Tag Archives: Ulduar

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.


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

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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A Short Tale About an Old God

Once upon a time, a terrible fiend burst through his watery prison and corrupted the stalwart protectors of the land of Azeroth.  It became clear that something had changed within the walls of the Titan palace known as Ulduar, and a band of twenty-five strong, dedicated adventurers (under the banner of Chi Cerca Trova and the united Alliance forces of Azeroth) dared to find out.

After fighting through the corruption and facing several outright monsters, the adventurers approached Sara, a woman who appeared to need assistance.  In truth, the great monster only used the form to masquerade himself.  He was great and terrible; a deceiver and murderer who could devour the minds of any who came upon him unprepared for his trickery.

He sent waves of Guardians against the adventurers, but they stood firmly against them, turning their destructive might against the avatar of the beast.  His illusion shattered, the monster appeared from the depths of his prison and thrust his many tentacles at the adventurers.  Those with swords and daggers hacked at the twisting, poisonous limbs, while the spellcasters in the group held off their vicious curses and unleashed their magic upon the biggest and most lethal arms of the beast.  Some of the adventurers were lured into visions, but bravely fought their way out, keeping their wits about them as they attacked the very head of the monster.

The Old God roared in pain and unleashed terrible minions upon the group, trying to overwhelm them to the point of insanity, and some were lost.  Those who remained steeled themselves against the forces of the evil one, and though each expected a fatal blow at any second, they fought as though they expected to live forever.

And suddenly, victory fell within their grasp, and each of them fought twice as hard.  They rained blows upon the monster and his minions, until the last of his awful resources had been extinguished.  The remaining adventurers focused on their intended goal, and held their collective breaths as the final spells whizzed towards the beast’s head and the last dagger slashed into his grotesque flesh.

And suddenly the monster Yogg-Saron fell to their might, and lay very still among them.  Those who had fallen in battle were resurrected, and there was great rejoicing among the twenty-five and among the citizens of Azeroth.

Now they have uncovered a new challenge — the waking of the Titan creation Algalon, who exists to cleanse Azeroth of the imbalance in its Keepers.  Can they save Azeroth from a certain end?  Only time will tell.

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Heroic Ulduar: General Vezax

Despite having a bumpy night the night we killed him, I really do like this fight.  I think the dynamic is pretty clever, and who doesn’t like killing big, angry monsters?

The Trash is complicated.  CC everything you can.  We usually have 1-3 sheeps, a hex, a banish, a hunter trap or two, and a couple of tanks.  All I can tell you is to mark them, control them, and kill them while keeping most of the raid alive.  There will be three faceless monsters you’ll fight before facing Vezax; one on the way in and two in his room.  (Note: the two in his room begin patting as you kill packs of trash, so kill a pack -> kill the ugly thing).  The faceless monsters spawn a voidwalker during the fight, and while the voidwalker is up, they are immune to all damage, so kill the voidwalker and get back on the uglies.

The Fight

Each role has a different set of rules for this fight, but it’s important that everyone be aware of everything else that could be going on at the same time because you never know where you could find yourself.

The things that everyone really needs to know about is 1) mana regen doesn’t work on this fight. Potions don’t work (some say they’ve seen it; we guess it’s a 50/50, so plan for them not to work and then you’ll be extra pleased if it does), Innervate doesn’t work, talents don’t work, Wisdom doesn’t work…you get the idea.  This applies to everyone in the raid throughout the encounter, but there are ways to deal with it and they differ from role to role.  2) Mark of the Faceless is a debuff that doesn’t hurt the person carrying it but causes the boss to basically drain life (or “life leech,” as DBM calls it) from anyone around you, so if you get this debuff, run into a corner all by your lonesome until you see it tick off.

There are two kinds of aides throughout the fight.  One of them is the Shadow Crash, which increases haste and damage but decreases healing done (so healers should certainly avoid it).  The other is Saronite Vapors, which replace mana at the cost of life.  I’ve explained them in greater detail below.

Remember the Oomkin!

You'll feel like an oomkin again.

The Ranged

Let’s face it, we’re pretty mana dependent, and for that reason we have Shadow Crashes.  First of all, turn your chat bubbles on, as DBM causes people with incoming Crashes to call it out and chat bubbles help tremendously.  Shadow Crashes are painful damage / knockback shadow “bombs” that Vezax throws at anyone outside of melee range.  For this reason, if someone has an incoming Crash, move away from them.

However, once the Crash lands it leaves a big, black puddle on the floor that increases your damage and haste by…a lot.  The only time you should cast is when you are standing in one of these Shadow Crashes; anything else is a waste of mana.

We usually have one or two groups of ranged standing together to get the most benefit from the Shadow Crashes, but this means that each individual is much more responsible for getting away from other people when they get Mark of the Faceless.  So pay attention and make love to your corner when you get it.

The other responsibility ranged has is to kill Saronite Vapors for healers.  These spawn and float around the room.  They are not hostile, but they are a limited resource.  You only get so many during the fight (I think it’s 7 or 8), so don’t be in a rush to kill them.  We have 1 ranged (generally a hunter) assigned to this task.  When a healer calls for a vapor, he kills it and calls the location on vent in relation to the boss.  This allows healers to quickly get to vapors and get their mana back.

The Healers

I can’t give you an in depth understanding of the healers because…well, I’m not one anymore.  I can tell you that they all stack under Vezax’s butt and melee him.  This is a) so they don’t get Shadow Crashes (which decrease healing), b) so they get mana back from a pally’s Judgement of Wisdom, which apparently works, and c) because it gives them a thrill.  Our healers are on a rotation, although you’d have to pester our buddy Kuzgar to understand it.  Basically, only 2 healers are actually healing at a time.  The rest are either meleeing Vezax or getting into Saronite Vapors.  We have one healer who is both a backup healer and a heal-the-healers-in-the-vapors healer.  They rotate in and out of healing and vapors as needed.  While dps can occasionally stand in vapors to regen mana, I do not recommend it.  If a dps is standing in the vapors, it should be because you’re absolutely at the bottom of your mana well and your dps is desperately needed.  DPS standing in vapors lose health, but more importantly, risk dropping a crash on a vapor, and that’s just not good strategery.  Leave it for the healers, please.

The Tank & Melee

I know, I’m just giving everyone special love today.  The only thing I want to mention here (since I am not a tank, and don’t plan on speccing bear or kitty) is that Vezax does an ability called Searing Flames.  It’s channeled and it’s very obvious, as he has big glowing orbs spinning around him while he’s doing it.  Not interrupting it will usually cause a wipe, and this mainly falls to melee since casters are desperate to conserve mana.  The other ability to worry about is Surge of Darkness, which causes him to hit harder and faster.  Some strats call for the tank to kite during Surge, but we let ours stand where he is (isn’t he lucky?) and we blow cooldowns to keep him alive.  Between him, the pallies, and the discipline priest, this is usually not a problem.

As surprising as this may sound if you’ve never encountered him before, this is actually a pretty easy fight once everyone understands what they’re doing.  Explaining it, on the other hand, is a challenge of its own.

Good luck!

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Heroic Ulduar: Mimiron

Make sure you have your game sound turned up for this fight.  Mimiron cracks me up as he explains his VO-L7R-ON system; clever little gnome.

Mimiron Trash

You wouldn’t stand on a bomb, would you?  Good, don’t do it here either.  For ranged dps it’s pretty easy.  Stand back and pop off marked targets and AoE when necessary.  There are assault vehicles that turn friendly when low on health, and raiders can and should jump into them.  Heal up the vehicles, because as you progress through the trash, you’ll need them to jump into packs of trash to blow up the bombs and stun the mobs.  Yours truly jumped into one this past week on 10-man, and the picture was priceless (check out our buddy Savante from Torn Empire on Durotan planting a garden under my bot!):

My bumper sticker says PWNKIN.

My bumper sticker says PWNKIN.

Once you’ve cleared the trash, you’ll get to ride on the tram.  That’s right, there’s a tram, and it’s cool.  Just make sure no one pushes the button until everyone is safely on board.  Take the tram to the Spark of Imagination, and from this point on you’ll have a portal there.  Play Frogger 2.0 through the bombs running around Mimiron’s room (they aggro, so don’t assume skirting behind them is safe like in Naxx; look for a nice, wide opening lest you become the target of someone’s rez macro).

The Diagram

After having a good chuckle over my Kologarn diagram, my husband told me that I couldn’t possibly do a diagram encapsulating Mimiron.  He was wrong.



In case that’s not enough info, here’s a more detailed account:

Mimiron Phase 1: The Leviathan

For this phase, spread your raid out around the room.  There are three “pie slices” if you will, and everyone should be spread out about equidistant from the boss, with healers in each slice.  Spread out so you’re about 10 yards from the nearest raiders (melee don’t count, they’ll be running in and out the whole time).  For us, this is one of the two easiest phases.  Melee will be running from Shock Blasts and avoiding mines, and tanks and healers will be blowing cooldowns to mitigate Plasma Blast.  For us, we stand still and dps  (tough, right?).  There are Napalm Shells to worry about, but our healers found it much easier to heal us if we just stood still through it instead of potentially running out of range.  Assuming the tanks survive, this will go quickly and you’ll be moving on to Phase 2 easily.

pewpew lzrsPhase 2: It’s All About the Pew Pew

During this phase, Mimiron will jump into a     stationary robot with big guns (no exaggeration).  For dps, this fight is knowing about when to move and when to stand still.  If you are targeted by the single fire gun, stand still.  This works like eye beams (sort of), and if you run you’re going to rain gunfire upon your friends.  It’s not a good way to keep them.

However, when P3Wx2 Laser Barrage starts (since you’re obviously raiding with an announcement mod…we’ve been over this), you should get a big smack in the face to tell you that he’s spinning up.  Whichever direction his cannon is facing when he stops for the spin up is where the barrage will start.  It will travel in a clockwise motion around the room.  If you are caught in it, you will die, so you and your neighbors in that slice of pie need to find a way out before he starts firing.

And finally, fellow moonkin, what do we do when a big red target of light centers on us?  Take three steps forward so the rocket blows up behind you instead of on your head.  No one wants to gather all your feathers.

Phase 3:  Use Your Noggin

When his guns stop blazing, Mimiron jumps into the head of his system…and I do mean head.  He comes back piloting a mechanical gnome head and releases waves of bots.  Our strat is fairly simple for ranged dps.  All of the ranged dps clumps up right in front of the entrance, with our head tank (usually a hunter) standing a few yards in front of us to guarantee aggro, and we do nothing but attack the head.  To our right, one tank collects Junk Bots.  To our left, another tank or two and melee work on the assault bots and bombs, with a melee dps (usually a rogue) keeping an eye out for the magnetic core and using it.  Once the head dies, we clean up the adds and move onto the final phase.

Phase 4: Put it All Together Now

In phase 4, Mimiron’s VO-L7R-ON bot becomes a complete unit, with each component at 50% health.  The phase 1 Leviathan no longer drops napalms, thank goodness, but still does Shock Blast.  The phase 2 Pew continues, but without the single-target guns.  The head continues to throw plasma balls at the closest and highest target on its aggro table, but no longer summons bots.

Go back to where you were for Phases 1 and 2, but be aware:  now the Laser Barrage is a little trickier.  For one thing, it’s on a movable platform, so if someone accidentally pulls aggro right before spinning up starts, you might have to recalculate where you’re headed.  Avoid rockets and barrage, and watch each segment’s health.  They all need to go down at the same time, so we usually assign groups to each segment and then shift dpsers to different targets as needed until Mimiron wakes up from Yogg’s daydream and stops trying to kill us.

There ya go.  Walking in there the first time is intimidating, considering all the chaos in the room, but you’ll get the hang of it and be moving onto Vezax before you know it.


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Heroic Ulduar: Thorim

I like this fight’s layout, although mastering it might take a little practice.  It took us a considerable amount of time to figure out exactly what combinations worked for us in the first phase.  I’m still going to focus primarily on our feathery ranged dps role, though.

Trash is very easy.  It’s two sets of two dark iron guys.  Tank the two together, and the tanks need to switch targets back and forth until they’re dead.  Single target dps them down.  Do this twice, done.

The Pull

When you walk in the door, there is an assortment of NPCs fighting a Jormungar in an arena-type event.  Kill the Acolyte healer first, then the Captain, then the other NPCs, then finally the Jormungar.  Honestly, I usually kill the healer, dot the captain, then Starfall + Hurricane.  Once everything is dead, Thorim will start a dialogue.  At this point, Phase 1 begins.

Phase 1

You will need to split your raid into two groups, one to play dodgeball-mini-boss-killing in the tunnel and the other to hold off adds in the arena.  I can’t give you a magic formula for who needs to be where.  I can tell you what works for us, and that should be a pretty good guideline.

The Arena Group‘s primarily going to focus on killing adds and staying alive in the arena.  You’re there to distract Thorim with a good show while the tunnel group sneaks in from behind.  We go melee-heavy in the arena because they’re better suited for it.  There are lots of silences in the arena, making it inhospitable to casters, and enough moving around in the tunnel to make it difficult for melee to do any good there.   Our typical arena group consists of two tanks, all the melee, a hunter or two, and 4-5 healers.  If you find yourself in the arena (I have been put in there before, but not in a while), run if you get the all too obvious DBM skull on your head, and the kill order is always Evoker -> Champion -> Warbringer -> Commoner.  Some groups AoE this part; we haven’t had luck with that yet.  Keep this up until Phase 2.

This guy is dressed like a rogue...death is imminent.

This guy is dressed like a rogue...death is imminent.

The Tunnel Group is the one I’m usually in.  We go wait by the gate to the left until Thorim engages, then someone pulls the lever and we run in.  We generally have 1 tank, 1-2 healers, and all the caster dps.  There is trash and two mini-bosses to plow through in order to rescue the arena group.  The trash up to the first mini-boss is pretty simple; kill the Acolyte (Note to my mage friends:  if it is an Acolyte, then its heal needs to be interrupted, kk?) first then the Guardians while playing Dodge the Fireball.  The miniboss will raise one hand with fire and throw a fireball down that side of the tunnel.  Watch his hand and move to the opposite side of tunnel-o-flame (we have someone call it on vent to prevent dumb wipes).

Kill the first miniboss while the whole group is stacked up on his butt a la Attumen & Midnight.  As soon as the door opens, kill the Acolyte standing there and then let your tank run the spawning mobs up the stairs to stop the spawns.  Kill the second Acolyte once you get to the top of the stairs and then kill the second miniboss.  Run away from anyone who has a skull on their head as they become a stationary bomb that will hurt you (a lot).  As soon as the second miniboss is down, kill the adds and head in past Thorim and into the arena (careful–if you manage to do this and engage Thorim in under 3 minutes, you enter Hard Mode).

Phase 2

After all of that mess in Phase 1, this should seem relatively easy.  Clean up the adds left in the arena and start dpsing the boss.  The biggest thing you need to watch for are Lightning Charges.  You’ll see two streams of light traveling along the ground in a direction.  Get away from them, because once he finishes charging the orb, it’s going to blow up at you in a pie-slice shaped AoE.  You don’t want to be standing there when it happens.  Other than that, I just stand wherever I stop and dps him until I have to move again.

It might take you a few tries to figure out how to divide your groups, but once you get it, you’ll be collecting the loot and moving onto Mimiron.

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Heroic Ulduar: Hodir

Ah, Hodir.  My worst fight turned one of my best. I’m very fond of this boss; the fights I struggle to master are usually among my favorites.

Hodir’s Trash

Though Hodir is one of my favorite Ulduar boss fights, his trash is on my least favorite list.  It takes a while, and I’ll admit, I’ve been spoiled to the limited amount of trash up to this point in Ulduar.  Like Freya, there are three types of trash:

Champion of Hodir’s main issue for us is randomly targetted frost breath, which deep freezes players caught in the cone for a few seconds.  Tanks need to make sure they pull him away from any nearby mounds of snow and healers…well, just keep healing whack-a-noob style.  For us, it’s an easy single target dps.

Jormungar Packs pop out of snow mounds on the side of each wall on the way to Hodir.  Avoid the snow.  Your tanks will run up and pull each pack as they’re ready for it.  Aoe these guys down; quick Hurricane and it’s over.  There are quite a few of these mounds, though; and you’ll get pretty darn tired of the big ugly worms before you see Hodir.

Revenant/Elemental Packs pat throughout, and if you read my Freya strat, you’ll notice these are remarkably similar to the packs of flowers.  Kill the revenant first (you can’t miss him, he’s big) and then aoe down the elementals.


I could drone on about the abilities (there are several), but let me make this my easiest strat yet and just give you The Rules.  They are:

1.  Move.  I cannot stress this enough.  Think back to the Nexus and the debuff that makes you take damage when you’re standing still.  Multiply that by 10.  Biting Cold will certainly kill you if you stand still.  What I do is cast -> strafe -> cast -> strafe for most of the fight and refreshing DoTs as needed.

2.  Don’t Stand in Blue Circles.  Really.  Don’t.  Your healers have a hella lot to do in this fight, so give them a freaking break and don’t be a noob.  Make sure Projected Textures is turned on in your Video -> Effects options.  Then, when you see a small blue circle on the ground, move.  If you don’t, icicles are going to fall on your head, and you deserve it.

Icicle Circle

3.  Surf the Snowdrift.  You’ll get DBM warning you that Flash Freeze is coming up.  Start looking for bigger versions of the little blue circles.  Get near them, but not on top of them, as icicles will fall from them just like their smaller cousins.  As soon as the icicles crash, it will turn into a snowdrift.  Get on it.  If you don’t, you’ll turn into an ice tomb, which brings me to number 4.

4.  Cool Friends.  There are 8 very helpful NPCs (including moonkin!) trapped in ice tombs at the beginning of the fight.  Free them first, especially the mages (you can find them by doing /target Missy or /target Sissy–insert your own mage joke here).  They will get retombed every time Flash Freeze occurs, so focus on getting all of the ice tombs opened.  It’s also possible for raid members who don’t make it to a snowdrift to get tombed.  Make them priority.

5.  Bonfires, Light Beams, and Storm Clouds, oh my! Standing near a bonfire (look on the ground, I promise they are there in all the chaos) removes Biting Cold, allowing you to stand still for a little while and cast.  However, they’re hot and melt the ceiling (no, I’m not kidding), so watch for blue circles to appear where you’re standing and move.  Beams of light increase your haste, but you can’t stand still in them, so do a shuffle in the light.  Storm Cloud is an ability that the NPC shaman casts on raiders; it causes you to turn sparkly blue and increases the critical strike percent by 135% to six people around you, so when you start sparking, run headlong into some nearby dps.

6.  Frozen Blows.  I know I say this in almost every strat, but it doesn’t make it any less important.  Maybe it’s the former healer in me coming out, but please, please, PLEASE watch your health.  Frozen blows increases all damage done to raiders by 50%, and your poor healers will be losing their minds trying to keep everyone alive.  Healthstone, pot, bandage (good luck with that), Lifeblood–whatever you can do to help is warranted.

If you can manage all of that and keep a big chunk of your raid and the tank alive, you win, and you’ll probably need a nap.

Easy Achievement Alert:  If you see the chance to stand near a fire and in a light beam at the same time, do it.  You’ll get Heroic: Staying Buffed All Winter.  A lot of us got this our first or second kill without even realizing we were doing it.

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Heroic Ulduar: Freya

Freya is probably my least favorite of the four keeper bosses.  I know that’s blasphemy, being a druid, but it’s true.  I like the fight okay, it’s just not my favorite because it’s very random and chaotic.


There are three different packs of trash throughout the conservatory.  The first is a hapless assortment of trees, flowers, and a lone dragonkin.  There are two ways to handle this; on your first runthrough, I’d suggest CCing what you can and picking them off individually.  We’ve only started aoeing these packs in the past week.

The second pack is a big flower surrounded by little flowers.  This is standard Blizzard MO:  kill the big guy then aoe the little guys.  The third pack is a Crystalline Keeper and a big tree dude.  Why do I mention the keeper by name?  Because she’s a healer and you need to kill her first.

Mini Bosses

The Conservatory is set up in the now-familiar Obsidian Sanctum fashion.  There are 3 minibosses; keeping 1, 2, or 3 of them up leads to better loot.

1.  Elder Stonebark’s main impact for ranged is his Ground Tremor.  It’s just like Ignis’s Flame Jets:  if you are casting when he finishes casting Ground Tremor, you will be locked out of whichever spell school in which you were casting.  So don’t be casting during Ground Tremor.  He also has an ability called Fists of Stone that can one-shot a tank, so I imagine (haven’t asked our tanks how they do it) you would either taunt and kite the boss away from the main tank when he acquires the ability or burn cooldowns.

2.  Elder Ironbranch has two main abilities to be aware of, and both are casted on randomly targetted raid members; no one’s safe from this guy.  The most important for us is Iron Roots.  He roots a few raid members at a time, but unlike our roots, his can be targetted and killed, and should be.  I usually just tab to the nearest one and start pew-pewing, but if you’re having trouble targetting them, a simple /target Iron Roots macro should suffice.  The other ability is Impale, a DoT that must be healed through.  Watch your health; I’ve died to Impale from not paying attention before.

Gaaah!  Im Rooted!

Gaaah! I'm Rooted!

3.  Elder Brightleaf is by far the easiest.  He casts beams of light that heal him if you stand in them, so don’t.  He also does Solar Flare, which from what I can tell is his version of moonfire.  It hits for a lot more than any of our moonfires, though; so healers will need to keep people topped off.


You can say hi to Freya when you walk up, but for the first half of the encounter, you’re basically going to ignore her completely.  She is unkillable until her waves of adds are killed (you can dps her, but because of her buff, she cannot die).

But the first thing you need to know about is the Lifebinder’s Gift.  It’s not a gift for you, that’s for sure.  Throughout all parts of the encounter, a tree will sprout in a green light.  The placement is random, so as soon as someone sees it, we call it.  This tree heals her and her allies, so kill it immediately.

Now, there are three kinds of add waves that spawn randomly, two times a piece:

Ancient Conservator is a giant tree that looks a lot like the miniboss elders.  A tank picks him up, but dps needs to know one primary thing:  if you aren’t standing under one of the mushrooms that sprout while he’s alive, you will be silenced.  I don’t mean occasionally silenced, I mean that standing under a mushroom is the only way to cast.  Stay under mushrooms so you can dps him down.

Occasionally, while this boss is up, raid members will get a debuff called Nature’s Fury.  It turns you into your very own personal lightning rod that hurts anyone standing near you, so move.  DBM puts a big skull on your head.  That’s a BIG hint.

Detonating Lashers are flowers that do exactly what they sound like they should.  When they die, they blow up.  One lasher blowing up near you won’t kill you, but any more than that and your healers are going to excommunicate you.  The past few attempts, we’ve been aoeing them down to around a quarter health and then spreading out so we don’t get blown up by a whole bunch of lashers dying at once.   If you get aggro (and you will), kite the one (or several) on you around.  Keep tab targetting through them until they’re all dead.

Bad Flower, No Sunlight!

Bad Flower, No Sunlight!

Elemental Pack sucks.  Three adds:  Storm Lasher, Ancient Water Spirit, and Snaplasher.  They have to die at the same time, and they all do different and equally painful abilities.  Storm Lasher and Water Spirit need to be dpsed down to about 20% (then STOP, for crying out loud!).  DO NOT ATTACK SNAPLASHER UNTIL THESE TWO ARE AT 20%.  Is that clear?  Everyone?  Snaplasher gets a stacking buff for all the damage done to it, making it impossible to tank for very long if it’s being attacked.  Get the two others down to a nice low number, then have the tank that’s on the Snaplasher start kiting it backwards while dps gets on it.  It is stunnable and snareable, so slow it down to keep it from one shotting the tank as the buff stacks.  We usually have a paladin or two stunning it as it’s kited.  Kill the Snaplasher, and go back to the other two as quickly as possible.  DoTs should have ticked them down to 15% or so, so wear them out and quickly.

If you leave any of them alive too long, the ones that are dead will respawn, and at that point you might as well wipe.

After you’ve seen each of those packs two times (but not consecutively, necessarily), the tank that has been banging on Freya the whole time you’ve been dealing with her friends needs to begin kiting her around as dps starts on her.  She will throw down seed pods that blow up and have a vicious knockback.  You all know the drill by now–don’t stand near seed pods.

Keep enough people alive and execute all of that correctly, and you’ll be looting some epics along with the Alchemist’s Cache, which I have yet to win on a 25-man run.


On an unrelated note, I need some help from you experienced WordPress bloggers.  Several people have mentioned that my layout leaves a lot to be desired (I don’t disagree), so I have been trying to make my own layout with a personal header.  I’m very fiercely trying to avoid writing the CSS myself, so I’ve been hitting up layout builder websites.  None of them seem to work properly.

Suggestions?  If I can’t get a personal layout, I’ll be switching to a better WordPress layout that at least makes the title of the blog readable.

Thanks in advance!

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Heroic Ulduar: Auriaya

I will be honest; this is the fight I understand the least.  I never read the strat (shame on me!), and just kind of learned as I went.  I’ll have to back up my info with strat info, but I’m still going to stick to ranged dps; that part I know pretty well.

The Trash

Very simple, but needs a little explanation.  Basically, there are two Keepers, and you need to pull them to two separate tanks.  Put distance between them, because they spawn orbs that travel back and forth, and for each orb that reaches them, they hit harder.  DPS needs to kill the orb before it reaches its destination.  When the orbs aren’t up, dps the Keepers.  Done.

The Pull

Auriaya, affectionately known as Crazy Cat Lady, pats around the Keepers’ ring.  All of the raid clusters up in the corner (this is to the left of the stairs you just came down when you’re facing the stairs).  We pull her with either a DK’s Death and Decay, which he puts down in the last ring in which she pats and then runs back to the rest of the raid, or a hunter’s snake trap, which he lays down in the same spot before running back to the raid.  This forces her to come to us, and that’s a good thing.

The Cats

Someone needs to mark the cats that pat with her for kill order.  You can’t let them hang out together when you’re trying to kill them because they buff each other too much.  Have one tank on Auriaya, and make sure she’s facing the raid.  Have another tanking the cats you’re not killing off to the side, and have another pull the cats one at a time over to the raid to be killed.  Kill all the cats, then start dpsing Auriaya.

In addition to the cats that pat with her, she summons a Feral Defender.  When you kill the Feral Defender, he leaves a void zone in the floor where he dies.  For this reason, try not to kill him.  Chances are he’ll eventually die from someone’s AoE (like mage’s living bomb), but I avoid Starfall in this fight just to be on the safe side.  He basically runs around hitting people, and it hurts.  If he’s low on health, someone needs to call it out.  Pay attention to where he dies and get out of the big black hole on the floor.  Easy peasy.


Stand in front of her.  Please, please, watch the way her feet turn and make sure you are directly in front of her.  She fears, so tremor totem is awesome, especially for a healer group.  As soon as the fear is over, come right back over and stand in front of her.  Why?  She does a Sonic Screech in a cone in front of her, but the Shockwave damage it creates is split among the targets in the cone.  If you tried to kill her by standing behind her, the tank would be one shot when he received the full blast of the Shockwave.  With most of the 25 people in front of her, it’s damage that is easily healed through.

That’s it.  The whole fight.  It sounds really easy, but the pull alone took us quite a few attempts, so don’t get discouraged if it takes some practice.  Kill her and get ready for my four favorite bosses in the instance so far.

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Heroic Ulduar: Assembly of Iron

Finally approaching the end of the strats I can do until we kill Mimiron, so I want to go ahead and press forward.  Today’s jerks?  The Assembly of Iron, or Iron Council.

This fight is mostly about positioning and reacting (wait, aren’t most like that?).  If you’re doing this on non-hard mode, kill them in this order:

First: Steelbreaker

There needs to be a tank on each boss (there are 3) and a healer on each tank (similar to Karathress, but not nearly as complicated) in separate corners of the room.

Steelbreaker hits for a lot, but thankfully as ranged dps, we don’t care as long as the tank and healers manage to muddle through it okay.  Take note, though: a priest or pally needs to keep an eye on Steelbreaker’s Fusion Punch and dispell or cleanse it as soon as possible.  An uncleansed Fusion Punch will lead to a dead tank and a raid wipe.

Also, until the Runemaster is killed, tanks will have to watch for blue runes to appear on the ground underneath the bosses and kite them out as they increase the damage of whoever is standing in them.

Did you catch that?  The blue runes increase the damage of whoever is standing in them.  When the tank kites Steelbreaker off of the blue runes, jump into them for some sweet burst damage.

Kill Steelbreaker, and move onto the Runemaster.

Second: Runemaster Molegeim

This is a repeat of phase 1 with one primary change: Death Runes.  In addition to the blue Runes of Power, Runemaster will now throw down big, glowy green runes.  These runes are unmistakable, and even if you did miss it, DBM will flash in your face.  Heed the warning and move; they’re called death runes, not happy rainbow bunny runes.

Third: Stormcaller Brundir

Runes and dispells are a thing of 3 seconds ago once Runemaster dies.  Now you need to focus on avoiding anything that looks like lightning.  Stormcaller does four very painful things that can easily kill complacent ranged DPS, so wake up here.

Overload isn’t so bad for us.  Stay at max range and you won’t even have to move.  Any closer than that, and you’d better run when he starts Overloading, because he’ll hit anything within 30 yards with about 25000 damage and knockback.  There is no reason for any moonkin to be close enough to experience this, so don’t.

Chain Lightning.  It’s like that shaman buddy of yours, only it hits a lot harder and it’s not working in your favor.  Be kind to your neighbors; spread out.

Lightning Whirl.  If this isn’t interrupted it’s going to hurt a little, but not for long.  He basically spins around in a whirlwind and throws random lightning at people for about 7500 damage.  It’s pretty, but it hurts, so keep an eye on your health.

*Lightning Tendrils* You might think the asterisks are excessive, but pay attention here.  When Stormcaller raises up on spider-like lightning tendrils, get away from him.  He targets random players and follows them around the room.  Walking backwards will not suffice if you’re near him.  Turn around and run your feathery little tail away from the big electrocuted dwarf.  Anyone caught in Lightning Tendrils will suffer 3-5k damage per second, and especially if you’ve taken any damage from Chain Lightning or Lightning Whirl, this could be the death of you.

Easy Achievement Alert:  Get an Iron Boot Flask from Frosthold (purchased with Relics of Ulduar) and carry it with you to this fight.  Don’t drink it at the beginning–you cannot be in moonkin and Dark Iron form at the same time, plus it has a 1 hour cooldown, so if you wipe, you miss the achievement until your next raid.  When Stormcaller is under 1 million health and victory is all but assured, drink the flask, and TA DA:  Heroic: But I’m On Your Side.


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Heroic Ulduar: Kologarn

Kologarn is a simple fight with a lot of room for error.  If you walk in there with a death wish, you can easily make it happen.  Once you put the pieces together and pull off the execution, though; it turns into a cake fight.  Plus, once you have it on farm, you can have a good chuckle and all the people who stood in eye beams.

Quick Antechamber Trash Advice


Kologarn stands at the top of the stairs in the Antechamber.  Since everyone seems to need trash strats, the primary things you need to know to get through the Antechamber are: first, that CC is your friend (sheep humanoids, banish elementals), and second, that Chamber Overseers need to be pulled one at a time and the raid needs to clump on them, as they’ll jump onto anyone out of range.


(How do you like my diagram?  Pretty saucy, eh?)

When you get to Kologarn, walk into his space enough to make him appear (he’ll pop out of the ground to stop you from getting to the keepers).  Spread out in a staggered way, so that no two people are lined up, and for heaven’s sake, don’t stand on the walls.

Kologarn has a few notable abilities for us ranged folks.  The first is Stone Grip.  He will grab a few people in his Right Arm and threaten to kill them.  For this reason, whenever the Right Arm is up (it’s targetable), dps should be on it.  If you get it killed in time, no one will die from Grip, and that’s a good thing.

The other is Focused Eye Beam.  This will kill you and your closest friends if you’re not careful.  Watch for the big, unmistakable blue-green beams that will start on either side of you, merge into one, and then chase you wherever you go.  Because they will chase you wherever you go, as soon as you see them centering on you, turn and run straight back.  If everyone is staggered the way they’re supposed to be, there should be no one directly behind you.  If there is a wall behind you, run straight to the wall, then follow it out to the stairs.  Keep going until it disappears.  Once it’s gone, you can return to your spot and continue what you were doing.  If you fail to move, you will die in the eyebeam.  If you run this over people you will kill them.  This is where there is much opportunity for fail, so pay attention.

When his Right Arm dies, he will spawn adds called Rubble.  These need to be tanked (they HURT) and AoE’d, and they need to die quickly, so as soon as the tank has aggro, go nuts.  Starfall + Hurricane ftw (just don’t Starfall before the tank has aggro.  Trust me on this).

Summary: kill the Right Arm when it’s up, kill the adds when they’re up.  When neither of those is up, DPS Kologarn.  Run from eyebeams without running people over.  Collect loot.

cctvkolo copy

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