Should we disband: Suzaku is not (y)our friend

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Aetherflow – Spring 2019

It’s the weekend and you finally sit down to farm that one mount that you’ve been trying to get for weeks now. You swap to your favorite class and open the Party Finder. To your delight you instantly spot a party – with exactly one open spot for you! “Maybe this party will be competent,” you think to yourself, but deep inside you’re fully aware of what’s going to happen. One “salut” later you find yourself in Hells’ Kier, facing Suzaku, the Vermilion Bird.

After all the melees fight over who gets to go north and someone obviously snipes your prefered position, the tank whips out his amazing 8 second pull macro, tilting the heck out of half your party members. If you mute your game volume you might even be able to hear your ninja scream in the distance! But don’t worry – just around 15 seconds into the fight everyone else will join in. Because, honestly, who the fuck thought it would be a good idea to have the boss become untargetable in the opener? But hey, at least the music is good.

If you’re lucky, someone has already revived a phoenix at this point! You know you’re in for a good time if this happens. But if it doesn’t, fear not! We all know there is that one guy that will either forget to revive them later on, or just completely miss it for some reason. After all, the entire arena is covered with AoEs and the Scarlet Plumes have such a huge amount of HP, there is so much more important things happening! And let’s not forget the difficult DPS check that is killing a Scarlet Lady – every pull is an exciting roller coaster, you never know where you might die this time!

Close-quarter Crescendo is another one of these really fun mechanics. You could look where the arrow’s pointing and position accordingly – or you could just pray.

Following this, you’ve got a nice dance break which you have probably done 400 times by now. You used to wonder how people end up with only four damage up stacks – since all you have to do is face in the direction of the arrow – but by now you’ve just accepted it. Just don’t get too fired up, the real fun is yet to begin, since we all know that one guy that forgets his knockback immunity on Mesmerizing Melody and falls right through the middle, or that nice red mage that backflips right off the platform! I’d like to give a moment of silence for the poor 3600 MP that were lost to the raise.

Just after everyone magicly avoided the giant tankbuster knockback the arena starts changing color and you know you’re in for a good time! You always thought it wouldn’t be too difficult to look at the symbols on the side of the arena, remember them, and then take the activation order of the different platforms and use it to avoid taking damage and vulnerability stacks. But honestly, you always expect too much of the less mechanically gifted players you encounter on your valiant quest of gathering 99 Suzaku Totems – because you’re definitely not going to roll higher than 7 on the dog.

Close-quarter Crescendo is another one of these really fun mechanics. You could look where the arrow’s pointing and position accordingly – or you could just pray. And there will always be the one person that panics and clicks sprint to get to the edge of the platform – just to forget to disable it, and runs into their death at full speed.

Incandescent Interlude is next and a few meteor circles spawn around the arena. You get slightly confused when you see three people on your position, and who would have guessed – someone once again confused east with west. Happens all the time! It’s just as difficult as going clockwise or counter clockwise. It’s not like it is the complete opposite direction or anything. Have you never caught the clock going backwards?

But you won’t feel the true definition of fun until Suzaku starts combining Close-quarter Crescendo and Phoenix Says. Unless you’re one of the seven people in the world that actually understand this mechanic you’re, once again, in for a fun roller coaster of emotions. You place yourself properly to not run off of the platform, and once your character starts taking the wheel, you simply pray that you won’t get knocked up too often. Your party is jumping up and down, and magically, you all survive – with multiple vulnerability stacks, but at least it’s not a wipe!

If you’ve managed to live through all of this, the boss is going to do some knockbacks, Southron Star AoEs and tankbusters. You’re already pretty certain that you are going to clear this and feel slightly relieved. Maybe this party will be able to farm the boss somewhat consistently! (Spoiler: It won’t. You just got lucky and won’t get past the first phase again. Obviously.)

A melee starts channeling LB3 at 1% remaining and Suzaku is defeated! It might have been a hot mess, but congratulations! You open the coffer, the samurai weapon drops for the 30th time and, of course, there’s no mount drop. At least there’s always the token. It’s your sixtieth. Only 39 more runs to go!

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