Consequently, in addition to information for the folks out there who care about what the boss is actually doing, I have also included a small section for each boss called Explain it in 5 seconds or less. And take heart! There's at least one boss in End Time where you don't have to care about anyone's survival at all!
If you want the quickest possible guide to all the new 5-man boss mechanics, read Patch 4.3 5-man bosses in 5 seconds or less.
When you first zone into the dungeon, you'll see Nozdormu and another quest giver directly ahead of you and next to a wibbly-wobbly timey-wimey thing you'll use to move around the different shrines. In each End Time you get, you'll get two different shrine bosses from a selection of four -- azure (Jaina), ruby (Sylvanas), emerald (Tyrande), or obsidian (Baine) -- and then the final boss, Murozond.
Trash here is fairly unremarkable, and you'll probably only have to kill two pulls, one to the bottom of the hill and off to your right, and the one to the bottom of the hill and off to your left (which is the direction to head for Sylvanas). There are no serious trash abilities to worry about. The purple haze in the picture above is where Sylvanas spawns relative to your position as you zone in.
Boss: Echo of Sylvanas In my experience, Sylvanas is the shrine boss you're most likely to wipe on with a PUG. You can muddle through the other bosses' mechanics with a healer who's willing to heal stupid, but there's no healing stupid on this fight.
Explain Sylvanas in 5 seconds or less Stay out of purple stuff on the ground. When phase 2 comes, kill the ghoul everyone's DPSing and then run over its corpse and away from Sylvanas.
- Black Arrow Random shadow damage to a target. To be frank, while this shows up on Wowhead, I can't actually remember seeing the debuff actually pop up within the encounter itself -- either that, or I've been dispelling it thinking it was Shriek of the Highborne (another random ability).
- Blighted Arrows Periodically you'll see a big purplish line appear on the ground, and it is bad news. While its spawn is largely random, it also has a tendency to appear immediately after a ghoul phase (see below), so expect it.
- Shriek of the Highborne Decreases movement speed by 25%. This can and should be dispelled, particularly if a ghoul phase is coming up.
- Unholy Shot This is about 25,000 damage every 2 seconds and can't be dispelled. I don't know whether it's luck or intended that I've only ever seen it pop up on the tank.
The general idea is to kill one of the ghouls and then escape through the gap, putting sufficient distance between yourself and Sylvanas that you don't get one-shot when the ghouls all Sacrifice themselves. And yes, the entire group can escape through the gap left by a single dead ghoul. So kill a ghoul, run through the gap in between to the edge of the clearing, wait while all the ghouls reach Sylvanas and explode, and then resume the fight.
Tanks Sylvanas isn't a very difficult fight to tank, and you can make a huge difference to your healer's state of mind by using cooldowns responsibly. Where you tank her in her little clearing doesn't matter, because she'll pull players to the center for each ghoul phase anyway. Don't worry about interrupting anything, because nothing's interruptable.
The vast majority of groups I've had have automatically seized on one or two ghouls on the west/northwest side of the circle approaching Sylvanas as kill targets during ghoul phases, but for insurance, you may want to macro a skull raid marker somewhere convenient to direct the group to kill a particular ghoul. While you can do this through the Keybinds menu, you can also macro it like this:
Otherwise, just make sure that you'll also helping to DPS the ghoul down. They don't have a tremendous amount of health, and even though your Vengeance stacks will be dwindling, you'll still make a difference.
/run SetRaidTargetIcon("target", 8)
DPS This is a pretty straightforward encounter, as you don't have to worry about any interrupts and will simply alternate damage on Sylvanas and her ghouls. If you land a tank who's absolutely hopeless at group leadership, you may want to copy the macro above in order to slap a skull on a convenient ghoul.
Healers The tank damage on this encounter really isn't very high outside of her special abilities, and you're most likely to lose players to one-shots from people not getting away from Sacrifice in time. Mods like Decursive are likely to be a big help here, and you (or someone else) will need to dispel the Shriek of the Highborne speed debuff if a ghoul phase is coming up. When you see Unholy Shot pop up on the tank, be prepared to step up healing for a bit.
You can help damage the ghoul during ghoul phases, because there should be no incoming damage on any players as long as people aren't crossing the lines.
The first thing you'll notice about the Emerald Dragonshrine is that it's very, very dark. No, it's not your monitor. Yes, you'll want to pull up the in-game map to see where the hell you are.
The deal with Tyrande's trash is that, uh, you can't see it. She keeps the entire shrine in close to absolute darkness, barring pools of moonlight that appear on the path around her spawn area. The pools don't last forever, so the general idea is that you keep pulling to each next pool that spawns until Tyrande gets tired of harassing you. You actually can't fight her before that point, so sally forth into the dark bravely, wait for her to start spawning moon patches, and don't worry about accidentally aggroing her.
- Tanks Make sure you hit V to bring up mob health bars (as a quick plug, Tidy Plates: Threat Plates is enormously useful), because that is the only way you're going to have any inkling of what's heading for the group outside of the moonlight pools. Tell your healer to stick to you like glue, because the mobs are going to make a beeline for him (and keeping him unmolested is the subject of the new achievement Moon Guard).
- DPS None of the mobs hit that hard, so do whatever you can to keep them off the healer. You can easily tank a few, and none of them have a lot of health.
- Healers Stay on top of the tank at all times. If you panic and run off, trash will be absolutely impossible to control. The good news is that trash damage is easy to heal, so if you're angling for the Moon Guard achievement above, heal only as much as you have to and no more.
Explain Tyrande in 5 seconds or less Interrupt Stardust, stay out of bad stuff, and blow your cooldowns at 30%. If you're ranged, don't get close to her.
- Dark Moonlight Don't get within 15 yards of her unless you're the tank or melee.
- Moonbolt Unavoidable. This has to be healed through.
- Moonlance Stay out of bad stuff on the ground, yadda yadda.
- Piercing Gaze of Elune To be frank, I don't recall seeing this at all. I don't know whether that's just because it never went live or if it's because group members were sensibly out of range on the few occasions I got the emerald shrine.
- Stardust Finally, something you can (and should) interrupt! This causes a lot of damage to everyone in the group, and you should try to make sure Tyrande never gets this off.
- Tears of Elune Once her health hits 30%, random arcane damage will start raining on the full group, and the healing load significantly increases.
DPS At least two interrupters need to concern themselves with Stardust as the ability has such a short cooldown, and you may want to macro a small announcement to yours (or use a mod) to let the tank know that you've used your turn. When her health hits 30%, group damage increases quite a bit, so get her dead as fast as you can.
Healers Despite all the damage flying around the group, you should be fine here as long as you keep your distance from Tyrande, stay out of bad stuff, and people are interrupting Stardust. If they're not interrupting Stardust, which is the biggest and most consistent source of group damage, your life is going to be considerably harder. None of Tyrande's stuff is dispellable or interruptable except for that, so just plan on healing through everything. Save your big cooldowns for around 30% when Tears of Elune starts hitting the group.
The azure shrine is somewhat interesting in that you need to go all around it in order to right-click the 16 shards of Jaina's staff (big, purply-looking stones) in order to spawn her. However, because the various trash pulls don't always path close to the shards, you can actually spawn Jaina without pulling a single pack. If you want to speed through this shrine, send a DPSer off to go collect shards while the rest of the group pulls trash.
There's a mechanic in Jaina's encounter that will have you running around a bit, so I would recommend pulling at least two and possibly three of the trash packs: the one that paths behind you as you zone into the shrine, the one off to your right, and possibly the one off to your left. Trash is largely unremarkable except for an annoying Lightwell-type ability spawned by one of the caster mobs. This doesn't have a lot of health, but it can easily keep the mob pack at close to full health if you don't kill it.
Explain Jaina in 5 seconds or less Avoid big white blades that pop out of the ground.
- Blink A standard mage Blink spell, which she'll usually perform right before spawning a Frost Blades.
- Flarecore I always wondered where the random damage on this encounter was coming from, and I'm pretty sure this was it. Fortunately, every group I've had seems to have detonated this early. You have finally found a role for the group member who always stands in fire. Godspeed, you suicidal bink.
- Frost Blades This is the only ability you really have to worry about. Periodically, Jaina will spawn three large blades in a random area around the clearing that then expand and move fairly quickly toward the group. Getting hit means getting encased in a block of ice for 5 seconds.
- Frostbolt Volley Annoying, but not really deadly.
- Pyroblast Non-dispellable. This will always hit the tank. Just heal through it.
DPS Same as tanks. The only real worry in this fight is where Frost Blades spawn after a Blink.
Healers This is not a tough fight. The only thing you can dispel here is her Frostbolt Volley, and it's prohibitively expensive to do that on the full group. Heal through Pyroblast, heal the random Flarecore damage, and feel free to DPS just to keep yourself occupied.
Obsidian trash is the most dangerous in the dungeon and is actually the only trash there that's ever wiped my groups. Each pull has one Time-Twisted Breaker, one Time-Twisted Drake, and one Time-Twisted Seer, and they've all got some nasty abilities. These are the ones I noted:
- Break Armor This is a frontal cone AoE used by the Time-Twisted Breaker mob that will significantly increase the amount of melee damage you take. You can and should move out of it.
- Sear Flesh This is from the Time-Twisted Seer. Like Break Armor, this will significantly increase the damage you take in addition to the damage up front, but this time it's fire damage. The Sear Flesh debuff, in combination with the Time-Twisted Drake's Flame Breath, is incredibly dangerous. Fortunately, it's interruptable.
- Call Flames I'm pretty sure this is the ability that spawns a big fire pool behind the Seer. This has a magnificent ability to kill your melee DPS, so be on the lookout, and move the pull out once you see it.
- Flame Breath A frontal cone AoE fire attack from the Time-Twisted Drake, deadly in concert with the Sear Flesh debuff.
Boss: Echo of Baine He'sa little more complicated than Jaina and Tyrande but generally less difficult than Sylvanas.
Explain Baine in 5 seconds or less Throw his totems back at him. If he stomps an island that you're on, swim to a new one quickly.
- Baine's Totem Periodically he'll toss a totem at a random player. This knocks you back and deals a hefty amount of damage, but it also gives you the opportunity to Throw the totem back at him. Tit for tat: It stuns him, deals damage, and causes him to take 50% more damage for several seconds.
- Pulverize Another random damage ability -- he'll leap up and stomp on a player, dealing about 25-30K damage and breaking the island he lands on. The island will dissolve into the lava, and you'll have to swim to a new one quickly.
- Molten Axe Whenever Baine touches lava, he gains this buff and starts dealing a huge amount of extra fire damage to the tank. You should dispel this if possible, or -- if he's recently tossed a totem and it's still around -- you can throw the totem back at him and stun him while the buff's still up.
DPS If you're ranged, you may want to stay spread on different platforms. Baine doesn't have a lot of health, so he's likely to die before he shatters more than two of them. Spreading the group a bit will keep everyone from having to swim all at once. Interestingly, if you're melee you can gain a similar buff from swimming through the lava: Molten Fists. I wouldn't advise sitting in the lava for too long, but it's a pretty sweet buff. When you throw his totem back at him, you may want to time it for right after Baine swims through lava with the Molten Axe buff active.
Healers You'll have to heal periodic burst damage on the group in the form of totems and Pulverize. Baine's normal damage isn't too bad; he's a 2H-weapon attacker with a slow swing speed. Your biggest concern here is Molten Axe. If you can't dispel this, ask a DPSer to do this, or make sure the tank knows to pop a cooldown or two.
There are only two trash pulls, both of them notable for playing host to at least two caster mobs that will stubbornly refuse to move until interrupted. Murozond won't become active until all of the trash is dead, but if you're not within range of him as he descends to the desert floor, he won't automatically aggro. Use the time while he's giving "The Reason You Suck" speech to arrange who's going to pop the hourglass (see below).
Boss: Murozond As many players have noted, Murozond is an anagram of Nozdormu. Oh, Blizzard. People pulling him for the first time are usually horrified to discover that he has an absurd amount of health for a 5-man boss, but there's a good reason for that. This is really one of the best 5-man fights to come along in a while.
Explain Murozond in 5 seconds or less Stay out of big golden circles, stay out from in front of him, stay away from behind him, and pop your cooldowns whenever time resets.
- Distortion Bomb Very frequently, you'll see large golden circles spawn on the ground below you (see the tree screenshot below for an example). Move out -- these will explode for 25,000 arcane damage and spawn a fire patch underneath them.
- Infinite Breath This is a frontal cone AoE,so make sure Murozond never faces the group. The breath attack is actually avoidable if you move out of the way in time, but be careful about dancing him around a lot because --
- I'm a dragon Unsurprisingly, Murozond also has a tail swipe.
- Temporal Blast This is a random ability that slaps 25,000 damage to everyone in the group. You may not actually need to heal through this all that much for a reason you'll see below, but it's easy enough to do if you have to/want to.
- Temporal Snapshot A few seconds after the pull, you'll notice something weird -- you'll suddenly appear next to a copy of yourself seemingly frozen in time next to you. This means Murozond has snapshotted the group and that whenever you travel back in time, that is where you'll reappear.
In essence, you will spend almost the entire fight with every cooldown you've got running. Yeah, it's pretty fun.
Murozond's damage isn't too high apart from Infinite Breath, which you can run out from as he charges it up. Apart from that, the only important thing to worry about here is threat. Murozond resets aggro each time the hourglass pops, and you will see some really stupendous numbers from your DPSers as they take advantage of an endless series of cooldowns and the 40% haste buff. Don't forget that that applies to you too!
DPS Your only real responsibility here is not sitting in Distortion Bombs. Apart from that, you'll probably spend the length of this encounter with every cooldown you've got at full blast. If you're a mage or a shaman, don't forget Time Warp/Bloodlust.
Brace yourselves for what could be some of most exciting updates to the game recently with patch 4.3. Review the official patch notes, and then dig into what's ahead: new item storage options, cross-realm raiding, cosmetic armor skinning and your chance to battle the mighty Deathwing -- from astride his back!
Filed under: Analysis / Opinion