Friday, February 8, 2013

Lock and Load - Heroic Grand Empress Shek'zeer

Lock and Load
Grand Empress Shek'zeer
What an entertaining and exhilarating fight to take part in. I wasn't sure how much I was going to enjoy this fight when going through strategies and reading up on the fight. A lot of mixture between BM vs SV and how the fight goes from phase to phase. The biggest difference in this fight from normal to heroic is more or less like putting 100 pounds on your healers shoulders and hoping they can carry you through the fight. You will wipe quite a bit early in the fight trying to figure out exactly how to deal with these dissonance fields. A few things to note as a hunter. You will NEVER EVER EVER get Cry of Terror, but this does not mean you are a melee. You still need to stand out with the range. Also, you should never be near a dissonance field, hunters do absolutely nothing to bring down the health of the fields. Your raid staying spread out is very important so your healers can save as much unneeded heals as possible. With the strategy my raid decided to do I played Survival and took a set up like:

3: Crouching Tiger, Hidden Chimera
1: Silencing Shot
2: Aspect of the Iron Hawk
2: Dire Beast
1: A Murder of Crows
1: Glaive Toss
(I ended up playing SV on our first kill, but I still believe BM is better for this fight during progression)
I decided very early on that BM would be the way to go for me. I played a few pulls as SV and was never quite on the same level as BM for the way we decided to handle phase 2. During the add phase we had each of our small add tanks put a mark on 1 of their adds each and we nuked that single target add in each group. Your tanks take WAY less damage when the number of adds is reduced from 4 to 3 in their groups. and with fixates going out they take less damage even more when they aren't being attacked by these adds additionally. I used little to no AoE during our first kill of this boss. Fixate damage has a range of 20 yds and will cause more frustrating deaths than anything on this fight. MAKE SURE YOU AND EVERYONE IN YOUR RAID GROUP HAS A WEAK AURA FOR FIXATE. You must immediately start running to the sides of the room if you get fixated if you choose to use a similar raid positioning to us (See video). Deterrence is extremely helpful on dissonance fields as it reduces the damage taken from them by 50% (glyphed). Deterrence is again strong in phase 3 if you get cry, deterrence just before you get feared to reduce that damage. We had our warlock dropping his soul well during both add phases, I think I used 4 healthstones in our kill attempt. These are very very strong and should 100% be used off CD during field explosions. Also using silencing shot during the add phases to interrupt Dispatch is very important and you should be trying to interrupt every one that you can as melee sometimes have to run out for being fixated.

Overall this fight is super fun and that last phase feels like it's never going to end. Having healed this fight since our first kill, I can tell you, your healers will appreciate anything you can do to avoid damage/heal yourself. As a hunter we have our passive 15% reduction, but deterrence and health stones are VERY helpful. Just some additional help your raid may need. We had about 6-7 spell casters jumping in the corrupted fields as soon as they came up and getting CD's such as barrier and spirit link totem to support. This allowed us to get these fields knocked down before the raid dipped too quickly. The last phase we had our third tank stand in front of the raid group to take the Heart of Fear damage. Honestly, I never even noticed this mechanic even though I had one on me. Good luck with this one, it was overall a short encounter for us! Here is video, I hit record after the first add phase was over (sorry!).

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