Allthough this fight appears as one of the heaviest AoE fights around, it is just a single target fight in disguise: the enrage can be quite tight (very tight on mythic if you don’t play it right) and doing too much AoE can be detrimental to certain mechanics.
The fight is one main target, the naga Mistress Sass’Zine, who periodically summons 3 Abyss Stalker to haunt one of the tanks. Killing these will leave a pool of Concealing Murk on the ground, which deals a small amount of damage and causes your attacks to miss 75% of the time. These will also destroy the deadly Slicing Tornados the boss will summon. Therefore, you want them to die right before those are summoned. This will sometimes mean killing them very quickly, sometimes slowly.
Throughout the whole fight, the boss will mark players with Hydra Shot. This will draw a line between them and the boss and deal damage spread across every player hit. Getting hit by more than one will stun you for 30 seconds, resulting in most scenarios in death.
When affected by other mechanics (for instance, Consuming Hunger) you should be careful with this ability and pop a defensive for the shot.
When afflicted by Consuming Hunger, you will want to stand in Thundering Shock‘s jellyfishes and ask for a magical dispell. In other circumstances, avoid every standing in these. When you do though, this will remove your debuff and spawn a low HP murloc who casts dangerous Water Blast. Careful, the boss stops summoning Jellyfishes at 70% but consuming hunger starts spawning again at 40%!
During phase 2 (70% -> 40%), the boss will spawn two deadly fishes:
–Crashing Waves will summon a huge fish through the middle of the room, quickly killing everyone who stands in it’s path; be quick to move to the edge with the tanks (easy as a monk);
– Beckon Sarukel will summon another fish who will slowly drag all players towards on corner of the room; therefore, you want to move back towards the middle after crashing waves to avoid being instantly suck in. If Sarukel remains, he will eventually suck every player in and instantly kill anyone within 15 yards of him. This is when you want to get hit by Befouling Ink and move near the fish. Once 3 inks are brought to him, he will vanish.
The last phase takes two soft enrage mechanics from phase 1 and 2: Befouling Ink keeps spawning but Sarukel is not there to clear them anymore, so the room gets very crowded very fast; Consuming Hunger gets applied but there are no mroe jellyfishes to remove them. However, hand of protection will remove that debuff and spawn it’s murloc.
On the other hand, the other mechanics keep happening: you’ll have to deal with tornados, waves, abyss stalkers and hydra shots all along.
Chi Burst is funnily a very solid option here. Allthough people will say this boss is not about killing the stalkers too quickly, you will often tag them with tiger palm, losing some eye of the tiger damage on them. Just the same, Chi wave will bounce on some stalkers, wasting some priority target damage. In the end, the biggest downside is actually having to cast this on a movement heavy fight, but it is a very solid choice. Specially, with serenity, you have very long windows where you drop eye of the tiger or cannot use Chi wave, making it a real choice.
Talent Recommendations: Dampen harm
I favor dampen harm here as it will cover every spell, from hydra shot to thundering shock. It’s long duration means it will help when you actually need help the most: when you get a damage over time effect (wether it’s consuming hunger or befouling ink) then get hit by a hard hitting effect (hydra shot, thundering shock…)
Therefore don’t be afraid to use it early to cover most of the incoming damage.
Having good positioning is paramount. It can be hard at times to place camera correctly so practice this as early as you can.
This is a very interesting fight on mythic, as it is not very forgiving and puts a lot of emphasis on personnal management.
Most abilities remain the same as heroic with a twist: slicing tornados don’t stop on musk, they get slowed down. Abyss stalkers timings are tighter. You need 5 befouling inks to feed Beckon Sarukel. There are 4 hydra shots, each of them deadlier.
But what makes all of this fun is the mythic only mechanic: Delicious Bufferfish.
Regularly, the boss will spawn these punny fishes on fix markers, 5 every time. Once you pick one up, your damage increaes by 30% plus another 3% per second, capping at 150%. However, after roughly 10% of the boss’s health is gone, sharks will lurk towards your fish and kill anyone nearby.
Taking ANY sort of damage drops the fish, and you won’t be able to pick another for 2 minutes.
This mechanic is dealt with differently by every guild. Some will have the tank with Burden of Pain taunting with a strong defensive and dealing slight damage to the whole raid; some will alternate dropping them with mechanics and with burden. Some will allways have them dropped through mechanics.
No matter how your guild decides to deal with these, it is very important that you make sure you control how you’re going to drop the fish. After 70%, it should be easy to drop them with ink patches. Prior to that, you can allways use eel’s musk patches (stand for a couple seconds in it).
The first set of bufferfishes spawns shortly after the pull. If you’re assigned to use these, hold onto your touch of death and serenity untill you’ve picked up the buff. Touch of death’s gale burst does NOT double dip on the buff, as it is a damage buff on you, not a damage taken increase on the boss. This is the easiest bufferfish to get, but most likely given to mages/rogues/demon hunters.
The second set of bufferfishes should happen shortly after your second serenity comes off cooldown. If you’re assigned to take it, hold onto serenity. You want to pick it up as early as possible for the stacks to ramp up as high as possible. Take your time with setting up your damage nicely as the buff ramps up very quickly and is much stronger towards the end than immediately as you pick it up.
Your third set of buffs happens a bit after your touch of death comes off cooldown, however it happens towards the begining of phase 2 and quite a messy part of the fight. Therefore, I encourage you to take a bit of time to assert when it’s best to pick it up as Beckon Sarukel will drop it instantly for instance.
The 4th set happens around the boss’s half HP mark and is pretty straightforward as from then on you can easily drop fishes through ink puddles.
The 5th set happens around 35% and is where the boss just entered last phase, so might coincide with bloodlust. If you have both this fish and bloodlust, as I did, be very careful because the damage you deal at this point in the fight can be absolutely enormous and quickly cleave the abyss stalkers when you don’t want them to.
Be careful about Hydra Shot when Bufferfishes are up: that’s 5 less people to soak the 4 shots, which then quickly become extremely deadly. If you see someone is missing in your shot, pop a touch of karma or dampen harm before it or you might get killed.
It might be surprising that I tell you to go for black ox statue when every mob in this encounter can be stunned, but your group is likely to have stuns and shadow priests willing to proc their Sephuz’s. Therefore, the statue can be a really nice addition to your kit; it will occasionally pick up aggro of the various adds, tank a couple hits or blasts before tanks get aggro. This might look like nothing but if it saves one bufferfish it might mean a kill. If you’re not in need of another stun, go for it.
Here is what my current planning for the fight looks like:
Tiger palm -> chi wave -> tiger palm -> place black ox statue in the middle of the room -> touch of death -> Fists of Fury -> serenity -> FIsts of fury is up again at the end and will cleave stalkers for free if you need to.
30-35 seconds in I delay my strike of the windlord for a few seconds to line it up with burden of pain and gain free thunderfist stacks; this is inconsequential as the next strike is delayed.
1 minute 10 in I hold onto serenity, pick up bufferfish as soon as I can and pass the tornados. I’m patient with my serenity but do not delay it more than necessary. I then go for fists of fury into a big serenity plus whatever trinket I’m using during the buff. I drop bufferfish on 3rd or 4th wave of eels.
I use following touch of death and serenities on cooldown.
Around 40-45% in, when my touch of death comes off cooldown, I hold onto it for last phase push.
On 35-37% I pick up bufferfish and use second prolonged power potion, bloodlust and go into touch of death plus my big serenity.
Rest of the fight is mostly surviving, nuking some sets of stalkers and taking down the boss slowly.