Raid Wing 1 - Spirit Vale

Spirit Vale

This guide provides tips and strategies for the first raid in Guild Wars 2. If your group is struggling, the guidelines in Introduction to Raiding might be useful. 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.


Upon entering Spirit Vale, players will face three guardians of different colors. The order in which they appear is random and each will introduce mechanics that will be faced in the upcoming boss fight. There is a large red circle surrounding each guardian, and within these circles is a slow-moving that deal moderate damage. Stepping into a circle will cause a player to take periodic damage and also aggro the guardian in question. When defeated, each guardian will gain a defiance bar that must be broken to finally kill it (defiance bar: 1000).

Red Guardian

The Red Guardian has incredibly high toughness, which causes power classes to deal negligible damage. For this reason your squad should contain two or three players that deal condition-based damage. The Red Guardian introduces the Seeker mechanic.


Red orbs called Seekers will spawn every 15 seconds and move towards players. These seekers are effectively unkillable but will despawn after 20 seconds, and are susceptible to control effects. Surrounding each seeker is a moderate-sized AoE that inflicts heavy damage, so they should be immobilized or knocked away from the group and players should take care not to stand within this AoE.

Green Guardian

The Green Guardian has no notable features, but introduces the mechanic.

Unstable Magic Spike

Small blue circles will spawn underneath nearby players every 10 seconds. After a few seconds these circles detonate, dealing moderate damage and teleporting anyone stood on them to a random nearby location – potentially aggroing one of the other guardians. Standing on these circles gives your screen a yellow warning border. These circles can be blocked and evaded.

Blue Guardian

The Blue Guardian starts with a unique boon called Blue Pylon Power. This boon makes it immune to damage and conditions so it must be removed or corrupted by player skills. The Blue Guardian will regain this boon and Protection Protection every 10 seconds. The Blue Guardian introduces the mechanic.

Distributed Magic

A green circle will spawn at a random nearby location every 15 seconds. The circle will empty of color over five seconds and when empty, will deal extreme damage (80% of max health) to all players. If three players are stood inside (four during the Vale Guardian fight), the damage will be negated. Downed players do not count for this purpose.

Vale Guardian

Once the three guardians are defeated, Vale Guardian appears in the arena ahead. This boss has very low toughness so power DPS classes are recommended at this encounter, though a minimum of two condition-damage classes are required for certain phases of the fight. When a player approaches the center of the arena, a wall will appear surrounding the arena that instantly kills those stood outside, and the player with the Highest toughness will become the tank. It is recommended that they position Vale Guardian facing away from the rest of the group as it will attempt to punch any player in front of it. Throughout the fight, you will encounter the same mechanics that were faced earlier with the following differences:

Seekers - Three seekers will now spawn every 20 seconds.
Distributed Magic - The green circles now require four players to be stood in them to negate the damage. Note that creating these green circles is an action performed by Vale Guardian, so their appearance may be delayed if the boss if performing another action when they would otherwise appear.


The arena is divided into three sectors, with a pillar in the center of the edge of each sector. The green circles will always spawn in the sector that Vale Guardian is standing in.

There are two strategies for dealing with the attack:

The first involves assigning a minimum of four players to run to these green circles whenever they spawn. It is recommended that these players should include a healer and three classes capable of dealing ranged damage.

The second involves ignoring the green circles, and quickly healing the damage after the attack hits. Barrier is also very effective at minimizing the impact of ignoring the green circles. This strategy puts a lot more pressure on the healers, and it is very important to watch out for as it is common for the teleport to occur just before the hits and the combination of the two will instantly down most players.

If running to green circles, it is recommended to tank Vale Guardian next to the south-most pillar on the edge of the arena. This ensures that the green circles will always spawn nearby. Seekers always spawn in the exact center of each sector, so remaining in this location means one will quickly reach the group, and then the remaining two will arrive together. As before, these seekers will need to be kept off the group.

If ignoring the green circles, it is recommended to tank either in the center of the arena, or at the divide between two sectors. Tanking in the center is faster but much riskier, so it is only recommended with high group DPS. Tanking at the edge has the advantage that you only need to deal with one set of seekers every 20 seconds as the farthest seeker will despawn before it reaches the group.

The image below indicates the three recommended tanking locations as well as the attunement the sections of the arena will gain during the split phase:


Split Phase 1 (66%)

When Vale Guardian reaches 66% health, it will become invulnerable and run to the center of the arena. This is the first split phase. A different colored guardian will appear in the center of each sector, with the same mechanics as before, and all three must be defeated before Vale Guardian will reappear. When the guardians spawn, players will pick up an attunement depending on the sector they are stood in. This attunement makes you take reduced damage from the corresponding guardian’s aura. A common strategy is to have the condition-damage classes go to the red sector, a single healer go to the green sector, and everyone else go to the blue sector. It is important that at least one class that can remove boons goes to the blue sector. The guardians will aggro on nearby targets, so the player at green can kite the guardian until the group at blue have killed theirs, and then move the green guardian to them. This is by no means the only tactic for this phase – the green guardian could be instantly pulled to blue, or the squad could split into three groups and kill all guardians simultaneously. Note that when a guardian is killed the buff is removed from players, but they still take damage from the remaining guardian’s auras.

Phase 2

After the split phase ends, The fight continues as before, with two additional mechanics.

When the first Seekers spawn, the green sector lights up. The lit floor deals pulsing damage to anyone stood on it. The lit-up sector of floor changes every 20 seconds, and rotates clockwise. If you are running to green circles, it is vital that they do not spawn on the lit sector and so the tank must move Vale Guardian clockwise one sector every 20 seconds. Staying one sector ahead of the lit floor provides safety should the boss move too slowly. When ignoring greens, players simply need to sidestep to the safe sector whenever the floor lights up.

The second new mechanic is called (defiance bar: 2000). Vale Guardian will raise a hand above its head, gain a defiance bar and fire damaging orbs until it is broken. Vale Guardian will not perform any other attacks, including , Seeker spawning or while this attack is active, so it is possible to ignore it with experienced groups. This attack ends automatically when the next floor sector lights up.

Split Phase 2 (33%)

Otherwise the fight continues as before until the boss reaches 33% health. This second split phase is identical to the first.

Phase 3

The final phase does not introduce any mechanics, but most are enhanced as follows:

Seekers - An addition seeker will now spawn in the center of the arena.
Unstable Magic Spike – spikes will now spawn under all players, not just those near the boss.

Two sectors of the floor light up now, beginning with blue and green. The pattern rotates clockwise as before, leaving one safe sector, and this change occurs every 17 seconds instead of 20.

For groups running greens it is essential to move Vale Guardian as soon as possible once the next sector is safe, so it should always be moved to the furthest-clockwise location of the current sector. The attack will also need to be broken quickly in order to prevent the boss staying in a sector for too long.

Spirit Woods

After defeating Vale Guardian, proceed north and kill some ghosts. Ahead is a clearing. Dropping down into this clearing begins the first part of a three-stage event. Kill all the ghosts in the area and a champion will spawn, followed shortly by a spectral rift.

If this rift is not closed within 20 seconds then every player will take a huge amount of damage, likely downing the entire squad. To close a rift, players must stand inside the blue AoE and the more players inside, the faster the rift closes. New rifts continually spawn, and 20 rifts must be closed within the time limit in order to proceed.

There are five fixed locations in which a rift can spawn (shown below), but the order is random. Squads may wish to split into groups and take different sections of the areas, though moving as a group is advantageous due to ghosts that constantly spawn. It is beneficial if these ghosts can be killed as players close rifts.

Spirit Woods.jpg

Classes that bring both teleports and portals (such as mesmer) can be of great use here, as they can teleport quickly between rifts, and place portals to allow the entire group to instantly move to the next one. Scattered around the area are Adrenal Mushrooms, which can be used to reset all cooldowns if players have the related mastery.

After completing this section, proceed north to the abandoned outpost, and kill more ghosts. Killing enough will open a gate to the west. This leads you to a small platform above a path. Dropping down to this path will begin the next stage of this event.

As soon as you land, a wall of ghosts will appear to the north and rush towards the group. Players must proceed south along the path, destroying several walls that block the path in addition to closing rifts as in the previous stage. Should the wall catch up with the squad it will quickly down everyone. Ghosts will also spawn along the path and attack, but trying to kill them is a waste of time. As in the previous stage, portals can be used to quickly move players from rifts to walls, and where rifts spawn near walls it can be helpful for DPS players to proceed to killing the wall and let support players close the rift.

If you survive the ghost run, you can move on to the final stage of the event.

In the cemetery ahead, players will need to find and stand on five buttons simultaneously that will open the path forward. Ghosts will constantly spawn so speed is important, as is protecting the players on the buttons. One button in particular requires completion of a short jumping puzzle to reach.


Once all five buttons are stood on, the gate will open and on a raised platform ahead, Gorseval will drop in.

Gorseval the Multifarious

Much like Vale Guardian, Gorseval will aggro on the player with the highest toughness. This player should tank Gorseval in the center of the arena, facing the boss away from the rest of the group.

Gorseval will cycle through the following attacks:

Wicked Swipe

A low damage frontal attack. If positioned correctly this attack should miss everyone but the tank.

Spectral Impact

Gorseval slams its fist into the ground, knocking back nearby players. This attack can be blocked or evaded.

Ghastly Rampage

Gorseval will teleport to the center of the arena and begin slamming its fists into the ground. It gains a defiance bar, and while it is unbroken Gorseval will damage players every time it is struck with Vivid Echo. In addition to this, black goop will form in patterns around Gorseval that explodes after a few seconds, dealing heavy damage and applying 25 stacks of Vulnerability Vulnerability to players hit by it. Defiance Bar: 4500


Gorseval thrusts its hands into the ground and summons a number of ghosts. These ghosts can knock players around and do decent damage in addition to healing the boss, so should be cleaved down.

World Eater

Gorseval will raise its arms and begin channeling an AoE that slowly fills the entire arena. When arena is filled the attack hits, instantly killing any player stood on the arena. Additionally, if any ghosts from Convene are remaining on the platform they will be consumed by Gorseval, providing it a 10% buff to damage.


The attack pattern Gorseval follows is very reliable, in phase one it is:

→ Convene → → World Eater.

On rare occasions Gorseval may use an additional attack before , or perform first.

In order to deal with the World Eater Attack, players must not be on the platform when the attack hits. To achieve this, the tank should move Gorseval to the edge of the arena after (once it has been broken). Surrounding the arena are four updrafts and blocking access to these updrafts are barriers like those found in the Spirit Woods event. By bringing Gorseval close to these barriers, players may destroy them whilst still being able to damage Gorseval. When the World Eater attack begins, players should continue attacking Gorseval until the AoE has nearly filled the arena and then jump and glide into the updraft, returning to the platform after the attack has ended. Using an updraft causes it to despawn, so to avoid the next World Eater players will need to move to a different location. When Gorseval is reduced to 66% health it will enter the first split phase.

It is important to note that Gorseval will phase at 66% regardless of whether it has performed World Eater or not, and therefore with sufficient DPS it is possible to avoid having to deal with the attack at all and stay in the center of the arena at all times. If a group is narrowly missing the DPS requirement to do this, they may opt to delay breaking Gorseval during the attack. As Gorseval will follow the same pattern of attacks regardless, doing so effectively extends the time limit for reaching 66% at the cost of a greater healing requirement due to the Vivid Echo and black goop.

Should a group attempt to “slow CC” Gorseval, the pattern the black goop appears in is important – there are five different patterns can appear in, and these also follow a reliable pattern. The patterns can be referred to by the distance you need to be from Gorseval to be safe:

  • Melee – a ring around, but not underneath Gorseval.
  • Max Melee – a small patch underneath Gorseval.
  • Range – a medium patch underneath Gorseval.
  • Max Range – a large patch underneath Gorseval
  • Full – The entire arena is filled.

As the full pattern is always the last to appear, it is recommended to break Gorseval before this happens.

In phase 1, the goop pattern is Melee → Melee → Max Melee → Range → Max Melee → Full.

Split Phase 1 (66%)

As the split phase begins, Gorseval becomes shielded and immune to damage. Four Charged Souls will appear at a distance and slowly walk towards Gorseval. If any of them reach it, Gorseval will immediately begin a World Eater attack that cannot be escaped. The Souls are immune to hard CC, but can be chilled, crippled or immobilized to slow them down. Many tactics work for killing these spirits, and it can be beneficial to have a player (or players) ready to provide AoE immobilise should the spirits get close to Gorseval.

Phase 2

When all four spirits are dead, Gorseval will become vulnerable again and the fight resumes.

The attack pattern for this phase is:

→ Convene → → World Eater.

On rare occasions Gorseval will perform a second before .

Phase two can be dealt with in the same way as phase one, with one additional mechanic to consider, Spectral Darkness.

Spectral Darkness

Every five seconds, orbs will spawn with an AoE around them that slowly increases in size. Any player that touches this AoE gains 10 stacks of an effect called Spectral Darkness that increases incoming damage and reduces outgoing damage by 10% per stack. To remove this effect a player must pick up two small golden orbs that spawn when the Spectral Darkness is killed (each removes five stacks). It is essential that any orbs that spawn near to Gorseval are destroyed quickly.

If the group is slowly CC-ing Gorseval, the pattern for black goop in this phase is:

Melee → Max Melee → Max Melee → Range → Max Range → Full.

Split Phase 2 (33%)

When reaching 33% Gorseval enters the split phase again. This is identical to the previous split phase with the added complication of the Spectral Darknesses. To deal with this, classes with ranged DPS may split their time between killing the spirits and destroying orbs.

Phase 3

Once all four Souls are dead, the final phase begins. The attack pattern is now:

→ Convene → → World Eater.

The attack patterns after vary much more commonly than in other phases, for reasons unknown.

In this phase, one last mechanic is added, Ghastly Prison.

Ghastly Prison

Around five seconds after , orange AoEs will spawn under players and quickly fill. The message “Ghostly Traps Materialize at your feet” is also displayed on-screen. This attack cannot be blocked, evaded or avoided with invulnerability, and players standing on these AoEs when they fill are trapped and unable to take any other action than use their Special Action Key to break out. Other players may also break these prisons with damage.

If the group is slowly CC-ing Gorseval, the pattern for black goop in this phase is:

Max Melee → Ranged → Melee → Melee → Melee → Full.

Following the death of Gorseval, glide to the north and proceed along a series of wooden stairs and bridges. This area is littered with bandits who must be killed for the final boss to spawn. At the end of the path you will face a chasm. This will introduce you to a key mechanic for the next encounter.

On a platform above you is a Bandit Sapper. Periodically he will throw a bomb to a random player and this player will gain a Special Action Key (SAK) that allows them to throw the bomb at a chosen location. Near this Sapper is a small platform with a chevron pattern on it. If the player with the SAK throws the bomb onto this “jump pad” it will launch any player standing on it across the chasm. Once on the other side players can walk to some nearby cranes and interact with them to lower some platforms that any remaining players can jump across.

You will face some more bandits and a narrow rope bridge. Once all the bandits are dead, crossing this bridge will cause the final boss to appear.

Sabetha the Saboteur

As you approach the arena, take note of the four jump pads at the north, east, south and west edges. Unlike the previous two bosses, Sabetha does not have a dedicated tank role. Instead, some of her attacks will target based upon proximity:

Time Bomb

The closest player to Sabetha will be targeted with a – the player will be surrounded by a medium-sized orange AoE that slowly fills, the affected player will also hear the sound of a fuse hissing. When full the bomb will explode, dealing light damage to the targeted player, but heavy damage to any other player in the AoE. Therefore the targeted player should move away from the group before it explodes. This attack will be repeated every 15 seconds.

Flak Shot

This attack targets the furthest player from Sabetha and fires several balls of fire at their location that linger on the ground for some time. This fire deals moderate damage and inflicts burning, and the length of time they persist means that they should always be kept away from the group. To this end, groups will typically assign a player to “kite” this attack away from the group by ensuring they are always the furthest target. This attack occurs approximately every eight seconds, so confident players can return to the stack between attacks.

In addition to and Sabetha will fire her gun at a random player, dealing low damage via .


Beginning 30 seconds into the fight, a cannon will spawn on a platform to the south of the arena. These cannons will fire a at the quarter of the platform closest to them, causing heavy damage to players and damaging the platform itself – if the platform’s health is ever reduced to zero, it will collapse and kill the whole squad. At the same time as the cannon spawns, a sapper will appear on the opposite side of the arena (so to the north for the first cannon). This Sapper will throw a bomb to the player who is furthest to the west AND within range (around 900 units). It is important that the sapper not be killed or CC'd before it throws the bomb. Using the SAK to throw this bomb at the south jump pad will launch any player stood on it up to the cannon where it can be destroyed. Being launched in this manner gives the player a debuff called Shell-Shocked, which prevents them being launched again for 50 seconds. Every 30 seconds throughout the fight a new cannon will spawn, and so it is common for groups to assign two players to take alternate cannons throughout the encounter . The AoEs from will disappear before the attack hits, so players should not assume that it is safe to stand in the quarter of the platform underneath an active cannon.

The cannons will always spawn in the same pattern:

South → West → North → East → South → North → West → East.

The pattern then repeats.

If two players are assigned to Cannons, then this means:

Player one will take South → North → South → West. Then repeat;
Player two will take West → East → North → East. Then repeat.

Note that when a cannon spawns in each location, it will be indicated on the minimap with crossed swords.


Coinciding with the first cannon, Sabetha will target a random player and a large arrow will be drawn on the arena floor. Shortly after, she will fire out a wall of flame that rotates anti-clockwise and instantly kills any player that touches it. It cannot be blocked or evaded, but it can be teleported across and invulnerable players can survive. Sabetha will repeat this attack every 45 seconds, provided that she is still on the platform. During this attack Sabetha will not use or .

Care must be taken when running to and from cannons as this can coincide with the appearance of Firestorm. Players can make the first cannon easier by having everyone stack to the south of Sabetha. This means that the first Firestorm will always target that direction first, ensuring that it will be clear of the south platform when the cannon spawns.

Every other sapper spawn (every 60 seconds), two additional bandits will spawn on the platform and attack players. These should be cleaved down or pulled into the group as they can kick players into the Firestorm and if not dealt with will eventually overwhelm the group.

When Sabetha reaches 75% (and every 25% health interval), she will leap off the platform and be replaced by a bandit champion. Each champion has different abilities, and while they are active, Sabetha will throw Heavy Bombs onto the platform every 10 seconds. These bombs have a red indicator above them, and when full the bomb will explode causing damage to the platform. To prevent this, a player must move to the bomb and interact with it to kick the bomb away.

Whenever a bandit champion reaches 25% health, Sabetha will return to the platform. If the 45 second cooldown on her firewall expired while she was away, she will immediately use it now so players should be prepared. The group should finish off the champion and then return their attention to Sabetha.

The three bandit champions you will face are:

Kernan (75%) Kernan will perform some basic attack, but her most dangerous is a triple shot attack called whereby she targets a player and fires three times in their direction. Each attack covers a larger area and deals more damage than the preceding one.

“Knuckles” (50%) In addition to his basic attacks, shortly after spawning and every 30 seconds thereafter Knuckles will raise his hammer and gain a defiance bar (strength: 1000). If he is not broken then players will be knocked into the air with and thrown back, and can be thrown off the platform entirely.

Karde (25%) Karde has a nasty flamethrower attack called which deals severe damage, and will periodically spawn flame turrets onto the platform that use - launching fireballs in all directions. These turrets can be very dangerous and so should be destroyed quickly. Karde takes additional damage from conditions, so if players are struggling with this phase in particular they may wish to opt for condition-DPS builds.

Between bandit champions, the fight continues in the same manner it did before, but with two changes:

Time Bombs - Below 50% health, Sabetha will summon a second along with the first.
Platform Crush - Below 25% she will gain a new ability, , that causes multiple small AoEs to appear on the ground and deal a small amount of damage.


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