I was tired. I'd traveled to the End of Time, participated in one of the biggest moments in the history of Azeroth, and helped the spiritual leader of the Horde kill the spiritual leader of the Alliance (who, admittedly, had tried to kill us first). I'd never felt much of a calling to the Dream, but a few hundred years of meditation sounded great right about now.
Peering over the scales of my drake (I'd have flown myself, but they insisted), I gestured to the large dragon in flight beside me.
"You know, you dragons are always causing trouble," I shouted as the frigid wind of Northrend whipped by. "Can't you just drop me off at the nearest forest and call it a day?"
Nethestrasz chuckled. Through some queer trick of the dragons' magic, they were fully understandable, even in dragon form.
"If a forest existed that would be spared from Deathwing's flames, I might join you," he replied. Unfortunately, any further reply was drowned out by a sudden, loud cracking noise as the earth split asunder before us, revealing a gigantic earth elemental.
"Well, looks like it's time to be troublesome," I thought. Wordlessly, I nodded to Nethestrasz, and our army turned as one and dove for the surface.
This week and next, I'll be covering everything you need to know to DPS your way through the new Dragon Soul raid encounter. I'll provide a quick capsule strategy for those attempting the fight in the Raid Finder, then describe the changes to the fight for normal and heroic modes.
Raid Finder DPS Morchok as normal. He will Stomp every 15 seconds, which does area damage; use Barkskin on these as you can. Every 45 seconds, he will pull everyone in the raid into him, stun them briefly, then emit a black void zone/blood-looking thing. Simply run and hide behind one of the stone pillars that pop up, wait for the stuff to go away, and continue.
Normal Normal mode is essentially identical to Raid Finder for ferals. For optimal DPS, Feral Charge back in as soon as the stone pillars disappear (the ooze graphic will remain on the ground for a couple seconds, but you won't take any damage). Use your first Berserk on the pull and your second Berserk/potion immediately after a Black Blood phase.
Heroic Ah, here things get interesting. Morchok splits into two at 90% HP, which means your raid will have to split into two teams. This means you will likely have to help with either or both of two mechanics that the tanks/ranged DPS handled previously.
- Stomp As you'll notice from the tooltip, the two closest players take double damage, and since the tanks will be split, two DPSers will have to help soak the damage. The best soak DPS classes are rogues (due to Feint) and us, since we can go bear. Note that the cast time on Stomp is very short (1.5 seconds), so you'll have to watch your boss timers carefully to be sure you shift in time and don't get GCD-locked.
- Resonating Crystal Another soak-type ability. Since these spawn away from the boss, ranged DPS and healers will typically handle these. If you need to, though, don't move immediately when it spawns, wait until after the next Stomp.
Raid Finder Pure tank and spank. Just stay behind the boss and burn.
Normal Similar to Raid Finder, but your raid will have to control the bouncing ball (cough, "Void of the Unmaking"). Your raid leader will coordinate this. Optimal Berserk timing is a bit tricky; since Zon'ozz has a stacking damage taken debuff, you want to use it as late in the fight as possible. If you know your guild's average kill time, just subtract 3:30 and use your first Berserk then. Use survivability cooldowns every black phase if available. Oh, and don't forget your potion during the second Berserk, as well as a pre-pot if desired.
Heroic Heroic difficulty adds in a pack of adds that spawn during every black phase and need to be killed quickly to reduce raid damage. Since our DPS ramp is fairly steep, consider asking your raid leader if you can remain on Zon'ozz. If not, aggressively use Feral Charge and your movement abilities to get to tentacles quickly. If you are running 25-man, two of the large tentacles (Claws) will spawn; a hybrid cat/bear spec makes a great tank for the second Claw.
Raid Finder DPS Yor'sahj to start. When oozes spawn (every 75 seconds), wait for your RL to call which ooze color to target (priority for RF is typically yellow > black > purple), hit Stampeding Roar or Dash to get in range quickly, then Feral Charge and burn it down. Don't bother with Rip. Once the ooze is killed, stack back up behind the boss.
Normal The green ooze goes from harmless to the biggest threat, so your raid will be dealing with raid damage and/or adds every ooze spawn. Use Barkskin for every ooze and Survival Instincts for high damage combos (red/yellow, black/red). Otherwise, use the same strategy as in Raid Finder. Berserk should simply be used on cooldown to maximize damage on Yor'sahj.
Heroic The enrage timer is much more of a concern, and four oozes spawn instead of three. This doesn't mean much to you, except you'll now have to occasionally deal with the green ooze, which requires careful spacing. Typically, one to two DPSers on 10-man and three to four DPSers on 25-man can remain on Yor'sahj and still have the ooze killed in time; if your ooze DPS is low compared to others, ask to remain on the boss. One final note: If your healers are having trouble but your raid DPS is good, try shifting into bear for 15 seconds and using Mass Regeneration for the tricky combos (such as G/Y/B/R).
Raid Finder Hagara will alternate between a main phase and either a frost or lightning phase (so M - F/L - M - L/F). During the main phase, simply DPS, and when the main phase ends, run to the edge of the platform.
If it's a frost phase, you'll have four crystals equally spaced around the platform that must be destroyed. Complicating this are four Ice Waves that will sweep around the edges of the platform, which will likely kill you if you get hit. Just keep moving, using Dash/Stampeding Roar as necessary to get ahead of the wave.
If it's a lightning phase, you'll have one elemental add to kill, whose death will charge up a conductor. From there, the raid will need to form a chain of players to the other conductors, to charge them as well. Don't worry -- it's not as complicated as it sounds.
Normal Hagara now randomly casts Ice Tomb on players once during every main phase; you'll need to switch targets to break them out. During the frost phase, she will now cast Icicle, which marks its target with blue void zones on the floor. These are avoidable, but it does make destroying crystals and dodging ice waves more challenging. The lightning phase remains the same, but with more damage: you'll want to use your damage reduction abilities here. Finally, I'll note that at the end of every frost/lightning phase, Hagara will be stunned for 15 seconds and take 100% increased damage; you'll want to charge in and use your Berserk here when available.
Heroic The main change for us is the addition of Frostflake during the frost phase. This debuff will slow you, causing death to the ice waves; thankfully, you can shapeshift to remove it. However, dropping the debuff will drop a snare on the ground, so you'll want to coordinate a drop location to prevent other raid members from being slowed. Mass Regeneration is also an option for the lightning phase; go bear for the elemental, and MR should be available for the conductions.
- Underdweller's Spaulders Morchok
- Deep Earth Grips token, Zon'ozz
- Belt of Flayed Skin Zon'ozz
- Deep Earth Legguards token, Yor'sahj
- Interrogator's Bloody Footpads Yor'sahj
- Spire of Coagulated Globules Yor'sahj
- Deep Earth Spaulders token, Hagara
- Signet of Grasping Mouths Hagara
- Vial of Shadows any boss, rare drop
- Seal of Primordial Shadow any boss, rare drop
Looking for the latest and greatest in feral cat druid guides? Shifting Perspectives has the answers! Check out our cat 101 for Cataclysm. Also don't miss gearing your cat for Firelands raiding, addons for cat druids and raiding strats for feral cats, as well as our feral cat Firelands boss strats.