Surviving the Stone Vigil
A [Video Enhanced] Dungeon Guide for the level 41 Story Dungeon
In the northern reaches of the Coerthas Central Highlands lies the Stone Vigil. Once a fortress of the Ishgardian families in Coerthas, the Vigil is now completely overrun with dragons. You must bypass or defeat all the drakes to gain access to your prize.
Stone Vigil is a level 41 dungeon, which syncs to level 43. It is a 4-person, light party, dungeon which requires completion of the “In Pursuit of the Past” quest to unlock. Stone Vigil is a fairly challenging dungeon, containing many fights with multiple hard hitting monsters, patrolling creatures immune to sleep, and several surprise fights. Additionally, the boss mechanics in this dungeon feature a number of movement mechanics.
The Stone Vigil is the first dungeon you encounter that drops Allagan Tomestones. These tomestones are a form of currency used to acquire early endgame gear. You accumulate 20 philosopher quality stones per run of the Vigil and you have a maximum 300 stones per week you can accumulate.
Encounters in the Stone Vigil
Stone Vigil features some of the hardest trash fights to date in FFXIV:ARR dungeons. Many of these fights feature three or more hard hitting monsters. There are also a number of wandering creatures immune to sleep. Finally, there are several surprises along the way. These will tax lower geared tanks and healers quite a bit. It is recommended that you make sure your gear is up to date for this dungeon. Additionally, regular use of Sleep is very helpful on your first runs of the zone.
Dragon Aevis are frequently, though not always, patrol monster in this dungeon. These are fairly hard hitting dragons and feature both cone and point blank area of effect (pbaoe) attacks. These creatures appear to be immune to sleep, neither our BLM nor WHM could successfully land a sleep on them. The Aevis often patrol in pairs and they can have a fairly wide route. It is best to pull these back and clear them out before advancing into a larger encounter. When an Aevis is part of a pack, it often needs to be the priority kill simply because of its Sleep immunity.
Suprise, Dragon! In the earlier parts of the dungeon you will be harassed by a flying dragon. This is not a combat encounter, but it does inflict damage and can disrupt poorly positioned fights. The surprise dragon will drop in around hallways with holes in the roofs, get used to looking up. If you find a surprise dragon it is best to position fights either before or after the trap. When triggered, the dragon shows up, breathes fire and then leaves. It takes a bit of time for him to return, so you can have a runner go through and trigger the trap and then have the rest of the party follow him or her through.
Suprise, Ice Shards! In the latter third of the dungeon you find a number of ice elemental surprises. These appear in hallways with ice formations and unprepared parties will often find themselves fighting the ice elementals and a patrolling Aevis at the same time (fun, fun, fun). These inflict a lot of damage and its advisable to use Sleep to cut down on the incoming damage during these fights.
Chudo-Yudo [Video Enhanced]
The first boss fight in Stone Vigil is a movement intensive fight. In general, this fight features mechanics one might expect from a dragon. You will encounter cone and area of effect damage attacks to avoid. In particular, the Lion’s Breath leaves a nasty Fire damage over time (DOT) on its target and must be cleansed. However, Chudo-Yudo’s two largest attacks are far more important.
The primary avoidance mechanic for Chudo-Yudo is Swinge, which happens after his charge. Periodically during the fight, Chudo-Yudo will turn-tail and run to the far side of the battle arena. Once he reaches his objective he will turn and unleash an arena wide attack that will kill most players. The only safe spot is directly behind Chudo-Yudo. Because of this, it is imperative that players follow the dragon the moment he begins his run. Ranged attackers should use sprint to make sure they complete the trip in time. The dragons charges happen far enough apart to ensure that sprint is available, use it!
Swinge, is also repeated periodically outside of the charge attack. Chudo-Yudo will unleash a devastating zone wide attack. This attack can not be interrupted, you need to get behind it to avoid it. These secondary swinges do not appear to be as powerful as his post-charge Swinge. Tanks should try to use damage mitigating abilities during or after this maneuver to give the healer a bit more time to top off the team.
Koshchei [Video Enhanced]
This is the second, named dragon you find in the Stone Vigil. Koshchei’s fight is notable for the smallness of the battle arena and for the three canons at the back of the arena. As typical with dragons, Koshchei uses a breath (cone) attack and ground targeted area of effect attacks. There are, though, two major mechanics in this fight.
Cannons come into play throughout this fight. A large, flying dragon will periodically appear in the air off in the distance. The dragon will always be aligned to one of the three canons. A member of the party must interact with that canon and fire it at the flying dragon. If not, the flying dragon will assist Koshchei and things will go very badly for the team.
Whirlwinds begin to take up the map during latter stages of this fight. Koschei leaves a whirlwind on the ground, typically near the ranged members of the party. Stepping in, or near, this whirlwind causes persistent damage and should be avoided. This becomes a bit tricky in late stages of the fight as a whirlwind can easily obstruct a cannon needed to hit the flying dragon.
Our tactic for this fight is to have the tank fight Koschei in the middle of the arena facing away from the cannon. The remainder of the party fights behind Koschei in the vicinity of the cannon. Designate a single DPS to have cannon duty, ideally a ranged damage dealer like an Archer. Counter the flying dragon each time he is up and try to avoid the whirlwinds and this fight will soon end in your favor!
Isgebind [Video Enhanced]
The final boss of Stone Vigil is a significant beast of a fight. Isgebind is an ice dragon and many of his effects do damage and snare the party. Staying on top of cleanse abilities and reacting quickly (and smartly) with movement is the key to winning this fight. Isgebind uses the typical dragon area of effect abilities you are used to at this point. His area of effect attacks also leave a persistent ice field that snares party members. More importantly, though, he also has several phase-specific abilities that can be overwhelming.
Early airborne stages. During the earlier half of the fight, Isgebind will periodically go airborne. When he does, he will coat half the battle arena in ice. This manifests as a white “splat” effect covering half of the room (along either the horizontal or vertical axis). Be ready to move to the safe side of the room to avoid this effect.
Isgebind’s Landing. After an airborne phase, Isgebind comes in and lands on the tank (or most likely whomever was in enmity at the point of airborne). This is not focused on where he started, it’s focused on where his target is at the beginning of his landing. It may be avoidable, but it is more important for the softer characters to stay away from the tank at this point.
Later airborne stages. This is the really tricky part of the fight. In the latter half of the fight, Isgebind goes airborne and begins carpet bombing the battle arena. This plays out as a series of circle attacks centered around party members. When these go off, they deal high damage and snare anyone in their effects. Isgebind does this several times before landing. To counter it, you must avoid effects and move yourself in such a way that you always have a safe escape route for his next round of ice circles. Party members too close to each other can easily trap each other in this phase. It is advisable to try to separate and pay attention to your escape routes on each movement.
The accompanying video is from a 10-Sep run through of Stone Vigil. This was not our first attempt. We were, however, a bit sloppy near the end. You can see all the stages of this fight and get a feel for the mechanics.