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Blood Pact: Warlock guide to surviving Trial of the Crusader, part 2, page 2

Dominic Hobbs

Twin Val'kyr

This is quite possibly my favourite fight in the instance. I've always liked the shared health-pool concept and all the other fight elements make this encounter really work for me. Four things to look out for:
Once the Val'kyr enter the arena four portal-like things pop up around the room -- two next to the bosses and two closer to the instance entrance. These closest to the entrance can be clicked without starting the fight. Essentially the raid splits into two; one with the light buff and one with the dark. There is no particular reason to be on one side or the other so go ahead and let out your inner-warlock and go to the dark side.

The whole fight is about the opposites of light and dark. Fjola Lightbane is essentially a creature of the light so being dark-buffed means you do more damage to her. The opposite is true for Eydis Darkbane. So if you are dark-buffed you want to be on the side that is damaging Fjola.

The orbs will hurt or buff you depending on their color – opposite color to your buff means damage to you, the same color means a stacking buff which when it reaches 100 gives you a haste boost. On the whole these can be ignored, but if you take too many of the wrong color you will need to watch your health until it's recovered. This mechanic means you have to pay closer attention to your health so you don't Life Tap at the wrong time.

The vortex is pretty nasty and so you want to ensure that you have the correct buff to match the color of vortex being used. If you do then you will take no damage from it and actually gain more stacks of Powering Up. If you don't, then get over to a portal to swap over for the duration of the buff then swap back. All this moving about means Demonic Circle can be handy but as there's hardly a time where you can't DPS you might lose as much in setting it up as you gain from using it.

The Light damage in the fight is actually fire, and the Dark (unsurprisingly) is shadow damage. Bear this in mind if you do find yourself light buffed with an incoming Dark Vortex as you can use Shadow Ward in a pinch.

The final thing to look out for is the boss bubbles (Shield of Lights & Shield of Darkness). When one of them gets this then they are about to heal themselves for 20% of their health pool (now 50% in heroic). You need to burn this down quickly so that someone can interrupt the heal. If the bubble is on your current target then just keep nuking. If it's on the other target then swap quickly. You can also change buffs to boost your damage but unless this can be done very quickly it's often not worth the time lost – just get with the damage as soon as you can.

Twin Val'kyr loot

They say that after a nuclear war cockroaches will "inherit the Earth", well, if Anub'arak is any measure then nerubians are looking good for Azeroth. No matter what we do to this guy, he just won't stay dead.

The first two phases of this fight are fairly straight forward. Phase one: the boss is up front and you need to do a load of damage to him. There are adds that join the fight and will be off-tanked. Your raid may call for you to kill some of these but may also just look for all damage to be done to Anub. Phase two: The boss is underground sticking spikes up through the surface and little adds start scuttling about the place. This is time to clean up any adds, starting with the Burrowers. The Swarm Scarabs shouldn't be tanked so if you can't handle having one hit you then kite it (again, Demonic Circle can help). It looks like Anub will wipe his debuffs when he burrows but DoTs remain, so pile them on before he digs.

If you are being pursued by Anub'arak in phase two then you need to get onto a patch of Permafrost. These are formed by bringing down the Frost Spheres floating above the room. You may be asked to help DPS these things but as they are constantly moving (out of range) they are not great for casters to deal with. If you have a hunter then they can do the job more efficiently.

So you alternate back and forth between phase one and two a few times until you have brought Anub'arak down to 30% health. At this point you enter phase three. No more burrowing and (normal mode) no more adds. The big deal in this phase is his new ability of Leeching Swarm. This will take 10% of your health and give it back to Anub. This then becomes a big DPS race to finish him off before your healers run out of mana.

As you may have guessed the DPS race is easier if the raid has less health – the more health you have the more he heals and the more damage is required. He will never leach less that 250 health so it is still possible to die from this effect but the less health you have the less damage you take. Many guilds look to keep people's health low to manage the healing he takes, others heal like crazy and put the strain on the DPSers to overcome the healing he takes. Both methods are viable but on hard mode current DPS levels will struggle.

Leeching Swarm has a significant impact on warlocks. If we don't have a nice health pool to play with then before long we don't have a mana pool to play with. It's important to enter phase three with a full mana pool so you minimise the number of times you have to Life Tap. Keep an eye on your health, if you get a big heal then tapping will not only give you a mana boost but also take your health down again without healing Anub. You may also want to think about down-ranking Life Tap for those OOM moments.

Anub'arak loot

Blood Pact is a weekly column detailing DoTs, demons, and all the dastardly deeds done by Warlocks. If you're curious about what's new with Locks since the last patch, check out the Patch 3.2 Warlock Guide or find out what's upcoming in Cataclysm from the BlizzCon 2009: Class Discussion Panel.

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