Nightmare Fractal

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Nightmare Fractal

Nightmare Fractal map.jpg
Map of Nightmare Fractal

Fractals of the Mists

Fractals of the Mists loading screen.jpg
Loading screen


Nightmare Fractal.jpg

Click to enlarge.

Overcome the monstrosity gestating inside this illusory landscape.

— In-game description

The Nightmare Fractal is a Fractal and occurs at levels 22, 47, 72 and 96. It is set within the Tower of Nightmares before it was destroyed, where you must escort Arkk as he gathers energy from Scarlet Briar's miscreations.


  • Red Boss.png Meet Dessa and assist with her experiments.
    • Fractal Difficulty Scale: x
    • Personal Fractal Level: x
    • Kill the Nightmare enemies.
    • Event bar.jpg Invasion (map icon).png
    • Clear out the clockwork minions.
    • Event bar.jpg Invasion (map icon).png
    • Multiform Ambulatory Mobile Artillery
    • Event bar.jpg Red Boss.png
    • Capture the nightmare orbs that fuel the hallucination.
    • Capture the western altar.
    • Event bar empty2.jpg Event flag green.png
    • Capture the eastern altar.
    • Event bar empty2.jpg Event flag green.png
    • Capture the nightmare orbs that fuel the hallucination.
    • Capture the central altar.
    • Event bar empty2.jpg Event flag green.png
    • Capture the eastern altar.
    • Event bar empty2.jpg Event flag green.png
    • Capture the western altar.
    • Event bar empty2.jpg Event flag green.png
    • Defeat Siax the Unclean.
    • Event bar.jpg Red Boss.png
    • Kill Ensolyss.
    • Event bar.jpg Red Boss.png
    • Deactivate orb 1.
    • Event bar empty2.jpg Event flag green.png
    • Deactivate orb 2.
    • Event bar empty2.jpg Event flag green.png
    • Deactivate orb 3.
    • Event bar empty2.jpg Event flag green.png
    • Deactivate orb 4.
    • Event bar empty2.jpg Event flag green.png
    • Deactivate orb 5.
    • Event bar empty2.jpg Event flag green.png
    • Next island: x


Normal Mode[edit]

Primary article: Fractals of the Mists#Rewards

Challenge Mode[edit]

Rewards for each boss are daily per account.


This fractal is divided into five rooms and linear hallways, having you slowly ascend the tower.

Rooms 1-2: Multiform Ambulatory Mobile Artillery[edit]

The first room has standard Toxic Alliance foes, simply kill them and move on. Between the two rooms is a slope you cannot return up. The second room is full of Twisted Watchwork enemies. Once they are killed, the first boss will spawn.

The Multiform Ambulatory Mobile Artillery is a mostly stationary boss who shoots projectiles, deals a spinning flamethrower attack and summons smaller Twisted Watchwork. It will periodically begin charging a room-wide explosion; get underneath Arkk's shield when this occurs. Upon reaching 33% health the boss will go into a mobile, bi-pedal mode (commented on by Arkk) which jumps at players and delivers powerful AoE slams.

Room 3: Altars[edit]

After a short hallway where you'll face Hallucinations, you'll enter the third room. There are three altars here that need to be captured by standing in a circular area around it, much like capture points in PvP. In the center of each altar is an orb that shoots out red damaging spheres in alternating patterns. Strafing around the edges of the circle will give you more time to dodge, and there will be occasional blue spheres that you can collect to heal you. The altars also spawn one Veteran Hallucination each, which despawns when the altar is captured.

Rooms 4-5: Siax the Unclean[edit]

The second hallway houses a small lake with Poisoned.png Poisoned water and the elite shark Fleshgorge, and a ramp upwards. The ramp has explosions moving downward which can be dodged through. There is also a large plant which shoots poisonous seeds at the party, so keep moving.

Progressing to the top of the ramp too quickly may cause Arkk to stall and the second boss to not spawn. A full instance reset will be necessary. Some ways to avoid this bug are to not use super speed or blinks to progress up the ramp, or to wait for Arkk to teleport to the bottom of the ramp before moving onwards. This bug is not generally seen unless the group is speed-running.

Room Five has Siax the Unclean, the second boss, who will appear after a mob of Marjory and Kasmeer hallucinations appear and laugh. He will frequently charge up energy to devastate the room, which must be interrupted by breaking his Defiance bar. Siax will also infect party members with toxin. Shortly afterwards, they will vomit in a highlighted conic area in front of themselves; allies hit take damage and are re-infected, causing them to vomit again.

Room 6: Ensolyss[edit]

After Siax's fight, there will be a launch pad and a Mistlock Singularity. Taking the launch pad will take you to Ensolyss, the final boss fight of the fractal. Initially, the hatched Ensolyss only has basic melee attacks, but when brought to 75% health his body will grow, his health is reset to 100%, and the true fight begins. This phase is skipped on subsequent attempts.

Ensolyss is a demanding fight that has a great variety of attacks. Players must learn the timings of each attack and how to avoid damage, especially at higher fractal levels where the sheer amount of hazards makes revival very difficult.

Upon reaching 66% and 33% health, Ensolyss will become invulnerable and leave the arena temporarily. A large orb will spawn in the middle and emit constant streams of red damaging and blue healing spheres. Similar to the altars earlier in the fractal, there will be 5 smaller orbs that must be 'captured' by the party. During this phase the party receives Gambit Exhausted.png Determination, an effect which will fully revive the party if the orb phase is successfully completed. At higher fractal levels, the center orb will periodically release a knockback shockwave that can be jumped over, and also barrage the ground with bouncing orbs. The outer edges of the room will also become ringed with poison, making the safe fighting space smaller.

At 15% health, Ensolyss will teleport to the middle of the arena, poisoning the entire area after a short while. Arkk will create a shield next to the boss, which will be the sole safe zone. The boss will remain stationary and take increased damage, but two forms of Nightmare Hallucinations will spawn. The first are normal mobs that attack the party (they can be used to rally off of should you or a party member down), the second are charging hallucinations that spawn on the edges and dash across the shielded area, their path indicated by arrows. Finish Ensolyss off to complete the fractal.


Retrieval Squad Nightmare Fractal 3Achievement points
Find all the corpses of the adventuring party that preceded you. 1 Corpse Found 0Achievement points
2 Corpses Found 0Achievement points
3 Corpses Found 0Achievement points
4 Corpses Found 0Achievement points
5 Corpses Found 3Achievement points
  1. You'll find the first corpse near the beginning of the fractal, before the slope to the first boss's room.
  2. The second corpse can be found behind wood between the first boss's room and the three-altar room.
  3. The third corpse can be found in the three-altar room, under the path towards the right altar—there is a cloth wall you can walk through.
  4. The fourth corpse can be found on a ledge over Fleshgorge's lake.
  5. The fifth and final corpse can be found in a small outcropping just past the room in which Siax is fought.
Retrieval Squad Map
Maze Middle Manager Nightmare Fractal 5Achievement points
Capture the middle point in the Nightmare maze before capturing the side points. Captured the Middle-Point First 5Achievement points
  • In the second set of altars needing to be captured after the first boss fight, capturing the middle one first will net this appearance. This is the hardest altar to capture first, as it has three Veteran Hallucinations respawning from it, and the krait obelisk shards on either side will bombard the area with bounding orbs.
  • The best tactic is to pull the three hallucinations off of the altar, and have one person begin capturing it while the other four kill the hallucinations. Once the hallucinations are killed, the rest join in capturing the altar.
Shark Tank Nightmare Fractal 3Achievement points
Find and kill Fleshgorge the Shark in the Nightmare lake. Killed Fleshgorge the Shark 3Achievement points
  • You'll find Fleshgorge in the small lake just after the second set of altars needing to be captured. It will be around the bend and to the right. The water causes permanent poison that cannot be removed while within the water, and Fleshgorge hits hard even at level 25. Best tactic to deal with him is to have the tankiest player bring him towards the others who attack Fleshgorge at range on land.
This achievement rewards items. Volatile Evader Nightmare Fractal 5Achievement points
Kill Siax the Unclean without being hit by a hallucination's explosion.
Reward: Nightmare Corsage.pngNightmare Corsage Skin
Killed Siax while Avoiding Volatile Hallucination Explosions 5Achievement points
  • Starting at 75% health, Siax the Unclean will begin summoning one Volatile Hallucination per player, who chase down the player they are Fixated on and explode on them. To get this achievement, you must not let any Volatile Hallucination explode on you.
  • One viable tactic is for all players to kite and attack other players' nightmares (as they will always be behind you, thus facing them slows you down enough for them to catch you). Another, trickier, tactic is to range the one targeting yourself with snares. It is also possible to dodge the explosion.
  • Achievement qualification may be tracked via the Achievement effect.png Volatile Evader Eligibility effect, which will appear once the fight begins.
Another Goo Puddle Nightmare Fractal 1Achievement points
Get crushed to a paste by Ensolyss. Crushed to a Paste by Ensolyss 1Achievement points
  • Standing directly under the pod Ensolyss spawns from will net you this achievement. Doing so will deal unblockable damage equal to 75% of your total health.
This achievement rewards items. 30-Second Seizure Nightmare Fractal 3Achievement points
Capture all 5 points during the Ensolyss fight within 30 seconds.
Reward: Nightmare Anelace.pngNightmare Anelace Skin
Captured All Points within 30 Seconds 3Achievement points
  • At 66% and 33% health, Ensolyss will summon five altars that need to be captured. To get this achievement, all five altars must be captured within 30 seconds of their spawning. You will get the achievement immediately after the first time you do this.

Challenge Mode walkthrough[edit]

At tier 4, the challenge mote can be activated by interacting with the Harbinger of Woe, which appears to any player who has completed the Nightmare Fractal meta achievement. The challenge mote changes the three boss fights as well as the altar capture encounters. In addition, additional rewards are given after beating each boss.

Due to the increased difficulty and fast pace of the challenge mote, each player should be highly familiar with their build and should come prepared with food/utility consumables, fractal potions, and access to Mistlock Singularities. The Powerful Potion of Slaying Scarlet's Armies works against the bosses in this fractal, and is recommended for all power builds. (Condition builds do not benefit from slaying potions and should stick with their normal utility.)


You will first encounter the Red Static Assault Knight, and once killed both the Blue Dynamic Assault Knight and Green Synergetic Assault Knight will spawn. All three assault knights function the same way, with two primary attacks - a PBAoE knockdown, and a AoE pull that covers the whole room except where the Assault Knight stands.

After all three Assault Knights are killed, MAMA will spawn. Some groups will /gg at this point to ensure a clean prebuff and start to the fight.

Initially, MAMA will be much like her standard tier 4 variant but with faster and harder-hitting attacks. She will remain in the center and utilize ranged AoEs and a few PBAoEs when players get into melee range. She will also summon a large number of Twisted Horrors. The main changes come at 75%, 50%, and 25% health intervals at each of which she will spawn one of the three assault knights again. The location of these spawns is always the same:

  • The knight at 75% spawns to the east of MAMA.
  • The knight at 50% spawns to the northwest of MAMA.
  • The last knight at 25% spawns to the south of MAMA.

In addition, at 33% health her skills change and she becomes mobile, with her skills focusing on knocking down and pushing players. Once every ~60 seconds, MAMA will also spawn large, long-lasting red AOEs, which deal heavy damage over time.

The hardest part of the fight will be when MAMA reaches 25% health, as both MAMA and the Assault Knight will focus on crowd controlling players, and can easily result in leaving little to no safe zones for players to stand.

  • The large red AOEs that spawn at 33% and below should not be tanked longer than necessary. If the party cannot burst MAMA to 25% before this damage becomes overwhelming, they should move south anyway and range her down until she leaps or phases.
  • MAMA's leap attack deals devastating damage to the targeted player, so it is highly recommended to save a dodge for this. The following three shockwaves can be dodged or jumped over.
  • The single shockwave of MAMA when she punches several hits around her into the ground should be jumped over, followed by an immediate dodge out of her pizza slice attack if necessary. (At a close enough distance, most or all of the pizzas can be sidestepped, saving valuable endurance.)


Similar to normal mode, there will be a room of two altars followed by a room of three, each altar guarded by 1 to 3 hallucinations. In addition to normal, however, are Elite Nightmare Krait that guard the altars. Unlike hallucinations, these krait do not respawn, so the best tactic is to pull the krait away and kill them first. The orbs from the altars are faster and harder hitting.

After the second set of altars, a large number of Veteran Toxic Skales and Elite Toxic Skales will ambush the party from the lake. These can be easily dispatched or simply ignored as the party continues to the next encounter.

  • As in Normal Mode, the altars do not cap any faster with more players standing in them. The only requisite to capture the altars is outnumbering enemies.
  • The four Elite Nightmare Krait at start of the three-altar room should be pulled together (using skills like Spectral Grasp or Binding Blade) and bursted down. If they are not controlled, beware their projectile-reflecting domes.
  • Each of the Elite Nightmare Krait guarding the upper altars in the same room can be pulled down to the central area, preventing a difficult fight at the top . The simplest way to do this is by blinking up to them (e.g. Shift Signet, Judge's Intervention) and dropping back down. Some skills can aggro them even from below (e.g. Barrage, "On My Mark!").

Siax the Corrupted[edit]

Before Siax spawns, the Marjory and Kasmeer hallucinations will go hostile and attack the party. Duck back out of the room near the Mistlock Singularity, and re-enter or /gg when Siax appears. The illusions will not come back on future attempts.

Siax the Corrupted requires a good amount of heavy and coordinated crowd control. He will always begin the fight with his devastating delayed explosion attack, Caustic Explosion, during which he will also release bouncing orbs in every direction. Break the defiance bar to cancel the attack. The majority of the fight from this point out is straightforward; Vomit Toxin and Volatile Hallucinations (which begin spawning at 75%) will still be the primary threats to watch out for. Siax will occasionally spawn a red, expanding AoEs; once the inner circle reaches the outer, Nightmare Hallucinations spawn for each party member hit by the attack. These Hallucinations take and deal a lot of damage, and should be crowd controlled and cleaved down to prevent a wipe.

On 66% health, Siax will become invulnerable and begin to channel a delayed Caustic Explosion. Echoes of the Unclean (krait hallucinations) will spawn at the north, south, east, and western edges (four in total). If the Echoes are not killed before Siax's channel finishes, he will blast the area with his instant-killing attack, and the remaining Echoes will follow with their own Caustic Explosion (preventing survival via Mistlock Singularities). This phase is repeated at 33%, with the Echoes rotated to the corners of the arena (northwest, northeast, southeast, and southwest).

One party member each should be assigned to a section of the arena, ready to DPS down the Echo as the phase begins; the lowest two DPSers should be together to compensate, and the highest DPSers ready to assist others.

  • The safest place to stand during Siax's CC bar is in the center of his hitbox, as the bouncing orbs do not reach this part. Be aware of Mistlock Instabilities that may prevent this, particularly Toxic Trail.
  • Most groups will set markers on the map to indicate where players will go during the 66% Echo phase (Alt+Left Click by default), and each player will rotate clockwise at 33%. (For instance, if someone places a marker on the west of the arena, they will go West at 66% and Northwest at 33%.)

Ensolyss of the Endless Torment[edit]

Ensolyss keeps his big variety of attacks, but all of them are faster and harder-hitting. The arena will also have its edges poisoned right from the start, and more space will be poisoned at 66% health. His tail swipes also have a stronger knockback, which can easily knock players into the poisoned edges.

Directly after each altar phase (66% and 33% health), Ensolyss will channel in the center of the arena, releasing bouncing orbs and conic knockbacks everywhere. Quickly deplete his defiance bar to stop this. Below 33% health he also gains a new attack, which deals heavy damage to players within a radius while releasing orbs that apply a long knockdown. Stand outside the radius, or avoid the arrows that indicate the orbs' path and jump over the shockwave; it travels inwards towards Ensolyss, in contrast to the other shockwaves in this fractal.

  • Try to always stand slightly to the side or behind Ensolyss. Most of his attacks are in front of him, including his auto-attacks, which apply heavy condition damage. Being able to side-step instead of consuming energy to dodge is valuable.
  • There are 2 safe options for dodging the slam combo attack:
    • Dodge the first slam inwards, evading both the impact and the shockwave, then dodge the echoes' attack.
    • Dodge the first slam outwards, evading the impact and jumping over the shockwave, then walk out of the echoes' attack.
  • Players will revive at the end of orb phases. If a player goes down in an altar, do not attempt to revive them. Both you and the downed player will be afflicted with pulsing agony while in the circles, lowering your healing rate significantly. As long as one player survives to capture the circles, the party will be revived.
  • As with the previous altars, these altars do not cap any faster with multiple players. If someone is already in an altar, there is no need to enter it - focus on capturing another altar or collecting blue orbs.



Astral creature
Wind Riders


Norn (Sons of Svanir)
Twisted Watchworks



Normal Mode[edit]

Entering the fractal
Dessa: Are those...tree people? They look angry. Be careful!
Mysterious Asura: You again! What preposterous sum have the Inquest promised you for haranguing me? Wasn't the damage to the DDR enough?
Mysterious Asura: Oh my. Judging by your slack jaw and torpid silence, it seems I misunderstood your involvement. Please, follow me.
Mysterious Asura: Apologies for the golems and the gladiator. I presumed you were sent to collect a debt. I can see I was...hasty.
Mysterious Asura: I'll get the door. My device was damaged in the prior chaos, so I've lost a bit of control, but I'm still quite capable.
Arkk: My name is Arkk. We should form a mutually beneficial alliance. The odds are against our survival otherwise.
Arkk: Let's discuss our team strategy. You hit these creatures harder than they hit you. I'll prepare my shield.
Fighting the Multiform Ambulatory Mobile Artillery
Arkk: Ah, a fascinating monstrosity! Intricate. Delicately balanced. Exquisitely dangerous. Kudos, Scarlet.
Arkk: I'll protect you! Take cover under my shield!
Arkk: Mmm-hmm, It has a bipedal attack configuration as well. How inventive.
Arkk: A wondrous design, if flawed. Its remains may prove useful. Mother always said, "Enervate the implements you're given."
Arkk: Nevertheless, well fought. Now regroup and prepare for more ferocious foes ahead.
In the maze
Arkk: Ah, a physical obstacle to confound and demoralize the spatially inept. Good luck!
Arkk: Your progress is adequate. Keep moving, there are more altars ahead.
Arkk: This maze is ample proof that violence is your strong suit. Speaking of which, let's move forward.
Fighting Siax the Unclean
Arkk: We're nearing the ultimate experiment, an entity utilizing a kernel of remarkable power.
Arkk: With the DDR in disrepair after our first meeting, your assistance here will be crucial. I'll lend my aid where I can.
Arkk: But first, another research experiment to overcome. It utilizes some extraordinarily deadly skills. Be ready!
Arkk: Hallucinations, a remarkable tactic. Stay alert!
Arkk: Strike quickly! Don't allow it to finish channeling its attack!
Siax the Unclean:: (chant)
Arkk: You have toxic sickness, how vile. Please refrain from regurgitating on others.
Arkk: How did I not realize sooner that you are much too savagely competent to be hired by the Inquest for debt collection?
Fighting Ensolyss
Arkk: Here we are. This will be our most ambitious and lethal challenge today. But with great risks come great rewards.
Arkk: Now listen closely, it could save your life. The creature in there is extremely volatile. We must work together.
Arkk: At times you may feel that you are overmatched. You must pay close attention to my commands!
Arkk: Given your destructive adroitness, there may even be a chance you won't be obliterated.
Arkk: Go on. Given your penchant for murdering things, your mathematical chance of survival is greater than zero!
Ensolyss: (mewl)
Ensolyss: (shriek)
Arkk: Quickly, retreat inside my shielding!
Ensolyss: I am awake.
Ensolyss: I am aware.
Ensolyss: Suffer, mortal things.
Arkk: The shield! Hurry!
Arkk: I'll protect you! Take cover under my shield!
Ensolyss: How dare you defile my birth chamber.
Ensolyss: All your fears. All your delirium. Feeding me.
Ensolyss: Suffer and die in terror.
Ensolyss: My power, my awareness, grows by the moment.
Ensolyss: I am hatred and horror made manifest.
Ensolyss: The ouroboros turns eternally, vine and serpent entwined in me.
Ensolyss: You may die now.
Ensolyss: Stop! Your kind will not contain me.
Ensolyss: I will not be destroyed by such as you.
Ensolyss: No! I cannot be the last of my kind.
Arkk: It's nearly dispatched — put it out of commission!
Ensolyss: (roar)
Leaving the fractal
Arkk: Fantastic work. Truly. And now it's time that I terminate our verbal contract. Your recklessness has served my purpose.
Arkk: I'll take the orb. You take solace in knowing your destructive exuberance has at least balanced the ledger between us.
Arkk: I can reconstruct the diaphanous diffraction randomizer. And you no longer have to feel guilty for derailing my mission.
Arkk: Now excuse me — I'm here for more than tourism and indiscriminate pillaging. You're of no further use. Stay out of my way!
Dessa: You did it! look...unhealthy. We should probably quarantine you when you return.

Challenge Mode[edit]

Entering the fractal
Dessa: Are those...tree people? They look angry. Be careful!
Activating the Challenge Mode
Ensolyss of the Endless Torment: (laugh)
Fighting Ensolyss of the Endless Torment
Ensolyss of the Endless Torment: I am...awake.
Ensolyss of the Endless Torment: I am aware.
Ensolyss of the Endless Torment: Suffer, mortal things.
Ensolyss of the Endless Torment: I am hatred and horror made manifest.
Ensolyss of the Endless Torment: The ouroboros turns eternally, vine and serpent entwined in me.
Ensolyss of the Endless Torment: You may die now.
Ensolyss of the Endless Torment: Stop! Your kind will not contain me.
Ensolyss of the Endless Torment: I will not be destroyed by such as you.
Ensolyss of the Endless Torment: No! I cannot be the last of my kind.


  • This fractal island was added with A Crack in the Ice release.
  • Unlike the original Tower of Nightmares foes, the Toxic Alliance sylvari do not have a downed state.

Related achievements[edit]

See also[edit]