Phew. I don’t know how your guilds are doing, but we’ve fallen on some tough times lately. Raiders getting bored and frustrated and just not showing up seems to be a pretty big problem across the board right now, and we’re no exception. Thankfully, we’ve had great raids the past two nights, getting my first BQL kill on Monday (although apparently the guild had previously killed her on a night I was out; I had no idea) and a 10-boss clear to Sindragosa on Tuesday.
Now, finally, the BQL strat:
Blood Queen Lana’thel
I don’t often encourage picking up novelty mods. These are mods that exist solely for one fight or one aspect of the game and do nothing else. For this fight, though, I’ll make an exception. The add-on Vamp helped us through this in a HUGE way. Huge. Seriously. File that in your brain somewhere and I’ll explain more about it in a minute.
BQL is a little bit of everything in one fight. It’s a test of your dps, coordination, and healing. Throughout the fight, everyone will be taking damage, period, so prepare your healers for that. Raiders will need to respond quickly to abilities like Pact of the Darkfallen and Swarming Shadows, because you will need to try as hard as possible to keep everyone alive.
The Things That Will Kill You
1. Pact of the Darkfallen. Throughout the entire encounter, BQL will mark three people at a time and link them together with this ability. It’s impossible to miss. Your DBM will flash and gong at you and you’ll have bright red beams coming out of you. The debuff does craptons of damage, and the only way to get rid of it is for the three of you to stand on top of each other (I mean REALLY stand on top of each other).
We handle this by spreading out around the room and leaving the middle open. The three Pact members run to the center, get personal, and wait a second for the Pact to fall off before running back to their spot. Healers will need to heal Pact members especially.
2. Swarming Shadows. Remember Legion Flame from Jaraxxus? Same exact mechanic. You’ll get a DBM notification that you’ve got Swarming Shadows (the WoW UI itself will inform you, as well, with a “A swarm of shadows surrounds <target>” warning). Purple flames will appear at your feet and start to damage you, so you need to get out of them, and quickly. You’ll leave a trail of flame behind you, so tread carefully!
We handle this the exact same way we did Legion Flames: the person with the debuff runs to the wall and along the edge of the room until it falls off.
3. Bloodbolt Whirl. BQL’s second phase, if you can call it that, will happen twice during your encounter (if it happens more than twice, you’ll hit the enrage for sure). She will walk to the center, fear the whole raid with Incite Terror, and then rise up into the air and begin casting a channeled spell, sending out Bloodbolts at every member of the raid. The Bloodbolts themselves are pretty rough, but stand next to someone and they’re increased exponentially. One other person in your 10 yards, and your healers will be crying for mercy. Two people in your range, and you’ll be explaining to your raid leader how you died.
We handle this by first ensuring that there is a fear breaker in every group. One group includes the tank and 4 other people (usually our OT and 3 other melee) who are capable of breaking their own fears (this includes Every Man for Himself for humans and Fear Ward for priests). Each of the other groups have a shaman responsible for tremor totem. If you don’t have enough shaman to do this, then at least put one shaman in the healer group, and remind your priests to Fear Ward themselves.
Once the fear is broken, everyone needs to spread out (though 8 yards is technically all you need, DBM /distance 8 glitched for us, so we use 10). Once everyone is spread out, Bloodbolt Whirl survival rests solely on your healers.
4. Uncontrollable Frenzy. I’m going to explain the bite mechanic below, but quite simply, if you don’t handle the vampire mechanic of this fight correctly, you will get mind controlled and the raid will be forced to kill you. That’s bad.
The bite mechanic is what makes this fight unique. BQL will bite a member of the raid. That person will get a major dps buff called Essence of the Blood Queen, which they will keep for the remainder of the fight. About every minute after they’re bitten, the raider will get Frenzied Bloodthirst. Their action bar will become a single button, and they must bite someone else in order to keep from getting mind controlled. The person they bite will then get the dps buff, and will also have to bite someone. This continues until the end of the fight, each person needing to find someone new to inflict.
Now, here’s the step-by-step to the way we handle it:
1. A Wise Decision. The first bite is somewhat controllable. BQL always chooses the person highest in threat under the tanks. We don’t really have to think about this–that person is almost always a hunter or a dps warrior.
Subsequent bites should be chosen carefully. Our hunters have the most dps and the most up time, so we always get them bitten first. After that, melee bites melee and ranged bites ranged.
This is where Vamp comes in. The person running the addon (you only need one person in your raid to have it) will set it up with priorities. From that point on, Vamp will announce the bite targets. Once a raider gets bitten, they will get a whisper telling them to bite a certain target. The person targetted also gets a whisper, telling them that someone is coming to bite them.
2. Bit or Be Bitten. You have to be within 5 yards of your bite target to be in range. That means that the vampire raider and his or her victim will need to get close to each other BEFORE the buff runs low. This is the reason Vamp whispers both. Once you get the whisper, locate the person you are going to bite or who is going to bite you, and try to stay close to them until the bite is over.
Super helpful tip: If you can’t find your target, /follow them. Takes you right to them.
3. Don’t Bite Me (Yet). Short of being within 1 second of getting mind controlled with no dpsers in sight, do not bite a healer until every single dpser has been bitten. The bite does nothing for the healers, and this is still a dps race–you need all of your dps to be infused and giving it their all. Honestly, if you get to the point where healers are getting bitten, you’re probably about to hit the enrage anyway, so just don’t bite healers.
Also, don’t ever ever ever bite the main tank. Ever.
Helpful note: We save Heroism (Bloodlust for you hordies) for the minute before she enrages. It’s the best estimate we have that every dpser has been bitten.
I feel like I’m missing something, but I’m pretty sure I covered it all. When you’re in the middle of the fight it feels like chaos, but man, it felt good to kill her.