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Proving Grounds Strategy Guide

Posted Mon, Sep 16, 2013 by Messiah

This guide is a continuation of our basic Proving Grounds Guide, so if you have not read it, please do so first.

The Three Roles

The guide will talk about the basic strategy for all three roles that you can play in the Proving Grounds: Tank, Healer, and DPS.

This guide is mainly geared towards earning the gold level challenge achievement for each role and provides the most detail on that level.

The bronze and silver levels of each of the role challenges should not be any issue for most players, however if they are this guide should help as well. The same is true of the endless wave version of the Proving Grounds, while this guide doesn't focus on it, if you know how to complete the gold level, the enldess waves are similar but repedative.

Proving Grounds Guide - Tank

Your job as a tank in the proving grounds is to protect the NPC Sikari the Mistweaver from the attacking waves of enemies. Sikari will both heal you and DPS the enemies.

Sikari will heal you through the fight as she does DPS, however all of her heals are HoT's and therefore you need to plan for the healing to be slow. You means you need to use your cooldowns to mitigate as much of the burst damage that is incoming as you can.

While fighting in the proving grounds as a tank you will face the enemies listed below in both small and large versions. Small versions do normal damage and have normal health, while large versions do more damage and have much more health.

  • Ambusher - These use Fan of Bananas to do huge amounts of AOE damage and can kill Sikari if they reach her.
  • Conqueror - These have a Powerful Slam that deals damage in a frontal cone and stuns the target for 4 seconds. They also have Enrage which increases damage by 200%, attack speed by 50%, and movement by 150% for a short period of time. Avoid the slams and use your cooldowns to mitigate the enraged damage.
  • Flamecaller - These enemies will spawn flames around the arena causing Lava Pools to form. Anyone that stands in a lava pool takes stacking flame damage (both you or an enemy), meaning you should try to move enemies through the lava pools to help speed up your kill time. The Flamecallers also have a direct damage flame attack which can and should be interupted.
  • Forager - These spawn in groups and have a stacking DOT attack called Chomp which can stack up to 100 times. The trick here is to CC them in AOE damage to get red of them before the DOT stacks too high.
  • Ripper - These enemies only have melee attacks and no special abilities. Just keep agro on them and kill them whenever everything else is dead.
  • Wind-Guard - These have a Wing Blast which knocks you away 20 yards and drops threat, meaning you will need to be ready to pick them up right after they use this ability or they will head strat to Sikari.

Once you get to the gold level challenge you will need to deal with 10 waves of increasing difficulty. You will have to face the ambushers for the first time starting in wave 3 and then the conquerors for the first time in wave 6.

At the gold level as well, you will no longer just get enemies spawning at the beginning of a wave, there will be spawns mid-wave as well. You need to watch for these and grab them quickly. These mid-wave spawns start in wave 3 and 4 before giving you a reprieve until waves 7-10. It is critical to use the lava pools to help get rid of the enemies that spawn as soon as you can.

Wave 3 and 4 can be a test the first time you get to them as they introduce the ambushers, so use your cooldowns to get through and then wave 5 is a bit of a rest.

Wave 6 brings with it your first challenger, so make sure you are ready to avoid the slam and mitigate as much of the enrage as possible.

Wave 7 starts putting both ambushers and conquerors together in the same wave, which gets tricky. From there on the fights just get harder as everything gets thrown in together right up to the last wave.

Wave 10 that has a flamecaller, a large conqueror, 2 wind-guards, and several ambushers. Make sure you have a major cooldown available to deal with the conqueror when he enrages and kill the ambushers with the lava pools as fast as possible.

Proving Grounds Guide - Healer

Your job as a healer in the proving grounds is to keep a party of NPC's alive as they fend off the attacking waves. There are four NPC's that make up the party and they are: Oto the Protector, Sooli the Survivalist, Kavan the Arcanist, and Ki the Assassin. They are your tank, hunter, mage, and rogue respectively.

More than just healing and watching your party, as a healer in the proving grounds you need to be aware of positioning as well as anything you can do to help out. This includes interupting and CC'ing when you can. This is especially true once you get to the gold level of the challenges. You will also need to plan your mana use appropriatly as you will be kept in combat for the entire time you are working on the challenge. There will be no time to drink between waves, other than when you get to the endless challenge mode, in which case there is a small break after every 10 waves.

While fighting in the proving grounds as a healer you will face the enemies listed below in both small and large versions. Small versions do normal damage and have normal health, while large versions do more damage and have much more health.

  • Aqualyte - These will focus on the tank most of the time, but can use Aqua Bomb on random party members. This is a 6 second debuff that explodes if not dispelled dealing AOE damage and knocking players back. Clear it as soon as you can.
  • Conqueror - These have a Powerful Slam that deals damage in a frontal cone and stuns the target for 4 seconds. They also have Enrage which increases damage by 200%, attack speed by 50%, and movement by 150% for a short period of time. Avoid getting hit by the slams yourself, and make sure you keep Oto above half health for all waves that do not include a conqueror. As long as you do he will have his shield wall ability off cooldown and will use it when the conqueror enrages.
  • Flamecaller - These enemies will spawn flames around the arena causing Lava Pools to form. Anyone that stands in a lava pool takes stacking flame damage (both you or an enemy), meaning you should try to move enemies through the lava pools to help speed up your kill time. The Flamecallers also have a direct damage flame attack which can and should be interupted.
  • Hive Singer - These deal huge AOE damage to the party with Sonic Blasts. Both Ki and Kavan will try to interupt these blasts, but anything you can do to help will lower the healing you need to do significantly.
  • Ripper - These enemies only have melee attacks and no special abilities and Oto will simply pick them up and tank them.
  • Tunneler - These enemies do light damage until they Tunnel. Once they do though they will hit a random player with Chomp which applies a DOT on the target that will remain until healed above 90% health. This needs to be watched for as it can take out party members quickly if they are suffering any other damage.

The gold level difficulty has 10 waves that get harder over time. This will be the first time you have to face both the tunnelers (in wave 3) and the conquerors (in wave 6) so be prepared.

Wave 3 being your first tunneler and worse yet it is teamed up with a hive-singer with their AOE make sure you get whomever gets chomped back to full health quickly.

Wave 5 is the first really difficult wave with an aqualyte, tunneler, hive-singer, and flamecaller to deal with all at once. This is a lot of AOE and potential burst damage incoming so be ready with your cooldowns.

Wave 6 through 8 are easier than wave 5, but do introduce the conqueror. Make sure you do not get stunned with a slam and keep the tank up.

Wave 9 and 10 both are pretty hard, having large conquerors in them. Both have spikes of AOE and burst damage similar to wave 5, but more often and in larger numbers. Make sure you plan ahead and try to regen as much mana as you can and have as many cooldowns available as possible.

Proving Grounds Guide - DPS

Your job as a DPS in the proving grounds is to kill the attacking waves of enemies. Pretty simple, right? However, unlike the other two specs, you are not given any NPC's to help you our or for you to protect or heal, you will be all on your own.

While fighting in the proving grounds as DPS you will face the enemies listed below in both small and large versions. Small versions do normal damage and have normal health, while large versions do more damage and have much more health.

  • Amber-Weaver - These will summon an Amber Globule that moves from a random start location towards the amber-weaver. When it reaches the amber-weaver it explodes and encases everything nearby in amber for 6 seconds. Anyone encased suffers 50% additional damage, therefore you should try to lure them by additional enemies and then stun them as the amber is about to reach them to give you time to avoid the explosion and then burst DPS all affected enemies.
  • Banana-Thrower - These enemies are extremely annoying as they run all over and hit you with bananas from range. When hit you will get a debuff for 3 seconds that drops your chance to hit by 70%.
  • Banshee - These enemies will spawn for and exist for a very short time before they explode. The small exist for 10 seconds and the large for 15. If they reach the end of the timer they explode and wipe the group, they are therefore a high priority target.
  • Mystic- These enemies are healers that will heal any other damaged enemy. They can be interupted though, so if there is nothing else to interupt this is a good choice, or you can CC them.
  • Guardian- These enemies have a shield to their frontal arc for about half of the time. Deal with them from the back if you can or in between casts of the shield.
  • Sha- These enemies are the largest of the enemies you will face and have lots of health and a shield that stops 50% of damage. The shield lasts for 40 seconds and then is down for 20 seconds during which the Sha will take 300% damage.
  • Slayer - These adds have no abilities other than a basic melee attack.
  • Varmint - These adds have low health and do very little damage, but come in groups of up to 18 at a time.

The gold level difficulty has 10 waves that get harder over time. Also you will be granted a buff in several of the waves, starting in the 4th. When granted the buff you can use it right away or save it for later use. The buff is called Berserking and increases your damage by 30% for 20 seconds.

The first few waves should not be any big deal since you have made it through bronze and silver levels. Use the amber globules as much as possible to help DPS down targets quickly.

Wave 4 gives you your first berserker buff to use and you will face a large mystic (healer) so you may need it. If you can get by this wave without it though, save it for wave 5 where you will face three guardians with their shields.

Wave 7 gives you your second berserking buff as well as a large number of enemies. You should make use of the amber globule as much as possible again, as well as any CC you can.

Wave 8 introduces the Sha enemy and there will be 2 amber-weavers as well. Even though you may be tempted to try and use the amber globules for extra damage when the Sha's shield falls off, it is best to try and get rid of the amber-weavers quickly before the shield falls off since the wave is only 60 seconds long and the shield drops of after 40 seconds, leaving very little time. Wave 9 is similar but with additional enemies as well.

Wave 10 has you deal with a large Sha which has a ton more health. Good Luck.

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