GW2. A guide to the Old Lion’s Court Strike Mission from Living World Season 1: Battle for Lion’s Arch.
Accessible from Lion’s Arch or Arborstone. Speak to Lyra in Arborstone and say you’d like to enter a Strike Mission, or the statue in the middle of the Grand Piazza in Lion’s Arch.
While CC is necessary for this encounter, knowing when and when not to use it is important.
Condition Damage is helpful for stacking up damage while the Watchknights are undamageable.
A Kiter can be useful for tanking the Watchknights away from the group during the later phases.
Otherwise stick to standard heal, quickness, alacrity, might composition for 2 parties of 5.
Break Bar – The purpose of the break bar in this encounter is more strategic. When broken, the boss will invert the range of their massive instant kill attacks and will gain the exposed debuff when they become vulnerable. Players should only break the bar with CC when it is necessary to move their attack away from the group. If you CC accidentally and squad members can’t react fast enough to the swap, it will kill them, so it is often best to CC fast or not at all.
There are three Watchknight bosses that have their own mechanics. Depending on which ones are currently active, you want to position and behave accordingly:
Red Watchknight – Prototype Vermillion – Hammer
Positioning and timing (Gravity) is the theme of this enemy. It will follow the player who is closest to it when it spawns, shown by a Red Symbol above the player who will then have the Watchknight fixated on them.
In or Out – An orange outline will surround the Red Watchknight and white arrows will point either outwards or inwards. Players should see where the arrows are pointing and then position outside or inside the line accordingly. For each player that is on the wrong side, the entire party will be hit with a shockwave. If arrows point both in and out, then both are fine.
Boiling Aether – This mechanic will occur throughout the encounter from all the bosses. It will first show up as a small blue puddle, then grow into a fully sized red circle. Avoiding these puddles will help you survive, but later on in the fight there will be multiple of them spawning. To conserve space, try to place these on the edge of the arena.
Attack Chain – The third attack in the hammer attack chain of the Red Watchknight will create a wide Orange effect. Every second completed attack chain will create a Boiling Aether on the ground which you can hear a deep siren when it is created. This can be delayed by kiting the boss so they don’t progress their attack chain. The player fixated by the Red should face it away from the group and near the edge of the arena. They will not do their attack chain while channeling their break bar or casting the In or Out mechanic.
Green Watchknight – Prototype Arsenite – Greatsword
Kiting and staying at range is the theme of this enemy. It will follow the player who is closest to it when it spawns, shown by a Green Symbol above the player who will then have the Watchknight fixated on them. When there are multiple bosses out at the same time, the Kiter can move this boss away from the group to avoid stacking mechanics.
Pull – After a cascading red animation, players will be pulled in towards a Red puddle which pulses damage. Being closer to the epicenter of the pull will pulse more damage, but being inside the puddle will result in taking heavy damage. Move as far away from this as possible while still staying together.
Tether – The player furthest from the Green Watchknight will be tethered when it completes its auto attack chain twice, shown by a green line, then after a moment the Watchknight will throw a projectile at the tethered player. Once it reaches them, it will create a Boiling Aether on the ground. This puddle will grow larger until it becomes fully formed. Try to move these out to the edge of the arena to conserve space.
Blue Watchknight – Prototype Indigo – Staff
Stacking and staying close is the theme of this enemy. This Watchknight is mostly immobile so the fixate does not matter as much.
Wind Gust – This attack will push players away and deal pulsing damage to them, doing more damage the further away they are. Always keep moving towards the boss where you will take less damage and can regroup with your healers.
Orange Circles – Three orange circles appear around three players. Spread these out but not too far because you can get caught too far away from the Watchknight when they begin to use their Wind Gust.
Tether – a player will be tethered to a blue beam. They must run far enough away from the beam’s origin to place the mechanic far from the group. Doing so will place a Boiling Aether at their location when the tether finishes, but failing to move the tether sufficiently enough will result in the puddle being dropped beneath the original location. Try to break the tether on the perimeter of the arena to create more space in the center.
Trio CC Phases
At certain health thresholds, the Watchknight Triumvirate will all appear at the same time and each one will channel a break bar. There will be no safe space to stand in to avoid all of the areas, so your party must break one of the bars to create a safe place to stand. This mechanic is the same solution every time, which is to CC Green at 80%, Red at 40%, Blue at 10%.
First CC Phase – 80%
CC the Green Watchknight and then take refuge next to the Red one.
Second CC Phase – 40%
CC the Red Watchknight and take refuge behind the Blue one.
Third CC Phase – 10%
CC the Blue Watchknight and then take refuge beside the Red.
While there is only one Watchknight out, just perform the mechanics listed above. However, when multiple Watchknights are out things can get more complicated. Depending on which Watchknights are out your strategy may change. Only one Watchknight is susceptible to damage at a time which will also change the strategy. Here are some priorities:
- Always try to tank/kite the Red Watchknight along the outside of the arena whether it can be damaged or not.
- Tank/Kite the Green Watchknight away from the group when it cannot be damaged, and then the group should stack on it when it can be damaged. Still move away when it does the Pull mechanic.
- Always stack on the Blue Watchknight regardless of whether it can be damaged or not.
If the Blue and Red are out but the Red is vulnerable to attack, you would kite Red along the outside but close to the Blue so that the squad can stand between them to stack for the Gust mechanic.
If Green and Blue are out but the Green is vulnerable to attack, position the Green near the Blue wherever there aren’t many Boiling Aether on the ground to leave space to retreat from the Pull attack.
If Green and Red are out, just tank/kite them both on the edge of the arena, splitting them regardless of which one is vulnerable to attack.
If all three are out, then just push through and stay together. There is no reason to split up during this fight other than the players kiting the shielded Watchknight. Sticking with your team is going to help you survive which is the most important priority.
Otherwise, remember that the only CCs required are during the specific CC phase with the order of:
- 1 – Green
- 2 – Red
- 3 – Blue
NOTE: This mode is scheduled to release at November 29.
Old Lion’s Court – 5AP
Complete the encounter on normal difficulty.
Legendary Old Lion’s Court – 5AP
Complete the encounter after enabling the challenge mote.
Aether Aversion – 5AP
Complete the encounter without taking damage from Boiling Aether. This means being vigilant to avoid the red puddles on the ground, dodging if you get the Green tether on you, and avoiding the auto attack chain of the Red Watchknight.