|44||Coerthas Central Highlands||4 Players||90 Minutes|
In order to battle Garuda, reach level 44 and progress the main story missions to the quest "Lady of the Vortex."
Garuda is a two-phase fight that is heavily focused on positioning. The first thing you will notice when you enter the area are four rock pillars arranged in a square in the center of the room. These are vital to surviving some of Garuda's abilities, but also take damage on a hidden health bar if hit by any of her attacks or her minions. As these take damage, the pillars will get shorter. It is important to prevent this from happening as much as possible, as you will no longer be able to avoid being instantly killed. The specifics of keeping these alive will be covered in Garuda: Phase 1.
The ideal positioning for Garuda in phase one is where she is standing. The tank should face her away from the center of the room to avoid hitting the group with Downburst or Slipstream. It is important to be as close to the edge as possible, as Wicked Wheel will damage the stone pillars if she is too close to the middle. The casters should position themselves either to the right or left side of the room and spread out a bit. The pillars cause many line-of-sight issues, so it is important for everyone to be on the same side.
Shortly after Garuda is pulled, she will start casting Friction on a random player. This is the reason you need to spread out and do not want to stand in the middle. Friction will deal damage to the target and anyone nearby, including the stone pillars. While the ranged are dealing with Friction, the tank will need to dance around to avoid Slipstream. While it does not have a ground indicator, it is extremely important to dodge, as it deals heavy damage and stuns. Watch for her cast bar, and either run to her side or through her to avoid being hit. Finally, the damage from Wicked Wheel is unavoidable for the tank and melee dps. If a ranged is getting hit, they should back up a bit.
Around 75%, Garuda will suddenly vanish. You should immediately run behind one of the pillars. She will reappear exactly where she was being tanked and will cast Mistral Song. This will blast through the area, killing anyone not hidden out of line-of-sight behind a pillar. Once the ability goes off, the tank should run in quickly, while melee stay back for a minute. If you run in too fast, you may get hit with Downburst or Slipstream before she is re-positioned.
Right after Mistral Song, she will emote "Countless feathers rain from the sky" and spawn a large number of Razer Plumes directly on top of her. If you are quick, you can AoE them before they get away. Blizzard II (BLM), Tri-Disaster (SMN), and Holy (WHM) are extremely helpful here if you can time them with the spawns. These Razer Plumes will attempt to kill the stone pillars, so any that survived are top priority to exterminate.
At 50% health, Garuda will vanish again. This is exactly like before, except that she will appear on the opposite side of the room. Otherwise, handle this exactly like before. Soon after Mistral Song, she will vanish again, this time appearing in the middle of the area and once again emote "Countless feathers rain from the sky." Rather than in a pile, however, the Razer Plumes will spawn around the edges of the area and need to be single targeted down quickly. The tank should move Garuda back to an edge to avoid cleaving anyone while the adds are cleaned up.
After a bit more time passes, Garuda will vanish once again and reappear in the middle of the room. This time, she will begin to cast her signature ability, Aerial Blast, dealing high damage to the entire party. The amount of damage will depend on how many rocks you kept alive. To help relieve some of the damage, everyone should stack on top of the tank behind a rock to ensure the tank's limit break does not get line-of-sighted or out-ranged. The casting of this ability concludes Phase 1.
In phase 2, Garuda loses access to Aerial Blast, but gains access to Eye of the Storm and Mistral Shriek. Not only that, Mistral Song will also function a bit differently. Everyone but the tank should stack in the center of the room to get healed up and avoid Eye of the Storm, which will be cast quickly. This will create a swirling vortex around the middle of the room, greatly limited the battlefield. If you step into this wind, you will likely die. This ability will stay in effect for the rest of the fight.
The other new ability, Mistral Shriek, is similar to Mistral Song. Before using it, she will teleport to one side of the room. Rather than shooting a beam through the middle, however, she will deal a large amount of damage in a large circle around herself. Move as far away from her as possible to avoid this ability.
Finally, she will no longer teleport to the side of the room to use Mistral Song. Instead, she will appear in the center of the room and cast it in the direction she is facing. It is extremely important to move behind her when this happens, as it hits for upwards of 2500 damage.
Other than these abilities, she is exactly the same as in phase 1, with a lot less space. She should be tanked close to one edge, allowing the casters to stand near the opposite edge and still have room to avoid Wicked Wheel and still be spread out for Friction. The tank will still need to dodge Slipstream, which becomes a little difficult as there isn't much room to maneuver. Finally, around 25%, she will emote again, summoning Razer Plumes. While there are no pillars to defend, these will still deal random damage to party members and should be killed quickly.
Stay alert and you should have a kill.