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WoWMar 12, 2015 2:00 pm CT

Lightsworn: Retribution in Blackrock Foundry, part 1

Welcome to Lightsworn, Blizzard Watch’s regular paladin column. Today, Dan Desmond (@Antigen_) is here to speak retribution in your general direction.

I don’t know about you, but for me the transition from Highmaul to Blackrock Foundry has been a welcome one. Highmaul wasn’t a terrible instance, but it also wasn’t a particularly good one either. Not a single encounter stood out at me, bouncing up and down in a desperate plea for love and attention. Kargath, The Butcher, Brackenspore, and Twin Ogron were little more than stand-and-burn fights for melee classes with minor complications tacked on to make them feel not so “phoned in.” Ko’ragh was outright hostile to melee, and Imperator Mar’gok was just too damn long. Tectus, I’m hesitant to admit, rose above the rest as being the least awful, with a very interesting fight progression (if you plotted my blood pressure throughout the encounter it would look quite parabolic!). Not to mention that I love movement-heavy fights and Tectus had me dancing like Tony Manero covered in fire ants.

Blackrock Foundry, on the other hand, is a breath of fresh soot-laden air. Sure, there are still some boring Patchwerk-esque encounters, but the highs more than make up for the lows in the Iron Horde’s massive Citadel of Innumerable OSHA Violations.

Before we don the appropriate PPE and head into the foundry, let’s have a quick discussion about our level 75 talents. In my last column I said,

Dan Desmond said:
If things remain as they are, we’ll be using DP/FV until we’re old(er) and gray(er).

As Cyrael pointed out in the comments, in reality the differences between the talents in this tier are often quite marginal. There will be some encounters where Sanctified Wrath is the best, and some where Holy Avenger stands out. With patch 6.1 and the buff to Empowered Seals, our talent options got a little more interesting and competitive.

However, once you snag some tier and start hitting those two and four-piece bonuses, the choice becomes Divine Purpose and Final Verdict in all situations. That said, if you feel like you will get more damage out of different talents because your playstyle doesn’t synergize well with these abilities, feel free to experiment!

Slagging the Slagworks

If your raid is starting its Blackrock Foundry adventure in the Slagworks, be prepared for a horrendous run back thanks to a hallway with obnoxious pillars that will deal a significant amount of damage and possibly kill you if you’re looking at Twitter on your second monitor (not that I’ve done that or anything). One tip I can give you to deal with this is to stock up on Goblin Glider Kits and use those to coast down the hallway, being careful to avoid the hanging lamp in the middle.

Gruul This fight almost entirely revolves around the tanks as they manage their cooldowns and aggro. For DPS, all we need to worry about is staying stacked to split Inferno Slice damage, moving out of ground effects, and spreading out if we get Petrify.

Really this is a straightforward, single-target encounter. Feel free to unglyph your AoE glyphs (Mass Exorcism, Double Jeopardy) though there isn’t much else to justify burning a Tome on. One interaction I’m looking forward to testing out next time we see Gruul is whether Petrify triggers Blessed Life, because that could be a nice (albeit miniscule) DPS bump.

Oregorger This overgrown Goron knockoff hosts a unique encounter with a phase that mimics Pac-Man, except now you and your raid are Blinky, Pinky, Inky, and Clyde. Instead of dots and fruit, Oregorger gorges on ore that you kindly unpackage for him. As you can probably tell from the map, this involves a lot of movement to get from box to box. I’m a fan of Long Arm of the Law here, though an argument could be made for Pursuit of Justice too. Speed of Light just has too much downtime to be useful.

When he’s not rolling about, Oregorger is a simple fight. Every so often he will throw an Explosive Shard at someone in melee which unsurprisingly explodes shortly after spawning, stunning and damaging anyone caught in the effect.  What we did was simply have the melee stack on one leg, then when a shard spawned switch to the other leg.

Also, glyphing Divine Protection is great for this encounter, as almost all the damage you can expect to take will be physical.

The Blast Furnace If Gruul and Oregorger involve too much standing around for your tastes, you’re in luck because The Blast Furnace will have you dancing like Tony Manero covered in fire ants. Look, the simile budget is running a bit low this month.

This encounter has three main components to it:

  1. Quick movement. Moving to a Heat Regulator when you get a bomb, running out of the raid when you get Volatile Fire and Melt, moving out of ground effects, and keeping up with mob positioning – this all adds up to a need for speed. As in Oregorger, Speed of Light is simply not enough to light a fire under your bum. I’d recommend Long Arm for quick bursts of speed on a short cooldown.
  2. AoE damage. The first phase is all about the cleave damage, meaning Mass Exorcism and Double Jeopardy are solid glyph choices for this fight. Of course, after the first phase AoE damage is significantly less valuable; even though it makes for pretty meter numbers, it doesn’t help your raid any to cleave down Slag Elementals.
  3. Strong burst. The short windows for bringing down Primal Elementalists make on-demand burst pretty great. Out of any fight in Slagworks, I would be the least opposed to using Holy Avenger here. I’ll still be specced into either Sanctified Wrath or Divine Purpose, but that’s likely because I don’t care for Holy Avenger personally.

Oh, and if you glyphed Divine Protection for Oregorger, you might want to unglyph it here.

Forging through The Black Forge

If, instead of taking a right at the beginning of the instance to head to the Slagworks, you decide to throw caution to the wind and go left down the conspicuously undamaging elevator shaft towards The Black Forge, here is what’s in store for you.

Hans’gar and Franzok Not only is this charismatic duo here to pump you up, Hans and Franz are fully prepared to crush and break you if you don’t do your pre-fight stretches.

From my experience with this encounter I can tell you that, like Ko’ragh in Highmaul, Hans and Franz is just not kind to melee. The conveyor belts, Searing Plates, Pulverizers, Body Slams… it gets to be a bit much if you have a melee-heavy raid group. Despite all that, this fight is still my favorite encounter of the expansion thus far – it’s like you’re on the belt during the Siegecrafter Blackfuse encounter the entire time. If that sounds like a nightmare to you, then I guess we just can’t be friends.

Whether you want to or not, you’ll have to fight these guys sooner or later. Here’s a few tips to help you along:

  • If you guessed that this is another movement-heavy fight, you guessed correctly! As before, Long Arm (and maybe PoJ) will serve you well here for avoiding Searing Plates, Pulverizers, and running out for Body Slams.
  • Since there’s only two targets, one of which isn’t in range half the time, Mass Exorcism may not be a great call here, especially since you’ll most likely be out of melee range of both bosses when Pulverizers are going out.
  • For my group, tank damage seemed exceedingly high. It might be worth looking into Selfless Healer and glyphing Hand of Sacrifice (particularly to help mitigate Crippling Suplex) to help your healers breathe.

Flamebender Ka’graz Did getting the short end of the stick on Hans and Franz grind your gears? Well good news: Ka’graz will give you a chance to exact revenge on your ranged counterparts. Most of the debuffs on this encounter prefer ranged targets, additional mobs will be (or at least, should be) tanked next to the boss for cleave damage, and the only movement you’ll need to do is away from ground effects and Fiery Links while staying within melee range of the boss. So sit back, put your feet up, and Empowered Divine Storm your way to victory.

Seriously though, for melee this is an endurance fight. Keep your damage rolling, switch targets when you need to (focusing down a Cinder Wolf, for example), and avoid fire as much as you can without running off into a corner and bubble-hearthing. Unglyph Divine Protection, slap Mass Exo in its place, and take either Divine Purpose or Sanctified Wrath to bolster your sustained DPS.

Oh, and spec into I Swear to the Light, I Hope Ranged Don’t Screw This Up.

Kromog Leave it to Blizzard to plagiarize themselves; I mean, obviously this is just Kologarn all over again, right? His name starts with K, you only see the top half of his body, and he’s made of rock?! Sheesh, what’s next, Twin Emperors Eredar Val’kyr Consorts Ogron? Followed up by [Warlords of Draenor Placeholder Council Fight]?

The first “phase,” if it can be called that, is pretty straightforward for us melee-ranged damage-dealers. His Slam will hit hard because we’re standing so close to him, so you can either run out whenever that goes off (a DPS loss) or soak it through AoE healing and judicious use of glyphed Divine Protection. The Reverberation discs and Rippling Smash shockwaves need to be avoided, so just pay attention and use those strafe keys. Unfortunately melee don’t have to deal with the most visually appealing mechanic on the fight, Rune of Crushing Earth, but it’s probably for the best.

When Kromog uses Rune of Grasping Earth, jaunt over to a rune on the ground (one per person!) and let it grab you. Do note that bursting it down right off the bat isn’t in your best interest as you’ll just eat Thundering Blows damage, so wait until that cast is mostly over before breaking yourself out.

And that’s really it for this fight. The boss does enter a Frenzy state at 30% health, so if your raid is saving Bloodlust for that portion of the encounter make sure you have cooldowns available.

Congratulations, you just finished the first half of Blackrock Foundry! Hopefully you got some loot, though it’s far more likely that you coined for tier and got a lousy pile of gold instead. Believe me, I know that feel!

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