Raiding Review: The Siege of Orgrimmar Normal (Part 3)

Rounding up the week’s articles with the final four bosses in Siege of Orgrimmar, we’re taking a look at Thok, Siegecrafter, Paragons and the big bad himself, Garrosh. Once again, it’ll have the reasons why we’re fighting them, and my views of the fights on normal mode as a Moonkin, with suggested builds/glyphs and Symbiosis priorities. Without further ado, let’s get right into it!

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Thok the Bloodthirsty

Why is he there?

When the Isle of Giants was discovered off the coast of Pandaria, teeming with primal devilsaurs, Garrosh sent men to capture some of the most fearsome specimens, hoping to subjugate them and use them as beasts of war. Countless orcish beastmasters have fallen to Thok’s jaws as they struggle to trap and cage him, yet the creature’s thirst for blood remains unslaked.

Following on from the Spoils of Pandaria, further down the hallway we find the beasts of Pandaria that Garrosh has taken from his campaign. We know that Garrosh has a tendency to use fearsome creatures in his battles, with Proto-Drakes and Magnataur taken from Northrend as a previous example – I’m actually surprised at the lack of Magnataur in SoO in all honesty. However, from Pandaria we see yetis, pterrordax, bats, and most importantly a particularly large Devilsaur who has his eyes set to bloodthirst. It is a very “Garrosh” style weapon, knowing his history with unique tactics, and I personally quite like the touch.

Fight Overview

Interrupt. Interrupt. Interrupt. Interrupt… This isn’t the most enjoyable fight ever as a caster, it has to be said. Having to time your casts so that you don’t chain-lock yourself out of DPSing each time, until you have to give in and just hope for instant casts… I guess I can’t complain – melee get plenty of fights where they have downtime for whatever reason, it’s good to give them a fight friendly to them once in a while. But it’s certainly weird to go from a near-decade old mantra of Always BCasting, to having to keep to a strictly-timed rotation. And I’m still terrible at it! Mind you, I’ve healed this fight a couple of times, and BoP-Tranq is certainly very viable for boosting a Resto Druid’s numbers. Phase 2 works well for us Moonkins, with the ability to kite the dinosaur at quite high stacks if required, and multi-dotting fun in the start of the phase.

But in the point of view of an oversized chicken, you’re going for a build similar to this one. Predominantly single-target, this build is also the best way to combat the high frequency of interrupts. Feline Swiftness or Displacer Beast are the strong t1 talents, with DB being good for emergency escapes, though FS will be better once you get used to the encounter and your raid’s kiting paths – just be aware of where you’re blinking if you’re kiting, you don’t want to Chomp a raider or two because you just faced the dinosaur in their direction! Ysera’s Gift is very strong in this fight, with constant raid damage going out throughout, the smart heal is small but welcome over the course of the fight. T3/5 are largely useless in this encounter, you’ll only really be casting them in conjunction with the Glyph of Omens to progress your eclipse if you really can’t get any casts out. And the standard single-target talents of Force of Nature and Heart of the Wild make another appearance again – though this time Force of Nature can continue casting during the interruptions, making it vastly superior to the other talents in the tier, and Heart of the Wild can give your healers a burst with either Unending Resolve or Hand of Protection and Tranq to avoid the interrupts, and you can also use the cooldown to Mooncat part of the fight to continue pumping out some form of DPS (though of course, don’t forget to re-dot and use up Starsurge procs to avoid energy starving too much). Symbiosis targets are switched around for this fight, with Warlocks being the most preferred for interrupt protection on Unending Resolve, followed by the standard Rogue>DK>everyone else.

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Siegecrafter Blackfuse

Why is he there?

Helix Blackfuse was the only goblin with the combination of engineering prowess, professionalism and ruthlessness to satisfy Garrosh in his search for the engineer of the True Horde. His love for his creations (and for the gold they fetch) blinds him to the fate that his fellow goblins are likely to face should Garrosh’s plans come to fruition.

With another throwback to Ulduar, after having Titanic Watchers help us defeat the power of an Old God, we see a fight similar in backstory to Mimiron. Here we have another brilliant inventor creating machines that have to be dealt with in the encounter. For Siegecrafter however, we have to interrupt the creation process by going onto a conveyor belt and destroying different parts of creating these siege engines. Some people may notice that the parts being used on the belt are different sections of the Iron Juggernaut – so essentially we’re preventing the creation of multiple Iron Juggernauts by completing this encounter.

Fight Overview

If you can, beg your raid leader to not be put on the belt team, or in worst-case scenario be in the second team. Your opening burst as a Moonkin is paramount to the flow for the rest of encounters – while it is possible to recover from not having any procs with your cooldowns, you’re going to be spending very little time before you’re back on the belt again. It’s a movement-intensive encounter, and I really feel for those Moonkins that have to waste Heroism, trinket procs, meta procs, etc on waiting for Disassembled Crawlers Mines to come out of the Assembly Line’s tunnel.

I actually forgot to test this week, but Wild Charge might be the best t1 talent to go for on Blackfuse if you’re assigned to the conveyor belt, to avoid having to jump in pipes or potentially falling to your death – I know that Engi Glider works, and our WW Monk can Flying Serpent Kick off of the belt without much issues, but I’m going to need to test Wild Charge to see if we can effectively disengage off the belt. In the meantime, I will say that the best t1 talent to go for is Wild Charge, purely for that theory. The rest of the build should look similar to this, though the fight might fare better for DoC instead of Heart of the Wild (maybe with overgearing we might be able to prepare for soloing the belt with it) – Nature’s Vigil is also fairly solid for belt duty, it’s really down to personal preference for this tier. There’s no real unavoidable nuking damage for Renewal or Cenarion Ward to be that useful, so YG is the best t2 option, and t3/5 are again largely useless if you go for killing the Disassembled Crawler Mines each time. If you keep them alive, then Typhoon/Ursol’s Vortex and going to be the best way to keep the Mines away if you find your raid slacking on taking them down. Symbiosis for this fight is largely for physical-based damage, though the magnets are constant nature damage too, so I’d say DK>Warlock>Rogue>Rest for Symbi prio’s.

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Paragons of the Klaxxi

Why are they there?

The nine surviving Klaxxi’va Paragons are ancient champions of the mantid who fought alongside the Wakener against the madness of Empress Shek’zeer. But the paragons, as do all mantid, hold a far deeper loyalty. When Garrosh unearthed the heart of Y’Shaarj, the paragons followed the whispers of their ancient creator to the iron halls beneath Orgrimmar.

Wait, what? Aren’t some of us at least honored, if not exalted with these guys? Why are they now suddenly our enemies? Those that finished the Klaxxi reputation and questline may have noticed in the final lore event that the Klaxxi are still at the end of the day allied with the Old Gods. They go as far as to condemn the Titans, and say that if push comes to shove and their God was reborn, they would side once again with Y’Shaarj and hope that we would join them, or we’d fall beneath their might. So Garrosh has taken the heart of Y’Shaarj beneath Orgrimmar, and the Paragons have followed the whispers of their ancient master. Seeing Garrosh able to benefit instead of succumb to the whispers of the Old God, they now bow to this new prophet, and become the penultimate encounter in the final downfall of Hellscream.

Fight Overview

Despite the original plan of the order of the Paragons changing each week, it would seem that Blizzard have backtracked on their dungeon journal for now and we have the same order each week. Considering each Paragon don’t really have that many abilities to keep an eye on and they’re easy to overcome and beat, it means that the fight becomes a little underwhelming fairly quickly. Don’t get me wrong, each Paragon has 3-4 abilities to keep track of, and with 9 Paragons that means around 30 things to keep an eye on in the entire fight… But because of how short each Paragon is up, it’s really not that difficult.

The spec you pick for this fight may depend on the order of Paragons your guild ends up killing, but for ours I’ve gone for this build. Once again, your important damage will be going to the kill-target Paragon, considering the other two still standing will go back to 100% health once the third dies, so recommendation of FoN/HotW is going to be the most beneficial I feel. Displacer Beast will help with positioning of the Aim from Swarmkeeper – and if you get targeted yourself you can blink toward your raid if you find yourself in a bad position (just make sure to warn the raid first) as well as other benefits such as moving out of Amber quicker, positioning to kill the kunchong, etc. Faerie Swarm and Mighty Bash are both solid options for snaring and stunning the bloods that heal the Paragons up, especially as they can’t be knocked back by Typhoon/Ursol’s. For Symbiosis, I’m not sure on how much Cloak can cheese, as we don’t currently raid with one so I can’t test (QQ), but I’d say DK>Warlock>Rogue>Paladin>Warrior>Rest.

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Garrosh Hellscream

Why is he there?

Garrosh, son of Grom, first laid eyes upon Azeroth when Thrall, who saw in him the potential for greatness, plucked him from the fields of Nagrand to spearhead the Horde’s Northrend campaign. Garrosh too sees greatness as his destiny, and his actions have brought the armies of the world crashing down upon Orgrimmar for a final reckoning that Garrosh himself awaits with brutal relish.

If I need to expand on why Garrosh is a boss in Siege of Orgrimmar… I don’t even want to know… One thing I would like to say is that I am extremely glad that we didn’t actually kill him, or that Thrall/Varian ended up taking the killing blow. Having him stand trial denies the lifestyle an orc Warrior desires – victory or death. He has had both of those taken away from him with the trial in Pandaria, and it will be interesting to see what 5.5 onwards will bring for the son of Grom. Or it will satiate the rant I had in an earlier article of how WoW continues to kill off its villains – will we see Garrosh as the first big bad that returns once again in the future?

Fight Overview

Moonkins suck at this fight. Well, mine does – phase 1 I get the chump’s duty of killing an engineer, knocking back adds into the other iron star, re-dotting up Garrosh, the Shaman and the new weapon, before killing off another engineer to repeat the process again. Did I mention earlier at how our early burst dictates the flow of a fight? Well, I do get around 15-20secs before moving over to do my duty, but generally phase 1 has a lot of travelling time. Fortunately, this fight is excellent for the utility that Moonkins can provide. Despite looking bad on meters, this is actually one of my favourite fights this expansion for normal modes – and we’ve had an expansion full of interesting mechanics, great storylines for each of the bosses, and excellent atmosphere surrounding us as we slaughter pixels for shinies.

For this fight, we’re not looking at too much of a change to our talent build. Displacer Beast wins out yet again, not just in phase 1 for getting to the Engineers asap, but also for getting out of Desecrated Weapons asap for the rest of the fight. I picked Cenarion Ward primarily for the transition phases, to help healers after each annihilation, though Whirling Corruption is also a great time to use it, especially when it’s empowered and you’re naturally a bit more spread from your healers. Typhoon makes a comeback for this fight, primarily for phase 1 to knock the adds into the Iron Star, though a little bit again on the Empowered Whirling Corruption for knocking away any Sha that might be buffed and wanting to eat faces. Disorienting Roar comes out best for this fight from phase 2, where MC targets can be ghetto-interrupted as a last resort. Do note that Empowered MCs do need the hard interrupt/silence, where Solar Beam will take precendence for interrupts. Either way, neither of the other two fare better. The important damage here (for my raid team at least, we have excellent AoE other than me) would be on single-targeting Garrosh, with throwing out multi-dots on weapons where applicable, so HotW and FoN once again I feel are the stronger options for this fight. Symbiosis targets will be DK>Rogue>Warlock>Paladin>Rest.

Conclusion

And that’s that for this week’s articles! I know it was long and boring, and very class (spec) oriented, but these are my points of view for how I’ve seen each of the fights in Siege of Orgrimmar normal modes. We’re now 5/14 heroic in <OMFG Kittens> so hopefully my review of the heroic modes should trickle out slowly over the upcoming weeks. In other news, BlizzCon is 2 weeks away! I’ll likely try to add as much WoW information as I can onto this blog as things get announced. I’m a poor English player that can’t afford to go to BlizzCon itself, but I’ll be watching in a very comfy seat with my virtual ticket from the evening until late into the night, updating where and when possible about things I might find interesting.

Hope you guys have a good weekend, and I should hopefully see you guys on Monday!

Raiding Review: The Siege of Orgrimmar Normal (Part 2)

Earlier on this week I started my review for the Siege of Orgrimmar normal modes, with my views on how bosses Immerseus through to Galakras. Continuing on the trend this week we will be looking at bosses Iron Juggernaut through to Spoils of Pandaria, and as mentioned in the previous article, Friday’s article will contain the final four boss encounters of this expansion.
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Iron Juggernaut

Why is it there?

This mechanical terror, designed nearly as much for intimidation as destruction, is the centerpiece of Garrosh’s siege weaponry. Crafted in the image of the mighty Kor’kron war scorpion, the Iron Juggernaut guards the gates of Orgrimmar, crushing any who would rise up to challenge Garrosh’s True Horde.

This is probably the first “filler” boss that has no real reason to be there, in my opinion. Created by Siegecrafter Blackfuse as General Nazgrim’s ultimate siege weapon, the Iron Juggernaut will be the final line of defense before raiders get inside Orgrimmar itself. From Blizzard’s perspective, this is the boss that the artists were allowed to go wild on, in terms of a mechanical construct. Instead of a siege tank that was expected, we received this monstrosity, that also serves as the heroic-only mount from Garrosh. Personally, I would have extended the Galakras encounter to start at the beach head, and then WE move up slowly as the encounter progresses, then we end up shooting Galakras down where Iron Juggernaut is now, and just get rid of him – but hey! More bosses are more bosses.

Fight Overview

From a “squishy” ranged DPS perspective, there really isn’t an awful lot to this fight – simply keep out of bad and single-target the boss – keep your butt to the wall for phase 2’s knockbacks, or if you find yourself unprepared be ready with a Displacer Beast to stop you flying to Eastern Kingdoms. The Crawler Mines are best left to sturdier raiders (though it is possible to soak one with Bear Form), and half the time the Borer Drill won’t even hit you, despite being underneath you.

This build is a decent enough build for Iron Juggernaut – using Displacer Beast as mentioned earlier to fix any positional errors you may have made in phase 2. Either Ysera’s Gift or Cenarion Ward is beneficial for this fight – CW can be useful on raiders soaking Mines if your healers are struggling. The single target spec of trees and HotW comes into play again, as there’s no need to double dot, and our CC options aren’t going to be used this fight. Symbiosis targes for Moonkins are: Rogue (Cloak immunises most things from phase 2, especially the knockback)>Death Knight>Warlock>Rest.

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Kor’kron Dark Shaman

Why are they there?

Haromm and Kardris trained thousands of shaman to whisper reverently to the elements to requisition their aid. The army of Garrosh, however, does not ask – they take what they desire in the name of the True Horde. Dark Shamanism forces the elements into servitude, twisting them into burned-out ash, corrupted waters, and toxic air.

Garrosh abhors all kind of demonic magic, yet Blizzard wanted to create a “dark caster” for his True Horde. So using toxic winds, molten rock, stagnant and poisonous water and smouldering fires, the Dark Shaman were created. After the Cataclysm, surviving Twilight’s Hammer members within the Horde created a new base of operations in Ragefire Chasm. When Garrosh started building beneath Orgrimmar, and the Twilight threat was dealt with, many of the remnants swore allegiance to Garrosh, and began teaching Kor’kron the ways of Dark Shamanism – forcing elementals into servitude, instead of the more traditional asking for their aid.

Fight Overview

So there’s two different tactics for this fight: One which is hectic and full of death and destruction, especially for melee; and one which is nice and calm, if not fairly boring for some. For once, I actually prefer the boring option, because the former just becomes complete and utter mayhem as you’re scrambling to try and kill them before they kill you. It’s nice for heroics, but for normals at the mid-section of the raid – where the heroic tactic doesn’t even touch the former tactic of two tanks keeping them together – it’s much simpler and quick to just use three tanks and taunt Haromm between two far away from the rest of the raid, with Kardris staying with the majority of the group.

As such, seeing as it turns the fight that would normally be multi-dotting with Inc/DoC, we’re going to see a single-target spec best used in a fashion the same as the last fight for most effectiveness. Although the first few seconds of the fight until the dogs go down would be best for Incarnation and DoC, we’re going to be spending most of the fight on just Kardris. Symbiosis priorities change slightly however, to being DK>Rogue>Warlock>Warrior>Rest.

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General Nazgrim

Why is he there?

Once a grunt in service of the former warchief, Thrall, General Nazgrim rose quickly through the ranks after overwhelming victories in Grizzly Hills and sunken city of Vashj’ir. Fiercely loyal to the Horde and bound by a rigorous code of honor and duty, Nazgrim will hold the line for his warchief until his dying breath.

I’m kind of sad to see this guy go. I can see WHY he’s there, and I can see why we end up killing him instead of seeing him join us against his Warchief. But he’s had such a history with players (at least on Hordeside) that even Warlocks might have gotten some kind of feels when they found out about his demise. For those that have no idea who he is, Nazgrim was first introduced to WoW as Sergeant Nazgrim in Wrath of the Lich King. After players did his work for him, he was promoted to Legionnaire Nazgrim during Cataclysm, and once again players saved his ass in Vashj’ir. Fast-forwarding to MoP, he got another promotion to General Nazgrim, and Horde players help him out yet again in the Pandaria campaign through Jade Forest and Kun-Lai Summit.

It is Nazgrim’s duty to the Warchief of the Horde that serves him as a raid boss for us in Siege of Orgrimmar. It is his loyalty to whoever has the mantle of Warchief that requires him to defend Orgrimmar against the Darkspear Revolution and the Alliance. As a result, he has the death any orc could ask – much like Klingons in Star Trek, orcs seek for an honourable death in battle, and that is exactly what he gets in the Siege. Lok’tar Ogar General Nazgrim, “Victory or death”.

Fight Overview

Any fight with a mechanic that makes me hold back on DPS makes me sad, but it’s certainly a good change of tempo to make sure that people are on their toes with what’s going on in the fight, instead of just standing out of bad and killing the thing that wants to eat your tanks. The different sets of adds that appear are also good, if they were actually random ones that came out (including having the chance to double up on them… Apart from Shamans – everyone hates Shamans), but they add a good layer to the fight that requires people to think what they have to do in reaction to each set.

For Moonkin perspective, Symbiosis actually changes from the standard top 3 priorities, to Paladins for their stun. With so little predictable magical damage going out, Cloak and AMS just won’t cut it as much, and the hard CC on the adds is extremely valuable. With that in mind, we’re looking at Symbi priorities of: Paladin>Warlock>Rogue>DK>Monk>Mage>Warrior>Rest.

Your talent build isn’t going to change too much from the previous fight, as the adds die too quickly to make a multi-dotting spec work effectively – plus, Force of Nature can be used on the boss during Defensive Stance, without fear of adding any additional rage. Mighty Bash makes an appearance, especially if you don’t have a Paladin for Symbiosis, to stun every other wave of adds, as UV doesn’t bring the utility that MB can provide. Typhoon can help uncover Assassins, as does Mushrooms, and Ysera’s Gift is much better for the gradual damage of Bonecracker, in comparison to any high damage you should be standing out of anyway elsewhere (or predictable damage that healers are prepared for.

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Malkorok

Why is he there?

Malkorok has been Garrosh’s most loyal and trusted lieutenant throughout the Pandaria campaign. When the Warchief needed a volunteer to infuse with the power of Y’Shaarj, it was only natural that Malkorok would offer without hesitation.

Malkorok first appeared in the Tides of War novel, so chances are most people haven’t really seen what he’s presented as in Warcraft. For those that do not know, Malkorok is an orc of the Blackrock clan, and used to serve under Rend Blackhand. He is pretty much as radical as Garrosh, so he quickly rose to being the leader of the Kor’kron, and became Garrosh’s personal bodyguard and chief advisor. In this encounter, we see what happens for the first time what happens when an orc absorbs the power of Y’Shaarj, and DOESN’T end up succumbing to the fallen Old God’s will and become Sha.

Fight Overview

And the resultant fight in normal mode involves one-shot cones, actually standing in bad, and a copy of Fandral Staghelm’s mechanics. As a Moonkin, it is quite an enjoyable fight, and healers certainly enjoy seeing just how much they can push in raw throughput for building up shield a la Tortos heroic. It’s certainly an interesting mechanic for healers at least, seeing people on full life and still having to judge and call on who actually needs the healing – especially if people are already damaged through screw-ups previously in the fight, as I know when I’ve healed the fight, I automatically chuck a Rejuv and Swiftmend on them, only realising a moment later they have a full shield and aren’t healing up any more in any case…

Once again, this is a single target fight, so your talent build will look similar to this. Heart of the Wild and Force of Nature again are the DPS talents of choice again, being the stronger options for single target – a HotW-Tranq can also be useful in phase 2 if you have no danger of needing to move. In normal mode, the CC talents aren’t important, as nothing can be affected by them, so we’re keeping them the same as the last boss. We’re switching to Cenarion Ward for the healing tier, as Ysera’s Gift will always attempt to heal whoever is on lower health, not whoever has the lowest shield – so being able to stick a Cenarion Ward on someone who’s about to soak a pool will be excellent in building the shield back up again after soaking. Displacer Beast is fantastic for emergency soaks as well, and can be used to quickly get back to the platform after being shot up into the air. I’d really recommend Rebirth glyph for this fight, in case you do need to res someone, they can be at 100% health when they do resurrect. Stampeding Roar glyphs are great to hit the majority of the room for bad Breaths of Y’Shaarj, or getting everyone in the middle quickly for phase switch. Symbiosis targets for Moonkins are preferably: DK>Rogue>Warlock>Rest.

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Spoils of Pandaria

Why is it there?

When Garrosh gazed across Pandaria, he saw untapped power. During the course of his campaign, Garrosh has plundered weapons, treasures, and artifacts of the pandaren, the mogu, and the mantid. They are kept in a warehouse deep within his underground base, guarded by a mysterious security system that appears to be of Titan origins.

Unfortunately, I’m at two minds of this encounter. For one – it’s a fantastically unique fight in that there is no real “boss” to kill, it is essentially a gauntlet that you get decent loot from at the end… But on the other end of the spectrum, I don’t know WHY it’s a boss fight. Blizzard’s vision was to create a wing that included loot that Garrosh took from the Pandaria campaign, and honestly I thought that it would have just been trash to kill on the way to another boss. I love what they’ve done and how they’ve turned it into a boss fight, but as I said there’s no real reason for it to be one, apart from being the key to unlock either Siegecrafter Blackfuse or Thok the Bloodthirsty, who are in opposite directions. Plus, there’s the whole accidentally setting up a bomb and trying to deactivate it kind of thing, but details…

Fight Overview

The fight itself, as I’ve already mentioned, is quite an interesting one in that it is a gauntlet style boss (when was the last time we had one of those?) – so having an encounter that the tanks set the pace for instead of the encounter mechanics setting the pace for healers and DPS is most definitely one that Blizzard hasn’t used for a very long time. As such, with lots of adds that don’t last a very long time… It’s not an excellent fight for Moonkins – Hurricane/Astral Storm is pointless as mobs are taken out of them too quickly, Mushrooms as always are bleh, and multi-dotting is going to be mediocre at best, with how long the smaller crates last. The Pandaren crates offer a mediocre buff to the fight, that randomises each time you do it, but overall I don’t see too much point in them – the benefit they give is substantial, yes – but why not just tune things a tiny bit lower and just go for the actual artifacts? The artificial raid splitting is also done very nicely,

As a Moonkin, we’re switching up the talents from the previous fight to turn back into our multi-dotting build again. At the end of the day, despite dots not being as effective as they could be on a true multi-dotting fight, DoC and Incarnation are still going to be much better talents than HotW and Force of Nature for Spoils. Incarnation can be up for each mini-boss too, so you still have the opportunity to use your 3mins effectively, and there’s enough random damage going out for Healing Touches to be effective for setting up your next eclipse. I personally prefer Wild Charge for this fight, though any of the t1 talents will work just fine for this fight, whichever you’re more comfortable with. You’re going to be spending a lot of time already casting spells, so wasting GCDs on Cenarion Ward isn’t going to help yourself which is why I’ve suggested Ysera’s passive effect. T3/5 talents are again personal preference – everything can be CCed, it’s just a matter of what your raid setup is to if you prefer the hard CCs to the soft ones, or if the knockbacks are required, etc. Symbiosis targets can be prioritised as: Rogue (Set to Blow can be Cloaked to immune the damage – just remember to not be near anyone)>DK>Warlock>Paladin>Monk>Mage>Rest.

 

And that concludes part 2 of this week’s venture into the Siege of Orgrimmar. Next time, we’ll be taking a look at the final four bosses in normal mode – Thok, Siegecrafter, Paragons and Garrosh himself, of which none I would say are filler bosses! Have a good mid-week, and I’ll see you guys on Friday!

Raiding Review: The Siege of Orgrimmar Normal (Part 1)

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So when I was writing my Burnout topic just over two weeks ago, I didn’t think it would completely take me out of blogging for as long as it has done – plus with new work rotas and generally being distracted from writing when I’m not working, really took it out of me. For that, I can only apologise for not having written anything in such a long time.

But with that out of the way, it’s onto what I will be writing about for the next week’s worth of articles! We’ve killed Garrosh and are currently progressing through heroics – so I thought I’d better write this series of articles up before I forget the earlier normal modes, including reasons why we’re fighting who we’re fighting! Today I will be looking at the first seven bosses, then on Wednesday I’ll be doing a review of the next six, before Friday’s article where I’ll be writing about the final boss and my thoughts on Flex and LFR. Please note, there will be spoilers in this week’s set of articles.

Without further ado, let’s get right into it!

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Immerseus

Why is he there?

The ancient inhabitants of Pandaria recognized the vital importance of the lifegiving Pools of Power, building an underground system of aqueducts to safeguard the waters and nurture life in the Vale of Eternal Blossoms. The touch of corruption has animated and twisted these waters, and Immerseus stands as an unnatural embodiment of the Vale’s sorrow.

For those that haven’t seen it, I’d recommend watching the patch 5.4 trailer – it kind of introduces why Immerseus is in the raid in that he is the result of what happened to the water in the Vale of Eternal Blossoms when the Heart of Y’shaarj was plunged into it. The entryway looks fantastic as well – much like in ICC when you enter and are presented with a corridor full of trash, with the boss looming over you at the end of the hallway, it brings quite an epic feeling to the start of this tier.

Fight Overview

The fight itself is very simple, and a great boss to introduce the raid. For 10man normal mode, you spread the raid around the very large room (with no one behind the current tank) and generally you’ll only see two or three other raiders in the 40yd range of you – I’m sure that it’s a fight that feels much better on 25man, purely because you actually get to fill the large room (heck, it’s probably the first fight in a long time where I feel even 40man might be awesome in). The fights splits into two phases, and I have to say that Moonkins and other hybrid-healing DPS become very strong for the latter portion of the fight’s second phases – helping out the DPS for the first stages, then helping out the healing as more of the healing adds arrive.

So far I’ve either had to skip this boss due to RL commitments, or just be a Moonkin, so I can’t comment too much on healing perspective – but Symbiosis targets for Moonkins are: Rogue (Cloak will make you immune to the knockback from Swirl)>Death Knight>Warlock>Paladin>Anything else. The talents/glyphs I’d go for would look similar to these. Displacer Beast to blink over puddles/through Swirl’s beam if you find yourself locked in; Cenarion Ward for when oozes hit the center and you need that stronger heal to get you back up easily; Treants over Incarnation as you’re rarely going to be fighting for 30secs before a phase switch; Ursol’s/Typhoon for the adds in phase 2 and HotW for utility and damage. Stampede/Stampeding Roar glyphs to help out raiders getting out of tight spots, and Omens for extra eclipse generation while you perform utility.

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Fallen Protectors

Why are they there?

The Golden Lotus and Shado-Pan guardians of the Vale of Eternal Blossoms were caught in the epicenter of the devastating blast that scarred the Vale, and torn apart by the dark energies. Their spirits linger in the place they once protected, confused and tormented by their failure.

As annoying as the Golden Lotus dailies were this expansion, it was still a sad sight to see these three Pandaren as bosses we have to kill – fortunately the twist on it was that they were already killed when Garrosh corrupted the Vale of Eternal Blossoms, and we just have to put their spirits to rest – so in a way we’re doing a nice deed… Honest. But yeah, for those that haven’t been paying attention, they were at the Golden Pagoda or otherwise aligned with the Golden Lotus and gave us our beloved dailies in the Vale up until 5.4 dropped.

Fight Overview

You can’t have a tier without a good council-style fight these days, and this one doesn’t really disappoint. In normal mode for us, the fight seemed pretty simple really, and we even screwed up by putting more than one Protector into their “phase 2” a couple of times, but we still made quick work of them. Blizzard definitely learned from their mistake on Horridon normal, and while the fight was a little more difficult than Immerseus, there really wasn’t too much to worry about. With their health so low as well, I wasn’t really allowed to multi-dot as it would just bring all three down to their Desperate Measures phase at the same time.

Again, I’ve not really healed this fight just yet, though my only experience is during Flex and LFR – but with the healing intensive phase being stacked up, it makes Restoration a powerful spec for this fight. As a Moonkin, I’d recommend this build – There’s no real need to be blinking anywhere, so the passive movement speed is useful for getting out of bad that occurs frequently in the fight; Cenarion Ward is especially useful for He’s Desperate Measures, when you can heal yourself up from the Mark of Anguish or from Sun’s Calamity, otherwise Ysera’s Gift is a solid option for the constant raidwide damage in the fight; the tier 3/5 talents have no real impact on the fight, so I left them as they were for Immerseus; finally I go with the multi-dotting combination of Incarnation and Dream of Cenarius (with glyphed Healing Touch) to have impressive DPS on the pull, as well as solid multi-dotting throughout the fight. Stampede and Stampeding Roar glyphs are sticking around again, as it might be useful to pop to get people into Sun’s bubble in her Desperate Measures. As for Symbiosis targets: Rogue>Death Knight>Warlock>Priest>Mage>Warrior>Rest.

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Norushen

Why is he there?

Some say that the mogu race was created in the image of this titanic construct, left deep beneath Pandaria to watch over and guard the continent’s darkest and most dangerous secret.

Those that have completed the Dark Heart of Pandaria scenario will recognise the dude in the picture above from before patch 5.4. He is a Titan Watcher, similar to the likes of Thorim (Ulduar), Archaedas (Uldaman) or Rajh (Halls of Origination). This Watcher was in charge of looking after the remains of Y’Shaarj. As such, in this encounter we don’t actually fight against Norushen himself – he merely challenges the raid by removing corruption from adventurers to form the Amalgam of Corruption. We then have to perform different tests set by Norushen, after looking within our own turmoils, in order to become purified and not be susceptible to the Sha of Pride’s corruption in the following encounter.

Fight Overview

Like how Yor’sahj and Zon’ozz were always mixed up (for whatever reason) Norushen and Sha of Pride will always have people mixing the two of them up, possibly because of bright rooms and fighting a “large sha” style boss for the majority of the fight. Regardless, the Norushen encounter features interesting mechanics with the encounter’s energy bar of corruption, and managing different aspects of the fight that either increase it, or reset the bar. Unfortunately, because of the relative earliness of the boss and Blizzard’s plan of linear difficulty in SoO, the cost of failing the mechanics or lacking behind is fairly low. The fight itself presents as the first gear check of the raid, where I believe normal mode raiders in normal mode gear actually had a fairly tight DPS/heal check in order to defeat, but those raiders with the gear found little trouble in overcoming the fight.

As a Moonkin, this fight is pretty straightforward – most of your damage will be on the Amalgam, especially once you complete your Test. Multi-dotting two additional adds that will be up for a significant time is beneficial, despite the Shooting Stars nerf, and movement thanks to the cutter beam/intercepting bolts makes it a fairly standard fight for us – nothing for us to shine on, but nothing for us to really complain about. As such, I’d still recommend a build similar to this – Displacer Beast will blink you across the cutter beam without getting in contact with it, saving a bit of movement; Ysera’s Gift is the stronger t2 talent purely because there shouldn’t be any burst healing required, and the static passive will be the most beneficial; t3 and 5’s talents are all pretty much useless for this fight, so save the tomes; Force of Nature and Heart of the Wild combo again for the predominant single-target focus of this fight, with a nice HotW-Tranq backup in case the raid fails with soaking Residual Corruption – plus with treants being guardians, they’re unaffected by the damage reduction on the boss. Omens replaces Healing Touch glyph just to keep eclipse moving while you’re on the move. Symbiosis again favours magical damage reduction in this fight with everything else being non-spectacular, so as a Moonkin you’re looking at DK>Rogue>Warlock>everything else.

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Sha of Pride

Why is he there?

The seventh sha, the Sha of Pride, was the final burden to which Emperor Shaohao clung, shrouding the land in mist and biding its time for millennia. When Garrosh awakened the Heart of Y’shaarj, the force of his arrogance caused this dark energy to coalesce in the chamber where the Heart was unearthed.

Wrapping up the Pandaria section of the raid with the Sha of Pride himself was a good move by Blizzard. The final head of Y’Shaarj and the one vice that Emperor Shaohao could not defeat had to turn up sooner or later. While it would have been more epic to have the boss be more difficult, the raid is about cleaning up Vale before heading off to smack some Orcish butt, so the final part of the Pandaria chapter really could not have gone any better than to vanquish the final prime Sha. It coalesced when Garrosh found the heart of Y’Shaarj deep within the Vale of Eternal Blossoms, and plunged the heart within the magical waters of the Vale, daring Azeroth to attack him. Along with the rest of his campaign, this capped everything off and deeper within the chamber of the heart, the final Sha prime spawned.

Fight Overview

 

The fight involves an interesting throwback to Ulduar where we have a Titanic Watcher aid us in defeating something Old-God related, but until 30% it would seem that we have some light in the darkness. Again making use of an encounter energy bar, this time for pride instead of corruption, we again see mechanics that are fairly interesting, but because of the earliness in the instance raiders who already overgeared the encounter from ToT heroic didn’t have too much issues with this fight. Most of it in normal mode is just sitting there and rarely moving for certain mechanics, with some adds that spawn from time to time. As such, it’s a really nice single-target for us Moonkins, but overall quite a boring one in normal mode (I know, I’m never happy). Heck, other classes have far superior AoE for the smaller adds, so unless you have Nature’s Grace up inside Eclipse, you may as well continue single-targeting.

The only change to your build from the previous fight that I’d suggest would be to switch Displacer Beast for Feline Swiftness – there’s no need for blinks, and the quick sidesteps can therefore be even quicker. Ysera’s Gift will be overall superior again, though Cenarion Ward could be beneficial for Swelling Pride if your raid struggles with this; t3/5 again aren’t going to be much use in the encounter – though Mighty Bash may be useful for the large add, but I can’t say for sure if it even is stunnable; t4/6 are going to make use of the single-target combo again with Force of Nature and HotW. Symbiosis is also very similar to the previous encounter, with Rogue (will remove Mark of Arrogance without gaining Pride)>DK>Warlock>Paladin>everything else being priority.

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Galakras

Why is he there?

Warlord Zaela formed a close bond with Garrosh during events in the Twilight Highlands, and she and her Dragonmaw orcs have pledged loyalty to Garrosh’s cause. Riding atop the fearsome Galakras, a direct descendant of the cataclysmic progenitor of all dragonkind, Zaela oversees the naval defense of Orgrimmar.

The final boss of this article, Galakras is a descendant of Galakrond (known as the progenitor of dragonkind) who is currently under control of Warlord Zaela (and is also the same model of a sweet-ass mount I picked up the other day). While you don’t fight against Zaela herself (she in fact vanishes from the fight, and her current fate is unknown), the main idea of this encounter is fighting against the front line defense of Orgrimmar, with Galakras himself being the capping stone of the fight. But yeah, we finally get a fight where the enemy realises that we’re attacking and brings the fight to us, instead of us picking off different trash packs around the place. Not that it solves that later on in the instance, but that’s another matter…

Fight Overview

So I hate the first phase of this fight as a Moonkin. Far too much movement, too much AoE on mobs that don’t last long enough, and to top it off, the rest of my raid team just decimates through everything – I’ve only done the fight once as Balance, every other time I’ve just switched to Restoration and been a damn sight happier at the end of the encounter. Phase 2 isn’t too bad for us fat chickens, where the fight becomes a lot more “Patchwerk” for us, but considering how short the second phase lasts in comparison to the first, it’s one of those fights where you’re going to have to work hard to prove your worth. I’d probably recommend convincing your raid leader to go in the tower team if you’re not allowed to switch specs, as you can still be of use with Stampeding Roar up the tower, and there’s plenty of Starcleaving potential at the top of the towers – plus jumping off tall things with the Goblin Glider is always fun (you DO have Engineering, right? Nothing beats Moonkins with Nitro Boosts!).

In either instance, your talent build will change from the last boss to look something like this for progression: we’re looking at the introduction of Wild Charge for the first time this tier, where both jumping out of towers as well as getting to the back of the group in p2 will be much more beneficial than the other options; constant damage without too much nuking damage (until the end of the encounter) makes Ysera’s Gift the desirable option; Typhoon is a good backup if others slack on Fracture, and Ursol’s helps keeping adds in Jaina’s Blizzard; damage talent-wise, we need to go back into our Starcleaving build with Incarnation and Dream of Cenarius – the extra Healing Touches are a bonus, but with so much of the fight with multiple adds, your trees will stand around doing nothing, and multi-dotting will increase DoC’s effectiveness for the fight. Symbiosis priorities are going to be roughly similar, though I don’t believe that there are any cheesing mechanics with Cloak of Shadows, so priority will be DK>Rogue>Warlock>Paladin>Warrior>Monk>Rest.

And that concludes part 1 of this look at normal mode Siege of Orgrimmar. Wednesday’s article will look at the next five bosses, Iron Juggernaut through to Spoils of Pandaria. Again, I apologise for the lack of articles over the past few weeks, but hopefully I’m now over my burnout, and regular articles should return once again – especially with the run up to BlizzCon approaching.