Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Valiant Efforts

We began the process of learning Illidan last night.

Vlad (Warrior) and I got together before the Raid to practice our kiting paths. It really helps that you can practice it right there with Illidan since he doesn't aggro until you talk to Akama.

After getting in some good practice and both us feeling pretty good about our readiness, we started up the Raid and got going.

Phase 1 is pretty easy. Our Main Tank Warrior (Kee) does a great job of kiting Illidan and preventing himself from getting Sheared. Phase 1 is very similar to the Solarian "Bomb". When you get the Shadow Fiend debuff, you have to get out of the raid, and over to two mages who take care of the Fiends that pop. The little Shadow Fiends tend to die very very quickly. We only wiped in Phase 1 once or twice when we lost Kee.

I would throw a couple of heals if one of our healers got the Fiend debuff, or toss my Avenger's Shield at the Fiends (to daze them) or throw it at Illidan himself. A couple of attempts I ran in to do 'melee dps'. I never let my mana drop below 85%.

Then we would move into Phase 2, and now it was time for Vlad and myself to tank the Flames. I would drop a Consecrate on the Warglaive and Exorcism the Flame who would move to my starting position. The circle around Illidan is broken into sections. We used the lines that separate the various sections like yard markers on a football field to figure out where we were and when we would need to turn around.

The Flames have as many hitpoints as some early Tier 4 bosses. They do not go down quickly.

Threat was a huge issue for both myself and Vlad. Our DPS can nip our heals in full threat gear, so you can imagine how much trouble it was holding threat in our asbestos Fire Resist suits.

DPS was constantly shifting from my Flame to Vlad's Flame, trying to make sure they didn't pull threat. The Flames do breath attack that hits everyone in a cone and can wipe out a good chunk of the raid as we found out when one of our Rogues pulled threat and the Flame turned around and breathed on the raid.

There is so much going on as you try to tank these guys. Every few seconds they drop a flame patch on the ground that you have to move them out of. You can't pull them too far away from the Warglaive that spawned them or pull them too far away from each other or they Enrage and destroy you. So you have to be watching for the flame patch and making sure you are staying in concert with the movements of your other tank.

Initially, I was moving through my kite path much too quickly, but we got that ironed out after an attempt or two.

Meanwhile, you have to keep your full threat rotation going, and be watching for Illidan's Eye Beam attack. The Eye Beam travels slowly along the ground near the kite path and leaves a blue fire on the ground that will damage anyone that gets too close. If the Beam actually hits you, it's pretty much lights out.

Eye Beam hits were responsible for most of our wipes. They have a much, much wider radius than you would think they have just by looking at the graphic. I got nailed twice by them. We changed our kiting a little bit to give us better visibility of the Eye Beams and that helped a little.

At points I couldn't see the lines on the ground anymore as everything was covered in either blue or green fire, and I accidentally kited my Flame off the path and got too far away from Vlad. Her Flame charged me, and enraged and proceeded to wreck her.

We made progress all night after a while we were successfully getting through about 50% of Phase 2.

I'd love to be able to tweak my gear a bit and get some more threat and hit points out of my gear. Right now I'm Fire Resist capped, Crit capped (can not be crit), with about 300 spell damage (about half what I usually run) and 18k hit points.

I still need more work on my kiting, and my threat generation. I hope we get another shot at him soon, but that is going to depend on how the rest of the week goes.
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