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Encrypted Text: Rogue tips and tricks for Firelands, part 3


Every week, WoW Insider brings you Encrypted Text for assassination, combat and subtlety rogues. Chase Christian will be your guide to the world of shadows every Wednesday. Feel free to email me with any questions or topics you'd like to see covered.

Alysrazor is not an ideal fight for rogues. We waste a lot of time running around, and we spend hundreds of energy points on Kicks. We swap targets often, never spending more than a minute on any single enemy. We're often too far away from the rest of the raid to receive their buffs, and our targets are rarely fully debuffed. Due to encounter mechanics, even the tanks are dealing more damage than us. While it might seem like the odds are stacked against us on Alysrazor, the good news is that our damage here isn't nearly as important as our utility.

Alysrazor is the official Interrupt Boss for Firelands. There's always an Interrupt Boss in each raid tier. Tier 11 saw us Kicking all of Maloriak's casts, while Lady Deathwhisper and Valithria Dreamwalker had us interrupting Scourge casters all night. It was almost impossible to defeat the Faction Champions without solid interrupts, and General Vezax's Searing Flames was deadly if not Kicked. Rogues have been the go-to interrupters for years, and the Alyzrazor encounter again challenges us to put our boots in some caster faces.

Phase 1: Kick Time

Unless you're one of the incredibly lucky rogues who's tasked with flying around with Alysrazor, you'll be spending most of the encounter interrupting the Blazing Talon Initiates. The Initiates are druid adds that fly in and land around the edge of the battlefield. You'll be running over to them, burning them down with DPS, and Kicking their Fieroblast casts. They also cast a spell called Brushfire, which spawns a mostly harmless ball of fire that roams about on the ground. You can't interrupt Brushfire, so make sure not to waste Kick trying. Your job is to sidestep the Brushfires while nuking the Initiate, never allowing them to finish a Fieroblast cast. In order to make moving between Initiates easier, you should grab a Molten Feather or two from the floor when Alysrazor sheds them, granting you a movement speed bonus.

There are three different strategies for handling the Fieroblast interrupts, so check with your raid leader for your raid's specific plan. You can use two interrupters per Initiate, with each taking turns interrupting Fieroblast. You can swap one of your major glyphs out for the Glyph of Kick, which allows one rogue to solo the interrupts for one Initiate. The one important note for using Glyph of Kick is to ensure that nobody else attempts to interrupt the Initiates, as a missed Kick breaks your interrupt rotation. I suggest that assassination rogues drop Glyph of Rupture Glyph of Fan of Knives. I forgot that Glyph of Kick is only a major glyph, thanks to vlosx183 for reminding me.

Combat rogues can install Glyph of Kick, but they also have another options. You can also spec into Throwing Specialization (yes, I'm serious) with your flex talent points as a combat rogue, allowing you to use one-point Deadly Throws and Kicks to handle the interrupts yourself. Blood elves also have Arcane Torrent available to use as a backup interrupt. Kidney Shot, Cheap Shot, Blind, and Gouge are all ineffectual since the mobs are immune to CC. The only other thing to worry about in phase 1 is dodging the Plump Lava Worms' Lava Spew, which usually amounts to always standing behind the Initiates.

Phase 2: Dodge the tornadoes

In phase 2, Alysrazor decides to unleash her ultimate attack, Fiery Vortex. A ton of Fiery Tornados spawn, and you need to dodge them. Use Sprint and Cloak of Shadows to ensure your survival. There's nothing more important than dodging the tornadoes in this phase, so focus on sidestepping and avoiding them. Try to reserve Cloak of Shadows for a moment where you're certain to die, rather than using it preemptively. If you see a fiery circle on the ground, you can run through it for an 8% haste buff, although your air crew will probably want to monopolize the circles.

Phases 3 and 4: Burn during Burnout

Once Alysrazor crashes after her Burnout, you want to pop all of your cooldowns. She'll be taking 50% more damage, and your raid will almost certainly use Bloodlust. You have about 60 seconds to burn the boss before she takes off again. For the first 30 seconds, she'll be unconscious as you burn down her health with the damage bonus. You want to make sure all of your cooldowns are used in the first 30-second window, as the 50% bonus damage is too good to pass up. For the second 30 seconds, she'll start beating up your tank and pulsing for a ton of AOE damage. You should be using Feint on cooldown for the second half of this burn, as it will help your healers keep everyone alive.

More interrupts

Once Alysrazor is finished recharging, she'll blast the entire raid and the fight starts again from phase 1. Your two goals are to keep the Blazing Talon Initiates silent as you burn them down, and then to unload as much damage onto Alysrazor during that 60-second window as possible.

Running around and beating up Initiates doesn't make our DPS look good on the meters, but keeping the Fieroblasts under control is more important than our damage on this encounter. The ranged classes in your air force will be dealing amazing damage, your tanks will be nearing six-digit DPS values ... and you'll be doing worse than ever. Alysrazor is a fight that doesn't seem very flattering to rogues, but we plan an important role, and it's our job to forget about the meters and to focus on interrupting instead.

Sneak in every Wednesday for our Molten Front ganking guide, a deep-dive into the world of playing a subtlety rogue -- and of course, all the basics in our guide to the latest rogue gear.

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