A Visual Guide to Tanking Alysrazor 10N
Yes, yes, I know, it’s nearly time for tier 13 and I’m posting a guide for a tier 12 normal mode fight. It’s just that my raid recently picked up a talented tank with no previous Firelands experience, and tank positioning on Alysrazor is hard to explain with words alone. Also we’re sticking to Firelands until our spriest gets his staff, so it should be relevant for… two more weeks?
Because boss guides are everywhere and because I am lazy, I’m not going to explain the whooole Alysrazor fight. Consider this guide more of a tank-oriented supplemental.
I hope you find it useful!
A little background here, for groups who may do this fight differently. We split the raid into two groups, each with one tank, one healer, and two DPS. Group one handles the left (west) side of the arena, and group two handles the right (east) side. The remaining two players are our flyer and a third healer (a holdover from our pre-nerf kill.)
Here’s What This Fight Looks Like As A Tank
Phase 1 is the majority of the fight, and it’s the phase of the fight that is the most punishing on new tanks, because there’s a lot going on, plus a fairly high tank DPS requirement.
First, everyone’s going to get knocked back. After around 10 seconds, Alysrazor is going to fly down near the ground and claw at the middle of the arena, so you want to be on your group’s side of the arena before she comes down. After she passes, there will be some molten feathers left on the ground. Do not click them yet! The first round of feathers goes to casters.
Next, Initiates of Flame fly down in fiery Flight Form. When they reach the ground they turn into night elf Druids of the Flame and begin casting. When they first start casting they yell “We call upon you, Firelord!” As a tank, you can help your side’s DPS with the first Initiate of Flame that spawns in every Phase 1. You can interrupt Fieroclasts with standard interrupt abilities, and Brushfires with stuns.
Around the time that the first Initiate of Flame dies, two Druids of the Flame in flight form will drop fiery eggs as shown in the image below. Once the egg drops you have a few seconds to get over to it. The tank must be the closest person to the egg when it hatches. When the egg transforms into a Voracious Hatchling, it will fixate on whoever was closest to it when it hatched. It is not tauntable and has no threat table – just a fixate, of infinite duration.
If the Hatchling fixates on the wrong person, there are two ways to make it stop: either the person it is fixated on dies, or the person it is fixated on flies. When either of these happens, the Hatchling will pick a new fixate target – again, whoever is closest to it at the time. Which should be you.
In a departure from traditional raid roles, the tank is responsible for the majority of the damage done to its hatchling. That means no pooling Holy Power for a timely WoG and no substituting Blood Boil for Heart Strike to game Runic Empowerment procs.
Intermittantly, the Voracious Hatchling will place a debuff called Gushing Wound on its tank. It has the same icon as Trauma. Gushing Wound is a heavy bleed that will remain on the tank for one minute, or until the tank dips below half health. Try to avoid self-healing until it drops off.
When the Hatchling spawns it will have a buff called Satiated, which has a yellow happy face icon. When this buff expires it is replaced by the buff Hungry, which has a blue sad face icon. When a Hatchling with Hungry hits its tank – blocks count as hits, but dodges/parries/misses do not, so pop avoidance trinkets during Hungry – it has a 50% chance to gain the buff Tantrum, which has a red angry face icon. Tantrum increases the Hatchling’s haste and damage done significantly, and should be removed ASAP. You can remove both Hungry and Tantrum, and make the Hatchling Satiated again, by pulling the bird over to a worm.
Worms – Plump Lava Worms, officially – are small, stationary, non-targetable adds that pop out of the ground shortly after the Hatchlings have hatched. They spawn four at a time, in a square centered around the middle of the arena. After a few seconds they begin to rotate in place at about a keyboard-turner’s pace, spewing a frontal cone of fire as they go. This fire hurts, even on a tank. With the possible exception of DK tanks (AMS), you would rather take a few more seconds of Tantrum than run through a worm’s Lava Spew.
The first set of worms are going to come up in a square diamond around the center of the arena, with its points in the north, east, south, and west.
The first set of worms will always spawn in these positions. Conveniently, each egg was dropped in a small safe zone between the sweeps of the worms’ Lava Spew; all you need to do to avoid the worms’ fire breath is to stand still, or at most shuffle slightly towards whichever worm is not currently facing your way.
By this point, Alysrazor should have dropped another set of feathers. I recommend picking up one for the movement speed increase it gives. Whatever you do, do not pick up three feathers in a single Phase 1. If you do, the third feather will shoot you into the air – causing your Hatchling to lose interest in you and fixate on someone else.
Now, the temptation on the first Tantrum is going to be to drag the Voracious Hatchling towards whichever worm is not currently facing your direction; but bearing in mind that the tantrum is managable with a cooldown, there is a better way. On the first tantrum of each phase 1, pull your Hatchling to the north or south worm – tank 1 to the south worm, tank 2 to the north worm.
Why? Because shortly after you feed your Hatchling its second worm, another set of Plump Lava Worms will spawn.
Taking the east or west worm second places you conveniently between your two new worms – just like staying on the egg did for the first spawn. It also keeps you firmly on your own side of the field: it’s easy to get turned around on this fight and find yourself and your co-tank both relying on the same worm, while across the arena, another worm goes un-eaten.
As your Hatchling gets down towards 10%, you’ll want to look around and make sure that your worms are all accounted for. If DPS on the Hatchling has been high, or if you got lucky with Tantrum procs, you might have one or even two worms still alive when your Hatchling is nearing death. Try to feed the Hatchling any remaining worms before it dies, to make the arena safe for phases 2, 3, and 4.
If your Hatchling dies before phase 2, congratulations, you’re a DPS until phase 3.
This is the phase with the tornadoes going around all swooosh. If your Hatchling isn’t dead by this time, you need to work on your damage output.
There should be no worms left at this point, so you’re going to have to eat Tantrums. (If there are worms left, don’t wait for Tantrum! Go feed your bird ASAP). Since you can’t very well run in circles with a Voracious Hatchling on your butt, I recommend planting yourself on the line between two tornado ‘tracks’, facing one lane head on, and swinging your camera into overhead mode. This will allow you to efficiently side-step most of the tornadoes without risking turning your back to the Hatchling.
Once your Hatchling is dead, take advantage of this high-movement phase to doublecheck that you’re on the correct side of the arena, and to run back there if you aren’t.
If your Hatchling isn’t dead by now, I don’t know what to tell you.
Alysrazor collapses in a heap in the center of the arena, and all the DPS and healers stack up on one side of her. Pay attention to where they’re stacking: come phase 4, you want to be on the opposite side. In our raid, the heals and DPS stack on the south side of the boss, so the tanks are going to need to get to the north side at the beginning of phase 4.
For the moment, though, you have another job. Two Blazing Talon Clawshapers will spawn, land, and begin channeling at the boss. Your job isn’t just to interrupt this channel – it’s also to keep them locked down so that they can’t channel in the first place. Stuns and silences both work.
You’re going to be tempted to perform your rotation on the Clawshaper. I wouldn’t recommend it. They fly away at the beginning of phase 4, so damaging them doesn’t contribute to the success of the encounter; and if you have a stun or interrupt on the GCD, your rotation may delay your interrupts long enough for them to get a second of channeling in.
The purple squares indicate where the two Clawshapers spawn, and the arrows show where you want to be at the beginning of phase 4.
In the name of all that is holy don’t stack on your fellow tank.
Alysrazor has a nasty cleave – not a saber lash, just a regular old cleave. Worse than that, her +fire and physical damage taken debuff is applied to everyone hit by the cleave, not just her primary target. As nice as hugs are, you should really stay at the corners of that triangle.
You can one-tank this phase – it was even doable pre-nerf, though it hurt. If you choose to two-tank it, your offtank will want to taunt when she is at 75-80 energy. Bear in mind that her energy climbs a lot faster than you probably think it does. Be ready to taunt from the moment phase 4 starts, otherwise it’s likely to blow right past you.
At the end of phase 4, she knocks everyone back and resumes phase 1. Because you were on the opposite side of her from the healers, you are probably out of range of them. Don’t worry: her debuff doesn’t have a DoT component. You can bandage yourself without interruption!
Rinse and repeat.
When Alysrazor reaches 100 energy she knocks everyone back, lifts off, and phase 1 begins again.