Weapon's Refrain Ultimate: Garuda Guide
This page contains detailed information and strategy about the high-end Duty "The Weapon's Refrain (Ultimate)", commonly abbreviated as UWU, specifically for the portion of the fight dealing with Garuda.
Garuda, Lady of the Vortex
Garuda is the first Primal you will face in the encounter and this fight can be split into two phases. The first phase consists of mechanics involving Plumes, which are adds that must be dealt with in specific ways, followed by a cleansing mechanic. The second phase revolves around mechanics dealing with The Sisters, Suparna and Chirada.
- Slipstream: Frontal cleave with a 2.5s cast time dealing significant magical damage and inflicting a stun. As Garuda stands still during this cast, it can be avoided by moving through her to her back. Consider it an unmarked cone AoE that should be avoided.
- Mistral Song: A green marker will be placed on a healer. Garuda will then turn around, face the target, and fire off a line AoE in that direction, dealing heavy magic damage. Must be mitigated by having a tank stand in front of Garuda, taking the first hit. Garuda then will summon a cyclone under where the first player in line was hit.
- Downburst: Heavy physical tankbuster with no cast time that cleaves. When Garuda is Woken, it becomes an AoE tankbuster that the whole party can soak.
- Feather Rain: Garuda will shriek loudly, jump in the air, and spawn multiple small circle AoEs under players. Being hit by these will deal heavy magic damage and apply a "Windburn" dot, dealing massive damage for 18 seconds.
- Aerial Blast: Raid buster dealing massive magical damage to all players.
- Friction: Garuda will face a random player and hit them with a small splash AoE dealing magic damage. Inflicts a stack of Thermal Low to all players hit.
- Eye of the Storm: The outer ring of the arena will glow purple to signify a cyclone appearing on the edges of the arena. Stepping on the edge when this cyclone is active will deal lethal magic damage.
- Wicked Wheel: Small circle AoE dealing lethal physical damage to all players in melee range. When Woken, it is immediately followed up by Wicked Tornado.
- Wicked Tornado: Instant raid-wide donut AoE dealing lethal magic damage. Only appears when Garuda is Woken and immediately after Wicked Wheel. There are two safe spots: one in melee range and one very far from Garuda.
Garuda Toolbox Resource
For the entirety of the phase, please reference this Toolbox for a detailed view of how each mechanic is handled.
Garuda On Pull
Begin by pulling Garuda to the center of the arena. Shortly after, she will cast Slipstream and mark a random healer for Mistral Song. Make sure to have a tank in between Garuda and the healer as shown in Toolbox slide #3.
Alternatively, you can also forego all healer movement and just have the tank stack in front of the party, with the marked player in the party stack, but this will result in significantly more damage on the raid. You also have the option of simply using Cover on the healer, if you have a Paladin in your party.
Garuda will follow up with a second Slipstream, followed by a Downburst, and spawn four Satin Plumes, tethering to random DPS; and one Spiny Plume, which will tether to the first person to attack it. Have your tank pick up the Spiny Plume as soon as possible. If left alone the Satin Plumes will explode, inflicting all players with a sleep, meaning they must be killed as soon as possible. Make sure to group up and AoE them down. The Spiny Plume, on the other hand, will periodically cast Cyclone on the tank, dealing significant magic damage and inflicting a stack of Thermal Low. Before killing this Spiny Plume, it is very important that your tank takes two hits of Cyclone in order to gain two stacks of Thermal Low. While you are fighting plumes, Garuda will use Feather Rain. Make sure you listen for her scream, which will indicate when players will have to move to avoid it. Garuda will immediately follow up with a Mistral Shriek.
Cleansing, Thermal Low and Thermal High
When the Spiny Plume is defeated, it will use Gigastorm, exploding for a small AoE circle around it, and leaving behind a large green bubble. Stepping inside this bubble will give players Thermal High (heavily reducing all wind damage), dispel any Thermal Low stacks, and deal magic damage to the raid corresponding to the number of stacks in the form of Super Cyclone (one stack will deal small magic damage, two stacks will deal significantly more magic damage, and three stacks will deal lethal magic damage that will wipe the raid). It is important to note that whenever a player dispels two stacks of Thermal Low that Garuda will gain a stack of Aetherically Charged.
Garuda will then follow up with two Frictions, targetting random players, and splashing everyone hit for damage and inflicting stacks of Thermal Low.
Here is a step-by-step guide of the recommended way of dealing with Thermal Low Stacks:
- Pre-assign a tank and two DPS to gain two stacks of Thermal Low. The chosen DPS will be cleansing their stacks via the puddle, and the chosen tank will cleanse their stacks via Mesohigh tethers. Make sure you carefully choose these players, as your remaining players with one stack will be in charge of mechanics in the Ultima phase, specifically Ultimate Annihilation and Ultimate Suppression.
- Have the chosen tank receive two Thermal Low stacks from the Spiny Plume, and immediately defeat it while avoiding Feather Rain.
- Heal up after Mistral Shriek, and have the tank with two stacks run into the puddle. Garuda should now have one stack of Aetherically Charged.
- For the first Friction cast, have your whole party stacked for Friction, with your three pre-assigned players standing outside the bubble, and the rest of the party inside. Your three players should have one stack.
- For the second Friction cast, have your whole party stacked for Friction outside the bubble. You should have three players with two stacks and the rest of the party with one stack.
- Have the two DPS (preferably melee DPS) move into the bubble one by one, cleansing their stacks. Make sure to leave ample time for your healers to heal damage done by Super Cyclone in between each feed. Garuda should now have three stacks of Aetherically Charged.
If done correctly, you will have five players (two healers, two DPS, and one tank) with one stack of Thermal Low, and one tank with two stacks of Thermal Low.
Suparna and Chirada Summoned
Garuda will follow up with an Eye of the Storm and summon Chirada and Suparna (also known as the Sisters), untargettable adds that have similar skills to Garuda. After being summoned they will immediately use Feather Rain (remember to listen for the scream!) and mark a DPS and healer with Mistral Song, jumping to the edges of the arena. Sisters will always jump to two of the four cardinal points of the arena.
Keep Garuda in the center of the arena as you dodge Feather Rain, leaning towards the South-West of the map. The party should stack up South-West (but not at the edge, as Eye of the Storm will be active) to avoid the Wicked Wheel from Garuda, while the tanks intercept Mistrel Song from each Sister. It is recommended to have one tank take the first sister going clockwise starting from north, and the other tank taking the first sister going counter-clockwise starting from northwest. Remember that tornadoes will spawn under the first hit players, so you may have to reposition the party to avoid them. Reference Toolbox slides #21 - #27 for this mechanic.
After the tornadoes resolve drag Garuda back to the middle as she will use another Eye of the Storm. She will then summon another set of four Satin Plumes so burn them quickly as you did in the start of the fight. At the same time, the two sisters will appear in the east and the west sides of the arena and tether random players with Mesohigh dealing heavy magic damage that must be mitigated with at least one Thermal Low stack. Have your tank with two stacks and a DPS with one stack (preferably ranged) take the tethers while the party stacks together defeating Satin plumes and the other tank takes a Downburst. If you have been following the outlined strategy and your last two stack Thermal Low tank takes a tether, these tethers will give Garuda her final Aetherically Charged stack making her "Woken."
Yellow dots indicate the players who will be taking the tethers. Alternatively, if you want your tanks to take these tethers, you can rotate the diagram and have Garuda face east or west, with the other tank taking the other tether. Keep in mind that tethers will do a point-blank AoE around their target that will cleanse Thermal Low stacks, so be careful to not stack together.
As soon as Mesohigh tethers resolve, the sisters will shriek and jump once more, using Feather Rain, followed by Garuda using another Slipstream. Garuda will then follow up with a Wicked Wheel (which will be followed immediately by a Wicked Tornado combo, as she is Woken). Make sure to avoid the wheel first, and then move into melee range as soon as the marker disappears as Wicked Tornado has no cast time. She will follow up with a Woken Downburst, which must be taken by at least both tanks as a split tankbuster. She will then use a final Slipstream before enraging. At 2:55 after engaging Garuda, she will become untargettable, jump in the air, and use a Feather Rain followed by a lethal Aerial Blast, serving as an enrage.
If this phase was done as described, you should be defeating Garuda with four players having one stack of Thermal Low (one tank, one DPS and two healers), of which you will need three in later phases of the Ultima Weapon. Once defeating Woken Garuda, a light puddle will appear under where she was. Make sure your pre-assigned healer, caster, or melee picks up this puddle.
- 02 Feb. 2022: Guide added.
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