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Effective HM Garuda strategies?Follow

#1 Sep 08 2013 at 4:05 AM Rating: Good
1,556 posts
We have a great guide here for the story version of Garuda.

However, I was wondering if any of you have had any success with HM Garuda and would like to contribute? Out of the 12 or so runs I've done (with 4 different groups), none of them have gotten past the 2nd wave of clones. Actually, most groups I was in were lucky if they could get past her breaking the rocks with her special ability.

I don't know other classes well enough but I'd like to compile some useful hints/tips from you all for each individual class for this. This is actually the first duty finder I have not been able to do in a PUG. I do have some advice for the other classes but I am not able to draw from your own knowledge of the class (such as abilities) to clearly define what you should be doing.

Here's my advice for BLMs attempting this:

We are not too involved but there are certain things that make a 'good' BLM on this fight, IMO.

First, her randomly targeted AoE called Friction may be negated entirely through use of manawall which, oddly enough, seems to be physical damage. If you can pick up the pattern on when she uses it, you will save your healer a lot of headdache. WHM AoE healing pulls a tremendous amount of aggro on this fight. In fact, a third of my attempts that failed were because a WHM pulled aggro onto the rest of us and got us killed with medica spam. Being able to negate a friction will save some AoE healing and cause threat reduction.

Remember, you have a neat ability that enhances elemental resistances to fire, earth, and wind for 12 seconds to a targeted PT member. Make use of this! I have not found the optimal time to use it but generally when I see a tank dip below 50% HP, I will toss this on them. You might even want to cast it on them during the initial pull.

She summons plumes in a very predictable manner with the same amount of time. Not only this, but she summons the plumes ON her for a majority of the fight (until she is about to use her ultimate where she teleports to the middle).

Flare has a small radius. If you can plan around plumes, that means you'll have 3 astral fires up from a fire 3 cast (or fire 1 spam) during the plumes phase. Since flare doesn't care how much MP you have when it's cast, you can easily swiftcast a flare onto Garuda which will hit all of the plumes around her before they seek out their individual rocks. This isn't really a game breaker but it does help the other DPS kill the plumes a little faster.

I'm not sure if manaward works against her ultimate ability but it most likely works against the clones' whirlwind attacks in phase 2 so I suggest using it then.

One other important ability we bring to the table is lethargy. Use this during times when things look like they're out of control. Remember it slows down weapon skill speed which will help mitigate damage a bit.

Other than that, we just need to nuke and be aware of our surroundings. I haven't figured out the best use of the astral flow. None of my groups have made use of it.


AoE healing spells generate an enormous amount of enmity in this fight for some reason. I know it's hard to target the monster and heal at the same time to check your enmity, but be very careful! If you pull it onto the casters, you'll most likely cause a wipe. I realize this is hard to ask because she deals a massive amount of AoE damage!

Also, i think there might be a bug in which Garuda begins to generate enmity on players that are buffing. Check your enmity gauge on Garuda before engaging to confirm you have zero enmity before the fight begins.

Don't cast any HoTs on the tank as they engage. As mentioned, threat is very fickle on this fight.


Eventually, she'll summons clones. During the clone phase, you'll be surrounded by vortices with little ability to move anywhere. There is a little corner right on the edge of the 3 vortices that enables you to tank the red tethered Garuda away from the main tank and DPS so that each group is only taking one wicked wind. Positioning and pick up of this red Garuda is absolutely critical to success.

Given this, it is possible that your initial provoke or equivalent skill will either miss or land but have little effect because of healer AoE spam. Be aware of this.

General advice

Garuda should be engaged from the left. Her first attack, if you engage her from the center, will hit the two rocks behind you.

Ranged should be positioned to the left. When she goes to use a special, hide behind a rock. As soon as that special ends, get far away from the rock as she'll cast a targeted AoE on a random PT member. If you're not far enough away, it will do damage to the rock itself.

Plumes need to die quickly, of course. Like I mentioned with the flare strategy for BLMs, other classes have AoE abilities they may employ during the initial summoning of the plumes that can take advantage of the temporary grouping on Garuda.

When Garuda goes to the middle to unleash her ultimate, don't hide behind a rock: it won't save you. The damage she deals is based on how many rocks you have left.

The green tethered Garuda needs to die first. If you stand behind her, you will not be cleaved which reduces stress on healers. When you switch to the red Garuda, the same applies.

Eventually, you'll need to move in a clockwise circle around the arena to avoid the 2nd wave of vortices. I recommend marking someone who knows where to stand so that new players can follow them.

If you have any other hints, please share! I would really like to beat this sometime soon. :X

Edited, Sep 8th 2013 6:12am by HitomeOfBismarck
#2 Sep 08 2013 at 10:51 AM Rating: Good
73 posts
I did this with a PUG group, not through DF but shouts. After 3 hrs (So 2 full rounds of Garuda HM) of trials and errors, we finally managed to beat her with 10 secs to spare. Our setup was WAR (Main Tank), PLD (Sisters), DRG x3, BLM, SCH, and WHM.

Garuda has a number of new phases in Hard Mode, compared to normal, but generally it's the same strategy for the early phases.


Phase 1:

Similar to storyline battle, your objective for this phase is to preserve and protect as many rock pillars as possible. The number of pillars available will determine whether your group will be able to survive and enter phase 2.

Garuda will start off at north side of the field, near the big rock. Main Tank will tank Garuda there with back facing the rock. Melee should not be standing at the back of Garuda. She tends to turn back and do a blast attack. This is to prevent unnecessary healing by healers. Casters/Ranged should be on the either NE/NW sides of the field, near the northern pillars, but away from them. This is to make sure that if you get hit by random "Friction" attack, it'l not hit the pillars.

After a while, Garuda will teleport and reappeared at northern rock side. As usual, hide behind the pillars to hide from blast. As soon as she does that, quickly move away from the pillars because she will throw a random "Friction" attack, and this is to prevent that.

Plumes will start to appear near garuda and gradually spreads out near the pillars. Clear them out asap. Use your AoE attacks on them for faster kills. If you are a DRG, use your Dragonfire Dive on Garuda as soon as plumes pops out, and start using your Doom Spike. This will hit all the plumes. Another tips is, if you have a BLM, as soon as plumes spawned, the BLM will run close to garuda and spam Blizzard 2. This will bind all the plumes near garuda for easy AoE kills.

Next garuda will teleport to centre and do another blast attack. Hide from her again, main tank will pull her back to northern rock, and do the same thing to the plumes. Garuda will then teleport to east side of the field next for her blast attack. Hide and do your stuffs with the plumes again. It is recommended that the tank kept her on that same spot to prevent unnecessary stray movement and hits on the pillar, if you decided to pull her back to northern rock.

Now this is the most important part and pretty much sums up if you have enough DPS power to kill her. If you do enough damage to her up to this point, Garuda will teleport to center and spawned more plumes from the sides. The next move after this will guaranteed an "Aerial Blast" attack that will moved you to Phase 2.

If you didn't damage her enough, she will teleport to the centre and do another blast attack on the pillars, with more unnecessary plumes. She will basically do the same thing over and over until you forced her to spawn the plumes from the sides.

If you do even more damage to her, ****, she will teleport straight to the center and do her Aerial Blast attack after the 2nd/3rd teleport.


Make sure that you have enough pillars available, because the more you have, the less damage you will take from her Aerial Blast attack. I think the lowest damage you can get is 1500. You will know it when she shouts "Reckoning Comes". At this point, you don't have to hide behind pillars because you will receive the same damage either way whether you hide or not. If you have a SCH in group, pop a "Sacred Soil" and everyone go inside. This will further reduced the damage by 10%. Another thing is it'll be easier for the healers to hit everyone with AoE heals after the attack.


Phase 2:

After her Blast attack, quickly move and pull her to NW side of the map. Tornados will start to appear, so avoid the green circle area. At this point you will pretty much limited to a small area to fight. Main tank will keep her at the northern side of the area, and make sure to keep her faced to the tornados, to prevent your group getting hit by her "Slipstream" attack. The whole group will also need to take the initiative to move as soon as you see garuda turns. Everyone need to be behind garuda at all times, except main tank.

After a while, she will teleport to the southern end of the map and spawn 2 adds/sisters. You will see 2 lasers linking to garuda from the adds, Red and Green. Each of these acted as buffs to garuda with "Green = HP Regen" and "Red = More Damage". The one that you need to kill first is the one with green lasers. Marked the add to prevent confusion.

This is where your "2nd/Off Tank" comes into play. Your "Off Tank" do not need to go and fetch the adds, because they will follow garuda. Since garuda's hate should be on the main tank, they will come to you eventually. Moreover, there are tornados, so by going to them, you are just killing yourself. The off tank will try to pull and tank both adds at the southern end of the "small area".

Now this is the most important part. DPS should not engaged the adds/sisters until they are in position. Since garuda and the adds/sisters are moving towards your party, what you need to do at this time is to position yourself and dodge them, making sure that you are not in front of them when they moved. When you are ready, then start going all out on Green, and then Red.

I forgot to mention, but during my fight, our WHM is the one that tank the Green adds and act as a "3rd Tank", with the "Off Tank" taking the others. I don't know what happened, but the WHM tanked like a pro with Cure spam.

Anyway, after both adds dead, you can attack garuda again. After a while, Garuda will start to spawn more plumes, and the tornados will start moving clockwise. The main tank will start to kite garuda around, while going with the movement of the tornadoes. At this point, DPS can ignore the plumes except one, "Satin Plume". This one needs to be killed asap and you can differentiate it with the purple glow around it. Satin Plume will induced Sleep when exploded, so you need to remove it asap. After that DPS can focus on garuda.


Phase 3:

After the "Clockwise Tornados", everyone needs to move to the center of stage. This part is similar to the main storyline battle, where garuda will create a small area in the centre. Focus on garuda again, and after a while she will teleport and re-summon the adds. Again, focus on the Green laser 1st, then red. Main tank will usually tank garuda at the northern end of the center area. Again, make sure that garuda and the adds are in position before you engaged to prevent getting hit by Slipstream.

Now this is where each group will have a different approach on handling these adds. One approach is to use the Lv3 Meteor Limit Break to wipe out the adds quickly. Other approach is to fight normally and save the Limit Break for another time. Anyway it's up to your group on how you'll handle this. My group went and killed the adds normally.

Anyway, after you disposed the adds, you can focus back on garuda.


Phase 4:

After a while, the area will start to open up again, and your group can move freely. At this point, as soon as the area opened up, go and pull garuda to the northern part of the area near the huge rock. Everyone needs to go there, because tornados will start to pops out. I can't remember at this point but I think garuda will spawn more plumes. As soon as you see the message. Your tank will need to kite her again, because the tornadoes will start moving clockwise. Again, kill the "Satin Plume" asap and you can ignore the rest or killing them along the way.

After a while, the tornadoes will start to fades away, and after that, quickly move back and pull garuda to the NW side of the map, just like in Phase 2.

At this point you will be repeating Phase 2 > Phase 4 until garuda is dead.


All I can say is everyone in your group is key in winning the battle, but I think in the end it'll come down to your Main/Off tanks. As long as they know the correct position on where to pull and hold Garuda/Sisters effectively. As for everyone, I would recommend that you are at least averaging at least with Item level 55/60. I would not recommend full AF gear for this fight. It can still be done, but you will be doing the group a big favour by wearing better gear sets.


It's probably difficult to get the whole picture on how the fight goes for first timer. I would recommend that you go to youtube and watch some of the videos. There are already some good videos on how the fight went, so you guys should check them out.

Edited, Sep 8th 2013 1:01pm by wcloudxkumo
#3 Sep 08 2013 at 10:58 AM Rating: Excellent
311 posts
The only experience I have with HM Garuda is wiping. We usually did just fine until she spawned her adds, then, for some reason, people started dropping like flies. I only attempted her 3 times, then I got 90k'd and decided that was fate telling me that it wasn't meant to be. I'll just farm Ifrit for his weapon for now.

Will there even be a purpose to having all 3 of the primal weapons? Are any stronger than the others? I'll eventually get around to killing all 3 HM primals for my Relic quest, but for now I just want to get my Ifrit's Blade and start farming for Darklight accessories.

Edited, Sep 8th 2013 12:59pm by Teracide
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