This post is only about 3 weeks late, but we finished Throne of Thunder! Due to being incredibly busy IRL and having some website issues, I’m just now getting around to actually making the post.
Before I post the giant screenshots, I just want to let everyone know that we’re currently recruiting for T16 progression! We have high need for a Mage, Warlock, and DK, and we’re always looking for exceptional players of any class.
The Tier in Review: We started this tier out really strong. We were prepared with PTR experience, had a solid roster, and had pretty good gear from T14 (although not even close to BiS, unfortunately). Our initial kills came quickly and efficiently and things were generally going great. Once we got further into the tier, our lack of a paladin tank (or a competent second tank in general) really started to slow us down. Isamoo’s unfortunate departure from our raid team to attend to his new job was an unfortunate setback, but one we recovered from within a week. Kankersore’s quitting was much more detrimental because it came during Dark Animus progression, so we essentially could not progress without replacing him. We also lost Amnaesia to his summer job around this time and I became less consistent due to my own real life commitments. Needless to say, attendance was not at its best here. However, we recruited to fill those gaps and we finished off Animus, Lei Shen, and Ra-den rather quickly once our roster was full again.
Jin’rokh: A good first heroic, but posed very little challenge for our group since we already knew how to dodge roaming death balls from Imperial Vizier Zor’lok
Ji-kun: Probably my favorite fight of the tier… excessive planning, no RNG, and an unnecessarily complex weakaura to manage it all! We ranked really highly on this fight because we knew that it was easy and how to do it from PTR experience.
Horridon: We struggled a lot with this fight, mostly due to tanking. Would have really loved a paladin tank here when we were progressing.
Tortos: We probably should have done this before Horridon, the secret here was using Curse of Exhaustion to slow the turtles and for me to make a Weakaura to countdown to the turtle kicks.
Council of Elders: This fight seemed like a total brick wall until we learned that you can pre-immune the Frostbite and that it’s viable to NOT stack for it and just spam cooldowns and single target heals on the Frostbite person. After that and a few DPS tweaks, this fight remained difficult but doable.
Iron Qon: A fight we probably could have done sooner, but, as usual not having a paladin tank held us back. Having two warlocks (and therefore enough gateways for everyone) really trivialized a lot of this fight. A weakaura for cooldown rotations at the end of the fight sealed the deal.
Megaera: This fight now holds the title of Most Attempts of MoP, barely edging out H Stone Guards from T14. We 1 tanked this fight, which in hindsight I think was probably not the best idea. We lost tons and tons of attempts to figure out the positioning and the timing, which wouldn’t have been necessary with a 2 tank strat. Yes, it’s elegant and efficient in the end, but I’m not sure it was worth the huge learning curve. For some reason, we also couldn’t stop accidentally pulling the boss. Seriously everyone did it at least once. Some of us sadly more than that…
Primordius: Everyone says this fight is “so easy”, but we struggled a lot with this one. Our DPS was always fine, but we had a lot of problems with the Big Oozes. Once we switched to “just nuke the Big Oozes no matter what”, things really improved despite a loss in overall DPS. I’m not sure I was ever more frustrated than when tanks let the Big Oozes run into the boss.
Durumu: This fight is way too RNG on 10 man. Having random people in the beams was really just unnecessary and made the whole fight a huge pain in the ass. Fortunately, you didn’t actually need a paladin tank, just any kind of paladin to cheese this fight. This fight was the first one we killed without Isamoo because he ran off to be an international hotshot business man.
Twin Consorts: The only hard part here was figuring out when to draw the different Celestials and how to handle the stupid RNG when the second comet wouldn’t spawn in Phase 2. I actually liked this fight a lot. A special shoutout to Isamoo for raiding from Singapore for this kill.
The Month of the Animus: This wins the award for most difficult fight of the tier, hands down. The easiest way to do this fight is to use 3 tanks. What happens the very day we get to this boss? Kankersore, our second tank, goes “on vacation”. Fortunately, Fedya is an excellent backup tank and we actually do better with him offspec tanking than we ever did with Kank. However, this leaves us with only two tanks and 11 players total. So we try two tank/3 heals, we try two tank/2 heals, 1 tank/2 heal zerg, all with no success. After two weeks of “vacation”, Kank suddenly “has to work”, and then never returns. Doesn’t answer texts, forum posts, nothing. Literally could not have been a worse time to lose a tank. He was always upstanding and trustworthy before this, so we didn’t even start looking for a replacement until he was supposed to be back from vacation. Thanks a lot man. Anyways, once we recruited a third tank, the fight pretty much fell over to 3 tank/2 heal while I was away in California. Sadly, this was the first first-kill since H Conclave in T11 that I missed :(. Good job everyone else for doing it without me!
Lei Shen: Most people rave about how awesome this fight was. Unfortunately, we spent so long failing on Animus that we just had too much gear to really appreciate the difficulty of this fight. We spent only one raid lockout learning it, and most of that was learning how not to get Helm’d off the platform, how to use immunities for Static Shock, and how to “loosely clump” so we didn’t all get one-shot by Ball Lightning. It was still a pretty fun fight, and certainly a more exciting end-of-tier boss than Sha, but we really didn’t get the full experience IMO. Nevertheless, it is probably my second favorite fight of the tier.
Ra-den: Widely acknowledged to be a gear check, this fight was incredibly disappointing in comparison to Lei Shen with our current gear levels. It only took us 8 attempts from first pull to kill, and about 5 of those were just trying to get some Ra-den mod to work for the Unstable Vita rotation. Eventually we just sacked that mod and did our own rotation and killed it on our first ever Phase 2. The real key is to just drop everything and nuke the Red Balls in Phase 1. Sorry Fedya for getting myself rezzed instead of you during Execute phase… raid leader perks! Looking forward to another few weeks of DE’ing a 541 cloak every time we kill this boss.
This finally brings us to the end of Throne of Thunder. Thankfully, we finished it before July, because I have accepted a new job in California, and will have to take a possibly-permanent break from raiding in order to move and get set up with my new job. I’ll still be around in-game and on the forums and probably in a backup raiding capacity, I just can’t commit to 100% attendance like a raid leader needs. Jellog (a.k.a. Nameviolator, Joe) has been doing a fantastic job of leading the group in my increasingly frequent absences, including killing Dark Animus without me and doing most of the Lei Shen progression (but my leet dps got me a spot for the kill). The primary reason Royal Militia is still around after almost 9 years is that we do a great job of transitioning leadership. Jellog has been with RM since vanilla and has been taking on more and more of a leadership role over the last 3 months and I have every confidence that he will keep the raid going strong going forward into the future.
Going Forward: Since we’ve cleared the tier with many weeks to spare, we’ll be doing PTR, alt raids, and probably selling gear/achievements or Challenge Modes, so stay tuned!
Until next time,