A guide to Nightmare Draxus, the second boss of Nightmare Dread Fortress released with SWTOR game update 2.7. Class specific sections written by Carl & Vindrik. Additional details supplied by Theho <Himmelhunde> @ T3-M4
Updated to Live release: Not that much difference from the PTS, if you killed it on PTS then you should have no problem killing it on live.
HP: 1.39 million
Enrage: 7 minutes 45 seconds
Each phase automatically arrives after 55 seconds if you take too long. You have up to 7min 20sec for waves 1 through 8 (8 * 55 sec), and at least 25 seconds remaining for waves 0 and 9 before the boss goes enrage.
Therefore, you cannot use the full 55 seconds of each wave or you won’t have enough time for the final wave. You will need to use the full 55 seconds of waves 3, 5 and 6 to bring the boss down to 60%/30% (unless you have very high DPS), but you can hurry up in the other phases so you have enough time to kill the boss at the end before he goes enrage.
This boss has a hard enrage; as soon as he enrages, he will keep spamming "Enraged Missile Barrage" which kills the whole group within seconds.
Using 5 DPS and 1 tank: If you are lacking DPS, you can try doing this boss with just one tank and five dps, but then one dps must be able to taunt for the Dismantlers and Guardians. Wait with Bloodthirst/Inspiration until most of the adds from wave 5 are dead and activate it when you are burning the boss since the boss should die during wave 5.
Loot: 1 random Dread Touched item (rating 186), 1 Unassembled Dread Master Headgear, chance for Deepcrest Subteroth (pet)
Key differences from Hardmode
- Subteroths now apply a debuff when exploding that cause players hit by it to take 200% more damage. Tanks cannot survive more than 2-3 of these explosions. Juggernaut/Assassins tanks and their Republic equivalent have special abilities that allow them to survive this such as Saber Reflect and Force Shroud.
- Interrupting Corruptors now cause you to take a debuff called Backlash, preventing you from interrupting them again (you die instantly if you try to interrupt again). Therefore an interrupt rotation needs to be planned out before the fight starts so everyone knows the rotation and no interrupts gets missed.
- Bulwarks now apply a debuff to anyone under their shields that prevent them from getting healed (healers cannot heal them even if they are under the same shield) Players need to pay attention to their HP and run out of their shields for heals before their HP gets too low. Sorc/sage bubbles still work if casted outside the shield and can absorb some damage.
- Guardian of Fortress Slam (i.e. purple attacks) deals huge amount of damage and likely one shot any non-tanks inside it.
- Draxus immune to damage in the final phrase until all the adds are killed.
Healer PoV with some explanations (Live server kill)
DPS POV (raid group using 5 DPS 1 tank strat) (Live server kill) – May use a different strat than what is described below since this is a different raid group within Hatred.
Detailed Mechanics per mob type (written by Theho)
- Ranged attack: every 1.5 seconds, single damage on the tank
- Suppresive Fire (1.5 second channel): frontal cleave, marked by red telegraph on the ground. Tank needs to turn boss out of group so that only he takes damage.
- Corrosive Grenade (15 sec cooldown): thrown at a random player; this player and all players within 5 meters will receive a debuff for 21 seconds. This debuff ticks every three seconds, so you have three seconds to cleanse it before it deals the first damage. Together with the damage from the dispatchers, this can kill a DPS if you are unlucky. Unless your DPS can self-cleanse, they should try to spread out as much as possible so that only one or two players will receive this debuff. On the one hand, DPS need to be under the Bulwark shield to deal damage, on the other hand, they can’t be healed there and healers can only cleanse once every 4.5 seconds. You can risk always stacking together but you may get bad RNG where each dps gets a grenade.
- Grapple (10 sec cooldown): Will pull in a random player toward the boss. Even if that player is not in line-of-sight, he can still be pulled against a wall. This attack is also purely dependent on RNG. In the worst case, the boss will pull in a DPS who can then not kill the adds fast enough, leading to a wipe. Your DPS should hit Hunker Down and Hold the Line during wave 5 so that they won’t get pulled in.
- When they explode, everyone within 7 meters from the Subteroth will gain the 200% incoming damage increase stacking debuff and take damage. See Wave 1 on Mechanics explained per wave for tactics to deal with this.
- Casts Mass Affliction for 8 seconds and can be interrupted.
- In nightmare mode, Mass Affliction can no longer be cleansed and deals more damage if it gets through. Note: Even when you Force Charge/Leap to a Corruptor while he is not casting Mass Affliction, this still counts as an interrupt and you will get the Backlash debuff. Do not ever leap/charge to a Corruptor as you will screw up the interrupt rotation and will cause Corruptors to simply recast their Mass Affliction.
- There are always two dismantlers, one from the west side and one from the east. The east Dismantler has blue lightsabers while the west Dismantler has red ligthsabers. Both dismantlers deal the same amount of damage from their Melee Attack, but when the cast their Strong Swipe, the blue Dismantler deals three times as much damage (~20k) than the red Dismantler. Therefore, it is recommended to first focus the blue Dismantler, and make sure that the blue Dismantler gets aggroed by a DPS with full health, while the red Dismantler can be taken by a healer or light armor class.
- Assassin/Shadow tanks can use Force Shroud/Resilience to resist the swipe.
- In order to deal damage to an add shielded by a Bulwark, you need to stand within 4 meters from it. Also, when you are within 4 meters from the Bulwark, you will receive the debuff so you can’t get healed by healers (regardless if the healer is inside the shield or outside it). In order to deal AoE damage on all three adds, you need to stand close to the Bulwark. However, when you are low on life and require healing, you can still stand next to an add on the side and still deal damage.
- Bulwarks will enrage if they finish their shield channel before they are killed. In this mode they will randomly attack raid members for ~15k damage.
|2||3x Dispatcher||1x Dispatcher
|4||1x Dismantler||1x Dismantler||2x Subteroths|
|6||1x Dismantler||1x Dismantler||1x Dispatcher
|7||1x Guardian||1x Guardian||2x Subteroths|
|9||1x Guardian||1x Guardian||2x Dispatcher
- Wave 1: Jugg/Sin tanks grab all in the middle and AoE, pop Saber Reflect/Force Shroud. Kite stragglers or repeat.
- Wave 2: Nothing special
- Wave 3: 2x DPS each side, interrupt rotation on Corruptors
- Wave 4: DPS get dismantler first, tank taunt it off after Swipe
- Wave 5: Healers do first round of interrupt on Corruptors and then 2 DPS do the second round, kill south group ASAP.
- Wave 6: Healers get dismantler first, DPS kill the Despoiler and Corruptor first with an interrupt rotation on Corruptor.
- Wave 7: Kill Guardians first, don’t let their Slam hit you.
- Wave 8: Healer/tank on each side getting first round of interrupt. One side will have 2x DPS while the other has 1 DPS with the other dealing with Despoiler from south. One Mass Affliction will get through with second round of interrupts, stack in the middle for AoE heals and then finish Corruptors off.
- Wave 3 – Interrupt rotation on the 1x Corruptor add on each side
- Wave 5 – Interrupt rotation on the 2x Corruptor from the south side.
- Wave 6 – Interrupt rotation on the 1x Corruptor from the south side.
- Wave 8 – Interrupt rotation on the 2x Corruptor on each side.
- Wave 9 – Interrupt rotation on the 1x Corruptor from the south side.
- Gained a new ability in nightmare mode where he can grapple players to him. Not a huge deal but make sure to run away so you don’t eat his conal attacks.
- Also be sure to spread out to minimize the amount of players getting Corrosive Grenade DoT (Cleanseable).
- Draxus disappears at 90, 60, 30% but this % can sometime fluctuate depending on how much DPS you can dish out.
- Each wave spawns about 55 seconds about the last wave or when the last mob of the previous wave is killed, whichever is shorter. You can hold DPS on the last mob of a wave to extend some timer for your timers but the next wave will trigger regardless after 55 seconds.
Wave 1 (Subteroths)
Subteroths now apply a debuff when they explode that increase the damage the player takes from the next explosion by 200%. This buff also stacks, so you can have something like 400-600% damage received increased if more 2-3 of these debuffs sticks on you.
This basically means that normal players cannot take more 1-2 explosions while tanks can take a maximum of 2-3 explosions. To combat this, we have Juggernaut/Assassin tanks (and their Republic equivalent) to gather all the subteroths in the middle and AoE taunt them with everyone dropping their AoEs on it. Juggernaut/Assassin tanks will pop their Saber Reflect/Force Shroud once the first debuff lands (or pop them right before the first one explodes if the explosions are simultaneous). Once Saber Reflect/Force Shroud is near the end of their duration, Intercede or Force Speed out of the subteroths while the other tank taunt and kite (if they are a Powertech/Vanguard tank) or stand in and repeat the process to finish off the subteroths.
Everyone else other than the tanks should stay well away from the subteroths, especially if you already have a debuff on you.
If you are using two Powertech/Vanguard tanks in your raid group, this wave can be quite annoying.
Wave 2 (3x Dispatchers on one side, 1x Dispatcher and 2x Subteroths on the other)
Wave 2 is nothing special, just don’t get hit by explosions from both subteroths
Wave 3 (2x Dispatchers + 1x Corruptor on each side, Draxus)
DPS should be evenly split into 2 groups, with 2 on each side to interrupt the Corruptors and stop their Mass Affliction cast from getting off. One of the tanks can also help with interrupting and tanking one side while the other deals with Draxus. Corruptors should be the first ones to die.
There needs to be an interrupt rotation between the two DPS so that the same player does not interrupt twice as interrupting one will put a Backlash debuff on you, causing you to die the next time you cast an interrupt until it wears off.
Keep one of the Dispatch alive and send Draxus off first before killing it to trigger the next wave.
Wave 4 (1x Dismantler from each side, 2x Subteroths from the south)
A DPS on either side will need to engage the Dismantler first and then the tanks can taunt it off them once the Dismantlers does their Swipe. Dismantlers do hit very hard with their Swipe and light armor classes (i.e. sorcerers/sages) take a lot of damage from them.
Wave 5 (2x Corruptors + 1 Bulwark from south, 2x Dispatchers and 1 Bulwark on each side, Draxus)
For Wave 5 we have one tank off to receive Draxus while rest of the raid runs to the south group of adds (2x Corruptors + 1 Bulwark) and AOE them down. Healers will be doing the first round of interrupts and two DPS will be covering the second round of interrupts on the Corruptors if it is needed. Corruptors will need to die first.
Remember that while you are inside the shield casted by the Bulwark, you receive a debuff and cannot be healed by healers at all (regardless if the healer is inside or outside the shield) but sorc/sage bubbles do work. Healers need to recognize this debuff and not waste their heals when this debuff is active. Those needing heals (i.e. tanks/DPS) will need to remember to run out of the shield to receive heals. Bulwarks should be killed ASAP to remove their shield debuff. Bulwarks will enrage if they finish their shield channel before they are killed. In this mode they will randomly attack raid members for ~15k damage.
Keep one of the Dispatchers alive and send Draxus off first before killing it to trigger the next wave.
Wave 6 (1x Dismantler on each side, 1x Corruptor, 1x Dispatcher, 1x Bulwark, and 1x Despoiler on south)
If the boss has still not yet gotten to 30% (and disappear) when the adds from wave 6 spawn, it is more important to focus the adds and ignore the boss.
For this wave we have healers get the initial aggro on Dismantler and then tanks taunt it off them once they casted their Swipe. . Sorc/sage healers need to have themselves topped off before doing this as the Swipe from the dismantlers deals around 20k damage and is often followed immediately by another attack that can combine to shave about 60-70% of your HP. The reason we have healers doing it this round is so that DPS can all rush to the south adds and kill the Despoiler (need to be interrupted as it heals a lot ) and Corruptor ASAP.
If you cannot spare healers for whatever reason (i.e. Draxus still around from wave 5), then DPS can be used instead.
If the Dismantlers get off a second Swipe, you will need to perform a tank swap.
Wave 7 (1x Guardian on each side, 2x Subteroths from south)
The main thing to be aware this wave is the Slam attack from the Guardians which deals a ton of damage and likely to one shot any non-tanks caught inside it. Kill the Guardians first and then deal with the Subteroths
Wave 8 (2x Corruptors and 1x Bulwark on each side, 1x Despoiler south)
For this wave, we do things a bit differently. The raid is again evenly split in two but on both side one of the DPS (best single target DPS) would be interrupting and killing the Despoiler from the south. For the first round of interrupts, the tank/healer on each side would handle it. For the second round, one of the Corruptors would get interrupted while the other would get their cast off since there is only one DPS on each side.
The success of this phase depends on how fast the DPS on the south can finish off the despoiler and then rejoin the corruptors on either side. Kill Bulwarks first so you can damage the corruptors while stacked up for AoE heals.
Once the lone Mass Affliction get through, everyone stack in the middle with AoE heals (and sniper bubble if you have it) to counter the Mass Affliction and finish off the remaining Corruptors.
Wave 9 (2 Guardians from each side, 2x Dispatchers and 1x Corruptor south, Draxus)
Kill Corruptor from the south first with an interrupt rotation from the DPS. For tanks, one of them can tank both guardians while the other tank Draxus or have one tank grab Draxus and one of the guardians. Finish off the Dispatchers before jumping on the guardians.
Unlike hardmode, Draxus is immune to damage until all the adds are killed so don’t even bother with him until then.
This fight is fantastic for Juggernaut/Guardian tanks for multiple reasons, including your armor reduction application allowing your DPS to focus on maximising their damage output.
During the Subteroth phases (phase 1 especially), stacking up the adds, holding aggro against a well-timed burst and saber reflecting as they start to die will allow you to kill the vast majority of the adds without taking any explosion damage. As your Saber Reflect is about to run out you can Intercede/Leap away from the adds, allowing your off-tank to pick up the remainders and either kite them or use their own Saber Reflect or Force Shroud/Resilience.
You should never use Force Charge/Leap to interrupt during this fight. Always charge to another nearby enemy who isn’t casting, then switch targets and interrupt. This is because Force Charge/Leap will cause the 20 second no-interrupt lockout on your character, but won’t apply the no-casting lockout to your target.
In addition to its utility for holding aggro, your AoE taunt can and should be used to shield your allies, especially while they’re inside a shield and can’t be healed.
Interceding/Guardian Leap your raid members who are taking damage is always a good idea, and should be maximised wherever possible to minimise incoming damage. The only notable exception is when your target is tanking a Dismantler.
Oil Slick/Smoke Grenade: The best options for Oil Slick/Smoke Grenade are either on top of Draxus himself or in the vicinity of the Guardians, who will also be jumping around Ravaging nearby targets, since these are the only mobs who will be dealing a significant amount of non-Force damage.
AoE Taunt: Being the only tank with a ranged AoE taunt, you should use this to your advantage against the Subteroth packs. You can stand at range and taunt them all to prevent any explosion damage if your other tank is also a Powertech, or to grab them after your other tank’s Force Shroud / Saber Reflect has ended.
Death From Above/Mortar Volley: Useful to use while inside a Bulwark’s shield for its high burst.
Jet Charge/Storm: As with Force Charge, don’t charge to a target who is casting. Instead, charge to another nearby enemy who isn’t, then swap targets and manually interrupt.
Force Shroud/Resilience: As with Saber Reflect, you should use this to prevent the damage from exploding Subteroths. You can also use it to cleanse a Corrosive Grenade if you won’t need it soon for Subteroths.
Force Speed: Incredibly handy for quickly getting into range to interrupt a target, without the risk of accidentally interrupting associated with charges.
This is the easiest fight to manage a stealth rez, especially early on in the fight. If you are not main tanking the boss (or can simply call for a tank swap) you can stealth rez with minimal risk of being pulled back into combat, freeing up your healers. Early on, the only main triggers are phase changes and nearby exploding Subteroths.
Although this fight doesn’t have an overt preference or detriment towards one healer archetype, Sorcerers/sages have the bonus utility of being able to shield friendlies inside a Bulwark’s AoE, making them particularly useful.
Extricate/Rescue: Particularly when dps is an issue, people occasionally forget about the healing immunity while inside the Bulwark’s shields, or similarly to keep an eye on their HP. If you fear for their survival, you can pull them out for a quick heal and a /slap. Or not. That really depends on how much you like them. Plus it takes a special kind of stupid to get pulled out for a heal, then immediately charge back in before getting one.
Revivification/Salvation: There’s always the chance that you might cop a Mass Affliction for whatever reason, whether it’s a lack of dps or coordination, but the great group hps of Revivification, and a Ballistic Shield/Scrambling Field if need be, really helps out in a pinch.
30 Meter Interrupt: Since healers will need to help out with interrupts, being able to interrupt without moving from the middle of the room comes in very handy.
Fast Heals: The quick on-demand heals and good sustain that you can provide through your Surgical Probes/Emergency Medpac and various HoTs come in very handy when it comes to keeping your tank alive while trying to manage quickly healing people popping in and out of a Bulwark’s shield.
Stealth Rez: As long as you’re paying attention and don’t get caught by an exploding Subteroth or a phase change, stealth rezzing early on in this fight is particularly easy. It gets more complicated as the fight progresses, however.
Burst DPS: Since you’ll need to help out with interrupts, the great burst dps you can provide as an Operative/Scoundrel comes in very handy, allowing you to quickly burn down the targets, get your interrupt done, then drop a Recuperative Nanotech/Kolto Cloud on your group as the Bulwark dies. Additionally, if dps isn’t an issue but survivability is, this timing window is excellent for pre-rolling HoTs on your group in anticipation of the shield lifting.
Kolto Bomb/Kolto Missile: Using it is more difficult in this fight than normal, considering people are really spread out, and it’s not uncommon for them to be immune to healing when they are grouped. However, it is useful for those who are grouped outside the shields, and particularly after Bulwarks die when your group may be low on HP.
Death From Above/Mortar Volley and Flamethrower/Pulse Cannon: These can be a great help for some quick AoE while inside a Bulwark’s shield, in addition to your regular damage.
30 Meter Interrupt: As with Sorcerers, you can plant yourself in the middle of the room and not have to worry about moving around in order to interrupt.
Defensive Cooldowns: With Kolto Overload/Adrenaline Rush and your shield you can easily tank a Mass Affliction far better than any other healer, focusing on keeping the rest of the group alive instead of yourself.
Keep in mind that while an exceptional player can make any class or spec viable for any fight with any group combination, considering that this is Nightmare mode, we will focus on the ideal combinations to improve your group’s chances. These are suggestions, not requirements.
- Snipers/Gunslingers: Rollbang or Marksmanship/Sharpshooter
- Operatives/Scoundrel: Concealment/Scrapper
- Juggernaut/Guardian: Rage/Focus
- Marauders/Sentinels: Rage/Focus, Dotsmash/Dotsweep, Carnage/Combat
- Mercenary/Commando: Pyro/Assault Specialist
- Although Pyro/Assault Specialist is capable of pulling higher numbers, it’s also significantly harder to manage for this fight. Even if you’re having trouble with Pyro you likely won’t see a significant improvement in switching to Arsenal/Gunnery, however it may make the fight much easier for you. In the end, it’s a personal choice as to which you’re more comfortable with.
- Powertech/Vanguard: Either
- Pyro/Assault Specialist has higher single target burst and overall sustained damage than AP/Tactics, making it great for burning shields and adds, however the buffed Flamethrower/Pulse Cannon in AP/Tactics can make certain phases significantly easier and smoother, especially with the amount of AoE this fight requires. If your group requires more AoE you should probably spec AP/Tactics, and if you need more single target damage you should probably spec Pyro/Assault Specialist.
- Assassin/Shadow: Madness/Balance
- Sorcerer/Sage: Either
- Lightning/Telekinetics has the best of both worlds, combining great burst with some AoE from Chain Lightning/Telekinetic Wave. However, Death Field/Force In Balance and being able to multi-dot makes Madness/Balance equally powerful. This one’s up to the player’s preference.
- Reasoning: This is a fight with a really tight dps push between phases. Most phases have adds in groups of 3 where you can only damage them while in melee range, and also requires you to burn a specific add right away, making a balance of burst and AoE ideal. Any kind of dot spec will have a significant amount of trouble with this fight, making them less useful overall, with the notable exception being Madness/Balance. Madness/Balance is the only dot spec that shines in this fight due to the power of Death Field/Force in Balance and the fact that multi-dotting isn’t as severely hampering to their resources as it is to other classes.
- Backstab Classes: Make sure to use your threat drops liberally. Having an add facing you because you’re not dropping threat will completely ruin your dps.
- Dots: You can apply your dots to units inside a Bulwark’s shield before running in. Any dots that don’t tick immediately (Corrosive Dart, Thermal Grenade, Affliction, etc) won’t suffer any resisted damage if you’re using them while running into the shield, since by the time they tick you’ll be in melee range.
- Warriors/Knights: Cloak of Pain/Rebuke and Saber Reflect are excellent in this fight due to the large amount of raid damage going out.
- Self-cleanses: Cleansing Corrosive Grenade from yourself is a huge help to your healers, and wherever possible you should be doing it.
- Watch Your Health: Although your healers will be watching your health and debuffs, they’re also watching everyone else. That means you’re responsible for making yourself healable (ie get out of the Bulwarks’ shields) when you start to get low. If you get to 5% HP, then run out of the shield and die before you can get a heal, that’s your own fault. You can’t expect your healers to know that you were going to run out at that moment and have a big heal ready for you. Be smart and be vocal. Let your healers know when you are running out to maximise your dps uptime, but don’t get yourself killed doing something you shouldn’t have been doing.