Final Fantasy XI
Giddeus BCNM40 Battle Guide
c. 2004 Tristan Baletori
ver. 1.00

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Part One: The Basics
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BCNM40 is a unique type of boss fight that many players choose to participate
in once they hit level 40+.  In this fight, you and your party face several
enemies, and afterwards if you win you can get some VERY expensive loot.
It's called BCNM40 for several reasons: It costs 40 Beastmen's Seals to buy
an orb, and that orb will allow you and everyone in your party to participate
in the fight; all but one of the enemies in the battle are level 40; and 40 is
the level cap for the battle, so if you're higher than 40 you will be
temporarily de-leveled to 40 for the duration of the battle.  The "BCNM" part
stands for "Burning Circle Notorious Monster", because you fight these battles
at one of the Burning Circles scattered around in different zones.  I strongly
suggest you make sure you're AT 40 and no lower, since these battles aren't
easy and you'll need every bit of those 40 levels.  For this document, I'll
assume you're doing BCNM40 Giddeus (against mandragoras) since that's the
easiest of the three to form a bard-centric party for.  BCNM40 is an excellent
way to make money for level 40+ characters because the spoils are very rare and
sell for great money.  Bards especially benefit from BCNM40 since our ability
to farm for gil is the worst in the game.  Certain items that can be gotten
from BCNM battles cannot be gotten anywhere else in the game, so the demand
for BCNM parties is quite high.  It's a LOT of work to win the battle, but the
payoff is extreme.

Your opponents for this battle will be seven Domovois (mandragora-enemies, all
level 40, with the standard array of mandragora abilities), and their master,
the Dvorovoi (a larger, scary-looking black mandragora with some VERY nasty
tools at his disposal, including Paralyga [huge AOE, casts a very strong
version of Paralyze on everyone in the area] and the ancient magic Flood).
The Dvorovoi is your true enemy, and he's a level 45 monster.

A note:  Due to the introduction of new BCNM battles, there are now several
choices for each type of orb.  The level 40 orb is called "Star Orb", and the
battle this guide covers is officially called "Balga's Dais - Steamed Sprouts".
This particular BCNM40 is probably the easiest for a standard party+bard
formation.  If you're going to be doing an all-beastmaster party, I highly
recommand Ghelsba BCNM40 "Horlais Peak - Tails of Woe".  You'll be fighting
rarab-type enemies there instead of mandragoras.  Because rarabs have high
offense, the battle will go much quicker since the rabbits will hit much harder
than the onions would.  Charming the mandragoras takes too long because their
attacks are so weak that they take too long to kill one another.

Additional note:  This guide talks in detail about BCNM40 from a bard's point
of view.  Not only am I a bard, but the bard has the most important role to
play in BCNM40, so more will be discussed about that role than any other.
However, don't think that the bard is the ONLY important member of the party:
every class has a job to do and a role to serve in this fight.  The bard can't
win without the support of the other members.  ONLY a cohesive, intelligent
team can hope to win these grueling fights.  Everyone must know their job
and do it quickly and efficiently. Anyway, back to Giddeus and Balga's Dais.

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Part Two: The Party
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Well, this is where it goes into a grey area.  There are a lot of possible
party combinations, so I'll just outline what every party needs.  You'll need
someone to fill each of these roles:

  Gatherer - someone to gather all the onions and herd them together at the
  start of the battle so the bard can hit them all with Horde Lullaby.
  Ideally this should be someone with very high evasion or very high defence
  (preferably defence) and good HP.  A paladin is great for this.

  Healer - someone to devote himself/herself to keeping the bard alive
  throughout the battle.  Either a WHM or RDM should be filling this role,
  and its best if they COMPLETELY focus on the bard at all times, and only
  throw out a Curaga if everyone gets put to sleep or throwing out heals only
  in emergencies.

  Multipurpose Healer - someone to serve as the healer for the melee group,
  preferably someone with damage potential as well.  A BLM/WHM is ideal for
  this because they can both deliver damage AND keep the melees healed.

  Puller - someone who can hit hard enough and use Provoke so that they
  can peel the onions off the bard one at a time.  A RNG/WAR or a DRK/WAR
  are both pretty good for this, or even a DRG/WAR or MNK/WAR.

  Flood Control - Someone who can either Elemental Seal + Silence the black
  onion, or who can cast Stun or in some other way stop the onion from
  casting Flood.  Flood is Ancient Magic and it will kill pretty much anyone
  but a galka PLD/MNK at full life with Shell II up.  ><

  Damage Dealers - You know them, there are a lot to choose from.  As long
  as they hit hard, they work fine.  A skillchain isn't overly necessary,
  either.

  Bard - the most important job in GBCNM 40.  The bard's job is to keep
  Ballad up on himself and the healer, and to tank all the onions.  Literally,
  the bard tanks.  I know that sounds odd, but it's true.  He waits til the
  gatherer pulls all the onions together, then he hits them with Horde Lullaby.
  If any resist, he hits them with Foe Lullaby.  When they *all* wake up, he
  reapplies Horde Lullaby.  In the meantime while they're asleep, he casts
-  Cures on himself and rebuffs with Ballad (and either Paeon or Minne).
  While he's keeping the onions asleep, it frees the damage dealers to take
  them down one by one instead of all at once.

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Part Three: Strategies
----------------------

At one time, an effective strategy was to bring a very high-level WHM to cast
their highest Protectras/Shellras/etc. on you.  However, one of the patches
has made it so that any magical buffs you carry on you will be erased once
you enter the battle grounds.  On the other hand, food effects still stay
with you, so it's a good idea to use your food outside the battle.  You're on
a time limit, remember.

And food and drinks ARE important.  Anyone with MP should bring a few juices
with them, and the bard should eat Steamed Crab for the VIT and defence boosts.
Mithkabobs all around for the melees, as well.  You have the time limit of 30
minutes to kill all the onions, or else you're ejected from the battlefield.
Your healers' MP will have to outlast the onions, or your bard is dead, and
thus the entire group dies with him.

As for gear for the bard, Mary's Horn is a big help but not critical.  It adds
to the duration of the lullaby songs by a bit. One thing, the bard SHOULD wear
as much CHR+ gear as possible to make sure the Lullaby songs stick.  The
Monster Signa should *NOT* be used in this battle since it gives -5 VIT to
the bard (and -5 VIT to a tank isn't a good idea when he has crap armour and
has half a dozen even-match enemies whamming into him).  If your RSE gives VIT
or HP, wear that if you like, otherwise wear the highest DEF gear you can get.

As for races, it doesn't really matter much.  A taru bard can do just as well
as an elvaan.  My first BCNM 40 win, our party consisted of a taru bard, an
elvaan white mage, a taru black mage, a hume paladin, a hume dragoon (who was
naked other than his weapon because he forgot to switch his 40+ gear out) and
an elvaan dark knight.  Certainly not the optimal group, but we did great
regardless because we all played well.

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Part Four: The Fight
--------------------

The best arrangement I've found is to have everyone enter the battlefield and
stop before they get to the bridge linking the entry area to the arena.  Have
the bard cast both Minnes for DEF while the white mage casts the various buffs
such as Protectra/Shellra, Reraise, etc.  Then have the gatherer run in first,
straight toward the onions with the bard hot on his trail. The bard will
already have targeted one of the Domovois and will hit his Horde Lullaby
as soon as they're all gathered close enough together to hit them all.
Then, one of the melees will Provoke the Dvorovoi and drag it to the far
side of the arena.  The melee group's healer should stand back out of range
of Lullaby, then past him will be the bard and the bard's healer.  That way,
if the bard and his healer get put to sleep, the melee group's healer can
wake them up with a Cure.  The bard's healer should be resting EVERY TIME
THE ONIONS GET PUT TO SLEEP, as long as the bard doesn't need attention.
MP is so critical in this battle so the healer should rest at every chance.

It's critical that the bard hold hate through the entire battle, else the
onions scatter and he can't recast Horde Lullaby on all of them.  WAIT UNTIL
THEY ARE ALL AWAKE TO CAST HORDE AGAIN.  The last thing you want is to hit the
two onions that are awake with Horde, only to have the other five wake up and
start hammering you.  You CAN take a couple of onions hitting you, but you CAN'T
take all of them at once.  Wait til the sleep cycle wears off on all the onions
before you recast Horde, I cannot emphasise that enough.  Just as it's important
for a paladin to use self-healing to secure hate in a normal experience-gaining
party, in BCNM the bard must self-heal to keep the Domovois' attention.  The
trouble lies in building up TOO much hate, it will be hard to peel the white
mandragoras off the bard one by one with all the hate he'll be getting.
However, that's why you'll need someone with Provoke and some strong attacks to
pull them off.

Meanwhile, the melees will be hitting the Dvorovoi with all they've got.
If it starts casting Flood, one of two things should happen: either Flood's
target should start running away from the black onion (Flood has a huge
cast time) to get out of range so the spell fails, or someone needs to 
Elemental Seal + Silence Dvorovoi or stun it in some way to cancel the spell.
Once the black onion is dead, the person designated puller will choose a white
onion and hit it hard, then Provoke it so it chases after that person.  Get it
out of range of Horde Lullaby as fast as possible so it doesn't get hit by it
the next time the bard sings it.  Try to avoid doing BCNM on Darkday, since
Dream Flower (Sleep) is dark elemental and will have a better success rate on
you.  Dream Flower is what will end up killing you if anything does, so it 
might even be worthwhile to have the healers drink Poison Potions (though it
isn't necessary and I'd prefer not to since it prevents the healers from
resting for MP).

Again, your biggest threats are a badly timed Dream Flower and Paralyga. The
bard MUST be out of range of Paralyga, since it kicks in extremely often and
interferes with Horde Lullaby.  Dead bard = dead group.  It's best to ensure
that both the bard and the bard's healer are well out of range of the black
onion since it's the only one that can cast Paralyga.  Paralyna should be
a priority when Paralyga goes off, since if your melees are paralysed it will
cost time that you may not have to spend.  When I'm doing BCNM, I always
instruct my party members to do a /p <call> PARALYZED!! or ASLEEP!! whenever
they need help, because those statuses need to be taken care of as soon as
possible.

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Part Five: Macros
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-
Everyone's going to have to rely pretty heavily on their macros in this fight
since that timer is always ticking and you won't have time to go fishing in
your menus.  For the bard, I keep the following spells and abilities macroed
and on the same row:

Cure (for waking sleepers after Dream Flower)
Cure II (self-healing to hold hate)
Divine Seal (see next line)
Curaga (see previous line, good for the melee group after Dream Flower)
Paralyna (VERY important, the black mandragora casts Paralyga, huge radius)
Horde Lullaby (obviously, the most important one)
Foe Lullaby (to sleep pesky stragglers and early wakers, AS NEEDED!)
Ballad (keep this on yourself and your healer at all times)
Minne II (also keep this on yoursef at all times)
Soul Voice (best in an emergency to buy time)

I put a harp on all the song macros except for Lullaby, since I'll want as
much range as I can get to keep the other mages under Ballad and Minne.
Additionally, it's very good to keep some fruit juice on you and have them
macroed as well.  The format for macroing an item is like this:

/item "Pineapple Juice" <me>

Between self-healing, Lullabys, status cures, and buffs, you won't have time
to go into your item menu.  This insures an instant fruit juice without having
to take that extra time.

You might also wish to keep Poisona macroed, but only to cast on yourself or
perhaps your healer.  If anyone else gets poisoned, let them stay poisoned as
it will cancel Dream Flower should that come out (and it will, a LOT).

For other jobs, I recommend you use common sense.  The DRK should have Stun
macroed, and Provoke and Soul Eater since later in the fight it'll take a hard
hit to get the Domovois off the bard.  The healer should have Cures, Regen (for
the bard, KEEP REGEN ON THE BARD!), Curaga, Divine Seal, fruit juice,
Benediction (just in case), Paralyna and Stoneskin macroed.  Melees should have
Provoke and their best weaponskills on macro.  Black mages should keep Curaga,
fruit juice and Divine Seal up along with their standard nukes.  Paladins will
want Shield Bash for Flood, as well as Provoke and their cures and Invincible.
Some fruit juice for them won't go astray either, they'll be casting Cure a lot.
Rangers will put their hardest-hitting weaponskills up, along with their
Eagle-Eye Shot (and hopefully Provoke, since RNGs will pull onions off the bard
the fastest).  

Just remember your priorities:
1) Stop Flood and be able to recover from Dream Flower and Paralyga.
2) Kill the black mandragora as quickly as possible.
3) Be able to keep the bard alive while he's tanking.
4) Keep your MP up so you have enough to see the battle through.
5) Be able to pull mandragoras off the bard quickly and keep them from bouncing.
6) Keep yourselves spaced out so AOE effects go where they're supposed to.

Focus your gear, macros and tasks to those goals and you'll do fine.  Even if
someone dies (other than the bard or healer), it's not the end of the world.
In my most recent BCNM, I died with three onions left but the party managed to
finish the battle without me.  So even if the bard dies, use your best judgment
before you go running for the exit.  ^^

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Part Six: Loot
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The reason people go to all this trouble is because of the loot you can get.
The following is a fairly complete list of the possible drops you can get in 
BCNM40.  Please email any corrections or additions to me at the address below,
and I will credit you.  Credit for the items I haven't personally seen goes to
http://ffxi.allakhazam.com.

The symbol  signifies items I have personally seen.  The symbol  signifies
items listed as drops, but which I have not seen or gotten from BCNM40.

 Balance Buckler
 Enhancing Earring
 Garnet
 Goshenite
 Gold Beastcoin
 Guarding Gorget
 Maple Log
 Mythril Beastcoin
 Pearl
 Peridot
 Rosewood Log
 Scroll: Absorb-STR
 Scroll: Erase
 Scroll: Fire Spirit Pact
 Scroll: Ice Spikes
 Scroll: Phalanx
 Scroll: Refresh
 Scroll: Utsusemi-Ni
 Survival Belt
 Translucent Rock

If you trust everyone in your party not to rip you off (and you SHOULD, because
this requires a LOT of teamwork), have everyone lot on one particular item and
put it up for sale.  When the item sells, divide the money six ways and send 
it off to each member.  That's the most fair way of doing it so that each
person gets an equal share of everything that drops.  There are no guarantees
in drops, so you could end up with Erase and Phalanx in one go, and end up 
with relatively worthless gear in another.

If you don't feel comfortable dividing up the loot in that manner, you can
always keep the loot for whoever uses the orb.  If you're going to go with
this method, it's best to use the /random command before the first battle.
Whoever has the highest roll goes first.  After you've done their orb, do
/random again excluding that person.  Unfortunately, the drop rate is dodgy
so one person may get three high-value scrolls while another might just get
low-end gems.

Anyway, I hope that this little mini-guide helps you guys.  Good luck!

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If you wish to contact me, please send an email to:  
     sabocactuar * at * hotmail * dot * com

Or you may also send me a /tell if you are on Fairy Server.  My charname is
Saboruto, and my POL email address is:
     baletori * at * POL * dot * com

Thanks for reading my Guide, I hope it's been of help to you!

c. 2004, Jason Dyals (aka Tristan Baletori / SaboCactuar).
All trademarks and copyrights contained in this document are owned by their
respective trademark and copyright holders.

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