Krosus Guide: How to Soak Burning Pitch

Krosus is the fourth boss attempted by many guilds raiding The Nighthold on Mythic difficulty. Getting a fourth boss down is the first major “wall” to progression in mythic; as of this writing, wowprogress indicated that around 2400 guilds have killed three bosses, while only around 700 have killed Krosus.

One of the biggest difficulties on Krosus is soaking the Burning Pitch puddles to ensure that as few as possible adds spawn. On Mythic, Krosus demands near-perfect puddle soaking. Too many adds will result in them killing raiders, and if a player dies without a battle resurrection available on Krosus, it will likely wipe the raid. If your raid is already soaking puddles perfectly, keep doing what you are doing. If not, perhaps this guide will help.

This guide will outline how to soak burning pitch, as well as give a few other Krosus tips. This guide assumes a basic familiarity with the fight, and might be most appreciated by players who have wiped several times on the boss thinking that they would be fine using the same strategy they used in heroic.

Burning Pitch Soaking Basics

A perhaps obvious, but nonetheless key, tip to soaking is that multiple puddles that overlap may be soaked by the same player. Two puddles are generally safe to soak, and three or more may be safe with a defensive ability or cooldown.

If someone else is straddling multiple puddles to soak them, you should find a different place to soak!

Another key element is to leave before the puddles form so the raid team can sort out which to soak. This must be balanced with staying on boss to meet a tight DPS check. However, if everyone leaves after the puddles have appeared, the raid will likely miss puddles.

A third rule of thumb is that, once someone is stationary on a puddle, assume they are staying there – you should get another puddle, not assume they will move off of it.

Fourth, the back is the most important area of the room to soak. Ideally all unsoaked puddles will be near the front, in or near melee range of the boss so they can be cleaved down together.

Possible Pitch Soaking Strategies

So, how should raiders approach picking which puddle to soak?

YOLO: You only live once, just wing it – tell players to soak as many as they can. This strategy has problems if players all go towards the same area initially; many players might try to soak the same puddle, leaving others unsoaked. This is fine if you outgear the boss on Heroic, but in Mythic is inadvisable.

Zone: Assign players to zones of the bridge they must soak. This is certainly better than YOLO, but can cause issues if the burning pitch puddles are imbalanced – one zone may have none, whereas others may have more puddles than raiders.

Order: Assign players numbers from 1-20, 20 taking the backmost puddle, and up from there. This is also better than YOLO, but can get muddy in the middle of the room as people become unsure how far back they need to go.

I suggest a hybrid approach, combining the best of both worlds from zone-based and order-based strategies.

The Hybrid Soaking Strategy

As shown in this spreadsheet, assign all non-tanks into six zones, assigning the number 1 and 2 to the tanks and 3-20 to each other player. Players 16, 18, and 20 (mobile ranged) should look to soak in the back right of the room, while players 3, 5, and 7 (melee) should look to soak in the front left. If the puddles are unbalanced, adjust on the fly, with higher-numbered players soaking towards the back.

Another way to think about this six-zone strategy is as a three-zone strategy with half the players having a preference for each side.

This is perhaps best explained with some examples. The following three diagrams, just like in the spreadsheet, have the boss in the front of the room with the players in the back. The green circles are burning pitch puddles, and the numbers are suggestions as to which player from the spreadsheet should soak each puddle.

Krosus Burning Pitch Soaking Examples
Krosus Burning Pitch Soaking Examples

In the left diagram, everything went according to plan. There were three puddle groups in each of the six zones. Tanks soaked two puddles by the boss, and only a few adds spawned near the front.

In the middle diagram, the puddles spawned further towards the back than anticipated. The players adjusted, again only spawning a few adds near the front of the room. Several player had to soak further back than they expected – this is normal and OK. Note that sometimes tanks cannot soak any puddles if they need to be on the boss and no puddles spawn in melee range.

In the right diagram, the puddles were imbalanced towards the left. Did the players assigned to the right groups stand there and soak nothing? No, they adjusted, maintaining a preference to be on the right, but moving to left of center as needed. Even with a lopsided “unlucky” pattern, the group was able to soak every puddle, preventing any ads from spawning!

Use Your Abilities

If adds do spawn, use your stuns and interrupts on them. The enlarged adds especially do a ton of damage. Preventing their casts is a huge bonus. Most classes have a stun and/or interrupt. Talent into them, and use them!

Late-Stage Soaking

When only the last quarter of the platform remains, sticking to your assigned areas to soak burning pitch is still important. Basically the whole platform will be covered in puddles, and staying disciplined and following your zone and order assignments will result in maximized soaking. Be very careful not to overlap with another soaker – you each take the damage for no benefit.

Orb Schemes

On the last quarter of the platform, make sure that the raid is in the very front corner, and that the person with Orb of Destruction is in the very back opposite corner. A few yards makes a difference: the person in the back should run into the corner to make sure they are as far back as possible, and the raiders in the front should be on the white strip and as far forward as they can get without falling off.

Beam Dreams

The Fel Beams always follow the same pattern. Whether they start left or right is random, but after that they alternate between right and left. After a beam finishes, immediately move to side the beam was on to ensure that you are safe for the next side.

This weakaura, with slight input from a raid leader each fight, will show which side is safe for every beam after the first. Our group placed markers down the left side of the platforms so everyone would know, even when disoriented, that left was marked and right was unmarked. The weakaura has left in green text and right in red text, so we placed the red X marker in the back right and green triangle in the back left to indicate which side was which to someone facing backwards.

If you are dying to beam more than once in a raid night, you are doing something very, very wrong. You have tons of time to mentally prepare to be in the right place, and you know exactly where the beam will be coming.

Heal Memes

As a note, at the end of the fight, the Burning Pitch/Slam/Orb of Destruction combination at around 5:00 is very healing intensive. Save cooldowns and personals for that stretch. Raiders should self-heal and use healing potions to make sure they don’t die.

Best of luck with your kill! If you have any questions leave a comment below.

Flap – The Number One Reason to Play Druid

If you play Balance Druid and have not heard of Flap, you are missing out. It is our version of Slow Fall, usable only in Moonkin Form (you can use it in other specs with Balance Affinity). You learn the spell from a Tome that you can pick up in Moonglade or the Dreamgrove.

This makes traveling around the broken isles much more quick, and, dare I say, fun. You cannot change directions while flapping, but with good aim, you can run off a cliff on your mount, start flapping, and float gracefully (or not-so-gracefully depending on how you view fat chickens frantically flapping their arms) to your destination.

I think this goes against the spirit of flap, but in patch 7.1.5, you can now use flap with glyph of the stars. You look like you are levitating, not flapping, but the effect is the same.

With this macro:

#showtooltip Flap
/stopcasting [mod:alt]
/use [nomod:alt]Flap

Flap gets even more powerful. You can cancel flap with alt + the key you bind flap to, then recast it before you hit the ground.

Flap gets supercharged when used with The Emerald Winds. With Flap and Winds, you can gain altitude slightly while flapping around, and you can change direction! Take a flight point to somewhere high, and Winds + Flap to your destination. Flap – never leave home without it.

Image: Check out the Majesty of Flap + Winds.

Balance Druid: My Trinket and Gear Sims Start of Nighthold

As a follow up to my sims at the end of 7.1, I updated Simcraft and am updating my simulations as of the start of Nighthold.

I simulated using my current best gear. Single target used Starlord, Incarnation, Blessing of the Ancients, and Stellar Drift, and 3-target used Force of Nature, Soul of the Forest, Shooting Stars, and Stellar Drift.

Trinkets

The nerfs to AOE trinkets/buffs to stat-based trinkets going into Nighthold are remarkable.

My 895 Whispers in the Dark (bonus roll first week, don’t hate me) and my 860 Unstable Arcanocrystal (I guess it’s OK to hate me a little) are my best trinkets in all situations.

A 885 Erratic Metronome, which I do not yet have, might be slightly better than the Arcanocrystal at AOE, but it’s basically a wash. Swapping to Aran’s Relaxing Ruby and Unstable Horrorslime for AOE was a short-lived experience.

My trinket results overall match up well with the Balance Druid Trinket Spreadsheet (Whispers is still best, though not quite as best since it was nerfed slightly this week).

Gear

I swapped around my rings, since AOE is a lot more prevalent in Nighthold and Haste is just bonkers on AOE fights.

The buff to Prydaz makes it simulate only 0.5% worse than Cinidaria at DPS, and the survivability bonus of Prydaz argues for using it on high-damage progression fights over the belt.

Gebuz’s recommended pawn string “(Pawn: v1: “Balance Druid”: Intellect=1, CritRating=0.8, HasteRating=1.2, MasteryRating=1, Versatility=0.8 )” is just about right for my character. I value Mastery at 1.05 since it is simulating a bit better than intellect, and Versatility at 0.85 since it offers survivability while Critical Strike doesn’t. Either way, those stat weights are solid.

For pure AOE, haste is simulating as more than twice as good as intellect. However, pure AOE with no priority target is rare in a raid setting. For large packs in dungeons, you might value haste more highly than in a raid.

Balance Druid Encounter Notes for Heroic Nighthold: Talents and Trinkets

Gebuz’s Guide, linked from the Class Guides Page, outlines several talent combinations for Nighthold. Many more combinations are possible after patch 7.1.5, as several talent options have been buffed to be more competitive. I tried out a few things the first week, and also looked at top logs. What follows are my plans for this week in Nighthold.

Ideas

My talents selections are in shorthand and refer to each talent’s position in the Nth row. For example, “1233112” would be a standard frequent-AOE build, with Force of Nature, Displacer Beast, Restoration Affinity, Typhoon, Soul of the Forest, Shooting Stars, and Stellar Drift.

It may be easier to follow along with the Balance Druid Talent Calculator open in game or in another window.

I favor Stellar Drift for all fights as ads are usually high priority, and my Oneth’s Intuition legendary gives free Starfalls to boot.

I dislike Displacer Beast and try to use Wild Charge or Renewal when possible to save GCDs. If you are worried about reacting slowly or need to move far distances, Displacer Beast is the safer bet.

I like Starlord with Incarnation builds and Force of Nature or Warrior of Elune with Soul of the Forest builds. Taking Starlord when you intend to be casting Starfall with most of your Astral Power seems very unintuitive to me.

Fight-Specific Plans

Skorpyron: 2332112. AOE trinkets. Sephuz. Heavy AOE fight; Force of Nature or Starlord could be justified, all three talents are close with AOE. Sephuz can be reliably proc’d on cooldown by Mass Entanglement.

Chronomatic Anomaly: 1333112. ST (single target) trinkets. The ads are up enough to make AOE worth it, but my AOE trinkets require stacked ads.

Trilliax: 3333232. ST trinkets. Heavy movement negates Nature’s Balance value, even on a single target fight, and Stellar Drift allows movement while casting during beam.

Spelldblade Aluriel: 1333112. AOE trinkets. The multi-ad phases make AOE a priority.

Tichondrius: 3333232. ST trinkets. Demon Ring for 2-set (the neck is my non-legendary BiS neck already). You can rank with Soul of the Forest and Shooting Stars on intermission, but I don’t see that as the important part of the fight.

Krosus: 3231232. ST trinkets. Demon Ring for 2-set. Classic ST fight if your fellow raiders have perfect execution of mechanics. Stellar Drift is nice if people miss soaking pools and spawn adds; Nature’s Balance is likely better if few adds spawn.

Botanist: 1333112. AOE Trinkets. Constant cleave fight after 75%.

Star Augur: 3123232. ST trinkets. Little movement, but my legendary and the ads in the last third make Stellar Drift worth it.

Elisande: 1223112. ST trinkets. Somewhat similar to Anomaly, the ads are up just enough to make AOE worth it.

Gul’dan: 1223112. ST trinkets. Frequent AOE burst, but not up enough to make AOE trinkets worth it.

Trinket Spoilers

For Balance, you actually don’t want to swap out trinkets in Nighthold much, as the same trinkets tend to do well on both AOE and single target. Look for a post tomorrow to see my simulation results.