Valithria starts at 50% health and the objective is to heal her up to full. Between half and two-thirds of the healers should concentrate on her, while the other healers keep the raid up. This usually translates to 1/2 (10/25 player) healers on the raid and 1-2/3-4 on Valithria.
Adds spawn from the gates. In 25 player, all four gates spawn adds, in 10 player it's only the front two. The spawn rate increases over time. After 7/? (10/25 player) minutes, Suppressors and Blazing Skeletons start to spawn continuously, which usually leads to a quick wipe.
A basic strategy is to loosely assign one group of tanks and damage dealers per add portal.
Since only the closest two gates spawn adds, the back half of the room can be ignored (except when dream portals are opened). One, MAYBE 2 damage dealers should be assigned to deal with suppressors. Suppressors can spawn from either side or both at once and only have about 35,000 or so health. The tanks should stand in the middle between the two gates to handle any Archmage or Abomination that comes out. Valithria's healers should set up near her, but close enough so that the tanks can still see them in the event that something needs to be pulled off of them.
The raid should split up into two groups, one positioned to the right of Valithria, the other to the left. Each group is responsible for the adds that spawn on THEIR side, and should only take care of adds on the other side if all adds are dead on their side or they migrate over. Healers assigned to Valithria should stand in the middle of the room "within" Valithria, and only move to jump into portals. This forces the adds to move through the kill groups on either side of her and reduces the chance of migration and missed adds killing the healers. Follow the same kill priorities, and techniques as you would for 10 man.
edit Add portal groups
The add portal groups should use the following priority list:
* One raid member per portal should focus on Suppressors (Cat druids are quite effective).
* Everyone else should kill Blazing Skeletons first.
* Zombies should be kited by a predesignated ranged DPS.
* Archmages should be tanked and taken out by melee.
* Abominations should be tanked and taken out by ranged DPS.
Class Specific Tips
* Feral Druids are particularly effective against the Suppressors with Swipe (Cat).
* Paladins are good for tanking the Abominations, as Consecration helps to gather up the worms that spawn, allowing casters to quickly AoE them down. Crusader Aura works inside the dream, increasing movement speed, making a vast difference on heroic modes.
* A Shaman with Cleansing Totem can be useful for the Abomination tank.
* Death Knights are good for tanking the Archmages as Frostbolt Volley can be interrupted.
* Mages should place Amplify Magic on Valithria for an extra healing buff.
* Hunters are useful against the Zombies, as they can use Distracting Shot to make sure the zombie initially heads to the hunter and then gain aggro normally through regular attacks as well as use Frost Traps and Concussive Shot to slow them down.
* Any class that has a heal should heal Valithria whenever there is a break in the action for them. Every little bit helps. Even bandaging helps. Also, these classes should patch themselves up whenever possible to reduce the strain on the healers.
edit Dream Portals
Every 30 seconds, Valithria provides portals to the Dream. These portals initially appear as small green orbs on the floor even before they can be entered. The Valithria healers should move close to these orbs and enter the portals as soon as they appear. Only one person can use each portal.
The Dream is a version of the room where only Valithria, several green orbs, and the players who entered exist. The objective is to float through as many green orbs as possible. When a player touches an orb it explodes (no damage) and provides a stacking buff (Emerald Vigor), which increases mana regeneration and healing done. After a few seconds, the players automatically return from the Dream and rejoin the rest of the raid. Now they should spam heal Valithria until the next portals spawn. As the portals spawn every 30 seconds, and Emerald Vigor's timer is 35 sec, it should never run out and stack sizes should gradually increase.
Since Emerald Vigor also increases damage done, it may be possible to have DPS classes enter the portals. Preferably this should be a class with low ramp-up time, namely Warriors, Combat Rogues, Hunters, Shaman or any other class/spec that takes a short amount of time to do a large amount of damage.
The Dream can also be used to avoid getting killed before a wipe. With good timing and a little luck, one can enter the dream and then be dropped out once combat has completed. Since healers are usually the ones going through the portals, it can be a useful wipe recovery tactic. If this happens to you, move as quickly as you can once you are dropped off as you will only have a few seconds from the end of combat and when the boss and initial mobs respawn.
It should be noted that if anybody has recently been hit by a Frostbolt from a Frostbolt Volley cast by an Archmage, they will be slowed even while in the Dream, thus, it is important to be interrupting Frostbolt Volleys so healers can have a better chance at getting as many stacks as possible.
Paladin and priest healers can quickly cleanse themselves while entering, while druids can shapeshift out of this - so make extra certain to interrupt if a shaman is going in, as they cannot.
Once the groups are all positioned properly, begin the fight by pulling the four Risen Archmages that are present in the room at the start of the fight. They will be arranged in a square shape around the boss on 25 man, or in a semi-circular shape between the boss and the raid on 10 man. These mobs should die quickly. The faster they die, the more uninterrupted healing the raid has. The kill group(s) should aim to down the adds as quickly as possible. The faster the adds are down, the more uninterrupted healing the healers have. This also allows the healers assigned to the raid to drop a few heals on the boss as well.
ALL of the healers assigned to Valithria should ALWAYS take a portal when they spawn, and aim to collect as many stacks as possible each time. DPS classes shouldn't need to take the portals, however having a couple of good DPS building stacks can make life easier later on when the adds start spawning a lot faster.
Bloodlust/Heroism should be burned once the healers have a significant number of stacks (about 25 or so).
edit Heroic Mode
Although semantically very different, the actual encounter has only a few differences on Heroic mode.
* The Frostbolt Volley cast by the Risen Archmage now burns 2000 mana, meaning that interruptions become crucial to stop more mana-intensive classes from running out of mana.
* Valithria's health decays over time. While she still starts at half health and remains at the same max health as normal mode, the decay means more healing needed as the encounter goes on.
* Instead of opening portals into the Dream, portals instead open into the Nightmare.
o Valithria does not announce these portals opening.
o Players take damage while inside the Nightmare, and the orbs also apply a DoT in addition to their usual effects.
o Orbs do not respawn in the Nightmare.
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