a bajillion hits

Elsword PSA: Magmanta

Magmanta’s Cave (or “Magmanta’s Hellhole”, as my sister likes to call it) is one of the most annoying dungeons in all of Elrios. Not because of the boss, but because of the people who have no idea how to combat it. If you know what I’m talking about, then you’ve probably had to suffer dozens of long, tedious fights against Magmanta due to inexperienced party members. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, then be sure to read this post all the way through, because it just might save you some grief the next time you enter Magmanta’s Cave.

Before we talk about Magmanta, let’s talk about game mechanics! You may have noticed in your adventures through Elrios that when you attack stuff, the enemy flinches a bit and generally can’t attack or move. That’s called hitstun. With hitstun, you can perform those annoyingly long combos you see people using in PvP. Because the enemy is constantly being “stunned” by your attacks, he/she can’t counterattack (usually) and you can continue dealing damage against him/her.

However, most dungeon bosses and some mini-bosses have a way of counteracting this. That’s where “stoic thresholds” come in. A boss’s stoic threshold is the number of hits it can receive before it automatically enters Super Armor. If something is in Super Armor, hitstun has no effect against it, thus it doesn’t have to worry about the enemy’s attacks preventing it from doing anything. For bosses, this prevents you and your party members from constantly using your attacks’ hitstuns to stop it from doing anything. If bosses couldn’t enter Super Armor like this, they would be “stunlocked” throughout the entire battle, they wouldn’t be able to attack you, and all boss fights would be a piece of cake.

How can you tell if a boss has reached its stoic threshold? The boss will turn black for a short while and enter Super Armor, indicated by a red outline (see picture above). Also, anyone close enough to the boss will be pushed away and knocked down. After all this happens, the boss won’t be stunned by your attacks for a while and it’ll have enough time to power up an attack of its own to use against you. In general, most bosses that have stoic thresholds have a threshold count of 20-30 hits.

But some bosses behave differently when they reach their stoic threshold. Magmanta is one of them. Sadly, most people don’t understand this when fighting Magmanta, causing the battle to drag on for an unnecessarily long amount of time.

One of Magmanta’s moves is called “Prepare Attack”. When she (yes, Magmanta is a female) uses this move, she jumps to the background of the stage, where she cannot be attacked. Here, she will walk around for a bit and use Acid Spray (which sprays acid, obviously) on you if you’re in range. While this is happening, multiple Mantares and Mantaray will descend and go after you. After performing Acid Spray three times, she will leap into the air and land back onto the main stage, using Crippling Cut.

So when does Magmanta use Prepare Attack? You guessed it: When she reaches her stoic threshold! Magmanta’s stoic threshold is much higher than most: 60 hits. As soon as you and your party deal 60 hits against her, she’ll use Prepare Attack and retreat.

Prepare Attack itself isn’t that devastating. The Acid Sprays are easy to dodge and they don’t do that much damage. The poison from Acid Spray can be countered with poison resistance or a consumable, and the Mantares and Mantaray are easy to kill. The problem is that this whole procedure takes a very long time to go through, and during this time, you can’t attack Magmanta herself. Congrats, you just wasted about 20 seconds of your time.

“20 seconds? That’s it? Psh, you’re just being impatient. 20 seconds isn’t that long”. No, it isn’t. However, if Magmanta keeps using Prepare Attack over and over again, it will build up. If she uses it two times, that’s 40 seconds of not being able to deal any damage against her. Three times, a minute wasted. And so on. There was one time it took me and a party 4 minutes to kill that damn spider, and it was because my party members had no idea what they were doing. Oh yeah, and two of those minutes were wasted due to Prepare Attack.

“What’s wrong with a little extra time? Doesn’t matter if it takes a minute or a day to take Magmanta down, so long as we eventually kill it in the end, right?” Maybe so, but if you drag on the battle too long, Magmanta and her hellspawns will have more chances to attack you and chip away at your HP. 

Also, your dungeon rank after you clear a dungeon is partially affected by how long it takes you to finish a dungeon. Your rank plays a role in how much EXP you get for that run. And you’re really going to need that EXP. By this point in the game, you’re around level 56. Unless you’re an absolute pro or want to play Elsword all weekend or use a million stamina potions, this is when it’s getting difficult to level up. Well, that problem starts around Velder or Hamel for most people, but basically, gaining a level takes a while. You’re going to want to gain as much EXP as possible, and you can do that by getting good equipment, using the best skills, and doing dungeons faster

Additionally, if you ever go into Henir and end up fighting Magmanta, you’ll have to fight two of them. If you don’t know the proper techniques, it’s going to take an even longer time to finish the fight, and you’ll be tired and weakened when facing Ran. 

“Fine, fine… So what am I supposed to do?” Try to prevent Magmanta from using Prepare Attack. “How?” By not reaching her stoic threshold. As mentioned earlier, Magmanta will retreat if you hit her 60 times. Therefore, do not hit her 60 times. “And how do I do that?” By not using moves that deal tons of hits.

Your basic Z and X attacks and combos won’t do that many hits, usually just 1 or 2. That’s not the problem. The problem lies with many actives and special actives, particularly the ones that deal tons of hits. Ara’s Shadoweave (Shadow Knot in KR) deals 10 hits, 9 if cancelled. That’s 1/6 of Magmanta’s threshold. Not too bad, but if you and your party keep using moves like that again and again, you’ll hit her stoic threshold soon. Eve’s Generate Black Hole in awakening does 23 hits, over 1/3 of the stoic threshold. Again, if your party keeps that up, you guys will hit the threshold. Dark Mage’s Plasma Cutter deals a whopping 95 hits in awakening. Therefore, do NOT use an awakened Plasma Cutter. Not only will you send Magmanta into the background, you won’t be able to deal full damage. Only 60 of those 95 hits will land, because when Magmanta jumps back, she becomes invincible. It’s not just Super Armor. She’s invicible. Therefore, your attack will be cut short. Not worth it.

There are some actives and special actives that deal just one, massive hit that does a lot of damage. Add’s Particle Accelerator, Nemesis’s Assault Spear, and Battle Mage’s Energy Spurt are some examples (correct me if I’m wrong, please). For those moves, it should be okay to use them normally.

“But what if I only have moves that deal a bajillion hits? Does that mean I’m going to be useless against Magmanta?” Nope! Actually, you can still use those multi-hitting moves of yours. You just need to time it properly.

Let’s talk about stoic thresholds again. As we learned earlier, bosses reach their stoic thresholds after receiving hits, and these hits can be any sort of hit, from basic attacks to special actives. However, hits that are dealt while the boss is already in Super Armor do not count towards the stoic threshold. That means if Magmanta is already in Super Armor somehow, you can deal as many hits as you’d like! In that case, those hits won’t count towards the threshold. Therefore, it’s safe to use multi-hitting actives and special actives.

“But how do I get it into Super Armor without hitting its threshold?" If you look at the picture above, you can see that Magmanta has a red outline, meaning she’s in Super Armor. She’s in that mode because she’s about to use one of its other attacks. Most bosses, some mini-bosses, and even some basic NPCs will enter Super Armor when it’s about to attack. Example: the Shadow Chargers in Hamel always enter Super Armor when they’re about to grab you. They do this so they can fully execute their attack without being interrupted by your own attack. Do not confuse this with the stoic threshold. Yes, many enemies will enter Super Armor. However, this doesn’t necessarily mean they’ve hit their threshold. Remember: enemies enter Super Armor and turn black when they reach their threshold (or in the case of Magmanta, run away).

"So basically, I should use my ultimate attacks when Magmanta enters Super Armor to use its own attack?” Exactly! If Magmanta suddenly gets a red outline and attempts to attack you, that means it hasn’t reached it’s threshold; rather, it’s only about to use an attack. When this happens, fire everything you’ve got! Now you’ve dealt tons of damage and hits against Magmanta, but it’s not any closer to reach its threshold! Good job!

“When will Magmanta use one of it’s normal attacks?” There’s no real way of telling, as far as I know. However, when Magmanta isn’t doing anything, you can use your Z and X combos. These will deal some damage without doing too many hits, and it will charge your MP so you can use your ultimate attack. Alternatively, you can just wait and do nothing until she tries to attack.

“Alright, let’s go fight that spider! YAAAAHHH!!” Hold on! Before you go, here are some tips that’ll help you even more:

  1. When Magmanta enters Super Armor, confirm that it's not about to use Prepare Attack and that it’s using a basic attack before you use your own attacks. If you do reach the stoic threshold, Magmanta will go into Super Armor and then jump to the background. Some players will then attempt to use their ultimate moves because they see Magmanta going into Super Armor. However, when using Prepare Attack, Magmanta is invincible while it’s retreating, meaning your moves won’t do anything. 
  2. After confirming that she’s using a basic attack, don’t wait too long to use your ultimate move. As you’ve probably noticed throughout your adventures, if you get hit by something when you press a skill key, you’re move won’t execute, but your MP will be consumed and your skill will go into cooldown. It’s really annoying, but sadly, it happens all the time. Therefore, make sure you time your skill such that you know Magmanta’s using a normal move, but before she can actually hit you.
  3. Don’t use attacks that deal their hits over a long period of time. Example: Plasma Cutter. Even if you do hit a Super-Armored Magmanta with an awakened Plasma Cutter, there’s a good chance that the last several hits of Plasma Cutter will hit Magmanta after it’s finished executing its move and dropped out of Super Armor. As a result, the last hits will count towards its threshold. If you know how to skill lock, then go ahead and use moves like Plasma Cutter. If you’re not sure, it’s best to stay on the safe side.
  4. In the Elsword game options, make sure your graphics are set to maximum. If your graphics are set too low, your Elsword game will not show you the red Super Armor outline around enemies that enter Super Armor. As a result, you won’t know when to attack Magmanta. This is one of the reasons why some people don’t know about stoic thresholds, Super Armor, or how to fight Magmanta: because they can’t even see the red outlines.
  5. When going into Magmanta’s Cave, don’t do random party. Instead, find people who know how to fight Magmanta and go with them. This is purely optional, but if you sign up for random party, there’s a very good chance that none of your party members have any idea how to fight Magmanta. For this, you should join an experienced guild and go with your guild mates. If you don’t want to join a guild or can’t for any reason, then good luck.

Alright, now let’s talk about this picture. Once you’ve reduced Magmanta’s to less than ¼, she’ll release some red mist and her eyes will glow red. This move is called Pheromone. From this point onward, Mantares and Mantaray will continuously fall onto the field. That’s kinda annoying, but you’ve actually reached the easiest part of the battle. Why? Because Magmanta can’t use Prepare Attack anymore! :D

Once she enters this mode, she can no longer retreat, and you can forget about everything I’ve said earlier. It doesn’t matter how many hits you deal against her. Now, you can fire off whatever you want and exterminate that spider.

But no matter how careful you and your party mates are, you’ll probably still send Magmanta into the background by accident once or twice. If that happens, there’s a little trick to prevent her from using her Acid Spray attacks. On the left side of the stage is a platform that’s higher than the others. If EVERYONE stands here, Magmanta will be unable to see you. Instead, she’ll just walk around aimlessly in the background for a while, then leap back. 

This trick is nice if you’re bad at dodging her Acid Spray. You also reduce the risk of getting hit by the Mantares and Mantaray. However, those Mantares and Mantaray are still going to be running around when Magmanta returns, which may cause some problems. Also, this trick doesn’t save you that much time; in fact, it can take slightly more time for her to return than usual. Additionally, this trick doesn’t work if even one person doesn’t stand up there. In that case, Magmanta will be able to target you on that top platform.

That’s about it for Magmanta. I made this post for three reasons:

  1. Most people have no idea how to fight Magmanta
  2. Most of those people don’t listen to you if you try to tell them the secret through the chatbox
  3. Most of those people won’t believe you, partially because they don’t understand the game mechanics. And you clearly can’t jam this entire post into the chatbox

If you search on the forums for how to fight Magmanta, you can easily find the technique, but no one fully explains all the mechanics and systems behind it all. Therefore, some people are still left confused even after finding the answer itself, causing them to doubt it and ignore it. In fact, I didn’t understand why it worked for the longest time until I did some research. I apologize for this long post, but it all had to be explained somewhere. The fact that very few people know how to fight this boss causes a lot of grief for those who want to go through this dungeon quickly for EXP or Henir for titles. Please, even if you don’t care how well you do in the end, be considerate to those who do.

So remember: only use multi-hitting moves when Magmanta enters Super Armor to attack you.

The more you know…

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