Final Fantasy XIV: Shadowbringers gave newcomers and franchise veterans alike a lot to sink their teeth into, and has been one of the most well-reviewed expansions of the MMORPG to date. If you've bested the Main Scenario Quests and you're chomping at the bit for the upcoming Eden raid, you'll be wanting to clear Extreme versions of Shadowbringers' standout trials. Those wanting to take down the King of the Pixies don't have to look too far: our FFXIV Titania EX guide will tell you how to get the best of The Dancing Plague (Extreme).
The well-designed trials weren't the only notable things about this latest Final Fantasy installment. With two new standout classes as well as quality-of-life improvements like the Trust system, Shadowbringers tells the best story that the game has ever told and sets up for the next bit of the narrative with panache. Those needing a bit of a refresher course on Titania after taking the scenic route with the expansion's finest can check out our FFXIV Titania Normal mode guide before reading on.
Titania is a tough one on Normal, so you can expect that she's just as diabolical on Extreme. The Dancing Plague (Extreme) retains plenty of the mechanics from Normal, but ups the ante on the bane of all Party Finder groups — coordination. You'll want to keep two basic things in mind here that will inform the experience: Healers and Tanks run north, and DPS run south.
Before you kick things off, make sure that you assign everyone in your party a cardinal direction to head to for Mist Rune, and a group to stack on for Flame Rune. For the former, the two Healers should be on the North West and North East, the Main Tank North, the Off Tank West, and the DPS can take up the remaining spots. For the latter, make sure that you split the party into two different groups of A and B, with a tank and a healer in each one.
You'll also want to assign four party members to Tethers, which is a Phase Two mechanic. The Off Tank and a Healer will make up half of that group, and two DPS should cover the rest. Make sure that you have your Tethered individuals numbered sequentially starting with the Off Tank, then mark the center of Titania's stage: leave enough space for her, then mark A and B on the North and South, and 1 and 2 on the West and East. We'll explain why as we run through the phases.
FFXIV Titania EX Phase One
The first phase of FFXIV Titania EX kicks off much like Titania Normal. Titania will do her usual song and dance of floating around and going through her stock standard rotation of Bright Sabbath, Phantom Rune, Mist Rune, Flame Rune, Divination Rune, and Chain of Brambles. You'll want to remember what this looks like since you'll encounter a mix of these skills later on in the dungeon.
Bright Sabbath is a simple-enough AOE attack, but the timing on Phantom Rune gets a little tighter on EX than on Normal mode. You'll have to watch her carefully going forward to predict whether you have to run under her or away from her, but she always kicks off the EX fight with a Phantom Rune that requires you to run away.
She'll then work up to Mist Rune, which spawns puddles on the ground. While they were just around her on Normal, she spawns one in each cardinal direction for EX, which is why we told you to get everyone to pick a position earlier. Once she casts the ability, book it to your assigned cardinal direction and stay in your puddle until the purple orbs tick down.
Once you pick up the buff against fire damage, run to either marker 1 or 2 depending on which group you were assigned before the fight. Titania will cast Flame Rune next, and two fists of fire as indicated by stack markers will slam into the two groups.
Once that ends, the party should disperse into the center for Chain of Brambles, which will link two party members together. Tanks and Healers should run due North and DPS due South to break the tethers or risk a vulnerability debuff. Try and line it up so you're going to opposite corners with your partner for maximum efficiency. Titania will then cast Phantom Rune again and this instance always requires you to run into her, so you can prep for that in advance. At 70% health, she'll cast Midsummer Night's Dream and move into Phase Two.
FFXIV Titania EX Phase Two
Phase Two will kick off with Thunder Rune, which has a Tether mechanic. The four individuals handling tethers should line up in order on Marker B, with the Off Tank the closest to Titania. Thunder Rune will spawn a Tether which should lock onto the Off Tank, who has to then quickly reposition to Marker 1. The Off Tank can soak three stacks of the resulting attack with their invulnerability skills, and then it should be the second Tether individual's turn to run to Marker 1 to take it off the Off Tank.
The timing on this Thunder Rune swap is pretty tight, and there's the added danger of splash damage. If you bungle the tether swap and you're too close to the person you've swapped off from when the damage tic procs for them, you'll get caught in the blast and die. Make sure that the party sticks to the positioning of the markers to minimize the chances of this happening.
Once you've survived this, Titania will cast Fae Light which has to be soaked by the Main Tank. This is easily done as they will still have their personal invulnerability cooldowns after being exempt from Thunder Rune, but it's good for Healers to be on standby for this just in case. Fae Light will hit three times before another familiar mechanic from Normal mode comes up.
Growth Rune is going to make things a little thorny now, and she casts this in tandem with Chain of Brambles just to be difficult. The usual positional strats from Phase One are still in play, so take your Healers and Tanks North and DPS South. An easy way to avoid getting trapped by Growth Rune is to run to the corners to break tethers and to then run partway towards the middle; the vines will ring the platform and also occupy the center so you'll be safe between the two. The Main Tank should make sure that they turn Titania away from the party as soon as is safe after those skills because she quickly casts Divination Rune which is an instant kill for everyone else caught in its path.
Frost Rune is up next, which people will remember from Shiva's fight in earlier expansions. On Titania EX, we've found that it's easier to have everyone stack in the center of the platform and to soak Frost Rune since the one stack of vulnerability will wear off before the second add phase to come. Healers can AOE heal everyone, and not needing to run around means more uptime for DPS. Uplift is next, where the party will have to spread to take individual hits of damage before grouping back for Phantom Rune and running under her.
FFXIV Titania EX Phase Three
This is where it gets a lot more chaotic with the introduction of the infamous adds from Normal mode, just souped up and a little more annoying. There's Mustardseed, Peaseblossom, and Puck. You'll encounter them in mini form and then in supersized form later on, but the focus parameters are identical. Mustardseed dies first, then Puck, then Peaseblossom. Mustardseed has a swirling AOE attack on top of Leafstorm which does an immense amount of damage even in his smaller form, so make sure he's down before this completes. Keep a close eye on Tanks during this phase, especially the one tanking Puck who will take on a stacking debuff with each major hit unlike the tankbuster from Peaseblossom. Continue until all the adds are dead, and Titania will resurrect them and make them huge.
Now that all the adds are gigantic, things become more hectic. Again, you want to make sure that Mustardseed dies first, then Puck, then Peaseblossom. You're going to want to burn Mustardseed before he can get his channeled attack off, and you'll also want to watch that everyone stacks appropriately when the marker shows up to soak damage before continuing to burst down the adds.
After the stack and Puck's Breath, vines will spawn on the North and South sides of the platform. They will either go to the right or the left from where they've spawned, but the direction is random. On top of this, Puck will start winding up for his knockback which pushes everyone back from the center of the map. Standing in the center indicator as well as the path of those vines is instant death. Chain of Brambles will also be cast again by Titania during this, so it's a hell of a lot to dodge.
Our simple answer? Get in position early. You know that the vines spawn in the North and South, so make sure your Tanks and Healers face North while the DPS face South as soon as you see the vines sprout. You'll be able to tell which direction the vines will slap down, so you can position yourself around the center knockback accordingly. With the knockback pushing Healers and Tanks to either the North East or North West corners and DPS in the opposite directions, the brambles will automatically be broken. After you're free, reposition yourself to avoid the rest of the AOEs that will arc across the platform. Two players will have markers to drop outside the group, while the rest will have to stack to soak damage. After this is done, get back to bursting the adds down before Titania's meter hits 100.
FFXIV Titania EX Phase Four
This is when things get both nostalgic and hectic as Titania revisits her Phase One rotation. She'll cast Mist Rune and Phantom Rune essentially at the same time. Make sure you either run in or out for Phantom Rune before heading to your assigned cardinal directions for Mist Rune.
After this, she will cast Flame Rune and Growth Rune at the same time. It's important to watch where the vines spawn for Growth Rune. If they're spawning in the North and South, then you should stay in the areas marked 1 and 2 previously for Phase One when Flame Rune hits. If the vines spawn in the East and the West, rotate clockwise so that the group previously on 1 is now on A, and the group on 2 is now on B.
After that, get ready to either run in or out for another Phantom Rune. This is always the opposite of the one that she casts at the start of the phase, so you can prep for that in advance once Flame Rune is done. After that, it's a rotation into Bright Sabbath and Fae Light, so Tanks and Healers have to be on standby to get through those hard hitters.
Titania will then cast Frost Rune and Uplift, the latter of which you'll have some time to spread for after Frost Rune goes off but those who are wary of positioning can move early instead of sticking to the tight cluster of Phase Two. The next attack here is Thunder Rune, which is just a repeat of the Tether mechanic from Phase Two so make sure that Tether party members are positioned correctly after being spread for Uplift. Hand off the Tethers as you did before, with the Off Tank using invulnerability cooldowns as necessary, and ensure that everyone gets back into the middle after for another Chain of Brambles and Growth combo where Healers and Tanks run North and DPS South.
Watch out for Phantom Rune being cast repeatedly, and then Titania will have her enrage timer ticking down so the name of the game is maintaining DPS uptime until she dies or she kills you first with a lethal Bright Sabbath. This last bit is just a flat numbers check, so hit her hard with everything you've got and you should be able to put a stake in the King of Pixies by the end of it. Stick to our FFXIV Titania EX guide and you'll get the hang of this thorny encounter in no time!