So I know we cheated a little bit here and decided to do Razorscale and Ignis before I did this fight, but don’t be fooled, Flame Leviathan is the first boss of Ulduar and must be downed before you can advance. When word initially got out that this fight would be another vehicle fight there were a lot of raiders up in arms and angry over this. You see, the idea of a vehicle fight had been tainted by the fact that phase 3 of the Malygos fight had a tendency to truly break raids. However, this fight is a far cry from that dog’s breakfast of a fight, to be sure and is actually quite fun. So let’s get right to it since this post promises to be a long one!
When you first enter Ulduar, you’ll be in a small concourse at the entrance that has vehicles parked all along the walls of it. There are going to be three different types of vehicles you can choose from: A motorcycle (Salvaged Chopper), a mobile catapult (Salvaged Demolisher) and a tank (Salvaged Siege Engine). In order to prepare for the fight, you’ll need everyone to don their highest ilevel gear since the vehicle’s health is based off of that total. Choppers are generally going to be your weakest vehicles in terms of health, so you’ll want your highest ilevel geared people in those vehicles and then demolishers and then siege engines in order to give a higher chance of survival. Each vehicle can have one driver and one passenger, but you’ll want the choppers to begin with only a driver.
Each driver and passenger will have their own unique set of abilities depending on what vehicle they’re in. The Chopper has Sonic Horn, which deals about 3,500 damage in a frontal cone in front of it, Tar, which places a 10 yard slick of flammable tar down which slows all enemies by 75% and Speed Boost, which is a 5 second 100% speed increase. When the chopper has a passenger in it, there should also be an option to heal the passenger up to full health. Next up is the Demolisher, wherein the driver has Hurl Boulder, which launches a boulder that deals up to 16,500 damage, Hurl Pyrite Barrel, which deals up to 30,000 damage and will ignite any tar slicks, and Ram which deals up to 9,500 damage and knocks enemies back. The Hurl Pyrite ability uses 5 of the vehicle’s ammo, but the passenger can refresh your reserves when needed. Finally, they’ll have a Launch Passenger option which only becomes available when a passenger loads themselves.
The passenger of the Demolisher will have Anti-Air Rockets, which can be fired into the air and deal AoE damage. This ability can also be rapid fired at the ground, dealing splash machine gun like splash damage in a small radius and will also ignite tar slicks. Passengers also have Cannon, which can deal up to 120,000 damage on mobs if accurate, or as little as 5,000 if you mostly miss. There are three other abilities as well, Grab Crate, which allows you to pick up Pyrite barrels that must be shot down out of the air with rockets. You must target the crates in order to pick them up. There will also be a speed boost that the passenger can initiate and an option to load themselves into the catapult part of the Demolisher. You’ll want ranged dps (preferably a mage or warlock) as the passengers and a survivable healer (such as a shaman or tree) to go with them.
Finally you’ll have the siege Engine, which is the tank vehicle of the three. The driver will have a Ram ability, which deals up to 6,500 damage and knocks enemies back, Electroshock, which is a 25 yard conal ability that interrupts spells and school locks the target for 4 seconds, and Steam Rush, which is a quick speed burst ability that will do a little bit of damage to anything you hit or run over while moving. The passenger of the Siege Engine will have Anti-Air Rockets and Cannon as well, which are exactly the same as the Demolisher’s abilities. In addition to that, they also have a shield ability which pops a Physical, Frost, Fire and Arcane damage absorption shield on the Siege Engine.
Once you’ve assigned vehicles, you’ll need to speak with one of two NPCs in order to begin the encounter. If you wish to simply begin on easy mode, speak with Brann Bronzebeard and he’ll lower the shield protecting their base camp and you can begin the gauntlet. If you wish to try hard mode, speak with the Lore Keeper of Norgannon, who will also lower the shield, however, the encounter will automatically begin in hard mode. Hard mode involves four separate towers set at different parts of the gauntlet that you can choose to destroy. If left active, each tower adds 50% health to the Leviathan and adds an extra ability to the fight.
The Tower of Storms adds 25% to FL’s damage and drops a ball that deals 15,000 damage to all nearby enemies with Stormstrike. The Tower of Flames will add 50% to FL’s fire damage and periodically a ball of flame will fall from the sky dealing 15,000 fire damage to nearby enemies and slowly move in a circle , leaving a trail of damaging flames behind it. The Tower of Frost causes occasional balls of ice to fall from the sky, dealing 15,000 frost damage to nearby enemies and decreases vehicle and player speed by 20%. If a vehicle is struck by the frost damage, they will become frozen in ice and must be broken out by other players. Finally, the Tower of Life also drops a ball dealing 15,000 nature damage to nearby enemies and will summon adds to assist FL while lowering it’s damage received by 10%.
You can destroy any number of towers you want, but you won’t receive extra loot unless you leave at least three up. We tried this fight once with two towers up and it becomes crazy complicated so I can only imagine how difficult it must be with all four up. Once you’ve chosen your mode, you must run the gauntlet which involves a boatload of mobs beating up on your vehicle. There will be a number of pillars that spawn these mobs, so you’ll want to destroy them to stop the constant stream of iron dwarves running for you. If you chose to start on automatic easy mode, you can simply move straight through the gauntlet. If you chose to start with the towers active, you’ll have to take detours to destroy any towers you don’t want active during the fight.
Right before you enter the final area where you’ll actually fight the Leviathan, you’ll see two huge glowing circles on the ground. If you roll over them, you can regain full health and ammo before you begin the fight. Once you kill the final mobs at the end of the concourse, the doors leading further in will smash open and the Flame Leviathan will appear, beginning the actual boss encounter.
Once the Leviathan shows up, the first thing it’ll do is randomly target a vehicle, usually a Siege Engine, never a Chopper unless they’re all that’s left, and begin to chase them. It’ll also be continually firing rockets in all directions, continually damaging vehicles and players by 700 damage every 1 or 2 seconds. While it’s chasing vehicles, it’ll begin to stack a buff called Gathering Speed which will increase it’s movement speed by 5% per buff until it reaches 20 stacks or 100% speed boost. It will also occasionally begin channeling spell called Flame Vents which deals 2,000 damage every second to everyone surrounding the boss. It is extremely important that Siege Engines interrupt this channel as it will tear your Choppers apart fairly quickly.
After you kill the final mobs, but before the Leviathan shows up, you’ll want at least 3 to 4 of the passengers in the demolishers load themselves into the catapult. Once it actually bursts into the concourse, have the drivers fire their passengers onto the Leviathan where they’ll have to target and destroy four turrets. It is important that the drivers aim by pointing their vehicles at the Leviathan. If they don’t aim, the passengers will simply be flung onto the ground. Remember, you want at least one healer to go with them as they’ll be taking damage while up there and you don’t want your dps to die before they finish the job. Once all four turrets are destroyed, the passengers will be flung off the Leviathan and it will enter System Overload, causing it to become stunned while it repairs itself, taking 50% extra damage and losing all speed buffs. All dps vehicles need to start wailing on it as much as possible in order to take advantage of this. You’ll need a Chopper to run around while this is going on and pick up the passengers, heal them and drop them off by their vehicle.
If the Leviathan catches up to it’s target, it will begin using an ability called Battering Ram which hits for a truckload, knocks the target back and adds a debuff that increases damage taken by 100%. In order to help slow the Leviathan, Choppers will need to drop tar slicks in front of it and it is highly recommended that people light them up in order to deal the extra damage while it’s slogging through it. Siege Engines should be targeted more often than Demolishers, so the drivers will want to save their speed boost for when they need to turn around and book it. Though there’s a lot going on and the fight seems complicated, it’s actually fairly easy and becomes a rinse and repeat sort of thing once you’ve mastered your vehicle’s different abilities.
Combustion Bracers – This is actually a very sweet wrist slot item for a 10 man drop. I definitely recommend this for Shadow Priests if you’re not sporting something nicer already.
Energy Siphon – A rather lackluster trinket (a running theme for casters in Ulduar), this one is better left for those crazy mp5 loving shamans.
Lifespark Visage – This is a fantastic head slot item, however, with the lower spirit totals and haste rating, it has more of a dps feel to it. Don’t be afraid to pick it up for whatever spec you are though, as it’s still extremely good either way.
Petrified Ivy Sprig – Drops from hard mode, this is definitely one of if not the best hit gear wand in the game.
Shimmering Seal – Also from hard mode, this is a solid upgrade for shadow priests, pick it up if you get the chance.
Freya’s Choker of Warding – a great little piece of disc or shadow gear, I’d recommend holy spec to wait till you can get something with spirit on it.
Embrace of the Leviathan – Pick this bad boy up if you get a chance, though disc may want something with less spirit on it in order to boost other stats.
Constructor’s Handwraps – Like the previous gear, this is a great upgrade for most people, but disc might want something less spirit heavy.
Leviathan Fueling Manual – If you’re shadow, pick this up. BiS for off hand hit gear.
Glowing Ring of Reclamation – Possibly one of the BiS for holy spec and hit capped shadow priests, there are better options for disc priests out there.
Boots of Fiery Resolution – Hard mode loot, I have a feeling that this will be BiS for all three specs if you don’t mind the haste bonus.
Pendant of Fiery Havoc – Another hard mode item, this one is probably going to have dps drooling into their robes. I believe this is currently BiS for hit gear.
And there you go, this mob drops a lot of caster items, so you definitely want to get on the gravy train here. Next week we’ll be moving to the final boss before advancing past the Siege of Ulduar and into the Antechamber. So come on back and we’ll take a look at XT-002 Deconstructor.