Friday, June 3, 2011

HOW TO: Trash and Atramedes

This is part 6 of a series where I'll cover the way my guild does all the normal-mode encounters on the 10 person difficulty in the current raiding tier. I'll cover the fights in general but also talk specifically about tanking from a paladin perspective and give any hints I can about how we assign DPS and healing.

Trash

The trash around the lava ring in BWD is fairly easy, but in case you're having trouble:
  • Maimgor: He has a tail lash so avoid it, and occasionally he'll nom on the current highest threat target. If you want to make some agro-stealing DPS scream in terror, bubble right as he's casting the bite. It's kind of funny though your healers might get mad.
  • Ivoroc: A frontal breath so point away from raid, and occasionally he'll debuff someone with a curse of mending, just have 'em sit tight till it drops off. No DPS screaming fun. :-(
  • Pyrecraw: Another dragon with a frontal breath and some fire on the ground. He'll put out a stacking increased damage taken debuff on everyone but you can cool-down through it. If the healers have trouble just have the second tank LoS (I think) the debuff and taunt off. I think. I don't remember, it's been a while since I had to drop it off.
The  dog and trainer are simple - one tank holds the trainer off to one side with his back against a wall while the other tank picks up the two adds. Cleave and burn the dogs before killing the trainer, just watch out for his knock-back and you should be fine.

Be careful of the pats and don't pull two groups at once. It's difficult to heal through (not impossible) but it's better avoided. Unless you're really bored and want to test your healer's patience.

Atramedes Dwarf Trash
This trash give us a bit of a hard time the first night we pulled it - but it's not too bad once you set up an order in which to kill the adds and leave the annoying mechanics till the end. There are two clumps - one to the right and one to the left. Pull one clump at a time, and burn one at a time as the other 3 will heal up to full anytime one of them dies and the dead add will pass on his abilities to the remaining ones, so you want to avoid spreading the more annoying abilities till last.

Left clump:
Tank 1: Spirit of Corehammer and Spirit of Anvilrage
Tank 2:  Spirit of Shadowforge and Spirit of  Moltenfist

Keep them held a few yards apart so Moltenfist's thunderclaps don't hit melee. Kill them in this order:

Corehammer > Anvilrage > Shadowforge > Moltenfist

When both Corehammer and Anvilrage are dead, have Tank 1 taunt Shadowforge over and burn him down separately so that only one person is getting hit by the Thunderclap and save Moltenfist for last. If you like, you can even just have melee sit it out and let ranged kill him off. Healers should stay spread apart to avoid being chain stunned and everyone should leave gaps to keep from chaining the lightning.

Right Clump:
Tank 1: Spirit of Angerforge and Spirit of Thaurissan
Tank 2: Spirit of Burningeye and Spirit of Ironstar

As before, tanks should keep a healthy distance between each other. Kill order:

Angerforge > Thaurissan > Burningeye > Ironstar

The first tank doesn't have much to worry about but the second tank needs to keep an eye on Burningeye who will whirlwind towards a target and drop agro - he needs to be taunted as soon as he drops out of whirlwind or he will kill someone. Everyone should move to get away from his whirlwind as it hits for a ton. The other thing the second tank has to watch for is Ironstar - occasionally he'll target someone and cast Execute on them, while shielding himself. The shield needs to be burned through before the execute hits the target. You have a generous amount of time as long as people switch over immediately and the tank interrupts as soon as the shield drops.

Once the first two are dead, everyone can just pile on Burningeye but melee should be super careful of the whirlwind - keep in mind, after Burningeye dies, Ironstar will gain whirlwind so you will have to deal with it twice. Ironstar will continue casting execute throughout the fight, so swapping to him to burn his shield and getting interrupting execute is important.

It's "fun" trash, but it feels like they should've been a 5-man boss or something.



Atramedes
1 Tank, 3 Healers

See Part 6 if you need help with the Dwarf trash.

Oh, Atramedes. I don't know what to think about you. Sometimes I think you're fun and engaging and at other times I want to throttle the mechanics that seem so buggy and unpredictable. When breaking gongs during Air Phase doesn't cause agro, when sometimes you'll drag the breath slowly across the floor and other times you'll hit the breath right on top of me, when lag makes you cast Searing Flame after the gong is hit. Drives me nuts.

Anyway.

We spread out in a loose circle all around him, with healers spread so everyone is covered and two healers are in reach of the tank. People run counter-clockwise when targeted for Sonic Breath (always to their right), and people to their right have to move with them. People to the left continue their work. Dodge rings as per normal. His hit-box is huge so melee should stay as far back as possible.

I should note that a lot of raids prefer to keep everyone in one big clump so that when Sonic Breath hits everyone moves in one direction and the target moves in the other - this eliminates the need for anyone but one person to move increasing overall performance but demands a high level of raid awareness. We prefer to spread out and loose a bit of DPS than risk someone not knowing which way to move in a split second.

Assign one dedicated gong hitter person for Searing Flame with a backup in case Sonic Breath puts them out of range of gongs. The Searing Flames will take all but one gong on one side of the room (that's 4 gongs). Interrupting Sonic Breath takes the highest priority. If it is not interrupted each time, you will wipe.

There are two dedicated gong hitters for Air Phase - they will likely take all the rest of the gongs. To be very safe, you'll use two gongs per air phase and that gives you 3 air phases and 4 full ground phases to kill the boss. If you get a fourth air-phase you'll likely loose at least a couple of people depending on how fast they are (or rather, not fast) without the gongs, and then you'll have a bit of time in ground phase before searing flame wipes you.

But, 3 air phases and 4 ground phases will get you more than enough time to kill this guy. Hit hero off the pull, and burn him with all your really heavy hitters right off the bat. Call out Searing Flame 5 seconds before it happens. Make sure the gong people are really alert and prepared for it.

During air-phase, we have two melee assigned to gongs. I hit the first fairly early to buy some time for the first target and then I kite the flame till it's almost caught up to me (it will always catch up to you as it gains speed) all the way towards the back of the room where he spawns. Speed bubbles help a lot here and Retribution paladins can get a Pursuit of Justice boost to movement by judging Atramedes as soon as the gong is struck before they run out of range.

A second gong gets used when the first kiter call for it and by the time Atramedes is done burning that gong and swapping to the second person, he's ready to come down. Have two melee DPS do this, or the Tank and a melee if you only have one, as they're useless in air phase anyway. If you're using a tank, let the tank take the first gong so he can get back into position before Atramedes lands. Stay out of the fire when he comes down, it'll die out in a second or two, and then Lather, Rinse, Repeat, Loot.


This much gong hitting helps keep sound levels way down and you should never have trouble with people hitting 100 sound unless someone is completely asleep on the wheel.

Really, this fight really comes down to personal execution - can you kite Sonic Breath correctly? Can you keep moving and kiting fire in Air Phase? Can you dodge rings? Can you keep sound low? There's not much you can personally do to help other people here, they have to be personally responsible and execute. If positioning is giving you trouble, experiment with different placements, what works for us might not work for you.

This particular positioning and having a very organized way of using gongs with people dedicated to specific roles made life a lot easier and a hectic fight became instantly manageable and rather easy once we settled on this way of doing things.

Not a lot of Paladin tips really - I DPS this fight, tanking it is a yawn-inducing affair other than occasionally moving out of the way of rings and avoiding fire in phase 3. The damage is pretty light overall as long as everyone stays out of fire and the tank damage isn't anything to fret over.

Er. In air phase, Retribution can get a nice speed boost through Pursuit of Justice? Hit a gong and judge Atramedes? Hit Raid Wall if Searing Flame doesn't get interrupted? Heal someone with WoG if you're bored? See how much DPS you can do?

Um. Once you cap on Vengeance, try and get an Inquisition buff with wings to see the biggest crit you can eke out from Shield of the Righteous, which you can do now if you're lucky thanks to Avenger's Shield procing Holy Power, and also Sacred Duty!? :-D

Yeah, I got nothin'.

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