Guide to Fire Shaman (Mesmer – Solo)

Hello everyone,

Today, I would like to share with everyone my strategy for soloing Drakin Cinderspire (more widely known as “Fire Shaman” or “FS”) on my Mesmer. I have yet to solo him from beginning to end because someone likes to join in during the process. However, I have fought and succeeded in defeating him several times in each phase.

My motivation for soloing Fire Shaman is that I often see players running towards FS, then not fight him unless someone else is. So, I took it upon myself to really learn the encounter so that when people do stop by to see if FS is being attacked, they will join in too.

Fire Shaman can be summed up to “kite and dodge.” However, there is a little more to it and I want to be a little more specific. What makes Fire Shaman difficult is the length of the encounter and risk associated with it. FS can easily down players in 2 hits. He can even down players in 1 hit if they’re unfortunate enough to get critically hit. However, after some patience and practice, many of his abilities can be countered through traits, utility, and dodging.

Before I begin with how I tackled the encounter, I first want to tell everyone what to expect from Drakin Cinderspire and Fire Elemental over the course of the entire fight. The names of skills and damage values were taken from personal screenshots of me doing the encounter and purposely dying a few times. Damage values were taken from my Mesmer who has very little toughness and rounded to the nearest 50.

Keep in mind that these abilities can critically hit for 50% more damage. This means skills like Throw Axe, which hits for 6500 to 7000 damage, can one-shot players or leave them very close to death.

Elemental Phase 1

Fire Elemental will spawn and can only be damaged by killing his minions. In Ember Phase 1, only Embers will spawn.

  • Slash is a basic melee attack that deals 150-250 damage.
  • Rending Lunge is a melee to mid ranged attack that deals about 900-950 damage and causes bleeding.
  • Shoot is a basic ranged attack that deals 450-550 damage.
  • Multi-Shot is a ranged attack that cripples and deals 400-450 damage per hit for 5 hits to players.
  • Aerial Assault is another ranged attack where the Ember flies into the air, and shoots a fireball for about 1,000 damage. During Aerial Assault, the Ember will also evade all attacks.

Cinderspire Phase 1

When the Fire Elemental reaches 66% health, Cinderspire unsummon the Fire Elemental and enter combat with a sword. The sword has one dangerous ability:

  • Flurry is similar to the Warrior’s Flurry including immobility, bleeding, cleaving, and high direct damage.

He also has a spin attack similar to the Warrior’s Cyclone Axe, another similar to the Warrior’s Eviscerate (with a jump back), and some basic attacks. Their actual names and damage is unknown (including Flurry) because I almost never get hit in this phase.

Elemental Phase 2

When Cinderspire’s health reaches 0%, he will go invulnerable and summon the Fire Elemental again. Embers and Greater Embers will spawn during this phase. Greater Embers are similar to Embers in health, but have two asinine abilities, Slashing Claws and Tornado:

  • Shoot is a basic ranged attack that deals 450-550 damage.
  • Multi-Shot is a ranged attack that cripples and deals 400-450 damage per hit for 5 hits to players.
  • Slashing Claws is a melee ranged attack that deals about 2,500 damage.
  • Tornado turns Greater Ember a tornado. In tornado form, the Greater Ember will take about 75 to 90% less direct damage. Any players caught within melee range of the tornado will be knocked back and dealt 2,500 damage. Burns nearby foes (max range about 300 to 600). Slashing Claws can also be used in this form.

Cinderspire Phase 2

When the Fire Elemental reaches 33% health, Cinderspire will unsummon the Fire Elemental and enter combat with an axe. The axe has 4 abilities, and Throw Axe is the most dangerous:

  • Chop is a basic melee attack that deals 3,000-3,500 damage.
  • Axe Spin is a PBAoE attack dealing about 6,500 damage.
  • Throw Axe is a ranged attack dealing 6,500-7,000 damage and burns.
  • Whirling Defense is similar to the Hunter’s Whirling Defense, but will absorb projectiles and send fireballs back at the attacker rather than reflecting projectiles.

Elemental Phase 3

When Cinderspire’s health reaches 0% for the second time, he will go invulnerable and summon the Fire Elemental for the last time. Embers and Fire Imps will spawn during this phase. Fire Imps deal more damage and have significantly more health than Embers.

  • Fire Bolt is a ranged attack that deals 1,600-1,900 damage.
  • Fire Storm is similar to the Elementalist’s Meteor Shower and deals 500 damage per meteor.
  • Dive is an attack that deals 550 damage. Range and characteristics unknown.

Cinderspire Phase 3

When the Fire Elemental reaches 0% health, it will die. Cinderspire will enter combat for the last time unarmed. Cinderspire will have 4 abilities, and the most dangerous is Lava Jet.

  • Lava Jet is a ground targeted AoE that deals 1,000 damage per tick for up to 5 ticks at approximately 2 ticks per second and ends with a knock dealing 4,000 to 4,500 damage.
  • Fire Grab is similar to the Elementalist’s Fire Grab and deals 8,000 damage (not sure if with or without burn).
  • Drake’s Breath is similar to the Elementalist’s Drake’s Breath with a longer/wider range, deals 2,500 damage per tick and burns.
  • Dragon Punch is a melee ranged attack where Cinderspire will charge at players and launch them for 3,000 damage.

Tackling Drakin Cinderspire will be a challenge to do solo because his abilities can deal a lot of damage. His main killers are Flurry (Phase 1), Throw Axe (Phase 2), and Lava Jet (Phase 3). Mastering how to avoid, recover, and/or counter these abilities will make the entire fight significantly easier.

Mesmer Build for Fire Shaman Solo

A link of what I use to solo Fire Shaman is summarized below:

Just some notes before I go on:

  1. If you’ve noticed, this build is very similar to my Mesmer’s Balanced Blades build with only two trait changes.
  2. Yes, this build does not have a second weapon set. This is because you do not need one when fighting Fire Shaman. So, the second weapon set if up to you to use. You may even choose to use two Berserker Greatsword with Sigil of Energy. Doesn’t matter. If you would like to know, I use Dual Swords during Ember Phase with Sigil of Bloodlust to build up damage.
  3. Sigil of Fire is not optimal, it is what I use in open world and I am too cheap to get another Greatsword with the optimal sigil. Personally, I think the best sigil for this encounter is Sigil of Energy for the extra dodges.
  4. Celestial Trinkets are not optimal in a minmax build, but this isn’t a minmax build.This build is designed for difficult solo PvE content (i.e. soloing champions). This means stats like toughness, vitality, and healing power are extremely useful for mitigating damage, recovering from damage, and dealing with burst skills. Also, the sprinkle of condition damage works nicely with Sharper Images (Dueling 15).

This build focuses on keeping enemies crippled through Crippling Dissipation (Domination V), which allow clones to cripple nearby foes for 3 seconds when they are killed, and through Phantasmal Berserker (GS 4). Clones are generated through weapons, utilities, and dodging. Dodging is enhanced several fold through Critical Infusion (Dueling 5), and Deceptive Evasion (Dueling X).

Two sources of stealth are used. One is Decoy (Utility), and the other is Desperate Decoy (Dueling V) which is basically automatic Decoy at 25% health. Stealth is used primarily to buy time, and recharge mantras.

For healing, Phantasms will grant regeneration to nearby allies, and Restorative Mantras (Inspiration X) will be helpful for sustained healing. How I like to use Restorative Mantras is by keeping Mantra of Pain (Utility) charged and Mantra of Recovery (Healing) uncharged. When I need healing, I like to charge Mantra of Recovery while simultaneously using  Power Spike (Utility). When Mantra of Recovery has finished charging, I will use Power Return (Healing) right after, and charge Mantra of Pain. This method of healing uses Restorative Mantra twice, but is difficult to pull off because you cannot dodge. In summary:

Power Spike + Mantra of Recovery followed by Power Return + Mantra of Pain.

For condition cleansing, Mantra of Recovery will remove one condition thanks to Mender’s Purity (Inspiration IV). Mender’s Purity will only process when Power Return is used, and not Mantra of Recovery. This allows for 2 condition cleanses. This is extremely helpful because many of Fire Shaman’s conditions are associated with high direct damage. Healing in addition to cleansing conditions in a single button is helpful.

Runes of the Traveler is used because of its flexibility and versatility. Having +30 to all stats and +6% critical damage makes these set of runes fit nicely with non-minmax builds. The extra boon and condition duration works nicely with vigor and cripple. Lastly, the movement speed is invaluable for kiting when coupled with cripple.

Now, this is a Berserker/Celestial build which means toughness and vitality is extremely low. In fact, I have gotten one-shot by Throw Axe before, and getting hit is very trouble some. So, for players inexperienced with Fire Shaman, I highly recommend using Knight gear. A full set of Knight gear has about 34.5% damage reduction at Lv80 before downscaling, which is essentially a permanent protection boon, compared to the my set’s 14.2%.

For players who are really inexperienced, I recommend a Cleric/Magi mix with at least 25% critical hit chance. The toughness will not be as high as the Knight set up, but there will be some vitality and a lot of healing power (over 1250) to make up for mistakes. The effective power is also significantly lower than the my Berserker/Celestial set by more than half.

For expert players, a full Berserker or Rampager set will work. Fun fact, downscaling does a huge number on critical damage bonus making it scale poorly with low level content. While you are Lv61 in Iron Marches – critical damage bonus isn’t reduced too drastically – and not that far from 80, Rampager makes better use of stats when considering stat budgets. Since this build has Sharper Images, and Greater Embers are annoying to deal with without condition damage, Rampager is really not a bad option.

Tips n Tricks

Ember Phases

I like to hide behind the bubble or, if the bubble is not there, hang out where the NPCs are during Ember Phases. The NPCs, while useless, are fodder which makes my life easier. Damage they take is damage I don’t have to worry about. The beauty is that Restorative Mantras will heal them as well (about 1665 HP on my gear set up).

In Phase 2 and 3, be very conscious about your positioning, minion spawn times, and minion positioning. You don’t want to aggro 2-4 Greater Embers as they will end up being a nuisance with burns, and knockbacks. Multiple Fire Imps will also mean multiple Fire Storms.

Fire Shaman Phases

In terms of difficulty, from easiest to hardest, I would say Phase 1, 3 then 2. Learning to deal with each of Cinderspire’s abilities is key to surviving.

The first tip for Cinderspire is to keep your distance. This will basically negate half of his attacks. With movement speed and cripple, the encounter becomes much easier.

In Phase 1, Flurry is the most dangerous. Staying at range will make Flurry tough to land for Cinderspire. Keep in mind that Flurry will deal high direct damage, inflict up to 12 stacks of bleeding, and immobilizes. Always be prepared to escape if caught in it.

In Phase 2, Throw Axe is the most dangerous. Not only will it hurt, but it will also burn. He can use Throw Axe in quick succession so always be ready to dodge. His animation is an underhand throw and where he is facing is where the axe will go. Throw Axe can critically hit and it hurts.

Also in Phase 2, when Cinderspire is using Whirling Defense. Avoid using projectiles, and take the time to either do damage, charge mantras, res downed players and/or heal up. He becomes a sitting duck while using Whirling Defense. Most Mesmers will bring Feedback (Utility) for Whirling Defense but, in solo, its not that helpful.

In Phase 3, Lava Jet is the most dangerous. This ground targeted AoE ticks every half second for 1,000 damage and ends on the third second with a 4,000 damage knockback. Due to reaction time, you’ll likely get hit with Lava Jet’s first and/or second tick. Being able to consistently recover from those few hits is key to surviving. Low cooldown but high healing abilities like the Mantra of Recovery + Mantra of Pain + Restorative Mantras will easily overcome that sort of damage.

Also in Phase 3, his Dragon Punch is intimidating but fairly weak. If you see him charging at you, and you’re a fair distance away, you can simply dodge to the side or backwards and not worry about the end of the charge. It is more of an anti-mid-ranged attack than anti-far ranged.

Lastly, if you’re really having trouble with Cinderspire Phase 2. Use Polymorph Moa. This elite will disarm the shaman and cause him to use his Phase 3 abilities. Whether or not this is a bug, I don’t know.


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