GW2. A guide to the Aetherblade Hideout Strike Mission from End of Dragons.
Use the Asura Portals in Lions Arch to reach Arborstone. Speak to Lyra in Arborstone and say you’d like to enter a Strike Mission, then clarify an End of Dragons Strike mission.
Bring as much CC as you can because there are plenty of break bars and some of them require extreme amounts of CC.
Reflects or Projectile Destruction will reduce the damage from the orbs that emanate from Scarlet.
Otherwise stick to a standard heal, quickness, alacrity, might composition for 2 parties of 5.
Mai Trin will shoot in a cone in front of her and dash away to leave a cross pattern. Dodge or move out of these.
Scarlet Phantoms – At around 30% of Mai Trin’s health she will spawn Phantoms of Scarlet Briar. Finish these off to resume fighting her.
There are Phantoms with low health that can easily be taken out, there are Phantoms that take some time to eliminate. Between the two high health Phantoms, one has a break bar which is extremely hard to break. Players should use all their CC on the break bar phantom then when they run out they should take out the smaller phantoms and then the larger phantom, going back to the break bar to use their CC when they are ready. This means the party may split up during this part.
During this time orange circles may spawn underneath each player which must be spread out. If these overlap with other mechanics like Mai Trin’s cone attack, spread out and dodge. Better to have a few mistakes result in a few downs rather than everyone stacking and downing. After the phantoms are taken out, proceed to get Mai Trin to 15% where she will ask for Scarlet Briar’s aid. Scarlet Briar will perform a whirl attack which you can dodge or move far out of her hit box to avoid taking multiple hits.
Shockwaves – Dodge or jump over these.
Orbital Strike – A light blue beam will appear above and follow one player. This will leave behind a blue heavy damaging field. Place these off to the side where no one will need to move to be safe.
Green Circle – When an ally gets a green circle, stack with them to soak the damage more safely. This can be complicated by other mechanics that want you to split up. Be aware during these times if a Green Circle appears.
Joint Assault – At 60% and 20% of Scarlet’s health, she will disappear and begin a global attack. There are three circles which you can stand in to avoid the attack, but Mai Trin will also fire a laser shown by a rectangle across the room. This laser will instantly kill players within 2 of the circles due to the timing of both attacks. This means that there is only one safe circle to choose. This safe circle is the same one every time. Wait for Mai Trin’s laser to appear, then stand across from the midpoint of the laser. The circle that crosses through this point will be safe. Since not standing in the circle will only down you but getting hit by the laser is instant death, it is much better to use the logical strategy than to try to follow a random circle.
Stick to damaging the boss or any clones, otherwise there are not many ways to fail on this strike, but the few ways that you can will be listed here:
- Dying to Mai Trin’s laser during the joint attack, know the right spot every time rather than guessing
- Not spreading out for orange circles
- Placing the orbital strike on top of your squad
- Standing inside Scarlet’s hit box
Otherwise, going down can be salvaged by party members reviving.
Acknowledgement: This challenge mode guide was written by Vallun as exclusive content for guildjen.
There are three key differences between normal mode and challenge mode:
- Green Circles during Phantom Phases must be fulfilled by no more or less than 3 players
- Orbital Strikes Appear on two players at a time
- The Laser phase becomes slightly more complicated
- Mechanics compound on each other due to the Exposed debuff
This only occurs when the Scarlet Phantoms appear. The Green Circle mechanic requires at least three players to stack in it to prevent a party wipe, but no more than three should stack in it because they will gain Photon Saturation, a debuff for 10 minutes (longer than enrage timer) that will kill them if they fulfill the Green Circle mechanic again. There will only be three instances of Green Circles throughout the fight which means that you can afford to put 3 and 3 and 4 players in each. However, if the Scarlet Phantoms are not taken out quickly enough, a second Green Circle will appear in the same phase, forcing players to get more of the debuff which will force players to die later on. They can sacrifice themselves to prevent the party wipe, or the player with the Green Circle can also “/gg” to remove the mechanic entirely, but generally this is not ideal because every player is needed to reach the enrage timer.
To optimize the Phantom phases to handle the Green Circles while not spreading out riskily, your squad should spread out for the Orange Circles that appear while killing the small phantoms, these small ones add a lot of pressure if not taken out first. Afterwards the group needs to stack together at specific locations to prepare for the Green Circle.
There will be a Scarlet Phantom with a huge break bar and a huge life pool. The squad can decide to stack on either one or they can split up using an assigned position for every player. The player who has the Green Circle should move slightly to the side of the stack and players can decide whether they can take the debuff. If a second Green Circle appears you can make it disappear by killing the DPS phantom before it finishes, saving you from extra debuff. For this reason you can focus the DPS phantom first, but generally there is enough time to do both. The CC phantom will spawn more orange circles if saved for last which can bring its own risks.
Alternatively, your squad can assign markers for each player to stand at shown in the diagram below. Since the CC Phantom will always spawn where the Heart icon is located, and the DPS Phantom will spawn near the Arrow and Circle you can assign three players to stand at the Arrow, have three players with good CC go to the Heart, and the remaining four go to the circle. Because the Green Circle cannot spawn on someone who has the debuff, organizing this way will mean that no one has to adapt or move, just stay near your marker and group up if someone at your marker gets the Green Circle. After your group gets green you can go anywhere but be careful crossing through Scarlet alone.
Exposed and Shockwaves
Mai Trin’s attacks and Scarlet’s shockwaves will grant Exposed, a debuff that increases damage taken by the player by 25% per stack of it, and the stacks last 1 minute. This makes many of the other mechanics in the fight more punishing if you don’t avoid the shockwaves by jumping over them. The shockwaves will also instantly kill any player who is at the epicenter of the shockwave when it begins, shown by the orange circle.
The most dangerous attacks while you have exposed are Scarlet’s whirl and the Orbs that are constantly pulsing outward. The orbs can be minimized by standing at maximum melee range and for the Whirl attack you should dodge backwards to avoid being hit multiple times. Ranged damage is very effective because it allows you to position out of much of this damage, otherwise you need to dodge more often.
Laser/Ferrous Bomb Phase
The last difference is that the Laser is no longer decided by Mai Trin’s positioning but rather two players will have a diagonal orange shape that follows them as well as a special action key ability and a bomb above their head. There are three Ferrous Bombs that spawn, and the safe spot can be decided at any of their locations. The entire squad should choose a spot to stand at and the two players with the special action key abilities must decouple the laser from themselves by activating the ability next to one of the Ferrous Bombs. This will place the laser mechanic at that location and then they can return to the group at the safe spot.
However, the lasers must be placed correctly to not overlap with the safe spot which is not possible at every Ferrous Bomb location due to the different angles of the lasers. Players with the special action key should take their time and find the right angle to place the laser at, and make sure that the other player can do so before locking it in, otherwise they should switch places. The safe spot can be at any of the Ferrous Bombs so deciding quickly can help the two players decide whether their bomb positions are safe relative to it. The safe spot can be at the commander tag’s position or it can be predetermined such as at the Square marker in the diagram above.
Aetherblade Hideout – 5AP – 1MP
Complete the encounter on normal difficulty.
Legendary Aetherblade Hideout – 5AP
Complete the encounter after enabling the challenge mote.
Leaps Abound – 5AP
Complete the encounter without dying or taking damage from Tormenting Wave, the shockwave from Scarlet.
Total Coverage – 5AP
Complete the encounter on challenge mode without dying or getting the exposed debuff. This means you must avoid all of Mai Trin’s attacks and jump/dodge over every shockwave. A composition with plenty of aegis can help, but it is ultimately up to the player to dodge to obtain this achievement.
Triangulation – 5AP title: Peerless Geometer
Destroy one of the Ferrous Bombs before placing either of the magnetic bombs on the other Ferrous Bombs both times, then finish the encounter on challenge mode. This is the preferred way to succeed at the encounter anyways because it gives the players with the special action key magnetic bombs more time to decide where to go.
Super helpful, thanks!