Highmaul LFR - The Walled City
This guide will cover the very first wing of the Highmaul raid instance: Highmaul. This wing is fairly easy, probably since it is the introductory wing to this raid instance. In fact, with a good group, you could probably complete this wing in under an hour. Great for people with limited time. Entering the LFR version of the walled city requires your character to be level 100, have an ilevel 615 or above gear score, and to have completed the Silver version of the Proving Grounds.
Of course, as we know, Highmaul is the seat of power for the Forian Empire, the ogre civilization found in Dreanor. As mentioned above, the Walled City is the first wing of this instance. Inside this wing raid groups will find three bosses that they will need to defeat: Kargath, The Butcher, and Brackenspore. Upon zoning into the instance players will find an elevator leading them up to an arena. If you happen to miss the elevator (like I did), simply speak to the Arena Master who will teleport you above where after some trash you will meet with your first foe: Kargath Bladefist.
Kargath is a master of battle and has several abilities players will need to deal with throughout the fight:
- Blade Dance
- Chain Hurl
Tanks will take Kargath to the center of the room where he will be held for the remainder of the fight. Kargath's Impale ability will only be used on the tanks. This ability inflicts massive damage on it's target, leaving the Open Wounds debuff that does damage every 1 second for 8 seconds. This tank will require more healing than usual. Worse, consecutive Impales do even more damage.
Thankfully, one of Kargath's other abilities will make sure Open Wounds falls off your tank: Chain Hurl. From time to time Kargath will use a chain to lash 5 players and toss them into the arena's stands. In LFR difficulty, this ability automatically chooses the tank with the highest Open Wounds stacks, one random healer, and three random DPS. This allows the Open Wounds debuff to fall off the tank.
Once in the stands, players will need to attack the audience until an NPC called the NPC Sweeper knocks them back into the arena or the player dies. Players should focus on taking out Drunken Bileslingers and Iron Bombers. Taking out these audience members can be a blessing, as they hurl poison and other nasty tidbits that do damage to your raid. It should go without staying that standing in any of the garbage thrown by these hecklers is a no-no.
Kargath will also periodically use Berserker Rush throughout the fight. When using this ability Kargath will focus on one player and rush towards them. Kargath will do damage to anyone standing in his way, thus the entire raid should spread out at least 7 yards from any other player. Once Kargath reaches his target he will not stop attacking until the target is dead, unless something else grabs his attention. Perhaps some fire would do the job?
Around the room Fire Pillars will raise from the floor. These Pillars will spew forth rings of fire that do damage and should be avoided, until you are the target of Berserker Rush. Players who are the target of this ability should run and kite Kargath into one of these Pillars. This will cause Kargath to take his attention away from you and eventually return to the tanks in the middle of the room.
While it seems like a lot is going on during this fight, it really is very simple. Spread out, avoid standing in stuff, kill off Bileslingers and Bombers, and run Kargath into the fire if you get fixated. After defeating Kargath you will be graced with a short cut scene and then it is time to move on. Trash here is very simple and doesn't even need an explanation.
The next boss in line is the Butcher. The Butcher is once again a very easy fight in LFR mode. Many of his normal abilities are not considered LFR friendly and thus they have been totally taken out or revamped entirely in this mode. The Butcher has the following abilities:
- Heavy Handed
- The Cleaver
- The Tenderizer
- Meat Hook
- Bounding Cleave
- Gushing Wounds
The Butcher's main ability is a Cleave that hits the largest stack of melee players, it applies a debuff called Gushing Wounds that stacks. This debuff will kill you if you allow it to reach 5 stacks, however, it is virtually impossible to reach 5 stacks since the duration of Gushing Wounds is noticeably shorter in LFR. Simply have 2 stacks of melee players of roughly the same size and things should go smoothly.
The next ability to worry about it Bounding Cleave. The Butcher will knock everyone back and then charge the largest ranged cluster of players. He will then use Cleave, doing damage to all the players in the cluster. The damage is pretty minimal, but players should be healed up from the damage. Bounding Cleave also helps to ensure that Gushing Wounds is unable to stack overly high on any player.
Tenderizer is an ability that only the tanks have to worry about. This ability deals heavy damage and applies a debuff that increases damage from additional Tenderizers by 50%. To mitigate the damage from this ability, tanks should swap back and forth to let Tenderizer fall off. They should also try to stand separate form the rest of the melee to avoid getting stacks of Gushing Wounds.
At 30% health, the Butcher will Frenzy. This is an enrage that increases the Butcher's damage by 10% and attack speed by 30%. While more healing will need to increase, at this point the boss will fall pretty quickly, making his enrage an annoyance at best. After the death of the Butcher, it will be time to move on to the final boss in the Walled City: Brackenspore.
Unlike the previous two bosses, Brackenspore is not an Orc. An aquatic giant, Brackenspore will be engageable after you complete a short dialog with some Orcs. Brackenspore has the following abilities:
- Creeping Moss
- Necrotic Breath
- Infesting Spores
While Brackenspore is far from a difficult fight, this could be the fight your raid wipes on. There is a lot going on all at once. To get started; from time to time Braceknspore will spawn a large fungal type add, this should be picked up by the off tank. The DPS should kill the add as quickly as possible and return DPS to the boss.
Besides the add, Braceknspore will also spawn various types of mushrooms. There are two good mushrooms and two bad mushrooms. Bad mushrooms should be killed, while good mushrooms can be healed and used by the raid. The mushrooms are as follows:
- Mind Fungus – Bad. Slows cast speed.
- Spore Shooters – Bad. Shoots and AOE projectile.
- Rejuvenating Mushroom – Good. Gives Haste buff when healed to full health.
- Living Mushrooms – Good. Pulses AOE heal when fully healed.
Besides the mushrooms, Brackenspore will also unleashed a Creeping Moss. This moss will damage players and reduce movement speed. To combat the moss, players can take control of a handy flame thrower found nearby. The Flamethrower must be used judiciously, as it can overheat with overuse.
Necrotic Breath is a frontal cone that affects players in front of him. This ability not only does damage but also reduces the healing taken by these players by 99%. The MT should point the boss away from the raid at all times, with the OT standing on the raid side of the boss. When Necrotic Breath is cast the tanks should swap positions to negate this mechanic.
Besides this, Brackenspore will do some AOE damage with Rot and Infesting Spores that will need to be healed through, but overall the only important abilities this boss has are mentioned above. After defeating Brackenspore you will have successfully completed the first wing of Highmaul. Congratulations!