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Blood Pact: Warlock guide to surviving Trial of the Crusader, part 2

Every week Blood Pact serves you up a dish of warlock delight. Chock full of juicy chunks of detail, smothered in lashings of class specific tips all topped off with a sprinkling of hundreds and thousands of mage tears.

This week I'm rounding off the Trial of the Crusader guide with the last three bosses; Faction Champions, Twin Val'kir and Anub'arak. A more diverse trio of boss fights you will be hard pressed to find. As with last week I aim to bring you the flavor of the fights with some insight into how they look through a warlock's eyes. Again, I'll be linking only a selection of the loot from the overly complex table. This week the Horde drops for normal mode.

Faction Champions

This will be one of those fights you either love or hate. If you haven't done it before, and don't know what it's all about, then I suggest you have a look through a full strategy; such as those on WoWWiki or Wowhead. There's a huge amount of detail to the fight most of which is pretty irrelevant when you boil it down to your role. If you are leading the fight for the first time then be ready for a headache in assigning everyone their responsibility. If you're not leading then listen to what you need to do and go for it.

Now, assuming you have at least looked through a guide you will know that this is a PvP styled fight against either 6 (10 man) or 10 (25 man) player-style NPCs of the opposing faction. If you dislike PvP then do not worry, although many of the game mechanics of PvP are at play (diminishing returns for example) the bosses are still reasonably predictable and manageable. You certainly don't need to go out and get yourself any PvP gear.

As a lock, your role in this fight is either going to come down to damage application or mitigation. If it's damage application for you, then you need to know who is the current target at all times. There is no point trying to burn a load of them down with area effect spells because of Champion's Aegis which means they only take 25% damage from AoE spells. Applying heavy damage from the start makes a big difference so be ready for a Bloodlust or Heroism to be coming your way early.

The first target is likely to be a healer, burning them to a crisp as quickly as possible is the key to making the rest of the fight easier from there. You can throw in fears and Death Coil if you like as they will interrupt casts. Generally it's better to leave the interruption up to the melee classes however, as fear takes too long to cast (costs too much DPS) and Death Coil will just make everyone have to move. You're there to nuke, so revel in it and let those others do the fiddly stuff.

Should your raid lead call for you to get involved in the fiddly CC stuff as well there is quite a bit you can do. In normal mode they all forgot to bring their PvP trinkets -- so fear will sit on most of them for good while as long as they haven't been feared recently and nobody clears it from them. You can go so far as to make macros like the following and key-bind them for use at good moments within your rotation or while finding the next target.

/tar Noozle Whizzlestick
/cast Fear
/y Tell Belt, he's next!

Obviously not all the lines of that macro are required but feel free to edit as you see fit. You can also banish the warlock's pet which can be pretty worthwhile. In our raids we kill the pets after the healers as they die very quickly and it eases things up a bit, but banishing works if you get it biting your behind.

One of the juiciest targets for warlock crowd control is the resto druid. His healing is really quite powerful which makes him a common first target but if a warlock gets a hold on him he can be effectively removed from the fight and dealt with at the raid's leisure. Chaining Fear three times, which will diminish from a decent duration to essentially an interrupt, then swap to Banish (who doesn't love banishing trees?) for another three. There you can either throw a Death Coil or Shadowfury if available and start again. He'll still get out some instant cast HoTs but they can be stolen from the target, so all good.

Beyond that it's a matter of survival, so keep your Circle up and use it as required (escaping a whirl-winding warrior or clearing snares), use your PvP trinket or Every Man for Himself and be aware of when you get aggro (often when one targets you the others will assist them). Your healers should be able to deal with it but be ready to move or maybe cast Howl of Terror if they come for you.

Pet choice is a little more fluid for this fight, the imp is great for the stamina and Destro locks will probably want to keep theirs. Felhunters are very handy to have around and as a Demonic Pact lock I find they are just about as good for uptime. The Felguard is great for damage and the Intercept is also fairly handy.

Faction Champions loot
Take a minute to have another look at the loot. There are some very nice things in that box.

Filed under: Warlock, Bosses, Guides, (Warlock) Blood Pact

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