Congratulations! You have made it to Skullcano- what I consider to be the toughest of the dungeon medals. Don’t worry though- it isn’t that bad. Hopefully this guide will help you heal through.
In general- the trick to getting your medal here is blasting through as much of the content as possible as quickly as possible, to give you plenty of time to take your time on the last boss. Unlike my other strat guides, that are pretty straight forward, this one will explain a few tricks my groups employ to get through it quickly.
This fight will feel like a mini-boss if your group has solid interrupts. If they are baddies and miss their interrupts, you will want to cry or rage or both. Make sure your group has someone in charge of calling out interrupt order! I bring this LAS to the fight- though the 3 points in Runes of Protection are quite flexible. An alternative would be Dual Fire. You could also bring Purify if your group is having trouble catching the Molten Rain.
P1: The most important thing to interrupt is Molten Rain (or Make it Rain if you are me yelling at your DPS in vent). The reason it is vital to get this, is because being hit with Molten Rain applies a nasty dot. If someone goes into the pot with it, they are sure to die. So, just interrupt! If you are spoiled rotten with interrupts, get the fire totems too- but that isn’t as big of an issue because DPS can cleave theirs down pretty easily.
Start off with a surged Healing Salve, and keep that up the rest of the fight. Right after the first Molten Rain, toss out your Runes of Protection, just in case someone got a tick of the dot. Splash heals on the tank with Vitality Burst. If someone is shitty at avoiding the telegraphs on their totem, heal them up with Astral Infusion/C3 Vitality Burst/ keep up RoP and HS.
I highly recommend the addon TapThat for this fight. It makes Into the Stew a snooze fest and I don’t know how I ever lived without it (Crimson Isle bone traps omg).
P2: Tugga will knock everyone back and disarm them, then go on an all out junk food binge. Don’t let him do that! Jump up, grab your weapon, and get to interrupting. If your group interrupts every bite, you get a chance for more swanky loot! At this point, you are home free. Just dance around- click the lopp cages if you got that optional, and wait for the fight to end. If you brought Dual Fire, you can speed things along. I think now that my groups know the fight well, I will start bringing it in lieu of RoP since damage has become negligible.
Don’t let this explanation lull you into a false sense of security though. This fight is a nightmare if someone misses an interrupt. If that does happen, you can still recover. Make sure you have a surged Healing Salve up, get mid so that you can catch everyone in a surged C2 Sustain, and start popping people with Vitality Burst (if dire toss out that AI first). Pop another Sustain as soon as it is off CD, pray you don’t get tossed into the pot, and your group should be stabilized. If this is a recurring issue, you might just want to take Purify and try to get people to stack for cleanse.
Trash: What you do here depends on which optionals you ended up with.
Lopp: If you get the lop, start at the back right from where you killed Tugga. Work your way around the semi-circle, freeing all the lopp. You will then run up the back side of the hill (avoiding the pat walking up and down the hill). Once you are on the top of that back wall at the top of the hill, jog to the wall to the left. You can hug that and avoid the mobs. Grab the free-standing lopp there (near the datacube). All this trash will leash once you make it to the next boss, so have the tank pull the trash at the bottom left of the hill that you go up to get to the boss. Unlock those two lopp and that should be all you need to complete the optional. Everyone else run straight to the boss and jump down (don’t aggro!).
No lopp: Just run stright to the boss (tank first) the trash will leash once you jump down.
This boss is a heck of a lot of fun! There are a couple of ways your group can do it. We have our tank drag him around to the mushrooms and cleave them to control the MOOs and end the fight pretty quickly.
As far as healing goes, I run in with a surged Healing Salve. I try to stay to the side of the boss so that I can catch both the tank, and DPS in Sustain, and basically just spend the entire fight jumping up and down, popping C1 Sustain with Vitality Burst in the direction of whomever needs heals. When the boss is stunned, I will take the opportunity to hit the tank with a Healing Torrent if needed, and re-apply surged Healing Salve. I try to keep Runes of Protection up on the tank, and toss a surged Astral Infusion out if things get dicey.
When the fight ends, you will have one of two gates open- left or right. Left takes you the difficult way, to the bunny boss, and right takes you the easy way, through the lava. If you get the bunny boss, just reset. You are not going to make your timer with this dude. The healing is a pain in the ass, and early on the DPS isn’t there to make it through in a timely fashion. It only takes us around 5 minutes to get to this point, so trust me when I say it is way more worth it to just vote to disband and reset until you get the lava/right side option.
Optional: Lava & telegraphs (maybe with crystals)
In my experience, the best way to do this is to let people spread out and go at it at their own pace. Trying to group up, heal, and stay together is nearly always a catastrophe. Make people with a healing OS toss a heal on their bar, tell people to get the pots ready, and just go for it. Once you know the route, avoiding the telegraphs is easy.
Trash: Prisoners & Guards & Marauders, Oh My!
I run this LAS for trash. I swap out RoP for Dual Fire because depending on optionals, you may have a lot to clear and contributing even a small amount to DPS while healing helps. I throw on Void Slip so that I can drop aggro on the prisoners if they get on me. Remember if you get the “Kill 40 Marauders” optional, you will be able to continue it past the Bosun. The packs here are easier than later packs, so I usually get around 20 out of the way before hitting the next boss.
As far as healing this trash goes, it should mainly just be spike damage on the tank. Keeping up your usual rotation of surged Healing Salve, with bursts of VB, and surged Healing Torrent/ Astral Infusion for big dips should be all it takes.
I bring this LAS. I don’t take Voidspring because movement is a little too heavy to get good use of it. I like RoP over Dual Fire, because in the ink phase it is nice to shield people to buy yourself some breathing room if you have to run ink. I use Void Slip to break the blind during the ink phase.
P1: This should mainly be spike take damage. I try to stand to the side of the boss, with DPS on the back and tank on the front. Seems to give me a little bit better perspective on incoming issues in this room. Yes, it can make lining up heals on DPS and tank at the same time difficult, but for the most part DPS should just need splash heals. Keep up a surged Healing Salve throughout the fight. Top off your tank with C3 VB/Astral Infusion if a big spike. Make sure your group is interrupting shred asap. Make sure they focus Razooki down as soon as he comes out. You do not want him up in the ink phase!
P2: He will select people to ink. They will be blinded and dropping ink behind them, and the little ink adds will slowly grow bigger and explode. They should not reach anyone with ink. To handle this phase:
1) You are inked. If you get inked Void Slip asap to remove the blind. Run your ink along the very outer edge of the room, taking care to sprint, Gate, dash, etc. to avoid coming into contact with the ink globules. As you pass people taking damage, toss heals on them with C1 VB or a surged Healing Salve. If someone is in a bad spot, try to land Astral Infusion on them as you run. Once the ink wears off, assess the health of your group, help out anyone in need. If you get inked again and Void Slip is down, just try to peer through the darkness, and stay along the edge.
2) You do not get inked. Lucky you! Just avoid the exploding globs and keep your group topped off. Conserve as much focus as you can.
P1 repeats: Same story as last time. Keep your tank topped off, be aware of your surroundings, make sure your group interrupts, and kills the add. Keep up that surged Healing Salve, and if everyone sustains damage, pop a Sustain.
P2 repeats: Same strategy as earlier.
Final Phase: Healing may get intense here. Just focus- used surged Healing Torrent if tank needs a big top off. Sustain and surged Healing Salve to keep the group heals rolling. The fight should end quickly in this phase.
Hop on the transport and drink up! Hope for good optionals.
Trash: This trash is probably the hardest part of the instance. The snipers can be downright brutal. Make sure your tank understands he will need to use defensive cooldowns on these packs. Just focus, and keep healing is really all I can say. I have had tanks die to this trash before, but it was only because I wasn’t totally focused. Don’t get comfortable just because this is trash! Just stay on task, focus those heals and you will be golden. Take time to drink between pulls if needed. Make sure to be careful when skipping packs. You will waste a lot of time over pulling because this trash is no joke. (Surged Healing Salve, Runes of Protection, C3 VB almost on CD, surged Astral Infusion if an emergency, surged Healing Torrent for big heals).
We typically pull all the pats just to be on the safe side if there is a wipe later.
Mini-boss: I forgot his name!
Make sure you clear the trash around this boss so you have some room to move. You can keep the same LAS, and use Void Slip as a tether break if you get it. You will need some big heals, so I will keep a C3 Vitality Burst charged, and release when needed. Keep up your Healing Salve, and keep Runes up on CD (unless someone is taking spike damage in which case obviously prioritize heals). Make sure your group is on top of their interrupts. This guy is quite easy, just stay focused. You are almost done! If you had the 40 Marauders optional, make sure you can finish it up in the tunnel. If you didn’t, you can run along the wall in the tunnel and skip the first and 5th packs.
If you have played your cards right you should get here with plenty of time to spare. This fight is all about personal awareness and movement. I will give you what tips I have, but know that in the end, no amount of healing is going to save you from a laser to the face. I swap to this LAS. If you have issues with clipping the small laser, you may want to bring Purify. I have found that colorblind mode is incredibly helpful this fight. It really brings out the edges of the puddles on the ground, and makes the lasers much more clear against the red background. Try out all 3 to see which works for you- I prefer the first option.
P1: The fight starts off with some chatting. Use this time to swap your LAS really quickly. Try to stand to the left of him to hopefully be in between the lasers when the fight starts, and as close to the middle edge as you are comfortable with. This will ensure that you have the best possible chance of not getting sniped early. Once the lasers start turning, just move! Stay as close to the inside as possible and you will have plenty of time to correct a misstep/incoming puddle. If you get stuck and know a laser is about to hit you, Void Slip right as it passes, tap it again and make sure to stay behind it! Right before the lasers end, toss up a surged Healing Salve, and plop down a Void Spring. Keep them up throughout these stationary phases.
P2: Boss time. Stand as much to the side of the boss as you can. This will hopefully prevent you from being sniped by the long skinny telegraph. It hurts badly and will drain your focus, so make sure no one in your party, including yourself, are getting hit by it. Make sure they interrupt Big Bang and the turret. If a turret goes out, you are totally screwed. Call out when you see the “Terraformer Overcharge” alert. I have seen so many people tunnel and forget to turn around when this happens. This can make a series of unfortunate events happen ending in a wipe- so decrease those chances by make sure everyone knows to turn around. Make sure your tank is facing the boss into the terraformer so that the boss will be blinded. He will start throwing out sparks. DO NOT get hit by these. They will stun you and you will be stuck right as lasers come out. If you do get stunned, Void Slip, but be aware of your surroundings. You do not want to clip an incoming laser.
Shortly after the overcharge, mini lasers will come out. These are what you will have to hop over. These put a nasty DoT on you if clipped, so again- DO NOT get hit by these. Make sure your surged Healing Salve is refreshed, and top everyone off with Sustain. You are about to start running again! When the alert “The Terraformer Begins to Rumble” goes out, get ready for the big lasers to reappear. You will have to run ahead of these just like in P1, while hopping over the smaller lasers in P2.
P3: Lasers & more Lasers. The mini lasers and the big will both be out this phase. You will have to run ahead of/behind the big lasers, while jumping over the smaller lasers, and avoiding the puddles. Be VERY careful with Void Slip/ Homeward Bound this phase. There is so much going on and very few safe places. If you come out of the void without being positive you are safe, you are sure to be dead. If you get clipped by the mini-laser, heal heal heal your tail off. If you brought Purify, you can cleanse the dot. Throw everything you can out or you will die. If you see someone with the dot going down, try to get an Astral Infusion off and tell them to pot. Try to keep the group close so you can pop Sustain/VB as you run to top off. Be careful and take your time. Stay as close to the inside as possible and just keep moving.
P2 Repeats: Same as last time, but small lasers persist through the fight. Keep avoiding sparks. Stay close to your tank. If you need to cast a surged Healing Torrent for a big heal, I find it is best to wait until laser passes, then stand and cast. There is so much movement this fight, you do not want to risk the tank dodging out. Better that at least one of you is stationary while casting such a valuable/expensive heal. Keep up that Healing Salve, and keep Void Spring down. Contingent upon your group’s DPS, you will either push him to the final phase, or have another laser phase. If you have another laser phase- just keep calm and carry on.
Final Phase: Hopefully no one in your group is dead. If so, you may be low on interrupts. Make sure you are communicating with your group on this! Around 10%, he will start doing a massive red pinwheel telegraph. You must get this interrupted, so position yourself in such a way that you can Gate through him safely if needed. Keep surged Void Spring down and Healing Salve up. Use Sustain so you can focus on your own movement. Stay focused and you will have him down!