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The 5 best raid encounters in Cataclysm

The 5 best raid encounters in Cataclysm
Remember this guy?

As we prepare for Mists of Pandaria, it's beneficial to look back and capture the good memories of raids past. After some hard thinking, I've compiled a list of the five Cataclysm raid encounters that were, in my opinion, the best and most memorable of the expansion. While it's difficult to get the same experience today, due to gear scaling and difficulty nerfs, these encounters represent examples of things that Blizzard got right and we'd like to see more of.

5. Halfus Wyrmbreaker, Bastion of Twilight

OK, so the trash clear wasn't the most entertaining experience ever, but this opening boss in Bastion of Twilight hit all the right notes. His companions rotated on a weekly basis, forcing your raid to adapt just a little bit every time, but not so much to significantly alter the encounter. The intense healing requirement at the beginning of the fight provided a good challenge for healers, the add swaps kept the tanks busy, and the enrage timer was well-tuned for DPS.

Most importantly, though, all of that stuff happened at an unusual time in the fight -- the beginning. Most typical raid encounters increase in difficulty late in the fight, leading to a tedious learning process where bored raiders sleepwalk through the learned early minutes before reaching a point where they can challenge themselves and learn. Not this encounter; the majority of the time, you were heading for a win or a wipe within the first minute.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Raiding

Spiritual Guidance: Priest healing tips for tier 11 heroic mode raids

Every week, WoW Insider brings you Spiritual Guidance for discipline, holy and shadow priests. Dawn Moore covers healing for discipline and holy priests, while her archenemy Fox Van Allen is busy looking in the mirror instead of playing a proper spec. Dawn also writes for LearnToRaid.com, produces the Circle of Healing Podcast.

In previous weeks, Spiritual Guidance has tackled how to heal the various raid encounters in tier 11. This week, we're going to revisit each boss on heroic difficulty. Once more, I'll be examining which spec is better equipped to handle the fight while also examining the differences in the new encounter and how to deal with them. We have a lot to talk about, so let's get started.

First, I want to point out that a major difference between any heroic and normal mode encounter is that abilities in heroic do an increased amount of damage. In order to avoid being redundant, please keep in mind that when I point out the differences between modes that the need for more healing will be assumed. If the increased damage significantly impacts the strategy of the fight, however, I will explain how.

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Filed under: Priest, (Priest) Spiritual Guidance

Spiritual Guidance: Raiding Blackwing Descent as a shadow priest, part 3

Every week, WoW Insider brings you Spiritual Guidance for discipline, holy and shadow priests. Each Wednesday, Fox Van Allen brings you the answers to all the burning questions: Is it Tyler Caraway that he's better than, or is it Dawn Moore? The answers, my friends, is simple; when you're a shadow priest, you're better than everybody.

Normally, my friends, I fill this space with pleasantries, pop culture references, and slams at other WoW Insider writers. But I just can't do that this week. Not when Nefarian runs free, flitting about his lair, overloaded with treasure. Shadow priest treasure.

Over the last two weeks, we've been sharing shadow priest strategies for taking down Magmaw and Omnotron, as well as Chimaeron and Maloriak. But they were just child's play for what's ahead. This week, we're concluding our three-part series with tips, strategies, and loot information for the most challenging encounters Blackwing Descent has to offer: Atramedes and Nefarian.

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Filed under: Priest, (Priest) Spiritual Guidance

Shifting Perspectives: Druid feral cat raiding strategy for Cataclysm, part 2

Every week, WoW Insider brings you Shifting Perspectives for cat , bear , restoration and balance druids. Welcome to our weekly feral cat edition, brought to you by Chase Hasbrouck, aka Alaron of The Fluid Druid blog. Let the face clawing begin!

Last week, we began our detailed look at feral raiding by discussing the "easy 5" raid bosses this tier. This week, we'll head over to the Throne of the Four Winds to discuss the Conclave and take a look at two of Nef's minions.

First up: Conclave of the Wind, Throne of the Four Winds.

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Filed under: Druid, (Druid) Shifting Perspectives

Spiritual Guidance: Healing Chimaeron and Atramedes as a priest

Every week, WoW Insider brings you Spiritual Guidance for discipline, holy and shadow priests. Dawn Moore covers healing for discipline and holy priests, while her archenemy Fox Van Allen dabbles in shadow and decorative cross stitching (who knew he was so crafty?). Dawn also writes for LearnToRaid.com and produces the Circle of Healing Podcast.

This week on Spiritual Guidance, we'll be returning to Blackwing Descent where, after meeting sudden and untimely deaths at the bottom of an elevator shaft, we can respawn and face our next two healing challenges: Chimaeron and Atramedes.

You may recall that not long ago, we examined two other bosses in Blackwing Descent, Magmaw and the Omnotron Defense System. If you can handle those two, these bosses are just a tiny step up in difficulty and should be no match for your priestly prowess.

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Filed under: Priest, (Priest) Spiritual Guidance

WoW Insider's Guide to Blackwing Descent

Blackwing Descent is an interesting new raid instance. This isn't merely because it's a new instance for Cataclysm but because it draws on the heritage of the game, going all the way back to a showdown with Nefarian in Blackwing Lair.

But Blackwing Lair was just a setback.

Deathwing has raised his little boy and girl back from the grave, and they're all zombie and angry at the world. So you and 9 (or 24) of your best friends need to go kill everyone in the Blackwing Descent and make things right again. Check out our strategy guides, below, to get the skinny on how to beat down the bosses all the way up to and including the big, bad Nefarian.

Ready Check shares all the strategies and inside information you need to take your raiding to the next level. You might also be interested in our strategy guides to Cataclysm's 5-man instances, and for more healer-centric raiding advice, visit Raid Rx.

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