Atramedes has two phases, a ground phase and an air phase. He starts out on the ground, and this is the most healing intense phase. He stays on the ground for 80 seconds then takes off. His air phases lasts for 40 seconds, and in general that will be a good regen phase for us healing. He then lands again and repeats this until he dies.
Atramedes has an unusual mechanic in that he is a ‘blind’ dragon and uses sound to feel out his prey (us!). When you engage him you get a sound indicator showing if you’ve tripped any of his sonar pulses, and the higher your sound indicator the more damage you take from his attacks (because he knows more accurately where you are… or something.) If you reach 100 sound, he knows exactly where you are and erases you with his magical fire (or something… anyway – you die.) So the aim is to avoid as many of his sound based attacks as possible.
We position like this:
Atramedes - ground phase positioning
The yellow circle is Atramedes, the skull is Atramedes’ face munching on our main tank. We have a tight ranged camp shown in the green circle and a loose melee group ranged around Atramedes’ rear quarters.
When I heal this fight, my role is raid healing and keeping hots rolling on our tank.
Atramedes during his ground phase has a number of abilities that you’ll need to watch for as a raid/tank healer.
- Modulation: this is a room wide aoe pulse. Everyone will take about 40k damage and gain a little bit of sound (7 sound level). I throw out a Wild growth after each modulation, and a RJ on anyone that’s really low.
- Sonar Pulse: 3 or 4 little disks of sound will emerge from Atramedes and travel fairly slowly radially otwards. They are aimed at a player when they spawn, but they don’t deviate from there path once the player moves. We have the melee fairly spread to make it easier to avoid theirs since they are close, and the ranged staying tightly bunched so we can side step the pulses pretty much as a group. This positioning is also to help us with his next ability:
- Sonic breath: this is a breath weapon that targets a specific raid member. Atramedes turns to face the Sonic breath target, then after a second or so starts breathing sound at them. This is a bad bad thing to stand in. We have range targets of the strafe right, while the rest of us step left a little. I throw a RJ on the strafer as they run off, in case they get a tick of sound/damage. This is the main thing that causes wipes for us, when things go wrong with the breath kiting, sound levels of the raid can get very high.
- Searing flame: (I like to call this “Searrrring FLAME!!!” because Atramedes has a funky voice) this is a raid-wide aoe that is interrupted using the gongs. Be aware that one or two pulses of this can go ou depending on the latency of your gong-ponger. Also, it does more damage to those whose sound is high – so it helps to know who in the raid have high sound and throw them an extra heal going into the Searing flame.
I tend to save my tranquility for when the raid damage is high and you’ve just had a sonic breath/sonar pulse so you know you won’t have to move. Use treeform early though, you’ll probably get 2 or three opportunities to go tree, depending how long your kill takes.
Once he takes off, we scatter to the edges of the room, like this:
Atramedes - Air phase positioning
In this diagram, X is the initial sonic breath target, and star is the designated gong-ringer.
Duting his air phase, Atramedes continues to try to ‘locate’ (ie: kill) your raid, using these abilities:
- Sonar pulse: more pulsing yellow circles to avoid, this time indicating where a sound missile is about to land. Everyone needs to stay out of these as much as possible.
- Sonic breath: he targets this at a raid member a couple of seconds after taking off (variously reported to be the person with the highest sound, but this is hard to predict). Again, the breath needs to be kited, but unlike his ground phase, he doesn’t stop casting it, AND it gets faster and faster AND it leaves a trail of fire on the ground. The fire does a bit of damage, and leave a (dispellable) dot. The fire is not a major worry unless people are already low on health, and there are lots of gaps in the fire trails. However the Sonic breath IS an issue.
In the air phase, the Sonic breath is interruptable by a gong, and our strategy is to have another designated gong-ponger that has a form of speed boost. We have variously used a rogue, a shaman or a druid or a worgen (or combinations thereof). As a druid, I can’t use Dash on every air phase, as it has a 3 minute cooldown, but the air phases are two minutes apart. So when we use druid kiting, we alternate with another kiter for each air phase.
Atramedes takes flight
Kiting is fun! When I kite, just before Atramedes takes off, I pop into kitty form and wander over to a gong on the far side of the room (eg star in our diagram above). Atramedes’ breath target is announced, and I watch that person run away from the big laser beam of death. When I think they are getting a bit close, I use the gong beside me and start moving off around the edge of the room.
The beam takes a while to get to you, but it will ‘appear’ where you were, so I don’t wait for it, I start moving as soon as I click. I’m zoomed a fair way out so I can see how close it’s getting. Once I feel it’s starting to catch up, then I pop Dash, and keep running around rim of the room.
As a guide, if I ring the gong where star is in my example diagram, I’m usually around about where X is before I pop Dash. And I’m usually around to where the green tank symbol is by the time Atramedes lands again, and the beam is getting a bit close, but not dangerously.
Phase 1 again:
So now it’s back to ground phase, with the added complication of that fire from the air phase still being on the ground.
Our ranged once again cluster up, finding a ‘safe spot’ fairly clear of fire. If we need to kite Sonic breath through existing fire, sobeit. Make extra sure you have a hot or two on the breath kiter in ground phases from now on, as they may be taking extra damage.
That’s it! Rinse and repeat three or four times and you’re done.
The Atramedes experiment fails