This guide primarily covers the strategy that TTS uses. As this guide is focused more on strategy, the mechanics of the fight are more or less briefly explained.
1) Introduction to Wurm
The Wurm boss was released on January 21st 2014 with the Origins of Madness living story update and spawns in Bloodtide Coast. Marketed as the “next Tequtal”, it delivered upon its promise, requiring an extreme amount of coordination and finesse to be anywhere near a success.
It took more than a week before groups started taking down the wurm. As with all new releases, the wurm was bug ridden from the get go, but it now sits in a nice place within our raid schedule. It is not too easy as to be farmable, but it is not too hard as to be downright impossible.
The wurm fight is essentially 3 boss fights going on simultaneously and can be split into 3 Phases. The escort phase, decapitation phase and kill phase. All three wurms must be decapitated within 60 seconds of each other to progress to the final kill phase.
In my opinion, to the disagreement and agreement of many, the Wurm is probably the best fight ever at the moment in Guild Wars 2. It is the perfect example of getting people to come together to achieve a common goal.
In short, yes the wurm requires a hell of a lot of coordination, but when you dissect and break it down into it’s basic principles and strategies, it is a really easy fight. As Marco Pierre White says – “Perfection is a lot of little things done right”, and this phrase epitomises the strategy you will need to take down this beast of a boss.
2) Consumables and Buffs Required
As with any and all fights, consumables are a must. Strategic placing of these consumables will mean the difference between a horrible attempt and a successful attempt. So in order of importance lets go through them:
- Food Buffs: Everyone needs to be getting a food buff before the start of the fight. Most people will have Orrian Steak Frittes as the preferred food as it gives power and vitality however condition teams should be eating Feast of Super Veggie Pizzas. During phase two the commander will drop Feast of Truffle Steak
- Weapon Consumables: Sharpening stones or tuning crystals are required to max out every body’s DPS. Zerker builds and sets (which most people should be wearing) will be using the Toxic kind while PVT builds and sets will use the Superior kind.
- Fire Elemental Powder: Critical to ensure you’re able to burn down the wurm in phase 2.
- Portable Mortar Kit: Though not critical, extremely useful in phase 2 for that additional DPS.
3) Initial Setup
TTS micro manages setup down to the class level. Since all 3 wurms need to be fought simultaneously, it only makes sense to ensure the class split at each wurm is similar so that one wurm is not weighted with all the DPS from the raid. Splitting up the DPS, TTS runs setup as follows:
- Reflect Team assignments (5 players each wurm, can be less if reflect teams are experienced)
- Condi Team assignments (5 players each wurm)
- The rest split evenly by class to each wurm
At the end of the setup, each wurm should have between 45 and 55 to ensure there is a good chance for success.
Condition teams are in charge of killing Husks. Husks are big brutes of a mob and spawn three at a time during the decapitation phase. They have the following abilities:
- Apply parasite : This debuff causes you to vomit at random times, which essentially stuns you for 3 seconds. Not a very nice debuff.
- Knock up: Knocks people up, unavoidable except with block..
- Knock back: Follow up from knock up most of the time, the knock back will knock players back.
Husks have extremely high armor, but low vitality, meaning that while normal attacks will do nearly-zero damage, damaging conditions will melt the husks, which is why each wurm has a condition party..
Ideally, Necromancers and Engineers are the best to fulfil this duty, but condi spec Thieves, Elementalist, Rangers and warriors can also suffice. The basic strategy is to group them up and use Epidemic to spread conditions and drop them. The condi team will always want to be pulling husks away from the main zerg, especially during a burn phase as husks can reduce DPS output significantly with their attacks.
The reflect team is in charge of stopping the Wurm from spitting out eggs. Eggs that spawn will then hatch after about 30 seconds and spawn a Veteran Wurm Grub which have nasty ranged aoe’s and are very difficult to kill.
The ideal make up of a reflect team of 5 is:
- Caller : This person is ideally the captain of the party. They will be watching for tells and calling when to drop reflects and keeping a mental note of cooldowns
- Primary reflect: 2 people assigned to primary reflect as the first option.
- Secondary reflect: 2 people assigned as backup in case reflects are dropped and the wurm spawns husks instead of eggs.
- Classes able to reflect: Guardians, Elementalist, Mesmers, Rangers, Engineers, Thieves.
The below video summarises the reflect strategy quite nicely.
4) Escort Phase
All wurms will begin an escort phase. The pre timer will begin at 5 past the hour in which wurm spawns and after 5 minutes, the escort will begin.
For each wurm, an investigator will be making their way from the Vigil camp to each of the three spawn areas. Along the way, they’ll encounter eggs and veteran wurm heads which need to be killed. Should the investigator die, the escort team will have 4 minutes to res the investigator before the event fails. Note that all escorts must succeed for the wurm heads to spawn.
5) Phase 1 Wurm – Decapitation Phase
When the escort arrives at the location, players will have about 1 minute to do any final preparation before the fight begins. Generally this will involve popping sharpening stones as well as assigning warbanner/res groups.
For Phase 1, players will have 14 minutes to reduce the wurm heads to 0 health to decapitate it. Once a head has been decapitated, the timer will reset to 60 seconds and all other heads must also be decapitated during this window to proceed to the next phase.
The basic strategy of each wurm is as follows:
- Perform mechanic to activate burn
- Burn wurm
- Repeat until wurm is about 5-10% hp
- Wait for call and dps wurm down to 0 alongside other wurms.
All wurms have the following basic attack
Small Spin + Spit
The wurm will curl up and then unleash a torrent of green goo. There is a small AOE around the wurm during this time and also about half a dozen AOE’s for where the goo will land. Note that distance will determine how much time you have to dodge the goo. If you are far enough, the goo will actually land after a couple of seconds of the AOE circles disappearing so be careful.
The wurm will wind back and do a large AOE spin dealing damage and knocking people back. This attack is easily avoidable so keep an eye on it and avoid the AOE or dodge when you see it appear.
The wurm will rear back and then spit out 3 husks at predefined areas. The husks are not able to be reflected and since this animation is the same as the egg animation, back up reflectors will be called in after wards to prepare for the next spit. There is an internal cooldown of 100 seconds on this attack.
The wurm will rear back and then spit out 6 eggs at predefined areas. Reflect teams are able to reflect these eggs as they are projectiles and prevent the eggs from spawning. If eggs do spawn, then they will spawn Veteran Wurm Grubs if not destroyed. Again, there is an internal cooldown of 45 seconds on this attack.
At Amber, there is a unique abomination mob which spawns one at a time. Once it dies, it will explode. Instead of dealing damage, the explosion will provide a buff to all members within the AOE. Note that the AOE lingers for a seconds . The buff will then allow members to be eaten by the Amber wurm and enter it’s stomach to initiate the mechanic and then burn phase.
Though the mechanic is quite straight forward, it is the most unforgiving for mistakes as you need to pop all 20 stacks in one run to pop the burn phase. There is no in between state and it will be either success or fail. A fail will mean waiting for a full cycle to be able to get into the next burn. As such it’s most imperative that everyone is able to fire off their harpoon at the right time and land their short.
The basic strategy for this wurm is as follows. Note that for the final burn, the latest time that you should be stacking on the Abom is 1:30 as it is a fairly lengthy process:
- Stack on the Abom and dps it down to get the buff
- Everyone who has the buff will then stack next to the Amber wurm (there is a red arrow indicating where to stand). Note that at least 20 people need to have the buff to be swallowed by the Wurm.
- Once inside the stomach, there is a skeleton lying there. All players inside the stomach need to interact with the skeleton to pick up a harpoon gun and use it to DPS down the Valve.
- Once the Valve is destroyed, the Wurm will spit all players back out. At this time, the harpoon will only allow one more shot to be made.
- After being spat out, all players need to run into range of the wurm (about 900) and fire the harpoon at the wurm, ensuring that there are no husks between the player and the wurm. This will reduce the invulnerable stack by 1. 20 shots need to land for the wurm to go into burn Phase.
- After the burn phase, all players will have a debuff that will prevent them from getting the Abomination buff again for 30 seconds. Players should use this time to group up and clear any mobs in the area. Once the buff is gone, this process is repeated.
Crimson has the easiest mechanic out of all three. Around the Crimson are three platforms, each designated to one of the following colours ; blue, yellow, red. Coloured clouds will spawn at random locations around the arena and picking them up will provide a coloured buff. Running to the platforms will then provide one charge to the platform. Once all platforms are fully charged, the burn phase will commence.
Though easy, the crimson mechanic is the most consistent in terms of timings and so it’s important that burn phases are efficient and dps is high. The basic strategy is as follows:
- Run around collecting clouds and putting them in platforms (it takes 30 clouds to charge a platform). The easiest way is to run in a counter clockwise direction. Note that multiple clouds can be picked up at the same time. Any position displacing abilities like blinks and teleports will remove the cloud buff, although transforms and movement skill (such as Ride the Lightning) will not..
- Once all platforms are charged, go in for burn
- For the final burn phase, crimson will typically charge up two of the three platforms so that the burn phase can be popped more quickly on demand.
Cobalt is arguably the most difficult of the three wurms. It requires a bit more coordination and individual players have a lot more responsibility on this wurm. There are three keg locations around the map. Kegs will spawn at a random one of these three locations every even minute. The goal is to run 20 kegs from these locations and place them in front of the wurm to pop the burn.
- Group up on kegs but don’t pick up. Once enough people are stacked, run kegs as a group. If all goes well, the zerg should be able to drop 20 kegs in a window of a few seconds. As with Crimson, any position displacing skills like blinks and teleports will blow up your keg. Once the keg is lost, you will need to wait for 20 seconds before being able to pick up another keg.
- DPS the wurm down and repeat.
While conceptually simple, the execution of the mechanic is quite difficult and many factors come into consideration. Veteran Wurm Heads will spawn around the map, and if focusing on kegs/keg runners, can rapidly reduce the number of kegs dropped on the drop spot.
The north and east spawns are also difficult to run if players are not adept at doing jumping puzzles and so many kegs can be lost by people falling into the water.
6) Phase 2 – Kill Phase
Once all heads are decapitated, phase 2 will begin. This is by far the most difficult and requires the most player skill out of any fight within GW2 at the moment. Players will only have 2 minutes to DPS the head down, while trying to avoid the Wurm’s attacks and also stacking in the correct position. It’s a very frantic and adrenaline filled fight, yet is probably the most fun in my opinion.
During phase 2, the wurm will have 3 different moves that it will do:
- Magikarp Flop: The wurm will flail around a bit. This move is probably the most intimidating but does no damage. This is the most opportune time to get in there and DPS the wurm down.
- Jump Attack: The wurm will jump into the air and slam down into the ground, doing damage and knocking everyone back. Aegis and dodges are crucial to avoiding the knockback and losing DPS
- Charge Attack: The wurm will target someone, rear back and then perform a charge attack, moving forward. During the charge, the wurm will also drop pools of poison which apply conditions and deal damage.
TTS runs phase with 3 very simple rules, and if everyone follows, the Wurm will almost always die during this phase.
- Between a rock and a hard place: Each arena will have a wall or cliff face of some sort. As such, everyone should be stacking between the wurm head and the cliff at all times. This will ensure that the wurm will always charge to the cliff face which is where you want the wurm head. If the wurm head is already on the cliff, then players should be stacking either side of the wurm and hugging that cliff .
- Never run behind the wurm head: Pretty self explanatory, if the wurm is charging, players should be running parallel to the wurm, and not directly behind to avoid the poisons.
- Dodge dodge dodge!: Commanders and other players will be calling dodges. When they do, it’s important for players to dodge instinctively rather than reactively. When against the cliff face, its most important that players dodge OFF the cliff face before running back in. This is because if the Wurm head charges into the cliff, it is akin to a fiery great rush into the wall and will instadown anyone unlucky enough to be close to the wurm.
The basic rundown of how this fight goes down with TTS is as follows:
- After the decapitation occurs, all players will stack on the commander. The commander will drop replacement food (Truffle Steak) which players will need to eat. Players will also need to drop any Portable Mortar Kits and Seed Turrets if available.
- After dropping kits, the entire zerg will find the head and stack on top, taking note of rule number 1 above. Fire fields and blast finishers to stack might will be used here.
- DPS will begin, the wurm at some point will then charge. Generally if Rule #1 is followed, the wurm will run directly into the cliff.
- Once against the cliff, embers and ogre pet whistles will be used alongside all ele weapons and time warps. This is the most critical time and greatest chance to do maximum DPS.
- The fight will continue until the timer runs out or the wurm head dies. Note that if all goes well, the wurm will stay in the one spot / against the cliff which will allow for maximum DPS on the wurm head at all times.
7) Efficiency Tips
The following is a few tips that can be used to increase DPS and efficiency
- While not ideal for some, Teamspeak is an absolute requirement. Given the nature of the fight and micromanagement needed, everyone fighting the wurm needs to be on Teamspeak.
- All players should be wearing zerker gear. While you can’t crit during the first phase, you can crit during the phase 2.
- Players should also be traited for maximum damage rather than support.
- Suggested class specific utilities and skills:
- Necromancer: Epidemic, Spectral Grasp and either Blood is Power or Signet of Spite are all good utilities to be running
- Mesmers: Run Signet of Inspiration for boon sharing and Time Warp for quickness! Be wary of casting Time Warp too early during burns as it is an ethereal field.
- Thieves: Run shortbow secondary due to the spammable blast finisher.
- Rangers:Run Jungle Stalker (5 stacks of might for 17s) and a Drake (blast finisher on auto chain) as pets. Frost Spirit is definitely a recommended utility. If possible run spotter (VII in marksmanship) and trait for 70% chance on hit for spirits (IV in nature magic)
- Guardians: Run either Hallowed Ground or Stand Your Ground, Retreat and Hold the Line and don’t be running hammer due to the light field on the auto chain.
- Warriors: Run Banners of Strength, Discipline and Warbanner. During burns don’t drop Warbanners and remember to drop your banners on the edges of the fire fields so people aren’t picking them up mid burn.
- Elementalists: Run both Conjure Ice Bow and Fiery Greatsword as they are massively helpful during burns.
- Engineer: Elixir R and blast finishers (eg. bomb kit toolbelt skill, healing turret toolbelt skill when dropped)
- Everyone should have at least 1 stunbreak in their kit too.
- Do not party unless absolutely required. This is to ensure buffs can be spread evenly throughout the zerg.
- For phase 2, make sure you all drop party to spread all the boons.
Merforga – Author
Tdx – Uber Great Camerawoman
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