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Thread: A "short" guide to Helian spellcaster tanking.

  1. #1

    Default A "short" guide to Helian spellcaster tanking.


    This is by no means guide that you have to follow step by step. A lot of inventions happen when you explore for yourself, as it was in my case in a first place - even if it involves several painful deaths at first.
    I will give general tips on what you may need to comfortably survive different encounters, without going into minor details because I am bad at keeping things short and simple then.
    This guide is also written primarly with ancients in mind. While it is possible to tank, or even solo some epics on adult it is much, much easier on ancient and you have much more options on what you can face head on.

    If you do not wish to read wall of text below here are some tl;dr things. It is very helpful if you:
    - Have all quest abilities
    - Get teched spells including Drain Bolt X
    - Have Ceremonial Chest Scale and preferably also both Reklar scales for respective damage types.
    - Get consumables (crystals, baubles, biped potions if needed be)
    - Try to have at least 1 ally, Virrak is generally safe 1st choice. Algontoth for swap when healing from Virrak is on cd is also very useful.
    - Have a good stat title is also helpful
    - Know particular Epic weaknesses


    General stat thoughts:
    % damage reduction - available only on few pieces of equipment/techs as well as baubles and soldier stance. The more the merrier. The single best thing you can get to help you survive.
    Health - most universal defensive stats in the game after % reductions. With clerics having complete heal it is only stronger, and healing from kaasha's blessing (from sigil of kaasha crystal) scales off max hp. This is where first half of your TPs should go.
    Primal / Power - they increase your damage, healing from Drain Bolt and your ability to hold monster's attention. While main focus should be defensive stats those can by no means be ignored. Spend rest half of TPs into Primal.

    Armor - the amount you get by default from scales and bonuses is sufficent by itself. There isn't really need to stack more of it as it isn't universal defense.
    Ethereal Armor - It can be both useless and one of the more useful stats, depending on which epic you fight. Elial fight in particular requires you to have a healthy amount of it (but do not stack just it at expense of everything else, his attack will still do a lot of damage regardless), though stone of seeking already adds a good amount by itself.
    Resistances - they are not very useful to stack to high amounts due to low conversion to absorbed damage, generally regular dragon buffs and maybe a crystal if you can spare them are more than sufficent.
    Focus - unnecessary to stack beyond what is already available on repaired scales.

    Good scale tech kits:
    Socketing (head, chest and foreleg scales) - should be in most available slots
    Amulet of Istara (all scales - quest version, tail scale - buyable version) - +75 HP, +25 Magic Defense, +20 Primal, +20 Life
    Seal of the Clerical Order (all scales - quest version, chest scale - buyable version) - +75 HP, 5% Chance to heal on incoming non-spell attack for 40-55
    Crest of the Blackhammer Clan (wing scales) - +500 to Blight Resistance, 25% chance to reduce incoming melee and ranged damage by 20%
    Bone Lacing (situational) (back scale) - 25% chance to reduce incoming Melee and Ranged damage launched by the Undead by 10%.
    Ethereal Essence Salve (situational) (all scales) - +100 Ethereal Armor. Alright filler tech once you run out of other options and plan to do Epics that deal ethereal damage.
    Drulkar's Retribution (situational) - 5% chance on hit to reduce Strength by 80% for a few seconds. Bought from Blagarath in Dralk.
    Primal Retribution (situational) - 5% chance on hit to reduce Power by 80% for a few seconds. Bought from Blagarath in Dralk

    You will likely have some additional room for non-tank related tech kits unless you fill them with Ethereal Essence Salve for example or on-crafting tech kits (which are generally lower stat wise). It is totally fine as you must be able to do damage as well and it scales your drain bolt, and in turn healing from it.
    Best example is Myloc Hierophant Rune (Foreleg scales) which adds +60 Power, +60 Focus, +60 Magic Defense and 15% chance to return 200 spirit dmg when hit with spells. That's far more than you can get with single crystal.
    Remember it is good idea to plan out your scale tech kits and where they will go before you start crafting.

    Good socket crystals:
    Saris Stone of Friendship - +250 Ethereal Armor, +175 hp
    Sigil of Kaasha - 5% chance when hit to get 1.67% of max HP healed every 5s for 1 min
    Dark Diamond - +150 HP
    Restored Darkstaff Armor Crystal - +50 Armor, +70 Ethereal Armor, +50 dex, +70 focus

    Same as with tech kits you can fill any remaining slots (if there's any) with crystals for damage dealing, like Dark Sapphire (+65 Power).

    Ceremonial Chest Scale - +50 Tooth and Claw, +308 Ethereal Armor, +300 Blight Resistance, +308 Armor, 2 socket or tech kit slots and 25% chance to trigget Might of Istara's Army which reduces all incoming damage by 25%. Should be one of the first items you work towards. 25% damage reduction against both melee and spells when it triggers for 5 minutes is THE best effect available to dragons that need to be able to tank damage.
    Reklar's Tail Scale of Power - +75 Armor, +150 Power, +150 Primal, reduces incoming attacks only by 25% - use it against Epics that use attacks, primarly in melee.
    Reklar's Tail Scale of Strenght - +75 Armor, +150 Strength, +150 Tooth and Claw, reduces incoming spells only by 25% - use it against Epics that use spells.
    Priceless Primalist's scales - rest of slots when possible. They have huge amount of stats compared to Marble scales.

    Spiked Emerald Tipped Claw - with 2 sockets and Deadly tech kit. Easy to obtain and can be adjusted to your needs with 2 sockets. For tanking socket it with +150 health and Primal Rage.
    Primalist's Claw - +120Primal, +100 Power, +25 damage (delay adjusted) for spells, 10% chance for -5% delay and recycle for 30s, 5% chance for full absorb for next 2 incoming spell attacks with 5 minute duration and 5% heal when removed.. It may lack health of Spiked Emerald but it has added benefit of greater offensive stats and proc that fully absortbs 2 next spells. It may be rng but it does help quite a lot against spellcasters.
    Void Claw - +100Primal, +120 Power, -10% recycle for spells, 10% chance to trigger 225-375 mind damage every 5s over 25s in area 10 radius. Good for additional AoE damage but not much more besides that. Both claws above are better in my opinion.

    Primary damage tech kits:
    Mental Bane (if you can get it) - 15% to deal additional 250 Mind Damage. Scales up.
    GaleV / Pierce V / Romp V (if you can't get Mental Bane) - 10-12 damage of specific type. Scales up.
    Primal Damage V - +20 bonus to primal spell damage
    Accuracy V - +200 to-hit bonus
    *I did not fully test Relic of Mellohndar which was added recently, it has potential to be good replacement for primal damage for example so you can probably consider it on one of spells, probably Drain Bolt

    Primary healing tech kits:
    Heal Increase V - Adds 25-30 points of healing. Do note it only affects first tick of heal over time.
    or Potency V - Adds max heal value to a spell
    Cleanse V - 85% chance to remove one negative effect. A must have not just for Epics.
    Heal Recycle III -10s recycle. It makes Primal Health a 10s cd spell.

    Other useful items:
    Key to New Rachival - -25% delay for 5 minutes. Very useful and easy to obtain, but consumes 1 class 3 cell each time so you will have to find biped who can craft those (preferably in bulk).
    Stone of Seeking - +500 Flame Resistance, +500 Ethereal Armor, -500 Armor, -500 Ice Resistance. Very good against some of the bosses, particularly Elial as all his damage is Ethereal. May conflict with some other items related to damage (eg Galderos' Heart).
    Baubles from Pawn Brokers - in particular as spellcasters we are interested in Alyssa's Energized Slate (chance to deal 200% spell damage), Alyssa's Touch (reduced delay on spells), Heightened Senses (chance to deal max damage), Istara's Guiding Hand (+hit chance for spells), Holy Armament of Istara (incoming attack % reduction), Mystical Ward of Istara (incoming spell % reduction), Istara's Breath (2min heal). You can adjust ranks you buy to your needs but I generally use Rank V of those. Do note Mystical Ward of Istara does not work with Alyssa's Energized Slate so you have to make a choice between the 2 on spellcaster Epics.
    Crystalshaping Crystals - Primarly used to convert to damage specific enemy is weak to with added bonus of up to 35% more damage. Defensive crystals (like those with resistances) can be used as well, though they are less impactful.
    Shard of Freedom - Easy to obtain once you have high crystalshaping and on top of granting freedom buff for falgut fight it also has 1m +250 hp boost. Can be useful against a few fights where there is huge damage spike at a start of fight.
    Rift Crystals - either dropped in rift or crafted, some are very useful like Rift Crystal of Blood (+400 HP with minor heal for 10min) and Void Crystal of Form (+450 Ethereal Armor for 10min)
    Potions - crafted by bipeds, they are usually not absolutely necessary but if you are lacking stats or do hardest epics you can consider using them for various buffs, most notably Bolster Power Potion, Bolster Focus Potion, Bolster Health Potion, Ahala's Sweet Brew, Vastia's Soothing Remedy.


    This is a little tricky part due to dragons having no real aggro generating abilities, and protection ability gimps your damage and in turn healing from Drain Bolt. It poses no issue if you are solo but keeping others alive in group can be problematic, so good damage dealt helps keeping things focused on you.
    However we have 1 (often overlooked) ability that greatly helps with that against melee bosses - Manacing Presence. With 50s duration and 1 min cd you can almost permanently take damage from a boss like Elial. Downside is that it shares partial cooldown with Snarl, so using it will put short cd on it and vice versa. You can however use it first and then Snarl a bit afterwards, or reverse if necessary. It also has added benefit of 10% damage reduction against attacks when in Soldier Stance.
    Do keep in mind however that even if you can't hold aggro well on some of the fights you can still be helpful as someone who just won't die easily. Imagine Fafnir wiping entire group except you with one Scorch, you can then primal rebirth someone from group and continue the fight.

    Before pulling make sure that you have all dragon buffs, and if biped is in group remove Velocity in favor of Health gift buff. Also use any other buffs (from consumables or otherwise) that you deem necessary.
    Make sure to bring sufficent self healing needed for particular fight (especially if group is lacking healing), but if not necessary try to not go way over the board with consumable heals / medibot as it will cost you a lot of gold in a long run.

    General opener (when running into boss) is:
    Primal Cast, Allowance of power, Spiked Scales, Shield of Gold, Hero's Resolve, Combust, apply debuffs - snarl and staggering howl, Gold Rage, Breath of Flame Burst, Primal Burst, Primal Strike and then just cycle Drain Bolt while waiting for CDs.
    You may mix a few things up if needed be, like healing or using even more AoE on adds but this will get you nice initial damage and debuffs on boss.
    If you have to pull away from spawn with Dragon's Reach then make sure to use Primal Cast after the pull, not before.

    Additionally if you are not using damage crystals or use primal one consider debuffing with Unrelenting Winds and Grazing Winds.

    Healing ability approximate priority order:
    MediBot - +100 HP when active, when used restores 5% of max HP every 10s for 15 min. Assuming it is necessary, can be used before pull. Quite expensive to get and requires Etherium Recharge Cells.
    Virrak - quite expensive but heals everyone in group.
    Drain Bolt X + Hero's Resolve (May vary depending on your stats and Epic's resistance to damage type that you use)
    Brethil's Barrier (many adds) - amazing if you pull a lot of monsters as each will trigget 50 heal.
    Primal Instant Heal
    Refreshing Breeze
    Drain Bolt X (May vary depending on your stats and Epic's resistance to damage type that you use)
    Primal Health V (move to top if dispell is necessary at a given time)
    Brethil's Barrier (no adds)
    Breezes - a bit more useful if whole group needs healing or if you need dispell and Primal Health V is on cooldown.

    And consumable heals:
    Ahala's Sweet Brew
    Istara's Breath
    Vastia's Soothing Remedy

    As for enemies, a lot of Epics can be done solo with good preparation, items and buffs. However it is much faster/safer/nicer for community overall to do them with a group.

    Lesser Epics difficulty ranking (approximately from easiest to hardest) and some tips:

    PX - Melee boss. Easiest boss to start training on. Use spirit damage crystals to bypass his damage shields. He does hit a lot when you have coordinated attack debuff on you so if you are not very tanky yet you can consider trying to dispell it. Also he will be healed by mechanics so you can also try pulling him a bit away from middle.

    Lesser Anchor - Summoner boss. Has 2 versions. Decent AoE is required to kill adds on pull and to reclear them every few minutes (so if possible do not waste all of AoE on initial pull). Use ice or flame crystals.

    Gruk the Frigid - Spellcaster boss with adds. Focus on adds first, pay attention to your buffs as he can remove them. Use flame damage crystal.

    Daknor The Berserk - Melee boss with one time adds. Focus on adds first, Daknor without adds isn't very dangerous.

    Avatar of Pain - Melee boss with one time adds. Focus on adds first as they are pretty hard to kill, once they are dead fight is relatively easy.

    Fafnir - Spellcaster/Melee boss with some one time adds. He will melee you for the most part but periodically will cast scorch that can do a ton of damage, and unless you have good amount of HP/spell % reductions you may have to run away. If you have both Reklar's Tail Scale of Strength and Ceremonial Scale, plus activate Shield of Gold before it hits then you should be hit for around 3.5-4k damage by it.

    Greater Epics difficulty ranking (approximately from easiest to hardest) and tips:

    Greater Anchor - Summoner boss. Has 2 versions. Tactic is mostly same as Lesser Anchor with higher HP sponge and stronger summons - AoE adds on pull and try to keep some AoE ready for respawns. One of the versions spawn mobs that dispell buffs so be ready for that. Use ice or flame damage crystals.

    Surtheim - Spellcaster boss with adds. Pretty easy fight, you can either try dispelling combust from yourself or tanking through it if you are very well geared. Use stone of seeking and spirit damage crystal.

    Shaloth - Spellcaster boss with adds. Main priority during fight is to kill hierophants that spawn, fast before they heal her. She is VERY vulnerable to ice but you need to be able to take 4k+ hits from Volcanic Eruption if you use them (or use lower tier of crystals just for conversion's sake).

    Son of Gigaroth - Melee boss with adds. Try to AoE the adds as much as possible while keeping manacing on him. Fight takes a while due to debuffs, his healing and huge amount of HP he has. He is weak to nature but using damage crystal will cause you to take more blight damage from him at the same time, so use with caution (or use lower tier of crystals).

    Memory of Elial - Melee boss. He is both a test to your equipment and buffs as well as being patient and using abilities at right time. Pull when he has debuff from berserker's rage fading (be wary it can sometimes glitch and disappear without becoming inactive, pay attention to his HP). Apply debuffs asap (starting with snarl before he reaches you in melee). He will deal a lot of damage in short time so you have to be quick about healing yourself, so save big damage spells for after he uses most of his big hits. If you plan to tank him all the way through without some form of kiting then save shield of gold for his berserk, unless you feel confident that group can kill him before he uses it. Bring a lot of self healing if you do not have biped healer with you or big group in general. Algontoth is also very useful for health bonus when Virrak's heal is on cd, also for trying to dispell melee flurry from Elial. No particular weaknesses so use any damage crystal you like for bonus damage.

    Falgut - Melee boss with adds. Most of damage comes from adds so you will have harder time taking the damage for the group. If you are targeted and he uses AoE stun be prepared to heal yourself.

    Valkor - Spellcaster boss. He will usually come with prebuffed multicast, for which your best bet is to have someone die to remove it. You can survive it but it will require lots of spell % reductions, HP and Ethereal Armor. His damage pressure can be pretty hard on you and group (as he has AoEs) but fight is relatively simple if Urns are destroyed fast. Use flame damage crystals.

    Reklar - Melee boss with some adds. He is super hard to tank outside of having manacing presence up as he will turn his main target into helpless wisp. You will have to mostly rely on others for healing if you get turned. His dispel is also annoyning but you can partially protect your buffs as it always targets gifts first.


    If you have any further questions regarding the subject or suggestions regarding the guide you can ask here or on discord, and I will try to update this from time to time.
    If there is general interest I can share videos of how all this works out during the fights, but I would rather keep things simple and leave at least some room for exploration for others without showing how to do things 1:1.

  2. #2

    Default Re: A "short" guide to Helian spellcaster tanking.

    I can't edit main post without admin's help anymore as it turns out so I will just add this in another post:
    Amulet of Istara and Seal of the Clerical Order are aparrently being removed from old gear and unused quest versions will be same as Town Marshall versions. I assumed quest versions remained the same as before since I still had those teched into scales but sadly it won't be the case for long as it turns out. Which means they can be applied to:
    Amulet of Istara - tail scale only
    Seal of the Clerical Order - chest scale only
    This unfortunately means that they are less than desirable now because you can't tech Reklar's Tail Scales and Ceremonial Chest Scale only has 2 slots. There are better things to use within that limit (though 75 HP is still a bit if you are health maniac like I am).

  3. #3

    Default Re: A "short" guide to Helian spellcaster tanking.

    Thank you so much for this

    I'm ad the point I could use every letter of this advise. And finding it difficult to find a good guide to dragon build level 100. which is fully up to date.

    marble on oder.

  4. #4

    Default Re: A "short" guide to Helian spellcaster tanking.

    what is miss in your discussion is the use of health crystals which give a +150 on health

  5. #5

    Default Re: A "short" guide to Helian spellcaster tanking.

    Great guide! My first adult dragon was a Helian caster and I struggled so much with it. This surely would have helped. Thank you!!

  6. #6

    Default Re: A "short" guide to Helian spellcaster tanking.

    Quote Originally Posted by gkoster View Post
    what is miss in your discussion is the use of health crystals which give a +150 on health
    Dark Diamonds are included in socket crystals part.

  7. #7

    Default Re: A "short" guide to Helian spellcaster tanking.

    Good guide, only real complaint is that you are under valuing the important of armor. The more you have the less the big attacks hurt you (although Fafnir ignores it since Scorch is direct damage). More armor the bigger your EHP and yes i know helians have more hp than armor in terms of scales but you should have high amount of both as tank.

    Also i rank Falgut way lower his adds are literally not a problem. And i HIGHLY don't recommended to try to tank through combust on Surtheim that attack will rip you apart no matter how well geared you are. It needs to be off ASAP.

    Also i hope this game gets a reliable taunt soon because Menacing isn't reliable and Protective still don't work til this day.

  8. #8

    Default Re: A "short" guide to Helian spellcaster tanking.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dragonredux View Post
    Good guide, only real complaint is that you are under valuing the important of armor. The more you have the less the big attacks hurt you (although Fafnir ignores it since Scorch is direct damage). More armor the bigger your EHP and yes i know helians have more hp than armor in terms of scales but you should have high amount of both as tank.

    Also i rank Falgut way lower his adds are literally not a problem. And i HIGHLY don't recommended to try to tank through combust on Surtheim that attack will rip you apart no matter how well geared you are. It needs to be off ASAP.

    Also i hope this game gets a reliable taunt soon because Menacing isn't reliable and Protective still don't work til this day.
    While I admit I did not know armor also works on regular spells, the reduction it provides isn't very good. It is about 14 damage reduced per 100 armor as per my short tests (and perhaps it is also affected by diminishing returns at some point, may have to test that eventually), and since crafting techniques only provide +25 it is mere 3-4 damage reduced per hit per tech unless I am missing something. And only against enemies that do not have ethereal damage. Since most heavy hitters like elial and valk use ethereal it makes it not very desirable unless you are out of other things to apply to scales and can afford multiple sets to swap to on enemies where ethereal is more useful. It might be useful for AoE farming as example since you will be taking a lot of small hits but overall health is far more universal and better.

    Difficulty ranking is approximate, but elial is soloable while falgut isn't exactly due to debuff hence it makes him automatically harder. Fight is also much longer and has mechanics, while elial is all about soaking up his damage and his health is very small, making fight super quick with groups.

    Surt combust can be tanked through by spellcaster dragons with enough self healing. You do not even need additional healer.

    Manacing is reliable enough for me, only problem is that it has 10s downtime between uses and since AoE is relatively small you can sometimes miss adds with it.

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