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A Varnimyr Raid Primer

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  • Class: {{esusrinfo_class372442}}
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    A Varnimyr Raid Primer

    The Varnimyr Raids present the opportunity to consistently obtain valuable Mystic Stones, get some powerful titles, and even have their own exclusive, powerful accessories and weapons. However, players have to not only have their equipment as ready as possible for the Raids, but also know what to do. Most of the Raid battles will only go smoothly if everyone is cooperating and no one makes a crucial mistake.

    Thus, I wanted to present this guide to everyone. I have three main goals with this guide to help players prepare themselves for the Varnimyr Raids:

    1. Understand boss mechanics, attacks, and features
    2. Showcase mechanics and attacks via gameplay examples
    3. Explain common strategies used by groups in actual Raids

    Team strategies are probably the aspect of this guide I want to push forward the most. Many people can learn a lot about the Raids just by going through Story mode, but those can be done with just one or two people - it usually doesn't compare to the full experience and techniques found in a full group of 8. (Plus, Story mode has some small differences compared to Normal Raids other than stats.) Discussing common strategies here will let newer players get settled into Normal Raids much more quickly, causing fewer problems for groups and letting newer players be accepted more easily into Raid groups.

    So, shall we get to it?




    General Mechanics, Information, and Preparation

    Some aspects of the Varnimyr Raids repeat themselves through the three Raids, and players should be aware of the following before going in.





    The Demon Realm Debuff

    The Demon Realm debuff found in Varnimyr is stronger in the Varnimyr Raids than it is in the other Varnimyr dungeons. While other Varnimyr dungeons have the debuff reduce player attack and HP by up to 30%, in the Varnimyr Raids, attack and HP are reduced by 50%.

    This severely limits players' offensive power, meaning some people may need more force than they would expect to surpass the Raids - this is vital, since the following Raids all have sections that require players to do enough damage within a time limit in order to pass them.

    Sources of the Adaptation stat will help give you more of a fighting chance. Each instance of Adaptation will directly decrease the power of the Demon Realm debuff at a 1:1 ratio. If you have multiple sources giving you Adaptation, they will stack additively.

    For example, if you went into 12-8 (30% debuff) with 20000 attack, you would end up with
    20000 * (1 - 30%) = 20000 * (1 - .3) = 20000 * 0.7 = 14000 attack.

    If you had 3% Adaptation from an Adaptation elixir, the debuff would be (30% - 3%) = 27%, and your attack would be
    20000 * 0.73 = 14600 attack.

    If you had 2% Adaptation from a title while also having the Adaptation elixir active, the debuff would be (30% - 3% - 2%) = 25%, making your attack
    20000 * 0.75 = 15000.



    Note that, for right now, Adaptation has the same level of effect no matter where it is used. The claim that Adaptation is 2.3x effective in Raid is false. Video proof of this can be found here: https://youtu.be/rYzgS-O-dq4...

    ...and calculations showcasing the problem are in the spoiler below. Note that all the calculations that treat Adaptation as normally effective result in numbers very close to the in-game results, while calculations that assumed Adaptation was 2.3x effective result in numbers that overshoot tremendously.

    SPOILERBase Physical Attack: 1266
    ^Z: 2621

    Attack with 4 SI accessories: 1532
    ^Z: 3173

    ==============

    12-1: 10% debuff
    2621 * .9 = 2358.9

    ^Z, Chaos Circle, no Adapt: 1228
    Damage lost to defense: 2358.9 - 1228 = 1130.9
    1130.9 / 2358.9 = 0.479418 -> 47.9418% physical defense

    ^Z, Chaos Circle, 2% Adapt from Raid buff: 1255
    1255 / (1 - .479418) = 1255 / .520581 = 2410.767969
    2621 * .92 = 2411.32
    2% flat debuff reduction

    ^Z, Chaos Circle, 2% Adapt from Fire Tamer: 1255
    (see above calculations)

    ^Z, Chaos Circle, 4% Adapt with 4 Corrupt SI accessories: 1552
    1552 / .520581 = 2981.284373
    3173 * .94 = 2982.62


    ^Z, Chaos Circle, 6% Adapt with 4 Corrupt SI + Fire Tamer: 1585
    1585 / .520581 = 3044.675084
    3173 * .96 = 3046.08

    ^Z, Chaos Circle, 3% Adapt with elixir: 1269
    1269 / .520581 = 2437.660998
    2621 * .93 = 2437.53

    ^Z, Chaos Circle, 9% Adapt (4 Corrupt SI, Fire Tamer, Adapt elixir): 1635
    1635 / .520581 = 3140.721617
    3173 * .99 = 3141.27

    =================

    12-5: 50% debuff
    Adaptation supposedly 2.3x effective

    ^Z (no Adapt): 682
    47.9588% physical defense

    ^Z (Adapt Elixir, 3%): 723
    723 / (1 - .479588) -> 723 / 0.520412 = 1389.283875
    3 * 2.3 = 6.9% in Raid
    2621 * .569 = 1491.349
    2621 * .53 = 1389.13

    ^Z (Fire Tamer, 2%): 709
    709 / 0.520412 = 1362.382112
    2 * 2.3 = 4.6% in Raid
    2621 * .546 = 1431.066
    2621 * .52 = 1362.92

    ^Z (4 SI accessories, 4%): 891
    891 / 0.520412 = 1712.105024
    4 * 2.3 = 9.2% in Raid
    3173 * .592 = 1878.416
    3173 * .54 = 1713.42

    ^Z (Fire Tamer, Elixir, 5%): 750
    750 / .520412 = 1441.165846
    5 * 2.3 = 11.5% in Raid
    2621 * .615 = 1611.915
    2621 * .55 = 1441.55

    ^Z (Elixir, 4 SI accessories, 7%): 941
    941 / .520412 = 1808.182748
    7 * 2.3 = 16.1% in Raid
    3173 * .661 = 2097.353
    3173 * .57 = 1808.61

    ^Z (Elixir, 4 SI accessories, Fire Tamer, 9%): 974
    974 / .520412 = 1871.594045
    9 * 2.3 = 20.7% in Raid
    3173 * .707 = 2243.311
    3173 * .59 = 1872.07




    Having your HP halved will notably affect your survivability, but this can slightly be turned in your favor. While many late-game consumables restore a percentage of your maximum health, regional craftable consumables (from alchemist NPCs) heal a fixed amount of HP. Since your HP is halved in Varnimyr Raids, this often means an Elrianode or Varnimyr food item can restore 75% or more of your maximum health, with the food item itself being very inexpensive to make.



    Having a stockpile of these food items (I personally prefer the Overcooked Vegetables from Elrianode) will let you heal many of the wounds you'll receive in Raid fights at very little cost.





    Shared Traits

    Many of the Varnimyr Raid bosses (and most things they summon in their fights) have common characteristics to keep in mind.

    Every Varnimyr Raid (on Normal difficulty, but not Story difficulty) has restrictions on resurrection stone use. They are as follows:
    1. You are limited to 3 resurrection stones per attempt.
    2. You cannot use resurrection stones manually. If you die, you will automatically resurrect using a resurrection stone (if you have one) after a short wait.
    3. Since you cannot manually use resurrection stones, you are not able to revive other players.
    4. If, at any point in time, every player is dead, the party fails the Raid. This occurs even if players still have resurrection stones left.
    5. If a player is dead when the current phase is cleared and that player still has resurrection stones, that player will automatically resurrect (ignoring whatever was left on the wait timer).

    Raids with 8 players in them can have a significant effect on your framerate. It is recommended that you turn all your graphical options in-game down to their lowest settings... except for effects. Ensure that your "Effect" graphic option is no lower than Medium - if you have your "Effect" graphics set to low, many indicators of boss attacks (as well as some of the attacks themselves) will be completely invisible.

    Almost all of the entities in the Varnimyr Raids have super armor, cannot be launched, and will not be displaced by black hole effects. The only exception to this rule are the orbs summoned during the 2nd phase of 12-5 (Crimson Tower), which can be pushed and influenced by black holes.

    Almost all of the entities in Varnimyr Raids are susceptible to debuffs, including element-based debuffs. (However, they have relatively high elemental resistances, so their effectiveness will be limited.) However, this is not constant: some of the Varnimyr Raid bosses will glow pink during some of their moves - a pink outline indicates that the boss is immune to debuffs at that time. If you have moves or items that inflict debuffs, time their uses accordingly in order to not waste them.

    Some attacks used by Varnimyr bosses are unique in the fact that they can ignore most forms of invulnerability frames (I-frames) gained from using special actives, awakening, and some other sources. Most of these attacks come with very clear warnings, though - respect these attacks when you see them. In this guide, moves will be listed in a different color if they ignore most I-frames. There is one type of I-frames that is an exception to this, which will be explained in the next section.

    A large number of the bosses in Varnimyr Raids have attacks and traits that they can only use after losing a certain amount of health, or after entering certain modes. Paying attention to the boss' health will let you monitor what threats the boss has access to, and how you should react.






    Preparations

    It's important that you bring everything you can that will give you the best chance of succeeding. Naturally, this means equipping your strongest PvE equipment, but there are some items and titles to focus on in particular.

    The following aren't technically necessary, but provide many things that help you survive the battles and contribute more to a Raid group's effort. Consider what you can do with the following based on which of these you have (or don't have), and how reasonable they would be to acquire.



    Magic Stones of Pursuit, Head Hunter - most of the damage you will do in the Varnimyr Raids is against bosses (with 12-6 having the most notable exceptions). As a result, bringing sources of boss damage, such as the Head Hunter force passive or having boss damage socketed via Pursuit Magic Stones (craftable via Secret Dungeon materials at NPC alchemists) will drastically increase your damage output in these Raids.



    Key to Victory - if you need to get a damage title for Raid, try to aim for this one. Every single aspect of this title - Adaptation, boss damage, and item recovery - will come into play immensely during your Varnimyr Raid attempts. Plus, this title only requires 50 runs of 12-3 to unlock (once revealed), making it fairly accessible.



    Guardian of Secret Closed Space - an alternative source of boss damage, and the Fever effect can be a temporary boon to the entire group. Having this title will also save you immense amounts of time if you decide to pursue some of the later Raid titles (such as needing 300 clears of 12-5 to get its second title).



    Eclipse, Forginay's Fruit - people make mistakes, and there are a large number of situations where it is fairly easy to die. Having either of these titles can prove invaluable via their revival effects - the I-frames provided by these revival effects is the only kind that the Varnimyr bosses cannot ignore, giving you a second chance.

    Note that, if you have it, Eclipse is NOT strictly superior in every Varnimyr Raid fight to Forginay's Fruit, largely due to the instant-kill attack in phase 2 of 12-5. (Eclipse can trigger super armor on the part of the move you need to get hit by in order to survive the attack - if this happens, you'll get trapped in the attack instead) If you have Eclipse, be careful where you're using it.



    Usurper of Twisted Time and Space - if your equipment doesn't let you do as much damage as others in Varnimyr Raids, having the Usurper title is incredibly valuable. The Ruin debuff provided by this title can take 0.2% of the target's max HP or 50,000,000 HP (whichever is lower) per tick for 5 seconds - if you use this against the main bodies of many of the Varnimyr bosses, you will be inflicting the equivalent of 40-50 million damage per tick with the debuff. Pair that with the 5 seconds to inflict and refresh the debuff, and you could be looking at 360-450 million HP per 20-second buff cycle.

    If you use this title, keep in mind that the Ruin debuff won't stack with other instances of itself - multiple people using Usurper could make the title less effective if the players have their debuffs synced. This can be avoided by talking with your party beforehand, and making sure your buff cycles aren't synchronized, letting the party inflict Ruin debuffs on the bosses for as long as possible.



    Other Adaptation sources/titles - staying in the Crimson Edge area for six minutes will grant you the Raid Party's Resolve buff, which provides 2% boss damage, 2% less damage taken from bosses, and 2% Adaptation. It's a very welcomed boost, and might be worth waiting to get.


    Though difficult to obtain, some Varnimyr accessories like the Nightmare Blindfold from 12-3 and the Agate Fragment from 12-8 provide additional sources of Adaptation to recover your stats with.


    Besides Key to Victory, several other titles in Varnimyr do provide Adaptation (such as Drifter from 12-8, and Corrupt Identity from 12-4). However, excluding the Grim Gaze title (which requires you to clear the 12-6 Raid many times to access it), Key to Victory still holds one of the best stat sets for Varnimyr Raids among Adaptation titles, and is easier to obtain than Drifter or Corrupt Identity.


    You will get the Fire Tamer title if you clear the 12-5 Raid one time - this makes it somewhat reasonable to access if you desperately need a title for the later Raids. However, better options exist - this should only be a temporary title at best.



    Attack-Increasing Titles - depending on the strength of your title and what other Adaptation sources you have, a boost in attack power from a title might outweigh Adaptation in value.

    For example, let's say a person with 25000 attack considers Resistant to Destiny (+5% for both attack powers) against a 2% Adaptation title. (Assume no other Adaptation sources are involved)

    Resistant to Destiny:
    25000 * 1.05 = 26250 (attack increase)
    26250 * .5 = 13125 (debuff applied)

    2% Adaptation
    Debuff strength: 50% - 2% = 48%
    25000 * (1 - .48) = 25000 * .52 = 13000

    Thus, Resistant to Destiny would provide this individual with more attack power. If you have such a title (and don't have Key to Victory, which would be used anyways because of its boss damage; or are in a part of the Raid where boss damage isn't important), it may be worth taking a few moments to calculate whether or not the attack increase from a title would be worth your while.




    Soul Harvest and Drain - these Force Actives have some specialized uses that can help the party in 12-5 and 12-6 (respectively). While their uses aren't necessary, having them (even at their most common rarity) can certainly make things simpler for the Raid group. These can be commonly found on the market board for reasonable prices - if you plan to do Varnimyr Raid frequently, these Force actives will be worth the investment.




    Lastly, be sure to do some practice in the Story versions of the Raids before attempting to do the real ones, since this will let you know what attacks do - this is something you'll need to know in the clutter of eight players and possibly a very low framerate. However, Story mode is not enough to guarantee success in Normal Raids - no amount of solo or duo Story practice will suffice the experience of executing strategies with groups of eight in the real thing.

    Be ready for mistakes, and don't get upset by them - just figure out what went wrong, and learn from it. That's how we progress, after all~.




    Rewards

    Going through the Varnimyr Raids is not without its chances at valuable and powerful rewards. This section will explain both what possible rewards you can get from clearing Varnimyr Raids, as well as the restrictions on them.




    First Clear Rewards

    Upon defeat, each phase of a Varnimyr Raid will drop Mystic Stones for each person in the Raid who has not cleared that phase yet. The kinds of stones that will drop depend on which Raid you are in, but can range from colored Refined and Shining stones up to Giant Shining stones, making the Raids very valuable sources of stones for Mystic Enchants. Note that this will only happen the first time you clear the phase in a given week - if you beat that Raid phase again later on, no Mystic Stones will drop under normal circumstances. (We'll get to the exception in a few moments.)

    Additionally, upon defeat, the last phase of each of the Varnimyr Raid bosses has a very small chance of dropping a Legendary equipment cube instead of a Mystic Stone. Every piece of Legendary equipment has very unique effects and can prove to be very powerful under the right conditions. While the Legendary equipment cannot be traded, the cube can be bank shared if you want to give the item to another character. There is a single Legendary accessory each of the three final phases in the three Raids can drop; the final phase of Crimson Cradle may also drop the Demonic Weapon cube, containing the strongest weapon currently available in the game. Note that these drops can only occur as first clear rewards - they will never drop on repeat attempts.

    After exiting the Raid, you will be able to receive Raid cubes for each of the phases you cleared for the first time. Accepting these cubes increases the chance of the Demonic Weapon cube dropping the next time you clear the final phase of Crimson Cradle. Every one of these cubes also contains a Mystic Stone, the quality of which depends on the Raid Cube it came from. The more difficult the Raid, the rarer and more valuable the Mystic Stones are.

    Normally, once you complete a phase in the Varnimyr Raids for the first time, you cannot get rewards again from that phase until the next week, once the server time reaches Wednesday at 12:00 AM (Pacific Standard Time). However, you do have a way to reset your rewards early.


    If you acquire and use a Crimson Trace Reset Ticket, you will be able to obtain first clear rewards (inclusive of drops from bosses in the Raids, as well as the Raid Cube rewards) again. This can present a valuable opportunity to gather more Mystic Stones and get another chance at the Legendary equipment drops. But be warned: obtaining a Reset Ticket is very difficult, and Reset Tickets can only be used once per Raid week. If you plan on using a Reset Ticket, ensure that you make the most of it and do everything in your power to clear all three Raids completely.

    Crimson Reset Tickets are a very rare drop from Shadow Vein. Alternatively, they can be obtained via the Flame Mark system, which provides players who have already cleared Varnimyr Raids a way to get additional rewards.




    Flame Marks

    Flame Marks can only be obtained under the following conditions:
    1. You are playing a phase of a Varnimyr Raid you have already received "first clear" rewards for.
    2. At least one other player in your Raid party has not cleared that Raid phase this week (or has used a Reset Ticket, and hasn't gotten "first clear" rewards from the phase after resetting).

    If these conditions are met, upon clearing a Varnimyr Raid phase, each person who has already beaten that phase will receive Flame Marks. The quantity they receive is based on the Raid phase that was completed, as well as how many other players in the party had not yet cleared the phase (or had reset). The quantities are as follows:


    Raid Phase Marks Per "First Clear" Player
    12-5: Remnants of the Crimson Calamity 1 per player
    12-5: The Crimson Soul 1 per player
    12-5: The Crimson Calamity 2 per player
    12-6: The Thorn Field 1 per player
    12-6: The Observers 1 per player
    12-6: The Crimson Eye 4 per player
    12-7: Malice 2 per player
    12-7: The Recluse 2 per player
    12-7: The Dark Recluse 6 per player

    If you gather enough Flame Marks, you can bring them to the Elrianode Alchemist to exchange them for consumables, Adaptation Elixirs, or the following:


    Crimson Calamity Cube - requires 20 Flame Marks. Contains either Refined or Shining colored Mystic Stones.


    Crimson Eye Cube - requires 30 Flame Marks. Contains primarily Shining colored Mystic Stones, and occasional Giant Common/Refined stones.


    Dark Recluse Cube - requires 100 Flame Marks. Has high odds of containing Giant Refined/Shining stones; will contain Shining colored Mystic Stones otherwise.


    Crimson Trace Reset Ticket - requires 500 Flame Marks. Given the extremely low drop rate of the Ticket in Shadow Vein, this becomes the most consistent way of obtaining a Reset Ticket without buying it from another player.





    Legendary Equipment

    If you are fortunate, you may gain the right to use the Varnimyr Raids' legendary accessories or the Demonic Weapon. This section will briefly describe each drop, as well as what finer details I currently know about them.



    Undying Flame - bottom piece accessory. All speeds increase by 5%. Enemies within a moderate radius of you will receive HP burn equal to 2% of your attack power each second. This effect stacks up to 20% of your attack power if enemies remain in range.
    -Note that this is HP burn, not damage. As a result, damage from the Undying Flame will not give awakening or MP to the Flame's user, or to any of its targets.
    -The HP burn will affect anything in range, and ignores I-frames. There is no limit to how many enemies the Undying Flame can target at the same time.
    -The HP burn will increase according to any effects that boost the user's attack power, such as those from awakening.
    -In dungeons, the HP burn effect on the Undying Flame is negligible - in the end, 20% attack power is next to nothing compared to the thousands of % damage you'll be constantly dealing to mobs. In PvP, however, this can put on some added pressure on your opponent's health, and can be a worthwhile tool to bring with you.



    Demonic Eye - support unit accessory. Critical damage increases by 5% (additive). Once every 30 seconds, when you awaken, every enemy within a moderate radius of you will receive a 10% decrease in attack speed for 15 seconds. In dungeons, enemies will also receive a 10% decrease in physical and magical defense.



    Inferno's Mark - weapon accessory. All skill damage increases by 10% (excludes hyperactive). Enemies hit by your command attacks or actives will lose 15 elemental resistance to all elements for 10 seconds. This effect stacks up to 10 times, up to -150 resistance.
    -The debuff used by the Inferno's Mark is different from the one used by Shadow's Descent; as a result, both effects can be active simultaneously (meaning a target's resistances could be reduced by 150 + 100 = 250).



    Flames of Judgment - Demonic Weapon Cube - when opened, contains the Demonic Weapon for the character that opens it.
    -The Demonic Weapon has slightly higher base stats than the Void weapon, but has the potential to greatly exceed the Void weapon by having access to 4 more of each colored Mystic Stone slot, and 2 more Giant Stone slots, once it reaches +9 or higher.
    -For more information on the Demonic Weapon, either refer to the forum guide found here, or see the Elwiki page on the weapon here.




    Blazing Crystals

    Even if you don't get good luck with the Legendary drops, you aren't permanently denied access to them.


    If you are in a Crimson Cradle group that defeats the final phase of the Raid, and someone in the party obtains the Demonic Weapon Cube, every other person in the Raid will obtain a Blazing Crystal. You will also obtain 5 Blazing Crystals if you dismantle the Demonic Weapon.

    If you have Blazing Crystals, you can bring them to the Elrianode Alchemist to exchange them for a variety of items. Most notable, however, are the chances to obtain the Legendary Raid items through these Crystals:
    -5 Blazing Crystals: Undying Flame Cube
    -10 Blazing Crystals: Demonic Eye Cube
    -15 Blazing Crystals: Inferno's Mark Cube
    -20 Blazing Crystals: Demonic Weapon Cube

    Blazing Crystals are very difficult to obtain in their own right, but if you can keep helping with Crimson Cradle clears, you may not need to rely on luck to get Legendary equipment.

    I wish you the best of luck and ability in fighting through the Raids and acquiring these powerful pieces of equipment. I hope that the information that follows will help you in the battles to come.
    Last edited by Hitotsuoboe-solace-; 02-18-2019, 03:01 PM. Reason: Adding section on Varni Raid rewards
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    #2
    12-5: Crimson Tower of Howling Flames


    The first of the three Raids will teach you the basics of working with your teammates to get things done. Most of the attacks you'll encounter here aren't too dangerous so long as you're careful and heal accordingly... until phase 2 reaches a certain segment.

    If you can handle phase 2's dangerous segments, though, this is easily the most accessible and forgiving of the Raid stages, and can probably be completed by many different groups, so long as they know what they're doing.

    Phase 1: Remnants of the Crimson Calamity

    Main Mechanics

    The four heads of the Crimson Calamity will be placed about a circular arena, and will independently attack players near them.

    If a head is killed, it will retreat into the pit. If a head is dead for a little more than 30 seconds while at least one other head is still alive, that head will return to the battlefield at full health.

    Because of this, killing each head individually is not an option - players must bring each head down to low health, then kill all four heads in one sweep.

    As a warning, the opening of this battle is a bit unusual in the fact that the heads will start attacking a second or two before the opening cutscene ends and players can actually move - watch carefully, or you could be killed right out of the gate.







    Attacks

    All of the heads' attacks have distinctive movements leading up to them, as well as specific sound effects that signify what will be coming. Learn these tells, and you'll be able to dodge/punish accordingly.


    Headbutt - after a short roar, the Calamity will lunge forward with its head into the foreground, damaging and knocking back anyone in range.
    -This attack has two hits, the second of which is much stronger than the first.
    -If you fail to punish this move, just accept being pushed out of the way to avoid taking unnecessary damage.


    Head Swipe - the Calamity will move its head to either the left or right side of the platforms it is over while emitting a low growl. Afterwards, it will rapidly swing its head in the other direction, hitting anyone in the way multiple times.
    -This attack can hit you a number of times, depending on if you're still in the head's path as it continues onward, and can result in fatal damage if you take the full assault. Mana break if you're caught in this and need to escape.
    -The head swipe has a fixed horizontal range - you'll be safe if you get outside of it.
    -The head swipe will miss you if you go under the Calamity's head before it can start moving.
    -If you can gain enough height, you can go over the Calamity's head as it passes the platform - not every character can do this, however.
    -Since the head swipe moves past the platform, and can take a lot of movement to evade normally, using a special active to I-frame through this move and hit the Calamity (or do other setup) is fairly common.
    -Some opening movements of the Calamity's head leave it resting right next to the edge of the platform, leaving it particularly vulnerable to attack. If you can punish this with a move that's long enough to I-frame through the head swipe as well, this is an even better opportunity.


    Flame Breath - After backing into the background for a few moments, the Calamity head will roar, quickly move back into the foreground, and breathe fire downwards. Anyone caught in the fire breath will take multiple hits; the fire breath will also ignite a significant area of the ground for a short period of time.
    -Only the ground will be on fire - the platforms are perfectly safe here.
    -So long as you aren't directly in the fire breath, you can stand next to the Calamity head and attack it without being harmed.
    -Keep an eye out for flames on the ground if you're moving about the arena - the fire breath covers about 25% of the ground floor, and can occasionally end up blocking your path.
    -The fire breath utilizes multiple hits to do its damage - you can easily mana break to escape it if you get caught in it.


    Meteor Rain - The Calamity head will loudly roar, move into the background, and look upwards. Afterwards, it will shoot three flaming meteors at a player (all three target the same person). Bright pink vertical lines will indicate where the meteors will fall. After the meteors contact the ground, they will remain there, burning in place for several seconds as a stationary hazard.
    -The meteors will not fall for a couple of seconds after the last pink line appears - it is perfectly safe to move while being targeted to get the meteors to fall in another location.
    -This attack has a very obvious start-up, making it easy to bait away. You'll want to do this, so that you won't have to deal with the meteors' stationary flames while attacking the Calamity or dodging its other attacks.
    -The meteors have to target someone near the head. It is rare to be targeted by meteors from any head other than the one you're fighting at the time.
    -Be wary of the Headbutt and Head Swipe while there are meteor flames on the platforms/ground - it's easy enough to get pushed into the stationary flames by these attacks, and having three meteor flames in the same spot can cause damage at an alarming rate if you don't stay out of them.
    -The meteors will explode on the first solid floor they hit - even if you're on the ground, they'll still hit a platform above you if there is one.
    -The stationary flames from the meteors can't reach below the floor they're on... the initial explosions from the meteors hitting the floor, however, will reach below the floor. Be careful if you're going below the platforms to try and find safety against this attack.
    -Be wary if the Calamity head gets frozen or petrified while meteors are targeting someone: this can cause some of the meteors to be delayed until after the Calamity head starts moving again.


    Flame Pillar - All living Calamity heads will retreat into the pit while emitting a growl. A few moments afterward, a faint pink line will target each player as the Calamity heads roar. A large fire pillar will be emitted at these locations, which will remain there for 10 seconds. Every hit of this pillar does extremely high damage, burns MP, and ignores I-frames. The heads return to the battlefield afterwards.
    -This attack will only be used by the Calamity heads once every 70 seconds.
    -Like with the Meteor Rain, try to bait it to another location, or go to another player to put multiple Pillars in the same spot. These pillars last long enough for the heads to use an attack before the pillars vanish, so you'll want the pillars far away from the platforms.
    -Be especially careful if the Calamity heads use a Headbutt or a Head Swipe. Getting knocked into a Flame Pillar is almost always fatal.


    (The following attack can only be used by a Calamity head if it has 50% health [35 bars] or less.)

    Covering Fire - the Calamity head will turn around, and shoot meteors upwards. These will land in fixed locations on the other side of the arena, making the area near the head on the other side much more hazardous to navigate.
    -Naturally, be cautious of the stationary flames on the other side, as there's no way to manipulate where the meteors from this attack land.
    -Be wary of being displaced by Headbutts or Head Swipes while near the meteors' flames.
    -Go under the platforms if you need to wait out the flames.







    Pitfalls to Avoid

    Many of the Calamity heads' attacks involve movement into the background. While the head is in the background, most attacks will miss them. Time your attacks accordingly so you don't whiff and use up MP to do little or no damage.

    Once you have all the Calamity heads at low health and are set up to kill them, consider when the last Flame Pillars were fired. If they were not fired recently, it is wise to wait until the next use of Flame Pillars occurs: the Calamity heads will have no problem diving into the pit right in the middle of your attempt to kill all the heads to use the Flame Pillar attack. If this happens, this will cost your group a lot of time, and Calamity heads might be able to revive themselves.

    While you want to get the Calamity heads to low health in order to kill them quickly, don't get them very low unless you know for a fact the battle is well-controlled. Players' pets may end up attacking the heads at will, and some special actives with homing may smack other heads. The last thing you want is a Calamity head suddenly dying to a stray attack when you weren't ready for it.







    Group Strategies

    Modern 12-5 groups, out of fear of doing damage too quickly and killing a head by accident (since boss health bars only update every few seconds for people who aren't hosting), tend to start by having everyone focus on the head they spawn next to. They will whittle down the head down to a specific HP bar amount (5-7 bars is usually a fair stopping point), then move on to other heads to help others get their head set up.

    Alternatively, weaker groups might approach phase 1 by focusing down 1 head at a time - this lets buffs and debuffs be used as effectively as possible - down to a specified health amount. This amount varies based on the strength of the group - the more damage the group is capable of doing, the higher this value. A stopping point of 15 HP bars for a head is common, though very powerful groups might try to stop as soon as 25-30 bars. Once the group reaches the stopping point, most of the group will rotate to the next head (rotating to the right is common). One or two players, however, will stay behind at the previous head to "tune" it, lowering it down to 3-5 HP bars before joining the rest of the group. This allows the group to get the head down to a safe amount of health to kill it quickly later on without risking an accidental early head kill by having all 8 players attack it at once.

    Once three heads are at a point where they can be easily killed and the group is at the fourth head, the group will either:
    -Go ahead and kill the fourth head, and attempt to sweep through the others heads to end the phase
    -Bring the fourth head down to 3-5 HP bars (with all due caution), then set up to sweep through the heads.

    Which strategy is used here depends on the group, as well as whether or not the group needs to wait on a Flame Pillar attack. Communicating whether to "wait" or "kill" is important, ensuring everyone is on the same page. No one likes having to kill a head all over again.

    Phase 2: The Crimson Soul

    Battling the Crimson Soul is easily the most dangerous and difficult part of the 12-5 Raid. Players will need to exercise a large amount of caution and acknowledge the boss' attacks in order to succeed, as even some of the Soul's more normal attacks can result in swift deaths.






    Main Mechanics

    The fight against the Crimson Soul is an escalating one. As the fight progresses, the Crimson Soul will gain more and more attacks to utilize, and will continually become more threatening. Groups need to be able to find opportunities to attack the Crimson Soul, and do so quickly before the group gets overwhelmed by the boss' attacks.

    Most of the Crimson Soul's attacks are fire-based, and will inflict the Ember of Combustion debuff on anyone hit. Any player afflicted by this debuff will lose 5% of their maximum MP each second, with the debuff lasting up to five seconds. This means that there is an active penalty for getting hit beyond losing health, and players need to watch their MP carefully to make sure they have the resources they need to attack or mana break when they need to.


    Many of the Crimson Soul's attacks require it to teleport to a player's location. Whenever it performs an attack that requires this, a blue symbol will appear over the head of the player being targeted. This is a warning that an attack is about to be centered on that player's location, and they need to take evasive action.








    Attacks

    Flame Scythe - The Crimson Soul will teleport to a player's location. Upon arriving, it will swing its scythe either horizontally or vertically. The swing will leave a flame aura along its path, which will remain burning in place for a few seconds. The Crimson Soul will sit idle for a few seconds after finishing this attack.
    -The hitbox on this attack is much larger than you would think it is. The solid line representing the scythe swing is NOT the swing's hitbox - the flame aura is the hitbox. It is deceptively easy to get hit by these swings.
    -The flame auras from the vertical/horizontal swings have virtually infinite range. Be careful about these even if the Soul is off-screen.
    -The flame auras inflict the Ember of Combustion debuff.
    -It is difficult to react to which swing the Soul will be using, and the flame aura's size makes moving out of the way troublesome. If you want to evade this attack without I-frames, moving diagonally away from the Soul is your best option.
    -Be careful when trying to go above the Soul to evade its horizontal swings. There is a quirk in the game's positioning system where the game thinks a player's position is lower than it actually is while the player is airborne and is nearing a platform. If you jump on a platform that's directly above a horizontal slash, the odds are fairly high that you will get hit by the slash/aura thanks to this oddity.


    Pursuit - The Crimson Soul will teleport to a player's location, and use Flame Scythe either horizontally or vertically. The Soul will repeat this pattern of teleporting and attacking a number of times in quick succession before stopping and going idle for a few seconds.
    -The Crimson Soul gains debuff immunity just before starting this attack, and will maintain that immunity until the Pursuit is over.
    -A blue targeting symbol will be shown for each individual teleport.
    -Due to the duration of this attack, do not expect to avoid the entire Pursuit by utilizing I-frames - at some point or another, you WILL eventually get caught in a flame aura or scythe swing if you try this.
    -This is the Soul's most intense attack, and getting barraged by scythe swings can kill you fairly quickly. Mana break as needed if your life is in danger... just be wary, as the knockback from the scythe swings might throw you off platform ledges, making you take more damage from the flame auras before you actually KD.
    -If you're running away from the Soul, sticking to diagonal movements away from the Soul is best. Keep the locations of the flame auras from previous Flame Scythes in mind as you continue to move. Try not to move away from the Soul more than you need to, or you could end up getting yourself stuck at a wall - at that point, you'll likely be forced to take a hit.
    -At the start of the battle, the Crimson Soul is capable of performing up to three Flame Scythe attacks in a single Pursuit. This number will increase as the Crimson Soul loses health.


    Scythe Grind - The Crimson Soul will teleport to a player's location, and cast a large phantom scythe in one direction. After a few moments, it will drag the scythe along the ground. Anyone caught in this scythe's path will be launched horizontally in the direction of the scythe at high speed, and will receive a Leg Wound debuff (HP loss over time, cannot dash) for several seconds. The Soul will sit idle for a few seconds after using this attack.
    -The Soul cannot ever use an attack immediately after this one - it must idle after using this. This ensures that the group will have an opportunity to attack the Soul after it attempts this move.
    -The phantom scythe is large, and hits several platform tiers above the Soul. However, it will struggle to hit players below the scythe, and will always miss people who are behind the Crimson Soul. Staying near the Soul and getting behind it is often the best strategy for avoiding this attack.
    -Since this attack leaves no flame aura (and doesn't inflict the Ember of Combustion debuff), timing a special active with the scythe drag is another good method to both avoid the attack and assault the Crimson Soul.


    On reaching 80% health [56 bars], the following changes occur:
    -The Soul becomes more likely to use Pursuit than singular Flame Scythes
    -Pursuit will involve an additional use of Flame Scythe (4 total)

    The Crimson Soul also gains access to the following attack. If enough time has passed in the battle, the Crimson Soul will automatically use this attack upon reaching this HP threshold.

    Crimson Storm: The Crimson Soul will teleport to the ground floor in the center of the arena. Afterward, it will make a gigantic swing with its scythe in one direction, launching any players in the way. The same swing also casts energy along the ground, creating a tornado on that side of the map, and the Soul will start building up energy. Players must jump into the created tornado (it won't hurt you) to stay high in the air. After a few seconds, the Soul will release its energy in a massive area attack, instantly killing anyone caught in the blast.
    -The Crimson Soul will be debuff immune during this attack.
    -The blast will ignore I-frames, and is guaranteed to kill you if it hits you. The blast not only inflicts very high damage, but will also burn HP equal to your remaining health, ensuring that you die to this attack.
    -Note that the Crimson Soul MUST teleport to the ground floor in the center of the arena to perform this attack. This is a dead giveaway that a Crimson Storm is incoming, and players should learn to notice when this happens.
    -Be very careful of the opening scythe swing. Players hit by this swing will be airborne for quite a bit of time, and may even fall off a platform ledge, making it take even longer for them to get up. By the time they get up, they might not be able to make it to the tornado in time. If you can react to which direction the scythe is being swung, be on the other side of the Soul so you don't get mauled. If you're worried that you won't be able to make it to the tornado in time, consider bringing a Ventus elixir along to increase your movement speed - this will often help ensure that you get to the tornado even if the scythe swing launches you.
    -Though it takes some practice to get used to the timing, it is quite viable to I-frame through the opening scythe swing to do some damage to the Soul while also avoiding any risk of being launched. It's definitely a technique worth practicing.
    -When running to the tornado, avoid being in super armor or I-frames at all costs. If you are in I-frames, the tornado can't hit you. If you are in super armor, the tornado can't launch you upwards. Either of these happening can mean the tornado won't get you airborne, and you'll almost certainly die to the Crimson Storm. This is also why Eclipse is a very poor title to use in this phase - Eclipse has a chance to give the player super armor when they get hit, and the tornado's launches count as hits!


    On reaching 50% health [35 bars], the following changes occur:
    -The Crimson Soul is more likely to Pursuit than singular Flame Scythes.
    -Pursuit has an additional Flame Scythe added to it (5 total)

    The Crimson Soul gains access to the following moves. If enough time has passed in the battle, upon reaching this HP threshold, the Crimson Soul will attempt a Crimson Storm, immediately followed by this new move:

    Crimson Memories: The Crimson Soul will teleport to a random location in the arena, and enter an invincible state. Six orbs - Crimson Memories - will appear. Players have 20 seconds to destroy all of these orbs. If every orb is destroyed, the Soul will end the move and nothing will happen. If the 20 seconds end with any Memories still alive, the Soul will recover health based on how many Memories survived.
    -The orbs are resistant to being influenced by hitstun. However, they can be pushed by some moves (e.g. Vishnu's Fire Lotus) and be sucked in by black hole effects. Use this fact to gather the orbs, and kill them in groups.
    -The Memories are capable of moving on their own, and will wander randomly if given the chance. This can be disruptive if you let this happen.
    -Take care to ensure that orbs on the top platforms, or near the walls, don't end up surviving due to being out of harm's way for too long, or just aren't noticed by players. Consider making these orbs priority targets so that this doesn't happen - push them down and towards the center.
    -Strangely, the Crimson Memories are immune to debuffs.


    Cross Slash - The Crimson Soul will teleport to a player's location. Upon arriving, it will use Flame Scythe either horizontally or vertically, then do so again in the other direction without moving. The Crimson Soul will sit idle for a few seconds after finishing this attack.
    -This attack only reinforces the usefulness of getting diagonally away from the Soul. The two swings are performed quickly enough that both swings' flame auras will be active at the same time, often making trying to escape vertically or horizontally rather futile.
    -If you can react to which scythe swing is coming first, a special active with long I-frames might be able to get through that direction's slash. If you keep your distance, you'll also stay out of range of the second slash, letting you attack the Soul while remaining safe.


    On reaching 20% health [14 bars], the following changes occur:
    -The Crimson Soul is more likely to use Cross Slash and Pursuit than singular Flame Scythes. At this point, you will rarely see a single Flame Scythe used.
    -Pursuit has two additional Flame Scythes added to it (7 total).
    -The Crimson Soul's attack power doubles.
    -The Ember of Combustion debuff has changed. Now, in addition to burning MP per second, if any player who has the Ember of Combustion debuff attacks the Crimson Soul, their attacks will heal the boss according to how strong their attacks were. I'm still uncertain as to the exact magnitude of the healing, but by my estimates, the Crimson Soul will heal for roughly three times the amount of damage it would have received.

    On reaching this HP threshold, if enough time has passed in the battle, the Crimson Soul will use a Crimson Storm, followed by a set of Crimson Memories.

    This berserk phase for the Soul is, by far and away, the most dangerous part of the 12-5 Raid. All of the Soul's attacks will become very dangerous, and the Soul will use its most threatening attacks with high frequency. Exercise maximum caution during this portion of the fight, as deaths during this section are VERY common.

    The attack choices used by the Soul also leave it less vulnerable to opportunities to attack, especially since players can't attack it while they have the Ember of Combustion debuff. Many players consider bringing Water Orbs (or other moves/elements that freeze the Soul in place) in order to get more chances to attack the Soul and end the phase faster.







    Pitfalls to Avoid

    You will need to mentally adjust to several things in this battle. Be ready to make mistakes multiple times regarding the range of the Flame Scythes' flame auras and the slow timing of the opening swing to Crimson Storms.

    Monitor your MP carefully. If you're caught in a flame aura and received the Ember of Combustion debuff, you might be caught in a situation where you'll lose MP and suddenly won't be able to use a special active you wanted to, or mana break if the Soul is chasing you. Be ready to keep your MP high if things get dire.

    During Pursuit attacks, keep moving away from the Soul, but also keep an eye out for the blue symbols. Monitor these, and you'll see where the Soul will strike next... if you don't watch out for them, however, you could end up running yourself right into a scythe swing.

    In groups with latency, it's currently possible for Crimson Storm to glitch. If this happens, the Crimson Soul will spawn in an offset location, which can move the tornado and its hitbox. In some cases, this might put the tornado outside the map and make it impossible to use. If you find yourself in a group where this is happening, Forginay's Fruit will be invaluable.







    Group Strategies

    Most Raid groups in phase 2 of 12-5 tend to focus on trying to end the battle quickly. To do this, they generally insist that everyone stay in the center of the arena, at the bottom level. Since the Crimson Soul has to teleport to players for most of its attacks, if every player is in one location, the Soul will have to go there, meaning every player is nearby to attack it. Just be wary of the Soul's attacks as this happens. (Though many players just seem to focus on using special actives to I-frame through most of the incoming attacks)

    When a Crimson Storm is launched, some players (often in cases where there are players suffering from high latency or very low framerates) will call out which direction the tornado is in party chat, usually with a "<" or ">" to help others out.

    When Crimson Memories are summoned, the group will either tackle the left and right sides of the map separately, or push them all to one location (e.g. the center - if the group is doing this, they'll probably state that they're doing so before the phase begins). The group will allow certain party members to use black holes on the Memories or push them, and the rest of the party will attack accordingly.

    While the main strategy is to focus on attacking the Soul in the center, this often simply isn't viable during the berserk phase when the Crimson Soul uses a Pursuit attack. The Crimson Soul simply does too much damage for continual attack to be possible - the group will often scatter about the arena just trying to survive. This makes it imperative that the group makes the most of what attack opportunities they can find, only further encouraging the use of Water Orbs.

    Phase 3: The Crimson Calamity

    If you've made it here, it's quite likely that your group is going to beat the 12-5 Raid. The worst of it is indeed over.

    You should also have some ideas as to what you should be doing and evading in this section, since the heads behave similarly to how they did in phase 1. However, you have different platform layouts, attacks that are different depending on which head used them, and roughly twice the amount of health (compared to phase 1) to get through, so keep on your toes.

    Because a lot of things are similar to phase 1, this section will be abbreviated, mostly noting the differences in the attacks you should be aware of.







    Main Mechanics

    As before, your goal is to kill every head in succession before any head spends more than 30 seconds dead and revives itself.

    This task is slightly more difficult than before, however, due to the arena being much more unorthodox in shape, paired with a long climb. It will take players much longer to get to each head, so players will have to be efficient with their execution of killing the heads in order to succeed.







    Attacks

    Every single one of the heads still has audio and visual tells for its attacks. However, in this phase, the visual tells are unique for each head - you'll have to learn them independently. Given the differing platform layouts, some safe zones from attacks either no longer exist, or have been given new locations.


    Headbutt - the Calamity head will ram its head into the center area of the platforms in front of it. The path the head takes when returning to its normal position varies from head to head.


    Head Swipe - the Calamity head will swipe its head across the platforms after winding up.
    -You can go over the second head's Head Swipe by standing on the top platforms in that area.
    -You can go under the fourth head's Head Swipe by standing on the lowest platform in that area.
    -The first and third heads don't provide many outlets to evade their Swipe attacks without doing some serious relocating (the first head's swipe will cover nearly the entirety of the starting ground platform) - learning to time I-frames for these attacks will likely help quite a lot.
    -Though the attack will have stopped by this point, be careful of how the heads retract, especially with the second head. While moving back in position, the head can't hurt you, but it can push you a significant distance - make sure this doesn't place you in any other hazards.


    Flame Breath - the Calamity head will prepare itself in the background, then breath fire downwards. Various platforms under the head (not just the ground floor anymore) will be lit on fire for a few seconds.
    -For the first head, the top platform and the ground floor will be set on fire. The middle platforms to either side will be safe.
    -The second head will set the platforms below it aflame. The platforms that let you stand right next to the head are actually fairly safe to be on (so long as you don't walk right into the flame breath), and give you a nice opportunity to attack the head.
    -The third head sets the top and bottom platforms on fire, while the middle platforms (on the sides) are safe.
    -The fourth head sets the top two platforms on fire. The bottom two platforms in the lower right are safe.


    Meteor Rain - the Calamity head will roar, foam fire at the mouth, and shoot meteors into the air as it did in phase 1. This time, four meteors will be shot instead of three.
    -The extra meteor doesn't add much time pressure. You can still easily wait and bait the last meteor away before moving with very little risk of actually getting hit by these.
    -You have a lot of platforms to work with on the second and fourth head. Since the meteors have to smash into these platforms, you can use these to disrupt the attack, or otherwise get away from it.


    (The following attack is only used by a Calamity head once it reaches 50% health [40 bars]. A head will only use this attack one time, but if the head dies and revives, it will use this attack again the next time it hits half health.)

    Flame Pillar - The Calamity head that hit its HP threshold will growl as before, and shoot fire into the air. A single player will be targeted with a faint pink line that erupts into a Flame Pillar, possessing the same traits as it did in phase 1. However, once the Flame Pillar fades, a Crimson Soul will appear, which will teleport about the arena on occasion to perform singular Flame Scythe slashes. The flame auras on these slashes still have the Ember of Combustion debuff (you can't heal the boss if you have this debuff at any point during phase 3).
    -As before, be ready to bait this attack to minimize its inconvenience. Since this attack is tethered to an HP threshold on the head, and the head must use Flame Pillar as its next attack on reaching the threshold, it is completely predictable so long as you're watching the head's health.
    -Like the Meteor Rain, the Calamity head has to target someone nearby with this attack. If there's no one nearby, no Flame Pillar will ever be fired - by extension, no Crimson Soul will be summoned, either. Don't expect this fact to be usable in most Raids, since groups will just bait the pillar away and keep attacking, but if there are few people left alive, keeping Crimson Souls from appearing could be quite helpful.
    -The Crimson Soul has no health bar, and is invincible. However, if you have Soul Harvest (which can hit invincible targets), you can use it on the Crimson Soul to remove it from the battlefield (and gain MP). This will help keep the battlefield clean, and lets your group focus on dealing with the Calamity heads.
    -The Crimson Souls in phase 3 must follow a rigid attack pattern: appear, teleport (complete with a blue symbol as a warning), Flame Scythe, disappear. Use this fact: if you see a Crimson Soul pop up without a symbol showing, you know this means the Soul is just getting ready to attack. You might be able to take advantage of this by baiting the Soul into teleporting somewhere where it can't interfere with you attacking the Calamity heads.
    -The Crimson Soul doesn't actually spawn after the Flame Pillar finishes firing - it spawns a few moments after the Pillar targets someone, with the Crimson Soul remaining invisible until the Pillar fades away. Because of this, it's possible to Soul Harvest the Crimson Soul while it's still invisible before the Flame Pillar even fires, as seen here. Notice how I get pushed to the side as the Flame Pillar targets me so the Crimson Soul can be placed correctly.







    Pitfalls to Avoid

    As before, time your attacks carefully. The Calamity heads still have various movements throughout the background and foreground, greatly varying when they're vulnerable.

    Be careful when maneuvering between heads. There are a number of curves on the map, and it's surprisingly easy to miss platforms thanks to missing camera changes on these curves. Missing a platform in this way can easily mean falling down and having to climb back up, wasting a fair bit of time.

    If you drop down to a head, be cautious, as you haven't seen what that head was doing in the past few seconds. You could be about to land on a platform that's on fire. It's also very difficult to react to anything below you when you're falling at maximum speed, and the drops are of such great height that mentally timing when you're about to land on a platform becomes very difficult. Be ready to mana break in case there's a hazard where you happen to land.







    Group Strategies

    The general pattern for the group is similar to the strategy in phase 1 - focus down a head (or split into two groups, if the group has very high damage output), have most of everyone move on while one or two people tune, and repeat this process for the four heads. In fact, cooperation in focusing the heads is slightly easier here, because it's quite natural for everyone to tackle the heads in order (from bottom to top).

    The difference here is in the fact that the heads have roughly twice their phase 1 health, can be somewhat harder to hit, and some party members might be dead at this point (meaning the party does less damage). As a result, expect the group to usually aim for lower HP stopping points. Examples could include 10 HP bars when the group should move on to the next head, with tuning stopping at 2-3 HP bars.

    Continue to bait away Meteor Rains and Flame Pillars in order to minimize the interference those attacks will cause for the rest of the group. If a Crimson Soul shows up, try to Soul Harvest it quickly so it can't cause issues for anyone... just make sure no one else has the same idea, or you might end up having your partner Soul Harvest the Crimson Soul while you hit nothing. Since Soul Harvest has a massive cooldown, this can be a costly whiff if your other party members can't cover for you with Soul Harvests of their own.

    When it is time to kill all the heads, since the heads are much further apart, it's not uncommon for the group to split up to try and tackle killing the heads in smaller, separate groups. One possible strategy is to have half the group finish the top head and work their way downwards, while the other half drops down to the first head and works upwards.

    If you want to see a demonstration of this dungeon and how to handle its attacks, it is available below.

    Last edited by Hitotsuoboe-solace-; 04-27-2019, 02:02 PM. Reason: Updating with more modern phase 1/3 strategies; adding notes on important debuff immunities in phase 2
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    • Class: {{esusrinfo_class372444}}
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      #3
      12-6: Never-Ending Darkness


      The second Raid focuses a lot more heavily on making sure your team is dealing damage effectively, and is working to make sure enemy attacks don't become a problem for other players. Teamwork is going to be essential. Boss attacks, while sluggish, are highly punishing, and several will result in instant death for anyone who does not respect them.

      12-6 places some fairly heavy demands for DPS (damage per second) on the group - a team that lacks the power will not be able to keep up with the Raid (particularly in phase 2). Please consider this fact as you proceed.

      Phase 1: The Thorn Field

      Main Mechanics

      Phase 1 of the 12-6 Raid is less of a battle and more of a test... one that the group needs to complete as quickly as possible.

      Two colors of Thorns will shoot out from the ground every so often. There are:
      -Gray thorns, which can only be damaged by command attacks and actives
      -Red thorns, which can only be damaged by special actives (or other sources that deal skill damage)


      Destroying the Thorns that appear will slowly cause the four small eyes in the background to open slightly, open fully, then have a blue sigil appear over them. The phase will only end once enough Thorns have been destroyed to cause all four eyes to have blue sigils over them.


      As time passes, blue marks will continually appear around the main eye in the background. These blue marks correspond to the severity of a debuff placed on the entire party that lowers the group's attack power. This debuff will continue to grow until the phase is completed, and this debuff will be active for the remainder of the Raid. Paired with the later DPS demands of the dungeon, it makes clearing the first phase swiftly absolutely crucial.

      The debuffs and their intervals are as follows. Note that the debuff intervals used to be 30 seconds apart, but this was changed in the 9/6 KR patch.

      Blue Marks Time to Reach Debuff Strength
      1 0 seconds 5%
      2 40 seconds 10%
      3 80 seconds 14%
      4 120 seconds 18%
      5 160 seconds 21%
      6 200 seconds 24%
      7 240 seconds 26%
      8 280 seconds 28%
      9 320 seconds 30%
      10 360 seconds 30% (Story mode only)

      If ten blue marks form in Story mode, nothing happens - the debuff remains at 30%. If ten blue marks form in Normal mode, however, the Raid group will be instantly killed, and the Raid will fail.






      Attacks

      Pierce - the only form of attack seen in this phase is that the Thorns will deal minor damage to anyone above them when they erupt from the ground (or the bottoms of some platforms).
      -While some Thorns spawn seemingly at random about the battlefield (in localized groups), a number of them will intentionally spawn under a targeted player, and seeing 5-6 Thorns spawn in a row this way isn't uncommon. Keep your health relatively high, and you should avoid having many problems.
      -You will see the Thorn's health bar underground and hear the ground cracking for a few moments before the Thorn shows up - if you need to get out of the way, use these as indicators.
      -Even though they aren't above ground yet, the Thorns can be affected by skill delays while trying to pop up. Be careful not to confuse yourself by heavily delaying the Thorns' appearances.







      Pitfalls to Avoid

      Make sure your skill setup is ready for this Raid. You will have targets that are only vulnerable to commands and actives, so every character should try to bring some active skills to combat this.

      Using skill delays while Thorns are trying to spawn nearby is generally a bad idea. Not only will you throw off the timing of when the Thorn appears from underground, but you'll also make it take longer to kill those Thorns. The Thorns aren't vulnerable to attack until a short time after they appear above ground - delaying them while they're underground means no one can damage them, wasting time.

      Be cautious if you're playing a class that uses up HP in order to attack, such as Nova Imperator or Bloody Queen. While the damage from Thorns usually isn't that significant, if you're playing a class that's forced to go to low health in order to fight effectively, having Thorns target you can end up being fatal if you aren't paying careful attention to Thorn spawns.

      While you'd ideally want to not take damage from the Thorns, it brings up a bit of a dilemma. Yes, getting hit by the Thorns hurts... but if you don't move much, a group of Thorns that's targeting you will have all its Thorns spawn near each other, and will be very easy to destroy efficiently. Try to maintain a balance of safety alongside effective grouping in order to ensure the best results.

      Remember that your attack power keeps decreasing as the phase goes on. Something that one-shotted the Thorns earlier might not do so under a heavier debuff - be ready to adapt.






      Strategies (Individual and Group)

      Group Efforts

      A lot of this phase comes down to individual effort. The reason for this is that there's simply no consistent team strategy for this phase. Ideally, the group would have 2 people in each section of the map (the top, left, right, and bottom), but there will be points where some of those sections won't have any Thorns in them. At that point, people will just be wandering about to where they're needed. Call out areas being flooded by Thorns if you need the help.

      While the rules for Thorn spawns aren't entirely clear, it seems very rare for Thorns to spawn if there are already more than 30 enemies on the battlefield (your minimap tracks this number for you). If you see that there's more than 30 enemies on your minimap, but there aren't any Thorns near you, you should probably relocate and help out other members of the group.

      Groups commonly take note of the ending debuff they have going into phase 2 of this Raid, which will determine their next strategies. A debuff of 18% (or better) is solid, and usually indicates a fairly strong group. A debuff of 21% is okay, but the group may have to be more cautious in the next phase with their approach. Debuffs of 24% or worse usually bode poorly, and probably mean that the group won't have the DPS to clear the next phase.





      Individual Efforts

      As stated earlier, if you're willing to take some hits, Thorns that are targeting you can all be placed near each other. If you allow this, you'll often be able to hit every single one of those Thorns with a single active or special active, and clear them very quickly.

      Many of the groups of Thorns that spawn close to each other will all be the same color of Thorn. This makes it quite efficient to tackle those groups as a whole whenever possible, since you'll be able to harm as many Thorns as possible with the same attacks.

      You may be tempted to use purely commands on Gray Thorns in order to build up MP, then utilize that MP on Red Thorns. However, keep in mind that speed is your top priority here, not MP efficiency - it's almost always in the best interest of your group to fire off all the actives you have on Gray Thorns instead and rely more on consumables.

      Some classes are simply better at doing damage with actives/commands than others. If you're playing one of these classes, you should certainly keep doing your best to handle Red Thorns when they show up, but it might be in the group's best interest for you to tackle Gray Thorns whenever you can (especially if you have multiple people working on Thorns in the same area).

      Phase 2: The Observers

      Phase 2 will put your group's DPS and focus to the test. Concentration on certain goals and enemies - as well as a healthy amount of damage - will be necessary if the group is going to get past this battle.





      Main Mechanics

      The main objective in this battle is to kill the main Observer eye in the center of the room. However, the Observer will have four miniature Observers scattered about the room (generally located in the four corners of the room, but with some variance). While all four mini Observers are alive, the main Observer can't be harmed (indicated by a red shield). The small Observers also have the ability to heal the main Observer if left alive for too long. Since the mini Observers can also respawn after a certain amount of time, the battle becomes a balancing act of removing the mini Observers, attacking the main eye, and avoiding attacks.


      The Observers use laser attacks that are aimed at a specific player. Any player that is targeted will be marked with a blue circle visible to all players. If the main Observer is targeting the player, there will be eight marks to this symbol; if a smaller Observer is targeting them, there will be four marks. These players should be ready to lure away the incoming attacks, both to avoid the attack themselves and prevent the attack from causing issues for the rest of the group.

      Note that the smaller eyes - the Silent Observers - are considered midbosses. This means that boss damage does not affect them, and neither will Soul Harvest. Drain, however, WILL affect them and take out a percentage of their current health.





      Attacks

      Dark Observer (main eye)

      Laser Gaze - a loud, piercing noise will be emitted, and the Dark Observer will mark a player with a blue symbol that has eight marks on it. After aiming for several seconds, it will fire a powerful laser that ignores I-frames and burns MP.
      -The Dark Observer will be debuff immune during the entirety of this move.
      -This laser will kill you very quickly if you get caught in it - if it hits you, it's likely that only getting knocked out of the laser's way will save you.
      -Though powerful, the attack has a very long start-up. The Dark Observer will take around 8 seconds to aim before firing. This gives you a lot of time to reposition, and possibly get some attacks off before having to move. Though dodging is priority one, be efficient with your time when you can.
      -The start-up delay is massive, and as a result, it can be hard to instinctively know when the laser's about to fire without a lot of prior practice. Use the sounds created by the Observers to help your timing if you need to.
      -There is a safe spot for this attack. If you're being targeted and stand right next to the Dark Observer's right side, the beam will end up firing over your head and completely miss you. Use this sparingly, however, as the beam will still be going past you and could interfere with other people in your group. Luring the laser away often remains the superior option.


      Sweeping Beam - the Dark Observer will charge up for a few moments (paired with a sound effect as it builds up energy), then fire a focused beam to either its left or right side.
      -This beam is also powerful, but since it doesn't ignore I-frames, mana breaking can let you live if you get hit by this.
      -There's no visual indicator as to which side the laser will fire upon. Always be ready to assume the worse direction is going to be attacked.
      -Regardless of the direction the beam is fired in, it won't reach the top platforms, making that area a safe spot for this attack.
      -It's highly recommended that you learn to time I-frames to get through this attack, as getting to the top platforms can cost a lot of time that you would want to use attacking Observers.


      Spike Burst - the Dark Observer will charge up for a few moments (emitting a charging sound effect, the same one used for the Sweeping Beam), then emit close-ranged spikes all around it, dealing damage to anyone nearby.
      -This attack usually isn't lethal, but it still hurts a lot, and can be highly disruptive if you're trying to attack the Observer.
      -Being in I-frames as the spikes come out will prevent any of the spikes from hitting you, letting you attack as you please.


      The following attack will be used when the Dark Observer reaches 52.5, 35, and 17.5 HP bars (75%, 50%, and 25% of its health, respectively). The Dark Observer can only use this move at those times, but can use the move again if it is healed beyond one of these thresholds.

      Fracture - the Dark Observer will respawn any Silent Observers that are currently dead. Then, all the Observers will turn dark red while setting all the Silent Observers to a fixed, somewhat low, health. The group will be on a time limit to destroy the four Silent Observers. If the group succeeds, the Dark Observer will go into a fatigue state and will be open to attack for several seconds. (It will resummon all four Silent Observers and return to normal afterwards.) If the group fails, a room-wide AOE will be triggered that will instantly kill the party (even bypassing I-frames on revival effects).
      -The strategy here is no different than killing the Silent Observers normally - work with your group to focus down the eyes, preferably one at a time. If your group has gotten this far, the lower health of the Observers should make this fairly doable.
      -Ensure that each Observer is dead before turning your attention to the main eye. Moving to the Dark Observer only for the group to realize there's still an Observer on the top platforms can be disastrous. There's no need to immediately jump at the Dark Observer, anyways, since there's a delay before it becomes vulnerable. If you're worried about there still being Observers alive, check the enemy count on the minimap - if there's only 1 enemy alive, all the Silent Observers are down and you can set up near the boss.
      -In Story runs, I noted that the respawn mechanic for the Silent Observers lasted for a few seconds after the Fracture countdown began - kiiling a small eye too quickly might cause it to respawn again. In Normal Raids, the Silent Observers are probably durable enough for this to not happen, but if your whole group is tearing through the eyes quickly, you may want to keep an eye out for this.




      Silent Observer (small eye)

      Laser Gaze - the Silent Observer will track a player just as the Dark Observer did, and fire a laser at that player, complete with ignored I-frames and MP burn. The laser is significantly less powerful than that of the Dark Observer, however. The blue symbol for this laser has four marks on it.
      -There's no useful sound effect to detect this attack with - keep watch for the symbols instead.
      -Though the laser isn't all that powerful, it will hit a large number of times, and will cause hitstun that influences players toward the direction of the beam, causing players to get hit more times.
      -Ultimately, you want to get out of the beam quickly. The beam pushes you and only fires so far... but you aren't always fortunate enough to simply be pushed out naturally. Consider mana breaking this move - you won't escape the laser's damage since it ignores I-frames, but you WILL escape the hitstun and regain the ability to move freely for a little while, giving you the chance you need to get out of the laser. Just make sure to keep healing as you do this so you don't die to the continued hits you'll be receiving.
      -Be cautious of this attack whenever all four Silent Observers spawn at once. The Silent Observers will all start attacking at the same time... which often means you could be dealing with two or three Laser Gazes at the same time, which is incredibly disruptive if the beams aren't lured away from the group.


      Spike Burst - the Silent Observers will replicate the Spike Burst attack used by the Dark Observer, with an identical visual warning.
      -Though each hit isn't particularly harmful, the Burst will hit a lot of times, meaning you can lose a large amount of health to this move if you aren't careful.
      -As with the Dark Observer, simply timing I-frames is the most convenient way through this attack.
      -Watch out for this attack as you're moving around the arena. The last thing you want is to get caught in the Spike Burst of an Observer you happen to be passing by and get stuck for a few seconds.





      Pitfalls to Avoid

      DO NOT IGNORE THE LASER SYMBOLS. Above all else, make sure that these lasers do not get fired into your group. The responsibility of baiting away the laser falls on the person being targeted, since everyone else needs to focus on dealing damage to the Observers. Not baiting away the lasers can be destructive to everyone in your Raid group - one Dark Observer laser not being redirected can result in several deaths.

      If you're trying to mana break a small laser (from the Silent Observers), don't forget about the MP burn on the beam. This MP burn means you'll ultimately lose MP per hit (the MP you gain from taking the hit will be less than the MP you lose). Be ready to use a consumable to get your MP back.

      Awareness in this battle is key. Though all of the attacks used by the Observers are very slow, you'll be dealing with a large number of them scattered about the arena. Keep looking at your surroundings as you're attacking an Observer or moving around, or you might get blindsided by an attack.





      Team Strategies

      The approach the party takes will depend on how strong the members of the group are, as well as the Phase 1 debuff on the party.

      If the group has an 18% debuff and knows itself to be strong, it will likely "rush" the boss. This involves destroying only one Silent Observer (usually the lower-right one), then immediately focusing all attention on the Dark Observer. The goal here is to do enough damage to the Dark Observer to force it to attempt Fracture at 52.5 HP bars before the Silent Observers can heal it. This bypasses a lot of effort spent trying to kill off the Silent Observers, but requires excellent damage output from the group.

      If the group has a 21% debuff and feels a bit lacking in damage, the group will probably aim for a "full cycle" first. This means the group will try to destroy all four of the Silent Observers before damaging the Dark Observer. The group will probably be able to reach a Fracture attack before the Silent Observers can come back and have a chance to heal the boss. From here, the group will ride on the momentum gained from attacking the boss during its fatigue states after attempted Fractures, and can decide to either "rush" or do more "full cycles" based on how much damage the group is doing.

      If the group has a 24% debuff (or worse) and is struggling to do damage, expect to attempt "full cycles" throughout the course of the phase. If the group can't keep up with the Observers (e.g. they're coming back as fast as the group can kill them off), it's not uncommon to see groups willingly kill themselves off to avoid wasting more effort.

      As with any scenario where the group needs to do damage to a single target quickly, the group will often want to focus on a single Observer at a time. Traditionally, going through all four Silent Observers means starting with the lower-right Observer, then proceeding counterclockwise (lower-right, upper-right, upper-left, lower-left). Keep the group organized and on the same page - if some players are errant and attacking a different Silent Observer or the main eye, it may slow down the group significantly.

      Anyone targeted by the Observers' lasers should break off from the group and find a suitable place to redirect the laser to. Try to have the laser in a location where it not only will not hit other group members, but also won't block their way if they need to move to another Observer. Having the lasers aimed towards the ceiling often helps out, since party members can just use pass-through combos on the Dark Observer to get to the other side if a vertical laser blocks them. However, having smaller lasers fired into the group is actually somewhat common (and far from ideal) - be ready.

      Phase 3: The Crimson Eye

      The main DPS requirement is over... though you'll still need a fairly healthy amount of damage to get past one of the final phase's moves. Still, you have a very durable target here paired with various lethal attacks - keep your guard up.





      Main Mechanics

      The color mechanics and blue mark mechanics from phases 1 and 2 will return here. Remember that gray is damaged by commands and actives, while red is damaged by special actives; and that you're being tracked if you have an eight-mark symbol around you.

      The third phase of this Raid begins to actively punish dying. If a player dies during phase 3, the boss will instantly recover 2 HP bars. This only places further emphasis on proper execution and safe play.

      Pink outlines denoting debuff immunity will be plainly visible during this phase. Time your debuffs accordingly, especially since debuff immunity will also remove any debuffs the boss already had on it.

      Many of the boss' attacks will red warning lights to indicate where they'll be aimed - stay out of the highlighted regions at all costs.





      Attacks

      Thorn Spin - The Crimson Eye will teleport to the center of the arena, then deploy three thorns, with their opening locations indicated by red warning lights. After this, the boss will begin spinning the thorns around for several seconds. Any contact with these thorns (or the boss' black shell) will result in instant death.
      -Try to avoid being in the bottom section of the map when this attack comes out. If you're down there, you have the least room possible to position yourself for the attack.
      -You'll have to be able to climb the platforms in the arena at a respectable pace to avoid this attack. Know your character's movement well.
      -Be sure to pace yourself as you move around - you're not only trying to avoid the thorn behind you, but also wanting to not smack yourself into the thorn ahead of you.
      -Technically, the boss is completely vulnerable to attack during the entire Spin. However, given the threat of instant death, you should pick any attacking opportunities carefully. Since the risk (dying and giving the boss 2 HP bars back) of attacking outweighs the reward (damage dealt), you should only attack when you're absolutely confident it's safe to do so.
      -The Thorns can't reach the air of the upper-left corner. While this does constitute a safe spot, only characters like Add can both reach the height needed to get to the spot, and have the means to remain up there for the entire attack. (Add can do this via his ability to hover in place, so long as he has the MP.)


      Thorn Cages - The Crimson Eye will emit an echoing noise, and place up to two players in colored cages - those players will be unable to take any actions. These cages are either gray or red, and have the same vulnerabilities as the phase 1 Thorns. The group has 20 seconds to destroy these cages, or the players inside will be instantly killed. After using this attack, the Crimson Eye must wait several seconds before taking another action.
      -Attempt to have everyone in your group nearby, so you can place the two caged players together and remove the cages much more quickly.
      -The cages will be put on two players no matter where they are - this includes players who are in the air. An airborne cage can be deadly, so try to stay grounded.
      -This attack constitutes the remaining DPS barrier for the phase. These cages may become harder and harder to deal with if players die in the phase, so be ready for these speed bumps.
      -The maximum number of cages that can be created is two. The Crimson Eye also must leave at least one player outside of a cage. This means that:
      A. If there are three or more players, two cages will appear.
      B. If there are two players, one cage will appear.
      C. If there is only one player, the Cage attack will never be attempted.
      -While revival effects will block the instant death of this attack, they won't entirely save you. Any person who survives a Thorn Cage via a revival effect will be put into a Helpless state (cannot take actions), randomly slide about the arena, and will soon die to the Cage anyways if it's still intact. In essence, all a revival effect does is buy your allies a few more seconds to break the cage.


      Laser Gaze - just like in phase 2, the Crimson Eye will target a single player (marked with a blue symbol), and fire a powerful laser beam at them after a few seconds. The Crimson Eye is still immune to debuffs during this attack, and the Eye will fire its beam faster than before.
      -The beam will fire after about 5 seconds. (In phase 2, it took roughly 8 seconds to fire.)
      -You'll only have two sound cues - the opening shriek and one echoing sound - to work with, and there's a gap a few seconds long between the last sound and the laser firing. Put emphasis on learning the timing of this move to avoid potential problems.
      -As before, be sure to bait the laser in directions where it won't cause trouble for yourself or other players. Aiming lasers toward the ceiling or walls is usually a good choice, depending on the group's choices.


      Spike Burst - the Crimson Eye will release a sound effect akin to ground breaking, then shoot a close-ranged AOE around it after a few moments. This spike burst utilizes a single, powerful hit rather than multiple weaker hits.
      -While this is the only move the Eye has that doesn't ignore I-frames, it still has considerable power to it, and may kill players with weaker defenses in a single hit if they don't have defensive effects active.
      -As before, if you are in I-frames inside the Spike Burst as the Spike Burst goes off, you'll effectively avoid the entire hitbox for the move.
      -Be warned: this attack lingers for a LONG time. If you choose to avoid the Spike Burst by getting distance from the Eye, do NOT approach until the spikes are completely gone, or you'll just run yourself right into the Burst.


      At 70 HP bars, the following changes occur:

      Thorn Spin will be modified. From this point on, when Thorn Spin would've ended before, the boss will instead suddenly stop spinning, then rotate in the other direction.
      -Note that this change in rotation will always occur once the boss has reached this phase, so be ready for it.
      -The change in direction will occur around the same point in time in the Spin attack every time. With enough experience, you can actively predict when the Thorns are going to stop spinning, and you can intentionally slow down in anticipation of this. (Just don't slow down so much you smack into the Thorn behind you.)


      At 60 HP bars, the Crimson Eye gains access to the following attack:

      Thorn Pillars - the Crimson Eye will surround itself in a red shell, and become invulnerable. After a few moments, it will begin targeting players (one at a time) with spike pillars, indicated by red warning lights. Any player hit by a pillar will be instantly killed. However, the Crimson Eye itself can be hit by these pillars. If the Crimson Eye is hit by 5 pillars before the attack ends, it will collapse and be unable to take action for several seconds.
      -The goal here, then, is to intentionally lure the pillars under the Crimson Eye in order to break the Eye's guard and leave it vulnerable to assault.
      -Since you need to hit the Eye with the pillars, but also need to avoid the pillars themselves, the best strategy is often to alternate between these two goals. Bait one pillar under the Eye, then move to the left or right and wait. Let the next pillar target you, then go back under the Eye. This will let you break the Eye's shield fairly quickly with minimal risk.
      -During this attack, the Crimson Eye is still a physical being, and will block you if you try to run through it. It's often best to move to a different height than the one the Eye is on to keep this from being a problem.
      -The person targeted by a pillar is random each time. Thus, it's ideal for groups to synchronize their movements as much as possible to maximize the control they have over where the pillars show up.





      Pitfalls to Avoid

      Aside from Spike Burst, every single one of the Eye's moves will ignore I-frames. Be sure you aren't using a special active with a long animation as the boss transitions into one of these moves, or the results could be deadly.

      When the Crimson Eye deploys Thorn Cages, keep in mind that the Eye will only wait so long before attacking again - it's not going to wait on you to break the cages. It could very well move into a Thorn Spin or Laser Gaze soon after producing the Cages - your time limit might be shorter than 20 seconds.

      Similarly, it's possible that the Crimson Eye may transition into a Spike Burst after summoning Cages. This can be a problem if your group is taking a lot of time to break the Cages and was near the Eye when the Cages were summoned, since this forces everyone to be in range of the Spike Burst. If the group is struggling to break the Cages, it's probably wise to stay away from the Eye when it summons Cages to avoid being in range of its other moves.

      The Crimson Eye has no debuff immunity when winding up for a Spike Burst. Keep an eye out for any debuffs such as Petrify that will momentarily stop the boss, as this will change the Burst's timing. Run away from the Eye if you have to - a few extra attacks aren't worth dying over in this situation.

      During the Thorn Pillars, unless you know everyone in your group is moving in unison, don't preemptively move away from a pillar you believe is about to be under you - react instead. Moving before the pillar's warning light even appears is dangerous, as you could be surprised by the pillar targeting someone in the group you didn't expect, and might end up running into the pillar as a result. React, don't guess.





      Team Strategies

      The group usually wants to stay together for most of the attacks in the fight. The most common gathering place is the top platform, since it's clear where everyone should go, and gives a lot of room to move about in reaction to the opening Thorn locations during Thorn Spin. Being on the top platform also makes it much easier to deal with Thorn Pillars, since you can move to any height you need very easily (you're either already at the height you need, or can swiftly drop down to it).

      The group will always want to be close to one another after the Crimson Eye teleports, in case it decides to summon Thorn Cages (which requires everyone to be near one another to be quickly cleared). A player failing to stay with the group could be caught in a cage away from everyone else, and the group's efforts will be split - in this situation, someone might end up dying to the cage.

      As before, any person targeted by Laser Gaze should single themselves out. Try to be on the other side of the group (e.g. if they're all on the right of the Crimson Eye, be on the left). Afterwards, bait the attack in a direction where it won't disrupt the group even if the Crimson Eye slightly adjusts its aim, and the rest of the group will be able to freely assault the Eye.

      Everyone's going to be focused on the same target, and the Crimson Eye has a gigantic health bar. Debuffs are highly valued, since they'll benefit everyone in the group. Because of this, Wind Orbs are quite popular for accelerating the battle... just mind the debuff immunity.

      If you'd like to see a demo play of this dungeon, it is available below. Phase 2 didn't go quite as planned, but it felt like a pretty good showcase of the dangers that can pop up.

      Last edited by Hitotsuoboe-solace-; 04-27-2019, 02:14 PM. Reason: Adding notes/corrections regarding debuff immunity in phase 2/3, and another note about using the minimap with the Fracture attack in phase 2
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        #4
        12-7: Crimson Cradle of Flames


        The final Raid bosses will face you with gigantic health bars, a large variety of lethal attacks, and numerous mechanics to overcome - many of which you've already encountered thus far. Be as prepared as you can for these battles... and only expect victory if your group is incredibly strong.

        I did state that Story mode is no substitute for the real Raid. This applies more to Crimson Cradle than any of the other Raid fights. Not only will the team aspect of the battles be highly important, but there are also notable differences in bosses between Story and Normal modes that prevent you from knowing the full boss experience from just Story mode. Be ready to learn from failure.

        Come with the best equipment you can, Adaptation, boss damage, consumable stocks ready for a war... and potentially a good number of Stone Apples.

        Phase 1: Malice, the Prison

        Main Mechanics

        In Normal mode, the fight against Malice is secretly a race against time. Your goal is to kill Malice before you no longer have enough of an arena to fight on.

        Malice will be utilizing Thorn Pillars (the ones the Crimson Eye used in 12-6), and targeting players with them. This time, however, the whole battle takes place on floating platforms. If a platform gets hit by a Thorn Pillar, one layer of platform will be destroyed for each Thorn Pillar and won't come back. This means the group will have less and less space to work with as time goes on in the battle, and they need to end Malice quickly while also being efficient with conserving what platforms they do have.

        In Story mode, a number of the platforms cannot be destroyed by Thorn Pillars. This is not the case in Normal mode.

        Losing ground is also a problem due to the surrounding pits. These pits, unlike most in the game, will cause instant death if you fall in them. (You don't get teleported to the arena, so revival effects won't save you, either - you'll just revive still in the pit and die shortly after.)

        Malice's battle is also an escalating one, albeit to a lighter degree than the one with the Crimson Soul. Malice has some notable delays before some of his attacks. However, as Malice loses health, these delays will only get shorter. Be able to recognize Malice's tells quickly, or the results can be destructive.

        Malice will have two Blood Rages on the battlefield that will respawn after a time if destroyed. These Blood Rages exist more for disruption and displacing players - a threat varying in severity by what platforms you have. However, they also explode on death, with the explosion being absolutely lethal in Normal mode, so players must monitor the Rages and be ready to get out of the way.

        Overall, the battle does feature slow enemies, but the difficulty comes from managing all of the enemies at once and not getting mentally overwhelmed by everything that's happening. Stay focused.





        Attacks

        Blood Rage

        Spinning Grind - the Blood Rage will head into the background, then lay on its side. Afterwards, it will sweep back and forth across the lower platform, hitting and pushing anyone in its path.
        -Note that the Blood Rage will only sweep across the three lower platform tiers - the highest platforms will be missed. (Though on rare occasion the spin might still hit you once if you're standing on the top platform - jumping over this move might be a good idea for safety's sake)
        -If you're just focused on attacking Malice's head, you can often ignore this attack since you should be on the top platforms anyways. Be more cautious of this move, however, if you're on the lower levels or need to move to the sides of the arena... especially if you're trying to avoid one of Malice's moves.


        Slam - the Blood Rage will head into the background, and raise itself up vertically. A red warning light will be displayed shortly before the Blood Rage smashes into the ground, moderately damaging and displacing anyone hit.
        -While the attack isn't lethal by itself, the damage it deals is still considerable. Two Slams could be enough to kill a player with weaker defenses, so don't ignore health lost to this attack.
        -The displacement caused by the attack is significant, and can push you a great distance to the side. This makes falling into the pit a very real possibility. Even if you aren't near the pit, getting hit by a Slam means losing a few seconds you could've spent attacking Malice, so do your best to avoid or armor through this attack.


        Detonation - on death, the Blood Rage will collapse to the ground floor of the arena and emit a spherical explosion. This explosion deals massive damage in Normal mode (and high damage even in Story mode) and ignores defensive effects, very often killing players in one hit.
        -While the explosion is deadly, the explosion's sphere doesn't cover much area on the top platforms. Because of this, a small sidestep (or jump) can often be enough to get you out of the explosion's reach.
        -Even with the explosion's short reach, don't sell this attack short - deaths to this attack are relatively common, especially since the Detonation occurs fairly quickly after the Blood Rage collapses. If you think a Blood Rage has taken a beating, try to make sure it's not directly under you as the fight goes on.





        Malice

        Petrifying Gaze - Malice will laugh and raise one of its arms, and a magic circle will appear above its eye. After a delay, Malice will sweep the center platforms with a powerful laser, going in the direction of its outstretched arm. Anyone hit by the laser will be petrified for several seconds.
        -The delay prior to Malice firing the laser will get shorter as Malice loses health.
        -While running to the side and jumping over the laser beam is certainly possible, I can't actually recommend doing so. The reason is simple: the hitbox for the laser is actually bigger than the laser's visuals. It's completely possible to jump over the laser's visuals while you're near Malice's head and still touch the laser's hitbox. Using I-frames to get through this move is a lot safer and more consistent - you'll be attacking Malice by doing this, too. Here's what can happen if you try to dodge the laser normally.
        -While you will be safe from the laser in I-frames, keep watch during the move. Malice moves its head across the battlefield with the laser, and you're likely going to be physically pushed by Malice's head as it does this. Track your position and adjust accordingly.


        Hand Slam -> Thorn Pillars - Malice will emit a cackling laugh, and raise both its arms into the air. After a delay, it will slam its arms down in fixed locations, launching any players hit by the arms. The instant the slam contacts the ground, Thorn Pillars will be fired, targeting each player. Contact with the Thorn Pillar will result in instant death.
        -The delay prior to Malice slamming its hands down will get shorter as Malice loses health. This means the group will have shorter and shorter time limits to get into position to bait the Thorn Pillars away. When Malice has 20-30 bars of health or less, the slam is performed quickly enough that it's advised to get into position after Malice finishes using Chaos Orbs (see below) before the slam animations even start, just to ensure everyone gets into place in time.
        -Avoid being launched by the slam at all costs. If you get launched, you WILL be hit by a Thorn Pillar and either die to the Pillar, or die to falling in the newly-opened pit below you.
        -The slam's hitbox includes both the hands as they come down, as well as the contact with the ground itself. However, the red spheres that emit from the slam are deceiving: only Malice's hand constitutes a hitbox, not the spheres. Some of the space in the red spheres is actually safe to stand in.
        -Though deadly, the slam always comes down in the exact same spot every time, and may not come into play at all when you're baiting certain waves of Thorn Pillars. Memorizing its location can do you a world of good.
        -If you have to bait Thorn Pillars right where the slam will be, ensure that you have armor or I-frames (Stone Apples can be immensely helpful here). If you choose to use armor, though, make sure that you only get hit by the arm swing and not the slam. Getting hit by both the arm as it descends and the slam could do enough combined damage to kill you.
        -Assuming all of the thorn pillars are baited properly, you can safely dodge to the left and right two times each before being in range of the hand slam. Monitor the platforms carefully to know in advance whether or not you'll need super armor the next time this attack rolls around.


        At 72 HP bars (80% health), Malice gains access to the following attack:

        Chaos Orbs - Malice will raise its head into the background, and any active Blood Rages will hover in a standby state in the air. Soon after, Malice will slam the ground, causing a large number of fiery orbs to rise up. Any contact with the orbs will cause heavy damage and HP burn - larger orbs deal more damage than smaller ones.
        -It's often possible to survive contact with a small orb, but expect death if you run into anything larger.
        -The pattern of the orbs is only partially random. If you go to the left side of the top center platform, you will consistently be able to find a path through the incoming orbs. Another such path exists on the right side of the arena, but this can sometimes involve jumping through a small gap between orbs that will kill you if you miss it, so it's not recommended.
        -Keep to small horizontal movements. The orbs rise slowly, so you can pace yourself. Dashing will only make you lose precision, which can be deadly when some gaps between orbs are barely bigger than your character.
        -Don't panic if you see other players supposedly taking damage from orbs. Due to the partial randomness of the Chaos Orbs on top of how latency works in Elsword, players won't see the same orb patterns as everyone else. What looks like your ally taking hits is often them being perfectly fine.
        -Malice's head is in the background, but Malice isn't invulnerable during this move. Homing moves with sufficient range will still be able to damage Malice during this attack, provided you have the opportunity to safely use such a skill.






        Pitfalls to Avoid

        Don't just be aware of the damage of attacks - be aware of where they might send you if they hit you. If the result is that they send you into a pit resulting in guaranteed death, you should be particularly cautious about that move.

        Pay attention to what your teammates are doing. If their attacks are quickly doing splash damage to a Blood Rage, you might want to be ready in case that Blood Rage explodes. If your teammates are a bit spread out when Thorn Pillars are fired, you need to make sure your escape route isn't cut off, and adjust accordingly if you can.

        Since this is a race against time (before your group loses too many platforms), your primary focus should be rushing down Malice. Attack as fast as you can... within reason. Don't let yourself get too distracted by focusing purely on attack only to let yourself get blindsided by a Blood Rage. This can slow down your assault or even get you killed by an errant explosion you weren't watching out for.






        Team Strategies

        A constant stream of buffs and debuffs will help the party immensely. Everyone's efforts will be solely focused on killing Malice as quickly as possible. (No one will be hitting Blood Rages on purpose.)

        Besides managing buffs and debuffs, most of the teamwork will come from how the group baits the Thorn Pillars. The goal is to put the Pillars in the positions where they will cause the least damage to the platform. Ideally, this often means all the Pillars are either in one spot, or are in a location where they won't hit the platforms at all.

        To focus the Pillars to singular spots, a common strategy is to start out by having everyone bait the Pillars to the far left platform. The next set of Pillars will be baited to the far right, and so on, using the most distant platform possible each time and alternating between the two sides.

        Some characters (like Eve) or classes (like Minerva) are capable of safely going over the pits for a long time without risk of falling. These classes are capable of baiting Thorn Pillars over the pit, meaning those Pillars won't do damage to the platforms at all. If someone plans to do this in conjunction with the rest of the group, they should usually go the direction opposite the group. This way, that character will have as few Thorn Pillars in their way (from other teammates being targeted) as possible for when they try to land back on the platforms... just watch out, in case another pillar will block your path while airborne.

        Phase 2: The Recluse

        Main Mechanics

        The Recluse retains the Crimson Soul's ability to teleport (though the Recluse doesn't have to if a target is close enough). If it chooses to teleport, it still has to mark the person it's teleporting to with a blue symbol.

        Despite the fact that some of the Recluse's moves are directly inherited from the Crimson Soul, the Ember of Combustion debuff is not present in this phase. You won't lose MP to the fire effects on the Recluse's attacks. (Don't get used to this, though, since this changes with phase 3)

        The Thorns from the introductory phase of 12-6 will return - as before, gray is vulnerable to commands and actives, while red is vulnerable to special actives (and other sources of skill damage).

        The Recluse will switch between two forms in this phase, which have slightly differing movesets. The Recluse starts the battle in its Dark Form; after a transition move, it will switch to its Fire Form. Another transition will return it to the Dark Form, and so on.

        Like in phase 1, the platforms you stand on can be destroyed, and the pit is still instant death. However, any platform destruction in this phase is temporary, as I will explain in the section on attacks.

        In Normal mode, some of the Recluse's attacks will do substantially more damage than they did in Story mode. Some of the Recluse's thorn summons can kill players in one hit (or at least come very close) - try to keep your health high whenever you can.




        Attacks

        Common (can be used in either form)

        Flame Scythe - Horizontal - the Recluse will swing its scythe horizontally, just as the Crimson Soul did. The swing will still leave a flame aura around it for a few moments.
        -You can afford to be a bit more aggressive with special actives against this in this phase, since the lack of the Flame of Combustion debuff means your only penalty for getting hit is taking damage. The flame aura relies on multiple hits to do its harm, so rapid special active use will cause you to take relatively light damage.


        Scythe Grind - like the Crimson Soul, the Recluse can cast a phantom scythe in either horizontal direction, then drag it along the ground. Anyone hit will receive a Leg Wound debuff and be dragged at high speed in the Recluse's direction.
        -Be very careful about being dragged by this attack. The speed you get launched at is very high, and can easily send you shooting into a bottomless pit if your positioning is unfortunate.
        -As before, getting behind the Recluse or under the scythe will make dodging this move a lot easier.





        Dark Form

        Scythe Combo - Dark - the Recluse will perform two giant scythe swings in one direction that will hit above, below, and in front of the Recluse with heavy hitstun. After a short delay, the Recluse will swing upwards, summoning two Dark Thorns and knocking anyone hit upwards.
        -Both summoned Thorns will be the same color.
        -The scythe swings used to also hit behind the Recluse, but this was (mostly) patched out. I say mostly because it's still occasionally possible to be hit by a backswing if you get very close to the Recluse's back.
        -The two scythe swings do substantial damage in Normal mode, and getting hit by a full scythe combo of any kind in Normal mode will probably kill you outright if you don't heal or mana break. Though commonly used, these Scythe combos are threats you must respect.
        -You can take advantage of the Recluse's pause before summoning the Thorns. If you start up a special active or use armor to get through the first two swings, you'll have a few moments to get out of the way of the final swing and punish the move.


        Thorn Strike - the Recluse will release a burst of red energy while shouting a line of dialogue. A Thorn will be summoned under every player within a radius of the Recluse.
        -Movement to the side will get you of the way of the Thorn being summoned under you... just make sure not to go where another player was standing, or you'll just get stabbed by the Thorn that was targeting them.
        -This move does extremely high damage in Normal mode. Make avoiding this move a high priority.
        -Both the shout the Recluse emits and the position of the Recluse's scythe (the Recluse will be holding its scythe horizontally as it executes the energy burst) will let you know when this attack is coming. The Thorns' health bars will warn you as well, but these might be too late for you to react to.
        -Note that the summoned Thorns, unlike those encountered in 12-6, aren't affected by delays in Crimson Cradle. This means you can use I-frames to avoid them at your leisure.


        Crimson Burst - the Recluse will teleport to the center of the arena on the ground floor, become invulnerable, and trigger a brief cutscene. All Thorns that were on the battlefield will instantly be destroyed. After charging for a couple of seconds, the Recluse will release a fiery burst upwards, killing anyone in range. When the burst fires, Flame Pillars will be launched, targeting each player - these Flame Pillars will destroy any section of platform they hit. After completing this move, the Recluse will transition into its Fire Form.
        -Get to the edges of the arena to bait the Flame Pillars to a location where they'll cause minimal damage to the arena.
        -There's no reason to be anywhere near the Recluse during this attack - the flame burst from the Recluse will kill you, and the Recluse is invincible throughout the move.
        -The Recluse will be invulnerable for a few seconds after the move ends. Don't waste your MP on attacks, since they won't connect - focus on buffs, healing, and setup instead.
        -The flame burst emitted by the Recluse has a hitbox that lingers with the animation. Don't get to the Recluse too fast, or you could accidentally run into the fire graphics and kill yourself.





        Fire Form

        Flame Scythe - Vertical - like the Crimson Soul, the Recluse is capable of executing vertical slashes (complete with flame aura) while in its Fire Form.
        -Yes, strangely, this is the correct place for this move. Vertical Flame Scythes can ONLY occur while the Recluse is in Fire Form.
        -Even in Fire Form, the Ember of Combustion debuff is still absent.
        -Try not to be near a pit when the Recluse attempts this move - the opening swing is quite good at sending players a fair distance, including popping up players in the air and to the side.


        Scythe Combo - Fire - the Recluse will perform two scythe swings as it did in Dark Form. After a brief pause, it will release a fiery explosion in front of it, dealing multiple hits.
        -The timing of this attack is very similar to the Dark Form version of the move. The strategies regarding dealing with the first two swings of the combo apply to this version of the attack as well.
        -Like with the Dark version of the combo, be very careful of the damage this attack can potentially do. Use super armor to ignore the hitstun or I-frame through whenever you can.


        Dark Array - the Recluse will teleport to the center of the arena on the ground floor and become invulnerable. Any damage done to the platforms will be repaired. The Recluse will then summon eyes that will shoot four laser blasts. Each blast will leave one of the four platform heights in the arena untouched - players must move there to be safe or face instant death. After this attack ends, the Recluse transitions into its Dark Form.
        -Make sure you've completely landed on a platform before the lasers fire - the laser heights are set such that your character's height will barely be in range of the safe zone.
        -For obvious reasons, make sure your character's body isn't larger via an effect during this move - you'll be doomed if this happens. Be reminded that a Fighter's Potion also increases your body size, so you must use them very carefully in this phase because of this attack.
        -It's easier to descend than ascend. It can be suggested that you try to climb up to the second or third floor while you wait for the next laser burst to make things easier if the safe zone is near the top platforms, but...
        -Ensure that the lasers have stopped firing completely before changing heights, including for the last of the four arrays. Even if you run into a laser as the barrage is fading, it's still going to cause instant death. Don't be impatient.




        Pitfalls to Avoid

        Try to avoid fighting the Recluse near any pitfalls, and be as close to the center of the largest stretch of land you have at any given time. Many of the Recluse's attacks can cause a fair amount of displacement if they hit you, and getting flung into a pit is worse than getting hit by any of the Recluse's non-instadeath attacks.

        There used to be a glitch where the Recluse was capable of falling into the pit, instantly killing the boss. Don't bother trying this, as it's been patched out - the Recluse will just instantly teleport to someone if it's about to go into the pit. Based on recent reports from a guildmate (who had a separate bug happen in the fight), the pit's instant death doesn't seem to even work on the Recluse anymore.

        The automatic teleport mechanic is something to be cautious of if the group is forced to fight near a pit. If the Recluse has to teleport, it will immediately stop whatever attack it was doing, go to a random player, then instantly start attacking again. This can easily catch you off guard if you aren't paying close attention.

        While fighting the Recluse's Dark Form, try to clear out the Thorns whenever it's possible and convenient. The Thorns are physical objects, and can thus act as walls. While this can technically help you if you get sent flying by one of the Recluse's attacks (hitting the Thorn will kill your momentum), most of the time, they'll just get in your way while you're trying to avoid the Recluse's moves or attack the Recluse.





        Team Strategies

        The strategy here remains the same: kill the boss as quickly as possible. The group will be in the center of the arena (usually on the bottom floor) attacking the Recluse liberally, and you should do your best to stay there. If the Recluse teleports to you while you're away from the center, the rest of the group can't attack the boss.

        Most of the Thorns the Dark Form summons will probably be shattered by collateral damage. This only further emphasizes why the group should stick together - this will incidentally put all the summoned Thorns relatively close together AND put them near the Recluse, making destroying them all while focusing on the boss fairly easy in most situations.

        While working with a group, be mindful of your allies' positions. Where your allies stand is where the Recluse will summon hazards via Thorn Strike and Crimson Burst - don't run yourself into attacks that targeted someone else.

        When baiting the Flame Pillars, the group will always head to the furthest edges of the arena. (The direction usually doesn't matter.) Follow suit, and the group's arena will constantly take minimal damage.

        Phase 3: Rosso, the Dark Recluse

        Main Mechanics

        The final battle against Rosso is a culmination of many of the previous attacks and mechanics you've already encountered.

        Rosso retains the ability to teleport, but still has to provide a blue mark over the person he's teleporting to.

        Dark Thorns and Cages will appear during this battle - naturally, this means you'll have to attack them by their color (grey = commands and actives, red = special actives and other skill damage sources).

        Rosso's fire-based attacks will now inflict the second version of the Ember of Combustion debuff. Not only will being set on fire burn 5% of your maximum MP per second, but it will also cause your attacks to heal Rosso... and any Thorns or Cages he has on the battlefield. Pick your attack opportunities wisely.

        Just like in the battle against the Crimson Eye, Rosso will regain 2 HP bars any time a player dies.

        The pit below the arena is still instant death. Once again, you'll have to deal with attacks that can destroy most of the platforms... but in phase 3, Rosso won't repair any damage that's done. I say "most" because the centermost platforms in the arena can't be destroyed... this is vital to succeeding in this fight.

        While Rosso's attack power isn't as threatening as it was in phase 2, he makes up for it by having one of the largest HP pools in the game. Thanks to this, phase 3 becomes a battle of endurance and focus.






        Attacks

        Most of the attacks in this phase are inherited from previous phases or Raids, so my descriptions of them will be brief. You'll just have to be more cautious of them than you'd normally be, due to the Ember of Combustion debuff and the heightened risks of being knocked into pits if things go awry.


        Flame Scythe - like the Crimson Soul, Rosso can swipe his scythe either vertically or horizontally, with a flame aura left in that area for a few seconds. The flames on this attack cause the Ember of Combustion debuff.


        Scythe Grind - Rosso is still capable of projecting a phantom scythe and dragging it along the ground. Going below or behind it remains viable, as this attack hasn't changed.


        Scythe Combo - Flame - like in phase 2, Rosso will perform two scythe swings (with the same hitboxes), then launch a fiery explosion in front of him. This explosion now inflicts the Ember of Combustion debuff.


        Scythe Combo - Dark - like in phase 2, Rosso will perform two scythe swings, then summon Thorns out of the ground in front of him. This time, three Thorns are summoned.
        -The three Thorns will still all be the same color.
        -The first two swings of the scythe combos are identical, as are the voice clips Rosso uses when performing the move. You can't tell which version of the combo Rosso is using until he completes it.
        -Like in phase 2, the summoned Thorns are not affected by delays.


        Meteor Rain - Rosso will raise his hand to the sky, and summon meteors that the Crimson Calamity used, all targeting a single person. However, this time there are six meteors, and fall much faster than they did in 12-5.
        -Make good use of the upper platforms to force the meteors to hit them, keeping them out of the way.
        -Be particularly careful of the flames left behind by the meteors. Not only do they inflict the Ember of Combustion debuff, but with six flames near each other, they can potentially do damage at a startling rate if you don't stay out of them... easier said than done if Rosso ends up launching you into them.
        -The meteor explosions (on impacting the ground) are smaller than they were in 12-5, and won't hit below platforms they collide with. There's no risk of the meteor explosions hitting you if you're under a platform in this fight.


        Thorn Cages - Rosso will briefly stop in place for a few moments and gain debuff immunity while stopped. Afterwards, he will summon cages, trapping up to two people. These function exactly as they did for the Crimson Eye in 12-6 (grey or red colors indicate vulnerability, person trapped can't move and dies in 20 seconds, etc.). Rosso still has to wait a few seconds after summoning the cages before moving again.
        -Use the pause and debuff immunity as a warning - if you see Rosso stop moving, get close to everyone else in the group to make sure the cages are always as close to each other as possible.
        -If you have the Ember of Combustion debuff, remember that you'll heal Rosso and anything he summons if you attack. The Cages are included in this. You have to evade Rosso's flame attacks if you want to help break the cages.
        -Rosso still has to follow the same rules as the Crimson Eye when it comes to the cage count: 2 cages at most, and at least one person must not be in a cage. So if only 2 people are left standing, Rosso can only summon one cage; if only one person is left alive, Rosso can never summon cages.


        Thorn Pillar - the camera will zoom out, and Rosso will teleport to the center of the arena, high up in the air. After a couple moments, Rosso will target a player with a Thorn Pillar. As before, this pillar ignores I-frames and will cause instant death for anyone it hits. This pillar, however, will also destroy any platform (except the center platforms) it hits, causing permanent damage to the arena.
        -Make sure that, at all costs, this attack is baited to the center of the arena. Having a section of the arena destroyed is arguably worse than dying, since it opens up huge potential for instant deaths due to people being knocked into pits.
        -Since Rosso teleports to the horizontal center of the arena, just go under him to get the pillar to only hit the center platforms.






        Pitfalls to Avoid

        Let me repeat this: ensure that any Thorn Pillar hits only the center, even if it kills you. The sheer amount of potential death a hole in the arena causes is enormous, and you want to avoid this situation no matter what.

        Rosso is going to be launching a large number of attacks that have the Ember of Combustion debuff on them. Keep watch to make sure you haven't accidentally run into the side of a Flame Scythe's aura or such before you start swinging at Rosso or his summons.

        Rosso is able to summon Thorn Pillars about once a minute. However, at the beginning of the fight, remember that you have to sit through a lengthy cutscene - Rosso's minute wait is decreasing during this cutscene. By the time the fighting actually starts, Rosso won't be far away from using his first Thorn Pillar. Try to avoid using any moves with lengthy animations until he attempts his first Thorn Pillar attack - Rosso using this move while you're stuck in a special active is a very real possibility. In general, try to avoid using moves with long animation times if you expect Rosso to be using a Thorn Pillar in the near future - if you're stuck in an animation, you'll have no way to avoid the Pillar.

        Try to stick somewhat close to Rosso. He has a habit of repeatedly using Flame Scythes if there are no people close enough for him to reasonably target with scythe combos. It becomes very difficult to deal damage to Rosso while he's cloaked in flame auras that will debuff you if you touch them.






        Team Strategies

        Once again, the only goal is to defeat Rosso as quickly as possible while managing his attacks. The group will remain together in the center of the arena for the entire fight (when reasonably possible), for sake of being ready to bait the Thorn Pillars.

        Unlike phase 2, groups might tend to have Rosso on the third platform height, rather than the first (ground level). Rosso can get rather trigger-happy with Flame Scythes if he gets isolated on the ground floor. On the third floor, there's enough platforms nearby to let people easily get closer to Rosso, causing him to be more aggressive. The platform above will let people have protection from Meteor Rains, too. Furthermore, this allows people to go to the ground level for evasion if they desperately need to avoid damage or run out the Combustion debuff. Anyone who does this, however, needs to keep an eye on Rosso: if Rosso suddenly stops attacking, he's going to summon cages soon, and that person needs to join the rest of the group immediately to avoid any risk of the cages being distant from each other.

        The group sticking together is key to the fight. Everyone wants to be near one another so if cages are summoned, they're easily broken. If Rosso summons a Thorn Pillar, all the potential targets will be near the center, forcing him to summon the pillar there. Summoned Thorns are also rarely a problem, since a group that's capable of making it to phase 3 will probably kill most of the Thorns through collateral damage.

        Keep focused on attacking Rosso, manipulating his most dangerous attacks, and sustaining the group's buffs and debuffs for the best chance at victory.

        Anyone seeking a demo of this stage in Story mode can find it below... though in this run, there were a couple of situations where I barely lived. In the Normal version of 12-7, I would have died in those spots. Perhaps it's better this way - it's a visible show of the threats you need to be cautious about.

        Last edited by Hitotsuoboe-solace-; 04-27-2019, 02:31 PM. Reason: Notes added regarding phase 1 strategies for dealing with Thorn Pillars in phase 1; lingering hitbox note added to Recluse's Crimson Burst; note about debuff immunity prior to Thorn Cages added to pha
        Trial Dungeon Mode - Compete in PvE Challenges!

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        RNG Explanation/Discussion

        Comment

        • Class: {{esusrinfo_class376575}}
          Level: {{esusrinfo_level376575}}
          Guild Name: {{esusrinfo_guild376575}}

          #5
          At this point, I think it's safe to say I have most of the Raid explanations put up - thank you all for being patient with me.

          Naturally, if there's something above that isn't correct, needs explaining, or just needs improvement, feel free to ask here or PM me your thoughts.

          I think I'm going to try and further enhance this guide by adding links to some of the sound effects that you should expect to hear from attacks. Hearing them in isolation might help people recognize them as attack tells for future Raids. I'm also considering screenshots of the attacks as well, but I'm worried that might lead to things getting too cluttered.

          I have considered recording and putting up sample runs of the Raids in Normal mode to show the experience you'll have with a team, but currently, I'm probably not going to do this in the end. I simply don't have a strong enough CPU to both record and handle an 8-man Raid without absurd framerate drops that will make the video nearly impossible to watch... besides, there's a good number of clear videos for these Raids scattered about Youtube already, so my efforts would be a bit redundant.

          Lastly, I apologize if any of the above sections have weird spacing. This is unfortunately the forums' fault: it has been throwing the placement of my new lines all over the place every time I edit the post, and I had to go back and manually correct the spacing each and every time I made any kind of edit on that post. If I make changes but forget to fix the spacing (which makes the guide much harder to read), again, just feel free to let me know and I'll go back and correct things.

          I'll do what I can to keep improving this guide and make it easier for players, new and old, to learn about the Varnimyr Raids.
          Trial Dungeon Mode - Compete in PvE Challenges!

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          • Class: {{esusrinfo_class376705}}
            Level: {{esusrinfo_level376705}}
            Guild Name: {{esusrinfo_guild376705}}

            #6
            Adaptation doesnt work as you described. It straight up increases your attack by the written percentage. You can test it when the debuff is NOT 50% (in regular varnimir dungeons), because the effect of the adaptation doesnt depend on the magnitude of the debuff at all.

            Your test doesnt differentiate between the way you described and the way it actually works (because under your conditions the result will be the same, which means that your test is badly designed)

            Ofc that will change with the next patch anyway, but right now your information is wrong.

            Comment

            • Class: {{esusrinfo_class376709}}
              Level: {{esusrinfo_level376709}}
              Guild Name: {{esusrinfo_guild376709}}

              #7
              1. You didn't test it with multiple sources of Adaptation.
              2. You didn't test it with different values of Debuff.

              I think this should speak for itself. If you want to see video proof I can upload it if you want.

              https://imgur.com/cZaiEci
              PVE and GA Guide

              My Youtube Channel

              Tearbox.io Programmed and developed by Line, Tearbox greatly helps with compiling all your El Tears into a simple, readable format, with filters to help with finding the exact tears you need!

              ashal.eu Programmed by Ashallia, this is a huge database that allows you to calculate your stats, play around with accessory combinations and even theorycraft your IDs. It also comes with an IB simulator for your RNG-addiction!

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              • st0rmbreaK-solace-
                st0rmbreaK-solace- commented
                Editing a comment
                Sources of Adaptation from gear and titles are additive with AAU. I remember seeing a calculation that showed that the Adaptation Elixir is the special snowflake that functions as if the debuff were actually how you'd intuitively expect it to work, and I'll have to dig it up.

                After the next patch which should be the one in 2 days, the debuff is going to be changed to be meaningful and Adaptation will start to work intuitively.

              • Hitotsuoboe-solace-
                Editing a comment
                I think my post below already found the oddity that is the Adapt Elixir, so there's no need to go through with that.

                However, for clarity, can I ask what "AAU" is? Since you bring up Pierce the Heavens, I'm assuming that's "All Attack Up"...?

              • st0rmbreaK-solace-
                st0rmbreaK-solace- commented
                Editing a comment
                Indeed it does. I also didn't see your post below. Oops.
            • Class: {{esusrinfo_class376732}}
              Level: {{esusrinfo_level376732}}
              Guild Name: {{esusrinfo_guild376732}}

              #8
              My apologies with the errors regarding Adaptation - I managed to test the one and only case where my incorrect conclusion and the right answer produced identical results.

              I'll be assembling video evidence for this and adjusting the OP as soon as I can provide it, but for now, here's some numbers and what they mean in terms of Adaptation. I used the Fire Tamer title alongside an Adaptation elixir... and didn't quite expect what the Adaptation elixir ended up doing.

              ==================

              Base Physical Attack: 1266
              ^Z: 2621

              ==================

              12-1: 30% debuff
              1266 * 0.7 = 886.2
              2621 * 0.7 = 1834.7

              ^Z, no adapt: 955
              1834.7 - 955 = 879.7 damage lost to defense
              879.7/1834.7 = 0.479479 -> 47.9479% phys. defense

              ^Z, Fire Tamer (3%): 983
              983 / (1 - .479479) = 983 / .520521 = 1888.492251
              1834.7 * 1.03 = 1889.741 (if attack increase)
              2621 * (1 - .291) = 1858.289 (if proportional to debuff)

              ^Z, Adapt elixir (3%): 996
              996 / .520521 = 1913.467468
              2621 * 0.73 = 1913.33
              (Adapt elixir causes flat reduction of debuff?)

              ^Z, Fire Tamer and Adapt elixir: 1026
              1026 / .520521 = 1971.102030
              2621 * 0.73 = 1913.33 (elixir)
              1913.33 * 1.03 = 1970.7299 (Fire Tamer)

              ===================

              12-5: 50% debuff

              1266 * 0.5 = 633
              2621 * 0.5 = 1310.5

              ^Z, no adapt: 682
              1310.5 - 682 = 628.5 damage lost to defense
              628.5 / 1310.5 = 0.479588 -> 47.9588% physical defense

              ^Z, Fire Tamer (3%): 702
              702 / (1 - .479588) = 702 / .520412 = 1348.931231
              1310.5 * 1.03 = 1349.815 (if attack increase)
              2621 * .515 = 1349.815 (if proportional to debuff)

              ^Z, Adapt elixir (3%): 723
              723 / .520412 = 1389.283875
              2621 * .53 = 1389.13

              ^Z, Fire Tamer and Adapt elixir: 745
              745 / .520412 = 1431.558073
              2621 * .53 = 1389.13 (elixir)
              1389.13 * 1.03 = 1430.8039 (Fire Tamer)

              ===================

              Conclusions:
              -Adaptation elixir causes flat reduction of the Demon Realm debuff
              -Adaptation from Fire Tamer (and presumably other titles) causes a 3% increase in attack (after Demon Realm debuff is resolved)



              Edit: and apparently, I have another conclusion. Adaptation from the Corrupt Sinister Intent accessories doesn't do anything.

              https://youtu.be/Uz0ofxr0xdg

              In the above video, my maximum HP increases (thanks to Adaptation) because of the Fire Tamer title... but NOT the Corrupted SI Symbol.

              I also did damage testing that reached the same conclusion:

              SPOILERBase Physical Attack: 1266
              ^Z: 2621

              ==================

              12-1: 30% debuff
              1266 * 0.7 = 886.2
              2621 * 0.7 = 1834.7

              ^Z, no adapt: 955
              1834.7 - 955 = 879.7 damage lost to defense
              879.7/1834.7 = 0.479479 -> 47.9479% phys. defense

              ==================

              Corrupt Dimension Master Symbol: 1% Adaptation
              Physical attack: 1321
              ^Z: 2736

              12-1: 30% debuff

              1321 * .7 = 924.7
              2736 * .7 = 1915.2

              ^Z, Corrupt Symbol (1%): 997
              997 / .520521 = 1915.388620

              ==================

              Three Corrupt Dimension Master Pieces: 1% Adapt each, 3% overall
              Physical attack: 1475
              ^Z: 3054

              12-1: 30% debuff

              1475 * .7 = 1032.5
              3054 * .7 = 2137.8

              ^Z, Fire Tamer and 3 Corrupt Intent pieces: 1145
              1145 / .520521 = 2199.719128
              2137.8 * 1.03 = 2201.934 (Fire Tamer only)
              2137.8 * 1.06 = 2266.068 (Fire Tamer and accessories, additive)
              2137.8 * 1.03 * 1.03 = 2267.99202 (Fire Tamer and accessories, multiplicative)
              Last edited by Hitotsuoboe-solace-; 12-10-2018, 02:26 PM.
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              • Class: {{esusrinfo_class377120}}
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                #9
                With the patch changing the effects of Adaptation, I'll need to update the guide sections.

                This'll have to wait until tomorrow, however, given how long of a day I've had. If anyone sees this guide, please ignore the sections on Adaptation for the time being, as they contain outdated information. (For instance, the Corrupted SI accessories now have functional Adaptation, thanks to today's patch)

                I'll try to fix them as soon as I am able.
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                • Class: {{esusrinfo_class377312}}
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                  #10
                  I have calculations for the recent Adaptation changes.

                  ...they still show that something's wrong.

                  SPOILERBase Physical Attack: 1266
                  ^Z: 2621

                  Attack with 4 SI accessories: 1532
                  ^Z: 3173

                  ==============

                  12-1: 10% debuff
                  2621 * .9 = 2358.9

                  ^Z, Chaos Circle, no Adapt: 1228
                  Damage lost to defense: 2358.9 - 1228 = 1130.9
                  1130.9 / 2358.9 = 0.479418 -> 47.9418% physical defense

                  ^Z, Chaos Circle, 2% Adapt from Raid buff: 1255
                  1255 / (1 - .479418) = 1255 / .520581 = 2410.767969
                  2621 * .92 = 2411.32
                  2% flat debuff reduction

                  ^Z, Chaos Circle, 2% Adapt from Fire Tamer: 1255
                  (see above calculations)

                  ^Z, Chaos Circle, 4% Adapt with 4 Corrupt SI accessories: 1552
                  1552 / .520581 = 2981.284373
                  3173 * .94 = 2982.62


                  ^Z, Chaos Circle, 6% Adapt with 4 Corrupt SI + Fire Tamer: 1585
                  1585 / .520581 = 3044.675084
                  3173 * .96 = 3046.08

                  ^Z, Chaos Circle, 3% Adapt with elixir: 1269
                  1269 / .520581 = 2437.660998
                  2621 * .93 = 2437.53

                  ^Z, Chaos Circle, 9% Adapt (4 Corrupt SI, Fire Tamer, Adapt elixir): 1635
                  1635 / .520581 = 3140.721617
                  3173 * .99 = 3141.27

                  =================

                  12-5: 50% debuff
                  Adaptation supposedly 2.3x effective

                  ^Z (no Adapt): 682
                  47.9588% physical defense

                  ^Z (Adapt Elixir, 3%): 723
                  723 / (1 - .479588) -> 723 / 0.520412 = 1389.283875
                  3 * 2.3 = 6.9% in Raid
                  2621 * .569 = 1491.349
                  2621 * .53 = 1389.13

                  ^Z (Fire Tamer, 2%): 709
                  709 / 0.520412 = 1362.382112
                  2 * 2.3 = 4.6% in Raid
                  2621 * .546 = 1431.066
                  2621 * .52 = 1362.92

                  ^Z (4 SI accessories, 4%): 891
                  891 / 0.520412 = 1712.105024
                  4 * 2.3 = 9.2% in Raid
                  3173 * .592 = 1878.416
                  3173 * .54 = 1713.42

                  ^Z (Fire Tamer, Elixir, 5%): 750
                  750 / .520412 = 1441.165846
                  5 * 2.3 = 11.5% in Raid
                  2621 * .615 = 1611.915
                  2621 * .55 = 1441.55

                  ^Z (Elixir, 4 SI accessories, 7%): 941
                  941 / .520412 = 1808.182748
                  7 * 2.3 = 16.1% in Raid
                  3173 * .661 = 2097.353
                  3173 * .57 = 1808.61

                  ^Z (Elixir, 4 SI accessories, Fire Tamer, 9%): 974
                  974 / .520412 = 1871.594045
                  9 * 2.3 = 20.7% in Raid
                  3173 * .707 = 2243.311
                  3173 * .59 = 1872.07


                  Conclusions:
                  -All sources of Adaptation tested (Adapt elixir, Corrupt SI accessories, Fire Tamer title, Crimson Edge buff) reduce Demon Realm debuff by a flat amount
                  -Multiple sources of Adaptation are combined additively (for Adapt elixir, Corrupt SI, and Fire Tamer, at minimum)
                  -Contrary to what the patch notes say, Adaptation is NOT 2.3x effective in Raids

                  Here's video of the Raid testing supporting my numbers:

                  Last edited by Hitotsuoboe-solace-; 12-14-2018, 10:31 PM.
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                  • st0rmbreaK-solace-
                    st0rmbreaK-solace- commented
                    Editing a comment
                    (0.51x1.15)/(0.5x1.15) = 1.02 or 2% damage from 1% adapt

                    (0.5x1.16)/(0.5x1.15) = 1.008696 or 0.8696% damage from 1% adapt

                    2%/0.8696% is ~2.3x
                    Last edited by st0rmbreaK-solace-; 01-11-2019, 09:30 PM.

                  • Hitotsuoboe-solace-
                    Editing a comment
                    st0rmbreaK-solace- ...it took me a while to understand what was happening in the second line.

                    (0.5x1.16)/(0.5x1.15) = 1.008696 or 0.8696% damage from 1% adapt

                    That 1.16 is coming from 1 + .15% (attack increases you gave) + .01% (Adapt).

                    However, I would have expected (1 + .15%) * 1.01 = 1.1615...
                    ...and (0.5 x 1.1615) / (0.5 x 1.15) = 0.58075 / 0.575 = 1.01 -> 1% damage from 1% adapt, which isn't the case (per your screenshotted damage numbers - doing it multiplicatively slightly overshoots the Blindfold + PtH example with gear under a 30% debuff).

                    So the old form of Adaptation worked as a 1% attack increase alongside attack power increases, NOT after them, then?



                    So if I now understand that... now comes the matter of how the 15% attack power assumption came about. There's a 5% increase from a red/blue Elrianode set effect, and 3% increase from a Velder Necklace. A Void weapon doesn't have any % attack power increases on it - just 13 attack levels (assuming the +11).

                    There's other additions that help fit things better (e.g. 3 piece Elrianode accessories for 3.5%, 3 piece Sinister Intent accessories for 3%, bringing us up to 14.5%)... but this really feels like an arbitrary declaration we've been handed.

                  • st0rmbreaK-solace-
                    st0rmbreaK-solace- commented
                    Editing a comment
                    15% is just the number that fits.
                • Class: {{esusrinfo_class392170}}
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                  #11
                  Hello, everyone. Just stopping by to notify you all of some updates to this guide.

                  I've been able to participate in a lot more Crimson Cradle Raids as of late - thanks to this, I was able to refine some of my notes and details regarding the attacks in the Crimson Cradle section. Feel free to take another look at those if you want to see what other things I've observed.

                  Additionally, I've added a section on Varnimyr Raid rewards to the introductory post, alongside what details I could share about their specifics. If you have any questions about the conditions under which things drop in Varnimyr Raids, as well as the purpose of each drop, that section might be able to answer your questions. Please let me know if I've made any errors in that section, and I'll try to address them promptly.

                  Good luck out there, everyone.
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                  • Class: {{esusrinfo_class393977}}
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                    #12
                    Recently, I managed to crash during the final phase of a Crimson Cradle Raid, likely due to the sheer number of effects that were on-screen (note that I was running at 2 FPS or so). As I soon deduced, this broke the back of our Raid group, who I found out of Raid less than three minutes later. My game crashing might have ended the group's Raid attempt.

                    In turn, I've decided to take a look at how dangerous it really would be to use "Low" effects in each of the Raids. The results of what I saw are below. I still recommend having your "Effect" graphics set to "Medium" unless your Raid is almost unplayable due to a low framerate, and you know all of the Raid attacks well enough to be okay with what's invisible. Just remember that if you do use "Low" effects, keep in mind that not just the boss attacks will be hidden - so will most of yours, as well as some debuff symbols.


                    12-5:
                    Calamity Remnants: Dangerous, probably do not attempt
                    -Meteor Rain targeting AND fire is invisible
                    -Flame Pillar targeting is invisible (the pillar can be seen)
                    -Fire breath invisible (including the fire on the ground)

                    Crimson Soul: Dangerous, probably do not attempt
                    -Flame Scythe auras are invisible - quite the problem when they're so big
                    -Harder to track Soul during Pursuit
                    -Blue targeting symbol invisible
                    -Crimson Storm tornado invisible, scythe aura on swipe invisible, only track of earth and Soul's animation shows direction to go towards
                    -Crimson Memories have invisible bodies (health bars/names are still visible)

                    Crimson Calamity: Dangerous, probably do not attempt
                    -Meteor Rain
                    -Fire breath
                    -Flame Pillar targeting
                    -You can't see all the Calamity heads all the time, so things like the ground being on fire elsewhere are even more of a problem than they usually would be

                    12-6:
                    Thorn Field: Suitable
                    -Nothing is hidden except your own moves/debuffs

                    Observers: Do not attempt
                    -Blue laser targeting symbols are hidden, so you don't know who the lasers are aimed at unless you can somehow figure this out from where the Eye is looking... assuming half your group isn't next to you. This could get the whole party killed if you were the target.
                    -Even if you're alone, lacking blue laser symbols means you can't know when a small Observer is aiming a laser at you without having that Observer on your screen

                    Crimson Eye: Do not attempt unless solo (dangerous if solo)
                    -Blue laser targeting symbols are hidden
                    -Thorn pillar warnings are hidden, meaning you won't know who the Pillars are going after

                    12-7:
                    Malice: Do not attempt
                    -Chaos Orbs are invisible, and since Orbs have randomized patterns, this is certain death unless you're very lucky

                    Recluse: Reasonable
                    -Flame Pillar targeting symbol is invisible (but not pillar itself) - this is fine if everyone baits the attack properly
                    -Flame Scythe auras are invisible, which can be dealt with if you can see the Recluse's animations clearly
                    -Blue teleport symbols are invisible

                    Dark Recluse: Dangerous
                    -Blue teleport symbols are invisible
                    -Flame Scythe auras - easy enough to remember their locations, though, especially since it should be easier to see Rosso
                    -Thorn Pillar warning symbols are invisible, pillars are visible. You have to know this attack's timing in order to deal with it without seeing it, and this is the one attack you absolutely cannot mess up if the Raid is going to go smoothly
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                    • Class: {{esusrinfo_class404844}}
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                      #13
                      Hello, everyone. Just stopping by to let everyone know of a couple updates.

                      I've provided some small updates regarding modern strategies for dealing with the 12-5 and 12-7 Raids, as well as some notes on which attacks prominently feature debuff immunity. The edit summaries provided in each section will help point out what has changed.

                      Also, I'm currently looking into the occasional crashes that can occur in Varnimyr Raid groups where the battles go on for a long time. The thread can be found here if you want more details or are interested in trying to help provide evidence for the problem.
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                      • Class: {{esusrinfo_class405384}}
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                        #14
                        Tip that a lot of people don't know about 12-5-2 when the storm spawns off center: This hitbox is EXACTLY one "field" other than the launch opening thing
                        Meaning:
                        - If he spawns in a higher floor, the bottom is safe (though depending on your height you might clip the hitbox)
                        - if you're afraid the launch is going to be inside the wall (you can't reach), the opposite side of the map is a safe zone

                        Another tip: If the launch spawns too far in, there's a very high chance that you'll get stuck on a platform and die. (it's safer if you run in at ground level rather than jumping)

                        Comment


                        • Hitotsuoboe-solace-
                          Editing a comment
                          Sorry for the silence... I've been hoping to run into a glitched Storm so I could respond with experience in mind, but I haven't had any luck (or misfortune, rather) coming across it.

                          Still, if the attack is set to fit the arena, this is really curious, and I'd love to check these possible safe zones out. I'll try to gather some video of this if I can.

                          Though, I don't need to see getting stuck on a platform while also in the tornado... I've been killed by that a few times in the past. X_X
                      • Class: {{esusrinfo_class408935}}
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                        #15

                        took a while and you'll have to take my word that rosso spawned off center

                        Comment


                        • Hitotsuoboe-solace-
                          Editing a comment
                          You weren't the host, and the attack being shifted over is the only possible way a gap like this could exist.

                          Excellent catch - awareness of this strategy could probably save several lives in Crimson Tower attempts. Thank you very much~.

                        • Hitotsuoboe-solace-
                          Editing a comment
                          Well, I definitely believe you now. I had a vertical displacement of epic proportions showcase your claim.

                          https://youtu.be/ryyR9ocCMmo

                        • SolaceLite-solace-
                          SolaceLite-solace- commented
                          Editing a comment
                          It works even if it's a single platform above (though like in 12-7-2, it might clip you if you're too tall)
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