We will be going into Heart of Fear on Wednesday, Oct. 31st, the first week of its release. We are doing this rather than continuing to work on Mogu’shan Vaults heroic progression for many reasons:
1) iLevel of HoF normal is 496 vs. 502 from MV heroic items; this is not a significant difference, especially considering relative difficulty.
2) Tier drops in HoF, and tier bonuses can make up for those 6 iLevels.
3) More total bosses = more total loot per week, a more powerful raid, and faster overall progression towards 16/16H. If we clear HoF and clear MV normal on an off-day (we’ve proven it takes 90 minutes or less), that’s 24 total items, rather than a combination of 12 normal/heroic items (which average out to a lower ilevel).
4) Sha-touched weapons and legendary gems are only available by clearing Heart of Fear and Terrace of Endless Spring.
5) No class has more than 3 best in slot items (out of 15 or 16 total depending on 1H/2H) in Mogu’shan Vaults. Most classes have only 1 or 2 of their best in slot items from there. Almost all are in HoF or ToES.
6) Finally, and most importantly, Heart of Fear looks like the most fun raid in a long time.
So – to prepare for our epic domination of the bosses, read the following guides and click the boss names after (since our written strategy will differ slightly from the videos to cater to our raid composition) having done so to watch videos. Please be ready for all 6 fights as we are optimistic about week 1!
Heart of Fear
1 Tank 3 Heal
This is a multi-phase fight. At the beginning of the fight, the room is covered by smog that silences you and does ticking damage. There are three raised platforms and on each one the boss will have his standard ability and one additional ability. He picks the platform order randomly, and he will switch platforms every 20% health. When he switches, get to the next platform as fast as possible as in addition to the pheromone smog damage we’ll be taking, Zor’lok does raidwide damage when nobody is in melee range.
Zor’lok’s standard ability is exhale. He will target a random player with a yellow beam of damage that stuns them for 6 seconds. However, if someone steps between the boss and the target, blocking the beam, they’ll share some of the damage and remove the stun, so make sure the closest player intercepts the beam.
Beyond that, there are 3 platform-specific abilities:
Attenuation: This is a combination of alysrazor fire tornadoes and atramedes sound wave. They’re essentially sound waves that go in a tornado spiraling pattern rather than a straight line. They are slow moving so just avoid them.
Force and Verve: This is a pulsing AOE shout that does a ton of damage. However, before he begins, he spawns 3 shields. Only 4 players can be in each shield, and they reduce damage taken by 40% from the ability. 3 players will be assigned markets and specific groups will follow them into their shields so that no more than 4 are under any one shield.
Convert: One player is mind controlled like the squid boss in Throne of the Tides. It will break when you get that player to 50% health, but there is an increasing chance to break it as they get closer to 50%, so just DPS them down when they are controlled.
The final stage starts when the boss reaches 40% health. He flies to the center of the room and absorbs the pheromones so we can fight in the middle. He now has all three platform abilities so we’ll be avoiding sound tornadoes, getting under shields and attacking mind controlled players. This is the lust and burn phase.
Blade Lord Ta’yak
2 tanks, 2/3 healers
This is a 2 phase encounter, with phase 2 coming at 20% health. In phase 1 he does a few things: he spawns tornadoes on random players. These move around in a circle around where they spawn but stay anchored to the same location. We’re going to slowly kite him across the room as he spawns more and more tornadoes so we have somewhere to stand. He also does unseen strike, where he marks a player with a red arrow and disappears for 5 seconds. We all have to stack up on that player, as when he reappears he hits them with massive damage and if we don’t share it they will die. He also has a random rend he places on a player that hits his target and everybody within 8 yards, so we have to be slightly spread out between unseen strikes. Finally, there’s a tank debuff that lasts 45 seconds, so when you get it the other tank taunts.
At 20% health he goes into phase 2 and creates a lane of tornadoes down the center of the room and teleports you to one end of that lane, opposite from him. You have to run down the tornado gauntlet avoiding tornadoes (if they hit you, they carry you back to the start) until you reach him and get behind him and burn him down. After a bit of damage he teleports to the other end of the room and you have to run the gauntlet again in order to kill him.
2 tank, 3 heal
This boss has a few key abilities. First thing to be aware of are his legs. His body is his main health pool, but he also has 4 legs that can be attacked. Near to each leg is a weak point circle on the ground. If you stand within that circle, you do 100% increased damage to that leg. Each time you kill a leg, he moves 15% slower and it inflicts 3% of his total health pool in damage to him. The goal at the pull is to kill all 4 legs to slow him by 60%. Occasionally he will heal a leg, and when that happens DPS has to kill it again so that he’s always at least 45% or 60% slowed. This allows the tanks to stay ahead of the boss instead of falling into the purple circle beneath him. If anybody goes under the boss (inside the purple circle on the ground), he will cast crush which is huge raid AOE damage and a 2 second stun, so everybody has to avoid that.
The second main ability is pheromones. He will inflict a player with pheromones (at the start it will be the tank) and this will start a debuff on them that does increasing damage to the raid. It also drops a trail of crap on the ground behind the player with pheromones, so we want the person with pheromones to run around the very outside edge of the room. The way you transfer pheromones to another player is you touch them, so we will have assigned DPSers to transfer pheromones to each other (the first one will take it off the tank after a few seconds). The reason you want to transfer it is that it resets the stacking debuff on the raid. However, every time you transfer it, Garalon casts crush, so we will transfer pheromones around 15 stacks. We need 3 total DPS to take pheromones in turn so that the first person in the rotation has time for the debuff they get that causes increased pheromone damage to fall off.
Finally, both tanks have to stay in front of the boss at all times because he does a frontal cone earthquake ability and if it doesn’t hit 2 targets he gets a stacking damage and speed buff. This is a one phase fight.
2 tank, 2/3 heal
This is an add management fight involving the boss and 3 different groups of adds (blademasters, battle menders and amber trappers). Each type of add has a shared health pool, so killing one in that group kills them all. Before the fight 4 players can use weapon racks on the edge of the room to get an extra action button that CC’s a target for 50 seconds and can be used to chain CC. At the pull, we can CC 4 enemies, after one type of add dies you can only CC 2 adds and when 2 of the 3 groups are dead you can’t CC any. So let’s go through the abilities:
The boss has an attack where he throws a spinning weapon that you can dodge.
The blademasters do a combination attack on a random player per blademaster that isn’t CC’d. If one does it, it isn’t too bad, two in a row really hurts and if all 3 are up it will one shot anybody but a tank. That’s why we make sure only 1 is up at all times.
The battle menders have 2 abilities: mending (which heals all the adds and the boss) but is interruptable (and obviously must be interrupted), and quickening, which is a stacking magic cast on the adds and boss that can be purged and increases their damage and attack speed. We will only ever have 1 battle mender up.
Finally, the amber trappers (which are going to be up for most of the fight and therefore have the abilities we’ll see the most) have 2 main abilities. Amber prison is a debuff that incapacitates you and encases you in amber. Another player has to click on the amber to free you, but then that player gets a debuff that prevents them from freeing anybody else for 1 minute. Corrosive resin is the other ability, and it’s a debuff that starts at 5 stacks and as you move with the debuff, it drops 5 pools of resin in a trail behind you. Each pool drops a stack of the debuff. As soon as you get it, you want to run around to drop your stacks. This means that there will be pools of resin everywhere that we can’t stand in.
We’re going to stun 2 blademasters and 2 battle menders at the start, leaving us with 1 blademaster, 1 battle mender and 3 amber trappers, as well as the boss. We will loosely SPREAD OUT. One tank is going to take the boss and the blade master, and the other will take the 3 amber trappers and the battle mender. We are first going to kill the battle mender, then the blademaster, then the amber trappers and then the boss. Make sure the tank with the amber trappers and the battlemender is interrupting the mending spell, and that the rest of us are purging the quickening buff that the mender casts on his allies.
1 tank, 2/3 healers
This is a three phase fight, and it’s batshit insane. Prepare yourselves.
In Phase 1, the boss has 3 main abilities. The first is amber scalpel. This is a beam of energy that focuses on a player who has to kite it. Think heroic Rhyolith phase 2 lasers. Everybody else should avoid the amber trail it leaves on the floor. What’s important about this ability is that living amber oozes spawn from the trail periodically and fixate on random players. We should all spread out to keep ambers at least 8 yards away from each other or else they heal, and DPS them down. When they die they leave a pool of amber on the ground that we have to avoid.
The second is parasitic growth, a debuff that does increasing damage depending on how much healing you receive, so it will do more damage as time goes on and you receive more healing.
The third, and most important ability, is reshape life. This will transform a player into a mutated construct which is a yellow amber monster. The player that is chosen controls the construct, and their action bar changes into 4 new abilities. The key mechanic here is that you get a willpower bar which slowly runs out, and if it runs out before you use your break free ability (action button 4), you die and the construct starts attacking raid members (which is bad). Break free activates when the rest of the raid gets you below 20% health. You have three other abilities. Action button 3 is consume amber, which eats one of the pools on the ground from amber scalpel adds dying, and adds willpower but heals you (so you can extend the construct duration but makes it harder for the rest of the raid to activate break free). You also have struggle for control (action button 2) which costs willpower but increases damage done to you. This interrupts amber explosion (which you will randomly cast and is uncontrollable; you have to save struggle for that). Finally, action button 1 does damage to your target, interrupts them and gives them a stacking debuff that increases damage taken.
In general, we’re going to kill the first 2 amber constructs ASAP so that they don’t have to use any consume amber, and then we’re going to ignore the third amber construct, let him slowly consume all the pools on the ground to increase willpower duration as needed and let him massively stack the damage taken debuff on our targets. Any amber constructs we get after the third one in phase 1 are going to be killed like the first two.
Phase 2 starts when the boss hits 70% health. He will summon a gigantic amber monstrosity and shield himself, so we all switch to the monstrosity. The monstrosity has 3 abilities. The first is amber explosion, which needs to be interrupted using action button 1 by the player controlling the construct. This ability is also the +damage stacking ability, but since it has a 6 second CD you can’t spam it on the add like the main construct did in phase 1, as it needs to be available to interrupt amber explosion. The second is massive stomp, which is a 15 yard radius stomp that does physical damage to everybody (so the rest of us stay away from him). His third ability is fling, which is like the zonozz trash claw that tosses a player, doing damage to them.
Phase 3 starts when the monstrosity is dead. The boss gets a damage buff, no longer casts amber scalpel, and also casts the transformation at a much greater frequency. He gains one ability where he explodes pools of amber on the ground occasionally doing raid damage. Since we will have far more constructs, they will need to absorb pools as needed to stay alive (should be 2 per spawn) but we still need to damage them down for break free. Stack as many +damage abilities as you can on the boss and lust and we’ll burn him down from there inbetween freeing people from turning into constructs.
2 tank, 2/3 healer
This is a 3 phase fight.
In Phase 1 she has 4 main abilities, and we SPREAD OUT at least 5 yards. The first is dissonance field, and she summons 2 at a time. They slowly lose health, and when they die they explode doing huge raid AOE damage. You don’t want them to die at the same time, so you have to lower the health of one. This is done through another boss mechanic called cry of terror. This is a debuff cast on a random raid member that does damage to everybody in the raid. If you get it, you run into one of the dissonance fields which prevents the raid damage (damage to the person it is on continues) and damages the dissonance field. You will have to step in and out as when inside you’re out of line of sight from healers, but you want to be in as much as possible to spread out the dissonance field explosions as much as possible. The third ability is eyes of the empress, which is cast on the tank, and if stacked to 5, turns them into a giant hostile add. You don’t want this, so taunt switch at 3.
Phase 2 begins when she runs out of energy, which will be after 2 dissonance field casts and 4 cry of terror casts. In this phase, the boss disappears and spawns 8 adds: 2 Reavers and 6 Windblades in two equal groups from each side of the room (1 reaver and 3 windblades). We want to kill them before the empress gains her energy back and rejoins the fight. Each tank will pick up one full group, and stay more than 8 yards from the other group. Windblades will occasionally fixate on a random player and that person should run from them so that they don’t take too much damage (like Rages on Will of the Emperor). The key ability in this phase is the resin trap. Occasionally the windblades will cast resin on the ground. If you run over it, you take damage and are slowed, but if two players with the resin debuff touch each other, they create an amber trap. If 4 more resin debuffs are brought to the trap, it will be completed and then if you kite a windblade over the completed trap, it will be encased in amber. Every other windblade will stop attacking us and try to free it, giving us a chance to AOE them down.
When Shek’zeer rejoins the fight, we burn her as fast as possible, ignoring any remaining reavers if they’re still alive (we should have killed the windblades). Phase 3 begins when she reaches 30% health, and if we don’t get her there before her energy runs out again, we have to face another wave of adds.
In Phase 3, Shek’zeer still casts the tank swap debuff. She also gains a few new abilities. One is calamity, which is a shadow damage debuff that ticks for 50% of the player’s remaining health, like Bloodlord Mandokir’s Bloodletting ability from ZG. Obviously you don’t want to heal the player with this too much as that will just cause the total debuff damage done to increase. Make sure they don’t die and heal them up when it falls off. She also casts a consuming terror cone ability that moves outward from her that should be avoided and fears you. Finally, she chooses 2 random players occasionally and fears them as well as every player within 8 yards of them, so you have to SPREAD OUT. This is a lust and hope for the best phase.