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Kills and Distractions

July 25, 2011

We’ve made some pretty decent progress in Firelands over the last couple of weeks, taking down Rhyolith, Alysrazor, and Baleroc. Our sights are set on Fandral and Ragnaros as we look to future kills and get distracted by the little things in between.


Rhyolith has become synonymous with Nascar and the Fast and the Furious in my guild (specifically Tokyo Drift). There’s a lot of right turns involved and sometimes, they just kind of let him drift in a direction to clip a volcano. Every kill since our first has been accompanied by “Driftin’!” in Vent. It’s… our thing now, I suppose.

How to Train Your DPS

Sadly, the DPS are about as easy to train as that giant, T-Rex looking dragon from How to Train Your Dragon. And we don’t get the benefit of dragon nip to make it easier. The biggest hang-up we had on Baleroc was training the DPS to monitor their own debuffs and stacks in order to tank the crystals. As we managed that, the healers had an easier time doing their own jobs and making with the big, pretty numbers for the tanks.

The Bird with the Worms

Last night was our first Alysrazor kill, after an apparent 13k wipe ending to Wednesday’s raid night (which I missed because I was at Kennywood, getting my ride on). Our kill was the flawless execution that we had been striving for the entire night, and it was great to see it all come together. Hopefully, we’ll be able to keep it together on subsequent raid nights.

Lately, I’ve been doing some world exploring and some alt leveling. These screenshots are a record of my recent distractions.


The Huntsman and the Spider

July 6, 2011

After a nice break from raiding in the form of my convention vacation, I came back to the raiding scene ready to face Firelands head-on last Tuesday, despite the raid leader’s decision to skip raid on Tuesday for the sake of server stability. It’s a pre-patch plan that allows for the inevitable hiccups to happen without ruining out raid night. Unfortunately for us, the servers were pretty damn stable on Tuesday and we probably could have raided.

After spending time discussing strategies and tweaking our approach to the fight multiple times on Wednesday, we came in fresh on Sunday and had Shannox down in short order. The strategy that we settled on involves focusing down Rageface and healing the everloving hell out of the tank with Shannox. For us, it works out well enough, and relieves some of the stress of having to deal with Facerage during the encounter. Of course, sub 30%, we tell the DPS where to shove it and focus all healing on said tank, relying on CDs and occasional raid healing to keep the raid up until he dies.

Some of our raid group went in on 10 man on Monday night for a little extra homework to help us sort out the issues we were having with Beth’tilac. And the sorting out seemed to work as last night, we took her down in three attempts, with no deaths on the kill. Some of our biggest issues on this fight have been balancing the DPS on the spiderlings, drones, and up top during phase 1, taunting the spinners before they nuke the raid, and keeping the web tank up up top until a healer can get up to him. We’ve sorted out most of the issues, thankfully, and it lead to a clean kill.

Now… we look forward to some Nascar racing work on Lord Rhyolith.

Caenem’s Tier 12 Restoration Loot List

June 28, 2011

Yay! A new patch and new raid means a new loot list for me to reference. As with the last list, there are notes on where each item can be acquired, as well as any associated costs. I’ve included the random enchant items in this list, since there’s only two of them. However, their specific enchants are not available. Items are listed in order: Rep, Crafted, Valor Points, Firelands. Items in italics are pieces that I am currently using. Heroic pieces are noted.

Obsidian Arborweave Helm
Requires Helm of the Fiery Vanquisher, which drops from Ragnaros in Firelands
Cowl of the Clicking Menace
Drops from Beth’tilac in Firelands

Firemind Pendant
1250 Valor Points
Flowform Choker
Drops from Majordomo Staghelm in Firelands
Heartstone of Rhyolith
Drops from Lord Rhyolith in Firelands

Obsidian Arborweave Mantle
Requires Mantle of the Fiery Vanquisher, which drops from Majordomo Staghelm in Firelands
Flickering ShoulderpadsRandom Enchant
Drops from Shannox in Firelands

Flowing Flamewrath Cloak
Avengers of Hyjal Friendly – 250g
Wings of Flame
Drops from Alysrazor in Firelands

Obsidian Arborweave Robes
2200 Valor Points
Incendic Chestguard
Drops from Lord Rhyolith in Firelands

Smolderskull Bindings
1250 Valor Points
Glowing Wing Bracers
Drops from Baleroc, the Gatekeeper in Firelands

Obsidian Arborweave Handwraps
1650 Valor Points
Heavenly Gloves of the Moon
Cindersilk Gloves
Drops from Beth’tilac in Firelands

Firescar Sash
Avengers of Hyjal Honored – 300g

Obsidian Arborweave Legwraps
2200 Valor Points
Firecat Leggings
Drops from Majordomo Staghelm in Firelands

Ethereal Footfalls
Phoenix-Down Treads
Drops from Alysrazor in Firelands

Quicksilver Signet of the Avengers
Avengers of Hyjal Exalted – 500g
Soothing Brimstone Ring
1250 Valor Points
Crystal Prison Band
Drops from Shannox in Firelands

Fiery Quintessence
Avengers of Hyjal Revered – 400g
Eye of Blazing Power
Drops from Alysrazor in Firelands
Jaws of Defeat
Drops from Majordomo Staghelm in Firelands

Smoldering Censer of Purity – Staff
Drops from Unknown in Firelands
Ko’gun, Hammer of the Firelord – Mace
Drops from Ragnaros in Firelands
Chelley’s Sterilized Scalpel – Dagger
Drops from Trash in Firelands
Goblet of Anger – Offhand
Drops from Shannox in Firelands

Singed Plume of Aviana
700 Valor Points
Soulflame Vial
700 Valor Points

Wonder Twins Take Two

June 7, 2011

On Wednesday, we started working on heroic Valiona and Theralion. And by working on it, I mean spent the whole night with them as our focus, as opposed to popping in to take a look toward the end of raid. We got close on Wednesday, but didn’t manage a kill before our weekend break.

Sunday night, we walked in short a couple of main raiders, adjusted our strategy a little bit to accommodate the newer folks in the raid (one main raider who was missing on Wednesday and two casual raiders who are around for just such emergencies). And then, we threw ourselves at the fight repeatedly to try and get it down.

How We Roll
For this fight, we had 2 tanks, 7 healers, and 16 DPS. Of our DPS, we had two Subtlety Rogues who spent most of their time in the Twilight Zone, with a Fire Mage and a Ret Paladin for occasional assistance. Their healer was one of our two Holy Paladins, who switched off the responsibility when things like Engulfing Magic and Twilight Meteor kept one from popping down. The other Holy Paladin and our Disc Priest make tank healing their priority, and the Holy Priest, Resto Shamans, and Resto Druid (Me!) just kind of went FFA on the raid healing.

For the first four Blackouts, we had the raid stack up to spread out the damage when it dispelled. Raid cooldowns were planned out for this in order to alleviate some of the damage. After that, we started sacrificing our raiders to the RNG god in the name of a kill. Fortunately, Paladins can bubble it off and Mages can Iceblock out of it. We were wandering all over the place trying to avoid Twilight Blast during Valiona’s ground phase, and some of us got really good at dodging Devouring Flames when she faced us.

We utilized Dazzling Destruction and the Twilight Shift to send folks down to the Twilight Zone to kill adds. Our rogues went down on the third Dazzling, and when our tanks shifted, we had the Mage and the two Paladins drop down as well.

During Theralion’s ground phase, we kept the melee stacked on his tail while the ranged and healers spread out, keeping in mind the Rifts around the room. Twilight Meteor was run into the melee group while Engulfing Magic was run to the stairs on the east and west sides of the room. We did everything in our power to keep Fabulous Flames from getting dropped on a rift, though we weren’t always successful. Deep Breath was, of course, called out (Far, Middle, Door) for the benefit of the folks in the Twilight Zone who can’t see where Valiona is and die when they stand in the breath (as opposed to everyone else who gets dumped into the Twilight Zone if they survive the first tick).

Once we worked out the dance that we needed to perform, everything went smoothly. True to form, we took a break and killed them on the first attempt after the break.

Druid CDs
During the fight, I relied heavily on my CDs. As usual, I pop my first Innervate sub 80% mana, and then on CD after that. I use Tree Form after the first Blackout stack and Tranquility after the second Devouring Flames to help mitigate the raid damage. Barkskin is used as needed.

Other Assorted Stuff
I’ve been given permission by my healing lead to go Balance on the normal mode fights that we’re clearing just to clear. Balance is fun! I’m working on picking up my Balance tier now so that I can play, but I don’t expect to be swapping specs often. I can’t match the output of our old Balance Druid, of course, but I also don’t have her gear (or set bonuses). I’ll get there, though!

Muting Atramedes

May 24, 2011

We’re two for two on new boss kills this week, with Heroic Maloriak going down on Wednesday and Heroic Atramedes following on Sunday.

After taking a couple pokes at Atramedes on Wednesday night, we retired for the weekend to discuss strategy and get a game plan together. One of my guildmates found this wonderful video with a great strategy that we were determined to try out in the hopes of increasing survivability. As a guild who spreads out on Atramedes, the whole stacking thing was a lot harder than it looked, especially when we’d have to move, then move back, then move again. The new strategy, however, had us always moving left for Sonar Pulse, and always moving right for Tracking. We also assigned the groups to specific quadrants of the room during the air phase, which cleaned things up a lot and made survival a LOT easier. It took us two attempts and we got him down.

We also keep learning that we need to set the instance to Heroic before we start clearing trash. We’ve switched it twice now and been sent back to the instance portal to clear the trash all over again.

Up next on the agenda: the Wonder Twins and the Djinni.

Slayer of Stupid, Incompetent and Disappointing Minions

May 19, 2011

Wednesday night, all of our poking at Maloriak came to a joyous end culminating in the BEST TITLE EVER.

How We Rolled
For Maloriak, we went with 7 healers (two holy pallies, two resto shammies, a disc priest, a holy priest, and a resto druid), three tanks (blood DK, prot pally, and prot warrior), and 15 DPS (6 melee, 9 ranged).

Break It Down Now
Our main tank for Maloriak during phase 1 was the DK, with the druid(me!) and a holy pally focusing on his heals. Between his self healing and my HoTs, it was relatively easy to bounce him back up in the three second windows between Engulfing Darknesses during the Black Phase. Cooldowns are required during the time that the MT is unhealable, regardless of class. We just found that our DK worked out better healing wise. Our other two tanks were responsible for tanking the Aberrations.

On Red Phase, we turned Maloriak to face the south wall and stacked up in front of him. Consuming Flames targets ran through Maloriak to stand at his ass, allowing for adjustments to his position as needed without worrying about wiping the raid.

During Blue Phase, we made sure that everyone was spread out to mitigate the damage during that phase of the fight. Our melee were clumped in groups of two on his right, left, and ass to control the number of targets with Biting Chill and the Flash Freeze targets were only broken out once the call was made by a healer.

Green Phase was business as usual.

Once we were moving into Phase 2, we had our warrior taunt Maloriak as he’s most intimately familiar with Magma Jet placement. Raid healing is intense during this phase and the frost bombs are lethal, but we kept everyone up for as long as we could and got the kill.

Tank Healing Black Phase
During the Black Phase, I was pretty much the primary tank healer. Although unhealable for a good chunk of the phase, I kept Lifebloom rolling throughout and often had a Rejuv going. With Maloriak as my focus, I could see when he was channeling or casting Engulfing Darkness and coupled that with the DBM timers. At about 1.5 seconds left on the channel, I’d start to cast Regrowth, followed immediately by Healing Touch and sometimes Swiftmend in a pinch. With my holy pally partner also keeping an eye out, we were able to get him back up to full with very little trouble. And between his CDs and the healer CDs, we had rounds of Engulfing Darkness where his health never moved. It was pretty awesome.

Up Next
Our next target is Atramedes. We’ve already taken a few pokes at him, winging it as we did so, and we’re hammering out a cohesive strategy for when we return to BWD on Sunday night.

Nefarian’s Pest Problem and His Incompetent Minion

May 12, 2011

This week has been a busy one, and we’re only two days through the raid week. After putting in a lot of work on Sunday, we walked into Blackwing Descent on Tuesday, took a look at Magmaw, and kicked his wormy butt to whatever hell or heaven magma worms go to when they die. It was a one-shot, despite several DC issues over the course of the fight, and it left us pumped for trying out Maloriak later that night… until instance server issues in the NYC data center called an early end to our raiding endeavors for the night. Let me tell you, being the ranged healer is… insane.

Last night, we worked on Maloriak and by the end of the night, we had most of the kinks worked out. We had an attempt that lasted over 10 minutes, but we couldn’t reach that benchmark a second time when it was the second to last attempt of the night. Our confidence with the fight is there, though. We’re hoping to take him down on Sunday and I can’t wait for my temporary title!