Heart of Fear Complete!

What an exciting week of raiding for Shadow Rising!  Not only did we manage to get a new boss kill this week, we cleared up Heart of Fear and got two new kills!  Congrats guys on a job well done!  This is reminiscent of the night we finished up Mogu’shan Vaults where our first Elegon kill was followed-up by a Will of the Emperor kill to complete the raid.

Shadow Rising Ranking

This puts Shadow Rising as the only guild on Drak’Tharon with a complete clear of both Mogu’shan Vaults and Heart of Fear on normal mode 10 man.  Woot woot!

Rocked the Un’sok

We starting the raiding week wiping all Tuesday night and some more Wednesday on Amber-Shaper Un’sok.  It took a good amount of attempts to get everyone acclimated to the Mutated Construct driving and the timing on the different abilities.  We tried a couple different strats, including stacking Destabilize on Un’sok as high as we could, before pushing him into phase 2.  But in our kill attempt, we deployed the signature “SR brute force” strat by pushing through each phase without worrying about rolling the Destabilize stacks on either Un’sok or the Amber Monstrosity in the first two phases and making sure that every Amber Explosion was interrupted.  We saved our Bloodlust for phase 3 to maximize dps, especially for those who were already Mutated.  Un’sok went down with only seconds left on the Berserk timer and I think Wok, Van, Lyss and I were the only ones left standing, lol.

Amber-Shaper Un'sok Down

For my troubles and with a lucky Elder Charm of Good Fortune roll, I got a pretty sweet one-handed sword, the Scimitar of Seven Stars.

Scimitar of Seven Stars

I wasted no time and after the raid was over, I quickly upgraded it to the 500 ilvl version.  Just a couple more Valor points and I should be able to upgrade it once more to 504.

Eliminating the Empress

Honestly, I don’t remember much of the Grand Empress Shek’zeer fight, it was kind of a blur to me, maybe I was tired lol.  All I remember is that it was a tank and spank fight; Wok and I tanking the Empress and then the both us getting spanked and owned by the adds, lmao.

The ranged and healers did a really good job in handling the Dissonance Fields and Zug threw out his banners to help with the damage when the Fields died.   Wok and I did a tank swap at every 4 stacks of Eye of the Empress, if you get a fifth stack, bad things happen (more on that in a bit).

The problem we were running into was when the adds came out.  In phase 2, the Empress goes and hides and sends us 2 Reavers and 6 Windblades split into two groups for us to deal with.  The damage that they deal on the tanks is pretty insane, you have to utilize every CD you have and healers have to give everything they’ve got to keep them up.  We even had Adoe kite a few of them for a bit just so Wok and I could get some breathing room.  Once Wok and I got the adds under control, the rest of the raid made their Amber Traps from the Sticky Resin on the floor so we could trap the Reavers.  After all the adds are killed, the Empress comes back out and the cycle starts all over again.

Because of our dps, we were able to get the Empress down to 30% and into phase 3 before we got another wave of adds.  This phase got really hectic and I really don’t remember all of the abilities the Empress does, but she still continues applying that Eye of the Empress debuff on the tanks, so tank swapping is still needed.  Remember when I said that bad stuff happens when you get 5 stacks of the debuff?  Yeah, you get mind-controlled by the Empress and it doesn’t wear off until you are killed.  It happened to Wok when he accidentally taunted off me and he turned and started going to town on the rest of the raid.  All is not lost, though.  I called over vent to kill Wok and have him brezzed quickly.  The dps took him out quick and Wok was able to come back in time to taunt the Empress off me.  The funny thing was Zarm thought it was a wipe when Wok got MC’d and actually stopped healing for a bit.  Silly Zarm, it ain’t over until the fat panda sings (good thing Sorak’s mic was turned off, ha!).

After that quick recovery, it was just a matter of time before the Empress went down, no flirting with the Berserk timer either!

Grand Empress Shek'zeer Down

In the pic above from left to right is: Adoe, his pet Gurgie, Sorak, Zarm, Van, me, Zug’s big daddy, Liyhe, Zug, Lyss, Wok and Shadeey.

Heart of Fear Guild Run Complete

An awesome week with my awesome guildies, what more can you ask for?  =)  Next stop, Terrace of Endless Spring!

Heart of Fear – Knocking the Wind out of Lord Mel’jarak

Wind Lord Mel'Jarak

Another raid week, another new boss kill as Shadow Rising takes out Wind Lord Mel’jarak to go 4/6 in Heart of Fear!  Grats guys!  We are also the first guild on Drak to get that kill and progress that far in HoF. =)

The strat that we used to defeat Wind Lord Mel’jarak is not what most guides out there suggest.  It isn’t an SR raid if you don’t brute force the boss or come up with an interesting way of using mechanics, lol.

First off, instead of CC’ing four adds at the start, we only CC’d three, one of each type – an Amber-Trapper, an Elite Blademaster and a Battle Mender.  Each set of adds have a shared health pool, so with our cleaves and AoEs we were able to hit two adds at a time for each set. And rather than tanking Mel’jarak away from the adds, we stacked him with the group so he could join the fun and eat some damage too.  We also popped Bloodlust at the start to bring down the adds faster.

Our priority on the adds were the Battle Menders first, then the Amber Trappers and the Elite Blademasters last.  Zug and Sorak kept tabs on the two active Battle Menders to interrupt any Mendings, while Wok and I backed them up if they got caught in any Amber Prisons from the Trappers.  Imprisoned raid members were called out on Vent and we rotated the savers because the Residue debuff only allowed us to free a member every two minutes.  I don’t think the Blademasters did much other than focusing on a random raid member and beating on them for a bit.

Once all the adds were down, Wok and I brought Mel’jarak to the middle of the room to give space for the raid to drop their Wind Bombs around us.  They don’t despawn and do lots of raid-wide damage if someone comes in contact with one, which wasn’t a trouble for us.  Other than avoiding Mel’jarak’s Whirling Blade boomerang-like ability and using raid cooldowns for his Rain of Blades , it was pretty much a dps race to the end.  And we managed to kill him right before he hit Berserk, lol.  Apparently we just love cutting it close on our boss kills. =P

We put in a couple of attempts on Amber-Shaper Un’sok to finish the night.  Un’sok is a pretty interesting fight, involving a “vehicle” mechanic where you become a construct with its own set of abilities, like driving the Abomination in the Professor Putricide fight in ICC.  Hopefully we can soon get him down and the Empress too, so we can move on to Terrace of the Endless Spring and completing that so we can be ready to take on patch 5.2 and the Thunder King. =)

Heart of Fear – Garalon Goes Down!

Garalon Down

Another good week of raiding and another new boss kill under our belts as SR took down the big bug Garalon last night.  And we did it in epic fashion, beating him on the infamous last pull that Lyss had called out.  Great job guys!  On Tuesday, we blasted through MSV and HoF up to Garalon, one-shotting all eight bosses in a little over two hours, which gave us all Wednesday night to work on the big bug.

This is only a one phase fight, but it involves a lot of positioning and coordination and Garalon has a tight 7 minute enrage timer.

At the start of the fight, Garalon will cast Pheromones on the first raid member to pull him and he will slowly move towards that person.  Pheromones does constant AoE damage to the raid throughout the encounter and lasts 2 minutes on the affected player.  The raid member that pulled Garalon will then begin to drop damaging pools called Pheromone Trails, which do not despawn, so they must kite Garalon around the room to keep from standing in the pools.  This raid member will also receive a stacking debuff called Pungency, which increases the AoE damage that Pheromones does to the raid.

To keep the Pungency stacks from getting too high, you’ll need to pass it off to another raid member and have them kite Garalon around.  Once the pass is made, Garalon will perform an ability called Crush, which does a high damage, raid-wide attack and will stun you for a couple of seconds.  You can also trigger Crush by standing under Garalon, which is the area indicated by the purple circle you’ll see in the fight, so avoid this area at all times.

Garalon’s legs can also be attacked and killed by the raid.  Each time one of his legs dies, Garalon’s movement speed is decreased and his health is also decreased by 3%.  He will mend his legs throughout the fight, so you’ll want to keep killing them to beat the enrage timer.

You need two tanks to handle Garalon, as he will use a frontal cone attack called Furious Swipe.  It does a high amount damage, which the tanks need to soak up.  The reason for this is that if two people do not get hit with this attack, Garalon will receive a buff called Fury, which stacks and increases his damage and speed.

We utilized a different strategy than what most kill guides I’ve read used.  Instead of using the dps to kite the Pheromone Trails and Garalon, we used our tanks (Wok and I) and two of our healers (Slice and Zarm) to handle it, that way our dps could focus on burning down Garalon.  We kited Garalon in a rectangular pattern around the room, starting on the right side going clockwise.  We passed the Pheromones at around 18 to 21 stacks and with four people in the rotation, the debuff would fall off just in time for us to start the cycle over.

This kill puts Shadow Rising at 3/6 in Heart of Fear, which makes us the only guild on Drak with a Garalon kill.  Yeah, our server is pretty weak and all of the top guilds have left, so whatever =P.  I think we are planning on extending the lockout and hopefully we can get some good attempts next week on Wind Lord Mel’jarak and maybe a new boss kill(s). =)

Heart of Fear – Ta’yak Taken Down!

Blade Lord Ta'yak

More progress in Heart of Fear for Shadow Rising last night, as we took down the second boss of this raid, Blade Lord Ta’yak!  We had some pretty close attempts last week, so we had a good feeling that he would go down this time around.

This fight is divided in two phases, with the second phase starting at 20% of Ta’yak’s health.  The first phase is your basic spread-and-stack fight.  The spreading will mostly apply to the ranged members of the raid.  Ta’yak will target a random ranged player and use Tempest Slash, which creates a tornado at their location.  These tornadoes knock back players who come in contact with them and they do not despawn until phase 2.  He also uses an ability called Wind Step, which places a bleed on a random member and to anyone within 8 yards, so stay about 10 yards away from others.  The tanks should slowly move Ta’yak down the hallway to give the ranged space away from the tornadoes.

For the stack part of the fight, Ta’yak will perform Unseen Strike on a random player.  Once this player is targeted, Ta’yak will disappear and reappear 5 seconds later.  When he reappears, he will do massive damage to his target and anyone in front of him.  The damage is spread amongst anyone in his frontal cone and those hit will be knocked back a short distance.  The targeted player will be one-shotted if there isn’t anyone to share the damage, so it’s very important that you stack as close to them as possible.

The tanks need to worry about Ta’yak’s Overwhelming Assault ability.  He places a stacking debuff on his current aggro target that does a high amount of damage.  You will want to swap at every two stacks to minimize the damage.

At 20%, Ta’yak will bring everyone in the raid to the middle of the hallway and send them to one end while he moves to the other end.  He will then randomly send tornadoes down the hallway in three rows, left, middle and right. You can’t target Ta’yak from the end of the hallway, so you’ll need to run back to him while avoiding these tornadoes.  If you get caught in one, you will be sent back about 10 yards and take heavy damage.  You will also be taking periodic damage while running back to Ta’yak, so you want to get to him as soon as possible and use any lock stones or potions here to help out the healers.

We made sure that everyone was at full health before we proceeded down the hallway.  Any movement speed abilities like Speed of Light or Stampeding Roar will be useful in getting to Ta’yak quicker.

When Ta’yak reaches 10%, he will fly to the other end of the hallway and you’ll have to chase after him again, while dodging the same tornadoes he throws at you.

Our kill attempt was pretty epic, it was just me, Wok, Slice and Zug left with about 7% to go.  We all used our lock stones and potions at the last minute and Ta’yak went down with about 10 seconds left on the Enrage timer.  Whew!

Afterwards, we put in a couple of attempts on Garalon.  I think we can get him down the next time we raid, which won’t be until after the holidays.  But it was nice to get a new kill under our belts!  Good job guys!

Heart of Fear – Lock’ing Down Zor’lok

Imperial Vizier Zor'lok

Last night we were missing Moog from the raid, so we decided to save Elegon for Wednesday night after clearing the first four bosses in MSV and head over to Heart of Fear.  SR managed to down the first boss, Imperial Vizier Zor’lok, a couple of weeks ago, but I was not able to attend that raid due to the holidays.  I’ve cleared Heart of Fear in LFR before, but only as Ret, so this was a totally new fight for me.  It took me a few attempts to get the tanking mechanics down and after some really close attempts, we finally took him down for a nice 5 boss-kill night.

This is a single tank fight that’s played across three platforms.  On each platform, Zor’lok will perform a unique ability and in phase two, he’ll use all three.

At the start, facing him, Zor’lok will fly to either the west or east platforms.  In all our attempts last night, he always went east first.  On the east platform, Zor’lok will cast Force and Verve.  With this ability, he creates three shells that the raid has to stack under to reduce the AoE damage he puts out.  You can only have up to four people in each shell, so it’s good to assign shell groups ahead of time.  Any raid cooldown that protects against physical damage would be good to use here.  Van and I tried to use Devotion Aura, but that only protects against Magic damage, so I threw out my healy Light’s Hammer to help out with the heals.

One ability that Zor’lok will use on each platform and throughout phase 2 is called Exhale.  Zor’lok will target a raid member and channel a beam that will stun them and do incremental damage.  This should be interrupted by the tank by standing in between Zor’lok and the affected raid member.  If you don’t intercept the beam in time (which is like 2 to 3 seconds), the beam will eventually one-shot the stunned raid member.

After Zor’lok gets down to 80% health, he will fly to the opposite platform, in our case the west platform.  Here Zor’lok casts Attenuation, where he shoots disks all around him in a pinwheel-like fashion.  The disks look similar to Atramedes’ sound waves, but smaller.  You want to avoid running into these as much as possible.  This is your “dance” fight, like Heigen’s waves or Alysrazor’s tornadoes.  Poor Zari, he didn’t have a fun time with this, at one point he told Zarm not to rez him and he’d rather let the vultures get him instead, lol.

After 60% health, Zor’lok moves to the north platform, where he uses Convert.  This ability mind controls two non-tank raid members who need to be dps’d down to 50% of their health.  Everyone should stack up behind the tank so that AoE heals and AoE attacks on MC’d members can be used effectively.

At 40% health, Zor’lok will move to the center of the room and will use each of the three previously discussed abilities randomly until he is killed.  We saved our Bloodlust for this phase.  Just remember what you learned on the first three platforms and Zor’lok should go down easy in phase 2.

Hopefully we’ll have Moog tonight so we can finally kill Elegon and the Will of the Emperor and finish Mogu’shan Vaults.  Then we can move on and kill the rest of the mantids in Heart of Fear.