|Siege of Orgrimmar|
|Vale of Eternal Sorrows|
|The Fallen Protectors|
|Sha of Pride|
|Gates of Retribution|
|Kor’kron Dark Shaman|
|Spoils of Pandaria|
|Thok the Bloodthirsty|
|Paragons of the Klaxxi|
The Sha of Pride is the fourth boss in the Siege of Orgrimmar raid, and will be available on both Normal and Flex raiding difficulties from the launch of patch 5.4.
This encounter is a single-phase fight where players must master a set order of mechanics and execute them repeatedly until the boss is dead. Much like the Norushen fight, this encounter features an alternate power bar – your Pride – and managing your Pride is an important aspect of the fight. Players who reach 100 Pride will eventually become Mind Controlled and must be killed, distracting your raid from handling the real mechanics.
For the first 70% of this encounter, Norushen – perhaps feeling guilty about making you fight that Amalgam of Corruption a few minutes ago – will assist your raid in your efforts against the Sha of Pride. He does this by providing buffs that imbue several players in your raid with special abilities.
When Sha of Pride reaches 30% health, however, he instantly kills Norushen (noooo!), removing the buffs from the encounter, and resetting players’ Pride to zero. This represents the start of a sort of soft-enrage mechanic; players must complete the encounter quickly to avoid becoming overwhelmed by the Pride-generating mechanics, and this is an excellent time to use Bloodlust/Heroism.
Players begin the encounter with 0 Pride, displayed in the UI’s Alternate Power Bar functionality – just like Corruption on the previous fight. Pride is gained by taking damage from various mechanics in the encounter; each successful damage event generates 5 Pride. Some of this is unavoidable – for example, the Sha of Pride will do a raid-wide AoE, Swelling Pride, once per minute that will afflict every player with 5 Pride – but a great deal of it is avoidable.
A player who reaches 100 Pride becomes Overcome, dealing 50% increased damage and healing. Which sounds great, but it isn’t going to last more than a minute, because…
The higher your Pride becomes, the more dangerous the Swelling Pride becomes. This is because Swelling Pride – besides just damaging everyone and granting them 5 Pride – will also generate a secondary effect based upon how much Pride each player has. These effects are:
- 0 – 24 Pride: No additional effect from Swelling Pride.
- 25 – 49 Pride: Immediately following Swelling Pride, players with the indicated amount of Pride will spawn a Bursting Pride cloud beneath their feet. 3 seconds after it is formed, it will detonate, dealing moderate Shadow damage to all players within 5 yards and granting any damaged player 5 Pride.
- 50-74 Pride: Immediately following Swelling Pride, players with the indicated amount of Pride will spawn a Projection – a large purple void zone. The zone that you have spawned is designated with a green arrow. 6 seconds after the void zone is formed, it will detonate, inflicting moderate Shadow damage to all players in the raid and granting them 5 Pride. The only way to prevent this is for the player who spawned the Projection to be standing in the Projection when it detonates.
- 75-99 Pride: Immediately following Swelling Pride, players with the indicated amount of Pride will gain a debuff, Aura of Pride, which causes them to erupt every second, dealing moderate Shadow damage – and granting 5 Pride – to all players within 5 yards. This effect lasts 25 seconds. Afflicted players must move out of the raid – this is by far the most dangerous of the Swelling Pride abilities.
- 100 Pride: Immediately following Swelling Pride, a player afflicted with the Overcome debuff becomes Mind Controlled, gaining 100% additional health. This is an incurable ailment, so players who become Mind Controlled must be killed.
This final mechanic sort of invalidates the Overcome +damage/healing function. I am uncertain whether Overcome is removed when Norushen clears your Pride, or if you keep the debuff despite having your Pride drop below 100. Either way, you can only make use of Overcome in the brief window between the last pre-30%-health Swelling Pride and Pride wipe that occurs at 30%. This is incredibly risky and fiddly and it is not worth intentionally gaining Pride to try to game the Overcome mechanic. I promise.
Sha of Pride
The Sha of Pride deals moderate melee damage to the tanks, and once a minute, will grant the current tank with Wounded Pride. This debuff necessitates an immediate tank-swap, as a player with Wounded Pride will gain 5 Pride each time the Sha of Pride successfully melees him or her. This debuff lasts 15 seconds, but does not generate any additional damage, so healers do not need to track the debuff or react to it in any way.
Approximately every 20 seconds, the Sha of Pride will cast Mark of Arrogance on random raid members (the tanks seem to be ineligible). In 10-player raids, 2 players will be affected with each cast; in 25-player raids, 5 players are affected. This deals moderate Shadow damage as a DoT and will persist until it is dispelled; the effect can also stack, dealing additional damage for each stack the player gains. This is a magical debuff and can be dispelled, but doing so will generate 5 Pride for the dispeller.
At the beginning of the encounter, the Sha of Pride has an empty Energy bar, and it slowly fills to full over the course of about 75 seconds. The remainder of the Sha’s abilities are linked to his Energy, and thus occur at very predictable and repeatable moments in the fight.
The first of these abilities is Self-Reflection, which occurs when the Sha of Pride has approximately 30-35 Energy. The Sha chooses up to five players at random who will be the targets of Self-Reflection.
A purple cloud forms at these players’ feet, and two seconds later, each ring will spawn a Reflection add. Players standing within the ring will suffer moderate Shadow damage and gain 5 Pride. Reflections melee the player they originated from, dealing light melee damage.
Self-Reflection “ticks” once per second for four seconds, but the second, third, and fourth ticks only spawn adds if there are players with 25, 50, or 75 Pride respectively. Early in the fight, players will only have to deal with a few Reflection adds, but as the fight progresses, more and more adds will spawn each time. It is important that players either stay spread out to avoid inflicting Self-Reflection damage on one another, or that – if you are using a stack strat – the entire raid shuffles forward as each wave of Reflections spawns. The Reflections can be stunned and have very low health, and will die quickly.
The second ability occurs at approximately 65-70 Energy. The Sha of Pride will choose several random, non-tank targets (2 in 10-player mode, and 4 in 25-player mode) and imprison them in Corrupted Prisons. These Prisons are located at the four corners of the encounter area; all four corners are active in 25-player mode, but only the front right and back left – marked with the red X and green triangle raid markers in the screenshot below – are active in 10-player mode.
Players who are imprisoned are stunned, take heavy damage, and gain 5 Pride every second they are trapped. It is therefore extremely important to be prepared for this mechanic and to release the players as soon as possible.
In order to release an imprisoned player, one player must stand on each of the Titan locks surrounding the prison. There are three locks around each prison, and they will light up yellow when they are active. Standing on the Titan locks before the prison is activated will deal damage and knock the player away from the prison, so it is best to be near, but not on, the locks in the seconds before the prisons become active.
In 10-player mode, this requires two players per prison (as only two of the three Titan locks are activated); in 25-player mode, this may require three players per prison (it was still 2 in Flex difficulty, but may be 3 in Normal difficulty).
The Sha’s third ability, which occurs around 85-90 Energy, summons a large add called Manifestation of Pride. One add is generated in 10-player mode, while three are summoned in 25-player mode. These adds spawn at the edges of the room, in the circular alcoves, and are susceptible to Death Grip or can be Silenced to get them to move in to the raid.
Manifestations of Pride spam a Mocking Blast spell, which targets a random raid member and deals moderate Shadow damage, as well as granting them 5 Pride. This spell can be interrupted, and should be as much as possible; however, the Manifestations do not seem to experience spell lockout after being interrupted, so killing them quickly and/or managing them with stuns is very important in order to keep the raid’s Pride low.
When the Manifestation dies, it grants the two nearest players with 5 Pride. This is unavoidable Pride, but if your raid is very coordinated, players with Gift of the Titans (see below) can soak this and incur no Pride penalty.
When Sha of Pride reaches 100 Energy, he casts Swelling Pride, dealing heavy Shadow damage to all raid members and granting them 5 Pride. Immediately following Swelling Pride, players above the 25-Pride threshold will spawn their secondary Swelling Pride effects as discussed in the Pride section above. This is an excellent time to use healing throughput and damage-reduction cooldowns.
Using Swelling Pride drains all of the Sha’s energy, and then the pattern begins again as he regenerates Energy over the course of the next minute.
When the Sha of Pride reaches 30% health, he will begin using an ability called Unleashed every 10 seconds. This inflicts moderate Shadow damage on the entire raid, and increases all players’ Pride by 5. This ability is added to all his other abilities, so Unleashed simply acts as a soft-enrage mechanic. Bloodlust/Heroism and damage throughput cooldowns should be used during this phase to ensure you kill the Sha of Pride before anyone becomes Overcome.
Gift of the Titans
About every 25 seconds, Norushen – while he is still alive – will bestow random non-tank raid members with a debuff called Gift of the Titans. While this debuff is active, the affected player is immune to Pride gains – making this an opportune time to dispel Mark of Arrogance.
In 10-player raids, three players are buffed – one healer and two DPS; in 25-player raids, eight players are buffed – two healers and six DPS. There seems to be some trick to who gets chosen – in my raid, the same two healers were chosen several times in a row, one healer was chosen every time, and the six DPS were chosen from a pool of about 8 players. By correlating Gift of the Titan buffs with the DBM Pride info-box, I’ve concluded that the highest-Pride healers are the ones chosen (and it picks randomly from healers who are tied in Pride levels), and it appears to be the same deal for DPS.
Gift of the Titans lasts for 20 seconds. With an 8-second CD on Dispel abilities, this means each healer can dispel up to 3 Marks of Arrogance with no Pride penalty. It is very important for healers to be able to immediately notice that they have gained Gift of the Titans and to dispel as many Marks as possible, since the raid will eventually become overwhelmed. (Mark of Arrogance propagates slightly faster than Gift of the Titans occurs, so there will likely always be some players who are Marked.)
In later stages of the fight, Gifted healers should focus on dispelling players with multiple stacks of Mark of Arrogance, as those players are in the most danger of dying.
If all players who are affected by Gift of the Titans stack together within 8 yards of one another, they will gain a second debuff, Power of the Titans, which increases Haste, healing, and damage by 15%. Power of the Titans lasts 15 seconds, and is very helpful for bursting down adds and healing through Swelling Pride damage.
Once the Sha of Pride reaches 30% health and kills Norushen, no more Gift of the Titans debuffs will be applied. This means players can no longer dispel Mark of Arrogance without penalty, and the Power of the Titans buff will no longer be available.
This fight is fairly straightforward once players get the hang of avoiding the avoidable damage. It is quite repetitive; stack for Gift/Power, move out of Reflection, stack for Gift/Power, get to your assigned Prison locations and free Prisoners, stack for Gift/Power, kill Manifestations, spread out for the post-Swelling Pride abilities, repeat until the boss is dead.
The raid should organise a place for players affected by Gift of the Titans to meet up in order to ensure Power of the Titans is applied, and should also assign teams of players responsible for unlocking each Corrupted Prison. You’ll need at least one more player than Titan lock for each Prison team, since you cannot control who gets imprisoned, and obviously the imprisoned players cannot free themselves or help free others.
While it is dangerous to be tightly stacked due to the Reflection mechanic and the post-Swelling Pride abilities, it is advantageous to remain loosely concentrated in one area of the room. This makes it easier for healers to heal through Swelling Pride and the Mark of Arrogance damage, and for DPS players to cleave down the Reflections and Manifestations of Pride while still maintaining damage on the boss. The fight is completely doable with a stack strategy, but it will require high raid awareness and may not be worth trying whilst learning the fight.
You will need cooldowns for: Swelling Pride, which occurs once every minute; a cooldown rotation to cover as much as possible of the final 30% of the fight may also be desirable.
Debuffs to track: Mark of Arrogance (presence and stacks); Corrupted Prison; Gift of the Titans (so you know when to dispel and stack); Power of the Titans (a timer for your +healing); Pride (at least your own so you know which Swelling Pride mechanic you will spawn)
Dispels: Mark of Arrogance (ideally only whilst affected by Gift of the Titans)
Points of failure:
Most of the failures to this fight will come from players gaining too much Pride by taking avoidable damage from mechanics. This will manifest as extra raid damage via Aura of Pride or even as the loss of raid members who become Mind Controlled and must be killed. Here are the most likely culprits for out-of-control Pride generation:
- Players not moving away from Reflection spawn points;
- Players standing near the Bursting Pride pools formed after Swelling Pride strikes high-Pride players;
- Players failing to soak their own Projection following a Swelling Pride;
- Healers blindly dispelling Mark of Arrogance whilst not under the effect of Gift of the Titans;
- Tanks failing to swap the boss for Wounded Pride, gaining excess Pride;
- Players failing to free the allies trapped in Corrupted Prisons in a timely fashion.
Mismanaging the Gift of the Titans buff, by failing to stack all affected players, is a subtler form of failure. Without the Haste/Damage buff on some DPS, the raid will take a little longer to kill Manifestations of Pride, meaning more Mocking Blasts will go out and thus the raid’s average Pride level will be higher.
Similarly, healers failing to dispel Mark of Arrogance under the effects of Gift of the Titans will also lead to a gradual sort of wipe. The more Marks of Arrogance that are active when Sha of Pride hits 30%, the less possible it will be to heal through the remaining portion of the fight. Since the debuff can stack, and each stack deals increasing damage, and players stop receiving the Gift of the Titans buff at this point, the dispels and healing will become difficult or even impossible to manage.
This concludes my guide to the first wing of Siege of Orgrimmar. More encounter guides will follow later in the week, but hopefully this has helped you cope with your first night of the new raid 🙂