Shifting Perspectives: Druids disassembling the Iron Assembly

Welcome to Shifting Perspectives, Blizzard Watch’s regular column for druids of all vocations. This week, Chase Hasbrouck (@alarondruid) totally did not get hit by that spear, I mean honestly.

Welcome back to another Blackrock Foundry edition of Shifting Perspectives! Today, we’re going to the third and final wing of the raid instance, The Iron Assembly. (If you need to catch up, Part 1 covered the Slagworks, and Part 2 covered the Black Forge.)

Beastlord Darmac

beastlord

I may have Jalad, but this sure ain’t Tanagra.

Movement: Feral has it easy. Mostly, all you need to do is watch your placement when Cruelfang/Darmac hops out to Rend and Tear, because he’s going to hop back to the tank and do it again. Restoration and Balance will have to avoid being pinned by the Heavy Spears, so watch your feet. Guardians will find themselves moving frequently to pick up the groups of Pack Beasts; Wild Charge works well for this. Feline Swiftness, as usual, is the best choice for everyone else.

DPS: Both Feral and Balance will want to backwards plan their cooldowns. You absolutely, positively, 100% need to pop your big damage cooldowns in Darmac’s final phase (after all beasts are dead), as that’s when his damage really ramps up. For my guild, that’s typically about 6 minutes in, which means I can Berserk pretty much on cooldown. If your guild has higher DPS, though, you many need to save one.

Balance has the definite advantage here in terms of overall DPS; Starfall and multi-dotting are pretty awesome at cleaning out the spears, which should be your role. I’d still stick with Euphoria over Balance of Power, though; you still need to push max damage on Darmac at the end of the fight. Feral is pretty much stuck on Darmac or his mount full-time; you can drop a Thrash every time the Pack Beasts come in, but Feral AoE is so inefficient otherwise that it’s better to let other classes handle them.

Tanking: Tanking this fight isn’t too difficult. Darmac doesn’t have any big things to watch out for; just make sure you have good communication with your co-tank, as you’ll be switching constantly between tanking Darmac and tanking Pack Beasts.

Healing: As with the DPS, the last minute of the fight is key. This is a good fight to use Heart of the Wild on to bolster that time; plan to use Tranquility and Incarnation at this point as well. Until you get to the end, though, the primary threat is a raid member dying due to being Pinned Down; make a special notification for this condition to ensure you can immediately heal if someone gets hit with it. Oh, and dispel Conflagration immediately if you can.

Operator Thogar

thogar

The Orcish version of Sir Topham Hatt.

Movement: There’s lot of movement on this fight as you dodge from track to track, but it’s all coordinated. Feral Switfness is recommended as usual for all specs to reduce movement time. If you get targeted with Delayed Siege Bomb, run out of the raid and keep moving–you’ll get three, and if you stay on the run, they’ll all implant themselves just behind you. Mythic Druids may prefer Displacer Beast, as a fire element is added to the raid which can be blinked through.

Become a Watcher

DPS: Much like with Darmac, each spec has a different role here. Balance is the add nuker who blows up all the Raiders and Crack-Shots in each wave; Feral saves CDs and bursts down the Man-At-Arms spawns, otherwise tunneling Thogar. Sadly, neither spec is very good at it; Thogar’s adds don’t last long enough for Balance’s dots to tick, and Feral’s targets don’t spawn in neat 3-minute increments. Still, the key targets are the 2nd and 3rd Men-At-Arms; I generally save my cooldowns for the second, and my DPS potion on the third.

Tanking: Learn the dance. You (or your co-tank) will have the responsibility to watch the incoming trains and determine when to move from track to track. Missing a track switch is a raid-wipe, so focus on that. Apart from that, things are simple; swap Thogar back and forth when you can (and use cooldowns if you’re tanking him during the split portion), and Thrash everything that moves to keep it from eating your healers’ face.

Healing: The Man-at-Arms has an ability, Iron Bellow, that does a good ~70k in raidwide damage every 10 seconds, and increases every cast after that. Hopefully, your DPS are blowing these things up quickly. Other than that, there’s no significant enrage mechanics, so focus on keeping tanks alive (especially during raid-split moments).

The Iron Maidens

ironmaidens

What relevance does maiden status have to butt-kicking, anyway?

Movement: There’s a good bit of movement in this fight, as you’ll be constantly weaving in and out of the Bombardments on the main platform. Apart from that, most of the debuffs (such as Rapid Fire) have a chance of targeting anybody, so you’ll need to be on your toes to avoid if something comes your way.

DPS: This fight plays out very differently, again, for both specs. Ferals will likely be part of the boat team, since the boats require good burst (as well as interrupts and off-healing) and the boats come more than 3 minutes apart. Save your cooldowns for each boat and blow up the enemies on each one. You’ll need to interrupt Rogg on the first, use Roar to help others avoid Corrupted Blood on the second, and simply kill the third. (This is assuming you go Ga’ran/Marak/Sorka.) If you are NOT part of the boat team, you’ll be DoTting up every boss, as energy requirements allow. (This is much easier with the 2-piece set bonus.)

With less burst, Balance will likely never go on the boat, so Balance druids get to hang out on the platform all day and roll DoTs on everything. This is one fight where Balance of Power can be seriously considered as a talent choice — you’ll be multitasking so much that it’s justified.

Tanking: One tank will take Marak on this fight, the other will take Sorka. If tanking Marak, you’ll need to intercept the Blood Ritual casts to ensure no one else is hit by it, and save your cooldowns for 100 energy to reduce the damage done by Sanguine Strikes. Sorka is much less of a threat; her Blade Dash is extremely weak, and Convulsive Shadows is mostly a healer responsibility.

Healing: When any of the Maidens are pushed below 20% HP, all three will unlock their ultimate abilities and start using them. Guess when the critical point is? You’ll want to save cooldowns for this point, primarily focusing on whichever tank is tanking Marak’s Sanguine Strikes. Other than that, this fight is long. The average guild takes just over 10 minutes to get a kill on Heroic Iron Maidens, which is slightly longer than Blast Furnace, and significantly longer than everything else. Manage your mana well.

That wraps it up for the Iron Assembly! Next time, we’ll finish off the instance by analyzing Blackhand, and I’ll try to answer all the questions I’ve had to leave unanswered for space reasons until now. Feel free to ask anything below in the comments!

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