Update: Here’s the video of our last Twin Val’kyr kill using this strategy.
Remember those two lovely angels, the Twin Val’kyr? Remember running around to power up and smartly swapping essences to avoid AOE damage and increase your damage on the correct – opposingly coloured – twin at the right time? Forget all that.
This is how we defeated Twin Val’kyr on 25 man Trial of the Grand Crusader. We didn’t have amazing DPS. We didn’t stack the raid with Arcane Mages (although, that might be a viable strategy all on its own – I’m looking forward to that YouTube video). We didn’t need fantastic latency.
We used the “door strategy” which kind of ignores the main fight mechanics to the point where you feel like you might be cheating just a little bit. I know there are some players out there that do consider this method cheating, and therefore, inferior. If you’re one of those people please just stop reading now.
The biggest difference between Heroic and Normal difficulty is those flying dark and light orbs. A bad orb (opposite colour to your essence) will hit you for about 18k damage. 2 in a row? You’re gone. And they fly around pretty damn fast.
The Door Strategy in Concept
Just about everyone will need to take Dark Essence. Stand clustered right up against the entrance gate/portal (no light orbs can spawn here). Never change your essence. Use survivability cooldowns to survive AOE special abilities. Pray.
This strategy removes the need for every raid member to have excellent situational awareness. Usually you would:
- Dodge one orb type while collecting another based on your own essence
- DPS the correct target based on your own essence
- Switch essences to burn down a Twin’s Pact shield
- Switch essences to avoid AOE damage
- Switch essences to remove Touch of Light or Touch of Darkness (a new nasty for Heroic mode)
Oh yeah, while maintaining a high DPS output in order to beat the enrage timer.
The Door Strategy is completely different to how you’d go about it on normal mode and we thought that it was worthy of further explanation.
The Door Strategy in Practice
Step 1. Turn off Deadly Boss Mods. You’re not going to do anything it tells you to do.
Cass says: I cannot recommend this strongly enough. DBM will tell you to change essences over and over again – which, of course, you’re not going to be doing.
Lath says: I kept Deadly Boss Mods on but changed the standard settings. I unticked the “Show Warning for Touch of Light/Darkness” because it gives the same emote/warning as one of the special abilities (Lightbane’s Vortex, explained below) – the critical healing point where I need to use Tranquility. While learning this fight I ended up using my Tranquility waaaay too early and ended up needing it when it was on cooldown.
Step 2. Assign some “soakers”. These people are going to protect your raid from incoming light orbs. Choose DPSers who have a good combination of survivability and can move a lot while still maintaining decent damage. Make sure these are smart players.
Cass says: We had 2 Warlocks as our primary soakers. I think they spec’ed specially for this fight (to include Soul Link, Molten Skin and Nether Protection) to increase their survivability. Your soakers need to have good situational awareness and will often be doing something contrary to what your Raid Leader is telling people to do. Get some people who can think for themselves and move.
We also ended up with a couple extra plate wearing DPS (1 Ret Paladin and 1 Death Knight) assigned to Light Essence. We found that having a couple extra DPS doing additional damage to Darkbane helped us out considerably when we needed to burn down Darkbane’s shield. These DPS were not running around soaking up orbs though – that was just the Warlocks.
Lath says: These Warlocks take extra damage so make sure you have at least one raid healer keeping an eye on your soakers. We assigned a healer to each raid group but the 2 Resto Druids were also keeping full HoTs on the Warlocks to ensure they lived. We also found it was easier to heal plate-wearing DPS (with Light Essence) if you need that little bit extra DPS for Darkbane’s shield.
Step 3. Hot key your Shield Wall (er, that is, whatever temporary survivability ability you have).
Cass says: For me, that’s Dispersion. Warriors get their Shield Wall, Paladins have their bubble, healing Priests can use Guardian Spirit or Pain Suppression, Death Knights have their Anti-Magic thingy, Rogues can Cloak of Shadows and Mages can Ice Block and Shamans have … well… don’t be a Shaman.
Step 4. Put your Resto Druids and Shamans in a group. They’re going to need a lot of help.
Lath says: I’m not sure why but the shammies seem to always go down first. As the majority of the raid have “oh shit” abilities that let them live through the opposing colour vortex, we place both Restoration Druids, Enhance Shaman, Elemental Shaman and Discipline Priest in 1 group together. Both Druids popped Tranquility which keeps the entire group topped up, however in future attempts I think we’ll stagger this in case we have to survive a second Light Vortex.
Cass says: While I’m taking a break during Dispersion, I like to watch those health bars. They go down so fast!
Step 5. Get into position. The raid will stack right up against the gate. The soakers and tanks will form a small, protective ring around them about 5-10 yards out from the raid.
Cass says: Don’t stand close to the sides of the door. That’s enough to pick up a stray light orb as they spawn. Really stack dead in the middle with your back to the gate. If you’d like a better view of the action swivel your camera view around to the front with your left mouse button.
Lath says: If you stand out and get hit by a stray orb don’t expect to live and don’t blame the healers for your death! Love your fellow raiders and say goodbye to personal space.
Step 6. Pull the Twins into the raid.
Cass says: DPS your opposite Twin. For most of the raid (with Dark Essence) they’ll be attacking Fjola Lightbane. The soakers will DPS Eydis Darkbane when they can, but it’s more important for them to make sure not one light orb gets past them and into the raid.
Be careful not to call your targets “Light” or “Dark” unless you want to cause mass confusion (ok, you probably already figured that out on normal mode). And, even better, make sure your raid understands that when you say “Switch” you mean “Switch Targets” not “Switch Essences”. Try and get people to start loading up debuffs on Darkbane a few seconds before the Special Ability phase begins just in case they need to burn down her shield. That head start can make a big difference.
Lath says: The raid healing is crazy. We got our first kill using 6 healers: 1 Holy Paladin and 1 Disc Priest for tank healing and 2 x Resto Druids and 2 x Holy Priests for raid healing. Before the tanks go in and pull make sure you give them some HoTs as they go out of range for a little while and the tank healers can’t leave the doorway. Raid damage is continual and as a Resto Druid you are primarily responsible for blanketing the raid with Rejuvenations and using Wild Growth every time it is off cool down.
Step 7. Special Ability time! Ok, there are four special abilities and you’ll get all four, but the order is a bit random.
After the first special ability the rest are somewhat predictable. You’ll get all four special abilities without doubling up on any one. Once you’ve experienced all four of the special abilities the order will change up again for the second set of four.
What to do (Cass): Nothing special. DPS her like you were doing anyway. Most of your raid will be doing a nice amount of damage to her (since they have Dark Essence) and you should eat through her shield in time.
What to do (Lath): Nothing special here for healers, keep the raid alive and keep an eye on your mana!
Note: If this is the first Special Ability of the fight ignore it and let the Twins heal back to 100%.
What to do (Cass): This is your moment! Everyone much switch DPS targets in advance, debuff Darkbane to hell and back, use Heroism, blow your DPS cooldowns and hope to hell you can somehow DPS through her shield and that your soakers with Light Essence can somehow pick up the slack. Pray. Yeah, we never killed it in time. Add 30% health back onto their bars and keep going.
What to do (Lath): Again, nothing special here for healers, just try to keep the raid alive!
What to do (Cass): Translate your Raid Leader’s screams of “Shield Wall!” over Vent into “get ready to hit Dispersion/Iceblock/Cloak of Shadows/etc” when Fjola Lightbane has finished casting. The raid need to survive this. Hope that your vulnerable Shaman and Resto Druid party survived. Your soakers should be fine – they’ll absorb this one.
What to do (Lath): This is the part that makes this strat exhausting for the healers. The raid wide damage caused during Light Vortex is huge. Use your big AOE healing spells and personal damage reduction spells. For trees this means popping Barkskin and using Tranquility. Holy Priests must use Guardian Spirit themselves, not on the tanks, and use Prayer of Healing to cover their party. Discipline Priests might need to Pain Suppression themselves. Paladins can use their bubble (combine it with Divine Sacrifice to help reduce the amount of healing required raid wide).
What to do (Cass): Enjoy the power ups as you soak up all the Shadow damage. Keep killing Lightbane.
What to do (Lath): Remind your soakers to use their survivability moves, or, if they don’t have anything, they can run over and change to Dark Essence temporarily then change back to Light Essence. But you probably won’t need to remind them much because you picked smart players to be soakers, am I right? The raid will continue to take some damage, but it won’t spike like it does when Lightbane casts her Light AOE vortex.
Step 8. Win! Whatever you do, don’t give up until you hit the enrage timer.