Archives For tier 13

Morynne, Savior of Azeroth

Morynne —  July 18, 2012 — 2 Comments

I know it’s been awhile.  It’s not you, it’s me.

For the last number of weeks my interest in WoW went on a serious decline largely due to my raid team smashing their faces into Heroic Spine of Deathwing. There are so many bloods, and the timing is all funky now that we are looking at the progressive nerfs that are coming out. (Something most of the strategies out there don’t tell you) Continue Reading…

Now you really get to punch Deathwing in the face.  This time it sticks.

  • Name: Madness of Deathwing
  • Raid: Dragon Soul
  • Tanks: 2
  • Phases: 1-ish
  • Trick: Platform order matters.
  • This guide is for the normal encounter. Continue Reading…

Bear with me, we’re almost through with Dragon Soul. This is nearly another lootship, but it’s more dragon-y.

  • Name: Spine of Deathwing
  • Raid: Dragon Soul
  • Tanks: 2
  • Phases: 3? Kinda?
  • Trick: Barrel Rolling Lootship.
  • This guide is for the normal encounter. Continue Reading…

Lootship 2.0!

  • Name: Warmaster Blackhorn
  • Raid: Dragon Soul
  • Tanks: 2
  • Phases: 2-ish
  • Trick: Lootship, less guns, more adds. Standing in bad is good.
  • This guide is for the normal encounter.
    Continue Reading…

Strategy: Ultraxion

Morynne —  January 30, 2012 — 4 Comments

This is your Patchwerk fight of Dragon Soul.  Dust off those cooldowns, it’s stand still and DPS time!

  • Name: Ultraxion
  • Raid: Dragon Soul
  • Tanks: 2
  • Phases: 1
  • Trick: Extra button, and flawless execution.
  • This guide is for the normal encounter.

Ultraxion is largely a 1-phase encounter, assuming you’re in a 25-man raid, with 25 moving parts. (see what I did there?)  This is a DPS race fight, so it’s important that you bring your A game.

The Pull

Ultraxion will hover just off the edge of the platform, and will not aggro unless attacked.  The positioning of your raid is pretty simple — everyone needs to be stacked up.  Your raid (with the exception of the healers) will not need to move at all during this fight.

Here’s what Ultraxion does during the fight:

  • Unstable Monstrosity – Growing Twilight instability causes arcs of Twilight energy to erupt from Ultraxion’s hide. The arcs inflict 300000 Shadow damage every 6 seconds, split evenly amongst enemy players in the Twilight Realm and within 30 yards of the target.Every minute that Ultraxion remains in combat reduces the time between arcs by 1 second, to a maximum rate of one arc per second. In addition, the instability prevents Ultraxion from parrying attacks.
  • Twilight Shift – At the beginning of the battle, Ultraxion pulls all enemies with him into the Twilight Realm where they can bear the full brunt of his powerful Twilight assaults. The Twilight Realm grants players the Heroic Will ability.
    • Heroic Will – The player’s Heroic Will steels the caster’s mind to resist the forces of Twilight. This pulls the caster out of the Twilight realm for up to 5 sec, but renders them unable to attack, cast spells, or move while concentrating.
  • Fading Light – Ultraxion sucks the light out of his current target and one random player, drawing them into Twilight over 5-10 seconds. Upon expiration, players in the Twilight Realm instantly die. Players in the normal realm forcibly enter the Twilight Realm, and are afflicted with Faded into Twilight. (In 25-man, 3 targets are affected)
  • Hour of Twilight – The Hour of Twilight falls upon Ultraxion’s foes. Enemies caught within the Twilight Realm take 300000 unresistable Shadow damage. Players within the normal realm forcibly enter the Twilight Realm. If Hour of Twilight does not hit a player, the Aspects take the full brunt of the attack. This disrupts the shield protecting the Aspects and heralds the end of all life on Azeroth.

By now, you’ve seen the Heroic Will button that shows up in the middle of your screen, and is just generally imposing.  Don’t freak out, but that button is important.  I’d recommend creating a macro and a keybind for this button. Timing is important!

/click ExtraActionButton1

Also, make sure you have your target’s cast bar shown — I know I didn’t have it showing until this fight.

Ultraxion will cast Hour of Twilight periodically throughout the fight, and if you’re not assigned to soak the damage, make sure you use your Heroic Will button.  Time it so you have minimal time in the alternate realm — keeping in mind you have a maximum of 5 seconds in the normal realm.  You’ll also be using your Heroic Will button when you’re affected by Fading Light.  This is where showing your debuffs are important — you’ll want to use Heroic Will when you have approximately 3 seconds left on your debuff.

This action will be repeated throughout the encounter.

What does a Hunter need to know?

Hunters can be tasked with soaking Hour of Twilight with Deterrence.  We can soak every third Hour.  What this means is that instead of clicking Heroic Will, you’ll pop deterrence to soak the damage.

This needs to be coordinated with the rest of your raid, since 3 people will need to soak each Hour of Twilight.  An example rotation can be seen below.

Realistically, your raid should see at most 7 Hours of Twilight.  I think the fewest my raid has seen is 5.  It all depends on your gear level, and if you’re willing to be risky with the number of healers.

Hunter Loot from Ultraxion

Still having trouble? Check out Learn to Raid’s video.

If you use power auras, here’s what I use for Fading Light.

Fading Light Troll
Version:4.23; g:0.4078; icon:Ability_Druid_TwilightsWrath; buffname:Fading LIght; r:0.9294; bufftype:2; texture:182; combat:true; size:0.73; inRaid:true; y:175; texmode:2; timer.HideLeadingZeros:true; timer.h:1.34; timer.Texture:Original; timer.enabled:true; timer.Relative:BOTTOM

Good luck!

Now that I’m back from my time off, over a massive cold, and have a few more raids under my belt I feel like I can talk about what’s going on with Hunter DPS.

We had a great run in Firelands.

Hunters seemed to be made for that tier of content.  The encounters were largely hunter friendly with very few stack up mechanics, and there were many range friendly fights.  Hunters were topping meters, and leading the pack on DPS until some legendary weapons were completed.  As legendaries were completed, you started to see Hunters fall down the DPS meters a bit, but not out of competition.

Punching Deathwing in the Face

The state of Hunter DPS in Dragon Soul is pretty unique.  Melee classes were buffed pretty significantly through AP, and casters have their legendary — making Hunters one of the only classes that didn’t see any real boost to DPS from Firelands to Dragon Soul.  This caused Hunters to fall further and further down the meters, not to say that we’re not seeing impressive performance from Hunter players — there are some exceptional players out there.  I know that my DPS has gone from in Firelands, top 7-8 DPS after legendaries were created, to scraping the bottom above the tanks in Dragon Soul in our 25-man raids.  Did I change anything? The only thing that’s changed is gear.

Now, let’s be clear here.  This is not a cry for a buff to Hunter DPS.  Blizzard is up against a very difficult challenge for balancing lots of classes with legendary weapons in range, and melee not only getting the AP boost, but also Rogues getting their legendary.  Blizzard needs to be able to balance Hunter DPS with the DPS of those range that do not have a legendary weapon.  Does that require a huge boost to Hunters? Probably not.

Blizzard did just announce in the 4.3.2 patch notes that a small buff is coming.

  • Aspect of the Hawk now grants roughly 35% more attack power.
  • Deterrence now also reduces damage taken by 30% while active.
  • Black Arrow now ticks every 2 seconds for 20 seconds, as opposed to every 3 seconds for 15 seconds. The total damage dealt by the ability is unchanged.
  • Lock and Load no longer benefits Arcane Shot, nor is it consumed by Arcane Shot.

Do I think this is going to be enough to help us out?

I think so. The ~700 AP buff that Hawk is getting will increase our DPS enough to mimic the melee buff that was granted.  Black Arrow lasting longer will give us an extra 5 seconds to proc, which should increase our Lock n’ Load procs, and with Lock n’ Load not being consumed by Arcane Shot, we’ll be sure to get the maximum bonus available.

Now this is all speculation on my part, but I do think Hunters will regularly appear higher on the damage meters than they had been, and I have a feeling that it’s going to continue to be Survival on top of the three specs for Tier 13 raid content, not to say that Marksman and Beastmastery will be far behind, if at all.

What do you think of how Hunters have fared this tier of raid content?

Strategy: Hagara the Stormbinder

Morynne —  December 29, 2011 — 2 Comments

We’re going back to the Eye of Eternity for this one! No giant blue dragon and shattering platforms though.

  • Name: Hagara the Stormbinder
  • Raid: Eye of Eternity Dragon Soul
  • Tanks: 1
  • Trick: Raid coordination and awareness
  • This guide is for the normal encounter.

This is largely a 2 phase encounter, but there’s a lot to it, so I’ll break it down so it’s as easy as possible.

Hagara begins the fight in a pretty plain phase, but she has a couple of abilities that she’ll use here.

  • Ice Lance – Hagara conjures crystals of ice that launch Ice Lance missiles towards a random player standing near Hagara. Ice Lances inflict Frost damage in a 3 yard area around the first player the missile impacts.
  • Ice Tomb – Hagara traps two random players in a tomb of ice, stunning the targets until other players destroy the Ice Tombs.
  • Shattered Ice – Hagara Launches a blast of ice at a random player, inflicting Frost damage and reduces the players’s movement speed for 4 sec.
  • Focused Assault – Hagara rapidly slices at her current target, swinging for 50% normal weapon damage every 0.5 sec. for 5 sec.

The first thing we have to deal with are Ice Lances, and it’s a good idea to have your range players soak that damage, especially if they are targeting melee, which will make your healers unhappy.

Important: You won’t see Ice Tombs until Hagara phases out of either the Lightning or Ice phase once.  When you do see them, random raid members will get an arrow over their head.  Do not scatter like on every other ice block encounter.  The key here is grouping up so that the tombs can be AOE’d down.

The remainder of the abilities just need to be healed through.

The initial phase seems timed, so when she emotes to summon either lightning or frost, get out of the center of the platform.

Phase 2: Ice

Hagara moves to the center of her platform and bubbles around her, reducing all damage done to her to 0.  She summons 4 Binding Crystals around the platform (at 12, 3, 6 and 9 o’clock).  Any player caught int he bubble will have their movement speed slowed and will take damage the longer they’re in the bubble.  She drops ice from the ceiling (think Hodir) stay out of the blue ice patches. During this phase, Hagara will summon four ice waves going out from the center of the platform that will rotate clockwise around the platform until all 4 of the Binding Crystals are down.

Long story short, stay out of the center of the platform, watch for ice walls and DPS the Binding Crystals until all 4 are down.  You’ll basically be running behind an ice wall for this phase.  When all 4 Binding Crystals are down, it will stun Hagara, she’ll take increased damage and you’ll enter a dps burn period.  After a short while she’ll return back to phase 1.

Phase 2: Lightning

When Hagara phases into lightning, she’ll again put up a barrier that prevents her from taking damage, and forcing everyone to the outer ring of the platform again.  She spawns 4 lightning rods around the platform, evenly spaced at 12, 3, 6, and 9 o’clock.  She also spawns an add that needs to be killed near one of the rods.  When the add dies, the lightning then arcs to all players around the lightning rod, grounding the beam to the boss.  All 4 rods need to be grounded before you can DPS the boss in another burn period.  To get the lightning to chain to all rods, have your raid either run together the entire way around the platform to arc it to the next rod, or have your raid spread out evenly in the quadrants to arc around the platform.  Use whatever works best for your raid.

When all 4 rods are grounded, the boss becomes vulnerable again, and you’re back to a burn phase.

The Lightning and Ice phases repeat in cycles until the boss falls.

What does a Hunter need to know?

The biggest part that a Hunter needs to know on this fight is to make sure you’re helping soak the Ice Lances during the first phase (not ice or lightning).  You can deterrence if you find the damage is too much, but it can be healed through.

During the ice phase, make sure you stay moving.  It is a perfect opportunity to switch to Aspect of the Fox while continuing to damage the binding crystals.  Your pet isn’t impacted by the ice waves that rotate around the circle, so make sure you send your pet onto the next crystal as you’re running.

During the Lightning phase, the most important thing to know is you need to stay in position.  It’s a good idea to max range the add so you’re closer to the next lightning rod so it can arc over quickly.  Once one is down, move to the next one that your raid might be having trouble with to get them down as quickly as possible.

After each lightning or ice phase, use any DPS cooldowns that are available to you, the boss takes increased damage.  After the first lightning or ice phase, the regular phase will have the ice tombs, so make sure if you get an arrow over your head, you group up with your raid when they spawn, so they can be AOE’d down.

Hunter Loot from Hagara the Stormbinder

Still having trouble? Check out Learn to Raid’s video.

As always, good luck!

This is “least of all evils” taken to a new level.  Also, I’d hate to do this fight colorblind.

  • Name: Yor’sahj the Unsleeping
  • Raid: Dragon Soul
  • Tanks: 1
  • Trick: Pick the worst color, and kill that.
  • This guide is for the normal encounter.

This is a very fluid fight, and can change several times in the process. The mechanics are random, so it’s important to know how to react to all combinations.

Abilities:

  • Void Bolt – Yor’sahj the Unsleeping blasts his primary target with dark energy, dealing $%104849s1 Shadow damage initially and then $%104849s2 Shadow damage every 2 seconds. This effect stacks.
  • Call Blood of Shu’ma – Yor’sahj the Unsleeping calls to the might of Shu’ma, summoning three differently colored globules of his blood. These globules path slowly towards Yor’sahj, infusing him with additional powers if they reach him.

Those two things are all Yor’sahj does, which means he’s not the real focus of the fight.  It’s all about the colored globules, so let’s talk about those.

Glowing Globule

When a Glowing Globule reaches Yor’sahj, it infuses Yor’sahj with the Glowing Blood of Shu’ma.

  • Glowing Blood of Shu’ma – Yor’sahj’s Void Bolt now hits all nearby targets for  Shadow damage in addition to the primary target component, Yor’sahj uses his abilities twice as often, and his attack speed increases by 50%.

The glowing globule really isn’t too much of a threat compared to others.  You’ll see.

Cobalt Globule

Cobalt Globule – When a Cobalt Globule reaches Yor’sahj, it infuses Yor’sahj with the ability to summon Mana Voids.

  • Mana Void – A Mana Void leeches all the mana from every ranged spell caster and healer, storing the mana within itself. Destroying the Mana Void evenly returns the total of the leeched mana via Mana Diffusion to players within 30 yards.
  • Mana Void – A Mana Void leeches all the mana from every ranged spell caster and healer, storing the mana within itself. Destroying the Mana Void evenly returns the total of the leeched mana via Mana Diffusion to players within 100 yards.

This one isn’t too bad either, the trick is if the cobalt globule hits Yor’sahj, it will spawn a mana bubble that when popped restores mana to those around it.  If this one does spawn, it’s important that you DPS the mana bubble to make your healers and casters happy.

Crimson Globule

Crimson Globule – When a Crimson Globule reaches Yor’sahj, it infuses Yor’sahj with the Searing Blood ability.

  • Searing Blood – Yor’sahj sears the blood of three random players, inflicting a base of  Fire damage. The further the target stands from Yor’sahj, the greater shock received from the blast. In 25 player raids, Yor’sahj sears the blood of eight random players.

The key when a crimson globule reaches the boss that everyone stack up to be able to handle the damage output that hits the whole raid.

Dark Globule

Dark Globule – When a Dark Globule reaches Yor’sahj, the corruption of the blood seeps out into the Maw of Shu’ma. This vile corruption then periodically creates Forgotten Ones that attack the players.

  • Forgotten One – These creatures fixate on a random target.
    • Psychic Slice – The Forgotten One emits a wave of psychic force at its current target, inflicting  Shadow damage.

The dark globule is easily paired with others that require you to stack up — like Crimson.  It spawns a bunch of adds that you’ll just end up AOEing down anyway.

Acidic Globule

Acidic Globule – When an Acidic Globule reaches Yor’sahj, the Maw of Shu’ma infuses with the acidic blood and stimulates further Digestive Acid production.

  • Digestive Acid – Digestive Acid periodically secretes from the stomach lining, inflicting  Nature damage to a player and nearby allies within 4 yards.
  • Digestive Acid – Digestive Acid periodically secretes from the stomach lining, inflicting  Nature damage to a random player.

Now, the acidic globule should never exist with the crimson globule if both of them spawn, so you’ll be forced to kill one of them. It’s typically the green. You cannot stack up and spread out at the same time, so make the choice.

Shadowed Globule

Shadowed Globule – When a Shadowed Globule reaches Yor’sahj, it infuses Yor’sahj with the Deep Corruption ability.

  • Deep Corruption – Yor’sahj’s Deep Corruption spreads to every player, causing every fifth healing or absorbtion effect cast on a player to trigger a violent detonation, inflicting  Shadow damage to all players.

The shadowed globule is the most common one you’ll be killing, so station yourself close to purple.

Ooze Priority

The goal on this fight is to always kill one ooze before it reaches the boss, deal with the fall out of the other two, and then back to dpsing the boss.  When that one ooze does fall, the other two become immune to further damage.

Here’s your basic kill order:

  1. Shadowed Globule – This one causes your raid to blow up if they receive too many heals, and proves the most problematic. If there’s a purple up, kill it.
  2. Acidic Globule – This one causes your raid to spread out to avoid some damage, while most others can easily be handled by stacking up.
  3. Glowing Globule – Void bolts hitting the entire raid aren’t fun, but it’s manageable if you already have to stack up.
  4. Dark Globule – Killing this one prevents you from spending time DPSing things other than the boss, ultimately making the fight shorter, but it’s still manageable.
  5. Crimson Globule
  6. Cobalt Globule

The biggest exception with this order is if you end up with a red, purple, and a green.  This is easily one of the most difficult combinations to overcome, and you’ll have to eliminate that green globule to avoid spreading out.  Your healers will dread this combination, just expect that.  Keep in mind also that your raid may need to handle the kill order a bit differently based on composition.  Be ready to adjust.

What does a Hunter need to know?

Well first of all, this fight is pretty hunter friendly as you work on the initial globule pulls by range.  You’ll likely be the first ones to be able to hit them, so do as much damage as possible.  It’s important you know your kill orders, and dps the correct glob.  This is a raid awareness fight, so make sure you’re paying attention.  Use your Explosive Traps and Multi-Shots on the black globs to help bring those down fast, and if you do end up with a mana bubble, that needs to take priority before getting back to dpsing the boss.

Hunter Loot from Yor’sahj the Unsleeping

Still having trouble? Check out Learn to Raid’s video.

Good luck!

Strategy: Warlord Zon’ozz

Morynne —  December 14, 2011 — 2 Comments

Tennis anyone? No? Learn to love it.

  • Name: Warlord Zon’ozz
  • Raid: Dragon Soul
  •  Tanks Needed: 2 (but can be done with 1)
  • Catch: Need to practice your serve.
  • This guide is for the normal encounter.

This is a 2 phase encounter, but they cycle back and forth until the boss is dead.

Phase 1: Ping Pong

Abilities:

  • Focused Anger – Warlord Zon’ozz increasingly focuses his anger and rage, increasing his Physical damage done by 10% and his attack speed by 10% . This effect stacks.
  • Psychic Drain – Warlord Zon’ozz channels a wave of psychic force in a 30 degree cone in front of himself, inflicting $%104322s1 Shadow damage and leeching life for ten times the amount of damage dealt.
  • Disrupting Shadows – Warlord Zon’ozz covers random players with Disrupting Shadows. The effect inflicts $%103434s1 Shadow damage every 2 seconds. The shadows also deal 55592 to 64608 Shadow damage and knockback the targeted player if the effect is dispelled.
  • Disrupting Shadows – Warlord Zon’ozz covers random players with Disrupting Shadows. The effect inflicts $%103434s1 Shadow damage every 2 seconds.
  • Void Diffusion – When the Void collides with a player it diffuses, inflicting $%103527s1 Shadow damage split evenly between nearby players. The force of this diffusion causes the void to richocet in the opposite direction, and the absorbed souls increase the damage the Void inflicts by 20% per diffusion.
  • Void Diffusion – When the Void collides with a player it diffuses, inflicting 67000 Shadow damage. The force of this diffusion causes the void to richocet in the opposite direction, and the absorbed souls increase the damage the Void inflicts by 5% per diffusion.
  • Black Blood Eruption – If the Void of Unmaking reaches the outer edges of the Maw of Go’rath, it will spark a violent reaction. This eruption deals $%108794s2 Shadow damage to all targets within the maw, knocking them into the air.

So how do you handle this? Well, your ranged and melee are in 2 groups, and you’ll bounce the void ball between the two groups until there’s a 5 count of the Void Diffusion.  Then the melee get out of the way of the void and have the ball hit Zon’ozz, resetting his stacks of Focused Anger.  That will throw him into phase 2.  If you’re having difficulty imagining how this works, icy-veins has some excellent diagrams.

Phase 2: The Blackness

When the Void collides with Warlord Zon’ozz, it inflicts a distracting shock to him. The Void Diffusion increases the damage Zon’ozz takes by 5% for every time the Void of the Unmaking bounces between players. This collision enrages Warlord Zon’ozz, causing him to awaken the Maw of Go’rath and lose his Focused Anger.

You’ll want to have your raid stack up on melee in order to heal through this damage. He also summons a whole bunch of tentacles around the room. The focus during this phase is to stay alive, and put as much damage on the boss as possible.  When the phase is over, you’ll start phase 1 again.

What does a Hunter need to know?

As a ranged class, Hunters on this fight need to stick with the ranged group.  They are responsible for bouncing the void ball back to the Melee, and working with the group to prevent casualties.  When the ball hits Zon’ozz and phase 2 begins, make sure that you’re grouping up with melee.  You will be the furthest person out, so make sure you’re still in the AOE healing.  Phase 2 is a good time to blow your DPS cooldowns as it is a limited movement phase, and you’ll get the most out of it.  I haven’t tested Deterrence with avoiding some of the damage, but I’m reasonably certain it will not work.

Hunter Loot from Warlord Zon’ozz

Still having trouble? Check out Learn to Raid’s video.

Good luck!

I was doing some thinking over the weekend, and I realized that I have no reason to run the new 5-mans beyond getting the achievements.  I don’t need the Valor points after my normal raid week, nor do I need the gear.

I’m wondering if Blizzard intentionally made their new 5-mans in 4.3 something that raiders can skip?

Here’s the deal, if you do LFR and clear all the bosses, you get 500 Valor points.  Each normal raid boss you complete gives you 100 VP.  If you’re doing the first 4 bosses in Dragon Soul and Alizabal, you’re getting maxed out before you even get to Ultraxion.

I like that Valor is normalized between 10 and 25 man raids now, and I like that if you’re in game, and doing something, you’ll get maxed out valor points. What I don’t like though is the fact that Blizzard has created these 3 amazing heroic dungeons with some great stories in them, but hasn’t given a reason to run them, assuming people are running LFR and being moderately successful in normal mode raids.

What do you think?