[Guide] Bounties Guide & Helpful Tips

Hey, hope everyone’s enjoying Path of Fire as much as I am! After completing all the bounties PoF has to offer, I noticed there are still a lot of ways the Guild Wars community can improve how it runs bounty hunts, as well space for as some practical tips on how to deal with the ley energy abilities, and some notable bounty-specific abilities that need to be highlighted.

Ley Energy Abilties

All normal bounties have two of these, and legendaries have a third that is unique to legendary hunts. Most ley abilities do not affect players in the downed state, meaning you can often self-res even inside a hostile ley ability. Ley abilities (not base abilities) are disabled for a few seconds after breaking a bounty’s breakbar. Let’s go through them:

All bounties:

Exploiter – Attack from up close to identify weak point.

Practically, this means you have to run through the bounty every ~20 seconds to be able to damage it. The buff doesn’t refresh constantly if you stand in melee range, but will refresh the instant it drops. On bosses with heavy AoE or with ley abilities that make meleeing difficult, you just need to touch the bounty before moving away again.

Lasers – Swirling laser beams.

The boss will drop several blue-green orbs that after a small delay will activate a “clockhand” laser that deals very high damage. Generally, the delay is long enough to move out of the way, and these are only a problem if dropped on the melee party. Again, these don’t hit downed-state, so you’ll be safe to self-res if knocked down.

Ley-Energy Buildup – Find ley-energy orbs to discharge damaging buildup.

The bounty has a long range effect that adds a stacking DoT effect to everyone in the area. At around 7-9 stacks, it will really start to hurt, and can down you very quickly. Your screen will have a white tint added to the edges when this effect is on you. You can clear it by standing in the small AoE around see-through hovering orbs of ley energy. While within the AoE, you will not receive new stacks, but upon leaving you will start again. Note that if you stand in the intersection of two ley AoEs, and one times out, you will start accruing stacks again, and must move fully out of the aoe and back in to prevent new stacks being added.

Phase-Shifted – Avoids attacks from outside the designated area.

Straightforwardly, you can only damage bosses while attacking from within either an inner “melee” circle, or an outer ranged ring, indicated with blue arrows. This one can be troublesome on highly mobile melee bosses. I’m 99% sure it always starts with the “melee” circle, including when starting again after being stunned.

Polluter – Drops expanding poison fields.

A long-duration AoE that puts one stack each of poison and torment per tick on players in its radius, ticking roughly every second. Both deal very high damage. Through good use of cleanses, melee zergs can stay in these, but it’s risky, especially with bounties that have strong melee range abilities or additional AoE abilities (like Hydra meteors). The poison not affecting down-state players means mass ressing is viable.

Propagator – Plants healing tendril that regenerates health of allies.

Places random healing tendril objects around the boss. The healing provided seems very minimal (may actually be a regeneration boon, but if so it is stripped very quickly), and they die quickly to AoE. Even in smaller groups, focusing them down does not seem worthwhile.

Restorer – Generate a curative cloud to repair damage.

Creates an “elite” rank healing coalescence that steadily walks towards the bounty and heals it (personal experience says 2-3% of HP, but it may also be a flat value). These die very easily to AoE, so it’s hard to say if they sacrifice themselves to heal, or if they can heal repeatedly. Very quick and easy to kill even in small groups.

Scorcher – Drops fire fields that damage and burn foes.

Marks very small AoE fields and then does high direct damage to players standing in them. This damage is blockable. Otherwise straightforward: don’t stand in the fire!

Signaler – Blinds players who ignore stop or go signals.

Very quickly pulsing blind application to players who are either moving or stopped during signals. Stop = stand still, Go = wiggle or move properly. I’m 99% sure it always starts with the Stop, including when starting again after being stunned. Since this only affects your dps, and not your life, prioritise avoiding damaging AoEs (like Hydra meteors) over following signals.

Sniper – Targets foes for killing shots.

Players around the boss will be randomly marked with a crosshair. I believe after this the intended behaviour is the a small blue-red coloured orb paths around, and if it reaches one of these marked players, they take very heavy damage, so you want to avoid the orb. In practice, you sometimes just take damage anyway. More info would be appreciated!

Survivor – Periodically blocks the next several attacks.

Does what it says on the tin. It seems to block a fixed number (10?) of attacks, rather than scaling with number of enemies around the boss. Generally not something to worry about, though it can be annoying if it happens during breakbar periods.

Legendary-only:

Captor – Traps players in difficult-to-escape snares.

Spawns a scaling number of rings that block normal player movement. You can dodge through these rings, and stability seems to work as well. However, if you get caught in an intersection of two rings without stability, you will often be bounced between them, unable to act until they despawn in ~5 seconds, which makes you an easy target for enemy AoE (like Hydra meteors).

Flash Freeze – Time jumps to avoid the chilling pulses.

An expanding AoE originating at the bounty which applies chill and stuns players who do not jump over it. It can be blocked, and stability can prevent the stun. In general, staying at range makes it easier to predict and jump this. I’ve found it’s best to jump slightly early, the “wall” seems to be quicker than the visual effect implies. There is also a “charging” effect before it’s fired, so melee players can look out for that (thanks to Nordalin).

Frightener – Surrounds itself with a fear-inducing field.

Exactly what you’d expect; drops several medium-sized AoE fears every 10-20 seconds. Obviously, be careful when fighting near ledges, or against bounties with high damage AoEs (or Hydra meteors).

Hammerer – Knocks down foes with hammer strikes.

Spawns several hammers that spin in a circle around the boss at various different radii. They do minor damage but knockdown if they hit you. The radii appears to be static, so as long as the boss doesn’t move too much, good positioning means they’re not something to worry about. After stunning a boss, they will have new radii.

Petrifier – Locks eyes to turn foes to stone.

A large glowing eye symbol should appear above the bounty’s model indicating when to look away, along with a buff-bar icon; as long as you are not facing the boss you will not be petrified (thanks xgalaxy and diruuo). The eye symbol may be hidden behind spell effects though, so the buff-bar icon can be the more useful tell. With only about 2 seconds of petrification, this is not a particularly worrying ability.

Notable Bounties

Crystal Oasis – Scraggletooth is very mobile, meaning the abilities like Phase-Shifted and Exploiter can make this one a slog. Stacking near a wall to keep it from moving around too much is a good option if it doesn’t have Scorcher or Polluter.

Desert Highlands – Dhael Skyspeaker is a Jacanda with a self-heal where it hovers higher and expels green bursts of energy. Because its breakbar is not synchronised with this heal, and its heals for ~10% or more of its health, this can be impossible for medium-sized groups (while small groups have an easier time with breakbars, and zergs can generally outdps the healing).

Desert Highlands – Silkears the Fierce is a Jackalope with huge, sharp… er… he can leap about. Look at the bones! He moves at very high speed with a lot of evasion, only stopping every so often for an attack on players. Bringing heavy CC is very important, as he remains stunned for longer than usual after his breakbar is broken, and otherwise is quite capable of evasion-tanking a zerg until the time limit expires.

The Desolation – Muckstalker is a Drake that will repeatedly self-heal unless its breakbar is broken at roughly every 20% of health. Bringing high CC is a must, as otherwise killing it can be impossible.

The Desolation – Ley-Charged Ooze should absolutely not be attacked when in its “shield” form. Every single hit (with no internal cooldown) will deal damage to every player in a large AoE around it. If you are standing in melee range and a single Ranger uses a rapid fire ability, you will at least be downed, and probably die. Attacking while it’s in “shield” form does not damage, so holster those weapons.

The Desolation – Awakened Abhorrence like most Awakened Abominations can switch into a Retaliation mode (holds it tail high, and has a spinning red effect with swords on it surrounding it). Attacking during this phase reflects damage back onto players, and can quickly wipe entire zergs.

More Efficient Hunting

When running a large bounty raid, consider asking for 5 members who intend to stay for the entire run to join you in group 2. When at the bounty board, go through each bounty and mark its location on your map, then have each member of group 2 pick up a different bounty. This eliminates the need to return to the bounty board after every kill, and can save a lot of movement time. You can use the Commander pings (alt+num and alt+shift+num by default) to make it easier to see who picks up which bounty.

Using the proper mount can also help speed up bounty kills. Before engaging a bounty, take a moment to ping the bounty’s ley abilities to your zerg, giving them time to switch to a ranged weapon if necessary for e.g. Phase-Shifted or certain bounties. Then, if the bounty starts with a breakbar, having the majority of the zerg switch to the Springer and use its combat ability can guarantee great opening burst damage. If it doesn’t, mass Jackals provide the zerg with a hefty barrier.