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.

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