Greetings again, chaps. It is time once more to continue with our plans of invading the Firelands, snuffing out the vile Ragnaros, and securing everlasting peace upon Azeroth. At least until the next raiding tier comes out. This week, we'll be taking down the newest additional to Ragnaros' army, the green dragon turned fire hawk Alysrazor. Aided in battle by her newly spawned clutch of children and their druidic keepers, this bird is one hot mama. What, I'm not allowed to make corny jokes?
Whatever. If you think you have what it takes to face down a former green dragon, then read on, heroes. Epic loots await you! If you are interested in the prior bosses, look up WoW Insider's guides to Shannox, Beth'tilac, and Lord Rhyolith. Steel yourselves -- it's about to get hot.
A large portion of the Alysrazor encounter strategy is determined by your setup. A majority of the fight will occur within phase 1, when you face off not against the fire hawk herself, but her spawned hatchlings and the druids that keep them. You'll need to have two tanks for this encounter and several interrupters. Interrupting is essential for this encounter. The interrupting needs really don't change between 10- and 25-man settings, which can certainly put smaller raid sizes at a disadvantage.
There are two adds that need to be interrupted at any given time, one on either side of the circular area where the encounter takes place. Depending on which class you have assigned to interrupt duty, you'll need one to two people per add in order to keep them locked down. You cannot allow these adds to cast, so before you even pull, you absolutely must prepare yourself for how you will cope with each of the adds.
It's a long list, so let's just get right down into it.
Phase 1: Alysrazor
- Blazing Claw Swoops through the center of the area, clawing at any targets in her path for massive damage; each target hit takes additional damage.
- Molting Alysrazor sheds her feathers as she passes across the center. Collecting the feathers increases movement speed and allows casting while moving; upon gaining three feathers, a player is able to fly for 20 seconds.
- Blazing Power Alysrazor creates rings of fire. Passing through them increases haste by 8, also restores your resource bar and refreshes flying. Haste effect stacks.
- Alysra's Razor Upon gaining 25 stacks of Blazing Power, the player's critical strike chance is increased by 75% for 40 seconds.
- Incendiary Cloud Periodically releases an increasing number of clouds which burn flying players who pass through them.
Phase 1: Blazing Talon Initiate
- Brushfire Creates a slow-moving fireball that travels along the ground in a line.
- Fieroblast Hurls a fiery boulder at a targeted player, dealing significant fire damage and additional damage over time. Must be interrupted.
- Fire It Up! Each successful cast of Fieroblast increases the Initiate's damage and casting speed by 10%.
Phase 1: Voracious Hatchling
- Imprinted On hatching, the Hatchling imprints on the nearest player. The Hatchling will only attack that player, and the player gains 1,000% increased damage against the Hatchling.
- Hungry The Hatchling has a 20% chance on hit of throwing a Tantrum. Feed him Plump Lava Worms to remove.
- Satiated The Hatchling will not Tantrum. Active for 15 seconds after being feed.
- Tantrum Increases damage and attack speed by 50%.
- Gushing Wound Cleaves the area in front of the Hatchling, causing players to bleed every 0.2 seconds for 1 minute or until they fall under 50% health.
Phase 1: Plump Lava Worm
- Lava Spew Spins around in a circle dealing fire damage in a frontal cone. Don't get caught!
Phase 2: Alysrazor
- Fiery Vortex Appears in the middle of the area; inflicts massive fire damage if touched.
- Harsh Winds Winds around the Fiery Vortex burn any target more than 60 yards away for massive damage.
- Fiery Tornado Fiery Tornadoes spew out from the Fiery Vortex, dealing heavy Fiery Damage to any caught by them. Fiery.
- Blazing Power Creates rings of fire which increase haste by 8% if passed through. Haste effect stacks.
Phase 3: Alysrazor
- Burnout Alysrazor is immobilized and takes 50% increased damage.
- Essence of the Green Any harmful spell cast against Alysrazor restores 10% mana to the caster.
- Spark Restores 3 Molten Power every 2 seconds.
Phase 3: Blazing Talon Clawshaper
- Ignition Chanels fiery fire back into Alysrazor, restoring 1 Molten Power every second.
- Ignited Burning once again, Alysrazor restores 2 Molten Power every second.
- Blazing Buffet Inflicts fire damage to every player every second while Ignited.
- Blazing Claw Inflicts heavy physical damage to the current target; increases physical and fire damage taken by 10%. Stacks.
- Full Power Upon reaching 100 Molten Energy, Alysrazor deals fire damage to the entire raid and knocks them back. Starts back into phase 1.
There are a lot of abilities, but things aren't quite as chaotic as they might seem. Again, a majority of your time is going to be spent in phase 1; phase 2, 3, and 4 only last for a very short time. While it can get confusing, the best part of this encounter is that everything is rather compartmentalized. Each player will be put into a specific role for the fight, and each role only worries about a few abilities each. Overall, the encounter is far more about execution (read: avoiding damage) than anything else.
Planning for everything
To reiterate, you need to set up your raiders into their respective roles before pulling. Each member of the raid should be assigned to one half of the room. Each side should have a tank, a group of healers and DPS, depending on raid size. Finally, select a small group of players to fly during this phase in order to DPS Alysrazor herself. The vast majority of this encounter is going to be made or broken by your choices, before the pull even starts.
Tanks Generally, tank class doesn't matter all that much. While you can argue pros and cons on the survivability of the four, at the end of the day, none of it really matters. For the most part, you can get by with what you have on hand. This encounter has nothing to do with tank survivability and everything to do with tank DPS -- that's right, how much damage your tank is capable of putting out is a huge, huge deal, and in that respect, choice matters. Feral druids are the highest DPS tanks at this point, followed by warriors, then paladins, and finally death knights. Death knights have recently been hotfixed to not be quite as low as they once were, but you will easily notice a difference between a feral and a blood knight. As an aside, tanks should try and replace some of their standard gear with DPS gear, predominately trinkets -- not all of it, but a little bit helps.
Healers This encounter is all about DPS, DPS, and more DPS in every place you can get it. This means that you should try to run as lean on healers as you possible can. For 10-man, two healing shouldn't prove much of an issue. If it is, a large part of the problem is probably people not moving or not interrupting. On 25-man, you can probably get by with only four healers, but five might make you more comfortable. I'd start at five and work from there.
Ground DPS Again, you need heavy interrupting abilities for phase 1. Rogues and shaman should be able to interrupt an add on their own; any other melee is going to need a partner. Other than elemental shaman, no caster really has an interrupt that allows them to be a viable interrupter. If you have the raw DPS to kill an add before it casts more than twice, then you can get by using a warlock or mage as an interrupter, but any longer than that and the cooldown won't be up yet. Balance druids can interrupt with Solar Beam, but keep in mind the adds are immune to the silence.
Your ground DPS will also have to assist killing the Hatchlings, although the tanks do the bulk of the work. This is why tank choice matters. The lower your tank's DPS, the higher your traditional DPS must be. It is worth noting that the Hatchlings need very little additional damage in 10-man, compared to 25-man.
Flying DPS Who you send flying is a pretty big factor; some players do much better than others. Despite how much easier of a time it seems melee would have in air, they generally aren't the best flying choices. Assassination rogues are the best melee, but after them, it rather tapers off. Prioritize fire mages, shadow priests, balance druids and the aforementioned rogues as your flying players. Barring those, there isn't too much of a difference in spec choice. In 10-man, you will want one or two DPSers flying, depending how well your ground team holds out. In 25-man, generally send up three to four fliers.