Welcome back to our 10.1 raid guide previews, proudly presented by Kingston Fury. In this installment, we'll show you how to defeat Zskarn in heroic Aberrus.
Please keep in mind that everything in this video is from PTR testing, and it's possible Blizzard altered the encounter in some way since the final testing. If that happens, we'll release an updated video after the fights are live.
This Karn is a single-phase fight that ramps up over time. The primary difficulty ramp in the fight is that progressively more area denial effects will appear through various abilities, especially dragon fire traps.
Dragon Fire Traps
When you look at the floor, you'll see a small circle in the middle of each scale. The circles are inactive traps. When the boss casts dragon fire traps, several of the inactive traps near him will arm. Standing in a trap gives you stacks of a six-second dot that deals mild fire damage but stacks infinitely. You can pass through traps if needed, but you should try to avoid ever touching one. Over time, these traps will start to overwhelm you and serve as a bit of a soft enrage as you can eventually run out of space.
To partially mitigate this, you'll be able to periodically disarm three traps at a time at about 40 seconds in, and then every minute or so, three Golem adds spawn. These don't have an aggro table, and they'll instead run directly towards inactive traps and try to arm them. You'll want to slow these and ideally use grips and knockbacks to group them up and cleave them down. When they die, the corpses are clickable, and doing so will give you salvaged parts. You can then use each one of these salvage parts to disarm one trap.
You'll want to pre-assign three people to handle this. Each one will loot a Golem, pick up your salvaged part, and then disarm one trap. Your raid leader should call where they want traps disarmed and use raid markers to denote locations. Make sure you're always leaving way out of wherever you are and make sure you never allow the raid to get surrounded by dragon fire traps.
The other major area of denial mechanic for this fight is called tactical destruction. When you look around the room, you'll see the perimeter is surrounded by dragon statues. Whenever the boss reaches 100 energy, he'll cast tactical destruction, causing nearby statues to breathe fire in a large circle around itself. If you're in that circle when it explodes, you die. As the fight moves on, the number of statues activating for each cast increases, covering progressively more of the room with fire circles. Keep your eyes open and always be aware of a safe path away from whatever dragon statues you're closest to. That way, you aren't scrambling right as the circle comes out, and you don't end up accidentally running directly into a trap because you didn't know where to go. Accidentally running on traps and setting yourself on fire will make your raid lead sad, so probably don't do that.
Aside from the area denial mechanics, there are a few other things to watch out for. Unstable Embers puts circles around a few players. These circles pulse, dealing damage to anyone within them every second for 10 seconds. If you got a circle, just move away from people. Blast Wave deals raid-wide AOE damage and applies a mild dot. This also knocks everybody back, which is the real danger here. Make sure you're positioned in a way that you won't be knocked back into either a trap or one of the Tactical Destruction circles, or you'll almost certainly die. You can position yourself to be knocked into the wall nearest where you are or just aim yourself to be knocked into an opening, just ensure you don't get knocked into things that'll kill you.
The tanks also get a couple of mechanics to mess with for this boss. The first is Searing Claws, which applies the stacking dot that lasts for 20 seconds. You'll just want to swap at around five or six stacks of this. The other tank ability is called Shrapnel Bomb, and these things are much more impactful. The boss will spawn three bombs around the room after 30 seconds. The bombs explode, dealing massive raid-wide damage and also applying a raid-wide dot. If a bomb explodes, you'll almost certainly lose people if you don't just flat out wipe.
Fortunately, you can proactively trigger these bombs. Doing so deals heavy physical damage to the soaking player and also applies an 8-second dot. This is where the tanks come in. Whichever tank doesn't currently have the boss should be soaking bombs. Ideally, you only want to soak one at a time, wait for the dot to fall, and then soak the next. You can soak two in a row if you really need to, but we recommend using a cooldown if you do that as the combination of two Shrapnel Bomb dots plus stacks of Searing Claws can actually be lethal even for a tank.
If absolutely needed, you can also have players with mobile immunities like Bubble or Turtle soak a bomb or two. Remember, it's physical damage, so things like a Rogue's Cloak of Shadows will not save you, but full immunities will.
This fight is really mostly about controlling the environment around you. You'll need to rotate the boss around the room to open areas, and your raid leader needs to be proactive and calling where to disarm traps. The better job you do managing traps, the more space you'll have to work with, and the less dangerous the fight gets.
Remember: Don't stand on people's circles, don't stand in bad, and don't get knocked into the bad. Kill the Golems as fast as you possibly can when they come out, disarm the traps, and work down the boss's health.
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