Archives For tier 11

Strategy: Nefarian

Morynne —  June 24, 2011 — 1 Comment

Finally!

I managed to get into my guild’s Nef kill. So here we go!

  • Name: Nefarian
  • Raid: Blackwing Descent
  • Tanks Needed: 2-3
  • Phases: 3
  • Catch: Very different mechanics in each phase.
  • This guide is for the normal encounter.

This fight is broken up in three phases, the first of which you have to kill undead Onyxia — which is amazing in and of itself.  Second phase is dealing with a lot of raid damage and interrupts, and the third phase is a burn phase.

Phase 1: Sibling Rivalry

The fight begins by jumping off the ledge and pulling Onyxia.  If you are late jumping down, or forget, Nef will nuke you from space, so make sure you pay attention.

Nef Phase 1

Positioning is important on this fight, as Ony and Nef can’t be close to each other because they buff each other.  When Ony is pulled, my guild moves her off to the right on the grate (from the platform perspective) with her head pointing toward the wall on the right side of the circle. (Confusing enough? Check diagrams) Nef comes down 30 seconds into the fight, and we pull him around the pillar on the left, again, on the grate.

Onyxia has a mechanic for DPS that is really a pain, especially for range.  She does Tail Lash behind her , Shadowflame Breath in front of her, and Lightning Discharge to her sides.  Range will typically stand off to her side, or close to one of her back feet.  When Lightning Discharge happens, quickly move between her back legs to avoid the discharge. You will be hit with the Tail Lash, but that damage is less than the discharge.  Definitely a “lesser of two evils” decision.

Nef is pretty similar when it comes to abilities, but a more persistent lightning mechanic.  Nefarian casts Tail Lash and Shadowflame Breath just like Onyxia, but instead of Lightning Discharge, he casts Electrocute, a massive Nature-damage AOE that is triggered at every 10% of his HP. Use personal and raid-wide cooldowns to reduce damage.

Several Animated Bone Warriors spawn from Nefarian’s Hail of Bones. On 25s, the adds are kited by a tank but on 10s, they can be handled by dps with kiting and CC abilities. The raid should move away when the adds are spawning, or else they will take shadow damage. These adds begin with 100 energy and can be slowed and stunned. The adds will die when their energy decreases to 0.  The goal here is to get all the adds to die in a pile so when Phase 3 begins, they’re easy to pick up.

The goal of this phase is to DPS Onyxia down, and kill her, after about 2 cycles of Nefarian’s Electrocute.  When Onyxia dies, you will move into Phase 2.  The strategy I’ve used is to have a DPS on Nef as soon as he lands, then when your DPS tank for the Bone Warriors is done with them, get on Nef and DPS there.  Then as another cycle of Electrocute comes up, move another DPS over to Nef.  Fun fact: If you position correctly, your folks on Nef will not be hit by Lightning Discharge.

The positioning on the Bone Warriors is also important.  They should not be in the line of fire of the shadow breath from Nef or Onyxia — they reanimate with those hits.  Once they’re down in phase 1, you want them to stay down.

Phase 2: Magma is Hot

Once Onyxia dies, Nef takes flight and fills the basin with magma.  It’s hot, you want to minimize your time in it.  It’s important to have a plan for your raid prior to entering this phase.

Each pillar will have a mob on it, and has an ability that MUST be interrupted.  Ideally, each pillar will have 1 healer, 1-2 DPS, and at least one person who can interrupt.  Shaman are great because the cooldown on their interrupt is very quick, as opposed to Scatter Shot or Silencing Shot, with it’s awesome 20-30 second CD.

Once those mobs are down on all three pillars, the magma will drain.  Jump off the pillar and enter phase 3.

Phase 3: Burn!

This phase is very similar to phase 1, minus Onyxia. Tank Nefarian in the center of the room. Raid will still need to watch out for Electrocutes, Shadowflame Breath, and Tail Lash.

Bone Warriors will be reanimated during this phase with Shadowblaze, so again, that tidy pile makes things much easier here.

Nefarian will periodically cast Shadowblaze Spark in the direction of the Animated Bone Warriors which will regen their energy in a similar fashion to Shadowflame Breath and damage anyone standing in the purple fire. (As always, stay out of stuff trying to eat your feet) The add tank must make sure the adds are not slowed or snared at this point, to make it easier to move them away when this casts. As the fight progresses, Nefarian will cast Shadowblaze Spark progressively faster, covering the room in purple fire and making it extremely difficult to kite.

The easiest way we’ve found to handle positioning on this phase is to again, tank Nef in the middle of the room, and tank the warriors out closer to the grate.  Your warrior tank will move in one direction (clockwise or counter, doesn’t matter) and Nef should be adjusted slightly in the opposite direction.  All of your raid (other than your tanks) should be grouped up on Nef’s side and make sure to keep moving as he’s being turned.  This is where AOE heals come in super handy — Nef still does Electrocute every 10%, so optimizing your mana use is going to be very important.  The Bone Warriors will deactivate when they reach 0 energy, but not for long.  They will activate when they’re hit with Shadow damage.

This is the right phase to blow all your cooldowns, drink your potions, and make it end as quickly as possible.  Your healers will thank you.

What does a Hunter need to know?

Phase 1: If you’re lucky, you’ll be the DPS that gets to go over to Nef early.  If that’s the case, just DPS as much as you can on Nef.  It’s worth calling out when Nef is nearing a 10% marker so your healers can prepare for Electrocute.  If you’re on Ony, make sure you know how to avoid her lightning discharge.  Back foot, and between her back legs are where you want to be standing.

Phase 2: Burn your add as fast as you can, interrupt when you’re able.  Be careful with your pet positioning — I’ve had my pet die to magma before, so make sure to keep your buddy from dying a molten death. A comment from Twitter @LedonLite said that using glyph’d Raptor Strike helps mitigate some of the shadow damage coming down in phase 2, as well as electrocutes.

Phase 3: Stay grouped up with your raid on Nef’s side.  Be aware of the purple fire on the ground, and DPS as fast as you can.  Blow cooldowns and use any damage reducing abilities for Electrocute (Dwarf hunters, I’m looking at you.  Stoneform.)

Hunter Loot from Nefarian

Still having trouble? Check out Tankspot’s video.

Good luck!

Strategy: Heroic Atramedes

Morynne —  June 10, 2011 — 1 Comment

Heroic Atramedes is very much the same in principle as the normal encounter, with a bit of a twist. I wouldn’t say it’s more difficult, just different.

  • Name: Atramedes
  • Raid: Blackwing Descent
  • Tanks Needed: 1
  • Phases: 2 (Ground and Air, alternating)
  • Catch: You now have a sound bar to watch.
  • This guide is for the heroic encounter. Normal strategy can be found here.

The basic strategy is largely unchanged — stay out of circles, keep your sound down, run away when you’re being tracked, and stay out of fire.  The catch is that the circles hit your sound for significantly more.  You absolutely cannot be taking extraneous sound — there’s very little room for error.

On Heroic, you’re limited to 7 gongs versus the normal 10.  Nefarian destroys an additional gong during ground phase uses — so make sure when you use them on the ground, you’re using them for the right reasons.

Two Obnoxious Fiends will spawn per ground phase—one in the middle and one towards the end. These attach themselves to a random raid member and must be burned down immediately by the raid. They have minimal health but cast Obnoxious, a cast which gives the attached player 10 additional sound if not interrupted.

In the air phase, Sonar Bombs will spawn more frequently and the Roaring Flame Breath will move faster as well.

So really, your raid has to be more on top of their spatial awareness, and be able to quickly switch targets and kill the fiends.  Otherwise, the fight is unchanged.

What does a Hunter need to know?

The biggest thing to know here is how to handle the adds.  Obviously, DPS the ones you can at range, and utilize interrupts as you’re able (Scatter Shot, Silencing Shot) to keep the add’s target from taking additional sound.  Quickly switch back and forth between Atramedes and the adds.  During air phase, if you’re not already in Aspect of the Fox, switch to it, and continue your rotation as you run around to avoid circles and fire.  You should be able to keep damaging pretty normally unless you get chased by fire.

Hunter Loot from Heroic Atramedes

Still having trouble? Check out Tankspot’s video.

Good luck!

Chimaeron continues to be a healing intensive, control fight, but now it’s with more health, and more damage going out.  Nefarian adds some new tricks, and makes things more intesting.

  • Name: Chimaeron
  • Raid: Blackwing Descent
  • Tanks Needed: 2ish
  • Phases: 2
  • Catch: This is a control fight for your healers.
  • This guide is for the heroic encounter. Normal guide here.

The basics of this fight are identical to the normal encounter, so I recommend familiarizing yourself with that first.

Phase 1: Bile-o-Tron

Largely from a DPS perspective, this phase remains unchanged.  Tanks and healers might say otherwise though.  Instead of grouping up when Chimaeron Feuds, the focus needs to be whether the Bile-o-Tron is online.  If it’s online, spread out, if it’s offline, group up.  The Feuds in heroic last only for a couple seconds because Nefarian breaks up the quarreling heads of Chimaeron, and we’re back to the same mechanics of individuals being targeted and Massacre going out.  When the Bile-o-Tron comes back up, spread back out before the next Massacre.

From a tanking perspective, because the Feuds are so short, Break can stack to very dangerous levels because there’s little time .  Your tanks need to be very aware what their stacks are at, and make sure they don’t take too many.  This is probably the most complicated part of this encounter to learn to cope with.

Phase 2: Burn

As Chimaeron is transitioning into phase 2, make sure your raid is as high up as possible, and your tanks move as low as they can on the threat meter — so Chimaeron doesn’t take them out first. Should be noted that Nefarian casts Mocking Shadows on the raid in addition to Mortality, which deals 1-2k shadow damage per second. The raid must be topped going into phase 3 or else everyone will quickly die.  Blow all cooldowns, and be prepared with a quick Ankh or bubble to let the DOTS tick to kill him.

What does a Hunter need to know?

The heroic version of this encounter is largely unchanged from a ranged DPS perspective.  You’ll likely be sitting right at the enrage timer the first few times you kill him though.  Considering it’s a 7 minute enrage, it’s worth mentioning that you can pre-pot and use your Rapid Fire cooldowns at the beginning of the fight to maximize your DPS early.  Just be careful not to pull threat.  By the time phase 2 rolls around, you’ll likely have your Rapid Fire up again — just in time to burn the boss.

Hunter Loot from Heroic Chimaeron

Still having trouble? Ask questions in the comments or check out Tankspot’s video!

Good luck!

Heroic Halfus is quite chaotic by comparison to the regular encounter, but is pretty easy once you’ve got a strategy down pat to dealing with all of the drakes at the same time.

  • Name: Halfus Wyrmbreaker
  • Raid: Bastion of Twilight
  • Phases: 2
  • Catch: You have to deal with all the drakes at the same time.
  • Tanks needed: 2ish
  • This guide is for the heroic encounter. Normal guide found here.

In order to properly handle the Malevolent Strikes debuff, we had 2.5 tanks.  Prot Warrior, Feral Druid, and a Feral Druid in DPS gear, but tank spec.

Here’s what we did:

  • Warrior tank pulls boss. Bear tank pulls the Storm Rider, Time Warden at the same time. Bear/Kitty tank pulls the Nether Scion.  Leave the Slate dragon alone.  If you try to have every single one down, you’ll lose to the enrage timer.
  • Heroism is blown at the beginning of the fight once threat is solid on the Nether Scion, DPS burns that down first.
  • Second target is the Storm Rider, burn that down, then the Time Warden.  When the time warden is at about half, release the Whelps, and focus DPS on Halfus.  If you have any range that can do “splash damage” to whelps, even better.
  • Burn Halfus.

The Furious Roars in the heroic encounter is brutal.  Not one can be missed.

Just like in the regular encounter, at 50%, Halfus enters phase 2 with the same abilities.  Once you’ve dealt with the drakes, you’ve hit the easiest part of this encounter.

What does a Hunter need to know?

Once the Nether Scion is down, and you’re moving to DPS the other drakes, it’s worth throwing out a Multi-Shot to do a little damage to everything that’s up.  When you switch targets, you’ll already be a little ahead.  When the whelps are released, main target Halfus, and add a Multi-Shot into your rotation, the drakes will die over time.  After that, it’s cake.  Just make sure you stay out of fire balls.

Hunter Loot from Heroic Halfus Wyrmbreaker

Having trouble? Ask questions in the comments, or check out Tankspot’s Video.

Good luck!

Strategy: Al’Akir

Morynne —  May 20, 2011 — Leave a comment

Al’Akir is such a fun fight.  It’s a little complicated, but I really enjoyed it.

Now, just as a disclaimer, my guild has not downed this guy yet… but we have wiped at 200k (less than 1% on his health bar).

  • Name: Al’Akir
  • Raid: Throne of the Four Winds
  • Tanks: One
  • Catch: Raid awareness check.
  • This guide is for the normal encounter.

This fight is broken down into 3 phases, and there’s a bit of a luck element attached to it.  Keep plugging at it though, you’ll get it.

Phase 1: 100%-80%

Al’Akir is firmly rooted in his platform, and this is a burn phase — mostly because you want it over with as quickly as possible.

He does a Lightning Strike out in a cone on the platform — so make sure you’re using about half of the platform, even in 10-man environments.  Ideally you only want about 3 people to get hit with this at a time.

Casters need to watch out for Static Shock while in melee range, but it’s preferable to some of his other abilities we’ll talk about below.  This might be a burn phase, but if you’re dead, you do 0 DPS.

  • Ice Storm: Avoid it by moving forward or backward out of its path.
  • Squall Line: Avoid it by finding the gap as it moves around the room and running backwards or forwards so that you are positioned in-between it when it comes your way. If you do not avoid it, you will be picked up, take additional damage, and end up out of positioning for Lightning Strike
  • Wind Burst: When he casts this spell, have the raid run in to the boss so they are not pushed off the platform. Make sure they collapse in straight lines rather than scattering in so that Lightning Strike does not become an issue. If Squall Lines are up at the same time, it can be a tricky judgment call to collapse or not; players may run out of time to both collapse and then run back out in time to find the safe spot.  If you’re faced with that decision, and it’s either be picked up or kicked off, choose to be kicked off.  Sometimes jump off if it comes right down to it.  You’ll be carried back up onto the platform after being knocked off, but again, alive is far better than dead — even if it means you’re out of commission for 5-6 seconds.

In dealing with phase 1, sometimes it’s best to group up in bunches of 2-3 together to better control how far the chain lightning can spread.  There’s a lot going on in this phase, so the better you can be aware of what damage you’re taking and why, the more successful you’ll be.

Phase 2: 80%-25%

This is a far easier phase than the first one.  So if you’ve made it this far, take a deep breath and relax a bit.  It’s less chaotic.

  • For phase two, positioning allows for the raid to collapse; the raid should be in the back, while the tank and their healers are in the front.
  • Squall Lines still happen, so make sure someone is calling out where the gap is.  That seemed to help our raid more than anything.
  • The raid will also be afflicted by a debuff called Acid Rain throughout this phase. Every 15 seconds, it gains another 500 damage per second. Ultimately this pressures phase two into a DPS race before the damage from Acid Rain becomes too much to heal. Classes such as rogues and paladins are advantageous as they can self-remove Acid Rain, and should be doing that to save your healers some mana.
  • To help the raid damage Al’Akir, Stormlings will spawn on a random raid member. Someone without a minimum range needs to pick these up.  It doesn’t necessarily have to be the tank, they don’t hit very hard.  Every time a Stormling is killed, Al’Akir is debuffed withFeedback which increases his damage taken. This debuff only lasts 20 seconds, but it also stacks. Keeping the debuff rolling by killing one right before it expires is key to winning this phase; letting stacks fall off will decrease raid DPS too much to win. In order to have enough to keep rolling the stack, you will want to wait until the tank has three or four Stormlings in reserves to kill one. After killing one, only kill another right before the stack of Feedback is about to expire.
  • Save your buffs and special abilities for the end of this phase, as stacks of Acid Rain will require healer cooldowns and DPS cooldowns are best used when Feedback is very high on Al’Akir.

So this phase is all about add management.  The stacks of Feedback make a big difference in how quickly you can get this phase down.

Phase 3: 25%-Dead

Al’Akir will shatter his platform at 25%, and create a Relentless Storm. The raid will gain Eye of the Storm.

The Lightning Rod is one of the major components in this phase; when a random player is hit with it, have them stay at the same altitude (horizontal height) as the raid, but move out of it so as not to damage nearby players.  Strafe keys are your friends here.

Shortly after the start of the encounter, Al’Akir will cast Lightning Clouds. He will continue to cast it throughout the fight. This spell spawns a cloud where the raid is. To handle this, my guild handles it a little different than most strategies I’ve read.  When the platform shatters, the raid flies all the way up to the top, and toward his face.  When the Clouds spawn, fly down (x key) just below them.  When the next cloud spawns, fly all the way down (just above the permanent clouds).  Then move up when the clouds spawn so you’re not getting hit again.  When the next set of clouds spawn, fly all the way up to the top again — rinse, repeat.  So it looks like this… Top, Top, Bottom, Bottom, etc.

To minimize raid damage taken, be sure to kill any leftover Stormlings from phase 2 as they have an AOE aura pulse.

Wind Burst will return in this phase so this is a major reason to keep everyone the same level. If the cloud becomes spread out, it’s possible it could knock people into previously existing clouds, or worse, into Relentless Storm which sweeps you out of range of the raid and deals nature damage over six seconds. You will most likely die if trapped in Relentless Storm.

What does a Hunter need to know?

Really this fight is all about raid awareness.  Your biggest job on this fight is making sure you don’t die, and DPS the things you’re supposed to.  The first phase is the most challenging for awareness because there are times you’ll get caught with a melee range squall line and a knockback at the same time.  In some cases, there’s just nothing you can do except get knocked off the platform.  In the second phase, I am typically assigned to Stormlings — so if that’s what you’re assigned to work on, make sure you time it right so there are plenty of feedback stacks.

In phase 3, make sure you’re back to being raid aware again, and know your group’s strategy to deal with the clouds.  Time it wrong, and you’ll be a dead hunter.  Also, when you get Lightning Rod, make sure you’re away from the group, but stay in range of your healers! You’ll be taking a ton of damage, so getting healed here keeps you alive.

Hunter Loot from Al’Akir

  • Just like the first encounter in this instance, all stats on items are random.
  • On wowhead.com’s loot table for Al’Akir, there’s a small chance for this guy to drop tier shoulders and helm.
  • Bonus Loot: Reins of the Drake of the South Wind – this is a very small chance

Still having trouble? Check out Tankspot’s video.

Good luck!

No, I can’t believe it’s taken me this long to do this strategy.

The Conclave of Winds is one of two boss encounters in the Throne of the Four Winds, and is yet another council type encounter.

  • Name: Conclave of Winds (comprised of Anshal, Nezir, and Rohash)
  • Raid: Throne of the Four Winds
  • Tanks Needed: 2, with a 3rd dps tank
  • Catch: 3 platforms vastly far apart, and ultimate ability timers to watch
  • This guide is for the normal encounter.

One of the key things you’ll need to know is that the mechanics for each platform are drastically different.  One has adds, one has damage that spreads across nearby raid members, and the none of them can be alone on his platform. It’s really not as complicated as it sounds.

All three of these guys are on separate health pools, so your DPS will need to be split to handle this fight, and the trick is that the third Djinn must die within 60 seconds of the first one — so planning and execution are key.

Let’s kick this party off by talking about what each of these Djinn do.

Anshal

  • Western platform.  All abilities are nature based.
  • Soothing Breeze will cause Anshal to drop a healing circle on the ground. No one should ever be in this.  It heals the Djinn and his adds, and prevents attacking by your raid members.
  • Nurture will summon 5 Ravenous Creepers around Anshal. They have an aura that stacks a DoT on all nearby players, so you want to kill those quickly – and preferably from afar. They can be kited and slowed.  Do not AOE these guys, the DoT becomes too much to handle if they’re all grouped up and will cause lots of problems.
  • Zephyr is Anshal’s ultimate. He will teleport to the center of his platform and channel this spell, healing himself and any adds remaining (hint: there should be none), as well as increasing his & their damage by total of 225% for 15 seconds.
  • If, at any time during the fight, Anshal finds himself alone on his platform, he will channel Withering Winds, which will quickly wipe your raid.

Nezir

  • Northern platform. All abilities are frost based.
  • Nezir will drop a patch of Ice Patch on top of a random player’s location. The patches will do damage and slow you down, so move out of them quickly.
  • He will also cast Permafrost, which deals damage in a cone in front of him for 3 seconds and leaves an ice patch when he is done. Don’t be there unless you are a tank.
  • Wind Chill is a stacking debuff that causes all players on Nezir’s platform to take more and more frost damage.
  • Sleet Storm is Nezir’s ultimate. He will do damage to everyone on his platform, splitting the damage evenly. The raid should group up and healers pop cooldowns.
  • If, at any time during the fight, Nezir finds himself alone on his platform, he will channel Chilling Winds, which will quickly wipe your raid.

Rohash

  • East platform. His abilities are wind based.
  • Slicing Gale is Rohash’s standard attack. Since he doesn’t melee, he will simply spam this.
  • Wind Blast will make Rohash face in a random direction, and blast everyone in front of him off the platform. It will take him several seconds to cast Wind Blast, so stay close to the boss and move behind him when you see the preparatory cast begin.
  • Hurricane is Rohash’s ultimate. He will toss all players on his platform in the air, causing them to take damage over the duration the spell, as well as falling damage at its end.
  • If, at any time during the fight, Rohash finds himself alone on his platform, he will channel Deafening Winds, which will quickly wipe your raid.

Strategy:

Split your raid up.  One healer and tank per platform.  The tanks and healers between frost and nature will be switching because of the frost debuff, but your “tank” and healer for Rohash will be staying on that platform for the duration of the fight.  Make sure your tanks are switching about 15-20 seconds before the Ultimate ability, that way they have time to get threat.

All DPS should start out on the nature platform and DPS that guy, as well as burn down the adds.  A few seconds before the Ultimate abilities, ALL DPS from the nature platform need to go to the frost platform to split the damage for that Ultimate ability, and once it’s over, return back to the Nature platform.

Make sure your raid is communicating about the percentages during this fight — you’ll only have 60 seconds to get the third Djinn down after the first one dies, so plan it out.  Don’t forget that the nature guy does heal, so when your DPS return back to that platform, they’ll have to burn him down again, and deal with the adds.

The dps “tank” and healer on Rohash’s platform will remain there throughout the fight, and he will likely be the first one to die — again, coordination is key, so make sure to stop DPS if you’re on that platform and the others need more time to catch up.

What does a Hunter need to know?

Considering this strategy isn’t assuming that a hunter stays on the nature platform during the Ultimate, you can be whatever spec you want.  Widow Venom might be helpful if your tanks are having difficulty moving the nature guy out of the green circle on the ground, but shouldn’t make or break the fight.

Whatever you do, DO NOT Multi-Shot the adds on the nature platform.  The stacking DoT will kill you, and everyone else that gets hit with it.  Make sure you’re jumping to the frost platform when called for, and jump back as soon as the ultimate is over.  It’s important to keep your DPS up on the nature platform because you do have to overcome that heal he does.  Pay attention to the cues by your raid leaders — if they call for stop damage, stop damage.  If instructions aren’t followed, it might cost your raid a wipe.

Hunter Loot from the Conclave of the Winds

  • Belts
  • Rings
  • All have a random enchantment, and many are regarded as Best In Slot.

Still having trouble? Check out Tankspot’s video.

Good luck!

 

Strategy: Cho’gall

Morynne —  March 31, 2011 — 6 Comments

Cho’gall is the final boss in Bastion of Twilight.  He’s got 2 heads, and 2 very different personalities.  This fight is a raid-wiper.  Expect to spend many hours on him.  It’s significant to note that my guild does this a little differently than the strategies I’ve read to prepare for this, so bear with me.

  • Name: Cho’gall
  • Raid: Bastion of Twilight
  • Tanks Needed: 2
  • Phases: 2
  • Catch: Interrupts and AOE damage is key. You also have to watch a corruption bar.
  • This guide is for the normal encounter.

The Cho’gall encounter adds a mechanic where you have to watch your saturation of corruption.  Corrupted Blood happens whenever a player is hit by one of Cho’gall’s abilities. (fire puddles, getting hit by adds, etc.) As your corruption rises, you gain debuffs.  When you get to 25% corruption, you get Corruption: Accelerated, which needs to be dispelled as soon as possible.  At 50%, Corruption: Sickness happens, and basically you cause damage and corruption to everyone around you, so just make sure you’re facing away from people.  At 75%, Corruption: Malformation, which gives you a tentacle that starts casting shadow bolts at the raid.  And last but not least, at 100%, Corruption: Absolute, which means you can’t be healed, but you can dish out a lot of damage quite quickly.  You’ll know when this happens because your form changes.

Phase 1

Initial Positioning - Click to embiggen.

The encounter begins when you pull Cho’gall, and he will reasonably quickly start casting Conversion, which needs to be interrupted quickly so Cho’gall doesn’t get the Twisted Devotion buff.  This mechanic alone dictates how your raid is positioned.  Melee should be grouped reasonably close together, and the remainder of your raid/healers need to be grouped together.  Anyone who has an interrupt should be using it when the MC happens — the faster people get broken out, the more successful you will be.

Tanks will need to taunt back and forth when inflicted with Fury of Cho’gall.  Cho’gall will alternate between shadow and fire mini-phases throughout phase 1, so just be mindful of which one we’re dealing with.  Shadow is a lot of raid damage and will be intensive to the healers, where the fire mini-phase will drop puddles of fire all over the room.  As always, fire is bad, stay out of it.  Fire in this fight also increases your corruption, so it’s even more vital to stay out of bad stuff.

Cho’gall will summon a Corrupting Adherent which will come out of one of the two side areas (where the trash was in the room).  This add will cast Corrupting Crash and Depravity.  Just from timing experience, I can tell you if your tanks are swapping back and forth correctly, the tank that starts the encounter will likely end up being the add-tank as well.  Both of the adds abilities will increase corruption, so it’s important to stay out of it.  Corrupting crash looks like Dazzling Destruction from the twin dragons, and it’s got quite a diameter on it.  Move quickly out of this.  Depravity just needs to be interrupted while you’re killing the add.

Adherent Corpse Positioning

Your add tank will be dragging the add to the side of the throne, and it’s important that there’s some logic to where the adds die, because from their corpses, lots of little oozes will spawn when Cho’gall casts Fester Blood. You will want to have these bodies all grouped up as much as possible, and from everything my guild tried, this strategy worked the best.  The first time an adherent dies, and Cho’gall casts Fester Blood, you’ll have 5 adds, the second time you’ll have 10 adds, etc. When Cho’gall casts this, get all of your AOE’s together and burn them down as quickly as possible.  The Blood of the Old God can be slowed and knocked back, so make sure you’re using anything you can to buy more time. If a Blood of the Old God reaches the raid, lots of corruption will be gained, so clearly important to avoid it.  Cho’gall continues to MC during all of this, so it’s important to stay on top of that as well.

Once all of the oozes are dead, Cho’gall returns to spewing fire and shadow throughout the room.  This cycle keeps repeating itself until 25%, when Cho’gall moves into Phase 2.

Phase 2

Phase 2 Positioning

 

During phase 2, Cho’gall stops MCing people, and he stops spawning Adherents… in fact, when he enters Phase 2, any Adherents that are up will despawn.  Getting to this phase is a DPS race, because you don’t want to enter phase 2 with oozes up — that nearly guarantees your raid to wipe.  Instead of all this, Cho’gall will use Darkened Creations, which will spawn 4 adds near him.  Depending on your positioning, they can be all clumped up, or spread around the room.  We’ve found that tanking Cho’gall as close as you can to a wall gives you a better chance to get the creations all clumped up.  If they are clumped up, you can easily AOE them down.  These creations; however, will cast Debilitating Beam, so interrupt them if you can.  This phase has a constant increase of Corruption, so make sure your raid is spread out so you’re not puking on each other.  Continue to dispell the Corruption: Accelerated debuff during this phase and keep on DPSing.  This phase will consume all of your DPS cooldowns, and health potions/ health stones, and he should go down without a problem provided the Creations are dealt with swiftly.

What does a Hunter need to know?

During Phase 1, and if you’re assigned to add duty, you should really be Survival.  The added AOE damage from Serpent Spread can make or break your raid’s add management in this fight.  When there’s no adds up, you need to be pushing as much DPS as possible on Cho’gall.  Save Rapid Fire for pushing into Phase 2, or if your raid has the DPS power, save it for during phase 2 when you really have to burn.

As a Hunter, your role is mainly with the adds during this fight.  First off, Misdirect the Corrupted Adherents to the appropriate tank and make sure the tank has it positioned correctly before it dies.  It’s worth glyphing Trap Launcher and Ice Trap, you’ll need both.  The DPS on the Adherent needs to be tight, so you may find yourself a bit focus starved when you get ready to AOE.  Save yourself a little bit of focus when you launch that trap, and give it a little extra range.  I tended to launch the trap when the Adherent was at about 20%, then Cobra Shot to regain some focus so you’re ready to Mutli-Shot your brains out until those adds die.  In my attempts, I found that Explosive Trap and Snake Trap cost more and do less damage than just Multi-Shot spam.

To handle MC’s, and assuming you’re Survival, Scatter Shot works.  If you’re doing this fight as Marksman, I’d imagine that Silencing Shot works just as well.  I’d recommend keybinding these abilities because you’ll need it pretty frequently.

During Phase 2, stay spread out, make sure you’re at least 6 yards away from people — it’ll keep you from puking on people causing additional unnecessary damage to the raid. Burn your cooldowns and make sure your rotation is as tight as possible on the boss when there’s no adds up.  If you’re lucky, all of the Creations will be grouped up, and you can DPS them and Cho’gall with Multi-Shot, but they should be your primary targets when they’re up.  One thing I did notice is that the Debilitating Beam did not seem to interrupt using Scatter Shot, so your best bet is to just work on DPS during this phase.

Hunter Loot from Cho’gall

Still having trouble? Check out Tankspot’s video.

Good luck!

Current Progression

Morynne —  March 21, 2011 — 6 Comments

or… where’s Morynne, and why hasn’t she done Nefarian and Cho’gall?

It’s performance review time at work, which means all of my writing-fu is being used to craft performance reviews for my employees.  Yeah, that means I’m in charge of people.  Scary.  It also means I don’t have much spare time outside of work.

Did I also mention I’m a season ticket holder for Tampa Bay Lightning? Yeah — push for the playoffs is happening. Go Bolts!

Needless to say, writing strategy and stuff for here is taking a bit of a back seat — life’s taken over for a bit.  My guild has spent countless hours wiping on Cho’gall (with no luck, I might add), and we’re starting attempts on Nefarian tonight to try something different.

Soon as I get a new boss down, I’ll write something, I swear! (Though there’s no promises if it’s when playoff hockey is happening :) )

Strategy: Atramedes

Morynne —  March 1, 2011 — 3 Comments

This big guy is blind, and is pretty dang resourceful.  He’s an experiment gone wrong between Maloriak and Nefarian.  To be honest, this is one of the most innovative fights I’ve seen Blizzard do in awhile.

  • Name: Atramedes
  • Raid: Blackwing Descent
  • Tanks Needed: 1
  • Phases: 2 (Ground and Air, alternating)
  • Catch: You now have a sound bar to watch.
  • This guide is for the normal encounter. Heroic guide found here.

Empty Sound Bar - This is good

Full Sound Bar - This is bad.

Because Atramedes is blind, he’s learned to use sonar to locate your raid members.  You will have a sound bar show up on your screen when the boss is pulled, and the more “sound” you have, the more damage you’ll take and will change how fast Atramedes is able to zero in on your location (and kill you).

The sound bar increases when you get hit by Atramedes’ abilities, and if you reach 100, Atramedes will turn and kill you outright.  If you’re running Deadly Boss Mods, there will be a window that comes up on your scree that will tell you how much sound the outliers in your raid have.

Phase 1: Ground Phase (80 Seconds)

  • Sonar Pulse: Atramedes creates four disks in random locations around the room. These move around slowly, and if they touch you you take some damage and gain 7 sound.  My guild calls these “Tron Circles”
  • Modulation: This damages and applies 7 sound to every raid member. Cannot be avoided.  Just take it.
  • Sonic Breath: This is cast on the target who has the current highest amount of sound, and affects anyone else standing nearby. When you get Sonic Breath, “kite” it in one direction while the rest of the raid moves in the other direction to reduce damage to the rest of the raid. The more sound you have, the faster the flames will reach you—meaning other raid members will take more damage before you have the chance to move.
  • Searing Flame: This does a ton of damage to the whole raid. It can be interrupted by ringing any of the 10 gongs that are sitting around the room. Hitting the gongs will stun Atramedes and increase his damage taken for 5 seconds, but afterwards Atramedes will find and destroy the gong you hit—so you only get to do this 10 times.

So let’s talk about positioning…

Click to Enlarge. General Placement

Atramedes will pull from the far side, and it’s best to have a Misdirect pull if possible.  The tank will be to the left of the door (facing it) and the range will be to the right.  Melee will be at the other side of the dragon.  You can put a healer in this group too for better coverage.

Click to Enlarge. Sonic Breath Handling

Now, dealing with Sonar pulse, your range group will always want to move right. Toward the door. Why? Well if Atramedes targets a range with Sonic Breath, that range will continue to run to the right (up toward the tank) until it’s over, and won’t be dragging the beam through the remainder of your range.  When Sonic Breath goes out, everyone who is NOT targeted moves left.  Something similar happens for melee.

Periodically throughout the ground phase, Searing Flame will be used, and can’t go for more than a tick.  Typically it’s best to have 1-2 people assigned to handling the gongs, and they need to be ready to hit it after the first tick of Searing Flame goes out.  Every time a gong gets hit, your sound also gets reset.

Once your 80 seconds have elapsed, Atramedes will take flight.

Phase 2: Air Phase (40 seconds)

  • Atramedes will cast Sonic Breath on the player with the highest amount of sound from the air as well, chasing down that player and damaging him until you’re forced to interrupt it by hitting one of the gongs again. After this, Atramedes will chase down the player that used the gong. You’ll want to have a player with movement speed (like a rogue, or a druid) do this.
  • The fire breath, as well as another ability called Roaring Flames, will spawn flame patches on the ground that damage players and increase their sound level. As always, stay out of fire.
  • Sonar Pulse: These spawn a disc on the ground, and seconds later a missile will come down to that spot and explode. Keep moving and don’t get hit.

During the air phase, it’s most important to stay moving, and as a hunter, continue to damage the boss.  When the phase is over, make sure you’re back to phase 1, and the cycle repeats itself.

What does a Hunter need to know?

During phase 1, it’s all about not getting hit with unnecessary sound, damage, and coordinated movement.  If you get hit with Sonic Breath, make sure you move the right direction, and if you’re not picked, move out of the way.  In Phase 2, the Hunter class really shines.  Use Aspect of the Fox and continue to DPS the boss through moving around.  If you happen to be the designated gong-hitter, make sure you time it correctly to interrupt after 1 tick during the normal phases.  During the Air phase, it’ll usually be handled by a rogue or a druid.

Hunter Loot from Atramedes

Need more help? Check out Tankspot’s video.

Good luck!

Strategy: Maloriak

Morynne —  February 18, 2011 — 2 Comments

Maloriak is the mad scientist to Nefarian’s ambitions.  He is the driving force behind Chimaeron as well as Atramedes, which you’ll see in a nifty cut scene before the blind dragon pull.

  • Name: Maloriak
  • Raid: Blackwing Descent
  • Tanks Needed: 2
  • Phases: Technically 2, Really there’s 4
  • Catch: You need to be really good at changing strategy based on color.
  • This guide is for the normal encounter.

The reality of this fight is just a big game of red, blue, and green light.  I hope you’re not colorblind!  Maloriak changes the colors in the fight by throwing vials into his cauldron.  The colors from now on will be called “Red Vial,” “Blue Vial,” and “Green Vial.”  The order of the vials can be Blue/Red/Green, or Red/Blue/Green.  The third vial is always a green one.

Throughout the fight, Maloriak will use Arcane Storm, and it must be interrupted.  Anything to help slow that cast timer will also be appreciated by your interrupters. He also uses Remedy on himself, which will need to be dispelled.

Phase 1: OMG Colors!

  • Throughout this phase, Maloriak will occasionally cast Release Aberrations, which will spawn three adds. Those adds have a buff which minimizes their damage taken. More on that later.
  • Red Vial – When this happens, you need to group up! My guild tends to tank him right in front of the cauldron, and everyone stacks up right behind the tank.
    • Scorching Blast - Targets a random player, then does fire damage in a cone.  The damage is split across all raid members in the cone.
    • Consuming Flames – If you’re targeted with this, you need to move away from the group.
  • Blue Vial – Spread out! Maloriak is tanked in the same place, but your raid needs to be evenly spread out behind the tank across the room — door side.
    • Biting Chill - Damages a random raid member and anyone standing near him. This is the reason why you’re spread out.  If you are melee heavy, may want to give them a designated spot to go to to get away from the group. ProTip: Beside the cauldron is typically away enough.
    • Flash Freeze – Remember the ice blocks in Hodir? Same deal, break out the ice blocks when they happen.
  • Green Vial – Lots of adds! Lots of AOE!
    • Remember the Aberrations? You do want to interrupt some of those casts of Release Aberrations.  In order to prevent your add tank from getting overrun, it’s a good idea to only have to deal with 9 at a time, until a green phase comes up.
    • Maloriak will coat everything in the room with Debilitating Slime. This increases everyone’s damage taken (including Maloriak’s), but more importantly it counters the protection buff the adds mentioned above have.
    • A total of 18 adds can spawn, and to beat the enrage, you can only have 2 green phases.
    • Group up the released adds on Maloriak and AOE everything down.  When the adds are down, burn the boss.

Phase 2: Burn!

At 25%, Maloriak will enter phase 2, and will release all of his remaining minions, including 2 large ones that need to be kited around the room by the add-tank

Maloriak also gains 3 new abilities:

  • Fire – He will periodically cast Magma Jets on a random raid member. He will face the target beforehand and this can be strafed out of. It also knock the target into the air, causing fall damage. So yeah.  As always, fire is bad.
  • Frost – He will also cast Biting Chill which is an orb summoned below the target and slowly drops to the ground, exploding on impact. Blue orbs? stay away from those.
  • Poison – Finally, he will cast Acid Nova which will hit the whole raid and do AoE damage. This is just be healed through.

The strategy here is avoid the damage around the room and DPS the boss as fast as you can.

What does a Hunter need to know?

During the first phase, make sure you’re dropping Frost traps wherever your add tank is heading.  The adds don’t hit terribly hard, but when there’s a lot of them, it can be a little overhwelming.  This is a Survival-friendly fight, just because during the green phase you need to bust out as much AOE damage as possible.  Mutli-shot, Explosive Trap, and Snake trap all need to be happening.   Once the adds are down, burn the boss as fast as you can.  During phase 2, burn quick, but make sure you’re aware of what’s around you.  If you get a blue orb near you, burn your Disengage to quickly get away, and as always, fire is bad.

Hunter Loot from Maloriak

Still having issues? Check out TankSpot’s video.

Good luck!