Monday, February 26, 2007

Gruul's Lair

Militiae Templi ventured into the first of The Burning Crusade 25-man raid instances last night for the first time. This instance is quite small, having only two bosses and a handful of trash pulls in the entire zone. We spent about 3 hours wiping to the fight to sort out the sorted details, then potioned up and walked away with some shiny epics.

Located in the northern reaches of The Blades Edge Mountains, Gruul's Lair is home to the evil Gronn, Gruul the Dragonslayer and his terrible legion of Ogre minions. The first of the two boss encounters in the instance, pits your raid against High King Maulgar, lord of the ogres, and his four advisers.

The advisers are:

Blindeye the Seer - Blindeye is a priest. He has two basic abilities, an AOE heal that must be interrupted by kicks, pummels etc., and a Power Word: Shield that must be DPSd through in order to interrupt his next heal.

Olm the Summoner - Olm is a warlock. Olm summons a Felhunter that is enslaveable. He casts deathcoil, and an AOE shadow DoT.

Kiggler the Crazed - Kiggler is a shaman. He uses a high damage lightning bolt, has insane melee DPS, an ability Arcane Shock which does damage, disarms and causes aggro reductions, and periodically polymorphs his highest threat target.

Krosh Firehand - Krosh is a mage. He casts a magic shield that reduces magic damage he takes by 75%. It can be spell stolen by a mage. He repeatedly casts a Fireball that deals 9000 dmg per hit, as well as an AOE fire nova centered on him that does massive damage.

This event requires precise positioning and some very specific mechanics for success. Prior to the pull, a group consisting of a Moonkin druid, healers and a hunter for Nature Aura move along the back wall to the far side of the cave, opposite Kiggler. Moonkin is the best shaman tank, as they can tank from range with spells and in form are immune to the polymorph.

Position your Main Tank in the center of the back wall. For this fight we used a feral druid to tank Maulgar, due to his high health and armor, and the spike damage caused by Maulgar is easier to withstand and heal through when your tank has 20,700 hit points.

A mage will need to tank Krosh on the right side of the raid, just below the small ledge. The mage pulls with an AP fireball and then immediately spell steals Krosh's mage shield thus reducing those fireballs from 9000 dmg to only 2250 dmg. They must have 10,000 health at a minimum, because not every fireball will be eaten by a shield, so be prepared to eat a few. Elyane, our mage, used a macro that announced to his healers "NO SHIELD, Prepare for 9000 damage!"

A warlock will be the primary tank for Olm, though you will need a warrior or bear tank to manage him at times. Olm summons a Felhunter that must be enslaved then used to tank Olm. It can Spell Lock his AOE shadow effect, resists the death coil, and takes the add out of the fight. The Felhunter will die before a new one is summoned, so your Off-Tank should be building aggro and be prepared to tank for a bit while the warlock gets the next add in position.

Maulgar is a warrior, that does massive damage, and periodically whirlwinds. He hit me for over 19,000 damage (on cloth) with a ill timed crit. Tank him against the wall, exactly where the druid or warrior set up for the pull.

The pull is the most challenging part of the event. It was chaotic and took many tries to sort out the mess to a point where our DPS could go to work in any meaningful fashion. We had our mage tank and our warlock inch up to range, and had hunters use misdirection/ aimed shot on Kiggler, Maulgar, Blindeye and Olm to their respective tanks. (Send Olm to the Off-Tank warrior, not the warlock.)

DPS goes all out immediately on Blindeye. When he dies, DPS switches to Olm and once again, goes all out. After Olm goes down, your assigned healers for those groups, should divide between your mage tank and your Main Tank, in order to further mitigate the spike damage and any unexpected events. Have a second mage building aggro on Krosh in case an untimely fireball kills your primary tank.

DPS runs around Maulgar to the far side of the cave and begins to DPS Kiggler from range. Do not melee at all, as he will own your melee and it will mess up his aggro. Have your melee run around and bandage everyone in the raid, while your DPS goes all out. After Kiggler dies, move back to Krosh, staying out of range of his Fire Nova. Same as with Kiggler, no melee DPS.

When all of the council are dead, move to Maulgar. It is important to have melee run out of range prior to the Whirlwind. Play it safe here and limit melee access to 25 seconds, as he will decimate your raid if you mistime this. DPS him hard until 50% at which time he enrages, gaining Flurry, Intimidating Shout and a random Intercept. Fear Ward if you have it, Tremor Totem, to break the fear, or have an Off-Tank positioned outside fear range and taunt him as soon as the fear goes off, to drag him out of your raid. Create a semi circle around him so that his charges do not send him into the entire raid. He would charge then Whirlwind at times last night, and it was nice to only lose 2-3 people instead of 15.

Maulgar take a bit of time to kill, but with careful aggro management and patience with your melee exposure, he is quite easy once learned. Finish him off and collect your Tier 4 shoulders and some other shiny objects.

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