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Epic Education 23: Lord of Blades 1

Hello and welcome to Epic Education a show of tips and tactics for surviving epic content.  Im your guide Shamgar and this is Episode 23: The Lord of Blades part 1Road to the Forge.

The Lord of Blades is one of 2 raids in the House Cannith Enclave.  It is normally a level 20 raid and it is also playable on Epic difficulty.  Flagging is a simple process of running the 3 pre-quests located in the Cannith Manufactory explorer area: Power Play, Blown to Bits, and Schemes of the Enemy.

Before we leave let’s make sure you bring the appropriate supplies.  If you are a caster of any kind bring some mnemonic pots.  Paladins and rangers should consider bringing the smaller variety for when they need to cast some resistances or FoMs just in case.  Healers should plan on bringing around 200 heal scrolls on normal and upwards of 5-600 scrolls minimum on epic elite.  UMD toons should also bring a healthy stack of heal scrolls (upwards of 400 on epic elite).  Break enchantment and adamantine weapon scrolls will also be situationally handy.  Everyone should endeavor to be as self sufficient as possible, this raid will be hectic at times and you should be prepared to lose key party members for up to 2 minutes on elite difficulties.  Redundancy, versatility, and over preparedness will not only save you resources in the long run, but will contribute to success.  You will also need to bring a weapon that is both adamantine AND good to bypass the Lord of Blades’ damage reduction.

Most successful parties will have a party break down something like the following: 2-3 primary healers, 1-2 caster/kiter types, a main tank, a back up “pseudo tank” and an assortment of dps, some of which will probably be ranged.  This raid favors main tanks who can drastically reduce incoming damage and can intimidate while blocking to maintain aggro, particularly on higher difficulties.  A back up tank does not need to be as specialized, but should at least have a shield and a good amount of hit points.  You can vary your party make up and raid difficulty, but this is a pretty common break down.

The raid is found in the Research Facilities explorer area which is also found within the Cannith Manufactory (along with the Artificer Workshops which leads to the raid Master Artificer).  Both of these explorer areas are very simple to navigate and are smallish in size, but they do take some time to get through.  If you want to save some time you can easily start clearing before your party is full.  These zones do scale based on party size and starting short manned and with a less than perfect party can break up the monotony a bit by giving it a more challenging vibe.

When you zone in to the raid grab a few buffs.  All the archers throughout the quest use shock arrows while the artificers use the occasional fire spell. Particularly on higher difficulties blurs or displacements and holy aura can mitigate some damage.  Other than that, the usual assortment of damage increasing buffs is desirable (bards watch your songs on elite difficulties).  When your party is ready move forward just beyond the doors ahead, these will close shortly after you start the first wave of trash.

The first part of the Lord of Blades raid is a series of trash fights.  On heroic normal and hard these are a tedious and repetitive warm up to the main fight in the raid, just have some fun and blitz through to the shrine.  On elite difficulties there are no shrines which means burning through resources and spell points is a poor tactical decision.  We need to not only advance more carefully to conserve resources, but the trash is significantly stronger.

The most effective technique is to employ a turtle tank, someone who can intimidate all of the paladins and golems and block to mitigate damage (high AC and/or PRR is very helpful). You probably brought someone like this as your main tank.  There are several artificers, usually in pairs, that are very deadly.  Insta-kill spells and/or quick crowd control is essential – a poorly timed tactical detonation will seriously derail your raid before you truly begin. Take note however, you are fighting warforged. They cannot be held and they are immune to level drains.  Melee should make sure to attack everything from behind to avoid almost all the damage being dealt.  This will allow healers to almost exclusively heal the turtle tank with heal scrolls.  However, should the caster(s) fail to quickly dispatch the artificers tactical melee should engage and suppress the artificers as a priority.  Casters should play conservative here, unless you are on normal or hard don’t try and burn through your entire blue bar.

The first group of trash also has several assassins.  Drag the paladins back around the corner out of their line of sight to avoid being turned into a pincushion. Think of these waves of trash as an exercise in maximizing killing while minimizing incoming damage.  As much as possible try not to attract attention of the successive waves of trash before you finish the current.  Your turtle tank will need to not only intimidate everything but will also need to try and keep the mobs in a small arc to avoid cleave damage for the party.

Along the way there are some optional pieces.  The first is a forge tour.  It’s an optional, and time consuming bit of eye candy.  Almost everyone will skip this, but if you have some time it can be fun to bring a small group or solo to enjoy it.

Towards the end there is a magical barrier.  Your people skills (intimidate specifically) will come into play here.  If you talk to the warforged behind successfully and you will be rewarded with a small amount of xp and will make a secret door findable (by search skill only) just around the corner behind which you will find a chest.  If you are not successful you will be forced to fight.  You can skip this if you like, it’s completely optional and the chest doesn’t drop anything special.

The final option is a tactic you will only use on elite difficulties.  The last wave of trash is a group of 4 assassins in an elevator shaft.  Some groups will pause here and allow caster and healer types to use their torcs and concordant op gear to regain spell points by allowing the archers to shoot them.  It is a time consuming option (and must be weighed against boat buff timers), but in the end it can save some resources particularly if you burned through some sp on the way here.  Here are some tips to make this smoother.  First, don’t use more than 2 archers at a time.  More will be painful, even when shield blocking.  It may seem counter productive, but a blur and perhaps even a displacement can help tone down the damage making it easier to scroll heal, important if you want to make positive sp gain.  Also, try and group up with your auras – this is especially important for pale masters who have no scroll healing (unless you leave your undead form which may be more prudent).  Finally, don’t stand directly in front of the assassins.  Give yourself some distance.  By staying out of point blank shot range you reduce the damage you are taking.

On normal or hard this is unnecessary.  After these 4 assassins there is a shrine.  In either case, grab some buffs here to maximize your available resources.  You will need deathward, fire and electric resist, and freedom of movement.  Blur, spell resistance, and holy auras can also be useful here.  Once you are ready head out to the platform where the Lord of Blades awaits you in the Creation forge.  When everyone is there we can activate the boss fight and then the real fun begins.

That will end this weeks Epic Education.  If you have any questions, comments, or corrections you can email me at DDOEpicEducation@gmail.com or visit myDDO blog at my.ddo.com/pjstechie. Join me next time as I continue discussing the Lord of Blades.  Thanks for listening.

Comments (5)

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  2. sirgog

    Very important for Pale Masters that Torc up out of form: Take off your Demon Consort Bracers (if you use them).

    Also I’d mention that Epic Normal difficulty is actually easier than Heroic Normal (although the rewards are different) so if you are learning the raid run EN on your first time.

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