Nerf 3.0.2 – Black Temple

4 11 2008

  As my work schedule pretty well stops me from doing any raiding outside of Saturday and Sunday nights, I haven’t been able to join in the fun lately. Sunday, though, I was able to go to Black Temple! I’ve been to Tempest Keep twice, and Serpentshrine Cavern a few times – but this was far and away the highest tier of raiding that I’d ever experienced personally. I elected to bring Manchego, my healing Shaman for the run. Right now, she and Ribeye are pretty well a toss-up for strength. Manchego has a higher healing throughput than Rib does, but Ribeye is far better for endurance fights. Basically, it’s a choice between a lot of mid grade healing, or a lesser amount of stronger heals. Given the subject matter (and the possible drops, admittedly), I felt Manchego was a better choice.

  The guild had already downed Najentus earlier in the week, so I didn’t get to see him. Our instance started with Supremus trash. I’ll admit, I was largely underwhelmed. There were a lot of melee deaths among Rogues and enhancement Shamans as we pulled packs, but really nothing too impressive. The trash pulls felt more or less along the lines of  SSC strength, pre-nerf. I did have some trouble when the warstomping demons hit, as the stun time caused a few concerns due to the inability to get heals off for a few seconds. For the most part, though, it was smooth sailing.

  Supremus had apparently been a sticking point on the earlier run, volcanoes in particular. We tried him a couple of times before finally nailing him on our 3rd or 4th try (I forget how many, honestly). I know that once, we lost the fight because tanks got out of range on a phase shift and didn’t get adequate healing to them. I may have cost us another by inadvertently shifting my healing focus off one of the tanks right after a shift; though I wasn’t designated as his main healer for the fight, I still wasn’t contributing like I should have been at that crucial moment and (though I kept it to myself) felt somewhat to blame. There was one try that wound up with myself and a Hunter as the last 2 standing, and Supremus at ~450,000 health. I just did a /growl, fired off a Lightning Bolt, and ate my part of the wipe there, not much else to do. I had done a good job of not running into volcanoes until the successful fight, when I was paying too much attention to the blue stuff in his run around phase and ran right over top of the damn thing. Ringside seats to the rest of the fight, and a healthy dose of ineptitude and helplessness! All in all, I think that (besides the obvious volcanoes), the secret to the fight lies with putting your Big Bad Wolf / Little Red Riding Hood skills to the test and running away from the big lug. If the raid can keep enough people alive to sustain DPS on him, he’s done in under 5 minutes. Dropped plate tank shoulders and elemental Shaman bracers, which I was happy to see Ness win.

  We cleared to Shade of Akama next. Some of the pulls were dicey along the way, but once we made our way to the actual room the pulls got fairly easy. Nailing the fight down took a few tries though. It shouldn’t; Akama is a fight where the big boss is tanked for you by an NPC. The trick is getting used to the adds that pour in from the sides, and this is what took us a few tries. Once we figured it out, we downed him without a single death. From observation, here’s the basics that I noticed that make this into an easy fight:

  •   Adds will come from the sides in one of four flavors: Defenders, Spiritualists, Elementalists and Rogues. Defenders should be tanked and need not be killed as they don’t hit hard. Rogues should be sheeped and dealt with third. Elementalists do high AOE damage and are priority targets, with the healing Spiritualists second.
  •   The adds have an annoying tendency to slip past the tank before aggro can be established. Having 2-3 hunters on each of the 2 doors will not only provide the fire support hat you need to down the adds, but make Misdirects available to return mobs to the tank. We observed that mobs which slipped by the tank beelined to Akama, and upon hitting him would focus their attention elsewhere. Thus, there is some time to Misdirect them and this shoud be relatively easy with the new cooldown mechanics.
  •   Also annoying about the adds is the AOE. If your greeting parties at the doors clump up too much, you are vulnerable to this. Simply place the tank at the door and support personnel (all melee DPS should be on Channelers) fan out in a semi circle behind him, which will greatly ease the healing load and keep your groups solvent.
  •   Poison Cleansing Totems are a huge boon. The Rogues will poison their targets with a high-powered Deadly Poison DOT that is difficult to stay on top of as they tend to reapply it every swing. Having these around to passively cleanse saves global cooldowns and makes for one less thing to worry about. Place one near each tank. I realize that this takes the place of the Mana Spring Totem; due to the brief duration of the fight, however, I don’t see a need for Mana Spring. If mana is even remotely tight, simply drop Mana Tide the moment that Shade of Akama unbanishes and all aggro goes to Akama himself as the cleansing totem will not be required any more at this point.

  It took us about 4 or 5 tries to get this down. Our first try was miserable, we’d anticipated 3 entry points and deployed accordingly. After determining that is was only two, we ran into problems with aggro and the tanks. AOEs, plus continuing issues with establishing aggro, were responsible for the third wipe. On attempt number four (or maybe five; the successful one, it’s all a blur) we hit on the right combos to do this, and the right execution. I’m not a raid leader; we have a few of them who are very good. However, the primary one was in the melee group attacking channelers, and thus not privy to the goings on near the spawn points. The other was tanking at one of the spawn points, and as such had his hands kind of full. From my vantage point, though, I was able to see and discern a few things that might not have been readily observable by them – the three things that I mentioned previously in this post – and I think that implementing them was the difference. It all still comes down to execution, so I’m not going to take credit from the other 24 people present for that… but for one shining moment, I felt like I had contributed a great deal to the solution. Maybe this makes up for my craptastic healing / volcano death on that Supremus wipe I’d mentioned earlier…. >.>

  Unfortunately, time ran out on our raid before we could get a crack at Teron Gorefiend. I think that he’s going to be a doable boss, so it would have been nice to try to learn the mechanics. Perhaps next weekend!

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