[Class Guide] Chronomancer in Salvation Pass

The Basics
Main Build
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This is my default boon share build, aiming to maximize raid damage and alacrity without specifically contributing much to reflects. This build is meant to provide boons to the entire raid as the sole Chronomancer in the group, while in a separate subgroup with only a Revenant. Since Focus Temporal Curtain pulls are useful for 5/6 of the current raid fights, you get reflects from Focus skills by default, and you can obviously get Feedback while rezzing on a 32s cooldown andreflect during Distortion for little cost as needed. Restorative Illusions offers some personal Condi cleanse at the expense of your Focus cooldowns and reflect bonuses, and is the only real option if you aren’t using a Focus. The blue options are very defensive choices that sacrifice a significant amount of personal or raid DPS.

I use five pieces of exotic jewelry socketed with Platinum Doubloons in order to reach 100% boon duration with food and a Revenant’s Facet of Nature. This results in about a 10% personal DPS loss from using full ascended zerk, but since your personal DPS is quite low anyway the benefits of better uptime on Quickness and other boons on high DPS classes like Daredevil is worth the sacrifice. I choose not to use Sigil of Concentration in this build because it cannot have perfect uptime, makes the skill rotation more complicated, and limits your ability to use your offhand weapon skills to their best potential without sacrificing boon duration. The Sigil of Force/Air that you keep mostly makes up for the DPS loss of using exotics. The Precision stat is tuned to be near 2275, which is where you will reach 100% crit with fury, banner, and spotter. You can use whatever combo of Assassin’s/Berserker’s you want to get near this number, or even get higher Precision if you think you’ll be missing a buff. Illusions will generally still benefit from excess Precision as they often do not have Fury.

This is the most efficient way to reach 100% boon duration while keeping as much personal DPS as possible. Commander’s and Wanderer’s gear stats sacrifice a lot of the Ferocity stat, and the Concentration stat gives pretty minimal Boon Duration %, requiring you to stat change many pieces. The only benefit of these stat types is their increased survivability with Toughness/Vitality, but with smart use of your dodges, weapon skills, and Distortion you shouldn’t have a problem mitigating damage.

Domination Build
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A common viable alternative tree is Domination, taking the place of Illusions. The biggest loss is the extra 10-15s (before Alacrity) that you’ll need to wait between Continuum Splits, lowering the amount of Alacrity you can output for your team. You also lose the survivability and utility benefits of lower cooldown shatters and shield block, and it can take longer to get your illusion count back up to 3 whenever you lose them. This is especially relevant in the Slothasor fight, where the Distortion cooldown with Illusions can barely line up with the Spore Shake cooldown.

You gain a bit more personal DPS, the ability to stack Vulnerability more on trash mobs, and extra utility from your Signet of Inspiration casts (including the one from Illusionary Inspiration). The extra shared invulnerability from signet casts can be randomly life saving, or specifically timed as needed. You should always keep in mind the 5s internal cooldown of Inspiring Distortion. As an alternative, if you want more quickness generation for whatever reason, Furious Interruption has many opportunities to activate from the non-boss mobs in both Slothasor and the Bandit Trio. Temporal Curtain pull, Tides of Time, and Diversion (F3 shatter) are your main activators (mind the 3s internal cooldown). If you are desperate for more defiance bar break power, you can sacrifice some Illusion damage for extra stuns on Daze (every 5s) and increased stun/daze duration with Confounding Suggestions.

The Mental Anguish trait is rarely useful in raids in my opinion, you generally aren’t going to be using shatters for damage. Power Block isn’t great, but it does give a little free damage when interrupting trash mobs, and lowers their damage with Weakness.

The Domination tree is best used in a raid where you have 2 Chronomancers, as you have less pressure to spread as much quickness as possible to nine other people by yourself. With two Chronos around, it is also possible to sub out Time Warp for Gravity Well while still keeping full quickness up time (assuming good boon duration and rotations). Gravity Well still gives a little quickness from Chronomancer runes, and also offers additional alacrity and potentially defiance bar break power and add positioning/pulling, as well as some damage.

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Revless Gear Setup
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This is a gear setup intended to reach 100% boon duration with Chronomancer runes without a Revenant in the raid. I use a Commander’s stats weapon with Superior Sigil of Concentration (not available on gw2skills), full exotic jewelry with Platinum Doubloons, and Commander’s stats amulet and rings. This is the most efficient way to reach these stats while minimizing personal DPS loss and toughness gain. The recipes to craft Commander’s exotic jewelry are buggy, they are named in game as “Recipe: Charged Ambrite Orichalcum Ring/Amulet/Earring”. If you search these on the TP there are three versions of each slot type, two of which are actually newer Heart of Thorns stat combos.

Remember that dropping a Revenant from the raid comp is a bit more complicated than worrying about your own boon duration. You also need to keep in mind the fact that Revenant brings significant defiance break bar power, group stun breaks for Slothasor, and most of all massive Fury generation. Some of the most common efficient ways to generate group Fury is with Druid’s Tiger pet and Warhorn 5 skills, Guardian’s Feel My Wrath elite shout, Warrior’s For Great Justice shout, Tempest’s Fire Warhorn 4 (share only). Some classes (like Daredevil) also generate near infinite personal Fury.

Skill Priority/Rotation

The basic idea is: get three illusions up, enter Continuum Split, cast Time Warp, all your Wells, Tides of Time, and Signet of Inspiration. Then, except Time Warp, cast it all again after Continuum Split ends. Then cast it again in the middle of Continuum Split’s cooldown. Repeat. To be super efficient it’s a bit more detailed.

Standard Rotation:

  • Start in Sword+Focus
  • Phantasmal Warden
  • Weapon Swap to Sword+Shield
  • Echo of Memory while blocking a damage source
  • Déjà Vu (Illusionary Leap if blocking failed)
  • Pre-cast Time Warp (this is a fancy trick that gives you extra time in your Continuum Split, but is more prone to user error)
  • Continuum Split
  • Time Warp aftercast completed and on cooldown
  • Tides of Time
  • Well of Action (use skills that give delayed additional Quickness early, so you have it by the time you cast Signet of Inspiration)
  • Well of Recall
  • Well of Eternity (use the skill that gives a delayed burst of healing near the end of Continuum Split, as you’ll shift back to your original HP)
  • Signet of Inspiration
  • end Continuum Split
  • Well of Recall (this well has the longest cooldown at 35s, so you want its cooldown to begin as soon as possible)
  • Tides of Time
  • Well of Action
  • Well of Eternity
  • Signet of Inspiration
  • Refresh Phantasms (activate Illusionary Inspiration trait)
  • Wait for cooldowns
    —about 25 seconds (before alacrity) of waiting here
  • Well of Action
  • Tides of Time
  • Well of Eternity
  • Wait for Recall cooldown
  • Well of Recall
  • Signet of Inspiration
  • Refresh Phantasms (activate Illusionary Inspiration trait)
    —about 30 seconds (before alacrity) of waiting here
  • Wait until your wells/Signet has at least ~5s cooldown remaining (they will come off cooldown during a full 3 illusion Continuum Split)
  • Continuum Split again

Additional fight mechanics (target swaps, defiance break bars, etc) will add complexity as you may want to save a strong break bar ability like Tides of Time, or you may need to refresh phantasms more often after using Diversion for additional CC or Distortion to survive. You should think ahead about attacks you’ll need to avoid, as dodging (or getting disabled) mid cast of your wells will put them on a 4s cooldown.

After putting wells/tides of time/signet on cooldown, you should always be aiming to have 3 illusions out in order to benefit from the Compounding Power trait. Ideally those will all be Phantasms for maximum damage, and generally you’ll want them to be shield Phantasms if they can hit five player allies for Alacrity. In general you can provide 100% quickness uptime to your raid, but it’s only feasible to provide 100% Alacrity uptime on yourself (since you have 50% increased effectiveness of it and gain it from shatters). This is why shield Phantasms are nice despite their low personal damage, and waiting for Well of Recall’s cooldown before starting Continuum Split is worthwhile.

If you are doing your rotation correctly, keeping some shield phantasms alive, staying in your wells, and not going down, you should be able to maintain 100% alacrity up time on yourself.

If for some reason you want to Continuum Split but can’t get more than 2 Illusions out, you can barely fit a full rotation in a Continuum Split if you pre-cast Time Warp.

Well Placement

Something that you need to get used to with every raid fight is when and where to drop wells and Time Warp so that they are hitting your raid members. Bosses that move a lot such as Vale Guardian and Slothasor can be some of the most challenging to do well, you need to anticipate their movement and often place wells at a holding point you expect to enter within 3 seconds, not always on top of your current position. You must understand that the DPS effects of the wells generally worth worrying about all happen at the end of the well’s 3 second duration (alacrity, quickness, etc). The only instant effects that happen are minor amounts of damage and conditions that are rarely relevant. The initial heal from Well of Eternity, and the quickness from Runes of the Chronomancer are also given to you as soon as you finish casting the well, but the position of the wells does not matter for these effects.

Boon Mechanics

Or: why you don’t share as much Quickness as you might think you do. Basically, most boons can only “stack” for a total of nine times. Time Warp’s tooltip shows that it pulses 11 times, so it creates that many “stacks” over its duration. The out and return of Tides of Time each count as one stack, every cast of a well with Runes of the Chronomancer, and the additional effect of Well of Action all count as individual stacks. This is the main reason why 100% boon duration can be important, as it maximizes the duration of each stack, and raid members may miss out on your Signets of Inspiration due to fight mechanics forcing you to spread out.

Full GW2wiki article about effect stacking

Fight specific tips

Slothasor
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Recommended Build
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Personally I have had the most success killing Slothasor using a pretty standard full boon share build, rather than trying to run Feedback. There are many strong classes in this fight which bring a lot of reflects or projectile destruction for lower overall raid DPS losses (Necro Corrosive Poison Cloud and Druid Sublime Conversion especially). By not bringing Feedback on your bar you can focus on pumping out as much Quickness and Alacrity as possible in order to end the fight before you get overwhelmed by Evolved Slublings. Also, by generating as much Alacrity as possible, you’re putting your allies reflects on a lower effective cooldown.

Even without Feedback on your bar, you bring Feedback on Rez every 32 seconds (which can also be doubled by Continuum Split), as well as some reflects from both Focus skills.

Alternate Builds

That said, if your team really wants you to bring more reflects, you should not replace Well of Action, otherwise your Quickness generation will be gutted, especially if your Quickness boon is ever corrupted into a condition by Slubling attacks.

Remember that you can cast Feedback twice in a row by using it in your Continuum Split.

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If your raid chooses to bring double Chrono (not recommended due to lower overall DPS in my opinion), you can try replacing Signet of Inspiration with Well of Recall for higher Alacrity output, while relying on your traited Illusionary Inspiration signet cast since you only need to cover less than half the raid with Quickness.

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A more defensive Double Chrono strat is to change the Inspiration Major Grandmaster trait toTemporal Enchanter, granting 2s Resistance (increased by Boon Duration) when casting Feedback or Time Warp on allies, as well as increasing Feedback duration by 2s each. You will again need to bring Signet of Inspiration on your bar however.

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Pulling Slublings

One of the most important aspects to the Slothasor fight is keeping the Slubling adds under control. One of the most common tactics is to pull the Slublings near Slothasor, and use Necro’s Epidemic to melt them (and occasionally melt your Slubling player bro too).

As a Chronomancer you are partially responsible for pulling Slubs close with your Temporal Curtain/Into the Void focus skills. However, due to the somewhat random spawn patterns of the Slublings and their potentially high range, other raid members should be expected to assist you with pulls such as Dragonhunter’s Spear of Justice/Hunter’s Verdict F1, Greatsword 5 Binding Blade, Ranger’s Axe 4 Path of Scars, and even Reaper’s Greatsword 5 Grasping Darkness. Necros can also “daisy chain” epidemics if at least one Slub is within 600 range of the boss, and then another Slub is within 600 range of that Slub (and so on).

Slublings will spawn every 30 seconds, and will always spawn 2 melee and 2 ranged slublings. After spawning, they will wait a moment before attacking, so it is worth waiting to see which two naturally wander into a melee, and which two stay at range. Once you identify the ranged ones, you can choose to either attempt to pull them both to Slothasor if they are close enough, or pull them together and close enough to be assisted by an ally.

Remember that you can use your Temporal Curtain twice as a part of your Continuum Split if needed, and to be careful not to pull any players that have transformed into Slublings. Getting a nice Slubling pull near the boss to keep them cleaned up is often more beneficial than getting a double Tides of Time.

Avoiding damage

Chronomancer has some of the strongest avoidance skills in the game. You should be prepared to use these skills to avoid going down or getting feared off, even in high pressure situations where you are getting no heals and need to drop Volatile Poison in a sketchy spot while under slubling fire.

Blurred Frenzy/Dodge/Evade
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Slothasor’s Fear notably cannot be evaded, but it can be avoided a few other ways. Ideally your team will be able to provide you with stability or group stun breaks, but you also need to be able to deal with it yourself in situations where the timing of the Fear and you needing to run away separately to drop Volatile Poison come together.

Echo of Memory/Block
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Distortion/Invulnerability
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Remember that even while you are invulnerable, any conditions already applied to you will continue to deal damage.
The ticks of damage you take from Volatile Poison before dropping it with your Special Action key also cannot be avoided.

Making the most of Distortion

Probably the single best moment in the fight to have Distortion ready for is the infamous Shake attack. This accomplishes multiple highly beneficial things, some of which may not be obvious at first. A full duration 3 illusion Distortion will of course grant yourself immunity for the entire Shake attack, and it will also give some of your teammates a 1s invulnerability safeguard if they don’t avoid the initial part of the attack for whatever reason. They will likely still need to avoid the latter part of the shake on their own, but it should give them time to react safely.
Another important thing is that most of your phantasms will die from a Shake attack due to the heavy condition damage. However, by using any shatter you can recreate them withChronophantasma, resetting both their health and positioning, letting you keep 100% phantasm uptime.
That said, do not be afraid to use your Distortion in a clearly dire situation, such as needing to run into Volatile Poison to save a downed teammate when Search and Rescue or Transfusion are not available. And of course, to simply save yourself under pressure when all your blocks/evades are exhausted.

Careful Continuum Split usage

There are some extra things you need to be careful about when using Continuum Split in this fight. The first is the tantrum golden AoE knockdown circles. I don’t start my first Continuum Split until after the first time this attack occurs in the fight. Teleporting back in to these at the end of a Split can be especially painful if you are hit by enough of them to be downed, or if poison mushrooms respawn over the area you are knocked down it. There is also the danger of getting fixate or volatile poison while knocked down and being unable to properly respond unless an ally can stun break you, as you have no naturally convenient stun breaks. You can try to avoid disaster if you see it coming by using any evade/block/invulnerability skill and manually ending the Split.

If the fixated target changes to you while in Continuum Split, you should immediately end the Split and get the boss moving in the correct direction and facing away from the rest of the raid for fire breath. Also make sure your Split ends before running out to drop Volatile Poison.

One last odd thing to keep in mind is that Continuum Split reverts you to the direction your character was facing when it sends you back. This can lead to you running into the poison mushrooms when feared if it isn’t prevented, stunbroken or cleansed, even if you tried to face the wall (to run into it) during Continuum Split.

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Slippery Slubling achievement tips

For details on the exact mechanics of the achievement, see these wiki pages: Golden Slubling &The slub “bundle”.

Chronomancer makes a solid slub carrier since they have high survivability with well timed Distortions, low personal DPS while still able to deal damage from Phantasms with your hands full, and decent ability to grant alacrity and quickness even without your weapons available most of the fight.

The easiest way to pass the Slub is to put a squad marker on assigned slub chuckers, communicate on TS when you need a good toss from your buddy, find a nice quiet spot away from the rest of the raid and press yourselves right on top of each other, then click the 1 skill with your mouse. This will drop it right on top of you, so that it doesn’t accidentally go to anyone else or get mistargeted anywhere. The AoE circle to catch the slub is pretty small, so standing still is almost required. The slub chucker bud I chose was a Necromancer, since they are naturally tanky and able to keep up damage while at range. I would toss to him, have him wait until I cast a few phantasms, then call for him to throw it back so he can continue dealing max damage.

At first tossing the slub around isn’t too complicated, but it gets more interesting as the fight goes on. You need to monitor the 30s buff on your bar to make sure you don’t drop the Slub, embarrassing yourself in front of nine other people. Due to the need to stand still for a good toss, it’s also very risky to toss during attacks like Spore Shake and Tantrum. It’s also a bit more hectic if you or your slub tosser buddy are Fixated, as you’ll need to be super careful of the Halitosis attack’s cooldown.

You also need to deal with the Fear Sloth casts after waking up every 20% (and especially the final 10%). Keep in mind that Necros can gain fear multiple times with Plague Signet, so bring a lot of stun breaks or condi cleanses to your group in general. I often experienced a bug where I tried to break my own fear with Well of Eternity as well as being broken by my allies, but remained feared with no conditions visible on my bar, so you’ll need to rely on your allies.

The build basically stays the same, although you could change the Focus trait in Inspiration toRestorative Illusions for panic condi clears if you feel like you need it. You can also bring some gear with tankier stats if you want since you won’t be doing much power damage anyway with a slub in your hands, although it isn’t really necessary. If you change gear make sure you are still keeping your boon duration high and a full set of Chronomancer runes, you want to minimize DPS sacrifices so there are less chances to lose the Slub before you kill the boss, don’t go too crazy stacking survivability on yourself. You mainly just need to practice to avoid unnecessary damage, stack for heals when you aren’t tossing, and time your tosses and invulns around the boss’ attack cooldowns properly.

el trío de bandidos
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There isn’t a ton of class specific stuff to say about this fight, it’s mostly about your group’s overall coordination and strategy. Pulling adds together and reflects are the name of the game to maximize damage and keep your team healthy. As long as you keep the raid and the cage alive, the environmentals (used properly) will deal more than enough damage kill the bosses, so focusing on normal DPS is unnecessary (unless you’re going for the no environmentals achievement). You can just run the exact same build you ran at Slothasor and it’ll probably be fine, but if you really want to do everything you can to keep people alive you can spec super defensively.

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Slow from Time Warp on a large pack of bandits is pretty powerful even just defensively. With Mimic and Feedback you can potentially cast 4 Feedbacks in a row, lasting for 32s straight. Start by casting Feedback during a Continuum Split, then cast Mimic after. Once Continuum Split ends you will still have the Mimic buff, and both Feedback and Mimic will both be back off cooldown. Then you can cast a Mimic’d Feedback, then another putting your Mimic fully on cooldown outside of Continuum Split, and finally a Feedback without Mimic.
Also keep in mind that although you only have a melee weapon, you can still knockdown beehives with illusions and damaging shatters.

Pulling Bandits

The most useful thing you can do in this fight is help pull the bandit adds together with Temporal Curtain and near each Champion boss as you’re fighting them. This will allow your allies to quickly cleave and epidemic them to death.

If adds are not pulled near the bosses, then Necro epidemic is useless. A good Necro team will bounce epidemics between the adds and champions, dramatically increasing DPS as well as spawning more Jagged Horrors from the death of the adds with Death Nova.

Remember that you can use your Continuum Split to Temporal Curtain twice. Normally I start the fight by using a double pull to try and pull together most or all of the Sappers near the Cage at the ground level. Like Slublings, other classes can help out with this too.

Matthias Gabrel
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For the first time, we have a raid boss where Mesmer Focus is not only not recommended, but potentially detrimental. This fight focuses heavily around accurate manipulation of the boss’ projectiles, and reflecting or destroying projectiles at inappropriate times can have huge consequences, potentially even quickly resulting in a wipe. Both Sword and Pistol are viable replacements for Focus, though Sword is probably more optimal. The main advantage of Pistol is that it offers slightly more defiance break bar power if your group is struggling with CC.

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A standard boon share build once again works great for this fight. You should absolutely not spec into Feedback on Rez trait, as accidentally reflecting the Shards of Rage attack can cause a wipe. Because we’re not using Focus, there’s no point in speccing into it, and the self heal and condi cleanses from shatters are relatively useful in this fight, especially when you are spread away from condi cleansing teammates. Master of Fragmentation is very useful because it gives you a lot of extra defiance break bar power with Diversion “cleave” if the boss is near the center. You can also use Distortion as an emergency backup reflect for Bloodstone Shield by standing inside of him or in the path of his “peashooter”. Just make sure you aren’t using Distortion while standing near him during Shards of Rage.

I would recommend against using Domination or any other alternate trees for this fight specifically. The reduced cooldown on Distortion and illusion based block abilities is extremely valuable for survival purposes.

Build Variants

If your group wants to use a Chronomancer as the primary reflector for Bloodstone Shield, you can once again drop Well of Recall for Feedback as mentioned in the Slothasor section. With two Chronos you can also try replacing Signet of Inspiration with Well of Recall for maximum Alacrity since you’ll have good Quickness coverage. Personally I think Dragonhunters are better suited to this role without near as much raid DPS loss, although it does take a bit more personal skill to place Wall of Reflection accurately.

If you do end up reflecting, you need to learn the animation for when he casts his Bloodstone Shield and when he starts his actual Bloodstone Shards attack. You need to be aware of this stuff even when you are busy with other mechanics in the fight. You should also keep in mind that Matthias rarely casts Shards of Rage after creating his Bloodstone Shield, so wait a moment until Bloodstone Shards animation actually begins before reflecting. There are enough projectiles shot to allow for a couple of seconds of missed reflects in bad situations. If the reflect is missed entirely, wait to cast Feedback until he actually starts up his Boodstone Shards attack again, as there is a time where he will just run around and melee with his Shield up.

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A nice “training wheels” build for this fight is to take blink instead of Feedback like the above builds. This gives you a decent stun break and movement skill on a fairly low cooldown, which is especially nice for the Downpour phase. That said, I think you should reach a point where you skillfully manage your Downpour stacks and intentionally reach 10 stacks and stand still with Unbalanced in between Zealous Benedictions. In an emergency, you can also Distortion (andInspiring Distortion) the insta-down from being inside another player’s Zealous Benediction AoE. Blink can also help you quickly get into position to drop Well of the Profane or cleanse Corruption. You can also blink out of Fiery Tornadoes if you get caught in them.

You should not use both Blink and Feedback at the same time, your boon share ability will be too hampered.

Honorable mention: Well of Precognition. After the April Quarterly update, this well has an identical cooldown to Blink (previously was 45s). This well can serve as another good stun break option, with less mobility, but still providing some alacrity and quickness thanks to traits and runes.

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Avoiding Damage

Since this fight is so healing intensive, using your damage avoidance wisely can significantly take the pressure of your druid(s), and a big part of this fight for every class is to avoid going down to the many threats. Going downed in the Abomination Phase especially can often cause you to be immediately defeated by Oppressive Gaze or Surrender. Since you need to spread out so much during Abom and Druid healing is mostly small AoEs, blocking heavy hits such as Zealous Benediction can help out a ton.

Blurred Frenzy/Dodge/Evade
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Echo of Memory/Illusionary Riposte/Block
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Unlike Echo of Memory, Illusionary Riposte only blocks one hit. This means it requires more precise timing to block Zealous Benediction, and it will not fully block hits from multiple projectiles of Shards of Rage or Oppressive Gaze.

Distortion/Invulnerability
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Once again, don’t be afraid to try and hero Rez someone caught in a dangerous spot with Distortion. That said, keep in mind that downed players do not take damage from Storm Clouds, so there isn’t a real need to panic for just that.

Continuum Split and Sacrifice

The interaction between being Sacrificed and having an active Continuum Split at the same time is pretty odd, and likely to cause you to die. You will get moved from the center of the room back to the Continuum Rift location, and have your flat health set back to whatever it was, putting you at 16% or less health in Sacrifice. You should avoid using Continuum Split just before the Sacrifice timer, and if you are targeted during a Split you should immediately end it.

Continuum Split and Corruption

You should also try to avoid using Continuum Split just before the Corruption timers (x:55 and x:25). You will deal too much damage to the raid by trying to stand around with Corruption and finish casting your wells, and prematurely ending your Split is obviously a big DPS loss.

Continuum Split and general positioning

Overall Continuum Split is pretty dangerous in this fight. One of the most disastrous things you can do is run away with Zealous Benediction, then warp back as it is about to explode and down several teammates in melee. You can try and invuln share in a situation like this, but generally the safest thing to do if you have Zealous Benediction during a Continuum Split is to simply not move, and let your allies move away from you. You can also just end the Split prematurely if you’d like.

Other things to look out for is Continuum Split putting you back in to any of the dangerous environmental attacks. Fiery Tornadoes, Storm Clouds, and Surrender are the main threats. You should keep an eye on where your Continuum Rift is located, and plan to use avoidance skills before the Split ends if needed. Remember that regular dodging doesn’t really work when the Split ends.

Getting sacked

When you are chosen to be Sacrificed, all your Illusions will be killed and all of your boons will be removed. Keep this in mind so that you can try to plan your cooldowns accordingly, don’t spawn new phantasms just before you get sacked. It often helps to be in your non-shield weapon swap before you are Sacrificed since it has the lower Phantasm cooldown, and if you were in shield you can start the weapon swap cooldown, letting it run during the Sacrifice where you can’t do anything anyway.

Defiance break bar CC

Your biggest CCs are Tides of Time and Diversion. That said, you should generally not delay your Tides of Time too much just to break unless your group is really struggling. There are a lot of other smaller CCs you can contribute as well. If your group has good CC, you can avoid using Diversion unless necessary in order to keep Phantasm up time higher, but you should keep in mind who is being sacrificed. If a key player (healer, reflector) is being Sacrificed breaking them out is a higher priority, and if a high CC class (heavies mostly) is being Sacrificed your overall group’s CC is going to take a hit.

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DPS off hand breaks, Illusionary Riposte/Counter Blade or Magic Bullet.

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Illusionary Leap/Swap, a minor Cripple/Immobilize if you’re desperate. Keep in mind it will replace active Phantasms if you are at the 3 illusion cap, which isn’t ideal.

You also have a lot of Slow and a little bit of Chill (from Well of Recall) that you can “cleave” onto the Sacrificed target for a decent amount of CC. Having the boss near the Sacrifice target so that shield Phantasms can cleave Slow with their hits helps a lot.