A Cautionary Tale of L-Shroud Part 4

Mericletica5Our most excellent multi-guild raid team took on a Legendary Shroud on Hard recently.

We should be old hats at this. But L-Shroud has a deceptive quality. Most of us have played Heroic-level Shroud many, many times before. So the familiar surroundings of L-Shroud, I suspect, causes some of us to let our guard down.

That’s a very bad thing to do in any part, but especially in Part 1, where the troglodytes that appear are all very dangerous. The sorcerers disintegrate. The fighters critically hit you with one strike, and so do the assassins. In this part, we break off two or three people to guard the portal beater’s backs. That’s a difficult job since the trash spawns at the portal as well as behind the team. And most of our player defenses on Legendary are much weaker.

For some reason this night, our DPS on portal beating was OK but you could tell it wasn’t our best. We complete Parts 1, 2 and 3 without much fuss.

It’s Part 4 that I worry about most now in Legendary Shroud.

The fight is exactly the same as in the Heroic version. Devils show up with a few friends to off you. After a time, Arraetrikos appears for the first time.

And this is where sub-par DPS will end your raid–and also why a solo Legendary run is nearly impossible.

Optimally, you kill Harry in one pass, else he returns with gnolls that heal him. In Legendary, the eight gnolls will heal Harry back from 1/4 HP to full health in less than 30 seconds. And the gnolls are hardy bastards; only one or two adventurers cannot destroy them fast enough. You need to devote the whole party to remove them fast, then switch over to Harry and peel back more HP on him.

But Harry is also being Harry, throwing fireballs and slapping adventurers hither and yon, killing a few. After a consecutive Ten Thousand Stars and Manyshot volley to his face, Harry often turns his attention to me and spins meteors to my face, which will sting a bit, even with high Reflex saves, without some PRR.

That’s typically the point where your party is doomed, especially if your DPS was only adequate but not superior. One or two adventurers with only one or two death penalties may be OK, but once 5 or more in your party have suffered 3 or more deaths, their performance and HP are greatly reduced, increasing the chance for others to die and all but ensuring that Harry will triumph.

So, to those a little new to L-Shroud, here’s a tip or two for what its worth.

  1. Check your party DPS before entering. A full party is less important than a party that can rid the floor of portals and have the power to hurt Harry (or the gnolls) situationally. Not that I fault our raid party here (we love to have everyone play) but players under level 25 in the party probably hurt our chances that night.
  2. Ensure people have their portal-beaters and Harry beaters as well as any fortification bypassing. The simple portal-beater isn’t enough, in my opinion. You need to reduce the portal’s (and L-Harry’s) fortification to do similar damage to him as in Heroic. My Pynthetica the Zen Archer is designed to excel in both categories thanks to a strong weapon (a Complete Thunder-Forged Longbow that punches Force damage) but also because she can reach 85% fortification bypass thanks to Precision (25%), the bow’s armor-piercing (35%), the Grandmaster of Flowers ED Piercing Clarity (10%) and, by level 30, the Shadowdancer ED Grim Precision (15%). I swap in +5 Holy Arrows, kick on Ten Thousand Stars and go to town. It shouldn’t be a terrible option for most to switch to crafted Armor-Piercing gloves to help. And player abilities that also reduce fortification as a group (the Monk’s Jade Strike, or the Deepwood Stalker’s Mark of the Hunter) also help.
  3. Depending on your group, determine your Part 4 strategy. Normally the strategy is simple: Kill Harry, rapidly and in one go. But be ready with a Plan B: Slowing or killing the gnolls before turning your attention to Harry. Here, Paracleta’s superior Legendary-level paralysis helped a few times when Harry didn’t go down on the first try. She paralyzed two gnolls, leaving only six to destroy and buying time for the party. The trick here is that you MUST paralyze or otherwise freeze the gnolls before they emit their healing beam, as they materialize in the arena. That beam does not stop once started unless the gnoll is dead or the beam hasn’t started to begin with. Flesh-to-Stone, Otto’s Dancing or other effects could work if you get the save and if you’re very fast. If you have paralyzers in your party (and not Heroic level paralysis: You’re going to need to have a DC of 60+ to stand a chance), this can make the difference.
  4. Remind the party to go for maximum everything on the first attempt. Use boosts, the right weapon, throw spells carelessly. Definitely hit him with anything that lowers fortification for yourself or the party. Hold nothing back. It’s got to be “one and done” or the gnolls await you.

Got any other tips to share from your raid experience? Just drop them in the comments.

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9 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Shawn Wilson (@shawnvw)
    May 14, 2017 @ 11:11:47

    I don’t raid much, but I always assumed that Suggestion, Charm, or Domination would be better than Paralyze. They all stop the trash mobs from attacking the party, but isn’t it better to have them working for you against the boss? At the very least, they may grab a little of the aggro from him.

    It would be even cooler if healing enemies who you’ve taken over would heal your party instead, but I guess that never happens.

    • teachersyn
      May 22, 2017 @ 00:24:04

      Hey there. Raids have enemies with wards that reduce or make immune certain effects such as Charm. In fact, Charm/Domination are bad ideas in raids because they could bug the raid because enemies aren’t behaving the way they should. Paralyze works very well in raids if you get the DC sufficiently high, as does Otto’s Irresistible Dance. Also, Paralyze is faster to implement with a bow; You’d be too late in Part 4 to run to the gnolls and spells can be slower or be resisted.

  2. DDOCentral
    May 14, 2017 @ 19:03:09

    Reblogged this on DDOCentral.

  3. Tholgrin
    May 22, 2017 @ 10:43:08

    Having one or two characters with high sustained, renewable DPS – such as a Shuricannon – also helps greatly if you can’t drop him in one pass. The near infinite range of missile characters renders distance between gnolls a non-issue. And the ability to keep the hurt on Harry indefinitely helps keep his HP going down while everyone else is on cooldown. An epic Dawnbringer slotted with a Ruby of the Vampire Slayer punches through his DR nicely.

  4. Jammond
    May 23, 2017 @ 18:34:14

    I know one of your archers has racial AA, even though I can’t remember exactly how he is optimized. However, if you have a fairly solid spell power, Draconic incarnation is surprisingly useful for a monk-based archer in legendary shroud. Energy burst and Dragon breath can both push out enough damage to one shot folks (or at least leave them easy pickings), and abundant step allows you to cross the distance from one group to the next in something like a second and a half.

    It does require a hefty spell power investment, and either some dc gear or an int focus to deal out that level of damage of course. Even if you can’t hit a high enough spell power number and dc for the trade off to be worth going full DI, twisting energy burst is something to seriously consider. After all, the faster you drop those gnolls, the faster you can get back to beating Harry.

    • teachersyn
      May 23, 2017 @ 22:08:03

      Paracleta has the racial AA. Her WIS DCs empower everything she’s got, especially a paralysis that halts those gnolls even on Elite. The downside is that I lose damage in slaying them but at least they aren’t healing Harry. I do wear spellpower boosting rings to improve my TF bow’s Force damage and could probably switch a secondary imbue to add a bit more damage, too. My thought is that if the rest of the team drops two more gnolls while I have two halted, the odds of the group quickly going to Harry are better than my little bow adding to the damage. That plan’s worked very well when we don’t slay Harry on the first round.

  5. Jammond
    May 25, 2017 @ 11:49:02

    That’s actually why I suggested energy at the very least, as it gives you hefty burst damage without you needing to switch out of paralyzers. In theory, you could paralyze one group, pop over to the second with energy burst, and explode them, before they get a chance to do any healing. That’s in theory and assumes you can hit high enough spellpower/crit. It also assumes a high enough dc on the paralyzers that the first set of gnolls won’t make their recurring saving throw before someone takes them out.

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