Tuesday, 6 August 2013

Queen's Gauntlet: Thief Experience

Part of my Explorer of Tyria journal - you can find the rest here!

Decided to leave some notes hidden here which will hopefully help fellow thieves have an easier time through the battles in the Queen's Jubilee. I've not completed it yet myself, so I'll be updating as I go along. If you are a non-thief then Dulfy's general tips will probably be a better place for you to look! :)

Queen's Champions (open world)
These five combatants must be randomly found and fought in the open world one at a time, and are only available via balloon event. You'll probably run into them if you go hunting all the balloons like me. As a bonus, defeating one gives you a guaranteed arena ticket. If you run into trouble, you can always bring help to defeat them. You can also lure nearby monsters to "help" you as they will aggro the champ when you stealth.

Heavy Hammer
Nullify his strong ranged attacks by facing him head on with dagger / pistol using the smoke shot combo to take him down.
Blazing Gun
Has pretty devastating combos but only if he HITS you with his normal shot first. Evasion more important here but don't be afraid to get in his face with smoke shot. If he begins chain combo knock down, hide or use shadow refuge to take a breather. Also try to backstab him... a lot. Getting mobs to assist is recommended as most of his attacks only hit 1 target. Switch to bow if you need a breather to let your skills recharge.

Lightning Blade
Enjoys teleporting, but all her attacks are point blank so just sit in a smoke cloud the whole fight and she'll never hit you.

Whirling Edge
One tough cookie. Use your bow and stay away from her dervish spin. If you evade it 5 times she gets dizzy and falls over giving you the chance to pounce. At half health she starts throwing stuff too but it's her melee you must look out for. Don't count on smoke blind this time since her spin attack is so fast, but you can still use it to go invisible and backstab.

Stony Shield
Reflects attacks and summons small upheaval pillars. Also knocks you back if you're in melee. AoE attacks are best with this guy which also means he takes longest to kill (bring help) since he denies your big backstab later on. If you happen to be using pistol / pistol be sure you time your unload skill properly or it will be you on the floor. ;p

Queen's Gauntlet (main arena)

Basic Tips:
Bring thieves guild to spreads aggro. When on dagger/pistol your basic combo should be smoke shot, heart seeker, regular attack (from stealth). Generally you always want to normal attack from stealth (so shadow heal/shadow refuge/smokescreen heart seeker all valid too) for big damage. When on pistol/pistol your standard combo is body shot/unload, while on short bow I primarily use the normal attack and the crippling shot. Remember you only have 2 minutes before the floor opens! Also, unless your foe is shielded in some way - you should open with your elite skill as your first move. The announcer gives you tips of your remaining time at 1 minute, 30 seconds and last 5 second countdown I think. Lastly eating mango pie before hand is helpful!

Starting traits on 30/0/30/0/10.

Round 1: Hammer Norn
Gear I used: Dagger/Pistol
This big guy only has one dangerous move which looks a lot like an ettin smash, only this will down you if you happen to be infront of him. Ironically that's the best place to be. Get in his face early with smoke shot, heart seeker then backstab from stealth and repeat. You can eat all his normal attacks, when he winds up for the big one just dodge through him to get around and repeat.

Round 2: Variable size Quaggan
Gear I used: Shortbow, Dagger/Pistol
The more you hit him, the bigger (and stronger) he gets. So what? Bring signet of shadows (+25% movement) and use shortbow headshot to cripple him while you kite/evade. This combined with your elite skill should be more than enough to finish him in time. Use poisons to make it go even faster. If you like you can even tripwire and caltrops him - he'll never hit you. If you feel pressured to finish him off quick due to time limitation and he's near death you can switch back to dagger/pistol for the smokeshot heartseeker combo. Important to smokeshot so that he misses his opening attack.

Round 3: Tornado summoning Sylvari
Gear I used: Dagger/Pistol
This annoying plant lady summons a ton of tornados which will toss you around the arena. Fortunately she doesn't have much health so open with thieves guild (or your choice of elite) and burst her down quick. I'm not good at dodging her air strikes so I opted to get in her face immediately (which requires some luck to win). She did manage to down me, but with her low health I still finished her while prone. When I fought her again with my second trait line (see below) with the on fire gambit I demolished her easy with dual pistols.

Round 4: Shielded Book Guardian - Tier 1 Boss
Gear I used: Dagger/Pistol
Don't bother with the scorpion wire, it won't work. Instead just stand on the opposite side of a dark pool and wait for her to step into it to remove her shield. In addition, dip your toe into the dark pool briefly and pay attention to what the "darkness" buff looks like. This is what saves you from her one hit kill solar flare. As soon as it runs out, find another pool quickly - don't ever be without it. Other than that just burn her down with the dagger/pistol combo.

Round 5: Angry Charr
Gear I used: Shortbow
Supposedly he hits harder as he has less health. I wouldn't know because I just opened with thieves guild then kited him with the short bow and signet of shadows. Super easy.

Round 6: Bad Pussy
Gear I used: Shortbow, Dagger/Pistol
The only thing this panther has going for it is it's super high health. Again short bow kite with signet of shadows, but just to cripple it. Thieves guild also distracts him for a bit. Meanwhile, go pick up 25 rage orbs that spawn randomly in the arena while doing so, once you have them you'll have plenty of time to burn the cat down in close quarters.

Round 7: Asura Pyromaniac
Gear I used: Dual Pistols
This guy has four basic attacks: a one hit slaying close quarters one, a ring of fire (that if you cross you die), a slow moving flame that I had a tough time "seeing" and making the floor you stand on catch on fire meaning you have to keep moving. He caused some serious problems for me, until I decided to bring assassin's signet and signet of malice with dual pistols - this burned him down nicely using unload.

Round 8: Pirate Quartet - Tier 2 Boss
Gear I used: Dual Pistols, Dual Daggers
Four opponents, each bringing different buffs for their fellows (including a full heal) means you need to focus on a single target at a time. Bring signet of shadows, caltrops and trip wire then kite the two melee-ers with your guns as they are most dangerous. I killed the captain first, then the first mate followed by the gunner (switching to daggers to burn him down faster once less than 50%) and Stiches the medic last (again switching to daggers). Don't be afraid to steal from any of them either, especially if you have thrill of the crime traited. Time is really against you here.

Round 9: Blue Goo
Gear I used: Dual Pistols, Dual Daggers
Changed traits to 30/30/0/0/10.
Had to change my traits to fight this slime ball. Bring scorpion wire and don't open with thieves guild. Instead kite and use your guns till the main slime (he's spitting out mini slimes at you the whole time)  is down to half, then scorpion wire it away from the little ones - open thieves guild and burn it down fast with your daggers. I still got the blobs, shmobs achievement using this method.

Round 10: Sniper
Gear I used: Dagger/Pistol
Easiest tier 3 fight, even did it with 3 gambits (fire, exhausted, hamstring). Bring blinding powder and scorpion wire. There are insta-death mines scattered around plus the guy has a kill shot that will down you after he teleports. First move should be to target him and "Steal" then blind him, pop thieves guild and use normal attacks till he warps. Scorpion wire him quickly back to you and proceed the blind stabbing. Once he tele's again shadow shot to him and burn him down till he dies. If he survives to do another tele, you WILL need to dodge his next shot since your other skills will be on cool down.

Round 11: Norn and Dog
Gear I used: Sword/Pistol, Dagger/Pistol
Wasn't going for the extra achievement here so I just brought ambush trap, assassin's signet and blinding powder. Open with thieves guild and tank the Norn keeping the blind up. The dog enrages when the Norn drops but it still couldn't hit me through the smoke. Had to switch to dagger heart seeker to end it faster though since the floor was about to open.

Round 12: Liadri the Bitch of Shadows - Tier 3 and Final Boss
Gear I used: Pistol/Pistol. Full Carrion armor with runes of the Undead, Orrian truffle and meat stew
Changed traits to VI,III / V, VIII/  I  / II, VII / 0.
Skills: Hide, Shadow  Refuge, Spider Venom, Signet of Shadows, Thieves Guild 

Phase One has her immune in a shroud of shadows. Jeromai has a pretty good guide of how to get past this stage, and I highly recommend it since it helped me. Your only attack against orbs here is mug so save it for them. For the last crystal pickup (when lots of shades are chasing you already, drop a shadow refuge that is half in one "red" zone and half in the other. This gives you a few more options and seconds before you move on to phase two to heal a little and to activate the venom and very short lived thieves guild. They last a little longer if you can run to a safe spot before summoning. Goes without saying that each time the venom is ready in phase 2, activate it.

Phase two is when Liadri really turns on the heat and begins chasing you. Basically you want to run towards where the black stuff  last fell while unloading on her, moving either clockwise or anticlockwise using the whole arena. When you are able to hide (gain more ground) or drop another shadow refuge (in the next safe spot, not where you are) you will want to do so - just like you want to dodge away from Liadri when she strafes next to you. Be sure to open with the "1" skill of pistol from hiding to maximize damage. Also try not to waste dodges to avoid shadow falls, as with the signet you run pretty fast. It is still imperative you have that orrian food to get more dodges too - you simply won't last without it. I should mention that I finished just as the "five, four, three, two, one" countdown was ending so it's either not the best build or I'm not the best player. :)

Lastly I tried numerous builds before settling on this one. Don't be afraid to switch it up to favor your play style and don't get discouraged by defeat! I think that's the main point against Liadri. Instead just try to always better your previous result. As an example, here were my roadblocks through 140 tries (yerp I kept count):

1st Day: Couldn't get past 1st crystal throw.
2nd Day: Couldn't get past 3rd crystal throw.
3rd Day: Managed to hurt her 10% on my best run.
4th Day: Managed to hurt her 50% on my best run.
5th Day: Completely screwed up, didn't do as well as previous day.
6th Day: Ran out of time during combat and a few tries later...

Victory!

Finally a mini worth something. To me anyway. ^_^

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