We've been raiding for about 10 weeks now, and most of our core raiders have reached a cap with their gear and we consistently clear 8 or 9 bosses every week quite easily. Whenever I get to this point in a raiding tier, I assume that if we have too-easy a night, we're farming and I have no interest in farming, so I immediately push for progression.
This week was one such night. I wanted to get started on the end-wing bosses and I chose Cho'gall. For some reason we started stumbling a bit on Ascendant Council on Tuesday and it took us a couple of wipes to get through it which cut into our time but we got to Cho'gall with about an hour left and we'd only pulled him maybe four or five times before only getting as far as 40% or so with three-healers.
With an hour to go, we started to experiment, pulling with two healers first, failing miserably, then with three, and doing better, but the fight was going on way too long and people were building up stacks of Corruption. So, we called it after a handful of pulls, came back last nigth, replaced a missing druid with a hunter, had our hunter swap to her holy priest, had our Restoration Shaman go Elemental, and began wiping. An hour or so in, it was working - kind of. We were consistently getting sub-30% wipes but no phase-2 yet.
That's when our Shaman frustrated with his DPS output suggested that maybe he should two-heal with the Druid instead, and the Priest can go back to her 14k DPS hunter. The thought had never occurred to me so I immediately approved and bang, first attempt with the comp got us to 24%. We got into Phase 2 but exploded due to super-high stacks of Corruption. We knew the comp we needed to get this done, now.
Every pull after that was cleaner, and cleaner. Add interrupts started to get better, we began moving the Adherents further up the stairs, the double-hunter traps were brilliant for AoE and we started to skip the fourth wave of Fester Blood completely.
At about an hour left, we hit our best attempt - getting him to 200k before we wiped, again due to high corruption.The raid began to get excited, and we rushed back in, eager for another pull. Then the dreaded Infinite Turtle Theory curse began to hit - two attempts were wasted when our Mage disconnected. Another one where I taunted Cho'gall from across the room rather than the add and got myself killed. But we were still pushing further and further, things were going well. It looked like we'd have a kill and with about 20 minutes to go on the raid, we hit phase 2, with everyone sitting below 25% corruption.
Hero was called, we burned the tentacles down and then swapped to Cho'gall, his health plummeted and tank taunts happened, and tentacles died. Then, Hero ran out and his health began to slow, 5%, 3%. Healer throughput began to slow down and I had to start WoGing to stay alive. I was all out of cool-downs and the other tank dropped. Cho'gall spun to me with me at less than 25% health and with forbearance hanging over my head. I hit the TB trinket and hopped for RNG to keep me up. But RNG is a fickle bitch and I dropped like a stone.
His health was at 0% - 50k with two people alive. They tried their best but the last person dropped with his health at 20k and a full line of DoTs ticking. Heartbreaking.
The pull after that was half-hearted at best and we pushed him to within a couple of million healths from zero before we wiped and I sighed, "We're done," into Vent and that was that. What a brutal night.
But at least we know we're in the range of being able to kill him, we have the healing composition necessary, people's gear will only get better, and I'm hoping to report back with a kill-shot next week. Also, I'm super glad and excited that we got to this stage after only maybe 4 hours of actual attempts, maybe 20 in total with a lot of different healing comps. After what I'd read of people spending 40, 50 hours of wiping on this guy, I was a bit worried but I'm super excited and stoked to move on from him to the other two final bosses.
I've decided to push a lock-out next week and just go straight to Cho'gall. I can get a bit tunnel-visioned when I'm pushing for progression. Al'Akir after Cho'gall, and then big-boy-Nefarian of this raiding tier. I want my purple phoenix, damn-it.