Warlocks of Draenor: Draining!

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In the latest batch of datamined information, we have some more warlock news to look at! This time, it’s relating to a glyph, a removed spell, and a nerfed one!

Demonic Gateway

A simple change here, you can now summon the gateway at a minimum of 10 yards away, instead of 20 yards. Hooray, now you can do a short hop across the streets of Stormwind.

If, y’know, you could actually use it in capital cities. I’m sure this has PVP uses, maybe?

Malefic Grasp/Drain Soul

Remember Celestalon tweeted that they were going to merge Malefic Grasp into Drain Soul, and not the other way around? Well huzzah, it looks like that’s happened! Drain Soul now functions as Malefic Grasp does, i.e.  channels for 4 seconds, ticks every 1 second for 1 (+20% spell power)  damage, and causes your DoTs to also tick for 40% of the usual damage.

Additionally, if your target dies and they would give you xp/honor, a Soul Shard is replenished! Sure, it’s not all 4 like it is on live, but you now have a way of regenerating shards outside of Nightfall procs! Well, on fights with adds at least. Fights like Malkorok? Hello RNG Nightfall.

Also remember that courtesy of a Draenor Perk, when it is used on a target below 20% health, it forces DoTs to tick for 100% of damage instead of 40%, thus becoming the execute we all know and love.

In addition, Kil’jaeden’s Cunning now works with Drain Soul (meaning your execute can now be channeled on the move too), as does Soul Leech. Let’s hope it keeps the Drain Soul animation! Maybe they can add in a minor glyph that allows you to change the appearance of Drain Soul to that of Malefic Grasp if you REALLY like it so much.

Glyph of Life Pact

“Mana costs on all your spells are reduced by 30%, but Life Tap can no longer be cast, and your health will drop by 1% per sec. Your health cannot drop below 75% from this effect.”

Well, this was datamined a while back with placeholder figures, but now we have some numbers to look at! There’s still a few of unknowns with this glyph. Will the 30% reduced mana costs end when you hit 75% or below, or will it stay? With Soul Link active, is the damage split between you and your demon (though it’s not for Burning Rush, so probably a no here)? Will your healers absolutely hate you? Destro will never have mana issues again with this glyph (like it did anyway!), but what of Affliction and Demonology? They’ll HAVE to run out of mana eventually, right? With Life Tap disabled, what’ll they do?

Honestly, this glyph needs some pretty extensive testing before I can give a full opinion on it, but on the surface it looks cool!

A small update for a small number of changes. Still, any news is good news, right?

In closing, here’s Lunchi the monk frozen mid-move by Illidan’s RPing.

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Icecrown Citadel Soloing!

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Ah, the final raid of Wrath of the Lich King. No, I’m not counting Ruby Sanctum, silly.

Each boss has one achievement tied to it, unlike Ulduar where every boss had hundreds. Makes my job slightly easier.

Lord Marrowgar

A boss I recommend Grimoire of Sacrifice for, in order to avoid being bone spiked. Avoid fire on the ground, use defensives if low on health, and nuke the bastard. It’s a simple, speedy kill.

His achievement is called Boned (fnar!) and it requires that nobody is impaled by a bone spike for longer than 8 seconds. Doing this alone will guarantee success!

Bear in mind that on 25hc, he’ll cast Bone Spike Graveyard on you regardless of whether you’re alone or not. There’s no real way to avoid this, so is he unsoloable? NO! Bone Spike Graveyard has NO EFFECT WHATSOEVER on worgen or goblins. These races can therefore stomp him easily. The rest of us will have to just have our demon kill the spike. Yes, for 25hc use Supremacy, and make sure you tank him yourself, otherwise he’ll Bone Spike you outside of his Bonestorm.

Bone.

Lady Deathwhisper

Ah, she of the annoying voice. This fight is basically Nukapalooza 2014. Blow her up. Your attacks will damage her MANA bar at first, and during this time she will periodically summon adds for you to kill. These adds are largely irrelevant, bar one. If you see a mob called Cult Adherent, kill it to death immediately. If you let them cast Curse of Torpor on you, it makes this fight SO much more difficult, as it increases ability cooldowns by 15 seconds. Abilities that DON’T have a cooldown will have 15 second ones for the duration of the debuff.

Yeah. Bad times.

Once you start hitting her health bar, she won’t summon adds anymore, and she resumes being a simple burn job. Her achievement is called Full House and it requires that 5 different types of cultist are present when she dies. I’d recommend doing this achievement in a small group because fuck Curse of Torpor, but if you really wanna go for it solo, then save your cooldowns for when you have the right number of cultists, then smash the boss to pieces.

In heroic, she’ll summon cultists even in phase 2, and use a spell called Dominate Mind. Yes, a mind control. I’m fairly confident she doesn’t use it on a solitary target, so again Grimoire of Sacrifice is the way forward.

Gunship Battle

*hisssssss*

This is the fight that will give you a couple problems. Before you start the encounter, talk to the goblin and get the rocket pack. Equip it (it’s a shirt) and put the button on your action bar. Talk to Muradin (or whoever the horde person is that begins this encounter) and ride into the sky!

Hop into one of the cannons, and build up heat by using ability 1. Keep an eye on how much heat you are generating (hitting 100 will overheat the cannon and make it temporarily unusable), and when at 90+, use ability 2. This spends all your heat on a super-powered cannon ball!

When the enemy ship appears, start bombing it! Ignore any adds and just focus on blowing the enemy ship up. Eventually, the other boat will summon a mage that freezes your cannons. DO NOT ROCKET OVER YET. When you get frozen out your cannons, wait for 3 adds to be summoned onto your ship, and kill them as they appear. When they’re dead, hop over and nuke the mage, then hop back. Jump back into your cannon and resume bombarding. Repeat this process until the enemy ship dies.

You will most likely wipe a couple times before you succeed here, because even doing this it’s still a little bit RNG. Persistence is the key here.

The achievement is called I’m on a Boat and requires that you don’t hop over to the enemy boat more than once, which means that this is most likely impossible solo. Group time.

Heroic mode gives everything more health, and thus makes this encounter longer and more annoying. Yuck.

Deathbringer Saurfang

Easy fight! Voidlord tanks, you spank. This is literally as easy as it gets, people. Relish it. He summons Blood Beasts every 30 seconds, kill them if they’re a bother.

Heroic mode adds a buff to the blood beasts that triples their damage and slowing enemies close to them by 80%. This makes them more of a threat, so kill them when they spawn. Other than things having more health, this is the only change to the fight.

I’ve Gone and Made a Mess requires that you kill Saurfang before he casts Mark of the Champion a certain number of times (3 on 10m, 5 on 25m). When he reaches 100 Blood Power, he casts it. This just makes this fight a DPS race that’s easily won. I mean, I did it on my prot paladin easy enough, and her damage is TERRIBLE!

Festergut

DPS race! You need to kill him before hitting 10 stacks of Gastric Bloat. You hit 10 stacks, you blow up and die.

Thankfully, this is another tank & spank fight, with all the easiness that implies. On heroic, there’ll be crap pools for you to avoid. Overall though, this fight is easy-peasy.

Flu Shot Shortage requires you to get no more than 2 stacks of Innoculated. If you burn him down quick enough, then congrats.

Rotface

Another easy fight. I recommend tanking this one yourself, so go with Grimoire of Sacrifice. This means you don’t have to worry about oozes, as he won’t use Mutated Infection on anyone tanking him, and you will therefore get Dances With Oozes by default.

Burn him down. Watch your health if you’re GoSaccing this fight, avoid crap on the floor. Heroic mode adds Vile Gas from Festergut. Doesn’t make this any more difficult, to be honest.

Professor Putricide

Good news everyone! Turns out this wing is hilariously easy!

Ah, but it does get interesting on heroic. For normal, just tank and spank. Don’t stand in the crap. Please.

On heroic, instead of being stunned during phase transitions, you have to kill a couple adds he’ll spawn, Volatile Ooze, and Gas Cloud. On 25man you’ll only be able to kill one of these, so ignore the other one. Another addition is Unbound Plague. Just heal through it.

Obviously, the shorter you can make each phase, the better the fight will go, so go full-on nuke here. Terrorguard, Dark Soul, have some embers banked before you engage and blow him up when your fantastic trinkets proc. For the achievement Nausea, Heartburn, Indigestion… you need to not use Regurgitated Ooze when an abomination.

You don’t need to be an abomination for this fight solo. You’re too beautiful. Just nuke and get the achievement by default.

Blood Prince Council

Nuke! AoE! Cleave! Throw everything you have at the one with health. Have your demon tank one/all of them, havoc one you aren’t targeting, and just blow them up. It’s a simple fight, but watch out for your demon! They have a tendency to take a LOT of damage from the princes for some reason.

The Orb Whisperer requires that you take no more than 23k damage in a single hit (25k on 25man) and is largely trivial to achieve.

Heroic adds a debuff called Shadow Prison to the encounter. It causes damage when you move, but staying still for 10 seconds will clear it. Largely trivial again.

Blood-Queen Lana’thel

We’ll start with the achievement, which probably can’t be done solo. Kill Queenie here as a vampire one week, and NOT as a vampire the next. Solo, you’ll always be a vampire, so get some friends to get bitten instead for the latter. This awards Once Bitten, Twice Shy.

This is the definition of a nuke fight. Her attacks do little damage to you so go with Grimoire of Sacrifice and tank her with your face. When she bites you, you get a debuff called Essence of the Blood Queen. This doubles your damage and causes attacks to heal you. From this point, you have 75 seconds to nuke the shit out of her before you get mind controlled and die horribly. Pop cooldowns here. Dark Soul, Doomguard, potions, the lot.

Heroic mode adds nothing of note really bar increased health. Kill her faster!

Valithria Dreamwalker

No. You cannot solo this fight. This is where our mighty journey stops!

Unless you get healer friends to come along and heal the green monstrosity so you can move on. For some reason, the dragon refuses to take healthstones.

In 6.0, they’re making this encounter skippable, because while some classes can solo it, others cannot. Like, ever. No, not even bandages.

Portal Jockey requires that all portals she summons are used. Do yourself a favor, get enough healers (or people with healing offspecs, and get those that CAN’T heal to throw a bandage on her or something), nuke-heal her and get the achievement because she didn’t summon a single portal for anyone to go through in the first place.

Sindragosa

Have your Voidlord for this one again. It’s a relatively simple tank & spank, even on heroic. When she flies into the air, she’ll trap you in an ice tomb. Target it and get your Voidy to attack it to free you. Watch out as she’ll use this quite often as her health gets lower! Make sure you keep Voidy at or close to full health. I recommend Glyph of Demon Training to increase his armor by 10%, and Glyph of Health Funnel to make Health Funnel an instant heal, as well as Soul Link for the passive 3% of damage dealt healed back to you.

Heroic just makes things hit harder. It’s still doable. All You Can Eat requires that you don’t get more than 5 stacks of Mystic Buffet. Frankly, it’s easier to do that one as a group and nuke her down before she even does it 5 times, but if you really want to solo it, go ahead. Go behind pillars to break line of sight so that your stacks fall of, though with the ice tombs I doubt that’s gonna be easy!

The Lich King

I’m not gonna go through the achievements for this one solo, as I doubt they can be done. Been Waiting a Long Time for This requires you to stack Necrotic Plague to 30. This’ll kill you solo, no question.

Phase 1, your pet will tank ol’ Lichy, while you nuke him. Stay above 90% health so that Infest has no effect on you. Nuke Drudge Ghouls and Shambling Horrors. On heroic, make sure that you’re moving constantly out of the Shadow Traps, else you’ll go flying away like Team Rocket. This is the hardest phase to be frank, as there’s so much going on, and the Shadow Traps are REALLY annoying if you’re doing it heroic-style.

Transition 1 (70%), position yourself at the base of the stairs. Kill the Raging Spirits, and especially the Ice Spheres (they will send you flying as well if they touch you). Watch your health, a lot of damage will be coming your way!

Phase 2, you’ll see some Val’kyr flying around. They’ll be a bother as they’ll pick you up and carry you to your doom unless you have aggroed something in the last 45 or so seconds. At the start, you’ll be okay ’cause of the Raging Spirits that were attacking you, but every so often you wanna dismiss your Voidlord, take a hit from Skeletor there, then Flames of Xoroth your pet and Soulshatter to get the aggro back onto him. When FoX’s cooldown is up, dismiss, take a hit, resummon.  You won’t have Soulshatter (2 min cooldown, sadly), so ease the DPS a little.

He also casts Defile, which plonks a big area of crap on the ground you need to get out of asap, as it gets bigger each time it deals damage.

Transition 2 (40%) is exactly the same as the first. Kill spirits, kill orbs.

Phase 3, no more Infest! Yay! Kill Vile Spirits that spawn asap. They have low health so Rain of Fire or Fire & Brimstone: Incinerate may suffice here. They explode for about 20k if they get too close. Keep on the move! If he sends you into Frostmourne, then just keep on the move and avoid as much damage as possible. The Val’kyr are still flying around so remember to dismiss your pet, take a hit, then resummon whenever Flames of Xoroth comes off cooldown.

At 10%, you’ve pretty much won. You can survive Fury of Frostmourne through a combination of stupidly high warlock health, Twilight Ward, Unending Resolve, and a Soul Leech shield (though the latter was all it took for me) and continue to kill Lichface as the whole boring RP drags on. You get to this part, the fight is won, unless you do something dumb like walk off the edge of the platform.

Oh look, me doing it on 25 man normal. Maybe one day I’ll do heroic.

And with that, we finish the Lich King raids! But worry not, Cataclysm raids are next! And guess what? Blackwing Descent is hilariously easy on 10n mode.

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Here’s Raenah in her other job as a barmaid.

Warlocks of Draenor: Patch Note Updates?

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I’ve decided all future warlock-related WoD posts will be called Warlocks of Draenor, ’cause heck I read Warlords of Draenor as that half the time.

Since the last blog which went over a massive glut of information regarding the state of play for us in 6.0, 2 more updates have been made to the patch notes! So shall we go over the ones relevant to us?

  • Demonic Breath is going away again, and Howl of Terror is going back to being a level 30 talent. This is probably part of the CC reduction we’re seeing, but instead of flat-out removing this one, they’re just making it so you have to forego having Mortal Coil or Shadowfury. Fair enough, that tier was a choice between those two talents anyway. I used Demonic Breath ONCE. Just to see the visual. I surmise that’s the same for many people.
  • They clarified points on DoT Snapshotting. Basically, it’s going bye bye. “Periodic damage and healing effects now dynamically recalculate their damage, healing, Critical chance, multipliers, and period on every tick.” The exceptions to this are DoTs that deal damage based on a %age of a previous ability’s damage (Blackout Kick, or the Chaos Bolt DoT when using GoSac).
  • Pandemic is gone! But every class gets the Pandemic effect passively, but only to 130% of normal duration, down from 150%.
  • Healthstones share a cooldown with health potions, seperate from other potions. This means healthstones become a once-per-battle deal, as opposed to once per 2 minutes.

There’s also datamined changes to some of our spells, however these are not 100% official yet. They’re not in the patch notes, so grains of salt are useful here.

  • Corruption for Affliction (and apparently Destruction? I assume then Immolate in that case) now scales with 24% of your spell power, up from 17%.
  • The Demonology level 100 talent Demonbolt scales with 400% spell power, up from 300%.
  • Agony scales with 35% of spell power (was 26%), Haunt with 394% (was 263%), and Malefic Grasp now scales with 20% (was 13.2%). Its proc that forces your DoTs to tick for 30% of normal periodic damage now ticks for 40%!
  • Hand of Gul’dan scales with 20% of spell power (was 14%), and Doom does 4+200% of spell power, rather than 4,004 + 93.75%.
  • Chaos Bolt scales with 348.4% of spell power (was 290%), and Conflagrate now scales with 210% (was 173%).
  • Glyph of Siphon Life has spec-specific tooltips, and works with Immolate for Destruction.
  • Glyph of Soul Consumption also has spec-specific tooltips. You need to kill something with Chaos Bolt for Destruction, or in demon form with Demonology.

It basically looks like a removal of base damage on most abilities, with increased spell power scaling to compensate. Simple enough. These numbers are subject to change though, they were datamined, not official patch note numbers.

A potentially nice bit of news for those that lament the loss of Drain Soul:

We’re planning to merge Malefic Grasp into Drain Soul, instead of the other way around, in the next build. (Celestalon)

So hopefully we keep that iconic spell and visual. From what it sounds, it seems that Drain Soul will function as Malefic Grasp does now above 20%, then it’ll change to Drain Soul functionality in execute range (where your DoTs tick for 100% of their damage per DS tick).

For those that are wondering how Grimoire of Sacrifice will interact with your bigger, badder demons in the Demonic Servitude talent:

Planning to indeed make it a bad idea to Sacrifice your Big Demon. However, we’re working on new abilities for the Doomguard/Infer. (Celestalon)

I guess they’d rather people take the talent because they want the demons, not just to sacrifice them. Fair enough. Worried about the loss of Soulshatter, and fretting that you’ll keep ripping threat from your Voidlord?

We’ll adjust their aggro generation to compensate, so that you don’t need it.  (Celestalon)

It’d be nice if their taunt affected a small area too, so that they can taunt multiple enemies at once, but I suppose that’s just wishful thinking! Finally, Carrion Swarm’s removal prompted a couple warlocks to ask if it’s possible that it will be re-implemented, and here’s the answer they got:

Not likely. It’s power that we don’t want them to have.  (Celestalon)

Pretty straight-forward. We don’t have a “why” yet, but it’s probably part of the general CC/interrupt pruning.

Here’s Raenah and a mantid in a statue form. Look at how my Voidlord refuses to assist either of us. Bastard.

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News for Warlocks in Warlords!

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So it’s been a busy week! We have a first look at the 6.0 patch notes, and a crap-ton of other news that popped up too, like the Draenor Perks, glyphs, talents, etc. Let’s have a look at what some of that means!

(note, all of this is subject to change, especially datamined stuff! With that in mind, I wanna say a BIG thanks to Wowhead for all their datamined info, it proved so useful in making this blog)

REMOVED ABILITIES

  • Soulburn: Unending Breath. No more water walking for us! Unless we take Glyph of Nightmares, of course.
  • Soulburn: Health Funnel. That might hurt the affliction soloing potential somewhat, as the damage reduction is a great help to them.
  • Soulshatter: Apparently it’s scarcely used. I use it a lot in soloing, but hey ho.
  • Rain of Fire: For affliction, that is. It’ll be replaced by Seed of Corruption (much like Hellfire replaces it for demonology).
  • Pyroclasm: Its effect has been baked into Backdraft.
  • Metamorphosis: Cursed Auras: Now curses affect a 10 yard area around a target, this is slightly un-needed.
  • Fel Flame: The controversial one! How will affliction deal with totems now? The removal of fel flame is a very sore point at the moment with most of the warlock community. Almost as much as…
  • Drain Soul: Its basic damaging effect is being baked into Malefic Grasp (courtesy of a Draenor Perk), and the soul shard regeneration is going to be balanced around Nightfall procs (which are boosted by 5% courtesy of another Draenor Perk). Upsetting though, as we lose the awesome visual effect, and classic warlocky-sounding name that conjures the images of you DRAINING YOUR ENEMY’S SOUL.
  • Soulburn: Drain Life: Again, Draenor Perks are modifying this spell. It’s generating embers?!
  • Metamorphosis: Void Ray: Well, nobody used it anyway, to be honest.
  • Metamorphosis: Carrion Swarm: Aww. What’ll Demo do for an interrupt now? They don’t use Feldogs/Tentacle Eyeball Monsters.
  • Curse of Enfeeblement: They’re removing cast speed slowing abilities because it makes caster PVP terribly unfun.

So the two major ones there are Drain Soul and Fel Flame, ones everyone suspected would get cut, but few actually wanted them to. Personally, I don’t use Fel Flame as I take Kil’jaeden’s Cunning, so I just Incinerate spam when I need to move, but on occasions when I take Archimonde’s Darkness, it’s nice to have the option of using Fel Flame!

In terms of Drain Soul, if they’re dead set on removing it, then if they made a minor glyph that replaced the visual of Malefic Grasp with that of Drain Soul, I’d like it, even if it only worked in execute range. As for having our in-combat shard regeneration depend entirely on the RNG of Nightfall, they really need to make it a reliable source. If we’re sitting at 0 shards for an extended period of time because we’re not lucky enough, then that’s bad. Maybe make a passive that regens a soul shard every 15 seconds in combat?

The loss of the soulburn abilities is no great loss, bar Health Funnel for a soloing warlock. The loss of Soulshatter though is not fun. Manage my own threat?! I think not!

CC Changes

  • Blood Horror’s cooldown is now 60 seconds. Shares diminishing returns with other Mesmerize effects.
  • Spell Lock only interrupts spellcasting, no longer silences.
  • Mortal Coil shares DR with other Mesmerize effects.
  • Optical Blast only damages and interrupts, not silences.
  • Sear Magic’s cooldown is now 30 seconds.
  • Seduction and Mesmerize have a 30 second cooldown.
  • Terrorguards no longer cast Terrifying Roar when they die (I never even knew they did tbh)
  • Unbound Will’s cooldown is now 2 minutes.
  • Voidwalker/Voidlord’s Disarm is removed. Seems to be replaced with Suffering at the moment?

All classes are getting changes to their CC to tone it down in PVP somewhat. I’ll miss being able to disarm Warbringers though!

Warlock Patch Notes

So what else did the 6.0 patch notes bring for us? Not much else, but here goes.

The cooldown on a healthstone will no longer begin until the player leaves combat. This is making them a once-per-battle dealy, and can no longer be a critical heal. It’s effectively merging them with health potions.

Demonic Gateways no longer have charges! Yay! Unfortunately, you can only use them once every 90 seconds, and the gates can only be 40 yards apart. Ouch.

Drain Life heals for 30% less than before. The Glyph of Drain Life doubles healing from Drain Life.

Shadowburn no longer generates mana. Not a good change, as even though our mana regen is high, there are still times when we run low. We cast a Chaos Bolt at this time, and most of our mana is back by the time the LOOOOONG cast is done. With Shadowburn being an instant cast, we don’t give our mana a chance to regen in execute range, which’ll encourage either “wasting” an ember on Chaos Bolt during execute, or literally standing and doing nothing as our mana regens to a comfortable level. This was an issue in the MoP beta, and it was fixed by making Shadowburn generate mana in the first place.

Draenor Perks

I’ve mentioned these a few times already, what are they? When levelling from 90-100, you randomly get one of these perks when you level up, appropriate to your class/spec. At level 100 you will have learnt them all. They basically act to augment your current abilities, rather than grant new ones.

Affliction Perks

  • Improved Demons: Increases all damage done by demon pets by 20%.
  • Empowered Drain Life: Health gained by this ability grows by 10% each time it heals you.
  • Improved Life Tap: Life Tap grants 20% additional mana.
  • Empowered Agony: Agony now stacks up to 12 times.
  • Enhanced Haunt: Haunt lasts 2 seconds longer.
  • Improved Corruption: Corruption deals 20% additional damage.
  • Improved Unstable Affliction: Unstable Affliction deals 20% additional damage.
  • Improved Malefic Grasp: Malefic Grasp deals additional 100% damage on targets below 20% health.
  • Enchanced Nightfall: Nightfall is 5% more likely to proc.

The affliction perks seem pretty straight-forward. Damage boosts on your main spells, stronger demons, stronger life taps. Malefic Grasp becomes your execute, Nightfall is your only shard builder.

Demonology Perks

  • Improved Demons: Increases all damage from demon pets by 20%
  • Improved Molten Core: Molten Core reduces cast time and mana cost of Soul Fire by a further 25%
  • Empowered Demons: Grants your demons additional 10% haste and 10% crit chance.
  • Improved Shadow Bolt: Shadow Bolt deals 20% more damage.
  • Enhanced Corruption: Corruption generates 1 additional Demonic Fury per tick.
  • Empowered Doom: Doom has 20% increased crit chance.
  • Enhanced Hand of Gul’dan: Hand of Gul’dan’s radius increased by 2 yards.
  • Improved Touch of Chaos: Touch of Chaos deals 20% more damage.
  • Empowered Drain Life: Health gained by this ability grows by 10% each time it heals you

Again, improvements to your main spells, and also further improvements on your demons! Makes sense, Demonology is the demon-empowering spec after all.

Destruction Perks

  • Enhanced Chaos Bolt: Cast time of Chaos Bolt is reduced by 0.5 seconds.
  • Empowered Immolate: Immolate deals 100% additional damage on the initial hit on the target.
  • Improved Conflagrate: Conflagrate deals 20% extra damage.
  • Empowered Incinerate: Incinerate has 20% increased crit chance.
  • Improved Ember Tap: Ember Tap heals you for an additional 20%.
  • Improved Shadowburn: Shadowburn deals 20% more damage.
  • Enhanced Backlash: Physical strikes against you have a 15% increased chance to trigger Backlash.
  • Enhanced Drain Life: Drain Life now generates embers.
  • Improved Demons: All damage done by demon pets increases by 20%.

Ah, the one I most care about! Destruction sees some nifty changes. Our ember spenders improve slightly, our ember generators do too (and with that 20% increased crit on incinerate, we may well be swimming in embers!), and Drain Life actually becomes somewhat useful! Will I put it on my action bars? I may well do, watch this space.

New Glyphs

  • Glyph of Curses: Increases the radius of Curse of Elements and Curse of Exhaustion by 10 yards. Double radius! Woop.
  • Glyph of Dark Soul: Reduces duration and cooldown of Dark Soul by 50%. Ergo, we use it more often for a shorter period of time? Sounds good to me.
  • Glyph of Flames of Xoroth: Flames of Xoroth is now free to cast. Great for those “oh shit my pet’s dead” moments, but as it stands we all use GoSac anyway. Maybe that’ll change?
  • Glyph of Life Pact: Mana costs on all spells reduced by x%, Life Tap can no longer be cast, and your health will drop by x% per second. You health can’t drop below x% from this effect. Sounds like healers are gonna hate warlocks this time around! We don’t have the exact numbers for it yet (tooltip shows 159677%!) but it sounds really interesting! Hoping for more info on this soon.
  • Glyph of Metamorphosis: When you activate Metamorphosis, you no longer transform into a demon, but instead grow wings on your normal form. Cosmetic glyph yay!
  • Glyph of Shadowflame: Increases the movement speed reduction on the Shadowflame effect from Hand of Gul’dan by 20%. PVP benefits I’m seeing here, but also useful for slowing dangerous adds in PVE.
  • Glyph of Soul Swap: You can hold inhaled period effects from Soul Swap for an additional 27 seconds. Oh look, reverting that change are we?
  • Glyph of Twilight Ward: Twilight Ward now absorbs damage from all magic schools. Awesome! I love this spell, and making it apply in more situations can only be a positive in my book.
  • Glyph of Strengthened Resolve: Unending Resolve reduces damage by a further 20%, but the cooldown is increased by 60 seconds. A more powerful effect, but less often, basically. Great for predictable periods of heavy damage.

Datamined Warlock Stuff

Again, a massive thanks to Perculia and Wowhead for this stuff. As usual, take it with a massive grain of salt, datamined information isn’t exactly gospel! A lot of changes can and will occur between now and when Warlords comes out.

Our Command Demon ability for our voidys seems to be Suffering, so we get an on demand taunt! This makes the binning of Soulshatter slightly better, as we can manually get our pet to taunt crap off of us! Does this mean that Suffering will no longer be able to be autocast though? This’ll also solve that little problem in dungeons of people using voidlords that taunt off the tank, similar to the “HUNTER TURN OFF GROWL!” problem.

Enslave Demon sees a change too. When you enslave something, its haste is reduced by 32%. This is a 2% decrease in haste, but we’re likely seeing a boost in damage by PvE sources, as our health pool is effectively doubling in size, so the reduction in haste was a necessary evil to keep things getting too outta hand. The increase in monster damage was to balance out the increase in health in PvE, which was implemented to increase survivabilty against other players in PvP.

Glyph of Siphon Life sees a change too! Instead of Corruption/Immolate healing you for 0.5% of your maximum health per tick, it’s now 0.35%. Small change, will it have a big effect? We’ll see.

Pandemic by all accounts seems to be gone! We’ll have to be refreshing our DoTs more often I guess.

Grimoire of Sacrifice is getting changed too. Demonology gets a spec-specific version that halves your crit chance, and doubles the crit chance of your minion. How useful that is remains to be seen, but it kinda makes thematic sense that Demonology retains the pet in all circumstances, even when taking the sacrifice talent!

Grimoire of Sacrifice for Affliction and Destruction is also getting changed. It retains the health regen, and health boost with Soul Link, but instead of a flat damage boost on some of your spells, it increases the critical strike chance of them by 35%.

This means your incinerate, with the perk Empowered Incinerate, has a 55% crit chance. 55%! That doesn’t take into account Dark Soul: Instability (making it 85%!) or your own personal crit rating! If you’re taking the Charred Remains talent, then HELLO EMBERS! You know what, I’m very excited about that. It also gives a 35% boost to Chaos Bolt damage, and Charred Remains doesn’t reduce CB damage. Looks like 6.0 is gonna be the day of the Chaos Bolt! BOOM!

chaosbolt

Mortal Coil and Dark Regeneration are seeing reductions in their healing, presumably to balance out personal survivabilty (of which warlocks have a crapton) and make healers more aware of how their raid’s health is. Users of that Life Pact glyph may well tax their healers, which for some reason amuses me.

The healing reduction may also be a necessity because of how our health pools will be different. You have no base health, and all your health comes from Stamina. Base damage and base healing is also gone, and all damage will be scaled to whatever stat you use for it (in a warlock’s case, Intellect!).

Metamorphosis is getting an armor boost of 35%, and reduces the duration of stun/snares by 35% too! This isn’t a buff though, it’s a baking of the passive ability Nether Plating into Meta.

Fel/Wrathguards seem to be losing Pursuit, Axe Toss and Wrathstorm? A bit of speculation on MMOC says they may be changing the level the abilites are learned at, so they come with the pet and not as seperate abilities in the spellbook. It’s either that, or they’re removing the abilities of the Demo-exclusive pet. Wait and see, again.

Glyph of Drain Life increases healing by 100%, up from 30%. An attempt to make a rarely-used spell more useful?

Well, all in all, a large number of changes in store! And the coming weeks/months will only bring more. Exciting times, that’s for sure.

And I promise I’ll start on the ICC solo guide soon.WoWScrnShot_031314_232436

So You’ve Boosted a Warlock to 90!

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Or the Beginners Guide to Destruction inxy

Meet Inxy, the not-so-newly boosted goblin warlock. She’s currently decked out in a mixture of the 483 boost gear and 496 Timeless Isle gear, with a 535 set of bracers for good measure. What’s this blog post about? It’s gonna be about the basics of playing a destruction warlock, and just how to handle gearing up though that pesky Timeless Isle, and getting a decent weapon and trinkets from Throne of Thunder.

A Basic Look at Destruction

So, the first thing you want to do when you log into your boosted character is to select your talents. talents

The first tier of talents is all about health management, and I nearly always go with Soul Leech. When you deal damage, it grants you an absorption shield equal to 10% of the damage dealt, capping at 15% of your health. This is kinda reminiscent of the death knight’s Death Strike, in that it provides you with a means of damage mitigation as well as attack. The other talents are okay if you need on-demand healing, but you have many other sources of that, make no mistake.

The second tier is your short-tem CC tier, and as you can see, I tend to opt for Mortal Coil. It causes an enemy to run around in horror 3 seconds, and restores 15% of your health. Shadowfury is good for if you need the AoE stun. Personally, I’ve never used Demonic Breath. Maybe the snare effect is good for PVP?

The third tier is all about damage reduction! I tend to stick with Soul Link. When you have a demon active, 20% of damage you take is transferred to it, and you are both healed for 3% of damage you do. If you opt to take Grimoire of Sacrifice as a talent however, then Soul Link increases your health by 20%. Dark Bargain makes you invulnerable for 8 seconds, then puts an 8 second DoT on you equal to 50% of the damage done. Sacrificial Pact sacrifices 25% of your demon’s health (Or yours if you have no demon), and puts an absorption shield on you equal to 400% of the health lost. Both are really good when you know that a massive damage spike is incoming. It’s a free choice here.

Fourth tier is all about self-preservation, at a cost. Burning Rush drains 4% of your health per second when activated, but increases your speed by 50%, and you can’t be slowed to below 100%. Useful for when you need to move quickly in a fight! Unbound Will removes harmful debuffs, and loss-of-control effects, at a cost of 20% of your health. Got a debuff you want to get rid of, but save a healer a job? Use this! Blood Horror is a PVP talent with only slightly situational benefit in solo content. For 5% of your health, it places a buff with 1 charge on you. When someone melees you, the charge is spent and the attacker flees for 4 seconds.

Fifth tier is all about your demons! All of these talents are close in performance to one-another, so go with what your situation requires. I tend to go with Grimoire of Supremacy when out-and-about in the world, or doing solo stuff (the Voidlord is an AMAZING personal tank), and Grimoire of Sacrifice in group content (raids, dungeons, world bosses and the like).

Tier six. Your DPS increasers. Kil’jaeden’s Cunning allows you to move when casting your spec’s filler spell. When doing solo stuff, I tend to stick with this one. Archimonde’s Darkness grants you two charges of Dark Soul, your major DPS cooldown. I tend to use this in raids. Mannoroth’s Fury increases the size and damage of your AoE for 10 seconds on activation, but honestly? It falls behind. It’s fairly situational in use.

Now then, how exactly does one do destruction?

Embers

You have 4 embers, and each one consists of 10 “emberbits”. Incinerate is your main method of filling them; each hit grants 1 emberbit, critical hits grant 2. Conflagrate grants emberbits in the same way; normal hits grant 1, crits grant 2. Immolate grants 1 emberbit on critical strikes only. Rain of Fire has a 12.5% chance of granting 1 emberbit on a hit. There are four ways of spending full embers. Chaos Bolt (your main nuke), Shadowburn (your execute), Flames of Xoroth (instant demon resurrection) and Ember Tap (your self-heal).

Important Spells

  1. Curse of Elements increases magic damage done to the target by 5% for 5 minutes. Always have this on your target. If there’s a rogue in your group, you don’t need to apply this; their poisons do that job for you. Happy days!
  2. Immolate. It’s your main DoT, keep it up constantly. Refresh it at around 5 seconds left to ensure it doesn’t drop off.
  3. Conflagrate on cooldown! This provides you with a buff called Backdraft, which lowers the cast time and mana cost of Incinerate and Chaos Bolt by 30%. It has two charges, and generally you don’t wanna keep more than 1, as it’s potential wasted charges in the future.
  4. Chaos Bolt is your main nuke. It costs 1 full ember, and it always critically strikes. In addition, the higher your crit rating, the bigger the boost to Chaos Bolt’s damage! You shouldn’t just spam them whenever you can however; I’ll go into more detail on this below.
  5. Shadowburn replaces Chaos Bolt in your rotation when an enemy reaches 20% health.

What do I do in cleave or AoE situations?

In a cleave situation, you want to start using Havoc. When you cast it on a target, it duplicates any single-target spell you cast on another target, up to three times (once, in the case of Chaos Bolt). So you Havoc an add, and fire an Immolate on a boss. It’ll hit the add too! In an AoE situation, you want to start using Rain of Fire, which is a targeted AoE spell. Does extra damage to immolated targets. You can use this in a cleave situation too, if the enemies are close enough together. You also want to start using Fire & Brimstone. This modifies a number of your single-target spells to affect a 10-yard area around the target. Spells affected are Immolate, Conflagrate, Incinerate, and any Curse Of… spells.

What major DPS cooldowns do I have?

Dark Soul: Instability is the first major one. On a 2 minute cooldown, it increases your critical strike chance by 30% for 20 seconds. Probably best to use this whenever it comes off cooldown for a serious DPS burst. Summon Doomguard/Terrorguard and Summon Infernal/Abyssal share a 10 minute cooldown, and summon a powerful demon to aid you for a full minute. The Doomguard is best on single target, the Infernal if you need some strong AoE.

When should I be casting Chaos Bolt?

  1. If you’re about to cap on embers. Generally, it’s recommended fire off one at about 3.5 embers, to prevent getting 4 full embers (it makes any future ember gain wasted, as you can’t go above 4)
  2. You are under the effects of Dark Soul, or powerful intellect/crit trinket procs. This is the point when you want to cast as many as you can, to take advantage of the potential massive damage boost!

Note that you can replace Chaos Bolt with Shadowburn when your target is below 20%, with the same criteria.

I’m using Grimoire of Supremacy. What demon should I use?

If you’re just mooching around the world (Timeless Isle for example), then you want the Voidlord. It’s a great personal tank, very resilient, very good at holding aggro. For group content, if it’s a single target fight, the Observer has a very slight DPS increase over the other demons. Fel Imp is good in fights where you change targets a lot, as it doesn’t have to run around all over the place, it’s a bit of a turret.

I’m using Grimoire of Sacrifice. Which demon do I kill?

Harsh way of putting it. It depends on what ability you want. You see, you have an ability called Command Demon, which changes based on what you have summoned or sacrificed.

  1. Fel Imp: Singe Magic, which removes debuffs.
  2. Felhunter: Spell Lock, an interrupt.
  3. Succubus: Whiplash, damage and knockback.
  4. Voidlord: Shadow Bulwark, boosts hp by 30% for 20 seconds.

Something’s attacking me! Help!

You have a number of cooldowns to help you defensively, don’t worry!

  1. Ember Tap. Costs 1 ember, heals you for a percentage of health, boosted by mastery rating. Instant cast. No cooldown.
  2. Unending Resolve.  Reduces damage taken by 40% and prevents interrupts and silences for 8 seconds. Instant cast. 3 minute cooldown.
  3. Soulshatter. Reduces your threat by 90% against everything in a 50-yard radius. Instant cast. 2 minute cooldown.
  4. Twilight Ward. Absorbs an amount of shadow or holy damage based on your spellpower for 30 seconds. Instant cast. 30 second cooldown.
  5. Healthstones! Restores 20% of your health. 2 minute cooldown.
  6. Howl of Terror. Causes up to 5 enemies in 10 yeards of you to flee for 20 seconds! Damaging them may break the effect. 40 second cooldown.
  7. Fear. Causes an enemy to flee for 20 seconds. 1.7 second cast time.

So how do I gear up on Timeless Isle? 

Simple. Open chests scattered around the isle and kill things! You may receive special tokens that when used, turn into an item level 496 (or 535 when used with a Burden of Eternity) piece of gear! You can only use cloth tokens though, warlocks can’t wear leather or anything like that.

But… How do I kill the elites there?

Oh it’s simple really. Have your demon tank for you, this negates a LOT of danger, and makes the Timeless Isle less dangerous for warlocks than nearly any other class. Remember that you have a way of healing your demon. Health Funnel siphons life from you to your demon!

  • Pink birds: Avoid their conal cast, Gust of Winf. When they start to use it, you see the area of effect on the ground. Step out of it.
  • Big blue crabs: Claw Flurry is what you wanna avoid here. When you see it begins to cast it, MOVE AWAY FROM THE FRONT OF IT. This one CAN kill you very quickly.
  • Turtles: When they spin, run away. When they do Snapping Bite, don’t be in front of it.
  • Tigers: Avoid the leap, it stuns you. Avoid the conal AoE, it puts a nasty bleed on you. You pull one, you tend to pull a few, so be wary.
  • Big snakes: They have 1 attack, it has a 3 second cast time, and it does 25% of your maximum health in physical damage. Ouch. Definitely have your pet take this one, while you stay far away and blast it to bits.
  • Froggies: Another you’ll need your pet to tank. Every time they attack, they also apply a DoT to their target. This deals periodic damage, and when it stacks to 10, the target dies. Pull them one at a time!
  • Elementals on the beach: Has a nasty cast called Steam Blast that hits in the region of 100k. Can be interrupted, can be kited. You move far enough away from them, they have to stop casting and move, as it has a range of only 10 yards.
  • Elementals in the cave: Use the blue campfires beforehand to place a buff on yourself that reduces fire damage. Interrupt their cast, even with the buff it’s nasty damage. Get out the circle when they cast Spiritflame Strike, it’s close to a one-shot.

Once you’re slightly better geared (496/535 in most slots), you can also take on a few of the Ordon enemies!

  • Ordon Fire-Watcher: Pyroblast hits quite hard, but if your voidlord has aggro, you’re golden. Try and avoid the areas Falling Flames hits, they do about 200k.
  • Ordon Candlekeepers: Breath of Fire needs to be dodged. When they start casting it, they don’t turn around to re-aim it. If given a chance, they’ll explode for a stun and big damage when near death. Shadowburn them fast!
  • Ordon Oathguards: Cracking Blow can be sidestepped. Generally it focuses this on your voidlord, so try not to stand directly behind it. When paired with another Ordon mob, they channel a 75% damage reduction on themself AND the other mob. Just damage through it, or interrupt it if you must. When it uses a shield ability, damage it from behind.
  • Burning Berserkers charge for a big chunk of health if you engage them from too far away. Avoid their small AoE. Can buff their damage dealt. Voidlord tank!
  • Blazebound Chanter: Pyroblast still hurts. Avoid falling flames. Summons a big-ass golem that hits VERY hard (think Vengeful Spirit from a Warbringer, only worse). To handle this, use a Rain of Fire on it when it spawns to get it to aggro onto you, then kite it.
  • Eternal Kilnmaster: Definitely send your voidlord in for this one. If you’re too far away, they charge like a Berserker only worse. Blazing Blow hits in a narrow cone centered on his target. Make sure it’s your voidlord! Summons a kiln that increases casting speed.
  • High Priest of Ordos: I really wouldn’t if I were you. They’re like the above 2 enemies combined on steroids.
  • Molten Guardians. Be at max range from them. Send in your demon. Move out of black things on the ground, it’ll erupt for massive damage. Horrid for melee characters, but you’re not melee, are you?

Honestly, those last 4 enemies should only really be tackled when you’re in decent gear, there’s so much that can go wrong with them.

I need a weapon! Should I buy one from the vendor?

I’d say no. Spend your Timeless Coins on Mogu Runes of Fate instead. These grant you a bonus roll from bosses in Throne of Thunder, with a nice chance to get some loot! Which bosses should you spend coins on?

  • Horridon: Dinomancer’s Spiritbinding Spire (2h staff), Venomlord’s Totemic Wand (1h wand)
  • Megaera: Fetish of the Hydra (offhand)
  • Dark Animus: Athame of the Sanguine Ritual (1h dagger)
  • Twin Consorts: Suen-Wo, Spire of the Falling Sun (2h staff)
  • Lei Shen: Lei Shen’s Orb of Command (offhand)

And while on the subject of coining bosses in ToT, you can’t go wrong with getting a trinket or two, especially if Timeless Curios are refusing to drop!

  • Council of Elders: Wushoolay’s Final Choice
  • Megaera: Breath of the Hydra
  • Dark Animus: Cha-Ye’s Essence of Brilliance
  • Lei Shen: Unerring Vision of Lei Shen

With your Timeless Isle armor, and Thone of Thunder weapons/trinkets, you’ll be ready for everything Siege of Orgrimmar has to throw at you! And it just so happens that the first boss, Immerseus, drops the best trinket for warlocks (and casters in general, it seems)! Go forth and claim your prize!

EDIT: I forgot to mention another method of getting some good gear, though in hindsight, it may seem obvious. When you have 50 Lesser Charms, turn them in at the Shrine for your Warforged Seals, and go find yourself a Celestials group (And Ordos, if you’re eligible!). 553/559 gear is not to be sniffed at!

Quick and Dirty Guide: Ulduar Soloing

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ulduar

Ulduar. One of the raids that people hail as being the best, or one of the best, that WoW has to offer. It has a massive amount of achievements associated with it, a bonus boss, the voice acting of Jamieson Price (Yogg-Saron, also LORD JARAXXUS, Lu Bu, Algol, Seraph Lamington, and many other things I idolise the man for), new and interesting ways of activating hard modes, and a boss that can’t be soloed normally!

This is gonna be a fun one.

THE SIEGE OF ULDUAR

This covers the first four bosses, which are naturally rather easy. Getting the achievements for them however? Not so much. The first time I tried to solo this place, I didn’t hop in a vehicle for the gauntlet of trash. Don’t be like me, it makes life difficult.

Flame Leviathan: Big-ass vehicle made by Mimiron. To activate his hard mode, talk to Lore Keeper of Norgannon at the entrance and tell him to start up the defense systems before you start clearing the trash. Don’t kill off the big towers on the way up, just go forward and kill whatever gets in your way, including the mob-spawning towers.

For the boss himself, if you’ve NOT activated his hard mode, it’s a simple case of being in a demolisher, and using the Pyrite Barrel ability on him. It puts on a stacking (to 10, duration 10 seconds) DoT that will kill him, but you can only use the ability 10 times. This is enough. Move backwards as you fire at him so he doesn’t catch you.

For the hard mode, you’ll need to use more than 1 demolisher. What I do, you’ll see in the video below, but there’s some prep you need to do before you pull. First, take a demolisher to the south-eastern corner of the fight area, then make a slight wall around it of the other vehicles. This is because though he focuses on you, he also sends missiles at the other vehicles in the area, and we’re hoping the other vehicles divert fire from the second demolisher. You hop in your demolisher, approach from the south-western area, and throw a pyrite barrel. You want to space them out, so fire a couple normal shots in-between. As you do this, move towards the south-east corner, keep the DoT up. When you start running low on health in Demolisher#1, spam the pyrite! If you get him below 50%, you did good. When the vehicle is destroyed, hop in #2.

Repeat the process, this time heading northwards, space the pyrite out slightly, then spam it if you’re getting low on health like I did. Demolisher#2 gets destroyed, so run! Use Burning Rush, take a hit from his ram (it knocks you back pretty far), and wait for the DoT to finish him off. If it drops, and it’s still alive, you’ll have to kill it yourself, so I hope you took Kil’jaeden’s Cunning! Keep the speed boosts up, pop your cooldowns, and let’s hope that beast don’t ram you to death.

I promise the rest of the bosses won’t warrant such a wall of text. Well, maybe Thorim. And Yogg-Saron. And Algalon…

Achievements

  • Three Car Garage: This one requires three visits. You need to defeat the boss in each of the three vehicles.
  • Dwarfageddon: Kill 100 Steelforged Defenders in 10 seconds. They spawn infinitely from the towers, so it’s easy enough to get.
  • Unbroken: Kill ol’ Flamey on your first attempt, without repairing your vehicle. Easy to do if you’re not doing hard mode.
  • Orbital Bombardment/Orbital Devastation/Nuked From Orbit/Orbit-uary: Defeat the Flame Leviathan with 1/2/3/4 orbital defense systems active respectively. Fulfilling one achievement awards the ones below it as well, so if you get Nuked From Orbit, you also get Orbital Devastation and Orbital Bombardment.
  • Shutout: Kill Flame Leviathan without causing a system shutdown. Honestly, I’ve never SEEN a system shutdown, so there you go.
  • Take Out Those Turrets: Can’t be done solo. Requires you to be a passenger in a demolisher, get catapulted onto the boss, and then destroy a defense turret.

Ignis the Furnace Master: TANK AND SPANK. There is nothing of note here. Doesn’t even have a hard mode, pfft.

Achievements

  • Stokin’ the Furnace: Kill him in under 4 minutes. Not hard.
  • Hot Pocket: Survive being thrown into his slag pot. I think it’d be harder to NOT survive it.
  • Shattered: Wait for him to summon 2 Iron Constructs. Kite them into fire left by Ignis until they reach 10 stacks of Heat, which causes them to get a new debuff called Molten. It lasts 20 seconds. Now kite them into the water on the side of the fight area. This causes a new debuff called Brittle. Kill them both within 5 seconds of each-other.

Razorscale: Another simple fight. First phase, you can’t attack the boss. Adds will periodically enter the fight for you to slaughter, while some NPCs repair the harpoons. Once they’re fixed, use them to bring the boss down. Nuke her. Once she gets to 50%, she won’t fly back up again. Talk to the Expedition Commander to begin the fight. Hint: He’s not a dwarf.

Achievements

  • A Quick Shave: Kill her having let her land once, and only once. Easy!
  • Iron Dwarf, Medium Rare: Kill 25 Dark Rune Guardian Dwarves with the boss’s Flame Breath. Self explanatory, really. Guess what? You don’t have to do it all in one run if you don’t want to. If you kill 10 one week, 10 another, then 5 in a third week, you get the achievement. Happy day! Kill the Sentinels (no cloak, it’ll cleave and kill everything else too), wait for the harpoons, get the boss to below half health, then wait for her to kill the guardians. Be wary of Fuse Armor, it’s annoying. Most likely easier to do this one with others.

XT-002 Deconstructor: Another glorious tank & spank here. When he gets to 75%, his heart is exposed. Kill it to enter his hard mode! He gets restored to full health, and hits harder, but your voidlord’ll be fine. Watch out for Tympanic Tantrum, it hits HARD.

Achievements

  • Must Deconstruct Faster: Kill him in the oddly specific time of under 205 seconds.
  • Heartbreaker: Kill his heart, then kill him. Meanie.
  • Nerf Gravity Bombs: Don’t let a gravity bomb kill you.
  • Nerf Engineering: Don’t let any scrapbots heal XT.
  • Nerf Scrapbots: Kill 20 scrapbots using a boombot in 12 seconds. At 75%, 50% and 25% health, XT exposes his heart and adds summon. Get the heart low but DON’T KILL IT. Push him into the next heart phase quickly, then a third time quickly. This achievement is very RNG focused, hopefully you will have enough scrapbots near enough boombots. Kill a boombot, it’ll kill the nearby scrapbots. I’d recommend having your voidy tank XT in a corner.

THE ANTECHAMBER OF ULDUAR

This area houses my favourite boss in the instance, but let’s do the other 3 first.

Assembly of Iron: Honestly, it’s a pretty simple tank & spank, but keep an eye on your health levels. The hardmode of this fight is all in what order you kill them in; killing Steelbreaker last awards the achievement for the meta.

Achievements

  • I Choose You, Runemaster Molgeim: Kill Molgeim last.
  • I Choose You, Stormcaller Brundir: Kill Brundir last.
  • I Choose You, Steelbreaker: Guess.
  • But I’m On Your Side: Kill the last member of the assembly while under the effects of the Iron Boot Flask, which is a consumable you purchase from Olug Alegut or Rork Sharpchin for 10 Relics of Ulduar.
  • Can’t Do That While Stunned: Another of those “much easier as a group” achievements, this requires you to prevent Brundir damaging anyone with Chain Lightning or Lightning Whirl. Interrupts are the order of the day here, along with nuking him first.  Your pet counts as something that you can’t let be damaged.

Kologarn: A weird one, this. I prefer to do this petless, as he has an ability called Stone Grip which he uses to grab you. If you’re alone (ie your pet then dies), this’ll reset the fight. If your demon survives for 8 seconds, then YOU die. He won’t use this if you’re the only target, however. He also won’t grab you if he’s using his eye beams. Simply nuke the main body, unless you’re achievement hunting. Stick in melee range, unless you’re a fast nuker. He uses Petrifying Breath on targets he can’t reach, which puts a stacking debuff that increases damage taken.

Achievements

  • Disarmed: Kill both arms and the main body within 12 seconds of each-other. Relatively simple for a warlock with Havoc. Get the head down to about 20%, get the arms to a Chaos Bolt-able level, Havoc one arm, target the other and fire. Finish off the head.
  • Rubble and Roll: When you kill an arm, it spawns 5 rubbles. The arms respawn after a short while. Kill 25 rubbles.
  • With Open Arms: Kill Kologarn WITHOUT killing his arms.
  • If Looks Could Kill: Don’t get hit by those eye lasers of his. This includes pets, so another reason to go petless here.

Auriaya: Tank and spank of the easiest kind. Has a horrifying death screech. I’m honestly shocked my neighbours haven’t called the police.

Achievements

    • Crazy Cat Lady:Kill Auriaya without killing Sanctum Sentries.
    • Nine Lives: About a minute into the fight, she spawns a Feral Defender. Kill it. Wait for it to revive, kill it again. Do this until it has died NINE TIMES. Ugh.

Algalon the Observer: My favourite! You definitely need your voidlord to tank this one, at lower gear levels he hits like a truck. Don’t think that this is your cue to sit back and nuke, you have some moving around to do! Big Bang hits for about 100k on 25man, but hopefully your soul leech shield will absorb all that. When you see that he’s casting Cosmic Smash, move from where you are. He’ll send a fireball at that location which will knock you up VERY high, taking off over half your health when you land again. Adds can be a nuisance, if they start to bother you, kill ’em, otherwise run around to prevent them hitting you. Don’t go into black holes.

Phase Punch stacks to 5, then fades the target out of existence. This’ll be on your pet, so don’t worry too much about it. Flames of Xoroth and Soulshatter if needed.

(VIDEO WILL GO HERE AT SOME POINT)

Achievements

  • Supermassive: Close 3 black holes in 10 seconds, then defeat Algalon. May be another of those “easier in a group” dealies. You kill a Collapsing Star, it spawns a black hole. To close it, you kite a Living Constellation into it. Requires good positioning and a bit of luck.
  • Observed: Kill Algalon. Rewards a title! Starcaller on 10 man, Astral Walker in 25 man.

THE KEEPERS OF ULDUAR

These are the watchers that protect Ulduar on behalf of the titans, only Yogg-Saron has made them go mad. Let’s go beat the crazy out of them, beginning with…

Thorim: Oh.

I’ll be honest with you, I’ve never done this one solo. It IS doable, but requires glitching the encounter slightly. Keep your voidlord on passive. You basically kill everything in the arena, hit the switch and run through to the first big mob. Pop any speed boosts you can, tag the big enemy then run run run back into the arena before the instakill spark gets you. The encounter will reset, but the gate won’t close for a while, and the colossus will still be chasing you. Move your voidlord to the centre of the arena, get back through the gate before it closes, and wait. When the arena mobs respawn, have your voidlord hit one of them, then dismiss him. This makes them aggro onto YOU.

They’ll run through the gate, Kill the giant, and all but 1 of the arena mobs (I generally save the Dark Rune Acolyte as I can one-shot him). Run up, killing everything on the way, go up the stairs, kill the colossus to open the door, then go hug the wall (running through the centre to Thorim will make you fall afoul of traps) to Thorim.

This part is where good timing is critical. You need to kill the mob you saved from the arena, wait for Sif to spawn, hit Thorim, jump off and land in the arena before he does. From here, you kill him as normal.

What appears to be a recent change to Ulduar is the fact that in order to unlock the way to Vezax and Yogg-Saron, you don’t have to beat Thorim! Happy days. Further joy comes in 6.0:

. Changed in 6.0: Thorim won’t trigger the deathball/reset when his arena is empty.

Achievements

  • Lose Your Illusion: Get to Thorim in under 3 minutes. Speedy.
  • Siffed: Beat up Thorim while Sif is there.
  • Don’t Stand in the Lightning: When Thorim is engaged, don’t get hit by his lightning.
  • I’ll Take You All On: Be one of the people who goes through the tunnel. You’re doing this solo? Guess that’s you then.
  • Who Needs Bloodlust?: Kill Thorim when under the effects of Aura of Celerity. To get this, you need to mind control a Dark Rune Warbringer. You can’t mind control things, so you can’t do this solo. Hope you have a priest for a friend.

EDIT: I finally managed to do it! Watch me here.

Hodir: Tank and spank! The “hard mode” is a timed event; kill him in under 3 minutes. The only thing you need to watch out for is his ability Flash Freeze. To avoid it, you need to stand atop a pile of snow that forms shortly before he casts it, indicated by a large circle on the ground. Avoid falling stuff in general. Free the NPC’s if you like.

Achievements

  • I Could Say That This Cache Was Rare: Speed kill! Beat Hodir before he smashes the rare cache. You have around 3 minutes to do this.
  • Cheese the Freeze: Don’t get hit by Flash Freeze!
  • Getting Cold In Here: Don’t get more than 2 stacks of Biting Cold. Keep moving around, or stand by the little campfires.
  • I Have the Coolest Friends: Don’t let the NPC’s die! You have no way of healing them (which will bite us in the ass further on down the line), so a speed kill is the order of the day here too.
  • Staying Buffed All Winter: Be under the effects of Toasty Fire, Starlight and Storm Power simultaneously. NPC’s cast the third one, the campfires give the first buff, and beams of light give the second. You need a second player for this, however; Storm Power is the result of a player with storm clouds around them moving to another player.

Freya: Two ways of doing this. You’re overgeared? Focus Freya, burn her down HARD. Stand under mushrooms to avoid silencing. Undergeared? You can’t outdamage her healing, but the multiplicative effect diminshes for each add wave she summons and you subsequently kill. Get her down to a point you CAN outdamage the healing, then do so.

Clear the trash beforehand. There are three Elders you can kill; leaving them alive triggers Freya’s hardmode when you engage her. It’s an easy tank & spank when they’re all dead. It’s moderately difficult when they’re not.

Achievements

  • Knock on Wood/Knock, Knock on Wood/Knock, Knock, Knock on Wood: Kill Freya with 1/2/3 elders alive respectively.
  • Deforestation: Kill 2 Water Spirits, 2 Storm Lashers and 2 Snaplashers within 10 seconds.
  • Lumberjacked: Kill all three elders within 15 seconds. Clear trash, then kite one to the second, then kite them to the third.
  • Con-speed-atory: Kill Freya within 20 minutes of killing the first enemy in the conservatory.
  • Getting Back To Nature: Kill Freya when she has 25 stacks of Attuned to Nature. She starts with 150, and she loses stacks for each add you kill. Get her to 25 then nuke.

Mimiron: So much fun! Four phase fight. First is a tank and spank; have your Voidlord tank the boss while you blast it to oblivion. Second phase, watch out for Rocket Strike. It’s a 1-hit KO. I recommend keeping on the move. Third phase, Nuke the flying thing. Kill adds if they bother you.

Fourth phase sees all the parts come together like some sorta nightmarish Megazord. They need to be destroyed within 10 seconds of each-other, so spread out your damage evenly. Again, watch out for those Rocket Strikes. Get the parts down to Shadowburn range, then finish them off.

Hard mode adds more health, more damage, and FIRE. LOTS OF FIRE! How to activate it? Hit the switch at the back of the room.

Have fun.

Achievements

  • Firefighter: Activate the self-destruct switch (that big red button on the back wall) before engaging Mimiron. Beat him.
  • Not-So-Friendly Fire: Have Mimiron kill one of the little robot adds from phase 3 with Rocket Strike in phase 4. Aww.
  • Set Up Us The Bomb: Don’t get hit by the mines in phase 1, Rocket Strike in phase 2, or bomb bots in phase 3.

THE DESCENT INTO MADNESS

General Vezax: Tank and spank! Only with a twist. I prefer to do this fight as Affliction, as your three DoTs don’t really cost much mana, and haunt only costs a soul shard. There’s a special annoyance with this fight, you see; no passive mana regen! The only way to actually regenerate mana is to kill a Saronite Vapor, and sit in the puddle it creates. This consumes health but returns mana at a steadily increasing rate. Be careful not to kill yourself!

As affliction, you shouldn’t need to do this, just DoT him, have your voidlord tank him, and wait. Refresh DoTs when necessary. To do this as Destro, try to have a little restraint, and definitely use those mana regenerating puddles.

Achievements

  • I Love the Smell of Saronite in the Morning: Allow 6 vapors to fuse into a Saronite Animus, kill it, then Vezax. Rather difficult to solo as a mana-based class, I recommend bringing a friend. Maybe a healer. You’ll be waiting around a lot!
  • Shadowdodger: Don’t get hit by Shadow Crash. Simples.

Yogg-Saron: Ah, the big one. The really difficult, RNG-heavy one. Before you go into the room, you have the option to speak to the 4 keepers of Ulduar and request their assistance in the fight. Mimiron increases your damage dealt and movement speed, and weakens tentacles. Freya creates sanity wells (they restore sanity when you stand in them), and increases damage done and healing received. Thorim also increases damage done, and increases your total health. He also makes the Immortal Guardians in phase 3 killable. Hodir increases damage yet again, and reduces damage taken. He also protects you from death by encasing you in ice for 10 seconds, but can’t do it constantly. Have your voidlord out.

Phase 1: Go to the middle of the room where Sara is. Clouds will bubble and form guardians. Kill them near Sara to damage her. Do this 8 times and phase 2 will begin. You can force guardians to spawn by walking into clouds. Kill any remaining guardians.

Phase 2: This phase is where your sanity starts getting attacked, if it gets low, go stand in one of the green sanity wells on the outside of the room. Tentacles spawn every so often. Kill them. One of them likes to pick you up and wave you around like a trophy; have your demon kill it. Small ones put an annoying debuff on you that stuns you at random intervals. Kill them before they can cast it! Eventually, Yogg will shout “MADNESS WILL CONSUME YOU!” and create portals into his head; make a beeline for them!

Brain Room: There are several different brain rooms, but the premise in each remains the same. Plonk a Rain of Fire wherever you see an NPC, they turn into tentacles, then die as they have low health. Once all of them are killed, you can attack Yogg’s brain. Kill it then leave via the portals. See the little chattering skulls around the room? DO NOT FACE THEM, they drain your sanity. You have 60 seconds to do this, so I hope you have good DPS, or can risk having to go in again. If 60 seconds elapses, you go insane, which effectively mind controls you, then blows you up when there’s nothing left for you to kill.

Phase 3: You get spat out. Ew. Nuke Yogg-Saron! Ignore adds (unless you have Thorim active) as they can’t die anyway. Try and have your voidlord pick them up. Whenever he uses Lunatic Gaze, TURN AWAY FROM HIM. It reduces sanity by 4% every second, and you’re probably low at this point if you don’t have Freya active.

Yes, you can solo this on 25 man too. No, I haven’t yet. It’s rather difficult, and still heavily RNG-based. Killing Yogg+0 on 25 man nets you the CHANCE to get Mimiron’s Head, the coolest mount ever.

Achievements

  • Three Lights in the Darkness/Two Lights in the Darkness/One Light in the Darkness/Alone in the Darkness: Kill Yogg-Saron with the assistance of three, two, one, and no keepers respectively.
  • They’re Coming Out the Walls: During phase 1, kill 9 guardians in 12 seconds. You’ll have to force them to spawn by running into clouds, then nuke them down together.
  • He’s Not Getting Any Older: Kill Yogg-Saron in under 7 minutes.
  • Drives Me Crazy: Beat Yogg without anyone in your raid going insane. You’re soloing? Well, you get this by default. Unless you do what I did in my demo video below, oops.
  • In His House He Waits Dreaming: There are three versions of the brain room. One with Arthas, one with Deathwing, one with Garona. See them all. Doesn’t have to be done in one visit.
  • Kiss and Make Up: /kiss Sara during phase 2. She’s on top of Yogg’s head. Pucker up!

And there we have it. All the bosses, all the achievements. Some bosses (Yogg, Thorim, Mimiron) are a lot harder than others (Auriaya, Ignis, Vezax), but there’s some fantastic stuff to see here. Best raid in the game? That’s for you to decide, I guess.

Next solo guide, naturally, will be Icecrown Citadel. I may also do a quick guide to the Timeless Isle and an introduction to Destruction for people who boosted a warlock to 90, seeing as I boosted a horde warlock to 90 t’other day.

Because I haven’t posted a picture of Lillorigga the warrior recently, here she is dodging the attack of a filthy demon! Parry! Riposte! Thrust!

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Quick and Dirty Guide: Trials, Vaults, Dragonshrines, Liquid Snake

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Hmm. Lots to cover here, but these are the smaller raids of Wrath of the Lich King, only containing a small number of bosses, as opposed to the great hulking behemoths of raids that are Ulduar and Icecrown Citadel.

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The Eye of Eternity: MALYGOS

He’s voiced by the guy who does Liquid Snake! Anyway… It’s a relatively simple fight, so long as you know what you are doing. It’s split into a number of phases.

Phase 1: This is a simple tank and spank, but the key here is doing as much damage as possible. He starts transitioning into phase 2 at 50% health, but you can still damage him when he’s flying into the air and giving the blah-blah. Pop your Dark Soul at about 60% and fling Chaos Bolts into him, with any luck you can get him really low, but bear in mind he can’t be taken below 1hp. He has an attack that’s more annoying than deadly in this phase, where he sends you whirling up into the sky for a few seconds.

Phase 2: At this point, Liquid Malygos is untargetable, and he summons adds on flying discs to attack you. Kill them all. It’s easy.

Phase 3: Malygos will come back at this point and shatter the platform you’re standing on, but don’t worry, you land safely on a dragon! Your performance in the first phase will dictate how long this final part takes. Your dragon has a number of abilities, but only 3 are of any interest to you. You must follow this rotation while strafing and avoiding clouds of death:

1-1-2-3-1-1-2-3-1-1-2-3 etc

Use an ability every 2 seconds or so, to ensure you don’t run out of energy. Eventually, Malygos will fall and you’ll get some spanky loot! Bear in mind that your dragon’s health scales up with your item level, so at higher gear levels you can take more punishment.

Notable Loot: Reins of the Azure Drake, Reins of the Blue Drake

Achievements

  • You Don’t Have An Eternity: Speed is of the essence here; you need to kill Malygos in under 6 minutes.
  • Denyin’ The Scion: Kill one of the Scions of Eternity in phase 2 while riding one of those fancy hover discs.
  • A Poke In The Eye: You’ll get this by virtue of soloing him; it requires you to kill Malygos with a group of fewer than 9/21 people, depending on the difficulty.
  • The Spellweaver’s Downfall: Kill Malygos. Simple as that.

vaultofarchavon

Vault of Archavon

Frankly, this instance is ludicrously easy. 3 bosses are incredibly simple tank & spanks, the fourth isn’t really tough so long as you have your Voidlord.

Archavon the Stone Watcher/Emalon the Storm Watcher/Koralon the Flame Watcher: Your voidlord will tank. You will spank. Ignore any adds that might get summoned, don’t stand in any crap on the ground. Loot.

Toravon the Ice Watcher: A slightly different kettle of fish here; though this is a tank and spank, there is something you need to be careful of. He applies a stacking DoT on whatever’s tanking him which can multiply to unhealable levels if the fight drags on too long. He also spawns adds that pulse out damage, but they are easily nuked if they annoy you. To be on the safe side with this boss, pop your cooldowns and nuke him hard. Soulstone yourself just to make sure!

Notable Loot: Reins of the Grand Black War Mammoth (all four have a low chance to drop this mount).

Achievements

  • Archavon the Stone Watcher: Kill him.
  • Emalon the Storm Watcher: Kill him.
  • Koralon the Flame Watcher: Kill him.
  • Toravon the Ice Watcher: Guess what? Kill him.
  • Earth, Wind & Fire: Kill Archavon, Koralon and Emalon within 60 seconds of each-other. Clear the trash in the instance beforehand. Pull Koralon and Emalon, then run to Archavon, weakening the two on the way. Don’t engage Archavon just yet, but kill the other two at around the same time (Havoc is your friend!).  Once they both drop, pop cooldowns and nuke Archavon. Honestly, I’d recommend Grimoire of Sacrifice for this as the bosses hit for very little. You don’t engage Archavon when killing the other two, as he may grab you and cause the other bosses to reset.

obsidian sanctum

Obsidian Sanctum

This place has only the one boss, but also sports three optional mini bosses. Honestly, Sartharion is an easy tank and spank, and the other dragons are similarly easy, though Shadron requires about 75k DPS to kill him before he summons a portal and becomes immune to attacks. With this in mind, we’re instead going to look at a particular achievement for this place, The Twilight Zone, which requires you to engage and kill Sartharion when all three drakes are still alive.

Clear the trash mobs around the place, but be careful not to pull the minibosses Shadron, Tenebron or Vesperon. Engage Sartharion, burst him. You need to kill him before Shadron engages you, else he’ll create a portal and make Sartharion immune to attacks. Trouble is, you go in the portal and the encounter resets.

When Tenebron comes down, have your demon tank him, and carry on nuking Sartharion. You need about 50k DPS to kill him before Shadron engages on 10 man, and about 120k on 25man.

Notable Loot: Title “of the Nightfall”, Reins of the Black Drake (The Twilight Zone (10 player)), title “Twilight Vanquisher”, Reins of the Twilight Drake (The Twilight Zone (25 player)), Dragon Hide Bag (22 slots!)

Achievements

  • Twilight Assist: Kill Sartharion with 1 drake minibosses active.
  • Twilight Duo: Same as above but with 2.
  • Twilight Zone: Outlined above! Kill Sarth with 3 bosses alive and well.
  • Less is More: Kill Sartharion with less than 9 players on 10 man, or less than 21 players on 25 man.
  • Gonna Go When The Volcano Blows: Don’t get hit by a lava strike. An easy way to do it is to stand in the lava the whole fight!
  • Besting the Black Dragonflight: Kill Sartharion.

trialofcrusader

Trial of the Crusader

Northrend Beasts

Relatively difficult. Consists of three encounters, the first being Gormok the Impaler. Relatively simple tank & spank, but the snobolds he throws are an annoyance as they interrupts non-instant spellcasting and stun you. They spawn for him to lob at you, kill them before he does so. If he manages to put one on you, I think you might have to get your minion to kill it. Make sure all snobolds are dead before the next bosses enter!

Acidmaw and Dreadscale are next. These are the hardest of the three! Kill Acidmaw first and as fast as possible, stand behind him, don’t stand in crap on the ground, as it’ll immobilize and stun you, which is a massive pain. Once he’s dead, Dreadscale is easy.

Icehowl is another tank & spank. If you get stunned with Arctic Breath, either wait it out, or use Unbound Will. EMFH also works if you’re a human!

JARAXXUS, EREDAR LORD OF THE BURNING LEGION!

Heh. Honestly it’s a simple fight. Destroy Nether Portals and Infernal Volcanoes as they spawn adds and this is annoying. If you’re geared enough, you can burn him down before he summons anything. Mistresses of Pain will spawn from the portals, any you need to blow them up asap. They interrupt your spells, and if you’re not tanking her, she’ll do Spinning Pain Spike, which deals 50% of your max hp as damage! Ouch!

Guess what? She’s not immune to Banish. Tank and spank Jaraxxus.

Faction Champions

Difficult! Absolute first priority are the healers in the back. Try and interrupt them with Mortal Coil, Fear and Howl of Terror (the latter being particularly good as it sends EVERYONE running for cover). Pop cooldowns for this, and when one’s dead, focus the other healer. You’ll be left with 2 melee DPS and 2 ranged DPS, deal with them as you wish, but watch your health levels. Once the healers are down, the fight is a lot simpler.

Twin Val’kyr

They share a healthpool. Have both twins tanked by your voidy. Use the big black orb near you (Dark Essence) then focus all your fire on Fjola Lightbane. Honestly, a very simple fight.

Anub’arak

When the fight starts, have your voidlord tank the boss and any adds. Destroy Frost Spheres, this’ll create patches of ice on the ground. You kill the adds on these patches, so they cannot dig underground and heal! Eventually Anub’arak will burrow himself, and you need to run away from spikes. Use your circles, gateways, and slow him down by leading him through ice patches. When he emerges, he’ll use Leeching Swarm, which drains 10% of your CURRENT health every second (NOT maximum health!), with a minimum of 250 damage being dealt. On Heroic? 20%. Burn burn burn as fast as you can!

Of course, if you’re geared enough, you can just nuke him and ignore any tactics, because he’ll be too dead to enter phases 2 and 3. Ho hum.

Notable Loot: No.

Achievements

  • Call of the Crusade: Kill all the bosses!
  • Call of the Grand Crusade: Kill all the bosses… in heroic!
  • Not One, But Two Jormungars: Kill Acidmaw and Dreadscale within 10 seconds of each-other.
  • Resilience Will Fix It: Kill the faction champions within 60 seconds of the first one being killed.
  • Salt and Pepper: Kill those pesky Val’kyr in under 3 minutes.
  • The Traitor King: Wait until Anub’arak submerges. Kite the adds, he emerges. You should have enough Swarm Scarabs during the third submerge. Watch out for the Leeching Swarm damage! You need to kill 25 within 30 seconds of each-other. You can die afterwards if you like, it doesn’t require a boss kill. Generally a difficult achievement for non-tanks to do.
  • Three Sixty Pain Spike: Kill Jaraxxus with 2 Mistresses of Pain alive. You have to wait around 2 minutes before he summons a second one.
  • Upper Back Pain: Defeat Icehowl while 2+ Snobolds remain alive in 10 man, or 4+ in 25 man. Easy really, just don’t AoE.

rubysanctum

Ruby Sanctum

So, this is a raid that exists. The minibosses are lame tank & spanks. Nukey nukey boom boom. So much so, I’m going to put a video of me nuking them here.

Baltharius the Warborn: He’ll stun you and split into two when he’s taken enough damage. Nuke.

Saviana Ragefire: Wait, she wasn’t a trash mob?

General Zarithrian: He fears sometimes. He does little else.

Halion: First phase is tank & spank. He summons a portal to the twilight realm. Second phase is tank and spank. Avoid crap like lasers and fire.

Phase three is a slightly different kettle of dragons, unless you’re well geared. Stay in the twilight realm (watch out for sparkly vampires!). You can pop cooldowns and attempt to damage him through his healing (easy enough), or you can wait for him to heal. His healing pushes him closer to the twilight realm, and when he’s fully in there with you, he deals double damage, but takes QUADRUPLE. Nuke nuke nuke as hard as you can!

Sometimes, AoE attacks somehow hit him in both realms, so use Rain of Fire a lot. Sometimes, self healing pushes him closer you as well. It’s frankly a stupid boss, and easy enough to solo. Avoid crap, as per usual.

Notable Loot: Hahahaha! No.

Achievements

  • The Twilight Destroyer: Kill Halion. Has 10 and 25 man versions, and heroic 10 and heroic 25 versions too., as well as a guild edition.
  • No, that’s honestly it.

Well, that was fun, wasn’t it? Next guide will have Ulduar soloing, and how to do the achievements!

Here’s Raenah and Metasik staring down that pesky Lich King.

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