For Final Fantasy XIV: Shadowbringers‘ Eden’s Promise: Litany raid, it appears that the game has accidentally crossed over with Bloodborne. Or possibly Berserk or Hellsing, if you fancy.
Either way, the boss this time — the Shadowkeeper — is a giant, shadowy wolf with dozens of eyes, and multiple mouths growing out of the side of its head. It’s a little bit freaky, and more than a touch reminiscent of the sort of horror you’d expect from those franchises.
It’s also a fight that requires some very quick thinking in regards to positioning, but it’s maybe not as bad as it first looks. It’s just a total nightmare to explain.
The short version
There are basically two attacks here that require much explanation. One is Spawn Shadow: when three clones of Shadowkeeper appear, keep track of which one he’s tethered to. The tether will disappear, the clones will swap places like a shell game, and then you need to run and get behind the one the boss was tethered to in order to avoid damage.
The other attack that requires explanation is Shadow Implosion/Shadow Slash, and this is a complete pain to explain. Honestly, I thought Iconoclasm’s portals were hard to explain in text, but this is somehow worse. I’ve tried to do it as best I can in Attacks, below, but you kinda need to see it in action at least once to understand.
Effectively, the attack will come out of the Shadowkeeper in the center of the arena as normal. The direction of the attack is based on where the shadow is, though, and you can completely ignore the facing of the boss itself. The shadow is always facing towards the center of the arena, and the attack will hit half of the arena based on that. If it’s a Forward Shadow Implosion, it’ll hit the area opposite the shadow. If it’s a Backward Shadow Implosion, it’ll hit the area the shadow is in. But this gets much more complex when multiple shadows spawn, and when you start throwing in Left and Right Shadow Slashes in the sword phase.
Forward/Backward Implosion – AoE that will hit the arena in front of or behind the Shadowkeeper (forward hitting front, backwards hitting behind). Forward/Backward Shadow Implosion – This is the same as the above, but with a twist that’s really hard to explain in text. Specifically, a shadow will appear in the arena, tethered to the Shadowkeeper. First: ignore the direction the Shadowkeeper is actually facing. It’s irrelevant.
The easiest way to think of this is that the Shadowkeeper is actually where the shadow is, and it’s facing the “main body.” Or that the Shadowkeeper’s back is to the shadow. Either of those gives you the right idea. Here’s a terrible MSPaint drawing to try (and fail) to explain how the hell this works.
In this instance, the Shadowkeeper is facing north. In a normal Forward Implosion, the north end of the arena would be hit by the AoE. But because we don’t need to pay attention to where the Shadowkeeper is facing, and the shadow is to the north, that’s what you need to pay attention to. Forward Shadow Implosion will actually hit the south end of the arena and… this is nearly impossible to explain until you actually see it in action. Also, later on, two shadows will often spawn, rendering only one quarter of the arena safe. Look, I have faith you’ll get it when you see it in action, and what part of the arena is hit depending on where the shadow spawns.
Deepshadow Nova – Unavoidable raid-wide damage. Spawn Shadow – The Shadowkeeper spawns three clones of itself around the arena, and tethers to one of them. Note carefully which one that is. Shadow Warrior – The tether will disappear and the clones will leap around the arena, swapping places like in a shell game. When they stop, immediately run behind the one that the Shadowkeeper was tethered to: it will hit the rest of the arena with an AoE.
Shadowy Eruption – In subsequent casts, this will follow the Shadow Warrior AoE. The instant that AoE goes off, ground-targeted AoEs will appear underneath each player. Move to avoid damage. Fade to Shadow – The Shadowkeeper will tether to two shadow pools at corners of the arena, which will soon explode into AoEs that cover most of the arena. Run to one of the corners the shadows aren’t in to avoid. On subsequent casts, the Shadowkeeper will combine with with an Implosion that will hit one of the “safe” corners, so stay close to the boss until you know which corner is actually safe. By the way, I have a sword now – No name given for this attack (unless you get hit by it, which I haven’t) but the Shadowkeeper will rear up on its hind legs and an AoE marker will appear around it. It’ll pull out a giant sword and do massive AoE damage around it, marking the transition into its sword phase. Plenty of time to avoid this.
Umbra Smash – The Shadowkeeper will hit the tank four times, with each hit reducing slashing resistance. This is always followed by… Shadow’s Edge – Line AoE tankbuster. I think this automatically targets the off-tank, but if not, the other tank should probably provoke: the one who’s suddenly weak to slashes doesn’t really want to get hit with a tankbuster. Left/Right Giga Slash – Just like the Implosion attacks above, but this time it’ll cover the arena to the left or right of where the Shadowkeeper is facing. Left/Right Shadow Slash – Just like the Shadow Implosion attacks above, but again, left/right instead of forward/backward. And yes, it’s just as stunningly difficult to explain. Voidgate – Three meteor towers appear, which inflict minor bleed damage on anyone standing in them. At least two people need to be in each one to prevent raid-wide damage. Distant Scream (or “Oh no, where’s my sword gone”) – I know the name for this one because it’s unavoidable, but it has no cast bar. This is signified by knockback markers appearing around the Shadowkeeper, and marks the end of the sword phase. Just stand close to it so you don’t get knocked into the death pit at the edge of the arena.
Things to remember
Just… just try not to let your brain explode over my terrible explanations of how the Shadow attacks work. Seriously, they’ll make more sense once you’ve seen them in action a few times. Follow the path of the shell game attack (or run to where everyone else is). Do some very quick mental positioning whenever a Shadow attack happens. That aside, you should be pretty clear to go with this.
And that’s it. Eden’s Promise: Litany is down, and you’ve only got two more Eden raids to go — which we’ll also be covering in our guides.