Heart of Rage: Tips for The Monitor
Learning the Scelos fight last night taught me something about Anthem. It’s difficulty shares some parallels to WoW. Anything below Grandmaster and the mechanics can be preeeetty much ignored (or at least not fully understood) just like in WoW’s normal dungeon or PUG Raid (LFR) difficulties.
Crank that switch up though and things start to matter.
In order to do this as a Stronghold, you need to have gone through the encounter as part of the Story so you would have seen it already. But as a bit of a recap The Monitor-ascended has three-major phases to it.
- Phase 1: The ‘ow hothothot’ phase, where the floor, the sky, the boss the boss’s weapon (and sometimes your Javelin) are lava.
- Phase 2: The ‘ow I’m melting’ phase, but this time it’s acid burn.
- Phase 3: The ‘ow-‘ ZZzzzT! Lightning phase.
Of the three I think the first phase is the roughest to get through, especially if you’re not sure what’s going on or if enough of your party doesn’t know what’s going on.
So let’s fix that.
Phase 1: Fire
If you take only one thing away with you from these tips, take this:
Shoot the balls of fire on the ground.
The first time I encountered this mechanic, I assumed it was intended that we find a safe spot on the ground and run to to it. That’s a trick, a dirty- dirty- trick.
By the time they’re ready to go critical and explode, they’ll be covering about 95% of the arena floor. You can fly above and treat the floor like lava during this phase, but this is risky business if you get knocked out of the air before they’re finished turning everything at ground level to bacon.
There is a secondary bonus to destroying the Meteors before they can detonate as well. Destroying the meteors gives you a crazy amount of ultimate charge. Destroying even a couple each round of meteors will see you being able to get several Ultimates off before it pushes into Phase 2.
The expanding rings around each meteor are safe to be in before they explode, you can run right in close as you’re destroying one to make sure you don’t accidentally get hit by an explosion from another nearby meteor.
There are no adds to worry about in this phase either, so you can position yourselves as you see fit around the room. I’d suggest not stacking too tightly due to the leap attacks and fire orbs, but if you see someone who is struggling with clearing a patch of safety around them in the Meteor phase, it’d be better to hang out nearby and help them than to let them take that damage repeatedly. It’s intense.
Three other things to pay attention to in this phase though are:
- Pay attention to the boss even while shooting the meteors. Use your abilities to get the meteors down quickly so that you don’t get blindsided by a leap attack. If The Monitor kneels down and is facing your general direction, jump, dash to the side and jump again. Your aim is as much horizontal distance as possible. If you’re a Colossus, err… die I guess? I suppose you could try out your shield. That might work. ;)1
- If the fiery orb is floating above the ground — it’s a trap! You can’t destroy those ones, they just simply explode. Mechanically they’re very similar to the stationary fire-orb explosions that Titans do. Just back away from these and don’t let them explode on you.
- At the midpoint of The Monitor’s second pip of health, watch out. You’ll also hear a voice-queue from your Freelancer, ‘Chase him down!’ to signal this is about to happen. You’ll get a wave of Meteors with a lot more health. You probably cannot kill these fast enough alone to avoid them detonating. If you’re nearby allies (or are on voice and can co-ordinate coming together as you near this point in his health) you might be able to focus fire one and carve yourself out a safe spot. If not, every person for themselves! Fly up immediately and aim for an outer edge of the arena. You should be able to find a safe spot to land and wait out the detonation, possibly ressing the less fortunate after it goes off. ;)
#3 signals the end of this phase — you’ll have time to regroup before flying to the next arena if needed and bring up your fallen if needed.
Phase 2: Acid
After all that for Phase 1, Phase 2 and Acid will probably feel like a cakewalk.
The main new addition here is Mordant Elementals who will be a near constant companion during this phase. Like any other elemental you’re likely to encounter in Anthem, they would love dearly to come up to you and give you a hug.
It’s just a shame that their hugs come in the form of an acidic shower.
Work on killing these rather than letting them build up, but you can achieve that simply through pretending to want a hug and walking up to them — to jump and dash away right after if you’re one of the more agile Javelins.
Meanwhile, The Monitor won’t be jumping around as much any more and slamming halberds through your party, but he will Teleport around the place. You’re generally most safe to stay positioned on the platforms in the room, although despite appearances the liquid at ground level will not innately damage you.
As well as offering splatter-hugs, Mordant Elementals who you gain sufficient distance from will instead spit acid at you. Yes, rather unpleasant.
The Monitor will do this too, but it will come in quite a wide torrent. For this reason it’s best to keep some distance from him. If he teleports nearby your platform, relocate to another.
On top of this, The Monitor will occasionally bring back his explosive orb trick — of course, this time attuned to Acid.
Once The Monitor is down 3 pips of health (50%), this phase will be over and he will teleport away again. Know that the elementals will not stop spawning. You should just leave as soon as the next waypoint marker appears on screen; not keep fighting the elementals in the room like I did for a while. ;)
Phase 3: Lightning
The final phase, and the second most difficult in my opinion.
The main new mechanic here to watch for is domes of exploding electric energy, which then course a wave across the entire arena floor. These can come from any direction and often overlap each other.
It does damage at ground level, so staying above it — either by hovering as much as possible, standing on the various pieces of machinery in the area, or timing your jumps to pass it by harmlessly beneath you is up to you. Learn the sound it makes though as the wave starts, as it may save your life.
Taking a single wave probably isn’t going to kill you, but taking one followed by a sequence of homing electro balls might.
Now, YMMV on this — but I found with my latency2 I had to jump a bit before what was visually suggested to me. In the video I’ll include below, you’ll see a few instances where I jumped over and still took the damage, and a few more where it appears I landed ON the effect and got by unscathed.
As you approach the final 1.5 pips of health, he will go berserk — crouched in the centre sending continual shock waves out. It is my belief that the orbs of light in the barriers in the arena are meant to protect you from the wave attacks.
But I found this to be somewhat unreliable. Watching the video back though, here’s what I think the situation is — I’ll be testing this further on future runs, but also happy to hear from any of you on it:
- The barrier cannot protect you from the initial explosion that sources the energy waves,
- The barrier also cannot protect you from the homing lightning balls.
- But it seems that the barrier can protect you from just the waves of energy. I think when I take damage from a wave, I have juuuust inched my way out the back end of the barrier and therefore lost it’s protection.
If this is true, it might be an easier means of avoiding damage from that mechanic, but it isn’t infallible so keeping mobile except in times of dire need might work just as well and is probaaaably what I’ll continue to do.
Shortly after he goes berserk, he will fade out of existance. (No grand strider entrance this time.)
Well done, you’ve beat it! :D
If you want to see this in video form, you may. But note it is completely unedited and not narrated. On the plus side, that means the bloopers are also intact. ;)
I benny hill an elemental around a platform for a while in, launch a grenade at a different unsuspecting platform and fire a devastator round into an equally unsuspecting wall. Fun times.
Nonetheless, the attempt was successful and it might help in visualising some of what I’ve talked about.