I shall cut off her head and fill her mouth with garlic, and I shall drive a stake through her body.–Bram Stoker, Dracula
Lately I’ve been asked by a couple players, and have heard discussion in various places about what to do with Blood Queen Lana’thel. In my opinion, there is no need to use a mod or get bogged down with really complicated assignments. The solution is to put the Bite Order responsibility in the hands of your raiders.
What have I done? The test subjects are running the experiment!
This guide is written with an assumption that you have good working knowledge of the mechanics. Check out StratFu if you need a quick primer.
How do you position to avoid deaths in the air phase?
How do you assign bites and get them to the correct people?
Five Healers? Six Healers?
All of these are valid concerns for a group starting in on this boss for the first time on 25 man. For 10 man, the number of people and size of the room immediately solve all of the above issues so we won’t get into that.
On 25 man you immediately have a numbers issue with the vampires. You will start with an initial “seed” bite ~10 seconds into the event. Then, as the debuffs wear off (every 1:33) you will have 2 then 4, 8, and finally 16 vampires in the raid.
Zombocolypse? Zombieocolypse? Zombiegeddon?
I know they’re vampires, just bear with me here (bears AND zombies? wtf). Let’s say, hypothetically, you have four towns and these towns happened to be named Group 1, Group 2, Group 3, and Group 4. Within Groups 1 through 4 you are going you need to spread the zombie infection in such a way that each town always has an equal number of zombies.
Why? If you divide the 16 eventual vampires into 4 groups of 4, they are able to plan amongst themselves in party chat how the bites will be distributed. In each of the 4 groups you will place one of your highest DPS (2 melee groups, 2 ranged groups).
Your first bite will be on a melee or ranged player. The first person this player bites is of the opposite role (melee bites ranged, ranged bites melee). You now have 1 melee vampire and 1 ranged vampire. This will limit the total amount of raid movement later in the fight and increase your DPS. Visually:
|Group 2||Group 3
The next bite (2 vampires to 4 vampires) will have your 2 current vampires biting in the opposite group, same role, creating:
These first four players, again, need to be your highest DPS. One of them should get picked for the first bite. 95% of the time it will be one of the four players you set up to fill in the above table. We think the first bite is based on threat (highest after both tanks), but haven’t seen that consistently. All we know is that the higher you are on threat at the start of the fight the better your chances are for getting picked (for us, hunters).
Once you have a vampire in each group it becomes simple. Before you start the fight have each group plan who is going to be their bite partner for the round of 8 and the round of 16. For example, you have these players in group 3:
Jeff is your highest DPS, he is going to be the first in the group to get bitten. When his essence runs out he will bite Seth. On the final bite Jeff will bite Edward and Seth will bite Brad (couldn’t pass that up). This sort of assignment will go on for all four groups internally.
Borsk, that’s confusing as hell
It might be at first, but no matter what strategy you go with someone is going to have to know who they need to bite next. Have them write it down on a post-it and stick it to their monitor if that’s what it takes. When the bites are assigned this way, you have a clear picture of how the fight will play out and who should and shouldn’t be a vampire. If someone gets mind controlled, you ask their group what happened (who were you supposed to bite!?).
“They were out of range/I couldn’t find them”
It is the responsibility of the vampire and his victim to know where each other are. If right before a bite occurs one of them is targetted by Swarming Shadows or Pact of the Darkfallen, they need to call it out and let them know (on vent, preferably). A person running from something is not an excuse for a mind control. The person being bitten should move in range (right in front of) their vampire and be ready to take the bite.
“I bit them and they died”
This is on the healers (in most cases. Calm down, healers). Especially on the final bite (8->16) it is important that the players exchanging vampire pleasantries are topped off. Since the Blood Queen’s aura ticks for more damage as more vampires become active, the final bite is right when you want to hit Lust/Heroism for maximum DPS and Healing effect. If you hit it too early you will likely reach the enrage timer on your first few tries. The timing is very important.
Wait on the first bite. If the first vampire in the fight uses his bite the moment it becomes active, the next bite will need to occur during the first air phase. Obviously this is bad because of Blood Bolt Splash. You are relying on RNG to save your ass. Never rely on the RNG, just have the first vampire wait for his Frenzied Bloodthirst debuff to tick down to 3 seconds remaining before he bites.
Prevent deaths during the Air Phase with even spreading. We always assign Group 3 West, Group 4 East and Group 5 south (ranged/healer groups). Whenever the Blood Queen fears and begins her Air Phase the ranged DPS run to the outer wall and spread out (6-7 yards minimum). This will open up the North and Center for the melee and a couple well placed healers to stand.
Depending on the classes you bring, you will want to use abilities such as Divine Sacrifice (good for melee), Aura Mastery: Shadow, and Divine Hymm to keep the spike damage down. Spreading properly will mitigate nearly all of the danger in the two air phases.
Pact of the Darkfallen. Keep the center clear and have a shaman focus on sending chain heals through the players connected by the Pact. It will jump to nearby players receiving splash damage and will also heal the connected players as they work to close and remove the Pact link. Deus Vox Encounters (DXE) has a handy flash/beep combination to let you know when your pact is removed so that you don’t run away too early.
No shaman healer? You don’t have a real raid!
5 vs 6 Healers
Start with 6 healers and drop one if your DPS keeps coming up short in the low single digits. It always sucks to have to drop a healer that’s been working on the fight for so long and may miss the first kill, so look to healers that have a solid DPS secondary spec/gear set. They won’t get bitten but should do more than enough damage to make up that final few percent.
If you are coming up ~10% short on the enrage then consider re-evaluating your bite order and moving higher DPS players up in the order. DPS should have an appropriate DPS-centric potion available to pop when Lust/Heroism is up after the second air phase. To reiterate, the player that is getting bitten should move to his vampire is possible.
Get Your Blow Torch and Pliers
It’s time to go to work on Blood Queen.