I couldn't finish 'em. Looks like this's gonna get complicated.
I couldn't miss the chance to practice my drawing!
The Bowl of Embers is a Trial in Final Fantasy XIV, and the domain of Ifrit, Lord of the Inferno and Primal of the Amalj'aa. On Normal difficulty, it is the first Trial unlocked. Later, the Bowl of Embers is revisited in The Weapon's Refrain.
Owing to a betrayal, you have been captured by the Amalj'aa and taken to their stronghold of Zanr'ak, there to be given as an offering to the primal Ifrit. If you are to survive this fiery encounter with the Lord of the Inferno, you and your comrades must fight with no less than every onze of your strength. Should you fall, your souls shall burn for eternity...
While your victory over the Ultima Weapon has set off waves of celebration across the land, the jubilation is short-lived, for the beast tribes are seeking to summon their gods once more. Confirmation has arrived that the Amalj'aa have already succeeded in calling forth Ifrit, who is returned far mightier than his last incarnation owing to the vast amounts of crystals he has gorged upon. Prepare yourself for a scorching encounter.
Having partaken further of Ascian wisdom, the Amalj'aa have succeeded in summoning the mightiest incarnation of their god to date. Ifrit has returned amidst hellfire and brimstone, and the lizardmen bask in the heat of destruction as warriors of the Immortal Flames fall to the primal like slugs shriveling beneath the desert sun. Can a Warrior of Light prevail against such an irrepressible force?
The trial is one of only three four-man trials. It is balanced for players in the lower 20s, so Ifrit is significantly toned down compared to his incarnations in later trials, and isn't particularly difficult to defeat.
Initially he only uses Incinerate, an instant cone-shaped AoE, which necessitates pointing him away from the party, and Vulcan Burst, a weak point-blank AoE that pushes anyone it hits back, interrupting spell-casting. Starting at 80% HP, he will start casting Eruption at regular intervals, an AoE that will appear under a single party and detonate a few seconds later. Eruption can be either interrupted or dodged.
Once his health reaches 50%, he summons an Infernal Nail. The Nail, which has ~1750 HP, must be destroyed to survive Ifrit's next attack, Hellfire. Hellfire will deal upwards of 1000 damage if the Nail isn't destroyed in time, more than enough to wipe the party at this point in the game. If the Nail is destroyed, Hellfire will still be moderately powerful, but will be manageable.
After casting Hellfire, Ifrit will add Radiant Plume to his rotation. Radiant Plume is an AoE attack that will fill set patterns in the arena, alternating between a ring around the outside, and filling the center area not covered by the ring. He will use the different patterns in succession, necessitating some quick footwork from the party.
Hard mode plays out similarly to normal with a couple abilities added and some buffs to his original abilities. Ifrit will start with Incinerate, Vulcan Burst, and Eruption in his rotation, alongside a new ability called Crimson Cyclone. When he uses Cyclone, he leaps into the air and lands along the edge of the arena facing inwards, and after a few seconds will charge forward, damaging anyone in his path.
At 75% HP he will add Radiant Plume to his rotation, which for now follows the same pattern as in normal mode, and a new ability called Sear, a pulsing AoE that deals weak damage to anyone standing in melee range. Eruption will now cast three times in succession under the target, so players should be careful not to lead the Eruptions into their party members. His Crimson Cyclone will also summon a copy of himself for two charges. The left-most Ifrit will always charge first. In this phase he will use a set rotation of outer Plumes, inner Plumes, Eruption, and then Cyclone.
At 50% HP Ifrit will summon four Infernal Nails. All four need to be destroyed as not to get wiped by Hellfire. It is recommended to save the party's Limit Break until this phase, and to have a Black Mage or Summoner use their AoE Limit Break to quickly take down all the Nails. Even with the Nails destroyed, Hellfire will still do heavy damage, and healers will need to quickly get the party back in shape.
After Hellfire, Ifrit will add another copy to Crimson Cyclone for three charges. The left-most Ifrit will again charge first. He will add a new Radiant Plume pattern that will fill nearly the entire arena barring a small patch next to Ifrit, and as such the party must be ready to pile into that area. In this phase he will use a rotation of outer Plumes, inner Plumes, Eruption, zone-wide Plumes, and then Cyclone.
Extreme mode is a good deal more complicated than his previous incarnations, with nearly all of his abilities being buffed in some manner:
Incinerate will now apply a debuff called Suppuration to anyone it hits, ideally only the main tank. Suppuration lowers the victim's maximum HP for its duration and can stack. To prevent the stacks from getting too high, the main tank and off-tank should use Provoke to switch out with each other after 3 stacks.
Eruption can no longer be interrupted and will be cast in two patterns. First Ifrit will cast it on 3 DPS, and like in the Hard mode, it will cast thrice in succession. The entire DPS group should move as one so as to avoid the Eruptions. The other variety will be a single Eruption cast on the off-tank who should stand separately from the DPS, yet still close enough to swap with the main tank.
Searing Wind is a new ability Ifrit exclusively casts on the healers. It applies a debuff that causes the healer to periodically explode, dealing massive damage to allies (but not the healer) and knocking them back. Ifrit will only cast this on one healer at a time, and will alternate between healers when the debuff runs out. As such, the healers need to perform their own swap, with the affected healer standing off to the side to avoid hitting the party.
Ifrit uses Hellfire at three points, at 75%, 50%, and 15% HP, with the Infernal Nails becoming increasingly difficult to destroy. When destroyed, the Nails will explode in an Infernal Surge, dealing arena-wide damage and applying a short debuff that increases damage taken. They can no longer be AoE'd down like in the Hard mode, as the subsequent explosions would wipe the party, and must be taken down at a controlled pace. He will summon 4 Nails on the first Hellfire, 8 on the second, and 13 on the third. The third group features a larger, tougher Nail in the center of the room, for which a melee Limit Break should be saved. The party also needs to beware the healer with Searing Wind while taking down the Nails, and start with the Nail furthest away. Typically the Wind will be swapped midway through, and the newly affected healer can run to an area where the Nails have already been destroyed.
After each Hellfire, Ifrit will cast a Radiant Plume over nearly the entire arena, with smalls safe points that move slightly with each successive Hellfire. The first safe spots will appear at the 1 o'clock and 7 o'clock points on the arena. Ifrit should be tanked near the 1 o'clock position, and the party ready to stack up in that area after Hellfire, with the exception of the healer with Searing Wind, who should move to the 7 o'clock. After each Hellfire, the safe spots will move an hour clockwise.
After each Radiant Plume, Ifrit will use Crimson Cyclone that now creates four copies, and the area of effect of each charge is considerably wider, making the ability more difficult to dodge. As in Hard mode, the left-most Ifrit will always charge first.
The last ability to watch out for is Infernal Fetters, which Ifrit starts using during the second Hellfire. Fetters targets two players, a DPS and the off-tank, and applies a debuff to them that deals damage over time, increases damage taken, and decreases damage, with the effect becoming stronger the further apart they are. As the off-tank needs to be ready to swap with the main tank at all times, the affected DPS should move near the off-tank for the duration of the debuff.