Epic Education 26: Lord of Blades 4

Hello and welcome to Epic Education – a show of tips and tactics for surviving epic content.  I’m your guide Shamgar and this is Episode 26: “The Lord of Blades part 4: Dog Duty.”

During the majority of the Lord of Blades boss fight you will have to deal with 2 large iron defender style dogs.  With the exception of the final phase, at the beginning of each phase of this fight these dogs are restored to full health. It is certainly possible to kill the dogs, however they do have a pile of hit points.  Most groups prefer to kite them around until phase 4 and kill them when the assassins are reduced to 1 or 2 in number.  Some groups will even opt to kite them all the way through the entire fight and when the bridge goes up they simply leave them on the platform (they are prevented from leaving it).

The dogs don’t hit too hard, even on epic, and they do not have true sight making displacement/blur a good idea. They do have two special attacks. In polite company we refer to the first as dog “goo” but various references to dog poo are available to those who are inclined to make fun of the attack.  This attack is very similar to the grease attack that most iron defenders make and in fact does have the effect of greasing the floor making walking difficult.  However this goo is green and has an electrical charge to it.  The charge hits those within its area with a stacking electrical damage.  Each time you are hit with this effect it increases the amount of damage dealt to you by the next tick but once you are clear of the field this debuff will dissipate.  This attack necessitates something to make you immune to slippery surfaces, like freedom of movement.  Except when you are actively killing a dog, if you find yourself in dog goo, moving is highly recommended.  On normal difficulty the dogs will not start spewing goo until after you break them and the goo field can be dispelled using break enchantment, and scrolls will work with 100% success.

The second special attack is a wind type effect.  The damage it does is fairly minimal, but the attack will attempt to knock you over. You are given a saving throw which is very reasonable to make, and they tend to use this attack when they are chasing someone.

Both dogs also will regularly drop an area effect buff that will land on both the trash mobs and the Lord of Blades.  This buff has 2 effects. The first reduces most incoming damage.  The second is a fire guard.  This buff can stack and lasts about 30s with the time being renewed each stack and the dogs will typically toss this buff at or near the same time but it does not affect either dog.

Because the dogs are repaired constantly most groups choose to kite them around until phase 4 after the assassins have been reduced in number to 1 or 2.  Some groups will even choose to kite the dogs through the final phase and leave them behind on the platform.  Unlike most kiting experiences, there is far more to kiting the dogs than just running around away from them.  To do this job well you need to pay attention to the little things.

During phase 1 you need to pay attention to the party.  They should be attacking the same trash together in a hunting pack, and you should be trying to keep the dogs away from them to allow a swifter massacre.  At the same time you want to stay away from the Lord of Blades for the same buffing reasons.  And finally, you need to be aware of where everyone else is because you don’t want to give them a patch of dog goo under their feet.  Some groups will tend to attempt some coordination here and call for the Lord of Blades to be parked say around 1 o clock and the dogs to be kited on the opposite side (something like 4 to 10 o clock).  A much as you are able you should endeavor to comply, however it is your responsibility as the kiter to adjust to everyone else.

During phase 2 your job will be considerably easier.  The rest of the party will typically converge  on a smaller part of the circle, usually at most a quarter of it.  This gives you a lot more room to play in and makes them much more predictable.  On the other hand the Lord of Blades will begin jumping into the air and landing.  While there is usually someone in a party who will call out that this is happening, you should learn the audio cues associated with this.  There is a cue for when he jumps and when he is landing, and both are directional!  This means that if you are able to learn and pick up these cues you can predict where he is going to land moments before he does.  This gives you 2 advantages.  First, it helps you to not get squished like a bug or getting run over (which when you are kiting 2 hungry dogs can easily lead to death).  The second is that you can position yourself in such a way as to prevent the Lord of Blades from getting a dog buff.  To do this you want to run to the opposite side of where he is going to land and then run along the edge of the circle towards where he does land.  This pulls the dogs to the edge allowing the Lord of Blades to pass by outside of their range.

And while we are on the topic, you should also try and learn the audio cue for the whirlwind attack.  This will likely not come in your direction since you shouldn’t be close to LoB, but this is when things tend to go awry quick and being ready for this possibility can improve your odds of survival.

In phase 3 things get a little nasty.  Everything is the same except the addition of Rain of Blades.  That’s good though, cause that’s enough.  This special attack also has an auditory cue which once you learn it will give you a few seconds more warning than the 5 people screaming.  Here’s the problem.  Unlike everyone else but the tank, you can’t go to the center to safety.  Doing so would all but ensure that the entire party get dog gooed which puts everyone in a lousy situation.  This means you are stuck in the blades.  These do have a reflex save to reduce damage but these moments will be the most taxing and dangerous for you.  Depending on the kiter’s self healing abilities and the difficulty a healer will often be assigned to look after the kiter during this time frame (if your kiter is a pale master, make sure their healer has harm).  If your kiter dies here, consider replacing them with someone with improved evasion to increase survivability, though their ability, or rather the lack thereof, to heal may be a consideration.

During phase 4 the main tank will sometimes come by and intimidate the dogs to take over kiting  freeing up the kiter to be more effective against the trash although I find this to be mostly unnecessary when the kiter is a caster as they do not lose much of their effectiveness while kiting (in fact on normal or hard I tend to start using my DoTs and SLAs on one of the dogs since I usually have spell points to burn).

Once the trash is cleaned up down to 1 or 2 assassins it’s time to kill the dogs.  The cleanest way to do this is to have the main tank use intimidate to grab the dogs aggro.  If this is not an option the kiter may need to stand still for a bit to allow someone to grab aggro.  This works best if they are able to only grab 1 dog to reduce the amount of goo, but is not necessary and can be tricky with intimidate.  Have the person with aggro (including the kiter if it has not yet switched)  park somewhere the LoB isn’t going to land.  1-2 people (usually the arcanes) should load break enchant scrolls and target this person to dispel the goo.  The rest of the party should attack the dogs from the rear to minimize damage.  If both dogs are here then the party should focus on one of them to reduce the number of gooings and damage to the tank.  This will also help keep the aggro focused on the tank at this point, but if a dog turns around and your tank doesn’t have intimidate that person can kite the dog away for a bit.  If you do this right you can heal this piece of the raid with mostly scrolls.

So who makes a good kiter?  Players with strong self-healing are ideal, though these folks should still have someone looking after them during the blades on hard or elite.  Casters (arcane or divine) are strong candidates as well because of their DoTs which are good fire and forget aggro magnets and can ramp up to good damage if the tank accidentally intimidates the dogs.  Ranged characters are also able to more easily acquire aggro of the dogs making artificers a strong choice as well.  Characters with evasion are also great during blades as they will take less damage.  Ninja monks can actually just run on the water during the blades as well (note that the dogs can actually throw their goo with impressive range and into the arcane sludge – also noteworthy if you leave them alive as they can in fact reach the shrine).

Let’s close by discussing a bunch of tricks.  First, jump casting is important as a caster so jump and feather fall are good.

Particularly if you have few heal options (pale masters I’m looking at you) let your hit points go down a ways during the blades, try and use every ounce of that heal/harm.  I actually save my spell power clickies for during the blades to further aid my self-healing.

If I have one handy, I fire off a false life wand right before the blades.

Keep any buffs you can going that boost your reflex saves during phase 3: greater heroism, night shield, and inspire heroics are some good examples.

Kiting is your primary focus.  Worry about that first.  Having said that, look for other ways you can contribute.  As a divine kiter I have kited in a route that allows me to dump heal scrolls into the main tank or taken care of rezzes.  My artificer usually ranges and my casters use their SLAs to shoot LoB once he’s parked (don’t pull aggro here, getting chained in goo is not fun and it can be difficult for the tank to get aggro back).

Try not to run in straight lines.  The circular shape of the platform will help.  Making lots of turns will help you avoid the dogs knock down attack.  I tend to think of the arena in terms of quarters and kite within those pie wedges switching wedges to avoid LoB or if theres too much goo.

At the beginning of each phase when the dogs are called over by LoB they will return to you unless someone else grabs their aggro in the interim (usually the tank has intimidated them).  In case this happens, don’t go wild with the damage to grab their initial aggro.  This way if they are intimidated you will not have to overcome as much threat from the intimidate to reestablish aggro.

That will end this week’s Epic Education.  If you have any questions, comments, or corrections you can email me at or visit myDDO blog at Join me next time as I continue discussing The Lord of Blades.  Thanks for listening.

Comments (2)

  1. […] continues his look into the Lord of Blades in a new Epic Education! Click here to for raid […]

  2. NancyD

    Great job. Had no idea the dogs’ effects could reach the shrine. I think a figure 8 much tighter than a quarter of the platform can work best for dog kiting.

    But this is very readable and helpful. Thanks.

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