Saturday night, we tidily cleared out 5 of the 6 bosses in SSC. At this point, most raiding guilds today would cry, “Victory!” and move on to Hyjal and BT.
What do we do? Start grinding on Vashj. Yippee!
Actually, we are moving on to Hyjal (tonight), where we’re currently 2/5. However, our group has replaced our day in Tempest Keep (which I never liked that much) with an afternoon of grinding on Vashj. Although our first attempt went better than I expected, it was a very… very… painful afternoon.
Fight in a Nutshell
In case you don’t know the Vashj fight, here it is: utter chaos.
The fight consists of three phases. In phase one, she occasionally roots or stuns the tank and then moves to range to smack people with a multi-shot. Thus my job, throughout phase one, was to BoF myself, taunt Vashj, and bring her back to the middle.
Phase two, chaos ensues. Lots of stuff happens.
- Vashj hides behind an invulnerable shield, forcing you to play with her minions. She’ll also blast you with a little chian lightning for fun.
- Water elementals start pouring in from all four directions, and small teams (2 DPS and 1 Healer) need to kill them. If they reach Vashj, she gets stronger (5% damage buff).
- Elite Nagas spawn every 45 seconds, which the tanks pick up and the leftover DPS (usually 5-6 people) kill. They also cleave, so tell the squishies to keep away.
- Elite Striders spawn every 60 seconds. They destroy things in melee range, so someone (often an Affliction Lock, but we tried a Marks Hunter) has to kite them while the DPS kills them. They also have a small AoE fear, and when they fear the Naga tanks… it’s not pretty.
- Every 50 seconds, a Tainted Elemental (poison elemental) spawns. When they die, they drop a special item (a Tainted Core). Once you pick it up, you can’t move – so you have to play Hot Potato Meets Ultimate Frisbee and get it to a person standing next to a shield generator. Once the Generator is used by a person holding a Core, one of Vashj’s four shields goes down and she loses 5% of her life.
How do you get out of Phase 2? Simple! Control the adds, kill them so they don’t pile up, and destroy 4 shield generators.
Oh, maybe that’s not that simple.
How Did We Do?
Surprisingly, we moved through Phase 1 fairly easily. On the first attempt, no one died. The other tank and I were a bit slow about picking up Vashj after the roots/stuns, but we quickly got the hang of it.
Throughout the afternoon, we only wiped once on Vashj. That was when the healers neglected to heal me after I picked up Vashj. Oops. Pay attention.
Phase 2 is another story. We did manage to handle the Tainted Cores fairly well, and we generally got at least one or two of them dunked in a Shield Generator. The adds, however, never got handled well.
The tank and I did a fine job of picking up the Nagas (with the help of a MD’ing Hunter). Problem? Our DPS didn’t kill them quickly enough. The first attempt, there was no DPS on it besides the two tanks. Oops. In successive attempts, we would DPS them down steadily but it would fall off as soon as a Strider appeared and people switched to kill it.
The Striders, for the most part, went uncontrolled. Our Hunter had a lot of trouble kiting them. Early on, he wasn’t getting enough aggro. Then, he was taking 20-30 seconds before calling out for DPS. More often than not, a wipe would begin with him getting smashed by a Strider that had caught up with him.
In the meantime, the two tanks would be picking up 2 or 3 Nagas. Not good.
It is pretty clear that you need to kill the Elite Adds as they spawn and not let them pile up. More than one Strider is no good, because that makes kiting them terribly hard. Two Nagas are controllable, but it’s usually symptomatic of a back-up. It’ll also be bad if you enter Phase 3 (more or less a repeat of Phase 1) with 2+ Nagas up.
Anyhow, it was a relative success. We learned the fight, we made some progress. Next week, we’ll do a little bit better.
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