Matt’s Misplays: Welcome to Aberrus!

Welcome back, everybody! It’s been quite an eventful week with the season 2 launch of new dungeons! Of course, with a new season means a new raid and we step foot in Aberrus, the playground of Neltharion.

Or something.

What an opening week for Death Jesters though. We spent the past two weeks preparing for Aberrus and it paid off in a big way. We cleared 9/9 in normal, then followed up with a 9/9 Heroic, and finished it off with a 1/9 Mythic kill. This was all done in 6 hours and did not require another day. I can’t remember the last time I secured a week 1 Ahead of the Curve achievement. All in all, we distributed over 110 pieces of loot. Sadly, no tier for your favourite Panda Priest but that’s okay. Priority to the DPS first. The faster stuff dies, the less we need to heal.

Anyway, let’s get into it, shall we?

It’s a new raid. There’s new bosses. There’s new mechanics and new abilities. I’ll go a little easy this week.

… Or will I?

Let’s move up to the third encounter that is the Forgotten Experiments. We tackle the dragon versions of Larry, Moe, and Curly. We have the last dragon (Curly) in the air about to strafe the raid. We manage to survive the initial run, but then run back in and manage to bait it back on the return trip.


We should have waited on either side for the dragon to pass by and reach the end. Then we can visually track it and see which lane it picks (hopefully one of the outer lanes keeping the middle free). Instead, middle gets strafed again and you can see a few of our players get essentially get bodychecked because they did not keep their head up. The lesson here is to keep your head up and track where the dragon is at all times.

Here we have Rashok and I guarantee you every guild has made this mistake at least once. As raiders, we’re so ingrained to maximize location economy that overlapping circles next to each other so that we have real estate to work with in the arena. Unfortunately, Blizzard likes to remind us that they can break the rules. Here you can see a Rogue deploy his Grappling Hook out into the wall but he just barely misses making the side step adjustment causing the circles to touch and detonating the raid!

Needless to say, we have not made that error since.

Keep your circles at least one panda away from each other.

Here is the Amalgamation Chamber. Players on the Void side get targeted and drop off a giant purple circle. We have our multi-dotters in the middle hitting both the flame and void elemental. Of course, our genius Shadow Priest gets a circle and then… proceeds to travel in the direction of Middle Earth.

Take it backwards, my dude! Missing out on potential damage by dropping that circle off far away like that.

Look at this idiot Panda who completely whiffs a rock throw in Assault of the Zaqali. Either that, or the Zaqali Spiderman just shrugged off the rock I dropped over the side. Anyway, I guess the boulder is thrown in the column based on where the player character is as opposed to where the character is facing.

Let’s move onto Echo of Neltharion which might be the first real, uh… wall that a raid faces. Not everything listed is going to be a misplay. If I recognize a great play, I’ll point that out too. Here is a risky move that paid off. Due to an earlier misplaced fire patch, the raid has no room to go to stay out of the impending fire circles. Our lone Evoker makes the quick thinking play to pop defensives and proceeds to stand in the fire. I did track that and managed to slam as many heals into him before he was able to fly back to group safely.

That is a raid-saving play. But as a team, we should have never put him in that position to begin with.

Some further unfortunate miscommunication here leads to the raid getting split in half. Let this be a lesson in heavy movement encounters to telegraph or direct traffic in advance if you have to make a change. There’s no way we can handle traversing the big fire patch and now we’re cut off away from everyone else resulting in a wipe. This is an example of the raid needing to do a large move fast to get in front and we failed to do that here.

This above is what should happen. Tanks hulk smash their way through a wall in the direction they want the team to rush through and then drag Neltharion back in the other direction to minimize the fire patch. Keep up this same pattern during the phase 1 push.

There are two examples above here. Again, further miscommunication on our end. We’re instructed to “get inside, get inside!” but we interpreted that as getting inside to the center whereas the intent was to get inside the rock walls where the raid needs to go before the walls come up. Check your terminology here and find a way to distinguish between the rock walls (that are breakable) and outside walls (which is the arena room walls). Make sure your raid understands the difference because if you tell someone with the purple arrow to run to a wall, they need to know which one it is. In most cases, it’s going to be the outside wall since you won’t need them to break any of the rock walls.

Clearly state what your intentions are for the raid by being simple and direct. Phrases like “move to green marker” or “move away from blue” are simple and will work. It also helps to actually have markers down to direct traffic.

Oh noooooo! We left a man behind! When you start seeing the larger orange swirls appear, that is your cue to stop what you’re doing because the walls are about to come up momentarily. You cannot greed your casts in this situation or else you get punished by being isolated from the rest of the raid.

It’s okay, the walls came down about 30 seconds later as we changed phases. This one’s on me.

I did have an opening to grip him over with plenty of time but I just… didn’t.

Every Holy Priest’s worst nightmare comes true here. A Divine Hymn is scheduled to come up during this soak and I proceed to start the channeled cast, but I’m forced to move and interrupt it in order for Hurtling Barrage to be pointed outward.

Actually, I think I had time here before the barrage would come through. So this is on me for taking it too safe and not being greedy. I had time to finish the Hymn then move out. Alternatively, wait for Hurtling Barrage to target, then cast it.

Let’s analyze this phase one death for a second because I see this situation come up often. The player has a Mass Disintegrate and they need to stay still for their team to get rid of their Echoing Howl. A fire is about to land on them and they risk lethal. But if they move out of it, they risk messing up any players that have to clear.

My play would be to rotate character 90 degrees and strafe left (this would move me away from the boss at 100% move speed instead of simply backpedalling at a slower speed). I don’t know if immunities would move the Distintegrate to another target or something.

In actuality, this was a miss by healers because we did not burst this player to full health fast enough causing them to get zapped by the beam (but the fire would’ve melted them anyway if they weren’t going to move). I need to add a frame glow for the target.

It took me about two pulls before I successfully wrapped my head around Infinite Duress. Most healers are quite trigger-happy with their dispel but that’s a mistake. In this example, I get bailed out here by an evoker. I knew I was supposed to run that out, but I mentally spaced and ran it in the wrong direction. Had I been dispelled here, it would’ve knocked the rest of the team off the platform. Instead, I get positioned in such a way that the dispel knocks the team further inward keeping them safe.

I love this moment above because it actually proves that contrary to popular belief, Ret Paladins can think! Watch as our intrepid wannabe warrior steps out and realizes that getting dispelled in his position is going to knock the raid into the two circles. He shuffles over and the dispel is clear to go off resulting in the team getting knocked to safety.

You can figuratively see the gears turn in this one. He literally stops, pauses, and then moves.

At the same time, I have to point out that this is the same man who randomly just speed horse’d into the Terros hole for no reason.

However, not to be outdone, our resident Enhancement Shaman learns from the previous play and beelines it straight to the safe spot. He’s a chess master and has already thought 3 moves ahead. He reached that conclusion way faster than our previous Ret Paladin did. This is an example of learning from other player’s mistakes.

It’s unfortunate that they’ll continue to be overshadowed and recognized primarily for their use in raid as a glorified Windfury dispenser.

That’s all the misplays for this week! I hope you had a good chuckle at a few of these, but more importantly, I implore you to learn from our mistakes. I’m here to help teach you to become better decision-makers in raid. All in all, this is a fun instance with mostly single targets. Great raid to head into the summer with. In the mean time, we are looking to recruit some players to help us in the summer months for Aberrus. We’re looking to add a Mage and a Hunter. Check us out and apply here!