The Emerald Nightmare
…was aptly named. Elemental shaman in the first tier were uh—well, not so good, honestly. I also was in the midst of a guild shakeup, which made raiding a lot more interesting (but not in a good way). I started in Syzygy on Sargeras at the beginning of the tier, but due to some differences of opinion, ended up in Crisp on Baelgun, with whom I killed Xavius and finished the expansion.
Things I liked about EN: Ursoc. Who doesn’t love what amounts to a burn fight? Sometimes it’s fun to do minimal mechanics and DPS as hard as you can.
Things I didn’t like about EN: Most of the rest of it. But I don’t know how much of that can be attributed to the instance itself and how much of it can be attributed to my situation at the time.
Trial of Valor
So uh. Yeah. I was on the bench for most of Odyn progression. Guarm was equally fun and annoying, depending on the day. Helya was an adventure and a test of our coordination and communication skills, which had varying states of success.
And then there’s The Chosen. Ahhhhh well. Our first Chosen recipient was a holy priest with the cloak who cleverly abused the cloak’s power to never technically die. Then there were a bunch of people that got it in one of our runs (including brand new guild members) who had never killed Helya before.
Me? I didn’t get it until halfway through the expansion because something always happened. One time we had a new balance druid who Starfalled Helya while we were setting up, then ran back to where the rest of the raid was, literally ran in a circle around us, and wiped us all. If you’ve heard the phrase “he ran around like a chicken with his head cut off,” he was exactly that. One time I got bombed on Guarm by someone’s debuff. Another time I was out of position and Gust-of-Winded into a tornado on Odyn.
It was so bad that by the time I got the title, the healers were focusing me and there was discussion about getting my druid and just staying in bear form to make sure I got it. Thankfully it didn’t come to that, but I’ve never been so happy to be done with a damn achievement in my life.
Ah Nighthold. Honestly, there are some things about Nighthold I really, really enjoyed. After a tier of what-good-is-an-elemental-shaman-anyway, we had a few bosses where we were able to actually have fun. Earthquake with Sephuz on Skorp was a good time; saving Stormkeeper for the little adds on Anomaly was actually helpful. And then there was Spellblade.
Yeah, our Arcane mage made me cry (I’m looking at you, Pecans), but it was still a good time.
And then there were the other bosses. High Botanist was our kryptonite, and Star Augur and I did not get along. At all. The fel spit phase was almost certain death, and I Trined us a few times until I realized that if you turn on Chat Bubbles you could see the Star Sign announcement above people’s heads and didn’t have to rely on the colors, which apparently in my advanced age of 33 matters (I maintain that the green symbol blends in with the floor like camouflage, I don’t care what anyone else says…).
As far as Gul’dan? I honestly don’t think he gave us nearly as much trouble as Botanist. He was an end boss who felt like an end boss and that was okay. Plus my fellow ele and I got to go ham on eyes at the beginning and that was fun.
Tomb of Sargeras
I honestly enjoyed ToS. I know a lot of people didn’t, but I liked most of the bosses, I liked the environment, and I ran the place a LOT.
Favorite bosses? Actually, I liked most of them. Mistress I could’ve done without, but I was spared most of the progression on it, so I can’t complain much. Harjatan and Host were fun for elemental. I liked the Sisters, Maiden, Avatar, and KJ fights. I thought orb-catching was fun, I liked the dance on Avatar and while I think that KJ had some glaring issues (c’mon, that stand-around-and-get-bounced phase was actually awful), I liked the idea of the mechanics. But I’m not hard to please, so there’s that. I also was the weirdo who loved Imperator in WoD.
I should mention that in order to get a Maiden kill and to be in for Avatar and KJ, I had to switch to hunter because the lower single target damage of ele combined with the desperate need for immunities made it a poor choice (which sucks, I might add. Getting benched because of the class you play blows, but like it or not, it’s been a part of the game for a long time). BUT hunter was fun to play, so it turned out all right.
Antorus, The Burning Throne
Man, screw Antorus. I liked ToS; I didn’t like Antorus. I don’t know if it was my state of mind at the time or the instance itself or a combination of both, but even now I try to do as little of it as possible.
There’s not a single boss in the instance that makes me go, “Yeah, I really liked that fight.” Varimathras was okay. Portal Keeper and High Command were fun for Chain Lightning. Everything else was decidedly meh. Argus took us over 700 pulls, and I wasn’t in a great place anyway so it was extra mind-crushing.
I have rarely been happy to see an instance come to an end, but when we killed Argus the relief was palpable.
These days, I only do Argus on normal/heroic on my characters if I can help it. I’ll do the Garothi/Aggramar/Argus bit if I have to, but I haven’t done a full clear of Antorus since I quit raiding, and I don’t see myself doing it anytime soon. I’m having a fine time doing Mythic+ and trying to cap all of my professions, tyvm.
Part 3: Why I Left My Guild & What Now?