Raid Wing 5 - Hall of Chains
If there are any terms you don’t recognize in this guide, check out the Glossary!
Following a brief exploration of the nearby ruins with Glenna, players will find themselves on a cliff above a circular platform. Gliding or using a mount to get to the platform will result in instant death. On the cliff there are two glowing runes and interacting with either will “consume” the rune and give the player a buff called Exile’s Embrace in addition to a Special Action Key (SAK), Issue Challenge. The two players who take these runes will become tanks for the encounter and using the SAK makes a player the active tank. For this next encounter, the tank that is not currently being targeted will be referred to as the “off-tank”. Should the wrong player take a rune they can interact with the rune again to return it.
Once both tanks are assigned, the squad may safely land on the platform to the east and begin the fight.
Before the fight begins, either of the rune-bearers may use their SAK, which will make them the initial tank when arriving on the platform. Otherwise, the first rune-bearing player to land on the platform will become the initial tank and the Soulless Horror will move to them and attack. Players will also find themselves under fire from eight Elite Flesh Wurms whose attacks deal moderate to heavy damage.
The Soulless Horror’s basic attacks are and . Both attacks spawn numerous small AoEs that summon in a cone in front of the Soulless Horror and in a ring surrounding her, respectively. The conal pattern is difficult to avoid, so players other than the tank should ensure that they remain behind the Soulless Horror to avoid having their boons corrupted.
Shortly after landing on the platform, the Soulless Horror charges a powerful two-part attack. An AoE surrounding her is hit first, followed by a ring surrounding the first AoE. Both parts deal heavy damage, but the outer ring deals more. The attack may be blocked and evaded. This attack repeats approximately every 55 seconds.
10 seconds into the fight, a “wall” of green fire will appear at the edge of the platform and begin to travel across it. This wall appears in several sections and there will always be a gap to get past it, but as the fight progresses the gaps become smaller as more sections are added to the walls. Initially the wall consists of two sections, below 90% health a third section is added, and below 33% health a fourth is added. The pattern and location of wall spawns is random, and the timing depends on the health of the boss: above 66% walls spawn every 18 seconds, between 66-33% they spawn every 16 seconds, and below 33% they spawn every 13 seconds. Additionally, at 90%, 66% and 33% the timer will reset and a wall will spawn 10 seconds after these thresholds are passed. The walls will instantly kill anyone who touches them and they cannot be negated in any way.
20 seconds into the fight a Spinning Scythe will appear at the edge of the platform. These take the form of a scythe rotating above a spectral hand with a red AoE underneath. Touching the AoE deals moderate damage and converts all of a player’s boons into conditions. Spinning Scythes pick a random direction and move in a straight line until they hit the platform edge, where they pick another random direction. Every 30 seconds a new scythe spawns until there are four scythes on the platform.
Approximately 35 seconds into the fight, the Soulless Horror will raise a hammer over her head and four conal AoEs will appear surrounding her. Three seconds later she will slam the ground, hitting anyone in the AoEs and then repeat the attack, with the conal pattern rotated by 45 degrees. The attack deals moderate to heavy damage, but the tanks take less damage from it. It is possible to be hit by multiple AoEs if you are too close to the Soulless Horror. This attack repeats approximately every 55 seconds, but will frequently be canceled by other mechanics.
All these attacks are considerably dangerous and require constant repositioning in order to stay out of the way of Surging Souls and Spinning Scythes. The major threat however comes in the form of the Tormented Dead:
20 seconds after the Soulless Horror reaches 90% health, a Tormented Dead will spawn in the middle of the arena and move towards the off-tank. The Tormented Dead doesn’t deal much damage and doesn’t have much health, but when it dies it spawns a large red AoE underneath it that applies multiple conditions in addition to corrupting all of a player’s boons. The AoE lingers for 60 seconds, and a new Tormented Dead will spawn every 20 seconds.
Beginning at six seconds into the fight and every 12 seconds thereafter, the current tank will gain a stack of Necrosis, which increases their damage taken by 10% for each stack. If the other tank takes aggro, then the off-tank will lose all their stacks of Necrosis 30 seconds after the last one was applied. By waiting until their stacks have worn off before re-taking aggro, both tanks should never be above two stacks of the debuff.
At the start of the encounter, the tank should pull the Soulless Horror over to one of the groups of Elite Flesh Wurms so that they can be cleaved down by the group. When the timer reaches 7:42, the tank will gain a second stack of Necrosis and the off-tank may take aggro. The tanks should try to ensure that the Soulless Horror is brought close to all the Wurms so that they can be cleaved with minimal effort before the Tormented Dead begin to spawn.
Throughout the fight, the tanks must ensure that the boss is moved out of the way of Surging Souls, Spinning Scythes and Tormented Dead AoEs in order to give the DPS players as easy a time as possible.
It is recommended that the tanks keep the Soulless Horror relatively far from the center of the arena as being too close could cause the Tormented Dead to be killed in an unfortunate location. On the other hand, staying too far from the center increases the distance the squad will need to move in order to avoid Surging Souls.
All players should also be aware that at 90%, 66% and 33% the outer edge of the arena will glow orange and crumble three seconds later, reducing the playable space.
The destruction of the Tormented Dead can cause a significant part of the arena to become unsafe, and potentially block the path to avoiding Surging Souls. As such, it is vital that their positioning be carefully controlled.
One strategy is to keep the Tormented Dead where they spawn and ensure that they are always killed in the center, leaving the rest of the arena free. This can trap the group should the only gap to avoid Surging Souls be in the center of the arena, but is much simpler to achieve.
A more challenging, but ultimately safer approach is to force the Tormented Dead to the edge of the platform. They can actually be knocked far beyond the edge of the arena, allowing them to be safely killed at range so their AoEs have a minimal impact on the squad. It is typical to assign one or two players to this job, with multiple knockbacks to keep it away. As these players will not be able to focus on the boss for large parts of the run it is recommended that they be on support roles.
The Tormented Dead will also need to be killed at range. It would be sufficient to assign a single DPS player to this role, but special mention must go to as this ability is easily capable of killing the tormented dead on its own (assuming the owner has sufficient condition damage) without the player having to devote any more time to focusing it down. If using epidemic, it is recommended that the Tormented Dead be knocked once towards the edge of the arena, have the player use epidemic, and then knock the Tormented Dead further away once it hits. This will ensure that the epidemic doesn’t hit too early and kill the Tormented Dead, nor the epidemic hit too late when the Tormented Dead has been pushed out of range.
It is essential that all players be mindful of the Tormented Dead when using any skill with CC as stunning or knocking it can easily interrupt the knocks from other players. Similarly, players should try to avoid placing AoEs that deal soft CC at the center of the arena as they can cause the Tormented Dead to take too long to reach the group and die before they are close enough to be knocked past the edge.
Once the Soulless Horror reaches 66%, she will perform an attack that is very similar to except with both parts happening at once to create eight cone AoEs. It deals heavy damage and due to the area covered, it is far easier to be hit multiple times if players do not move sufficiently far away. This attack will repeat approximately every 25 seconds.
is particularly noteworthy at it will precede another attack:
The Soulless Horror gathers energy around herself and gains a defiance bar. If she is not broken she will release the energy and inflict an inescapable fear effect called Unbridled Fear that will cause a wipe. This attack occurs after the first and every other one from then on. will cause Surging Souls to despawn, so they need not be avoided if players know is due.
Once the Soulless Horror is defeated, her soul will re-enter the body and she will introduce herself as Desmina. To progress through the raid she will need to be escorted up the River of Souls.
River of Souls
Stepping foot upon the river causes a player to take moderate damage every second from , but Desmina will summon a protective dome around herself that prevents this damage.
Should a player die during the River of Souls event, they will instead be transformed into a spirit form and must collect five orbs that are moving up the river. If five are collected within 25 seconds (indicated by an effect called Mortal Coil) then the player will revive where they are, so they should attempt to remain close to Desmina’s bubble in order to be able to get back to safety. Should the player successfully revive themselves they will receive the Fractured Spirit debuff that prevents them from being able to enter spirit form again (so they will die properly next time).
Once the event begins, Desmina will move up the river and players must protect themselves and her from various hazards:
- Soulless Torrent – A random player near Desmina will be targeted by a two-part orange AoE around the player that slowly fills. When the inner AoE is filled, it is no longer attached to the player and so it may be “dropped” away from them. When the outer AoE fills then everything within it is hit by , dealing heavy damage and stunning. It is important to note that this can hit both Desmina (meaning it should be dropped away from her) and enemies, meaning that it can be used offensively.
- Spatial Rifts – These rifts open to the side and in the center of the river as Demina approaches. They constantly pull players towards them and can take players off the river itself. When they spawn they have 10 stacks of Rift Force, and attacking the rift removes a stack. Once all stacks are depleted the rift will stop pulling, but will regains stacks and resume a short time later.
- Soul Waves – Similar to the Surging Souls at Soulless Horror, these “walls” will move along the river and touching them will down the player. These walls frequently occur near spatial rifts so care must be taken to move around them safely. The damage from Soul Wave can be blocked.
- Hollowed Bombers – Periodically, a Hollowed Bomber will spawn and move towards Desmina. When they get close enough, they gain a defiance bar and explode shortly afterwards dealing heavy damage to players and Desmina with . Breaking the Hollowed Bombers will interrupt the explosion, but they will attempt it again shortly after, so it is important to either kill them or block the explosion.
- Enervators – When the encounter begins, five Enervators spawn along the length of the river. They do not move or attack, but when Desmina gets close they target her with a beam of energy that stops her moving, deals damage, prevents her being healed, and drops her protection. Stunning them will cause the beam to drop but they will use it again once the stun ends.
- Spirit Horde – Around the time the first Soul Waves are reached, Spirit Hordes will start leaping onto the road and attack the players and Desmina. While not dangerous on their own their numbers can quickly become overwhelming if they are not kept in check.
The map below shows the locations the squad will encounter each of these hazards:
There are many ways to complete this encounter, and it can even be soloed so general tips may be more helpful than a specific guide:
- It is very useful to have a healer stay near Desmina at all times, as failing to deal with mechanics is much less punishing if Desmina is simply healed up afterwards.
- Desmina can be buffed with Swiftness and Superspeed, which can drastically speed up the event and keep her ahead of the Spirit Horde.
- Efficient use of can greatly help against the adds in this encounter. In particular it can be used on Enervators to allow Desmina to move past them, and it can instantly kill whole groups of Spirit Horde.
- Desmina is not affected by Spatial Rifts or Soul Waves so they are more of a nuisance than a threat. However care must be taken with the as a stunned player will not be able to move out of the way of the waves or avoid the pull of the rifts.
- Breaking the Hollowed Bombers is difficult and is not particularly effective. The easiest strategy is to simply give Desmina a block (e.g. via Aegis) as this will prevent damage and the bombers will have killed themselves. If attempting this strategy, players will need to keep away from Desmina when bombers are close as they will be higher priority for blocks than Desmina and may “steal” them from her. If the squad does not have sufficient blocks to deal with every bomber then they will need to be killed.
- As the Enervators spawn at the very beginning of the encounter, it is possible to send a group ahead of Desmina to kill them. With sufficient healing (and preferably permanent Protection) the players can survive the damage from the river and remove the Enervator threat before Desmina ever reaches them. If following this strategy it can be helpful to send six or more players forward so that there are few enough players with Desmina that she can be targeted by heals, defensive skills, and movement buffs as these are usually five-target only.
The event completes once Desmina reaches the end of the River of Souls, and the squad will be faced with three minibosses to defeat before they can approach The Voice in the Void.
Statues of Grenth
In order to open the way to the final boss the three statues of Grenth must be reclaimed. They may be done in any order.
Statue of Ice
The boss is surrounded by slowly-falling hailstones. Each has a green AoE underneath them that slowly empties of color, indicating the time until the hailstone lands. The encounter begins if any player is hit by one of these hailstones.
Once the encounter starts, the Broken King will target the player with the highest toughness and direct his attacks in their direction. His basic attack is which spawns multiple conal AoEs of different sizes in all directions, but they are most hard to avoid when standing directly in front of the boss. As such players other than the tank should attempt to stack behind the Broken King whenever possible. As the bosses autoattack provides him with Resistance condition damage classes will be less effective here.
Immediately after becoming hostile, cracks in the ice will spread out from under the Broken King that chill and rapidly damage anyone stood in them with . These cracks last for 30 seconds, and the attack will be repeated 60 seconds into the fight, then every 40 seconds thereafter.
For every 2% of health the Broken King loses, a hailstone like those at the start of the encounter will begin to fall over 15 seconds. A player standing in the green AoE when it lands will take heavy damage from . However, if no-one stands in the AoE then when the hailstone lands it will hit everyone in the arena with . Absorbing a hailstone give a player a stack of Frozen Wind that lasts for 50 seconds. Should a player reach four stacks they will , becoming frozen in place and taking rapid damage. They will also die rather than go down should their health reach zero.
As more hailstones form the faster the Broken King is damaged, it may be advisable to mediate the group’s DPS somewhat in order to reduce the pressure from . For players running DPS meters, the group will need to be doing ~47-118k DPS in order to avoid having DPS too high to absorb all the hailstones or too low to avoid the enrage. The Broken King cannot die until all 50 hailstones have been absorbed.
Statue of Death and Resurrection
On a platform to the south of Death’s Landing is the Statue of Death and Resurrection, guarded by an Eater of Souls. Approaching the Eater of Souls will begin the fight and the player with the highest toughness will become the tank.
As the fight begins, the Eater of Souls with vomit a in a large cone towards a random player, inflicting moderate damage in addition to Cripple and Poison. The effect lingers on the ground for about 10 seconds so players should be careful not to stand in it.
The Eater of Souls does not have a lot of health, but upon being killed it will instantly resurrect at full health. The only way to kill it for good is to absorb enough of the spirit energy it has consumed. In order to recover this spirit energy, several things need to happen:
- A Twisted Spirit must be killed, releasing five orbs of reclaimed energy towards the center of the platform.
- All five orbs must be thrown at a specific glowing tile on the floor (the exact tile is random), each orb that hits the tile lights up a rune. Once all five runes are lit, reducing the Eater of Souls to 5% health will cause it to eject 10 orbs of spirit energy into the air.
- A massive hand will appear underneath a Lost Spirit and attempt to claim it. If a player stands in the green AoE and it taken instead, they will take on a spirit form and drift above the platform, allowing them to collect the orbs of spirit energy.
- Each player can take five orbs of energy before they are returned to the platform, so at least four players will need to collect spirit energy in this way. Every three orbs that are collected will light one of six torches, except for the last which requires five, for a total of 20 orbs.
- Once all 20 orbs have been collected, the Eater of Souls will finally die the next time its health is depleted.
The first Twisted Spirit will spawn 15 seconds into the fight, in a random location at the edge of the arena. The squad can spend this time getting some damage onto the Eater of Souls, but they should be careful not to kill it. 15 seconds after each Twisted Spirit is killed a new one will spawn, though if performed correctly only two should need to be killed. The Twisted Spirit can spit a web attack called Spinner’s Web that causes three large AoEs that deal heavy damage when they land. When running over one of the reclaimed energies, a player will gain a Special Action Key that enables them to throw the orb to a location. Care should be taken here, as canceling the cast time or missing with the orb will mean not all five runes are lit, hence an additional Twisted Spirit will need to be killed to get additional orbs. It is also worth noting that picking up an additional orb before throwing the previous one will effectively remove the other orb, meaning another spirit must be killed.
40 seconds into the fight the first Lost Spirit will appear. A message will appear saying “A spirit manifests”, and a large green AoE will appear beneath the spirit along with a grasping hand. Should no-one stand in the AoE, the spirit will be claimed and a shockwave erupts out from the location, dealing damage and knocking players down (the shockwave can be jumped over) in addition to extinguishing one of the lit torches. A player that is stood in the green will turn into a spirit and float above the arena. They can move about as normal, but their skill bar will be replaced by three skills. The first and third skills move the player up and down, respectively, and the second skill is a long-range dash. The player has 30 seconds to collect five orbs, as indicated by an effect called Mortal Coil and doing so will return the player to the location they left from. As the orbs spawn at multiple elevations and sometimes quite far apart, use of the three movement skills is essential. If the player believes they will not be able to collect five orbs then they may dash out of the arena using the second skill, which will return them to the location they left from in downed state. This may be preferable, as if Mortal Coil expires before all five orbs are collected the player will die. Taking a green gives a player the Fractured Spirit debuff, preventing them from taking another green for 90 seconds. After the first Spirit, new ones will spawn every 50 seconds, so a minimum of four players will be required to collect spirit energy in this way.
As only 10 orbs are released by the Eater of Souls each time it is “killed” on the glowing runes, a maximum of two players should take the first green, and depending on whether orbs are missed additional players may be needed to take subsequent greens as well. The exact number that should be sent to collect energy each time isn’t strict, though the orbs will eventually despawn so it may be best to send two each time.
Shortly after players have been transformed into spirits, the Eater of Souls will gain a defiance bar and attempt to the spirit players, sucking them towards it and killing them if they reach the mouth. At the same time multiple AoEs called appear around the eater that will interrupt and Blind players. The defiance bar should be broken as quickly as possible whilst avoiding the AoEs.
In general, the tank should attempt to keep the Eater of Souls away from the group as it can deal quite a lot of damage, particularly from . Because of this, and the relatively low damage requirement, it is recommended that healers stay on the platform at all times, and DPS players be the ones dealing the collecting spirit energy.
One playbook for the encounter is as follows: The squad moves towards the Eater of Souls and starts dealing damage, ensuring that its health is not taken too low. When the Twisted Spirit spawns, the squad moves to kill it while the tank keeps the Eater of Souls at a safe distance. The Twisted Spirit is killed and players collect the reclaimed energy, and throw them onto the flowing tile. The tank moves the Eater of Souls to the glowing tile and once there, players “kill” the Eater of Souls to release the spirit energy. When the Lost Spirit appears, one or two players move stand in the green AoE and enter spirit form. The rest of the squad stays with the Eater of Souls, and break it once starts (again, being sure not to deal too much damage to the boss). The spirit players collect 5 or 10 orbs and return to the platform. After the defiance bar has been broken, players move to the next Twisted Spirit and as before, the tank keeps the Eater of Souls at a safe distance. The Twisted Spirit is killed, reclaimed energy is released, and players throw it to light up the runes on the next tile. The Eater of Souls is moved to this tile and “killed” once again, releasing the remaining 10 orbs that need to be collected. As many player as are required move to the second Lost Spirit and stand in the AoE. Everyone else remains on the Eater of Souls and waits for the defiance bar (being careful not to “kill” the boss yet). After breaking it, the spirit players collect the remaining energy and the boss may be killed.
Note that it is possible to send an additional player to the green as a "sacrifice". If this player flies directly into the Eater of Souls when it uses , the attack will end and the player will appear under the Eater of Souls in downed state. This allows for a quicker kill on the boss and is particularly suitable when sending no players to the first green and five (including the sacrifice) to the second.
Statue of Darkness
There are two cave entrances beneath Death’s Landing that lead into a dark labyrinth. Each entrance leads to a different area separated by a raised platform with three Light Orbs on top that mounts can be used to access. Within each section is an untargetable eye that will attack players with , that can easily down a player that stays within its view. Players targeted by this ability should break line-of-sight until it is finished, as the final hit deals 10 times the damage of the others. This attack cannot be evaded but is a projectile, and so can be reflected or blocked.
To reclaim the Statue of Darkness, both eyes must be killed within 15 seconds of each other, and to make them vulnerable players must use the light orbs. Picking up one of the light orbs give the player two skills, the first throws the light to a specific location and the second stuns nearby enemies. A short time after an orb is taken, a new one will appear in its place. If an orb is thrown near to an eye, they will become vulnerable for a period and may be attacked. The eyes have a basic attack, , and when they reach 85% health they will inflict Fear and attempt to teleport to a random location elsewhere in the labyrinth. The most effective method to avoid this is by using the second skill on the light orb to stun the eye. If the eye is stunned it will continue to attempt to teleport until it succeeds, at which point it will continue with its basic attacks until it has lost another 15% of its health and it repeats the Fear and teleport.
Light orbs will eventually expire, and using Flare will consume the orb, so new light orbs must constantly be thrown toward the eyes to ensure that they are kept vulnerable and stunned. To this end it is recommended that two players be assigned to stay on top of the platform and constantly throw light orbs towards each eye, with one thrower assigned to each side. It should be noted that skeletons called Light Thieves will spawn throughout the encounter and try to pick up the light themselves as well as attack players. Coordination between the two light throwers is important as there are only three lights available at any one time, so the throwers must be sure that they are not taking too many light orbs themselves and depriving one side. If either eye succeeds in teleporting at any point, both eyes gain the ability which causes an eye to pulse heavy damage to everyone in the arena if they are not damaged for approximately 30 seconds.
The simplest approach to this encounter is to assign each subgroup of five players to one side (of roughly equal DPS) and fight both eyes at once. It is possible to send most of the players to a single eye, nearly kill it, then use portal skills to move to the second eye, kill that, then portal back to the first eye and kill it within 15 seconds, but this is difficult to achieve. Assuming an even split of four players each side, with one thrower on the platform, each side should wait until several orbs have been thrown onto their eye before engaging as this will provide a bit of leeway if the throwers run into trouble. A single player should be assigned to stunning the eye with the light orbs, and this can be made easier with the use of traits or gear that improve stun durations, such as or .
Some forms of hard CC need be avoided as they will overwrite the longer duration from Flare. The list seems somewhat arbitrary: Daze, Knockdown, and Fear all overwrite Flare, but any other form of hard CC appears to be safe to use.
If an eye is allowed to teleport, then when it reaches 70% health, a Minotaur appears somewhere within its side of the labyrinth. It moves slowly, but has a number of dangerous attacks that can devastate players should they encounter it. The more the eye manages to teleport, the more likely it is that the minotaur will be in the way. Should it find the group, it may be stunned along with the eye, but if this will not be sufficient to keep it permanently incapacitated then it is preferable to focus and kill the minotaur before it can do too much damage. Players should attempt to avoid the minotaur if they are chasing after the eye, and should the eye teleport away from the group when they are fighting the minotaur it may be better to simply run away and reengage the eye instead. Note that if the Minotaur is killed it will respawn a short time later. If an eye is prevented from teleporting before it reaches 70% health then the minotaur will not appear even if it subsequently teleports.
Once all three statues have been reclaimed, the way forward is opened and players may approach the final boss of the Hall of Chains.
Players may now enter the Hall of Judgment and face Dhuum. Dhuum, however seems unbothered and will not leave his throne though any player that steps up to the throne will be instantly killed. This effect persists throughout the fight, so it is important to be wary.
The encounter is started by talking to Desmina, and soon the Reapers will appear and begin a ritual to defeat Dhuum. The Reapers will remain stationary during the fight and should they be killed the encounter fails, luckily they have a significant bonus to incoming healing so players can heal them when they take damage.
Dhuum will not engage the squad directly at first, sending minions instead. There are three such minions to be aware of throughout the fight:
- Dhuum’s Enforcers – Enforcers are tall skeletons that will slowly walk towards the Reapers and attack them. Their punches deal a huge amount of damage, so allowing one to reach a Reaper is very risky. Fortunately, although Enforcers are immune to hard CC, they are vulnerable to all soft CC including Blind and movement impairment so this can be used to protect the Reapers until the Enforcer is killed. Enforcers take extra power damage.
- Dhuum’s Messengers – Messengers are flesh golems that cannot be killed and are surrounded by an AoE that deals huge damage to anyone stood in it. Similar to the Enforcers they will move towards the Reapers, but the first player that hits them will become fixated and they will follow that player relentlessly. Each Messenger will die 15 seconds after it fixates on a player.
- Deathlings – Deathlings are small spider-like creatures that swarm towards reapers and attack them. They deal low damage, but their numbers will eventually become a problem if they are not killed. Deathlings take extra condi damage.
All of Dhuum’s minions will move towards the closest Reaper, and will attack players if no Reaper targets are available. It is worth noting that Reapers can be stealthed, at which point the minions will target the next closest Reaper (or players if no Reapers are visible).
30 seconds into the fight and every 30 seconds thereafter, Dhuum will target a Reaper with an attack identical to that targeting the Lost Spirits at the Statue of Death and Resurrection: A large green AoE appears underneath the Reaper and Dhuum’s hand rises up to grasp at them. Five seconds later, Dhuum will kill the targeted reaper unless a player is stood within the green AoE. This player will enter Spirit Form and float above the arena, and must collect five spirit orbs within 15 seconds (as indicated by the Mortal Coil effect). Unlike the Statue of Death and Resurrection, the player cannot change elevation or dash, and the orbs are all moving towards a pillar of light in the center of the area. This pillar will instantly kill the player if they touch it, so care must be taken and practice may be necessary to get a feel for how close you can safely get. Taking the green circle will give players the Fractured Spirit debuff that prevents them from taking another green for 80 seconds, and when returning from a green the player is briefly invulnerable.
When collecting orbs, players may notice that there are three different sizes of orb, and each corresponds to a specific minion: The smallest and most common correspond to the Deathlings, the medium-sized orbs correspond to the Messengers and the largest correspond to the Enforcers. Each orb is considered identical in regards to returning to the arena but crucially, collecting an orb stops the corresponding minion from spawning. For Deathlings this is unimportant, but by collecting the Enforcer orb each time means that none will ever spawn during the main part of the encounter which takes a huge amount of pressure off the group. There is always a single Enforcer orb each time a player takes the green circle, and it always spawns clockwise of the player so it is recommended that they find it while being floated into the air and then head straight for it. Messenger orbs may be collected in the same way, but their location is not so reliable and there may not be time to pick it up in addition to the Enforcer orb and three others.
- Tank – Dhuum will aggro on toughness, and so there will be a dedicated tank for this encounter. Positioning is very important in this fight as Dhuum’s autoattacks can deal heavy damage to both players and the Reapers and so he must be kept facing away from everyone else. Additionally, throughout the fight areas of the arena will be made unsafe, so the location of tanking will constantly need to adjust.
- Messenger Kiter – As Messenger orbs will not always be collected, there should be a player assigned to hitting the Messengers as they spawn and then kiting them away from the group. Such a player should have sustain and ideally access to movement abilities to keep themselves safe, thus it may be best if this player is a support. If they are a healer then they will also be able to heal any Reapers that get injured over the course of the fight.
- Green Runners – Dhuum will attempt to kill a Reaper every 30 seconds, and the debuff from taking a green lasts 80 seconds, so at least three players will need to be assigned to taking them. The pattern of greens moves clockwise, and as there are seven Reapers players should be aware that they will not always be going to the same location.
Throughout the encounter Demina will throw orbs of energy around the arena that provide Superspeed when a player runs over them. These are particularly useful to the kiter and players dealing with mechanics, so it is best is players avoid picking them up if they are not needed.
At the start of the encounter, an Enforcer and a Messenger will spawn at both the north and south ends of the room (one of each at each location). At first they will wander around and attack players, but 15 seconds into the fight the first Reaper will appear near the throne and they will head towards it. The Messenger kiter should aggro both Messengers and lead them away from the group, while everyone else should kill the Enforcers. There are set spawn locations, but the Messenger and Enforcer can spawn in either, so it is not advisable to precast damage in case a Messenger spawns in it and immediately aggros on the wrong player. Lingering AoEs or traps can also aggro the Messenger, so players should keep an eye out in case they become fixated.
It is not strictly important which Enforcer is killed first, but the northern one spawns closest to the Reaper so it may be the better initial target. For this part of the fight, a new Enforcer is spawned roughly every 15 seconds. The exact time will vary as Enforcers spawn from orbs that float out of the throne, thus the further from the throne the spawn point is, the longer it will take to appear. The next Enforcer will spawn ~30 seconds into the fight, in the north-east corner of the room, and they will continue to spawn clockwise in the corners of the room.
Similarly, Messengers will spawn approximately every 10 seconds in a semicircle pattern near the center of the arena and players can look out for the orbs floating from the throne to tell if one is about to spawn. Both the Messengers and Enforcers loop through their spawn locations clockwise, and picking up either of their orbs will skip the next respective spawn, but not the location. As such, the next spawn location will always be the same regardless of how many actual spawns are skipped.
Players should communicate about which orbs are collected, especially if the Enforcer orb is missed. The Messenger kiter may also wish to know if a Messenger spawn will be skipped. During this part of the encounter, the green runners will only be able to pick up every other Enforcer orb as one will spawn between the green timers. The image below shows the spawn locations and timings of the Enforcers and Messengers:
If all the Enforcer orbs are picked up there should only be four more (after the initial two) to deal with, so the squad will complete a full clockwise loop of the arena, killing one at a time. If they are not able to kill the Enforcers before they reach the Reapers, it may be advisable to swap one or two more DPS players over to power builds, or have a player with a lot of Immobilize run ahead and keep them stationary.
Beginning 60 seconds into the fight, a random player will gain a glowing green aura and a Special Action Key (SAK) called Expel Energy. There will also be an on-screen message identifying who is afflicted. Using the SAK will cause damage to all other players based on how close they are to you, and can easily down nearby players. After 13 seconds (indicated by a countdown indicator above the player’s head) the “bomb” will detonate automatically, and 3 seconds after it is detonated (whether by you or automatically) a new player will be afflicted. Upon receiving , the player will gain the Residual Affliction effect, preventing them from being affected by it again for 45 seconds.
can be very dangerous if detonated too close to players, and it can be difficult to find space given that the Messenger kiter and possibly green runners may be inconvenient locations. At the start of the encounter players should be aware of where the next green will occur, as it will often be behind the group which may be the most natural location to try to detonate the . Instead, it may be advisable to always take these early bombs towards the throne as this should always be a safe distance from the green circles and the main squad.
actually spawns in sets, with specific timers for the start of each set. The first set consists of four bombs, and all subsequent ones consist of five. If all the bombs are detonated early, there will then be a period of time in which no more spawns until the timer for the next set is reached.
Two minutes into the fight (8:00 on the timer), Dhuum will finally stand and engage the squad directly. At this point the timers for minion spawns become longer, with Enforcers spawning every 30 seconds and Messengers spawning every 60 seconds. One final Enforcer will spawn as Dhuum attacks, so it may be advisable to tank him at that location so both may be cleaved at once. If all Enforcer orbs were collected up until this point, this Enforcer will spawn in the north-east corner of the room. From this point there should ideally be no more Enforcer spawns, and with fewer Messenger spawns the kiter can also provide more support to the group. It is theoretically possible for every Messenger orb to be collected (they spawn on every other green now) to also prevent Messengers ever spawning, but due to the unreliable locations the orbs spawn in it is highly unlikely. Once again, should an Enforcer orb ever be missed the group will need to be informed as it is essential that it be killed quickly once it spawns.
- Tank – Once Dhuum spawns, the tank can no longer be the target of .
- Messenger Kiter – Due to the much longer timer on the Messenger spawns, the kiter can potentially be one of the green runners during the main phase. If they pick up aggro before taking the green, the Messenger will simply follow them on the ground level. If the kiter does take a green, they will need someone else to take them in the period before Dhuum spawns.
- Green Runners – Players returning to and from greens might wish to take the opportunity to kill a few Deathlings to keep their numbers down. They will almost certainly all have gathered at the Reaper closest to the door (west) as this is the one closest to their spawn point.
Dhuum’s basic attack is a wide sweep that covers a huge area and deals heavy damage. At the same time a cascade of AoEs will appear beneath the arc of the scythe, growing larger from right to left. A moment later these explode, dealing moderate damage and inflicting Poison.
The area directly behind Dhuum is safe from both the scythe and hits, so this is where the main group should stack. Due to the large size of Dhuum it is preferable to stack inside Dhuum’s hitbox for easier healing and boon coverage, but players must be careful not to stand too far forward as they will get hit by the scythe.
Once reaching 90% health, Dhuum turns around and slams his scythe into the ground. Fissures snake out from the impact point and after about five seconds they glow green and erupt, dealing huge damage and Fear. This attack repeats every 30 seconds, and additional cracks are added to the pattern at 50% and 25% health.
While the cracks are very dangerous, the actual impact of the scythe deals no damage, so need not be avoided. Players running for greens should be careful as the cracks are difficult to spot underneath the green AoE and being downed or feared out of the circle will get the Reaper killed.
At 7:05 on the timer, Dhuum will target a random player and turn towards them. He will then dip into the ground and reappear on the targeted player, slamming down his scythe in a large AoE. Anyone caught within the AoE will be inflicted with Torment and have their body knocked away from their soul in the opposite direction they are facing and must run back to it within a few seconds or they will die. After the initial hit, a ring of Dhuumfire will creep around the edge of the AoE and when it completes a full circle the AoE will deal extreme damage to anyone inside. If this attack hits any player, Dhuum will steal all their boons. The damage from this attack cannot be evaded. The AoE persists for two minutes and this attack is repeated every 80 seconds.
is the mechanic that will leave areas of the arena unsafe for long periods of the encounter, and can be difficult to deal with for new players. As it is difficult to know exactly who is being targeted the best way to deal with the mechanic is to move when it begins. It is important to note that the AoE is centered on the staff rather than Dhuum, and so the player that Dhuum appears on should run in the opposite direction from the one Dhuum is facing when he appears. This will ensure that they have the shortest distance to run to escape the AoE. It is also very important that players do not run near Reapers when this attack happens. Although the attack itself won’t harm the Reaper, if the covers the entire green circle it will be almost impossible to take the green without dying. If someone is downed in the at any point, it is possible to revive them but it will probably take several attempts as the revived player will only be able to move a tiny distance before the downs them again. Players should be especially wary of the Fear from if a is nearby.
- Tank – The likelihood is that will force your group to change your tanking location. The exact pattern is not hugely important, but it may be preferable to keep Dhuum near upcoming green circles in order to minimise the time the green runners spend away from the group and make it easier for someone else to take the green should the intended runner be unable to get there in time.
At 6:25 on the timer Dhuum will dip into the ground similar to the mechanic, but this time he will appear in the center of the arena and knock everyone’s body away from their soul in the opposite direction they are facing. At the same time, all players will be inflicted with Torment and have all their boons stolen by Dhuum. All players must run back to their souls in order to survive. Shortly after the Dhuum will begin to pull all players towards him, dealing huge damage to anyone that touches the AoE underneath Dhuum. This attack repeats every 80 seconds.
As hits everyone, it can be absolutely devastating if not handled correctly. Players should stack up tightly as it happens, and face the center of the arena. To ensure they are all knocked in the same direction. After the knock, there should be AoE condition cleanse to get rid of the Torment as it is incredibly painful. It might also be valuable for players to ensure that they have a personal condition cleanse available just in case. Players will then need to resist .
As Dhuum will have likely stolen a large number of boons, the group will need to have some form of mass boon removal available as Dhuum will be incredibly dangerous otherwise. If Dhuum stole Retaliation, players will also need to hold off on their damage to avoid downing themselves. If necessary, this is an ideal time for players not stripping boons to kill as many Deathlings as they can, as there may well be a number of them at this point. They will most likely be at the Reaper closest to the door (west).
- Arcing Affliction – A strategy for the handling of should be decided on. Although the initial set can be dealt with in any way, subsequent spawns may frequently coincide with if not handled correctly. When hits, any undetonated will be removed (dealing no damage) and the rest of the bombs in the set will not happen. If everyone leaves the bomb to detonate automatically, then all but the third will cancel the most recent bomb. However, if even one in a set is detonated early this will risk having a player receive it too early for it to be removed. As it takes a few seconds for the bomb to be removed, a good rule of thumb is to assume that if a player receives the 10-13 seconds before the is due then they should instead move away from the group and detonate it as soon as it is safe, before moving back to the stack. An alternate strategy could be to try to detonate bombs as quickly as possible to “use up” the set before the . This strategy would require strong healing and high DPS, as for each set there are 10 seconds fewer before the next than the previous set, it would become increasingly difficult to detonate them all in time.
As Dhuum is very timer-based, the following image gives a good overview of the key timers and the locations they occur:
Alternatively, the following table may be of use:
Time Event 9:30 Green (1) 9:00 Green (2), Arcing Affliction (1) 8:30 Green (3) 8:00 Green (1), Main Phase 7:30 Green (2), Arcing Affliction (2) 7:05 Death Mark (1) 7:00 Green (3) 6:30 Green (1) 6:25 Greater Death Mark (1) 6:00 Green (2), Arcing Affliction (3) 5:45 Death Mark (2) 5:30 Green (3) 5:05 Greater Death Mark (2) 5:00 Green (1) 4:30 Green (2), Arcing Affliction (4) 4:25 Death Mark (3) 4:00 Green (3) 3:45 Greater Death Mark (3) 3:30 Green (1) 3:05 Death Mark (4) 3:00 Green (2), Arcing Affliction (5) 2:30 Green (3) 2:25 Greater Death Mark (4) 2:00 Green (1) 1:45 Death Mark (5) 1:30 Green (2), Arcing Affliction (6) 1:05 Greater Death Mark (5) 1:00 Green (3) 0:30 Green (1) 0:25 Death Mark (6) 0:00 Green (2)
When Dhuum reaches 60% health the two closest non-tank players will be linked together and both will receive an on-screen message “Your soul has been shackled to another!” in addition to an audio cue. The link will not break unless the two players are sufficiently far apart, and if it is still active after four seconds it will begin to rapidly deal damage to both players, even if a player is downed. This mechanic repeats every 30 seconds.
In addition to the cues given to the affected players, when shackles occur the Reaper of the Chaos Planes will shout “Your souls are linked! Separate!”. As the targeting on this mechanics is reliable, it might be easiest to assign players with fast movement abilities to remain the closest to Dhuum in order to “kite” this mechanic, though as the encounter frequently forces movement all players should still be wary of picking it up themselves. Similar to this mechanic will be canceled by the , so players may wish to avoid breaking the in order to remain on the stack if this will happen soon.
When Dhuum reaches 30% health, he will target a random player and prepare a scythe sweep. Dark claws will slowly drag players towards a conal AoE in front of Dhuum, stealing all their boons, and three seconds later he will swing, dealing heavy damage to anyone within the AoE. This attack repeats approximately every 30 seconds.
The boon steal can hit players almost immediately after the attack begins, so be players should be careful in case Dhuum gains retaliation. Should Dhuum hit a player with the damage portion of , he will immediately use a second time, though this may be a bug.
Ritual Phase (10%)
Once Dhuum reaches 10% health, the Reapers will complete their ritual and the timer resets to 1:45. Dhuum becomes invulnerable, is teleported to the middle of the arena and floats above the ground. However before he is defeated he performs Major Soul Split, killing all the Reapers and forcing all players into spirit form. All players will float above the arena and have 30 seconds to gather five orbs each. The central pillar of light will still instantly kill players, so everyone should be sure to move away from the middle of the arena as Dhuum is phasing.
Once their orbs are collected, players will be teleported to a protective dome summoned by Desmina. Dhuum is suspended above them and the area outside the dome is covered by . The Ethereal Seals that the Reapers were on must all be activated by a player running to them and channeling (interacting with) them. All seven seals must be activated within 10 seconds of each other, so players should spread out and try to take one each. It is common for seven players to be assigned to each of the seals at the beginning of the encounter to minimize confusion at this stage. If there are fewer than seven players remaining, those with high survivability and movement can try to activate more than one. To help, players should try to stack up as many boons as possible, in particular Protection, Swiftness and Quickness (the latter makes activating the seals faster).
Once all seals are activated, Dhuum will fall to the floor and become vulnerable for 20 seconds. After this, Dhuum will float back up and players must run back to the seals and activate them again to resume damaging him. This repeats until Dhuum is defeated or the timer runs out, which is an instant wipe.
Thanks to Linus, who made the River of Souls and Dhuum images for the Guild Wars 2 Wiki.