Monday, May 4, 2009

VoA Emalon Strat, Tips, and Tricks

If you've run the Vault recently or read about the game compulsively (likely if you're here), you probably already know there is a second baddie in the Vault. Archavon apparently decided to call in the big guns after getting beat on for a few months.

Enter his big brother: Emalon (are they actually related?). Emalon comes with four elemental adds. Batteries not included. Not suitable for toons under geared.

I actually haven't had much chance to go up against him since the initial blitz the first few days where everyone was complaining about wiping. This fight is actually not very PuG friendly, which is probably a good thing since it drops emblems equal to Ulduar (10 and 25 man respectively). Still, I wanted to throw out a few tips and tricks we learned the hard way (via going without guides on the first few days and just trying to learn it "on the fly").

First, here is the quick version of how the fight goes: You're going to want two tanks, one for the big guy and one for the adds. Both need to be tank geared and specced to tank some pretty decent damage. Your add tank will want to pick the fight by calling the adds all sorts of names, preferably how their mother is the big ugly thing standing in their midst. That'll piss everyone off, which is your goal. The second tank will want to peel the big ugly off and tank him to the back corner for his beat down.

Positioning is key on this, so make sure your add tank is at least 20 yds from the place where the big guy is tanked. Usually we do this with the main tank on the front right "green ball" thingy in the room and the add tank diagonal from them at the base of the steps. All of the ranged folks are going to want to spread out and stay spread out since he does a chain lightning attack that multiplies based on how many people it his. Thus, spreading out minimizes the attack and makes it manageable.

Here's a quick list of the three attacks you need to watch out for:
  1. Train Lightning Surprise (aka Chain Lightning) - Multiplies based on how many people it hits. Not so bad on its own. Hits like a train if you're not spread out.
  2. Super Nova Special (aka Lightning Nova) - Something like a 20k insta-clubbing. Melee will need to run out to avoid this. Luckily, he makes a big production of when he's going to do it, so you just need to be attentive.
  3. The Living Time Bomb of Death (aka Overcharge) - Randomly picks one of the four adds, heals it to full, and makes it huge. After about 10s it explodes, pretty much wiping your party. You gotta DPS race it to death. (which is, you know, awesome for affliction warlocks). This ability should actually announce itself in your chat and raid.
With that in mind, you just need to get the positioning down and then go to down on the big guy. As soon as he starts the time bomb ticking, you'll need to switch all DPS over to burn that sucker down. We've found it really helps if someone can watch the timer between time bombs to give the melee a head start to get over to the add tank. Also, to make targeting easy, recall that the time bomb will be the one that is larger than usual and also that just got healed to full. This makes it a little easier to pick out from a crowd. Also, if you use DBM, he gets a skull I believe.

After you burn the bomb before bursting, baby, you're all going to go back to the boss. At this point, you've got the fight down except for one small trick for your add tank. You see, the boss has a fetish with the number four and won't be happy until he's respawned one of his precious adds. This dude spawns from the boss with a fresh aggro table. That means its probably going to bee-line it for your MT healer. If your add tank anticipates this, they can have a taunt ready to go and the world keeps on spinning. If not, you can lose a healer pretty damn quick.

We've also had our main tank and/or another DPS plate wearer pick this guy up initially to keep it off the clothie and give our add tank more time to pick it up, but the ideal thing here is to trust your add tank to be quick on the keys.

Once you get that guy safely picked up again, you're back where you started and you just rinse and repeat until the boss falls. There is an enrage time, so you can't dawdle, but if you can down those pesky adds quick enough, you probably have the DPS to beat the big guy in time too. Just try to be as efficient as possible with your switching.

There are two other little tricks we've used to make this a bit easier too.

First, if you all stack up behind the tanks at the start, it can make the pull a bit cleaner. We were having our pally tank shield pull the adds, but this means one add doesn't get hit and would often veer off to the nearest person on the steps while the rest were running at her. Stacking up behind her avoids this as they have to run through her consecrate to get there. The main tank just runs right through her stuff to taunt the boss and start getting set up. Everyone else gives it a second, and then runs to positions.

Second, we try to let the add tank know exactly where our main healer is going to to be standing. Trying to pick out the healer after that add spawns when you're all spread out can be tough on a tank. Make their lives easier by letting 'em know where you'll be. It's to save your life, after all.

Finally, there was one thing we never figured out how to deal with. When we switch to DPS the time bomb add, how does one counter a chain lightning attack during that time? We were running melee heavy and having four toons including tank plus four adds in there creates a massive chain lightning that has one shot our poor tank on a couple occasions. I'm not sure there is a solution for this other than don't do it with three melee DPS and/or hope that he doesn't do his lightning attack during that 10s window. Any thoughts on that would be appreciated.

I know there are probably other, better guides out there, but I wanted to make my slim contribution to the interwebs, since I was proud that we basically learned this stuff on our own before later consulting a guide on wowwiki and saying: yeah, we were doing that right. I wonder if anyone's been having a lot of success with pugging this one? It would seem to require a lot more communication unless you happen to be in a crazy uber group. Any of the rest of ya's got some good tips for this?


  1. I've only been the add tank for this fight & I must say...


    /spit on ground

    I'm tried a slew of things with these adds & none of them to really help. The four adds on you account for 2k a hit each. Nothing crazy mind you but when you have to go & play where's the add, now, you have 3 adds on your back smackin you around a bit.

    My first instinct was to tab target around to find the add who didnt have a mark on him & taunt him. Welp, that failed because it would go for a clothy and they would get 3 whacked in that short time.

    Second, I figured out that it would go for the MT healer so I put her on Focus & when the moment her heath started to faulter, I would taunt. That worked quite well until the add decided to not play nice & go after someone else.

    The furthest we've ever done on this guy was 60% with two adds downed properly.


    "Fuubaar pick up the adds"

    Dear Lord NO!!!!!!

  2. I thought it was just a new guy that moved into the Vault apartment space that was for rent... if Emalon is Arky's brother.. well, no wonder he didn't like my break up letter. /shameface

    I don't really have much to add about tips and tricks since I have not seen him go down successfully yet. Although, truth be told, I've only been part of 1 attempt at Emalon thus far... the other chances I had were in PuGs that were not well, sufficient.

    We did try marking the adds, to try and make it easier to switch to Em's chosen one. This fight definitely seems to take some coordination. I'm glad to see something a bit more challenging, but it's such a slap in the face after huffing and puffing to make Archavon fall over. :P

    I'm not sure what you have noticed for DPS "requirements." I heard that 2500 DPS is minimum for 25 man Emalon, but not sure what the desired minimum is for 10man... anyone know? Or hear/experience anything different?

  3. I've done it in both modes; as range dps I didn't really notice any difference between the two fights, except it seemed easier to wipe in 10 man from pulling adds off the off-tank.

    The biggest problem you will face, though, is targeting and getting the exploding add down quickly enough.
    I found that tabbing worked best, as this add always has more health than the rest. Waiting for a skull to appear or someone else to mark it, takes way too long.

    As Affliction, you are indeed dependant on your burst damage compatriots to do most of the damage on it, but that has always been the case (fish tanks in Steam Vaults, anyone?).
    Just be happy in the knowledge that between the add phases, you are putting a big dent in the main man.

  4. OH EM GEE
    Emalon square pants...

    So, the first time I went in there, it was with a guild run of whatever we could put together on a weekend afternoon. With all the changes we hadn't paid much attention to Emalon squre pants and figured, we'd just run in blind and give it a shot.
    SO...we go in, pally tank the adds (shield 3, misdirect 4th) and tank pick up boss. Let pally get aggro on adds, then AoE them down and take care of the boss. Worked flawlessly...until the adds respawned....all of them..........
    So as they were trying to get tanks on those guys...all of a sudden...we all die.
    Laying there on the floor, the only thing we could muster up was, "Damn...we didn't even have time to que up the Benny Hill Wipe (theme) Song!"

  5. I would think the desired minimum to be 2k... that's "pulling your weight" IMO. We did this successfully last night with some over and some under (I was nearer to 3k for instance), so it really depends on the make up too. I'd say you could do it if you have good burst damage classes that are putting out 2k.

    As far as targetting goes, I always have the little health bars displayed above their head and I find a spot where I'm at max range to see those bars on the adds and still in range of the boss too and not near anyone (position is key and a pain). It's pretty easy to see which bar gets healed to full once he overcharges IMO, so then I just click on it and go to town. Tab is great if you hit him on the first try, if he's last... its not so great. Or, if, like me, you would cycle through ten times because you just keep missing it in your frantic efforts to find it! That's me though :-).