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Genesis, Laz, and Forge; Nature, Ice, Fire

 Genesis, Laz, and Forge; Nature, Ice, Fire

If you can find time between hunting down Corrupted Rabbits or patiently waiting for the BJA on June 7th, this week’s mutations look interesting. After last week’s Fire mutation, Laz returns but this time with Ice. An opportunity to do some direct comparison between mutation types. Or, you can take your rubied-up gear to Empyrean Forge, where we have a lovely synergy between the natural elemental damage and the mutation. The final option is a Nature-infused Genesis, enhancing the garden vibes.

Be warned, we have a patch this evening and the mutations may switch again afterward. It’s probably safest to hold off gemming up, or race in quickly if an artifact you want is up for grabs.

There are three levels of Mutation, as well as Story mode, for each Expedition.

  • M1 requires 650 gear score and is relatively easy, introducing the mechanics of the mutation type at a reduced level of damage.
  • M2 is a little harder and requires 675 gear score, with increased scaling and the addition of the Promotion challenges. It is still quite simple to do with an experienced group and is probably the most efficient mode, with improved loot for little effort.
  • M3 requires 695+ gear score and optimised perks, gems and buffs. It is considerably more challenging than M2, both with increased scaling and the addition of the mutation Curse as well as the Promotion.

Note: Elemental damage gems in your weapons are simply recommendations based on the elements your enemies are weakest to. Your playstyle may suit non-elemental gems better and you are encouraged to continue using those if so.

Expedition specific

General buffs

Artifact: Freya’s Francisca Hatchet

The Garden of Genesis is one of the classic expeditions, having been in the game since release and very popular as a place to raise your item expertise. It’s the only Angry Earth dungeon and can be run pretty fast, although there are a couple of sticky spots that can slow groups down. The worst of these is Alluvium Marl, the Caretaker, who guards his Greenhouse in the middle of the dungeon. He can be seen terrifying those facing him. Our advice for this boss is to just kill him, and do it fast.

Mutation: Overgrown

Overgrown means those mobs are going to be healing one another, which really should be a privilege exclusive to us. Compost mobs drop a healing circle that works like a Sacred Ground for them and looks a bit like one too. This is one of the rare times that disease perks are useful in PVE, so pull out your Hatchet with Infected Throw, or slot a weapon with Plagued Strikes or Plagued Crits. Your Bile Bomb heartrune will also spread disease around, so vomit away to your heart’s content.

Toxic mobs spawn THE most annoyingly friendly little green blob that follows you around, does damage over time that increases at the higher mutations, and casts an area root. We just love not being able to move and getting damaged at the same time! Best bet is to try and stay out of its way. If you get stuck, it might be worth it to have Nature Absorption potions slotted and chug one down. Arboreal enemies are dealing 50% of damage as Nature, and Bramble enemies deal 20-40% base damage as Nature, so Amber slotted in your gear will protect you.

At M1 level, everything is a bit easier, so you will be fine with Opals rather than Ambers, and may not need to use Ward potions or Coatings.

M2 - Indomitable

When we get to M2, some of the mini-bosses gain Phalanx shields that block projectiles, which is particularly annoying for healers who are trying to speed up their cooldowns or charge up their heals with heavy attacks. If you play ranged DPS, make sure you have a melee weapon in your other slot and be aware that heals might be a bit less powerful. Vampiric also makes an appearance, which can make enemies slower to kill, so your Bile Bomb heartrune might be useful.

M3 - Frenzied

The real trouble starts when things get Frenzied. At M3, players begin being penalised for dodging, by acquiring a stack of Unstable that does 1.5% of max health as Nature damage per second for 10 seconds and cannot be cleansed. You can get up to three of these stacks, and when you do it drops a 3m radius zone that does 10% of max health per second for 15 seconds – ouch, that’s 150% of your health if you just stand there! If you enter this zone with stacks of Unstable, it will consume them and do 30% of max HP. So, it’s really important to manage your stacks and move away from the group if you can’t avoid dropping a puddle. Don’t poop on the group.

Expedition specific

General buffs

Mutation specific

Artifact: Spark of Mjölnir War Hammer

It’s The Lazurus Instrumentality week, everyone’s favorite place to be. As always, Ancient enemies require ancient solutions and this means Hammers! Crush those bones down, but don’t forget the utility of your secondary weapons. Every good mutation team benefits from a Spear with Perforate and a Great Axe with Grav Well to keep things running smoothly. Or any other way you can think of to weaken those enemies and buff up your friends.

You might want to consider Topaz for your weapons, as it converts some of your damage to Lightning, which is strong against Ancients, or you might choose to slot an Emerald for those large numbers in Chardis’ final down phase. Add an Ancient Coating, Infused if you can afford it, and a Honing stone to maximise damage. Chug down an Ancient Ward potion before getting started for some extra protection. Remember to eat an attribute food of your choice and take your Topaz if you need to collect some gypsum.

Mutation: Icebound

Ice, Ice, Baby! Everything slows down in the cold and this mutation is no exception. We start with Icebound, which means all enemies are dealing Ice Damage, so pull out your Aquamarines and Frozen Protection amuletMost annoying is Shiver, a zone of exclusion that bites anyone who is outside of it, which keeps the group huddled up together. Be careful of enemies with Glacial, as they will drop a crystal that can root you in place. To prevent this, you need to destroy or run away from the crystal, depending on where it is positioned.

At M1 level, everything is a bit easier, so you will be fine with Opals rather than Aquamarines, and may not need to use Ward potions or Coatings.

M2 - Savage

When you get to M2, Festering enemies start to appear, dealing disease against you so your incoming healing will be reduced. Remember, debuffs can be Purified in a number of ways. Slicer enemies also turn up, adding 30% base Void damage, so think about diversifying your protective gems in this mutation.

M3 - Dessicated

The Curse of the Frozen Instrumentality is Desiccated, which is your basic dip and nae-nae. When a player gets an Ice ring around them, they need to dip all team members in order to remove their Shrivel. But make sure they nae-nae away before the timer ends to avoid spiking others with a chain Ice for 50% of their max health. If you’re unlucky enough to be left shriveled, damage and healing will be reduced by 50% until the debuff wears off.

Expedition specific

General buffs

Mutation specific

Artifact: Inferno Fire Staff

The Empyrean Forge is a fire-themed mountain stronghold, with mechanical puzzles and giant gears and pistons. The majority of enemies are Human Varangians, but there are also quite a few Lost ghosties around. Our advice is to stick with Human Ward, the Lost are not significant. Slash weapons are strong, but there is scope for a wide range of character builds here. An interesting feature of the humans is they use weapons just like us and have similar moves. However, they don’t seem to be governed by the same cooldowns!

As you might expect from a Forge, there is quite a lot of fire around so you might either consider splitting your elemental protection, or using the new gear sets to swap out your setup for the boss fights. At the very least, a Fire Protection amulet will come in handy.

The first boss, Ifrit, is a fiery scythe-wielding worm-type boss who likes to throw his flames about. There are a few mechanics to watch out for, but once you have these down he’s not too bad. He stays in the middle of the room, rather than burrowing like some other worms we know.  You can avoid the fiery space invaders by going prone, just make sure the floor is clear when you do. When he starts to project lines of flames, run anti-clockwise around him with them. The closer you are to him, the easier this is. Just don’t get burnt!

Commander Marius is the final boss and he also likes his fiery tortures. At some points during the fight, the floor is literally lava. Thankfully, there are some safety platforms provided in the corners of the room, just watch out if he joins you on them or drops a giant fiery meatball. For the DPS, ranged attacks allow you to stay out of reach from his heavy hitting AoE, so it might be worth considering a bow or magic weapon.

Mutation: Hellfire

Burn baby burn, this rotation it’s Fire. We start with the basic Hellfire. Look at the enemies’ nameplates to see whether they are Explosive, and be sure to position yourself well away from edges when they die, to avoid being blown over. Fiery enemies apply Burn, giving you a Fire DOT, so it’s worth drinking some Desert Sunrise before you start. Ignited enemies deal 50% of their damage as Fire, so slot Rubies in your armour and wear a Flame Protection amulet to get your Fire resistance up. Enemies with Enflamed can cast a Burn zone on the ground, so watch your positioning.

At M1 level, everything is a bit easier, so you will be fine with Opals rather than Rubies, and may not need to use Ward potions or Coatings.

M2 - Barbaric

At M2, some enemies start being Barbarically buffed. Shattering is annoying for your tank, dealing 40-75% increased stamina damage! It might even be worth stacking more of the stamina perks to keep up. Watch out for those large Enraged enemies, who deal 50% more damage once they get 20 stacks of Fury.

M3 - Censored

In M3, players are Censored with silence. Using abilities causes a meter to build up and when it is full, silence is cast on each member of the group where they are standing. Abilities cannot be used inside the silence zone and when it expires, it detonates with a massive 65% max health damage. So it’s pretty important to keep an eye on the meter and make sure that silence zones are strategically placed. You can deliberately set off Silence before big fights, and in boss battle arenas you can clump to stack the Silence and reduce the area impacted. While silence is active, natural mana regen is turned off, however you can get 25 mana per 0.75 seconds by standing in the silence. Just don’t be in there when it explodes!

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Landi

Landi is an avid furniture collector and regular DPS for Don't Die Alone. She contributes to the Mutation Rotation and Faction Control series of articles.

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