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5 things you need to know about the Shado-Pan Monastery


This is the final one of the four leveling dungeons that you'll encounter on your journey from 85 to 90. In my opinion, it is also by far the hardest to get through. There's a lot of stuff in here that hits like a train right now in the beta, or so it seems. I think this dungeon strikes a really great balance between being hard enough to challenge experienced players and not so hard that it's impossible or too difficult for newer players.

Of course, we've given you a walk-through of the four bosses, and they're also included in our bosses in 5 seconds post for this set of dungeons. You're welcome!

For those of you who don't want all the spoilers of a walk-through but need a little more information than can be transmitted in 5 seconds, here we are again with your friendly 5 things you need to know correspondent, giving you just enough knowledge to sound like you might know what you're talking about!

I would mention that given the plethora of information already floating around about the bosses in this dungeon, 5 things you need to know has chosen to concentrate a little more on the trash. The trash in this dungeon, from a healing perspective, is a real pain. I've healed this dungeon 16 times now, and I blow more cooldowns on trash than I do on bosses, unless boss fights start going pear-shaped.

Now, before we get onto the 5 things, I want to make a separate point. This dungeon, as I mentioned, has some high damage levels, especially from trash. Remember the trash from the Zandalari dungeons? Well, some of the trash here hits about as hard as that, if you're not careful to avoid it. This dungeon is all about avoidable damage, and taking out the problematic trash as priority rather than just AoE-storming through the place is really vital for your healer's sanity. OK?

1. If one person gets to the temple, the archers will stop. In true 5 things style, we're leaping straight into the vague. After you're out of the first building for the second time (you pop out for a second to kill the first boss then head back in), you'll receive a helpful warning that ice archers have appeared on the rooftops! Terrific! Everyone likes ice archers. Well, actually, they're kind of a pain.

Once you've killed the five adorable panda assassins (pandassassins?), mount up, and go as fast as you can to the temple, dodging arrows as best you can. If one of your teammates gets snared, abandon them. There's no trash along the way that will hurt them, and if just one member of your party makes it to the temple at the end of the icy gauntlet, the ice archers will be so impressed at your arrow-dodging prowess that they'll give up. They'll be back later as fire archers after some emergency retraining.

2. Doors close really fast. Really fast. Did I emphasise the really enough? Really fast. Wait until your entire group is together before walking into the second building, where the second boss, Master Snowdrift, hangs out. It's right after the ice archers. If you wander in by yourself or with just a few of you, the doors will shut. In the beta right now, they can reopen if you're lucky, but sometimes you're not, so just make sure you're all together and save yourselves some stress.

Exactly the same applies for the Sha of Violence's home. In his house, though, you also need to leave quickly and through the correct door -- the one with a path outside it, not the ones where there are rings in the doorway. If you don't do that, you get a bunch of trash. Tiresome.

3. Interrupt the Sha. The trash in this dungeon leading to the Sha of Violence is heavily sha-based. You'll have heard about the sha; they're the weird, creeping, black and white guys who are wreaking havoc on the peaceful island of Pandaria. There are a few varieties, including the volatile ones that explode upon death, and can definitely wipe out a careless DPSer, although they shouldn't take out a tank. But your main concerns are Regenerating Sha and Corrupting Sha.

5 things you need to know about the ShadoPan MonasteryThey come in groups of five or so, usually just one regenerating and several corrupting. The Corrupting Sha blast something that looks like smoke from their mouths, so you'll want to tank them facing away from your group, because when they're all alive, the combined blast hits hard. The Regenerating Sha, well, they regenerate. Clue's in the name, I guess. However, their Regenerate, just like the Corrupting Sha's Corruption, can be interrupted. Interrupt them. Every chance you get, interrupt them. Your healer will thank you for it.

4. Click the floating pandas. After you've taken down the Sha of Violence, the hard trash begins. The sha weren't the hard trash? No, I'm afraid not. Sorry about that. After the first couple of packs, which serve to lull you into a false sense of security, the groups start to get bigger. You can take them on and DPS them down to 0% health, but they won't die. What on earth?

Now, did you notice that there is a panda in the middle of the trash, floating in mid-air? No? Well, look again. You need to click on the floating pandas. When you do, you'll notice that you get an open hand pointer rather than a pointy hand pointer. There's a cast-time spell you need to complete on the panda, and once that's done, the trash will die. It might hit a bit less hard, too. And frankly, both of those are good things.

Healers and tanks, I'd advise against your doing the clicking. The latter pandas are in pools of purple, generated by Hateful Essences, that need to be nuked down by DPS before the panda can be clicked, because damage interrupts the cast.

5. The Residual Hatred spawns the shadowbolt swirl. Anyone who's done the dungeon on beta but not yet worked that out has just thought "Right, you damn Hatred. I'm coming for you." As if finding a floating panda wasn't enough, you have to deal with a ring of swirling shadowbolts dealing what can only be described as hefty damage to people standing in it. Healers, if a DPSer doesn't move out of them after a few moments and you're not a priest with Leap of Faith, abandon them. You won't be able to heal through it for long. Mercifully, the tank will likely be in the middle of it.

So, once you've got your panda clicking under way by killing the Hateful Essence if applicable, the next priority is to DPS down the Residual Hatred at top speed to stop the swirling bolts of shadowy doom. Once those things are done, the rest of the trash is a walkover. As ever, this swirly mass of doom is an omen for a pending boss ability. With him, though, you just need to avoid it!

It's open warfare between Alliance and Horde in Mists of Pandaria, World of Warcraft's next expansion. Jump into five new levels with new talents and class mechanics, try the new monk class, and create a pandaren character to ally with either Horde or Alliance. Look for expansion basics in our Mists FAQ, or dig into our spring press event coverage for more details!

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