I’m going to continue on my Tower of Orthanc raid guide series this week by heading into the penultimate wing of the raid – Shadow, the first of two wings within the Tower of Orthanc proper. Although the door to the Tower was temporary closed for business immediately following Update 6, Turbine seems to have figured out how to pick Sauraman’s new lock following 6.01 so this boss is now accessible again. I do plan on taking a look over the new Update 6 content, including the new rep gear, in a later Lore-Mastery post, but I haven’t quite had a chance to get my head around it all yet so I’ll hold that off for a future week.

Shadow Wing Tier 1

I gotta say, this wing is a real letdown in the overall context of the raid. There are a lot of similarities between ToO and OD in terms of analogous fights and similar structure, but with this wing (on tier 1 at least) the difficulty ramp is way off. In theory this should be analogous to Ivar; the gatekeeper to the final boss and the first boss which you have no choice in what order you do the fight. And in fact you can kind of see that there were meant to be some similarities between this fight and Ivar – the emphasis on shadow damage, the (intended) DPS race element and a one-tank fight with some mechanics that make it harder for a tank to keep up threat. But whereas even on T1, Ivar was a relatively challenging fight and certainly on par or above the difficulty of the previous wings, this fight is an absolute joke on T1. And that goes not only for the boss fight, but the trash as well. So I’ll do my best to explain this fight, but if it all feels a bit half hearted this week it’s because this wing is so undertuned that you can pretty much just zerg it with minimal strategy and win.

Trash

The trash in this wing is the easiest out of all the wings. In fact it’s so easy, it looks like I haven’t bothered to take any notes on it so I’m writing this off memory – if I get some numbers or names wrong, I apologise. There are two pulls consisting of (approximately) the following mobs:

  • Trash pull 1: 2 orc healers, 2x uruk-hai orcs, 2x shak-hai orcs.
  • Trash pull 2: 2 orc healers, ~5x uruk-hai orcs, 1x shak-hai orc.

And details:

  • Orc Healers (33k): Abilities – healing puddles, healing inductions. These are your cc targets, keep them mezzed and kill them last to avoid annoying healing puddles popping up everywhere. There is one to the left and one to the right of each pull. It’s possible to line yourself up without activating the pull to get them in cc range for the first pull but not the second; just get ready to run in and mez them ASAP on the second pull.
  • Uruk-hai orcs (33k): Abilities – bloodlust. These aren’t dangerous on their own, but they can do some pretty nasty AOE damage on the second pull if kept in proximity to the shak-hais. On the first pull just kill the two quickly without trouble, and as long as they are kept separate from the Shak-hai’s on the second pull, they can be AOE-ed down pretty quickly. It’s possible to root them to start the second pull, but be aware that this will trigger the bloodlust buff if you don’t start letting them hit something which can get pretty nasty.
  • Shak-hai orcs (160k): Abilities – immunity to cc, positional damage aura buff. It doesn’t really matter what you do with these on the first pull (just assigning one Shak and one Uruk to each tank should be fine), but on the second pull you really want to pull the Shak-Hai away from the big mob of Uruk’s or else the raid will probably implode under all the AOE damage. I’m not quite sure why the Shak-hai’s buff is described as “positional damage”, because mobs almost never do true positional damage (they basically never hit a target from behind), what it actually seems to do is trigger their AOE damage. Either way, have a tank run in and pick up all the uruk’s and another tank challenge the Shak-hai off to a side room and you should be fine.

Boss fight – Bukot (Orc-kind, 1.53m)

And so we come to the boss. The thing you need to remember about this boss, on Tier 1 at least, is to stand still. Purple cloud? Stand still. Black cloud? stand still. No cloud? Stand still. Root? Stand still. Just stand still, do your thing and wing. There are actually mechanics in this fight, it’s just that they’re pretty well ignorable on T1:

  • Purple cloud: “Choke and die on my noxious fumes”. Bukot regularly summons a purple cloud at his feet, that has a radius of about 15m. This cloud is certainly annoying. It does a moderate amount of damage to anyone standing in it and it slows your skill inductions and attack duration significantly. It also activates a self heal on the boss in the final ~50% of his morale if he stands in it. Despite all of this, I highly, highly recommend that you ignore it. Most guides I’ve seen out there say that you should move out of this cloud but at the end of the day, this cloud will only annoy you – it will not wipe you. Moving, however, is basically the only thing in this wing that has the potential to wipe you (see the next mechanic), so just have your whole raid position itself correctly at the start (ranged/healers outside of the purple cloud range, both tanks in front of the boss, melee behind the boss) and instruct everyone to stay still for the entire fight no matter what.

    Now, one issue here is that everyone in the purple cloud, including the tank will, be suffering under an ultimately stacking +AD and +induction debuff which sharply limits the amount of threat the tank (well, a guardian tank anyway – not sure about wardens) can generate. So it is absolutely imperative that your ranged DPS go very, very slow on DPS to start and just not pull threat over the course of the fight. Make sure your champs are dumping aggro and your tank knows to spam all their high threat gen skills as much as they can, because the last thing you want is for a hunter to pull aggro while there is a black cloud because then the tank will die if he tries to move and pick up the boss again. One trick I’ve done is stay in melee range for the fight and use my bear as a panic button in these circumstances. It requires a bit of micromanagement (you have to use the force taunt and then put the bear on follow to bring him back to you), and you have to trust your healers because in light armour the purple cloud will do quite a bit of damage to you (build for high morale), but it’s a decent option for recovery if a hunter pulls aggro.

  • Black cloud: “I call forth the night!”. This is the only mechanic in the fight that has a realistic chance of wiping you, and only if you move. So don’t move, it’s pretty simple. This puddle, which also spawns at Bukot’s feet, does a massive amount of damage to anyone moving in it (I’m not sure exactly, but it’s at least a couple of thousand damage per second of moving, perhaps as much as 4-5k), along with a further +AD and +induction debuff. It can stack with the purple puddle.
  • Roots: “The tendrils of the dark hold you !” Once he’s sub-50% morale, Bukot will summon a fairly damaging root under a random player’s feet. Simply have a ranged DPS on RAT and make sure they and all other ranged DPS (including you) switch to it and burn it down ASAP.

  • Incoming gealing debuff: I’m not sure what the callout for this is, but Bukot can put a 75% incoming healing debuff on your tank. Quite frankly, the amount of damage he does is so small that it’s possible to just heal through this (I’ve seen a hunter tank the boss for ~30% of the fight…), but if you want to do it ‘right’ then you can have another tank pickup aggro when this happens until the debuff wears off.
  • Full-heal effect: I wasn’t sure what to call this one, but he can also do a callout which puts an icon on a random player (no screenshot sorry). This player needs to be healed to full or else they get one-shotted after about 10s. It’s not that difficult to deal with (as I’ve said many times, incoming damage here is quite low and rally cry procs from the dying roots will keep everyone toppe dup), your healers just need to be aware of this and deal with it appropriately.
  • Enrage timer: Throughout the whole fight, the walls of the room (which are insta-death purple) will slowly, very slowly, close in. If you take an inordinate amount of time to finish the fight (>10m) then you will die. This is a very, very generous enrage timer – raid wide DPS only needs to be ~2,500 to meet it which implies that your DPS characters only need to do about 600 DPS even if you only have 4 dedicated DPS slots, and that’s ignoring the damage output of the tank(s) and support classes.

Looking at it, you can certainly see that this has all the pieces in place for an interesting fight. It’s just that the tuning is so low on T1 that you can pretty much ignore everything and stand in one spot and do your thing, which is a real disappointment for the penultimate boss in this raid.