Category Archives: Guides

Hunter Tips for Malkorok

Malkorok is the 9th boss in Siege of Orgrimmar. He’s got some nasty abilities and is a step up in difficulty from many of the early bosses. 

It’s two-phase single target fight (there are a few adds in heroic, but they’re not a big focus). 

The fight

During phase one there is constant raid-wide damage, and a shield mechanic similar to Tortos. Any healing taken will go into your shield, not your health bar. Thankfully, you don’t have to shoot a crystal to trigger the shield, it applies automatically. Malkorok uses a few damaging abilities. Seismic Slam does damage in a 5 yard area and shoots players up into the air. Be sure to be spread out so only one person gets hit at a time. Imploding Energy will spawn void pools around the room. After 5 seconds they will explode, doing damage to anyone in them. Each zone must be soaked by at least one player standing in them, or massive shadow damage will be done to all players. My raid splits the room into quadrants and assigns people to each one so everyone knows where they need to soak. Arcing Smash is a cone attack that he will use 3 times during the phase, this can be avoided. 10 seconds after the 3rd Arcing Smash, he’ll use Breath of Y’Shaarj which deals massive damage in the places where the smashes were. Remembering the position of each smash so you know where the safe zones are is very important.

Heroic only – When Malk uses Seismic slam, it causes Living corruption adds to spawn and attack players. These have an aura which reduces the casting and movement speed of those around them. They need to get to the tank so they don’t sabotage the casters. Malkorok will also spawn orbs of corruption continuously throughout phase 1. These persist and if anyone comes into contact with them, their barrier gets removed and they take damage. These can be soaked using cooldowns, but should generally be avoided in this phase.

In phase 2 the Ancient Miasma fades, meaning people no longer have shields and can have their health restored. Malkorok will start using Blood Rage, doing huge amounts of damage split among any players in front of him. In normal, everyone just stacks in front of the boss to split the damage. Displaced Energy is a debuff that will be applied to random players. It deals damage to the player and if it is dispelled (or after 9 seconds) explodes, doing damage to anyone in 8 yards. Because of this, players who get this need to move out of the group. Whether or not you want to dispel is up to your group (I vote no!).

Heroic only – The Displaced Energy debuff also roots the affected player in place. Only tanks (or one Monk tank) should stand in front of the boss to soak the Blood Rage. The rest of the players should stay spread out in their quadrants. At this time, the Essences of Y’Shaarj can be soaked by players with good cooldowns (hunters, shadow priests, paladins) to free up some space.

When the Blood Rage ends, we go back to phase 1.

Talent Recommendations

Level 15 – Crouching Tiger, Hidden Chimera
In order to soak as many Orbs as possible, the shorter cooldown on Deterrence is good.

Level 90 – Glaive Toss
Normal is a single-target fight and in heroic the adds aren’t numerous and die quickly.

Tips for the Fight

  • Deterrence has a ton of uses on this fight. In heroic you can use it to soak the Essences of Y’Shaarj. If you get caught in an Arcing Smash or Breath of Y’Shaarj, Deterrence will keep you alive.
  • Disengage can help you get out of the bad floor effects, reduce fall damage after a slam, or get to Imploding Energy to soak in time.
  • Keep an eye on your Barrier level. It will change colour based on how full it is. Use a Healthstone if you’re in the red.
  • Heroic - Master’s Call is helpful on heroic, it can be used if you’re slowed by an ooze or if you are rooted by Displaced Energy.
  • Heroic – Help out the raid by Misdirecting the oozes when they spawn. Once they’re on the tank, Multishot every once in a while to help get them down. 
  • Heroic - Get a Druid to Symbiosis you so they can get Deterrence and you can use Dash so you can soak more orbs.

Happy hunting!

Warcraft Logs – Basic Raider Evaluations

Another day, another section added to my Evaluating Raiders with Warcraft Logs guide.

This time, I give some tips on basic raider evaluations, using my Hunter as an example. I go over all sorts of things, like:

  • Evaluating damage done
  • Ability use
  • Targets/damage prioritization
  • Timing and frequency of cooldown use
  • Debuffs applied to enemies
  • Avoidable damage taken
  • Self-healing and healthstone use

Buffs-cast-on-bats

Go check it out, and feel free to ask questions or give suggestions.

Evaluating Raider with Warcraft Logs

Evaluating Raiders with Warcraft Logs

There is a new combat analysis site in town, and its name is Warcraft Logs. While the site is currently in open Alpha and will likely not be officially released until Warlords of Draenor, it still has a ton of functionality and is already a great tool for evaluating logs.

Since log analyzers aren’t entirely intuitive to use, I’ll be writing a guide on how to use Warcraft Logs to analyze and improve both your own performance and that of your entire raid (just like I did with World of Logs).

The guide is in its beginning stages, currently I just cover the basics – how to upload a log and a breakdown of the log UI. Soon I’ll be adding sections on how to analyze individual raiders and how to use logs to find out what’s happening on boss fights when things go wrong.

Warcraft Logs summary screen

I’ve added the first two sections to my guide section, please check it out and let me know if you have any feedback.

Evaluating Raiders with Warcraft Logs

Hunter Tips for Kor’kron Dark Shaman

Kor’kron Dark Shaman is the 7th boss in Siege of Orgrimmar. It’s a multi-mob, multi-tank fight (3 >2) and is a bit of a clusterfrak of  bad things on the floor that the raid needs to avoid.

Even through the Shaman share a health pool, my guild always tanks them separately (on normal and heroic) to make staying alive much easier, and I recommend that strat. 

The fight

When the fight starts, you face not only the two shaman (Haromm and Kardris), but also their wolf mounts, Darkfang and Bloodclaw. The wolves do a nasty stacking bleed on their current target, so they should be burned down quickly. Keep all 4 mobs together until the wolves are dead so you can take advantage of cleaves.

Once the wolves are dead, send two tanks, the melee dps and most of your healers away with Haromm. My raid pulls him up the hill to the right of the building. Leave 1 tank, the ranged dps and a couple (or 1 on 10 man) healers to deal with Kardris.

Haromm’s side needs more healers because of Toxic Mist. That portion of the raid will also have to avoid a number of mechanics that can kill them very quickly – Foul Stream, Ashen Wall, and in heroic mode – Iron Tomb. It’s very important for the Walls and the Tombs to be positioned carefully so the raid doesn’t get boxed in and die a horrible death.

Kardris’s side also has a lot of bad stuff to deal with and will need to make the most of the space in the room. Toxic Storms are large purple swirlies which spawn on players and need to be avoided. The storms will also spawn Toxic Tornados which are smaller, but quick-moving. All ranged and healers should stay on one side of the tank so you can control where these spawn. Once you start running out of space, rotate around the room a bit until you have a clear area. Starting at 65%, Kardris will start summoning Foul Slimes, nasty little adds with a 3 yard aura that does heavy damage. Kill these asap, but don’t get too close to them. Periodically Kardris will cast Falling Ash. This creates a large red circle on the floor and after 15 seconds does very heavy damage to the whole raid (anyone actually in the red circle will be killed). The terrain can cause issues with seeing exactly where the borders of the Falling Ash circle are. The heroic mode mechanic is Iron Prison, which is cast on random players throughout the fight, dealing 100% of their health as damage after a minute. Damage mitigation cooldowns or shields are required to keep people alive through this.

At 25% the Shaman cast Heroism on themselves, increasing their damage and haste.

Talent Recommendations

According to the top parses, BM outperforms SV on this fight. Maybe I’m just bad at BM, but I find this fight so much easier and my dps much better as Survival. The Foul Slimes are one of the biggest concerns for the ranged and I find them easier to mow down with hard hitting shots rather than my pet. But, YMMV.

Level 15 – Crouching Tiger, Hidden Chimera
This is more for heroic. You can get unlucky and get targeted by Iron Prison a bunch on this fight, so having Deterrence available more often is good. On normal, you might find the speed boost from Postehaste more beneficial.

Level 90 – Barrage
The cooldown on this lines up very nicely with the summoning of Foul Slimes.

Tips for the fight

  • The bosses initially start off in a building and are a pain to get to. Do your raid a favour and reset them so they respawn outside. Don’t forget to dismiss your pet first.
  • Use all your cooldowns and AoE/Cleave away while the bosses and their wolves are grouped up. Get those puppies down fast.
  • If you happen to get hit by a toxic tornado (it happens), use a Healthstone immediately.
  • Make sure Barrage is up while the Foul Slimes are spawning and also try to have an almost full focus bar so you don’t need to cast many/any Cobra Shots while they’re up. Start off with Multishot as they’re spawning and hit Barrage once they are all out. I generally don’t find dropping Explosive/Frost traps worth it. However, Binding Shot is great for keeping them still if you place it properly.
  • You can use Deterrence to completely deflect the Falling Ash damage. You should definitely do this if you’re lower on health when it’s about to hit.
  • On heroic, make sure Deterrence is up if you get Iron Prison – it takes a minute to deal its damage, so you have lots of warning. Use Deterrence when there are only a couple seconds left. It won’t completely negate the damage, it’ll just apply the damage reduction. It’s also a really good idea to use a WeakAura to let you know when you have the debuff and when it will expire.

Happy hunting!

Hunter Tips for Galakras

Galakras is the 5th fight in SoO and is broken up into two parts – a siege phase where you fight waves of adds and gain control of towers, and a single target phase after you’ve shot Galakras out of the sky. Though the fight seems complex because there are so many types of mobs all with their own set of abilities, it’s actually fairly straightforward to execute. These are tips for both normal and heroic.

The fight

The goal in phase 1 is to gain control of two towers so you can shoot Galakras down and begin the last phase of the fight. The raid gets separated into a ground team and a tower team. For the first couple waves of adds, the whole raid can stay together to deal with them (I’m not going to talk about what every single add does, go read a guide for that).

Wave 3 consists of a mini-boss, Korgra the Snake, and two Ebon Stalkers. The Ebon Stalkers are more dangerous so they should be killed first. It’s at this point that your tower team (consisting of one tank, a number of dps and a couple healers) wants to head up to the South Tower, which will open shortly. The ranged dps can help kill the mobs on the ground, while the tank and melee can handle the adds in the tower. Once the tower opens, a Demolisher will spawn and start shooting at the tower. The Demo should become the priority target and should be killed before the tower team starts climbing the tower (otherwise they’ll take damage and get stunned as they’re running up). At the top of the tower is another mini-boss with a cone attack that can knock people off the tower. Once it’s dead, the tower team can re-join the ground team. Important: Have one person stay on the tower and use the cannon to shoot down all the proto-drakes flying around, this will reduce the amount of damage the raid takes considerably.

The ground team will then need to handle 3 more waves of various adds. The 7th wave will be another mini-boss, High Enforcer Thranok. He will occasionally pull all players close to him, then do a big attack. Everyone needs to get away when this happens. Around this time, the North tower will open, and another Demo will spawn. The tower team should deal with this one in the same way as the last. Once the 2nd tower has been claimed, you need one person in the cannon on top of each tower to shoot Galakras down at the same time. Make sure the adds on the ground are under control/almost dead before you do this.

The priority for killing mobs may differ a bit based on your raid team, but here are some general guidelines.

Kill immediately:

  • Healing Tide Totems (dropped by Tidal Shaman) and War Banners (dropped by Flagbearers)

High priority:

  • Kor’kron Demolishers – so your tower team can start climbing
  • Dragonmaw Bonecrushers – because they hurt the NPCs
  • Dragonmaw Tidal Shamans – because they heal

Low priority:

  • Dragonmaw Flameslingers
  • Dragonmaw Grunts

Extra heroic mechanic
The Demolition Crew NPCs (the guys who open the towers for you) now get attacked by Dragonmaw Grunts and must be protected. A small team of ranged dps and a healer or two should be assigned to protect these guys until the tower opens.

In phase 2 things get much more simple. Kill off any remaining adds then, burn down Galakras. The main mechanic to deal with is Flames of Galakrond. My raid has found the best way to handle it is to split your raid into two groups and have one stand on his back left foot and one on his back right foot. The person targeted by the Flames just needs to back up a few steps to ensure it hits the group before it hits them.

Talent Recommendations

Level 15 – Postehaste
If you’re assigned to the tower team then Posthaste can help get you around a little quicker. 

Level 75 – Blink Strikes

Level 90 – Barrage
Mobs are often up in groups of 5 or 6 at a time, Barrage will get all of them.

Tips for the fight

  • You can use Disengage to get around a little quicker if you’re running between the towers and the ground team. If you’re on top of the tower you can jump off and Disengage before you hit the ground to avoid taking too much damage/dying. You can also use it to quickly get behind the rest of the group if you’re targeted by Flames in phase 2.
  • Use Master’s Call to quickly get your pet from attacking the mobs on the ground to attacking mobs by the tower.
  • With so many instant shots, hunters are great for killing Banners and Totems. Make a targeting macro to make killing these even faster.
  • You can help interrupt the Tidal Shaman. Chain Heal is the most important one, though generally people with a shorter interrupt should get that. You can also interrupt Tidal Wave.

Happy hunting!

Hunter Tips for Sha of Pride

Sha of Pride is the fourth and last boss in the Vale of Eternal Sorrows, before you start the march on Orgrimmar. For the majority of the time it’s a single-target fight, though there are a few different kinds of adds that spawn at certain times. This fight also involves an individual resource, Pride, which you want to avoid getting as much as possible. These are tips for both normal and heroic.

The fight

At the beginning of the fight, everyone starts out with 0 Pride, which means no bad effects. Most avoidable damage gives Pride (so avoid it), along with some unavoidable abilities. 

There are two debuffs which go out throughout the fight:

1. Periodically, random people will be affected by Gift of the Titans, which makes them immune to gaining pride for 20 seconds. If the people who have this debuff group up, they will get Power of the Titans, which increases haste, damage and healing done. On normal mode, everyone can stand together for most of the fight so no action should be required. However, on heroic your raid will likely be spread out, so the people with Gift should run together, then spread back out once they get the Power buff.

2. Players will get Mark of Arrogance, a DoT which does heavy damage and must be dispelled. Dispelling gives 5 Pride.

There are a few major events which happen roughly in order and repeat throughout the fight:

1. Self Reflection is used on random raid members and creates a Reflection of Pride add at their location. It also puts a small, bubbly purple void zone down at the spawn spot which should be moved out of as it does heavy damage and gives Pride. The Reflections should be grouped up in the middle and AoE’d down.

Heroic Only – Around the time Self-Reflection is cast, the Sha will also cast Banishment, sending a few players to the Sha Realm. Banished players leave behind a hostile copy of themselves, which must be killed in order to get the player unbanished.

2. Corrupted Prison will trap players (2 in 10, 4 in 25) in glowy circles spread around the boss. While players are trapped they are stunned, gain Pride and take damage. To release them, players must stand on each of the glowing yellow titan locks around the prison. All locks must be activated at once.

3. The boss will summon Manifestations of Pride (1 in 10, 2 in 25), a large add which will chain cast Mocking Pride and will give Pride to whoever is closest when it dies. These should be silenced and gripped into the group if possible so they can be killed by everyone. They should also be interrupted as much as possible.

4. Swelling Pride is cast when the boss reached 100 energy and is the most dangerous part of the fight. It inflicts massive shadow damage on all players, along with a secondary effect on anyone with 25 or more Pride. Anyone with 25 or more Pride should get away from the group before Swelling Pride is cast.

  • 25-49 Pride – Creates a mass of Sha  corruption, Bursting Pride, which does damage to anyone within 5 yards after 3 seconds. 
  • 50-74 Pride – Creates a Projection 15 yards away from the player. The player must find it and stand in it or it will do massive raid-wide damage.
  • 75-99 Pride – Aura of Pride inflicts pulsing shadow damage to anyone within 5 yards for 25 seconds.
  • 100 – You get mind controlled and wreak havoc on your raid.

When the boss reaches 30% all Pride levels are reset to 0, and it will start using Unleashed on the raid, which does heavy raid-wide damage and gives everyone 5 Pride every 10 seconds. The other mechanics continue as normal.

Extra heroic mechanic 
Unstable Corruption - Rifts will continually spawn on the ground around the room and will launch bolts of corruption at players. You can tell where they will land, there’s a purple puff on the ground. Anyone hit by these will take damage and gain Pride. Players can and should close the rifts by walking over them, but can only do so once per minute because of the Weakened Resolve debuff.

Talent Recommendations

Level 15 – Crouching Tiger, Hidden Chimera
Deterrence and disengage are both great on this fight and you’ll want them up as often as possible.

Level 30 – Binding Shot
This can be used to help keep the reflections in place once they’re grouped in the middle.

Level 90
Normal Mode – Glaive Toss

Reflections don’t stay up too long on normal.

Heroic Mode – Barrage
There are a lot of adds up when self-reflection is cast and Barrage is great for mowing them down. Make sure Barrage is available to use when Self-Reflection is being cast.

Tips for the fight

  • Disengage has a ton of uses on this fight. Use it to quickly get to prisons to free people, to get out of Bursting Pride if you’re over 25 Pride during the Swelling cast, or to get to rifts quickly (on heroic). Glyph it if you don’t normally for some extra distance.
  • Deterrence is also amazing. You can use it to completely deflect Swelling Pride and make your healers love you. I found I could deflect 2 in a row, but the cooldown wasn’t quite up for the 3rd. Use a healthstone after the cast if you aren’t able to use Deterrence.
  • You can move and shoot, so watch your feet. You shouldn’t be taking any Unstable Corruption hits.
  • You can help interrupt the Manifestation of Pride’s Mocking Pride cast. Ideally, the first cast will be silenced so the mob will move into the middle, but you should be able to get an interrupt in after. These should be your damage focus while they’re up.
  • Heroic – If are banished to the Sha Realm, there is a simple pattern to move in to make sure you don’t die. Take your first left, grab the orb, go immediately left again, then go clockwise around the circle on your right (grab that orb too). This should put you out of the way of the mobs. Just don’t run into walls!
  • Heroic – Make sure you can easily keep track of the Weakened Resolve debuff. It you don’t have it, you should go soak a rift.

Happy hunting!

Hunter Tips for Norushen

These tips apply to both normal and heroic modes, since it’s pretty much the same fight.

Norushen is basically a single phase fight, but is made more interesting with the addition of a corruption bar, which reduces your damage done to the boss, and a test realm, which is an individual task players must complete to remove their corruption.

The fight

At the beginning of the fight, everyone starts out at 75 corruption, which causes you to do reduced damage to the boss. It’s important to note that the reduced damage only applies to the Amalgam of Corruption. You can still do full damage to the Manifestations of Corruption (big adds) and Essences of Corruption (small adds). All damage done to the adds gets copied to the Amalgam via Foul Link, so adds should be your top dps priority

DPS get purified by clicking one of the gold orbs around the room, which brings you to the Test of Serenity and killing the mobs in there. There are 2 types of mobs:

  • Manifestations of Corruption move freely and do a frontal cone attack which is avoidable. Killing this removes 40 corruption. Assuming you go in with 75 corruption, there will be one of these in the test realm.
  • Essences of Corruption are stationary, but can pivot around. They do an attack in a line in front of them and can put up shields that will deflect any attacks from the front.Killing these removes 15 corruption. Assuming you go in with 75 corruption, there will be three of these in the test realm.

If you have not killed all the adds within 1 minute, you’ll get ported out of the test realm.

You want to get your dps purified so they can do full damage on the boss. However, any add killed in the test realm will spawn in the normal realm and the raid will have to deal with it. So, you need to pace the rate at which dps gets purified.

The normal realm is fairly simple. There will be raid-wide damage throughout the whole fight. When a Manifestation is killed, it will drop a small void zone which needs to be soaked (by standing on it) or it will pulse heavy raid-wide damage every few seconds. Soaking these give the soaker 25 corruption so tanks and healers should be handling these. DPS should not soak unless they will be going down to the test realm to get purified soon. The  best strategy is to have your whole raid stacked up behind the boss to make healing easier.

The other big ability you need to worry about is Blind Hatred. This happens every 60 seconds. A beam will appear going from the Amalgam to a floating skull and rotate around the room. You can tell which way the beam will go by the facing of the skull. Don’t get hit by the beam.

Once the boss reaches 50%, he will spawn an additional Manifestation of Corruption every 10%.

Talent Recommendations

Level 75 – Blink Strikes

Level 90 – Barrage
Barrage isn’t going to do a whole lot for you when you get to the end of the fight, but for the first half, when there are little adds spread around the room, Barrage is going to hit a whole lot more of them than GT will. Make sure you’re using it after a wave or two of adds has spawned.

Tips for Hunters

While you’re in the test realm, kill the Manifestation first as it poses the most danger to you. You can also get SS up on the Essences while they don’t have shields up. Your pet will be immensely helpful in killing these since it will always attack from behind. Disengage is helpful for positioning yourself so you can get around the shields.

In the normal realm, you basically just stand and shoot with the exception of running from the Blind Hatred. Misdirect the Manifestations onto the current tank when they spawn, and make sure you’re focusing adds – target adds who are close together first so you can take advantage of Beast Cleave. When Barrage is up, position yourself so you can hit as many adds as possible.

If you’re going to be one of the first people purified, I’d hold off on using big cooldowns like Stampede until after you’ve come out of the test realm.

Happy hunting!