Patch 52 PTR 1 on 1 with Lei Shen
This is it.

This is the final battle of the Throne of Thunder (excluding Ra-Den, of course). It's just going to be you and your party against Lei Shen. I'm telling you, this guy has many different ways to fry your raid. I haven't taken on a boss this technically complex since lady Vashj or even Yogg-Saron. Lei Shen has multiple phases along with intermissions in between them.

Read on about the different ways you can wipe!

Lei Shen has three major phases along with an intermission phase after both phase one and phase two. As I spent most of my time wiping during phase one, I'll be focusing on here. Don't consider this post a primer. Think of it more as a preview and a teaser of what to expect when you inevitably face him.

After you ascend the final stairs in the Throne of Thunder, you'll eventually teleport to a floating square platform divided into four quadrants. Pay close attention to the markings on the ground as you'll need to know them to properly organize your team. We ended up using raid flares just for additional distinctiveness.

There are four lightning conduits around the room. If Lei Shen is within proximity, he'll gradually charge it. The longer Lei Shen charges the conduit, the more powerful it gets. Each conduit can "level up" a maximum of three times. If you check out the image up above, you can see the different level indicators of each conduit. If he is not charging a conduit, he'll begin applying Discharged Energy which inflicts nature damage every 0.5 seconds. In other words, once a conduit is fully charged up, your tanks have to yank him over to the next one while your healers will be doing everything possible to sustain the raid until Discharged Energy wears off.

Lightning Conduits

North Conduit: Static Shock

How well can your raid stack? One of the lucky players in the group will have a Static Shock debuff. After 8 seconds, they're going to explode. On 10 man, it's 400k damage divided by players within 8 yards. Stack up on that player then spread back out again. Each time this conduit levels up, Lei Shen will add an additional target whenever he uses Static Shock. Unfortunately, my group had difficulty with either the stacking or seeing who had the debuff so we weren't able to fully level this conduit all the way. With one Static Shock, it becomes 400k divided among players. At level two, it will be two 400k hits. At level 3, it should be three 400k hits.


Patch 52 PTR Shocking raid preview of Lei Shen
Notice the circular outline underneath the affected player. That's where you should be when Static Shock detonates.

East Conduit: Diffusion Chain

Out of the four conduits, this is my least favorite. A player will be targeted with Diffusion Chain. Players near the original target will also be struck. For every player that gets hit, a Diffused Lightning add will appear. I'll give you one guess what their basic attack is. Your off tank will need to try to gather these up in order you to get rid of them.

If you guessed Chain Lightning, you are correct!

As this conduit rises in level, the strength of the Diffused Lightning ads will go up.

Patch 52 PTR Shocking raid preview of Lei Shen

South Conduit: Overcharge

With this conduit, a player gets rooted. After 6 seconds, the Overcharged player detonates and creates a torus of electric energy around the player which rapidly expands. Get to the middle of it as that's where the safe spot will be. As the level of the Overcharge conduit rises, the number of affected Overcharge targets will also increase.

I'm looking forward to a future boss with an ability that brings down a rhombus of fire!

West Conduit: Bouncing Bolt

This is an ability where you want your players to get hit. Bouncing Bolts will target random areas on the ground. The bolt deals 70k+ damage that's split among players within 6 yards of it. If no player is hit, an Unharnessed Power add will spawn and the Bouncing Bolt will bounce away to another random location. Make sure your raid stays spread out so that they can cover this and get hit by them. It's a remarkably easy conduit if the Bouncing Bolts can be controlled.

Lei Shen's abilities

Now that we've gone over the conduit abilities, let's talk about Lei Shen himself.

Lei Shen's two weapons are the axe and a pole arm. For this first phase, he'll be rocking the axe (aptly named Thunder). He likes to throw his axe around. When he starts winding up, he'll pick a spot. You can't miss it as it's a bright glowing circle on the ground. After a few seconds, he'll throw it. Identify where that spot is and run as far away from it as it can potentially dish out over a million damage to any players nearby. The further you are away from the impact point, the less damage you take.

Patch 52 PTR Shocking raid preview of Lei Shen

It's called Thunderstruck. The impact point is that really bright lightning effect on the left side.

He'll do the same thing with tanks with an ability called Decapitate but it appears to only target the tank's location. If the tank is far enough away, they'll only get Maimed instead of Decapitated.

Patch 52 PTR Shocking raid preview of Lei Shen

His last ability during this part of the engagement is Crashing Thunder. This is where your raid gets to dodge around that corner of the room. Every second, Lei Shen will start summoning Thunder upon player locations. Melee players are not safe and tanks will need to gradually maneuver him around. Thankfully the Crashing Thunder missiles move fairly slowly.

Matt's musing: I know that thunder is supposed to be the sound produced after a lightning discharge. It sounded really awkward to me when I noticed the ability because how does one "see" thunder when it's just a sound? Eventually, I settled on the fact that maybe Lei Shen is throwing sonic booms around. What am I doing reconciling real life physics in a game? Sheesh!

All that stuff I wrote about up there?

That was all phase one.

Once you tip Lei Shen past 70%, he'll enter an intermission phase where he becomes invulnerable. All conduit levels increase by one. The conduit with the highest charge becomes Overloaded which disables it and inflicts 50k+ damage every second to that quadrant of the room. There's a certain flexibility in the encounter as you can choose which conduits you want to max out first since it will affect your positioning.

Phase two is the same thing as phase one. You still have to bring him around from conduit to conduit as their levels will have reset. I'm not sure if the Overloaded conduit gets reset or not. There is a chance your raid may have to contend with three conduits instead of four. The main difference here is that he'll try a polearm instead of an axe which leads to a set of different abilities entirely. At 30%, you'll see another intermission before entering phase three where he'll dual wield both his axe and a polearm. You won't have to deal with conduits as anymore as Overwhelming Power will completely crush them. He'll start using abilities granted by his Axe and his polearm.

Phase three introduces a new ability not seen in the axe or polearm phases. Watch out for Violent Gale Winds. The damage isn't what's going to kill you. If you're not paying attention, you can get blown right off the platform as there's no guard rails at all.

A truly technical encounter and fitting end boss for Throne of Thunder (at least, until we get to Ra-den). When you get Lei Shen and you start working on him, begin my extensively practicing each quadrant of the room until your players can master those mechanics. Once you get those under your belt, his abilities and the rest of the encounter should flow naturally.

Previous Throne of Thunder boss impressions:

This article was originally published on WoW Insider.

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