gw2 event icon The “Special Action” key is used during this boss fight. You can set this key in options > control options > skills. This key should be accessible at all times.

Cairn the Indomitable

Cairn the Indomitable is the first raid boss of wing 4. Generally this fight is quite straight forward, but has a few mechanics that can be problematic for the group. This boss has very few attacks, and generally doesn’t pose much of a threat.

However, there are some mechanics in this fight that can wipe the group very quickly if you happen to overlook them.

Phase 1 (100-25%)

Generally the fight doesn’t change too much. To start you will need to just inflict damage up to this point. Cairn will repeat the same general movements and attacks. Under 50% health, Cairn will stop spawning the green circles in the middle of the arena so Spectral Dash will become far more important as the fight goes on.

Throughout this fight, you will want to have one person kiting the shards, while the rest of the group stacks behind the boss. If affected with Shared Agony, you want to stand behind the melee group.

For the most part, this phase is simple enough, do your best to avoid Cairns knockback attack when he teleports around the arena to place the circles. The only other attack that’s a problem is the Orbital Sweep. This attack has a large wind up, so it’s easy to see, just be careful not to be struck by it.

Phase 2 (50-25%)

During this phase, the fight gets a little harder. Cairn will introduce a new attack “Cosmic Aura” where there boss slams its arms into the ground to cause a shock-wave of jade. The fight will continue as before but just with this attack added to the boss rotation.

Arena Mechanics

These mechanics are present throughout the whole fight. They’re things that need to be a primary focus while fighting the boss directly.

Shard Tanking

During the fight Cairn will perform an attack called Meteor Swarm. During this attack he will throw shards at the furthest player away from the group. Healers will generally fill this role because of their health sustain and blocks.

Your goal will be to stay away from the group, and the furthest out so Cairn throws its shard attack away from the stack point. This allows the melee group to inflict damage while not being knocked back by the attack.

To avoid the shards you will either use blocks, not reflects. And step out of the line of fire. Keep in mind that other players from the group who’re teleported, or stand further back than the shard tank will pull the aggro. This will cause Cairn to throw the shard away from the tank and possibly into the group.

Spectral Dash

At the start of the instance, you will walk through a waterfall that gives you a Special Action. This action is called the Spectral Dash. This key is vital to your success in this fight. The skill will allow you to dash long distances within a second.

You will use this skill to avoid the Cosmic Aura attack and move around the platform if you happen to have 99 stacks of Unseen Burden. This skill has a very short cooldown, but don’t waste it as you will need to reach the circles when they spawn. You can also use this skill as an emergency dash if teleported to the edge of the platform.

Cosmic Aura Circles

This is one of the main mechanics of the fight. Every so often, Cairn will do the Cosmic Aura. Before this attack the boss will spawn various green circles around the platform. They’re very similar to the green circles found in the Vale Guardian, however they will not kill the group if you don’t stand in them.

These circles will remove the Unseen Burden stacks if you are successful in reaching them. Make sure you learn to use the Spectral Dash to your advantage here. There circles have a short activation period, so make sure you’re inside them as soon as possible.

Take note that some circles will have a glowing orb marker above them. This displays how many players are required to stand in that circle. If less players than the required amount fill these circles, everyone in the circle will be hit by the Cosmic Aura.

The bigger the circle, the more players needed to activate it. This doesn’t always apply though, as the boss will spawn other green circles at different times that don’t have a player requirement.

You do not need to fill all the circles during this phase. Players with Shared Agony should try to fill circles on their own, away from the players who do not have it. This will avoid killing members of the group while they’re seeking safe haven.

Shared Agony

After the first 25% of health, a passive effect will be applied to three random players who are furthest from the boss. Once this effect is applied, three players will have a slow ticking effect that depletes each players health. Part of this effect includes an AoE ring around the affected players. Crossing other players with this effect will inflict high damage to non-affected players.

Once this happens, it is best to stack behind the group closer than the shard kiter, but not on top of the group as to not kill them. Players with this effect should do their best to use the outer green circles between phases. This isn’t always possible, but reducing risk of killing other players should be taken into account.

Unseen Burden

This is a passive effect that stacks up to 99 times. To clear this effect, you need to jump into the green circles that spawn between the various health phases. Standing in the circles will remove up to 25 stacks of Unseen Burden. The circles however sometimes have markers above them. These glowing balls of light indicate how many people need to be in that given circle to avoid Cosmic Aura. If the circle has less than the indicated amount, you will be lifted up, and given extra Unseen Burden stacks.

99 stacks of Unseen Burden will cause you to be frozen in place. You can move around using the Spectral Dash, or dodging. Some skills with mobility will also work to move around the platform. You can reduce your stacks by reaching the green circles. However, if the boss hits enrage, the green circles will no longer remove this effect.

If you happen to hit enrage, you will no longer be able to clear this effect.

General Attacks

The attacks below don’t all inflict huge amounts of damage, but some attacks to happen the same time. If you make a mistake, this boss can be very unforgiving and kill you in an instant. Understanding the telegraphs and what to avoid makes this fight quite straight forward.

Cosmic Aura

At around 20% health, and below, Cairn will perform a new attack. He will slam his hands into the ground, causing a wave of jade energy to fill the area. Being hit by this attack will knock you back and possibly off the platform.


Throughout the fight, you will see a small set of portals below the boss. These portals open up with a red spinning AoE circle. If you’re caught them, it will teleport you to the edge of the platform. Doing so may cause you to be targeted by Shared Agony. He may also focus you with the Meteor Swarm attack.


Cairns general attack will inflict¬†moderate damage if you are hit by it. There’s not much else to say, but healers should be able to sustain the groups health while they’re hit by this. There’s a lot of things going on, so healing through this will be straight forward.

Meteor Swarm

During the fight, Cairn will do a three-part attack. During this attack, he will swing twice, then on the third he throws projectile shards. This attack will focus on the furthest player from the group. This mechanic is a lot like kiting flak on Sabetha. Only one player needs to do this, everyone else should stay within melee range to avoid being targeted by this attack.

Orbital Sweep

Several times during the fight, Cairn will raise one of its arms into the air. It will then slam it down on the platform and spin around in place. You will be knocked back if hit by this attack. This move is highly telegraphed, but depending on where you’re standing you may have to dodge through the boss to avoid it fully.

Spatial Manipulation

Throughout the fight, Cairn will have a teleport attack much like the Vale Guardian. Right below the boss you will see a cosmos of stars, surrounded with a red spinning AoE circle. Every few second the boss will spawn this attack on the ground. If you are caught by this, you will be teleported to the edge of the arena. Doing so may cause the boss to focus you instead of the kiter.