In this guide, I’m going to cover the basics of clan boss team building. No two clan boss teams will be identical, what’s important is identifying champions who can fulfill the roles you need!
Clan Boss building can be counter-intuitive because it’s built differently than nearly every other challenge in the game. In every dungeon, campaign, and arena your goal is simple: kill the enemy. In clan boss, your goal is different: do as much damage before he kills you. Barring whoever gets the final hit, this means that “failure” is guaranteed. It’s not a matter of if you die, it’s a question of when.
Clan Boss can be notionally divided into two distinct times in your game: Pre-Giant Slayer (GS) and Post-Giant Slayer. For more information on the Giant Slayer Mastery, please check out my Mastery Guide. After you’ve obtained Giant Slayer, the types of champions you are going to use changes drastically.
Some things are true whether you have GS or WM or not, however.
To start with, let’s cover the number one rule of Clan Boss:
More turns means more damage
Due to the unique nature of the Clan Boss, most of your damage will come from effects, namely things that do damage based on maximum health. Although he has a passive that reduces these effects (otherwise a 5% poison would hit the normal difficulty Clan Boss for 5 million damage per tick) they remain the most effective ways to damage him.
Most of these abilities are either entirely unaffected or only very slightly affected by your stats. This means that unlike most places in the game, massively increasing your attack power, for example, won’t increase your damage as much as getting one extra poison debuff applied.
More turns can be done two ways: go faster, or last longer. To get the most damage, you’re going to want to do both. Going faster means speed buffs, turn meter increases, and just equipping your champions with gear that raises their speed as high as you can get it.
Lasting longer means not only sustain in the form healing or life steal, but also means durability for your champions!
Don’t be afraid to experiment
Clan Boss teams are incredibly complex! It can be very hard to know for sure whether someone will increase or decrease your damage, each champion will affect the others to some degree! Experiment with your team comps to try and find what works best!
That said, if you’re in a competitive guild, maybe check in with your clan leader first!
Know The mechanics
Understanding how Clan Boss works is very important. Each round will go: AoE, harder hitting AoE, and then a single-target, irresistible stun (after he is below 50%, this attack will also ignore Defense). Time your heals, shields and buffs accordingly. For example, if you have a team-based counter-attack buff like skullcrusher, don’t use it just before the boss is using his stun ability! Everyone will take a turn and a round of the buff will be wasted.
Below 50%, the boss will change from Void affinity to a random affinity, and his attacks will change as well. The pattern remains the same, but his single target attack will ignore defense, and his other abilities gain different buffs and debuffs, depending on affinity.
Know what he’s immune to: don’t try and freeze, provoke, stun, sleep, slow, or decrease his turn meter. It doesn’t work!
Don’t Go auto
Ok, maybe not never auto. If you know with your auto you can get the top chest of of your difficulty, go for it. But if your clan is pushing to get the boss down, or you need to do maximum damage to get the chest? You should manual. The AI isn’t very smart. For example: Coldheart’s A2 will apply a poison if the target is under a heal reduction debuff. So if YOU are playing Coldheart, you won’t use her A2 unless you’ve applied one either with her A1, or with one of your other champion’s abilities, otherwise the ability is wasted. The AI? It will fire her A2 on round 1, before it’s even conceivable that he has such a debuff on him.
The AI will simply fire your abilities on cooldown, using your A2, then your A3, then using your A1 until one of the others is back up. It will never hold an ability for a more optimal time, take into consideration conditions for making the most of the ability, etc.
It can be slow, but if you want to do the best you can, do it on manual.
Unfortunately I don’t have an exhaustive list of what can be found in which chest, so I’m just going to cover the basics on how it works. But for those of you who are wondering if it’s worth it? Top tier chests on the highest difficulties can drop sacred shards, void shards, legendary and epic skill tomes, a fairly large number of gems. They are great prizes.
Each day there are two resets: the daily reset at 12:00 UTC which resets your daily missions, etc. And the Clan reset at 10:00AM UTC, which resets all clan boss HP and unlocks the participation chest if it’s over 90 stars.
You get one clan key to use to fight the clan boss every 6 hours. Timer starts from the beginning of the fight, not the end, so don’t be afraid to take your time.
When the Clan Reset happens (or when the Clan Boss is defeated) you will be given a chest based on the damage you did to it. If the clan boss was killed, you will receive two chests of that tier.
So, for example:
Clan Newbie is fighting the easy clan boss. Its leader, CaptainNewPlayer deals 1.5 million damage across all his keys that day.
The clan chest tiers for easy are (you can check damage requirements by hitting the chest button next to the Clan Boss):476k – 635k: Novice Chest
635k – 1269k: Novice Chest
1269k – 1903k: Adept Chest
Over 1903k: Warrior Chest
The clan fails to down the boss, so at 10AM UTC, CaptainNewPlayer receives an Adept Chest.
The next day, CaptainNewPlayer uses his new Champion, Zavia, on his team. He hits Clan Boss for 12 million damage across all his keys (seriously, she’s ridiculous). As soon as the boss dies, he receives 2 Warrior Chests.
Unfortunately, his Clanmate, PvtLowLevel only had time to use a single key, and his team isn’t very strong yet, and he did only 200k damage. Even though the Clan downed the boss, he won’t get a treasure chest at all!
This is an important thing to consider when administering a clan: sometimes Clan Bosses start dying too fast, and lower level players in your clan may not even get a chance to get a single treasure chest. Needless to say, this doesn’t feel great to them. Consider asking your higher level players to hit harder difficulties once they’ve dealt enough damage to receive the max chest, as long as you’ll still be able to kill the boss without further contribution from them.
Clan boss chests are divided by name. An Adept Chest dropped by easy has the same potential loot as an Adept chest dropped by normal. Typically each tier will have 3 of the chests the previous tier dropped, and the top chest will be a new, better chest (Brutal is an exception, and adds two new tiers of chest!). So if you can’t reach the top tier chest, it may be easier for you to hit a lower difficulty, you’ll get the same chest with less effort.
Buffs and Debuffs
Certain buffs and debuffs are more effective at Clan Boss. Some are almost essential for getting the most out of your damage. Note that all buffs and debuffs come in two types, a weaker form and a stronger form. For example, weaken has a 15% version, and a 25% version. Always try and use the better version.
When picking people who apply buffs/debuffs, you want to look for people who can maintain 100% “up-time”, meaning they can reapply the buff more or less constantly. This means either having it on the primary attack, or having it on a short cooldown ability. However, if it’s a 2-turn debuff, and it’s on a 4-turn cooldown, this may be ok, as long as you can get 4 turns before he gets 2, in this way you can still maintain that 100% up-time. This will be harder to do the higher the difficulty goes, as the boss gets faster with each jump in difficulty.
Attack Down: This buff doesn’t get much love elsewhere, and for a long time it was underestimated on Clan Boss, but think of it this way: if he has to enrage to a certain point to kill you, having only 50% of his attack means he has to enrage almost twice as long to get to that point. Having this up the entire fight buys you a TON of turns and longevity. However, this one is the MOST important to have 100% up-time. If it slips up late in the fight and he gets an AoE off that’s not reduced, suddenly he’ll just wipe your party and cost you several turns. Dropping a defense down or a weaken will slightly lower your damage for a turn, but dropping an attack down means a party wipe.
Weakness: This one is very important. Before Giant Slayer, this one is more important to have than Decrease Defense, but it’s still very important afterwards. Weaken increases all damage taken by the target by 25%
, including by things such as HP Burn and Poison, which are unaffected by defense. EDIT: As of the 1.7 Patch, Weaken no longer increases Poison/HP Burn damage, as such, it is much weaker Pre-GS and does not necessarily need to be included.
Decrease Defense: Before Giant Slayer, this one isn’t quite as important, since basic attack damage will not be your main source of damage, but it’s still important if you’re using a lot of skills that scale off enemy max hp, such as Husk’s A2, Coldheart’s A3, etc. After Giant Slayer, it’s an essential thing to have on the team. It and Weaken amplify each other to more than just the sum of their parts as well.
Decrease ACC: is this ever useful? No. No it’s not.
Poison/HP Burn: Before Giant Slayer, these are your bread and butter. They will do a ton of damage to the boss with every tick. Note that HP Burn can only be applied ONCE, so bringing multiple people with it on the team won’t work out so well. After Giant Slayer, it’s more like bonus damage, useful, but only if you can apply it without losing hits for giant slayer. That’s why people like Nethril and Zavia are so strong: multi-hit A1s still deal a ton with giant slayer, and they get poison as a bonus. Coldheart, for example, will not use her poison anymore after she gets Giant Slayer: 4-hit A1 means, on average, 1.2 procs of giant slayer, whereas her A2 only hits once, so only a 0.3 proc average, and the poison (if it even applies) will not compensate for that damage loss.
Speed Up: Absolutely essential. More speed means faster turn meter fill, means more turns, means more damage.
Turn Meter Increase: Maybe not technically a “buff”, but worth mentioning. Almost as good as speed up, and even better to have both.
Counter-Attack: Before Giant Slayer, this is just alright, mostly useful if you have people like Kael who can apply poison/burn on their primary attack, but after Giant Slayer this becomes amazing. Counter-attacks deal 70% damage, but giant slayer is unaffected by this reduction, so it’s basically a free-turn for you. Full team counter-attack buffs offered by Skullcrusher, Valkyrie, Martyr are all insanely good, and used by many if not most top-tier players.
A note on Counter-Attack: when using counter-attack, you need to carefully manage your speed. If you go too fast, or time your buff wrong, you may use up your buff before the clan boss has even hit you. Time it for just before he AoE attacks, and make sure your speed is still high, but not TOO high. Ideally you want the buff to be applied just after everyone else has gone, and just before the boss is about to attack. This will take some practice.
Attack Up: a common error is people thinking this buff is mandatory. It isn’t, unfortunately. As I’ve covered before, raising attack will simply not raise damage that much, abilities that scale with enemy max hp will barely be affected by you having more attack. If you can get it without losing any of the more important buffs, go ahead, but don’t make it a priority.
Defense Up: not bad, but not as good as you’d think either (mostly because a lot of champions don’t have very good base defense, and so the buff won’t increase it by that much). If you can do 100% up-time and it won’t cost you a space, bring it, it will help, but it’s not a priority.
Continuous Heal: helpful, but won’t be enough on its own.
Unkillable: won’t be effective til near the end if your team is built right, and even then will only buy you 1, maybe 2 rounds.
Block Damage: slightly more useful than unkillable since it also lets you mitigate a bit, but mostly same issue.
Block Debuffs: the clan boss does have a few debuffs, poison when he’s in void form, and a few others in his other forms. But they’re not incredibly debilitating, so this isn’t really required. It will block his stun though, which is nice. Get it if you can do it without missing out on other important buffs, but it’s not a huge priority.
Team Building (Pre-GS)
Before you get GS, you want your team to be able to do the following things: Poison, HP Burn, Defense Down (only if you’re using someone with an enemy max hp move, like Coldheart, otherwise, it’s optional), Attack Down, Speed Up/Turn Meter Increase, and Sustain. For Auras: Speed, Defense and HP are best, accuracy is acceptable, attack should be avoided unless you have no alternatives.
Sustain means keep yourself at a high level of health for as long as you can. Ideally, you want to be able to last until the boss has enraged so far that he one-shots you. If he’s whittling you down slowly, then you don’t have enough sustain.
Sustain can be done a few ways. The obvious one is bringing some sort of healer or support. You can also equip lifesteal gear (this works better after Giant Slayer than before), or bringing someone with a spammable shield to mitigate damage.
Speaking of shields: shield sets are not useful on Clan Boss despite how great they are everywhere else. The shield lasts for 3 turns, and by the time he’s doing any significant amount of damage, it will have long since expired.
Keep in mind that there is a limit of 10 debuffs on the Clan Boss, if you exceed this limit, it will remove the oldest debuff and apply the new one. So if you have too MANY poisoners, you won’t get optimal damage either.
At this stage in the game, sufficiently strong damage dealers, like very strong single-target damage dealing epics or legendaries, can often keep pace with poisoners. If you have one of these, don’t feel you NEED to remove them for a poisoner. Feel free to experiment. If the damage dealer deals more, keep them. Poison and HP burn are definitely easier, however.
At this stage of the game, if you don’t already have TOO many poisoners, and aren’t pushing that debuff limit, feel free to farm up some toxic sets from dragon and put them on a few people. It helps them boost their damage a little. Only put these sets on champions you ONLY use for clan boss, as they’re not great elsewhere.
Great Champions for this level (this list is not exhaustive, it’s mostly just off the top of my head): Wretch, Jotun, Juliana, Coldheart, Kael, Outlaw Monk, Armiger, Husk, Apothecary, Tayrel, Seeker, Marksman, Hyria, Royal Guard, Septimus, Elenaril, Vrask, Bad El-Kazar, Kallia, Slayer, Steelskull, Grappler etc.
Team Building (Post-GS and WM)
Congratulations, you have Giant Slayer and/or Warmaster! Wasn’t minotaur terrible? But now you can put it to work.
Giant slayer cares about only 1 thing: number of hits. It’s a 30% chance to activate on every hit. So a 1-hit A1 will only have a 30% chance to proc once, but a 3-hit A1 has 3 30% chances, virtually guaranteeing you at least one, if not more!
Warmaster has a higher chance to proc, 60%, but can only have one success. Put it on your 1-hit and 2-hit champions!
Defense Down becomes a LOT more important, and lifesteal becomes a lot more viable.
GS and WM have a cap of 75k from the Clan boss, that means instead of doing millions of damage, they are reduced to 75,000 as base damage. This amount is then lowered by CB’s defense, like any attack would be. So you can increase this damage by using Defense Down, and Weaken to amplify it. This can result in going over the 75k original number.
You want your team to have Attack Down, Speed Up/Turn Meter Increase, Defense Down, Weaken, and Sustain and as many multi-hit A1s as you can. You want an aura that increases either speed or survivability, so Speed increase, HP increase, defense increase. Only use something like a crit aura if you need it to, for example, help someone with an effect that they only add on a critical hit. Attack Auras should not be used unless you have literally no other applicable aura. Accuracy is also decent.
Great Champions for this level (also not exhaustive): Skullcrusher, Apothecary, Tayrel, Valkyrie, Martyr, Zargala (only if you lack Defense Down and Weaken, she’s very replaceable), Aina, Athel, Coldheart, Juliana, Zavia, Nethril, Venus, Exemplar, Vrask, Lightsworn, Rhazin Scarhide, Fu Shan, Longbeard, Steelskull, Bad El-Kazar.
Gearing for CB is very different from gearing for elsewhere, and is one reason that it’s best to have people you use exclusively for CB, as they’ll kind of suck elsewhere (especially attack-based champions) with CB gear.
You want to gear for speed and survivability. As we’ve covered: more turns = more damage, so they want to be as fast as possible and survive as long as possible so they can do as much damage as possible.
First up: always speed boots, no exceptions.
Chest will be either HP% or DEF% in almost every situation, depending on the champion’s base defense. For most attack champions, HP% will be more effective. If your champion is particularly strong, and you have decent survival stats from other sources, you may use an Attack% chest.
For champions with enemy max hp abilities like Coldheart, Royal Guard and Husk, gloves should have a Crit Damage primary stat to make the most of that ability with C. RATE coming from substats / masteries / crit set bonuses. Champions who require a critical hit to apply a valuable debuff and don’t have enough coming from other sources may need gloves with a C. RATE primary instead – with some Crit Damage coming from substats etc. For everyone else: HP% or DEF%, same as chest.
For sets, 3x speed sets is common, post-GS, lifesteal sets are becoming more common, particularly if you lack a top-tier healer. Critical chance sets may be needed for people building crit damage for enemy max hp scaling abilities.
Defense sets should only be on champions with high base defense. Life sets could be used, but generally it’s better to get the speed sets.
There are other niche builds, but that will cover most cases.
Remember, if a champion has a vital debuff of some kind, they NEED good accuracy to ensure it reliably stays up. On lower tier bosses, aim for around 100, but as you start fighting higher difficulty bosses, this will just continue to increase. For Brutal/Nightmare, you’re going to want 200ish or even more.
This is easier at higher levels. Banners can have accuracy as a main stat, and you get a decent amount from masteries, as well as your great hall (accuracy and resist should be a priority in great hall, it’s an easy source of both stats).
When using tomes to skill up CB-focused champions, you want to keep an eye out for two things: Cool-down reduction and buff/debuff chance. Increased damage, unless it’s on an enemy max hp ability, will not do very much, but cool-down reduction and buff/debuff chance will increase your champion’s capabilities, helping them maintain 100% up-time on buffs and debuffs, or better healing, or whatever it is they’re doing for you. If you get all of these skills and the only skills left are just + damage, use the tomes on someone else.
So now hopefully you understand the basics of Clan Boss team-building, it’s all about having the right buffs/debuffs, high speed, high survivability, and the right damage-dealing abilities. Once you’ve got a solid team, it’s just about refinement, constantly tweaking gear to survive just a bit longer, or be a bit more consistent in applying buffs.
And lastly, never forget Rule Five:
Sometimes, you just have bad luck.
No matter how you build, sometimes, you just have crap luck. Giant slayer fails to proc, he resists most of your debuffs, and your damage will just kind of suck. Anytime you’re trying out a new build, don’t necessarily give up immediately. Give it two or even three shots, see if it was just a bad run. Persevere and keep at it!
Lastly, I’m curious what other guides the community might be interested. Hit me up in the comments with suggestions of guides you’d like to see!
Originally Posted by /Xentago on Reddit