Between getting to level 90, gearing pains, the American Thanksgiving, and raiding only two nights a week, you might be in my guild's boat, which is still finishing Mogu'shan Vaults on 25man. Or maybe your raid team was fast and focused and you're already having a jolly time in Heart of Fear or even Terrace of Endless Spring.
Whether you're fast on progression or taking your time, main class or alt character, here's a refresher on Mogu'shan Vaults as a warlock.
On 10man, I hear that the specific dog triad combo changes from week to week, but on 25man you get all four dogs all the time. The strategy still appears to be the same: focus your filler on the main tank's target, but keep the DoTs flowing on the other nearby dog. The dogs standing off to the side take 90% less damage, so are effectively not worth it to maintain.
Soul Swap is amazing, glyphed or not, on this fight. Glyphed Soul Swap tends to time DoT swaps with tank swaps and manually refresh the DoTs on both dogs. Unglyphed Soul Swap plays faster and with more filler, because it tends to refresh with a soulburned swap when it feels like it, but it requires more precision play with your shards and DoT refreshing.
Kil'jaeden's Cunning is also a toss-up for this fight. The active ability would likely help out, since it's no penalty on use and then you can stopcast with movement like normal when it's on cooldown. However, the passive's cast time penalty effects DoTs pretty negatively, especially since the frequent movement can keep the debuff up for longer. Patch 5.1's removal of the cast time penalty might return its benefit, but we'll have to see how well the extra movement penalty plays with the fire chains.
Like Halfus or Omnotron Defense Council, unfamiliarity with Stone Guard's colorful mechanics will screw with your DPS fairly well. Three of the four guardians aren't too complicated. Jade pulses an AoE, which I frankly forgot about due to all the healing I generate and receive. Amethyst and Cobalt both spawn floor effects that you need to dodge. Amethyst has just a purple pool of "ow!" while Cobalt Mines will root you to the floor.
Jasper is the one that matters, and it's a bit more complicated. Jasper will chain two players together. If your chain buddy is melee, then go party with the Boss Butt Brigade. Your chains will glow a bright orange if you are too far apart, which is over 10 yards. Chains break at 15 stacks of the debuff and will increasingly damage both players for every second they are apart. The best time to break chains is when Jasper is petrifying, or when your alternative boss bar (remember Rhyolith's feet bar or Atramedes's sound bar) is growing an orange bar.
Feng the Accursed
If you had Kil'jaeden's for Stone Guard, I would switch it out for Archimonde's. Archimonde's Vengeance won't do too much damage compared to your normal spell play, but there are alternating periods of high damage taken: Epicenter in phase one, Draw Flame's effect on his melee swings in phase two, and Arcane Velocity in phase 3. The movement dilemmas present are also fleeting moments rather than frequent happenings.
Epicenter's butchering of hit chance shouldn't affect you if the fight is done correctly. Feng can be interrupted with Lightning Fists by a tank or Epicenter will be Nullified by the other tank running to ranged pile with the barrier. If Epicenter is a habit, pay attention to your boss mod timers for when it's about to happen, refresh your DoTs before it happens, and /dance while you wait.
For phase two, typically the raid will pile on Feng's butt, and those afflicted by Wildfire Spark will run out of the raid to a designated area. Burning Rush helps with the get-the-frak-out part of this mechanic and Demonic Circle helps with the get-the-frak-back-in part.
While Feng is running to the weapon for phase three, I suggest finding a spot to place your Demonic Circle down. If you unluckily get a Resonance on you just before or during the Velocity, the edge of the central runic design on the floor is about where you can stand without blowing up the raid. Otherwise, pop your Resolve and maybe a cookie. Demonic Circle: Teleport will help with Resonances that like to happen immediately following Velocity.
Gara'jal is a DPS race, but his spirit realm screws with any combat log meter. So you can't get the entire picture of everyone's damage or healing unless you merge the logs of the entire raid. Thus, not only is he actually a troll character, but he's a meter troll.
I give you +1 internets for that, Blizzard.
In the normal realm, stack on the boss's butt for heals and stand-still pew-pewing. If you get Voodoo Dolled, you can't go in the spirit realm, and maybe want to pop a damage reduction cooldown. Otherwise, pew-pew your heart out, because in 6 minutes he will one-shot the raid.
On LFR, you can click the totem to get into the spirit realm. On normal mode, you need to kill the totem while standing in its swirly to get into the spirit realm. Only a few can go at a time, and you'd best bring a healer. The spirit realm is important because the buff you get when you come out increases your haste, crit, and mastery, which gives you the DPS boost to beat the enrage timer in normal.
The spirit realm is really just Ultraxion in reverse. You have an Extra Action Button to save you from dying, and on LFR it doesn't matter, because the game will boot you whole and healthy from the spirit realm at the end of the debuff anyway.
The kicker on normal mode is that you have to earn that button. Descending into the realm will drop you to 30% health, and you get the Get Out of Jail Free button when you are completely healed up. Soul Link is maybe not the best choice because it's a larger health pool to heal. As affliction, you can spam Corruption everywhere and Nightfall will still proc when you're outside, but pets and guardians will follow your realm movements. With a warlock's arsenal of healing abilities, you should have no trouble getting your button even if you go on a healerless trip.
Kings of Flashbacks
I find Spirit Kings fun. Then again, I'm not just performing my role like any other boss fight. I'm gleefully yelling in real life the old boss emotes from previous bosses as their mechanics play out on this titanic mogu stage. Sure, mechanics get reused all the time, but these are some of the most memorable ones.
Spirit Kings is a test of awareness and whether you can get your boss mod to work for you or whether you need your raid leader to read it over Ventrilo for you. If you can pay attention and dance properly to mechanics, you'll do well on this fight.
Spirit Kings takes after Atramedes's fun dwarven trash; even if there's only one guy active at a time, some of each king's abilities linger on after defeat. Here's what lingers on:
- Flanking Orders is a group of mogu walking in a wide line across the room while swinging weapons who will one-shot if you get in the way. You'll need coordination with your tank when Qiang is active, but the rest of the encounter it's a replay of Onyxia's Deep Breath.
- For Meng's Maddening Shout, use a non-DoT AoE like Harvest Life or Hellfire to break this odd mind control. I like to imagine each raid member as a black dragon whelp, personally.
- Undying Shadows spawns an add that will fixate on a player. Kite this add to the edge to kill it, because the raid will get flashbacks to Lich King wipes when the add's death drops that huge Defile floor graphic in the middle of the raid.
- Pillage is when Subetai jumps on you and spins around. Be sure to yell "Booooooooooooooooooonestorrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrm" in real life while you avoid it.
- Qiang reminds me of Majordomo Scorpion: his melee swing divides its damage among all targets in front of him. Stack on your tank.
- Qiang casts Annihiliate, which is a cone of death. Run straight through him as soon as the cast starts to avoid it.
- When Meng runs feared across the room, pop your damage reduction cooldowns or Twilight Ward if you are a shadowy warlock.
- Subetai also has a conal attack. Stand near him just before the ability goes off to better navigate out of it.
- Subetai will also cast Rain of Arrows, which will pin people to the ground like Marrowgar's bone spikes. Unlike Marrowgar, you can actually run around with an arrow on you if you trinket out of it.
Blood Pact is a weekly column detailing DOTs, demons and all the dastardly deeds done by warlocks. We'll coach you in the fine art of staying alive, help pick the best target for Dark Intent, and steer you through tier 13 set bonuses.