It hasn’t taken any time at all for guilds and pick-up groups alike to tear through the Dragon Soul raid, and since progress is being made so quickly, we’re covering the next two bosses this week. Things get a little more complicated this time around, but still nothing to stress over. Some of the mechanics are even rather amusing! So let’s quit wasting time and get started before we’re left back here in the dust. Keep in mind all strategies are taken from the normal, 10-man version of the raid, and there may be minor differences if attempting said content on other levels of difficulty.
I would say that the ugliest boss is up first, but it’s entirely a toss-up between these two. Located a short drake-flight to the west of the temple, this is one of two generals laying siege to Wyrmrest. Three separate groups of trash line the outside wall of the large chamber, which of course must be dealt with beforehand. Each group consists of three small tentacles, one eye, and a much-larger claw. The tentacles and eye will dish out some heavy, random raid damage, while the claw needs to be engaged in melee by at least one tank and another melee DPS – if left alone, it will quickly dispense raid damage that puts the rest of the group to shame, and quite likely will result in several player deaths. Get ready for some intense healing while clearing out the room.
Speaking of heavy damage, Zon’ozz himself hits like a truck. On the upside, this is a single-tank encounter, although Zon’ozz will rapidly build a stacking damage buff on himself, making his attacks even more deadly. Disrupting Shadows is another ability, randomly applied to multiple raid members. If left unattended, it will deal heavy shadow damage for several seconds. If dispelled, however, it will deal another burst of damage and knock the afflicted player backwards several yards. Ultimately, this debuff should be removed as rapidly as possible, but healers beware that a target with low health won’t survive the follow-up burst. Zon’ozz’s last core ability is Psychic Drain, a frontal-cone attack which heavily damages anyone in his path, and heals himself for ten times the damage dealt. Tanks, keep this guy aimed away from the raid, except for special circumstances to be discussed shortly…
The major mechanic of importance here is Void of the Unmaking, which is essentially a giant glowing ball of shadowy doom. Shortly into the encounter, Zon’ozz will cast this spell, and the orb will appear roughly 40 yards in front of him before slowly traveling in a straight line. Should the orb reach the wall of the chamber, it will detonate for heavy damage to every raid member and knock them into the air. That’s a bad thing. Instead, players need to maneuver themselves into the path of the sphere, where it will detonate against them (for shared damage split across anyone nearby), then instantly turn around and float in the opposite direction. The effect repeats every time the orb strikes a player, although the total damage it dispenses will increase with each collision. Should the orb strike Zon’ozz, however, a short second phase begins, in addition to providing a long-term debuff to Zon’ozz which increases his damage taken.
Sound complicated? It’s not, once you’ve practiced it a bit. The goal is to rebound the orb as many times as possible before finally letting it hit Zon’ozz. The trick, however, is that letting the orb bounce too long will increase its damage to unhealable levels (or increase Zon’ozz’s damage to a point where the poor tank dies), and letting it impact Zon’ozz too soon will apply minimal debuffs to the warlord while prolonging time spent in the deadly second phase. For our 10-man group, five or six bounces was enough, at which point we let the sphere fly into Zon’ozz.
Now the tricky part: positioning. Tanks, on the pull, keep this guy pointed directed at the group of healers and ranged DPS, who should remain clustered together at maximum range, and directly in front of Zon’ozz. Don’t worry about Psychic Drain yet, as Zon’ozz can’t cast it unless an orb is in play. Once he summons the Void, tanks, quickly spin him around, pointed away from the raid. The orb will appear on top of the ranged group, and melee DPS should shuffle around so that they are between Zon’ozz and that distant group. From this position, it’s simply a matter of watching the orb as it bounces back and forth – be quick to shuffle to one side or another as needed, to keep the sphere bouncing. Once a sufficient number of bounces has been reached (again, about five or six for our group), allow it to rebound off the ranged group while the melee scatters out of the way. With some possible small adjustments by the tank, the rebound should fly right into Zon’ozz. Goal! Beware that the orb cannot bounce multiple times in quick succession (there’s about a five second delay between impacts), and that healers will likely be just barely within range of the tank when stacked at a distance – if group composition allows it, consider moving a healer into the melee group, so long as there is a near-equal number of players in each cluster.
This triggers phase two (as well as the stacking debuff to Zon’ozz increasing his damage taken, and the removal of his own damage buff), which lasts a brief thirty seconds. Unfortunately, it’s a painful thirty seconds, with constant raid-wide damage going out, accented by random spiking damage bursts from a series of untargetable, unkillable adds. For the first half of this phase, Zon’ozz will not be striking his tank, so enjoy that small breather if at all possible. Major raid cooldowns and intense healing are a must here – to help out, stack the entire raid right behind Zon’ozz and focus area healing spells in that location. Eventually the phase will end, and the first will repeat. There will be a pause before the next Void orb appears, which gives everyone sufficient time to readjust and find their stacking positions. Tanks, remember to point the big guy toward the ranged group again so that the sphere appears in their vicinity.
Repeat the two phases as needed, and this fight should be in the bag, along with any new loot you’re lucky enough to score.
The second general, located in the opposite direction of the temple, sport his own group of trash (of course), but a very straightforward series of mechanics which, incidentally, the trash will demonstrate. Each group of mobs near this boss will consist of three randomly-colored oozes, each with their own powers. Nearly the same oozes will appear during the encounter itself, where they will apply their respective abilities to Yor’sahj. Hence, we’ll just jump straight to the encounter itself.
One or two tanks can be used here – Yor’sahj will continually apply a stacking debuff, Void Bolt, to his tank, which inflicts additional shadow damage, but can be healed through without too much strain. It’s up to the healers and general gear levels on this one as to whether a second tank is needed. As for positioning, just park him in the center and go to town at the start – the fun starts shortly afterwards.
A raid warning and multiple colored lights will announce the start of the party, and three oozes will appear from distant, specified corners of the room. Each will begin making its way straight toward Yor’sahj, and should they reach him, will grant him a buff until the next time oozes are called. This encounter can be entirely random, and there is no set order to the oozes or even which combination of three will appear. Hence, the raid needs to make a very speedy call as to which ooze will be destroyed – Yes, just one. Killing an additional ooze is impossible, as once one falls under 50% health, the remaining two regenerate rapidly. Also note that during the entire ooze-traveling scenario, Yor’sahj will take no other actions, and won’t even need a tank, so pull every available raider away to help bring down an ooze. Healers, use the brief pause to regain some mana as well – there should be zero damage going out at this point.
As for the oozes themselves, their abilities by color are as follows:
- Yellow – Yor’sahj uses abilities twice as often, and Void Bolt strikes anyone nearby.
- Blue – A large mana sphere will be summoned nearby and lazily drift around the room. Upon appearing, it instantly drains all mana from every ranged spellcaster and healer. When killed, that mana is evenly refunded to everyone within 30 yards of it.
- Red – Yor’sahj blasts three random targets with fire, which deals increasing damage the further away from him they are.
- Black – Numerous minions appear and focus on random targets, and will continuously blast their target until killed.
- Green – Yor’sahj periodically emits a volley of poison, which damages a random player and anyone else nearby.
- Purple – Every raid member is afflicted with Deep Corruption. When a heal is cast on an afflicted player, they gain one stack of this debuff. Upon reaching five stacks, they will detonate for moderate raid-wide damage.
If it looks like a mess, well, that’s to be expected. Remember that Yor’sahj summons three different slimes, meaning that (assuming the raid kills one), he will temporarily gain a combination of two of the above abilities. So the question is, which oozes are the most dangerous? There is no clear solution, as much of it depends on raid composition. But, here are some general points of advice.
The green ooze (and to a much lesser extent, yellow) will deal heavy damage to a stacked-up raid. The remaining oozes, however, inflict minimal damage to a group that remains stacked closely to Yor’sahj. In this sense, green is the most dangerous for Yor’sahj to absorb, as it would require some quick and careful repositioning. When paired with an ooze (say, red) that requires the group to stack up close, the raid runs into problems real quick. For kill order priority, green is a very safe bet, if it appears. Crush it quick, and allow the raid to stay stacked near Yor’sahj for easier healing and management.
The Mana Void summoned by the blue ooze needs to be killed immediately, as casters and healers will have nothing to work with while they attempt to regain mana from natural regeneration. Keep stacked close to it as it dies to make sure the mana is returned.
When minions appear, stay focused on Yor’sahj and use area-effect spells to tear them apart. They aren’t particularly strong.
Deep Corruption can be a very dangerous debuff, but not if the healers are smart and careful. Be aware of how many stacks are in place, and try to minimize healing should the debuff occur. That having been said, it isn’t a crisis should a single player hit five stacks and detonate, just be ready to stabilize the raid without causing an additional explosion. Remember that one stack is gained per heal cast, so a single heal-over-time effect will only apply one stack regardless of how many times it ticks. Lastly, the debuff has a maximum duration, which is not refreshed with each stack – when it falls off, so do the stacks, effectively resetting the counter. Deep Corruption should drop off multiple times before the next ooze phase.
Green, red, and yellow is an extremely damaging combination. Definitely kill the green ooze here, and stack close to Yor’sahj, but be aware that raid damage will be intense. If group-wide cooldowns are available, use them here and power through it.
And that’s the extent of the encounter. Depending on luck, this one might be pretty simple, or freakishly difficult. Make sure to take out the designated ooze as quickly as possible – follow the raid leader’s decision immediately regardless of call, so as to not waste time and split DPS across multiple targets, as if Yor’sahj absorbs all three oozes the phase turns into a nightmare in a hurry. Raid leaders, make quick, careful calls, but don’t stop to overthink it. If it helps, consider sketching out a priority order beforehand, just don’t hesitate to change it should things go sour. Yor’sahj isn’t the sturdiest of the bunch, and he should fall before the encounter drags on for too long.
With both generals down, more of the raid and Wyrmrest Temple is open. Next week, the assault continues.