- Frost Escalation launches with 1.5.3 on February 4.
- Fight off the chilly frostbite status effect in Frost Escalation.
- Face new Deepfrost Behemoth variants.
- Power up your Escalation runs with avatar abilities.
- Complete the Realm of Ice Hunt Pass.
We were wise to heed the warnings, Slayer: The deathly cold of Skaldeskar beckons you to Frost Escalation. These bleak isles, dotted with warming braziers and tatters of the Frostwardens’ outpost, were once lively bastions before the people of Skaldeskar were driven into hiding by the threat of frost-feeding Behemoths.
In addition to new Behemoth variants, these islands house an existential threat to the Shattered Isles — one that the Skaldish Slayers of old have faced for generations: Urska, the Adversary of Vylmark.
Frost Escalation will test you like no Escalation before. Here’s what you need to know before facing these chilling new challenges.
The Best-Laid Plans
In addition to overcoming Frost Escalation’s perilous Behemoths, you will need to actively manage your frostbite level during Escalation runs. While the Skaldish have a leg up due to their “snowblood” — a genetic mutation that makes them resistant to frostbite — you’re not so lucky.
Frostbite will carry over between encounters, and you’ll need to make the most of the new tools at your disposal … or risk defeat.
During a Frost Escalation run, you can view your frostbite level in the meter to the right of your health and stamina bars. The bar is made up of two components:
- Frostbite bar - The bar starts at 0 (empty). As frostbite progresses, the bar fills up.
- Frostbite icon - When your bar reaches the frostbite icon, you will be frozen in place until you (or a teammate) reduce your frostbite level to 75% or less.
There are a number of ways to lower your frostbite level during a Frost Escalation run:
- Defeat the current Behemoth.
- Enter the warming aura of a brazier or a cleansing pylon.
- Take advantage of the active boon.
- Use your avatar ability. (Learn more about avatars and boons below.)
Another wrinkle you’ll want to keep in mind: Frostbite will accumulate a little faster after each Behemoth encounter you complete.
In addition to reducing frostbite, the braziers you encounter will prevent frostbite from building up as long as you remain in their area of effect. The same goes for cleansing pylons, a new consumable launching with 1.5.3. You can unlock the cleansing pylon on the Slayer’s Path and upgrade it to increase the number of pylons you can carry, their duration, and the size of their area of effect. Be sure to visit Granny Strega to craft a handful of these before heading to the frozen tundra.
Linnea Silver, the Queen of Skaldeskar, has come to aid any Slayer who braves the frozen wastes. During Frost Escalation runs, Linnea will offer boons, special blessings that empower Slayers to reduce frostbite in a variety of ways. Linnea will call out instructions based on the current boon, so pay close attention so you know what to do during the fight.
You will improve your chances against the threats found in Frost Escalation by adhering to your active boons and using them to keep your frostbite levels down.
Avatar abilities arrive with Frost Escalation as part of the 1.5.3 update. You will select one avatar ability at the start of a Frost Escalation run, granting you a specific bonus that plays into your ability to lower frostbite for you and your entire hunting party.
This is how each avatar ability will aid you during Frost Escalation:
- Avatar of Destruction - Increases your critical strike chance. Your critical hits reduce frostbite for all.
- Avatar of Control - Increases your stagger damage. Reduce frostbite for all when a Behemoth is staggered.
- Avatar of Unity - Grants a small chance to reduce frostbite when you hit and creates a shield for all party members. Two-second cooldown.
- Avatar of Subtlety - You deal bonus wound damage. Reduce frostbite for all when a Behemoth is wounded or has a part broken.
You can further upgrade your avatar abilities over the course of an Escalation run by choosing amps that directly improve your specific ability. These special amps unlock and become available on your run once you choose a starting avatar ability.
The Skaldish bring warnings of deadly Behemoth variants stalking the frozen archipelago, and the fearsome threat lying in wait for any Slayers who traverse the island chain.
The harsh biome of Skaldeskar has mutated a number of Behemoth species with powerful frost aether.
Beware the Deepfrost Skarn, with its sharp protective blades of ice, or the Deepfrost Gnasher, with its knack for hurling spheres of snow at unsuspecting Slayers. Before long you’ll also encounter a creature the Skaldish call the “Frostwülf.” Scholars like Dr. Priyani prefer the more precise moniker “Deepfrost Embermane” to identify the creature the Skaldish say can summon aether-fueled minions to its aid in combat.
The Adversary of Vylmark
The true test you’ll encounter in Frost Escalation stirs in a vast, cavernous hollow at the top of the island chain. With jaws strong enough to tear any foe to shreds, Urska will challenge you to use every tool at your disposal to come out victorious.
Arriving as part of update 1.5.3 is the Realm of Ice Hunt Pass. Here you’ll be able to unlock the striking armour of Skaldeskar, notable for its otherworldly beauty. You can collect both the Frost Shaper and Paladin of Vylmark armour sets by completing the Elite track of this Hunt Pass.
You can check out Frost Escalation and more when patch 1.5.3 launches Thursday, February 4.
We hope this report will aid you in your Frost Escalation hunts, Slayer. Stay frosty … but not too frosty.