Cold War Strike Mission Strategy Guide
Players will be in a small area surrounded by impenetrable fog. Talking to the Sentinel Centurion will allow players to progress to the battlefield.
Near the starting location is a United Legions Waystation, and players with the appropriate mastery can interact with it to gain useful skills. There are also three pylons nearby, and the active one will change each week.
This mission is formed of two parts: The first pits players against waves of enemies and several minibosses, and determines the amount of loot the squad receives once the mission is finished. The second part is against the Minister of Morale, who must be defeated to access the loot. As there are no rewards for defeating the Minister of Morale quickly, it is preferable to bring builds that are strong in the first part of the strike.
During the first part, enemies will pour into the map from approximately three locations along the northern edge: the two portals, and near the Minister of Morale herself. It may be helpful to stack close to this edge of the battlefield, to keep enemies grouped. The squad could also split into two even groups and take one side each.
Throughout the encounter, Dominion Bombers will fly over, dropping bombs beneath them that deal heavy damage and leave behind fiery puddles that inflict Burning. To destroy these Bombers players must kill Frost Legion Cannoneers, each of whom will drop a Charrzooka. Each Charrzooka has five rounds, and dropping the item will leave it on the ground and retain the number of shots it had when dropped. Each Bomber takes three shots to be destroyed, and the shots need to be aimed manually (picking up a Charrzooka will activate Action Camera Mode). Destroying as many as possible is essential to getting the most rewards from the mission.
During the first part, there will be two progress bars in the top-right of players’ screens.
The first indicates progress to the next bonus chest. This bar is increased by killing enemies and is increased by a significant amount for each Bomber destroyed.
The second bar indicates progress to artillery calibration. When full, all players will be given a special action skill (SAS) that calls in an Artillery Strike (this skill will replace those provided by the United Legions Waystation until used). The artillery will hit in a huge area around the location targeted by the skill, dealing a great amount of damage. As such, it can be very helpful for quickly clearing waves of enemies and increasing bonus chest progress. Players should be wary of using them all at once and wasting them.
There is no way to increase the progress of this bar, meaning that players will unlock a maximum of three Artillery Strikes throughout the mission. However, if a Bomber is not killed within a certain amount of time, it will fly away and calibration progress will instead be lost. Each Bomber that escapes increases the time to unlocking the SAS by approximately 20 seconds. The bar will take around 150 seconds to fill, which means that the squad will not be able to unlock the third Artillery Strike if two or more Bombers escape. It is strongly recommended that squads kill the Cannoneers quickly, and have at least one player prioritize destroying Bombers (Charrzookas deal a fixed amount of damage, so any player can fulfill this role but the group is likely to suffer if support players do it).
If the squad should ever wipe in the first part of the strike, the timer will be paused, and any progress towards the next bonus chest will be lost (but chests already unlocked will remain). Additionally, if there were any active Bombers at the time of the wipe, they will all be considered to have escaped, and reduce the progress to the next Artillery Strike accordingly. Approaching the battlefield once more will resume the mission.
Unstable Magic Abilities
During both parts of this strike, the squad will face bosses that have Unstable Magic Abilities. Each week, there are three such abilities from the following list:
|Ability||Week - Order||Description|
|Icy Echoes||1 - 1||causes players to deal a small amount of damage to all players within a 150 radius of them every two seconds while attacking the boss. The damage is minor enough that it can be healed through, but players should spread out slightly to reduce the pressure, and classes that do not need to be in melee range should stay behind those that do.|
|Flash Freeze||1 - 2||Unlike the open-world version, Flash Freeze has a more significant tell – three pulsing rings move out from the boss, and as the fourth would happen, the flash freeze wave occurs instead.|
|Lethal Coalescence||1 - 3||Identical to the from Whisper of Jormag.|
|Frigid Vortex||2 - 1||Similar to the Ice Tempests at Whisper of Jormag. Four tornadoes appear around the boss, and spin anticlockwise away from their starting location, dealing heavy damage to players in the AoE.|
|Frozen Barrier||2 - 2||A appears as a large dome, moving with the boss, which reflects projectiles for the duration.|
|Frigid Footfalls||2 - 3||A moderate-sized appears underneath the boss every second, inflicting Chill and 10% max health as damage every second. Targeted players should try to keep the boss still, while everyone else should take a step back to ensure they are not hit. Having condition cleanse is highly recommended when this ability is present, as Chill is a very punishing condition.|
These abilities appear in order. The first miniboss will have one ability, the second will have that ability plus one more. All subsequent minibosses, and the final boss herself, will have all three abilities. The order they appear in is indicated above.
Approaching the battlefield begins an eight-minute timer.
Assuming no Bombers escape, Artillery Strikes will unlock at 5:28, 2:56, and 0:24 on the timer.
30 seconds after spawning, each miniboss will gain a defiance bar. Breaking this bar will cause the miniboss to lose their Unstable Magic Abilities for 25 seconds. Be aware that the Ice Giant is effectively just a reskinned giant, and as such shares giants’ immunity to several forms of CC.
80 seconds after the first miniboss is defeated, a new one will spawn. Once more the exact type is random, but it will be different from the first.
80 seconds after this boss dies, a third one will spawn. Once more, it will be randomly one of the ones that haven’t appeared yet.
With the timing on the bosses, it would be theoretically possible for five (or even six) minibosses to appear, but they would need to be killed so quickly that it is highly unlikely that a group will ever see more than four, and as there are only four “options” for the minibosses, it may be that no more spawn after the fourth.
When the miniboss appears, other enemies will stop spawning for the duration that they are alive (though enemies already in the arena will remain). Additionally, the miniboss itself only contributes as much as a regular enemy to the reward progress, so groups aiming to maximize their loot should try to dispatch the minibosses as quickly as possible (though it is probably inefficient to use Artillery Strikes against them).
The Minister of Morale
As the timer hits 0:00, the remaining enemies in the arena will become invulnerable and flee (including minibosses). Varinia Stormsounder enters the battle and a new seven-minute timer appears. The number of chests earned is locked at this point, and the squad simply needs to defeat the boss to get to them. If the squad wipes, this part of the strike will reset without the need to repeat the first part.
Shortly after appearing, Varinia will gain a defiance bar. Breaking it will Stun her for three seconds and cause her to lose the Unstable Magic Abilities for 25 seconds. Shortly after, the defiance bar will reappear, and breaking it appears to extend the time her unstable magic abilities are inactive by a further 25 seconds. Her defiance bar will take a very long time to recharge after being broken the second time, so the squad may not have the opportunity to remove her Unstable Magic Abilities again.
Note: The defiance bar mechanics are extremely unreliable. Sometimes she will not regain all of her Unstable Magic Abilities, sometimes she will not lose all of them (often the icons on her bar will not line up with the active ones). Occasionally, breaking her bar will cause her to regain the Unstable Magic Abilities instead.
Be aware that her defiance bar will frequently lock during key abilities, and will not regenerate while it is locked.
Varinia has a that deals a small amount of damage every three seconds, and several basic attacks. More importantly, every 20 seconds she will use a special ability that calls in support from her allies. Each special attack is indicated by a voice line and corresponds to one of the five legions. The majority of these special attacks target fixed locations in the arena, so there are a few places at the edge of the arena (particularly at the eastern and western sides) that never get hit by them. As such, it might be beneficial to stack and kill Virinia there.
The order these attacks appear in is random, but all five will be used. After they have all been performed, they will repeat in the same order as before. If players wipe, the pattern will start from the beginning, in the same order.
Lastly, Propaganda Balloons appear around the arena every 60 seconds and float towards players. They are immune to damage but will be destroyed if their defiance bars are broken. If a player enters the AoE beneath them, they will stop moving and explode after a short duration, dealing heavy damage and applying Confusion to players in the AoE. A player can move into the AoE and then leave to cause the Balloon to detonate before it reaches the squad. The first group appears at 6:30 on the timer.
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