Saturday, 28 August 2010

Cheer up, emo kid! Surviving cutters on Halion Heroic

Sorry for the lack of posts this week! I've been incredibly busy, so fell well behind on my updates!

We've been working on Ruby Sanctum 25 heroic these past weeks, and are just about at a kill (2% and we hit the enrage! Next week he'll be dead.). It's pretty crucial to avoid any cutter deaths, as the loss of a dps will likely either slow the pace or result in the shadow and fire realms becoming imbalanced, allowing Halion to heal. Similarly, the loss of a healer can put pressure on the other healers as they work to keep the tanks and raid up.

I thought I'd post some of my tricks and things I do to avoid dying to cutters as they might be helpful for others in this fight. These are particularly apt for the hardmode versions of the 10 and 25 man encounter, where there are two cutter beams, but are equally relevant for the normal versions of the fight.

First and foremost: To keep my view as clear and wide as possible (and to avoid it being restricted by the outer firewall), I angle my camera downward and zoom far out. The slight angle helps prevent my view from getting blocked by Halion's wings, which I've found happens if I position my camera looking straight down.


1. Checking orb location. A few seconds before each cutter timer is up, I shift my toon just enough to look to the left to get a clear view of the orb and its position. It's a subtle enough shift that it doesn't face me away from the boss completely (so it shouldn't affect dps attacks). Once I've locked the orb's position, I can shift immediately back to face the boss full on, and I now have the orb's location fully locked in my peripheral vision so I can track it as it moves and stay out of the cutter's path.

2. Boss emotes. I always play with the in-game sound and music on, and I find boss emotes incredibly helpful on fights. Their emotes will always fall in line with their abilities (in case your bossmod is lagging or inaccurate) and it's an extra audio reminder of what's coming. The cutter emote is 'Beware the Shadow' and, for those in the fire realm, the Meteor Strike emote is 'The heavens burn'.

3. Staying with the forward cutter. This may be less useful for melee (who need to avoid getting parried) but is helpful for healers and casters. I edge towards the leading cutter, as this gives me time for at least one full cast (maybe two quick ones) before I have to move again to avoid the second cutter as it comes around.

4. Strafing. Most of my movement in the Twilight realm as we rotate is strafing with minor adjustments to keep myself facing the boss. This keeps me nicely in a circle as we rotate with the beams.

5. Finding the sweet spot to stand. One week I found myself getting sucked into other's consumption voidzones a few times. I realised I was standing just slightly too far back from Halion, so I would end up a bit too close to the person being cleansed and get sucked in. All I had to do was adjust where I was standing so that I was slightly closer in and I was fine. Similarly, standing too close will give you minimal time between cutter beams, so finding that golden zone to stand in really helps.

6. Dropping off Consumption voids. When there's ample time before a cutter, I edge to the direction we came from along the outer wall, so as to leave some space for the consumption that lands during cutter. For the cutter consumptions, I move forward at the wall (towards where the leading cutter is) so that if I do get slowed in the voidzone, there's as much time as possible before that second cutter reaches me. You do need to keep an eye on the orbs as you do this and be careful not to move too far forward, as you risk getting breathed on or trapped in the tank's quadrant when the cutters start if you get too far ahead.

7. Speed boosts. For those that have them, any speed boosts seem best saved for consumptions. I use my rocket boots or, if those are on cooldown, I use travel form or kitty dash. Some of our shammies have picked up Improved Ghost Wolf for this as well, as the instant shift to ghost wolf helps them move out quickly. Our holy priest picked up Body+Soul, the bubbles give a helpful speed boost down there as well.

For druids: It seems like shapeshifting will free us from the consumption void's slow (though you may need to shift more than once until you are completely cleared of the voidzone)... t seems like it helps me, at any rate. To avoid going into caster form, the macro /use !____ Form helps a ton. It will shift you into the desired form without putting you into caster form in between. (/use !Travel Form, /use !Tree Form, etc).

8. Mitigating damage in voids. If you can, save your healthstones or any defensive cooldowns (ie Barkskin) for the consumption zones. There's a lot of damage from the debuff, its tick and from the voidzone itself, plus the ticking aura in the twilight realm. It's even worse if you're unlucky enough to have a combustion zone overlap with the consumption in phase 3. The healers will be doing everything they can to keep you up, but as ever, it's a delicate balance, particularly between the heavy damage on consumption targets and the tanks.

Feel free to post with any more tips you may have!

More posts to come over the weekend! I've got a bunch in mind that I just wasn't able to post during the week, so I'll get those up asap.

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