Archive for the ‘Shadow’ category

Boss Tactics: Nightbane

February 22, 2008

As a side note, I’m going a little out of the order I had planed on but these are the fights I have good screenshots for.  Deal with it 🙂 

Nightbane is usually one of the last fights a guild will attempt. You have to complete the Medivh’s Journial quest line order to summon him and it’s usually a good idea to have the Prince fight mastered before you attempt Nightbane. If your tank can handle Prince and you have enough DPS to get through it, Nightbane isn’t much harder.

Encounter Mechanics

Nightbane is an alternating 2 Phase fight; he takes off into the air at 25%, 50%, and 75% health. Positioning is key for this encounter. The tank needs to stand in a specific spot in order to pick up Nightbane when he lands. What we call the “magic skull” is in the picture below (Yellow Circle on the right). It tends to shift in and out of view so you may have to move your camera angle to find it. Have your tank stand on the outer wall directly across from that skull for a clean pick-up (Green Circle on the left, also the guy marked with the circle in-game). Everyone else needs to stand at max range to avoid getting squished if the pick-up isn’t perfect.


Ground Phase 

Nightbane has a frontal attack and a tail swipe so the raid needs to stay at range and Nightbane needs to be positioned properly:


He should be perpendicular to the railing so that melee can get close enough to attack and ranged won’t get hit by the frontal or tail attacks, as shown above. Melee should aim for his ribcage. In addition Nightbane periodically does an AOE fear, Tremor Totems are helpful and Fear Ward should be on the tank whenever it’s available but stance-dancing is a must so that Nightbane stays in the correct position (if the tank runs in fear, Nightbane is going to follow him and tail-swipe the raid). The strategy we use is to have the ranged split up between the north and south sides of Nightbane, with at least one healer on each side. That way if one side gets feared or gets trapped behind Charred Earth out of range, the other side is there to keep the tank alive.


The last hurdle in the ground phase is that patches of Charred Earth will appear on the ground that will damage anyone standing in it. The picture above is a little hard to see, but you can see the patch of Charred Earth, and Deadly Boss Mods has put “Charred Earth” in the middle of my screen.  If you’re having trouble seeing the Charred Earth, turn your Spell Detail up. Keep moving away from the Charred Earth until the warning goes away since the visual edges of the area aren’t quite the same as the actual edges.

Air Phase 

When he takes off into the air, a few things happen. Nightbane will cast “Rain of Bones” and you will get 5 non-elite skeletons that need to be killed. They have about 13.5k health.


It is best for the raid to stack up on one person to the side of where Nightbane was so that the tank can pick up the adds easily. As you can see, we are basically standing on top of each other and the Restless Skeletons are all in easy range for the tank to pick up.  We have found that it works best for the adds to be focus-fired down as AOE tends to be too mana intensive. Choose one DPS and assist them (create a macro that says “/assist PlayerName” or if you want to be more generic, “/assist focus” and set your focus to whoever your raid chooses). You do need to be careful about where your raid stands, anyone who gets more than 40 yards away from where Nightbane lands will get hit with Fireball Barage, it hits for about 3k a second.  If you split the raid the other side should still join the group for the air phase and stay until Nightbane is properly positioned. Then they can run through Nightbane’s ribcage to the other side.

The person with the highest healing aggro in the air phase gets hit with Smoking Blast. This is mitigatable by armor so if you have a Pally they should spam heal to take the damage (read Galadria’s article about it, most of the good info is in the comments). Nightbane will also cast Distracting Ash on random raid members.  This does very little damage and is’t really worth the mana to dispell.  Once the adds are down, the tank should return to the pick-up position and the raid stay at range until Nightbane is positioned properly.

A big thing to realize here is that most healing groups can’t be responsible for EVERYONE’s health. Nightbane hits like a freight train and healers need to conserve mana to make sure the tank stays alive. DPS needs to carry heave Netherweave Bandages, use Healthstones if available and if possible save potion cooldowns for health pots.

This fight requires everyone to be on their game. Tanks need to know how to effectively work around the fear and have the gear to deal with a heavy hitter. Healers need to be able to heal the tank and deal with possible widespread raid damage. Most importantly everyone has to be aware of their surroundings! Each person is responsible for knowing if they are standing in Charred Earth and get out of it as quickly as possible.

Shadow Priest Specifics from Vladvin

In this encounter you might want to be careful about using SW:D. If you’ve just gotten a crit and Charred Earth comes up right below you it could mean bye-bye mana battery. I’m not telling you not to use it, just be careful. Use your bandages and healthstones. This fight can be very healing intensive so be responsible for your own health bar. Be careful with range. You’re going to have to be closer in order to be within Mind Flay range so you have less wiggle room to get out of Charred Earth and not get close enough to be tail swiped. Just be aware of what’s going on around you.

Holy Priest Specifics from Galadria

This fight can be very healing intensive. Nightbane hits really hard and if you have raiders who aren’t used to being mobile in boss fights there can be a lot of raid damage from Charred Earth. Priests are probably better for raid healing in this encounter. Keep a Frisbee and Renew on the tank and throw heals to anyone in the raid who needs them. In phase 2 you’ll need to hold back on doing anything for a little bit. Let someone with more armor take the aggro for the Smoking Blast. Right when the Rain of Bones starts I like to Frisbee my self, Fade, and Shield. If you do get some attention from Nightbane in phase 2 make judicious use of Binding Heal, it’s got less threat and will heal someone else who needs it. This can be a long fight so it’s a good idea to use your Shadowfiend and potions early so you can use them again late in the fight.

Key Players

Any player with any ability to provide protection against fear is nice in this encounter, especially if your tank isn’t a Warrior.

Some strats out there will tell you to take up to 5 healers. That simply isn’t necessary, in fact you’re more likely to get good use out of extra DPS to make the fight go quicker. This fight (as do many others) tends to get harder the longer it goes on.

Priest Loot

Object of the Encounter

Nightbane and Prince are what I would call “raid check” fights. These encounters will tell you if your raid is ready to move on to harder content. Your tank has to be able to handle a hard hitter. Healers need to be able to handle the incoming damage. Your DPS needs to be strong enough to get you through the fight at a reasonable pace. Everyone has to be mobile and aware of their surroundings. All of these are important for moving on to 25-man content.


Guy: Listen to me ___. I’m not the first guy who fell in love with a woman that he met at a restaurant who turned out to be the daughter of a kidnapped scientist only to lose her to her childhood lover who she last saw on a deserted island who then turned out fifteen years later to be the leader of the French underground.
Girl: I know. It all sounds like some bad movie. 



Boss Tactics: The Curator

February 21, 2008

In order to get to Curator you’ll need to go in the back door.  After leaving the front door, go down the path a little ways and you’ll see a small river on your left, cross the river and go around the corner of the building.  Go up the stairs, and up, and up, and up until you cross a small bridge and enter the back door.  Once you get inside go to your left and up the ramp, then up more stairs, until you get into Curator’s room. [Edit: see comments, there is a second way to get to the back half of Kara]

Encounter Mechanics


Curator is an alternating 2 phase fight. Once you have cleared the trash pulls around the room Curator pats in (be very careful, his agro radius is HUGE, you mostly have to glue your butt to the wall) you need to organize your raiders before pulling. All ranged DPS and healers need to spread out in 2 or 3 rows, using Deadly Boss Mods to space yourselves properly (you won’t be able to space out all the way before pulling and DBM won’t show up until you engage, but you need to be organized and know which row you will be in before pulling).  You can see our group spread out behind Curator in the screenie.


Every 10 seconds Curator will spawn an Astral Flare (shown by the yellow arrow above). The flares have a chain lightning that will damage anyone near and chain to others. Melee can follow the flares around and help kill them, but it’s important for the ranged to stand still. They will get hit with the lightning, but if they move around it will just spread the lightning around to more people. Flares need to be burned down quickly, if you get 2 or 3 Flares out at the same time it can easily wipe your raid. To facilitate targeting it is a good idea to use a targeting macro: /target Astral Flare. Once a Flare goes down start spamming the macro and as soon as you get the next one targeted resume DPS.

Curator’s other ability in Phase 1 is Hateful Bolts. He will throw a Hateful Bolt to the raid member (excluding the tank) with the highest health. This can easily be healed through. If you have a tank with some Arcane resist gear you can have him be the bolt soaker, just make sure to have a healer assigned to top him off. Since the Bolt soaking tank will need to be at high health all the time he needs to stay with Curator and not DPS the Flares.

When Curator runs out of mana, he goes into Phase 2, called Evocation just like a Mage, and regens all of his mana. He takes 200% [Edit, see comments: WoWWiki says 300% damage, I’m not sure I belive that, but the point is that he takes LOTS of extra damage!] damage during this phase and there is no aggro so all out DPS is called for. However, any remaining Flares need to be taken care of before DPS on Curator; some groups will have melee peel off and move to Curator early to help with running time. When he has regained all of his mana he returns to Phase 1. Rinse and Repeat (In our early attempts we would go through 3 or 4 Evocations, now we get him down to about 10% in the first one).

[Edit: At 15% health Curator will enrage and stop spawning Astral Flares.  The Hateful Bolts will come more often and his melee attacks hit harder.  However with no flares it goes quickly!]

As a side note, Curator is immune to Arcane damage so all you NElf’s out there won’t be able to use Sharshards.

Key Players

Tree Druids are helpful in this encounter. The damage from flares is not significant but is wide spread and HOT’s on everyone will take care of it. I also recommend no more than 3 melee in this fight unless you have OP’ed and/or very skilled healers. An Arcane resist tank is helpful but by no means necessary.

Some arcane resist won’t hurt anyone in this fight (the trinket from one of the Kara quest chains comes to mind) but it’s not necessary and I’d almost say that it’s better to maintain higher DPS than to reduce incoming damage. If you have weak healers, it’s an option to consider.

Shadow Priest Specifics from Vladvin

This is the first fight where I’ve got something special for the Spriest! Stay on Curator the whole time. In order to be a good mana battery you need a target that will stay alive long enough to get a VE up and do some damage to it. Even with an undergeared group the Flares will only be around for 10-15 secs. That’s not enough time to do anything worthwhile. If you stay on Curator the whole time you can use your normal spell rotation and be a good mana battery (to yourself and the other casters in your raid). You do need to save the extras for Evocation. Wait to use Devouring Plauge if applicable, trinkets, and your Shadowfiend for the Evocation since they will all be more effective with Curator taking extra damage.

Holy Priest Specifics from Galadria

My usual role in this encounter is to heal the Melee DPS and keep the Hateful Bolt soaker topped off. This works quite well for us. I keep Renews on all of the Melee (and the MT) and throw a Flash Heal if necessary. When the Bolt soaker takes a hit, Greater Heal and Renew to make sure he’s topped off for the next Bolt. I also like to throw a Lightwell in the middle of the area where the ranged are standing, that way Melee can make a quick tap right after a Flare goes down and get a little extra healing before the next one. Just like the SPriests, save your Shadowfiend for Evocation, you’ll get a full mana bar with the extra damage curator takes. [Edit: Keep an eye out for the enrage, the tank will be taking spike damage, but there will be no more Flare damage]

Priest Loot

Object of the Encounter

This encounter is a gear check to see if your raid is ready to progress into the back half of Kara. Curator hits reasonably hard so your tank needs decent gear. The Flares have 12000 HP and need to be taken with in 10 seconds before the next one spawns. That means your raid needs to be doing at least 1200 burst DPS, not hard to achieve but not easy for an under geared group. This fight can be tough on healers if the DPS isn’t fast enough, but the larger hurdle that I see is healer organization. There is widespread raid damage so it can look like the healer assigned to heal the raid isn’t pulling their weight. The MT healer needs to trust that the raid healer will get his job done because if he leaves the MT to help heal the raid too often the tank can die. This is a common problem among healers and a fight like this really brings it to the surface.

Vladvin: Dr. Boom

February 19, 2008

So I was flying around Netherstorm doing some herbing and I decided to go do some experiments with Dr. Boom. I’ve never done anything with this guy… let me say, he is really cool! Perfect for testing shot rotations and specs! Here’s what I did:

  • I used my normal shot rotation (SW:P Rank 1 until 5 stacks of Shadow Weaving, VT-SW:P-DP-MB-SW:D after that recast MB and SW:D when CD’s are up and reapply SW:P when it runs out.
  • I continued until I ran out of mana
  • I was competly unbuffed 

Here’s some #’s:

  • Current Spec 20/0/41 without cutting MF when cooldowns come up – 790 DPS, 807 DPS
  • Current Spec 20/41 with cutting MF when cooldowns com up – 780 DPS
  • Old Spec 14/0/47 with out cutting MF when cooldowns come up – 870 DPS, 860 DPS

Dr.Boom isn’t a raid boss and isn’t raiding conditions, but it seems fairly cut and dried… my previous spec gives more DPS, despite what I observed previously.  Why did I think my DPS had improved?  I wasn’t using any hard data.  I was simply comparing myself to another player.  I’m guessing he had an off night and I had a good one so that despite the difference in specs we evened out.  Now that I’ve done some expirementation I think I can safely say that my old spec was better for DPS for me.  I will say that with the 20/0/41 spec I seemed to have more longevity with the reduced mana cost, but I think I’ll take the 60-80 DPS instead!

As you may have noticed, I also did some testing with MF and clipping the end off.  I wasn’t able to complete that part of the test, but it seems to be that despite what Elitest Jerks and say, it is not better to cut MF when your MB and SW:D cooldowns come up.  I plan on doing some testing on that one before I put it to rest though.

Before I close this post, a small disclaimer.  What works for me may not work for you.  I highly encourage this kind of testing to see what spec/gear/rotation will work best for the way YOU play.  The eternal caveat, be sure you’re having fun! 

Boss Tactics: Opera Event – Romulo and Julianne

February 14, 2008

These two star-crossed lovers are probably the easiest of the 3 Opera events, and if you’re not a Tailor, probably the most desired by Holy Priests; the Masquerade Gown is quite mice (and very pretty to boot!)

Encounter Mechanics

This is basically a 3 phase fight. You fight and kill Julianne, then Romulo, then both together (sound familiar anyone?). In the last phase, if they don’t die within 10 seconds of each other the remaining one will resurrect the other and you have to kill them all over again.

Julianne is a caster and can heal. She has a couple of ranged attacks that she will cast on random raid members. Romulo is Rogue-ish. He has a cleave-like ability and can also attack behind him.

Phase 1

When the curtain comes up, you will fight Julianne by herself. Her casting should be interrupted whenever possible. If you are light on players that can interrupt, focus on the heal, Eternal Affection. It heals for about 50k so this can really hurt if she gets the cast off. Devotion should be your next priority, it is a buff she gives to herself that increases her Holy damage by 50% and casting speed by 50%. Her last two abilities are Powerful Attraction and Blinding Passion. Powerful Attraction is a 6 second stun. This can be a problem if it lands on a healer, but otherwise is not a big deal. Blinding Passion is a painful DOT that totals for about 6k; it shouldn’t kill anyone that’s topped off, but whoever gets it needs to be healed.

For easy pick up in phase 3, make sure Julianne dies in a corner, I like to put her in the front right one. When she is getting low, have your Romulo tank move to the center of the room to pick him up when she dies.

Phase 2

When Julianne Dies, Romulo will spawn in the center of the room, your tank should be there to pick him up. He has a frontal cleave (Deadly Swathe) and a backwards attack (Backward Lunge) that has a knockback. For this one, instead of having the tank with his back to the wall, turn the other way and allow melee to put their back to the wall so they don’t loose time running back and the ranged just need to stay out of the Swathe. Be sure to heal through the Backward Lunge. [Edit: see comment from Mal, you can put Romulo’s back to the wall and Melee stand beside him, avoiding the cleave AND Backward Lunge]  He also has a poison attack that reduces all stats, be sure to remove this if possible since it stacks. Lastly he has a buff that he gives to himself that increases physical damage dealt and increases attack speed. This should be stolen or dispelled if possible.

We like to put him in the back left corner (basically as far away from each other as possible for phase 3). Just as before, your Julianne tank should move to her body when Romulo is getting low.

Here is a diagram showing positioning. Since I can’t seem to get an Opera that’s not BBW, you’ll just have to ignore Grandma in the middle 🙂


Phase 3

All the same abilities and interrupts apply to this phase, you just have both at the same time. There are a couple of strategies that all work for killing both within 10 seconds of each other.

First, you can split DPS. Have half your raid go to Julianne and the other half to Romulo. The RL will need to watch the health of both mobs and move DPS around as necessary. A Mage or a Hunter are good choices to move around if they aren’t going down evenly. When one dies, all DPS go to the other to make sure they die quickly.

The other option is to burn one down to about 10% and the switch to the other. When they die, switch back and finish the last one off. There are arguments both ways for which one you kill first. IMO it doesn’t really matter. Whatever you do, make sure there are enough that stick with Julianne the whole time to interrupt her. She will heal Romulo, but if you keep them separated, he should be out of range.

Key Players

Players that can interrupt are nice. Julianne casts a lot of things and if you can interrupt them all, why not do it. All of the interrupt effects work except for Silence. It is also recommended for a Mage to steal Julianne’s buff since it increases casting speed.

Shadow Priest Specifics from Vladvin

If you are the only player available to dispel, it’s probably a good idea to dispel the Blinding Passion. That’s all I’ve got!

Holy Priest Specifics from Galadria

Neither Romulo or Julianne hit very hard on the tanks so it’s not difficult to heal them. When fighting Julianne, keep the raid topped off so that Blinding Passion won’t kill anyone before you can heal them. Same thing with the Melee when fighting Romulo. You don’t want the Backward Lunge to one-shot anyone. If you have a trinket or Will of the Forsaken if you’re Undead use it to get out of the Powerful Attraction. Having a healer stunned can be difficult to deal with.

Priest Loot

Object of the Encounter

As I said with BBW, the Opera encounters aren’t very difficult, just a little chaotic. This one is probably the easiest and will test your raid leaders ability to manipulate raid assignments on the fly, and your raiders ability to follow directions.  However, Netherspite is a much bigger test of this concept!


For 10 Points:

“[talking to Anna about Bob Marley] He had this idea. It was kind of a virologist idea. He believed that you could cure racism and hate… literally cure it, by injecting music and love into people’s lives. When he was scheduled to perform at a peace rally, a gunman came to his house and shot him down. Two days later he walked out on that stage and sang. When they asked him why – He said, ‘The people, who were trying to make this world worse… are not taking a day off. How can I? Light up the darkness.’ “

Vladvin: Shadow Specs

February 12, 2008

Since there were many of you curious about the change in my spec, here they are.  I’d love to tell you why my DPS has gone up but I haven’t got a clue.  I’m just going to be happy that it worked 🙂

Current Spec

Old spec

Boss Tactics: Maiden of Virtue

January 30, 2008

This fight is optional, you don’t have to do it unless you want to get Keanna’s Log for the quest and even then you don’t actually have to do the boss to get to it, just some difficult trash pulls. The hallway leading up to Maiden has 3 rooms on the left side; you’ll need to hug the right wall as you move down to avoid the trash in the rooms. The middle room (with the Lions outside the door) has the Log in it. If you don’t want to deal with the trash, wait for a soft reset (30 mins after leaving the instance) all the trash associated with a boss will despawn if the boss has been downed. To get the Log all you need is a buddy. Get another person to form a raid group with you (open your Social tab, default key is “O”,  go to the Raid tab and at the top is a button “Convert To Raid”) they don’t even have to go into the instance you just have to be in a raid to get through the instance portal. Go in there after a soft reset and loot your Log!

Encounter Mechanics


Maiden is a single phase fight with a couple of abilities. She is a Pally and does an AOE called Holy Ground (like a Pally’s Consecrate), and is therefore hard on melee. She casts Holy Light (just like a Priest’s Holy Light but Fire damage) on a random raid member; this must be dispelled immediately as it will kill very fast. She casts Holy Wrath, a chain spell (again on a random raid member) that will chain to nearby raid members, increasing damage each time it chains. Deadly Boss Mods will tell you if you are too close (you do have DBM right?).  Every 30 secs she stuns everyone for 12 secs (Repentance). Damage will pop you out of the Repentance so this isn’t an issue for tanks and melee because of the Holy Ground. I’m sure you can see the issue here; healers are stunned. The best way to deal with this is to have a Pally cast Blessing of Sacrifice right before she casts Repentance. This will share all incoming damage and pop the Pally out of the repentance to continue healing the tank. If there is no Pally, one healer needs to put himself into the Holy Ground just before Repentance so he will be broken out (or the tank can move Maiden to the healer), move back, and continue healing. As a side note, she won’t cast the Holy Fire or the Chain during Repentance.

The usual strategy is to have all ranged pick a pillar and stand in front of it (you can also each stand between 2 pillars, doesn’t matter, just have everyone do the same thing).  You will be spaced well enough to avoid the chains and when Maiden is tanked in the middle of the platform you will be outside of the Holy Ground. Melee stand just at the edge of range in a triangular or square pattern to avoid the chain. We also have our melee run out and bandage periodically to lighten the load on the healers. If you can keep the tank alive through Repentance and dispel the Holy Fire quickly it should be an easy win.

Key Players

As I’ve mentioned, this fight is much easier with a Healadin for Blessing of Sacrifice. A Shaman dropping a Grounding Totem will help with dispelling the Holy Fire. The only requirement is to have 2 players with the ability to dispel the Holy Fire. The players directly across the circle from you will not be in range for dispelling so you need to position your 2 dispellers 180 degrees apart (I have read that if everyone comes up the steps just a little, everyone will be in range and out of the Holy Ground but I have never been able to make it work, I still recommend at least 2 Dispellers placed 180 degrees apart)

Shadow Priest Specifics from Vladvin

The main thing to note here is to make sure to refresh your DOT’s before Repentance. Even if you are overlapping them, it’s better to maintain the DPS on the boss while you are stunned. I’ve never tried this, but aparently if a Priest casts SW:D during the .5 second cast of Repentance the knockback will break you out of Repentance since it occurs after the global cooldown.  It would require some fancy timing, but a neat trick and no harm done if it doesn’t work.  Since you have the ability to dispel Holy Fire, you may need to do so to help out if a healer goes down or if your group doesn’t have enough that are able. Raid utility comes before personal DPS output!

Holy Priest Specifics from Galadria

Either a Priest or a Druid should be assigned to Raid healing.  Keep HOT’s on the Melee, but ask them to run out and Bandage if the HOT’s aren’t keeping them up.  There are several ways to aid in Dispelling Holy Fire.  There are a couple of addons that will show you who has a dispellable debuff, the one I use is SmartDebuff.  Most UI’s and Raid Frames will have an option to show who has a dispellable debuff, I use XPerl and anyone with a Disease or Magic will flash red (and most UI mods will have options for notifing you of dispellable debuffs).  Deadly Boss Mods will also flash on your screen who has it.  Your main job in this fight is to make sure no one dies from the Holy Fire.  Dispell it and get them at least close to topped off incase they get Holy Fire twice in a row.

Priest Loot

Object of the Encounter

This fight is a healer check. Moroes gets a little hectic when you get lots of Garrotes but Maiden is the real gut check for your healers. Holy Fire must be dispelled very quickly and Maiden is the first boss to hit reasonably hard and you have to deal with the Holy Ground on top of that. Your MT healer has to be on the ball to make sure they don’t get stunned by the Repentance, or all of your healers have to make sure the MT has fresh applications of ALL available HOT’s right before Repentance just in case the assigned healer doesn’t make it into the Consecration to come out of the Repentance.


One of my favorite lines from this movie:

“Spartan! ”

“Yes, Milady?”

“Come back with your shield, or on it. ”

“Yes, Milady.”

Vladvin: OP’ed Kara

January 30, 2008

We ran just about the strangest Kara ever last night.  1 Prot Pally, 2 Ret Pallys, 1 Holy Pally (yep 4 of those Blood Elf fools), 2 Resto Shammys, 1 BM Hunter, 1 Warlock, 1 Mage (who got replaced by another BM hunter after Shade). and yours truly.  The only person who was on level for the raid was the Holy Pally, hence the OP’ed comment!  It was an interesting night, most of these players are very skilled and we just tore through everything.  One tank for the entire run.  The leader asked one of the Ret Pally’s to throw on a Shield a couple of times to off-tank and she flatly said no…  I’m Ret.  Let me say that this was all in good humor, we all raid with eachother 4 nights a week; Kara is where we go to farm for badges and let off some steam.  The Prot Pally had never tanked in Kara before and did the whole thing flawlessly.  It was a blast!  We only had one wipe when the Holy Pally moved in the Flame Wreath…  nuff said.  We actually survived a Polymorph after that and got him down to 1% with nothing left but the Ret Pallys, me and the Hunter; no interrupts so he took us down quickly.  Everything else was fairly smooth.

And my stupid Handwraps of Flowing Thought didn’t drop… again…

Maiden strategty later today or tomorow.  Then probably Nightbane after that.