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Down Once More

I just realized this morning that I have one boss yet to cover in the Trial of the Crusader raid- Anub’Arak.  This is partly because he refuses to drop the mace I want, and mostly because a community I frequent on LiveJournal- WoWLadies.  Someone posted this morning that they were having issues with Anub and, realizing that I had finally killed him, I could post about it and be somewhat useful again.  So here it is.

Anub’Arak

Anub'Arak (no, I have nothing witty this morning, kthx.)

Anub’ Arak is, first and foremost, a DPS fight, and that is made pretty clear the first time you fight him.  Anub has 3 phases:

Phase 1: Anub is surfaced, and 4 Crypt Stalker adds (2 on 10 man) will spawn. 

Phase 2: Anub will burrow underground and chase people around landshark style with his spikes sticking up out of the ground and little scarabs with chase your raid members around.

Phase 3: No more adds will spawn, but he will put the Leeching Swarm debuff on the raid, which will damage them but heal him.

It is important to know that Anub will alternate between phases 1 and 2 until you get him to 30% health, when he will switch to phase 3.

The Encounter:

Now, you start this fight by Tirin Fordring telling you that you are prepared to enter Icecrown Citadel.  However, Arthas disagrees- and he has no problem mocking you as he enters the Coliseum and tells you how foolish you were to build your structures over the underground tunnel kingdom of the Nerubian Empire.  To prove his point, he thrusts Forstmourne into the floor and shatters it, sending you and your raid plummeting to the large underground lake below and telling Tirion that ‘the souls of your fallen champions shall be mine.’

Well, we can’t have that, now can we?

As you emerge from the lake, you’ll see a large, cavernous room- where Anub’Arak will climb out of the ground and sit, waiting patiently for your attack.  Around his room are floating blue orbs and little scarabs that just meander about.  That is, until you attack, of course.  This starts the enrage timer (10 minutes.)  This is a 2- 3 tank fight, depending on what works for you.  My guild uses 3.  You’ll need a tank for Anub and 2 add tanks.  A few seconds after you engage Anub, the first set of Crypt Stalker adds will emerge.  These need to be tanked on patches of ice, which are placed when a ranged DPS shoots down the floating blue orbs (designate 1 or 2 people to do this and only this).  The ice patches will prevent any adds from burrowing when Anub goes into phase 2.  A total of 4 adds will spawn, and they will spawn in pairs.  All DPS (or at least all of your ranged types) needs to be on the adds as they spawn- one of them needs to die before Anub burrows, preferably the first 2.  The adds also have a stacking damage buff if they are tanked too close together, so they will need to be moved apart.  A few moments after the first pair spawn, the second pair will join them.  They need to be picked up quickly, as they will try to nom on healer faces almost immediatly.  This set will NOT be down before Anub burrows.  Remember that they need to be tanked on ice patches to prevent them from diving underground with the boss.  Kill as many of them as you can before Anub burrows.

During phase 2, Anub will disappear and a host of scarabs will appear.  They don’t do much melee damage- but they don’t have to.  They have a stacking poison debuff called Acid Drenched Mandibles that deals 1600 Nature damage every 3 seconds, lasts for one minute, and stacks everytime they hit you.  I have seen up to 85 stacks-  Thats 136000 Nature damage every 3 seconds!  The only way to deal with this is to run if you see one aggroed on you until the Crypt Stalker adds are dead, then herd them into a central area and AoE them down.  Also, if they run across Anub’s path, they will become enraged (this can be dispelled by a hunter’s Tranq Shot or a Rogue’s poison on a Fan of Knives).  Meanwhile, Anub is having fun chasing random raid members around the room.  He will target a player and spikes will pop out of the ground.  They will move slowly towards the player, getting consistently faster, until they catch the player- and kill him- or until the player runs across a patch of ice and Anub is stopped in his tracks.  This whole phase is about killing the adds before Anub climbs back out of the ground.  Then its back to phase 1.

In order to beat Anub’s 10 minute enrage timer, you need to get him to 30% life, and phase 3, before he burrows a third time.  During phase 3, Anub puts out a raid wide debuff called Leeching Swarm, which hurts the raid and heals him- the more life you have, the more he gets healed.  This is where you come in healers- the only person who needs to be at full health are any tanks currently tanking- that includes tanks on adds (this is the only time the tanks should avoid tanking on ice patches- you want the adds to burrow, so you don’t have to deal with them.)  Everyone else should be at or below 30% health MAX (some guides say 50%, but we do 30%.)  What does this mean to you?  Well, druids, a well placed Rejuv should be enough- if a couple of people go above 30%, you should still be fine, as long as your DPS can handle it.  But no more than 2 or 3 people at the absolute max. 

DPS Anub down, collect loot, profit!  Now all you have to do is sit back and wait for Icecrown!  (If you’re not doing the psychotic hardmodes, anyways….)

Now, go forth and raid!  Get lewtz!  And stay angry, healers!

~Pyo

Post Series: Healing in Ulduar- Mimiron

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Time for another Keeper of Ulduar!  In keeping with my previous posts, I will discuss them in the order that my guild defeated them.

Mimiron, Great Builder

Iron Gnomes- Not Just For Punting.
Iron Gnomes- Not Just For Punting.

When you cruise on down into the Spark of Imagination- after battling your way through killer bomb bots, stealing the battletanks, the ‘Trash’, and taking a ride on the bullet train (which was VERY anti-climactic, IMO), you see this little guy- little in comparison to his fellow Keepers, anyways- busily hammering away at a miniature Flame Leviathan.  He looks innocent enough… right?

Recommended healers for this fight: 6-7

Phase 1: 

Because the first one wasn't bad enough...
Because the first one wasn't bad enough...

 

The first thing Mimiron does- after berating you for breaking the XT-002- is hop into the Leviathan MK II ground assault vehicle.  This thing has several different abilities:

Plasma Blast:  an attack aimed at the tanks.  Looks like a thin, red beam that does a considerable amount of damage.  Tanks should be blowing cooldowns to survive this.

Napalm Shells:  AoE attack targeted at ranged types.  Has a range, so as long as you’re about 10 yards apart, the only one who should be affected by this is the target.  Target will need immediate heals, as this is a fairly punishing attack.

Land Mines:  Mimoron’s answer for not being able to Napalm the melee.  He’ll toss out mines that will fall in a pattern, leaving sections open for escape.  Not too much damage, but melee shouldn’t be hitting them, anyways.

Shock Blast:  Similar to Stormcaller Brundir’s Overload ability.  Melee need to run out of range or they will be one shot.

 

The basic strat here:  Have a dedicated tank healer and 2 Napalm Shell healers- one on the right and one on the left.  Raid damage is minimal in this fight as long as melee avoids the Land Mines and people don’t cluster up.  Keep at least 2 ranged healers, just in case, and have the others assist the MT healer/ Napalm healers.

Phase 2:

BFG
BFG

In phase 2, good old Mimiron tucks the Leviathan MK II in the garage in favor of this bad boy- the VX-001 Anti- Personnel Assault Cannon.  It pops out of a cylinder in the center of the room (NOTE:  do not stand near it, it will throw you across the room.)  Its abilities:

Rockets:  It will shoot one of the rockets on its back up into the air.  It will typically target ranged, but if there are no ranged to hit, it will drop it on the melee.  Keep an eyeball out for a red and orange graphic on the ground and avoid it, thats where the rocket will hit.

Laser Barrage:  This machine’s big attack.  It will stop moving around and the big guns will start to ‘spin up’.  He will then begin firing in a clockwise rotation.  EVERYONE should move behind him to avoid the damage, as it will kill a tank.

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The strat:  Separate the ranged into three groups.  Stick them in the large, pie shaped areas in the room with an AoE healer each (preferably).  Melee should be right up on the VX-001 and staying on the wide, black strips that split the room into the pie shapes.  All other healers should be with the melee. 

Phase 3:

Proof that Blizzard's game designers are twisted.
Proof that Blizzard's game designers are twisted.

In phase 3, Mimiron will stash the VX-001 in favor of this, which he calls his ‘magnificent Aerial Command Unit.’  Flying gnome head?  Why not!  This machine needs to be tanked by a ranged DPS type- my guild uses our resident warlock, Sasinko.  Its abilities:

Plasma Ball:  Its primary attack against the ranged tank.  Fairly weak damage, but he does it often.

Bots:  He will drop 3 different kinds of adds in this fight- Bomb Bots, which need to be soaked; Assault Bots, which need to be tanked and killed; and Trash Bots, which need to be destroyed.  These bots drop Magnetic Cores, which are used to pull the flying gnome head down to the ground where it can be DPSed.

The strat:  This is the easiest phase to  heal, imo.  Very little in the way of raid damage being taken.  Put a dedicated healer on the ranged tank, the Bomb bot soaker, and the Assault bot tank.  Have a melee drop the Magnetic Cores and burn him down.  You’re aiming for less than 3 burn cycles on the head.

 

 

Phase 4:

You are NOT a real geek if you don't get the reference.
You are NOT a real geek if you don't get the reference.

In phase 4, Mimiron is done playing nice, and he brings out all of his toys, which join up to create the V0-L7R-0N.  This phase is the most fun- and most insane- of them all for healers.  His abilities:

Shock Blast and Land Mines, as per Leviathan MK II.

Lazer Barrage and Rockets (x2 this time), as per VX-001.

Plasma Balls as per the Aerial Command Unit.

Hand Pulse:  Only gained while V0-L7R-0N is all together.  A short burst cone blast from his hands.

The strat:  2 tanks are needed- a Leviathan tank and a flying gnome head tank.  Mimiron will use ALL OF THE ABILITIES LISTED, so your team needs to be on their toes.  Rockets and Land Mines need to be avoided, when he spins up Laser Barrage, everyone needs to move behind the VX-001 portion, not the Leviathan MK II.  Move out of Shock Blast.  Have one dedicated healer on both of the tanks, and the rest on the raid.  The 3 parts need to be DPSed down to about 100k health and then burned- please note that it is specifically to 100k health, and not a certain percentage, because each part has a different amount of health.  Melee should concentrate on the Levathan MK II, while the ranged to DPS the head and middle.  Feel free to swap DPS priority around as necessary.  Defeat Mimiron’s machine.  Get lewtz.  Profit.

Well, thats it for today, folks!  Happy hunting!

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Post Series: Add Ons and Mods, part 2

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Why does it look like the Angry Healers are rapidly becoming the Angry Healer?  :(

Anyways, moving along… there are people to educate!  Individuals to enlightent in the ways of the WoW Add ons!

Last time, we took a look at Grid and Clique- a personal must have.  Now, I want to show you Mik’s Scrolling Battle Text (or MSBT)!

I should put something witty here, shouldn't I?
I should put something witty here, shouldn't I?

 See those numbers and words scrolling around the middle of the screen?  That’s Mik’s SCrolling Battle Text.  What it does is it shows a ton of information in a small space, and is totally customizable.  Are you sick of AoEing and seeing all of the yellow, flashing numbers filling your screen and dropping your framerates to a crawl?  MSBT consolidates all of your outgoing damage and displays it as ‘amount of total damage done [# HITS]’. Druids, are you tired of seeing your HoTs tick for each indiviual person?  MSBT will do the same for your healing as it will for everyone else’s damage!  Done with staring at your spellbar to time your spells with longer GCDs?  MSBT can be configured with alert tones to let you know when your cool downs are up!  It will also tell you when specificl class abilities, like Revenge, Eclipse, or Art of War, proc!  It really cleans up your display and makes it all so manageable.  It also has tons of customization options, raging from scroll locations, directions and patterns; fonts and font sizes; alert tones, and so much more.  Its very easy to set up and use.  Comes highly recommended and with the Pyo Seal of Approval.

Next mod I have to share is not a necessity, but it sure is nice to have:  SexyMap!

It really is sexy.
It really is sexy.

 

Hot, yes?  I’d say this really served no purpose other than to look good, but it does hide all of the buttons around the minimap when you don’t want to see them, and will show them when you mouse over it.  So that’s nice.  However, the best part is that you can design your own skin for it.  YES!  If you know how to get into WoW’s texture and image files and know what you are looking for (WoW Model Viewer can help with this) you can make your own skin- choose designs and colors, glows, runes, rotations, sizes… anything that is a texture incorperated into WoW can be used!  As a matter of fact, Phae from Resto4Life created her own skin for tree!druids to love !  I built it from the tutorial she had up on the site before I realized they’d incorperated it into the mod.  -shrug-  But there are tons of preset skins for it, and all of them are pretty awesome looking.  Don’t like round maps?  There are square ones you can use, or change, if you’d like.  The options are limited only to what textures are loaded into WoW.  So have fun!

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The last mod I’ll discuss today is one that, I believe, is an absolute must if you are a raider or plan on raiding anytime soon.  It is a requirement for all raiders in my guild for a very good reason:  DeadlyBossMods (DBM).

 

Ignore the glowing tattoes and screaming Illidan fangirls.
Ignore the glowing tattoes and screaming Illidan fangirls.

Deadly Boss Mods is a Boss Ability timer.  It gives you the cooldowns of boss abilities, shown as bars (see right).  It’ll warn you when a boss is using a targeted ability on your raid (Shadow Crash WUT?) as a Raid Warning, complete with annoying noise (though some people still manage to get hit by it).  If the boss has mobs, it will show their health (like Freya’s Storm Lasher, Snaplasher, and Ancient Water Spirit, or Mimiron’s V0-L7-R0N) which is especially important if you need to kill them Romulo and Julianne style.  It will let you know when a boss is doing an AoE attack you need to avoid (Emalon the Storm Watcher’s Lightning Nova being a prime case)- it even tells you to ‘Run Away, Little Girl!  Run Away…’ a la Big Bad Wolf from such attacks.  The only thing DBM doesn’t have that other Boss Timers have is the final Fantasy victory music when you beat the boss- damn you, BigWigs.

So there you have it.  I hope that someone out there found this at least somewhat informative.

We now return you to your regularly scheduled program, already in progress…

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Post Series: Tree!Healing in Ulduar, part 4: Freya

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Whoa, I’m back!  -dusts off the leaves and waves-

Its been a while since I’ve updated this post series, and my guild has cleared through a lot of bosses since then.  I’m still taking them one at a time, because we still have bosses to go, but… I’m sure everyone is ok with that.  Our next boss downed in Ulduar was Freya, Goddess of Life.

It takes a special kind of hairspray to give stone hair that kind of hold.
It takes a special kind of hairspray to give stone hair that kind of hold.

That’s a big bitch.  /silly

Freya comes equipped with 3 huge tree spirits who will need to be killed- left up, they activate Hard mode.  Each drops an Emblem of Conquest.

Moving along… strats!  Freya’s fight is about defeating the adds she summons and killing the Gifts of Eonar that spawn and heal them.  She summons 3 distinct add types, each with its own mechanics.  In addition, while her adds are up, she stacks a healing buff called ‘Attuned to Nature’ that increases her healing, which makes her impossible to kill.  Each add group that you kill reduces the stacks of the healing buff until finally none are left.  She summons each group of adds twice, and will occasionally blast a raid member with sunlight.

Storm Lasher, Snaplasher, and Ancient Water Spirit:  Each one of these adds is a huge elemental.  They need to be killed Romulus and Julianne style (within a certain time frame of each other, or they’ll resurrect) and only 2 of these mobs can be tanked- the Storm Lasher and the Ancient Water Spirit.  The Snaplasher looks like a giant Lasher and runs around the raid.  For each hit he takes, he gains a damage increase buff.  It is important that he is not hit, and that he is killed last, because he will 2 shot a tank when the stacks get high enough.  The Storm Lasher looks like another Lasher only crackling with lightning.  The Ancient Water Spirit looks like a revenent elemental and can be kited around.  Preceded by Freya yelling, ‘CHILDREN, ASSIST ME!’

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Lasher Swarm:  Looks exactly as it sounds.  Freya summons up a bunch of lasher adds.  They do not have an aggro table and each one will explode upon death, making AoE difficult.

Giant Tree:  Don’t remember exactly what this guy is called, but he’s big and hard to miss.  He needs to be tanked away from Freya and away from the patches of sunlight that will heal him rapidly.  Also during this phase, mushrooms will pop up all over the place.  Any raid member not standing near one is Pacified. 

And that was just phase 1.  But, really, once you get past that, Freya is simple.  Just watch out for the exploding bright green seeds.

And that’s it for now!  Stay tuned, Thorim and Mimiron are next on the block!

FOR THE HORDE!

~Pyo

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Post Series: Tree!healing in Ulduar, part 3- Hodir

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HI!  -waves her leaves-

Time for part 3 of my post series dealing with tree!healing in Ulduar.  Here is the point where I stop splitting the bosses off by areas and into individual posts- based on my guild’s current progression through the instance and my own experience.  We’ve cleared through both the Siege area and the Antechamber, and are now moving onto the first Tier bosses of the instance- the Gods Hodir, Thorim, and Freya, and the master builder of Ulduar, Mimiron.  First up- Hodir.

Hodir, Lord of Ice
Hodir, Lord of Ice

Hodir’s fight is all about repetition and survivability.  It is a very healing intensive fight, and  I recommend at least 6-7 healers for it- 1-2 on the MT (or MT/Frozen Blows tank, depending on your set up) and the rest should be raid healers. 

Arranged in neat little iceblocks before the boss are a number of NPCs- these will need to be broken out, because they provide valuable buffs that you will need to help defeat the Lord of Ice:

Mage:  Troll Female.  Casts Fireball that stacks a fire damage debuff on Hodir.  Also builds Cozy Fires that will negate Hodir’s movement imparing cold effect.

Shaman:  Female Tauren.  Runs around and puts and INSANE crit buff on a random raid member that will spread to other raid members in the vicinity.

Druid:  The Boomkin.  Drops moonbeams on the ground that increase Haste Rating by a significant amount.

Priest:  Undead Female.  Occasionally casts Mass Dispel.  If she does anything else, I haven’t seen it.

The NPCs should be broken out in their listed order.

Hodir possesses the following abilities:

Frozen Blows:  Frozen Blows does a large amount of raid damage and a larger amount of tank-smacking damage.  Having your tank wear Frost Resist gear is somewhat helpful with mitigating some of the Frost damage the tank will be taking.  Raid healers need to pay attention during this phase, as Frost damage is increased.  MT healers need to be extra careful because the tank is affected by the increase in Frost damage, and Hodir beats mercilessly on them.

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Flash Freeze:  Hodir will Flash Freeze the ground, catching anyone not standing ontop of a snowdrift (they fall from the ceiling, look for the bug rune circles) in a block of ice- this usually means the NPCs, who will need to be broken back out.

Icicle:  Icicles will drop on random raid members.  Easily avoidable- if you see snowflakes on your head, run.  If you don’t run, your healers will rage because you took unnecessary damage during a very intense fight.

Frost Nova:  Its not actually called this, but its what it is.  People with movement imparing escape mechanics should use them (yes, trees, that means shifting out of treeform), everyone else needs to be Mass Dispelled.

He also has Keristrasza’s movement effect from the Nexus.  Melee pretty much sucks here, as she usually drops the fire at range.  The ranged types  should either keep moving or find a nice, cozy mage fire to stand by.  Activating siege mode here is ok, just watch out for the snowflakes.

The healing strat- my god, if there was ever an instance where you should spam Wild Growth, this is it.  Equip your Idol of Rubber Duckies, spam Rejuv (especially useful with the Tier 8 set bonus), and spam it between Wild Growth hits.  Keep moving- you can stand by a fire, but standing still is painting a target for an Icicle on your head.  The other healers might need to stand still for some smaller periods of time, you don’t.  Your strength is your ability to heal on the run- exploit that here.  If there’s more than one of you, have one of you Stack and Bloom (my new term for stacking Lifebloom) and roll Rejuv on the tanks, especially during Frozen Blows.  Keep that Swiftmend handy, as well as Nourish.  Avoid the snowflakes and the Flash Freeze, and Hodir should be a fairly easy kill.

Stay tuned for the next encounter in Ulduar- Freya, Goddess of Nature!

FOR THE HORDE!

~Pyo

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