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Joy's now updated (Morrowind) guide to beating Maelstrom Arena

Joy_Division
Joy_Division
Class Representative
Making an new guide here to reflect how much the game has changes the past two years.

Never posted a guide before. Don't even know if people even think of consulting this forum. But as Maelstrom is hard and very frustrating, I'll share my advice as I know Maelstrom can make people desperate. This guide is more intended for players looking for a complete as opposed to a top score.

You should start slowly and log off once you start feeling frustrated. I know there is a save feature, but I would recommend not using it at first. Get a solid feel for the first 4 arenas - they aren't that hard. Get accustomed to a build that can DPS and survive at the same time. You are just trying to get experience and a feel for what is necessary to overcome the Arena

First some general principles:
  • Every stage is "hard" until you get accustomed to the fights, opponents, threats and develop a strategy for defeating them.
  • Learning this will make you cry and want to quit ESO. We've all been there. You're not alone. That being said, every stage becomes considerably easier once you are knowledgeable of the mechanics.
  • Once you develop a strategy, you will wonder how it was you died so many times before.
  • I see a lot of "help me, I'm struggling posts" and the first thing they mention is their build and CP setup. If your build is even halfway competent, that's not why you are dying. The builds you list are often better than the ones I use. You just have to learn the arena.
  • There is just a lot of unavoidable damage. You need to DPS + heal at the same time. Even if these are not your top DPS skills, they are the most efficient skills for this content.
  • Target recognition and prioritization is absolutely essential. When you are dying, you will get frustrated, but it is critical you objectively assess what is killing you. You *cannot* clear these stages without recognizing priority threats.
  • I hate to say this and dislike it, but the environmental hazards are often deadlier than monsters. You have to watch your feet and where you are going.
  • You should take breaks. You will get frustrated. Don't compound the problem playing mad. Eat lunch, call a friend on the phone, stretch out, etc., just move your mouse every 5 minutes or so and you will be fine.
  • I highly recommend using generic blue magicka potions instead of tri pots for every round until you get to stage 9. This will be an EXPENSIVE undertaking and you are just going to have to trust me, a tri-pot will not save you or keep you alive when you are wiping because you have not developed a strategy yet. Use your good stuff when you actually get good at the arena.
  • It is generally better to burst down single targets than trying to AoEing them all at once.
  • Let me say that again: burst down single targets rather than AoEing them. Seriously, Pulsar is a suboptimal skill that only works in easy as pie overland PvE content.
  • Use the power sigals. Don't try to be cool, fancy, or "practice" thinking you want to get used to not using them so you can compete for a leaderboard time. When you master downing a Crematorium Guard while the final boss is channeling a necrotic storm that kills you in two seconds, then go ahead and practice without using the power sigals. All of them are strong and useful.
  • Don't waste your soul gems. Just rez at wayshrine. Your PvP healer friend would love those Soul Gems, trust me. If you decide to unnecessarily waste your assets because you are too lazy to take the 10 seconds to walk back into the arena, I don't think you have the justification to claim the arena is a gold-sink.
  • NEW TIPS
  • Damage >>> Sustain. This has always been true. I know Morrowind nerfed your sustain, but you must have enough damage to kill mobs before you get overwhelmed. You do need some sustain; I have found the Witchmother’s Magicka Brew or 2 regen glyphs more than enough; everything else about your build should be dedicated toward damage.
  • Heavy attack the last add from a wave or non-threatening mini-boss to death. This is how you get your resources back.
  • If you are a magicka build, you pretty much have to slot Elemental Drain. Sorry stam folks, I don’t play often enough to offer corresponding advice. One tip I would suggest: if Vicious Ophidea rings drop in Blue, that should be an easy farmable set for you to get. Gold and purple rings are trophy items and only marginally better performers. Another suggestion I would offer is to use the Viper set: it gives free damage that costs zero resources.
  • If you run out of resources and die, that was the consequence of previous poor play from which you used too many expensive and inefficient skills (like healing). Do *not* change your build and chase inefficiencies because you just have to learn to kill stuff before they become threatening. Rez at wayshrine and consider using a power sigal at the pull that got you into trouble.
  • Because the game’s resources are so tight, you must learn what are efficient skills and what are not: more than half the skills in the game are suboptimal.
  • Elemental Drain all elite mobs. General notes on drain, as much as you would like to drain everything you can’t: vMA is a huge DPS race and you’ve got to kill stuff as soon as it spawns. Remember when I said to heavy attack the last add on a wave? These are the other targets you hit with drain.

The most helpful post-Morrowind adjustment I made: Kill stuff with your destruction staff. If not pressured and needing to eliminate threats, eschew your Jesus Beams, pets, Impales, Whips, Sweeps, etc. and just light/heavy attack heavily wounded enemies sitting in your Elemental Blockade. That Destruction Expert passive is free; your finite armor slots chasing a measly 129 magicka regen is not.

Some more specific comments on the Power Sigals

If you are reading this guide, that means you are going to use these. Period. End of story. They are available every single round. They turn dying into winning. They are that strong. Objectively analyze what is killing you, grab the appropriate power sigal for the situation, and then proceed onto to the next arena. They are not for "noobs" or are "crutches." Pride goeth before a fall.
  • The power sigal (the hammer): I think this one is a bit overrated as typically moar DPS is not going to save you from a lethal situation. There are a lot of DPS races: Main Boss stage 1, Main Boss stage 4, Main Boss stage 6, Main boss stage 8, and you’ll need all the help you can get with stage 9. The sigal is best saved for specific use for dangerous pulls. In general, the other three sigals are better at keeping you alive so I would prioritize them if you find yourself struggling at a particular juncture.
  • The Defensive Sigal (the Shield): By far the most useful. It reflects just about just about every ranged attack (key exceptions: the Inferno channels from the spinny mages in Stage 8 and the Final Boss's skull attack). It also increases your overall mitigation so you take a lot less damage. If you have this active you should not die; that's how powerful it is. You get this *every* round of *every* stage. Think about that.
  • The Haste Sigal : (the weird looking thingy). Probably the most underrated. It not only increases your speed, but also your regeneration. So if you are running low on resources, which you will this patch, just grab this. Any time you are pitted against lumbering dangerous melee adds you or are just tired of dealing with the annoying ever-present snares or just have to get a "safe" zone really quick, this sigal will help more than the others.
  • The Healing Sigal : (the Chalice). Not overtly powerful but situationally incredibly useful. Anytime you know there is a lot of unavoidable damage that you just have to eat (e.g. Crematorium Guards on final stage, two troll mini-bosses during the Argonian stage, when the lurcher spawns on spider boss stage, etc.), this sigal can make a decisive difference in a way the power sigal cannot.
It is difficult to overstate how much power all of these grant and the fact that they are all available every single round means that even average players ought to be able to advance all the way up until the Spider Boss in stage 6 as that is the first fight where these sigals are not enough to carry a player through. Yes, you can get that far by intelligent use of these sigals. Here is the difference these sigals made. When I first started doing Maelstrom, I kept wiping and wiping and wiping during the Ice Flows stage. Once I stopped haphazardly grabbing these sigals and instead thought about when was the most advantageous time to use them, every single death became a L2P issue. Some people assert that relying on these as part of an overall strategy is not a good idea because things might go wrong. *No*. Things can always "go wrong." These offer precisely the sort of power that ought to be intelligently and strategically used according to what the situation dictates. When you become better and more experienced at Maelstrom, then take off the training wheels so-to-speak and try not using them to raise your score.

********

General Advice for Templars:

Previously I advocated the best thing to do is just jab everything while standing in your purifying ritual.

That’s no longer the case because Puncturing Sweeps heals for significantly less than it used to. I believe the best Templar skill for this content is now Reflective Light (get this morph. Hitting three targets is better than hitting one). Don’t rush to enemies to jab them. Instead use Reflective Light until they come to you and then use your sweeps.
  • Also: DoTs are far more efficient damaging skills and this patch forces you to be efficient. The combination of Luminous Shards, Elemental Wall, and Reflective Light – all AOE skills – kills stuff almost passively.
  • Radiant Glory is better for this content than Radiant Destruction because the heal is so strong.
  • Ritual of Purification is better than Extended because it’s decent AoE DPS.
  • I would recommend using a Destruction Staff / Restoration Staff build. You need Elemental Drain and the destro ultimate trumps meteor by quite a bit and the Healing Ward spell is better and more efficient than your Breath of Life (plus the Light’s Champion ultimate is a good “oh crap” button).

Highly Recommend skills: Reflective Light, Puncturing Sweeps, Ritual, Jesus Beam, Elemental Drain, Elemental Wall, Luminous Shards, Healing Ward, Channeled Focus. Ultimates: Elemental Rage, Light’s Champion.

That leaves you with one open slot. I would recommend Harness Magicka over Inner Light because Reflective Light gives crit and Harness keeps you alive and returns resources.

I tried Purifying Light, wasn’t worth it because mobs should die faster than it explodes.

I would use Structured Entropy + plain blue magicka pots (replacing Ritual of Purification or Luminous Shards) until you “git gud” such that you aren’t wasting expensive spell power pots just to keep wiping on the Ice Flows stage.

In my estimation, magplar ranks 3rd of the 5 magicka specs with respect to vMA.

General Advice for Sorcerers:

Not going to lie or sugarcoat it, sorcerers are very strong and ideally suited for this content.

Pet builds have come a long way and not only are they strong DPS contributors, but they also sometimes draw aggro which is very useful. I do not think the Twilight is worth the two slots since your shields are all the heals you need, but if it works for you than have at it.

The best sorcerers run vMA without using a restoration staff; if done correctly, Critical Surge and Conjured Ward are more than enough to ensure survival. I personally think this is “advanced tactics." Another shield is going to be necessary until you learn the arena: you could go harness magicka if you are dead set against a restoration staff, but I think Healing Ward is better (I’ve had shields of over 40K) and I’m just used to it because I PvP.

In any event, whether or not sorcerers use a resto staff, they still are operating under the same principle: bursting down single target adds within ground AoEs and keeping their shield(s) up on cooldown. I would not sacrifice two slots for Bound Armaments, especially for someone using a pet.

The one big change from my previous advice would be to note the destruction Ultimate is probably better than Overload. Overloading will still work and still burns bosses down, but in the later stages you will notice the 500 less ultimate than you had before; plus Elemental Rage is very strong at is it.

In my estimation, mag sorc ranks highest of the 5 magicka specs with respect to vMA. Note: terrible class to use for a leaderboard time because it requires an exceptional run to break into the top 100.

General Advice for Dragon Knights:

This is the best class to use if you want to get a leaderboard time since there isn’t much competition and it has DPS unlike a Warden. DKs have no ranged skills so I would use Force Pulse over Whip. Reflective Scales is very useful on stages 3-8 (it’s actually not on 9, switch it out for something else). Deep Breath is a very good skill to use in this content because it heals and does good AoE damage, it also interrupts without costing you stamina. Finally Burning Embers can be used as a heal on demand; indeed spamming it on a single target is usually enough sustain so that you don't die (even against a Crematorium Guard).
  • I think Restoration staff is the better secondary weapon. Its ultimate is cheaper and better at keeping you alive than Ferocious Leap. Also Healing Ward can grant you a 40K health bubble that Dragonblood cannot do.
  • One annoying thing about DKs is that their resource generation is tied with its ultimate so you may run low on resources but want to save your Destro/Banner for an optimal situation. So you’re going to have to heavy attack more than the other classes.
  • What I like most about a DK is that I can be cheap and use blue trash pots to get a leaderboard time since their in-class major sorcery buff also increases the amount of heavy attack damage, which is something we will have to do a lot.

The cheap (as opposed to I want the best score time) build I run is:
Inferno staff: Elemental Blockade, Elemental Drain, Burning Embers, Force Pulse, Flames of Oblivion, DK Standard
Resto Staff: Deep Breath, Healing Ward, Burning Breath, Reflective Scales or Eruption, Molten Armaments, Light’s Champion.

Flames of Oblivion is a great DPS skill and gives crit – it’s comparable DPS to what you’d get from the magicka boost from Inner Light and allows you to use all 5 backbar skills which you want. I use DK Standard because I at one time PvPed on a DK and opted for the Eye of the Storm destro morph. DK Standard also reduces incoming damage so it’s still a decent choice.

In my estimation, DK ranks 4th of the 5 magicka specs. But it’s more efficient for getting a leaderboard time (and thus a second vMA weapon) than the other classes.

General Advice for Wardens

I tried magicka Warden on the PTS and it was hard. I tried it last week and it wasn’t too bad. Class is robust even in light armor, didn't even need a damage shiled. It does take some degree of skill to get good DPS, so does take a bit of getting used to

The two Warden skills I found most useful was Leeching Vines and Deep Fissure. Leeching Vines heals you, is your green balance skill to get back resources, heals you again from minor lifesteal. Deep Fissure should be used on cooldown whenever there are two mobs (I wouldn’t use it against one – you should be heavy attacking!). I would not use the Bear or the Sleet ultimates because the Destro ult is so strong. I used a restoration backbar because I think healing ward is a great spell. I used Shimmering Shield for rounds 3-8, which made the strong destro even more desirable. You could use the Warden mushroom heal, but it’s not a true burst heal and it will take quite a bit of player skill and shielding. I know players who have gone that route (though they are really good).

I did feel something of a DPS squeeze. It took me a bit longer to burn things down, so just something to be aware of.

I used: Winter’s Revenge, Elemental Drain, Deep Fissure, Cliff Racer, Elemental Blockade, Elemental Rage.

And: Leeching Vines, Healing Ward, Growing Swarm, Shimmering Shield (Lotus Blossom or Harness Magicka on Stages 2 and 9), Betty Netch, Enchanted Forest (I only used this once).

It’s hard for me to judge them with respect to the other magicka classes now. Their robustness is very welcome and more beginner friendly, but their DPS does have a learning curve.

General Advice for Nightblades

Hard to say because I have very little experience playing one. I will say that although there seems to be a common perception that this class is not very good, these ramblings are overblown and referring to specific aspects of the ESO that have nothing to do with vMA. Nightblades are excellent solo classes that are perfect for the sort of challenges vMA throws since they are well suited to do damage and heal themselves at the same time, possesses selective burst, and have better resource management than the other four classes. They may not be ideal Trial DPS, but they make for very strong duel specs and thrive in vMA.

I don’t play NBs enough to feel comfortable offering specific advice. I do think Strife is the way to go than Force Pulse because it’s cheap and you don’t have a pocket healer, and while some of the best players do not use Sap Essence, it’s a very good skill for people learning the arena because it does everything you need: good AoE damage, heals you, also provides major sorcery (and thus allows you to use trash blue pots while you develop strategies).

Nightblades rank 2nd of the magicka specs for vMA.

Joy, I play stamina, can you offer some advice?.

Yes.
  • Take the “stam is useless” narrative on the forums with a grain of salt. Stamina has strong single target DPS (which is more suited for vMA) and the only instance where your HoTs are not up to the job of keeping you alive is running into the RNG poison plants on Stage 7.
  • I do think the Vicious Ophidia set is ideal. I do not believe you need 5 pieces of divines (in general armor traits are way overrated aside from impen in PvP since they otherwise provide tiny bonuses) so this set should be easy to get since your other 11 Atherian Archive groupmates will give it away for free.
  • 2H or dual wield will both work so it’s player preference. 2H gives Rally and an execute, also its AOE has been buffed. It’s legit. If you go the dual wield route, I would absolutely opt for the heal morphs of Rending Slashes and Rapid Strikes until you master vMA. Bow will be your back bar because poison injection is one of the strongest skills in the game (yes take this morph) and Volley is a very good AoE.
  • Something to consider if you find the resource strain too much. Consider using the Viper set to pair with Vicious Ophidia. There is a reason 99% of the stamina PvP players use this: because it gives good burst damage without expending a single point of stamina. Even though DPS is king in vMA it is not a strict DPS parse; you must be able to survive and sustain yourself while doing good DPS. In that way, it is akin to PvP, so PvP builds and philosophies tend to transfer much better in Maelstrom than they would for say AA or Maw of Lorkaj.
Two final stam related points. You probably do need Vigor. Even if you are allergic to PvP, you can get this with one weekend of PvP by Zerg-surfing and PvDooring keeps / resources (just be aware that if enemy player(s) are at a resource they flipped and have weird symbols by their name, you are likely to wind up in a 1vX video if you are allergic to PvP). Also, you can buy wall and door repair kits for gold and get AP by repairing walls and doors when castles upgrade.

Sorcerers probably stand out as stam vMA builds because the Critical Surge skill paired with Hurricane is ridiculously strong. Passive 5K+ heal ticks are nothing to sneeze at.

*******

As far as the stages, these are my general observations and strategies:

Stage One:
Sleepwalk through the regular rounds.
Boss: This is a DPS race and this guy can be a pain if you fall behind. Do *not* underestimate him. Use a disciplined rotation to ensure there is always DPS on him. The adds will combine with the boss and heal him so take the first two out (your ground AoEs should be enough). When the third set spawns, burn the boss (use the power sigal if you need more DPS). Avoid his ground AoE attack. He has a fairly potent ranged attack so maybe use the defense buff when burning him down. This fight can actually be a pain as a DK and Warden because he moves and you have no execute.

Stage Two:
The biggest threat is environmental (boring). You will die from the unavoidable spinning blades more than the dwemer mobs. The switches stop the blades, but the duration is short and the interactive mechanic is a pain. This is going to sound stupid, but I also found it too much trouble to even try to dodge/avoid the blades since they are everywhere and move so fast. As long as you don't move *with* them, they are just annoying rather than lethal provided you use a Heal over Time (HoT); I do slot one out specifically for this round. One thing I have started doing that I found helpful: stay in one spot where a switch is located. This ensures the least amount of blade damage. The only real threat the mobs offer is the centurions slam attack that you will have to block/dodge.
Boss: Three centurions that aren't particularly difficult, but the fight does take some getting used to. Just single target the one that is active. If two are active, tab target the one with lowest health. Again, their main threat is the slam attack, just dodge/block. They do have a ranged attack that a hefty ground DoT (Harness & Blade Cloak work well). Prioritize survival over DPS. This fight is resource intensive because of you must heal through unavoidable damage: grab the speed sigil if you are running dry and squeeze in a heavy attack when the opportunity arises. Your biggest danger here is the spinning blades: maintain your health and the fight isn't that hard.

Stage Three:
The first stage where the early rounds will start killing you. I personally would have rather the strangler pull/stun me as a 90% snare is a ridiculously dumb mechanic, but I don't make these decisions. Do *not* stand in the water for any length of time unless you enjoy 9k shock damage. The ranged adds are the larger threat, however, as their 7K attacks cannot be kited. I talked about target prioritization before: these dudes have to die first. After them, stranglers should die. Note: Remember the defense sigal! You get it every round. When multiple range adds spawn, don't try to impress your dog, just use it! I'd love to say I had some effective strategy, but the truth of it is, I just bounce round from add to add spamming DPS + heal skills and eventually things are dead. Block/dodge the mini-bosses's two-hander attack!
Boss: She is faster than you and has melee attack that hits for 9K. Kiting is hard. Just go toe-to-toe with her and 100% make sure you use your burst heal/shield if you ever go below 50% health, no exceptions. This is why I think heal+DPS at the same time is so strong, you don't have to worry about kiting bosses. The most dangerous part of this fight is a ranged mage will spawn; ignoring it while trying to burn the boss down is a difficult proposition. Here is a great time to use the defensive sigal. In general, this stage will seem hard at first but is pretty easy once you get your strategy down.

Stage Four:
If you fall behind on DPS, you are not going to be able to kill the sentries. Their shields are neigh impenetrable when up. If you see one without a shield, sure, kill it if convenient, but they are the lowest priority because they just keep spawning. If you DPS and heal at the same time, they won't kill you.
This stage features a lot of mage adds with their unkiteable ranged attacks and Dwemer spheres that do *a lot* of melee damage. There are times when you might feel like you are getting overwhelmed, especially when first learning this. You just have to get accustomed to quickly taking out the mages and spheres. The third round especially has a difficult pull where two dwemer spheres spawn at the same time (use your ultimate here). If you are struggling, use all four sigals, rotating from one to one, it's so much more manageable.

Boss: Probably the easiest boss in the arena - even more so than the first dude - once you recognize it is a DPS race and nail down the right strategy. As soon as the round starts, grab the power sigal, get *inside* of the boss (the green circle) and do your single target DPS rotation (you will take residual damage, this is why heal + DPS is the way to go). When the boss stops and goes to his fire phase, drop you ground AOE dot and your ultimate. At this point the Boss spews out a lot of fire damage and a sphere and spider spawn. Ideally, you stay right there, killing the adds while still putting our DPS on the boss (DKs, Templars, Wardens, and NBs can easily do this by using their mitigation ultimates instead of Elemental Rage; this might be one fight you consider switching). Here is one instance where the Healing Sigal really shines. The more conservative approach is to move away from the boss and take out the two adds, you’ve just got to dodge the red circles. When the adds are dead, buff up and repeat the process. Eventually you’ll learn the arena well enough to kill the boss before the second add spawns, a Battlemage that has a dangerous streak attack. If that add spawns, you should not ignore it because streak-stun in combination of a ground AOE can kill you. She has low health and is easy to dispatch by just LOS the boss. When she dies, you do nothing else but DPS the boss. No matter what spawns, burn the boss.

Stage Five: Ice flows
The difficulty spike is very noticeable. I am of the opinion the third round is one of the hardest in the whole arena. By far the biggest threats are the ranged sets of adds that stand in an environmental hazard tossing out 7K attacks that you cannot kite. These have to die. Also of note, the ogres enrage and do very high melee DPS almost making it mandatory you DPS + heal at the same time (or consider using the healing sigal Vs. them). What is crazy is that there are sometime 4-5 adds in the middle of your ice island pounding away at you. That third round will seem impossible when you first get to it. Learn where and when the adds spawn and make intelligent use of the defensive sigal!
  • If you have access to a reflect skill (eclipse, Reflective Scales, Warden shield), I would use it
  • About the trolls breaking platforms; it's worth killing them to avoid a Nereid spawn, but they are a low priority target because there are so many dangerous adds.
  • About the giants, their shatter attack will one-shot a DPS spec. If you aren’t attacking their ass -and you should be - have a shield up or be prepared to roll dodge away.

For the 3rd round, there are three wave. Easiest way is destro utlimate first wave (get it by stalling with pushover second mini boss), move to double sigil island. Grab defensive sigil for next wave; it should last through the third wave, which is the most dangerous. If you dpt have ultimate, use defensive sigil for first two waves, then move to healing sigil island and use big ultimate for third wave there.

Boss: This is extremely *hard* if you do it wrong (too much DPS...the only fight in the game where DPS punishes you) and super manageable once you have a strategy. The key to this fight is the boss destroys the ice and the adds spawn based on health. So YOU control the pace of the fight. Be intelligent and not in a rush. If you are low on resources, just heavy attack and reset the fight so to speak. If you try to burn her too quickly, you will get overrun by adds. K, first priority in this fight are the trolls; if they succeed breaking an ice flow, you will lose because you cannot stop the boss from breaking two ice flows. You need to learn the tell for when the boss breaks an island because it is a one-shot if you are even near the island. I use the following strategy and it works every single time:
  • Start on the island you first spawned at (the one with the haste sigal). DPS the boss a little and grab the haste.
  • Troll + adds spawn at the same time. You go to the island where the troll goes. Kill the troll. Kite/CC melee (you are hasted, should be easy). Kill archer. If you are on the island with the 2 sigals, MOVE BACK TO THE FIRST ISLAND.
  • DPS boss + regain resources.
  • Boss will break island
  • Troll + nereid spawn. Kill them while kiting boss. Again, if you are on the island with two sigals, get off
  • When boss around 55% or so, second adds appear. Kill priority is: troll, mage, Nereid, melee. Make sure you have an AoE ultimate for this situation. If you are on the island with two sigals, get off
  • Boss will break island, be sure the last island you have is the one with 2 sigals.
  • Go to the 2 sigal island, grab the power boost.
  • Deal with troll + nereid, DPS boss.
  • TWO ranged adds will spawn the third wave at about 30%. Immediately grab defensive sigal and just LAUGH at how you can ignore this otherwise very difficult tasks of killing the adds, healing yourself, and DPSing the boss before she breaks the third platform. You can just concentrate on boss and execute her (though if a troll sneaks in there, kill it. Neried is also a range attacker so she can be ignored as well).

Works every single time and turns the most difficult part into a breeze. You need that be on the island with two sigals for last phase.

Stage Six: Spider Daedra.
This round is also hard and not going to lie, the boss is pain because it is full of RNG mechanics and an automatic "you lose" mechanic. The regular rounds are doable once you understand the enemies and when the adds spawn. The boss, well, you might want to make sure there aren't children under 13 that can hear you. The key to this whole area is to make sure you have at least 2 and ideally 3 of the obelisks free of webs. You deweb them by killing the horvors near them. You keep them dewebbed by killing the webspinners that try to web your open ones up. If you deweb all of them, every monster is stunned (save this for specific mini-bosses. I think the two-hander in round 3 is the biggest threat). You want 3 of them clear because when the spider swarm appears, you need to go to the lit obelisks; if you only have one or two obelisks free, you might not get a safe zone.

You first priority is not dying. Everything else takes a backseat to killing webspinners. Everything else.
Note: You *must* kill the first horvor that spawns after you use a auper-stun anything because there is only one safe zone.

As far as the enemies. They start CCing and snaring you which is a pain. The lurcher adds hit hard and the range adds are dangerous. The 3rd and 4th rounds are hard because mini-boss two-handers spawn; if you can’t super-stun them, you are going to need strategies to deal with them.
  1. Round 3 the two-hander mini-boss will negate you. Use your ultimate or super-stun him. If you can’t do either, at some point when he is under 50% health, grab the defensive sigil because two archers are about to spawn. If the mini-boss is alive when that happens, you are in trouble.
  2. Round 4: Begins with a lurcher + two adds and then another pattern of a high damaging mini-boss and two archers that spawn afterward. The defensive sigil is best used when the boss is at 50% to neutralize the archers. If you are having trouble with the lurcher, I’d recommend the healing sigil. The last wave of this round sees two lurchers where put out a lot of damage. The haste sigil is ideal to uee Vs. them since it make kiting their slow lumbering melee attacks easy.
Through all this don't forget the webspinners!. It isn't easy but once you get the hang of it, you will succeed more often that you die.

Boss: I hate this fight. Not because it is hard. But because it is full of RNG deaths. The whole key to this fight is that the boss will enrage and just insta-kill you every 150 seconds you do not stun her by clearing all the obelisks. [I am told throwing a horvor poison grenade at her will reset the timer. I cannot confirm this but if you know you are way behind clearing the oblisks it’s worth a shot]. Nothing is more important than killing webspinners. Nothing else is more important than killing horvers next to the obelisks. Note: you can interact with the grenade and throw it at a webbed obelisk, but a high damaging AOE will spawn under your defenseless character making this something best avoided. If you miss more than 1 webspinner/horver, you WILL LOSE and there is nothing you can do about it.

As for the monsters, the biggest danger is the unavoidable and unkiteable 7K spits the boss and the little spider add hits you with. You just have to mitigate through it. This is extremely resource intensive and it is almost mandatory that you heal and dps at the same time. The little spider add snares you so it has to be killed quickly, but do *not* miss any horvor/webspinners while doing so. Webspinners spawn about every 10 seconds after you kill them so you must remain vigilant. The boss has a large ground AOE that does 25K damage. She will use it while you are standing in the only safe spot when the spider swarm appears and that's why children under 13 should not watch you try to do this fight. It will take you a while to get accustomed to the fight so that you can consistently clear all 5 obelisks and stun the boss.

After you stun the boss, you have to repeat this process all over, with two twists. What kills me the most is that a spider swarm will appear about 10 seconds after the stun: you will only have 1 clear obelisk and of course a webspinner will appear. You must kill the spinner and kill a horvor near a webbed obelisk to ensure you have two clear spots for the safety zone to spawn. It isn't easy because ... a lurcher will probably spawn while you are trying to do this. If you can get past that swarm, at this point you just got to get rid of that lurcher *and not miss any webspinners*. This is hard to do, I make sure I have the haste + defensive sigal active before the boss stun wears away because you will need the speed and a break from the 7K spits. Once you get that lurcher down, it's just a matter of not missing any webspinners/horvors. You cannot miss more than 1 while doing all that because of the YOU LOSE mechanic.

I don't think the fight is "hard" - it isn't - it's just extremely unforgiving, with too high potential for death by random stuff you have zero control over and the YOU LOSE mechanic is a dubious design. If you can get past it, everything in the arena is more manageable until the final boss. That’s correct: if you can beat the Spider Daedra, you have the build and the skill to get to the final boss.

Stage Seven: Argonians
This round is noticeably easier than the previous two. The greatest danger is this round is environmental: if a poison plant explodes under your feet, you are going to take very high poison damage every tick and you have to go to one of the green pools at the top or bottom of the map to cleanse it. It's basically death unless you spam harness magicka and sprint to the pool (use harness because the poison is also a heal debuff). There are three types of adds. The venomcallers that spawn on the platforms will turn the arena into a poison mess, kill them quickly. The archer adds are high damage, but since you have access to the defensive sigal, you can neutralize them every round. The melee adds like to stun you (which in combination with the archers, would normally be deadly). It doesn't take long at all to get accustomed to the rhythm of these rounds and you will find most of the times you die is by carelessly going near a poison plant.
Most difficult trash pull is the three archers wave that spawn in round 4. Grab the Defensive Sigil. Bonus: it will also reflect the two trolls rock attacks that spawn afterward. It’s an obvious strategy

Note: the archer’s conal Acid Spray attack. That’s not like the regular ability, it counts as a poison-plant proc. Move out of it!

The mini-bosses aren't particularly difficult. But they have mechanics that you have to know. The trolls are annoying because their rocks snare you and hit for high damage ... do *not*, ever, let your health go below 50% Vs. them. When the trolls do their ground pound, immediately move out of the area. Note: the rock tosses are reflectable. The 4th round has two trolls. It’s best to burn one down; just be aware when the trolls transform into big trolls they are invulnerable. Laying down multiple grounds DoTs ensures they die quickly afterwards. The two trolls do put out a lot of aggregate damage so here is precisely the sort of scenario where the Heal sigal really shines - you probably used the defensive sigal before to deal with the three archer spawns.

The Wamasu actually is a pain. It has two attacks. One is a lightning spit that snares you for 90% (fun times, a plant will spawn under you for sure) and is also a high damage DoT. The other attack is lethal; it will shake and fire 5 lightning spheres. If they hit you, it's basically a one shot. But you can do something to make it easy peasy, lemon squeezy: grab the speed sigil before it spwans (I believe it spawns after killing one of the archers). Nothing it does can kill you if you are hasted unless you are a noob.

Boss: Not hard, just requires correct execution of mechanics and not running into a poison plant. When the adds spawn, they have high damaging lighting attacks. The idea is to kill one and then move next to the other one as it will put up a shield to protect you from the Behemoth's scream. Be careful not to interrupt either the add or the boss, else the boss enrages and his attacks become one-shots (if crushing shock was your DPS spam, get another). Believe it or not, that's the whole fight.
So what kills you then?
  • The poison plants that spawn under the shield! Annoying but 90% avoidable. Let’s be honest, we tend to be lazy. When the 2 shield argonians spawn, I usually kill the first one I see and just hope there isn’t a mushroom by the other. LOL.
  • You didn’t take your Grothdar monster piece off and killed the shield argonian while the boss screams. Switch to Valkyn Skoria.
  • Lizard Boss CC with bite attack in combo with lightning attack. When the argonians spawn, immediately deal with them.
All these precautions being taken, there still is one danger that is a bug and I’m not sure there is anything you can do about: If the boss stomps after one argonian shielder is dead and before it does the scream attack, it hits you as if it was enraged. This one shots any glass cannon that isn’t a warded sorcerer. It’s just rotten timing. Not a big deal. Rez at waysrhine. Once you get use to the rhythm, it's not a stressful fight and you’ll clear it without too much difficulty.

Stage Eight: Daedra Island
I also didn't think this stage was particularly that hard. The first time I got to it, I cleared the four rounds with only like three deaths without even knowing the mechanics. You need an interrupt as the most dangerous attack comes from the mage adds who have the spinny fire twirl that is *not* reflected by the defensive sigil. The two-handers have high damaging gap closers, so it's best to melee them. Block / Dodge their wrecking blow! The 4th round can be a bit tricky as 4 fire mages spawn immediately and they will heal each other. They happen to spawn right next to the defensive sigil, which makes for an obvious strategy.

For the mini-bosses, you need to destroy a totem first. The 3rd and 4th round boss mechanics deserves mention as they are not easy.

In the third round, a fire-spinner will spawn with the tree mini-boss. Melee players are especially vulnerable because the tree hits like a truck and the two fire atros lobbing in homing attacks complicate matters. The fire-spinner needs to die ASAP (even before the totem) and is worth using an ultimate. The defensive sigil here is particularly strong.

The mini-boss at the end of the fourth round puts out a *lot* of burst damage with her flame breath, fire trail, and whip attack. The breath attack needs to be cleansed, shielded, and healed through quickly. She will drop a standard and then try to chain you in. Be sure to hold block when you hear the standard drop. Even with the healing sigil, the cumulative effect of her fire attacks is quite high. Just be sure to keep your health pool topped off when fighting her.

Boss: Easy peasy if you have high DPS. Can be complicated if you do not. Basically you got to burn all three totems, which gives you about a 15 second window to DPS the boss. The monkey in the wrench is the fire spinny mage that spawns. I want to say he spawns on a timer because he usually comes after you burn two of the totems, but I think if you destroy the three totems quick enough he doesn’t spawn. Don’t quote me here though.

The safest way to approach this fight is to leisurely destroy two totems and put a DoT on the third such that you do NOT destroy it. Deal with the add first. While you are attacking the add, the boss will catch up to you and unleash hard-hitting and stunning melee attacks. You have to avoid / dodge them. There is a rhythm to DPSing the add, dodgeing the boss, and going back to that third totem. That's the whole key to the fight. Afterward, you have a 15 second window to DPS the boss.

Flame atros will spawn; ignore them. When the totems reappear, go toward the one with the defensive sigil and grab it; that will protect you from the flame atros and the bosses breath attack. Repeat the process: destroy two totems, DoT up third, kill flame spinny add, finish off totem and boss.

Note: If you do not finish off the boss after two burn phases, you are in trouble. Because at this point your resources are low, you no longer have the defensive sigil, and the bosses gains chain-pull attack that will kill you if you do not CC break super fast. Grab the haste sigil; you need speed and stamina. Your biggest threat is the fire spinny mage that spawns. Use your ultimate in it; the boss is low enough health you don’t need to save it. If the boss is not at low health, save your ultimate and just jump in the lava because failing to burn the boss after three phases is death due to her new attack: a fire wave that covers the whole arena and is a one shot.

If your DPS is not high enough you must maximize the Power sigil so it is used in conjunction with your ultimate. Grab it just before you deal with a fire spinny mage if your ultimate is up.

If you try to just destroy the three totems before you know what you are doing in vMA, I can almost assure you the fire spinny mage will spawn on the other side of the arena and start channeling the Inferno skill while you are DPSing the boss. There is a way to avoid them, but it takes very high DPS and not wasting a single second. Wait until you are experienced before trying such a technique.

Stage Nine: Theatre of Pain

The preliminary rounds are legit hard. You will begin to wipe on round 2 and you will wipe a lot until you learn the cadence of the fight and how to deal with the CC nightblades and Crematorium Guards. You need stamina this stage. Note: Agony/Fossilize/Rune Prison all have huge disorient times that can completely eliminate an add; these are ideally suited for this stage.

General stuff to be aware of: Gold Ghosts - prioritize getting these. Even if you have a Crematorium Guard chasing you, get the ghost. Gather 3 of them and you can stun everything on the screen and turn a wipe into a win. White Ghosts - annoying environmental hazards that do 8K damage and snare you. Obviously avoid but it's hard not to run into these things when you are focused on something else. If you stand near the edge of the island, a lava stream will target you and the hit is pretty nasty- upwards of 10K and a stun. Try to stay away from the edges. All the adds are dangerous: the NBs stun and hit upwards of 18K, the mages have a high damaging fire-line attack, the DK adds snare and hit hard. The Ogrim does a lot of ranged damage and is difficult to melee because of its belly stun attack. But by far the biggest threat are the Crematorium Guards. You *have to* figure out a way to kill these things quickly without dying for you to have any hope. Using a gold ghost explosion is highly recommended, although not always available. They are scary but it is totally manageable if you have high DPS.

Back in the day when our DPS is half of what it is now, a sophisticated strategy was necessary. Now magicka player just need to spam their DPS+Heal attacking while keeping their DoT and shields up. Stam players have higher single-target DPS + Rally/Vigor/Blade Cloak. Through these means, plus ultimate + gold ghost stun + heal or defensive sigil, you should not die to the Crematorium Guards. If you did, you made a mistake or tried to do it without a power sigil.

I think Round 3 is the most difficult. The entire fight is dangerous and you only have so many gold ghosts + power sigils. You start off with a Crematorium Guard plus a healer. Ideally you do not want to use an ultimate/sigil/gold ghost; if you must use one, I’d recommend the Power Sigil. You then get 3 annoying and dangerous adds. Not terribly difficult, top off your resources with heavy attacks if necessary after killing two of them. A mini-boss that spawns next. By this point you should have an ultimate, a gold ghost explosion, and the healing & defensive sigils available to you. KILL HIM QUICKLY with either ghost explosion or ultimate. Once he is dead you get an Ogrim and 2 daedra adds which I think is the most difficult pull. Use the heal or defense sigil here and whichever of the gold ghost or ultimate you didn’t use before. You need to kill that Ogrim before the next wave spawns, which is a Crematorium Guard + a soul tethering NB. You are going to want the sigal you didn't use in the previous pull and the cheap resto Light’s Champion ultimate on your backbar comes in real handy here.

Round 4 has a special mechanic worth mentioning: summoners will walk to the center and try to conjure a Bone Colossus. If they succeed, you are screwed. There are 4 waves of adds; once you learn where the summoners spawn and correctly prioritize them, the round isn't that hard (but until you do you will wipe a bunch of times). Get those Gold Ghosts!. A crematorium guard spawns at the beginning of wave 3 - use your spectral explosion then.

Round 5 also has a special mechanic, an ash titan spawns during the second wave (the first wave begins with a crematorium guard). After you kill the CG (again, you don’t want to use ghost or ultimate), grab the power sigal and do as much DPS on the titan as possible (if you are melee, dodge/block his slap attack). Before the third add wave spawns, grab the defensive sigal (there are going to be two archers). The defensive sigal allows you to keep DPSing the titan and ignoring the adds. It's hard to get the ghosts in this round. If you can't get them, grab the healing sigal after the defensive one wears off - you are going to need it. I'm telling you right now even though the Ash Titan is big and ugly, the last wave of adds is actually the most dangerous since the soul tethering NB will stun you and usually you have no stamina by this point in the fight. That NB will kill you more than the titan.

FINAL BOSS

This is why you are here, right? Back in the day, the first time we got to him we had hundreds and hundreds of lives. We lost ALL of them trying to beat him. That's just the way it was. Now that DPS is double, it is certainly easier, but I am telling you right now you are still going to wipe and wipe and wipe until you get accustomed to the fight. There actually isn't too many mechanics here and executing them is not terribly difficult. So what makes this fight so hard? It is very unforgiving. If you make a mistake, miss a dodge roll, run into a white ghost, lose track of the boss, etc., you will probably die.

Note: I recommend tri-stat food because this stage requires a lot of stamina. I also recommend tri-pots once you can get past the top crystals consistently … do NOT start using tripots the first time you get here because it will be a waste of expensive assets and I’m telling you right now they will not prevent you from constant wipes. Tri-stat food is enough for just starting this.

If you watch a Youtube video this fight will look incredibly easy because the best players in the world have enough DPS to avoid the most dangerous mechanics. They enter the round with an ultimate charged up, burn the boss to 70%, avoiding a CG. Then they know the exact pattern of the Crystal phase so they always destroy them before the soul churn damage is too high, and then just come down, use their ultimate and flat out burn the boss.

It works great … until you die, have to start over without any ultimate, which means you don’t get him down to 70% and thus have to deal with a Crematorium Guard. Or get thrown off the top because you are not accustomed to the timing of the skull attacks and walls. Or the boss teleports out of your ultimate. You are going to have a very difficult time replicating those Youtube videos until you become experienced

So the advice here is geared toward the actual mechanics.

Stage 1: The boss will be on the bottom until you get him down to 70% health. You want to do that as quickly as possible because the Crematorium Guards spawn on a timer. I recommend saving your ultimate for the first CG spawn until you’re good enough to unfailingly burn the boss to 70%.

You are introduced to the boss's two special attacks in the first 10 seconds. He will throw a skull at you (it's a lot like the Crypt of Heart boss) - dodge or block this - and he will then teleport and then begin to channel a necrotic wave - if you don't interrupt this, you die in like 3 to 4 seconds. When he teleports a healer and a crematorium guard will spawn and until you learn how to consistently beat this, you will *never* finish. Period. End of story. You will get Rekt repeatedly. You will get mad, frustrated, and want to quit. You *must* objectively analyze what is killing you as you develop your strategy.

Use the Healing Sigil. (I grab it after the Boss’s first skull attack). Ignore the healer, it won’t kill you, the CG will. The Daedroth spawns right next to the boss you just interrupted; drop your ultimate, ground DoTs on CG and Boss, single target the CG. The biggest danger is a lich crystal that will spawn at your feet that can be difficult to see with all the stuff going on. As long as you dodge out of it, you should be fine. When the boss teleports, in a few seconds he is going to throw a skull at you. The Healing Sigil should be enough to keep you alive through this provided you do not make a mistake. Also, I really like a back bar cheap ultimate (resto staff) if your big one isn’t up. I scaled down the advice on this pull from my previous guide because I think the combination of the Healing Sigil, avoiding the Lich Crystal, good DPS, and with proper play that is not undermined by anger, it's very manageable.

Once the daedroth is down, you just have the boss to deal with and the healer. You only care about one thing: getting to the top and stage two. Ignore the healer (except to interrupt a heal) and put DPS on the boss while dodging skull attacks and lich crystals. This part of the fight is as easy as it gets; do *NOT* be careless as you will get really mad for having died after doing the tough part.

Stage 2: At 70% health, the boss will go up top. A clannfear will spawn. All you have to do is kill the clannfear next to the glowing portal. Take out the healer first. Do not underestimate the clannfear's damage: its regular attack does 6K and has an annoying snare and its tail swipe does 15K.

If a second Daedroth spawns, you took too long. All I’ll say is use the Defensive sigil and you have to kill it because if the CG breathes on you, you now have a fire dot on you that you cannot purge and does not go away until it dies. You really want to burn the boss to 70% quickly.

At the top level, there are three Crystals to destroy and you must do so while dodging random red circles that spawn on you and skull attacks from the boss. There is a pattern to this that you will get that basically involves moving from side to side and keeping the camera on the boss so you know when to dodge (or block) the skulls. All the time you are going to be taking constant soul churn damage that will increase the longer you stay up there. After throwing a skull, the boss will rise in the air and build up an explosion that will knock you off the top if you are not behind the moving wall, so once he does this you are forced to move and follow the wall. The pattern then repeats itself with higher damage and a faster wall. You'd like to destroy the three crystals in one go but that's going to be require disciplined and correct play; just another mechanic that requires getting used to.

General principles:
  • First priority, don't get hit by the comets that land in the red circles. It's a stun, snare, and it's not easy to CC break and dodge the skull the boss throws at you. Nothing is more important than avoiding these.
  • DPS + healing skills are super useful here. So are harness magicka and blade cloak.
  • DoTs are better than instant casts here.
  • Try to still DPS the crystals even during the wall phase. The first wall is slow, move to the Crystal just ahead of it and do your DPS there. When the wall gets near, then get behind it. The second wall is considerably faster - do *NOT* chase it and try to catch up. Instead turn around and get to where it is going (about two crystals from where it spawns).
  • Be careful where you dodge, it's very easy to fall off. Generally I block the skull attacks if I'm not near a red circle.
  • I believe it is more efficient to DoT up and DPS whichever crystal you happen to be around rather than one at a time. The walls will force you to move.
  • This is very stamina intensive. When you are drained of stamina and die to a comet because you thought a bit extra DPS with blue food was a good idea, remember I recommended purple food for Stage Nine. This stage is the only one I use tri-stat potions for.
  • When the third wall spawns, it’s faster than you can run. You'll never catch it. Anticipate where it will end up, I want to say a little more than one complete revolution around the top. If that last crystal is low, it might be a better idea just to burn it down.
  • If you are low on DPS, the soul churn damage may become too much: you can always jump down (as opposed to getting thrown off). THIS IS A LEGIT STRATEGY!
If you get thrown off the top. Immediately head toward the Defensive Sigil. Grab it, and prioritize killing the Crematorium Guard while avoiding the Lich Crystals. With the defensive sigil it's very manageable; I used to do this all the time back in the day before the power creep. So not a huge deal, which is why I recommend simply jumping off the top if the Soul Churn damage is too much. Once the CG dies, just kill the clannfear and go back at top with hardly any soul churn damage and a slow first wall. Trust me, it’s a completely legit tactic if burning the three crystals at the top is too difficult.

Stage 3: Super easy if you have good DPS. Gets complicated if you don’t. Note: I pretty much said that every round. The developers want you to tank your DPS but it is counterproductive to do so. DPS rules everything in this game: vMA, DSA, PvP, Maw of Lorkaj, etc.
Joy, I keep running out of resources because of the Crystal phase. Perhaps, because you aren’t experienced and there are going to be inefficiencies. If you know you are running low on resources, the best thing to do is heavy attack the crystals, get some resources back and jump off. Yes jump off. The Soul Churn damage will kill you faster the CG. Once you go back upstairs, the Soul Churn damage is minimal and walls are slow-moving (they reset). Just heavy attack the remaining crystals. There, now we have 100% full resources to deal with Stage 3
The easiest way to do this is just to flat out burn the boss. The boss will begin his necrotic wave attack. Interrupt this, grab the Power Sigil, drop you hard hitting ultimate, and DPS the crap out of him. After about 10 seconds or so, he will teleport, follow him and keep nuking him. This does require quite a bit of DPS, you can’t waste time chasing Gold Ghosts (they move to boss grab them then). Done correctly, boss should die before the intended mechanics kill you: CG spawns and the bone colossus summoners who also appear.

If your DPS is not on point, or if you have like 300 CPs, then this gets complicated. Complicated enough that you might not be able to burn the boss before the Crematorium Guard or a Bone Collossus spawns. If this happens, you are going to have to do this fight the way the devs intended. It’s not too hard so I wouldn’t beat my head against the wall if your DPS isn’t high enough.

Here is how you do the arena if burning the boss is not an option. In essence you had to do all this at the same time:
  1. DPS boss
  2. Grab gold ghosts
  3. Prevent summoners from spawning Bone Colossus
  4. Not die to boss’s two special attacks: skulls and channeled necrotic waves
That’s a lot for an inexperienced player so by far the easiest way to do this is to slot agony/fossilize/rune prison, which can disorient the summoner and completely remove that mechanic from the fight. Doing such means you can focus you 100% undivided attention on the boss, which means higher DPS, not getting skull attacked and getting 95% of the gold ghosts.
CGs spawn on a timer, they come about the same time as the third ghost. So the intended strategy is obvious: grab every gold ghost, you can always super-stun the CG and avoid that mechanic as well. Nothing is more important than getting the ghost ghosts if you are going the non-burn route, which is why disorienting the summoner makes this so much easier. GET THE GOLD GHOSTS.

You need to interrupt boss, then grab the gold ghosts (note: they move toward the boss) while trying to keep DPS on a teleporting boss while preventing the summoner from doing its thing. Multi-tasking for sure!. After the second Gold ghost, I would grab the Power Sigil.

Once you have the third Ghost, a daedroth will spawn. Ideally, you immediately stun him once you see the spawn portal so both are together and you can ultimate and nuke them both at the same time. That’s ideal, sometimes it doesn’t work out that way. If boss teleports away, use your ultimate on the CG. If the boss grabbed a gold ghost and you only have two, this gets tricky:
  • If the defensive sigil is still available, use it and move to the boss. It is enough to keep you alive while you nuke them both with your ultimate. (note: do NOT just grab the defensive sigil when first beginning this phase. You want to save it for this situation).
  • A gold ghost will spawn soon. If the defensive sigil in not available, you could just go get it if your resource pool is high enough to shield/dodge the CG. Just be careful a skull attack will come from the boss and your back will probably be turned (there is a sound que, consider turning off any music you play).
  • If you have a destro ultimate, you could just use it on the boss when he teleports and burn it and the CG without the defensive sigil. Between the storm and ground DoTs, you should be to kill the CG by just focusing on survival.
Either way save your ultimate and the Power Sigil for the first CG spawn.
That’s the whole fight, rinse and repeat. The boss should be low on health and the one thing I would caution against is do NOT stop grabbing gold ghosts. That second Daedroth is coming and if your DPS wasn’t on point to burn the boss to being with and you are stuck using this old technique, you might not be able to secure the kill on the boss on time. And, of course, there will be another summoner to deal with. The most conservative approach is to simply repeat what you did before: DoT boss, grab ghosts, kill summoner, if the second CG spawns, super-stun it.
There is a twist though, you might not have another expensive hard hitting ullitmate up. That’s OK because you might still have the Defensive Sigil, you will have your back bar cheap ulti, the boss might be low enough to burn if you have an execute, you have killed CGs without gold ghost explosions before: just be sure to fight next to the boss so you can interrupt his channel.

The biggest issue here is you have to do those 4 mechanics simultaneously: gold ghosts, DPS boss, avoid boss special attack, deal with summoners. That’s legit hard. Your class disorient, if available, makes it a piece of cake. The second biggest killer is running out of stamina on a magicka build. This fight is going to be hard until you get used to it, that’s just the way it is. Do not be discouraged!
*******Final Points********
  • Stages 5 and 6 are real "walls." These are very difficult for the inexperienced.
  • If you watch Youtube videos for inspiration, do *not* try to copy AndyS or those that get scores in excess of 500,000+. Their builds and strategies are based on experience you do not possess. A few months ago Alcast loaded up 300 CP runs which are going to be much more suitable. Watching Alcast's 300 CP runs, you’ll see him using the power sigils and playing more conservatively because these are things you just have to do when learning vMA.
  • I also saw someone make a post asking how many times people died the first time before killing the last boss and the average came out to like 10 or 15. That’s utter ***. Might as well ask people how much they weigh on an online dating website/app. It is possible for a very skilled player, with top notched DPS, who has their ultimate saved, and does not make a mistake to completely ignore all the mechanics and make it stupidly easy. [/i]That’s not going to be you the first time you get there.[/i]
  • Voriak Solkyn will humble you. You will get pissed off. You will begin to doubt your ESO competence. You will tell yourself you are quitting ESO. You will blame RNG and supernatural forces for why you keep dying. Many of us pleaded in guild chat for help and advice. We have all been there.
  • What I will say is even after the Morrowind nerfs, this fight is considerably easier than it was back when it was released in November 2015 when Voriak killed us hundreds of times. It used to take *a lot* of DPS to make sure that second CG guard did not spawn and we didn’t have the destro ultimate. This has changed; you really only should face one CG getting to the Crystals and those crystals are much easier to burn in one go cycle up top (it will not seem that way at first because you are unfamiliar with the timing of walls and skull attacks…be patient here and rely on DoTs rather than spammables).
  • When you get back down and you want to try and burn the boss, you cannot waste any time: dro
Edited by Joy_Division on March 9, 2018 7:24PM
  • myrrrorb14_ESO
    myrrrorb14_ESO
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    Thank you @Joy_Division

    Nice write up and break down. I've only tried this once to a disastrous effect. Looking forward to trying again!

  • Joy_Division
    Joy_Division
    Class Representative
    Thank you @Joy_Division

    Nice write up and break down. I've only tried this once to a disastrous effect. Looking forward to trying again!

    Good luck! Disaster does tend to happen here when unfamiliar with fights and mechanics, but you will get the hang of it.
  • Alucardo
    Alucardo
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    Thanks for taking the time to write this up. Lots of useful tips in here I had no idea about! Needs to be stickied or something.
    ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
  • Addihul
    Addihul
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    I haven't gone in more than a handful of times yet and it looks like at least one other person has problems with the round 6 boss. She's a tool and then some! I enjoyed reading this guide. Thank you
    Pevara La'Roche - NA / DC - The Order of Mundus - http://orderofmundus.com
  • Spacemonkey
    Spacemonkey
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    @Joy_Division thats two crazy posts in the same day : ) +1

    If I somehow manage to complete it I'll post my 2 cents. I have a stamplar with attribute points put in health because I'm stubborn and since day 1 have been attempting to play how I want to play and not how ZOS's nerfs seem to be telling me to play : P

    I hope between jabs, rally, aura, WB and sweeps (+ indomnitable/rune on second bar that lasts decent long) , ill be tankish-y enough to pull through, because I'm failing hard at dps checks lol.
    Edited by Spacemonkey on December 1, 2015 9:51PM
  • Surak73
    Surak73
    ✭✭✭✭
    @Joy_Division Great guide, thanks!
  • Cryhavoc
    Cryhavoc
    ✭✭✭
    Thank you @Joy_Division !
  • Shadesofkin
    Shadesofkin
    ✭✭✭✭✭
    It took me 30 deaths to realize that I was making things harder on me with boss 5. Thanks for this guide, it's a big help to reference now and again. When I complete the arena I'll be sure to comment again.
    @shadesofkin -NA Server.
    Tier 2 Player.
    If you run in Trials and you wonder why you're not doing the sorts of damage you see on youtube videos and on forums, but you reject advice based on extensive testing, claiming "I don't agree" you're the toxic one.
  • Joy_Division
    Joy_Division
    Class Representative
    It took me 30 deaths to realize that I was making things harder on me with boss 5. Thanks for this guide, it's a big help to reference now and again. When I complete the arena I'll be sure to comment again.

    Good luck!
  • mini_sweeney
    I've tried Vet Maelstrom countless times and failed, but this guide is great and I feel that next time I try I might just succeed! Thanks so much!
  • KitLightning
    KitLightning
    ✭✭✭✭
    Joy for life <3
    "I'd rather be insane in a sane world, than sane in an insane world!" ~Me
    Warning - This is a spoiler and looking at it for too long may cause irrecoverable eyesight issues.
    ◔̯◔

    MechWarrior: Living Legends – Total conversion modification for Crysis Wars.

    kitlightning.deviantart
  • Septimus_Magna
    Septimus_Magna
    ✭✭✭✭✭
    On a sorc I would not slot too many skills, this will put more pressure on your sustain because you waste magicka for casting many different skills. I tried with a similar setup as you described but kept having troubles with dmg output and sustain (this may sound counter-intuitive because you would expect to have more survivibility with healing ward)

    Going with Inner Light + Bound Aegis will increase your dmg and the size of your dmg shields.
    I literally get a 43k shield (25k vs physical), this allows me to dps for a while before re-casting the shield(s).
    When casting Harness Magicka before Hardened Ward you get a lot of magicka back when you get hit.

    The 43k shield meant I did not need a resto staff so I ran with DW on my second bar.
    This increases overload dmg which helps to nuke bosses down quickly.

    bar 1 - destro staff:
    -elemental drain
    -crushing shock
    -liquid lighting /boundless storm
    -inner light
    -bound aegis
    >meteor/barrier (for the magicka regen)

    bar 2 - DW:
    -power surge
    -hardened ward
    -harness magicka
    -inner light
    -bound aegis
    >energy overload

    overload bar:
    -power surge
    -hardened ward
    -endless fury
    -inner light
    -bound aegis
    Septimus Mezar - Altmer Sorcerer
    Magna Firebreath - Dunmer Dragon Knight
    Septimus Jah'zar - Khajiit Nightblade
    Septimus Thragar - Dunmer Nightblade
    Septimus Rulanir - Altmer Templar
    Septimus Nerox - Redguard Warden
  • Heindrich
    Heindrich
    ✭✭✭✭✭
    This was an interesting and at times amusing read. I even learnt some things! I've done vMA 20+ times and made the weekly every week except the fist... But I never noticed that Harness Magicka could block the spinning blades in stage 2! lol

    Your guide proves that you can do vMA with all sorts of different builds and tactics.

    I cannot say how "good" your tactics are for Templar and DK, since I haven't tried vMA with those classes, but tbh you really make things a lot more complicated than it needs to be for a sorc.

    You don't need much regen on a sorc cos Energy Overload will recharge your magicka when you run low and Elemental Drain can sustain you for most of it anyway. I know the best sorc scores are achieved with pure offensive builds that double bar both Bound Aegis and Inner Light. I personally prefer to just use Inner Light so I can fit Hardened War on my main bar. Not using Inner Light is a huge dps loss.

    I also think relying on sigils can actually make life difficult for you because it is something else you need to worry about and could potentially get wrong. For example in the very last stage of the final boss fight, I used to grab a power sigil immediately after getting knocked down. It often got me killed cos I found myself too far away from the boss when he starts the channel attack, or I miss a gold ghost, or got hit by a skull cos I was looking for the sigil. Indeed simply the time spent running for sigils is lost dps potential.

    I do love how differently you can approach vMA and develop your own unique tactics. My build philosophy is much closer to @Septimus_Magna but my bars still look quite different to his:

    Inferno Staff
    1) Force Pulse (I prefer this over Crushing Shock since it does more dmg and even provides some AoE when combined with Liquid Lightning)
    2) Elemental Drain
    3) Crystal Frag (great dmg, nice targeted range cc).
    4) Hardened Ward (safety without the need to bar swap)
    5) Inner Light
    U) Meteor (never use it, just want the max magicka)

    DW Swords
    1) Daedric Mines
    2) Liquid Lightning
    3) Power Surge
    4) Harness Magicka
    5) Inner Light
    U) Energy Overload

    Overload Bar:
    1) Boundless Storm (So I can kite effectively whilst Overloading)
    2) Liquid Lightning
    3) Power Surge
    4) Hardned Ward
    5) Inner Light

    Sima Jin - Breton Nightblade
    Aerie Slaverbane - Altmer Sorcerer
    Emely Shieldbearer - Imperial DK

    GM of Tamriel Traders Guild, the best trade guild in EU!
    More Info: Click Here


    @Heindrich, EU PC, Daggerfall Covenant
  • Joy_Division
    Joy_Division
    Class Representative
    Heindrich wrote: »
    This was an interesting and at times amusing read. I even learnt some things! I've done vMA 20+ times and made the weekly every week except the fist... But I never noticed that Harness Magicka could block the spinning blades in stage 2! lol

    Your guide proves that you can do vMA with all sorts of different builds and tactics.

    I cannot say how "good" your tactics are for Templar and DK, since I haven't tried vMA with those classes, but tbh you really make things a lot more complicated than it needs to be for a sorc.

    You don't need much regen on a sorc cos Energy Overload will recharge your magicka when you run low and Elemental Drain can sustain you for most of it anyway. I know the best sorc scores are achieved with pure offensive builds that double bar both Bound Aegis and Inner Light. I personally prefer to just use Inner Light so I can fit Hardened War on my main bar. Not using Inner Light is a huge dps loss.

    I also think relying on sigils can actually make life difficult for you because it is something else you need to worry about and could potentially get wrong. For example in the very last stage of the final boss fight, I used to grab a power sigil immediately after getting knocked down. It often got me killed cos I found myself too far away from the boss when he starts the channel attack, or I miss a gold ghost, or got hit by a skull cos I was looking for the sigil. Indeed simply the time spent running for sigils is lost dps potential.

    I do love how differently you can approach vMA and develop your own unique tactics. My build philosophy is much closer to @Septimus_Magna but my bars still look quite different to his:

    Inferno Staff
    1) Force Pulse (I prefer this over Crushing Shock since it does more dmg and even provides some AoE when combined with Liquid Lightning)
    2) Elemental Drain
    3) Crystal Frag (great dmg, nice targeted range cc).
    4) Hardened Ward (safety without the need to bar swap)
    5) Inner Light
    U) Meteor (never use it, just want the max magicka)

    DW Swords
    1) Daedric Mines
    2) Liquid Lightning
    3) Power Surge
    4) Harness Magicka
    5) Inner Light
    U) Energy Overload

    Overload Bar:
    1) Boundless Storm (So I can kite effectively whilst Overloading)
    2) Liquid Lightning
    3) Power Surge
    4) Hardned Ward
    5) Inner Light

    Yes!

    My templar tactics are designed for someone who has a bad race and PvP morphs :smiley: I'd imagine Altmers with inner light who devote 64 points into magicka won't have to be as ... complicated.

    I wouldn't necessarily rely on the sigals because as you point out that can potentially distract you from more important stuff, but if you are sitting right next to one in relative downtimes (i.e. without an angry Crematorium Guard beating on you) ... pick it up if you are having difficulty clearing these stages! They are incredibly strong. The sigals I specifically rely on are few and my strategy is designed in such a way that I always can get them without any additional dangers (such as the defensive shield on Boss 5).

    I'm kind of glad you posted this because it is correct and I can only hope ZoS finally recognizes that the dubiousness of having the sorcerer class most effective when it streamlines everything into DPS and shields.
    Edited by Joy_Division on December 30, 2015 5:01PM
  • Mr.Hmm
    Mr.Hmm
    ✭✭✭✭
    I died over 50 times in Maelstorm Arena.

    Then I went to forums to check for a guide that gives some tips/information.

    I saw yours, I read it all and then I did Maelstorm Arena.

    I finished the arena faster than before because of things I did not know about. I was confused on spider boss as to how I was getting INSTANT DEATH, then when I read the guide I understood that I should not miss any spiders.

    Really thank you for this guide :) You made my life alot more easier.

    And I would like to say that I agree with out in terms of builds, I prefer to use a build that I feel comfortable with instead of using a build that everyone does.
    If I die tomorrow I do not want to think of the game I could of played today, therefor I will play whatever I want today while securing a future to play in as well.

    A true gamer will think of all the possible outcomes and execute the one that is the hardest to accomplish.
  • Islyn
    Islyn
    ✭✭✭✭✭
    @Joy_Division every time I read one of your posts the fangirl love just grows. <3 (in the totally noncreepy high-five way, of course!!)
    Casualty

    THIS IS WHY ELE DRAIN AND ORBS ARE IMPORTANT IF YOU'RE A HEALER see reply below from DK who cleared Sanctum Hard Mode with 5 Player Group
    http://forums.elderscrollsonline.com/en/discussion/241875/5-man-so-hm-hf
    Islyn wrote: »
    That whips DK though - love the mana Not Being Empty!

    I would LOVE some tips! I tend to burn through my mana TOO FAST (I use same rotation etc) and I am not sure what I am doing wrong?

    Any advice from that DK would be SO appreciated!
    YoloWizard wrote: »
    Well, I don't probably do anything different than you its all about the healer you run with. @Kathrein was applying elemental drain and throwing mystic orbs from time to time to synergies. Other than that I would be at 0 magicka all the time
    ZOS?
    Member of the Old Guard - Closed Betas 2013
  • Islyn
    Islyn
    ✭✭✭✭✭
    Nikkor wrote: »
    501 champion points?

    I'm at 421 on ps4. I am debating on wether or not to got back into vet maelstrom today or punch myself in the nuts.

    which do you think will be more fun?

    I lol'd.
    Casualty

    THIS IS WHY ELE DRAIN AND ORBS ARE IMPORTANT IF YOU'RE A HEALER see reply below from DK who cleared Sanctum Hard Mode with 5 Player Group
    http://forums.elderscrollsonline.com/en/discussion/241875/5-man-so-hm-hf
    Islyn wrote: »
    That whips DK though - love the mana Not Being Empty!

    I would LOVE some tips! I tend to burn through my mana TOO FAST (I use same rotation etc) and I am not sure what I am doing wrong?

    Any advice from that DK would be SO appreciated!
    YoloWizard wrote: »
    Well, I don't probably do anything different than you its all about the healer you run with. @Kathrein was applying elemental drain and throwing mystic orbs from time to time to synergies. Other than that I would be at 0 magicka all the time
    ZOS?
    Member of the Old Guard - Closed Betas 2013
  • Nikkor
    Nikkor
    ✭✭✭
    Ok, so this time I got to the easy stage 4 boss.

    I am doing something wrong. I read your guide. I watched Alcast's video guide. I am able to burn everything in good time.

    except I am having a hard time burning these ads on the boss round of 4.

    using a 421 champion point magic night blade with maxed gold juliann's gold kena shoulders.

    i can use inferno sword and board or dual wield. been sticking with the sword and board and having great success in first 3 rounds. I know my rotations but some of these ads are seeming invincible compared to others. i understand about the shields that go up on the mobs but other than that. Perhaps they are more resistant to magic damage?

    any help would be appreciated!
  • Joy_Division
    Joy_Division
    Class Representative
    The only adds I burn on the boss 4 round are spider and sphere that spawn once the boss goes into it's fire mode and then the streaking battlemage when the boss goes into it's second fire mode. I ignore everything else. Don;t even bother attacking the little robots if they have a shield up (and to be honest I just ignore them entirely unless one is right in front of me without a shield).

    I have not done this on a NB, but this is how I would go about it.

    1. Grab the power buff as soon as the round starts.
    2. Use your regular single target DPS rotation on the boss and stay inside the green.
    3. Ignore the sentry robots. They are just nuances and your funnel health should heal through any damage they cause.
    4. When the boss stop and goes into fire mode, you could do one of two things:
    5. Conservative: Drop a meteor on it, move to other side of pillar, take out the spider and sphere using funnel health/sap essence.
    6. Better but risky: Drop a veil of blades on the boss, move to the edge of veil and sap essence spam (this way you dps everything at once). My templar and DK can stay alive in nova/banner this way, you NB should be able to survive in a Veil.
    7. Once adds are dead, repeat step 2 (again ignoring little sentries)
    8. When boss stop and goes into fire mode again, move to other side of pillar and take out the battlemage. She has low health.
    9. After this do nothing but DPS the boss...Don't be afraid to grab the closest power sigal while you make you way to the green safe area.

    This does not require an OP build or a ton of champion points. I dont think you need sword and board with this boss (switch after the 3rd round). This is a DPS race and you'd really like to get some weaving in with an inferno staff or take advantage of dual welding sword (still light attack while using them though).
  • Nikkor
    Nikkor
    ✭✭✭
    ok thanks man, I think my problem was thinking i had to clear all the adds. If I understand correctly i just need to take care of the few specific ones each time i come out from under the boss.

    thanks
  • eliisra
    eliisra
    ✭✭✭✭✭
    Just have to jump in and praise this guide :smile:

    I'm no elite PvE'er and care little for top scores, just wanted to beat the damn thing once a week on my templar. This guide totally helped me achieve that. Was kinda stuck on stage 5 a few weeks ago not getting anywhere, getting iced and instakilled. Had no clue it wasn't a dps race lol. Than I found this gem and can finally beat the arena without going insane.

    The class specific tactics are great, it's been so helpful on the tricky bits for my templar. How to deal with final boss + Crematorial Guard combo, for example. But there's also in-depth information about mechanics in this guide, stuff I couldn't find anywhere else.

    Thanks so much for writing it @Joy_Division
    Edited by eliisra on January 17, 2016 1:13AM
  • Seido_Tensei_
    Seido_Tensei_
    ✭✭✭
    Just got my first clear with magicka Templar based heavily on the advice in this guide. Thank you very much @Joy_Division for writing this, saved a lot of hours.

    Shout out @zornyan for the gear breakdown. Great balance of DPS and sustainability. (Magnus + Julianos)

    Looking forward to getting another one later this week. Practice makes perfect, no substitute for time spent in the arena.
  • Oreyn_Bearclaw
    Oreyn_Bearclaw
    ✭✭✭✭✭
    ✭✭✭✭
    @Joy_Division , really great guide for us mere mortals running around. I got my clear over the weekend (also my 6th try), and just stumbled across this. I cleared it on my sorc, but I think I want to try my Templar next and there is some great advice in here. I was considering writing up my own experience, but it sounds like yours. My complaints are generally your complaints. My biggest issues are FPS drops and RNG deaths at this point. First time I got to last boss, my game was unplayable because of FPS issues. Second time, I immediately go booted and lost progress. It was almost my last time, but glad I stuck with it.

    I personally, found that I did better with less utility and more DPS, but this setup clearly works. My bars looked closer to yours when I was learning mechanics. I don't think straight DPS is they way to learn, but as you point out, the more experience you have, the less you will rely on things.

    I cleared with a sorc with the following setup. I made no changes throughout the whole arena.

    Destro: Overload, Crushing Shock, Frags, Hardened Ward, Bound Armor, Inner Light
    DW: Overload, Power surge, Rune Cage, Harness Magic, Bound Armor, Inner Light
    Overload: Mage's Wrath, Dark Conversion, Hardened Ward, Bound Armor, Inner Light.

    My goal is to eventually get Rune Cage off my bar and replace with liquid lightening, and then to get ward off my front bar. Ward on your front bar is the safe way IMO, but its less DPS. My next clear I plan to do just that. There are only a few stages at this point where I like the Stun (Stages 5, 7, and 9). I was able to sustain with pots, Harness Magic, and Dark Conversion between rounds.

    My only push back on your sorc build is the notion of using alts other than overload. It simplifies virtually every tough encounter in the arena. I took out round 4 boss in 22 seconds, and have done 100-0 burns on round 6 boss (although its much more consistent if you do a 75-0 burn after getting a stun). Barrier on your front bar is a neat idea for sure, but I am terrified I would accidentally cast it and lose my ultimate. I did that once with a meteor and immediately took it off my bar. It just so happened to be on the shield add in stage 7, when trying to activate overload. On another note, don't meteor the guy with the shield :smile: . My goal is to build ultimate to 1000 during each stage to burn boss. I also use it if I am low on mana to get full really quickly. Only boss fight I don't use it on is stage 5, but I use it on stage 5 round 4, to just quickly burn everything.

    Anyways, great guide with lots of info.
    Edited by Oreyn_Bearclaw on January 19, 2016 9:07PM
    Alliance/Platform: Ebonheart Pact - PC/NA - CP 1,100ish

    My Toons:
    DKs: Oreyn ßearclaw - Dunmer, Bear-m'Athra - Redguard, Bearzilla - Argonian
    Sorcs: Beary Jane - AR37- Altmer, Bearricane - Redguard, Molag Bear - Altmer (AD)
    NBs: Bearclaw Oreyn - Dunmer, Bearblade - Bosmer, ßearblade - Dunmer (DC)
    Temps: Gandalf Likes To Party - Altmer, Bearplar - Redguard, Bearamedic - Argonian
    Wardens: Warden Bearclaw - Altmer, Bear Jordan - Redguard, Bear's Hippie Girlfriend - Bosmer

    vAS+2, vHOFHM, vMOLHM, vSOHM, vHRCHM, vAAHM, vDSA, Flawless Conqueror, Dro-m'Athra Destroyer
  • Makkir
    Makkir
    ✭✭✭✭✭
    @Joy_Division

    So I went in on vet for the first time, and on my first attempt I destroyed Boss 1 just by burning him with power overload on a dual wield set up (julianos, 2 TP, 2pc Shard set, 3 WP jewelry). I used tri stat food and I since I was using DW/Resto I found myself running out of majicka a lot. I left arena for 10 mins to allow a reset and recharged my ultimate to enter again (my plan tonight was just to farm the first boss a couple times for gear) and then died twice on the boss before I went to bed and quit.

    One of the biggest problems I had with Boss 1 was LOS with my overload light attacks. The stupid ass targeting system (I miss the old one) kept hitting the adds instead of the boss until I ran out of uiltimate and then was pretty much screwed.

    I think I messed up burning him off the bat instead of taking out the first two sets of adds then burning, and now I am wondering if I should just try what you posted and just stand still with lightning and mines down so I can better aim at the boss; ditching the DW so I can burn adds in first few rounds easier without running out of majicka. On my first kill attempt I was kind of bouncing around the place to avoid to melee adds and I think I should been more stationary.

    So I am guessing you use regen drink then and not tri stat?
    Makkir- Sorcerer
    Join the movement! #SorcLivesMatter
    Visit the Black Dragon Apothecary in Rawl'kha today! Excellent selection of end game gear and premium goods for sale!
    PVP Magicka Sorc Builds- My YouTube


  • Joy_Division
    Joy_Division
    Class Representative
    @Joy_Division , really great guide for us mere mortals running around. I got my clear over the weekend (also my 6th try), and just stumbled across this. I cleared it on my sorc, but I think I want to try my Templar next and there is some great advice in here. I was considering writing up my own experience, but it sounds like yours. My complaints are generally your complaints. My biggest issues are FPS drops and RNG deaths at this point. First time I got to last boss, my game was unplayable because of FPS issues. Second time, I immediately go booted and lost progress. It was almost my last time, but glad I stuck with it.

    I personally, found that I did better with less utility and more DPS, but this setup clearly works. My bars looked closer to yours when I was learning mechanics. I don't think straight DPS is they way to learn, but as you point out, the more experience you have, the less you will rely on things.

    I cleared with a sorc with the following setup. I made no changes throughout the whole arena.

    Destro: Overload, Crushing Shock, Frags, Hardened Ward, Bound Armor, Inner Light
    DW: Overload, Power surge, Rune Cage, Harness Magic, Bound Armor, Inner Light
    Overload: Mage's Wrath, Dark Conversion, Hardened Ward, Bound Armor, Inner Light.

    My goal is to eventually get Rune Cage off my bar and replace with liquid lightening, and then to get ward off my front bar. Ward on your front bar is the safe way IMO, but its less DPS. My next clear I plan to do just that. There are only a few stages at this point where I like the Stun (Stages 5, 7, and 9). I was able to sustain with pots, Harness Magic, and Dark Conversion between rounds.

    My only push back on your sorc build is the notion of using alts other than overload. It simplifies virtually every tough encounter in the arena. I took out round 4 boss in 22 seconds, and have done 100-0 burns on round 6 boss (although its much more consistent if you do a 75-0 burn after getting a stun). Barrier on your front bar is a neat idea for sure, but I am terrified I would accidentally cast it and lose my ultimate. I did that once with a meteor and immediately took it off my bar. It just so happened to be on the shield add in stage 7, when trying to activate overload. On another note, don't meteor the guy with the shield :smile: . My goal is to build ultimate to 1000 during each stage to burn boss. I also use it if I am low on mana to get full really quickly. Only boss fight I don't use it on is stage 5, but I use it on stage 5 round 4, to just quickly burn everything.

    Anyways, great guide with lots of info.

    Glad you found this helpful in getting your complete!

    You are correct about the sorcerers and the prioritization of DPS. Under zero circumstances should a competitive PvE sorcerer ever use any ultimate other than Overload. I also think your instinct to drop Rune Cage is there right call (you don;t need it until the very last fight and even then it's more convenient than necessary). Liquid lightning is a very strong DPS skill and difficult to pass over.

    At this point in the game, I do not consider myself a competitive PvE player and I have zero desire to compete for a leaderboard time because this is the only end-game content and I find Maelstrom far more frustrating than I do fun. Also the game is at a point right now where I *have* to use what I find to be a very boring build full of toggles and bar rotation to attain a competitive DPS and I have zero desire to do that.
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