Hello my fellow suicidal friends! Want to die at Cygnus Empress? Want to see the ultra pretty lady sweep you off your feet? You have come to the right place, haha. In this guide I will take you from the very first prequest to your death wish. She is after all the prettiest and hardest boss in the game across every single version of this game. This guide is a work in progress, a guide I created with personal experience with this pretty lady with all my wonderful friends who drop tombstones everyday. If you are able to provide more information please comment below or inbox me!
To join any Cygnus Expedition you must have a Cygnus Emblem as well as a Dream Key.
A quick note: Worlds without Channel 14 cannot defeat Empress because you cannot enter the battle room
This is probably the one area people have the most problems with because the NPCs in Henesys Ruins activates quests when you turn 165. The main point is to obtain the emblem so we will skip all the unnecessary quests. The list looks long but it takes less than 10 minutes to finish the entire prequest!
Starting at Henesys ruins
1. Start this quest [Required] Chief Alex from Chief Alex
2. Answers: Kerning City, You were a runaway, Stan, An old golden watch
3. Get quest [Required] Henesys in Ruins from Chief Alex.
4. Followed by talking to Athena Pierce who is located right beside Chief Alex.
5. Now take the quest [Required] The Fall of Cygnus.
6. After you've completed The Fall of Cygnus quest, talk to Chief Alex again and start Scouting the Stronghold.
7. Now proceed to Ereve Forked Road.
8. Proceed to the portal at the right.
9. Now you'll complete the quest Scouting the Stronghold.
10. Head back to Henesys Ruins and complete the quest.
11. Now get the quest Piercing defenses.
12. Proceed back to the same place and hunt the monsters for the Cygnus Knight Emblem.
13. Obtain 1 Cygnus Knight Emblem from Official Knight A or Official Knight B.
After you've acquired the Cygnus Knight Emblem, go back to Henesys Ruins to complete the quest via Chief Alex.
14. Now start the quest which is called Informant.
The Informant is located at Knight District 2, 2 maps away from Stronghold Entrance(The place where you hunt Cygnus Knight Emblem)
15. Complete the quest Informant.
16. Now start the quest New Information.
17. Proceed back to Henesys Ruins.
18. Talk to Chief Alex to complete the quest.
19. Now go back to Informant and start the quest Cygnus Garden.
20. Proceed to Hall of Honour.
(There's a short cut to it at the Knights' Chamber 1, just use the portal at the top)
Now once you reach the Hall of Honour, proceed to the portal at the bottom right and use it, then head back to Henesys Ruins to complete the quest.
21. Now, talk to Ex-chief Stan and start the quest a key.
22. Proceed to Jay select Dream Key.
23. Now return to Chief Alex and select Alex's promise.
24. Now talk to Chief Alex and start the quest Stop Cygnus!
Return to Knight District 2, go to the portal on the top of the map. This portal is a doorway to 5 maps:
Knight Stronghold: Hallowed Ground (dawn)
Knight Stronghold: Hallowed Ground (blaze)
Knight Stronghold: Hallowed Ground (wind)
Knight Stronghold: Hallowed Ground (demon)
Knight Stronghold: Hallowed Ground (thunder)
Enter each portal to kill the monster that is inside. Each monster will drop a different stone. The first four maps will give you a stone in your etc. inventory. The stone of Thunder will be a stone in Use inventory. Double click the thunder stone. You now have a dream key.
To use the dream key return to The Hall of Honor. The following door will take you to Cygnus Garden. Once you enter the Garden the dream key will disappear.
Once inside the Cygnus Garden you will not be able to return outside or go to cash shop. If you have a party with you they should enter the Garden with you so that you can declare the expedition. You may change channels inside Cygnus Garden
To start this expedition all members must be over the level 170 and have a dream key. The expedition requires a party of 3, the other two do not have to enter the garden with you. (Hint: Some people choose to enter the Garden to solo Empress, with two fillers in the party such like Zakum party quest.) The maximum number of people allowed in the expedition is 18 members, 3 full parties. If you have 18 members you will not be able to move members from party to party due to hitting party cap. You can only declare the expedition if you are in channel 14 (the npc says channel 12. This is a Nexon typo.)
Let the fun begin :] The following is a description of what commonly happens upon declaring the expedition.
Once the declaration has been made, the first declaring party will automatically be entered into the final boss room. All other parties must click the npc to enter the boss room. You have five minute (4:59) for all members to enter.
Upon entering Cygnus Empress is summoned in the middle of the room. When she is awake she can do series of different attacks at any time, however she wants. Generally speaking she starts off easy and goes to sleep after being rushed around a little bit. The room itself has potion lock, you will only be able to use a potion once every 30 seconds.
Empress has the following skills:
Tornado: She literally sweeps you off you're feet (What? Did you think I was kidding? xD) by creating a tornado right over you. Once you are in the tornado 1000 damage will be done to you every second. She releases you after 10-15 seconds. If possible have the bishop stand close by to heal you. You can use potions inside the tornado.
Banishment: She sends you to a different room with small summons, they have minimal HP, no potion lock inside this room! If you are sent to this room, make good use of it and use your potions or whatever else you need to! (This is my favorite skill she has)
Summon: These include Shinshoo, Oz, Hawkeye, Mikhile, Irena, Eckhart, Advanced knight A-E
Will go into detail on this later
Zombify: for 10 seconds with 100% probability at 800% range. If the party bishop uses heal in this mode the entire party dies (due to holy attribute). Potions used in this phase will only heal you half the effect.
Damage Reflect: physical and magic damage reflection for 15 seconds with 500-50,000 damage. Anyone in your party that attacks Empress will die. The attack reflects off Empress and hits your own party. Sure death, don't touch her when she has a purple shield over her head! Blue shield+wheel animation = physical DR, Red shield+wheel animation = magic DR. Both result in a purple silver shield over her head.
Recover HP: When her health suffers significant damage she will heal her HP 30%
Potential lock: with 100% probability blocks hidden potential for 60 seconds at 800% range. All %stat will be nullified, in otherwords for that whole minute you will be super weaksauce. If you are depending on %stat for secondary class stat to equip your weapon, your weapon will be disabled. If you require your %stat potential to equip gear that gives set bonus, the set bonus will be disabled if you are not equipping the item due to the nullified potential.
Transformation/Doom: the Empress equivalent of a bishop's Doom skill, she can transform you into a pig. In pig form you cannot attack or teleport, you can only walk (run away!) or jump away from her to prevent receiving damage. (Contributed by Moonlitbow)
Dark Genesis: Dark purple and white pillars come out from above and below Her casting time and skill animation time is much shorter than a Battle Mage's Dark Genesis. (Contributed by Moonlitbow)
Reverses controls: A green skull appears above the player for 12 seconds. Affected members will have reversed controls (walking left = walking right) Range: 800%.(Contributed by Moonlitbow)
Before you worry about Empress however, her summons are probably the first and foremost problem. In order to do any damage to Empress, she must be awake. Once she summons, she goes to sleep. Her summons are all the Ereve Knights of Cygnus that give you your first job when you make a Cygnus Knight. They work for her, they will attack you and do everything in their power to protect the empress.
Eckhart-Knight of Cygnus-Night Walker, level 188. Weak to holy skills. He can use shadow web (stun lock), summon Advanced Knight A, Avenger and Vampire. Bishop should stand back when Eckhart is summoned so that he can heal the party while the rest of the party is webbed.
Oz-Knight of Cygnus-Blaze Wizard, level 188. She can seal, summon Advanced Knight B (the mini oz's), summon Ifrit, use explosion, use fire pillar, Meteor strike (ulti) and flame gear. Weak to ice. Oz has the tendancy of "disappearing" off the screen and becoming a blue smudge because she uses the skill teleport mastery to deal damage after jumping. When this happens your computer cannot catch up to the speed at which she is teleporting so she becomes a smudge. While you cannot deal damage in her smudge phase, it unglitches after she jumps again. During this time you do not receive touch damage from her but you also cannot attack her. You can use this time to kill her summons, heal/use a potion, rebuff or keep attacking until she unglitches
Hawkeye-Knight of Cygnus-Thunderbreaker, level 188. He summons Advanced Knight C weak to poison. Commonly uses sharkwave and shockwave. Aside from the damage that he does he is probably one of the easiest knights.
Irena-Knight of Cygnus-Wind Archer. She summons Advanced Knight D, weak to fire. Commonly uses wind piercing, and arrow rain. She has a skill that can kill anyone in party with 1 hit.
Mikhail-Knight of Cygnus-Dawn Warrior, he summons Advanced Knight E, level 188, no elemental weakness, can break through holy shell (bishop skill) with one strike of soul driver, commonly uses soul driver and soul blade.
Shinsoo-Not your worst enemy, level 190, has 70mil hp. Shinsoo's main function is to protect Empress and recover HP/MP of nearby mobs by 21,000,000/150,000. If he is summoned just kill him quickly and/or rush him away from the other mobs. Multiple Shinsoos can be summoned by Empress.
There are basically two sets of summons for the knights, the first one generally does not drop anything unless there's a trick I am not aware of. Each set contains one of the 5 knights, the first set is summoned one at a time. The second set Lady Empress summons all 5 of her knights at once (all of which summons their own advanced knights). Generally speaking it is the second set which would drop the desired Empress armor. All the instructors can drop these items but at a very low drop rate. Only Empress herself drops the level 140 empress weapons, which is currently unavailable because Empress is glitched and kicks people out of the room before we get the satisfaction of seeing her die.
This applies to all potions, attribute and dispelling potions. Basically anything in your "use" inventory that heals or gives attributes will have a 30 second cooldown after the first potion is used.
Some familiars heal you or your entire party hp/mp per 10 seconds. This includes Mutant Snails, Castle Golems, and other familiars. This DOES work, it will passively heal your hp/mp as it should for your entire party however the person who summoned the familiar will have potion lock the entire time. The message will repeatedly appear on the familiar's owner "A strange force..." which means you are unable to use potions at that time. If the entire party is using multiple snails this won't be a huge problem because each member will receive the same message but passively heal hp and mp through each other's snails. A glitch about the familiars: sometimes even if you are dead your familiar continues to heal hp/mp for your party.
Leech Aura: Leech aura works as long as the Demonslayer is attacking, regular attack or any attack works. Leech aura gives the whole party 3% of his damage converted into party HP heal, it is a active-passive skill. Active for the demonslayer who has to activate it by attacking monster, but passive for the rest of the party. The more demonslayers you have, the better leech aura works.
Once you are dead, you are dead. If you click ok, you will be taken to the Rear of Cygnus garden, you will not be able to re-enter the battle.
Resurrect: Bishop skill, 10 minute cooldown. Generally more than one person dies on multiple occasions due to casualty of war (0 hp), damage reflect (one hit kill) or zombify (everyone's dead). A bishop can only resurrect the party members within 1/3rd screen range of the Bishop's location. A bishop can resurrect another bishop if they are in the same party. Keep in mind there is a 10 minute cooldown which can be timeleaped by a buccaneer within the same party. Using Combat Orders before Resurrection will decrease cooldown time to 6 minutes.
Soul Stone: Evan skill, 6 minute cooldown. Party members of the Evan is randomly chosen to receive this buff, if they die they will revive in the same room if they choose to. Using combat orders before Soul Stone will increase number of party members affected, if maxed all 6 members will receive Soul Stone within range of the casting Evan. Cooldown is 6 minutes upon casting. 1 minute delay inbetween next cast. (contributed by Urvin)
Wheels of Destiny: cash shop item. Must be purchased before entering Cygnus Garden, if you choose to use wheel of destiny you will reenter the room with 50 hp on the left side of the room. You are still in the same room as the monsters and Empress. Generally monsters are rushed to the right side to keep the spawn point clear however once everyone dies from damage reflect nothing is holding the monsters back on the right side. If everyone is dead save your wheels, you're finished.
-keep everything as much as possible on the right side of the room away from the first portal. The spawn point for wheels, and soul stone is right next to this portal.
-keep at least one bishop in each party, if your bishops are dead have them revived/resurrected as soon as possible
-if you are going on a serious run, you need at least 5 wheels.
-do no use your wheel until you know your spawn point is clear. You must use a potion upon resurrection (you have 50 hp, every monster hits at least 13k)
-you must be 170 to enter the expedition (its the expedition requirement set by nexon)
-you must be 188 to hit all the monsters without missing
-magic crash (MC) is a skill heros, dark knights and paladins have which can be used on all the bosses to disable their attacks. This works on Empress to avoid damage reflect as well, this must be timed and set an order of who uses MC. Try to avoid overlapping MC so that you can keep her crashed as much as possible.
-magic guard is a very good tool for mages because they naturally have very low hp and very high mp. Very rarely does any of the summons or monsters dispel. Try to use HP potions or hyper body on mages to avoid instant death from soul driver though.
Amnesiccat: Empress has a ''Bomb'' skill. If the skill is active on you, when you go near other members of the expedition, the bomb will explode and deals X amount of damage (I remember taking about 7-8k damage, but I think it depends on your weapon def.)
Toscox/Biker123: Paladins have a much stronger survivability against Empress. If possible it is very important to have a paladin use Combat Orders on the bishop before using the skill resurrection to decrease cool down time to 6 minutes.
Biker123: Empress summons the second set of Knights around 50% hp on Empress. The trigger for her to release the second set is currently unknown.
Takeback3r: all the instructors/Knights drop the desired armor but at a very low rate. Evan's Soul stone affects all party members when used with Paladin's Combat Orders
Q: Ryuushinou: HOW effective is Party Shield(BaM) and Smokescreen(Shadower) in these runs? Does it help alot or "it's okay, but takes up party slot" or "too short=useless"?
A: App1e: Battle mages and shadowers are great assets to a team to begin with due to damage output, having these shield type skills such as Party Shield, Smokescreen, Holy shell are shortlived but wonderful and effective skills to protect the party as a whole. In an effective team these skills are best used when Empress is awake or when all 5 Knights/Instructors are summoned to protect the whole group. In these cases the skill should be used when all the monsters are rushed to one side to avoid being attacked outside the protected area. Use these skills when you think the group as a whole is overwhelmed.
Q:Fuzzy: I thought Mages didn't have i-frames... Or am I playing my mage wrong?
A: App1e: True enough mages do not have iframes but mages have Magic Guard. Use this in combination with hyperbody and a few alchemy hp boost potions and you are good to go. Mages are ranged attackers, we can attack from far enough that we don't take as much damage or knockback but close enough that our attacks still hit the monsters. Soloing however, mages would have a particular problem keeping alive because our hp could be anywhere between 3.7k (females particularly because there is not female decent hyperbody skill available) to 10k (male with decent hyperbody and some hp wash). We're okay for the most part because our mp takes the hit for us but when we run out of both and potion is still on cooldown, tombstone time!
Hongyu1230: It is possible that when Oz disappears someone must reenter the map using wheel/banishment for her to reappear.
App1e: Usually when I organize my suicide runs/daily fun runs I tell my runners not to bring/waste wheels. When Oz disappears none of my runners reenter map in any way since we don't use our wheels. Banishment is only possible when Empress is awake (in which case Oz would not disappear). Unless you're
Moonlitbow: Debuffs and attacks
-Empress also reverses your directional keys (Didn't know what it was at first and walked right into her)
The icon pops up as a black-purple demon face looking thing above your character
-The short to medium dark genesis attack
-I'm pretty sure you get pot locked as soon as you head into the room for Empress since my damage drops from 150-175ks to 50-75ks and if one gets pot lock debuffed, further damage decrease is seen (50ks to 30ks) but I'm not 100% sure about this. I just see my damage DROP when I go in the room.
App1e: not true! A message appears in your chat screen that tells you when you have been potential locked, a treasure chest appears above your head when you are in potential lock. She just really hates you
-Minimum level to hit ALL mobs in Empress is 188 as the last 5 real Knight summons are level 188 each.
-Multiple Shinsoos can be summoned at once so be wary of extra dragons flying around
-Thieves Ninja Ambush and DB's Chains of Hell DO NOT trigger DR (Ambush does full damage while Chains do 1's)(And familiars but yeah, not really worth mentioning damagewise LOL)
-Mechs contribute A LOT for Empress with their AMP buffs, rush, and Mech door skill (Sorry don't know what it's called)
-Mercs should always Spikes Royale when possible since that extra -20% Def (Maxed) is handy
-Be aware of Eckhart and Hawkeye as Vamp and Sharks have a pretty long range
-Oh and KB the heck out of Hawkeye because he's fast as heck ._.
-Whenever Emperss summons a mob of like 20 of those nooby minions, be wary of her using DR while your expd tries to kill off the mobs. She's a sneaky B.
Q:Nicklefists: so the recovery skills do not have cd in there? like Pally's Recovery, Bucc's Energy Drain....
A:App1e: these skills do not have a cooldown in the room as long as the skill itself does not have a cooldown. Example: Bucc's Energy Drain, Nightlord's Drain does not have cooldown so they can be used continuously. Demonslayer's Blood Raven has a 20 second cooldown. This cooldown is still effective. Potion cooldown does not combine with potion cooldown! They are separate so if you space them out properly you're good to go
-The 30 people who die with me at empress to figure this guide out
- aloley who taught me how to put in headers
-Icephoenix21 who mentioned Oz's disappearing act, the summon sets and drops.
-all the contributors in the section above! -gives cookies and milk/juice (if you're allergic to milk )