This week, for the first time, we had access to all the bosses in the Trial of the Crusader and Trial of the Grand Crusader.
Wednesday 10 man
So, come raid time, the officers were faced with a choice of what to do. We had around 30 people available to raid. Cutting any of them out for a Trial of the Crusader 25 seemed cruel, so instead we decided to take three 10 man groups. We jiggled them about, pulled in one friend and set off in three fairly even groups. My group featured a pala (Phaese) and druid (Wahalen) tank, a disc priest (Noela), a resto shammy (Alaka), and a druid healer (Warheart, who is normally a boomkin). We then had a mage (Uverjet), a lock (Sephriana) , an elemental shaman (Tammi), a frost death knight (Mokelok) and me! The other groups were similarly balanced and the race was on!
We spent about 10 mins adding some new gems and enchants to the druid tank, who had gotten some recent upgrades and not had a chance to fix them up. He doesn’t tank often, and hasn’t tanked in a formal raid before for us. Then we got going and everyone did a great job, one-shotting everything including Anub’arak. Despite that 10 minutes we were the first to get the clear! Gratz all.
We decided not to go on to do three Trial of the Grand Crusader groups. We knew there was only an hour left and felt if we locked in 30 people in three groups, the likelihood was we wouldn’t be able to get all three up again later in the week. Instead we went to Ulduar and had a laugh.
What it looks like when it all goes wrong (or the risks of pugging Trial of the Crusader 10)
I know Trial of the Crusader is not hard, but it feels good to be able to put three or four groups through 10 man each week, upgrading gear, giving raid experience and generally having fun. Those 10 mans have also made our 25 mans better, with everyone knowing what they face when they come in.
That being said, I’ve seen Trial of the Crusader fails. Last week I got invited to go to a 10 man group on my druid alt. It was with a decent guild, but I knew this group were struggling. Now, firstly, that was insane just to start with. The druid has improved her gear no end, but was still lacking the ability to hit over 3k dps at the time (now managed 3.8k the other day to get Consumption Junction in Drak’Tharon Keep by just burning down the boss). So, off I went with my crappy druid and we started on Northrend Beasts.
And we wiped. And wiped. It took quite a few attempts. The problem seemed to be healing. Both tanks seemed solid and skilled. The dps was probably a bit lacking, but that wasn’t what wiped us. Dead tanks was. Eventually we made it though, and Enalla got her second raid kill (behind Sartharion).
On to Jaraxxus. And the wiping began again. This time, because the Incinerate Flesh debuff was not healed off. In the end we got it because me and the other druid kept stopping dps to heal the damn thing. But we managed it. 2 bosses down.
Faction Champions proved the end of I though. This requires lightning reflexes and superb healing, not to mention strong dps that can take down the healers fast. We lacked these so we ended it. I know a lot of people complain that Trial of the Crusader is too easy. But the reality is, its not that easy for everyone.
Sunday – 25 man
So Sunday came and 25 man was in our sights. We romped through the first four bosses with only minor hiccups and plunged into the depths to face Anub’arak (side note – remember to start taking repair bots to raids again).
Our 25 man tactic worked a little differently. Keeping two adds per tank was a bit risky, but killing them all meant we lacked dps on the boss and he enraged on our first attempt. So we compromised. When the first two adds arrived, the tanks took one each. Melee stayed on the boss whilst ranged nuked them. If they could be tanked close to the boss to get the additional damage of Divine Storm, etc. they were. Then the tanks held the next two adds while we nuked the boss.
I think he went under three times, which is ok as long as your healers start using their mana abilities early and rotating them (priests casting Divine Hymn, Shammys with Mana Tide). Two submerges are better and we were very close.
When he tripped into 30% we made a mistake. It looked like the adds took a few seconds to spawn, so we thought we could take him from 31% to 30% when he came back up before they arrived. Thats not the case so we tripped him over 30% with 2 adds up. That was ok. Just bring some ice down next to the boss if possible and stand them next to the melee. I think next time we’ll not risk the 3rd submerge if possible. We popped hero and boom he was dead.
I got a new ring from Northrend Beasts – Band of the Violent Temperament to go with my Carnivorous Band. That leaves me with non-hit rings, but I might buy the Emblem of Triumph one when I drop some hit elsewhere. With 30 badges available from Trial of the Crusader, they soon build up.