Silverlet Monastery

Challenge Mode Noobs.  I think we need to change that name to Challenge Month Noobs, lol.  Whether it’s because someone’s out and we don’t have a full group to run CMs or just having frustrating weeks where we keep missing the silver timer, it seems like it takes a month before the CMN can scratch up a new medal.  It was about a month ago that we got our last silver in Stormstout Brewery and a month before that, it was a silver in Scholomance.  To keep that pattern going, we took on Scarlet Monastery on Saturday, which has been giving us issues for the past couple of weeks.

We had another CMN line up change this weekend.  Voros, a DK and fellow Frostwolf, took Sev’s dps spot for our Scarlet run.  He’s been running in our group lately and even helped Luxy, Lush, Navi and Sev get a silver in Gate of the Setting Sun, which I already had from an SR run a while back.

I also didn’t something different that I had never done before in all of our CM runs…I actually went dps instead of tank!  Yep, you heard that right, no tanking for me this time around.  I’ve been running around the Timeless Isle and LFRs as Ret and having some fun with it that I decided to give the tank reins to Lush’s monk, Aimei, and try dpsing for a change.  I specced into Repentance to give us another CC, instead of using Fist of Justice, which I use while tanking to get two stuns out every minute.

As per CMN protocol, it took us a couple attempts and resets before we got that winning run in, we even managed to handle the trash after Thalnos the Soulrender perfectly, which had caused us so many issues before.  A handful of mobs and a Korloff, Durand and Whitemane kill later, we finally, finally had our silver.

Scarlet Monastery Silver

Scarlet Monastery Complete

With that silver, that puts Navi, Luxy and I one more away from getting our Pandaren Phoenix mounts.  Woo!

So the last silver we need is in Shado-Pan Monastery, which is gonna be the toughest medal to get.  We gave it a couple tries and boy were they rough; Gu Cloudstrike is not melee friendly and the Sha of Violence just gassed out Navi and her heals.  It’ll take us some time and practice to get through, stay tuned for the next CMN update in a month! (or sooner) =)

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.

Silver Lining Scholomance

So after a couple frustrating weeks trying to get a silver in Scarlet Monastery, the CMNs decided to change it up this past weekend and we headed out to Scholomance instead.  We had the usual suspects: me, Navi, Luxy, Aimei (Lush’s monk) and brought Sev along for the run.

One of the longer instances with five bosses to kill, I wasn’t sure we were going to get silver and thought we were going to have a tough time, similar to SM.  But I was wrong.

Our first attempt in Scholo was almost perfect; no one was dying, trash was handled swiftly and even bosses that have given us trouble in the past, Jandice Barov and Rattlegore, went down with ease…..until we got to the last boss, Darkmaster Gandling.

We were making really good time and poised to get a silver, when everything blew up in our faces, literally.  In the Challenge Mode version of this fight, the tank always gets targeted first with Harsh Lesson, unlike the normal version where it is random.  So I was trying to quickly dps myself out of the room so I could grab the ghouls that Gandling summons, but everyone was getting owned as the ghouls exploded on them.  When I was able to aggro the ghouls, I found out that I couldn’t survive the explosion myself, as they pretty much would one-shot me.

Aza, who was listening to us on vent, said that ghouls explode on a timer after being summoned and offered a suggestion to help us out.  He said that Luxy and Sev should set themselves on the second floor of the room, opposite from the stairs, and AoE the ghouls down from above.  Doing this would cause the ghouls to run up the stairs and around the second floor to get to Luxy and Sev, but the ghouls would explode before reaching them.  With the silver medal timer already passed, we practiced Aza’s tactic until we could get Gandling down, getting Aimei and Sev their bronze medals.

Our second attempt went a lot better and Gandling finally went down easily.  Thanks Aza for the tips!

Scholomance Silver Time

Scholomance Silver Complete

I was pretty pumped after that and thought about going back to SM to finish that pos, but it was getting late for Lush and Sev, so we decided to call it there.

Six down and three to go…I can smell the Ancestral Phoenix mount getting closer (and no, I’m not smelling it’s poop =P).

Oh, I did want to mention one about the valor you get from doing Challenge Modes; it definitely beats the hell out of doing the Barrens weekly by yourself, lol.

I managed to cap out on valor last week on Ras first (I’m REEEEALLY enjoying playing my hunter lately, lol), so Arv got to reap the benefits of the 50% extra valor points from the Valor of the Ancients buff.

Completing a Challenge Mode with a medal nets you the following valor:  125 for bronze, 150 for silver and 165 for gold.

So our first Scholo run where we finished with a bronze, I got 188 valor (125 + 63 from VotA).  Our silver medal run netted me 225 valor (150 + 75 from VotA).  And when we finally get gold, that should reward us with 248 valor (165 + 83 from VotA).

And if the daily Challenge Mode quest that’s offered at the Shrine is the same one you’ve just completed, you can earn yourself an additional 80 valor.  With the VotA buff, that would give you 276 valor for a bronze run, 305 valor for a silver run and 328 valor for a gold run.

Not a bad valor haul for a Challenge Mode run, right?  Most bronze medal times are easily obtainable with a good group and as long as you’re careful with the trash and boss pulls, you really won’t have to rush through it as quick.

I think the Barrens and it’s weekly quest just got a little more…barren, lol.

Challenge Modes: An Undaunting Task

“A hero has faced it all: he need not be undefeated, but he must be undaunted.”
– Andrew Bernstein

So it’s been a while since I last posted about running Challenge Modes with the Challenge Mode Noobs.  We’ve been running it on the weekends while we can and Navi‘s been detailing our adventures as we go.  My screenshots have been piling up and I’ve been slacking on posting them, so here’s an image dump of our last runs.

There were three instances I needed to finish up the Challenge Conqueror: Bronze achievement:

Scarlet Monastery

Navi, me, Karn, Luxy and Lush in Scarlet Monastery

Navi, me, Karn, Luxy and Lush in Scarlet Monastery

Scarlet Monastery Bronze 05/24/13

Shado-Pan Monastery

Luxy, Navi, Karn, me and Lush in Shado-Pan Monastery

Luxy, Navi, Karn, me and Lush in Shado-Pan Monastery

Shado-Pan Monastery Bronze 05/24/13

Scholomance

Navi, Karn, me, Luxy and Lush in Scholomance

Navi, Karn, me, Luxy and Lush in Scholomance

Scholomance Bronze and Challenge Conqueror Bronze 05/25/13

Completing all the Challenge Modes with a bronze medal rewards you with a sweet title, “the Undaunted”.

Arvash the Undaunted

With bronzes safely secured, it was time to turn them into silvers.  I already had two in hand; one from an earlier CMN run in Mogu’shan Palace and the other in a CMS (Challenge Mode Slackers – aka my guildies, lol) run in Gate of the Setting Sun.

Temple of the Jade Serpent

Sev, Navi, me, Luxy and Lush in Temple of the Jade Serpent

Sev, Navi, me, Luxy and Lush in Temple of the Jade Serpent

Temple of the Jade Serpent Silver 06/22/13

Siege of Niuzao Temple

Karn, Luxy, me, Navi and Lush in Siege of Niuzao Temple

Karn, Luxy, me, Navi and Lush in Siege of Niuzao Temple

Siege of Niuzao Temple Silver 06/29/13

Scarlet Halls

Luxy, me and Navi in Scarlet Halls

Luxy, me and Navi in Scarlet Halls

Scarlet Halls Silver 07/06/13

This past Sunday, we tried for another silver in the Scarlet Monastery, but we had trouble with the trash pack after Thalnos the Soulrender.  When we finally figured out how to manage it, it got late and Sev had to go.  I think we’ll be ready this weekend to snag the silver in there.

With those three silvers, that puts me at 5/9 (4/9 for the Frostees), leaving four instance”S” to complete:  Scarlet Monastery, Stormstout Brewery, Shado-Pan Monastery and Scholomance.  Halfway there to our Ancestral Phoenix Mount!

To echo a comment that Luxy made on her most recent post (which you should check out for a hilarious pic of Navi, haha), I really enjoy running these CMs with the CMN (me, Lush, Luxy, Navi and our fifth revolving member, lol).  It can get frustrating at times when we make dumb mistakes on adds or missing medals by seconds, but the rewards for finally getting it are totally worth it.  It may take us one or two or four resets to earn that medal, but we never give up, everyone is a good sport and we just laugh about it after all is said and done.  Plus, what can beat bubble-running through adds and getting your favorite druid healer killed in the process? =P

Running Challenge Modes with the CMN and SR

Ready for More CMs

Sorry this post is a little dated by a week or so, but I wanted to post some our screenshots and achievements with Challenge Modes lately.  I think the most interesting part about this latest string of runs is that each one involved a different lineup.

Ready to Run Gate

Here is a Gate of the Setting Sun run that we got bronze in.  This is the original Challenge Mode Noob (CMN) group of me, Navi, Lush, Luxy and Karn.

Luxy, Arv, Lush, Karn, Navi and friends in Gate of the Setting Sun

Luxy, Arv, Lush, Karn, Navi and friends in Gate of the Setting Sun

Gate of the Setting Sun: Bronze

Another bronze medal was earned in the Siege of Niuzao Temple.  We didn’t have Karn this time, so I brought in Zug to join us.

Arv, Zug, Luxy, Lush and Navi in Siege of Niuzao Temple

Arv, Zug, Luxy, Lush and Navi in Siege of Niuzao Temple

Siege of Niuzao Temple: Bronze

The hardest Challenge Mode of the bunch, Shado-Pan Monastery proved to be just that.  Navi invited another fellow Frostee, Souglyy, to join us for the run.  We had a rough time with this CM and didn’t medal, but we pushed on and still finished it through.

Arv, Navi, Luxy, Lush and Souglyy in Shado-Pan Monastery

Arv, Navi, Luxy, Lush and Souglyy in Shado-Pan Monastery

Shado-Pan Monastery Challenger

We wanted to do another, but Souglyy was feeling tired, so Luxy asked another friend, Ut, who came along and brought his pally, Makemebad.  This time we hit up Stormstout Brewery, which I missed on a previous run that the Frostees had with Zug and Adoe.  This time, we got a Bronze.

Makemebad (Ut), Arv, Luxy, Navi and Lush in Stormstout Brewery

Makemebad (Ut), Arv, Luxy, Navi and Lush in Stormstout Brewery

Stormstout Brewery: Bronze

Later that night, we had another go at a CM I missed, Scholomance.  This time, Navi asked their warrior, Fallnapart, to come along.  We came close to getting another Bronze, but just fell short.  I did get the Challenge Conqueror achievement for completing all the Challenge Modes.

Luxy and Arv in Scholomance

Luxy and Arv in Scholomance

Scholomance Challenger and Challenge Conqueror

We tried our hand again in Scarlet Halls, a Challenge that we didn’t medal in.  Short again a dps, Navi asked one of their warlocks, Azadelta, to come.  Three brezzes!  This time we were successful in getting a Bronze medal.

Luxy, Arv, Lush, Aza and Navi in Scarlet Halls

Luxy, Arv, Lush, Aza and Navi in Scarlet Halls

Scarlet Halls: Bronze

Zug was feeling the CM bug one Monday night, so he got me, Adoe, Shadeey and Slice to group together for a Gate of the Setting Sun run, the first Shadow Rising CM run in a long time.  We ended up running it three times in a row, each time getting faster and faster.  On the last run, we were making good time for Silver and were surprised that we didn’t get it after killing Raigonn.  The reason:

Two More Enemies!

Yep, two freakin’ mobs, lol.  We quickly ran out of the instance and ran back in and took care of a few adds that we skipped at the beginning to finally claim our prize.

Shadeey, Zug, Arv and Slice in Gate of the Setting Sun (Not Pictured: Adoe)

Shadeey, Zug, Arv and Slice in Gate of the Setting Sun (Not Pictured: Adoe)

Gate of the Setting Sun: Silver

This past Monday, the original SR Challenge Mode team of me, Zug, Adoe, Sorak and Slice decided to go back to Gate and improve on our Silver and go for the Gold.  On our best attempt, we completed the run in 16 minutes, 4 minutes shy of the Gold.  We would have had more attempts at it, but with all the resetting we were doing, some of us got the “You’ve entered too many instances recently” message or were having login issues.  So we left it at that for the night.

Navi mentioned on her blog that I might be getting CM burnout from running on two teams, but honestly, I’m enjoying it.  Different compositions call for different strategies and you’ve really gotta think quick on your feet to adjust.  With the CMN team, we’ve got at least two brezzes from Navi and Lush, so you have a little leeway if someone goes down.  With the SR team, we have no brezzers, so you really have to pop CDs and blessings at the right time to keep everyone alive cause you can’t really afford to be a man down if you want to make good time.

But no matter what, I’m determined to help both teams reach their goals, whether to get all Silvers for the mount or even Golds for the transmog gear. =)