Lights Out for the Thunder King

Lei Shen

2 pulls….that’s all it took to take down the Thunder King last night.  Makes that 3% wipe feel so insignificant, lol.

We didn’t raid Tuesday night because we were missing Shadeey and Zarm, so we went into Wednesday night with a lot of anticipation and determination of finally clearing the Throne of Thunder and putting this raiding tier to rest.

We changed our strategy a little, opting to start the fight with Lei Shen on the north conduit (Static Shock), instead of the eastern one (Diffusion Chain), and going clockwise, ending up on the west conduit (Bouncing Bolt) before the first transition.

After the first transition was complete, we brought Lei Shen back to the western conduit and made our way around counter-clockwise, ending on the eastern one.  We used lust on this phase to quickly push us to the next transition.  And once the second transition was done, it was a matter of staying focused and out of bad before the big guy went down.

Our first attempt started off great, but Adoe and Shadeey had trouble on their quadrant during the first transition and were soon overwhelmed by adds.  The second attempt was nearly flawless and the fight just seemed to flow smoothly.

Wok and I managed Decapitate and taunting Lei Shen back and forth with ease.  The group handled Lei Shen other abilities perfectly, stacking tight and spreading out when needed, even during the transitions.  I made sure I positioned myself correctly for Fusion Slash on the second phase so I wouldn’t get punted off the edge like a noob, lol.  Wok did die on the last phase but was quickly brezzed and we finally killed Lei Shen with the entire raid alive.

Lei Shen Down

Shadow Rising Throne of Thunder Complete

From left to right: Zug, with Zarm and Adoe behind Lei Shen, me, Sorak, Van, Tyle, Slice, Wok and Shadeey.

We also got a nice Feat of Strength for completing ToT before the patch too:

Ahead of the Curve: Lei Shen

I am really proud of my guild for this accomplishment.  We put in a lot of nights and attempts and used many feasts and flasks to achieve this moment.

Last tier, we missed out on a Sha of Fear kill in the Terrace of the Endless Spring by a week before patch 5.2 hit the servers.  I blame that on our guild meet up in Orlando though, which we totally had a blast at, lol.

Side note: The resort we stayed at in Orlando recently had a sinkhole swallow up part of the complex, which is just crazy and scary to hear.  I blame that on a certain fat shammy panda *cough*Sorak*cough* for loosening up the foundation before he left, lol j/k.

I want to give a special thanks to the other members of SR: Lyss, Psynite, Bocat, Zari, Ryugan and Chewy.  Even though they were not in on the Lei Shen kill, they were all a big part of our Throne of Thunder progression, from our countless wipes and frustrations, like Horridon and Tortos, to our first boss kills and easy ones, like Primordius and the Twin Consorts.

I want to also thank the delay in the release of patch 5.4, without that, this achievement would not be possible.  Bring on the Siege of Orgrimmar, we ready!

And one last small thanks goes to Final Fantasy 14.  Since most of SR is currently playing that, I’d like to believe they were eager to get back to it, so they all brought their A-game to kill Lei Shen quickly, lol.

Great job guys, I’ll see you next week when we down Lei Shen on Heroic and defeat Ra-den!

…..a pally can dream, right? =P

All good card games must come to an end…

World of Warcraft Trading Card Game

It’s a sad day for fans of the World of Warcraft Trading Card Game…

Cryptozoic and Blizzard Entertainment have announced that they will be discontinuing the WoW TCG, with the Reign of Fire expansion as being its last.

From Cryptozoic:

We are very grateful to the incredible community of players that have made the World of Warcraft Trading Card Game such an amazing experience. Timewalkers: Reign of Fire, the 21st installment to the World of Warcraft TCG, will be the last. Reign of Fire has been one of the fastest selling sets of all time and has been overwhelmingly well-received by drafters and deck brewers alike. While we are sad to see the World of Warcraft TCG end, we are proud to see it end on such a high note.

We hope that you have enjoyed cracking packs and playing with the most iconic characters in the Warcraft universe as much as we have. From raid and dungeon decks to unique heroes, each with their own deck-defining powers, the World of Warcraft TCG has left an unforgettable mark on the world of trading card games. Darkmoon Faires have long been a place for the most friendly and welcoming gaming community on the planet to come together and share their enthusiasm in a competitive, yet friendly, environment.

It has truly been an honor to be a part of such a passionate community that continues to grow year after year. The World of Warcraft TCG holds a special place in our hearts here and we are thankful to Blizzard for allowing us to be part of it.

And from Blizzard Entertainment:

We wanted to take a moment to thank all of you World of Warcraft Trading Card Game players out there for your support of the game for close to seven years.

We’ve had a blast working on it, and we knew that Set 21, Timewalkers: Reign of Fire would really grab everyone’s attention. In addition to delivering original and fun gameplay mechanics and giving players a new way to explore the story of Warcraft III, it’s stuffed with every single one of the much-sought-after Loot cards from each of the previous sets.

Set 21 represents something else as well: it’s the climactic last set for the WoW TCG. We are grateful for being able to collaborate with the artists and everyone else who helped make this game a reality all these years. We’re also thankful for all the players and retailers who’ve participated in the community globally. You made ripping open booster packs, discovering the wonders they held, and then building decks and taking them into battle a truly awesome experience.

Thank you all again for your support in making the WoW TCG one of the most epic trading card games of all time.

I kind of had a feeling that the end to the TCG was imminent, but I didn’t want to believe my assumptions.  Here are a couple of the signs I saw that the game was going to come to an end:

  1. The Reign of Fire expansion contained no new loot cards.
    • Since the very first expansion, Heroes of Azeroth, every set since has always had a new set of loot cards to obtain.  There were some datamined items from the PTR that I thought could be candidates for new loot, like the Iron Hitching Post (which more looks to be an item that will be purchasable from the Blizzard Store) and there are always pets and mounts they could make available.
  2. The loot cards from the Reign of Fire expansion could come from any of the prior expansions, including the rare mounts, like the Spectral Tiger and X-51 Rocket.
    • Related to #1 and probably as a result of it, this was Cryptozoic’s/Blizz’s way to “clean house” with any remaining loot cards that they had lying around.
  3. Cryptozoic has a new online TCG coming out, Hex: Shards of Fate.Hex: Shards of Fate
    • With several online TCG games already out there, I’m guessing Cryptozoic wanted a piece of that pie and came up with their own.  The game is not Warcraft-related and is all brand new.  Maintaining the WoW TCG game at the same time would have probably been too much for Cryptozoic to handle.
  4. Blizzard Entertainment also has a new online TCG coming out, Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft.

Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft

    • From the very first day that the online TCG was announced, I had a big gut feeling that the physical card game was soon coming to an end.  A lot of the artwork for Hearthstone came from the WoW TCG and some elements of the game are similar.

It’s sad to see the game go, but of course, nothing lasts forever.  I’ve played/collected the WoW TCG since the very beginning and this is what introduced me to the Warcraft universe, even before I got into the MMO.  I will miss opening new booster packs and the smell of fresh-cut cards, lol.

There is a little part of me that hopes one day they’ll revive the game, along with the loot cards.  They did it before when Upper Deck Entertainment gave up on the franchise, could there be another developer that takes it from Cryptozoic?  /crossesfingers

I guess I’ll have to resort to Hearthstone for my Warcraft card game needs, where is my beta invite already? =P

3%

…is what we got Lei Shen down to last night on our best attempt…

/facepalm

/facedesk

/flipsMegaBloksStormwindKeep

/blamesRekcalsKaros

That was only the second time we got into the last phase last night, so things were pretty hectic at that point.  But I think we’ve got this next week with better RNG and internetz.

Thank God that patch 5.4 has been delayed a couple of weeks to allow scrub guilds like ours to finish off Lei Shen.  I’d like for SR to start the Siege of Orgrimmar raid on a clean slate. =)

Brewing up a Silver

It’s been another frustrating couple of weeks for the Challenge Mode Noobs.  After our last silver in Scholo almost a month ago, we decided to work on getting another, this time in Stormstout Brewery.

One of the problems we’ve been facing is our ever-changing roster.  Our group from the start has consisted of me, Luxy, Navi and Lush and the fifth spot has been filled with members of both Shadow Rising or the Frostwolves or friends of Luxy.  Sev has been our fifth for the last couple of runs, so he’s helped out with the consistency a bit.  But in one of the weeks, Lush was out got sick and wasn’t online, so we brought in a few more Frostees to fill his spot, first Moo, then Xyn, but in the end it wasn’t happening and we couldn’t get our silvers in the Brewery.

So last weekend, with a healthy Lush, we went back to the alehouse, determined to finally get our medals.  Ook-Ook wasn’t really a problem for us and Hoptallus would occasionally give us fits, but the boss that gave us the most trouble was Yan-Zhu the Uncasked.

We would get to Yan-Zhu with about 7 to 8 minutes on the silver timer pretty consistently until his alementals spawned.  Our goal was to burst him down as fast as we could before we got overwhelmed with the adds.  For the most part, we did a good job in blocking the healing beams that the alementals would channel towards Yan-Zhu, but if even one of the beams got to him, it would heal him for a lot.  We had some weird things happen, where beams would get through, even though we were blocking them.  Even Sev was using his pet to block the beams and it would sometimes work, sometimes not.  I would try to help by interrupting a couple to group them up to make just one beam, but sometimes the repositioning would put them right up on Yan-Zhu or place me in a position where I was hitting the group with Bloat.  Luxy then suggested creating a square formation close to and around Yan-zhu for blocking the beams without having to move too much and angling ourselves so Bloat wouldn’t hit anybody.

So, in normal CMN style, it took us a few attempts and a couple resets, but we were finally able to claim our silvers.  Go team!

Stormstout Brewery Silver

Bigga Lush, Lil' Luxy, Lil' Arv, Lil' Navi and Bigga Sev

Bigga Lush, Lil’ Luxy, Lil’ Arv, Lil’ Navi and Bigga Sev

That medal puts me at 7 silvers with two left to go (need to do Gate of the Setting Sun again to get the Frostees caught up, lol).  I know we can get Scarlet Monastery, there’s only one trash pull that gives us problems.  But Shado-Pan Monastery is gonna be the big one, we haven’t stepped our Challenge Mode feet in there in a long time and I believe it’s the hardest one to do.  With a couple of resets, we should be able to get that one too, lol.

Drake of the North Wind

It’s been a while since my last BMAH mount purchase, as there haven’t been many on there lately or ones I already had.  I missed out on a Blazing Drake a couple of weeks ago that got too high in price for my blood, but I did manage to snag this mount for dirt cheap, the Reins of the Drake of the North Wind.

Drake of the North Wind

Reins of the Drake of the North Wind

This is the mount that drops from Altarius in the Vortex Pinnacle.  I’ve seen the mount only drop twice through all my runs in VP when the instance was current.

Now all I’m missing is the Drake of the South Wind, which is a blue mount that drops from Al’Akir.  I’ve seen it once on the BMAH, but I dropped the ball and didn’t follow-up on it.  I bet it went for cheap too.

Oh, and Blizz should make a Feat of Strength for collecting all four mounts too.  “Directional Drakes” is what I would call it, lol.