Well, Draigoch seems to be the topic of the week so I thought I’d chime in with a guide to the fight from a lore-master’s perspective. While my raid group hasn’t managed to get beyond phase 2 yet, mainly because we haven’t really been able to put much time into it with organisational difficulties, I’ve got enough of an impression of the fight from what I’ve seen and reading other guides that I think I can offer some useful tips. This guide will mainly be focussed on preparation and characacter build, because quite frankly the fight itself is pretty boring mechanically. As long as you can follow your DPS group positioning leader and can hit FM buttons correctly, there’s really not much you need to be doing outside of your standard debuff/DPS/spot-heal/power-share role.

Class traits

Typically LMs have a guaranteed spot in a raid for one of three reasons. Either there’s a huge amount of cc or specialised cc needed (think Gortheron, most of the trash in OD, Blind One, Mistress), there’s bosses that hit like trucks and need to be constantly debuffed (Ivar, Durhcest, Watcher) or the fight’s a long endurance fight where you have an invaluable power sharing role (Durin’s Bane, Lieutenant). While it’s rarely optimal to take a second LM in a raid if you have a choice about class makeup, in basically all previous raids LMs have filled an important and almost irreplaceable role in the raid group. Unfortunately, that’s not the case with Draigoch.

Initially I thought this was going to be a fight full of big AOE tactical damage and lots of nasty fire attacks. I was fully expecting the new improved frost lore trait to get a good work out and thought LMs would have a really important role in bringing a unique and powerfull debuff to the table to save the tank and the group from getting roasted. I was wrong. The vast majority of tank and raid damage in this fight is common damage and, with the exception of the rear right claw (bottom left) which, in the first two phases at least, seems to do an extraordinarily high number of dev crits (is it bugged? it’s way out of line with the others), the damage levels really aren’t anything to worry about. Apart from a bit of stress with that bottom right claw, our group was having no problems keeping up with claw damage with just one RK healer and a blue-line cappy. I’ve heard things get a little bit heavier in phase 3, but from all accounts, LM debuffs are not absolutely essential. In addition, for a single boss fight that lasts upwards of an hour, you’d have thought that power sharing might be fairly useful. But the group spends so much time out of combat that it’s essentially irrelevant. And there’s absolutely no CC needed as you’d expect from a lair raid.

Bog Lurker v Dragon

So does this mean LMs are completely useless? Not at all. It just means we need to get a bit creative with our utility. A key part of this fight is FMs and LMs are one of four classes that have the ability to proc FMs, by traiting full blue and using the bog-lurker pet. If you’re lucky enough to be in a raid group that has two burgs then you’re probably going to be able to pop a FM on demand at every opportunity anyway, but if you’re running with just one or (shudder) no burgs (as our group has been forced to a couple of times), then the bog lurker can add valuable FM proccing chance on top of whatever else you can bring. At face value, it’s only a 20% chance on 1min cooldown, but don’t forget that pet skill cooldowns are reset when you resummon and if you’re bringing the bog-lurker, you can dismiss your pet and use combat summoning to get him back once every 5min. So the bog lurker gives you at least two 20% chances of proccing a FM in most of the body/FM phases. Just remember to turn root strike off autocast and only use it when the body isn’t FM immune and a burg isn’t lining up a guaranteed proc FM.

And it just so happens that going full blue isn’t a bad option for the fight anyway, especially if you’re 2-healing it (1 healer with the tank up top and 1 with the group). My recommended traits would be blue capstone and noble savage for legendaries. Class traits should be healer, Light of Hope, Improved Flanking, Improved Inner Flame and either Master of Beasts or Hardy Companion (i’d recommend the former). Coupled with master of the staff and harmony with nature you still do quite respectable single target damage – I was parsing 550-600dps against the claws quite easily in between debuffing and spot healing. Your extra healing ability can come in handy too. Stick continual air lore on whoever in your group is most squishy, and use improved inner flame if the group damage is getting too much (eg. during a cave in). Another interesting thing you can do is use the Limfrain for the final phase. As I said, I’ve heard that group damage is ramping up a bit in this phase and the whole group’s DPS will be greatly boosted thanks to all of the disabling FMs. High group damage + boosted group DPS means that the pseudo-revealing mark from the Limfrain can do a whole lot of raid-wide healing. And you can use its sacrifice and resummon it once every 5min.

Of course, if your group is totally rocking the fight and doesn’t need any extra off-healing from you, you could just go full red line and burn stuff. But I do encourage you to do some personal parses and experiment a bit if you do this. I haven’t been able to do decent testing at level 75 (the training dummies in Galtrev are USELESS because they periodically kick you out of combat and wipe all DOTs), but at level 65 at least the DPS gap between full red and full blue, using staff strike on flanked effects religiously, was actually not as big as you might think in sustained single target fights. And if you’re doing even some spot healing and power sharing, the gap would be even lower. So don’t dismiss blue-line as a potential DPS option, especialy if you use another pet boosting trait instead of, say, improved inner flame.

There is a bit of confusion going around about the causes of Draigoch bugging out and pets have been fingered as a likely cuplrit. As best as I can tell, as long as your pet doesn’t get aggro on any part of the dragon then you’ll be fine. Certainly in my hours in there, our group has never had an issue with it bugging out despite me using my pet EXCEPT on one occasion when we had a second LM who sent his eagle in to attack the head before the tank had grabbed aggro, and it bugged out then. So unless I discover otherwise, I’m going to assume that pets are fine if you control them carefuly.

Equipment and virtues

I’m going to sound like the (rightly) maligned official guide here – wear your T1 armour set and boost your will!

Acutally, it’s not that simple. If you’re traiting blue, you absolutely want to wear at least 3 pieces of the set to get 100% ancient craft uptime. But until you get your 5th piece, which also has another great group-DPS buff, you’re possibly better off wearing something that’s a little less glass cannon than the 122 will/61 fate raid set pieces. The Leecher Cartwell Shoes from the Helegrod Spider wing are an excellent substitue for the raid shoes, swapping 61 vit for 61 fate (you’ll lose 300 tac offence/OHR from the 4 piece set bonus, but the extra 180 morale is better here imo). Also keep an eye out for the Drugoth Clasped Cloak from Helegrod Giants (122 will/61 vit) and pick up a few survivability jewelery pieces such as the crafted Fated Theodred Necklace, Earring of the Mathom Tender (Enguilan campaign), The Brown Wizard’s Band (Eruilan/Enguilan campaign) and Cardolan Plague Doctor’s Ring (Helegrod Spiders) to get you up to about 6500-7000 morale unbuffed. After that, just pump will and fate and relevant secondary stats.

I’ll also endorse at least some of the official guide’s suggestions on Virtues. Zeal, which combines a big chunk of morale with some physical mit, is a no brainer and so is Wisdom. Beyond that, any 3 of Compassion (physical mit), Innocence (Physical mit), Idealism (Fate), Valour (Morale) or Justice (Morale/ICMR) will serve you fine.

Anyway, I wish you luck in killing the big beast and have fun!