Updated Sat, Oct 27, 2012 by Mem
The Temple of the Jade Serpent is finally open for players to explore. The first instance available to players from the Mists of Pandaria expansion, the Temple of the Jade Serpent is a small instance to say the least, sporting only five bosses for players to defeat spread out over three mini-sized wings. The shortness of the instance, however, does not take away from the ability to enjoy this Mists of Pandaria dungeon. The bosses inside are well thought out and the storyline easily draws you in.
Rich in visual detail the Temple of the Jade Serpent looks identical to the one experienced by players in the outdoor quest version, except for the addition of the Sha, who have taken over and corrupted the temple. Making up both bosses and trash the Sha need to be driven from the temple so it can be restored to its former state and once again become a sanctuary for the Pandaren in WoW.
Upon entering the instance players will find themselves able to go left or right, with the middle wing of the instance closed for the time being. Which direction you take is totally up to your group and has no bearing on how the instance progresses.
The right wing of the Temple of the Jade Serpent takes players into Lorewalker Stonestep’s library. Here the Sha have taken over things and are systematically destroying the irreplaceable documents of the Pandaren. In the center of the library a scroll has been corrupted by the Sha and seems to be the major source of corruption for this particular wing. To reach the scroll players will need to make their way through a small host of trash which seem to make reference to the Chinese New Year.
Once the scroll is reached players will have to face off against one of two bosses taken straight from Pandaren lore:
The Trail of the Yongol
In the Trail of the Yongol, a Yongol finds himself faced with his own Strife and Anger. He must find balance between the two (with your help of course) in order to set his soul free. Strife and Anger will take the form of red Chinese dragons. Both Anger and Strife will be active at the same time and will cast Pain and Strife, a Shadow damage attack, at the group. Besides Pain and Strike players will encounter the following abilities during the fight:
To defeat the boss, players must take equal time DPS both Strife and Anger keeping a watchful eye on the stacking Intensity buff. To help mitigate the fire damage here, players should switch to the second entity whenever a few stacks of this debuff are active. Continue to switch back and forth between the entities until one is dead then move to the remaining entity who will be relatively low on health at this point. Simply defeat the remaining entity to finish this encounter.
The Champion of the Five Suns
In the Champion of the Five Suns players must defeat the five suns mentioned in this bit of Pandaren lore. In the first phase as mentioned players will face off against the five Suns as well as Haunting Shas which will appear from time to time throughout the fight. Zao Sunseeker is also in the room, however, he will stand around and generally do nothing until phase two. These Suns will use the following abilities:
Simply DPS down each Sun as well as any Haunting Shas floating around and stay alive. As each Sun is extinguished it will turn into a Sha which will hover in the air. Once all Suns are defeated the second phase of the fight will be triggered. The Suns (now turned into Shas) will enter Zao and corrupted him. You will now be forced to to face off against him in order to win this battle. Zao Sunseeker will make use of the following ability:
Besides the pesky arrows, the fight with Zao is basically a tank and spank. Just DPS him down and heal through the damage to win this battle.
Once the encounter in the library has been completed players will receive the thanks of Lorewalker Stonestep and should now retrace their steps to the front of the instance where they will need to take on the hallway on the left.
In the left side of the instance players will find themselves confronted with Corrupted Water Elementals blocking the path to the boss. These pesky trash mobs not only create an pool on the floor that causes AoE damage when they die, but also spawn Corrupted Droplets as well. Once you have navigated to the end of the corridor you will find Wise Mari, who has unfortunately been corrupted.
The Wise Mari fight inside the Temple of the Jade Serpent takes form in two phases:
Phase 1 - First and foremost players should note that the water here should be avoided at all costs as it will cause the Corrupted Waters debuff which stacks Shadow damage on the player. During the first phase no damage will be able to be done to Wise Mari who will be encased in a Water Bubble. Mari will instead use the Call Water ability which summons Living Water Elementals which must be defeated. Along with the Elementals Mari will also cast Hydrolance which causes the waters surrounding her platform to churn and bubble up and cause damage to any nearby players. After taking down several of these Elementals phase two of the fight will activate.
Phase 2 - At the start of phase two Mari will cast Bubble Burst which knocks all players back. Be on your toes as Mari will cast Wash Away, a water spout which rotates around the room. A nod to the Lurker Below right in the middle of this Mists of Pandaria instance without a doubt. Mari cannot be tanked in this phase so players should focus on DPS and avoiding the water spray until Mari has been defeated.
Once the battle with Mari is she will be cleansed and players can return to take on the final wing of the instance.
Inside the central courtyard players will be confronted with three groups of trash which are easily defeated. Once this trash has been cleared Liu Flameheart will spawn in the center of the courtyard. Liu Flameheart is a three part fight transitioning at 70% and then again at 30%.
During Phase 1 Liu will make use of the following abilities:
Basically a tank and spank fight, all players need to worry about in this phase is avoiding the waves which spawn at predictable locations from Liu. DPS Liu to 70% to transition into Phase 2.
In Phase 2 players will find themselves basically taking on the same fight except that Liu has now channeled the essence of the Jade Serpent to aid her in battle, granting her attacks an additional affect. Liu’s attacks in Phase 2 are:
In Phase 3 Liu will put all nonsense aside and will enter a trance which will make her immune to attacks. She will then summon the Spirit of Yu’lon, a spirit dragon, to defend her. Yu’lon is, like Liu, a tank and spank fight with one exception. Yu’lon will cast Jade Fire, a ball of flame that targets a player and leaves a pool of Jade Fire at their location which causes large amounts of damage to any players in the flames. Don’t stand in the fire and continue DPS on Yu’lon and your victory will be assured.
Once Liu is defeated the spray blocking the final room will vanish and the final boss of the instance will be waiting.
During the fight the Sha of Doubt will cast two rather nasty magic debuffs on players called Wither Will and Touch of Nothingness. Both these abilities will case large amounts of Shadow damage to the players they are cast upon and as such should be dispelled if possible. Besides this the Sha of Doubt has a melee attack that he will focus on whomever is taking him.
In this final boss fight players will find another nod to a boss in Serpentshrine; Leotheras the Blind. Every thirty seconds or so the boss will cast Figment of Doubt on the party. This ability will summon shadowy apparitions that must be killed before Gathering Doubt finishes, which will allow the boss to heal quite a large amount. Unlike the Leotheras fight, players can assist other players in defeating their apparitions, however, these shadowy figures are rather squishy and only the healer should find themselves challenged at all. Survive the apparitions and the Sha of Doubt’s magic to complete this instance.
While I have only completed this instance a handful of times I have found myself enjoying it every single time I’ve taken on the challenge. While short, the instance bosses and design are fulfilling and leave me wanting more. To say the least, if this new WoW instance is any indicator on what the other Mists of Pandaria instances will look like once they become available I believe that this expansion has the potential to become something truly great. I for one cannot wait to get back into this instance as well as try out the future ones to see exactly how the storyline progresses and what new boss encounters Blizzard has in store for us.