The Great Hunt
The Great Hunt
The Hunt has always been simple business. Snatch a bill from the board, seek out your quarry, and claim your bounty. A peculiar posting in Kugane, however, has complicated matters. What began as a simple hunt in the Azim Steppe has quickly escalated into a harrowing undertaking, with a strange new Felyne companion, and even stranger prey -- Rathalos, king of the skies. With mega potion in hand, you venture into the mountains. But do you have what it takes to stand against his fiery fury?
— In-game description
Crossover Mechanics & References
Eorzea's inhabitants must contend with a stray Rathalos that has been using the Azim Steppe as its feeding ground. With the help of a purr-sistant Felyne companion, players are tasked with tracking Rathalos to his den and putting an end to the fearsome wyvern before it wreaks havoc on the local ecosystem. The fight itself contains multiple Monster Hunter: World mechanics that make it very unique to Final Fantasy XIV.
For example, all party members come equipped with 10 Mega Potions that can heal the player to max health after a short drinking animation. Rathalos cannot be tanked, and there are very few telegraphed attacks (except fireballs). He is capable of poisoning players with his claws and can also stun players who take too many direct hits. Participants will witness a turf-war of sorts during phase 2, which also involves mounting Rathalos and attacking him with a hunting knife. Players can attempt to break his tail if they successfully knock him out of the air. In Extreme mode, carting three times results in a themed mission-failed animation and a full reset of the battle. Once Rathalos has been defeated in either mode, the head and tail can be carved for scales - a currency used to purchase themed cosmetics from a smithy. Players can also acquire their very own Poogie minion, Felyne companion, and even loot (or purchase) Rathalos himself as a mount.
There are many other references throughout the questline for fans of Monster Hunter: World to enjoy.
Felyne: You did it! You slew the meownster!
Felyne: Don't forget to carve a scale or two off his hide.
Phases & Abilities
There are three distinct phases during the Great Hunt - a grounded phase, an add phase and a flying phase. All three phases involve Rathalos utilizing various attacks against random targets.
- Rathalos has no auto-attacks and is unaffected by enmity, meaning he cannot be tanked at any point during the encounter. Instead, players must keep an eye on his wind-up animations and react accordingly to avoid unnecessary damage. Seeing as targets are random per attack, a good rule of thumb is to keep an eye on the direction Rathalos is facing. If he turns in your direction, it is always best to move out of his path to avoid a potential rush-attack. Melee also needs to keep an eye out for his 360-degree tail-swipe (which will always be counterclockwise) as well as a short-ranged bite/swipe attack which will hit all players directly in front and behind Rathalos. Due to this, anyone close to Rathalos should try to stick to his left-flank whenever possible.
Phase 1: Grounded
Rathalos will rotate between a set of ground-based attacks against randomly chosen players. All players must keep an eye on where Rathalos is facing and what animation he is performing if they wish to avoid damage during his relentless onslaught.
- Whipping Bite is indicated by Rathalos staring slightly to its left while opening his mouth and raising his tail. After a short delay, he will snap at players immediately in front of him while simultaneously swiping behind him with his tail. You can safely avoid this short-ranged attack by moving to either of Rathalos' flanks or by backing away.
- Tail Swipe is a two-part attack indicated by Rathalos looking to his right side and menacingly raising his tail. After a brief delay, Rathalos will swing his tail in a 180-degree counterclockwise motion. Immediately after this, Rathalos will perform another 180-degree sweep after a short delay in the same counterclockwise motion. Anyone caught in the path of a Tail Swipe will receive moderate damage and a massive knockback, with a possibility of being stunned. To avoid this, players should either move to Rathalos' left flank or move out of range during the wind-up animation.
- Charging Bite is a rush-attack indicated by Rathalos turning towards a player (regardless of distance) and performing a brief roar-like animation. After a short delay, Rathalos will then lunge directly at that player with a vicious bite, be they near or far. All players caught in the path of his charge will be inflicted with moderate damage and knockback, as well as a chance of being stunned. To avoid it, players should watch out for the brief wind-up animation and side-step out of its path as soon as possible.
- Fireball is indicated by an overhead marker on the target player and is one of the few telegraphed attacks Rathalos uses. After rearing up for a few seconds, Rathalos will expel an unavoidable fireball at the marked player, inflicting moderate splash damage as well as a dispellable burns debuff. Players with the marker should move away from the party to avoid inflicting unnecessary damage to others.
- Evasive Breath is indicated by Rathalos turning towards a target player and lowering its head and body. After a short delay, Rathalos will blast the area directly in front of him with fire during a backward leap, damaging, burning and knocking away anyone directly in front of him. This particular attack is one of the most dangerous as the telegraph is very short.
Rathalos will continuously target random players and use these abilities in no particular order until the third and final phase. Once Rathalos has been reduced to around 80% health, the add phase will begin.
Phase 2: Adds
For the most part, phase two is almost identical to phase one, except now the party must contend with some of the local wildlife joining the fray. On entering the arena, various types of adds will initially begin attacking Rathalos, all with their own AoE attacks. Unlike Rathalos, however, these adds are effected by enmity and can be tanked. It is worth noting that Rathalos' attacks will also damage these adds (and vice-versa); thus a good method is to grab all the stray adds and tank them close to Rathalos so that they damage each other until all adds are defeated. The Coeurl is the most problematic as it will occasionally use a massive conal AoE that can cover a large portion of the arena, thus it is wise to focus on this add first whenever possible, or at least turn it away from the party.
After being reduced to around 70% health, Rathalos will head towards the centre of the arena and inflict a roaring stun on the party. Simultaneously, a large Garula will enter the arena from the east side and charge into Rathalos after a short wind-up animation, knocking him down and damaging any players caught in the path. From here, the Garula will begin attacking the party and must be picked up by a tank as soon as possible. At the same time, Rathalos will become mountable, prompting a player to leap onto his back and repeatedly stab him via an active time event.
This chain of events serves as a DPS check. If the party fails to kill the Garula fast enough, or if a player mounts Rathalos and fails the active time event for any reason, Rathalos will escape the arena and wipe the raid with a massive flaming attack, King of the Skies. It is possible to kill the Garula without mounting Rathalos, though this will require very high DPS.
- Bear in mind that the player who mounts Rathalos will take continuous damage-over-time and may require healing - a possible reference to the use of stamina when mounting a monster in Monster Hunter: World. If the player who has mounted Rathalos is reduced to 0 HP, they will be knocked off Rathalos, and the party will wipe to King of the Skies. The Garula's auto-attacks are also incredibly vicious, even against tanks, and it will also frequently perform a frontal AoE cleave for massive damage to anyone caught in its path. This cleave can also hit the player who has mounted Rathalos and quickly lead to a raid wipe. Due to this, it is best to face the Garula away from the party as soon as possible.
Assuming the Garula has been defeated in time and a party member has successfully mounted Rathalos without being KO'd, Rathalos will leave the arena and prepare to unleash King of the Skies. After standing behind the Garula's corpse to avoid this attack, the final phase of the encounter will begin.
Phase 3: Flying
After Rathalos has bathed the arena in flames, the background music will change, and the outer-arena will receive a flaming makeover. All players will now receive a debuff – Scalebound – which will reduce all healing received by players to 0 (except Mega Potions). As a result, each player should consider drinking a Mega Potion if their HP reaches medium or low levels. Party shielding, however, is unaffected by this debuff and can be very useful for mitigating burns, poison, or even some direct attacks from Rathalos himself.
From here on, Rathalos will assault players from the air, and a "Down Counter" will be displayed in the form of a Duty Gauge. This gauge will gradually fill up any time a cooldown is used against Rathalos. Once filled, Rathalos will immediately be knocked out of the air and remain prone for some time, allowing players to attack (and eventually break) his tail, inflicting substantial damage to Rathalos himself. Conversely, Rathalos' overall defence will be much higher while in the air, but not when downed; hence players must try to knock Rathalos down and perform as much damage as possible while he is vulnerable. If you wish to use a damaging Limit Break, consider doing so when Rathalos is knocked down, as using it while he is in the air will be dramatically less effective.
Much like the previous phases, Rathalos will continuously attack random players with various abilities in no particular order and with limited visual indicators for as long as he is active.
- Claw Swipe is another rush attack similar to Charging Bite. After turning towards a random player (regardless of distance) and elevating slightly, Rathalos will swoop at that player with his claws after a brief delay. Players slashed by Rathalos' claws will be inflicted with a dispellable poison, a brief stun, moderate damage and a knockback. Just like Charging Bite, players can avoid this attack by quickly side-stepping out of his way before he charges.
- Mangle and Sweeping Flames are frontal-cone AoE's, indicated by Rathalos rearing its head and displaying its flaming mouth for a brief moment. To avoid these, players can either move behind Rathalos, move to his flanks, or move out of range entirely.
- Fireball, unlike phase 1, is now a sharable stack marker. After a brief delay, Rathalos will spit a fireball at the stack-marked player, leaving behind a persistent puddle of flame on the ground that will inflict burns on everyone sharing the damage and anyone who passes through puddles afterwards. If this ability targets a tank instead of a healer or damage-dealer, the tank may choose to mitigate the fireball by themself using defensive cooldowns. Despite healers being unable to heal other players during this final phase, they can still use Esuna to remove the resulting burns, or use shield spells to help mitigate incoming damage.
- At this point, Rathalos will continue to cycle through these abilities until he is defeated, the party wipes or the 60-minute duty timer expires.