Ranking FFXIV raids from best to worst: Endwalker’s Pandaemonium raids

Liam Ho
Pandaemonium Key Art from FFXIV

Final Fantasy XIV’s Pandaemonium raid has finally been completed, offering a wealth of different combat encounters. Here’s our list of the raids in Endwalker ranked from worst to best.

Final Fantasy XIV offers a wide variety of gameplay to its players. From casual to hardcore, there’s always something to do while adventuring in Eorzea. This includes activities like housing and Island Sanctuary all the way to hardcore savage and ultimate raids.

Endwalker saw the release of the Pandaemonium raid series, which brought the Warrior of Light to Elpis to reclaim the holding cells for the various beasts there. Not all fights in Pandaemonium were made equal, however, with some hits and misses across the board, particularly on Savage difficulty.

With that being said, here’s our ranking for the Pandaemonium raid series, ordered from worst to best.

15. Abyssos: The Seventh Circle

Pandaemonium 7 FFXIV

The Seventh Circle (P7) ends up as the weakest fight of Pandaemonium. Whilst a cool concept, Agdistis left much to be desired. A wall boss that constantly broke and changed platforms to fight on, players were expecting a tough fight with challenging mechanics that involved tight maneuvering.

Unfortunately, P7 featured pretty basic mechanics and a Savage difficulty that was incredibly backloaded, saving all the difficult mechanics for the end. P7 was also the cause of some plugin controversy, as players were using a third-party tool to place markers in previously unreachable locations. This resulted in the banning of multiple players and reminded the community about the wishy-washy nature of punishing third-party tools.

The one redeeming part of P7 is the music, which absolutely bangs.

14. Abyssos: The Sixth Circle

Pandaemonium 6 from FFXIV

It’s a shame that Abyssos ended up with some of the weakest fights of the raid consecutively. Both Abyssos: The Sixth Circle (P6) and P7 are so much worse than the other fights that the tier offered, bringing down the whole of Abyssos with it. P6 is similar to P7, having interesting concepts that just weren’t executed on in the Savage difficulties.

Most of the mechanics in P6, particularly on Savage felt really simple and required almost no effort from the individual player to solve. Most of the fight revolved around identifying the correct safe spot and resolving the mechanic from there. On top of that, no mechanic felt wholly original, making it hard to remember what part of the fight you were even at.

The most interesting part of the fight was dealing with the swapped debuffs in Exchange of Agonies, as it required some thinking from the individual player.

Despite this, it was slightly more bearable than P7 and also shared the same music, which still absolutely bangs.

13. Anabaseios: The Eleventh Circle

Pandaemonium 11 from FFXIV

Anabaseios: The Eleventh Circle (P11) sees the Warrior of Light take on long-standing friend and rival Elidibus in the form of Themis. As a champion of balancing the light and dark, the main feature of P11 is working out the different light and dark mechanics Themis throws at you.

P11 comes across as one of the easier fights in Pandemonium, with the only real challenging and unique mechanics being the light party split in Light and Dark. Aside from that, it mostly involves spreading or stacking together whilst dodging AOEs telegraphed by the ability cast or the color around Themis.

Its savage difficulty throws in a couple of new mechanics not seen in the normal version, but these were pretty quickly solved and definitely felt like a step down in comparison to P10S which was brutally challenging.

Because of this lack of difficulty, P11 and its savage difficulty felt underwhelming for the second-last boss of the raid. It did however also have great music in the form of Fleeting Moment.

12. Asphodelos: The First Circle

Pandaemonium 1 from FFXIV

Asphodelos: The First Circle (P1) did everything a first circle should do; open the door to players so that they can understand and experience what raids entail. As the first raid of the entirety of Endwalker, Ericthonios had their work cut out for them.

P1 and its savage difficulty are really simplistic, the boss will telegraph several attacks as the fight progresses, eventually combining these attacks together to up the difficulty. Savage saw the introduction of a couple of difficult mechanics like Fourfold Shackles and Intemperate Torment. These mechanics were pretty swiftly solved but provided a good challenge for the first fight.

With many players joining in the after patches of Shadowbringers, P1 served as the perfect introduction to raiding for newer players. However, it got old pretty quickly, as his mechanics were immediately trivialized by the increasingly competent player base.

However P1 did serve its purpose well, it just doesn’t hold up as strong of a fight when compared to the rest of its peers after the fact.

11. Aspholdelos: The Fourth Circle (Phase 1)

Pandaemonium 4 from FFXIV

The Fourth Circle of Pandaemonium (P4) was a pretty standout fight when it came out in Patch 6.0. Featuring Hesperos, players would solve several mechanics based on what tile the boss chose, with each element corresponding to a different attack. Alongside this, Hesperos would teleport to the sides of the arena and use a cape or sword attack.

In the Savage difficulty, this was paired with some mind-boggling buffs and debuffs which had players take the opposite of the cast they were given. There was also an orb soaking mechanic which almost feels like a non-mechanic once your party understands it.

Aside from this, there wasn’t much more to P4S Part 1, which resulted in a bit of a lack of variety when it came to mechanics. Because of this, the fight was quickly forgotten, especially when it led into a far stronger and more interesting one.

10. Anabaseios: The Ninth Circle

Pandaemonium 9 from FFXIV

As the starting fight of the tier, Anabaseios: The Ninth Circle (P9) provided a simple introduction for players. Facing Kokytos, the being would transform into various forms to take you on, changing from fire and ice attacks to martial arts and even meteors. This made the fight easy to understand, as you would always know the next mechanic depending on what Kokytos shifted into.

In Savage, this was no different either. Kokytos still shared the same forms as in the normal version but included additional mechanics and attacks to up the ante. By far the hardest part of this fight was Limit Cut 1, which easily walled many raiders on the first day of the Savage release. There was some difficulty in Limit Cut 2 and the Martialist form, but these paled in comparison to the wall of Limit Cut 1.

Overall Kokytos served their purpose as the introduction to Anabaseios, providing clearly showcased mechanics whilst still providing some difficulty.

9. Asphodelos: The Third Circle

Pandaemonium 3 from FFXIV

The Third Circle (P3) or Phoinix easily stood out as the dark horse of Asphodelos. The incredibly orange bird faces off against the Warrior of Light in an incredibly orange arena, throwing incredibly orange attacks that make your eyes burn. Despite the fight being an absolute visual nightmare, the mechanics were somewhat punishing, even in normal mode.

However, in Savage, this was turned up to 10, with multiple new mechanics involving the ADs, new twists on the spreads and stacks from normal, and an interesting puzzle mechanic that required players to die a set amount of times. Alongside this, P3S also required players to solve individual mechanics depending on what role they were playing, making it a true test of your understanding.

For a third fight of the tier, P3S challenged players in all the right ways, but its difficulty made it notorious amongst the community while it was relevant.

8. Anabaseios: The Twelfth Circle (Phase 2)

Pandaemonium 12 Phase 2 from FFXIV

The final phase against Athena is the last battle of Pandaemonium. Being the second phase of the fourth fight, this was only accessible by defeating P12 on the Savage difficulty. As such, the fight is pretty tough involving tight DPS checks, massive amounts of damage and mitigation, and much more.

Despite the damage and healing checks, P12P2 is a pretty simple fight mechanically speaking. Most of the mechanics in Phase 2 repeat themselves in a slightly more difficult version, and most of the fight involved solving puzzles, which made it significantly easier when they were solved.

This made for a generally uninteresting fight that really only felt punishing due to the damage and healing checks, as the mechanics themself did not provide enough of a challenge. The fight also had some issues with bugs, which definitely brought down the experience even further.

7. Asphodelos: The Second Circle

Pandaemonium 2 from FFXIV

The Second Circle of Pandaemonium (P2) sees the Warrior of Light take on Hippokampus, a mythical creation that’s head and body are at odds. P2 made use of a neat arena design, forcing players to stand in certain areas to avoid the water and sluices below. As such players needed to fight against the boss in a smaller-than-normal region, providing a different sort of difficulty not encountered before.

Savage difficulty P2 continued this trend, having players slip and slide around the arena, crashing into one another to prevent death. Whilst all this was going on, others would be dropping AOEs. P2S was also the first time we saw a Limit Cut mechanic in Pandaemonium, in the form of Kampeos Harma.

Overall the Second Circle of Asphodelos was a creative fight that utilized its unique arena well, which made it stand out amongst the more vanilla fights in Pandaemonium.

6. Anabaseios: The Tenth Circle

Pandaemonium 10 from FFXIV

There’s nothing more fitting in Pandaemonium than fighting the literal Pandaeomium. P10 also made use of an interesting arena, forcing players to craft and cross bridges to avoid overlapping AOEs with each other. Failure to make said would result in players needing to walk across the poison on the floor, giving them a damage over time effect.

In Savage, this damage over time was guaranteed to kill you, meaning you were forced to build the bridges correctly. This meant performing one of the quirkiest tank buster towers the game has seen, launching your tanks onto the side platforms so that they could help build the bridge. Not only were you now dealing with rebuilding the arena, but you also needed to ensure you stacked or spread with your party correctly, after all the other mechanics were resolved.

On top of this, Harrowing Hells still remains one of the scariest healing and mitigation checks in the game, and can easily wipe you far along a pull. P10S clearly one of the hardest fights in Anabaseios, which resulted in P11S feeling like a letdown immediately after.

5. Asphodelos: The Fourth Circle (Phase 2)

P4SP2 from FFXIV

Despite a rather lackluster opening fight, phase two of the Fourth Circle brings an absolute banger to the table. Hesperos pulls away his cloak to transform the entire arena, bringing a new set of mechanics to test players with.

One of the main gimmicks of P4SP2 is that the boss will telegraph a mechanic using tethers and then ask the player to solve it when he casts. This tests players’ puzzle-solving skills and potential to understand and remember the telegraphs as they go down. It also had the benefit of looking absolutely terrifying when Hesperos was showing the telegraph.

The best part of The Fourth Circle is its structured nature. The fight takes you through different acts, with each one being a new mechanic. Because of this, each mechanic becomes memorable quickly, and there’s not a large amount of downtime between them.

This results in a fast-paced fight that continuously throws new mechanics at you, keeping you on your toes while not overstaying its welcome.

4. Abyssos: The Eighth Circle

P8 from FFXIV

Despite Abyssos having both the Sixth and Seventh Circle, it’s held up by the other two fights of the tier. Abyssos: The Eighth Circle sees players face Hephaistos, who wields fire and flames to scorch and sear his foes. Hephaistos also transforms throughout the fight, indicating what his next mechanic will be.

The Savage difficulty of P8 sees multiple mechanics being combined together, as well as some tough memory checks that caught out players when it first launched. P8S also has one of the most infamous memes when it comes to the mechanic of Snakes 1, which had immense amounts of trolling potential if you were greeding a GCD.

The timeline of P8S also changed depending on what form Hephaistos chose first, making the fight feel less static and forcing players to adapt to whichever one the boss picks.

3. Abyssos: The Fifth Circle

P5 from FFXIV

The Proto-Carbuncle (P5) stands as being one of the best fights of Pandaemonium. For the first fight of the tier, P5 introduced simple mechanics in the form of crystals. These would explode and echo throughout the room, reflecting on the walls the boss set up. The Proto-Carbuncle also featured one of the only normal bosses in Pandaemonium to have an intermission cutscene, where the boss breaks the cage and forms a new arena.

Savage P5 is pretty similar to the normal version but introduces soakable towers, AOE tank busters, and a couple of spread and stack mechanics. P5 also included the Devour mechanic, which required players to dodge the AOEs while moving around the room. This was by far one of the more original mechanics of the tier, far different than the typical Limit Cut.

Players also needed to keep track of the bosses’ Satiety, which served as a form of enrage if the bar hit 0. The party would need to feed the boss one of the slimes that spawned from the towers in order to avoid this enrage.

2. Anabaseios: The Twelfth Circle

P12 from FFXIV

The Twelfth Circle of Pandaemonium (P12) is easily one of the best fights of the raid. The uncorrupted form of Athena takes on the Warrior of Light with several chain mechanics. These chains would indicate an upcoming attack from where they finish, requiring players to solve them as the fight progressed.

In Savage, Athena would also include debuffs that dropped towers on players’ heads, light and dark laser beams, debuffs that would instantly kill you if you solved incorrectly, and a challenging, albeit janky Limit Cut. All of this was combined with even more difficult Superchain mechanics, which required partner stacks and spreads, all while maintaining good DPS to ensure you beat the enrage cast.

Superchain 2A still remains one of the hardest mechanics to solve, requiring you to read multiple telegraphs while soaking damage from the chain explosions, all while maintaining solid DPS.

The Twelfth Circle is also the only time we hear Athena the Tireless One, which is one of the best songs in all of Pandaemonium.

1. Abyssos: The Eighth Circle (Phase 2)

P8P2 from FFXIV

Abyssos The Eighth Circle Phase 2 was by far one of the best fights the game has ever seen. After taking down the first phase of Hephaistos, he transforms, mutating himself into a Resident-evil-like abomination, who is ready to put the Warrior of Light to the test.

Mechanically P8SP2 had some of the most enjoyable and unique mechanics a Savage fight has ever seen. High Concept was an amazing puzzle mechanic that involved players needing to combine together to create the right formula to input into the towers. This played in perfectly with Hephaistos idea of testing the party, practically making you his test dummy.

Each time a mechanic was repeated, they were always altered in a different way to challenge players once more. In High Concept 2 players needed to not only input the correct buffs into the towers, but at the same time, they needed to work together to craft the Phoenix buff. This would enable the party to revive after a soft enrage, granting them a damage buff and being the only way to complete the fight.

Damage, healing, and mitigation were all incredibly tight, which made P8SP2 incredibly demanding, fitting for a final fight of the tier. Despite the difficulty, the grind was made all the smoother by the absolute banger of White Stone Black.

Hephaistos also rewarded players with one of the coolest-looking mounts and weapons of the raid, truly claiming his spot as king of Pandaemonium.

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