Judges and spectators were unanimous this week in their vote for Argent Confessor Paletress, moving her past Falric to the next round. As with most matches, however, it's not the victory that's the most satisfying; it's the twisted, bloody spectacle on the Thunderdome floor. From the judges, we receive a warrior's clinical dissection from Judge Rossi; a characterization of the fight based on the personalities of the combatants from Judge Zapperz; a lengthy, lore-based tale from Judge Sky Paladin; and the pragmatist's view from Judge Michael Gray.
Step into the Thunderdome with us after the break, where we'll hear the judges' decisions and get your votes on the next match, a crazy free-for-all featuring Marwyn versus all five of the Trial of the Champion PvP champions. In the words of Dr. Dealgood: "Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls ... Dyin' time's here."
Stepping into the Thunderdome, Falric found his despair no longer impending -- it was in fact upon him, as the holy rampage of Argent Confessor Paletress forced him to confess his weakness.
In the stands
- Argent Confessor Paletress 58.8%
- Falric 38.2%
- Tie 3.0%
Judge Matthew Rossi: Argent Confessor Paletress
Falric takes a dirt nap.
Not only is this a warrior/priest matchup, it's a warrior/priest matchup where her bubble actually reflects damage. We've seen her shackle both of the Twin Val'kyr, so she's not going to have any real difficulty CCing one of the adds that comes at her adds. (All of her people are priest/paladin/monk types, so two of them can wreak havoc against undead as well.) When it comes down to her versus Falric, she's going to bubble (and reflect 25% of his damage, which won't be reduced by his Hopelessness debuff, since it's purely based on a percentage of the absorbed damage) and summon something out of his memories. She'll be invulnerable behind her damage shield. If he attacks her, he'll take damage, and she can heal whatever nightmare she summons.
In the end, I don't see Falric keeping ahead of her healing while some giant, manifested nightmare beats on him. It depends on if he can stack up Hopelessness fast enough to reduce both her healing and her Holy Smite and Holy Fire damage. In the end, Hopelessness is just going to drag this thing out longer, in my opinion, and Paletress will put him down.
Judge Zapperz: Argent Confessor Paletress
Falric verses Paletress is the first semi-tough call for me. Since we have the stipulation that each of their adds are "roughly equivalent," this neutralizes the adds. This is bad news for Falric, because without this stipulation, his adds walk all over Paletress'. Paletress' adds are a mere distraction a light warmup for the main event. Falric's adds are tough, a true threat. Based on shear numbers alone, they'd take out their Paletress counterparts, then do some damage to the big lady herself -- but for this fight, they are a non-factor. I am judging this one on one.
Paletress has a few advantages here. First is her sweet yet sultry voice. Second is that outfit. Both have to be a distraction for any male. Even if Falric "swings his sword for the other team," he still has to be thinking, "Whoa, how can she wear those boots with that getup?" This gives an opening advantage to Paletress, who nails him. Falric counters with a Quivering Strike and an Impending Despair -- but Paletress is a woman who wears that outfit in public; she's a hard one to fear.
On the other hand, Falric is a guy who's done some pretty nasty things in life and death. He may have his nightmares buried deep, but Paletress burrows through his twisted subconscious, finding the worst memories, turning them against Falric. Paletress summons Waking Nightmare to take care of business. Then she bubbles, making her virtually impervious to harm. A few Shadows of the Past, an Old Wounds or two, and it's over. Falric's big attacks are based on fear, and it is difficult to fear a memory. Falric will be hard pressed to do any damage at all. Before long, Falric is lying defeated at Paletress' feet.
Judge Sky Paladin: Argent Confessor Paletress
Paletress recognized the demoralizing magic Falric was trying to use, and whilst it had no real effect on her, she knew it would begin to add up on her allies. She needed to end this quickly.
"Falric, champion of Lordaeron. I have been to the darkest places and beyond; I have seen the black hearts of men more foul than you, and I have raised them back from the precipice of madness. I can do this because I have been there myself. As I have done for many others, I shall now do so for you, even though it be against your will. Consider your past misdeeds."
Paletress blasted Falric with a Holy Nova, knocking him back and temporarily stunning him. She reached deep inside his mind and searched through his tortured life for the source of his greatest shame and fear, and found ..." (continued in the post comments)
Judge Michael Gray: Argent Confessor Paletress
I acknowledge that Defiling Horror and Hopelessness are powerful abilities, and Falric is battle-bred in the toughest five-man instance that Wrath of the Lich King has to offer. I even give a nod to his name being a clever play on "Fail." And I even have to tip my hat at the adds that could technically be considered monsters belonging to him. But all that aside, Falric just doesn't even have style. He's just kind of ... a guy. A tough guy with some cool spells, but when I think of the Halls of Reflection, the name "Falric" doesn't even pop into my mind.
Paletress, by comparison, is so rooted in the lore of Azeroth that she feels like she's been around since beta. That's right -- she's the humorously long-lost cousin of Whitemane and she's stomping around Northrend to bring some pain to the Scourge. Her actual attacks are far from weak -- who hasn't wiped to the shadowy memory of Hogger? -- and her very title is poignant and scary. She's a Confessor. It's a subtle word, but it's one that promises pain and misfortune for Falric. She's wielding the raw power of the Light, and there is no way Falric stands remotely a chance.
Paletress wins. And I suspect there would be a Hogger-based fatality.
The Laws of the Thunderdome
- The Two Bosses Thunderdome is considered neutral territory, where both combatants are able to access their usual encounter mechanics and abilities. If you can't visualize it inside the Thunderdome, visualize it someplace else -- but you must take into consideration all of each bosses' abilities and mechanics.
- Assume that each opponent is intelligent and capable of strategic thinking.
- All of the competitors' abilities, including crowd control and other effects to which bosses are usually immune, work on their opponents (with apologies to considerations of lore on this point).
- Assume that the opponents share similar levels, health pools and comparative overall damage output.
- Don't get caught up in gameplay mechanics and what actual players might do in each encounter.
- Don't neglect style, story and scale. Everything is a factor; seeking balance is your goal as a spectator and judge.
In Corner One: Marwyn
The master surveyed his kingdom and found it... Lacking. His judgement was swift and without mercy: DEATH TO ALL!
Along with Falric, Marwyn (the second boss in the Halls of Reflection) guards the way to the throne room of the Lich King in Icecrown Citadel. Marwyn becomes active on the tenth and final wave of the gauntlet of ghosts spawned to block intruders.
Marwin begins by unleashing four waves of adds. Since his Thunderdome opponents this week also deploy introductory waves of gladiators, we're going to call it even and set aside the adds on both sides.
Read more about Marwyn's battle tactics, and sift through reports from adventurers who've faced him in battle.
In Corner Two: ToC PvP Champions
Things are about to get crazy in the Two Bosses Thunderdome.
- To square off against Marwyn, we're going to pull out all five of the Trial of the Champions grand champions at once. (Players face only three of the champs during a given encounter.)
- We won't make Marwyn sully his robes by riding an Argent Warhorse or equipping a lance; everyone will be on foot for the duration of this deathmatch.
- Since the ToC grand champions send in introductory waves of gladiators, similar to Marwyn's waves of spectral troops, we're going to call it even and set aside the adds on both sides.
Consider the balance of these opponents carefully before making your decision on this fight. In order to create any sort of fair fight, the strength of the team of five as a whole must be roughly equivalent to that of the solitary Marwyn. Think of it something like a normal group encounter.
- Lana Stouthammer/Deathstalker Visceri Eviscerate, Fan of Knives, Poison Bottle
- Colosos/Runok Wildmane Chain Lightning, Earth Shield, Healing Wave, Hex of Mending
- Marshal Jacob Alerius/Mokra the Skullcrusher Bladestorm, Intercept, Mortal Strike, Rolling Throw, Whirlwind
- Jaelyne Evensong/Zul'tore Disengage, Lightning Arrows, Multi-Shot, Shoot
- Ambrose Boltspark/Eressea Dawnsinger Blast Wave, Fireball, Haste, Polymorph
Read more about the Grand Champions encounter.
Two bosses enter, one boss leaves
Two Bosses Enter matchups are about substance and style, not game play and mechanics. Don't base your strategies on player tactics, which opponent has been easiest or most difficult for you personally, or the difficulty of each opponent relative to instance progression. Vote for the spirit of the battle as set forth above. Set aside differences in opponents' health pools, game level and actual damage output. Absolutely no game-mechanic nitpicking!
The Five-Man Bosses of Icecrown Citadel and Trial of the Champion
Match 1: Bronjahm vs. The Black Knight -- THE BLACK KNIGHT
Match 2: Devourer of Souls vs. Forgemaster Garfrost -- DEVOURER OF SOULS
Match 3: Krick and Ick vs. Scourgelord Tyrannus -- SCOURGELORD TYRANNUS
Match 4: Falric vs. Argent Confessor Paletress -- ARGENT CONFESSOR PALETRESS
Match 5: Marwyn vs. ToC PvP champions
March 6: Eadric the Pure vs. Lich King
Set aside the world order -- let the Thunderdome determine who's the champion of Icecrown! Come back next week to find out who is the victor of the Icecrown-Trial of the Champions season of Two Bosses Enter, One Boss Leaves.