Elder Scrolls Online Guide to Earning the “Ardent Bibliophile” Title (Black Drake Villa Trifecta) By: Irreverent_Aegis


Hey everyone, I’m back with another dungeon guide, this one for dungeon end-gamers looking to earn the Ardent Bibliophile title (hard mode, speed, run, and no death, simultaneously, in Black Drake Villa). I actually published the video guide a few days ago, as the written guides take a different type of effort to create, and I wasn’t in a writing mood until now.

Here’s the video walkthrough from my perspective as a tank for those interested: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LJAlzgdUGnA

Note #1: This guide is written for groups running 3 DPS and a tank. During our testing, we found that this trifecta is significantly harder with a healer, mostly due to Kinras Ironeye (the minotaur boss). That doesn’t mean healers can’t get this title, of course, but you would probably change your strategy to accommodate for slower burn on the bosses.

Note #2: The 3 DPS we brought average about 80K DPS on the trial dummy. With this, we were able to do all 3 secret bosses (not a requirement for the achievement), make a few errors which lost us about a minute total (actually, just SwagSpartan made the errors, and our whole group roasted him for it… although, in his defense, it was only his second time in the dungeon), and still finished in under 22 minutes (the speed component of this place is 25 minutes).

With that, here’s the guide!

Add pulls throughout the dungeon

  • For all add pulls before the first main boss (Kinras Ironeye, the minotaur), pull the groups of adds separately than the salamanders. The salamanders empower all the adds inside their flame circle, and that can lead to quick deaths, even for the tank, especially if the minotaur gets enraged. Regarding these add pulls, the minotaur is the only real threat, but barely. Tank should taunt it first and DPS should prioritize it.

  • All other add pulls in the dungeon between the first and second main boss (Captain Geminus) are very tame.

  • After the second boss, let the tank CC the mud crabs before the DPS go in. Those mud crabs are dangerous!

  • All other add pulls after the second boss have very obvious priorities. The big things get taunted and burned first… then anything on fire, then anything else.

Secret Boss #1

  • Absolutely, 100% do this boss, as it is a DPS buff for the group, and, more importantly, allows your group to transform into Ice Avatars, which make every single boss way easier. While the other two secret bosses are not necessary, this one is worth getting.

  • If you want to save a few seconds, the tank should grab the pressure plate closest to the secret hatch that leads to the boss. This will allow the tank to get in first and activate the boss. The trailing group members will get there in time to drop their DOTS before the boss is activated, leading to a super fast and completely trivial fight.

  • This boss teleports around, and it can be annoying, but not really all that dangerous. Just make sure the tank faces it away from the group.

  • Grab the 2 avatar fragments in the room before heading through the portal

Avatar Fragments

  • Should you track down every avatar fragment you see? It depends. Our group ran off and grabbed all of them, even if they were out of the way. Based on our test run, we knew we would have plenty of time to finish the dungeon and grab all the fragments, even the ones that were off the beaten path. Every fragment gives you an additional bonus to whatever buffs you grabbed.

Hard Mode #1- Kinras Ironeye

  • Heavy attacks: One heavy attack is a melee attack (swings his mace). The other heavy attack is a fireball (he does this when he isn’t holding his hammer). If the boss is enraged by a salamander, the tank needs to roll dodge the heavy attacks, as they can still hit for about 80K through a block.

  • Small Ground AOEs: The tank should just walk around these as they get put down.

  • Giant Earthquake AOE: Everyone needs to get out of this when it happens. If the boss is enraged, it’s a one shot.

  • Dealing with Salamanders: Salamanders with the big red AOE circle around them come up periodically throughout the fight, probably at fixed percentages, although I haven’t confirmed this. If they get to the boss, they enrage the boss, which is bad news. There are many ways of dealing with this. Here are some options. 1) A DPS should slot a taunt. Sometimes the salamander ignores the taunt and walks to the boss anyway, so this doesn’t always work. You also run the risk of someone pulling aggro on Kinras accidentally. We abandoned this strategy. 2) DPS should slot different types of crowd controls. A stun or fear works great. If that is followed with an immobilize, even better. If that is followed by a snare, awesome. If that is followed by a chain, pulling the sucker all the way back, then that’s just icing on the cake. All of these are not necessary, of course, and you don’t want to lose too much DPS by putting on every one of these, but those are the options. 3) All DPS should prioritize the salamanders when they come up, regardless of other mechanics. 4) The tank should walk the boss away from the salamanders if possible. 5) The tank should have a ranged crowd control in case the salamander gets free.

  • Totems: Totems get spawned throughout the fight. They send out mini fireballs to everyone. Overall, they don’t do a ton of damage. Totems should be destroyed only once salamanders are dead.

  • Chain: Later in the fight (not sure the exact percentage), Kinras will start randomly chaining down group members, preventing them from taking action. This will also put a growing AOE underneath them. Kinras needs to be interrupted to make this go away to prevent deaths.

  • Ice Avatar Strategy: Hopefully you did the first secret boss so you can do this. At 60%, we begin our ice avatar transformation rotation. This is just a series of back to back freezes on the boss and all salamanders/totems. Someone transforms and hits the “Whiteout” synergy, and then everyone goes ham on anything that is frozen. Shortly after, the next person transforms, waits until there are a couple of salamanders up, then hits the “Whiteout” synergy again. Rinse and repeat until the boss is dead. With 3 DPS averaging around 80K, 60% worked out well. If you have better DPS, you can start earlier. If you have worse, start a littler later. Bonus points for picking up avatar fragments while transformed. You summon ice scamps to fight on your side, and it’s fun to have a bunch of them running around throwing ice balls everything.

Secret Boss #2

  • Unlocking the secret boss, fighting him, picking up the avatar fragments, and going back through the portal took our group 2 minutes. Again, we had plenty of time to finish the speed run, so we chose to get the buff. The actual fight is a joke, so I have no writeup for it.

Secret Boss #3

  • Completing this secret boss also added about 2 minutes to our groups total time. The only “dangerous” mechanic in this fight is the big ice AOE attack that it does. It’s not that threatening. A single ground HoT would probably keep the whole group alive, or an individual spamming Swallow Soul or Jabs would be fine… as would having a Sorc with Crit Surge activated. Regardless, this is something to pay attention to, barely.

Hard Mode #2- Captain Geminus

  • Positioning: Tank should hold Geminus along the outer ring, facing her outwards. She has a double conal attack (a narrow conal followed by an extra-wide conal). This will one-shot your DPS, so the tank should just face her away.

  • Traps: Geminus throws out a bunch of traps all over the place. They hit fairly hard and put a DOT on anybody who touches them, so everyone should avoid them. If a person happens to hit one, just make sure they know to self heal through the DOT.

  • “Marked” Mechanic (AOE): Geminus will mark someone (their screen turns grey, and other people will see the mark as a red/black glow above the player). The marked player should get away from the group, as Geminus will teleport over and put out a giant AOE. This needs to be blocked or dodged. Other players should stay away from the marked person (I’m talking to you, Swag (timestamp 7:32)).

  • “Marked” Mechanic (barrage of arrows): A second marked mechanic happens later in the fight. Instead of Geminus teleporting and putting out a big AOE, she teleports and starts barraging the marked target with arrows. This can be interrupted or blocked through.

  • Adds: Archer adds will spawn along the outer border throughout the fight. One DPS should go around killing them as they spawn so they don’t overwhelm the group. Someone with “Crushing Shock” as the spammable is helpful because they have a fairly strong attack that should be interrupted, but it isn’t required. The boss also spawns beast creatures. The tank can range taunt them, and they’ll run in.

  • Ice Avatar Strategy: Right before the boss goes invulnerable at 70%, someone (not the tank) should transform into an Ice Avatar. As soon as the Air Atro comes up, that person should hit the “Whiteout” synergy. Bye bye Air Atro. At 30%, the same thing happens, except after the first Air Atro dies, a second one spawns, so your 3rd DPS should be ready to transform once you kill it. The only danger with the Air Atronachs is if they come out and heavy attack a DPS before the tank draws aggro. That’s why the tank shouldn’t transform here. After the last Air Atro dies, Geminus comes back out. After Geminus inevitably teleports across the room to do a mechanic, the tank should run over to the transformation pad, transform, and hit “Whiteout.” Then the DPS can focus boss until death.

Hard Mode #3- Pyroturge Encratis

  • I wrote a guide for this boss a couple weeks ago. We use the “Freeze Strategy” and the boss dies before anything happens.

  • Here’s a link to the freeze strategy guide I wrote.

  • Seriously, this boss is the biggest joke with that strat.

  • In the Ardent Bibliophile video I posted at the top of this post, Swag actually messed up the strat by transforming in the first room instead of waiting, but it still almost worked like it was supposed to.

Anyway, if you’re looking to knock out this trifecta, hopefully this guide will serve as a great starting point for you. Again, here is the link to the video walkthrough that shows my team completing it.



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