Lazerdollarz

[Balance] Encounter Mechanics [MoP]

106 posts in this topic

Introduction (directly copied and pasted from Tecton's T14 thread)

"Other classes have had threads detailing optimal DPS strategies on a fight-by-fight basis in the past, and I've found them very useful without even playing those classes. I checked with Melthu and he was happy for us to have a similar thread here. I'll keep this updated regularly. Please contribute, as I'll only be able to update each fight as I get to them and I'm sure some of you have extensive beta raid testing experience!

Now, obviously we don't have such heavily abusable abilities as some other classes like Cloak of Shadows, Mirror Images or Anti-Magic Shell. Oh, hold on, yes we do! For all of the poor reception of Symbiosis in some quarters, it certainly opens up a large amount of opportunities & utility to us. Beyond that, our new talent options really give us a lot of customization options.

Apologies to the other specs, but I don't really play anything but Balance enough to curate a sensible list for you, so this will be limited to Balance only tips & tricks. This is bare bones for now, and will live or die by your participation. Please post your findings (and keep the conversation civil if you disagree with someone's opinion)! I've left the world bosses off this list for now as they are very simple encounters."

(B) - basic tip, quick and easy ways to optimize DPS that might not be obvious on the first pull.

(I) - strategies to take once you are more comfortable with a fight and familiar with the abilities.

(E) - expert level tips, either very difficult to achieve or requiring a high degree of setup.

Basic Tips and Tricks

(B) - Evaluate your Symbiosis target for every encounter, and familiarize yourself with who gets what from it. Here's a table to help with that. For nearly every fight, you'll be picking from Anti-Magic Shell (aka AMS, from DKs), Cloak of Shadows (from rogues), or Unending Resolve (warlock).

(B) - Using Symbiosis on a DPS DK is the only appreciable direct raid DPS increase, as it allows them to save on runes.

(B) If there's a period of time where you can't DPS anything and you don't need to move, line up a new Eclipse with Astral Communion.

(B) - Don't forget about Might of Ursoc! Combining this ability with a Healthstone provides a very large heal, especially if it's glyphed.

(I) Stampeding Roar should be glyphed wherever possible, and used any time there is a large amount of raid movement required. Coordinate this with other druids/warriors with Symbiosis.

(I) Displacer Beast's redesign makes it very useful for periods of long movement - if the time spent moving would be greater than the 2 GCDs it takes to use DB and shift back to Moonkin Form, taking this talent is something to consider.

Siege of Orgrimmar

Immerseus

(B) - Typhoon, Ursol's Vortex, Treant roots, Mighty Bash, Fungal Growth (from Mushroom Detonation), etc. all work to control Sha Puddles.

(B) - If no Puddles are available to DPS, heal the Contaminated Puddles using NS, HT, and Rejuv - Tranq will not work.

(B) - Cloak of Shadows will prevent damage/knockback from Swirl.

(I) - Heroic Cloak will reset/immune your stack of Sha Corruption, allowing you to continue to single target the boss.

Fallen Protectors

(I) - You can immune several stacks of Mark of Anguish with Cloak of Shadows before passing it.

Norushen

(B) -Treants are unaffected by Corruption and as such deal full damage to the boss, making them the optimal DPS talent for this fight by a wide margin.

 

Sha of Pride

(B) - Cloak will remove Mark of Arrogance without gaining Pride. Cloak will also immune the damage from Swelling Pride.

 

Galakras

(B) - Incarnation + Dream of Cenarius is the obvious choice for DPS talents on this fight.

(B) - Wild Charge (moonkin) is perfect for getting out of Shattering Cleave and for getting to the back of your group in phase 2.

(B) - Cloak and AMS are good for mitigating damage and resetting your debuff stack in phase 2. 

(B) - Both the tower grunts and the adds that Fracture can be stunned/vortexed/Typhooned, etc. 

Iron Juggernaut

(B) - Cloak of Shadows will immune all damage in phase 2 as well as preventing you from being knocked back.

(E) - Timing Displacer Beast immediately after the Shock Pulse perfectly counteracts the knockback.

Kor'kron Dark Shaman

(B) - I use AMS for this fight, but Cloak and Unending Resolve are decent choices as well. 

(B) - No matter when you get the Iron Prison debuff, you can use Barkskin for it; Barkskin will come off cooldown before the debuff expires even if you've just used it. 

General Naz'grim

(I) - Liberal use of CC on adds is important for mitigating damage on your raid. 

(I) - Treants can continue to DPS the boss in Defensive Stance without causing him to gain rage.

Malkorok

(B) - AMS is great damage reduction for soaking pools, but Cloak will immune the damage from the corruption balls on heroic. Depending on your comp, you'll pick between these.

(B) - Stampeding Roar will remove Displaced Energy's root effect on heroic.

(B) - Use Glyph of Guided Stars to ensure you don't pull aggro on the adds that spawn on heroic.

Spoils of Pandaria

(B) - Using Cloak of Shadows right before the Set to Blow debuff expires will immune the damage. You still need to be away from everyone, though.

 

Thok the Bloodthirsty

(B) - Unending Resolve provides excellent damage reduction as well as making you immune to the interrupt from Deafening Screech.

(B)  - Druids can dispel poison, which is especially helpful when Fixated. Additionally, you can pick up Mass Dispel from a priest Symbiosis to further assist with dispels, though keep in mind that moonkin MD has a 1 minute cooldown now. 

 

Siegecrafter Blackfuse

(E) - You can use Wild Charge (Moonkin) to bypass the belt debuff and kill the weapons on the belt every time. This takes incredibly precise positioning and moonkins aren't the best class for the belt, so this is probably a last resort. 

Paragons of the Klaxxi

(B) - Faerie Swarm/Bash/Typhoon/HoJ/etc. are useful for controlling the Bloods. 

Garrosh Hellscream

(B)  - Cloak will immune all damage on this fight, but you may have better results with Unending Resolve as far as mitigating Intermission damage and Iron Star Impact is concerned. ****Need confirmation on Unending Resolve/Cloak immuning the interrupt from phase 4 Iron Star Impacts - I'll test that this week.**** 

T15:

Spoiler
Throne of Thunder

Jin'rokh the Breaker

( B) - Heroic Combining Cloak of Shadows with Tranquility (and HotW if you take it) during the storm phase lets you channel for the full duration without interruption.

(I) - Heroic AMS or Cloak timed shortly before Ionization is cast will prevent the application of the debuff.

Horridon

( B) Balance druids can dispel Poison (door 2) and Curse (door 4) debuffs with Remove Corruption, while Mass Dispel (priest Symb) will remove anything except for Rending Charge.

 

( B) All final phase damage is physical, so Unending Resolve is a great choice for Symbiosis. Alternatively, you can Cloak off all debuffs except for Rending Charge.

( B) Use Displacer Beast, Dash, or Stampeding Roar to move when targeted by Charge to avoid cleaving your raid.

( B) - Heroic Starfall, MF/SuF, Faerie Fire, and Typhoon will all knock back the Direhorn Spirit. Along these lines, create bindings to cast FF, Sunfire, and Moonfire on your focus target, then set the Direhorn Spirit as your focus. Using SuF/MF will net you more Starsurge procs, but Faerie Fire has no positioning requirement, which makes it very useful in the last phase.

(I) Symbiosis with a monk gives you Grapple Weapon, which can be used to disarm any add in this fight, including War-God Jalak.

Council of Elders

( B) All damage on this fight is magical, so you'll want AMS or Cloak. Cloak of Shadows has the added advantage of immuning the application of the Frostbite debuff if you're quick to respond to the arrow above your head. Having Cloak on Heroic is invaluable if your raid's strategy involves having Frostbite targets stand by themselves.

( B) Stampeding Roar can be used to clear raid members who are standing in Quicksand of Ensnared and Entrapped. By the same token, shifting forms will clear you personally of any of these debuffs.

(I) Heroic Typhoon, Ursol's Vortex, Entangling Roots, Mighty Bash, etc. can be used to control the adds summoned by Twisted Fate as well as the Loa Spirits.

Tortos

( B) Positioning yourself on one of the sides of the room instead of the center will result in considerably less movement over the course of the encounter.

( B) Quake Stomp is physical (Unending Resolve), but Rockfall is magical (AMS/Cloak). I favor UR because it mitigates everything and (Heroic only) helps you keep a shield up post-stomp.

( B) Faerie Swarm can be used to slow all the Whirl Turtles.

( B) - Heroic Use the macro in post 36 for an easy way to get your shield buff.

(I) Cenarion Ward can be cast before each Quake Stomp to heal up the damage while you're stunned. This is especially helpful for Heroic because when combined with Barkskin, you will likely be able to retain your shield during and after the subsequent Rockfall.

(I) Displacer Beast can be helpful for positioning when assigned to kick turtles.

Megaera

( B) All damage on this fight is magical, so you'll want AMS or Cloak, though Unending Resolve is always good.

( B) - Heroic Solar Beam on a group of the purple adds will silence them all.

(I) The heads will fully heal each time one is killed, but DoTs will persist. DoTing the off target when one is about to die will jump start your damage when it comes back up.

(E) Split second reaction time with Displacer Beast can cause Ice Torrent to spawn much further back. At any rate, Displacer Beast is excellent for getting away from Ice Torrent or back in when it's over.

Ji-Kun

( B) Stampeding Roar, Dash, Displacer Beast, Wild Charge (Cat/Humanoid/Bear), and Intervene (Warrior Symb) are all useful for moving through Downdraft.

( B) Barkskin and NS or CW will be up for each cast of Quills.

( B) AMS and Cloak can both be used to soak up pools, though Quills damage is physical (and really the only dangerous damage on this fight), so Unending Resolve is probably the best choice for Symbiosis on this fight.

Durumu

( B) All damage on this fight is magical, so you'll want AMS or Cloak, though Unending Resolve is always good.

(I) Moving through the melee maze will net higher DPS since there will periodically be moments where you can stop and cast.

(E) If you have an equal ilvl Agi staff/polearm, using HotW to DPS in Cat Form might be a viable option when moving through the maze.

Primordius

( B) All damage on this fight is magical, so you'll want AMS or Cloak, though Unending Resolve is always good.

Dark Animus

( B) Cloak of Shadows can remove Matter Swap instantly and immune 100% of the damage - this is especially helpful on Heroic. Otherwise, you'll want to take Cloak or Unending Resolve as the damage from Interrupting Jolt is very intense.

( B) Hard-casting a Starsurge when the boss uses Interrupting Jolt will lock you out of both Nature and Arcane spell schools; any other cast-time spell will lock you out of that specific school, but will leave Starsurge available. Don't hard-cast anything when it uses that ability.

( B) Use Barkskin while tanking your add at the beginning to gain spell pushback immunity (as well as reduce the damage you take).

Iron Qon

( B) Cloak of Shadows (and AMS, to a lesser extent) immunes all the damage from Windstorm, Molten Overload, all ground effects, and the elemental Cyclones at the end, though Unending Resolve may be a better choice as it mitigates damage from Fist Smash in the final phase.

(I) Try to reapply DoTs before each set of Dead Zone debuffs. If you're in a Dead Zone and can't move, use Astral Communion to move to a new Eclipse or off-heal.

(I) Stampeding Roar will clear Frozen Blood from yourself and raid members.

(E) A well-timed Displacer Beast can completely trivialize Quet'zal's Windstorm phase.

Twin Consorts

( B) All damage on this fight is magical, so you'll want AMS or Cloak, though Unending Resolve is always good.

( B) Lu'lin and Suen can't be damaged while channeling Tidal Force and Nuclear Inferno, respectively, so the only thing you can do while this is happening is heal.

(I) You should DoT Suen in the night phase when she appears to cast spells.

Lei Shen

( B) You want to take Cloak of Shadows, as it lets you immune a Static Shock. If you don't have a rogue to Symbiosis, AMS or Unending Resolve are the next best choices.

(I) - Heroic Displacer Beast is enough to deal with Helm of Command by itself, though Dash, Nitro Boosts, etc. are good backups.

Ra-den

( B) Unending Resolve, AMS, and Cloak are your best choices for Symbiosis on this fight.

( B) Refer to post 76 for a targetting macro for this boss.

(I) Hold onto a Starsurge proc and refresh DoTs on the Crackling add and the boss in order to maximize burst for the Anima balls.

Click here to view the guide

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Cenarion Ward is very useful for stabilising yourself after Tortos' Quake Stomp - cast it on yourself as he's rearing up to stomp and you'll heal yourself for anywhere between 80-100k in the 2 seconds you are stunned. The cooldown is short enough to do this for every stomp throughout the fight.

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I was under the impression for Ji-Kun that anyone falling down to the main platform doesn't take falling damage, feather or not.

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That could be, my understanding was that if you had the feather buff but it expired you'd be safe, otherwise you'd take fall damage. The situation I'm describing is pretty niche regardless, so specific confirmation about the mechanic may take some time. I'll try to figure it out next time we pull it.

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Falling down with no feather led to us each taking around 50k damage, though I'm not sure whether it was from a juvenile or fall damage. Either way, it is negligible, and not a reason to take displacer beast (though downdraft might be).

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Jin'rokh the Breaker

You want to spec Nature's Vigil for this. Start as usual but do not use the cooldowns and save the Starfall you get from entering Lunar. By the time he spawns the first Conductive Waters, you should be getting close to Lunar again. Do the usual opening rotation once you're inside of Conductive Waters.

That could be, my understanding was that if you had the feather buff but it expired you'd be safe, otherwise you'd take fall damage. The situation I'm describing is pretty niche regardless, so specific confirmation about the mechanic may take some time. I'll try to figure it out next time we pull it.

I can't recall taking any falling damage (using Glyph of Grace obviously) and from what I heard it either doesn't exist or is greatly reduced during this encounter.

---

What I'm wondering at the moment is how Nature's Vigil and Heart of the Wild compare for specific encounters.

Everything below is intuition based and not backed up by numbers:

I'm pretty sure NV is the best choice on Jin'rokh because of Conductive Waters. HotW will be the strongest at multi-target encounters like Horridon and Council.

Tortos gets a debuff from the shell kick which could point towards NV but HotW will make the DoTs stronger (and there's always a lot of targets around). You also might get interrupted whilst NV is up so I'd go with HotW.

Megaera, Ji-Kun and Durumu all have a fair amount of movement. Whilst NV could look better on paper, if you have to move whilst it is up, it's a DPS loss so I would go with HotW.

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I can't recall taking any falling damage (using Glyph of Grace obviously) and from what I heard it either doesn't exist or is greatly reduced during this encounter.

You will take fall damage but it is greatly reduced. Jumping down from any of the upper nests resulted in about 1/10th to 1/8th of my hp in fall damage, so no big deal at all.

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@Kuruk: HotW wins out over NV on Tortos in my opinion, simply because you can't always line up a stationary phase with the debuff and NV's cooldown, in addition there's a lot of random movement from the whirl turtles.

I managed to rank on Jin'rokh last week with NV doing what you described so tomorrow I'm going to try with HotW and see what sort of dps I do.

Just in case anyone was curious, I've spent a fair bit of time attempting HotW-Cat on various bosses and it is now a significant dps loss to do so (on my attempts, it was anywhere between 6k and 8k less than talenting it but never activating it). This is a farcry from T14 where using it perfectly was a minor dps gain and, sadly, reduces the talent to being macroed into Tranquility or else almost never being used.

EDIT: By this, I mean sustained Cat Form dps. The talent obviously still has clutch use where we might normally struggle to put out much / any dps e.g. sustained movement phases.

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Displacer Beast is really fantastic. Great for getting away from Thunderstruck on Lei Shen, getting quickly out of Windstorm on Iron Qon, getting to your assigned beam in Durumu, etc.

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I absolutely agree. Through normals, I preferred DB over FS for most fights. Tortos and Primordius will favor FS, and Dark Animus and Megaera don't have a lot of movement so FS is probably better there as well, but generally DB is really an excellent talent to pick up this tier. It's pretty important to not use it while Starfall is up though, as the shift to cat will end Starfall prematurely.

e: I used HotW on every fight except for Jin'rokh. It was already better than NV at the end of last tier, so I don't understand why it's a surprise that it's better than nerfed NV this tier.

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DB used to get out of sand trap (council) and to manage ice beam in maegara encounter.

HotW over NV : timing NV well is a dps lost and a focus lost each time i tried to use it.

I asked in balance thread but how do you manage eggs in jin kun encounter ? we will try it tonight and i am afraid to not be as effective as other caster doing it.

Thanks :)

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[H] Jin'rokh the Breaker

AMS timed well just before Ionization cast will prevent you from getting the debuff. The CD will be ready for every cast.

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Horridon - Heroic

Typhoon, starfall and MF/SF(application, not the dot) all knock back the pink dinosaur from hell.

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Another very simple combo, the cooldowns of Barkskin and Cenarion Ward are sufficiently low to combine them for each of Ji-Kun's Quill phases, which again helps your healers out a ton.

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Stampeding Roar should clear Entrapped and Ensnared from raid members standing in Quicksand on Council, but I haven't tested this. Should be able to do it this week.

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HotW indeed seems superior to NV on every fight other than Jin'rokh so far. And we have to remember that whilst NV might be strong on paper, you will never be able to line it up perfectly and there will be times you will forget that it is up so HotW is much more practical anyway.

What about Soul of the Forest versus Incarnation?

Wouldn't Soul of the Forest be potentially stronger on multi-target encounters like Horridon, Council of Elders and Tortos, giving you more Starfalls and moving you through the Eclipses faster?

I asked in balance thread but how do you manage eggs in jin kun encounter ? we will try it tonight and i am afraid to not be as effective as other caster doing it.

I am wondering about this myself. They don't live long enough to be worth DoT-ing so I guess it is either nuking the individual eggs/birds or using Astral Storm/Hurricane. I've been casting hard nukes unless I was in a Solar Eclipse at the time but maybe I'm doing it wrong.

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Soul of the Forest really doesn't give you any substantial reduction of casts between eclipse states, so the number of extra Starfalls you'd see in a fight would be small.

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One more thing, wouldn't taking NV make sense on Dark Animus so that you can use that once the boss is up, as that is the only time in that fight that you need to pump out as much dps as possible?

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The DPS check on Dark Animus normal is so low it's not really even worth mentioning; you'll almost assuredly want to run HotW on heroic. For Ji-Kun, standard AoE rules apply: Eclipsed DoTs and then Hurricane. Updating OP now.

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Just got our first Animus kill tonight, clutch healing with HotW-Tranquility after Interrupting Jolt is more useful than NV, in my humble opinion.

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Horridon - Heroic

Typhoon, starfall and MF/SF(application, not the dot) all knock back the pink dinosaur from hell.

The problem with Typhoon, MF and SnF is that you need to have the target in front of you. FF comes really handy here. I'm using a handy macro for this:

/tar Direhorn Spirit

/cast Faerie Fire

/targetlasttarget

No need to worry about where the pink one is - just push it once in a few casts.

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Good find. I'd still recommend setting the spirit as your focus and using a focus macro instead of a target macro - I had issues with a /tar macro not working on our attempts last week.

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