This is a re-post from Rocka/Anthios888's thread that she posted after GRR's first completion of Epic Lord of the Blades.
For those of you who haven't gotten to run Lord of Blades yet, here's some information on the raid. We decided that rather than hush hush, we would try to make our time benefit others so this raid can start being run routinely. Please feel free to post any suggestions/observations here, particularly since the raid has only been out for a week and we'll certainly all get better at it. This raid is about not only having good strategy, but executing it with strong teamwork. For those of you building such teams, we hope this helps you get off the ground without spending resources to learn the basics of what to expect.
Beginning of the raid trash.
Go through the halls and kill groups of mobs to make it to the end fight. These mobs are pretty tough and take some strategy especially on harder difficulties. Get rid of the artificers right away because they have nasty big-damage rune arms and a command-like effect ("tactical knockdown") that can't be avoided or warded against. Most of the mobs are warforged assassins and artificers, with some lightning golems thrown in.
- Will save is the weak save for most of these.
- Use greater command, dancing ball, otto's irresistible.
- Melee stunning is great.
- On normal-hard, you will get a shrine before the end fight. On Epic, there's no shrine in the raid, so don't use up your boosts/rages here.
The End Fight
Finally you will make it to the end fight. It is on a circular platform surrounded by water, like Abbot. This water isn't instakill, but it hurts, like epic deep lava. On any difficulty above normal, you cannot raise a person who dies for 1-2 minutes after the death, length depending on difficulty. So if you die on Epic, you get a 2 minute timed debuff that looks like a skull and you cannot be raised until it goes away.
The End fight has several rounds. In each round, the Lord of the Blades adds new special attacks (like the Abbot's special attacks), and you have various trash mob challenges.
- Freedom of movement (dogs spit electrified grease that ****s you up)
- Death ward (Lord of Blades neg levels)
- Electric resist/protect. Fire is also good because the Lord sometimes casts a fire rain spell.
- Blur/displacement is nice for the trash rounds at beginning and end
- Jump, haste (mobility is important)
- Greater heroism (there's fear at some points)
- True seeing (most of the trash displaces itself)
Round 1: Artificer/assassin trash, pillars, dogs, and Lord of Blades
- A high-hit point tank (800ish hp is nice) will take the Lord of the Blades.
- Another person will kite dogs. Wings are really nice for this.
- The party will kill trash, then one dog at a time. The dogs are nasty. The do lots of damage, knock down, and spit electrified green grease/goo. The grease is safe to run through with freedom of movement, but if you stand in it you will take huge electric damage.
- Once dogs are down, kill the pillars that are out in the water.
- You can get a buff to float over the water to melee pillar bottoms, or you can range pillars.
- Finally, only the Lord will be left.
A note on the float buff
A buff will appear in the center that gives 25% damage increase to melee, and 40% spell point reduction, and allow you to float over the water to melee pillars. Beware, however, because the floating part will drop at 1:10 remaining on the buff (you can see your floating time in your focus orb looking on yourself). Only one person can get this each time the teepee of light appears in the center to give the buff. This buff is only available while the pillars are up. And also watch out because this buff is like the Reaver's Fate buff. Getting it once is great, but again and you will be stunned and start taking mega damage from the mind lock debuff it will cast on you. So tread carefully in the center of the room.
Round 1 Lord Special attacks - mounlands debuff, mighty blow.
- Mournlands debuff - stacking debuff that lowers your hit points and casters (including divine) arcane spell failure. Blocking without other movement prevents it. It wears off.
- Mighty blow the Lord stuns the tank, then spins his weapon, then smacks the tank with about 500 damage. Back up during the spin, it'll kill any flankers. Break his blade barriers as soon as he casts them so your melees don't die jumping out.
- Beating down the lords' hit points triggers round 2:
Round 2: more dogs and jumping Lord of Blades You get two new dogs. Do the same setup as above with someone kiting the dogs and a tank tanking the Lord and party killing off one dog at a time and then paying attention to beating the Lord.
Round 2 Lord Special attack - jump (and all the above attacks)
- Jump: Lord of Blades will squat down, jump up into the air, and land hard (don't get squished). Then he'll charge across the center of the platform like a minotaur and agro on someone random. Tabbing him will show you where he is landing more easily. The tank should try to establish aggro ASAP, preferably with a returner or other ranged source of DPS while he is charging.
- Get the Lord to about half triggers round 3.
Round 3: more dogs and whirlwind Lord of Blades You get two new dogs. Kite, then pick em off like above. Or, have casters kill and melees work on the lord while he is safely tanked.
Round 3 Lord Special attack - whirlwind (and all the above attacks)
- Whirlwind- the most dangerous/chaotic attack. He will spin like an air elemental, smacking the tank hard and bouncing him across the platform. To live, everyone needs to get the heck away from him and chase the tank with heals. Tank can easily go out of healing range if you don't chase. Tanks may also opt to block with a shield, although beware as he will push you around with the whirlwind and potentially drop you in the water, which acts as lava.
- Get the Lord to about 1/3 health to trigger round 4.
Round 4: more dogs and Ring of Blades attack. Two new dogs.
Round 4 Lord Special attack - Ring of Blades. Be ready for comet fall and electric dog goo. Keep your hp topped up, check your fire/elec resist, freedom of movement, and mass protect. Also be ready to scatter in case he whirlwinds right after the ring of blades.
- Ring of blades - Lord will squat down and shoot silver rays out of his back. Everyone get into the center because a rain of steel blades is about to hit all but the center of the platform. The kiter with the dogs will stay out of the center and just get healed through the blades, because if the dogs come in the center, they will electric goo everyone and you'll wipe. The tank will face the Lord of Blades away from the party so he doesn't wipe everyone while you're grouped up. As soon as the rain ends (only a few seconds), get out of the middle so he doesn't cometfall/charge and kill everyone.
- Taking the Lord down to about 10% health will trigger round 5. You don't have to beat the Lord any farther down than this. This is where things get really different:
Round 5: two more dogs and lots of Artificer/assassin trash. During this phase, you don't tank the Lord of Blades. He spends all of round 5 jumping and charging, then immediately jumping again. Always keep a lookout so he doesn't land on/charge into you. You get two more dogs. Kite them while the group takes out trash. Displace everyone. You'll get dozens of trash mobs with repeaters. Each wave will have an artificer or two. Kill the artificers immediately before they wipe you! Once artificers are down, crowd control the remaining trash, get the group together and take out the trash one at a time. Will saves are the bad save. Dancing ball, greater command, Otto's irresistable. The trash can also be fingered/wailed/destructed if you have good DCs. Several waves will spawn a few seconds apart. Save the last trash mob until you have killed the dogs. Killing the final trash mob spawns round 6, but you do not want to take the dogs into round 6 with you. Once the dogs are dead, kill the final assassin trash mob and you'll be at the end. Round 6!
Round 6: Lots of trash like the eye of the titan end fight, nightmares, four red-named wraithy evil outsider gatekeepers, and pillars. The Lord of the Blades stops his constant jumping and comes back. Tank him like you did above and watch for all his special attacks. You don't have to kill Lord of Blades, just tank him to keep him under control. A kiter will grab the red names. The remainder of the group will quickly kill off the trash and then take out the pillars. The trash nightmares can be ennervated and finger/wailed, just like in Inspired Quarter. Red named wraiths are nasty! They flesh to stone, cast all kinds of stuff, and pwn you hard. Being prepared with curse pots, stone to flesh, etc. might save a life. When the trash is down, the party will kill all the pillars. You can range them, and you can also, one at a time, get a buff that lets you float over the water to melee pillars. When the last pillar falls, you win!
At the very end, you go in groups of 3 to kill 4 elementals to get your loot.
PARTY ROLES - so what do I do?
The most important part here is that the party be pretty self-sufficient, that you have a lot of healers, perferrably fvs because of the wings and dot, and that you have at least two big-hit point tanks.
Tanks - The party needs one, preferably two tanks with around 800 hit points. Armor class doesn't work on epic, but armor class in the mid-90s does work on hard. It's really nice if the tank has intimidate of 80+. This is because the Lord randomly agros after several of his special attacks, and you have to get him back on someone with enough hit points to tank him. If you don't have intimidate, it worked all right to just build some hate and then use a returning to get the lord's attention back after he jumps and resets. It is nice to have two tanks that trade off holding agro between jumps so that they can get rid of their mournlands debuff when their hit points get below 550 or so. Alternately you can have the tank shield block until their debuffs wear out, but this prolongs the raid, particularly with a hate tank. Casters or FVS can tank but cannot effectively heal / hold aggro while blocking or they risk mournlands (giving arcane spell failure and -hp). For a FVS tank, just DoT the lord when he jumps.
Healers - Favored souls are very effective in here. The divine DoT does more damage to the Lord than any of the caster DoTs. The wings are also really uber for saving you - play for very long and you'll understand precisely why the wings needed a nerf. Because the DoT does so much damage, try to get your hit points up there, too, so that you don't die when he inevitably agros on you for a round after a jump. Unless you want to turn into a tank, don't DoT while the Lord is in jump mode or he'll zoom to you after a jump.
Melees - Be sure you can bypass his DR by having adamantine/good weapons. Have at least 600 hit points if at all possible so that if you get the agro, you can survive tanking a round even if he does mighty blow on you. Evasion is nice. The fight is really long, so this is a rough one for kensei/barbarians who rely so much on limited rages/boosts for their agro. We ran a few parties with a balanced number of melees, and some with almost none at all. High hit point rangers fit the bill pretty nicely. Might be nice to check if a light monk can prevent the stun before mighty blow, but this is a rough raid for monks that don't have high hit points. (we think light monk will prevent stun, but the mighty blow isn't a huge issue with coordination)
Casters - being warforged was awfully nice for being able to self-heal (and heal each other) even after death penalties. It's pretty rough to have only UMD-based healing once those death penalties start stacking up. Pale masters also had a hard time in this raid because no one could heal them, so they usually died when he agroed on them. Lazertron was pretty successful on his 530 hp warforged sorc - he had a shield with him (gimp right?) and he survived pretty well when he got caught with agro, until Lelo could intimidate the agro off of him. In our most successful runs, we had casters hold off on DoTs when we didn't have someone who was able to intimidate. A DoT means the aggro will go to you when he jumps and you'd better be ready to tank until someone pulls him off.
Be sure to memorize spells like dancing ball that work on the warforged's weak will save. The warforged trash has pretty high reflex and fort saves. Irresistible dance is great, especially if you end up with some death penalties and still need to crowd control. As in all raids, cloudkill/fog is nice for the concealment on the tank. Just be willing to break/recast when he blade barriers on the melees.
Get LOTS of clickies to boost up your spells (ardor spark etc). You will do lots of DoTing and nuking things throughout the raid.
Bards - sing for mee! Lots of bard builds would work. It's nice if the bard can help out with healing or even just scroll healing. Will have to conserve songs, so not every death gets a new song. It's nice to have hit points and also nice to have an item with anthem to recharge your songs. I don't know that much more. I mean, as long as everyone has haste! Music of the Makers helps with the assassins in the next to last round. Regular fascinate does not seem to work even though the trash seems to be warforged.
Everyone should be able to raise dead and buff themselves as much as possible.