OK. Maybe my life isn't so exciting, since I find myself spending Independence weekend playing Wiz101 instead of getting out. What do I have to show for that time?
1. Two pieces of Amber. Where did I get those? I beat the Sand Squid encounter twice. It took me between an 90 minutes to 2 hours per battle. Those are long battles, but I soloed them. If there were more people on the team, it might be a shorter battle. But each battle I got one Amber drop, along with some components to make more Amber after crafting conversion. Two hours for a fight might seem like a point of diminishing return, but also think how long it takes to farm other bosses for the components to craft one piece of Amber, or how long you have to garden for to get a chance at Amber. I don't know the drop rate for this... I might have gotten incredibly lucky, but this may be a very good way to farm it. If you get a dedicated farming team, this could wind up being an excellent farming mechanism.
2. I got no Sea Dragon (yet). What I did get was a better understanding of Trial of the Spheres, and a faster way to farm the bosses (solo). And in the end, that meant a good amount of gold after heading back to the Bazaar.
Contrary to what I previously wrote, doing damage every turn to Astreaus won't prevent him from resummoning his minions. It just seems to be random. What I did figure out is that what you intend to do after the fight shapes how your deck should be built. Are you going to only farm Astraeus over and over? Stack your deck with Colossal Meteor Strike and pepper it with Fire Blade, Sharpened Blade, and Sir Lamorak. Add in one or two Empowerments to get a bit faster pip generation, and just burn him down. If instead you prefer to do the whole dungeon over and over, since all of the bosses have a chance to drop the Sea Dragon, Power Link and Pixie should be in the rotation along with more Empowerment to maximize the pip. Power Link gets you a pip back with Empowerment, and Pixie is going to be off school casting for most of you. So I have three pre-made decks for Trial of the Spheres.
- quick burn Meteor Strike deck (kill Astraeus, port out and replenish health and mana and jump back in)
- slower mass damage over time and heal deck (get through Astraeus and Ptolemos without using a potion and being near full life)
- more typical boss kill deck tailored to the Mithraya fight (Sideboard of one blade and one trap, lots of blades and traps and only a couple of Efreet for the kill, and as many Glacial Shields as I could fit into the deck)
For the entirety of the Trial of the Spheres, I ran with Fire resistant gear. There are far too many Meteor Strikes to run with anything else. At one point, I ran out of space for treasure cards. I had farmed so hard, and already had close to 400 not in decks, I hit the limit and had to throw some out and vend the rest.