A WoW Blog. By Shakarr of Extra Bag Space, Saurfang

Posts tagged “strategy

Back, Like a Baws!

Did you miss me?

Just kidding! I am back though after a couple of weeks exploring the wonders through the Mists. Panda haters be damned, but I do love the new zones, and yes, the new race and class.

If you don’t know that Halloween is on its way, you are obviously living in another country, or else quite deprived. But we still love you anyway <3. For the next 3 weeks I’ll be bringing you the best of my tricks and as always the treats! If you’re still playing WoW (and if you are reading this you probably are) it should be noted that Hallows End will be starting this Thursday October 18th in game.

Some things of note for this year’s Hallows End event.. Scarlet Monastery has been updated with the expansion, so I highly suggest going in and doing the Horseman at least once. The item levels will be equivalent of current MoP end game gear. If it matches Brewfest (as I’m sure it will), the level to go in will be 89. The Headless horseman’s mount is now account bound, so if you have more than one toon that is high enough take them in to try to win it. And if you haven’t been in a while, there are some new rewards that can be earned with the trick-or-treat candy like the Feline Familiar (or you can just buy one of mine of the AH $$)

Onward to the first of our Halloween goodies! Are you having a hard time deciding on your costume? Why not go as the original evil playable class, a Warlock! PMF has an awesome papercraft design for a wearable Warlock helm based on the Hood of Malefic. I put this together in relatively short time at work, and I can attest to it being big enough to be wearable… perhaps a little too big in design though.

Some comments before you get crafting though.. the horns do sag on the finished product, I used interlaced drinking straws reinforced with toothpicks taped to the underside to give a little more stability. I would advise you to glue the pieces once you have their locations mapped, it is tight enough that with the double sided tape it does get a few ‘holes’ in it. Also, this is a little difficult as far as wear-ability, there is a liner for the head built into the base, but it shifts very easily because of the weight of the horns, so you may want to think of a way to anchor this with a rubber band or pins or something.


You can find PMF’s post with the download to the pattern here

And here is my completed version, with my little Windrider Cub for reference


Stay tuned, next week will feature a double post, one for a peek at my epic Halloween playlist, and one featuring some of the best Halloween tracks released by the WoW community!!


Children’s Week, 2011

The easiest thing to forget when working on the Children’s week achievements, is having your orphan summoned when you do all of these things. To get you started, you can pick up your Orc or Human orphan in Orgrimmar in the Drag area (just below the cooking/inscription trainers) or for the Alliance, in the Cathedral district (east side). In Shattrah you can get a Dreanei or Blood Elf Orphan, or in Dalaran you can pick up a Wolvar or Oracle orphan. You’ll be handed a whistle with which you can complete quests, and complete the achievements. If you lose the whistle or want to carry the orphan around a while after doing the quests, just talk to one of the matron’s again. Blizzard has given us a great slew of achievements that we can drag our poor, unsuspecting children through. Each more dangerous than the last. Teach the kids early on that life is hard, I say…

Home alone: Use your Hearthstone while your orphan is with you. LOL yup, torture the little bugger while you leave her behind as you jump from city to city.

Bad Example: Eat the sweets listed below while your orphan is watching. [Tigule and Foror’s Strawberry Ice Cream, Red Velvet Cupcake, Lovely Cake Slice, Dalaran Doughnut, Tasty Cupcake, Delicious Chocolate Cake,  Dalaran Brownie] All but 3 of these are available in Dalaran. The Tigule and Foror’s Strawberry Ice Cream can be found in Org off the vendor during the holiday, Tasty Cupcake and Delicious Chocolate Cake are cooking recipes.

Daily Chores: Complete 5 daily quests with your orphan out. Nothing really to say about this, pick a place where you need to do quests and have at it.

Aw Isn’t It Cute?: Obtain one of the Children’s Week reward pets. Each orphan has a set of quests available when you pick them up, do the quests and get the pet. each of the 3 orphans has different pets available, 3 for Orc, 3 for Blood Elf, and either Oracle or Wolvar. (If you only want to do the quests for one orphan, I suggest getting the Shattrah orphan for Veteran Nanny)

School of Hard Knocks: Take your orphan into the battlegrounds and complete the feats listed below. [Capture the flag in Eye of the Storm(EOTS), Assault a flag in Arathi Basin(AB), Assault a tower in Alterac Valley(AV), Return a fallen flag in Warsong Gulch(WSG)].

This has got to be my most hated achievement of all time. Especially as one who would normally pvp as a healer. Pray you have some nice people from the other faction when doing most of these. Children’s week will be covered by EOTS and AV weekends this year.

EOTS – grab the flag from the center of the map and run it to one of your bases, hopefully you have a base, and hopefully you are even able to get a flag. (I will be immensely enjoying thunderstorming all of you off the ledge after I finish my achievements this weekend).

AB – Be ready to hit the gate running. If you have good latency, drop off and hit farm as soon as the gate opens. If not, try blacksmith, lumber mill, or mines.

AV – Assault a tower means you have to hit the other faction’s. So ride on til you’re more than half way across the map, and look for a nice tower to hit. Failing that, watch your map, for other towers that have changed sides. If all else fails, look for a tower that seems to be going back and forth, you might just find some people who are there for the same purpose as you, giving you an easy tap.

WSG – My nemesis achievement. If you find good luck, you could end up with an ally in your base that runs in, attacks no one, picks up the flag, and drops it. If you are here for the achievement, DON’T kill him. He’s there to help you, and is probably going to be hoping that you will be doing the same for him in return.

Side notes on this particular achievement. Yeah I know it’s already a wall of text, but its the nature of the beast. DON’T forget to make sure your orphan is up. You will die. A lot. Pay it forward if you find someone of the other faction trying to help out. There will probably be plenty of people on your side who are there to actually pvp, and won’t hesitate to take advantage of the vulnerable helpers. Ready a /truce or /wait macro, or both. People may be less likely to kill you if you’re trying to help, not all, but some who are there for the same reason as you. Also, if you get into a helpful bg, this is an ideal time to work on some of your other pvp achievements. I know I’m pretty close on Tower Defense in AV, and I’m hoping to get Persistent Defender in WSG and maybe some AB ones as well.

Hail To The King, Baby: Defeat King Ymiron in Utgarde Pinnacle with your orphan out. This doesn’t even require heroic, I would be surprised if there was a class at 85 that couldn’t easily solo this guy.

Veteran Nanny: Acquire Egbert’s Egg, Sleepy Willy, and Elekk Training Collar on one character. Fortunately it was decided in the first year of achievements that this would not be included in the meta. It takes 3 years to complete. Pick up a Dreanei or Blood Elf whistle in Shattrah respectfully, and complete the orphan’s quests. The pet counts for Aw, Isn’t It Cute?

Noblegarden, 2011

Noblegarden is a holiday that centers solely and completely up on the collection of ‘Brightly Colored Eggs’. In order to complete each of the achievements, you need to collect the chocolate from the hidden eggs and use that chocolate to both complete some of the achievements, as well as use as currency to buy the items needed to complete the other achievements.
You need a maximum total of 355 eggs to have every achievement. I say maximum, because not only does each egg have a chance at dropping the chocolaty currency, it can also drop any one of the required items for the meta! Meaning unless you are the most unlucky person in the world, you probably won’t need all the required chocolates listed. The best strategy I have for this, is to keep track of your eggs. Each time one of the items drops, subtract that from the total eggs needed (You just got a Spring Rabbit from that egg? Great! That’s 100 fewer eggs you have to find now!)
You can find the eggs in the level 5 start zones of each city.. Brill, Razor Hill, Bloodhoof Village, and Falconwing Square for the horde. (ok, ok, allys, you can find yours in Kharanos, Goldshire, Dolanaar, and Azure Watch) [It’s unlikely that areas will be added for Goblin or Worgen start areas, and Gnomes and Trolls should still share the same level 5 start zones as they always have.]

I Found One!: Find a Brightly Colored Egg. Really basic, find your first hidden egg.

Chocolate Lover: Eat 25 Noblegarden Chocolates during the Noblegarden celebration. This is the first achievement mark on the way to getting Chocoholic, which is 100 eggs.

Sunday’s Finest: Discover the White Tuxedo Shirt and Black Tuxedo Pants by opening Brightly Colored Eggs during the Noble Garden celebration. While these pieces are needed for Blushing Bride achievement, finding them in the eggs is not a part of the meta. That said, you will probably find at least one of them on your search anyway.

Dressed for the Occasion: Discover an Elegant Dress by opening Brightly Colored Eggs during the Noblegarden celebration. Not required for the meta, not required for one of the other achievements. This is one for the achievement whores to farm (Yay! 10 more epeen points! Yes, I did in fact farm this dress last year, and right after, my shadow priest alt opened it on her first egg. Ah well, least it looks sexier on the Blood Elf). Try to find someone who has it so you can complete Blushing Bride.

Hard Boiled: Lay an egg in Un’Goro Crater’s Golakka Hot Springs as a rabbit during the Noblegarden celebration. Find a friend, or you may be camping here waiting. You need to find someone with a Blossoming Branch to transform you into a bunny once you get there. Once you’re a bunny, just stick around for a minute or 2 and you’ll lay the egg and get the achievement. (you can buy a branch with chocolate, but since you can’t use it on yourself, the cost is not factored into the 355 total)

Spring Fling: Find your pet Spring Rabbit another one to love in each of the towns listed below. (See the starting towns list above). Buy or find a Spring Rabbit’s Foot. Summon it up in the towns as you look for eggs, chances are you’ll have it done in no time. You might need to work with a friend for the less common towns if you put it off longer then the first day (chances are first day, every one of the towns will have a fair number of people). The pet costs 100 chocolate if you don’t find it in an egg.

Noble Garden: Hide a Brightly Colored Egg in Silvermoon City. Buy an egg, place it in Silvermoon’s Murder Row district. The egg costs 5 chocolate, it’s the only thing you won’t find in one of the eggs.

Shake Your Bunny-Maker: Use Spring Flowers to place rabbit ears upon females of at least 18th level. [Blood Elf, Dreanei, Dwarf, Gnome, Human, Night Elf, Orc, Tauren, Troll, Undead]. Yeah… good luck with this one. Without a central meeting place for horde and alliance this will be quite a bit more difficult at best. The level 18 restriction effectively rules out the standard have-a-friend-roll-an-alt strategy. PvP battlegrounds, Tol Barad are probably your best bets.. Tol Barad Peninsula if you don’t want to get yelled at by the people actually WANTING to pvp. Outside SW or Org and maybe you’ll get lucky finding some dueling females. Be aware the flowers drop or are purchased, and they have a cd. Don’t use them on someone who already has the buff. The flowers cost 50 chocolate.

Desert Rose: Use Spring Robes to plant a flower in each of the deserts listed below. [Badlands, Desolace, Silithus, Tanaris, Thousand Needles]. Ok, so maybe half of these aren’t deserts anymore, but still. Dress is buy or drop, just like almost everything else, its /use ability will plant the flower. The dress costs 50 chocolate.

Blushing Bride: Kiss someone wearing an Elegant Dress while wearing a White Tuxedo Shirt and Black Tuxedo Pants. If you don’t get both pieces as a drop, buy what you need. Ask a friend who has a dress to help you out, hope someone in the start zones is wearing one, or, as a last resort, ask in trade. The Tuxedo pieces cost 25 chocolate each, and make for a good role-play set if you’re into it. (You can buy a dress with chocolate, but since you can’t use it on yourself to get the achievement, the cost is not factored into the 355 total)

If you find yourself with some extra chocolate, you can also buy a Spring Circlet (which is a helm that looks like bunny ears, really nice for rp) for 50 chocolate, and mages may want to invest in the Tome of Polymorph: Rabbit for 100 chocolate. The circlet can drop from eggs as well, but the tome will not.

Cho’Gall, 25 man Bastion of Twilight

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%

Phase One:

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.

Phase Two:

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.

Phase Three:

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 Council, 25 man Bastion of Twilight

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.

Maloriak, 25 man Dlackwing Descent

Maloriak is all about simple avoidance, interrupting, and dps. The fight cycles through 3 vials and 2 phases, each vial change being signified by the addition of a potion to his cauldron, and the phase change happens when he reaches 25%. The first phase he will randomly toss in a blue or red vial, alternate on the second vial, and every third vial he will throw in a green one. Maloriak himself will also be attacking the raid during this time. One thing different about this fight, is the fact that we use three tanks. The adds that you will have to deal with during this encounter hit very hard, and the amount you need to handle in each cycle may be too much for just one tank. We place our least geared tank on the boss, as he does not hit as hard, and the other 2 pick up the adds evenly and take them to separate corners.

Maloriak, Every vial. During the first phase, the boss will be attacking the raid with Arcane Storm. It hits for 14k to 16k damage every second for 6 seconds to everyone in the raid, you should have an interrupter assigned for this. You will also want to have interrupters assigned for his second ability, Release Aberrations. You will NOT be interrupting these every time they are cast, more that you will be interrupting to stagger the amount you will have to deal with during the green vial. He will release 3 of these from their growth chambers each cast which will begin attacking the raid, you need to have 9 of these alive for the green vial. You will want to interrupt all but 3 of these each cycle, and especially if you are about to go into a green. Good communication here between your offtanks and dps is a must. Killing 9 each cycle will keep you from having to deal with them in the final phase, leaving only the two big adds. It is also very important that the adds be kept away from the boss at ALL times, or else they will buff him. Finally he casts Remedy, which begins by healing himself for 75k health and 2k mana, but increases by an additional 75k a second for 10 seconds. Have a mage spell steal this effect, or at least make sure it is dispelled.

Red, Fire vial. The raid needs to stack for this vial, he casts an ability called Searing Flames which will deal 1,250,00 of damage split among all raid members. Also in this phase he casts Consuming Flames on a random target. They will take 9k of damage every second and get a debuff placed on them. Any additional damage taken by this target will increase the effect of this debuff by 50%, so anyone who has this debuff will want to be moved away from the group when he casts Searing Flames.

Blue, Frost vial. When Maloriak throws a blue vial into the cauldron, the raid will want to immediately spread out 10 yards from each other. Like the red vial, he also does two attacks in this phase, both of which chain to nearby raid members. The first of these is called Frost Freeze. When cast it will encase a random raid member in a block of ice, and anyone else within 10 yards. The blocks will last for 30 seconds and cause 70k to 80k of damage to anyone encased, when the blocks break anyone within 10 yards will also take an additional 56k to 64k of damage. The second attack is Biting Chill, which targets a random player and casts a ring of frost on them which deals 5k damage to them and anyone else within 10 yards.

Green, Poison vial. When the green vial explodes, everything in the room will be coated in Debilitating Slime. All players and enemies alike will take 100% more damage while coated, but it will also remove the Adherents’ protective Growth Catalysts, allowing you to finally kill them. At this point in time you will want to have all dps aoe killing the adds. Maloriak will jump to the back of the room, your add tank should be ready to pull the adds back to him quickly so as to damage all at the same time. Dps and interrupters of Arcane Storm should also anticipate this move so they don’t loose anything in the transaction.

Phase Two. At 25% Maloriak will enrage and cast Release All Minions. If you killed the 18 during the green vial phase, you should only have the two Prime Subjects to deal with. These 2 should be picked up by the offtanks immediately, otherwise they will Fixate on their current target and attack them the remainder of the fight. Your tanks will want to try to keep the Prime Subjects two corners ahead of where the boss will be kited. Maloriak also has two damaging attacks in this final phase, Acid Nova and Absolute Zero. Acid Nova is an aoe that deals 7.5k damage a second for 10 seconds, just heal through it. Absolute Zero are summoned frost orbs that appear by a random target. If touched, they cause 47k to 53k damage to anyone within 10 yards, and knock everyone back that’s in range. Avoid these and spread in case you can’t get out. Finally he casts Flame Jets in the direction of the tank. Maloriak should be constantly moving in this last phase, so the raid will need to always be aware of his position so they can move quickly to get out of it. Tanks should be watching his animation as well so they can sidestep the Magma Jets. Bloodlust at the beginning of this phase.

Love is in the air, 2011

If you did the love fool the first year it was a meta achievement, you will remember how this holiday was pure RNG, and in particular the candy bags cost more than a few people their violet proto drakes. Fortunately they’ve changed this holiday to more than compensate for the random number generator factor that year, so that everything you will need for the meta is obtainable with Valentine currency, Love Tokens. You can obtain these through daily quests, (and)or you can farm Lovely Charms to create Lovely Charm Bracelets to exchange for tokens.  I’m looking for anyone who finds good places to farm up the Lovely Charms, so if you find a place, please reply, I’ll be checking Tol Barad and Tol Barad Peninsula later for their rapid respawn rates, large aoe areas would also be superb.

There are some known bugs to this event. Going to SFK can cause you to lose tokens, charms, and your collection box. It’s also shown that some people have issues buying anything besides the candy bag off the merchant, if you encounter this issue type /run BuyMerchantItem(#) with # being the number slot of the item you want to buy. With luck these should be fixed no later than Tuesday. Thanks Gilthresa for finding these bugs (and I’m sorry you had to find them the hard way) and for helping with some of the confirmations <3.

Be mine!: Eat the 8 “Bag of Candies” hearts listed below. This was the one that tripped everyone up the first year. The bags were obtainable only through the hourly valentines box, were a low random droprate, and then you had the random candies inside. Now you just buy a bag through the valentine vendor for 2 Heart Tokens.

Charming: Create 12 Lovely Charm Bracelets. Complete the dailies, or kill certain mobs to get what you need to create these bracelets. You’ll want to make these anyway for the currency.

Dangerous Love: Assist the Steamwheedle Cartel in stopping the Sinister Crown Chemical Company plot. Simply complete one of the Valentine daily quests available in Orgrimmar. This will actually not be implemented until after Tuesday.

Fistful of Love: Use a Handful of Rose Petals on each of the Race/Class combination’s. Gnome Warlock, Human Death Knight, Orc Shaman, Undead Warrior, Blood Elf Mage, Dwarf Hunter, Orc Death Knight, Night Elf Priest, Tauren Druid, Troll Rogue, Dreanei Paladin. This leans a little toward the horde side, as there’s 6 horde combination and only 5 Alliance (For the Horde!!). With Dalaran a ghost town, your options might be a little more limited pre-85. If you have a spare account, or a friend’s account set up for creating these combination’s as alts and just fly around showering them. If you are max level, Tol Barad Peninsula will probably be the second best place, as there are usually a decent amount of both factions working on dailies and rep. The petals are available at the Lovely Merchant for 2 Heart Tokens (5 quantity)

Flirt With Disaster: Get completely smashed, put on your best perfume, throw a handful of rose petals on Jeremiah Payson or Sraaz and then kiss him. You’ll regret it in the morning. Pick up enough brew to get smashed, buy the perfume/cologne bottle from the Lovely Merchant (1 token, various buffs). Use one of the leftover petals from Fistful of Love, and don’t forget to /kiss. Make sure he does not still have the petal buff on him when you attempt this.

I Pitied the Fool: Pity the Love Fool in the locations listed below. Wintergrasp, Arathi Basin Blacksmith(cue for Arathi Basin battleground), Naxxramus (in Dragonblight), Battle Ring of Gurubashi Arena (North Stranglethorn Vale, will pvp flag you), and The Culling of Stratholme (Tanaris, max level will have to fly there as it doesn’t come up in the lfg tool). You can purchase them for 10 tokens each. Special note, the purchases are in single quantities, you need to buy one for each location.

Lonely?: Enjoy a Buttermilk Delight with someone in Dalaran at a Romantic Picnic during the Love is in the Air celebration. If you don’t have a friend with a picnic basket, I suggest going to Dalaran on the first day as soon as you get a Buttermilk Delight, found in the hourly valentines, or purchasable Box of Chocolates for 10 tokens off the Lovely Merchant. You can purchase your own basket for 10 tokens if you absolutely don’t know anyone or can’t find anyone in Dalaran.

Lovely Luck is on Your Side: Open a Lovely Dress Box and receive a Lovely Black Dress. This isn’t part of the meta, but if you really want to go for achievements you can buy the dress boxes after you finish the meta. The boxes contain one of a number of different colored dresses, and getting the black one is random. Just buying it off the AH or getting it from a friend will not activate the achievement. Lovely Dress Boxes are 20 tokens each.

My Love is Like a Red, Red Rose: Obtain a bouquet of Red or Ebon Roses during the Love is in the Air celebration. These drop off certain Northrend instance bosses, and will drop in normal and heroic versions. Maiden of Grief in Halls of Stone, Prince Keleseth in Utgarde Keep (Ebon bouquet), and Prince Taldaram in Ahn’Kahet: The Old Kingdom.

Nation of Adoration: Complete the Lovely Charm Bracelet daily quest for each Horde or Alliance capital. Use 4 of the bracelets from Charming to give to each of your faction leaders (excluding the redirected Troll and Gnome leaders). Complete the dailies in each city for the Love Tokens.

Perma-Peddle: Obtain a permanent Peddlefeet pet by procuring a Truesilver Shafted Arrow. The pet costs 40 Love Tokens. This is NOT a part of the meta, and the TRUESILVER arrow should not be confused with the SILVER Shafted Arrow required for Shafted. It’s just a vanity pet.

Shafted!: Shoot 10 players with the Silver Shafted Arrow. The arrows cost 5 tokens for 5 quantity. Once you purchase, just target and shoot 10 random people, to give them a temporary Peddlefeet pet, does not work on yourself.

Sweet Tooth: Sample the Love is in the Air candies listed below. Buttermilk Delight, Dark Desire, Sweet Surprise, Very Berry Cream. Save the Buttermilk Delight for when you go to Dalaran for Lonely? All the candies are randomly available inside the Box of Chocolates off the Lovely Merchant for 10 tokens. May require more then one box to get all 4.

The Rockets Pink Glare: Shoot off 10 Love Rockets in 20 seconds or less. Buy the Love Rockets off the Lovely Merchant for 5 tokens for 5 quantity. When you have 10, keybind the rocket and spam.

Tough Love: Defeat the Trio of Crown Chemical Company apothecaries in Shadowfang Keep. The crowning glory of Love is in the Air, these guys drop some really nice stuff. Obtainable in your daily bag is a rose that can be worn in the hair for girls or mouth for boys, Vile Fumigator’s Mask, a pet slime, or the extremely rare Big Love Rocket mount, in addition to random drop 346 necklaces. These guys are level 87 bosses and act much like any other holiday boss with the valentines box only being available the first victory of the day.. The bosses are located in the courtyard of Shadowfang Keep and should be reachable without having any trash to worry about. The instance is only available through the lfg tool, and you will want to do it daily to try for all the goodies. There actually is a strat involved for this trio……

When you cue for the dungeon, you find yourself in the courtyard, on the table to the left you will see bottles of perfume and cologne neutralizer. Once everyone’s gotten their vials, the bosses will become aggressive. During the fight the bosses will douse you with perfume or cologne, use the vial you picked up in the beginning to neutralize this debuff. Watch out for Cologne/Perfume on the ground as well. Otherwise they are fairly simple tank and spank bosses.

Big Love Rocket: Obtain the Big Love Rocket from Apothecary Hummel in Shadowfang Keep During Love is in the Air. This is not a meta, and technically not even a holiday achievement, it’s a Feat of Strength for winning the extremely rare Big Love Rocket mount from the SFK daily.

Atramedes, 25 Man Blackwing Descent

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.

The Conclave of Wind, 25 man The Throne of the Four Winds

The Conclave is a set of 3 bosses, Anshal, Rohash, and Nezir. The fight takes place among the 3 platforms where the bosses are located and the fight is a marriage of mechanics and coordination. Its important for each individual in this fight to be constantly aware of not just the mechanics, but the role they need to perform and when. These three bosses do not share a health pool, but they do need to be killed within 60 seconds of each other, as when each one dies they send a buff to the other called ‘Gathering Power’. If they do not die within this time they will begin to regenerate.

The Mechanics: First to note, the bosses do share a Power Bar. When this reaches 100%, they will each cast their ultimate power and the launch pad between the platforms will disappear. The power bar will become a useful tool in knowing at what times you should be moving. You also cannot leave a platform with no one on it, as that boss’ abilities will then become raid-wide. During the ultimate channels, most of your raid will be on Nezir. The first channel is an ideal time to Bloodlust.

Anshal, Nature: This is the first platform to the left. The first thing he will do is cast Soothing Winds. This looks like a green circle on the ground, if the boss or any adds are left within this circle they will be healed by it and additionally any raid member within it will be silenced while remaining inside. You will of course want to keep everyone and everything out of this circle for its 30 second duration.

Anshal will start to summon adds with his Nurture ability. These need to be downed quickly and hopefully before your team needs to switch platforms. These Ravenous Creepers both melee and cast Toxic Spores which deals nature damage every second for 5 seconds. This effect can stack 25 times but the range of this is only 8 yards of the add. The way we handled these adds was a combination of slowing the adds and kiting them, and having hunters distracting shot the ones that would reach their target. Make sure your hunters are saving the cooldown on Distracting Shot and dropping the frost traps. You will want to keep both the adds and the boss out of the center of the platform. He will cast Soothing Winds on himself or the adds, and when ultimate happens he teleports to the center of his platform, you don’t want him to be healing himself during this.
While you should strive to kill all of the adds, at lower gear levels, you might struggle. Know this: it is more important to make it to Nezir to absorb the ultimate than get the last one or two down. you’ll have time before Anshal casts his next set to get down any stragglers.

Zephyr is Anshal’s ultimate ability. It will heal any remaining adds as well as give them 15% damage increase for 15 seconds, an effect which stacks. Your tanks will want to use Shield Wall or other similar cooldowns.

Rohash, Wind: This is the first platform to the right. Rohash will consistently cast Slicing Gale which damages a random target and increases the nature damage they take by 15% for 30 seconds, an effect that also stacks.

Rohash summons three tornadoes which will circle randomly around the room. They cause damage to anyone who gets within 10 yards of them and knocks them back.

Wind Blast is where Rohash will circle slowly around the platform, causing damage every second to anyone caught in front of him. In addition they will be knocked back 200 yards off the platform (unless you hit a pole). Melee should have their cameras positioned in such a way as they can see what direction he is facing at all times, and hopefully still be able to see the tornadoes.

Hurricane is Rohash’s ultimate ability. It creates a vortex which launches everyone on the platform up into the air. All raid members on this platform will take damage every second for 15 seconds, and in addition, will also take fall damage at the end of this ability. The best idea would be to put 2 melee on this platform, rogues or kitty druids as they will take less fall damage and lose less down time than say a shadow priest or mage using the slower free falling spells. Your heals on this platform must be watching the timer as the melee will have to be topped off before the vortex as they can only cast instants during it. In addition, Rohash will also immediately cast a Slicing Gale after his ultimate channel.

Nezir, Frost: Nezir is located on the far platform from the entrance. He does have more hit points then his other two companion bosses, 25 million as opposed to Rohash and Anshal’s 17 million. His abilities are also far more devastating.

Wind Chill deals damage to everyone on the platform and gives them a stacking debuff which increases frost damage taken by 10% for 30 seconds. It will become necessary to have people switch platforms, or bubble off this effect a few times during the fight. This being one of the key areas where your coordination comes in to play since you cannot leave any platform empty.

Ice Patch looks the same as a hunter’s frost trap except larger and more painful to you, you don’t want to stand in this one. Like the trap, the patch will slow your movement speed by 10%. In addition it will cause frost damage per second.

Permafrost is a cone that channels out from the front of Nezir. Anyone caught in this cone will receive frost damage per second for the 3 seconds its active.

Sleet Storm is Nezir’s ultimate ability. It deals huge amounts of frost damage to everyone on the platform per second for 15 seconds. This damage is split between the raid members, so you will want to have the larger portion of your raid on this platform when the power bar reaches its maximum.

Now for the coordination. This is how our team handled it, how you choose to do it will of course depend on your composition and raids’ abilities.

Tanks: first, Rohash does not require a tank so this is still a two tank fight. Where a pally is ideal on Nezir to bubble off the Wind Chill stacks, its not necessary. Start off by having one tank on Anshal who will want to be at max distance to kite him out of the Soothing Winds, and one on Nezir. When the boss’ power bar hits 80, have your tanks be ready to switch between Anshal’s and Nezir’s platforms. As soon as Permafrost is cast, switch. The remainder of the raid should also be watching for this change as the tanks will need a moment to switch and pick up their new boss. Communication is a must to time this properly.

Healing: Heals are a bit more complicated, and where a lot of your coordination comes in. While its not completely necessary to have specific healing classes, there are some places and platforms where some healers will make a better choice. I’m listing our own healers we used in order to help show how we coordinated. We start off with 2 healers on Anshal, Priest and Shaman. On Nezir we have 3, Paladin, Shaman, and Druid. Finally on Rohash we have a Druid. The Shamans switch between Nezir and Anshal at about 7 stacks, keeping them low to save on our output healing. These tend to coordinate well with when the tanks switch off too, especially the first jump. The Druid on Nezir will jump over to Rohash’s platform when he gets to about 12 stacks of the debuff to clear his own stacks. The Paladin healer on Nezir remains on that platform through the entire fight, he bubbles off his stacks when they reach 18. The original Druid on Rohash and the Priest on Anshal also remain on their platforms through the entire fight. The druid as he can quickly shift to cat to help offset the fall damage after the ultimate cast, and the Priest for his damage reduction cooldowns on the tank after the ultimate cast as he will be hitting 15% harder for 15 seconds.

Melee: With the exception of the rogue’s/kitty’s you leave on Rohash’s platform, your melee will be moving together as a team. They’ll start off on the Wind platform to the right, taking the boss down as much as possible, until the boss’ power bar reaches between 70-75. At this point they will want to migrate to Nezir to be on that platform for the ultimate channel. After the channel is done, they move back to Rohash. They continue moving between these 2 bosses during the ultimate until Rohash is below 15% health. At that point, they move to Nezir and only move to Anshal to clear their stacks. Melee will stay on Nezir until he is below 15% health. Melee then moves to Anshal to focus on getting the boss down while the range continue to handle the adds. Once all the boss’s are around 10-15% health, the melee will begin to kill them off in the order of Anshal>Nezir>Rohash.

Range: Range will start out on Anshal’s platform, their primary function here will be to kill all the adds. The goal is to keep the adds moving without actually getting too close to anyone. This should keep them from melee’ing anyone or hitting them with their Toxic Spores if done correctly. Hunters will of course want to drop their frost traps to slow them, or Shamans for Earthbind. While you do want to slow them, you don’t want them to be rooted in place. When the boss’ power bar reaches 70-75, range should leave any adds that are not already down and jump over to Nezir for the ultimate channel. Its important not to wait on this, as once the channel begins, all the launch pads will disappear and you will be locked to the platform you are currently on (while this goes for everyone, your range will likely be more susceptible, as they will be more focused on downing the adds). After the channel, go back to Anshal to handle any adds that may be left over, as well as any further adds that are spawned.

If you can stay coordinated and keep a clear head on this fight, it will become fairly easy to down it regularly.

Argaloth Pit Lord strategy, Baradin Hold

Basically winning this fight will depend on 2 things. One, your dispellers, and two, your dps.

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!