We have all heard the legends of the First Slayer and their battle against the “storm dragon” known as the Malkarion. An impossible beast, we believed: an exaggerated description of an ancient Behemoth, but not something that ever truly existed. The Malkarion was supposed to be an amalgamation of many stories. Not an actual living, breathing Behemoth but a symbol of the danger that faced humanity in those early days after the Upheaval.
It was inevitable we would learn that the Malkarion, like so many of the recent Behemoth discoveries, was no myth. And while broken island chains riddled with archonite lodestones may be what lured the species out of the Maelstrom’s heart, once it spreads its wings there will be no place safe from its power.
Yes, the Malkarion are very real – and an existential threat to the Shattered Isles. All the more reason to wipe them out.
-From Dr. Priyani’s Report On Recent Behemoth Discoveries (Vol. 73)
DEATH FROM ABOVE
With the release of the Stormchasers update and Escalation comes a powerful new adversary: the aerial Behemoth, Malkarion.
Slayers who prove their strength in Escalation – by reaching the topmost island with an Escalation level of 40 or more – will earn the right to face the elusive storm serpent. But getting to the Malkarion is only the first part of the challenge. You’ll also need to learn to survive the fight.
As an aerial creature, Malkarion’s greatest advantage in this fight is distance. While it does occasionally veer within range of strikers and swords, this is not an on-the-ground battle. “Repeaters!” you might think. But the long range damage drop-off remains a problem. How, then, do you take on a creature that’s determined to hover just out of reach?
For the first time ever in the history of Dauntless, Slayers will be able to mount a Behemoth, dealing massive damage from atop the creature’s head, back, or tail. This isn’t a first-to-the-party situation, either. Multiple Slayers can mount Malkarion at once, opening it up to maximum destruction.
You’ll know it’s time to start the attack when aether jets appear on the battlefield. Pick one, hop on, and target the part of the Behemoth you want to lock on to. If your aim is true, you’ll find yourself securely mounted and ready to attack.
PICK A SIDE
When it comes to mounting, location matters. Aim for the head to do big stagger damage, choose the body for solid standard hits, or hop on to the tail if you’re going for the sever. But whatever you choose, keep your strategy in mind. While it might be tempting to aim for that tail break, there’s also big value in going for the head – and a full stagger. With a Behemoth as aerial as the Malkarion, those windows of staggered on-the-ground time can count for a lot.
The Malkarion may be the first Behemoth that you can mount, but it won’t be the last. We’re already looking at ways to make mounted attacks work with future fights. Keep an eye on our roadmap for a high-level look ahead, and share your mounted screenshots with us on Twitter! We’re excited to see how you use this new technique.
TOOTH AND TAIL
While Slayers may have mounted attacks on their side, a Malkarion isn’t without its tricks. Its retinue of shock attacks will keep even the best Slayers scrambling for cover, and the Malkarion is the first Behemoth with a grappling attack – an extended attack that Slayers can’t easily escape from.
The Malkarion’s version of this attack is a combination chomp and tail slam. Once you’re in its jaws, it’s a long, painful ride back to solid ground.
If you don’t want to spend the rest of your life wringing Behemoth saliva out of your gear, you’ll need to get smart and study up on the Malkarion’s tells. This is an attack that you can dodge – if you get the timing right – and doing so is the best way to keep your limbs intact. Not so confident in your dodge roll? Call on your teammates. With enough damage, they’ll be able to interrupt the chomp-and-stomp sequence and save you a bit of health bar destruction.
Ready to take on a wild Malkarion? Then it’s time to head over to Escalation. Slayers who reach an Escalation level of 40 or more during their run will encounter a Malkarion on the topmost island. But the real challenge lies in getting there intact. Head over to our Escalation page for details and tips on how to survive.
The Malkarion is also our first Behemoth with a set of legendary weapons! These extra-versatile weapons won’t be easy to craft, but the effort is worth the powerful perks. Each legendary offers two prismatic cell slots (compatible with any cell you own) and the ability to bond with other weapons. Weapon bonding lets you choose another weapon from the same aether family (e.g. shock) and add its perks and effects to your legendary.
Legendary weapons also come with legendary abilities. These powerful moves – like Cyclonic Fury’s shock teleport – can add big numbers to your damage total, but are limited to one use per fight. You’ll need to defeat the Behemoth you’re battling before you can use your ability again.
Slayers who make their way deep into the Escalation talent tree can also pick up another gear perk: the Malkarion Ultra Armour. This Escalation-exclusive cosmetic set can be applied to your base Malkarion armour for an alternate look – and the bragging rights inherent in having conquered a season. Wear it proudly.