Heroic Cho’gall 10-man

Of all the guides I’ve written this is one that I’ve dreaded discussing for quite some time.  This is because in truth this lay out of the fight may not end up being particularly helpful to your guild.  You may find some other neat trick for killing this boss.  You may have success with more tanks or less tanks.  You might find stacking up everything and AoEing things works for you.  There are literally hundreds of approaches to this boss and many of them will be raid build specific.

I’m going to describe it as a 3 phase fight, keep in mind most people call it a 2 phase fight.  These people of course are retarded and don’t understand what the word “phase” means.

Phase 1 – Most of the Fight

Cho’gall phase 1 is Cho’gall and two different kinds of ads.  You probably notice them in normal however they instantly get soaked into Cho’gall so you don’t really see the effect of them.

The shadow ads must be DPSed down.  Each one of these that is absorbed by Cho’gall will increase Cho’gall’s damage by 15% and stacks infinitely.  The duration of this is about two fire ads so in order to remove this buff you need to kill two fire elementals consecutively.  So failing here is not an option.

The fire ads must be DPSed down.  Each of these will increase Cho’gall’s damage by 10% and the next attack will add another 32000 fire damage to the tank.

You will want a sufficient number of ranged to be on this.  Much like your normal strategy you need to stack on the back of Cho’gall for AoE interrupts.  If Cho’gall gets even a stack of Devotion it can be a wipe.  You will want two AoE interrupters (AOE fears, shadowfury and dragon’s breath are all great).  You will get four devotions total.

Cho’gall has an enrage timer that is pretty strict on this fight.  So you will need to find ways to ‘cheat the meters’ on this fight in order to  beat it.

Corrupt your Mages: Mages need to fail as much as possible to get their Corruption to max.  Easiest way to do this is stand in the grey pools on the first phase 2 ad death.  Fire mages with mage armor up are going to take reduced magic damage and should be spammed shields.  You will want a disc priest for this.  Other than the shields mages will be unhealable.  However mages should survive up until Phase 2.  Basically this adds another DPS to your raid for 75% of the fight and you can brez, soulstone, or ghoul him for Phase 3.  Mages, do yourselves a favor spam pyros and fireballs, they’re insta cast.  Warlocks can also probably get away with it, given it’ll be riskier without iceblock.  Make sure an interrupter is designated for just the mage as he will need to be away from the raid.

Skip Fire and Shadow Ads: These ads do a tonne of damage and it stacks up pretty insanely.  However you can probably handle not killing some as long as nothing stacks up.  You will need a raid wide cooldown for every shadow ad and a tank cooldown for every fire ad.  This will allow you an extra 10-15 seconds of damage on Cho’gall for every cooldown you can use.

Raid Stacking: This is the single most common way people cheat the meters.  It is as old as time itself.  The idea behind raid stacking is that you build a raid to synergize certain buffs and empower a raid set.

Phase 1 Tanking Position

Different people use different tanking positions for Phase 1.  People are going to like different scenery or may handle Phase 2 differently.  However you will need to have 35 yards of distance between the boss and phase 2 ads.  To this extent there will need to be at least 35 yards behind

The position above is pretty standard for a lot of heroics kills.  However a lot of people do not like being in the middle of that ground symbol because it masks retical spells making tanking, healing and DPSing harder (you have to assume the retical is there).  But yeah you just need to have this sort of space between the boss and Phase 2 ads.

Phase 2 – Adherants

In phase 2 an adherant will spawn.  Normally you just spread out and kill it.

In heroic you have to group up, dodge shadow crashes and interrupt mind controls.

So for this you will want to make two stacking groups.  One of them will be at range dodging shadow crashes and the other will be in melee interrupting Depravity.

Okay here’s where it gets tricky.  You will need people available to interrupt Conversion in both groups.  You should expect two in either groups.  As well you will want a consistent interrupt for Depravity (one for each ad).

There are many ways of placing the corpses of adherents.  However I would suggest using your first one as the marker at roughly 35 yards from the boss.  The next one should get dropped to the left and past your first one.  Second one to the right and past your first one.  You should have three pools decently close on each other.  If you end up getting a forth just throw it behind all of them, you probably won’t have to deal with this one.

Phase 3 – Yes THIS is Phase 3

In phase 3 pretty much half of your raid is going to get corrupted.  That’s kind of how it has to be.  The phase operates as normal except now you have these larger crusher tenticles.  You will have to ignore these.  They have too much health and deal too much damage for anyone to give any attention to.  The only thing really to pay attention with them is not to stand next to them.  The smaller tenticles you will still want to kill.  Your melee should only kill the ones that are in melee range and your ranged should only go after the ones that are at ranged.

If you have dealt with Phase 1 effectively you should have enough time to finish this Phase 3 before you get over run by the big crusher tenticles and your entire raid is unhealable.

Best of luck on your Heroic Cho’gall kill.

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Heroic Chimaeron 10-man

Well now that Chimaeron is fixed and consistent I feel confident that I can give a solid 1-shot strategy to this boss that once you get it you will be able to replicate every single time.  I’ve largely been dreading writing this simply because every time I’d write something one of my friends would say “yeah but what about when Chim does this” and I’d have no answer.

Chimaeron is a two phase fight and will represent one of the easier heroics you will do.

Phase 1

Much like on normal mode you will need two healers assigned to raid healing and one healer assigned to tank healing.  Raid healing stays mostly the same where you are using your weak sauce mana efficient heal to heal up targets who are getting gooped.

The only healing that will get a little more intense is tank healing.

In this fight you will have a choice of either using two or three tanks with one of those being a DPS tank.  The DPS tank is someone who has to be wearing plate so that’s a ret paladin, unholy DK, frost DK, fury warrior, or arms warrior.

So I will describe the two possible tank setups and you can choose which one will work for you.

Two Tank Setup:

You will have two main spec tank.  One tank has to eat all breaks and the other tank has to eat all double strikes.  This means that your main spec tank will need to be topped off constantly.

So one tank should be eating all breaks, this is the person tanking for the majority of the time.  The other tank should be eating all double strikes.

Every now and then the robot will go offline and you will have a phase called Feud.  Like in normal you deal with this by stacking up and splitting up the damage of the goop between all raid members.  Nonstacked raid members will die.  Your main tank should stay unstacked since the person tanking cannot  get gooped.

The main tank will be the solo tank during Feud which of course will be volatile.  You will need to immediately use a powerful single target cooldown on this tank.  Pain suppression, shield walls, guardian spirit, lay on hands, and any other powerful single target cooldowns will be exceptionally powerful here.  It will feel like your tank just gets one shot immediately if you don’t do this.

Healers should be spamming heals on raid except for the tank healer who should be nonstop spamming his most HPS efficient spells into the tank.  Other raid healers can choose to aid the tank with hots, shields, and instant-casts.

There will be constant goop damage happening so you will be raid healing hard.  Make sure your raid is trying to mitigate damage as much as possible.  This means nether ward (warlocks), glyph of raptor strike (hunters), mage armor (hunters), feint (rogues), anti-magic shell (death knights), dispersion (priests), shamanistic rage (enhance shamans), and Barkskin/Tranquility (druids).

The double strike tank will have no break, this is why he must be the person tanking during this phase.

As soon as Feud ends the main tank has to take it back and go back to regular roles.  By this time Break will have fallen off this tank.

You will go through three feuds total before second phase.  If you read a fourth feud you will probably be in trouble.

Three Tank Setup:

So in this setup you will use two main spec tanks and a DPS tank.  Many people who do this boss have problems dealing Break.  What ends up happening is if the double strike tank doesn’t get taunted off fast enough he/she will get a stack or two of Break.  This means when this tank is solo tanking during Feud will be taking bonus damage.  This strat favors guilds that don’t have stamina stacking Feud tanks.  Or on the other hand tanks that are not particularly geared.

In this approach your DPS tank who can be any plate wearer tanks in DPS gear and in the tanking stance/presence/aura.  Because of the robot this tank cannot possibly die.  As long as he’s topped up above 30%.  The cool thing of course is that a lot of DPS tanks will be able to heal themselves.  DPS DKs and ret paladins will do an exceptional job at this because of word of glory and death strike.  DPS warriors have some moderate self heals they can use in a tight spot.

Your first main tank will soak all of the double strikes.  it is permitted for your double strike tank and DPS tank to share breaks.

Your third tank will taunt the boss during Feud and tank it alone.  This tank should be your highest HP tank.  A feral druid will fit this role very well as he will be able to DPS while he’s not tanking.  This tank will still have to be spammed just like in the 2-tank approach except you’re removing Break from the equation.

After three feuds phase 2 will begin.

Phase 2

The push for Phase 2 is an important one.  The ideal phase 2 opening is having your tank with no break tanking and everyone topped off to 100%.  To do this you have everyone but the tank stacking up.  You will push over at 20% so make sure your DPS are stopping around 23%.  You need to let that third feud happen.  After that feud ends if you are close to 20% push it over.  There should be enough time for your healers to top up everyone while stacked.

Your two tanks will be able to soak a lot of hits and dodge/parry a lot of them as well.  You will want whoever is tanking to pop every single cooldown they have right away if they intend to survive for any amount of time.  Two tanks with all cooldowns up should be able to survive about 30-45 seconds.

Once Phase 2 pushes over it’s best that you stay stacked. Logic tells you that you should spread out so that the boss traveling around will give you more time to react and kill the boss.  This logic however fails when you realize that Chimaeron has a 5-second swing timer meaning that as soon as he targets you, you will have a full 5 seconds to react to him.  This fight is insanely good for hunters and rogues as they will be able to Evasion and Deterrence a few swings from Chimaeron.  After that they will be immediately able to vanish/feign death to interrupt his swing timer.  Obviously hunters are best to spread out as they can just disengage away and will lose no DPS time.

While this phase is going on there will be a constant ticking dot from Nefarian that will take 10% of your HP every 10 seconds.  After about 30 seconds you will stop getting 2-hit by Chimaeron and start getting 1-hit.  Healers should be DPSing during this phase with the exception of priests.  Priests can still shield players and should make every effort to get a shield up on everyone before they start DPSing.  After all the shields wear off they should reapply them all.  Obviously if you have anything like antimagic zone or power word: barrier this will help a lot too.

Best of luck on this kill.

10-man Heroic Nefarian: 500 Wipes and 100 Tips

Heroic Nefarian represents one of the harder fights in this expansion so far.  The only one that represents a harder challenge is Sinestra which as of posting this only two guilds have killed.  Heroic Nefarian is a three phase fight that will require some unique raid composition to kill.  Unlike most heroics you can’t just bring your ten best players (yet) and if you do you will find you probably just will not kill this boss.  In most of my strategies I discuss raid composition at the very beginning and break down roles that these people will do throughout the fight.  In this guide I will instead start with laying down how the fight goes and I will conclude with what you’ll want to bring to this fight.

Phase 1 – Onyxia and Nefarian

Similar to your normal attempts you will need two tanks in this phase one per dragon.  The major different in this aspect of the fight is that tanks get stomped.  In our first pull of this boss our tank just died.  The breaths hit really hard and so healers will want to top up tanks before every single breath.

This means being cautious of tail whips.  Theres a 5 degree angle a tank can position Onyxia so that you are not electrocuting the raid but you are not tail whipping the raid either.  This is something that is worth while practicing on normal mode and should be mastered.  It’s obviously not undo-able without it however it will make your kill easier.  As of a recent (March 3rd) hotfix the tail whip isn’t so wide so it opens this room for not getting tailwhipped.

As well on this phase you have the regular kiting of ads by some DPS.  A fire mage is very good for this as he can use multiple CC cooldowns to keep the ads under control, scorch on the move to pick up ads and ring of frost when all CDs have been exhausted so that the other ones will refresh.

A frost DK or a hunter will also be able to pick up ads.  Ads need to be positioned as far to the edges of the circle as possible and stacked as closely as possible.

If you do not phase 3 will be hard if not impossible.

New to this phase is Stolen Power.  Stolen Power increases your healing and damage dealt by 5% per stack with a maximum of 150 stacks.  Two people will randomly get selected for mind control and they will both get a unique bar which will have these two icons:

So how this works is every time you click the button #2 you will gain 9 stacks of stolen power.  This means if you click it 17 times you will gain the maximum effectiveness of Stolen Power.  Stolen Power lasts 8 seconds total and if you have 150 stacks obviously you are going to be doing 750% more damage for that 8 second period.

As a DPS you should save your CDs for when this comes up and then just pop them all at once as soon as you get it.

The 1 key will break the mind control.  You need to break this effect before you touch a portal that spawns.  If you touch the portal you just instantly die.  While mind controlled your character will slowly move towards the portal.

So you will want people in your raid snaring the person who gets it.  Using earth bind totems and freezing traps are great for this.  I personally used Shadowflame Snare so that it would 70% snare these people as I would use it on CD in phase 3 and use it on them in Phase 1.

Healers can use this effect to make healing easier and more mana efficient.  How much of this you take depends on your situation.  If you feel people are not going to die you can take on more stacks of it.  In later phases you will require a lot of healing and will run OOM.  The down time on healing plus the extra effectiveness of your heals will save you manas.

If you are close to an Electrocute break the mind control immediately.  Client side lag makes it so that your buffs do not get reapplied immediately and so you are likely to die to an Electrocute (crackle) if you do not cancel it in time.

Mmm kay so we’ve covered tanks taking stupid amounts of damage, kiting ads, stolen power, what else is missing…. ELECTROCUTE!

Electrocutes (also known as crackles) do very much one-shot damage in heroic mode.  If you get hit with a tail with an electrocute someone will die.  This means that for every single Electrocute in the entire fight you will need to have some sort of raid wide cooldown to save you.  Viable cooldowns include:

  1. Tranquility: Any spec druid**
  2. Divine Guardian: Protection Paladin
  3. Power Word Barrier: Discipline Priest*
  4. Anti-Magic Zone: Unholy Death Knight
  5. Spirit Link Totem (available in Patch 4.1): Resto Shaman
  6. Rallying Cry (available in 4.1): Any spec warrior
  7. Everyone in the raid using this trinket (alliance version)***

* Discipline priests in general are great at this fight.  If they can pre-shield everyone before a crackle that can also act as a cooldown for crackle.

** If you are using tranquility as a cooldown for electrocutes tranquility will need to be popped just before an electrocute so that people will top off fully before it’s done and get healed up after the fact.  It’s delicate timing.

** This trinket acts as a substitute for certain classes that will be able to do without any raid wide CDs (destruction warlocks, frost mages, rogues, and death knights).

Your raid will require 3-4 of these options available to you.  Keep in mind it doesn’t actually have to hit the entire raid, just most of it.  Obviously the totally raid wide options are going to be more powerful.  The people outside the sphere of influence of CDs will just need to be healed immediately after every crackle or pop some CD specific to their class.

For example paladins and druids can glyph their shield walls to reduce magic damage instead of physical damage.

Bad news is that you can only absorb a single electrocute in phase 1.  Onyxia charges up slightly faster and each boss has more HP.  So you take one crackle and you kill off Onyxia.  Once you do this, you will start Phase 2.

Phase 2 – Chromatic Prototype and Nefarian

So much like in normal you will want to split your raid make up into three groups.  However the complexity of these groups is going to change.

The major change in this fight is Nefarian will place a debuff on a target for 8 seconds.  At the end of 8 seconds he will do a knock back on anyone within 10 yards of that person.

So in order to neutralize this the person who gets the debuff will jump in the lava and get clear away from the group.  Afterwards the person is going to swim back.  Keep in mind the normal stacking debuff that increases lava damage will still apply.

As you can probably imagine this is going to create some increasing complexity for your platforms which used to require one interrupter and one healer.

Basically every platform has to be able to do without the regular interrupter or regular healer for 4-5 seconds.

This means every platform will require a secondary interrupt.  If you have two 10-second CD interrupters per platform that’s great and you’re good.  However if you find in balancing your group that you cannot make do realistically the secondary interrupter’s CD can be a 24-second interrupt.

Primary Interrupters (10 second CD or less):
Protection Paladin
Retribution Paladin
Blood Death Knight
Frost Death Knight
Unholy Death Knight
Mutilate Rogue
Combat Rogue
Subtlety Rogue
Feral Druid
Enhancement Shaman
Elemental Shaman
Arms Warrior
Fury Warrior
Protection Warrior

Secondary Interrupters (Under 24 seconds):
Affliction Warlock
Destruction Warlock (with Fel Hunter)
Demonology Warlock (with Fel Hunter)
Restoration Shaman
Restoration Druid
Moonkin Druid
Marksman Hunter
Arcane Mage
Frost Mage
Fire Mage
Holy Paladin

So yeah you have tones of options here.  Just make sure on every platform you have one of each from the two piles or two from the first pile.  If you do this you will have your interrupts covered for when your interrupter friend has to jump off the platform.

Okay, now the harder problem to deal with… losing your healer.

Every platform needs to be able to survive on it’s own for up to 5 seconds. Your healer will be able to heal from within the lava  However there will obviously be some down time so people will need something.  As an example a platform with a ret paladin or a prot paladin could be fine because of lay on hands and word of glory.  An enhancement shaman can maelstrom a chain heal.  Shadow priest can shield people.  Moonkin can pop out and drop some hots.  You get the idea, people with hybrid heals are great.

As well people with damage mitigation cooldowns are going to do well too.  The goal of these DPS is to reduce incoming damage as much as possible so that your healer does not fall behind on healing.

You should make sure everyone in the raid can jump back up on the platforms in good time, especially your healers.  Imagine losing an extra 5 seconds of healing time to a bad healer.

So when balancing each platform keep in mind primary and secondary interrupter per platform and make sure that your weakest link healers have high survivability specs on his/her platform.

You are going to want to burn your Blood Lust/Heroism at the beginning of this phase.  It’s mostly for healers to get everyone topped up.  Don’t worry it’s not wasted.  If you get out of this phase faster you have more time for Phase 3.  The enrage timer is no joke (unlike in most other fights).

This phase will end once one of the ads is dead.  Yes, as soon as the first one dies.  This will retract the lava slowly and anyone left on the platforms once there is no more lava will die.  So you want all ads to be near death before you kill one.  This way you can kill them all pretty fast once the first one dies and and not wipe before you finish the fight.

Phase 3 – Nefarian and the Ring of Fire

In the heroic mode Nefarian must be tanked in the middle of the room.  It is possible to tank Nefarian off to the side however guilds that have done this successfully have since switched to tanking Nefarian in the middle of the room.

Your tanks will need to communicate with each other on the direction Nefarian’s head is facing.  This is because when Nefarian breaths on the ads he refreshes the duration on their timer and thus will increase their damage over time.  The goal is so that the side of Nefarian is always going to be facing the off tank.  This will mean an almost constant rotation of the boss in a circle so your off tank doesn’t get tail whipped or breathed on.  After so many attempts your tanks will just be able to judge it on their own.

You are still dealing with phase 1 junk.  That is Stolen Power stacking, electrocutes and high tank damage.  So you will need to rotate cooldowns for every single electrocute.  As well you’ll want to deploy your normal AoE snares so that you can get 150 stolen power as often as humanly possible.  One modification is that you should break Stolen Power if you are moving towards the face of Nefarian or fire.  However remember to break it immediately if you are getting close to Electrocute.

From here it’s just a burn.  Ads can never reset their stacks or it’s a wipe.

Another thing to note is be careful with pets, especially fire elementals and infernals.  These pets are great DPS however if you get mind controlled they will do friendly fire damage.  As you increase your stacks of stolen power the damage of these pets steadily increase.  I can remember on one occasion that my imp and infernal combined with my 150 stack of stolen power 2-shot a raid member.

You may end up finding this to be the easiest phase to deal with on heroic.  If you can consistently get out of phase 2 and you’ve already done the kiting setup on normal than you should have no problems getting this kill.  The hardest part may just be getting a geared group that can meet your platform requirements.

Best of luck on getting this kill.

Edit:

April 11, 2011: Removed aura mastery as an electrocute cooldown. Added a note on tranquility.

Heroic Omnotron Defense System Guide and Tips

I’ve been dreading publishing any sort of guide on this fight specifically because it is the one fight that no one farms.  In 10-man Heroic Omnotron is almost unfarmable because of too many erratic elements in the fight.  This will represent one of the harders fights you will encounter and no amount of gearing is going to fix that.

If you’re progressing this is going to be a good thing of course because this fight and Conclave of Winds will give you something to do while you are waiting on gearing.  I can’t give a definitive way of one-shotting this boss as it will be different every single time you pull it.  Instead what I can offer you is tips on dealing with odd combinations and how exactly the fight works.

As stated you will probably not farm this encounter any time soon and you will probably just end up killing it if you get combinations that are easier to deal with throughout the whole fight.

Composition

Before anything I’d like to discuss composition.  There are variable successful options available to you depending on the balance of gear in your guild and/or people’s abilities.

This fight is one, tankable but you need one very well geared tank for this.  If you feel you need more healing or DPS and decide to turn that off tank into an off healer or half DPS remember you will need to shift positioning.

You may also want to get a misdirect available when a new robot activates.

This fight is also four healable.  The DPS requirements to complete this fight are insanely low so if you feel that raid damage or tank damage is too high for you currently just sub out a DPS for an extra healer.  All this means is that DPS have to be switching over to oozes very quickly when Toxitron is out.

Obviously you can choose to sub out a tank or a healer for a DPS.  This fight is also two healable if you have two really good healers for it.

Obviously I will say that a balanced 2-tank, 3-healer 5-DPS raid is going to be the most stable for this fight.

For DPS this fight favors ranged pretty heavily however you will want a melee or two to handle interrupts.

Before I go over the robots make sure that all dots and damage is cleared off of each robot by 40 energy (maximum 90 energy).  This means 0 damage period beyond 40 energy.  So warlocks, shadow priests, moonkins, and unholy DKs need to time their dots appropriately and switch to using moves that do not reapply dots at the appropriate time.  Too many dots up will always spell disaster.

As a rule of thumb you should try to keep everyone semi-stacked in the middle of the room for every single one of these robots.

Robot #1: Magmatron

Magmatron has two powerful and dangerous abilities to worry about.

The first is an AoE flame attack that will take everyone down to roughly 50% HP.

The second is a fixated line attack of fire that if a person is not healed through will kill a person.  This means you will want the person selected for this ability to either move away from everyone or everyone to move away from this person.  Which happens will be situational.

At the end of every phase each robot will throw up a protective shield that if damaged will have some negative repercussion.  Magmatron’s will do blasty AoE damage if it is broken.  Although it is possible to heal through this alone consider it an automatic wipe if this shield is ever broken.  Each shield will get applied at 40% Energy (they have energy bars)

A preventative step for DPS classes is to time your dots to fall off before 100%.

So yes, a lot of the stuff from normal except it all hits harder.  Think for a second any of these effects happening simultaneously with any of the other robots I’ll describe.

Robot #2: Arcanotron

Between all of the robots I think this might be the second hardest one to handle.  Arcanotron has two spells to deal with.

The first is the normal Arcane Annihilator.  This is most often the last part required to get Achieve-a-tron.  In normal Annihilator will hit for 50k.  Heroic Annihilator will hit for 100k.  Normal it’s nice to get as many of them as possible, in Heroic you HAVE TO GET THEM ALL.  If you cannot get them all you should bring in the fourth healer who during Arcanotron’s main responsibility will be to drop pre-emptive hots, shields and heals on Arcanotron’s targets.

It will obviously be far easier for two people to do interrupts than to bring in a fourth healer to try and pad people’s effective health.

The second ability is Power Generator.  This drops a pool on the ground that will increase damage done of everyone in it and also regenerate mana.  DPS and healers will need to abuse these puddles to get ahead on DPS and replenish mana.  The fight is long enough that DPS do not need to use them (although they should) but healers most indefinitely should.

Nefarian will occasionally shoot a black ice lance at the Power Generators.  This will cause the pools to expand in size and explode.  Like all effects there is a +1 yard on the visual effect so make sure you’re clear of them.

Arcanotron puts up a shield that when attacked will increase his haste.  If Arcanotron gains too much haste Arcane Annihilator will eventually be uninterruptable and will lead to the untimely death of 1-2 raid members.

Robot #3: Electron

This is one of the weaker sauce robots to deal with, however this is the one that has positional requirements.  Electron has two abilities.

Electrical Discharge is a pretty standard AoE chain lightning move.  You should moderately spread for this so it doesn’t target too many people.  It is likely to hit 2-3 targets.

The second ability Lightning Conductor causes one person to pulse AoE damage.  This person just has to be clear of hitting anyone.  Don’t make efforts to run away from people because of the secondary effect.

Nefarian will shoot a black ice lance at the target of lightning conductor every now and then. This will cause lightning conductor to transform into Shadow Conductor.  Shadow Conductor will cause everyone outside of the radius of the shadow conductor to take the damage they would have taken from lightning conductor.

This means at least one of your tanks will be taking insane damage during shadow conductor.  Also everyone should be loosely spread but close to everyone for when this hits.

When electron puts up his shield every attack done to him will make the tank take bursty damage.

Robot #4: Toxitron

This is also going to be known as Wipe-a-tron.  Toxitron is the single hardest of the robots to deal with.  Toxitron has two abilities.

The first is Poison Protocol.  Poison Protocol will spawn three ads each with roughly 300,000 HP.  These ads will chase a random raid member (except the tank tanking Toxitron).  You can obviously see this is why solo tanking this fight might get a bit chaotic.  The bombs will explode dealing 130,000 HP in damage and placing a patch of ooze on the ground that will tick for 20-25k.

Hunters/mages should be wary about using feign death or invisible as this will cause the slimes to just choose some other poor unsuspecting fool to chase.

These oozes should be kited away from the next ability.

The second ability is called Chemical Bomb.  This will place a light damaging AoE on the ground.  This increases the damage taken of anyone in it.  This effect also has a friendly fire component so any enemy units in it will take bonus damage.

As a part of good strategy you will want to try your best to move whatever boss is currently being DPSed into the pool.

Nefarian will pull everyone into the Chemical Bomb.  This is why you want ads moved away from chemical bombs.  Despite the damage boost gained from having them in the green pools the risk of a bomb hitting someone is too high.

Toxitron’s shield is the only one that you can have damage rolling on.  New applications of damage however will place a stacking dot on you.

Combinations

It’s the combinations of any two of these robots that proves to be potent.  Although I am giving tips that have worked for me in the past your composition may require something different.  Some of these are going to feel impossible to deal with, that’s why the solutions for them are so hard and co-ordination intensive to carry out.

Combination #1: Toxitron and Magmatron

Basically any combination with Toxitron is going to suck and this one is no different.

This combination is most likely going to require you to use a raid cooldown.  What’s going to happen is you will have everyone pulled into the green ooze puddle (which increases the damage you take) and Magmatron’s going to do an AoE attack.

If players do not move out of the ooze immediately they will die. Even if they move out of the ooze the raid will still be taking a lot of damage.  You will need people stacking loosely and have a spot to run to to restack for AoE heals.  You will also need an AoE raid cooldown as soon as you get sucked in.  These include aura mastery, divine guardian, power word barrier, and anti-magic zone are all going to be powerful abilities here.

Obviously as you go through this list you will find using a raid cooldown is the only available option so obviously if you get too many bad combinations you will just wipe.  If you do not have a raid wide cooldown available mini cooldowns like shield walls, frenzy/enraged regeneration, felward, iceblock, etc. can be used.  Your raid simply must be aware that this particular combination is volatile and can be an instant wipe.

Combination #2: Electron and Toxitron

The combination to worry about here is Slimes and Shadow Conductor.  As I said everyone should always be semi-spread.  When shadow conductor comes everyone stacks up.  In the shadow conductor.  The shadow conductor target has to slowly move away as your raid attempts to kite the oozes.

Remember that your DPS will have 2 second casts they are laying on the oozes.  Basically your melee won’t be able to touch these slimes so you will have to keep your ranged in mind at least until shadow conductor goes away.

Combination #3: Toxitron and Arcanotron

This is one of the easiest Toxitron combinations to deal with however it does have a unique challenge to it.

Basically in order to kill this boss you have to get every single Annihilator.  If you miss one then someone dies.

So Nefarian does this move where he pulls everyone into the ooze.  This means your two regular interrupters are going to be away from Arcanotron.  You will need someone ready with a ranged interrupt.  Most tanks have a ranged interrupt.  Obviously the more ranged trying for this one critical interrupt the better.  You can even have a resto shaman try and hit it.

Combination #4: Electron and Arcanotron

This is the easiest combination to deal with.  The only major concern is that you will want to stack your shadow conductor on top of Arcanotron and have your Electron tank move in closer (to the middle if possible).

This is just so that you can get interrupts while shadow conductor is going on.  Other than that your Arcanotron tank should be wary of where the Nefarian influenced pools are.

Combination #5: Electron and Magmatron

This is another particularly easy combination to deal with however there is one OMFG THIS SUCKS moment.

This is when you are all standing in the shadow conductor and Magmatron fixates a target for his in-line flame attack.  Obviously the target has to move out of the shadow conductor.  This person is likely to die.  There’s so much damage going around your only option is to hand of sacrifice him, guardian spirit, and pain suppression are all viable options.  Another is that said person dies and you battle rez them.

Combination #6: Magmatron and Arcanotron

The only thing to really worry about with this combination is to make sure that your raid is not in line between the two robots.  Basically the line of fire can only hit the interrupters or tank if it targets either.  This means any pools from Arcanotron that are between the two robots will have to be abandoned.

These are the six possible permutations but just because you get them doesn’t mean you will get these random crappy effects.  It’s entirely possible you’ll get the hardest combination and move through it with ease.

If you can deal with all of the combinations you will kill this fight.  It’s not unfarmable but it is far harder to farm because with the random orders it will be different every single time.  In a 25-man you will have multiple CDs to deal with every scenario possible but in 10-man you’re going to have less resources meaning you will be praying to see Toxitron as little as possible.

Heroic Theralion and Valiona 10-man

So while waiting for someone to log on we decided to pull this boss on heroic and see what happens.  What happened was we almost one-shot it.  Of course we made some plans for this boss, as should you.

There are two main differences between this boss on Normal and Heroic. Before I get down to how to deal with them I’ll describe them.

(1) Tank Phasing: The boss applies a stacking debuff on the tank.  Once this debuff hits 5 it will dump your tank and anyone within 15 yards of him into the twilight realm.

(2) Twilight Captains: In the twilight realm there are these dragonkin twilight captains.  Outside of the twilight realm they will appear as unattackable beams of light that shoot random beams of light at raid members.  Over time these twilight captains will stack up so someone will have to kill them in the twilight realm.

Alright so let’s do some low responsibility DPS training!

People With Nothing To Do Training!

In different fights different people will have important roles that if they do not perform them well and specifically, it’s a wipe.  This section is for all those interchangeable people who do not matter on this fight, your surplus DPS.

When each drake is in the air they will cast something on the raid.  The first drake in the air is Theralion.  Theralion will cast Twilight Blast on your raid.  From your strats you’ll know you spread for this because it is an AoE attack that targets one player.  What they don’t tell you is… it is dodgeable.

I wouldn’t suggest this for less mobile DPS classes like moonkins and warlocks.  But for classes like mages, hunters and melee who are insanely mobile dodging it will be worth while.  It’s definitely worth while trying to dodge it later in the fight as things get more insane and your healers are griping for mana.

The position for the attack is decided as he finishes casting.  So you let the dragon cast and move very quickly shortly after.  If you are a DPS in this fight I’d use some of your initial learning wipes to master this as it will most indefinitely come in handy later.

Another important note for DPS is that you can DPS either (or both simultaneously) drakes.  This means even if you are too far away from one drake to DPS it you should try and look for the other while you make your way to the main target.

Now that, that is covered.

2. Shadow Realm!

Your tank will phase into the shadow realm, that sucks.  You will take advantage of this by sending some DPS down with him to deal with the captains.  You want DPS that can tank magic damage and do a lot of nice bursty damage.  Melee with good mobility work fine.

What did we use?

I don’t want to say that it’s an exploit but it’s most definitely not something blizzard would have thought of when designing this encounter.  Basically instead of taking a group of people down to deal with this you take down a single Sub Rogue,

Sub rogues have insane numbers of survival tools, including feint reducing damage even more, recuperate granting DPS, killing mobs giving more recuperate and slice and dice, and most importantly shadowstep granting burst damage and mobility.  A sub rogue will need no healers and can stay in the twilight realm permanently working down ads.

The alternative is sending two DPS and a healer down to deal with this.  It’s a poor solution but if you have no rogue it is the route you will have to take.  The main difference here is once all the ads are dead your two DPS and healer will come back up.  They will only go down when the tank hits five stacks to clean up ads and then come back up.  With two DPS down there they will die insanely fast.

These ads have rouglhy 80,000 health so it doesn’t take much to destroy them.

3. Did Someone Say Tank Swap?

Tank swap on this fight is based on your composition and how confident you are in your DPS.  We used a single DPS in the twilight realm permanently so we felt we could afford to lose an extra DPS to bring in that extra tank.  However if your DPS is weak you really will not be able to afford it.

If you can afford the extra tank your off tank taunts the boss as soon as your main tank is transported to the shadow realm and goes back to doing his thing (which ends up being nothing).

An alternative approach is to have DPS either tank it or kite it.  Hunters and plate DPS can handle this fine.  The boss should be kept relatively centered so that the tank can pick it up when he comes from the twilight realm, try your best.

4. Meteor Positions

While Theralion is on the ground you may remember that Valiona is up top shooting Meteors at people.  In normal mode you would handle this by stacking a melee and a ranged group and then moving your ranged group around to dodge big piles of void badness.  In heroic this will not work because two targets will be selected for the AoE debuff that pulses based on your damage or healing.  With two of those in your raid you’d just blow up your raid.

So instead you will have  your regular melee stacked group on top of the tank and your range spreading around the boss.

It should be noted that you only need to split meteor damage with one person.  I was awfully far from the boss and unable to get into melee in time so I just followed one of our healers around until it hit.  On one instance I netherwarded and soaked a full meteor myself (not suggested at all).  Instead what you want is a constant weaving of ranged running into melee and running back out after meteor lands.

It’s honestly not even a huge DPS loss.  I still pulled 22k DPS on our first kill while constantly being meteored.

You will find black stuff spreading all over the place so make sure that people are spread out in the first place.  Much like in normal you want to be as close to the black stuff you dodged so that the next time he targets it on you he will cover less surface area with black stuff.

You will end up finding  yourself adopting this approach into your Normal strategy (if you do it on alts) as it ends up being easier anyway.  It’s a healing and DPS upgrade by doing it this way.

Best of luck on this kill, if you’re following a rational progression path this one should fall over easily for you.

Heroic 10-man Magmaw:NERFED (Strat Included)

Well it appears that the night we decided to give our first few tries at Magmaw a hotfix came out to make the fight far more manageable in 10-man.  Most of the nerfs come from the AoE which was very hard to heal without stacked groups for raid healing and raid cooldowns.  After the nerfs these AoEs are hitting like a wet noodle and as long as no one stands in fire.

So the boss has two phases in Heroic difficulty however the second phase is largely unimportant.  I say this because you just heal slightly more than you did before and the phase is dealt with.

Anyway there are many simple simultaneous mechanics on this fight you will need to deal with.

1. Parasites

In normal parasites spawn semi-regularly and require most of your DPS to switch to them and kill them.  They have quite a bit of health so usually people assigned to kill parasites end up just being stuck on them the whole fight doing nothing but parasites.  Additionally when a parasite melee swings you they spawn additional parasites.  In some well geared guilds they’ve used a tank to tank all parasites because of how little damage they do.

In heroic you have to assign just one person to kill parasites.  If you have more than one person on parasites you will not have enough DPS for the remainder of the fight.  The preferred kiter for this is a mage, however a hunter will work as well just not as effectively.  What you want is a high burst DPS AoE and high consistent AoE damage.

So these people are going to be kiting around with some sort of AoE snare.  The preferred will be earthbind but well placed traps can work too (just not preferrable at all and will make your life hell).

So every time the parasites spawn he picks them up and kites them around attempting to do close to max aoe DPS while on the move.  Basically at all times he will have two waves of parasites.  Killing parasites is obviously not that important, they just have to be kited and die eventually.

Mage is going to be optimal because of the constant on the move damage and the massive amount of cleaving that will get done with other NPCs.

Another note along with the normal meteor effect that you have to dodge he will also spread fire around.  If your DPS is fine you can stack for more healing.  If your healing is fine you can spread to minimize DPS down time from moving from the meteor and the fire.

2. Bone Ads

Semi-frequently Magmaw will spawn a single bone ad who has a decent amount of health.  This will really be the test if you have enough DPS to kill this boss.  You need an off tank to continually pick these up and try and tank them decently close to the boss so that cleaves will hit the boss.  You will need at least two DPS 100% on the bone ads (yes even during head phases).  The bone ads will need to be placed near the head so that they die appropriately.

You should end up with two bone ads after head phase.  Off tank needs to pop a cooldown if this is the case.  As soon as head is done DPS switch back to bone ads and get them down fast.  This will basically make or break your fight..

3. Healing

Healing in this fight can feel insane.  I would get at least two people who do decent raid healing and one person who can cover the tanks mostly by themselves.  Obviously during heavy tank damage parts (Mangle) you will need a healer to help on the tank.

The bulk of the damage is going to come from a move called Spew.  Spew will hit everyone in the raid for about 40-50k damage in 10-man.  This has to be quickly healed up in time for the next spew to hit.  You’re looking at one spew every 20-25 seconds.

Healing Spew is pretty light compared to it’s older version.  However it is still worth while to blow some AoE raid dmg reduction cooldowns.  Prot pally Divine Guardian, disc barriers, and unholy DK anti-magic zones are all going to be good soakers for this.

4. Phase 2: Random Shadow Damage

When phase two hits make sure you clean up all the ads.  In phase 2 there are no more ads, also no more pillars of flame.  A lot of the harder elements of the fight just go away.  This is when you lust/herosim and burn him down.  Healing will get slightly harder but far lighter healing than Spew.

If you do it right you will barely be aware that this phase even happened.  Make sure to lust on the head phase closest to 25%.  Try to push the boss during this time otherwise it will make this part of the fight so much harder and healing will actually matter.  We only needed one tranquility for our first kill, our second kill it was pushed wrong and it required argent defender, tranquility and one sacrificial gnome to get the kill.

Suggested Progression Path for Cataclysm

Well having gotten down over half of the heroic difficulties so far I thought I’d take this time to list out the progression path I feel a new guild should take for non-heroic and heroic content.  These are based on the gear requirements for the boss and the mechanic difficulties of learning them.

Progression Path:

  1. Argaloth – Baradin Hold: Easiest fight to learn. Just need healers who will dispel (you can 2-heal this if your healers are fully blues) and DPS to do about 10k DPS each.  Downside is this boss will most likely drop PvP epics which you’ll probably be using for your DPS initially anyway.  Tanking is extremely light so maybe a all blues or mostly blues with a purple will cover tanking.
  2. Halfus Wyrmbreaker – Bastion of Twilight: This fight will largely represent a gear check. 10k DPS per DPSers, which you should have already from Baradin’s Hold.  Difficulty will vary by the week so with the only thing being continuous is the need for a hit capped player to do interrupts.
  3. Magmaw – Blackwing Descent: You will need mostly ranged from here on out.  Challenge is pretty light just make sure you are bringing classes with powerful AoE.  Roughly the same difficulty as Halfus. Single tank this fight for a higher success rate.
  4. Omnitron Defense System – Blackwing Descent: DPS requirements for this are lower than Magmaw and Halfus.  However co-ordination requires are slightly higher.  DPS need to be aware of when to stop DPS (50 energy) and make sure no dots are ticking after that 50 energy point.  Healing is very light and tanking is very light.
  5. Conclave of Wind – Throne of the Four Winds: The damage on this fight is pretty weak except for the tank/healer on frost.  The only big thing challenge wise for this fight is having a healer and DPS for the Wind platform who can dodge tornadoes and a spinning cone attack.  We had a healer jump on this platform on heroic without ever having done it thinking it was easy and 4/4 of our first wipes were to her just getting shot off, so it takes some getting used to.
  6. Valiona and Theralion – Bastion of Twilight: Healing on this fight is pretty extreme, but if you can heal it you can kill it with as many DPS dead as you want.  It’s also single tank so don’t be afraid to throw in some extra DPS.  Fight will require minor co-ordination regarding stacking, unstacking and moving as a group.  Nothing you can’t handle by this point.
  7. Atramedes – Blackwing Descent: This fight is easier DPS wise, healing wise, and tank wise than any fight you have done so far.  It can and has been 5-manned (1 tank 1 healer 3 DPS) with great success.  It is the only fight in this dungeon that gets harder as you add more players.  This fight is personal responsibility so people with high sound will die.  As well you’ll want to bring some classes that can move fast to kite and hit gongs appropriately.  I’ve solo healed this in half blues, tanked this in blues, and DPSed this in PvP gear.
  8. Maloriak – Blackwing Descent: Two phase/two tank fight with very simple boss mechanics.  Only remotely challenging part is in the final phase where you need a competent tank who will be able to kite the boss appropriate without getting hit by lines of fire.
  9. Twilight Ascendant Council – Bastion of Twilight: A lot of the mechanics of this fight are simple.  Phase 1 is largely just splitting up DPS appropriatey.  Phase 1 is switching between being in the air (hitting tornadoes) and being on the ground (earthquake).  The whole fight is basically getting the mobs down low enough so that phase 3 doesn’t last as long.  If you can master phase 1 and 2, phase 3 should be a one-shot.
  10. Chimaeron – Blackwing Descent: Little bit of an asterisk by this boss because he’s not that easy for healers.  Tanks have a pretty simple job and DPS just have to spread, stack and DPS.  Healers on the other hand have to time heals appropriately and make sure they land appropriately.  The gearing requirements for healers and tanks on this fight is insanely low because of how the boss mechanics work, however if people are not precise about what they are doing it is a wipe.
  11. Cho’gal – Bastion of Twilight: Lots of boss mechanics to worry about here.  Much like Atramedes there is a bar measuring you messing up so you’ll not want a bar of this stuff before the final phase.  It took us five attempts to get this on alts (adjusting to our new roles). It’s not a terribly hard final boss but you will need to figure out what you have for snaring ads, AoEing ads, interrupting people channeling Cho’gal and killing ads effectively in the second phase of the fight.
  12. Al’akir – Throne of the Four Winds: Challenge level on this fight is pretty high because there’s quite a bit going on at once here.  If you get phase 1 down getting phase 2 down is insanely easy (since it just requires timing killing ads).  Phase 3 is a little hard to get used to as most guilds are probably not telling people to look for tells.  Hint hint: in this fight the tell for moving up or down is a transparent storm cloud forming where you are.
  13. Heroic Halfus Wyrmbreaker – Bastion of Twilight: Yes, heroic Halfus is easier than Nefarian.  All drakes will be up in heroic so you will need geared healers, tanks and DPS.  I’ve written a guide on how to approach the drakes already.
  14. Nefarian – Blackwing Descent: The final boss for Blackwing Descent is no walk in the park.  Every aspect of this fight needs to be well tuned, planned and precise.  I’ve written a list of tips that will help kill the 10-man version of this boss.  Just make sure you balance DPS on your platforms in phase 2, push three crackles in phase 1, and make sure your Onyxia tank is able to kite ads.
  15. Heroic Atramedes – Blackwing Descent: If you didn’t need to kill Nefarian to unlock Blackwing Descent heroic modes, Nefarian would be further down the list.  Atramedes on heroic is mostly the same except things that caused sound cause more sound, you have little imps spawning from portals that must be DPSed down and Nefarian will burn one gong for every gong you use (so you can only use them for air phase and hitting gongs).  This essentially means that no one can screw up… however it’s REALLY hard to screw up on this fight because of how similar it is to regular (and how good you’ve become at farming regular).
  16. Heroic Magmaw – Blackwing Descent: As of a hotfix on March 15th, Magmaw represents the third heroic difficulty boss you will want to attempt.  Blizzard massively nerfed the spew AoE and the second phase shadow AoEing in 10-man.  I’m in the process of writing a detailed guide for this.  Just make sure you have a mage or a hunter, three strong healers and some badass single target DPS.
  17. Heroic Chimaeron – Blackwing Descent: As hard as this is on regular the heroic version of this boss isn’t much of a step up.  The main difference in 10-man is that he will do double strikes and his regular attacks during Feud meaning that you will need a lot of tank healing and raid healing going on during here.  Another thing is he has more health which means Phase 2 lasts longer.  For this you’ll want a hunter or a rogue to evasion/deterrence tank after you run out of tanks.  Hunter/warlock pets can also take 2-3 hits as well if your warlocks/hunters feign/shatter before they take any damage.
  18. Heroic Maloriak – Blackwing Descent: This fight is definitely not easy.  I’ve laid out a lot of the troubles you will have with this fight here.  Most important thing for this fight to work on is avoidable damage while maximizing DPS.  This is a list of our most recent kill’s sludge damage.  Might seem odd that the DPS who are taking the least damage here are the ones who are doing the most damage.
  19. Heroic Conclave of Wind – Throne of the Four Winds: This fight is pretty extreme in responsibility and I have outlined them here.  Everyone in this group should be pretty close to full epics.  If you hit this point you’re at a progression point that will be pretty gear dependent.  Some guilds have done it with weaker gear but that’s after 400+ attempts per boss.
  20. Heroic Valiona and Theralion – Bastion of Twilight: This fight doesn’t ramp up in difficulty too much.  You use the same basic strategy with the exception of a tank swap.  Of course, this fight is only easy if you have enough gear to kill Conclave on heroic.  Otherwise you will find yourself having to use cooldowns for blackouts and some bad ass DPS to get this thing down before your healers OOM.
  21. Heroic Omnitron Defense System – Blackwing Descent: Much like the double dragons this boss will fall over pretty easily with gear.  Without gear the healing will feel insane and DPS will feel like those slimes just never seem to die.  But with gear you will feel like the differences in this fight are minimal.  I’m sure by the time you’re here you will have a couple of weeks of heroic boss kills behind your belt so you’ll have a nice chunk of gear.
  22. Heroic Nefarian – Blackwing Descent: A lot of people suggest you move the boss to the middle and alternate his breath direction for heroic.  This may be optimal but not necessary.  Instead you should just practice your tanks kiting path so that he can kite in a circle.  Another thing to note is that breaths hit like a truck now.  Should also note his health doesn’t increase so the timing on crackles is going to be exactly the same.
  23. Heroic Cho’gal – Bastion of Twilight: Heroic Cho’gal will be a very easy fight for you if you are geared appropriately.  The major difference is the need for AoE damage.  Each time Cho’gal summons an ad he will summon two of them.  This means that twice as many slimes will come out.  This of course means that at that point where you had so many slimes you could barely deal with it…. well that time will come almost immediately.
  24. Heroic Twilight Ascendant Council – Bastion of Twilight: The fight on normal was pretty hard.  So add in more health, more damage and scarier AoE this fight can get hectic.  You’ll note that every single phase will last about a minute or two longer and phase 3 DPS will be tight.  The two ads at the end of phase 1 and phase 2 have to be between 12-26% minimum for you to have a shot at this (dots sometimes push these mobs down even lower than 25% while they become inactive).  Once again like a lot of these fights this one is left until later because it relies very heavily on gear.
  25. Heroic Al’akir – Throne of the Four Winds: This fight has a high skill base and gear base.  Between this one and Nefarian you should do the heroic version of which ever one your guild does better on normal.  A lot of people struggle with Al’akir in Phase 3.  If you find Nefarian to be easier for you than Al’akir at this point in your farm week than by all means, do Heroic Nef first.
  26. Sinestra – Bastion of Twilight: After you have cleared every boss in Bastion of Twilight on heroic you unlock Lady Sinestra who is the primary Consort of Deathwing.  It only has one difficulty and can only be summoned while your lock out is set to heroic.  The only guilds that have successfully cleared this boss have done so after at least a full month of farming heroic level bosses.

Good huntin’