The Mad King’s Labyrinth, sometimes called “laby” by players, is a seasonal dungeon available during the annual Guild Wars 2 Halloween event. Learn what’s useful about the GW2 Labyrinth, winning strategies for maximizing your time there, whether to keep or sell your Trick-or-Treat Bags, and how to use this seasonal event most efficiently.
What Is the Labyrinth Good For?
The Labyrinth is the best way to farm Trick-or-Treat bags (“tot bags”) which can be opened or sold on the Trading Post. This is a fast way to earn gold.
The Labyrinth is also an excellent way to level up a low-level character. In fact, it is arguably the fastest way to level up in Guild Wars 2.
The Labyrinth is an instanced dungeon which can hold approximately 50 players. It is filled with hostile level 80 creatures, and doors which spawn events when they are opened.
The Labyrinth automatically up-levels your character to level 80 when you enter, so you can do Labyrinth on any level character.
The Labyrinth is also home to a mount-racing event. This race gives you a +25% boost to Magic Find, but only for 15 minutes.
The best way to run the Labyrinth is to join a squad. When you enter the Labyrinth, look for a commander tag. If your map does not have a tag, find a squad on LFG and join their instance.
Try to avoid running on foot through the map to reach your squad. There are just too many enemies to make this work. Use a raptor mount, if you have it. If not, you may be better off staying put until the squad returns to your corner.
To a certain extent, you can glide down from the entrance point (a waypoint located in the clouds high above the Labyrinth itself). Use caution, because when you cross over a wall, the Labyrinth may suddenly remove your glider. This will probably cause you to die and have to start again.
Halloween Labyrinth Gameplay
The Labyrinth is very straightforward. A squad will usually move through the map in a circular (often counter-clockwise) fashion. The commander will approach a door, optionally wait for the rest of the squad to catch up, then start the event.
If you arrive first, do not open the door yourself. Gather around the door, and wait for your squad leader to open it. Opening doors early won’t get you any extra loot. All it does is make it so that that fewer players get rewards from the event.
After your squad sweeps through the map and opens all the doors, you all have to wait for the doors to reset. This takes 5-15 minutes, long enough to take a quick break. Typically a squad will head to the center, climb the tower, and cluster together for this break.
Viscount, Lich, and Steve
In the past, many squads avoided engaging some or all of the Labyrinth’s three most difficult bosses:
- The Grand High Viscount of Candy Corn, a giant Candy Corn elemental sometimes called “vis.”
- Legendary Skeletal Lich, a giant skeleton with a black scythe.
- Labyrinthine Horror, a chainsaw-wielding skeleton dubbed “Steve”
New for 2020: Beating these bosses grants a Magic Find boost to all participating players.
The new Magic Find boost gives you a maximum of 3 stacks. (Note: The buff’s tooltip says there’s a maximum of 4, but this seems to be incorrect, based on player observations.) You get one stack for each of the three bosses (Viscount, Lich, and Steve).
The stacks have a combined timer of 20 minutes. Also, if a boss respawns, you lose your stacks. This strategy seems to be designed to make sure players keep killing the bosses as they go through the Labyrinth, instead of killing all the bosses once then ignoring them for the rest of the run.
Redditor xTeh has a great breakdown on the math involved here. If your squad has enough DPS to kill the boss in under 90 seconds, it’s always worth it to engage. If it’s going to take longer to kill the boss, then whether or not to engage depends on your squad’s Magic Find buff.
Keep or Sell Trick or Treat Bags?
The overwhelming evidence, year after year, is you will make more money if you sell your Trick or Treat bags.
Many people just can’t resist opening their Trick or Treat bags. Understandable! That’s also why they are worth more than the contents of their loot. Especially since the majority of the loot you get from bags is consumables like food and single-use Halloween finishers for PVP and WVW.
Recommended Labyrinth Builds
We recommend you bring either a farming character, or a character you want to level up. The following builds are great for farming:
- Turret/flamethrower Engineer
- Staff Necromancer with wells
- Traps/longbow Dragonhunter
Other classes will work as well, of course. Look for any AoE skills, and for long-distance skills which hit multiple enemies at once. You want to be able to tag as many enemies as possible, to maximize the amount of loot you earn.
Recommended Labyrinth Gear
We used to recommend you be kind to your fellow Labyrinth runners, and use garbage gear. The theory being that the less damage you do to enemies, the better, because it gives other players a chance to tag them, too.
However, the ongoing power creep has caused this problem to get worse every year. To the point where, from this year forward, we recommend you bring your everyday best gear. It’s a classic Tragedy of the Commons situation.
The exception would be if you join an organized squad, and the commander asks everyone to unequip their trinkets, and switch to their worst stats. If that’s the case, please do so.