Ding dong, Kil’jaeden is dead!

IMG_0278Yup, we finally did it last night — downed Kil’jaeden on heroic. It was by the skin of our teeth, but we did it, and that Ahead of the Curve achievement was sweet. We had pretty much sailed through all the other bosses — our first H kill of Fallen Avatar was over a month ago — but KJ gave us trouble. I didn’t check the exact number of wipes, but it was somewhere between 90 and 100. It was no 600+ like Method’s Mythic kill, but it still was a pretty long slog for us. I suspect some of you out there killed him long ago on heroic, but trust me, for us there was definitely some hooting and hollering when he died.

I don’t play on a “raiding-heavy” server — it is technically an RP one — so we don’t have a lot of raiding heavy hitters to compete with, but I was still surprised to see we are only the 7th guild on the server to go 9/9 (H). We are not actually that far away from the next raid tier, maybe a couple of months. I honestly expected Blizz to nerf KJ on both normal and heroic by now, but they have not. Even for a final boss, he remains very challenging. We run normal Tomb once a week for alts and to help gear up non-raiders, and even on normal, KJ is tough for us unless some of us switch to our mains for that fight.

It is a difficult fight for a lot of reasons. For one, he has a hard enrage that serves as a dps check. For another, there are a lot of mechanics and at least in heroic they often come at you all at once. There is also a heavy RNG factor — you can wipe just because of how the mechanics randomly hit. And last but not least, it is what I think of as a “personal perfection” fight. That is, one small mistake on the part of an individual — healer, tank or damage dealer — can easily wipe the raid. There is no forgiveness for missteps, and generally speaking if you have 20-25 people, it is a virtual certainty that at least one of them will make a small error on any given attempt.

That last factor is probably the most challenging. Our raid team does not have a formal roster as such, we have a core group that almost always shows up, plus some others who are geared and proficient enough to raid with us regularly but who miss raids now and again. It is enough that we almost never have exactly the same team on any given night. KJ, certainly on heroic, does not really tolerate this kind of setup. To finally kill him, our RL had to formally limit the team to a smaller number (fewer people to make boo-boos) and to a more central core (more familiarity with how your teammates react). I don’t know if this was the key or not, but it was the setup we had when we finally killed him.

We have a fairly decent gear level as a team — somewhere around 930 or a bit under — but to kill KJ we also of course required flasks and pots, and we supplied feasts and Defiled Augment Runes for every attempt, and also handed out ToS vantus runes to everyone to attune them to KJ. We definitely pulled out all the stops.

In the end the kill included some pretty selfless sacrifices from some team members — for example our mage who kited the second flame ball by blinking into the rift, knowing he was already at low health and would die. Or people who selflessly racked up a couple or more debuffs from soaking meteors — because they knew letting one go spelled disaster for the team — even if it meant they would go into the dark phase at seriously low health. And our healers — well, they were magnificent. Tanks as usual were at the top of their game, something I have come to take for granted, but they really are continuously excellent.

For me, KJ remains one of the toughest final bosses. I did not raid in BC, so I can’t speak to those raids, but until this fight the hardest two bosses for raid teams I was on at the time were Ragnaros and Archimonde. I am pretty sure Kil’jaeden tops those, claiming the number one spot as my all time toughest challenge.

Anyway, short post today, going to give myself a little time to savor the euphoria!

If you are not in the path of Hurricane Irma, maybe send some positive thoughts in the direction of those who are. If you are in the path, please please please stay safe. See you all on the other side of the weekend.

About Fiannor
I have a day job but escape by playing WoW. I love playing a hunter, and my Lake Wobegonian goal is to become "above average" at it.

4 Responses to Ding dong, Kil’jaeden is dead!

  1. Grats on a very hard kill. Way ahead of me and ahead of the curve for sure.
    Now that you have KJ on farm, what will you do next?

    • Fiannor says:

      🙄 Well, I am not so sure I would call it “on farm” — pretty sure there will be nights still when all we do is wipe on him. But as we get better at it, we will try to bring in every guildie we can who wants the achievement and carry them to it. We’ll probably also take a stab at some of the early Tomb bosses on Mythic, we might be able to do 2 or 3 of them by the time the new raid tier comes out. We are by no means a Mythic raiding guild, but we dip a toe into it from time to time.

  2. Grumsta says:

    Gratz on the Curve 🙂

    I got mine on Sunday night. Having missed out on the first guild kills it was nice to get invited back and get that box ticked off. There were only a few left up at the kill, as the player with responsibility for making sure the beams missed us in P3 made a misjudgement and wiped over half of us 😀

    I did a bit of Mythic progression in Nighthold (enough to convince me it isn’t for me) and Heroic KJ is that type of fight: one small error by one person (usually an armageddon being missed); nasty overlaps; either pushing or not pushing the boss correctly as phases end.

    The main raid team got AotC over a month ago, they’re now 2/9M and they’re nowhere near getting KJ HC on farm. The thinking is that this week’s Nether Crucible and other upgrades to player power will effectively nerf all current content. We’ll see. The dps check may be easier to pass, but the rest is down to player awareness.

    I’ve really enjoyed all the raids in Legion, they’ve kept me playing when other content has sucked the enjoyment out of logging on. Fingers crossed the next raid carries on in the same vein. But please, no more “lights out” phases again ever, okay Blizz?

    • Fiannor says:

      Gratz!

      Yeah, absent some kind of nerf or pseudo-nerf due to overgearing, I do not see us getting KJ on heroic farm. Even then, as you say, the dps check is the least of the problem. Most of the fight comes down to every player executing perfectly, and for non-rigid raid rosters this is an almost insurmountable obstacle. We ran a normal Tomb one night last week, and one of our raiders invited several non-guildies who had never raided with us before. Even on normal, even with several of us switching from alts to mains, we wiped a few times on KJ just because our choreography was thrown off by the strangers. They were not bad players, they just were not familiar with our team. Also, we had something like 23 people, and again with that many, someone is bound to make an error at some point. Normal is more forgiving than heroic, but it is still not a cake walk.

      I expect we will end up Tomb with 2-3/9M or close to that. We are not Mythic raiders, but we can usually eke out a couple bosses, if there is enough time between raid tiers.

      I am absolutely with you on the “lights out” phase. Hands down, the worst mechanic Blizz has ever come up with. I still can’t get over the idea that a totally dark raid was spoofed a couple years ago in one of the April Fool’s Blizz posts — we all really yukked it up over that one — and then IT ACTUALLY WAS IMPLEMENTED. To me, nothing says “We are out of ideas” more than this.

      Except for KJ, though, I think the Legion raids have all been pretty well tuned and they have held my interest. I admit I am getting a little weary of Tomb — as I did with Nighthold towards the end — so am looking forward to the next tier.

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