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HM Primals and BLMFollow

#1 Sep 07 2013 at 2:43 AM Rating: Excellent
1,556 posts
Last updated: 11/9/13

I thought it would be nice to impart some of the tactics/strategies that I have learned while doing the primals on BLM to my fellow BLMs and hopefully learn a thing or two in return! I'm going to go over what I consider some of the top priorities that we BLMs need to be aware of in these three encounters.

I will talk a little about what gear you should bring to these encounters, a little bit about key abilities that you should use, and also a little about which abilities the boss uses that you should watch out for.

The list of abilities (and some OVERALL strategies) can be found here:

This will be mostly tailored to BLM strategies: not generalized.


Gear: AF plus some level 45+ accessories are all you really need. Perhaps try getting a GC weapon but that isn't really required!

Major abilities BLMs should use

Apocatastasis - Use this on anyone that looks like they're about to die. Generally, it's a nice thing to give to the MT after hellfire goes off

Virus - While Ifrit doesn't hit terribly hard, mitigating damage is still nice. Use this whenever it's off cooldown and/or coordinate with other people in your group when you use it. Recommend macro:

/macroicon "Virus" 
/p Casting Virus on <t> <se.14> 
/ac "Virus" <t>

Eye for an Eye (EFAE) - Again, Ifrit does not hit too hard but mitigation is mitigation. If you happen to have this ability, use it whenever it is off cooldown on your main tank.

Aetherial Manipulation - Remember this level 50 ability you have but never use? Well it's very useful! Especially if you find yourself stuck far away from the group when Ifrit lays down all the plumes all over the arena and the only safe spot is near him. The trick to using this, though, is figuring out a person you can rely on. It's often better to hit your F1-F4 keys to find a quick target in range and then hit your aetherial manipulation button.

Meteor - Our level 3 limit break. This is why BLM is so useful on Ifrit. It does massive AoE damage in a very large area. You should only use this when Ifrit summons his 4 nails.

Physick - This is a great ability to have on hand. First, make sure you use physick before Hellfire (Ifrit's '2 hour' that he uses after all nails die) so that you are HP capped if your healers haven't done so already. On Ifrit, they most likely will have you capped off because they're bored.

Right before he uses Hellfire, you can precast this so that when Hellfire goes off, your physick goes off, restoring some of the damage done by Hellfire. This takes some of the strain off the healers and is no problem for us considering we have near infinite mana.

This goes for any period of the fight where you're low on HP and need to get your HP out of the red zone.

Major abilities to be concerned about as BLM

-Immunity to lethargy

Hellfire (Ifrit's 2 hour) can be negated by manaward.

Also, do not stand within his vulcan burst's range! It will interrupt casting and knock you back, dealing a bit of damage.

If you pull threat or need to kite, make good use of manawall and manaward. They will work on all his physical attacks as well as his breath attacks which are fire-based.


Here is a very dinky drawing I use when explaining this fight to players. It gets the job done surprisingly well! Feel free to use it yourselves. This is the positioning most people use at the start of phase 2.

Gear: AK drops, darklight accessories; some lower level items can be ignored depending on class...but for BLMs, you should at least strive for darklight accessories

Major abilities BLMs should use


This is one very nice thing we bring to the table: an on demand slow and heavy. You may have noticed that this does not work on Ifrit (nor will it work on Titan) but it certainly works on her! As for when to use, I would say during times of heavy sustained damage to the group (so that the healer may not be focusing on the tank). During the clone phase, I'd stick this on the green add while you tank her so her damage output is reduced. It really is a decision you need to make based upon your group's strengths and weaknesses!

Aetherial Manipulation - This ability has another use for this fight. If you are stuck between vortices on phase 2, you can use this to quickly get back to your teammates. I don't think this should ever happen but just in case...

Flare - Out of the three primal fights, this is where we shine. Garuda spawns plumes in a very predictable pattern. Namely:

1) Fly up in the air
2) Use mistral shriek
3) Come back down and summon plumes

These plumes are always summoned at her location except for the transition between phase 1 and phase 2 when she uses aerial blast.

Grouped mobs sitting still for 3 or so seconds? Why yes, I think I'll cast flare!

It is absolutely critical that you save swiftcast for this purpose alone. Flare takes around 4 seconds to cast without spell speed gear. That means, unless you pre-cast a flare on Garuda after her mistrall shriek, you probably aren't going to get the cast off.

This ALSO means you NEED to have 3 stacks of astral fire up as she lands. This can be attained by casting fire 3 on her as soon as she lands. You have just enough time in between her landing and when she summons plumes to get a fire 3 off.

If you are successful, the plumes will all have half health (or less) and some might even be dead due to crits. This makes it insanely easy for the rest of your party to down them. If convert isn't up, make sure you remember to transpose!

Meteor - This also depends on your group but I have found the best use of LB3 is the BLM's meteor. This is best used on the THIRD set of clones that Garuda spawns. This means you will kill the first set, kill the center set, and then she will resume her normal rotation where she moves her vortices around the room and finally stops, starting the phase 2 process all over again. At this time, it is best to cast meteor on the next set of adds (and Garuda) so that they die as quickly as possible and so your teammates can focus Garuda down during this section.

Physick - Just like Ifrit: pre-cast this after you've popped manaward when she uses her '2 hour' (Aerial Blast). If timed correctly, you'll be at full HP when blast goes off because manaward negated most of the damage and physick just healed the remaining portion. This shouldn't be a concern since it is healer priority #1 to have everyone capped off before the special ability is used. It is worth mentioning, though.

This goes for any period of the fight where you're low on HP and need to get your HP out of the red zone.

Virus - Garuda hits a full DL tank for a decent amount but nothing your healers won't be able to overcome with little difficulty. However, mitigation is mitigation! Use this right after she has come down from mistral shriek to help cover some of the AoE damage. On phase 2, you can choose to use this on the add that your party decides to DPS down first OR use it on Garuda during the add phase to alleviate stress on the tank/healers. Recommend macro:

/macroicon "Virus" 
/p Casting Virus on <t> <se.14> 
/ac "Virus" <t>

Eye for an Eye (EFAE) - Same as Ifrit: use whenever it's off cooldown. If your off tank is taking too much damage, pop it on him during the add phase. Otherwise, keep it on the main tank. Probably best to use it on the add phase paired with virus so that your healers may focus on raid healing

Surecast - What? A use for this?! Yes! Garuda uses an ability called friction which randomly targets a random party member with a blast that hits all nearby party members. There is an extremely high probability that it will interrupt spell casting as well.

Surecast only has a 10 second duration, though. So, you really need to have a good sense of timing if you are to use it to counter friction!

Major abilities to be concerned about as BLM

Our job is pretty simple. Your firestarter rotation will work fine.

Friction - Friction is a huge concern, however, since it will generally interrupt casts if you are hit by it. If you are pretty good at internal timers, you will know when she is about to use friction. Remember that ability you never use that you obtained very early on? Surecast! Yeah, that's the one. This will ensure you are not interrupted if friction is cast on or near you.

Aerial Blast - This is Garuda's '2 hour' where she will break the rocks. Hiding behind the rocks will not do anything as the blast's damage is determined by the # of rocks remaining at the time of use. However, manaward does actually work to mitigate this damage! We have the lowest HP pool in the game so make sure you take every advantage you can to work around it. :) We are actually a very durable job due to our brief mitigation of both magic and physical damage.

You shouldn't have to worry about her other attacks. There is a high probability that you will be tanking one of the clones during phase 2. Make sure you use manawall to negate at least two attacks. It might also work on downburst (need confirmation).


Here is a great sheet with Titan's exact skill set here:


Minimum: Full AK gear, darklight accessories or aetherial equivalent; Ifrit's weapon (really no exceptions at this point)

Recommended: Full darklight and 8% VIT food of your choice

Excessive: Garuda's staff, mix of AF2 and darklight

This can be done in full AK gear with darklight accessories very easily for BLMs. Other roles and jobs not so much.


This is a beast of a fight: even more so for us casters. This fight requires constant movement and repositioning. However, his phases are extremely predictable. The major thing you need to watch out for is his huge rectangular attack called landslide which has a long cast time in comparison to some of his other abilities. If you are hit by landslide in anything other than phase 1, you will most likely die and be dead until the end of the fight because you cannot be raised.

While landslide is the biggest problem if hit, it is also one of the easier abilities to dodge.The plumes are probably the most difficult part of this fight for a DPS because you need to react the second they spawn in order to avoid taking damage.

In the beginning, Titan will not use his plumes: only landslide. After he does his first initial jump and uses geocrush, he will almost immediately lay plumes on random people and will continue to do this the rest of the fight. In fact, he will increase the number of plumes as the fight progresses. Almost all of his mechanics are based on time rather than HP %.

Let's talk about positioning. In most strategies, you'll want to be close to Titan (but not with the melee) so that medica and any other AoE heal are hitting you. I usually sit to the right (Titan's left before you engage) just on the edge.

He will lay down plumes every 20 seconds from here till the end of the heart phase. If you are good at keeping internal timers, I would HIGHLY recommend moving left and right when you suspect a plume is about to be dropped. That way, you're already moving when a plume is placed and are able to get out of it as a result. They explode very quickly. If your connection to the server is sketchy, you'll have some issues if you aren't moving as they drop.

Therefore, after Titan does his first jump and geocrush I want you to always ask yourself this one question as a BLM:

Should I be in place and casting for longer than 15 seconds?

The answer is: NO

While most of his attacks are based on time and this is a slight DPS race, if you met the above gear recommendations (or exceeded), you will easily do enough DPS while still moving. You really shouldn't have an issue with moving since survivability is the name of the game. And we all know how much a dead DPS does in terms of damage.

Major abilities BLMs should use

SPRINT - Yes! We have this! And since we never use our TP, you should probably be using this! I find it's really helpful during post-heart phase when there are many plumes to dodge. It can also be helpful on row bombs as well. Just remember to use it. :)

Virus - Not an innate ability but very, very useful!

This will actually provide substantial mitigation on two very important abilities Titan uses with high frequency: tumult (all phases) and mountain buster (post-heart phase). Hopefully, you have at least two people in the party who have this ability. You need to coordinate the usage of this ability with the other person. My advice is to create a macro with a /p line in it like such:

/macroicon "Virus" 
/p Casting Virus on <t> <se.14> 
/ac "Virus" <t>

Now when do you use this? Well, before the heart phase, you can use it whenever you see a tumult coming up. Not sure when that happens? No problem! Review the list of abilities in the image at the top of the page or click here. You now know when Titan will use both tumult and mountain buster. You will want to get virus on before tumult. I wouldn't worry about it in the beginning when his stomps are less intense (still use it if you can).

After the heart is another story. You need to get virus on his mountain buster > tumult combo he uses. He will use this right after he uses earthen fury. Make sure you wait for his damage immunity to come off before you use virus! One person should always land virus on him after he has used earthen fury.

If you're still not following me, his post-heart phase looks like this:

Mountain buster

Mountain buster
Gaol on someone

See the bolded two? That is the section where you want to mitigate damage. So at the start of the post-heart phase and about 10 seconds after he encases someone in a gaol, you will want to use virus.

Again, coordinate with your party to figure out who is going first.

Eye for an Eye (EFAE) - This is quite a nice ability we have to help alleviate some of the strain on the healers and the tank. When to use it really depends on what your tank's CDs look like and your healer's mana pool. If you hear your tank shouting for a heal, you will probably want to use this on him. If the healer's mana pool is exhausted, use this on the tank to mitigate some damage.

Aetherial Manipulation - This ability is nice at times during this fight. If, for instance, you're stuck in a gaol and a geocrush is about to go off, you need to probably use it as soon as you are freed. On the other hand, if you're stuck in a bunch of plumes, this can be a quick escape. Admittedly, I don't use it much during this fight and usually stick to just moving left or right for a few seconds every 15 seconds. It's still very useful for his 3 geocrush phases.

Physick - Super useful on this fight due to the heavy sustained AoE and heavy strain on healers.

First, make sure you precast this every time he does geocrush. As he lands, your physick will go off and heal some of the damage inflicted. Again, healers should know to use heavy AoE heals at this point so it shouldn't be an issue. It's nice to use just in case, though.

Second, make sure you use physick before Earthen Fury (Titan's '2 hour' that he uses after his heart dies) so that you are HP capped if your healers haven't done so already. Again, it is the healer's duty to have the party at near full HP before Titan uses his special.

I am hesitant to mention using it during the last phase. If you're on this phase and dying, your healers have some work of their own to do. Our goal in this phase is very clear: survive and do as much damage as possible. If he gets to the section where he is using tumult for 7+ seconds, you all will die or end up draining the healer's MP. This is actually the place where the tank's limit break 3 should be used. You won't see that ever happen, though! Either your DPS is good enough to get him down before this crushing tumult happens using a melee's LB3 or you hit it and somehow the healer survives, using their LB3 to resurrect everyone.

AGAIN, the healer's job during this phase is strictly AoE healing and maintaining the tank during mountain busters. If they aren't on the ball to keep you alive, the rest of your group is most likely dead as well. If you get hit by plumes or a bomb and live, it is your responsibility, though.

Major abilities to be concerned about as BLM

Phase 1: 100% till heart appears

Phase 2: Heart phase

Phase 3: Post heart death

-Immunity to lethargy

Your firestarter rotation will work fine.

Landslide - This is a huge rectangular attack. If you get hit by it, you're going to probably fly off the arena if Titan has already jumped once. HOWEVER, note that manawall will negate all damage AND knockback from this attack!! This is a very slow cast in comparison to plumes so you should never be hit by it.

Geocrush - This fight is actually very nice to us as well in terms of mandatory AoEs that the group must eat. Manaward will absorb geocrush's damage. However, you will only be able to use it on one or two geocrushes. My advice is to use it on the first and third and to spam physick on yourself for the second.

Earthen Fury - This is Titan's '2 hour' where he will teleport to the center and blow everything up. If his heart is still alive, you'll die. If it isn't, you live but sustain heavy damage.

Granite Gaol - We can't do anything if we're encased but BLM is one of the strongest DPS jobs to put on gaols due to our on demand swiftcast > fire 3. If you're in the recommended gear, this will obliterate at least 30-40% of one prison's HP. For this reason, if you are confident in your abilities and your group's ability to kill the heart, I would recommend that you switch to the 2nd prison when the heart is at around 10% so that this person survives earthen fury. This is strictly a personal call. If your group is barely getting through heart phase, do not even think about switching targets until the heart is dead. However, if you have excessive DPS, then it would be nice to free the person early (especially if they are a a scholar).

In most groups, the heart lives long enough so that Titan encases two people. The first person's prison is always broken but sometimes groups have the 2nd prison stay put until the heart dies. However, once the heart die the 2nd prison must die immediately or the person inside will die due to earthen fury. I would save your swiftcast for this. A couple fire 1's + firestarter proc is all it will take.

Tumult - This is used frequently throughout the fight. In the first phase, he will use tumult and stomp only a few times. Your healers should be prepared for heavy AoE healing.

However, as the fight progresses into the third phase (after the heart is dead), Titan will continually use tumult and stomp multiple times in rapid succession. Not only this, but it increases in intensity! The point is, the damage is going to be piled on during these tumult phases. Chances are if you have gotten this far, your healers know what's going on anyways and this shouldn't be much of an issue. However...

MANAWARD negates part of tumult's damage!

Make sure you have high HP before you pop manaward as it is based on your current max HP. It will absorb 30% of your current max HP when cast. If you're low, top yourself off with physick before using it and fly through Titan's tumults with ease. Make sure you use prioritize this for geocrush in the first phase and tumult in the last phase!

There are numerous strategies for handling bombs, gaols, plumes, and so on. You will need to discuss with your group what works best.

Edited, Nov 11th 2013 12:44am by HitomeOfBismarck
#2 Sep 09 2013 at 4:58 AM Rating: Excellent
3 posts
In my experience Ifrit is kind of straight forward. LB the nails, mid-out-in movement rotation and that's pretty much it. Plus it's the first time I've actually started to use Aetherial Manipulation for the "in" phase. I love it! xD

On Garuda though we've always had the most trouble at the start of phase 2 when she spawns her mobs. Always someone, mostly the healers, aggroing the adds and gets slipstreamed or just pwned. Then I try tro be as fast as I can and throw Apocatastasis on a healer, as well as trying to get in those Manawall and Manaward on myself for the Friction AoE.
It works kind of well actually, but if you're a millisecond too late with the buffs the adds aggro you. >_<
And usually LB on phase 3 which covers both Garuda and the adds.

Though I still have Titan ahead of me. Urgh...
#3 Sep 10 2013 at 2:31 AM Rating: Excellent
1,556 posts
See below.

Edited, Sep 15th 2013 10:38pm by HitomeOfBismarck
#4 Sep 15 2013 at 8:38 PM Rating: Excellent
1,556 posts
I just did a massive rewrite to all three primals. Hope it helps.
#5 Sep 24 2013 at 9:00 AM Rating: Excellent
2,550 posts
This guide is amazing Hitome. It validated a lot of my Titan strategy. I did not know I could use my fastcast > flare > convert combo on the feathers in Garuda though, I usually just have a ton of spell speed equipped and spam blizzard 2 on the largest group. I might deal 250 on each feather, but if I am dealing with a group of 4 or more, that is 1000 per cast, which is a bit better than I could get on my firestarter rotation. If there are three plumes are less, I stick with firestarter. Also did not know that lethargy works on garuda, or that manawall and manaward were so effective on titan. Excellent write up.
Character Name: Valk Ayree
Server: Lamia; Free Company Leader - The Swarm (Swarm)
- Blue Mage? FTW? -
#6 Sep 24 2013 at 9:11 AM Rating: Excellent
3,178 posts
Oh wow. This is just excellent. Thanks!
#7 Sep 24 2013 at 11:37 PM Rating: Excellent
1,556 posts
I'm so glad it has helped and, more importantly, so glad my fellow BLMs have found this forum! Now we can gather data much faster and compare strategies and rotations!
#8 Sep 26 2013 at 10:27 AM Rating: Excellent
8 posts
I have to add in another thank you, your info here is concise and detailed. Major props and thank yous, Hitome! I signed up on the forum for no reason other than all the good BLM info you've posted here.

Mira Burwani of Exodus
#9 Sep 27 2013 at 1:57 AM Rating: Good
1,556 posts
I'm very glad it has helped. :)

I've stuck some more information about Titan in his section and updated some of the information. There's a really useful Titan rotation image going around that I thought would be great for us.

As BLMs, we are prime candidates in this fight to act as primary tactical overseer alongside WHMs, BRDs, SMNs, and SCHs. Really, anyone can do the job but ranged seem to have an advantage since we can see the entire field without much trouble!

For instance, if you take a look at that image, you can easily call things out to people while still maintaining your DPS rotation. With a little micromanagement, you can also mark the first bomb that lands in the circular bomb section so that people know which side is going to blow up first.

Edited, Sep 27th 2013 5:14am by HitomeOfBismarck
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