Daily Dose of Dragon Soul

Now that the patch day bugs are gone, addons are updated and the lag seems to be a lot less, it’s time to dive into the heart of the new raid instance. This time, the raid is once again located in the Caverns of time, at the North-east part of the cavern. You will notice a cleft with petrified trees, which looks grey and dead – follow the path through past the first portals (they are for the new 5mans) and turn left at the end.

You will find yourself at the Path of the Titans, staring down a pile of Elemental trash and a big stone giant trying to hammer down the path towards Wyrmrest temple. This is the first boss, Morchok.

Morchok

Morchok is an easy boss, a classic piece of basic design like Marrowgar. The raid needs to stack up behind him for AoE heals, and seven ranged DPS need to run around when he spawns cystals. The crystals will explode, and deal damage to the seven (7) nearest players. The further away they are, the more damage it deals, so be sure to stick on top of it. A line will be between you and the crystal, where red=dead, yellow=ouchies and blue=excellent.

Every now and then he will call down very large crystals and begin to do a corrupted earthquake. Run away from him and hide behind the pillars. Black goo will spread across the floor, avoid it and DPS the boss. Once the goo disappears, rush back in and stack up, repeat until loot pops up.

Once he dies, you will be able to enter the temple and access two new bosses – Zon’ozz and Yorsahj the Sleepless.

Zon’ ozz

Welcome to a good match of tennis. The boss has two phases, and the raid controls when this switches. First off he stacks a buff on himself, increasing the damage he deals and his attack speed. The raid needs to stack up behind him at the edge of the pool. Put melee behind him, and tank him facing the raid. He will create a ball of shadow energy and toss it at the raid, at which point the tank should turn him away from the raid.

The ranged will intercept the ball, which explodes, dealing damage spread among all ranged. It then goes back towards Zon’ ozz. The melee should then intercept it and send it back to the ranged. Again the ranged intercepts it, shares the (now quite big) damage, and it will move back towards Zon’ozz again. At this point, all melee moves away from the boss, so that the orb of shadows hits the boss. It will then explode, and the boss will lose his stacks of Rising Anger and will take increased damage from all sources.

This starts phase 2 – he will run to the middle and for 30 seconds all manner of tentacles will spawn around the pool and hurt everyone. A black sludge will be filling the area for even more damage. This needs to be healed through, and is a healing check. After thirty seconds, resume phase 1, turning the boss away from the raid once he spawns his ball of shadows. Repeat until he dies.

The only real complication in the fight is that a few people in the raid will get a debuff, which deals damage. This is better dispelled, but doing this knocks people back, so mark a spot a bit away from the raid for people with the debuff to run to. Assign one healer to dispelling this timely.

Yor’sahj the Unsleeping

Yor’sahj himself is not much of a threat, mostly tossing a Shadowbolt at the Tank. The raid should be stacked close behind him. Every so often he will call in a random set of three slimes, which move towards the boss. The raid must choose 1 to DPS down, the other 2 will become immune to damage and give new abilities to Yor’ sahj. The available options for him to summon are:

  • Purple (Shadowed) – Every 5th heal or absorption efffect a player receives will deal massive Shadow damage to all payers – Avoid at all costs
  • Red (Fire) – AoE Fire damage – Stack up close and AoE Heal
  • Green (Acid) – Nature damage on all players and splash damage – spread out
  • Yellow (Glowing) – Yor’sahj will use all other abilities he gets more often, and Shadowbolt will now hit all raid members
  • Blue (Cobalt) – Summons a blue add, which drains all mana from players. It needs to be killed and healers stay close so that when it dies, it gives them their mana back.
  • Dark – Summons many small Forgotten One adds, which fixate on players and need to be killed with AoE.

Generally the priority for killing the slimes is Purple > Green > Glowing. Purple is bad because it makes the healers’  job much harder. Green forces the raid to spread out while all other abilities encourage stacking up. Glowing will make his other abilities hit harder and deals even more AoE damage.

If you get a combo of Purple – Red – Green it means you have a problem, since if you do not kill the purple one, healing through the red or green damage is a pain, while if you do, you have to choose between spreading out making healing harder or stacking up and getting more damage from the acid. This is not a pretty choice. Otherwise, this priority seems to work, and quick communication on which add to kill is very important.

Otherwise this boss should go down rather quickly.

Hagara the Stormbinder

A Forsaken Mag/Shaman thing, Hagara first has a few waves of summoned trash before jumping into the middle of the room. Of note to Rogues, she is the one to pickpocket tocomplete the first Legendary quest. She can be reset by attacking her and then using Vanish.

She has three main phases – a normal phase, and then either an Ice or Lightning phase. The order will be Normal – Ice – Normal – Lightning – Normal – Ice – Repeating.

Normal Phase

She has a Focused Assault, swinging wildly and there’s a tank swap involved. Around the room, crystals are spawned that put a beam on a random target, which then shoots ice lances. People can stand in the beam to soak the Ice Lance instead – Shadow Priests make good soakers for this. She also casts Ice Tomb, which will trap 2 (LFR/10man Normal), 5 (25man Normal) or 6 (25man Heroic) targets in ice. They need to be killed before she casts Shattered Ice and kills the player in the tomb. Easiest is to mark a spot for people with Ice Tombs on them (blue arrow above your head) to run to so that all tombs can be DPS’d down with AoE.

Ice Phase

The inner ring will become an orb of water – players in it will drown and die quickly. Hagara will be immune to all damage at this time. So move out and DPS the ice crystals that spawned at the edge. Rnadom spots will get a blue circle, where ice rocks will fall down and knock players away and deal quite some damage. After a few seconds, four ice waves shoot out from her and form walls of ice which run around the platform clockwise. Make sure to stay ahead of them, and try to stay as close to the water wall as you can.  Once all ice crystals are destroyed, she goes back into Normal phase.

Lightning Phase

She will become immune to damage and will cast massive Lightning AoE around the platform. A few conductors will spawn, as well as a Lightning Elemental. When you kill the elemental, people nearby become conductive, and you can form a line of people from conductor to conductor, channeling the lightning and overloading it. Once all conductors are overloaded, Normal phase begins again.

Ultraxion

Killing Hagara allows the aspects and Thrall to start their ritual with the Dragon Soul – but they will be interrupted by Deathwing and the corrupted Red Dragonflight. Protecting them from the Drakes allows the Dragon Soul to be used to deal a nmassive blow to Deathwing. However, he will call in his most powerful experiment, the unstable Twilight Dragon called Ultraxion.

Ultraxion has few real abilities that we as Shadowpriests should really mind – he’s mostly a massive DPS and healing check.

Everyone is pulled into the twilight realm, and you will receive a button called “Heroic Will” in the middle of the screen. If you do not, you can make a macro with the following text in it to achieve the same effect:

/click ExtraActionButton1

What it does is pull you out of the Twilight Realm for up to 5 seconds, or until either Hour of Twilight or Fading Light occurs. Then you are dragged back in the Twilight Realm. The ability has a 5 second cooldown. So if you want to avoid Hour of Twilight damage and use it 2 seconds before the end of the cast, you will be pulled back into the Twilight Realm after 2 seconds and have to wait 3 more seconds to use Heroic Will again. This bit is important for survivability.

First, Ultraxion does raid-wide AoE damage with his unstable purple lightnings. This damage increases as time goes on and he becomes more unstable.

Second, one of the tanks and a few random players get the Fading Light debuff. Once this expires you will die unless you are not in the Twilight Realm. So the tanks have to swap, and both the tank affected and the affected DPS must use Heroic Will to survive.

Third, every 45 seconds Ultraxion casts Hour of Twilight. This is a long cast-time AoE that will deal massive damage to all inside the Twilight Realm. Almost everyone should use Heroic Will to avoid the damage except for the current tank and 2 additional players which stay behind. Rotate people who soak the damage – Shadowpriests, Mages, Paladins, Hunters and Rogus with glyph of Feint are all good for it. If fewer than 3 people soak the damage, the aspects will take the hit and the raid will wipe soon after.

The aspects will help in various ways, but this only helps healers – Red buff for bigger heals, green buff for AoE heals and blue buff for Haste. We don’t care for it, obviously. However, Nozdormu will help the raid by using Time Loop on the raid at the 5th and 6th Hour of Twilight. At this time raid damage will be enormous – if you have the buff and die, you instead will be healed to full and lose the buff. In theory, you can skip death two times in the fight…and you will need it.

This is basically a hard burn phase where every drop of DPS counts. Pre-potting, Heroism at 35-25% and potting again at this time are all advised.

Blackhorn – Lootship 2

Warmaster Blackhorn rides Gariona, and the vestiges of the Twilight Hammer’s aerial forces attack the skyship with which you chase after Deathwing. The setup of the fight is simple in essence: kill everything before the ship is destroyed. The ship sometimes catches fire, stay out of it.

Gariona : drops Twilight Onslaught onto the ship (large pink circle) which the raid must stand in to share damage.
Assault Drakes: Drop adds on the deck and small fireballs which small groups of people must stand in to share damage. Must all be killed
Twilight Slayers and Twilight Dreadblade: big elites which charge (avoid the yellow lines in front of them) and need to be tanked seperately. Three waves must be killed of these.

Of note are Twilight Sappers, small goblins with explosives that jump on deck and rush for the cabin. They need to be killed asap, and fortunately can be slowed and stunned.

Priority for killing is: Sappers > Elite Adds > Drakes

Once three of these waves has been killed, Blackhorn jumps on deck for phase 2. He silences people close by and applies Sunder Armor (which requires a tank swap). He also uses Shockwave in a cone, which people need to move away from. Spread out a bit in small groups to keep up DPS on him. The more health he loses, the more damage he deals, so the last bit the damage he deals is massive and healers need to spam the tanks.

Gariona also joins the fight, and puts fires on the deck – avoid these. Generally it’s best to kill her first, since avoiding fire and shockwaves with tanks taking ever more damage is a major pain.

Conclusion

The first few encounters in Dragon Soul are not all that involved. Yor’ sahj the sleepless might take a few tries to get a feel for the events triggered by the combinations of oozes, and Zon’ ozz requires a bit of raid awareness as does Hagara. Ultraxion is simply a massive DPS check and calls for steady nerves (don’t panic and simply use Heroic Will when needed). Blackhorn’s encounter is quite easy to grasp – we didn’t get him down yet but that was because it was late and a new fight takes a bit of getting used to.

Next up will be Deathwing – where we check whether he really does have a spine, and find out what draco-demonic putty looks like!

 

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