I don’t usually post outside of Sundays, but I came across something I found of interest today. If you don’t follow WoW Insider, you may have missed this.. Guild Ox has implemented an alt search through their site. What this means is that anyone can search just one of your character names, and it will produce a list of your alts too. It’s true that this might help guilds with their selection of new recruits, but honestly I see far too many con’s to this.
My toons are my toons, I choose who I put on my Real ID because I trust those people to know my alts. No one else needs to know that information. If someone were harassing me, would I want them to be able to do so no matter who I was on? Do I want to be judged because of what I may, or may not have done on my other toons?
Anyway /end rant.
According to WoW Insider, and Guild Ox, this feature can be disabled. Hit escape, go into interface, then display and then check “display only character achievements to others”.
If you want to see the full article, go here
It’s that time again! Firelands 4.2 patch is rapidly approaching, and much of the gear to come from it has been announced. So it has been tasked to the Extra Bag Space members to once again wake up our collective minds and come up with a list of the best in slot items for your Firelands to do lists! On today’s list, we have available Best in Slot lists for Retribution Paladin, Holy Paladin, Holy Priest, Destruction/Affliction Warlock, Feral Druid(Bear and Cat), and of course my own Restoration Shaman. All of our guides are put together, and posted in our public forums at www.extrabagspace.org. And I promise, they have Item Links!
As a focus going in to 4.2, Blizzard has seemed to put an emphasis on healers to focus on crit as a secondary stat. This seems to be even more so for resto shamans Daritos Food For Thought. With these changes in mind, I’ve weighed the BiS gear to:
Head: Erupting Volcanic Faceguard (Tier 12)/Crown of Flame – Ragnaros
Neck: Heartstone of Ryolith – Lord Rhyolith
Shoulders: Craterflame Spaulders – Alysrazor/Erupting Volcanic Mantle(Tier 12)
Back: Flowing Flamewrath Cloak – Avengers of Hyjal (Friendly): Upgraded via a Crystallized Firestone, dropped by Fireland bosses in heroic mode
Chest: Erupting Volcanic Tunic (Tier 12)
Wrist: Cauterizing Wristbands – Lord Rhyolith
Weapon: Hammer of the Firelord – Ragnaros/Dragonwrath, Terecgosa’s Rest: While the int on Dragonwrath makes this item incredible, even for healers despite the hit on it, this should still unquestionably go to casters first.
Shield: Ward of the Red Widow – Beth’tilac
Relic: Singed Plume of Aviana – 700 Valor Points: Upgraded via a Crystallized Firestone, dropped by Fireland bosses in heroic mode
Hands: Erupting Volcanic Handguards (Tier 12)
Waist: Girdle of the Flaming Foothold – Avengers of Hyjal (Honored): Upgraded via a Crystallized Firestone, dropped by Fireland bosses in heroic mode
Legs: Thoracic Flame Kilt – Beth’tilac/Erupting Volcanic Legwraps (Tier12)
Feet: Footwraps of Quenched Fire – Leatherworking Crafted/Treads of Implicit Obedience – Shannox
Rings: Quicksilver Signet of the Avengers -Avengers of Hyjal (Exalted)/Soothing Brimstone Circle 1250 Valor Points: Upgraded via a Crystallized Firestone, dropped by Fireland bosses in heroic mode
Trinkets: Jaws of Defeat – Majordomo Staghelm/Eye of Awareness – Alysrazor
Cho’Gall has three phases, the first two alternating back and forth. In phase one your raid will stack up and dispel. Phase two will see you spreading out, interrupting and dispelling, killing adds, and killing boss. The third phase is all about focusing and burning down. With practice this fight is easily downed.
This boss will give you an insanity meter, which each member of the raid will need to keep an eye on individually. In all honesty, this can be used as a good measure to see how much raid awareness each person has. With each thing that hits you/you stand in, your meter will rise. Every stack you get of insanity, you increase the damage you take by 3% in phase three. Every 25% you will see new penalties for these infringements.
25% Corruption – Accelerated: This accelerates your stacks, you will want to focus on dispelling this. Unfortunately it will not clear the insane stacks themselves.
50% Corruption – Sickness: Causes you to vomit on players in front of you, increasing their insanity stacks as well. You need to stand just outside of the stack and face away from the raid.
75% Corruption – Malformation: Will spawn a hostile tentacle out of you.
100% Corruption – Absolute: Increases the damage done by you by 100%, and spells are also instant. Reduces healing against you by 100%
Start off by stacking DIRECTLY on top of each other at the front of the circle once the trash is cleared. Have your two primary tanks pull Cho’Gall and face him away from the raid. One of the first things the raid will notice is Conversion. Boss mods will show this also as “Worshiping”. Three raid members (in 25 man) will be chosen at random and become mind controlled, and increase his damage by 10% each. It’s important to break this control as soon as possible as the longer they are controlled, the more their insanity will stack. This can be broken with Warstomp, Shadowfury, or less optimally Fear, Scatter Shot, and Shockwave.
Cho’Gall summons the aid of elementals during this first phase as well. Flame Orders will summon a fire elemental, who will cause the tanks to take additional damage. Along with this, it will also summon circles of fire on the ground called Blaze. Don’t stand in the fire, nothing new. Tanks will also see an increase in the damage they take during Flame Orders. Cho’Gall will also summon a shadow elemental with Shadow Orders, the raid will see more damage with this elemental. Your healers may want to adjust accordingly.
The tanks are not without their own mechanics on this fight, Fury of Cho’Gall is designed just for them. We have our two primary tanks stay on the boss for the whole fight and just switch this mechanic back and forth. Fury causes massive physical and shadow damage and increases the damage the afflicted tank takes. So change tanks when one gets this debuff.
Cho’Gall will summon an extra add, this is the Corrupted Adherent. It will appear from a portal and should be picked up as it spawns, we have a Death Knight go Blood for this task. The add will target a random raid member and give them a swirly purple pattern where they stand called Corrupting Crash. You and your raid have seconds after this is cast to scatter away from the spot. Even better, move early. It will cast several of these, so watch for the phase to end before stacking up again, and watch to make sure you move if one targets you or someone near you. Getting hit with this will greatly increase your insanity. It is possible, and in fact likely, that you will have Blaze and Corrupting Crash to deal with at the same time. Stack up again as soon as the crashes are done. All focus should go into bringing it down quickly. The add will cast a spell called Depravity, which should be interrupted by any means. Once the add is down to about 30%, have the offtank kite him to the entrance. Range will need to continue dpsing and interrupting him. 30 seconds after the Adherent is spawned, Cho’Gall will cast Fester Blood. If the add is still alive, it will receive a massive buff. If its dead, a pool will form, and from that pool will spawn adds called Corrupted Blood. Slow these, AoE these, knock these back (yes elementals, you can unglyph Thunderstorm for this fight!). Kill them and keep them out of the raid, if they hit someone, that person will take a hit to their insanity.
Cho’Gall will go into phase three when he hits 25%, you should start moving him to the wall prior to this. Ideally when going in to phase three, it’s hoped that no one will be above 25% of their insanity meter. The reality in a 25 man is that this will likely not be the case. So again through the phase, dispellers should be aware of anyone who hits the 25% mark and dispel the Accelerated Corruption, and everyone should be conscious of their own meters to turn from the raid if they hit 50% for Sickness Corruption.
In phase three, the constant monitoring of one’s self and surroundings (although still important to be mindful of Sickness Corruption) is replaced with the frantic need to kill. Cho’Gall needs to be brought to the wall for this phase. He will spawn tentacles in this phase, if placed right you should get three groups of these: left, right, and on top of him. The tentacles will choose a target and cast a beam on them, this beam will reduce the damage the target causes and the healing they receive by 75%. Interrupt the beams and dps the tentacles down as quickly as possible. Dps should switch between dpsing these tentacles, and dpsing the boss. Do this til Cho’Gall hits zero hp and win!
Ascendant is one of those fights that basically should just get easier with time and practice. There is a lot going on, with a lot of mechanics, just like most of the new Cataclysm raids, but overall there isn’t that much that any one group should feel overwhelmed by. That said, it is none the less a fight where people WILL need to be on their feet and paying very close attention to their toons buffs and debuffs. Its also one of those cursed fights where you need to make sure everyone is alive for the last phase, but that a quarter of your raid will probably get disconnected as it starts. So prior to pulling, make sure your team does what they need to insofar as their video settings are concerned.
This fight progresses through three phases. During the first phase you will face Ignacious and Feludius, the second phase will be Arion and Terrastra, and finally the Elementium Monstrosity. The bosses use a number of abilities in each phase, but what makes this fight so interesting is that you will be using the opposing boss’ abilities to cancel out current boss abilities. In phase one Inferno Rush is used to clear Waterlog. In phase two, Searing Winds cancels out Quake, and Gravity Well cancels Thundershock. It’s important to remember these combinations. Even more important is to know what to do if you get Lightning Rod in the second phase, check Arion below for how to deal with that. Each phase changes when a boss is brought down to 25%. To minimize the amount of hit points the Elementium Monstrosity starts off with, you will want to get the bosses of each phase to 25% as close as possible to each other. Bloodlust is used at the beginning of the third phase.
Phase one: Ignacious. Ignacious and Feludius are picked up by the tanks where they stand at the top of the stairs; Ignacious on the left, Feludius on the right. Melee stacks up on the left and remains there. Ignacious will Inferno Leap to a random raid member, this will inflict 23k to 27k fire damage, and knockback anyone nearby. As he runs back to his aggro target, he leaves a trail of fire between him and the member he charged, called Inferno Rush. The tank will want to move the boss back a little to give melee room to dps without standing in it. The fire inflicts only 4k to 6k every half second, but more importantly this trail of fire is what will be needed to get rid of Feludius’s Waterlog debuff. Burning Blood is another ability that gets placed on a player, it deals increasing fire damage to that player every 2 seconds. It’s nearly always put on someone in melee range. The ability is dispellable, though it does grant nearby allies additional damage when facing Feludius, we dispel this anyway so as to keep damage even between the bosses. For the tank, they will deal with Flame Torrent, which deals 36k to 42k every second for 3 seconds. It’s an 18yrd cone effect in front of him so tanks will of course want to keep him turned from the raid. Finally comes Aegis of Flame and Rising Flame. Aegis is a one million absorb shield placed around himself and also prevents spell interruptions, Rising Flames is cast right after Aegis, and it deals increasing fire damage to the entire raid until it can be interrupted. You should have someone call out this dps switch so the shield can be brought down as quick as possible.
Phase One: Feludius. While the melee are hard at work on Ignacious, your range should be focused entirely on Feludius, except for when Aegis of Flame is up. This boss also has a number of abilities, some directly proportional to Ignacious’. Hydrolance is a devastating frost bolt that deals 45k to 55k damage to a random raid member, you should have one person with a stable connection specifically watching for this ability to interrupt it. Heart of Ice is nearly opposite to Ignacious’ Burning Blood, this is usually cast out into the range group, deals increasing frost damage every 2 seconds, is dispellable, but will give anyone who comes into contact with that person increased damage against Ignacious. Again we dispel this so as to keep damage even with the bosses. He also casts a chain of frost abilities that need to be dealt with. He starts it off with Waterbomb, this causes 9k to 11k damage to random raid members and inflicts them with Waterlog. As mentioned previously, anyone who gets this debuff should immediately run through the fire trail to get rid of it. Glaciate is the next step of the chain, it deals massive frost damage to anyone nearby which dissipates the further away a person is, however anyone who has not cleared the Waterlogged debuff will now find a new debuff on themselves, Frozen Blood. Frozen Blood will freeze the target solid, dealing 20k frost damage every two seconds for 10 seconds.
Phase Two: Arion. The bosses in phase 2 should be brought to the center of the room. In this phase, there is a great deal of movement involved, it will be very rare that you find yourself just standing in one spot. The MOST IMPORTANT thing to worry about in this phase (and perhaps the entire encounter) is Lightning Rod. The targets of this should be apparent via most boss mods, but even with that most people should not miss the giant yellow arrow floating above their heads. If this should happen to you, immediately turn to the nearest wall and don’t stop running until you get there, and do NOT run with other people who have this mark, adjust to distance yourself if need be. Ignore any other mechanics to this phase if you get this debuff. Lightning Rod is what marks people who will get hit with Chain Lightning, which bounces to anyone nearby. The more people it jumps to, the more damage it will cause. With the Lightning Rod people safely out of the way, you can focus on the rest of Arion’s abilities. He will cast Call Winds, which look like blue and black tornadoes that swirl randomly around the room. Once this is summoned you should immediately run into it, this will give you Searing Winds which will make your toon float just above the floor. This is important to counter Terrastra’s Quake ability, a massive shockwave that is sent through the earth. A small note, priests’ levitate will not work to counter Quake. Arion’s counter to Quake is Thundershock which deals 146k to 154k damage to all nearby enemies that are not ‘grounded’ from a Gravity Well, it can deal even more to people still set with the Searing Winds buff so once Quake has ended, run to a Gravity Well so you can counter this ability. Gravity Wells are white swirls located on the ground that appear to have 4 swirling winds in the corners feeding into it, it can sometimes be a little bit of a fight to get back out of a Gravity Well so plan accordingly. Finally the last two abilities for Arion are Disperse and Lightning Blast. For Disperse Arion vanishes into the wind and rematerializes elsewhere, its a good idea to have a tank with something akin to charge for quick pickups. As soon as he is whole again, he will cast Lightning Blast on the tank, inflicting 72k to 88k of nature damage.
Phase Two: Terrastra. Terrastra actually has the least abilities of all the bosses, but they are no less devastating in their effect. As mentioned through Arion, Terrastra has a deadly ground effect called Quake. Like Thundershock this deals about 146k to 154k to players standing on the ground. It can cause even more damage to anyone retaining the Gravity Well buff. Tornadoes, or Searing Winds, from Call Winds will counter this effect, allowing players to float above the effected ground. Next up is Eruption, this starts off as a minor dust effect on the floor, about the same size as a Gravity Well, which fires spikes of earth directly upward. These spikes inflict 47k to 53k and should be easily avoidable. The tank on this boss should be moving her so that neither he nor melee should take damage from this. Finally Terrastra will cast Hardened Skin, this will increase the physical damage she causes by 100%, it will also absorb 50% of the damage she takes. The shield has 650k hp and will shatter if destroyed, causing 10% damage to her.
Phase Three: Elementium Monstrosity. In this phase you will want to have your raid spread out 8 yards from each other, and have them remain spread despite the fact that they may still have to move. Elementium Monstrosity has 4 elemental attacks in this final phase: Lava Seed, Liquid Ice, Electric Instability, and Gravity Crush. Lava Seed is cast on the surrounding area which explodes causing 35k to 45k damage to all nearby players. Liquid Ice is the ability which will cause your tanks to be moving the boss consistently. A pool of ice will form under the boss, increasing in size the longer he remains standing within it. This ice will cause increasing frost damage to any players standing within it. This ability is what determines our tanking method. We pulled him to one side and snaked him up one side, then down the other, creating layers of the Ice Pool and allowing the ranged to stay 40 yards back constantly, and spread really nicely. Electric Instability is a lightning effect cast on random raid members. This starts as a damage effect that causes 5k to 7k damage, chaining to other nearby members, with a damage multiplier that increases the longer the boss remains alive. Finally he will cast Gravity Crush, this will engulf random members inside a bubble and lift them high into the air. The bubble will deal 10% of the players health every half second for 6 seconds, at which time the bubble reaches the maximum height and pops, most likely dropping the target to their death unless they get a quick heal, or get or use a safe-falling technique (blink, levitate, heroic leap, rocket jump to name only a few). You want to lust at the beginning of this phase to burn him as quickly as possible.
Chimaeron is designed to test your healers, dps and tanks will likely find this fight quite boring. By testing, I mean showing control over your healing and managing your mana, especially in these first steps of raiding where mana is at a premium for all healers. Chimaeron consists of 3 phases, the first two alternate, and the 3rd happens when he hits 20%. You don’t start this fight by pulling Chimaeron, like you normally would for a boss, but instead go around to the back of the room. Finkle will be waiting there in his cage, spamming your screen with his woeful cries of help. Instead of leaving his cage and coming to your aid though, he sends his Bile-O-Tron, which is no small help.
Phase one starts when Finkle activates the Bile-O-Tron, it will cycle around the room and awake the boss. Before the fight starts, you will want to assign a healer to every group, one to the tanks (during Double Strike), and have the remaining healers float. I suggest 8 healers for this fight. Make sure that your dps get into a comfortable position, and that your healers can reach everyone in their group. Spread out, 8 yards from one another, and note your position so you can run to it asap with only minor adjustments. As Bile-O-Tron makes his circuit, he will spray Finkle’s Mixture around the room. This will help in saving the life of everyone in the raid. So long as he is active, anyone above 10k health cannot die, so healers need only focus on keeping their groups above this, not topping everyone off. Chimaeron will have five abilities during this phase of the fight. The tanks will be dealing with two of these by themselves, Double Strike and Break. Double Strike is just that, a second melee attack 0.1 seconds after the next melee attack against the person holding the aggro. This tank should be geared and specced for self healing, mitigation, and survivability. They don’t necessarily need to generate more threat on the boss, just taunt for the ability. Break puts stacking debuff on tanks that reduces healing by 15%, increases damage by 25% per stack, 60 second duration, max 4 stacks. Make sure your pally healer is keeping Beacon of Light on the tank taking the Break damage. During these two abilities you will want one tank on him, taking the Break and damage. Since Chim’s attacks are only a 5 second swing, you need only keep this tank above 10k hit points. When Double Strike is announced, the other tank will taunt him and take the brunt of the attacking. This tank will need to be kept topped off while he is the one with aggro.
For the rest of the raid, they will have their own worries. Chimaeron will choose several people in the raid and cast Caustic Slime on them. This will drop each of its targets below 10k making them vulnerable to another attack. In addition anyone caught nearby will take a split of the damage, dropping them below as well and stressing the healers. The second ability to watch for is Massacre, this will bring your entire raid down to 1 hit point, and they will need to be healed above 10k immediately or die to the next Caustic Slime. Whenever a player drops below 10k Hit Points, they get a debuff called Low Health, healing them above 10k will get rid of this. The final ability in this phase actually signifies the beginning of the next phase, Feud. The Bile-O-Tron will go offline and the heads Chimaeron will begin to fight with each other.
Phase two, Feud. As soon as the Bile-O-Tron goes offline (‘System Failure’ on most mods), it is of the utmost importance that everyone stack up, designate where before the fight begins. This is where the stress comes in for the healers, as the Caustic Slime will continue to come. Fortunately because the damage is now split between all of your raid, it will no longer one shot anyone, but everyone with an aoe healing ability should be using it here to keep the raid alive. It is also STRONGLY suggested (and in our raid required) to have everyone trained above 500 First Aid. Everyone is required to bandage every Feud phase except for the healers or hybrid dps who are helping to heal. This way people can bandage themselves to take some of the stress off the healers. This phase lasts 30 seconds, and a Massacre will cast nearly the same time the phase ends. Have your raid begin to spread back to their original positions when there is about 4 seconds left on the Massacre cast. Phase one will begin again and healers will go back to controlling their heals. At about 25%-30% healers should begin to focus on topping off the tanks, along with continuing to keep the raid alive (make leeway here with healing, if possible). When Chimaeron reaches 20%, he will go into phase 3. Do NOT push him to 20% until after a Massacre is cast and the raid is all above 10k
Phase three will put a debuff on the entire raid called Mortality, which reduces healing effects by 99%, increases the damage he takes by 20%, and renders him immune to taunt. Fortunately Bile-O-Tron will remain active. When the phase starts, Bloodlust. Healers can now relax from the urgent healing and focus instead on dpsing the boss by any and all means necessary. Every bit of damage will be required to help bring this behemoth down. The key to success is burning him down, but also keeping him moving. If you see him target you, run to the other side of the room away from him.
Atramedes takes a mechanic we’re well familiar with, and adds that special twist to it. This dragon may be blind, but that won’t stop him from completely annihilating your raid a few times while you learn him, handy capable indeed. If you’re lucky enough to not have mods blocking it, the first thing you’ll notice when you pull this boss is the circle that will show up about mid-lower-center of your screen. This is your sound indicator and it will be your best friend for this fight.
The setup: We split our raid so there’s an even number of people on each side, heals and dps. One group stacks between the door and the boss, our second group is between the boss and the back of the room. In this way, when the boss summons the disk’s, they are easier to dodge. The fight only requires one tank so we have him face the dragon to the right. And finally, we have someone out ringing the gongs, low latency is pro here as it takes good timing.
The Mechanics: All of Atremedes’ attacks are ‘sound’ based. Not only will they cause damage to the raid, but they will also increase the sound that you take on. If your sound reaches the max level (that little circle in the middle of your screen), he will one shot you. In addition, the amount of damage you take is multiplied by the amount of sound you have. So its important that you avoid taking on as much sound as possible to keep from dying early. Your gong runner can hit a gong and clear the entire raid of their sound, but these clears are of course limited, so don’t use more then once per ground phase and twice per air phase. Banging the gong will put Atramedes into a state of Vertigo, where he will take 50% more damage. This will of course get him pretty angry and he will destroy the gong once its been used. There is a specific time the gongs should be used, covered in the mechanics of the fight.
Phase one, ground. There are four things he will cast while he’s on the ground phase of the encounter. The first of these attacks is called Modulation, it looks like a lined circle(s) that radiates out from him, taking up the entire room. It causes 39k to 41k of shadow damage and increases your sound by 7, unfortunately it is unavoidable. Not to be confused with it is Sonar Pulse which looks like a smaller, multiplied version of the Modulation, and will start underneath him and move out from there. This effect moves slower, and should be dodged. If touched, it will cause arcane damage and increase your sound by an additional 7. Third is Sonic Breath, this will target the player with the most sound and after a 2 second cast, will shoot a jet of flame out at that player. The player that gets this cast on them will need to separate themselves from their group and run in a circle around him. Since your team is split up, this should keep the jet from hitting anyone besides the target. The higher the target’s sound, the faster the jet will follow them, hitting them with 15k damage a second and 20 sound every second it touches them (as well as anyone else caught in it). Finally the last cast is Searing Flame. This is a devastating attack that inflicts 14k to 16k damage every second and applies a debuff which increases fire damage by 25% 8 times over a period of 8 seconds. Its VERY important that Searing Flames gets interrupted, and the only way to do so is through Vertigo, the effect of the used gong. So time your gong rings to this ability.
Phase Two, Air. This phase is far more chaotic then the first. Once Atramedes takes off into the air, your raid will want to scatter, and be continuously moving. Try avoiding the center during this phase as the effects can and often will persist beyond the phase. There are 3 attacks performed during his air phase, Roaring Flame Breath, Sonic Bombs, and Sonic Fireballs. Roaring Flames Breath will target the player with the highest sound, and will follow them as they try to run. Like the Sonic Breath in phase one, the higher the person’s sound, the faster it will follow them. Unlike phase one, the flames will stay on the ground after, inflicting 14k to 16k damage and an additional 7k to 9k every second thereafter for 4 seconds. Sonic Fireballs are a bit more painful, pelting the raid with 29k to 31k fire damage to anyone within 6 yards of impact. As you are running, you will notice throughout the phase that more circular sound discs will appear, except this time directly on you. This is the Sonic Bomb and fortunately its stationary once its chosen its targets, so its easy to get out of it and avoid the 30k arcane damage it inflicts. Don’t forget to ring the gong again in this phase to clear the sound, and be prepared to run after, as you will likely be the next target for the Roaring Flames Breath. So again phase two is all about moving to avoid the fire and sonic, if you’re not standing still for a long period of time, or running into something you shouldn’t, you should be able to live through this phase pretty easily.
After 40 seconds Atramedes will land and phase one will begin again. Stack up again as close as you can to where you started, avoiding any remaining fire of course. Repeat from the beginning.
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.
This badass has a 5 minute enrage timer, so you will need to have a good team capable of burning him down. He does 3 basic things to your group. Meteor Slash, Consuming Darkness, and Fel Firestorm.
To start off the fight, you want to split your raid into 2 relatively equal groups before you do your pull. Once you’ve begun to run in, you will want to stack DIRECTLY on top of your tank (2 tanks regardless of its 10/25 of course). One group to his left, the other to his right. One of the first things you’ll see is his Meteor Slash. If you’ve played WoW before Cata this probably won’t be a new mechanic for you. In 25 man, this will drop 475k damage split between everyone on the side of the tank that currently has aggro (200k for 10 man). Once the Meteor Strike’s gone out, it will leave a debuff called Meteor Slash, which makes it necessary for your opposite tank to then taunt so that no one side is taking consistent strikes. The debuff stacks, which increases the fire damage taken.
The second thing you will notice, and in short order of the fight starting, will be the Consuming Darkness Magic debuff. This needs to be dispelled as FAST AS POSSIBLE. For our 25 man group, we assigned healers to cover the groups. Priests are pro for their mass dispel, but Shamans and Paladins work too. Its important to dispel as soon as possible as the debuff causes 3900-4100 damage every .5 seconds and lasts 15 seconds or until dispelled. Nasty business that.
At 66% and 33% he will stop his meteor strikes and debuffs and cast Fel Firestorm. Its important for your group to break up a split second before this casts and scatter away from anyone nearby. Small green meteors will fall from the sky, and forms Fel Flame on the ground where they land. Avoid these as much as possible as the fire causes 8.2k to 8.8k of damage for as long as you are standing in them. Have your locks pass out health stones before the fight, or make sure you have health pots for this as your healers will also be separated and running as well. Run back to your tanks as this ability begins to end.
Aside from this, much of your fight will depend on whether your dps team can get him down before the 5 minute berserk timer goes off and your raid gets slaughtered. If you can manage it, enjoy your first taste of T11 and pvp gear!
Well, its been a busy week for EBS. A large portion of the guild, and especially its core raiding group have managed to hit 85. And as no surprise, that is only where the REAL work has begun. 2 days after the release of Cata I hit level cap, and not a moment has gone by where it seems I’ve not been working on one thing or another. My days have been filled with Therazane dailies while I make my rounds to get ore for the multiple pieces I need to have crafted. Engineering, Cooking, and Archeology are getting fit in where I have time as well (and the odd fish here and there). The guild has progressed to level 3. And, finally after countless weekends spent, I’ve managed to win the STV fishing contest, and obtain my Salty title (even though it will still not replace my beloved “Insane” title)! Happy day indeed, as I also managed to acquire a Hyacinth Macaw that evening as well, one of the very few old pets I was missing and been working to get for close to 2 years now. And more good news, the guild is up and raiding now before the holidays, and I’ve managed to land myself a sweet heroic achievement running group. So expect posts as I’m able to get them up!!
Its been one exciting week indeed, but I’m sure you guys want the juicy strategy bits, so I will have an Argaloth strategy up for you in short order!
Yup, Cataclysm hits in just a few scant hours. Being as I’ll be trying for server first Shaman, there will likely be no more posts until I get there. That said, I have one last post of information to share with you all. A HUGE shout out to the members of Extra Bag Space for making an awesome contribution to the WoW community! Listed below is just a small portion of the guides and gear available for Cataclysm. For a full listing, check the class guides in the forum at www.extrabagspace.org and don’t forget to subscribe to the newsletter on the front page!
Monday, Dec 6th – Melee Guides, headlined by Baelrog’s Frost Post. Thank you to all that have contributed so far!
Sunday, Dec 5th – Tank Pre-raid Gear List Compendium
Saturday, Dec 4th – Mensan’s Bank Guide Summary
Friday, Dec 3rd – Shaman Pre-raid Gear List
Weds/Thurs, Dec 1st/2nd – Cataclysam 5-Man Heroic Guide/Assass Guide