the ground, indicating the divebomb positions. For each pattern there are safe zones that you must identify asap. During the divebomb 6 people will be targeted with aoes similar to Rav EX, don't stack them. Then one healer will be marked with a party soak (thordan EX) and the other ealer will be marked with a prey. All 6 members stack on the soak healer in the middle of the arena, prey healer move away from the stack so you don't clip anyone with your aoe.
Assign players to positions for soar if you must using the diagrams.
Phase 3 (Adds)
--Wave 1 Spawns--
--Wave 2 Spawns--
--Force Spawn on Wave 1's Death--
--Wave 3 Spawns--
--Force Spawn on Wave 2 Death--
Phase Change on Wave 3 Death
1 Will, 4 Thews (North). The Will buffs his damage periodically: heal and mitigate accordingly.
1 Wit (East), 1 Wile (South), 2 Wills (West). Wit will spawn meteors with fast cast aoes, avoid if possible but at least try not to get hit by more than one. Wit will cast Meracydian Meteor (long cast) you must dps it down before the cast finishes or it's a wipe. The Wile will stay in the south so MT bring the 2 Wills south (You do NOT need to get aggro on the Wit). The Wile will cast a typical Gaze attack similar to every other gaze from Thordan EX to Dun Scaith: keep your back to it when you see the giant eye animation and wait for the cast to go off before turning back around to dps.
1 Wit (West), 1 Wile (North), 1 Will (South), 3 Thews (East). Bring the Wills and Thews North to the Wile, avoid the Gaze attack same as in second wave. DPS Wit first and then aoe down the rest.
Really annoying and you will get tired of it after two kills...three tops. Even more frustrating is your inability to move AND the inability to use shields. SCH/NOCT ast must get a spread adlo or succor/aspected helios up BEFORE the ultimate (when all W3 adds die), sacred soil/asylum/Collective Unconscious will not work. Make sure everyone is topped off since the ultimate does a considerable amount of damage. MCH Turrets will NOT work, but brd songs DO work so keep that in mind if the healers need MP or the dps need TP.
0 --Boss Targetable--
10 Wave Cannon 2 prey marker
29 Southern Cross
39 Metal Cutter
44 Broken Seal
58 Halberd/Tail End/Cicircle
70 Metal Cutter
75 Tethers #2
78 Wave Cannon 2 prey marker
97 Southern Cross
107 Metal Cutter
112 Broken Seal
126 Halberd/Tail End/Cicircle
138 Metal Cutter
For the entire phase deaths can make the fight a lot harder. You need to make sure you're handling the mechanics properly and that you stay alive, because from now on one death could result in either at least one other deathor the entire party wiping.
After ultimate Zurvan will tether the entire party in pairs of two: two sets of fire tethers and two sets of ice tethers. There is also a debuff corresponding to each tether that will become important later if someone dies. If any party member is dead when tethers spawn, no matter which tether set it is, someone alive will NOT be tethered, and therefore two people will die in the upcoming mechanic.
The tether is distance based, similar to T11. If relatively close to your partner, the tether will do a light DoT that is easily managed with aoe regens. However, if too far away from your partner the tether will turn purple and the DoT will increase significantly to roughly 5000 per tick. If the tether partners get farther away still it will result in instant death
Wave Cannon 2
After tethers are placed on the party, a Prey marker will appear on any party member other than the MT. Soon after the Prey marker will be hit by a large aoe beam, dealing damage and placing a Bleeding debuff on the target and anyone else in the range of the line aoe. Very similar to the Sizzle Beam from A7S. The Bleeding debuff is very potent, even with disable/virus, so make sure only the person marked with prey is hit to reduce the amount of damage. Designate one of the flanks for the prey target. I recommend the left flank of the boss, and then the melee can use the right flank for positionals.
After Wave Cannon resolves Zurvan will begin casting Tyrfing. This multi-hit tank buster will deal moderate damage, with the final hit being a small aoe around the MT. Be sure not to stand near the MT to avoid getting hit. Every time Zurvan casts Tyrfing there will be an additional hit. Heal and mitigate accordingly.
Dances with Tethers
Immediately after the tank buster, Zurvan will begin to cast Southern Cross. The mechanic is the same from phase 2, but this time the party has tethers to worry about. Remember tether partners cannot be too far away from each other, so each pair of two must move as a single unit. Also note that the MT will also have to move with their tether partner to avoid excess damage.
There are many different ways you can approach this mechanic, but I recommend the following. As soon as the final Tyrfing hit goes off (the AoE) the MT should move to the back of the boss and stack with the group for SC. When dodging the ice puddles, the Tank will move counterclockwise (to the right when behind the boss) to roughly 3 o'clock, the MT's partner will go straight North to roughly 12 o'clock, and the rest of the party will dodge clockwise to about 9 o'clock. When Southern Cross resolves the boss wil now be facing East. The reason for having the MT go east and the MT's partner go north is to prevent the partner, or the group, from getting hit by the cleave that comes out right after.
After successfully completing Southern Cross, you will now have to deal with Broken Seal, a mechanic that requires the Ice/Fire debuffs. Meteors will spawn in one of three following patterns:
Each pattern will have 2 pairs of Red Meteors and 2 pairs of Ice Meteors in different locations. Your job is to match your current debuff/tether color to that of a meteor on the ground. If you fail to match your color, or you do not have a debuff, you will die to the meteor, but the mechanic will still successfully complete. If the party fails to cover one or more of the meteors they will explode, dealing significant raid wide damage and placing Vulnerability Up stacks on all remaining players.
Both you and your tether partner must first identify the pattern, identify a pair of meteors matching your current debuff, make sure that only you and your partner are in those meteors to ensure every meteor is covered, and both reach the meteor in time and stay in the meteor until the mechanic resolves. It can be a difficult task, especially when in PUG groups where communication is not always present. I personally recommend a priority system.
For example, let's say the MT tether pair is ICE. The other ICE tether pair will position themselves opposite the MT. When the Meteors spawn, there should be an ICE meteor set closer to the MT, and one closer to the other pair, because you've basically split the arena in half. For the FIRE pairs in this example, after Southern Cross start spreading out; one FIREtether can start moving towards the MT, and the other FIRE pair can start moving in the opposite direction to mimic what the ice pairs are doing.
TL;DR you want to make sure you are never close to the other tether pair of the same color. There are many other ways to do this!!! Make sure your group agrees on a method that feels most comfortable to all 8 players.
Dances with Tethers 2: Avatar
After each Broken Seal, Zurvan will do either Tail End, Biting Halberd, or Cicircle. What he does depends on which meteor pattern used. Pattern 1 is Tail End, Pattern 2 is Biting Halberd, and Pattern 3 is Cicircle.
Once that finishes, regroup close to the boss for the next set of tethers. Watch out for the cleave on the tank as you regroup.
Another set of tethers, tank buster, Southern Cross, Broken Seal will follow. The Broken Seal pattern will be different than the first one, so anticipate the possible positions of the meteors by remembering the two remaining patterns.
Soar will begin after the second rotation resolves. For this second soar I HIGHLY recommend using Tank LB to make it much easier and avoid any possible wipes so close to the end of the fight. Melee LB3 after on the boss isn't necessary.
0 --Boss Targetable--
4 Demon's Claw
10 Wave Cannon Stack
20 Tethers #3
-- Repeat Phase 4 rotation
--Zurvan Dies or Enrages--
You can consider this phase just a part of phase 4, because other than Demon Claw the phase rotations are identical.
Once Zurvan becomes targetable after the Soar, he will begin casting Demon's Claw. Once the cast is finished, the MT will be hit for moderate damage, knocked back, and stunned. To avoid being knocked into the fire the MT can either keep Zurvan in the middle and stand inside the hitbox, or move zurvan to the edge of the arena then face zurvan towards the open arena. I recommend keeping zurvan in the middle so melee have an easy time hitting positionals. After Demon's Claw Zurvan will begin casting Wave Cannon, but this time it will be directed at the MT and have an aoe tell.
There are multiple ways to handle this mechanic. The damage from Wave Cannon can be split among party members, with the first person hit taking the most damage, similar to Thordan EX. With a standard comp (2 tanks, 2 healers, 4 dps) have the OT stand between the party and zurvan, and have the party stand between the OT and MT. It is still possible to stack with only one tank, just make sure a melee takes the big hit (due to their high hp pools) and put up as much mitigation as possible (adlo, stone skin, virus, disable, sacred soil, Collective Unconscious, etc).
If you have a DRK or PLD MT the easiest way to handle the mechanic is for the MT to use Hallowed Ground or Living Dead roughly 80% into the Demon's Claw cast. That way the party does not have to stack for the Wave cannon and can keep up positionals while the healers dps without worrying about the party. If you have a WAR MT you will have to deal with the mechanic since Holmgang will not work.
After another rotation and an additional soar, Zurvan will enrage. His enrage is a long cast called "Flaming Halberd." I have not seen it or even gotten close to it but I can assure you that most groups won't have to worry about it at all. Even with deaths you can dps him downbefore the enrage cast.
Yoshi P pls no more mid fight cutscenes :(
There is 1 chest plus a chance at inventory drops. Possible rewards include the following:
Allagan Tomestones of Lore x30
Lottable gear from chest:
Zurvanite Carapace Fragment (lottable, not 100% drop)- Crafting ingredient for Zurvan Miniature and Zurvanite Barding.