Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Helion: Why? Because he's pink

On Saturday 10 of my guild entered the Ruby Sanctum ready to go Dragons v Dragon with Halion and his Lieutenants.

This is the last raid dungeon before Cataclysm so I went in expecting some things to be a bit different and I was not disappointed.  This is not your round up and volley instance.  There is no 25% buff.  There is actual thinking and threat management and ability knowledge required.  I about wet myself from the thrill of it all.

Trash Mobs

Charscale Elites: Easy peasy tank and spank

Charscale Assaulter: These are the big guys that wander around on two legs and swing a glaive and look to be ready to mess up your night.  They do a frontal aoe stun as well as a hard hitting cleave so it’s extremely important that you do not pull aggro.  Misdirect, Feign Death before you pull aggro, stop, DPS, do not pull aggro.  If you feign death after the boss faces you it is too late.  The DPS standing behind this mob just died.

Charscale Invoker: Four legged casters.   The biggest worry is Flame Wave which causes silly amounts of damage.   If you are MM help the raid and interrupt the spells.  Make sure you have a cast bar up for your target, it has a 2.5 second cast time so you have really no GCD issues.  If its not interrupted all your melee will go flying back, possibly pulling an additional pack from way over there. Interrupt the Flame Wave at all costs.

Charscale Commander: They hit pretty hard, dish out a Mortal Strike which tanks and healers the world over just love and do a fun AE ability that increases damage dealt by all of their other dragon-y buddies within 8 yards.
Groups with the Commander will give you the most trouble.  They were almost a mini boss of their own.  Whatever the designated kill order, follow it.  Do not AE, do not AE and do not AE. 

Baltharus the Warborne

Your first boss will probably be Baltharus the Warborne, a huge dragon guardian that can pack a mean punch to raids that do not know the fight.  

Blade Tempest - Rapidly twirling blades deal 70% of weapon damage to enemies in front of the attacker every 0 sec everyone within 15 yards every second for 4 sec. 

Cleave - Inflicts 110% of normal melee damage to an enemy and its nearest allies, affecting up to 3 targets. 

Enervating Brand - Brands an enemy target, siphoning power from the target and any allies within 12 yards of the target. This effect occurs every 2 sec, and reduces affected enemies' damage by 2% per application, while increasing the caster's damage accordingly. 

Repelling Wave - Knocks all nearby enemies back a great distance, dealing 4163 to 4837 Fire damage and stunning them for 3 sec.
Not much for a Hunter to worry about as most of the abilities affect nearby enemies and enemies in his frontal cone.  But as with trash you pull aggro you just killed the raid.  Do you sense a pattern here?

When his health gets down to 50%, Baltharus will summon a clone of himself.  His clone drops all marks, debuffs and stings.  All DPS must focus fire on the main Baltharus so assist your main tank or your main assist.  Don't make the decision on your own.   Once the boss is out, his clones vanish as well.

Saviana Ragefire

Mostly a tank and spank fight.  Her main attack involves breathing fire with a frontal cone and a conflag attack that hits 2 raid members that does AoE damage.
She can be tanked as usual and must be faced away from the raid. Saviana constantly casts Enrage on herself which allows her to AoE more effectively. It is the  Hunter's job to dispel the buff with a Tranquilizing Shot immediately to avoid massive raid damage (A hunter that helps the raid asides from DPS? Shocking!).

From time to time she will mark 3-5 raid members as she flies over the nearby lake. This will be your signal that she's about to Conflag. Whether you have the mark or not, it is important to steer away from raid members to avoid AoE damage. Once you get used to her fight pattern, the encounter is a cakewalk.

General Zarithrian

The fight consists of only one phase, but raid awareness and ranged mobility will be more vital compared to the first two bosses as the General will constantly summon adds that casts AE damage.
Our raid handled the adds very specifically.  I frost trapped one side, the dps took down the other side.  The trash adds can be silenced which makes it easy to drag them over traps in case your frozen arrow misses.  When your done locking down one add, go dps the snot out of the second add.  Rinse and repeat.  The adds have the potential to become a threat bigger than the boss itself so stay awake and burn those adds down.


Halion has a total of three phases, each having a different DPS strategy that a Hunter should understand. The first phase will be a tank and spank with avegage raid awareness. The second will be the Twilight phase where mobility and distance is more important than anything else and the third phase which involves balancing DPS between two  realms, the physical and the twilight.

In the first phase, Halion displays all the abilities any self respecting dragon should: tail lash, cleave and fire breath.  Stadning on its sides is once again a good plan.  He also puts a debuff on random players called Mark of Combustion.  When the debuff ends or when it is removed, a patch forms under the player's feet that deals damage to players in it and players will be pushed away from the patch. Players afflicted have to move to the edge of the stage then get the debuff removed, before running back to the raid. The size of the patch depends on how long it took to dispel it.  Disengage to the back of the circle and wait to be dispelled.  If you can't reach to shoot at the dragon get over it.  Just wait till the healers get to you.  Last little trick in this phase is the Meteor Strike.  It targets the ground underneath a random raider and drops a meteor on that location after about 5-6 seconds. The meteor does quite a bit of damage and shoots out lines of fire that resemble an 'X'. Those should be easy to avoid - whenever one of them comes up, simply have the entire raid shift.  You need to be aware of this hitting anywhere near you or near the tank.  If the dragon is moved you may get hit with the tail.  Can't just plant your feet and shoot. 

Once you get Halion down to 75% he disappears into the twilight realm for phase two.  Your follow him into the portal and its very similar to the physical realm fight.  Halion will Dark Breath instead of its Flame counterpart; he will do Mark of Consumption, which sucks people in as opposed to knocking them back; he also has a Shadow raid-wide damaging aura, Dark Shroud.   The second phase requires a huge amount of raid awareness and mobility.  Two orbs on opposite sides of the ring slowly rotate around the boss and give off damage everytime you come into contact with them.   A few minutes into the phase, these orbs will fire a line of shadow beam that connects them as they continue to rotate. This Twilight Cutter gives huge amounts of continuous damage if it is not avoided, so mobility is not an option, it’s a requirement.  If you manage to survive and bring him down to 50%, congratulations, you’ve got one phase left!

In the third phase Halion exists in both realms, and the raid must split into two; one fights him in the twilight realm, and the other fights him in the physical realm.  Those in the physical realm deal with his phase one abilities while those in the twilight realm deal with his phase two abilities.  In this phase, Halion uses Corporeality, an ability where he gets stronger in one realm if he receives more damage from the other. The basic idea here is to keep DPS in balance in both realms.   He deals normal damage when his Corporeality is about 40-50%, so someone will be staring at that bar making sure it stays in that range throughout the encounter.  If your realm is told to slow down, that means you.

If you can shoot and move, if you watch omen as much as recount, if you have some situational awareness skills then you too can be looking at skinning a big pink dragon.


  1. Baltharus' Blade Tempest can hit anyone within 15 yards of him, in front or not. That's what kept one-shotting our melee and why we finally had to go with the "melee out, melee in" calls.

  2. Fixed it. Thought the info I read felt oddly wrong.