Over the last few weeks, the general theme of our raids has been “wow, we’re doing great — but if only we had more time.” The first night would always see us clear the first half, and then the second we’d knock out the rest of farm and push progression. Every week (or maybe every other) we’d knock down a new boss, and then look ahead daunted at the prospect of somehow jamming another boss into our already-packed raid week.
At that pace, I assumed, we were looking at least another month before we would get to Lei Shen. Give or take.
Then last week, Voss did something bold and declared that we were going to extend the lockout and start the raid week at Iron Qon. We’d move to a new system where every other week we’d extend, making our raid week essentially four nights long across two real weeks.
We had already put half a night into Iron Qon, and were pretty well versed with phase one. All we needed to do was learn and get down the remaining phases, however long that took.
Apparently it wasn’t going to take long at all. First pull of the night and we pushed right through phase one, lost three people on the phase two transition, rezzed one and kept going to get some more practice in, and then somehow managed to navigate the encounter to a kill despite being down two and never having seen the rest of the fight before.
It was a bit confusing, but who would say no to a kill, especially one that was decently executed — considering the handicap we were working with for most of it.
So, mightily impressed with ourselves, we continued onward to go throw ourselves at the Twin Consorts. I wish I could say we had a pretty interesting tussle with the twins, but instead we just rolled them like a cheap rug. An inglorious one-shot of a boss that we had never seen before (save LFR). I can’t recall a single moment of peril at that. Kind of disappointing to tell the truth.
Twins now ranks up there with Primordius in the pantheon of fights that were as exciting to kill as a slowly deflating souffle is to eat.
With the twins having been dispatched, all that was left was to somehow put some credible attempts in on Lei Shen. No one was prepared for the fight — who could have imagined we would have killed Qon so quickly and then the twins as well? Unheard of!
We took a long break so everyone could watch the video for Lei Shen and then did some break discussion before marking up the platform (is that officially the Throne of Thunder itself?) and getting in position for the pull to come to us. We were then off to the races, and put in a solid hour of attempts before having to call it a night.
I must admit, I foolishly allowed myself to get hyperoptimistic and believe that we could have killed him right then and there. I don’t think I was full prepared for how difficult, so to speak, the fight was going to be. It wasn’t, say Ragnaros-difficult, but it was definitely one of the tougher bosses we’d hit in Throne thus far.
The best we did that night was successfully get through the first transition, though not much farther than that. Regardless, we had a good basis and a lot to discuss on the strategy thread before the next raid.
And so on the following raid night, this past Monday, we reassembled with the goal more than ever to down Lei Shen and officially clear the instance. We were not going to extend the lockout again, so if we didn’t down the Thunder King that night, we’d have to wait two more weeks (with the new scheme) for our next shot. No pressure.
We started off with some ok attempts, taking until try four to get our not-dying-on-transition mojo back. The first time we saw phase two, I had the pleasure of watching Voss get punted off the platform by a Fusion Slash. I laugh, but if our positions were swapped, I would have done the same thing having completely forgot about that ability until the millisecond Voss’ feet left the ground.
Second to last attempt saw us pretty much master phase two, and clear the second transition as well. Things were looking great and it felt like a kill was in reach.
On the very last attempt we had the first time we exited the second transition with no one down at all, so the battle rez was still available. Burn phase began and we went to town.
Much like how the tanks forgot about Fusion Punt, we also completely blanked on the stacking dot. A little ways into the phase, Voss asked what my stacks were at, and before I could report back that they were apparently forty (woops) I had collapsed in a heap. (I may have been tunnel visioning on attempting to squeeze out damage. May.)
They brought me back up and the tanks got their act together for the rest of the fight. We cruised to a kill as everyone failed to get killed by Lightning Whip, or blown off the ledge, or stand too close to Thunderstruck. Having failed at failing, we were rewarded with a kill and an Ahead of the Curve feat of strength.
It felt so good to get that kill, especially as a particular kind of redemption from our stumbling in tier 14. We really earned this particular dethroning. Now rather than entering the next tier with sub-par ilevels and a huge handicap, we’ll be heading in just about where we need to be. It’s very exciting.
And now we have heroic Jin’rokh on our plates for tonight, which hopefully will go smoothly. I know we’re horrifically late to the party, but I always prefer this phase of a tier, where the pressure of getting the normal stuff down is gone and you can enjoy the delicious gravy of heroic modes and collecting higher ilevels at a more casual pace.
Indeed, if there’s anything last week has convinced me of, it’s that we are ready for hardmodes.
Speaking of higher ilevels, I really need to get the remaining runestones and pickup my goddamn cloak.