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Shay's Horntail Bishop Guide

Discussion in 'Guides' started by FeroxAnima, Sep 3, 2019.

  1. FeroxAnima

    FeroxAnima Web Developer Staff Member Web Developer

    Dec 29, 2017
    3:19 AM
    This guide was written a fair while ago and many of Horntail's mechanics were changed since then, and so the guide is unfortunately quite outdated. I assume a fair chunk of the points made in here is no longer relevant. Some things (like presumably the Wyvern Shield method, Horntail ability animations and maybe some other stuff) might still be relevant, and this guide has an emotional significance to me, so I'm leaving it up. c: :heart:

    Please read the "Guide Structure" section if you're worried about the length of this guide.

    Hey cuties c:

    Many bishops have asked me to teach them how to run Horntail, and many Horntail hosts have asked me to teach their bishops; I wrote so many walls of text in so many friends' direct messages in response to such requests, and it's been months now that people have been telling me I should make a proper guide for the forums. So… now that I have a little bit of free time, I decided to finally do it.

    This guide is going to be very long and detailed and it is intended to put as much of my Horntail experience/knowledge as I can manage into text. I will soon write a seperate "Quickstart" edition of the guide, which is a very summarized version that doesn't touch all the points but is good if you just wanna jump into it and learn as you go. (EDIT: The quickstart version happened when Half-Life 3 released.)

    Feel free to ask any questions or request an explanation/summary about specific things!

    NOTE: Preferably read this guide after having been on a few Horntail runs already to see what it's like. I just think it'd be easier to understand all of this that way. Additionally, note that this guide contains a lot of information, and that it will likely not all sink in instantly; you'd need to practice it as you run and possibly come back here for reference occasionally. To emphasize:

    As for new bishops who get scared at seeing the length of this: do not! Many of these things are super extra. Just start by running. If something bothers you, come back here for reference, and then run more to practice. You'd get it down in no time.

    ***Feel free to skip this intro. It's mostly a short background on how I got to the point of writing this guide but isn't really relevant to the instructional nature of it.

    That said, if you do decide to look through this as well (<3):

    Back when my badass then-Shadower waifu hit 120 (hi qt mosshroommosshroom), I went to help her kill a Griffey.

    I knew it could dispel, but I was absolutely prepared to react to it. I was totally ready to be a hundred percent aware of my buff bar, and the moment I would see the skill count changing, I'll cast Magic Guard right away. Should be fine!

    So we go in, all prepared and hyped, fully buffed… and we start fighting The Birb.

    After successfully living through a couple of stuns, it cast a spell with an animation that I didn't recognize – and I knew that was it; that was gonna be dispel. My finger was on the MG key, prepared to click…

    And then we both died.

    Confusion, embarrassment, (a loss of 10% because I don't use Safety Charms,) and a general sense of oof, and I run back there to door waifu and continue the fight.

    I enter the portal, fully buffed, fully prepared…

    …and immediately die.

    Waifu dies again soon after and I need to door her back. Sadly, I'm dead, so she once again has to wait for me to walk and reach that map.


    There was no moment of "dispel". I just… died. There was no reaction time whatsoever. But I swallowed my frustration and told her that it was probably a good idea if she went in to kill it and I stayed outside to door her if she dies again. She did die another once or twice and I did door her, and eventually she killed it. A few minutes later, same story with Manon: I waited outside as her door mule while she killed it.

    Waifu got her 4th job (y a y <3)…

    BUT I WAS SO SAD I SUCKED AS HER SUPPORT; and so I opted to return and exact my revenge upon Birb a few hours later.

    I died about twenty times, I think, before I got the hang of it; but I did, and once I realized the mechanics of it, I could solo it with ease. Fast forward: thanks to that one time and until this very day, I've been soloing my Manons and Griffeys (and Dark Wyverns).

    I've been through a rather similar experience with Horntail, frustrated by a death in which I felt helpless, but driven by an assumption that I wasn't actually helpless – I just needed to understand the mechanics of it. The main difference, of course, is that Horntail has so much more to it than Griffey and Manon… but that just makes it more fun. ;)

    I know many bishops have experienced this feeling of frustration at helplessly dying at Horntail, and maybe also that of feeling overwhelmed by seduces and dispels and whatnot; but fret not: you are not helpless, and there are things you can do to survive through anything Horntail can throw at you, kick its butt and make your party members sporkle at your efficient, dedicated support. The levels and extents to which this is true all depend on how far you want to take this, which is up to you to decide; but once you do, you'll need the tools to make it happen…


    This guide is a bit too long to be reasonably read in one go and used as a practical piece of information. Instead, I feel like a more reasonable way to approach it would be to try to run Horntail a few times, and come here for reference to look at specific parts when something bothers you. This is totally up to you, though, of course.

    I'll separate this into a bunch of "chapters", each detailing another aspect of Horntail, and each as standalone as possible; that means that if you only want tips on dispel, for example, you'd be able to only read the "Dispel" chapter of the guide without issue. Each such chapter would be divided into "Theory" and "Practice", where the theory part helps understand why we do things, and the practice part details the things that we actually do. I highly recommend reading (or at least skimming through) the "Being a Good Bishop" chapter since it may have helpful advice even for more experienced HT bishops.

    Many things have changed following one of ML's patches that changed the way skill animation delays (as in, the delay between the skill's animation and its effect) work. One big example of such a change is in Manon and Griffey: their dispels no longer oneshot because they no longer dispel before hitting, but after.

    There have also been very big changes to Horntail itself as a result of that patch; I believe I have most/all of them down by now, but it is possible I missed a few, and I'll update in the future if I figure out any more.

    (For those who already know HT and are curious about changes: the main ones in HT itself are that seduces are now reactable; that dispel now occurs after the animation rather than at the same time; and that Dark Wyverns no longer oneshot you if you're under 2.2k base HP, for the same reason Manon and Griffey no longer do.)

    (TL;DR below)

    As for skills: the skills you should definitely, absolutely have before running are maxed Holy Symbol (which I certainly do hope we all have by HT level) and maxed Resurrection (master level being 10, this is not hard to max). That said, other super important skills that you should get and max ASAP are Holy Shield and Hero's Will, and having those skills would be completely required for you to maximize the potential of a bishop in Horntail. Lastly, I recommend maxed Genesis, as it really helps with the Wyverns and adds a nice bit of cleave damage over time; that said, this is certainly not an actual "requirement", and mine was level 10 when I started running.

    As for level: Horntail is a level 160 monster and therefore requires of a runner to be level 155 to receive party EXP for killing it. That said, certain classes with important buffs can join HT just for the fun/splits/to help their friends, despite not receiving EXP; those classes are mostly Dark Knight (for Hyper Body), both Archers (for Sharp Eyes), perhaps Buccaneers (for Speed Infusion and Time Leap) and, yes, Bishops (for… everything this guide talks about except the damage bit, probably). So, the ideal level range for you to HT is 155+; but you can do it far earlier than that: basically, as soon as you have the skills mentioned above.

    As for HP and MP: The more the merrier, honestly. Used to be that the minimum was 2,200 base HP (with HP gear is okay, but not with Hyper Body) so you could tank a Dark Wyvern's dispel and live, but it's not truly necessary anymore since the delays change; Darks won't oneshot you anymore if you have MG (because ever since that patch, their magic attacks hit first and dispel second). Every tiny bit of extra MP and HP can add a whole lot to your comfort when running, though; and being able to tank the tail's touch damage (17-something thousand with Invincible active) at least with Hyper Body is certainly advisable, but not necessarily required.

    So… Minimum requirements? Max Resurrection.
    Maximum requirements? Max Resurrection, Holy Shield, Hero's Will, Genesis; level 155+, enough HP/MP to tank a bit above 17k of damage.

    Chapter 1: Seduce
    Seduce ("sed" for short) is a status effect cast by certain mobs in MapleStory that "takes control" of a character for a few seconds, forcing them to walk in a certain direction or to repeatedly jump in place, and – most importantly – preventing them from using potions and casting skills. Basically, the seduce target ("sed target") is left completely helpless while seduced, which can be fatal while fighting a heavy-hitting boss like Horntail. This is what the seduce effect looks like; puppet strings:

    The only way to break free of seduce is casting Hero's Will, a 4th job skill for all classes with a cooldown of six minutes (used to be ten until a recent patch which raised the max level of it to 5). Seduce can be prevented with Holy Shield, which is what makes this skill so important in Horntail. If you follow the timers (described in the next few paragraphs), you can know just when you should expect a Seduce to happen and be prepared to Shield your sed target when it does.

    Seduce can be cast by the Preheads, the Left Arm, and the Right Arm, and has no required HP threshold; meaning it can be cast as soon as those Horntail parts are aggroed (that is, as long as they're attacking/moving/casting things). Horntail preheads should be aggroed as long as there's someone in the map; Horntail arms will be aggroed as long as the person who dealt the most damage to them is in their side of the map (with Horntail's abs line as the "middle of the map" marker). For example, left arm will only seduce if whoever dealt the most damage to it is in the left side of the map. This fact is a tool for us to use and I will touch upon it under the Practice clause.

    This is what it looks like when the Preheads cast Seduce (it is the same animation as when they spawn Wyverns); a yellow magic circle:
    This is what it looks like when the Arms cast Seduce; a purple effect accompanied by the arm slowly rising and the finger wiggling:
    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    Occasionally seduce animation occurs twice consecutively, as seen in the first of the two above arm seduce gifs, but the effect only happens once (this is true for both preheads and arms, and for both normal seduce and mass seduce, and, as a side note, it is also true for a few other skills like Wyvern spawning). This basically means nothing, but can be confusing if you're not aware that it's a thing that happens.

    Seduce has a cooldown of three minutes. That means that once any of the seducing parts of HT casts it, it will not cast it again for three minutes; but do note this is merely a cooldown, and it could take, say, four minutes (or any amount of time longer than 3 minutes, but usually not much longer, and never shorter than that) before it is re-cast.

    It is also important to note that, during the body, each of the two arms can cast seduce while aggroed, and they have separate timers, each entirely independent of the other.

    The seduce target is whoever entered the map first; that is, only one person gets seduced, and it is always the same person for as long as this person remains within the map. If this person leaves the map, the one who entered second becomes the new seduce target, and so on. (Dying does not count as "leaving the map" until you despawn. If seduce happens when the sed target is dead but remains a ghost in Horntail's Cave, nobody gets seduced.)

    Another important ability of Horntail is Mass Seduce. This is a spell only Horntail's Arms can cast – both of them, separately, like with normal seduce – and only when they reach a rather low HP threshold (30% health), meaning you should expect it to happen from an arm when said arm takes heavy damage (the amount of time it takes for this to happen vastly changes depending on your party composition and tactics, but you'll get used to telling when it should be close after running for a while).

    Mass Seduces don't always happen, and some runs go by with not even a single one of those. (Extra note for added detail: lunchlunch presents a theory by which as soon as the arm is less than 30% health, there will be one normal seduce, followed by 3 minutes of the usual cooldown, and then one Mass Seduce; a minute after this Mass Seduce will randomly be either a normal Seduce or a Mass Seduce. Following this theory, the runs in which no Mass Seduce happens are runs in which the arm dies within less than 3 minutes after the first seduce that happens under 30% arm HP. This makes sense and might be the case. Either way, the instructions provided in this guide apply entirely whether or not this is true; but for the sake of knowledge and curiosity, I will look into it at a later point and edit this paragraph to reflect my findings.)

    Mass Seduces affect the whole map, up to ten people (by order of entering the map): every single one of the first ten people would get Mass Seduced every single time a Mass Seduce happens. The only way to avoid it completely is Holy Shield (but it can be dispelled using Hero's Will just like normal seduce).

    Mass Seduces have a cooldown of one minute (although to be perfectly honest, I haven't really counted this one myself and it always felt to me like it was basically without cooldown in the worst cases… but one minute is the general consensus and I believe it is correct).

    Another very important detail is that the first Mass Seduce always happens when regular seduce was supposed to happen, timer-wise, and it postpones the regular seduce that it replaced. That is, if a Mass Seduce happens (and the first one will happen exactly when you expect seduce to happen if you follow timers), it does not trigger normal seduce's cooldown, and normal seduce remains off cooldown and can therefore still happen whenever – and only then have its cooldown's count start again (entirely independent of Mass Seduce after this point: Mass Seduce will then be possible every minute, while Seduce will as usual be possible every three, neither of which affecting the cooldown of the other anymore).

    To rephrase and potentially make it clearer: the first Mass Seduce is limited by the 3 minutes cooldown of the seduce before it. If the arm ever mass seduces, it will be 3 minutes after the last normal seduce it cast. Once it mass seduces, the 3-minute-cooldown of normal seduce DOES NOT trigger; only the one minute cooldown of the mass seduce. This means that normal seduce can still happen, at which point the usual 3 minutes cooldown will start simultaneously with (and independently of) the mass seduce's minute-long cooldown.

    This is important because it means that a bishop who keeps timers and stays alert can prevent one mass seduce per run in the very least by shielding their party in response to it, following their sed timer.

    An important clarification is that if you shield your team when the arm has low health and it casts Mass Seduce, you may think that it is regular seduce since no one is affected (due to your shield), while in reality it was a mass seduce; as a result, seduce could happen at any moment after this, and mass sed can happen again within one minute. In other words, you should stay alert when the arm is low on HP and keep in mind the possibility that the seduce you shield against is actually a Mass Seduce and that your target could get seduced again.

    This is also true in reverse: if you shield a seduce when the arm is low and you notice another seduce happening within less than three minutes from the same arm, you can know for sure that the last seduce you shielded was a Mass Seduce.

    One more thing to know about seduces is that occasionally, a rare Spawn Mass Seduce occurs.
    By "rare" I mean that I only saw it happen about 5 times in over 200 runs; it is caused because of the spawning mechanics of HT and is actually somewhat of a "bug", but it's part of HT and we can take care of it rather easily.
    What happens is that the moment Horntail spawns it casts a single Mass Seduce before going on as usual.
    What this means is that you should be prepared to shield a seduce the moment Horntail spawns, if needed (watch the arm's animations, as usual, and react to it; this would have been true regardless of the spawn mass sed), and keep in mind the remote possibility that the seduce you just shielded was actually a Mass Seduce, which would mean that the normal seduce you're waiting for could still happen. When three minutes pass and you shield the second seduce, you can be absolutely sure that it was a normal seduce and that you've got the right timer.
    (Do note that the Spawn Mass Sed is a singular occurrence; none of the mass seduce cooldown matters apply to it: another mass seduce would absolutely not happen until the arm reaches the appropriate HP threshold.)
    A bishop's number one priority in this context would be to shield and prevent seduce; but failing that, they will try to let the seduce target know that seduce is near so that they keep their health high and maybe get on a rope (to avoid running around), and when seduce happens, they will chase their seduce targets and heal them to keep them safe. Note that a very dangerous scenario is when your seduce target is on a platform above you and affected by a jump sed (jumping in place) while you're stuck at the bottom platform, unsuccessfully attempting to climb, leaving you outside heal range; so make sure to time and position yourself properly when expecting seduce.

    It used to be that seduce would happen at the same instant the animation would occur, so you couldn't react to it and had to shield preventively based on the timer alone; but ever since the skill animation delays patch I mentioned took place, you can react to seduce. That means: you can wait until you see the animation (which you should know when to expect if you follow the timers), and quickly shield in response to it in order to prevent the seduce it heralds.

    In preheads it's rather straight forward: you enter, you wait for the first prehead seduce animation (see that yellow circle animation under the Theory clause), and quickly cast your Holy Shield. After this point you wait a second or two to see if Wyverns have spawned; if they did, you know the animation wasn't seduce – it was the spawning of Wyverns (since those two spells share an animation for the preheads). If no Wyverns appear, you can assume this was seduce and you've successfully prevented it; at this point you'd count 3 minutes ahead before you'd expect the next seduce to happen and prepare to cast Holy Shield, and so forth.

    If Holy Shield runs out and seduce didn't occur, you'd usually want to let your seduce target know that you've missed seduce so that they may prepare for it: they'd usually either get on the rope (so they stay in place while you heal them, and also so they won't bump right into the head during seduce), or they'd keep their health high and keep hitting, trusting you to chase and heal them if they get seduced.

    It happens rarely that Preheads cast the seduce animation without spawning Wyverns nor seducing anyone; a "fake seduce" with no effect. As I said, it's rare (and I'm honestly not 100% sure I've seen it happen ever since the animation delays patch thingy), but it is generally advisable to remain alert at all times just in case this does happen during your shield.

    During body, when the arms seduce, there's a bit more to it:

    As soon as the body spawns, you'd start watching the arm (usually runs start the left side until the legs and tail die; if everyone stays on that side, you'd be watching left arm. Do note that if someone's on the right side and hitting that arm as well, you'd need to pay attention to both seduces at the same time, each with their separate 3 minutes timer). When the arm seduces, you'd cast holy shield and count three minutes until watching for the next one.

    NOTE: legs and tails can both stun you, and knock you back in a manner that takes over a second to recover from; this, badly timed with a seduce, will cause you to miss it and be unable to shield. The solution is to jump as much as possible (legs & tail only hit characters on the ground) – whether you heal or attack, usually depending on whether or not you have a zerking DK – and, if you wanna play it really safe, simply tank touch damage from the legs, using the i.frames to stay safe from stuns, for the few seconds before seduce, and be prepared to teleport and shield your sed target the moment you see the seduce animation.

    If you fail to prevent seduce and your seduce target gets seduced, make sure to follow & heal them; if they get seduced to the right (toward Horntail's tail), they should cast Hero's Will. If they can't/fail to do so, you may chase them into the tail – but only if you're able to tank it (it's better to resurrect them when the tail is dead than to have both of you die). Tail's touch damage to mages is about 22k without invincible, and 17k with invincible – which is doable to tank for many mages, especially with HB. Make sure to keep your invincible active if you intend to chase into tail, and to keep your HP & MP very high while you tank its damage; 17k is a lot and drops your HP and MP very low, very fast. (Also do note it is only worth chasing into tail if your seduce target can tank a single hit of it. Otherwise, for example in the case of a Shadower seduce target with not enough health to survive a single hit if one lands, just… hope for the best, basically, and resurrect after tail if needed.)

    When crossing to the other side of the map, the other arm will get aggroed as soon as someone hits it, and could start seducing immediately after that point. Remember each arm has its own seduce timer, so your shield may or may not still be on cooldown from the last time you used it. Generally, be prepared (and preferably alert your seduce target to it as well) that when someone crosses the abs line of Horntail, being the middle of the map, a seduce from right arm may occur.

    Here is an example of seduce occurring when the party moves to the right side of the map and the bishop (hi, das me) shielding the sed target (qt Hunkybae <3) to prevent it:

    For the rest of the run after this point, you'd be keeping an eye out on the aggroed arm(s) while keeping timers and do your best to shield your sed target when you notice the animation.

    Some unlucky moments will have Horntail cast Seal on you right before it seduces, but you can dispel it quickly and Holy Shield in time if you're prepared for that possibility. The animation for Horntail's Seal (and also some other status effects it can cause) looks like this, the arm extending and closing into a fist accompanied by a purple light effect; it may help knowing it to prepare:

    If, for whatever reason, you need to move away from your seduce target when you know seduce is very near, you could go the oldschool way: cast it preventively in advance and hope that seduce would happen within the shield's duration. If you do so, make sure to keep watching the arm so that you may start your three-minute count when seduce actually does happen.

    When the arm gets dangerously low on health, usually a little while after the wings are dead (assuming a cleaver's been hitting the wings and the arm), you should start preparing for the possibility of a Mass Seduce and take the shielding of your whole party a bit more seriously. That is – having your whole party shielded against status effects when you shield your sed target never hurts; but it's not as important as shielding sed target against seduce if you fail to get within range of everyone in time. This is entirely true – until Mass Seduce is a possibility, at which point you should put a lot more effort into ensuring that you are within range of everyone in time.

    If you fail to shield your whole party (and even if you don't), warn them of the possibility of mass seduce; also keep in mind (and optionally warn your seduce target) that a normal seduce may still occur even after a seduce animation happens if that animation was a mass seduce. Even if a Mass Seduce successfully lands on your party, it is advisable to follow it up with a reminder to your sed target that a normal seduce is still possible at any moment (unless this wasn't the first Mass Seduce and you have a timer for the normal seduce).

    As for handling Mass Seduces when they occur when the party isn't shielded (this is bound to happen sometimes, since Mass Seduce has a significantly lower cooldown than Holy Shield): for the first Mass Seduce, the bishop would cast Hero's Will and chase the rest of the party to heal as many of them as possible and keep them alive until seduce runs out. For the second Mass Seduce, assuming it occurs within less than 6 minutes of the previous one and the bishop's Hero's Will is still on cooldown, the rest of the party would cast their Hero's Will while the bishop would… uh, pray.

    Note that this is incredibly significant: Mass Seduces are limited in number since they occur when the arm already has low HP and is therefore close to dying; even if we imagine a hypothetical scenario in which three Mass Seduces happen without a cooldown, if you shield the first one, Will the second one to heal your party, and then have your party Will the third one, you can basically get your whole party safely through three mass seduces, even if they happen impossibly consecutively. In a more realistic scenario, if we take into consideration the fact that a Mass Seduce has a minute of cooldown, you should be able to cast Holy Shield to negate the third one (since Shield has two minutes of cooldown), meaning your party would only have to Will through the fourth; this means that realistically, you can get your party safely through four mass seduces without any element of luck. Most runs don't even have that many mass seduces from the same arm in the first place, and few have more (though it most certainly does happen).

    If, for whatever reason, you see seduce happen and you aren't in range of the rest of your party, you should still cast Holy Shield; that is because if it is a mass seduce, you'd prevent yourself from getting seduced and therefore be able to heal everyone without having to waste your Hero's Will.


    Chapter 2: Dispel
    There are two kinds of dispel in MapleLegends: on-hit dispel and debuff dispel.
    On-hit dispel is the type we know from Manon and Griffey: they have to hit you with a specific magic attack for you to get dispelled. Another mob that has an on-hit dispel effect, and this is very relevant to this guide, is Dark Wyverns, who dispel you if their magic attack hits you.
    Debuff dispel is the type that is cast by Horntail's Left Arm and Middle Head: it isn't an attack, but just a spell; sort of like how a status effect (seal, darkness, etc) is applied, without anything having to "hit you" for it.

    On-hit dispel used to be a bit scarier before the skill animations delays patch, but even then, they were the fun type to deal with. To explain why, I'd like to briefly remind of the concept of invincibility frames, or i.frames for short: they're those few short moments after you take damage from anything in which you can't take damage again.

    I.frames are relevant to on-hit dispels for two reasons:
    One is that an on-hit dispel is an effect applied when you get hit, which means if you don't get hit, it doesn't apply; so if you already have i.frames from taking damage from anything else, an on-hit dispel will not be able to dispel you.
    Two, and that's the most important one, is that even if you do get dispelled by an on-hit dispel, you're given i.frames for a few moments because you just got hit – and I assure you without a doubt and based on lots of experience that invincibility frames are enough time for a bishop to use potions and re-cast Magic Guard, at which point you're totally ready to tank another on-hit dispel and live through it without issue.

    We'll touch upon this more practically under the "Practice" section, but for now I'd just like to emphasize that this means if you tank touch damage from a Dark Wyvern, a Dark Wyvern can't dispel you; and if a Dark Wyvern does dispel you, it's not a big deal and you can easily live through it by re-casting MG and keeping your health high.

    Debuff dispel is the real problem.

    This ability can be cast by the Left Arm and the Middle Head when they reach low health thresholds. It is a Mass Dispel which affects the entire map with a 90% chance for each player (so there's only a 10% chance for a player to not get dispelled), and doesn't at all care about whether or not you have invincibility frames. Moreover, Horntail is composed of many parts, most of which can cast damaging spells of their own; and this means that it's entirely possible that, for example, Left Arm would cast its mass dispel at the exact same moment that Left Head would cast its map-wide damaging ability, thus dealing a direct five thousand hit to everyone's base HP – and this is the main reason many bishops have a hard time in HT, and the exact reason we've all had that sense of helplessness at some point while running before learning the mechanics. When this kind of bad timing dispel occurs, it's a map-wide, dispelling, thousands-of-damage dealing attack that simply kills anyone without very large amounts of base HP, whether or not they're spamming Magic Guard. (The MG spam method does help, in cases in which the attack and the dispel are very close to each other; but even that doesn't suffice when they happen at the exact same time.)

    But for that reason, I came up with the Wyvern Shield method and did my best to spread it to other bishops. This is basically the only way to consistently survive these bad luck dispels without insane HP washing.

    Wyvern Shield refers to the act of luring the Wyverns (whether they're red, blue, or, yes, even dark) and keeping them on top of you so that you tank their touch damage, which wouldn't oneshot you even if you got dispelled. If, at that point, you get such a bad luck dispel in which one part of HT casts dispel at the very same frame in which another casts a damaging ability, you won't die – because you'd already have invincibility frames from the Wyvern touch, and therefore won't get hit by Horntail's lethal abilities. This should give you plenty of time to re-cast your Magic Guard and heal if needed.
    Note that occasionally, a magic attack may get through the touch damage; you need to sort of continuously move towards the Wyverns to ensure that this doesn't happen. Getting used to those mechanics may take a bit of practice but you will if you pay attention to it. Tip: to get used to those touch-tanking mechanics, practice on Manon or Griffey – try to kill them a few times without getting dispelled even once.
    If you cast any skill that isn't Magic Guard while making use of your Wyvern shield, make sure you do it the instant after you take touch damage to make full use of your i.frames.

    Another important method to note, one that can and often should be used in conjunction with Wyvern Shield (but is also very important on its own when we fail to grab Wyverns in time), is Magic Guard spamming; literally just holding down the Magic Guard key when dispel is happening.

    To further drive the point home and explain why those are important, here are three scenarios:

    One – dispel happens, and the next attack from any of Horntail's parts happens a couple of seconds later. In this scenario, we have time to notice that we got dispelled and react to it by casting Magic Guard before we get hit.
    Two – dispel happens, and a fraction of a second later, an attack from Horntail hits. In this scenario, it is not humanly possible to see the dispel and react to it, because the attack and the dispel appear to happen at the very same time. That said, if we were spamming our MG key (that is to say – if we were holding down our MG key when dispel was happening), it would have applied in time and we wouldn't have been killed, because there was indeed a fraction of a second between dispel and the damage – and that was apparently just long enough for our MG to apply.
    Three – dispel happens, and at the very same frame, an attack hits. Not even MG spamming could have MG apply in time, because "in time" in this context means during the small amount of time between dispel and us taking damage, which in this scenario is a literal zero; no time at all. The only way to live through this is to already have i.frames from something else so we don't take damage when we get dispelled (and that's why we use Wyvern Shield).

    The cooldowns and HP thresholds for dispels are as follows:

    Left Arm's Mass Dispel can happen once the arm hits 60% of its HP. It has a cooldown of five minutes; the dispel usually happens very soon after the cooldown runs out.
    This is Left Arm's Mass Dispel animation; it is the arm extending and closing into a fist accompanied by a yellow light effect. Mainly notice the light orbs that float towards it right from the moment the animation starts, making it easier to tell it apart:

    Middle Head's Mass Dispel can happen once the head hits 60% of its health and has a cooldown of five minutes, but sometimes happens quite a bit later than this. It's usually anywhere between five to eight minutes. Once middle head hits 30% of its health, the cooldown of Mass Dispels becomes 3 minutes instead.
    This is Middle Head's Mass Dispel animation (I really need to get a better gif); it looks like the head is screaming, with a sort of gust of air coming out of the mouth, and the eyes glowing a reddish light:
    [​IMG] [​IMG] (Thanks to fredaaaaafredaaaaa for the second gif <3)

    A helpful method to get a clue of the head's HP is to watch the colors of the Wyverns it spawns: when it spawns Blue Wyverns, it is close to the HP threshold of Mass Dispel (usually dispel happens a few minutes after Blue Wyverns spawn if the head keeps taking serious damage). When it spawns Dark Wyverns, it is close to the HP threshold of Mass Dispel's cooldown lowering to 3 minutes (oftentimes the dispel after the next one when Darks spawn).

    That said, two important things to note are:
    1. Wyvern spawning of specific Wyvern types isn't guaranteed to happen, and it's possible that, for instance, a run would go by with Middle Head never spawning Blue Wyverns even once (and that also goes for Dark Wyverns; never seen it happen with Reds, personally, but I can't say for sure it's impossible). Point being: use the Wyverns as helpful indicators, but DO NOT count on them. (For example: the fact Darks didn't spawn DOES NOT mean the cooldown is not yet at 3 minutes.)
    2. The Wyverns have to come specifically from the Middle Head. That is, you can watch the Wyvern spawn animations to tell about the HP thresholds of the other heads as well, since they should be similar for all three; but if you're watching out for Dispel, remember only Middle Head can dispel, and therefore only its HP threshold matters. To tell which head spawned the Wyverns, pay attention to the animations and look for the following one; a yellow circle, just like the preheads equivalent:
    So only if you notice that this effect coming from the Middle Head is the one that spawns the Wyverns, you can use it as an indication of its HP versus the Dispel thresholds.
    The only dispels during Preheads are Dark Wyverns. It is probably safest to let your party deal with them in this case since they'd be spawning below you, meaning no touch damage to tank, and if you try to cast Genesis on them and you don't oneshot them, they'd likely be able to dispel you right after you cast it. This isn't a big deal if you time it well with i.frames and attack animations, but it's honestly not worth the risk when your party's cleavers can shred them to pieces in a moment. Namely, usually the person with the Wyvern aggro (that's the person who enters the map last) will stand far enough back that the Wyverns won't even manage to attack before they get into the range of the cleavers, and the cleavers should kill them the moment they do. So if you're the person with the aggro and you notice the Prehead's Wyvern Spawn animation when it took enough damage to spawn Darks (a little less than 50%), just kinda… move backwards to make sure they don't dispel your party, and let them fly up to their deaths. An alternative, I suppose, would be to jump down, teleport towards them and kill them, or to just genesis them when they spawn using some timing and positioning to avoid death, but as I said, it's just not really worth the risk.
    TL;DR: During Preheads, I recommend to just move back when Darks spawn and let your cleavers handle them; they won't even bother anyone.

    When the body phase starts, you don't initially have much of a reason to worry about dispel, since most runs start with legs & tail and then move to the right side – while usually only letting a couple of cleavers deal damage to the left arm and the wings until the legs and the tail die. If this is the rotation you go with, the only scary scenario at the early parts of the run would be when the cleavers are incredibly powerful and manage to get the Left Arm low enough during that limited time – which is a thing that occasionally happens, especially if said cleavers are on Onyx Apples, and they really do have to be quite strong. If so, be as alert as you can to potential dispels and do all you can to avoid taking fatal damage if it does occur. This is, however, pretty rare, and dispel usually happens much later than that.

    Throughout the run, you're gonna have to pay attention; when either Left Arm or Middle Head start taking serious amounts of damage and you suspect an upcoming dispel, start trying to grab a bunch of Wyverns when they're spawned (use Shining Ray once when they spawn to keep them on you; this works much better if you take Wyvern aggro by being the last person to enter the map). I recommend killing the Wyverns one-by-one with Angel Ray until only one is left so that you can prevent them from bothering your team, but I'll touch upon that more in a later chapter ("Being a Good Bishop"). When you have your Wyvern swarm, stay within them and tank their touch damage repeatedly so that they're the only thing that hits you. At first, you may notice that occasionally some magic attacks do manage to hit you despite you standing inside your Wyverns, which can be fatal if combined with a dispel; so get used to the mechanics, move towards your Wyverns, etc, until you get the hang of what you have to do to make sure only they hit you. Mentioning again the tip from the "Theory" section: to get used to those touch-tanking mechanics, practice on Manon or Griffey; try to kill them a few times without getting dispelled (or stunned, or 1/1'd) even once.

    When you notice dispel animation and you know it's happening, whether or not you're currently within a Wyvern shield, start spamming your Magic Guard. When HT attacks close enough to the time in which it dispels, reacting may not be physically possible – but sometimes, when the dispel and the attack aren't at the exact same moment, an MG spam just might cut it. MG spam is as fast as it gets. Once the dispel animation is over, remember to check the timer and calculate when the next one's supposed to happen.

    Occasionally you'd probably have to climb up (tips on climbing up easier also in the "Being a Good Bishop" chapter) to buff your team (Holy Shield and Holy Symbol, mainly), so you may not be able to be protected by Wyverns 100% of the time, but try to be protected that way for as long as you can. (It can become 100% of the time if your team is okay with going down to you for buffs, but that's a serious hit to consistent DPM so I'd advise against it.)

    When you must move, jump, talk, cast any ability that isn't Magic Guard, or do basically anything else except for casting Magic Guard – you should do it while timing your actions with the animations of the dispelling body part and with your i.frames. For example, if you're looking for Left Arm dispel, the safest time to cast Holy Symbol would be when you see Left Arm charging its 1 damage attack (which is actually an MP drain); the arm extends, creates a red effect which always reminds me a bit of a dragon-themed caduceus, and then aggressively closes into a fist:
    It's a fairly long animation, and you can be sure it won't dispel you while it does that. Additionally, if you cast an ability, do so on a rope, if possible – since cast animations are quicker that way. Lastly, if you can do it all while you have invincibility frames to prevent getting hit during the casting, it's even better. Again, more on that in the "Being a Good Bishop" chapter.

    If you don't have Wyverns available and you can tank damage from the falling rocks at the sides of the map with your base HP, it might be advisable to wait there and use the rocks for i.frames until the dispel you're waiting for happens (or Wyverns spawn for you to use as a shield, or you have to go and buff your team). It isn't consistent i.frames 100% of the time, but it's certainly better than nothing.

    Generally, when waiting for dispel to happen, I'd recommend to lower the Genesis casting rate (if not stopping altogether) and to start spamming your Magic Guard – at least until you manage to grab a swarm of Wyerns to use as a shield.

    Chapter 3: So... What Do I Do In-Between?
    In this chapter I'll quickly describe what you're supposed to be doing as the "monotonous action in-between everything else"; this is just to give some context, but you should probably know this if you already ran HT a couple of times. If you have a general idea, you can just move to Chapter 4.

    There are two main paths to play as a HT bishop: healing or attacking. Healing would mean you stick around your team members for the whole run and heal them (and, of course, do all the other stuff like buffing, minding seduce/timers, staying alive with dispels, etc…). Attacking – which is the more common choice, and my preferred one – would mean that you stand at the middle of the map, around the abs line (will explain why in a moment), and cast Genesis to cleave Horntail's body parts.

    The reason you'd be standing at the abs line if you go with the latter path is that Wyverns spawn there and you'd likely wish to handle them (more on that in the "Being a Good Bishop" chapter under the Wyvern Management title); and also because otherwise, if Dark Wyverns spawn, you'd be in their dispel range very quickly and you won't necessarily be in a situation that permits you to deal with them in a reasonable amount of time. (More on that under "Wyvern Management" as well.)

    During Preheads you can do both attacking and healing: you can attack with Angel Ray and Bahamut, and stop for a second to heal a few times whenever HT casts a damaging spell. During body you'd need to choose one of the above two methods and go with that since it'd completely determine your positioning (usually either with your party or bottom-middle of the map).

    I think the attacking method is better both because of the extra damage which can actually be significant if you're well-funded, and because of the better Wyvern Management – which improves everyone's convenience and, most importantly, your survivability.

    Whichever method you choose, make sure NOT TO HEAL YOUR DARK KNIGHT when they're using Berserk. In Preheads you'd want to position around this way, where your DK is the green spot and you're the red spot (you should be right beside the rock's range; true for both Preheads):

    During body, as I said, you'd usually want to stay at the bottom middle (around the abs line), unless you choose to heal them throughout it all – in which case position yourself in a spot where you heal as many people as possible without healing the DK.

    Chapter 4: Being a Good Bishop
    This chapter is fun because it's basically a compilation of cool tips. The practice section, at least, that is. But first…

    The role of a bishop is defined by a few absolute "duties", a few things that are huge upsides if they're done, and a few things are nice small bonuses if the bishop can manage to do them. In other words, the first category is the most important one, then the second, and then the third.

    Those are as follows, in my eyes (will all be described in-depth as tips within the "Practice" section):

    Absolute duties (things a bishop should definitely be able to do):
    1. Casting Holy Symbol when parts may die.
    2. Protecting during Seduces (whether if by using Holy Shield – which is obviously preferable – or by chasing the sed target and keeping them alive).
    3. Resurrecting dead party members/looters/runners, including keeping the timer for it – that is, knowing when you'd be able to resurrect again – and knowing how to handle the infamous resurrection bug.
    4. Also, all three of the above require the bishop to stay alive, so… surviving is also an absolute duty. :p
    5. For the purpose of #2 and #4, being able to keep timers and being aware of upcoming dangers is very important for a bishop.

    Huge upsides (things a bishop should be able to do if they want to make the run as smooth as possible):
    1. During preheads (and beyond if you choose), healing party members while being sure to avoid zerking Dark Knights.
    2. Keeping Wyverns away from the party. (Darks included, yes. They aren't as scary as they seem and you can easily kick their butts even if it takes you five Genesis casts to kill them.)
    3. Dispelling Horntail's self-buffs (attack/defense/accuracy/avoidability up).

    Cute bonuses (things a bishop should be able to do if they really wanna use all their potential):
    1. Dealing damage. Genesis hitting several body parts for the whole duration of a run from a bishop with decent TMA can actually accumulate to pretty nice amounts of damage in total.
    2. Casting buffs that aren't HS when you buff your party (Bless for extra avoidability, which is very nice for the few extra misses, and actually literally important in some specific parties in which certain members may not have enough accuracy to hit HT 100% of the time; and Maple Warrior to prevent your attackers having to spend another second or two on casting it themselves).
    And now! c:
    One of the most common reasons for HT bishops to die is casting skills when dispel happens, and therefore being unavailable to cast Magic Guard before they take a lethal hit to their bare health bar.

    It is true that we use Wyvern Shields to avoid those horrible situations in which a dispel happens at the very same frame with an attack from another of HT's parts, causing a potential map-wide massacre of fragile mages, yes; but sometimes, for example right after climbing up to HS our party, we don't have Wyverns available. In those cases, the best we can do when we see dispel happening is to spam Magic Guard to ensure that it is re-cast as soon as it possibly could, therefore keeping us alive if there's just a bit more time than absolutely none between the dispel and the hit. In those scenarios, casting another skill, even one as fast as Bless or Heal, could push your MG just a fraction of a second too much and cause you to die – not to mention a skill with a long animation like Holy Symbol, which might literally have you staring in terror at the entire attack animation of HT, helplessly awaiting your death.

    So this section of the guide is intended to show you how to cast buffs safely and negate the possibility of a buff being the end of you.

    First: invincibility frames. If you want to cast an ability that isn't Magic Guard when dispel may be near, wait until you get hit by something (be it a Wyvern, a rock, or any of HT's attacks), and cast the skill right after you get hit. Your skill animation should end close to the time your i.frames run out, meaning no dispel + attack combo could murder you until then.

    Second: attack animations. Watch the body part that you know might dispel you; for as long as it casts another ability, it cannot cast dispel. For example: if you're waiting for Middle Head dispel, you can know for a fact that you're completely safe from it while Middle Head is casting its fire breathing attack (or any of the others). As an additional note on this fire breathing attack: it is incredibly long – longer than even Holy Symbol. If you cast HS when Horntail tilts its head backwards to cast his fire attack, you don't have to worry about Middle Head dispel until your HS is successfully cast. For your convenience, here's a gif of that particular attack to illustrate my point (very easy to tell because the middle head tilts backwards before casting it):

    Third: ropes. Skills cast faster on ropes.
    In both of the following gifs, I'd be casting bless after HS as soon as I can, in order to show you the length of the animation.
    Holy Symbol on the ground: [​IMG]
    Holy Symbol on a rope: [​IMG]
    If possible, try to cast your skill on a rope to make the animation take far less time, therefore making the timeframe in which you can get killed much smaller.

    Fourth: the coolest one – COMBINE ALL THREE!
    Use one of Horntail's attack animations to throw you onto a rope and cast the skill there. This leave you on a rope with invincibility frames; that means fast casting during invincibility frames: the perfect timing. If you do it while also watching the dispelling part's animations, you should be 100% safe for the duration of the casting.
    Also, if the part whose attack you use for i.frames is also the part that's about to dispel, you should still have time to cast your ability before it gets the chance to cast another one of its own – thus also successfully hitting all three points above in one instant.

    This gif is an example of using all three points to buff:
    Note in the gif: Middle Head is casting its Wyvern Spawn animation, and therefore won't dispel me mid-skill cast; I watch Left Head's attack animation to use it to throw me onto the rope; and I use the i.frames and the fast rope casting to shorten the length of Holy Symbol's cast animation and keep it all contained within my short invincibility period. By the time dispel could be cast by Middle Head, I'd have no problem spamming my Magic Guard if needed.

    Climbing up to buff your teammates can often get frustrating in Horntail; but this can be made much easier by following a couple of specific tips. The principle is actually very similar to that presented under "Safe Casting": use Horntail's attacks to throw you onto a rope, and use the invincibility frames to climb it safely (which can also get you through the rock at the top platform, which you'd otherwise have to watch out for as well). You can also jump to the platform a moment before you actually reach the top of the rope to shorten the climbing time.
    Here's an animation showing this in action (notice that I also get through the rock with the i.frames):

    Alternatively, if you already are on a rope and you notice the animation of an attack that is about to throw you off it, just jump to the opposite direction from the one towards which you'd get knocked back, while holding your up key to grab the rope again:

    Holy Shield has a gigantic range; use it! This gets really useful sometimes when you want to do something such as dispel Horntail's self-buffs (mentioned in a later section) but seduce gets dangerously close: if your sed target happens to be positioned where you can reach them from close to the dispel zone, you may very well be able to do both safely.

    The following gif shows a situation in which I had to go dispel the heads, and I felt safe doing so because my seduce target – HunkyBae – was standing in a position I could reach from the bottom platform, even if I fail to climb back up in time.

    All of this said, remember to be alert of when Mass Seduce may be near; if it is, you should try to get your whole party within range. This is also made easier with Shield's range, of course, since you don't need to climb all the way to the top platform in order to reach it (but the bottom certainly isn't close enough).

    Resurrection is one of the core duties of a bossing bishop, and this is as relevant as always in Horntail.
    Many times you'd be finding yourself resurrecting someone with very little base health, such as a mage or an attacker who isn't heavily washed; and resurrecting with bad timing could cause them to die again instantly. We really don't want that to happen, so we'll have to time ourselves based on all sorts of things that can cause damage in the map.
    If you have a Shadower with an available smoke screen, it may be safest and easiest to resurrect within the smoke (make sure you, the Shadower and the dead person are in the same party, of course); but if not, it'd depend a hundred percent on your timing.

    First, make sure your target is not afk and that they're ready to use potions/cast any protective abilities they need to survive as soon as they're back to life. Sometimes a resurrection leaves the target with zero MP, so a mage would have to pay attention to that as well: better remind them (simply tell them to be ready to repot and cast MG the moment they're alive, because many forget to do one of the two and then get oneshot).

    Second, when you're sure they're ready, you'd have to time your resurrection properly. Do this by watching Horntail's attack animation (ranged damaging abilities come from the heads, the legs and the tail; so mostly watch for those).

    Another thing to watch for when timing the resurrection if your target is a mage who can't tank the falling rock's damage without Magic Guard, is, indeed, the falling rock (if they died at one of the corners of the map, in a spot where a rock hits). Note at the bottom corner of the map you can't actually see the rock, so you'd have to stand within its hit range yourself and get hit by it to know when it falls.

    Lastly, if you have more than one dead person, do your best to resurrect the both of them; ensure both are in the same party, and try to stand in a position where both of them are within your range. Resurrection has a very large range and it's often your job to tell if you can reach more than one person. Here are a few images to show how big Resurrection's range is (it's about the same as the Genesis range, I believe):
    GIF #1: [​IMG]
    GIF #2: [​IMG]
    GIF #3: [​IMG]

    TL;DR at the bottom of this spoiler tag if you wanna skip the long explanation.

    Most HT bishops have, at some point, ran into the infamous res bug. This is when you use your res next to a dead character, your CD triggers, and the person stays dead.

    To understand the bug and how to avoid it, I'd like to start by noting the following: when no one is within your resurrection range when you cast it, your cooldown should not trigger.

    Now let's describe the mechanics of the bug, and then conclude with the solution.

    Basically, when you take lethal damage, you don't get knocked back. If you'd look at a person dying, you'd notice they die at the very same spot in which they got hit. Or, at least, that's how it is client-side – and therefore that's how we see it.

    Server-side, this is processed differently: we get hit, we get knocked back, and then we die. Meaning, as far as the server is concerned, we're actually dead at a slightly different spot than where the client shows us – the spot we'd be at if we got knocked back without dying.

    I say "slightly different", but the difference isn't so slight anymore if you stood at the edge of a platform and got knocked to the bottom. If this happens, the client shows your character as being at the top platform, while in reality (reality in this context being server-side), your character is at the bottom. If a GM warps into this map at that moment and their client fetches all the freshly-updated information from the server, they'd see the character dead at the bottom of the map – unlike everyone else who was already in the map when the character died, who'd see them at the top. (In this GM warp example, if the dead person wasn't at the edge of a platform, the ghost would be a tiny bit to the side in the GM's client versus everyone else's, but the difference is so small that no one is likely to notice.)

    Apparently, the cooldown's triggering depends on the client – that is, if the client thinks that you're within range of a dead character when you use resurrection, the cooldown begins. At the same time, whether or not said person actually gets resurrected seems to depend on the server side of things – meaning the dead character would only get resurrected if you're within range of where the server believes it is. So if you resurrect at the top platform when the server has the character's coordinates as the bottom one, your cooldown would trigger and the character would stay dead.

    The fix? Resurrect where the character should be rather than where they are.

    TL;DR + CONCLUSION: Horntail's attacks generally push to the left (unless it's a Wyvern hit or something unusual like that); so pay attention to where the character was before death, ask yourself where they would be if they got knocked back by whatever hit them, and resurrect there instead. If you do this while in reality they didn't get knocked back (usually a warrior with stance), then you'd resurrect in a spot where neither the server nor the client recognize a dead character, which means that your cooldown shouldn't trigger – and then you can simply try again where you see their ghost.

    In this picture are a few examples; the red spots are where the character died, and the attached green spots are where you should resurrect them:

    A very important part of running Horntail efficiently is keeping timers. You can either use Horntail's actual built-in timer, or you could use an external, physical (…or virtual) timer to help you; either is perfectly fine and reasonable. But to make the job easier, here's a list of all timers you should know about during a Horntail run:

    • Preheads Seduce (3 minutes)
    • Left Arm Seduce (3 mintues)
    • Right Arm Seduce (3 minutes)
    • OPTIONAL: Left Arm Mass Seduce (1 minute); optional because you could simply assume that a Mass Seduce can happen at any point after the first one
    • OPTIONAL: Right Arm Mass Seduce (1 minute); optional because you could simply assume that a Mass Seduce can happen at any point after the first one
    • Left Arm Mass Dispel (5 minutes)
    • Middle Head Mass Dispel ABOVE 30% HEALTH (5 minutes)
    • Middle Head Mass Dispel AT & BELOW 30% HEALTH (3 minutes)

    And do keep in mind that the first Mass Seduce happens at the same time a regular seduce is supposed to, and postpones the regular seduce by doing so.

    Wyvern Shield is a very helpful tactic (described under the "Dispel" chapter); it involves taking the aggro of Wyverns and luring them to you, keeping them alive at the middle of the bottom platform of the map – where they spawn – to tank their touch damage and prevent getting oneshot during a badly-timed dispel-and-attack combo from Horntail.

    Wyvern Management is the term I'll use to refer to the way you deal with the fact that, as the person who takes Wyvern aggro (that's usually either the bishop or an archer; I always ask to take it both because it helps with Wyvern Shield, and because I don't want to interrupt the archer's DPM), you're expected to handle most Wyverns yourself and prevent them from bothering your party and harm your collective DPS.

    This section will describe several ways of handling both Wyvern Shields and general Wyvern Management good as you can.

    The spot in which we'll usually want to be standing is the very middle of the bottom platform, close to Horntail's abs line (potentially staying slightly to one specific side of it if we have an arm's aggro and don't want to trigger its seduces and dispels). This is where Wyverns spawn. If we have aggro, for the first second after their spawning the Wyverns would be floating in place, and right after they'd fly towards the rest of the party – unless we hit them once, in which case they'll stay right on top of us until someone else damages them or they die. Or, in other words: as soon as Wyverns spawn, we hit them (either with Genesis or with Shining Ray, depending on our damage, on whether or not we want to kill them and on the timing).

    When using Wyvern Shield, I strongly recommend, obviously while carefully tanking their touch damage throughout the whole process, to kill off your Wyverns one-by-one using Angel Ray until only one is left. That is because this way, when another batch of Wyverns spawn, you'll be able to catch them all with Shining Ray (Shining Ray's total amount of targets equals a whole Wyvern spawn plus one). If you have more than one in range, at least one Wyvern will not get hit and potentially fly to bother your party. If you have a full spawn on top of you and then a second spawn appears and you cast Shining Ray, you'd only catch one Wyvern from the new spawn, meaning almost all of it would fly away to bother your party.

    Keeping only one Wyvern alive enables you to perform both Wyvern Shield and proper Wyvern Management at the same time, keeping yourself safe and assisting your party with a single process.

    Another point about Wyvern shield is that occasionally, some of your attackers would stand in a location that causes them to hit your Wyverns if you stand at the very middle of the map. (This is most common with archers who have their cute birds out.) A simple solution that doesn't involve the archer taking off the bird is you moving your Wyverns a bit to the side, so that they're outside of your party's range.
    For example:

    You can also make the Wyverns move a bit lower if they're too high for you to consistently tank touch from them by teleporting away and letting them fly towards you until they're at the proper height, like so:

    NOTE: Make sure to time your Wyvern control with Horntail's animations to ensure you don't get dispelled and killed while doing so.

    Lastly about Wyvern Shield: keep in mind the fact that you can also easily use Dark Wyverns as your Wyvern Shield if you pay some slight attention. If they dispel you, you get i.frames and therefore have plenty of time to re-pot and cast your Magic Guard, so it's never a big deal (if you pay attention, as I said, and make sure to react to those incidental dispels). Ever since I realized that the Darks' dispel is an on-hit one, I have never been killed by them, because it just makes it very easy to deal with once the mechanics sink in. A Dark will not oneshot you if you keep reasonable HP and MP; and this makes a Dark perfectly fine as a Shield when it comes to dealing with HT's lethal dispel-and-attack combos.

    As for handling Dark Wyverns in general: as I already stated, those aren't dangerous if you know how they work.

    As described within the "Dispel" chapter, theirs is an on-hit dispel; meaning they can't hit you if you have i.frames, and if they do hit you, they grant you i.frames.

    When Darks spawn, the first thing you do is teleport into their faces if you aren't already there. If you get dispelled, don't panic; cast MG, repot if you need, and proceed.

    Once you reach them, first lure them to you with either a Shining Ray or a Genesis (depending on whether you're safe to do so and whether it isn't too late to lure them to you); that is because the most dangerous place for a Dark Wyvern to be is right above you, where you can't tank its touch damage and it can dispel you.

    Once you've lured them, tank their touch damage and position yourself so that you'd tank touch damage again before your Genesis runs out; this way you can be certain you won't get helplessly dispelled mid-cast without being able to cast your MG.

    At this point, cast Genesis. Once Genesis is over, reassess your situation, cast & repot if necessary, reposition if necessary, and cast Genesis again. They'll die very soon.

    Another advice would be to always try to stand right at the abs line when Wyverns (that might be Darks) spawn; that is because, as mentioned before, you use their touch damage to avoid their dispels. This means that being right next to them equals being right in range for their dispel. This is especially dangerous if you cast Genesis in such a position right when Darks spawn – they'd be able to dispel you and leave you vulnerable for the whole cast animation of Genesis. The conclusion: Never cast Genesis close to (but not at) the middle of the map without watching for the Wyvern spawn animation, or they may spawn and dispel you mid-cast.

    Here is an example of me keeping a Wyvern Shield and managing the Wyverns (notice the Shining Ray to keep the Darks from flying to bother my party) when Middle Head dispels, after which point I kill the newly-spawned Dark Wyverns before going up to HS my party.

    Horntail's Wings and Arms often cast buffs that affect all of its parts. Specifically, Wings cast offensive skills, while Arms cast defensive skills. The damage increase can be significant and the loss in DPS from the defensive buffs is also meaningful; so the good news are: bishops can dispel them!

    Weirdly enough, the spot where you need to stand in order to dispel Horntail is the very middle of the map – the abs line:

    This automatically dispels all of Horntail, and it's the only spot where dispel would have an effect. Note: the buffs affect all of Horntail, but are only visible above its heads.

    This is particularly important when the legs and tail are still alive because when buffed, their damage goes up to almost 10k. You can simply teleport to that spot for a moment (make sure not to touch the tail; stay a bit to the left of the abs line) and dispel, same as you would when the legs die.

    Usually, your party members would say something like "dh" (as in "dispel head") to ask you to dispel this spot and undo its buffs; but you can dispel without them having to ask this of you by paying attention to two main things: the damage HT deals and, most importantly, the animations of the Arms and Wings.

    As for damage: this is mostly relevant to the legs/tail phase; legs touch is about 7k, unless buffed, in which case it's about 9k. The damage your party members would take from legs/tail hits is around 6k unbuffed, and around 9k buffed. Basically, if you notice people taking very high damage – around 9k usually, and not from 1/1s – you can tell it's buffed.

    But it's much better not to wait until it's that late. Instead, dispel as soon as you see the animation.

    This is the Wings' buff animation:

    These are the Arms' buff animations:
    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    So simply dispel the abs as soon as you see any of those!

    Some of you may have realized that there are several things noted in this guide that could be used to obtain an idea of the current HP ranges of some of Horntail's parts, such as the spawning of specific colors of Wyverns or Mass Seduces. This means that those things can be monitored to let you know when a part of Horntail is about to die, and that you should therefore ensure your team has Holy Symbol at all times until it happens.

    This is a useful tool and it can be helpful, but DO NOT COUNT ON IT when it comes to Holy Symbol timing. That is, it could be used to give you an idea, but many of those HP threshold-dependent abilities aren't guaranteed to happen: you cannot assume that the fact a certain head didn't spawn Dark Wyverns, for example, means that said head is above the Dark Wyverns HP threshold. A head is never guaranteed to spawn a specific color of Wyverns and an arm is never guaranteed to Mass Seduce, so if you wait for those signs before HSing, you may simply be too late and your party could miss out on some juicy EXP.

    Additionally, as for positioning: keep an eye on your minimap when moving to buff your party, in order to ensure that you don't miss anyone while doing so; and if you're unsure whether someone was in your range when you buffed, play it safe and simply ask – "did you get HS?"
    If you're unsure, don't assume and hope for the best because it sucks to miss someone.

    The first person who enters Horntail's maps becomes the seduce target. The second person becomes the seduce target if the first one leaves the map, and then the third if the second leaves, and so forth.

    Mass Seduce affects the ten people who were the earliest to enter the map; anyone who enters after that will not get Mass Seduced if one happens for as long as those ten people remain in the map. If one of the ten leaves the map, the eleventh becomes one of the ten to get Mass Seduced, and so forth.
    In two-party runs of 12 people, usually the two bishops (assuming there are two) would be the last entrants, so that if a Mass Seduce happens, they'd be able to heal their respective parties.

    The last person to enter receives the Wyvern aggro, and that is usually either an archer (since they can deal with wyverns easily and away from the rest of the party) or the bishop (if the bishop feels comfortable with managing Wyverns); the latter of which, if you didn't assume that by now, is by far the more recommended option in my eyes.

    To summarize:
    Usually the first person to enter is the seduce target, and the rest of the people who enter do so in the order in which they're likely to succeed in being the seduce target, in case the original one disconnects or dies. The last person to enter is usually either an archer, who can easily kill groups of Wyverns, or, preferably, a bishop, if they feel safe managing the Wyverns (which is highly recommended). In a two-party run, the bishops should enter last so that they do not get Mass Seduced if one happens.

    Phew ._.

    I'll update/modify this guide with time, probably.

    Thanks for sticking around c:

    Shay :heart:

    You were one of the earliest bishops to ask me for Horntail instructions, and the first person to take it all to heart; this made you one of the first people I could really talk to about these stuff to my heart's content (and who'd talk to me about these stuff as well), since you shared my passion to "do this right". To this day, you're the first one I tell when I find new things or changes worth mentioning, and you're the one who told me what left arm's dispel animation looks like when it became relevant due to the animation delay changes before I even had a chance to look into it myself.
    Additionally, I know you've also wanted to make a (video) guide and you waited for me to publish mine first, and that gesture means a lot <3
    Lastly and very importantly, you were the first person to read this guide for the purpose of proofreading and helping me with pinpointing some parts that weren't clear enough. Sankyuu c:

    Andy asked around Flavors alliance if any bishop was free to fill in for a Zakum run, and I volunteered to join. The run turned out to have been a Muse run hosted by Camille. Camille then invited me to run Horntail with her guild, which was how I joined a run as a non-looter for the first time, and how I started bossing a lot more often (and started running Horntail at all), and how my Buccaneer ended up joining Muse, and how I met my friends from Beaters. It was a really big step towards me meeting some of my best friends in this server. Thank you both for this <3

    You were the first Horntail host that I ran with consistently and the all-nighters I spent running with Beaters are invaluable memories to me. I loved those times and I still enjoy going on runs when ones occasionally happen. You always appreciated my will to be a good bishop and we learned a lot from each other over time by running together. You used to make me feel so included and you truly helped make those runs a beautiful experience for me. Thanks, man. <3

    You were such a super cool pro who taught me a lot of really cool things back when everyone felt mostly clueless about how Horntail worked. I really looked up to you and one of the reasons I wanted to become better at this was to one day show you how much I improved, and it was secretly a small wish of mine to have you ask me to join a run because you trust me as a bishop. I know you've quit long ago, but I still hope the chance would arrive one day. ;-;

    Joseph hosted the Maple Warrior-hunting Horntail group with which I (and about ten other people) got my Maple Warrior 20. These runs were amazing fun and they introduced me to a lot of friends and are probably the ones in which I learned the most about being a bishop. Mimi was the one who invited me to take part in it when Jo's squad needed to find another bishop.

    You guys have been my most consistent run hosts (and runners) for the longest time, and I really enjoy the time I spend with you all on a weekly (I try ;-;) basis. Thanks for everything and I hope we'll have many more runs together <3

    WAIFU <3
    One of the main reasons I made it a goal to obtain Maple Warrior 20 (and therefore agreed to commit to the intensive running routine of Jo's squad) is that I promised Ann I'd get MW20 so I can buff her when she needs it. Also thanks for making my time in ML as a whole much more fun c:

    Thanks for being a qtpie <3
    Also thanks for taking me and lunch to HT's cave to grab the Resurrection range gifs c: ily

    ily all <3 LF>more Agape runs.

    Had some of my most enjoyable runs evah with you <3 Donut leaf! LF>more Agape runs.

    I really enjoyed those MW hunting runs we used to do for a while :3 Also some of the only mid-run voice chats I did back then, which was a really refreshing experience.

    (Title: Matt (Soju), Dani (Krauser94), Anton (VintrosaBarn), Miguel (Amatista/KurayamiLove), Henric (Leafhe), Elson (TomFord), Kimmy (Marionettee), Chris (WackyWarlock/Apparition), queen Julie (nubjulez), and all the other qt runners from Flavors alliance <3)

    Long before I was HT level, I really wanted to join you guys on Matt's runs. You've already had regular bishops so I wasn't really needed, but… it was really fun aspiring to get to run with you guys at some point, and when it eventually did finally happen, I was really happy and had an amazing time.

    For telling new-bishop me I wasn't wrong for killing the Darks myself back when I was wondering if it was needlessly risky and wasn't confident enough to make the call on my own.

    For saving me from a res bug back in your GM days while also telling me how res bug worked, giving me the tools to get around it myself in the future (& tell other bishops how to do it as well).

    For being my qt ex-girlfriend and being proud of me at stuff :3

    For giving me a nice burst of motivation to become better at HT in order to look cool in your eyes. XD

    For making me feel appreciated when I messed up in my early HT days and almost felt like quitting <3

    For making me feel motivated to write this guide by reminding me about it occasionally. huehuehue
    Also for having a large part in making Agape runs happen <3

    For being huge qts who have been making me feel appreciated ever since we ran together so long ago <3

    For giving me some of my best HT memories by being the funniest people to be in a VC with <3

    For consistently offering to SI me when I have to swap parties <3

    For always making the mood better by simply being in runs <3

    D R O D S
    u r a q t π

    Every single runner I ever got to run with; this is too many for me to be able to reasonably write here, but every runner from runs hosted by: Flavors alliance, Beaters guild, Muse guild, Tempus guild, Agape guild, Heir guild, Joseph (Nightmare96), Jacq (Hunkybae), Vine (lrvine), Steven (Kalash), Joel (JoeI, and YES, I remember the runs you used to host), Eran (ThiefNL), Clare (Artemys), John (Johnn), Anderson (Tiltmaster), Karin (kaysee), Home alliance (RIP), Legacy guild (RIP), Seth (TalesWeaver)/Haven alliance (RIP, I think).

    The staff team, for making me feel welcome and giving me another purpose in this server.

    All of my friends, because you're the reason I'm still here.


    4.9.2019, 18:30 ST:
    Added a mention of spawn mass sed at the end of the Theory section of the Seduce chapter.

    5.9.2019, 23:52 ST:
    Added verbal descriptions of some of the animations which previously had none; thanks to sweetie MissRainbowMissRainbow for the suggestion <3
    Also added a second gif for middle head dispel, sent to me by qt fredaaaaafredaaaaa <3 I'll leave both up until I make a clearer one.

    6.9.2019 23:51 ST:
    Some slight typo fixes/phrasing improvements around the intro & seduce theory parts.

    30.5.2021 22:33 ST:
    Clarifying in regards to my mention of the guide's "quickstart" edition, as well as adding an obsolescense disclaimer.

    1.12.2021 22:33 ST:
    Fixing a couple of typos/weird phrasing shenannigans (and modifying Anna's thanks section to reflect year-old status changes :shy:). Came here for a small trip down memory lane and saw those stuff while skimming through it, hehe c:
    • Great Work x 29
    • Friendly x 6
    • Like x 4
    • Agree x 3
    • Informative x 1
  2. Drauds

    Drauds Web Developer Staff Member Web Developer

    Jun 21, 2017
    6:19 PM
    • Funny Funny x 2
    • Great Work Great Work x 2
    • Informative Informative x 1
    • Friendly Friendly x 1
  3. OP

    FeroxAnima Web Developer Staff Member Web Developer

    Dec 29, 2017
    3:19 AM
    He did it :swoon:
  4. Heartiess

    Heartiess Guest

    1:19 AM
    Guide on how to be the best bishop:
    -155 LUK
    • Agree Agree x 4
    • Friendly Friendly x 2
    • Funny Funny x 1
    • Creative Creative x 1
  5. WackyWarlock

    WackyWarlock Dark Stone Golem

    Mar 21, 2017
    8:19 PM
    All of them
    luk bishops op
    • Agree Agree x 3
    • Friendly Friendly x 1
  6. kissMagE

    kissMagE Slimy

    May 28, 2017
    8:19 AM
    Yea, that’s my child❤️ Good job. FYI, we should pronounce ‘Shay’ as ‘Shy’. This is what the OP told me xD
    • Friendly Friendly x 2
    • Agree Agree x 1
  7. OP

    FeroxAnima Web Developer Staff Member Web Developer

    Dec 29, 2017
    3:19 AM
    You guys might be the luk bishops but I'm lucky to have met you both, which is basically the same thing MapleF14

    True, it is pronounced like shy XD
    Joel :heart:
    • Friendly Friendly x 2
  8. aaronis

    aaronis Slimy

    Jul 5, 2017
    5:19 PM
    ily i am a big fan of you and this guide, you are a blessing to this community <3 <3 <3
    • Agree Agree x 3
    • Friendly Friendly x 2
    • Funny Funny x 1
  9. OP

    FeroxAnima Web Developer Staff Member Web Developer

    Dec 29, 2017
    3:19 AM
    ily and miss you and appreciate every late-night (reluctantly silent) laugh I laughed thanks to you on vc <3
  10. Diego

    Diego Capt. Latanica

    Jun 7, 2015
    7:19 PM
    You missed fail gene 30 a zillion times XatEmo
    • Agree Agree x 3
    • Disagree Disagree x 1
  11. OP

    FeroxAnima Web Developer Staff Member Web Developer

    Dec 29, 2017
    3:19 AM
    Was it 13? SlimeCry nubjuleznubjulez
  12. Precel

    Precel Zakum Retired Staff

    Nov 13, 2018
    8:19 PM
    Good guide, but how do I HT as lvl 99 priest? Lacking information. I will report you to authorities for scamming.

    ily good job :heartbeat:
  13. Siao

    Siao Headless Horseman Retired Staff

    Jul 15, 2017
    8:19 AM
    Thank you for spending hours and days to make this guide, definitely a great addition to the community. 2 best bishops ever :heartbeat: FeroxAnimaFeroxAnima lunchlunch
    • Funny Funny x 1
  14. Keenan

    Keenan King Slime

    Jun 1, 2018
    8:19 PM
    If I could give you a Like, Agree, Great Work, Informative, Friendly, Useful and Creative, I would. Finally the much anticipated Bishop HT guide! Thank you Shay for all the hard work and for helping me become a better HT Bish!
  15. akashsky

    akashsky Horntail

    Jun 10, 2017
    United States
    5:19 PM
  16. klaare

    klaare Horny Mushroom

    May 17, 2018
    8:19 AM
    SHAYYYYYY :heartbeat:
    I remember i once asked you about HTing as a bish too and you gave me alot of tips but i never got around to try it xd but thanks for writing this guide for everyone else that might be interested in future.
    cheers to one of the best HT bishops in ML~ OnionSpark
  17. Kaylex

    Kaylex Brown Teddy

    Jul 14, 2017
    8:19 AM
    I LOVE YOU :heartbeat:
  18. kalash

    kalash Headless Horseman

    Oct 18, 2016
    2:19 AM
    Night Lord
    I watched EVERY single video and went yaay when I was in it lol!
    I love this guide. Watching you bish actually made me a better bish and to some extent NL host myself! Always a pleasure to have you :3
  19. MissRainbow

    MissRainbow Mixed Golem

    Jun 26, 2017
    1:19 AM
    ControlPanel / WireLess / FireWall / HotSpot
    Congratulations on graduating in the Bishop academy, excellent thesis, planning and execution 23984710/10

    Proud of you, as always <3
    • Friendly Friendly x 1
  20. OP

    FeroxAnima Web Developer Staff Member Web Developer

    Dec 29, 2017
    3:19 AM
    Will you report me to yourself? MapleF14
    Thanks bobob <3 ily too [​IMG]

    Elaineeeeeee thanks a ton [​IMG]

    aww Keenan, this means a lot :heart: ;-; the fact that you benefit from it is enough to retroactively make it worth writing XD

    Wao, thanks for saying that ;-; ML's community is :heart:, it makes me happy and I wanted to help as many people if I could! The more people find use in this guide, the more happy I'll be for having wrote it <3

    CLAREEEE :heart:
    It's totally understandable XDDD My advice is usually composed of a wall of text LOL
    Thanks for saying this <3 And I hope we run again together soon!!!

    KATTTTT, love you moar :heart:

    Hahaha Steven XD
    Thanks for saying that, it means a lot :heart: And thanks for always going through the trouble of hosting and organizing for the rest of us c:

    LOLOLOLOLOL, feel free to hand it in as your thesis and come here already SlimeLove
    Thanks, honey <3
    • Friendly Friendly x 3

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