Archive for the 'Antechamber of Ulduar' Category

12
Jun
09

Friday Strats – Auriaya

Mittens!  You leave Miss Prissypants alone!

Mittens! You leave Miss Prissypants alone!

Ugh, Auriaya.  I’m gonna go ahead and lay it out there right now, I hate this fight.  It’s not exactly difficult, but there are complications involving the adds that come with her, wonky pathing issues and the spawn that will arrive soon after pulling her.  Mix all that with the fact that if your tank isn’t perfect, and I do mean perfect, at picking up the adds or if your healers are a split second too slow on cooldowns or heals, and that’s literally less than a second, then you will see a lot of spike damage and the fight becomes a lot more difficult.  But let’s stop with the horror stories since it’s beena  couple of weeks since we’ve had a Strat post and dive right into it, eh?  So let’s have a look see for the crazy cat lady herself, Auriaya.

The Prep

You’ll need all three tanks working and ready to pull the adds that come with Auriaya.  We also usually set up cooldown targets for the healers in order to avoid the insta-deaths that plague our tanks during the initial pull.  You will also need the raid to set up out of line of site from the pull spot, usually one of the entrances to the closest hallways to the staircase.  We usually set up just around the corner from the stairs while a hunter places a snake trap down on the pull spot.  It is also extremely important that everyone stay stacked up right on top of the tank for the duration of the fight.  Auriaya doesn’t cleave or anything, so don’t worry about extra raid damage from that.  Once everyone is buffed and hidden around the corner, simply buff up, place the trap, and wait for her to come.

The Fight

The reason for all the prep and los for the pull is that when she comes, she’ll have four adds with her that rush your group and pounce on anyone in los, who should only be tanks.  The pounce ability deals up to 8,600 damage and an additional amount of damage every second for five seconds after that, I believe around 5,000.  However, the damage done is magnified by 50% per member of the pack that’s still alive and within close range of each other.  This means that if a tank is hit by more than two pounces back to back he or she will most likely die, causing the adds to run wild through the raid unless another tank is on the ball and grabs them.  They also have an attack called Rip Flesh which will deal up to 5,375 damage every two seconds for 20 seconds and can stack up to 100 times.  For all these reasons the adds must be tanked spaced out and burned down very very quickly.  Once they’re all dead, the raid can focus on Auriaya herself.

If you kill all the adds without anyone in your raid dying, the fight will become a lot easier, but no less annoying.  Auriaya herself has a few very annoying abilities, one of which is Horrifying Screech which is an AoE fear that will hit your entire raid.  Having Shadow Protection buffed on the raid will help to reduce the time that everyone is feared and priests should put fear ward down on the tank whenever it’s up to make sure she doesn’t move too much while people are running.  Once fear ends, everyone must collapse back to the original spot as quickly as possible.  After she casts fear, she’ll almost always begin casting Sentinel Blast.  This is a channeled ability that when it’s cast will deal 6000 shadow damage and places a debuff on the raid that increases shadow damage taken by 100% for 5 seconds.  This stacks up to 5 times and is channeled, but is also interruptible, so you’ll want everyone with an interrupt to be spamming it as soon as they return to position or else she will most likely wipe the raid.  This also makes fear warded warriors the ideal main tank for this fight.

Her third ability will be one called Sonic Screech which deals up to 215,000 damage to the raid, split evenly amongst everyone stacked up in front of her.  This is the major, but not only, reason why the raid must be stacked up on the tank in front of her.  Her final ability is called Guardian Swarm where she summons a swarm of small panthers who run around dealing raid wide damage.  The damage is more annoying than anything and usually won’t wipe your raid, however, she the annoying habit of repositioning right after she casts it, forcing your raid to move in order to avoid too little of the raid eating a Sonic Screech and wiping.

After about a minute into the fight, she’ll summon a Feral Defender, which starts out with a 9 stack of buffs called Feral Essence which increases it’s damage done by 50% per stack.  It has two main abilities, one called Feral Rush which deals up 1,690 damage and leaves behind a bleed effect for 6 seconds while interrupting casting and another called Feral Pounce which deals up to 698 damage and stuns the target for 4 seconds.  Once you kill him, the Defender will leave behind a void zone called Seeping Essence which will deal about 9,000 shadow damage every second.  You must either have your tank pull him from the group at 10% and stun him and burn him asap or have the entire raid move as quickly as possible if it pops under the raid.  A few moments after he dies, the Defender will revive himself at the cost of one of his Feral Essence stacks.

So that’s the high and the low of the fight.  I’ll just say that this fight is extremely annoying and possibly one of the worst encounters in the new zone simply for the fact that the RNG has a significant chance to kill one of your tanks on the initial pull which can then very easily wipe your raid.  Not to mention that tanks have a tendency to die when the raid gets feared because all of the healers are running away instead of healing.  Then there’s the constant moving and the fact that she jukes around when she casts a spell.  It all adds up to make this fight super shitty and is often our sloppiest showing in Ulduar thanks to it.  As for healing, the only truly stressful part other than when you’re feared is during the initial pull.  Pop cooldowns and spam heals and hopefully the gods will be kind.

The Loot

10 Man

Elemental Focus Stone – Possibly one of the best dps trinkets in the game at the moment, Shadow should be all over this like stink on a monkey.

Mantle of the Preserver – Malygos drops a better pair, but as far as crit shoulders go, these bad boys aren’t too shabby.  Good for all specs.

Nurturing Touch – This is the second best wand in the game for holy and hit capped shadow priests and the better one isn’t that much better.  Disc priests have better options elsewhere, but shouldn’t turn their nose up at this.

Raiments of the Corrupted – This is a sweet hit bonus robe, especially with the gem slot.  Though I’d prefer less stamina and more int on it.

25 Man

Cowl of the Absolute – There are definitely better options out there for hit bonus head pieces, but shadow should definitely try to grab this if they need the hit.

Ring of the Faithful Servant – Not the best ring for disc, but definitely in the top 3 or 4.  Shadow may want to pick this up as well.

Sandals of the Ancient Keeper – The new BiS for holy priests unless you are desperate for haste (weirdo), in which case you should grab the Arcanic Tramplers from Malygos.  Disc and Shadow may also want to give these some attention.

Next week we’ll get started on the Keepers of Ulduar when we meet with the father of the most annoying rep grind in Wrath, Hodir.

-Dueg

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29
May
09

Friday Strats – Assembly of Iron

With our powers combined...

With our powers combined...

Ah yes, the Assembly of Iron, or, as some people call them, the Iron Council.  These three baddies are a pretty cool little encounter in Ulduar where the difficulty actually scales depending on which order you kill them.  I’ve only ever done the fight on easy mode myself, which really isn’t that easy, but after doing some research, I’ll try my best to describe the varying degrees of difficulty based on the order.  So let’s get started and as always, we begin with…

The Prep

You’re going to need one tank for each of the mobs, which will all need to be spaced out through the room so that they’re nowhere near each other.  Whichever tank is assigned to Steelbreaker will need at least two dedicated healers and at least one dedicated dispeller (I’ll get to that in a bit), however, you may want to assign three if you’re having trouble keeping Steelbreaker’s tank alive.  The other two tanks will also need a dedicated healer and you’ll need at least one healer on raid healing as there will be constant ticking damage on the whole raid for as long as Steelbreaker is alive.  Once you’ve hashed out who goes where, simply buff up and have the tanks pull.

The Fight

I’m going to describe each individual bosses abilities and tactics separately, but first let me cover a few universal things dealing with them.  When one of the bosses is killed, they give a buff to other two which immediately heals them back to full and gives them a 25% damage buff.  It will also grant whomever is left an additional ability with the final one pretty much changing up your previous strats.  Also, as I said, you’ll need to separate them into three areas of the room, we usually pull Steelbreaker and Runemaster to the two opposite corners closest to the door while another tank will move the Stormcaller to the back of the room in order to tank him there.  Now we’ll look at each individual boss.

Steelbreaker

This boss is the key to whether or not you want easy or hard mode.  Because of his abilities and the fact that he hits extremely hard before he even gets the 25% bonus to damage, you’ll want to kill him first if you’re not attempting hard mode.  When all three bosses are up, he’ll only have two abilities: High Voltage, which is an aura that deals 2,500 nature damage every three seconds  to everyone in the room and Fusion Punch, which is a channeled cast that deals 100% weapon damage to the tank and leaves a DoT behind dealing an additional 17,000 nature damage every second.  This DoT is dispellable and must be removed immediately.  I suggest assigning a dedicated dispeller who simply spams their dispel as soon as this is ability is cast in order to remove it right away.

If Steelbreaker is still up after one boss dies, he immediately gains an effect called Static Disruption that he can cast on any random player not in melee range.  This is a 6 yard AoE effect that increases nature damage taken by 75% for twenty seconds, which means that they’ll begin taking about 4,250 or so nature damage every three seconds during that time (that’s fuzzy math, so don’t quote me on that).  The raid will need to spread out in order to avoid more than one person being affected by this ability at a time.  

If Steelbreaker is the last boss left alive, he gains an ability called Overwhelming Power which he will apply to the tank, increasing damage dealt by 200% but causing a Meltdown after 30 seconds, which will automatically kill your tank and deal up to 30,000 damage to anyone within 15 yards, most likely killing them as well.  If Steelbreaker is the last mob standing he will regain 15% health and a 25% damage damage buff whenever any member of the raid dies.  Since he will definitely be killing at least one member of the raid (the original MT) and his damage is already increased by 50% from the other two mobs dying, this means that this is an intense DPS race that will need a lot of heals, so it’s only suggested for the strongest of guilds.

Runemaster Molgeim

This is the middle height guy who will occasionally buff the other members of the Assembly.  He starts off with two abilities: rune of Power is a ground based AoE damage buff.  It is vitally important for your tanks to be aware of whether or not this is cast upon their targets and move them off it asap.  If Steelbreaker is allowed to stand in this rune, he’ll smash your tank’s face in very quickly and please note that Stormcaller must be silenced in order to get him to move if the rune pops under him.  Players can stand in these runes to gain the damage buff themselves.  He will also occasionally cast Shield of Runes which absorbs up to 50,000 damage and one it pops will buff Molgeim with a 50% damage increase.  This ability can be dispelled or stolen by mages.

If he’s alive after one boss dies, the Runemaster will gain the ability to cast Runes of Death which are going to be huge ground based AoE effects that deal 6,000 nature damage per second to anyone standing in them.  Your raid must be prepared to move very quickly if these appear in order to keep the strain on healers to a minimum.  If he’s that last boss standing, Molgeim will cast a Rune of Summoning which will begin to spawn untauntable lightning elementals who will randomly target raid members and begin chasing them.  

If they reach who they’re targeting, they’ll explode, dealing around 15,000 damage to all players in a 30 yard radius.  Each rune will spawn around 10 of them in about a 4 second time span, one right after the other.  You can snare them, so you’ll want totems or frost mages working overtime to keep them moving slow while your AoE works them down.  If one escapes from the AoE, whoever they’re targeting needs to book it while the ranged works on the mob.

Stormcaller Brundir

Considered the easiest mob and usually left till last, he’s also the most annoying since he’ll simply start casting ranged spells if you try to move him.  Like the other two bosses, he starts with two abilities: Chain Lightning, which is a straight damage spell that will arc to up to five players and is interruptible.  He also has an Overload ability which has a small cast time and will end with him dealing 30,000 nature damage to all enemies within 30 yards of him.  I’ve heard tell that tanks can eat this with proper cooldowns and whatnot, but I recommend they gtfo.

If still alive after the first boss dies, Brundir gains an ability called Lightning Whirl which looks like a whirlwind but instead will hit random raid members with lightning, dealing up to 7,400 nature damage.  This is a 5 second channeled ability and, like Chain Lightning, is interruptible.  If Brundir is the final boss alive, and he will be if you want to do it the easiest way, he will gain his final ability, called Lightning Tendrils.  This will cause him to rise up in the air and randomly target a raid member who he’ll start chasing.  All raid members within a 10 yard radius of the spot where he’s floating will be struck by lightning, taking 8,000 nature damage per second, so you must be prepared to move if he’s near you.  This ability is also a threat wipe when he lands, so make sure to allow your tank to pick it back up.

Basically, the most intense healing phase of this fight is going to be while Steelbreaker is up as he will test single target heals with his high melee damage and raid healing with his nature damage aura.  The healer assigned to Brundir’s tank will need to be aware of Overload and make sure to be standing at close to max range in order to avoid getting one shotted by it.  Other than that, the fight’s not too difficult if done in the “easy” order.  As I’ve said, I can’t comment on the harder versions of the fight just yet, but it sounds like leaving Steelbreaker up will truly make healers weep and gnash their teeth.

The Loot

10 Man

Lady Maye’s Sapphire Ring – This is an attractive ring for both holy and shadow, especially with the higher spirit total on it.  Disc definitely has better options elsewhere.

Runetouch Handwraps – These are probably going to be best served on the wrists of a shadow priest, and even then they are definitely replaceable.  There’s better for holy and disc priests out there.

Stormtip – This is better served in the hands of a resto druid or a shadow priest, but healery types should look elsewhere.

Watchful Eye – Drops from hard mode, this neck slot item is not as attractive for holy priests as it is the other two varieties, though the gem slot does add versatility to it.

25 Man

Overload Legwraps – With hit rating, haste and SP out the wazoo, these leggings are going to be a shadow priest’s best friend for quite a while, I’m sure.

Radiant Seal – This has more of a Disc or Shadow feel to it to me, but Holy should jump on it if they get a chance and need the upgrade.

Raiments of the Iron Council – More suited for shadow with the haste rating, I’d still pick these up if you’re a healer thanks to the flexibility of the gem slots.

Rapture – Not just for looking pretty, this staff will be the second BiS for all three specs until your raid can down Hodir in hard mode.  Please note how awesome my banner looks because of this staff… and that I’m a total whore for loot.

Unblinking Eye – This is a fantastic neck piece for both shadow and holy.  Disc will find better options from a couple of different sources.

Sapphire Amulet of Renewal – I find this neck piece to be somewhat of a disappointment for a hard mode drop.  That being said, it’s still a very nice item for shadow, not so much for holy.  There are better hard mode neck pieces for Disc, but don’t let that stop you from picking this up if you need it.

And that’s it for the Assembly of Iron.  This fight is fun and chaotic at the same time, so be sure your group is ready for whichever order you decide to do it in.  Next week we’ll finish up the Antechamber of Ulduar with the crazy cat lady, Auriaya.

-Dueg

22
May
09

Friday Strats – Kologarn

LOUD NOISES!

LOUD NOISES!

So now that we’ve gotten that dumb ol’ Siege of Ulduar area out of the way, it’s time to start with the Antechamber of Ulduar.  When you initially walk in, you’ll have to fight your way down a short hallway and you’ll arrive at a large foyer with a set of stairs and hallways off to the left and right.  Some guilds will break left and go take out Iron Council first, but we usually make our way up to the stairs and take out Kologarn first, so that’s the order I’m going in.  When you first get everyone set up on the terrace, make sure that nobody enters the room.  It looks safe, but if you go too far past the archway, Kologarn will pop up out of the ground and smash your face pretty quickly.  So make sure to get everyone on the terrace for the prep and not any farther forward.

The Prep

You’ll need at least three tanks for Kologarn, but some people suggest using four.  We’ve done it with only three, but our preferred method is with four as it makes the fight about ten times easier.  Once you have your tanks assigned, you’ll need at least 4 healing assignments, two for the Kologarn tanks and two who are dedicated to just raid healing with your leftovers helping out back and forth where necessary.  There’s going to be a lot of raid wide damage and a lot of spike damage on the two main tanks, so make sure you have heavy hitters for AoE and tank heals.  

You’ll need the raid to spread out behind the melee once Kologarn pops up.  Your best bet is to have everyone line up that way if they get eyebeamed sometime during the fight they can simply turn around and run away and avoid dragging the beams through someone else.  Casters and healers will also have to be careful not to get too close to Kologarn as he will hit you with an ability that interrupts casting and school locks you for a few seconds afterwards.  Once assignments have gone out and everyone is aware of their positioning, have the raid buff up and run in with the first main tank in the lead.

The Fight

Kologarn himself is actually comprised of three targetable mobs.  Himself in the middle, his right arm (your left when you enter) and his left arm (your right).  Each part of him has it’s own special attacks and all three will be working simultaneously during the fight.  The middle part, Kologarn himself, has three unique attacks.  The first is called Overhead Smash, which decreases the target’s armor by 25% and interrupts casting for up to 8 seconds.  This is the reason you need multiple tanks dedicated to the boss as once the main tank gets two stacks of this debuff, which lasts 45 seconds, the other main tank will have to taunt and pick Kologarn up.  Your MT healers will also have to be very quick on their feet and ready to heal spike damage that will be incoming while the MT has reduced armor.

His second attack is an eyebeam that will focus on random players and chase them around for a few seconds.  The beams deal up to 4,300 nature damage on whoever they hit and will continually tick every second, killing you pretty quickly if you don’t move.  Some people run all the way out of the room, I usually make a long curved line along the back, going from one side of the room to the other.  Either way, you’ll see two beams begin to focus in on you if you get targeted, at which point you must move right away to keep from getting eaten alive.  

The third attack is called Petrifying breath and he’ll only cast this spell if his main aggro target is not with melee range.  This spell has a 4 second channel and once it goes off, it will deal up to 21,500 nature damage on the entire raid and leave behind a debuff that increases damage taken by 20 seconds for 8 seconds.  For this reason, it’s extremely important whoever the main tank is, they are always within melee range.  This shouldn’t be a problem for most people, just be careful when you’re moving in as you can fall off the edge in front of Kologarn if you’re not careful.

So now that you’ve got your two main tanks focused on Kologarn himself, you’ll need the dps to be working on his right arm (your left).  This arm will attack by casting stone grip on random people, pulling them into his fist and squeezing them, which deals up to 5,600 damage every second and will eventually one shot them if you don’t break them out quick enough.  The only way to break them out is to deal 450,000 damage to the arm.  This is why it’s smart to have your dps simply killing the arm instead of focusing on Kologarn himself.  Once the arm is dead, it will disappear, deal about 15% of his total health in damage to Kologarn, and spawn a pack of about 6 or 8 earth elementals that need to immediately be picked up by a tank and pulled away from the raid.

In heroic, these mobs will be dealing AoE damage and leaving a debuff behind that increases damage taken for a few seconds, which will spell doom if either of your main tanks get, so it is vital that they are pulled away from the raid.  In ten man, it’s actually suggested that your off tank pull the rubble into the melee as they do not have the AoE damage and debuff and you can AoE the elementals and Kologarn.  DPS needs to switch from the boss to the rubble so they can be destroyed as quickly as possible.  In twenty five man, if any of these mobs start running through the raid, it can easily spell doom, so we usually have two off tanks ready to pick them up and pull them to the same spot.  The arm will respawn after 60 seconds.

The left arm (your right) can largely be ignored for most of the raid.  The one attack it has is an AoE damage strike called Shockwave that hits the entire raid for up to 13,400 nature damage.  Raid healers must be prepared to counter this damage which he will cast often.  Generally we simply heal through that damage, but if Kologarn himself and the left arm are both low after destroying the right arm, we’ll kill the left quickly in order to just have it deal the damage of a dying arm and hopefully kill Kologarn.  This arm spawns the same type of elementals as the right does when it dies, so you’ll need to have tanks ready for that as well.

Some guilds simply switch back and forth on arms, killing the right first and then dpsing the left till the right re-spawns and switching back to that one.  Healers will need to be aware of when off tanks have the adds on them and be ready to heal bomb them in order to keep them up.  If the adds get loose in the raid, it’s all over.  The main tank healers will also need to be prepared for spike damage on the tank and watch for when they’ve got 50% armor reduction as they will need all you’ve got to stay standing during those few moments.  If you have four tanks and one of your main tanks goes down, have one of the off tanks step in while the other takes over add duty by him or herself.

The Loot

10 Man

Emerald Signet Ring – This is an very sweet little hit rating ring.  Shadow priests will definitely want to look out for this one.

Spark of Hope – I don’t know about this one or any other of Ulduar’s somewhat lackluster trinkets.  Probably only attractive for holy priests, I would probably only recommend this if you’re having mana problems.  Would come in very handy for General Vezax though.

Pendant of the Piercing Glare – Another very very attractive piece of hit gear for shadow priests.

25 Man

Bracers of Unleashed Magic – With hit and haste, these are and ideal shadow priest wrist slot item.

Robes of the Umbral Brute – With the utter lack of spirit, I would say leave these for shadow or disc priests, but holy might still want to give these a look-see if they need the upgrade.

Handwraps of Plentiful Recovery – These are sweet gloves for any spec, just make sure not too lose too much crit for the haste on them.

Ironmender – One of only three off hand frills in Ulduar and the only heroic one without a hit rating, this one has more of a dps feel to it.  The one that drops from normal Ignis is probably a better match for a healer.

So that’s Kologarn.  He’s really not that difficult of a fight as long as raiders are mobile when eye beams come out and healers are on the ball about throwing out heals to counteract the spike and raid wide damage that he does.  Next week we’ll be heading on over to the Assembly of Iron for a little metallic fun.

-Dueg




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