Solak, the Grove Guardian is a level 7000 boss that can be fought in a team of two or up to seven. In order to access the duo instance, players must use the "duo" option from Merethiel. The fight has many mechanics, which all teammates should be well-versed in.
Solak can be poisoned, so it is recommended to use Weapon poison++ and Cinderbane gloves. Players who enter Solak's mind in the final phase can bring Achto armour as a switch to increase the time they can survive inside.
Because hit chance on Solak is close to 100% when using a tier 90 or above weapon, overloads, Turmoil, Torment, anguish, and above, the Runic accuracy aura, Brawler aura, and Sharpshooter auras are of limited use, so auras such as Inspiration, Vampyrism, and Dark Magic can be used instead.
Solak uses a melee auto attack on the base tank that splits into ranged auto attacks sent towards the rest of the team. Unlike Nex: Angel of Death and Vorago, Solak's melee attack is single-target and does not have AoE. Solak can use a special type of damage: blight damage, which many of his special attacks deal. It is similar to soft typeless damage in that the only way to reduce/block this source of damage is through defensive abilities, Shield Dome, and other damage reducing methods. Unlike soft typeless damage, however, Resonance can heal from blight damage in full. Becoming damaged by blight damage applies a blight debuff that increases damage taken by 1% per stack.
Solak can perform blight bursts on random non-tank players at certain points in the fight. This deals blight damage, has AoE properties, and is indicated by a second bar filling up beneath the targeted player's adrenaline bar, so players afflicted with them should move away from other teammates before the bar fills.
There are soft caps set in place to prevent players from skipping phases. If the team deals too much damage, Solak gains a massive damage reduction buff that is only lifted when the phase has been properly completed.
During the first three phases, players advance by completely emptying the secondary bar. For the final phase, the secondary bar cannot be empty.
Players can battle Solak in a team of two, or up to seven. In a team of two, Solak's mechanics change accordingly.
Merethiel assists players throughout the fight.
Phase 1: Initiation
Solak begins with 2-3 autoattacks before yelling "I will replenish the earth with your bones", generating 6 (2 in duo) green blight bombs that land in several random areas of the arena. If a bomb is not stood on, all players receive massive blight damage and are applied 5 blight stacks - to prevent this, players must stand in the green circles on the ground. If any circle does not have a player standing on it in time, everyone takes damage. Once absorbed, a bar will fill and will deal considerable soft typeless damage, which can be reduced.
Solak then spawns eight volatile rootlings around the sides of the arena with 80,000 health each (20,000 in duo). If ignored, they turn into blightbound lashers that deal extremely high and rapid ranged damage, so it is recommended to kill them.
Up to four players are then targeted by a root special attack. Solak will yell "The roots below bend to my will!" and a yellow pointer arrow indicating the direction the roots will come from and a popup text box showing the number of ticks left before the attack hits appear. After this reaches 0, large roots burst forth from the ground and travel towards the targeted players, stunning every player caught in their path and dealing up to 2500 blight damage per tick as well as applying 2 blight stacks per hit.
The targeted players should move towards the correct location, which is always on the edge of the room and use Anticipate right before time runs out, and Surge or Bladed Dive away from the roots.
Continue damaging Solak until he goes to the centre of the arena and buries his arms into the ground, at which point he stops attacking. His arms and legs become attackable, and their health pools must be depleted. If too much time is taken, he deals massive damage to everyone, summons several blightbound lashers, and resumes attacking players.
Once his legs are disabled, Solak creates a blight afflicted core. This is the second "bar" of this phase and must be emptied in order to advance to the next phase. After a set amount of time, the core returns to Solak, and he repeats his attack pattern until the core is cleansed. The core has 1,000,000 health (250,000 in duo).
Phase 2: Corruption
The second bar now starts at 100%. The next phase begins when it lowers to 0%; special attacks used in this phase gradually reduce the bar. Any blight stacks accumulated in the previous phase are removed at the start of this phase. Solak's special attack pattern in this phase is:
Anima eruptions and storm > Anima bombs > Blight barrage > "Crush you like a bug" > Blight barrage > Tornado > Root Arrow > Blight bomb > Root arrow > Blight barrage > Restart from anima bombs if not at 0% corruption
As soon as this phase starts, Solak applies five blight stacks to each player in the arena. To remove the blight stacks, interact with Merethiel, who generates a green circle of light covering a 3x3 area that removes all blight stacks from players in it. Merethiel takes some time to recharge, so do not constantly interact with her to remove stacks.
All players begin taking frequent blight hits of 1000-2000 damage until the anima storm has been dispelled.
Four anima eruptions appear in the corners of the arena, powering a blighted anima storm above the arena. This anima storm must be dispelled. To do so, players must attack and destroy the anima eruptions, which then create a 3x3 blue circle that teleports each player standing in it above the arena and within reach of the anima storm, which then must be rapidly clicked on. All four anima eruptions must be sealed, even if the storm is already dispelled. If the player's blight stacks go above 10, they heal the storm instead of damaging it. The damage dealt to the storm is (10 - blight stacks)*1000.
Each player can only siphon from the storm for a short duration before landing in the middle of the arena. Immediately use Surge or Escape as players will be damaged from the blight underneath the storm. This patch of blight dissipates when the storm has been dispelled. It is recommended to pray melee upon dropping back down as Solak will target a random player when all have returned. If the anima storm is not dispelled after all four eruptions are destroyed, then the intermittent blight explosions continue for the rest of the entire phase
Once this is achieved, Solak shouts "Rip the earth open! Spill the blood of life!", bombarding the area with anima bombs which deal heavy soft typeless damage if struck by one. The bombs slowly rise up from the ground before landing back down, dealing damage in a 3x3 area. Defensive abilities can reduce this damage.
As the last bombs begin to drop, a yellow dome appears on the northern side. Click on it to obtain the "Nature's Blessing" ability - this is used against an upcoming attack and can be activated by clicking the "Extra action" button on the player's interface. When Solak yells "The power of the grove in its purest form. Let it rain down upon you", activate "Nature's Blessing" a few seconds after he yells this - blighted bombs then converge on all players and deal massive damage to all players standing outside the shield. The shield will protect players under it for most of the blight damage, and the remainder should be eaten through and reduced. This attack drains a significant amount of corruption from Solak.
After the bomb barrage, Solak then targets a random player by yelling "I'll crush you like the bug you are". The targeted player should quickly use Anticipation or Freedom as roots will stun them and bring them to Solak who then attempts to slam them with his arm - any player standing near where Solak slammed his arm down takes a heavy melee hit (3000). One player must then climb up Solak's arm and all other players must attack him. During this time, damage dealt to him is doubled. If the team fails to deal enough damage in time, the climber is instantly killed. The climber should use Resonance or Devotion once they get the message, "You deal a deadly blow to Solak" as he will grab them and hit them with a very high damaging melee attack (over 6000 damage).
Solak then uses the blight barrage attack a second time - Nature's Blessing should be used again.
After this, Solak then surrounds himself with a purple tornado animation and spins rapidly, launching blight bombs at every player that deal massive damage. Nature's Blessing does not reduce damage from this attack, so it is recommended to Resonance, Barricade, and Intercept this ability. This also lowers Solak's corruption bar but applies several blight debuffs, so all players should go to Merethiel after the attack ends to cleanse their debuff stacks.
After the tornado, Solak targets the base tank with an attack similar to the root attack from the previous phase. All other players should stand away from the tank, who can avoid the attack with Surge or simply by running away from where they stood. In a team of 7, one random non-tank player is also targeted with the same root attack from phase 1. Solak then uses a third blight barrage that must be reduced by the golden shield dome.
If Solak's corruption bar has still not been emptied at this point, the rotation restarts at the anima bomb special attack ("Rip the earth open! Spill the blood of life!"). Once the bar is empty, the next phase begins.
Phase 3: Manifestation
Once Solak's energy from the previous phase is completely empty, phase 3 will begin. The purple tornado starts at the beginning of the phase. Merethiel casts a spell, generating eight green circles around the arena. Solak must be led to these circles to charge them and remove the corruption. During this time, he will intermittently shout "Give me the life you so tightly cling to!", stunning all players briefly and applying a blight bleed that quickly increases in damage and applies blight stacks. The bleed can be stopped by stunning Solak; a message similar to Yakamaru's appears when someone stuns him. He also occasionally uses the blight bomb attack, which players can use Resonance on to heal off of these attacks. Use Anticipation or Freedom before Resonance.
When a circle has been filled with corruption, Merethiel can send players into Solak's mind to battle Erethdor, who has 500,000 health (250,000 in duo) and can use Ranged abilities. The player can enter and exit Solak's mind at any time by using the Extra Action button. The player cannot battle Erethdor for too long, as they will be expelled from his mind after a short duration. Food does not heal the player while inside Solak's mind, so players who need to heal must leave Solak's mind first. If this manifestation of Erethdor is defeated, the next phase automatically begins. Otherwise, all eight circles will need to be filled with corruption.
Lower Solak's health to a reasonably low amount before phasing - 800,000 in a team of 7, and 300,000 in a duo; this makes the next phase significantly easier.
Phase 4: Erethdor's Last Stand
Solak becomes conflicted due to Erethdor's waning hold over him and stops attacking players - however, he can still charge up a powerful attack that deals massive blight damage. The second health bar now has 100,000 life points - this is the health of the Solak's conscience and if it decreases to 0, all players are instantly killed, ignoring sign of life effects but still putting them on cooldown.
In his mind, multiple Manifestations of Erethdor attempt to regain control over Solak by destroying his conscience. Players can restore Solak at the cost of their own health - 1500 damage per heal. Like in the previous phase, food cannot heal while in Solak's mind, so if players need to heal, they must leave his mind before doing so. Players can and should heal Solak while under the effects of Barricade and Intercept.
In duos, the manifestations can be safely killed - however, in a group, killing them is unfeasible, as doing so will cause them to appear in the real world and attack players there. For this reason, it is better to simply tank the manifestations in a group.
The manifestations deal significantly more damage the longer they persist in his mind. If Erethdor was defeated in the previous phase, his manifestations will deal less damage to Solak.
To end the encounter, players must lower Solak's health to 0 in the physical world, which finally cleanses him of Erethdor's control over him. Players can then speak to Merethiel and Solak and claim their rewards before leaving.