Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Blackwing Descent -- Magmaw

Magmaw is one of those encounters that requires players to learn to "dance."  It's not a complicated dance, but miss the steps and you'll be guilty of wiping the raid!

Ranged DPS will be grouping up.  Follow your raid leader's instructions on where to start (a good place is to the left of Magmaw, just past the pile of rubble).  Ranged DPS and healers should all be stacked on top of each other.  As the encounter begins, start DPSing down Magmaw.  The dance will begin soon...

Magmaw will cast a spell called "Pillar of Flame" on one member of the party.  As soon as you see that start, move quickly to the other side of the room.  Blink is perfect for this and the cooldown times well with the Pillar of Flame cooldown, so you can rely on it to get you back and forth.  You must move quickly, because if you are caught by Pillar of Flame you will be blasted into the air, take damage from the spell and fall damage. Worse yet, when Magmaw casts PoF, lava parasites -- ugly, larvae-looking things -- will burst forth.  You land in the middle of those and you are toast.  Which brings us to the next point...

When you get to the other side of the room, turn around and use Blizzard to slow down and AOE the parasites.  You don't want them to reach your party or all hell will break loose and you will likely wipe.  Get those parasites down.  When the parasites are done, resume DPSing Magmaw.

Periodically, Magmaw will get staked and your target will change to the Exposed Head of Magmaw.  This is your chance to do crazy damage.  Hit that head with everything you've got -- blow your cooldowns, Time Warp, anything you have to do to maximize DPS.

Continue in this pattern, and Magmaw goes down pretty easy.

Magmaw Loot

Flame Pillar Leggings (pants) -- yellow and blue sockets
Incineratus (dagger)

Throne of the Four Winds -- Conclave of Wind

The Conclave of Wind consists of the Djinn Anshal, Rohash and Nezir.  The three of them will need to be bought down together, within a minute or they will regenerate. When you arrive through the portal you will be on a large platform.  Anshal will be directly ahead of you and Rohash will be to your right.  You travel between the platforms on bridges that are made of wind.  When the Djinn cast their Special Abilities, the bridges disappear and you must remain on the platform.


Depending on the strength of your DPS, you may be assigned to Rohash with a healer and possibly one other DPS.  Rohash does not require a tank.  If this happens, your job will be to DPS the heck out of Rohash, trying to keep his damage close to the other two.  Rohash will cast tornadoes and a nasty wind blast.  The wind blast will always be cast directly in front of him, so take care to stay to his side or behind him, while remaining within reach of your healer.


If you are not assigned to Rohash, you will head over to Anshal with the majority of the raid.  Begin by DPSing him.  Do not cast Time Warp, you will be saving it for the final push to make sure that the Djinn all die together.

Anshal will summon adds called Ravenous Creepers.  When these guys show up, AOE them down (Blizzard is great for this).  Periodically Anshal will cast Soothing Winds, which looks like a big rotating runic green circle on the floor.  Stay out of it!  It will silence you.

Shortly after the Ravenous Creepers are dispatched (and they must be killed quickly!), "Special Abilities" will be coming up.  Before this begins, run across the wind bridge to Nezir's platform.


While Special Abilities is active, you will be attacking Nezir.  Be careful to avoid the ice patches, because they hurt.  When the wind bridges come back (about 10 seconds), get back across to Anshal's platform and begin attacking him again.

This cycle will repeat until all three Djinn die within one minute of each other.  This is not an especially difficult fight, but you will need to be aware of what you are standing in and the Special Abilities timer.

Conclave of Wind Loot

Planetary Band (ring)
Soul Breath Belt (waist) -- yellow socket

Monday, June 6, 2011

Bastion of Twilight -- Valiona & Theralion

This fight is all about staying out of the crud on the floor and placement.  Don't expect to pull high DPS numbers here -- you will moving around quite a bit.  You'll start off by facing Valiona...


As you head up to attack Valiona, she will be getting ready to cast Blackout.  Blackout will target one player and do a huge amount of damage that is guaranteed to one-shot.  However, the damage can be mitigated by stacking up.  This shares the damage between all the players.  Trust me, mages are squishy and taste good with ketchup.  You do not want to bear the brunt of Blackout by yourself.

After Blackout, spread out a bit.  You want to try to keep about 8 yards apart.  Valiona's next big attack is Devouring Flames.  If you are caught in front of her when this goes off, you will be one crispy critter.  Watch carefully to see where she faces and get the heck out of the way.  Blink works well for this.

You may be asked to pop Time Warp when you start the fight, but defer to your raid leader for this.

After a couple Blackouts and Devouring Flames, Theralion will enter the fight...


Theralion will open with Dazzling Destruction.  This makes big purple swirlies around everyone.  For this reason, you should be up by Valiona and not down on the floor, or you will have purple mess all over the floor.  Blink to get out of Dazzling Destruction.  If you stay too long, you will be transported to the Twilight Realm.  Try like heck to keep this from happening, but if it does find a portal ASAP.  Big portal-looking thing, your cursor will turn into a gear on it.  Get through there quickly or you are toast.

Theralion's next two big attacks are Engulfing Magic and Fabulous Flames.  (Have we noticed something about Theralion?)  This is where things get tricky.  We do the Fabulous Flames Dance.  This begins by starting practically in the doorway, all the ranged stacked up together.  Engulfing Magic will be cast on different raid members.  If it lands on you, get away from everyone else to prevent doing damage to the raid.  This would not be as big an emergency as if you were a DoT or HoT class, but you still want to get out.

Theralion will then cast Fabulous Flames on someone.  This will create a big black spot on the floor.  Get out of the spot FAST.  It hurts.  Use Blink if it's not on cooldown, or strafe out (your Q and E movement keys).  One important note.  Don't try to jump out of the circle.  The game does not recognize your jump until you land, so that time in the air?  No good.  Restack as soon as you are out, right on the edge of the circle.  By doing this, you will keep the black circles tight, so you don't have a big mess all over the floor.

After several rounds of this, Valiona will swoop back in with a Deep Breath -- which will knock you into the Twilight Realm and searching for a portal if you get caught in them! and she will begin her round again.

A quick note -- if you are a frost mage, make sure to keep your elemental attacking the right dragon.

Valiona & Theralion's Mage Loot

Blade of the Witching Hour -- Dagger
Theralion's Mirror -- Trinket
Valiona's Medallion -- Neck

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Bastion of Twilight -- Halfus Wyrmbreaker

When fighting Halfus, your raid will be attacking three drakes under his control.  The drakes you will fight change weekly, so, if possible, check ahead of time so that you know what to expect.  Your primary responsibility will just be DPS and staying out of the way.

Your raid leader will announce the order of the drakes and, hopefully, mark them.  Make sure you know which drake you are targeting and when.

If you pull the Time Drake, it will be shooting fireballs at your raid.  You can try to avoid them, but it's challenging.  A ring of red smoke will appear around you on the floor right before you get hit, so try to get out of the way.

This fight can be pretty intense for your healers as your tanks will be very busy.  Don't make the job more difficult for them than it has to be.  Keep an eye on your health bar and be prepared to do some self-heals, taking advantage of things like:

  • potions
  • any healing spells you may have (i.e. Gift of the Naaru, Lifeblood)
  • lightwells
  • healthstones
If your healers put down HoT circles on the floor, try to stand in them.  

Check with your raid leader if they want you to pop Time Warp and when they want you to do it.  

Halfus Wyrmbreaker Loot for Mages

The Mage's Pre-Raid Checklist

Ever find yourself about to go head-to-head with the first boss and realize that you've forgotten something crucial?  It happens to all of us, and for that reason I've compiled a list of essential items to double check before your invite.  In the same way that relying on memory when you go to the grocery store inevitably means that you will forget the milk, having a written list helps make sure that nothing goes forgotten.  Consider printing up this list and keeping it by your computer for a quick reference...

The Checklist

Flasks and Potions

As a Mage you should have Flask of the Draconic Mind on at all times while raiding.  Depending on how long the potions lasts (which can be based on a number of factors), try to keep at least one on hand for each hour of raiding you will do.

You should also have a good stock of Mythical Mana Potion and Mythical Healing Potion.  I try to keep at least 10 of these on hand at all times.


You will be called upon to provide refreshments for the raid, so be sure to have enough Arcane Powder for a couple tables (because inevitably someone will miss the first one that you drop).

You should also check that you have at least one Rune of Portals for the end of the raid.  Is this absolutely necessary?  No, but your raid leader will thank you for it and it is nice to stay within their good graces and offer services without being asked.

Profession Materials

Cook -- Purchase materials for the Seafood Magnifique Feast (at least 10).

Engineer -- Make sure you have the materials for Jeeves, so that nobody has to waste time running back to a city for repairs.

Alchemist -- Double check your mats for a Big Cauldron of Battle.

General Items to Double Check

Have you made a fresh set of Mana Gems?
Is your gear in good repair?
Do you have new gear that needs to be gemmed or enchanted?
Are you wearing your fishing pole or chef's hat?  If so, for pity's sake, take them off!  (Don't laugh, it happens!)
Are all of your add-ons current?  Do you need to run any updates?
If you are a frost mage, be sure to always have your elemental out.
Mage Armor only!  Anything else will cause you to run out of mana too quickly.
Have you watched a video of the fight or read up on it?

Did anything get left out?  What else are you sure to always have when you run raids?