Gearing and Preparation
There are some debates on if full Ascended gear if needed for the first boss. At a minimum you should have Ascended trinkets and weapons as they give a bigger bonus than exotics compared to armor. Raids are currently fairly challenging content where 1-2 seconds can make the difference between a kill and a wipe. You need to have a min/maxing mentality where you do everything you can to pull your weight.
Disclaimer: I want to preface this section by saying that there is no universal optimal composition. This is simply what worked for us and may be different for you. Do not read this at face value and think this is the meta or other classes are incapable of doing it. Vale Guardian doesn’t have a very tight DPS check so you can really bring whatever you want as long you ensure there is sufficient healing, alacrity, quickness, fury and might stacks.
What I posted below is a party composition we came up with that we decided was optimal for us. It is not for every raid group.
In general the party composition is 1 Healer, 1 Tank, 1 Chronomancer, 1 Warrior, 2 Heralds, 3 Condition damage dealers, and fill the rest with whatever Power DPS
- Healer is usually Druid/Tempest in Zealot (Magi can work as a cheap alternative) armor/weapon with Monk runes and Cleric trinkets.
- Tank could be Dragonhunter, Revenant, Reaper, Warrior, Scrapper, Chrono or Tempest. You want to run as much Toughness as you can so your healer doesn’t pull aggro off you since aggro is Toughness based. Different tanks have different preferences with some running Berserker armor with toughness Runes and Celestial Trinkets.
- Chronomancer should be in Berserker armor/weapons with ideally Runes of Leadership for that extra Boon Duration.
- Warrior should be running Berserker armor with Strength runes. You want to have banners and Phalanx Strength. Headbutt is great for breaking Break Bars but you can bring Battle Standard to revive downed players.
- Herald is needed for the boons, especially the Facet of Nature for the 50% Boon duration buff and the Fury and Might facets. You want to place one in each subgroup to help with the boon sharing. They should be running Berserker armor/weapons with Scholar runes. You will want to be in Glint/Mallyx as Shiro isn’t needed with Chronomancer providing the quickness.
- Condition damage dealers are usually engineers since they have a lot of utilities that can help but other condition classes are also viable. You will want to have three condition dealers for the split during fight. For these condition dealers you want to use Viper armor/weapons with Berserker runes, Sinister trinkets and Rampager backpiece
Our exact comp in the kill video was the following.
- 1 Druid Healer
- 1 Dragonhunter Tank
- 1 Chronomancer
- 3 Condition Engineers
- 2 Heralds
- 2 Berserkers
- Utility Primer and Metabolic Primer if you can afford them. They cost 150 gems each.
- Delicious Rice Ball and Furious Tuning Crystal for healer.
- Fried Golden Dumpling (or Chocolate Omnomberry Cream) and Bountiful Sharpening Stone for Chronomancer.
- Bowl of Sweet and Spicy Butternut Squash Soup or Seaweed Salad and Bountiful Sharpening Stone for Herald.
- Fried Golden Dumpling and Bountiful or Potent Superior Sharpening Stone for Warrior.
- Rare Veggie Pizza and Toxic Focusing Crystal for condition damage dealers.
- Bowl of Sweet and Spicy Butternut Squash Soup and Potent Superior Sharpening Stone for general power DPS.
You need to have a ranged party of 5 players whose job is run to the green circles as soon as they spawn. Druid, Chronomancer, and condition ranged classes are great for this.
Additionally, you need to have a party of 3 condition damage dealers to go to the Red Guardian when the split phase happens at 66% and 33%.
- Red Seeker Orbs spawn every 20s
- Teleport blue circles spawn every 9s and persist for 2s
- Green circles spawn every 15s and takes 5s to charge up.
- AoE sector change every 20s
- Breakbar AoE occur every 30s
The fight is divided into 5 phases. Two of the phases are split phases which occur at 66% and 33%. Vale Guardian has 22 million HP and an enrage timer of 8 minutes.
This phase will last until the boss reach 66%. With good DPS you can finish this phase around or under a minute.
The Vale Guardian fight area is a circular area divided into 3 equal sectors, each with a different colored pylon in the middle (Red, Green and Blue).
At start of the fight the tank should drag the boss to a pylon next to the Speed Mushrooms and keep him stationary to ensure max DPS. Do not attack the boss until the tank has him positioned properly as initiating combat will start the timer. Tank can avoid the teleporting blue circle circles by dodging 1 second after they appear back into the pylon wall. We used the blue pylon here for easy split in phase 2. Melee DPS can use weave in every 15 seconds to pick up the Speed Mushrooms buff which also increase your attack speed by 10%.
The boss does have a cleave melee attack so you will want to face him away from the raid. However, he does turn when he spawns the blue teleporting circles but he will not cleave the raid so there is nothing for the melee to fear. The arrow undernearth him will show you which area he is facing.
Red Seeker Orbs
Three red seeker orbs spawn every 20s directly next to each of the color pylons. Their goal is to move towards the players and deal significant damage to them. They are immune to blind but you can use immobilize or knockback to push them away. This is especially important when they migrate towards players standing in the green circles
Blue Teleporting Circles
These blue circles spawn every 9 seconds usually within melee range of the Vale Guardian. They last for about 2 seconds and then they will explode, dealing damage and teleporting anyone caught in them to a random location. Dodges/blocks/evades all work against them and usually you have enough time to simply sidestep away from them. They can become problematic if they spawn within green circles and teleport players out of it.
These green circles spawn every 15s in a random location in the same sector as the boss. The circle could be close to the boss or far away but it is always in the same sector. You have about 5 seconds to get 4 players into them to negate a raidwide damage. Each player standing inside the circle will reduce 25% of the raidwide damage. There is an inner green circle with a lightning orb on top that get smaller and smaller and before it become a lightning flash. If you don’t have 4 players standing in the the green circle when this lightning flash happens, your raid will take damage. Downed players do not count so if you have 4 players and one of them gets downed while standing inside the circle, your raid will still take the damage. Even with 3 players standing inside the circle, the raid wide damage is enough to down anyone not in full HP and can cause an unrecoverable mess.
This green circle is usually the number one reason for raid wipes. While simple mechanically, the green circle could spawn in a far away location, or players standing in them could get teleported by the blue circles or get downed by red seeker orbs. Therefore it is very important to use your knockbacks if you see the seeker robs approaching to keep them away from the green circle. You need to assign a ranged team of 5 players whose job is solely to run into the green circles as soon as they see it spawn and someone on voice comms will need to call them out when they spawn.
Phase 2 (Split)
Phase 2 triggers once the boss is at 66% HP. Depending on your raid’s DPS this could be anywhere from 7 minutes to 6 minutes left on the timer. The Vale Guardian will become immune to damage and run to the middle before disappearing. You will see lightning beams connecting him to the three pylons during this phase transition.
You should have decided pre-fight which members of your raid team are going to each guardian. For the red guardian you will need 3 condition damage dealers. Only tank need to go to the green guardian while the rest of the raid can stay at the blue guardian. You only have a few seconds to get into the right colored section to get the attunement buff. Once you get this attunement buff, you will receive massive damage if you are inside the red circle of a different colored guardian unless your guardian has being killed. Therefore, you must stay by your assigned color guardian at all times unless otherwise instructed.
For Blue Guardian there are two key mechanics: boon strip and green circle.The green circle mechanic is identical as the one in the first phase but you only need 3 people inside the green circle. The green circle in this phase will spawn pretty close to the Blue Guardian so you should have no problem getting into it in time. For boon strip, the Blue Guardian gains a buff that make him immune to damage every 10 seconds. You will need to remove this via boon strip. Chronomancer sword autoattack will do this job but Revenants can also boon strip in Mallyx.
Once the Blue Guardian is at 0 health, he will gain a breakbar that you will need to remove in order to finish him off. Do not waste your big crowd control abilities here as you will need them later in Phase 3. If you run two Revenants, one of them can use their Sword 5/Axe 5 and then Staff 5 to fully break it.
Initially Green Guardian will be tanked by the tank at the green pylon. Once the Blue Guardian has being defeated, the tank should drag the Green Guardian to the sector intersection between green and blue so that the Blue Guardian team can deal damage to it. The Blue Guardian team will take a bit of damage from the blue orbs since they are standing inside Green Guardian’s AoE zone but the damage is healable so Druids should save their Celestial Avatar form for this. The Green Guardian’s special attack is the blue teleporting circles so make sure you keep an eye out for them. If you have good DPS you should only see 1-2 blue teleporting circle attacks at the most. Like the Blue Guardian, there will be a breakbar to break at end of the fight. You other Revenant should be able to handle it.
Red Guardian is condition team’s job. Ideally you will want to have three condition damage dealers on this team to ensure a painless and speedy kill. The Red Guardian can be only damaged by condition damage so power DPS are useless here. Watch out for the Seeker Orbs and once the breakbar is up have one Engineer drop a Supply Crate stun and others use Flamethrower 3 and Big ol’ Bomb to finish off the bar. With three condition damagers, Red Guardian should die about the same time as the Green Guardian. If you somehow finish early, prepare for the Vale Guardian but do not help Green Guardian team unless they need it.
Phase 3 lasts from 66% to 33%. It will have the same mechanics as Phase 1 with two new mechanic additions. Due to the movement in this phase, warriors are advised to drop their banners in the middle of the circular room.
Starting with the Green Sector and rotating clockwise, a sector of the room will be covered in AoE for 20s at a time. The rotation will be Green –> Blue –> Red. While this sector is covered in AoE, anyone traversing through it will take significant damage and can be downed if they are not at full health. Need less to say if you get teleported by a blue teleporting circle, you will have a bad time as there is a chance that you will get ported to an AoE covered sector.
Tank should start the boss at the Red Sector and then drag him clockwise to the next sector as soon as possible. You basically want to kite the boss to the intersection with the next sector and drag him into the next sector with 3 seconds before the sector AoE change. The number 1 reason for wipesin Phase 3 and 5 is because the tank does not drag the boss fast enough to the next sector. If this happens, the green circle can spawn in the previous sector where the AoE occupies and your raid team can get downed trying to get to it, resulting in a raid wipe.
This is the second new mechanic for Phase 3. Every 30s, the boss will stop and gain a breakbar. While this breakbar is active, the boss will constantly spam AoE orbs at the raid. The melee DPS must save their big crowd control cooldowns for this and destroy this breakbar as soon as it appears (basically within 1-2s). Headbutts and Wild Blow from Warrior, Staff #5/Sword #5/Axe #5 from Revenant are great for this. Engineer Slick Shoes can also take off most of the bar. You cannot count on the ranged team to do this as the timing for this breakbar often sync up with the timing for green circles and they may not be in a position to help you break this bar.
What can really screw your team over is if the breakbar happens right before an AoE sector transition. If do not break the bar fast enough, the Vale Guardian will not move and will spawn the green circle inside the current sector which will be covered with AoE.
Phase 4 (Split)
Phase 4 is identical to Phase 2 split. You should arrive this phase with about 3-4 minutes left on the timer. The big thing you have to watch out for is that a green circle may spawn right before this phase transition happens, forcing you to stand in it while the transition occurs. This can really screw over your team split. Your team may have to make an on the spot call on who will stay in the circle and who needs to go to their sector to get attuned. You absolutely need 2 condition damagers in the red sector and a boon stripper in the blue sector. Swiftness and superspeed can help you to make a last minute dash to the right sector.
Phase 5 is where most of the wipes happen as it is the most difficult. A single mistake can make the difference between a successful kill and a wipe. There are no new mechanics but several of the mechanics from Phase 1 and Phase 3 are modified to be more difficult.
Alternate Strategy (thanks to Aruthawolf)
There is an interesting strat for phase 5 which would remove lots of the RNG and make the last phase a bit easier. Basically, you do not stop the Vale Guardian’s Raidwide AoE which requires a breakbar (do not use any crowd control abilities at all). While the Vale Guardian is doing his AoE attack, he won’t do his green circle, red seeker orbs, or blue teleporting circles. Basically you position the boss in the middle and just attack him while switching between the sector AoEs. You do have to watch out for the seekers orbs that spawn before he enter the breakbar phase as they will try to run towards the raid and deal massive damage.
Soft CC like slow/cripple/chill etc does eventually eat away breakbar and the green circle will spawn immediately after you breakbar him.
Instead of having a single Sector covered in AoE, two sectors are covered in AoE. At start of the Phase 5 it will be Red sector that is safe while Green and Blue are covered in AoE. Tank will need to do the same thing they did in Phase 3 and drag the boss into the next sector about 3 seconds before the AoE sector change.
I cannot emphasize how important it is for the tank to move the Vale Guardian quickly into the next sector. We have countless 5-10% wipes because the boss weren’t moved fast enough either due to tank being slow or the breakbar not being removed within 1-2s. A green circle in an AoE sector in this phase will most likely cause a raid wipe.
Unlike Phase 1 and Phase 3, 4 Seeker Orbs spawn in this phase, with the 4th one spawning in the middle. This makes seeker orb management much more important so use those knockbacks and immobilize to control them away from the green circles and the melee stack.
Phase 5 is where basically where the real fight begins. All other phases were simply practice for this phase. You need to execute everything perfectly as even failing one will drastically increase the chance for your raid to wipe. This means avoiding the blue teleport circles, get into the circle on time, breakbar the boss quickly, and ensure the tank drag the Vale Guardian into the next sector in time. If someone gets downed in this phase, do not revive them unless they are along the path you are running through. Reviving a single player can cause 4-5 more players to get downed, result in a wipe.
Enrage and Downed State DPS
Enrage timer is at 8 minutes. After 8 minutes the Vale Guardian will do 200% more damage. It is still possible to kill the Vale Guardian even if you are past the enrage timer. Downed State DPS is also crucial so if the boss is low and everyone is downed, do not give up. There are tales of a single warrior getting up from Downed State with Vengeance and finished off the boss.