As I mentioned before, our guild has decided to start taking a team to Zul’Aman each week.  Last night was the first run, and my hunter was fortunate enough to be selected for the team!  Woo!  The guild has hit the first boss several times before, but this was the first time we’ve ventured further inside.  It was incredibly exciting to be part of this.  🙂

The gear requirements for the run were posted quite some time ago, and I’ve been steadily improving my gear to reach those numbers since then. I filled in an empty spot at the last minute on Friday’s Kara run, and although the missed the roll on the tier 4 gloves, I picked up Legacy from the Opera event, which was a huge upgrade from Terokk’s Quill, which I’d been toting around for ages.  We ran the heroic daily afterward, plutting me at a grand total of 102 badges.  I bounced right over the badge vendor and spent 100 of them on a shiny new chest piece. I also replaced my Pauldrons of Desolation with the Merciless Gladiator’s Chain Spaulders.  Turns out they gave me a boost in DPS (plus I already had all the honor and AB marks I needed to buy them), though I lost hit to put me below the cap.  I had to make this up with some creative re-gemming, sacrificing some agility and stamina.  I think I could better optimize my gems, but given my limited time before the run, I did the best I could, and still came away with capped hit and pretty darn good crit.  I may need to do some gem shuffling this week, however.  It would also help if I could get my hands on a few more living rubies.  Need to get my jewelcrafter out there to do some farming for these, because they’ve been scarce in the AH.

At any rate, I joined the ZA run fully gemmed and enchanted, with bags filled with extra food, water, and agility elixirs.  With growl turned off, cower turned on, and my riding crop stowed, I entered the raid instance with my guild.  Hee hee hee!  So exciting.

We speedily made our way through the first trash mobs, and then one-shotted Nalorakk under the timer. To my great surprise, I came in second for Damage Done during that fight, although I think I was third for average DPS and pretty well below the number two DPSer.  The number one and two DPSers are good buddies and have a friendly rivalry, so when I came in second, there was a lot of teasing in vent.  Hehe… I was proud of myself because normally I’m high on the DPS list, but a little lower on total damage done because I wait too long to start fighting.  Maybe it’s from all the crappy pugs.  I always want to give the tank a good lead, but I’m slowly learning to get that DPS going sooner.  So, this showing on the meters was a small triumph for me personally.

After this, we ran the Akil’zon gauntlet, and after much chatting about strategy and so forth, we just decided to go for it.  We ran with one tank in the front of the group, one in the back, and the DPS stayed in between, burning down the targets as they were marked.  We were resigned to a wipe on the first try, but amazingly, we got through it in one shot!

Akil’zon took us two tries.  I think we needed the first just to experience the fight and see what he did.  We’d all read about it, but actually being there and doing what you’re supposed to do is a different thing.  This guy is a one-shotter from here on out, I’d guess, just as long as everyone is paying attention and running to the center when they’re supposed to.

And then, there was the path to Jan’alai.  There are scouts patrolling (or with the groups you’re pulling) that call in reinforcements, and although they’re very easy to kill, if you don’t kill the fast enough you can be overrun quickly with adds.  It took a wipe to get our strategy down on this one, part of the problem being keeping in range of the scouts as they ran to bang the drum for reinforcements.  Some of the group pulls were pretty big at this point, too, and some of them felt a bit chaotic.  We did finally make it to Jan’alai, however…

Our first attempt at Jan’alai was over pretty quickly.  Dragonhawks were swooping around and the bird thing was breathing fire in my face.  Although I tried to avoid the fire bombs, I ended up eating gravel and missing most of the fight.  They got him down to 50% or so before we wiped.  The second attempt seemed to go better, overall, though we still didn’t down him, and by the third wipe, I think it was clear we just needed to study this fight a bit more.  None of us really thought we’d make it this far in, and so I’m not sure we were all ready for it (myself included).  We noted we were taking longer breaks between wipes to read about strategy, and finally just decided to call it a night.  Some of the old guard likened it to the guild’s first attempts at Shade in Karazhan.  He’s a bit of a bastard, though we’re usually able to get him within a couple attempts now, depending on what DPS we have with us.  Once we learn this fight, I imagine it will be similar.  We just need to learn the dance.

All in all, amazingly good fun.  I loved the composition of the raid team and look forward to heading back into ZA or Kara with them soon.  I may not get chosen for the next ZA run, since we do have more DPS available than spots for DPSers, but it looks like they’re going to get a consistent rotation established as more people get geared, so I know I’ll get in there again.  In the meantime, I shall start collecting badges for my next badge item upgrades.


4 responses

  1. I’ve managed to see all the bosses killed in ZA, I personally think Jan’Alai and Akil’zon are the toughest two fights in there.

    JA just has a lot going on and the members have to stick to their jobs. My job has been dropping frost traps to slow down the adds coming up the stairs, DPS on the boss and avoiding the fire bombs.

    AZ is easy if everything goes right…painful if Deadly Boss Mods is out of sync.

    My job as a BM hunter in the gauntlet has always been rearguard. I call out the adds when they’re on the way, let the tank pick them up and DSP them down. Sometimes we have a healer on us, sometimes not, but that leaves 7 or 8 team members to tackle the rest of the gauntlet.

  2. @Nas

    That’s awesome! It’s been fun reading about your ZA (and Kara) adventures, and I loved the video of the Sidhe Devils bear fight.

    Lots of folks in our guild feel the same way. I still enjoy Kara, but I haven’t gone through it nearly as many times as the other folks that were on the ZA run. I think the main thing that wears them down is having to explain every fight to the new folks that are along for the ride. Always seems like there’s at least one person that needs an explanation.


    Excellent — thanks for the tips!

    For Akil’zon, we did the trick where we turned the ambient sound all the way up so we could hear the storms coming in, in addition to the cues from DBM. Usually someone announced in vent, “everybody in!” and that helped, too. 🙂

    Jan’alai is a crazy fight. I was on frost trap patrol for the third attempt, but in the end, I think we needed to time the killing the hatcher a bit better. We could have used more AOE in the party, too. I also think I need to look at the fight a bit more before next time, because I’m still not 100% certain I’m standing in the right place.

  3. Ess, here are a couple of macros for when you get to Halazzi – the Lynx boss.

    Target Corrupted Totem

    /target Corrupted
    /cast Arcane Shot

    He’ll drop a corrupted Totem now and then that has the capability to wipe the raid if it’s allowed to live. Use this macro to switch fire from the boss to the totem at a moments notice. Be sure to share it with your other ranged DPS friends, just have them replace Arcane Shot with a high damage instant cast spell.

    Halazzi also splits into troll and lynx forms at regular intervals (75/50/25% HP, I think). The Lynx can potentially run around the room killing squishies until the OT picks him up. Set the OT as your Focus and help him get aggro with this macro.

    /target focus
    /cast Misdirection
    /target Spirit of the Lynx
    /cast Distracting Shot

    Let a couple more shots go off, then switch fire back to Halazzi

    Depending on your groups DPS output, he may shift again before the cooldown on Misdirection is up, so you may only get to use this on the first and third split, but it does help.

    Also for the Halazzi fight, make sure you have Tranq shot on your toolbar.

    That’s all for now!

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