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:
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.
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.
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.