The azure shrine is somewhat interesting in that you need to go all around it in order to right-click the 16 shards of Jaina's staff (big, purply-looking stones) in order to spawn her. However, because the various trash pulls don't always path close to the shards, you can actually spawn Jaina without pulling a single pack. If you want to speed through this shrine, send your least error-prone DPS off to go collect shards while the rest of the group pulls trash packs. If you want to spend a ridiculous amount of time in this shrine, send your most error-prone DPS off to go collect shards, and then wipe when she blunders into a patrol, panics, and runs back to the group with a howling pack of mobs chasing her. Good times.
There's a mechanic in Jaina's encounter that will have you running around a bit, so I would recommend pulling at least two and possibly three of the trash packs: the one that paths behind you as you zone into the shrine, the one off to your right, and possibly the one off to your left. All three can technically be avoided if your group keeps itself to the small clearing where Jaina spawns, but I am a great believer in not leaving this to chance in a PUG. These three mob packs all path within a stone's throw of Jaina's area, and Murphy's Law dictates that they'll be at that extreme end of the path while people are running around trying to avoid Jaina's Frost Blades ability.
Trash is largely unremarkable except for an annoying Lightwell-type ability spawned by one of the caster mobs. This doesn't have a lot of health, but it can easily keep the mob pack at close to full health if you don't kill it. One Mangle and some change did them in.
- Blink A standard mage blink spell, which she'll usually perform right before spawning a Frost Blades. If you're tanking or DPSing, this should be within range of Feral Charge.
- Flarecore I always wondered where the random damage on this encounter was coming from, and I'm pretty sure this was it. Fortunately, every group I've had seems to have detonated this early. You have finally found a role for the group member who always stands in fire. Godspeed, you suicidal bink.
- Frost Blades This is the only ability you really have to worry about. Periodically, Jaina will spawn three large blades in a random area around the clearing that then expand and move fairly quickly toward the group. Getting hit means getting encased in a block of ice for 5 seconds. I've been lucky so far and haven't been hit, so I don't know if she drops aggro on an ice-blocked tank.
- Frostbolt Volley Annoying, and dispellable if you get bored and have a few global cooldowns to amuse yourself with, but not really deadly.
- Pyroblast Non-dispellable. This will always hit the tank. Just heal through it.
Trees This is not a tough fight, to the point where I actually wonder if Blizzard might increase her damage before she shows up on the live servers. The only thing you can dispel here is her Frostbolt Volley, and it's prohibitively expensive to do that on all five players. Heal through Pyroblast, heal the random Flarecore damage, pop Tree whenever you get sufficiently bored, and feel free to DPS just to keep yourself occupied.
I've only gotten the obsidian dragonshrine twice and on both occasions either disconnected or had the instance server crash before reaching the boss. I'm uncomfortable writing strategy for Baine as a result, but I can tell you what to expect from the trash, which is probably harder than he is.
Obsidian trash is the most dangerous in the dungeon and is actually the only trash there that's ever wiped my groups. Each pull has one Time-Twisted Breaker, one Time-Twisted Drake, and one Time-Twisted Seer, and they've all got some nasty abilities. These are the ones I noted:
- Break Armor This is a frontal cone AOE used by the Time-Twisted Breaker mob that will significantly increase the amount of melee damage you take. You can and should move out of it.
- Sear Flesh This is from the Time-Twisted Seer. Like Break Armor, this will significantly increase the damage you take in addition to the damage up front, but this time it's fire damage. The Sear Flesh debuff, in combination with the Time-Twisted Drake's Flame Breath, is incredibly dangerous. Fortunately, it's interruptable.
- Call Flames I'm pretty sure this is the ability that spawns a big fire pool behind the Seer. This has a magnificent ability to kill your melee DPS, so be on the lookout, and move the pull out once you see it.
- Flame Breath A frontal cone AOE fire attack from the Time-Twisted Drake, deadly in concert with the Sear Flesh debuff.
As I said, I have yet to see Baine, but I'll update this article as soon as I do. From what I've heard from other players, he's more difficult than Jaina, but less difficult than Tyrande and Sylvanas.
This fight is Blizzard's gift to tanks and healers everywhere who hate their groups, and is most easily accomplished by means of a strategy that I like to call Let the Jackass Die™.
But before you can get to the good stuff, trash. There are only two pulls, both of them notable for playing host to at least two caster mobs that will stubbornly refuse to move until interrupted. Enlist your DPSers' help in forcing them to do so, and burn them all down. Murozond won't become active until all of the trash is dead, but if you're not within range of him as he descends to the desert floor, he won't automatically aggro. Use the time while he's giving "The Reason You Suck" Speech to arrange who's going to pop the hourglass (see below).
Boss: Murozond As many players have noted, "Murozond" is an anagram of "Nozdormu." Oh, Blizzard. People pulling him for the first time are usually horrified to discover that he has an absurd amount of health for a 5-man boss, but there's a good reason for that. This is really one of the best 5-man fights to come along in a while.
- Distortion Bomb Very frequently, you'll see large golden circles spawn on the ground below you (see the tree screenshot below for an example). Move out -- these will explode for 25,000 arcane damage and spawn a fire patch underneath them.
- Infinite Breath This is a frontal cone AOE and really the only ability you have to worry about as the tank. Make sure Murozond never faces the group. The breath attack is actually avoidable if you move out of the way in time, but be careful about dancing him around a lot because --
- F*** you, I'm a dragon Unsurprisingly, Murozond also has a tail swipe. I actually don't think he has a cleave, but was having too much fun with this encounter to really pay attention. Make sure that neither business end is anywhere near your group.
- Temporal Blast This is a random ability that slaps 25,000 damage to everyone in the group. You may not actually need to heal through this all that much for a reason you'll see below, but it's easy enough to do if you have to/want to.
- Temporal Snapshot A few seconds after the pull, you'll notice something weird -- you'll suddenly appear next to a copy of yourself seemingly frozen in time next to you. This means Murozond has "snapshotted" the group, and that whenever you travel back in time, that is where you'll reappear.
Did I mention your group can click the hourglass five times each fight?
And that each time you do, you gain Blessing of the Bronze Dragonflight?
And that the clever tank or healer who has had to put up with a raging douchecanoe for the entire duration of this instance can simply quit healing or taunting off her, secure in the knowledge that her worthless carcass will be resurrected each time the hourglass pops?
Let the Jackass Die™. Thank you, Blizzard.
Murozond's damage isn't too high apart from Infinite Breath, which you can run out from as he charges it up. Apart from that, the only important thing to worry about here is threat. Murozond seems to reset aggro each time the hourglass pops, and you will see some really stupendous numbers from your DPSers as they take advantage of an endless series of cooldowns and the 40% haste buff. Blow Berserk as soon as you get Snapshotted and then again each time you Rewind Time. This should keep you safely ahead of your DPS, even allowing for their buffs.
As is probably obvious, the constant cooldown resets also mean that you have almost perma-access to Frenzied Regeneration, Barkskin, and Survival Instincts. If you're decently geared, chain cooldowns smartly, and avoid Infinite Breath, you may very well go the length of this fight without having to be healed.
The only thing you need to be concerned about healing-wise is that it's pretty easy for people to run out of your range as they duck and weave around Distortion Bombs. If your tank doesn't run out of Infinite Breath, you'll also have to take care of that at some point. But with a perma-Tranquility, access to the Tree's constant healing boost, and constant mana resets, this should not be an issue if you actually care about keeping your group alive. Personally, I recommend that you don't. Guilt may compel you to save your friends, but the jerk? Let him die. He'll get better.
It is definitely easiest for the healer to be the person to pop the hourglass. How you time this is ultimately up to you, but I wouldn't recommend doing it more than once every 30 seconds, as that's how long the Blessing of the Bronze Dragonflight lasts. You'll also want to monitor how many fires are dotting the area or how low on health the group is getting.
Shifting Perspectives helps you gear your bear druid, breaks down the facts about haste for trees, and then digs into the restoration mastery. You might also enjoy our look at the disappearance of the bear.