What's up guys, and welcome back to the Throne of Thunder raid guide. My name is Lore, and in this video we'll be discussing Ji-Kun, the 6th boss in the instance. Ji-Kun is another fight that's pretty complex in terms of strategy, but actually executing that strategy is fairly simple.
So to start off we'll talk about Ji-Kun herself. She'll need to be tanked in the center of her platform, and will use a couple of abilities on the tanks. The first of these, Infected Talons, is just a small damage over time effect. It does stack up, but the stacks will reset naturally and the damage really isn't too much anyway, so this isn't a huge concern.
However, there is another ability she'll use on the tanks called Talon Rake. This is a big melee attack that also stacks up a debuff that makes further Talon Rakes do 50% more damage; kind of like Triple Puncture from Horridon. Tanks will need to swap aggro to keep this debuff under control. The way the timing works out, that should be at about 2 stacks, and the tanks should be sure to have some sort of cooldown active for their second Talon Rake.
She'll also cast a few abilities at the raid. One of these is Feed Young. Sometimes these will be cast at the nests around the room, and I'll explain more about that later, but the rest of the time she casts it on her platform as several green globs. If they hit the ground, they'll leave behind a puddle that deals a large amount of Nature damage every second to anyone standing in it. You can deal with this in two ways. First, if someone manages to catch a glob before it lands, they'll absorb it. Alternatively, you can absorb the pools that are already on the ground by standing in them for 3 seconds. Just keep in mind that you'll take a lot of damage doing so, so you'll want to have some sort of defensive cooldown active.
Now, every time you absorb a pool, either by catching it or picking it up off the floor, you'll get a small damage over time effect for a few seconds and a stacking debuff that increases the damage over time effect by 10%. The stacking debuff will remain for the rest of the fight, and although it can be cleared with things like Cloak of Shadows and Divine Shield, it does mean that you probably won't want to worry too much about clearing every single pool. As long as you're clearing enough to have some space on the platform, you should be OK.
Next up is Quills. This is a pretty simple raidwide AOE she casts about every minute that deals a large amount of Physical damage over 8 seconds. This is just something you have to heal through. Use defensive cooldowns, healthstones, and anything else you can to mitigate the damage as much as possible.
She'll also use something called Caw. This just fires some sound waves at random raid members that deals a big chunk of damage to anyone nearby when it lands. You can actually dodge them, but there's no graphic for where they're going to land, so we just had everyone spread out on the platform. As long as you're not standing in a pool, there shouldn't be any other damage going out when she casts this anyway.
The last ability she'll use on the platform is Down Draft. This works a lot like Lei Shi's Get Away ability in that it pushes everyone on the platform backwards. It doesn't do any damage, but it does push you back very very fast -- enough that if you're not near the center of the platform when it casts or don't have a very strong movement speed cooldown available, you're going to get knocked off. Now, getting knocked off the platform isn't the end of the world; you will be lifted back up after a few seconds, but it does mean that you're basically out of the fight while that's happening... which means you're not DPS'ing the boss, or healing the raid, etc. So to deal with this, just try to keep an eye on your timers and be near the center when Down Draft starts. It only lasts for a 8 seconds, so even though you'll be sliding backwards, you just need to stay on the platform long enough for the cast to finish. Also, like I mentioned before, movement speed buffs like Sprint or Burning Rush are very helpful here.
So overall the main platform is pretty simple. Have tanks swap aggro for Talon Rake, absorb pools when you can, heal through Quills, and don't get knocked off by Down Draft. Not a big deal. However, Ji-Kun has several nests full of eggs in the area around the platform that will start hatching as time goes on. This is where things get complicated.
So, around Ji-kun's platform are 9 nests. 5 of them are located below the platform and contain Young Eggs which pretty much immediately hatch, spawning several Hatchlings. If the Hatchlings survive long enough for Ji-Kun to feed them, they'll turn into Fledglings. Fledglings lay eggs that hatch into Juveniles. Juveniles fly off into the middle of the room and start pelting the raid with massive amounts of Physical damage. You don't want that.
The 4 nests located above the platform have Mature Eggs. These take longer to hatch, but when they do, the birds inside are already Juveniles. Again, you don't want that. So, the goal here is to kill everything off in each nest before the Juveniles hatch. To help with that, every time you kill a Hatchling, it will drop a feather on the ground. These look a lot like the Priest talent Angelic Feather. Stepping on one gives you an extra action button ability that allows you to fly for 10 seconds. Now, you only get to use that 4 times each time you pick up a feather, and you can only pick up one feather every 2 minutes. On top of that, every so often there will be two nests up at the same time. So, here's how we dealt with all that.
First, we separated out three groups of four players - one healer, and three DPS. Those can be either ranged or melee DPS, but we chose to send ranged so that melee could just stick on the boss on the platform and not have to worry about moving around so much. Each group is responsible for clearing three nests. Now, the nests do hatch in a specific order, and that order repeats itself, so we were able to set up a specific path for each of the three groups to follow.
The first nest to hatch will be the lower nest to the northeast -- that's to the right side of the platform as you enter the room. So group 1 starts there. As soon as that nest is cleared, group 1 grabs their feather and flies to the lower nest by the entrance. Once that's clear, they can head back to the platform for a while until the first upper nest spawns, which will once again be to the right of the platform. Then it's back to the main platform until the lower right nest spawns again and the pattern repeats.
Group 2 starts at the southern lower nest. That's to the immediate left of the entrance and will be the third nest to hatch after the pull. Next, they move to the lower nest over here to the back left of the platform. Once that's clear, they get a short break on the main platform and then head to the upper nest by the entrance, before returning to the main platform and waiting for the left nest to hatch again.
Group 3 is different in that they only have one lower nest to kill, at the back end of the platform. That'll be the fifth nest to hatch after the pull. Once that's clear, they get a little bit of a break before heading to the nest directly over the center of the platform. Next, they'll head across to the upper nest to the left of the entrance, here. Then it's back to the platform. Note that while the other two groups end up near where they start, group 3 will need to move back across the platform to be ready for their first nest to hatch again.
Now, there's one other thing to mention about the nests. After one of the lower nests spawns, Ji-Kun will send several blobs of food toward it. If you intercept those blobs midair, you actually get a fairly massive damage and healing buff. We didn't find that we needed it to kill the boss, so we didn't worry about it too much, but it can provide a lot of extra DPS, especially if you're having trouble killing the nests quickly enough. In order to pick it up, you'll need to time things very carefully, so that you still have your flight buff when the volleys of food are in the air. That can be a bit risky, though, since the eggs will have already been hatched for a while when you get there, so in my opinion worrying about getting that buff actually makes the fight more difficult.
Otherwise, it's pretty much just a matter of getting each group to learn their route and keeping things going until the boss is dead. Once she's low enough, it's okay to start ignoring nests and just have everyone focus on burning her down. When exactly to do that will depend on your raid's DPS, but we started when she was at about 20%. All things put together, it really is a pretty easy fight once everyone knows what they need to be doing.
As with many bosses that apply a similar type of mechanic, Talon Rake can, and will, be pushed back if other abilities are queued up. She can, however, slip the Talon Rake in between. I've had to wait up to 15(!) seconds for a Talon Rake to happen. It is quite unpredictable. I've simply started hitting ShoR (3 second duration) a second before an ability cast ends just in case.
The pictures of the nest location are awesome but I am counting 10 nests. The photos only show 9.
Yea, so we noticed that too. We got our first kill in spite of that, but were wondering where the stray hatchlings were coming from. Last week, I spent some time doing some more precise diagrams to help learn a new strategy that covers all the nests. We ended up going for 5 groups, each handling 2 nests. It requires more participation from the raid (almost everyone will have to fly at some point) but it also means you have much more leeway to use feathers to catch food and buff your dps, and it means you can worry about just 2 nests (1 low, 1 high) in 1 segment of the room.
1 - First to spawn and an easy walk or jump off
2 & 5 - Harder to jump to, need a well timed jump or a speed boost
3 & 4 - Tricky - easy to over jump, so either nudge off carefully or approach at an angle