Ulduar-10 continued

This week, we managed to get in a couple more nights of attempts in Ulduar-10 after my first fresh attempt. We managed to make fairly good progress, and hopefully next week we’ll get to explore more.

Iron Council
We wiped quite a bit to these guys in our previous foray into Ulduar, but with everyone fresh and experienced now as to their abilities, they didn’t pose too much trouble. We went with the standard strategy of killing Steelbreaker first, followed by Runemaster Molgeim and Stormcaller Brundir in that order.

It is quite a healing intensive fight in terms of mana due to there being a lot of raid damage and very spiky damage on the tanks. The mechanics require people to spread out a bit as well, making it a bit hard to land AoE heals effectively.

Steelbreaker was tanked where he was, with the other two mobs being offtanked near the entrance (far enough that Stormcaller Brundir’s Overload doesn’t hit anyone). He does a Fusion Punch which hits fairly hard and tanks need to be topped off with big heals after that. The dot portion can be dispelled/cleansed immediately to save some damage. This phase is just tank and spank with some random aoe damage, but tanks have to move their targets out of the blue spotlights which buffs their damage (they also buff dps that stand in them, no buff for healers though).

After Steelbreaker dies, Runemaster Molgeim was dragged to the front. This is the critical part of the fight as he gains an ability known as Giant Green Glowing Rune of Immediate Death (GGGRID). He randomly targets a player and puts a huge GGGRID underneath them, which causes everyone in the area to take mucho damage. There is no way to know where it is going to be and no way to survive it unless affected players move fast out of it (and pray your healers save you). I’d recommend the Tuskarr’s Vitality for those without any great boot enchants for almost all fights throughout Ulduar, as they hinge on “get out of the bad stuff”. We popped heroism during this phase and had all dps spread out to avoid too many people getting hit at the same time.

Once Runemaster Molgeim is down, its pretty much smooth sailing. Stormcaller Brundir is a caster mob, and the majority of his damage can be interrupted. As a shaman healer, I could keep him almost perpetually locked down by wind shocking his chain lighting and lightning whirlwind abilities. As the last mob standing, he gains Lightning Tendrils where he flies in the air and chases after random players, doing AoE damage along his path. He is untauntable in this form, so players just have to get out of his way. But in 10-man, the damage is pretty insignificant and is easily healed through. You still have to watch out for his Overload ability (somehow our hunter died to it… it’s a mystery what he was doing so close to the boss) but dps isn’t a real issue at this stage. DBM kept warning of an impending enrage, but we never ever saw it. It seems perfectly possible for a healer/tank to duo him as long as you can interrupt his casts consistently. In fact, the fight lasted so long that I managed to heroism twice. This means that it took more than 10 minutes from starting on Runemaster Molgeim to killing Stormcaller Brundir, and I ended with full mana because I was mostly just shocking Stormcaller Brundir and didn’t need to heal.

Auriaya

Again her trash was really harder than the boss herself. The two giant constructs must be tanked about 30 yards apart, and periodically they will send a lightning orb towards the other. The orb is targetable and must be killed before it reaches the other construct, otherwise it grants a huge damage buff and crazy AoE damage. The constructs also have to be killed together (Blizzard loves this mechanic now) so they are brought down to about 10% then brought together and AoE’d.

The hardest part about Auriaya is the pull, since she comes with 2 panther type mobs. Our first pull had 4 deaths within 2 seconds, as the panthers pounce a random target once they are engaged and 1-shot any non-tanks. We then took more care for the second pull, and made sure we all stacked up really close behind a corner such that the moment she is pulled, we are all in melee range and within the minimum distance for the pounce.

Once the pull is done, we all stacked up in front of Auriaya and AoE’d her panthers down first. I put a tremor totem to deal with her Horrifying Screech, which despite saying that it’s a Horror effect… is actually still just plain old fear. She periodically summons a panther add which turns into a big void zone when it is killed. Our original plan was to just flat out dps Auriaya and offtank the add, but somehow during the fight the add kept dying. But it wasn’t really a big deal as we just moved Auriaya away and continued zerging her down. We killed her on the 2nd try with only a hunter dying by being feared through a void zone before tremor totem pulsed.

Freya

Nice change of scenery here, with lush greenery. It’s also a paradise for Herbers, since most of the trash mobs can be herbed for Northrend herbs. There’s a lot of poison debuffs, which my spanky Disease/Poison cleansing totem took care of easily. We killed off her Watchers first, which were easy sources of Valor badges since they are mostly tank and spank with “get out of bad stuff”. However, you have to be careful of Freya herself since she patrols around the middle of the room and gets pretty close to some of the Watchers.

Once her buddies were downed, it was time for Freya herself. This is basically an add swarm fight, where every minute one of three types of adds spawn. One type is 10 small lashers that explode when they die and are untankable. The second type is a set of 3 mobs that must all be killed within 12 seconds, and includes a water elemental that charges and causes knockback. Both of these types were tanked with the whole raid stacked up on the offtank (main tank is on Freya off to the side). The small lashers were just AoE’d and their explosions healed through, whereas the sets of 3 were single target dpsed down and then AoE’d.

The last type of add is a single big Guardian treant. He has a raidwide debuff called Constructor’s Grip that prevents you from using your abilities. However, this debuff can be removed by standing near one of the mushrooms that spawn throughout the place. The mushrooms grow up and then disappear, so the raid is basically hopping from mushroom to mushroom while killing the Guardian. An additional complication is an explosion-type debuff called Nature’s Fury which damages everyone around the target, so the target has to go find another mushroom by themselves while they explode furiously. But its not critical and can be healed through (about 3k damage).

Once 6 waves have spawned and been dealt with, it’s pretty much smooth sailing. The adds stop spawning and the raid can concentrate on a weakened Freya, with some periodic killing of some glowing green trees that shoot up from the ground. If left alone, the trees heal Freya, so just kill them. There are also small mushrooms that sprout up all over that explode after a while, causing knockback. These can easily be avoided. Again, popped heroism (that seems to be my main purpose…) and burned her down quick.

Interestingly, Freya drops a Alchemist’s Bag that can only be opened by Alchemists. It contains a whole crapload of potions and flasks. Guess those will drop even further in price once more people farm Freya.

Thorim

Usual wiping on trash ensued. The Vrykul mobs come in pairs, with 1 having a sunder-type debuff. Tanks need to switch before the debuff stacks too high, and dps has to burn down the sundering mob fast.

Thorim himself was interesting. He didn’t look the same as when he was jumping around Storm Peaks during the Sons of Hodir questline, but he vaguely remembers you before the illusion of Sif starts nagging at him to kill you.

The raid has to split into 2 groups, 1 to go through a hallway “backstage” to pull Thorim and the other to stand in the middle of the arena and…. er… I guess amuse Thorim enough to not realise he’s getting commando-raided? We split into 4-6 for the hallway and the arena groups respectively. I was with the arena group, so I don’t know what went on in the hallway. We wiped a few times to the waves of mobs spawning, until we once again figured out that the best tanking strategy was to all stack up right in the middle of the circle on the floor while the pally tank pumps out consecrate. Some of the mobs whirlwind, but it was easily healable compared to spreading out and risking healers getting swarmed before the tank can pick up the mobs. You also can’t get too close to the sides due to some lightning orbs, so standing in the middle is really the best option. The evokers have a damage shield that can be purged/dispelled to increase dps on them.

Once the hallway group pulls Thorim, it’s a dps race to kill him before enrage. This is pretty much tank-and-spank with some moving to avoid some lightning streams. Basically shiny stuff is bad. If something looks shiny, move away. Grey, goooood. Red/green/blue/purple/pink, baaaaad. Popped heroism, yadda yadda he died. There’s even an achievement that seems to be just for killing him.

Hodir

I actually missed out on this since I couldn’t raid that night, but from the sounds of it he wasn’t too difficult since he only took 2 tries. It boiled down to, as our friend put it, “Indian dancing” around icicles and just constantly moving. I’ll probably update this once I get to experience it myself.

More next week

Hopefully we’ll be able to clear out the earlier bosses quickly next reset, and try some of the new bosses. We still haven’t killed Ignis, and Mimiron sounds… interesting…. Memories of Vashj make me shudder >.<

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