Halfus Wyrmbreaker, 25 man Bastion of Twilight
Once you’ve made your way around the entry hall’s trash packs, you’ll enter a room with several dragons and a nasty looking Ettin. With this encounter, you’ll have the ability to unlock 3 of the nearby dragons that will ‘help’ you with this encounter. Help is a loose term as once they are released, Halfus will mind control them. Our first night on this we got the Nether Scion – who gives him frenzy, and reduces raid damage dealt, but counters his frenzy; Storm Rider – who lets him cast Shadow Nova, but makes the cast time long enough to be interrupted; and the Whelps – who makes the proto-drake’s fire hit harder, but also makes the raid take less damage. The other dragons include Time Warden and Slate Dragon (covered at the end of this strategy). All abilities are given to Halfus at the start of the encounter, but the raid benefits do not happen until those dragons are freed.
For this encounter we enabled the aid of all 3 of our dragons nearly simultaneously. We did not want to have any of the abilities un-countered for more then a second or two. Especially in this case where we needed to have the Shadow Nova interrupted before a second one could go off. Hunters MD’d them to our tanks who waited patiently by the whelp cage. The rest of the raid was spread around the room at 10+ yard formations, to counteract meteors that fell from the sky. Shadow Nova seemed to be one of the most painful abilities of our encounter when interrupts were missed. It deals a fair amount of damage and knocks everyone back. As a healer, we found this hard to heal through and never seemed to gain any ground when the interrupts were missed.
As soon as the tanks had gained aggro on the dragons, we blew Bloodlust to open the fight. This gave our cleavers full charge to blow their cooldowns and cause massive damage to the dragons. In this way we were able to gain 2 more minutes on the boss before his enrage timer kicked in. The rest of the raid focused on killing Nether Scion, while keeping everything else tanked close for the cleaves. Healers will also have to manage their mana until gear levels us out more. My husband and I ran through 4 mana tide totems between the 2 of us, calling out our drops between the rooms.
I have to stress how important it is for this particular combination to make sure that every Shadow Nova is interrupted. It CAN NOT be missed. Your healers cannot, at this stage of the game, heal through the damage.
Once the dragons are down, Halfus will retain their buffs and debuffs. Once he reaches 50% he will start casting Furious Roar. This ability will stun the raid three times, making movement limited and blocking all raid abilities for its duration, he will do this every 30 seconds so plan your cooldowns accordingly. As soon as the stuns are over he will cast a Shadow Nova that needs to be interrupted. We had our mages blink on the 3rd stun and counterspell this immediately. With our raid’s output we still missed the enrage timer, fortunately he was at .8% and our living dps and dots was enough to still take him out.
Side Note: Just to make a note of the dragons that we did not get in this encounter. Time Warden gives his proto-drake the ability to cast fireballs, which will show up on the ground as fire that needs to be dodged by the raid. And Slate Dragon gives him Malevolent Strikes, which causes a stacking healing debuff, the tanks will need to taunt off each other to counteract this. As well the dragon will stun the raid and Halfus for 15 seconds throughout the encounter.