Unlike previous Firelands encounters, Alysrazor actually has some trash that has to be dealt with. My raid grouped wiped the first time we engaged it, until someone was observant enough to notice that the phoenixes on the ground were interactive.
Yes, you get to hop on a flaming bird and aim where the fireballs go. I suggest picking the two quiet players who aren't shouting "ME! ME! PICK ME! PICK ME!" to jump on the birds. You'll want to start by aiming them at the eggs on either side, as those eggs will constantly hatch mini-birds. Your raid will need to take care of the two Druids of the Flame in the middle and then switch over to the angry birds as they come streaming in.
After that, we see Majordomo Staghelm, and a short RP scene begins. I'll spare you the details of that bit. (It's just him going on about how awesome he is and how terrible the rest of us are.)
Once the encounter engages, the raid starts taking some quick raid damage. I wish more fights would start like this. It's a great way to wake up healers and to see who's paying attention and who isn't.
Eventually, some eggs will drop out of the sky. Give it a few seconds, and the eggs will hatch! Don't be close to them at all, unless you're the tank. They have a funky mechanic called Imprint where they'll immediately lock onto the closest target. You won't be able to pull threat off of them or anything. We ended up using our tanks to simply kite them around the room. We were looking for worms; if they eat the worms, they become Satiated
. If they're not Satiated, they throw a Tantrum
. We learned early on to get out of the way of the Voracious Hatchlings. The Gushing Wound
hits they deal aren't fun.
I had most of the DPS players focus on one Hatchling at the time. Despite the buffs we gained from using Molten Feathers, we weren't sure whether to divide up DPS between Hatchlings or on Alysrazor, who was flying over us in the air. One player was assigned strictly to take care of the Blazing Talon Initiates that do nothing but shoot Brushfire at us. They move fairly slowly and are easy to dodge. The danger is that if the Initiates aren't taken down and controlled, more of them will continue to spawn, eventually overwhelming the entire area.
I wish I had a chance to experience the air phase. There are these rings that Alysrazor emits in the air. If you fly through them, you gain extra flight time along with restored energy (or mana or rage or whatever). It's like playing Starfox 64
all over again.
Then it was on to phase 2.
This is the skill check phase. We got here once, and we were completely caught off guard and out of position. Using the Encounter Journal, we realized what we actually needed to do. The first thing is stay away from the middle. The second thing is to keep moving. If you see any fiery Fruit Loop rings on the ground, you can run through them.
If I numbered fire tornadoes from 1 to 6, with 1 being the closest tornado and 6 being the furthest, you'd have tornadoes at positions 1, 3 and 5 going one direction and 2, 4 and 6 going the other direction. Reminds me a little bit of Al'akir. The best way to adapt to it, I found, was to point your camera straight down, strafe through them accordingly and dodge.
Survive that? Then say hello to phase 3!
This is the burn part of the encounter. Alysrazor crash lands into the center of the room. She doesn't move. This part of the encounter lasts until her energy reaches 50. Start focusing your DPS efforts on her, as she takes 100% extra damage. If you hit her with a spell, she returns mana. Her energy is restored by a few Druids of the Flame. I'm not sure if we should have taken them out or just worked on Alysrazor herself. The call was made just to burn as much health off the boss as possible.
We didn't get very far after this phase, unfortunately.
From what I could gather in the Encounter Journal and from watching livestreams earlier in the day, Alysrazor starts burning again and pulses fire to everyone, just as in the initial part of the fight. She's also got a conical cleave effect. Don't get hit by it, as it increases your damage taken by 10% per hit (fire and physical).
When her energy reaches 100, the encounter shifts back to phase 1 mechanics with the Voracious Hatchlings and eggs.
I wish I'd had some more time with this boss. I genuinely felt we could have defeated it. It does feel a little undertuned in some aspects. I switched from three-healing to two-healing largely because I couldn't find any other healers on such short notice and the one I had bailed. It's a lot of fun, and of the three bosses I've previewed so far, this is my personal favorite. It's another test of coordination and skills. That second phase could very well crush 25-player raids.
The news is already rolling out for the upcoming WoW Patch 4.2! Preview the new Firelands raid, marvel at the new legendary staff, and get the inside scoop on new quest hubs -- plus new Tier 12 armor!