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.
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 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.
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.
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.