Breaking the Will of the Emperor
Must catch up on boss kill posts… I still have two bosses from Heart of Fear to write up after this…
We’ve killed Will of the Emperor 3 weeks in a row now. This fight is much easier than Elegon, but it’ll probably still take a few attempts for your tanks and melee to learn the dance.
We used the following raid composition:
- 2 Tanks
- 2 Healers
- 6 DPS (3 ranged, 1 melee on the boss full time, 1 melee tanking the Emperor’s Strength and helping kill adds)
Phase 1: Add Tutorial
Will of the Emperor starts off deceptively easy. Every few seconds a new set of adds will spawn and it will be trivially simple to DPS them down quickly. This might lull you into a false sense of security; however, once the two bosses spawn the fight becomes considerably more difficult. Think of the first 90 seconds as a brief tutorial where you’ll be introduced to the three types of adds you’ll have to deal with.
- Emperor’s Rage: These spawn two at a time from the alcoves at the far end of the room. They will fixate on random players, meleeing for moderate damage if they reach their target. Although they die quickly they are much lower priority than the other adds. It’s best to CC or slow them while you kill the more dangerous adds. Stunning them causes them to change targets, which is very effective for getting them off your healers. If you’re a Druid (as I am) the talent Faerie Swarm is particularly good for this fight, as it’s a free, instant, spammable slow that can be cast on multiple targets simultaneously. (**Edit: I know the tooltip on Faerie Swarm says only one target can be slowed at one time, but the debuff is appearing on both adds and they appear slowed when I use it, so I assume that either the tooltip is wrong or there’s a bug working in my favor for once.)
- Emperor’s Strength: They spawn one at a time from alcoves about half-way around the back wall. They have a normal aggro table but they do NOT melee their target, so pretty much anyone can tank them, (except for the actual tanks). We assigned our Frost DK to these guys, since he can just throw on Blood Presence and easily hold aggro. Keep them away from the tanks and healers, since they do an AoE stun called Energizing Smash which will really screw up the tanks’ ability to dodge Devastating Combos. The stun is pretty easy to avoid as long as you stand right on top of the add and just run through him to avoid the effect, but your healers will be much happier if you don’t make them move to avoid it. Every time Energizing Smash is cast the stun effect grows larger, so you want to kill them before it gets too large for the tanks to avoid.
- Emperor’s Courage: These are the most dangerous adds and should be your top priority. They spawn one at a time from the alcoves on either side of the room closest to the entrance and will fixate on the tank furthest away from them. If they reach the tank they will use Impending Thrust, applying a stacking debuff that reduces the tank’s movement speed by 25% per stack for 10 seconds. This will definitely prevent your tank from dodging the Devastating Combos, and probably lead to a wipe. Emperor’s Courage are immune to attacks from the front, so your DPS must get behind them quickly. Ideally DPS will already be in place as the Courage spawns.
This encounter is a long endurance test and there is very little damage going out during this first phase. Healers should conserve their mana by healing as little as possible until the bosses spawn.
Phase 2: Kill the Adds. Stop DPSing the Boss and Kill the Adds. I Mean It. That Means YOU, Mr. Uberleet Deeps!
The absolute most important part of this fight is killing the adds. It will be very tempting for your DPS players to ignore the adds and focus on the boss, but they must resist that urge. If you fall behind on the adds you will probably be overrun with them and wipe. Each wave of adds should be dead before the next one spawns, and Emperor’s Courage should die before reaching the tanks. We did assign our Rogue to full-time boss duty, but otherwise no one should be damaging the boss unless all adds are dead.
Instead of just describing our boss positioning, I decided to make a little annotated diagram. Isn’t it fancy?
The two bosses will spawn from alcoves next to where the Emperor’s Rage adds spawn. The tanks need to pick them up and bring them over to the bottom of the staircases. (You don’t want to tank them where they spawn because that area will soon be full of adds, and dealing with Devastating Combo and add abilities in the same area would be pretty difficult.) To complicate matters, each boss casts Magnetic Armor on his main aggro target. Magnetic Armor pulls the tank to the boss if the tank moves more than 15 yards away from the boss, so the bosses can only be moved very slowly and carefully.
Healers should be prepared for pretty substantial damage to the tanks, because those melee swings are no joke. We assigned one healer to each tank because it can be difficult to keep both tanks in range when they are dodging the boss combos, but we still cross-heal quite a bit.
The two bosses have an energy bar that fills at the rate of 1 energy per second, up to a max of 20 energy. When the energy bar is full they perform a Devastating Combo: a series of 5 attacks over 15 seconds. These attacks must be physically dodged — you must move out of their area of effect in order to avoid taking damage from them. The direction of each attack is clearly telegraphed by the boss animations, so it’s simply a matter of practice and it shouldn’t be long before your tanks and melee learn to get out of the way.
There’s two possible attacks, chosen at random, that make up the Devastating Combos:
- Devastating Arc: The boss deals damage to an area either to the left, right or directly in front of him. You can tell which by watching how he holds his sword: Over the left shoulder the attack will be to the right; over the right shoulder the attack will be to the left; pointing forward the attack will be in front of him. Anyone hit by Devastating Arc will get a stacking debuff that reduces their armor by 10% per stack. This can be very dangerous.
- Stomp: Deals damage in a 12 yard radius around the boss, but also stuns anyone caught in it for 2 seconds — which means you are very likely to eat a Devastating Arc if you get hit by this. That 12 yard range is pretty evil too, since the tank can’t move more than 15 yards away from the boss without being gripped back by Magnetic Armor. Again, it will take your tanks a bit of practice to learn where the sweet spot is. If the boss is about to cast Stomp he will hold his sword above his head.
While your tanks are learning to dodge the combos they will probably take a significant amount of damage. Successfully dodging Devastating Combo will greatly reduce the incidence of tank death.
The other reason you want your tanks and melee to successfully avoid Devastating Combos is that doing so will grant them the extra ability Opportunistic Strike. This will appear as an extra action button in the UI, (as so many extra abilities do nowadays). Opportunistic Strike deals 500k damage in 10-man normal mode, so the more often it can be used the better. If you’d rather use a keybind than click the button use the following macro, which works on any of Blizzard’s extra action abilities:
Though you might have already known that, since I’ve been using that macro since Dragon Soul.
Every 2 mins 30 seconds the room will fill with Titan Gas for 20 seconds, dealing AoE damage to the entire raid and increasing the damage done by the bosses/adds by 25%. Melee DPS is also increased by 50% during this time (the poor ranged DPS get nothing). No adds spawn during the gas phases, so kill all the adds before Titan Gas and burn the boss. This is the best time to use Bloodlust/Heroism and other DPS cooldowns. Since the bosses share a health pool we marked one boss to focus down so we could take advantage of as many debuffs as possible. DoT classes will probably still want to multidot both.
All ranged DPS should stack up on the healers to take advantage of AoE healing. This is a good time to rotate raid healing cooldowns. We were two-healing, so I covered the first and third Titan Gas phases with Tranquility and our Mistweaver Monk covered the second with… whatever it is that Monks use for such things. >.> We had our Shadow Priest help cover the second with Vampiric Embrace. I also put Symbiosis on our Shadow Priest to give him a baby Tranquility to use in case of emergencies.
Getting the Kill
As soon as you have the adds under control and your tanks/melee have learned to dodge Devastating Combo a kill is inevitable. It’s a long fight, so stay focused and resist the urge to ignore the adds. Even when the boss is low on health you should continue to properly deal with the mechanics, unless you are running right up against the enrage timer. They’ll die, just be patient.
Good luck and have fun!