I thought maybe I'd goofed, that I'd mis-timed the first two-thirds of Mogu'shan Vaults and would need to interrupt to make a fun post about Black Temple and some new warlock lore. Sadly, the felfire questline got postponed for a little while.
Oh well. In the meantime we can alternate between old raids and new as a warlock. First, let's finish up Mogu'shan Vaults with two complex-to-explain but simple-to-do fights.
Prior to 5.1, Demonic Gateway was merely a step-through thing, and a particular favorite of Looking For Raid griefing abused it by putting one end in the melee pile. Similarly, Elegon is what prompted me to post about the Gateway, as the example of the tank flying out of taunt range is a true story. With the new click-to-travel method for other players (you can glyph it back to the old step-through for yourself), you don't have to worry so much about exactly where you put the Gateway end.
One possible good use of Gateway on Elegon is the old melee trolling method, since it allows them to reset their stacks fairly quickly or return quickly if that's what they prefer. The other use is to have dueling warlocks with Gateways on both ends of the outer circle so the ranged can disperse to the sides or return to the pile in the spark phase. The five charges won't carry the entire raid over, but some people found it useful.
Elegon is a multi-phase fight with a tight DPS timer. To meet this damage done requirement, you get a buff to manage and you can debuff Elegon by forcing him to attempt a recharge over and over again. The floor -- of lack thereof -- can also kill you. Elegon is a good fight for affliction and destruction due to the dual-targeting going on.
You get an aura buff and a stacking debuff to maintain. Reset your debuff stacks at 6-8 by going outside of the glowy circle. For ranged, this becomes super easy, as there's a sweet spot on the edge of the circle. The glowy circle's effect is more like a dome, so the sweet spot occurs where standing on the floor gains you the buff and debuff, but jumping in the air will clear the two. If you have trouble finding the spot again, I suggest a Demonic Circle reminder.
In phase 1, you will do well to multidot Elegon and the Celestial Protectors that spawn. Jump out of the circle when the Protectors explode, or eat it with Unending Resolve if you have less than 5 stacks. Remember to use your resource-refreshing execute on the Protectors if you can. Try to have the full four embers or shards as you move into phase 2.
The idea is to force four waves of sparks and DPS him freely during the fifth wave. You also maintain the cool jumping buff in this half-phase; instead of refreshing at so many stacks, refreshing as my spark died seemed to work out best.
The AoE magic happens here with Mannoroth's Fury. If your soulburned Seed of Corruption lands on Elegon just as Draw Power is ending, then DoTs on Elegon should pop the seed to land a Corruption on every spark. The first two sparks can take manually-applied DoTs; the last two would want soulburned Soul Swap. Similarly, destruction can Fire-and-Brimstone an Immolate or Conflagrate on every spark, drop a Rain on top of the whole thing, or save those embers for a Chaos Bolt on the spark.
Once Elegon succeeds in sending at least one spark to a pillar, the glowy circle of Awesome Buffage will drop out, so make sure you get off it. The pillars are connected in pairs to the one directly across the room. Don't stand in the pillar walls and once the little energy ghosts start spawning (once any pillar pair dies), move out of their blue circles immediately to avoid the significant health drops when they land. To control to the number of ghosts, kill all the pillars as simultaneously as you can. The even splitting of your raid's DPS on the previous Energy Charge part helps with this.
Once you run through two cycles of the Draw Power and pillars phase, the final soft-enrage phase begins. The celestial buff is back, but the outer ring fills with lightning current, so push for 8 stacks, drop the debuff, and quickly get back in. At this point most raids will bloodlust, so turn out your Doomguards and potions to kill him before he kills your raid.
Emperors is a multi-target fight, and if you roll affliction, unglyph your Soul Swap. Since this fight focuses so much on multidotting rather than straight shooting, setting a Supremacy pet on one boss had better results than the usual Grimoire of Sacrifice.
The priority for ranged goes Courage > Strength > Rage > Bosses. Since the ranged are better-equipped to handle the large room of mobs, melee might be stuck on the boss with a couple plate-wearers to help tank the Strengths. This fight's motto really is DoT all the things; to be more specific for affliction, Soulburn: Soul Swap all the things.
Emperor's Courage fixate on the tanks. They can be slowed, but they have a shield that deflects all attacks from the front. Get behind and kill these quickly.
Emperor's Strength need to be tanked, though almost anyone can do it. Dodge the circle smash if you end up on the swinging end of one, else the circle will get bigger with every successful smash.
Emperor's Rage are the smallest and most numerous mobs. Rages can be crowd controlled and it's easiest to leave them grouped up with roots and slow, but you can drop a Howl or Coil if one gets too close to you. Coincidentally, there are four that spawn every time and you probably have four soul shards. Nightfall procs and the occasional mob death during Drain Soul will keep your shards in good supply. For destruction I recommend spreading Immolate and especially with 5.1, Rain of Fire, to generate a stream of embers.
If you can maintain DoTs on a boss during the add phase, go for it. Most of the time I found myself out of range or simply out of GCDs, so don't put too much pressure on yourself if you simply can't find the space to do it.
When adds aren't spawning, the room is filled with Titan Gas. The gas lets your pet do some extra damage while taking some unavoidable raid-wide damage. With a strong healing corps, the damage taken might tickle, and you can stand still to DPS one Emperor. Remember to multidot the other as the two share a health pool.
Whereas Elegon requires a tight DPS performance as well as an awareness of the order of the events, Will of the Emperor is just another add-control fight. It reminded me of Valithria Dreamwalker: there's the add-control by the majority of the raid, and a special role subset gets to do a funky moving mechanic while downing (or in Dreamwalker's case, upping) the boss. Once you get familiar with the rhythm of the adds, the fight is cake to execute.
As a bonus, the achievement for this fight requires you do the melee dance at least once. If you master their dodging dance, you'll get our friend the Extra Action Button for 3 seconds, which will execute an Opportunistic Strike. The key is to watch the boss for which way he prepares to swing. For the two side-based strikes, stand a little behind him on the side of his weapon as he prepares to swing, as he'll swing across his body to execute his hit. For the animation that looks like he's going to stomp with one foot in the air, he'll do a 360-degree circular hit, so just run out. If you prefer a visual explanation, Method's 25-man kill video has a great rogue perspective.
Blood Pact is a weekly column detailing DOTs, demons and all the dastardly deeds done by warlocks. We'll coach you in the fine art of staying alive, help pick the best target for Dark Intent, and steer you through tier 13 set bonuses.