Heroes of Arkesia,
The recent Spells in Spades Update included the Inferno difficulty of the Valtan Legion Raid. While Legion Raid Normal and Hard modes prove to be a challenging experience for many— Inferno takes it to the next level. It’s all about proving you’re the among the best of the best in Arkesia, and earning the accompanying prestige. We partnered with veteran Lost Ark raiders Saintone, ATK, and EndieM8 to provide tips, tricks, and other advice for groups looking to rise to the challenge.
Inferno Legion Raids Overview
Before we dive in, here’s a quick refresher on how Inferno mode varies from Normal and Hard. Rather than chasing the normal rewards of gear, honing materials, and everything else you’d receive in a Legion Raid, Inferno rewards instead showcase your victory with titles, achievements, and Stronghold structures! On top of differing rewards, there are a few key changes between Normal/Hard and Inferno difficulties:
‘Scale of Balance’ is applied, and the raid requires use of the Book of Coordination, so everyone’s gear is normalized against the level of your Legion Commander opponent.
The gate progression system will not be active - you can’t make it half-way and come back later in the week.
Inferno mode will not count against your weekly attempt limit for Legion Raids, so you can battle a Legion Raid Commander on Normal/Hard and Inferno in the same week, and try Inferno as many times as you’d like.
From team composition, to Battle Items, to mental approach, there’s a lot that goes into clearing a tough, team-based activity. For each of these sections we’ll provide advice from our veterans, and end with some specific tips for the Valtan Legion Raid. Before we dive in, a word of encouragement from Saintone, ATK, and EndieM8:
“So you’re thinking about challenging Inferno mode! Inferno mode is significantly harder than non-Inferno content, but you are more than good enough to clear it. Inferno mode grants you prestigious titles and other vanity that you can show off with, but by far the best thing about doing Inferno mode is that you’ll learn things about the raids and your class that you didn’t know before. It will help you get better as a player and you can enjoy utilizing that mastery in even your weekly non-Inferno runs.” -Saintone
“I’ve personally increased my performance in raids by a lot after trying out Inferno mode with my friends. If you desire to increase your mechanical skills, playing Inferno mode will definitely boost your performance for regular raids.” -ATK
“The hardest part can often be starting. We all have to start somewhere, be prepared for a few sessions of progression with many wipes. Don't psyche yourself out! It's as challenging as it is fun and exciting— and very doable by anyone!” -EndieM8
Commitments Advice - Battle Items & Time
Inferno mode can be costly when we consider the cost of battle items used, but the real cost is time. Something that many Inferno mode raiders experience is that they spend so much time and effort trying the fight, that they have no time for dailies and weeklies. Try to allocate a fair amount of time for both, or be prepared to rest your dailies accordingly. Realistically for your first clear, you’ll spend thousands of Gold (or tens of thousand) in Battle Items. The next major raid for the West is coming in September, so this downtime is a great opportunity to make time to try out Inferno mode!
I recommend to only play Inferno mode a few hours at a time. Inferno uses a lot of Battle Items, but the reward is titles and personal skill gains. Not everyone can be focused for such a long time, and pushing for 5-10 hours can be a waste of time if no real progress is achieved, and can add stress when games are supposed to be fun. It is actually smarter and more efficient to try a few runs for a few hours every day or every week with static groups of the same members.
Inferno Mode's difficulty significantly decreases the more damage you deal, and the more items you throw at the boss. This means using Sacred Charms right away to cleanse negative effects, Darkbombs at every downtime, always using Adrophine in certain DPS windows. If all 8 players have this mentality, you actually use less Battle Items overall.
Finding a Team
From friends, guildmates, Lost Ark Discords, the in-game Party Finder tool and more, there are plenty of ways to find like-minded raiders up for the challenge of Inferno mode. While static groups working together can help promote chemistry and progressing together, there are plenty of dedicated raiders always looking for one more.
The trick is to find teammates that you mesh well with, as sometimes even if you’re good enough to pass the encounter, your teammates may require more practice. That’s why my first tip is patience. Everyone learns at different paces, and while you may pick up a mechanic really quick, someone else may require several more tries to get it right. Take breaks occasionally to allow everyone to refresh their mental, and try to look at everything objectively when looking for solutions. Likewise, some may not have a static party for Inferno mode. If you jump from party to party sometimes strangers you meet might not be as experienced as you. You (as a raider) need to recognize when you should ask to leave the party to look for teammates closer to your own skill level. If you ask politely, there shouldn’t be offense taken if you don’t want to be there.
Find a group of like minded players that want to clear the content and have a good time. Encourage your teammates when they make mistakes and be open for suggestions! Learn and have a good time together, and get that cool Valtan Statue for your Stronghold and flex that Inferno clear title!
Composition: Roles & Team Set-Up
When it comes to structuring a team, ATK has has some advice on how to best think about your team’s roles and how to set up classes using the Book of Coordination.
Every class is viable for Inferno mode. It’s always about how many skills you can land with giving up time you have. For example, keep asking yourself how many times can you squeeze in more skills while others are running around dodging patterns? Inferno mode really tests your uptime and DPS cycles for your class so it is a really nice content to try to boost your mechanical skills.
As for builds, it’s always about your comfort zone. For example, with Gunslingers, Swiftness makes your character go faster, but you can actually have a build with 0 Swiftness. While it does the most damage, you’d be slow, taking hits, or possibly dying more often which cause resets. When I do Inferno mode, I invest a few of my combat stat points (roughly 200 to 300) into Swiftness to make my animations feel a little more fluid. The lower damage can be covered by higher uptime and faster rotation of skills.
When Creating parties, It is critical for the raid leader to understand how party synergies work, like crit synergy from Gunslingers and Deadeye, and back/front attack damage synergies from Deathblade and Gunlancers. You can research and communicate with your teammates what their classes can deliver to your party. It is also very important for someone in the raid to calculate overall DPS outputs in the raid.
While it’s different for every raid group, DPS classes are split into two general groups: broken bone and consistent DPS. For broken bone DPS (which do additional damage during stagger windows) it is important to save all their skills to unload at certain points, such as when Bosses are staggered. Supports will also need to time their buffs and darkbombs at this critical timeframe to best maximize their damage. On the other hand, consistent DPS builds don’t have to worry about saving cooldowns, but their uptime is very important. Since the uptime of landing all skills is very important, the party’s support will need to play around this. Bards tend to activate Serenade of Courage at 2 bubbles, and Paladins take Magick Stream to rotate through their buffs more often. If both broken bone and consistent DPS players exist in the group, they are often split into different parties to organize support buffs accordingly.
Valtan Inferno Advice
Valtan Inferno difficulty requires item level 1445 for participation. Once you’ve set-up your build in the book of coordination, stocked up on Battle Items, and found a team, you’re ready to challenge Inferno. Below you’ll find advice from EndieM8 on first gate and Saintone’s advice on the second gate— but we’ll kick it off with a general tip from ATK:
It is critical to stay alive, so play at your comfort zone first and slowly take risks. Inferno mode often requires you to reset the fight if one person dies, because the DPS checks are really tight. Myself, alongside the majority of players, have problems with being greedy when attacking the boss and taking hits as a result. You are severely punished for taking hits in Inferno mode, (as they often result in death) so prioritize dodging first and rotating your skills, and add in more uptime once you’re comfortable dodging the patterns. You don’t want to die early and force your team to reset, as you won’t get as much practice dodging patterns.
G1 - Wolves
For the first gate in the Legion Raid, EndieM8 has a few tips and tricks to help vanquish Valtan’s beasts:
Every attack in Inferno Valtan hits like a truck. It’s important, more than ever, that you learn and can quickly identify the boss’s patterns. One of the most lethal mechanics in Gate 1 are the slash attacks spawned by bleed stacks. Try your best to avoid all of the attacks from the red wolf (and be sure to use Panacea on yourself at 2 stacks of bleed), or call for a cleanse from your teammates (such as a Paladin or Gunlancer). Sacred Charms are also critical here— use them liberally to prevent your team from eating these lethal attacks. The Purify Rune is also incredibly useful in this encounter to cleanse bleed stacks.
Try and stack up for traps and move together as a group! Every now and then the wolf you are fighting will have a green, blue or red glow in their hands. Try to stack up and stand near each other as a group, since each player will have a trap thrown at their feet. Once the traps have been deployed, move together as a group to dodge the explosions.
The damage check for this gate is tight! An interesting strategy to safely beat Gate 1 within the enrage timer is to use Thirain's Sidereal ability to hit both of the wolves simultaneously. This is often done by first separating the red and blue wolves to 12 and 6 o'clock (North/South) so they don't take reduced damage. Keep in mind it's easier to move the blue wolf than the red wolf, so players targeted by the blue wolf should move away from the red. Try and find the perfect moment to land Thirain (you'll find an almost perfect moment every time) to hit both Wolves and deal massive damage. Thirain's ability has incredible range— but it's not limitless!
G2 - Valtan
Saintone has some advice when facing the Demon Beast Legion Commander at the second gate:
Inferno Valtan is the easiest of the Inferno bosses by a long shot, and as such the DPS check isn’t terribly hard. Because of that, you can afford to play a little more cautiously and you don’t have to be greedy on literally every DPS window while you’re still learning. Focus on positioning and learning the patterns. However, because of the nature of the battle, the more damage you deal, the less dangerous patterns you will encounter. This reduces the chances that you or your allies face a sudden death, which could end up being a domino effect.
It’s possible to outright skip some of the random patterns that frequently cause raid wipes if you can proceed through the fight fast enough. For example, if your damage is on the low side, the 5x counter pattern can occur as early as 90 lines of health, and as late as 30 lines. The pattern isn’t tied to a specific HP amount though, so for some who challenge the fight it might not happen at all in your run.
“Did you know? Valtan will periodically prime himself up to do a pizza ground slam, followed by a second slam. If a player gets hit by the first ground slam (preferably a tanky class or support with shield/damage reductions) the second ground slam will be cancelled, potentially saving lives!” - EndieM8
Checkout Saintone, ATK, & EndieM8
Make sure to follow Saintone, ATK, and EndieM8 for more raiding tips, guides, live high-level Lost Ark gameplay, and more original content on their Twitch and YouTube channels, found here:
We could supply nearly endless tips for these difficult raids. For those looking for more advice, Saintone welcomes all interested raiders to the Hell Academy Discord, a place for Inferno mode enthusiasts to learn more about the fights, builds for classes, and find other raiders in a server that he helps run.
Thanks for joining us for this special edition of Lost Ark Academy, and we wish you luck in your Inferno battles!