Thursday, August 14, 2008

Boss Spotlight: Kalecgos

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!" In today's crosshairs: Kalecgos.

Kalecgos is a blue dragon, of the same family as Azuregos in Azshara and Sapphiron, currently under the control of the Scourge in Naxxramas. The Blue Dragonflight governs the domain of magic, and because of this, any time you have to go toe-to-toe with a blue dragon in battle, you're in for a fight wrought with magical mayhem. Kalecgos was sent to Quel'Thalas to investigate the situation surrounding the Sunwell, but when he arrived there, a series of events transpired that ended in the dreadlord Sathrovarr the Corruptor possessing the mighty blue dragon. Since Kalecgos is actually an ally in the efforts against the Burning Legion, the fight does not end with his death - the raid must break Sathrovarr's hold over Kalec. This is done by reducing both Sathrovarr's and dragon Kalecgos's hit points down to 1%.

Why are we talking about this boss?
Kalecgos is a two-phase fight, but not in the sense that you're most likely used to. The normal sort of two-phase fight sees a boss use one set of abilities and then switch to another, like High King Maulgar when he puts away his mace, or Illidan as he swaps between his human and demon phases. Kalecgos has two entirely separate targets that need to be killed, and raiders can only have access to one at a time. Here's what happens -

Kalec starts in the middle of circular plaza, and hostile. Once aggro'd, after a few seconds he will put up a magic barrier that prevents raiders from leaving the plaza. He throws around a bunch of "Wild Magic" debuffs, most of which do not concern you. There's one that ups your threat production - that's one you need to be careful with. The abilities that concern us here are his Arcane Buffet and Spectral Blast. Arcane Buffet will deal arcane-based damage and stack a DoT that deals arcane damage as well as increase arcane damage taken. It can be pretty dangerous when stacked past 8 or so. Spectral Blast, on the other hand, is an instant ability that Kalec will cast periodically that teleports the target into the "Spectral Realm," leave a portal behind that allows others to enter the realm, and deals a fair amount of arcane damage to anyone standing about 10 yards from the original target. The Spectral Realm is where you will find Sathrovarr, locked in combat with a half-elf form of Kalecgos. Those who enter the Spectral Realm will only stay there for 60 seconds, and cannot re-enter the realm for 60 seconds after exiting.

The rub in this fight is harsh, however. If Sathrovarr kills the Spectral Realm Kalec, the fight resets. If Kalecgos or Sathrovarr hit 10% health, they both enrage and start absolutely thrashing their targets. If dragon Kalecgos hits 1% health while Sathrovarr is still active, he gets banished and stops spawning portals via Spectral Blast (making it impossible for additional raiders to get to Sathrovarr). Needless to say, great care must be taken with this fight.

What to do when facing Kalecgos
The keys to defeating this boss are: a) good Spectral Realm portal rotations (having the right people enter the portal when they're supposed to); b) evenly-split damage on both Kalecgos and Sathrovarr; c) tight healing. You, as a retribution paladin, can't do much about (c), but you can most certainly contribute to (a) and (b).

Depending on how your raid splits up their groups, you will be assigned to a certain "portal group." It is imperative that you know who else is in your portal group, and proceed directly to the portal when it spawns on one of your group's members. Spam-click the portal when you get in range - you must enter the portal when your group is up, otherwise you can potentially throw the entire raid off.

Watch your Arcane Buffet stacks. If Kalecgos takes his time in Spectral Blast'ing someone in your group, don't hesitate to use Divine Shield to clear your debuff stack. I usually do so somewhere around 8-10 stacks. Related to this, do not stand close to others. Kalecgos will randomly select his Spectral Blast target from among the raid members who are not either in the Spectral Realm or suffering from Spectral Exhaustion (the debuff that leaving the Spectral Realm causes). At the start of the fight, that means everyone (excluding the main tank) is a potential target. Spectral Blast can cause 5k base damage to anyone standing too close - Arcane Buffet amplifies it, so you can easily get "wtfpwned" by a Spectral Blast with too many debuffs on you. Watch your range relative to others, and find a spot where you can DPS Kalecgos without being in range of a Spectral Blast on someone. Most often this means only 2 melee per side on Kalecgos - one by his front paw, and the other at max range by his hind leg.

Take it easy on Kalecgos's dragon form - neither he nor Sathrovarr have a ton of health, but Sathrovarr usually needs to die first. Use Crusader Strike and Judgement on the dragon, and maybe throw some Consecration in, but save your cooldowns for Sathrovarr.

Once you're in the Spectral Realm, get behind Sathrovarr and unleash hell. Pop trinkets, use your wings, cast Exorcism and max rank Consecration. You only have 60 seconds of alone time with the dreadlord, so make it count. Your raid will likely have shamans using Heroism when their group is in the Spectral Realm, so it's a great time to stack the cooldowns anyway. Make sure to get a Judgement of the Crusader up on Sathrovarr too - it ups your damage and everyone else's crit %, and that's never a bad thing.

When you are teleported back to the "real world" where the dragon is located, assume your original positioning, rinse and repeat. Don't be afraid of your healthstones/health potions, there's a lot of raid damage and if you temper your mana consumption vs. the dragon, Spiritual Attunement should keep you going throughout the fight without having to use mana potions. Everything else is basically in the healers' hands and a test of awareness of the raid.

So, to recap:

  • Use your cooldowns on the demon, Sathrovarr

  • Don't stand too close to other people in the dragon phase

  • Bubble off Arcane Buffet if it stacks too high

  • Know who's in your portal group, and hoof it to the portal pronto when it spawns on someone in your group

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