Back from Blizzcon and now well rested. Got some pretty cool announcements coming up. Iâ€™m working on a very special project right now that Iâ€™ll disclose later.
Anyway, Iâ€™ve gotten several requests for tips on Faction Champions.
And itâ€™s just going to be that: Tips. The same day I touched down at Vancouver, it was back to business in the raid machine. After blitzing through Northrend Beasts and Lord Jaraxxus, itâ€™s time to check out Faction Champions from a healer perspective.
Not a traditional fight
This is the key. There is no such thing as aggro management or threat on this encounter. This is an extremely chaotic, fast paced, arena-esque fight. Players that dual spec into PvP may even wish to consider doing so for extra survival or abilities. Your raid group is going to be facing off against 10 champions of the opposing faction (6 on normal). Theyâ€™re selected from a random pool of NPCs.
- Death Knight
- Balance Druid
- Resto Druid
- Holy Paladin
- Retribution Paladin
- Healing Priest
- Shadow Priest
- Caster/Healing Shaman
- Enhancement Shaman
Ones in bold are your raidâ€™s targets of interest. Isnâ€™t it rather odd that theyâ€™re all healers?
Itâ€™s difficult to provide an exact outline of what your group has to do. The best I can provide is a general guideline. Go ahead and move your group under the Alliance (or Horde) section first before activating the NPC. Itâ€™s a good idea to take stock of what class combination youâ€™re group is going to be facing so that crowd control can be used accordingly.
In most cases, our raid group initially crowd controls every NPC as much as possible other than healers. For example, this week we had a healing Priest, the caster Shaman along with the Holy Paladin. We opted to zero in on the Shaman first. Our Warrior tank started working on the Holy Paladin just by keeping him locked down and interrupted. Placing a Rogue or 3 on the Priest is also a nice idea.
Our basic mentality is that if we run down the healers first, then the other NPCâ€™s are a cake walk. The next dangerous Champion after healers is the Rogue based on the speed at which it can kill a target.
This is an endurance fight. Expect to invest around 10 minutes from start to finish. Each NPC has around 2.4 million health (some have 1.9 million).
Communication is extremely important here. If youâ€™re being pursued, say something. Someone might be able to jump in and snare or CC a Champion.
General class tips
- Keep the melee NPCâ€™s busy as much as possible.
- Death Knights should defensive Death Grip Rogues, Warriors, Ret Paladins, and Death Knights away from the raid and slow them down. Minimize their movement with slows and stuns
- Typhoon and Thunderstorm intelligently. Again, use them defensively to keep NPCs away from your healers.
- Drop a Fear Bomb if multiple NPCs are closing in on someone.
- Crowd control incurs diminishing returns. Example, after casting 3 Polymorphs on one Champion, itâ€™ll become immune to Polymorph. Spread that CC out.
- Offensive Dispels are a virtual requirement. Shamans should be Purging, Priests should be Dispelling. Things you want to get rid of are Druid HoTs and Shaman Earth Shields.
- If you have a PvP Trinket, consider equipping it for the fight.
- Heroism/Bloodlust on the initial pull. The sooner you kill an NPC or 2, the easier it becomes.
As a Priest, my limited arena training has taught me two important skills: Running and healing. If you can manage to run and heal at the same time, youâ€™ll be in good condition. I mainly stuck to firing off blind Mass Dispels (targeting an area with a lot of traffic and hoping it connects) and specific single target Dispels. Keep Shields active on players who get focused and are soft. Donâ€™t bother with mana burning or mind controlling.
Use Psychic Scream everytime itâ€™s available. Just run into a crowd and drop the fear bomb.
Your first priority is to keep yourself alive. If you have to run, drop what youâ€™re doing and run. This isnâ€™t exactly a fight where you can sit there and just grind heal your way through.
Use your defensive cooldowns liberally. Pain Suppression and Guardian Spirit will save lives. After I see a big spike on someone, Iâ€™ll drop a cooldown on them. If I see 3 Champions close in on a player, Iâ€™ll drop a cooldown on them. If I get death gripped, Iâ€™ll crap my pants then use a cooldown on myself (No joke. That Death Knight is a pain).
This is just from me watching Sydera. Hopefully sheâ€™ll chime in here at some point. Iâ€™ve seen Druids use their Cyclone in between healing on various NPCs. Reserve Roots for melee NPCs if theyâ€™re chasing after people. Go cat form to put distance between you and Champions. If youâ€™re out of tricks, itâ€™s bear form until the Champion gets peeled off you.
Platewearers are usually durable in this one. Have the Hammer stun ready and use it when the cooldown is up. Hand of Sacrifice or Divine Sacrifice and follow it up with a Paladin bubble to help out the raid. The Champions are smart enough to occasionally focus fire on one target.
I reconfigured my totem setup to include Earthbind, Cleansing, and Grounding totem. Every so often, Iâ€™d run into a crowd and drop them all down again. Really aware Shamans will know to keep a healer focused and Wind Shear to help with the interrupting process. Bonus points if you can squeeze off Frost Shocks on a Champion who is chasing someone. Do all that while healing, and your raiding group will love you.
Hope this helps! Feel free to comment below with any extra tips or tricks in general or against specific Champions.