Ready Check is a twice-a-week column focusing on successful raiding for the serious raider. Hardcore or casual, Vault of Archavon or Ulduar, everyone can get in on the action and down some bosses. Today, we step back a little and look at endgame in the context of sports.
Ulduar. Land of legend. Realm of confused Titans. Raid of epics. Ulduar is home to some of the finest fights available in Azeroth, not to mention leagues of incredible lore. Over the next few weeks, your intrepid Ready Check columnists will be taking a look at what you should expect from Ulduar, in both 10 man and 25 man versions.
We're going to go in a simple format. We'll look at the trash before a boss, the boss, then the next trash. So, let's get started with that beautiful runway before Flame Leviathan.
There's a little extra to cover with Leviathan, because of the fight's unique vehicle dynamic. Today's Ready Check will be focused exclusively on this fight. It's not because the fight is so difficult, but because your method for fighting it has absolutely nothing to do with the class you play. You get to learn entirely new stuff for this fight.
The three parts of our Flame Leviathan guide are:
- Part I: Understand your new vehicle
- Part II: The trash before Flame Leviathan
- Part III: Fighting Flame Leviathan
Understand your new vehicles
When you first enter Ulduar, you'll come down a long stairway toward one of the most fun encounters I've ever seen. When someone talks to the Lore Keeper of Norgannon in the middle, the vehicles that will be central to the first few stages of Ulduar will instantly become available for use. There's gonna be Salvaged Choppers, Salvaged Demolishers, and Salvaged Siege Engines. These three vehicles look like the machines you probably already know from Wintergrasp, but their functions are obviously a little different. (Of course, there are no Wintergrasp choppers.)
The first thing you should know about these vehicles is that their health scales with your gear's iLevel. That means that for each gear slot, you want to be wearing the highest iLevel item available to you, regardless of your spec. Your actual base stats don't affect how your vehicle performs. Your vehicle's stats (last time) are based entirely on your iLevel.
So, what do these vehicles actually do? The Salvaged Chopper has a sonic power attack (sonic boom!), tar, and speed boost. The Salvaged Demolisher hurls boulders, barrels, and people, while its gunner uses rockets and a crate-fetching hook, and can load himself into a catapult seat. The Salvaged Siege Engine rams stuff, issues electric shocks, and charges, while its turret controller uses more rockets, fires cannons, and can put up shields.
Essentially, you can boil down your "role" in the vehicles to either "Drivers" or "Passengers."
- Siege Engine Driver: Your job will be to destroy buildings and ram bad guys (and thus stun them).
- Demolisher Driver: Let loose a torrent of fireballs and barrels to destroy enemies.
- Chopper Driver: Your number one task is going to be getting oil patches down. Occasionally, if someone falls out of their own vehicle, you'll want to swing by and pick them up so that you can carry them off to safety.
- Siege Engine Passenger: There are floating canisters of pyrite in the air. Your #1 role is to shoot them down, since that pyrite fuels everything the Demolisher does. Your Demolisher buddies will need pyrite to fuel their awesomeness. After that, shoot stuff and keep oil slicks on fire.
- Demolisher Passenger: Pick up pyrite off the ground (thanking the Siege Engine Gunner along the way), to fuel your Demolisher's abilities. Slide into the Catapult so that you can be launched at Flame Leviathan during the boss fight.
According to Arrent on Wowhead, the Salvaged Chopper gains around 850HP per additional iLevel of your gear. Its abilities are:
- Sonic Horn (20 energy) – Sends a wave of force in front of the motorcycle, causing damage to all enemy targets within 35 yards in a frontal cone.
- Tar – Drops a pool of tar for 45 sec that slows the movement speed of enemies within 10 yards. Tar can be ignited. Lasts for 45 sec.
- Speed Boost (50 energy) – Fires the fuel injectors on the bike, increasing its speed by 100% for 5 sec.
- First Aid Kit – Heals your passenger fully over 4 sec. (1 min cooldown)
- Hurl Boulder – Hurls a massive boulder into the distance, dealing damage to enemies within 8 yards of the explosion.
- Hurl Pyrite Barrel (5 pyrite) - Hurls an orb of blue pyrite into the distance, dealing damage, but consumes ammo. Also places a debuff that does damage per second for 10 seconds and can be stacked up to 10 times.
- Ram - Rams any enemies in front of the demolisher, dealing damage and knocking them back. Also deals siege damage to buildings.
- Throw Passenger - Launch a passenger into the distance. (2 sec cooldown)
- Mortar – Fires a miniature explosive blast, dealing Fire damage to all enemies in the target area, but can also damage buildings
- Anti-Air Rocket – Fires an explosive missile that explodes on contact with air targets.
- Grab Crate – Use your hook and claw to grab Liquid Pyrite off the ground, reloading the demolisher by 25 Pyrite
- Load into Catapult – Load yourself into the catapult arm, using yourself as ammunition.
Again, according to Arrent, Salvaged Siege Engines gain approximately 1700 HP per increase in item level.
- Ram (40 steam pressure) – Rams any enemies in front of the demolisher, dealing damage and knocking them back. Also deals siege damage to buildings.
- Electroshock (20 steam pressure) – Shocks all targets within a 25 yard cone in front of the caster. It also interrupts spellcasting and prevents any spell in that school from being cast for 4 sec.
- Steam Rush (40 steam pressure) – Put the steam engine into overdrive for a short duration, rushing forward, dealing siege damage and knocking back enemies. (15 sec cooldown)
- Anti-Air Rocket (10 steam pressure) – Fires an explosive missile that explodes on contact with air targets.
- Fire Cannon (20 steam pressure) – Fires a cannon blast. An imprecise hit can do as little as 5,000 damage, while a direct hit will do upwards of 120,000 damage. Does approximately 2,300 damage to buildings.
- Shield Generator – Activates the shield generator on the Siege Engine, absorbing a limited amount of Physical, Fire, Frost and Arcane damage taken for 5 sec. (1 min cooldown)
- Keep the pyrite flowing. If you find yourself without pyrite to fuel your Demolisher, you'll quickly lose most of the benefit of this vehicle. Siege Engine passengers should do their best to keep this stuff coming down from the sky, while Demolisher passengers are careful to keep picking it up.
- Burn the midnight oil. Fiery tar slicks do a lot of damage, and trap the mob inside the fire for a short time. (It's a slow-down, not a total lock-down, though.) Keeping this stuff burning will net you huge damage increases. As well, tar will keep Flame Leviathan from eating your buddies alive when he's chasing after them.