How Not to Die on Archimonde
Last updated April 26, 2008 @ 2:34:40PM
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How not to Die on Archimonde
This boss is incredibly simple, yet for most raids he is extremely difficult to kill. He cannot crushing blow the tank. The fight lasts about 10 minutes; his abilities never change (only one real phase) and they are used like clockwork. You only have to burn him to 10% and then the wisps will do the rest. It's basically a free kill at that point. He should be a quick and easy kill, and yet...
This fight requires all 25 people pay attention. This fight is not about damage. Forget damage. This fight is about survival. All that it requires is for you to pay attention and survive for 10 minutes. But because most raids have at least a few people who are asleep at the wheel, or just like to stand in one place and mash buttons, you will wipe on Archi. A LOT. It took my guild about 150 attempts to down him (~20 attempts per night).
What happens if I die?
You wipe the raid. No pressure.
Archi will get something called a soul charge. He only gets one per person, and he can use it immediately or save it for later. There are three types of soul charges depending on what class died. All of them do AOE damage of 4500 to everyone within 200 yards. Furthermore, they can silence the raid for 4 sec, increase damage taken by 50% or drain 2250 mana.
So let's say person X dies. Archi gets a soul charge. He then uses it 15 seconds later, when players R, Y, and S are at half health. Players Y and S die. He gets two more soul charges. Things quickly spiral out of control and the whole raid wipes. It's not pretty. All because one person decided to get stand in fire or crater.
So it really wipes the raid?
Yes and no. There's a good chance it will. That said, if the raid is well-coordinated and pays attention, they can easily live through multiple soul charges. The key is to top everyone off as soon as someone dies so that no further deaths occur. Once the soul charge is used you no longer have to worry about it. It's is essential to keep calm and not panic. If you say "omg person X died we're all gonna diiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiieee!" and jump into a doomfire to save a repair bill, you ARE going to wipe the raid. Keep cool, and do NOT suicide until the raid leader calls a wipe. We've managed to kill him with only two people left standing.
Ask yourself: Can I run away from a big wall of fire?
Doomfires spawn near Archi and then head off towards someone. Usually two to three are up at once. The first spawns very soon after you engage. It is impossible to know for sure who the fire is following, but it does pick specific players and it does change its mind every so often. If you see a fire coming toward you, TURN AROUND and run AWAY from Archi. If you side step there is a chance you'll loop the fire around, cutting off portions of the raid or worse, encircling some people completely.
It is imperative not to get caught in the fire. If you stand in it for more than an instant you'll get a fire dot that ticks for roughly 20K dmg over 45 seconds. Fire protection pots are extremely helpful if you get the dot, and I'd recommend that raids crank them out and hand two to every player. The dot diminishes over time. Most of the damage happens right away so if you pop a fire prot pot as soon as you get the debuff you'll protect yourself from the nastiest of the damage. That said, it's best not to get the dot at all. Stay the heck away from the fire. Do not be anywhere close to it when fear is coming!
Being able to zoom your camera out to the max distance is really helpful for spotting doomfires. The command to extend the range is:
/console CameraDistanceMaxFactor 14
This is farther than the one in the interface options menu.
Look Ma I can fly!
Airburst punts you waaaaaaaaaaaaaay up in the air and back. It also punts anyone standing too close to you. To survive, all you have to do is use your [Tears of the Goddess], which is obtained from Tyrande Whisperwind on the way down to Archi. You can also levitate or slow fall, but why waste feathers when this is free? Use both, whatever, just don't crater.
Some people, myself included, have noticed a lag time of about one second between when we click the item and when it actually goes off. This has led to deaths. It is better to use it early than to crater. Use it once you are on the downswing, not before. Do NOT wait until the last second. You may take a decent chunk of fall damage, but the point is not to die. If I'm at half health on the way down I'll even use a HS or pot to top off before I land. Since I typically take damage upon landing, I always bandage up before heading in. It's perfectly safe to do so, as you are typically out of range of: doomfire, fear, curse. Bandage and then head back into the fray.
It is helpful to point your camera directly down, so you can see how far you have left to fall. That said, keep in mind that your depth perception may be out of whack if you've zoomed the camera way out for doomfires.
Mages: A special note. Blink as soon as you get punted and you'll return to the ground unharmed.
The Grip curse is nasty and must be removed immediately. If you play a class who can decurse, that is going to be your job this entire fight. Your dps means jack compared to decursing. It doesn't matter if you are on the last second of a long cast- drop it and decurse. All decursers in the raid should be marked. Raid members will need to pay attention to make sure they are always in range of a decurser. Decursers will need raid assistant so they can remark themselves should they get the skull for Grip or Air Burst.
Run away! Run away!
You'll be doing a ton of running away on your own- sometimes I've gone a full 30-60 seconds without casting because I was avoiding fires. In addition to the normal running, Archi does an AOE fear. You cannot be standing next to fire when his cooldown is up. You must have the PVP trinket that allows you to break fear. Tremor totems should be up, but since everyone is so spread out there's a good chance you will be out of range. Bubble, cloak of shadows and ice block all work to break fear.
When to break fear:
- You are heading into a doomfire.
- It's you're turn to break fear and heal the tank.
- You need to decurse someone.
Practice Makes Perfect
There is a cliff near the elf camp that can be used to practice falling. Mount up, jump off the cliff and pop your Tears. Keep doing this until you can do it right. Remember, the goal is not to die. While it's fun to see who can take the least amount of fall damage (or the most without dying), the goal is to survive.
Some people recommend doing many, many Archi attempts with NO dps until the entire raid can stay alive the full 10 minutes. This is a survival fight. The raid needs to practice surviving first, dpsing second.
Giving people a chance to practice is important. You want running away from fires to be routine, and with 15-20 attempts per night it should be. However, some people may continue to have issues despite frequent practice. This fight is very unforgiving and requires you to pay attention 100% of the time. Some people are just not able to do that. Due to the high stakes nature of this fight, it is generally recommended that anyone having consistent problems staying alive sit out. If you're constantly distracted, preoccupied with something else, or just can't multitask please don't attempt Archi. Disconnects are also really bad. Healers will have to spam heal a disconnected person who might be standing in a doomfire. If your computer is having issues with lag or disconnects it's generally better if you cheer from the sidelines until the issue is resolved.
Mountain Strategy Warning
There is a strat circulating that involves backing Archi up to the hill and having the raid placed above him. This generally avoids the doomfires. However, using terrain like this is considered an exploit, and is a bannable offense. The strategy also tends to be pretty buggy. Sometimes the fire creeps up the hill because Archi has to be close enough for the melee to hit. Other times he'll randomly finger of death people, even though a melee is in range. This also puts all your eggs in one basket- even if you have several camps of ranged/healers, two of them might get air bursted at once. Coupled with a fear while the other groups are running back, this can lead to a wipe.
I would not recommend using this strategy. It's an exploit, and it may eventually get fixed (as did the "safe spot" on Prince). Learn it right the first time so you don't have to retrain people later.