Each time I get sent back to Old Kingdom (which happens much too frequently) I struggle to heal the trash pulls between the first boss, Elder Nadox, and second boss, Prince Taldaram. Especially as the Shaman. It’s messy – you’ll get knocked around, feared and, if unlucky, suffer back to back silences.
Each time I come out the other end alive with my party at 10-20% health or resurrecting those who died I can’t help but think: How the heck are you supposed to clear those pulls?
This is one place where the charge/AoE/brute force healing isn’t going to get you through on its own. So if you’re tired of struggling with these pulls and want a clean, controlled slaughter with minimal incoming damage here’s how to do it. Properly.
Within about 5 seconds of the pull it will apply a Magic debuff to a caster called Eyes in the Dark. It almost always picks on the healer. The debuff doesn’t disappear quickly either – it will stick around for about 20 seconds. And if it wears off, it will be recast on the healer almost immediately.
It is essential that Eyes in the Dark be cleansed off your healer (and preferably your DPS). If not removed, the next time your healer goes to use a spell with a cast time (instants can’t be Counterspelled) they will take a nice chunk of damage and be unable to heal for the following 8 seconds. If, after that 8 second window has passed, the debuff remains on the healer, they will be interupted again. Dark Counterspell does not consume the Eyes in the Dark debuff.
Most pulls will include a couple of Eyes and when each one dies – if you AoE two will die at the same time – they deal about 7000 damage to each player standing within 10 yards and knock them right back. When everyone in your party takes 14k damage at the end of an 8 or 16 second healer lockout? That’s how you get deaths.
The Frostbringers might be a bit annoying, but they’re much less likely to cause your group to wipe or take a lot of damage. Frost Nova will freeze you in place and Frostbolt will slow you down. This can be a bit annoying when the tank is trying to gather all the casters together in one spot. But it’s mostly annoying, not painful.
Icy Winds is interesting. Applied to a caster – DPS or your healer – it can double their cast time, which doesn’t sound fun. But I don’t find that this happens to me very often. Or perhaps I don’t notice it.
3. Bonegrinder – Frightening Shout
You’ll need to kill a few patrolling Bonegrinders, one at a time, on your way to Prince Taladram. The only real ability which can cause problems is his fear – Frightening Shout – which can send a party member running into another pack.
Some Strategies and Tatics
1. Getting Rid of Eyes in the Dark
The most important thing you can do, if you really want to brute tank/heal/AoE your way through, is to get someone to remove Eyes in the Dark from your healer. It must be removed from a healer immediately. A Paladin can Cleanse it off, a Priest can Dispel Magic. Fortunately, the Dungeon Finder likes to pick a nice variety of classes when forming a group so I think your chances are very high that your party will include a member of one of these classes. So:
In addition, if you are the healer, watch your debuffs closely and as soon as you are afflicted with Eyes in the Dark swap to casting instant spells only. For Druids this shouldn’t be a huge problem and still leaves them with most of their healing spells. Priests should Dispel themselves, as should Paladins.
Restoration Druids and Restoration Shaman – Switch to instant heal spells when you are afflicted with Eyes in the Dark. Ask for a Cleanse/Dispel.
If you have no Paladins or Priests in your 5 man group I strongly suggest you kill off the Eyes of Taladaram immediately (perhaps one at a time) and rely on your tanking cooldowns. For healers in this situation I would still recommend cutting back to instant spells for the 20 second duration of Eyes in the Dark – limited healing is better than no healing at all.
2. Avoiding the Knockback
If you play a ranged caster or Hunter you should be able to outdistance the knockback by standing a good distance back from the action for the first pull which happens on “ground” level.
When you reach the two “egg” upper platform groups it is going to be significantly more difficult to stand more than 10 yards away from the tank and still be in line of sight. The best thing you can do is to group up on the circular platform and walk back to make sure your back is to a “wall”. This way the knockback will be an interupt, but you won’t waste time running back up the platform to reposition.
If your healer isn’t afflicted by Eyes in the Dark they should be ready to heal through the knockback damage.
If you’re at low health when an Eye of Taladram is about to die, you might want to Disperse or use Cloak of Shadows, Barkskin or whatever temporary survivability spells you have. You’ll still get knocked back, but it will be less likely to kill you.
I can’t help but wonder, if you were to stun an Eye of Taladram right before it died, would it still be able to use it’s knockback + damage ability?
3. Avoiding Icy Winds and Frost Nova
These two abilities can be ignored.
But one comment I read suggested that a Mage in the party should Spellsteal a Frostbringer’s Icy Winds for some extra damage.
When I’m playing the Priest, I like to Mass Dispel Frost Nova, especially when you can see the mobs are a bit spread out and the tank is still trying to round them all up.
4. Avoiding the Fear (or Frightening Shout)
If you have a Shaman, you can counter Frightening Shout with a Tremor Totem.
Priests can use Fear Ward, however, if you Fear Ward yourself as a Priest you will not be able to then turn around and Mass Dispel your scattered party members because this fear isn’t Magic based, it’s Physical.
I believe most tanks and melee players try and keep the Bonegrinder stunned for the duration of the fight to lessen the opportunity for him to use this ability. Ideally your tank will choose an open space to fight the Bonegrinder, far away from any uncleared areas.
If this all seems too complicated you can really reduce it down to just 1 rule to prevent wipes:
Dispel/Cleanse Eyes in the Dark immediately from your healer.
If you are a healer, stick to instants spells until it is removed or remove it yourself.
Good luck! I hope your next trash pulls are a lot smoother.