Posts Tagged ‘Ulduar 25


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.


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.



Friday Strats – Kologarn



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.



Friday Strats – XT-002 Deconstructor

For a robot, this guy's kind of a baby

For a robot, this guy's kind of a baby

So with steam tanks brushed aside, dragons grounded and furnaces extinguished, we come to the final baddie of the first area of Ulduar.  XT’s fight is a fairly straightforward one that will test raider awareness and prove healer’s mettle.  There is occasional, unavoidable raid wide damage mixed in with the random AoE damage centered on individual players.  Everyone will need to be quick on their toes and bring their A-game, but once you understand the fight, he becomes surprisingly easy.  So let’s take a look, shall we?

The Prep

You’ll want to split up your healers evenly on the east and west side of the room then split up the dps as well.  It doesn’t matter how you set them up, it’s more a case of wanting to spread everyone out, but making sure they’re covered by heals.  Once you have them separated, you’ll need to assign one MT for the boss and two OTs in order to pick up adds during the heart phases.  All melee will need to rush up the middle and try to stay a little spread out behind the boss who will have a well sized hit box.  Players on the sides should also make sure to spread out and not clump up, aiming to spread out about 10 yards from each other.  Once everyone is sure of their positions, simply buff up and go.

The Fight

The tank will want to engage him in about the center of the room and bring him close to the stairs, facing him away from the entrance to the room.  The first part of the fight is pretty much a straightforward tank and spank except for the occasional bomb that XT will throw out.  He has two types, which he’ll toss out randomly.  One is a Light Bomb which deals 3,500 damage a second to both the target and anyone in an 8 yard radius around them.  He also has a Gravit bomb, which will explode for around 15,000 damage on the target and in a radius around them as well.  It will also yank anyone in a 20 yard radius to the point of the explosion, interrupting casting and dealing damage if you’re too close.

These bombs are the reason why you have to be quick and alert, making sure not to deal damage to anyone around you.  If you’re ranged, you need to move a little closer to the wall, but don’t take off running too far or you’ll range the healers.  The melee should simply pull off a little ways back down the middle which should be clear.  Again, don’t move too far for light bombs, the range isn’t huge and they only last for a few seconds.  After about a minute and every minute after that, he will also cast Tympanic Tantrum, which is where your healers will really need to shine.  While he’s casting that, everyone in the raid will take 10% damage every second for 8 seconds.  All enemies will be dazed though so you can focus on keeping everyone up, but you have to be quick and use your most powerful heals.  I’ll usually pop Divine Hymn during one of these.

At 75%, 50% and 25% health, he’ll enter his heart phase for exactly 20 seconds, wherein he’ll stop attacking and his mechanical heart will pop out of his chest, allowing you to dps it.  All people should open up and go crazy, dealing as much damage as they can.  However, you do not want to kill the heart (which isn’t a simple task for 25 man anyways), as doing so will cause the fight to enter hard mode, which you must definitely be ready for before attempting.  The way this phase works is that however much percentage of total health you deal to the heart is returned to the boss’ next 25% of health when it’s retracted.  However, you don’t want to deal too much damage or you risk the heart going from one heart phase to the next very quickly.  This is bad because while in heart phase, he begins to summon adds.

He’ll summon three different types of adds: XS-013 Scrapbots, XE-321 Boombots, and XM-024 Pummelers.  The most important ones are the Scrapbots and the Boombots, the Pummelers can simply be picked up and off tanked until the end of the fight with minimal damage to the tank himself.  The Scrapbots will need to be AoE’d down as quickly as possible in order to keep them from reaching the boss.  Every Scrapbot that reaches him will heal him by 60,000 damage and they will not stop running for him, so you have to be on the ball.  The Boombots will explode for 16,000 fire damage when they reach 50% life, so you need to have range blow them up before they get too close to the raid.  They hit NPCs with the explosion as well, so if you can get them to explode in a group of scrapbots, good on ya.

Try to focus dps on him during the heart phase, even having the healers help out where they can, but don’t let Scrapbots get too close to him either.  So make sure to call out when they appear in order to give dps a chance to find them and focus on them.  Same deal with Boombots because you don’t want them to get too close and blow up in the middle of the melee dps.  As for healing, it won’t be too difficult except for the Lightbombed and occasional Gravity Bomb explosions.  However, you’ll need to be ready for raid wide burst damage during tantrum and watch for anyone too close to a Boombot explosion.  This fight shouldn’t stress a decently geared healing team.

The Loot

I’ve decided that I’m simply going to keep the 10 man and 25 man loot analyses even though the strats are for 25 man.  The fights are so similar that you can still get the idea of how to do it from these strats and, at the moment especially, 10 man Ulduar loot is definitely viable for it’s 25 man counterpart.

10 Man

Conductive Cord – This is almost as good as the BiS pre 3.1, Leash of Heedless Magic.  The high stats make this good for all three specs.

Plasma Foil – This is something that is so very rare, a sweet healing dagger.  There are better one hander choices for disc and shadow, but holy might want to take a look at this bad boy coupled with Igniter Rod from Ignis for a very nice 1-2 punch.

25 Man

Mantle of Wavering Calm – This is an awesome shadow choice but somewhat meh for disc and holy unless you are of the haste>crit philosophy (which I am not).  If you are a haste hound though, these are the shoulders for you.

Sandles of Rash Temperament – These are extremely sweet shadow boots.  The hit makes them useless for healers unless you desperately need the upgrade.

Quartz Crystal Wand – This has shadow priest written all over it.  Healers should definitely leave it alone.

Charm of Meticulous Timing – Drops from hard mode, this is almost definitely going to be BiS for Disc and a very attractive upgrade for Shadow.  There is a better spirit necklace out there for holy, but it’s also a hard mode drop, so go for this if you have a chance.

Grasps of Reason – Definite contender if not winner for new BiS, pick these guys up if you ever see them, which may not be too often as this is hard mode loot.

So there you go, next week we’ll move further in and begin the fight for the Antechamber of Ulduar.



Friday Strats – Flame Leviathan

All I wanna do is to thank you, even though I don't know who you are...

All I wanna do is to thank you, even though I don't know who you are...

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!

The Prep

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.

The Fight

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. 

The Loot

10 Man

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.

25 Man

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.



Friday Strats – Ignis the Furnace Master

I burn people!  With my crotch!

I burn people! With my crotch!

Ah, Ignis, I feel like I hardly know you.  When Ulduar first hit, this guy was truly a monster boss.  He hit regularly for 35k, if you stood in his AoE damage for longer than 2 seconds, you were toast, he was bugged and would randomly one shot members of the raid, just an all around unpleasant encounter.  Even his trash wiped us twice.  However, thanks to recent nerfs, he’s quickly fallen into line and has become much much easier to deal with, though certainly not easy by any stretch of the imagination.  So let’s have a little look-see, shall we?

The Prep

For this fight you’ll need three tanks, one for Ignis and two to pick up adds that will spawn on the north and south side of the room from those columns of statues.  There are a couple of different strategies out there for positioning, but we found one that we prefer, so that’s the one that I’ll be covering.  Basically you want the entire raid to stack up in the middle of the giant room Ignis is in once you’ve cleared out his trash.  You’ll want at least two healers dedicated to the tank and though Ignis doesn’t hit hard anymore, he does hit faster and will start to gain damage buffs, so they need to be prepared for quick, occasional spike damage on the tank.  You’ll also need at least one healer dedicated to the off tanks as well and one on “pot duty” (you’ll find out).  Once you have assignments ready to go, just buff up and pull.  Ignis has a very small aggro radius so you’ll want a misdirect pull or a range ability to pull him.

The Fight

Ignis has three main abilities that you must be prepared for.  The one that tanks need to be aware of is called Scorch wherein Ignis will burn everyone in front of him with a cone of fire damage that deals up to 4,250 damage and leaves behind an AoE fire effect.  Because of this, tanks will have to face Ignis away from the raid.  What we usually did was have the tank pull him just SW of the raid group to start, pointed away from everyone.  When Ignis hit with Scorch, the tank would then move him to just NW of the raid, then NE, then SE, rinse, repeat.  This clockwise placement of the scorches allowed the ranged to pretty much stand still while the tanks and melee do all the legwork.  My kind of fight.

His other main ability is called Flame Jets which he’ll cast randomly, so be on the lookout for it.  Basically what this ability does is throw the entire raid in the air, dealing up to 9,500 fire damage initially and leave behind a DoT doing 2,000 fire damage every second for 8 seconds.  The catch here is that if you are casting when he finishes casting Flame Jets, you’ll be locked out of your spell school.  this used to be an 8 second silence, but they reduced the duration and I’m not sure what the new total length is.  Either way, this can spell disaster if you’re a healer, so make sure to look for that.  I recommend only casting instants after the warning (which is on the default UI) goes up to ensure you don’t get silenced.  This effect is resistible.

His final ability is the Slag Pot, or, as it’s come to be affectionately known as, The Vibrating Crotch Pot.  You see that load he’s carrying in his britches up there in the pic?  Well, that is not a friendly pot of goodies, my friend, oh no.  What happens is that he’ll grab a random raid member and toss him in the ol’ pain pocket there which will then burn whomever is in the pot for 7,500 fire damage per second for ten seconds.  While you’re in the slag pot you can still do everything except move, so healers can heal themselves and others and other people can sue defensive cooldowns.  When that’s done, the person will drop straight out and will then gain a 150% haste for 10 seconds.  With proper fire resist buffs, this damage shouldn’t be too severe, but you will need someone on pot duty (told you).

Now another thing that people must be aware of is that he will also occasionally summon an add from one of the statues lining the north and south sides of the room.  When this happens, one of the off tanks will have to pick it up as quickly as possible and drag it over to an AoE Scorch, holding it in the fire until it gathers ten stacks of a fire debuff, causing it to become molten.  Any help from the raid is useful such as a root or the ice chains that DKs use which will allow the tank to gather other constructs if necessary while the one in the flames takes debuff stacks.  

Once the mob becomes molten, the tank needs to drag it over to one of the pools of water in the centered on the north and south walls of the room.  When the mob is molten, it does AoE damage, so the tank must be careful what route they take to the water.  After they hit the water, they will gain a debuff called brittle which will cause them to die if they take a single shot of 5k or higher.  We usually assigned our doomkin to do this damage.  Keep in mind that while each of these mobs are alive, Ignis gets a stacking damage buff for each one that raises his output by 15%.  If they take too long to die and too many of them show up, eventually Ignis will overwhelm the MT and your raid will wipe, so they must be dealt with quickly.

That’s the strategy pretty much.  Keep in mind that this will cause Ignis to occasionally walk through the group when you’re transitioning from west to east or vice versa, so the ranged need to slightly adjust every once in a while.  However, you can pretty much be goosing him and you’ll be fine, the main idea is that as a ranged you want to avoid the scorch damage as much as possible, so don’t stand anywhere near to in front of him.  Other than that, it’s a pretty easy fight with the most pressure being on the tanks who have to be quick on their feet.  They will occasionally range the assigned healer when picking up new mobs, but they shouldn’t be oor for too long, so don’t panic.

The Vid

An officer in our guild made a strats vid of our 10 man Ignis from last week, so I’ll post it here to give you all a better idea of the positioning I’m talking about in this post:

If you want to download the original avi which is a much better quality, you can do so from filefront right here.  It’s a .rar file.

The Loot

Still including 10 man loot here.

10 Man

Igniter Rod – Pretty much the only caster item he drops in ten man, this is a worthwhile off hand for both Holy and Shadow Priests.  Disc priests have a few better options, but don’t be afraid to pick this puppy up.

25 Man

Soot-Covered Mantle – This is a fantastic piece of hit gear for Shadow Priests who I suspect will have stiff competition for them.

Pyrelight Circle – Possibly one of the BiS for a Discipline Priest, even as Holy, I would be tempted to pick this one up, though with no mp5 or spirit, it is slightly sketchy.  Shadow priests should be all over this.

Intensity – One of the better hit bonus staves in the game, Shadow should definitely try to pick this up if it drops.

Scepter of Creation – This is one of the best wands in the game for a Holy Priest and I imagine in the top three for Shadow.  Disc can find better options without spirit on it.  Dueg approved.

And there you go.  The fight is pretty simple and straightforward as long as your raid force is alert and can counteract the occasional incoming spike damage, but due to the recent nerfs this guy is something of a pussycat.  Come back next week when we’ll take a look at the Loo-, er, Flame Leviathan!



Friday Strats – Razorscale

Welcome to Ulduar!  Hopefully by now most people have gotten to fight at least the four bosses of the siege area, with some of you probably advancing to the antechamber area.  I myself have been able to go through the siege and antechamber twice on 10 man these last couple of weeks and we were able to get the siege area bosses down in one night this week on 25.  Yes, Ulduar is effin awesome and yes, shit just got real.  

So what I’m trying to say is that we won’t be returning to Naxx anytime soon, but don’t worry, I do intend to finish it.  For the time being though, it’s all Ulduar all the time.  I decided to skip over Flame Leviathan for the moment because there’s not enough info out there to really put together a strat on his hard modes.  On easy mode he is rather easy, so I think people can handle it without my sage advice for the time being.  I’ll probably do it the week after next since it’ll be such an involved post.  So for the first Ulduar strats, I’ll skip to the second boss we usually do, ladies and gentlemen, Razorscale:

...and I will name him George, and pet him, and feed him, and...

More like RazorFAIL, BAM!

The Prep

You will be fighting Razorscale on a large platform overseeing a huge cliff.  There will be a set of four harpoons (two on ten man) on the west side which is where you enter and it will be open all along the eastern half of the platform.  During the fight you will have adds spawning all along the eastern edge of the platform that will need to be corralled by tanks.  We usually set up two groups on the northern and southern side of the circle with one group floating back and forth to help.  Make sure you split your healers evenly as there will be a lot of incoming raid damage.  Healers may also want to set their focus to Razorscale before you begin (I’ll explain later).  Once you have your sides split, simply buff up and speak with an npc standing by the harpoons to begin the encounter.

The Fight

Razorscale begins the encounter flying above the platform, targetable but out of range.  The dwarves you spoke to begin to repair the harpoons one at a time.  We assigned a ranged dps, usually a hunter or mage to make sure to fire those once three were ready then stand by the fourth and fire it once it was ready to go.  While you’re waiting for them to repair though, big drills will start to come up from the ground and deposit iron dwarves onto the platform.  There will be three different mobs, Dark Rune Sentinels, Dark Rune Watchers and Dark Rune Guardians, which you’ll want to kill in that order.

The Dark Rune Sentinels have a whirlwind ability that can land up to 40,000 damage on your cloth wearers so you’ll want to pull them from the rest of the raid when they come up.  Melee should be on their toes and ready to run when the whirlwind hits.  The Dark Rune Watcher is not a hard melee hitter, but he casts chain lightning, which deals increasing damage on up to 5 people in your raid, up to 11,000 on the final target, so they should be a priority target after Sentinels.  They will also cast a single target lightning spell on random people for up to 12,000 damage.  The Dark Rune Guardians are just your typical melee mobs.  They occasionally do a double weapon strike for about 10,000 damage, but other than that, just hold off on them till the other targets are down.

While your raid is fighting the mobs and the dwarves are finishing up repairs on the harpoon, Razorscale will be spitting fire at random people throughout the raid.  She’ll cast two types, a regular, orange Fireball spell that deals up to 12,000 damage and then a blue one called Devouring Flame which hits initially for about 10,000 damage then can tic up to that same amount every second for six seconds to anyone standing within 6 yards of the landing spot.  

Players have to be mobile and ready to move as this effect will kill a clothie in three seconds and it’s a waste of healer’s mana to have to heal someone through this type of avoidable damage.  If you have Razorscale focused, she targets the person she’s going to hit with fire and has a cast time on the ability, so you can throw some pre-emptive heals on someone about to get hit with fire.  I usually throw a HoT combined with shield on someone I see is about to take incoming damage.

Once all four harpoons have been fired, Razorscale becomes grounded and is stunned for several seconds.  As soon as she lands, all dps should stack up behind her and hit her with everything they have.  Blow cooldowns, use bloodlust, try to burn her as fast as possible.  Once she breaks stun, she’ll shoot a Flame Breath in front of her, which is her main breath weapon, dealing up to 22,000 damage in a cone in front of her.  Before she takes off again she’ll also cast a Wing Buffet ability which will knock everyone within a 35 yard radius around her backwards in the air.  The ability itself doesn’t hurt, but everyone knocked back will take fall damage, so be ready with heals when they land.  She’ll then return to her position and adds will start spawning again until the harpoons have been repaired again.

When you get Razorscale to 50% she’ll become permanently grounded and you’ll be able to begin phase 2.  Ideally you’ll want to permanently ground her the second time she lands, cause if it takes till the third you’ll be cutting the enrage timer awful close and after that you’ll never dps her enough before she goes berserk.  Once you’ve got her down and a tank has picked her up, she’ll begin casting her breath weapon fairly often.  She also begins to cast Flame Buffet every few seconds (I think it was close to every ten) which is a stacking debuff that raises your fire damage by 1500.  This hits the entire raid and makes phase 2 a dps race.

She’ll begin stacking a debuff on the tank called Fuse Armor which drops his armor, attack and movement speed by 20% for each stack and lasts 20 seconds.  You’ll need to trade off tanks to allow this effect to wear off.  We usually did the trade at two stacks.  While you’re fighting her she’ll also begin to drop a circle of flames on the spot where she’s standing so the tank will have to occasionally walk backwards to move her out of that.  Melee needs to be aware in this phase.  There won’t be too much raid damage flying around, but the tanks will need a lot of healing, so healers should try and focus on whoever has the boss taunted with an occasional eye for minor raid damage.

This fight has a lot of raid damage flying around with the mobs occasionally aggroing on the wrong people when they spawn and Razorscale spitting flames all over the place, so healers must be quick on their feet.  A good rule of thumb here is that when you first enter the platform there’s a huge red circle painted on the floor in the center of the area.  When she’s spitting the flaming fireballs, she seems to most often target the person closest or farthest from the center circle.  I don’t know if this is intended or a bug, but it really seems to work that way.

Update:  Jov was kind enough to point out in the comments that this is intended for Devouring Flame.  What she’s doing is targeting the person closest to her which before the first time you ground her is in the center of the platform.  After she takes off again, she will be flying around the outside of the circle and targeting whoever is closest to her.  Jov recommends having a healer and dedicated sentinel tank in the center before the first grounding then after the second, ranged dps follow her around while the rest of the raid bunches in the middle in order to keep AoE damage out of the raid.  This sounds like a very solid strategy and I will be recommending it to my guild the next time we hit up Ulduar.  Thanks Jov!

Healers should be aware of where they are in relationship to the raid and the edge of that circle at all times in order to try and avoid being targeted, but don’t rely on it, still be ready to move.  Also, the circle roughly maps out the radius of her wing buffet ability when she takes off again during phase one, so make sure to stand outside of it.  You must also be mobile in phase 2 as the tanks will be doing a lot of moving to avoid burning in the fire pool she drops, so be prepared to keep up with them.  Of course the rule of “don’t stand near the pointy end” still applies here, but make sure you don’t lose range on them at an inopportune time.

The Loot

I’m going to break from tradition here and loot both 10 and 25 man loot since both are viable right now, we’ll start with 10 man

Binding of the Dragon Matriarch – This is an awesome crit piece for your waist slot.  The low intellect might make it less attractive for a disc, but shadow or holy who need a bigger dose of critage should jump on this.

Eye of the Broodmother – I think this is one of the sexiest new trinkets in the game.  During longer fights this trinket basically gives you 87 crit and 250 spellpower.  I would definitely try to grab this if you don’t have a better trinket with a similar stacking effect.

25 man

Shackles of the Odalisque – This is a very nice healery wrist slot with comparable stats to Unsullied Cuffs, but I’d probably pick these up for all that sexy crit on them.

Collar of the Wyrmhunter – This would be a super sexy shadow item if they don’t mind the loss of spirit.

Guiding Star – Slightly better than the KT mace, this would serve any type of priest well as a main hand weapon, though I would say that there are better staff options for holy priests later in the instance.

Living Flame – This is a solid hit trinket for shadow priests with the ability for 20 seconds of burst damage to boot.

You are now locked to this instance.  Next week, we’ll be looking at Ignis and then we’ll return tot he Flame Leviathan before XT.  Till then, if anyone has any ways to improve the strats or tricks that have worked for your guild, please feel free to post them.


Tell me how awesome I am!

Beat the rush and send me an e-mail at: It's good to have heroes.