A giant dinosaur with cannons. I don't know what those Zandalari trolls have been up to, but they're outfitting these lovely and peaceful dinos with weapons of war with the aim of unleashing them on us. Are we just going to stand by and let them trample all over us? Nope! Not one bit!
Getting into the instance was a real challenge. The front of the instance was locked down hard by Horde players. No amount of Alliance forces are going to be able to break that defense because you have to step through a sewer portal which teleports you directly to the front gate. By the time you finish loading, you're already dead. I tried popping a Pain Suppression, into a Phantasm Fade, into a Spectral Guise but didn't last long enough to make a run for the portal. That front area needs to be turned into a sanctuary zone or something (and yes, I was trying it out on the PvE test server). I want to help test and give the new bosses a spin but it's difficult to do that.
Ultimately I gave up and switched factions. Before I knew it, my Horde priest was tapped for healing. Despite playing shadow this entire expansion, switching back to discipline is like putting on those winter boots that you've had -- They may not have seen much use, but they fit comfortably.
After entering the instance, I was immediately teleported into an arena remniscient of Gladiator. A glance up at the stands showed no friendly faces. They were all trolls from the various factions. I'm pretty sure they were yelling different ways for Horridon to impale and kill us.
What's the deal with this dino, anyway?
He's a Triceratops-like dino with three mean looking horns in the front and a bunch of spikes all over the rest of his body. His tail is club-shaped with spikes and spells death for anyone caught in it. Throughout the encounter, waves of assorted trolls will leap into the fray. They'll keep streaming in until their tribal door around the arena is blown open.
The Zandalari brought powerful creatures with them to the Isle of the Thunder King to use as engines of war. Led by the War-Gold Jalak, the dinomancers of the Zandalari Beast Ward use ancient tribal magics to strengthen the great beasts and command obedience. The horns of Horridon, the fabled mount of Jalak himself, can tear through the stone walls of a keep as a blade cuts silk.
Just from looking at him, I knew that it was time to assume standard dragon slaying positions. With Double Swipe, Horridon swings his head and tail from side-to-side. Enough to wreck anyone caught within it. Thankfully, there's a nice visual indicator on the ground showing his overall radius. You just have to look up and see what direction he's facing so that you can stand in a safe spot. He tends to do that after he Charges a player.
Naturally, once Horridon charges into a door he's going to experience a large Headache. Even better, he's going to have a Cracked Shell.
In other words, it's up to us heroes to control the various trolls and their tribes while we lead Horridon matador-style into doors until he is sufficiently weakened enough to the point where we can mercilessly take him out. Four waves of trolls will stream in. They're representatives from the usual suspects like the Farraki, the Gurubashi, the Drakkari, and the Amani.
Our Zandalari "friends" are slightly different. They have Dinomancers in the mix. These guys are a priority target because of their Dino-Mending abilities. Not only that, these Dinomancers transform into a Devilsaur and drops an Orb of Control after they lose 50% of their health. Players can interact with the orb to dominate and control Horridon's mind and force it charge into a tribal door. Once the door is destroyed, additional trolls from that tribe won't be able to enter. In each wave of trolls, there are three key trolls that need to be eliminated.
Door number one: The Farraki
The Farraki tribe is first and they'll send out three Wastewalkers and Skirmishers. The three Wastewalkers will cast Blazing Sunlight on players. It's an easily dispellable DoT although I felt that it was a little overwhelming at times at the rate the spell was coming out. In addition, the Wastewalkers will conjure up Sand Traps. If you're not careful, you'll get caught in them (and they gradually grow). We learned early on it was best to tank these guys away from the door and away from Horridon.
How did we deal with it? Our raid group eventually settled on parking Horridon as close to the middle as possible. The tanks do have to switch places between tanking the door ads and tanking Horridon so there was some slight overlap in positioning. One healer was on the tank while the other two were on the raid. We rearranged our position in such a way that there were two groups flanking the door that the Farraki trolls were streaming out of. We wanted to ensure that the path between the door and Horridon was kept clear of Sand Traps so that it wouldn't trip the tank or our melee players. Wastewalkers were a priority and we wasted very little time in bursting them down.
Door number two: The Gurubashi
The Gurubashi are known for their poisons and venoms. No surprise that the three Venom Priests that leap in will start spraying toxins all over the place. Venom Bolt Volley might not seem much at first but it's a 1 minute DoT that deals damage every 3 seconds. The Venomous Effusion's they spawn (green pools) also do the same thing and will volley venom bolts to anyone nearby.
Bonus: These pools of Venomous Effusion also wander around.
We couldn't afford to stay in one place for too long due to the Effusions. It was decided that the tanks and the group would slowly move clockwise to try to minimize interacting with the Effusions. Unfortunately, our group was eventually overwhelmed by the Volleys that were coming out.
Sadly, we weren't able to get through doors number three and four.
After all the doors are eliminated (or when Horridon drops below 30% health), Jalak the War-Gold himself will drop in. I guess he's annoyed that we've been able to survive this long so he wants to kill us himself. His Bestial Cry is a soft enrage mechanic. If Jalak is killed first, Horridon's going go on a Rampage. Make sure you down this oversized dino before ending Jalak's reign.
And he apparently drops a mount: Spawn of Horridon!
All in all, this is the first of many enjoyable encounters and it's only the second boss of the instance! If you can keep Horridon safely away and manage the trolls, Jalak should easily drop (at least, that's the theory). Just to remind you though that this is the PTR and this stuff could easily change at anytime. I hope it doesn't because this encounter is fun (at least, mechanically speaking).