Machinist Fight Optimization for The Epic of Alexander (Ultimate) — Endwalker 6.4

Last updated on Aug 24, 2023 at 05:53 by Lavender 20 comments

This page covers all of the fight-specific tips for The Epic of Alexander (Ultimate) for Machinist, such as how best to use your cooldowns, prepare for certain mechanics, and master the fight as your chosen job.


Machinist Guide for The Epic of Alexander (Ultimate)

The Epic of Alexander is the third Ultimate, released in Final Fantasy XIV: Shadowbringers. The fight syncs you down to level 80 in an attempt to keep the difficulty of the fight equal to what it was on release. While it does not do a great job of that, it does remove certain skills and abilities that we gained in Endwalker. The encounter is split into four phases: Living Liquid, Brute Justice and Cruise Chaser, Alexander Prime, and Perfect Alexander. The fight in its entirety is 18 minutes long. This guide assumes a basic understanding of how Machinist works, while outlining specific optimization due to phasing and AoE situations.


Gearing Advice

With so many gearing options and different phase pushes, true BiS does not exist. The most important thing that will affect your DPS is ensuring you have the Shadowbringers 535 relic. This weapon allows you to maximize your stats with a load out of Relic substats with 184 CRIT/99 DH/184 DET. Every other piece of gear should be at a minimum of item level 595 to ensure it syncs down to max stats. Food for the fight will just be whatever the current max level food with Critical Hit on it is.


Level 80 Considerations

Compared to the 70 rotation, the 80 rotation feels more complete, and in general feels more in line with a max level rotation. There's two main things to be aware of:

  • Reassemble Icon Reassemble: Machinist does not have stacks of this ability at 80. General rule of thumb is to just use Reassemble on the first Tool action you can, regardless of raid buffs. Examples of breaking this rule would be where forced downtime prohibits an additional use, so delayed Reassemble becomes a gain within raid buffs and no extra usage is lost. Priority should always be usage gained > raid buff potency.
  • Automaton Queen Icon Automaton Queen: Without Chain Saw Icon Chain Saw, we have no reliable way to open the fight with Queen. While you can (and should) absolutely have Queen in your reopeners later in the fight, you will not for Living Liquid if you use a standard opener.

Phase 1: Living Liquid

Machinist suffers the most in this phase compared to the other physical ranged jobs due to a lack of AoE skills. There's not much you can do to hit both Living Liquid and Liquid Hand at the same time. Since most of your damage will be single target, it's important to keep an eye on the health of both Living Liquid and the Hand and even out DPS where appropriate.


Living Liquid Openers

The first phase of TEA hard enrages at 2:20. Because of this length specifically, groups will hold their 2 min buff windows for phase 2. What does this mean for us? Any Wildfire timing will work and should be decided based on group composition. However, it does mean you should always start with Reassemble prepull. Waiting for 0:20 to use Reassemble most likely will result in a lost cast.

There are different variations on how to sequence your opener depending on your comp. In a buff heavy comp, it's suggested to do the opener below if you are not delaying, as it will out-damage any other variance due to the timing of how bosses spawn. This opener’s Wildfire Icon Wildfire timing can be swapped to 6th GCD if dealing with late buffs.

If your group has chosen to delay buffs until the boss splits, enter Wildfire Icon Wildfire using Bioblaster Icon Bioblaster as your first GCD. Consult with your group about how they plan on doing this. Do not delay Air Anchor Icon Air Anchor to hit raid buffs, it ends up being a large loss if you would have otherwise gotten an extra usage at the end of the phase.

Note here, we've swapped Air Anchor Icon Air Anchor and Drill Icon Drill placement. This is done to showcase that you can and it won't affect your rotation negatively. If you're having trouble landing Bioblaster Icon Bioblaster on both targets, or killing Living Liquid too fast, this is a viable option. You can also simply just use Drill Icon Drill in its place with no drawback.


Bioblaster and Flamethrower

Bioblaster Icon Bioblaster can be used as long as both bosses are together and Reassemble Icon Reassemble is unavailable. Bioblaster Icon Bioblaster can be considered solely for the fact it can help keep boss HP even and lessen variance. The potency difference between Drill Icon Drill and Bioblaster Icon Bioblaster is non-existent (they both do 600 potency with two target), but a Reassembled Drill is much higher, and has priority over any other GCD at 2 targets.

As a side note: Flamethrower Icon Flamethrower is generally not worth using outside of tick fishing. With earlier kill times (In the realm of ~2:00 - 2:10) you can get away with using Flamethrower to replace anywhere from two to three GCDs in Living Liquid during the Drainage tank buster. It comes at the loss of 10 - 15 Heat, but it allows you to use Barrel Stabilizer Icon Barrel Stabilizer on cooldown, not overcap, and enter Phase 2 with max or near max Heat Gauge. The gain from this is roughly 200 potency. Ensure you don’t drift Drill Icon Drill or Air Anchor Icon Air Anchor to do this.


Jagd Dolls

It is heavily suggested not to use Automaton Queen Icon Automaton Queen while Jagd Dolls are out. Her targeting A.I. is wonky and unreliable. Having her target an ally's Jagd Doll will probably result in a wipe and also gives you much less control over the damage output on your own with her damage variance. It’s also highly suggested to not use Drill Icon Drill or Air Anchor Icon Air Anchor if a Doll has below 40% HP. At that point, a poorly timed direct critical hit will kill your Doll. It's much safer to use the GCD on Living Liquid and come back to your Doll with a Heated Combo Action if that's what happens.


Resource Management

The rest of the fight’s rotation is going to be somewhat normal aside from if you decide to use Bioblaster Icon Bioblaster instead of Drill Icon Drill. During prog you will want to check the health of both bosses to ensure they’re staying close enough to satisfy the requirements of Hand of Pain.

With Living Liquid being such a short phase, it is going to require some odd Queen summons. This may change slightly due to kill times, but if extending the phase to enrage and using the standard, the first summon should be at 80 gauge while the second summon will be at 50. This allows us to build our Battery back up before the phase ends to prepare for a big buff window in Phase 2. If you’re killing around the 2 minute mark, you may only want to summon Queen once around 60 seconds, which will coincide with about 90 Battery. This won’t allow you to use Queen twice in Living Liquid, but it will give you a rewarding reopener in Phase 2. Regardless of kill time, the goal for Living Liquid is to end as close to max Heat/Battery gauge as possible while also putting Barrel Stabilizer Icon Barrel Stabilizer on cooldown.


Richochet Optimization

Most of the time we consider Gauss Round Icon Gauss Round and Ricochet Icon Ricochet to be interchangeable oGCDs. In fights with AoE phases this is not the case; every target beyond the first gives Ricochet Icon Ricochet an extra 75 potency over Gauss Round Icon Gauss Round. Against Living Liquid + Hand, landing Ricochet Icon Ricochet on both targets is the equivalent of pooling for a massive 50% damage buff.


Suggested Tactician Usage

  • Jagd Doll sacrifices. It's possible to cover all four damage instances with quick feeds, and much easier now due to the range increase on Tactician Icon Tactician.
  • As tank tethers appear after first Protean Wave. This covers Splashes, Drainage, and Cascade.

Dismantle Icon Dismantle gets a singular usage here. It's best used on the first Protean, to ensure flexibility for Phase 2, but can also be used on second Protean, if your group is okay with a late Dismantle Icon Dismantle in Phase 2, around third Water stack.


Phase 2: Brute Justice and Cruise Chaser

Physical ranged jobs really shine in this phase. They're capable of handling all of the various movement mechanics without losing uptime. Machinists in particular can line up really well for the burst needed to take down the Plasma Shield on Cruise Chaser. I will focus on the rotation aspect since regardless of strat, your rotation should remain the same.

Backtracking to what we discussed with Living Liquid, you should be entering Phase 2 with a substantial amount of Heat and Battery. Given the amount of downtime between Phase 1 and 2 with Limit Cut, your Wildfire Icon Wildfire structure will reset. If you opened with a 4th GCD Wildfire Icon Wildfire, you can opt for a different opener here without any drawbacks, given you still fit it into raid buffs. Due to the fact Reassemble is on a 55 second timer, we have some wiggle room on where we place it in our reopener. It can be placed as late as the first weave after the 2nd GCD and still manage to be ready for the Drill Icon Drill 60 seconds later. The example below can be altered for your specific needs.

Since this is starting from a downtime scenario and moving into two-target, tick-fishing with Flamethrower Icon Flamethrower is more viable than it would be in a single-target situation. Flamethrower Icon Flamethrower should be inserted between the prepull Automaton Queen Icon Automaton Queen and Drill Icon Drill. Bioblaster Icon Bioblaster rules apply the same as they did in Phase 1. Some strats have the bosses tanked within close proximity of each other, so take advantage of this as much as possible.


Plasma Shield

If your main target is Cruise Chaser, avoid using Automaton Queen Icon Automaton Queen when the Plasma Shield is being applied. Queen will not target the Shield. Instead, she'll target Cruise Chaser and hit for a bunch zero. The best practice is to hold Queen until the Shield has been destroyed, or use her extremely early. During prog you can delay your Drill Icon Drill by a GCD or two in preparation for Plasma Shield. Once the group is more comfortable, this won’t be necessary.


Phase Pushing

At the 5-minute mark in the encounter, your group will have two options. Either:

  1. Unload on Brute Justice and Cruise Chaser in a full burst window.
  2. Hold that burst window for the first damage window in Phase 3.

If dps is on the lower side, especially in prog, it's suggested blowing your raid buffs and burst cooldowns at 5 minutes. This happens at the same time that Nisi resolves so everyone will be in proximity of raid buffs regardless of strat used. Keep in mind, regardless of whether or not you use your burst at 5 minutes that you will still get two Wildfire Icon Wildfire windows in Phase 3. Choosing whether or not to use them at the end of Phase 2 should be a group decision discussed in your raid group but is mostly dependent on group DPS before Nisi resolves.

As with Living Liquid, it’s suggested ending Phase 2 with a considerable amount of Heat and Battery for the burst going into Alexander Prime.


Ricochet Optimization

As in Phase 1, you should pool Ricochet Icon Ricochet charges while Cruise Chaser and Brute Justice are not stacked. This will vary depending on your specific strategy for this phase, but here are some places where you will likely want to avoid using Ricochet Icon Ricochet:

  • During Link-Up, when the bosses are separated due to Optical Sight.
  • During Plasma Shield, as Cruise Chaser is invulnerable and Brute Justice is likely too far from the Shield's hitbox to take damage.
  • After Super Jump up until Brute Justice moves back into position near the party.

Suggested Tactician Usage

  • Second Water Stack, will also catch Hidden Mines.
  • Double Whirlwind.

Dismantle Icon Dismantle should either be placed on Brute Justice for the first or third Water stack. The choice is up to you and your group.


Phase 3: Alexander Prime

Alexander Prime is when Machinist really starts to set itself apart from its physical ranged counterparts. Unlike the first two phases, the rest of the fight is almost entirely single target bosses. These last two phases have a ton of downtime which is great for us. All of our heavy hitting cooldowns (aside from Wildfire Icon Wildfire) will be up every single time Alex is targetable.


Wildfire and Tincture Planning

This phase is where potions start to matter. If you decide to burst in the reopener after Temporal Stasis, you can actually pot before the Time Stop. This mechanic freezes everything cooldown related including pot timers. If you time it correctly, you’ll be able to skip the pot animation lock and have a full timer to unload all of your stored up Heat and Battery. Here are two common burst plans:

  1. Post-Temporal Stasis Burst
    • Hold Wildfire Icon Wildfire at the end of Phase 2.
    • Tincture used right before Time Stop, then use Wildfire Icon Wildfire in the reopener.
    • Use Wildfire Icon Wildfire on either boss during the Burn Phase and J-Waves.
      • Pros
        • Works with all kill times.
      • Cons
        • Potentially lose an overall usage of Wildfire Icon Wildfire. Lower parsing potential.
  2. Standard Burst in Phase 2
    • Potion used before Wildfire Icon Wildfire usage, right before Nisi resolves.
    • Wildfire Icon Wildfire used in the post-Inception reopener.
    • Wildfire Icon Wildfire used on Brute Justice in Burn Phase.
      • Pros
        • Gains an extra usage of Wildfire Icon Wildfire over the course of the fight.
        • Phase 2 potion is worth slightly more potency due to cleave.
      • Cons
        • Requires entire party to be okay with shifting their burst windows. Some Jobs may not find it as simple as Machinist.
        • Kill time sensitive! This will not work with very fast Phase 2 kill times, or Phase 3 kill times where the Burn Phase gets annihilated. It will interfere with your Perfect Alexander reopener. If you're in an above average group, plan on using the other option.

Padding The True Heart

The main exploit for Machinist in this phase is during the Tetrashatter/Heart Phase. Even though the True Heart doesn’t take damage once it turns gold, you will still gain Gauge from attacking it. Make sure you get off Air Anchor Icon Air Anchor and as many GCDs as you can during this since it's free damage! Air Anchor Icon Air Anchor will come back up for the next damage phase no matter where you use it.

Examples of full uptime doing this can be seen on the following YouTube videos! Do note, if not done properly, you will die to proximity damage. If you're finding it hard to get consistent, don't sweat getting the full combo off and just get as much as you can safely. Doing this with Plasma Bubble (tethers) is a bit risker than with Crystal drops.


Burn Phase

During adds be careful about the timing for when you summon Automaton Queen Icon Automaton Queen. If summoned too early, it's possible she'll target Alexander Prime whom of which is invulnerable until both Cruise Chaser and Brute Justice are dead. Once Brute Justice is down for the count, your main goal will be getting back up to max or near max Heat/battery for Perfect Alexander. Machinist is by far the best physical ranged option for Phase 4 due to the fact that we can transition into it with full resources.


Suggested Tactician Usage

  • Tetrashatter explosions during Inception.
  • Incinerating Heat stack post-Wormhole.
  • Sixth cast of J-Wave.

Dismantle Icon Dismantle doesn't see a ton of usage in this phase. There's two spots to note. Holy casts after Wormhole, and J-Waves. Choose whichever one your party deems to be more important.


Phase 4: Perfect Alexander

Your reopener is going to be extremely busy. There’s no prepull to prep a potion or Reassemble Icon Reassemble, thus forcing you to weave in abilities you wouldn’t normally weave in an opener. You should also be capped on resources meaning you will overcap on something. Choosing what you overcap is really the only option here if you're going into the phase with full resources. Both openers were created with Ordained Stillness first in mind!

Your final Drill Icon Drill should land right after the Ordained Stillness cast finishes. With that being said, this opener is best utilized with Motion first. There's a Barrel Stabilizer Icon Barrel Stabilizer that needs to be used as well, but I suggest using it after the Forced March. It won’t cost you a cast over the course of the phase and holding it ensures you won’t overcap on Heat.

Alternatively, if you’re not attempting to unload everything in short buff windows this rotation can be done while still keeping Wildfire Icon Wildfire before Stillness, but the second cast of Drill Icon Drill will be slightly delayed. This won’t result in any lost casts. While it loses some potency inside certain buffs, it has the added benefit of getting your first Drill Icon Drill inside the potion:


Perfect Alignment

Automaton Queen Icon Automaton Queen usage in this phase lines up mostly with normal usage. The main thing to remember is Queen does stop when you get jailed. Each jail takes 5 seconds to come down, so pop her when there’s three or four jails left before your own.

Phase 4 lasts exactly six minutes. This means we’re capable of using Wildfire Icon Wildfire three times and potions twice. Due to the potion alignment and syncing up with buffs, it's suggested you hold your third Wildfire Icon Wildfire and second potion for either 4:30 or 5:00 (depending on your party comp). This usage should be discussed with your party.

Following a standard rotation at 2.5, it’s possible you’ll enter Fate Calibration Beta with your last GCD being a Heated Slug Shot Icon Heated Slug Shot, unable to get the Clean Shot off. To remedy this, you’ll want to use a 4-Heat Blast Hypercharge Icon Hypercharge to get your Heated Combo GCD rolling sooner. It will make your Drill Icon Drill and Air Anchor Icon Air Anchor alignment a bit wonky doing this, but it's fine to delay both slightly into the next GCD. You won’t risk losing any casts by doing so, and you’ll gain the potency of a Heated Clean Shot Icon Heated Clean Shot plus the accompanying 10 Battery.


Temporal Prisons

Machinist is fine to go into the fifth prison. Fifth Prison lands around the 5:30 mark which is after our entire burst phase has ended and allows us to dispose of all built up Heat/Battery beforehand. Ultimately, it will depend on the other jobs in your party and personal DPS.


Suggested Tactician and Dismantle Usage

Even though the phase is six minutes long, you only get a chance to use Tactician Icon Tactician twice.

  • Optical Sight
  • The first Irresistable Grace

Aim to use Dismantle Icon Dismantle on the first Ordained Capital Punishment tank buster, and then the second Irresistable Grace.



  • 24 Jan. 2023: Page added.
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