FFXIV: Quick Guide to Sastasha Hard Bosses


Game: Final Fantasy XIV as of Patch 2.4

A day after release and no one has still figured out two of the bosses in this dungeon. I am writing this post with my observations to help other people out. I have run this as DPS (summoner IL108), healer (white mage IL94) and tank (paladin IL98).

Last Update: November 02, 2014

My personal advice: Don’t slack off in this duty. Whether you are tank, healer or DPS, just always do your best. Don’t rely on macros as something can quickly go downhill between those “wait” times. While this duty may be tiring for healers due to the amount of healing and barrier-casting done, the key is for everyone to work together. Healer, trust your DPS to actually do the best that they can; focus on healing, you don’t have to attack. DPS, help out the healer when he’s being attacked and try to focus on attacking the mob that the tank is holding. Tank, don’t yell too much at your healer.

Important Note: Sastasha’s boss are rather strict DPS checks (at the moment, might be easier once we get 120+ gear)

First Boss: Karlabos

A vilekin that lives on the ocean floor. It has three notable attacks, the most painful of which is Tail Screw. Tail Screw has a cast time so the players should pay attention to it. If you are targeted by Tail Screw, move close to the healer just enough for him to be able to heal you. Tail Screw will always take out a huge chunk of your HP (my summoner had 5.3k HP and after Tail Screw I’d be left with 50 to 150 HP), the exact damage is supposedly 99% of your HP. Tail Screw itself does not kill the player, but after the attack a whirlwind (similar to Twintania’s Twister) will momentarily appear. If you move from your spot quickly as Tail Screw hits, you can avoid death via twister. This is a split second decision and any hesitation may kill you. The healer should immediately heal the player that was hit by Tail Screw. This attack -can- be STUNNED (but not Silenced). Don’t stun it too much as it will build resistance. Since the tank will usually be stunned by Prey (see next paragraph), the DPS might have to stun Tail Screw.

Another boss attack is Prey. Usually the tank is marked for this and he is subsequently washed by the tide and then stunned. This usually occurs right before Tail Screw is used. This is not a dangerous move, the tank can eat that damage but he will get stunned for a while. Also, any player who comes close to the tank will get marked for Prey instead and that player might die if the positioning is bad (e.g. a monk who moves in too close, gets Prey -AND- Tail Screw). Alternative strategy if only the tank has Stun: Make one of the DPS walk through the tank when he has Prey, then Prey will transfer to the DPS leaving the tank able to stun Tail Screw.

An AOE attack that powers up over time is a Slime debuff attack. At first it will target only one person, next time it comes up it will target 2 people, then 3, so on. If only 1 person is alive and the attack is supposed to hit 3 people, all 3 attacks will land on that remaining person and will kill him (except a tank using Hallowed Ground). This attack leaves a debuff that has damage over time and should be cleansed with Esuna or Leeches. Due to this attack, players should not stack. If two players are close to each other, both will get hit with Slime and have 2 debuffs instead of 1.

Second Boss: Captain Madison

Super strict DPS check. Every few percentage of his HP, the Captain will use an almost unstoppable attack called Musket. He will fire at a target repeatedly and subsequent firings will be faster and stronger until the target dies. The only way to get through this is to burn through that % of his HP. Be careful not to burn too much or else you might risk activating his next Musket phase. You will see some dialogue on the screen which signifies each Musket phase.

He has a pistol whip attack but it is relatively harmless, except when it stuns someone at the wrong time.

As for his minions/adds, I put a kill order on them as: Slave, Leech, Boy, Guard. The Slave appears only around 50% of the boss HP. Like Sergeants in Pharos Tower, it will BIND the player that it targets until the Slave is killed. Near the end of the Captain’s life, four Slaves will appear. As for the Leech, it’s a conjurer so get rid of it quickly. The Boy is a lancer and can do some annoying straight-line attacks, and the Guard is a paladin. Even when the boss dies, the adds will not disappear until you kill them so don’t let your guard down.

If Musket comes up while adds are still alive, just kill the Slave and Leech, save the Boy and Guard for later; focusing on burning through the Captain’s HP until he stops using Musket. As noted in a comment below, Adloquium helps the Musket’s target to remain alive; as does Stoneskin. The first few rounds (stacks) of Musket are weak and the attack progressively gets stronger and faster the longer it is kept up. 

A strategy that we worked out is to stay near the tank at all times. Even if the boss pistol-whips someone to the other side of the room, he should go back to the tank. This way, the mobs can be AOEd when they show up and/or the healer won’t have to chase people around to heal them.

Strategy as recommended by comment below: Around 30% HP, the boss will summon one last round of Slave+Leech+Boy+Guard. You may kill the slave and leech, then proceed to burn through the boss HP as soon as he starts using Musket. Sometime between using Musket, he will call the -last- group of adds. This has FOUR Slaves in it which are difficult to get rid off. Ideally, a caster will use Limit Break on all the adds+boss; or a melee dps will use Limit Break on the boss. The goal is to burn enough of the boss HP to make him stop using Musket, after which you can deal with the adds.

Another thing of note: Do not panic when a Slave gets you. It does no damage as it only binds you in place. It’s the other adds (Leech, Boy, Guard) that close in that do damage, so if you are bound alone you can either kill off your own Slave or prioritize another member who is being beaten to death by other adds. Ideally, the tank should take all adds but there are instances when the tank is pushed away and thus loses aggro, or the healer overheals and takes aggro.

Regarding the target of Musket: As noted on a comment below, the target can be “Covered” by a Paladin (Skill: Cover). Target of Musket/Cover must stay near the paladin.

Final Boss: The Kraken

Similar to the Hullbreaker Isle Kraken, except this time you don’t have the fatal version twisters/whirlwinds and you can actually fight the Kraken now. This is pretty easy just make sure to stay near the healer’s range. The tank doesn’t have to grab aggro on all adds, just the Kraken.

As for the adds, they’re the usual Tentacles and Arms. You can use Strategy 1, 2 or 3 depending on the capability of your party.

Strategy 1: Tentacles can and will toss people like in Hullbreaker Isle. The tossed person is stunned for a while. You can aim to kill the tentacles first. If people get tossed too often you will lose DPS and the tank may also lose Kraken’s aggro.

Strategy 2: Kraken Arms occasionally make whirlwinds but it’s a weaker version than Hullbreaker Isle’s. If all Arms are defeated, the Kraken will lay vulnerable for a few seconds without any Arms waving around. When World’s End is casted by the Kraken, its damage is based on the number of Arms still alive. (As stated in a comment below)

Strategy 3: The tank can mark -ONE- tentacle and then the party can kill it quickly. This is to avoid too much stunning and tossing around. Then go for the Arms so that the Kraken will retreat and leave it more vulnerable for full DPS.


Around 50% and 25% HP, a lot of Arms will show up and use Wallop/Clearout repeatedly. Heal through this phase and focus on boss, because the Arms will disappear after this phase. Otherwise, just get the Tentacles/Arms, then focus fire on the Kraken. You can also leave DoTs on the Kraken since it isn’t invulnerable in this fight even if the Tentacles and Arms are still alive.

My first Sastasha Hard completion. I was a summoner with a cool party from another server.

My first Sastasha Hard completion. I was a summoner with a cool party from another server.

Feel free to leave comments regarding your own observations. It’s still early in the game and some mechanics maybe be revealed clearly later. If there are major corrections to my observations, I’ll make sure to note them for subsequent readers.