Archive for the ‘Patch 4.3’ Category

Raziel, Savior of Azeroth

August 6, 2012 2 comments

When Enveloping Shadows wants bosses dead, we’ll get bosses dead. Past experience has proven that we can put our minds into this zen state and steamroll through content that we may have been dragging our feet on earlier. ES saw Heroic Zon’ozz and Hagara fall on the same night, completely unplanned, but quickly doable once we buckled down and focused.

Which is why, in the grand scheme of things, our July 31st and August 1st raids don’t surprise me at all.

The Final Countdown

The team showed up, energetic and ready to get more attempts on Heroic Spine. We had been getting to third plate with regularity, but hadn’t been able to hold it all together long enough to beat the encounter. We rolled through 6/8 Heroics, with only a mild hiccup on Skittles (something about a Blood DK out-healing a druid by 80%). The team blew through Heroic Gunship, and our raid leader gave us a quick reminder of our Heroic Spine strat before we were parachuted down onto Deathwing’s back.

We lost a healer early on, but we kept pushing through the plates. The tanks were making changes to our strat on the fly, adjusting as we found rhythm to a fight we’ve been working on sporadically for months. And then, after almost 3 months of beating our heads against Heroic Spine, the DPS popped that final plate off and achievements lit up my screen.

There was a pause for screaming in Mumble, and then we were on the platforms for Madness. And we all paused, realizing that probably no one had looked at the strat. Our raid leader called for a 10 minute break for people to go read up, relax, or see family after our Heroic Spine 1-shot, so that they could come back to their PCs and be ready to push ahead on Madness.

I remember glancing at the clock, my mind still unable to process that we 1-shot Spine, realizing we were about to attempt the final fight of this raid tier, and it wasn’t even 9p.

Heroic Spine

Descent into Madness

The raid team reconvened, people still in shock that we had 1-shot Spine, and I quickly began discussing survivability with my cotank. We decided to “wing it” and see what would happen for impales as we tossed around cooldown ideas. Our raid leader gave a quick rundown of the fight and we gave it a go (or 5). The beginning fights were discovering just how squishy I was on impales–quick trinket/glyph swapping, and we were back in business. (Quick note: Blood Death Knights are SUCH a broken class. My cotank takes an impale and drops to 95% health while I’m freaking out as the healers are recovering from me dropping to 40%. Blahblahblah nerf DKs =P) When we called our attempts for the night, we were clearing to platform 4 without issue, so we knew we had it in the bag on our next raid night.

The team showed up on Wednesday, ready to take Deathwing down once and for all. Our Holy priest had spec swapped after the previous raid to give Disc a go. Our warriors respecc’d for slows, I tweaked my glyphing even more, and we knuckled down for more attempts. We saw a .5% wipe and knew that we had the fight down. We would have had a kill on that attempt, but one of our legendary staff wielders DC’d on one of the platforms and we just couldn’t recover before the enrage hit.

No speeches by yours truly (running joke from H. Gunship–Miri would give a fail pep talk and we’d down the boss on the next attempt, so the speech became a requirement for H. Gunship kills), instead you could feel the energy of the team in Mumble–they were ready for the kill! We zoned back in, focused, and away we went!

It was one of those moments, just like on Heroic Spine, where the achievements caught me off guard! On Spine I was wrangling bloods and had no clue what the tendon was at. On Madness I was slowing bloods so that we could push more DPS to end the fight. Neither time did I know health percentages, so when my screen lit up with Heroic Madness, I screamed for the second time in two days!

With the entire team standing, not a single death, we beat the enrage by almost 40 seconds! We were ecstatic! We doled out loot (Gurth and Kiril), and in typical ES fashion handed the drake to one of our druids.

We learned Madness, start to finish, in under 4 hours. We beat the tier, the expansion, and we still had hours left of raid. The team was let go early to go celebrate, and I raised a shot glass several times in toast to the team that achieved the kill.

Heroic Madness


Of course, finishing off Deathwing once and for all netted many of the raiders their Glory of the Dragon Soul Raider, so we had to go pose for pictures!

Twilight Harbingers

In Conclusion

It feels good to complete a raid tier when it’s still current content. It feels even better to complete an expansion’s final  boss. Wrapping up Dragon Soul gives me closure to move on to MoP–a chapter that I am more than willing to let become a memory. Dragon Soul meant much to ES; our raid team shrunk from 25 to 10. Our raid leaders changed, our comp was continuously evolving. And still we persevered. The team banded together and supported each other through the entire tier, proving that 10 people with goals can achieve anything–even in a video game.

A big thanks and a massive congrats to my raid team. I look forward to us tackling MoP together in the near future!


Dragon Soul Paladin BiS List

June 3, 2012 Leave a comment

Almost a month ago, I question was posed to me on Formsrping regarding Paladin BiS gear in Dragon Soul. The question was:

You mind showing the BiS gemmed and enchanted so we can get an idea?

It has been sitting flagged in my inbox begging me to take action, and my massive delay makes me feel pretty bad. Suffice to say, there’s a lot of craziness going on in my personal/professional life that won’t be settling out until the end of this month (but that’s another blog post). So the fact that I was able to pour a drink on a Friday night and run numbers with a friend was relaxing. And thus, this post was born!

Here is our quick and dirty findings for a Paladin BiS list in Dragon Soul. Our goals:

  • Stamina stacking for the hardest heroic fights in Dragon Soul (Gunship and Spine)
  • Maintaining a large amount of avoidance
  • CTC capping (or close to)

The end result was almost obscene. Raid buffed (Devo Aura, Horn of Winter, Mark of the Wild, Fortitude, Steelskin, Feast Buff, stacked trinket), I was looking at the following numbers:

  • 260,459 health
  • 44,358 Armor
  • 2,225 Dodge Rating (20.07%)
  • 3,456.83 Parry Rating (20.60%)
  • 56.82% Block Chance
  • 45.67% Avoidance
  • 102.49% CTC

I needed a moment after I saw those avoidance numbers…

Anyway, on to the gear list!

Note: Raz is a JC/Enchanter, so this list reflects those professions. The only difference is that a non-JC/non-Enchanter player will have a smaller health pool.

(Organized by Slot)




Faceguard of Eternal Glory (410) Eternal Shadowspirit Diamond
Solid Deepholm Iolite

Arcanum of the Earthen Ring

Guardspike Choker (397)
Brackenshell Shoulderplates (410) Solid Deepholm Iolite

Greater Inscription of Unbreakable Quartz

Dodge -> Mastery

Indefatigable Greatcloak (397) Solid Deepholm Iolite

Enchant Cloak – Protection

Expertise -> Mastery

Chestguard of Radiant Glory (410) Solid Deepholm Iolite
Solid Deepholm Iolite
Solid Deepholm Iolite

Enchant Chest – Greater Stamina

Graveheart Bracers (410) Solid Deepholm Iolite

Enchant Bracer – Superior Dodge

Handguards of Radiant Glory (410) Solid Deepholm Iolite

Enchant Gloves – Greater Mastery

Hit -> Mastery

Goriona’s Collar (410) Puissant Elven  Peridot
Fractured Lightstone
Solid Deepholm Iolite

Dodge -> Mastery

Legguards of Radiant Glory (410) Solid Deepholm Iolite
Solid Deepholm Iolite
Solid Chimera’s Eye

Drakehide Leg Armor

Dodge -> Mastery

Stillheart Warboots (410) Solid Deepholm Iolite
Solid Deepholm Iolite

Enchant Boots – Mastery

Curled Twilight Claw (410) Solid Deepholm Iolite

Enchant Ring – Greater Stamina

Hit -> Parry

Hardheart Ring (410) Solid Deepholm Iolite

Enchant Ring – Greater Stamina

Indomitable Pride (410)
Resolve of Undying (416)
Souldrinker (416)


Blackhorn’s Mighty Bulwark (410) Puissant Elven Peridot
Solid Chimera’s Eye

Enchant Shield – Mastery

Dodge -> Parry

Stoutheart Talisman (397) Solid Chimera’s Eye

Mastery -> Dodge

This may get tweaked a bit more, but that’s what I’m currently targeting!

Dragon Soul Tanking – 10M Madness of Deathwing

March 31, 2012 3 comments

Madness of Deathwing (thanks WoWPedia for pic!)

A warped mass of molten hatred and unfathomable power, this formless, mindless horror cannot be stopped. Whatever was left of Neltharion the Earth-Warder is long gone, his mind and soul corrupted and devoured by his Old God masters. All this monstrous being desires is destruction, annihilation, and an end of all things. ~ Dungeon Journal

The first time you complete the Madness of Deathwing it is a breathless experience that will make you play on your toes. In fact, you can read my enthusiasm from when we downed him back in December here in my post entitled “Destroyer’s End.”

The only excitement in the fight for me now is when I forget to change one of my macros from a previous raid and I kill myself. But anyway…let’s talk Madness!

The Madness of Deathwing is a 2 phase fight that involves your raid team, the Dragon Aspects, and Thrall. When you arrive at the Maelstrom, you will discover the 4 platforms that the fight takes place on. Each platform belongs to a different Dragon Aspect and starting the fight with the raid on a different platform than the one Thrall is located on changes the difficulty of the fight substantially. In this guide, I will review the “standard” kill order, but you can always change it up!

Once you “kill” each of Deathwing’s limbs on the 4 platforms, the fight transitions into Phase 2, during which your raid fights Deathwing’s head for the final 20%. Succeed in your attempts and you will officially become the “Destroyer’s End.”

The Aspects

Each Dragon Aspect (and Thrall) provide your team with a buff to succeed and finally banish Deathwing from Azeroth. Their buffs are as follows (done by order of platform, far left to right):

  • Alexstraza – The red dragon buffs your raid with Alexstraza’s Presence, which increases your health by 20%. She also casts Cauterize, which damages the tentacles that sprout from Deathwing’s limbs over 5 seconds and reduced the damage taken by the Corrupted Blood.
  • Nozdormu – The bronze dragon grants Nozdormu’s Presence, which increases haste by 20%. Nozdormu also creates a yellow swirling circle on the platform, called Time Zone, which slows the Elementium Bolt that is cast at the platform and slows any mobs’ attack speed by 50% when fought within the zone.
  • Ysera – The green dragon buffs healing by 20% with the Ysera’s Presence. She also provides a spell, a la Ultraxion, called Enter the Dream, which decreases all damage taken by 50% for 2 seconds.
  • Kalecgos – The new leader of the Blues grants the Kalecgos’ Presence, which increases all damage done to Deathwing and his minions by 20%. Kalecgos also buffs the raid with Spellweaving, which causes roughly 23K Arcane damage to enemies within 6 yards, but excludes your current target.
  • Thrall – While not a dragon, Thrall’s Carrying Winds will move players between the platforms (sometimes this fails) and increase the raid’s movement speed by 60% for 10 seconds.

Deathwing – Phase 1

The following are the various things that Deathwing will “toss” at the raid as you work your way across the platforms. Each platform faces the same enemies, but how they are dealt with depends on which Dragon Aspect(s) you have left. The order they are listed is the order that they appear during the fight.

  • Assault Aspect – Deathwing casts this as soon as the fight begins and looks for the platform with the largest number of players and a platform that still has a limb attached to it.
  • Arm/Wing Tentacle – The main attention grabber on the platform, your raid will focus on the tentacle when there is nothing else to kill. The tentacle casts Burning Blood, which causes Fire damage on the raid every 2 seconds. The damage gets worse as the Tentacle’s health decreases, so healers will need to be aware that healing will require more attention the lower the health of the Tentacle. Twice during the fight, at 70% and 40%, the tentacle sprouts Blistering Tentacles from it’s arm. These cannot be AoE’d and they attack with Blistering Heat, an ability that deals 2500 Fire damage every 2 seconds and increases damage by 2 every stack. When Alexstraza is active, she will be killing the Blistering Tentacles for your raid.
  • Mutated Corruption – A bonus tentacle that will spawn in the back of the platform. This tentacle is picked up by the tanks and all DPS should switch to it immediately. The tanks swap when the Mutated Corruption casts Impale, but they must use a personal cooldown as Impale hits it’s targeted tank for 400K (physical) damage. Impale is channeled over 4 seconds before the hit lands. The Mutated Corruption also attacks the raid with Crush, which causes 100K (physical) damage in a conal attack. Your raid should spread out and not stack behind each other to reduce the chance of this affecting a large amount of your team. Once the Mutated Corruption is dead, your raid team will swap back to Deathwing’s limb.
  • Elementium Bolt – The Elementium Bolt is slowed by Nozdormu’s Time Zone, but without the golden circle, it comes crashing into the platform and deals roughly 390K Fire damage to all players in range. The bolt will continue to pulse 390K Fire damage every 5 seconds until it is destroyed. It is recommended to focus the bolt as soon as it appears so it can either die before it hits the platform or soon after it lands. If your team can move quickly from the bolt’s landing location, they can reduce the damage they take when it collides with the platform.
  • Hemorrhage – Once per platform, Deathwing’s tentacle will hemorrhage, causing Regenerative Blood to spawn. Bloods gain 10 energy every second, and when their energy reaches capacity, they heal themselves back to full. These are a high priority to kill with AoE because they are also casting Degenerative Bite, a stacking debuff which causes roughly 1500 Shadow damage every second for 10 seconds.
  • Cataclysm – Deathwing will begin channeling Cataclysm as time progresses on each platform. Cataclysm is basically a hard enrage timer that is pushed back every time a limb is destroyed. If you fail to kill the limb in time, Deathwing will 1-shot your raid.

Once you destroy the limb on your platform, Deathwing becomes stunned and 20% of his health is whittled away. This is how Deathwing is at 20% health when you enter Phase 2.

Deathwing – Phase 2

Once your team lands on Ysera’s platform, the DPS race is on. Your raid will begin to attack Deathwing’s head, trying to deal as much damage as they can until the following adds spawn:

  • Elementium Fragments – Three fragments will spawn in a 10-man raid. They will spawn at various spots on the platform, sometimes grouping up, sometimes spread out. Your DPS must switch to them immediately and burn them down. The fragments will debuff random members of the raid with Shrapnel, a spell that deals roughly 200K of unresistable physical damage. When players are targeted by Shrapnel, it is best if they make use of Ysera’s buff to Enter the Dream.
  • Elementium Terror – Two Elementium Terrors spawn on the platform and must be picked up by the tanks. The melee attacks apply the Tetanus debuff onto the tanks, which inflict roughly 60K physical damage and an additional 20K physical damage every second. The Tetanus debuff stacks, and thus the adds must be killed off quickly to avoid the loss of a tank.
  • Corrupted Blood – Applies a debuff that inflicts Fire damage on the raid every 2 seconds. When Deathwing hemorrhages at 15%, 10%, and 5%, the damage done by Corrupted Blood is increased.


Here’s how I handle Madness:

  1. Platform Order:
    1. Ysera (where you land)
    2. Nozdormu (left)
    3. Alexstraza (more left)
    4. Kalecgos (all the way right)
  2. DPS begin work on Limb.
  3. DPS/tanks switch to Mutated Corruption when it spawns.
  4. Tanks swap when Impale goes out.
  5. DPS swap to Elementium Bolt when it spawns.
  6. Finish off Bolt, finish off Mutated Corruption if it’s not already dead.
  7. AoE Regenerative Blood when they spawn.
  8. Kill Limb.

Platform 4 is handled a bit differently and is usually dependent on your raid’s DPS:

  1. DPS land on platform and stand around until Mutated Corruption spawns.
  2. DPS kill Mutated Corruption.
  3. DPS kill Elementium Bolt.
  4. DPS stand around and /dance while they wait for the Regenerative Blood to spawn.
  5. DPS kill Regenerative Blood.
  6. DPS kill Limb.

Paladin Pointers

Glyphing Thoughts

These are my picks, YMMV.

Dragon Soul Tanking – 10M Spine of Deathwing

March 29, 2012 Leave a comment
Spine of Deathwing

Spine of Deathwing

When Deathwing first channeled the Dragon Soul’s power against the other flights, the massive energies that were unleashed threatened to break apart his very body. Rather than forgo this weapon, he had adamantium plates fused to his scales to hold his body together. Later reinforced with elementium, these plates are now his weakness–the sole vulnerability to Deathwing’s lethal presence. ~Dungeon Journal

I’d be lying if I said that this fight was fun. I think a good amount of  my delay in writing this guide has to do with just how boring this fight (and Madness as well) is on normal. Anyway, I’m I completionist and I have two fights left to cover, so let’s get through Spine of Deathwing. –M

Spine is exactly what it sounds like: the entire fight takes place on Deathwing’s back, during which you’re loosening (and removing) the plates that hold his body together, while killing the various things that spawn from his back.

If you  have a weak stomach, it’s best not to think about what you’re killing on his back. It may make you squeamish.

Spine of Deathwing is a single phase fight that you must execute the same strategy three times before you are able to move on to the final fight of the raid, Madness of Deathwing.


Deathwing himself only has one ability that you need to watch out for: Roll. If Deathwing senses that the raid team is standing on one side of his back, he will attempt to roll in order to remove the players from his back. This can be quickly corrected by having your raid team spread out across the middle of his back. When this is achieved, a message will flash on your screen that says “Deathwing levels out.”

The roll is very useful, and you will want to roll Deathwing regularly, usually once each time you release a plate (so three rolls a fight), in order to shed excess mobs from his back.

In 10-man, Deathwing is very sensitive and can roll very easily–so be aware!


When you first parachute down onto Deathwing’s back, there are 4 Corruptions that emerge from his body. While the Corruptions are alive, they prevent anything from exiting the 4 hole in Deathwing’s back, IE, the Hideous Amalgamations and the Corrupted Blood, the two things you  need to remove the plates from his back. Once all Corruptions have been killed on Deathwing’s back, another will spawn randomly from one of the holes. When a plate is removed, 2 new Corruptions spawn, but once they are all killed, only one will return.

Corruptions have 2 abilities in the raid:

  • Searing Plasma (Physical) – A debuff that is placed on one member of the raid at a time, Searing Plasma will absorb the first 200K healing done on the target, or will expire after 5 minutes, whatever comes first. When the debuff is on a target, it deals 10K damage every 10 seconds.
  • Fiery Grip (Fire) – Fiery Grip is a stun that is cast on a random member of the raid (never a tank) which stuns them until the Corruption has been damaged. In order to break the grip, 20% of it’s health must be removed. While a player is immobilized by the Corruption, they take 60K damage every 3 seconds, which makes breaking the grip of utmost importance.

I find that it is easiest to assign a DPS to own the responsibility of breaking Fiery Grip off of players, and then we assign a back-up to that DPS in case they are gripped themselves. This makes sure that the damage meted on the Corruption is controlled so you don’t worry about bursting them down too quickly and gaining an extra Amalgamation. The Corruptions do not have a large health pool, so the grip can be broken with 1 or 2 hits.

When you need to roll Deathwing, everyone dives into a hole previously occupied by a Corruption. While in the hole, Grasping Tendrils appear, which basically locks you in place for the roll. You don’t want to remain in the spot for too long, because they slow all affected players’ movement speed by 35% and cause roughly 3K damage every 5 seconds unless you  move away from them. When it comes time to perform a roll, it’s easiest to only “lock in” until you have shed the adds you need to remove and then run out.

Hideous Amalgamations

Amalgamations spawn every time a Corruption is killed. Once the Amalgamation spawns, Corrupted Bloods will soon follow.

Amalgamations have the following 3 abilities, listed in order that they will appear:

  • Absorb Blood – The ability only occurs if the Amalgamation gets too close to a Residue from a Corrupted Blood. The Amalgamation is normally kited over a stack of Corrupted Bloods and gathers several stacks at once. Absorb Blood results in the Amalgamation dealing 10% more damage and attacking 20% faster. Once the Amalgamation has absorbed 9 stacks of Residue (thus dealing 90% more damage and attacking 180% faster) it becomes superheated.
  • Superheated Nucleus (Fire) – When the Amalgamation reaches 9 stacks, it begins to pulse fire damage to everyone in the raid. Every 3 seconds the Amalgamation deals roughly 15K damage to each member of the raid. Your goal is to activate the Superheated mode when the Amalgamation is at low health to reduce the amount of time you are in this phase.
  • Nuclear Blast (Fire) – When the Amalgamation‘s health pool reaches 0, the Amalgamation becomes immobile and begins to channel Nuclear Blast. Nuclear Blast deals roughly 375K damage to anyone within 8 yards and will basically one-shot members of your raid who haven’t moved. Since there is not a lot of space to gather once your team has moved away from the Amalgamation, it is usually wise to use raidwall here to reduce the fire damage. If the Amalgamation is positioned right, (in this case it should be right up against the plate) the explosion will pry up the plate and allow you to enter the first Plate Burn phase.

Elementium Reinforced Plates

The plates that hold Deathwing together also hide the final add you must defeat (3 times) in order to move on to the final fight of the tier.

Tucked under the Elementium Reinforced Plates lie the Burning Tendons. The tendons are the last thing holding Deathwing’s armor to his body. Once destroyed, the plate attached to Deathwing’s body will fly off and give you more space to continue the battle.

When the Amalgamation explodes, a Burning Tendon is exposed to the raid. The team has 23 seconds to destroy the tendon before it snaps the plate back onto Deathwing’s back and the entire Amalgamation phase must be repeated.

If your team is unable to defeat the tendon in the first attempt, it will not heal up. Your team will need to re-expose the tendon to finish it off.

It is worth noting that each plate contains two Burning Tendons, so if your raid team is unable to kill a tendon on the first attempt, you will want to make sure the next Amalgamation explosion loosens the plate on the same side again.

Fight Execution

As I mentioned earlier, this fight is a rinse and repeat fight. The outline below is how we perform the fight each week in all it’s mind-numbing glory 🙂

  1. Destroy 3 Corruptions upon landing (we usually kill top Left, top Right, bottom Right.
  2. Lock in on the left side of Deathwing’s back and roll him to shake the Hideous Amalgamations loose. Make sure you have the Grasping Tendrils debuff (DBM shows this).
  3. Kill the final Corruption. Tank picks up Hideous Amalgamation and drags him to the front of Deathwing’s back.
  4. DPS begin to work on Amalgamation (usually melee). DPS assigned to break Fiery Grip (usually a hunter) performs task and assists ranged with AoEing Corrupted Bloods.
  5. Once Amalgamation reaches 40% health, Amalgamation tank takes him for a walk to the Residue left by the Corrupted Bloods. 40% is a random goal, but it can be done when the tank and healers are comfortable and done at different times to make sure no bloods are wasted. This is a big deal on the first plate because the bloods spawn so slowly.
  6. Tank repositions Amalgamation against one of the Elementium Reinforced Plates when 9 stacks are reached and DPS focus the Amalgamation down. All melee and tank run away from the exploding Amalgamation (8 yards).
  7. Once the plate lifts, all DPS attack the Burning Tendonto release plate. Our CD order for plates is as follows:
    1. Plate 1: Personal CDs
    2. Plate 2: Bloodlust/Timewarp/Ancient Hysteria/Dirty Alliance Ding Ding Clang spell
    3. Plate 3: Personal CDs
  8. Rinse and repeat. You will only want to have 1 Corruption up at any given time due to Fiery Grip.

Paladin Pointers

  • Raidwall each time your team is dealing with Nuclear Blast. Every little bit helps when people don’t move when they need to.
  • Try not to fall asleep 🙂

Glyphing Thoughts

These are my picks, YMMV.

Final option is a bit flexible, depending on your gearing and raid. My thoughts:

  • Crusader Strike: Valid for fact that fight is a single mob fight. Increased crit results in more damage and a slightly faster boss death. This is good if you need some additional damage on the Burning Tendons.
  • Judgement: Totally dependent on if you have the 2pc T13 bonus which grants you an absorb shield each time you judge. Basically you get a larger absorb, which helps to reduce healing required, but I haven’t looked to see how much of a bonus you get. Probably not worth it in the long run, but every little bit helps.

Pick whichever one you feel most comfortable with!

My logic: Focused Shield because it’s a single mob fight. Lay on Hands for the shorter duration (survivability again, but there’s really nothing stopping you from having a shorter CD on this “save your ass” spell). Divine Protection for the magic damage reduction.

Dragon Soul Tanking – 10M Warmaster Blackhorn

February 2, 2012 2 comments

Warmaster Blackhorn and Goriona

Though once vast in number, only a few dozen twilight dragons now remain. Astride these hardened survivors are the last vestiges of the Twilight’s Hammer army: the elite drake riders of Deathwing’s personal escort. Led by the insidious Warmaster Blackhorn, they move with unholy purpose, driven to protect their dark master. ~Dungeon Journal

Many players will refer to the Warmaster Blackhorn fight as this expansion’s Gunship. The only accurate part of this statement is that there is a gunship involved. Blackhorn is no where near as easy as ICC’s gunship battle was, and the fight requires heightened awareness by all players in the raid.

The fight has two phases that require a raid to be mobile and attentive to their surroundings.

Phase 1

Phase 1 requires your raid team to break up into teams to handle different aspects of the fight. Melee will be focusing on the Twilight Elite Dreadblades, the Twilight Elite Slayers, and the Twilight Sappers. Ranged will be working on the Twilight Assault Drakes, the Twilight Sappers, and assisting the the Elites when there are no drakes to target.

So let’s take a look at adds:

  • Twilight Assault Drakes – These drakes deliver the Dreadblades and Slayers onto the ship, but hang around shooting small purple circles on the deck called Twilight Barrage (Shadow). Twilight Barrage deals 200K damage, which is split between each person within a 5 yard radius of the circle and the ship. Your goal is to have at least 3 members of your raid soak one of these circles, which reduces the amount of damage that the gunship takes. If a player solo soaks a circle, they will probably die unless a cooldown is used. After depositing their riders, the drakes will  be snared  by NPCs using the harpoon guns mounted on the ship and should be focused down by the ranged DPS. The drakes will manage to break away from the ship and will fly off. Once the guns are reloaded, the gunners will recollect the adds for the ranged to resume DPS on.
  • Twilight Elite Dreadblade – The first mob to drop onto the deck each time. Dreadblades cast Degeneration (Shadow) in a frontal cone, so the mob must be tanked facing away from the raid. Degeneration deals roughly40K damage each hit, and deals 3K shadow damage every 2 seconds for 1 minute. The debuff stacks and this add should always die first. The Dreadblades also will perform Blade Rush, a charge that will inflict roughly 100K damage on anyone in his path. The target of Blade Rush and the path the Dreadblade will take are clearly shown on the surface of the ship. This gives players a moment to check their surroundings and completely avoid the damage inflicted by the charge if they are aware. Not avoiding this simple mechanic causes a lot of mana waste for healers and, if the target is already at low health, can kill them. This is also the easiest way to get your raid leader into a frenzied rage if players fail to avoid this visible attack.
  • Twilight Elite Slayer – Like the Dreadblade, the Slayer will also perform Blade Rush on random players in the raid. Unlike the Dreadblade, the Slayer’s attack, Brutal Strike (Physical), is not a conal attack, and this mob can be pulled around the deck for circle soaking without concern for stacked raiders. Brutal Strike deals 150% weapon damage and causes the target tank to suffer 3K damage every 2 seconds for a minute.
  • Twilight Sapper – The Sappers are tiny little Goblins who will drop down on the deck and cloak themselves with a smoke bomb before reappearing and making a mad dash (in a straight line) for the ship’s main cabin. Once inside, they will Detonate their massive load of explosives, causing roughly 250K fire damage to players within 8 yards, causing the gunship to lose 20% of it’s health instantly, and killing the Sapper. Sappers can be slowed, stunned, and Death Gripped back to the front of the ship as the DPS burns them down. When a Sapper spawns, all DPS should immediately switch to him to ensure a timely death.

While you’re fighting the 3 waves of adds that comprise Phase 1, Warmaster Blackhorn is flying around above you on Goriona, waiting to pounce. Goriona is spending this time making your raid’s life a bit more difficult, choosing to cast Twilight Onslaught (Shadow) on the deck of the Skyfire. Twilight Onslaught deals 800K damage which is split between all players within a 10 yard radius. Goriona’s Onslaught is the most deadly and your raid must all move to soak the circle. The only reason a player should remain out of the circle is if a Dreadblade is still active on the deck, and in that case the tank with the Dreadblade should be attempting to solo soak a Twilight Barrage (if one is up).

Tanks should be swapping their adds each time they drop. If a tank picks up the first Dreadblade, they should be getting a Slayer on the 2nd round of adds and then another Dreadblade on the 3rd.

Once all the Twilight Assault Drakes have been dispatched, your raid team has killed 3 waves of Deadblades and Slayers, and the Sappers haven’t destroyed your ship, you’re into Phase 2!

A quick pick of how we (roughly) do positioning. Many thanks to my raid team for running off the ship when I asked them to so I could snap this SS!

Phase 2

Phase 2 is fairly short in length in comparison to Phase 1. There are only 2 mobs in play for this phase and the first can be taken out relatively quickly.

  • Goriona is still around and instead of dropping Onslaughts for the raid team to soak, she is casting Twilight Flames, large circles of purple that you don’t want to stand in. The focus of the ranged (and any melee who have ranged abilities) is to get Goriona out of the picture as soon as possible. Once she reaches 25% health, she will abandon Blackhorn and your raid team can focus fire the boss.

Blackhorn has several things that the raid team should be looking out for:

  • Devastate Physical – Each stack of Devastate lowers the targeted tank’s armor by 20% in addition to damage each time it applies. The debuff lasts 30 seconds. Tanks should be swapping every 2-3 stacks, depending on comfort level.
  • Disrupting Roar Physical – Disrupting Roar causes roughly 50K damage to all raiders and silences anyone standing within 10 yards of him for 8 seconds. Casters and healers will want to position themselves closely to avoid Blackhorn’s Shockwave, but no closer than the 10 yard range.
  • Shockwave Physical – A conal attack that Blackhorn will cast on a random target. Shockwave has a graphical representation on the ground and is the reason that the casters should be fairly close to Blackhorn for their attacks. Anyone who is caught in Shockwave when it hits (the spell has a 2.5 second cast) will take about 100K damage and be stunned for 4 seconds.
  • Vengeance – For every percentage of his missing health, Blackhorn hits your tanks for 1% more damage.

Tanks should save their cooldowns for the end of the fight and rotate them in order to survive the increased damage from Vengeance.

Paladin Pointers

Glyphing Thoughts

These are my picks, YMMV.

Final option is a bit flexible, depending on your gearing and raid. My thoughts:

  • Crusader Strike: Valid for fact that fight is a single mob fight. Increased crit results in more damage and a slightly faster boss death.
  • Judgement: Totally dependent on if you have the 2pc T13 bonus which grants you an absorb shield each time you judge. Basically you get a larger absorb, which helps to reduce healing required, but I haven’t looked to see how much of a bonus you get. Probably not worth it in the long run, but every little bit helps.

Pick whichever one you feel most comfortable with! I typically glyph for threat over survivability, but it’s personal preference.

My logic: Focused Shield because it’s a single mob fight. Lay on Hands for the shorter duration (survivability again, but there’s really nothing stopping you from having a shorter CD on this “save your ass” spell). Divine Protection for the magic damage reduction.

Dragon Soul Tanking – 10M Ultraxion

February 2, 2012 4 comments


More an abomination of dark energy than a dragon, Ultraxion has spent his short life absorbing the essence of captured nether dragons. Ultraxion is the only twilight dragon Deathwing has praised, and his arrogance is overshadowed only by the crackling energies surging through his twisted form. Loyal to his master, Ultraxion swears to bring about the fall of Wyrmrest Temple. ~Dungeon Journal

Ultraxion is a fairly boring fight as long as you can manage to use CDs and click a button at the correct times. For me, the trash prior to the fight is pretty mind-numbing as well–all I do is run around and taunt and my co-tank picks up the adds off me and pulls them into the center circle for the DPS to kill.

Ultraxion Mechanics

Ultraxion is basically a 1 phase fight, so let’s talk mechanics.

  • Twilight Shift (Raid) – Announces the beginning of the encounter. The fight is done in the Twilight Realm, and only by clicking a button, Heroic Will, can you leave the realm of twilight.
  • Heroic Will (Raid) – Used by the raid team for avoiding death to Fading Light and Hour of Twilight. By timing the click correctly, the player is pulled out of the Twilight realm for 5 seconds, but they are unable to attack for those 5 seconds. The more comfortable you become with the fight (and your lag), you can time button usage in the last seconds of the Fading Light debuff or the Hour of Twilight cast, so you only remain outside of the Twilight Realm for a split second.
  • Unstable Monstrosity (Raid) Shadow – An arcing attack that hits the raid for 300K damage, spread across all players in the Twilight realm, every 6 seconds. This mechanic is one of the reasons you stack for the fight. Every minute that Ultraxion remains in combat results in 1 second shaved off his cast time of the spell.
  • Fading Light (Current tank and 1 DPS) – Cast on the tank currently tanking Ultraxion and one DPS (this is NEVER cast on a healer). Tanks will need to taunt swap and use their Heroic Will button to leave the Twilight Realm to survive. Failure to leave the Twilight Realm when Fading Light times out will result in instant death on the player. Failure to taunt swap results in some poor DPS getting killed due to Ultraxion resetting his threat.
  • Hour of Twilight (Raid) Shadow – A single 300K damage burst to each player remaining in the Twilight Realm when the spell is finished casting. In 10M Normal mode, only 1 player needs to eat the cast and survive it. Tanks can swap off on this duty (1 tank take evens, 1 take odds), but make sure you don’t miss your soak. If both tanks use Heroic Will and there is no one to absorb the damage of Hour of Twilight, the Aspects will die and the raid will wipe.
  • Twilight Eruption (Raid) – If 6 minutes pass without a kill, Ultraxion explodes and wipes the raid.
  • Twilight Burst (Raid) Shadow – If the raid is not within melee range, Ultraxion will cast Twilight Burst which hits each raid member with roughly 75K in shadow damage every second. In addition to the attack being unable to be resisted, it also increases magic damage taking by 50% for 6 seconds and stacks.

If you have a custom UI that may hide the Heroic Will button, you can create your own by opening your macros pane and creating a macro with /click ExtraActionButton1 as the text. Stick it on your bars are you are good to go.

Aspect Buffs

Each aspect will grant members of the raid with a certain buff. The tanks and the raid do not need to seek out their buffs (Last Defender of Azeroth and Timeloop, respectively), but the healers will need to be aware of their buff spawn timers in order to grab crystals.

  • Last Defender of Azeroth – Gifted to the tanks by Thrall, it reduces the CD on defensive cooldowns by 50% and increases their duration by 100%. Thrall casts this spell at the very beginning of the fight.
  • Gift of Life (Red) – Cast 1.5 minutes into the fight, Alexstraza will buff 1 healer with a spell that increases all healing done by 100%.
  • Essence of Dreams (Green) – Cast 2.5 minutes into the fight, Ysera will buff 1 healer with a spell that causes each heal cast by that healer to be mirrored and distributed across all members of the raid.
  • Source of Magic (Blue) – Cast 3.5 minutes into the fight, Kalecgos will buff 1 healer with a spell that reduces the mana cost of all spells by 75% and boosts spell haste by 100%.
  • Timeloop – Cast 5 minutes into the fight, Nozdormu buffs your raid with the ability to die, once. The first blow that a player receives that will kill them will instead heal them to 100% of their health, but remove the Timeloop buff.

Icy Veins recommends the healing buffs go as follows:

2/1 Ultrax WoL Spell Usage

Paladin Pointers

Glyphing Thoughts

These are my picks, YMMV.

Final option is a bit flexible, depending on your gearing and raid. My thoughts:

  • Crusader Strike: Valid for fact that fight is a single mob fight. Increased crit results in more damage and a slightly faster boss death.
  • Judgement: Totally dependent on if you have the 2pc T13 bonus which grants you an absorb shield each time you judge. Basically you get a larger absorb, which helps to reduce healing required, but I haven’t looked to see how much of a bonus you get. Probably not worth it in the long run, but every little bit helps.

Pick whichever one you feel most comfortable with! I typically glyph for threat over survivability, but it’s personal preference.

My logic: Focused Shield because it’s a single mob fight. Lay on Hands for the shorter duration (survivability again, but there’s really nothing stopping you from having a shorter CD on this “save your ass” spell). Divine Protection for the magic damage reduction.

Dragon Soul Tanking – 10M Hagara the Stormbinder

January 25, 2012 Leave a comment

Hagara the Stormbinder

Hagara, one of the first students of arcane magic under the Forsaken, showed surprising potential for one who had started learning so late in life. But in her undisciplined attempts to bind elementals into servitude, she was ensnared and twisted by the Windlord, Al’Akir. Now fiercely loyal to the Twilight’s Hammer, Hagara binds others for her elemental masters to torment. ~Dungeon Journal

Hagara is another solo tank fight in Dragon Soul. If your raid team is REALLY bored (or lacking in DPS), the first 4 fights of the raid can be solo tanked (but that’s another post).

Hargara has roughly 3 phases: Ice, Lightning, and her “primary” phase. Each phase lasts 50 seconds (minus the first primary phase you start in, which is 30 seconds in length). The phase you start with depends on the weapon imbue she has when she spawns, but each ice and lightning phase has a “normal” phase between them. So let’s look at phases!

Primary Phase

Generally a more aware tank and spank, the notable things a raid should be looking out for are as follows:

  • Focused Assault (Tank) Physical – The only thing a tank will need to worry about during the primary phase. Focused Assault is cast every 15 seconds (twice when you start the fight and then roughly 3 times for every other primary phase you enter) and simply requires the tank to run through Hagara, strafe, or step backwards. Hagara will not move when casting Focused Assault, so it is very easy to avoid. She deals 50% of her melee damage every half a second for 5 seconds.
  • Ice Lance (Ranged/Healers) Frost – Ice lance is cast twice per phase and the ranged DPS and healers need to be on the lookout for beams. The spell will focus on 3 random players and will cast once a second for 15 seconds, dealing 15K damage to the recipient and any other player within a 3-yard radius. The spell also applies an attack speed debuff of 25% but not a casting speed debuff. Due to the close positioning of melee with a tank, the splash damage can escalate (and all the melee want their attack speed to remain the same), but the 3 beams of ice can be interrupted by any ranged DPS or healer. If you have an ability to reduce your damage taken while “soaking” the ice lance, use it to help out your healers.
  • Ice Tomb (DPS/Healers) FrostJust thinking of this spell gives me flashbacks back to Wrath! The plus side of this attack is that it doesn’t chain–but that’s about the only plus side. Ice tomb is cast once per phase and will “freeze” 2 players in ice blocks that need to be DPS’d down to free the players. The entombed party members will be unable to receive healing and take 7K damage each second from the spell. The faster they can be broken out, the better. Targets are identified with a small blue arrow over their heads (looks exactly like the arrow that bounces over a tank’s head on Madness for the impale) and it is recommended that they stack on an assigned side of Hagara to be AoE’d down. Affected raiders have 7 seconds to get into position before they are frozen. It is worth noting that the ice tombs create an LoS issue for healers so try to position them on the opposite side of Hagara from your ranged team. Anyone can be entombed, except for the tank, and there is a distinct possibility that 2 healers can be frozen at once. Plan accordingly.
  • Shattered Ice (All) Frost – A large spike of damage that deals 78K damage to a single random target in the raid. Movement is also slowed for 4 seconds. According to Icy Veins the spell is cast right before or right after Focused Assault.

Based on Hagara’s weapon imbue, you’ll either be given the Lightning Phase or the Ice Phase 30 seconds after the fight starts. Neither are hard to deal with and your phase order will always go as follows: Primary Phase (30 sec) > Lightning/Ice (until you beat mechanic) > Primary (50 sec) > Lightning/Ice (until you beat the mechanic) > Primary (50 sec) > etc., etc., etc.

When Hagara transitions, she will put up a shield that makes her immune to damage. The shield will drop as soon as you complete the objective set forth in the Ice or Lightning phase!

Lightning Phase

Unlike 25M, where the Bound Lightning Elemental spawns right next to one of the Crystal Conductors, the add is slightly North(east?) on the map. The add will always spawn in the same location, so there should be no issues for your team finding the add.

The tank needs to pick up the add (be forewarned that Army of the Dead will able to taunt this add, which can sometimes make positioning difficult) and drag it over to one of the nearby Crystal Conductors. Kill the add and chain the resulting lightning to the 3 other Conductors to end this phase.

Lightning Storm is cast every 2-3 seconds and will target 3-4 random players in the raid with 15K damage. Each time they are hit by Lightning Storm, they gain a stacking debuff that increase the Nature damage they take by 5%. Any resistance buffs that can be run should be popped during this phase (meaning, unlike what you’ve seen in LFR, hunters should run Aspect of the Wild instead of that joyous Aspect of the Daze).

Once you complete the objective of the Lightning phase (activating all 4 conductors), Hagara’s shield drops and she becomes stunned (thanks to Feedback) and takes 100% increased damage for 15  seconds. This is usually a great point to pop Bloodlust (timing is totally dependent on your raid leader and which phase you choose to burst her down in). Once the stun falls off, you are put back into the Primary phase.

Personal Raid Herp Derp

Ice Phase

The ice phase is a great moment to determine which of your raid team is prone to herp derp. I am guilty of totally doing stupid crap during this phase and dying like a fail. More fun (as pictured on the right), is when all 3 healers bite it and then the tanks zone out (I pulled with little to no warning to my co-tank and he didn’t have time to spec swap) and die together as well. I’d like to point out that all the DPS is alive and they managed to finish the fight without half the team >.> I may have also died last night while healing along with my co-tank again! Moral of the story is: watch out for the ice! –Miri

Just like the Lightning phase, there are 4 pillars that need to be dealt with–in this case they are Frozen Binding Crystals.

When the phase starts, Hargara generates another shield to protect herself with,  but this one comes with a deadly debuff: Watery Entrenchment. The debuff drops a player’s health by 15% every second and slows their movement speed by 50%. It is wise to have the raid in motion towards the outer edges before this phase officially starts.

When the transition occurs, the 4 crystals drop into place and can be immediately DPS’d by the raid team. Once these 4 crystals are brought down, the phase ends.

Between each crystal spawn point (slice the platform into 4 wedges, spin the pie 45° and do another 4 wedges. The first 4 are your crystals, the second 4 are your ice waves), an Ice Wave will spawn. Ice waves result in an instant 200K damage and will usually 1-shot every player that they touch. If the wave manages to not kill you, touching it will result in a 50% increase in frost damage taken for the next 2.5 seconds. The best way to handle movement with the Ice Waves is to remain as close to the bubble as you can, without touching it, to make sure you have enough time to move from the wave: The further out on the circle you are, the more time it takes you to move versus a person who is running on the inside of the platform.

While DPSing Crystals and dodging Ice Waves, you’re also on the lookout of Icicles. If you’ve run The Deadmines, during the first dream sequence in the Foundry, there are circles that spawn on the ground before ice falls. Exact same concept on this fight: the circle will spawn on the ground, make sure you remember where it was and move accordingly, as the circle will vanish after 4 seconds before the ice lands 1 second later. Icy Veins notes that anyone within a 7-yard radius will be damaged for 100K.

Avoid the circles, outrun the waves, and kill the crystals to push your team back into the the Primary phase. Rinse and repeat until Hagara dies!

Paladin Pointers

  • If you usually derp on Focused Assaults, it might be worth popping a CD right before one lands so you don’t eat the damage. It’s worth noting that I have timed movement just right on this fight and managed to cancel out a Focused Assault that she only cast for a split second. It took some really good timing and some fast movement, but it can be done!
  • Pop Mirror of Broken Images when you’re running for the Lightning phase.
  • Another option is to use Divine Protection (should still have this glyphed) while running the Lightning phase when Mirror drops off.

Glyphing Thoughts

These are my picks, YMMV.

Final option is a bit flexible, depending on your gearing and raid. My thoughts:

  • Crusader Strike: Valid for fact that fight is a single mob fight. Increased crit results in more damage and a slightly faster boss death.
  • Judgement: Totally dependent on if you have the 2pc T13 bonus which grants you an absorb shield each time you judge. Basically you get a larger absorb, which helps to reduce healing required, but I haven’t looked to see how much of a bonus you get. Probably not worth it in the long run, but every little bit helps.

Pick whichever one you feel most comfortable with! I typically glyph for threat over survivability, but it’s personal preference.

My logic: Focused Shield because it’s a single mob fight. Lay on Hands for the shorter duration (survivability again, but there’s really nothing stopping you from having a shorter CD on this “save your ass” spell). Divine Protection for the magic damage reduction.