It is time!
After weeks of dealing with under-tuned bosses which drop huge upgrades from Ulduar, it is finally time to let the cream rise to the top. From the moment I heard about the concept of limiting the number of attempts on the Trial of the Grand Crusader, I was excited to see how much of an equalizer it would be. My initial thoughts on the concept of 50 tries and you are done is that this type of raiding will show a new side to progression guilds, one that may shift the balance of power when it comes to server firsts. One of the things that is most daunting when it comes to progression guilds, being part of an elite crew of raiders, and getting server firsts is the time commitment. When Ulduar first came out, there was a guild on our server that raided for a week straight, 13 hours a day, to get server firsts and come in very high on the world standings. This is a thing of the past.
It is time for the precision players to step forward and earn their day in the sun. If everything goes as it is assumed to, the raiders that have done their due diligence, studied the fights, prepared for the worst, and brought their A game will come out with ahead of the brute force guilds. You will see more casual guilds rise to the top as fast as the guilds that have 25 people that put in a full 40 hours a week. I believe that this is good news for most people. The fact that you can stay on par with out having to dedicate 5 nights a week to this game is a blessing in disguise.
Enough of the thoughts on progression, who knows, I may be back here tomorrow with my foot in my mouth, all 5 bosses down on hard mode and a ton of new shiny epics. Or I may be back with 500 less gold in my pockets and nothing to show for it. Only the next few hours of time in game will tell.
Northrend Beasts – The skinny
Here is some information that I found from MainTankadin that will help you in your preparation, gear selection and tanking strategy:
Courtesy of MainTankadin –
On Gormok the Impaller:
– Impale hits MUCH harder (150% weapon damage instead of 100%weapon). Also the dot is ticking for 80% more damage than normal 25 andlasts 5 seconds longer. You can only let the debuff stack to 2 before aswitch so you’ll need 3 tanks. It also means you get 2 tanks sittingthere with a massive DoT while a 3rd takes direct damage and a DoT.Even only stacking 2 debuffs in heroic mode, it will do more damagethan a 3-stack in normal mode.
– Snobolds increase his damage by 15% each time they go out, andhe has 5 to throw. The direct hit from Impale will be hitting for 35kat the end (after mitigation), and the dots will be ticking for hugeamounts of damage. You’ll want to start using abilities to remove theDoT after the 2nd round of tanks, and also have tanks using cooldownswhile they are on the boss towards the end.
On Acidmaw and Dreadscale:
– The stationary Jormungar is going to own the raid if peoplearen’t spread out. The acid will do about 5k every 2 seconds. If 1-2people have it, it’s healable. But if 5 people are grouped up and getit, healers are going to struggle keeping them up along with the tanks.The burn debuff is really an issue though, because multiple people inthe raid with it are going to blow each other up. Burning Bile is 9kdamage every 2 seconds to anyone within 10 yards. That is instant deathfor the raid if even a few people get this.
– Enrage: You could kill them kind of far apart in normal 25, butin heroic if one enrages I don’t think you’ll be able to heal throughit. They need to go down together.
– Everyone HAS to spread out for his arctic breath. Normal 25 itdid 20k damage over 5 seconds.. not enough to kill a raid member. Inheroic it does 30k damage over 5 seconds. If more than a few people gethit with this, a few of them will die. Healers especially need to bespread apart, since multiple healers getting stunned for that spellwill kill the raid.
From what we see here, there is no doubt that I will be geared in full effective health set. The incoming damage will be significantly higher than previous weeks and having as much stamina and armor as possible will be a great benefit to my healers. Now that it has been established that it is a survival fight and not a dps race (where I would wear my max threat gear), what should we do differently in this encounter than we do in the normal, and what should we do differently this week than any other.
With the advent of the 50 attempts and your gone instance, I would suggest that when you go do your normal Trial of the Crusader first, you use the encounter as an opportunity to practice positioning, strategy and overall mechanics of the fight. It will be crucial that you figure out where you want people standing for P2 and P3 during normal mode, because you do not want to waste any time during the Hard Mode on wipes. You should have each of your raiders make sure that they are performing to their fullest when they are facing this encounter so that you are prepared for what is to come on the Heroic version.
Quick transitions will be the key to the first “phase” of this encounter. The transitions between tanks will have to be clearly communicated as well as very quick swaps in dps to the Snowbolds will be key to survival. I would suggest that you set up your tank rotation ahead of time and focus the tank that will be on the boss before you so that you can see how many debuffs he or she has. Be prepared to taunt at a moments notice with cool downs up. I am entering the encounter with the intention of using my Bubble /cancelaura macro after the second tank rotation to save my healers some mana.
The worms phase of the encounter seems to be determined by a combination of the tanks ability to kite the mobs properly as well as positioning of the raid so that the people with debufs are easily accessible. Even distribution of all of your raid may be possible, and this would be the best idea to negate the acid, however the movement that is necessary to get the fire debuf to the poison debuf will be essential to this phase.
Icehowl should be a tank and spank and seems like you would want the same type of positioning you had in P2. I will be saving my forbearance for Bubble wall and not wings on this phase for the heroic version, just in case he gets enraged and the tranq shot is slow. If you have made it this far and you have the raid and the mana to survive, you should have the encounter, however I may be wrong. Only time will tell.
Good Luck everyone!