The Epic of Alexander Ultimate: Living Liquid Guide
This page contains detailed information and strategy about the high-end Duty "The Epic of Alexander (Ultimate)", commonly abbreviated as TEA, specifically for the portion of the fight dealing with the Living Liquid.
Phase 1: Living Liquid
Living Liquid's difficulty while learning comes from precise positioning requirements and requirement of high degree of damage control, both from add HP and cleaving. These are mechanics not seen since the Alexander raid tier, and newer players may find consistency difficult.
The Living Liquid phase has you fight both the Living Liquid and the Liquid Hand while performing precise dance-like positional mechanics involving the tornadoes and AoEs. This phase does not have a set DPS check due to the fact it is not required to kill Liquid Hand. As long as Living Liquid has been killed before a failed Hand of Pain check, the encounter will progress into the next phase.
Living Liquid Toolbox Resource
This guide will utilize this Toolbox, so ensure you are referencing the slides mentioned in the following explanations.
Living Liquid Mechanics
- Fluid Swing / Fluid Strike: A heavy physical tank cleave that originates from both the Liquid Hand (Fluid Strike) and Living Liquid (Fluid Swing). Inflicts a water vulnerability down, meaning tanks who take this cannot bait Protean Wave without invuln.
- Cascade: A heavy magical raidwide AoE. This will also spawn three tornadoes, Liquid Rage, in the intercardinal or cardinal spots of the arena, with one area being open.
- Liquid Hand: Living Liquid will split its HP and form the Liquid Hand with the HP lost during the first Cascade. While you only need to defeat the Living Liquid, the Liquid Hand must be damaged as well due to Hand of Pain.
- Hand of Pain: The Liquid Hand needs to be within 4.9% of Living Liquid’s HP when the castbar resolves, or it is an instant wipe.
- Hand of Prayer / Hand of Parting: The hand will glow and form either a fist or an open hand. If it forms a fist, the boss and hand must be far apart. If it forms an open hand, the boss and hand must be close together. Failure to do so will result in an instant wipe. If the boss is far from the hand at the time of casting, it will form an open hand, and vice-versa.
- Protean Wave: The famous mechanic known to all callouts as Protean is back with a vengeance. There are several variations of the mechanic, but it mostly boils down to either a visible or non-visible thin conal AoE that deals moderate magical damage and inflicts a vulnerability to water. This is aimed at the closest person to the three Liquid Rages or four closest players to Living Liquid. All boss Proteans are accompanied with a phantom wave shooting directly in front of the boss, meaning players cannot stand there.
- Jagd Doll: Four Jagd Dolls will spawn in the middle of the arena, at cardinal directions, adjusted slightly counterclockwise. Jagd Dolls will tether to the first person who damages them and casts Exhaust every once in a while, inflicting a stack of Luminous Aetheroplasm. These must be "fed" (brought inside the hitbox) to either the Liquid Hand or Living Liquid when their HP is below 25%, casting Reducible Complexity, dealing moderate raidwide magic damage. If they are killed, or they are fed at a higher HP, Reducible Complexity will instantly wipe the party. If players get two or more stacks of Luminous Aetheroplasm, they will explode and instantly die. This is considered the trickiest mechanic in the first phase, and requires a high degree of control.
- Pressurize / Embolus: Two Embolus orbs spawn from two random Liquid Rages and move slowly towards where the boss and hand were when they spawned. If any party member or boss touches the Embolus, it will explode and instantly wipe the party.
- Sluice: AoE markers appear under the four furthest players away from Living Liquid.
- Splash: A non-telegraphed series of six moderate raidwide magical hits.
- Drainage: Tethers appear from two Liquid Rages on tanks. Tanks will need to pick them up and mitigate them, as they deal heavy magic damage.
- Throttle: Six random party members are afflicted with the Throttle debuff, which must be Esuna’d before it resolves or they instantly die.
There is a lot to unpack here! As you will see, Living Liquid has no downtime, making awareness very important. There are several periods of back-to-back mechanics that require precise positioning. Having good strategies and making sure all party members understand them is key to beating the first phase.
Living Liquid Strategy
The phase starts out by having the tank pull Living Liquid to the middle of the arena. There will be a Fluid Swing that requires at least one 10% mitigation to survive, followed by a Cascade which splits Living Liquid's HP in half and summons Liquid Hand alongside three Liquid Rage tornadoes.
There are multiple ways to do this phase. The main condition is that all four Jagd Dolls need to be fed to the boss or hand prior to the next set of mechanics. All other mechanics have to be done correctly as well. There are four main schools of thought to executing this mechanic with respect to the Hand of Prayer / Hand of Parting:
- Boss and Hand together in open area
- Boss and Hand together in closed area
- Boss and Hand separate in open area
- Boss and Hand separate in closed area
Boss and Hand together is a no brainer here. You want as much cleave damage as possible to both even out the Hand/Boss HP as well as do as much damage to the boss.
Open area (where tornadoes do not spawn) vs closed area (in between two tornadoes) is up for debate, but, in my opinion, having it in a closed area is better, as the positioning then falls on the tanks, as well as Embolus is immediately solved (Embolus will head towards the closed area). If the boss is in the open area, the Embolus has a chance to go through the middle if it spawns in the middle tornado, which can easily cause a wipe due to inattentiveness. That being said, if DPS is hurting, boss in open area allows both melee to easily cleave their add along with the boss + hand. Open area strat has tanks pull bosses North West in the diagram. It is up to you. We will be covering the strat dealing with Living Liquid and Liquid Hand in the closed area below, but the theory of the open strat is the same, just that the ranged have to go in between tornadoes instead of the tanks to bait Protean.
The tank without aggro should immediately pick up the hand, followed by having the tanks drag the boss and hand away from each other. Depending on where you go (open or closed area), the boss should be dragged to the hand or vice-versa. Check slide 2 in the Toolbox linked above, as the initial positioning for the Jagd Dolls and Tornado Proteans should thus be like this, with the blue lines representing the Protean Waves.
Before running out, both healers should put up shields on everyone and a ticking regen for the Protean Wave. The blue lines represents where the protean wave should go. All DPS essentially pick up the Jagd Doll closest to them. There can be two orientations of Jagd Doll spawns with respect to tornado spawns, so make sure each DPS knows which Doll they pick up.
The Fluid Swing should be mitigated with cooldowns. A common strategy is to have one tank take both bosses for the Fluid Swing only and use an invuln on it. This allows the tank to also bait a Protean. The tank using invuln can stand in the second telegraphed Protean, but this requires use of anti-knockback. Living Dead and Holmgang will be back up for the first Chastening Heat in Alexander Prime, while Superbolide will be up for the second. Hallowed Ground can be used here, but take note, as this requires a kill time in Brute Justice and Cruise Chaser of 5:35 or later.
The tanks should start to slowly move the boss back to the middle once the Embolus spawns. The healers are free to move in as soon as the Jagd Dolls do their first Exhaust. Heal through the raidwide damage that comes from Jagd Doll feeds. Once Proteans are baited, ranged should move in slightly. Tanks should then face the boss away for Fluid Swing / Fluid Strike, and mitigate accordingly.
Jagd Doll feeding order is something that needs to be decided based on your healer comfort and class composition. Generally, melee Jagd Dolls should be fed first, as soon as the healers come back in and top everyone off from Protean. After everyone is topped off, ranged should come in and feed their Jagd Doll. You can do a 1-2-1 order, a 2-2 order, or a 2-1-1 order, depending on the level of healing available and the damage that can be dealt to the dolls.
At this point, reference should be made to slide number 4 in the Toolbox, listed at the top of the page.
First Protean and Drainage
Tanks should face the boss towards the middle tornado. This mechanic is simple, (reference slides 5 - 8 for this section of the guide) everyone starts by baiting the visible Protean Waves together. Four ranged go out to bait Sluice, while four melee take the first set of Protean Wave. The melee then go to max melee range while ranged run back inside the boss hitbox to bait the second set of Protean Waves. Nobody can be standing in front of the boss at this time.
Afterwards, there are six Splashes plus two Drainage tethers. Tanks pick up Drainage tethers while everyone stacks south. Drainage explodes in a small AoE, so tanks should not be standing on anyone else unless they are both invulning it. Healers should mitigate and heal through Splashes, with ranged Troub/Tac/Samba recommended. After that, top everyone off and mitigate Cascade.
There are multiple strategies for this too. I like boss facing tornado, but boss can face away too. The Embolus glitch that was present in 5.1 was fixed, meaning Embolus will not stay into the Limit Cut phase. Most groups also kill Living Liquid prior to the Splashes, meaning Embolus is not a factor. Therefore, either strategy is fine. Utilize Toolbox slides 9 - 13 for the remainder of the guide.
Healers must Esuna all Throttles, though they can both get one GCD of healing before Throttle is cast. Shields from both tank and shield healer should be cast before players go out to bait Proteans.
Essentially, this is the same as the first one - however, three players in each set of Protean Waves must also go out and bait the tornado Protean Waves. This creates another set of positional requirements.
Looking at slide 9 of the Toolbox, ranged and healers bait out the Sluice AoEs as well as the first untelegraphed Protean Waves from the tornadoes. At the same time, the tanks and melee will bait out the Protean Waves from Living Liquid, taking care to aim them into either an open space or a tornado where no one is standing.
Upon resolving the first half of the Protean Waves, the aforementioned groups will swap out. Healers and ranged will come in to bait Living Liquid's Protean Waves, while three of the four melee jobs head out to bait tornadoes. There is no Sluice in this portion, so one of the melee is free to stand at max-melee ranged and keep their uptime. This can either be a tank or a melee - it is up to the group to decide.
Afterwards, the boss should be baited for Hand of Parting / Hand of Prayer. However, since tanks are far apart, it should default to close. Both tanks can come back to the middle and drag the boss + hand to the open spot as the Embolus is baited in between the tornadoes. Everyone should stack in the middle to heal through Splashes and DPS the boss down before Enrage.
Handling Hand of Pain
One player (probably a tank or ranged) should keep the boss HP and hand HP in check in order to not wipe to Hand of Pain. If your group has enough DPS, you can burn the boss after the 01:48 Hand of Pain - the boss should be sub 12% at that point. Otherwise, play it safe. Jobs with high amounts of cleave/multidotting are king here.
- 18 Apr. 2022: Guide added.
- Join Us Live on Twitch for the Icy Veins Podcast
- FFXIV PLL #74 Recap - 6.3 Live Letter Part 1
- Final Fantasy XIV will be in AGDQ2023 on Friday, January 13th
- FFXIV Announces Return to PAX AUS
- "Tales from the Dawn": Final Story Released
- On the Adjustments to Pandaemonium: Abyssos (Savage)
- FFXIV Patch 6.21 Notes
- All Worlds Maintenance, Sept 12