This is a guide to completing Zul'aman with 4 bosses under timer, or to use the vernacular a "Bear run". It will cover variables such as gear and class composition, which are flexible and can be changed, depending on your own personal group make up, skill, and gear level. It will also discuss each of the four bosses in detail, their trash, and how to effectively approach them in order to reduce time and clear them all under timer in order to get the coveted Amani War Bear, and hopefully some gear along the way. While some of the requirements are aimed specifically at Timed runs, they are also recommended to anyone who is trying to put together a successful ZA group.
Bear run is about trash, not boss content. Pauses between pulls, unnecessary deaths, downtime for drinking will all add time, 5 seconds here, 10 seconds there. Over the course of 35-40 minutes and 4 bosses worth of trash all those little breaks add up to 5-8 minutes. So trash has the most potential for gaining and losing time over a run. The second biggest potential for lost time is looting, with the exception of Eagle boss all the bosses will be there to loot at the end of the run. As soon as a boss is down you need to move, wasting 20-40 seconds (or longer) after each boss is dead adds up to minutes as well. Just mount up and move to the next encounter.
DPS at no time can pull aggro. It slows other dps, forces tank to pop cools and is massive drain on healers mana when they do not have time to sit and drink between pulls. Also a res takes 10 seconds to cast.
ZA is an instance that is very unforgiving of mistakes, poor group balance or being undergeared. So it is essential that you have the proper balance and gear in order to tackle it for a timed run. Every player should be aware that you will need slightly less than 1 hour of their uninterrupted time. There will be no /afk, no alt+tabbing, carelessness can and will be the difference between a bear mount or nothing.
The absolute bare minimum for gear is SSC/TK with a mix of t4, blues should be entirely replaced with the exception of slots such as trinkets and you will be looking at minimum requirements equivalent to entering SSC/TK:Eye. Ideally you will be looking for people with a fair mix of T6 loot as well. Gear and skill as always are interchangeable, but if the entire 10 man is in Kara gear then your chances of clearing under time is non-existant so you truly will be looking for people who have SSC/TK raiding or higher.
You will want a Paladin (Prot or Holy) for Blessing of Salvation, A shaman with Windfury greatly helps as well. A even mix of Melee and Caster if favoured.
2 Tank - 1 Prot Warrior 15K HP unbuffed or higher, uncrittable, uncrushable. Next tank is your choice and entirely dependant on skill and availability but you will want either a Feral Druid or a Prot Pally.
3 Healers 2-3 depending on gear. If either your healers or your tanks are less than BT/Hyjal ready then I recommend 3 healers. 1 Priest is definitely recommended for circle of healing, the other two options should balance each other out.
5 DPS You are mainly looking to balance a melee dps group, and a caster/healer group. Each person should be able to push 900+ dps (minimum again) in a normal 25 man raid. You will not need CC for the most part. A strong blend of single target and aoe dps should be considered mandatory as well since at parts such as Eagle Boss Gauntlet, Dragonhawk hatchlings you will have a definite need to AOE or else you will simply be overwhelmed no matter how strong your dps/tanks/heals are. I recommend at least 2 classes capable of aoe whether it be a Warlock (SS, Healthstones allow for a certain amount of "woops") a mage or even a properly geared elemental shammy. The instance is surprisingly flexible in group make up as long as you have balance and don't overload a class. So there is no "super group" per se, it is more based on your individual raid and player skill and teamwork.
a)Proper gemming, PvE raid spec, and consumable use on behalf of all members of the 10 man are part of the necessary focus needed to get the 4 animal bosses downed under timer. As always there is room for lee-way but the more irregularities you have the more others will have to pick up the slack.
b) You do not have time to mark targets, unless you know someone who can do it under 3 seconds (max). Assign a main assist, have people use an assist macro. Have then start on Main tanks target. Focus fired dps, with smooth and collected transitions between targets is a HUGE part of a successful ZA.
c) Assign healers to tanks, raid healing etc for trash and boss fights but remind them that despite job assignments they need to be flexible.
d) Communicate. Call out a problem before it is a wipe, use it to call movement, pats, debuffs etc.
e) No downtime, you have to move at all times. Drink where you can but don't expect to get more than 5 seconds tops before the next pull. Move move move, kill kill kill. 10 seconds here or there add up to minutes, which add up to make or break.
You start with 20 minutes. Eagle boss adds 10 minutes, Bear Boss adds 15 minutes additional bosses add no time. Meaning you have 45 minutes total in which to clear all the trash and 4 avatar bosses in ZA.
Once everyone is inside the instance, buffed, consumabled up and ready to go for the next hour or so you can start by simply banging the gong. The doors will open, and elites will spawn along with a a swarm of non elites. Burn these fast, and move down stairs. Get off the stone and onto grass as soon as possible, mount up and be ready for your first boss.
Time to Clear 5-6 minutes Total
Avoid the pat at the bottom of the stairs, upon entering the path an event will start. This is equivalent to the Gauntlet in Shattered Halls. Every so often mobs will spawn and come at you until you get to the end and kill a specific target. Be aware birds are non elite, come from the front, Amani trolls are elite and come from behind in pairs of two they hit like girls though. There is also regular trash along the way that needs to be handled. Forward momentum is key here since unless you can get to the end and stop the mobs from spawning you will continually get swamped. One tank will be on front, one will watch back. Grab mobs and move forward. Prot or Holy Pally will pick up swarms of birds. AOE, mixed with focus fire on elite mobs. You should be able to start the next pull when the last one is at 30%. Mages and Warlocks make having the AOE necessary to move forward a none issue.
Spread equally around the box on which he stands. Tank should position him in the middle of the box. Use DBM range finder to avoid chain lightning jumping otherwise the splash damage will quickly outpace your healers mana pool. Assign raid healer and tank healers. Assign a trustworthy person to calling lightning storm, at 15 seconds announce it, at 10 seconds announce that raid should FOLD, meaning all come in on boss. Chain lighting will hit once, but it is easily healable and this strat will completely negate Electrical Storm which is the only real worry of the fight. After each Electrical storm 5-6 birds will spawn, they each hit for 1,500 every 5-6 seconds. A warlock with Seed of Corruption can clear them out if they are a problem, or if dps is steady and healing is a non issue then just ignore them. Rinse and repeat spreading out and folding in.
Once boss is down skip loot, do not drink, do no pass go, get mounted and head straight to Nalorakk trash~! Remember not even 5 seconds downtime, you need to move.
Time to Clear 12-13 minutes tops.
The pat should still be there, clear it fast and get to start of Bear encounter. Trash is mundane for the most part, and should be approached quickly and burned with absolutely no downtime between one pull and the next. Once again if you are going more than 5 seconds between last mob dying and next pull happening you need to move faster. If someone needs to drink, fine but pull should happen while they are drinking. Medicine Men can be burned first, or CC'd/MC'd to keep them out of the fight until you are ready for them. The Amani'shi Warbringersright before Nalorakk should be taken seriously, they have burst damage that if unanticipated can kill tanks. ***Tanks should separate the Amani'shi Warbringers since the debuff "furious roar" (25% more damage) will stack up to 200% as well as the attack speed increase***. Once rider dismounts both the bear and rider are CC'able.
Nalorakk has 2 phases, Troll and Bear. A tank will be assigned to MT each phase and the transition should happen the moment forms are changed. This is important because the Troll phase will put Mangle on tank which causes 100% bleed damage, bear form uses lacerating slash a bleed effect for 1735 damage every 2 sec. (18 sec duration) and rend flesh another bleed effect which ticks for for 2335 damage every 1 sec for 5 seconds total. Simply put if a tank with bleed debuff tanks bear phase he is going to die, period. During Troll phase tanks should both stand in front to share damage from Brutal Strike a cleave that hits for 14k damage. Other than this it truly is a straight tank and spank encounter with some endurance requirements thanks to it being a 6 min long fight. Healers be aware of silence during bear form, over heal tank and keep HoT's up at all time. Mages can help the healers out by casting Amplify Magic on the tanks before the fight. Heroisms can be popped on this encounter if you wish.
Total time to clear Trash + Boss 9-11 minutes
The trash coming to Jan'alai is some of the most unforgiving in the entire game if you don't pay attention, Sunwell included.
Non elites scouts will pat, if they spot you they will call in elite guards. If this happens more than once and you will have lost enough time to make a break a run. These scouts spawn at specific points at random times, move slowly so learn to grow eyes in the back of your head. If one is spotted in the middle of a fight ranged dps should change targets, a 5 count should be done calmly and all dps should hit him at same time. They only have 6k health, and move slowly so as long as you keep your eyes open and range hits him at once it is a non issue. **** Shamans MUST use Totemic Recall each time you move****
Aman'shi Flame Caster. Unsheepable (guards with them auto cleanse it), also has a spell haste buff which lowers cast time considerably. They cast fire that will hit everyone in the raid for more than healers can heal for. The good news is that the spell haste buff can be dispelled or spell stolen, next a rogue can lock one up without much of a problem. It is possible to MC them, or sheep then MC to keep from being cleansed. Get rid of the haste and kick/pummel and it should be a non issue. Alternately you can have a Mage chain spam Sheep on the caster to break his spell casts and keep him out of the fight.
Coles notes: Move as a group, count down and cast as a group on Scouts. Watch behind you. Keep Flamecasters locked up and burned down first.
- This fight presents 3 challenges. 1) Dealing with Additional mobs 2) Positioning, both for AOE cone breath and FireBombs and finally 3) An Enrage timer.
First trick is negating AOE fire breath. Simply have MT with a healer move off across the ramp into 1 or the 2 egg platforms. This cuts down on splash damage on raid and leaves them free to deal with problem 2, the mobs. Every 90 seconds 2 hatchers are called, one should be killed outright, the other left to hatch eggs (though 1 dps should be given the job of killing 1 and having the other at 50% health so when it is time to kill him there is no error factor). Exactly how many eggs are cracked is up to your raid, some people can handle an entire side at once. Others will prefer 4-5 breaks at a time. Once again personal preference and fine tuning strat to your individual raid set up. Have Earthbind Totem or Frost Trap on bridge between egg platform and main platform to slow mobs and allow your AOE to do their job and burn them down.
Midway through clearing first set of Hatchlings Jan'alai will port back to the center off the platform with everyone in raid. He will immediately spout "firebombs" randomly across main platform. They have a 10 second timer, a 5 yard range and do 5k or so damage. Your raid has 10 seconds to space out and get safe from bombs. 10 seconds is a veritable life time to get safe but if for some reason something random happens rogues can CoS, mages can Iceblock, Pallies can bubble etc to avoid damage. The less splash damage taken the better since healers will be healing intensely later on and during adds.
Breaking eggs and Firebombs will be rinsed and repeated a couple times. Eggs should be cleared fast or else all remaining eggs spawn at 35%. Firebombs throughout entire fight.
At 5 minutes OR 25% health (whichever comes first, hopefully 25% if you want your mount) he will Enrage increasing damage done and attack speed by 50%. At this point increase heals on MT. Just watch firebombs, steady dps and burn him down. If Heroism is up blow it to speed through Enrage.
Time to clear 12-15 minutes
At this point time will be tight. Ideally you will be looking for 11 min or more left on timer in order to clear the trash and the boss (which should go down in 4 min or less). At this point it is common for people to feel the need to start rushing. The best advice I can give is to keep the pace up but not to get reckless, that is where mistakes happen. Keep cool, communicate about pulls and use vent.
Do you have 4 minutes left on your timer? Grats you have a bear mount! Keep it cool, keep it steady and dps smart don't pull aggro.
This boss is relatively tank and spank in phase 1, main pressure is on tanks and healers. The only things to watch for are to make sure that the tanks are stacked so as to split the cleave. Healing assignments should be handed out, heals on MT, person to top off OT and reminder to cleanse Flame Shock when it happens in P2.
Phase 2 there is no aggro reset, MT stays on Halazzi, OT must be quick to pick up the Lynx so it doesn't kill DPS or Healers. All dps stays on Halazzi and burns him, ignoring the Lynx. Melee (or range depending on how you like to roll) will have a macro set up to kill the Corrupted Lightning Totem, which ticks for 5k lightning damage which can chain to other players (so spread out) it only has 10k health though and if your dps are on their game it dies after the first tick. If not your healers are soon going to get overwhelmed and splash damage will put the raid in danger. Rinse and repeat, beware last 25% totems will be popped out so keep an eye out.
If you have reached Halazzi with 4-5 minutes left on timer you should be able to burn him down relatively quickly seeing as he only has 600,000 health.
It will more than likely take a static group 2-3 runs to get the familiarity with the instance and trash as well as group teamwork/cohesion necessary fine tuned. You should look clear 3 bosses under timer on your first couple runs and to focus on where you lost time.