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Serpentshrine Cavern - Lady Vashj

Hydross, Lurker, Leotheras, Fathom-Lord, Tidewalker, Vashj

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Serpentshrine Cavern - Lady Vashj

Postby Lore » Tue Jun 05, 2007 9:09 am

Vashj is a very difficult and complicated encounter, and there aren't a lot of really solid strats available for her as of yet. Here's a basic rundown of what to expect overall; there's a bit that's incorrect, but a good starting point:

10-12 min fight

Lady Vashj - 2500000 HP

Three phases:

Phase 1 100-70%
This is the easiest phase; Vashj is simply tanked and dps'd to 70%, while she does her various abilities, including:

Entangle 400 dmg dot + root; need tanks at range to pick her up in case the MT is rooted (afaik)
Static Charge 20 sec 1800 damage/sec dot - will damage friendly targets like arcane guardian mobs in Karazhan
Multi-shot 5000-6000 on cloth - random target
Melee 3400 - MT only?
Shoot 4768 - MT only?


Phase 2 70%->4 shield generators destroyed(-5% hp per shield)->50%
Phase 2 is the meat of the Vashj encounter. She throws up an immunity shield, powered by 4 shield generators around her room. To disable shield generators, the raid must kill Tainted Elementals, loot the Tainted Core it drops, and click the generator to power it down (this will also knock off 5% of her HP per generator, so she'll be at 50% at the start of phase 3). There is a catch - you are immobilized when you have a Tainted Core in your inventory. However, you are able to 'throw' the core to a nearby target not unlike heavy leather balls or happy fun rocks. Now, while this is happening, a few other things will be going on as well. Vashj will remain immoblile in the very center of her room, randomly casting Forked Lightning (2500-3000 nature damage) on members of the raid. In addition to this, various adds will spawn on different, set timers:

Coilfang Strider 170000 HP (Striders are tall walker mobs, like the last boss in underbog. They have either a close range fear, or some sort of damage aura, not sure - but they must be kited (best by a heavy dps warlock with CoEX). Ranged tailors (netherweave nets), druids, or anything with a ranged stun can use various methods to root the strider to give the warlock some time to dps it / build threat.)

Coilfang Elite 170000 HP (Heavy melee naga mobs very similar to the melee adds on Lurker, with more HP)

Tainted Elemental 8200 HP (Elemental spawns that drop the cores to disable the four shield generators)

Enchanted Elemental 7600 HP (they can't reach vashj in the center of the room or she gains a damage buff in phase 3, can't be slowed/rooted/stunned, just dps'd fast)

Phase 2 is all about splitting up DPS effectively, killing shit fast, and handling the cores properly. Phase 3 will begin as soon as the fourth generator is disabled, and adds will stay up. Optimally, the few adds that are up will be killed right as phase 3 is beginning, or phase 3 is begun just before a new wave of adds is spawned.

Phase 3 50%->0% soft enrage in ~4mins (1250000 HP left at this point = ~5200 rdps)
Phase 3 is fairly straightforward, and is only as difficult as how well/poorly phase 2 went. If there are a great deal of adds left from phase 2, it's going to be tough to make the soft-enrage timer. It's inevitable that adds will be up from phase 2 still, and they must be killed ASAP. In this phase, Vashj is tanked just like Phase 1 - she has all the same abilities she did in phase 1, with a few extra things adding to the encounter. Spore bats will spawn above the raid, and begin to spit green shit all over the ground. Vashj must be tanked and moved effectively to avoid the green pools on the ground; they do about 3k/tick, similar to the colossus death ability. This, combined with her aoe root can be rather devastating, so dispells (if possible, not sure) need to be on the ball if melee is rooted in a toxic pool. The 'enrage' has nothing to do with Vashj herself - it's a 4 minute enrage timer on the spore bats that have spawned in phase 3. They will begin to spit toxic pools at a much faster rate upon enraging, so dodging them and avoiding damage becomes very difficult. With careful execution + positioning of Vashj through phase 3, the raid can live through the enrage 30-40 seconds if absolutely necessary - but she should optimally be dead before the bat enrage hits.


Here's what paladin tanks need to know. We are incredibly useful on this fight. In fact, this is the first encounter I've come to where I really felt like I was pulling my weight without some sort of gimmick or unintended side-effect of a Paladin ability (such as being able to DS out of something). You'll be tested not only as a tank, but a Paladin, using all of your abilities to the fullest.

You should not be main tanking; let your (hopefully well-geared) Warrior MT her, and put on your spell damage gear. The extra threat and minor DPS increase will come in handy, as you'll see. We usually have 2 Warrior tanks and myself, with a couple feral druids in DPS gear handy if absolutely necessary.

Phase 1 is ridiculously easy, tank-and-spank stuff. It's more of a formality than anything. There are a couple things you can do to make it smoother though. She will occasionally stun the MT, or root everyone in a small range around her. When she does either of those abilities, she'll run away and start shooting people. The important thing to know here is, if she's not being tanked by someone in melee range, she starts multishotting random people in the raid - which can 1-shot casters. What you need to do is get to her (using Blessing of Freedom if necessary, she does the roots infrequently enough that should always be available), taunt her, and bring her back to the MT. Try to have plenty of hit points (over 15k at the minimum) so you can survive 2 of her ~7500 melee hits if necessary. By that time, your Warrior tank should be available again to taunt her back.

She also has her random static charge ability, which damages you as well as everyone around you. You can DS out of it, and if it happens to go onto a melee while all the melees are rooted, a Blessing of Freedom on that person will let them get away.

Phase 2 is the hardest part of the encounter. There are three things you need to watch out for during this phase.

Coilfang Elites: These spawn every 40 seconds or so. They hit pretty hard, ~4k on plate, and will 1-shot cloth or leather. They spawn in semi-random locations around the room, and *have* to be picked up before they get to whoever they happen to be aggroed on - this is where your 40-yard taunt comes in handy. Your raid members need to be calling them out when and where they spawn. We generally have all 3 tanks spread out at the beginning of the fight. When an elite spawns, the nearest tank picks it up, and brings it to the center of the platform, where the MT warrior taunts it and holds it. The remaining 2 tanks then keep an eye out for elites that spawn and pick them up. If there are 2 elites up, the second warrior taunts and holds the extra until the MT warrior's elite dies. There should never be 3 elites up if your DPS is keeping up properly.

Coilfang Striders: These spawn every ~50 seconds. They hit for 8k on plate, and have an AoE fear pulse on everything in melee range. DPS will have to kite them around the outside of the platform. Stay away from them when they come by. It's also helpful to throw HoJ's and AS at them whenever you can, to slow them down a bit. Also, when they first spawn, make sure they don't make it to healers before the DPS can pick them up.

Tainted Cores: When a Tainted Elemental is killed, it drops a Tainted Core, which has to be used on one of the 4 pylons around Lady Vashj to deactivate it. When a Tainted Core is in your inventory, you cannot move, however it has an on use ability that "throws" it to another player (think Happy Fun Rock). You're in a good situation to be a part of this process. Help figure out where it needs to go and get it there.

Once the 4th pylon is deactivated, she goes into phase 3. This is a difficult transition, that we haven't gotten down just yet. All of the remaining adds need to die, and Vashj needs to be picked up as well. Extra tanks are going to need to pick up any Elites that the MT is still holding - he won't be able to tank an Elite and Vashj. Once all the remaining adds are dead, it should be a kill. Hopefully I'll be able to give more input here by the end of the week :D
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Postby Alixander » Tue Jun 05, 2007 10:09 am

Holy cow! This looks amazing! I want to do it so bad!
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Postby Daeren » Tue Jun 05, 2007 11:49 pm

But Lore, why don't you tank her yourself and buff yourself with Freedom and ranged taunt her.

Sounds like a way to make it even easier.
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Postby Lore » Wed Jun 06, 2007 7:10 am

Daeren wrote:But Lore, why don't you tank her yourself and buff yourself with Freedom and ranged taunt her.

Sounds like a way to make it even easier.


The stun. She only hits the MT with it, and it tends to happen simultaneously with the roots.
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Postby Daeren » Wed Jun 06, 2007 8:59 am

Lore wrote:The stun. She only hits the MT with it, and it tends to happen simultaneously with the roots.


Arfff. Oh well, still a good while till i hit Vashj anyhow.
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Postby Questioner » Wed Jun 06, 2007 9:09 am

There has been more than one fight post now where I saw "It is better to put on spell damage gear instead of pure tank gear for as much aggro as possible." now.

Could this be where the devs truly envision having a paladin tank in the raid. With the defense+spell damage plate on? Or is it no different with a non-prot warrior?
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Postby Lore » Wed Jun 06, 2007 9:19 am

Could be. I've been finding more and more situations where we can afford to give up mitigation to feed our threat advantage. Can't wait to get into BT and Hyjal and see how I do there, where even better tanking/spelldamage gear drops.
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Postby PsiVen » Wed Jun 06, 2007 1:51 pm

Lore wrote:The stun. She only hits the MT with it, and it tends to happen simultaneously with the roots.


Put a grounding totem in the tank group. If you have more than one paladin to BoF the MT, you will only need to switch when she casts static charge on him. A quick taunt even while rooted will force her to Shoot you instead of a clothie, so you don't need to break root as long as another tank is going to. We have one tank of each class on her, but with this strategy I spend most of my time in phase 1/3 waiting patiently for one of them to die somehow so I can do something :P I end up grabbing her for a few seconds when taunts resist and whatnot.

I don't use +dmg gear, rather my max stam boss tanking gear and I pick up elites with one other tank (we pick up our own adds) while the beartank DPS's in phase 2. If you actually end up needing to tank Vashj at any point, she will obliterate you in seconds if you're wearing spelldamage gear; she hits like a truck. But if all goes well, you probably won't need to.

Phase 3 is not trivial. Getting through the transition with 25 people alive is absolutely essential and is the hardest part of the fight, because if you lose even one DPS class you will be overwhelmed with batshit and struggling to zerg her down.
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Postby Lore » Wed Jun 06, 2007 2:01 pm

Grounding totem eats the stun? Or the roots?
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Postby PsiVen » Wed Jun 06, 2007 2:02 pm

Grounding totem eats every stun (and the 7-9k nature damage that comes with it) if it's dropped on cooldown and the tank is in range.
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Postby Lore » Wed Jun 06, 2007 2:03 pm

Nice, we'll try that tonight. Should help keep things civil in phase 3.
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Postby DracAlexstrasza » Sun Aug 05, 2007 11:30 am

Any more recent experience with Vashj... Lore or PsiVen?

To maximize our dps we kinda want to bring only two tanks to the fight (used three on Friday and only got the 3rd generator down). However, our 2nd best warrior tank is kinda burnt out and I'd prefer putting myself in over any of our other warriors.

I was in for learning on friday and did end up tanking Vashj a bunch in phase one (that warrior is seriously burnt and didn't taunt at the right times) but I wasn't actually in as the second tank and so I didn't have a grounding totem. Thus, I'm kinda interested in any tidbits of info on how tanking her has gone for you guys. Is it viable? Or does our 15 second cooldown on taunt prove to be a liability as the second tank?
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Postby Lightbeard » Sun Aug 05, 2007 11:43 am

I found this guide its extremely helpful with voiceovers

http://www.warcraftmovies.com/stream.php?id=42710
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Postby Cakes » Sun Aug 05, 2007 12:39 pm

DracAlexstrasza wrote:Any more recent experience with Vashj... Lore or PsiVen?

To maximize our dps we kinda want to bring only two tanks to the fight (used three on Friday and only got the 3rd generator down). However, our 2nd best warrior tank is kinda burnt out and I'd prefer putting myself in over any of our other warriors.

I was in for learning on friday and did end up tanking Vashj a bunch in phase one (that warrior is seriously burnt and didn't taunt at the right times) but I wasn't actually in as the second tank and so I didn't have a grounding totem. Thus, I'm kinda interested in any tidbits of info on how tanking her has gone for you guys. Is it viable? Or does our 15 second cooldown on taunt prove to be a liability as the second tank?


From what I've seen on our attempts, the 15 second cooldown hasn't been much of a liability. I end up BoFing myself and taunting when roots come down, as I find the MT ( a warrior) eats a stun somewhere around when roots are incoming.

Also, our ranged taunt has proven pretty invaluable for picking up nagas in phase 2. If we could get all our coordination down (easier said than done), we'd have her. I'll repeat the above and ask if there are any other tidbits some of the more experienced pallies can offer.
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Postby PsiVen » Sun Aug 05, 2007 4:27 pm

The second tank should rarely ever have to taunt, as the MT should have BoF up 100% of the time and both tanks should have Grounding Totem from -at least- one shaman. When you're picking up elites, AS works fine if you can't taunt :)

Btw, you don't need to BoF yourself if you range taunt Vashj. She'll shoot you for less than her melee damage, and you can still block it for HS proc threat and wait until the root expires.
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