Two Bosses Enter: Queen Azshara vs. Hagara Stormbinder

Mathew McCurley
M. McCurley|02.20.12

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Two Bosses Enter: Queen Azshara vs. Hagara Stormbinder
In Two Bosses Enter, WoW Insider's series of fantasy death matches, bosses, leaders, and powerful figures of World of Warcraft face off in the squared circle. Your vote determines who wins and claims the season title.

Archbishop Benedictus, just get out. Leave. I just checked the votes, and you should be ashamed of yourself.

Murozond, the corrupted and tainted aspect of time and leader of the Infinite Dragonflight, utterly stomped Benedictus by over 2,100 votes. Was it because Benedictus was so unpopular or because of an emerging crowd favorite in Murozond? Only time will tell.

This week's matchup features the final raid boss of this season, Hagara Stormbinder, going head-to-head against the Well of Eternity's Queen Azshara. This matchup seems like it will prove to be very interesting, as each encounters' mechanics are so robust and varied. Hagara's environmental attacks and movement will be a big factor when paired against Azshara's adds and puppermaster abilities. The ultimate decision, however, is up to you.

Who wins this week's battle on Two Bosses Enter?


The rules of the ring
  • The WoW Insider Ring is considered neutral territory, where both combatants are able to access their usual encounter mechanics and abilities. If you can't visualize it inside the squared circle, visualize it someplace else -- but you must take into consideration all of each bosses' abilities and mechanics.
  • Assume that each opponent is intelligent and capable of strategic thinking.
  • All of the competitors' abilities, including crowd control and other effects to which bosses are usually immune, work on their opponents (with apologies to considerations of lore on this point).
  • Assume that the opponents share similar levels, health pools, and comparative overall damage output.
  • Don't get caught up in gameplay mechanics and what actual players might do in each encounter.
  • Don't neglect style, story, and scale. Everything is a factor; seeking balance is your goal as a spectator and judge.
In Corner One: Queen Azshara

They called her the light of lights, the most beautiful being in the universe. The loyal subjects of Queen Azshara of the Highborne would follow her grace and beauty to the ends of space. In fact, the edges of space came to her. Drawn to the power of the Well of Eternity, Sargeras manipulated Azshara into heralding Sargeras' return from his prison.

Queen Azshara is one of those lore figures who is so popular and so loved in the story that it's hard to put her anywhere. Killing her means getting rid of one of the best characters in Warcraft who still hasn't gotten enough characterization and time. She is the ultimate Azerothian demigod, rising to power and prominence and then tragically sinking into the depths, only to emerge as something else.

This is not that time, however, and ripped from the past for this fight alone are Queen Azshara and her court, ready and waiting to do battle against all comers. Azshara is an add-heavy encounter, but remember that all powers and other concerns are relative, so don't bother with too much of the little stuff. Have fun with it.

Queen Azshara's abilities include:
  • Servant of the Queen Azshara charms an opponent, forcing them to become a puppet and do Azshara's bidding. Destroying the puppet hand ends the effect.
  • Total Obedience Queen Azshara attempts to charm all opponents and turn them into puppets.
Queen Azshara's enchanted magi court will join her in battle
  • Frost Magus Uses frost abilities like Ice Fling, Coldflame, and Blades of Ice to damage opponents of the queen.
  • Fire Magus A fire mage specializing in Fireballs, Firebombs, and Blast Waves.
  • Arcane Magus This student of the arcane uses Arcane Shocks and Arcane Bombs to debuff and damage opponents.
In Corner Two: Hagara Stormbinder

I find Hagara Stormbinder interesting not only because the encounter is very fun, frantic, and just a good old time, but because she is proof that the story is moving forward in a very particular way. We knew that the brand new Cataclysm race/class combinations were part of the various Alliance and Horde races' cross-contaminating each other's worlds with practices, customs, and specializations. Hagara Stormbinder is one of the first students to study arcane magic under the Forsaken as part of the alliance between the undead of the Undercity and the orcs.

While Hagara was a gifted student, she was also arrogant, like most orcs throughout Azeroth's orcish era. This arrogance led to attempts to control fierce and unruly elementals. In her efforts, she was taken and corrupted by Al'akir and placed into Deathwing's service. Now, Hagara waits to ambush all who attempt to enter the Eye of Eternity and commune with the Focusing Iris, a magical artifact of the late Malygos the Spellweaver himself.

Hagara's abilities include:
  • Ice Lance Hagara fires ice crystals towards random opponents, including damage to the first opponent in the way, and reduces attack speed.
  • Ice Tomb Hagara traps opponents in blocks of ice until they are removed by breaking open the icy prison.
  • Focused Assault Hagara goes into a frenzy, frantically swinging her weapons in front of her.
  • Shattered Ice Deals damage and slows an opponent.
  • Frozen Tempest Hagara becomes invulnerable until four crystals are destroyed. Four ice walls move around Hagara's water bubble. Entering the bubble causes damage and touching the ice walls causes mega damage.
  • Lightning Storm Hagara becomes invulnerable and cannot be harmed until all four lightning totems are overloaded. Hagara will summon an add that, after being killed near a totem, will arc out lighting to disable the other totems, which has to jump from one close player to another.
Last Week's Winner: Murozond

Murozond laid waste to his opponent Archbishop Benedictus in what has to be the most embarassing loss of the entire tournament so far. Wow, that was awful. Benedictus was like that guy you know who is in a band and they totally have got a gig this Saturday night at a place you don't know, and a bunch of people are going and so, like, you totally have to come. And then you get there and the band sucks, no one else showed up, and now you're out a $20 cover and a three-drink minimum. Don't get me started on Krystal, the girl who just puked on your shoes. Archbishop Benedictus, you are that guy, and it's sad to see such a revered figure fall so hard.

Vincentmagius said what we were all thinking:
I'm going to go Benedictus. He's shown he can switch between Holy to Shadow easily enough. He could dps with the full force of Shadow and keep himself topped up with Holy. When (if) he runs out of mana, hit the Hourglass.

I could be reading too much into his abilities.
Believe me, Vincent, there is never too much reading into this stuff, especially for the very purpose of this column. Reader GhostWhoWalks put down the facts, plain and simple, for you to follow along with:
Murozond takes this fight with ease. Between Temporal Blast, Infinite Breath, Distortion Bombs and the good old Tail Swipe, he unloads a crap-ton of damage onto any opponent. Benedictus...does not. Even with the benefit of some resets, there's no way Benedictus could deal enough damage in between hourglass uses to beat the big guy.

Plus, Assault on New Avalon plays during the fight, so Murozond has the power of epic theme music backing him up.
Murozond's kit is pretty powerful, especially in light of Benedictus' relative motionless encounter and the hecticness and fun of dodging ice walls. Nonetheless, Benedictus just isn't going to break the public's view of him as kind of a tool in the face of greater beings, demigods, and destroyer dragons.

Finally, I leave you with punchinthefacedance's application of a little logic and a whole lot of fun that makes time travel worthless.
Murozond has been buggering arround with the timeline trying to manipulate events so that their chain of cause and event lead to the moment of his creation, the hour of twilight or..rather it aftermath. Everything he has done has seemingly been to ensure he exists (whether its because he genuinly believes that his existance is better for azeroth than the alternative or simply out of a selfish desire or fear), to put it simply, he want to live.

Benedictus is a tool which the old gods have been using in their attempt to escape, in their attempt to bring about the hour of twilight which will lead to nozdormus desent into becoming Murozond, Murozond can surely see this. He could use this tool to nudge the timeline into taking the direction he wants, why destroy it when he can convince it that its in both their interests to work together.

The usual rules of the ring cant apply here since the bronze flight have keept the combatants in line but Murozond is still the most powerful of all the timey-wimey-wibbly-wobbly flights so hes just going to shrug off any attempts at stopping him from planting Benedictus right back where he needs him, unlesss that attempt is made by himself, as we know from the usual Murozond encounter this isnt going to happen as Nozdormu cannot, or cannot bring himself to fight and potentially kill Murozond.

Murozond will give Benedictus a small scale hourglass so that he can be given a second chance to succede when Thrall and a band of Azeroth's heroes inevitably cross him. THIS is why the trash leading to Benedictus has a nasty habbit of resetting, Benedictus is on hourglass duty and when his group starts to wipe he uses his hourglass in the hopes that this time his enemies will wipe. It could also be why we have all been able to kill him, and many other bosses so many times..

Its also why no matter how many times we fight Benedictus his tactics will never change, bar any brainfarts that make him forget to use the hourglass during trash, Benedictus is with the twilights hammer and if you work with those guys you either are, or are going to end up being, completely insane and well.."to repeat the same action and expect different results is madness" opinion, which must be dammed close since there is all that in game evidance, is that nothing notable happens since timetravel.

Don't forget to vote for this week's winner. See you guys next week for another exciting episode of Two Bosses Enter!

Set aside the world order -- let the WoW Insider Ring determine who's the champion! Your votes determine the outcome in WoW Insider's series of fantasy deathmatches, Two Bosses Enter, One Boss Leaves.
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