The Volcanic Fractal is one of the Fractals of the Mists.
- Stop the grawl from completing their ritual.
- Kill the imbued shaman.
Fractal stabilized. Depart when ready.
- Fractal Difficuly Scale: x
The Volcanic Fractal occurs at levels 6, 19, 28, 46, 52, 63, 72, 87, and 92.
After the starting cutscene, enemy grawl waves will attack the party. Kill them off until they stop coming.
In order to proceed, the party will have to travel down a corridor. Unfortunately, flaming boulders roll down the same corridor. The boulders instantly kill players they roll over and leave flaming tracks that cause burning. There are several large alcoves to the side where players can rest up safe from the boulders. Speed boosts help catch the areas free of tracks and condition removal will take care of the burning. At the end of the corridor, there is a safe zone that allows your party to prepare for the next section.
- Champion Grawl Shaman
When you find the shaman, he will put on a shield. The shield makes the shaman invulnerable, however, it can be taken down by throwing flaming rocks that spawn on the ground at the shaman. Beware since the rocks spawn is preceded by a large AoE effect. A suggested strategy is to have one person pick up the rocks and fling them at his shield until it drops, and keep the other four on the veterans. You will want to prevent the veterans from reaching the humans by using crowd control. Once his shield is down, the boss is easy to kill. It is advisable that the party kill any remaining veterans since they will start attacking for fairly high damage and may unexpectedly down players. The shaman may reapply his shield, however only one rock is needed to break it this time.
- Failure to save all humans will result in a party wipe.
- Saving all the humans will cause a Magnificent Chest to spawn.
- Broken tracks
The party will now have to jump down broken railway tracks to reach the lake of lava, fighting off some enemy imps. Since all jumps are made from high to low, this should not pose much of a problem for the party.
The party may observe a skeleton with a hat near a chest about halfway, possibly a reference to Indiana Jones. This means they are on the right track - turn left at the skeleton and continue lower until you arrive on a platform with the boss.
- Legendary Grawl Shaman
The platform with the Grawl shaman will burn players that are not moving. It is recommended to strafe left and right to both maintain one's basic position as well as counter the nature of projectiles to over shoot to the player's side (This is called "zig-zagging"). There are also "lava pits" on this arena that will unexpectedly fill with lava and damage players inside them. This may happen even when there is no lava due to a visual bug. This platform is quite spacious and can oftentimes allow a player to run away from the boss on the platform, remain burn free, and get out of combat. The boss has six skills:
- Flaming arrow — Can be easily blocked, dodged, or zig-zagged. He faces a player and then shoots an arrow. Timing is relatively unpredictable to new players. Attack is a projectile, but often times projectile reflects/absorbs are saved to be used later.
- If a player is hit by a flaming arrow, they are enveloped in flames which will tick a burning effect on them as well as those around them. Inflicts agony on scales 10+.
- Dive — The boss will fly up in an arc quickly. Only used on melee targets. The attack is actually bigger than the circles shown on the ground and often hits before the circles even appear. Should be dodged very quickly as it deals enormous damage. Can be avoided by simply staying at range as well.
- Wings attack — Again only used on close targets, the boss will fly up slowly with a red circle on the ground. This also does considerable damage but also knocks players back. Try to stay at range, evade, or block this attack.
- Fire storm — An AoE that has very little aftercast. The boss can oftentimes do this and another attack very quickly afterwards. Again, evade out.
- Transition — For every 25% the boss loses health, it will envelop itself in a shield, summon grubs, and start hovering over to an imprisoned NPC (villager) to steal its health.
- The boss cannot be hit directly in this transition unless using unblockable effects. (Signet of Might on Warrior, Traps on Thief, Temporal Curtain on Mesmer, traited unblockable Marks or Epidemic on Necromancer). Other hits will affect the shield.
- 40 hits are necessary to break the shield. Cleave attacks still count as one hit. For instance, engineer grenades don't remove shield stacks very quickly, but the flame thrower is an effective tool. Other suggestions are to use smite on guardian, or sneak attack on thief (since the boss is invulnerable, you will remain in stealth and be able to use the sneak attack again), as well as dagger auto on thief (as you can't hit the boss, you will be unable to advance your attack chain, staying on the quick hitting double strike).
- When the shield breaks, the boss "enrages" for a short time.
- It is possible to anticipate the transition and apply chill, cripple, or immobilize to slow the movement of the boss. There are ways to use these on the boss even after the shield is activated. (For the creative players, a warrior could use Signet of Might to make their Pin Down and Throw Bolas utility immobilize through the shield).
- In addition to this, elemental grubs will spawn. The amount is based on the scale of fractal you are on. It is safer for the party to activate projectile reflect/absorbs and to slot condition clearing to remove immobilize. It is also helpful to AoE multiple grubs at the same time, as killing one of them while downed will cause a player to rally. Helpful skills to use are Toss Elixir U on Engineer, Smoke Screen and Dagger Storm on Thief, Wall of Reflection and Shield of the Avenger on Guardian, Feedback and Null Field on Mesmer, Whirling Defense on Ranger, etc..
- If the boss is allowed to reach a villager before players break his shield, he will regain 25% health and summon more lava elementals, but the next transition will only trigger at the next 25% health mark.
- If the party is fully at range he will often times shoot two arrows and then a fire storm at a player.
- At higher levels it can be beneficial to slow the shaman in the shield phase and lower his stacks, but deal with the lava elementals before breaking the boss out.
- If a player is downed/dead, it can often times be easiest to help them during the grub phase while the boss is still shielded.
- It can be helpful to slow attacks before a transition if an important skill (stability, reflection, etc.) is on cooldown. Communication helps here.
- Champion Grawl Shaman
- Grawl Berserker
- Grawl Raider
- Grawl Shaman
- Lava Elemental
- Legendary Imbued Shaman
- Veteran Grawl Shaman
- Veteran Grawl Raider
- Veteran Vampire Bat
- Upon arrival
- Dessa Observation Mode: Okay, reading a number of... Hey, what are they... Those grawl just threw those humans into the volcano! Get them!
- During fight with Champion Grawl Shaman
- Champion Grawl Shaman: Our god demands sacrifice!
- Champion Grawl Shaman: Don't falter! Our god will slay the intruders!
- Champion Grawl Shaman: Die!
- Champion Grawl Shaman: You can't break this magic. Our god will crush you all.
- Upon defeating the shaman
- Dessa Observation Mode: There, that shaman's in the soup now. That should—wait. Reading a new fractal disturbance!
- During fight with Imbued Shaman
- Villager: I can't take this. Help!
- Villager: Help! Heeeelp!
- Villager: Help me! Oh, gods!
- Upon defeating Imbued Shaman
- Dessa Observation Mode: Ugh, grawl make my skin...crawl. (laughs) Sorry. This is no time for jokes. Just let me know when you're ready to depart.
- There is a possible reference to the movie "Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom" in the form of a skeleton with Indiana Jones' hat next to a cart at the broken tracks.