How to solve a Rubik’s Cube – For Beginners

So you’ve always wanted to solve a Rubik’s Cube but were never able to? It’s actually not nearly as scary as you think if you know the correct patterns! I’ll walk you through one, of probably many, strategies to solve this puzzle that I guarantee you’ll be able to reproduce. There’s a lot here but I promise you will be able to follow along.

Before we begin let’s go over the few things you need to know in order to tackle the cube.

Whenever you are holding cube or sitting on the table there are five relevant sides and some terminology you need to pay attention to. I will reference these, and abbreviate them, in the strategy section.

Front – the side facing you. If the cube is resting in the palm of your hand this side is looking right at you.

Left – the left side as you face the cube currently

Right – the right side as you face the cube currently

Up – the top surface of the cube as you face it currently

Down – the bottom surface of the cube as you face it currently

I added those disclaimers because we will be changing how we are facing the cube, and because of that “front” “left” etc. will always change accordingly.

Middle Piece – square on the cube with only one color on it. These never move from their surfaces. These are important because they tell you what color that cube side is supposed to be.

Edge Piece – square on the cube with only two colors on them

Corner Piece – square on the cube with three colors on them

So, let’s begin with our Rubik’s Cube

Step 1.) To start we must pick a side to solve first. In this case I have chosen white…mostly because it has the sticker on it. I will refer to surfaces by my colors for the moment but it may be different for you.

Step 2.) We need to create a X, or cross of white on our solving surface. We need each edge piece to also match the color of the adjacent side. Rotate the cube as needed to get all of the edge pieces where they are supposed to be, however they may need additional attention.

This orange/white edge piece is in the right location. The orange matches the orange side adjacent to our solving side but it’s the wrong way!

Move Combinations – the only tricky thing you need to learn

 

Here is where you will use your first move combination so let’s discuss those. When solving a Rubik’s Cube there are number of move combinations that perform tasks we will need such as rotating a block’s position or orientation. I will spell all of them out to you clearly. The only thing you need to know is how to read them.

I will tell you which sides to rotate and then a direction. The direction is either clockwise, or counter-clockwise as if you were looking straight at it. The front side is self explanatory but what about the others. Right clockwise is a turn away from you and counterclockwise is towards you for example.

If I just write the letter for the side, U (up), F (front), L (left), R (right), or D (down) then it means a clockwise turn.

If I write the letter with ccw after it, then it means counter clockwise.

In this case, the combination is F ccw, U, L ccw, U ccw

The piece is flipped! Simply repeat this for all sides that need it, though not all will and you will get the cross. This is the only somewhat free form step as there is no set pattern to get them cross pieces into position.

Step 3.)  Now we need to get the correct corner pieces into position. This is a little tricky because there are three colors you need to match. First we look at the corner you want to solve and make a note of the three colors we need. In my case white, orange, and green.

Then look at the bottom of the cube and see if you can rotate it so the correct corner piece is directly below where you need to move it to!

To move the corner piece up into position from the bottom, repeat the following combination with the corner piece in the bottom right position of the front face (see above): R ccw, D ccw, R, D. This move combination has the benefit of not disturbing your already established squares.

Helpful reminder: since the bottom surface is tough to visualize direction, D ccw turns the bottom row left as you look at the front of the cube, and D turns the bottom row to the right.

You may have to repeat this move combination as few as 2 or 3 times or as many as 6 since sometimes the corner piece has to cycle through a couple of times to get to the right orientation.

If one of the corner pieces you need is actually already in a spot where another corner piece goes on the top surface don’t fret.

Turn the cube so that offending corner piece is on the front face in the upper right and do that move combination I just showed you. It will swap that piece with a different one. This lets you move it where you need to!

Once you have completed all four corners you will have solved the entire top row of the cube!

Step 4.) Now flip the cube over and take  a look at the side opposite the one you just solved. You’ll see that on the sides of the cube, we’ve solved what look like little T’s, or a certain Tetris piece of you happen to be familiar.

We need to solve edge peices in the second row so we have complete two full rows of the cube. There is a way to take the top middle square on the front side of the cube (whichever side you are looking at) and swap it with the left or right middle cubes on the front face. Basically we’re going to take a cube and move it from 12 o’clock to 3 o’clock or 9 o’clock as we see fit!

Step 5.) Look at the top of the cube and see if any of the edge pieces  do not contain the same color as the middle square on the top. These are pieces that you can move down! If you find one, rotate the top row until the edge piece matches the side it’s on. Confusing but take a look:

See that green and orange piece on the top middle, I turned it so the green matches the green side of the cube.

Step 6.) There are two move combos that we can use. One takes the square we were just talking about and rotates it to the right and one rotates it to the left. Looking at the cube you can see that our edge piece’s second color is orange so it has to rotate to the right. So we do the following:

U, R, U ccw, R ccw, U ccw, F ccw, U, F

It falls right into place! Now what if you have this:

That green and red piece needs to move down and left instead. We do the following combination:

U ccw, L ccw, U, L, U, F, U ccw, F ccw And you get the following:

Sometimes, just like we ran into above, one of the pieces you need is already in the second row somewhere. Simply rotate and swap a piece you don’t care about, in my case one with yellow on it like that yellow/orange piece on the picture above, down into its spot using either the left or right move combo.

Once you finally complete all of those, you have the full first an second rows completely solved!

Step 7.) Now, let’s take a look at the top of your cube, it will have in it one of three possible shapes. An 3-square L, a Line, or a Cross. We want to have the cross. We can get there by using a move combination.

Example of an 3-square L

Example of a Line (despite that extra yellow block there, this doesn’t count as an L)

Combo: F, R, U, R ccw, U ccw, F ccw

If you have an L and do this combination with the L in the top left corner of the upper surface as shown above if gives you a Line. If you have a Line and you do this combination with the line horizontal as shown above you get a cross. So you’ll need to do it either 0, 1, or 2 times depending on your randomization. You will end up with a cross no matter what

We’re almost there!

Step 8.) You should at this point be able to rotate the top row, so that the center column on two sides matches entirely. In this example Red and Green.

There are two possible combinations. The matching sides are next to each other, or across from each other. If they are across from each other, hold the cube so that one of those two matching sides faces you and do the following combination:

R, U, R ccw, U, R, U, U, R ccw

You will now have two sides that match that are adjacent to each other. If you just did this, OR you had two sides adjacent to each other then do the following: hold the cube so that one matching side is the right side, and one is the back and do the following:

R, U, R ccw, U, R, U, U, R ccw

Now all four sides have matching middle columns

Step 9.) Now we need to fix the corner pieces. This can be a little tricky so be patient. Look at all of your corner pieces on the top surface (they’re the only pieces left to fix!). Are any of them the right colors but simply in the wrong orientation? If so, turn the cube so that corner square is the top right of the front face.

If none of them match:

like mine did then it doesn’t matter which corner is where when you begin. No matter which scenario/starting position, repeat the following move combination until all four corners match:

U, R, U ccw, L ccw, U, R ccw, U ccw, L

Stop when all four corner pieces are the right colors. They will likely NOT be in the correct orientation though!

Step 10.) Just like we did in step 3, we have a move combination that can properly re-orient corner pieces. Look at your cube and see if any of your top corner pieces actually ARE correct. If they are then turn the cube to the right until you find a corner that isn’t. In my case all four needed work. Repeat the following move combination until the corner piece is in the proper orientation. It will look like you are messing everything up but I assure you it will work out.

R ccw, D ccw, R, D

After some number of repetitions it’ll be correct

The rest of the cube looks kind of wrong now, but don’t worry!

Step 11.) Once the corner is corrected per step 10, turn the top row counterclockwise once

Once rotated, again repeat the combination R ccw, D ccw, R, D

Each time you fix the corner, turn the top row again and repeat that move combination. Once you complete the last corner everything will fall into place

Simply turn the top row to line everything up and you’re done! Congratulations you have solved a Rubik’s Cube

This strategy may not be the most efficient move wise but it is reliable and will always get you there no matter what your initial outcome is. It also doesn’t require an intimate understanding of how you are manipulating the cube itself. If you’d like to learn more, pay attention to what you are doing with each move combination to understand just how you are rearranging everything. It will shed some light on what is really going on!

Internet Communication – How my brain doesn’t work with it

I wanted to discuss something that applies not only to WoW, but business communication as well as all forms of personal communication over the internet.

Internet Communication, to me, is about taking your own personal real life communication habits and transferring/molding them to a medium that doesn’t follow the same rules, pacing, and social etiquette. My brain you see, it does not handle this well at ALL and it causes me a lot of issues.

In real life, when you talk with someone there are a lot of markers and clues that you need to pick up on to determine the level of interest of your communication partner as well as their mood, level of ease/comfort, and diplomacy level towards you. This is generally vital for proper speech and many rely much more on these markers than others.

For me, even as a *cough* slightly older gamer, I’m still learning how to master social graces. If someone shifts uncomfortably I will tend to notice, if their tone is off I will notice, if they seem hesitant and keep their distance I absolutely notice and respect that. These markers are different for everyone and will vary greatly whether you’re trying to find a potential romantic interest, discuss business with a colleague or contact, or talk with friends and family. Reading these signals wrong, or reacting to them incorrectly can completely steer the course of your conversation in the wrong direction or, in the worst case, make you look like a creep/idiot/jerk. You might not intend to but it sure can go that route if you aren’t careful.

I am fairly verbose…and sometimes long winded. In real life I can be fairly eloquent when dealing with potential customers, which I think is the reason I do so well interfacing with them. I write long well crafted e-mails when necessary to customers and co-workers alike detailing everything that is pertinent to the situation. I have learned over the years to reign it in some as walls of text are often off-putting to those who sift through lots of e-mails daily.

How does this have anything to do with the internet and WoW you ask

Ever since I was young I have chatted on the internet. From the days of AOL chat rooms, to AIM/ICQ, to IRC and mIRC, message boards etc. I have become extremely comfortable at putting my emotions down into writing for people to see. Not everyone is like that I have come to realize. It isn’t that they have any less interest in communicating with me (or you). It is simply that not everyone communicates in the same form online, especially when it is asynchronous dialogue.

Without the context of hand gestures, body language, tone of voice, etc. it is extremely difficult for me to have any idea how the other person (be in chat or work e-mail) is feeling when they write back. My brain goes into analysis and worry mode and I try to root out just what was meant by their communique. This can be very dangerous.

When you write as much as I do, and am as wordy as I am, one of the worst things I can get back in a work e-mail is a sentence fragment response. The first thought in my head is “yeesh, no need to be snippy about it”. This is of course completely the wrong way to think about it.

In WoW and in the mediums surrounding it you will deal with asynchronous communication all of the time:

-Whispers/Tells in WoW are hardly always answered immediately as people are often fairly busy

-Message board topics can often go for a little while before someone responds to you

-Forum direct messages may for for hours or a day before getting read

-That application you put in on a guild’s website is going to take days for review and feedback

Understanding why there are gaps in communication and convincing your brain…well lets be honest my brain…that it isn’t because they are mad or disapprove of what you said is an incredibly difficult task.

…except when it IS because they are mad or disapprove of what you said.

There’s the rub. There’s really no way to read it easily enough because in real life you’d get that immediate feedback from the person in real time. Online you don’t have that luxury and must rely purely on your gut reaction about the matter at hand. If you are a worrier, like I am, this can be really frustrating. It has led to me not being as social or clique-y in guilds that I have been in because I struggle to communicate and settle into a comfortable zone with the people around me. I do consider it a bit of a handicap for me in terms of internet communication.

So what have I learned

1.) I will piss people off. It’s natural that you are not going to be all unicorns and rainbows with people and you will rub people the wrong way JUST BY BEING YOU. That’s it. There’s nothing you can do to help it, some people will just hate your personality. Trying to fix it with rationalization and logic will never solve anything.

2a.) Patience is critical. Learn to not assume someone is agitated with you if they don’t respond immediately. While in real life this is true, asynchronous communication means that they won’t always have immediate access (or the time) to respond to you.

2b.) If they do respond, and it is short and to the point, do not assume they are irritated with you. If someone is irritated, and too passive aggressive to let you know, then it isn’t your fault. You just keep on trying to be yourself and be honest with your dialogue.

Note: If you fail and 2a or 2b and follow up your communication with multiple additional forms of communication because you are worried, you will often immediately trigger actual irritation with you that might not have occurred natural. I am guilty of this I will admit.

3.) Understand that not everyone writes at the same level as you. This isn’t a knock on education or vocabulary. Some people hate typing or writing anything of length. They may also just be really really busy. Keeping this in mind, maybe we should try to keep what we say to a minimum. For me, at work, I tailor the length of my e-mails based on the person I am interacting with and their likelihood of finishing the entire document.

4.) Don’t wear your heart on a sleeve. While the internet is a wonderful place to bear your emotions, you should know your target audience. Putting to much emotion or personal flair into something can have two negative side effects. The first is that it can be offputting to your recipient if the communication should have been more business like. The second is that the recipient might not share your sentiment or might think it is outright foolish. This can lead to your feelings being hurt.

5.) Don’t nag.

Conclusion

I am not particularly good at communicating on the internet, however these are some things am working on doing to improve my own efforts. You’ll still see “Worry Wort Jarre” out there asking if he’s done something to offend you but understand it comes from a good place! I know I will continue to work on it and I hope that everyone else is as well.

 

 

I’m alive! Now with more Heroic Garrosh

So this happened

It’s been really quiet because honestly we’ve either been away for the holidays, or bashing ourselves against an extended Garrosh lockout. I think I’ll probably write some more guide like posts about heroic SoO encounters for those still trying to clear them out soon.

Current pets used for Tournament and Pandaria Trainers

Just wanted to post a current list of pets used for Pandaria trainers using a carry pet, and for the Celestial tournament. This is less a guide and more just what I personally do.

Trainers: (some of my teams have been taken from various guides published though there exist many possible options for each)

Pet List:

Pandaren Trainers (13):

Rabbit, Untamed Hatchling, Emerald Proto Whelp, Darkmoon Tonk, Anubisath Idol, Snarly, Yellow Moth, Spirit Crab, Zandalari Kneebiter, Bat, Darkmoon Zeppelin, Aqua Strider

Beasts of Fable (5):  haven’t done these in a while, think they still work

Unborn Val’kyr, Chrominius, and Pandaren Water Spirit (all but No-no), Bat, Yellow Moth, Gilnean Raven (No-no)

Celestial Tournament – Celestials (10):

Unborn Val’kyr, Chrominius, Pandaren Water Spirit, Clock’em, Clock’em, Tranquil Mechanical Yeti, Cogblade Raptor, Menagerie Custodian, Blighted Squirrel, Darkmoon Tonk

Celestial Tournament – Trainers (21):

Rapana Whelk, Kun’Lai Runt, Kun’Lai Runt, Pandaren Fire Spirit, Pandaren Fire Spirit, Gilnean Raven, Onyxian Whelp, Biletoad, Harbinger of Flame, Son of Animus, Flayer Youngling, Emperor Crab, Devouring Maggot, Landro’s Lichling, Blighthawk, Disgusting Oozling, Anubisath Idol, Mechanical Pandaren Dragonling, Stinker, Magical Crawdad, Emerald Whelp,

Trainer Teams

Thundering Pandaren Spirit

Rabbit (speed 301+), Untamed Hatchling, <Carry Pet>

Notes: Scratch, Burrow, Dodge, Scratch etc. till first pet kill; swap to Untamed Hatchling, Tail Sweep till second pet kill. Swap to carry pet on death and immediately to your Rabbit. If Burrow and Stonerush are on CD he’ll always opt for his Burrow. To take no damage use dodge whenever he is underground, and use burrow whenever Stonerush is up and Burrow is not. The exception being immediately after using dodge to stop his burrow since the buff lasts through the next round stopping two attacks.

Courageous Yon

Emerald Proto Whelp, <Carry Pet>, Darkmoon Tonk

Notes: Bite, Shield, Bite till first pet kill; Bite, Proto-Strike, Bite till second pet kill. Ten do the usual carry pet swap to Darkmoon Tonk for the finish.

Burning Pandaren Spirit

Anubisath Idol, Snarly (or other crocolisk), <Carry Pet>

Notes: Crush, Stoneskin, Crush till first pet kill; Deflection, swap to Snarly, Rip, Blood in the Water, Surge kills second pet. On Snarly’s death swap to carry pet then Idol. Stoneskin nullifies the glowfly’s damage.

Seeker Zushi

Snarly, <Carry Pet>, Yellow Moth

Notes: Rip, Blood in the Water, Surge till first pet kill; Rip, Surge on second pet though the dive will kill you. Swap to carry pet then swap to the moth. Cocoon strike can stop the drowsy effect and just take him down with Moth Dust and Alpha Strike.

Aki the Chosen

Spirit Crab, <Carry Pet>, Yellow Moth

Notes: Always keep shell up, Snap until first pet kill; Keep shell up as needed, Drop Whirlpool, and Snap until second pet kill. Don’t refresh shield on third pet, swap to carry pet on death then finish up with the moth.

Wastewalker Shu

Zandalari Kneebiter (high power), Chrominius, <Carry Pet>

Notes: Black Claw, Hunting Party kills first pet. Swap to Chrominius (whirlpool still active on your team). Howl, Bite, Surge of Power kills second pet. Once Chrominius dies, put i your carry pet and then swap back to the Kneebiter. Black Claw and Hunting party finishes off the last pet.

Flowing Pandaren Spirit

Bat, <Carry Pet with decent HP>, Emerald Proto Whelp

Notes: Reckless Strike, Bite, Hawk Eye, Bite kills first pet; Reckless Strike/Bite until Bat dies then put in Carry Pet. Swap to Emerald Proto Whelp and Bite until third pet. Bite until the round when Whirlpool and Geyser are set to go off. Proto Strike to avoid them and Bite until the kill.

Mo’ruk

Darkmoon Zeppelin, Chrominius, <Carry Pet>

Notes: Missle, Decoy, Missle until first pet kill; swap to Chrominius. Howl then Surge of Power to kill the second pet. Do whatever you can to the third and swap to Zeppelin upon death. Missle/Decoy until enemy pet is low and Self Destruct to kill it. Only remaining pet will be your carry pet.

Farmer Nishi

<Carry Pet>, Aqua Strider, Darkmoon Tonk

Notes: Attack one round then swap to Strider (if your pet is higher level let him take one of the sunflowers big hits first). First change the weather then just destroy him with your water attacks. When the turnip submerges spend two rounds healing and charging up. Kill the turnip and simply swap to the tonk when the strider dies. Shock and Awe + Ion Cannon will do it.

Hyuna of the Shrines

Emerald Proto Whelp, <Carry Pet>, Yellow Moth

Notes: Emerald Bite kills the first pet. Bite, Proto-Strike, Bite till whelp dies. Swap to carry pet then your moth. Alpha Strike/Moth Dust as needed using Cocoon strike to dodge headbutt.

Whispering Pandaren Spirit

Anubisath Idol, <Carry Pet>, Chrominius

Notes: Repeat the pattern Deflection, Sandstorm, Punch, Punch, Deflection, Punch, Punch, Punch until the moth dies. Punch until death then swap to carry pet then Chrominius. Once the second pet dies, Howl, Bite, Surge of Power to kill the third.

 

Lastly, there are some other alternative strategies for these fights. Some of them may work much more reliably than the ones I’ve been conditioned to do. You can take a peak at them over here http://www.warcraftpets.com/community/forum/viewtopic.php?f=10&t=7023 This guide does tend to assume you have a decent selection of pets of the appropriate breeds however. I solidified my trainer killer teams fairly early on when I didn’t have as many pets and I needed to power level new ones.

Celestial Tournament Guide – Work in Progress

I wanted to post a Celestial Guide that would be a growing work in progress that people can use to help them in their travels. As someone who doesn’t have a rather extensive supply of diverse pets (though I do have roughly 97 of them at 25) I feel that I could potentially offer aid to those who don’t have the tougher to farm pets since a large number of the pets I have I don’t use in tricky battles. I have a couple rarer ones but I think everyone has a few of those.

I will start with the Celestials themselves because I personally think they are the easiest part of the Tournament however intentional or unintentional that may be. Because my strategies for the Celestials are fixed (much like the Beasts of Fable) the pets I use for them are earmarked and cannot be used for trainers. I will edit and fill out the trainer list as I learn more and create more rock solid teams.

My current pets: http://us.battle.net/wow/en/character/eredar/Jarre/pet#status=is-collected&page=1

PRO TIPS

Healing – While on a lot of fights during the tournament you expect some of your pets to get knocked out, the last pet used in a fight will live and will usually be hurt. If you have a limited menagerie and you have a last pet that you absolutely need in another fight you can heal during the tournament (depending on trainer combinations)

When fighting Wrathion, Wise Mari, and Yu’La the first pet you encounter will not harm you during the first round of combat. Because of this you can lead with a self heal ability or, better yet, a full team heal ability and then immediately surrender the battle. This can be repeated as many times as possible.

Ideally you don’t want to have to do this as it slows you down however if it helps you succeed then take advantage of it.

CELESTIALS

Chi-Chi (Flying) 

Pets Used: (BoF Team) Unborn Val’kyr or Ghostly Skull, Pandaren Water Spirit, Chrominius

Strategy - With your Ascension undead pet do whatever you’d like for 5 rounds and if you have the Val’kyr cast Doom on the 5th round. On round 6 which should be your immune round cast Ascension. With your Water Spirit, come in and cast Geyser then Whirlpool. Fight as long as you can but the spirit won’t live very long. Lastly bring in Chrominius for the ol’ Howl/Bite/Surge combo will do it. The Bite should be evaded which is why it is needed. If you have the Val’kyr and get some solid hits in + doom, you might be able to have Chrominius simply lead with Surge of Power and end it his first turn.

Alternate Submitted Strat 1: 3x Snails with Ooze Touch, 25% damage debuff, and Dive. Hammer away and dive (when available) on the ethereal dodge round as it is always used on cooldown.

Alternate Submitted Strat 2: If you do not posses an Unborn Val’kyr or a max level Pandaren Water Spirit, you can opt for another team. This backup team also works should something go wrong and you fail to kill Chi-chi or not get her low enough for Chrominius to take her out. This sometimes happens if Unholy Ascension glitches out. Ghostly Skull is still a great option to lead off and an acceptable backup for the Val’kyr. Follow up with Nexus Whelping who can seriously put a dent with Arcane Storm and Mana Surge. I closed it out with Chrominius howl/surge of power.

If for some reason your first pass fails using the original strat and Chrominius lives, spend some time on Yu’la and heal Chrominius back up and use strat #2 unless you have spare Valks/Water Spirits.

Xu-Fu, (Beast)

Pets Used: Tranquil Mechanical Yeti, Cogblade Raptor, <Any strong Mechanical>

Strategy - Have your Yeti lead with Call Lightning. This has the benefit of removing his weather buff and enhancing all of your team’s attacks. Follow with metal fist and then Ion Cannon. Once your raptor is in, spam Batter to make use of your weather buff. The raptor will often finish the tiger off all by himself but you may need a clean-up mechanical as your 3rd pet.

Alternate Submitted Strat 1: Any call lightning pet with Lil’Bling. Apparently with the lightning weather effect active Lil’Bling can make short work of Xu’Fu or Zao. You can heal him up using Yu’La as needed. He is a fairly rare pet however.

Yu’la (Dragon)

Pets Used: Clock’em x2

Clock’em can actually, if things go well for him, solo the dragon all by himself. Since he is an easily purchased battle pet though, I leveled two of them just in case and I’ve found this is a great thing to have (Gregarious Grell is also amazing should you have it) just in case.

Strategy – Since clock-em is faster his evasion ability becomes amazing. Simply smack him with your punch unless he begins the turn in the air, in that case simply dodge. Just repeat this process until it is dead. You may or may not dip into your second Clock’em.

Alternate Submitted Strat 1: Peddlefeet and 2x sacrificial pets. Charge up during the stuns and swap in chump pets to eat the dives.

Zao (Beast)

Pets Used: Blighted Squirrel, Darkmoon Tonk/Menagerie Custodian

Strategy - Crouch then spam stampede. Because the squirrel gets an extra round of stampede in during his immune round he packs in a decent chunk of damage and leaves the boss with a very convenient 2 round increased damage debuff. Once your mechanical pet comes in simply Shock and Awe then Ion Cannon and he’s dead (both at +100% damage).

Alternate Submitted Strat 1: Any call lightning pet with Lil’Bling. Apparently with the lightning weather effect active Lil’Bling can make short work of Xu’Fu or Zao. You can heal him up using Yu’La as needed. He is a fairly rare pet however.

CHAMPIONS

(This is VERY much a work in progress because I’m still locking down foolproof teams for each. I will update them as I get some addition practice)

The links, courtesy of Perculia from Wowhead, show each Champion’s team. The order is not necessarily exact and you can check that simply by engaging the trainer and then aborting the fight before the first attack.

My strats are listed here though they certainly are far from the only ones:

BLINGTRON http://www.wowhead.com/pet-team#Av0EHcj-BB3I_wQdyA

Pets Used: Rapana Whelk or any good critter with a Dive attack, Kun-Lai Runt, Elemental pet with Immolate/Conflagrate

Strategy - If you are running a slow snail you can dive immediately on turn one which lets you dodge the first Goldrush. Play the long game and your critter should win out. I might recommend Blingtron be your first trainer just in case your first dive misses (damn 80% hit chance). Kun-Lai Runt will run all over Banks who doesn’t have much offense to speak of. Any strong Elemental with Immolate/Conflagrate will easily polish off Lil’B. I initially used Phoenix Hatchling however after leveling a second Pandaren Fire Elemental I think he’d be stronger.

UPDATE: I’ve swapped my team to Fast Rabbit, Kun’Lai Runt, Pandaren Fire Spirit.  It’ a little RNG though. From what I’ve seen Spawn G’nathus is a much better first pet option and I’ll be attempting to pick it up soon. If the fight goes poorly for you, or you miss a bunch, then Lil’ B will outlast your last elemental pet especially with his resurrection racial.

WISE MARI http://www.wowhead.com/pet-team#AhEFHcgQBR3IEgUdyA

Pets Used: Crow, Mechanical Pandaren Dragon, Strong Aquatic

Strategy - The crows are some of the best aquatic killers in the game however there are other options. Simply crush Carpe Diem with your flier and do whatever damage to Spirus that you can. Having a S/S Crow helps keep your Alpha Strike damage high. When your mechanical enters the fray kill off Spirus using your breath. When River submerges it is a perfect opportunity to drop decoy. Once the whelp dies your strong aquatic pet will easily finish off River.

If things go well for you, I’ve been able to save the mechanical dragon’s decoy until River and use it to block both his submerge AND whirlpool.

SHADEMASTER http://www.wowhead.com/pet-team#AgYFHcgHBR3ICAUdyA

Pets Used: Harbinger of Flame, Pandaren Fire Spirit, Son of Animus/Sunreaver Micro-Sentry

Strategy - Open with the strong Immolate/Conflagrate combo and continue to pummel Nairn into the ground. Pandaren Fire Spirit’s Magma Wave sweeps the turret away and can use the same Immolate/Conflagrate combo to take out Stormoen. Lastly finish off with a sturdy mechanical pet. Son of Animus is an excellent choice though you could use the Sunreaver Micro Sentry. I’m not sure how the trainers can be shuffled, however Son of Animus is quite useful for Dr. Ion Goldblum

CHEN STORMSTOUT http://www.wowhead.com/pet-team#AgIFHcgABR3IAQUdyA

Pets Used: Darkmoon Tonk/Menagerie Custodian, Kun-Lai runt/Flayer Youngling/Fox Kit, Strong aquatic with whirlpool and surge (Sea Pony, Aqua Strider) or Crab

Strategy - Shock and Awe + Ion Cannon will kill Tonsa off the bat. Chirp can be taken out using a conventional critter killer. Finish the fight out with your strong aquatic pet. Drop whirlpool and smash his face in.

TARAN ZHU http://www.wowhead.com/pet-team#AgwFHcgPBR3IDQUdyA

Pets Used: Devouring Maggot, Landro’s Lichling/Raven, Blighthawk

Strategy - I absolutely despised this fight. I decided to open with Devouring Maggot because of its ability to burrow and dodge Blackout Kick and Sticky Goo to prevent Feign Death. It’s a slow fight but the life gain allows the Maggot to easily kill Yen. The Lichling was simply a solid Undead option to beat down the next Monk however an anti healing Raven or Crow could work just fine. I ended the fight using Blighthawk because it has a strong Infected Claw and the ability to consume corpses to recover.

Alternate Submitted Strat 1: It was suggested to utilize a Val’kyr using Siphon Life and Unholy Ascension followed for Fossilized Hatchling with Ancient Blessing and BONESTORM. They used Lesser Voidcaller but I’d assume any potent undead pet can clean up the last monk. Since Ghostly Skull can interchange with the Val’kyr in my Chi-Chi strat I may use my Valk here and try it out.

LOREWALKER CHO http://www.wowhead.com/pet-team#AgUFHcgEBR3IAwUdyA

Pets Used: Disgusting Oozling, Mechanical Pandaren Dragonling, Strong Humanoid pet

Strategy - This is a fairly straight forward fight. The Oozling’s attacks run all over Wisdom with little difficulty. Do as much damage to Patience as you can with your Oozling before bringing in the mechanical pet. Patience is weak to the dragon breath and has no strong attacks (and one weak one) against your pet. You’ll get some damage in on Knowledge and a tough humanoid can seal the deal. Anubisath Idol is always a good candidate.

WRATHION http://www.wowhead.com/pet-team#AhUFHcgUBR3IEwUdyA

Pets Used: Rabbit, 2x Humanoid Dragon Killers (Flayer Youngling can kill two by himself, Kun-Lai runt can be a good backup)

Strategy - Your rabbit is a solid undead killer and it can mitigate a lot of damage using dodge and burrow to kill Cindy. Flayer Youngling (kick and deflection) is a perfect dragon killer and can possibly take out both of the remaining pets on his own however you can certainly pull in a second Youngling or Runt to finish it off.

Alternate Submitted Strat 1: Skunk with perk up and Stench, Anubisath Idol, Kun-Lai runt. If you don’t have a Flayer Youngling that’s fast enough, or have trouble getting one at all, this team is easier to put together.

SULLY http://www.wowhead.com/pet-team#AgkFHcgKBR3ICwUdyA

Pets Used: Magical Crawdad or Durable Crab, Kun-Lai Runt, Raven/Crow or strong flier

Strategy - Your first fight against Socks is one of attrition. Use damage reduction and self healing to wear down Socks and force him to use his Unholy Ascension. The Crawdad can actually do some damage to the rabbit before dying. Your Kun-Lai runt should be able to kill Monte fairly quickly. Your Raven (or other flying aquatic killer of choice) will finish off Rikki in no time.

Updated Strategy: High HP Spirit Crab with Shield and Whirlpool can kill both the first pet and almost kill the second pet. This seems to work much better

DR. ION GOLDBLOOM http://www.wowhead.com/pet-team#AvcEHcj0BB3I9QQdyA

Pets Used: Emerald Whelp, Son of Animus, <whatever you need to do the remaining damage>

Strategy - Lead with tranquility and follow up with moonfire then emerald bite. The next round Screamer is going to feign death so take the opportunity to get in a free tranquility before switching to Son of Animus.

Now I know not everyone has this pet so you can easily use another solid mechanical option. Son of Animus can solo the whole remaining team if things go well for him. If you are using Son of Animus simply keep your plating up and Siphon Anima to stay alive.

If you don’t have Son of Animus, you might want to consider swapping pets during the feign death round as opposed to using tranquility. This makes sure your mechanical pet doesn’t take any more damage than it needs to.

First thoughts on 5.4 Resto, Siege, and Pets

I haven’t really posted in a while and for the most part it is because things have been fairly quiet. We have long since discussed all of the major changes to resto druids and in general they feel fairly straight forward. I do want to go over a few things and post my thoughts as we get into 5.4.

Day One

As soon as I was able to get home from work my first goal was to get the legendary cloak as I’m sure all of you are or will be shortly. I found using TomTom I could get all of the 5000 coins needed in a matter of mere minutes through the mandatory quests and chests readily available. I’d clock this in at under 20 minutes tops. After that we had a guild group go through and level all four of the celestial bosses quickly. They aren’t really all that bad though if you are doing it with pugs expect people to do the following:

-Not stand in the helpful circle on Chi’ji

-Yu’lon will kill some poor souls with the green tidal wave

-There will be some caught by Niuzao’s charging hellfire attacks

Once I obtained the cloak a quick trip over to Ordos was in order. This is also a rather uninteresting fight and it is predominantly an AoE heal fest. Make short work of him and try to coin something if you must. I personally opted not to as many of the warforged loot items available are spirit/crit and not-conducive to maintaining my 13,163 haste rating with decent mastery.

After we finished up Ordos I had a chance to go over and take a peak at the pet trainer options near the celestial court. Lil’Oondasta, while he hits like a truck, is easily dispatched with three mechanical pets who have strong finishers. I opted for pets with big attacks such as Self Destruct, Decoy, and Ion Cannon. Once he was defeated I healed and hopped into the Celestial Tournament. I got most of the way through, getting extremely lucky with enemy misses on some matches, and flailed about on Chichi before giving up. I will be revisiting this later.

SIEGE OF ORGRIMMAR

Healing

I suppose this is what is really important isn’t it? First lets talk about healing with the changes as that is why people come here i’d imagine. Though my witty antics are surely very exciting!

First off, world of logs is currently a bit messed up and didn’t track our progress from last night in any organized fashion. I will post an all night log here however (includes unimportant things like trash, and there is a lot of it): http://worldoflogs.com/reports/rt-mrcwv6vv8wtiqyw4/sum/healingDone/ While I’m not one to EVER rely on logs to tell me that I am good or bad, clearly my throughput was at an acceptable level last night. I think that as gear and familiarity go up throughout the tier, you can expect some classes to step up significantly. I think this mainly applies to absorb classes knowing exactly when to do their thing to maximize protection.

MVP’s:

Effloressence – the change to wild mushroom producing a permanent effloressence field is massive. You could argue this borders on ‘not fun’ because it is much the same meter padding smart heal shenanigans that we used to get more angry with other people about. This did anywhere between 15 and 21% of my total healing done on any fight where I could keep 4 people in it that took any modest amount of damage. My concern is how much of a hit this will take without the two piece Tier 15 set bonus. Since it is moveable you will be picking it up and moving it very often and I found that flexibility to be a godsend on high mobility fights (Dark Shaman being a good example).

Glyph of the Sprouting Mushroom – I honestly can’t see playing without this glyph. There is never a time where I want to rely on another players position to place an effloressence field. Having the reticle available showing exactly how far your field will reach allow you to maximize your coverage on the fly. Critical and useful a perfect combination.

Ysera’s Gift – mindlessly does 3-6% of your healing done on a fight. Boring as all heck but it gets the job done. Yawn.

Wild Mushroom – while I did less healing than usual with wild mushroom I think part of it was my addiction to effloressence and because I don’t have any really good way to track its charge. Since it is not a buff on you (which I think it should be) but a buff on the mushroom no WA or Mod can currently track your stored overheal when you replace a current mushroom. That being said it still worked perfectly and I was able to always make it work. This ranged anywhere between 8 and 25% of my healing done on a fight depending on whether it synced up with boss abilities well enough.

Nature’s Vigil – This talent was an absolute beast last night. While I could have had 1/3 uptime, and in some cases I did simply use it aggressively, if it was timed up with intense boss damage your throughput shoots up dramatically. It’s even more awesome if you get other procs lining up with it. Numerically I’m leaning towards this as an automatic go to for level 90 talents.

Legendary Cloak – I don’t think you need me to tell you that a legendary healing cloak is awesome because it is. My only recommendation is that you create a weak aura to inform you that it is active, similar to what you probably do for Lucidity.

UNDECIDED

Genesis – while it is incredibly potent and I did find myself using it fairly often during Siege (to heal and to charge mushrooms) I don’t think I got the most out of it. Understanding every fight, its mechanics, and its timing is a big part of milking this spell for everything it is worth. Since we were one shotting most of the Siege bosses and flailing through their mechanics brute force style I never got the most out of this spell. It’s definitely not bad, I just can’t say how it will play out in heroic encounters just yet.

Throughput Tier – Soul of the Forest is great and I pretty much rocked it for most of the fight. It is clunky, as it always has been, however without being penalized for dropping Efflo in a bad location you can aggressively use Swiftmend and WG when there is a damage spike. Tree of Life was not as impressive to me but I think a big part of it was not knowing the boss damage patterns. I expect that once I get the 4 piece Tier 16 set bonus and learn all of the encounters I might consider Incarnation. 

HAS ISSUES

Living Seed – still bad after all these years. This will never account for a meaningful amount of healing and is really just a bone being tossed randomly here and there. Grumpy tree is not impressed.

Encounters

I’m not comfortable enough to really go into a fight by fight breakdown of Siege of Orgrimmar just yet. We only cleared 9 of the 14 bosses and a few of the kills were one shots where I am not one hundred percent convinced we adhered to the tactics as intended. Here’s the cliff notes version for now:

Immerseus – irritating spread out encounter. Damage is fairly minimal during the fight and for the most part you’ll be rolling rejuvenations on any raid member within reach and keeping effloressence under anyone nearby if you can hopefully catch two people with it. Even tranquility will only be able to reach a small percentage of the raid. He is clearly an entry level boss on normal.

Protectors – another really straight forward fight. Since you are working with a much smaller space all of your spells will be working as intended. Effloressence will always be able to move with whatever the current mark/target is making sure the melee get some free smart healing. Other than add control and DPS following instructions on who to burn and when, this isn’t a fight that has much healing intensity or mechanics to worry about.

Norushen – irritating encounter but our toolkit works well. I was tasked with going down early (which I didn’t love) to get purified. You simply click on a ball, hop down, heal the three NPC’s and cleanse debuffs as needed. After a period of time you’ll pop back up top with the Sha boss. For the most part your job in this fight is to keep effloressence on the melee and then on the raid when you group up later in the fight. Avoid or take the balls as dictated by the raid leader, avoid the adds before aggro is established on them, and displacer beast through cutter beams as needed to avoid ever being hit. While this fight is damage intensive you’ll find that efflo+mushrooms+rejuv blanketing pretty much do the job.

Sha of Pride – this fight was actually kind of boring. Your raid will stack up behind the boss and only really move to avoid the adds or break people out of the prisons. As the fight progresses there are of course other mechanics to address such as people moving to their void zones, raid members fleeing the group with the debuff that needs dispelling, and mind control though hopefully not! Stack up fights work very well for Efflo and mushrooms so you’ll do pretty darn good here. I believe I outhealed everyone by a decent margin however I have a feeling part of that was me phasing out to heal the NPC’s.

Galakras – there’s not much to tell for the fight. As someone who wasn’t on tower duty I kind of just hung out in the middle and healed some people. I hung out with Sylvanas some because she seemed nice. Keep efflo moving with the melee for each add phase and rock your standard spammy rotation.

Iron Juggernaut – this is one of those fights where if things are done properly it probably isn’t so bad at all. We one shot this I believe but holy crap were a lot of people dead at the end. For the bomb phase there is a lot of damage going out, more should some blow up, but for the most part it isn’t anything unusual. Keep the melee (or ranged depending) over an efflo field and keep your eyes peeled for ground based death traps. Literally. Your healing rotation isn’t anything unique here. Once the other phase starts with AoE damage and punting make sure that at any time you are a.) between the boss and a wall to prevent being thrown too far and b.) positioned such that if a tracking fire beam heads towards you, you will avoid igniting too many tar patches (or non at all, that would be preferred).

Kor’kron Dark Shaman – I have no words for this fight. It is an absolute cluster-f*ck and while we made short work of them I never had a dang clue what was happening. Dodge elemental walls, dodge poison walls, don’t stand in the million bits of bad that exist, stay clear of meteors and use barkskin when possible to reduce the damage. Until I know more than I do now, my advice is to flail around, don’t die, and heal whatever you can reach.

General Naz’grim – while I was sad to kill him I found the fight to be painfully easy. We handily made short work of him with little real attention to details other than avoid the horrible spinning axes of doom. Sadly Gamon didn’t pay attention to raiding 101 and fell over dead.  The boss got moved periodically because we were concerned with him getting a tick of the healing tide totem but on the whole you’ll efflo the melee and spread heal. I don’t think I actually detonated my mushrooms much on this fight at all.

Malkorok (forever called Maloriak 2.0) – is basically a heroic Tortos 2.0 encounter. The main gimmick is that there is a gas in the room that makes all healing produce an absorb effect on the player that caps out at 100% of their health. To ensure everyone isn’t topped off shield wise forever without healing the gas also ticks for damage periodically.

The boss will do two attacks during the non-cleave phase that matter. He will place void zones down on the ground that MUST be soaked by at least one person each. If soaked the soaker’s absorb shield should cover it, if it isn’t soaked it hits the whole raid and weakens your absorb or it might kill someone who just soaked. The other is a series of three cone area slams that are done at staggered times. Officers or raid assist folk will mark the locations of the slams. Later on in the fight he will re-slam those areas without marking them so it helps to have a visual indicator as to where they are. Rejuvenation blanketing and Genesis can be your friend here piling on the absorbs.

Outside of those mechanics there’s a brief period where the raid groups up to share some cleave damage and people will be running in and out after getting debuffs. This is prime time for your heavy AoE tool kit so keep Efflo, WG, Tranq, NV, and rejuv blanketting at the ready.

ROUND-UP

So far Siege hasn’t proven to be outlandishly difficult and our healing toolkit feels very strong. I do know, as it always does, that increased familiarity and gearing will decrease our throughput with respect to other classes but that is ok. This is the nature of HoT based healing. Should heroic encounters continue to be healing intensive in a manner that is not conducive to heavy absorbs then we will continue to be very valuable. I am hoping this is the case.

Celestial Tournament

So as I mentioned I gave the celestial tournament a shot and didn’t do as good as I’d like. I flailed about on ChiChi and my attempts to get back to him failed miserably last night. I just don’t think I have the best pets for the job. You can see my current menagerie here http://us.battle.net/wow/en/character/eredar/Jarre/pet#status=is-collected

I’m NO master trainer and I don’t really have a knack for figuring out the needed combos to handle trainers and bosses (hence why I need guides) but here is my current wish list to help me overcome the tournament with my available pets:

Things to do (some require hunting)

Son of Animus – Level up

Clock’em – Do Brawler Guild and level up (have admission ticket)

Enchanted Lantern – Level up

Emerald Whelp – Level up

De-Weaponized Mechanical Companion – Make upgrade and Level up

Azure Whelping – Level up

Gregarious Grell – Level up

Tranquill Mechanical Yeti – Level up

Magical Crawded – Level up (from 10)

Get an Unborn Val’kyr and level 

Optional undead:

Blighted Squirel – Silverpine get and level up

Infected Fawn – Eastern Plaguelands get and level up

Infested Bear Cub – Hillsbrad Foothills

 

Last Words

Well, that’s all for now folks. I know its rambly and the product of a tired brain…did I mention my wedding is coming up?…but here it is. Let me know if you have any thoughts on what I’ve discussed and I would certainly accept criticism in case I missed something or if I’m too tired to remember it properly.

Team Waffle Podcast – Waffle Bites edition

So I recently had the opportunity to do a Waffle Bites mini-podcast with Arielle the usual host of the show though if you follow my blog you probably already know all about him through the community by now. The goal was to have a small discussion on resto specific changes coming in patch 5.4.

On the whole I think it went really well and I hope that you can take a listen if you’d like to hear my thoughts. I especially hope that this is helpful for those who are newer to healing on their druid and want to know what’s going on.

The audio can be found here: http://teamwafflecast.com/2013/waffle-bites-jarre-and-pve-resto-in-5-4/Before you listen though I have one final thing for you, a section of this post I call:

UM…ACTUALLY…

So I get a little nervous on podcasts though I hope to get better and made a few flubs that I should lay out.

The first is commenting that the Amplification trinkets are a huge throughput bonus. While they are still very good, I had put them on when I had nearly 12K mastery hence them providing such a massive benefit (looking at my raw numbers). Given that we may be swapping to heavy haste, it will still be good and useful just not necessarily a boost you’ll see to your character sheet numbers. I also am hesitant to suggest taking two amplification trinkets unless absolutely necessary to reach the BP and if weaving in DoT’s is possibly an option.

The second is a break point correction. I believe I say eleven hundred instead of eleven thousand. I’m pretty sure you would know what I meant without this correction but its worth putting in.

Lastly I flub some spell names at the end. Just smile, nod, listen, and enjoy and try not to think about it :)