Welcome to the Crown of Sorrow, where switching Witch’s Blessing is not just a way of life, it is THE way of life. Let’s figure out why it’s so important in this first encounter. Team composition for this encounter isn’t too rigid because there are no bosses to kill, although there are some high health Ogres that may prove to be an issue without high burst damage or some form of control effects. As a result, Celestial Nighthawk Hunters OR Orpheus Hunters are pretty good for that scenario.
Titans pretty much have their pick of subclass, same with Warlocks, but Well of Radiance is always going to be welcome. As for loadouts, these will be based on very early kills and may change in the future. I used Mountaintop and Recluse with Hammerhead, but as long as you have 1 strong weapon for killing knights and one close range add killing weapon, you’ll be fine, although be aware that there are a couple of enemies that spawn high from the play area and submachines won’t really reach them too well.
The main mechanic of this fight and the entire raid is the Witch’s Blessing buff. Witches Blessing allows you to shoot enemies that non-blessed people can’t, but there are also enemies that only non-blessed people can shoot. The blessing lasts for 1 minute, where it’ll then turn into Witch’s Curse, which will kill you after a brief time. If your timer runs out and turns into Witch’s Curse, you still have a chance of staying alive by swapping the blessing to another player, so keep that in mind. Swapping the blessing is done by going to a big sphere called the Witch’s Vessel, in this first encounter, it’s in the middle of the room and shooting it with another player who either does have the buff when you don’t or doesn’t have one when you do. We’ll elaborate on this more later. There are 2 short rules for the Vessel: you need 1 blessed and 1 non-blessed at the least to activate it, and 2) when that happens, anyone in that Vessel circle will have their buff toggled.
So, technically speaking, you could have a non-blessed person in the circle, a blessed person outside of the circle, both would shoot and the person inside would gain the blessing, but the blessed player outside would not lose it. The reverse also applies. This isn’t really needed in the first encounter and I don’t really plan on utilizing this information for the purposes of the guide since I feel like it can cause more confusion than it’s worth, BUT, it is something to keep in mind. Another mechanic throughout the raid is the void crystal. These void crystals will spawn every so often in this and the final encounter and will slowly turn green lke an hourglass would tick down, this is their timer. If the crystal explodes, everyone dies. To kill the crystal, a blessed and non-blessed player need to shoot it together, you can even punch it too and you shouldn’t have to shoot it for very long before it is destroyed, primary ammo is fine. Those are the main two mechanics, so let’s go through a run of the fight: There is a pattern you’ll need to repeat 4 times in order to claim victory and what happens in the fight doesn’t really change.
Before you start, split your team into 3 groups of 2, left, middle and right teams and then select 1 person of each side to be on what I’ve been calling team buff boys. Feel free to add in “and girls” as needed. When starting the fight, there will be a green pool in front of the rally flag along with 2 knights. Standing in and activating this pool will start the fight and give everyone who stood in the pool Witch’s Blessing. You want 3 people, 1 left, 1 middle, 1 right, to jump in the pool and then split off into your teams, but only after you kill the two knights standing nearby. Blessed targets will be killing Knights, while non-blessed targets will be killing acolytes and thrall. It is very important that you kill the thing you are assigned to kill as fast as possible, as your battle buddy is helpless against that enemy, save for just running away.
The first wave of enemies will be a knight and some acolytes, followed by another knight and some thrall and then the void crystals. The first wave will spawn in almost immediately after starting the fight, with the next wave appearing about 25 seconds later. Another 20 seconds after that will spawn the void crystals. These can spawn in various locations, but are still divided into “somewhere on the left, somewhere in the middle and somewhere on the right.” Assuming everything goes well, you should have a few seconds left with Witch’s Blessing, in which case the entire raid team should head to the center of the room to shoot the Vessel together, with EVERYONE being in the circle. Again, what this does is gives people who don’t have blessing blessing and people who do have it have it removed, it toggles the buff for anyone in the circle. Essentially, assuming no one died, you are trading places with your battle buddy. Note that if you do ever have a situation where all Witch’s Blessing buffs have fallen off all players, the green pool at the start will respawn. Not dying in this fight is really paramount to having a clean run, as losing a blessing can mess up your rotation.
It’s easy enough to fix, but it could introduce problems with timings later. The next wave starts a very similar way. Immediately after you trigger a Vessel, the next wave will spawn, knights and acolytes, then the next shortly after, knights and thrall, but then you’re going to have 2 ogres spawn, one on left, one on right. One of them needs to be killed by blessed players and the other by non-blessed, so call out which side is which and take them out. Ogres are a huge threat when underleveled as their eye beam can crush you. This is where you’re going to want to utilize those supers.
After the ogres will come the crystals, where you do the same thing again, just be aware that the middle team needs to actually rotate back to the middle to kill their crystal. After those crystals die, head to the middle for another swap. This swap will cause one of the four lights to light up in front of you, but it also won’t spawn the next wave right away. What you should do is when the music starts playing, or when you see the “Witch’s Vessel awakens” message, is just immediately swap again to refresh the timer if there are no adds; there doesn’t appear to be a penalty for doing this.
What this will do is prevent you from having to swap in the middle of a phase. Ideally, you’ll be finishing each block of the fight before you need to transfer buffs. Once you have to start transferring buffs in the middle of killing stuff, that’s when things can get confusing and can potentially cause deaths. This will be less of a problem when our power levels start getting higher. *live commentary of the fight in action* Repeat this process another 3 times and you’ll gain access to the next encounter, which is essentially a jumping puzzle version of what you just did.
You’ll get Witch’s Blessing and have to destroy crystals while jumping on very tiny platforms. You’ll make your way higher and higher, reaching new vessels and killing more crystals. The only difference is the immunity shields around the crystals, you need to be inside the shield. There’s not a whole lot to say about this encounter, my two pieces of advice are, 1) make sure to look all around you for crystals as a couple of crystals will spawn out of regular sightlines and 2) watch your ammo because there are no drops while climbing up.
Make it to the top and you’ll snag some more loot as you move towards the final boss area. After this encounter, you’ll move to part 1 and part 2 of the finale. I’ll see you there..