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Epic Education 27: Lord of Blades 5

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 27: “The Lord of Blades part 5: Pillars of the Forge.”

During the first and last phase of the Lord of Blades boss fight the Creation Forge is activated.  To deactivate the forge the party must destroy the conduit pillars that are active.  There are 12 pillars placed in the arcane sludge that surrounds the main platform and if you look closely they are placed in symmetric sets of 4.  During the first forge activation the inner most set of 4 pillars becomes activated while the remaining 8 do not activate until the final phase.

Each pillar has a narrow point at the top and the bottom, these are their weak points and where they must be attacked.  When a pillar is active these points will glow with a yellow graphic.  It can sometimes be tricky to get a hard lock on these pillars, but they are pretty easy to target in mouse look mode.  Once you destroy both the top and the bottom portion of a pillar it will fall and “sink” into the arcane sludge.

The pillars are neutral constructs and their hit points do scale with difficulty.  The pillar tops have about 1/3 the hit points that their bottom counterparts have, but they are only attackable through range attacks and spells.  The bottom pillars are able to be attacked in melee by a player who has acquired the forge buff.  The outer 4 pillars are outside of normal spell range however and only ray spells will reach them.

While the forge is active every 30 seconds or so the forge will grant a buff.  If a player does not grab the buff the Lord of Blades will.  For a player this buff will increase their damage output, decrease spell point costs, and grant the ability to float for just under a minute.   A player will notice 2 icons in their buff bar.  The first is a blue icon in the shape or a person.  This is the actual forge buff and it does not give you a timer.  The second icon is a black box with a red slash.  This does have a timer and it indicates how long until you can reacquire the forge buff.  If you enter the center area while the forge is charging or active before this timer runs out you will be put into a state similar to flesh to stone.  The forge buff will end when this timer reaches about 1:10.  Note however that the Lord of Blades is not prevented from acquiring multiple stacks of the forge buff.

To ensure that the Lord of Blades does not acquire this buff players should keep an eye on the center of the platform to watch for its arrival.  The main tank can usually position himself in such a way as to keep the forge in partial view and dog kiter should also keep an eye out for it.  Depending on their positioning options, the off tanks can also position themselves in such a way as to keep attacking with the forge in full view.  Most groups will assign a forge order.  If this is the case and you are next up, you should pay special close attention to the buff activation. However, if this person is slow anyone who is able should absolutely steal the buff from them (the kiter and healers are good candidates for this).

The forge pillars are vulnerable to a few effects that will instantly destroy them regardless of their current hit points.  The first of these effects is a monk’s void 4 attack.  On a vorpal strike this attack will instantly destroy a pillar.  The other effect is one of the random effects from prismatic ray or prismatic spray.  This effect will also instantly destroy a pillar, and this effect can be used with the scroll version of these spells (though if you are using scrolls just bring the ray versions, they share scroll timers and the spray does not reach most of the pillars).  Be aware that this “cheesy” tactic may be changed at a future time and that it typically takes several casts by these spells to get the correct spell effect on the pillar.

Let’s spend some time talking specifically about the 2 sets of pillars and how to approach them as a group.

During the first set of 4 pillars it is not necessary to destroy them all as quick as you are able, though this is certainly an option.  However, your initial primary focus should be the trash.  Most groups will have their melee start focusing on LoB once the trash is dead, this allows them to use their best form of dps instead of a dinky thrower.  There is however a choice between having those with the forge buff attacking LoB or the bottom pillars.  I recommend LoB so long as he is in position and the main tank is ready for the off tanks to engage.  I find that this is the best utilization of a party’s dps.  To destroy the pillars I have 1 or 2 ranged characters and/or prismatic scrollers work on the pillars.  By splitting the party up in this fashion you allow people to do what they do best thereby utilizing their skills more efficiently.  A skilled kiter may also be able to help on the pillars.

It is an option to save a pillar to further utilize the forge buff throughout the fight to increase your dps against the LoB.  However if you chose to do this I recommend that you destroy all but 1 pillar and that you reduce this pillar to a sliver of health.  This way if you find that your group gets into a tight spot or is having problems coordinating the forge buff you can eliminate this complication.  I also recommend destroying all the pillars by the third phase to prevent complications with the forge activating during a rain of blades.

During the final phase our approach to the pillars is different.  At this point we are putting everything we have into pillars because that’s all that remains to determine victory.  That means for most melee focused folks the thrower is going to get some work.

Now we don’t need to destroy every pillar.  The last pillar or 2 will go down together.  This means that any progress on the last pillar is wasted, so we want to focus our efforts for maximum efficiency.  The main party will start working on the same pillar (let’s say the pillar at 11 o clock).  Pull out your thrower and begin by shooting the top of the pillar.  Once the top is dead start working on the bottom of the pillar.  When you get the forge buff jump out onto the arcane sludge and work on the bottom pillar.  Make sure you jump off the platform to ensure proper floating. If you have any dps boosts, use them at this point ’cause there is nothing to save them for.  When a pillar is destroyed move on to the next in a clockwise or counterclockwise fashion and repeat for each pillar.  Remember to shoot the tops first, a forged melee can usually destroy at least 1 bottom pillar, depending on difficulty, but they can’t reach the tops.

Scrollers should work ahead of the main party.  The idea here is to avoid instakilling a pillar that the party of melee throwers just spent 2 min chucking at.  Go for fresh pillars whenever possible.  Especially on lower difficulties, casters may find it to be more efficient to primarily use spells.  If your party has strong ranged capabilities you might focus on the pillar bottoms since they have almost 3 times the hit points for maximum efficiency.

Ranged focus characters can focus on pillar tops.  Start with the main party but move onto the next pillars once each top has been destroyed.  This will save the scrollers some time and scrolls by not needing to shoot the tops as much.

Again, keep an eye out for the forge buff.  You will probably have a forge order again, but make sure LoB doesn’t get the buff.  Anyone who isn’t in the forge order should look for a chance to steal the forge from a slow (or dead) teammate in the forge order.

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.