Illusionist’s Gambit Strategy Guide

In today’s post I’m going to quickly walk you through the Illusionist’s Gambit skirmish. Designed as fun and interesting encounter, it’s not particularly challenging, at least not for the endgame crowd, but it can’t hurt to know some stuff in Lukan’s bag of tricks in advance. We also have linked some videos of runs in our preview of the skirmish from a few weeks ago. So make sure to visit that post as well!

The basic setup

First let’s talk about the basic setup. The skirmish consists of three phases that players need to beat for Bronze, Silver and Gold rewards. Between these phases, the team can vote to stay for the next tier of rewards or leave the map with the current one. Each additional phase comes with increased mob difficulty and length. Bronze has level 71 encounters, Silver level 72 and Gold level 73. Bronze can be done in 3-4 minutes by competent teams, a full Gold run usually takes 10-15 minutes. The maximum possible reward for Gold is 150 Abandoned Treasures, 50 Seal of the Elements, Fleece, one random piece of Companion Equipment and some XP and rough Astral Diamonds.

The possible quality of the Companion Equipment is also affected by the reward tier. Bronze only seems to include +1 and +2 versions, Silver assumingly goes up to +4 and only Gold can net +5. All completions always net the Fleece and daily Astra Diamonds, if eligible.

Walk of Shame

When players die, they are not out of the fight. They have to walk through a Portobello-like course and earn their way back into the arena. It’s really easy once you get it. The perfect time to go by the swinging halberds is when they’ve just passed the middle point.

Teams only lose the challenge if nobody is in the arena any longer. In this case you are forced to leave without rewards. Underpowered teams therefore should carefully judge whether they can make it through the next phase.

Reflecting Randomness

In each phase teams are placed on a platform on a random map. Except for the visuals this however has no effect whatsoever. The same is true for the varying mob types and boss monsters. Some groups might have trouble with the scorpion you know from the Lair of Lostmauth though. Its attacks can indeed hurt. Lukan himself, who needs to be killed for a Gold completion, doesn’t present much of a challenge either.

Some mechanics however are worth talking about. In addition to the randomized map and mobs, up to three random mechanics are thrown at groups. They show up in the quest log and you always should have an eye on the active ones. Most of them are negligible or just annoying, like the control ones that morph players into chicken or turn off powers. Some however can have an impact and should be avoided.

Icy Floor

The icy floor generally counts in the annoying category and is a nightmare for melees. The fact that you can hardly move can make it difficult to dodge certain other random environmental AoEs. So this can actually turn out quite dangerous.

Feeling light on your feet

“Feeling light on your feet” might be the coolest mechanic overall. It reduces the gravity in the arena and let’s players jump really high. Besides this being fun, it helps melees to move on icy floors and you also can’t be hit by mobs and AoEs while in the air. Ranged toons additionally can still attack from above.

Floor on fire and poison spheres

One of the harder-hitting environmental AoEs are the poison spheres you know from the Orcus fight and burning areas on the ground. Both should be avoided by lower item levels, but do not exactly present true danger for endgame geared toons. On the contrary the falling rocks and flame thrower do comparably small damage.

Reflect damage

The reflect damage is pretty much the only one that can constantly challenge teams, and most of the time it’s just an instant wipe. Some mobs do randomly reflect 100% of the damage and since players do dish out more than their health pool can handle, it leads to one-shots all over the place. Between a lot of really insignificant mechanics, this one seems to be completely overtuned. You should always warn your team in chat when reflect damage pops up and try to be more decisive with your powers.

Should I stay or should I go?

The voting mechanic is a vast improvement to the Underdark tiered successes. In Demogorgon, Prophecy of Madness and such, a Bronze run would take as long as a Gold run, which was pretty annoying. This has changed now and teams have to decide in advance whether they want a higher challenge for more rewards. In most cases you should be powerful enough to beat Gold, but it makes sense to monitor your team and judge on the fly. If you barely made it through Silver, it might be best to exit.

Since it’s a majority vote, three players unfortunately can force their will onto two others. There are some players farming only Bronze for the Fleece and their daily skirmishes, others want Gold for the best shot at Companion gear. Just be aware that in pugs you’re not guaranteed to land in a run that meets your own expectation. At the very least you should communicate upfront what reward tier your group is aiming for. Or just go in with a premade.

Group compilation

Which brings us to group compilation. You don’t necessarily need a classic healer and tank buildup, but it can’t hurt either since those are competent buffers as well. Generally ranged DPS perform a little better because the mobs start on the outside of the arena and are mostly dead before they can reach the group. Also melees have trouble with the icy floor as mentioned.

But there are really no mandatory requirements here. Just go in and have a good time with whatever!

I hope you liked the short introduction of Lukan and his Illusionist’s Gambit. Have any questions or remarks? Share them in the comments below or visit the corresponding thread on our message board!

Neverwinter UN:Blogged is always looking for writers to contribute to the blog. If you are an active player and search for a way to spread your opinions, analysis, diaries or reviews to more than 40,000 regular visitors, then don’t hesitate and get in touch with us on our contact page or message board! We are currently especially looking for console and PVP content, but that’s not exclusive. There is no frequency requirement, you post how often you want.


j0Shi plays the Neverwinter MMORPG since the open BETA in 2013 and is a regular contributor to the blog and the whole UN:Project. Originally a Guardian Fighter, he has built up ALTs of all classes and plays on BIS/near-BIS level.

10 thoughts on “Illusionist’s Gambit Strategy Guide

  • April 12, 2017 at 7:32 am

    Is silver better to farm or gold as its quicker?

    • April 12, 2017 at 7:38 am

      We don’t really see the upside of Silver at this point tbh. If you want Companion gear go Gold, and Bronze for Fleece farm.

      • April 12, 2017 at 8:57 am

        What if i aiming for +4 Gear? Is silver enough or it is still better to get gold? Im not interested on +5 equipment for this moment.

        • April 12, 2017 at 10:25 am

          We don’t have that data. All we can say is that Silver “probably” drops +4. Trying to fetch some comments from the “pros” on our message board.

      • April 12, 2017 at 9:56 am

        Why? Does gold have a better chance to drop +4, or simply an added chance to drop +5? If it’s the latter, then there is actually no reason to run gold.

        • April 12, 2017 at 10:26 am

          It should. Everything else would be just insane. But that’s based on logic and not actual numbers / knowledge.

          • April 12, 2017 at 12:23 pm

            Logic would also dictate that +5 items are better than +4 items of the same kind.

  • April 16, 2017 at 6:42 am

    I’ve seen 5s drop from bronze bruh

  • April 20, 2017 at 1:56 pm

    Pulled a +4 from bronze today. It’s not accurate to say you need silver or gold for +4/5

  • April 25, 2017 at 4:20 am

    Tip for ice terrain: classes with dodge mechanics, like TR, come to a complete stop at the end of the dodge, regardless if they’re standing on ice or not. Not sure if this holds true for DC’s slide or CWs teleport, but it’s easy enough to find out if you play those classes.

    -Fehlany /PS4

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