Three Two One licketty split!
They told me so, they told me and told me. We won’t get anything done if we’re splitting up our (already meager) 3-day raid week into 10 and 25-man attempts. It just won’t happen. When you’re trying to learn fights and expect to spend whole nights on one or two bosses it’s unreasonable to expect any kind of progress over the course of one or two nights.
That’s why last night, despite having the roster for 25, we once again split into tens.
Ya know what? It actually felt really nice!
First we went to Freya, because two or three of the raiders had seen the fight and would be able to help along the rest of us.
I’m pleased to say we only wiped twice. Once was on Freya herself, but the first time was on one of the guardians. I don’t remember his name but he’s the first one you’re likely to encounter, and he stands to the right when you enter the Conservatory of Life.
We didn’t know what he’d do, but as we fought we noticed two abilities, a ground smash, and something to the effect of crushing stone. He also applied a broken bones debuff to the tanks.
We quickly noticed that the ground smash was a general AoE. We had people just stand there and take it, but in 25-man I’ve got a sneaking suspicion that this will be much more deadly.
The ability that wiped us was the Crushing Stone. It pops up a raid warning and tosses the tank back. It doesn’t look like much, but if the tank gets hit after they are tossed back, well, you’ll have a dead tank. So our second attempt on him saw us with itchy taunt fingers and as soon as we saw that raid warning we would taunt off each other. Worked like a charm and in no time flat we had a dead guardian.
The second little surprise of the night was Thorim’s trash. One applies a stacking lightning debuff and the other a stacking physical damage debuff.
The first pack we killed by each tank just standing there and eating it. The second we played ‘catch’ with the mobs. About five stacks in and we’d taunt off each other. Apart from some aggro issues (which can easily be remedied by making sure the DPS knows we’ll be doing this) the pulls went MUCH more smoothly.
While Freya went down relatively easily, Thorim gave us a good deal more trouble. For ten-man, on our successful run, we took myself (Bear tank), a rogue, a hunter, and a resto druid into the tunnel. We’d meant to have one more in there but he had gotten confused the previous two attempts and we noticed we weren’t having any trouble getting through, so for what ended up being our kill shot we left him outside.
Going through the tunnel:
Kill the acolytes first. ABSOLUTE TOP PRIORITY! Then focus down one of the other adds, then focus down the third. When the third was at about 25% or so I would start moving forward towards the next pack.
For the first boss -> Have someone call out to go Left or Right. This is similar to Skadi in Utgarde Pinnacle. When you get into the round room stay towards the centers. The walls are not safe.
When the Acolyte and one extra are dead, and the third is getting close, rush in to engage. As soon as he’s engaged he’ll stop casting his rushing-AoE. Tank him in a corner. Every so often he might rush. He didn’t do this often, and it felt like a glitch, but be aware of the possibility.
For the second boss -> This is a gauntlet in the spirit of Zul Aman. The goal is to make it through quickly enough that you don’t get more than one set of adds.
Pull the first group and kill them in the doorway. DO NOT run in to aggro the group. If you do, you’ll aggro the second group and if you have two acolytes it will be next to impossible to kill them both. ONLY ONE ACOLYTE AT A TIME!
Same rules apply to this trash as the last one. You need to be quick and agressive. Once the Acolyte is down and the extra add is close move forward and pull the second group. The DPS should be able to kill the extra add before you get within melee range of the Acolyte, at that point kill the Acolyte then start backing up.
As you back up the DPS will finish off the extra add. By the time you’re 1/2 – 3/4 the way up the ramp you’ll notice more adds coming in from behind you. There will be 1-2 regular mobs and an Acolyte. The Acolyte always comes last but you ABSOLUTELY MUST kill it first. You’ll be tanking the boss at this point too (to prevent further adds from spawning) and you’ll want to finish off the extra adds before working on the boss.
This one casts bombs
If you’re the bomb you won’t be able to move, so call it out in voice chat or pay close attention to your raid warnings because whoever is NOT the bomb needs to boogie to get away from whoever IS.
Picking Fights with Thorim:
After the second boss is dead now it’s time to really rock. Run forward WAIT! DON’T STEP ON THE CIRCLES! Yeah, they may look like innocent architectural details, the likes of which are peppered all throughout Ulduar, but don’t be fooled. They will own your face. If you step in them it will spawn a purple barrier (a-la Malygos) and you’ll be frozen in place for a time.
I don’t know how long you’ll be frozen or if you take any damage while frozen, but you’re loosing precious time. Time during which the rest of your raid is fighting for their lives. The one time we did get frozen it wasn’t very long before the rest of the raid in the arena was dead and Thorim had turned around to finish us off.
So, stick to the edges, and have a druid or rogue spring, or a mage blink, either way, get to thorim as quickly (and safely!) as you possibly can. Once you get to him he’ll do an emote and then jump down into the arena. You should probably follow him.
Now He’s Really Pissed:
Here’s the real fight. He does a debuff to the tanks that reduces their armor by a crazy amount. There’s a raid warning and tanks should keep an eye out for it. Again, itchy taunt fingers are a MUST. You CANNOT tank with this debuff on, trust me, you’ll pancake otherwise.
Ranged and healers need to spread out (within reason, see below). He casts a chain lightning that multiplies in damage every time it chains. Ten yards is fine, range-finders are your friend.
Electric Ant Trails. This is what we dubbed them after a few attempts, and it’s really exactly what they look like. When you see the ant trails (they’re electric and close to the ground) make sure you’re on the opposite side of the boss from them. He’ll send out a shock that covers approximately 1/4 of the room in the direction the ant trails had been headed.
This will one-shot most people, especially if they’re not topped off.
The entire raid needs to stay on their toes. This is a pretty mobile fight but exciting and a LOT of fun when you finally get it right.
At the end of this kill I was breathing heavy, my heartrate was up and I was grinning from ear-to-ear. We spent the majority of the night (close to two hours) working on this boss and when he finally dropped we all felt that sweet sweet exultant taste of rising to and overcoming a challenge that had been so lacking in the Naxxramas raids.
To add the icing on the cake…
THORIM DROPS TIER SHOULDERS! (on normal)
I won them.
Maer might call bullpucky, as I’m on the loot council, and have a thing for shoulder armor, but I can promise that protocol was followed and I was most definitely not abusing the system.
And now, I’ll go take a stroll around Dalaran and allow my new shoulders to have fun mooning people.