Cataclysm Heroic Tips and Strategies for Mages (Part 4)
This is the fourth and final installment in my series of heroic tips and strategies for mages. I know it was a long time coming – raid start hit me pretty hard and I just haven’t had the time to sit down and write this. Better late than never, right? As always, please feel free to add a comment if you have anything to contribute that I’ve neglected to mention!
This is part four in a series of mage-specific heroic Cataclysm instance guides. This part deals with only The Deadmines and Shadowfang Keep.
Part one includes some basic instancing strategies, as well as tips for Blackrock Caverns and Throne of the Tides. You can find it here.
Part two covers The Stonecore, Vortex Pinnacle, and Grim Batol and is located here.
Part three talked about Halls of Origination and Lost City of the Tol’Vir and you can find it here.
These are not the full strategy guides for each instance – only mage-things that may prove useful. This guide assumes that you are familiar with the basic strategy for each encounter. For instance cheat sheets, you can check out the guides a guildie of mine wrote over at Sword and Board.
And now you will have this song stuck in your head, for which I apologize (but it’s so catchy!) “Well, there was this one time…”
Trash: Pay attention to the Defias Envokers – they have a passive ability up on them called Envoker’s Shield that protects them from most crowd control. You can spellsteal it and then sheep them, which you may be called upon to do.
Later in the instance you will encounter Defias Blood Wizards. They do two useful things – they put a big red bubble on the ground that will give you the buff Ragezone. You will both cause (and take) 50% greater damage. Watch out for if you have the spinning swords around you (or are standing near a companion who has them). These guys also cast a haste buff called Bloodwash that can be spellstolen.
Finally, the Defias Squallshapers on the ramps leading to the ship have an cast you should interrupt called Seaswell. When their health gets low they’ll cast Riptide on themselves. Spellsteal it quickly – it helps your healer and prevents them from healing themselves.
- This fight is really not very complicated if you just avoid things that are clearly going to hurt you. Phase one has fire and ice patches on the ground. At a predetermined amount of health, he’ll move to the center of the room and conjure a rotating fire wall.
- The wall moves clockwise, so what you’ll want to do is strafe over to the left side of it and continue to DPS as the wall approaches. Melee DPS can’t do much to Glubtok at this point and the phase includes adds being tanked and more patches of bad things on the ground.
- I use Time Warp to minimize time spent in this phase – especially if the group has other ranged DPS it should be over pretty quickly.
- If you do this correctly and never take fire wall damage, you’ll get an achievement – Congratulations, you’re Ready For Raiding!
- This fight begins with killing Helix’s oaf, and then once he’s dead you kill Helix himself. Periodically he’ll jump off the oaf and onto a person or onto the ground.
- Someone set us up the bomb – you can tell when these are going to explode because the fuses change in appearance. Don’t be near them.
- If Helix puts a bomb on your chest, stay away from the group so you don’t explode on them. It’s the gift that keeps on giving!
- You may have Helix himself jump on your face at some point – you probably shouldn’t panic and run around in circles like I have been known to do (just once!) because the melee people in your group are trying to attack him.
- The oaf can also pick people up and smash them against the wall – just don’t be in-between them and the wall. If you are the one picked up, unfortunately you can’t Iceblock out of it.
Foe Reaper 5000
- Someone has to be the DPS controlling the Prototype Reaper. I prefer it not to be me (or other ranged DPS) because we can keep DPSing the boss while melee DPS has to run away from his AoE. Still, if you’re stuck doing it at any point remember to keep yourself between the fire adds and the ramp – your task is to tank them and keep them from the group, and this is a task I cannot advise you in. Next time nobody else gets into the Reaper I’m just going to play dead.
- The Reaper has two primary abilities – Overdrive (AoE centered on himself) and Harvest. He marks a location on the ground and destroys everything between him and it. Be somewhere else (blink for the hills!) You can still DPS him from a safe distance. You may spend much of this fight doing a bit of running back and forth.
- Use Time Warp when he enrages (it emotes “Safety Restrictions Off-line!) because this is the toughest time for your tank and healer.
- Make sure you have nameplates enabled so that you can see any Vapors spawning. Contrary to usual, I save Fire Orb for the first Vapor phase because it provides a convenient passive way to DPS these. Depending on your spec and mana you can AoE to hit them, or single target them – I use Fire Blast and Scorch, myself, but you can use whatever tickles your fancy (and kills them).
- This can get intense if your DPS are not focusing on the vapors as they spawn – depending on your tank and healer, too many Vapors growing large can and will wipe your group. Make sure you’re not the only one attacking them!
- Other than vapors, just attack Ripsnarl himself as you are able and he’ll die soon enough.
- You have some options here. Cookie throws out various types of food – it’s either bad (green and with a painful aura) or good food (sparkly and delicious). When you eat the good food you gain one stack of the buff Satiated. This can stack up to 99 times(!). Yes, you read that correctly. Eating bad food will give you the Nauseated debuff.
- When we do this, we pretty much just ignore the bad food and treat this fight as a DPS race – keep stacking good food to infinity and kill Cookie before your mana runs out. This is harder on the healer though, and you still shouldn’t stand in the green AoE clouds even if you’re ignoring good food.
- It’s worth noting that to get the I’m On A Diet achievement you do need to get at least one stack of Nauseated, so you will need to eat bad food just once, according to Wowhead commenters.
- This encounter is a gauntlet with a series of challenges. For phase one, you have to dodge fire while running down the Foe Reaper’s ramp. Don’t try to run straight down the ramp, you have to jump off the right side at one point. Use Mage Ward to mitigate some of the damage from either the fire or the ice patches on the ground.
- Don’t bother with attacking the spiders that spawn – make sure you keep the boss targeted.
- There’s no magical mage trick to get past the “Mario” portion of this gauntlet, you’re just going to have to edge along around the beams with everyone else. Iceblock does not work here, the beams go straight through it, and Blink is liable to just get you killed. There’s a safe spot to the left where you can group up and wait for people once you’re through.
- Before the ship is a DPS race with an incredible speed buff – stick with your tank and be careful not to fall off the edge.
- During the actual encounter with Vanessa many adds will spawn. You can DPS her when she isn’t deflecting, otherwise kill the adds. You’ll remember the Defias Blood Wizards from the trash earlier – they drop a Ragezone and cast Bloodwash so use these tools accordingly (stand in one, spellsteal the other!)
- Try to position yourself and DPS from a place where you’ll be ready to grab a rope when it spawns, there’s no reason for you to be anywhere else (barring Ragezones).
Heroic Shadowfang Keep
- This fight depends on coordination of interrupts. Ashbury has several things that must be interrupted. It’s better to talk about this beforehand so you know who is interrupting what. Since our interrupt is on a relatively long cooldown, many groups may assign other interrupters, but be prepared to assume responsibility for one if need be.
- Pain and Suffering will damage the entire party and also must be interrupted.
- Approximately every 40-45 seconds, he will Asphyxiate everyone. You can Iceblock out of this.
- Immediately after Asphyxiation, he will begin to channel Stay of Execution. This heals your party and him – let it tick 1-2 times before interrupting to let your healer get a handle on things. This ability is the objective of an achievement – Pardon Denied. To get the achievement you don’t let him channel the ability at all, so it’s really a challenge for your healer. Make sure you know whether your party is attempting to do this or not before interrupting it, lest you cause an inadvertent wipe!
- At 25% he enrages and begins to cause unavoidable damage to the party. Use Time Warp here to get it over with quickly.
- This guy is really pretty simple as a DPS player. He summons adds that should be killed; I like to spread the damage around with various AoE effects and multiple Living Bombs. A fire mage with a lucky Hot Streak can get lined up to cast Combustion on Silverlaine just before he brings out his first add, so you are doing maximum damage to him at the same time.
- Be careful not to pull aggro on any of the adds until the tank has a solid threat lead.
- Springvale can be a bit tricky if you haven’t done him before (specifically if you’re trying to get his achievement).
- Unfortunately, our CC is not useful here, so the only thing we can do (if no Undead CC is available) is to burn his adds as they spawn. One is called a Wailing Guardsman and one is a Tormented Officer. We usually assign DPS to handle each. These adds will attempt to cast Unholy Empowerment, which can and should be interrupted. Especially if your tank is moving out of Desecration, he/she may be unable to interrupt this at range so use that counterspell!
- Make sure you’re behind him wherever he is being tanked. He does a massive damage AoE frontal cone ability and also puts Desecration on the ground. Don’t stand in either of these and you should be fine.
- I have a ridiculous amount of fun during this fight. It’s easy – it’s just a big game of Traffic Light.
- If there’s a big column of green in the center of the room, don’t stop moving (or as my guildies know, “Hey guys, I’m casting scorch while moving!”)
- If there’s a big column of red in the center of the room, don’t move. It also grants a tasty crit buff, so go wild!
- He also drops ice shards but these are largely inconsequential and very easy to dodge.
- I hear that the curse from Cursed Bullets really hurts. As usual, we can help with that, so make sure you’ve got some easy way to see a cursed friendly player and quickly remove it.
- Do not stand in front of his Pistol Barrage. Depending on where your tank is facing him this can be pretty easy – I’ve noticed some ranged like to stand at the very edge of the top wall, which is possible but mildly annoying. I tried this the other day and it causes my Flame Orb to just sit there stupidly and then explode. They aren’t smart enough to figure out pathing. Mind you, the damage from the orb is negligible so if you prefer to just stay out of harm’s way it’s certainly an option.
And that concludes the series about heroics for mages! I hope they were helpful to someone out there just getting their feet wet as a fresh mage. If you are more of a veteran and you’ve thought of things I haven’t, please feel free to leave them in the comments!
(p.s. Thank you all for your kind words on my previous post. I have read and really appreciate each and every one. I will be replying to them individually, meantime I didn’t want anyone to think I was just ignoring them, far from it! You are all awesome.)