Epic Plane of Night is easily one of the most intimidating raids to lead, ranking possibly higher than Ascension Chamber. A good portion of the players that know me on Thelanis server know that I run regular EVoN6 marathons twice a week, and that I will get their characters their completions. They should also know that I don't mind if occasionally someone else takes the reigns, so long as they don't kill everyone in the process. So here I’ll describe proper party setup, tips for various classes, does and don’ts, and the general method of how I typically run this raid.
• At least 2 melee dps per platform (twf preferred for higher dps output and no glancing blows to wake up fascinated monsters)
• At least 2 healers (divine casters with Heal, Mass), at most (and ideally) 3 healers
• At least (and ideally) 1 arcane (arcane caster with otto’s irresistible and at least mid 20’s spell pen), at most 2 arcanes
• 1 bard to fascinate on each platform
• Melee must have either a flat minimum of 500 HP or the saves/self-healing capability to make up for the lack of up to about 50 of those HP (42+ reflex save and/or quickened cure spells (or evasion [with 42+ Reflex] and enough UMD for Heal scrolls). 600+ HP is ideal. They must also be able to hit monsters with AC’s ranging in the low 60s (Power Attack should be turned off if you miss on anything higher than a 5; Power Attack does not contribute anything close to 25% of your dps)
• Healers must have at least mid 400s HP, the spells Mass Heal, some form of Protection from Elements (mass or individual), Break Enchantment, and one or more of the Mass Cure spells. Healers must also have an understanding of spell point management so they can enter the boss fight with at least 60-70% of their sp pool unspent.
• Arcane Casters must have a flat minimum of 400 HP, the spells Otto’s Irresistible, Break Enchantment, some form of crowd control for the Claws at the Velah beatdown, and ideally some method of self-healing more efficient than potions. A +27 to spell penetration or better is ideal.
• The Bard must have at least mid 400s HP, at least a 50 Perform, a fascinate that lasts at least 3 minutes, the spells Freedom of Movement, Invisibility, and Shadow Walk (or scrolls of these) and the UMD for at least Fire Shield scrolls (31 or better)
• Djinn – immunity to acid, boss immunities, spam electric spells, low 60s AC, buff themselves and other monsters with Blur (True Seeing required)
• Ice Renders – immunity to cold, spam ice storm (Break Enchantment required), ~30 SR, DR/Cold Iron and Good, high Fortitude saves
• Air Mephits – no immunities, spam Disorientation and electric spells, high Reflex saves
• Fire Elementals – immunity to fire, spam Delayed Blast Fireball, DR/-, high Will saves
• Claws – immunity to fire, boss immunities, spam Mass Inflict (Death Ward required), high SR (untested), DR/Cold Iron and Good, high Fortitude saves
• Velah, the Red Dragon – immunity to fire, boss immunities, casts Fire Breath, fast healing (no weakness to cold on epic difficulty)
• Ice – this is the easiest platform to handle in this method; if you have any players newer to the raid, this is the best spot to place them. This platform can also go short a healer if only 2 healers are in party. Due to how easy it is to pull Ice Flenzers away from the Djinn for fascination, this is also the best location to plant your two-handed-fighters. I also keep the arcane caster on this platform, so that, in the event of broken fascination, he/she can Dance the broken Flenzers and Break Enchantment their Ice Storm, which hits 60-90 bludgeon dmg a tick.
Ideal setup: 1 healer, 1 caster, 2 dps
• Air – here is where you place some of the heavier dps yet less self-sufficient characters, and at least one healer. You can also place your second arcane caster here if your party has one. Try to avoid putting two-handed-fighters on this base.
Ideal setup: 1 healer, 3 dps
• Fire – the final platform to be handled; this is where your bard and most self-sufficient, and preferably highest dps, characters will finish their run. Keep in mind that mid to high 40s reflex save is necessary for decent evasion of the Elemental’s Delayed Blast Fireballs. Do not under any circumstance put your two-handed fighters on this base.
Ideal setup: 1 healer, 1 bard, 2 dps
• Bard – although possibly unnecessary, best to keep Invisibility and Shadow Walk active on yourself before and while fascinating trash monsters. Avoid using Fire Shield on yourself until Fire base, as the Flenzers and Mephits will keep swinging even shortly after fascination and the delayed dmg will wake them up, but Fire Shield (Cold) is almost necessary to reduce damage taken on Fire base. FoM is necessary on whoever will be pulling monsters away from the Djinn to be fascinated (not yourself if less than 450 HP and/or limited self-healing; concentration check DC = 10 + dmg taken). Invisibility will not prevent you from being damaged, but trash monster attacks will be poorly targeted, and Shadow Walk serves the double purpose of displacement and a faster run speed than Haste. It can also be used as an indicator, due to the limited visibility, of when to begin your fascinate song (about 15 ft, or when the platform becomes visible). Break Enchantment is also a spell the bard should carry in the event that multiple Flenzer Ice Storms are cast on you while fascinating. You approach the ice platform from the north and should drag the Ice Flenzers with you to the west (to the right away from the Djinn). Next, you approach the air platform from the east and should almost serpentine on the platform to catch the attention of all the mephits as you drag them to the north (to the right away from the Djinn). Finally, you approach the fire platform from the south and should fascinate a.s.a.p. regardless of Fire Elemental positioning; these are hard to move where you want them and will often deal far too much damage before you can push them any direction, so their initial positioning surrounding the Djinn is ideal. It is best to stand in melee range of the Djinn while fascinating on fire.
• Healers – assuming you have high enough max HP, focus Mass Heals on yourself as you stand on the Djinn’s position during the prep beat-down. The healer assigned to the fire platform should keep a close eye on the bard and be sure to keep his HP up and hit him with the occasional Protection from Elements. Once you are on your assigned platform, avoid spot-healing at all costs, as you will spend up to 4 or 5 times as many spell points doing the job a mass heal should have done.
• Melee – you should have the ability to cover your own True Seeing and at least 1 GH (the 11 minutes on a clickie will cover the duration of the raid). If you are having trouble hitting the Djinn, turn off Power Attack. If you are still having trouble hitting the Djinn, use a Destruction or Improved Destruction weapon (preferably one-handed weapons to avoid glancing blows). If you are even still having trouble with to-hit, you can use a) Divine Power clickies/scrolls if your BAB is less than 20, b) Divine Favor clickies/scrolls for +1 to-hit and dmg, c) another GH clickie/scroll to cover the loss of GH due to death, d) a respec at your class trainer, e) a Lesser Heart of Wood, conveniently available in the DDO store.
• Arcanes – you need a flat minimum of 400 HP, at least a 75% chance to land Otto’s Irresistible on broken Flenzers (mid-20’s spell pen), and Break Enchantment. You also need to be able to displace yourself (and preferably stoneskin to reduce dmg from Claws, who’s aggro you need to attempt to wholly maintain through use of spells such as Cloudkill, Acid Fog, Firewall, Incendiary Cloud, etc; Ice Storms and Otto’s Sphere often generate an unhealthy amount of video lag for healers that need to land Mass Heals on time and melee who need to back out of the fray when Velah casts her fire breath).
• Greater Heroism – the Bard can pass out GH by request only for those too gimp to cover their own (by means of spell/clickie/scrolls)
• Freedom of Movement – the Bard should give himself/herself and the arcane on ice, as well as the character drawing trash aggro (if any) from the Djinn a FoM. No other characters should need this buff assuming the bard properly fascinates, the melee avoid hitting Flenzers, and the arcane dances broken Flenzers (if any) while casting Break Enchantment in the centre of Ice Storms.
• Resist Energy – if any necessary, these can be covered by Rangers or Paladins (with at least 12 levels in that class, ideally more for longer lasting resists). If none, the arcane can cover these.
• Mass Deathward – Extended is not required, and doesn’t need to be cast until just before the boss fight.
• True Seeing – most melee should already have their own means of TS. If not, it can be passed out via scrolls. It is not fair to the party that SP would be wasted on those who are too lazy to properly gear their characters.
• Finally the all-essential Rage/Haste combo before take-off.
The entirety of this run should take 10-15 mins total. If longer than 15 mins, resources will be wasted and the quest could easily result in a wipe.
(Bases should be assigned before stepping into evon6 and buffs assigned while stepping in or very shortly after)
The run should be led by either the bard or a tank (evasion and some heal amp preferred) in the event that the bard has less than 450 HP. It is advisable that the bard is Shadow Walked and Invisible before and during fascination on each base. All other characters should keep at least a 20 foot distance from the bard and the platform until all monsters are fascinated to avoid taking aggro from trash, the exception being the healer who may want to throw the occasional Heal and Protection from Elements on the bard/tank.
Flenzers should be herded to the right away from the Djinn for fascination so that they are not accidentally woken up. The melee come beat the Djinn to about 10% before moving on. Ice team will then wait on the Ice base while the other two teams follow the bard to Air. The arcane on base should watch for broken Flenzers and be sure to cast Otto’s Irresistible on any broken, as well as Break Enchantment in the centre of any Ice Storms cast.
As on Ice, the mephits should be herded to the right away from the Djinn to avoid broken fascination. There are often more mephits than will be seen initially who may aggro easily on the characters not yet on the platform, so care should be taken to fascinate all mephits before the rest of the party moves onto the platform. Refascination may be necessary to ensure all are incapacitated before moving on to the final platform.
As the bard moves onto Fire, he/she should fascinate as soon as possible without consideration for the placement of the elementals due to the difficulty necessary to herd them. If a fascination can be landed early enough centered on the Djinn, the elementals will be a safe distance away from the melee to beat the Djinn down to 10%. Use Otto’s Irresistible on any unfascinated elementals before attempting to refascinate. After a verbal confirmation that all Djinn are prepped, kill all Djinn and knock down all pillars to 10% before destroying all pillars. The bard can then run back to Air to drop a Dimension Door as Fire and Ice run back to the catwalk about 30-40 ft in front of the dragon’s platform.
Last minute buffing, bard songs, Mass Death Ward, Mass Protection from Elements, Rage, and Haste, and the party should be ready for the boss fight. Healing order should be assigned, as well as the rocks the party will hide behind as Velah casts her Fire Breath. The Arcane should also be aware that he needs to use AOE spells to take and keep Claw aggro off of the healers and party.
A typical beatdown is as follows; the melee engage the dragon as one healer spams Mass Heal on his most reliable target (one with more HP and stays fairly well in the midst of the melee) while the caster keeps his AOE on the melee and healers. Everyone should attempt to keep an eye on Velah’s nose for the tell-tale sign of flames before she casts her Fire Breath. Melee will jump in and out as needed and the healers will trade off healing as they hit about 10% SP.
Final note: Even if Velah is at 1% HP, if you see the fire from her nose, duck behind the rock to avoid her fire breath. She will cast this before she dies and kill party members.
hope to see more successful evon6’s led by more players than myself…