Thursday, February 3, 2011

Baradin's Hold: Cliffnotes Version

In keeping with the recent trend of "Ful finally experiencing raiding," I weaseled my way into a BH group the other day. I mentioned that I'd been mucking around in TB, and it amazed me to zone in and see that we had won they day and were finally on the defending side. Of course, we were successful in our defense, which led to an outbreak of BH groups forming. Good times.

Now, my gearscore is not the highest (I'm just raid ready, I think at like 349 average ilevel or something... most of the other folks were announcing 350+ numbers. Edit: Fixed thanks to a helpful comment from Goodmongo... I got the last two digits right, but the first one seems not to stick for me.), and I don't have the achievement, so that puts me at an immediate disadvantage for being invited along. Flash back to days spent in the schoolyard being the last one picked for kickball teams. (That's not true, I had a helluva leg, so I generally got picked early. Still, there were days when you were persona non grata for whatever reason and left 'till last just for spite. Kids are mean like that.)

So I wandered around doing the dailies, halfheartedly keeping an eye on general and throwing up the ubiquitous "Lock lfg BH." I couldn't add cool things like "insane DPS," unless they're really interested in my state of mental health. You see, I find myself somewhat behind the gear curve of the general BH pugging crowd. Thus, when a random Warrior called out "LF2M any DPS, pst," I jumped on it and an invite soon followed. He didn't even require me to link the achievement that I didn't have. My first thought was: surely this must be a fail group.

I hunkered down, expecting an arduous run. I pulled up the strat on my other screen and read through it whilst the group was congregating. I plopped down cookies and readied a soul stone. In short, I did everything a good 'lock should.

The run began... and ended a short 30 minutes later with a one-shot on the big guy. Color me pleasantly surprised. Loot was distributed fairly after rolls. People were generally nice and friendly. No one got called out for sub-par DPS (though someone did link the recount). I'm happy to say that in our 10-man group, I was 4th (out of 6) on the DPS meter pulling in a solid 12k. Sure, I'd like to be higher, but given my gear level, I think that was pretty solid.

With the achievement now under my belt, I thought I'd give this cliffnotes thing another try. Yesterday's boss fight didn't really lend itself well to a short summary, but BH is exactly that. It's meant to be pugged, just like VoA was, and so the mechanics are pretty simple. As a DPS you want to be aware of three things:
  1. Stack on your assigned tank. The RL should designate two groups, each with a tank, and you need to stack with everyone else. This allows you to share the damage of one of the abilities (meteor strike I believe).
  2. Avoid the Fel Fire. At 66% and 33%, he'll start dropping flames on the ground that will cause the group to scatter. Simply stay out of the bad. Move just a step or two to the side to conserve space. They're not very big patches.
  3. Watch your threat. This is a DPS race with tank swapping. If you're undergeared like I am, threat shouldn't be a problem. However, any time there is movement and tank swapping, you need to be aware of your threat.
That's it. Only three things to keep in mind. Otherwise, DPS your little heart out because he has a 5 minute enrage timer. We had about 1 minute to spare. The RL should indicate where each group is standing, but if not just follow the crowd. Basically one will be to the right and one to the left. Be sure you know where you're supposed to be (if it's not been made clear... ask!). Our RL made great use of the new raid color spotlights and even assigned marks to them. It was well done.

I would suggest running it a few times, as it's a great fight to tune a rotation on. There is just enough movement that you have to be moderately aware of your surroundings, but it's calm enough that you can focus in on button presses and what's coming next. I blew all my shards, didn't overlap any with heroism, and even pulled out my Doomguard. I can't say that always happens on all fights, because a lot of the time other things become more important (or I just fail to realize that someone has popped heroism). I also got to DI a S-priest, which was funny because we had a little whisper fest before the raid that went something like this:

Me: Mr. Priest, are you rolling as shadow on this fine day?
Priest: Yay! A 'lock! OMG. /flail
Me: I'll take that as a yes?
Priest: Most definitely, good sir.
Me: Wahoo. For pwny! /cast DI
Priest: Indeed.

Shadowpriests are swiftly becoming my new best friends.


  1. BH is a fun aff fight :)

    Just make sure you pop your Demon Soul as much as you can. I tend to pop the doom guard as soon as we engage. Are you pre-sharding?

    Shadow priests are awesome for DI :)

    You did pretty damn good on your dps. I am raid geared and I pull about 14k on that fight (10 man) so you are doing great! :)

    Are you running with your puppy or the succi?

  2. I was running Puppy and I do not pre-shard... fwiw.

    Pre-sharding is a pain in the ass if you ask me. :-)

    I *need* to be running with my Succy again, but I'm hold off until 4.0.6 to re-evaluate everything.

    I got my Demon Soul off once near the start.

    Considering all that and my GS... yeah I'm pretty happy with a 12k output. There is always minutia to work out, but I'm feeling fairly comfortable with the basics.

    Oh, and also, as per my UA v FF discussion a few days ago... I mostly used UA but did throw a few FF's out there when avoiding the bad FF. Interestingly, for me it's become somewhat of a reflex: when I move I immediately tap FF.

  3. Haha epic /flail!

    This is truely a holy pally friendly fight. With people stacking and within melee range of the boss, I was in nirvana.

    My guild 2-healed this (10man of course) last week. I'm ok geared healer...for heroics. My ilvl was 333 to 340 at the time, the other holy pally was better geared, but in PVP gear. Because of the mechanics of the fight, I could Crusader Strike to generate free Holy Power. That plus my Holy Shock, meant an endless stream of Light of Dawn heals on my STACKED raidmates. This of course procs Protector of the Innocent, which heals me. All this awesome healing then funnels to the beaconed tank.

    During the fel flames I cast Holy Radiance, which gives me that mini-sprint, which keeps everyone up even if they happen to stand on the bad.

    We even get stuff to dispel. Its pally love I tell you.

    This has inspired me to write my own little BH strat, from a holy healer perspective.

  4. I will mention.. there's not -alot- we can do about it.. but the magical debuff that's cast in the fight is usually the reason groups wipe. That NEEDS to be removed. We -could- do it by using our imp and casting Singe Magic.. by my debuff cleansing fingers are rusty.. it's better to have more practiced hands handle it.. if they can. That said, when we're forming up I try to whisper the person running the show and remind them to remind the group to cleanse the debuffs.

    Other than that.. yeah.. pretty easy fight.

    I put my demonic teleport right under the spot where my tank is supposed to be standing. Then, when the fire dies down I can just teleport back and go right back to pewpewing.


  5. Yeah, I'm still trying to get the hang of buffing... now you're saying I should debuff too?! That's far too helpful for a warlock :-).

  6. Did you say you were in iLvL 250 gear? Still doing WOTLK stuff. :)

  7. Is it 349 I'm looking for? Yeah I think that's it... that's what I'm sitting at. (Can't look it up at work)

    I know the last two digits, the leading one seems to meld together for me.

    I'll fix it in the post...

  8. If you are 349 then you are already ready for raiding. Most people are raiding at 340 ish. You only need to be 329 for heroics.

    Just check your character sheet and the ilvl shows up there.

  9. Right. My point was just that I'm not "well-geared" yet... just "geared". Most of the people I was running with were 350+ scores.

    The issue was that I couldn't check my sheet from work (where I do my writing usually).