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 Mission 12 - Imperial Sanctum

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Lorn Wintersmith
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Number of posts : 195
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Location : Nottinghamshire, UK
Registration date : 2008-03-12

PostSubject: Mission 12 - Imperial Sanctum   Fri Mar 14, 2008 1:42 pm

Walkthrough
Make sure all your human party members speak to Kuunavang to pick up their celestial skills from her before proceeding. If any party member gets to the end of the bridge, it will trigger the cutscene which will close off the way back to Kuunavang.

Note: If your party includes henchmen and you use some skill to outrun them to the gate, do not skip this cutscene before you see the gate close behind the party! If you do, some of the henchmen may be caught outside the gate, unable to contribute to the fight. On the other hand, if you've used no running skills, you can safely hit "Skip" as soon as the button appears.

Shiro possesses many powerful skills, but the three that will most tip the scales to his favor are Echoing Banishment, Meditation of the Reaper, and Impossible Odds.

Echoing Banishment: Shiro will send off a party member into the Mists and he/she will be replaced by one of Shiro's bound spirits. The spirit will always be of the same profession as the banished player, and will use a fixed skillset. It is best to destroy the bound spirit as soon as it spawns. This will return the banished player immediately and recharge all skills. The player who was banished can run back to the fight through a round dark passage that ends with a glowing portal. Also, killing the Bound Spirit will give the party a Morale Boost, allowing for a second casting of the celestial skills

Meditation of the Reaper: Shiro absorbs up to 500 damage dealt to him. After this damage has been absorbed, the skill ends and he steals 20 health from each party member for every second the skill was active. if Meditation of the Reaper is active for over 20 seconds, he will likely kill the entire party. It is imperative that this skill be ended quickly.

Impossible Odds: For 10 seconds Shiro does massive amounts of damage to all foes in the area every time he hits. Note that this is also a skill like Meditation of the Reaper and cannot be removed. Shiro will use this skill when near death to deal huge amounts of damage allowing him to quickly dispose of the entire party in a couple of strikes. It is imperative that everyone scatter to avoid the AoE damage from this skill. A good way to counter this skill is to use stances to block the attacks. The Ranger's celestial skill, Celestial Stance, is very useful in this regard. Note that blinding Shiro while he is using this skill will NOT work, as Impossible Odds transfers all conditions from Shiro.

Other skills Shiro may use include Battle Scars and Riposting Shadows.

Tips
Anti-Warrior tactics which make Shiro miss with attacks or take damage on each attack are effective. Consider bringing:
1. In general, skills which blind or weaken Shiro to significantly decrease his damage output.
2. As a necromancer, Spoil Victor, Spiteful Spirit, Reckless Haste, Price of Failure, and Faintheartedness. Spoil Victor is extremely effective when Shiro uses Impossible Odds. To increase effectiveness, try not to bring Fantheartedness with skills such as Spiteful Spirit if you can manage without.
3. As a mesmer, Clumsiness and Empathy.
4. As an elementalist, Ward Against Melee
5. As a monk, Aegis.

Grenth's Balance can do an extremely high amount of damage to Shiro, especially at the start of the fight. It can also be used to end Meditation of the Reaper quickly.

Equipping two of your party with the Ritualist skill Wailing Weapon and high Channeling will mean one attacker can constantly interrupt Shiro's attacks. This will both make it easy to damage him and mitigate his own carnage.

Whenever you get banished, you can use a Shadow Step skills such as Death's Charge to quickly shadow step to a spirit at the top of the hill. If your secondary profession is not needed, switch to Assassin and bring Spirit Walk.

When playing with heroes or henchmen, put down the flag marker, lest they try to follow players banished by Shiro and then stand around uselessly.

Echoing Banishment, being a Shout, can be countered with Vocal Minority or Well of Silence.

Shiro will never banish heroes, nor a human player partied with only heroes and henchmen. Try going it alone.

Neither Shiro nor the spirits he summons after banishing players have enchantment removal skills, so any strategy involving enchantments is guaranteed to work as planned.

If anyone in the party has the elite Shield of Judgment activate it when Shiro's health is low and begins using Impossible Odds. This will effectively act as a second stackable Storm of Swords considering that it activates with every attack performed during Impossible odds. Also, since his attack does AoE damage, each player under the effects of Shield of Judgment will activate a stream of pain.

Shiro can be soloed using an assassin with Way of the Assassin, Critical Eye, Way of Perfection, Critical Defenses, Critical Agility, Wild Strike, Death Blossom, Zealous daggers and any fast recharging lead attack. Because off the high critical chance you will practically always have a 75% block chance and any damage that comes through will quickly be healed with Way of Perfection. Alternatively you can use Critical Strike instead of Way of the Assassin and Critical Eye to have a critical on demand. Critical Strike however has a higher recharge than Death Blossom so you will have a harder time breaking Meditation of the Reaper.

Ineffective Tactics
Skills such as Diversion and Blackout will not disable Shiro's skills.

Shiro cannot be knocked down.

Energy and adrenaline denial are also ineffective, as none of Shiro's skills cost adrenaline, and only Riposting Shadows has an energy cost.

Using Celestial Skills
Echo chain Celestial Skills. This is especially effective with Celestial Storm.

Killing the constructs will recharge your celestial skills allowing you to reuse them and bring Shiro down quickly.

The Elementalist celestial skill Celestial Storm can quickly end the skill Meditation of the Reaper by reaching its damage absorption limit.

Rangers who rely on pets should replace Charm Animal with the celestial skill. The pet will remain despite having the skill replaced.

All players can body block Shiro, while Warriors use the skill Storm of Swords. This skill benefits from any creature blocking Shiro, including allied spirits, pets, and minions. This tactic is quite effective for getting the master's reward, as it usually kills Shiro in under 2 minutes. Bringing two Warriors is advisable in case one is banished.

Using a combination of Star Strike and Storm of Swords can bring Shiro down with ease.

Strategies

Henchmen/heroes strategy
You can beat Shiro in under 2 minutes with henchmen, provided you utilize the glitches in this mission. This strategy is also presuming you have access to heroes. First, the 2 quirks in the mission's behaviour you need to know:

1.Heroes do not get banished with Echoing Banishment.
2.Heroes do not get celestial skills while henchmen do.

Naturally, monks will make bosses inherently more powerful, and Shiro seems to prefer banishing monks first. Since Mhenlo is with your group already (he cannot be banished either) you should only need one more NPC monk. You should use either Tahlkora, Dunkoro or Ogden Stonehealer.

Since the Necromancer's celestial skill is less effective than Spiteful Spirit, Spoil Victor, Empathy, and Insidious Parasite it would probably be a good idea to go with Master of Whispers and Olias and load them up with these spells (SS on one and SV on the other).

An ideal henchie selection should be based on 3 things:

1. Are the skills effective against Shiro?
2. Can you ignore the bound spirit that replaces them?
3. Can you finish the battle without them (since henchmen do not come back from Echoing Banishment unless you kill their spirit)?

Keeping that in mind; you might want to try Lukas, Devona, Seaguard Hala, and Erys Vasburg. Now the selection might differ a little depending on your profession. The main reasons for choosing these henchmen are:

1. Erys carries Empathy while Hala carries Conjure Phantasm. Additionally, their Celestial Skills speed up casting times and recharge, much more useful than the Ranger or Necromancer Celestial Skills (remember, you're going for speed, not endurance). Finally, their bound spirits are pretty harmless (although Diversion is a pain in the neck) since they neither damage you nor heal Shiro. As long as you're aware of it, you can wait it out.

2. Devona and Lukas both have the awesome Warrior Celestial Skill and the AoE damage goes a long way (they do a fair job of body blocking too). The Warrior bound spirits are pretty harmless as well.
With that setup, all you really need to do is make sure Spoil Victor, Spiteful Spirit, Empathy, and Insidious Parasite are always up.

Be sure to keep some spike skills with you (e.g., non-lifesteal Blood or Death skills, Fire, Air) in order to deal with Meditation of the Reaper.

It is next to impossible to beat Shiro when there are Monk spirits around, implying that Monk henchmen are out of the question.

Note: stake a party flag at the battle site. That way the henchmen/heroes stay in the battle even if the party leader gets bounced.

Tip: Only take one hero - a monk. Take the rest as Henchmen (2 warriors, 2 mesmers, 2 necros).

Warrior strategy
If you are a warrior, a simple plan is to try to obtain another warrior player, 2 Warrior henchmen and a few healers. If all goes well you should be able to kill Shiro fairly quickly.

Plan:
As you enter the fight, Shiro will use Echoing Banishment. If he binds anything other than a warrior, kill the bound spirit to recharge the
Celestial Skills.

Use your Celestial Skills to kill the bound spirit.

When the spirit is dead, attack Shiro. Warriors should wait until Shiro enters the Meditation of the Reaper to use their Celestial Skills.

When he does have all warriors use Storm of Swords.

When you're done Shiro should be almost dead.

Warrior/Necromancer Strategy
This strategy takes advantage of the Warriors celestial sigal, Storm of Swords, and the skill Spoil Victor, with 12 Blood Magic. Players want to take with them 1 Monk Hero, 2 Warrior Heroes, and 2 Warrior Henchmen - Yes, only a party of 6. This strategy also takes advantage of the missions quirks by keeping the banishments to a minimum. Warriors only need 3 skills on their skills bar.

Spoil Victor
Wild Blow
Any kind of Resurrection skill (preferably a signet for quick return)

It is important that these are the ONLY skills equiped to your Warrior Heroes to ensure that they keep Shiro's Battle Scars down, and keep him hexed with Spoil Victor, without wasting their energy on other skills. Hero Monks should have Light of Deliverance, Divine Healing, Heaven's Delight, or other healing skills to quickly heal the party. Your monk, along with Mhenlo, should have no problem keeping you alive, especially with 2 less people to heal.
The Battle:

1.When the battle starts Shiro will use Echoing Banishment as soon as you aggro him. Because your team is only Heroes/Hench, and yourself, only one of your warrior hench will be banished. Use your celestial sigal to quickly kill the construct and get back your Henchmen.
2. Attack Shiro as normal, keeping him hexed with Spoil Victor, and using Wild Blow whenever he activates Battle Scars. When he activates Meditation of the Reaper use your celestial sigal to quickly get him out of it. Make sure he stays hexed with Spoil Victor to keep him doing a steady amount of damage to himself.
3. Once Shiro is down to about 1/3 to 1/4 life he will activate Impossible Odds. As soon as he does re-cast Spoil Victor FIRST and have all your warriors pile Shiro, THEN activate Storm of Swords, and Shiro should drop like a lead balloon.

Tip: At the start of the battle, flag your monk close to the gate so that the warriors keep aggro with Shiro without risk of having the monk die.
Note: Alternatively you can equip yourself with Spoil Victor and each of your Warrior Heroes with Insidious Parasite and the other with Price of Failure to deal some extra damage, but having to use your skills more precisely.

Alternate Warrior Strategy
This strategy revolves around having a full team of melee attackers, preferably warriors, and at least 3 of them must have Storm of Swords. They then run in, surround Shiro and body block him from all sides. Then, one uses Storm of Swords, when that has ended, another does, and then the next one. He should die within 60 seconds.

Elementalist/Mesmer strategy
This strategy allows any party with an ele in it to take shiro down quickly for the masters. Simply take Mesmer skills Arcane Echo, Echo and the celestial skill - Celestial Storm. Once Shiro has banished one of the players (hopefully not the Ele), echo chain Celestial Storm. Then kill the Shiroken construct and repeat the echo chain.

Ranger strategy
Use a modified bunny thumper (no knock downs) for a focused DPS capability. Bring Koss with Grenth's Balance, Tahlkora as a Healer/Protector, and Olias as a N/Me with Spoil Victor and Empathy. Select the mesmers, Lukas (Devona's knock downs don't appear to work), and Sheena. Break from attacking Shiro for the first two shiro'ken, making sure to use your celestial skills before they die. After the second one goes down, ignore any more and pour everything you have into Shiro. You'll either die or get masters.

Alternate Assassin Strategy
Bring three heroes: two monks, and Zenmai. One monk will be using your favorite healing spells along with Empathy. The other monk will be using the same healing spells and three Necromancer abilities: Blood of the Aggressor, Barbed Signet, and Spoil Victor. Zenmai will be using the above mentioned Assassin skill set, except Critical Agility. Use Shroud of Darkness instead. Flag the monks near the gate and Zenmai about halfway between the gate and Shiro. Set the monks to Avoid Combat and Zenmai to Guard. Pull Shiro and set Zenmai's target to him. Let her get all of her enchantments up. Then switch your two monks to Guard, and while you keep your own enchantments up, you can manually use Spoil Victor and Empathy. Keep them up at all times. When Shiro Meditates, Blood of the Aggressor helps to break it faster. Do not use Blood the Aggressor before the first Shiro Meditation. It is suggested that you wait until after this. It may take a few tries, but it can be done Masters a majority of the time with just these three heroes and yourself. (Courtesy of Flower Whisper.)

Notes
When Echoing Banishment is used on a Paragon or Dervish, the Player is replaced with a Bound Warrior.

Use of Rebirth as a Resurrection Skill is ill-advised. If the caster of Rebirth gets Banished, the person who was Resurrected will spawn in the Mists and be stuck there indefinitely.

_________________
"Gentlemen, no fighting please. This is, after all, a council of war." - Lord Havelock Vetinari Patrician of Ankh-Morpork (JINGO)
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