The rules of the ring
In Corner One: Echo of Sylvanas
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.
The Banshee Queen advances on to the next round of combat as her long-departed echo struggles with sanity. The Echo of Sylvanas won by a decent margin
, but it wasn't shut-out material. Nonetheless, Sylvanas is not one to trifle with ... and neither are her fans.
Against Yor'sahj, Sylvanas won out through speed and cunning, being able to deal with the slimes quickly. Yor'sahj really is a survival fight, and the minions Sylvanas controls are loyal and smart enough to take the brunt of the survival for their Queen. She's the one to beat.
Echo of Sylvanas' abilities include:
In Corner Two: Warlord Zon'ozz
Shriek of the Highborne Sylvanas shrieks with anguish, inflicting damage to an enemy and decreasing movement speed.
Black Arrow Sylvanas fires an explosive black arrow at an enemy, inflicting heavy AoE damage.
Unholy Shot Sylvanas fires a barrage of missiles at an enemy, striking up to three enemies within 10 yards, inflicting extra shadow damage.
Blighted Arrows Sylvanas blights the ground under an enemy, inflicting heavy damage and knocking back enemies caught in the arrow crossfire.
Wracking Pain When Sylvanas spawns ghouls, enemies are damaged when they pass through the ghoul link.
Sacrifice When the ghouls reach Sylvanas, they explode doing tons of damage. Kill a ghoul to break the line and escape!
Warlord Zon'ozz was a dark horse candidate for reader favorite, considering he's 1.) a boss, and 2.) kind of a pushover in the Raid Finder. That's not to say he's lovable in his own right -- I'm just trying to find it. Nonetheless, Zon'ozz took a slim victory
over the Echo of Tyrande, proving that being a pretty lady doesn't always advance you to the next round. Or being the spirit of a dead pretty lady. Either way, nice work, readers.
The key things to look for in the fight between Zon'ozz and Sylvanas are the movement-related mechanics with Zon'ozz's ball. That thing might be a little tricky, but you guys have great imaginations, so I'm sure you'll come up with something. Remember, it's about substance and fun over being super-correct. Just have fun!
Warlord Zon'ozz's abilities include:
Last Week's Winner: Echo of Baine
Focused Anger Zon'ozz increasingly focuses his anger and rage, increasing physical damage and attack speed.
Psychic Drain Warlord Zon'ozz channels a waves of psychic force in a cone in front of himself, dealing damage.
Disrupting Shadows Covers enemies with Disrupting Shadows, inflicting damage over time, more damage, and a knock-back on dispel
Void of the Unmaking Summons the Void of the Unmaking, which will Void Diffusion after colliding with an enemy, dealing massive damage to all in range and bounching the Void back in the opposite direction.
Zon'ozz will become more vulnerable if his Void of the Unmaking collides with him.
The Echo of Baine proved to be as stubborn as a bull in his fight against the Echo of Jaina, but with such a narrow win, one wonders if Baine's staying power is everlasting. You see, Jaina's fans could be fickle fans, now seeing their lady slain move on to a second choice rather than their champion's opponent.
We could be wrong. Jaina's fans could be loyalists, traditionalists. You root for the man who defeated your man (or woman, in this case). You stand in line with the conqueror and cheer for his or her victory. Will the Jaina fans realize that they had a tough choice to make between two favorites and move to the other's side? Only time will tell.
horse didn't exactly win the race, this depiction of the battle was pretty great, and I wanted to share it with everyone. It's a little long, but you don't mind, right? That's what I thought.
Once again, Baine Bloodhoof stood in the circular pool of lava. He wasn't a fool, of course; a slab of obsidian floating in the pool kept him out of the intense heat not six inches away from his hooves. There were 4 such rocks, in a rough diamond-like shape, and standing on the one opposite him was a human female. One he'd met several months ago, shortly after his father was murdered by Magatha Grimtotem. One he knew to be a powerful magi, trusted by his former warchief, Thrall. One who held the line against the Burning Legion.
One called Jaina Proudmoore.
"You! Are you the one responsible for what has happened here...?"
Her look of puzzlement only enraged Baine. Seething rage filled him. He had trusted her. Thrall had trusted her. Yet she was the one who desecrated this land. It must have been her. Who else could have done it?
Jaina hopped to the rock adjacent to his, then to his own. She still looked puzzled, and attempted to explain that she had not done anything to the landscape. Lies, of course. Lies. Lies. LIES!
"What dark horrors have you wrought in this place? By my ancestors' honor, I shall take you to task!"
And Baine charged, closing the gap between them in a heartbeat.
To her credit, Jaina reacted fast, instantly summoning a fiery boulder and smashing it into his shoulder. The flames stung, but Baine shrugged it off. His axe glowed red as he pulled it from the lava beside him - a trick he learned from his battle against Peroth'arn. She backstepped, dodging the glowing axe while preparing another flaming orb in her hands. This one caught Baine full in the chest, and he staggered back, pinwheeling at the edge. He grabbed his totem, and hurled it at Jaina, using the same motion to regain his balance. She flew clear of the platforms over the lava pool.
"Perhaps this will cool your head!"
All of a sudden, Jaina was no longer flying over the lava. She stood only a couple feet in front of him, sweeping her arms forward, as if swinging a sword upwards. And blades, made of solid ice, swept forward at Baine. He rolled to the side, enough to dodge the middle blade but not enough to hit the right one. He used this as an excuse to re-ingite his axe, and charged at the mage once again.
Jaina wasn't done it seemed. She hurled an orange ball over to one of the adjacent platforms. A Flarecore, Baine recognised. A potent piece of magic that exploded after a short while, devistating anything caught in the blast (no doubt what caused this landscape's devistation). It was also easily destroyed - if he got to it in time.
Baine lept, landing on the little ball. It shattered. So did the entire platform.
He swam back towards the rock Jaina was still standing on. She smiled, seeing the perfect opportunity. She sent out a frostbolt to slow his swimming, and blinking into position, she unleashed another 3 blades of ice his way.
Which melted upon hitting the lava, as Baine had planned.
Baine could throw his totem nearly as well swimming as he could standing, as Jaina learned a few seconds later. This time, she couldn't blink back to the platform, and Baine crawled up long before Jaina got close. His axe shone with a crimson matched only by the magma around him, as he prepared to strike the finishing blow as the mage reached the edge.
And the pyroblast again caught him full in the chest.
Another flarecore went out, onto the other adjecent platform. Baine slammed Jaina with the flat of his axe and ran to it, jumping the gap between rocks. Squishing the magic, Baine turned around in time to deflect a pyroblast with his axe, and used the heat to melt the frostbolt she followed it up with. Baine threw his totem at the mage again. Jaina reacted faster than she had previously, avoiding the projectile altogether with her Blink and Frost Blades combo. But Baine had wanted her to blink, for now he lept forward, intent on shattering the rocks beneath her feet.
And his own totem slammed him on the head before he landed. His vision blurred, he felt nauseous. He was vaguely aware he was standing there, open for attack. And as Jaina's Pyroblast flew towards his head, he heard her words.
"You forced my hand."
Loving it! While Jaina didn't win in the voting, she sure put up a hell of a fight in the ring and in the comments. Good initiative, Jaina fans.
mibu.work1's discussion of the fight led to some very interesting thoughts. Rather than looking at the abilities or relative strengths of each champion, mibu looked at each Echo's attitude
, figuring out what their motives for fighting or lashing out were. A very interesting read, at the very least:
Honestly, I see Baine winning this one not out of his abileties or his tactics, it's because of his attitude. Look at Jaina, she's tired, she's appologetic. She doesn't belong where she is and she knows it. She's not like Tyrande, struggling with her loss, nor Sylvanus, who has embraced the madness around her as protection, she's given up. Baine, on the other hand, is a tauren warrior in his prime, and, rare for tauren, filled to the brim with rage. He's spoiling for a fight and he's found one. If you want to know what fights like these look like, look no further than the Brad Pitt version of Troy, and the fight between Paris and Menaleus. Jaina in here is Paris, she has ability, training and weapons, but her heart isn't in it, and she'll lose because of that. In a fight where the combatants are equally skilled, seasoned, and equipped, it comes down to attitude, and Jaina's is not ready for a fight to the death against someone she's not sure she should be fighting in the first place.
I agree. The Echo of Baine is mad with torment and is lashing out at all around him. Jaina seems baffled and confused by her situation and feels reactionary, at least in the dungeon portrayals of the echoes. I do not envy her fictional position.
This season has been great so far with the reports. Keep them coming, everyone. This column happens because of your participation, and it's great to see people enjoying themselves. This week's matchup is going to be a doozy, so keep your eyes on the results and keep cheering for your champion.
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.