Figured I'd take a shot at writing one of these guides while waiting for the next lockout and being bored with Archaeology. Al'Akir is one of the bosses where most of the information from beta is pretty off, so I figured someone might need this.
Al'Akir is the second and last boss of the Throne of the Four Winds raid instance, located in Uldum.
Al'Akir stands, in a Ragnaros-like fashion, in the middle of the platform. It's not possible to move him, and if the tank doesn't stand close enough he will cast Electrocute. The platform is pretty huge, but you can only use the edges as Al'Akir's hitbox also has a wall that you cannot move through. If you fall off the edge, you get caught in winds that return you back to the platform, but rendering you useless until you're back up.
The encounter is split up in three phases.
Al'Akir will use the following abilities:
Wind Burst - This ability is used on the whole raid, it knocks you back and does pretty weak damage.
Blizzard - More an annoyance than a real threat. It does minor damage (Compared to his forked lightning) and leaves a trail of ice that will slow you and do damage. It's safe to move through the trail if you have to, but you shouldn't linger.
Lightning - He will periodically cast a cone of lightning at a player. Anyone hit by this will take 20k damage + 20k per person affected by the cone, resulting in 40k damage per person if two people are hit, and 60k if three.
Tornados - A wave of six tornados will move around the platform in both Phase 1 and 2. If you get caught in one you take massive damage and you're incapacitated. When you get out of the tornado you're often thrown off the platform, giving you even more downtime. There's always a hole in the wave, which you can pass through. The waves alternate clockwise and counter-clockwise. You can use Leap of Faith to grip people stuck in the tornados if necessary.
Static Shock - An interrupt that is cast on players standing in melee range.
Due to the way his Lightning works, you need to spread out. If too many people are hit by the same cone, it's very easily instant death. We decided to stack in camps of three (In 25man) around the platform, leaving enough room between the camps so that the cone cannot hit two camps at once. This means however that you are not allowed to move sideways in phase 1, because if you do, and you get targeted by the lightning, you will link it to two camps, deal 20k + 100k damage to everyone in those camps, killing them instantly.
When he casts Wind Burst, you should try to close enough to not be knocked back and off the platform. This can be problematic depending on when the Tornado wave arrives, and where the opening in the wave is positioned. If the opening is closer to the middle when Wind Burst is cast, you'll be knocked back either into one of the Tornados, or off the platform. Being knocked off the platform is always the better choice, because if you get picked up, you can still be targeted by the cone of lightning, and link to other camps. And even if you manage to avoid the cone, you still take massive damage from the tornado and waste mana in a fight that already requires alot of healing.
Casters can just avoid the interrupt from Static Shock by standing outside of melee range.
This phase can be a bit random, depending on the timing of wind burst and the openings in the tornado wave. The phase does however end at 80%, and is very short.
Al'akir will continue to use his Tornado waves, but will stop using Wind Burst and the Lightning cone. Instead he starts spawning adds called Stormlings and deal constant damage to the raid with Acid Rain, which means you should stack everyone and get ready for some intense healing.
Acid Rain starts out dealing pretty low damage, but gets stacked every 20 seconds. This gives Phase 2 a soft enrage timer. Around 15-17 stacks of Acid Rain will kill a raid in a few seconds.
The key to Phase 2, and the encounter, is the Stormlings which are summoned every 20 seconds. They do AoE and should be off tanked away from the raid and killed by the range. When a Stormling dies it applies a debuff to Al'Akir called Feedback. This debuff has a duration of 20 seconds and inceases the damage done to Al'Akir by 10% per stack. You kill the stormlings slow enough to apply the next stack just before the old one is lost, and use the increased damage to beat the soft enrage imposed by Acid Rain.
As Acid Rain starts to reach dangerous levels (7-8~) you should start cycling healing cooldowns on the raid. Start out with the weaker ones supplied by DPS, Divine Hymn from Shadow Priests and Tranquility from feral druids, and move on to using healers cooldowns as the damage is increased. Cycle these two by two as needed. It's most beneficial to use this just after a Tornado wave has passed, so as not to be interrupted during the channel.
When Al'Akir reaches 30%, you will enter Phase 3. He will destroy the platform, enveloping the room with a dangerous tornado wind. You will gain the debuff Eye of the Storm, which gives you the ability to fly.
The raid should spread out in this phase, as Al'Akir starts throwing Chain Lightning.
Al'Akir will periodically cast Lightning Clouds targeted at a player. Each Lightning Cloud covers all of the room in one "layer". The cloud will spawn as just a dark cloud, but will soon start to pulse with lightning and will kill you in just a few seconds. The recommended way to avoid this is with everyone starting at the top, with their camera tilted to be parallel with the "ground". This way you can easily distinguish where a cloud starts and where it ends. When Al'Akir spawns a cloud, everyone should move down a bit. It's important to keep everyone at the same level to be able to control where the next cloud will spawn, and to utilize the full vertical area available.
In this phase he will also debuff players with Lightning Rod. The debuff is essentially a DoT that also ticks on nearby allies either in 20 yards range horizontally, or 5 yards vertically. Players with this debuff should obviously move away from others, but try to do so horizontally, as moving vertically away from the raid will skew the position of the next cloud.
Al'Akir will again start casting Wind Burst in this phase, this is the main reason to why you want to start at the top and move down. If you do it the other way you can easily end up in the cloud below after taking a wind burst as it knocks you back and down.
All in all, there's not much raid damage in this phase if done right. Try to keep everyone on the same level. Move from the clouds before they start pulsing with lightning. And shift incrementally down or up, depending on what your raid thinks is the easiest.
Tornados are bad, lightning is bad, being thrown off of the platform is bad, Stormlings are bad every 20 seconds, Al'akir is huge.
Well, dont know if its a real mechanic or just a random occurance but in our 10man kill we noticed that the "lightning cone" doesnt seem to appear at all when you spread out enough. We had 3 Camps (3+3+3) on 2, 6 and 10 o'clock with our tank at 12 o'clock and had not a single lightning. In the try before where we had our tank at 6 o'clock and our 2 sidecamps at 3 and 9 o'clock we had several lightnings.
Also, in the 3rd phase try to fly up to the top until you hit the "roof" and cant go any higher.
We have noticed this aswell on alot of kill vids by 25 man guilds, but nm what we try, he just casts it almost every 5 seconds, its our main issue atm.
Originally Posted by Riemu
When Al'Akir reaches 30%, you will enter Phase 3.
He has not changed to phase 3 until 25% for us.
Do the chain lightning mechanic still happen in 10man for phase 1?
I seen a couple videos that have only been released recently (making me assume it is most recent patch) and I do not see the lightning cone. Can anyone confirm or deny this?
We don't step into it until Tuesday, but I was doing research for fights now, and that is how I came upon this post.
Last edited by jr3L; 12-27-2010 at 02:39 AM.
Yes, it still happens in 10man! (last checked on the 23rd)
Another question I had is, can you one tank this and have 6 dps and have 3 healers?
Watching all the vids and strategies, it really doesn't look like there is a need for 2 tanks, is this right?
We have always been playing it with 1 Tank 3 Healers 6 DPS. Just have your MT offtank the first 3 Spawns and then burn them down as they come.
Originally Posted by jr3L
One thing to mention: Phase 3 does not really have a soft enrage (as mentioned in the video from Tankspot). If you are near the top/bottom after dodging some clouds and you only have about 3-4 times to move away from the clouds you can do the following:
Let's assume you start at the bottom: As soon as you only could dodge 3-4 more clouds and the next cloud appears, move to the top immediately. When the next cloud appears you can now go down. There are usually only 2 active clouds, meaning, the clouds below you are gone when you would reach them and you can keep going down.
This strategy provides you a lot more time in Phase 3, which results in 3 things:
- You can use Bloodlust/Heroism to shorten Phase 2/1 as you please (e.g. if you mess up P2 stacks you have still a chance)
- If you have trouble with DPS you can still make it (e.g. one dead or multiple pet-users)
- A wider margin of errors with cloud-placement
(- A blood DK Tank may be nearly able to solo it )
Personal note: (10man)
We wondered why our DPS was so low in Phase 3, we figured it's due to pets not being available. On our kill we had 3 pet DPS classes - Warlock, Unholy DK and Hunter. They all lost an insane amount of damage due to the pet falling down in this phase, making it nearly impossible to beat the self-made soft enrage - we had multiple sub 3% wipes.
But: Actually either Al'Akir didn't cast any chain Lightning, or we simply healed through it without any issues - we stacked our raid in one point. Can anyone tell me, whether his Chain Lightning is actually that weak or he simply didn't cast it?
Repost from the video guide:
Phase 1 Positioning
I wanted to share a positioning strategy that was working really well for us for phase one.
The biggest element to this is that we sent our tank (pally) and healer (disc priest) away from the raid.
12 O'Clock : Tank and Tank Healer
3 O'Clock : Two DPS
4.5 : DPS and Healer
6 : DPS and Healer
7.5: Two DPS
These clock-positions are approximate, we used the circles between the spades on the floor (6 being where you land on the platform).
There were a couple of advantages that this gave us.
First, it allowed some overlap on the raid healing, so there was a chance when one of them was busy the other could heal.
The tornadoes were easier to deal with as they frequently started out (almost exclusively) on the edge of the DPS group and headed to the tank, which gave a lot of time for everyone to react to the tornadoes and to get into positon for the knockback.
The big think you have to be careful about is the balance between spreading out for the chain lightning and staying in healer range. We found that the arc that we allowed each group of 2 allowed the healers to heal the adjacent arcs and if everyone was near their positions, not chain the lightning.
Let me know if you have any questions or if anyone has better drawing skills and wants to help my diagram this out.