Tag Archives: warlords of draenor

Mythic Hellfire Citadel & I KNEW It Was Legion

Mythic Hellfire Citadel Progression

Good Time with ArchimondeIt’s been about a month and a half since we all started venturing into Mythic Hellfire Citadel, and so far it’s my favorite instance of this expansion. That’s actually saying quite a bit since I was a fan of Highmaul and Imperator remains one of my favorite fights in my raiding history.

So far, <Check Please> is 9/13 with a frustrating amount of sub 25% wipes on Tyrant. Xhul’s next on the target list, and then we get to step into the exciting world of Mythic Mannoroth and Archimonde, and man, Archimonde looks like a good time. 

I will say, though; for having some fun fights and looking cool, HFC also has one of the least enjoyable boss fights in Warcraft–can you even call Assault a boss fight? It’s a Mythic trash pull that isn’t even as uh–exciting–as the trash before Tyrant or Fel Lord.

But hey, there’s green fire and some fun mechanics and a lot of great stuff to die to (COULD YOU PLEASE THROW THE EYE? NO. OKAY. THANKS), so all-in-all, not bad. 

P.S. We stream our raids! Catch our main tank and GM Kinas on http://twitch.tv/almondstv or if I’m streaming, http://twitch.tv/ambermist. 

I Don’t Mean to Say I Told You So, But…

demon hunterObviously, the biggest news this month in WoW (aside from flying in Draenor coming September 1st!) has been the announcement of the next expansion, and I knew that I knew it was going to be a Legion expansion.

I could use this time to discuss how I remembered that day 2 or 3 years ago when a Blizzard developer made the comment about there being a bridge expansion followed by a legion expansion, and I knew that it was going to be a legion-based xpac, but instead I’m going to discuss the fact that almost no xpac predictions were wrong.

There have been a lot of discussions about the future of World of Warcraft going on for a really long time–forums, Twitter, fansites, blogs–and if you look at what we’re getting in Legion, you’ll see that there’s a bit of Oprah in this expansion. I said it on Twitter the day of the announcement: “Did you think the xpac was going to be Legion? You’re right! Emerald Dream? Yes! Azshara? YES!”

I’m not on the edge of my seat for this expansion, nor am I holding my breath. I also haven’t jumped on the Hype Train…


But it looks like it could be fun to play, and I haven’t stopped yet. Besides, the last time I wasn’t hyped (okay, the opposite of hyped, really), I ended up loving most of the expansion, so I’m along for the ride. Choo choo?

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Adventures in Blackrock Family: Day ???


This guy.

What a jerk.

Look at him, pacing around his forge muttering at us.

We should kill him.

Creature of Habit

Blackhand’s primary abilities are similar in all three phases, but the way you handle them will be different in each one. The repeating abilities are Smash, Marked for Death, and Slag Bombs.

Smash targets the current tank. The visual is a red circle on the ground around the tank, and it is always a knockback, regardless of the phase.

Marked for Death targets two raid members. The visual is a yellow arrow on the ground pointing from the boss to the selected players. When it hits, it does a ton of damage and a knockback.

Slag Bombs are mines, and they do exactly what you think they do, so make it a point not to step on any.

Phase 1

demolitionIn P1, the tanks handle the Smash with a cooldown, and in our case, a couple of handy life grips and a well-timed heroic leap to bring our flying warrior tank back into the fight.

Throughout the fight, Blackhand will start to demolish the forge, raining debris on your head (Demolition). The whole thing does a lot of damage and there are swirly areas to avoid. The big orange swirl on the ground has increasing damage by proximity, so try to stay away from it at all costs and use a healing cooldown to get through the damage of the ability.

These big orange swirls will leave debris piles on the ground (they look like some kind of giant campfire). When you get Marked for Death, go behind a Debris Pile–the Debris Pile will soak the blast. If you are NOT marked, you should stay out of the line of fire as it will put its full damage into whatever it hits first, whether that’s a Debris Pile or Random Melee #3 who tunneled too hard and didn’t see the arrow.

Bombs on the ground. Don’t stand in them. Easy.

Phase 2

After successfully completing Phase 1, the floor beneath your feet will crumble and you’ll fall right into Phase 2. During weeeeePhase 2, adds will spawn in the rafters around the room and shoot very painful things at the raid. Blackhand will also summon siege engines that fixate the closest player to them when they become active.

Smash. You’ll use Smash to deal with the rafter jerks–have a designated group stand with the tank in the red circle. Your tank will need to position the boss prior to Smash so that the tank’s back is facing the chosen rafter, and then a designated group of players will need to stand inside the Smash circle directly behind your tank.

When the Smash occurs, the group will get knocked back (and if you’ve done it correctly) right into the rafters to kill some adds. We send 3 melee & a healer, and while I would love to be in the rafter group (CAN I GET A STAR FAAAAAALL), we noticed that a ranged getting Marked for Death at the same time Smash comes out made the timing tricky and sometimes completely fail.

Marked for Death. We have designated kiters (hunters, duh) who position themselves close to the Siege Engine spawn points. They get fixated and do their best to run the Siege Engines over bombs, both destroying the mine and doing damage to the engines.

You will need to kill Siege Engines, so plan to have ranged switch to them, then stop around 30%. Marked for Death will take care of the rest.

Marked for Death in this phase will be placed behind a Siege Engine whenever possible, breaking the Siege Engine’s armor so that it takes damage and preventing its damage. There will be at least a few times when Marked for Death goes out when there isn’t a Siege available. Those who are targeted during these times should stand still, pop a cooldown, and take the hit, allowing everyone else to move out of the line of fire.

Bombs. Guess what. They’re still bombs. They’re freaking everywhere. Do your best to avoid them and let your kiters run the Sieges over them.

Phase 3

The floor will again drop, taking you to the heart of Blackhand’s forge, which looks kind of like hell. Positioning for this phase is extremely important, and you’re going to need to use the edges of the room, so plan for that in advance.

Smash. You’ll be using the knockback mechanic from Smash to move around the room, so when Smash is coming, your tank should put his back to the center of the room, and the entire raid should stack inside the circle directly behind the tank. When Smash goes out, you’ll all take a bit of damage and get knocked back to the middle of the room, at which point you will head to the next chosen edge.

Marked for Death. There are no cheese mechanics for Marked for Death in this phase. Those who are Marked need to put their back to the center of the room so they don’t get knocked off the platform, and everyone else needs to avoid the arrow. That’s all there is to it–back to the center of the room, pop a cooldown, eat it.

Bombs. In this phase, 3 people will be targeted with Slag Bombs. The visual is a circle around the chosen targets, and after a few seconds, a small volcano (a la Rhyolith) will appear at their feet. If you are targeted with Slag Mine, take it to the edge of the platform whenever possible. Definitely do not stand in the middle of your raid with it.

The fight is pretty straightforward when you just look at the mechanics like this, but it’s all about execution, right?

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Adventures in Blackrock Foundry: Day 2

We had so much fun Tuesday, we had to go back in last night (seriously, new content is so good), and we ended the night at 9/10 Heroic.

As I did yesterday, just posting a quick recap of the 2 bosses we did last night as ranged.

Note: If you click the boss’s name header, it will take you to the video on my stream!

Blast Furnace

Here an add, there an add…the first two thirds of this fight is nothing but killing adds and blowing yourself up properly.

In Phase 1, We left Foreman Feldspar up and just cleaved him down with the other adds, putting the raid on one side at a time while leaving one group of ranged to kill the Bellows Operator on the opposite side of the raid. Security Guards leave shields on the ground that will protect any add within them, so adds shouldn’t be in the shield.

While you’re handling these adds, it’s important to run bombs well–players will be targeted with bombs just like in the Spoils encounter in Siege of Orgrimmar, and bombs also drop on the ground when Engineers die.

If you’re targeted with a bomb or you pick one up, you run it to the Heat Regulator on the side of the room in which you’re fighting and then use your extra action button to blow the bomb up, damaging the Heat Regulator. You have to kill both to proceed to the next part of the fight, and the longer it takes, the more you’re wearing on your healers.

Phase 2 is honestly probably a bigger DPS check than the Phase 3 boss, because getting through Phase 2 quickly makes the rest of the fight much, much easier. During P2, there will be Primal Elementalists channeling around the center area of the room. They’re shielded and immune to all damage, and the only way to break the shield is to kill a Slag Elemental on top of them.

We just decided on a kill order starting from the side of the room we were on and moving around the circle to the other side. When someone is fixated by a Slag Elemental, they stand on top of the Primal Elementalist (you can have more Slags than you need, in which case the extras should just hang out, they don’t hit that hard) and the Elemental is killed.

When the Elemental dies, the Elementalist will lose his shield. If you want to make Phase 2 & Phase 3 more manageable, focus on getting the Elementalists dead before their shield respawns. Use the CDs you have available and give up padding on the Slag Elementals to get the Elementalists down as quickly as possible.

Note: Slag Elementals do some pretty sick AoE damage when they die, so don’t be standing next to them when they explode.

That's gonna be a wipe, guys.

Phase 3 is a boss fight with a ton of raid-wide damage (sorry healers). We started on one side of the room with ranged stacked and then moved out of the puddles on the ground, working our way around the room. Ignore Slag Elementals at this point, they don’t hit hard enough on their fixate targets to matter and it’s not worth trying to kill them and/or risk blowing them up in the raid, just focus the boss down and win.

Iron Maidens

This is one of those fights that starts out with a couple of mechanics and then just keeps stacking them. Fun fight, though.

The three bosses have to be pushed below 20% at the same time, then you just dps, don’t die to mechanics, and pray. On a timer, the boss with the lowest health that hasn’t already will jump to a ship across from the main platform, and you’ll want a group assigned to grab the hooks and kill the adds on the ship. Each boss has its own ship mechanics/adds, so the order in which you do them depends on your raid. We chose to do Marak > Garan > Sorka.

I’m just going to make a list because that’s easier. Abilities you need to know how to handle as a ranged DPS:

  • Blood Ritual: Marak will choose a target and start Blood Ritual, which looks like a red squiggly line (yup, dem’s professional-soundin’ werds) connecting the target to the boss. Move so that you create a triangle with the tank who will move into the cone you’ve created and soak the AoE damage she does when Blood Ritual ends.
  • Rapid Fire: Gar’an will target a player marked with a red arrow and begin to shoot a volley of pain at that person that detonates in an AoE marked by a circle on the ground. Move out of the raid and kite it around the edge of the room. Tip: it moves more slowly than you think it will, so don’t rush or speed boost or you might cause it to arc through the raid. Don’t hurt your friends.
  • Penetrating Shot: Identical to the Aim on Paragons except that you won’t take splash damage from standing too close in the beam while you soak it, so just pile everyone into it. It can be feigned, guised, and invised just like in Paragons.

How to Be a Boss at Bombs

When one of the bosses goes over to the ship, it will trigger a barrage of bombs on the main platform. This mechanic is stupid easy to avoid taking damage from if you know what to expect.

First: Red targeting circles land around on the ground, not many at all, avoid them. Bombs will appear wherever there was a targeting circle. Get close to one and pay attention to where it is.

Second: Those targeting circles will disappear. As soon as they do, move onto the bomb that was dropped by the circle. In another second, targeting circles will fill the rest of the space that was not previously targeted–basically, anywhere there’s already a bomb will not be targeted.

Third: That bomb you’re standing on is going to start looking really pissed off because it was one of the first to drop. After a few seconds of looking angry, it will explode. Before that happens, move to one of the new bombs.

Fourth: As soon as the first bomb detonates, move back to that spot and wait for the rest of the bombs to explode.

It sounds like a lot, but I promise once you see it, it will make sense.

The last phase, after they’re pushed, is pretty chaotic and hella fun. And you might die. You’ll probably die. Burn them down one at a time, kill turrets as they spawn (and avoid the fire spitting from them), and continue to handle the other mechanics.

There’s 2 more mechanics to be aware of in this phase: Dark Hunt is just damage, but when it ticks off it hurts for a lot, so use a CD. Lesson learned. There’s also a debuff called Convulsive Shadows that should NOT be dispelled. It will hurt a billion times more if you dispel it than if you just let it fall off.

The fight’s a mess, but I thought it was fun.

Next up is Blackhand. I’M READY, LET’S GO.

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Adventures in Blackrock Foundry: Day 1

I’m guessing everyone knows Blackrock Foundry is a thing now, and many of us are doing that thing! Twitter’s been awash in 140 characters of BRF goodness.Foundry

Last night, <Check Please> rolled up on some normals before getting into heroic. We ended the night at 7/10 Heroic BRF, not too shabby, and I replaced my PvP bracers thanks to Kromog (thanks, man).

So uh, here’s kind of a quick recap of the bosses on Heroic for ranged dps cause I need to write a blog post that’s longer than 50 words for once. :-P

Note: clicking on boss name headers will take you to the kill on my stream!


Easy peasy, and if you did Gruul in Burning Crusade, there will be a few things that feel awfully familiar. Remember that Shatter? Be on the lookout for Petrifying Gaze and spread out if you have it. Avoid Cave-Ins (like old times!). Avoid the big ground smash effect, as well.

Other than that, if you’re a dps or a healer, you’ll be stacked in one of two groups that are 10 yards apart for soaking Inferno Slice and doing your thing.

Oregorger (George)

Best GIF – TY @ordaris

There’s nothing to Phase 1 when the tanks get their Acid management all settled. If you’re ranged, stand in a stack and move together out of the puddles on the ground, conserving as much space as possible. If you have to run over those puddles at some point in Phase 2, you’ll be glad you didn’t take up half the room with them.

In Phase 2, priority 1 is living, priority 2 is dpsing crates. George will face a direction and roll in that direction, turning in an L shape and crashing into walls. The best advice I can give for living is to keep up with the boss. If you just follow him around, making sure you’re almost always in the area he just rolled, living is easy because he never rolls back on himself.

Oh, and if you happen to be that class that casts Starfall, it’s pretty fun for crates.


This fight is almost mindless for ranged. It’s like a heroic 5-man boss. Kill boss, aoe/cleave adds, move out of the white swirlies on the ground so you don’t get stuck to the floor, kill spears that are impaling your friends, DoT/cleave other spears, don’t stand in fire.

No, really, that’s everything.

Collect loot.

Operator Thogar

The only really stupid deaths I had were on this boss. I’m a little too fond of getting clipped by moving trains, apparently; and managed to die twice to them.

The best advice I can give you is watch the doors. Throughout the fight, one or two of the four train tracks will activate and a train will come running through it, likely killing you (or nearly killing you if you’re a warlock, I guess) if you’re standing in its path. We marked the tracks with colored markers to more easily identify where trains and adds would be.

Kill boss, cleave adds, focus the Man-at-Arms and the cannon operators when they’re up. Move away from bombs, move out of the gravity grenades that will attempt to suck you in. And I speak from person experience when I say: don’t get run over by a train!

Side note: We have the best warlocks. Also, I think around 11pm we’re all half-mad.

Hans’gar & Franzok

Honestly, this fight was nothing. DPS, avoid slaggy fire patches as they move towards you, don’t get stamped (move off of glowing rectangles). Easy peasy.

Flamebender Ka’graz

This one gave us a little bit of trouble. We wiped 5 times on her, more than any other boss.

Ultimately, this is what we did:

Stay spread out so you don’t chain Lava Slash, and mark a stack point for soaking Molten Torrent. Anyone who can solo it, should (hunters, spriests, mages), anyone who can’t needs ranged to stack with them in the circle to spread the damage.

When the wolves come out, kill them evenly (they need to die at the same time). If you get fixated, move in an arc between where the ranged are spread and where the melee are standing so that you don’t run a fire line through people in the raid (our tanks/melee positioned themselves so they wouldn’t get hit by them as we kited).


This is Kologarn’s weirder, uglier brother.

After a couple of tries spread out, we realized that was kind of idiotic, so we stacked our range, moved out of Rippling Smash, and moved into Runes when they appeared. Each person stands in one rune which will turn into a grasping hand. We found that killing the grasping hands before the end of Thunderous Blows was NOT a concern, so we just started DPSing them as soon as the Thunderous Blows cast started. Seemed to work out.

Have I mentioned lately how much I love Starfall? Cause I love it.

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Mythic Highmaul Cleared — On to Blackrock Foundry!

All I wanted to do was kill Mythic Imperator before Blackrock Foundry released, and I’m relieved to say that we’ve done it.

Not only did we do it, we killed it Realm First with less than 100 attempts AND with everyone alive for the kill. We finished the instance with style!

Imperator Kill

It’s good feels. :-D

Tonight we’re going to make our way into Blackrock Foundry, and I always love the excitement that comes with a new raid instance. Looking forward to jumping into new content!

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The Off Days

Even for those of us who love to raid, not every day is a raid day. So what do you do when you aren’t raiding?

Here are my top 3 ways to spend the off days:

1. Hop Around Aimlessly in My Garrison.

Slash Two

This usually includes chatting in guild, trade, mumble, or skype. It always includes undue stress on my spacebar.

2. Visit Goldshire Inn on Moon Guard.

<road warriorz lol>

For science.

3. Play Badly on My Alts.


Just like Playing Badly on My Main, but now with 100% more bad.

Progress Update

<Check Please> is now 6/7 Mythic and working on the man himself, Imperator Mar’gok. Bring the pain, Imperator; my body is ready.

Mythic Ko'ragh

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Or not.

Mythic Butcher

5/7 Mythic, Ko’ragh’s next! :-D

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