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imTonE
04-04-2018, 11:11 PM
I wish to make it clear before I start that this isn't a definitive guide for running Baba. This guide is to build on existing guides for Baba and assumes you know the basics of the raid, its progression and have a few runs under your belt already. This guide focuses on low-reaper to mid-reaper difficulty. It's a collection of information on how we run the raid, and hopefully, parts of it will be helpful to other guilds or organised PUGs. Due to this, the guide doesn't follow a traditional and totally linear format. Instead it's broken down into the raids components:


The Hut

The Hut will usually aggro on whoever has initial aggro of Baba. This can be bypassed by casting an AOE effect on The Hut's activation spawn, some sort of cloud or ice storm works well. The Hut will then periodically swap its attention to another random player until the phase is over. If you find that someone has The Hut's aggro who really isn't the most ideal person to have it, for example, a melee DPS or a tank, you can pass The Hut's aggro onto someone else in the group by DDooring The Hut's current aggro target. However, this trick will only swap The Hut's aggro between two players, for example:


1. Player A has Hut and takes ddoor


2. Player B now has Hut aggro and takes a ddoor


3. Player A regains Hut aggro



One trick to pacify The Hut is to invis yourself when you're the target and walk a few feet away. The Hut gets a bit confused and tends to do nothing until it casts a blinding chain.

If you have wings you can also wing through the Hut when it's telegraphing its bodyslam attack and this will prevent you from being knocked down, this is good for kiting the Hut while continuing to ranged DPS Baba, or heal the party if you're exalted angel healing.

Obviously you want to keep The Hut away from the DPS so they can progress the raid quicker, so it's recommended you try and get The Hut onto your caster, knockdown immune healer or 2nd tank at the start of the raid. Or try and get lucky by ddooring The Hut's aggro onto one of those roles.


Baba

Baba can melee you, but unless she's forced to she will only cast spells. Her notable spells are:


Electric DOT
Cold DOT
Polar Ray
Cyclonic Blast

Cyclonic Blast is the spell that will cause the most problems. As it's bane type damage, it isn't subject to any of your mitigation (MRR). It's a Reflex save for half damage (high 70s, low 80s reflex save). If you fail the save you also get knocked down unless you are blocking. On low reaper one Cyclonic Blast will kill most players. However, even for the high HP players that can take a hit and the tank, it is still serious spike damage that the healers need to be aware of. Especially, when coupled with the DOTs Baba casts. Cyclonic Blast is also a cone AOE so you want to be aware of who has Baba's aggro and not stand near them or stand in line-of-sight of them and Baba.

Cold Energy Sheath twist on the tank helps soften the blow for the healers, as both Baba and the Wisps both cast cold damage.

Other notable things about Baba, is that she cues (by DM) The Hut's aggro change and the charging up of the Mounds (HP debuff).

In the final boss fight (Boss Fight 3) at 90% HP she will spawn the 2 Mounds and at 25% HP she will start getting buff stacks that make her spells hit harder.


Totems

Essentially you want the DPS to be even on both sides when splitting the party. Ranged DPS builds tend to favour the right side (east), as there are giant mushroom safespots throughout the right side's totem section.

The biggest issue encountered during the totem section unfortunately tends to be instance crippling lag. Which usually only cleans up after a wipe. Trying to avoid this instance lag can become the overriding factor of this stage. Often when you kill a totem, you do not want anyone to rush to the next blue barrier to wait. As this will aggro the shadows on the other side of the barrier and cause lag. Your progression is tied to the other side's progression anyway. Usually, when one side is fighting, the other side is waiting, so if you're on the side that's waiting you don't want to aggro another group of shadows. Doing so only increases the risk of lag, as shadow AI is rather volatile, especially when they all stack on top of each other. Also be aware of any large range auras and turn them off.

Mass frog is a great way to insta-kill the totems. If you have 2 people with mass frog, put them on separate sides. One way to completely eliminate the risk of lag is to use mass frog exclusively, and have the rest of the side wait way in the back, so there's no risk of aggroing shadows whatsoever. However, be sure to exit the room quickly if your mass frog fails on the totem. Because you can pull aggro of shadows if you linger at certain parts.


Puzzles

The smaller scarecrows (scarecrows) need to be killed within a second or two of each other in order to give you enough time to solve the puzzles. They respawn in respawn waves which tend to vary in time. So if you only kill 3 out of 4 scarecrows, 3 will respawn once the spawn wave comes in. If you only manage to kill 1 out of 4, 1 will respawn in the wave. Knowing this, you want to prep the scarecrows before you kill them all. A good rule of thumb if you're playing DPS is to always check for newly spawned or unprepped scarecrows before you kill your target.

Prismatic sprays (and similar abilities) are not helpful here. First off, if you get lucky and kill a scarecrow with a spray, the chances are your DPS haven't prepped the other scarecrows and your scarecrow respawns will desync, meaning that you will have to wait until you get all your scarecrows respawned anyway. And second, scarecrows killed by prismatic spray will respawn much quicker, giving your side very little time to solve the puzzle.

Mass Frog also makes the scarecrows respawn much quicker than if you killed them with DPS. However, because it'll kill the whole wave it can be used effectively in some circumstances. For example, the first couple of puzzles on both sides are relatively simple and can be solved with a few tile turns - ideal for mass frog. You can also make good use of mass frog if you have nearly solved a puzzle (1 or 2 turns needed).

Implosion is probably the most effective insta-kill for the scarecrows, however, make sure you have the rednamed scarecrows split before you hit implosion, otherwise you risk wasting implode pulses on immune rednames.

Splitting the rednamed scarecrows is an essential part. Nominate someone to do it, usually someone that doesn't offer scarecrow DPS or knows the puzzles very well. Face aggro is the best method for splitting the rednames . Once you have face aggro you can build up a little hate for insurance, but initial aggro obtaining can be tricky as the rednames have a very delayed aggro mechanic. If you're the nominated redname kiter then try to be the first player the rednames see. And make sure everyone is aware that if they damage the redname at all, they will get their aggro in 10-20 seconds, unless you override their hate generation. As long as DPS acknowledge they have hit a redname they can be a bit more cautious when solving the puzzle (ready to run away).

All in all, you should be aiming to solve every puzzle stage within 2 small scarecrow waves. Be sure that you aren't just clicking one tile and waiting for the turn to complete before clicking the same tile again. You can turn several tiles at the same time to reduce total solve time.

How well the puzzle section goes is determined by a few things:


How quickly you can turn tiles and solve
Prepping and killing full scarecrow spawns together
Understanding face aggro and hate mechanics of rednamed scarecrows


Rednamed Scarecrows

The biggest threat they impose is Horrid Wilting. It's a Fortitude save for half damage and it is bane damage, so like Cyclonic Blast, it isn't effected by your mitigation. Therefore it hits hard on reaper. Their melee attacks also do quite a bit of damage on reaper, coupled with Horrid Wilting they become quite volatile and spikey for the healers to heal. Therefore, it's recommended to kite them unless you are DPSing to kill them.

Horrid Wilting rarely gets cast by redname AI when its target is in toe-to-toe melee range. It will usually trigger when you are at mid-range. So either kite them at long-range if you have the space, or if you are in the puzzle section, then kite them in very tight circles or just jump back and forth over the top of them. You can avoid a lot of damage if you do this correctly.

You can also safespot the puzzle rednamed scarecrows. There's a few ways to do this, probably the easiest is to use the wall separators separating one puzzle room from the next (bit of wall sticking out winging the blue barriers when they're up). The idea here is to have them in one room then quickly move to the next room and tuck in tight to the wall. This tends to be easier on the right-side than left. And may require practice on lower difficulties.

In the boss fight 2 & 3, ideally you want an undead to kite the rednamed scarecrows off to the side, away from everyone else. Undead are immune to Horrid Wilting.

Rednamed scarecrows will always aggro onto whoever gets initial aggro of Baba (usually the tank). So just have the scarecrow kiter wait near the Baba tank, rather than run around the map after them. Just make sure everyone ignores the scarecrows when they spawn. They pose no threat to DPS. They will always run to Baba's aggro.


Wisps

Wisps should get the highest priority to kill whenever you encounter them. They cast Cyclonic Blast and Polar Ray which hurt a lot. The wisps in this raid are subject to more CC than other wisps found elsewhere in the game. You can stun them with tactics (stunning fist, stunning blow, dire charge etc).

You may or may not encounter wisps during the second run through of totems and puzzles (after Boss Fight 2). This maybe linked to how much DOT damage you do to the Crystal when it goes inactionable before Boss Fight 2.

Wisps will aggro through the blue barriers, so make sure you're aware if you have aggro and break line of sight, if needed, before the barrier drops.

During puzzles, make sure the wisps are dead before you trigger implosion, as like the rednamed scarecrows, you risk wasting implode pulses on them.

In Boss Fight 2, the wisps don't respawn at all, there's just one wave. So once you've killed them all you can move onto Baba or Scarecrows.

In Boss Fight 3, the wisps do respawn. There are 3 waves of them. Each wisp is on its own independent respawn timer, which is roughly 10-15 seconds. This means that the first wisp to die will be the first to respawn in the same location. It's strongly recommended to deal with the wisps (all waves of them) before moving onto Baba or Scarecrows. Fireshield should prevent most builds from getting one-shot by Polar Ray, be sure to cast this on yourself before teleporting over from Crystal. You may just want to use your spell absorption for the start of Boss Fight 2 & 3, as an unfortunately timed Cyclonic Blast can wipe out several players. Like the rednamed scarecrows, the wisps, if left untouched will automatically aggro on Baba's target when they spawn in. However, you want to intercept as many of them as you can and try to kill them as soon as they spawn as they are so dangerous on reaper - the spike damage will be too much for the tank if they get too many wisps casting on them.


Mounds

During Boss Fight 3, the Mounds spawn in when Baba is at roughly 90% HP. They spawn out of the water either side of the Hut. It's important to have a rough knowledge of where they spawn in, as you may need to cast ice storm or something similar on the spawn location. Like the other trash mobs in the Boss Fights, the Mounds if left untouched will aggro onto Baba's target.

The Mounds hit relatively hard and the AOE spiked floor attack they do bypasses dodge (Meld into Darkness). Also once they've charged up (HP debuff), for a while they become very fast moving and hard to kite because of it.

The Mound which spawns in the East will always charge up first. When a Mound is charging up you need to do approx 40-50% of its max HP in damage to prevent the HP debuff. The HP debuff will also knock you down unless you're immune or make a high reflex save.

Usually only 1 Mound will charge up at a time, however, they can become synced up if your group wipes and you rez recover. Then both Mounds will charge up as soon as the first person rezes.


Strategies

How you decide to approach the raid, strategy-wise, is dependent on your party composition. Especially for the final Boss Fight.

Probably the most common party make-up for low reaper Baba would be with 1 tank, so I'll start there.

One Tank
Try to get the Hut's attention by casting lingering AOE on its spawn, this way it won't go onto your Baba tank. You want to avoid having the Hut on the tank or a melee, so that DPS isn't interrupted and you don't waste resources. A healer in Unyielding Sovereignty is actually a great Hut target, as they have knockdown immunity in Stand Against the Tide stance. Have them cast an Ice Storm scroll on the Hut before it activates. Or a CC Caster, as they won't be contributing much Baba DPS.

If you split the party by melee & ranged (melee left & ranged right), you want to put the tank on the left with the melees so they can intim the Shadows and draw them off the DPS, so they can concentrate on the Totems. The ranged side can safespot, so they are less concerned with the shadows.

Boss Fight 2, have your tank go straight for Baba and start intim'ing. Have her turned to the outside of the map so that any AoE spells only hit the tank. The Scarecrows will aggro onto the tank. As scarecrows can't be intim'ed and Baba can, it's easy for the scarecrow kiter to peel them off.

The kill order in Boss Fight 2 should be Wisps>Scarecrows>Baba. If your scarecrow kiter is immune to Horrid Wilting and is comfortable kiting then you can skip killing scarecrows altogether and just go Wisps>Baba. But bear in mind, the Hut can aggro your kiter at any point and cause problems. If you do end up killing scarecrows, try to kill them one at a time. Nominate someone (preferably ranged DPS) to peel one scarecrow off the kiter and have everyone DPS them down one-by-one.

The second round of totems and puzzles is pretty much the same as the first. Make any adjustments necessary if issues cropped up during the first pass through of totems/puzzles. If a side struggled, things will only get worse when wisps are added to the mix. If there are wisps, deal with them first.

Boss Fight 3. Same as previous fight, tank goes straight for Baba and starts intim'ing. The kill order should be Wisps(all waves)>Scarecrows>Baba or Wisps(all waves)>Scarecrows>Baba>Mounds>Baba.

You shouldn't DPS Scarecrows at all until you're sure that all wisp waves are dead. All you will end up doing is peeling a scarecrow off the kiter, meaning you'll be taking damage from a scarecrow and a wisp.

Once all wisps respawns are dead you can now kill scarecrows without them respawning. If you kill a scarecrow before you kill all wisps, the scarecrow will respawn also. If you kill all the wisp waves the scarecrows will not respawn when you kill them. This is important as it means you simplify the rest of the Boss Fight.

Kill Mounds or tank Mounds?

If you're confident your group can focus DPS a Mound at least 40-50% of its max HP each time a Mound charges up then you can use the kill Mounds method. Bear in mind, this gets harder and harder each skull as the player damage gets debuffed. Bear in mind also, that you need to survive the physical damage from the Mounds if you don't kill them in one charge up, this can be tricky as they become faster moving after they charge up. Because of this, I would say unless you can tick all these boxes with your party set-up, you should use the tank Mounds method.

Tanking the Mounds with 1 tank has a few moving parts. First off, intimidate stacks with itself, so it's important that the tank is constantly intimidating Baba off cooldown while the trash is being dealt with. Once all the scarecrows have been killed it should just be Baba left on the map at this point, as the Mounds haven't been triggered (as long as Baba hasn't been DPS'd). If you want the tank to keep aggro of Baba for the entire fight, this is where you have to wait and do nothing. Roughly 3-5 minutes of stacking intim on Baba (depending on how quick you were to get to this point) should be enough hate to last Baba's entire HP bar. This basically means once the tank's stacked up enough hate they can leave Baba and deal with the Mounds. As Baba only really casts spells proximity to the Mounds is tight, but manageable.

Once you've stacked up enough intim (this has to be judged), have everyone start up on Baba DPS and make sure that you have ice storms down on both Mound spawn locations to be certain you secure Mound's face aggro when they spawn before Baba reaches 90% HP.

It's absolutely crucial that people don't DPS the Mounds whatsoever, remind people to turn IPS off and no AOE spells. One of the best ways to prevent accidents is to have ranged toons stand at an angle to Baba so that they aren't in line with Baba and the Mounds. If someone does pull aggro of a Mound; probably the best way to regain control of the situation is to have the person die, then the Mound should return to the tank.

If at any point the tank goes into unconscious range, they will lose all aggro. So it's crucial that you keep them up. It shouldn't be too difficult to heal because only the tank will be taking damage.

If you haven't stacked enough intim hate on Baba and she ends up turning, your best bet is to have everyone put spell absorption on, rather than risk the tank taking the Mounds to the party to regain aggro of Baba. The hate from one intim isn't going to last very long, and you can't tank the Mounds while intim'ing Baba, people will die.

Note; this method will of course mean that everyone gets HP debuffed by the Mound's charge up. However, it doesn't really matter what HP your DPS have if everything stays under control, as they won't take a single point of damage. As long as your tank has enough HP, enough stacked intim and doesn't go unconscious everything should be fine.


Two Tanks
The reason you'd bring two tanks to this raid is if you are going for a higher skull or if your tank doesn't have the defenses to take both Mounds and Baba. With two tanks largely things stay the same, except the second tank is mostly surplus until the final boss fight. Therefore, they usually can just go around doing what they can to take some pressure off the party in certain parts. Usually that involves kiting stuff and intim'ing wisps.

When you come to the final boss fight, simply one tank is for Baba and the other one is for the Mounds.


No Tanks
R1 is doable without a tank, however, you need a very high DPS group. Probably anything higher than R1 requires a tank though. Set-up for the boss fights is the same method, however, you have to nominate someone to aggro Baba. Whenever the group's attention is not on DPSing Baba, Baba should be kited at max distance, this will slow down the rate at which she casts spells and make healing the Baba kiter more manageable while everyone else in the group is also demanding spot heals. Obviously, you need to kill the Mounds with this party make-up, if you get debuffed it's going to be a real struggle to complete the raid. It's important that people know who obtains aggro and of any aggro swaps of either the Mounds or Baba as they may need to kite or put of spell absorption respectively.

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Video example of a one tank run on R3: https://youtu.be/3-gsgrLl_LA

If you take note of the party UI in this run, we've made the raid group so that the left side and the right side are ordered in a way which separates them for our healers. It makes healing the split much less stressful for the healers and I would recommend doing this for any high difficulty content really.



Hope this helps!

blerkington
04-05-2018, 09:36 AM
That was a very useful and interesting write-up.

Thank you very much for doing this for the community. Rep added.

Cordovan
04-05-2018, 10:42 AM
Pretty cool writeup, nicely done.

Lagin
04-05-2018, 11:03 AM
Great guide. One of the best guides we've seen in a very long time.

Kza
04-05-2018, 11:31 AM
Thanks for writing this! Nice one.

pjstechie
04-05-2018, 06:44 PM
If it helps, the mound to the left of the hut as you look at the door will always charge up first

imTonE
04-06-2018, 09:51 AM
If it helps, the mound to the left of the hut as you look at the door will always charge up first

I'll add that in. Thanks!

AnubisPrime
04-08-2018, 09:12 PM
This is very nice! Some of G-Land's finest!

Brightheart245
04-09-2018, 07:20 PM
Implosion is probably the most effective insta-kill for the scarecrows, however, make sure you have the rednamed scarecrows split before you hit implosion, otherwise you risk wasting implode pulses on immune rednames.


Just wanted to mention a helpful tip for the Implosion spell in the event a red named somehow shifts agro towards the group of scarecrow mobs: if you smack your target, you can direct each "tick" to your intended target(s). As far as I've used this tactic, not once have I ever failed to direct Implosion to specific mobs (so this would be helpful in avoiding certain champions w/ Deathblock - in this case, herding scarecrows from the red named ones then foolproof instakilling the mobs). Only thing to watch out for is to make sure you hit your target before each tick, which means you have less than a second to attack your target. You do not even have to fully land the attack, whether it's a grazing hit or a miss; as long as the game registers that the player is intruding on the target's hitbox through melee attacks, each tick can be manually directed with proper and speedy management. Not tested with ranged attacks, but I would assume not, as Implosion is also an aura that accounts for proximity as a factor as well.

imTonE
04-11-2018, 08:41 AM
Just wanted to mention a helpful tip for the Implosion spell in the event a red named somehow shifts agro towards the group of scarecrow mobs: if you smack your target, you can direct each "tick" to your intended target(s). As far as I've used this tactic, not once have I ever failed to direct Implosion to specific mobs (so this would be helpful in avoiding certain champions w/ Deathblock - in this case, herding scarecrows from the red named ones then foolproof instakilling the mobs). Only thing to watch out for is to make sure you hit your target before each tick, which means you have less than a second to attack your target. You do not even have to fully land the attack, whether it's a grazing hit or a miss; as long as the game registers that the player is intruding on the target's hitbox through melee attacks, each tick can be manually directed with proper and speedy management. Not tested with ranged attacks, but I would assume not, as Implosion is also an aura that accounts for proximity as a factor as well.

Thanks Sera! That is really helpful actually. I wonder what happens if you cleave lol

Brightheart245
04-12-2018, 06:31 PM
Forgot to mention: thank you for the thorough guide! Will surely be referencing this for future runs.

As for Cleaving, I wouldn't be able to say for sure since I've never tried that before. Interesting thought! Although I think it'd be safe to assume that it would be randomized since you'd be hitting multiple mobs instead of single target, it wouldn't be any different than just closing the distance and casting it like an aura spell - possibly some direction since you could be hitting some mobs, perhaps not all in a pack at once, depending on how they are positioned at the cleave landing. Or, it would be based on which mob you hit first in the span of milliseconds (since even Combat log has a linear order of which actions are recorded first). That would sound more likely the case to me actually.