Thursday, July 4, 2013

Continuing Challenge Modes

I posted earlier about Kuan and Morn's Jade Serpent Temple challenge mode run. Since then we've done a few other challenge modes.

Tuesday night we took almost the same group into Stormstout Brewery. We'd swapped the dps DK out for a warlock. We managed to get bronze in there, too. Our sticking point was Hopitalus and his terrible hoppy and boppy adds. Pro tip: save a hammer from the gauntlet for the first wave of hopper adds. Their explosion really hurts on challenge. If you don't have a hammer, make sure everybody has a CD or two or you're gonna fall over dead. We also had a bit of a slowdown on last boss. We needed to be more on top of the adds that the boss spawned. Once I started putting up kill order marks they died speedily but before that there were too many of them too fast and the healed too much. It was a long fight. We were pretty handily inside the bronze timer and I think that without the wipes on Hopitalus we'd be able to get silver without too much trouble.

Wednesday we met up again, but swapped out warlock dps for boomchicken dps. The daily challenge quest was for Shado-Pan Monastery. We had previously tried that and utterly failed to not die horribly on the Sha of Violence. So I was a bit nervous about doing this challenge mode. There were a couple of wipes, but overall it was relatively smooth. The only boss we didn't one-shot was Gu Cloudstrike, the first guy. The lightning clouds his serpent puts down are pretty much instantly fatal, regrettably their warning mark is just slightly smaller then the deadly electricity. We honestly had more trouble with the packs of sha trash between the second and third bosses. They were just brutal. I honestly feel like I had more time to react before death with the first boss lightning clouds than with that sha trash. We pretty handily ended the run with a bronze rating.

Thursday after raid we were back to our original group from Temple of the Jade Serpent. Morn (blood DK), Kuan (ele shaman), Saruke (hunter), Expendable (monk heals), and Smokeydeath (frost DK). The daily challenge mode was Mogu'shan Palace. The hardest part of the run was the first couple of packs of trash. The whirlwind was pretty rough, but with some judicious stuns and a small sacrifice of DKs we got them dead. After that the rest of the instance was actually pretty reasonable. We had no wipes on any of the bosses. Gekkan was annoying with all his adds, but with frog, trap, and evil acupuncture we managed to keep them manageable. Xin was not all that different from heroic; just don't stand in the bad and he's dead eventually. Mogu'shan Palace has very tight timers, so we got the bronze but didn't have all that much time to spare.

Friday night the challenge daily quest was Gate of the Setting Sun. We swapped in a different warlock, and headed over there. The first boss again gave us the most trouble. We didn't realize at first that she will explode all bombs at 70% and 40%. Possibly she does that on heroic, too, but if so it's never been enough of an issue that I noticed. Once we were prepared for that it wasn't that bad a fight. A lot of the trash in there was pretty brutal, especially the packs before the first boss with all the bombs dropping from above at the same time. The other bosses weren't all that bad, though. We ended up with a bronze rating, with some time to spare.

I'm looking forward to doing more challenge modes. They remind me of Magister's terrace and heroics at the start of Wrath and Cata. It's nice to have the challenge and it's really a good test of how well you know every single ability your class and spec has. Getting a good rating really requires you to have a thorough knowledge of what you can do and how that will interact with the rest of your group. I think that silver is pretty attainable with just better coordination and knowing the instances. Gold though, gold will be a real achievement to get, but we'll get there eventually.

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