My guild is finally raiding and even with some success. I am of course an active part of that success, but unfortunately not with Vrethir yet. This must be the first time ever that I’ve seen a guild that doesn’t have a problem with tanks – even more, has more tanks than you can shake a stick at. Instead we were (and still are) short on ranged DPS and healers.
Which is why I have to raid on Sheven and heal. Not that I mind much, because I either way I’m still raiding and that’s where I find fun in this game, but I would still prefer to tank. Maybe some time later, after we kill more bosses and it will be easier to recruit other people.
First two bosses of BWD weren’t much of a problem for healing. We have pretty solid healers in our group with a holy paladin, holy priest and me. We delegated the priest to heal his group while I focused on mine, and the paladin was doing what they always excelled at, being spamming the tank with the Light. This setup worked well throughout Magmaw and Omnomtron, which to be completely honest, aren’t very hard to heal, as long as everyone keeps doing their job and not standing where they don’t have to. I’ve kept my Lifeblooms on the main tank for Clearcasting procs and healed whatever was in need of healing.
Next we dealt with Maloriak. This fight required more coordination from us – announcing on vent if one of the healers was flash freezed (and slapping some DPS that were too quick to kill the ice blocks, killing frozen people by accident) helped a lot, as did saving Tree of Life for the red flask phases. On our killing try I couldn’t do that though, as there wasn’t enough time between them. With two mages and two hunters for slowing traps and Freezing Circle goodness it went pretty good.
Then we went to Chimaeron, on my request nonetheless. In retrospect, maybe Atramedes would be a better choice…
We didn’t make a lot of tries since it was getting late already, but the healing there just didn’t go well. Rejuvenation is much too slow to heal people up and they would die, HT and Nourish were too slow and they would die… You can probably imagine my frustration.
Next time we’re gonna try doing it something like that:
- Paladin heals the offtank taking Double Strikes, with beacon on the main tank to keep him above 10k health.
- Priest focuses on his group, I have never healed on a priest, so I have no idea about this one to be honest.
- I will keep Lifeblooms on the main tank for Clearcasting and healing above 10k, using glyphed Regrowths and Rejuv + Swiftmend for keeping people up.
Unfortunately rolling multiple Lifeblooms and keeping them up with Nourish will end in 4.0.6, so that tactic won’t work anymore. Too bad though, I always thought that was a neat thing. Maybe a bit too easy to do though, but if you had a fight with lots of things to pay attention to or a lot of movement, it was also quite easy to lose the extra stacks.
I suppose we will still have to get used to that fight. I just don’t like all the randomness of it – random Double Strikes, random phase 2, bleh. Well, next try either on Thursday or again over the weekend sometime.
In just a few days, the Undergeared guild will be five months old. Since lately we’re doing quite well, clearing Trial of the Crusader and Onyxia, here’s a bit of background info.
It all started in December as Gevlon posted an idea on his blog to prove that you don’t have to farm gear endlessly in order to clear all the raiding content in Wrath of the Lich King. To add a level of challenge (and to make sure we don’t have to farm content we’ve already done), we’re doing it all in blue gear that everyone can get from the level 80 heroic dungeons and crafting recipes. No epics are allowed, unless they’re a bonus from your profession of choice (like the engineering helmets), and same goes for enchants and gems.
It’s also a project that aims to prove the stupidity of “LFM ToC-10 link achiv and have 5k gs” and similar idiotic announcements that are so popular in the Trade channels of pretty much every server. Unfortunately, that goal is hard to achieve without letting the word spread out a bit – hence this post, which with small changes will be probably copied by me at least onto official Blizzard forums.
Why do it now, after whole five months, and not earlier? Because now we are actually doing the content that matters. As much as I like Ulduar and Eye of Eternity, nobody will be convinced by us completing that, blues or not. ToC on the other hand, is still a very popular dungeon and I see people run it all the time. Next Saturday we’re doing our first ICC-10 raid.
Who am I anyway?
I’m Saithir, a gamer and a raider from Poland. On my current main, Vrethir, I’ve tanked the whole expansion up to Sindragosa in 10-man Icecrown Citadel – and then stopped a while ago, with the unfortunate event that is the disbandment of my guild. In I play as Misaka, the Restoration shaman, and I’ve been a healer in almost all the raids we’ve done.
It’s my first shaman character above level 10, and I’ve leveled her from scratch on Arathor-EU purely as Elemental. It was actually one of the requirements of the Undergeared project – to raid with classes you don’t raid on other servers. I chose to make Misaka, because I wanted to learn how to heal on a shaman.
At first I wasn’t very good at it, for example I’ve totally forgot to apply Earthliving Weapon on our first evening in Ulduar, so I’ve healed it all without it and never noticed – until some commenter on Gevlon’s blog pointed it out after looking into our combat logs. I’m also that shaman healer that had to portal out of Thorim’s room to get a shield instead of an offhand frill, so that the adds won’t kill me as easily – and got a green shield from the AH with strength and defense on it (and a +25 Int enchant). :) It worked, and even though I now use the more proper one from Horde Expedition, I still keep that greenie in my bank as a souvenir.
I’m still sometimes late with the totems or forget to use Bloodlust at all, but I think I’m getting better at it. ;) And I made a big blinking icon in Power Auras that tells me I don’t have my weapon enchanted with anything. :)
Why <Undergeared> and who are they exactly?
In the beginning, I thought of the project just as a tool to distract myself from my Alliance guild, and to finally level a Horde character to 80 and see the other half of the game I’ve been playing for so long. The raiding was just an excuse to do so and actually get to the endgame. ;)
However, I can’t say I didn’t like the idea of blue raiding – it adds a nice challenge because of the static (and pretty low by today’s standards) gear levels, at the same time reducing the need for doing the endless badge grind to keep up. Sure, I had to spend some time with Rawr to figure out the best gear and run some heroics to obtain it, but after I’ve finished that, I’m done – I can log onto Misaka once per week for a raid, or pop on when I’m bored and want to do some heroics, or just quickly do the daily jewelcrafting quest in 10 minutes and then log out.
As for the other players, well they’d have to speak for themselves really. We have different kind of players, more and less hardcore raiders – from ones like me that mostly do the normal modes in 10-mans, and ones that raid more hardcore and are on some heroic modes in Icecrown. It’s hard to say really, because we’re not a social guild by any means. I can’t really say I like them, because I don’t really know any of them… But I sure do like raiding with them, and that is exactly why I’m still there.
We’re not a social guild, because we don’t have to. We have a set goal, our goblinish GM routinely kicks people that aren’t online for a month, and we have to prove we can get the needed gear and put out a decent performance in a heroic or a raid before we gain the rank of Raider.
You could probably say we’re the hardcore-casual types. Hardcore enough to know the tactics, learn our classes’ abilities, get the BiS gear (even though it’s blue) and gem/enchant it properly, and replace people in the middle of the raid if the situation needs it (and the guild roster permits it). Casual enough that we only raid one evening (Saturday from 19:00 till 22:00) per week, with no vent (or ingame voice comms) and minimal attendance requirements.
What have we done so far?
We started raiding on 20th of February, two months after the guild was formed. It took that long because enough people had to level from 1 to 80, and most of them without boosts from the heirloom items. We also had some people transferring their characters, both level 80s and below.
In February we cleared almost all Tier 7 10-man content – Naxxramas, Eye of Eternity, and Sartharion with one additional drake up. Why almost? Because our rogue was for some reason saved to the weekly raid – which also happened to be Naxxramas that week, so we couldn’t kill Noth the Plaguebringer. We also couldn’t replace the culprit, due to nobody else being online. But as we all know, Noth is a pussy anyway and doesn’t really count. ;) Some of our raiders also did the new ICC heroic dungeons, but as I wasn’t part of that, I can’t say much about it.
In March we had to make a break, as there were repeatedly weeks of not enough people signed to the Saturday raid. Unfortunately as we don’t want to appear too hardcore (and “raid 6 times a month or get out” would be surely viewed as such), we couldn’t do much about it. The current requirement of being online at least once a month comes from that though, and that’s as far as it really gets.
April was a month of doing Ulduar. It took a long time, because some of the raiders didn’t have that much experience in there, but we made it through up to Yogg-Saron. We left the mad Old God alone for now, though – it’s a though and complicated fight, with lots of things to do for everyone (which makes it so good btw), so we decided to skip it for now. We plan to get back to him later, probably as a change of scenery from Icecrown.
The rest of Ulduar wasn’t very hard. Flame Leviathan which we were afraid of (it’s the one fight that punishes us for our iLevel 200 gear with the vehicle scaling) was one-shotted instead of giving us any problems. Mimiron required only a few tries, and before the kill we wiped on sub 5% HP twice (on different evenings). Most time was spent on Auriaya (due to new tanks and pulling issues) and Thorim, due to the arena team dying horribly.
Now we have May and we’re already done with Tier 9 content. The Northrend Beasts were one-shotted pretty easily with the tank never being in any danger at all. Lord Jarraxus tested our healing abilities, as we lost our Tree Druid late in the fight, and had to two-heal the last 25 or so percent of the fight. We still somehow made it, but I have to say I was completely out of mana at the end, and if it went even a little bit longer, it would be another sub 5% wipe. We continued to clear the instance with a few wipes until Anub’Arak, which we promptly one-shotted again, with only one player dying at the very end of the third phase, as I was a split second too late with my heal.
After that victory we paid a visit to our old friend, Lady Prestor, in her cave in Dustwallow Marsh, and killed her as well. The fight with Onyxia wasn’t a problem as well. We actually wiped on the first trash, as the tank pulled one of them through the raid on accident, cleaving us all – but the boss fight itself went almost perfectly. We didn’t made any additional achievements though – a bit of a shame, but well, can’t have everything.
So why this long post?
I have to admit that I’d like to see the end of the endless spam of “LFM 5k gs” in Trade, but I’m also pretty much aware that’s really a hard thing to do – and especially not if people don’t know at all that 5k gs is not a requirement to successfully clear instances.
Will our Undergeared project be the last straw that puts an end to it? I really doubt it, but at the same time it couldn’t possibly hurt if I spark some discussion or response here. Maybe someone will “see the light”, stop asking for gearscore and instead will ask for tactics? Who knows. :)
We’re just a solid proof that you don’t need awesome gear (or to be hardcore) to successfully raid and enjoy it, that’s all.
So here we are now – almost all of the previous content cleared, in gear that wasn’t really designed to use that far. On Saturday we’ll be going into the Icecrown Citadel, so wish us luck!
Any comments, discussions or questions are of course welcome, and I’ll be lurking around here and trying to answer them as best as I can.
With yesterday’s kills of Sartharion (with Tenebron up so it won’t be totally easy) and Malygos (we used the key we got last week), Misaka is now a Champion of the Frozen Wastes.
We started the evening with Sartharion, but one drake is nothing especially interesting and still perfectly in range of our gear, so it was more or less a formality to kill him. The only thing worth noting was the start of my absolute bad luck that evening – I’ve got healing aggro from whelps before the tank could grab them, and later that same tank managed to somehow position Tenebron in such a way that his last fire breath killed me again.
Next was Malygos, and it went even better, as we one-shotted him. Few people managed to die in third phase, so we ended the fight with only 4 dps drakes, but it was enough, and we still had over a minute to the enrage timer. After finishing with the tier 7 content, we went to Ulduar. There things began to be much more interesting.
Flame Leviathan wasn’t as hard as we expected (remember that the vehicles scale with gear, so with blues of iLevel 200 you can’t really afford to make mistakes there), but my bad luck that was silent on Malygos woke up again. I was driving a demolisher, as I’m pretty good at it – but I was Flame Leviathan’s target for what seemed half of the fight. Obviously, if your vehicle won’t survive long when he gets to you, you have to turn and run away as fast as you can, rolling pyrite stacks or not. I survived though, and thanks to a good gunner I’ve always had enough pyrite to continue dpsing right away.
Ignis took two tries, as our MT wasn’t totally familiar with the way he should kite the boss around the middle. On second try he did much better (after a very short explanation of the best path) and we killed him without much effort.
Razorscale went down in a similar way – one try to see how it goes, fixing the tactics, second attempt and a kill. That’s okay with me, since we do look at what was the problem and figure out a way around it, but it might be a bit better if the explanation and role assignment was done better before the first try. It hurts my raid leader feelings a little, but as I’m only a raider there, so I guess I should just deal with it – and it’s not like we blindly throw ourselves at the encounters again and again.
XT was just like Razorscale – at the first time we went with only two healers, but the resto druid got an unlucky chain of debuffs (Searing Light – Gravity Bomb – Searing Light in a row) and ran a bit too far, and I simply couldn’t outheal the Tantrum all by myself. Second time we went back to running with 3 healers, and it went much better.
So then, next week we’re going to extend our Ulduar raid ID (we don’t need new gear, so we don’t have to farm what we’ve killed once) and we’ll see how far we can go. This part will get a little more interesting, as the bosses start to hit like trucks there – especially Auriaya from what I remember from doing it on Vrethir back when it got released.
From my personal healing point of view – I was still a bit afraid that my limited mana pool won’t be enough, but I only ran out of mana on the less coordinated first tries, especially on Ignis. If we follow the tactics better and don’t take unnecessary damage, it’s fine. I go through a lot of mana potions during the raid though, so I have to remember to log in and make a few stacks of them this week.
Oh, and if anyone looks at the armory and wonders why I’ve looted some epics – we run the need before greed system in the raids, so if we want something for some reason – be it gear for leveling to 85, pvp, LFG or whatever, we can need it. So far I only collect them, haven’t equipped anything apart from the badge DPS totem yet, so I won’t get the Epic achievement too fast. But there’s nothing bad in having some gear prepared for when I want to use it.
Rather than updating the first post, I’ve decided to make a new one, because it’s easier to keep them at a right article size that way. In this part, you can find more detailed tactics for Faction Champions and Twin Val’kyr encounters.
For tips and tricks on the two previous fights, you can check the first part of this guide – it has been updated a bit since the posting.
This fight is so random. If you have the right raid setup, and the Champions spawn with an easy enough setup as well, this can be a piece of cake.
- Kill the totems. Make a macro for it, make your melees right click them, make your tanks right click them, make your resto druid moonfire them, but you need to kill the totems.
- Dispel, dispel, dispel. If you have a dispel button and a free GCD, you should probably press that very button.
- The enemy NPC’s are not tauntable at all, making it a little bit harder to control the melee ones.
- Note that you still can taunt the warlock and hunter pets – on one of the tries I’ve left one of them attacking me all the time for free rage – as a tank they don’t do a lot of damage to you, but will still run away so be sure to taunt them back.
- The most sure-fire way of killing them for us was to kill one of the healers )while keeping the two melees and the other healer under CC), then kill both melees (keeping one of them and the other healer still under CC), then finish off the other healer. At that point you’ve practically won.
- Which healer to kill first depends on what you get and what you have. There are two spots for their healers. If one of them is either a resto druid or a paladin, and the other one is a priest or a resto shaman, you should probably CC the paladin/druid and have everyone kill the other one first. If you have for example a druid and a shaman, and you don’t have a warlock to make CCing the druid very simple, you should CC the shaman instead and kill the druid first.
- Next will be their melee dps. Take out the most annoying one first – their annoyance is ranked like this: rogue > warrior > paladin > shaman > deathknight. After you’ve killed them both, you have just eliminated the thing that can most likely kill you pretty fast.
- After the melees are dead, kill the other healer. After he goes down, start killing their ranged dps, again with the most annoying ones first, which will be: mage > hunter > warlock > shadow priest > boomkin.
- Did I mention killing the totems and dispelling things yet? Yes? Then I will do it again, because it is VERY important. Kill the totems and dispel things (especially the paladin bubbles).
On a side note, the Faction Champions have a strange threat mechanic that can be possibly used to tank them, but while I’ve been able to confirm that it does indeed work, it’s not that easy to use (as they were still running for the casters), so in the end we just went and killed them with normal tactics. I’m including that link though just in case someone is interested.
We’ve spent a lot of time on this encounter trying out various strategies, until we found one that works. Well, actually there is also another one that works as well, the door tanking one – but as it requires a lot of luck and nothing else, I will neither use it or recommend it. This one is easy enough.
A bit of explanation of the positioning diagram above (and yes you can click it for a larger version).
- Both tanks take a dark or light portal each, aggro the bosses and position them with their backs to the center of the room, making some space for the melees to live in.
- Melee dps should be using dark or light portals (not all the same one), and attack the right boss for the debuff they have.
- Dark and Light soakers – these two ranged DPS will each take a different debuff and attack the respective boss, while making sure they grab all the orbs of their color that are going towards the tank and melee groups. You don’t have to be too zealous in doing this, but it helps a lot for the people in the center of the room to not be spammed by random colored orbs.
- Caster DPS and healers – take a debuff and stand next to the other portal – as in, if you’re going to stand near the light portal, you take the dark debuff.
This positioning makes it easy for everyone to switch dps to the shielded Val’kyr if needed, and lessens the amount of orbs in the center. And now, off to the fight.
- There is one new mechanic in the heroic mode of this encounter, and it’s called Touch of Light/Darkness. It causes AoE damage to people around you and disappears if you change your debuff color. So go and do that. Remember that especially if you are a soaker DPS, you probably want to change back to your previous color afterwards. This ability is never cast on tanks.
- Dodge orbs if they are not in your color. This is very important, because otherwise it’s a big chunk of damage. If you are surrounded by wrong orbs, of course it’s better to run through one rather than getting exploded by all of them, but in most cases it should be easy enough to just move out of their way. Don’t finish that cast (especially if you’re a dps), just move. It’s a bit more tricky for the melees and tanks, but unfortunately they have to do it as well.
- While grabbing orbs that are in your color, please be sure that you are not doing it close to the other colored people. That’s especially important for the two soaker DPS – if there’s a light orb close to the dark tank, let the tank dodge it rather than run into it and make the tank take the completely unnecesary AoE damage.
- If one of the Val’kyr shields itself, everyone need to switch and DPS it. The shield can take more damage in heroic mode, so if you have Heroism availaible, you might want to save it for this ability. Same goes for trinkets and other DPS cooldowns.
- When one of the Val’kyr does the shield, the other one hits for a lot and really fast – this is a good time for that tank to use his defensive cooldowns and to get more healing on him.
- While switching colors for the Vortex ability, remember that you need to switch back after. Also, be careful while running to a portal – there are two of them for a reason, so don’t make everyone run to the same one and then all die because there just happened to be a few wrong colored orbs on the way. Switching a color is not a reason not to dodge orbs.
- If you get the positioning right, and then can dodge orbs like pro dodgeball players, then the fight is not that much harder than the normal mode.
And that’s it for now. Right now we are still working on Anub’Arak, so the next part will probably come soon. See you next time!
This is the second part of a soloing guide targeted at protection warriors. It focuses on raid and dungeon bosses that we can solo and that are either fun or drop valuable things such as rare mounts or pets. You can also read the first part of this guide, and I have at least one more part in writing – which will take us to Molten Core and maybe somewhere else. ;)
Since the 3.2.2 patch changed the old instance into an anniversary level 80 raid, it’s pretty obvious she can’t be soloed right now. I would still advise you to find a group for her and try to get two items which are absolutely awesome for soloing other bosses.
The trinkets in question are [Purified Shard of the Flame] (and its 25-man counterpart of the Shiny variety, which gives slightly more HP5 – you could get both for even better effect) and the [Purified Onyxia Blood Talisman] you can get as a reward for turning in the new Head of Onyxia quest. Of course, the Shard is part of a caster set, so be mindful and please don’t take it from a caster that would like to complete it. Fortunately my raid group had no issues when I told them I want it for soloing, since the only other roll was a shadow priest that maybe wanted it for PvP. :)
Worn together, that’s a decent boost in avoidance and, what’s important to us here, 611 HP5. This means you will regen 244 health every 2 seconds, because that’s how HP5 works. Unfortunately it doesn’t show at all in the combat log, so you have to believe me when I say so. To compare it to a glyphed Bloodthirst – it heals me for about 1600 health, over about 6 seconds. Unglyphed would have about the same regen value.
What it means is that on my gear level (ToC-10 stuff with some emblem and crafted pieces) I no longer need to change my spec for soloing most of the bosses, including Attumen the Huntsman in Karazhan. As said before, with a normal protection spec you are going to kill them before they kill you, and the steady health regen is really helpful.
Attumen, High Priest Thekal and Bloodlord Mandokir, we meet once again.
The first part of the guide was written when my warrior had much inferior gear than he has now – being mostly stuff from heroics and some entry raid epics. That was also before the emblems dropping in heroics changed from Heroism to Conquest.
With all the new gear, it becomes possible to kill these bosses with a standard Protection tanking spec. Having Devastate, Shockwave, Damage Shield and Sword and Board availaible means you’re simply going to try (and should be quite successful at it) killing them faster than they can kill you.
Even the raptor packs before Mandokir are not really a problem – sure, they stack their dot, but with over 30k health it’s gonna take a while before it kills you. It will deal about 1k damage per 3 seconds after it stacks high enough though, so don’t forget to bring some sort of food with you.
Equipped with the health regen trinkets I’ve tried my luck in getting the Phoenix Hatchling pet and another mount drop. First run was on normal difficulty to try and see how it goes.
Trash mobs weren’t really an issue anymore – the multitude of stuns and interrupts makes it pretty easy to deal with them. Remember to also use the Magic Dampening Field that the Sunblade Mage Guards are putting down to your advantage – your HP5 doesn’t care about it, but it reduces incoming magic damage by half, which can still be handy.
Before engaging the first boss, aggro all the adds and kill them – if you just engage the boss, they will join the fight as well. Selin Fireheart himself is easy – just ignore the crystals and keep beating on him. Remember that he can use Drain Life, so be sure to interrupt it as soon as he starts channeling it.
Vexallus, the second boss is right after Selin (well, after a bunch of wyrmlings which you can simply pull all and AoE down). On the normal mode he’s not really an issue – just dps him down, killing the appearing sparks with Devastates, as they can’t be damaged by any AoE. You will get low on health here due to the fight mechanics – just use Last Stand with Enraged Regen and continue dpsing the boss/sparks.
Next set of trash packs is a bit harder – more annoying casters, so keep your Spell Reflect up, use the Dampening Fields and just kill them. Remember that you can skip half of the first room and everything around Delrissa – they won’t join the fight unless you get feared into a pack.
Priestess Delrissa is a simple fight for a level 80, so I won’t write much about it – just look on the enemies, if it has a mana bar it probably does nasty things, so it needs to die first. If you made it so far, you probably won’t have any problems with them. After her it’s only one more trash pack before you meet a real zombie!
Now, you get to slap poor Kael’thas Sunstrider around. This is not as easy as it seems, but it’s mostly annoying. Be sure to kill the Phoenixes and their eggs when they spawn, avoid the Flamestrike Kael does once in a while, and keep dpsing.
After you get him to 50% health, he will start doing Gravity Lapse. If you get to this part of the fight, you have already won, as he stops doing anything else. There isn’t much you can do to him in this phase – just avoid the floating spheres, and when it ends, immediately charge the boss and do some damage. Repeat until he finally dies.
Magisters’ Terrace, heroic mode
Before entering, make sure that you’ve done the attunement quest in the normal mode of the instance. It just requires you to clear it once and loot Kael’thas’ head, so it’s not a big issue at all.
Up to Vexallus, nothing really changes from normal mode. Be aware that the trash casters can and will kill you if you’re not careful and quick enough, or pull too many of them at once. Selin Fireheart is still a pushover, he just has more health.
Vexallus is the first real challenge here. He has more health and will spawn two sparks instead of one – so you will stack the overload debuff twice as fast. The way I did it, I killed first 4 sparks and then popped all the cooldowns and tried to finish the boss before he and his arcane friends finish me. It was a successful tactic, but I ended with about 400 health out of 34k, so it might require a few tries to get some lucky Shield Slam crits.
The fight with Priestess Delrissa doesn’t change much when doing it on heroic mode – she and her adds hit for a bit more and heal for a bit more, but it’s still quite easy.
Kael’Thas is even more annoying than on normal mode. If it takes you too long to get him to second phase, he will cast a 10k shield on himself and start casting Pyroblast, which still does about 40k damage. He will also throw around a crazy amount of Fireballs, each taking about 4.5k of your health if they happen to hit you. None of this damage can be partially resisted by fire resistance, so forget about taking your MC gear and trying to do it slowly – it just won’t work.
What you should do instead, is ignore everything that happens around you (even the Phoenix that will spawn during the fight – leave it after you get to the second phase, as its damage is really low), keep Spell Reflect up, interrupt the Fireballs when the reflect is on cooldown, and hope that you can do enough damage to push him below 50% before he does the Pyroblast. If you manage to do that, you will probably win, unless you fail badly on the Gravity Lapse and dodging the spheres.
Good luck with the rare drops, and what’s most important – have fun while taking revenge on this annoying instance!
Not really a full-featured guide this time, this is rather a collection of tips and tricks our guild put together while doing our ToGC-10 runs.
Of course in this post I’m going to assume that the reader is fully familiar with normal Trial of the Crusader tactics, because the basics of the fight are the same. But since you have to clear the instance before even starting the heroic mode, it should not be a problem, right?
There is also a second part of this guide, talking about the next two encounters – Faction Champions and the Val’kyr Twins.
So, let’s get started.
The main difference in this fight is that all beasts now have a set timer that they will enter the arena. This means your raid needs to have enough DPS to clear each phase in about 2:30, and this means that absolutely nobody can die. If you can kill Gormok, you are probably good enough to go at least up to Twin Val’kyr, as the two next encounters are a bit easier.
Gormok the Impaler.
- The tank with higher HP starts tanking, gets the first Impales and the last which hurt a lot. Gormok cannot be disarmed on heroic mode, so your tanks class does not matter much.
- Turn the boss around, so that the melee dps group will be near the center and the tanks with their backs to the wall. He does not cleave or anything, but it makes it easier with the Snobolds.
- Always taunt after the other tank gets two debuffs. Timing doesn’t really matter as long as you don’t fail (and even with 3 stacks you can still make it), because your current debuff will drop off a second before the new one gets applied. Announce your taunts on vent or you might not get heals. :P
- Do not taunt if you don’t have to. Taunting after two debuffs is already very close to hitting the diminishing returns on taunt and messing things up, taunting any more often will make the boss immune to taunt for sure. Been there, done that.
- Cooldowns usage (at least for protection warriors): first time you have aggro, Shield Block will be enough, he doesn’t hit that hard then to waste a cooldown. Second time, Shield Block and dodge trinket. Third time, Last Stand + Enraged Regeneration. You shouldn’t need a fourth time if you’re an offtank, but if you do, Shield Wall. If you get to the fifth time somehow, the worms will be already there and you will die anyway.
- Cooldowns usage on 25-man is a bit different as there are three tanks there, but similar enough. First tank does not need to use anything special, second one can use some minor cooldowns like Shield Block and a dodge trinket, third tank needs to use one of their stronger ones (for warriors that would be LS + ER), because at that point Gormok will probably already have 3 stacks of the damage increasing buff. The next round of tanking is Shield Wall and asking for external cooldowns if you don’t have any of your own.
- For any other tanks – whatever works for your cooldowns, but I can assure that you will need something after Gormok gets 3 stacks of his buff.
- Kill Snobolds, because the faster you kill them, the less fires you get. If you get a snobold on you, run and stand right on top of the melee group. They will have to change their target from the boss, because the Snobolds are immune to AoE (such as Whirlwind or Divine Storm) if you’re not targetting them. The tank that’s not tanking Gormok at the moment can help with that, at least I usually throw a few devastates/revenges when I can, just don’t forget you will have to taunt. :)
- Don’t ever bubble or iceblock the Snobold away – it will go back to the boss, and later to another person, increasing the buff stacks on the boss yet again.
- You shouldn’t need Heroism for this part, but as you’re learning, it might be useful. If Dreadscale is entering with Gormok on about 200k HP (of course on 10-man), you’re good.
- Using Amplify Magic on both tanks helps here a lot with healing, as there is not a lot of magic damage being thrown at them. Just make sure they know to click it off (or use /cancelaura macro) before they start with the other phases.
Acidmaw and Dreadscale
- For the Dreadscale tank: at first you’ll be the only one with a fire debuff. From the start, aggro the worm and run away with it to the right side of the room. Then turn it and kite it slowly towards the other tank. That way you will make some room without the poison cloud for people to run to you. Don’t kite the worm away from the Acidmaw tank, it’s bad and will lead to a wipe.
- Don’t forget to cancel Amplify Magic if you were using it on Gormok.
- Using Heroism in this phase helps, especially right after the Acidmaw tank gets some aggro. The faster Acidmaw dies, the better this phase goes.
- Dreadscale’s Enrage is not a big issue, normally you shouldn’t waste anything on it other than Shield Block once in a while and a dodge trinket if it’s off cd after Gormok already (remember that the extra dodge is of no use on Icehowl since Ferocious Butt stuns you and you can’t dodge anyway).
- No speed buff after Massive Crash, so be awake and run away. If you have a hunter, you might make him change his aspect for faster running, but it should not be needed.
- A little trick that helped me and our priest to do it properly – when Icehowl is jumping to the center, position yourself at a point of one of the little stars (not the big NESW ones). If you do that, you will be thrown to the middle of the wall between two pillars, and it’s a lot easier to strafe away from the boss as you don’t have to lose time navigating around a pillar or a doorway. It might sound silly, but it really helps.
- Ferocious Butt kinda hurts – he usually does it after he comes out of the stun, but not only then. I saved my cooldowns for that, better safe than sorry.
- Healers NEED to heal people that got frozen, and people NEED to properly spread around the boss, especially healers. The Arctic Breath on heroic does 30k damage (20k on normal), so it WILL kill most people. This was the reason of us losing the dps in this phase, and the enrage timer is pretty tight.
- I tend to tank Icehowl on the side of the wall wherever he hits it, or at the doorway where he enters, and not drag him back to center. This makes it a lot easier for melee dps to stay on him, and saves time.
First of all, check out the following screenshot, as it makes it much easier to explain.
- Tank him on the wall under one of the Alliance shields, this way you only get portals on the sides of him and not 360 degrees around like you would have him tanked in the center. Dps and healers spread out in pairs in a half-circle from one column on the wall to the other. A good raid positioning is key on this fight.
- If you get targetted by Legion Flames, run away from the raid and then back. If a melee dps gets them, run to one of the columns and back, it should be enough. Remember that you have two seconds before the flames start damaging you, so if you start running as soon as you get the DBM warning, you should not take much damage or none at all.
- Nether Portal and Infernal Volcano that spawn adds NEED to be nuked ASAP. If you let them spawn more than one Mistress of Pain, you might as well wipe. ALL availaible DPS must immediately switch to the portal, including melees – the portals/volcanoes have 189k HP (again, 10-man version) and need to die in about 10-13 seconds.
- While nuking the Portal, be aware that you shouldn’t accidentaly aggro a Mistress of Pain if you’re not a tank. They hurt.
- Mistress of Pain does more damage and have an additional ability - Mistress’ Kiss. Read the tooltip and act accordingly – if you only have one school of casts and no instants you’re screwed, sorry. ;) This debuff can’t be dispelled in any way, and it will silence all your spell schools if you have more than one, so you just have to wait.
- Nether Power stacks need to be spellstolen/dispelled/shield slammed immediately, unless there is a Nether Portal or a Volcano at the same time – in that case nuking the portal is much more important.
- Incinerate Flesh needs more spam healing to take it off, and Burning Inferno almost kills you. Don’t let that happen.
- If you get an infernal coming your way (they do that all the time, turn into a ball and fly to a random person), run the hell away from it, as it will kill you with its hellfire AoE (interruptable).
And that will be it for now. On our last tries, my guild stopped at Twin Val’kyr, so I will update this post when we progress further. We’ve killed some more and we’re now working on getting Anub’Arak down. The second part of this guide explains more about the Faction Champions and the Twin Val’kyr – check it out as well!
Being a bit bored about a month ago from a lack of raiding, I’ve decided to see what can I do to amuse myself. I knew I was able to solo the Tiger boss in Zul’Gurub, since I’ve tried it some time ago, but one boss is simply not enough, even if he has a chance to drop an awesome mount.
After a bit of searching around the Internet, I’ve found a nice warrior spec that gets Bloodthirst alongside some prot talents, and it turned out to be a very nice and easy (can’t say efficient since I’m doing about 1k dps in that spec) way to kill bosses.
Talent spec I’m using for this is 5/31/35 with Glyph of Bloodthirst. Unfortunately taking Bloodthirst makes it impossible to take the awesome end talents in Prot, so it’s not really recommended for doing anything else. Glyph of Bloodthirst is not optional, but for the other two you can do well with any of these: Glyph of Enraged Regeneration, Glyph of Shield Wall, Glyph of Last Stand and Glyph of Heroic Strike.
As for gear, my warrior wasn’t the best geared one around when I started doing this (BoEs, crafted stuff and some parts of heroic/Naxx-10 gear) and I’ve still succeded without too many problems. If you can tank Naxx-10, you can pretty much farm yourself some nice mounts. For Onyxia, I’ve also had some fire resistance gear prepared, but I’ll talk about it later. Of course it gets a lot easier once you get more gear – what you can get right now in 3.2 with the Emblems of Conquests is completely sufficient.
Last thing you need for doing this stuff is of course a raid group. The way I do it, is I invite some guildie’s alt to a party and then convert it to a raid. After this that person can freely log out or relog to another character – their offline alt will stay in the raid. In fact, the raid group doesn’t even disband if you yourself log out, so you can send yourself some pots or stuff from another character. Also, don’t forget to turn the loot method to Free For All to skip the annoying greed/need roll windows from appearing.
And now, lets get to the bosses themselves. In this article, we’re going to visit three instances. Lets start with Zul’Gurub – a 20-man raid instance located in Stranglethorn Vale.
High Priest Thekal
Your first target in Zul’Gurub is High Priest Thekal, the Tiger boss. The fight itself isn’t very hard, but you might want to clear up his trash packs, which are annoying. While fighting them, you want to focus on the Gurubashi Axe Throwers. You need to kill them as fast as possible, because they have a chanelled 15 seconds stun (with added damage element), which might very well kill you if there are any other adds around or you are at low health. Also, if you aggro any Zulian Cubs, be sure to kill them first, as they tend to run away and aggro additional packs. Believe me, three Axe Throwers are annoying enough, 9 of them at once will get you killed in no time.
Once you get them out of your way though, the boss itself isn’t that hard. In the first phase he comes at you with his two adds (and two tigers which you’ll want to kill), and they have to die more or less together. After the first one dies you have around 15 seconds to finish the other two before the dead ones respawn with full health. Another thing to note is that one of the add is a priest and will try to heal. You need to interrupt it, which is pretty easy with Shield Bash.
The way I do it is I set the priestess (Zealot Lor’Khan as seen in the picture) as my focus and have the focus cast bar enabled, so that I can easily see when she starts casting the heal, target her by clicking the focus frame and interrupt her. I could probably make it even more easier by setting up a macro for that, but for now I’m too lazy to do it.
Once you kill the annoying trio, Thekal changes his form to a Tiger god avatar and you have to kill him again. That phase is very easy, as he doesn’t hit for much and does not have a heal of any kind. He summons some more tiger adds though, and you might want to kill them as they’re a bit annoying. One thing he does is a knockback, so remember to fight him with your back to the wall or on the hill to your right side.
It’s the second boss worth killing in Zul’Gurub. It has a chance to drop [Tome of Polymorph: Turtle], which still might be sold for a nice price on the Auction House (or be used as a nice present for your local friendly mageling). The fight itself is easy, just remember to fight with your back to the wall again because of the knockback.
You can’t fight Gahz’ranka immediately though – first you need to complete the quest Nat’s Measuring Tape, and have to buy a [Mudskunk Lure] from him (stacks to 20, so I just bought a full stack, saves time). Then fish up 5 Zulian Mudskunks from the fishing schools in ZG, and use the Lure to summon the boss.
Mandokir, or the Raptor boss as he’s often called, is your third target in ZG. Just as with Thekal, you should clear up his room a bit so you won’t get feared into another pack. The adds aren’t very tough – first target is always the Priest, then Champions, then Raptors and save Blooddrinkers for last since they will try to life drain the other mobs in the pack. This is of course interruptable and they can be stunned.
After you have a comfortable safety zone, kill the Vilebranch Speaker and Mandokir will aggro. Take him on the temple stairs, put up Demo Shout, Thunderclap and a stack of Sunders, and start killing him. He has a raptor add with him, which you can totally ignore – in fact killing the raptor first enrages Mandokir for two minutes, which you don’t really want.
He has a bunch of abilities, most of which I totally ignored. Only one you can’t ignore is a fear, which you should get out of by using your Berserkers Rage. Other than that, keep your debuffs on the boss, use Bloodthirst every time it’s up (for me it was about 1.7k healing each time, with 4 second cooldown), and dps the boss. If you get to about half health, pop Commanding Shout, Last Stand and Enraged Regeneration to heal up, and continue. Use Shield Wall early in the fight, so it can be off cooldown later again.
That should be enough to kill the boss if you keep it long enough. Takes a few minutes, but a raptor mount is totally worth it. Oh, and don’t forget to clear the raptor packs around the boss for the pet as you go there.
I went to solo Onyxia simply out of pure curiousity if I can do it, and for some of the rare drops she has (mostly the Orb of Deception, since I cba camping the Dire Maul arena). It was also a test if I can solo the questline for Quel’Serrar, which requires you to forge the sword in her Flame Breath.
To do it, you need some kind of fire resistance. I’ve had 138 points of it, which was enough – 50 from [Lesser Flask of Resistance], 15 from [Drakefire Amulet] (you can skip it, but as I’ve had it, why not use it once in a while), 20 from cloak enchant (I used my [Cloak of Peaceful Resolutions] for it) and 53 from [Inferno Tempered Boots] with [Flame Armor Kit] slapped on them. While using all that silly gear I wasn’t even uncrittable with about 524 defense, but it wasn’t a problem at all. If you have a spare helmet, you can also use the [Arcanum of the Flame's Soul] availaible from Kirin Tor quartermaster for another 25 points, and [Lesser Arcanum of Resilience] for yet another 20 points of resistance on legs. The extra 45 resistance is definitely not needed for Onyxia, but it might help you later if you want to get a shot at getting Thunderfury.
Strategy is basically the same as for all the bosses – keep debuffs up, use Bloodthirst each 4 seconds, pop Shield Wall on every cooldown and LS+ER combo when low on health. The second phase, when she takes off and starts flying around the room, is the most tricky and annoying one – fortunately she still can be hit while she’s in the air, but you need to run after her to keep close (which isn’t that easy without Warbringer and in-combat Charge). She’ll also summon her whelps, but they don’t do much damage and will usually die after a few Thunderclaps, so don’t even bother wasting rage on Cleaving them. Just keep your health up with Bloodthirst and you’ll be fine.
Also, be prepared for a very long fight, as it took me over 25 minutes to kill her. She didn’t drop anything cool either, but oh well, 40 gold is still enough for my repair bills of that evening.
Attumen the Huntsman
And now the last one of soloable, mount dropping bosses. If you’ve been around in Burning Crusade, I’m pretty sure you’re familiar with this guy. If not, he’s the first boss of TBC’s introductory 10-man raid dungeon, the Karazhan, which is located in Deadwind Pass. You still need [The Master's Key] to enter it, but you might be able to open the doors with high level Skeleton Keys if you’re a blacksmith, as I’m sure they can be opened by a rogue’s lockpick ability. If not, simply ask someone to open the gate for you, they don’t even have to be in your group, and can go back to their business as soon as you enter.
You need to clear all the trash mobs on your way to Attumen, because otherwise they will join the fight and wtfpwn you. They’re pretty easy, but don’t get cocky and don’t try grabbing more than one pack at a time – they can still kick your butt if there’s too many of them. Remember that they have a pretty nasty respawn timer of 30 minutes, so you need to be quick. They don’t respawn once you pull the boss and after the kill.
Once you get to the boss himself, you will see Midnight, the Attumen’s horse standing alone in the stable. Just pull her and start slowly dpsing her down. After a while Attument himself will join the fight and add a bit of damage to the fight – don’t forget to disarm him once in a while to keep the damage lower. There are two annoying boss abilities in this encounter.
First is that the horse keeps using Knockdown, doing about 1.5k damage on top of the normal hits and stunning you for 3 seconds. That makes it really important to use Bloodthirst on every cooldown to regain the lost health.
Second large annoyance is the Intangible Presence. It is used once every 30 seconds and lasts for 12 seconds. Normally you would decurse it, but as a protection warrior you just have to deal with that. It makes keeping your debuffs on targets and regaining health through Bloodthirst a bit harder than on normal fights, especially when you are on a lower level of gear and don’t have a lot of hit and avoidance.
After you bang on Midnight for a while and get her to 25%, Attument will mount her. If you can get to this part, you have almost won. He will still use all abilities from the first phase, but it won’t be so annoying as you only have one target this time. Keep disarming him, keep all the debuffs and best luck with your drop rates!
Until next time!
That will be it for now, as this post already is very late and getting long. Sometimes in the hopefully near future, there will be a part 2 of this guide with even more soloing. See you soon!
Just a little update to the post from last week – yesterday evening we took another shot at the instance, and this time we were prepared for the Faction Champions. Having a warlock to completely disable the resto druid really worked very well, but it’s still a bit stupid that we kinda need all the cc we can get, else you can’t really progress through the instance.
Then we cleared the new boss, the Twin Valkyrs. We had two tries at them, at first we hit the enrage timer at 8 minutes as we allowed the Valkyrs to heal a few times, instead of breaking the shield and interrupting the cast. Second try went much better as everyone seen how it looks like and what to do. It was a fun, dynamic fight.
I really hope that the Heroic mode will present us with a decent challenge, though. Right now our 10-man group can possibly plow through the normal mode in 1 – 1.5 hours once we get a grasp on the encounters, and it’s a little bit disappointing. I still like it, mostly because it isn’t boring.
It’s been a while since the release of the 3.2 patch, and we finally made some serious shots at the new raid instance. I have some really mixed feeling about it now. While the instance was on the PTR, I’ve been reading endless whining on the forums here and there, about how easy the raid bosses are. Well, it’s only partly true.
The first encounter, the Northrend Beasts, is easy. If you have the tactics right, your tanks can follow the worms around, and you see on Grid who has what debuff, it’s pretty much guaranteed that you will kill it. I like it this way though, it’s a nice refreshment after boring General Vezax. I know most caster-types will disagree with me here but it seriously makes me sleepy. This is easy and quite fun.
Second encounter, Lord Jaraxxus (or Jarraxus, whatever, I called him “Lord Bob” when explaining tactics for my group on Tuesday) is a little bit harder, but still pretty much doable. It includes a really awesome scene at the beginning and the fight itself is dynamic enough not to be boring – with all the adds spawning, moving with the fires and stuff.
And now we have the Faction Champions – the third encounter which was unlocked this week. It’s something completely different. We ended up not killing them after all, but we just couldn’t do it with our group setup. What we were missing was I think a warlock to lock down the enemy resto druid. With one healer CC’d I could then go on the other one and help lock him down/dps as well. It’s also very weird seeing full-time PvE players being suddenly cast into the world of PvP. Half of the group doesn’t like BG’s and Arenas and didn’t have much skill at kiting, stunlocking, and generally doing what should be done.
I now actually want to take my warrior there, just to try kiting and dealing with the arms warrior and ret paladin. These two were the most annoying ones apart from the healers – I think they got most of the kills because of the Bladestorm/Divine Storm. They were also pretty good at peeling me off the healer I’m supposed to lock down – I simply can’t stay on one target when a warrior charges me and either fears me or starts Bladestorming.
I have to say that I’m quite amazed at the amount of programming behind this fight – the NPCs were behaving pretty much like normal players in PvP, fearing, CC’ing and using every ability you would expect from a class to use against you. If you came to this instance expecting 5 fully scripted, easy encounters, these NPCs are here to prove you wrong.
In the end I have really mixed feeling when I try to understand what we did wrong. Maybe we would be more succesful with another setup, or maybe the same setup with simply other players (ones more open to changes, as it’s nothing like your regular boss fight) would be enough. Changing the setup for one fight is of course the easy way, but I’d rather not replace people in the middle of the raid.
This article is part of a series of Ulduar guides that focus on rogues and other melee classes. You can find the links to the other guides in the introduction post.
This guide is not a general strategy guide for the encounter. While you may find some overview, it’s only here so the melee classes know what is going on. If you need a full strategy guide, you can check out Tankspot’s Project Marmot, as they have lots of awesome strategy videos.
Of course, if you have any comments (including, but not limited to different strategies and differences from 10 to 25-man versions), feel free to use the comment form below and post them. I’m only a dwarf and I can make mistakes.
Also, feel free to repost this to your guild’s forums if you find the guide useful, just be sure that you abide to the Creative Commons license and provide my name as an author and a link to my site.