Written by Trindine
Images by Trindine, Mealla Fallas, and Phil Hunter
In the far east of Vabbi, Forgotten zealots lurk in the Brand… It is up to you to draw them out and end their threat.
The Serpent's Ire meta spawns every 90 minutes in the eastern section of the Domain of Vabbi. There are three phases to this event, with the second phase being most demanding on the group for defiance bar management and DPS. Phase 1 takes place across the Brand and consists of luring out and defeating five zealots. The remaining two phases are centred around the Ruins of the Mirror of Lyss Point of Interest. The zealots will attempt to channel an explosion, and killing them leads to the final Forgotten boss with his pet hydra.
Event area and waypoint.
The waypoint for this event is Market Ruins Waypoint, in the centre of the Brand. Players will require a skimmer mount to survive in the open due to the lightning effect of the area. Going down in this area without the protection of a djinn barrier or cover from above will cause instant death. New characters can most easily access the event using the teleport on the Spearmarshal's Plea item, or entering from the Windswept Haven guild hall.
The event can be done comfortably with approximately one squad of 50. Players are split into 5 groups (4 groups of five focused on CC, and 1 zerg) before the event starts, and have the five spawns of the zealots marked for Phase 2. One will be found at each corner of the court, and one at the Point of Interest.
Area for phases 2 and 3 with zealot spawns marked.
Phase 1: Zealot hunt
To start, players must spread out and kill veteran or higher ranked Branded creatures in order to fill the orange bar. For each 20% that the bar is filled, one zealot will spawn somewhere in the Brand. The zealots' locations will not be revealed until someone has attacked it to start its event, which will place it on the map for all players in the area. Zealots are identified by their champion rank and bright magenta glow, and once engaged will have two random ley energy effects like the bounty targets found in Path of Fire. Often, a djinn will be near the zealot spawn and will move its protective shield close to the zealot to help with the fight. There is an 8 minute limit to defeat a zealot after it is revealed, and a 30 minute timer on the overall phase. Players should try to spread out between hunting Branded, finding zealots, and fighting revealed zealots, until all five have been defeated.
Example of an unrevealed zealot, and one in combat displaying bounty-style abilities.
Once the zealots have been dealt with, a timer will count down to the next phase. Players should use this time to move to their assigned spots and prepare their builds for CC and damage.
Phase 2: The great CC test
From this point onward, the djinn will protect all players in the courtyard from Branded lightning, so it is safe to walk around. The five zealots will spawn in their fixed locations and begin channelling an explosion, which has an orange bar on the side ticking down as they progress. If this bar is depleted, all players in the area are instantly downed, and the event ends.
For each zealot that is channelling the spell, all zealots that are alive will gain one stack of Defensive Veil, which reduces their damage taken by 33%. This can only be removed by breaking their defiance bars, which interrupts their casting and allows some damage for a brief period, after which the bar returns and must be broken again. As there are 5 zealots to start, at least 3 of them must be broken simultaneously in order for any significant damage to be done.
The strategy is to form 5 groups: 1 large zerg and 4 small CC groups. Each group should use a combination of soft CCs (which do damage over time to the defiance bar) and hard CCs (which do direct defiance bar damage) to break all zealots as quickly and frequently as possible. The zerg will focus DPS on one zealot at a time, starting in the northwest corner and moving clockwise. As each zealot is killed, the CC group will join the zerg and move to the next one, as each zealot killed slows the progress of the explosion permanently. All 5 zealots must be finished off before the bar empties out to proceed to Phase 3.
Phase 3: Boss and his
In the final fight, there is a timer of 20 minutes to defeat the Forgotten Ysshi Hessani and the hydra Pek Rakt Grag. Damage should be always be focused on Ysshi rather than Grag, as when the hydra is killed, as long as Ysshi is alive, it will be revived with 50% health. Ideally, a few players can lure the hydra away from the main group to reduce damage to both sides. However, if the bosses become stacked, it is not worth trying to hold off on Grag, because it is likely to die first from cleave and AoE damage in combination with Ysshi's mechanics. Every minute, Ysshi will switch between immunity to melee and immunity to ranged, indicated by a blue icon. Note that this is determined by the type of attack used, not the distance you attack from (so range type attacks at melee range will still be blocked). Ysshi has a defiance bar which can be broken throughout the fight for a short stun and damage bonus, although immunities still apply.
The fight can be difficult to see due to the large number of players and effects in the area, and many of the enemy attacks will knock players down and away. Branded crystals send out patterns of fire, but are easily destroyed. Midway through the fight, Ysshi may siphon some health from the hydra, and some new attacks are added. Players standing in front of the hydra are at risk of the crystal breath, which gains the effect of miniaturizing anyone hit. This effect lasts for one minute but cannot be removed. It prevents reviving and mounting, and greatly reduces damage dealt. A bright beam connecting a player to Ysshi will warn players of a fear attack, which is avoided by turning the character's model away from the boss.
Ysshi during his invulnerable "sparks" phase.
Starting at 25%, Ysshi will go invulnerable for about a minute and begin spawning Branded Sparks from the far south of the courtyard. Players should break off from the main group and kill the sparks while others attempt to distract the hydra. For each spark that manages to reach Ysshi, he will gain a 2% damage boost. (Some sparks appear to spawn directly by the boss and are extremely hard to stop.) When Ysshi's Determined buff reaches 50 seconds left, he will quickly wind up and do an explosion strong enough to down players. This can be avoided by being mounted when it happens, or simply dodging. After the explosion, there is approximately a 50 second window to attack Ysshi before the next invulnerability phase. Breaking the defiance bar is helpful to increase damage and minimize the number of phases before the kill.
Once Ysshi is dead, just attack Grag from behind until it's dead, and the rewards are yours! Be careful about the lightning that will begin striking again almost immediately.
Tips and Recommendations
- Zealots can spawn very close to the edges of the Branded area, or on top of the cliff next to the northern vista.
- For more information on how defiance bars work, see this guide.
- Despite this being a Path of Fire event, many of the builds that use PoF specializations have relatively little CC.
- Alacrity is very useful to have in every group as it makes everyone's CCs recharge faster! The main sources of this are chronomancers and revenants.
Recommended skills by specialization:
Warrior: Bull's Charge (utility), Skull Crack (mace burst with highest adrenaline)
Berserker: Wild Blow, Head Butt
Guardian: Bane Signet, Sanctuary, Hammer 4
Dragonhunter: Dragon's Maw
Revenant: Jade Winds (Shiro elite), Staff 5
Herald: Glint elite (double tap)
Renegade: Shortbow 5, Darkrazor's Daring
Engineer: Slick Shoes, Big Ol' Bomb, Overcharged Shot
Holosmith: Prime Light Beam, Holoforge 5
Ranger: Rock Gazelle F2, Electric Wyvern F2, Black Moa F2, Shortbow 5, Storm Spirit (sacrifice)
Soulbeast: Porcine F2 (such as warthog)
Druid: Glyph of Equality (outside of Celestial), Glyph of the Tides, Lunar Impact (Celestial Avatar 3)
Thief: Tripwire, Basilisk Venom, Tactical Strike (sword stealth skill)
Daredevil: Fist Flurry (double tap), Hook Strike (staff stealth skill)
Elementalist: Staff air 3, Offhand focus 5, Offhand dagger 5, Ice Bow 5, Tornado 3
Other specs do not specifically help with CC.
Mesmer: Gravity Well, Offhand pistol 5, Signet of Domination
Chrono: Tides of Time
Necro: Flesh golem's charge, warhorn 4
Reaper: Shroud 5 and 3 (double tap), greatsword 5 (pull)
Scourge: Shade skill F4, torch 5