This page will serve as an optimisation resource for The Epic of Alexander (TEA) Ultimate encounter. Not only will it cover rotation optimisation choices, but will also highlight optimisation around party wide utility & mitigation.
Written by Elevation Xx. (Current Rank 1 TEA Speed on SMN)
With additional information, checking & theorycrafting from Eydis Darkbane, Fryte Avarise & Nemekh Kinryuu.
Before You Begin
While this resource will attempt to cover various situations involving kill times & group strategies, the ideas detailed within will ultimately depend on these situations existing. Therefore, it may not be in your best interest to follow one specific timeline labeled, rather use multiple timeline examples to adapt to your own group.
5.10 BiS Build Options
i470 - 2.50s GCD (maximum damage potential)
i470 - 2.48s GCD
i470 - 2.45s GCD
Choices Between Builds
A very common question asked is “Which BiS should I use?”
Your choice of which build to use will primarily rest upon personal preference with regards to Demi-Summon rotation viability.
While the base Spell Speed build (2.50s GCD) maintains the maximum theoretical damage gain, it does not allow for specific 8 Wyrmwave or Scarlet Flame rotations to work consistently. Multiple builds are available which incorporate a small amount of Spell Speed to alleviate this issue (especially for higher ping players).
Note: Some rotations shown within this document may require a faster GCD tier. Dungeon gear will also change the sets at a later date.
Phase 1: Living Liquid
9th GCD Summon Opener - 4th GCD Pot
Phase 1 starts with Living Liquid being targetable before inevitably splitting into 2 targets for the remainder of his encounter. Due to how early this split occurs, our preferred opener will prioritise a delayed timing on Deathflare & Enkindle, as well as further delaying Summon Bahamut for Akh Morn on both.
Positioning for Enkindle:
The goal with the delayed Enkindle is to take advantage of Inferno hitting both two targets for extra potency dealt. However, doing so consistently requires Ifrit-Egi to be facing the correct angle to ensure the Inferno cone AoE hits both targets. One way to perform this is a mid rotation place command before the 8th GCD.
Bahamut Phase + Jagd Doll
With our Deathflare & Summon Bahamut pushed back to the 9th GCD, our Bahamut will play out during the Jagd Doll spawns. In order to combat the awkwardness of spaced out targets, as well as maintaining proper DoT timings, we can use the GCD sequence below.
Example 1-4-3 Bahamut Rotation:
Visually this may seem more complex as we’re having to swap targets twice during our Bahamut window, while still maintaining full Wyrmwave uptime.
Our priorities during this window can be broken down as the following:
Living Liquid: (2 GCDs)
Our goal is to just cast Ruin IVs, with the 1st Akh Morn weave & a Bane cast to apply DoTs immediately onto the Hand for an easy 40 potency gain before hardcast DoTs are applied.
Living Hand: (3 GCDs)
We will immediately swap to Living Hand for the next 3 GCDs. This will allow us to hardcast our DoTs for the full DoT damage gain, as well as weave our 2nd Akh Morn for 2 target gains.
Jagd Doll: (3 GCDs)
We’ll finish our final 3 GCDs on the Jagd Doll once it spawns, starting with a Swiftcast Miasma III, followed by a Bio III + Ruin IV
Once our Bahamut duration finishes, our remaining focus should just be on controlling our Jagd Doll damage to ensure consistency with feeding the Doll. As DoTs are already applied, we can simply use GCDs to fulfill the remaining damage that’s required to push the Doll below the 25% threshold.
We should not need our Egi damage to meet this damage requirement, therefore, the Egi can be micro’d to attack Living Liquid or Hand upon respawning after our Bahamut finishes.
If the second Fester is being delayed to the final Bahamut GCD weave by having the Fester damage tag one of the bosses this can also prompt the Egi to not attack the doll immediately & move to attack a boss target instead.
Firebird Trance + Maintaining DoT alignment:
After the Jagd Doll phase is finished, our next focus will be the build up to our 1st Firebird Trance timing. Our timing here will be a bit different, as this encounter favors a 55 second Trance timeline, but we also wish to maintain our DoT alignment on both targets.
With our last Tri-Disaster used at ~0:11 with our opener DWT, this means our next Tri-Disaster should come off cooldown at the exact time our DoTs on the Liquid Hand fall off. This should allow us to follow a seamless GCD sequence with the next Tri-Disaster weaved immediately on the Hand + FBT.
Once FBT is activated, we will immediately use our Tri-Disaster reset on Living Liquid, clipping our current DoT duration. This timing is specific to our push timing, as it will allow us a better opportunity to get an extra Tri-Disaster usage before our 2nd DWT at the end of this phase, gaining us 300 additional potency.
2nd Filler Phase - Preparing for transition Once FBT is finished, our remaining rotation will be our 2nd filler phase + our 2nd Dreadwyrm Trance timing.
As with all filler phases, our priorities will remain the same:
- Use Egi Assault charges whenever possible, prioritize for movement optimization
- Avoid overcapping on Ruin IV procs if they’re not burned beforehand.
- Maintain DoT uptime with hardcasted DoTs on Living Hand
Once our Dreadwyrm Trance cooldown is finished, we will use this IMMEDIATELY before the transition occurs. Our reasoning for rushing this DWT is to both continue our cooldown cycle on our Trance timings, as well as create our ideal rotation sequence for the reopener on the 2nd phase.
Our ideal situation for finishing Living Liquid includes the following:
- 2nd DWT used, with Deathflare registering damage on LL before it dies
- Enkindle held to re-align for our Phase 2 reopener
- Tri-Disaster held
Push Timing Adjustments
Due to the possibilities of kill time differences, you may need to adjust specific rotation timings to ensure the priorities we’re aiming for upon finishing Living Liquid can still be met. This may include both fast & slow push timings into the Limit Cut transition.
For groups that may experience a slightly faster push timings (in the window of 1:55-2:00 specifically), we can adjust a few timings in the opener to guarantee the extra Tri-Disaster usage before the DWT reset occurs.
For groups that may experience extremely fast push timings, we can try to adjust our opening DWT timing to accommodate. We can shift our initial DWT up by 2 GCDs, allowing us an extra 2 GCDs of leeway at the end of the phase to recast our 2nd DWT & complete the Deathflare cast before Living Liquid is finished.
Slow Push Timing - Bahamut:
As we already aim to burn our 2nd DWT before this phase ends, our only remaining option would be using our 2nd Bahamut, as well as the Tri-Disaster reset from our Trance. With a delayed push timing to the enrage cast, using this 2nd Bahamut during Living Liquid would be preferred; not only for the sake of pushing additional damage onto Living Liquid to consistently clear the enrage, but also to re-align a seamless reopener in Phase 2 with Firebird Trance & Devotion.
There are several uses for Addle during Living Liquid to assist with group mitigation. Be mindful that group mitigation should always be planned in coordination with your Healers & Tanks.
For ideas on where Addle may be used in the event such coordination does not exist (or you wish to make a recommendation to your group):
- 1st Cascade (Good Value)
- 1st set of Protean Waves (Decent Value)
- Splashes > 2nd Cascade (Preferred Usage)
- 2nd set of Protean Waves (Mediocre Value)
Phase 2: Brute Justice + Cruise Chaser
With our ideal rotation during Living Liquid finishing with DWT, our reopener sequence during this phase will begin with our Egi Assault + DoT setup into our 2nd Bahamut. With the labeled example above, we wish to burn 2 Egi Assault charges while weaving our Tri-Disaster, Enkindle, & Energy Drain skills, as well as use an early Bane to get initial DoT ticks on the 2nd target before we can hardcast our DoTs to avoid the 60% reduction.
Once our Bahamut begins, we will prioritize raid buff maximization over the course of its duration, while also ensuring that both Akh Morns will cleave both targets (assuming both bosses are tanked within range of one another).
Due to Chain Strategem & Trick Attack existing as debuff applications, this means we will target these buffs specifically, assuming they exist in your party composition.
Heading Into Firebird Trance
With our Bahamut finished, our next course of action is deciding when to begin our Firebird Trance. As our bahamut will finish around the timing of 3 minute raid buffs, this would seem to be a very logical choice for using our FBT immediately, however our decision will be influenced by our expected push timing into Phase 3.
We can simplify these choices below:
- Delayed Push Timing - Super Jump + 2x Whirlwinds:
With a delayed push timing in P2, we wish to use our 1st FBT in this phase immediately, regardless of holding EA charges. This is to ensure our 2nd FBT timing will arrive before the Super Jump cast, providing us with AoE value with our Brand of Purgatory & Revelation spells. The value of this AoE damage will outweigh the gains from 2 additional Ruin IVs + the potential AoE value of an additional Flaming Crush.
- Fast Push Timing - Skip Super Jump/0% HP:
With a faster push timing that includes pushing the HP of both bosses to 0% once Super Jump is cast (or skipping it entirely), we can afford to delay our 1st FBT slightly. This is due to us being forced to hold our 2nd FBT at the end of the phase until we begin Phase 3.
Without gaining the AoE value of FBT on 2 targets, then we have no need to hold EA charges & overlap cooldowns as it would become a direct damage loss in this case.
One additional factor to our FBT timing will be our DoT alignment, as the timing of our DoTs on Brute Justice would be falling off around this point. If possible, this can be mitigated with a simple Bane usage until FBT is used for the Tri-Disaster reset.
Filler Phase + Dreadwyrm Trance
Our filler phase & build up to our next DWT timing should be a very simple sequence with the following priorities:
- Maintain DoT uptime with proper use of hardcasts + Bane to optimise server tick gains
- Use our held EA charges immediately
- Aim to align our Flaming Crush casts for 2 target damage gains if possible
With our sequence above, our rotation here will include immediate DoT hardcasts on both bosses following the missile command baits, & then finishing this filler phase with Ruin III & Ruin IV GCDs (if necessary) until our Dreadwyrm Trance begins. Be mindful that we will not recast our DWT until our Tri-Disaster can be used first.
Additionally, this DWT may also use it’s full duration for the sake of movement optimization, as our 2nd bahamut timing will be delayed for buff alignment once Gavel is finished.
Phase 2 Finisher - 2nd Bahamut + FBT
Heading into Gavel, we’ll now be preparing our “finisher” sequence to finish out Phase 2. This sequence will include our 2nd Bahamut timing, a few egi actions including Enkindle, & finishing with our 2nd FBT timing. With proper execution, this sequence will allow 2 full Demi-Summon phases for 2 target damage gains before pushing into Phase 3.
Our goal with this finishing sequence is to maximize as much 2 target potency as possible within buff windows, including a potential 2nd Pot timing. If the exact GCD sequence listed above cannot be replicated, then the following priorities should be followed:
- At least 1x Akh Morn hitting both bosses after Gavel finishes
- Egi Enkindle held until Bahamut finishes, to align for a 2 target hit
- FBT used asap after Egi Assaults to gain a Revelation + 2x BoP casts on both bosses
Note: The use of your 2nd Pot timing will ultimately depend on your group’s intentions. If you are looking for personal optimised gains, then the labeled timing above would be preferred.
However, in progression environments where extra damage during Alexander Prime is sought after, then your 2nd Pot should be held until a proper timing during Phase 3.
Push Timing Adjustments
Similar to Phase 1, we can still be subjected to the variance of differing push timings.
The complexity behind why this variance matters during Phase 2 however, is that it not only will be affected by how fast you push into Phase 3, but also how fast you finished Phase 1. This means the entire rotation alignment could be affected by this variance.
We can attempt to simplify these differences into a few examples below:
Under the circumstances of fast push timings, common with more optimised game play or even speedrun attempts, your rotation timeline will function as the image depicts above.
As extremely fast push timings during Living Liquid can still make it impossible to use our 2nd DWT in time (even with the adjusted opener timing), it will then be in our best interest to hold this DWT assuming our push timing during Phase 2 is also expected to be fast.
With a slower push timing, our rotation alignment can be altered to replicate the timeline above. As we mentioned in the previous section, a slow Living Liquid push would possibly provide us the opportunity to use our 2nd Bahamut prior to Phase 2. In doing so, we can take advantage of this with a Firebird Trance reopener on BJ + CC, allowing us to gain our 2nd Firebird Trance during Gavel.
This FBT timing would be preferred under such circumstances, as this would guarantee our full FBT duration while we maintain 2 target uptime before the Super Jump cast from Brute Justice (providing additional AoE damage from the extra Brand of Purgatory GCDs + a 2nd Revelation cast to hit both targets).
Phase 3: Alexander Prime
With our transition into Phase 3, most push timings should generally align our reopener to include our next DWT & Bahamut.
Due to the nature of Phase 3 maintaining very short uptime windows until the end of Wormhole Formation, the importance of a tight rotation is critical to ensure we will not lose potential spell casts during this phase.
Reopeners + Devotion
The alignment of Devotion will be variable on your initial push timings through the first two phases. Because of this, Devotion may be used on the Alexander Prime reopener if it will not be delayed, which consequently would delay our Summon Bahamut by several GCDs. However, if it is delayed, then we can simply hold on to Devotion until Inception Formation is finished.
In the above sequence, our rotation priority is to setup a proper Devotion timing for both personal & party wide gains, using Tri-Disaster > Dreadwyrm Trance, & only using enough GCDs to use our EA charges before entering Bahamut.
During these short burst phases in Phase 3, Tri-Disaster should always be used before the next trio formation. This is due to the prolonged downtime carried through each formation mechanic, giving us enough time to gain the next Tri-Disaster cooldown in time for the next burst phase.
If your push timing is fast enough that Devotion will not be off cooldown within 4-5 GCDs of the reopener, then we can perform the sequence without.
Inception - Casts during Heart:
During the Inception Formation mechanic, a simple trick you can do is cast abilities like Energy Drain or Egi Assaults on the Heart as it will be targetable. These actions will not deal any damage, but it will still allow you to gain Energy Drain stacks or Ruin IV procs before the next uptime phase begins.
Post-Inception + Wormhole
This next uptime phase will generally be a Firebird Trance timing, excluding extremely fast push timings from P2. This window will also include an Enkindle cooldown, as well as a 2nd Energy Drain that should be used before the next downtime heading into Wormhole Formation.
In the event of Devotion being held for this uptime window, then we can easily adjust our sequence to maximize potential damage gains.
Wormhole - DWT during Limit Cut:
During the downtime for Wormhole Formation, we can make a small optimization by casting DWT before Alexander Prime returns (despite the down time, your character remains in combat allowing you to use DWT here). By doing this, we can accelerate our future Trance timings by several seconds, giving us the possibility of a specific alignment heading into Perfect Alexander that can gain us an extra Demi-Summon.
Post-Wormhole + P4 Enrage
With our DWT activated before Wormhole finishes, our immediate rotation sequence upon Alexander Prime should prioritize finishing the Deathflare + Tri-Disaster & rushing Bahamut before the final burn begins on the 3 bosses. With Bahamut resolved before the split, this will allow us to smoothly cast our remaining pet actions during the CC & BJ burn phases before our next FBT timing is up.
With the outline labeled above, we’ll place DoTs on both CC & BJ & then continue casting GCDs (prioritize Egi Assaults & Ruin IVs) until Cruise Chaser is dead. We’ll then swap to BJ, ensuring our Enkindle is used prior to FBT, & then immediately FBT to begin our next damage burst window. BJ should die within 3-4 Phoenix GCDs, leaving us to finish the rotation on Alexander Prime.
Once FBT is finished, our only priorities are to cast Ruin IIIs & prepare Ruin IVs for Perfect Alexander, as well as recast our next Energy Drain if our push timing is delayed enough.
With Alexander Prime defeated, we’re aiming to activate our next DWT just before the cutscene transition occurs. This is to try & align our Bahamut for the initial reopener, which will become the “additional” Demi-Summon gained during the final phase. Without the precast DWT during Wormhole, such alignment will not be possible.
Push Timing Adjustments
When subjected to faster push timings that force you into holding FBT until the Phase 3 reopener, then the timeline will be adjusted as such.
With the proposed timeline, our Trance timings will be inverted & will follow this pattern instead:
- Alexander Prime Opener: Filler > Firebird Trance
- Post-Inception: Dreadwyrm Trance > Bahamut
- Post-Wormhole: Firebird Trance > Filler
- CC + BJ + Prime Burn: Filler > Dreadwyrm Trance > Bahamut > Filler
However, due to this alignment causing us to have FBT come up during Wormhole Formation, we will not be able to take advantage of a pre-casted Trance for a possible Demi-Summon gain during Perfect Alexander.
It will be common for any group to request Addle alignment for one of the two following timings:
- 2x Mega Holy casts following Wormhole
- J Waves during the final Brute Justice burn
Depending on which of these two timings are required, Addle may also be used for one of the Chastening Heat + Divine Spear combinations that will occur.
- If Addle is wanted for Mega Holy, use the 1st Addle for the 1st Chastening Heat after Stasis
- If Addle is wanted for J Waves, use the 1st Addle for the 1st or 2nd Chastening Heat depending on Tank cooldowns (The 2nd will occur following Inception Formation)
Phase 4: Perfect Alexander
Once we reach the final phase, our rotation alignment going forward should maintain one fluid timeline. Therefore, only our push timings in the previous phase can affect how our rotation will align entering Perfect Alexander.
The first rotation choice to make will be a group based decision on whether raid buffs will be used immediately on the reopener, or held until the Final Word debuffs + Stillness/Motion resolves.
We can slightly alter the reopener sequence to accommodate both:
Example Reopener - Raid buffs at start
If raid buffs are to be used at the very start of Perfect Alexander, then our reopener sequence can be altered to allow for a precast Potion just before the boss is targetable, with Devotion on the 1st GCD before our Bahamut timing.
Example Reopener - No buffs at start
If raid buffs are being held on the initial opener, then our reopener sequence can be adjusted to hold Devotion & Potion for ~30 seconds, pushing Bahamut a GCD earlier.
Heading into Fate Calibration Alpha:
Once Final Word debuffs are resolved, we will have free uptime until the Fate Calibration Alpha mechanic begins.
During this short phase, we will execute our FBT, followed by a filler phase of Ruin GCDs + Egi Assaults before our DWT timing comes up. In order to maintain the desired Trance timing, we will cast this DWT immediately, with priority on also getting the initial Tri-Disaster usage beforehand for an extra 300p.
Heading into Fate Calibration Beta:
With Fate Calibration Alpha completed, we’ll perform a quick “reopener” sequence & then follow a more normal rotation path until the next window of downtime begins.
With the proposed timeline above, our reopener would be a quick few GCDs to burn Egi Assault, as well as weaving our Tri-Disaster & Energy Drain oGCDs before heading into our next Bahamut Phase.
Following this Bahamut will be another Filler Phase, followed by Firebird Trance to finish off before the Calibration Beta mechanic begins.
Firebird Trance - Timing:
The timing of this FBT will be much more specific, based on your expected kill time during this final phase. In the event of a slower kill time, this FBT can be delayed slightly to allow for an extra Tri-Disaster usage.
Finishing The Fight
Once Fate Calibration Beta is completed, we will enter the final uptime phase to finish off the encounter. Our rotation timeline should follow the image below:
With Trance timings activated on a 55 second cycle, this will allow us to properly align our final Trance + Bahamut into our potion duration.
Our finishing sequence should include the following priorities:
- DWT used immediately; weaving Tri-Disaster + Enkindle
- 4x Festers + Enkindle used during our potion, 2 Aetherflow stacks held + an ED refresh
- Full Bahamut Phase aligned in our potion
Do Below Line
Alternate Timelines - Fast Push Timings
As we’ve covered in previous sections, the possibility of faster push timings in earlier phases can change our rotation alignment during this final phase.
With slower push timings allowing for a Bahamut reopener, faster push timings means we’ll likely have Firebird Trance instead. Therefore the following rotation timeline will occur:
Our initial reopener will begin with FBT on pull, coupled with a prepull Pot. The reasoning for this is based on the assumption of clear time in this phase. If earlier push timings are faster, then it is likely a safe assumption that your group will also finish the final phase faster as well. This means trances cannot be held for long, as you’ll likely lose out on your final Bahamut during Temporal Prison.
In the unlikely event that you have FBT going into Phase 4 but still anticipate a “late” clear time, then FBT could be held until Final Word debuffs resolve.
The use of Devotion with this specific timeline can become more complicated, as earlier push timings may create issues with certain jobs & their reopeners during this phase. During more optimised clears, it’s possible that certain jobs may wish to delay their opener “burst” until Final Word resolves, meaning Devotion would be held until then to align for party wide rDPS contribution.
In the event raid buffs are still requested at the very beginning, then the sequence can be adjusted slightly similar to the Bahamut opener timeline.
Once Final Word debuffs resolve, our remaining rotation heading into Calibration Alpha will be a filler phase, followed by our DWT timing + Bahamut just before the downtime begins. To ensure a consistent 8 WW Bahamut, DWT must be ended within 4 GCDs, giving you ~22 seconds before Calibration Alpha begins.
Post Alpha - Heading into Calibration Beta:
With Calibration Alpha completed, we’ll perform a quick “reopener” sequence followed by our remaining rotation sequence before heading into Calibration Beta.
Our initial sequence here will begin with an Egi Assault GCD to weave Energy Drain immediately, followed by Ruin IVs to weave Tri-Disaster & FBT. By waiting a gcd for this Tri-Disaster to come off cooldown, we remove the need for a hardcast set of DoTs while only losing 1 server tick of DoTs to do so.
Once our Firebird Trance is finished, we’ll enter another filler phase before our next DWT timing. For this timing, we will only have enough time to cast 3 GCDs before needing to Deathflare as Calibration Beta will begin after the next GCD. Bahamut will be held until the final reopener.
Post-Beta - Finishing the fight:
Once Beta is completed, we will enter the final uptime phase to finish off the encounter. Our rotation timeline should follow the image below:
With Trance timings activated on a 55 second cycle, this will allow us to properly align our final Trance + Bahamut into our potion duration, as well as full party buffs following the 2nd Almighty Judgment.
Our finishing sequence include the following priorities:
- DWT weaved immediately off cooldown, Devotion weaved for party alignment
- 4x Festers + Enkindle used during our Pot; the first two stacks held from earlier
- Full Bahamut Phase during our Pot
Addle will be required to mitigate either Irresistible Grace mechanic following Almighty Judgment. Depending on which timing is required, we may also use Addle to help mitigate the Ordained Punishment tank buster following Calibration Alpha.
12/18/19 reclear - 16:16 kill time: Rank 1 Speed, 13342.4 rDPS Rank 5 SMN