SWTOR Gate Commander Draxus Dread Fortress operation guide

A guide to defeating Gate Commander Draxus in Dread Fortress, one of the two new operations introduced with Patch 2.4. Draxus is the second boss players will encounter in this operation after going through a small puzzle.

Navigation

Puzzle


Map

This map may seem very confusing at first but I have divided it into 3 sections below and walk you through each section. Once you have done this once you can just use this map for reference next time.

Note: On storymode, the crystals only need to be clicked once as they are destroyed and permanently activated after you have interacted with them. This makes the puzzle extremely trivial since one player can activate a number of crystals at once. swtor-gate-commander-draxus-puzzle-map

Split your raid into 2 teams. We do this setup, which may or may not work for you. Note that 1234 and 5678 are exactly mirrors of each other.

Team One 1 Tank
  2 Healer
  3 DPS
  4 DPS
Team Two 5 Healer
  6 DPS
  7 Tank
  8 DPS

Section 1

swtor-gate-commander-draxus-puzzle-dread-fortress-operation-guide-2

  • Players 1256 click their crystals all at the same time (that is 2 purple crystals, 1 blue crystal and 1 green crystal). This will open the gates on both sides for players 3478 to pass through. (3 &4 go through one gate, 7 &8 go through the other gate).

swtor-gate-commander-draxus-puzzle-dread-fortress-operation-guide

  • Once players 3478 clear through their mobs, they will be able to click on the two crystals on either side. Once 3478 have clicked the crystals at the same time, the big middle south gate will open, allowing players 1256 to pass through. You will see this message on your screen: The South Gate Has been Opened.

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  • Behind the South Gate is an elite (Qor’Thest the Guardian with ~180k HP). Each person that pass through the gate will display a red message on your screen (Player has passed through the South Gate). Behind the elite is a group of four strongs with lots of AoE attacks so 2 healers here will help a lot. After killing the strongs, wait for the east and west inner gates to be opened by players 3478.

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Section 2

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  • Once players 1256 passed through the south gate, players 3478 can move up to the double gates. The next part isn’t synchronized on two sides so all four players do not need to click at the same time. Players 37 will need to click on the crystal on the outside of the double gates, allowing players 48 to pass through the first gate. Players 48 will need to click on the crystal between the double gates, allowing players 37 to move beyond the double gates. Players 37 clicking will also open up the West Inner Gate and East Inner gate respectively. (Displayed on screen as West Inner Gate has been opened and East Inner Gate has been opened).

swtor-gate-commander-draxus-puzzle-dread-fortress-operation-guide-6

  • There is a shortcut here, that may or may not work on live. Players 48 trapped inside the double gates can click on their crystal while standing right next to the outer gate. Since their crystal open the outer gate as well, they can slip through the outer gate before the gate has a chance to shut. If this shortcut works, player 48 can head to west and east gate access tunnel respectively and wait for them to be opened. Only use this shortcut after you know players 1256 have pass through the West and East Inner gates.

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  • Once the West and East Inner Gates have being opened, players 1256 will need to split again and go through their gates (12 go through West Inner Gate, 56 go through East Inner Gate). They will need to turn a corner and find two crystals. Before clicking them, wait for players 3/7 to arrive at their crystals (they are on a different floor). All three players (123 on west side, 567 on east side) will need to click at the same time to open up West and East Gate respectively. (Displayed on screen as Access to the West Gate has been opened/East Gate has been opened).

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Section 3

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  • If players 48 used their shortcuts, they can now pass through the Access to West/East access tunnel (displayed on screen as Player has passed through the West/East Gate Access Tunnel) and players 37 can meet them up. All four players need to click the four crystals by two big gates at the same time and they will see a message The Gatehouse has been cleared.

swtor-gate-commander-draxus-puzzle-dread-fortress-operation-guide-11

  • If the shortcut is not functional or not used, then Player 7 will need to come to the West gate access tunnel (make sure players 123 are still there holding it open), pass through it and then click on the crystal right outside the western double gates to bail player 4 out. Player 4 will then need to return the favor by doing the same for player 8 (player 7 will need to go back and hold the East gate access tunnel with players 56).

Storymode Gate Commander Draxus


Loot: Unassembled Arkanian Boots, 1 random piece of Black Market gear (no set bonus), 1x Exotic Element Equalizer, 4 Elite Commendations.

HP: 523k (8m)

Recommended gear: Artifact gear or above. You may want to have some Black Market/Arkanian gear just to be safe.

October 15 changes

  • Draxus’s Corrosive Grenade DoT can now be cleansed by any class
  • Guardian of Fortress DoTs no longer tick as hard.

Differences from hardmode

  • Draxus’s Corrosive Grenade only hit one target instead of AoE in hardmode.
  • Draxus does not do random aggro drop and is not immune to damage for the first 30 seconds of wave 9 (this means the raid can attack Draxus right away in wave 9).
  • Add waves are identical but Dismantlers do not throw out the debuff that increase their target’s damage intake by 1000% and Guardian of the Fortress’s Slam attacks can be interrupted (Dismantlers are still immune to interrupts).

Hardmode Gate Commander Draxus


October 15 changes

  • Draxus’s Corrosive Grenade DoT can now be cleansed by any class

Video (new video recorded on live)

HP: 726 k (8m)

Loot: Unassembled Dread Forged Helm (rating 178), 1 random piece of Oriconian gear (rating 178, no set bonus), 1x Exotic Element Equalizer, 6 Ultimate Commendations, 8 Elite Commendations.

Draxus

Draxus can be damaged usually only 20% every time before he flies off. When he flies off, he will spawn waves of adds that will swarm your raid. The key to this fight is proper add management as Draxus himself is a pushover. He does have a conal attack (Suppressive Fire)  so you will need to face him away from the raid.

  • He will also throw Corrosive Grenades at the raid that can be cleansed (by any class) and seems to lose aggro randomly to a DPS/healer when he throws out Corrosive Grenade so tanks need to keep an eye and watch out when that happens. The Corrosive grenade is an AoE so spread out or you will have half of the raid with the DoT.
  • At the 20% phase, he seems to be immune damage for a few seconds right after landing so use that time to clean up the Corruptor/Despoiler adds (while ignoring the Guardian adds) before finishing him off.

swtor-gate-commander-draxus-puzzle-dread-fortress-operation-guide-19

            

The fight follow this sequence, in one of the waves (wave 5) Draxus can be damaged by 40% HP, spawning with only 20% HP on wave 9.

  • Draxus –> Wave 1 &2 –> Draxus & Wave 3 –> Wave 4 –> Draxus & wave 5–>Wave 6, 7 &8 –> Draxus & Wave 9

Tip: If you are running low on HP/resources, you can hold one of the adds alive to recover. The next add wave won’t spawn until all the adds from the previous waves are killed.

Add Waves

This picture will help you with directions.

swtor-gate-commander-draxus-puzzle-dread-fortress-operation-guide-18

Wave West East South Center
0       Draxus
1 Subteroths Subteroths Subteroths  
2 3x Dispatcher 1x Dispatcher
2x Subteroths
   
3 2x Dispatcher
1x Corruptor
2x Dispatcher
1x Corruptor
  Draxus
4 1x Dismantler 1x Dismantler 2x Subteroths  
5 2x Dispatcher
1x Bulwark
2x Dispatcher
1x Bulwark
2x Corruptor
1x Bulwark
Draxus
6 1x Dismantler 1x Dismantler 1x Dispatcher
1x Corruptor
1x Bulwark
1x Despoiler
 
7 1x Guardian 1x Guardian 2x Subteroths  
8 2x Corruptor
1x Bulwark
2x Corruptor
1x Bulwark
1x Despoiler  
9 1x Guardian 1x Guardian 2x Dispatcher
1x Corruptor
Draxus

Handling the Add waves

Note that some part of it is largely arbitrary. It is what my raid group does which may or may not work for your raid group (Idea taken from reader Josh)

  • Wave 1: Take care of Subteroth adds, avoid their exploding AoE
  • Wave 2: One tank and melee DPS go west while rest of the DPS focus on east. Once east is cleared finish up west.
  • Wave 3: We split the raid, interrupt and kill Corruptors first. One of the tanks go grab Draxus. Leave all but 1 Dispatcher alive and then damage the boss.
  • Wave 4: Kill Dismantlers ASAP, if you see Dismantlers pushing the other tank off, quickly taunt it so it doesn’t leap and kill the tank.
  • Wave 5: One of the tanks grab Draxus, the other go on east side and grab the adds. One DPS engage the adds on the west and remaining DPS all go to south. Priority is interrupting and killing the two Corruptors on south side.You can ignore Bulwark’s shield by going inside them to DPS. Kill all but Bulwarks and then DPS Draxus down.
  • Wave 6: DPS go south to interrupt and kill the Corruptor/Despoilers and then burn down the Dismantlers. Finish Dispatch and Bulwark after the Dismantlers are dead.
  • Wave 7: Tanks grab Guardians and kill them first before dealing with the Subteroths.
  • Wave 8: Kite the Despoiler from south to either east or west side. Split your raid to interrupt and kill the 2x corruptors on each side.
  • Wave 9: Kill the Dispatchers and Corruptors first since Draxus is immune to damage for the first 30 seconds. You may have time to kill one of the Guardians as well. Once Draxus is vulnerable, kill him and then finish off the Guardian after.

Adds

  • Subteroths: These guys explode when killed so you will want to kite them away from the raid for the last few % before killing them.

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  • Dread Guard Dispatcher: Seems to have a random aggro table, casts Force Lightning nonstop. Mostly harmless compared to other adds.
  • Dread Guard Corruptor: Casts Mass Affliction (force attack) on the entire raid, can be cleansed by sorc/sage healers but ticks for ~ 1400 damage every second. You will want to interrupt them ASAP. Cast time is 8 seconds so that is plenty of time to interrupt them.

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  • Dread Guard Dismantler: This add will one shot raid members so you must be very alert and taunt him immediately when you see him pushes someone. He has a one second cast called Strong Swipe which cannot be interrupted. This is a huge knockback on the target player with a debuff that increase their damage taken from the Dismantler by something like 1000%. If the Dismantler follow with a leap attack (Obliterate), it will deals over 130k damage to the player with the debuff.

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  • Dread Guard Bulwark: Casts a shield which reflects all attacks coming from outside the shield. You can no longer interrupt the shield so you will need to run into the shield and continue to DPS as normal.

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  • Dread Guard Despoiler: You will only see this add spawning in wave 6 and 8 but he heals other adds and the boss so should be interrupted and killed quick.
  • Guardian of the Fortress: Has a massive AoE atttack called Slam with a purple telegraphed area. Cast time is 2.5 seconds so you have time to run into him and avoid the AoE. Also seems to throw out a green dot called Affliction to two random raid members that cannot be cleansed and has no cast time (~deals around 3-4k damage per tick, don’t confuse this with Mass Affliction from the corruptors). Lastly, their Ravage attack will stun you but you can break out with a stun breaker.

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  • idnewton

    What does it drop?

    • cookster

      on the pts it only dropped credits

  • Havran

    Puzzle – shortcut in section 2: Assassin’s Phase Walk might work to get back through the first gate. Did anyone try?

  • Solace1245

    will there be a new tier for drops in SM dulfy or is it 72′s for SM runs ?

    • http://dulfy.net/ Dulfy

      Arkanian/Underworld mix.

      • Solace1245

        Thank you Dulfy, YOU ROCK !

  • Anthony Phillip Cuchra

    Wait you said 1234 and 5678 are mirrors of themselves? is that in reference to something in the op or the group comp cause the table does not reflect mirrored groups

    • http://dulfy.net/ Dulfy

      Mirror as in they click the same thing on either side.

  • Earnest Bunbury

    can’t get the adds, we just take massive damage.

  • Debs

    During the first few waves does anyone notice the boss randomly dropping aggro to target a random dps or healer..?

    • Kalzeth

      yeah we saw that

    • Macewindy

      Yes, I noticed it too. However …. It didnt showed up in my combatlogs as random threatloss. Not sure whats going on tbh.

    • iceberg265

      Yes, very annoying.

  • TimAlien

    “Dread Guard Dismantler: This add will one shot raid members so you must interrupt and kill him ASAP. He has a one second cast called Strong Swipe which must be interrupted.”

    We tried to interrupt them many times but failed. They got immunity for it.

    So as you said, if we are lucky, we can taunt Dismantler right before Obliterate. That’s what we did but it was very difficult and we wiped many times.

    • http://dulfy.net/ Dulfy

      Is a new change on the live version from PTS. You just have to taunt him before he can obliterate. There is a small delay between when he pushes his target and when he jumps to the target. Tanks must utilize this delay to taunt him back. The push put a debuff that increase damage from dismantler by 1000% so that is why you get one shotted.

      • iceberg265

        He doesn’t actually jump, he kinda jogs over. So you have a few seconds to either kill him or taunt it.

      • TimAlien

        Thanks a lot for your reply. Finally we manage to kill this boss on HM + next 2.

  • Guest

    or for the dismantler… if you can just face your back to the wall so he cant push you far enough. He only jumps if there is 10 meters or more the distance.

  • Ancaglon

    We tried this on 16-man story mode last night without having read spoilers, but this particular fight seemed FAR FAR harder than anything else we came across in this Operation (EDIT: even Brontes was a far easier fight than this one once we got people to stop standing between electric tentacles) — it seems rather too hard for most Story Mode groups, unless we were missing something major.

    • Adam Romigh

      The suggested gear rating is 156, so artifact 28 mods. There are probably some top groups out there that could pull it off, but I think most average groups will need more gear than that. I’m thinking this didn’t get the nerfing that was intended on the way to the live servers.

  • Macewindy

    Ehm, I wouldnt call commander Draxon a pushover.
    At least he isnt on 16 man SM. My fully decked 72 VG-tank was getting hit with 12k ranged attack each 2 seconds (3x4k). 8 man HM seemed a bit lower. We only had time for 1 try so the sample rate isnt high. on HM his ranged attack did 3×3,5k on me.

  • Stars

    The ultimate pug killer since most of the pug dont know how to interrupt xD. My guild managed to get it down by 2 dps ignoring the 2 guardians on wave 9 and focusing on the boss, 2 dps on the group of adds in the back. As a sent watchman I sure use my interrupt button a lot today.

  • yindaka

    So when we tried this boss yesterday on sm though, in wave 9 we took him down to 20% and then he flew off again. Is that supposed to happen?

  • Emzati

    i noticed the Bulwarks are now immune to interrupts and any ranged attacks are useless. Anyone else see this or have a work around for it?

    • Havok

      You have to be under their shield to do damage to them. What we did was move the whole group back, left and then right, leaving one add up and dpsing the boss.

      • Emzati

        Personally I was 0.00 M on them and all my aimed shots, charged bursts, etc were just absorbed.

    • Sin

      You also need to be on the same Z-axis as the Bulwarks, so positioning is critical. The top steps and the darker area around the emblem in the middle of the room are very slightly elevated from the surrounding floor and will result in immunity to your attacks if you’re standing on them. It will look like you’re at the same level, but there’s a slight variation and it’s enough to throw you off the Z-axis for the Bulwarks.

      The top steps are a different color than the surrounding floor and the “emblem” area is darker stonework than the floor around it if you need visual cues on what to avoid.

  • Vic

    So a few things our ops noticed last night in Hardmode and I’d like some input if anyone else had these issues with them. We went in blind (not reading strat) and so yeah, first few wipes was expected. My role was the off-tank (jug spec) and all of us are nearly (98%) full 72 with some 75 here and there.

    The Dismantlers is what got us at first. We came here to read up we knew we couldn’t interrupt the swipe. So we read to keep your back against the wall. I did that. The guy still obliterated me and was about 1 meter in front of me. So the back against the wall thing didn’t work. We just either timed the taunts (had dps ‘tank’ him) so we finally got over that hurdle.

    But the thing that got us, is we got to wave 9 with the final mob and we tried to burn the boss down, but he was immune. We had to kill the adds before we could even touch the boss. Because of that, we wiped (most dps went to boss, coordination was lost a few seconds after realizing we couldn’t hit him, etc.)

    So my question is this. Did any other ops experience what we did? Back against the wall for Dismantlers not working and Boss being Immune on wave 9 until all add’s are dead?

    • http://dulfy.net/ Dulfy

      I know for wave 9 we were able to kill the boss before touching the adds last night. We only killed the corruptor and despoiler before killing the boss and left the 2 guardians up.

      • iceberg265

        Thats what we did as well. He is shielded for like 15seconds anyways so you have plenty of time to take out the Corruptor and avoid his Mass Affliction.

        • Vic

          Ah, so he was shielded during the first part of phase 9 eh? That explains it. So kill south group first, off-tank (myself) handle the guardians while they burn the boss after shield goes down.

          Thanks, that explains and helps a lot.

    • iceberg265

      You don’t want your back to the wall, you WANT him to punt you away so that your team has time to either burn him down or taunt him off you.

      • Vic

        We stopped doing the ‘back against the wall’ because it wasn’t working. I only state that here because I read somewhere that if you’re close enough, he won’t jump and obliterate. Maybe I just misread. Thanks for insight, we figured this out the hard way ;).

  • Holmes

    Hi Dulfy thanks for the guide. Btw how much force crit do you recommand for sorcerer heal ?

  • Ryakiri

    Our guild have hit a wall against this boss in SM. We get the boss down to 76-80% in the initial pull, then get him to 55%-60% the second time he is out (Wave 3 & Draxus), then we got him down to about 23%-30% the third time he comes out (Wave 6 & Draxus). This is where things get interesting. The Guardians come out (Wave 7), and we kill the guardians. Then Wave 8 comes down, but within seconds the boss comes down during Wave 8 and the boss is enraged every time. We have tried several different tactics and we can’t figure out what’s going on. Every time during Wave 8 the boss comes down enraged. Any thoughts?

    • TimAlien

      There is no chance to kill the boss if he enrages at stage 8. It is just you guys don’t have enough dps or you wait too long for healing up before next wave.
      Just for info, we killed it in HM with 72 gear. It took about 30 wipes.

      • Ryakiri

        Yes I was wondering if we are just short on DPS or if there is a bug in SM. Our guild was actually contemplating running in HM. Our whole OPS group was at least full Black Market gear and about half the raid were close to full Verpine and full augments. I should not that it did take a while to get the Guardians down (wave 7). We cleaned out all the other adds with ease.

        We tried both clearing the adds first then hitting the boss as well as hitting the boss and clearing adds after he flies off.

        • McKenna

          Probably a long shot that you’ll see this given that you posted 19 days ago, but out of curiosity, did you figure out a way past it? My guild is running into the same problem on SM. We’ve got the mechanics of the fight down pretty well, but we keep hitting the enrage timer. We’re almost entirely in Black Market/Arkanian with a liberal amount of Verpine as well, so I doubt it’s a gear issue considering the rating for SM is 156 (?!). The only thing I can think is that we’re just taking too long to burn down the Bulwarks and a few of the other adds at the end of each wave.

  • Guest

    It drops Unassembled Dread Forged Headgear on HM

  • Josh

    What worked for us…

    Draxus, all DPS on boss

    Wave 1: AoE Subteroths to low health, then kill one at a
    time with melee DPS out of the way

    Wave 2: DPS to West and kill Dispatchers, Tanks to East to
    get Dispatcher and Subteroths, DPS come back to assist when done with west

    Wave 3 + Draxus: MT on Draxus, Split DPS and off tank to
    East and West to interrupt and kill corruptors, get dispatchers, leave 1
    dispatcher alive, DPS boss down until he goes away, finish last dispatcher.

    Wave 4: Each tank gets a Dismantler, kill dismantler, get
    Subteroths last.

    Wave 5 + Draxus: OT and 1 DPS to south on their own
    corrupter to interrupt and kill, all DPS and MT on Draxus until he goes away,
    DPS moves to West to kill dispatchers, then to east, finish up bulwarks last

    Wave 6: 1 DPS to south to interrupt and kill corrupter,
    Tanks each grab a Dismantler, DPS get despoiler down then dismantlers, once
    down, go south and finish up dispatcher and bulwark

    Wave 7: Each tank grabs guardian, DPS focus one down at a
    time, get Suberoths last.

    Wave 8: 1 DPS and 1 Tank each to East and West to interrupt
    & kill Corruptors, other 2 DPS kill despoiler, finish up bulwarks, this is
    low damage wave, healers use this chance to get everyone topped off.

    Wave 9 + Draxus: Each Tank on Guardian from East and West, 1
    DPS at south for corrupter, other 3 DPS kill Draxus (Should only take about 10
    seconds) Finish up Dispatchers and Finish up guardians one at a time.

  • Josh

    There is currently a bug with the Guardians currently. Their Affliction ticks for…

    3,536 in 16M Story
    3,598 in 8m Hard
    6,413 in 8m Story

    So for everyone having trouble in story…try it in hard mode, it’s probably easier lol.

    • Ryakiri

      Yes, we noticed that the affliction was ticking quite hard (5.5k-6K) in 8m Story. We had healer in full Verpine with some Oricon piece who was having hard time keeping up.

    • PeterGun

      Yup, it sure is a bug. And also if a group member is unlucky, they can get 2 of the DoT’s.

  • ChaoticNewt

    Easier way to do the puzzle: instead of letting someone get trapped, have 4 and 8 simply open the gate from the outside and let the other person through. then the 3 people on each side can open their respective gates and let 4 and 8 through via the access tunnels.

  • CommanderKeeva

    I’d just like to put it out there that you can no longer go straight to the boss in wave 9 because he has an immunity debuff, which I think lasts 25 seconds. That’s plenty of time to clear up the southern adds and even get one of the Guardians down to 50% HP. Then our tank called, when the debuff wore off on Draxus and the DPS swarmed him.
    Also, we discovered that using Force Barrier as a Sage to withstand Obliterate or the Guardians’ purple AoE breaks the fight. Our Sages used it to withstand fatal damage, the adds disappeared and fight reset.

    • http://dulfy.net/ Dulfy

      Thanks, I already mentioned the change to Draxus in wave 9 but that bug is kinda lame :(

      At the 20% phase, he seems to be immune damage for a few seconds right after landing so use that time to clean up the Corruptor/Despoiler adds (while ignoring the Guardian adds) before finishing him off.

  • Marita

    Does anyone know if the DoT bug for 8m SM has been resolved? (DoT in 8m SM is hitting for twice the damage as in 8m HM)

    • http://dulfy.net/ Dulfy

      This fix should be in patch 2.4.1, so probably next tuesday :)

  • Siha

    For the aggro drop: this only seems to take place in HM, as I tanked him without any aggro loss in SM. There’s a workaround for this. At least I’ve been told by some other HM tanks that if you taunt Draxus right before he tosses the corrosive grenade you won’t lose aggro. Haven’t tried it myself yet.

    • Siha

      Confirmed. If the Tank taunts right after the supressive fire cast, before Draxus throws out the grenade, Tank won’t loose aggro.

  • Raindancer

    It says that he throws one corrosive grenade in sm and two in hm. In hm, they are aoes, so it’s not just two people that get it. If you are stacked, I have seen as many as five people with grenade dot. That’s a bit of a pain to cleanse. So when the boss is on the field, you probably want to spread out and only re-clump for heals after he disappears.

    Also, another way to deal with the aggro drop- have the tanks tank swap when he drops aggro. I personally thought it was weird but all the times we have downed him, that’s what our tanks were doing. It also helps with damage from Draxus since they can use cds on him to mitigate a bit more. Funky, but it seems to work for us, if the aggro thing is causing you issues.

    • http://dulfy.net/ Dulfy

      I will add that in, ty :)

  • Hampus Jensen

    Thanks for the guides, awesome as usual.
    One thing though, the guides are much easier when the guide is for storymode with hardmode differences listed rather than the other way around as with this new format.

    • http://dulfy.net/ Dulfy

      For this operation we did hardmode first and then storymode so it was written like this. For the next tier of operations I will try to do it the other way around though :D

      • Hampus Jensen

        Yea, I imagined that was exactly what you did. You obviously have the gear to go straight to the harder difficulties :D

        Just wanted to point out it confused the formatting of the guides a bit :)

  • Marita

    Anyone know what the enrage timer is for Gate Commander Draxus? Every single time we got to Wave 9 on our raid last night, he was enraged. It didn’t seem like we were lagging on DPS since we never actually stopped for heals, but it would be nice to know the timeframe we’re aiming for.

    • itsrambo

      It can be a tight timer, I don’t recall but I believe it’s 6-6:30. Make sure you are ignoring the Guardians in the final phase and nuking the boss. Grouping the subteroths at the start for mass aoe until they’re very low can also save some good time.

  • Moe

    Sentinels/Maros can grab the Dismantlers and use Force Camouflage to interrupt the Strong Swipe cast.

  • Knutt

    Your chart for the add waves is missing Draxus in wave 3.

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