The mummy chicken has been a hot topic recently, even more so among newcomers that may be stunned at the resilience of this particular oversized hellmeat. So, this is meant to be a rough outline of what new Evokers may wish to strive for to return this undead back to Death’s embrace more efficiently.
What’s a Dessy, and how it ticks
The Desiccator (often abbreviated as “Dessy”) is, essentially, a large Hellmeat. Thus, it shares their slow movement and infrequent melee slap-like strikes. This is where similarities end, however.
It has a unique skill that petrifies a player within ~20 meters of it for 7 seconds, during which time the player is rendered immobile, but is also invulnerable to damage for the duration of the petrification.
It also summons a number of mummified versions of Lurkers, which can be fairly dangerous in large numbers. Said mummies also possess a skill of their own, that immobilizes them while granting them massive Shields.
Lastly, Dessy is currently the only boss to possess a passive regeneration-over-time property (as opposed to instant regeneration, like Sekworm’s), along with massive armor and elemental resistances. It is this resilience that makes this encounter as difficult as it is, often being an impossible one to beat if players can’t deal more damage than it regenerates.
When in doubt, apply Poison
The natural choice against regeneration is poison, as it does prevent it in TCv4.
However, focusing on applying poison may cause the Evoker’s skills and gear to differ from the otherwise optimal damage-dealing options available. So if possible, poison strength on gear should come at little to (ideally) no expense to the norm of CCM (critical chance multiplier)/ ele (“adds % X damage”) on weapons and mods, and +AA (+All Attributes)/ +ACC (+Accuracy) on armor, since poisoning it alone will not suffice to kill it at all times.
For a general outline of universally optimal gear/skill choices, kindly refer to the Evoker mini-guide here: Alpha mini-guides: Evoker
Fighting the Desiccator differs from all other encounters in a single, core regard; Petrification can severely disrupt a team, and outright prevent solo attempts to kill it. Thus, skills that 1) poison, 2) have a long range (preferably >20 meters), and 3) are independant from the player’s immobilized state are arguably the optimal choice.
While any skill can apply poison if the player’s focus items have +toxic damage from mods and have poison attack strength, Swarm multiplies the sum of a player’s poison attack strength. So without a doubt, it is the single best way to apply poison reliably.
Maxed for maximum poison strength multiplier.
Independant from the player’s actions or lack thereof, very decent attack frequency and autotargetting. Tempest is a very valuable asset in this encounter, even more so if the player’s mods enable it to apply poison.
Maxed for maximum attack frequency, which in turn also increases the odds of it applying poison.
Same as with Tempest, Serpents boast a plethora of advantages for this encounter. Most notably, apart from Tempest’s advantages, their low CD (cooldown) allows the player to effectively stack many Serpents at once, dealing very decent damage.
It’s noteworthy that Serpents are affected by +minion damage on gear, thus this previously useless property can benefit Evokers.
Maxed for maximum duration and the subsequent ability to stack.
1+ Dual Focus
One point in the skill allows dual-wielding, which is of paramount importance to any Evoker apart from Gunvoker builds. More points can be invested in it for the added Willpower, which will in turn increase the sustainability of the Evoker’s damage.
1+ Arcane Shield
One point in this skill provides an invaluable panic button. A true lifesaver against sudden packs of mummies.
An excellent panic/disengage button, this skill truly shines in this encounter as it allows the player to escape the Petrification’s range.
While it’s an excellent bonus towards applying poison, this skill has a few disadvantages that downgrade it to a secondary option.
- Its range of 20m forces the player into Petrification range, which may disrupt its long cast animation.
- Its long animation disrupts the player’s damage-dealing skills.
- It is a decent point investment of 8-9 total skillpoints (2+2+4, or 5 if there’s a +1 AS), which players may not be able to facilitate.
A very decent debuff that allows the player to kite Dessy more easily, I consider this a secondary option due to its range and point investment… and due to the ease with which Dessy can be kited already.
A very decent damage-dealing option, Lightning Field can also be used to apply poison due to its AoE nature and ability to stack. Players going for Tempest will have to invest 3 points into it by default, so it may be incorporated into the player’s rotation if the available power pool can sustain it.
Maxing it for the added radius is advised, if one wishes to use it and can spare the 7 extra skillpoints.
Everyone’s favorite 1-point meatshield, the Ember provides a distraction for enemies. It’s only a secondary option to consider however, as many builds may not be able to afford the max power pool reduction, and it’s fairly fragile (although considerably less so than the Summoners’ respective Fire Elementals).
The shiny gear
The norm outlined in the Evoker mini-guide (linked above) can be followed for this encounter quite safely.
However, Evokers that wish to gain an advantage in this particular encounter can make some key modifications to it.
- Swap CCM/ele mods with CCM/+poison strength or CCM/+toxic damage/+poison ones.
The latter is arguably the ideal compromise between the two, as some total damage will be lost, but +toxic damage will allow Tempest and Serpents to also apply poison, and Swarm can then multiply the sum of the poison strength amassed in this way.
- Consider otherwise unused/useless properties that can be of use in this encounter.
Such properties as +minion damage and +poison strength on armor will normally be discarded by Evokers, but in this case they may provide the needed advantage. The former applies to Serpents and the latter is multiplied by Swarm.
- Consider at least one Bloodshard over a Ripshard.
While Bloodshards are arguably generally worse than Ripshards, their inherent ~300 poison strength can make the difference between victory and defeat.
Affliction, and why not Ignite?
The Affliction expertise deserves an endorsement, as it may generally be skipped by many Evokers, but it’s absolutely stellar in this case.
As for Ignite, while it’s certainly a decent alternative, poison is often chosen instead for a few reasons.
- Hellfire’s fuse timer can make it much more unreliable than Swarm in terms of applying its elemental effect, and Flameshards have too short of a range to be used safely.
- Ignite does deal more damage per application, but it does not prevent Dessy’s passive regeneration.
- Poison also slows the enemy, allowing for easier kiting.
Of course, a couple of +fire damage/+ignite strength mods can be added to the mix, as a way of granting all of the skills used a chance to ignite. While it will be too little to be reliable, the attack frequency of Serpents and Tempest and the constant damage-dealing of AoE spells will compensate for it to an extent.
So, this is it in a nutshell.
Demonstrational video to follow soon