Hydross the Unstable
- HP: 3,146,000
- Enrage Timer: 10 minutes
Hydross is a two stage fight, each stage marked by Hydross in either his (her?) purified water form, or his/her corrupted, poisonous form. Which stage s/he is in at any given time is up to the raid. While under the affect of the Industrial class Brita filter (patent pending), Hydross is in his water form, dealing (and immune to) frost damage. While not in them, poison form, dealing (and immune to) nature damage. The longer… it is in either form, the higher Hydross’s “aura” stacks. This aura is called “Mark of Hydross” while in water phase, increasing damage taken from frost damage by everyone in the raid. “Mark of Corruption” is the poison form version, and does the same thing, except nature damage
Your tanks will be switching Hydross back and forth between these two stages by moving Hydross from between the Brita filters to away from them. This is to avoid any of those wacky occasions where Hydross suddenly punches the main tank for 40k damage.
Every time Hydross is changed from one phase to the other, four adds will spawn; water elementals when changing to water, algae elementals when changing to corrupted.
This is a difficult fight for mages, as it combines the need for high DPS to beat the enrage timer with frequent threat resets. The importance of halting DPS completely when the tank announces he is moving Hydross cannot be stressed enough. Once the transition takes place, threat is completely reset. If he was just moved into water phase, and you pull aggro, thus dragging him back into poison phase, congratulate yourself. You just wiped the raid.
It simply is not possible to deal with Hydross and eight adds simultaneously. If you are in danger of snagging aggro, for example if you just landed a fireball crit, move yourself towards where the tank is pulling Hydross, ahead of the tank, if possible. That way, even if you do pull aggro, Hydross won’t switch phases again, and you won’t be responsible for killing the entire raid.
There are two ways to deal with the adds that Hydross spawns. The obvious way that most guilds use is to have all the adds tanked, then let AoE go nuts. Feel free to apply liberal amounts of Arcane Explosion and whatever else you have available (Fire mages can blast wave, Frost mages can cry in a corner…). Be careful in frost phase, however. Hydross has a nasty habit of casting water tomb at exactly the wrong place at exactly the wrong time. It would be full of epic suck if three mages and an offtank were all killed. Play it safe with Flamestrike next time, if that happens.
- Fathomstone – A nice off-hand item if you don’t have / can’t afford a badge one.
- Robe of Hateful Echoes – Look ma! I’m a warlock! Actually a decent piece of gear to hold onto. Later in raiding, you will need to meet certain healthpoint thresholds. You COULD wear PvP gear, or you could spend a little effort to pick up some warlock gear. It has higher stamina than mage gear, and still has decent offensive stats.
The Lurker Below
- HP: 3,794,000
- No enrage timer
A two-stage fight, similar to Hydross. In the first stage, Lurker is “fished” by a player, and engages the raid. Lurker then submerges, summoning adds to each of the platforms. The raid has precisely one minute until Lurker returns. After some time, Lurker submerges again. This continues until Lurker is dead, or the raid is dead.
Lurker is unable to aggro on characters at range. He never leaves the central pool. Feel free to ignore Omen.
Approximately thirty five seconds after Lurker is fished, you will experience his most devastating ability, “Spout”. Spout is a powerful beam of water that will pick up your corpse (your dead already if you get hit with it) and hurl it through the air. The mangled body of what was once a mighty adventurer will come to rest… somewhere.
Lurker spins around in a circle while doing this (400 degrees) and can go either clockwise or counter. You must be in the water to avoid getting hit with this ability. You do not have to be submerged, merely in the water. You may continue casting to your hearts content during Spout. Nothing is stopping you, and Lurker will not attack any ranged characters so long as something is in melee.
While in the water, you will be taking some damage. The water is, after all, boiling hot. You can use Fire Ward to absorb this damage.
In stage two, nine adds will spawn. Three powerful melee mobs in the middle (Guardians), and two significantly weaker ranged mobs (Ambushers) for each outlying island. Polymorph is incredibly handy for this stage of the fight. If you are stationed on an island, turn one of the Ambusher’s into a sheep, and bring the other one down. Then break polymorph, and kill that one too. Don’t worry if they shoot at you, there will be somebody out there casting a heal with your name on it. Just deal as much damage as you can, get these adds down fast. As soon as your island is clear, help out with the inner ring or another island.
Some raids will also assign a Polymorph to the inner island ring, depending on availability of tanks. Two arcane mages can easily rotate Presence of Mind + Polymorph to instantly get one under control. I, personally, have worked together with a druid on an inner island. The druid bashed the Guardian as soon as he was able, then I sheeped it from there.
Whatever the case, you WILL be sheeping something during this stage of the fight. Be ready.
If the raid is unable to bring all these adds down in the one minute allotted for it, you can keep one permanently polymorphed. For example, if you keep one of the Guardians on the inner island ring sheeped, only two Guardians will spawn next time.
- Cord of Screaming Terrors – An excellent belt, you can easily stack a lot of hit rating here. Equivalent to the tailored Belt of Blasting, the Dord trades in spell critical rating for raw stats. If you have the Blasting one, use that for general DPS and the Cord for those trick “you need this much health to not fail” fights. That, and it looks great with that robe from Hydross.
- The Seal of Danzalar – A PvP ring? In a Tier 5 raiding instance? Is that right? A good PvP ring, it is somewhat out of date with S3 gear, and will be obsolete once S4 hits.
- Velvet Boots of the Guardian – Some excellent Tier 5 boots. Definitely try and get them if they drop.
Leotheras the Blind
- HP: 3,794,000
- Enrage Timer: 10 minutes
Leotheras is, technically, a four stage fight. There are three Greyheart Spellbinders that have to be killed before Leo himself can be engaged, where he will first fight the raid in his elf form. He will perform what’s called “Whirlwind” (read: everyone dies painfully).
Leo will switch into demon form, and then start chain casting a fireball type spell that stacks a fire vulnerability debuff. During this stage, five different players will be forced to fight their “Inner Demons”. Essentially, a mini-version of demon Leo that can only attack, and be attacked, by whoever they spawned from. If a player does not kill the Inner Demon in time, they will be mind controlled by Leo and the raid will be forced to kill said player.
While it is incredibly fun to slaughter your fellow guildmate like this, it isn’t recommended.
At 15% Leo will split into both elf and demon form at once. Kill the elf, and that is that.
The Spellbinders at the beginning are very easy to kill, and time spent fighting them does NOT count towards Leo’s ten minute enrage. Don’t go all out on these guys, there isn’t a point. They’re an excellent opportunity to let your tank(s) get a full rage bar, and for you to level up your wand skill. Then out comes Leo.
This can be an incredibly difficult fight. Remember how Hydross had all those threat resets? Leo has more of ’em. A lot more.
While in elf form, he will whirlwind with alarming frequency, and after every whirlwind, threat is totally reset. Note that this means you can go all out during Whirlwind if you wish. He doesn’t follow normal threat rules will gutting your friends. Just make sure you don’t accidentally smack a fireball on his arse as soon as whirlwind ends. You will die horribly, and most likely, so will everyone else.
Oh yeah, and don’t get hit by whirlwind. If you do, you’re dead. And then the raid has to get along without you. Which they probably won’t. Congratulations on wiping the raid again. Ice Block if everything goes horribly wrong. It’ll save the raid a lot of trouble, and you a serrated sword being shoved into your organs.
Another threat reset occurs when he shifts from elf into demon form. I expect pretty much every guild in existence tanks this stage with a warlock. As always, give the warlock some time to get aggro, which won’t take long. Searing Pain generates a lot of the stuff.
If you are a fire mage, make absolutely sure that Scorch is stacked at full when Leo shifts into Demon form. 15% more fire damage means even more threat for the warlock tank.
As soon as Leo is firmly on the warlock, open up with everything you have. This stage of the fight is where you’re finally allowed to do some serious damage. Elf form is survival mode, demon mode is fireballs to the wall BRING THE PAIN mode.
Inner Demons – Because the Inner Demons are random, you may or may not see these against a Leo. Sometimes you can get them every time, sometimes never. In any case, be prepared for them. Failing to kill it is just… terrifyingly sad. Seriously. They aren’t immune to anything, but they are resistant (20%) to fire and shadow damage. They are also vulnerable to arcane damage, again by 20%. Yes, you heard me right. Arcane Blast will deal 20% more damage to the inner demons. Feel free to frost nova it and then burn it down with a speed that will alarm even you.
Threat resets (again) when the demon to elf shift happens. Then we’re back to ol’ whirlwind run the hell away mode. And so it goes.
At 15%, you’ll have a short window where Leo does nothing and you can burn fast and hard. Once the split happens, concentrate all firepower on the elf and burn him down as fast as you can. Threat be damned, if the tanks can’t keep up, you deserve to be killed. Wait…
- Gloves of Tirisfal – Tier 5 gloves. Woo, Tier 5, right? Right. Not worth breaking spellfire for unless you’re an arcane mage with another piece of Tier 5 ready to go.
- Fang of the Leviathan – This is a great weapon. Seriously. Do not hesitate to get in a bidding war for it.
- HP: 5,691,000
- No enrage timer
Morogrim is a very simplistic encounter. Relatively, anyways. He periodically sends four people to their watery graves, dealing a bunch of frost damage to them, then some fall damage. He will also summon a bunch of Murlocs by using “Earthquake”, which deals 4k damage to everyone, then a bunch of Murlocs show up and start killing all the healers. At 25%, he will stop sending people to the waterfalls. The waterfalls are too busy spawning giant… bubbles, which then attempt to attack the raid. By simply moving the whole raid over by the door, these bubbles simply despawn before they can hurt anything. That’s it.
First off, be aware that Morogrim is using an ability similar to your Cone of Cold. This slows the tanks attack speed; there may be threat issues. Hopefully the tank will be able to get a Shaman (and hence windfury) to compensate, but not always.
Random people will be sent to the waterfally graves every 30 seconds. If you get summoned over there, be prepared for a bunch of damage. The ability deals 4625-5375 damage, but it does take your spell damage into account and deal more damage accordingly. It’s not much, but still expect your health bar to suddenly lose a huge chunk. Frost Ward will help lessen this damage, but you never know for sure if it’s your turn in the watery graves until it’s too late. You can Ice Block out of it, too, thus taking no damage whatsoever.
And don’t be alarmed if you get sent to the watery graves four or five times in a row. He probably just hates you.
If you don’t get any heals for around five seconds, bandage yourself, and prepare for Murlocs! Arcane Explosion, Blastwave, whatever, just burn them down. If you’re raid positions the Murlocs close to Morogrim, make sure you hit him with whatever AoE’s your using too. If you have a protection Paladin tanking these things, make sure you thank him/her for letting you produce jar dropping numbers. Assuming somebody was holding a jar, that is.
Keep in mind that if any AoE class dies, the raid is probably screwed. With Murlocs being alive longer… it just isn’t pretty. So make sure to tell the healers to not let you die, because your important, gosh darn it! Feel free to type frownie faces if you do die.
At 25%, the entire raid should shift over by the door, so the watery blobules become a non-issue. Fire mages, make sure you saved up some serious firepower for the end of the fight here. If you somehow manage to stack Molten Fury, Icy Veins, and a flame cap together… hell, you could even make warlocks cry.
- Serpent-Coil Braid – Treat this as the Holy Grail of tier 5 raiding. You want it, you need it, and you will go to any lengths to obtain it. The only reason you should not attempt to get it is because another mage bribed you with massive quantities of gold or… services *ahem* rendered. Hit rating, crit rating, more mana from a mana gem, making those three charges worth 3.75 charges, and a damage trinket rolled into one. !!BEWARE!! If you use a mana gem, it WILL put your other damage trinket, if you have one, on cooldown. Use the trinket first, and the mana gem will NOT be on cooldown, so you can still stack them that way. Combine with Icy Veins/Molten Fury for best effect.
- Pendant of the Lost Ages – Don’t be blinded by the 20% silence/interrupt reduction thing. Sure it might be useful when fighting something like Azgalor or something, and sure is useful for PvP, make no mistake, but where this neck piece really shines is everywhere else. Nice stamina, nice intellect, and 36 spell damage. Tell me, where are you going to get another neck piece with that much spell damage? I’ll tell you. Mount Hyjal. That’s where. And that is strictly fire damage. So nyah. And don’t be alarmed of a protection Paladin tries to fight you for this. It’s a great trinket for them, helping them immeasurably against strange fights like Gruul, where the boss regularly silences folk.
- Illidari Shoulderpads – Yay! Another piece in our warlock set!
Fathom Lord Karathress
- HP: 1,821,000
- Enrage Timer: 10 minutes
Karathress is one of those multiple pull fights you should be painfully familiar with by now. This fight is very similar to High Kind Maulgar, with a flipped version of Hex Lord Whatsisface thrown in. Karathress is guarded by three Fathom Guards: Sharkkis, a beast master style hunter; Caribdis, a strange combination of healer and frost mage; Tidalvess, a rather nasty shaman.
This encounter, mote than any other in SSC, can be considered a dynamic encounter. When you kill off one of Karathress’ guards, he learns how to use one of their abilities. Meaning that the order in which you kill the guards can vastly change the way this fight works.
Like any multi-target encounters, the pull will make or break this fight. Fortunately, as mages, the act of “pulling” could involve oranges for all we care. Hunters do some funny things that make a sound like a spring being struck with a brick, then the bad guys run all over the place killing various healers. Eventually, a tank of some sort will be firmly attached to each of the three nagas, and you can start killing… something.
Throughout the fight, Karathress has a secondary ability called “the mage dies horribly”. I jest! It’s called Cataclysmic bolt, deals damage equal to 50% of your maximum health, and can hit anybody in the raid. Except for his own tank, that is. Hopefully, your healers will be able to spare some healing for you if you ever need it. If you ever find yourself suddenly with low health, stop immediately and bandage. The tiny loss of DPS is more than worth avoiding the possibility of experiencing the intense pain of virtual death.
The raid can kill the adds in any order they so choose. So I’m going to roll a d12 and use the results for the ordering here.
Fathom Guard Caribdis
Caribdis is easy to kill, and probably should be killed first. She will attempt to heal, and so makes an excellent first choice to send for a “sleep” with the fishes. I’m sorry, I promised myself I wouldn’t make any fish puns… but I just couldn’t fin-ish this post without one. Gah, there I go again. My therapist is going to gill me…
*Ahem* Aside from Healing Wave, which can be counterspelled, she also casts Water Bolt Volley, hitting everyone within 45 yards for 3k frost damage. Yes, frost ward will absorb that damage. Every now and then, all the targets adjacent to her (read: not ranged classes) will be tossed into the air, then frozen (Tidal Surge). Even the tank, meaning that even though you personally don’t get hit with this ability, it will still severely affect how you approach this fight.
Two things. With your tank being bamboozled around by the ultimate frost nova, s/he isn’t producing threat. Meaning, WATCH YOUR THREAT. Caribdis is rather sensitive about the whole “aggro” thing. With the rogues suffering the same fate, more often than not they will be unable to interrupt her heal ability. The duty of spell interruption falls to you, dear mage. Fret not, for some warlock somewhere will have placed Curse of Tongues on her, giving you more than enough time to find your Counterspell macro. You do have it macro’d, right?
Once Caribdis dies, Karathress will be able to use Tidal Surge.
Fathom Guard Tidalvess
Tidalvess is the most challenging add for the raid to deal with. His damage output is the highest of the four, due mainly to windfury. What d’you mean? Of course he has windfury; he IS a shaman, after all.
He also drops something called a “Spitfire Totem” which will cast a fireball at five targets that hits for ~3k damage. The totem has a 45 yard range. If the raid is not killing Tidalvess first, most likely the tank and his healers will be doing some fancy positioning to move him out of range of the Spitfire totem, thus neatly avoiding the damage they deal. The totem despawns, respawns, whatever, the tank and healers run back and forth across a side of the room. Once the raid is ready to kill Tidalvess, having the tank move around becomes unfeasable, due to forcing all the DPS to move as well.
Instead, you get to make a shiny macro that will instantly target the Spitfire totem, and destroy it. The totem as 25,000 life; it’ll go down quickly. The easiest way to do this:
/cast [Enter spell of choice]
… and hope a hunter didn’t get any smart ideas and name his cat “Spitfire”. You can type out “Spitfire Totem” in it’s entirety if you wish, but where’s the hilarity in that?
Upon death, Karathress will be able to drop Spitfire totems. For this reason, it is recommended to kill Tidalvess last, as it most likely will not be possible to have the Karathress tank and healers to move around, especially so if Caribdis already lies dead and the tank is randomly getting frozen.
Fathom Guard Sharkkis
Here we have what effectively amounts to a beast master, more in line with the Warcraft III version. At some point early-ish in the fight, Sharky will spawn a pet, which will be studiously ignored for the time being. The tank will pick him up, unless this particular tank likes watching his healers die painfully. He also uses Beast Within, increasing damage output by 30%. Sharky will also put this DoT ability that drains both health and mana on someone in the raid; maybe it’ll be you! Feel free to Ice Block out of this.
Once Sharkiss himself dies, turn your attentionto the hapless beast and kill it.
Now that Karathress is messing around with the melee classes, randomly increasing his damage output, dealing Cataclysmic Bolts at precisely the wrong time, and dropping Spitfire Totems, the fight is surprisingly easy.
Burn Karathress down hard, remembering to switch to the Spitfire Totems when they’re up. You shouldn’t need to worry about aggro, the tank has had plenty of time to build threat.