Welcome to Ulduar! Hopefully by now most people have gotten to fight at least the four bosses of the siege area, with some of you probably advancing to the antechamber area. I myself have been able to go through the siege and antechamber twice on 10 man these last couple of weeks and we were able to get the siege area bosses down in one night this week on 25. Yes, Ulduar is effin awesome and yes, shit just got real.
So what I’m trying to say is that we won’t be returning to Naxx anytime soon, but don’t worry, I do intend to finish it. For the time being though, it’s all Ulduar all the time. I decided to skip over Flame Leviathan for the moment because there’s not enough info out there to really put together a strat on his hard modes. On easy mode he is rather easy, so I think people can handle it without my sage advice for the time being. I’ll probably do it the week after next since it’ll be such an involved post. So for the first Ulduar strats, I’ll skip to the second boss we usually do, ladies and gentlemen, Razorscale:
You will be fighting Razorscale on a large platform overseeing a huge cliff. There will be a set of four harpoons (two on ten man) on the west side which is where you enter and it will be open all along the eastern half of the platform. During the fight you will have adds spawning all along the eastern edge of the platform that will need to be corralled by tanks. We usually set up two groups on the northern and southern side of the circle with one group floating back and forth to help. Make sure you split your healers evenly as there will be a lot of incoming raid damage. Healers may also want to set their focus to Razorscale before you begin (I’ll explain later). Once you have your sides split, simply buff up and speak with an npc standing by the harpoons to begin the encounter.
Razorscale begins the encounter flying above the platform, targetable but out of range. The dwarves you spoke to begin to repair the harpoons one at a time. We assigned a ranged dps, usually a hunter or mage to make sure to fire those once three were ready then stand by the fourth and fire it once it was ready to go. While you’re waiting for them to repair though, big drills will start to come up from the ground and deposit iron dwarves onto the platform. There will be three different mobs, Dark Rune Sentinels, Dark Rune Watchers and Dark Rune Guardians, which you’ll want to kill in that order.
The Dark Rune Sentinels have a whirlwind ability that can land up to 40,000 damage on your cloth wearers so you’ll want to pull them from the rest of the raid when they come up. Melee should be on their toes and ready to run when the whirlwind hits. The Dark Rune Watcher is not a hard melee hitter, but he casts chain lightning, which deals increasing damage on up to 5 people in your raid, up to 11,000 on the final target, so they should be a priority target after Sentinels. They will also cast a single target lightning spell on random people for up to 12,000 damage. The Dark Rune Guardians are just your typical melee mobs. They occasionally do a double weapon strike for about 10,000 damage, but other than that, just hold off on them till the other targets are down.
While your raid is fighting the mobs and the dwarves are finishing up repairs on the harpoon, Razorscale will be spitting fire at random people throughout the raid. She’ll cast two types, a regular, orange Fireball spell that deals up to 12,000 damage and then a blue one called Devouring Flame which hits initially for about 10,000 damage then can tic up to that same amount every second for six seconds to anyone standing within 6 yards of the landing spot.
Players have to be mobile and ready to move as this effect will kill a clothie in three seconds and it’s a waste of healer’s mana to have to heal someone through this type of avoidable damage. If you have Razorscale focused, she targets the person she’s going to hit with fire and has a cast time on the ability, so you can throw some pre-emptive heals on someone about to get hit with fire. I usually throw a HoT combined with shield on someone I see is about to take incoming damage.
Once all four harpoons have been fired, Razorscale becomes grounded and is stunned for several seconds. As soon as she lands, all dps should stack up behind her and hit her with everything they have. Blow cooldowns, use bloodlust, try to burn her as fast as possible. Once she breaks stun, she’ll shoot a Flame Breath in front of her, which is her main breath weapon, dealing up to 22,000 damage in a cone in front of her. Before she takes off again she’ll also cast a Wing Buffet ability which will knock everyone within a 35 yard radius around her backwards in the air. The ability itself doesn’t hurt, but everyone knocked back will take fall damage, so be ready with heals when they land. She’ll then return to her position and adds will start spawning again until the harpoons have been repaired again.
When you get Razorscale to 50% she’ll become permanently grounded and you’ll be able to begin phase 2. Ideally you’ll want to permanently ground her the second time she lands, cause if it takes till the third you’ll be cutting the enrage timer awful close and after that you’ll never dps her enough before she goes berserk. Once you’ve got her down and a tank has picked her up, she’ll begin casting her breath weapon fairly often. She also begins to cast Flame Buffet every few seconds (I think it was close to every ten) which is a stacking debuff that raises your fire damage by 1500. This hits the entire raid and makes phase 2 a dps race.
She’ll begin stacking a debuff on the tank called Fuse Armor which drops his armor, attack and movement speed by 20% for each stack and lasts 20 seconds. You’ll need to trade off tanks to allow this effect to wear off. We usually did the trade at two stacks. While you’re fighting her she’ll also begin to drop a circle of flames on the spot where she’s standing so the tank will have to occasionally walk backwards to move her out of that. Melee needs to be aware in this phase. There won’t be too much raid damage flying around, but the tanks will need a lot of healing, so healers should try and focus on whoever has the boss taunted with an occasional eye for minor raid damage.
This fight has a lot of raid damage flying around with the mobs occasionally aggroing on the wrong people when they spawn and Razorscale spitting flames all over the place, so healers must be quick on their feet. A good rule of thumb here is that when you first enter the platform there’s a huge red circle painted on the floor in the center of the area. When she’s spitting the flaming fireballs, she seems to most often target the person closest or farthest from the center circle. I don’t know if this is intended or a bug, but it really seems to work that way.
Update: Jov was kind enough to point out in the comments that this is intended for Devouring Flame. What she’s doing is targeting the person closest to her which before the first time you ground her is in the center of the platform. After she takes off again, she will be flying around the outside of the circle and targeting whoever is closest to her. Jov recommends having a healer and dedicated sentinel tank in the center before the first grounding then after the second, ranged dps follow her around while the rest of the raid bunches in the middle in order to keep AoE damage out of the raid. This sounds like a very solid strategy and I will be recommending it to my guild the next time we hit up Ulduar. Thanks Jov!
Healers should be aware of where they are in relationship to the raid and the edge of that circle at all times in order to try and avoid being targeted, but don’t rely on it, still be ready to move. Also, the circle roughly maps out the radius of her wing buffet ability when she takes off again during phase one, so make sure to stand outside of it. You must also be mobile in phase 2 as the tanks will be doing a lot of moving to avoid burning in the fire pool she drops, so be prepared to keep up with them. Of course the rule of “don’t stand near the pointy end” still applies here, but make sure you don’t lose range on them at an inopportune time.
I’m going to break from tradition here and loot both 10 and 25 man loot since both are viable right now, we’ll start with 10 man
Binding of the Dragon Matriarch – This is an awesome crit piece for your waist slot. The low intellect might make it less attractive for a disc, but shadow or holy who need a bigger dose of critage should jump on this.
Eye of the Broodmother – I think this is one of the sexiest new trinkets in the game. During longer fights this trinket basically gives you 87 crit and 250 spellpower. I would definitely try to grab this if you don’t have a better trinket with a similar stacking effect.
Collar of the Wyrmhunter – This would be a super sexy shadow item if they don’t mind the loss of spirit.
Guiding Star – Slightly better than the KT mace, this would serve any type of priest well as a main hand weapon, though I would say that there are better staff options for holy priests later in the instance.
Living Flame – This is a solid hit trinket for shadow priests with the ability for 20 seconds of burst damage to boot.
You are now locked to this instance. Next week, we’ll be looking at Ignis and then we’ll return tot he Flame Leviathan before XT. Till then, if anyone has any ways to improve the strats or tricks that have worked for your guild, please feel free to post them.