Home Final Fantasy XIV Dungeons FFXIV Variant and Criterion Dungeons Guide

New content was added in patch 6.25 called Sil’dihn Subterrane. It comes in two difficulty modes Variant and Criterion providing content for both players who seek casual story-driven content and seasoned veterans looking for a challenge. Let’s learn all you need to know about these modes in our FFXIV Variant and Criterion Dungeons Guide.

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FFXIV Variant and Criterion Dungeons Guide 5.0

Variant Dungeons Overview

In this first Variant Dungeon, players will follow several story threads as they explore various routes in the underground waterways of Sil’dih with a certain someone.

Players may enter alone, or in a party of up to four, with difficulty scaling according to party size.

Where to unlock Variant Dungeon and what requirements?

All you need to know is just list below:

  • Level Requirement: Disciple of War or Magic level 90;
  • Location: Old Sharlayan (X:12.0 Y:13.3);
  • NPC: Shallow Moor;
  • Quest: A Key to the Past;
  • Quest Requirements: players must first complete the main scenario quest “Endwalker,” and have also spoken with the NPC Osmon in Old Sharlayan (X:11.9 Y:13.3).

Additionally, you must have an item level of 575 or above to get access to this dungeon. You will be synced to 635 ilvl in case you have an ilvl higher than 635.

To register for a Variant dungeon you need to open Duty – V&C Dungeon Finder. Here you can join it solo or with a fixed party up to a max of 4 players of any composition. For this, you need to select Register for Duty.

FFXIV Variant and Criterion Dungeons Guide

If you want to join with random people you need to make certain the box “Enable party matching” is unchecked and then select “Register for Duty”.

You can change your job in this dungeon but only before you choose one of the three paths.

About Variant Dungeon

Before the start of the battle, you are given a choice of three doors. To open the path you need to stand in a circle in front of it.

FFXIV Variant and Criterion Dungeons Guide

There will be multiple different paths that you can explore. Each path will unlock additional story pages for the story journal. This dungeon is scaled in difficulty so if you queue solo you will have it scaled down. In order to obtain the achievement you need to add all 12 paths to your journal. Besides that, there are many different little things that do not affect the final plot conclusion. For example, if you use the lever to lower the dirt in front of the first boss in the left branch, then the boss will change some of his mechanics. Or you can unlock a secret boss by your actions. You need to be careful to find all the endings. It’s really exciting. A case is worthy of a real detective.

Variant Dungeon Rewards

For completing all the 12 notes of the story journal you will get the Silkie mount. After every boss, there will be a chest that drops guaranteed Sil’dihn Potsherd and with a lower chance of Gold Saucer cards or a fashion accessory umbrella item. The NPC Trisassant in Old Sharlayan (X 12.0; Y 13.3) can trade your potsherds for a glamour set and emotes. To get all the rewards you will have to clear this dungeon multiple times.

Variant Dungeon Tactics for All 12 Paths

The paths will be described depending on which of the main three doors you went into.

Left Door

Note №1After killing the 1st boss there will be a room with a lot of green and yellow sacks in it. You need to pick the correct ones. Take the green one in the northeast corner on top of the stones and the yellow one in the southeast corner on a very small hillock. Put both sacks on the pedestals, no matter what order. A teleport will open after that. There will be a pack of mobs, after you defeat them then you need to open a door to the west behind the rubble. Important note: do not walk with Nanamo to the exit before you open that secret door.
Note №2You need to do all the steps in the exact same way as in the previous case but don’t open a secret door.
Note №3Put the wrong sacks on pedestals, so you will not get a portal. After opening the door and killing mobs, you need to stand on all 5 puddles with dandelions.
Note №4Do the same as in note 3 but don’t stand in puddles with dandelions.

Middle Door

Note №8After you enter the room with stone tablets on pedestals you can see The Scales of Judgment where you can put tablets by choosing answers on the Left and Right Pan. For this path, you need to pick the wrong answers. So use any combination of answers that is not Helmet + Fruit into the Scales or nothing and just click on The Scales of Judgment. Before the final Boss, you will see Conspicuous Levers. Choose the right one.
Note №9Same as the previous one but you need to pick up “the left one” at the Conspicuous Levers.
Note №10Now you want to put the correct answers for The Scales of Judgment. So put “The Helm” on the left scale and “The Fruit” on the right portal will be activated. You will be transported to a room with two statues. After killing the mobs you need to interact with the left one – the Statue of Nald.
Note №11Do all the stuff the same way as in note number 10, but at the end select the right statue – the Statue of Thal.

Right Door

Note №5After killing the 1st boss there will be a room with a chest and winches. Activate Rusty Winch and choose “the left lift”. After that soon you will see a door where you can interact again. Here you need to choose “The blessed spark”.
Note №6Exactly the same as in the previous one but at the door, you need to choose the answer “The sacred fire”.
Note №7Now you are in the room with Rusty Winch. You want to choose “The right lift”. At the end of the path, you will see a room with 5 dragons which will be of different sizes. All dragons must be killed in a certain order. From the biggest to the smallest one (Drakefather -> Drakemother -> Drakebrother -> Drakesister -> Drakeling). Do not AoE there. Just kill them one by one. In the next room kill mobs and you will see Myrrh Incense Burner. You need to interact with it. After this, you can go into the last room, activate the sarcophagus, and kill the last boss.
Note №12Do all the same stuff exactly as in the previous note, but do not activate the sarcophagus. Stand in front of it and use 4 emotions in the right order. The order will be: /bow – /respect – /vpose -> /kneel. There will be a secret boss.

Variant Actions

You also can set 2 additional actions which you can pick at V&C Dungeon Finder.

FFXIV Variant and Criterion Dungeons Guide

Some actions are locked depending on your current job, try to figure out what is the best for you and what you can pick up. For example, Variant Rampart will not work for any tank.

Criterion Dungeon Overview

For people interested in the challenge and increased difficulty, it will be interesting to read about the Criterion dungeons. There you will encounter the same bosses as in the Variant dungeons but with additional challenging mechanics.

Where to unlock Criterion Dungeon and what requirements?

All you need to do:

  • Level Requirement: Disciple of War or Magic level 90;
  • Location: Old Sharlayan (X:11.9 Y:13.3);
  • NPC: Osmon;
  • Quest Requirement: Players must first complete the quest A Key to the Past.

Also, you must have an item level 610 or above to join this dungeon. It will sync you to 635 ilvl in case you have an ilvl higher than 635.

About Criterion Dungeon dungeon

Formally there are two difficulties hereNormal mode and Savage.

In terms of complexity, this dungeon in a Normal mode is actually between lvl 90 Extremes and Savages. Even ordinary trash packs can kill you, so most of the mobs there need to be pulled one by one. The peculiarity of this mode is that no one job can use resurrection skills. But each player has a duty action that allows you to resurrect one single time. In the Savage mode, you don’t have any raises at all. And you don’t have any checkpoints there too. If in Savage you wipe at any point you will start again from the beginning. While in Normal mode you can start after the last killed boss or trash pack.

Criterion Dungeon Rewards

After defeating the last boss you will get 4 coins as a drop from the chest, there is also a low chance for a mount to drop. Don’t worry, you can exchange 100 coins for a mount at the same NPC in Old Sharlayan, there are also an orchestrion roll and a Framer’s Kit for your portrait available for exchange there. Completing the Savage version will give Sil’dihn Manuscripts as rewards, you can exchange them for a unique earring and a housing banner. You will also get achievements for completing the Savage version.

Criterion Dungeon Tactics

Below you can find the quick tactics which help you complete this challenge.

1st Boss Silkie Tactic

FFXIV Variant and Criterion Dungeons Guide

  • 3 elemental puffs that will end up exploding: wind will do a donut AoE with a safe spot under it, ice will execute a cross AoE with a safe spot in the intercardinal, and thunder will do intercardinal cleaves with a safe spot in cardinals;
  • When Squeaky Clean will fall it will do two cones in front and one cleave for the whole side. You must stand on the side where Silkie falls first;
  • Slippery Soap is a stack, but be careful if Silkie has an ice element you need to move to avoid getting frozen from it. Also, remember to stack all in front of the person with the stack. Besides you need to choose which one of the puffs you need to transform elemental with the stack to have only one safe spot after;
  • Carpet Beater is a tank buster which you will see a few times in this fight. The second time, the tank needs to position itself in the right place because after that one buster there will be a stack and you need to transform into an ice elemental with it, 6 puff on the ground;
  • Total Wash is a big raid-wide with a 12 seconds bleed but if your group mitigates and shields it very well, then no one will take damage from it and there will be no bleed debuff applied.

2nd Boss

FFXIV Variant and Criterion Dungeons Guide

  • Flash of Steel is a big raid-wide, you need to be with full HP or with the shield before;
  • Two times in this fight the boss will spawn 2 clones which will cleave from a certain point. This point depends on their charge. You need to cross after the first cleaves. After that, it will be repeated on the opposite side;
  • At all line stacks, the person with the stack marker needs to be behind all and the tank has to stand in front, to take the first hit;
  • There also will be mechanics with three debuffs, one of them will be spread, one share, and one multiple AoEs drops. All players will have spread debuffs. So it can be spread first and stacked second or vice versa depending on the timer of the debuff. At the same time, there will be 3 rings around the boss. And he will charge them. Depending on these charges players might be out for one, two, or three rings. After the inside of the ring is exploded you need to go in immediately. Also, the person with AoEs to drop should be away from the group;
  • On the Hateful Visage mechanic, players need to dodge lasers and elemental orbs on the ground. At the end of this mechanic, there will be AoEs around each player so it will be better to spread one player on each quadrant. This mechanic will repeat all debuffs to everyone. It will be a combination of fire and ice elements. You need to find the quadrant and position yourself to get two hits from the opposite elements. For example, you will have fire and ice debuffs, so you need to stand at the intersection where the fire and ice orbs will strike.  

Note: in the game description the debuff is wrong. Actually, the debuff yellow for example says that you need to take the yellow laser while you have to take the opposite.

3d Boss

FFXIV Variant and Criterion Dungeons Guide

  • On the Infern Brand mechanic, there will be 4 rotating portals with fire. In total, this mechanic has 4 patterns with mirror versions. Put tank and range DPS at North and healer with a melee at South. Try to figure out where the safe spot is. Little suggests, if the horizontal fire will teleport outside, the couple will stay inside, and vice versa if the horizontal fire goes outside then the safe spot is in the corner. While the vertical fire is easier, if the fire point is on the left, just go to the opposite side (considering the safe spot or the horizontal fire of course). Fire explosions will have a big AoE so be careful. At the same time, the boss will jump two times on two random players and give them a magic vulnerability debuff and you can’t be close to each other or you will get knockbacks.  On Blessed Beacon boss will hit with line AoE each of the two players with debuff. To avoid death, players with debuffs need to stand behind players without them;
  • Cryptic Flames gives you a debuff from 1 to 4. The 8 strings will stretch across the entire arena (4 red and 4 blue). The strings will also have numbers from 1 to 4 on them. You should only tear the strings of your number. Otherwise, you will explode. The order of which color of strings to start with depends on the fire doors that appear and will release linear AoE through the entire arena, leaving only one safe zone;
  • The next big mechanic will be with multiple teleports again. There are a few ways to do it but the easiest one is “JP braindead start”. You just need to follow a few rules:
  1. If you have a blue portal go to South. If you have an Orange portal go to North
  2. Figure out where you will be rotated inside or outside. If you will rotate inside you need to stand in, if outside go out.
  3. Find teleport on the ground which will rotate inside. And in the case where you are standing out on that teleport, in the case where you are standing on the final place of this teleport.
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FFXIV Variant and Criterion Dungeons Guide 5.0

We hope our guide will help you to complete The Sil’dihn Subterrane dungeons and get the most out of it. Don’t forget to rate our article and check our FFXIV offers in case you want to have a boost for any part of this content.

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