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This guide is intended to provide a comprehensive description of theencounter with Hagara the Stormbinder in Dragon Soul. It is targeted to anyonewho desires to understand the fight mechanics.
This guide applies to patch 4.3 of World of Warcraft.
Hagara the Stormbinder is a Shaman located in the Eye of Eternity, theinstance that used to house Malygos. You access this area by taking a portalfrom Wyrmrest Temple.
The fight against Hagara is all about proper positioning and coordinatedmovement. As such, most raids will find this fight to be a breath of freshair before attempting the gear check that Ultraxion represents.
1. General Information↑top
1.1. Health Pool
1.2. Enrage Timer
The Hagara the Stormbinder encounter has an 8-minute hard enrage timer in Normal modeand a 10-minute hard enrage timer in Heroic mode.
1.3. Raid Composition
2.1. Tier 13 Tokens
2.4. Rings and Trinkets
3. Overview of the Fight↑top
The fight against Hagara is made up of 3 phases: Main Phase, Ice Phase,Lightning Phase. The Main Phase lasts 50 seconds and is followed by either theIce Phase or the Lightning Phase. The fight goes back to the Main Phaseas soon as your raid has finished dealing with the Ice Phase or theLightning Phase. The Ice Phase and the Lightning Phase alternate in such a waythat a fight will usually look like this:
To determine whether you will get an Ice Phase or a Lightning Phasefirst, simply look at the visual effect on Hagara's weapon before thepull (it will either be a frost effect or a lightning effect).
Each phase will require your raid to properly deal with positioningconstraints or to move in a synchronised fashion:
4. Main Phase↑top
The Main Phase is a tank and spank phase. The boss should be kept in the middle ofthe room and be damaged as much as possible. The ranged group must also dealwith a few abilities that mostly require proper positioning and good reactiontime.
After 50 seconds, the Main Phase ends and an Ice Phase or a LightningPhase starts.
During this phase, Hagara will use the following abilities.
Once you understand precisely what the abilities do, the strategy is simple andcan be summed up in the four following points:
5. Ice Phase↑top
50 seconds into a Main Phase (if this Main Phase was preceded by a LightningPhase), Hagara will enter an Ice Phase. Hagara casts Water Shield onherself, which causes her to remain stationary and immune to all damage untilthe raid has successfully completed the phase.
During the Ice Phase, the raid will be chased around the platform by verydeadly Ice Waves. While running to avoid the waves and the Icicles that fallfrom the sky, the raid will need to destroy 4 Frozen Binding Crystals by attackingthem whenever possible.
When all 4 crystals are destroyed, the Water Shield protecting Hagara isremoved and she is debuffed with Feedback, which, for 15 seconds,causes her to be stunned and take 100% increased damage. The Main Phase restartswhen the debuff drops off Hagara.
During the Ice Phase, your raid will be faced with the followingabilities:
Just like with the Main Phase, the strategy for the Ice Phase is simple,once the abilities are properly understood. The simple tasks that raid memberswill need to perform during this phase are the following (see the image on theright for a visual overview):
To give you an idea, it should take no more than 2 turns around the platformto destroy all 4 Frozen Binding Crystals.
During this phase, healers should have only heal the occasional damagefrom falling Icicles. Should a player manage to survive being hit by an IceWave, they should be healed quickly before they take damage again.
6. Lightning Phase↑top
50 seconds into a Main Phase (if this Main Phase was preceded by an IcePhase), Hagara will enter a Lightning Phase. When this happens, Hagara casts Water Shield on herself, which causes her to remain stationary and immuneto all damage until the raid has successfully completed the phase.
During the Lightning Phase, the raid will have to overload the 4Crystal Conductors that protect Hagara. Players need to formchains so that lightning propagates through them, eventually reachingthe conductors and overloading them.
When all 4 conductors are overloaded, the Water Shield protecting Hagara isremoved and she is debuffed with Feedback, which, for 15 seconds,causes her to be stunned and take 100% increased damage. The Main Phase restartswhen the debuff drops off Hagara.
During the Lightning Phase, the raid will be faced with aBound Lightning Elemental, whose death causes the overload of anearby conductor, which the raid then uses as a source for propagatinglightning to the other conductors. There are three things to note aboutthis Elemental:
Also, the raid will take constant damage from Lightning Storm.Every 2-3 seconds, this ability hits 3/4 random players in 10-man difficultyand 7/8 players in 25-man and LFR difficulties. Each player takes 15,000Nature damage in 10-man difficulty, 17,500 in 25-man difficulty, andabout 10,000 in LFR difficulty. Every time a player is hit by Lightning Storm,they receive a stack of a debuff that increases Nature damage taken by5% per stack.
Just as with the other two phases, the main difficulty of this phase residesin understanding what the abilities do. Then, the strategy is simple.
As the phase begins, a Bound Lightning Elemental spawns and needs tobe picked up by the tank. This add must then be brought next to 1 of the4 Crystal Conductors and killed. This will cause the chosen CrystalConductor to become overloaded.
From this point on, your raid will propagate the lightning emitted by theoverloaded Crystal Conductor to another Crystal Conductor. This will cause theother Crystal Conductor to also become overloaded. To do so, the players fromthe raid need to create a chain to propagate lightning from the overloadedCrystal Conductor to the other Crystal Conductor. Once this is done, the newlyoverloaded Crystal Conductor can be used as the source of a new chain that willoverload one the remaining, non-overloaded Crystal Conductors.
As you can see from the screenshots, the chain does not need to be perfect.The maximal range for lightning propagation seems to be around 10 yards. If,somewhere in the chain, the distance between two consecutive players go overthe maximal range, a few seconds will elapse before the end of the chain losesthe lightning, giving enough time for overloading the targeted Crystal Conductorbefore the lightning runs out.
Because Lightning Storm cause players to take increased Nature damage inthis phase, healers will have to face increasingly heavy damage. To alleviate this, the raid shouldswitch to Nature resistance during this phase by using either of Aspect of the Wild froma Hunter and Elemental Resistance Totem or Healing Stream Totem (improvedwith Glyph of Healing Stream Totem) from a Shaman.
With a bit of practice, you can divide your raid in 2 groups that will gooverload the crystals around the platform in opposite directions. This allowsthe raid to spend less time in the Lightning Phase (and therefore takeless damage from Lightning Storm).
7. When to Use Bloodlust, Heroism, or Time Warp?↑top
8. Learning the Fight↑top
The execution of the fight does not require much practice as the raid is notfaced with overly complex tasks. The only part that may pose problems is theoverloading of the 4 Crystal Conductors in the Lightning Phase.
Regarding these Crystal Conductors, it is important to note that Water Shield has a duration of 300 seconds, which probably means that theraid has 300 seconds to complete the Lightning Phase. So there is ample time topractice overloading the Crystal Conductors, as long as the raid cansurvive the increasing damage from Lightning Storm.
9. Heroic Mode↑top
The Heroic version of the fight with Hagara is extremely similar to thenormal version of the fight. The differences between Normal and Heroic modeare the following:
9.1. Main Phase
In the Main Phase, the missiles from Ice Lance now apply astacking debuff that increases Frost damage taken by 25%. The debuff lasts3 seconds, so anyone stacking Ice Lance missiles will end up taking +375%Frost damage.
By itself, this debuff does not prevent a player from soaking all 15 Ice Lancemissiles, as they only deal 15,000 damage each. The problem comes from a playertaking +375% increased Frost damage and being targeted by Shattered Ice, whichdeals about 100,000 Frost damage in Heroic mode.
Therefore, you need to have two players on each Ice Lance. By alternatingevery 2 or 3 seconds, they enable to debuff to drop, thus making the damagefrom Shattered Ice manageable if they are targeted by it.
Also, Focused Assault can no longer be entirely avoided. Tanks stillhave to move out of the attack, but Hagara will catch up much faster. Tosurvive, defensive cooldowns and healing cooldowns will be needed.
9.1.1. 10-man Specific Advice
9.2. Dealing with Frostflake in the Ice Phase
In the Ice Phase, Hagara will target a random player with Frostflake. This debuff does no damage but it slows downthe targeted player and stacks every seconds, meaning that the player willeventually come to an almost complete stop. When dispelled, the debuffleaves a Frostflake Snare on the ground. Every player standing in this10-yard radius frost area is slowed down by 50%. Exiting the frost arearemoves the movement speed reduction.
The problem with this debuff is that, during the Ice Phase, raid playerskeep moving together to attack the Frozen Binding Crystals and avoid the Ice Waves. Therefore, dispelling the debuff immediately is not recommended,as this runs the risk that players get slowed and subsequently caught by the Ice Wave.
One possible strategy is to have targeted players enter the Watery Entrenchment and be dispelled there. They will take a few ticks ofdamage, but this should be manageable and the Frostflake Snare will be outof everyone's way (currently, dispelling Frostflake inside the Watery Entrenchmentprevents the Frostflake Snare from being created). Another possible strategy isthat targeted players move to theedges of the platform to be dispelled, though this means that other players need tobe careful and stay away from the edge.
9.3. Dealing with Storm Pillars in the Lightning Phase
In the Lightning Phase, Hagara will regularly summon Storm Pillars.These pillars have a visual effect that looks like a ring. 3 seconds afterthey have spawned, they explode and deal 35,000 Nature damage to all playerswithin 5 yards.
The idea is to circumvent these pillars when making a lightning chain betweenthe conductors. It is also perfectly viable to ignore them, provided that you canheal the damage, which increases as Lightning Storm stacks build up.
9.4. Beating the Enrage Timer
To beat the enrage timer, you will need to spend as little time aspossible in the Ice Phase and the Lightning Phase, where the boss is immuneto damage.
9.4.1. Ice Phase
Below, you will find a list of tips to shorten the duration of the Ice Phase.
To destroy all the crystals, your raid will normally need to go around theplatform twice (although you should manage to destroy the first crystal duringthe first pass). To speed up this process, you should do as much damage aspossible on the 3rd and 4th crystal. Then, while the bulk of the raid goesfor a second pass to finish off the 1st and 2nd crystal, a few DPS playersshould be left to finish off the 3rd and 4th crystal. The idea is the3rd and the 4th crystals should be destroyed at around the same time asthe 2nd crystal.
Several DPS classes can be left on the 3rd and 4th crystal, thanks to theirability to avoid or reduce the damage from the Ice Waves and/or Watery Entrenchment, though any player can easily survive the 2 or 3 ticksof Watery Entrenchment that it takes to avoid an Ice Wave:
9.4.2. Alternative Ice Phase Strategy: Stacking in Watery Entrenchment
A totally different strategy is to have the entire raid, save the melee DPSand the tank, stack up on Hagara. This will enable the ranged DPS to have a 100%uptime on the crystals (making the phase shorter), at the cost of a muchincreased raid damage (which will require a good AoE healing setup).
This strategy changes nothing for melee DPS and the tank who will still haveto run around the platform and get their Frostflake debuff dispelled onthe edge or inside the Watery Entrenchment.
Note that the damage from Watery Entrenchment is based on players'health, so it is advised to disable raid buffs such as Power Word: Fortitude or Commanding Shout, and to avoid usingcooldowns such as Rallying Cry.
9.4.3. Lightning Phase
During the Lightning Phase, you will want to overload all theCrystal Conductors within a few seconds of the death ofthe Bound Lightning Elemental. To achieve this, the chains of playersfrom one Conductor to another will be pre-established and each playerwill have a pre-determined location to go to. The add will also alwaysbe killed on the same Conductor, so that you can assign melee players aposition close to this Conductor, while DPS players will be assignedpositions that are further away. Each player should try to reachtheir position at the moment the add dies (depending on how far it is,they might have to start moving long before the add dies).
In 25-man difficulty, 6 players are required to conductor lightning from oneConductor to the other and you only need to make 3 chains.
In 10-man difficulty,you need 2 players for each chain and you have to make 7 chains (there are 8conductors in 10-man Heroic difficulty, up from 4 in 10-man Normal difficulty),meaning that some players will need to participate in the overloading of more thanjust one conductor. The diagram shows a possible strategy with 4 groups, one madeup of healers that will not move (so they can keep healing) and 3 others that willhave to move
Note that from a single Crystal Conductor, you can propagate lightningto several other Crystal Conductors.
Finally, you should ignore the Storm Pillars when they spawn in the pathof one of the chain of players and heal through the damage that they deal.
10. Achievement: Holding Hands↑top
What you need to do is overload the last Crystal Conductor byusing a chain of players made up of the entire raid. You cannot havemost of the raid stacked together somewhere in the chain, with a few playersdoing the actual lightning conduction part. You have to make a continuouschain of players. If players are too close, this runs the risk that thelightning will jump a player.
In 10-man difficulty, there is a lot of available room to make the chain,so obtaining the achievement should not be a problem.
In 25-man difficulty,however, you will need to create a sort of semi-circle from one overloadedconductor to the final conductor. To make it easier, you can make the chain startfrom the overloaded conductor that is diametrically opposed to the final conductor.This will give your raid ample room to maneuver.
The achievement triggers as soon as the final conductor is destroyed. You do notneed to kill the boss, which is good news for raids who want to get the achievement butnot kill the boss on Normal mode.
11. Concluding Remarks↑top
This concludes the strategy guide for Hagara the Stormbinder. We think thatmany guilds will enjoy progressing on this fight as dealing with the variouspositioning challenges can be quite fun.
As always, we would be pleased to read any feedback that you have (typos,suggestions, praise, etc.) by e-mail or in a comment below.