FFXIV Shadowbringers Guide: The Puppets' Bunker

14 Aug 2020

The Puppets’ Bunker
is the second 24-man raid in Final Fantasy XIV: Shadowbringers. It’s available at level 80 after finishing the quest Everything You Know Is Wrong. It can be completed via the duty finder.

Spoiler warning! Be aware that this guide uses the names of the boss mobs.

A quick jaunt down some broken space station pieces brings you face to… wings? with the first boss.

813P-operated Aegis Unit

Note that you can fall off the edge of this arena. Parties should move to one of the three separate platforms.

  • Firing Order: Anti-personnel Laser – A tank buster with splash damage. The tank should move away, while all others give them space.
  • Maneuver: Beam Cannons – Several conal AoEs will fan out from the boss in all directions, completely covering the floor. The trick is that the cone-shaped, yellow beams will be slowly shrinking. First, you’ll want to find the areas where the beams overlap. You’ll usually have at least two overlapping beams nearby and you can differentiate them by the slightly darker yellow color. You then need to determine which yellow sliver is shrinking (aka, the beams are clearing away from) the fastest. Stand on top of that zone of yellow until the beam shrinks out from under your feet, leaving a sliver of safety. Getting hit by the beam does both damage and knocks you toward the edge of the arena. It should be noted, however, that if you’re positioned close to the boss then you won’t be knocked completely off. If you initially chose the wrong “safe” spot, you can avoid falling from the arena in this way, just make sure you’re only in 1 AoE, rather than in the AoE overlap.
  • Maneuver: Collider Cannons – Five AoE beams project off the boss and begin to spin around it. You can’t outrun them, so let them pass and wait for the spinning to slow, then adjust your positioning. Counting out the passing of 5 beams, then following that 5th beam as it slows is a safe way to avoid getting caught in the AoE. You can also watch the cast bar, as the spinning stops when the gauge is full. Much like Maneuver: Beam Cannons, if you get hit, but you’re close to the boss, you won’t be knocked completely from the platform.
  • Firing Order: Surface Laser – One random player will be marked with a red indicator. They must move away from the group to drop the resulting AoE, but also need to move from that location as soon as the red marker disappears. A total of 10 laser shots will land there and can easily kill a player that doesn’t move out of them.
  • Aerial Support: Swoop – Three Flight Units will appear at the bridging areas of the platform and target 3 random players for Flight Path dives. They can target multiple people in the same party, so be mindful of the possibility of more than 1 dive heading toward your group. Getting hit by a swoop knocks the player back and can knock you from the arena.
  • Maneuver: Refraction Cannons – The boss will fire out blasts from each of its 4 wing-blades. The blades will be turned slightly in one direction or the other, so take note and stand toward the back/top of the wing, rather than toward the side that’s going to be firing.
  • Maneuver: Beam Cannons
  • Maneuver: Diffusion Cannon – An unavoidable, raid-wide AoE.
  • Aerial Support: Bombardment – Three Flight Units drop down at each party’s platform and must be killed before their Maneuver: Saturation Bombing cast finishes or they will explode, doing damage to all parties. The alliance can survive two explosions, but only barely.
  • Firing Order: Surface Laser
  • Firing Order: High-powered Laser – A stack mechanic that applies a Magic Vulnerability Up debuff.
  • The Aegis Unit will rise up, and a ring of runes with 3 breaks in it will grow out from the center of the arena. This mechanic has no indicator other then the movement of the Aegis Unit and the rings themselves. Position yourself in the sliver of safe space projected from the break in the ring to the middle of the platform. There is no indicator for the safe area to stand inside the ring, only the breaks in the ring itself. In this instance, 2 more rings will expand from the boss. Make sure that the current ring explodes before you move into position for the next.
  • Aerial Support: Swoop – Done in combination with:
  • Maneuver: Refraction Cannons
  • Firing Order: Surface Laser – Done in combination with:
  • Maneuver: Beam Cannons
  • Rune Rings – A total of 5.*
  • Aerial Support: Swoop – Done in combination with:
  • Maneuver: Collider Cannons OR Beam Cannons OR Refraction Cannons
  • Firing Order: Anti-personnel Laser – Done in combination with:
  • Maneuver: Collider Cannons OR Beam Cannons OR Refraction Cannons
  • Firing Order: Surface Laser – Done in combination with:
  • Maneuver: Collider Cannons OR Beam Cannons OR Refraction Cannons
  • Maneuver: Diffusion Cannon
  • *Repeats from the set of 5 Rune Rings.

Mini Encounter 1

3 Light Artillery Unit, 3 YoRHa Close-combat Unit: Spear, 3 YoRHa Close-combat Unit: Martial, & 3 YoRHa Close-combat Unit: Blade

These mobs will be split into 3 even groups, 1 for each party, but there’s no need to keep them separate. Tanks should gather them all together for ease of AoE and each tank should have hate on 1 of the Light Artillery Units. Only the Light Artillery Units do anything of note.

  • Maneuver: Long-barreled Laser – The Artillery Units will turn toward a random layer and fire a semi-wide, linear AoE.
  • Maneuver: Volt Array – Tanks must interrupt their Light Artillery Unit to avoid Paralyze being applied to the entire alliance.
  • Automatization: No Restrictions – Three random players will be marked with static, circular AoEs, and 6 will have AoE circles that travel with them. Both leave fiery puddles behind when they explode. It’s best to try and group up right after the previous mechanic to keep the footprint of the static AoEs compact.
  • Maneuver: Long-barreled Laser
  • Maneuver: Long-barreled Laser
  • Maneuver: Volt Array
  • Maneuver: Martial Arm – A tank buster.
  • Maneuver: Martial Arm
  • Maneuver: Long-barreled Laser
  • This exchange shouldn’t last too much longer than this.

Enjoy your sudden trip.

724P-operated Superior Flight Unit A-lpha,
767P-operated Superior Flight Units B-eta, &
772P-operated Superior Flight Unit C-hi

Each party will be set gently down on their assigned platform, though you’re not confined to your platform and can move freely across the arena. You won’t need to, however, except for certain mechanics, (or if your group is full of bad-asses).

Phase 1

  • Apply Shield Protocol – The 3 Flight Units will put a debuff on their specified party that will only allow that group to do damage to them. Once your party kills their Flight Unit, the debuff with disperse, and you can assist other parties.
  • Maneuver: Missile Command – An unavoidable, arena-wise AoE that hits as many times as there are Fight Units. If 1 is dead, it only hits twice, etc.
  • Maneuver: Incendiary Bombing – Two random players per party will be marked with red indicators and will drop fiery puddles once they time out. Move away from the party.
  • Maneuver: High-powered Laser – One person per party will be marked with a linear stack AoE indicator. Make sure that you point this away from the other parties. This also applies a Magic Vulnerability Down debuff.
  • Formation: Sharp Turn – All three Flight Units will take up a triangle formation and hold out their swords to one side or the other, then dash along a projected path. Take note of which path the Flight Unit will be dashing along, and which side of their path the sword is on. If its on the outside of the path, the safe spot is inside the lines of the triangle they create. If it’s on the inside, the safe spot is a small triangle in each corner of the room. The following is a “sword in” example:
  • Maneuver: Precision Guided Missile – A tank buster.
  • Formation: Air Raid – An AoE circle with an arrow showing which direction it will move will show up in each corner of the triangular arena. All AoEs will travel the same relative direction (clockwise/counter-clockwise). Position yourself behind the AoE’s project path of movement and follow it as it travels out of the corner to avoid the matching AoE that’s moving into your corner from elsewhere.
  • Lethal Revolution – A large, circular AoE centered on the Flight Unit. This happens in combination with Formation: Air Raid, so you’ll have an extra AoE to avoid.
  • Formation: Sliding Swipe – All 3 Flight Units retreat to one corner of the room and cover the rest of the floor with giant AoEs. Face the lined-up bosses and make note of which side they flick their swords out on. All combinations of left and right are possible. Move to the opposite half of the floor from each sword, making sure to switch sides as necessary.

Phase 2

  • Maneuver: Precision Guided Missile
  • Maneuver: Area Bombardment – Two players are marked with red indicators that travel with them, eventually dropping fiery puddles. Meanwhile, 1 player will have 3 small, circular AoEs form under them, 1 after the other. Once the first 2 fire puddles land, 2 random players, (which can include the ones who’ve already dealt with AoEs), will have circular AoEs form under their feet. It might sound like a lot, but it’s just a little dodging.
  • Maneuver: High-powered Laser
  • Maneuver: Missile Command
  • Formation: Air Raid – In combination with:
  • Lethal Revolution
  • Maneuver: Area Bombardment – This time the mechanic starts with the 2 red indicators that culminate in fire puddles, followed immediately by 2 random circular AoEs under 2 players. The last two dodging mechanics can switch out, either giving 2 players the 3 small circular AoEs that chase them, OR 1 player 3 small circular AoEs that chase them, and 2 players pink AoE circles that travel with them. Again, just dodge a bunch.
  • Maneuver: Precision Guided Missile
  • Maneuver: Incendiary Bombing
  • Maneuver: High-order Explosive Blast – Each Flight Unit will fire blasts that form 2 8-pointed star shapes on the ground, each point being an outwardly traveling, linear AoE. Position yourself between the fan of lines to avoid being hit and watch out for overlap. It should be noted that the lines don’t travel as far as previously seen versions of this mechanic, so just getting away from the stars can be effective, as well.
  • Maneuver: Missile Command
  • Formation: Sharp Turn – It should be noted that if 1 Flight Unit is dead, the full triangle shape doesn’t visually show up, but the Units still only skirt the outside of the arena.
  • Formation: Sliding Swipe – This mechanic includes pink, player targeted, traveling AoE circle this time. Each party that still has a Flight Unit alive will get 2 of these AoEs.
  • The entirety of Phase 2 repeats from this point.

905P-operated Heavy Artillery Unit

Who is this mysterious masked lady? The plot grows more complicated… and so do the mechanics!

Phase 1

  • Maneuver: Volt Array – Unavoidable, arena-wide damage.
  • Operation: Activate Laser Turret – Clusters of 3 charging lasers will appear in the center on the arena, aimed out into each slice of the floor. Notice that some sets are higher off the ground, and some are at ground level. Locate a set of higher lasers and stand toward the wall on that slice of floor. Those lasers move out in waves of AoE, rather than filling the whole floor slice like the lower lasers. Once the higher sets of lasers have moved out in 2 waves, the lower sets of lasers will lose power and those portions of the floor will be safe. Step onto the recently cleared floor before the last wave of AoE from the higher lasers reaches you.
  • Maneuver: High-powered Laser – Each of the 3 tanks will be targeted for a linear AoE strike from the boss. All players should avoid being between the two, and tanks should avoid overlapping.
  • Maneuver: Unconventional Voltage – The boss will mark 4 random players with a thin, conal AoE indicator. Involved players should fan out from one another, then stay still so everyone else can avoid them. Even after the red indicator disappears, the conal will still travel with you, so don’t move until the attack goes off.
  • Energy Bombardment – The Artillery Unit will fire off the all-too-familiar NieR balls into the air and they’ll land in a series of 3 waves, 4 AoEs circles each, for a total of 12. All 12 will initially be centered on players.
  • Maneuver: Impact Crusher – Three AoE circles will show up, one after the other, centered on random players. The boss will jump from one to the next, stopping on the last and doing:
  • Maneuver: Revolving Laser – A donut shaped AoE centered on the boss.
  • Maneuver: Volt Array
  • Operation: Access Self-conscious Data – The boss turns and focuses energy into the central console, activating a new set of defenses to begin “culling hostile lifeforms.” This isn’t so much a mechanic as a phase shift.

Phase 2

  • Operation: Activate Suppressive Unit – This summons up a spinning ring of NieR ball shooters around the perimeter of the room. There’s not much to this one, they move in a straight line from their point of origin to the center.
  • Maneuver: Volt Array
  • Support: Pod – A Pod will appear for each screen that pops up. Take note of the numbers on the screens.
  • Operation: Pod Program (1) – This will be 1 of 2 possible mechanics and you figure out which is which by the numbers on the screen on the wall. If the screens read “R010,” then the Pods attached to them will be firing linear AoEs. If they read “R030,” then the Pods will be creating large, circular AoEs centered on them. In either case, the solution for this first Pod mechanic is to stand on the wall at the center point between two Pods. You have until the timer on the screens counts down to 0.
  • Support: Pod
  • Operation: Pod Program (1) – Whichever set of AoEs, lines or circles, wasn’t used the first time is used now.
  • Operation: Synthesize Compound – Five pads and 5 corresponding screens appear. Each pad is attached to a screen that indicates how many people need to stack on it, 1 line per required player. This mechanic has a timer on the screens as well.
  • Maneuver: Volt Array
  • Maneuver: Unconventional Voltage – Six marked players, this time.
  • Energy Bombardment
  • Maneuver: High-powered Laser
  • Maneuver: Volt Array
  • Maneuver: Volt Array
  • Support: Pod
  • Operation: Pod Program (2) – This instance of the mechanic has a combination of “R030″s and “R010″s. Locate the 2 side-by-side “R010″s and stand between the corresponding Pods to avoid standing in the AoEs that appear when the countdown times out.
  • Support: Pod
  • Operation: Pod Program (3) – This is almost exactly like the previous Operation: Pod Program (2) mechanic, except that the screens aren’t tethered to the Pods directly in front of them. Instead, they’re attached to Pods to either the left or right, so observe the tether placement and adjust accordingly.
  • Operation: Activate Laser Turret
  • Maneuver: Volt Array
  • Maneuver: Volt Array
  • Operation: Synthesize Compound – This time there are 8 pads.
  • Maneuver: Impact Crusher
  • Maneuver: Revolving Laser
  • Maneuver: Volt Array
  • The entirety of Phase 2 repeats from this point.

Mini Encounter 2

5 Heavy Artillery Unit

To proceed, the alliance must navigate through a hallway of laser shots.

  • First the center Unit fires straight down the hall
  • Then the two on either far side fire straight as well.
  • Then the center-side Units target 2 random players and their lasers track those players until they fire. Targeted players will have time to move out of those AoEs.
  • This pattern repeats until defeat.

3 Heavy Artillery Unit

Welcome to a second hallway of bullet hell to traverse. You’ll have to do so while lines of NieR balls in varying patterns move toward you. The order that the Heavy Artillery Units fire in seems arbitrary.

3 Heavy Artillery Unit

This final hall is just like the previous hall, except that there are two sets of Barricades blocking the path. You must destroy all 3 pieces of the Barricade to proceed. Once you pass the first set of Barricades, NieR balls come at you from the left and right as well. Passed the second set of Barricades, there are no balls from the sides.

The Compound

This is the grossest orb yet.

Phase 1

  • Mechanical Lacerations – An arena-wide, unavoidable AoE.
  • Mechanical Dissection OR Mechanical Decapitation
    • Mechanical Dissection – The Compound will being to spin vertically with a line of red laser protruding from two sides of it. This projects the path of a linear AoE to come.
    • Mechanical Decapitation – Lasers project out horizontally from the center of the boss in all directions and lower into a circle at the base of the boss. Makes sure you’re standing inside the circle of lasers before the mechanic completes.
  • Mechanical Dissection OR Mechanical Decapitation – Whichever mechanic wasn’t done the first time.
  • Mechanical Contusion – Circular AoEs form on the ground under 6 random players, then 6 more player get targeted with traveling, pink AoE circles. Dodge!
  • The Compound rises from the arena and appears with a copy of itself at the north and east sides of the arena. Find the cross-section of the two orbs and quickly make your way to that safe spot.
  • Mechanical Lacerations*
  • Mechanical Decapitation
  • Mechanical Contusion
  • Mechanical Dissection
  • *Repeats from Mechanical Lacerations.

The Compound uses a final Mechanical Lacerations, which applies the Down for the Count debuff, stunning the alliance for the duration of a cutscene.

Compound 2P

After the transition, you continue the final battle in the Puppets’ Bunker.

Phase 2

  • Centrifugal Slice – An arena-wide, unavoidable AoE.
  • Relentless Spiral – Large, circular AoEs appear under 2 random players and follow them, creating new AoEs, for a total of 3 AoEs each.
  • Prime Blade – This first mechanic is always the “out” variant described first, but depending on her pose, 2P will do 1 of 3 things.
    • If she crouches and holds her sword back to her side, then she’s going to spin in a point-blank, circular AoE, so run “out”.
    • If she stands tall, with the sword over her head, she’ll “slash” the sword down in front of her in a conal cleave.
    • If she stabs her sword into the ground the safe spot to stand “in” is under her. This will also be indicated by a glowing circle, similar to a sun shape.
  • Prime Blade – This second mechanic is always the “slash” variant.
  • Prime Blade – This third mechanic is always the “in” variant.
  • Prime Blade – This will always be the “in” variant. There will be 2 tethers stretching out from 2P’s initial action. One of the tethers will glow more brightly and have a pulse effect that travels along it. This is where she’ll teleport to and actually do the mechanic upon completion of the cast. (Refer to the Energy Compression/Forced Transfer video clip below for an example of how the two different tethers look different.)
  • Centrifugal Slice
  • Three Parts Disdain – A stack marker for the whole alliance. Compound 2P hits the stacked group 3 times, knocking them back each time. Make sure you don’t run into the wall or you’ll get the Electrocution debuff.
  • Compound Pod: R012 – Four pods appear on the battlefield generating 3 tank busters, 6 traveling, pink AoE circles, and 2 circular ground AoEs.
  • Four Parts Resolve – The boss will tether to 4 players at random and those 4 will be numbered from 1 to 4 with dot symbols. Compound 2P will jump on player 1, then slash at player 2, jump on player 3, and then slash at player 4. Parties should avoid being near players 1 and 3, and the areas between players 1 and 2, and 3 and 4. The players involved in the mechanic should stand still.
  • Reproduce – A copy 2P will appear in each of the corners of the arena.
  • Prime Blade – This variant is an “in.” The original compound 2P will cast the indicated Prime Blade, and then each of her copies will mimic the motion. Players should run to any of the copy 2Ps after the original’s attack finishes to avoid the copy’s “in”s.

Phase 3

  • Energy Compression – Six pads will appear that require 1 player to stand in them. When those are taken care of, another 6 appear.
  • Forced Transfer – Of the 6 pads from the previous mechanic, 2 will be tethered to 2 possible transfer locations. Again, identify which tether is brighter, with the pulsing effect, and move to that one. The other possible transfer location will explode on anyone standing in that area.
  • Compound Pod: R011 – Pods will appear on 2 sides the arena and charge up lasers to shoot across them in large, linear AoEs.
  • Forced Transfer – Additionally, 2 of the charged lasers will have transfer tether indicators on them to show that just before they go off, they’ll jump to another spot. Locate 1 of the 2 laser balls that’s going to move and position yourself on that lane of the arena, since, once it leaves, that’s an insured safe spot. Adjust along that lane of safety to a safe spot from the lasers on the other side.
  • Relentless Spiral
  • Prime Blade – This can be “in,” “out,” or “slash” and includes a Forced Transfer. Avoid the spot to transfers to if it’s “out,” go behind the spot (she’ll be facing in, toward the center of the arena after she transfers) if it’s “slash,” and run to the spot if it’s “in.” Remember that any pads she doesn’t transfer to will explode.
  • Reproduce
  • Prime Blade – This can (theoretically) be any variant. After her strike, her copies will mimic her. Note that if she only makes 2 copies, the mechanic is likely “in.”
  • Forced Transfer
    • In the case of the previous Prime Blade being “in,” the 2 copies will have a real and a fake transfer point. Find and stack in one of the 2 real transfer points.
    • For “out,” the 4 copies will either move along the outside of the arena, or into the center. If they move in, you can stay out; you should already be there from the original’s Prime Blade. If they move along the outside, run in.
    • “Slash” is currently unconfirmed as a possibility.
  • Three Parts Disdain OR Four Parts Resolve
  • Compound Pod: R012
  • Phase 3 repeats from this point with an additional Centrifugal Slice between Energy Compression/Forced Transfer and Compound Pod: R011.

Congratulations, you’ve completed The Puppets’ Bunker!