It’s time to tackle the most difficult Veteran Rank 14 dungeon in Elder Scrolls Online, Veteran City of Ash. In this guide, we cover each boss and their mechanics, giving you the edge to take down these monsters and grab those phat loots. So let’s get started with our Veteran City of Ash Guide!
City of Ash isn’t easy, but it’s one of my favorite dungeons in the game. The look, feel, sound and boss designs are enjoyable to repeat and still provide an adequate challenge. Starting off, you’ll need to set your group to Veteran then head to the Aldmeri Dominion faction in the Greenshade zone. Click transport and get ready for some action!
As you may have guessed, City of Ash has a lot of fire (and I mean a lot). This will be a tough fight for most vampires, though not impossible. I completed the speed challenge on my healer Big-Jake with a vampire tank. Bringing some extra fire resistance jewelry might be beneficial for this fight. There is a hard mode version of the last boss. You’ll need to read a book in the back corner which I will have a separate video on. This dungeon takes time and effort to learn, so don’t give up if it’s not easy right away.
Lastly, remember that there is no “right way” to beat these bosses and complete this dungeon. If it works, it’s right. I’ve healed, tanked, and DPSed this dungeon over 30+ times and this is the most effective method that I’ve found. So please, share with us your experiences if you know a better way so we can all learn together. Also, there’s one strategy that works on every boss fight ever:
Stay out of the red and kill crap
- Urata Hovantud
- The Fire Maw
- The Ash Titan (also called the a** Titan)
- Valkyn Skoria
- Hard Mode
Boss 1 – Rukhan and friends (Mage and Archer)
Overall this boss isn’t too bad. Rukhan has two additional friends during the entire fight, Mage and Archer. These are your priority targets and need to be taken down quickly. After that, he spawns a series of Flame Atronachs which can be ignored while you DPS the boss down quickly.
Note: on the Mage and Archer, they will randomly transport behind you and in front of you. Tab targeting doesn’t work, so you’ll have to find that target quickly so you can keep pressure on them. Best thing to do is be in voice communications with the other DPS and coordinate once you find Mage and/or Archer.
The boss itself isn’t too bad. He does the typical heavy attack which can be mitigated via block. He also has a red cone of death around his feet. Just make sure to avoid that with a timely dodge roll so you don’t get stunned. Some tanks can eat this damage with a block, but be careful, getting stunned will result in your death.
- Tank’s job = Your sole purpose here is to take pressure off your DPS and Healer. Make sure the boss stays aggro’d and you have his constant attention. Obviously you want to taunt, but also throw out some area damage (if possible). A great skill is the Alliance skill Razor Caltrops though some might not have this.
- Additionally, don’t over taunt the boss. Use a combination of Ransack and Inner Beast if needed. Taunting every three seconds will cause the boss to attack someone else, thus slowing down your progress.
- Once Fire Atronachs spawn, try to taunt as many as you can, but don’t worry if one or two slip by. Keep your attention on the boss so the healer/DPS can do their jobs. Shorter the fight, easier it is to tank it.
- Healer’s job =The biggest problem for healing this fight is range. When the Mage and Archer spawn clear across the room, you’ll need to position yourself in between the Tank and DPS. The best thing you can do is get some healing over time effects rolling prior to the split. If you’re a Templar, Breath of Life is your best friend. If not, you’ll constantly need Healing Ward on low health allies since you won’t be clumped up during the initial part of the fight. The faster those first two adds drop, the easier your job will be, so apply a little DPS when you can.
- Let’s assume the Mage and Archer have been dealt with, things get easier now. The DPS can engage the major boss in the center (hypothetically). This is a case where Healing Springs is effective. Coordinate with your team preventing damage via massive red circles and Flame Atrontachs. If someone gets into trouble, drop an ultimate and recover. Keep maximum magicka if possible for a boss heavy attack and recover.
- DPS’s job =Kill priority is Mage > Archer > Boss disregard the adds if possible. The biggest problem I see with DPS is that they don’t attack the same target. Ideally, you’ll want to start the fight off with Evil Hunter (Fighters Guild morph of Expert Hunter). All of these mobs are undead or Daedra so expect a significant DPS boost when keeping this ability active. Then, stay on the same target even if it’s the wrong one! It’s better to be beating on the same thing that not.
- Kill the Mage quickly with ultimates, potions and throw whatever you have to get it down. Now do the same thing for the Archer. Once you’ve dispatched those two, it’s time to take on the boss. Make sure you keep an 8 meter range if possible to avoid the red circle of death. Also, if the boss gets loose (meaning the tank loses aggro) don’t panic, just block it’s heavy attack and wait for the tank to pick it up.
Boss 2 – Urata
Overall ol’ Urata might be the easiest of the bosses in my opinion. The fight starts off with about 20 adds or additional mobs in the room. You’ll need to clear these out prior to the boss fight. It’s helpful to have either a Dragonknight with Extend Chains or a Sorcerer with Negate Magic. One way or another, get the mobs attention and nuke them down with AoE damage. When in doubt, drop damage mitigation ultimates and stay out of red. Pretty simple.
Now the boss spawns, “it’s time to dance!” She spawns red circles on players so constantly be moving. In my video, you notice I’m nearly never standing still. I’m either moving forward, side to side, something. The reason I do this is so when that big ol’ red circle of death spawns on me, I have less reaction time and more movement time. You’re already in motion so it’s easier to just stay in motion and get out of red. Something worth practicing.
So we now understand get out of red circles because they’re bad. At certain time frames or HP markers (not sure) the boss spawns adds. The lower her health, the more adds will spawn. They aren’t too big of a threat and I clump them together and use this opportunity to gain massive ultimate. The boss is pretty simple here, just another fight where you need to stay out of red and kill crap.
Tank’s job =This is pud, keep the boss taunted and crowd control or stun the adds that appear. Use anything you can to prevent them from spreading apart. The only time I’ve died on this fight is when the adds get out of control and spread out. Now the red circles start to stack up and it becomes hard to do damage. Lock them down and taunt as many as you can. Ranged taunt is usually the best here since getting close isn’t an option sometimes.
Healer’s job = This is going to be about burst healing. Most of the fight your allies health with be near 100% except when the boss suddenly shoots three giant red circles out and your DPS decides to take a nap in them. In that case, pop a potion and power heal through this. Templars obviously have the easier path to completing this with Breath of Life. If you’re not using a Templar, try using Barrier, Healing Ward, Combat Pray, or anything that boosts resistance and has some health bubble to prevent death until you can Healing Springs them to full. Try to remind players to stay in your healing circle but not at the cost of dying to red circles. Keep your magicka up during a slow time, like heavy attacks and you’ll do fine.
DPS’s job =Massive, massive damage, that’s it. Focus on the boss when possible, then nuke the adds down. You can make life easier on the healer by staying out of the red circles. Unless you watch my video and see my Dragonknight block casting dropping Standards left and right. Don’t try that at home kids.
Boss 3 – Hovantud the Fire Maw
Big nasty is a bastard. Yes I said it, a bastard. I can swear on my own site, and this dang Fire Maw has caused endless swearing episodes. I think he’s the hardest boss in the joint, and let me explain why.
- Random Cleave – You want the tank to position themselves so that the boss faces away from the party. This prevents most of the cleave damage (meaning a red cone in front of the boss spewing hot lava breath that vaporizes players). However, this seems like a random effect on who he targets. So even though the tank might have aggro on the boss, he (or she I guess) turns and sprays this at random essentially vaporizing anyone nearby. So, keep your distance or get ready with a pro roll (a good dodge roll).
- Earth Quake – At the start of the fight, he’ll hit the ground once causing four rock type things to shoot from the ground. Try to avoid these as they zap you for about 2,000 health if you’re not blocking. Best thing you can do is watch the bosses hands. One pound means quake, two pounds and it’s stomp time.
- Stomping Phase – Now the fight gets interesting. The boss has a channel (seems like about 10 seconds) where he pounds the ground causing red circles to appear on the players feet. This is very hard to avoid but you can do it. The best thing to do is spread out somewhat. During this time, the boss will be channeling so the tank can move (remember to taunt then move so the boss attacks you immediately following the phase). Now just make sure you’re not overlapping on your allies area. Red circles appear at each players feet, so two at a time is certain death (unless you’re playing a Dragonknight, watch the video 🙂 ) The worst part about this phase is, not only do we have to avoid endless red circles of destruction, but now we have additional mobs that will stun us in them.
- Holy Adds Batman – That’s right, about twenty mobs will spawn over a minute making life hell for you and your party. If you have a Dragonknight if your group, chains them in and drop ultimates to get the adds down fast otherwise this will be very hard to complete. If you have a Sorcerer in your group, Negate Magic as they spawn to CC the large crowd then AoE down them. During this phase, your number one priority is adds, forget the boss (somewhat).
Okay so how do we deal with all this chaos? It’s hard trust me, we wiped in the video which I edited. The best thing you can do is use ultimates timely. Don’t forget that the boss doesn’t have that much hit points. So, placing a damage dealing ultimate barely touching the boss yet killing the mobs is the recipe for success. Let me draw some stick figures to show you.
If you place damage dealing ultimates (Nova, Veil of Blades, Dragonknight Standard, Storm Atronach) in this pink circle then you’ll constantly be doing damage rather than pausing during the add phase.
Be prepared during this fight, check your charges on your weapons, timers on food, stock up on expensive potions and get ready to test your skills. Don’t give up if you die a few times, heck I still do, as this stresses everyone’s limits.
Tank’s job =Your number one sole priority is to keep that boss at bay. Make sure he’s taunted and you’re staying out of red circles. Make life easier for your healer as they have a hard enough job during this fight. I also recommend the Sword and Shield ability Deep Slash which reduces the bosses damage by 15%. This will make or break most runs saving precious resources for your healer. I also recommend having a self-heal as sometimes you’re going to have to heal yourself. And make sure to taunt the boss before the stomp phase.
Healer’s job = This is a nightmare on healers and a resource check. Templar’s have an unfair advantage with Breath of Life making it a legitimate burst heal. When I healed this, I made sure everyone was topped off prior to the stomp phase with Rapid Regeneration HoTs rolling. These would give them some constant heals throughout the phase. Then I just burst healed with Breath when I saw someones health drop below 50%. It’s going to be hard to heal via Healing Spring as everyone is spread out. And Combat Pray just won’t cut it either. If people are having trouble staying out of red, tell them to stop attacking during this phase and swap in the Alliance skill Retreating Maneuvers. This will give them massive speed throughout the duration of the fight and just might make or break surviving.
DPS’s job = And you thought the DPS had it easy huh? This is a very challenging fight for DPS because you’ll need to do constant damage on the boss while also killing the adds so the party doesn’t get overwhelmed. The best thing to do is drop ultimates on the tail of the boss and pull all the mobs in with massive AoE. Having at least one Dragonknight makes this fight much easier, though it can be done without one. During the stomp phase, I still do damage on the boss unless adds are up. You do zero DPS dead so if you can’t do damage to the boss while stay out of red circles, it’s best to just stay alive and do damage when you can.
Boss 4 – the Ash Titan
Oddly, I find this one of the easiest fights in the dungeon, even though he looks intimidating. Treat this boss just like the Titan in Elden Hollow and you’ll be fine. But let’s go over some of the mechanics in this fight.
Fire spit – Whoever has aggro will cause the boss to drop massive fire spit circles at their feet. Generally, you’d like the tank to deal with this not a DPS or healer, though it happens. These circles will go away during the next phase, or after about 30 seconds. As a tank just keep blocking and move out the best you can. Keep the circles closer together and don’t plant them randomly throughout the map or your DPS will run into them causing a wipe for your team. These aren’t a problem if the tank has proper aggro on the boss.
Fire waves – Somewhat intimidating at first are the massive fire waves that can be side stepped. The boss does a massive jump and wing flap that knocks back players in the area. This is your sign to get as much distance as possible. The further you are away from the boss, the easier it is to side step these things. With that being said, the waves come at you in 360 degrees so you can’t avoid them with clever angles. Essentially, each wave has a gap you need to slide into then step to one side or the other to avoid another set of waves. After about three or four of these, you’re in the clear. If you get hit with a wave, you can immediately CC break to avoid getting hit by a second which will certainly kill you. Don’t panic, keep your distance, and side step the best you can.
Red circles – Now comes the red circle phase where EVERYONE gets at least one red circle. The trick here is to block and just eat the small red circle. The tough part is when you have another circle spawn on top of you. The smaller ones you can heal through, though the larger ones mean certain death. Keep moving through this phase and dodge roll to avoid a double circle. Each person must stay close enough to the healer to gets heals and far enough away from another player so they don’t overlap circles. Takes a bit to get the hang of, but you can do it!
Add one – At HP markers the boss will spawn an enemy or add (first is somewhere around 50%). This enemy has a flame shield which can be damaging, though very minimal. What you want to do here is have the tank take on another creature (this is taxing on the tank) and DPS continue to damage the boss. Once the big huge flame shield drops from the add, DPS picks up this guy and nukes him down near the boss. I usually drop an ultimate on the boss and add to smash them right away. Try to save an ultimate or two for this exact scenario.
Add two – At around 30% health the second add spawns. If you have a strong enough team, you can totally disregard this add and just nuke down the boss while the tank has aggro. This is my preferred strategy, because by the time you kill the add, the boss could have been dead. Just repeat the step above if you want to take it down and have an easier time.
Tank’s job =You must maintain aggro on the boss at all cost. Once the adds come, try to taunt and control these targets but not at the cost of losing the boss. You want to be more than 15 meters away from the boss to avoid a nasty close range cleave ability. So, equip Inner Beast and get ready to range taunt. The Titan comes first and foremost and sometimes the DPS or healer are just going to have to deal with pressure. Make sure to avoid damage when possible via the big red circles. Just try to make life easier on your healer and take pressure off the DPS is possible. Do your job and everyone thing is fine.
Healer’s job = This is a healer check honestly. The most important part of this fight is to maintain appropriate distance between your DPS and tank. Once the red circle phase happens, most players panic and run off on their own. Make sure to wrangle them in and say you need to stay close to me and/or the tank in order to get heals. They’ll understand after they die a couple of times. The way I look at this fight is, you and the tank cannot die, the DPS can. Your number one priority is to keep the tank alive and the DPS second. Do that and this fight is a piece of cake.
DPS’s job =You must be doing damage at all times, period the end. During the fire wave cycle, do damage. During the double circle phase, do damage. During the add phase find a way to damage both the boss and the add. Once you get knocked back during the wave phase, do one massive dodge run back and start range attacking the boss (no channeled abilities like Snipe). Keep casting even while dodging the fire waves to keep this fight short. Once the double circle thing happens, you can still block cast, meaning casting spells while blocking. Don’t just stop, block and do some type of damage (no channels again). The faster this gets over, the easier you’ll have. When the first add comes out, kite it to the tank so they can get aggro. Watch it’s health bar for the slightly purple tint bubble to drop and the flame shield in front of it to disappear, now get aggro with massive damage and drag to the Titan, drop an ultimate and nuke it down quickly. Rinse and repeat!
Boss 5 – Valkyn Skoria
Not too hard of a fight, though it takes some getting use to. Let’s talk about positioning first prior to any mechanics.
During normal mode, you’ll have access to five platforms. Hard mode, which can be active in the back, just removes two platforms making it a DPS race. On a certain timer, the boss destroys one platform NOT HP markers. The boss share the same set of mechanics during normal and hard mode.
Channeled cast (hand in middle) – The first thing the boss does is a telegraphed channeled cast, which hits only one player. This will stun you and do massive damage even through a block. This can be dodge rolled to avoid, but it’s hard to get the hang of it until you’ve seen it 30 times. The best thing to do is to have an experienced person call out “dodge roll”, that way everyone can focus on their job and have less to concentrate on. Though, it’s everyone’s job to know this mechanic and avoid it if possible (even the healer/tank/DPS everyone). Watch his hands as it comes to the center of his body and lights up, that’s my cue to know a dodge roll is about to happen.
Channeled cast (hand up) – He will also do another cast that is a Petrify from the Dragonknight skill tree. This will turn you to stone and stun you in place. This one is much harder to avoid as it looks very similar to the mechanic below. However, this can also be avoided via a dodge roll so when it doubt, roll out. If you do get stunned, immediately CC break. This will take a lot of stamina, so bring some potions along (I like tri-pots).
Fire on ground (hand up) – Now it gets tricky with the lava ground mechanics. Basically, the boss will put his hand up and set down a spewing hot lava thing on the ground. This shoots out in all four directions making it VERY hard to avoid completely. There’s a trick to having this go easier which I’ll explain in the tanking section.
Platform destruction (vocal and sword comes out) – Now comes the platform destruction phase. After a certain time frame (not HP), the boss will pull out his sword and go to your platform (meaning the one with aggro) and destroy it. Once again, it pays to have an experienced player that can count down the time and/or know when this is going to happen. In the chart you’ll notice walk ways to the next platform. I usually completely avoid this and just dodge roll through the lava to the next platform, though you can take the walk ways if you want a safer approach. The boss will now randomly spawn at one of five platforms, or if you’re in hard mode it will go from 1 to 2 to 3.
Adds and bubble (holding sword) – Now everyone should scramble to the bosses platform and start doing damage. He summons three Fire Atronatchs which need to be dealt with while breaking the bosses bubble. The best thing to do is either chain them in with a Dragonknight and/or drop massive ultimates and area damaging both boss and adds. Once the bubble breaks, the boss will go through his normal cycle, but this time you’ll all be on the same platform making it much harder to avoid fire.
Not on platform – Let’s say the boss goes from the first platform to the third. Until you reach that area, you’ll be constantly bombarded with fire and stuns. Giving you extra incentive to reach that area as fast as humanly (or Khajiitly) possible.
Tank’s job = This is hard on the tank to keep stamina for dodge rolling, blocking, taunting etc. You’ll want to start on platform one while the rest of your team waits in the center platform for the first transition (only). The trick to avoiding fire on the ground is placing the boss near the corner of the platform. This gives you extra space to spread out making it easier to dodge the flame. However, don’t go clear in the back of the platform so that you’re out of range of the healer. Now the boss will do another lava phase before the platform transition. It’s very important to NOT place this near one of the other platforms (like the center) or near the walk ways. That way when it’s time to escape you have a quick and painless path, not one filled with lava. Your number one priority and really your only one is to control the boss and stay alive. Don’t die….that’s it.
Healer’s job = Heal your butt off period. During the first phase, you’ll really need to burst heal the tank mainly. The DPS need to do their best on the center platform to avoid the stun mechanics and dodge roll when needed. Your job is to keep the tank alive like always and try to give them resources via Necrotic Orb, Luminous Shards, or anything that helps them maintain stamina and magicka. After the transition phase, it’s area healing via Healing Springs mainly. Only burst heal when someone drops below 30% and keep the team alive. Don’t die ….that’s it.
DPS job = Do damage and don’t die…that’s it. No really, you need to keep constant time on target on the boss. Avoid being stunned, sitting in lava, or just taking needless damage. Block when needed to avoid insta death, but constantly work on that boss. Once the adds spawn in the transition phase, move quickly towards the new platform and nuke down those adds while doing damage to the boss. Generally, I get this done by dropping an ultimate. Don’t die….that’s it.