Primal battles in Final Fantasy XIV are massive spectacles that pit a group of players against powerful creatures that usually show up in the series as summons. Stormblood’s first primal, Susano, gets more massive than most, but a well-coordinated group can take him down pretty easy.
Susano is a take on Susanoo, the Shinto god of storms, making him a fitting first primal fight in an expansion that explores new areas inspired by ancient Japan. His appearance at the end of a lengthy quest line in the Ruby Sea area of the Doma region came as a surprise. I was not expecting a primal to show up at that particular time. Judging by the looks on their faces, neither were my non-player character companions.
He looks intimidating, but there’s something infectious about his enthusiasm. He revels in battle, and the prospect of an epic fight against me and my fellow players genuinely seems to make him happy. It’s infectious.
Like many Final Fantasy boss fights, the Susano battle is split into three phases. I’ll timestamp them so you can skip around in the video above. Our party, assembled at random via the game’s Duty Finder, consists of two tanks, two healers and four damage dealers. As a red mage, I’m on hurting the demigod duty.
Phase 1 – 01.35
The battle begins! Positioning is very important in the first phase. The main tank grabs Susano’s attention and faces him away from the party. The rest of the group gets behind him and blasts away with everything they have got. During the battle the circular play area will occasionally be filled with either orange area-of-affect damage spells or purple lasers.
Run like hell to avoid them. Note that sprinting no longer drains tactical points (used to power some skills and abilities), so use it to get the hell out of the way.
When not dodging lasers and explosions, players need to stick together. Susano will knock back a random character and then tag them with the flashing “group up” arrows. The rest of the group has to form up on that to avoid taking a lot of damage. This is followed up by a large area-of-effect spell with a safe zone that’s only a single straight line.
Phase 2- 04.30
Phase two begins with Susano walking to the middle of the arena and then, I guess, ascending? He’s the god of the sea and storms, so this is his sea form.
Now looming over the battlefield, Susano lifts his gianormous sword and brings it crashing down on the party. Here the tank of the group gets to participate in a quick time event, catching the blow.
After the blow is struck, it’s up to the party to do as much damage as possible. Three glowing orbs will spawn during this portion. Designated players (generally the tanks and a random damage class) need to run into the orbs, taking a large amount of damage and saving the group in the process.
After two rounds of swords and orbs, it’s on to phase three.
Phase Three – 05:57
Phase three is largely a repeat of the first, with a few additions and changes. The knockback/group up attack from phase one is immediately followed by the straight line safe zone area-of-effect attack, so players have to be even faster with their positioning. There’s a new lightning attack that hits everyone and is unavoidable, just to make sure the healers are still awake.
And there’s also the cup game.
Susano will randomly encase a player in stone, and their teammates will have to break the stone to free them. The trick here is that Susano creates two duplicates of the stone prison, and then shuffles them. Destroying the wrong one damages the group, so either the trapped player or anyone else paying attention should mark the right one.
The End – 12:34
And he’s down. Pat yourself on the back for a job well done. Time to head back out into the Ruby Sea, collect your quest rewards and continue on the slow march towards level 70.
Optional Pro Strats
- 05:35: Get overexcited and accidentally switch around your hot bars in mid battle.
- 09:45: Die.
- 12:56: Apologise.