Again, I’m writing this series just because I’ve gone through Throne of Thunder LFR so many times that I wanted to share my experience (and frustrations) with others who might be in a similar predicament. Also, I wanted to split up this blog to make it easier to digest as the entire thing will end up becoming too unwieldy if I place the entire thing into one page. So let’s continue.
This section of LFR becomes what you call the standard “dungeon crawl”. It’s got a nice eerie feeling as you make your way towards Lei Shen and contains tons of horrors. For the casual player, the real horror is trying to familiarize yourself with the layout of this place. Whereas the other wings are more or less linear, the Forgotten Depths can be a spot where a new player can easily get lost and wreck havoc due to the design of the zone. You have tons of mobs, some hidden, some pretty overt. But the one thing in common is that most groups want to rush through the zone. Experienced players will understand how to navigate the area and avoid mobs. But to the new player the entire place will be a confusing maze.
Once you zone in, you’ll see a HUGE turtle and will face three packs of bats. The first pack is pretty simple and can just be AoE’d down. The next two packs have the potential of wiping most LFR groups. In these packs, you’ll face three Giant Bats, who have the ability to silence your group. You will want to make sure your tank only pulls a single pack because a bad group will end up missing the opportunity to interrupt their silencing ability and remove the healers’ ability to keep your tanks up. Again, if you die, just run back in since the entrance is close by.
After getting these bats down, you will face…
I would argue that this fight forces ranged DPS to be on their game. The fight is primarily an add fight where you have two sets of adds. One group are spinning turtles that are summoned by Tortos while another group are cave bats. Most groups have ranged on turtles while melee go on the bats.
As a ranged DPS, your job is to focus on one turtle and get them down. Once they’re down, they are left on the ground and can be kicked via your new action button. They should be kicked just before Tortos does his breath attack as it will interrupt the breath attack and prevent unnecessary damage. Usually, you should let someone familiar with the kick tactic to handle it.
Melee DPS have it a little easier. When the cave bats spawn, your tank should gather them close to where Tortos is. A good tank will bring them as close to Tortos as possible so that you can hit everything with AoE assaults. These bats do high damage so you want to avoid accidentally grabbing aggro from a tank. Most of the time, I stay on the boss and only attack the bats if once they’re near the boss. Sometimes you can spot a good or bad tank depending on how well they know these tactics. Some tanks might (with the help of good AoE dps) bring down most of the cave bats themselves, so you can just focus on Tortos.
The main things you need to watch out for in the encounter are the falling rocks (blue circles on the ground), moving out of the way of the turtles (fling you into the air) and Tortos’ breath attack. Outside of that, this encounter isn’t that bad in terms of difficulty.
After Tortos goes down, you’ll face what I argue is the toughest non-boss aspect of LFR and is what can cause raid-wide wipes for Part 2. The next series you must travel through the caverns to unlock the next boss. This part of the instance becomes slightly non-linear as there is a certain path you will take en route to Magera. While the adds individually are not dangerous, the most difficult aspect of the caverns is avoiding adds. Many groups prefer avoiding adds so they will go through great lengths just to avoid an unnecessary encounter (which if you ask me is stupid because the time to deal with wipes versus just killing all the adds along the path tend to favor the ladder, not to mention the repair bills).
So the best piece of advice is to mount up and keep stick with your tanks. The thing is that there are these rock spider creatures that have a hideous bug (pun not intended) where even if you’re in a “safe” zone, they can teleport you to their location if an encounter with them starts. On top of that, they will summon more of their kind, which end up overwhelming the raid. Usually, this occurs if someone dies and tries to run back to the group on their own as they inadvertently might pull a group of adds.
If you die with your group to these adds, stay dead. Wait for a mass resurrection because the run back is far more painful than sitting on your ass for a few minutes. Some groups might have a few assholes and will force you to run back. Try your best and try to get a feeling for the layout. I would argue that the first thing you should do before Megaera is to really get a feeling of this layout. Forget trying to be #1 on DPS and learn the route because you don’t want to be that guy that constantly wipes the group because you can’t get back to your body. And trust me, if you’re that guy, you’ll find yourself re-queuing for LFR very fast.
Next to Jin’rokh, Megaera has to be one of the easiest bosses in Throne of Thunder. You have two things to do: green-red (i.e. right-left) until Megaera is dead. And the flaming thing. Okay, the fight is a little more involved than this so let me go into a little more depth. First, once you arrive at the little area near Megaera, don’t run around like a dumb ass. Opposite of Megaera is a group of those spider adds just waiting for you to fuck up. Good groups will clear that section so that during the Megaera fight, people won’t accidentally pull them. If your group doesn’t bother clearing the adds, then you’ll have one more factor to worry about in this fight.
Next, the fight is really about tanks and healers. Tanks have the responsibility of facing the heads away from the raid. I’ve seen some tanks accidentally (and sometimes purposefully) point the heads at the raid. If this happens, the heads will spew poison or fire on your group. You can side step it but you have a small area to avoid getting breathed on by both heads. For this fight, you pretty much want to stack up with the group the entire time. The reason is that once in a while you’ll see a giant bomb dropping onto you. So you want to be in the radius of healers’ AoE spells and any group protection buffs made available.
The second reason why you need to group up is that after killing a head, Megaera will go into a Rampage, causing massive AoE damage to the raid. You absolutely have to stack during this phase. It’s most a healing check so as a DPS you shouldn’t have to worry about anything. Typically, I try to help out by using any defensive cooldowns and/or spare healings that I might have. Also, as a DPS, I tend to blow my cooldowns on the second and last head. If I have a bloodlust available, I’ll save that for the last head as well.
The final aspect you need to watch out for is Cinders. This ability can fuck up a raid and piss people off. The thing is that if you get Cinders, you need to run out of the raid asap. Priests have to dispel the Cinders but only once you’re safely away from the raid because it will leave an effect on the ground. Obviously, if you’re inside of the raid when this happens, people will want to beat the living shit out of you. So get the fuck out. Now, here’s where you need to be extra careful. You want to avoid dropping the Cinders in the middle (where the blue head is) and you want to not move too close to where those adds in the back of the cavern are. That’s where the accidental pull can occur and where certainly the raid will kick you out.
Some additional aspects to this fight. As a combat rogue, you need to be extra careful. I’ve found combat rogues to have a tough time in encounters like these. What makes this encounter tough are Killing Spree and Ambush. The problem is that the positioning of Killing Spree and Ambush are pretty buggy because of their mechanics. Sometimes I might accidentally use Ambush and end up in the water or in some other strange spot. You don’t want this in an encounter. So I highly suggest that you just avoid using either. Keep it simple, just use your main DPS abilities and get carried fort his fight.
As a warrior, if you get Cinders, there’s a certain temptation to use your Heroic Leap since it’s easy to discharge Cinders safely away from the group. I almost had a heart attack the other night when I put myself near the adds. Fortunately, I was just far enough away to avoid pulling them (yet for some stupid reason the healers never bothered dispelling the Cinders from me so go figure).
For warlocks, you can set up a Demonic Gateway between both head locations. This is a nice convenience for your raid. It can be a slight help to healing since usually at the end of killing a head, they’ll throw down a bomb on the raid and can be avoided by getting out asap.
After putting down Megaera, you’ll have one more gauntlet of adds to hit and your last boss for this section. The next part is not tough but has the image of being scary because of a certain snail add. Truthfully, the bug adds leading up to Ji-Kun are really simple and most can be avoided. The idea is that as you make your way towards Ji-Kun, you will see glowing bones on the ground. If you step on these bones, you will cause an add to spawn. They aren’t tough but the less adds you have to deal with the better.
Another thing you need to avoid is this reddish fog. It’s a nasty poisonous DoT that you need to run out of asap. It’s easy to tunnel in on killing an add like a snail but completely forget that you’re inside of the fog and end up dying.
The only other add that you need to deal with is the giant snails. During the first week of this wing’s release, the forums on Blizzard’s website were filled with complaints about dealing with these snails because most people were being one shotted. This aspect has greatly lessened but overall you still will see people dying to them (hence partly why I’m writing a FULL guide to LFR, not just the bosses). The snails have the ability to insta-kill anyone who stands in front of them. So you need to DPS them from the side or rear. If you must DPS from the front, just be aware that they have a fairly large hit box (I’m not 100% certain about the range but you can DPS them from the front and remain safe).
Occasionally, you will be targeted by the snail with the little aggro eyes sign. If that happens, you’re best bet is to kite them along one side of the stairs (not the middle) and slow moonwalk, I mean move backwards while ensuring that you keep enough distance to damage the snail and stay alive. After you finish off these adds, continue avoiding glowing objects and head towards the Ji-Kun platform.
Ji-Kun can be easy or difficult depending on your role. Fortunately, you have the option of choosing what to do. The idea is that there must be a group dedicated to handling the nest. The nest group requires 3 DPS and 1 healer. This group flies from nest to nest and destroys eggs and probably the most important group to the encounter. Obviously, as someone new to these encounters, your best bet is to stay quiet and let other people do this job. If you feel adventurous, you’re probably better off finding a video showing you how to follow the group. A bad group will cause a wipe so I don’t recommend going in unless you have a group of really cool people who are willing to show you the ropes.
If you’re like me, lame and just wanting to hit the boss, the rest of the fight is pretty straight forward. Most of the fight is minimizing how much green goo you step on. Ji-Kun will do a “Feed Young” ability which spawns the green goo. If you stand in it, you can despawn it but you will also have a debuff that stacks and causes you to take additional damage in the future from these piles of green goo. You want to avoid stacking these up as you can die quickly from the damage.
For the boss’ Caw ability, you’re supposed to spread out. Now, here’s where if you’re a ranged it can get slightly interesting tactically. There’s Down Draft (which I will discuss) and the Feed Young green goo you need to worry about. While spreading out will prevent you from getting killed faster, Down Draft can cause issues as you might get flung off the platform. Now, what you could do is spread out for Caw then move in closer afterwards in anticipation for Down Draft. That way you can avoid being flung off the platform.
For Down Draft, there are two things to do. First, you’ll need to make sure you have some sort of movement boosting effect. For Hunters, DO NOT USE ASPECT OF THE PACK. Use Aspect of the Cheetah and make sure you Glyph it so you don’t daze yourself (I thought about doing a reverse Disengage but never tried it). For Paladins, I found that the passive 20% movement boost during this fight works well compared to the ability where Judgment gives you the 45% boost. If you’re a druid, you can use your Stampeding Roar. Usually, I’ve found that Down Draft occurs around 3 times per Ji-Kun fight, so you’ll more than likely only be able to use this for the first and third time. Other classes should have some form of a movement booster so check up on your talents and abilities to see which one you use. Also, make sure you position yourself facing one of the “longer” ledges. That will help if you have problems falling off. Lastly, if you do have a really good movement boost, do not immediately start attacking Ji-Kun when Down Draft is finished. There’s a chance that your tank might not have the highest threat during this phase. If you attack Ji-Kun with a high DPS attack, there’s a very good chance you’ll end up being one shot.
The only other mechanic in this fight to worry about is Quills. Again, this is a healing phase but you should make sure you have a defensive cooldown ready.
Beyond that most of the fight is easy as there isn’t much movement outside of avoiding the green goo and Down Draft aspects. Some people save Bloodlust towards the end once the nests are finished. It really depends on the group so again look out for raid calls when possible. I’ll go into part 3 next.