GW2. A complete guide to the second Guild Wars 2 raid wing, Salvation Pass, which includes the bosses Slothasor, Bandit Trio, and Matthias Gabrel.
Begin by opening Salvation Pass through the raid portal in the Lions Arch Aerodrome. Follow the hallway towards the first boss. In here you will face slublings which can be very nasty to handle because they spread out and spit projectile fire that slows and burns you. The best way to handle them is to line of sight them around a corner wall, pull them together, or use projectile reflects.
Slothasor (First Encounter)
Slothasor is a boss all about positioning. Your squad must handle the conflict of clearing out poison constantly to survive while also not falling behind when performing other mechanics.
The largest threats in this fight that you can build a composition toward countering are the slublings that spawn periodically, the crowd control from the boss, and the large condition pressure.
Reflects and Pulls can deal with the slublings since they spread out so widely. Some examples for dealing with this:
- Mesmer focus pull from
- Guardian greatsword pull from
Be careful with your pulls though because one of your allies must become a slubling for a short period of time which makes them hostile and you don’t want them to be killed.
Stun breaks and stability can counter the multiple control effects that Slothasor will use. The ground pound attack and the fear the boss does after every sleep phase reset in particular. You will want either stability or stun breaks to avoid being feared into the poison in this fight. Some examples:
- Guardians can give stability to their allies before the fear happens with
- Tempests can stun break for their allies with the passive or active utility
- Rangers can also stun break for their allies using the utility skill
Condition cleanse will help to handle the unavoidable condition pressure in this fight including the slubling poison, the boss burns, and the fear attack, but most notably is the shake attack that the boss starts doing later on in the fight which can easily wipe your party with overwhelming conditions. Some examples:
- Thieves can get the powerful “Soul Stone Venom” when they steal from Slothasor. This will cleanse many conditions from nearby allies on cast
- Guardians can use the utility to take all the conditions on themselves which will certainly kill them but save their team who can then revive them
- Warriors can take the shout to cleanse multiple conditions from nearby allies.
- Druids can use the elite glyph to make their entire squad immune to conditions during the spore shake or fear.
One final thing which isn’t necessary but can be useful is having the ability to revive allies who are stuck in poison. Rangers with or Necromancers with “Transfusion” trait for example can help to salvage downed allies in bad positioning.
Aside from the general roles in a raid composition of DPS and Support, there are two other encounter-specific roles that must be fulfilled for Slothasor.
There is no guaranteed way to gain the attention of Slothasor, so there is no designated tank. Instead the boss will randomly target a player indicated by a purple icon above their head (“Fixated”), and multiple players will become the tank over the course of the encounter. Whoever is the current tank must lure the boss to the safe areas of the room without getting too close to the slubling clearing the poison. They also should face the boss towards the center of the room so that the rest of the party can manage the mechanics on the outer wall without worrying about the boss attacks facing them.
- Imbued Mushrooms
Four players must be designated to pick up blue Imbued Mushrooms which will turn them into slublings. As a slubling they can eat the purple poisonous mushrooms around the room which will give the party room to stand on by removing the poison on the ground. They must use the 1 skill near a mushroom to eat in a counter-clockwise pattern around the room because that is the order that the mushrooms appear. Slublings become hostile when they are transformed so they need to immediately dodge away from the group to avoid being killed by their allies, and their allies need to be mindful of their cleave. They can eat the poison by using the single skill they have and can sometimes eat two at a time if positioned correctly.
Anyone can cover the role of eating mushrooms, but its just safer to have a DPS player do this. Also if the designated mushroom eater cannot make their shroom for whatever reason, then one of the players who are not designated shroom eaters should cover for them to maintain the pattern.
There is a debuff when becoming a slubling that prevents that player from doing so again until essentially four mushrooms have passed. If the boss is not dead by the time the first four mushrooms have been eaten, just repeat the rotation because the mushrooms will spawn again in the same order.
Mushroom 1 PoV:
This fight is mostly an issue of positioning the mechanics properly. You can think of this fight as having two types of mechanics, the environmental mechanics of clearing and dropping poisons off to the side, and the predictable boss mechanics. Slothasor itself does not have very complicated attacks, but if you get hit by any of them it can be very punishing. The environmental mechanics may not require immediate reaction, but they can complicate the other mechanics and become oppressive if neglected.
Ground Pound – When Slothasor pounds the ground there will be a succession of orange circles that appear below every player. These will spawn over time but trigger at the same time. It is best to not move around too much during this because you will spread the circles around. It is better to move towards the boss as they appear so that all the circles spawn in the same spot, leaving more space to dodge to. Wait a second and then dodge outwards to make sure no one is dodging into another person’s earthquake. Don’t stay on the boss or you will down and cause delays which pressure the raid more.
Fire Breath – Slothasor will rear up and breathe fire in front of it. It does heavy burning damage but could be survived with condition cleanse. As long as you stand behind the boss you should be fine with this. It can be dangerous for the tank to deal with this, but since it is so slow the tank can move behind the boss and then reposition right after the breath ends. The tank must be very careful not to face the boss towards the party.
Sleep – Every 20% and the last 10% of their health, Slothasor will go to sleep and become invulnerable, gaining a break bar. Break the bar with CC to move them and progress the fight. If the CC is slow the poison can catch up so this needs to be done fast. After the CC bar is finished the boss will fear the entire party. Right after breaking the bar give out any stability or prepare to use any stun breaks or condition cleanses.
Spore Shake – This is when the boss starts shaking and projectiles come flying out of it. If these hit you it will put many stacks of damaging conditions on you which you won’t survive having on you for long. There are many spores that come out and they have long arcing paths. This means that the spores which go shorter range will hit the ground much sooner than the ones that go further out. Avoid all of the spores by going far away from the boss at the start and then dodge inwards to avoid the more delayed projectiles. You can also prevent the spores from spawning by jumping inside the boss with invulnerability from the Mesmer’s Distortion or a Guardian’s Renewed Focus, because you essentially body block them. Bring AoE condition cleanse to prevent wiping here.
Slublings – Periodically throughout the fight Slublings will spawn in the center of the room. These Slublings will shoot fire projectiles at the raid which will corrupt boons and deal damage to them. If not dealt with constantly they can grow to uncontrollable numbers. It is best for the mushroom eaters to clear a path near the center of the room so that players can pull them towards the boss and cleave them. Be careful not to pull or cleave the allied slubling though.
Volatile Poison – Different from the purple icon indicating who is tanking, there will be a green skull above the head of a player with this. They will drop a poison cloud on the ground shortly after receiving this. They can drop it early by using the special action key. This cloud will grow larger over time, so ideally it should be dropped behind the squad’s path, not in front of it, and close to the walls to give as much potential space as possible. Use your dodges to get as close to the wall as possible without dying to the poison.
Be careful at the start, let the first slubling move away from the group before going too aggressive on the DPS. Dodge the first Ground Pound then immediately move the boss, whoever has the fixate, towards the next mushroom.
Because the first mushroom spawns at the north end of the room, the 2nd at the west end, the 3rd at the south end, and the 4th at the east end, the squad must move in a counter-clockwise pattern, eating the mushrooms and clearing a path to the next mushroom as they spawn.
The image below shows the order that they spawn in, and it will start back at 1 after 4.
If you fall behind on the mechanics your party will either lose space, making it harder to stay out of the poison; or if your party does not manage the poison and positioning well, it will be difficult to avoid the mechanics.
Whoever is fixated by the boss should be constantly moving close to but not on top of the player clearing poison. The squad should stay behind Slothasor while the fixated player faces the boss towards the middle of the room. Staying very close to the cleared floor means that whenever your squad needs to stop to do a mechanic they don’t fall behind and get stuck in the poison. Stay far ahead of the poison not just barely in front of it.
- Drop the Volatile Poison as close to the wall as possible and slightly behind your squad’s path to give the most space.
- Clear the slublings by pulling them, but be careful not to pull in your ally while they are transformed into a slubling.
- Quickly break the Slothasor’s sleep, give out stun breaks, and reposition the boss afterwards.
Bandit Trio (Second Encounter)
Bandit Trio is the unofficial name given to the “Protect the caged prisoners” event. It is a fully designed raid encounter with three different bosses and a defend mechanic. There is a cage in the middle of the fort that cannot be healed. If it dies, the party will wipe. The goal is to defeat all of the bandit bosses while keeping the prisoners alive.
The two main things required for this fight are CC and pulls. Because this encounter has tons of bandit enemies that can overwhelm your party if they build up, it is important to be constantly pulling them together to easily dispose of them. Some examples:
- Mesmer focus pull from
- Guardian axe pull from
- Necromancer as alternative using
This encounter has many different objectives that require your party to split up, and while these tasks cannot be simplified into roles, there are certain players which can do them more easily.
- Top/Bottom Squads
A group of players should start at the bottom of the fort and one at the top to split up towards the objectives at first.
Each one of the three bosses has a weakness which can be exploited to finish them off more easily. Berg is weak to Bees because of his phobia, Zane is weak to Wargs because he’s an animal abuser and the wargs hate him, and Narella is weak to oil because she likes to play with fire. As such, you can use these environmental effects against the corresponding bosses. The bee hives in the trees can be knocked down and thrown at Berg, the oil can be thrown beneath Narella and set on fire, and the warg cages can be opened on Zane. The hives and oil kegs can be placed near their respective boss spawn locations, but the warg cages have a set location.
Periodically, there will be a warning on screen that bandits are setting up mortars to assault the fort. At least one player should be designated to handle this mechanic. They can take the launch pads by getting a bomb next to the launch pad and using the special action key to throw it at their feet while on the launch pads to get outside the fort where some bandit bombardiers will try to set up mortars. CC them to prevent them from building the mortars then head back to help your team. If you fail to CC their break bar then you can still kill the mortars that spawn. The first three spawns of mortars will happen at 5:05, 4:05, and 3:04 to the east of the fort. The third set of mortars will have three bombardiers, so you need much more CC and can send an extra player to go out if necessary. The fourth set of mortars can be ignored as the fight will generally end before they can become an issue.
Saboteurs – Periodically a warning will appear that Saboteurs are incoming. Players will need to interrupt saboteurs which will place bombs at the cage. Prevent them from placing the bomb by CCing their break bars once it appears. CCing them before the break bar appears will only delay the break bar. They can be pulled and killed with the rest of the bandits afterwards. Saboteurs are stealthed mobs (visible only with Nuhoch Stealth Detection Mastery from Heart of Thorns Nuhoch Lore Mastery track)
Berg – The first boss to spawn near the East Gate at 6:50 remaining. He will do a smash attack in a wide frontal cone. Simply position and face Berg away from the cage. Throw the bee hives at Berg to damage and weaken him, and CC the break bar during the smash attack.
Zane – The second boss to spawn near the South Gate at 4:50 remaining. He will place an area of pulsing blind on the ground, will shadowstep to the furthest player within a 1,000 range of them every 18 seconds, and will shoot a volley of bullets in a cone in front of them. This can damage your party heavily and the cage. Try to stack very closely on Zane to prevent him porting around much and stand so that Zane faces away from the cage. Anyone who needs to handle bandits near the cage should make sure they are far enough away from Zane to be out of range of the teleport, and then make sure that the party keeps Zane very close to his spawn location. Open the warg cages right before Zane spawns.
Narella – The final boss to spawn near the West Gate at 2:47. She will summon fire tornados around her and spread fire on the ground. Sharing out stability or keeping a safe distance away from these tornados is necessary to prevent being locked in the fire AoEs. The oil kegs can be thrown underneath her and lit on fire to do damage to her. Many more bandits will spawn during this time, which can compromise the cage even though Narella’s attacks do not damage it.
Begin by splitting two groups of players, one at the top to clear out the snipers on the bridges and one to clear the sappers in the courtyard. During this time, support players can run around collecting bee hives and oil kegs and placing them near the spawns of their respective bosses. Place the bee hives right below the east gate so it is easy to throw them on top of the boss when it spawns. Oil kegs should be placed below the ledge near the west gate so everyone can access them during the Narella fight.
Once the bridge snipers and environmental weapons have been collected, groups will often stack in the corner of the East Gate to line of sight the remaining snipers which will coax them to come down, making them much easier to kill.
The following schedule shows the time remaining when certain events will spawn and where. The appropriate players should prioritize handling their mechanic while understanding that the end goal is to kill Narella without allowing the cage to lose all of its health.
- 6:50 – Berg spawns East Gate
- 6:03 – Saboteur spawn West Gate
- 5:05 – Mortar spawn outside East Gate
- 4:50 – Zane spawns South Gate
- 3:30 – Saboteur spawn West Gate
- 3:04 – Mortar spawn outside East Gate
- 2:59 – Saboteur spawn East Gate
- 2:47 – Narella spawns West Gate
- 2:29 – Saboteur spawn West Gate
The squad should take a very conservative approach, clearing out as many bandits as possible by pulling them together and minimizing the damage to the cage as much as possible at first while killing the bosses. Because there are set timers for the bosses to come out, focusing on killing them quickly allows time in between to regroup and clear out bandits, but once Narella is out the strategy should transition from very conservative to very aggressive, only CCing saboteurs to delay the cage’s health as much as possible while finishing off Narella.
After defeating the Bandit Trio, take the updraft to the northern ledge and follow the path, killing as many bandits as you can. When enough have been killed, the door to the Temple of Salvation will open and you can fight the final boss of this instance.
Matthias Gabrel (Third Encounter)
Matthias Gabrel is the final boss of the Salvation Pass raid. He is one of the hardest to survive especially if the mechanics aren’t handled cleanly. Staying alive is difficult, but important for pushing through the final phase which stacks many mechanics on top of each other.
One of the main mechanics of the encounter requires reflect. There is no way to reflect using the environment, so at least one player must bring the ability to reflect projectiles. The best reflects will be long term:
- Mesmer with
- Guardian with
Important: Remove or avoid any skills that can destroy projectiles as this can destroy the shards that are needed to be reflected into the boss to progress the encounter.
A renewable source of burning damage will help during the ice phases. Tempest is very good for this.
Cleanses will be useful for this encounter as there are many conditions that debilitate and damage the party.
Stun Breaks can remove the knockdown that happens in the Storm Phase, allowing better control of your positioning.
Condition DPS builds will be more effective on this boss because conditions can still be applied while the boss has their shield up.
Matthias will often try to use his basic attack on whichever player is furthest from him, so the party will often need to stay close to him to prevent him from moving to keep him near the center of the room.
There are 4 different phases to the Matthias fight, but some mechanics exist globally.
Corruption – Every 30 seconds a player will become corrupted and deal damage to themselves and nearby allies. The only way to remove corruption is by walking into one of the four the wells on the perimeter of the room.
You need the Forsaken Thicket Waters mastery to be able to cleanse the corruption.
When a well has cleansed a corruption, it will turn to red and can’t be used again for 90 seconds. This means that only one well will be usable sometimes. Generally using wells in a clockwise rotation will allow your party to reliably know where a clean well is.
Bloodstone Shield – Around every 30 seconds Matthias will gain a shield bubble that will prevent damage being dealt to him. He will also shoot a stream of bloodstone shards at a player right after gaining the bubble. These shards must be reflected back at Matthias to remove all of his stacks and make him vulnerable to attacks again. Wall of Reflection is great to place right on top of the boss because he will not move while casting the shards. Conditions can be inflicted on him while the shield is up.
Blood Sacrifice – Every 45 seconds one player will be abducted and placed in the center of the room. They cannot control their character and will die if the party does not CC the break bar of that player fast enough. The player is hostile to the party so they can be killed with too much collateral damage. Stick to CC and not damage on them.
Stomp – Matthias will leap into the air and land, shooting out a radius of bloodstone shards. These will do more damage the closer you are to the boss, and they can be reflected but will buff the boss if done so. Try to dodge this instead.
Ice Phase 1: 100% – 80% Boss HP
Icy Patches – When walked over, players will get knocked down and become chilled. These will severely hamper the ability for players to clear their corruption. They can be cleared with anything that deals the burning condition.
Oppressive Gaze – Matthias will spin his staff and hurl a ball of energy in front of him. Either dodge or position yourself behind him to avoid this.
Fire Phase 2: 80% – 60% Boss HP
Players will periodically gain burning if they do not keep moving.
Fiery Tornados – Avoid the tornados because they can chain CC you for a while and pull you into other mechanics.
Unstable Blood Magic – A player in the group will have a skull above their head and will create a large cracked area when it ends that will deal damage to those in it. The debuff will also deal damage to them, and they can end the debuff prematurely by using the special action key, but it is preferable that the large area is created away from the wells and out of the middle of the room because it will persist later on into the fight and complicate other mechanics.
Storm Phase 3: 60% – 40% Boss HP
Players will gain stacks of poison and a Downpour debuff the more they move, becoming knocked down if they move after the debuff reaches 10 stacks.
Storm Clouds – Will damage and provide even more stacks of the Downpour debuff.
Zealous Benediction – Five players will have an orange circle appear around them. Split up enough that no other players are inside another’s circle once it is filled or they will go down. The circles can overlap, just not the players in them. Do not panic when these appear. Move out quickly and then stand still. Too much movement and unpredictability will just get others killed. They can move away from you more easily if you are stationary and away from the boss.
Abomination Phase: 40% – 0% Boss HP
Upon reaching 40% Matthias will go invulnerable for a few seconds and explode into an Abomination. Shortly after he will fear the entire party which can be dangerous because it can send players flying into each other with the mechanics. The fear can be dodged if timed correctly or it can be stun broken or cleansed.
Every 30 seconds during the Abomination phase the boss will cycle through Ice, Fire, Storm phases, triggering the mechanics appropriate to them but at a greater power. For example, the Oppressive Gaze will deal much more damage and Zealous Benediction will create circles around the entire party instead of half of it.
Blood Sacrifices will no longer occur during this phase, but Spirits will cross the room, downing players that do not avoid them. Many of the mechanics will overlap each other during this phase, compounding any mistakes made.
Keep Matthias near the center of the room during the ice phase, but do not stack too tightly or when corruptions spawn it can be harder to recognize who has them and more damage will be done to the party. Focus on the core mechanics:
- Cleansing corruptions
- Breaking allies out of the sacrifice
- Reflecting to remove the bubble
Even though you can easily ignore the Icy Patches at first, they can become a problem later. When the encounter enters fire phase, one person can try to lure the boss away from fire tornados since the boss will try to attack the furthest player in range. Make sure not to overlap the Unstable Blood Magic on top of the corruption cleansing wells but also don’t put them near the middle. Placing them in between the wells on the side of the room is the safest.
If your party has cleared Icy Patches, placed Unstable Blood Magic conveniently, and has good CC to make sure no one was lost to the sacrifice mechanic, the storm phase should be fine. Try to minimize your movement because of the Downpour debuff, but also try to help your teammates when they have to deal with corruption since they need to move. By instinct, players may want to spread when the Zealous Benediction circles appear, but spreading out and moving too much can also be harmful. The best action is to not panic and have some of the players stay near the center and others to spread further outward. If two players move in the same direction it can be catastrophic, so be aware of others and don’t be afraid to stand still so others can react to your positioning more easily.
When the boss reaches abomination phase it will get much more hectic and some players may die to bad luck, so it is best to have everyone alive by this point especially since you need the person with your reflects alive to power through the final phase. Support each other for a better chance at success.
The Big Sleep – 1MP – 15AP
Defeat the first boss, Slothasor.
You can obtain an and become a Slubling anywhere out in the world. These are very cheap on the Trading Post.
The Shield – 1MP – 15AP
Liberate the prison camp and defeat the Bandit Trio with no civilian casualties.
Avenger of the Pact – 1MP – 15AP
Slay the final boss of the wing, Matthias Gabrel.
Salvation Pass Mastery – 1MP – 1AP
Start north of the mastery point down below. Climb the steps into a branch of the tree and glide to the scaffolding along the wall. Use the sapper bombs next to the launch pad to get high in the air and then glide to the mastery point.
Scattered Memories – 1AP
Read the 7 torn pages found around Salvation Pass. The locations are shown below. Most of them cannot be read until Matthias has been defeated, but players can join an instance of another who already have Matthias downed to complete this.
Slippery Slubling – 1MP – 15AP – title: Slippery Slubling
While doing the Slothasor encounter you must carry a golden slubling without dropping it until you defeat the boss. To begin the attempt you must interact with a golden slubling to the right on the wall before the boss.
Then the first player who eats the imbued mushroom must eat towards the middle of the room and eat the golden mushroom which will give them a bundle to carry the Golden Slubling. If the person holding the slubling goes down, uses a skill that changes their weapon skills, or holds it for longer than 30 seconds they will lose grip on the Golden Slubling and the achievement is failed.
To prevent the Golden Slubling from leaving, it must be thrown to another player to reset the timer. Usually one person will be designated as the slubling carrier with a build that can contribute to their party without the use of their weapons. They will hand off the Golden Slubling to another player off to the side and then return it to the original carrier immediately. Then they proceed as normal, repeating this process until defeating Slothasor.
You can see how much time is left until you lose grip on the Golden Slubling by hovering your cursor over the achievement icon on your buff bar. Look to communicate a pass around 10-15 seconds left on the timer. That way if you have to move out of the Ground Pound or poison there is plenty of time to do so. You can also communicate to the other player designated to pass it back and forth to the carrier through voice communications or a PM with something simple like “X” to indicate that you are ready to pass it.
Environmentally Friendly – 15AP
Complete the prison camp encounter (Bandit Trio) without using the environment: beehives, oil kegs, or wargs to your advantage. Without the use of these environmental effects, your party will deal much less damage to the bosses, so all of the other mechanics and DPS need to be cleaner as a result.
Seimur Was Wrong – 1MP – 15AP
Defeat Matthias Gabrel while the entire squad is under the effects of the Bowl of Bloodstone Bisque. Each player can obtain this by using a at the Soup Pot in the Labor Camp before the Matthias Cathedral.
Essentially it has no effect so you need to complete the encounter without a proper food buff. The achievement will fail if at least one person is not running the food at the moment Matthias dies (be aware of the timer, the food lasts 30 minutes and can be refreshed by consuming the food again)
Salvation Pass Sadist – 15AP
Complete all of the challenge achievements for each encounter in Salvation Pass (Slippery Slubling , Environmentally Friendly, and Seimur Was Wrong).
Special thanks to Vallun for writing up the initial draft of this guide and helping on the process. Check out his Youtube Channel for more of his content.