Amber shaper, and probably tsulong are the "hardest". Haven't done Sha but it just seems like a 20 minute keep focused boss. But really tsulong isn't that bad if you can handle the night phase properly (5-10 pulls) and day phase if you have a shaman. Amber shaper still isn't fun because we get RNG like a healer in and it causes or almost causes a wipe. I'm pretty sure blizzard will eventually nerf the encounter by adding 3-5s to the debuff timer.
---------- Post added 2013-01-19 at 11:17 AM ----------
We get the trappers to 50% and the health of all three groups is:
Boss 579 mil
Trapper 27 mil
Mender 37 mil (we keep a dedicated person on this + tank for interrupts)
All cleaves and whatever aoes cause the groups to basically come down together. When the trapper hits 27mil we swap to the boss and do as much as possible to him and the trapper just dies from cleaves because we 1 tank and they are capped on vengeance basically. Just focus on the boss from this point and the other groups will fall down. Make sure your CCers are ready to pick up the new groups. Call them out. The blade lords should die before the 2nd group of menders get back so your interrupts do not need to worry. Watch out for bombs at 75% and make sure you always have an exit, and people are broken out of amber asap when trappers come back.
Everyone's guild will have a different experience with every boss. My guild only took 8 attempts to kill Heroic Empress, but much more for Protectors and Lei Shi, with only about 10 or so on Tsulong. However, the statistics on WoWProgress for each of those encounters do not represent my guild's experience. Each boss may have a certain fear factor to it, such as Empress (being an end raid boss), so a guild may avoid making attempts at all on that encounter until they have done a boss with an easier appeal, such as Lei Shi. With my own experience, I would say that encounters with add fights are a lot harder on 10 man than 25 man, with 'patchwerk-type' fights being more difficult on 25 man due to the requirement of more players playing at optimal. With that being said, the only fights where adds are a big factor in the strategy (not ones like Lei Shi) are Wind Lord, Will of the Emperor, Empress, Amber Shaper, Tsulong, and Sha of Fear. To my guild, Empress, Tsulong, and Will were are a joke. To most guilds, Wind Lord is a Joke. I don't think enough guilds have even gotten to Sha of Fear to really give an opinion for that, but the hardest part of that fight is handling Ominous Cackle. Out of all the fights listed there, with adds, Amber Shaper is the most difficult, strategy wise. With difficulty relating to the actual performance of the fight, where every single player needs to do the encounter perfectly (surviving while healing and DPSing optimally), Imperial is the most difficult fight. I think that was the most difficult fight for my guild, that which required the most attempts and most raid-lockouts to get it on a solid one-shot-farm basis. Every other encounter has been a one to three shot the following week. We are now putting in attempts for Sha of Fear which I believe will give us the most trouble out of every boss of this tier.
Edit: Even though this does not relate to the direct difficulty of the encounters, I believe that the end-raid fights, or changable fights such as Elite Protectors, become increasingly more skewed on the kill statistics because there is less information on websites given about those encounters, so other guilds have to make their own strategies for their composition for them. Sha of Fear has been killed the least, especially on 10 man since 25 man guilds are usually older and more competitive guilds, so other guilds such as my own will have to make our own strategies and come up with our own tricks and tips to handle each aspect of the fight.
This is the current tries we had before kill
Stone guards 3 tries
Feng the accursed 5 tries
Garajal the Spiritbinder 2 tries
Spirit Kings 3 tries
Elegon 1 month and 52 tries
Will of emporer one shot
Imperial Vizier Zorlok 6 tries
Blade Lord Tayak 14 tries
Garalon 1 month and 59 tries
wind lord meljarak 41 tries
Amber shaper unsok 7 weeks and 30 tries
grand empress shekzer 5 tries
Protector(elite) one shot
tsulong 5 tries
lei shi 11 tries
Sha of Fear 7 tries
Normal: I'd say Empress was the most challenging the first time through
Heroic: I honestly have no clue if Sha of Fear is actually the hardest, I was more under the impression that half of the difficulty came from the extremely ridiculous length of the fight. Haven't gotten too deep into heroics yet so I really can't comment on anything but the easier ones.
not sure on heroic mode, but on normal mode i'm gonna say Empress is a bitch.
normal mode??? stoneguard.... seriously 1st week having a retard tank not knowing how the boss mechanic works endede up with 2 hour wipe -_- elegon comes close with strict dps requirement
i would say sha of fear wouldve been hardest in normal IF there werent any gating(6weeks to gear up for sha and 4 weeks for hof). but with gear sha of fear was considered "easy"
heroic sha is the hardest fight in this tier on heroic. very punishing when one of your raid makes a mistake. i havent killed him yet but those 8% wipes are coming close to a kill soon.......
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I haven't done them on 10m but if i were guessing id say heroic shekzeer due to the healing requirements and heroic elite protectors as you'd have to source extra ranged dps.
10 man normal I would probably say Amber Shaper. Either everyone needs to have some level of competency, or you need to be lucky. Weak links are very problematic on this fight.
First in hof vizir zorlok o w/e his name is ( prenerf hc was brutal) currently hmm all of the bosses are kinda ez during farm but i guess sha of fear as he the one we have played the least. Amber shaper is just annyoing as fuck when bringing in new players
i'm only 10/16 on 25hc so can't comment on all of the encounters. but i'd have to say spirit kings heroic along with amber shaper heroic were the ones to give us the most trouble. i believe we had over 80 wipes on spirit kings (this includes quick resets pre-nerf) and 50+ on amber shaper.
From a pure numbers perspective, 10 man normal sha is brutal. No other 10 man encounters have such a "tight" enrage - and by enrage, I mean the dps you have to put out on platforms to not end up leaving the main platform unmanned. When we did our 10 man alt raid, that was the only boss we had issues on. Oneshot shekzeer, two or three shot ambershaper, etc - sha took us a good 10 wipes or so to get. Remember, if you're just hitting sha as a normal mode guild, you have to assume no one's familiar with shaoffearassist, or knows how to use it, adding a ton of strain on your healer on the platform, too.
The alt raid's 8/16 heroic now, so at a "half decent" level for one night a week, but obviously far from "up there".
And to add in on the 25 man discussion for this thread that sprang from nowhere:
Sha was easy.
Ambershaper was easy, but RNG-y (I still don't think every member of our raid team has been in the construc yet). We got our first kill when only "capable" persons were transformed, goes a long way with a little good RNG. But it's purely RNG, not "hard".
Shekzeer was easy, as long as you have 8 healers. We tried rekilling it with 7, we couldn't even get to the last phase (and yes, I know it's been 7 healed, but most of those logs happen to have more than a single offspec disc priest. Setup was not in our favor <.<). Spent like, half the pulls we did killing it the first time, returned with an eigth healer, proceed to two shot the boss (with a 3% wipe on the first attempt due to a new tank not being entirely confident in heart of fear mechanic). If you have the setup, it's not even close to being hard.
Honestly? The hardest heroic boss I've progressed this tier was Garajal. That thing was tuned EXTREMELY tight for the first reset (and yes, we did down him first week of heroics). Spirit kings was just "keep resetting till you get correct order, don't hit the darkness shield" - although I think when we hit them the second reset, their berserk timer had been extended (?) some, making the dps requirement laughable compared to Garajal.
Alot of it comes from staggering the instances, though. Allowing us a month to gear and get reps/vp before HoF opened, and even longer before terrace, really made the gearchecks on those bosses insignificant.
Hardest normal boss was initially Elegon, but now since Elegon's nerfs I would say the most difficult would probably be wind lord just because he has a pretty decent dps check, the wind bombs are just as brutal on normal as on heroic (and a ton more of them) and the add management can be tricky.
For my alt group when we passed Wind Lord all the rest fell over in a few pulls, so that's my opinion.
On heroic most difficult boss for a world 1k+ guild is probably going to be Amber Shaper or possibly Tsulong now, since burn strat is gone and imperial vizier is kind of a joke now since all his nerfs. The other bosses such as empress and sha are really just dps checks and most world 1k+ guilds have more than enough gear to get through the dps check w/ no problem at all.
---------- Post added 2013-01-22 at 05:35 PM ----------
I think what he means about amber shaper is that its all 10 players being competent enough to learn the construct not just doing what people are used to doing like avoiding fire and playing their class. Its a new learning experience so amber shaper has the biggest learning curve out of all the other fights thus making it hard regardless of ilvl. A DPS check alone isn't really a hard boss, its just a dps check and gear remedies that fast so slower guilds will have an easy time on those bosses whereas amber shaper will always be hard.
Hardest boss of all is to have 10 people show up on time 3 times a week without technical issues or RL stuff interferring.
Having trouble with that boss, it makes Grand Empress heroic a very difficult one for us.
And yes Elegon the first week def felt like an end boss.