FFXIV Shadowbringers Guide: Holminster Switch

Holminster Switch is the first dungeon introduced in the Final Fantasy XIV: Shadowbringers Main Scenario Quests. It’s available at level 71 after completing the quest The Lightwardens. It can be completed via the duty finder or with the new Trust System.

For the sake of your fellow players, please remember that this is new content (at the time of this publication). Many factors may contribute to a player’s efficiency, or lack there of, in running this dungeon, including gear that might be lacking, or job structures that might be new or different. Never be afraid to take a dungeon at your own pace, but for the purposes of this guide, we’re going to be speaking terms of multiple group pulls.

SPOILER WARNING: The second boss’ name in this dungeon is an MSQ spoiler.

Encounters 1, 2 & 3

1 Forgiven Conceit, 3 Forgiven Clamor, and 2 Forgiven Folly

The Forgiven Conceits (bears) hit hard, so be wary of them and concentrate your DPS there. Watch out for a smattering of conal and linear AoEs, and once these enemies are defeated, the web blocking your path will fall away.

Encounters 4, 5 & 6

2 Forgiven Conceit, 3 Forgiven Clamor, 1 Forgiven Folly, and 6 Forgiven Ignorance

As mentioned before, the Conceits hit hard, so you may wish to break this group into packs 4 & 5 (2 Forgiven Conceit, 3 Forgiven Clamor) and pack 6 (1 Forgiven Folly, and 6 Forgiven Ignorance) if you’re unsure of what your group can handle. After the mobs are dead, the web will again fall away.

Forgiven Dissonance

Get ready to dodge.

  • The Path of Light – Arena-wide, unavoidable AoE.
  • Brazen Bull(1) – Begins with the boss flying to the center of the map. It does no damage on its own, but places 4 balls of light in a line along one side of the arena that shoot linear AoEs in two different patterns throughout the encounter.
  • Gibbet Cage – Circular AoE centered in the middle of the arena. It happens after the Brazen Bull cast, but before its AoEs appear.
  • Heretic’s Fork(1) – These are the AoEs that the balls from Brazen Bull create. This first set is a series of crossed linear AoEs that leave only a triangle of safety on the opposite side of the arena from the balls.
  • Thumbscrew – After Heretic’s Fork begins its cast, but before it culminates, Thumbscrew will begin a cast of it’s own. This wide, linear AoE will be centered up the triangle of space left in the arena. Thumbscrew’s cast finishes almost exactly when Heretic’s Fork’s does on this occasion.
  • Light Shot(1) – The balls from Brazen Bull project 4, evenly spaced beams of light (AoEs again) across the area, from their origins to where you and the boss currently are. This is paired with:
  • Wooden Horse – Forgiven Dissonance will turn from their Thumbscrew charge and throw a conal AoE back across the arena in the opposite direction.
  • The Path of Light
  • Pillory – Tank buster
  • Brazen Bull(2) – Four balls will appear, this time in a line of staggered pairs across the arena.
  • Gibbet Cage
  • Heretic’s Fork(2) – This time, the lattice of cross shaped linear AoEs create two small squares of safe space on opposite sides of the map. Choose one.
  • Thumbscrew – This cast begins just before Heretic’s Fork ends. The mechanic is meant to panic you into stepping into Heretic’s Fork before is explodes, but you have plenty of time to wait in the line of fire of Thumbscrew, let Heretic’s Fork finish, and then step into safety before Thumbscrew goes off. Don’t let it fool you!
  • Light Shot(2) – Again, 4 balls of light, but shoots in evenly spaced, diagonal pairs. Easily avoided.
  • The Path of Light
  • Pillory
  • Brazen Bull(1)
  • Thumbscrew – The boss will start what almost seems like a mis-targeted cast, pointing away from the Brazen Bull balls, but this is your indicator of where the safe spots for the next mechanic will be. Get moving in that direction. Thumbscrew’s cast will finish seconds after the next Heretic’s Fork appears, likely going off before you’ve even placed yourself in the triangle of safety.
  • Heretic’s Fork – Creates the same line of crosses from its first use with the triangle of safety centered on the previous mechanic.
  • Wooden Horse
  • Four more, evenly spaced balls of light will appear next to the players’ safety zones without a Brazen Bull cast.
  • Heretic’s Fork – The new set of 4 balls will mirror the line of crosses that just went of shortly after it culminates, so the players must completely cross the arena to the new triangle of safety opposite them, simultaneously avoiding:
  • Light Shot(1)
  • Thumbscrew
  • Wooden Horse
  • Light Shot(1)
  • The Path of Light
  • Pillory
  • It likely repeats Brazen Bull patterns from here.

Encounters 7 & 8

1 Switch Gremlin, 3 Forgiven Deceit, 2 Forgiven Clamor

The Gremlin’s claw attack puts a slow debuff on its target. Luckily, that’s the most annoying thing about this pull. Killing these mobs opens the gate to the next encounters.

Encounters 9 & 10

2 Forgiven Disobedience, 2 Switch Gremlins, 2 Forgiven Clamor

Much like the bears in the first part of the dungeon, the Disobedience mobs here hit quite hard. You may wish to pull these groups individually as 9 (1 Forgiven Disobedience, 2 Switch Gremlins) and 10 (1 Forgiven Disobedience, 2 Forgiven Clamor).

Tesleen, the Forgiven

Our poor, tortured friend reappears and it’s up to us to put her down.

  • The Tickler – Tank buster.
  • Scold’s Bridle – Unavoidable, arena-wide AoE damage.
  • Fevered Flagellation – This mechanic numbers each player 1 to 4 with dots of the appropriate amount. The boss will charge toward each player, one after the other, in number order once its cast has finished. The object is to form some sort of shape that will keep Tesleen from hitting anyone multiple times. A square, or a number-ordered line will do.
  • Scold’s Bridle
  • Exorcise – Four circular AoEs will form on the ground in a half-circle. At the same time, one player will be marked with a stack circle. All players should stack inside the half circle of AoEs with the stack mechanic to consolidate the sticky, light puddles that the 5 AoEs will create.
  • Fevered Flagellation
  • Scold’s Bridle (x2)*
  • The Tickler
  • Scold’s Bridle
  • Exorcise
  • Fevered Flagellation
  • *Likely repeats from Scold’s Bridle (x2).

Encounters 11, 12, 13 & 14

The next series of encounters are gauntlet style, one spawning only after the previous is complete.

1 Forgiven Enmity, 3 Forgiven Cowardice

The only mechanic of note here is:

  • Tail Swing – A circular AoE centered on Forgiven Enmity

3 Forgiven Cowardice, 1 Forgiven Clamor

2 Forgiven Cowardice, 2 Forgiven Clamor

1 Forgiven Enmity, 1 Forgiven Cowardice, 1 Forgiven Clamor

Lightwarden Philia

  • Scavenger’s Daughter – Unavoidable, arena-wide AoE damage.
  • Head Crusher – Tank buster.
  • Pendulum – First, the tank is marked with a “flare” style marker, indicating where the boss is going to jump and create ground zero for AoE proximity damage. Afterward, the boss jumps to the indicator at the center of the arena for a second round of proximity damage.
  • Chain Down – Immediately following, one DPS is marked to be chained by the boss. Do yourself and your party a favor and place yourself conveniently for both damage output and getting out of the conal AoE that will be centered on your trapped body.
  • Aethersup – The aforementioned conal. Once the cast finishes, anyone still standing in the indicated cone takes continuous damage and gets a vulnerability stack with each tick.
  • Right/Left Knout – The side Philia chooses to begin on is random (though this first set may always start Right, results inconclusive), but is indicated by the cast name, as well as the boss’ fist waving in the air. Once the cast finishes, an AoE slightly larger than half the arena goes off on the indicated side. If you’re caught in it, you’ll be tossed in the air, back toward the center of the arena, get a vuln’ stack and find yourself stunned.
  • Right/Left Knout – The process repeats on the opposite side.
  • Head Crusher*
  • Taphephobia – Each player is marked with an AoE marker centered on them. Spread out.
  • Into the Light – Linear AoE stack.
  • Pendulum
  • Fierce Beating – Philia will be ringed in an arrow indicator, telling the player if the boss will be turning clockwise or counter-clockwise. Once it begins turning, it will do an unmarked AoE in front of it by slamming its fists and creating earth pillars, followed by a marked, but fairly quick conal behind them. After each set of these AoEs, Philia turns a moderate amount and will repeat the process. The players must orbit around the boss at the edge of the arena, on either the left or right side, avoiding these for a total of 8 sets.
  • Into the Light
  • Right/Left Knout
  • Right/Left Knout
  • Chain Down
  • Aethersup
  • Scavenger’s Daughter
  • *Repeats from the second Head Crusher.

Congratulations, you’ve completed Holminster Switch!

Check out the guide for the next dungeon: Dohn Mheg.