Last week, Windsoar was nice enough to give me two topics to blog about. The first can be found here. For my second topic, she wanted to know what my favorite boss encounter was this expansion. I’ve been feeling a little nostalgic lately, and I thought: why write about only one of my favorite raid bosses when I could write about them all? So here are the bosses I consider to be the most memorable from the duration of my WoW raiding career. I also included a few bosses that I can’t stand. (Disclaimer: I never got to see BWL, AQ40 or the original Naxx, so you won’t find any of those bosses here).
Best Raid Bosses
High Priestess Arlokk – Zul’Gurub
Zul’Gurub was my first raid instance. I remember being pulled in there as a level 56 druid because my guild needed more healers. The very first raid boss I ever killed was High Priestess Arlokk, the panther boss. Although now, after looking through all the other raid bosses, this fight doesn’t seem that special, it gets a place on my list because it was my first. I can still remember fighting her for the first time, having no clue what I was doing, being unable to see anything because of the panther swarm. It was crazy, and it was great! She also dropped the object of my desire at the time, Will of Arlokk.
Hakkar the Soulflayer – Zul’Gurub
Pride heralds the end of your world. Come, mortals! Face the wrath of the soulflayer!
Hakkar was the first boss where I experienced wipe, after wipe, after wipe. Although I’m sure he was a pushover for the guilds running around in their tier gear, my little 20-man raiding guild had a number of problems with Hakkar. I still think the main mechanic of the fight is great: poison yourself, in order to damage the boss. Brilliant. The MCs on the tanks made things exciting too.
Ragnaros – Molten Core
BY FIRE BE PURGED!
I feel like a bit of a cheat putting this guy on my list, since I killed him a grand total of one time before Burning Crusade came out, but in terms of presence, Ragnaros had it. It’s hard to beat a gigantic fire elemental wielding a large mace rising out of a pool of lava.
Leotheras the Blind – Serpentshrine Cavern
We all have our demons.
Aggro drops, whirlwinds, warlock tanks, oh my! And best of all, healers got to do some dps to kill their inner demons. Finally, my insistence of speccing into Insect Swarm was vindicated. Leo also looks like a mini-Illidan, which made me happy.
Kael’thas Sunstrider – Tempest Keep
This was a crazy, fun fight. It had a little bit of everything: kiting, fears, epic weapons, gravity lapse, pyroblasts, mind controls, phoenixes and flamestrikes. I think of all the boss fights I’ve done this is the one with the most stuff going on, and the most abilities to remember. The explanation of the fight alone can take almost 20 minutes. KT was my first “guild first” kill after joining my alliance guild. Our main tank died during phase 5, and one of our dps warriors picked up Kael. Everyone was screaming over vent “Shield Wall! Shield Wall!” and he was yelling back “I can’t find my shield!”. He eventually found his shield and we got our first kill, and first attunements to Hyjal.
I’ll rip the meat from your bones!
Out of all the fights in Black Temple (which is my favorite raid instance ever), Bloodboil was the toughest to heal. There was heaps of raid damage, the tanks took a real beating and it was always extremely difficult to keep a mage healed through a Fel Rage. It was also amusing to listen to my raid leader (who was a mage) bitch about having to buff everyone with Amplify Magic.
Illidari Council – Black Temple
Illidari Council separated the men from the boys as far as ability to not stand in bad stuff went. Don’t stand near the mage, don’t stand in the Blizzard, run out of Consecrate and gtfo of the Flamestrike. This fight was a blast as a druid, I got to run around the room throwing HoTs on everyone, all the while avoiding all the aforementioned bad stuff. One of the shaman in my alliance guild was particularly bad at this fight. We used to make a game out of how many times he could die. We’d soulstone him, use all our battle rezzes and make him ankh. I think the record was 6 deaths in one fight.
Illidan Stormrage – Black Temple
Ah, Illidan, the final boss of my favorite raid instance. Illidan combined great mechanics with fun scripted events. He also looked awesome (I seem to have a thing for big, muscular demon types). The fight was epic, taking more than 15 minutes to finish. My favorite Illidan kill happened in my Horde guild. We got our first and only Illidan kill 2 days before Wrath of the Lich King was released. Our guild was certainly not at the forefront of raiding, but we steadily plugged away at Black Temple and Mount Hyjal once we got the major buffs that came at the end of BC. It was our last planned raid for the year. We started out with Illidari Council, who had been giving us major problems for a few raids (many people in the group failed majorly at the not standing in bad things test), and I was afraid that we wouldn’t even get to see Illidan. But then a miracle happened and we managed to kill them, and were off to face the big, blind demon himself. We stood in front of him, and I gave the raid a 20-minute boss explanation. At the end of it, one of the healers piped up “Can you go over that again?” /facepalm. We had less than 2 hours to master the fight, and master it we did! We got our kill with only minutes to spare before the raid set to end. I was very proud of my guild and it was one of my favorite kills ever. Duplicity!
Brutallus – Sunwell Plateau
Ahh! More lambs to the slaughter!
The thing I liked about this fight was how meticulous you needed to be about positioning. The raid must be in the proper spots behind the tanks to share the Meteor Slash. Everyone must be spread out far enough to not spread the Burn debuff, but also close enough together to allow for Chain Heal to chain properly. Even though a big part of this fight was a gear check, it was still fun and required everyone to squeeze out every ounce of dps/hps that they could.
Yogg Saron – Ulduar
Yogg Saron is my favorite raid boss in Wrath. Even before the release of Ulduar, he was quite ubiquitous. His influence could be seen throughout Northrend in the saronite mines in Howling Fjord and Icecrown, the Ursoc in Grizzly Hills, and his corruption of Loken in the Storm Peaks. When we finally got to see Yogg, he did not disappoint. To start with, he had some of the coolest dialogue and the voice acting was great. The fight is also the most interesting one this expansion. My favorite part of the fight was going into the portals to see the different visions and kick some tentacle ass. Add to that a plethora of debuffs to worry about, a handful of things you’re not allowed to stand near and the fact that your sanity is constantly dropping, and you’ve got a challenging and fun boss fight.
And my favorite raid boss of all…
Archimonde – Mount Hyjal
Hmm, another big, muscular demon on my list, imagine that. I just rewatched my guild’s first Archimonde kill video, and it reminded me how fun this fight was (the fact that the video was set to the song “Fat Bottom Girls” helped). Archimonde was a survival fight, where everyone needed to pull their weight and do everything they could to keep themselves alive. If even one person died, it could kill the whole raid. As a druid healer, there was never a lack of things to do. We had to be quick with decurses, always be in range of our group, watch out for doomfires and pile the heals on the people who couldn’t avoid them. Then there was the Air Burst, which led to all kinds of horrible and often hilarious deaths:”I lagged before I could hit my Tear!”, “My tear disappeared from my bags!”, “I used it too early!”. My raid also experienced our share of mass slaughter due to Finger of Death. Now that is how you wipe a raid. Compared to a number of the other bosses I’ve mentioned on my list, Archimonde didn’t have a lot of abilities to worry about. When the fight went smoothly, there were really only 4 (air burst, fear, doomfire, grip of the legion), but that didn’t stop Archimonde from being one tough SOB to take down.
I didn’t put any bosses from Kara on my list, mostly because I tend to like 25-man raids more than 10s. While there isn’t one boss in Kara that really sticks out for me, I have to give props to the instance as a whole. The atmosphere was fantastic, the bosses were numerous and varied, and they all seemed like they belonged there. Karazhan was an excellent start to Burning Crusade raiding.
Teron Gorefiend – Black Temple
I was unsure whether I wanted to count Teron as a favorite boss or one that I hated. The fight itself was great, it was fast-paced and the healing was intense. Then there were the ghosts. Despite much practice on the Teron flash game (which I rocked at), when it came to being a ghost in the actual fight, I was terrible. I consider myself a competent player, but there was something about those ghosts that turned me into a paste-eater. I could never target the right construct, and I always let at least one or two get into the raid. Hearing the line “I have use for you! ” still makes me shudder. Despite this, I still think it was a good fight, and a lot of fun as long as I wasn’t a ghost. Plus it taught me a little humility.
Bosses I hate
Everything in MC (other than Ragnaros)
I always found Molten Core to be terribly long, and terrible boring. Everything looked the same. It was also my only experience with 40-man raids, which aren’t for me, I don’t think. I never felt like I was making any measurable impact in a 40-man.
Kalecgos – Sunwell Plateau
I don’t know what it was about this fight, but this guy always managed to turn my raid group into a bunch of mongoloids (I say that with love of course). Usually, after getting a boss kill, it was fairly easy to repeat the kill in subsequent raids within one or two attempts. Not with this guy. Even after weeks of killing Kalecgos, we could still spend a whole night wiping on him. Because of this, I remember Kalecgos as the most frustrating boss ever.
Kel’Thuzad – Naxxramas (redux)
I hate you and your stupid mind control. I hate you for mind-controlling the HOLY priest beside me and having her Smite me for 12k, making one of the hunters shoot me and then hitting me with a frost bolt, killing me and ruining an otherwise perfect Immortal run. Yes, I am still bitter after all this time. I hope you die in a fire.
Hugs and Kisses,
Faction Champions – Trial of the Crusader
Keep your filthy PVP mechanics out of my raid instances please.