skip to content

Cairn the Indomitable

Featured image

Enrage: 8 minutes. When Enraged, players cannot cleanse stacks of Unseen Burden.
Tank: Proximity (furthest)
Requires: Glider Basics

Cairn does not require a dedicated tank.

Players can use Stability to avoid dealing with Spatial Manipulation, so any support class that can provide it squadwide is valuable on this encounter.

Due to Cairn’s fast attack speed, classes that inflict Confusion are potent damage dealers on this encounter.

When entering Wing 4, players will come across Scholar Glenna and a path through a waterfall. One player should remain with Glenna while the rest of the squad should head through the waterfall and glide onto the boss platform.

Once the squad is ready, the player with Glenna should talk with her and pick her first dialogue option, then run to join the squad on the platform. Once Glenna reaches the end of the path, Cairn will spawn.

Note: If the squad plans to fight Cairn with Challenge Mode enabled, the player that is left behind to activate Glenna’s dialogue should be the one to interact with the mote as well—right before they glide onto the platform and Cairn spawns in.

Activating Challenge Mode before speaking with Glenna will force players that are already on the platform to spam Celestial Dash in order to not get sent off.

Mechanics

The battle with Cairn comprises a single, long phase. The boss will target the furthest player with some mechanics and its Meteor Swarm combo.

Many attacks in the encounter apply a stacking debuff known as Unseen Burden—for each stack (up to a max of 99 stacks), players’ movement speed will be decreased by 1%.

Celestial Dash

For this encounter, all players have access to Celestial Dash, a ground-targetable special action skill that moves players to the selected position and also evades attacks, allowing players to quickly reposition themselves and avoid many of the encounter’s mechanics.

Even if a player is slowed to a crawl or frozen due to Unseen Burden, this special action skill is still available and functional.

Meteor Swarm

Known as: Shards

Cairn will attack in a sets of three: two auto attacks and a Shard attack. These shards will apply stacks of Unseen Burden and Knockback any players outside of the radius of the compass on the ground (which is visible with the Shader quality setting put to Medium).

Players should aim to stand as close to Cairn as possible to avoid this attack.

If any Shards are reflected, they will Knockback players on their reflected path as well—players should avoid using any skills that reflect projectiles on this encounter.

Displacement

Known as: ports

Regularly, three red circles will spawn around the arena; any players standing in these circles will have a yellow border on their screen.

At detonation, any players inside these circles will take damage and will be teleported to a random location in the arena.


Like Vale Guardian’s teleports, this mechanic forms deadly combos with many of Cairn’s attacks (especially the Knockbacks from Meteor Swarm and Energy Surge).

Players should either sidestep or Dodge these AoEs, and if hit, immediately use Celestial Dash to get back to the squad.

Spatial Manipulation

Known as: greens

Cairn will occasionally summon multiple green circles with shining gold orbs above them and charge up an arena-wide attack.

Any players not in a circle at detonation will take heavy damage, gain 25 stacks of Unseen Burden, and will be Floated for 2 seconds.

Furthermore, each circle will only provide reprieve from Spatial Manipulation if there are at least enough players inside to match the number of golden orbs above the circle.

Any time this mechanic is triggered after Energy Surge, and during some normal instances of the mechanic, the green circles Cairn leaves behind will not have any orbs above them—there is no player requirement to make these specific circles active. Any players in an active green circle at detonation will lose 25 stacks of Unseen Burden.

This mechanic is often mitigated by using Stability to avoid the Float, allowing players to stay on top of the boss and continue attacking, however be aware that players will still take the attack’s damage in full and gain 25 stacks of Unseen Burden.

Shared Agony

Starting at 7:37 time remaining, and every 20 seconds afterward, Cairn will hit the furthest unafflicted player with Shared Agony. This player will see a red circle around them and their character may call out that they have been hit.

The Agony only lightly damages the afflicted player, but will heavily damage up to three other players within its area of effect, meaning afflicted players must stay away from their squadmates. A maximum of three players can be afflicted at any given time.

 

Positioning themselves to avoid hurting their squadmates does not mean afflicted players have to subject themselves to Cairn’s Shard Knockbacks; they can stand around Cairn while remaining within the central compass. Due to their distance from the stack, afflicted players might not receive Stability during Spatial Manipulation, so they should always use Celestial Dash to move to a green with a single orb: there will always be at least one.

The first Agony is almost always baited by a healer, but subsequent casts of the mechanics should be grabbed by the squad’s other supports if possible.

 

Energy Surge

Cairn will occasionally teleport around the room and leave green circles in his wake, knocking back any players in his path a great distance. Players can sidestep this attack by watching the arrow at Cairn’s feet or Dodge it.

Cairn will always use Spatial Manipulation after this attack.

Orbital Sweep

In later portions of the fight, Cairn may extend an arm across the platform and swing it counterclockwise. If hit, players will be dealt considerable damage and be Launched backward, potentially off of the platform.

Players should get on the side of Cairn’s arm furthest clockwise, then time a Dodge or Celestial Dash to avoid its impact.

Cairn will always use Spatial Manipulation after this attack.

Gravity Wave

Starting at 25% health remaining, Cairn may start to use Gravity Wave after Orbital Sweep, sending three large waves of energy outward that Knockback players.

Players near Cairn are unaffected by this mechanic, so the squad should aim to stack as close to Cairn as possible.

Challenge Mode

Unlike most raid bosses, Cairn doesn’t get a health increase in Challenge Mode, and the mechanical changes are minor.

Countdown

In Challenge Mode, all players gain an effect known as Countdown, which ticks down from 10 seconds. If Celestial Dash is not activated by the player within this 10-second window, the player will be forced to dash in the direction their character is facing.

To counter this mechanic, players should cast Celestial Dash essentially off cooldown, or whenever there are gaps in their rotation.

Petrification

In Challenge Mode, once a player reaches 99 stacks of Unseen Burden, they will not only be unable to move but will be unable to use any skill besides Celestial Dash unless the stacks are cleansed in a Spatial Manipulation green.

This variation on Unseen Burden makes the Stability strategy for Spatial Manipulation unviable on Challenge Mode without extremely high group DPS.

Guild Wars 2 Guides

General guides category image
General
Strike missions guides category image
Strike missions
Fractals guides category image
Fractals
Raids guides category image
Raids
PvP guides category image
PvP
WvW guides category image
WvW

Latest video

Latest Hardstuck video

Streams

We use cookies to provide necessary website functionality, improve your experience and analyze our traffic. By using our website, you agree to our Privacy Policy and our cookies usage.
Got it!