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Forging Steel Strike Mission Strategy Guide

This guide provides tips and strategies for the sixth Strike Mission and how to defeat The Ancient Forgeman in the Shiverpeak Mountains. If your group is struggling, the guidelines in Introduction to Raiding will apply here as well. Check out the glossary page if you're not familiar with a term used in this guide and make sure to run an optimal build from our list of recommended builds for this encounter.


This mission is very easy and can even be soloed, as many elements scale to the number of players. The suggestions in this guide are intended to work with every challenge mode active – they will also be effective without challenge modes but will by no means be required. Moving too far ahead of the tank at any time will cause you to be teleported back to the Warband Camp

As this mission begins, the squad will have 10 minutes of preparation. This section can be finished early by completing all four of the training events in the starting area. These events will introduce you to the key elements of the upcoming mission: While none of them need to be completed, it is highly recommended that Nicabar's event is done, as it will provide a buff for the group.

Vishen (sniping)

Using one of Vishen’s rifles will provide two skills:

Longshot Longshot – Fire a powerful long-range rifle shot at the target. Unlimited ammo when near Vishen Steelshot at her sniper perches.
Team Fire Team Fire – Take aim and fire a heavy armor-piercing round in tandem with Vishen, inflicting Burning Burning on the target. If the target is shielded shielded, the round breaks defensive shields and deals severe damage. Only usable when near Vishen Steelshot.

These attacks will always crit, and inherit attributes and traits from the player, so power DPS builds will deal significantly more damage than others.

Later in the mission

At various points in the mission, Vishen will teleport to a nearby vantage point and begin sniping enemies. Players may complete a short jumping puzzle to reach her (there will be an arrow on the map indicating a suggested route). During later events certain enemies will be shielded shielded and immune to damage – Team Fire Team Fire can be used to remove the shield.

Related Achievements

The Spotter – Participate in 25 sniping events. A small jumping puzzle will be required to reach Vishen in each location.

Ranoah (tank)

Interacting with the TT6-B Devourer near Ranoah will allow players to enter the tank and gain four skills:

Rifle Shot Rifle Shot – Mounted rifle shot.
Grenade Shot Grenade Shot – Shoot a grenade that fragments upon impact.
Harpoon HarpoonGrapple Target Grapple Target – Shoot a harpoon that connects to the target → Pull the harpooned target toward the tank.
Smoke Grenade Smoke Grenade – Create a smoke that causes missiles to miss and Blind Blinds foes.

Unlike Vishen’s rifles, players in the tank will have their attributes fixed and will not benefit from traits, so any player will be equally effective in the tank.

Tank skills can fire in all directions, apart from Rifle Shot Rifle Shot, which can only fire forward. The Harpoon Harpoon skill will attach a harpoon to a target for a few seconds, and the skill will flip over to Grapple Target Grapple Target – a skill that will pull the target (dealing some defiance bar damage) on a very low cooldown. Players can simply hold down this key to repeatedly CC the target. Grenade Shot Grenade Shot also applies a two-second Knockdown Knockdown in a small AoE, making it very useful for incapacitating groups of enemies and dismounting Drake Riders.

Later in the mission

Throughout the mission players will find ammo crates that provide 10 rifle ammunition (to a maximum of 60) and two grenades (to a maximum of 5).

The tank can be healed and buffed the same way a player can, so this mission can be sped up by maintaining swiftness and/or superspeed on the tank.

Should the tank fall below 50% health, it will stop moving until it is repaired. Should the tank fall below 10% health, it will stop moving and players will not be able to enter it until it is repaired.

Related Achievements

Alpha Strike – Use the heavy gun on the final boss after its defiance bar is broken.

Artillery Specialist – Kill enemies using tank skills.

Emergency Maintenance – Use scrap kits on the tank, either by throwing them at the tank or interacting with it while holding a scrap kit. The tank does not need to be missing health for this achievement to progress.

Engineer’s Apprentice – Pick up ammo drops and scrap metal.

Nicabar (tonics)

Nicabar needs four ingredients for his tonics: grubs, cave mushrooms, snow, and alpine blossoms.

After the event succeeds Nicabar will throw out five tonics. Picking one up grants a special action skill (SAS) that throws the potion on the ground, providing healing and 20 seconds of Regeneration Regeneration, Quickness Quickness, and Vigor Vigor. It also applies Revitalized Revitalized, granting the following benefits for two minutes:

Revitalized Revitalized stacks for up to 10 minutes, a total of 10 potions must be thrown to max out the buff on a full squad of 10 players. This means all players can easily max out the buff by stacking, and still have one SAS “saved” to top-up later in the encounter. It is strongly recommended that the squad stack as a group to use the potions so that everyone has the maximum duration. Players can also talk to Nicabar to get extra tonics if they are not at the maximum duration.

Later in the mission

Twice during the mission Nicabar will request that players gather nearby ingredients to make a new batch of tonics. If players progress the mission before completing these events, they will fail.

Players may talk to Nicabar at any point in the mission to have him repair their damaged equipment.

Related Achievements

Field Medicine – Participate in 15 gathering events.

Cinder (competition)

Cinder offers a very simple event – go into the forest and kills Sons of Svanir. Killing the Champion will cause the event to complete faster, but is not required.

Later in the mission

Twice during the mission Cinder will compete with nearby players to see who can kill the most of a specific enemy that assaults the tank. The first to 15 kills will win. If players progress the mission before finishing these events, they will succeed if players are ahead or fail if they are behind Cinder on kills.

Related Achievements

Heavy Rival – Kill more enemies than Cinder in 10 competitions. These events can succeed even if they are canceled by the mission progressing, but they will not count towards the achievement unless they are completed fully.

Challenges and Mission Rank

Loot from this mission is based upon the final rank achieved. This rank is increased by completing side events, preventing the tank from falling below 50% health, completing the escort section of the mission within 30 minutes, and for each active challenge. There is a secret achievement – Candidate for Khan-Ur – awarded for completing the mission with all four challenges active.

Tank Escort

Letting the tank become badly damaged fails the mission.

This challenge will cause the mission to instantly end if the tank ever falls below 10% health. The tank can be healed by conventional means, so bringing a healer may be useful. Enemies during the escort tend not to focus the tank itself, so the greatest threat will be at the final boss.

Powerful Foes

Your enemies are greatly empowered.

This challenge makes the majority of enemies in the mission tougher and deal more damage, in addition to periodically gaining Might Might, Stability Stability, and Aegis Aegis.

Final Boss

Your final adversary is greatly toughened.

Similar to Powerful Foes, this effect increases the health and damage of the final boss. As long as the group can break the boss's defiance bar, the additional health is relatively insignificant as it is easy to kill in two burn phases by using tank skills alone.

Horde of Foes

Your enemies are far more numerous.

With Horde of Foes active, enemies will spawn in larger groups, and additional portals and enemies will appear throughout the mission. Crucially, some of these will appear behind the tank. The map below indicates the approximate locations at which additional enemies behind the tank.


If attempting to reach the maximum rank (without going for the Candidate for Khan-Ur achievement), it is not recommended to activate Powerful Foes as this will significantly slow down the progress of the mission, in addition to making Cinder's events very difficult to succeed. The other three are all minor increases in difficulty, but be aware that Tank Escort provides the only way to fail the mission. With other challenges, even if the squad is struggling, they will eventually complete the mission if they persevere.

Candidate for Khan-Ur

If all four challenges are activated, it may be advisable to assign roles to different players. For example:

  • One or two power DPS players should go to Vishen when her event occurs and act as snipers. The damage and range from the rifles will be very useful for taking out priority targets, but if too many players go it can leave the tank undefended.
  • A vanguard of three of four players should go ahead to deal with the majority of enemies. Ideally this group should have a healer as they will be engaging with the champions that spawn.
  • A rearguard of three or four players should keep an eye on portals spawning behind the tank, but can otherwise stay with the main group.
  • An additional healer (possibly part of the rearguard) should stay near the tank at all times, in case it needs emergency support.

Powerful Foes will slow down the mission substantially, so it is very useful to have players maintain Swiftness Swiftness or Superspeed Superspeed on the tank while it is in motion.

Players should also ensure that Nicabar's events are completed every time they are available and that the potions are used as a group so that each player has the maximum uptime of the buff.

Escorting the T66-B Devourer

Forging Steel map annotated.png

After the training events have been completed, or 10 minutes have passed, the tank will begin moving along the path. Waves of Icebrood will spawn and move towards the tank. The tank will pause if enemies get too close, so moving ahead of the group to clear them early will speed things up. The tank starts with two buffs: one counts down a 30-minute timer, and the other is lost if the tank drops below 10% health (the tank will regain this buff at specific points during the mission). Shortly after crossing the bridge, portals will spawn ahead and waves of Icebrood will attack. Destroying the portals will reduce the number of enemies being faced. Players should be wary of groups of Icebrood coming up from the river.

Horde of Foes – An additional portal will spawn behind the group when the other portals appear.

EventTarget.png Snipe Enemies with Vishen
Vishen will set up a sniping spot here. This spot is within range of the closest portal, so that should be the first target. Otherwise the snipers should focus on any veterans that spawn. This event lasts for two minutes, during which the tank will remain stationary.

After the defense event, the tank will continue moving and almost immediately another portal will spawn, along with a Champion Icebrood Kodan. Destroying the portal first is recommended, as otherwise it will keep summoning more enemies while players are fighting the champion. The champion will initially move to the tank but will attack players when engaged. Players can jump in the tank and use Harpoon HarpoonGrapple Target Grapple Target to easily break the champion's defiance bar.

Powerful Foes – If the powerful foes challenge mode is enabled, the champion will have the Flash Freeze Unstable Magic Ability.

When all the enemies are defeated, the escort will resume. As the tank enters a turn in the path, where the ground is stained orange, another group of Icebrood will attack. After they are dispatched, another wave will spawn, along with several tar elementals behind the tank.

Horde of Foes – A portal will spawn behind the group when the Icebrood attack.

Event swords.png Compete with Cinder to defeat the most tar elementals
Cinder will begin an event to see who can kill 15 tar elementals the first. Players may wish to focus on this event, as it will end once all the Icebrood are defeated. Killing any tar elemental will progress the event, not just those with the crossed swords marker above their heads.

The escort will continue through more waves of Icebrood.

Event collect.png Collect supplies for Nicabar's tonics
As the tank approaches the top of the hill, Nicabar will begin an event for collecting tonic ingredients – alpine blossoms and grubs.

Additionally, two portals will spawn ahead and the Warband will find their path blocked by a large gate. The tank will move into position in front of the gates when the way is clear, and players will need to use ranged skills or the tank’s gun to destroy two warding seals, then use the harpoon gun to break the gate’s defiance bar and open the way. Nicabar’s event will fail if it has not finished by the time the tank moves through the gate, so players may wish to ensure the tonics have been made before opening the gate.

Horde of Foes – An additional portal will spawn behind the group when the other portals appear.

Opening the gate creates a new waypoint just in front of it. If the tank was protected up to this point, the squad will receive bonus rank now. Otherwise, the tank will regain the buff for the next section.

As the Warband enters the Stoneward Halls, they will be faced with several Stone Summit cannoneers on a bridge. Many of the cannoneers have a protective shield shield that will prevent damage to them. At the same time a group of Stone Summit dwarves will run down towards the tank.

EventTarget.png Snipe Enemies with Vishen
Vishen sets up a sniper nest nearby, and the Team Fire Team Fire ability can be used to remove the shields shields from the cannoneers. Unlike the previous sniping event, the Stone Summit cannoneers will target the players that are sniping, so they should be careful and may wish to stand back slightly so that Vishen is targeted instead.

When a cannoneer dies, it drops its cannon, which can fire a single Cannon Blast Cannon Blast. This attack may also be used to remove shields shields from cannoneers.

Defeating the first group of enemies will allow the tank to progress, and the Warband will face a second set of shielded shielded cannoneers.

EventTarget.png Snipe Enemies with Vishen
Vishen will move to a second sniping spot and repeat the previous event.

Vishen’s sniping events will persist until all the shields shields have been stripped, so players may wish to delay doing so to keep the sniper rifles for as long as possible.

As the tank progresses, destroyers will start appearing alongside the Stone Summit. After reaching a turn in the path it will be halted by a group of dwarves and Darkrime Skelk.

Horde of Foes – An additional group of Stone Summit will spawn behind the group when the other Stone Summit attack.

Event swords.png Compete with Cinder to defeat the most skelk
Cinder will start a second competition here to see who can kill 15 skelk the fastest. As before, players may wish to complete
this event before clearing the way forward. Killing any darkrime skelk will progress the event, not just those with the crossed swords marker above their heads.

The path ahead opens into a ruined fortress. In the center of the ruins is a Champion Drake Rider. Breaking its defiance bar will cause it to fall off the drake, making for an easier fight (this creates two separate champions - the Drake Rider and the Drake itself). As with the previous champion, players can jump in the tank and use Harpoon HarpoonGrapple Target Grapple Target to easily break its defiance bar. Only the Drake Rider needs to be defeated to progress the mission.

Event collect.png Collect supplies for Nicabar's tonics
Nicabar will begin another ingredient collection event – this time for cave mushrooms and snow.

EventTarget.png Snipe Enemies with Vishen
Vishen will set up another sniper spot overlooking the ruins. There will be several Stone Summit cannoneers in inaccessible locations that the snipers may wish to focus on once the champion is dead.

Once the champion is defeated the tank will move forward and take up a position near another gate and a 2:30 minute defense event will start. The Stone Summit will typically move to engage the Warband members during this event, ignoring the tank. As the Warband members cannot be killed, the squad could opt to simply stay near the tank and wait for the event to finish.

If the tank was protected between the gate and the end of the defense event, the squad will receive bonus rank now. Otherwise, the tank will regain the buff for the boss fight. Players can open a path across a bridge by finding and standing on three glowing runes in the area ahead (also marked on the map).

The Ancient Forgeman


Once the bridge is lowered, the final waypoint will activate and the tank can cross to face the final boss – an Ancient Forgeman. The Ancient Forgeman is beyond the reach of melee weapons and is protected by a Hardened Shell Hardened Shell that significantly reduces damage to it. Despite this, players can stand near the edge of the platform and attack from range to get in some extra damage.

As the fight starts, the Forgeman will immediately raise its arms in the air, opening a portal and lighting up two nearby runes. There are four runes near the boss, and the two that light up is random. Players have 10 seconds to stand on these runes to raise blast shields that will partially protect the tank and players. The Forgeman will spit out a Molten Volley towards the tank that deal heavy damage. The tank will move to the side to avoid them but will take some damage regardless, so players may wish to seek out scrap kits to heal the tank afterwards – especially if Tank Escort is active.

After the tank returns to the center, another portal spawns and the blast wall runes will activate again as the Forgeman repeats the attack. The runes will activate for a third time, but before the Forgeman starts another Molten Volley, it will pull on a large chain and target every player with an AoE that drops a Flame Bomb on them when it fills.

As before, the tank will move to the side, but as it returns to the center, the Forgeman will vent pressure, leaving it vulnerable. It will gain a defiance bar, and at least two players should jump in the tank and harpoon the boss to help break it. The Forgeman’s Hardened Shell Hardened Shell will be replaced with Exposed Weakness Exposed Weakness, and after 10 seconds it will fall forward, enabling players to attack it in melee range. The Forgeman will regain its Hardened Shell Hardened Shell after 20 seconds so players should get in as much damage as possible.

After the burn phase, the fight will resume just as before, with a portal and activating two runes.


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