Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Boss Spotlight: Leotheras the Blind

In a continuing effort to educate the community on how Retribution Paladins should approach fights that pose specific difficulties to the class, E4AE proudly presents another "Boss Spotlight!" Stepping into the box today: Leotheras the Blind.

Leotheras the Blind is one of the middle bosses of Serpentshrine Cavern (SSC), the 25-man raid instance in Coilfang Reservoir, located in Zangarmarsh. He is being held captive by the naga there because he went batshit crazy insane when he was training to become a demon hunter under the command of Illidan.

Leo is essentially a demon hunter, akin to Illidan Stormrage in his current state. He dual-wields glaives and can turn into a large, fire-slinging demon every so often. However, that is where the similarities with Illidan end.

In his human form, he whirlwinds, which will put a nasty bleed DoT on anyone who gets caught in it, and resets his threat after each whirlwind. Whirlwind has a 12 second duration and a 15 second cooldown. This phase last for 45 seconds.

He also transforms into said crazy demon thing, which is a phase that lasts 60 seconds. His aggro resets (again), and he starts throwing Chaos Blast around, which does fire damage to his target and anyone around his target. Chaos Blast also leaves a debuff which increases fire damage taken. This phase is normally tanked by someone in fire resist gear. Leo also will summon "Inner Demons" during this phase, which will be linked to single raid members. Each raider that gets targeted by Leo's Insidious Whisper and has a demon spawn on them must kill their demon as quickly as possible, as they are the only ones who can target/kill said demon. If a raider does not succeed in killing his or her demon before Leo transforms back into his human form, the player is mind controlled for the remainder of the fight.

At 15% health, his human and demon form separate, and the raid must deal with both at once. The demon will be at full health, so the DPS must be focused on the human. The human will continue to whirlwind on cooldown, and the demon will continue to Chaos Blast, but the Inner Demons will no longer spawn.

Why are we talking about this boss?
Because of the nature of Leo's whirlwind ability, you will constantly need to run into and out of melee range, long enough so that the Judgements will fade and possibly so long that your Vengeance will run out. These are both terrible facts of the fight. As such, you will feel very handicapped and a bit gimpy in this one. In addition, the constant threat resets after whirlwind and phase changes make managing one's threat a painstaking task at times.

What to do when facing Leotheras the Blind
For his human form, you will likely have to tell your fellow paladins to concentrate on their own tasks and forego their judgements. Otherwise, they'd end up re-judging after every whirlwind. For simplicity's sake, and for maximum raid benefit, judge wisdom and keep that up. Be sure to keep an eye on the whirlwind cooldown and haul ass away from Leotheras before he starts his blade dance of death.

If you, or anyone around you, gets smacked with the bleed DoT from whirlwind, you can use Blessing of Protection to remove it. Divine Shield also removes it. The DoT ticks hard, don't let that wound fester. Get rid of it.

Take it easy during the human phase. Since aggro will reset after each whirlwind, the tank will have to re-establish a lead each time while moving Leo back to the center of the room. It's touchy, give him time. You likely won't do a whole lot of damage during the human phase.

When he transitions into demon phase, lay off to let the fire resist tank grab him. Once aggro is established, dump your cooldowns into him and go nuts. Usually guilds will use a warlock in fire resist gear to tank the demon phase, since he won't melee anyone. Warlocks can build crazy aggro, even in resist gear, so once a lead is established, you can feel free to blast that bastage's behind. If you get an Inner Demon, never fear! Hammer of Justice, Judgement of Command, Exorcism, Crusader Strike, and an auto-attack should take care of it right quick. A paladin should never fear the Inner Demons - they're especially vulnerable to holy and susceptible to stuns.

If at all possible, save your Divine Shield to the end of the fight. When the split at 15% happens, you'll thank the Light you did. You can use your Divine Shield to stay in melee range when he whirlwinds and continue to DPS - getting him down from 15% as quickly as possible is imperative, as the healers will have to be concentrating on two tanks instead of one, and the fire resist tank will eventually get too many debuffs and get one-shot by the Chaos Blast.

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