Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Paragone to Hell in a Handbasket - Tanking Heroic Paragons

Congratulations on making it this far in Heroic Siege of Orgrimmar! While many of the fights have had more damage or different mechanics added, Heroic Paragons of the Klaxxi is on a whole new level. With the Klaxxi, any normal mode mechanics that didn't matter REALLY MATTER now. Those parasite casts you didn't notice? Hell, you better notice them now. Aim? Really hurts. Rapid Fire? Also bad. Korven? You better tank swap if you weren't before! The list goes on.

When my raid group was looking for tips on how to kill this boss, we couldn't find a lot of information. There was very little out there and of what we found, 1/4 of it was tank related. We ended up having to trial and error our way through much of the encounter (as tanks). It's my goal here to provide that missing link for future tanks who end up tanking this encounter. I'll provide links at the bottom to the various strats we attempted as we used more than one (and there is certainly more than one way to kill this boss). This post assumes you've already killed normal paragons, and if you're looking for a guide check out my previous post!

Let's get started!

Read up!
The basic premise of the fight is the same; At any given time, three Klaxxi will be active during the fight (until the end when no more can jump down). That's three mobs that need to be tanked and all three of them do something different. Some Klaxxi can't be tanked after you've tanked their partner while others require tank swaps.

The order in which the Klaxxi join the fight hasn't changed, either. You will still have Skeer, Rik'kal and Hisek first, followed by Ka'roz, Korven, Iyyokuk, Xaril, Kaz'tik and Kil'ruk.

However, the kill order we used at first (Rik'kal, Skeer, Hiskek, Korven, Iyyokuk, Xaril, Kaz'tik, Kil'ruk and Ka'roz) is slightly different on heroic. Instead, we go with this; Skeer, Rik'kal, Korven, Hisek, Xaril, Iyyokuk, Kaz'tik, Ka'roz,and finally, Kil'ruk.

The easiest way to guide you through this is to talk about each 'phase' of the fight. We'll break that down into bosses of three. The 'phases' look like this - bold lettering indicating the kill order:

1. Skeer + Rik'kal + Hisek
2. Rik'kal + Ka'roz + Hisek
3. Korven + Hisek + Ka'roz
4. Hisek + Ka'roz + Iyyokuk
5. Xaril + Ka'roz + Iyyokuk
6. Iyyokuk + Kaz'tik + Ka'roz
7. Kaz'tik + Ka'roz + Kil'ruk
8. Ka'roz + Kil'ruk
9. Kil'ruk

Apotheosis started with Something Wicked's strat as a base (http://www.esoth.com/blog/paragons-of-the-klaxxi-working-strat-for-heroic) but found that leaving Rik'kal up for so long meant too many mistakes that we couldn't recover from. Not to mention it was extremely stressful to tank, I did however, find it to be an enjoyable challenge!

We moved on to another strat from Vengeance King (http://www.vengeanceking.com/raid-encounter-guides/siege-of-orgrimmar/vengeance-king-boss-guides-siege-of-orgrimmar/paragons-of-the-klaxxi/) where we killed Rik'kal second and had a much easier time dealing with the damage coming out. We have to deal with increased amounts of Rapid Fire but it is completely avoidable and requires people to be paying attention.

Rik'kal the Dissector
I wanted to take a second before we jump into the phases and explain what is going on with this boss.
Rik'kal is a special case on this fight. Those injection casts that you didn't really need to worry about on normal mode are very important now. Rik'kal will now mutate three members of your raid into tiny scorpions, and in order to free themselves from mutate they must eat a parasite. Those parasites come from letting yourself be hit by an injection cast and then letting the debuff fall off by using active mitigation (AM) on the next casts. It is important to not be hit by more injections than you need, because your mutated raid members won't be able to keep up.

Some things that helped me were having a cancel aura macro for my Savage Defense (the AM that Guardians have), ensuring I had Rik'kal as my focus target and in turn, making my focus target cast bar really big and obvious. You still want to avoid being hit by injection for the most part, but you do want to get hit with it twice.

big ole focus cast bar
The way I like to do this is to allow the very first cast to hit, drop it with AM and then use my AM on the injection cast for the next ones. DBM will give you a 5 count to the cast, so if you hit your AM any time between the '3' and the cast itself, you will avoid having the debuff applied.

Because we are killing Rik'kal second, there are four mutates to worry about, so the tank has to let two injection casts hit. On 25man, each injection releases 8 parasites so your plan of attack will look something like this - but it can and will change depending on the reflexes of your mutated raid members:

1st injection cast - no mitigation - allow it to hit and drop it with AM
1st mutate - three parasites eaten, 5 left
2nd mutate - three parasites eaten, 2 left
Injection before 3rd mutate - no mitigation - release 8 more parasites for total of 10
3rd mutate - SIX parasites eaten, 4 left (All three people eat 2)
4th (final) mutate - FOUR parasites eaten, 0 left (One person eats two)

Now, obviously you want very little to no parasites up at the end, so it is the responsibility of the people who are mutated in the 3rd and 4th mutates to eat two parasites. Of course, if the folks in the second mutate manage to eat two, then the people later won't have to eat as many. It's all about tracking the parasites and you can use this handy weak aura - Google Doc. It tells you who has been mutated, how many parasites they've eaten and how many parasites are still up. It also helps to have your raid members call out if they are able to eat more than one.

Got all that? Ok, onward.

Phase 1 - Skeer, Rik'kal, Hisek
Waiting for Bloods to hit Rik'kal
One tank (we'll call this tank "Tank A") will pick up Skeer and drag him to the doors where you came in, and the other ("Tank B") will pick up Rik'kal. The raid will dps Rik'kal first, to draw the bloods from Skeer's Bloodletting to Rik'kal. Once the bloods have been absorbed by Rik'kal, move Rik'kal over to Skeer by the doors.

DPS will continue on Skeer until he is dead. It is the responsibility of a few DPS to slow or stun the second set of bloods coming out from bloodletting. We assign teams of people to do this, just in case someone ends up being in an aim line, or getting mutated. The Rik'kal tank will want to move away from Skeer on the bloodletting cast, as the splash healing from the bloods as they hit Skeer's body can hit Rik'kal.

Bloods moving to Skeer's body

Phase 2 - Rik'kal, Hisek, Ka'roz
While the Rik'kal tank continues being awesome, Tank A will run to pick up Ka'roz. DPS will continue hitting Rik'kal while dodging Whirling and Amber. We set up our ranged to be the ones to dodge Amber because having that spawn in melee is generally a wipe.

This is the point where you'll be letting your second injection cast hit, and you'll need to watch the timers for the fourth mutate. We're getting to a point where we can sometimes kill Rik'kal before that fourth mutate goes out, and we end up having parasites left over. Watch the timers and call for a stop on DPS if you need it to ensure that last mutate goes out.

Phase 3 - Korven, Hisek, Ka'roz
Tank B will taunt Ka'roz off Tank A and pick up Rik'kal's buff from his body while Tank A picks up Korven. Tank A will bring Korven back to the doors, and the tanks should position themselves at a 45 degree angle from each other for taunt swaps. Tanks will swap on the Shield Bash, so melee needs to be very careful that they don't end up in front of the boss or near the tanks at this point.

Positioning is important! Taunt after Shield Bash.

Whirling, Aim, Rapid Fire and Amber will still be happening, everyone is accountable for their own survival as most of the mechanics are avoidable.

In order to be able to kill Korven without him encasing himself in Amber, we DPS Hisek at the same time. We try to push them down evenly and then push Hisek to 50% first so the amber block hits him and we can kill Korven during that time.

Once the amber block is on Hisek, Tank B should use the scorpion buff from Rik'kal to help burn Korven. Guardians in particular can hit Survival Instincts and Nature's Vigil. NV just so happens to scale with the scorpion buff, making it extremely overpowered and hilariously fun to use. Have Tank A taunt Korven before the Shield Bash so you don't get stunned while you're clawing some Mantid FACE. Tank A should pick up Korven's buff from his body once he's dead.


Phase 4 - Hisek, Ka'roz, Iyyokuk
Next on the hit list is Hisek. Have Tank A pick up Iyyokuk here. We split our raid group into 4 teams of ranged to help avoid amber being dropped in the melee. These four groups have dedicated aim teams and healers as well.
The raid will need to be aware of Whirling, Amber, Aim and Rapid Fire and now, with Iyyokuk - Fire Lines and Diminish. Diminish will kill anyone at or below 25% at the time of the cast completion. Use Healthstones and continue avoiding everything when you notice you are low. DPS Hisek as fast as you can to get him out of the way.


Phase 5 - Xaril, Ka'roz, Iyyokuk
Tank B will pick up Xaril when he lands. Instead of the normal mode mechanics (yellow, blue, red), you will have to worry about Green, Orange and Purple.

Green puts little moving pools on the ground that will follow people. You can soak them to get rid of them, but you will take more damage from other pools for a short time - so be careful! Orange will detonate on your character and create an expanding circle that will heavily damage anyone caught by it. Your own pool will not hurt you. Purple causes your character to move forward while dropping a purple flame patch behind them. The best way to counter this colour is to quickly turn your character in a tight circle, keeping your fire in one pile. Your own fire will not damage you until the "Canned Heat" debuff falls off (side note - best debuff name).
If you get any of these activated debuffs, run out as far as you can to drop them. Having any of these (especially purple and orange) in the melee is not good.

Catalyst Green! No matter the catalyst, RUN OUT

Sometime during this phase, Tank B's scorpion buff should be coming off cooldown. Try to use the buff after the catalyst cast so that you aren't trying to run and dps at the same time. As you're burning Xaril, it's likely you'll rip threat off of Tank A while they're tanking Iyyokuk. You can ask for a Hand of Salvation if you're concerned about tanking three mantids at once.

Green Poofs and SCORP TIME
Phase 6 - Iyyokuk, Ka'roz and Kaz'tik
Kaz'tik will drop in and wherever he lands and starts casting Sonic Projection is where he's going to stay. Tank A can keep Iyyokuk while Tank B runs up to Kaz'tik. You can control the direction he shoots the projections, so try and pick a place to point him and let the raid know so they can avoid that area.

Point him over an Amber pool - no one will be there!
The raid will need to watch for kunchongs now. They'll eat anyone that is too close! Mesmerize can be halted by Tank A using Korven's buff on whoever is being pulled in. DPS must hit the kunchong casting to free the person being pulled.

Any kunchongs that manage to eat people or that reach full energy will transform into a Mature Kunchong. These need to be picked up by tanks - they have a weird threat table so do your best to grab them. You should only end up with two, if the raid executes properly.

Kill Iyyokuk and get those fire lines outta here!

Phase 7 - Kaz'tik, Ka'roz, Kil'ruk

Kil'ruk will join the fight and this is the last mantid to become active. Have Tank A pick him up (since Tank B was on Xaril).

Mature Kunchong! Kil'ruk has landed!
The raid will need to watch for Death From Above, Reave, Kunchongs, Whirling and Amber. DPS will focus on Kaz'tik and kill him in this phase.

Tanks can interupt Reave by taunting immediately after the 2 second Reave channel. It's difficult to time properly, especially when he jumps to melee but it's doable and it can save a lot of damage from going out.

Phase 8 - Ka'roz and Kil'ruk

And then there were two

Almost there. DPS Ka'roz as best you can while he's jumping all over the place. You can use the scorpion buff here if you like, but if Kil'ruk is going to be close to Ka'roz when you activate it ask for a Hand of Protection first. It'll wipe your debuffs from Xaril, allowing you to pull off the other tank without worrying about dying. Another thing to make sure of is that you're watching the timers on Whirl and Hurl Amber so that you don't pop the scorpion buff when he runs away! (kind of like this screenshot here)

Do as I say, not as I do. Worst Scorp EVER.

Phase 9 - Kil'ruk
If you didn't use the scorpion buff on Ka'roz, you'll want to use it here. Make sure you get a HoP before you do this! Have Tank A continue interrupting Reave during this phase. Avoid Death From Above and it's pretty much a home run from here.

get dat BoP

Final scorp, make it count!
If it's your first kill, it MAY end up looking like this at the end with the kill being over berserk but if not great job! Move on to heroic Garrosh and kick some orc BUTT.

More of a visual learner? I'm planning on uploading a video with my PoV and some voiceover to help! I will update this post (and tweet about it) once it's up. For now, check out our kill video with perspectives on melee and a ranged healer: Apoth Kill Video.

Thanks for stopping by and checking this guide out. Best of luck on the final fight in SoO and beyond!

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