Archive for the 'Military Wing' Category

27
Feb
09

Friday Strats – The Four Horsemen

So you’ve managed to Mind Control some understudies and went all emo on Gothik’s ass.  Now comes time to complete military wing and claim all glory due to you and your raid group.  Walk quickly down the hall, make a left and enter the humongous antechamber.  There you’ll find what was once considered the most difficult encounter in the game.  Gentle jerkwads, I present to you, The Four Horsemen:

Thinly veiled allegories FTW

Thinly veiled allegories FTW

The Prep

When you first enter the room you’re going to see all four of the horsemen standing on a raised dais in the center of the room.  Our group will usually hang a tight left and gather in the east corner of the room in order to prepare and pass out healing assignments.  Each compass point must have a tank and a healer assigned to it and they must move into position before the boss is pulled.  Everyone else should remain in the eastern corner.  Once you have everyone in position and buffs are out, you can begin the fight.

A quick note on the compass points: When you enter the room, note where north is on your minimap.  Because the room is all the way in the southeastern corner of the zone and is tilted against the axis, it can become a little confusing when people call out points.  Double check if you have to because if one of the corners becomes empty too soon, it will wipe your raid.

 The Fight

The encounter begins with the four horsemen splitting up and quickly running to the four corners of the room.  Thane Korth’azz will run to the eastern corner, Baron Rivendare to the north, Sir Zeliek to the west and Lady Blaumeux to the south.  Zeliek and Blaumeux will stay in the spot they run to while Rivendare and Korth’azz can move if their target starts shifting around.

All four apply a unique debuff called Mark of (Death Knight casting it) that can stack up to 99 times.  The first time it lands it will do 0 damage, the second it will do 500, the third 1,500, the fourth 4,000, the fifth 12,500, the sixth 20,000 with each subsequent stack doing the previous amount of damage plus an additional 1,000.  Everyone within 45 yards will be hit with this debuff and the damage cannot be resisted although the application of the mark can be.  The marks will last 25 seconds and reduce the threat of anyone hit by 50%.  Blaumeux and Zeliek will cast their marks at the same time and Korth’azz and Rivendare are also on the same timer for marks.  If there is no one in range to receive Zeliek or Blaumeux’s mark then they will begin hitting everyone in the raid with a powerful AoE, wiping the entire raid in seconds.

Thane Korth’azz– Korth’azz is mainly a tank and spank fight except for an ability called Meteor.  He will periodically cast this which does up to 52,500 damage split equally amongst all players in an 8 yard radius.  This ability is a raid killer if you don’t have enough people stacked up on him.  As I stated earlier, our strategy is to have the entire raid stacked up on him.  When he arrives we pop Bloodlust and burn him down as quickly as possible.

Baron Rivendare– Also mainly a melee fight except for a shadow based dot he’ll cast on his primary target called Unholy Shadow.  This will hit for up to 5,500 damage and then tick for an additional 12,000 over 8 seconds and is cast every 15 seconds.  Since the Baron will chase his target, make sure there is a tank there to pick him up at all times so he doesn’t start popping squishies in the raid.

Sir Zeliek– Has a static position so he won’t need a tank per se, but melee needs to be careful because of his abilities.  He can cast Holy Bolt which has a 2 second cast and will deal up to 10,000 holy damage on his closest enemy.  His other ability is the real killer though.  Called Holy Wrath, it deals up to 3,300 damage, but also has a chance to jump to another target within 10 yards, dealing an additional 50% damage with each jump.  He’ll cast it ever 15 seconds and it has the ability to jump infinitely so ranged and casters should spread out and stay away from melee.

Lady Blaumeux– Also a static enemy, she’ll cast Shadow Bolt on the closest enemy, doing up to 9,500 shadow damage.  She’ll also summon a void zone under a random player in range, dealing 4,250 shadow damage per second to anyone standing in it, so keep an eye out and move if one pops under you.  The void zones will last 75 seconds and she will cast multiple ones so try to position yourself near one so they all end up in the same spot.  Like Zeliek, you can get away with having a plate wearer instead of an actual tank as her primary target.

Like I said, I recommend burning down the Thane as quickly as possible in order to get his ability out of the way.  Individually the Death Knights are not that rough, it’s your raid’s ability to watch their marks that’s going to determine how difficult the fight will be.  If your dps is good you should be able to burn down Thane before you reach five marks.  Once that happens, your dps should move to Baron and try to get him down in order to leave you with just the static Death Knights in the back.

Now if Thane isn’t dead then the dps might have to get hit with a fifth mark in order to get him down before you have to switch.  After that, no one should take more than four marks, but I suggest moving once you hit three in order to stay safe.  Should it become imperative to switch between Thane and Rivendare, have the tanks move to the middle, taunt off of each other and then return the bosses to their proper corners.  Be careful though, if a tank is left alone within melee range of the Thane then he will almost definitely be one shotted by Meteor. 

The key to this fight is communication.  Each corner needs a healer at all times so make sure that if you’re moving from a spot you call out that someone needs to come replace you.  You can move to the raised dais in order to continue healing and not get hit by a mark, but you will lose line of sight of some people, so don’t rely on that.  Other than that, the main thing to watch is for void zones as they can kill you quickly if you’re not paying attention. 

This fight is not terribly taxing on a healer as long as you’re alert.  Also, don’t tunnel vision when you’re moving from one spot to another as healers running past you will most likely need some healery action themselves.

The Loot

Once all four are down a chest will spawn on their original pull spot and you can loot it for your badges and the following priest friendly items:

Urn of Lost Memories – Very nice off hand frill for a Disc priest and definitely up on the list for Holy if you can’t find one with spirit.  Obviously with the extra mp5, it’s more of a healer item, but shadow can definitely use it if they’re looking for a decent off hand item.

Mantle of the Corrupted – This item is really more of a mage piece, but if you’re still wearing dungeon blues, will be a nice upgrade for shadow.  Holy and Disc should leave this for dps unless they’re looking to build an off set.

Damnation – Coolest.  Staff.  Ever.  There are better staffs in the game, but this one is definitely worth picking up for either Holy or Shadow spec.  You will have competition though as this is also nice for druids and warlocks.

Breastplate of the Lost Conqueror – This is the token for our tier 7.5 chest piece.  Your tier gear is not necessarily the best in slot automatically, but it’s definitely in the top three.  It’s more skewed towards Holy spec though, so Disc priests might want to look elsewhere.  There’s also a shadow version, so pick it up for your deeps.

This fight is not difficult for a self aware raider.  As I’ve stated, the key is to focus and communicate, making sure that the raid knows healer positions at all times.  Be aware of the abilities of the mob you’re currently fighting so you can look out for them and this fight should be cake.

A final note: This is not the only way to do this fight and in fact, there’s an achievement for killing them all within 15 seconds of each other which you will most definitely not accomplish with these strats.  This is my preferred method because it’s easiest on the raid as a whole and makes the fight fairly painless.  If anyone wants to add to this or mention something I forgot, please post it in the comments.  Tune in next week when we take a constitutional down Plague Wing over to the Eye of Eternity (yes, this was always here, no, you read it wrong the firt time).

-Dueg

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20
Feb
09

Friday Strats – Gothik the Harvester

One week old!  Yes, gentle jerkwads, Holy Dueg has been around for a full week now, it seems like just yesterday I was writing about how to put the smack down on Raz, ah, I was so young then.  So I decided that I’m going to reserve Fridays as my strat day and you can expect to see weekly posts on how to deal with certain bosses with an emphasis on the healing side of things.  I’m gonna go ahead and continue our jaunt down Military Wing with a look at this fugly weiner: Gothik the Harvester.

That's right, Gummi Skulls, be afraid

That's right, Gummi Skulls, be afraid

The Prep

Gothik is the second boss of the military wing of Naxxrama, just down the hall and to the right of Instructor Razuvious.  The boss himself is really not going to be a healer intensive, but it’s the lead up to him that will tax you.  When you first enter his room, he’ll be standing on a balcony directly in front of you with a wall to your right cutting the room in half.  The side you first enter is called live side and the opposite side of the wall will be referred to as dead side with an open gate in the middle.

Before the boss is pulled your raid must split in half with equal number of healers, dps and tanks on each side.  If things are uneven, you might want to slightly stack dead side with more dps as this will be the rougher side of the fight.  Once everyone is split, dead side will move to the farthest corner from the entrance and live side will pull.

The Fight

Once live side hits him with a ranged attack, Gothik will become invulnerable, close the gate, and immediately begin summoning adds.  The adds will spawn on live side and there will be three distinct types: Unrelenting Trainees, Unrelenting Death Knights and Unrelenting Riders and will progress in difficulty in that order.  The Unrelenting Trainees will put a disease on whoever they hit with melee damage, so be prepared to drop a cure on people, the Death Knights occasionally do a whirlwind, shadow based attack that applies a Mark of Shadow on anyone it hits and does about 5k damage on plate.  Finally, the Riders have an aura that hits everyone around them for about 500 damage every few seconds (completely resistible) and will occasionally do a shadow bolt volley, hitting everyone with Mark of Shadow for about 6k.

Now here’s where the gimmick comes in.  Whenever live side kills a mob they will transfer over and respawn from one of the pile of bones sitting over on dead side as a spectral version of the original mob.  Pro tip: Don’t stand near the pile of bones if you’re squishy.  On dead side, the trainees will now cast an arcane explosion with a 20 yard radius and the death knights will now use a normal whirlwind attack that does 4k.  Another problem with the riders is that when they respawn, they will come up as two separate mobs, the unmounted mob and the horse he rode in on.  The rider still has his damage aura and will also occasionally drain life (dispellable) from their main aggro target.  This drain does about 12,000 damage if allowed to tick to full length, so make sure you dispell it quickly.  The horses now have an AoE stomp ability in a 10 yard radius that does about 2500 damage and will slow movement by 60%.

Now the trick is for live side to watch the speed they kill the mobs at, making sure not to overwhelm dead side.  Trainees and Death Knights are CC-able, but that won’t mean anything if you still have a lot of mobs up when Gothik joins the fight.  He will stop spawning mobs at 3:44 and at 4:34 will teleport onto live side and engage the raid.  50 seconds should be more than enough time for an adequately geared raid to mop up the leftover mobs with some time to spare.

Once Gothik engages the raid, he will teleport down to live side.  As long as you have most of your raiders up, it should be a cakewalk.  He has a shadow bolt that will hit his main target for up to 5500 damage and will cast a debuff every 15 seconds that reduces the entire raid’s stats by 10% and will stack 10 times.  About every 10 seconds he will teleport to the opposite side of the gate and engage the other half of the raid.  He’ll ping pong like this till he’s at 30% life at which point he opens the gate and the full raid can bring him down.

Gothik is an easy fight, the main trick being staying alive till phase 2.  Dead side will be where you’ll make or break the raid because of the possibility of them getting overwhelmed by live side.  Healing is going to require a focus and attention of what mobs are currently attacking the raid.  On live side you want to make sure to cure diseases and look out for whirlwinds and shadow volleys.  Dead side is also about focus and making sure to watch the AoE damage.  All in all, most of this damage is at least partially resistible so as long as you keep an eye out and make sure not to lose your head, you should be good.  I officially label this the second easiest fight in Naxx.

The Loot

This is a new part of my strats where I will examine all loot that is pertinent to priests.  Sorry all other classes, but this is a priest site, after all.  I also went back and updated my previous Raz strat to reflect the new look / format of the strats.

Touch of Horror – This is a pretty sweet little wand for a Disc priest or anyone more concerned with mp5 instead of Spirit.  I definitely recommend picking it up if you haven’t gotten a decent holy/shadow style wand yet or are disc.  Deals holy damage (one of only five in the whole game) so damage is irresistible.  Possible best in slot for a Disc priest.

Bindings of Yearning – Another awesome piece of disc gear here, this time for your wrist slot.  Same as above, if you’re more interested in mp5 than Spirit, pick this up.  With a healthy dose of crit, this one is another piece of gear in the running for best in slot for Disc.

Gothik’s Cowl – This is one of the most coveted head slot items in the game, and again, better for Disc than Holy (I’m beginning to see a pattern).  Pick it up if you’re disc and don’t let go… don’t you dare close your eyes!

So there you go, Gothik the Harvester in one huge post.  He’s really easy compared to most other bosses so if you’re having problems, you seriously need to examine if everyone in your raid is properly geared up for Naxx.  Tune in next week as I conclude Military Wing with the Four Horsemen.

Bonus: Anyone who can tell me where the term “gentle jerkwads” comes from will receive a prize!*

-Dueg

*Won’t actually receive prize

13
Feb
09

Curtains up, Lights on

So I’m mulling over what my first “meat” post is going to be and I keep coming back to a subject that is very near and dear to my own heart: raiding.  You see, gentle jerkwads, I used to be somewhat intimidated by raiding.  My first MMO was Everquest, as I’m sure many others have that distinction as well.  Anyone who knows that game that in order to raid you had to be hardcore.  There was no blurred line between the casual player and the raider, no way, it was distinct and straightforward and either you were or you weren’t.  So you can see how I might not be too eager to jump into raiding since the last raid I was on before Wrath came out was a Plane of Growth Raid about 8 or 9 years ago.

However, I heard about the new accessibility of the end game and I must admit I had been very very curious even back in vanilla WoW to give it a whirl.  So, after spending levels 70 through 80 in dungeons all over Northrend and a few select Heroics, I bravely stepped into 25 man Naxxramas for my first official World of Warcraft guild run raid and came face to face with the first hurdle I’d faced in the game in a long, long time.  To you, I present, Instructor Razuvious:

instructor_razuvious

"I eat kittens"

The Prep

Now the reason I’m starting with Raz here is because this is going to be an introduction for rookie priests to the fact that as a raider, you need to be versatile in all areas and able to accomplish different things as needed.  The gimmick with him is that he hits like a mack truck dual wielding SUVs and will tear your raid apart if he’s allowed to hit anyone.  Even tanks can only last a few seconds against him, and that’s if they pop their cool downs.  But worry not, because here is where you and another priest get to step up and say, “Don’t worry guys, you just do your little, how you say… ‘pew pew’ and we’ll take care of this.”

Raz is standing in a sunken circular pit with a ramp up on side located in the middle of a large chamber surrounded by 4 of his students, each named Death Knight Understudy and standing at four practice dummies set in a square around him.  The big guy there will slowly circle around behind all four of them, occasionally pausing at one to give instructions.  

So here’s where you come in, because the only way for the raid to survive against Raz’s damage is that one of his students must be tanking him at all times.  “However shall we convince them to do that,” you ask?  Why, that fantastic little spell sitting in your book, I’ll say, most likely in a forgotten, web strewn page: Mind Control.

Whichever Understudy you are assigned to, you should right click it’s portrait (there should be symbols on all four, so make sure you’re on the right one) and set that add as your focus.  You can then create a simple macro: /cast [target=focus] Mind Control in order to cast on your chosen focus without switching your current target, who should be Raz.  You should also have a second one: /target Instructor Razuvious so you can quickly switch to him if necessary.  Make sure not to place Raz’s targeting macro on your hotbar because it’ll disappear when Mind Control kicks in.

The Fight

Here’s how it’s gonna go down: From a distance, you and another priest have to first cast Mind Soothe on the two closest students, I can not stress this enough as MC range is just slightly under their regular agro radius.  Once they’ve been mind soothed and Raz has walked to the back of the pit, you both creep to the bottom of the ramp and hit one of them with Mind Control as soon as you get in range.  The other three will immediately agro, so make sure that some of the tanks are ready to pick them up.  After a few seconds, the second priest should pick up their targeted student, and this is where the fight will begin.

Raz will hang back for about 5 seconds before he runs into the fight while you move your student into position.  Whatever you do, do NOT charge Raz, just hang back at the bottom of the ramp with your mob and wait for him to start running to the raid.  If you charge him, you will almost definitely run out of MC range and break your spell, causing havoc and general chaos in the raid if you can’t recover quickly enough.  Once you gain control of the understudy, a new hot key bar will pop up with four abilities.  1 is the standard attack button, 2 and 3 are blank, 4 is dps strike with a short cooldown, 5 is a taunt and 6 is Bone Shield.  The key to this fight is the Bone shield ability because Raz will hit so hard he will quickly burn through the add, but Bone Shield reduces incoming damage to the point where healers can keep them at acceptable levels without too much stress.  So when he charges in, you hit Bone shield and taunt to pull him onto your add.  Both abilities last 20 seconds with a 20 second cool down on taunt and a 30 second one for bone shield.  

So once he charges, pop bone shield first, then taunt right away to pull him onto your add and just start spamming your dps strike.  Always make sure bone shield is up first to mitigate the maximum amount of damage on the add.  About 15 seconds after you pulled him, the second priest should cast bone shield and hit taunt to pull him onto their add in order to prevent yours from taking unshielded hits from Raz.  You should then break MC and recast it in order to refresh your timer.  I recommend casting PW:S to break the MC as opposed to some other method.  In theory, there should be an off tank ready to grab the add at any time, but why not just toss a shield if you can?  Safety first says Dueg.  Run him back into place once you have him and repeat shield / taunt once the other priest calls 5 secs left on his.  Rinse, repeat, success.

The Loot

Boots of Forlorn Wishes – These are a pair of not too shabby holy / shadow style boots.  With haste and a yellow gem slot, you may want to leave this to dps if it’s only a side-grade for you, but if not, definately try to pick these bad boys up if you get the chance.

Bindings of the Expansive Mind – These are a pretty sweet pair of shadow bracers.  Decent hit rating coupled with a sweet crit bonus means that warlocks are probably going to be rolling against you on this.

Now, it’s going to be intimidating at first because you’re going to have the whole eyes of the raid on you and anyone who’s serious about raiding is serious about looking good in front of other raiders.  But just stay calm, focus and it’s really easy.  Although I will say it took me about 4 wipes to get it right, but I’ll talk about that more next time, when I talk about the tools of the job.  Till then, if anyone has any other tips or comments to improve this strat, feel free to post it.

-Dueg




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