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Epic Education 28: Lord of Blades 6

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 28: “The Lord of Blades part 6: Party at the Forge.”

Thus far we have covered several specific roles.  We have our tank, 2-3 folks focusing on heals, and a dog kiter.  This episode I will be focusing the party’s role throughout the raid fight.  Theres a lot that is going on throughout the raid and as a member of the party you will not only need to know what is going on, but you need to know what can happen and how to react to it without being told.  If you wait for someone’s instructions then you will likely perish.  Should you die on harder difficulties you will need wait until your death timer is up until you can be raised.  If you find yourself dead repeatedly then you need to make adjustments.  If this is you, at best you are contributing very little to the raid, at worst you are potentially causing a raid wipe.

The first task the party needs to perform is killing the trash. This is a mix of assassins and paladins with 1 artificer.  Get the artificer first and stay in a group preferably following a tactical melee who can stun or trip the trash.  This shouldn’t take too long to accomplish, but be mindful of the dogs and LoB until their dancing partners establish aggro. If you find yourself the center of their attention try and find some open real estate until the proper person gets their attention.  Everyone should also be looking out for dog goo and the forge buff.

Once the trash is cleaned up the party will do 1 of 2 things.  The first option is to break down pillars.  I covered this in detail in the previous episode, but the short version is to use ranged weapons, prismatic ray scrolls, or float out to the pillars with the forge buff to melee the pillar bottoms.  The second option is to attack the Lord of Blades.  It is also possible to split the party’s focus here, which is very common.  Most groups will have 1 or 2 characters with good range dps, casting, or scrolling abilities work on the pillars.  Arcanes, rangers, and artificers make particularly good candidates.  It is not necessary to destroy the pillars quickly here and your melee party members will find their dps better applied to the boss.  You can also choose to have those melee who have acquired the forge buff work either on LoB or the pillars.  Unless you are severely lacking in ranged pillar killers, I recommend you go for LoB with the forge buff.

Attacking the LoB is not a simple matter of parking behind him, turning on auto attack, and going AFK for 10 minutes.  LoB is a very dynamic raid boss and requires not only the main tank to know and react to his special attacks, but the off tanks as well.  While each of his special attacks do have a tell, they are not much of a warning.  Given normal voice lag, if you are relying solely on someone else to call out all of his special attacks you will likely perish unless they are really on top of those calls.  To be sure, special attacks should be called out, not everyone will be looking at LoB, they should not be relied upon.  Especially as a melee, you need to know these tells and how to react.

To start let’s get into position to attack.  LoB does cleave but only in a forward arc.  You are safe to attack within a nearly 180 degree arc behind him.  You can use this to your advantage to set up with a better view.  For example, attacking with the forge in your screen can alert you to when the buff is activating.  You can also set up with the main tank in your view to watch for stuns and to see if they are attacking or shield blocking.

If you have a good tank they will set up quickly each time LoB resets or jumps.  Engage as soon as you are able but avoid pulling aggro.  If you find that you are getting aggro too fast for you main tank you will need to tone down your dps and you may also want to stand off to the side of the off tanks to mitigate their damage when he turns on you.  The goal is to make this fight as short as possible, but we also need to stay alive and keep LoB under control.  If you do acquire LoBs aggro, bring him to the tank and block. Only in extreme and dire circumstances should you run laps away from LoB.  Ranged characters should shoot from close range and also need to wait until the main tank is set up to prevent LoB from running out of intimidate range.  Before we move on, there are 2 exceptions to the rule of waiting for LoB to be set up after he lands.  The first is if he goes for a healer.  His attacks can inflict a spell failure even on divines.  The second is if he goes for the dog kiter where the main tank cannot intimidate lest they acquire dog aggro.  In either case, give the tank a moment, but get LoB off your key folks.

Once the fourth phase starts the party is back to killing trash.  However, don’t just blindly kill everything.  Many groups will save 1 or 2 assassins here to give some time to kill the dogs.  A good rule of thumb is don’t kill anything that’s dancing.  Once the trash is mostly dead it’s time to kill the dogs.  If you don’t have agro, attack them from behind to avoid damage.  Hopefully someone will be using break enchantment on the dog goo, but be ready to jump out of it if this is slow.  Also, try to attack the same dog to kill 1 faster thereby reducing the amount of dog goo and damage to whoever is tanking.

Phase 5 is more pillars, which I again covered in my previous segment, but for a quick recap go for the pillars.  LoB and trash should not be your concern, but your own helath and well being probably will be.  If you can scroll heal be ready to help the healers out, particularly with the general party.

Let’s talk about how to react to LoBs special attacks.  First, I will again emphasize the usefulness of learning both the visual AND the audio cues for LoBs special attacks.  They will save your life – seriously.

When LoB jumps in the air it is best if you go to the NW, NE, SW or SE edges of the circle.  This will drastically reduce your chances of being landed on.  You can also run to the center, you just need to remember to move out of the way after he lands so you don’t get run over.  Keep attacking LoB until he jumps though.

For LoBs stun attack clear out.  If you hear the thunderclap and you aren’t absolutely sure that the tank didn’t get stunned, back off for a second to be sure.  If the stun lands LoB will twirl his weapon behind him scoring several hits in rapid succession to anyone still there.  That thunderclap is actually the end of the audio cue for this attack. If you didn’t notice it was coming, you missed it and the stun attack has already been made.  As I mentioned before, you can adjust your positioning and camera angle to see whether or not the tank gets stunned.  It is in fact possible to attack LoB from the side without getting hit during this attack, however this is not recommended.  It is very easy to steal aggro from a stunned tank and if you do LoB may turn in such a way as to put his spinning blender in the stunned tanks face.  You may also become the target of the subsequent slam attack that finishes this special combo move.

LoBs whirlwind attack is his most potent and deadly attack.  He will start this attack by twirling his weapon overhead in a sort of windup.  Once you see this IMMEDIATELY stop attacking and back away.  This is twofold. First it gets you out of range.  This attack will sweep you from behind LoB in front of him allowing him to turn you into his personal piñata. Secondly it reduces the chances of you stealing aggro at the last minute.  If you do get aggro during this attack, jump into the water and let the healers know that you have aggro.  This is the safest way to react and is generally preferable to causing a party wipe.  If you are clever, when you back away you will stay close to the platform edge.

LoBs last special attack is his rain of blades.  He will crouch and shoot several blades from his back into the air.  Those blades will then fall from the sky hitting the entire platform except the center area, where you should run to.  Try not to get too clumpy however, LoB likes to comet fall.  The safe area is actually larger than you think so you can spread out a tad.  If you are able, pull out some heal scrolls and give the healers a hand here.  They will be trying to heal both the main tank and the dog kiter through the blades and it’s amazing how often one of them gets forgotten. You aren’t doing anything here, help them out.  Oh, and if you steal aggro of LoB, don’t go to the center.

That will end this week’s 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.