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8-18-2009 @ 9:41PM
Hi, I'm back.Trash. There's trash. This is the hardest trash in the raid. It deserves at least a mention.First, you'll have lots of different kinds of enemies here. Rogues, priests, mages, and warriors. Priests heal and fear. Bad. Rogues backstab. Bad. Mages cast AOEs. Bad. There are far too many enemies in a single pull. Bad. Killing certain packs makes a Faceless One attack. Bad.Prioritize the healer down, or choose to have an interrupt-capable DPS solo it while the tank keeps aggro and instead kill the rogue.Crowd control does work, but it's a pain to keep the CC'd enemy away from the rest. The casters don't want to move, after all.Anyway, there are Faceless Ones too, and this will give you practice against Shadow Crash. Ranged mana-users should stay at max range. This is important here and against Vezax, so start getting used to it. If you're too close to this trash add, his mana-drain will affect you. You'll run out very, very fast. The other reason to stay at max range is that Shadow Crash has airtime, and it takes longer to hit you based on how far away you are from it.At 50% (still the Faceless One trash here), he will go immune and summon a void beast. Tanks need to get aggro going IMMEDIATELY. He loves to one-shot melee. The faceless one will still attack as normal.There are 3 trash packs in Vezax's room. The right-most pack will not aggro a Faceless one, but the other two will. The last HUMANOID to die will trigger his movement. If you hold off on killing the Guardian until the fire elemental dies, you won't have a problem with not being ready. In fact, you even have time to back away and regen mana/hp, since he doesn't actually attack you, he just begins his pat back and forth.VEZAXThis is one of the most difficult fights in Ulduar when you don't get proper information. Sad to say, this "Ready Check" will not get you ready for this encounter at all.You will need: Dedicated interrupter, backup interrupter. Rogues and enhancement shaman work well.First and foremost, set up a plan for people afflicted with Mark of the Faceless. Our plan was 'get away from everyone as everyone gets away from you' and 'move to the back of the room'. What this article doesn't mention is how much health this heals Vezax for. It's 100,000 per second per target. This heal is affected by Mortal Strike-esque effects. The other thing this article doesn't mention is that the range on this is 15 yards. Players within 15 yards of the Marked target will be hit by it. It's not your standard 10-yard check, so make sure any Range Checker you have is set to 15 yards.Second, just like the trash, find your raid max range. This is the range of the person with the lowest max range. That's where your range DPS want to stand.Caster DPS, don't even bother DPSing without being in a Shadow Crash. It's not worth it. First of all, you'll go OOM insanely fast. Second of all, you'll be at risk of pulling threat.The most important thing is to limit the raid damage solely to the Tank as best you can. Range should be mindful of where Shadow Crashes are landing and not be anywhere near them, as they do 10k+ damage if they hit you, in addition to knocking you back. If this hits a healer who is supposed to be healing a tank, they'll be knocked out of range and unable to heal the tank for a few seconds, which could mean a wipe. Mark of the Faceless will inevitably hit for at least one tick, but as long as you can get away from your buddies as fast as possible, you limit how painful it will be.As for the tank, you have two choices. You can Cooldown your way through the Surge, or you can move him around between two points, back and forth. The former was easy before the cooldown nerf in 3.2, but the latter will require quite a bit of planning. We always did the cooldown way, so I have no advice for kiters.Healers should choose positions carefully. Holy Paladins and Priests do better in melee range (assuming there are more than 3 people outside the 15-yard range of Vezax), because they have no benefit from Shadow Crashes at all. Resto druids, shaman, and disc priests all have a use of the Shadow Crash (albeit a minor one for shaman). Lifeblooms cast inside Shadow Crashes will have their mana cost reduced as well as the amount healed, but the Bloom mana return will be 100% of its normal value assuming it blooms after you leave the pool. Disc Priests can use PW:S in the Shadow Crash without any penalty, since it's not a heal. Resto Shaman can re-use Earth Shield within the pool, since it's not a heal.Notes: Lifetap does not work. Water Shield does not work. Thunderstorm does not work. Replenishment does not work. Hymn of Hope does not work. Evocation does not work. Mana Potions do not work. Innervate does not work. I missed a few, probably, but just assume they don't work. The fight is designed such that only melee dps (and hunters) can get their normal mana regen.How do you combat this? With Saronite Vapors, of course. There are only 6 now, and they come every 30 seconds. If you do not break one within 3 minutes, you activate hard mode. If you don't want to do hard mode (and it's hard, by the way), break one, even if you don't need it.The damage is not like what is written here in the article. It's exponential. You regen 100 mana at the cost of 200 HP. Then it doubles. You regen 200 mana at the cost of 400 HP (this is +300 mana and -600 HP so far). Then it doubles. 400/800. 800/1600. 1600/3200. This is deadly if you wait too long. It's also partially resistable as it's shadow damage. You can reset the stacks by stepping out of the pool and re-entering it.This fight will probably take you a bit of practice, but it's fairly easy once you get the mechanics and positioning down. Just make sure your range aren't getting hit by Shadow Crash, move out of the way of each other's Mark of the Faceless, and keep the heals rolling.
8-19-2009 @ 7:51PM
You realize your post was about twice as good as the article, right?My raid thanks you.
8-20-2009 @ 12:58AM
Oh, I realize it. I've been commenting on the Ready Checks since the first time I actually paid attention to what was being written in them. I have notes in the comments for Kologarn, Auriaya, Hodir, Freya, Mimiron, and now this. All of them have similar replies from other readers.I've been thinking about writing an actual blog for everything, but I figure it just wouldn't get the notoriety. I even started writing the first post, but after about 5000 words just for Flame Leviathan (and all of his achievements), I realized I tend to write far too much and that nobody would want to read it. It's easier to just correct someone else, really.
8-20-2009 @ 9:51PM
WoW.com needs to just hire you already. gj
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