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Shifting Perspectives: Soloing as a feral druid, part 3


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

We've already cleared through most of the game's level 60 content, and made an initial start on level 70. Now, we'll step up to the Tier 5 raids; Serpentshrine Cavern and Tempest Keep. This boosts the difficulty considerably, but adds considerable rewards as well.

Serpentshrine Cavern

Getting There Take the portal from your home city to Blasted Lands, go through the portal to Outland, and fly to Coilfang Reservoir. Flying yourself is faster, but if you're lazy like me, take the FP from the portal to Orebor Harborage or Swamprat Post (both in Zangarmarsh), depending on your faction. Once you reach Coilfang, swim down through the tunnel, come up on the far side, and enter the raid instance behind the waterfall. (If you're not in a raid group, you won't be able to go through the waterfall to reach the portal.)

Layout Once inside, you'll take the elevator (yes, this is the original elevator boss) down to the bottom level, then follow the path to a small elevator that leads to a raised platform. Following the platforms south and east will take you past some trash and to Hydross, the first boss. After Hydross, follow the platforms north, clearing or ignoring trash as you choose. These raised platforms surround a few platforms at water-level, which is where Lurker can be fished up, if desired. Ignore the path that splits off to the east; this leads to Vashj, the instance final boss, which isn't soloable for ferals yet. Instead, loop through the three bosses to the north (from left-to-right, they are Leotheras, Karathress, and Morogrim) to finish up.

Boss Strategies

Hydross Hydross isn't too tough, but you don't want to be too aggressive, as he does do a good bit of magic damage. Open in Cat and Berserk/SI, getting all your DoTs up. You'll notice Hydross stacking a debuff that increases your magic damage taken. Once it hits 50%, drag him across the pylons where he starts. He'll change to nature damage, summon some adds, and start stacking up a nature debuff. Go Bear to AOE down the adds, and then back to Cat if your HP permits. Once you hit 50% on the nature debuff, go back to the frost side. Repeat this strategy until he dies.

Leotheras Unlike Hydross, Leotheras must be burned down quickly, requiring you to mostly stay in Cat. He will start out in human form, which does very little damage. At some point, he'll add in a whirlwind; again, don't worry too much. Once he switches to demon form, he'll start hitting you with Chaos Blasts. Ths first few hit very lightly, but they stack a debuff which causes them to hit harder and harder. Near the end of the phase, you'll require cooldowns to survive. I used FR + BS for the first demon form (wait for 10 stacks or so) and SI + BS for the second, plus some HoTs in the human phases to heal back up. Once he hits 20% health, both forms will spawn and nuke you. You'll want be at full health before pushing him below 20%, in order to survive long enough to finish him off. If you have trouble, try using a Prismatic Elixir or the Tol Barad magic resistance trinket.

Karathress Clear the trash in this room first, as you'll be moving a lot. You'll have to do the majority of this fight in Bear, as the incoming damage is too much for cat. Karathress has three adds, Sharkkis, Tidalvess, and Caribdis. Sharkiss and Tidalvess can simply be ignored, but you have to kill Caribdis ASAP, as she casts a 20% heal every 15s or so. Unfortunately, this is harder then it sounds, as the heal is a 1s cast and very hard to interrupt with Skull Bash. To add to this, Caribdis also casts a whirlwind that slowly follows you around and knocks you up in the air if it reaches you. This doesn't hurt you, but it definitely slows down your DPS and attempts at interrupting. The best strategy is to DPS her while walking slowly backwards (to keep out of the whirlwind). If you Berserk on the pull, you should be able to reduce her health to sub-50%, and then keep it there between heals. If you can successfully interrupt one, you can kill her; then just DPS down the adds and Karathress in Bear.

Tidewalker Simple tank-and-spank here in Bear; again, you'll want to kill the trash in this room before engaging. Tidewalker is the easiest boss in here, so feel free to mix in some Cat to kill him faster like you did with Hydross. He does nothing but hit you and summon murloc adds, which die with a Thrash + Swipe. He summons slow-moving bubbles at 20%, but if you tank him at the entrance to his room (coming from Karathress), they'll despawn before they reach you.

Lurker Lurker is a buggy fight solo and probably the most difficult of the five. It also can take FOREVER to get him to spawn, as you have to "fish" him up; this was relatively fast at 70 when you had an entire raid fishing, but it's much slower by yourself. If you want to try, expect it to take 20+ casts. Note that entering the water at any point will cause fish to spawn and attack you - this is easily survivable in bear, not so much in other forms. Also, don't forget to re-equip your weapon once you successfully fish him up. He has three phases you'll have to get through:

  • Phase I: Normal. He hits for a small amount, but also casts a couple spells that'll knock you back. This is bad because if he's out of melee for more than a few seconds, he starts chaincasting a painful spell on you (Water Bolt). You'll want to get as close as possible to minimize your runback distance.
  • Phase II: Geyser (Spout). Every minute or so, he'll spray a jet of water around his platform (you'll get a warning if you run DBM). If this hits you, it'll knock you back a good 200 yards, which usually results in your death from fish + Water Bolt chaincasts. Easiest solution is to just jump in the water during Geyser phases, since it's all above the water. (It also frequently bugs and doesn't revolve, instead just stays pointed at you.) If you go Bear and snuggle up close to his body (underwater) you can DPS him and just wait until he stops and does his knockback (which will pop you back onto the platform).
  • Phase III: Adds. Between Spouts, he'll disappear underwater briefly, spawning 3 melee and 6 ranged adds. The ranged adds are scattered around the area. Don't rush; simply run (in bear) to each group of ranged adds and kill them, while AOE'ing the melee. This phase is timed, and he'll immediately return and cast Geyser when the time elapses. If you're a little slow, just finish the job underwater. (Yes, you can hit the adds from below.)

I can clear the first four bosses in under 45 minutes. EACH boss drops 250 gold plus 10-20g worth of vendorable epics, for a fast ~1100g. If you add in Lurker and the trash, you can full clear everything except Vash'j in 75-90 minutes and rake in over 1500 gold, or more if you AH the Coilfang Armaments (I get 20+ on a full clear, and they AH for 10-15 gold apiece). If you're hurting for gold, this is a great way to refill your wallet fast. Of course, if you're looking for transmogrification items, there's a wealth to be had here.

Next week, we'll look at the other half of Tier 5, Tempest Keep. If you have any questions about specific bosses, feel free to ask 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 Firelands raiding, addons for cat druids and raiding strats for feral cats, as well as our feral cat Firelands boss strats.

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