Originally Posted by LoreWhat's up everybody and welcome back to the Firelands raid guide. My name is Lore, and I'll be guiding you through the 25-man Normal version of the Baleroc encounter.
Baleroc is a one-phase encounter that seems very complicated at first, but once you've gotten the jist of what you're supposed to be doing, everything else just kinda clicks into place. You'll need 2 tanks, 6 healers, and a healthy mix of melee and ranged DPS. You want no fewer than 6 of either to make things as simple as possible.
There are three main mechanics that all work together on this fight, and they're all fairly difficult to understand without first understanding the others. So bear with me as I work through these - everything will make sense at the end.
Let's look at the tank's job first. The primary mechanic for tanks to handle is a debuff called Blaze of Glory. He'll stack this up periodically on whichever tank he's currently attacking. Each stack increases the amount of physical damage you take by 20%, but also increases your maximum health by 20%. On top of that, whenever he applies a stack of Blaze of Glory, regardless of who he applies it to, he also buffs his own Fire damage by 20%.
He'll also occasionally use one of two Blade abilities: Decimation Blade makes him attack much slower, but each attack will do either 250,000 damage OR 90% of your health, whichever number is greater. Obviously, if your health is under 250,000, that's a 1-shot, so you'll need a few stacks of Blaze of Glory to survive it. When he uses Inferno Blade, his melee attacks deal Fire damage instead of Physical damage. Basically that means that instead of dealing with the increased physical damage from your Blaze of Glory stacks, you're now dealing with his own increased Fire damage.
The easiest way we found to handle these mechanics was to have two tanks: one who would only handle Decimation Blade, and another who would tank the boss the rest of the time, including during Inferno Blade. The Decimation Blade tank should pull the boss and only take enough stacks of Blaze of Glory to break the 250k mark. At that point, the other tank taunts and holds onto him. Whenever Baleroc uses Decimation Blade, our Decimation tank taunts, eats the Decimation Blade hits, and then the other tank grabs it back immediately as soon as Decimation Blade ends. This way we have a tank with very high health to be able to survive Inferno Blade, and a tank with much lower health to reduce the amount of healing required for Decimation Blade.
On to DPS. The mechanics that the DPS and healers will manage on this fight are very closely related, so bear with me if some of this doesn't seem to make sense until I get to the healer section. DPS will be the ones managing the Shards of Torment. These are the little pink crystals you see from time to time. He spawns one shard in melee and one shard at range, usually pretty close to where someone is currently standing. You can tell where a shard is about to spawn by the purple pillar of light that appears.
Once a shard is active, it'll latch onto whoever is closest and start stacking up a debuff called Torment. Each stack of Torment does an increasing amount of Shadow damage. You want to let this stack up as high as you possibly can, for two reasons. One is that it helps out your healers, and I'll explain why in the healer section. The other is that as soon as the Torment effect wears off, you get a debuff Tormented. It reduces the healing you do by 50%, which is why healers can't take Torment, and it also increases the shadow damage you take by 250%, which is not only why tanks can't take Torment, but means that you can't take it either until the debuff wears off. It lasts just long enough that you'll only be able to reliably take stacks every 3rd shard. It should only take two players to handle each Shard, so that's why you want at least 6 DPS in melee and 6 DPS at range. Oh, and if you try to just outrange the Shard, it starts AOE'ing the crap out of your raid, so make sure you manage Torment properly. We found it easiest to just set up a simple rotation and have everyone pay attention to when the guy before him starts taking Torment. Make sure you're using defensive cooldowns such as Divine Protection and Dispersion as well - it helps a lot.
As a side note, although the dungeon journal states that you can pass the Tormented debuff to other players by getting too close (that's the one that makes you take extra damage), that wasn't happening for us in our kill. As you can see, we're all just kind of hanging out in melee. Some of us have the debuff and some of us don't. It's possible that that mechanic only occurs on Heroic mode.
Alright healers, it's your turn. Thankfully, your mechanic is a bit simpler to explain, now that we've laid the ground work. Every time you heal someone who currently has stacks of Torment - that's the DPS debuff we were just talking about - you stack up your own debuff called Vital Spark. This is a good thing. You get one Vital Spark for every 3 stacks of Torment on your target, which is why DPS should be stacking it as high as they can. Note that you only get stacks by using a direct heal - AOE heals won't give you anything.
Now, why is that a good thing? Well, as soon as you switch over and heal someone with Blaze of Glory -- that's the tank debuff that increases their health and damage taken -- your Vital Sparks turn into Vital Flame, which increases your healing done by 5% for each stack of Vital Spark you had for 15 seconds. As soon as Vital Flame runs out, you get all your Vital Sparks back, so you can continue building it up from where you left off.
This is how you keep up with the tanks' ever-climbing health pools. As long as the DPS are managing Torment properly, there should only be 3 people taking damage at any point - the current tank, and the two DPS with Torment. So, you can split your healers into groups of 2. At the start, one group should be healing the tank, and the rest should be healing the DPS with Torment to stack up Vital Sparks. Around the same time the DPS do their first Torment swap, the healers should rotate; the two that were healing the tank should start building stacks of Vital Spark, and one of the other groups should move on to the tank. That'll activate their Vital Flame debuff. As soon as that falls off, or is about to, healers should rotate again. The group that's just been building sparks should move over to the tank, and the previous group should begin building sparks again. From then on it's just a matter of rotating every time the current tank healers are about to lose their Vital Flame debuff.
And that's basically the entire fight! Let's do a quick recap. Tanks, one of you will be holding the boss for the majority of the fight, while the other gets just enough stacks of Blaze of Glory to survive Decimation Blade - that's at least 250k health. Make sure you stay away from the Shards of Torment - you really don't want that debuff.
DPS, organize yourselves as much as you see fit and make sure you're handling Torment properly. Remember, you want to hold onto it as long as possible so that the healers can build stacks faster - use your personal defensive cooldowns!
Healers, set yourselves up into groups of 2 and rotate between healing the tank and building up Vital Sparks. And make sure you're watching closely for those purple pillars of light - it doesn't matter how many Sparks you've got if you catch the 50% healing debuff from standing too close to to a Shard.