General Vezax is a fight where DPS meters are dominated by casters and where healers hate having to deal with their mana. But that doesn’t mean we have to trail behind in the meters either! So before we get into how we can maximize our effectiveness during this fight it is important to know what the fight entails.
The most important abilities for use to be aware of are as follows:
Aura of Despair: This is the major gimmick of this fight. Mana regeneration is reduced to nothing. Due to the DPS nature of certain classes, like us, Aspect of the Viper and a couple other select skills still work.
Shadow Crash: You’ve seen these in the Old Kingdom right before the last boss. Big swirling purple things that deal damage when they land. Well, they still do that. But as an added bonus it increases haste, reduces mana costs, and decreases healing. This is the reason casters own this fight. But we have our share of magic damage as well so all is not lost on us.
Mark of the Faceless: This is put on a single target and then siphons 5000 health a second from all nearby allies. If you get it, it actually doesn’t do any damage to you, just people around you. It is important to be aware of the raid members near you to get away from them or get yourself away from the raid.
Now in theory you could stand away from the raid, ignore everything going on other than helping kill a Saronite Vapor when called for and live on with your merry life. But you would probably get trounced on meters. And that’s not how we roll.
We want to take advantage of those shadow crashes as much as possible. After all, the huge mana reduction provided through it is reason enough. But when I see Explosive Shot ticking for upwards of 11k, it’s definitely worth my time.
This is one of those fights where you are going to want to have your camera zoomed out a lot. After all, you are not the only raid member wanting that sweet damage buff. And when General Vezax chooses a target for a new Shadow Crash, chances are it will be near you. Given your healers limited resources, the last thing they need is you taking extra damage from Shadow Crash.
When you first move into a Shadow Crash find the outer most edge possible. You don’t need to stand in the middle of it as its effect is ever so slightly larger than the graphic. You are going to have to fit almost 10 people (depending on your raid comp) into that itty bitty living space. And all of them are going to have to move when a new Shadow Crash comes too. Be near the edge so you can quickly and easily side-step out of it.
This also puts you in a great spot to avoid Mark of the Faceless. If you get this debuff you can Disengage out and reduce the amount of Life Siphoned to almost nil. And if it happens to be someone near you, you can sidestep again and hope they do things right and move out of the raid as well.
General Vezax also does a Surge of Darkness which requires your tank to run away putting General Vezax out of range of any previously placed shadow Crashes in most situations. As the fight progresses depending on how good your raid is at positioning they might be in fromt of his kite path. But it is usually during the kiting phase I use Aspect of the Viper to regain some mana if I feel I am going to need it.
After all, General Vezax has 30 million HP in 25-man Ulduar so it’s not exactly a quick fight. Anytime you can’t get into a Shadow Crash is your best time to use Aspect of the Viper in my opinion. In fact, you will find your Mages may not DPS at all if they are not in a Shadow Crash as it is a waste of mana.
In the long run of things, this fight is very easy for Hunters. Healers have to really worry about their mana in order to keep the tank alive, melee has to interrupt Searing Flames. We just have to make sure we pull as much weight as possible and try to reduce how often the healers have to look at us. And on non-hard mode if we do that properly, we should never need a heal.
I’ve tried Marksmship a few times on this fight, including tonight and for some reason I always feel like my mana depletes so much faster than it does as Survival. I know I run the mana intensive build which also includes Silencing Shot in my rotation but I always end up going back to Survival for this fight. Your mileage may vary.
Any thoughts, comments, questions, or would like to correct or add anything, leave a comment. Or stop by the forums.