Monday, June 29, 2009


... down in 25 man after 14 attempts.



OK it's the next morning now and I'm reflecting on last night's guild first drop of Thorim. It's an infuriating fight as it can be so dependent on individuals. Neither WoWWiki nor Encrypted Text offer much in the way of useful strategic advice either, so I will try to explain things from the rogue perspective. (please note: I do generally find Chase Christian's Encrypted Text very useful, and I have a great deal of respect for his knowledge and contribution to the rogue community, but I just don't find that Rogue in Ulduar series very useful. Feel free to disagree with me.)

In the first part of the fight, you run in en masse and take out 6 mobs in the arena while Thorim watches. This is dead easy. Target the healer, then the big worm, then AoE the others. Don't pull aggro, DPS, done.

The next part is arguably the hardest. The raid will split in two - one group heading off down the tunnel to get to Thorim, and the remainder staying in the arena to take down the spectators who jump into the fight. Rogues will generally remain in the arena and not be part of the tunnel group, due to the extreme usefulness of Dismantle and Kick for the Dark Rune Champions and Dark Rune Evokers.

As a rogue, your priorities are the Champions, then the Evokers. One of each will run into the group about every 25 seconds (on 25 man). That means that with two rogues you can Dismantle two in every three Champions, and with three rogues every Champion can be Dismantled. You need to do this because the Champion's Whirlwind is a healer-killer (and the healers can't stand back due to the charged orbs - everyone is in the middle). The Champions usually start their Whirlwind about 3-5 seconds after engaging in melee, so the 3 second mark is the right time to Dismantle them.

I found that Dismantle does not trigger if someone has already used theirs on that mob, so don't stress too much about setting up a rotation (we did it with 3 rogues). If they do get off a non-Dismantled Whirlwind, try Kick. I had mixed success with Kick - sometimes it seemed to work and others it didn't. Same with Feint - sometimes it seems to reduce damage from the Whirlwind and others not. Burn down the Champions as fast as possible, ideally within the 10 second window of Dismantle, but as each has 300k HP that's not an easy task. A combat rogue specced for Throwing Specialization is invaluable here, and I would say almost a necessity for the FoK interrupts on the Evokers.

Aggro is a big issue in the arena. There are lots of mobs streaming in and it is very busy for the tanks. Help out where you can by tricking the Champions onto your designated Champion tank but be very careful when tricks is on cooldown. If you cop a Mortal Strike, you'll die. If you're like me, you'll cop one very early in what turned out to be a near miss attempt, and realise that if you hadn't died, your DPS would have been the difference between a 4% wipe and a win. Not a nice thought.

So you've got the Champions figured out. Whenever possible, you need to help with interrupts on the Evokers. Both Runic Lightning and Runic Mending need to be suppressed wherever possible.

I find /target macros very useful in this fight as there are a LOT of mobs and picking out the Evokers and Champions can be hard. Some suggest using an /assist macro, but I think that the tanks are going to be switching targets too often for this to be a viable strategy. I have one /target macro for each type, and simply keep an eye on the edge of the arena waiting for one to run in, face it, and hit the macro to target. Don't just spam it, because you will target Champions and Evokers in the bleachers who haven't joined the fight yet.

Mutilate rogues may find that they are way down the meters on this phase. It seems to be a particular mechanic, with waves of tough trash, that the fights are too long for our nice opening burst to make too much difference, but too short to be able to reliably keep SnD and HfB up. Combat rogues own Thorim's arena.

So you do the arena for some time while the other group fights their way to Thorim. If you lose anyone in the arena, it will start to overwhelm you and you won't last long enough for the other group to bring Thorim down. Stay alive, take care of the Champions and Evokers, and clean the last of the adds down when Thorim jumps down. Then it's time for the final phase.

Aggro shouldn't be a problem in the final phase, but use Vanish offensively anyway. Depending on your raid makeup, you should consider trading tricks with another rogue to maximise DPS to beat the enrage timer; however if you find that DPS with no threat wipe ability (e.g. Shadow Priests) are having to back off, give your tank a hand.

Two of Thorim's abilities will kill you very quickly. Lightning Charge is relatively easy to see and avoid - one of the orbs will start to zap Thorim with lightning, and you need to stay out of a 60 degree cone around the lightning stream. Or you will die. It can be cloaked if you get caught.

The other is Chain Lightning, which chains up to 8 times. If my math is correct, the 50% increased damage on each chain means that if you're 8th in the chain, you'll take between 79k and 92k damage. One shot much? You don't want to be more than fourth in that chain or it's crispy rogue for Thorim's post-wipe snack. So how do you avoid it? You don't, but you can minimise it same as you did on KT. Put lucky charms on two melee DPS, and have them at 4 o'clock and 8'oclock with the tank at 12 o'clock. Split the melee stacking on those two marked melee. Stay out of range (set DBM /range to 11 yards) of the other stack and the tank, and you shouldn't have more than 4 within range of an arc. If your group is very melee heavy, you're in trouble. The 5th arc is 23-27k.

Of course it will be chaos during the regular Lightning Charges, when you have to abandon your lovely 12-4-8 triangle and avoid the lightning cone. But as soon as that's done, go back to your stack. It's tough on melee. Real tough. And someone else's positioning mistake can and will cost you your life.

Good luck my roguely friends.


  1. This was the most satisfying kill for me since we downed Morogrim Tidewalker in SSC way back when. It's a fight where absolutely the whole raid has to get everything letter perfect or you are going to wipe. I love the way this fight focuses your attention. I'm sorry I bagged you out over vent for that early death Cat, it was meant to be playful but you do take these things to heart don't you? I can certainly attest to the horrific effect on being on the receiving end of a chain lightning, I had thought things were going swimmingly when suddenly I was reduced to observer status. Very frustrating to be studying the tiles in a progression fight.

  2. Haha, nah I don't take it too much to heart usually, it's just that time I had already given myself a bollocking for dying so early on and so avoidably :D

    Was it you that suggested I should be soulstoned? That hurt like fire! :P