Ascalonian Catacombs Path 1: Defeat the Howling King

Level: 35.

Reward: 0.76 g + 100 tokens.

Average length: 13 minutes.

Difficulty: Easy.

Enemies: Graveling, Spider and Ghost.

Time: Night.

Use Sigil of the Night and Sigil of Force.

Video guide (Banter Bill).

Current record: 2.

First run per day gives 76 silvers and 100 tokens, Ascalonian Tears. Next runs give only 26 silvers and 20 tokens. Tokens can be Converted to gold.

Every run gives 23% experience towards your next level and 30 Empyreal Fragments.

There is a high chance to get Foefire Amulet, Foefire Amulet (masterwork), Ghostly Spineguard or Ring of the Catacombs from enemies and chests. All can be traded but aren't valuable.

There is a very low chance to get an account bound Recipe: Claw of the Howling King from the end boss, Howling King. The recipe allows you to craft Claw of the Howling King which gives a much better gold return for your tokens.


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Get to the Camp

Watch out for Spike Traps on ground in front of a Breeder. Wait them to disappear or jump on coffins.

Escort nearby NPCs to the camp. Use area swiftness to make them run faster.

One player escorts NPCs while giving them area swiftness. Everyone else proceeds to Spider Queen.

Use Charge (Warhorn) and Inspire for area swiftness to make the NPC move faster.


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Stairs

Once you enter the stairs a Burrow appears at the bottom. It will spawn lots of Graveling Hatchlings which stack bleeding fast.

Focus the burrow immediately to destroy it before you get overrun by hatchlings. Keep circling around the burrow to avoid most graveling attacks.

Once you enter the stairs a Burrow appears at the bottom. Just keep going and move fast through trap room.

The Burrow only activates once the path has been selected. Delay the path selection until everyone (including you) has entered the stairs and it won't appear at all.

There's a secret event below the stairs (waste of a time reward wise). Turn left immediately after stairs and enter small room. When you activate one torch 4 random Ghosts appear.


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Traps

Watch out for Spike Traps on ground and Flame Jets on walls (especially when going down stairs).

You can either stick to left and jump over a gap or stick to right and jump over Flame Jets. Melee players should use latter so they can easily melee Gargoyle Heads.


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Spider room

Filled with Spider Hatchlings and low level Spider Hatchlings. Spider Queen and 11 Spider Hatchlings appear when all low level Spiders have been killed. Also 4 Gargoyle Heads which you should destroy if possible.

Don't kill last low level spider until the room is clear of other enemies! Making the Spider Queen appear middle of fight often gets unprepared team killed.

Proceed carefully, don't aggro the whole room. Bring condition removal against poison. Teams often pull all enemies behind corner in the gap between stairs and wall.

Reflection/absorption is effective at mitigating hatchlings' attacks.

Run to the room as a team and quickly kill every spider. Stack might immediately when low level spiders are dead and then wait for Spider Queen to appear.

Reflection/absorption is effective at mitigating hatchlings' attacks.

Clean the room carefully. If you kill all low level spiders Spider Queen appears which makes it much harder. First destroy two Gargoyle Heads right after flame traps. You can hit them both through corners with melee attacks. Then clear the lower area from Spider Hatchlings. Pull them behind any corner to maximise your area damage.

When the lower area is clear equip a high range weapon and take down two remaining Gargoyle Heads without aggroing spiders on the higher part. Finally take down the remaining spiders which makes Spider Queen appear. With experience you can clear hatchlings while fighting Queen.

To kill hatchlings more easily and safely, start running back immediately. Run through the trap room and move behind the corner right after the second spike trap. About half of the hatclings will come there while rest reset. After that quickly burst down any remaining hatclings before Queen becomes a threat.


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Spider Queen

First focus on any leftover Spider Hatchlings. Once they are dead don't hesitate to fall back as a team to regenerate if needed.

Ranging her is very easy because she doesn't attempt to get close. At high range you only have to care about one attack, Venom Spray. When she glows she will shoot 3 large ticking AoEs which deal lots of damage over time. If you get downed inside one you will very likely get defeated.

Pay attention to the ground and move out of any red circle. Keep in mind that the attack can't be reflected, blocked or evaded. Try to stay away from others so you don't have to move when they get targeted and vice versa.

You should have a condition removal if you accidentally get too close and get immobilized by her. Patiently wait until the attack finishes and then remove the immobilized.

First focus on any leftover Spider Hatchlings. Once they are dead don't hesitate to fall back as a team to regenerate if needed.

Meleeing her is very dangerous unless you know her attacks well or can kill her fast. Try to learn her animations so you can counter the attacks properly.

Her most dangerous attack is Venom Spray. When she glows she will shoot 3 large ticking AoEs which deal lots of damage over time. If you get downed inside one you will very likely get defeated. Keep in mind that the attack can't be reflected, blocked or evaded so you have walk out of it. Consider using a mobility skill.

Most importantly you have to try direct the attack away from Queen so you can stay on melee range (can't reach her if she is inside one). She won't move out on her own unless you break line of sight (use the statue in middle). If possible, save interrupts for this attack.

Her Entangling Web attack hits several times dealing decent damage and immobilized on medium range. If you get immobilized you can't move or dodge so AoEs will kill you. Take plenty of condition removal until you know how to reliably avoid it. Also try to direct it away from other players.

Avoiding Web is very tricky because she is able to change direction twice, after the cast and after the first hit. Easiest way to avoid it is to use a single block while moving around her. Block will absorb the first hit and movement avoids the rest. You can also dodge it but you need a good timing unless you spend 2 dodges.

If you get hit you have two options. Either wait until the attack finishes or remove it during the attack while dodging away. Latter allows you to take less damage but may just get you immobilized again.

Her Bite is a fairly powerful melee attack with lots of damage coming from bleeding. Unless you have high toughness and/or good condition removal you don't want to tank it. It also applies weakness which severely reduces your direct damage.

Most importantly try to stay behind her back if someone else is being targeted. If you are the target try to block or dodge whenever you can. If you get low health you can move away from her and she will probably attack someone else.

It is possible to avoid the attack by precise movement by either running through her or away from her. However, this requires lots of practice to do reliably.

Learn the jump timing to make Venom Spray overshoot. This makes the fight much easier because you don't have to move around the room. Stay at high range and jump right before her glowing ends until you learn the timing.

Then learn how to avoid Entangling Web with a single dodge. This is easy to do as long as you don't dodge too early. Take lots of condition removal and stay bith further than melee range so she won't Bite. This also allows you to train jumping against Venom Spray. If you have an access to a block, practice also using it. Activate the block and just keep circling around her.

For an easy way, let the NPC tank it. Web doesn't deal much damage so NPCs can survive against it for a long time, as long as you direct Venom Spray and Bite away from them.

If you can deal with her other attacks, practising Bite isn't needed because you can dodge most and afford getting hit few times. It's possible to avoid the attack by running through or away from her. This needs a really good timing and/or swiftness but improves your survivability a lot.

Some examples in a quickly made Video.

Start with a long lasting interrupt to prevent her using Venom Spray and to give you few more extra seconds. Burst her down in the open as fast as possible. If she manages to use Venom Spray move out of the AoEs immediately unless you can burst her down.

Stay behind her back to avoid her melee and web attack. If your team lacks damage use the statue in the middle to move Spider Queen out of her AoEs.

Reflection/absorption is effective at mitigating hatchlings' attacks if any remain.

Use Ice Storm and Frost Fan for a burst, then drop it.

If you need defense, take warhorn for Charge (Warhorn) and Call to Arms to remove immobilized and improve survivability of whole party.

Use Riposte or Counter Blow as a short cooldown single block.


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Corridor with spikes

Multiple Spike Traps in the corridor and a patrol with a Stalker, a Graveling, a Breeder and a Howler. Pull enemies away from the traps because traps deal lots of damage.

Focus Breeder or interrupt it to not get overrun by Hatchlings. Keep an eye on the Graveling to dodge its leap. Take a stun break unless you know how to avoid their control skills.

Don't rush in to the corridor. Each trap deals 2000 damage so triggering multiple traps will get you killed. Armor, evading, blocking and most immunities have no effect. Instead, observer trap locations and their on-off pattern and rely on smart movement.

There are multiple safe spots at side of the corridor. If you get low health go wait there for a few seconds to get out of combat regeneration. Traps can be triggered only once (until they reappear) so you can safely move through triggered traps.

Be careful when using any mobility skills (except teleports) because you can easily trigger multiple traps and get downed. Reviving may be hard if you get downed middle of a trap.

There is a switch at left end of the corridor. Use it as fast as possible to help everyone else to get through. Then kill 2 Gargoyle Heads.

Skipping is not suggested because enemies are pretty fast to kill and skipping is very risky without coordination or a long stealth. Use mobility and teleports.

If you have access to stealth, cast it before aggroing enemies or going to traps. Run together but don't stack so triggered traps won't hit multiple players. Player with most health should go first to trigger traps when needed. Each trap deals 2000 damage so rotate the first player as needed.

Without stealth it is very tough as enemies will also attack you. Bring stability or a stun break if you get hit by their control attacks. If anyone gets downed it is probably safer to leave him there. Disable traps at end of the corridor, lose aggro (or kill enemies) and then go resurrect him.

Remember to disable traps at end of corridor in case you wipe. Spend your remaining dodges to avoid Fireballs from Gargoyle Heads to stay out of combat.

Stack behind A corner and burst elite enemies down.

Dodge twice after corridor to avoid Fireballs from 2 Gargoyle Heads to stay out of combat.

Use Portal if your team has issues.

Use Blink to teleport over some traps.

Use Smoke Screen with Cluster Bomb and Shadow Refuge to easily run through with your team.

Defiant Stance or Endure Pain doesn't work against traps.

Use Healing Surge to quickly heal after getting hit by traps.

Use Flashing Blade and Judge's Intervention to teleport over traps (target Gargoyle Head.


Cave Troll

Troll may appear from several spots during the run (5 for path 1, 7 for path 2, 7 for path 3). It is pretty tough to kill because it deals lots of damage and control. Often skipped.

If it appears close to Kholer you can pull it there and let them fight together. This allows to kill both of them easily but takes a long time (just remember to hit Troll few times to get loot).

See Ranged or Melee tactic for more info.

Troll may appear from several spots during the run (5 for path 1, 7 for path 2, 7 for path 3). Just ignore him and run through.

Troll is very dangerous even at range because his every attack can't be blocked and hits hard. You have to dodge a lot so try to boost your Endurance regeneration.

His normal ranged attack bounces, weakens and dazes so be ready to evade if you see something flying towards you. Sidestepping won't work as the projectile follows you. He occasionally roars to fear. It can't even be evaded so you should have a stun break with ~20 s cooldown.

When he looks up he is about to jump which can destroy whole team. He leaps towards his target with big AoE and shoots a projectile at every player upon landing. Be ready evade if he leaps towards you. If you get hit you have to stunbreak immediately so you can dodge the follow up projectile. If your Endurance is low you can also jump over the projectile but you need better timing. If you are at high range you can just sidestep to avoid it.

Troll is very dangerous even at range because his every attack can't be blocked and hits hard. You have to dodge a lot so try to boost your Endurance regeneration.

Try to stay behind his back so you can see if he is going to attack you. Learn his basic attack animation to evade it properly. He occasionally roars to fear. It can't even be evaded so you should have a stun break with ~20 s cooldown.

When he looks up he is about to jump which can destroy whole team. He leaps towards his target with big AoE and shoots a projectile at every player upon landing. Be ready evade if he leaps towards you. If you get hit you have to stunbreak immediately so you can dodge the follow up projectile. If your Endurance is low you can also jump over the projectile but you need better timing.


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Lieutenant Kholer

Unorganized teams usually skip him because he can easily kill the whole group with his pull and spin. However killing him spawns a chest and a waypoint so learn him and kill him.

At start and every 25% 2 Ghosts appear. Focus them to reduce pressure.

Keep an eye on Kholer at all times to see when he raises his sword and glows. Be ready to dodge, use stability, use anti projectile skills or run behind a corner. Take a stun break / immunity as a fail safe because spin after pull does extreme damage and lots of conditions.

His normal melee attacks/leaps don't hit very hard, you can always kite him a bit if needed.

Unorganized teams usually skip him because he can easily kill the whole group with his pull and spin. However killing him spawns a chest and a waypoint so learn him and kill him.

At start and every 25% 2 Ghosts appear. Focus them to reduce pressure.

Keep an eye on Kholer at all times to see when he raises his sword and glows. Be ready to dodge, use stability, use anti projectile skills or run behind a corner. Take a stun break / immunity as a fail safe because spin after pull does extreme damage and lots of conditions.

His normal melee attacks/leaps don't hit very hard, you can always kite him a bit if needed.

Stack behind A corner and use a non-crippling attack to pull him. This keeps him still and allows you to quickly kill spawned elite Ghosts. Pay attention to Kholer as his pull attack may be hard to see through all the spell effects.

Be ready to dodge away or use an immunity once this fails.

Use Feedback when he glows to protect team from the pull.

Use "Stand Your Ground!" or Wall of Reflection when he glows to protect your team from the pull.

If you have to pull use a non-crippling ranged attack such as Impale. You may quickly switch weapon while the projectile is mid-air.

Tremor deals lots of damage and also knocks down any elite Ghosts.

Use Ice Storm and Frost Fan for massive burst, then drop it.


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Defend Hodgins on burrows

When going down stairs, watch out for Flame Jets at both sides. If you get hit you will most likely end up defeated. Wait for them to go off and rush in or keep jumping on top of them.

You can do this one before Kholer if you want. You need to keep Hodgings alive and destroy two burrow chains, both containing 3 Burrows. When a burrow is destroyed next one spawns until whole chain is cleared.

Positions are (based on Hodgins/middle of room):

Chain 1: west, south-west, north-east.

Chain 2: north, south-east, north-west.

Enemies spawned (respawns when killed):

Chain 1: Breeder and Hatchlings then Stalker and Hatchlings and then Howler and Hatchlings.

Chain 2: Stalker and Hatchlings then 2 Gravelings and then Breeder and Hatchlings.

Different strategies are possible, but mostly follow one of two patterns:

1) Focus on one chain (usually chain 1) first while having a person kite the spawns from the other chain to keep them from attacking Hodgins. As a general rule of thumb, all players should stay far away from Hodgins and detour north of his table if needing to cross the room. This is because the gravelings will aggro onto him without provocation if running nearby. A guardian + staff has the easiest time kiting as they can pull gravelings with ranged AOE autoattack from the other side of the table.

2) Split into 2 groups and attack both chains. This is the fastest way to clear and doesn't require a person to kite for Hodgins since the players will aggro the gravelings from the mounds as soon as they spawn. However it's riskier since Hodgins will be defenseless if any gravelings slip by.

The most important thing in this room is to make sure everyone is on the same page. Hodgins will start the event as soon as the last party member enters the room, so coordinate before entering.

Melee characters can kill burrows effectively by targetting them then attacking while circle-strafing around the edges.

Burrows push players back when destroyed. In some locations, this will cause the player to glitch through walls/bookcases etc. and get stuck depending on where they're at relative to the burrow. If meleeing a burrow, position yourself so that when it dies you get pushed into an open space and don't get stuck.

Stack might when Hodgins walks to his spot. Split around the room and use high powered attack to quickly burst down burrows.

Hodgins may not start the event if he was dead when you entered the room. This may happen quite easily on the flame corridor so keep an eye on him. If this happens, run to the far corner of the room to make him teleport to the table and start the event.

Meteor Shower and Ice Storm are extremely effective against Burrows.

Use Black Powder to protect Hodgins when running past him.

Use Sword instead of Dagger because Burrows don't have a back.

Use Cluster Bomb to deal lots of damage to Burrows.

Swap any Precision skills to Power ones (Signet of Might and Banner of Strength.


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The first scepter

Once event finishes, one player follows Hodgins (or uses the waypoint), gets up and interacts with a coffin on top.

Rest of the party proceeds.


Way to the second scepter

If you have killed Kholer, use the waypoint close to him. Otherwise just run back (you may need mobility to get past Flame Jets), or waypoint to the Priory camp if you can't make it up the stairs.

Look for position on the map and run there. First you will get ambushed by 6 Grubs which are very easy to kill. Then you will face 2 Breeders and a Howler. Focus one Breeder while interrupting the other.

After them you will get ambushed by a 3 Oozes and 4 Oozes. Pull them behind a corner for maximum area damage.

If you have killed Kholer, use the waypoint close to him. Otherwise just run back (you may need mobility to get past Flame Jets), or waypoint to the Priory camp if you can't make it up the stairs.

After 2 Breeders and a Howler be ready to turn left when entering the room with the objective (the path splits). This allows you completely avoid Oozes so you won't risk Hodgins trying to fight them.

Use Rush to easily get past Jets.


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Gathering pieces for the second scepter

To repair the second scepter you need to gather 5 scepter pieces for Hodgins. Pieces are in a big room filled with lots of Gravelings. On total there are at least 8 Scavengers, 4 Stalkers, 8 Breeders, 6 Gravelings, 9 Howlers and 24 Hatchlings.

One player stays with Hodgins and interacts with him when other players have found all pieces. This finishes the encounter faster and prevents Hodgings from aggroing any enemies who are following returning players. For extra speed, use area Swiftness to buff Hodgins while he is moving.

Everyone else (at least 2) go to the big room to get the pieces. Take mobility, anti-Control and immunity skills. Try to avoid every attack either with movement, evading or blocking to keep out-combat speed. Picking up a piece locks you in a place briefly so pull enemies bit away if needed.

First piece is just up the stairs and can be easily missed. Rest of the pieces are in the big room. Once all pieces are found get out of combat as fast as possible by running to north or east side of the room. If all get out, everyone can just teleport to the nearby waypoint. However this rarely happens (unless coordinated) so run back normally while waiting.

Consider also taking Dolyak Signet for extra stability.


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Way to Howling King

Run back to the location where you were ambushed by Grubs. There will be 9 Hatchlings, a Scavenger and a Stalker. Then there are a patrol with a Stalker and 2 Gravelings, a patrol with 3 Stalkers and a Howler and a patrol with 2 Gravelings and a Howler. There also 4 Flame Jets (Weak) at intersection.

Patrol routes partially overlap so pull enemies back to reduce risk of aggroing another group. Be careful to not stand on Flame Jets at the intersection.

Run back to the location where you were ambushed by Grubs. There will be 9 Hatchlings, a Scavenger and a Stalker. Then there are a patrol with a Stalker and 2 Gravelings, a patrol with 3 Stalkers and a Howler and a patrol with 2 Gravelings and a Howler. There also 4 Flame Jets (Weak) at intersection.

As usually, focus on mobility and survivability skills. stability is very useful especially if you are behind someone (you will get hit with attacks aimed at him). Stay alert and be ready to dodge whenever something is leaping towards you.

Protect your party with area stability and aegis.


Tunnels

Path splits to 3 ways. Left has a Breeder, a Graveling and ~10 Hatchlings. Middle way has 3 Breeders and ~5 Hatchlings. Right way has 2 Scavengers, a Howler and 4 Hatchlings.

The left way is the easiest to kill but other ways aren't much harder. Just focus Breeders.

Path splits to 3 ways. Left has a Breeder, a Graveling and ~10 Hatchlings. Middle way has 3 Breeders and ~5 Hatchlings. Right way has 2 Scavengers, a Howler and 4 Hatchlings.

People usually go middle way because Breeders don't have any Control skills. However, left way is almost a good option.


Howling King

Ensure that everyone is ready and prepared before aggroing the King. Once started, 7 Gravelings / Scavengers spawn every ~20 seconds (until high cap is reached) and they can easily kill unprepared people. You should also wait until the King is near back wall because this leaves the biggest space between you and enemy respawning location.

The idea is to pull elite Gravelings to rings of fire to instantly kill them. These appear all around the area once the fight has been started. Closer you are the back wall more likely a ring will be between you and the enemies.

At all times keep a ring of fire between you and the enemies. If you let them get close their spam of control skills will get you killed. You should take 1-2 stun breaks as a fail safe. If you get in bad position run through a ring.

Positioning is extremely important. On top of staying behind a ring of fire, you also need to be able to stay behind the King or he will kill you. If you have problems then keep it simple. When Gravelings are alive run away from the King and focus on getting them killed. Once they are gone, attack the King until new ones appear.

If you happen to get downed then tag as many Gravelings as possible. You will rally when they die on fire.

Ensure that everyone is ready and prepared before aggroing the King. Once started, 7 Gravelings / Scavengers spawn every ~20 seconds (until high cap is reached) and they can easily kill unprepared people. You should also wait until the King is near back wall because this leaves the biggest space between you and enemy respawning location.

The idea is to pull elite Gravelings to rings of fire to instantly kill them. These appear all around the area once the fight has been started. Closer you are the back wall more likely a ring will be between you and the enemies.

At all times keep a ring of fire between you and the enemies. If you let them get close their spam of control skills will get you killed. You should take 1-2 stun breaks as a fail safe. If you get in bad position run through a ring.

You should try to stay between the King and the respawning location so you get aggro instead of melee players. You can attack the King much more easier than melee players while pulling Gravelings to the rings. The King itself won't be dangerous as long as you stay away from him and never directly front of him.

If you happen to get downed then tag as many Gravelings as possible. You will rally when they die on fire.

Bring full offense to burst him down before any elite Gravelings appear.

There is a very low chance to get an account bound Recipe: Claw of the Howling King from Howling King. The recipe allows you to craft Claw of the Howling King which gives a much better gold return for your tokens.

To maximise damage from Hundred Blades use it when King shoots a beam.

You can use "Fear Me!" to push King to a wall.

Use Ice Storm and Frost Fan for a massive burst, then drop it.