Final Fantasy XIV Shadowbringers surprised many with the fact that players need to know how to beat Titania to progress through the Main Scenario Quest, despite the fact that it's in the middle of the expansion and arrives without much fanfare. Part of the reason many are referring to Shadowbringers as one of the best MMORPG expansions of all time is precisely for this reason, though - even when other entries in the genre bombard players with fetch quests to progress through the middle of the story, Final Fantasy XIV instead offers up what could genuinely be the toughest fight of the expansion.
Final Fantasy XIV Shadowbringers' Titania fight is yet another example of why the content has been so well-received, but it isn't just PvE elements that are getting the job done. Praise for the introduction of two new jobs in Gunbreaker and Dancer, two new races in Viera and Hrothgar, and the brand new realm of Norvrandt has all been heaped upon the MMORPG as it enters into its third expansion guns blazing. Final Fantasy XIV Shadowbringers Early Access and launch were also successes, with queue times hardly affecting people outside of a few DDoS attacks from malicious parties attempting to ruin the fun - quite like how Titania makes that attempt for players early into the expansion.
Make no mistake - Titania means business. There's a reason this guide exists at all, and it's because so many people have a tough time with the boss. Part of that is not knowing what players are getting into with Titania, who kind of just shows up mid-Main Scenario to stomp on those unsuspecting players who weren't ready for a three-phase fight that tests co-ordination extensively. The other part is that Titania is just kind of hard, in a challenging and fair way, and heading in prepared will ensure that prospective Warriors of Darkness survive to fight another day. Here's how to defeat the pesky King of Faeries in Final Fantasy XIV.
Titania Trial Preparation
Before engaging Titania, make sure everyone in the fight knows what's expected from them. It's a big deal, moreso than many other raids or trials - Titania's phases require players to work together at pretty much all junctures, and even DPS dying unexpectedly can completely ruin the chances of proceeding through the fight thanks to a massive DPS check in the middle of it. Get everyone on the same page and establish, if you can, which order you'll go in when it comes to killing the adds Titania spawns later in the fight between Puck, Peaseblossom, and Mustard Seed. It's generally agreed upon that it doesn't matter which order these adds are tackled in, but having everyone know right away is a major boon.
Titania Phase One - Puddle Jumping
Titania's phase one isn't terribly difficult to start. It will show the healers roughly what they need to worry about with AOEs as Bright Sabbath is introduced, and it will come in two forms - either directly in a ring around the boss or in a ring on the outskirts, forcing players into close quarters. Party members will need to react accordingly to make the lives of the healers much easier.
Bright Sabbath is followed by Divination Rune, a tank buster move (essentially meaning anyone but a tank will die to it) that splays out in a cone in front of Titania. Tanks need to make sure Titania is facing away from the party if they can, and everyone else needs to get away from the move's targeting.
After those two moves, Titania spawns four puddles that tick up on a timer. As the timer continues, someone needs to stand in each puddle to ensure two things: one, a powerful add doesn't spawn out of them, and two, they get a fire resistance buff. Titania follows the puddles with a Flame Rune stack marker, so everyone needs to get onto the person marked by it and ensure they're all in a puddle as they do so, lest they take a large amount of fire damage.
Usually after another Phantom Rune, Titania moves out of this phase and into the next one. As parties get more powerful items, this might not be the case, but as it stands now, the second Phantom Rune indicates what's coming next.
Titania Phase Two - Vines & Frost
Titania will summon players into a forest instead of the castle setting, although that won't really affect gameplay - it's just a nice change of scenery so enjoy it as the fight gets more frustrating. It's the little things.
In this phase, Titania will use two powerful moves that once again require every member of the party to co-ordinate properly. The first will be Growth Rune, which will splay vines out into a star shaped pattern from a point on the floor. Players will want to make sure they're in between the points on the star, as the vines spread out from the points. Anyone caught in the vines gets a bleed stack that will make healers lives miserable. If you're comfortable enough with the fight, try to angle yourself at a gap in the star that lets you DPS the boss still, especially as melee - but if you're unsure, just get out of the way instead.
Frost Rune follows Growth Rune, and it's a rehash of Shiva's territory. There will be a bunch of markers dropped onto the floor that indicate when ice will begin falling into the areas, in the order the markers appear. As such, players will want to move into the last marked area and then back into the center of the fight as the first mark begins dropping ice onto the stage. Target markers will then appear - those who receive them have to spread out to wherever they can amidst the chaos of the Frost Rune, because stacking on top of each other will result in too much damage to cope.
After that, we get another Phantom Rune just for fun before the third and most grueling phase of the fight begins.
Titania Phase Three - A Midsummer Night's Nightmare
Titania will summon three adds into the fray that each have their own ability. Generally, one tank will want to take Mustard Seed and get him facing a wall, because he has the longest AOE reach and can ruin a promising engagement. Peaseblossom hits very hard, so the other tank will want to keep him on them. Healers need to prioritize healing tanks and this is why DPS needs to be smart during this phase, because they won't have nearly as much support. Mustard Seed and Peaseblossom can be focused down first and second, with Puck being the easiest to deal with, thus being best saved for last.
Once they've been wiped out, Titania resummons them as massive versions of themselves that take up a side of the Trial each. Now the fun begins - everyone is on a quick clock. There will be a timer that shows Titania's power, and if it reaches full, the party will be instantly wiped. It's actually somewhat of a brutal DPS check, so it's important players know which giant add they're killing first. They all have the same moves but with wider spread, and again, DPS needs to make sure they're not taking unnecessary damage so that healers can stay on top of whoever gets caught. If the timer is reaching critical percentages, feel free to use a Limit Break - Melee if there's only one left, AOE magic if there's two. That can sometimes save a fight.
Titania Final Phase - Fortitude Check
Once that phase is cleared, Titania will simply adopt more powerful versions of the abilities she's cycled through and will repeat them a little more frequently. Growth Rune is the major concern here as it now spawns two different directions, vastly reducing the amount of safe space available to players. The puddles will also return, so make sure not to spawn an add in an otherwise promising fight. Otherwise, the worst is over - from here players need only make sure they stay alive and slowly chip away at Titania before it finally falls. Congratulations! You've survived one of the hardest mid-MSQ Trials in Final Fantasy XIV's recent memory.