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Shifting Perspectives: Druid feral cat raiding strategy for Cataclysm, part 2


Every week, WoW Insider brings you Shifting Perspectives for cat , bear , restoration and balance druids. Welcome to our weekly feral cat edition, brought to you by Chase Hasbrouck, aka Alaron of The Fluid Druid blog. Let the face clawing begin!

Last week, we began our detailed look at feral raiding by discussing the "easy 5" raid bosses this tier. This week, we'll head over to the Throne of the Four Winds to discuss the Conclave and take a look at two of Nef's minions.

First up: Conclave of the Wind, Throne of the Four Winds.

Conclave of the Wind, Throne of the Four Winds

The basics Here, three djinns, Anshal, Rohash, and Nezir, are situated on three individual platforms. They are all linked, so engaging one engages them all, and they all will wipe the raid quickly if they are not being actively engaged. Furthermore, all three will periodically use an "ultimate" ability that will require players to move between the platforms. Finally, they must all die within a minute, or they will return to life at full health.

As you can see from the many conditions, this fight is much more about coordination and working as a group than personal skill. I'll discuss the fight from the most likely role for a feral, but you definitely want to trust your raid leader's assignments, even if they seem suboptimal. Most likely, you will be assigned either Anshal or Rohash as your primary DPS target.

If you are facing Anshal, your primary concern will be the five Ravenous Creeper adds that he summons once per phase (at 30 energy). You will want to save any cooldowns for killing these ASAP, as they have a nasty DoT that stacks on anything in melee range. Before and after the add summon, Anshal will place a healing circle on the ground that heals him and any adds inside it; save your energy until the tank pulls the adds out of the circle. In 25-man, you may be called upon to go bear to help tank/move the adds via taunts.

If you are facing Rohash (preferred), you'll be able to concentrate on him directly. Rohash needs no tank; he will just chaincast Slicing Gale at random players on his platform, which hits for pretty low damage. Of greater concern are his two other abilities: Tornado, which spawns (wait for it) three tornadoes that move randomly around his platform, and Wind Blast, a rotating line of, well, wind. If you fought Mimiron or Halion in Wrath (heck, even Glubtok in the new The Deadmines), you've seen the mechanic. Simply stay behind Rohash as much as possible, and keep an eye out for tornadoes.

For either assignment, once the boss hits 80 energy (which means he will start casting his ultimate soon), you'll likely be assigned to jump to Nezir's platform, to help mitigate the AoE damage from his ultimate, Sleet Storm. While you're here, DPS Nezir and use Barkskin and/or Survival Instincts to help mitigate the damage. After Sleet Storm is over, jump back to Anshal/Rohash, and repeat. Your RL will likely try to coordinate the killing of Anshal and Rohash, so be prepared to slow or stop DPS as necessary. Once your assignment is dead, immediately jump to Nezir's platform and finish him off before your minute expires.

The next level This fight has a lot of movement, so you'll definitely want to be using Feral Charge and Dash to get to/from bosses faster. If you're assigned to Anshal, keep half an eye on the tank's health when you jump back from Nezir. Anshal's ultimate buffs his damage significantly for 15 seconds, so you may see a few tank deaths here. If so, be prepared to go bear and hold him; you'll get a brief but safe opportunity to battle rez when he starts summoning adds.

Maloriak, Blackwing Descent

The basics It's primary color time! Mal has a nasty raid-wide AOE (Arcane Storm), a spell that releases adds (Release Aberrations), and a few other abilities that vary with what color phase he's in. If you're on interrupt duty, make sure you know what to interrupt (and what not to). In red phase, he'll cast a jet of fire on the tank; you'll want to stack up to help spread the damage, unless you get the Consuming Flames debuff. In that case, continue the usual practice of staying out of fire. In blue phase, he'll toss out two targeted effects (Biting Chill and Flash Freeze) that do AOE damage to all nearby players. If you get hit with Chill, run away from everyone until it drops off. Finally, in green phase, the damage shield on the adds will drop for 15 seconds; you'll want to do as much burst AOE damage as you can here. At 25%, he'll soft enrage and release a couple of nasty adds for your tanks to worry about. Just keep on him and watch out for the fire on the floor, it'll kill you fast.

The next level I was going to talk at length about how to know "which" interruptable spell will come up next, but just read the other Chase's take on using Gnosis to whitelist/blacklist certain spells. Other than that, this fight really revolves around getting those adds down quickly in the green phases. Watch your boss mod timer to know when the green phase is coming up, and make sure you'll have a Tiger's Fury available to use. Finally, I hate saying this, but heroic Maloriak (which adds a long "black" phase with sustained AOE add killing) is very, very difficult for ferals to contribute well in at the moment, so consider building a boomkin set. (Yes, it's that bad.)

Atramedes, Blackwing Descent

The basics This fight is primarily about avoidance. Atramedes has two phases that alternate, 80 seconds in the ground and 40 seconds in the air. While he's on the ground, you'll be DPSing from behind, while dodging the Sonar Pulse discs that he spits out every time he casts Modulation. Your +30% movement speed helps significantly here. Twice during each ground phase, he'll pick a random player and fixate on him while casting Sonic Breath; if it's you, pop Dash quick, and get away from everyone to avoid them getting breathed on.

When he's in the air, he'll target a random player with Roaring Flame Breath, which is typically interrupted by a player using one of his gongs. Atramedes will proceed to target that player, who has to kite the breath for the rest of the air phase. Typically this duty goes to a rogue (who have Sprint on a short enough CD to use every air phase), but it may come to you in certain cases. If so, you'll want to alternate Dash and Stampeding Roar on air phases, and ask the priests to help you out with a lifegrip (Leap of Faith). Even if you're not kiting the breath, definitely run over and Stampeding Roar the kiter (just don't get hit yourself).

The next level Feral Charge is very dangerous on this fight, because it positions you right in Atramedes' middle. That's where the Sonar Pulses start at. I might use it to help reposition myself after an air phase, but that's about it. Unlike most other fights, Tranquility isn't very helpful because people tend to die from spiked sound damage (from poor avoidance) than anything else. Proper timing of Barkskin and SI, however, is useful. Modulation will usually kill players whose sound levels are too high; if you notice your sound level above 50, pop one of your damage mitigation abilities before the next Modulation comes to survive a bit longer, and maybe make it to the next gong.

Next week, we'll look at Nef's final minion and then hop back to Bastion of Twilight to finish it out. As always, ask any questions in the comments!

Looking for the latest and greatest in feral cat druid guides? Shifting Perspectives has the answers! Check out our cat 101 for Cataclysm. Also don't miss gearing your cat for Cataclysm raiding, addons for cat druids and raiding strats for feral cats.

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