With seven bosses, Halls of Origination is possibly the longest of the Cataclysm heroics if you do a full clear. The Earthrager and 3 of the last 4 end bosses are optional, so if you’re just there for the Valor points there’s a fair amount you can skip. Whether it’s been a in guild group or pugs we’ve tended to do a full clear though; if anything is skipped it’s usually one or more of the end four bosses. Once you’re deep into the instance there isn’t much trash, so most groups seem to want to clear everything once they’ve made it that far.
Halls of Origination
There are a few useful spots for entangle during trash. The Shadowlancers make good targets, as they will shadow-nova quietly and amusingly to themselves at a distance. Watch for heal aggro during the scarab spawns in the sand corridor, you may need to stay close to the tank.
During the trogg gauntlet with the elemental wardens, it’s helpful to stick close to the tank at all times. If you need to drop and drink, do it at the top of the stairs before each mini boss, and make sure you drink back up after the mini boss as well, you won’t have time to drink during the gauntlet. Also – after the last mini boss is killed, Anraphet will spawn aoeing the party for about half their health. Make sure you have time to top everyone up and then have a big drink before the boss pull.
On normal mode we sent a dps down each side to flip the switches during his song (which I found nerve-wracking as they go out of line of sight for heals for so long). On heroic though, that wasn’t cutting it.
Phase one of the Temple Guardian encounter
In his heroic mode, we drop down as a party to one side, our tank picks up the snakes while one dps is designated to flip the switch. We then move as a group to the other switch, the tank grabbing the snakes as we go, and another dps flipping the switch on this side. For healing, this means everyone is in line of sight all of the time. I stay on the tank to make picking up the snakes easier for them.
This whole singing stage is move, move, move, so I keep rejuvs up and WG on CD and stop only as needed to cast direct heals. If I start falling behind on the party’s health I pop tree form and roll LBs and RGs as we run. Staying with your tank is key.
On the tank-spank phase dispel magic/curses, and stay out of his blue laser of death 🙂
The camel boss! First thing to know – you look totally hilarious riding a camel in forms, so please do this at any opportunity.
Second and more important thing to know – while on the camel you can cast spells with cast times while moving. This takes a while to get used to, but is pretty powerful and very enjoyable.
Camels. That is all.
Apart from the optional joys of being a tree riding a camel, Earthrager’s fight is fairly straight forward and shouldn’t present any difficulties.
He starts off as a simple tank and spank. He spikes the ground under a random party member occasionally that’s easy enough to run out of. (If you’re on a camel and going for the achievement, you’ll want to avoid all of these, they can kill your camel.) He also has a whirling aoe fire attack that’s fairly low damage, although people tend to be running around chaotically at this point. I usually throw up a Rejuv on everyone and move as necessary to get people in range, don’t stand in front of him though – he cleaves.
At 50% health he’ll burrow and undead and beetle adds will emerge. I spend this time trying to stick with the tank to ease his pickups. Stay out of the ground spikes and keep everyone healed up. Once the adds die it’s back to tank-and-spank again until the Earthrager dies. Head back towards the entrance and there’s a teleporter at the top of the stairs.
After Earthrager, Brann Bronzebeard will unlock a room for your party with a trogg gauntlet and four elemental wardens, whose death unlock Anraphet and whose death in turn unlocks the lift to the upper levels. (Too many unlockings!) As discussed above, the gauntlet will require you to be on your toes, and careful with managing mana.
Staying with the tank during the Vault of Light gauntlet
Each of the elemental wardens have their own tricks and traps you’ll need to be ready for:
- Flame – occasionally casts a fire nova called Raging inferno. All melee and the tank need to run out of it. He also periodically casts a flame bolt at a random party member that you’ll just need to heal back up to full. If a melee/tank gets flame bolted as they are running out of inferno, they will probably die, so be ready with a quick Rebirth if required.
- Water – occasionally places a party member in a water bubble, stunning them and damaging them until broken out. The bubbled person will need healing up, especially if bubble-breaking is slow. Be prepared to be bubbled yourself, so make sure you have LB and RJ ticking away on the tank at all times.
- Earth – occasionally turns towards a random party member and sends a wave of earth spikes in their direction. Even when I’ve dodged out of the way early, I still have taken damage, so I’m not sure this is avoidable. It does about 60k damage, so you’ll just need to heal up the target.
- Air – constantly sends out a tornado that whirls around the room. It picks people up and drops them, taking them out of play for a few seconds and doing a small amount of damage. They are easily avoidable, so everyone should be dodging them. The Air warden also casts a windshear that interrupts spells, so stick to instants where possible to avoid this.
After the four wardens have died, Anraphet will spawn, and deal an unavoidable room-wide AOE, killing all the troggs as well as damaging your party. Wait for him to do his thing, then heal up the party, before you move down and engage him.
Anraphet has a number of abilities that you need to be alert for.
Alpha beams: multiple single target void zones that everyone needs to move out of. Mostly people will take a tick or two of the damage moving from these zones and will need to be healed up. I’ve had a play with moving as he’s casting one on me and I was able to avoid them altogether that way. Don’t step back into one later in the fight, they are permanent bad purple circles. This can be messy in tank/melee area if the tank doesn’t keep moving him a bit to make clear space.
Omega stance: a short while after he’s cast alpha beams he then goes into Omega stance, pulsing AOE damage on your whole party. The first time he does this I Rejuv the party and Wildgrowth, the second time he does it I use tree form and LB everyone was well as RJ/WG, the third time I cast tranquillity, and hope and pray it’s the last time he Omegas.
Popping treeform during Omega Stance
He also regularly casts a party-wide stacking debuff that reduces everyone’s maximum health by 10% a stack, this makes him a bt of a dps race. It’s also why it pays to ramp up to your most powerful AOE heals in his later Omega stances.
Lastly he inflicts a shadow damage dot on the tank that you should dispel if you can.
A fairly simple fight to heal.
She emotes and casts a nova that you’ll want to be facing away for, or you’ll be disoriented and take damage. It’s best if all of your party are looking away for her nova. As I’m healing I spend the whole fight with my character’s back to her, I just swivel my camera around to watch over my shoulder so I can see what’s going on. Your dps will need to time when they turn away.
Clearing to Isiset
At 66% health she splits into 3 mirror images of herself, then again at 33% she splits into 2 mirror images. DPS should decide what order they burn down the mirror images: each of the images you kill determines what abilities she has for the remainder of the fight.
Frequently throughout the fight she casts a laser beam at the foot of a random party member (like in the trash pulls just before her). You just need to kite the beam around in a safe area. I usually strafe it off to one side so I can maintain my facing (ie with my back to her.)
This fight is all about your dps switching quickly to kill the pods that spawn. Every pod that’s alive puts a stacking HoT on Ammunae, and if left too long will also spawn plant adds that need tanking/killing as well.
Ammunae has the hots for you.
Every now and then he’ll also stand and aoe the whole room, spawning adds from any pods that are up. Again, use your usual RJ/WG on the first of these and treeform if you have a second.
Keep an eye on your mana: if your dps are slow to switch to the pods, Ammunae can take a long time to kill as he starts to self-heal a lot. If your dps folk are good you’ll have no mana issues, but if things look like they might take a while, use your innervate/pots/treeform early.
This is the boss in the instance that most often causes issues in the groups I’ve been in, and is the most frequently skipped in pugs. There are two different strategies that I’ve seen used to kill him so I’ll talk through both of those.
Setesh himself is untankable, he randomly casts chaos bolts at people who you’ll need to heal through. Regardless of your strat, your tank’s role in this fight is not to tank Setesh, but to pick up the adds that come through Setesh’s portals.
Preparing to pull Setesh
Setesh’s two other big abilities you need to watch for are a slow moving shadow bolt that puts a big purple circle on the ground. When you see the shadow nuke coming, move out of the way (looks like the nuke used by the faceless adds before the last boss in old kingdom).
Secondly he will periodically drop lots of small purple bubbles on the ground that do damage if you stand near them. You want to stay clear of these.
Ok the strats:
The standard strat used in pugs and talked about online is to dps down the portals as he casts them, then switch back to the boss. The idea is that the adds that come through the portals in waves, and the worst adds come through third/last, so if you’re quick enough you can kill the portal before the third wave gates in. These last adds cast an anitmagic prison rendering their target immune to all magic, you’ll know if your tank is dealing with these guys because your heals will keep coming up ‘immune’.
But. The first couple of times we killed Seteesh we used a much less conservative strat of just nuking him hard and ignore ing the portals. This works best if you have Time warp or Heroism/BL in your party, and make use of his crystals for extra damage. I even pop into treeform and dps him as well. The tank picks up all of the adds and kites like crazy. After a while I start getting adds on myself as well, and if the tank ends up with an anti magic prison, they will probably die and you’ll end up with all the adds in the room on you. This is where I pop into cat form and sprint away, hoping to buy the dps time to down Setesh.
As I said, that’s a crazy strat, but it has worked for us on a number of occasions, plus I secretly enjoy sacrificing the tank. Okay only a little bit.
Rajh is the final boss of the instance, in that he awards the Valor points for your daily heroic, and drops a Chaos orb. But he’s in the same areas as the other three Lords, so you don’t have to leave him until last if you don’t wish to.
He has a number of abilities that can be interrupted, the most deadly of which is Inferno leap. He’ll place a fire ring around a party member and leap onto them, killing them in the process. You can run out of the ring and avoid it if you’re quick – it’s best if it’s interrupted, but if it’s not, you need to run out fast (no time to finish casting that Healing touch!)
He summons fire whirlwinds that wander around the room leaving a trail of fire, stay out of those.
Rajh: stay out of the fire
When he runs out of energy from casting these and other spells, he goes into a recharge mode: he’ll stand still and yell about the warmth of the sun, doing lots of AOE damage to the party. If we have good interrupts we usually only get one of these, so I pop treeform and do the usual LB/RG heals on the party. If we get a second one I position myself fairly centrally and use tranquility.
This boss is fairly easy compared to Setesh, and is pretty much summed up by “interrupt everything and stay out of the fire”. (Having said that, I’ve probably died 30% of our kills by being leapt upon. Ah my nemesis.)