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Ready Check: Faction Champions, pt II


Putting it together

Putting all these guys together can be difficult. See, the problem is that you don't always get the same set of the characters. Like I said, which ones you get is random each time you fight them. (Though, once you're assigned a group of champions in a given raid ID, you'll still meet the same team every time you enter.)

You fight 6 champions in 10 man, each having about 400k hit points. In 25 man, you'll fight 10 champions, and most will have about 2.5 million hit points.

So, general tips are the name of the game here.
  • Don't get frustrated. Many folks feel that the Faction Champions encounter is the most difficult fight in the Trial of the Crusader. This is not an accident. The fight is somewhat random, and even more importantly, requires a vast change of mindset.
  • Choose carefully between tank specs and DPS specs. I've found protection warriors, with their vast array of stuns, make excellent PvP toolboxes for this encounter. But on my paladin, I prefer to switch over to my retribution spec for the sake of more damage, more damage, and more damage. You can taunt (on normal mode), but it's got diminishing returns that will quickly render that ability useless. The damage might just be better.
  • Focus on the same target. This is a great opportunity to practice your /assist skills. Since a significant part of this encounter revolves around "killing them faster than they kill you," getting as much damage as possible on a single target can make a huge difference.
  • They've got Mortal Strike -- you should too. The ability to debuff healing done is not a normal raid ability. But in this encounter, it can bloody well be key. While I'm not sure many raids will be able to simply blow through enemy healing in every case, dropping the champions' healing in half will help.
  • Interrupt, silence, and interrupt more. This is probably de rigeur for many raids. But if you can spare a rogue or shaman to shut down their healers, that will make a big difference in how quickly you can kill your target.
  • Dispel, spell steal, purge. A lot of raid encounters involve dispelling, but that dynamic is taken to a new level in this PvP-like encounter. If that retribution paladin blows wings, for example, you'll want to get it off as soon as possible.
  • Don't go out of your way to AE. The champions get a buff called Champion's Aegis. This keeps area effect attacks from being particularly useful against them.
  • Keep your bubbles handy. The enemy champions will usually try and "train" one of your raid members. (That's what I advised you do them up above.) Be ready with a Hand of Protection, Pain Suppression, or other life-saving ability.
  • Prep to be crowd controlled. Just like a good Arena team, the enemy will frequently use their class specific crowd control abilities. You'll be sheeped, frogged, and otherwise locked down. You may consider using your PvP trinket if you have the option.
  • They will trinket, but Resilience does you no good. Resilience will not reduce the amount of damage that the Faction Champions do, but they still have the ability to trinket out of abilities you use on them.
  • Kill the one in the dress. Just like in the Arena, if they've got the healers up, you're not going to get a lot of effectiveness. Lock down the healers (stun, interrupt, crowd control), and blow the hell out of them quickly.
  • Fear bomb them! Psychic Screams are your friends, as are Intimidating Shouts. Not only do these abilities interrupt whatever the champions are up to, it also sends them scattering. When the fear effect wears off, it'll take the champions precious time to reposition themselves to attack.
This is a chaotic fight. They'll focus on killing your raid one at a time, while trying to lock down your healers. Their healers will all focus on healing your DPS target. They're using about the same tactics you are. The "trick" here is just that you need to be better and faster at doing that. These guys hit like a truck in normal mode, and they hit like a rocket-powered truck in Heroic. Just be prepared to do some practice here.

Once you have an idea of who you're fighting in the opposing team, it will get a lot easier. You'll be able to pick and choose macros and targets to coordinate. Keep at it, and you'll get it.

Ready Check is here to provide you all the information and discussion you need to bring your raiding to the next level. Ready Check appears once a week with writer Michael Gray.

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