Learning a New Raid

About the author: Jazzy plays a monk on Immortal as one of their Main Tanks.  He has been playing WoW since vanilla, but started raiding during Dragon Soul in the Cataclysm expansion as a mage.  Outside of raiding, Jazzy enjoys questing, alts, and professions. Outside of the game, Jazzy can usually be found playing D&D or making awesome spreadsheets.

With Eternal Palace just over the horizon, raid teams are finalizing their plans on exactly how to tackle this new content.  Here are a few pointers for raiders who are going into this raid and want to get through it as soon as possible.

Know Your Rotation

I cannot stress this one enough.  Knowing exactly how to execute your rotation without thinking about it is crucial to your success as a raider.  This includes (De)Buff tracking, CD timings, and fully knowing the ins and outs of your class. Furthermore, practicing your rotation will solidify your muscle memory.  

Watch Timers

Deadly Boss Mods/BigWigs all do a lot of work from PTR testing and update very quickly when the raid goes live.  In addition to knowing the actual time an ability happens, understanding the order of events will help you prepare and anticipate the boss’ abilities. Coupling ability order with knowledge of how you are going to counter the mechanic will lead to quick reaction time when the ability happens.

Fight Research

All of the bosses go through multiple passes of PTR testing and most are logged on Warcraftlogs.com.  Review these logs (with a grain of salt) to check how often abilities are used, high damage points, high movement points, phase transitions, and so much more.  If, during your fight prep, you have a question, the logs will have the answer.

Besides logs, many guides are posted to youtube/wowhead that go through every mechanic on the fight and suggest ways to deal with them.  Always confirm this with your raid lead as they may be using a different strategy, but it is a starting point for sure. Plus, it will get you thinking about opportune times to use your personal damage CDs.

Positioning

Some fights have strict positioning requirements or explicit stack points.  If so, GREAT. Your job is done. If not or if a fight has a mechanic that requires a spread, finding your “spot” and sticking to it is essential for consistency while learning.  Be looking for your spot and do your best to stick to it. Pro Tip: Sometimes you can pick your spot by a specific graphic on the floor, but a better “spot” is relative to other players.  Basing your position on other player’s positions will give you added flexibility for those nasty spread mechanics.

Use Your Defensives

Healers are learning the fight too, but they have the added struggle of learning how the raid is going to take damage.  Help them out by using your defensives as much as possible unless they are required for a specific mechanic. If a large raid-wide damage spike is coming, using Aspect of the Turtle or Barkskin will help the healers out a lot and keep the fight going longer so everyone can learn more of it and potentially get that beloved kill.

Consumables

Nothing drives me more crazy than an unprepared raider.  Yes, the banking team is wonderful and provides SOME of the consumables.  You are responsible for the rest.  This includes: Damage Potions, Health Potions, Flasks, Personal Food, and (if possible) Augment Runes.  You should be looking to have all these things in your bags and use them during the raid correctly. If you are lucky enough to have a warlock, ask politely for Soul Stones.  If you’re a healer, ask for mage food so you can pre-hot/shield the raid and drink before pull. I know my raid lead and team lead watch Health Potion and Soul Stone usage for every fight (yes, we have a custom query on WCL).  Related to consumables are repairs. Please make sure that your character is fully repaired before entering a raid. Engineers can use Jeeves and other raiders can use Auto-Hammers and the like, but needing a repair after one pull just slows everything down.

Check Your Gear

While personal play is important, gear is just as important.  Ensuring that you have the correct gear for each fight can make or break you.  AoE trinkets vs. Single Target is a classic example. Before you even enter the raid, make sure that your gear is completely enchanted and gemmed (highest quality is preferred).  Similar to your gear setup are your talents. Many classes have different talent setups for AoE, single target, cleave, etc.. Ensure that your character is completely min/maxed on a fight-by-fight basis.

Dungeon Journal

Probably the most boring and time-consuming part of your raid preparation is reading the dungeon journal.  Depending on your role, you may not need to read the whole thing. But I would highly recommend reading the whole thing several times before you pull the boss.  While reading, ask yourself exactly how you are going to deal with a mechanic. Do you stack? Spread? Use a CD? Knowing these things will shorten your reaction time a lot when coupled with watching the timers.

Thank you for reading and I hope this helps you get many boss kills and quickly.  Remember, every raider learns at a different pace. There is nothing wrong with offering suggestions to your fellow raiders, but do so nicely and respectfully.  Raiding is a team activity. Work as a team to get the kill and that all important loot.

GLHF

-Jazzy

P.S.  If you have any questions or want to discuss raiding (new and old), feel free to hit me up on Discord at Jazzytwo#4852.

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