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Shifting Perspectives: Feral cat raiding strategies, part 3


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!

In the previous installments of our series on raiding strategies for feral cat druids (part 1 and part 2), we've looked at some of the easier bosses in this raid tier. This week, we'll finish up Nefarian's minions in Blackwing Descent and clear out Bastion of Twilight.

First up: Chimaeron in Blackwing Descent.

Chimaeron, Blackwing Descent

The basics From a feral perspective, this is one of the simplest fights in this tier. This fight is designed primarily to challenge the healers; your job will simply be to DPS Chimi, keeping 5 yards apart from everyone else, and stack up with everyone else when Chimi casts Feud.

Feuds are a good time to use Barkskin/SI and a great time to use Tranquility, especially on 10-man. Coordinate with your healers, though, as they'll likely want to fit your Tranquility into a cooldown rotation.

Once Chimi's health drops below 25%, the raid will lose its protection, meaning Chimi will start two-shotting his way down the aggro table. Save your second Berserk and a DPS potion for this phase. Now, some people advocate running away if they're second on the threat table, with the thought that this will let them kite Chimi and give everyone else some time; I'd say just sit there and get as much DPS out as you can.

The next level Not much you can do to excel on this fight; it's a totally different style of healing, so just be prepared to rinse and repeat while the healers get the hang of things. (Well, this is a great fight to use Feral Charge > Ravage; just watch your spacing.) If your raid happens to need more DPS, note that you can actually main tank this boss in cat form, as long as you have a proper tank to taunt and take the double attack. Assuming you can hold threat, it's pretty nifty.

Twilight Ascendant Council, Bastion of Twilight

The basics It's time for Captain Planet! This three-phase fight has an interesting wrinkle; phases 1 and 2 both have two bosses, ending when one boss reaches 25% HP. In phase 3, the final boss will have the remaining health of all four initial bosses. In other words, you'll be trying to reduce both bosses to 25% HP evenly, so be prepared to slow down DPS on your target if the other boss's health is too high.

Anyway, in phase 1, you'll be facing Feludius (water) and Ignacious (fire). You will almost certainly be assigned to fight Ignacious; just beat him down. He'll occasionally run off, leaving a trail of fire; stay out, obviously. The only exception: If you get debuffed with Waterlogged, hopping in the fire briefly will clear it. He'll also occasionally cast a shield, Aegis of Flame, and start channeling a nasty AOE spell; your raid will have to switch to him to burn down his shield so you or someone else can interrupt it. Getting to 25% should be pretty quick, which brings out the next two: Arion (air) and Terrastra (earth).

Phase 2 strategies vary a bit; you'll likely be on Terrastra, but that's not set in stone (heh). Either way, the principle mechanic of this phase is the Quake/Thundershock dance. The bosses will alternate casting their mass AOE; you'll need to run to the opposite void zone of the spell that's coming up to get the debuff that makes you immune. Simple in theory, difficult in practice, as the void zones move about and suck you in (especially when you don't want them to).

To complicate matters further, several players will periodically be marked with the Lightning Rod debuff, which requires them to get clear of the raid (otherwise everyone goes boom). Finally, Terrastra casts a shield that buffs his DPS (Harden Skin), and Arion teleports and casts a large spell (Lightning Blast). Interrupt these if you're assigned. Terrastra's cast is very fast, so you'll likely end up burning the shield down anyway. Just focus on staying alive for this phase; there's actually very little raid damage, if everyone moves to the right spots.

In contrast to phase 2, phase 3 is simple but much more difficult. It's a pure DPS race; stay out of the fire and ice (if you can) and burn the boss as hard as possible before his AoE lightning overwhelms the healers. Save DPS cooldowns for this phase. As with Feud, survivability CDs and Tranquility are very helpful.

The next level In phase 1, watch your tank's health immediately after Rising Flames is interrupted. He usually does a strong channeled flame attack on the tank right after this, which can be a killer if Rising Flames got several ticks off. Get ready to bear and brez the tank the next time the boss does his leap across the room.

In phase 2, if you're assigned to Terrastra, note who's assigned to do interrupts on Arion; if that person dies, you'll want to fill in. Finally, if your raid consistently lacks the DPS to get through phase 3, consider asking one of your tanks to switch to a DPS spec and use the hybrid spec I've previously discussed to tank phases 1 and 2.

Cho'gall, Bastion of Twilight

The basics Our first end boss -- if your raid can handle Twilight Council, than Cho'gall shouldn't be too difficult.

The first thing you'll notice when engaging Cho'gall is your corruption meter. This works similarly to Atramedes' sound meter, except there's no way to reset this one, short of death. Corruption does a bunch of bad stuff, but its primary effect is to cause you to take additional damage in the fight's final phase. If too many people have high corruption going into phase 2, then the healers won't be able to keep them alive long enough.

Anyway, phase 1 (which lasts until 25%) will have you focusing almost entirely on DPSing Cho'gall. (There are two different types of adds that will need to be taken down, but typically ranged DPS will handle this.) The only thing you'll have to worry about is Corrupting Crash, which is a missile fired by the adds and is frequently targeted at someone in melee. Run away when you see the spinning circle on the ground, and come back after the missile hits. Not running will give you corruption, which is bad.

Okay, I lied; you may also have to deal with Worshipping. Cho'gall will periodically cast Conversion on random players, causing them to channel a spell on Cho'gall that boosts his damage. Typically, someone with an AoE interrupt or stun will take care of this as soon as it hits. If the raid is spread, though, and someone near you gets tagged, Skull Bash 'em quick. (Nameplates and a mouseover SB macro are great for this.)

Phase 2 looks a lot like the previous encounter, in which the fight becomes a frantic DPS race; instead of dodging void zones, though, you'll periodically switch to kill tentacles that spawn. They channel a nasty spell, Debilitating Beam, so prioritize interrupting that if you see it. Once again, make sure you have DPS/survivability cooldowns available to use here. (This is a pretty long fight, though, so you'll probably have a chance to use Berserk twice prior; save the third.)

One quick note about corruption; it'll start steadily climbing in phase 2, so hopefully you started close to 0. Once you hit 50, you'll briefly vomit corruption in a forward cone, doing damage and adding corruption to anyone you hit. You'll want to face away from the raid at 48 or so.

The next level I would definitely consider using the honor PvP gloves (or conquest, if you have it) for this fight. If you find yourself interrupting a lot, the reduced energy cost will more than make up for the poorer stats. Other than that, phase 1 of this fight tends to be pretty dull, so it's easy to zone out a bit and miss the markers for Corrupting Crash. If you use Deadly Boss Mods, go into the options for Cho'gall and enable the warning for Corrupting Crash "near" me; by default, it only warns you if it's targeted on you.

Phase 2, in contrast, is very frantic. Don't panic; pop your cooldowns and stick to a standard rotation on Cho, and be ready to switch and kill tentacles when they spawn.

Next week, we'll wrap things up by taking a look at the last two big bads of this tier: Nefarian and Al'Akir.

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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