6 Reasons Why I Haven’t Killed Archimonde Yet

6 Reasons Why I Haven’t Killed Archimonde Yet

Image courtesy of KLatham

Note: If you are against WoW players with elitist attitudes, don’t read this post.

"No sacrifice, no victory!"
Sam Witwicky (Transformers, 2007)

I’m sure you’ve read about some of the frustrations that I’ve had with Archimonde in the past few weeks that we’ve worked on him. I wrote off the first few wipes as attempts on learning. Following one of our recent raids, a raid leader asked me for my thoughts on the issue. At the time, I did not know what to say because I did not put a lot of thought into it. After a few days of reflection, I’ve come up with a list of reasons about what our Guild is missing and why we aren’t getting things done.

Willingness to bench players

Remember Bruce? He’s an active member of our 25 man teams. When I mentioned to my raid leader that we should be switching out players that aren’t cutting it, he responded by saying that it isn’t going to work all the time. This is true, I will admit. But this is a progression encounter and we need to bring our best players in at all times. The fact is, Bruce doesn’t qualify as that yet. I respect the fact that he decided to go hemo spec to further help the raid. Unfortunately, I don’t for a second believe the DPS output of the raid has increased to offset the amount of potential damage he can do if he’s not hemo. For a melee player on Archimonde, he has to perform more damage then that.

When we first started on Archimonde, the raid leader said he was going to keep a list of names on who was dying and why. Enough is enough. It’s time to put that list to good use and bench the players that are at the top of the list. I don’t care how good or reputable that player is. If you’ve died many times, then you’re only gimping the raid. Hell, if it were me holding up the raid, I would voluntarily sit out because I know that I suck.

But there are certain players who make me groan to myself everytime they raid with us. It’s because they’re stupid or they don’t listen or they don’t pay attention. I’ve had to mute myself on numerous occasions because I have one hell of a temper. I don’t mind occasional wipes as long as we learn from them and it doesn’t happen again. Those are called progression wipes, and we learn best by experience. Yet if the same players continue to die for the same reasons, why are we bringing that player to a progression raid?


  • Players unable to time their air burst tears
  • Shamans who don’t stay with their group for decursive purposes
  • Paladins who can’t seem to listen or understand their assignments

Lag cannot continue to be an excuse

Several of our players were affected by lag issues (no doubt stemming from 2.4 patch related problems). But even before then, some players were complaining about lag affecting their timing. Those players have got to go. We cannot blame all problems on lag. If you cannot compensate for lag, then the law of probability dictates that sooner or later you will get air bursted, die, and subsequently wipe the way. In fact, based on the amount of players that were lagging that day, we should have done something more lag friendly instead. But my point here is the fact that if you’re experiencing connection problems, bow out of the raid and watch some TV.

Healers are being blamed

The whole blame healer excuse also needs to stop. Every once in a while, if it genuinely is a fault of one of ours, I know that our healers are man enough to accept that they had a brain fart and lapsed. But in an encounter with Archimonde that has Doomfires that snake out from Archimonde at a slow speed? We have the best healing corps, in my opinion. Yet a lot of pressure has been directed at us. Statements like "I need heals through doomfire" or "I wasn’t getting any heals" don’t cut it here. As a survival fight, there is no reason for any player to be suffering through doomfire. Healers might be able to compensate for one player getting it, but not when multiple players are getting hit. And they have the audacity to say that they’re not getting the proper heals? Why are you eating doomfires in the first place?


In hockey, goalies that are on fire continue to play. Goal scorers that continue to score are paired with the same players. Why? Because of this magical thing we call chemistry. Those same players continue to deliver the same results night after night.

We’ve had nights where we one shot the first 4 bosses in Mount Hyjal with absolutely no problems on trash within the first 90 minutes.

If that’s the case, why do we change up our roster when we get to Archimonde?

The raid leaders said it themselves. This is not a DPS fight, this is a survival fight. We can afford to keep certain classes that might not boost our DPS up a lot because we know they’re not stupid. Instead, we bench those players to bring in players who aren’t as good but we unfortunately need their buffs that they bring to the table. I’d rather take an extra Shadow Priest or a Ret Paladin instead of an Elemental Shaman or Holy Paladin. I know it’s extremely hypocritical for me to say that after I mentioned Bruce earlier above. But that case is an exception. Melee players are the rare few who get to go all out on Archie without much fear of anything happening to them.

I will take veteran experience over buffs any day.

Where’s the focus?

Everyone needs to be present and on the same page. I downshift my focus on trash, but I still go through the motions. However, when we get to bosses, my back is straight, my door is closed, and my cellphone is off. One small mental slip in concentration will result in a wipe. In an area like Hyjal, it is often disastrous.

One of our Warlocks once pulled aggro on Azgalor without realizing it. The raid promptly died and it was 5 minutes to the end of the raid which lead to the raid being called. That’s 30 minutes wasted. For a guild that only raids 11 hours a week, every minute is precious.

One voice

It’s nice to have 2 or 3 authority players who are leading the raid. But there are times when too many cooks spoil the broth. I’ve seen times where one person said to do this, and another player told that same person to do something else. Both players hold rank in our Guild. We cannot afford to have more than one person directing the play. Uncertainty is going to kill us. Those raid leaders need to get together and pick one person to lead quarterback that play and be done with it. If he’s wrong, then it’s another lesson to add to the playbook. The point is that he picks a clear direction for the player to proceed in with no hesitations.

This is one of my harsher posts and it’s for good reason. But the tone of this post pales into comparison to the moods I’ve felt after some of the recent raids. I’ve tried to structure this post in a way that can reasonably convey how I feel about our Archimonde attempts with some reason and thought behind it. My tolerance level is quite high. I’m not at the point where I’m openly going to criticize my raid leaders (yet). This is just what I think and my vantage point is different than everyone else in the raid.

In review, I believe my Guild needs to :

  1. Toughen up and crack down on underperforming players
  2. Stop subbing out players
  3. Not blame lag
  4. Bring back the focus and turn off the distractions
  5. Have one leader that’s clearly in charge of the operation
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About Matticus

Matticus is the founder of World of Matticus and Plus Heal. Read more of his columns at WoW Insider. League of Legends player. Caffeine enthusiast.


  1. Firedragonmd says

    One thing that might help is having everyone practice with the tears. I know that you have a lot of other problems with your raid members, but every little bit helps. There is a cliff right next to where you receive the tears, just have everyone jump off and use the tears until you get no deaths. This should help people compensate for latency with only the people who are learning getting the repair bill. Another strategy we tried was stopping all dps on the boss, and just trying to live to the enrage timer. Since the fight really isn’t about dps, it might help the dps realize how they need to move. I know your frustrations, my guild cleared a boss or two a night when we first entered Hyjal, and we got stuck on Archi for a week and a half 🙁 Like you said, get the same people in there and practice will make perfect. Hope this helps.

  2. Thorinar says

    Toughen up and crack down on underperforming players
    – You act as if its the same person dying each time. It’s not. Actually the deaths are INCREDIBLY spread out among the raid members. We have folks who will never make mistakes die from cratering twice in a row or other getting trapped by fire. Basically there is no real consistancy or pattern to the deaths in the 50+ attempts we’ve done, making it difficult to sit folks. We have a handful of folks with only 1 death, some with 2, and a bunch with 3. Also, do we sit folks who died 2 times the first night we tried Arch but havent messed up since and randomly die again 50+ attempts later? Do we do it on a nightly basis?

    Stop subbing out players
    – Agreed on some level, but some players will bring more of a benefit to the fight than others.

    Not blame lag
    – Agreed, most stupid and frustrating excuse that is used ad nauseum. I thought “lag” got me once but I just clicked the tears too late. I cratered once and despite the “lag” have never done so again. Perhaps folks think “lag” stands for “poor execution”?

    Bring back the focus and turn off the distractions
    – How do you propose doing so? Raid leaders can only say “pay attention and focus” and hope it happens, after that it becomes the responsibility of the raid member.

    Have one leader that’s clearly in charge of the operation
    – Agreed, but we’re at the point now where the strat works and what we’re waiting on is having 25 people not mess up for 8 minutes. Everyone knows the positioning and what to do, we just always have the random death/s that screws us.

  3. Matt,

    What you’re describing is exactly what my guild went through before we downed archi. Some fights are gear checks, some owe a lot to luck, and some are guild checks. Archi tests your patience with every single fellow guildie who dies to the ground boss, air bursts the tank, or burns themselves to death. What we finally did, rather than simply trimming our raid roster, was trim our guild roster. If you are really THAT inexperienced, unable to follow directions, or have that short of an attention span, there is no point in taking you in place of a new recruit who can and will do all of those things. You face planted into the ground 3x? Burned yourself and the melee alive? Bursted the tank and got a priest finger-of-deathed? Hand in your tabard. Should you find a brain, you may re-apply to the guild. Hope your raid spot hasn’t been earned by someone else by then. Sure it was harsh. But Archi’s on farm, and Illybeans will die this week.

  4. We made it to Archimonde last week but only engaged him to see how the fire thingies move. Haven’t had time to work on him yet. I’m looking forward to the encounter!

    The lag! In our pre-BC guild, lag was being blamed for mistakes all of the time! When a bunch of us split off in our own direction, we swore we’d never blame lag for anything. Even when it’s clearly to blame. :p

    I also agree that when everything goes smoothly, you shouldn’t make changes.

    We had a night like that right before the patch. All went well in TK, dps not taking much dmg and not pulling aggro, healers on the ball… Instead of calling the raid before Kael because we had 40 minutes left and no plan to go there that night, the raid leader told someone else to lead the trash while he planned the encounter. By the time we got to Kael, the strat had been posted on our forum. We one-shotted Kael. It was our first kill and everyone present completed their attunement for MH and BT. We got our pretty titles when the patch rolled out a few days later.

  5. RandomGuy says

    After parsing through some of your WWS reports I can see several problems

    There are about 5 people that are fairly consistent at dying. They rarely make it to the point when everyone dies. Now whether thats due to them doing stupid stuff OR someone else doing stupid stuff something needs to be done about that. Also if it is some of your “regular” “longtime” raid members something needs to be done about it

    You have some people who really shouldnt be doing Arch if they are doing really really sub par DPS. I count 1 rogue and 1 Warlock for the gear they have that are just hurting the raid more then helping

    Just judging from some of your previous WWS marks from the other 4 bosses and Trash in Hyjal you have a Rogue and Warlock at or Below the DPS the prot pally is doing. That is clearly unacceptable . I dont know if these 2 are afk during trash or just sucking but come on.

    You have 2 Warlocks on trash and 1 boss doing 2K+dps and 1 warlock on trash and 1 boss doing 700? You have 2 rogues on trash and 1 boss doing 1200+dps and 1 rogue on trash and 1 boss doing 700?

    My suggestion cut those 2 and stop wasting gear on them

  6. In regards to Bruce: Take a look at this rogue DPS calculator. You can import Bruce’s gear and his spec into the sheet and then look at how his DPS would look with some of the other standard specs. The calculator takes the Hemo debuff into consideration, so you can get a feel for his specs overall contribution to the group. You will want to tweak the “buffs” to reflect the group that he is in, but if you want to get a good snapshot of whether his DPS contribution is adequate with that spec, you can use the calculator as a tool. It’s not gospel, but it’s damn useful.

    One thing that is not fair is to compare other Rogue DPS to the Hemo Rogue since they also gain the benefit of the Hemo debuff. At lower gear levels, Hemo rogues can generate combo points quickly and have increased damage to Rupture. If a fight requires a lot of running in/out for the Rogue, then the DPS they can contribute can be better in certain situations.

    Under almost all scenarios, Combat Swords will always be more DPS in a “stand-still” fight. As I mentioned above, Hemo spec fits in nicely when you need to run away from the boss for periods of time. In my opinion, if a Hemo rogue is within 3-4% of the Combat Swords spec (according to the calculator) then there is nothing wrong with the spec since it has situational advantages. If it is more than 5%, then the situational advantages are not greater than the DPS lost from the spec. Another thing to consider is that as a Rogues +hit and AP increase, then the delta between Combat Swords and other specs gets considerably larger. The calculator is useful for helping find that point (5% imo) where you can no longer justify other specs over Combat Swords.

  7. DocHoliday says

    I dont know what to say Matt. I havent been involved in your Arch attempts at all and just from what I am hearing from people and you it just seems like an execution problem more then anything.

    I Have done Arch on my hunter and the biggest thing we did was replace people that cant cut it. We replaced people that died due to whatever reasons they gave. We then replaced people people that did poor DPS or healing. After we found our “set” group we were able to farm 5/5 Hyjal and get down the stopper bosses in Gurtrogg and RoS in Black temple.

    I disagree with you sid. If you have one class that is 5 percent less dps then another with the similar gear then they need to respec. Good Hemo rogues that I know do 100 DPS or so less the similar geared Combat rogues. For instance our top Rogues seem to do on average 1000-1200 DPS on Archimonde. The Hemo rogue is doing anywhere from 450-750 DPS. Thats a big difference and his Hemo buff will come no where near enough of a dps increase to justify his spot.

  8. Archimonde is the true idiot finder in endgame raiding. There is VERY little margin for error.

    DPS classes need to get topping the meters out of their head, and just stay out of the fires. Playing it safe and Archi enraging at 9% is better than a 50% wipe in 2 minutes.

    Healers need to be able to trust their teammates to keep the tank up when flames get out of hand in their area. Trying to do too much is the #1 cause of healer death on this fight (I spent 2 whole nights doing this because every single time I was out, the tank went down).

    Decursers NEED to be on top of things, and EVERYONE needs to be in range of a decurser at all times.

    Know when its ‘safe’ to be in DPS/Healing (fear on cooldown and you have at least 1 fear breaking ability available aside from tremor totem) so the only thing you need to worry about is staying away from the flames. This is to minimize the randomness of the encounter. This is also when DPS needs to blow their cooldowns and do as much damage as possible, as these windows are likely to be few and far between.

    When you get a flame near you, run directly away from the boss, because more than likely it will latch on to you, effectively enabling you to kite it into empty space so that the rest of the raid has one less flame to deal with. Running to the side usually causes the flames to head towards another group, or worse encircle the melee, so they can all get feared and DIAF.

  9. Everyone: Thanks for the words and the show of support. I have no doubt in mind that we will kill this boss. It’s just a matter of when.

    Doc: You’re right. It is absolutely an execution problem. Our group is able to hold it together for about 4 minutes at a time before we buckle and the dam breaks.

    Doug: I thought Vashj was terrible. Archimonde takes the cake =). Here’s a question though, and if no one answers, I’m gonna put it up as a main post just in case. But there’s a stump behind Archi. I’ve tried using it a few times but we’ve always wiped before I could come to a clear conclusion. Can I stand on that stump and not worry about doomfires? Typically, as a Priest I’ll be able to eat the first two fears with fear ward and a trinket. But after that, it is literally anybody’s game.

  10. Archimonde is one of those fights where everyone has to be extremely self aware as well as aware of everything around them. Its a piece of shit fight, and even a guild killer, but all it requires is a few things.

    1. Patience, it takes a while for 25 people to get the flow of it, but it should not take more than 2-3 full raid days on him to get it.

    2. Understanding, Players need to know the fight like they know their rosy palms. This isn’t a fight where you can just wing it.

    3. Survival, DPS at first is secondary. Until you get the hang of the fight, you need to just survive.

    4. Bring the best that you can to Archimonde until he is on farm status, he is a guild check and a gear check because just surviving won’t help you. Keep a mix of survival and dps.

    5. Players that underpreform need to go. Sorry, but either they need to shape up or go. It is going to get harder and harder as you go along, and you may as well get bench (on archi) them until they either can respec and regear, or gquit. better get it done now before you hit RoS.

    6. An extension of survival, DPS is expected to keep themselves alive. The healers can only do so much, so dps have to take care of themselves unless they get damage that is completely unavoidable.

    Thats all I can think of right now. 🙂

  11. You could, as of 2.3, avoid doomfires on the stump. I do not know if it was corrected in 2.4, as a couple of other not-quite-exploits for the fight were. (you can no longer position your raid on the hills to the north, for example)

    A few videos I have seen actually position the TANK on this stump, so he avoids fire and airbursts alltogether; if the position still affords that protection, you could certainly protect yourself there.

  12. If you get anywhere NEAR that stump, Archi will start to finger radom people…HARD. This also happens when people get too far up the hillside AND when the tank stops auto-attacking for more than 1 hit to avoid an unlucky parry at low health.

    This is Blizzard’s anti-exploit for the fight.

    My raid leader had an extensive conversation with a GM about the fight being bugged, and random fingers, and each time it happened, the GM was able to point out that the cause of each finger was one of the ‘exploits’ listed above. This resulted in a newly invited druid that ignored the raid leader and stood on the stump to get kicked from the next raid he did it. The hillside was cause for concern because the group closest to it would get airbursted 1/3 of the way up the hill. When the fires were anywhere near the bottom of the hill Archi fngered someone.

    You can’t control the actions of other people, in this case you just have to do your best and wait it out. After each attempt see how many people consistantly ate a doomfire, died to fall damage or to the curse, and find out WHY it happened, call out people when they make a mistake, so at the least they realize that they are doing something wrong, and at the best they own up and fix the problem.

    Hopefully that helps you Matt. GL!

  13. ok we are on week 2 on archie as well and I so hear ya here.

  14. Also we found out tonight that the stump was indeed corrected as about 2/3 of my group ate a doomfire from trying to stand on it thinking they were safe.

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