Dear Friends

We’re entering the holiday season! I hope everyone’s been doing well. The past few months have been quite taxing. Some updates are in order, perhaps.


Antorus is just lovely isn’t it? From a difficulty standpoint, it feels a little easier compared to Tomb of Sargeras. Argus went down much quicker compared to Kil’jaeden. Agrammar wasn’t as challenging as Avatar. I’m trialing with a new guild on Proudmoore and we’ll see how that goes. The mind is willing capable, but the body may be slow to act which could tank my shot at making their roster for mythic. I’m okay with that though. I’m at the point in the game where if I don’t crack the starting lineup but am good enough to keep as a second option in case of absences, I can live with that.

I’m still playing Holy but it does look like Discipline might be integral to this tier. I regret not trying to learn the new Disc style of play as much as I should have. Now I’m playing catchup in learning both a new spec and new encounters.

Speaking of Antorus, going into week 2 of Antorus after the hot fixes was a little more challenging. We ran into the Coven of Shivarra block. If you missed the hot fixes from yesterday, the key is that the health of the ads now scale up. Whoops. We’re gradually losing players over the course of the fight (Healing absorbs, or storms seem to be the one picking players off). Day 1 was just heroic for chances at tier pieces and trinkets. The rest of the week will be aimed at Mythic and that’ll be the real test.

Antorus, the Burning Throne

  • Coven of Shivarra

    • Corrected an issue that caused the health of Torments to not properly scale with raid size.
  • Eonar the Life-Binder

    • Players who are disconnected during the Eonar encounter will have access to Surge of Life once they reconnect.
  • Argus the Unmaker

    • Cheat Death and similar effects will not reset their cooldowns when you die during the final phase of the Argus the Unmaker encounter.

    • Boss Health increased by 10% on Normal and Heroic difficulties

    • Soulbomb and Soulburst now deal periodic damage more rapidly

    • Edge of Obliteration damage increased by 50%

    • Constellar elemental vulnerabilities reduced from +200% to +100% damage taken


I’ve taken on the full mantle as an Innkeeper now and organizing local Fireside Gatherings and tournaments. Blizzard entrusted me with the opportunity of hosting the HCT Summer playoffs in Vancouver and it was incredible. 110 players showed up to play some Hearthstone and watch the tournament over that September weekend. I am definitely down for doing it again. It’s a significant logistical challenge in some ends. You have to find a venue that fits within your budget. You also need to ensure there’s an area where the competitors can play in peace away from the rest of the attendees to minimize distractions. The attendees that are also there would also want to be able to follow and watch the stream so there needs to be the equipment for it somehow. It also helps to make sure you have activities for them to do throughout the weekend. It could be tournaments, or mini events, or deck building challenges.

Although Hearthstone’s in the offseason right now, I’ve got a launch party coming up this weekend to run to help celebrate the Kobolds and Catacombs opening.

Sisters Can be a Real Pain

We’re getting the fight consistently down to about 55% but it wasn’t until yesterday we had a breakthrough and started seeing attempts go into phase 3. A personal raid best of 28%? Seems good! What seems to be killing us the most are the Glaive Storms but just grinding it out and practicing it repeatedly has given most players the experience of seeing and reacting to it. On average, I think most players can survive getting one tick of it (or maybe two ticks if there’s a Spirit Link or a damage reduction ability going off). Still, players do get repeatedly picked off with the Throwing Glaive (the one that homes in on the player), and Phoenix Style often reports these guys as taking 2.5 million damage or more almost always resulting in an instagib.

If we had a consistent and stable roster, we’d be making further progress. Having a turnover of around 2-3 players a week (or at least, that’s what it feels like) means we’re constantly retraining players to get accustomed to the new abilities and our system which is just depressing. At the rate we’re going though, we should be able to knock this encounter out within the next week or two.

Healing comp

Our composition’s a little funky. Right now, we’re running with a Druid, a Monk, a Shaman, a Holy Priest (me), and a Holy Paladin. One of us can sit but lately we’ve been fielding 5 healers during Mythic. Our 6th healer on sisters usually results in an extra Paladin or an extra Priest (who’s Discipline). Pretty handy having that stability in the healing area.

Healing CDs

We don’t have much in defensive cooldowns outside of healing ones which makes me sad. Zero Warriors. One Demon Hunter. One Shadow Priest. So no extra help from outside the healing corps. We’ve nailed down when healing cooldowns ought to be used in the first and second phases, but the third phase is going to be a pain. It’s nice that we don’t have to stack up to maximize healing off the bubble, however we still need to remain somewhat in a line for the Incorporeal Shot to ensure it gets soaked. But we still need to adjust and get used to the Glaive Storm bouncing all over the place.

So close :(.

A Tale of Magery

Last time I wrote something, we were 3/10 Mythic in Nighthold. Now we’re 3/9 Mythic in Tomb of Sargeras. Sisters is giving us a hard time but the worst boss is often seasonal. In fact, I’d wager most guilds have had to deal with it at some point or other.

I call it the summer raiding boss.

We’ve experienced some roster turnover the last few weeks with players going on a hiatus due to burnout or just getting bored of the game. For the first time in forever, we actually have slots open for melee. Usually those spots were hard to get into. Alas, we don’t have a guild front end so if you’re interested, drop me a line on Twitter or go through our profile on WoW Progress.


Most players my age (oh my god, I’m almost 30) have read Harry Potter at some point. I maintain the belief that just about every guild has that one “Defense Against the Dark Arts” class. For whatever reason, that guild has a hard time retaining anyone playing that class (or spec) longer than a few weeks. In our case, it happens to be Mages. We just can’t get Mages to stick at all regardless of their class.

Allow me regale you with a tale of one of our recent Mages.

Let’s call him HelmsDeeps. He came in and trialed with us on Tuesday, which was our standard Heroic clear night. Nothing outstanding there. Wednesday is an optional night that was mostly just to knock out normals and try and complete anyone’s missing 4 piece sets or get lucky on the titanforging. We usually loot master these to maximize and direct pieces to anyone still missing their bonuses. Mind you, most of the raid group is already sporting Heroic quality tier (915s) and a few with Mythics (930).

After many spike eruptions from the floor, bowling ball launches, and that sort, Goroth is cleared. As we’re distributing loot (and by distributing, I mean mostly disenchanting), HelmsDeeps pipes up wondering why everything is being master looted and if that continues to be the case, he wants to drop out for a chance at the tier helm from Demonic Inquisition and joining a pickup group with personal loot enabled. Our officers gently explain that master looting is how we’ve always handled these nights to allow for targeted loot. Guess that wasn’t acceptable to HelmsDeeps and he subsequently dropped raid and then dropped guild. He lasted about a day.

The rest of us shrugged and moved on. Clearly he had a different loot and guild philosophy or that he didn’t comprehend the group that he was raiding with had players who literally did not need a 900 tier helm on the Vanquisher token.

Then again, he might’ve been on to something. After killing Demonic Inquisition, we ended up with two Protector tokens and a Conqueror token. Technically, he made the correct play. But if one of those had been a Vanq, it would’ve gone to him.

Part of me is glad that this was addressed early on. No telling what sort of loot issues might’ve arisen later had he stayed. For a player to part ways with a guild like that early on in a trial period is actually good for both the player and the guild with neither wasting the other’s time. As much as I’m bewildered by the move, at the same time, I can respect how swiftly the player realized that the environment wasn’t a good fit for their ideals.

Anyway, we still have a Mage. Hoping he lasts. The odds don’t look good right now, sadly.

We Have Arrived at the Wall: 3/10 Mythic

65+ attempts later, we neutralized the Anomaly. After that, we engaged and Trilliax for a few attempts. Just as we were preparing to buckle down for a long night of pulls, he… uh, fell over. He went down after 6 attempts.

The difficulty discrepancy between the second and third bosses is (to quote Khadgar in Hearthstone) astonishing!

Next question now is do we pursue Krosus or focus on Spellblade. We did try a few pulls on Krosus and managed to get him down to an average of 60-70% on our better attempts. This one might end up being a defensive cooldown race and I’m not sure if we have enough just yet. I was trying to map out all the slams. So far, the one that hurts the most is the fifth Slam which happens to coincide with an Orb (and fire elementals, I think).

The Mythic Chronomatic Anomaly Wall

What a crazy encounter on Mythic. So much burst healing is needed just to get through it. Most guilds seem to be clearing it within 5 minutes. My guild has managed to breach the enraged timer. It does seem like we have the healing chops to keep the group together that long but we’re still losing out on some DPS. We’re short maybe 15% somewhere. Thankfully, it looks like the problem’s been identified.

When we initially started it, we split the raid equally to neutralize the 4 ads on both sides of the boss. What we did not do well was bring the boss in to one side and cleave it. It wasn’t until the end of the night after the raid when someone watched a few kill videos and noticed they had a much larger DPS group on one cleaving into the boss and a skeleton crew on the other to kill the remaining ads at their own pace. We opened with 5 healing but I’m almost certain we can get to a point where we can do it with 4.

This was a thought that occurred to me early on and I wanted to bring it up, but unfortunately there doesn’t seem to be a clear line of communication to address this in. Anyway, all indications point that Anomaly’s well within reach for Thursday. The groups will be readjusted with a small interrupt team for one side and the rest of the heavy hitters on the other to maximise as much damage as possible.

At least, I hope.

Talent setup

Normally, I run Piety instead of Surge of Light, but the Time Release debuff needs to be healed off players or else it’ll detonate and those Surge procs happen often enough. I needed something fast and responsive particularly if I’m running from boss to ad.