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Warlock Challenge Mode Gold Guides31 replies to this topic
Posted 14 December 2012 - 07:52 PM
I take no responsibility for anything said in the videos that may be not-PG 13
I do all of the Challenge Modes as Affliction. You can be Demonology for the great trash AoE, but Affliction doesn't do terrible, and as proven in these videos, it is more than sufficient for the runs.
Talent choices are also on an individual basis, but I CANNOT stress enough how great Shadowfury is to interrupt casts and alleviate tank damage. Me and my Prot Paladin developed great synergy so that when he was in between cooldowns, I used Shadowfury.
In no particular order:
GATE OF THE SETTING SUN
This dungeon was incredibly short and easy. I think we pulled it off on the 2nd attempt, therefore we have no video. As a Warlock, there's really nothing special to be done. Keep your Shadowfury flying to dilute tank damage and do as much damage as possible. There is a low number of enemies that needs to be killed here, and the only trash you skip is the trash right before the 2nd boss's elevator...you just need to hard CC two of the three mobs. Usually you'll rely on other's CC to get past this (Polymorph, Trap, Hex, etc) but Fear can be used if needed. This is, in my opinion, the easiest dungeon to get Gold in Challenge mode.
SCHOLOMANCE (15 sec Invisibility Potion required)
Scholomance was a monster Challenge Mode, but the time constraint is not that serious. Executing great trash DPS is where you'll save the most time. The first two mobs in the dungeon are the first time sucker, but that's all they are. In the first boss room, your tank will want to pull the boss as he falls to the floor to trigger the boss killing all the other adds. There are, however, two pats that walk up and down paths to your immediate left and right. Just don't wander. Position yourself right in the middle of the two pillars in front of the boss and DPS her down. Bloodlust is used here. Be careful to not stack with someone else when they or you have the AoE damaging debuff. Just perform your single target rotation...no tricks.
During the next hallway, your tank should be pulling lots of trash together, but the Candlestick Mages will HURT. Have your Felhunter sacrificed so that you can throw in interrupts mixed in with Shadowfury to keep tank damage low. Make liberal use of Soulburn: Seed of Corruption to keep number of Soul Shards high as well as contributing high AoE damage. The second boss requires nothing special except for everyone in your group being able to identify the correct version when she splits into 9 copies of herself. There is a macro on wowhead.com that can be used for this. Type in "Attention to Detail" in the search box and the top comment will display the macro you need to type in.
The third boss is just the same thing...Shadowfury, SB:SoC, and keeping shard counts high. During Rattlegore, do NOT let your Bone Shield wear off...you'll be one shot if you do.
The very next room will have TONS of AoE to be done. The high number of mobs will present a strain on your tank and healer. Help them with Shadowfury. Contribute AoE DPS with SB:SoC and they will eventually succumb. The 4th boss has no difference in Challenge Mode. Use Bloodlust again here.
In the next room, you'll kill one group of mobs and then use your Invisibility pot to get to the other side of the room with the clickable gate. When the gate is opened, you'll LoS the last group and finish them off. The last boss is the easiest as a Warlock and you contribute a significant perk to your group. As you enter this room, drop your Gateway from one end of the upper hallway to the other. This will be used by your healer to kite. As a ranged DPS, you should be standing on the upper hallway, directly behind the boss's central location, and you should DPS the living daylights out of him. Do NOT AoE at all. Set up your portal gate here incase Harsh Words is used against you. In the case that Harsh Words is used on you, run to the gate of your closed room and instantly teleport back to your original position and begin DPSing the boss again. Other than that, no change. The reason you stand back here (with your healer) is because the boss summons adds that explode after so many seconds. With the tank doing no AoE, the mobs will aggro to the healer instantly, but by the time the little suckers get half way to your healer, they explode and cause no damage to your group. Overall, not bad.
SCARLET HALLS (15 sec Invisibility Potion required)
So this dungeon opens up requiring the proper use of the dog food buckets. As soon as the run begins, your tank should pull the very first pack while you or another DPS throws a bucket at him to get the dogs to eat him. The trick here is to hit him first so that when the dogs finish him, you get credit for an enemy killed! As you run down the hall, you might get bitten once...that's ok. When you come into the courtyard, the 2nd dog group must be dealt with. Perform this the same exact way as you did before. During the shield gauntlet phase, if you have a Hunter (watch the video) he can double Disengage to the end and end the slow shooting sequence. At any point during this, use Shadowfury to alleviate tank damage. Your healer will need the mana. Take care of the dog group around the corner, then take care of the dog group before the first boss. Nothing special other than spreading out 5 yards on the first boss...just do your single target rotation and use Shadowfury on the dogs. During the first boss, DO NOT USE YOUR DPS POTION.
After killing the first boss, drop another Soulwell for your party as the dogs take down the guardsmen. As you are running down the stairs, pop your invisibility potion and bolt through the passageway. At the end, you will need to kill one pack of mobs. Make liberal use of Shadowfury to interrupt big casts. As you come up the passageway, make sure the pat at the top of the stairs is not near you. If the path is clear, proceed to the next boss room. In here, set your portal at the top. The boss can be tanked anywhere you're comfortable. Use Shadowfury on the adds if they are on your healer. This boss doesn't really hurt and there's nothing special about it. When he does his Blade Tornado bullcrap, jump off but maintain your MG/DS channel. When he passes your portal, port back up and you'll be safe to DPS again. Very simple.
After this boss, the rest of the dungeon is just pulling trash in relation to the healer's mana. However, the first pack is the hardest pull in the dungeon. You'll notice in the video the tank opens with a stun, then I use Shadowfury, and THEN I use my Infernal. The Infernal does good AoE damage and does a 2 second stun upon summoning. This is amazing for finishing this trash pack off. After this pack, it's pretty smooth sailing. Use Shadowfury to interrupt and stun. You'll need about 2 minutes remaining when engaging the last boss to successfully make the gold timer.
During the last boss, set your portal somewhere and move to the left of it. Pop the rest of your CDs (DPS potion will not be available because of Invisibility Potion) and stand to the left of your portal. When he does the book burning ability, intercept it with Unending Resolve so that it does not hit a book case. During his Dragon's Breath, run to the left and DPS, and once his breath is past your portal, you can port back and resume your single target DPS rotation unimpeded. Note that Dragon's Breath will do a complete 360, no less and no more.
Video guide included (Mage friend's PoV):
MOGU'SHAN PALACE (18 sec Invisibility Potion required)
This dungeon isn't very fun, but it is short. Not very many highlights, but I'll go through everything phase by phase. Run starts by immediately running to your right, pulling trash together, popping Bloodlust, and AoEing everything down. Soulburn: Soul Swap, Haunt, then Soulburn: Seed of Corruption and one Malefic Grasp channel should put Corruption on all of the adds. Use Shadowfury to help your tank when he gets stunned. Do your single target rotation until one dies and you get your Soul Shards back. Then apply DoTs to 4 targets and kill one. Rinse and repeat. Use Kil'Jaeden's Cunning to kill as you're going into the next room. As the next room is pulled, DoT everything up and run towards the boss. You want to engage him to start the roleplay while you finish the previous group. As a Warlock, you're most flexible at this since you can DoT and run at the same time. In the time you are waiting, pop your Demonic Gateway over to the far left side of the room. You'll see why later (in video, I don't do this until last boss is up, could have done it sooner). Nothing special about the bosses...just do your single target rotation. When the last boss dies, your whole group can take your portal over to the stairs OR you can kite him like our group did (me and Hunter took my Gateway). Either way, this saves you seconds. DO NOT USE YOUR DPS POTION DURING THE BOSSES.
In the hallway below, you're not killing anything. Have a Hunter or Mage pull the mob in the middle of the room. So long as you're far enough away (before you enter room), you'll drop combat. Run towards the enemies at the bottom of the stairs and pop your Invisibility Potion before aggroing them. Sprint your butt off through the hallway until you make it to "The Jump." At the end of the hallway, you'll need to leap off of the floor, onto the railing, and into the pit below where the boss and his minions are. In order to execute this jump, practice it in normal or Heroic mode. You basically have to time it EXACTLY right. You can see in the video below that my Mage does not do it right and ALMOST gets caught. If you watch the people coming up behind them, myself included, you can see we all nail the jump perfectly. In the pit, there is no need for you to do anything except follow this order:
1) someone CC's Oracle
2) someone CC's Hexxer
3) burn Ironshield
4) burn Orcale
5) Cleave down everything and make liberal use of Shadowfury
When you're done with that boss, the dungeon is pretty much in your bags if you've done well to this point. The rest is easy. Hard CC the two adds at the top of the stairs (Polymorph, Hunter Trap, Fear) and watch for the patrol. You can see in the video, our Prot Paladin ignored us saying to watch for the pat and you can see my poor healthbar almost extinguish. A quick reflex of Shadow Bulwark, Unending Resolve, and a Healthstone saved my buns. Goblin Jump also got me to the elevator. Hopefully in your run people aren't falling asleep. At the top, go to the left, kill that 4 pack, run down the hallway and be mindful of the patrol on the right. Kill everything in sight, run down the left side, kill more stuff, engage boss, and burn him. Boss is extremely easy and should only require a minute. In the video below, we broke the Mal'Ganis record on our 2nd attempt (1st was 12:24, 2nd was the video below at 11:26)
Video guide of run (Mage friend's PoV):
Posted 17 December 2012 - 02:55 AM
Posted 17 December 2012 - 02:15 PM
Posted 17 December 2012 - 03:14 PM
Posted 17 December 2012 - 03:17 PM
Not a lot here from a Warlock perspective, but we do have a few neat tricks. The first hallway of adds will be brought into the boss with you. Make liberal use of Shadowfury, SB:SoC, and use your Infernal here to stun adds and do additional AoE damage. After the four water elementals are slain, take a position in the back of the room against the wall and DPS the boss. The damage from the water spray hitting you will do minimal damage and will be the only source of damage from this boss. Your healer will have no issue keeping you alive. Once he is dead, boot, scoot, and boogie to the next hallway. When your group is there, use your Invisibility Potion and get to the other end. As your group is killing this pack, use Shadowfury and SB:SoC to DoT them up and make your way half way down the stairs. As a Warlock, you're best suited to have damage on the trash AND dps down the book type thing before the 2nd boss that triggers the roleplay saving you 15-20 seconds. When it's dead, finish off the rest of the trash and do nothing different on this boss that you normally would do in Heroic mode. Switch at 6 stacks on both bosses.
In the next room, the trash can be pulled together, but we found that the number of debuffs flying out would be too detrimental, and we weren't pressed for time, so we just took one group at a time. Nothing different, again, about the third boss...just don't stand in bad stuff.
After the third boss dies, use Banish on one of the elementals and keep it banished during the fight with the fourth boss. Simply set your focus to the elemental you want to keep banished to keep track of its debuff. Letting it out would be horrible to your group during the Sha fight's extra damage. Nothing special about this boss, just blow him up fast. Use your Doomguard on him, keep Banish up, and don't use Shadowfury on the soul sever adds...they're immune. Just keep Banish up and you should win. Video guide included below:
Posted 17 December 2012 - 04:31 PM
Great guide, please keep it coming.
Two quick questions. First what does you team consist of? Second, why do you suggest Affliction and Demon but not Destruction? Personally I prefer Affliction, but I have a friend that runs Destruction.
It depends per dungeon. My team is:
Frost/Arcane Mage (was Fire before nerf)
I've played Affliction for the first five Challenge Modes, but I played Destruction in Siege of Nizuao Temple because of the on demand need for higher AoE (Rain of Fire) and strong executes (Shadowburn). This also gave me the increased burst needed to down the Weavers in the first hall of trash. I would imagine that Demonology is best for the trash DPS which is a majority of all the pulls in Challenge Modes, but the fact is I'm lazy to switch all the time. I do arenas as Demonology, BGs as Destruction, and PvE as Affliction. If we had tri-spec, you'd be seeing me doing a lot more Challenge Modes as Demonology, but since we're still crushing times with me playing Affliction, I've seen no reason to change the flavor. Here are the perks and drawbacks of each spec from my own experience:
Affliction - the worst for AoE, but not really that bad. Best single target DPS for any fight lasting longer than 30 seconds. Bust survivability with the healing and Soul Shard generation from Glyph of Soul Consumption. High mobility and able to do damage to things while focused elsewhere.
Demonology - intense AoE damage, the best possible AoE spec for Warlocks. Decent single target DPS. Mobility is not as high as Destruction or Affliction, but this hardly matters. Can take improved pet for consistent AoE burst or a second Felguard for INSANELY high burst on 2 min CD.
Destruction - best execute for Challenge Modes due to Shadowburn. When packs of mobs get low, Shadowburn will crit for 200k+ to instantly finish them off. You can tab-Shadowburn to finish off packs in 4 globals. AoE is decent with Fire and Brimstone Immolate, Rain of Fire, and Bane + Chaos Bolt. Worst single target DPS, but the margin between Destruction and Affliction is marginal.
I haven't found a Challenge Mode that REQUIRED a particular spec. If you're pursuing golds, pick a spec that you are most comfortable with and go with it. As long as you take Shadowfury, you'll be fine.
Posted 17 December 2012 - 05:01 PM
Posted 17 December 2012 - 05:28 PM
Posted 17 December 2012 - 05:42 PM
This dungeon was rather...unique. This is the dungeon where we most used mechanics of the actual dungeon to accomplish our goal. I'll explain. Btw, if you're comfortable with Destruction, that's what I played here. I felt Affliction didn't give me the 'umph' needed during trash.
So the first hallway has two different packs of adds. One pack is all slimeys and the other has 2 kinds of adds...Weavers and unimportant ones. Sacrifice your Felpup and interrupt the barrier spell from the Weavers (can't remember name). I also found it to be extremely effective (upon Protection Paladin's request) to open on this trash pack with Shadowfury. Once you've used your interrupt on the Weaver, permanently silence him by hitting him with Chaos Bolt and finishing with Shadowburn. It's a one-two punch that delivers 600k+ damage. Bonus points if you apply Bane to the other Weaver and hit BOTH for a 350k+ Chaos Bolt. For the slimeys, Fire and Brimstone: Immolate, Rain of Fire, and finish them with Shadowburn to stock pile Burning Embers. If you're still playing Affliction, SB:SoC one of the adds and just do what you can with them. The entire hallway to the 2nd boss consists of alternating packs of these mobs. Save Shadowfury for the opening of the Weaver packs and just AoE down the slimes.
First boss can be melted like warm butter on a hot summer's day if you pull a pack of slimes into the boss with you. What we did was our Paladin grabbed the mobs, pulled them into the boss room, had us AoE them down, then pulled the boss when he felt they were close to dying. The Druid instantly used Tranquility to give us healing from the slimes blowing up. We then DPS'd the boss down like it was going out of fashion with the 100% damage buff. Ignore slimes: burn boss. Bloodlust used here.
Back into the hallway up the tree...Weavers, slimes, Weavers, slimes, Weavers. When you get to the third back of Slimes, don't DPS them. The tank will snag them while a DPS breaks down the wall. Use Shadowfury to stun these guys and limit their speed towards the group. During the gauntlet/2nd boss, you'll be keeping these slimes alive until the boss appears. The Hunter took care of the sap, so I just put DoTs on the mobs as they approached while using Shadowfury on the slimes. Using Shadowburn to execute mobs was mega awesome...I crit one for over 3,000,000 with its stacking sap debuff. When the boss is on approach, drop your portal and stand about 20 yards from it. DPS the boss...if he charges at you, port away. DPS down and move on.
After the minute long RP of a panda blowing up the door, make your way to the boss without pulling any more trash. This boss is identical to Heroic mode. Gather adds, use bombs, stack debuff on boss. He dies fast, too. Onward.
The bridge is the easiest part. All you have to do is kill the Builders and work your way down to the end. As a Warlock with Grim of Sac: Felhunter, you can do the interrupt on his wind push back. The Mage in our group and I raced to get the interrupt...as long as someone gets it, no big deal. Nothing else to worry about. Super easy after you kill the 2nd boss and come through the gate with 8+ minutes left. Video guide below:
Posted 26 December 2012 - 07:08 PM
This dungeon was rather easy after fine-tuning our trash pull after the first boss. After this, it's easy mode. As you'll see in the video, I play Demonology because the hardest pulls in here were trash pulls that benefited from Shadowfury, Carrion Swarm, Infernal, and the massive AoE damage that Demonology brings.
The first pull and boss are all about Shadowflame uptime from using Hand of Gul'dan. Keep that high, and time your Metamorphosis when the boss summons adds. Don't pull aggro, though...make sure your tank has position and threat established before busting out Immolation Aura. Other than that, keep heavy single target pressure on the boss. In the room after the first boss, we face the hardest trash pull. The trash stuns the tank and does TONS of damage. We counter this with a line of sight pull and I open with Shadowfury once all the adds are there. I immediately summon my Infernal and then go crazy with the AoE. I use Carrion Swarm to knock them back against the wall disrupting cast times. If you manage to survive this group easily, gold isn't far away.
Invis pot takes you all the way to the next boss. Nothing special here, just don't stand in patches of fire. You can see in the video our Hunter kept the boss running to him so that me and the Mage could sit and pew pew the boss. After the boss, desummon your pet. You can see in the video that mine pulls despite being directly behind the Mage's pet. No worries, we overcome this and still manage gold. This should show you how relaxed the timer is.
In the last room, use pillars to line of sight and use your AoE abilities to push each trash pack. The last difficult pull is the line of sight pull before the last boss, but this is handled easily with Shadowfury and burst AoE. Nothing special about the last boss either. Make sure interrupts are set up in your group. You can't offer a reliable interrupt with Spell Lock, so hopefully your teammates can wrap that beast up.
Video guide (Mage point of view):
Posted 26 December 2012 - 07:27 PM
This is..the worst dungeon for challenge mode ever. The timer is SO tight. This one was by far the hardest one we had. I went Demonology for a couple of attempts before realizing that the boss DPS at the end was more important, so I went Affliction. You can use the mechanics of the dungeon to make up AoE damage you leave behind with Demonology (barrels exploding, keg running into monkeys, etc.)
Nothing special about the first hallway...it's all on your tank and healer. We pull all the adds together and when they hit about 30%, I stun them and we run away. Our Hunter shoots the barrels in the next room once we are cleared to finish off these elite monkeys. In the first boss room, nothing special to note except that you can cast while riding a barrel. Use this to your advantage and land every possible barrel on Ook. When he's done, get ready for another gauntlet run.
This gauntlet is no fun because the rabbits that blow up do significant damage in challenge mode. Avoid this by staying near your tank. Use Shadowfury to peel adds off of your healer. Nothing special about the next boss except keep high pressure on him and deliver hammer hits when necessary. Higher DPS on the boss means less time with adds out.
Next part of dungeon is the end. It's purely a trash execution check. The hardest part is the line of sight pull where all 9 of the little alementals need to be bursted down. The difference between our Silver kill of 12:35 and our Gold kill of 11:35 was the 2nd trash pull in the boss room. When the final boss finally appears, Bloodlust/Timewarp, Potion, Dark Soul, everything you got and rip the boss a new one. He soft enrages by summoning adds...you ignore them and push the boss. Intercept the beams and keep DPSing. That's all there is for this one...it just requires excellent DPS and perfect mechanics.
Video guide (Mage point of view):
Posted 26 December 2012 - 07:31 PM
Ah, the final challenge mode for our group. This one wasn't as bad as it sounded, but this may have been because we were good enough to get Gold on the other 8 and really had some great group synergy at this point. This dungeon is ALL about the first pull. I went Demonology purely for it and never switched back out despite opportunities to do so. Pop the works as soon as your tank has established aggro. Don't forget to Soulshatter, as your DPS can soar above 600k here. After that, it's literally do the bosses like you do in normal/heroic mode. Don't stand in bad things and do your DPS rotation. Sadly, no Warlock tricks that I could think of. We didn't need it as we crushed the timer and could have done even better.
Video guide (Mage point of view):
Posted 26 December 2012 - 07:39 PM
In terms of difficulty, I would recommend the following order (with a difficulty scale 1-10):
In terms of time constraint
Gate of the Setting Sun - 1
Scholomance - 2
Scarlet Halls - 2
Mogu'Shan Palace - 4
Temple of the Jade Serpent - 5
Siege of Nizuao Temple - 5
Scarlet Monastery - 6
Shado-Pan Monastery - 7
Stormstout Brewery - 10
In terms of trash and boss difficulty
Gate of Setting Sun - 1
Scarlet Halls - 2
Scholomance - 3
Mogu'Shan Palace - 3
Siege of Nizuao Temple - 4
Temple of the Jade Serpent - 4
Scarlet Monastery - 6
Shado-Pan Monastery - 6
Stormstout Brewery - 7
If you have any Warlock specific questions about Challenge Modes, I'll do my best to answer them. I'm about to start another gold run on an alt...not sure if it'll be a Protection Paladin or an Enhance Shaman, but it'll be a blast regardless! Many props to my teammates: Jinroku, Valinn, and Wyzeguyy of Lag Shack and Busch from Shining Force!
Posted 23 January 2013 - 08:15 AM
Posted 23 January 2013 - 01:45 PM
Posted 23 April 2013 - 02:33 AM
Recently I started doing Challenge Modes, aiming for Gold. I used to play Affliction but since now I raid as Demo, I figured might as well use the spec in Challenges as well. I'm not yet completely comfortable with it but I enjoy it and plan to stick with it in 5.2.
So far we've gotten 1 Gold and several Silvers. I'd like to help my team as much as possible so figured asking a few things about Demo couldn't hurt. Now I know there is a better topic for that but since I'm specifically interested in Challenges I figured... might as well post here.
I've read the "tips & quirks" and it's been very helpful, but there's something I'm still (probably) not doing right.
How exactly it's the best way to tackle packs of 3-4 low hp mobs? What's the best way to "burst AoE"? I often don't have 2xHoGs ready, Felstorm might be on cooldown. In such cases I usually use Corruption on them, pop Meta, Immolation, then Void Ray, but I don't feel like it's enough.
So what's the best way to handle it? At what number of mobs is Void Ray worth using over Touch of Chaos?
Good luck and thanks.
Edited by 86C415, 23 April 2013 - 02:40 AM.