« Archives in March, 2012

Hagara 10 Man Heroic

TL;DR. Check out this flash animation Whipshamazin produced for us to illustrate a great strategy for the lightning phase.

Heroic Hagara presented some interesting challenges, and although mechanically similar to the normal verison, the effects of the mechanics take a step up in the order of the difference between raid finder and normal modes.

For the initial phase, we tanked Hagara on the portal, and divided ranged and healers into three groups to intercept ice lance. The main advantage of this strategy is that only Dambrath is getting hit with shattered ice, rather than someone soaking ice lances. We didn’t have many problems cleaving the ice tombs, although we found it useful to stack up just a little bit back from the boss to avoid line of sight issues.

In the ice phase, we had healers and ranged entrenched, while melee ran around whacking at crystals and getting dispelled just inside the water. It took a reasonable amount of time to perfect the execution of the phase, and learning to balance defensive and mobility abilities to get maximum DPS time on the crystals was a fun challenge.

We originally tried the lightning phase with a strategy that involved everyone chaining, and several secondary chains that needed to be completed. We would get close, but the damage from chaining, lightning storm and range issues was too great. Then Whipshamazin came to the rescue after finding this alternative strategy where 7 of the 8 crystal conductors are overloaded immediately. Whippy when went above and beyond to produce this flash animation, complete with labels for the core team. I can’t really overstate how excited I was to see all our little dots moving over the hagara encounter map. An important aspect of this strategy is not just overloading the crystals, but avoiding unnecessary chains after overloading is complete. The best part of the strategy however, is that little orange dot in the middle, and having our own dancing tree, Jondayla right in the middle of it all.

Lastly, on our kill… we managed to get the boss to less than 2% before the ice phase hit. It was really great to see everyone focus and execute a whole extra phase before finishing off the boss. Dancing around melting crystals with the boss about to collapse makes this one of my favourite progression boss kills ever.

Zon’ozz 10 Man Heroic

The Dragon Soul nerf got bumped to 15%, and we hit heroic Zon’ozz like a truck. We had switched our focus to heroic Hagara, but since we had a full guild group, we decided to get give Zon’ozz another try.

Our first attempt was very positive, and we added a couple of tweaks to the strategy. Whipshamzin has a knack for jumping up and down in ghostwolf form just exactly where flares need to be placed, and we nudged the ranged stack point backwards a little to give the ball a little more flight time during the regular phase. I managed to put my flare marker on the furthest flail, and we relieved Estadoug of flail duty, since it was vapourising as it spawned.

On our second pull, we lined up and dispatched Zon’ozz a little quicker than expected, thanks to a hefty 60k DPS from Moordenar who was wielding brand new legendary daggers. We didn’t get to resolve the debate of which adds to leave up for the fourth black phase, since we put our heads down and powered through with herosim from over 20% and killed the boss as the phase was starting.

We still owe both Moordenar (Fangs of the Father) and Bioderm (Dragonwrath, Tarecgosa’s Rest) a post each for their legendary weapons, so we’ll get to that soon(tm).

Ultraxion 10 Man Heroic

What a month it’s been, with frustrating little time on progression bosses, but finally the wait is over. Heroic Ultraxion went down a little too easily just after the nerf increased to 10%, making us wish for a full roster in the last few weeks.

Heroic Ultraxion is very mechanically similary to normal. The biggest change, particularly for a 10 man guild, is the number of people who need to soak Hour of Twilight. You need to have two players soak each one, and they get a debuff that doesn’t allow them to soak another for 2 minutes. What this boils down to, is that you need to have 60% of your raid soak the Hour of Twilight.

The obvious solution is just make Kalus (Disc. Priest) go Shadow! So our rotation looks a little something like this:

  1. Prot Warrior, Shadow Priest
  2. Prot Paladin, Holy Paladin (Rallying Cry + Divine Protection + [Glyph of Divine Protection])
  3. Rogue,  Mage (Ice Block)
  4. Prot Warrior, Shadow Priest
  5. Prot Paladin, Holy Paladin (Divine Shield)
  6. Rogue, [Fire] Mage (Cauterize)

We two healed the encounter, leaving only our Restoration Druid, Enhancement Shaman, Affliction Warlock and Elemental Shaman free from soaking duties. Noondez did manage to survive at least one Hour of Twilight with a glyphed Divine Protection alone, but it was a little too close for comfort without Rallying Cry. Bioderm is at the mercy of our healers after using Cauterize to soak, which is a great impetus to keep in their good graces.

The increased number of soakers, and the aditional Fading Light debuff makes the encounter reasonably unforgiving for basic errors with fight mechanics. Unfortunately, at the 10% nerf mark Ultraxion has lost much of the bite that it had in the DPS and healing check areas and it was unfortunate we couldn’t push him over a week or two sooner.

I over allocated the amount of time for Heroic Ultraxion, and after knocking it over, we still had half of our raid week remaining. Much to Noondez’s delight (herald of all things both shiny and achievement oriented) we set to work on the remaining achievements for the raid.

We were happy to get the realm 6th Deck Defender on our first attempt for the week. Although this does require some coordination, any nerfing lets you get away with a lot fewer players soaking the large barrages.

Next up, after the encounter started, Whipshamzin asked if we were doing the Maybe He’ll Get Dizzy… achievement. Naturally we obliged, only to find out that it had already been completed by everyone in the raid. The achievement isn’t a bad way to go for normal in any case, since you need to sit around and wait for enough bloods to spawn before you can rip into the amalgamation. You might as well do a couple of rolls straight up.

Finally, we had come to our last platform (Kalecgos) for the Chromatic Champion achievement. The achievement requires at least 3 weeks of work after the first Madness kill to obtain, since you need to knock off a single platform at a time [yup, Whip, we'll be doing the ones you've (actually) missed again]. The 20% extra damage is somewhat offset by the 10% nerf the raid has received, but missing spellweave did make an appreciable difference to how quickly the Regenerative Bloods went down. Fortunately we have some nice burst AoE, and my habit of maximizing the number of sources of damage into the bloods (Rend, Deep Wounds, Bladestorm, Sweeping Stikes) for psychotic Spellweave numbers did serve to rip them to bits without it. We were rewarded with a Realm 3rd for Chromatic Champion and an early night to boot.