Artifact Challenge

Mage Tower is back up….this time I will get that Owl-on-a-Stick!
I’ve been blowing [Nethershard] in an effort to receive [Oneths Intuition] from the vendor. Only got 1700…. seventeen attempts. Easy, right?

First time I attempted, this was roughly a month ago, found myself stuck at the first phase. Not recognising really what was happening, just going for it. Influential problem looking back now I was not popping everything I had. Even potentially stack cooldowns. Figure that’s the raider/PvP’er rationality coming through. Would never pop [Incarnation: Tree of Life], [Potion of Prolonged Power] and [Perfectly Preserved Cake] at the same time! Just screams rank 1 overheal log xD

Found the challenge extremely frustrating. Type of frustration that starts to irrationally blame external influences: ‘this is overtuned, it’s impossible to complete’, ‘my mouse mat moved’, ‘I thought I felt the rotation of the earth for a moment then, it put me off’.

Recall at one point. My poor partner received a look that could literally burn a Soul out of a body, for sneezing during one of my better efforts at Stage one….I know what you’re thinking right, how could I forgive her after that.

Haven’t tackled during the month between. Don’t even know if it was up at any point. But it was up now, and I’m ready. Even prepped the partner to ‘keep low, move fast’ for the next few hours. I trawled the interweb to, forearm with knowledge of the talent builds, gear, tips, tricks, cheatcodes, anything to beat this. Big shout out to:

UberGoose
MadskillzzTV
Turox

Each of the videos gave greater insight on how to finally conquer Thorn in this challenge. Now is the time. Actually had @MadskillzzTV stream playing while on these attempts, so when you watch the video please excuse the audio ­čÖé

Setup
Operating with a normal 5-man build for this just as if I was Mythic+’ing. [Abundance]
with [Germination] is super overpowered. Instant [Healing Touch] is soo nice. The healing output is insane, plus the mana per heal must be a number so high, it probably beats my arena rating (1400cr gladiator right here).

[Incarnation: Tree of Life] is a must in my opinion. Hate this talent, not even sure why so much, but I do. The idea of burst healing on a Druid just seems like a shoe that shouldn’t fit. Just like Crocs, yeah it works, perhaps even quite comfortable, but no, just no.

Gear
A couple seriously juicy drops this week, [Seal of Saltheril], [Parasitic Spore]. Hovering around the 911 mark for effective healing weights. Absolutely love [Prydaz, Xavaric’s Magnum Opus] for the shield, if you’ve been reading this blog you’ll know that DEAD is a word and format that appears often within. But the stats are equally as tasty. [Aman’Thul’s Wisdom] for the extended [Rejuvenation] duration. Going with the overall thought process of ‘if I’m alive, I can heal’, [Prydaz] – check. I want to DPS, but must have HoTs running, [Aman’Thul’s Wisdom] – Check.

I also made a quick and dirty set using the orange tranq Ledgeo boots [Essence of Infusion] replacing [Prydaz]. Stage five, you personally take no damage and require to prioritise heal three adds, very quickly, and from very low. Boots are super good at this, shame that Nighthold isn’t more [Inner Peace] friendly.

If you’ve not seen the boots before, see picture below:

Hahaha ok, no more references to Crocs I’m feeling ill. If this goes viral I could be an affiliate partner with them xD ‘3% off Crocs, 75% off dignity’

Stage One
Marked the Commander before the start. So many times I’ve tried this and wondered why I can no longer heal. Only to find my mana has been drained, and I’m taking serious ticking damage. Marking the Commander made it just that little bit obvious to see him, and to aid preventing the sting hitting Granny by accident.

This isn’t a guide if you want one, check out the link above. I will briefly go over my thoughts on my attempt.

Stage One
Single archer – just kill him, boring phases till last really. Mage and Archer combo actually got super low as watching stream ­čÖé Mage and Soldier, didn’t even bother to use Typhoon at this point. Done this stage about 20 times now, feel like second nature. Mage, double Soldier, usual bearform Regen trick or Blink / Votex.

Finally, Mage Soldier and Archer, this is ‘you’ve done it’ moment or you’re DEAD. Popping everything here Tree/Innovate, Perfectly Preserved Cake trinket, Potion of prolonged Power. The whole shabang!!!

Such substantial damage coming in, need 500k to keep up at least. More if you want to use a spare second to help with damage. Don’t Typhoon the Mage into the gate. It’s a nightmare to hide from Mana Sting. Soldier and Sting fixate is almost, if not certainly a wipe. Once the mage has fallen, time to break, sit on the floor and chill mana regen.

Stage Two
The stage is timed, so hid the display on the right otherwise I’ll just panic and watch the number tick away helplessly. Bearforming to start to get a greater shield from [Prydaz] while dialogue occurs. Pre-HoT’ing, then DoT’ing up the Flickering Eyes. Started recently using Scan tab targeting, quick switching on all the Eyes. Double DoTs on first two, Sunfire and Moonfire. Single Sunfire on rest.

Now the damage comes in. The first burst deflected by [Prydaz] shield. Second, the HoTs have squared this away quickly. Third, needs some healing attention. DoTs are now starting to drop off, reapplying quickly. After finding the first stage so hard, I had a horrible tendency to relax here. Found myself wiping to silly mistakes couple of times at this point.

Felspite Dominator and Fel bats
Know that the Fel Bats need to die first. easy enough as low health,
trying to also squeeze behind an orb that’s moving away for minimised movement. Damage can easily catch you off guard as it’s a pretty boring phase. but initially, it’s not low. Once all Bats are dead, I continued to hit the Dominator. If your hurt, then HoT and open gate, such a long open time on this.

Just realised this is the attempt may go online so switched down the volume on @MadskillzzTV stream.

Gate drops. Dispelled feared add and popped Tree to spam into damaged soldier stage with Regrowths. This point is three minutes out from concluding stage, when you will require Tree again. DoTs on Corrupted Risen Arbalest and Typhoon him during cast. A moderate amount of damage here popped Potion of Prolonged Power, on safe side also maximising DPS output.

The Gauntlet
This is the most infuriating step of the stage. Narrow walkway with Unstable Fel Orbs that hurts, LOTS. Got half way and blinked up the stairs… A number of times blink didn’t jump forward, just ran at full speed into an Orb of death. Panic Bearform and FRegen at the gate as I grazed an Orb or three on the landing. Oh, don’t stay in Bearform by the way. Furry fat ass can get hit while opening the door.

Stage Three
Dread Corruptor with Flickering Eyes, DoT Corruptor, DoT Eyes, pre-HoT. Didn’t even worry about spinning orbs of doom, multi-tasking just hit its limit. Lots of movement here. Too much, think I actually ran through the same beam several times I was moving so sporadically (just stand and heal through it lol)

Stage Four
Long Dialogue and plenty of time to wait for cooldowns to come back up. Also switched gear here for Croc Tranq set. No food buff so eating now as I’m this far xD

Finishes talk….end of the stage, if only all were that easy.

Stage 5
Started pre-HoT’ing at the point he says ‘Demons are so quick to turn on one another’, got about 5 secs after that. Not sure if this is set every time, number of attempts here now are low. But one team member takes more damage than other. Chosen member becomes my life bloom target. All stand in one spo,t so max uptime for Efflorescence. Rejuvenation on everything, needed or not, allowing for Abundance instant Healing Touches.

First wave of adds
Noticed you can’t heal one on the left, as soon as can to the one in the middle. Extra couple GCDs of healing makes a difference. Potion of Prolonged Power, Tree, couple Rejuvenations and a Wild Growth then spammed Regrowth as fast as my little finger could spam (should of also innovate during instant extremely expensive Regrowth phase). Need a macro to innovate and tree at the same time as such a mana suck. But all three adds were healed to full.

Refreshing HoTs on the team, don’t panic if they are low by next wave as you will be Tranqing. Cast a Wild Growth first as mastery stacks with tranq. All three healed again. Re-pre-HoT’ed (hell of a word, how did spell checker not implode then) and cast innovate here to spam Regrowths again only need two so all focus on single target healing. All three again. Stage clear. No adds at all.

Final Stage
Think I’ve only been here once before, had a decent pull which only had two adds. Died as I bearformed the blast which killed two members. Had time to prep though as more dialogue about his minions. Gear swap back to normal [Prydaz]/Aman’Thul setup and sitting down to drink for much-needed mana…wait what?! Quick transition, there is no extended dialogue without adds!!

Normally the time to drink, catch your breath, nope not this time. Lord Erdris Thorn. The only guy now standing between Medacus and that Owl-on-a-stick, has just caught me sitting on the floor drinking. So unprepared, don’t even think my hands were on my keyboard and mouse when he landed his first blow! I’m now doing this at 55% mana..RIP!

DoT him up early. The blast hurts, a tonne. Potion of prolonged power is all I have left. Everything is on cooldown. I’m done for, Thorn is gonna nuke me without breaking a sweat.

Kept getting the raid wide blast, mixed with pool ability. Was in position to drop pool, then I’d run and the blast would hit. Then I’d stand in middle and the pool would drop. It’s all back to front and topsy-turvery. Worse attempt EU.

Not sure if the team can die from a blast or just sit at one health, as this is where they were almost consistently. Blast is the only real damage they take but must be topped off before next one lands.

As the last of the non-green floor was covered by a pool. I knew I was DEAD…I wasn’t going to stop though!! Thorn was now at 12%, my DoTs are running, team members were giving it all, I could tell.

I can’t let them down now. Get as many HoTs out as I can now!! – DEAD

Turns out only missed a couple of seconds, Thorn was down. Although I wasn’t sure if this attempt counted or not.

pings of ‘GZ’ messages start flooding in…it was finally done.

If you got this far into the blog, Thank you. Click on that ‘like’ button, share it on whichever social media platform you wish and/or leave a comment. Join the journey and watch as Medacus progresses Nightghold.

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