NB: The Cataclysm strategies are based on a mixture of beta reports and may or may not bear any resemblance to the fight on Live.
If you spot major differences, post them in the comments and I can update the strats. I’ll be updating these myself as my guild begins raiding in Cataclysm.
Tanking: One main tank and one add tank (for Phase 2 only). Because Al’akir casts Electrocute if his tank is out of range, the ability to get back in quickly is useful.
Healing: Phase 2 includes a stacking raid-wide debuff, so save cooldowns for the later stages of that phase.
Static Shock in all phases means that the melee will be taking mild additional damage constantly.
The healers will need to be split into two equal teams for phase 3.
Positioning: For Phase 1 and 3 positioning is very important. In Phase 1 the whole raid should be close to the boss. melee in melee range and the ranged just outside melee range. Al’Akir has a melee-range interrupt (but not lockout) so you want to be out, but a knockback which requires you to stay well away from the edge.
Al’Akir does not move from the centre of his platform.
In Phase 3 the raid will split into two equal groups. One will move to the top of the Relentless Storm and one to the bottom.
Buffs: Nature Resistance would be very useful, since almost everything is Nature-based
HP: 105,000,000 (30,500,000 on 10-man) (+40% on Heroic)
Bloodlust: Phase 2, as early as possible taking into account DPS cooldown timers.
Al’Akir is a three phase fight with strong positioning requirements, particularly in phases 1 and 3. Phase 2 is a DPS race due to a stacking raid-wide DoT, so Bloodlust/Heroism and other cooldowns should be saved for that phase.
Phase 1 – 100%-80%
This phase is relatively straightforward if the positioning is done correctly. The default position should be for the whole raid to be in a circle around the boss, with the ranged standing just outside melee range (~5-8 yards out). Because of the Lightning Strike ability, which chains Ligtning damage to nearby players, it might be beneficial to group players into clusters of 2-4 to limit chaining. [This might be heroic-only].
Al’Akir will use Static Shock in melee range, interrupting spellcasting (but not locking out a spell school) and dealing mild damage.
From time to time Al’Akir will cast Wind Burst, knocking back everyone in the raid; after this everyone needs to reposition again and resume DPS. Do not be caught near the edge of the platform or you will be knocked off and out of action for 10-15s. The cast time is 5s, so you should get plenty of warning.
Besides this, the only other thing to be areful of is the Ice Storm which will circle around the platform 10-15 yards out and leave ice patches on the floor. If you get caught in one, get out of it quickly because the damage is very high.
Phase 2 – 80%-30%
At 80%, Al’Akir will enter Phase 2, and begin applying a stacking DoT called Acid Rain to the whole raid for 500 Nature damage per second per stack. The goal of this phase is to get through it before the DoT becomes unhealable.
To help with this, Al’Akir will summon Stormlings with 1,000,000 HP (300,000 on 10-man), which cause him to take 10% more damage when they are killed. The debuff they put on Al’Akir, Feedback only lasts 20s, so the deaths of the Stormlings needs to be coordinated to effectively stack the debuff.
There is no knockback in this phase, so the raid can spread out more, although Static Shock remains so casters need to stay out of melee range.
The big danger in this phase is the Squall Line, which is a line of tornadoes that circle around the platform. One of the tornadoes, selected randomly, will be missing, creating a gap which players must move to to avoid being hit by the tornadoes and being killed.
The tank needs to be extra careful with the Squall Line because Al’Akir will cast Electrocute on them if they are out of melee range for too long.
Phase 4 – 30%-0% – The Relentless Storm
When Al’Akir reaches 30%, he shatters his platform and throws the raid into the air. In this phase everyone gains the Eye of the Storm buff, allowing you to fly at 300% speed.
The raid will be divided into two equal teams; the upper team will fly to the top of the Relentless Storm and the lower team will fly to the bottom of the Relentless Storm. Both teams should spread out around Al’Akir on their level. The teams must spread out because it is essential to prevent Chain Lightning from jumping too far, because it will increase in damage by 30% per jump.
There will be two abilities to react to frequently in this phase:
- Lightning Clouds – Summons Clouds at the altitude of a random player; after 5 seconds they will begin to cast lightning for 50,000 damage per second
- Lightning Rod – Cast on a random player, causes them to deal 5,000 Nature damage per second for 5 seconds to players within 20 yards horizontally and 5 yards vertically. This doesn’t start damaging for 5 seconds, giving you time to move away
When either of these abilities affects your team, everyone in that teams needs to move 5 yards towards the middle (up if you’re in the lower team, down if you’re in the upper team). If you move too far you will run out of space, so it is important to move as little as possible.
Less frequent, but no less dangerous, is the Wind Burst and Relentles Storm combination. Al’Akir will cast Wind Burst, a more powerful version than in the first two phases, which will hit everyone for 40,000 Nature damage and knock them back. 5-8 seconds later, he will cast Relentles Storm, which will make anyone not back near the boss unable to move or cast and throws them all around the room (including through Lightning Clouds, which has a good chance of killing them).
Just make sure you get back in immediately after the knockback and this shouldn’t be a problem.
- 40% more HP
- Two walls of Tornados in Phase 2
- Stormlings’ damage aura also increases damage taken by 25%