Friday, December 31, 2010

[4.0.3a] Heroic Halls of Origination Strategy Highlights

NOTE: this post is intended only to document some quick highlights to help provide some immediate advice to my fellow players.

This may be my favorite instance in terms of time on bosses vs. time on trash.  You get 7 bosses in one run and if you are in a hurry, you can just do four (which I have yet to do).  The pulls require some finesse, but they are not so numerous that you hunger for the end.

Finally, the whole Egyptian theme is cool and fun.

I have run this a number of times, always with a Druid Tank (me) and a Holy Priest Healer (my wife).  The DPS mix has varied quite a bit, 2 Melee & 1 Caster, 1 melee & 2 Caster, 3 Caster, etc., and they interrupt capability and CC has varied quite a bit too.  I have had interrupts from all DPS and none (well, not true Interrupts).

This dungeon is pretty linear until you hit the final area, where you can access four bosses, including the final boss.  As a result, you can skip three bosses and just kill the final guy.   I highly recommend that if you are leading a random PUG and *want* to clear everything, you save the final boss until last so that your PUGgers do not depart prematurely.

Boss #1: Anhuur

After a tiny bit of trash, you will come to your first boss Anhuur.  He has all of his usual abilities from the regular dungeon mode.  His Divine Reckoning, which is basically a chained Drain Life, hits about three times as hard in Heroic, so quick interrupts, dispels, and good spacing are advisable.

Key Heroic Difference: The levers have a long cast time and can be interrupted.  So, you can't just hop down, click them, and run back up.  If you try that, then your clickers will be getting beat on by snakes and never finish pulling the lever.

So, how should you deal with it?  Your problem is that you need two people to be able to spend some quality, aggro-free time clicking those levers.  You can solve that a number of ways.  Here are some ways we have solved it:
  1. Have someone else get aggro, Tank or otherwise
  2. Let the clicker aggro, but then let Healer Threat pull them off naturally
  3. Arrange to have the snakes otherwise distracted beforehand
Now, unless you are going for the Achievement, I Hate That Song, this is not a big challenge.  If you are going for the Achievement, you will need some precision timing.  With a 10-second cast time, you have only 5 seconds to get the cast going.  So, for example, falling down to the lever and waiting for healer aggro to pull off the snakes will very likely eat too much time unless you are lucky.

There are many ways you can tackle it.
  1. Ranged AoE pulls snakes: The easiest is probably to fight the boss where he starts and have a ranged DPS with an AoE that can aggro the snakes up to them shortly before the Hymn.  This should leave the clickers unmolested.  If you don't have that luxury, you could have a couple of folks jump down, aggro the snakes, and bring them back up.
  2. Rogue uses Tricks of the Trade to redirect snakes with Fan of Knives.
  3. The Tank and can jump to one side and pick up the snakes while someone else clicks
Do what makes sense for your group.  You might even want to Tank the boss near one lever.

I am still not 100% sure on the snake respawn, if it is shortly after they die or with each new hymn.

Boss #2: Earthrager Ptah

Frankly, this guy seems easy in any mode.  So, I will just give you some tips related to camels:
  1. If you get off the camel it dies and there are only five, so be careful
  2. You cannot drink on a camel, it will dismount you; apparently, they have a strict policy on drinking and riding
  3. If you are riding a camel, you become a mobile weapons platform in the sense that you can move while casting.
  4. If you are going for the Achievement or simply don't want your camel to die, avoid any dust clouds of any sort and be wary of the cluster of add in the middle of the fight, as they can obscure your view of ground effects.
Boss #3: Anraphet

Key Heroic Difference: The pools from the Alpha Beams do not go away.

You are going to need to use some real estate to get this guy down without getting killed by the residual Alpha Beam Pools.  Here is what I do:
  1. As soon as I pull, the Healer runs to the middle of the north stairs, right behind the place where the boss was standing.
  2. One ranged DPS moves the west edge of the north stairs (directly west of the Healer)
  3. If we have a second Ranged DPS, they move to the east edge of the north stairs (directly east of the Healer)
  4. The Tank, and any remaining DPS, take position a few steps up the east stairs
  5. Apha Beams are cast; if you are near a pool, snuggle up to the edge so that any additional pool you spawn will overlap and eat less room
  6. Start collapsing towards the healer in anticpation of Omega Stance
  7. When he casts Omega Stance, everyone should be near the healer for group heals
  8. Once Omega Stance ends, return to relative starting positions in preparation for Alpha Beams (Healer middle north, Ranged DPS northwest, Ranged DPS northeast, Tank & Melee DPS east)
  9. Move south as needed if you need more space
  10. Repeat 4-8 until dead
Here is a diagram of the initial positioning, just after the pull (follow this link to the original image if you find this too hard to read; hey, it's first time using Google Docs to draw something).

It is worth noting that the sequence of his abilities is pretty predictable and obvious, so pay attention and get the rhythm and you should be fine. 

Boss #5: Isiset

Isiset is a being of magic that is composed of three facets.  She manifests powers related to those facets.

Key Heroic Differences: Frankly, they did not seem all that different.  More damage, more Celestial adds, and a portal that zaps you akin to good old Kologarn  (move out of the beam).

Note: The radiance can one-shot you in Heroic, so be sure to look away.

As with regular mode, when you kill a facet, you take away an ability.  You also pump up the remaining ones.  Kill order for her facets:
  1. Astral Rain - gets rid of the Starfall-like rain of damage
  2. Celestial Call - gets rid of the Celestial adds
  3. Veil of Sky - we leave this to last, since it is tied to the spell reflect / damage absorb bubble she puts up, which can be dispelled
Overall, pretty easy.

Boss #6: Ammunae

Key Heroic Differences: The chief concern in Heroic is rapidly killing the seeds he spawns. If they are not killed they grow into elite mobs and it is reported that the boss gains energy/health from them.

I like to assign one DPS for each half of the room to kill seeds, but all DPS should understand that seeds are the absolute kill priority, so if they see one that needs attention, they should take care  of it. If seeds are killed rapidly, this fight is pretty easy.

Boss #7: Setesh

This guy can be challenging if your DPS is low or lethargic.

Key Heroic Difference: The portals he spawns have to be killed to prevent additional adds; this Heroic mechanic is very similar to our old friend Lord Jaraxxus, in the Trial of the Crusader.

And much like Jaraxxus, as the Tank, I not only grab adds, I also do what I can to help burn down the portals ASAP.  If you do it well, only one add will spawn per portal.

The DPS just needs to worry about the portals and the boss.  If your DPS is weak or slow to react, you and your Healer will be in for a rough ride.

Boss #7: Rajh

This guy is pretty straightforward.  He will try to execute various abilities that deplete his energy.  Once at zero energy, he will move to the center of the room and channel a nasty, unavoidable AoE.  One way to approach that is to have a designated stacking spot to facilitate group healing.  Some suggest popping Bloodlust/Heroism during that phase.

Be sure to interrupt every ability you can.


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