Fankriss the Unyielding
Getting to Fankriss is more interesting than the boss itself. Fankriss waits at the end of a long tunnel filled with approximately 80 billion bugs. You are going to aggro these bugs no matter what, so mount up before entering the tunnel and ride through as a group. AOE the bugs down in a massive pile at the end; they'll despawn soon after death. Continue into Fankriss' room and punch him in the face. Unlike his name, he will yield very, very quickly.
Tier drops Fankriss does not drop tier tokens.
Other items of interest Yet another scanty robe! The Robes of the Guardian Saint is the same model as the other two, only in light blue. Fankriss also drops the Cloak of Untold Secrets, a striking burgundy and purple robe with insect-like trim; Silithid Carapace Chestguard, a green and gold plate chestpiece with a cool model; and the Mantle of Wicked Revenge, a blue and gold set of spiked leather shoulders. Weapons include the Ancient Qiraji Ripper, a unique one-handed sword with a bug flavor, and Barb of the Sand Reaver, a striking, bug-themed polearm.
Helpful hint If you're looking to complete the set of scanty robes, head over to the Ruins of Ahn'Qiraj next door. The first boss in the instance has a chance to drop the Vestments of the Shifting Sands, a hot pink version of the robe model.
This green ooze is in a cavern just off of Fankriss' room, and he is an optional boss. However, he also drops the first tier 2.5 tokens we've seen so far in the instance. Sound good? Well ... it is and it isn't. If you have a frost mage, shaman with Frost Shock, death knight with a frost spec, or someone else with frost spells up their sleeve, this boss will take roughly forever but he can be beaten. If you have none of these, you might just want to skip Viscidus and move on.
Viscidus doesn't hit hard or do anything noteworthy to level 85 players. He is a giant glob of ooze, and the key to defeating him is to freeze him in place. In order to do this, you need to use frost-based spells to attack him. He will use three emotes: Viscidus begins to slow, Viscidus begins to freeze, and Viscidus is frozen solid. Once he is frozen solid, hit him with every last ounce of DPS you have and shatter him; if you do not shatter him, he will thaw and the whole process begins again.
It takes ... forever to freeze Viscidus. Put on auto-attack, grab a cup of coffee, make yourself a sandwich. When you come back, Viscidus should be at 1 health. He will not die until he freezes and you shatter him, but if you're successful, you'll have tier tokens as a reward!
Tier drops Viscidus drops both Qiraji Bindings of Command and Qiraji Bindings of Dominance.
Other items of interest The only really unique items Viscidus has in his sludge are Slime-Coated leggings, a purple, pink and gold set of mail legs, and the Sharpened Silithid Femur, another one-handed sword with a cool insect-like model.
Huhuran attacks with various poisons that can be ignored. She also has a Wyvern Sting ability that is an AOE sleep effect. She doesn't do piles of damage, but the sleep can be a little annoying. Smush the pretty butterfly and collect your loot.
Tier drops Huhuran also drops both sets of Bindings.
Other items of interest Huhuran's Stinger is a bow that looks like a pink wasp's stinger. She also drops a couple pairs of gloves and some bracers, but the models aren't really interesting enough to warrant mentioning here.
The Twin Emperors: Vek'lor and Vek'nilash
These are the bosses that pretty much require at least two people to kill them -- one ranged with spell damage, and one melee. If these two bosses are tanked next to each other, they will continuously heal for 30k a tick, so they must be separated as far across the room as possible. Have a ranged caster pull Vek'lor to one side of the room and a melee player pull Vek'nilash to the other. Vek'lor can only be damaged with spells; Vek'nilash can only be damaged with melee attacks. Vek'lor will also knock back anyone in melee range, so tanks should make sure they've got their backs against a wall.
Sound simple? It's not. Every 30-40 seconds, the twins will teleport and switch places. Running across the room is pretty useless, so I'd recommend simply letting the two mobs run back to their tanks -- they will heal each other in passing -- and continuing to DPS. At level 85, you should be able to out-DPS any healing they happen to do along the way. Each boss has his own loot table.
Tier drops Vek'lor drops Vek'lor's Diadem, the tier token needed for helm items. Vek'nilash drops Vek'nilash's Circlet, the other tier token needed for helm items.
Other items of interest In addition, Vek'nilash drops Kalimdor's Revenge, a massive two-handed sword with a really cool model.
Ouro is another optional boss; however, he drops leg tokens, so I wouldn't call him "optional" at all! This giant worm makes a really big show of burrowing into the ground and smacking people around, but he's really easy to kill.
Tier drops Ouro drops both Ouro's Intact Hide and Skin of the Great Sandworm for tier 2.5 leg items.
Other items of interest Don Rigoberto's Lost Hat is a pretty cool purple and gold cloth fedora; the Wormscale Blocker is yet another unique bug-themed shield; and the Larvae of the Great Worm is a gun that looks like ... larvae. It's a pretty gross gun and should therefore be used by as many hunters as possible.
At last we come to the Old God. Once easily the most difficult and time-consuming raid fight in the game, C'thun is now a pushover. Two things to note here: First, C'thun has an ability called Dark Glare that will sweep across a large portion of the room. Don't stand in it; it can and will still kill you at level 85. Secondly, C'thun will occasionally grab a player with a tentacle in phase 2. That player will be teleported into C'thun's stomach. In the stomach, players need to quickly kill the two Flesh Tentacles that spawn, and then hop out of the green goo and onto the small platform that will fling them out of the stomach. C'thun cannot be significantly damaged in phase 2 until the flesh tentacles in the stomach are killed.
This fight used to take roughly forever and a day for a raid of 40 people, but with just a few level 85 players, you should fly through the phases and be staring at the corpse of an Old God in short order.
Tier drops C'thun drops both the Husk of the Old God and the Carapace of the Old God, which can be turned in for tier 2.5 chestpieces.
Other items of interest Death's Sting is a red and black dagger with dual stingers on the end; Dark Edge of Insanity is a massive two-handed axe with a single golden eye in the blade -- gross! The Scepter of the False Prophet is a pretty main-hand mace with a beetle emblem. And unrelated to transmogrification but utterly cool, regardless, is the Vanquished Tentacle of C'thun, a trinket that spawns a tentacle to fight for you for 30 seconds. Who doesn't want a tentacle fighting on their side?
Tier 2.5 was an attempt at innovating the way tier sets were obtained. While some of it worked, the ridiculously complicated nature of gathering so many items, plus the seemingly random way in which those items were allocated, contributed to a lot of confusion and irritation while trying to compile a tier set. Though the system is still complex, it's a relative breeze to blow through Ahn'Qiraj, and you shouldn't need more than a handful of runs to gain enough reputation for the tier pieces. If you want to speed up the rep gain, pop over to the Ruins of Ahn'Qiraj next door and clear those bosses for more Brood rep. The Ruins contain even more unique, insect-themed weapons and armor for the taking.
To date, there has never quite been a raid zone that feels as utterly foreign as Ahn'Qiraj, and there's never really been a set of raid gear as odd as tier 2.5. From breathtaking vistas to the whispers of the Old God that permeate the zone, Ahn'Qiraj is one of those raid zones that should definitely be experienced at least once. Come back next week, when we'll be picking up the first pieces of tier 4 and looking at one of my favorite raid zones in the game -- the wibbly-wobbly, timey-wimey, ghost-infested home of Medivh, Karazhan.