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FFXIV Shadowbringers Guide: The Tower at Paradigm's Breach

17 Apr 2021

The Tower at Paradigm’s Breach
is the third 24-man raid in Final Fantasy XIV: Shadowbringers. It’s available at level 80 after finishing the quest Brave New World. It can be completed via the duty finder.

Spoiler warning! Be aware that this guide may contain spoilers via boss mob names!

Knave of Hearts

  • Roar – Unavoidable, arena-wide damage.
  • Colossal Impact – This attack has 2 possible forms, and the AoE it triggers can be determined by the stance of the boss. If The Knave of Hearts’ mouth glows red with his hands out at the sides, a linear AoE will fire down the the center of the arena. If The Knave draws back from the platform and balls up its hands, linear AoEs will fire across either edge of the arena.
  • Colossal Impact
  • Magic Artillery (v1) – Applies a tank buster two all 3 tanks.
  • Replicate (v1) – The Knave created a copy of itself on another edge.
  • Stacking the Deck – The copy tethers to the original and each of them is marked with a number of cubes indicating which of them will be attacking first.
  • Colossal Impact – From the original. Observe the boss and get to the safe zone, then look toward the copy to get ready for it’s attack indicator.
  • Colossal Impact – From the copy. Observe the copy boss and move appropriately.
  • Spheroids (v1) – Fifteen shade creatures will appear that create those tell-tale red energy orbs, 7 in the front and 8 in the back. Avoid the semi-randomly floating balls while spreading out to avoid damage from the following:
  • Magic Artillery (v2) – Several players will be marked with circular AoEs that will travel with them until they resolve.
  • Light Leap – A proximity AoE will appear on either side of the arena. Move as far away from both points as possible. Three cubes will also appear as the proximity damage goes off.
  • Replicate (v1)
  • Stacking the Deck
  • Lunge – The boss will do a knock-back from its edge of the arena. Players must stand in front of one of the cubes that appeared earlier to avoid being thrown into the abyss. The lunge will destroy the cubes, but 3 more will appear.
  • Lunge – From the second boss. Use the second set of cubes to stay on the platform.
  • Roar*
  • Replicate (v2)* – This time, this mechanic will generate two copies on either side of the platform.
  • Stacking the Deck – The original will always be marked with a single cube, and the other 2 will be marked randomly with 2 or 3 cubes. They will disappear before the mechanics they’re foretelling go off, so remember which is which!
  • Colossal Impact – From the original.
  • Colossal Impact – From the copy with 2 cubes.
  • Spheroids (v2) – These will appear after the third Colossal Impact in the form of 2 opposing sets of thin, linear AoEs. One will go off after the other, so pay attention to line set of AoEs shows up first and shuffle appropriately.
  • Colossal Impact – From the copy with 3 cubes.
  • Magic Artillery (v2) – These must be handled in conjunction with the Spheroids cast previously.
  • Light Leap
  • Replicate (v1)
  • Stacking the Deck
  • Lunge – From the original boss.
  • Lunge – From the copy.
  • Colossal Impact – From the original. This will go off when the copy’s Lunge does, so position yourself in front of a cube that lies in the safe zone.
  • Magic Artillery (v1)
  • Spheroids (v1)
  • Colossal Impact – Executed in conjunction with the drifting Spheroids.
  • *Repeats from Roar until defeat.

Gretel & Hansel

These need to be damaged fairly evenly to die at the same time. Luckily, their primary shield mechanic handles keeping track of that for you! Two tanks will have to step up to handle the twins.

Phase 1

  • Upgraded Lance/Shield – Either Hansel or Gretel will cast Upgraded Lance and the other will cast Upgraded Shield. Once the casts are complete, striking the boss that used Upgraded Shield will cause damage to the offending player. You’ll have more than enough time during the cast to switch from the boss you’re hitting if it happens to be the one casting Shield. The quadrant in front of the shielded mob will be open, so the tank handling that twin won’t take damage from the shield. If the bosses are too close together, the mobs will tether together and both of them will have lance and shield, tanks should be sure to spread them apart. The distance on this isn’t very far at all. Jobs with AoE abilities as part of their natural rotations should be mindful of how close they are to the shielded mob when executing them. However, the tank that’s holding the shielded boss can turn the open side of the shield toward the main group to help cut down in accidental shield hits.
  • Crippling Blow + Wail (v1)
    • Crippling Blow – A tank buster. The twin without the shield will cast this.
    • Wail – Arena-wide, unavoidable damage. This happens in combination with the tank buster. The twin with the shield will cast this.
  • Crippling Blow + Wail (v2) – This is the reverse of the first.
    • Crippling Blow – A tank buster. The twin with the shield will cast this.
    • Wail – Arena-wide, unavoidable damage. This happens in combination with the tank buster. The twin without the shield will cast this.
  • Tandem Assault: Bloody Sweep – Both mobs will cast this, indicating they’re about to jump away for a literal tandem assault. They’ll jump to a quadrant of the arena and stand next to one another.
  • Bloody Sweep (v1) – This is a sweep that covers half the arena starting from each mobs origin, so you’ll have 2 overlapping halves that won’t be safe. Both bosses will hold out their lances to opposite directions. If the lances are to their mutual outsides, then the safe spot is between them. If the lances are between them, the safe spot is diagonally across the arena from those lances.
  • Upgraded Lance/Shield
  • Seed of Magic Alpha/Riot of Magic
    • Seed of Magic Alpha – Several players will be marked with circular AoEs that travel with them until resolution. Spread out.
    • Riot of Magic – One player will have a stack marker. Those without the traveling AoEs should stack to soak the damage.
  • Tandem Assault: Passing Lance – Hansel & Gretel will rush together to the edge of the arena, leaving a trail of blaster balls behind them.
  • Passing Lance – Locate the gap in the arrangement of left behind orbs and stand in the gap, then move to the edge form there to avoid the bosses as they rush back along their path. If you’re in that gap between balls, you’ll be missed by the laser blasts that fire from the balls after the bosses lunge back.
  • Upgraded Lance/Shield
  • Crippling Blow + Wail (v1)
  • Crippling Blow + Wail (v2)
  • Tandem Assault: Bloody Sweep
  • Bloody Sweep (v2) – This works the same as the first one, except there’re wavy arrow lines between the 2 bosses indicating they’re going to swap. All you have to do here is determine where the safe spot ought to be based on their lance positions, and then go to the opposing safe spot instead.
  • Wandering Trail (v1) – Eight destructo discs appear, slowly traversing the edge of the arena, 4 in one direction and 4 in the other so that they overlap and pincer players periodically.
  • Tandem Assault: Breakthrough – The bosses charge out to opposite edges of the arena. Observe which sides they hold their lances at (it will be the same side, so you only have to check one boss), and move to the opposite side of the arena.
  • Breakthrough – The bosses charge back to the middle of the arena, causing proximity based damage when they collide, as well as sweeping the half of the platform with their lances. You will need to be as close to the edge as possible while avoiding the discs from Wandering Trail whirling around the outside.
  • Upgraded Lance/Shield
  • Crippling Blow + Wail (v1)
  • Crippling Blow + Wail (v2)
  • Tandem Assault: Passing Lance
  • Uncast Seed of Magic Alpha/Riot of Magic
  • Passing Lance
  • Upgraded Lance/Shield
  • Wandering Trail (v2) – The discs move through the center of the arena instead of following the egde. Move between 2 of the discs and let them pass you as they move. Be mindful that they go all the way across the diameter of the platform, so watch for them as they come back out of their cluster at the center.
  • Hungry Lance – The bosses move to the middle and do two large, conal AoEs as Wandering Trail‘s discs move. These AoEs leave two gaps of safety. You should have plenty of time to make it there.
  • Upgraded Lance/Shield
  • Seed of Magic Beta – Both bosses will cast this. Just as with the original version, AoEs will follow players, but you’ll be given no indicator, so get ready to move out of some suddenly appearing ground circles.
  • *After this, the mechanics repeat in a similar, but unrepeating order, with no new mechanics.
  • Lamentation – Once one of the twins is dead, the other begins casting this. If the cast finishes before the remaining twin is defeated, everyone will be raid-wide, unavoidable damage. This will continue until the remaining boss’ defeat.

Mini Encounter 1

Wave 1: 3 2P

  • Whirling Assault – Each 2P aims a linear AoE as a random players.

Wave 2: 4 2P-operated Flight Unit

  • Lightfast Blade – The Flight Units will appear at cardinal locations on the edges of the arena, one after another, clock-wise or counter clockwise. Each Unit then blankets the platform in front of them with an AoE, leaving only the sliver behind them safe. Run the perimeter of the floor as these large AoEs appear to avoid them.
  • After Lightfast Blade ends, each remaining Flight Unit, (you’ll likely have killed at least one), will aim an uncast laser toward a random player. The linear AoE from the laser will follow each player until the icon over them disappears. At this point you’ll have a few seconds to move out of the AoE before it goes off. Try not to murder your friends as your spread these out, or if you’re feeling confident, stack them with other lasers to cut down on AoEs to avoid.
    • These will fire periodically until all of the Flight Units are dead.

Wave 3: 12 2P

  • Whirling Assault – Half of the 2P units will show up slightly before the other half, so some of the linear AoEs will go off before the others.
  • Balanced Edge – Again, half of these will start before the other half. Each 2P will form a small, circular, ground AoE centered on itself.
  • Whirling Assault – These repeat until defeat!

Wondering why the path to the next boss has soon many dead ends? Open up your map and check out the shape they make.

Red Girl

Are you ready to be creeped out? Get ready.

Phase 1

  • Cruelty – Unavoidable, arena-wide damage. At this time, the arena will also have a danger zone placed along all edges, as well as in the center.
  • Shockwave (v1) – Several players will have white AoE circles placed on them. These travel with the player until resolution. There is a gauge filling up around the edge of the icons over your head to tell you how long you have until the AoE explodes. Note that a few white circle AoEs will appear on the ground during this time.
  • Generate: Barrier (v1) – This does, in fact, create a cross-shaped barrier, blocking the arena floor into 4 quadrants. Players with Shockwave AoEs should destroy the black segments of the barrier with their white AoEs.
  • Generate: Barrier (v2) – Two of the barrier arms will be restored. Melee jobs will want to make sure to be on the side of the barrier closer to the boss so that they can get back to her after the next few mechanics finish.
  • Meanwhile, along the north side of the arena, a series of arrows (the bow and arrow kind) with upright, spinning circles around them will appear. Stand behind a white barrier to black the white arrows.
  • Shockwave (v2) – This time the AoEs placed on players will be black. Break white portions of the barrier with these when they go off. Just as before with the random white circles, black circles will appear.
  • Generate: Barrier (v2) – Two of the barrier arms will be restored.
  • A series of black arrows will appear this time, so stand behind the black barriers.
  • Cruelty
  • Generate: Barrier (v3) – A square in the center of the arena will be cut off from the rest of it by barriers. You can be on either side of the barrier, but some players will be forced into the center.
  • Recreate Meteor – A white meteor will begin falling toward the center of the platform inside that square of barriers.
  • Shockwave (v1) – Clear away the black barriers to free the people stranded in the middle, then stand behind the left over white barriers to avoid damage from the white meteor.
  • Manipulate Energy – Each tank will be marked for a tank buster.
  • Cruelty
  • Replicate – The boss will create small versions of herself all over the platform, and each of them will have a conal indicator, as well as a spinning arrow indictor to show which direction the copy will be spinning. Pick a clone, stand behind her, and just follow her as she spins in place. It looks intimidating, but the clones are spaced out enough that if you stay just behind your chosen copy, you won’t be close enough to any of the others for them to be an issue.
  • Manipulate Energy
  • Sublime Transcendence – Arena-wide, unavoidable damage… with a twist. (Don’t worry, it’s not additional damage)

Phase 2

All players will be divided into parties, sent to another zone, and transformed into small, geometrical ship shapes with 2 functions on your primary hotbar. The first button fires, and the second changes the color your little ship is.

  • First, destroy the 4 walls blocking you from the center arena. Turn into the opposite color of the blocks to break them.
  • Once you’re in the arena there will be black and white pylons you’ll need to shoot as the opposite color.
  • You’ll also need to keep an eye on the arena floor. The Red Sphere enemy in the center will cast Wave: White or Wave: Black and you’ll need to be the same color as the floor before the cast goes off or you’ll take damage.
  • All the while, players will need to be damaging the Red Sphere in the center. If it isn’t killed before too many pylons show up, the damage from them exploding will wipe the party.

Phase 3

If you successfully pew pew the Red Sphere to death, you’ll be returned to the main arena and your own body!

  • Cruelty – This cast reapplies the danger zones.
  • Child’s Play – Eight players will be chained to the Red Girl’s hand, with arrow indicators around her hand to show which way they’ll be eventually pulled by the chains. The arrows while either point left, right, or toward her, meaning forward. The forced movement takes you about halfway across the arena, so position yourself so that you won’t end up in a black AoE or the danger zone on the edge. For this version of Child’s Play, this means standing in a cluster of black AoEs to start and getting pulled out of them. The AoEs give you half a second to get out of them if you end up just barely inside them.
  • Shockwave (v2)
  • Child’s Play – The AoE’s on the floor are in a different pattern, but the concept is the same. Observe which direction you’ll be pulled, avoid ending up in an AoE or on the edge, and avoid the AoEs on the players that got Shockwave if you can. Players can get both Shockwave and Child’s Play. This version of Child’s Play requires effected players to start in open safe spaces and will pull them into another as long as they don’t hit an edge.
  • Cruelty – This cast clears the danger zone from the edges.
  • Cruelty – This cast reapplies the danger zones.
  • Generate: Barrier (v4) – Yes, 4 versions! This version of the barrier already has gaps in it.
  • Black and white arrows will appear on opposing sides. Pick any arrow, black or white, that lines up with a barrier piece of the same color and stand behind it with the barrier between you and the arrow.
  • Generate: Barrier (v2)
  • Back and white arrow will appear on opposing edges again, perpendicular to their last appearance. Use the same method to dodge.
  • Recreate Meteor – This time a black and a white meteor will appear.
  • One last set of arrows will appear, again perpendicular to the last cast of arrows. Handle appropriately.
  • The resulting set of barriers will leave 1 quadrant safe to the 2 falling meteors. Make sure to put a black barrier between you and the black meteor, and a white barrier between you and the white meteor.
  • Cruelty – Danger zones cleared.
  • A giant Red Girl will appear on each edge of the platform for a total of 4.
  • Replicate – The same small, spinning clones will appear.
  • Child’s Play x2 – Two opposing giant Red Girls on the edges will chain all the small clones except one, and drag them across the arena while they do their spinning conal attacks. You can dodge the small clones as they move, or simply locate and stand next to the clone that stays put.
  • Manipulate Energy
  • Phase 3 repeats from this point until defeat.

TLDR Color Match Guide:

  • Circle AoEs on players destroy opposite color barriers.
  • Hide from arrows behind the same color barriers.
  • Hide from meteors behind the same color barriers.
  • Destroy blocks in ship mode with opposite color ships.
  • Destroy pylons in ship mode with opposite color ships.
  • Be the same color as the floor to avoid damage from the Red Sphere’s Wave AoE.

Mini Encounter 2

Xun-Zi & Meng-Zi

  • Deploy Armaments – Much like the first boss, Xun-Zi will charge 1 of 2 mechanics under the same name. Determine which it is by the charging animation. If the missiles on its sides charge, then the center line from Xun-Zi will be safe. If the electric arms on its front charge, then the 2 edges will be safe.
  • Meng-Zi shows up after Xun-Zi demonstrates both examples of Deploy Armaments
  • Deploy Armaments x2 (v1)* – Both bosses will take turns casting Deploy Armaments, though not always in the same order. As before, find the safe spot for the first mob charging, then look to the second for their indicator.
  • Deploy Armaments x2 (v2) – After 2 rounds of taking turns, the mobs will begin casting at the same time, so observe the charges of both and position yourself appropriately.
    • During these charges, 4 mobs will show up to target random players with travelling lasers. Use the small space available to point them away from your group if you have them or avoid the lasers if you’re not a target.
  • Universal Assault x2– Xun-Zi will cast this unavailable, raid-wide AoE. Meng-Zi quickly follows up with a second cast.
  • Four small flyer mobs will appear at the corners of the platform and generate wave after wave of slow-moving, red balls.
  • Universal Assault x2
  • *Repeats from Deploy Armaments x2 (v1) until defeat.

False Idol

Big congrats to this orb for not one-upping its predecessor and not being the most gross.

Phase 1

  • Screaming Score – An arena-wide, unavoidable AoE.
  • Made Magic – The boss will create a slowly spinning wheel in front of herself. It will shoot a blast across the arena, and then roll the direction the wheel was turning, dragging the blast across that half of the arena.
  • Made Magic
  • Lighter Note – Three players will be targeted and a rune ring with 2 opposite facing arrows will follow them. Once the center of the ring turns red, it will stay in place and shoot a sequence of circular AoEs out from the 2 arrows. The circles will move across the arena until they run off the edge. Observe all three rings’ arrows to avoid being hit by the circle sequence. The rings can be dragged toward edges to keep the center of the arena clear.
  • Rhythm Rings – The boss will place 10 rings along an edge of the platform. Energy balls will fall from above the rings and when they line up with them, they’ll shoot laser blasts across the arena. Use the falling orbs to determine where the lasers will fire and dodge between the rows.
  • Seed of Magic – Several circular, ground AoEs will appear under random players.
  • Made Magic*
  • Screaming Score
  • Darker Note – Each party’s tank will be marked with a circular AoE that travels with them until resolution.
  • Lighter Note
  • Made Magic
  • Rhythm Rings
  • Seed of Magic – These happen during Rhythm Rings.
  • Seed of Magic – These happen during Rhythm Rings.
  • *Repeats from Made Magic until the False Idol hits 49% HP.
  • Eminence – All players are stunned for the cut scene into the next phase.

Her Inflorescence

Phase 2

  • Pervasion – The floor of the arena becomes suspiciously transparent.
  • Recreate Structure – The boss creates a building belong the platform with a countdown timer of 5 seconds on it. Once the timer finishes, the building will fly through the floor, knocking anyone it hits high into the air and off the platform into the abyss.
    • Editor’s note: If you look closely at the top of the building, you’ll see “SQE”, an obvious nod to “Square Enix”. Hopefully everyone on the eighteenth floor is ok.
  • Recreate Structure
  • Recreate Signal (v1) – Five train tracks will appear, spanning the arena floor.
  • Mixed Signals – Stand on the tracks with red lights before the trains rush across their respective routes.
  • Mixed Signals
  • Lighter Note
  • Screaming Score
  • Darker Note
  • Heavy Arms – Rubble will form up either around the Idol’s outward stretched arms or below her downward stretched arms. If it forms on her outward arms, be on her center lines to avoid the upcoming AoEs. If they’re on her downward arms, move off her center line to avoid that resulting linear AoE. It’s very much like Nidhogg’s Hot Tail/Wings.
  • Heavy Arms
  • Distortion – All players will be surrounded by a rune ring, half of which will be black, and half white.
  • The Final Song – An AoE circle appears in the middle of the arena. Three rings, randomly either black or white, will drift down from above to hit the ground. Make sure you’re facing the matching color side of your ring toward the large ring as it hits the ground and explodes.
  • Pillar Impact* – Two rubble pillars will form above opposite corners of the platform. They’ll drop, one after the other, knocking players back. Stand right next to the first pillar and get knocked directly toward the second pillar so that you’re in place for when the second falls immediately afterward. Alternatively, use your knock-back nullifier right before the first pillar falls and it will last long enough to let you ignore both knock-backs.
  • Towerfall – The 2 pillars fall toward one another and collide, holding each other suspended for a moment before falling down to the ground and dealing damage to anyone beneath. Use the pause in their fall to determine where the pillars are going to fall and move out of the way!
  • Recreate Signal (v2) – A single train pulls up along one edge of the platform.
  • Mixed Signals (v2) – Several Red Girl copies exit the train and then red balls start drifting out of it that players must dodge during the next few mechanics.
  • Distortion
  • The Final Song
  • Heavy Arms
  • Lighter Note
  • Heavy Arms
  • Recreate Signal
  • Mixed Signals
  • Rhythm Rings – These show up slightly before Mixed Signals is finished. Preemptively look for the falling orbs so that you don’t get caught unawares.
  • Screaming Score
  • Darker Note
  • Pervasion
  • Recreate Structure
  • Rhythm Rings – Preemptively look for the falling orbs during Recreate Structure.
  • Heavy Arms
  • Screaming Score
  • *Repeats from Pillar Impact until defeat.

Congratulations, you’ve completed The Tower at Paradigm’s Breach! Good luck on your lots!