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Cenarius Nutshell Guide
#1
Hi all!

We defeated Cenarius last week, but I would like to put a guide up here for those who missed it or would like more understanding of what is going on.  Here's a brief explanation of the fight.

Cenarius is a two-phase fight.  In the first phase, we fight waves of adds.  In the second phase, we fight Cenarius alone.

PHASE ONE:  THE ADD PHASE

In Phase One, we fight FOUR types of adds, each of which spawns in a particular corner of the platform.  In each wave, we can choose ONE type of add to cleanse.  Cleansing it means it will provide a benefit to the raid.  We cleanse an add by piling into the corner where that add will spawn.

CENARIUS' ABILITIES

* Aura of Dread Thorns:  This causes adds within 20 yards of Cenarius to REFLECT damage back onto their attacker.
--> Keep adds away from Cenarius.

* Creeping Nightmares:  Stacking Debuff.
--> Remove this stacking debuff after 20 stacks, by stepping briefly into a green circle ("Cleansed Ground")

* Nightmare Brambles:  brambles (they look like pulsing thorns) are cast at a random location then fixate a player.  As the brambles follow a player they leave behind stationary brambles.  Ad the end of 20 seconds the pulsing brables disappear but the stationary ones remain on the ground.  If a player steps in them, the player is rooted for 6 seconds.
--> If you get fixated, lead the brambles away from the raid.
--> Avoid the brambles.  Rogues (with cloak and sprint) and hunters (with Aspect of the Turtle) can run through them to remove them, as can players with the Sister's buff (Unbound Touch or Unbound Essence)

* Forces of Nightmare
Soon after the fight starts, and every 80 seconds after that, Cenarius casts FORCES OF NIGHTMARE.  This causes THREE types of inactive add to spawn.  We can CLEANSE one of these adds by piling on it, which will make it fight for us for 1 minute.  The other two will fight for Cenarius until they are killed.

(Note that it is possible for TWO of the same add to spawn.)

Malfurion will cleanse the inactive add that has the MOST raid members next to it.  So in each wave of adds, we will choose which add to cleanse and will have the raid pile onto that inactive add.

When Malfurion cleanses an add, he will create a LARGE GREEN CIRCLE of "Cleansed Ground" at that add's location.  Stepping in this patch, or being there when it spawns on top of you, will cause a player's stacks of Creeping Nightmares to drop off, but it also uses up some of the Cleansed Ground, causing it to shrink.
--> We will be stacking on the adds we want to cleanse in each wave. 
--> Get out of the green circle before it spawns so you don't use it up. 
--> Step in the green circle to clear your debuff, but only step in a TINY bit to leave enough green for other players.


THE FOUR TYPES OF ADDS

There are FOUR different kinds of adds, each of which spawns in a particular corner of the platform.

(1) TREES called "Tormented Souls".  These spawn WISPS.  (**NE Corner**)
* If cleansed, the trees will spawn wisps which will drop little green circles that are useful in removing our debuff.
* Uncleansed, they spawn corrupted wisps which fixate on players with the highest threat.  When they reach their target they detonate and do AoE damage within 8 yards (called Destructive Nightmares), THEN they fixate on another raid member and so on until they die. (These can be taunted, rooted, stunned, knocked back etc.)

(2) CORRUPTED SAPLING. (**SE corner**)
* If cleansed, it will spawn a Cleansed Ancient which regenerates the raid's mana.  (Twice in one minute it will cast Replenishing Roots which causes all nearby raid members to regenerate Mana.)
* Uncleansed, it will spawn a Nightmare Ancient which does AoE around itself which is shared between players.  Melee needs to stack on it to share damage (note: if nobody is in melee range it does raid-wide damage).

(3) EMERALD EGG (**NW corner**)
* If cleansed, an egg will hatch an Emerald Drake which increases healing done to a tank.
* Uncleansed, it will hatch a Rotten Drake and does a cone attack against a random raid member (don't stand in front of it).  Below 50% health, it does increasing raid-wide damage.

(4) CORRUPTED NATURE (**SW corner**)
* If cleansed, it will spawn a Redeemed Sister (a nymph) which buffs one raid member with Unbound Touch, which lets that raid member clear Brambles.  When it expires it applies Unbound Essence to everyone within 6 yards.
* Uncleansed, it will spawn a Twisted Sister heals adds.  She applies a massive HoT, called Twisted Touch of Life, which must be interrupted.  She also throws a javelin (projectile + small AoE) and a damage+slowing debuff called Scorned Touch which spreads to nearby raid members every 12 seconds.
--> Interrupt her heal.
-->  Run out if you get Scorned Touch, and stay 8 yards away, to keep the debuff from jumping to others when it expires.

USEFULNESS ranking of the cleansed adds:
1. Wisps.  Their little green circles make cleansing the debuff really easy.
2. Ancient.  The mana region is very welcome, especially later in the encounter.
3. Sister.  Her buff is useful in getting rid of brambles.
4. Drake.  The tank protection may be helpful right before Phase Two.

DANGEROUSNESS ranking of the uncleanness adds:
1. Wisps.  Their multiple fixate + detonate ability is really disruptive.  If we get them, CC and kill them as fast as possible.
2. Drake.  Its raid-wide damage below 50% make this one pretty nasty.
3. Ancient.
4. Sister.  These can be interrupted, which stops their healing.  Aside from that it's just the jumping debuff Scorned Touch.

GENERALLY, it is best to cleanse the wisps (for the green circles + removing an annoying fixate/detonate ability) then the ancients (for their nice mana regeneration ability).

KILL ORDER:  Wisps --> Sisters --> Drakes (until 50% health, at which point it becomes top priority) --> Nightmare Ancient.
Interrupt the Sisters' casts of Twisted Touch of Life.  Soak the Ancient's stomp.

WAVES
1.  Wisp, Drake, Ancient.   --> Cleanse the WISP. (Dodge the Drake's cone, hug the Ancient for stomp.)
2.  Wisp, Drake, Sister.  --> Cleanse the WISP.  (Spread out for Javelin and Scorned Touch, dodge the Drake's cone).
3.  Ancient, Sister, Sister.  --> Cleanse the SISTER (Use Unbound Touch to clear brambles, hug the Ancient for stomp, interrupt sister).
4.  Wisp, Drake, Drake. --> Cleanse the DRAKE (Tank with Ancient Dream can round up stray wisps.  Dodge drake's cone).
5.  ANCIENT, Ancient, Sister.  --> Cleanse the ANCIENT (Stack near the ancient for healer mana; interrupt sister's heals.
6.  Wisp, Wisp, Sister.  Cleanse the WISP. (Interrupt sister)


POSITIONING

During Phase One, there is no need for a tank swap -- we should have one Cenarius tank and one add tank.  Tank Cenarius in the middle of the platform.  When the raid decides which add to cleanse, players should run to that raid marker.

When the adds spawn, the second tank should gather them up and tank them AWAY from the boss (due to his spell reflect, "Aura of Dread Thorns").  After his aura fades, we can tank them together to increase DPS.


HEALERS

Dispel Twisted Touch of Life from the boss, which is a powerful HoT sisters place on Cenarius.  Dispel this right away.  DPSers should be interrupting it, but if one gets off it should be dispelled.

Dispel Brambles and the Javelin.


PHASE TWO

Phase Two starts when Cenarius reaches 30% health.  He retains the stacking debuff (Creeping Nightmares) and the brambles, and gains two new abilities:

* Spear of Nightmares.  Anti-tank attack that applies a debuff AND drops a purple void zone on the ground.  The SIZE of the void zone is proportional to the amount of damage the tank takes from the Spear.  It is cast every 18 seconds.

* Engangling Nightmares:  This engulfs Malfurion, preventing him from casting Cleansing Ground (which in Phase Two he casts at the location of the highest density of raid members).  Kill the Nightmare Roods to free Malfurion.


STRATEGY:

* TANKS:  swap the boss between you after every cast of Spear of Nightmares.  Use a cooldown, or ask for one, to reduce the spear's damage, which will keep the void zones small.
* Burn Cenarius.  If our DPS is high enough we can ignore Malfurion being entangled, but if it is not we will need to free him to get green patches.
* Kite the brambles away
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#2
Okay, here's a briefer guide!

PHASE ONE

STACKING DEBUFF
An important mechanic of this fight is "Creeping Nightmares," a stacking debuff.  Remove this debuff, at 20 stacks, by stepping BRIEFLY into a green circle ("Cleansed Ground").  This uses up a bit of the green circle, so only step in a tiny bit and then get out.

AURA OF DEAD THORNS
This is an aura of Cenarius which causes adds within 20 yards of him to REFLECT damage back onto their attacker.  --> Keep adds away from Cenarius!

BRAMBLES
These are are pulsing thorn ground effect that fixates and follows a player, leaving behind stationary brambles.  If anyone steps on them, they are rooted for 6 seconds.
--> If you get fixated, lead them away from the raid.
--> Rogues (with cloak and sprint) and hunters (with Aspect of the Turtle) can run through them to remove them, as can players with the nymph buff (Unbound Touch or Unbound Essence).

FOUR TYPES OF ADD
In Phase One, we will fight FOUR types of adds, each of which spawns in ITS OWN corner of the platform.  We will put raid markers up in each corner.  Each add starts in an inactive form, then becomes active and spawns an add:

The adds will come in six waves of three adds each.  In each wave, we will choose ONE type of add to "cleanse," which we do by PILING ON THAT ADD'S INACTIVE FORM.  When we cleanse an add, it will fight for us, while the others fight for Cenarius.  Cleansing will also leave a BIG GREEN CIRCLE of cleansed ground, which we can use to clear our debuffs.

1. Trees ("Tormented Souls") spawn Wisps
Cleansed wisps drop green cleansing circles
Uncleansed wisps repeatedly fixate and detonate
-->  CC, slow, root, and kill these.

2. Corrupted Sapling spawns an Ancient
Cleansed ancients regenerate the mana of nearby players.
Uncleanness ones does a shared-AoE around itself.
--> Melee stack to share damage.

3. Emerald Egg spawns a Drake
Cleansed, the drake increases healing on the tank.
Uncleansed, it has a cone attack against a random raid member.  Below 50% health it does increasing raid-wide damage. 
--> Don't stand in front of it, kill it fast after 50% health.

4. Corrupted Nature spawns a Nymph ("Sister")
Cleansed, it will buff one raid member with Unbound Touch, which lets that person clear brambles.  When it expires, everyone within 6 yards gets Unbound Essence.
Uncleansed, it will heal adds. She does a massive HoT ("Twisted Touch of Life") which MUST BE INTERRUPTED.  She also throws a javelin (small AoE and slow which spreads to nearby raid members every 12 sec)
--> Interrupt her heal, run out of you get Scorned Touch to keep the debuff from jumping to others.

CLEANSE ORDER, by wave:

1.  Wisp, Drake, Ancient.  Cleanse the Wisp. Dodge the Drake's cone, hug the Ancient for share damage.
2.  Wisp, Drake, Sister.  --> Cleanse the wisp. Dodge the Drake's cone, interrupt the Sister, spread out a bit for Scorned Touch.
3.  Ancient, Sister, Sister.  --> Cleanse the sister.  Melee hug the Ancient for stomp, interrupt remaining sister, use Unbound Touch to clear brambles.
4.  Wisp, Drake, Drake. --> Cleanse the drake. Tank with Drake's Ancient Dream can round up stray wisps. Dodge corrupted drake's cone.
5.  Ancient, Ancient, Sister.  --> Cleanse the ancient.  Mana-users stack near ancient for healer mana; interrupt Sister's heals.
6.  Wisp, Wisp, Sister.  Cleanse the wisp.  CC and kill corrupted wisps, interrupt sister.


POSITIONING

One tank will take Cenarius, the other will take the adds.  Tank Cenarius in the middle.  When it's time to cleanse an add, run to the appropriate corner.

When the adds spawn, the add tank should gather them up and tank them away from the boss (due to his aura).  After the aura fades, we can tank them together to increase DPS.

Healers dispel Twisted Touch of Life from the boss, which is the sister's powerful HoT (DPS should be interrupting it, but dispel it if one gets through).  Dispel Brambles and the Javelin.

PHASE TWO

Starts at 30% health.  Cenarius keeps Creeping Nightmares (the stacking debuff), and the brambles, and gains:

SPEAR OF NIGHTMARES:  Anti-tank attack that applies a debuff AND drops a purple void zone on the ground.  The SIZE of the void zone is PROPORTIONAL to the amount of damage the tank takes from spear.  It is cast every 18 seconds.
--> Tanks swap the boss between every cast of Spear of Nightmares
--> Tanks use a cooldown, or ask for one, to reduce the spear's damage, which will keep the void zones small.

ENTANGLING NIGHTMARES:  Engulfs Malfurion, preventing him from putting green circles down.
--> Kill the roots to free Malfurion if it looks like we need more cleansing.  Otherwise, burn the boss.
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