Monday, December 21, 2009

U10: Algalon


We use the following raid makeup in our kills
  • 2 tanks
  • 3 healers
  • 2 melee dps
  • 2 ranged dps
  • 1 ranged "star killer" (we typically use a warlock)

The Fight

Once you engage Algalon, you have 1 hour to kill him before he beams up and you have to wait until the next week to try again. As such, make sure you cover all strategy and directions before you first engage him, as you won't have much downtime between attempts to explain things!

Have your first tank engage Algalon and hold him in the center of the room; the ranged should spread out around the room. You will need to switch tanking Algalon every time the MT reaches a stack of 4 Phase Punches, as the 5th punch will send the tank into another dimension (you don't want this to happen).

Star-Killer: there is an excellent guide on StratFu on the messy business of killing stars. Killing stars is a very important role, since they are all dieing together and, when they die, will do massive damage to the raid: for the sake of survival, they must each be dpsed down a bit to time when they go off, to keep them from exploding together.

There are two key things the healers and dps need to watch for:
  • Cosmic Smash: this is a red circle on the ground. As with most red circles, standing in it is a Bad Thing; unlike most red circles, it will hurt people who aren't standing directly in it, too. It will one-shot any non-tank who is in it when it ruptures; move as far away from it as possible, because it will do damage to everyone (even those not standing in it), doing more damage to those closer to it. So move away! If you spot one near somebody else and they aren't moving, call it out. The tank and melee will need to reposition themselves around the room with Algalon to dodge these.
  • Black Holes: this is a dark circle on the ground. It is a teleporter, taking you to another dimension, one with dark ghostie ghoulies (Dark Matter) flying around. In general, you don't want to step in these; watch out for them. They spawn when a collapsing star dies, so you don't want to be near/on a collapsing star when it dies, or you will instantly be ported as its black hole drops! There will be a time when you WANT to go in the black hole, though: to escape Big Bang.
Okay, so that was technically three things with the stars, and 4 if you count big bang, but whatever. Those are the key abilities you want to watch for during this fight.

Big Bang:

This is the one time you WANT to go in the black hole. Anyone caught outside of the dark ghostie-ghoulie dimension within the black holes when Big Bang goes off will be killed instantly, unless they have some sort of damage-reduction shield up (but NOT an immunity effect, as Big Bang will eat through it).

When Big Bang occurs, one person must stay outside of the portals to "eat" the Big Bang, as having the whole raid (those living) inside the portals will cause Algalon to go Berserk and immediate Ascend, killing everyone regardless of dimension. You must use a damage-reduction type cooldown to survive the Big Bang; dieing to the attack will still cause Algalon to Ascend. Your raid must use abilities such as Guardian Spirit or Dispersion to allow the person staying outside to survive the Big Bang; "immunity" effects such as Hand of Protection, Ice Block, and Divine Shield will not work.
  • We had our tank eat each of the big bangs through use of raid cooldowns applied to them, though I hear that shadow priests with dispersion can also eat a big bang. My guild has never attempted the dispersion thing, though.

If you are not the one staying out to eat the Big Bang, go immediately into the nearest black hole when he begins casting the Big Bang, and then move a few yards away from where you entered. Once the Big Bang is cast, everyone inside the black hole dimension will immediately drop back into the real dimension, and if you're standing in a place where a black hole is, you'll be ported right back into the black hole dimension to wait helplessly for 6 seconds (with the Dark Matters munching on you) while the rest of the raid is wondering where you went. Position yourself carefully!

NOTE: the black holes' teleportation acts on a periodic pulse, meaning that sometimes you might get ported the moment you clip the edge of the hole, or you might not get ported after running clear over the hole from one side to the other. Be sure to give yourself plenty of time to get ported when running to escape a Big Bang!


Resto Druids: you will be responsible for keeping full hots on the current tank and healing the rest of the raid as much as possible. I recommend keeping a rejuv on as much of the raid as possible around keeping your tank with HoTs. The tanks will switch periodically as they get stacked up with Phase Punches (5 stacks will shift them to another dimension). Allow your LB stacks to bloom periodically for the heal-boost and mana return, and reapply the stacks quickly after blooming. Ahead of a tank-switch, get a rejuv and regrowth on the next tank so that they have a head-start on the HoT buffer when they taunt Algalon.

The whole raid will be taking a fair amount of damage. Every time a collapsing star dies, the whole raid will take about 16k damage; this is why you have a specific player assigned to be a star-killer, as the stars are all slowly dieing and you want to control WHEN they die so that they don't all explode at the same time. You will want your star-killer to be very vocal about incoming collapses, warning you ahead of the collapse so that you can make sure the raid is topped off.

If your raid has more ranged players than not, I highly recommend having most of the dps group up and move together to make the most of AoE heals. Trust me, having a full set of ranged dps rather than melee (or a mix of melee and ranged makes) healing this fight a PitA due to trying to heal each person without being able to catch them all, or most of them, with an AoE. Your tanks will be taking an immense amount of damage, so you want to limit how much time you spend healing the dps up to full as much as possible.

When entering the Black Holes to avoid the Big Bangs, make sure you have refreshed your HoTs and heals on the tank, apply any damage-reduction shields to the tank as necessary to ensure that they will survive the Big Bang, and then jump in and move a few yards away from where the black hole was, so that you don't fall back in it when you're ported back to the boss. Heal others who are in your dimension with you, as each second spent in the realm does damage, on top of the Dark Matter ghoulies who will attack you.

You will likely get heal-aggro on the Living Constellations. This can be annoying, as they're huge and will hide things like Cosmic Smash from your view. If you've got aggro on several, try to kite them overtop of the Black Holes; when a constellation hits a black hole, both of them will despawn. Be careful not to close too many black holes, however, as you will need the holes to escape the Big Bang. We opted to have our non-active tank pick these constellations up and do the job of kiting them over the holes, so that the healers could focus on keeping everyone alive.

Phase 2

At 20%, all of the constellations (collapsing and living) will despawn, and 4 black holes will immediately spawn in a square around Algalon (possibly sending some unluckily positioned people temporarily into the other realm). Your raid should hold off on pushing him to 20% until after a big bang, since Big Bangs will still happen on time (and the tanks will still be stacking phase punches, and switching boss aggro when they're off-tanking a dozen adds is tricky business). The Dark Matter ghosts will spawn out of the black holes, making your job healing that much more difficult: the OT should pick them up, but be ready to tank some yourself as more spawn and start overwhelming the raid.

There will still be Cosmic Smashes during this phase, though they will be much harder to spot through the ever-growing mass of ghosties. Keep a sharp eye out for them, and move the ghosts around as a group whenever Cosmic Smash goes out in case any are hidden by the mass.

All DPS should focus on burning down Algalon in this phase, before the adds overwhelm the raid.

Good luck, and have fun!


Kringol said...

Cool guide :P
Just a comment that might be useful for someone.
When we do algalon we have the resto druid (me, of course) spec out of threat reduction, take costellation aggro and kite em to black holes since we can keep rolling hots while kitting. Just that minor optional change that might be useful for some ppl

Kae said...

*nod* I've heard of other guilds doing this, depending on their gear level and how much healing they need to be pouring into the tank (ie nourish). My own guild was originally planning for that, but the offtank had nothing to do while waiting for phase punches to drop, so they decided to take up the job themselves.

As I stated in the strat, inevitably the healers will get aggro on some of them anyway, and can kite them around to close holes themselves if they feel so inclined.