Mogu’shan Vaults Complete!

Mogu'shan Vaults Complete!

After weeks and weeks of working in Mogu’shan Vaults and getting stuck on the roadblock that is Elegon, Shadow Rising finally killed him and the Will of the Emperor Wednesday night.  Congrats guys!

Elegon Down!

Gone, Gone, Gone Elegon!

I honestly don’t see why this guy isn’t the final boss of MSV, lol.  But I was excited that we killed him in our second attempt of the night!  The raid has to be near-perfect in executing all aspects of this fight to beat the enrage timer, which we were 40 seconds away from in our kill.  I won’t go through much detail on the fight and Khizzara has a great post about it here, but I’ll summarize a couple of things that we did.

Phase 1 – We quickly pushed Elegon to 85% while only getting two Celestial Protectors up.
Phase 2 – We had Adoe, Zug, Wok and Van on the left side of the room to dps down the Energy Charges, while Sorak, Shadeey, Lyss, Slice, Zarm and I took down the Charges on the right.  We managed five waves of Charges, giving us a 50% damage bonus against Elegon.
Phase 3 – We brought all the Cosmic Sparks to the center console and once the platform came back, Wok took Elegon while I grabbed the Sparks and used Holy Wrath to stun them and had the dps finish them off on the platform.

For the second cycle of Phase 2, we went with only four waves of Charges to make sure that we had enough time to dps Elegon in the burn phase.  We saved our Bloodlust for the burn phase and as our raid team fell one by one, we finally killed Elegon with only Wok, Van, Sorak and me left standing.  Whew!

Elegon dropped the 2-handed sword, Starshatter, and I got lucky with my Elder Charm bonus roll and looted the 1-handed axe, Elegion, the Fanged Crescent.

Elegion, the Fanged Crescent

SR Breaks the Will of the Emperor

The Will of the Emperor fight is a much easier fight than Elegon, I think it took us 4 or 5 attempts while Elegon was like 50-60 attempts or something like that, lol.  The fight is all about add management and the tank’s ability to Dance with the Bosses™.

There are three types of adds that spawn throughout the fight and should be prioritized in the following order:

Emperor’s Courage – these medium-sized adds spawn from either the west or east side of the room and focus on a tank on the opposite end.  If they reach a tank, they will place a debuff on them that will slowly cause the tank to be immobile.  These adds should be dps’d from behind, as the huge shield they carry prevent all damage from the front.

Emperor’s Strength – these large-sized adds spawn halfway between the sides and the center of the room.  They can be essentially tanked by anyone, as they do no melee damage to whoever has aggro on them.  These mobs perform a circular smash in front of them, which is visible on the floor and should be avoided, otherwise you will be hit for a high amount of damage and stunned for a couple of seconds.

Emperor’s Rage – these smaller-sized adds spawn in the north side of the room and will fixate on a random raid member.  These adds are affected by all forms of CC and only do moderate damage.

After a minute and a half from the start of the fight, the two bosses, Jan-xi and Qin-xi, appear and must be picked up by the tanks immediately.  Jan-xi and Qin-xi both share a health pool, so the dps can attack either, no matter where you are in the room while controlling the adds.  We took towards the southwest and southeast corners of the room, to give room for the dps and healers and to avoid the bosses’ attacks.

Each boss will perform a Devastating Combo, where they will swing their weapons in arcs.  They will swing in arcs to their left, right and in front of them.  Every time you are hit by an arc, you will not only take massive damage, but also get a 10% armor debuff that stacks.  Both bosses will also do a Stomp during the Devastating Combo, which will do damage and stun anyone around them for a couple of seconds.  Both bosses will do five arc swings/stomps during Devastating Combo and are random.  From what I saw last night, the boss will generally perform an arc swing to the left or right first.

If you manage to “dance” with the boss successfully, you will gain an extra ability called Opportunistic Strike, which gives you a special button in the middle of your screen.  You can only use it once and it will instantly do 500,000 to the boss.  It’s important to get these as much as you can as it will help the dps tremendously.

During the fight, the room will fill up with Titan Gas, which will do AoE damage to the raid and increase the damage of the adds and bosses.  It will also increase the damage of your melee dps and tanks, so this is a good time to pop all defensive and offensive CDs as well as Bloodlust.  This will last for about 20 seconds and will happen four times, with the last one remaining in the room until the bosses are killed.

Since Wok and I were on Jan-xi and Qin-xi the whole time, it was important that we got as many Opportunistic Strikes as we could.  The first few attempts I did horrible, only managing 1 or 2 Strikes per attempt, while Wok was killing it with 5 and 6.  We had a really good attempt where we both had 5 and 6 strikes and I think I managed to get off 7 on our kill.

Will of the Emperor Down!

So, MSV is finally complete!  Now we can work on getting our mantid on and get us a Grand Empress Shek’zeer kill in Heart of Fear!

Mogu’shan Vaults – Spirit Kings Spirited Away!

We had a very productive week in raiding in MSV, got a new boss down to make SR 4/6 in the Vaults!  Woot, go team!

Tuesday night, we burned through the dogs pretty quickly and Fayle finally brought his dog out so we could nab an easy achievement.

Next up was Feng.  I managed to steal the Lightning Fists, Wildfire Spark and Arcane Velocity spells in our kill last week, so we only needed two more for the achievement.  I had trouble stealing the Epicenter spell because we would all be under the Nullification Barrier and prevented anyone from getting hit by it.  But I did manage to find a way to grab it, as I would begin casting Shroud on a ranged member right before Feng would cast Epicenter.  Then as we grouped up for Barrier, the ranged would take at least a tick of the damage as they moved in, thus allowing me to steal the spell.  Arcane Resonance was easy to steal, I just forgot to grab it last week.

Gara’jal was a smooth kill and we ended the night putting in a couple of attempts on the Spirit Kings.  I also got a yummy stamina trinket from the trash, the Jade Warlord Figurine.

Wednesday night was a nice surprise, as we downed the Kings on the first try, lol.  This is a one-tank fight with lots of movement, so if you can manage to stay out of bad and know when to stack and spread, this should be an easy fight for you.

The first boss is Qiang the Merciless.  He does a frontal cone attack called Massive Attacks that has its damage spread among all players in front of it, so you would want the raid to stack on the tank for this.  He also does Annihilate, which does massive damage in front of him and should be avoided.  We just simply ran through him and stacked behind him to avoid this.  Flanking Orders are also used by Qiang and summons a row of Mogu Warriors that walk from one side of the room to the other.  They can be easily avoided, make sure to find an opening to move to.  Flanking Orders will be also cast throughout the rest of the encounter.

The order of the next three bosses are random, and we got Subetai the Swift next.  He does Pillaged, which reduces damage and healing done, but increases damage taken in a circular area.  Try to move out of this as soon as possible. This is also cast through the rest of the encounter. Rain of Arrows targets a raid member and is similar to Marrowgar’s Bone Spikes, so kill the arrow as soon as possible to free them.  He also does Volley (man, do I miss this on my hunter), but it’s different and only attacks in a cone in front of him, which can be also avoided easily.

Meng the Demented is probably the hardest of the four Kings to face.  His Maddening Shout causes all raid members to be hostile to one another.  The only way to break this is to do enough damage to everyone, preferably using your AoE spell.  I usually drop Consecrate right before Maddening is cast so that everyone will start taking ticks of it when they become hostile to me.  This is a another spell that will cast throughout the remainder of the encounter.  Meng also does Cowardice, wich reflects damage back to everyone in the raid.  You don’t want to let his Insanity get too high, or the damage will be hard to heal.  You might need to back off the dps until his Insanity get to a more manageable number.

The last King was Zian of the Endless Shadow.  He casts Undying Shadows which summons an add that fixates a random raid member.  Once the add dies, it turns into a large void zone, like the Defile in the Lich King encounter.  But this void zone shrinks over time and turns back into the add, which will target another raid member.  Try to keep the void zone around the outer edges of the room to give your raid more room to move around.  He also does Shadow Blast, which is casted a lot, but can be interrupted, so try to interrupt this as much as you can.

This was a pretty fun encounter which again keeps you on your toes and tests out your raid awareness.  For the rest of the night, we worked on Elegon, which looks pretty tough.  Khizarra has a great post that describes the fight, hopefully we can down him next week!

Mogu’shan Vaults – The Spiritbinder Broken!

Another MSV kill for Shadow Rising last night, as we broke down the spirit of Gara’jal the Spiritbinder.  This is mainly a dps and healer fight, so tanks get a break, yay!

We started the night with three healers, mainly to get our rotations down, which dps and healers to send to the Spirit World.  We had a couple attempts where some of our healers or dps couldn’t get out of the Spirit World in time and caused a wipe, due to either a bug with their special action buttons or lag.  Gara’jal has a short enrage timer at 6 minutes, so when we hit that in our next to last attempt, we switched to two-healing and got our kill on the next one.

Even though Moog and I got a break from tank dancing on this fight, there were a couple of mechanics we still had to manage.  First, tanks want to make sure that they get aggro on Gara’jal and maintain it right off the bat; once he marks his first Voodoo Doll targets (1 tank, 1 healer, 1 dps), he becomes untauntable until he banishes his main aggro target.  So if you have dps aggro monsters that like to go all out at the start, like Zug, in your raid, make sure to taunt back quickly or it’ll throw Spirit World rotations off and eventually become a wipe.  Also, the tank that gets Voodoo Doll’d will not only be taking damage from Gara’jal, but damage that the other two Voodoo Doll targets take, so use your CDs here to mitigate the damage.  Try to also keep Gara’jal away from the spirit totems he places on the ground, so that your raid members don’t accidentally get sent to the Spirit World when they’re not supposed to.

Once a tank gets banished and sent to the Spirit World, you will need to find a specific mob that only tanks can see, called the Severer of Souls (see above pic).  For some reason, even though I had enemy health bars turned on, I couldn’t see the Severer’s bar, so you might have to search for it.  This mob has to be killed in order for the banished tank to exit the Spirit World.  Other raid members in the Spirit World cannot see or target this mob, so it’s up to you to kill it on your own.  The Severer does not have much health, so it should not be a problem to solo it.  If you see that dps are having trouble getting down the Shadowy Minions, you can help kill them down; you have 30 seconds to kill the Severer before you have to get back out.

At 20%, Gara’jal goes into a Frenzy mode, where he does massive damage and no longer sends anyone to the Spirit World.  This is basically your burn phase where you can use Bloodlust and all your CDs.

Some of the guys didn’t want a pic of our kill shot with all the skeletons in the way, but I went ahead and took one anyways. =P  Our guild is making good progress and now that we’ve seen enough of these first three bosses, we should be able to get them down quicker and get more work done on the last three.  We put in a couple attempts on the Spirit Kings and it looks to be another crazy movement fight, plus it’s a single-tank one, so it’ll be my time to shine, lol.

Mogu’shan Vaults – Curse you, Feng!

We finally got Feng the Accursed down last night after putting many attempts Tuesday and Wednesday.  This was another tanky and heavy movement fight that really tests your reflexes and your position placement.

At the beginning of the fight, the tanks need to pick up one of two gems that spawn in the middle of the room.  The Shroud of Reversal is an ability that allows you to mimic one of Feng’s abilities that he uses, which you can use against him.  This is a channeled cast and has to be targeted on another player for you to copy his spell.  You cannot use the Shroud on yourself, so make sure that Feng is attacking the other tank or player.  It is on a 30 second CD, so you could make good use of it if you’re quick on the draw.

The other gem is the Nullification Barrier.  This allows the tank to put up a bubble similar to a Death Knight’s Anti-Magic Shield to prevent incoming damage to the group or even Feng.  It is on a 90 second CD, so it has to be used at the right time.

In phase 1, Feng uses three abilities, Lightning Lash, Lightning Fists and Epicenter.  Lightning Lash is a stacking debuff that he puts on the tank that deals damage every 2 seconds for 20 seconds.  This is one of the tank swap mechanics of the fight, you want to try to keep the no higher than two as much as possible.  Lightning Fists is a frontal cone attack that interrupts and stuns anyone who is it front of Feng.  This is what the Shroud tank should steal and use against him for the third ability he uses, Epicenter.  Epicenter is a channeled AoE ability that does lots of damage the closer you are to Feng.  The Nullification tank should use their barrier here if the Shroud tank cannot interrupt or if it’s too late for the raid to run out.

This part of the fight is what gave me the most trouble.  The DBM timers were wonky at times and I would cast Shroud on Moog either too early or too late and mimic Lightning Lash instead of Lighting Fists.  So I would use the raid chat announcements instead to know when to cast Shroud.  Moog and I would alternate our gem abilities every Epicenter, so we could manage our CDs and make sure that we would always have one of them available.

Phase 2 begins when Feng is at 66% health.  In phase 2, Feng switches over to his fire abilities, Flaming Spear, Wildfire Spark and Draw Flame.  Flaming Spear is another stacking debuff on the tanks, just like Lightning Lash, so you also want to keep the stacks to two at the most.  Wildfire Spark is a debuff that Feng puts on any non-tank player that places a patch of fire on the floor after 5 seconds.  You want to get this away from the raid as far as possible.  Draw Flame is Feng’s third ability that he uses to consume all the fires that come from Wildfire Spark.  The more fires Feng consumes, the more AoE damage he does to the raid.

For this fight, Moog and I tanked Feng in the middle of the room and we made use of Lyssi’s warlock Teleportation gates to placing the Wildfire Spark fires away from the raid.  I tried to use the Shroud on a player with the Wildfire Spark debuff, but everyone away too fast for me to channel it.  It’s not really needed for phase 2, but the Nullification barrier is.  What it does is it prevents Feng from absorbing the fires during Draw Flame, so Moog placed his barrier in the path between Feng and the fires.  Since the CD is long on the barrier, Moog was only able to use it twice during the four Draw Flames in the phase.  So he used it on the second and fourth Draw Flames so that we wouldn’t transition into phase 3 with Feng all buffed up.

Phase 3 begins when Feng is at 33% health.  In phase 3, Feng gives up playing with fire and goes arcane with Arcane Shock, Arcane Velocity and Arcane Resonance.  Arcane Shock is just like Lightning Lash and Flaming Spear for the tank, so make sure to swap at every two stacks again.  Arcane Velocity is the exact opposite of Feng’s Epicenter from phase 1; the farther you are when he channels this ability, the more damage you take.  It’s important for the raid to stack during this.  Arcane Resonance is a debuff that is placed on a ranged player or healer and does AoE damage to anyone 6 yards around them.  This person needs to GTFO from the raid if they get targeted with it.

Nullification barrier is again essential to this phase and should be used during Arcane Velocity, when everyone is stacked up together.  We used our Bloodlust during this phase as this is the final phase and our two top melee hitters, Zug and Fayle don’t have to move at all, so they could just wail on the boss until he went down.

Looking back at the fight, I’ll have to find out better uses for Shroud in phase 2 and 3 as I could probably help out more with the dps in stealing Wildfire Spark and Arcane Resonance.  We put in a couple of attempts on the next boss Gara’jal and I’m thankful that Moog and I get to take a break from tank dancing as this seems to be more of a dps and healer fight, lol.

All I can say is thanks to everyone at Shadow Rising for being patient with Moog and me.  I know it’s been a rough two weeks of raiding with all the wiping involved, but I think we’ve got it down pat.  Can’t wait to get a Troll kill under our belts next week!

Mogu’shan Vaults – Who Let the Dogs Down?

It took us a couple of days and a ton of wipes, but Shadow Rising has finally downed the first raid boss of the MoP expansion, the Stone Guard from Mogu’shan Vaults!  I will admit, I didn’t think this boss would be that difficult, but after we got the mechanics down, it was time to put these stone pups to sleep.

The Tank Dance

This fight is definitely a tank check for raid groups.  It takes some good coordination and communication between the two tanks to make this fight work.  Here are a couple of points for the tanks to keep in mind in the 10-man version:

  • Make sure to get that initial aggro on the dog or dogs you’re assigned to at the start of the fight so that they don’t go running all over the place or munching on dps fiends *cough*Zug, Fayle*cough*
  • Keep the two groups of dogs spread at least 20 yards apart, or the width of the carpet in the middle, so that the solo dog does not gain any energy as much as possible.
  • Make sure that the dog that is casting Petrification is always paired up with the lowest energy dog.
  • A dog will not cast Petrification twice in a row.  So once it Overpowers, be ready for one of the other dogs to cast and plan your swap accordingly.
  • Avoid the bad stuff on the floor, but maintain your distance from the other tank.

As you can see, the tanks have a lot to keep track of.  Not only do you have to worry about which dogs to swap to and when, but you have to be aware of your distance, move away from the pools/mines/etc., all while using your tank cooldowns to survive and your dps rotation to keep aggro and assist with the other dps to take these dogs down.

This week, we had the Cobalt, Jade and Amethyst dogs up.  So we didn’t have to worry about Jasper’s chain link ability, but we still had a lot of bad stuff on the floor to avoid from with Cobalt’s frozen mines and Amethyst’s purple pools.  Adoe initially was calling out the switches, but then Lyss suggested that the tanks should be the ones to call out swaps.  This allowed Adoe to focus on his dps more and call out other alerts, like when to break the mines when Cobalt was casting Petrification or using raid cooldowns.  I was still feeling sick like a dog, pun intended, coming back from my trip to NY/NJ last week and really didn’t want to talk on vent.  But I sucked it up and called out the swaps, even though it costed me several houndred coughs and 3/4ths of my lungs to come out, lol.

Anticipation

…is the key to tanking this fight.  You have to be ready and quick to make the swaps and making sure the correct ones are made.  An incorrect swap almost always results in a wipe, unless you get lucky and two of the dogs don’t Overload at the same time.  For me, it got to the point where I was calling out the scenarios out loud to myself if I only had control of one dog.  Something like:

“Moog has Cobalt and Jade, Jade just Overpowered and reset.  I have Amethyst, if Amethyst starts to cast, I need to taunt Jade.  If Cobalt casts, then we’re good and no swap.”

Seriously, I was saying this throughout the fight out loud to myself, lol.  Hey, whatever works, right?

Pre-targeting also helps for quick taunts, especially if you have dogs with high energy already.  In the above scenario, once Jade Overpowered, I had him targeted right away in case Amethyst was the next to cast.  If Cobalt was next, I could just tab back to Amethyst and continue dpsing him.

This is a pretty challenging fight for tanks and it really keeps us on our toes, like Ultraxxion and, yes, Nefarion. =P  Just plan you swaps ahead and you should be able to get these dogs down too.