Heroic Ulduar: Yogg-Saron

It’s long overdue, but I just can’t walk away from my Ulduar guides without covering Yogg, so as quickly as I can, the Yogg-Saron encounter:

Trash – Rejoice!  There is none.

Overview

Even if you’re doing this fight for the first time, you’ve probably seen the room.  Loudmouth Sara is in the center, floating above a pool of what appears to be liquid saronite.  Clouds rotate around her randomly, and all looks fairly peaceful.

When you walk in the door, you activate the encounter.  Hopefully you’ve activated all the keepers (you do this by talking to them; they’ll appear in Yogg’s room as they’re activated) and will therefore have their buffs, most of which work on their own with or without your cooperation (like getting frozen by Hodir when you’re actually trying to wipe), but Freya’s gift you need to take note of and use, probably frequently.

At the beginning of the encounter, you are given a debuff called Sanity.  It starts out at 100, but over time things during the encounter will drain that Sanity.  It is very important to watch your sanity and someone might need to call out occasional “check your sanity” reminders throughout the raid.  Let’s say that one more time for emphasis:  IT IS VERY IMPORTANT TO WATCH YOUR SANITY.  If your sanity gets low you need to stand in one of Freya’s green light wells positioned around the outside walls of the room.  You can’t dps while standing in them; they decrease your damage.  You walk in, get your sanity up, and then get out.  If you reach 0 Sanity you will go Insane and be MC’d by Yogg and he will use you to start killing your friends. You will have to be killed, and you cannot be rezzed.  If you’ve gone insane, a rez will bring you back still insane.  This wastes time and especially when you’re still learning the fight will most likely cause a wipe.

Phase 1 : Focus Your Anger and Hatred on His Minions

During this phase, Sara spawns Guardians from the green clouds around the room.  You need to kill them next to her to kill the avatar and move to Phase 2.  Most of the time Guardian spawns are random; however, if anyone in the raid touches a cloud, an extra guardian will spawn.  More than two and you can all clump up at the door and die, as you’ll be too far behind to catch up.  The solution is easy: don’t touch the green clouds.

No, not that kind.

No, not that kind.

We handle this phase by doing what I like to call the “Guardian Shuffle.”  Most of the raid clumps up at the door, with the exception of the tanks and one or two healers.  We have 4 tanks for this fight (some do this in dps gear).  Our MT stands next to Sara in the middle; here he is safe from accidental cloud spawning and he is in the right place to damage Sara by killing Guardians.  The other three tanks take turns grabbing spawns and carefully avoiding clouds as they drag them up to the raid where we FOCUS FIRE (split dps is bad bad bad).  In order to better control our dps so we don’t kill them before they reach Sara, we have the majority of the raid stop dps when the Guardian is around 40%.  The tank starts dragging them down at this point, and our mages and hunters get them from 40-10% and then kill them once our MT taunts it and gets it close to Sara.

This is both easier and harder than it sounds on paper.  It’s not nearly as complicated as it sounds once you’ve done it, but execution is a bigger issue.  We spent a week just getting to Phase 2 because we had people dancing in clouds and killing Guardians early.  This is not about the damage meter; this phase is all about control.

Easy achievement alert:  the Heroic: Kiss and Make Up achievement is great for when you’re learning this fight, because the first few times you manage to make it to Phase 2, you’re going to wipe HARD.  Take advantage of this, and make a macro that says

/tar Sara
/kiss

And spam it as you enter phase 2.  That’s it, achievement earned.

Phase 2:  The Time to Strike at the Head of the Beast

During this phase, Yogg spawns tentacles of various shapes, sizes, and abilities.  They stay in place, and you have to move to them.  We have a caster who runs around with a purple diamond on his head so we all know where to go next.  Splitting dps is still bad bad bad.

Credit Note: This is not my screenshot, because I keep forgetting to take one. >.>

Crusher Tentacles

These are the main priorities for ranged dps.  Melee can’t get close to them because they get a stacking buff that increases the damage they do.  We have one warrior who runs in and out stabbing it occasionally to get the stacks to fall, but other than that, these are all up to ranged.  They have a lot of health and each one lowers damage dealt by 20%.  If you let more than 2 get up at a time, you’re done.  At one point, the room will freeze, and the tentacles will cease to do damage.  When that happens, use your treants if they’re up to help catch the raid up so you have time to kill a few corruptors while you’re at it.  Also, healers can dps during this time as no one will be taking any damage.

Constrictor Tentacles

We generally have 3 or 4 ranged assigned to killing Constrictors as they appear.  This is another reason it’s important for the majority of the raid to stick together: Constrictors randomly target a person in the raid, pick them up, and squeeze.  The constricted person needs to be healed while the assigned Constrictor killers get it down.  The good news is that you can still cast while your constricted, so worse case scenario, at least as druids we can heal ourselves if necessary.  For you mages out there, Ice Block immediately releases you (and you suck).

Corruptor Tentacles

Ah, fellow moonkin, pull out your Decursive mod or get your mouseover macro ready:  you will probably be at least assisting in decursing through phase 2 and 3.  In order to maximize our dps and not distract our healers, I am the only decurser (and during last night’s kill, I broke my decursing record with a whopping 97 dispells).  Corruptor Tentacles throw curses, diseases, and poisons around the room, all of which REALLY REALLY need to be cleansed.  I decurse and we usually have a pally who takes off poisons and diseases, although I try to help out with the poisons if I notice it’s becoming a problem.  Crushers are certainly the priority, but go into Phase 3 with too many Corruptors up, and you’ll be too bogged down with curses and poisons to do any good.  For this reason, whenever we kill a Crusher we move right to a Corruptor until another Crusher spawns, and if we have extra melee, they focus on Corruptors specifically.

Brain Link

This is the other important ability you need to be aware of.  Occasionally, Yogg will Brain Link two players and a colored line will appear between them.  These two players need to stay close together until Brain Link fades.  If the line is green, you’re doing it right.  If it’s red, you’re too far away and you will lose 2 Sanity for every second the line is red.  That’s bad.  Don’t let the line stay red for long.  If a ranged or healer is linked with a melee headed into the brain room, that’s okay: run with them to the portal because the Brain Link will sever when they enter.

Melee & the Brain Room

Really, I don’t know much about what goes on in there.  Good thing this is a moonkin blog!  Portals will open up around Yogg, and we have 10 melee dps assigned to enter the portals.  They kill their way through the room that spawns and then into the Brain Room.  The really important things that happen in there is that a) they need to keep their backs to the floating skulls in order to keep their Sanity, and b) they need to get out of the Brain Room before Madness ends, or they will go Insane when they come out.  We have someone who calls this for the melee, so it’s rarely a problem anymore.  It’s important that melee do enough dps to get the Brain down in 3 portals, otherwise the raid gets easily overrun with tentacles.

Phase 3: Muwahahaha

This phase is tricky, but not overly complicated once everyone understands how it works.  Immortal Guardians will begin to spawn, and they live up to their name.  You can only kill them to 1%; at that point, Thorim will strike them down.  They hit very VERY hard at first, and do less and less damage as their health decreases.  For this reason, we all stand close enough to our MT so that a convenient Thunderclap or an in-range taunt keeps Guardians from killing the raid.  We let melee handle the Guardians (no aoe and no splitting dps, kk?!) while the ranged focus on Yogg.

The best advice I can give you for this is to turn up your speakers and pay attention.  If you’re decursing like I am, this is where your dps will start to really show the strain (and that’s okay if it’s your job to decurse), because the Corruptor tentacles that are still up will not die until Yogg dies.  However, you can still dps, but you need to be careful.

Frequently throughout Phase 3, Yogg will cast “Lunatic Gaze.”  You can’t possibly in a million years miss it: it looks like a bunch of pink streamers coming from Yogg to the raid.  When he does this, turn your back to him.  For every second you’re facing him during his Gaze you lose 4 Sanity.  This adds up quickly if you’re not paying attention.  Here is the super top secret to knowing when to turn back around, are you ready?  Okay: he laughs.  I know, it sounds dumb, but I know Lunatic Gaze is really over because he laughs throughout the Gaze with an added laugh at the end.  After that last laugh, it’s over and you can safely turn back around.  You’ll also get a feel for how often he casts it and might even be able to pretty easily predict it once you’ve done it for a while.

Dps the boss when Gaze is not up, turn your back on him when it is, and keep an eye on your Sanity, running back to wells when you get under 30.

Survive all of that crap and the enrage timer, and you win.

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