Thursday: Heroic Farm, Zul
Heroic is becoming more of a cakewalk on early bosses. We went from struggling on MOTHER and Fetid to 1-shotting both!
We have a new strategy for Vectis (discussed last week) and it worked beautifully. Omega vectors aren’t stacking as poorly (though we could still improve upon it) and everyone can reach the boss. Healers are always within range…etc. It’s also much easier to step away if you’ve got too many stacks.
On Zek, we had a very late wipe on account of add spawns, a problematic orb, and pain donuts. Whoops. let’s just forget that ever happened. That being said, he was otherwise unproblematic.
We got a good look at Zul this week. He’s a problem in phase 2. Previously we’ve been sort of skipping the tank mechanic on Normal based on big DPS and general survivability, but it’s obvious that we won’t be able to skip it this time! We had issues of focusing the wrong mobs (or focusing the boss), poor interrupt rotations, issues of stunning the hexers far away, etc. In general we worked to clean up performance and got a 9% pull in.
Raid Lead thoughts: DPS (especially ranged DPS) with low damage on crushers and hexers will be benched. We have a ton of incidental cleave and don’t need to be focusing the crawgs at all, and any ranged DPS tunneling the boss is simply costing us too much. Ranged should almost always be focusing the Crusher when the tank runs her away from the group, because that will ensure that she gets DPS’d down by the time a second Crusher can spawn. We also learned that FoN/Treants work well at taunting crawgs away from DPS or tanks out of the main group when doing mechanics, but generally fail to hold aggro/die too fast in the middle of the AoE shitstorm on top of the boss.
Friday: Zul and Mythrax
The night was interesting. For one, Zextol was not there to lead, which meant that Quetz and Foxxie were on crackdown “no fun and no bullshit” mode for the night, heh heh. We were determined to get Zul down and make Raid Dad proud! Fox and Telann were on tank duty for the night, which meant that we had 2 raid leads in tank position to nail down the mechanic and hopefully pass the knowledge on in following weeks.
The Warlords spoke a lot the previous night and before the pull about strategy, dos and don’ts, etc.
We noticed, looking at the logs, that some high-output DPS were at the bottom of the charts Thursday for priority add (hexer, crusher) damage. Folks were given a general warning, and I’m happy to say that everyone took it to heart and improved! I like to give credit where credit is due and will name Jibbles as an example of an excellent raider – he listened to the leads and went from low damage on priority adds Thursday to literally topping the charts at just utterly destroying Crushers on Friday. This sort of modification has a butterfly effect throughout the raid – he didn’t die to Crawg damage early on, so he was continuing to pump out big damage the entire fight; tanks were taking less damage, healers were keeping mana for longer, not blowing big defensive CDs early, etc – meaning better chance at a kill in dicey end phases.
We’re running into some issues with Hexers being stunned (rather than silenced) halfway to the boss, making it hard to cleave down. Please – save your stuns for when Hexers are casting the otherwise uninterruptible Congeal Blood. Otherwise, allow those with silences to interrupt Bloodshard and allow the DKs to drag them in. If you continually stun them halfway to the boss, you’re wasting a lot of cleave damage and drawing the fight out much longer. You’re also wasting a stun that could be used on Congeal Blood, which is a much more important cast to interrupt.
Minions of Zul:
Blood Elves and Priests can both purge these effectively; if you’re not purging, you’re hurting yourselves and the raid. DHs especially benefit from purging, so be sure to be on the lookout for these little guys!
Pool of Darkness:
This is everyone’s job, and requires effective communication throughout each phase. If you’re a melee character and you see an unsoaked pool nearby, stand in it and call out for a ranged person to replace you. Don’t leave until your replacement has arrived! In phase 2, those with immunities (like Paladins) should be at the ready to soak a pool that winds up in blood. Ideally this doesn’t happen because the raid is stacked mid and the blood is along the far edge…but we all know that ideals aren’t reality. Paladin shield, mage ice block, hunter turtle shell, and DH netherwalk are all immunities for this situation.
Ideally, the tanks point Zul away from the raid in the middle in Phase 2. They swap at 2 (or 3?) stacks, and drop the blood right on the edge when the debuff drops, then run back in and take over for the other tank. This allows the DPS plenty of space behind them to run to the edge when affected by the fear, without running across a blood pool.
If you have yellow (star) marker, run north. If you have orange (condom/shield/nipple) marker, run south. Star = north star = run it north! This way you’ll always be running to the correct spot.
Otherwise…good job! We’ve been lock-gating to the boss at the start to save pull time, and lusting between 45 and 43% health based on add placement / spawns. After trimming a few underperformers, we started getting him into the 20% range on each pull, until we finally – by the skin of our teeth – pulled out a kill (with 18/22 people dead).
Watch our successful Zul kill from Bloodlust onwards on Miatreeleafa’s youtube channel:
This kill tied us up at 6/8 for the #1 Horde spot on the server.
Facing Mythrax felt a lot like facing Fetid after MOTHER. It was a vacation! The strategy between normal and heroic didn’t change much. One noticable change to our strategy is to stack DPS and Heals on top of one add, and leave 1 tank, heal, and 1 DPS with many interrupts on the other add. this meant the add swarms would be close together for cleaving and not having to chase them across the room.
We had a few decent pulls, but got overwhelmed and died shortly after the add phases got heated. We then changed our strategy slightly: rather than blowing all our 2-3 minute DPS cooldowns at the start of the fight, we used them during the first add spawn phase. This allowed us to decimate the large adds quickly, and the cooldowns were back for the second add phase (and lust). This is similar to our approach to Kin’Garoth in Antorus: use cooldowns on adds. Literally the moment we changed to this strategy, we got the kill.
For those keeping track…we’re now the #1 Horde raiding guild on Aerie Peak.
Sunday: Bonus G’huun Practice Night
On account of having a G’huun lockout, we wanted to practice and get a feel for him. Mostly, we spent the night working on getting orbs in incredibly fast. Basically, we should have the first 3 orbs in by the time the first troublesome worm add spawns. We’re focusing more heavily on our solo orb runners and getting them to be fast and efficient with their dunks. A few folks are still struggling, but we saw great improvement both in solo runners and in the teams of 2. We had 2 fights where we got all 6 orbs in.
I’m providing the logs as a courtesy, but I don’t expect folks to look at them too hard for DPS. Be aware if you ran into oatmeal balls. Watch the replay for positioning errors. Make sure you got any kind of Dark Bargain stack. Etc.
Monday: Alt Night
I got us another no-taloc no-mother lockout (as evidenced by the above log for G’huun). It worked out well, as once again we killed G’huun at juuuuust under the 2 hour mark. Ideally we’ll be able to do a full clear in 2 hours soon enough, but this works well.
We had 1 wipe on Mythrax because people were not interrupting adds and were not focusing down the big adds. DPS was spread too thin. Once we fixed that issue, he went down easy.
I give props to Harm for tanking his first raid with us and doing a great job alongside Rip. We also welcomed a few newcomers this tier, and had several people on alts (and of course, someone asking if I have an alt. HAH. Meme.) or on different specs than normal. Corig proved he can heal or DPS and the rest of us are total scrubs in comparison.
Orb running went relatively well, with some newcomers soloing successfully their first time with us and getting their first look at the strats for doing so (Widrick on DPS, Nari, and Tusker were all first-time solo runners with us). Others were quick on their feet to react and save stuck orb runners, which is just what we’ve been looking for.
This week, Deathhoss was kind enough to save a G’huun lockout, so we’ll be starting on him Thursday. After we down him (I have faith in us!) we can go back into regular heroic, or look at Mythic Taloc.
Soon we’ll start looking at Mythic in general (how pumped are you guys to do Mythic raiding?!), but the warlords have to figure out where that leaves heroic in the mix. Zul through G’huun drops a ton of good loot for a lot of specs, which is why we tend to skip taloc and mother on alt nights. Whether we look for a similar heroic lockout without Taloc and MOTHER, or whether we simply clear as far as we can, is uncertain. We don’t want to stop doing Heroic entirely, as there are still many good rewards, and that would presently leave a large gap between “alt geared” and “mythic geared” players. We will also be coming up with ilvl requirements for it. In the meantime, consider pugging bosses on Heroic that you’ve missed during the week, and keep running M+.
We’re still benching some people for low DPS, or letting them squeak by. If you’ve been benched more than once, please feel free to reach out to us. We’ll try help you get your damage on track, but make sure to check out this post first.
Congratulations to Lillithh and Choochoobear for making Vanguard for the first time; congrats to Kamahl and Pickpocket for re-earning their Vanguard status. Check ’em all out on the Raid Team page!