Friday, May 6, 2011

DGtCDB: Heroic Zul'Aman

I don't normally do trash notes, but the trash in this place is actually worse than the bosses themselves (once you get their mechanics down), so I'm going to make some this time to try and help out. Note: If I state you need to kill a target, that means no wasting GCD's on AoE - that target needs to die in a glorious burst of combined single target damage in short order. Pad your meters afterwards.

Upon entering the instance we're going to take the first left, hugging the wall to avoid a pull, and go up the hill towards our first boss here: Akil'zon: the Eagle Avatar. To get to his temple, you'll have to work your way up through a gauntlet. The Tank, and party, should be aware that mobs will come up from the rear during this progression and be ready to pick up/misdirect/run them to the Tank.

Akil'zon himself is pretty straightforward once you get to him. Ranged and Heals should spread out at least 7 yards apart to avoid Static Disruption damage - this ability is magic and should be cleansed when possible to prevent stacking the nature damage debuff. The party will also take random damage from brown eagles, which can be largely ignored though are tagetable, but, periodically, a large white bird - an Armani Kidnapper - will scoop up a player: the player can continue to DPS/Heal but the DPS' priority should be to free this person because they will take damage as long as they're held captive. The last major ability he will use is Electrical Storm, an attack that will target a particular player - lifting them into the air - and create a storm cloud at their location. The party wants to stack under these clouds - like they would for Shadow Gale on Erudax or Unstable Grounding Field on Asaad - because the rest of the platform is going to be lit up with channeled lightning that will burn them down quick. Other than that, burn down the boss.

Heading back down the hill, we're now going to move towards Nalorakk: the Bear Avatar. The primary trash mob you need to worry about here are the Amani'shi Medicine Man. They can heal but, more annoyingly, drop two totems that heal and bubble their allies, respectively, so you either want to burn this mob quick or make them primary CC targets and kill them last. Failure to do either will make for a very long fight and, likely, a wipe.

Nalorakk himself is also pretty straightforward mechanics wise. His is a two phase fight with a Troll Phase and a Bear Phase. In the Troll Phase he will charge the farthest target from him 3 times using an ability called Surge that hits for just under 40K by default and increases physical damage taken from subsequent attacks by 500% for 20 seconds. One person taking consecutive hits from this will, in all likelihood, die so what you want to do is have Ranged/Heals stack up and then have the person who takes a hit move towards the boss so as to rotate the strikes between them all.

In the Bear Phase he will primarily use an ability called Deafening Roar which will silence casters for two seconds. In both phases, he will hit the Tank hard so effective use of cooldowns in paramount.

Leaving his alter and moving on, the path to Jan'alai: the Dragonhawk Avatar is complicated by the presence of two main mobs: Amani'shi Scouts and Amani'shi Flame Casters. Scouts, much like their Lookout counterparts in Stonecore, will run to drums and summon additional mobs until killed: they can be one-shot so killing them quickly so that they don't get to the drums will save yourself a lot of work. (Note: Warriors, Bears - if you're going to max range Charge a mob to open, for the love of God, charge the Scouts. Running into the pack way ahead of your DPS almost always means the scouts are going to get to the drums 'cause we're going to be chasing them unless you stun them and/or kill them yourself). Flame Casters are your second priority, or primary CC targets, in all cases because they AoE fireball and this will decimate your party in very short order - especially if two are left up for a long period.

Edit: The Flame Casters use an ability called Blazing Haste: Mages should spell steal this - it's a 300% casting speed buff - while Shaman should Purge and, I suspect, Mass Dispell shall work for Priests (though, I've not tested). Be very quick on removing this and you can avoid a lot of their damage - while also picking up a pretty nice buff if you're a Mage.

Arriving at Jan'alai's temple, this is a fight that basically requires you to be aware of your positioning and the situation at hand as he will execute two primary abilities himself. His primary attack is Flame Breath towards a random player that will leave a trail of fire on the ground and deal direct damage upon cast: move out of the way. Periodically, he will run to the centre of the room and cast Fire Bomb, littering the room with glowing orange bombs: find a gap and stay in it until they explode.

The primary mechanic on this fight is the summoning of Amani'shi Hatcher's. Two will run in from the staircase and then spit off individually towards each wing of the platform where there are Dragonhawk Hatchling eggs to be hatched. What you want to do is let one of these Hatchers through - assign one ranged, and one ranged only please, to nuke one of them, they die quick - to release these Hatchlings because the determining factor on whether or not you will clear this is your ability to burn these Hatchlings down and you don't want them all available to be released when the boss hits 35% health. As long as your Tank and DPS can manage burning these down over the course of the entire fight, it's very likely the last 20% health or so on this boss will simply involve you avoiding his standard mechanics and you're going to be out of here in short order.

On the patch towards Halazzi: the Lynx Avatar you'll want to be aware that you'll be ambushed periodically by Lynx packs - let the Tank pick them up before you go AoE apeshit - and have to deal with Amani'shi Beast Tamers. The later are primarily annoying because they can MC player characters - cleanse this with magic and burn them down - summon additional pet mobs, and order their pets to focus target specific players. Try and CC or Kill these quick.

Halazzi himself is pretty straightforward. He will drop Water Totem and, while you could kill it, it's far better to just move him away from this and move all your Ranged and Healers into its big, welcoming, green circle 'cause this is one of those times where doing so is in your favour: the Totem will restore Health and Mana to anyone in range so your Healers/Casters will be able to spam their best heals/spells and the party damage will be alleviated to a degree.

Now the rest of the fight simply involves burning down the boss as he swaps through phases in which he will summon a Spirit of the Lynx, which the Tank should try and control but has a loose agro table and can largely be ignored until it despawns if you're taking advantage of the Water Totem and have sufficient healing otherwise, drop a Corrupted Lightning Totem, which should be destroyed quickly, and periodically Flame Shock targets, which should be cleansed.

When he drops we'll move quickly towards Hex Lord Malacrass. He will have two adds and, where possible, it's easiest to just CC as many of those as possible, kill those you can't, and otherwise burn the boss. His primary attack you need to worry about is Spirit Bolts: a party wide Shadow Bolt AoE that, as DPS, it's handy to help your healer by using any cooldowns to reduce incoming damage. Next, he will cast an ability called Siphon Soul that does two things: gives him access to some of a specific player's class abilities and builds stacks of Drain Power on himself that decreases incoming damage taken and increases outgoing damage done. So, you need to be aware that there will be abilities brought into play by the boss that are not friendly - Hunter traps, Death and Decay, Totems, etc... - and that the longer you take to kill him the more likely he is to kill you.

Upon killing him, you will open a door to move towards the final boss: Daakara, the new Armani Warlord. When you open this door, lots of cannon fodder will charge your party: pick them up and burn them down quick for a straight shot at the boss.

Daakara is a three phase fight. In the first phase he will be in troll form and will Whirlwind and cast Grievous Throw on players at random: a bleed that requires healing to 100% to clear.

At 80% and 40%, he will transform to draw on a set of abilities from 1 of 4 possible Animal Avatar bosses you've fought before at random. Many of the attacks he uses are straight out of their playbook and should be countered accordingly:

Bear Form: sees him use Surge and complicate it with another ability called Creeping Paralysis that will increasingly slow players for 6 seconds before paralyzing them completely: hindering your ability to change the Surge target. Dispel Magic the paralysis whenever possible. He will also hit the Tank hard with Nearly Overpowered Blow: his own version of Overpower that can't be mitigated by anything but armour.

Eagle Form: Sees him spawn 4 Cyclones that will each individually move periodically to where a random player is standing in the room: move away. He also drops Corrupted Lightning Totem: knock it over. Finally, he casts Energy Storm which causes Casters - including Healers - to take 8000 damage every time they cast a spell as long as he's in this phase. Be careful and don't kill yourself.

Dragonhawk Form: Sees him use Flame Breath, be aware and dodge accordingly, Flame Whirl, an AoE flame attack that also increases Fire Damage taken, and Column of Fire, random flame towers from the sky that look like a Holy Fire cast and should be moved out of quickly. This is a very healing intensive phase so don't be afraid to self heal if necessary.

Lynx Form: Will see him spawn two Lynx adds, these should be burnt down quick, and charge players with two abilites: Lynx Rush, which hits initially for ~10K but places a 50K bleed on the target, and Claw Rage, which can devastate non-Tanks in general if allowed to run to fruition so the Tank should taunt the Boss back to him before the target's health gets too low.

Manage two of these phases, and you'll be done here.

Zul'Gurub will follow once I've had a chance to run through the place in full a few times. ZA seems to be the favourite in the RDF.

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