Raider.IO Riddle Solution: Cathedral of Eternal Night
In the spirit of Valentine’s Day, this week’s Raider.IO Riddle featured Cathedral of Eternal Night — a hauntingly beautiful Legion Mythic+ dungeon.
Read on for the background of this instance and a comprehensive solution to our puzzle!
Cathedral of Eternal Night is a Mythic+ dungeon that was added in Legion Patch 7.2. Originally one of the more difficult dungeons of the expansion, Cathedral’s popularity got off to a shaky start. However, with a few more iterations of nerfs and tweaks, Cathedral ended up becoming one of the more “pushable” Mythic+ keystones by the end of the expansion.
Timing a high Cathedral key always felt rewarding. Despite the hefty nerfs it received across the course of its lifespan in the Mythic+ circuit, Cathedral was an instance that housed tricky mechanics, formidable trash mobs, and tough bosses. Additionally, wipes were especially punishing in Cathedral due to some long runs back.
The first boss, Agronox, was nothing short of a healing check. Then, the second boss, Thrashbite the Scornful, was a big DPS check given that you only had 4 possible bookcases in the room to hide behind in order to soak each Scornful Charge. This was a really good encounter for classes with immunities such as a Paladin’s Divine Shield or Blessing of Protection, a Mage’s Ice Block, or a Hunter’s Aspect of the Turtle. If you ran out of bookcases, immunities, and battle resses by the next time Thrashbite’s Scornful Gaze was cast, it was generally a surefire wipe. To make matters worse, since burning down Thashbite typically required Bloodlust, this was a common place to see a Cathedral key depleted into dust.
The third boss, Domatrax was also quite notorious for deaths and wipes. As our Cathedral of Eternal Night riddle hinted, the legendary Aegis of Aggramar had a large presence in this dungeon — not only in terms of the lore, but it was also the key to saving players from abilities on both the Domatrax and Mephistroth encounters. In order to survive Domatrax’s periodic blast of Chaotic Energy, players had to dip into the Aegis for protection. However, the Aegis was not a failsafe for players unless other mechanics were also handled carefully throughout the entirety of this encounter. Any time spent inside the Aegis depleted its energy, so there was a finite amount of defense that this item could offer.
Tank positioning of Domatrax was crucial at all times, as they had to aim Domatrax’s Felsoul Cleave away from their teammates and the Aegis. If this cleave happened to hit the Aegis, it would deplete 50% of its protective energy.
At 90% health and at 50% health, Domatrax summoned two portals. Players would have to quickly burn down the two respective Fel Portal Guardians to keep the demon spawns to a minimum. Generally, the tank would drag the boss onto one of the portals while the other one was burned down by ranged players, and then move to the second portal if both were not finished off before the next cast of Chaotic Energy.
Where it really got tricky was when Domatrax reached 50% health. The portals would then spawn Hellblaze Mistresses. These mobs were dangerous because their Shadow Sweep ability was a knockback to anyone within melee range. In addition to the sweep being a hard-hitting ability in general, it could also thwart boss and player positioning if tanks weren’t careful.
The knockbacks from the Mistresses were particularly scary during Chaotic Energy. Imagine being a tank and getting everything set up so that you can step into the Aegis to survive Chaotic Energy, but instead getting you and your teammates knocked to your death at the last second. Since the encounter contained percentage-based benchmarks along with scripted ability timers, there was potential for a few bad overlaps. While certain tanking classes could survive a cast of the Chaotic Energy with an immunity or heavy defensive cooldown if all hell broke loose, Domatrax was prone to some unfortunate outcomes if positioning wasn’t properly micromanaged. Luckily, the Hellblaze Mistresses could be crowd controlled (CC) by abilities such as a Warlock’s Banish or a Monk’s Paralysis. This way, players often opted to CC and ignore one of the Mistresses while quickly burning down the two Portal Guardians to keep the number of spawns at bay.
Cathedral’s final boss was Mephistroth. Before this encounter began, the tank would pick up the Aegis of Aggramar to shield Illidan from incoming Shadow Blast orbs in Phase 2. Meanwhile, DPS players killed the Shadows of Mephistroth to help keep the amount of incoming Shadow Blasts to a minimum, thus helping the party exit Phase 2 quicker. If the tank did not use the Aegis of Aggramar effectively to shield Illidan, the phase would eventually just swallow them whole.
Part of what made Cathedral a particularly good key to push was due to its massive potential for big pulls and some dangerous yet rewarding skips. One of the popular strategies was a long skip at the start of the instance where the healer would run all the way to the first boss and mass resurrect their group from the floor above. While this could be accomplished by a Restoration Druid stealthing all the way up, other healing specializations needed to use a Warlock Soulstone or a Failure Detection Pylon. Back in Legion, Pylons were consumable items that every player could bring to a keystone. If a player managed to reach an ideal location and pop a Pylon on their body (or their teammates’ bodies) before they died, they could execute huge death skips in any number of dungeons. Pylons were especially valuable in Cathedral where many of the initial trash packs were wise to ignore.
In the video below of a World First +28 Cathedral of Eternal Night, notice how the tank and the DPS players pull the first pack without the healer anywhere in sight. At the beginning of the key, Imbanane immediately heads off to do the skip with a Pylon while his teammates do one pull alone. Then, the players die in an ideal location, and are swiftly resurrected upstairs by Imbanane. Successfully pulling off this skip was an enormous time saver for any cutting-edge level Cathedral run.
According to MDI competitor and champion Jdotb, one of the riskier all-in strats for maximum value was after the second boss where there was a big pack of Helblaze Imps and Wyrmtongue Scavengers. These mobs were worth a ton of enemy forces count, but they had to be managed carefully and with significant speed and precision. This was due to the fact that several mobs would run VERY quickly to their portal, disappear, and award no count. With this pull being near the end of the dungeon, players had to commit to it or they could find themselves in some real trouble. It was a big DPS/CC check.
While Cathedral was a dungeon known for several tough boss encounters and minibosses, there are a few special things that have stuck in our minds.
“Maybe the most memorable thing about Cathedral was that there was a demon at the start of the instance that had a huge group wide haste buff called Burning Celerity. You used to be able to enslave this mob with a Warlock and drag it around the dungeon, giving your party the buff. This buff was so good that it got nerfed after being used in the MDI, most notably by Warler.” — Jdotb
Lastly, given that it is Valentine’s Day, how can we forget being charmed by one of these alluring Temptresses? Hopefully she didn’t get you too badly with her thorns!
“Flora clings on to celestial light, guarding an heirloom of salvation’s plight. Corruption spreads quickly with vigorous evil, hope rests on the shoulders of heroes’ retrieval.”
Perched atop the Tomb of Sargeras, the Cathedral of Eternal Night’s sacred halls became twisted by the fel upon the invasion of the Burning Legion. When you enter the Cathedral, one of the first things you may notice is the presence of Legion troops, but also the ceiling. Dripping from above is an array of ornate, azure flora that cling on through the nourishing light of Elune — the major deity worshiped by the Night Elves. Elune is associated with Azeroth’s two moons, so the celestial white and blue beams of light beams emanating throughout the instance are beautiful to behold.
Cathedral is marked by juxtapositions of light and dark. The words celestial and corruption are opposites, representing the heavenly light of Elune persisting against the vigorous evil of the fel.
At the heart of any plight where heroes must persevere against evil is hope. In the Cathedral of Eternal Night, hope rests in the Aegis of Aggramar, which sits in the upper-most chamber of the Cathedral, awaiting rescue. As mentioned in the background of this article above, the Aegis is the centerpiece of this riddle.
The Aegis of Aggramar one of the Pillars of Creation, which was used to defend Azeroth from madness and corruption in the beginning of time. It is an heirloom of the titans.
Once again, the Aegis of Aggramar played an important role in the world’s salvation during the third invasion of the Burning Legion. The Aegis of Aggramar rested in Odyn’s home, the Halls of Valor, where players first encountered the Aegis as a key to winning their trial against God-King Skovald. After players passed their trials in the Halls of Valor, Odyn then sent the Aegis back to Dalaran to be secured. However, it was then brought to the Cathedral of Eternal Night in order to close Legion’s portal at the Tomb of Sargeras. When heroes entered the Cathedral of Eternal night, the resounding mission was to reach the Sacristy of Elune and retrieve the Aegis of Aggramar. In doing so, they would restore hope to a crumbling world.
Lastly, if you were misled by the red, pink, and green image of the riddle that we posted on social media, we did that on purpose to match the floral theme of Valentine’s Day (and maybe fool you a little). Instead, there was one poetic clue in the riddle that you may have missed: evil and retrieval rhyme with Cathedral. Is there anything more romantic than a rhyme on Valentine’s Day that doesn’t start with the words Roses are Red, Violets are Blue?
Don’t forget to tune in next week on our Twitter to crack another Raider.IO Riddle!
Congratulations go out to @bigbadbeardo, @Littlelsaintnz, and @lwhite122686 for cleverly guessing the correct answer!
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About the Author
VitaminP (VP) is the Lead Editor & Assistant Producer of Raider.IO and has worked for the organization since the formation of the News Section in November 2018. Although VP is currently focused on pursuing her Masters of Business Administration, she specializes in tanking classes and has loved doing competitive Mythic+ on and off since early Legion.