1. #1

    Grand Empress tips?

    So we only put ~12 pulls into this so far, due to ridiculous lag/dc/de-syncing from the server issues we had yesterday. We're probably on track for a kill tonight, but due to our short raids/the fact we don't raid until Tuesday and we're falling behind in progression, I'd like any help we can get to ensure a kill tonight.

    Our best attempt was a 30.4% attempt where she retreated right before we had the chance to push her below 30%. We weren't aware the boss returns when you kill the last windblade, and in result we had a large add (the name escapes me atm) with nearly 75% health that we had to finish off. Our DPS seems more than enough to push to 30% with just one add phase.

    Phase 1's are going smoothly, we have a fine CD rotation, good dps, etc.

    Phase 2's usually go wrong unless we get decent RNG. One of our tanks usually gets gibbed the second CDs run out. Healers getting fixated/sticky and having to move for whatever reason usually results in a tank death.

    Is there any specific recommending tank combination? Having 1 tank tank both of the big adds, other tank focus on the rest, etc, or something like that? How about kill order? How many windblades should we leave up before trapping/finishing off the larger adds? I know the boss doesn't come back out until the timer runs out OR whenever all the windblades die. How important is managing the DPS increase poison debuff, and how exactly should we manage it?

    We haven't seen phase 3 yet. Is there any recommended strat we should follow? We've all watched strat videos and understand the mechanics, but obviously some things may come up that weren't brought up in strat videos.

    Thanks in advance for any help.

    Comp
    Disc Priest, Resto Druid, Holy Paladin
    Windwalker Monk, Enhancement Shaman, Assassination Rogue (might have a second WW monk instead tonight), Affliction Warlock, Arcane Mage
    Protection Warrior, Blood DK

  2. #2
    Phase 2's usually go wrong unless we get decent RNG. One of our tanks usually gets gibbed the second CDs run out. Healers getting fixated/sticky and having to move for whatever reason usually results in a tank death.
    I made a tips and tricks video based almost exclusively on this because it was like all of our 34 wipes. Here it is. Hope you glean some sort of help from the tips and you get your kill tonight. Eff the lag boss as well

    Being generally horrible but helpful since Molten Core;
    When leading was more about managing bathroom breaks than boss mechanics.
    http://www.ihazlead.com - Raid leading guides, tutorials, and videos.

  3. #3
    Our first kill was like that, just a complete brute force. We've since adjusted our strategy though.

    We managed to get the boss to 60% with a BL right away.

    During Retreat, tanks picked up their respective sides of adds and marked one windblade with a mark to kill each, which smoothed out tank damage. We actually ignored traps completely and killed one Reaver at the same time we killed the last Windblade and had a 90% Reaver going out. What resulted was absurdly high raid DPS from the buff you get + extra vengeance, and we killed the Reaver from cleaving at 30%.

    edit: Both tanks would pop their shield walls as soon as all the adds were on them, and by the time it wore off, a windblade on each side was dead, or close to dying (in which case the tanks would pop another CD).

    In P3, you stack behind the boss and the two marks run out, preferably in the same direction. It can help to have your disc use mass dispel when they don't get the mark, and have your enhance shaman cover with a Tremor Totem when your disc gets marked.

    30.4 is kind of sketchy, make sure the tank with the Reaver acid debuff runs around and gives the buff to the ranged/melee when they aren't tanking, it is actually quite a bit of damage you gain.

  4. #4
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    Is this normal?

    It can be a viable strat to keep the big add up during a phase, with your tanks swapping between the add/boss, and the add tank spreading the debuff to the melee which makes them do extra nature damage. Regardless, if the big add is up going into an Empress phase, don't bother killing it other than any incidental cleave you can put out.

    (The debuff I'm talking about is: http://www.wowhead.com/spell=124821)

  5. #5
    Yeah, it's normal.
    So is it a good idea to leave a reaver up for the DPS increase? It really hits for nothing on its own.

    I'm fairly certain that we can push with 1 add phase without its help. We usually get the boss to 55-57% before the first retreat. The only reason we didn't push to 30% is because I suppose I made a bad call and told people to put DPS priority on the near full health reaver. We also didn't start spreading the damage buff until it was too late.

    If we do leave it up, should we leave it up in p3? The extra damage could help make that phase go by quickly.

    Thanks for the help, guys.

  6. #6
    No, you should really trap both Reavers - there's even an achievement to kill both reavers within 10 sec, basically a "do the fight correctly" achieve, like Elegon. One, or both of the tanks will have the debuff though and should spread it when they aren't tanking, and that will basically cover the DPS loss.

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Taiyoken View Post
    No, you should really trap both Reavers - there's even an achievement to kill both reavers within 10 sec, basically a "do the fight correctly" achieve, like Elegon. One, or both of the tanks will have the debuff though and should spread it when they aren't tanking, and that will basically cover the DPS loss.
    This will help you guys a lot.

  8. #8
    Tanks in my raid group are the Guardian Druid + Protection warrior (which is me).

    The 2nd phase usually goes in normal pace as it starts: each tank picks up their respective side of the adds. There is enough time, while they are running to you, to mark a couple of small adds with the skull / cross at least on one of side (which is what I've been doing) and by doing this, dps assigned to this side can burn down one add at the time very quickly. You can choose which one of the tanks have more problems with surviving the damage, and use that as a factor for the assignment. When my group of the adds gathered on me, our warlock always used Shadowfury to stun them initially, to give me a few extra seconds of saving my cooldowns.

    It's important to remember to single-target the adds will be more of a use, to reduce the damage on the tanks. All of the small adds are also stunnable / slowable, so if it gets rough, your warrior tank can Shockwave them, to give healers a few seconds to heal up, or use Piercing Howl + Leap away. Your Blood dk may want to use Remorseless Winter to stun them aswell. You can tell your tanks to coordinate and taunt off eachother if either one of them needs help.

    About the toxic debuff the tanks get - all melee dps can easily have it 100% of time while dps'ing the adds, but keep in mind the acid shockwave that the big adds do from time to time. It's better to not try to spread the buff to ranged dps, unless 2 small adds are killed on each side, and focus on surviving the damage. After that, even after the Empress goes out again, tanks can easily spread it to everyone.

    We were leaving 1 small add alive on each side - meaning that we have two Windblades in total throwing out the amber pools, so we could build up two traps faster. Remember to build 5 stacks on both traps first, before luring big adds into them, or small Windblades will leave everything else and begin to break the trap in attempt to free the big add.

    Since the fight's phases are firmly tied to the timers (read: Empress' energy), you are most probably going to have the 2nd batch of sonic zones still up, when the boss will be at ~35%. We used to slow dps on 34-33% and waited until we blow the zones first. But there's an important note: just as the 2nd sonic zone explodes, there is around 5 seconds till the Empress goes out of energy and begins add phase again. So what we did is to resume dps'ing on the boss right before the zone blows off, getting her below 30% and using the raid cooldowns. After that, the whole raid stacked behind her for healing, two players who got the Visions were running out, got dispelled, and everyone watched out of the shadow shockwave the Empress casts, turning to the random raid member.

    Surprisingly, the last phase was much easier than we expected, and once we got to it, we killed the boss right away.

    Hope that helps. Wish you good luck
    Last edited by Lonarain; 2012-12-13 at 06:20 PM.

  9. #9
    For phase 2 my guild does it like this: 1 tank on the 2 big adds which is a prot pally and our blood dk kites all the small ones. I a fury warrior taunt 1 small add pop def stance and it's the kill target we do this until adds are dead. We trap 1 big add right away and when boss comes out tank brings the other add to trap we blow hero to hit phase 3. Here's the tricky part. The transition from p2 to p3 you have to make sure those bubble shield things go down before she pops out and have everyone topped off. After you hit p3 it's gg dodge the purple clouds cleanse the fear and your game.

  10. #10
    Just did this as a blood DK a couple nights ago, should be pretty easy with your setup. P1 is a joke just do what your doing and have your disc stacking spirit shell as much as possible for the explosions as it absorbs all of it basically. P2 have each of your tanks grab their sides and all dps should focus on the warriors Windblades. Have your Dk pop army soon as he has agro since they will tank 2-3 of the mobs for him drastically reducing the dmg. They die off fairly fast but its a big help in giving you and the healers time. After that remorseless winter, his personal CD's, shadowfury from the lock, and maybe a PS from your disc if needed will keep him up easily until the dps can switch over and begin to take his windblades down. Have the war taunt off the reaver off of the DK to further reduce the dmg once his windblades are down. Trap reavers and prep for P3 which basically means collect loot since P3 is a joke as long as people dont fear bomb your raid

  11. #11
    Army is a great idea, can't believe I didn't think of that.

  12. #12
    Our guild has just killed Empress for the first time last week, so here's what I can tell you from our experience. (I'm a Druid healer so most of this will focus around the healers, and we 3 healed it)

    1) You need to only get 1 add phase. We used bloodlust right off the bat to achieve this, the 3rd phase is very healing intensive, but not to the point that you need bloodlust. It will be much more beneficial to your healers to have enough mana to spam heals as long as possible.
    2) We had one tank handling the two big adds and the other tank handling the other adds. If you do it this way you need to stack/chain cooldowns so that the tank doesn't get instantly killed. If you do it this way the tank with the big adds doesn't need much healing so you can have 2 healers full time on the 6 add tank and offheal with the 3rd healer.
    3) The third phase is healing intensive, but not in a spiky way so if you have the healing/mana required to get through it it's very possible.

    To answer your question about if the extra add is alive, you need to have it killed for the final phase at least in my experience. The reason for this is that the large add uses the toxic bomb which adds additional raid healing and will probably instantly kill people. Our raid actually didn't trap both of the large adds for our kill attempt, we just cleaved it down before we pushed the boss (which was very close to transitioning granted).

    Our kill was very sloppy, so know that if your raid does make a small mistake, it's still possible to salvage. Put in the effort and you'll have it down in no time. If you're able to get past an add phase you can definitely kill this boss.

  13. #13
    Not sure why I can't see my post, will delete if it appears after posting this.

    Our guild has just killed Empress for the first time last week, so here's what I can tell you from our experience. (I'm a Druid healer so most of this will focus around the healers, and we 3 healed it, granted our third healer is not as skilled)

    1) You need to only get 1 add phase. We used bloodlust right off the bat to achieve this, the 3rd phase is very healing intensive, but not to the point that you need bloodlust. It will be much more beneficial to your healers to have enough mana to spam heals as long as possible.
    2) We had one tank handling the two big adds and the other tank handling the other adds. If you do it this way you need to stack/chain cooldowns so that the tank doesn't get instantly killed. If you do it this way the tank with the big adds doesn't need much healing so you can have 2 healers full time on the 6 add tank and offheal with the 3rd healer.
    3) The third phase is healing intensive, but nots in a spiky way so if you have the healing/mana required to get through it it's very possible. As a healer I would honestly say this is actually the easiest phase because it's predictable nonspiky damage. We only wiped on this phase once before killing it, and that was because we had 2 healers and 3 dps down.

    To answer your question about if the extra add is alive, you need to have it killed for the final phase at least in my experience. The reason for this is that the large add uses the toxic bomb which adds additional raid healing and will probably instantly kill people. Our raid actually didn't trap both of the large adds for our kill attempt, we just cleaved it down before we pushed the boss (which was very close to transitioning granted).

    Our kill was very sloppy, so know that if your raid does make a small mistake, it's still possible to salvage. Put in the effort and you'll have it down in no time. If you're able to get past an add phase you can definitely kill this boss.

  14. #14
    When phase2 begins this is how we do it: our monk tanks picks the left pack and our warrior tank picks the right pack. We nuke the left pack asap. About making the traps, actually when someone receives a puddle debuff if its a healer he doesn't bother carrying it, since the puddle drops off the person in few seconds, then a ranged DPS grabs the puddle and takes it to forming trap. We kill the left pack Windblades asap, and when the first trap is build our DPS Death Knight taunts the RIGHT BIG ADD(The one with full HP) over the trap so its HP starts to drop from the early Phase2. Meanwhile we still DPS the left Big add and all the Windblades except keeping one windblade alive until we have the second trap. Because if you kill all windblades you might end up with not having enough puddles to build a second trap. When the second trap is ready we pull over the already half HP'ed big add and kill the last Windblade. Pretty smooth.

    P3 is quite easy, just spread out, watch the ground and get dispelled if you are distanced from others when feared.
    Last edited by muwatallis; 2012-12-13 at 10:52 PM.

  15. #15
    Sounds like you have p1 under control.

    p2: Have your blood tank both big guys, warrior picks up all the little ones. AoE the crap out of them, chain CDs on the warrior if needed. You should kill all the little guys around the time you make a trap. Trap 1 big add, keep the other one (never kill it).

    p1b: Have 1 tank hold the big add and boss. Have the tank that is currently not tanking run around the raid to buff everyone with the poison crap. Do this every time tanks swap. Pop Hero here if you need to (else hold for p3). Push p3 without another add phase.

    p3: Stack behind the boss, debuffed people run out. Dodge the shadow cone from the boss. Collect loot.

  16. #16
    thanks for the help everyone, killed it in 3 attempts tonight

    ---------- Post added 2012-12-14 at 04:23 AM ----------

    2 shot Elite Protectors too, what a joke of a fight.

  17. #17
    That's awesome to hear Vedni!! Good job.
    Being generally horrible but helpful since Molten Core;
    When leading was more about managing bathroom breaks than boss mechanics.
    http://www.ihazlead.com - Raid leading guides, tutorials, and videos.

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