Something I wish someone had told me when I started playing this game a little over a year ago – Don’t neglect leveling your GC squad. They are easily one of your best resources for leveling DPS and Tank secondary jobs. I didn’t realize how easy this was until I was leveling my 3rd job. It would have cut down a huge amount of time and frustration for me, that I will attempt to help you avoid.
Who is this guide for?
People who have completed at least the ARR MSQ, have one job at 50+, and want to start leveling additional jobs. This guide assumes at least a basic familiarity with grand company squads and recruits. If you want a guide that gives a more beginner-friendly look at Grand Company Squads in general, I suggest you check out these two:
Who will this guide help the most?
People who want to level DPS and Tank jobs as quickly and efficiently as possible. DPS roulette queue is typically 15+ minutes per dungeon and it’s a crap-shoot what you will get in terms of additional XP. As for Tank, GC squad dungeons give you much more control than you will get doing dungeons with real people. You can progress as quickly or as slowly as you wish and typically don’t have to worry about wipes unless you plan poorly.
What do I need to chain-run GC dungeons?
A lot of grand company seals, especially for higher level dungeons. So do your weeklies, do your GC Hunting Log, and turn in unwanted armor/weapons to your Requisitions Officer for seals. Further, make sure you do the promotion quests for your GC, they will provide additional benefits to your squad.
Ideal Squad Setup
Ideal squad setup is going to vary depending on the job of the player character. A couple of things will remain constant, regardless of what job you are leveling:
- If you need a Tank recruit in your group – GLD will give you better survivability and better snap-aggro on pulls. MRD will have better DPS at the cost of survivability. Which one you take depends on personal preference, but personally I always prefer GLD, it requires less micro-management on squad commands.
- Ranged DPS recruits > melee DPS recruits. Regardless of what you are leveling you will always need at least one DPS recruit, there is no reason to ever take anything other than Arcanist (best DPS recruit in ALL situations) or Archer*. Thaumaturge, while ranged, have too long cast times, and dumb AI behavior.
- You only ever have one option for squad healer – Conjurer, so make sure you level one up.
What this means if you are prioritizing a squad for leveling secondary jobs is that you will want to level 2 ranged DPS recruits, 1 tank recruit (either MRD or GLD), and 1 Conjurer recruit. This will cover you for all 3 job types you may want to level. You can work on leveling up additional recruits for standard missions as you have time/seals available. However, don’t waste seals leveling other recruits if you plan on running a lot of squad dungeons back-to-back unless you have 20,000+ seals laying around.
Squadron Battle Tactics:
Occasionally when you complete a squadron dungeon one or more of your recruits will acquire a new or upgraded tactic that changes their stats in squad dungeons. What should you prioritize for each recruit?
- Healer – Balanced, +dam% = +heal%, CON tend to be pretty squishy so the +HP also helps.
- Tank – Independent, typically survival of the Tank isn’t a huge issue unless you are pulling too many enemies at once. This Tactic increases their DPS at the cost of some survivability. If you feel you are having issues, then go with Defensive.
- DPS – Offensive, they should be taking minimal damage as ranged, so go full glass cannon.
Ideal Squadron Build:
- For leveling DPS jobs – Gladiator/Marauder, Conjurer, Arcanist.
- For leveling Tank jobs – Conjurer, Archer*, Arcanist
- For leveling Healer jobs – Gladiator/Marauder, Archer*, Arcanist.
* Additional note on melee DPS recruits – I decided to test these recruits in more dungeons while leveling up two jobs from 35-60 recently. I stand firm on LNC and PGL being worse in every regard compared to Archer. However, when it comes to Rogue, these recruits will do better DPS than Archer recruits under ideal circumstances. But that is frequently not the case, because ROG recruits must move into melee range and stop moving before attacking. So any boss fight that has frequent movement (Myath comes to mind immediately) is going to be a DPS loss due to the ROG recruits having to move constantly, whereas an ARC will have far less down time. After further investigation, the actual difference in DPS I feel is close enough to say that if you want to take a Rogue instead of an Archer you aren’t going to lose much DPS and the time gained clearing trash a bit faster may balance out to the DPS loss on bosses. Arcanist recruits do obscene amounts of AoE and ST damage though, so I would never replace them with anything else.
Additional Notes Before Getting Started
Squad dungeons are not meant to be the best solution at every level. There will be dead zones in which there are no squad dungeons in your level range, or the ones that are available are either not worth the headache due to annoying mechanics, or there are simply better options available. I will make a note in the guide when this will be the case. You should always save your weekly Challenge Log completions for jobs you are actively leveling. This is still true if you are doing GC dungeons. Those completion bonuses are simply too good to pass up.
You should be running your squad through missions whenever you are not using them to do dungeons as it will increase their level faster. Plan ahead! It sucks having to decide whether or not to eat a large loss of seals when you sent one or more of your dungeon squad on a long duration T3 mission and suddenly want to use them to do squad dungeons.
Keep a Rez tonic or two in your bag (you will get them from completing squad dungeons or buy them from the requisitions officer). Unless you are the healer or a job that can quickly battle rez you are going to be stuck with dead recruits. ♥♥♥♥ will occasionally hit the fan and you will want to be able to recover if your healer goes down.
Be sure to unlock the first procedural dungeon Palace of the Dead if you haven’t already. The starting quest can be picked up from Nojiro Murijiro in the Inn at New Gridania and is titled “The House That Death Built”. Once you complete the quest chain the entrance is located in Quarrymill, South Shroud. This is a great filler dungeon for when you don’t have a lot of time available to do something else. 10 dungeon levels usually take less than 20 minutes to complete and have fast queues for DPS jobs.
A final note if you are leveling SCH/SMN. It is easier to do squad dungeons as a DPS than as a healer, especially if you are an undergeared healer (which will almost always be the case with how fast you level). Since they share XP gains, I recommend doing squad dungeons as SMN and doing the roulette queue as SCH.
Controlling Your Squad
Lets face it, the squad AI is pretty dumb and you only have limited control over what they do. You can minimize this in certain ways; not taking melee DPS recruits, alternating Engage targets at the beginning of the fight, cheesing boss mechanics, etc. But the overall behavior of your squad is pretty limited.
- Engage / Re-Engage – Your squadron will engage whichever enemy you are currently targeting. The Tank will run to it and typically use a snap-aggro ability if it is not on cooldown. Your Ranged DPS will open fire. Sometimes your Archer recruits might pull aggro if they can fire before the tank gets there, but that is generally not an issue as the timing is very close.
- Disengage – Your squad will stop whatever they are doing and collapse back to you. Any enemy that is still in combat will follow the highest threat character.
- Execute Squad Limit Break – Squad will execute a Limit Break if able, expending all the accumulated energy, doing a high damage AoE centered on your current target and applying a buff to damage dealt for 20 seconds. Save this for annoying bosses to shorten the fights and don’t use it when a big enemy attack is coming as it animation-locks your character for several seconds and can result in a very embarrassing death.
Using Engage/Disengage for Positioning:
Certain enemies are best engaged in a larger area, sometimes it is best to pull enemies away from others, and some bosses require positioning. Unfortunately your sguad’s AI doesn’t know any of that. So it is on you to best position them during certain encounters.
- How to pull a group – it is generally best to not do this yourself unless you are leveling as a Tank job. Enemies will frequently peel off your tank and head straight for you. Tell your Squad to Engage and as soon as the Tank tags an enemy Disengage. Once the squad is clear of any other groups have them Re-engage the specific enemy you want.
- How to have your tank round up multiple enemies – This is especially important if you are leveling a healer. If you tank engages and has a HoT or shield effect active on them, then the other enemies in the group will immediately aggro to YOU. Thus is is best not to have these effect on the tank prior to pulling. Once your tank Engages, it is always a good idea to cycle through multiple targets in the group and click Engage –> wait for tank to strike target –> Engage next target –> repeat. This will ensure your tank recruit can quickly grab all the enemies in a group.
- Positioning for boss encounters – certain bosses will need to be tanked in certain areas or you may need to reposition your squad mid-fight. Remember that Disengage causes them to collapse to you. So you need to stand where you want to them to be and wait for them before Re-engaging. You can then move to where you want to be. This mainly occurs in fights with large AoE fields you need to avoid and may get out of range of your healer
Your Recruits are IMMUNE To Many Negative Effects:
Which is why you should prioritize your own survival at the expense of theirs. You can often recover if a DPS or even a tank recruit dies, but if you die – immediate reset to the entrance. This also means you can ignore many AoE fields and debuffs on your recruits and use that fact to cheese certain boss fights. However, if you are playing a tank or DPS you need to watch out for out-ranging your healer. It’s easy to ignore the big poison AoE under your tank and healer until a second one gets dropped in between you and now you have to run out of heal range with a DoT still ticking on you.
YOU are primary target of all ranged boss abilities:
Aiatar’s poison fields? Coincounter’s eye-beam attack? Myath’s blobs? They are all coming directly after you! So be prepared to move early and often and anticipate them before they are cast.
YOU are also in charge of priority target switches:
That big green blob that has to die during Myath encounter or everyone dies? You had better Engage your party on it as soon as it spawns. Same goes Batraal’s crystals, as well as the fire elemental adds during certain bosses.
This one is best classified as not worth the effort. It is long and enemy spacing is bad, not to mention that bosses have mechanics that make it annoying and slow to complete. Considering how fast this level range is with Hunting Logs and Leve’s, it’s not really worth doing unless you want to complete it once for the GC achievement.
Thousand Maws (lvl24)
This one is a total snooze-fest just like doing it with a regular group. Even though this dungeon is long, it has high enemy density and most of them are trivial. The only annoyance is finding the stupid photocells to unlock the force fields. But since you should be clearing all the trash anyway, it’s general not an issue. Just be sure to check all the side rooms for the photocells so you don’t get to the end and have to backtrack. For the most part any enemies that might be in the side rooms are weak enough that even if they aggro to you they shouldn’t pose much of a threat.
Trivial, just don’t over-pull. Even trivial enemies can overwhelm you with numbers.
Ceurl O’nine Tails – focus until it’s dead, Engage tank on adds that spawn to grab aggro then back onto the mini-boss. Clean up adds. Rinse/repeat.
Graffias (Final boss):
The only non-trivial encounter in the whole dungeon. When you are ready to begin, Engage on the boss, give your tank a few swings to grab aggro then Engage on the clusters of pods surrounding the circular chamber. Clear them out then back onto the boss. Throughout the encounter the boss will drops clusters of pods onto you, be sure to have your squad take them out ASAP. At about half health the boss will spawn 2 adds. Have your tank Engage and get a few hits on each one then back onto the boss. When the tail becomes exposed, this is a good point to use the Squad Limit Break, just make sure not to stand in a goo puddle before doing so. Focus the tail, then focus the boss, you shouldn’t have too much trouble killing it before your squad takes fatal damage.
When does it become obsolete?
About 28-29 range, if you have a large amount of rest bonus you can probably drag it out to 30 at which point Palace of the Dead and queuing same level range dungeons in the dungeon finder wins out. Save your Hunting Log and Leve/Guildhest weeklies for the grind to 32.
Brayflox’s Longstop (lvl32)
Mostly trivial trash, good density and easy bosses makes for very quick and easy chain-running. Seriously, grinding this dungeon is your best bet until at least 38.
Trivial, except for the extremely high enemy density before the Hellbender boss. In this area pull 1-2 groups at time time. Pulling 3 or more groups can result in your healer being overwhelmed. Clear all caves/side-room, the XP per per kill makes it worthwhile to clear all trash. Do not forget to kill the dragonflies hassling the 3 goblins at the beginning of the dungeon. If you save all 3 you get loot (meh) but also an extra DPS for the second boss.
Great Yellow Pelican:
Trivial, focus boss, use Engage to have your tank pick up the adds that spawn throughout the fight then back onto the boss until it’s dead. Avoid the boss’s frontal cone AoE.
Trivial, focus boss until it’s dead. If you are leveling tank, face it away from the rest of the party, DPS/healer, avoid the front. If you saved all the goblins then you will have an extra DPS/aggro-magnet for the second half of the fight. When Brayflox comes out focus the drake add then back onto the boss.
This guy can be annoying since he will semi-frequently target you with a bubble attack that must be taken out ASAP. This can be annoying because it is hard to target the bubble. When you get bubbled, immediately have your party Engage the bubble until it is broken, then re-focus on the boss. When Aiatar comes to clean things up, avoid the AoE and focus him until he retreats.
A tough one in terms of positioning. Aiatar will always target you with the AoE poison fields so it requires a lot of moving around throughout the fight. It is best to pull him back to the entrance at the beginning of the fight and then move behind him. As the poison fields go out move in a clockwise direction around the arena and you should be able to avoid pinning yourself into a corner. Save your Squad LB for about 50% health and use it right AFTER he drops a poison field so you don’t get animation locked when he drops one right on top of you. Advanced Tip – once you are comfortable with this fight, it is possible to anticipate the poison field cast and drop it away from your group. Right before it is cast, the boss will turn towards you, when this happens immediately bail-out away from your group to drop the poison in a safe area. You can then go back on the boss. Repeat this throughout the remaining fight.
Two important things to watch out for:
- The AoE fields will heal Aiatar if he is standing in them so you will need to Disengage/Engage to get your tank to move him out of the fields. If you are tanking, just keep moving in a clockwise circle every time he drops a poison field
- This fight requires a large amount of movement and repositioning so you may get out of range of your healer as a DPS job. Since taking some damage is basically unavoidable you need to make sure you are moving your squad as needed to avoid being out of your healer’s range at a bad time. Be ready with a self-heal/defensive if you find yourself in this situation and immediately get back into range of your healer.
When does it become obsolete?
About 38-39 range, you can drag it out to 40 if you have a lot of rest bonus. Do same level dungeon queues, PoTD, or weeklies until 41.
Stone Vigil (lvl41)
This one is tough to recommend, mainly because of one super-irritating boss. But the overall XP gain swings the pendulum in the direction of being worth the annoyances.
This is the first squad dungeon dungeon where some of the trash actually requires tactics. Most of it is spaced out enough that it can be easily pulled 1-2 groups at a time and most of it (pelicans, drakes, dragonflies) are trivial. However there is one group of enemies you need to watch out for – the ice elementals. They spawn on top of several other groups of drakes, they hit like sledgehammers, and they can easily wipe your group if you don’t account for them. They occur in groups of 4 and are hidden until you are right on top of them, occurring at the beginning and end of the battlements mid-way through the dungeon. It is best to either trigger them and then LoS them around a corner or to pull the wandering drake group back down the hallway away from where they spawn if you can do so without getting too close. Regardless, do not engage both groups at once as the incoming damage can easily wipe your squad. Make sure to Engage each one with your tank, they are ranged and can easily get off several attacks on your DPS or healer if you are slow targeting them.
The first boss here is fairy straight forward. Avoid the 180 degree arc in front of him AT ALL COSTS. He does heavy AoE cleave damage near the tank and a large cone AoE breath attack. When he moves, immediately move to get behind him to avoid the breath attack, you may need to use speed-boost abilities to get out of the way fast enough. The breath attack can easily 1-shot DPS jobs. These attacks do not heavily damage your recruits but are a big danger to you.
The reason why this dungeon isn’t an easy recommendation. This boss is a PITA even for experienced groups. However, with this strategy you should be able to handle him. There are a few problems with this fight. 1) The randomly spawning and randomly pathing tornadoes that can block the cannons. 2) large amounts of party-wide AoE damage. 3) frequent movement to avoid both 1 and 2 as well as firing the cannons, none of which the recruits will do.
If playing anything other than tank job – Engage and then Disengage to position him as near to the entrance as possible, preferably facing away from the cannons. This give you an easier time avoiding the tornadoes. Focus the boss until the bigger dragon appears outside and starts blasting the area with frost damage. If you are a DPS or healer, immediately run to the cannon facing the big dragon and fire it. Continue to DPS the boss avoiding the tornadoes and firing the cannon as needed. If one of the tornadoes blocks a cannon you need to use, then ignore it and continue to DPS the boss. You should be able to survive one round of frost blasts. At about 35%, at the end of the next series of frost blasts, position yourself as safely as possible and use Squad LB. At this point it’s a DPS race, hit him with everything you have, ignoring anything but avoiding tornadoes. Sometimes the AoEs and tornadoes line up in such a way as to make this fight super-frustrating. It may take a few passes to get this fight down and even then due to the semi-random nature it can be very annoying.
Compared to the previous boss this one is a cake walk. If you are tanking, position him facing away from the party. If Healer or DPS, avoid the front. When he takes off, avoid the frost bomb areas he drops, these wont really harm your party, so don’t worry about dropping one on top of them. When he takes off again and does the linear frost paths, avoid them as best as you can. After the second round of frost path attacks, Squad LB if you have it available and focus the boss until it is dead.
When does it become obsolete?
As I said, this one is tough due to the second boss, but I still lean towards doing it anyway since it gives good XP up to lvl45, after that the effort versus XP starts to be not worth it. At that point, it shouldn’t take too much PotD or dungeon roulette to get you to 47 for the next one.
Dzemael Darkhold (lvl44)
Avoid this one. It’s long, has poor enemy density, and all 3 bosses have mechanics that make them annoying to deal with AND take way too long to complete. The amount of XP you get versus time/effort makes it entirely not worth it. When Stone Vigil stops giving decent XP gains just go do PotD/roulette/etc until you hit 47.
Aurum Vale (lvl47)
You know how much of pain in the a*s this one is to do with a real party? Forget all of that. This will get you from level 47 to level 50 in about 4-5 twenty minute runs. It’s hillarious how fast, easy, and productive this dungeon is. When you hit 47 drop whatever you are doing and do this instead. Right stat now!
Clear all the trash every time for maximum gains.
The trash here requires tactics and planning, but is very predictable as long as you pay attention to not pulling too many groups or the wrong groups.
- First room – just don’t grab 5 groups at once. The flytraps are ranged and will not pull unless you get well away from them. Try to avoid pulling aurelia and frogs at the same time. Use good judgement and you shouldn’t have a problem.
- Groups before the second boss – avoid pulling the aurelia at the same time as a group of diremites. The aurelia hit like sledgehammers and can kill a DPS or healer in short order.
- Goldvines – pull them away from the groups of pods into an open area. Do not fight them in the enclosed paths. They have a devastating frontal cone poison attack that WILL kill you and your recruits in short order.
- Diremite groups before last boss – avoid pulling 2 groups at once. They do a lot of damage and can kill your healer or DPS if pulled more than 1 group at a time.
TIP FOR MAXIMIZING XP GAIN- Lets talk about the Morbol Seedling pods. If you kill them before they hatch you get ~1k XP per kill. If you wait until they hatch ~3.5k XP per kill. This means you get a huge XP boost if you let them hatch. To do that, you need to aggro them without letting your recruits kill them before they hatch. This is easier said than done, because your recruits will often 1-shot them. The best way to do this is to pull the nearby Goldvines into a safe area and while you are killing them, any pods you aggroed should hatch. You can also safely aggro them yourself by running near them and then immediately Disengage your party to prevent them from killing the unhatched pods. Once they hatch let your party wipe them out.
Your recruits are immune to Gold Lung! So eat as much fruit as you want and avoid the AoE attacks. This fight is stupidly easy compared to doing it with a real party. If you are tanking wait for the boss to do a charged attack before running for a fruit or you may get interrupted by it’s attacks when trying to eat.
You can cheese this fight to avoid all damage unless you are tanking. For DPS and Healer, have your tank position him towards the back of the area near the large rock on the left side, make sure it is well out of range of his swing attacks. Position yourself right next to the rock and proceed to DPS/heal. When you get the warning that he is about to do Glower or Eye of the Beholder, move behind the rock, breaking LoS to avoid the attack then continue to DPS/heal. Repeat until he is dead. If you are tanking, your party shouldn’t have to worry about the ranged AoE attacks. Just make sure you bail out before the big swings as they do heavy damage.
Your recruits are also IMMUNE to Burrs! So you can eat as much fruit as you want (generally best to do it at 2 stacks). For Healer/DPS just avoid the cone AoE attack, don’t even bother with the small adds, they will die to splash damage 90% of the time. If you are a tank avoid the radial and cone AoE attacks. This is a good time to eat fruit since the boss will not chase you until the attack is complete and thus not interrupt you as you eat the fruit.
Chain run this one, clearing everything, until you hit 50.
The 50-53 Dead Zone
None of the level 50 requirement dungeons – Wanderer’s Palace, Pharos Sirius, Hard Mode 50’s – are at all worth doing for XP. These give very poor XP gains compared to pretty much any other activity you can do. Avoid these unless you want to do them for completion. They are a complete waste of time XP-wise. Unfortunately the 50-53 range is kind of a dead zone with most activities just giving bad XP gains in general. If you can plan for it, I would recommend saving your weekly completions for this (leves, guildhests, dungeons/pvp dailies, etc.) and if that isn’t enough, just run PotD. This level range is a slog.
Note on 50+ combat leves. If you want to maximize your leveling efficiency here I recommend completing all but the last leve for both Leve weeklies as Trade/Gatherer. Then doing a single combat leve to get the bonus on your combat class. At 50-53 the combat leves aren’t awful in terms of XP, but there are better options, just do them for the bonus and move on to roulettes.
Sohm Al (lvl53)
A lot of people may tell you Sohm Al isn’t worth doing because the mechanics can be annoying, but as long as you prioritize targets and pay attention that is not the case. This certainly isn’t the best dungeon in terms of XP density, but it is certainly worthwhile, especially for DPS jobs as the queue times for the Duty Finder in this range tend to be quite long.
Most of the trash here is trivial with a few exceptions, namely the first few trash packs. Engage the Drakespur first, it is devastating to you, but doesn’t pose much threat to your recruits. Do not get within range of the Drakespur Pods either as the stacking poison DoT is similarly devastating. Once the Drakespur is down, the remaining enemies are little threat. You can safely ignore the pods and attack the remaining enemies first if you are ranged. As melee DPS or Tank, pull the remaining enemies away from the pods so you don’t get caught in the explosions. The only other non-trivial trash are the large dragons. On their own, the only one to worry about is the ice dragon because the crystals it spawns generate a whole bunch of homing ice bombs you need to avoid unless you take out the crystals. When you fight all 3 dragons at once before the last boss, make sure you have your tank Engage each one as soon as they become attackable or they will aggro to you as DPS or Healer, then focus them down one at a time.
You will always be the target of his draw-in attack so be ready to bail out of the AoE as soon as you can move or it can 1-shot DPS and Healers. When he summons the hornet adds have your recruits Engage and kill each one, one at a time. It’s ok to miss 1 or 2, but 3+ and you will have issues surviving. Beyond that, avoid the big AoE near the boss as melee and avoid the smaller poison clouds throughout the fight. This one is very straight forward and low stress, enjoy it while it lasts.
This is fight can be hectic and will require a lot of target switching throughout, because there are adds that need to die rapidly and in a specific order. When he summons the blobs, which will happen several times through out the fight the priority is Green>>>>>>Red>Blue. If you are playing DPS or Healer you will take several big, unavoidable hits during the fight. These do not come in rapid succession, so as long as you stick to the priority you should survive an single hit, but each one will do ~50% of your health so two hits in rapid succession is likely a wipe. First round of blobs – Focus Red, then Red, then Blue if you still have time. You will eat at least 1 Blue hit, spread away from your group when the hit is coming then collapse to your healer once all blobs are dead. Second round of blobs – Green Must Die ASAP! Engage it immediately and take it out or it’s a wipe. Once Green is dead, focus Red, then Red, then Blue if time remains. Collapse to your healer once this phase ends. I would recommend using your Squad LB after the second blob phase and going all out to avoid a third blob phase.
– When targeted by RED blob attack – run to your group (to spread the damage between party members).
– When targeted by BLUE blob attack – spread away from your party. After the hit, run back to your healer.
This fight is very movement heavy, but I have done this several times leveling a BLM, so if BLM can manage it any other job should be a cake-walk. You will be the primary target of all the big targeted AoEs in this fight, mainly this will be a summary of what to do when targeted by each one.
- Green egg icon on your head – spread away from your party, once the icon expires, immediately collapse back to your healer to avoid the meteor splash damage.
- Star-shaped linear AoE centered on you – you must move as soon as it appears, you will get 1-shotted at sub-66% health as anything but Tank. Avoid this one at all costs, it has a VERY short delay before the hit occurs.
- Orange egg icon – cluster of circular AoEs targeted on you. Move away from your party until it expires.
When he enters phase 2 and his wings become targetable immediately Engage the Right Wing until it is destroyed, then Engage the Left Wing. During this phase there will be numerous circular AoE clusters, avoid them and continue to attack the boss. When you get marked with the orange egg icon move away from your party. Be ready to avoid the star-shaped linear AoE field because it can be easy to miss during this phase with all the other AoEs going off. This phase requires near constant movement. Once the wings are down continue to avoid the AoE fields and focus the boss until it is dead. I don’t recommend using Squad LB on this fight due to the animation lock, it can easily result in you getting 1-shotted during the cast.
The Vault (lvl57)
Whether or not to do this one is really debatable, it mainly boils down to the type of job you are leveling. For Healer and Tank jobs it’s almost always more efficient to just queue same level dungeons with real people. The queue times will be short and the dungeons you have available will generally be better than The Vault, namely The Aery and The Great Library. At best it can get you to 59. For DPS, it is a different story and starts looking more worthwhile since DPS queue tends to be so long, especially if queuing for specific dungeons in your level range.
Not really much of a threat but the early packs that spawn and charge in will always aggro to you, so make sure if you are playing healer/DPS that you cycle through them with Engage so your tank picks them up. Better yet, anticipate the spawns and Engage so that your tank meets them at a bottleneck. For the latter trash like the automatons and the animated armors be sure to avoid the big AoEs and the big swings while focusing one at a time. This is really only an issue if you are playing a melee DPS job as ranged jobs can stay well out of range of most of their attacks. The only non-trivial group of trash here are fire elementals just before the last boss. They spawn all at once and immediately aggro to you. As DPS/healer make sure you position your tank in front of you and quickly cycle through each elemental and Engage as quickly as possible when they spawn and avoid the numerous fire AoE fields.
For DPS/Healer jobs you need to avoid the AoE attacks and evade her charge, which will always target you. The charge does heavy damage to non-tank jobs, as a DPS stay near your healer recruit, as a healer, be ready with a burst heal on yourself. When she summons the orbs, pay attention to the placement order, which will be the same as the detonation order so that you can avoid them. She will also place an additional bomb-type AoE on you that you should keep away from your squad. If you eat the bomb damage and more than 1 orb detonation it will generally be fatal for most non-Tank jobs. This sequence will repeat until she is dead. As a tank, all you really need to do is use defensives during her big attacks and avoid the orbs. Your recruits are immune to most of the AoEs in this fight.
This fight has A LOT of AoE fields you need to avoid on any job. First is a spiral AoE field that covers the entire area, you will need to move out of the red/black area as quickly as possible. The second is a wide, linear AoE field that again, you will need to move out of quickly. Finally, void portals will periodically spawn around the area and you will need to move out of range (break the purple lightening tether) quickly to avoid a stacking increased damage debuff that makes all the other attacks far more dangerous. For Healer/DPS jobs this is a fairly straightforward if movement-heavy fight, your tank recruit shouldn’t have much issue with the boss. Tank jobs will have a harder time in that not only do they have to contend with the AoE fields, but also a high damage cleave attack and a knockback so it is best to position yourself with your back against the railing, away from the void portals.
Even more AoEs to avoid! Sorry, at this point I’ve been drinking for the last two dungeon write-ups. First are the frequent circular fire AoE fields that you need to move out of when they appear regardless of job. Continue to focus the boss avoiding AoE fields until he spawns the marching chess pieces. Your recruits are IMMUNE to the damage taken passing through these chess pieces so just avoid them and allow your squad to stay engaged. The boss will eventually enter Phase 2 spawning 2 chess pieces and a bunch of flame orbs and will begin channeling a huge AoE. Each remaining orb increases the damage when the channel completes. As soon as the orbs appear immediately begin DPSing one at time, using Engage to move to the next one when the previous orb is at about 10%. You should have no more than 2 left (preferably all of them should be destroyed) when the channel complete or it can wipe your squad. Once the channel completes the boss will enter Phase 3, this is a good time to use Squad LB as the remaining portion is very hectic. For the rest of the fight you will need to avoid both the frequent fire AoE fields and the marching lines of chess pieces. Again, your recruits are immune to this damage so just let them stay engaged on the boss and position yourself as best as you can.
Like i said, whether or not this one is worth doing depends on how long the queue times are in the Duty Finder. If they are greater than 15 minutes this is likely more efficient, especially for DPS jobs. Regardless, this is the last of the useful squad dungeons, as the level 60 ones, like the level 50 ones give garbage XP.
Once you reach level 60, you have exhausted all the useful XP gains from squad dungeons. From here you have a few options, but none of them are as lucrative as squad dungeons were previously.
- First, get to 61 ASAP, if you haven’t already, unlock the procedural dungeon Heaven on High (HoH) in The Ruby Sea. It begins with the quest “Knocking on Heaven’s Door”, complete the associated chain to unlock the dungeon. This will replace PotD as your low-input filler dungeon when you only have 20 minutes or so to invest.
- Daily Duty Finder Queues – Dungeons, Raids, Trials, and PvP queue give large chunks of XP for completion. Even if you don’t like PvP, the Frontline daily XP bonus is generally greater than half a level up until level 70, which makes it worth doing.
- Weekly dungeons completion – do your 3, 5, and commendations, the XP bonus is huge compared to most other sources.
- If you are leveling a healer or tank – your best bet is going to be random dungeon queue or queuing for specific same level dungeons.
- For leveling DPS jobs – chain-run HoH when you aren’t doing something else. Do this until your eyes glaze over and then wander off into the sunset. The queue times are much shorter, making it more efficient than the Duty Finder queue once you have completed your dailies.
Good luck on your journey to max level. If you have enjoyed this guide and/or found it to be informative, or if you have any feedback please post in the comments below. As always, any up-votes would be appreciated. I hope to see you in Eorzea.
Appendix 1 – Pharos Sirius (Hard)
I was bored and needed ~10% of a level to hit 61 on my SAM so I decided to run this one. It was actually pretty fun and easier than the normal mode version so I decided to do a write-up for this one too. It also has great music, which is why I ran it about 8-10 times until the music roll dropped.
Note on Squad LB – It does not work the same in the 60 tier dungeons. Instead it is just the standard LB ability your job would have when running normal dungeons. As such it is considerably less powerful than the former Squad LB so just be sure you make note of that when you are going to use it.
Mostly trivial. Only exception being the bomb incubators. About mid-way through the dungeon you will start seeing small migrating lines of bombs that when you get in their aggro range they will start a detonation timer. These are being dispensed at regular intervals by bomb incubators further along. You should prioritize destroying these above all other enemies, even if you have to run through a second group to get to it. They are clearly visible from a long distance so you can target them and have your party Engage. Near the end of the dungeon there will be a room with 3 bomb incubators and a bunch of kobolds. When you enter immediately target the nearest one and then progressively eliminate the other two as quickly as possible. Next target the large ogre in the back. Finally, clean up the kobolds.
Fairly straight forwards boss, but you will need to move frequently. Throughout the fight you will get targeted with a yellow laser beam and you will need to run to one of the inactive (gray) statues of spiders or other insects that have spawned around the arena. When you move behind one of these statues the laser line will be broken and the boss will target the ability on the statue instead of you. Be sure to move to one of the statues as soon as the laser targets you to avoid damage. Beyond that, you should be able to just focus the boss and ignore the adds that spawn throughout the fight. I have done this multiple times as all job types and only a couple of times did I ever take enough damage from the adds to go below half health before the fight was over. If they do start to overwhelm you just use Engage to have your tank pull them off you then continue to focus the boss until it is dead.
8th Order Patriarch Be Gu:
Trivial, focus the boss until he enters phase 2 where he spawns to purple aetheric engines. As soon as they appear immediately Engage and destroy them. Once they are destroyed focus the boss until it is dead. Multiple adds will spawn throughout the fight, but much like the previous boss they don’t pose much of a threat so I would ignore them unless they start overwhelming you. The only other thing you will need to do is move around the arena periodically to avoid the big radial AoE that appears.
As with the previous bosses in this dungeon this one is pretty easy. Focus the boss while avoiding it’s AoE fields. When adds spawn, the only ones that matter are the Grey Bombs, have your party Engage on each one until they are dead then continue to focus the boss. The boss will die and the large bomb incubator in the back of the arena will start burning blue. Several more Grey Bombs will spawn, Engage them and destroy them quickly. The boss will then re-ignite as a blue flame elemental. Continue to focus the boss while evading the AoE fields and kill any Gray Bombs that spawn. You can ignore the other bombs during this phase, as the Grey Bomb will die fast enough that the other ones will be inconsequential.
And that is the end of Pharos Sirus (Hard). Which in my opinion is significantly easier than than the regular lvl50 version.
UPDATE – Bitter Memories for the ShB 5.35 relic upgrade quest will drop in lvl60 squad dungeons! Seeing as this one is really fast (13-15 minutes with an experienced and upgrade squad) and really easy it is a great way to grind for your relic upgrades. For fast clears for relic item farming you are going to want to run AST. Your squad will almost always do more damage than you so it is very useful to be able to buff them through cards and Divination.
Hope you enjoy the post for FINAL FANTASY XIV Online Grand Company Squad Dungeons for Secondary Jobs + Leveling Tips + Boss Guide, If you think we should update the post or something is wrong please let us know via comment and we will fix it how fast as possible! Thank you and have a great day!
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