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…
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.