Archons are support specialists who steal their opponents’ strength and convert that raw energy into beneficial magic. These mages bolster their allies and unleash potent kinetic blasts, quickly turning the tide of battle.
For many who have any experience in the raid scene of Rift, Flaring Power is a very well-known and powerful cooldown provided by the Archon soul of the Mage calling. When burst damage is required to destroy Infiltrator Johlen’s devastating bombs in Greenscale’s Blight, Flaring Power is the go-to cooldown of choice for raid damage. When the raid wants to beat the enrage timer on Murdantix in Hammerknell Fortress, Flaring Power is used as a necessity on cooldown. Anytime the raid desires more damage in the form of burst, you guessed it… Flaring Power.
However, despite the general consensus, Archons actually have other spells besides Flaring Power! So whether you are an experienced raider seeking to know exactly what those spells are, or a brand new mage seeking to be your raid’s Archon, read on and see what this outstanding soul has to offer!
The primary function of a support soul in Rift is to buff raid damage and stats, off-heal, or debuff the damage of the enemy (or any combination thereof). While the Archon has no direct way of healing the raid, it does buff the damage and stats of the raid. However, Archons come with a twist—buffing the mage’s allies causes the mage to lose power himself! Therefore, in order to regain this power, the archon must debuff the enemy. So, the Archon both buffs his allies and debuffs his enemies, literally defining the support role as it exists today. Let’s take a look first at the buffs the Archon provides the raid:
- Vitality of Stone: Reduces the Mage’s Strength, Dexterity, Intelligence and Wisdom by 45, and increases the Strength, Dexterity, Intelligence and Wisdom of group and raid members within 35 meters by 52. Lasts 5 minutes.
- Burning Purpose: Reduces the Mage’s melee and casting speed by 10%, and increases the melee and casting speed of group and raid members within 35 meters by 10%. Lasts 5 minutes.
- Shared Vigor: Reduces the Mage’s Endurance by 25, and increases the Endurance of group members within 35 meters by 48. Lasts 5 minutes.
- Arcane Aegis: Reduces the Mage’s Life, Death, and Elemental resistances by 30, and increases the Life, Death, and Elemental resistances of group and raid members within 35 meters by 39. Lasts 5 minutes.
- Tempered Armor: Reduces the Mage’s armor value by 504 and increases the armor value of group and raid members within 35 meters by 504. Lasts 5 minutes.
Archon Enemy Debuffs
In order to compensate for the reduced stats that the mage encounters due to buffing the raid group, the following debuffs must be applied to the enemy:
- Pillaging Stone: Hurls a large stone missile at the enemy, causing 117 to 121 Earth damage and reducing their Strength, Dexterity, Intelligence and Wisdom by 50. Places a stack of Pillaging Stone on the Mage, increasing their Strength, Dexterity, Intelligence and Wisdom by 13 per stack for 5 minutes. Max 5 stacks.
- Lingering Dust: Reduces the melee and casting speed of the enemy by 25% for 20 seconds, and increases the melee and casting speed of the Mage by 10% for 5 minutes.
- Searing Vitality: Boils the enemy’s blood, causing 154 Fire damage over 10 seconds. Places a stack of Searing Vitality on the Mage each second increasing their Endurance by 10 per stack. Max 5 stacks. 5 minute buff duration.
- Crumbling Resistance: Erodes the magical defenses of the enemy, increasing the magical damage they take by 7% for 5 minutes, and increasing the Mage’s Life, Death, and Elemental resistances by 46 for 5 minutes.
- Ashen Defense: Drains the defenses of the enemy, increasing the Physical damage they take by 5% and increasing the caster’s armor value by 604.
Essentially, the role of the Archon in any raid situation is to maintain all five of the buffs on the raid, and to maintain all five of the debuffs on the boss at all times. As an Archon, if you can do these two simple tasks, you have the class 75% down already!
Several situational spells, as well as cooldown spells, also exist in order to aid the Archon and his allies in battle:
- Waning Power: Drains the strength from the enemy, reducing their attack power and spell power by 5% and increasing the Mage’s Spell Power by 10% for 60 seconds. 3 minute cooldown. This ability is best used when predictable raid-wide or high single target damage are incoming, such as Prince Hylas’s Soul Fracture.
- Flaring Power: Increase the Attack Power and Spell Power of all raid and party members by 15% for up to 20 seconds. Consumes charge while active. Affected allies become Battle Weary and cannot benefit from Call to Arms or Flaring Power again for 5 minutes. 2 minute cooldown. Due to the 5 minute Battle Weary debuff, and the effectiveness of Flaring Power’s buff, this ability is best used during times when high burst damage is required.
- Lava Field: Calls magma from the earth, burning up to 10 enemies within the affected area for 155 Fire damage over 6 seconds. Allies within the lava field receive a stack of the Lava Field buff each second, which increases the effect of the next healing spell to land on them by 1% per stack. Max 5 stacks. Each incoming healing spell will remove a stack of the buff. 30 second cooldown. This ability is best used during times of high raid damage, but where most of the raid is grouped together, such as the large pulls towards the beginning of Greenscale’s Blight.
- Consuming Flames: Shields an ally with flames for up to 30 seconds, absorbing up to 764 damage. 30 second cooldown.
- Purification: Searing flames cleanse the ally, removing up to 2 Curse effects.
- Cleansing Flames: Unleashes swirling flames around the Mage, removing 1 Curse effect from up to 10 group and raid members within the targeted area. Purification and Cleansing Flames are best used to aid the healers during important dispel times. Due to the lengthy cast time of these abilities, it is often best to supplement healer dispels rather than solely dispel curses for the raid.
- Power Drain: Reduces the enemy’s damage by 10%, and increases the Mage’s damage by 10%. Consumes charge while active. This ability has several situational uses. Because Power Drain drains charge, it is best not to use this spell if Flaring Power is coming off cooldown. This spell is best used to debuff the enemy’s damage first and foremost. If, and only if, the enemy does not have any type of major single-strike damage, then it can be used as a damage cooldown for the Archon himself. Power Drain is suited perfectly for raid damage such as Soul Fracture.
Direct Damage Abilities
- Surging Flare: Throws a bolt of fire at the enemy, causing 187 to 192 Fire damage. Allies within 35 meters have the casting time of their spells reduced by 5% for 6 seconds. 10 second cooldown.
- Volcanic Bomb: Launches an explosive volcanic bomb at the enemy, causing 92 to 96 Earth damage instantly and 84 Fire damage over 6 seconds. Allies within 35 meters of the Mage have their damage increased by 5% for 10 seconds. 15 second cooldown.
- Earthen Barrage: Hurls earthen missiles at the enemy, dealing 95 to 99 Earth damage. Group and raid members within 35 meters have their melee and spell critical hit chance increased by 5% for 15 seconds. 15 second cooldown.
- Leeching Flames: Engulfs the enemy in flames, dealing 10% of the Mage’s maximum mana in Fire damage over 12 seconds. Returns 10% of the Mage’s maximum mana over 12 seconds. 30 second cooldown.
The most common question for any new Archon seeing all of these available damage spells, and their rather lengthy cooldowns, is, “Which spells do I choose!?”. To simplify this rotation of sorts, a rather simple macro can be created to manage all of these cooldowns and to maximize Archon damage between buffs and debuffs. This macro is as follows:
#show Surging Flare
cast Surging Flare
cast Volcanic Bomb
cast Earthen Barrage
cast Leeching Flames
cast Pillaging Stone
Essentially, this macro allows the Archon to become a very simplistic priority system:
- 1) Cast all five Archon buffs
- 2) Cast all five Archon debuffs
- 3) Spam damage macro
- 4) Ensure on long fights that all buffs are retained on both yourself and the raid
- 5) Watch for any instances in which your cooldowns such as Flaring Power may be of use
Archon Soul Builds
While many soul trees in Rift have some talents in them that can be done without, this is not the case with Archon. If a true support build is desired for any raid, a 51-point Archon build is absolutely necessary. The Archon soul tree has such great synergy with itself that even missing out on one point in the tree is doing your raid little justice. However, this does not mean that there is no room for some individuality in the subsouls–after all, this is Rift.
In the Archon community at the moment, there are two concepts that have developed in terms of subsouls. The first is a complete support build, one in which the Dominator soul is used for more utility. As you may or may not know, the Dominator soul is centered around crowd control abilities such as Transmogrify, and great utility spells of all sorts. By including Dominator in your Archon support spec, you not only have great raid buffing capabilities, but you can have great crowd control as well for encounters that may include adds. Another great benefit of the Dominator soul lies in the ability Reflective Command, which when placed on the ally will reflect the next harmful spell back at the attacker. On fights like Uruluuk in Gilded Prophecy, this can result in a very large amount of damage reflected back at the boss. Expect to see this ability play a much more central role in raid instances to come, such as Hammerknell Fortress.
The second concept for the Archon calling revolves around the use of a damage subsoul for increased damage of the Archon himself. While an Archon will never do quite as much damage as a pure-damage caster, they can be quite powerful when played correctly and with timely use of cooldowns. This can result in a damage buffer of sorts to aid the raid in a particularly harsh enrage timer, or to down that last add for additional damage time on the boss. The most common subsoul for a damage-based support Archon is the Elementalist, followed by the Warlock in the third soul slot. The Elementalist can add 5% spell critical strike chance, as well as a 10% permanent damage reduction, which can be indispensible in high raid damage encounters. The Warlock soul increased your charge gained by 25%, which allows for more use of Archon's cooldowns, which can never be a bad thing.
All in all, the Archon soul is one of the most beneficial souls in any raid group. Whether it comes to buffing the raid, debuffing the boss, or enabling the use of highly effective cooldowns, the Archon is the king of support. When paired with a knowledgeable player, the Archon soul is one that can make or break raid encounters, and as such, it would be unwise to go without one. And trust me, the Archon is certainly much more than Flaring Power!
For any questions, concerns, or comments, feel free to post in the comments section and myself or another experienced Archon will surely help you out.