Mad King History:
This year’s Halloween event includes an encounter with the well-known jokester, the former ruler of Kryta, the completely insane, Mad King Thorn. Those of you who played the original Guild Wars will remember the yearly return of Mad King Thorn every October 31st, and for those new to the game, here’s a little History of Mad King Thorn written by GWI’s Wormwood, or visit the GW1 Wiki for a little backstory.
“Mad King Thorn is a former king of Kryta, known for his jokes and his insanity. Although it is unknown when he lived, much is known about his reign. During his reign, Kryta suffered a severe famine while Thorn held exquisite banquets for his courtiers. This made him unpopular with the commoners, an effect he exacerbated by once having a number of villagers skinned alive.
His cruel and insane rule was ultimately brought to an end when an enraged mob stormed his castle. Many of his staff fled, leaving him to his death, which was effected with a carving knife. After his death, the mob is said to have been “very creative” with his corpse. Afterwards, his palace and most of his possessions and courtiers were set ablaze.”
Mad King Thorn Abilities
- Slash: (light damage) Straightforward melee attack
- Mad King Shield: (light damage, chilled) Distance based, chain effect damage. Hops from player to nearby player. 4 Hops max. Hits apply 2s of chilled condition.
- Night Slash: (medium damage) Single direction ranged attack.
- Rending Night: (medium damage) Cone shaped ranged attack
- Pumpkin Bomb: (medium damage) Every 15 seconds MKT raises a random pattern of exploding pumpkins. Explosions happen over 3 seconds which cause AOE damage.
- Scarecrow: (light damage bleed, fear) Instantly casts Crows (light bleed damage) when appears. Scarecrow will cast AOE fear after 5 seconds.
- Teleport: Every 28 seconds MKT will teleport behind the furthest player within his ranged attack distance.
The Mad King Thorn Encounter:
As with most bosses, the Mad King himself starts off with a relatively large health pool, so expect the fight to last a little longer than expected. The fight mechanics are fairly straightforward as this encounter is obviously made to handle pick up groups consisting of random members you may not have voice communication. It also scales to the level of characters, therefore making it possible to have a group consisting of various character levels.
Traditionally, Mad King Thorn has had a penchant for playing his own form of Simon Says, where he issues commands and you complete them, but only if he prefaces his command with “Mad King Says.” Be on your toes in the event that the beginning of the battle features a quick, unexpected game.
Once the battle begins, approximately every 15 seconds, Thorn will raise a random pattern of pumpkin bombs from the ground. After about 5 seconds they start to explode, causing a medium amount of damage within a small proximity. The explosions happen over a 3 second interval, so it’s possible to dodge one explosion only to dive into another. Ranged attackers can generally stay just outside the ring of pumpkins and continue attacking, however its easy to be caught out of place and take a few hits — especially if MKT teleports nearby and then bombs the area around his new location.
After 28 seconds, MKT will choose the player furthest from him, yet still within his ranged attacks, and move towards that player. This means it’s possible to stay just outside his range and not have him appear behind you. For melee attackers, this is your biggest hurdle throughout the encounter, as staying connected to the boss to do damage can be difficult. While “traditional” tanking isn’t entirely possible with MKT, if no character or pet is within melee range, he will attempt to run to the nearest person. However, this does make it possible to do the encounter without a dedicated melee group member, the fight just tends to be a little more mobile.
During the encounter, MKT will summon immobile Scarecrows to handle his attackers. When Scarecrows initially appear, they instantly swarm crows to those within their radius, causing bleed damage that is minimal and can easily be ignored. What cannot be ignored is the AOE fear that is cast 5 seconds after a Scarecrow lands, so watch the ground for the AOE markers and make sure you’re clear of them as much as possible.
The battle area is composed of a series of platforms and the battle will move to these platforms, all of which are below the initial platform the battle starts out on. When the Mad King disappears, be prepared to pack up your assault and take it elsewhere, as you’ll have a new area loaded with enemy mobs to clear before continuing your attack on Thorn.
A reassuring note: in the time it takes you to reach him, he will not regenerate already-lost health.
- When in a downed state, target a nearby Scarecrow and burn it down. The Scarecrow’s health pool is much smaller and can return you to combat after killing it in just 2-3 hits. It saves everyone time and dps if you don’t need to be revived.
- The small chained platform can be a good ranged attack or recovery area as you’re less susceptible to Rending Night attacks. It’s also a great vantage point if you’re looking to channel an AOE heal.
- Always keep someone or a pet in range of MKT. If everyone is outside his ranged attack area, you run the risk of him resetting and gaining health. Seems like common sense, but you’d be surprised how often it can happen in Ranged-Only groups.
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