Ready Check is a twice-a-week column focusing on successful raiding for the serious raider. Hardcore or casual, Vault of Archavon or Ulduar, everyone can get in on the action and down some bosses. Today, we step back a little and look at endgame in the context of sports.
The time is nigh. You've brought down the hellish tank called Flame Leviathan, released Razorscale from unimagine torment, and put down Ignis the Furnace Master. With fire in your bellies and laughter in your voice, you've shuddered and deconstructed the Deconstructor. You've right clicked the teleportation widget, and have brought yourself to the Antechamber of Ulduar.
We'll be talking, in this installment of Ready Check, about:
The first trash mobs in this area aren't too bad. You can have a Warlock banish the elemental, which might save your tank a little angst. When you see the big guys (Rune Etched Sentries), you might want to brush up a bit of coordination. The big guys place fire runes on the ground. In the grand tradition of raids everywhere, don't stand in the runes' circles or you'll die. The big guys also jump around, so this is a "cuddle" fight -- if everyone's standing on top of the tank, you'll have a little easier time of it.
I actually like to go up the stairs right away, and go face down . . .
When you approach the "balcony," Kologarn will suddenly spring up in front of you. The first time I saw the boss do that, I was incredibly impressed. The dude looks cool and impressive, not to mention HUGE, which is about everything I could want from a raid boss. Once you kill Kologarn, he splits into pieces and literally becomes the bridge you'll use to get into central Ulduar.
I prefer to fight Kologarn first in the Antechamber of Ulduar because he's not actually that difficult. He's got two arms to watch out for, no adds, and only a couple of gimmicks. Here's how the fight goes:
First, kill his right arm. Then kill his body. Then kill his right arm again when it respawns. Then kill his body. Then kill his left arm. After you kill that left arm, he'll probably fall over dead, and there you go. One thing to note: each time you kill the right arm, it'll become a stack of adds. Have your off-tank and ranged DPS gather up and kill those adds. Kologarn also fires blue eyebeams into the raid -- don't get hit by them. Lastly, make sure your tank stays in range of him, or Kologarn will use petrifying breath to kill you all. You'll need to swap tanks if Kologarn hits you with Overhead Smash too much.
Does that sound too simple? Like I said, this isn't exactly rocket science. Nonetheless, let's break it down a little bit for the more tactically, number minded among our group.
As a note, since you're facing Kologarn, his "Left Arm" is on YOUR right. His "Right Arm" is on your left.
- Overhead Smash - The not so massive attack inflicts Physical damage and decreases armor by 25% for 45 sec. This is what your main tank needs to watch out for. If it stacks up too many times, you'll have 0 armor. If you get two stacks, "swap" so that the off-tank is tanking Kologarn. This debuff drops off you sometimes even while you're fighting him, so try not to lose too much sleep over something that sounds scarier than it actually is.
- Petrifying Breath - Inflicts heavy, heavy Nature damage every second and increases damage taken by 20% for 8 sec. This is only used if the tank is not in melee range. So tank, stay in melee range.
- Brittle Skin - Increases damage taken by 20% for 8 sec. Similar to Overhead Smash. If it stacks too many times, swap tanks to let it drop.
- Focused Eyebeam - Inflicts steady, moderate Nature damage to enemies within 3 yards. Don't stand in it, and you'll be fine. If you're the person targeted by the eyebeam, you'll need to move out of the way - try not to kite the eyebeam on top of anyone else. As a note, this is what Kologarn used to chase Bronzebeard out of Ulduar in the preview trailer.
- Shockwave - The shockwave from the massive arm sweep inflicts Nature damage. This is what the left arm does during the fight. I've not seen a healer yet who's intimidated by the damage, but it's always a good idea to keep potions on hand.
- Stone Grip - Squeezes the life out of the target, stunning it and inflicting Physical damage every 1 sec until Kologarn's Arm sustains 100,000 damage (in Normal, while in Heroic, it lasts 480,000). It turns out that Kologarn is a Gropey McGroperson. He will periodically snatch up a member (or three) of the raid, and do damage every second to the person who got grabbed. At this point, it is incredibly important you do damage to the arm. Once the arm has sustained enough damage, the raid member will be freed. This isn't really a big deal, since you want to systematically bring down the right arm anyway.
Bringing it together
Here's how this all works. Every time you kill an arm, Kologarn's "body" takes as much damage as the arm had in life. So, by killing the arms, you're doing that damage to the boss anyway. So, just keep killing the arms. We actually frequently "ignore" the Left Arm, in favor of keeping as many debuffs and stacking effects up on the body. (These debuffs can make the tank's life a little easier.) If you don't feel you get benefit to doing that, just keep blowing away the arms. (Obviously, always kill the Right Arm first.)
So, kill the Right Arm every time it's up. (That's the grabby arm.) When the Right Arm dies, kill the adds. Keep the offtank and main tank in range of the body, so that you can swap if the tank gets too many debuffs, and so that you don't get a Petrifying Breath. Stay out of eye beams.
When Kologarn dies, he'll fall over and form the bridge to the other side of the chasm. That's where your hard earned loot lives, in a chest on the other side.
And now, you're off to see the Iron Council.