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Sunday, November 15, 2009

Ulduar-10 Hard Modes - Revisited

4.5 months ago I blogged about Ulduar-10 hard modes, how we tried to get a few of them down and met with limited success.

My-my, how times have changed :)

This weekend, with much better gear I entered Ulduar-10 and very much nuked the place. Well, almost...

On Friday evening we took a friend of one of the guildies, a holy priest who was pretty well geared but not quite as much as we were. So we were 2 holy priests and a paladin healing (the other 8 people apart from me were all from the guild). With a strong DPS team and good tanks, we did okay and managed some nice achievements:

FL - we tried for 4 towers up but you really need people who know how to drive the siege engines and throw a person up to shut down FL at least once. We didn't have these people so we wiped a few times before deciding it was not important (almost all of us already had the achievement) and did it with 2 towers.

XT - this is where our strong DPS team really shined, going into hard-mode was not difficult at all and the fight itself was healing intense but very doable.

From XT we continued to Kologarn, no hard-mode there so we just nuked him. Crazy Cat Lady was also not too hard, mostly I guess do to our paladin healer and 50k+ health tanks :)

Now it was Hodir's turn and again our strong DPS made a once very-hard achievement into one which was, well, pretty easy :) I think we had like 1 minute left on the 3 minute timer, what a change vs. 4.5 months ago when I blogged about being short by 6 seconds!

Last but not least was Thorim hard-mode, actually I was caught off-guard by how hard the healing is once the gauntlet team jumps down and I got a little confused and managed to get myself killed near the end :(
Thankfully the rest of the team pulled through and we one-shot him also.

We had time for a few hard-mode Mimiron tries but it was quickly obvious we just didn't have the healing output for it, so we called it a night.

On Saturday evening the non-guild priest was replaced by our GL, a very well-geared (and well played) resto-druid. We were also joined by a new recruit, an enhancement Shaman who had great DPS but had not in the past cleared Mimiron so didn't know the fight. Hard-mode Mimiron is a really difficult fight, even for a team with ToC-25 gear doing Ulduar-10. It is really tuned so that any mistake will wipe you - so everyone has to be just perfect and not do any mistakes. So having a new guy who didn't quite know the fight led to a few wipes, apart from all the wipes made by people making the usual execution mistakes.

However the new guy learned quickly and after a few wipes I guess the rest of us had worked out how to not make mistakes, since we finally got the fight down, eliciting much cheering on Vent and a Firefighter achievement :)

My GL says that Mimiron hardmode is the hardest fight in Ulduar apart from Yogg+0 and after doing it, I believe him.

We continued to Freya+3 and not only got her down on the first attempt with time to spare but no one died. After the healing crazyness which was Mimiron hardmode, Freya+3 which I once described as a healing challenge felt... almost easy. Not quite, since people still needed to be on top of the action and do stuff like kill the 3 adds together, but certainly a lot less hectic than Mimiron.

I would love to say we also 1-shotted Vezax hardmode but alas we wiped the first time. What happened was, we had only 1 ranged DPS (a hunter) so we decided to have only him and the resto druid be ranged and group everyone else under Vezax. Alas, Vezax would have none of that and promptly cast Shadow Crash on a healer - yes on me :( As I was practically under him this of course completely messed up the melee and we missed the interrupt rotation. On the second try we had all the healers stand at range and this time we managed to get him, hardmode and all, almost without a problem - it was close though as both surviving healers were at the end of their mana :).

Now came Yogg+0 and this is where we completely failed. I don't know if it was the late hour, the group composition (too many melee, only a single ranged DPS) tactics or a combination of all of the above but on most wipes we barely made it even to phase 2, our best attempt was 50% on the brain. Initially we tried it with the druid as Moonkin but the DPS just didn't interrupt the Shadow Volleys and me and the paladin just couldn't keep the raid up, especially as we are both classes that need to stand to cast (especially big heals) and we were running almost all the time away from clouds. Once the druid switched back to resto we had problems with the DPS pulling agro on guardians. We tried to solve this using 2 tanks and had better luck getting to phase 2 but now we obviously lacked the ranged DPS to down the big tentacles, not to mention all the smaller ones who were casting spells/fears on us all the time and we quickly wiped.
Near the end of the evening we decided to give up on Yogg+0 for now and try for Yogg+1 but although that helped us to get to phase 2, our group composition of only 1 ranged DPS as I said basically killed us and on our best attempt we only got the brain down to 50%. I hope we try again with a slightly different DPS setup and manage, although Sunday-Tuesday are raiding nights so we might be too busy with ToC-25 heroic... we'll see.

All in all though the entire weekend for me was a huge success in terms of just having fun and stretching my raiding abilities. Sure some of the fights were much easier now but the hardmodes were not trivial by far, certainly not the hard ones like Mimiron and Yogg-Saron. If I make some of them sound easy it is only because all of the people in the group are experienced raiders who know all the fight tactics well. So I definitely have a sense of accomplishment about the recent 10man-Ulduar achievements and I hope to be able to down Yogg-Saron too :)

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