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Solo Monk (Helwalker) - SSS Changeling's Dance Strategy


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I was looking for help on the Changeling's Dance fight in SSS for a solo Monk, but couldn't really find any here. Finally figured out how to do it after numerous tries, albeit with a strategy that only works roughly 1 in 8 times (but still better than impossible!) and a lot of luck. Wanted to share my experience.

 

The Situation/Refresher:

This is the fight in SSS where you're forced into the body of a construct and lose all active abilities. You gain an AOE fire aura and interrupting attack (with some AOE).  As a part of the transformation, you also keep the following abilities:

  • Passives (including Iron/Turning Wheel for Monks)
  • Pet Bonuses
  • Food and Drug Effects
  • Attributes Bonuses (including Outlast Respite, Prostitutes, etc) 

The enemies party consists of a Rogue, Cipher, Monk, Fighter, and Ranger (with Animal Companion).

 

Strategy Overview:

Eliminate the enemy's source of infinite damage (Rogue, via Gouging Strike) and range threats (Ranger and Cipher), and then rely on drug/pet HP regeneration, armor and superior speed to outlast the opposition. Take advantage of the Monk's disengagement bonuses to avoid flanking and reposition to maximize AOE. 

 

Equipment and Skill Set-up:

  • Abilities: All points put into Passives + Iron Wheel (+2.5 armor - for this fight, I prefer this over Turning Wheel)
  • Skill: Max Alchemy (for Drugs duration)
  • Pet: The Giftwrapper (+1 armor, HP regen)
  • Food: Hylea's Bounty (+10 Def, +25% HP) - Both the HP and Defense was huge. Not sure if I could have done it without this. Might give other food a try later to test.
  • Drug: White Leaf (HP Regen, plus concentration and will)
  • Other Bonuses: Konstanten's Boon, Alchemic Trio (Outcast Respite), Berath's Blessings

On first review, Monks don't have the beefiest passives, but they do have an above average stride bonus (+25%) and a nice disengagement defense (+32). With Iron Wheel and Pet bonus, you also have 16.5 base armor in the Construct form. Given these bonuses, a key defensive tactic I used was to eat a disengagement to avoid a potentially devastating special attack - i.e. Sunder Armor from the Fighter.

With a base 10 CON, I was able to have a starting 478 HP for the fight (unfortunately the Iron Wheel CON doesn't help since it seems to just boost your max health). 

 

Full Breakdown:

The key to winning the fight is to kill the Rogue before she can land a Gouging Strike - since that eliminates our ability to outlast. This is really where the 1 in 8 chance part kicks in.  Since she's using a gun, you can't use the disengage tactic to avoid her hit. You can only hope for an interrupt, a miss. or her not using it at all. If you're lucky, Heartbeat Drumming triggers and you'll have a good time. Once she's low on HP, she starts spamming escape - during this time I usually focus on the next lowest HP enemy or the Ranger, and then refocus her when she reappears.

While focusing on the Rogue, reposition (eat the disengages) so that you can avoid being flanked, getting hit by sunder armor, and catching - ideally - all of them in your AOEs. 

The second biggest threat is actually the Fighter, but it's not profitable to focus him down early (you want to wait out the Constant Recovery). The biggest thing to worry about is Sunder Armor. Fortunately, you can see it coming, and can eat a disengage to run out of range. This is where Iron Wheel is incredibly useful - if it does land, the extra armor means you don't immediately die to a series of over penetration. His charge stun is also very annoying (but not always fatal).

The Monk and Cipher are usually near death by the time the Rogue goes down. The Ranger is technically a higher priority due to his ranged damage, but occasionally I focus those two down to get them off the map. The Monk can be quite damaging due to his bludgeoning damage type. 

Once the ranged threats are down, you can actually run around infinitely (due to your superior speed) and regenerate health while the remaining enemies chase you unsuccessfully. For me, most of the time it's the Wolf and Fighter that's left. The Whiteleaf's 400s duration should be more than enough, but even if it runs out, you can still rely on the Pet's HP Regen (which is infinite).  If you want to be cheeky, you can actually run just slightly ahead of the enemy and burn them with the Fire Aura without getting attacked. Seems to work well on the Fighter but the Wolf dodges everything. 

I was using a Helwalker ( 9, 10, 11, 16, 16, 13 ) for this solo run. It's likely easier with base class and Nalpazca since they don't take the extra damage. Not sure about Forbidden Fist and Shatter Pillar due to slower wound generation (which we need for valuable armor). Going to do a high resolve Forbidden Fist run soon so I'll see...

 

 

Videos (Trying to Embed - hopefully this works):

 #1 This run was decently smooth, I only had to rely on the HP Regen cheese

#2 - It went very smoothly this time

I have a couple of other runs recorded, but didn't upload those as I stupidly forgot to show difficulty/builds, etc. There was one attempt where I regenerated from 2 hp back to 100 to finish the fight...

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