Welcome to GuildMag’s guide for the Vale Guardian, the first of three bosses in Spirit Vale. This is a detailed guide on the mechanics of the fight; use the included video to see the tactics in action.
Although I’ll go into what your group composition should be, I won’t be going over specific builds. Most professions are viable, and what works for one raid group may not work for another. Bring what your members are comfortable on, as long as it meets the below requirements. For those interested, MetaBattle is a good source for builds.
Squad Preparation: Prerequisites
A squad of 10 players is required to enter the Spirit Vale. To make your life easier, all squad members should meet the following recommended requirements, though neither are strictly necessary to enter or complete the raid:
- Ascended weapons and trinkets. Note that ascended armour only provides a minimal boost to stats compared to weapons and trinkets, and completing Vale Guardian in exotic armour is perfectly doable.
- Itzel Lore – Blazing Speed Mushrooms mastery. Not strictly required to clear the raid, but the Speed Boost Mushrooms available during the fight are a significant boost to DPS.
Squad Preparation: Group Composition
The squad composition should be as follows:
- 1 tank. The Vale Guardian will aggro onto the player with the highest toughness, and it will be their job to deal with moving the boss when necessary. Any profession that can survive the boss’ attacks will suffice. Not dying to the boss is more important than DPS for the tank.
- 1 healer. Druids make great healers, though other options can also viable. As long as your healer can keep everyone topped up, bring whatever profession your squad is comfortable with.
- 5 physical DPS. Ideally, your physical DPS players should be min/maxed glass cannons to pump out as much damage as possible. A chronomancer and phalanx strength warrior are highly recommended to support the group’s DPS.
- 3 condition DPS. The Vale Guardian requires condition damage dealers; if you don’t have these, you will not succeed. Engineers are currently considered the best condition DPS in the game, but other professions are as equally viable.
Your composition should include players who can boon strip easily, and everyone should aim to bring as much crowd control (cc) as possible, including knockbacks, knockdowns and stuns. There are several breakbars you must quickly overcome throughout the fight.
Squad Preparation: Consumables
Food and utility consumables help greatly, and are highly recommended. Make sure you maintain them at all times.
- Utility Primers and Metabolic Primers are useful if you have any.
- Healer: Delicious Rice Ball and Furious Tuning Crystal.
- Physical DPS: Bowl of Sweet and Spicy Butternut Squash Soup and Potent Superior Sharpening Stone (or Toxic Sharpening Stone).
- Condition DPS: Rare Veggie Pizza and Toxic Focusing Crystal
- Tanks should use either the physical or condition DPS consumables, depending on their damage type.
General Raid Mechanics
Boss enrage: 8 minutes
There are three major mechanics that you will have to deal with throughout the fight. I’ll go through these before going into each phase’s detail.
The Vale Guardian is situated in an arena split into three coloured zones: red, green and blue. See the map below for where each is situated.
Blue Teleport Circles
Blue AoE circles will spawn under players within melee range of the boss every 10 seconds. These circles have a 2 second detonation time, after which they explode, dealing damage and teleporting anyone in them to a random location in the arena. Being caught by these will cause a DPS loss and can get you killed later in the fight. As soon as you see them spawn, sidestep away. If in doubt, dodge or block. If you’re having trouble spotting the AoE floor markers, the Vale Guardian will turn around from the tank when spawning them.
Every 20 seconds, one seeker orb will spawn near each of the pylons making for 3 total orbs. They slowly move towards players, and will deal moderate damage to any that they come in contact with. Avoid standing in these orbs at all times; they can be cc’d, so push them away from the squad whenever they get too close. This is especially important when dealing with the third mechanic below.
Green Lightning Circles
Lightning circles will spawn every 15 seconds in the same colour zone the boss is being tanked in. Their location within this area is random, so be prepared to travel to the back of your zone’s colour if needed. After 6 seconds, the lightning circles will deal massive raid-wide damage unless dealt with.
Having 4 players inside the circle as it detonates will negate the raid-wide damage. Note that downed players do not count, and neither do pets, spirits etc. It’s best to assign 5 players to deal with this mechanic, giving some breathing room if one player doesn’t make it. Ideally, these 5 players should be able to continue to deal damage to the boss from range, and should have good mobility to reach the circles in time. Make sure you assign players to this job before entering the fight.
Note that seeker orbs can, and often do, follow players to the circle. Since you cannot leave the lightning circle to avoid the orbs, make sure you have enough knockbacks or other cc to prevent the orbs from reaching you. Your healer should pay special attention to the players dealing with lightning, who will take moderate damage from being in the circle when it detonates.
This phase is mostly about how fast you can burn the boss whilst dealing with the three mechanics mentioned above. You should aim to get out of this phase with around 6:30 left on the timer. Phase 2 happens when the boss is at 66% health.
At the start of the fight, the Vale Guardian will aggro on to your tank, as shown by the arrow underneath him. Note that the timer will not start until the boss is damaged, so avoid hitting him until he is in position. The tank should position the Vale Guardian near one of the coloured pylons, facing the boss away from the group. Only the tank should be stood in front of the boss as his melee attacks cleave. To make things easier, the blue pylon is recommended for positioning at during Phase 1, which will help you to avoid lightning circles in unwanted zones before phase switching. It is also possible, but not ideal, to tank him near the red pylon, which is what our Group 1 did. Tanking near the pylons should be done to allow DPS members to use the Speed Boost Mushrooms.
Remember to dodge out of the blue teleport circles; this is especially critical for the tank. If the tank is teleported, the boss will follow them.
At 66% health, the Vale Guardian will turn invulnerable and move to the center of the arena. It will split into the 3 coloured guardians you fought to get to the boss, each with their respective mechanic. As soon as the Vale Guardian turns invulnerable, your group should split and move to each of the three pylons. You should assign who moves where beforehand. The split should look something like this:
- 3 condition DPS to the red pylon.
- 4-5 physical DPS to the blue pylon.
- Remaining players to the green pylon.
This is the easiest way to split the party for your healer; another tactic is to send 3 condition DPS to red, your tank to green and everyone else to blue to burn down the Blue Guardian as fast as possible before moving to green.
A few seconds after the start of the phase, players standing in each coloured zone will be attuned to that zone. Anyone who ventures into a different coloured guardian’s damaging area (denoted by a large red circle) will take significant damage – this is why the second split tactic is more taxing on your healer, who must heal 6 players through that damage when moving from blue to green. Your aim is to kill your respective guardian as fast as possible, whilst dealing with the mechanic for your zone: seeker orbs for red, lightning circles for blue and teleport AoEs for green. The Blue Guardian will also have a periodic invulnerability boon, which must be stripped – make sure your boon strippers are sent to blue initially.
Once a guardian reaches 0% health, its breakbar becomes active and must be broken to kill the boss. Use your hard cc to break it as fast as possible, before moving to help kill any guardians still up. Typically, blue will die first, and all players on blue should move to green. With good DPS, red and green will die at around the same time.
The Vale Guardian will return for this phase, with mechanics like Phase 1 but with two new additions:
Starting in the green zone and moving clockwise (green -> blue -> red), one zone of the arena will light up and deal significant damage to anyone standing in it. The zone will remain lit for 20 seconds, before moving to the next. This is where not getting caught by blue teleport circles becomes critical, as you can easily be teleported onto a lit zone.
At the start of this phase, all players should move to the red zone. Your tank should position the Vale Guardian near the edge (but not on the edge) of the currently active danger zone, and be ready to move into it as it deactivates. This is the most critical part of this phase, and Phase 5, and will likely take the tank some practice. Speed is key to getting the positioning correct; by doing this, you’re trying to avoid lightning circles forming in a zone that’s about to be lit up. If this does happen for Phase 3, your lightning team should attempt to deal with the mechanic and enter the active danger zone. The healer should focus on keeping these players alive.
Vale Guardian Breakbar
Every 30 seconds, the Vale Guardian’s breakbar will become active. The boss will stop following the tank and begin dishing out a metric tonne of AoE lightning orbs. You need to break this bar within 3 seconds (ideally 1-2). Remember that a lightning circle could be active at this time, and the lightning team may be too far away to help provide cc, so melee DPS should use all their cc to deal with this as quickly as possible.
If you do not break the bar fast enough, the boss may still be positioned in a zone that’s about to become lit up when it is eventually broken, and therefore lightning circles will spawn in a danger zone. This will become much more of a problem in Phase 5, so get used to dealing with it now.
At 33%, the Vale Guardian will once again split into the three coloured guardians. Deal with this in the same way as Phase 2. Watch out for lightning circles happening just before the phase transition; it’s up to your group to make an on-the-spot decision for how to deal with this and get players to their correct attunements. Remember that the Red Guardian must have condition DPS, and that the Blue Guardian must have a boon stripper.
The final phase contains no new mechanics, but the difficulty is ramped up for this final push.
Danger zones will now cover 2 zones rather than 1. Once again, begin in the red zone and rotate clockwise, following the same positioning as you did for Phase 3. Moving the boss quickly is even more key for this final phase, as a lightning circle in a danger zone is a massive issue and very difficult to deal with successfully. If one does spawn in a danger zone, do not send players to deal with it. Group up, pop protection boons and heal through the raid-wide lightning damage. It is survivable if you are close to full health – and even more so with protection.
Remember to cc the breakbar as quickly as possible. If you’ve left the breakbar too late, and the boss is in a lit danger zone, it is possible to not break it and continue to DPS the boss as you rotate around the arena. Whilst the Vale Guardian is in this state, lightning circles will not spawn, removing the possibility of getting a bad spawn on a danger zone. After 1 minute of this, the Vale Guardian will automatically return to its normal state. Alternatively, you can break the bar once you have done a full rotation of the arena and the boss is in a safe zone to spawn a lightning circle in. Note that if you are attempting this method, avoid as much soft cc as possible, including cripple, blind and chill.
If you take longer than 8 minutes, the Vale Guardian will enrage and deal significantly more damage. It is still possible to get a kill whilst he is enraged – as long as you have people alive, the raid isn’t over.
Good luck with your kill, and let us know how you get on!