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Abyssos: The Seventh Circle is the Best Way To Get Back Into FFXIV

Kate Sánchez Posted:
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Final Fantasy XIV is one of the easiest MMOs to take a break from. With a mentor system and a novice network that incentivized helping new and returning players, the community makes it easy to step away for a year and come back. The only issue, though, is remembering mechanics. Whether you’re playing a support class like a Tank (hello, fellow Paladins) or you’re a DPS, it can be challenging to remember AoE spreads, collapsing platforms, and meteors. 

Surprisingly, it’s not a Stormblood or Heavensword early-game raid I recommend, but a 90-level Endwalker one: Abyssos: The Seventh Circle. Running that one raid until the mechanics stuck like they did before I took my break was the easiest way to jump back in and ultimately do so with some pretty low stakes. 

While this is probably good advice for every job, the fact that I’m a Paladin main means that learning mechanics needs to be done faster to start tackling Final Fantasy XIV’s endgame content necessary for gearing up for the new Dawntrail expansion. While most duties give tanks the option of being the main tank or off-tank, both roles in a party require you to ultimately stay alive and understand how you impact the arena outside of just where you run with your tankbuster. 

Lower duties like running daily leveling dungeons or even trying some earlier content in the form of Trials or Raids didn’t represent the balance of ease and difficulty that I needed. While the lower-level content eases the pressure of my job, it doesn’t prepare you to clear the Abyssos circles you need to do to up your gear score. On top of that, if you jump directly into something long like Thaleia, you may not be the only tank, but you do have to navigate new mechanic combinations and larger arenas that can be hard to track when you’re just learning—not to mention the high risk that comes with a not knowing your role in the party.

Abyssos: The Seventh Circle

Seventh Circle, on the other hand, offers reduced risks for Tanks and a mixture of standard mechanics that layer on top of each other to keep you moving in the arena and looking for pattern recognition.

When it comes to finding the perfect returning player duty to run, there are a few things you should think about. A smaller stage often lowers the stakes for classes like Tanks. Introduced in 6.2, Seventh Circle’s boss, Boughs of Attis, sits on one side of the circular arena. This positioning means that the stakes are low, and as a tank, you can’t do the dreaded “spin the boss” and kill the party moment when you’re still getting back into the swing of things. 

Next to the boss’s positioning and a hitbox that takes up two-thirds of the platform, the real element that helps lower the stakes is that there isn’t much in the way of a raid-ending mechanic. With only one near-party ending mechanic in the shape of four meteors, they’re easy enough to spot and react to. If each meteor has a player (tank or otherwise), the damage dealt by this Burst effect is negligible.  

Abyssos: The Seventh Circle

Pretty standard across Duties, meteors usually come with the threat of a wipe, and in this case, the damage increases for every circle left empty. At the same time, when they’re the only true mechanic threat, it ultimately relieves the pressure on Returning Adventurers.  

That being said, Seventh Circle isn’t entirely hazard-free, which makes it the perfect Raid to run to get back in the swing of things. Hemitheos's Aero IV delivers a powerful knockback that will push players out of the arena, which when paired with an everchanging arena shape with the boss’s Immortal's Obol, makes situational awareness key. That said, the small arena size makes it easy to see everything and react with your party. 

But those elements are the only true perils in Seventh Circle. While the boss drops massive AoEs that range from taking up two-thirds of the arena or moving across the area, making it harder to avoid, following your party is a tried and true tradition. That said, the telegraphs for the AoE attacks have a shallow learning curve, and with five (six if you count the platform cutting Immortal's Obol) variations, you are set up for success as you move on to other content. Whether it’s the pink arrow over your head for an AoE you need to run away from your party with (Hemitheos's Holy) or AoEs that force you to think about moving to the inside of the platform or the outside. 

Abyssos: The Seventh Circle

When you couple the AoE attacks with a constricted stage, that’s when it all gets interesting. When the boss uses Forbidden Fruit, it summons untargetable adds to the arena. Birds deal damage across the bridges that connect the circular platforms that form after the arena is condensed. The other variation is dogs which means you need to get on the bridge. This forces you to not just pay attention to the arena and your place in it but also pushes you to keep moving. 

Ultimately, with all of us rushing back to Final Fantasy XIV to prepare for Dawntrail, every job and every player will have their own way of getting back into the swing of things. For me, though, it’s Abyssos: The Seventh Circle all the way. 

Kate Sánchez is the Founder and Editor-in-Chief of But Why Tho? A Geek Community. Read more of her work here.


Kate Sánchez

Kate Sánchez is the Founder and Editor-in-Chief of But Why Tho? A Geek Community. There, she coordinates film, television, anime, and manga coverage. Kate is also a freelance journalist writing features on video games, anime, and film. Her focus as a critic is championing animation and international films and television series for inclusion in awards cycles.