To the cheers of a roaring crowd, Archmage Aethas Sunreaver stands triumphant against the noble taunka leader Roanauk Icemist. No amount of prayer and reverence to the elements could stem the tide of the arcane powers of the Archmage. What makes me happy is that we will have a blood elf in the semi-final matchups, a situation that I would not have expected to happen this go around.
Our featured matchup this week pits two first-round winners against each other in the first semi-final bout in the Two Bosses Enter exhibition season. From her high seat of power atop Aldor Rise, High Priestess Ishanah commands the gifts bestowed upon her by her naaru allies. From the depths under a forgotten tomb, Brann Bronzebeard lurks in musty corridors, searching for long-lost artifacts. Who is advancing to the next round of Two Bosses Enter?
The rules of the ring
- The WoW Insider Ring 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 squared circle, 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.
As leader of the Aldor priests, Ishanah is no stranger to adversaries, danger, and a good fight. When Ishanah took on her first opponent, Tae'thelan Bloodwatcher, I underestimated the amount of people who knew Ishanah for what she was in The Burning Crusade -- leader of a faction that only a portion of the player base got to interact with. Ishanah and Voren'thal both hold very important places in World of Warcraft for me because of their respective factions being one of the coolest aspects of The Burning Crusade.
Ishanah won the hearts and minds of the crowd through her connection to the Light and demon-fighting prowess. Nothing that the Two Bosses Enter tournament could throw at Ishanah would be more dangerous or threatening than an intergalactic demon army.
Here ares some cool things about Ishanah:
- She replaced Velen. Velen was a damn strong dude. Replacing him and being successful at it is sort of a rough spot to fill.
- She's been in space fights. She serves at the head of an organization that is engaged in intergalactic war with demons. I'd say that's pretty cool.
- The naaru have not forgotten us. The Aldor have put aside a lot of hate to work hand-in-hand with the Scryers to benefit the naaru. That's a lot of humility.
The Bronzebeard brothers sure like finding themselves in the worst situations that could befall Azeroth. Brann's is a special kind of attitude, one that ignores the mundane and lets Brann continue his search, damn the consequences. Sure, sometimes fellow adventurers get caught up in his crazy schemes, but wouldn't that only be half the fun? The journey is half the fun.
Brann's first matchup against Vereesa Windrunner, esteemed ranger and sister to the other two important Warcraft Windrunners, went horribly for the high elf. Brann's wits, charms, and penchant for discover lead to many a comical outcome where Brann would accidentally unless a horrible evil, besting his opponent by accidentally raising a fist. It just goes to show you -- there is little that can sway the vote in a contest than a lovable character.
Here are some cool things about Brann Bronzebeard:
- He's a dwarf. Probably the best Alliance race, no contest.
- He's got a fantastic beard. See above.
- He's a great explorer. He's seen things that you've had to wait to see, always one step ahead of even the greatest adventurers. This guy knows where evil lurks and he is not afraid to throw himself at it, head first.
- He stands his ground. Well, when he isn't standing his ground, he is the best retreater in the history of Azeroth.
- He's Brann. And he's been around forever. He isn't going anywhere.
When I put so many blood elves into this tournament, I did so because of my love of the race, my attachment to the elves of Silvermoon, and because I wanted to make my audience choose between elves and dwarves. You know I still love you guys, right? Well, you voted, and a blood elf is continuing the fight toward Two Bosses Enter champion status.
The arcane is something that comes naturally to Aethas Sunreaver, and challenge was never a question. Many players imagine the reserved Aethas to be none other than the redeemed form of once-beloved Kael'thas, but that rumor is completely unsubstantiated.
GhostWhoWalks gave the match to Aethas, citing his ability to be in multiple places at once, multitasking like a magic pro. His great delegation skills make him a menace on the battlefield.
This one was a difficult call. Both are awesome characters; Aethas wields impressive political influence and is apparently skilled enough with magic that he can hand out quests in Angmar's Hammer while still sitting in on Council meetings, while Roanauk's appearance is short-lived but leaves a lasting impression.Reader Omegan01 gave a wonderful and detailed account of who would win the battle, eventually giving it to Aethas due to his tenacity and ability as part of the most elite group of mages in the entire world. Read Omegan01's entire comment for more in-depth information about this choice -- it's a good read!
In the end, I have to give the vote to Aethas, since Roanauk isn't around long enough to give more credibility to his badassery.
After much consideration, I've decided to toss my vote in to Aethas. Roanauk, for all his impressive feats of strength, strikes me as a bit of a big fish in a small pond. The taunka were isolated from the world at large for a long time, and as a result their strength, population, and prestige is comparatively small. Aethas, however, not only thrived but rose to the very top of the biggest heap of mages in the world, even despite the wars that erupted and the racial hatred he had to face.For me, Aethas Sunreaver wins this fight hands down. As a member of the Kirin Tor, his skills and ability are already top notch. Roanauk is powerful and brave, to be sure, but his fights have been against physically powerful Scourge, not arcane-powered mega-mages. Aethas Sunreaver is a powerhouse of a mage.
Now it's time for you to make the ultimate call, readers. Who wins this round of Two Bosses Enter? Will Brann Bronzebeard continue his offbeat and unexpected luck, or will Ishanah and the power of the Light strike down the adept explorer and put his next expedition on hold? Only you can decide!
Set aside the world order -- let the WoW Insider Ring determine who's the champion! Your votes determine the outcome in WoW Insider's series of fantasy deathmatches, Two Bosses Enter, One Boss Leaves.