Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to all you readers and followers out there!
More importantly, thank you for all your support for the past 2 years (yes! it’s been that long).
This post commemorates the overly powered Seashore Retreats (or ‘Shore’ in short) which has become the reigning SH within the span of the last month, and effectively surpassing Nettles in popularity. Such is undoubtedly courtesy of the numerous Kringle and Candy Cane Corvus (CCCorvus) from the paid Holiday chest and recent Xmas Legendary Hunts.
Special shout out to my guildmates from Singapore Guild for their long-term support and discussions of different strategies about how to clear or build this stronghold.
The mechanics of shore still remain the same as the previous post with it being a Water-themed Stronghold with a small area. The geometry of the room is a rectangle with 2 pillars at the side, leaving most of the room open in the form of pools and aisles. It has the ability to silence and slow while providing bonus damage on slowed opponents/raiders.
While there aren’t any changes to the mechanics, there is a glitch which causes the trident to now land from a different location from where the target circle was marked. Previously, this was meant to be the last place you were standing when the pillars activate. However, its landing position now seems random at best, which you can see from Aqve’s video. Furthermore, it is currently unknown whether this is to make things intentionally tougher for this SH.
Interestingly, the first time I drafted notes for this, it seemed very much like how to deal with multiple mastered Kringles in Shore at once instead of a general strategy guide…
…let’s just roll with that anyways…
The build I wish to recommend would be Immortal Justice, Smoke Veil and Malevolent Rush, paired with Light armor and ranged weaponry that prioritises Dodge, HP/Hit and Run Speed.
For shields, Smoke veil is a low cost option since it has the chance (not 100%, mind you) to reflect projectiles back onto your enemies (in the trajectory of their casting). This is immensely useful since most water minions use mostly projectiles with the exception of Naga’s Whirlpool and Warmage Sentinel’s Homing Ground Attack.
Smoke veil can also be cast when you’re frozen or stunned, increasing its usefulness even further in this scenario. It also reduces the chance of getting caught in the pesky Kringle snowmen trap without being frozen due to the increase in dodge value, effectively allowing you to walk through them.
My guildmates have also pointed out that a couple of Shore-based raiding builds have Frost Shield on them, which plants a mini persistent zone AoE damage in the area of casting. This could be useful for taking out the trident if you cast it in time before silence kicks in. Although frost shield does have its benefits, this is frankly a more costly option since it requires max SF (+150SF) before they can resist the harder hitting attacks without breaking midway (eg. snowballs from Kringles).
For belts, Immortal Justice (IJ) is a good choice as the highest damaging Light skill. However, it is tricky to activate since the skill is two-steps, with the second step encompassing bulk of the damage which you can read about here.
Nonetheless, especially cautious around minions which can reflect projectiles, such as Gelid Voror (AoE reflect buff), Colossi (when in artillery mode), or reflect damage, such as dominator and ogres. Dropping the hammer on these might be fatal since you receive a portion of the large damage delivered by IJ.
Unfortunately, there seems to be a glitch that ‘wastes‘ the hammer skill if you cast it in the midst of being knockdown, frozen etc. This effectively leaves you with a ‘wasted‘ skill as it starts the cooldown without the damage done or animation being played.
The other two legendary belts of Mist of Death (MoD) and Ice Stalagmites (Stag) are also noteworthy, and easier to use, skills to raid shores since their casting cooldowns are nearly in-sync with the trident drop. This is because it takes a while for these persistent zone skills take a while to completely destroy the trident, leaving additional time for the cooldown to run before the next trident lands.
Alternatively, for non-legendary skills, Haste is a good option since it provides both increased mobility (run speed) and offense (attack speed). This helps to clear some of the higher HP minions much quicker to move on to the next one in a shorter duration.
As for bracers, you can actually go whichever you’re comfortable with here. Malevolent Rush (MalRush) was chosen because of its mobility to dash away or into the fray while boosting critical hit chance and damage. Nonetheless, other strong bracers like Snowball (DOT), Cyclone (negate projectiles) or even Draconoid Outburst (Attack Speed) etc. are fine based on usability and personal preference.
As for gear, Dodge, HP/Hit (HPH) and Run speed are priority properties you can consider. Damage here is generally high with the numerous T7 (M7) Champions and minions and it is best to evade them passively or physically and to at least have some form of HP recovery at your disposal.
Additionally, Light Skill cooldown presents itself as a useful trait to have especially if you’re using Immortal Justice (or even Haste). This helps to reduce IJ’s long 20 seconds of cooldown to meet that of the trident’s respawn rate and essentially means you get more damage across in a shorter amount of time.
Lastly, Light-based ranged weaponry or decently mastered melee ones (T6-7, >M4) are suitable against Shores. Ranged users might have a slightly easier time since they can take out minions and the trident from a distance using the pillars as cover. However, some aiming is required since you might end up targeting a unit with projectile-reflect on.
Do note that one disadvantage with Epic/Legendary Light weapons is that there aren’t too many around with a better-than-average combination of traits (eg. HPH, Crit Chance/Damage, Attack Speed etc.) rolled into one. In this case, mission-based drops (eg. Dust Fangs, Rogue Twin-blades) are viable alternatives and mastery can be attained rather easily.
It is also feasible to raid with other elemental sets (besides fire of course). However, do keep an eye out for the hard-hitting attacks from the water minions and other minions from your set’s elemental weakness.
For skills, focus on mobility (MalRush), defense (Smoke Veil) and heavy or long ongoing damage (Hammer, MoD, Stag);
For gears, place emphasis on dodge, run speed and HPH for Light-based armors with ranged. You can also consider skill cooldown if you’re dependent on them.
With the bountiful number of high mastered Kringles, Shore is truly a threat even for the well-equipped non-light users. Current shores now feature fully mastered Kringles, CCCorvus and Mezzogians which amount up to 39k-40k(!) maximum minion attack. The frequency of encountering such overpowered SHs might even increase further with the dual-stones period that is currently running throughout this week.
The main raiding strategy is to conserve your dodge rolls for sticky situations and to keep running along the sides of the map to evade attacks and avoid getting swarmed. Moving along the extreme left and right side walls makes use of the pillars as cover from incoming projectile attacks while avoiding the slowing from the pools.
Focus on running instead of using rolls, especially if there are Kringles around since the rolls help to get you out of their snowmen traps. Additionally, this has to be done simultaneously with while keeping track of the trident’s (random) landing position and destroy it to clear the effect of silence asap.
Upon entering the SH, you’ll be able to see all the units immediately since you are launched straight into the center of the room. This gives you an overview of the situation to understand which minions to attack first and which side to move towards.
Place a persistent zone skill or IJ to get rid of the first trident which will land in the middle by default and quickly move towards the side of the room with less durable minions (ie. those with lower HP and/or defence).
Tip: It is possible to land a hammer in the center to damage most of the units in the room if they don’t move or instead swarm to your location in the first few seconds. This hammer trick is even more so for Kringles since their AIs were tweaked to become more aggressive and will teleport directly to your location. Nonetheless, never do this if there is a Colossus in the center of the room because of its projectile reflection from artillery mode can kill.
Keep moving from side to side if minions are much stronger than your character so you won’t get stuck in a problematic situation of getting disabled midway. This will keep your distance away from incoming projectile attacks as well, allowing you to dodge them much easier when you see them flying towards you.
TL;DR: Conserve dodge rolls and run, run, run! Move along the extreme left/right boundaries of the room and only attack when you know its safe.
How to deal with multiple mastered Kringles
Once a less-durable support unit, multiple mastered Kringles are now the greatest threat for Shores. Personally, there are 3 fundamental rules to overcoming them:
(1) Run from the Snowballs
First, recognise its most damaging attack of the two-step large snowball projectile. By no means should you opt to take straight up without a shield/smoke veil activated. If hit by the large snowball, it has the capacity to take out half or more of your life if you aren’t wearing light.
After avoiding the large snowball, it further splits into smaller ones upon the Kringle’s intended point of impact in a radial fashion which have a long travel range. Be prepared to avoid these as well since they hurt quite a bit too, but less so than receiving the large one. Not to mention, getting hit by the snowball also induces slow, which further increases the damage you receive in Shores until it wears off.
The strategy is that when you see this incoming, be prepared to run off, or roll, immediately. The further the distance away from the point of impact, the easier it is to avoid the snowballs since you get more space to avoid them by going in between each smaller projectile as seen in the figure above.
(2) Be Patient when frozen
Second, if you get stuck in the snowman frozen trap and need to get out quickly, don’t panic and press the roll button. As described in my Guardhouse post, doing so will only get you stuck in the next snowman trap since that’s what the default roll direction does.
Instead, wait for one second and move your directional-pad in the direction where you want to roll before pressing the roll button. This allows you to overwrite your roll direction with your d-pad so you can get out without using up 2 rolls.
In fact, you can simply opt to stand still if you’re not in any immediate danger since the snowmen are cast around your character and this does not freeze you instantly upon you choose to move…which is possible if you stick to the sides and use ranged. This might be a better option if there were multiple Kringles (more than 2) casting their traps around you and having 3 rolls simply isn’t enough to get you out entirely.
What’s more interesting is that the snowmen actually deal minimal damage (even towards elemental neutral) when they explode, making it less of a threat even if you get stuck in one. Thus, waiting for everything to explode in a couple of seconds does help to conserve dodge rolls for more dire scenarios.
Mentioned above, smoke veil is the most ideal in this situation since you can cast it while being frozen. Thus, you can reflect any incoming snowballs (from (1)) if you get stuck and run out of rolls.
(3) Watch their Teleports
Kringles are huge and solid minions that pose a physical obstruction to your character. Their teleportation also brings them closer to your character and many a times you might accidentally find yourself walking head-first into a swarm of Kringles. This proves to be fatal as you cannot MalRush through them.
In addition, Kringles also now receive a short 2 second invulnerability after teleporting. Be sure not to hit them during this period, but you can opt to move away and focus on other things instead. Plant an MoD or Stag on them after this period of teleportation to not avoid them jumping out of the damage zone.
(1) Avoid getting hit by snowballs by running early and keeping your distance;
(2) Be patient when stuck in the snowmen trap, assess the situation and wait before rolling in the proper direction
(3) Anticipate their teleportation as these bring them closer to you frequently
Seashore Retreat is a fairly open and small stronghold which benefits from fast moving chaser types with some level of durability or periodic invulnerability. Pairing these with disabling abilities (ie slow, stun, knockdown) will add to the numerous things that raiders need to watch out for in this room (eg. clearing the trident, avoiding slowing pools etc).
Not much I can say about water minions since Kringle seems to be the go-to champion at the moment, which seems to work well in multiples even against average-geared Light users. These have good disabling skills as well as offensive abilities which are comparable to the previously sought after Mezzogians.
CCCorvus also serves as a nice distraction but functions more like a low-durability support unit. It deals knockdowns rather frequently using its throwing presents skill, which is a nice touch to root raiders in place from the start of the battle. These also deal periodic damage (DOT) via poison attack but it isn’t particularly damaging.
It is also best to diversify elements with priority being dark units to make Light users think twice about raiding your SH.
Other notable mentions include:
- Ice Colossus: Freeze, Slow, Projectile Reflect
- Corvus: DOT, High Dodge, Blind
- Assassin: Multiple revives, Armor shred, Bind
- Dominator: Fast, Increase damage and critical, Damage reflect
- Ignicore: Fast, Armor Shred
- Light Colossus: Stun, Projectile Reflect
As for non-champions:
- Xmas prophet/cardinal: Invulnerability, Teleportation
- Gelid Voror: Reflect projectiles aura, AoE Armor buff
- Monkey: Fast, Periodic invulnerability
- Wolf: Teleportation, Multi-projectile
Due to the size of the room, do avoid low HP units like Ranger, Druids etc. since these will get targeted first and fall very quickly before doing much damage.
In terms of placement, the only one that really matters is the center minion. The aim is to avoid a hammer drop from clearing all your units in one go. Thus, you can consider putting either a Colossus (projectile reflect), Corvus (high dodge) or Assassin (multiple revives) in the center. The rest of the slots don’t really matter too much and this would be purely up to personal preference.
TL;DR: Kringles! Kringles all the way!
(…and also remember to diversify elements while avoiding low HP units)
And that wraps it up for this year!
Here’s hoping to a good 2018 for DH5!