The rules of the ring
In Corner One: Mannoroth
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.
I think that when I describe Mannoroth as "The Big Dog," I'm not being facetious. The dude is top-dollar demon, big man on Twisting Nether campus. Mannoroth was like the quarterback of the Burning Legion varsity football team, being one of the first demons to hit the ground on Azeroth. Archimonde likes this guy so much that he was his right-hand pit lord.
Even though Mannoroth was pushed back into the Twisting Nether, his power was so great that it was his blood that enslaved the orcs of Draenor, brought death and destruction twice to Azeroth, and was ultimately felled by Grom Hellscream and Thrall after reaching Kalimdor.
This is not the Mannoroth we will be dealing with. Oh no, this is Mannoroth from the Well of Eternity, a young brute ready and able to slaughter the night elves and anything else in his path of destruction. Varo'then and Mannoroth come as a pair, and Mannoroth will act in a similar fashion as his encounter at the end of the 5-man. Use your imaginations -- I think you guys will do fine with this diverse and awesome villain.
Read up on all of the abilities of the Mannoroth fight
, since there are a zillion of them. Remember, after Varo'then dies (or is eaten/consumed/sacrificed
), his blade can be used to pierce Mannoroth.
In Corner Two: Asira Dawnslayer
We do not know much of Asira Sunbright. We do know that Asira Sunbright was an incredibly talented assassin and mercenary and, even though she could be leery of the benefactor, still always had a price. This time, the price was paid by The Twilight's Hammer cult, and the check was signed Cho'Gall. That is, if that check is still valid ...
Now known as Asira Dawnslayer, this drake-killing, Thrall-hunting, smoke-clouding pain in the butt makes for a challenging opponent when people start to panic. Her blade barrier can be tricky, as well as the smoke bombs that make it impossible to see in or out of the thick cloud. She's dangerous and not to be underestimated.
When you are considering who wins or loses this round, remember that much like in game, Thrall will run in and randomly drop a totem in a totally unnecessary and dangerous place and think to himself that he's doing a good job.
Asira Dawnslayer's abilities include:
Mark of Silence Asira marks a target for 20 seconds. When that target casts a spell, Asira throws a knife at the target. The knife will hit the first target in its path.
Choking Smoke Bomb Asira throws down a smoke bomb, creating a thick fog that her opponents cannot target in and out of. Also, the gas inflicts nature damage.
Blade Barrier At 30% health, Asira puts up a blade barrier reducing her incoming damage below 40,000 to 1. The barrier is removed when damage above the 40,000 threshold is done to her. Lesser Blade Barrier goes up after the Blade Barrier breaks but only requires 30,000 damage to break.
Thrall helps, but not really. He did not ask for this.
Last Week's Winner: Queen Azshara
The most beautiful night elf in all of Azeroth successfully commanded her forces against Hagara Stormbinder's tempests and fury. Readers had Hagara put up a good fight, and the voting was much closer than I had originally imagined. I just can't help but feel bad for some of the bosses in Dragon Soul because Hagara is a great boss, and I hope she is remembered for a long time. However, I don't think people will remember Hagara as a legacy. Later, you'll read a comment by Sarah Bee, which gives us a bit of a hint as how Hagara might have been more immortalized.
is in the Queen's corner with a good point about the loyalty of Azshara's battlemages and their undying devotion to their leader. Not only can we assume some basic intelligence and reaction from Azshara's devoted, but I would say that it's a good policy to count the spirit of the competition and make each fight work for each boss fight in a fun, unique way. For instance, when I read Rai and Philster043's comments, I was instantly transported to a world where Azshara was locked in her little bubble while commanding her "raid team" to take on Hagara. If Raid Finder can do it, can Azshara's squad? Answer this one carefully, friends.
Azshara's battlemages are faithfully devoted to her and willing to give their lives: it's a safe assumption that they could handle the ice phase with ease, especially considering some are trained in frost magic. It's not really anything that affects the mechanics, but it'd be fun for them to yell.
The lightning phase would have to be possible with two/three people (if Azshara herself even moves the entire fight - she's immune to damage after all) out of fairness, and I doubt the magi would have much trouble with that.
It comes down to timing. I'm going to assume that her Servant of the Queen is forbidden here, otherwise she'd be able to control Hagara shortly before completely dominating her (with Total Obedience, it's not that sort of fight).
Long story short, I'd give this one to Azshara as she's most likely clever enough to use Total Obedience WHILE HAGARA IS STUNNED AFTER A LIGHTNING/FROST PHASE. That's the key thing here.
I'm quoting GhostWhoWalks
again, not because I liked the comment (which I did) but because of an interesting question of the nature of fight mechanics. Can certain spells be cast when the number of people on the field is a certain number? Do these bosses even "think" about that when there aren't so many opponents? Sure, Azshara has abilities that charm your whole party, but is Azshara thinking about charming a party when fighting against one person? I think that if you ever had this conversation with yourself, you're "getting" it:
First, you would think that Azshara could simply put a Hand on Hagara and that would be the end of it. However, as I have learned through soloing old instances, many boss mechanics that rely on multiple party members being present fizzle when there's only one person around (for example, Herald Volazj in Ahn'Kahet will still try and cast Insanity, but if there is only one party member present, nothing happens). CAN Azshara cast Hand when Hagara is the only opponent around? I'm...not sure. Similarly, if Hagara shields herself with her ice or lightning phases, does the shield protect her from Azshara's mind control effects?
I'm going to give my vote to Hagara, but I won't be surprised if Azshara ends up winning in the end.
It's all about the substance, right? Finally, Sarah Bee makes a good point, one that we had originally predicted as a lock for a boss fight yet turned out to be anything but:
You can so tell that Magatha Grimtotem was originally going to be in Dragon Soul instead of Hagara.
Oh, how much I would have loved to have Magatha Grimtotem at the end of Cataclysm
as a boss to truly bookend this period in Azeroth's history. Magatha has already caused so much damage and destruction that it's just plain unfair at this point, and the pieces that she set in motion at the beginning of the expansion could have been wrapped up nicely. However, because Magatha's story hasn't ended, we hold on to the possibility of seeing her in the future.
Vote now for your favorite boss this week and see who comes out the other side as the victor.
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.