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Joy's New and Improved Guide to Beating Maelstrom Arena

  • FrancisCrawford
    FrancisCrawford
    ✭✭✭✭✭
    What can or can't be chained?

    Troll breakers?
    Hoarvers?
    Webspinners?
  • John_Falstaff
    John_Falstaff
    ✭✭✭✭✭
    @FrancisCrawford , hoarvors can be chained, I tried and it's actually a valid way to get a hoarvor to a webbed pillar in a blink. The only issue is, the initial damage from the chain sometimes kills the hoarvor. Also, I think (I don't really bother myself doing that) that on argonian round the shield-carrying minders can be pulled around with chain, but only before they began channeling their shield, so it might be useful to yank one to a flower-free spot before killing the other minder and hide under the shield without worrying that a flower will pop under your feet.
    Edited by John_Falstaff on November 12, 2018 11:56AM
  • FrancisCrawford
    FrancisCrawford
    ✭✭✭✭✭
    @FrancisCrawford , hoarvors can be chained, I tried and it's actually a valid way to get a hoarvor to a webbed pillar in a blink. The only issue is, the initial damage from the chain sometimes kills the hoarvor. Also, I think (I don't really bother myself doing that) that on argonian round the shield-carrying minders can be pulled around with chain, but only before they began channeling their shield, so it might be useful to yank one to a flower-free spot before killing the other minder and hide under the shield without worrying that a flower will pop under your feet.

    On the other hand, my tests of chaining troll breakers didn't go well at all.
  • jlb1705
    jlb1705
    ✭✭✭
    I finally did it. I took a break for several months after clearing Stage 5. I came back a few weeks ago and started trying again, making may way to the final stage. I've spent the last few days trying to beat the final boss, trying a bunch of new, weird stuff due to all of the changes that were made to stamblade over the past few patches. I finally got the rhythm down for burning the boss down to <70% without ults, then got the rhythm for the upper level portion. The last phase was easy once I figured out how to get to that point with some stamina left. Didn't get the bow I wanted though :neutral:. My magplar will enjoy the precise lightning staff though.

    FWIW here's the setup I used:

    Gear: Slimecraw/VO/NMG (I had farmed Briarheart for my return to VMA but the changes to major fracture on Surprise Attack made NMG more appealing)
    Front bar: Dark Cloak, Rearming Trap, Blood Craze, Killer's Blade, Power Extraction, Incapacitating Strike
    Back Bar: Resolving Vigor, Leeching Strikes, Endless Hail, Razor Caltrops, Poison Injection, Ballista
    Pots: Crown Tri-Restoration Potions, switched to Weapon Crit/Stamina/Health pots once I got to the point on the final stage where I could tell myself "yes, you can do this."

    The advice from the guide about making heavy use of AOE DOTs and letting them do the heavy lifting is so true, and with the changes to a lot of the stamblade skills for the Elsweyr patch, that advice is more true than it ever was.

    I still want that bow, but I want another break from this place. Maybe I'll come back with my magplar when it's a good time to farm.

    Thanks to everybody who helped all those months ago.
    Edited by jlb1705 on June 17, 2019 4:47AM
  • jlb1705
    jlb1705
    ✭✭✭
    Haha, I lied. I went back in there for my first ever magplar attempt tonight and cleared it again. Used trash pots and didn't even remember the mechanics on the first six stages since I hadn't played them in months. Didn't matter - magplar is serious easy mode compared to stamblade. You can make so many more mistakes - you just heal thru everything.
  • Ruenn
    Ruenn
    This guide is incredibly helpful. Thank you to OP and all who have contributed!!
  • de_la_Dude
    de_la_Dude
    ✭✭
    Just want to chime in with my appreciation for the great advice provided here. I started my first attempt over two and a half years ago and ended up taking a break from the game for over a year. I started playing again recently and before long couldn't resist the urge to complete this challenge. I read the original guide way back when, still have it bookmarked! So I started here and it was a great read to get me prepared.

    I picked up where I left off: the dreaded Vault of Umbrage. This freakin stage, I tell ya! Easily the hardest one for me personally. Once I cleared it stage eight was a cake walk, and I was on to the final boss.

    It took me three or four nights of attempts and a couple hundred potions, but I finally broke through the mechanics and it felt great knowing I had the boss in the bag on those last few executes. It really seems to be about getting into the flow of the fight and using the sigils wisely more than anything. The tip about taking breaks helped a lot here, playing on tilt is just a disaster!

    This first complete was with my magblade (cp ~450), and I had to modify a few of the tips for the final boss to make things click. Here's where I deviated, hope it helps:
    - tri-stat food was a huge help on stage nine but I found tri-stat pots were hindering my DPS too much, making the phases drag out too long. Using spell power pots most of the fight made things go a lot smoother for me, but I was pretty good at avoiding the stuns which was key to not needing so much stamina. I used a tri-pot during the crystal phase for health right before dropping down to fight the guard, but switched back to spell power immediately.
    - dropping down before clearing all three crystals was a great tip, but using the defensive sigil to fend off the guard meant I didnt have enough survivability for the final boss burn. I got really good at killing the guard without the sigil so I could stack both the attack and defense buffs for the final phase and it made all the difference for me. Without the defense on phase three I found I had no chance to burn the boss and who wants to deal with all those mechanics right? :wink:

    Again, thank you for such a great guide. I'm looking forward to clearing it on my stamblade now with my shiny new bow!
  • Halen
    Halen
    Soul Shriven
    You do need DPS. You can't heal or block things to death. And you gonna need a fair amount of it because there are DPS checks. Not going to lie, it's important because the more you have the easier vMA gets. But it's not necessary to have elite DPS. VMA was cleared way back when 20K was considered a lot.

    You are talking about 20kDPS on dummy I imagine ? (in vMA conditions, single target DPS is rarely very high)

    Sure high DPS help to burn fights, and these arenas can be easier, but, there's only 1 DPS-check situation in entire vMA => Runa in arena#5, and only in the last ice-spot : there, you just need to be methodic with sigil (absolutely keep power-sigil for the execute phase) but with a low DPS tanky-gameplay StamDK (9k/11k, 15k under ultimate or sigil) it works :


    For all other fights in arenas, if you respect mecanics, you have time to manage end-bosses.

    For me, mistakes in the begining is to want/try play an unusual class (cause theorycraft dogms says it's better/easier) and want to go or finish too fast without learning/adapt/adjust or without survival push-button : vMA is a special PVE place where no one will balance mistakes like in 4 players-dungeon-groups : you're just alone. So, same if you got and follow exactly the "guide", recommanded stuff, priorities, placements, all depend to the solutions you bring to the equation "power/survival/sustain/gameplay" against vMA environments.


    For all this guide => very good job Joy ;)

    Edited by Halen on July 25, 2019 9:03AM
  • red_bird
    red_bird
    ✭✭
    Thank you for the write up. As others have said, it's very helpful. One thing in particular that made a big difference to my (Breton) melee magplar on the Final Boss was where you said, "I recommend tri-stat food because this stage requires a lot of stamina." You aren't kidding! Stamina turned out to be the deciding factor for me.

    In stage 9 rounds 4 and 5, I used bloody mara and spell power pots to burn enemies down before the ritual completed or an archer one-shotted me, but then on the final boss it changes. It was hard for me to believe I should take the reduction in damage of the tri-stat food, but once I did, things got easier, and I've used it to beat him twice now. Thanks for that advice!
    pve on ps4
  • Vinterskald
    Vinterskald
    ✭✭
    Just coming here to say how thankful I am for this guide - I really think it's the most helpful one out there, hands down.

    I finally cleared it after a lot of very stressful hours on my mag sorc healer - a little less of a healer during this, of course, and I know when I finally managed to beat the bosses in stages seven and then even nine it was mostly luck and less the gear or the skills, but hey, at least I managed :smiley:

    And it really helped me to know that after the spider boss, I would be able to manage the last boss, too. My dps certainly wasn't high, but getting a very deep understanding of the mechanics does most of the work.
    Barra agea ry sou karan.

    PC/NA: Manerion - Altmer Sorcerer Healer || Meirion Telynor - Bosmer Werewolf Warden DD
    Loryerandilwe - Altmer Vampire Nightblade Healer || Eldhraun Gwernydd - Breton Vampire Nightblade DD
    Sirrush Zainsubani - Ashlander Dunmer Dragonknight Tank || Zanrhuni-ko - Khajiit Templar Healer
    Varunirnion - Altmer Warden Healer || Hlífhildr Golden-Cloak - Nord Dragonknight Healer
    Falvyon Drinith - Dunmer Necromancer Healer || Vidhusari-daro - Khajiit Warden DD

    PC/EU: Aderynwen - Altmer Templar Healer
    Mindirineth - Bosmer Sorcerer DD || Quandenrume - Altmer Nightblade DD
  • kind_hero
    kind_hero
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    After beating the vMA once, I returned during the Orsinium event with my magsorc, to give it an other try.
    It is really easier after you have completed the arena once.

    My vet run for yesterday was:

    Arena 1 - 3 flawless
    Arena 4 - Seht’s Flywheel, 1 silly death at the boss
    Arena 5 - Rink of Frozen Blood, 3 deaths due to late interrupts
    Arena 6 - Spiral Shadows, flawless (yay, when I think that I spent hours with that spider)
    Arena 7 - Vault of Umbrage, 3 deaths because my Skoria killed the bubble mage, so I had to change the monster set to be safe
    Arena 8 - Igneous Cistern, about 6 deaths because of late interrupts on the fire mages..

    Arena 9 - Theater of Despair /facepalm

    Like most people who get stuck here, my issues right now are with the end boss of the vMA

    My strategy is to burn the boss as much as possible, then when he does his 1st teleport, I interrupt him, cast wall of elements on him and then I start the thunder storm (ulti) on him, because then he summons his Crem Guard and healing dremora. With this strategy, his adds die pretty quick and he is almost burned to the point when he teleports up. I manage this 4 of 5 times...

    But my problem is when I get up... Most of the times I get to tense to this point and lose focus, doing all sorts of mistakes. I learned to dodge his skulls pretty well, also I move constantly so I don't get hit by meteors, but I haven't found a good strategy to destroy the crystals and catch the floating wall in time.

    So here is my question: what order works best? I start with the 1st crystal, but due to so many things going on, I haven't found a clear strategy on how to proceed up there. Do you go counter clockwise? How do you catch the last floating wall which moves fast?

    After I destroy the crystals, I pick up the sigils and try to burn the boss, but sometimes he summons the Crem Guard when there are to many things going on, and it kills me. I got him yesterday to 4 and 3% but had to give up because I was to tired to focus properly.
    @ kind.hero (PC/EU) cp810 DC Sephala, Breton nightblade, DC April Dawn, Stormproof, Breton magicka sorcerer
    All the rare dyes pictured post
  • red_bird
    red_bird
    ✭✭
    kind_hero wrote: »
    So here is my question: what order works best? I start with the 1st crystal, but due to so many things going on, I haven't found a clear strategy on how to proceed up there. Do you go counter clockwise? How do you catch the last floating wall which moves fast?
    I find it easier to save my ultimate for upstairs, but of course ymmv. Like @Joy_Division recommends, I use DOTs up there. Two on the crystal immediately to my left, then I'm moving counter-clockwise (wall coming toward me). I don't have a lot of stamina, so I block rather than dodge the skull. I drop my DOT ultimate on crystal 2 and move on to meet up with the wall while using ranged DOTs on crystal 3. Now I'm travelling back the way I came, clockwise with the wall. Once it breaks, I move counter-clockwise again.

    I usually destroy the crystals this way before the fast third wall, but If I make it to that point with a crystal left, it's too much damage for me in light armor, so I take the advice given in this guide and jump down and fight a CG before popping up again with the damage and wall speed reset.

    (You don't have problems with getting stuck in a snare up there, but when I was first learning upstairs I did, and immovable potions helped me with that. Popped one the moment I hit the top and was able to move freely. I switched potions after I got the hang of it.)
    pve on ps4
  • grannas211
    grannas211
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    I remember reading this guide many moons ago when I was popping my cherry. Good guide. I reread the spoiler on stage 5 final boss I think so many times, I just subconsciously read that in my head each time now.
    Edited by grannas211 on August 14, 2019 6:38AM
  • kind_hero
    kind_hero
    ✭✭✭✭✭
    Thanks @red_bird ! That is a good strategy.

    I always keep my big ultimate for the beginning of phase 3, when I pick up the shield and the axe, then I put the ultimate on the boss, to melt him down as quickly as possible.

    Since I asked the question, I have beaten him, I think I got knocked down once, which helped a bit with the soul churn damage, and gave me more breathing space to destroy the last crystal. Next I proceeded like I said, the shield reflected a lot of damage back to him, and was lucky enough to catch 3 ghosts right before he summoned a Crem guard.
    In the 3rd phase I ignore the summoners and adds, except for the crem guard... By the time I got 3 ghosts, the summoners finished their ritual and a crem guard poped, so I used the soul explosion, and nuked the boss. When he was dead, everything despawned :) It is a bit risky, but it works
    @ kind.hero (PC/EU) cp810 DC Sephala, Breton nightblade, DC April Dawn, Stormproof, Breton magicka sorcerer
    All the rare dyes pictured post
  • red_bird
    red_bird
    ✭✭
    kind_hero wrote: »
    Thanks @red_bird ! That is a good strategy.

    I always keep my big ultimate for the beginning of phase 3, when I pick up the shield and the axe, then I put the ultimate on the boss, to melt him down as quickly as possible.

    Since I asked the question, I have beaten him, I think I got knocked down once, which helped a bit with the soul churn damage, and gave me more breathing space to destroy the last crystal. Next I proceeded like I said, the shield reflected a lot of damage back to him, and was lucky enough to catch 3 ghosts right before he summoned a Crem guard.
    In the 3rd phase I ignore the summoners and adds, except for the crem guard... By the time I got 3 ghosts, the summoners finished their ritual and a crem guard poped, so I used the soul explosion, and nuked the boss. When he was dead, everything despawned :) It is a bit risky, but it works

    Nice! Nuking works. :) I'm slower downstairs at the end than you with no ult until CG appears, but I also beat him again last night. Good weapons drop for me. Hope you did well as well.

    pve on ps4
  • kind_hero
    kind_hero
    ✭✭✭✭✭
    red_bird wrote: »
    kind_hero wrote: »
    Thanks @red_bird ! That is a good strategy.

    I always keep my big ultimate for the beginning of phase 3, when I pick up the shield and the axe, then I put the ultimate on the boss, to melt him down as quickly as possible.

    Since I asked the question, I have beaten him, I think I got knocked down once, which helped a bit with the soul churn damage, and gave me more breathing space to destroy the last crystal. Next I proceeded like I said, the shield reflected a lot of damage back to him, and was lucky enough to catch 3 ghosts right before he summoned a Crem guard.
    In the 3rd phase I ignore the summoners and adds, except for the crem guard... By the time I got 3 ghosts, the summoners finished their ritual and a crem guard poped, so I used the soul explosion, and nuked the boss. When he was dead, everything despawned :) It is a bit risky, but it works

    Nice! Nuking works. :) I'm slower downstairs at the end than you with no ult until CG appears, but I also beat him again last night. Good weapons drop for me. Hope you did well as well.

    Last time I got the Lightning staff, infused trait, a pair of dagger/sword, and an axe motif. I guess I got lucky.

    Yesterday I tried to kill the last boss for a 3rd time, got close to 4% once and I had two more good attempts. At one point, when I was in the 3rd phase, doing good, my food buff ran out, and just did not have enough health/mana to keep up :( After that I got fed up, and left the fight for an other day. My problem is that when the boss summons the Crem guard, there is also a clanfear, healer necro spikes, and the boss is shoting skulls and light attacks at me. It is a very hard phase.

    Regarding the sorc one bar build which I used for the last boss, I noticed that you can use Crafty Alfiq which is way more cheaper than Necropotence.
    True you can buy necropotence in odd traits relatively cheaper, but if you want the divines bonus from your mundus, this can cost a lot.
    So I made a comparison.

    In my case, I have many crown meals which I saved from daily rewards. So with that buff and all points in magicka (my sorc is Breton), I had 38981 magicka (no pet) with necropotence, infused /invigorating traits, purple quality. With pet I had 42720 magicka.
    I got a full set of divines Alfiq for less than 10k and with the Mage mundus, I got 42586 magicka.
    The difference is 134 less magicka! The good part is that you do not lose your 5 set piece bonus when you lose the pet (it happened to me many times during the arena), and also this much cheaper set can be used even without pets without losing magicka.

    Necropotence (non divines traits)
    38981 (no pet)
    42720 (pet)

    Alfiq (divines)
    42586 (pet / no pet)
    @ kind.hero (PC/EU) cp810 DC Sephala, Breton nightblade, DC April Dawn, Stormproof, Breton magicka sorcerer
    All the rare dyes pictured post
  • phwaap
    phwaap
    ✭✭✭
    kind_hero wrote: »
    Regarding the sorc one bar build which I used for the last boss, I noticed that you can use Crafty Alfiq which is way more cheaper than Necropotence.

    Alfiq (divines)
    42586 (pet / no pet)
    Thanks for this hint. Wish I had been saving my Alfiq stuff but it really was pretty cheap and prevalent in the stores. Ended up getting two staves easily to get a few more skills.

    I just couldn't grind any more for the Plague Doctor pieces so I crafted Twice-Born Star. With The Mage/Lord I get 43435 magicka on my Breton, with blue food 48371 and health almost 30k. Tested it out leveling some skills on dragons/WBs today and it feels pretty solid.
  • izanagiprime
    izanagiprime
    Soul Shriven
    I read this, and i think you are God.
  • goldenarcher1
    goldenarcher1
    ✭✭✭✭✭
    Never thought i would ever manage this,but after many many runs and endless frustration it has somehow been achieved. :)

    This was on a stamina DK (wood-elf) 2H/Bow build using 5 piece Vicious Ophidian.Mighty Chudan,Agility jewelery,Maelstrom Bow and Masters maul.

    Just like to say thanks again for all the advice and information in this thread.

    W9Kre5Q.png
  • EvilMagicEightball
    EvilMagicEightball
    Soul Shriven
    Thank you for putting this together!
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