Monday, October 19, 2009

A Pugger's Guide to VoA25: Emalon

The vast majority of PuGs (Pick-up Groups) I have been in or seen guildies in for VoA25 fall apart on Emalon. It doesn't matter if they wiped a few times on Koralon, or if they one-shot Koralon: Emalon tears PuG groups apart. Some Puggers will even drop group immediately after killing Koralon, making thin excuses about needing to go to some other raid, or take out the trash, or go hammer nails in their eyes, all to avoid the "inevitable" wipe(s) to Emalon.

What is it about Emalon that is so much more difficult than Koralon?
  • DPS has to swap targets.
...I think that's pretty much it. If your dps doesn't swap targets to kill the Overcharged, hugely enlarged and difficult to ignore add, it will immediately wipe the raid, or at least one-shot enough of the raid in its explosion that you have no prayer of continuing. Oddly, most Puggers forget or don't know about it (or would rather not swap targets out of wanting to e-peen on the meters), in spite of the fact that Emalon was farmed successfully by PuGs for many months before Koralon was released.

So, in the hopes that others will learn how to actually fight Emalon and make my life pugging VoA25 less of an axe through my sanity, I am posting this strat. I will add illustrations tomorrow. I may even break down and do a full comic version, for those puggers that can't seem to read >.>

The Pull:
Your best tank should be on the adds, and your OT should be on the boss. The add-tank will run in and gain initial aggro; the OT will follow and single-taunt Emalon himself off of the MT. In the meantime, all ranged dps and healers need to be spreading out: some can remain on the stairs, while others need to run through to the back of the room, because you do not want to be clustered together or else chain lightening will eat you alive.

As a note, most PuGs will tank the adds on one side of the room, and Emalon on the other; this is not necessary as long as your healers are capable of keeping both tanks up through the Lightening Nova. You can successfully have all of the adds and Emalon tanked on the same side of the room, or close together, which can make it easier to pick up new add spawns and provide less distance for your melee to traverse to reach the Overcharged add. This is the method my guild prefers to do our own VoA10 runs, though I have never seen a PuG group do it that way.

Rogues/Hunters: use misdirects and tricks of the trade to ensure all 4 of the adds are on the MT, or else those adds are going to run off and eat your best healers. If your OT has threat problems, have someone give them a threat boost on Emalon during the pull, as well.

The Fight:
Stay spread out as much as possible. DPS will begin on Emalon. If you have Deadly Boss Mods or Bigwigs (and I highly recommend you have one or the other installed), you will see timers for a couple important things: next Overcharge, and Lightening Nova.
  • Overcharge is what can and will wipe your raid, if your DPS is not paying attention. Overcharge will enlarge an add, and 20 seconds after it starts, the add will explode and pretty much wipe the raid. ALL DPS MUST SWITCH TARGETS and kill this overcharged add! It is easy to pick out since it will be enormous compared to the others. KILL IT. If you don't see an enlarged add in the pile when Overcharge is cast, check near the boss: the OT may be tanking it on the far side of Emalon instead.
  • Lightening Nova is an AoE off of Emalon that does more damage the closer you are to the boss. If you aren't a tank, you need to move away from Emalon when he begins to cast this, or you will be killed. It is possible to pop survival instincts/shield wall/Cloak of Shadows/etc to survive it, but in a pug, it's better to be safe than sorry. Get out of it.
About 4 seconds after an Overcharged add is destroyed, a new one will spawn in front of Emalon. It will usually start running after a healer, if it's not picked up in the OT's cleaves or AoE. The MT/add-tank's job involves picking up this newly spawned add before it kills anyone.
  • Do not use AoE on the adds unless you're tanking them (or using a misdirect ability to put them on the tank).
  • Do not try to kill any add that is not overcharged: he will just spawn a new one in its place and make your tank have to re-establish threat.
  • Do not stand in Lightening Nova unless you know you can survive it with your current HP.
  • Do not ignore the Overcharged add, even if you're melee.
  • Do not cluster together too closely or chain lightening will fry you.
  • Do not pull aggro.
Just rinse and repeat. DPS on Emalon, get out of Lightening Nova, and kill the Overcharged add whenever you get one, picking up the new add that spawns before it kills a healer. Just remember: all dps MUST swap to the overcharged add and kill it before it explodes!

~~This is a public service announcement brought to you by Dreambound and Vortex.~~


Mark said...

I generally give PuGs two attempts on Emalon before leaving the raid, especially if I'm healing it. At that point, it's costing me 20g for 4 Badges of Conquest which just isn't worth the hassle.

Kae said...

I don't leave unless the raid leaders are rude... because I'm usually one of those carrying the raid, be it by heals (40% of the healing done out of 6 healers? Yes, it happened) or dps contribution (even on my poorly geared alts), and I know that by leaving, I am only exacerbating the issue of the raid crumbling.

Luckily, I have the gold to buffer myself against such wipes, and leather's a bit cheaper to repair :) ...a bit.

Mark said...

It's mostly principle, not lack of gold. If I'm doing all I can to make sure that people don't die (including healing people who don't run out of the Lightning Nova) I expect similar courtesy from everyone else in the raid. Those adds shouldn't even get to 7 stacks if people are DPSing properly, let alone all 10. It's trivial and the only reason to fail on it is DPS focusing too much on a meter to do their job. There's no other excuse for it.

Alaron said...

This sequence of events has happened to me 3 weeks running:

1. Join a VOA25 PUG as dps.
2. Clear trash to Koralon.
3. RL realizes healer has d/ced, or left, or w/e; tries to find a new healer and fails; I volunteer to switch to healing off-spec.
4. Kill Koralon, with me usually #2 or #3 on the healing meters.
5. While RL is doing loot and ppl are moseying toward Ema, zealous OT/DPS pulls first trash mob. If lucky, healer is smart, lets him die, and mob resets. If not, half the raid DPS's, which causes the add to OC and kill us.
6. Pull Ema. The same DK/rogue who can't get out of fires in Kora dies to Nova. Die to not enough DPS on add.
7. Run back, I scan Recount for people not switching targets (it's pretty easy to see in the tooltip) and send snarky whisper, something like "grats on winning meters, can we kill boss and go home now?"
8. Kill Ema on second pull.
9. Archavon dies.

Mark said...

I usually post something (politely) in raid chat after the first Emalon wipe. If it happens again, I just don't really have the patience or desire to wipe on him. He's the functional equivalent of 2 Heroic bosses and truthfully, I'd almost rather do them instead since it's a lot less likely I'd wipe on them.

Tangentially, it bugs me so much that people need to stand around a defeated boss while loot is being distributed. ML applies to the entire instance, so there's no excuse for anyone but the ML to be anywhere near Koralon's corpse after he dies.

Kae said...

Okay, finally got a simple stick-figure comic strat knocked out and posted. If a stranger links it in my pugs, I'm gonna laugh. Then probably tell the whole guild. And screenshot it. And be proud that I have successfully educated those puggers that would otherwise give me repair bills.

Assuming we don't wipe anyway. Hehe.

Rul, I completely agree about those standing around the ML (especially if it isn't their class' loot!)... though on a counter-point, I hate when half the raid runs off after a boss kill and pull trash and die to it, because the other half were waiting for the dead to get ressed first. >.>

Mark said...

Well, I was making the assumption that the raid is rezzed. Really, I think it should be done before anyone even touches the body (yes, this wastes some time, but again it's more of a principle thing, and probably also an artifact of a time when that used to actually cause issues).