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Written by : Aspenach
Credits to : Chaose5, v2seraph and Xanthide
Introduction This guide is written as an add on to what Chaose has already done in his thread. I will be highlighting what a Guardian should take note of at the respective stages throughout the Desert Dragon Nest.
Style of Play
Generally I am a player that likes to dodge most of the attacks targeted at me without endangering the lives of my party members. The gears I owned is considered average at this point of time (with respect to CDN paladin population) and I do my best to maneuver out of harms way while maintaining aggro.
My humble gears as of now is mainly +10 Level 60 Epic with Skill Necklace (Guardian Force), 60S Healthy Earrings and 2 x 60S Critical Rings. My current HP is close to 530,000 and both my Magical and Physical Defense is 23,000.
By regulating between dodge, blocks and Iron Will for certain damage that I need to take head on I find myself able to survive most of the stages.
What is the difference between DDN compared to the other nests by far?
Desert Dragon Nest is by far the hardest nest I have ever attempted. It requires very precise maneuvering at times and you will need very good team work in order to survive. In short, DDN requires you to have high survivability and high damage output. Depending on your party's lineup, you as a Guardian or Crusader might be required to deal high amount of damage. (which can be pretty demanding)
Most of the bosses in DDN have skills that ignore aggro, for e.g. Flower's Fire Ball, Scorpion's charge...etc. These skills are normally aimed at one of the highest dps character within the party. Our job is to get back the aggro as soon as possible, many times chasing after the boss.
Divine Avatar our best friend can also work against us in this nest on stages like Scorpion and Flower, where we need to navigate the burning platforms with precision. Certain attacks of the bosses cannot be blocked as well, which requires you to avoid them at all costs.
So a Crusader or Guardian?
It is solely up to your preference and I would cover the advantages of each class in brief detail.
Guardian is able to contribute to the party's survivability through the use of Guardian Force, basking party members in a protective aura that grants Super Armor and Damage Reduction is definitely very useful. Collecting counters requires practice and juggling between Block and Stance Of Faith as some of the bosses's skills cannot be blocked.
Crusader provides very good burst damage (if well geared) and coupled with Time Acceleration buff can contribute a great deal to the overall party damage output.
I will be writing the guide based on a Guardian's perspective so for fellow Crusaders sorry... =)
Stage 1 - Flying Ship
Skills that cannot be blocked : Death Knight’s Dark Typhoon & Line Drive Skills
*Line Drive can be blocked but you will still faint
Skills that ignore Aggro : Snake Queen’s Hurricane, Death Knight's Red Wave
Snake Queen x4 HP Bar
- Provoking the Snake Queen is an easy task, you can collect counters from almost any of its skills. One of the common skills that the Snake Queen casts is the multi-slash, targeting the player with the highest aggro. This is the best skill in my opinion to collect counters as it has multiple hits but the skill has a slight push back effect so you might need to correct the position of the Snake Queen depending on your team strategy.
- You can regulate between Block and Stance of Faith to collect counters.
- Buff your party with Guardian’s Force to provide Super Armor and Damage Reduction Buff
- Contain Snake Queen in the middle of the map to ensure fast take down
Snake Queen x3 HP Bar
- 4 Lizards will spawn on each ends of the flying ship, allocate party members evenly to take care of the lizards
- Cast Guardian Force on party members when party gather at the center after killing the lizards
- Continue to provoke, regulating between Block and Stance of Faith to collect bubbles.
- Be careful of tail swipe as it can cancel your Provoke if you are not under the effect of Guardian Force or Super Armor buff
Snake Queen x1 HP Bar
Death Knight will be summoned
- Provoke the Death Knight away from the party to allow party to take down Snake Queen ASAP Or
- Buff your party members with Guardian Shield and focus the party's damage on the Snake Queen to kill it in the fastest possible time.
Death Knight ------------------------
Do not Provoke the Death Knight under these circumstances,when:
- Death Knight is casting Death Claw
- Death Knight is casting Line Drive
- Death Knight is casting Dark Typhoon
- Death Knight is casting Red Wave
Try to recognize the Death Knight skills casting patterns and provide Guardian Force to party members before Red Wave is cast. Without any sort of damage reduction buffs, any character with low defense (magical/physical) would not stand a chance against the Red Wave. Red Wave, Death Claw and his normal slash attacks can be blocked.
Option 1: If there is no Deva Howl or Miracle Relic
It is better to contain the Death Knight in the middle of the map if he is at more than 1 x HP. Red Wave only affects players who are directly in front of the Death Knight in a fan-shaped like damage pattern. By containing the Dark Knight in the middle provides more room for the party to maneuver.
*Take note that this strategy runs the risk of any character being the victim of Line Drive. There is a chance that character with low defense might die from a direct hit. Guardian should maintain aggro at all times so Line Drive will always be targeted at you. DO NOT block or tank the Line Drive as it will make you faint, so just side step when the Line Drive is about to hit you.
Option 2 : If Deva Howl or Miracle Relic is present
It is better to contain the Death Knight at the bottom/top,with the famous wall of relics to protect the party. This will reduce chances of “OMG, what the…” or “I didn’t see that coming…”
Death Knight has very slow casting animation so make full use of the opportunity to provoke once you see him recovering from his previous animation.
Death Knight x1.5 HP Bar
- 2 x Skeleton Bulls will be summoned and appeared at the center of the map
Option 1 : Kill the Skeleton Bulls first (recommended if party dps is low-avg or new to DDN)
Provoke the Death Knight away to either the top or bottom of the map to allow party members kill the Skeleton Bulls asap. Maintain aggro and ensure that when Death Knight is about to cast Line Drive, he is facing away from the party members.
Option 2 : Ignore the Skeleton Bulls and concentrate attack on Death Knight (more advanced, suggested for members who are already experienced in DDN)
- Cast continuous Guardian Force on party members to provide super armor and damage reduction buff to prevent any interruption. Provoke and contain the Death Knight in the middle but facing away from the party members. Provide heal when needed.
Death Knight x1 HP Bar
- 4 Lizards will be summoned at the edges of the map.
Casting of Dark Typhoon
*Take note that Death Knight will cast Dark Typhoon immediately after the 4 lizards is gone.
When you see the notification of the 4 Lizards spawning, immediately provoke and pull the Death Knight to the bottom or top of the map (whichever is nearer). Once the lizards are taken care of, immediately cast Divine Avatar on yourself to gain more speed when running away from the Death Knight.
The Dark Typhoon has a casting animation whereby he will plunge his sword with both arms into the ground. Even in Divine Avatar mode,the initial impact will throw you into the air, so please make sure to save your aerial evasion to recover from this. Use Shield Charge or Dash once you experience suction to gain some distance between you and the Dark Typhoon. Failure to evade and you will find yourself caught within the Dark Typhoon, where your HP will waste away at the blink of an eye.
Once the Dark Typhoon is gone, continue to provoke the Death Knight where your party members will resume to dealing damage. The Dark Typhoon has a casting time cool down of 45sec, so if you find your party not able to take down the Death Knight within the given time, please pull the Death Knight to the edge of the map and rinse repeat.
Do not run away too soon, make sure that the Death Knight is at the edge of the map and about to cast Dark Typhoon before running away. Should the Death Knight move to the center of the map to cast Dark Typhoon, there is a high chance that you will hear people screaming over YY or any other communication device you are using.
*Always remember to Armor Break the boss to provide damage boost to overall party dps.
[ The post was edited by Aspenach at Aug 8, 2013 8:16 pm ]
After the flying ship, the party can attempt the 4 available stages at any random order, namely Sand Worm, Scorpion, Manticore and Flower.
Skills that cannot be blocked : Roar
Skills that ignore aggro : none
What I will touch on is from the moment you enter the clearing to beginning the fight with Hazar. Basically this stage is rather easy for us. The Sand Worm has only a few skills that it casts over and over again.
Objective : To deplete the Super Armor of the Worm in order to deal actual damage to destroy it.
Sand Worm X 4HP - 2HP
From the start, provoke the Worm and make sure that it always face away from the rest of your party members. The Worm has a few skills that it can cast at you, namely Bite, Charge, Roar and Stomp. Other than Roar, the rest of the skills can be blocked so just regulate between Stance of Faith and Block to protect yourself. In the event that you get pushed away by Roar,immediately run back (Shield Charge) towards the boss to cast provoke again.
*In the event of a lost aggro, do not be too eager to get back the aggro, make sure that the Worm is not casting any skills when you are about to cast provoke.
For beginners who are attempting this nest, its best that you stay between 12-2 o'clock after provoking the Worm to ensure that you and the Sand Worm are far away from the rest of the party. This to prevent the rest of the party members from taking any damage from Stomps.
For advanced players, simply stay close to the Sand Worm which will be in the middle of the map. As soon as it casts Stomp, block or evade the skill and prepare to attack the Worm's head as it will be rooted to the spot for a few seconds. Cast Armor Break > Righteous Bolt > Electric Smite > Justice Crash to deplete the Super Armor of the boss. The Stomp deals high damage to whoever fails to avoid, so please take note.
There are only 2 ways to deplete the Super Armor of the boss, you can either try the advanced method above or wait for the Worm to cast the 3 Icy Pillar's skill, which I will share with you what to do.
3 Icy Pillars
The Worm will submerge and re-emerge itself from the sand to cast 3 Icy Pillars at 3 locations on the map.Our job is to provoke and pull the Worm to the Pillar that your party members are attacking. Take note that the Worm need to be within the yellow aura of the Pillar when the Pillar explodes to successfully deplete the Worm's Super Armor. This is also the best time to provide Guardian Force for your party members as they will be gathered.
*Key to pulling the Worm is after you successfully provoke the Worm, stand as far away from the Worm as possible so it will move towards where you want it to be.
Once your party has successfully deplete the Worm's Super Armor, it will faint and this is your only chance to deal actual damage to the Worm.
*Do not cast Divine Avatar to attack the Worm*
Sand Pit Hell
Run to your designated location and wait for the Sand Pit to spit out 3 Icy Pillars. (Yes, Icy Pillars again)
(Refer to Freedom Guide on the designated locations)
Cast Divine Avatar now and spam all your damaging skills on the Icy Pillars. Regardless of who is attacking the pillar with you, you need to reduce the HP of the Pillars to less than 50% asap.
*Failure to do the above or totally destroying the pillar due to accident will result in an instant party wipe.*
From now till the end of the combat, save your Divine Avatar for Sand Pit Hell.
Sand Worm X 2HP
The boss has a new skill which is Direct Stomp and Direct Stomp EX. Yours truly has “eaten” both of the skills before and glad to report that based on just 20k defenses, I won't die in one hit. You can still block Direct Stomp just like the regular Stomp or just evade it; shouldn't be too much of an issue as you will be looking at the Worm 90% of the time. If possible, shout out to your team mates when you see Direct Stomp.
Sand Worm x 1HP
A new skill will be cast by the Worm from now on, which is the Rolling Attack. This is one skill you want to avoid as it deals high damage. Just look at where it is coming from and evade it. The casting animation is pretty slow so it should be easy to avoid.
That basically sums up the battle of the Sand Worm, its skills can become very predictable after a while.
For the mechanics and details of this stage, you can check out Chaos's guide for more information. On this stage, the key to survival for yourself and your team mates will be the Guardian Force.
Skills that cannot be blocked : None
Skills that ignore aggro : FireBall
Flower x 4HP – 1HP
When you see the Flower cast the first Fire Ball, immediately cast Block and enter the fire patch. With that you are set for this stage. :)
Once you have Guardian Force, cast it immediately to grant protection to your entire party. The Guardian Force prevents any party members from been thrown backwards whenever they are hit.
Howto tackle some of the Flower's attacks: Roar– Without Guardian Force,simply move away to avoid. With Guardian Force on, there is no way it can flinch you. =)
Bite– Cast Block to gain Guardian Bubbles, or if your Block is on cool down simply move out of the range of the attack.
FireBall– As discussed above, its the best time to gather Guardian Bubbles (if you can).
Flame Geyser – Watch the patterns and dodge accordingly. You can block if you wish to as long as there is a Cure Relic nearby.
Stomp– Can be blocked, as the guide suggest it can be a one time stomp or triple stomp.
Magma Wave EX – Can be blocked but it would be better to find a safe spot to attack with the party members.
For the Fire Platforms, you will need to jump onto the platforms to escape the Larva Flood. Please remember to cast Stance Of Faith sparingly as you do not want to be in a situation where you are not able to jump.
Tip* Always provoke the Flower whenever you are on a platform after jumping to prevent aggro lost.
Flower HP x 1HP till down
-------------------------------------- Flame Meteor – Cast Divine Avatar immediately when you see Flame Meteor. Divine Avatar neglects the meteor damage and throw back effect making it effortless to run through. However, please watch out for your team mates as your movement speed can be faster than some of them.
This stage can be summed up as hold the aggro well, constantly cast Guardian Force, heal up and finally deal damage. Below is a video of us attempting this stage.
Stage– Mushroom Rock Canyon
In my opinion this is one of the harder stages in Desert Dragon Nest. As a Guardian you will need to hold the aggro and regulate your blocks and ensure a constant supply of Guardian Bubbles for the use of Guardian Force at critical moments.
Skills that cannot be blocked : Claw Swipe and Tail Swipe
Skills that ignore aggro : Charge
Skills that are good for collecting Bubbles :
ii) Poison Spin , get moving once you collect the bubbles to prevent getting poisoned.
Skills not recommended for collecting bubbles and should be used in emergencies
iii) Poison patches, but you will need to ensure that there is a Cure Relic Nearby
Scorpion x 4HP
At the start of the battle, you will need to provoke the Scorpion towards you and make it face away from your party members. The first 5 seconds of the battle is a good time to attack the boss so attack if you wish. :)
Make use of the first 2 HP bar of the Scorpion to learn its attacks and cool downs to know when is ideal for collecting Guardian Bubbles.
Scorpion x 3HP
The new skill at 3 HP bar is Quake as referenced from Chaos guide or what we commonly call it as "STOMP" This is a very useful skill to collect bubbles and if you are using Stance of Faith, you can even walk towards the Scorpion in the process. :)
Scorpion x 2HP
The Scorpion will have a new skill, called the Poison Prison. This is the highlight of this stage and all your Guardian Bubbles that you have been collecting so far is used to save your party members here.
When the Poison Prison is cast, everyone will be drawn towards the boss. Immediately cast Guardian Force once you recover and make your way to the nearest "Poison Door" There will be 8 "doors" within the Poison Prison and each will only open for 1.5seconds.
Within the Poison Prison, there is a small suction that is constantly tugging at you from the centre of the Scorpion. You need to inch forward to try and keep as close to the "Poison Door" as possible.
If you missed the chance to get out, with the blessings of the Guardian Force you can attempt to charge out of the "Poison Door". However this is not recommended as it will inflict poison status on yourself. Poison status if not cured fast can drain as much as 200K HP within 6-8 seconds.
My tactic so far has been to keep myself as close to the "Poison Door" as possible. With any speed buff from Acrobat or Wax from Loli, you should be able to Shield Charge out just fine without having to force yourself out.
Clerics weakness is in our mobility so just keep practising until you get it right. Lastly, if you are inflicted with poison status and the Poison Prison has somehow claim your priest(s) or there is no cure relic available, try to heal yourself instead of Divine Avatar. If you cast Divine Avatar, you will risk losing all your hard earned bubbles. (very important)
Scorpion x 1HP
The Scorpion will have a new skill, Poison Spin EX. What it means is that instead of spinning stationary, it will spin itself towards the nearest player/player with aggro while throwing poison patches at each player.
While drawing aggro from the Scorpion, it is always important to stay close to it especially at the last HP bar. The Poison Spin Ex deals high damage to any player it attacks but it is a good skill to collect Guardian Bubbles. Its multiple hits will easily give you plenty of free bubbles. However you need to make sure that the Poison Spin EX do not trap you into a dead-end.
As you can see the most important thing in this stage revolves around drawing aggro, staying close to the boss and casting Guardian Force to save party members while within Poison Prison.
Stage– Manticore Storm Ruler Zuul
This is the easiest stage for all Guardians. The stage mechanics are pretty simple and straight forward. The only thing you need to take note of is the Tracing Tornados as that is the only skill that can kill anyone upon contact. The rest of how you want to handle the fight is pretty much free play. Skills that cannot be blocked : Claw Swipe, Stomp, Tracing Tornado and Crescent Cleave
Skills that ignore aggro : Charge
Skills that are good for collecting Bubbles :
i) Light Balls
ii) Trailing Explosions
While provoking the Manticore, try to stay at the head of Zuul so that you can have a clearer view of its attacks. With Guardian Force on, you can spam all your attacking skills at the Manticore as almost nothing would be able to interrupt you.
While running away from the Photon Missiles, try to keep to the centre of the map to make more space for other party members who will be running the exterior. With a Priest's Holy Shield, you can even stand still and take in all the Photon Missiles damage. Cast Iron Will to negate the negative defense down status that the Photon Missiles inflict and resume Provoking the Manticore.
The best time to cast Guardian Force is when your party move forward to attack the Manticore. So that is pretty much it for the Manticore stage. Enjoy~
I have chosen to omit the Golem Stage in this guide as its going to be pretty much the same as what Chaos has written.
[ The post was edited by Aspenach at Aug 9, 2013 6:12 pm ]
Objective : To destroy the 4 Eye Of Life Pillars so you can start dealing damage to the Dragon.
Please get a priest to cast Protection Shell on you before entering the field as you will be required to stand apart from your party when the battle commence. Once inside, our main purpose is just to hold the aggro of the Dragon while the rest of the party destroy the Eye Of Life Pillars. Make sure that you successfully cast "Provoke" every time once it cools down. If you ever get interrupted by the Dragon's attacks while casting provoke, please notify your party members as the Dragon is bound to turn towards them.
I would also recommend casting Iron Will constantly to reduce any amount of damage that you might take. You can either move to the right or left claw of the Dragon when provoking to keep it facing your general direction. Cast Block or Stance of Faith to start collecting Guardian Bubbles.
*Note, all attacks from the Dragon will clear our "block" status upon contact. What it means is that you will only be able to block once. This does not apply to Stance Of Faith.* Claw Swipe (Medium Damage) - The boss swing her claw from left towards right or vice versa.
This skill can only be blocked once (unless using Stance of Faith), not the most ideal skill to collect counters. I usually like to dodge it.
Claw Slam (Medium damage) - Slam her claw onto the ground
This skill can only be blocked once (unless using Stance of Faith), not the most ideal skill to collect counters. I usually like to dodge it.
Explosion of Eye Of Life Pillar 1
Once you see the notice "The Eye Of Life is exploding", immediately make your way towards the nearest Eye of Life Pillar. (Which in our case is the 6 o'clock position). Always keep an eye on your party members in the background, once you noticed they start moving away from the Eye of Life Pillar they are attacking, that is your cue.
Stay within the yellow glowing portion of the Eye Of Life and continue to Provoke and dodge the Dragon's attacks. (The Eye of Life do not grant protection against Dragon's attacks) Wait for the notice "The Eye of Life has exploded" to completely fade off the screen before moving out.
So why do we need to move away from the Eye Of Life to Provoke the Dragon?
The Eye Of Life will be disabled for a short period of time every time it receives damage from either the players or the Dragon. Moving away ensures that the Dragon do not land any direct attacks on it and also give us space to cast Stance of Faith.
Explosion of Eye Of Life Pillar 2
Do the same thing for Pillar 1. Once the second Eye Of Life has exploded, Provoke and pull the Dragon to face the 9 o'clock direction. You can use the first destroyed Eye Of Life as a marker and position yourself there. Once the Dragon has faced the 9 o'clock position, you will need to move towards the Dragon's left claw. The main idea is to reduce as much distance you have to cover when running back to your 6 o'clock Eye Of Life.
Explosion of Eye Of Life Pillar 3
You need to watch your party members more closely and determine when to move. Seeing the system notice might be a little too late. Be very careful that while moving back to the 6 o'clock Eye Of Life, you will be gathered with the rest of your party members. Please do not cast Shield Charge or Guardian Force by mistake.
Once the 3rd Eye Of Life has exploded, make your way back to the 9 o'clock position again while ensuring that the Dragon is facing you. Once the dragon faces 9 o'clock, you have done your job for this phase. Heal yourself if there is a need and wait for your party members to destroy the last Eye Of Life. Once you see the last Eye Of Life is destroyed, your party can now officially deal damage to the Dragon.
Desert Dragon Phase 2 :
Objective : To reduce the HP of the Dragon till 14xHP
Throughout the whole of Phase 2, you will be standing at the head of the Dragon. You will need to position yourself to the right claw of the Dragon while the party gather at the left claw to deal damage. Provoking at the right claw, will reduce the possibility of the Dragon casting any skills with its left claw.
Suggested skills to collect counters : Sand Pit Stomp
Sand Pit (Low damage) - This skill is ideal for collecting bubbles, if you ever find yourself short of. Cast block or Stance Of Faith and get within it to collect bubbles. Sand Pit also has a bug that overwrites all other damage while you are within it. For example if you are within the Sand Pit while the boss cast Sand Breath, you will only take the Sand Pit damage.
Stomp (Medium damage) - If you use the method that I am adopting, (From the most zoom out view, zoom in once on the mini-map) you should be able to see the boss disappears and appears. Once she does that cast block or SOF to collect counters.
Please watch you own hp, cast Iron Will and Heal yourself. You may also cast Guardian Force on yourself if need be.
As for the rest of the Dragon's skills, you can refer to Chaose Guide...
Desert Dragon Phase 3 :
Objective : To reduce the HP of the Dragon till 10.5xHP
After you are at one o'clock, wait to see who has the black marking above his/her head.
If the black marking is on you... (==")
Look to your right and wait for the Tornado Tracing Pit to form. Once you see the sandy Tornado appears, start moving to your left. While moving stick as close to the edge as possible. You should end up around 10-11 o'clock, turn to look at the Tornado again to ensure that it has stopped moving before running back to the rest of your party members.
If the black marking is not on you nor any of your key party members (Key Party members, I mean Elestra and Force User as they are needed to disabled the manticore)
Proceed to provoke the Scorpion. You have to make sure that you do not accidentally provoke the Manticore as both of them are quite close to each other. If you accidentally provoke both, it will usually be followed by screaming, shouting and then party wipe. =D
If the black marking is on your Key Party Members (You have to live life dangerously)
Instead of provoking the Scorpion, leave the Scorpion and provoke the Manticore. The Dark Manticore is a power up version of its former self so try not to get hit at all. With my HP, I can barely take two hits from it.
Before you provoke the Manticore, cast Divine Avatar to prevent and flinches and reduce the damage taken. Move to 12 o'clock pulling the Manticore with you away from the party. Be very aware of the party member with the black marker, the tornados that are surrounding the edge of the map and ensure that you dodge the Manticore's attacks.
Once you see the player with the Black Marking runs to join up with the rest of the party, cast block and run back to the centre of the map. You should be just in time to get your last hit on the Scorpion.
Desert Dragon Phase 4 and 5 :
Objective : To reduce the HP of the Dragon till 5xHP
This Phase will be more painful for your team as most of the attacks targeting you will hit your party members as well. Double up for heals and aura to try and keep your team's HP high at all times.
At the start of this Phase, you will need to switch on your Elemental Aura. The Elemental Aura is needed to escape the Bind Stomp swiftly.
Once the dragon's HP is depleted to 5, the battle will enter Phase 5. The highlight of this stage is the Rotating Breath. As Clerics, we have one of the lowest movement speed in game so when it comes to tackling the Rotating Breath, tab and run. Always save your Guardian Force for here as it is the only skill that can protect you from biting the dust when you accidentally get hit by the incoming tornados.
With Speed Buffs from Acrobat or Wax from Academics
By going into non-combat mode, you should be able to make it through the Rotating Breath unharmed. Try to navigate the inner circle if you are unsure.
Without the Speed Buffs
Cast Divine Avatar and run! Take note of your speed increase and do not run into the Dragon's Breath as it can kill you instantly.
Basically that sums up the entire Desert Dragon Nest with this Guardian Guide. For a more detailed guide of all the stages, please refer to Chaos guide. Understanding your limitations is the start to tackling this nest. Good luck to all the raid teams out there and Fighting!~
[ The post was edited by Aspenach at Aug 9, 2013 6:10 pm ]
Hey Tarkel, thanks for the links, I am still collecting some footage for the rest of the stages. Chaos and Mon asked me to go into more details of tanking like when to shield block, gather counters for each bosses and etc...
Have been busy with my Barb with t1 so hopefully I can get some good footage soon.
Thanks again. :)