Thursday, February 21, 2013

Bashes with Wolves: Mount farming with your enhancement shaman

Before anything, I need to thank Ravyncat for the post title. Enhancement is my true love, and has been since I discovered it five years ago. So I wanted a title worthy of what it meant to me. But I'm no good at those things, so I asked Twitter. Ravyncat answered with something far better than anything I'd thought of. So here it is. Bashes with Wolves.

It wasn't until I brought Malygos down to 0.1% before the end of phase 1 that I was truly happy with enhancement soloing capabilities. Not that it was a huge feat, but it proved to me that enhancement had the burst and survivability at level 90 to easily solo fights that for some classes still prove quite difficult. So I figured why not put together a mount farming guide from the enhancement shaman perspective. I've listed them in order of relative ease, starting with the facerolls. I think I have them all here, but please let me know if I've missed something. If you have issues with any of these fights, please leave a comment and I will try to help.  

Attumen the Huntsman

Follow the grey-bricked road?
Location: Karazhan Raid in Deadwind Pass
Has a 1.1% chance to drop: Fiery Warhorse's Reigns

This guy is easily accessible as the closest boss to the entrance. Head inside and follow the grey cobblestone path. You'll run into him after a series of trash mobs. At a lower level I would have killed the trash before engaging Attumen, since pulling him also pulls any remaining trash. At 90, he won't be any trouble at all. Head straight for him and use passive AoE to finish off any mobs you didn't kill.

Lord Aurius Rivendare

Location: Stratholme Dungeon in Eastern Plaguelands
Has a 0.9% chance to drop: Deathcharger's Reigns

I listed this pushover after Attumen only because Aurius is located all the way at the rear of the Gauntlet side of Stratholme. To enter, head to the Eastwall Gate at 43,20 in Eastern Plaguelands. Before we can reach Aurius, we have to kill four bosses and some specific trash packs. Thankfully, the only danger we face in here is being overcome with boredom: the dungeon can be tedious, especially if you want to run it several times in a row (since it's a dungeon, you can up to five times in an hour's time before Blizzard locks you out). I'll warn you, it gets old after run number two.

And for your convenience I've included this handy-dandy map...
On the map I've marked which bosses you need to kill as well as the route I prefer to take. I normally gather as much trash as I can and bring them into the "ziggurats," the buildings being guarded by bosses 1-3, because it makes for easy grouping. Inside each of the ziggurats are several Thuzadin Acolytes. These mobs must die in order get to Aurius. If you can't access boss #4's area, check all three ziggurats. Once in boss #4's area, kill all of the Abominations in order to trigger the boss. After he's dead you'll be able to get to Aurius.

It took me a while to get comfortable with this run, but with practice and mass looting I'm now in and out in just over five minutes.

Tips: come with empty bags, especially if you're planning multiple runs. The trash and bosses drop lots of cloth, armor, weapons and junk worth hanging on to sell. For a quick port to the entrance after killing Aurius, enter into a party with a friend or guildie. Then, simply leave the party to get ported to the nearest graveyard, which just happens to be within spitting distance of the Eastwall Gate. It's like Blizzards wants you to farm it.

Skadi the Ruthless

Location: Utgarde Pinnacle Heroic Dungeon in Howling Fjord
Has a 1.5% chance to drop: Reigns of the Blue Proto-Drake

If you want to get to him you'll have to go through me!
Though Skadi is the third boss in Utgarde Pinnacle, it's not too much trouble getting to him. Make sure you have it set on heroic! Because it's heroic, your shaman is limited to one attempt per day. If you want to maximize your daily chances at this mount, almost any decently geared level 85 toon can easily solo this place.

After the second boss is dead, I usually enter ghost form and sprint down Skadi's gauntlet as quickly as I can, which pulls his trash to the far end for easy grouping and AoE. Focus down the Harpooners and three spears later you'll find Skadi to be an easy burn.


Location: Onyxia's Lair Raid in Dustwallow Marsh
Has a 0.9% chance to drop: Reigns of the Onyxian Drake

Have...have we met before?
Onyxia only has a normal mode and the reigns drop in both 10- and 25-player versions, but we're going to focus on 10-player because why would you want to make it more difficult on yourself? I still employ a specific strategy during this fight just to make my life easier. It is possible to die here if you're not careful, though trash won't be an issue.

As for Ony: I pull her with Unleash Elements as soon as I'm in range, then pop a Virmen's Bite potion and Feral Spirit (orcs should use Blood Fury here, too). I'll usually drop a Searing Totem for good measure. This pushes her to phase 2 rather quickly, which is when she takes flight. Since she thinks flying just a few feet out of the reach of our fists will grant her safety, hit Ascendance just to make sure she knows she's wrong. Between the damage from Ascendance, Flameshock and instant Lightning Bolts, she grounds herself pretty quickly. Once she's on the ground, I drop Stormlash Totem, Fire Elemental Totem and then I Lust, keeping Tremor Totem at the ready if she gets a fear off.

Aside from the chance for a mount, she always drops a nice bag (if you don't have it already), a sack of gems to potentially sell on the auction house and cool-looking replica tier gear.


Location: Stonecore Dungeon in Deepholm
Has a 0.9% chance to drop: Reigns of the Vitreous Stone Drake

Race ya!
Lucky for us, Slabhide drops the mount in both normal and heroic versions, so it's very much farmable. Normal version should be a breeze at 90; if you fancy a bit more of a challenge, go for it on heroic, though the source I linked reports the drop rate as being the same.

I focus Millhouse Manastorm first, which causes him to retreat after so much damage. Instead of killing the remaining mobs, I follow Millhouse to his next location, using Earthgrab Totem to slow the pursuit of the previous group. I do this until he retreats for the final time, then burn down the dangerously large number of mobs I've accumulated, using survival cooldowns (Shamanistic Rage, Ancestral Guidance, and Astral Shift) with instant Healing Waves to avoid death. For Corborus, I usually pop wolves if I didn't already blow them on the previous pull. If in a hurry, use offensive cooldowns to kill Corborus before it burrows. Cause that's just annoying.

It is possible to skip each mob between Corborus and Slabhide if you time your run correctly. Slabhide will go down easily, just don't stand in stuff. I usually burn whatever offensive cooldowns I have left. If you plan to farm, don't run back to the entrance; instead, look for the portal ahead past Slabhide. Using it will take you to the dungeon entrance where you can pop out, reset, and try again..  


Location: Vortex Pinnacle Dungeon in Uldum
Has a 0.9% chance to drop: Reigns of the Drake of the North Wind

Vortex Pinnacle bears a subtle resemblance to Wrathion.
Like the Stonecore, the mount here drops on both normal and heroic versions of the dungeon. By default, we'll focus on normal. Comparedo to Stonecore, I kind of have to pay attention here. Keep an eye on your health and don't hesitate to burn some defensive cooldowns if you get in a tight spot.

The trash in here should give you more trouble than the first boss. Once at Slabhide, fight upwind and the drake will go down in a matter of seconds. If you're going for multiple runs, simply jump off the edge of the dungeon into the clouds/sky and you'll be taken back to the dungeon start. For those of you still working on the Cataclysm dungeon meta achievement for the drake, don't forget about Extra Credit Bonus Stage which can easily be done solo (though it must be on heroic).


Location: The Obsidium Sanctum under Wyrmrest Temple in Dragonblight
Has a 100% to drop: Reigns of the Black Drake (10) or Reigns of the Twilight Drake (25)

What? Why are you looking at me like that?
What? You mean I'm guaranteed to get this mount?!? Kinda. Sartharion is the only boss who is guaranteed to drop the mount we're after as long as we kill him in a specific way. That specific way means leaving his three drakes alive. I'll be straight: I haven't been able to solo him on 25-player. 15% is as far as I can get before dying a speedy and painful death. Part of me thinks I'll eventually be able to eek out that last bit of health, but it may depend on a couple of gear upgrades.

10-player? I once resorted to bee-lining for Sarth, ignoring not only his drakes but the trash as well, blowing all my cooldowns just to see if I could kill him before the trash and drakes overwhelmed me. The good news is, with enough burst this is totally possible. The bad news is you'll still probably end up dying. Tit for tat, amirite? The best way to go about it is to clear all of the trash while avoiding the three drakes, then head down to Sarth's area. I engage him using my standard burst sequence: Virmen's Bite, Blood Fury (orc racial), Feral Spirit, Stormlash Totem, Stormstrike, Ascendance, and Fire Elemental Totem followed by Bloodlust.

In addition to the drake, Sarth drops a 22-slot bag, a satchel of spoils, gear and some WoTLK era armor tokens. If you're set on doing the 25-player version, bringing along a solid DPS or two should be all you need. Remember that 10- and 25-player versions share a lockout so you'll only be able to acquire one of these in a given week with your shaman.


Location: The Eye of Eternity Raid in Borean Tundra
Has a chance to drop: Reigns of the Azure Drake (4%) and Reigns of the Blue Drake (?%)

I actually had to devise follow a strategy in order to solo this encounter. I've accomplished this with an approximate gear level of 480, though a shaman more skilled than I could probably get away with less. I haven't even attempted Malygos-25; both drakes can drop from the 10-player version.*

Right-click the orb in the center of the room to engage Malygos. The first part of the fight is a simple burn phase. The transition to phase 2 begins at 50% but we don't want that to happen too quickly. We won't be using any cooldowns or burst at the beginning, because in order to defeat Malygos, we need to take advantage of one of the fight's original mechanics: Power Sparks.

Somewhere in a galaxy far, far away...
Power Sparks will spawn from one of the vortexes surrounding the edge of the platform and slowly advance towards Malygos. Firstly, you can't allow these to reach Malygos, as that makes him angry. Secondly, we need to kill two of these right on top of each other because stacking in the puddle they leave behind grants a +50% damage bonus. With two sparks killed on top of one another we get a +100% bonus to damage. This is why we don't burn Malygos right away: we need the extra damage from Power Sparks in order to maximize the amount of damage we can do while Malygos transitions into phase 2.

Try to bring Malygos down to around 60% before the first spark comes out. He may toss you around in his whirlwind once or twice. No worries. I have a targeting macro set up so I don't miss the sparks. Be careful not to kill them too soon; they can be 1-shot, meaning they can die before ever reaching the platform, which does you no good. Once you have two sparks killed at the same location, stack in the puddle they've left and pop your burst cooldowns. I recommend: Virmen's Bite, Feral Spirit, Stormlash Totem, Stormstrike, Ascendance, and Fire Elemental Totem followed by Bloodlust.

At 50%, Malygos will begin the transition to phase 2 by moving the the middle of the room and giving a little speech. You can ignore what he says. The thing is, he is still attackable at this point and we need to take advantage of this. At a certain point he can't be hit with melee attacks, so you may want to experiment a little with the burst sequence. I actually talented into Elemental Mastery and Primal Elementalist the first time I solo'd him and waited til I couldn't reach him with melee to hit Ascendance. Malygos is NOT killable until phase 3, but I've found that with enough burst we can push him to 0.1% before phase 2 begins. As you can guess, doing this essentially eliminates phase 3.

Once phase two begins, kill a Scion then hop onto his freaky-deeky hovercraft to take care of the rest of the lot. Once the last scion is dead, the transition into phase 3 will begin. For those unfamiliar, phase 3 involves a drake vehicle that has several abilities. We'll be focusing on three of them: Revivify, Flame Spike and Engulf in Flames. But before we fight, Malygos lives up to his reputation for giving speeches and once again unleashes a short verbal tirade. This is a good time to build up five stacks of Revivify. Also, you may have to fly straight up to center Malygos in your view.

After his speech, kill him by using the following cast sequence: Flame Spike, Flame Spike, Engulf in Flames, Revivify (often times 1, 1, 2, 3 when hot-keyed). Ideally, Malygos will have been at 0.1% from phase 1, causing your first Flame Spike to instantly kill him.

*Extensive commentary on WoWhead, including recent ones, indicate that both the Blue and Azure Drakes have a chance to drop from Malygos. The Blue Drake used to have a chance to drop in the Oculus when players were given the Oculus as a random heroic. Hence, it does NOT have a chance to drop if you simply fly there yourself. I'll update this if I learn I have bad info.

I hope you've found this guide helpful. Good luck!

1 comment:

  1. This is a really good article! Not only will I try it on my shammy, I'm going to use it on my DK. ^^