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Traversing Master Road

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  • Class: {{esusrinfo_class438611}}
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    Traversing Master Road

    Master Road dungeons are nothing but boss fights, focused on dueling with corresponding El Masters or important figures in Elrios. Every character must complete the Master Road dungeon corresponding to their character many times in order to fully unlock everything Master Class has to offer, so knowing the mechanics of those fights will ease the process immensely. Furthermore, exclusive Force skills are tied to the Hell mode versions of these battles, so being able to repeatedly clear these battles efficiently will vastly improve your chances at getting these drops.

    Let's get started by looking at the shared traits of each Master Road dungeon.

    Basic Mechanics

    Master Road dungeons are split between two difficulties, Normal and Hell. Normal mode has a minimum CP requirement of 300,000, and primarily exists for the job advancement without putting players through overly difficult battles. Hell mode, on the other hand, has a minimum CP requirement of 600,000, and features significantly longer battles, more dangerous mechanics, and extra attacks to learn.

    Any boosts to item drop rate do not work in Master Road dungeons. This includes drop rate boosts from events, unless Master Road dungeons are specifically stated to get the boost. Additionally, each Master's Force skill drop is exclusive to the Hell version of each fight, and Hell mode tends to have higher drop rates in general. Though quite rare, it's also possible for standard Force drops (like Head Hunter) to drop from Master Road dungeons as well, and these can be found outside of Hell mode.

    As each dungeon is nothing but a boss fight, Head Hunter is heavily recommended, as almost all your damage will be to bosses. Having this will speed up any grinding tremendously.

    Each Master Road dungeon utilizes a debuff equal to the Demon Realm debuffs seen in Varnimyr and Rigomor dungeons, and will reduce your attack and HP by 30%. Adaptation will reduce this debuff at a 1:1 ratio (1% Adaptation will reduce the debuff from 30% to 29%, and so on).

    Master Road bosses may be affected by hitstun if they aren't attacking, but have super armor during all of their attacks. A large majority of their moves also ignore I-frames. Such attacks will be listed in a different color to distinguish them. Lastly, Master Road bosses can sometimes be knocked down by your attacks; players should avoid this, as these bosses will be invulnerable while they stand back up, creating longer fights and potentially whiffed attacks.

    Master Road bosses will have 300 HP bars. However, in Normal mode, the fight will end once the boss is reduced to 150 bars.

    Hell Mode Differences

    Hell mode is where the real battles are within Master Road. Players will be forced into lengthy fights and must learn each boss' patterns to survive.

    While Normal mode does nothing to restrict resurrections, Hell mode places a limit of 1 resurrection per run, so mistakes must be kept to a minimum.

    In Hell mode, in addition to the boss having increased stats compared to Normal mode, the fight will not end at 150 HP bars. The boss will instead initiate a transition into a second phase; the boss must be brought to one quarter of a HP bar to end a Hell mode boss fight. (The sole exception to this is Dominus Angelus, whose health must be fully depleted.) Numerous important changes will affect the boss once this happens:

    1. The boss will gain persistent debuff immunity, with one exception.
    2. The boss will gain immense defensive buffs.
    3. The Master Road stat debuff will increase to 70% during phase 2 only. This is the highest stat debuff seen in the game so far, and makes it absolutely paramount that you bring all the sources of Adaptation you can into these battles.
    4. Some boss attacks may be modified to make them more dangerous.
    5. The boss gains access to an ultimate attack. These possess the ability to instantly kill you if they hit you, but the boss is left fatigued after using them. During this fatigue state, the boss loses its debuff immunity and defensive buffs, creating a massive attacking opportunity. Additionally, even after the boss recovers, the boss' defensive buffs will be permanently weakened for the rest of the fight, and will weaken further with each following use of an ultimate attack. (Only Dominus Angelus ignores this defense reduction rule, always maintaining its full defense while outside fatigue.)

    The above, pairing the boss' vastly increased durability with the gigantic debuff placed on players, causes the second phase of each boss fight to progress far slower than it did in the first phase. The significant drop in players' maximum health due to the increased debuff also means that getting hit by boss attacks is far more dangerous than it was before the transition.

    Combat Strategies

    Against each Master fight, since most boss attacks will ignore I-frames, it tends to be in your best interest to avoid attacks before launching attacks of your own. There may be situations where the attack you're trying to I-frame through does damage minor enough to ignore, certainly... but you have to keep the other effects of the attacks in mind. At the very least, being hit by these moves could displace you while you're performing special actives, potentially messing up your attack's placements and making some of them whiff. Some boss attacks also have the ability to put your skills and/or items on cooldown, which would cripple your offensive ability for several seconds and make your previous special active no longer worth the cost.

    In Hell mode fights, evasion becomes an even greater priority due to the lower maximum health you'll be working with - a small number of mistakes added together could certainly result in a death if you aren't being careful.

    Hell mode, with how the bosses' passive mechanics are set up, also give you sparse, but enormous chances to get damage in. In particular, the initial defensive buffs you'll encounter are extreme, and no player should reasonably expect to do more than 10-15 bars of damage with high effort against them without very strong equipment. This defense does degrade, but it still maintains a large presence throughout the fight, so you must make the most of every fatigue state the boss gives you. Learn the ultimate attacks so you don't die to them and lose attacking time, using whatever buffs you can during the wait to prepare yourself and Hyper Acceleration to aid you with any needed movement. When the boss is open to attack, unleash everything you have, inclusive of Water/Wind orbs and any MP restoration necessary to attack as much as possible; you won't get the fastest or most effective fights without doing this.


    I won't go into much detail regarding quests here, since most information about them can easily be found from the in-game quest log, or on Elwiki. However, I will point out that while the quests for obtaining Master Class and obtaining the 2nd stage of the Master skill do not restrict dungeon difficulty, the 3rd and 4th stages have quest chains that require beating Hell mode, implying that you must meet the 600,000 CP requirement for that difficulty.

    Also, note that the second part of each Master skill quest does not restrict which Master Road dungeon you can earn progress in, and more than one Mark of Power can drop for progress toward it in a single run (2 drop from each Normal run, and 3 drop from each Hell run), so this segment is shorter and more flexible than it would seem. Short Master Road dungeons in Normal mode, such as Gaia, can be used to complete these quests very quickly if you can withstand the stamina usage.

    Completing a Master fight gives you a small chance to obtain Artifact accessories, Artifact Power scrolls, Master accessories, and if you're playing on Hell difficulty, that fight's exclusive Force skill. Artifact accessories can be equipped to your Master Artifact for bonus stats, and Artifact Power Scrolls can be used to reidentify the stats from the Artifact's stage 3 bonuses. The Master accessories have small stat bonuses (albeit in important stats like all skill damage or % attack power), but also share a powerful set effect. Equipping 3 Master accessories will grant you 3% attack power, +20 max MP, 3% Polarize, and 3% Adaptation; this is a mighty combination of bonuses that is well worth pursuing. These accessories are naturally very rare drops, but with enough effort, you're eventually guaranteed to get them due to Master Road marks.

    Beating a Master Road boss will earn you 0-2 Marks of Acknowledgement in Normal mode, and 2-4 Marks in Hell mode. These Marks are shared by all Master Road fights, and will stack with one another. If you gather 1000 of them and go to the Elrianode accessory merchant, you can obtain any Master accessory you want. You're bound to get a large number of these Marks just from completing your Master Class advancements, so keep in mind which accessories you'd want to pursue.
    Last edited by Hitotsuoboe-solace-; 04-26-2020, 02:33 PM. Reason: Noting Dominus Angelus' exceptions to general Master Road rules
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    Temple of the Two-Headed Serpent

    Ara and Laby players will travel with Gaia to the Temple of the Two-Headed Serpent, where they will face off against him in a one-on-one duel. This is a simple and fair battle taking place in a flat arena, with plenty of room to recover from lesser mistakes.

    Basic Mechanics

    The Temple of the Two-Headed Serpent can only be played alone. As such, keep in mind that there is no queue buff available to boost your stats.

    In addition to the shared Master Road boss traits, Gaia is susceptible to hitstun whenever he is not attacking, even during his second phase in Hell mode.

    However, to compensate for this, Gaia is given a MP bar. His MP fills whenever he gets hit, and also slowly regenerates over time. Gaia is allowed to exit hitstun to perform a specific attack whenever his MP is full. (He cannot prematurely end his own attacks with this mechanic.) Gaia also recovers from hitstun very quickly - combos that don't link to one another swiftly will usually result in Gaia getting out and attempting a counterattack.

    Gaia provides one of the fairest and easiest fights in Master Road, but also seems to have slightly lower drop rates of items like Marks of Acknowledgment than later, tougher Master Road fights. Keep this fact in mind when choosing where to grind.


    Mystique - Gaia will charge up energy, then fire a slow-moving projectile forwards.
    -Since this ignores I-frames, attacking this with a special active generally isn't recommended. Mystique will very likely push you back a large distance if you try this, which might interfere with your attack.
    -If you can react to the start of the move in time, you can either run away from Gaia to get out of Mystique's maximum range, or jump behind Gaia. Gaia can't change the direction he aims Mystique in once he starts charging it, so this can net you a small chance to get some damage in.
    -In Hell mode during phase 2, Mystique's size is greatly increased, and the projectile travels further. This version of Mystique is much harder to jump over if you don't get behind Gaia before the projectile fires.
    -If you go behind Gaia, try not to get too close to Gaia's back - there's a single backwards hitbox present right when Mystique fires that might hit you.

    Uppercut Chain - Combo - Gaia will quickly rush forward and attempt to uppercut the player. If he connects with the hit, he will perform a three hit aerial combo afterwards, the last hit of which will put all player skills on cooldown for 5 seconds.
    -The opening hit doesn't ignore I-frames, so with good reaction time, you can use a special active to punish Gaia's approach.
    -The opening hit has a small, precise hitbox - getting far enough away from Gaia horizontally or getting high enough in the air will make his punch miss.
    -Consider mana breaking if the uppercut connects with you - you'll usually be able to mana break the second of the three aerial hits, and avoid the forced skill cooldown and significant knockback of the final hit. There is a risk to this strategy, though...

    Uppercut Chain - Mystique - Gaia will attempt to uppercut the player. In this variant, however, if Gaia connects with his uppercut, he will follow up with a Mystique projectile.
    -You can't tell apart which uppercut chain Gaia's going to use until he connects with the uppercut. Mana breaking the Mystique variant achieves very little, since the projectile ignores I-frames and will still damage you even if you mana break the hits. This paired with the speed of the combos means you have to pick whether or not you want to mana break the instant you get hit by the uppercut, and it's a coin flip as to whether or not that mana break will achieve anything. The choice of whether or not to attempt mana breaking these uppercut combos is best decided by each individual.

    Backstep - Gaia possesses the ability to jump back a short distance in super armor. He often does this when a short distance away from the player, or when breaking out of an insecure combo. After the backstep, Gaia may choose to take no action, attempt an uppercut chain, or use Mystique.
    -Gaia jumps back far enough to make a fair number of attacks whiff. Keep your combos solid, or Gaia might backstep while you transition into a special active and ruin your attack.

    Power Dive - Gaia will quickly jump up high into the air, knocking players away if they're nearby. An area on the ground will be marked shortly before Gaia crashes down there. His impact creates a shockwave along the ground that must be jumped over.
    -Try to avoid being at very low health in the fight due to this attack. Gaia can perform this jump with very little warning, and while the opening jump hit does little damage, it's also incredibly fast and very hard to react to.
    -Gaia's hitboxes for crashing down back to the ground are quite precise - even a small horizontal distance from his point of descent will be enough to get you out of the way.
    -Since Gaia's point of impact is given to you, and he always descends after the same amount of time in the air, aerial special actives or commands are a fantastic way to avoid this attack while also punishing it.

    Counter Stance - if Gaia's MP is full and he is outside of an attack animation, Gaia will enter this counter stance with high priority and consume his MP bar. If an attack hits Gaia in the front while he's in this stance, he will teleport to the player and attempt to deliver a blow with a significant black hole effect active. Getting hit by this attack will deal high damage, force all equipped consumables onto 15 second cooldowns, and place all your skills on cooldown.
    -Keep an eye on Gaia's MP as you attack him, since he will transition out of previous attacks into this stance rather quickly, and is allowed to escape hitstun to use this move.
    -Gaia is invincible for a few moments after entering this stance. This is primarily to benefit players, giving them more time to halt their attacks, since attacks won't trigger the counter state while Gaia's invincible.
    -Gaia will only launch a counterattack if a move hits his front, or is seen as hitting his front. His back is completely vulnerable if you can get to it... just be careful with placing your attacks, lest a hit touch Gaia's front and trigger the counter.
    -Gaia will always face the player at the instant he puts up his counter state. Clever positioning can let you bait Gaia into looking a specific direction to make his back easier to attack (e.g. get Gaia facing a wall).
    -Any attack, including pet attacks, can trigger the counter. Keep an eye on what your pet is doing.
    -If the counter state is triggered, running away immediately can get you far enough away from Gaia to avoid his attack. Reacting any slower than this, however, will likely get you sucked in by the black hole effect and hit by Gaia's attack.

    Shattered Earth - Gaia will leap backwards a massive distance, usually to the wall. Gaia will then send a massive earth wave across the entire arena. This move does not hit the area directly in front of Gaia, so players must run straight to Gaia to avoid this move.
    -Gaia takes a long time to perform and recover from this move, making it a superb attacking opportunity.
    -Having high movement speed will aid you in avoiding this attack, due to the large distances you sometimes must traverse to get to safety.

    Taunt - only once, Gaia may pause and comment about how the player is better than expected, or how he needs to try harder, in super armor. While this move does not involve any actual threat to the player, Gaia gains substantial defenses while performing it, which is potentially disruptive if you're using a special active at the time.
    -Gaia is allowed to perform this taunt under 225 HP bars, usually with high priority. Keep it in mind so you don't end up losing most of a Bravery skill's damage to it.

    Earth Eruption - Gaia's skill cut-in will appear, and Gaia will state "This might hurt!". Afterwards, he will summon three earth mounds on each side of him, then detonate the area.
    -Gaia is only allowed to use this move after performing his taunt; thus, you will only encounter this move when Gaia is under 225 HP bars.
    -The ending explosion is lethal, and there's no safe spot for it anywhere near Gaia. The best course of action upon seeing this attack is to simply get far away horizontally from Gaia to get out of range. Attacking Gaia during this time is not worth the risk involved.
    -If you get stuck near Gaia, not all hope is lost. The mounds erupt in a set order: the mounds furthest from Gaia, the mounds closest to Gaia, the center mounds, and then the explosion. The mounds also only have hitboxes at the time they erupt from the ground. Thanks to this, if you wait where the central mound on a side will spawn and let the furthest mound erupt, you can run through it after it finishes appearing and get out of the area before the explosion occurs.

    Guardian's Judgment - this is Gaia's ultimate attack, only encountered in phase 2 of Hell mode. He will perform this attack with priority over all other moves (including his counter stance). Gaia will become invulnerable and jump to the center of the arena. Gaia will then gradually summon eight rocks to 9 possible positions. A couple seconds after the eight rocks are in place, they will slam down, instantly killing you if you aren't in the position where there is no rock. Gaia will enter a fatigue state after this.
    -Gaia will first attempt to perform this move 60 seconds after entering phase 2. Each following use will come 60 seconds after the previous Judgment ended (the attack, not Gaia's fatigue state).
    -Note that the giant green hand in the background is for visual effect only, and has nothing to do with the actual attack. It is possible for the safe spot to be where Gaia is standing, directly under that hand.
    -Wait until you see all eight rocks in place before moving, because only at this point will you know the safe spot for certain. Use any buffs you have in the meantime; end with Hyper Acceleration so you can get to the safe spot more easily.

    Strategies and Notes

    Given Gaia's nimble nature and demanding hitstun recovery speed, you'll need to make the most of what opportunities you can find to punish Gaia's attacks. Take advantage of the times Gaia stands idle to get some free combos in, but also adapt to his moveset and find chances to fight during it. Counterattack his uppercuts when you can, get behind his Mystique shots, intercept his Power Dive landings, lure and punish his attempts to counter you, and rush down his Shattered Earth waves. The small amounts of damage will easily add up with continued, successful hits.

    If you need time to recover or just feel like attacking him at a point in time isn't worth it, keep a fair distance from Gaia while keeping him on-screen. You'll want to be distant enough to where you can react to his uppercuts and Mystique shots without issue, but still be able to see Gaia whenever he leaps into the air or leaps backwards to send Shattered Earth across the entire screen. Keep too far away, and he might hit you with a move you didn't see the opening warnings for.

    Gaia has standard knockdown mechanics, but his knocked-down state is rather strange. It's sometimes possible to pick him up from him laying on the ground and continue combos. It may be worth attempting to continue your attacks a bit longer than normal due to this oddity.

    Gaia also can be launched and has normal weight, but I don't recommend leaving him airborne for too long. I've had a couple fights where he was in the air being comboed for several seconds, and he was suddenly allowed to backstep while still in the air. Hilarity may ensue.

    A sample battle with Gaia in Hell mode can be found here.
    Last edited by Hitotsuoboe-solace-; 05-19-2020, 03:55 PM. Reason: Adding attack images
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      Elrianode Training Grounds

      Elesis and Lu/Ciel players travel to Rosso in the Elrianode Training Grounds and battle with him in pursuit of information. Up to four players will fight against Rosso in a wide, flat arena with multiple sets of flat platforms, while managing mechanics that require constant attention alongside Rosso's dangerous scythe attacks.

      Basic Mechanics

      Elrianode Training Grounds allows use of a queue buff and up to four people to participate - keep this in mind, as Rosso's health and attack power were made with this fact considered.

      In phase 1, Rosso is vulnerable to hitstun when he isn't attacking, but recover from hitstun quite quickly... and may occasionally escape hitstun at will. Don't count on this in phase 2, however, since Rosso will have permanent super armor.

      Every attack Rosso uses ignores I-frames. Keep this fact in mind when determining how to evade his attacks.

      Rosso may walk if near a player, or can teleport a short distance away from a player if his attacks require him to get close to someone. Be ready for his appearance when he's outside of an attack.


      Swipe - after a brief wind-up, Rosso will swing his scythe in a large upward arc, dealing moderately low damage. Anyone in front of him or above him will be launched backwards a significant distance and knocked down, or knocked back a large distance if hit while in I-frames.
      -This attack will miss anyone who is behind Rosso. However, this attack also comes out rather quickly when compared to the movement needed to avoid it - it is unlikely that you'll dodge this move if you're attacking as Rosso starts to use it.
      -While the damage may be low enough for some people to ignore, keep the knockback in mind regardless. If special actives you're using continually rely on being near Rosso to connect, the knockback from this attack may ruin your skill.

      Reaper - after a wind-up, Rosso will cast a large scythe forward a fair distance. This will only hit players at the end of the scythe, not any players between Rosso and that point.
      -In phase 2 of Hell mode, Rosso modifies this attack. After casting the scythe forward, he will drag it back to himself along the ground, dealing significant damage to any players in its path.
      -If you're able to react to it, the opening part of Reaper can be largely ignored just by attacking Rosso at close-range. The second half of Reaper, however, deals too much damage to ignore - jump or get behind Rosso to ensure it doesn't connect.

      Scythe Combo - Rosso will perform a short wind-up, then perform an opening slash with speed comparable to Swipe, followed by a second hit that will inflict massive hitstun and stagger players. If either of the first two strikes hit a player, Rosso will perform a third that will send players flying backwards.
      -The total damage done by the whole of this combo will likely take out a large portion of any player's health bar. If you get hit by it while nearing low health, be sure to heal before it finishes.
      -The first hit is fast and remains very difficult to react to (and may be impossible to react to if you're attacking at the time), but deals little hitstun. Depending on your character's commands or skills, it may be possible to get out of the combo with a fast enough response (e.g. Eve can use >>Z away from Rosso to get out of range, Aisha could teleport, Raven could Shadow Step lunge, etc.).
      -Going behind Rosso is only safe for the first two swings: if Rosso is allowed to use the third swing, he is allowed to change direction if it means hitting a player with it. Alternatively, if no one got hit by the first two swings, Rosso will immediately end his attack.

      Scythe Throw - after a long wind-up, Rosso will throw his scythe a significant distance away from him, his scythe spinning the whole way. Anyone hit by the scythe as it travels will be knocked back a small distance and take moderately low damage. The scythe will spin in place after it stops moving, and will trap players caught in it. Lastly, the scythe will return to Rosso (dragging any players in the path with it) as he performs a powerful angled, ending slash.
      -Staying near Rosso makes handling this attack trivial. Even if you get by the opening scythe throw, by the time you land, the scythe will have already traveled past you, and you can simply attack Rosso. You only need to worry if you were distant from Rosso when he started this attack, as you need to avoid getting caught in his scythe's spin or running into his ending slash.
      -The ending slash will hit people above Rosso, so stay a safe distance away from it if you weren't near Rosso. However, it also misses anyone behind Rosso: thus, Scythe Throw is an excellent attacking opportunity for anyone who can quickly get behind Rosso as it starts.

      Stone Fall - Rosso will jump into the air for a short while before landing. As he does this, two rocks will fall into the arena, their locations marked by pink lines. Anyone hit by the rocks as they fall will take massive damage.
      -Note that while Rosso does swing his scythe as part of the move's animation, Rosso himself doesn't generate any hitboxes. This can be a good opportunity to attack him if you can handle him going airborne and there aren't any rocks dropping nearby.
      -Rosso is allowed to summon up to six rocks into the arena at a time via this move. In phase 2, however, you will never see more than four at once before Rosso's ultimate destroys them.
      -The falling rocks are affected by skill delays. Be careful not to confuse yourself by stalling the rock.
      -The rocks themselves remain as obstacles in the arena. They are quite durable, but not indestructible. Noticeable amounts of rubble will appear if a rock is heavily damaged. Due to Rosso's ultimate attack, it is in your best interest to avoid destroying these rocks in Hell mode.
      -Note that if Rosso transitions to phase 2 in Hell mode, any rocks that were in the arena will automatically be destroyed.

      Bomb Trap - Rosso will teleport somewhere in the arena, and create a flaming circle on the floor. After a short while, a fire bomb will fall and detonate in a large radius at that location. Anyone hit by the bomb will drop to around 10% of their maximum health (or die, if their health was too low), have all consumables be put on cooldown for 7 seconds, have all skills put on cooldown, and receive the Ember of Combustion debuff for a few seconds (5% of maximum MP lost per second). If a player stands in the circle, they will take very minor damage and hitstun; if that player remains in the circle long enough, the circle will disappear and no bomb will fall.
      -In phase 1, the bombs are large, but the traps can be ignored if Rosso and team members aren't anywhere near the circle. In phase 2, however, these bombs cannot be ignored under any circumstance, as their explosions in phase 2 will nearly cover the entire arena.
      -Note that a single player must be in a bomb circle long enough to disarm it: having multiple people in the same trap won't disarm it any faster, as the trap only cares whether or not any one player was in the circle for long enough.
      -There is no relation between where Rosso is and where the bomb traps will appear. Quickly scour the arena to find the bombs. You may consider using the minimap (as they appear as red dots there), but be warned that Rosso's dropped rocks also show up as red dots, limiting the minimap's utility.
      -Rosso may sometimes use this move twice in a row. Address the traps promptly to avoid problems created by this situation.
      -If there are three or more players fighting Rosso, Rosso may occasionally summon two fire traps simultaneously. Ensure that the arena is clear before engaging Rosso in these scenarios.
      -If Rosso transitions to phase 2, or begins his ultimate attack, any bomb traps that were on the floor will automatically vanish.

      Flamma de Cinis - this is Rosso's ultimate attack. Rosso will teleport to a location in the arena and surround himself with three fire orbs, each in one of the four cardinal directions. Heavily damaging fire will approach from the three directions associated with those orbs, and must be avoided. Afterwards, Rosso will gather up energy before unleashing a lethal explosion - this explosion can only be avoided by hiding behind Rosso's dropped rocks. If you are next to a rock, with Rosso's explosion on the other side of that rock, the explosion will miss you. Rosso will enter a fatigue state afterwards.
      -Either look at Rosso or the flames themselves to figure out which direction is safe.
      -If the top floor is safe, once on the top floor, do not jump if there are flames under you. If you do this, you risk triggering the landing bug (the first bug shown in this video), which will cause you to take a single hit from the flames below you; this is potentially lethal given how hard these flames hit.
      -There are usually four rocks on the battlefield by the time Rosso uses this (assuming players haven't destroyed them), but Rosso may sometimes perform Flamma de Cinis with only two rocks out. It is advised that you have Hyper Acceleration ready in case you have to make a long run to safety after the initial flames. Additionally, if you plan to heavily grind Hell mode, you may want to have a revival title like Forginay's Fruit, since...
      -There currently seems to be a glitch related to this attack, in which it is possible to die to the explosion despite being safe behind a rock. All the examples I know details of so far have related to people being in I-frames at the time of the explosion (e.g. using special actives to set up attacks/buffs). I do not know the cause of this bug at this time, so for the time being, consider using buffing specials before the explosion occurs to minimize any risk. Any other examples of this happening would be very helpful.

      Strategies and Notes

      All of Rosso's direct attacks with his scythe can be avoided by getting behind him. However, this is sometimes easier said than done with his Swipe and Scythe Combo attacks due to how quickly Rosso starts them. You may consider going behind Rosso right as he starts an attack to keep up if evasion is a priority.

      If you plan to be aggressive with special actives outside of Rosso's fatigue state, Rosso's Scythe Throw and Stone Fall present the best opportunities to use lengthy moves. You may attack during his scythe moves as well, but swifter moves are recommended during these times due to the potential knockback and damage you can receive. Having super armor in some fashion will greatly lower the risk of having your attacks misplaced.

      With Rosso's bomb traps, it's usually best to let one player take care of a trap and have the rest of the party attacking Rosso. First, as previously stated, having multiple people addressing the same trap won't get rid of it any faster. Second, Rosso likes to teleport to a player to attack them after deploying a bomb trap; this is a problem if he tries this with the player currently trying to get rid of the trap. The rest of the party wants to be away from the bomb trap in hopes that Rosso pursues them instead, and the other player can disarm the bomb in peace.

      If rocks are nearby, attack Rosso with care. Losing the rocks puts the group at much higher risk of dying to the Flamma de Cinis explosion. If you see rubble near the base of a rock, halt your attacks immediately.

      A sample battle with Rosso in Hell mode can be found here. This battle also happens to be what prompted my revival title suggestion for Flamma de Cinis, due to the situation I was put in at 4:22.
      Last edited by Hitotsuoboe-solace-; 05-22-2020, 06:30 PM. Reason: Adding attack images; minor correction regarding rock summons (can summon up to six, though only four will ever exist in phase 2)
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        Spirit Sanctum

        To address problems relating to the Demon Realm, Rena and Rose travel with Ventus and Lincy to the Spirit Sanctum.

        Up to two players battle Ventus and Lincy in a moderately sized arena with multiple platform heights.

        Basic Mechanics

        The battle against Ventus and Lincy is heavily seated in the fight's unique mechanics, and utilizing these mechanics is necessary to complete the fight at all, let alone in any timely manner.

        Unlike the previous Master Road bosses, Ventus and Lincy recover from hitstun rather slowly, and can be comboed without much issue. However, the defensive mechanics used by Ventus and Lincy make up for this weakness.

        At the start of the battle, each player will receive either a Wind Aura or Spirit Aura. (The first player always receives Wind, the second player always receives Spirit.) These auras can be changed by getting hit by certain boss attacks, or entering aura fields left behind by certain attacks.

        Ventus and Lincy have constant shields that prevent attacks from hitting them. The only way to bypass these shields is to have the aura corresponding with the shield: having the Wind Aura will ignore green shields, and the Spirit Aura will ignore blue shields.

        In phase 1, Ventus and Lincy split their time between fighting independently and fighting while paired together. While the two are apart, Ventus will always have a Wind barrier, and Lincy will always have a Spirit barrier. When together, they will use a barrier type selected at random, and players will be told what barrier type is in use.

        Ventus and Lincy separate at fixed HP thresholds in the fight. They will start the fight divided, and will usually split up again every 50 HP bars. These thresholds are very difficult, if not impossible to skip: not only does Ventus recover very quickly from freezes and petrifies, he can also pause his health bar for the sake of meeting a threshold transition.

        Ventus and Lincy will rejoin one another if either member of the pair loses a certain amount of health (generally, 17-18 HP bars). This is tracked separately for Ventus and Lincy via a colored orb at the top of the screen.

        When phase 2 begins, Ventus and Lincy will fuse together. Ventus and Lincy will no longer separate, and Ventus will slowly fly around the arena instead of fighting from the ground. Randomly chosen aura shields will protect Ventus.

        Once you understand and get used to the fight's mechanics, this is a fairly manageable battle with a lot of room to breathe. This can be one of the easier Master Road dungeons, but clearing speed ultimately depends on execution and luck with auras... but this only goes that far if you're doing Normal difficulty or have a partner for Hell mode. Hell mode introduces a massive problem for solo players that we'll get to.


        The attacks you will encounter vary depending on what state Ventus and Lincy are in.

        Lincy, alone

        Raging Storm - Lincy will target a player, regardless of distance, indicated by a lit-up rectangular area. After a short time, a burst of wind will rise up; players hit will be launched and receive the Spirit aura.
        -Lincy tends to use this as her first attack, and doesn't require proximity to her target. Be wary of this if you're going after Ventus at the time.
        -Getting out of the way horizontally will handle this attack rather easily.
        -The hitbox lingers for the entire time the graphics are active - be careful not to run into it after an initial dodge.

        Rapid Spin - Lincy will wind up, then spin rapidly in place to create a strong gale around her. Getting hit by this gale will do moderate damage, knock you backwards a significant distance, and inflict the Spirit aura.
        -Despite the length of the attack, the spin only hits one time, near the end of the move. This hitbox is surprisingly late, so caution is advised until you can mentally get used to it.

        Spirit Spheres* - Lincy will prepare two large, magical orbs that she will then shoot forwards toward a player. Over time, these spheres will lose speed, but start homing in on targets. They finish with a final explosion that ignores I-frames.
        * - you can I-frame through the contact hits as the spheres fly around, but not the ending explosion.
        -Lincy will only ever get to use this move if Ventus and Lincy have been allowed to stay split apart for a long time. This usually means you won't see it at all... but this move is threatening enough that you don't want to see it.
        -If spheres are headed your way, stop attacking and bait them away. They'll cause trouble if they start homing in near Ventus or Lincy, as your attacks will get disrupted. Lure the homing spheres away for a bit first so you can head back to your target without the explosions being a threat.

        Ventus, alone

        Arc Shot* - Ventus will fire arrows in an arc in a player's direction. He will shoot one arrow, then a second, and lastly a spread of three shots at once. These arrows will land on the ground, then explode in the order they were fired, or explode early if they make contact with a player on the ground. The final three arrows are each colored either blue or green, and will respectively leave behind an aura after exploding that will inflict the Spirit or Wind aura on anyone who enters the aura, or was hit by the explosion. Ventus may choose to perform a short sidestep after this attack in an attempt to throw off attackers.
        *: you can I-frame through all damaging portions of this attack, but you cannot I-frame through the aura field that gets left behind.
        -After the explosion, the aura field left behind isn't damaging. You can enter it to get the aura you need without being harmed. Just be aware that the explosion lingers slightly, and you can get hit by it if you try to get the aura too quickly.
        -Ventus' arrows ignore the invisible walls of the arena, and can go out of bounds. Try to keep Ventus aiming toward the center of the arena, as you want the arrows' auras to be accessible.
        -Ventus' arrows will generally all miss you if you stand a short distance in front of him - his shots will all sail right over your head.

        Sniping Blast* - Ventus will take an aiming stance. For each player, three circular markers will appear, focused around their positions. A white marker, blue marker, and green marker will always appear. After a short while, these areas will explode. The blue and green markers will respectively inflict the Spirit and Wind auras on anyone hit by the explosion, or anyone who touches the aura zone left behind.
        *: you can I-frame through all damaging portions of this attack, but you cannot I-frame through the aura field that gets left behind.
        -This attack is always centered around you at the time the markers appear, so you can move around before Ventus finishes aiming to manipulate where the shots will be placed.
        -There tends to be one shot directly placed on you, and two shots skewed vertically and/or horizontally a set distance from you.
        -You particularly want to lure these blasts upwards if you're on the ground level. If you're on the ground floor when the blasts are aimed, there's a chance that Ventus can aim one of the markers below you inside the floor. If this happens, it's very likely that any aura generated by that explosion will be inaccessible.

        Kick Up - Ventus will perform a swift kick forwards that will launch any players hit. If the kick connects, he'll fire several arrows upwards at a fixed angle in an attempt to shoot the players.
        -Ventus loses the ability to use this attack in phase 2 (since he's flying and is no longer on the ground).
        -If Ventus' kick doesn't connect, he will end the attack there.
        -Ventus will only use this move if there is a player fairly close to him.
        -If this move is a concern, simply keep a small distance from Ventus until his next attack. The kick is somewhat fast, but it does give you enough time to walk away a small distance and make it whiff... assuming you aren't already far enough away that the kick misses you.

        Ventus and Lincy, together

        When fighting as one, Ventus and Lincy have access to all of Ventus' moves, as well as the following:

        Rapid Spin - Ventus has Lincy perform her Rapid Spin attack around him. Unlike when Lincy used it by herself, the aura inflicted by this version of the move is random.
        -Ventus will only use this move if a player is fairly close to him.

        Homing Blast - Ventus and Lincy ascend into the air and ready themselves before unleashing one homing arrow per player. These arrows will appear from each side of the screen, and slowly chase down players for several seconds. Ventus and Lincy remain idle while this attack is occurring. These arrows deal moderate damage, but hit very rapidly and repeatedly if they connect.
        -The first homing arrow will always appear from the center of the left side; the second, the center of the right side.
        -The arrows are best handled by looping them around until they vanish. This can be done fairly easily by making use of the top platform: from its starting position, have the arrow chase you upwards toward the top platform. Jump over it to the lower side platforms, and you can just climb back up again while the arrow tries to catch up. Doing this also means there's zero risk of dragging your arrow in the way of the other player if both players use this strategy.
        -Ventus and Lincy are completely vulnerable to damage during this move... if you can find time to attack them. Any moves that can deal damage while separate from the user are ideal ways to punish this attack. Just keep in mind that they also remain a physical obstacle that you must navigate around while luring the arrows. This also presents an attacking opportunity if, in a two-player run, the party can get both arrows chasing one player, but this is something that needs to be communicated first to avoid any accidental casualties.
        -If Ventus and Lincy hit an HP threshold for starting phase 2, the arrows will vanish soon after regardless of their remaining lifespan. This means it may sometimes be in your best interest to rush down Ventus before the attack can become a threat.

        Barrage of Wind and Spirit - this is Ventus' and Lincy's ultimate attack. The duo will teleport into the background, and begin shooting arrows into the foreground. They will fire 8 barrages of arrows: in each barrage, there are six white arrows fired at random locations at the map, a green arrow fired directly at the first player, and a blue arrow fired directly at the second player. If the players get the green and blue arrows to intersect, a field will form. If a field overlaps with another field, it will merge the two together and advance the field's state. A field that merges with two other fields will have a green and blue ring around its edges, and acts as a completed barrier. Being in a completed barrier is the only way to survive the full-screen blast Ventus and Lincy use after the 8 barrages. Ventus and Lincy will enter a fatigue state at the bottom of the arena afterwards.
        -Note that being in a completed barrier makes you invulnerable. This isn't just for the ending blast, but the normal arrows as well, meaning you can have ample time to set up buffs/equipment if you bait the attack well.
        -The visual warnings for the arrows are much larger than the arrows themselves. Stepping or jumping to the edge of an arrow's ring is usually more than enough to get you out of harm's way.
        -Completing this attack successfully demands proximity to your partner at all times. The best meeting place is usually at the bottom of the arena, since Ventus will appear there after the attack ends. From there, focus on sidestepping arrows and causing fields to appear near each other to swiftly make the barrier you need.
        -If a player is dead, Ventus will always aim that player's colored arrow at the spot where they died.
        -If you are playing alone, the blue arrow does not exist, as there's no second player to aim it at. This means a solo player cannot create a barrier to survive this attack. This will result in forced deaths; players must use revival passives/effects to circumvent these deaths, and have the power necessary to defeat Ventus and Lincy before the player runs out of revival chances.

        Strategies and Notes

        Controlling attack placement is key to this battle going properly; this applies to both your attacks, as well as those from Ventus and Lincy. Ventus most reliably provides your chances to obtain Wind and Spirit auras through his Arc Shot and Sniping Blast attacks, but as previously mentioned, it's possible to have these attacks put out of bounds if your positioning is off. Keep Ventus shooting toward the arena's center to prevent Arc Shots from flying out of the arena, and keep off the ground when Sniping Blasts are aimed at you to keep the auras from being put underground.

        When you have the auras you need, be wary of the attacks Ventus and Lincy are using in the meantime. While you do want to make the most of your opportunity to strike back, if you get careless, you could run yourself into the wrong aura and lose your ability to do damage. The same logic extends to Ventus' proximity-based attacks (primarily Rapid Spin) and the aura-inflicting attacks he has access to, which can switch your auras when you weren't prepared.

        Do your best to work together with any partner you have in this battle. Having homing arrows lured to an unprepared ally can be disastrous and result in a death if they can't react in time (or get put in a situation where no good reaction is even possible). Clearing Ventus' and Lincy's ultimate attack is also impossible without coordinating arrow placements with your ally; try to match their movements and placements as much as possible.

        A solo sample fight against Ventus and Lincy in Hell mode can be found here. The first 54 seconds are dedicated to showing an example of the ultimate attack being completed with two people, and explanation of how a single player can't clear the attack successfully.
        Last edited by Hitotsuoboe-solace-; 05-26-2020, 02:20 PM. Reason: Adding images and note on Raging Storm's lingering hitbox
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          Water Dragon's Compass

          Aisha and Chung enter Denif's compass, in hopes of unsealing it as a tool for tracking the Dark El.

          Up to four players will face off against Denif's manifestation in the compass. The fight takes place in a large, rectangular arena with three main heights, and platforms to help transition between them.

          Basic Mechanics

          Denif is not capable of walking around freely. His sole method of traversing the battlefield is teleporting next to the wall on any of the six main floors/platforms. In phase 2, he may also sometimes fail to go to any of these locations, and thus stay in the center of the arena on the ground floor. (If he is in the center, this will misplace one of his attacks, as well as his drops if he is defeated there; the game acts as if he is in the center position on the right wall.) He can teleport up to two times before not being able to move for a long period of time.

          Denif has permanent super armor at all times, meaning hitstun has no influence on his attacks.

          Denif makes use of a mana shield. Its durability is displayed as a bar directly below Denif's health bar. While the shield is up, Denif cannot take health damage, and Denif has debuff immunity. Avoid attacks that make use of debuffs/elements unless Denif's shield is down (and he doesn't have the phase 2 debuff immunity all Master Road bosses have). The shield's defenses are separate from Denif's defenses (i.e. it still takes considerable damage even at the start of phase 2 in Hell mode). However, after each use of an ultimate attack in phase 2, the shield's defenses are reduced alongside Denif's defenses; the defense reductions are less significant for the shield than they are for Denif himself.

          Denif's mana shield will regenerate if it has remained broken for a period of time. While it is broken, in phase 2 of Hell mode, the cooldown on Denif's ultimate attack is accelerated (presumably at 2x the normal speed). The shield will have less durability each time Denif reforms it, until a minimum health cap for the shield is hit (roughly around 20-25% of its maximum health).

          Many of Denif's attacks are capable of inflicting stacks of the Chilling Cold debuff. This debuff reduces players' jump speed, and can be removed by jumping. If a player receives 5 stacks of Chilling Cold, they are frozen for 5 seconds. This duration is directly reduced by the player's Water resistance. Due to this mechanic, it is recommended that you have as much Water resistance as you can (400+ is ideal) to avoid being frozen for so long that Denif hits you with an attack you could have otherwise avoided.

          If you cannot obtain enough Water resistance with your equipment to be safe in this fight, consider bringing the Deep Sea Diver title. It is a Hamel title that is very easily obtained (reveal it by dying once to drowning damage, then obtain it by defeating a Deep Sea Fish in Sunken Resiam), and provides 250 Water resistance. This title should easily allow you to get 400 Water resistance or more after armor elemental resistances are factored in.

          Overall, the oppressive mechanics of Denif's fight, paired with the nature of several of Denif's attacks, make this an extremely dangerous dungeon. Denif is a very resilient target, and his attacks do an excellent job of fending off players. Heavy consumable use will likely be mandatory, and the fight is very punishing in Hell mode to groups that are not very powerful.


          This section will be split in two, due to the large number of attacks that Denif can only access in phase 2 of Hell mode.


          Ice Chaser - Denif will spin and wave one of his hands forward, creating four homing icicles. After a few moments, these icicles will chase down the first player they find that isn't in I-frames, doing moderate damage with each hit.
          -Each icicle inflicts a stack of Chilling Cold.
          -Due to the quantity of icicles, having a single Chilling Cold stack and getting hit by the entirety of this attack will freeze you. Jump whenever you can to prevent this from happening.
          -Don't bother trying to outrun these icicles. These icicles last long enough and move fast enough that you could go to the opposite corner of the battlefield and still get hit by them.
          -While they can't find an initial target if it's in I-frames, once a target is found, the icicles will chase that target even if they go back into a special active.
          -The only consistent way to evade this move is to I-frame through the entire period the icicles are looking for a target. This requires being in invincibility for roughly 3 seconds, which may not be possible for all classes, nor consistently viable at all times. Be prepared to take hits from these icicles.

          Ice Spikes - Denif will move one arm and his compass forward, and multiple bubbles will appear in front of him. These will travel short distances, angled toward the ground. On landing, they will create icicles on the ground that persist for a fair length of time. The bubbles do minimal damage on hit, while icicles do moderate damage.
          -The icicles each inflict a stack of Chilling Cold, while the bubbles do not.
          -The ideal place to be during this attack is right next to Denif. At worst, you will take hits from a couple of bubbles, which will do negligible damage, and you'll net a small window to attack Denif. You'll also be out of range of any icicles that form.
          -Since the icicles remain, keep them in mind as you traverse the battlefield, as they will inflict hitstun if you run into them.

          Bubble Pool - Denif will raise one arm and his compass into the air, and a bubble will hover over a player's head. After a few moments, it will fall straight down, doing very high damage with significant knockback. It will leave behind a pool that slows players who enter it. These pools remain on the battlefield until the fight ends, Denif transitions to phase 2, or Denif finishes an ultimate attack.
          -Use horizontal movement to get out of the way. Jumping will just run you straight into the bubble.
          -This bubble will track your movements exactly until it begins falling. Learning the timing of the bubble's drop will help in evading this.

          Iceberg - Denif will raise one arm up towards himself, and a magic circle will appear on the ground underneath a player. After a few moments, a giant piece of ice will erupt from the ground, doing massive damage to anyone it hits. It will remain on the battlefield as a physical obstacle until destroyed, unless Denif transitions to phase 2.
          -In phase 2, the damage dealt by this attack will likely be enough to instantly kill most players, unless they have a defensive buff protecting them. Keep a close eye out for this.
          -In addition to the magic circle, if you're targeted, you may notice your character get physically displaced as the game tries to put the iceberg in position. Use this as an additional warning.
          -Be cautious with special actives when an iceberg is being summoned: the iceberg summon will be delayed by special actives, and the magic circle won't stick around if the iceberg gets delayed. This can lead to a party member getting ambushed by an iceberg after its visual warnings are gone.
          -This attack is one of the primary reasons you want to avoid being frozen when Denif begins attacking, as well as why you don't want to be stuck in a lengthy skill animation as Denif starts attacking. If you're unable to move and get targeted by this, unless a party member manages to delay the iceberg, you're almost certainly going to take severe damage.
          -It usually isn't worth the effort to try and break these icebergs unless you have nothing else to do. In Hell mode, these icebergs will have several hundred million hitpoints and take a considerable amount of time to remove.

          Water Vortex - Denif will quickly wave one of his arms forward. A water vortex as tall as the arena will spawn from the wall he's standing next to (or the right wall, if he's in the center) and move forward to the ends of the platforms. Anyone hit will take moderate damage and be dragged along with the vortex, causing additional harm.
          -A powerful black hole effect travels behind the vortex; even if you don't initially get dragged along with the vortex due to being in a special active, you will have to run toward the wall to avoid being sucked back in. (This black hole effect doesn't exist at all in front of the vortex, so you can walk away safely if you're on the outside.)
          -The water vortex will drag you through obstacles. If there's an iceberg in the way, the vortex will drag you past it without incident. If there's an ice spike in the way, however, you will take the hit from it. Keep an eye on what's in front of you to gauge how much harm you might take from the attack.
          -Be wary of this attack if you can't see Denif, as it's easy to blunder into it while trying to close distance.

          Waterfall Pendant - Denif will point forward, and send his compass out. His compass will spawn directly above a player, and begin following them. If it horizontally aligns with a player enough times, it will begin spraying downwards an endless stream of water that hits once every second, inflicts a stack of Chilling Cold, and burns 50 MP on hit. From this point forward, each time it horizontally aligns with a player, there's a chance the pendant will flicker. After the pendant flickers 3 times, it will disappear and return to Denif. The pendant will return early if Denif transitions to phase 2, or Denif begins an ultimate attack.
          -This waterfall can't hit frozen targets, but will almost certainly hit you the instant you thaw out.
          -This attack has no set duration.
          -The pendant is affected by skill delays. You can chain together special actives with allies in attempts to stall the pendant if necessary.
          -This pendant will slowly follow the closest player horizontally, and usually (but not always) attempts to lower itself to match that player's height. Attempt to lead it away from Denif and other players, and try to stay at lower levels to make an opening to maneuver over it. If you can't do so, move towards the waterfall as quickly as possible to take a single hit and get past it again.
          -The pendant is difficult to notice, but also doesn't begin the waterfall until it aligns with players enough times. Sharp-eyed players can use this fact to stall the pendant before it becomes more threatening.
          -Like with the iceberg summon, the pendant's placement will physically displace its target. This is a helpful warning given the small size of the pendant.

          Phase 2 only

          Aqua Injection - a warning will be given to all players, and each player will be surrounded by water. During this time, if a player is frozen, the water will instantly kill that player.
          -Denif doesn't perform attacks by himself while this is active. Your only concern should be avoiding being frozen by lasting hazards like Ice Spikes and the Waterfall Pendant.

          Ice Growth - Denif will grasp his compass in one hand. A magic circle will appear around each ice spike on the battlefield. After a few moments, an iceberg will erupt from that location, replacing the spike and dealing massive damage to anyone nearby.
          -As with the iceberg, take maximum caution around this move, as the damage it does in Hell mode will likely one-shot you.
          -Like with the ice spike attack, just being next to Denif will keep you out of range of the icebergs.

          Mountain Blast - Denif is only allowed to use this attack if there are multiple icebergs on the field (believed to be 3 or more). If this condition is met, Denif may hold his compass forward with both hands, and a magic circle will appear around the tip of each iceberg. Shortly after, icebergs will explode in sequence, grouped by the time they were created, sending deadly ice chunks into the air at upward angles.
          -Getting hit by this is as lethal as being hit by an iceberg summon. Exercise maximum caution if Denif recently put multiple icebergs on the field.
          -The iceberg explosions are very localized, and all of the ice chunks fly at upward angles. You will be safe from this attack if you are below, or on the same height as, every iceberg. Standing to the side of the icebergs tends to be the most stable option.

          Wave of the Water Dragon - Denif will teleport into the air in the center of the arena, and create an ice platform. After a few seconds, icy winds will cover the arena, killing any player not standing on the ice platform. Denif will then summon three waves of icicles that will drop down, dealing lethal damage to anyone they hit. There are 8 possible icicle positions; 7 of them will have an icicle during each wave. Denif will enter a fatigue state (and the winds/ice platform will disappear) after all three icicle waves drop.
          -Each icicle wave has a different delay before the ice falls. The third wave falls faster than the first, and the second wave has the shortest delay of all. Save Hyper Acceleration for the second wave if you need the speed boost.
          -The possible safespot for each wave depends on how each wave spawns. If the wave forms from left to right, the safespot will be one of the two rightmost positions. If the wave forms from right to left, the safespot will be on the left. If the wave forms evenly from both sides, one of the center four positions will be safe.
          -Ensure that you do not go too fast and run off the platform: even though no wind graphics exist there, the winds will still kill you. Avoid gaining too much height while on the platform as well, or the winds above Denif will kill you.
          -Denif is invincible during this attack, but his shield is not. If you have the time to attack, moves with three-dimensional reach and homing attacks can damage Denif's shield.

          Strategies and Notes

          Attack in reaction to Denif's moves whenever you can. This is primarily to ensure you do not get stuck in a long special active when Denif performs a devastating attack like Iceberg when you wouldn't be able to move. Do your best to avoid getting frozen while Denif is transitioning to another attack for the same reason.

          This battle is made considerably easier with at least two players. Allies should do everything in their power to lure bubble pools away from other party members, and lure the waterfall compass away from Denif so the other players can attack Denif without worry. Denif's Ice Chasers will also tend to prioritize closer targets, meaning those baiting other attacks usually won't have to worry about them.

          Regardless, do your best to keep your HP high whenever possible. It's very easy for damage to chain together from Denif's attacks. Examples include getting frozen by Ice Chasers only to be hit by a waterfall as soon as you thaw out, or getting dragged by a Water Vortex into several ice spikes.

          In phase 1, your main objective is to break Denif's shield, then quickly deplete his health before he has a chance to regenerate it. This changes in phase 2 of Hell mode, however, due to his ultimate attack. A common strategy is to avoid breaking Denif's shield until he is near or casting his ultimate attack. If Denif's shield is broken before the ultimate, he will usually end up spending a good portion of his vulnerability invincible while casting his ultimate move, and the shield can end up respawning to protect Denif during his fatigue state. This is a disastrous situation, since the party wouldn't be able to take advantage of Denif's defenseless state, and the mana shield would protect Denif from debuffs. Try to manage Denif's shield health in Hell mode as best you can.

          A sample solo battle against Denif in Hell mode (reminder: soloing this fight isn't a fun idea) can be found here. Feel free to turn captions off, as they're just there to express my opinion on the fight.
          Last edited by Hitotsuoboe-solace-; 05-26-2020, 03:55 PM. Reason: Adding images; correction regarding Ice Chaser count
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            Nasod Testing Chamber

            Eve and Add enter a testing chamber in Elysion in order to gather combat data. Players will fight against Durenda, and potentially Herbaon, in a multi-tiered room with many lengthy platforms.

            Basic Mechanics

            Phase 1 solely involves combat against Durenda. Herbaon has no role in the battle until phase 2 starts, meaning you will only ever fight him in Hell mode.

            Durenda inherits the "stagger on hitstun" mechanics seen in other Elysion dungeons. Durenda will not respond normally to hitstun, and will often counterattack after recovering from a single stagger. This means that players don't have long opportunities of attack against Durenda without her being able to take action in response.

            Herbaon only has a presence in phase 2, meaning he will have the permanent super armor and debuff immunity seen in all Hell mode phase 2 fights.

            Several attacks in this fight utilize a unique form of HP burn that is scaled based on the target's current HP. This means that you will suffer more damage from many attacks while your HP is high, and forms of damage reduction achieve little in this battle, since the HP burn will completely ignore them. This also means that some attacks are not as likely to kill you as they would initially seem to be (since the HP burn would eventually scale down), but they can easily bring you down to low health for standard damage to finish the job if you aren't cautious.

            Durenda and Herbaon each have their own ultimate attack in phase 2. By extension, their defense reductions are also separated from one another (but are more severe to compensate for the halved frequency).

            If you plan to do Hell mode repeatedly, having either Forginay's Fruit or Eclipse would provide an excellent safety net due to the nature of one of the ultimate attacks you will encounter.



            Leading Strike - Durenda will swipe her lance at a nearby player in one of two different ways. If the hit connects, she will summon Hernacyd guards for follow-up attacks. She can either command them to perform circular swipes in the local horizontal vicinity, or command them to try and launch the player and combo them into a charging guard.
            -This attack will immediately end if no one was hit by it.
            -A vertical, upperward swipe leads to guards slashing the area. A horizontal slash will lead to the charging guard combo.
            -If swung horizontally, Durenda's lance swipe has a backwards hitbox, so be careful if Durenda is targeting a nearby ally.
            -The charging guard's hits inflict scaling HP burn and ignore I-frames.
            -Generally, the best response to this move is to try and I-frame through it to deal damage to Durenda and evade the attack simultaneously. This proves to be a solid choice whenever Durenda has recently used up her other, I-frame ignoring moves; just keep the move's short duration in mind so you don't trap yourself in a skill animation.

            Phobos Charge - Durenda will wind up, and indicate with a light blue beam her intended path. Shortly after, she will charge forward on that path until she contacts a wall, dragging along any players that were in her path.
            -Every hit of this charge deals scaling HP burn; however, only the moderately damaging initial hit does standard damage. If you survive the first hit, it is very unlikely that the remainder of the attack will kill you unless you get dragged into another hazard.
            -Durenda will drag along anyone she comes into contact with if they are outside I-frames. If getting out of the way of this charge is impossible, using a special active will let you stay in place, minimizing the damage you'll take.

            Charge Command - Durenda will summon up to three Hernacyd guards, ordering them to perform a lance charge (identical to Phobos Charge) in a highlighted direction.
            -Though this functions identically to Phobos Charge, this can be significantly more dangerous due to the much larger area the charging guards can cover.
            -Each individual guard is capable of inflicting standard damage with the initial hit. Ensure that you get hit by at most one guard, and never stand at the intersection of their paths: the combined damage will be severe and may kill you very easily.
            -If guards perform a vertical charge directly next to the wall, pay close attention: depending on their placement, their charge may not cover a small area to the side. Hugging the wall in this situation can be used as a safespot to avoid the attack if your character isn't using a size-increasing effect.

            Synchronized Charge - this is Durenda's phase 1 cut-in attack, and cannot be used in phase 2. Durenda and three Hernacyd guards will perform four sets of charges across the arena in unison. The charges will either sweep four horizontal rows, four vertical columns, or a symmetrical diagonal pattern.
            -Each hit of each charge inflicts scaling HP burn.
            -Be careful not to be standing next to a guard or Durenda as they begin charging, or you'll get taken along for the entire attack. Due to this, it's generally a bad idea to be standing on the outer edges of the arena while this attack is happening.
            -Durenda participates in every single set of charges, and is vulnerable to attack. You can attempt to inflict damage on her if you find a safe opportunity to do so, and it can be worth it if you end the fight/phase in doing so. (Durenda will end the attack early if a HP threshold is reached.) Her dialogue box will follow her for the first couple of charges, making it somewhat easier to track her.

            Phobos Drive - this is Durenda's ultimate attack, only seen in phase 2 of Hell mode. Durenda will wind up, mark a player, and begin continuously charging in the general direction of the marked player. If Durenda makes contact with Herbaon after her initial 5 charges, a small scene will play that results in an attack that will kill the entire party. Durenda will enter a fatigue state after either charging 20 times, or performing the instant-kill attack with Herbaon.
            -Durenda is invincible during this attack. Don't bother with attacks; just get away from her.
            -Each hit of the charge inflicts standard damage alongside HP burn, though the threat comes less from the individual damage per hit and more from the number of potential hits from being continually hit by Durenda.
            -If Durenda's targeted player dies, a different player will randomly be marked as a replacement (if another player exists).
            -If Durenda begins the instant death attack with Herbaon, the preceding cutscene is long enough for players to switch titles to Forginay's Fruit or Eclipse if they're fast enough, which can prevent a death.
            -Note that Herbaon is not restricted in any way while Durenda performs this attack. Herbaon can place lasers around the battlefield as obstacles, move, and teleport. Be very careful that Durenda doesn't go to Herbaon's teleport location, or (if you're unlucky), go under Herbaon when he decides to drop down from a platform. Either of these happening WILL trigger the instant death attack.

            Herbaon (Phase 2 only)

            Laser Blast - Herbaon will summon either three horizontal lasers, or three vertical lasers. They will leave a warning for a few moments before firing, dealing multiple hits to anyone caught in them.
            -Each laser hit inflicts scaling HP burn in addition to standard damage.
            -The laser placements are random. Be very careful about this, because this can occasionally mean all three lasers are right next to each other. This can result in situations such as having three horizontal lasers targeting the bottom three rows of the arena while you're on the bottom floor, which is very difficult to escape from in time.
            -If two vertical lasers are placed next to each other, the gap between them is large enough to stand in and avoid damage.
            -Keep these lasers in mind when dealing with Durenda. You don't want to get dragged into these by Durenda's charges, nor run into them while trying to avoid her. Getting fully hit by a laser is worse than some of the moves Durenda can hit with.

            Iris Teleport - Herbaon will state "Don't move!" and light up a location on the map. After a short wait, Herbaon will either teleport to the marked location, or stay in place. Regardless of his choice, Herbaon will leave a black hole at his starting location for a few seconds. (This attack isn't capable of doing damage.)
            -Horizontally dash to escape the black hole if you get caught in it.
            -As a reminder, if you're under the influence of a black hole effect, you aren't able to use skills. Be mindful of this move if you don't want to have your attacks interrupted... especially when Durenda is in a fatigue state.

            Armor Smash - if there are players close to Herbaon, Herbaon may shout and raise his armor panels upward. He will then slam them downwards, doing high damage and flattening anyone hit for several seconds (leaving them unable to attack), alongside knocking those players back a significant distance.
            -If there aren't any players near Herbaon, Herbaon will never attempt this move.
            -The panels will squash anyone touching them when they come down, not just people below them.
            -I-framing through this move is heavily recommended in order to avoid any disruption in your attacks.

            Gravity Arrow - if there are players close to Herbaon, Herbaon may set up his armor panels ahead of him, and shoot a slow-moving projectile. This projectile sucks in any players it hits, doing minor damage until a powerful final explosion.
            -If there aren't any players near Herbaon, Herbaon will never attempt this move.
            -You won't be dragged along by the projectile if you're in I-frames.
            -Only mana break this if you're able to react to the early hits. There's no point if you start the break too late and will get hit by the final explosion anyways.
            -Herbaon has a long wind-up for this attack, making it easy to get behind him and heavily punish the move.
            -Be aware that the projectile spawns slightly behind Herbaon, giving this a backwards hitbox. The suction will drag you through Herbaon if necessary.

            Quadrato Overload - this is Herbaon's ultimate attack. Herbaon will teleport into the background, and Durenda will temporarily leave the battlefield. Herbaon will summon multiple waves of lasers, alternating between horizontal and vertical lasers. Each set of lasers will cover two-thirds of the arena (leaving two safe rows for horizontal lasers, and four safe columns for vertical lasers), and players must quickly react and move to the gaps between them. Herbaon will enter a fatigue state after nine laser groups are fired. Durenda will return to the battlefield once Herbaon exits fatigue.
            -The devices that appear on the sides of the battlefield will indicate where lasers will be aimed before the laser's visual warning actually shows up. Try to keep these on camera when you can to have a better grasp on where the lasers will be.
            -Since the lasers only show up gradually and can appear in any order, stay near the largest available space while you wait in order to minimize the risk of getting cornered.
            -While waiting on lasers to fire, consider moving closer to the center of the arena to make it easier to move around during the next set of lasers. Also consider gradually using any buffs you'll need, since there won't be a long reprieve you can use to prepare yourself.
            -Herbaon will enter his fatigue state while the last set of lasers is still firing - don't get too hasty with attacking unless you're willing to take the damage.

            Strategies and Notes

            The bosses in this fight are fairly unresponsive to hitstun, and have multiple I-frame ignoring attacks that can be brought out with only short warnings. These can be consistently evaded if you have full freedom of movement, but will be a significant hazard if you put yourself in a skill with a long casting animation. Try to reserve longer skills for moments where you're certain you won't get trapped.

            When fighting Durenda, note that she can only utilize her personal lance charge, as well as her charge command to the Hernacyd guards, every few seconds. If you get her to exhaust both of these, her only possible attack would be a lance swipe you can I-frame through. This means you can get Durenda into a state where you can safely perform lengthy skill animations without worry through a bit of patience.

            When in phase 2 of Hell mode, it's generally in the party's best interest to have at least one person attacking Herbaon in close range at all times. Doing this will encourage Herbaon to use his Armor Smash and Gravity Arrow moves, which cover far less area than his laser blasts and are arguably less dangerous than the lasers. The fewer lasers the party has to deal with, the easier it will be to fight Durenda.

            Due to how Durenda and Herbaon have their defenses reduced independently of one another, if you want to deal damage as quickly as possible, you'll want to alternate between attacking Durenda and Herbaon. Focus on the member of the duo who most recently used an ultimate attack. Naturally, any situation where you can get Durenda and Herbaon together and hit them both will greatly speed up the battle as well.

            The lance charges and horizontal laser beams in this fight can result in several situations that risk triggering the landing glitch. Attempt to be in position early if you're jumping up platforms to avoid a horizontal attack; you might end up taking a hit from the attack below you otherwise.

            A small amount of caution is advised after the fight ends if it ended while Herbaon was in fatigue. This situation occasionally results in Durenda returning to the battlefield and briefly continuing her attacks, despite the battle being over. You want to avoid dying to these, especially since some of the item drops are delayed for a few seconds.

            A sample battle against Herbaon and Durenda can be found here. This battle also happens to trigger a glitch with Durenda that causes her model to be invisible for the entirety of phase 2, presumably due to interrupting her phase 1 cut-in attack.
            Last edited by Hitotsuoboe-solace-; 05-26-2020, 10:42 PM.
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              Gate of the Setting Sun

              Elsword and Raven go to seek answers from Solace. Up to four players will face Solace in a wide arena with a few lengthy platforms set on three heights.

              Basic Mechanics

              Solace has no ability to teleport in this version of his fight. He will also respond to hitstun, but can attack out of hitstun at will, and will usually do so rather quickly.

              All of Solace's attacks are capable of inflicting the Sunlight debuff on players they hit. The Sunlight debuff will lower your movement and jump speeds while you are afflicted by it. If you receive a second stack of the Sunlight debuff, both stacks will be consumed and a mark will be added to Solace's awakening gauge (seen under his health bar). This won't occur if Solace already has 5 marks, the maximum he can have. The Sunlight debuff has a duration of 30 seconds, so you can avoid giving Solace a mark by avoiding his attacks for that period of time.

              Note that Solace's behavior will be based on his awakening gauge as seen by the host's client. Slight amounts of lag could mean that other players in the group will see an incorrect mark count on Solace's awakening gauge (due to a person's client seeing a player getting hit by an attack they actually dodged, for instance). If you aren't the host, rely on Solace's actions to figure out an accurate mark count.

              All of Solace's attacks ignore I-frames. Paired with the above regarding the fight's debuffs, moving out of the way will be required if you don't want to strengthen Solace.

              A large number of Solace's moves can't be used unless he has a certain number of marks obtained from inflicting Sunlight debuffs on players. This means that Solace grows more dangerous the more marks he has.

              Additionally, should Solace reach 5 marks, he will be allowed to awaken, which boosts his attack and defense for a fixed duration, and applies some other modifiers to his attacks. This defense buff will be in effect even if Solace enters a fatigue state. After the duration ends, Solace will end his awakening buffs, and his awakening gauge will be set back to zero marks.

              Some of Solace's moves utilize scaled HP burn: the attacks themselves do little standard damage, but will burn HP equal to a large portion of the player's current health.

              The difficulty of this battle ultimately depends on how many players are in the group, and how willing each player is to evade Solace's attacks. Solo players will find it easier to manage Solace's gauge and prevent him from becoming dangerous, while groups are more likely to build his gauge quickly and see his more threatening moves. Master Solace's fight can range from fairly easy to fairly dangerous depending on these factors.


              This section will be organized based on the marks Solace requires to use each move.

              No Requirements to Use

              Sun Slash - Solace will perform a singular, forward slash that hits anyone in front of him.
              -This move may fail to inflict the Sunlight debuff if it doesn't hit a player cleanly.
              -This move has a backwards hitbox if you're close to Solace, and it's possible to receive the Sunlight debuff if you get hit by the attack in this fashion.
              -This is a fairly swift attack, so your best bet for evading it is to be moving behind Solace ahead of time with the hopes of goading Solace into slashing the wrong direction.

              Rotating Strike - Solace will spin around once to put force behind his blade before performing a two-swing combo forwards. Players hit by the second strike will be launched.
              -Each hit is capable of inflicting a stack of the Sunlight debuff, but may fail to do so if the slashes don't hit cleanly.
              -Be careful if you're running toward Solace's back during this attack, as you might run yourself into the attack's graphics and take hits (though this usually doesn't risk getting a Sunlight stack).
              -Solace takes a bit of time to spin and perform the full attack, making it a great opportunity to punish it with any special actives with long animations without any risk. Look for Solace to spin around or say certain quotes ("Split" and "Take my sword" can indicate this move) as signs to attack.

              Ray of Light: Focus - Solace will raise his sword into the air. A ray of light will fall from the sky, either targeting a single player or each player.
              -If Solace has awakened, or is in phase 2 of Hell mode, each ray is much larger.
              -Be careful to avoid rays targeting other players if you're trying to find a safe space.

              Ray of Light: Barrage - Solace will raise his sword into the air and cause a ray of light to target a single player. Solace will perform this five times in a row with only slight pauses between each.
              -This has the same animation as the focused version of Ray of Light; try to avoid using special actives in reaction to this attack (thinking Solace is only using one ray), or you risk him continuing the move when you weren't ready for it, taking a beam in return.
              -If Solace has awakened, or is in phase 2 of Hell mode, each ray is much larger.
              -The rays of light have slightly lingering hitboxes. Be cautious of this when you're trying to move to another location, as moving back to a previous location too fast will get you hit.
              -If Solace gets frozen or petrified while performing this, the next ray will be delayed until he is freed. Try to avoid being caught off guard if this happens.

              Sun's Gate - this is Solace's ultimate attack, seen only in phase 2 of Hell mode. Solace will teleport to the centermost platform and cause a large number of marks to appear, evenly scattered about the arena. There are three mark types: cross, orb, and triangle. These marks can only be hit by command attacks, and explode when broken, giving any player in range that mark. (The explosions don't do damage to players.) When Solace executes his attack, a flash of light will fill the screen, consuming either two of the three marks available, or all three. Any player who did not have one of the consumed marks will be killed instantly. Solace will enter a fatigue state after this, and all remaining marks on the field will explode.
              -In short, your goal during this attack is to break the marks on the field and get all three mark buffs in order to guarantee your safety. Use any leftover time to use any buffing moves you have (or attack Solace's Shield of Light, if it's active).
              -You must be in range of the mark's explosion to receive its buff. You cannot get the mark's buff by destroying it at long range. However, since every player in the explosion gets the buff, this can be used to your advantage in groups. Attack with your teammates nearby, having everyone focus on the same marks, to break the marks swiftly and share the buffs with everyone.
              -The cross and orb marks can be somewhat difficult to tell apart. The easiest way to distinguish the orb is to look for the rounded edges at the corner, which won't be seen for the cross shapes.

              2 marks or more

              Sun Orb - Solace will ready himself in place before spinning and releasing a small sun projectile that homes in on players. This projectile does not expire until it hits a player, and will gradually speed up until it hits someone.
              -This attack primarily uses scaling HP burn to deal its damage. It's possible to survive this projectile with rather low health, and it may be in your best interest to avoid healing until you can intentionally run into the orb at low health to minimize the harm it does.
              -Solace can only use this projectile once every 20 seconds, but keep in mind that it inflicts the Sunlight debuff, which has a 30 second duration. Consider avoiding the projectile for a few seconds if you already have the debuff to prevent Solace from gaining an awakening mark.

              3 marks or more

              Shield Stance - Solace will go behind his shield, and wings of light will appear behind him. If any players attack Solace while he is in this stance, he will periodically counterattack with homing light swords. Attacks will also cause the wings on Solace's back to grow, potentially forming a shield behind him if he takes enough hits. If Solace is hit too many times, he will generate a Shield of Light to protect himself from damage. Solace cannot take health damage until the Shield of Light is destroyed.
              -This attack runs into connection problems when playing in a group. It is usually the case that, if Solace is attacked, his sword counterattacks only show up for one player. Do not be misled by this if you do not see swords appearing: if you attack, you are generating sword counterattacks and are putting someone at a high risk of dying.
              -However, if you don't see the swords on your client, they also cannot damage you. This means you can shield any player that does see the swords from harm by standing where they would spawn (behind and slightly above Solace). On the other player's screen, the swords will run into your character and damage numbers will appear, but your health won't go down (since on your client, nothing is hitting you).
              -Solace's Shield of Light is vulnerable to damage at all times, even if Solace is invincible. Use these chances to break the shield more swiftly.

              Shield Flash - Solace will quickly raise his shield and gather light energy into it before releasing it forwards in a cone. This flash of light is capable of stunning anyone hit for several seconds (with the stun duration being affected by your light resistance).
              -This attack primarily uses scaling HP burn to deal damage.
              -This attack may consume Solace's MP bar when used; however, Solace doesn't require MP to use this move. Solace's MP bar serves no meaningful function.
              -Both the Sunlight and the stun may not apply if the flash didn't hit cleanly. This usually happens if you jump and get hit by the top portion of the flash.
              -The stun from this attack can last a long time, and Solace's attacks can hit you without causing you to exit the stun early. If you get stuck in place, heal in reaction to Solace's next moves.

              4 marks or more

              Dividing Light - Solace will perform a skill cut-in, and a pillar of light will form on the battlefield, vertically dividing the arena. Any person who runs into this pillar will take massive damage.
              -Try to be on the side of the arena with more space when the pillar forms, so you'll have more room to deal with Solace. You can get through the pillar (since the pillar doesn't hit very frequently), but the process will be very damaging and may be dangerous to execute if you don't have super armor (or a special active that moves you forward) to ignore the hitstun.
              -This pillar doesn't have a set lifespan. Instead, it only fades if Solace moves to phase 2, executes his shield wall attack, or executes his ultimate attack.

              Shield Wall - Solace will perform a skill cut-in, stand in place, and become invincible. A number of shields will appear on the left side of the screen, slowly moving toward the right wall. These shields will physically push any players they touch, and a highly damaging stream of light follows each shield. These shields can be damaged and destroyed. If any shields reach the right wall, they will fade away in a horizontal explosion that does lethal damage to anyone it touches.
              -Solace will always have a Dividing Light pillar on the field when this move is used. This creates the added threat of the shields pushing players into the light pillar if the shields aren't broken quickly enough.
              -If Solace is awakened (and doesn't have a Dividing Light pillar on the field), he will perform this immediately after Dividing Light; this is the most common way Shield Wall will be executed. He is capable of summoning the Shield Wall separately, however, and doesn't have to be awakened to do so. A separately summoned Shield Wall will likely only be seen in phase 1 (since in phase 2, Solace's ultimate attack will take priority instead).
              -Focus on breaking the two or three bottom shields first to guarantee a safe space for the party. Attack the other shields for MP as you please, just so long as you don't jump into the light streams or explosions left behind (particularly since the explosions linger for a bit).

              Strategies and Notes

              If Solace has under two awakening marks, every attack he has can be avoided by jumping behind him (the slashes will whiff, and you'll be out of the way of any Rays of Light targeting you). Solace does recover rather quickly from attacks, however. Unless you have no intention of dodging Solace's moves and want to focus on damaging specials, you'll have to keep your counterattacks brief (with the exception of his Rotating Strike, which grants you a solid window of assault). Careful management of Solace by abusing this fact can prevent Solace from ever reaching two awakening marks, severely limiting his moveset and threat to you. This is highly beneficial to solo players and anyone trying to make the fight easier/safer.

              Keep monitoring Solace's state and attacks in order to react accordingly, or reduce the harm he could pose to other players. Run into sun orbs if you're low health (and aren't debuffed by Sunlight) to prevent others from being heavily harmed. Try to keep baiting Rays of Light away from other players in a predictable fashion, so others won't be caught off guard and run into them on accident. Don't attack Solace while he's in shield stance (unless the damage will be enough to defeat him); if others in the party are attacking Solace during this time and you don't see the swords, get behind Solace to protect the party member who would otherwise be in serious danger. Group up with party members during the shield wall (to focus your attacks on one area of the wall) and during Sun's Gate (so the buffs from the mark explosions can be shared, getting the party to safety much faster).

              A sample battle against Master Solace in Hell mode can be found here.
              Last edited by Hitotsuoboe-solace-; 05-26-2020, 11:09 PM. Reason: Adding images
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                Anguish of the Wavering Servant

                With Hernia's assistance, Ain faces his internal doubts regarding his mission, with those doubts given angelic form. Up to four players will face these false angels in a wide arena with a few, long platforms set on two heights.

                Basic Mechanics

                This battle is quite different compared to the other Master Road dungeons before it. Phases 1 and 2 involve fighting different boss forms with completely different movesets. Additionally, this is the only Master Road dungeon where the phase 2 boss must be completely brought down to zero health to end the fight.

                A gauge with 10 marks will be visible at all times below the boss' health bar. The function of this bar varies depending on the phase you're fighting against.

                In phase 1, you will battle against Messengers of the Past and Present. None of their attacks, except for their cut-in attack, ignore I-frames. Messengers are affected by skill delays, meaning their attacks will also be delayed if the Messenger isn't hit by the attack. Black hole effects will not affect Messengers.

                These entities do not have health bars, but any damage they take will reduce the boss' health in kind. The Messengers also aren't affected by hitstun, but will receive knockback if they aren't performing an attack. Lastly, while skills cannot destroy them, a single hit from a command attack will remove a Messenger from the battlefield. (Pet attacks won't count, even if they have the characteristics of a command attack.)

                Messengers have unusual AI for when they attack. Messengers perform an attack when they first enter the battlefield, then go idle. They will remain in this idle state for a very long time (10-15 seconds) and take no actions unless they take damage. If they take a hit, they will often counterattack almost immediately.

                The phase 1 gauge tracks the number of Messengers currently present on the battlefield, with each lit mark representing one Messenger. If, at any point, this gauge is allowed to completely fill (meaning 10 or Messengers are on the battlefield at once), the Messengers will immediately perform an instant-kill cut-in attack that can't be avoided. Players must keep the number of Messengers on the battlefield down to prevent this from happening.

                In phase 2, the Messengers will unite to form Dominus Angelus, a manifestation of Ishmael. All of the Dominus' attacks ignore I-frames. Since this form is only encountered in phase 2, it will always have super armor and debuff immunity (outside of fatigue). However, the boss may perform a special stagger animation if hit while outside of an attack animation.

                The phase 2 gauge revolves around the Dominus' ultimate attack, and its progress towards it. At the start of phase 2 (or after an ultimate attack), the Dominus' gauge will be set to 9 marks. The Dominus will leave behind Angelic Fragments with almost all of its attacks. As these Fragments are destroyed (by a player, or by self-destruction), they will deplete the Dominus' gauge. The Dominus can only perform its ultimate attack once the gauge is empty. During the ultimate attack, the gauge tracks progress towards the ultimate attack triggering, and players must work to prevent this.

                Dominus Angelus also breaks phase 2 conventions with its ultimate attack: while its fatigue state drastically reduces its defense, its defensive buffs do NOT permanently decrease after each ultimate.

                Once players understand the mechanics of this battle, it usually isn't too threatening. Phase 1 can be chaotic due to Messenger counterattacks, but players can find reprieves by not attacking, and special actives players would be using to do damage anyways will shield them from a lot of danger. Phase 2 features attacks that hit wide areas, but are slow and don't do considerable damage; phase 2 should pose little threat so long as players are careful and stop the ultimate attack properly. This can be a long battle due to the massive health pool of the boss, however, so players will need to stay focused.


                Phase 1: Messengers of God

                (Note: whether a Messenger is of the Past or Present is irrelevant in phase 1. This typing doesn't restrict their moveset in any way.)

                Erst - Bohren: the Messenger will ready a small spear and throw it forward in a straight, horizontal line after a short wait, doing decent damage to anyone hit. The Messenger will then teleport to where the spear was thrown.
                -Up to 3 Messengers can spawn at once to perform this move.
                -Don't get too aggressive against Messengers using this move, as you can end up whiffing a large part of your attack once they teleport away. It may be more worthwhile to run to where the Messengers will teleport to instead.
                -The Messengers will inflict hitstun if they contact anyone after teleporting, but won't do damage.

                Brocken Phantasm: the Messenger will ready a large spear and spend a significant time charging up. Afterward, it will launch the spear forward, dealing high damage to anyone it hits.
                -Up to 2 Messengers can spawn at once to perform this move.
                -Be careful not to confuse this with Erst - Bohren. Brocken Phantasm involves a larger spear and longer start-up time, and the Messenger won't go anywhere after firing the projectile.
                -The spears are larger than one platform height, meaning you can be a platform tier above or below the caster and potentially still get hit.
                -If you need to get space to avoid this, either get behind the Messenger, defeat the Messenger with a command attack, or I-frame through the attack. I-framing this is the most difficult of the three, as you'll have to know the timing of the spear throw to succeed.

                Fantasiegebilde Speer: the Messenger will place three spears on the ground to each side of itself. Each spear does minor damage, won't deal hitstun, and inflicts a bleed effect that can stack up to 3 times. The spears will disappear after several seconds if no one runs into them.
                -Up to 3 Messengers can spawn at once to perform this move.
                -The damage you take from this attack is easily controlled based on how close you're willing to get to the Messenger. Pace yourself and you can take minimal damage, or none at all if you simply avoid getting too close.

                Bewachsen Feste - Gott Waffe: the Messenger will spin around and look skyward, and the area above the Messenger will begin forming the attack. Afterwards, numerous blades will fall from the sky, covering the area around the Messenger and dealing a large number of hits over several seconds.
                -Up to 2 Messengers can spawn at once to perform this move.
                -Destroying the Messenger casting the move will stop Gott Waffe, but the attack will still take a couple seconds to fully vanish. You may still take a few hits if you try this.
                -This attack lasts for quite a long time, so I-framing through it in its entirety may be challenging for some classes. If you seek safety, it may be better to simply get out of range.
                -You can take significant damage from this if you take the entire storm of blades. Mana break if you want to get out, since I-frames aren't ignored by this attack.

                Zweit - Schneiden: the Messenger will create a sword, then lunge forward with a singular slash. This slash does substantial damage, and inflicts a Leg Wound debuff (preventing you from dashing).
                -Up to 2 Messengers can spawn at once to perform this move.
                -Be wary of Messengers using this as a counterattack.
                -You may be able to lure Messengers to lower heights by baiting them into using this off platforms... just don't be in their way when they do so.

                Still Lenze: the Messenger will create a lance, then lunge forward with a single stab attack. This lance does high damage, and will Silence you for a few seconds (preventing you from using skills).
                -Up to 2 Messengers can spawn at once to perform this move.
                -Like with Zweit - Schneiden, beware of horizontal counterattacks here, especially since the Silence will pause your ability to attack or I-frame through anything.
                -The hitbox on this can linger if the Messenger gets delayed; be very careful that this doesn't contact you as soon as you exit a skill animation.

                Sabelhieb Sequenz: the Messenger will create two daggers, then swing forward with them 3 times in quick succession. Each hit does decent damage and inflicts a bleed effect.
                -Up to 2 Messengers can spawn at once to perform this move.
                -This move can be quite dangerous as a counterattack if your skill's animation doesn't last long enough. Consider chaining together special actives if you see this threat coming.

                Erst de Letzt: this move is only performed if 10 Messengers are left alive simultaneously, completely filling the gauge under the boss' health bar. If this happens, a power stun will hit the entire arena. Shortly after, Messengers will fire devastating laser beams across the entire arena. All Messengers will disappear from the battlefield afterwards.
                -If this attack is allowed to fire, it's very likely that it will kill you. The only way to deal with this is to prevent it from ever happening.

                Phase 2: Dominus Angelus

                Angelic Fragment: all of the Dominus' moves (with one exception) leave behind Angelic Fragments where the attack occurred in random locations. These fragments can be destroyed by a single hit from a command attack (skills will hit them, but not destroy them). If left alone, the fragments will float into the air after a few seconds and eventually self-destruct, dealing moderate damage and launching anyone hit.
                -The number of Fragments left behind with each attack depends on the number of players in the party. There will be 1 Fragment for each player in the party left behind with each attack (e.g. a 3-person group will see 3 Fragments come from each attack).
                -Be wary if a cube is floating high above a platform, as this means it's closing to exploding. The launch from this explosion is just as threatening as the damage the explosion does, as it risks throwing you directly into one of the Dominus' attacks.
                -Since the Fragment self-destructing still depletes the Dominus' gauge, dealing with these Fragments is completely optional. However, it may still be in your best interest to remove these from the battlefield if they're in areas you constantly need to move around in.
                -Any fragments on the battlefield will automatically vanish if the Dominus starts its ultimate attack.

                Blade Sweep: the Dominus will project a longsword in each hand. It will lean forwards, either focusing on the top or bottom level, and perform a crossing slash with its blades across that height. Anyone hit will take moderate damage and be knocked back a substantial distance.
                -Look at how the Dominus is moving into the foreground to determine where the blades will hit.
                -The wave created by the slash hits upward slightly. Be careful around this if the sweep is on the ground level, since this will make the attack hit anyone standing on the middle level of platforms.
                -Try to avoid being in the center of the arena during this attack, as it's possible to be hit by the sweep twice in this situation (usually with a sweep aimed at the ground level).

                Blade Smash: the Dominus will project a sword in one hand and raise it backwards. After a short wind-up, it will smash that side of the arena with it, doing moderate damage and flattening anyone hit for a couple seconds (rendering them unable to attack).
                -Despite the graphics for this attack, this smash will hit the entire half of the arena it's on, and slightly in the center (where the Dominus' arm is). You will have to run to the other side of the arena to escape.

                Blade Fall: the Dominus will summon and ready a number of large blades, set over multiple heights. A few areas of the arena will have gaps in the blades, and players must run to these safe spots before the blades fall. Each blade hit does moderate damage and can knock players back a substantial distance.
                -The main threat here isn't the damage from a single blade, but the fact that the knockback can easily send you into the explosions from other blades, pinballing you and chaining together substantial damage very quickly.
                -Since the attack has to bounce you around to do lethal damage, if you can't find a safe spot in time, try to enter super armor or a special active. This will let you resist the knockback and only take the hit from one blade, minimizing the damage you take. This can easily be done on any character by casting Hyper Acceleration or Haunting Spirit, both of which give super armor during their casting animations.

                Binding Chains: this attack can only be used if there are at least two players alive on the battlefield. If this is the case, the Dominus may raise one palm to the air and project a magic circle, and a single player will be bound on the spot. For 20 seconds, a bound player cannot move or attack. However, any other player can break the chains with a single command attack.
                -This is the only standard attack the Dominus has that doesn't summon Angelic Fragments.
                -Avoid being high in the air where it's difficult for other players to hit you. Also, try to be close to your allies so they don't have to run around searching for you.

                Goddess' Revelation: this is the Dominus' ultimate attack. It will enter a dormant state, and the game will tell you whether to stop Messengers of the Past, or Messengers of the Present. Messengers will randomly spawn in the arena, 4 at a time. As with phase 1, these Messengers will only be defeated by command attacks. These Messengers leave the battlefield after a few seconds if not defeated. Each time a target Messenger escapes, or a player defeats the wrong Messenger, a mark will be added to the Dominus' gauge. An instant-kill attack will hit the entire arena if this gauge is filled. The Dominus will enter a fatigue state after 7 waves of Messengers finish spawning, or the ultimate attack is used.
                -If you miss the opening warning, look at the Dominus. It will be either green (indicating that you should target Messengers of the Past) or blue (making Messengers of the Present the targets).
                -Note that it's possible for two Messengers to occupy the same location at the same time. If this happens, you may need to wait for the earliest Messenger to leave in order to hit another Messenger there without penalty.
                -The Messengers can spawn anywhere in the arena, so you'll have to sweep the entire area thoroughly each wave.
                -Keep focused if your weapon has the Light element on it: a Messenger won't be defeated by a command attack if the hit inflicted Petrify.
                -The Messengers aren't physically solid until they completely spawn in. You may end up running straight through one if you're too early.
                -There's little time to prepare for the Dominus' collapse after the Messengers stop spawning, so find what opportunities you can to set up buffs while the Messengers are still out.

                Strategies and Notes

                While the boss in this stage has the largest health pool in Master Road by far, it also gives you the biggest opportunities to deal damage to the boss. In phase 1, each Messenger can take damage separately from the others; this means that if you hit 5 Messengers with a single skill, you'll do damage to the boss' health 5 times over. Grouping the Messengers and attacking them as a group can shred the boss in phase 1... just be cautious of counterattacks. In phase 2, the Dominus' head and arms are both vulnerable to attack. Here, the arms cause the Dominus to have a wide area that can be damaged, allowing moves that require massive targets for maximum damage to shine.

                In phase 1, you want to keep the number of Messengers under control. Having too few Messengers on the battlefield will greatly limit your ability to damage the boss, while having too many risks triggering their unavoidable, instant-death attack. Since up to 3 Messengers can appear simultaneously, trying to keep 5-6 Messengers on the battlefield at any time strikes a fair balance between these goals. Destroy Messengers with command attacks if you go above this range to maintain your group's safety.

                With the phase 1 Messengers, you can get attacked multiple times in succession out of a special active due to the Messengers' tendency to counterattack when hit. If you need relief, consider jumping out of the way (since most Messenger attacks are horizontal), or simply stop attacking altogether (since the Messengers idle for great lengths of time if they aren't damaged themselves).

                In phase 2, it may be in your best interest to prioritize safety. The Dominus' attacks may not be too damaging for their speed, but all of them can either launch you great distances or prevent players from attacking altogether. The Dominus' fatigue states also last for a very long time, so the vast majority of your damage will come from attacking the Dominus during fatigue.

                During the phase 2 ultimate, the best strategy for dealing with the Messengers varies based on the party size. If you're alone, start on one side and repeatedly sweep from side to side as each wave spawns to check all the possible spawn locations. If you're in a group, evenly divide the arena between party members to minimize the area each person has to cover. You may also want to avoid projectile commands if they pierce or bounce off of targets, as this can risk hitting Messengers you didn't want to remove.

                A sample battle against the angels in Hell mode can be found here.
                Last edited by Hitotsuoboe-solace-; 05-26-2020, 11:39 PM. Reason: Adding images
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                • Class: {{esusrinfo_class438664}}
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                  Some nitpicking:
                  • We have yet to confirm if drop rate increase from events does not work. The usually do. To avoid confusion, I would be a bit more specific here that the one shown in the stats does not work.
                  • You say Hell mode has "features drastically more difficult mechanics". That feels subjective. I wouldn't say that's true for Gaia. We might want to word it like "Hell mode has a second phase which may features more complex patterns".
                  • Is it confirmed that Hell mode has a higher drop rate? At least for the additional Mark of Acknowledgement, the ones beside the two guaranteed. I don't feel like that is the case.
                  • We still have to figure out if the defense and reduction after "Ult" buff apply to all Master Road bosses. According to this comment, that isn't the case for Rosso. I would like to confirm that myself first, however.
                  • It might be worth noting that the accessories fixed effect are also quite good with effects like (M)ATK%, Ignore Defense or ASD.
                  • It's 2-4 Mark of Acknowledgement in Hell as you can see in this video: (28:30)


                  • Hitotsuoboe-solace-
                    Editing a comment
                    I'll leave the drop rate bit as is for now, because given the nature of drops in this dungeon (specifically the Marks), it might end up being a situation like Heroics where it also might have to specifically name Master Road as a place with increased drop rate. Until we get a relevant event, it's impossible to say anything conclusive there.

                    By difficult mechanics, I was more referring to the enhanced debuff and the defensive state the Master bosses were in. I did mention the pattern changes already via the extra attacks, as well as the section dedicated to Hell mode. I suppose it is subjective how much the fight difficulty changes based on the fights forcibly becoming longer due to the passive shifts, though - I can try to shift my tone there.

                    Drop rate comparisons between Normal and Hell mode (excluding the Marks) are in a state of "not enough information" - I'll admit that this is me making an assumption here. I should probably omit that statement for the time being until the community has amassed enough runs as a whole to figure this one out.

                    I made several of my generalizations about the Master Road fights by watching some KR footage of Rosso and Ventus fights. After reviewing two different Rosso videos, it does seem like the defense reduction after ultimate attacks is as I claim. We can use the video you linked for Rosso's Marks as an example: the tiger projectile at 10:24 hits the initial defensive buff, and does 2.0m damage. 11:36 is after 1 ultimate attack, and does 4.5m damage. 14:05 is after 3 ultimates, and does 13m damage.

                    Also... it would figure that 60+ Hell runs wasn't going to be enough to see the highest Mark count even once. I'll fix that above.

                  • st0rmbreaK-solace-
                    st0rmbreaK-solace- commented
                    Editing a comment
                    Due to how tanky Gaia gets in the second phase, waiting it out is also a good option as even the most geared people are doing little to no damage to him. The second phase lasts 60 seconds, so players can put on things like Forginay or Eclipse and wait it out, swapping to a damage title once the cutscene starts. It might also be good to mention that Wind Orbs do a lot of work due to defences starting to be significant. Ventus elixirs and Hyper Accel are also useful for getting into position faster right before exhaustion.

                  • Hitotsuoboe-solace-
                    Editing a comment
                    st0rmbreaK-solace- While even small amounts of damage like 10 bars of health against the opening defensive buffs can help, I can see that logic if people are concerned about the boss' attacks being a threat. Constant attack against the boss might be better reserved for when you're quite familiar with how the boss acts.

                    Still, since these were worthwhile things to keep in mind as people approach these fights, I went ahead and added a section on some general strategies that would probably be universally useful in the Master Road battles.
                • Class: {{esusrinfo_class448167}}
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                  It's taken a long while, but I've gotten the text information on all 7 Master Road fights put up. Thank you all for your patience.

                  I might try to make the guide clearer in time if I can find the opportunities to gather and put up reasonable images for each fight, since I know this is a lot of text to dig through. I just hope what I have up currently can be of assistance until I do that.
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                  • Class: {{esusrinfo_class454350}}
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                    With that, images have been provided for the 7 Master Road fights, focused on each attack as well as a couple of mechanic-oriented images. However, in doing so, I have noted that some of the images are large enough to make the guide pretty bulky. I'd love some input as to whether or not the format is acceptable as is, or if I should just keep all of the attack images for each Master Road dungeon in a gallery page that people can access if they wish.

                    Also, in the process of acquiring these images, I discovered some corrections and notes that I needed to make of varying severity. They are as follows:

                    -Rosso: the maximum number of rocks he can have in the arena at once is 6, not 4. You'll just never get past 4 in phase 2 before his ultimate blows them all up.
                    -Ventus: Lincy's Raging Storm has a lingering hitbox for the entire time the graphics are out, so you need to be careful even after you initially avoid it.
                    -Denif: Denif's Ice Chaser fires four icicles, not five. This is a pretty major oversight on my part, and means this attack can't freeze you on its own. (You'll still want to jump immediately if you have so much as one Chilling Cold stack and see this attack appear.)
                    -Durenda and Herbaon: I failed to notice (and by extension, mention) the fact that Durenda's Leading Strike has two variations for the initial attack Durenda can perform, and these determine which guards appear if the attack hits.
                    -Dominus Angelus: more of a note, but the melee-oriented attacks the Messengers have can be mixed together. You can have two Messengers appear near you and have them both perform different melee attacks (e.g. Sabelheib Sequenz and Zweit - Schneiden). This doesn't negatively affect the information above, but it's worth keeping in mind.

                    I apologize for these faults.
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