So a few weeks (posts?) ago I talked about healing Vezax while using a Sheathadin or ProtHeal spec. Both specs are kind of gimmicky for this fight, and while they certainly have a place, it seems silly to spec into them for one fight only.
This week we got him down in 25 man as well, and we did it (at the end) gimmick free. We would have had the server first, but Solace beat us by about 30 minutes (did the same to us on Mimiron /shakesfist) due to a gimmick going bad on our 2nd or 3rd pull (explained below).
Abilities and Counters
Shadow Crash - Fires a shadow missile at a target, dealing 11,310 to 12,690 Shadow damage to all enemies near the impact point and knocking them away. After impact, leaves an energy field that lingers for 20 seconds, increasing magical damage dealt by 100%, increasing casting speed by 100%, reducing healing done by 75%, and reducing mana costs by 70%. He will not cast this on players within 15 yards of him.
Counter - Stay on your toes. DBM will put a mark up on whomever is being targeted, and everyone needs to move away. One of two easily avoidable sources of damage to the raid - nobody should ever be caught in this. I will admit it was funny the first time I saw our entire caster group fly across the room though.
Epic fail - It's possible to avoid this by standing with the melee/tank, however our server first attempt was blown due to a healer getting about one yard too far away, and having a shadow crash land on the tank. This was one of those moments that happens in slow motion - I saw the tree standing too close, hit my PTT button, and started to say something - right as the raid warning came up for the crash. "Shit, move man - too close to the tank..NOOOOO".
When we finally got him we pulled everyone out into crash range where they were supposed to be. Stupid gimmicks.
Searing Flames - Deals 13,875 to 16,125 Fire damage to all enemies within 100 yards, super heating their armor and reducing its ability to protect them by 75% for 10 seconds (2-seconds cast time, 5-seconds cooldown, interruptable).
Counter - We had two groups of two, with two backups. Our groups were two rogues, and a rogue and Fury warrior - with a DK and ret pally ready in case they twitched and fired the interrupt early. You can't miss the swirly red rings around him when he's doing this, you don't even need your cast bars turned on.
Epic Fail - Rogues were messing around and one put ToT on the other. 2nd rogue died on the pull, got a BR, but rogue one was so confused that he lost the rotation count. Resolved this by beating rogue one (sounds like Star Wars call signs) with a rubber chicken. And making him listen to a train set for five minutes.
Surge of Darkness - Empowers the caster with dark might, increasing physical damage by 100% but reducing movement speed by 55% for 10 seconds. (Self-buff on Vezax; you have to kite him around the room while the buff is up. Lasts 10 seconds)
Counter - Kite/shmite - our tank just knuckled down and ate it. It occurs about once a minute, so it works well with Cooldowns. In 10 man we just use one (same tank), his Icebound Fort, then Pain Suppression, then Hand of Sacrifice, repeat. In the 25 man we had to double up - one DK CD and one healer CD. We rotated through our Divine Pleas and Hand of Sacrifices with nary an issue.
Mark of the Faceless - Inflicts an ancient malediction on a target, siphoning 5000 health every second from enemies near the target, for 10 seconds. Heals General Vezax for 100,000 per tick.
Counter - I'm sure we hit him with a few ticks, but basically you have to be smart and run away when this happens. Nothing but raid awareness can beat this.
Aura of Despair - Prevents mana regeneration throughout the fight by all means, except for Judgements of the Wise, Spiritual Attunement, Aspect of the Viper, Thrill of the Hunt, and Shamanistic Rage. Note: Unlike the public test realm version of this encounter, mana potions and active abilities such as Evocation and Life Tap do not function.
Counter - Our seven healers were broken down in to two three man teams. Each team would rotate doing nothing/standing in Saronite while the other would heal the tank. Our seventh healer was our Disc priest who shielded the healers in Saronite, and topped them off.
Gimmicks may get you through once in a while, but doing it the right way felt so much better. I really enjoy this fight because I can't just spam my heals - I actually have to stopcasting and watch my mana bar. I wouldn't want this mechanic all the time, but I'm glad to see Blizzard working to keep the encounters different.
Now on to Sara and her clouds of gas.