Thone of Tides - Preview
NOTE: This guide has been updated to include all the information on both the Normal and Heroic versions of the bosses.
The Throne of Tides is one of the first two instances available to you when you enter Cataclysm, the other being Blackrock Caverns. The Throne of tides is located in the underwater zone of Vashjir and contains several difficult trash pulls, a giant squid, a cut scene, and four different bosses. Better yet the instance is very attractive to look at and work through. Several of the walls are transparent so you can see outside to the ocean that surrounds the instance. In fact a few of the groups of creatures end up swimming into the instance from outside to attack you.
The trash creatures (enemies in an instance that are not the boss) are varied and challenging. While most of the groups can be handled without any form of crowd control (CC), it can be helpful. Of special note are the large naga guardians, that drop poison puddles that tick for a lot of damage (get out fast!), and the nagas capable of healing. The naga healers are especially nasty as they can heal a significant amount and if the group does not focus on them will stay up for a long time. Lastly there are several groups of AoE trash creatures that makeup guantlet type events in the final two hallways. One is full of merlocs and giants while the other if full of elementals that can easily swamp a healer if not grabbed by the tank quickly.
Lady Nazjar is the first boss in the instance and can be found straight ahead from the entrance to the instance and up the elevator. She is a large naga caster that can inflict serious damage to the party. Until she is defeated you will not be able to access the other bosses as they are down the corridors to the left and right of the main foyer that are filled with giant tentacles from the squid attacking from outside.
Fungal Spores This is a disease that she places on a player that ticks for a lot of damage, roughly 10,000 per tick.
Static Shock This attack hits the tank and takes her 3 seconds to cast. It will hit for significant damage if allowed to complete, but is interuptable. In normal mode it will hit for roughly 40,000 and on heroic it hits for roughly 150,000.
Geyser This is an eruption of water that will erupt from a rune on the ground shortly after she starts casting it. It deals significant damage as well as throwing any player caught in it into the air. The combined damage from it and the fall will almost kill anyone that is not a tank.
Lady Nazjar Strategy
Lady Nazjar is a two phase fight. In phase one you must deal with her and her abilities. Once you get her down to 66% (and again at 33%) she will shield herself from all damage and summon three adds. They are two Sea Witches and an Honor Guard, similar to those you fought to reach her just with additional health. Once they have been defeated she returns to the fight.
In phase one players really need to watch for the static shock and vortex abilities as either one has the potential to wipe a group. With everything going on onscreen they can be easy to miss. Melee DPS especially needs to be careful so that they see the geyser or the tank getting static and clear away.
In phase two the adds are fairly simple, however if DPS is split it may lead to issues with the tank holding the adds. Let the tank grab all three and then focus fire them down. Once they are dead, return to phase one tactics.
Lady Nazjar Heroic Strategy
The fight is much the same in heroic mode as in normal mode. There are no new major abilities, however in phase two there will be tornados that swirl about the room damaging anyone they catch. This means that as players deal with the three adds they must be aware of what is happening around them. If a tornado touches a player they are taken out of the fight for roughly 5 seconds and suffer a great deal of damage.
While the rest of the fight remains the same, her abilities are much stronger. The main ability to watch for is her Static Shock which will now hit for up to 150,000 damage. The tank may be able to survive a hit, however the healer will have so much trouble catching up that the fight is likely to be a wipe. Someone must be assigned to ensure that this spell is interrupted each and every time. The fight is not DPS sensitive in phase one and players should not worry about any loss of damage caused.
The other major difference is in phase two, where the adds hit much too hard to be all tanked at once. While possible, it is much easier if one is cc'ed by someone while the tank grabs the centre melee add and drags it over to the side where the non-cc'ed caster is. Deal with both before moving onto the cc'ed caster. Once all are down, return to the boss.
The commander is found in the next room after defeating Lady Nazjar and is a more difficult fight where many groups will wipe while learning him. He is a large faceless one similar to those you have seen in past instances such as the Old Kingdom in WotLK. While he is a single phase fight his damage output makes the fight very healer intensive.
Enrage Increases his damage output by 100% for 8 seconds.
Shadow Fissure This is a very nasty attack that starts with a two second cast. When done he slams anyone in front of him and places a shadow fissure on the ground. The damage is extreme and can come close to killing an ICC geared tank if you do not avoid it. The fissure also stays on the ground and ticks for roughly 10,000 damage per second to anyone foolish enough to stand in it.
Squeeze Targets a random player and pulls them into his grip. This deals roughly 20,000 damage over the next few seconds until he releases the victim.
Commander Ulthok Strategy
This fight is fairly simple, other than the massive healing requirements, and mainly revolves around the tank moving away when shadow fissure is about to be cast, and everyone else avoiding the fissure left on the ground. The healer needs to ensure that everyone is at full health so that if anyone is pulled in for a hug, that they are not killed.
The biggest issue seems to be when the boss pulls a player in for a squeeze and then ends up dropping them into a fissure! When this happens the player will be taking upwards of 30,000 damage in less than 4 seconds and then another 10,000ish each subsequent second until they get out of the fissure. Watch the fight closely and get out quickly if you are yanked in.
Commander Ulthok Heroic Strategy
This fight only really has one main difference between normal and heroic mode. That difference is that once a Dark Fissure is placed it remains in play and grows over time. Eventually the entire room will be filled by the first one placed.
To handle this fight in heroic mode the tank should pull Ulthok all the way back to the entrance of the room and start there. Once Ulthok starts to cast dark fissure the tank should move to one side and back up a few steps. Each time Ulthok places another fissure you simply repeat this process slowly backing up in a circle around the outside of the room. Ranged DPS should stay to the centre with the healer. The fight essentially becomes a DPS race to down Ulthok before the fissures cover the entire room and make healing impossible. As long as DPS is reasonable (say over 7,000 per DPS player) then the fight is not an issue. If you have someone that isn't really geared for Heroics then this is a check point fight for that.
Erunak Stonespeaker / Mindbender Ghursha
As you play through the zone as an Alliance player Erunak is one of the first NPCs that you meet, and I was shocked to find him in the instance as a fight. However all is made clear as you work your way through this mutli-phased fight. This boss is in fact not really the boss, instead he is being mind controlled by a squid looking creature called Mindbender Ghursha.
Lava Bolt Hits a single target for a large amount of fire damage.
Earth Shards This ability sends earth spikes towards a random player. Once there they erupt from the earth and cause damage to anyone in the area for a short period of time.
Magma Splash This is a cone of fire that his everyone in front for a short period of time. Keep him faced away.
Mindbender Ghurshas Abilities
Enslave This is a mindcontrol that allows him to control the target player and use all of their abilities until that player is reduced to 50% health.
Mind Flay This is similar to the Priest ability, except that it hits all players at once. If you break LOS to Ghursha it stops affecting you.
Poison Cloud Drops a poison AoE on the ground that deals significant damage and sticks around for a while.
Mindbender Ghursha Strategy
The fight starts with Mindbender Ghursha controlling Erunak Stonespeaker, this is phase one. He will continue to control him and use his abilities until you drop him to 50% health at which point he jumps off Erunak starting phase two. None of Erunaks abilities are all that bad, and most groups should not have issues getting to phase two.
In phase two Ghursha starts moving around the room casting mind flay and dropping poison clouds until he randomly selects a player and enslaves them. This starts phase three. At this point he has access to all of their abilities and you need to act quickly. Drop that player to 50% health to release them from his control. Depending on the player that he controls phase three can be very simple or very difficult, its all luck.
Once you do manage to get the controlled player down to 50% health, Ghursha will once again drop to the ground and you re-enter phase two. The fight continues to shift between phase two and three until you have defeated Ghursha.
Mindbender Ghursha Heroic Strategy
In the heroic version of this fight Ghursha gains a new ability called Absorb Magic. This is a 3 second shield that Ghursha puts up. While protected any spell damage that hits Ghursha heals him for 3 times the damage it should cause instead of harming him. This means that any casters in the group, or even any melee that cause magic damage, need to watch closely and stop attacks while the shield is up.
In heroic mode also players must really be aware of his mind flay. On normal mode it can almost be ignored and healed through, however it ticks for enough damage on heroic mode that your healer will quickly run out of mana trying to keep everyone alive. This means DPS must position themselves to be near one of the pillars in the room at all times so they can quickly break line of sight to Ghursha any time mind flay is cast.
All of his other abilities hit much harder in heroic mode as well, so players should watch and interrupt as much as possible. In phase one this means interrupting the lave bolt and earth shards any time they are cast. If you are able to do so the fight becomes much simpler for your healer.
Ozumat is the final boss in the instance and is a scripted encounter. When you enter the room you can speak to Neptulon in the centre of the room to start the event. Your job is to defend Neptulon though the encounter.
The fight starts when Ozumat sends in several waves of creatures to attack Neptulon. Each of the creatures needs to be grabbed and held by the tank, or an off tank until they have been dispatched. They spawn all around the room and therefore the group needs to ensure they pick them all up or they will either kill Neptulon or attack your healer.
Blight Beast Has an aura that does shadow damage to anyone nearby.
Unyielding Behemoth Has a heavy hitting shadow AoE that hits everyone within about 20 yards and throws them away. It hits hard enough that it will drop a tank to roughly half health.
Vicious Mindlasher Casts shadow bolt type spells at players that hit hard and interrupt spell casting for 4 seconds.
This is a three phase fight that relies heavily on the tank controlling specific adds while DPS burns down others. When done cleanly, the fight is very hectic but a lot of fun.
Phase one involves tanking Vicious Mindlashers and Unyielding Behemoths. There are also swarms of Murlocs that spawn however DPS can AOE these down quickly enough. Priority for the other adds are melee DPS on the mindlashers as they can silence casters and then the behemoths. The Behemoths do damage to everyone around them and should be killed by range and only initially damaged by melee before they clear away.
After several sets of adds in phase one are dealt with they stop being summoned and phase two starts. In phase 2 there are two very different types of adds to be dealt with. The first type of add will be three Faceless Sappers that are summoned that deal damage to Neptulon over time. These need to be killed by the DPS before they kill Neptulon. The best strategy is for one DPS to mark a single sapper and all DPS converge on and kill that one before moving on to a second and then a third.
While the DPS is dealing with the sappers, the other type of add will continually spawn, these are Blight Beasts. The Blight Beasts place a debuff on whatever they hit that deals shadow damage over time and can stack quite high. Because of this stacking DOT the tank must aggro the Blight Beasts but not tank them, instead they are kited around the room while the DPS is fighting the Sappers.
Once the three sappers are killed the fight enters phase three. Any adds still alive will remain active in the fight, but at this point Ozumat enter the fight from above. DPS should look up to be able to target him at the top of the room. He will fill the room with the Blight of Ozumat which deals damage to everyone in it and can not be avoided. However to counter this Neptulon grants everyone his own buff, boosting your health, damage, and healing by 500%! This allows you to burn though Ozumat's 3 million health in less than 30 seconds. If you get to phase three the fight is essentially a free win.
Ozumat Heroic Strategy
The fight is almost identical in heroic mode as in normal mode. There is of course more damage being dished out, but other than that the fight remains the same. It is a hectic race to control adds while DPSing them down before they kill Neptulon.
While hectic the fight is a lot of fun and not that much harder on heroic than normal. If you have the normal mechanics down, don't expect any real issues on this fight.
The instance is both nice to look at, easy to manoeuvre through, and challenging. In fact I can see some PUG groups having issues with it, especially on heroic mode. However, this is not a bad thing, in fact I really like it. After all this is level 80-82 content we are talking about here. To me, if you are at this stage in the game you should be expected to be a solid player and be up for some challenge. This instance seemed more difficult that the other starter instance of Blackrock Caverns.
If you are looking for an easy heroic instance, this is one of the easier ones. While some of the trash can be difficult, such as the two final hallways with the murlocs and the elementals, the bosses are not that hard. As long as everyone does what they are supposed to and communicates well, the fights are fairly simple.