Thursday, February 24, 2011

Pantrokrator and Apademak revisited

I noticed a lot of people ended up on this blog looking for Apademak and Pantokrator info (mostly Apademak) and I'm sure most of them were disappointed at the amount of actually useful advice. For this reason (but mostly because we recently did another pair of these) I'll go over the mobs once more and try to compress some of the info I've found more than just relaying what we did or didn't do.

The first thing that comes up when you look for advice on this mob is stopping it from leveling up. Taking lightning damage causes it to level up and supposedly so does it killing someone. I used to think it casting any spell caused the level up, but on our second fight I stuck around more and saw several single target spells going off on the tanks that weren't followed by level-ups. So stunning self-targeted spells is what you want to do. Self targeted spells could be missed if you have certain filters on, so you should check that out beforehand. It's easiest to just Stun all its spells.

Does it build Stun resistance? According to several accounts it does. However, with two BLM's alternating stuns they continued to land long into the fight and the only resist I remember seeing (I wasn't looking at all of them, admittedly) was of a WHM/BLM casting. I'm estimating 20 Stuns in, the BLM's were still able to land it.

Unfortunately we ended up missing a stun and I can't vouch for it not using Fulmination until after it levels up at least once. From what I read, it is a very tame and simple mob before it levels up. Dedicated stunners being as important as they are, it's worth using some haste and fast-cast to reduce the Stun recast timer as much as possible. At maximum reduction you're still looking at a 22 seconds recast. This looks like it would be short enough in for most spells, but it's not a guarantee.

When it levels up it follows up with a TP ability. Usually Fulmination, but also Lithic breath. Lithic breath inflicts a weakness. A second tank should be standing out of breath cone to take hate off the weakened tank. I read something interesting on BG about avoiding the breath attack. Apparently, despite the ability being instant and unstunnable (on reaction), as long as you're strafing around the mob (moving sideways while locked on to the target) you'll avoid the breath attack. Credit to Arthars for figuring that out and posting it. Someone added that the same thing can be done with Tyrannic Tusk on Sobek, which afaik is also conal.

In my personal opinion, gearing for lightning resistance doesn't pay off. Tanks will take too much of a hit with regards to damage output that it'll make the fight noticeably longer. Also, with barspell and lightning resist atma, the tanks still took considerable damage. I can't be exactly sure if they were 1/2 resists or full damage. In any case, the magic accuracy of Fulmination seems rather high.

Its evasion and defense go up very noticeably as it levels up. So if you plan on doing this with a small group and without a brew, then stopping it from leveling up is not only important, it's THE most important aspect of the fight. Evasion tanking it works fine. Both NIN and DNC at the last fight were doing well holding it. Damaging it became the biggest challenge at that point and we ended up brewing it after we got Blue weakness on it. No dagger drop though.

Pantokrator's 2hr's are the most annoying part about the mob. After learning that (much like the tiger NM in Uleg) the "chance" of it 2hr'ing is influenced by how much you heal it. While it TP's and casts. The 3 or 4 times it 2hr'd this last fight were all triggered by WS'ing during or otherwise doing a lot of damage while it's in "damage absorption" mode. It doesn't "prove" that that's how it worked, but it definitely seems consistent. If you fail to limit 2hr's, Fool's drink is fantastic for neutralizing Chainspell, and Fanatic's for Hundred Fists. If you have neither, throw in some stuns and don't try to kite it is all I can think of.

Towards the end Colossal Blow can make things rough if you currently only have one tank on it. It looks like its defense does go down as its HP goes down. I managed a 'normal' 2.5k Raging Rush on it when it was nearly dead, while early on I couldn't break 1k. DD's should limit their interaction with Panto to WS only. If you're using NIN tanks and its HP isn't below 25% then you have enough room for error to WS after a TP ability has gone off. As long as its magic casting timer isn't up. Tanks can take it down fast enough, so it's not an essential part of the strategy.

Of these two mobs, Panto is the easier one. It fits the pop-pattern of Caturae in Uleguerand (since there's no Caturae in that zone) and with Triturators different class compared to Smiter and Sunderer, you'd expect a much harder fight. However imho, Apademak takes the cake for most annoying mob in Heroes zones. Even Azdaja has become unimpressive since we tried and succeeded (after a shaky start) at tanking it from behind. I'm positive that making Apademak smooth is also a matter of getting the hang of it. The difference is that Apademak's leveling up and its increase in defense and strength are irreversible and so there's no forgiveness for mistakes.

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