A powerful curse has overtaken the Firestorm Citadel, transforming its hordes and lead by the mighty Darkfire Vanaduke! He is a curse-themed version of the Tier 3 boss, Lord Vanaduke. He is one of the four bosses released with the Shadow Lair patch.
First you must reach depth 23. This can be easily done directly accessing Emberlight, then traveling through the Clockworks to D23. Once at depth 23, just walk past Basil to reach the Shadow Lair access area. In order to access the Darkfire Vanaduke Shadow Lair, somebody in your party will need Shadow Lair Clearance Level 3, and somebody will need to use one Shadow Key to open the terminal for your party. (Only one Key is needed to give your entire party access to the Shadow Lair). Once you have opened the terminal, your party will be locked / closed and you won't be able to change the members (except to lose members) during the rest of the journey through the Shadow Lair.
Vanaduke's abilities do not alter beyond his colors. The only change to Vanaduke himself is that during the Bullet Phases, he will have two more orbiting bullets than his uncursed counterpart. His immunity expands to Shivermist (and perhaps all Haze Bombs), and his mace can now inflict curse. His mask's bullets will also now inflict curse, and phase one of the battle will now have shadow fire spawn.
The true challenge comes in the significant increase in monsters summoned to assist him, and the Swarm Source. Phase one will have six Carnavons, phase three will have two Carnavons and two Almirian Shadow Guards, and phase five will start with two Slag Walkers and two Almirian Shadow Guards, but will be immediately dismissed for four Carnavons and two Almirian Shadow Guards again (likely due to a bug).
Before engaging, it is best to decide who among your party will focus on the Almirian Shadow Guards and Carnavons (preferably two people), keep knocking back the Swarm Seed, water Vanaduke's Mask (this is an overlapping role), and finally, maintain DPS and aggro of Vanaduke himself, best done with an Argent Peacemaker or Blitz Needle.
- Almirian Shadow Guards are best defeated quickly. A Spin Charge Attack, such as the Leviathan/Cold Iron Vanquisher's or Fang of Vog's is ideal, but Voltedge is also useful in its charge, locking its back to the user for a second to get in a few extra swings.
- The Seed is best kept back with an extremely high DPS weapon. A sword combo, however, will roll off of the seed, even with the use of Auto Target. Using a Flourish style weapon is ideal in combination with Attack Speed Increase, and Shield Cancelling.
- Watering immediately as Vanaduke's phase change finalizes is vital. With no bullets to block approach, all party members can approach the Mask without fear of damage as well as charge their weapons for a devastating opening attack, but one player must carry the water up to the mask to maximize the effectiveness. With enough damage, the mask will be chipped/destroyed before it re-ignites.
- This job isn't as important as Almirian Shadow Guards, but is vital nonetheless. When maintaining aggro, it's important to constantly hit Vanaduke, as well as water him when you can. It's your job to make sure Vanaduke attacks you, and not your team. So be careful where you run to, you may very well drag Vanaduke's charge attack into a teammate.
- When a job is completed, it's important to join in on damaging Vanaduke. When it's time to go back to a job, make sure Vanaduke isn't following you. If he is, then you've switched jobs, and will have to run with it.
Rewards: After The Darkfire Vanaduke is defeated you will get quadruple the amount of Red Boxes unlike the normal Vanaduke.