Trial of the Champion: Faction Champions

August 22, 2009 at 5:59 pm (Divine Hymn, Fade, Grouping, Healing Mechanics, Power Word: Shield, Raiding, Trial of the Champion)

This is not an easy fight to describe, it’s very unconventional.

If you did the 5 man Magister’s Terrace back in TBC you might remember the second last fight was something like an arena match. Your 5man group faces off against a five separate bosses each with a different class and class abilities.
This fight is very similar but with 10v6 (or 25v10 for 25 man raids). So your raid will be facing off against a group of NPCs from the opposite faction. The exact composition will change from raid to raid, but not from wipe to wipe. So once you start the encounter you will be fighting the same setup for the rest of the lockout.

Class Champions
Alliance Horde
Death knight Tyrius Duskblade Gorgrim Shadowcleave
Druid (Moonkinr) Kavina Grovesong Birana Stormhoof
Druid (Resto) Melador Valestrider Erin Misthoof
Hunter Alyssia Moonstalker
& cat pet
& cat pet
Mage Noozle Whizzlestick Ginselle Blightslinger
Paladin (Heal) Velanaa Liandra Suncaller
Paladin (Retribution) Baelnor Lightbearer Malithas Brightblade
Priest (Holy/Disc hybrid) Anthar Forgemender Caiphus the Stern
Priest (Shadow) Brienna Nightfell Vivienne Blackwhisper
Rogue Irieth Shadowstep Maz’dinah
Shaman (Heal/Caster) Saamul Thrakgar
Shaman (Enhancement) Shaabad Broln Stouthorn
Warlock Serissa Grimdabbler
and her felhunter
and his felhunter
Warrior Shocuul Narrhok Steelbreaker

The NPCs have many class abilities. The hunter “boss” for example does Deterrence, Disengage, Steady Shot, Wyvern Sting, Aimed Shot, Explosive Shot, Frost Trap and Wing clip. So it’s safe to assume each boss has many of the abilities you would associate with them and you should act accordingly.

Because of the fact the fight will have a different composition each time, and because there are so many targets, there is not a simple strategy for this fight. However, I can certainly make some observations.

When you start the encounter the opposing Faction leader (in my case Varian Wrynn) does a little speech where they announce that they’d like to see a Horde Vs Alliance fight. Fordring agrees and the fight will start. You do not really get an opportunity to pull. The Bosses will appear in a big group standing near the purple (the 5 man) entrance and aggro relatively quickly. You don’t get a lot of time to mark targets. However, it’s definitely crucial to have somebody marking as you go.

Aggro functions very differently in this fight. You cannot really tank the adds because they will change targets relatively randomly. However, you can briefly gain, or lose, their attention by using things like Taunts and Feign Deaths (or Fade.)

You can CC adds with Mind Control, Polymorph, Fear and so forth. However, these CC effects will only last for PvP durations (10 seconds max) rather than PvE durations. They suffer from diminishing returns just like they would in PvP so reapplying the same CC over and over will cause it to stop working for a time. Also CC effects are often dispelled by the other NPCs so they can’t be 100% relied on. Therefore, it’s a good idea for any and all plate wearing classes to be taunting whenever they can. Meanwhile use Fears and other crowd control, particularly AoE crowd control, every cooldown.

There will be three healer mobs, and these should be the first targets to die. Ideally you want to lock down two of the healers with stuns and interrupts, then burst down the third. If you have a Rogue, or a Protection Warrior or Paladin these are excellent choices to keep a healer occupied. If there is a Druid healer you can help to mitigate their healing by offensive dispels on the person your raid is killing to remove things like Rejuvenation, Nourish, or even Power Word: Shields and Renews.

PvP Resilience gear is not the way to go. You need the burst damage to get through the first few seconds of the fight when they have three healers. Also you really don’t get that much benefit from it because much of the benefit of Resilience only works on players, not NPCs.

You can’t just AoE them down. They take reduced damage from AoE.

The fight is very hard at the beginning and very easy towards the end. Be very aggressive about using your cooldowns early on when you are facing 10 opponents because once you start to outnumber them the fight gets much more simple.
Don’t get distracted if people die. It’s perfectly reasonable to have 4 or 5 players die so long as you are killing the NPCs faster. The fight gets easier the more you outnumber them, so the real key is killing them faster than you die, not necessarily keeping everybody alive. We cleared this fight with five people dead and yet were never really in much danger after the first 30 seconds or so.
There is a lot of room for luck in terms of who the mobs decide to go after, so if you are wiping, stick at it.

Healing This Encounter

The healing itself is not terribly intensive, however because there is so much going on it’s possible for players to get attack by two or three mobs at once and die before you notice. It’s important therefore for players to be on the ball about things like Ice Block, Bubbles and so forth to help give you a chance to heal them. If you’re struggling to keep players alive therefore the solution might be to use more CC, snares and things like that rather than try to heal more. Every time it’s ready Psychic Scream is really your best “heal” because it will help you mitigate a lot of damage.

Similarly Dispels and disease curing can often be better than just straight healing. Particularly if you are up against the Shadow Priest or Warlock NPCS.

The Warlock NPC is nasty, particularly because of Unstable Afflication which he will drop on players. Be careful not to dispel it because it’ll just do more damage that way. However, if you don’t have the Warlock NPC, dropping Mass Dispels is an excellent way to contribute to the fight.

All these NPC’s are vulnerable to a lot of things which Bosses usually aren’t. So Frostweave Nets work, racial abilities like War Stomp and Arcane Torrent and so forth. Think like a PvPer.

It’s a safe bet that if you put a Power Word: Shield on somebody they will get hit before the shield fades. Therefore the best way to heal this is to stay relatively mobile. Rely on shields, stopping only for Penance when it’s off cooldown and maybe a flash heal when you have to.

Applying Shields is not only good healing but it’s fantastic for giving your raid members a chance to use their own abilities to escape. Putting a shield on somebody gives them extra opportunity to use their abilities if they get focused fired by two or three mobs ganging up on them.

If you can get a Divine Hymn off, particularly during the first 20 seconds of the fight you have gone a long way towards guaranteeing victory. The same is true of a Druid using Tranquility. As such, encourage your other raid members like Shadow Priests and Feral Druids to think about using these abilities. If timed right, it can make a much greater difference than them just doing straight DPS for the whole encounter.

Kill Totems, they contribute much more damage than you think. Particularly Tremor Totems and Wind Fury Totems.

In general this fight is as much about helping your Raid through your other class abilities as it is about pure healing. Good luck and have fun! This fight is a total laugh.


1 Comment

  1. Cialis said,

    E99XG6 Excellent article, I will take note. Many thanks for the story!

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