This post is about my experiences and should not be taken as gospel for which bosses were the three hardest bosses of the expansion. Also, I am only including normal because I only finished roughly 20% of the bosses in heroic this expansion and it would be unfair to compare them. However I will note that even the few heroic bosses I did kill this expansion, none came even remotely close to the number of wipes I experienced on the top three I will mention here. Most bosses, even ones I consider hard, take 20 wipes at most, these few went well above and way beyond that.
Each guild has their strengths and weaknesses and your top three might be different, please share them if you want. Would love to see if other guilds hit their bump in the road in the same place mine did. We are just the average casual raid group, so if you raid hard core some of these number of wipes might seem like a lot to you. Trust me, they seem like a lot to me too.
This list is based on number of wipes before my first kill, not number of wipes total. Total might go to garrosh because it is one I am doing the most and can never seem to get the same group to do it twice so every time I am there is like like progression all over again. For the record, garrosh would be #5 if I went that far on the list based on the number of wipes before the first kill.
#3 - Stone Guards - Mogu'Shan Vaults
This fight might be a little unfair to list here because by default it was going to be up there really high in wipes. It was the first boss of the expansion and as such that means we went in there to try and down it when we were not quite ready yet. Add to the fact that they locked all the valor gear behind reputation and two of our three healers refused to do dailies meant we were at a major disadvantage right from the start. We are a casual raid team and while some teams could manage the fight in 463 dungeon gear, our guild could not, or more so our healers could not.
We wiped, we wiped and we wiped. Oddly enough even with wiping it was good to be in there working on it. It took our tanks a while to get into a way to handle the dogs and to move. So we were going to wipe anyway while they were learning how to manage that. At least you could think of it that way.
Then we suffered our first setback of the expansion when one of the tanks moved and the new place he moved into could not set up internet for two weeks. I asked him "where did you move to, the middle of the woods?". Either way, we needed to find a new tank.
For those two weeks, and some weeks there after because even when he got net back the tank quit warcraft, we tried out new tanks. Each time it was teaching the tanks over again how we handled the dogs. So more wipes came but over that time the healers did start to gear up thanks to LFR. Sure, still not as good as if they had just got off their asses and did dailies, but it was better than 463 gear.
Once most of the guild, healers more so, were mostly in 476 or better gear I did what I always seem to do and sacrificed my own desire to play a hunter and switched to tank. I figured, not trying to toot my own horn, but I am going to be better than any pug tank we can get and I already know how we are handling the dogs because I am the one that decided how we are handling them so there would be another hurdle we would not need to jump as we would if I dragged in a new tank.
Week one of me tanking was still wipe city due to a horrible set up of which dogs were up. This was another annoying part of the fight, the set up of which dogs were active could really make the fight harder even when we would come back later for clears. Certain make ups would feel like progression all over again. Sucked about as much as something sucky can suck.
Week two of me tanking we downed those damn dogs, months after the expansion started and almost 100 wipes (think it was 96 or 98) on the record for them before my first kill.
As a fun side note, we downed the next 2 bosses in 1 shot that night on our first time seeing them and almost 1 shot the 4th boss before calling it a night. Perhaps it was not just being the first boss and us being under geared for a great many of those attempts, maybe stone guards was just not really first boss material.
#2 - Tortos - Throne of Thunder
We wiped 112 times on tortos before I had my first kill but as odd as it might sound it really didn't feel like half that many. Tortos was a really quick fight to begin (unlike some other bosses, see #1) and if you were going to wipe it usually happened super fast. Also there was no run back involved what so ever, you entered right at his feet. And we could mount, so repairs never were an issue as everyone has a mammoth. So while we did wipe on it quite often it never felt that bad.
While 112 wipes might sound like it took us a long time it really didn't. It basically took us 3 raid days, that is how quick the wipes happened. We wiped a lot while trying to find the right person to kick turtles. Most wipes were to turtle issues. Some where to kicking them badly, some where to bad luck where another turtle was spinning on top of it and would not move, some where to the turtle dying in the wall or in another bad spot where you could not get behind it to kick it. There were many wipes, maybe even a quarter of them, that we could do nothing about. It was just bad luck.
The tanks we had at the time also took a little bit of time to get their grove on. The turtle tank needed a little time to work out his cooldown rotation but once I explained it to him he did fine and the bat tank would occasionally miss the bats when they came down but once I pointed out that they always go for the healers he stuck to the healers like white on rice and we were usually okay even if we did suffer a few wipes to rogue bats and our raid members ending up being recycled as bat guano.
In the end what took us so long was, once again, a healer issue. The healers just could not get their cooldown rotations down and it was not a very fun fight for healers to begin with. All that movement and us having 2 shaman healers meant we suffered a great deal of wipes being they were forced to move and have no instant spells and people dropping during that time. I healed it too, so I do not fault them, it was a nightmare of a fight if you got unlucky and had a turtle following you around. I do not think our healing make up helped much either.
In the end, and as much as I hate to do it, I sat one of the shaman in bought in a monk, someone that had a little they could do while running including an awesome instant raid cooldown, and we downed it. Kind of proves that it was a healer issue. Maybe if I had done so sooner we would have not suffered over 100 wipes on it but we are a casual guild and we would prefer to wipe with our team then to sit someone just for progression but even for a casual guild there is a line on how often you will try before you give up and have to make some changes.
Side note here as well. After beating the turtle the first time it was close to quitting time but we decided to push on for one look at the next boss, and we one shot it. So far it seems that both bosses that gave us a hard time happened to be right before easy bosses, makes you wonder if there is a boss placement issue in these raids.
#3 Horridon - Throne of Thunder
Lets just rename this one the destroyer of guilds. More than half the guilds on my server disbanded because of this boss. That is not an estimate either, that is an actual fact. More than half the guilds disbanded or stopped raiding completely because of horridon. If you look at the previous tier and guilds that had raid progression at any level and then look at this tier and see how many guilds had progression past horridon, even at the time SoO came out, less than half the guilds that finished at least MV had even made it past horridon. If that does not prove how horrible that boss was, I do not know what would.
It was not just the 128 wipes on horridon that made this boss so bad, even if that is all I am basing this list on, number of wipes. But you can not speak about horridon without pointing out other reasons it was the worst boss encounter the game has ever made.
It was the second boss, for something as hard as it was, why was it the second boss of a raid? Seriously who came up with putting a road block like that in a raid as the second boss. Then the run back. Sure, we could mount up at that point but when you can mount up and the run back to the boss is still quite possibly the longest run back in the last three expansions, maybe even further back, it was like adding insult to injury.
Not only was the run back a nightmare but the fight was long, unlike tortos, so after spending so much time fighting and then wiping you had to spend all that time running back a run back that was so long I am surprised you do not cross county lines.
But wait, that is not it, there is more to what made horridon a nightmare. It was a trash fight, a long, boring, dragged out trash fight. When will blizzard get the idea these things are not fun in any way, shape or form. Heck, they keep making them, look at spoils, that fight does not even have a boss, at least horridon had a boss.
And then there is the biggest insult to every single player that has ever stepped into a raid. After telling us a million and one times that the game is "bring the player not the class" they make a fight that is proof positive that they do not design with that concept in mind. We had an all shaman healing team at the time which basically mean we were screwed on 2 doors. Gee thanks for letting me bring the player blizzard. Go screw yourself and your "bring the player not the class" mantra. If only we had the right classes we could have downed horridon much sooner, but we needed to make it work with what we had.
That is what my guild always tries to do. We try to make it work with what we have and we managed it. We managed it with some trickery and some practice. We effectively turned horridon into five different fights and worked progression on each one of them one at a time. We would wipe and run that long run back and our end game would not be "to beat horridon", it would be to make it past door one is good shape. Then door 2, then door 3, then door 4, and then worry about horridon.
We switched to two heal it, so we would be in a better place to over power the adds with more DPS and it was not like our healers would be much help, they could not dispel anything from 2 of the doors to begin with and that was what was killing us. So maybe killing the faster meant fewer debuffs that could not be dispelled and thus less healing needed. So we traded one healer for another damage dealer. Yes, another fight were it comes down to a healer issue. I think I see a pattern here.
We also started to tank horridon on the other side of the room. Just a paladin solo tanking him with a pocket healer as we worked on learning the doors and never had to worry about the charge again. It really helped us when we started doing that and we downed it shortly after we made that change.
First door was easy enough, second door took some well timed interrupts and although we wiped a bit we finally got it down to a science where we did not even need to tell on voice chat whos turn it was to interrupt who, we just did it. Then there was the third door and the randomly running mobs. We summoned army, stampede, anything we had, we saved it for that to give them more targets, we even blew time warp on that door. That door took us the longest. I think we worked on that door for weeks. We had gotten to the point we were getting through it, but the DoT was just too much and people would start to drop. Almost made me want to go back to three healing it just to survive that.
When the time came for the forth door it was really no problem and did not require a great deal of attempts to get past so we could get to the boss. The first time we ever got to the boss with all the adds dead from all the doors we one shot him. So in all reality we did not wipe on horridon 128 times, we wiped on the trash 128 times. We never wiped to horridon.
Because of the length of the fight and the long run back and the frustration of knowing with our make up we were at a major disadvantage I am amazed our guild did not fall apart as many others did. I do not recall the exact amount of time it took to get past him, maybe I blocked it out, but I do not think I would be far off if I said it took us 2 months to down him. Because we needed that two months to get gear elsewhere (and this is why I will miss valor gear) because there was only one boss before him so it was not like we had many chances to gear up before getting to him.
So not only was horridon the deadliest boss for me this expansion, I would say it was the hardest boss this expansion. Quite possibly the hardest boss ever. The end boss of the expansion was a push over when comparing it to horridon. Garrosh could not hold a candle to horridon. Horridon would eat him for breakfast. Compared to horridon garrsoh is a 5 man dungeon boss. Okay, maybe a tiny bit harder than a 5 man dungeon boss. Maybe a cata release grim bartol boss. Yeap, horridon makes garrosh look like that when comparing the two. If I never have to do a fight anything like horridon again I would be happy, and if I ever need to do a boss anything like horridon again, I will quit raiding. It was not a "challenge", it was just annoying. There is nothing fun about annoying and there is even less fun in wiping 128 times to something that is annoying. I guess that is why horridon was the destroyer of guilds.
What were your three most deadly boss encounters this expansion? (remember, not hardest, just the ones you wiped the most on for whatever reason)