Maps (Coming Soon)
Gate Commander Draxus
Dread Master Brontes
Story Mode Summary
IMPORTANT - The information below is summarized and intended to be an easy quick-reference guide for players who need a quick reminder heading into an operation. As time allows, I intend to add separate pages with detailed boss fight guides for each fight.
Nefra is arguably the easiest operations boss in the game. It is a tank and spank with only two mechanics requiring any strategy. These mechanics are as follows:
Double Strike: Nefra has a cleave attack that deals fairly high damage. The tank needs to face Nefra away from the group. Much of the cleave damage can be mitigated via green circles that appear under the two highest players on the threat table (ideally both tanks). If the two players stack their green circles, they take significantly reduced damage from Nefra's cleave.
Overloaded Assault Droid: A droid add will frequently spawn in the middle of the room and run towards a random player (often one of the tanks). When the droid reaches the player to whom it has aggro, it will drop a large red circle that explodes after a few seconds and deals very high AoE damage.
Voice of the Masters: Green DoT that goes out frequently during the fight. The DoT can be cleansed. The DoT deals very light damage in Story Mode and can be healed through. Many DPS will prefer to not be cleansed and let the small ticks of damage trigger additional DPS abilities.
The strategy for Nefra is to have two tanks hold Nefra on the stairs at one side, staying stacked on each other to share damage. A ranged DPS should tag the Overloaded Assault Droid to gain its aggro as often as possible, thereby dropping the red circle outside the group. Otherwise, everyone should get out of the red circle (tanks can move from one side of the stairs to the other safely). Either cleanse the green DoT or heal through it based on group preference.
Gate Commander Draxus
Gate Commander Draxus is a pretty big step up in difficulty from Nefra. The "add wave boss", the Draxus encounter can seem very chaotic and confusing to newer players. Fortunately, with a basic understanding of the priority for defeating adds and a few simple rules, this fight becomes far easier to clear even with new players.
The basic overview of the fight is that the team will initially fight just Draxus for around 10-15s, but then will begin a series of add waves. Draxus himself will jump down for some add waves and need to be dealt with in addition to his many minions. A few key points to note before we dive into specifics:
A new add wave begins as soon as all the adds from the last wave are defeated.
Draxus does NOT count as part of an add wave. If the team kills all adds in a wave with Draxus still up, the next wave will keep on coming. This can be very dangerous with Dismantlers. I strongly recommend that the team deliberately leave one add alive until Draxus is damaged enough to leap back up.
There are a LOT of enemies in this encounter and they all come down in a variety of combinations during each add wave. Here are the details for each enemy and what you should know to handle them (listed in the order that they are encountered):
Draxus: The boss himself, Draxus is very straightforward to handle. He has a Suppresive Fire conal attack and should always be tanked away from the group and facing the gate. He also periodically throws out a Corrosive Grenade at a random player, which applies a DoT to the target and any nearby players.
Subteroth: Little adds that spawn in groups, these adds have no mechanics and take bottom priority within each add wave to kill. An important note for highly experienced players is that Subteroths no longer explode in Story Mode.
Dispatcher: These sorcerers stand in place and shoot people with Force Lightning. They have a random aggro table and do not require any strategy. They should be killed before Subteroths as they deal more damage, but take lower priority than any other adds.
Corruptor: These adds are quite dangerous due to their cast ability Mass Affliction. The 8s cast ability can and should be interrupted or it will apply a DoT to everyone in the group. This DoT has been nerfed over time so it is unlikely to wipe the group but is still dangerous. It can be cleansed by healers or through purges. Corruptors generally take the highest priority for DPS.
Dismantler: Spawning in pairs twice during the encounter, Dismantlers have the potential to one-shot players. They deal moderate damage but their primary mechanic is Strong Swipe. This 1s cast ability deals heavy damage, knocks the target back a long way, and applies the Dismantled debuff (a blue debuff that uses the same graphic as the Combat Sentinel Defensive Roll passive ability). The Dismantled debuff lasts for 30s and causes the affected player to take +1,000% (x10) damage from that Dismantler (note this does not apply to damage from the OTHER Dismantler). The Dismantler will attempt to run to the player and hit them with Obliterate, a high damage leaping attack that with the Dismantled debuff will one-shot any player with an incredibly strong defensive ability (e.g., Saber Reflect, Resilience, etc.). Together with Corruptors, Dismantlers are very dangerous and take high priority for DPS.
The typical strategy for handling Dismantlers is to have DPS pick up aggro on them while tanks hold back. The DPS attack Dismantlers and gain initial aggro. When the Dismantler hits the DPS with Strong Swipe, the tank taunts and picks up aggro. This gives sufficient time for DPS and tanks to kill the Dismantlers.
Despoiler: A lone Despoiler will spawn twice during the encounter and attempt to heal other adds via their Dark Infusion ability. This add can be killed immediately but can also be CC'd or stunned/interrupted as well.
Guardian: Tall adds that spawn twice during the encounter, Guardians will periodically drop aggro and have both a conal Thundering Blast attack and a large conal Slam attack. Their casts can and should be interrupted.
That's all the enemies. Now let's go through each wave of the fight:
Phase 0 - Draxus: The team begins with Draxus. The tank should face him towards the gate to manage the cleave. Max burn on Draxus until he jumps.
Phase 1 "Release the Beasts" - Subteroths: The waves of Subteroths are no threat and should be grouped up and killed with AoE attacks.
Phase 2 "Defend the Master" - Dispatchers, Subteroths: Kill the Dispatchers then the Subteroths.
Phase 3 "Your Attack Ends Now" - Draxus, Corruptors, Dispatchers: The tank should pick up Draxus and face him away. DPS need to kill the Corruptors and interrupt their Mass Affliction casts. Leave at least one Dispatcher alive and attack Draxus until he leaps away, then finish the adds.
Phase 4 "Take Them Down" - Dismantlers, Subteroths: DPS should pick up aggro on Dismantlers until the Strong Swipe knockback, after which tanks taunt. DPS should kill the Dismantlers then the Subteroths.
Phase 5 "Arise Dreadguards, Protect" - Draxus, Corruptors, Dispatchers: A tank picks up Draxus and faces him away. DPS kill Corruptors and interrupt their Mass Affliction cast, then push Draxus until he jumps, then kill the Dispatchers. Make sure to leave one add alive until Draxus is pushed.
Phase 6 "It Isn't Over Yet" - Dismantlers, Corruptor, Despoiler, Dispatcher: A DPS should pick up aggro on the Dismantlers until the knockback when tanks pick them up. The remaining DPS should kill the Corruptor in the back. The Despoiler should be CC'd or kill along with the Corruptor, then DPS should finish off the Dismantlers and remaining adds.
Phase 7 "Stop Them, Stop Them" - Guardians, Subteroths: Kill the Guardians first then remaining adds. Try to face the Guardians away from the group and interrupt their Slam attack.
Phase 8 "Reinforcements, Go" - Corruptors, Despoiler: This phase has 2 Corruptors on each side of the room and can be difficult to coordinate interrupts. Kill the Corruptors first and interrupt them if possible. If a Mass Affliction cast goes out, wait to cleanse until the remaining Corruptors are killed to avoid a second cast re-applying the DoT. The Despoiler should be CC'd by a healer if possible.
Phase 9 "I Will Finish This Myself" - Draxus, Guardians, Corruptor, Dispatchers: A tank should pick up Draxus immediately while the other tank should grab aggro on at least one and preferably both Guardians. DPS need to kill the Corruptor immediately then swap DPS to Draxus. After Draxus goes down, finish off the Guardians then the Dispatchers.
Grob'thok is a much simpler boss encounter than Draxus so is something of a palate cleanser after the many many waves of adds. Grob'thok has a tanking mechanic used to interrupt his periodic Pipe Smash attack via the magnet device floating around the room, an awareness mechanic for DPS to avoid standing in fire, and periodic add waves to handle.
They key mechanics for this fight are as follows:
Magnet: A magnet affixed to the ceiling will move through the outer perimeter of the room. Any players caught in it will be stunned until the magnet passes them. Grob'thok can be stunned by the magnet.
Overhead Smash: Grob'thok's periodic AoE attack that deals group-wide damage.
Roar: Conal attack that should be faced away from the group. This attack will stun and knockback the Dreadful Ugnaughts.
Pipe Smash: A cast ability that causes Grob'thok to pull out a massive pipe and start slamming the ground. Grob'thok being caught in the magnet after Pipe Smash will destroy the pipe and interrupt the mechanic.
Mining Droid: A debuff applied periodically to a random player. The player will drop fire puddles over a short time that deal damage to any players or Ugnaughts who stand in them.
Dreadful Ugnaughts: A wave of adds will spawn periodically and attack the group. They are not particularly dangerous in Story Mode. They take heavy damage from the fire puddles dropped by the Mining Droid, so if possible kite them into the fire to help DPS go faster.
The general strategy for this fight is to tank Grob'thok in the middle of the room and face him away from the group to avoid the Roar conal. The player who receives the Mining Droid debuff should keep moving to drop fire puddles and avoid damage. The off-tank should pick up the Ugnaughts and kite them through the fire puddles to get them down faster. Whenever Grob'thok casts Pipe Smash, the tank with aggro should run ahead of the magnet and kite the boss into it to interrupt this mechanic.
Corruptor Zero is the fourth boss and is also very straightforward. The first phase of the fight requires the team to fight Corruptor Zero and various waves of adds. Once Corruptor Zero gets low on health, it begins a Unified Beam phase where it leaps around the cross-shaped room and fires a massive energy beam down the middle.
The very beginning of the fight sees the team fight a double wave of adds. This wave consists of both melee adds and ranged adds, which for the remainder of the fight will only spawn one or the other at any one time. The adds consist of the following:
D-13 / D-15 Corruption Droid (D-13 Melee, D-15 Ranged): Champion adds that are nearly the same size and look at Corruptor Zero. They will cast Electric Burst over 1.5s, which places a red telegraph that will stun everyone in the AoE. These champs should be picked up by tanks and interrupted to avoid the AoE stun.
D-03 Repair Droid: Floating adds that come in pairs each wave and heal other droids. These should be the top priority of DPS.
D-09 / D-02 Corruption Droid (D-09 Melee, D-02 Ranged): Strong adds that are the filler trash of each add wave and have no notable mechanics.
Corruptor Zero only has a few mechanics worth noting. It swaps between Melee and Ranged modes, with different abilities specific to each mode. The adds that spawn also correlate to the current mode as to whether melee adds or ranged adds spawn. It's main mechanics are as follows:
Massive Slam (Melee): An proximity based AoE attack that deals moderate damage. A small red circle telegraphs this attack.
Heavy Slash (Melee): Channeled attack on the tank that deals moderate damage.
Chest Laser (Ranged): Channeled attack on the tank that deals moderate damage.
Missile Barrage (Ranged): AoE attack that hits the entire group.
As is clear from the above, in both modes Corruptor Zero has one high damage attack, one AoE attack and a basic attack. As adds spawn, they have a Champ that uses an AoE stun and healer droids. All of this combines for the following strategy:
Tank Corruptor Zero around the corner to LoS adds. Watch the video linked above and observe how Corruptor Zero is held just around the corner for certain add waves. This causes all adds (including the healers) to come around the corner and naturally group up for convenient AoE DPS.
DPS priority is Repair Droid > Champ Droids > Strong Droids > Corruptor Zero.
When Corruptor Zero reaches around 20-25%, it will activate its Unified Beam mechanic. Corruptor Zero will leap to the far side of any "alley" in the cross and fire a huge red laser blast across those two ends of the cross. It will then leap to each remaining end of the cross and repeat the sequence. Players can avoid damage by standing against the wall or standing in an alcove sheltered from the blast. As of recent updates, the laser blast will not one shot players in Story Mode. Corruptor Zero is immune to damage during this phase.
Once the Unified Beam mechanic ends, Corruptor Zero resumes normal mechanics but no more adds will spawn.
Dread Master Brontes
Dread Master Brontes is the second Dread Master encountered when running SWTOR operations in chronological order. Brontes represents a huge step up in complexity and danger of mechanics from any other boss in Dread Fortress in all difficulties. She has several phases and transition phases, all of which have separate and distinct mechanics.
Phase 1 - Hands/Fingers (Left & Right Hands of Brontes 100% -> 40%)
The goal of this phase is to burn the two Hands (Left & Right, corresponding to their initial location) to 40%.
The Hands have a conal slam attack that should be faced away by the two tanks. After going below 80%, each Hand will burrow to the other side of the room and re-appear closer to the exit (North on the map). After going below 60%, each Hand will swap sides again on the South side of the room. Tanks should generally stick with their Hand as it swaps sides and keep it facing away.
Fingers will spawn in waves of 4 and resemble much smaller copies of the Hand tentacles. These take top priority to burn down as they will enrage after a set period of time.
The Hands disappear after reaching 40%. Before the last Hand is pushed, it is HIGHLY recommended that the entire team group up for the transition phase.
Phase 1 Transition - Lightning Fingers (Reach of Brontes pairs x4)
During this short phase, pairs of Reach of Brontes fingers will appear. The Reaches are between the Fingers and Hands in size but otherwise similar. Each pair will see a Reach spawn underneath a random player, then after a few seconds a lightning beam will connect the two Reaches and a 5m or so lightning AoE will radiate from each Reach. Walking through the lightning beam will instantly kill a player. Taking damage from the AoE lightning near the Reach will kill a player in a second or two.
The strategy to make this phase easy is for the group to stay close together. This forces the Reaches to spawn on top of each other and keeps the danger area very small. The team then just has to move as a group away from each pair of Reaches and there is little danger. If the team runs around randomly, it is highly likely some or many players may die trying to keep track of where is safe to move.
After the fourth pair of Reaches spawns and is avoided, the tank should immediately move to pick up Brontes while everyone else prepares to attack Brontes. A quick stealth rez is possible during this phase if begun while the 4th pair of Reaches is still active.
Phase 2 - Dread Master Brontes (Brontes 100% -> 50%)
Phase 2 is a fairly easy phase for most teams. The team will alternate between attacking Brontes (in the middle of the room) and clones of Kephess that spawn around the edge of the room. The phase ends when Brontes reaches 50% health.
Brontes' main mechanic in this phase is Arcing Assault, a 4s channeled conal attack that deals high damage to the target and any players nearby players. For this reason, the tank should grab Brontes and face her North (towards the red shield and where most groups typically gather pre-fight) while the rest of the team stands on the South side of the map behind her.
Corrupted Clones of Kephess will leap down during this phase. On the map, they can spawn in the middle of the South, East or West perimeter area. The Kephess clones will cast Charge that can/should be interrupted. They also have a conal Laser Blast attack that should be faced away by the off-tank or the DPS who has aggro.
Corrupted Nanites (green DoTs) will be applied in this phase and should be cleansed by healers.
Phase 2 Transition - Clockwork Lightning (adds x6)
During this phase, Brontes is shielded and immune to damage. She emits a lightning beam that begins pointing North and rotates in a clockwise direction around the room, and also emits a lightning AoE around her immediate proximity. Any players who get hit by the lightning beam or who enter melee range of Brontes will be instantly killed.
Also, 6 Unshielded D-09 Droids will spawn around the room. They form a hexagon shape around the edge of the room with 1 droid at the North and South perimeter and 2 each along the East and West perimeter. If the lightning beam hits these droids, they explode and deal high AoE damage to the entire group. One add exploding is typically survivable but two or more is likely to cause a wipe.
Depending on group DPS, the team should decide in advance whether to kill the first add or skip it. Either way, the team should kill adds in a clockwise fashion and stay ahead of the lightning beam. Ranged DPS and healers should stay as far back as possible to avoid risking the beam, while Melee DPS need to be especially careful to move quickly. Tanks should move well ahead of the group and use taunts to grab aggro on the droids to prevent them from ganging up on healers.
Phase 3 - Hands/Fingers Pt. II (Fingers x6 100% -> 0%, Left & Right Hands of Brontes 40% -> 0%)
The most difficult phase in Story and Hard / Veteran Modes, this phase requires the group to simultaneously handle the Left & Right Hands of Brontes (back again from Phase 1) along with 6 Fingers of Brontes. This phase involves heavy damage output that can stress healers and has very strict positioning requirements. For newer or inexperienced teams, I suggest using raid buffs and adrenals during this phase to help guarantee success.
The tanks should split to handle the same Hand they tanked in Phase 1. The Hands should be faced away from the middle of the room at all times. Their slam in this phase does fairly heavy damage and has a knockback effect, so try to run back each time to stay in range of healers.
The Fingers are quite challenging. They have a mechanic whereby they will enrage if (1) it takes too long to kill them once they are damaged by another player; or (2) if no one stands in melee range of them beginning a few seconds after they spawn.
The strategy for this phase in 8m encounters requires everyone to play a role. Simply put, each DPS and healer must go stand on a different Finger. Healers should not attack their Finger but simply stand in range of it to avoid it auto-enraging. DPS should kill their Finger, then kill the Healer Fingers, then help kill any other Fingers.
Brontes also targets random non-tank players with Spike of Pain. This mechanic places a small purple circle on the ground that will tick for moderate AoE damage after a few seconds. Avoid these while staying in melee range of your Finger.
After all Fingers are dead, DPS should kill the Hands in any order.
Phase 4 - Dread Master Brontes Pt. II (Brontes 50% -> 0%)
The last phase is a fairly simple soft enrage / burn phase. Brontes begins the phase shielded for a short time. The team should move together to a wall to protect as much as possible from the punt mechanic described below.
Brontes will gradually gain stacks of Manifest Supremacy that cause the team to take more and more damage from a DoT of the same name, though this damage can stack very high before becoming a huge issue for healers.
Similar to Styrak and the Terror From Beyond burn phases, Brontes will frequently swap targets and deal very high damage via Beam Volley (a quad rail shot attack from her tentacles). Tanks should coordinate taunts to hold aggro as much as possible. Brontes' primary attack is Fire and Forget, a stun/knockback that punts the targeted player a long ways.
The only other mechanic to consider is Spike of Pain, which is a much larger purple circle that functions similarly to Phase 3. Players should avoid it at all costs.
The basic strategy is for the team to keep their backs to a wall and damage Brontes while tanks attempt to maintain aggro and everyone avoids standing in purple circles. Assuming all/most of the team is alive entering this phase, it is fairly simple in Story Mode.