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Posts with tag Ultraxion

The 15 nastiest trash clears of WoW

The 15 nastiest trash clears of WoW ANY
I was reading through some links while writing a follow-up to Robert's Not-So-Original WoW Miscellany when I happened across some discussions concerning the game's most agonizing trash. This is a popular subject for players, not least because complaining is a lot of fun, but I don't think anyone's going to argue that there haven't been some legitimately unpleasant trash clears in WoW.

Fortunately, most of the really bad trash clears are a distant memory, but there was at least one recent one that almost everyone who raided Dragon Soul could agree on. I'm going to include both dungeons and raids here, mostly because Shattered Halls was among the first things to go on this list. After including that, I knew there were other, equally nightmarish 5-mans that had to be included in the interest of fairness.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion

The Dragon Soul -- a post-mortem

Technically, as I write this, the Dragon Soul isn't actually dead yet, nor do raids really die so much as either become outdated or revamped. (Zul'Gurub and Zul'Aman stand as examples of raid content that died to be reused, while Naxxramas was used again as an introductory raid.) But since we're closing in on our fourth month running the raid instance, I thought this was a good time to examine it critically. What were the Dragon Soul's main themes? How did it function both as a raid instance and as a platform to end Deathwing's story arc? And most importantly to me, did I enjoy the ride?

Dragon Soul as an experience was fascinatingly diverse compared to previous raids. It eschewed the static finding of some dark cave or towering fortress to instead create a raid wherein we traveled the world, with different environments for the bosses to suit the locations and set pieces for our transitions. One complaint I've seen is that by reusing the Dragonblight and Wyrmrest Temple, Blizzard's design team was cutting corners -- but frankly, I don't find that criticism very accurate. First off, Wyrmrest is where the dragonflights typically meet, as demonstrated by Malygos' assault during the Nexus War, so it makes perfect sense for it to be where Deathwing sends his full Twilight's Hammer forces to try and crush them.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Raiding, Lore, Cataclysm

Totem Talk: Maximize your fire elemental DPS on Ultraxion

Ultraxion flying in Dragon Soul
Every week, WoW Insider brings you Totem Talk for elemental, enhancement, and restoration shaman. Once just the expert on enhancement shaman, Josh Myers has spent most of Dragon Soul as elemental, and he's not quite sure how he got there. It seemed like a good idea at the time.

Of all the fights in Dragon Soul, Ultraxion on heroic mode is the ultimate DPS check. Heroic Spine of Deathwing definitely tests your raid group's ability to do a large amount of damage in a miniscule amount of time, but Ultraxion forces your group to maximize its sustained DPS. As a result, it's very commonly the first real wall most heroic progression guilds hit, at least until they can get the gear to make it a cakewalk. If you're working on heroic-mode Ultraxion or are having trouble killing him on normal, there are a few things you can do to maximize your elemental shaman's DPS on this specific fight.

Gear, glyphs, and talents

First off, the easiest way to help your DPS on Ultraxion is to check your glyphs. Most elemental shaman nowadays run with Glyph of Unleashed Lightning as one of their prime glyphs. This makes sense for nearly every other fight in Dragon Soul, as they all require some amount of movement. Ultraxion, however, is a straight up stand-there-and-shoot-lightning-and-lava-until-your-fingers-fall-off-or-he-dies fight, and Glyph of Unleashed Lightning gives absolutely zero DPS if you're not moving. Switching this out for Glyph of Lightning Bolt will give you a slight boost in numbers. Your three glyph choices should be Lightning Bolt, Flame Shock, and Glyph of Fire Elemental Totem; more on the FET glyph choice in a second.

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Filed under: Shaman, Raiding, (Shaman) Totem Talk, Cataclysm

Totem Talk: The ups and downs of playing enhancement in Dragon Soul

Enhancement shaman mid0Morchok fight
Every week, WoW Insider brings you Totem Talk for elemental, enhancement, and restoration shaman. Josh Myers once only tackled the hard questions about enhancement but has recently expanded his sphere of responsibility to all shaman DPS specs. (And no, two-handed enhancement is still never coming back.)

I've said in the past that enhancement is in a good place in 4.3, and that's the truth. Despite some really awful itemization and some as-yet-unresolved issues with the spec, enhancement is remaining a strong middle-of-the-pack contender. In non-cutting-edge raid groups that don't have multiple Dragonwrath-wielding casters, we're even better.

Dragon Soul is a great instance for enhancement in 4.3 because it offers a variety of fights. Some play to enhancement's strengths, some highlight its weaknesses, and some fights are Ultraxion and your DPS spec doesn't matter, provided you can push buttons and click a shiny purple dot on his screen every 45 seconds. For the purpose of brevity, I'm going to assume you're familiar with the normal-mode mechanics of these fights (and if you're not, some are conveniently covered by my frenemy Tyler Caraway in the Ready Check column) and just speak to how enhancement specifically fares on these fights.

Chopping Morchok

There's nothing particularly special about Morchok for enhancement, except if you're doing the fight on heroic. Shamanistic Rage and Glyph of Stoneclaw Totem make Morchok's Stomp damage negligible, but Stomps don't really hit hard enough on normal to worry about. However, if you have a healer in line of sight during a black phase (and you've done nothing in recent memory that would cause them to hate you), Glyph of Stoneclaw Totem and Shamanistic Rage will let you stay on the boss for most if not all of the phase. If you don't have a friendly healer, enhancement still fares better than most melee on this fight, as cast Lava Bursts and Lightning Bolts still hit hard.

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Filed under: Shaman, Analysis / Opinion, Raiding, (Shaman) Totem Talk, Cataclysm

The Light and How to Swing It: The Fall of Deathwing, ret edition part 1

Every week, WoW Insider brings you The Light and How to Swing It for holy, protection and retribution paladins. Seasoned ret paladin Dan Desmond is here to answer your questions and provide you with your biweekly dose of retribution medicine. Contact him at dand@wowinsider.com with any questions, concerns, or suggestions!

Well, here we are, the first two of the final four bosses of the expansion. That is, we think Deathwing is the final boss of the expansion -- it is still unclear whether Blizzard will pull another We're not done with the next expansion yet! raid on us like it did in Wrath with Ruby Sanctum. Regardless, we have a raid that needs a conclusion and a guide to go along with it, so let's get started!

Please note that this guide, like many others I have written, is for the normal version of each encounter. Some mechanics, like Fading Light and Twilight Sappers, either work differently or have been removed on the Raid Finder difficulty.

Ultraxion

I really wish I had more to say about this fight, but Blizzard isn't having it. Simply put, Ultraxion is this raid's Patchwerk with the addition of a button. Yes, you really do just stand in one place, run your rotation train on him, and hit a button when the situation calls for it. I honestly wish there were more to this fight, but there it is.

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Filed under: Paladin, Raiding, (Paladin) The Light and How to Swing It, Cataclysm, Raid Guides

Raid Rx: Start ranking on healing without even trying

Every week, Raid Rx will help you quarterback your healers to victory! Your host is Matt Low, the grand poohbah of World of Matticus and a founder of Plus Heal, a discussion community for healers of all experience levels and interests. Catch his weekly podcast on healing, raiding and leading, the Matticast.

It was a Thursday night. For the past few weeks, I've done Ultraxion as shadow for additional DPS time. I'm usually the swing player who can spec into both healing and DPS. Mind you, I'm not the great at shadow. This time around, we were using five healers on Ultraxion because our other regular healer wasn't able to make it that day. On 25-man, Ultraxion has six healing crystal buffs. Using five healers meant that one of the crystals would not be in use. I opened up with red crystal before sneaking the blue crystal later. I think this was the second or third time I've actually healed Ultraxion.

Alas, I was not able to catch our resident holy paladin, who aced me on the meters again. One of these days, I will catch him. I don't have a clue how. Circle of Healing and Prayer of Mending used on cooldown while dropping Prayer of Healing nukes every chance. I'm even waiting until the last possible second on Hour of Twilight before triggering the phase out (which is very dangerous, mind you, and I wouldn't recommend it unless you have the dexterity and reflexes of a hockey goalie).

It wasn't until well after the raid that I noticed we used only four healers on that encounter. Looks like our other priest didn't get the memo and stayed shadow the entire time.

Eventually, your raiding group will reach a stage where you can simply heal full tilt. You can take shortcuts and bigger risks that lead to additional payoffs (like quicker raids and personal satisfaction from ranking, for example).

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Filed under: Raid Rx (Raid Healing)

Lichborne: Fall of Deathwing Raid Finder tips for death knights

Every week, WoW Insider brings you Lichborne for blood, frost, and unholy death knights. In the post-Cataclysm era, death knights are no longer the new kids on the block. Let's show the other classes how a hero class gets things done.

I will be frank: Every death knight should have a solid goal to defeat Deathwing this expansion. It's not for the experience, it's not the glory, it's not even for the achievements. No, it's for one thing: It's for the tentacle sword. This baby is everything that one can aspire for in a WoW weapon. It's a sword. It can be transmogrified into our signature runeblade. It has an awesome creepy pet proc. What's not to love?

Of course, to get to the sword, you'll first have to take down four bosses, hope the sword drops, and then hope you win the roll against who knows how many other plate DPSers in the raid -- but hey, you have to start somewhere, right? Let's dive into the Fall of Deathwing.

To be frank, the most annoying part of the fight with Ultraxion, the first boss, is his trash. Dragons will fly in slowly from the skies above and must be pulled down where you can DPS and/or tank them. If you can get past that, Ultraxion himself should be a breeze.

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Filed under: Death Knight, (Death Knight) Lichborne

Totem Talk: Healing Hagara the Stormbinder and Ultraxion

Restoration shaman in ugly sweater
Every week, WoW Insider brings you Totem Talk for elemental, enhancement and restoration shaman. Want to be a sultan of swing healing? A champion of Chain Heal? Totem Talk: Restoration, brought to you by Joe Perez (otherwise known as Lodur from World of Matticus and co-host of the For the Lore and Raid Warning podcasts), shows you how.

The siege is, by now, well under way, and now that you're done playing with slimes, it's time to move forward. Your next opponent is Hagara the Stormbinder, a shaman who has fallen under the sway of the aspect of death and now works toward the destruction of the world. Luckily for you, she's an enhancement shaman, so she's pretty easy to deal with.

The major theme for this boss is movement. Every major ability that Hagara has boils down to your moving in the correct manner in order to avoid what would be absolutely lethal damage. Moving and healing has never really been a shaman's strong point, but if you use your abilities wisely, you'll have her down in no time. (For full details of the encounters or full raid strategies, please read Ready Check for WoW Insider's boss guides.)

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Filed under: Shaman, (Shaman) Totem Talk

The Light and How to Swing It: Tanking Hagara and Ultraxion

Every week, WoW Insider brings you The Light and How to Swing It for holy, protection and retribution paladins. Protection specialist Matt Walsh spends most of his time receiving concussions for the benefit of 24 other people, obsessing over his hair (a blood elf racial!), and maintaining the tankadin-focused blog Righteous Defense.

Three down, five to go. Or, four, if that's how you prefer to count it. The difficulty is starting to ramp up at this point, and you'll soon find that it's all uphill from here. Hagara will test the awareness and mobility of your raid team, and Ultraxion will provide the first major gear check for the raid. Both will set you up for the pursuit of Deathwing and the closing out of the raid.

Hagara

Before I get too far ahead of myself, let's start with the next boss on our hit parade: Hagara. This is a very straightforward fight for you. There's some deadly burst that can be avoided with fancy footwork and an add you'll need to pick up, making the most exciting components of tanking the fight. Thankfully, to break up the monotony, there's some calisthenics to keep the blood flowing and the raid moving.

You'll want to start by tanking Hagara off to the side, somewhere between the middle and the edge of that large, central circle of the platform. The reason for this is when an ice phase begins and Ice Waves goes out, you don't want to be standing in the center where she spawns them. If she's off to the side, she has to run to the center and then unleash the ice. So don't get you and all your melee DPS killed! (Only the DPSers' dying is acceptable.)

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Filed under: Paladin, (Paladin) The Light and How to Swing It

Spiritual Guidance: Priest healing for Dragon Soul's Hagara and Ultraxion

Every week, WoW Insider brings you Spiritual Guidance for discipline, holy and shadow priests. Dawn Moore covers the healing side of things for discipline and holy priests. She also writes for LearnToRaid.com and produces the Circle of Healing Podcast.

Picking up where we left off the other week, today's Spiritual Guidance will cover the fourth and fifth bosses in Dragon Soul. The first up is Hagara the Stormbinder. Before we jump right in please make sure you're familiar with the basic mechanics and strategy of the fight; I will be examining the fight specifically from a healing priest's point of view. For Hagara, I recommend getting acquainted with the fight through the video guide at LearnToRaid.com or the written guide at Icy Veins.

Healing priests of either spec should be mindful that Hagara's ice phase is probably going to be where players are at the greatest risk of death. Fortunately, Leap of Faith is the perfect way to intervene, provided you remember a few things. The obvious one first is that you should make sure you're well ahead of the Ice Wave before you use it. It's easy to get caught up in the wave yourself if you try to stop and cast, and the extra second required to orient yourself properly for a life grip could be a second too long if you're not careful. Next, take care to ensure you're not pulling your ally into an equally treacherous spot when you use Leap of Faith. Pulling someone away from the Ice Wave just so they can be hit by an Icicle is cleary counterproductive (although somewhat comical, depending on who you're saving).

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Filed under: Priest, (Priest) Spiritual Guidance

Encrypted Text: A savvy rogue's guide to the Fall of Deathwing via the Raid Finder

defense of wyrmrest temple
Every week, WoW Insider brings you Encrypted Text for assassination, combat and subtlety rogues. Chase Christian will be your guide to the world of shadows every Wednesday. Feel free to email me with any questions or article suggestions you'd like to see covered here.

The first half of the Dragon Soul raid consists of knocking out a few of Deathwing's commanders that are attacking Wyrmrest Temple. After toppling the first four bosses of Dragon Soul, we finally see Deathwing face-to-face at the peak of the temple. He's still too busy to attack us himself, instead sending a couple of his additional underlings our way.

Our first challenge will be overcoming Ultraxion, Deathwing's favorite twilight dragon. He's an easy target for rogues and is just about as simple for us as Warlord Zon'ozz. After that, we board an airship to face Warmaster Blackhorn and his Twilight infantry. Finally, we confront Deathwing in two separate encounters, each with its own challenges.

We fight Ultraxion from the roof of Wyrmrest Temple, as he's too massive to fit inside. He'll spend most of the encounter cleaving the entire raid, which makes Feint an amazing tool here. Use it on cooldown for the entire fight. Unfortunately for rogues, we're not able to get behind Ultraxion, due to his positioning over the ledge of the temple roof. While Ultraxion has a buff that prevents him from parrying our frontal attacks, we're not able to use any positional attacks like Backstab or Ambush.

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Filed under: Rogue, (Rogue) Encrypted Text

Dragon Soul: Fall of Deathwing Raid Finder bosses explained in 5 seconds

The Raid Finder has more people than ever filling World of Warcraft's raiding zones with players, adventure, loot, and fun. With more accessible dungeons comes the potential for explanation issues -- raiding is still about communication, even in the Raid Finder. Here is a quick look at the last four bosses of the Dragon Soul raid that you can use for great success in the Raid Finder.

For tips for the first four bosses in the Dragon Soul raid, The Siege of Wyrmrest Temple, please check out our first guide.

First, here are some quick Raid Finder facts:
  • No lockouts. Participating in the Raid Finder will not lock you out from doing the raid on 10- or 25-man with your guild or group, nor will it lock you out from loot for these instances.
  • You only get to roll on loot once per boss per week. You can fight bosses multiple times but are only eligible for loot on the first kill.
  • Get 250 valor points for completing the raid wing.
  • Two tanks, six healers, 17 DPSers are needed for a Raid Finder raid.
  • You can queue up in Raid Finder with your Real ID friends across servers.

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Filed under: Raiding, Cataclysm

The Light and How to Swing It: Blinding Ultraxion with the Holy Light

ultraxion
Every week, WoW Insider brings you The Light and How to Swing It for holy, protection and retribution paladins. Every Sunday, Chase Christian invites you to discuss the finer side of the paladin class: the holy specialization. Feel free to email me with any questions you want answered, like why paladins are so awesome.

As the fifth boss of Dragon Soul, Ultraxion is the gateway boss to pursuing Deathwing and stopping the second cataclysm. While Thrall and the dragon aspects are busy with the Dragon Soul itself, we're tasked with defending Wyrmrest Temple from Ultraxion's assaults. Simple, right?

Ultraxion is an incredibly simple fight for tanks and damage dealers. In fact, it's already being called the Patchwerk-fight of this tier. Aside from a few extra button presses, non-healers are simply tasked with bringing Ultraxion down as quickly as possible. Healers, on the other hand, play a very special role in this fight. We're fighting against rapidly increasing AoE damage to the raid, and the aspects themselves step in to help us accomplish our task. Ultraxion is the healer-centric fight of this tier, like Baleroc and Chimaeron before him.

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Filed under: Paladin, (Paladin) The Light and How to Swing It

Patch 4.3 PTR: Raid testing schedule for Oct. 17-18

Blizzard's Daelo has just announced that several patch 4.3 Dragon Soul raid bosses are coming open for testing on the PTR. The bosses are coming fast and furious; hopefully this signifies a near-future release date for WoW's final raid content patch. The first boss (Warlord Zon'ozz) will be available very shortly, so start rounding up guildies for a test run!

PTR Raid Testing Schedule - Oct 17/18
Today and tomorrow we're going to try and test the remaining bosses in Dragon Soul on 10 player difficulty.

Oct 17
14:30 PDT - Warlord Zon'ozz (10 Player)
16:30 PDT - Hagara (10 Player)

Oct 18
10:15 PDT – Ultraxion (10 Player)
11:45 PDT – Warmaster Blackhorn (10 Player)
14:30 PDT – Spine of Deathwing (10 Player)
16:30 PDT – Madness of Deathwing (10 Player)

There will be additional testing scheduled in the upcoming weeks including 25 player and Heroic difficulties, both in the morning and afternoon. There will not be any testing during Blizzcon.

As always, the scheduling for PTR testing will be VERY fluid. Tests can be announced, canceled, or rescheduled at a moment's notice depending on build and server status, outstanding bugs, etc. I will try to give as much advance notice about tests, but that is not always possible. Also note that these encounters are all works in progress.


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: News items

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