Monday, January 3, 2011

Cataclysm Heroics III: DPS DKs

Time for another heroic!
Which one shall it be this time, Mmmm? :P
In the absence of requests, I'll go with Stonecore, which I've found to be quite melee unfriendly. There are a few fight mechanics to perfect, but once accomplished, this heroic should go as smoothly as the others.

Since I've commented on this in my other posts, yes, my guild has started 25-man raiding, so while we're not up there with Paragon just yet, we're working through raiding. Expect raid DK guides to start in a couple of weeks.

Stonecore (sometimes abbreviated as SC) is an unforgiving 5-man for melee in sub-359 gear. I think it's also a little easier than Grim Batol, but still more difficult than VP (Vortex Pinnacle). You get four different types of bosses (gyreworm, drake, elemental, witch), but as the name obviously implies, it's a rocky instance and has the obligatory mineable elementals in it. 

The instance is linear and none of the bosses are skippable. 

I don't normally talk about trash, but the trash in here just love to eat melee.
The first pull can be a challenge. I believe it's the earth elementals (correct me if I'm wrong) that do a spinning aoe that can wreck the group quickly. A stun will stop them, and as we DKs don't have a stun, we're useless, right? Actually, you can back away a bit, and death grip them, which stops the spin, although a warrior or non-DK tank, a rogue or anyone else with a stun should use it here.
Rock flayers can kill you quickly as well, if your tank isn't aware. The tank needs to face them all in one direction, and then you can get behind them and dps. but when they do their frenzy attack, if you can't get behind them all, run away! I've died a few times to these buggers.
Finally, the big rock elementals (can't remember their names at the moment); they do a big stomp that hurts and can be hard to see when you're on their butt. If you can, watch for the stomp that's bigger and slower than the others, and jump shortly after their foot starts down, and you'll avoid the damage.

The first boss is an elemental gyreworm who shouldn't cause you too many problems. As a dps DK, you obviously need to stay out of crystal barrage, which can kill you fairly quickly on heroic. Similarly, when Corborus submerges, you need to watch when he's about to come back up (indicated by a dust cloud on the ground); if not avoided it's likely to one-shot you. Finally, it will be much much easier if a ranged focuses on aoeing down the adds. You can kill them, but if they get close, they'll explode and more than one or two of these is likely to be deadly.
Otherwise, just dps the boss. Probably the best time to pop cds is right at pull - as usual, save your frenzy (if UH) if a member uses a heroism buff, otherwise pop it along with the rest. Focus on the boss. If you have a ranged killing adds, don't worry about them. If they need help, you can drop a D&D on them or turn and HB, but otherwise you really don't want to spend time on adds.

This drake is honestly fairly forgettable. The mechanics are similar to normal mode, just a little more unforgiving. As with most drakes, stay out from in front as has a conal attack (Sand Blast). As far as I can tell, there's no tail swipe so off to the side or back will work. You'll need the room, because you obviously have to stay out of eruption (magma circles), avoid dropping stalagtites, and line of sight when Slabhide lands and starts Crystal Storm. Stay too long in any of these effects and you'll spend the fight on the floor. Pop cds at the beginning, even though some of them will be wasted to Slab's flight phase - there's really no good time to burn them otherwise.

Ozruk is the most unpleasant fellow in the instance. He's also the author of the last time I actually abandoned a pug after repeated failure after failure. He's not terribly difficult, but for some reason I've found pugs - especially tanks and melee - have a hard time with it. Basically, you'll be taking bleed damage from spike shield throughout the fight, and strangely, this is your friend. Why? Because he casts paralyze which will incapacitate you while he winds up for his Shatter. Fortunately, because you have the bleed on you, this will break the paralyze and you can run out. You'll need to watch for the emote, because sometimes you won't notice the paralyze - you'll take a tick of damage so close to paralyze you won't notice it. Obviously, you need to run away from the boss or Shatter WILL kill you on heroic. And - fun ain't it? -you'll need to be very careful while running back in, because he'll start his conal ground siege shortly after shatter and the tank may not have a chance to face him away. So you'll need to be ready to run to the side that isn't getting the ground siege before running back in. This cycle repeats itself several times. As I said, not difficult, but you don't have a ton of time to run out so you'll need to do it quickly. Frost DK will have more trouble with this due to being in frost presence, so be ready to hit unholy presence, or even use darkflight or rocket boots as necessary.
As for dps, just pop the cds at the start and on cooldown as needed.
High Priestess Azil: the end boss of the instance. Not too different from normal mode besides the typical increased mob health and damage, with one exception. This time, instead of a mechanic that can kill you, the mechanic we're concerned about can kill the tank. Force Grip - nicely stolen from Star Wars - lifts the tank in the air and does massive damage to the tank. If not interrupted, it will probably kill the tank, so make sure to save some rp for interrupts. I also love to try to sucker a mess of adds to chase me, then run under one of her rock targets, killing the adds for you. Of course you can kite them through Dark Portals as well.
In this case, I actually save my cds for the first add phase, the better to burn them down, and then army during the second add phase. Remember that your army will taunt the boss, so use it only in emergencies. However, if you summon it when all the adds are coming, it actually will keep them off your healer and help kill the adds faster.  Not too bad of a fight, though.

And, that's another heroic down! Let me know if there's another heroic you want some DK notes on before I move on to raids, and enjoy. :)


  1. FYI the earth elementals in the early trash pulls are the transformed form of the Earthshapers, who are caster adds, so while a DK can't deal with them after they've transformed, they *can* interrupt the cast, so you should be able to kill them before they go nova.

  2. Excellent info - and this is one of the things I'd not noticed yet. ;) Thanks for that, Chas!


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