Cliffside Fractal

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Cliffside Fractal

Cliffside Fractal map.jpg
Map of Cliffside Fractal

Fractals of the Mists

Fractals of the Mists loading screen.jpg
Loading screen


Cliffside Fractal.jpg

Click to enlarge.

Investigate a strange cult in an unknown location.

— In-game description

The Cliffside Fractal is one of the Fractals of the Mists occurring at levels 6, 46, 68 and 94. It represents the early history of Tyria, near the beginning of history.[1]


  • Event boss (tango icon).png Free the captured colossus.
    • Fractal Difficulty Scale: x
    • Personal Fractal Level: x
    • Defeat the cultists.
    • Use the cultist hammer to break the ankle seals.
    • Left Seal
      Event bar.jpg Event swords (tango icon).png
    • Right Seal
      Event bar.jpg Event swords (tango icon).png
    • Break the chest seal.
    • Chest Seal
      Event bar.jpg Event swords (tango icon).png
    • Break the arm seals.
    • Left Seal
      Event bar.jpg Event swords (tango icon).png
    • Right Seal
      Event bar.jpg Event swords (tango icon).png
    • Destroy the final seal.
    • Seal
      Event bar.jpg Event swords (tango icon).png
  • Event boss (tango icon).png Fractal stabilized. Depart when ready.


Primary article: Fractals of the Mists#Rewards



Defeat the Fanatic, Veteran Fanatic and the 2 Veteran Chanters, and grab the Cultist Hammer at the altar, near the Colossus feet. Climb the scaffolding to reach the knee seals.

Skills that remove Conditions, such as Null Field and Purging Flames, are very useful throughout the Cliffside Fractal and can remove multiple stacks of Vulnerability from the enemy Chanters. All enemies within this fractal are mechanically Bandits, and qualify for the Bandit Slayer achievement, and Outlaw Slaying potions and sigils. They also have bandit drops.


Cultist Hammer
Marker with 1-19 stacks of corruption.
Marker with 20-29 stacks of corruption.
Marker with 30-40 stacks of corruption.

The Cultist Hammer's fourth skill,  Banish.png Seal Breaker is required for the fractal's puzzles. If the hammer wielder is downed from a fall, the hammer will spawn near them. If it cannot be found or is left behind, talk to a Displaced Researcher or Displaced Agent to retrieve it.

  • The three basic skills are a standard attack, a knockback with weaker damage, and an AoE shield which provides stability
  • The hammer's fourth skill, Seal Breaker will be offered only after an enemy is defeated near the hammer.
    • The wielder of the hammer needs to be within range and have tagged the mob; It is unnecessary to deliver the final blow.
    • The hammer loses the charge whenever it is dropped
  • Initially, picking up the hammer will cause damage to the player (At higher levels, about ~5k health's worth instantly)
  • It applies a condition called Hammer Corruption every second. Stacks decrease quickly after the hammer is dropped.
    • If a player picks up the hammer while s/he still has stacks of Hammer Corruption, s/he will take increased damage and gain multiple conditions.
  • The player who wields the hammer receives a hammer marker over its head. The color of the marker changes with the number of stacks of corruption. (from yellow to orange to red)
Dark Pact.png Corruption (Condition)

The cultist hammer applies a condition called Hammer Corruption. Corruption stacks in duration and can only be removed by dropping the hammer. (One stack is applied and removed every one second.)

  • For every 10 stacks of corruption, the wielder is affected by 1 stack of vulnerability
  • When corruption reaches 20 stacks, the wielder is affected by 1 stack of weakness and the hammer marker turns orange.
  • When corruption reaches 30 stacks, the wielder is stunned and the hammer marker turns red.
    • This stun can be evaded prior to reaching 30 stacks with a Dodge
    • This stun can be mitigated via the Hammer 3 skill (Use it around 26 stacks of corruption)
    • This stun can be broken via stun break skills
  • When corruption reaches 40 stacks, the wielder is downed and drops the hammer

Knee Seals[edit]

There are 4 enemies here. Extra enemies spawn after the original four are defeated.

  • If the party is very careful they can charge the hammer four times, twice for each seal, thus defeating this stage without spawning any extra enemies.
  • To charge the hammer, you must defeat an enemy with the Cultist Hammer.
  • Avoid using AOE attacks here, so you can charge the hammer four times using only the original 4 enemies.

After the seals are broken, your party can leave the hammer on the ground. There will be a Displaced Researcher available to replace the hammer after the next section.

To progress, the party will pass some spike traps on the ground. Look at the ground for trap indentations. Some traps are decoys and do not trigger.

At the end of the tunnel, there is more scaffolding. This scaffolding has gargoyles that push air out of their mouths. Use timing to run past the traps. In addition, the wind can be dodged, blocked with Aegis.png Aegis, or a player can use Stability.png Stability to run through them. If you fall off, you will be downed between the wooden bridge and the tunnel prior to this scaffolding. At the end of the scaffolding, there will be 1-4 switches to deactivate the gargoyles. Interacting with a switch will Immobile.png Immobilize you. At higher tiers, it's suggested you bring condition clearing skills to be able to hit multiple switches.

If your party has dropped the hammer, talking to the Displaced Researcher ahead can provide another.

Climb the last scaffolding to reach the chest seal.

Chest Seal[edit]

There are AoE fires burning on the floor. The fires are both preceded and followed by a small fire (the size of the red circle will not change). The colossus will blow out one of the flames at a time. There will always be one safe spot and two burning ones. Keep moving onto the safe parts, charge the hammer, and destroy the seal. The initial mob spawns here include a decent amount of veterans. It's recommended that you clear these out before beginning to move with the fires. Later spawns include fewer veterans, in more manageable numbers.

Afterward, continue following the path upwards to the arm seals. There are no enemies or traps for the scaffolding to the next level.

Arm Seals[edit]

On this level, there are two seals separated by a hallway. The hammer needs to alternate between hitting each arm seal, as when one seal is hit it becomes protected by a purple bubble. Accordingly, the other seal loses its purple bubble and can be hit with the charged hammer.

After the initial veteran is killed, foes respawn indefinitely until the seals are destroyed and apply heavy stacks of vulnerability.

Chanters on each side will regenerate that seal's health. The seals' repair rate is the same at all difficulty levels. Keeping the foes aggro'ed on one side will minimize the healing done to that seal, but the healing can also be ignored if your party moves quickly between the two seals.

  • At the first (north) seal, defeat the veteran cultist. Hit the seal with the charged hammer.
  • The entire group heads to the second (south) seal. Defeat the veteran cultist and hit the seal with the charged hammer.
  • Everyone continues to run back and forth, dropping the hammer in the hallway when Corruption is too high.

Swiftness.png Swiftness, blinks, and portals can help reduce the travel time between arm seals.

After both arm seals are broken, a gate to the right of the first seal will open. The scaffolding to the final seal is trapped with timed explosives that will knock you off. Wait for them to clear at each landing or follow behind the explosions as they go up the ramps. The shorter ramps with explosives can be dodged. Speed boosts or a well-timed Stability.png Stability can be helpful. At the end of the scaffolding, there are 1-4 switches to deactivate the bombs. Again, these may be cleared by one person as long as they have condition clearing skills.

Neck Seal[edit]

Legendary Archdiviner[edit]

The Legendary Archdiviner is the main boss of this fractal. He uses the Cultist Hammer. Prior to entering the final chamber, there are chains on the wall. If you are locked out of the room, these chains can be activated to allow you inside.

  • Corrupted Ground Channel — Red AoEs on the floor. You have about a second or two to leave these circles before they apply conditions and corrupt your boons.
  • Conic hammer slam attack — Deals massive damage and activates faster at higher difficulties.
  • Defiance bar - Only active during the conic attack and Corrupted Ground area-of-effect attack. Break it to stun the Archdiviner and deal increased damage.
  • Rush/Teleport Attack (scales 25–100) - Uses only when players are at a ranged distance.
  • Projectile-blocking Wall (scales 51–100) — Active for the first 50% of health.
  • Backbreaker heavy attack (scales 51–100) — Replaces the basic attack for the last 50% of health.
  • Caged - The Archdiviner places an orange circle on the ground. Standing in the circle will deal damage and teleport the player into a cage at the side of the room. Circles grow in size with the scale of the fractal.

In between each phase, there is a transition phase. They occur at 75%/50%/25%/0% health. He will become invulnerable to damage and will drop the hammer. The purple protection on the seal in the center of the room will be removed and four Chanters will spawn on the circle around the seal, giving you an opportunity to charge the hammer by killing one of them. At fractal levels below 10, the mobs will despawn after you hit the seal, but will not in later levels. They apply conditions quickly, so it is advisable to clear them out first before using the charged hammer on the seal. After the seal has been hit by the hammer, the Legendary Archdiviner will stun the party for 1 second and take his hammer back.

Phase 1

He starts with four cultists around him. In this phase, he only uses a hard-hitting melee attack and channels his AOE circles from the first fight that apply conditions after a couple of seconds.

Phase 2 (75% health)

The same mechanics apply.

Phase 3 (50% health)

At 50% health, he gains a permanent Nourishment (shield).png Protection effect.

In addition, he will start locking people in cages. Prisoners can break out destroying the cage door. While inside the cages, players receive stacks of torment.

He also spawns two ranged devourers periodically. He will continue spawning two minions throughout the fight, so if they are not killed consistently, it is possible for many minions to be active at the same time.

Phase 4 (25% health)

At 25% heath, he gains a permanent Swiftness (effect).png Swiftness effect. Same as Phase 3, except he will stop channeling wells and gains the ability to send ranged projectiles at several party members simultaneously.

At scales 71-100, he will also transform into a demon avatar (alternate form of the Revenant's Embrace the Darkness (Legendary Demon Stance)), increasing the speed and damage of his attacks.

Final Transition

Instead of simply stunning the group at the end of this transition, he will remain invulnerable. The hammer must be charged and the seal needs to be hit for the last time.


Cliffside Fractal Stabilizer Fractals of the Mists 5Achievement points
You've completed the Cliffside fractal inside the Fractals of the Mists.Off the chain. 1 Fractal 5Achievement points
Headhunter Fractals of the Mists 5Achievement points
Defeat the Legendary Archdiviner at the top of the Cliffside fractal while only killing five cultists or chanters.
This does not include the initial entourage. Must be completed on scale 21 or above.
Defeated the Archdiviner While Only Killing Five Cultists 5Achievement points
Take a Bow Fractals of the Mists Central Tyria mastery point 5Achievement points
You and the captured colossus of the Cliffside fractal share a moment of respect.Taller than your average friend. 1 Challenge 5Achievement points
  • Once the final seal has been broken the Colossus will break his chains and walk away from the cliff. Once he is on his way, he will turn around and bow to the players. To obtain the achievement, use the /bow emote to bow to the Colossus in return. The timing is quite lenient - if you start to bow as he is walking away then you may be too early but you can simply repeat the emote until the achievement is received.







Upon arrival
Dessa Observation Mode: Are you seeing this? Something that gargantuan must be chained there for a reason. I don't know about this.
While breaking the seals
Dessa Observation Mode: If those zealots are trying to kill you, perhaps this behemoth can't be all bad. Quick, locate a method to liberate him.
Upon reaching the arm seal
Dessa Observation Mode: Keep going. I'm theorizing there's a master control at the top. That should free this captured colossus.
After breaking the final seal
Dessa Observation Mode: Fascinating. I wonder where he came from—and where he's going. So much data to analyze. As for you, tell me when you are ready to exit.


Related achievements[edit]

Upon completion[edit]

Objective during[edit]


  • All enemies will point at one player when they see them for the first time, from the start of the fractal to the very end. It's random with each visit. It has no purpose other than a unique trait of the cultist enemy type.
  • This Fractal was inspired by ancient myths such as the one of Prometheus.[1]
  • The Colossus bears a striking resemblance to Doctor Manhattan from the Watchmen franchise. This includes the way he teleports after being saved.
  • There is a llama named Arnold hidden in the fractal, added during the Spring 2016 Quarterly Update revamp of the fractal. He is named after Benjamin Arnold, a developer on the Fractals team at the time.[2]


  1. ^ a b TowerTalk LoreSpecial: Closeup Flame&Frost and Fractals, TowerTalk
  2. ^ Reddit posts by Josh Davis and Ben Arnold