I had written a rather detailed and extensive review of Karazhn after last week instance reset, however, Blizzard retuned the entire instance, making significant changes to the encounters, and thus invalidating nearly everything I had to say. After a week of relearning these encounters, I have rewritten my review.
Karazhan is an amazingly well designed raid zone. As the first of a rather extensive end-game, designed for The Burning Crusade, Karazhan provides cutting edge encounters and gear, on the standard 7 day instance timer, with just 10 people required as opposed to the antiquated 40+ man raids of yesteryear.
Karazhan has changed considerably in the past seven days. Last week, in Militiae Templi's first foray into the tower of the Archmage, Medivh, we ran two raid teams through, and cleared up to the final boss of the instance, Prince Malchezzar. With few exceptions, the instance was shaping up to be a loot pinata, until the re-tune when mildly challenging has become unbelievably difficult and completely unforgiving. Grats to Blizzard on recognizing the need for a change, and fixing this zone before it was too late.
Gone are the days of 15 skilled, prepared raiders carrying a 40 man raid on auto-pilot through high end content. In every fight of Karazhan, one mistake is all it takes to wipe a raid, and every member of your team has many opportunities to make those mistakes.
Karazhan is located in the southern most section of Deadwind Pass, and requires an extensive attunement quest to gain entry. Every member of your raid must have The Master's Key in their Keyring, similar to the Onyxia raid encounter. Details of the attunement chain, can be found all over the web, though I recommend Wowhead for your Burning Crusade information needs.
You enter the tower and are greeted by a green con NPC who grants you your first quest and offers information about the instance. To your immediate right lies the Servants Quarters, home to elite spiders, bats and hounds. When the entire area is cleared a silver elite 'boss' spawns, and drops one epic item 'of Random Enchantment.' It is often better than current gear, however we consider it a waste of time and skip it. To your right up the stairs is access to the Guests Quarters, the Dining Room, The Opera House and beyond.
You will be heading left first, to The Stables. The Stables are on a strict 30 minute spawn timer, and if you pass this time, you will have to start over before attempting to fight Attuman the Huntsman and his steed, Midnight. This area consists of various packs of Spectral Steeds and Spectral Stablehands, which can be CC'd with Shackle, Ice Trap and Pally fear if necessary. DPS the Stable hands first as they can heal the Steeds, and have low HP. The Steeds hit like Mack Trucks and randomly Intercept, so keep an eye on the healing here, and try to keep your pace, as you are on a clock.
A well executed clear takes less than 15 minutes, and you are soon facing a non-aggressive Midnight. When spoken too, Midnight attacks, and at 95% health, Attuman spawns. Off-tank Attuman and continue to DPS Midnight. At 25% Attuman mounts up and their health is restored to full. DPS the mounted Attuman down and collect your epics.
To your left is another green-con NPC, and the objective of your first quest. Kill the mobs around him and turn it in. He will send you to the Guest Quarters to retrieve a book. Incidentally, at honored with The Violet Eye, he will also serve as your Blacksmith for repairs and vendoring trash drops. He also has a few epic Blacksmith patterns for sale.
Here, it is recommended that you return to the entrance and proceed up the stairs to the Ballroom. In front of you are packs of non-elite Spectral Guests who can be AOE'd down, but hit incredibly hard on your casters. Mixed in, are single pull, elite Spectral Valets and Skeletal Waiters. These guys can two shot well geared tanks with untimely crits and have a debuff that reduces armor to zero. Do your best here until you get the hang of it, and remember to just release and run back when you die. This can be zerged if needs be.
You do not need to clear every pack here, simply the wandering patrols and the two large packs in front. You are headed left eventually, so have your puller creep into the room and pull the table of dinner guests back to your position on the stairs. More AOE packs here and a few Waiters and Valets. Once the first wave is down, move into the Dining room, and stand on the first table to finish clearing the room.
Here you will see Moroes the Tower Steward for the first time. He is surrounded by four named elite mobs who are part of his event. They are four of six possible adds, and their name indicates their class and ultimately, how to deal with them during the encounter.
Lady Catriona Von'Indi - Holy Priest
Baroness Dorothea Milstipe - Shadow Priest
Lady Keira Berrybuck - Holy Paladin
Baron Rafe Dreuger - Retribution Paladin
Lord Crispin Ference - Protection Warrior
Lord Robin Daris - Mortal Strike Warrior
After numerous attempts to off-tank, shackle, trap and so on, we determined that the best method for controlling this encounter is to kill three adds and Shackle only one. Ideally, you will be perma-shackling Crispin, as he hits lightly yet has a ton of armor and HP, thus takes forever to kill. Your kill order should be Catriona, Keira, Dorothea, Rafe then Robin, depending on which of the six you get. In the meantime, Robin is a priority for CC as his DPS is high and one untimely Mortal Strike on your tank is GG.
Kill your three then target Moroes. Moroes is basically a Rogue on crack, with a few abilities that must be mitigated quickly, or he will destroy your raid. The most critical is he Vanishes periodically, reappearing behind a random party member and applying a Garrotte that ticks for 1000 dmg and lasts for 5 minutes... ya that's right, over 100,000 total damage. This can be removed by Ice Block, Blessing of Protection and the quest reward from EPL, The Luffa. Go get it or petition a GM to replace it if you sold yours. Leave Garrottes on your tanks and just heal through it, in order to save your BOPs for your healers and casters. Moroes also blinds and gouges your tanks, thus have two tanks fighting for aggro constantly, to avoid him leashing off your MT and slaughtering your healers. Otherwise, DPS him down, kill your fourth add, and collect your loot.
To Be Continued...