Nightmare Fractal Guide

GW2. Nightmare Fractal Guide

This fractal is a memory of the tower of nightmares living world event during Season 1. Players will experience three bosses from the Aetherblade and Krait that formed the Toxic Alliance.

Fractal Guide

This fractal begins with mobs of aetherblade machines and krait. Use pulls and AoEs to finish these off cleanly and spawn the first boss.

Multiform Ambulatory Mobile Artillery (MAMA)

As soon as this boss spawns they will have a defiance bar which can be broken immediately to avoid their first attack. This attack is a spinning animation with a big red circle that will do heavy burning damage. It can be dodged or blocked by a single aegis.

Afterwards the boss will spew orbs everywhere. Ranged players will need to move constantly to avoid them, and melee players will need to dodge or reflect the orbs that the boss shoots like a shot gun. The closer you stand to the boss the more of them that can hit you, so it can do massive burst if not prepared for.

The boss will also summon a room-wide nuke. Get inside the safe zone before this happens.

Once the boss gets to around 25% the middle of the room will become hazardous and the boss will become mobile, doing more dangerous attacks.

After this point the bosses attack pattern will consist of a very strong melee attack where it flails it arms in front of it. Try to stand behind the boss if it does not put you in the center of the room to avoid this. Then the boss will do a smash behind it, so you will dodge back in front of it. It will then continue doing smaller smashes in a clockwise rotation. Just side step these.

The boss will also leap into the air and smash the ground, sending out a shockwave. Avoiding the initial impact is the most important thing, but getting knocked back into the center can also hurt.

Capture Points

After defeating the first boss you will need to complete an event that requires you to stand in a capture point. The more players that stand in these the faster the progress. While inside these capture points you will have agony ticking on you, so all healing will be reduced greatly. If you get low you can always leave and heal and then return. Do not waste heals while you have agony.

Inside these capture points you will be assaulted by differing patterns of orbs which can deal damage to you. In general, being closer to the center allows you more control to avoid the orbs but is more punishing if you make mistakes. Being further from the center allows you to make less movements and when you get hit by an orb you can just sit and wait for them to pass. If you have trouble judging the orbs, turn your camera above you to show only two dimensions. The far away from the center strategy is usually best because it allows you to focus on controlling the hallucinations that will attack you as well. These will contest the capture point, preventing you from gaining progress on it.

Sometimes blue orbs will come out of the center. These will heal you for a lot despite having agony on you and it is always worth it to take damage from the dangerous orbs to get the blue ones.

After finishing the first two capture points, progress to the next room with three of them. Focus on capturing one point at a time. The capture points on the sides can be ported to, or take the ramp to the sides. These ramps will have cascading ground damage. Just keep progressing as fast as possible up them and dodge through the orange circles. Blocks work as well as timing ports.

Once you finish these capture points, ascend up a long ramp with cascading damage to reach the second boss room. Clear out the hallucinations to spawn the boss.

Siax the Unclean

As soon as Siax spawns, a defiance bar will appear and a ring will close in on the boss. Once the ring reaches the boss they will nuke the entire party which must be avoided at all costs. Break the bar to stop it while avoiding the orbs that rotate around the boss.

Periodically, each party member will have an orange cone appear in front of them. After a bit you will sneeze and deal damage to any allies in your cone. Turn away from them or you will damage them and cause a chain reaction, as they will then sneeze again and if they sneeze on another ally it will continue.

Also poison will spawn on the target furthest from the boss. If everyone is on top of the boss this means the poison will be on top of the boss. Try to stand at maximum melee range so that the poison is not directly on top of the boss and you can rotate around it. One player can also support the group from range and bait the poison further away. Otherwise, try to stand behind the boss to avoid most of its other attacks and keep breaking the defiance bar when it spawns.

When the boss gets lower, hallucinations will begin to spawn and run towards the party. These will explode when they get close enough to a party member, damaging and applying conditions. Avoid these as long as you can and then dodge their explosion when they catch up. Other party members can kill the hallucination attached to someone else without triggering its explosion.

Proceed immediately to the final boss after defeating Siax.


The final boss begins with the same ability MAMA uses, a large room-wide nuke that can be avoided by standing in the safe zone created.

Other than the auto attack which can stack bleeds, the boss will appear on the side of the room and rush across. Dodge towards the boss when it gets close so you do not get caught in the follow through. Try to stand behind the boss to avoid its cone swipe attack as well.

Once Ensolyss reaches 66% health it will disappear and five capture points will appear. You must survive the orbs while each party member captures their own circle. Do not panic or you can take extra damage from orbs. Understand that it is impossible to avoid every orb and do not waste dodges to avoid being hit by one orb. Save your resources to avoid situations where multiple orbs will hit you or to get to a blue orb.

After finishing the capture points, Ensolyss will return and you repeat the same exact thing as the first 33%. After the 2nd round of capture points at 33% the boss uses new mechanics. Specifically at 15% the boss will reduce the amount of playable space with poison. Hallucinations will attack you inside this small safe zone and rush through, knocking party members out of the safe zone. Just focus on finishing the boss who sits there while cleaving out any hallucinations and avoiding the ones that rush through. Stability is useful here.


Nightmare Fractal (Fractals of the Mists)

Total achievements: 9 – 35AP – 1MP

  • Nightmare Fractal – 5AP – 1MP

This is the meta achievement for the Nightmare Fractal, you need to complete seven eligible achievements, you can see them below.

  • 30-Second Seizure – 3AP

To earn this achievement you need to capture all 5 points during the fight versus Ensolyss within 30 seconds.

  • Another Goo Puddle – 1AP

To earn this achievement you need to get crushed to a paste by Ensolyss. Simply just stand below where he drops near the back of the room at the beginning of the fight.

  • Broken Nightmare – 5AP

To earn this achievement you need to complete the Nightmare Fractal on Tier 4 (Difficulty Scale 98).

  • Maze Middle Manager – 5AP

To earn this achievement, during the Capture Points encounter, you need to capture first the middle one.

  • Retrieval Squad – 3AP

To earn this achievement you need to find all the corpses of the adventuring party that preceded you. There is a total of 5 corpses to be found, you can see their location with the timestamps in this video:

Credit to Rheyo for the video.

  • Shark Tank – 3AP

To earn this achievement you need to find and kill Fleshgorge the Shark in the Nightmare lake right before the second boss and right after the capture points.

  • Up to the Challenge (Hidden) – 5AP

To complete this achievement you need to defeat the final boss of Nightmare Fractal in Challenge Mode. Rewards the title The Unclean.

  • Volatile Evader – 5AP

For this achievement you need to kill Siax the Unclean without being hit by a hallucination’s explosion.

Challenge Mode

To participate in the challenge mode of this fractal, at least one person must have completed all of the normal mode achievements. They can trigger the challenge mode by speaking to the Harbinger at the start of the fractal. All of the mechanics of the normal mode apply to challenge mode, so you should start learning the normal mode version and then apply these differences on top of them.


The challenge mode starts out very similar to the normal mode until the boss reaches 75% health. At this point the boss goes immune and summons an assault knights. To be able to attack the boss again you must kill the assault knight. The boss will still continue its normal attack rotation except it is immune. The assault knight will add additional damage and pull party members in if they are outside its immediate vicinity. During this time is a good idea to use powerful cooldowns as the stacking of mechanics together gets very dangerous.

The orange circles that expand around the boss will have a more complex pattern on challenge mode. At first the middle will be safe as they expand out, and then it will fill in the gaps as it comes back in. Stay inside the boss at first and then dodge out as it comes back in.

The sneeze mechanic from Siax will also exist on MAMA during challenge mode. Look away from your party members or you will damage them and make them sneeze again.

The boss will go invulnerable every 25% to summon an assault knight. Just finish the knight while supporting your party. At around 35% the boss will create a large poison field in the center of the room and you will have much less space to play around. The boss will also begin using the leap attack and smash attack. Avoid the smash attack by moving counter clockwise as it rotates clockwise around the boss. Dodge the the leap attack right before it lands. These attacks may not be that dangerous by themselves, but they can occur during the 25% phase where the assault knight is also out. This is the most dangerous part of the encounter, so hold nothing back.

Capture Points

On challenge mode the capture points will have many more mobs nearby, so you will want to clear them out first. Condition cleanse and pulls are very useful here. You can split up to complete these faster if you use crowd control intelligently. Stacking together is safer if your party lacks utility.

Siax the Corrupted

At first the challenge mode version of this boss will look very similar to the normal mode. You still must break the defiance bar and avoid poisons on the ground. Two differences include the spawning of additional hallucinations and the expanding orange circles seen on MAMA.

Stay near the boss during the expanding orange circles until they fill back into the center, but you will need to avoid a similarly looking singular large orange circle that will spawn a mob. This singular orange circle can be avoided by dodging right as it fills or blocking. Aegis sharing is very good to use right before it fills to make sure no one fails. If they do the mob creates a lot more trouble for the party. It cannot be killed very easily but should be cleaved on top of the boss if possible.

The main difference on challenge mode is the 66% and 33% phases. Four Echo of the Unclean will spawn around the room. If all four are not killed quickly the boss will nuke the entire party. If the party somehow survives the first nuke, the boss will do a second nuke right after if all four mobs are not dead yet. The most common strategy for handling these is splitting up. Usually party members will set a personal waypoint (ALT + Left Click) on the map at either north south east or west to designate which echo they will handle during this phase. Usually the support and another lower DPS will go to the south echo, and three higher DPS players will take their own. There is plenty of time for someone who kills their mob quickly to go help another party member finish theirs.

The coordination and making sure players don’t die while split is the hardest part of this fight, as this just repeats itself. While killing your mob, focus on taking as little damage as possible, as going into downed state will lower your damage even more. Even if you can’t kill the mob in time, another may be able to finish theirs and come help. Going down, however, complicates the situation even more for your party, so focus on yourself more until your job has been fulfilled, then go back to playing your team.

This will occur again at 33% but instead of the mobs locations at each cardinal direction of N E S W, they will instead be at NE SE SW NW. Each player can remember their designated location and then go clockwise from there. So if you are going to north then you will be at northeast, west will be at northwest, and so on.

Ensolyss of the Endless Torment

The main difference between normal and challenge mode is a specific mechanic which is extremely dangerous. The boss will first smash the ground which will deal a ton of damage. Then from the smash a shockwave will come out and knock those hit by it down. Afterwards the boss will summon five hallucinations at the location of each party member which will each do their own smash attack.

This attack is especially dangerous because it is two attacks in succession that can down you. Getting hit by the first means the second may fully kill you. The best way to avoid this mechanic is to have every party member dodge towards the boss for the first slam. This puts every party member underneath the boss for the summoning of the hallucinations. If everyone is under the boss for this then the amount of space covered by the hallucinations is much less and players have much more room. If everyone walks out from underneath the boss after dodging the first attack, they can easily avoid the second smash. Or if not everyone dodges underneath the boss, just begin walking towards a side of the platform that no one was near. This is very important because it only uses up one dodge to avoid this mechanic, allowing you to reserve this resource for all of the other mechanics that occur. If you must dodge twice every smash, you will be very vulnerable this entire fight.

Getting this mechanic down is most of the learning curve of normal mode to challenge mode. The other important difference is the 66% and 33% phases which require you to capture points while avoiding orbs and shockwaves. It is entirely possible to solo this phase, but it will take very long and leave a lot of room for error, so coordinating a clean start in this phase requires a little bit of awareness. Every player should find their own capture point, so if you are closer to an empty capture point than someone else, move into it to let them have yours. This is important to minimize movement because trying to reposition while the orbs are up can be lethal.

When in the capture point there are three things to avoid.

  • Shockwaves will knock you back, avoid these by jumping or standing closer to the center so it does not knock you back into the outer poison. Do not waste dodges on these as you will need them for the other hazards.
  • Orbs will deal damage to you but not enough to panic over being hit by a few. In fact, its usually harmful to try to avoid every orb. Instead, think of conserving your dodges to avoid larger sets of orbs or situations where multiple mechanics stack on top of each other. Being hit by an orb is not worse than losing all of your potential resources to avoid a lethal situation.
  • Orange circles that spawn on the ground do much more damage than a single orb will do. Both these and the orbs are unblockable, but the orange circles are evadable. Try to use positioning to avoid the orbs as long as possible and use your dodges to avoid the orange circles.
  • Blue Orbs will heal you more than anything will damage you, so do whatever you can to get them.

After finishing all five capture points, the boss will gain a defiance bar which must be broken. Meanwhile the boss will create quadrants in orange that will knock the player into the poison on the edge of the platform. Break the bar while staying as safe as possible.

After this the boss resumes its normal phase attacks with one addition. There will be a room wide pull that will do a lot of damage. This attack will always precede the double smash attack, so this is why you must perfect managing your dodges during the smash attack. If you have to dodge three attacks in a row, you will be very low on resources. The room-wide pull can be blocked or dodged. Then the first smash can be dodged and the second smash walked out of.

You will also need to handle the sneeze mechanic from the two prior bosses. At 33% you need to capture five points again and then break the defiance bar. At 15% the boss becomes much easier to handle because they stop using all their mechanics and you just need to avoid the hallucinations that charge through your small amount of space while cleaving out the other hallucinations on top of the boss.

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