Calphayus is the third encounter in Dread Palace and a second puzzle boss of sorts. The encounter test the team's ability to coordinate communicate and perform multiple mechanics in concert. This boss fight is one that is made tremendously easier by a class composition catering to mechanics, but does require players to perform well at that class's role as dps, heal or tank. The fight is in many ways virtually identical to its hard mode variant, with the final phase being the one most radically changed and requiring quite a bit of coordination and thus practice. With the nature of the puzzle element of this fight, there will be many ways to go about solving the challenges presented. Below, I outline my strategy. Variations may be needed with different compositions.
Our team bases its direction orientation for this fight using the doorway we walk through at the front of the room. We reference Left and right based off of standing at the front of the room looking toward the center throne.
There are many references to locations of objects around the map that will look very similar and will need to be communicated based on its location.
FR = Front Right | FL = Front Left | BL = Back Left | BR = Back Right
Your team may choose a difference system for nomenclature to coordinate efforts, but this will be my point of references for this guide and the system I see used most commonly with the greatest results in preventing confusion.
Recommended Group Composition
For this encounter, the operations team is going to be broken down into individual fire teams of players as we handle Mechanics as the fight progresses. I will highlight the overall split we use and build on the separation of roles through each phase of the encounter.
What we bring:
2 Tanks - I recommend using at least one Vanguard with the Friendly Pull w/Grapple Utility. (We use 2 Vanguard Tanks as a preference for this fight).
4 DPS - We use: 1 Sentinel (Watchman) | 1 Scoundrel (Ruffian) | We prefer 2 strong burst specs to fill out the final two spots, but any DPS with good output fills the roster out perfectly.
2 Heals - Roles are flexible, we use a sage / Commando
Phase 1 - Pull and Burn
We begin this engagement in the exact same manner as we do in Hard Mode. To recap with our strategy, we stand on the "root" at the front entrance to the room. Our tank taunts the boss and scoots back, placing their back against the wall. The entire Ops team stack in right behind Calphy and begins to burn the boss. One player MUST stand out. We have a healer do this. The healer stands on one of the front fountains to bait out the BIG red circle that will come out almost immediately after the boss is pulled.
BIG RED CIRCLE - Must be baited away from the group by one player. In NiM mode, the effects of this circle's root will keep players from being able to move to the portals when they become active. If the bait player does not move away quickly enough, or the group does not stack it and the circle ends up on the raid team, it will result in a wipe.
Inevitability - Same Tank Mechanic as in Hard Mode. When Calphy channels it and hits the active tank, the Tanks must swap, or the active tank will die from the applied debuff. The Tank receiving the Debuff needs to take extra caution when stacking back into the group behind Calphy. They should make certain they do not get cleaved, or it will kill them instantly. The same goes for the team stacked behind Calphy, if they inadvertently get clipped by this channel and get hit again, they too will die.
Phase Transition - Sub 80%
Shortly after the boss hits 80%, he will jump back to his starting location at the throne and begin to channel. This is the exact same mechanic as in Story and Hard Mode, however, now we only have 5 seconds to get to our portals, or we are left behind and die. We use Transcendence from our sentinel here to help with movement here. The team should be watching and be ready to run as soon as he jumps away.
Here is our preferred fire team Split for the Portals in NiM Mode
Blue Portal (LEFT) - 1 Tank | Watchman | Healer (3 Players)
Orange Portal (RIGHT) - 1 Tank | Rest of DPS | Healer (5 Players)
Phase 2 - Blue Portal PoV
As the Blue Team teleports into their room, Calphy will be waiting in front of the throne. He should be picked up by the tank and DPS'd.
Shortly after we pick up Calphy the Seed will spawn at one of the four random locations shown above.
Calphy should be taken to this location and tanked with the adds. We have 2 main priorities here:
1) Calphy must be pushed to 20% and shield so that we can plant the seed to end the phase.
2) The seed must survive.
We focus Calphy and cleave to the adds. Time taken to clear this fight has no consequence on the fight's enrage timer. The Tank can Guard the Seed, and the healer should be focusing heals on it to keep it alive. Many groups prefer Slam Spamming Guardians for this role, we prefer the Watchman. Both seem to work well, but the Watchman seems to do better at getting Calphy burned down faster, which is our goal. Having adds up at the end has no consequences on the fight.
Example of moving to the seed and attacking the boss.
Phase 2 - Orange Portal PoV
The Orange team has the real DPS check and is why we send 3 DPS to that side. It can certainly be done with 2 DPS, but from my experience, 3 is what is needed.
Orange team is responsible for 2 things:
1) Calling out to the blue team where to plant the seed. The plant area will be glowing. In the above example, the orange team would call out "Back Right" for seed planting. Blue team should confirm as planting incorrectly will wipe the team. (Recommend Blue team reverifying this intel as they push Calphy to shielded)
2) Killing the Despoiler before it nukes you with mass affliction (uncleansable).
In NiM, the add is SUPER dangerous. If it is allowed to finish its channel, it will most likely wipe the group. It has been my experience that the DoT will overwhelm the healer and kill party members. When it spawns, the entire fire team focuses it down quickly (tank and healer as well). [Note that 2 of these spawn in 16 NiM Mode, we use a 4 Blue | 6 Orange split and coordinate killing of them 1 at a time].
That is it for orange team. Multiple of these Despoiler adds will spawn, so be ready and call attention to them when they come in.
Phase 2 ends when the Seed is planted successfully. We Reset to Phase 3 and repeat the exact same procedure presented in phase 1. This time the boss is burned to sub 50%. The same as Hard Mode
When the portals come back up, the teams MUST swap sides, Those that went to blue first will now go to Orange and Vice Versa.
Phase 4 will feel very similar to hard mode (as has the whole fight so far) with one added mechanic. An orb of death enters the field for the orange team. Do not try to kill it, it will deactivate when the blue team destroys the correct crystal. It will also spawn purple circles, these are very easily avoided.
Phase 4 - Orange Team
Once Caphy is pushed to 80% by the Orange team, he will jump and smash a crystal. We try to give Blue team time to DPS the Crystals to lower their HP, making it easier to pass the DPS check when the orb appears. Again, there is no enrage here, so take your time and wait for the call. We have the crystal's low enough by the time we DPS the boss to 80% after many reps on the fight and do not need to hold up now. You may want to initially give your team time to get good at it, then push for speed (for future timer runs).
Phase 4 - Blue Team
Blue team should start smashing crystals as soon as they get them in the room, taking care not to destroy any of them (potentially botching the run).
Orange Team can call out the leaps in advance. The boss smashes a crystal at 80%, 50% and 25% of its HP (on the Orange side). Double check all calls made and be sure as a DPS you are hitting the correct Crystal.
Calling Crystals to be smashed
We use an analogue clock system to call crystals as well as the above Front Back Left Right References for which Crystal Needs to Die. We always treat 12'o'clock as the back of the room.
In the Example here, the call from Orange team is:
Front Right 11'o'clock
Phase 4 ends when the final crystal is destroyed. There seems to be about a 12-15" delay before zoning back to the main room. We repeat phase 1 in phase 5, this time the boss is burned to sub 25% (We usually see it around 17%). The same as Hard Mode.
Here is where thing start to become different from Hard Mode.
Phase 6 - The Great Holocron Caper!
Ok, here we go, this is the only phase where it is a race against time. Take too long and Calphy will eat a mushroom and become super Calphy and wipe the group. There are about 50 ways to mess this part up, so timing, coordination and communication are essential here.
Here is the comp we found to get us the most consistent clears of this fight:
Blue Portal (The Holocron Collector and their pull Team)
-Vanguard Tank w/ Friendly Pull
-Sage Healer - (Rescue)
-The other 2 DPS
We have our Watchman Pick up the Holocron first, it is in the back of the room. As soon as it is collected, Our Vanguard Tank Pulls them back to the Throne/Center of the Room. As they come into range, our sage healer immediately pulls them to the entrance. Your biggest challenge here is finding the exact correct spots to stand to pull off this "pull maneuver". There is an add that spawns behind the floor. It begins a channel on the player with the holocron. If the add succeeds in getting the channel off, it will ROOT the player holding the holocron. The only way to break the root is to kill the add. We bring an extra DPS in to help with this "just in case" but we found that if the Holocron runner gets rooted, we run out of time and wipe 10/10 times. As soon as the Watchman lands from the second pull, they use transcendence and the entire team exits the room as quickly as possible and makes a b-line for the orange portal.
Plant the Holocron
The timing here needs to be perfect. As the Holocron runner returns to the "present" they will head to one of the two altars to the flanks of the throne room (yellow). We use the one of the LEFT first. They will get close and call for the "Mini Nefra" to be killed. While your "Yoink!" team was doing their good work, 2 DPS should have remained behind and gotten the Mini Nefra Low. It has around a million HP and will burn fast. Once defeated, you have only a few seconds before another one spawns. The Mini Nefra Blocks usage of the Alters beside the throne. Kill it too early and another will spawn and prevent the Holocron runner from planting (wiping the group).
Our Holocrons runners report their every move to the team. It is a coordination check with 3+ moving parts that are happening right here. They keep us updated step by step "exiting the room", moving toward the altar, ready to plant (tank in the future maneuvers the boss). The tank on Calphy calls ready, the nefra dies, the holocron is planted, all as the entire team is running like mad to the orange portal to burn the boss. Let's bullet point that:
Tank and Heals Enter the Orange Portal and stare at the boss (DO NOT ENGAGE).
Pull team sets up for their run and proceeds to collect the first holocron and extract successfully
The 2 dps left in the present are burning the Nefra Down to low and being very careful not to kill it.
The first holocron runner reports to the raid that they have exited the past with the holocron and are proceeding to the altar.
The tank in the future (Orange Portal moves to engage Calphy)
The Holocron runner approaches the first altar and calls for the nefra to die
The Tank in the future reports they are in position
The Holocron runner clicks on the altar, everyone should be running into the Orange portal at this point to burn the boss
We engage the now downed boss, burn raid buffs and DPS like mad. There is a buff to watch on his bar, as this is getting ready to expire, start a count-down to the reset.
Calphy will get back up, the team should be on their way back out to reset for a second run, mostly the same as before.
The tank and healer in the future stay alive. I prefer to be on a Vanguard Tank and pop my hold the line and run like crazy, then park Calphy on the second drop location and cycle cool downs and survive until the team returns.
Take 2! Our team has run back into retrieve the second holocron. This time we send in our scoundrel to pick it up. Our tank and healer move back into their positions. The tank pulls the scoundrel as soon as they have the holocron. The sage pull has a bit of a longer cool down and is usually not back up for this maneuver. To this end, we have the scoundrel trick move to the healer. The sentinel once again provides the team transcendence, and they run out back to the present.