GW2. A guide to the Boneskinner Strike Mission from The Icebrood Saga.
The Boneskinner is a strike mission which is a 10 player boss encounter from the Whisper in the Dark episode.
Getting There and LFG
Access the Boneskinner Strike Mission from the Eye of the North portal or the Raven Sanctum in Bjora Marches.
If you don’t have a static group to run this, you might want to find a group using the LFG tool. Usually the most common squad composition will ask for 2-3 healers, quickness and alacrity and the rest DPS. Most people will use builds for raids so I suggest you check at here for that.
The Boneskinner is a simple encounter with few mechanics, but there is a massive health tax throughout the fight making the difficulty in the encounter mostly from your support and composition. Having the right composition for Boneskinner is often much more effective than knowing the encounter.
Support and Utility are the main requirements of this fight. DPS is important to make the timer, but the bar is very low for that. Your supports will want to have not only massive healing per second, but also a decent amount of protection to prevent the passive ticking damage from becoming too oppressive.
- A single Healing Tempest is very valuable for this fight because it is the highest amount of raw healing to counter the passive damage tick as well as provide resurrections with the staff and arcane geyser traits. Rebound can also help to survive high pressure moments.
- Any Guardians should take the “Retreat” shout or any other source of Aegis to avoid the large slam attacks. Also if they can provide protection they should.
- Projectile defense is very important to handle the mobs that spawn. A Revenant using the Centaur/Ventari stance can keep up a projectile blocking field that is mobile with the group to minimize the damage taken from these mobs.
- Pulls can also help to deal with the mobs that spawn. Necromancers can use the Spectral Grasp utility skill to pull them in to efficiently dispose of them. Also Reapers can pull with their greatswords.
- Any kind of ressurection support is useful. Necromancers with Transfusion can pull allies out of the dangerous fields so that they can be revived safely.
- A single Thief with Shadowstep or other ports can light torches to reduce the damage taken for your party with little downtime.
- CC can be important to break the defiance bar of the boss, but this can be supplemented by the special action key ability obtained from the Icebrood Saga mastery.
- Build for your normal quickness/might application in your composition to maximize damage output, but classes that can provide support to allies at the same time can be much more valuable here.
- The main mechanic of the boss is the torches at the perimeter of the room. These torches when lit will reduce the size and damage of the area around the boss. The torches will become unlit over time or can even be destroyed by the boss. Players can walk up to them and interact with them to relight them. Though this is a very punishing mechanic, it is often simpler to out heal this mechanic rather than to split up and relight torches.
As you can see, when the torches are lit, the area around the boss is small, but when the torches are unlit the area covers the entire room. You can see the small red lines reaching out to the perimeter, showing the range of the damaging field.
- The next most important mechanic is the Grasping Hands that spawn underneath every player periodically. These will appear at first as an orange circle underneath each player which when stacked up can be harder to see. After a moment there will be a damaging impact and a residual damaging effect left behind for a while afterwards. You should dodge left when facing the boss, or whichever way your team decides, to stay together while also not getting hit by the many areas that will stack up multiplicatively, potentially instantly downing you.
This mechanic is easy to avoid, but it can cause issues if players get downed in it, because on top of the ticking damage, the hands will make reviving allies in the area very difficult, especially if multiple stacks of hands are on top of them. The hands will also remain for a while, so they can cover the room if your team does not stack tightly when they appear, but this does make them much more dangerous when stacked. Because they appear faster than they disappear, there can be 3 sets of hands up at a time. If you don’t stack the hands tightly you will lose space to stand.
- The boss will also sometimes scream at one of the torches to turn off the light. This can be seen by the orange cone indicator. If you are within this, you will be knocked down for a few seconds and can be caught in many of the other mechanics. Avoiding this with positioning or having stun breaks is important.
- The boss will also get a defiance bar which should be broken because it will provide your team respite against the onslaught of damage, and will prevent the boss from permanently destroying one of the torches, making it unable to be relit. The special action key ability can be used to do much of the break bar, but other CCs should be used as well.
- The final mechanic is a leap attack. The boss will disappear and land after a few moments. When it lands you must dodge or block to avoid taking massive damage on top of the already punishing pulsing damage. If you see the expanding red circle, wait till it almost reaches the outer edge before dodging.
Handling the Boneskinner is rather simple, but very punishing for making any mistakes or lacking support in your composition. Rather than handling the torch mechanic, most groups choose to outheal the pulsing damage and stack together very tightly while avoiding the grasping hands at the same time with a coordinated dodge left. Break the bar when necessary, and use aegis and other cooldowns during the leap attack or when someone gets downed in the hands to recover.
Usually the group will stand on a designated player such as the commander tag, but some players may have trouble reacting to the hands. To prevent dying to a delayed reaction to this mechanic, ranged builds can distance themselves from the boss, essentially creating two close-in-proximity groups. The ranged can stack right behind the melee and the melee stack in between the boss and the ranged. This way the hands are not spread around the boss too thinly, giving the melee plenty of places to stand, but also because there is much greater chance you survive being hit by the grasping hands because they wont be stacked so intensely. And of course slot a heal Tempest into your composition for maximum healing.
Legendary Boneskinner – 10AP
Kill for first time the Boneskinner in the Raven Sanctum Arena.
Deathless Hunt – 5AP
To complete this achievement you need to defeat the Boneskinner without being downed or defeated, so pay close attention to the hands mechanic as that is the most likely to down you, and potentially run more healers for a safer composition.
Flickering Light – 5AP
Interact with unlit torches during the fight with the Boneskinner, to relight a total of 30 torches. This achievement does not require killing the Boneskinner and can be done solo as well as throughout multiple attempts.
Hold onto the Light – 10AP
Defeat the Boneskinner without letting any torches be extinguished by wisps. This achievement does not require keeping torches lit, merely preventing the wisps from taking them out. You can focus on killing the wisps as soon as possible, or the easiest strategy is to let the Boneskinner extinguish the torches with its cone attack while keeping its HP above 90%. Wisps spawn after 90%, so once all torches go dark kill the Boneskinner without re-lighting them so that the wisps never spawn while a torch is lit.