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Bishop/Arch Mage HT Damage Optimization

Discussion in 'Guides' started by Oradious, Mar 31, 2020.

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  1. Oradious

    Oradious Dark Stone Golem

    Aug 28, 2018
    1:08 AM
    Oradious, SIOr4d
    F/P Arch Mage, Gunslinger, Buccaneer
    Back in 2018/19, it was a belief and server-wide mentality that Night Lords were essential and a must-have for every 5 - 6 man HT run. The Bishops in those runs would be stacked with HP gear such as Emergency Rescue Tube, and would play a 100% support role in those runs, focusing only on Bishop duties such as HSing & healing sed mules. The Bishops would never attack, and would probably only cast Genesis when Wyverns spawned. Their sweet Genesis damage would never be output and shone back in those days. Even towards the start of 2019, people still favoured Night Lords heavily, and would forgo a Bowmaster as an attacker if they could bring in an extra Night Lord, since a lot of the NLs themselves can just bring in an SE Mule.

    If you watched the slew of ML HT streams recently, you'd find a hilariously high number of HT runs which had 3 - 6 NLs had failed, even though they appled through the whole way and tried their hardest to clear it. I would attribute this to 2 reasons.
    1. They only brought 1 Bowmaster, who either dced or died due to lack of HP or lack of the current HT meta knowledge (this applies to majority of the party)
    2. Their Bishops were the support Bishops I mentioned above. They weren't optimizing their damage and only started panic casting when they realised they were in trouble
    That isn't to say, that Bishops/Mages are meta and you should bring 2 of them every run. No, a Night Lord's single target prowess in pre-head would still edge out an Arch Mage in terms of damage. This thread aims to quell some of the stigma against Bishop/Arch Mages being efficient damage dealers in bossing, while showing how they can be efficiently utilised in HT, and at the same time shift the server mentality to be more mage-friendly and not think "Mages/Bishops are garbage damage dealers in bossing, they should just stick to meso farming and leeching".

    The screenshots/optimization from this thread were taken over the course of two 5 man runs, with the class composition being a BM, DrK, Bucc, F/P Mage & Bishop. A HH mule and Smoke mule was also present for both runs, and a dex bucc was present for the first run. The first run wasn't fully optimized, since the smoke mule got cucked by the tail twice.

    It's a known fact that the single target DPM of a mage is the worst among all the classes, so we have to eke out every bit of damage we can.

    In the above photo, I've circled the spot where your Bishop/Mage should stand, so that your summon would be in range to do some damage. The DPM from Paralyze with the present buffs is 3.8mil as you can see. The summon does around 20 attacks per min, with 25k being the lowest line, so it adds around 500k to your DPM, bringing up your effective DPM to around 4.3mil.

    A1. Swapping out Elemental Wands (for Arch Mages only)
    Difficulty - Low
    Usefulness - Mid

    Each Elemental Wand gives a different boost to different elements. Wand 6 gives a 25% boost to Poison damage (Paralyze) compared to 10% from Wand 5, and Wand 8 gives a 25% boost to Lightning damage (Chain Lightning) compared to 10% from Wand 6.

    A wand 5 with the same TMA would do 88% poison damage a wand 6 would do. In this run, I was using a a 163 TMA wand 6 compared instead of my 177 TMA wand 5. Despite the loss of 14 TMA, the wand 6 will still triumph the wand 5 when I'm using paralyze

    A2. Buffered momentum cancel/iframes from knockback
    Difficulty - Mid
    Usefulness - Low

    When you see the animation of HT casting his KB skill, there are 3 ways to "counter" it. The first way is to walk towards him, whereas the second way is to stand at the edge of the platform. Both ways will only knock you back to around where the Bowmaster is standing, instead of all the way to the wall.

    Another way is to jump towards him, let his head hit you so you get slightly pushed back and get i-frames to dodge the KB. His head did around 13.6k damage to me, so do this only if you have enough HP.

    A3. Dodging 1/1s
    Difficulty - Low
    Usefulness - Low

    At the left prehead, you can see the spots where his 1/1 attacks are gonna land. If there is a safe spot before the rope, you can easily tp back to dodge it, while still being within summon range (since your summon wont move) and attack range.

    For the right prehead, things are gonna be a little bit more tricky, since the head is on the left side and it KBs you to the left. Again, you would want to stand as close to the edge as possible, so that your summon is in range.

    B1. Buffered momentum cancel/iframes from knockback
    Refer to A2

    B2. Not getting knocked to the floor

    Difficulty - High
    Usefulness - Mid

    If you look at the above image, you can see that HT is casting some kind of attack (blue circle). If you see a blue circle, it'll either be 1/1 or some kind of blue-coloured attack. Once you see it, TP once to the right, so that when it KBs you to the left, you won't fall off the platform.

    Do note that as a Bishop/Mage, clearing wyverns is part of your duty. The cast animation for summoning wyverns is a yellow circle, but it is also a yellow circle for sed. The Bishop/sed mule needs to be alert at all times. Furthermore, the dark wyverns summoned from both heads also have the ability to dispel, so don't be nonchalant and just sit there and hold 1 button while not paying attention.

    Main Body
    Now, here comes the fun part of HT, and the place where a Mage/Bishop would shine most. Remember to swap back your wand at the start of the run if you did so for preheads.

    At the start of the run, you would want to be standing around the toe area and spamming your ultimate, so that you can hit 3 extra targets (right head, right hand and tail). You shouldn't get too close to the ab line, since HT KBs you to the right and you could accidentally get KB-ed into the tail. The damage is around 10k per touch, and 14 - 15k per touch when powered up. For Bishops, you have to take note of this. You can cast dispel near the legs in order to make everyone's lives easier. Bishops shouldn't be too worried about touch damage, since they have Invincible.

    I would also like to point out that me and iies used 3 cheese during the leg phase to clear it as fast as possible. I'd explain why in the Smoke Setup section.

    If you happen to have a Shad in your lineup, or a Smoke Mule, it is best to cast the smoke around 2 minutes into the leg phase. With the presence of dex buccs or SI mules in this economy, it is optimal to TL the smoke here so that you can have 2 minutes of uninterrupted casting. The smoke should be placed in a way such that the cleave can attack both the legs and tail (look at the DrK), while it should also allow the BM to spam Hurricane in the smoke. However, the smoke in the above SS was kinda messed up, so the BM wasn't within the smoke range.

    The legs were down in around 5.5 minutes in this run. Aside from uninterrupted DPM, smoke is used as there are runs where dispels happen as early as 4 - 5 minutes in due to the number of cleavers in the run. I don't think I need to explain what happens when a mage is standing on the legs without mg/hb.

    A small optimization you can do here is to cast infinity during the smoke phase, in order to save you some pots. Since it doesn't increase your damage output, I wouldn't rank it in terms of difficulty and usefulness.

    After legs + tail is down, comes the part where you have to do aggro control.

    At this point, the cleaver who was attacking the left arm at the start of the run would have the left arm aggro, and one of the mages (me in this case) would have right arm aggro in this case. For both people, it is a simple task of not stepping over the ab line, since that can cause scenarios such as dispels & mass sed.

    The wing should be down within the next 6 - 8 minutes at this point. After that, you have to take note of when the aggro swaps over.
    After the wings get taken down, it won't be long before the cleaver takes the right arm aggro, and the mage takes the left arm aggro. Do beware of not stepping over the ab line, since this is around the time where the left hand starts to dispel in a normal run (yellow animation).

    When you swap over, the right arm can mass sed anytime within the next few minutes. When that happens, you'll want to swap over to the left side immediately and start focusing your efforts there. The cleaver with the aggro should never ever cross the ab line.

    At some point in time, one of the mages might or might not draw the right arm aggro. So it's best for you to not cross that ab line too.

    Difficulty - Low
    Usefulness - High

    Again, if you have a shad, you can read this section. If not, you can ignore it.


    After swapping over, the shad can cast a smoke at this area, so that everyone can attack the heads comfortably without getting knocked down. To optimize your ult damage at this point, stand at the platform where I am at. It allows your ultimate to hit as far away as the right arm, and your summon to hit the left head for that tasty 500k DPM.

    Also, TL should be up at this point, so you should just use it for a double smoke if you aren't saving it for a ress or whatsoever.

    D1. Summons on at all times
    Difficulty - Low
    Usefulness - Mid

    Even though it might not be attacking a body part, it can help deal damage to wyverns and make you kill them within 1 hit, especially if you are a bishop that can't 1 HKO darks. Having attackers deal with wyverns = lower damage output.

    D2. Swapping HTP/Cape for MoN/BFC
    Difficulty - Low
    Usefulness - depending on your HP, mid for me since my HP is on the edge

    If you have a BFC in your inventory, it wouldn't hurt to try and scroll it for some decent INT, so that it can be more useful when you swap it in during the main body. You can also trade 300 HP from a MoN for a loss of around 240 def/6 tma. And no, the avoid from HTP doesn't matter since your avoid on the mage isn't even close to 250 with HTP.

    When only 2 heads or body parts are left, your single target DPM with CL/Paralyze with the corresponding elemental wand will deal more damage, more so if 1 head keeps cancelling. Refer to A1 for swapping of wands.

    E1. Single Target if right head + 1 is alive
    Difficulty - Mid
    Usefulness - Mid

    Ideally, you would want to stand close enough so that when the HT attack hits you to the left, your character would land on the lower left platform. Your summon would move with you and in fact get within the attack range. You can simply TP back to the upper platform.

    If you stand too far away, and only get knocked towards the edge of the platform, TPing would bring you further away and your summon would also move out of the attack range.

    E2. Single Target left head
    Difficulty - Low
    Usefulness - Low

    Refer to the C1 picture under the Smoke Setup v2 section. If left + mid head is up while right is dead, that should be where you stand to paralyze the left head, since it also brings summon close to the attack range. A HT attack would knock you down to the lower platform, so just tp back up.

    E3. Single Target mid head
    Difficulty - Low
    Usefulness - Low

    Just move up to this platform. Same logic applies.

    Good job if you bothered reading everything that I typed above. Here are some closing thoughts:

    You don't have to necessarily HP wash a lot in order to be an efficient damage dealer in HT. In fact, you can do this without HP washing at all.

    The min HP formula for mage is as follows:
    (10 x level) + 64

    Assume a level 170 mage, he would have 1764 HP at the very minimum. My level 82 HS mule has 1046 HP (162 more than the minimum) while naked.

    If the mage is stacked with tier 10 + elin (1100 HP), 300 from MoN, 100 from pet and 100 from face, he would have 3364 HP, and 5382 with HB. Realistically, you would have more and around 5700 HP. That is more than enough HP to survive the leg phase as an Arch Mage, even without Invincible or a competent Bishop dispelling the power up. The only downside is that your pot cost would be much higher. Your life is even easier if you're a Bishop.

    Of course, you can also choose to HP wash a mage. 1 HP wash from a non-fresh AP gives a mage 6 HP. A conservative 50 AP resets would net you 300 HP, and 480 HP after HB.

    90min HTB/Bear run pog

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