SoO You Think You Can Heal: Iron Juggernaut

Iron Juggernaut is the second-most-ridiculous thing I have ever seen.

Iron Juggernaut is the second-most-ridiculous thing I have ever seen.

Siege of Orgrimmar
Vale of Eternal Sorrows
Immerseus
The Fallen Protectors
Norushen
Sha of Pride
Gates of Retribution
Galakras
Iron Juggernaut
Kor’kron Dark Shaman
General Nazgrim
The Underhold
Malkorok
Spoils of Pandaria
Thok the Bloodthirsty
Downfall
Siegecrafter Blackfuse
Paragons of the Klaxxi
Garrosh Hellscream

Iron Juggernaut is the sixth boss in the Siege of Orgrimmar raid, and he stands guard over the Gates of Orgrimmar to prevent raiders from breaching the city’s defenses.

Why exactly you’d give a defensive unit a laser, drill, and saw, instead of, you know, a wall, I don’t really understand. I mean, this guy seems like he’d be better suited to breach a city’s defenses than to protect them. But hey, Goblin engineering is not well-known for its adherence to logical principles, is it? 😀

This is entirely a single-target encounter. There are two phases – Assault Mode and Siege Mode – and the Iron Juggernaut simply switches between them on a strict timer. Once you’ve seen all the way through each Mode once, you’ve seen the entire fight, and the rest is just about endurance.

During Assault Mode, the raid will be spread out and movement will be required frequently. Damage during this phase is quite random and spiky, so healers should spec and gear accordingly. During Siege Mode, the raid will take persistent AoE damage, with some spikes on random raid members; most of this damage should be mitigated or handled via raid cooldowns, which should be chained for as long as possible.

Assault Mode

The encounter begins in Assault Mode, while the Iron Juggernaut is mobile and slowly gains energy at a steady rate that is not influenced by player actions. Once the Iron Juggernaut reaches a full energy bar, he will transition into Siege Mode; this takes exactly 2 minutes.

In Assault Mode, Iron Juggernaut will attack the tank with fairly heavy melee damage. Periodically, the boss will use Flame Vents, shooting flames out of his face and dealing heavy Fire damage to any players standing in front of the boss. Flame Vents also applies Ignite Armor to players it damages, causing subsequent Flame Vents to deal 10% increased damage per stack, and leaving a light Fire DoT effect. This mechanic requires the tanks to swap occasionally, and the off-tank must be sure not to stand in the area of effect of the cone so that their Ignite Armor stacks are not refreshed.

Three Crawler Mines spawn at a time.

Three Crawler Mines spawn at a time.

Stomping a Crawler Mine

Stomping a Crawler Mine

Fortunately, there’s something else the off-tank can do with their time. Iron Juggernaut has a head-mounted cannon, and every 30 seconds, he will use the cannon to fire a set of three Crawler Mines at the raid – at, or near, where players are standing. These Mines are embedded in the ground by the force of the cannon blast, and upon landing they immediately begin to cast a 15-second Detonation Sequence. If a Mine is allowed to complete the Sequence, it will detonate (yep), dealing heavy Fire damage to every player in the raid.

To prevent this damage, a player may approach the Mine and “stomp” it into the ground by right-clicking on the Mine, so that its explosion is triggered early but is muffled by the earth. Doing so will deal extremely heavy Physical damage to the player and knock the player high into the air, but prevents the damage from being dealt to the raid entirely. This is what your off-tank is for! Physical damage, of course, is reduced by armor, and tanks have passive and active damage reduction abilities that allow them to stomp on all three mines relatively risk-free.

holy-paladin-iconClemency is very powerful for this. Hand of Protection allows a player to stomp all three mines without taking any damage.

The rest of the abilities that Iron Juggernaut uses are aimed at the raid and must be dealt with by avoiding the avoidable damage and healing through what’s left.

Red Mortar Blast reticule

Red Mortar Blast reticule

Approximately every 8-10 seconds, Iron Juggernaut will fire a Mortar Blast from his head-mounted cannon. This creates a large red targeting reticule on the ground where the Blast will land. Anyone in the marked area when the Mortar Blast lands will take heavy Fire damage. This is the main mechanic that mandates spreading out, even amongst the melee pile, so that players can avoid the Mortar Blasts.

Flame trails from Demolisher Cannon projectiles

Flame trails from Demolisher Cannon projectiles

Also about every 10 seconds, Iron Juggernaut will aim his cannons straight up into the air and fire Demolisher Cannons at random players. The Demolisher Cannon blast deals moderate Fire damage to all players within 6 yards of the target, and since there is no indicator on the chosen random target – no debuff, no targeting reticule on the ground, just a trail of fire behind the projectile, as shown in the screenshot to the right – the damage can’t really be avoided by any means other than spreading out. This is undocumented in the Dungeon Journal, but most definitely occurs in Assault Mode alongside Mortar Blasts. 

Borer Drill spike paths

Borer Drill spike paths

Approximately every 30 seconds, Iron Juggernaut will plunge his Borer Drill into the ground, disturbing the earth and sending spikes in several directions, some of which will chase players and others of which meander aimlessly. These spikes deal moderate Nature damage each second to any player standing in their path. Borer Drill spikes persist for approximately 7-8 seconds and players should move out of the path whenever possible. (This is another strong incentive to spread out, so that fewer players are affected by the Borer Drill each time it is cast.)

Every 15 seconds or so, Iron Juggernaut’s tail laser will fire at random raid members (2 in 10-player difficulties, and 3 in 25-player difficulties). This attack deals moderate Fire damage to the chosen players and leaves behind a light Fire DoT effect, called Laser Burn, which lasts for 16 seconds.

Laser Burn

Laser Burn

Players targeted by this ability will need a little extra healing, especially for the last players targeted before Siege Mode begins. A HoT or two will typically take care of the Laser Burn damage. Note that the current tank is not a valid target for this ability, but the off-tank who is stomping on Mines is a valid target, and if this occurs, you may want to use an external cooldown on that tank to ensure they can continue to stomp on Mines unabated.

Siege Mode

Once Iron Juggernaut reaches full energy, he enters Siege Mode, planting himself into the ground for 60 seconds. He buries his drill arm deep into the ground, causing Seismic Activity, a persistent raid-wide AoE that deals light Nature damage every second for the entirety of the phase.

About 15 seconds into the phase, and every 17 seconds thereafter, Iron Juggernaut will begin to channel a Shock Pulse. This is a 4-second cast time, and when it completes, everyone in the raid will be knocked back through the air an incredibly far distance – basically, until you reach an obstacle that prevents you from being flung any further. There will be three Shock Pulses during each Siege Mode, and this is an excellent time for damage-reduction CDs like Devotion Aura or Demoralizing Banner, since the knockback also interrupts healing.

Restoration-Druid-IconSymbiosis on a Shaman, for Spiritwalker’s Grace, will allow you to channel Tranquility through a Shock Pulse.

restoration-shaman-iconHey, if a Druid is gonna use it, you should, too. Spiritwalker’s Grace + Ascendance is an excellent combination for one Shock Pulse, while Healing Tide Totem can be used for another.

In order to preserve DPS uptime and keep everyone within healing range, players should position themselves with their backs to a cliff or a fence, so that Shock Pulse does not knock any player back out of range. However, players cannot remain too stacked up, because…

Explosive Tar puddles

Explosive Tar puddles

Twice during Siege Mode, Iron Juggernaut will gain an Explosive Tar ability, which allows him to sling puddles of oil around the encounter area. About half of these puddles seem to target random locations, but the other half are clearly targeted at or near players.

Standing in these puddles will cause moderate Nature damage every second, and reduces the player’s movement speed by 30%. Players should move quickly out of the puddles in case they are targeted by Cutter Laser.

Restoration-Druid-IconStampeding Roar should remove the movement speed reduction effect.
.

restoration-shaman-iconWindwalk Totem should remove the movement speed reduction effect.
.

Cutter Laser

Cutter Laser

Iron Juggernaut will spew tar several times each time he gains the ability, so you can’t just spread out for the initial Explosive Tar cast and then stack back up once it’s done – the Tar puddles are a constant bother. However, the raid should be certain to remain in the same general region of the room to minimise chance of death.

Thrice in each Siege Mode, Iron Juggernaut’s tail laser will target a random player, spawning a persistent Cutter Laser that will chase that player for 10 seconds. Allowing the Cutter Laser to strike its target, or to pass through another player, will deal very heavy Fire damage and is quite likely fatal. Additionally, if the Cutter Laser passes through a puddle of Explosive Tar, the tar will … well … explode, dealing heavy Fire damage to the entire raid regardless of range or position. Thus, the player who is targeted by the Cutter Laser must kite the laser beam carefully around the encounter area.

Restoration-Druid-IconBe wary using Displacer Beast for this task. If you blink past an Explosive Tar puddle, you will likely wipe your raid as the laser catches up to you.

class_priest_iconBe wary using Leap of Faith to assist the kiter. If you pull them past an Explosive Tar puddle, it will likely wipe the raid when the laser catches up to its target.

Note that the target of the Cutter Laser receives a debuff, Cutter Laser Target, indicating that they need to kite. The targeted player also displays the “fixate” eyes above their head.

Explosive Tar detonating due to Cutter Laser. Note the "Fixate" eyes on the Cutter Laser target.

Explosive Tar detonating due to Cutter Laser. Note the “Fixate” eyes on the Cutter Laser target.

Additionally, the Demolisher Cannon mechanic from Assault Mode is present in Siege Mode. This spiky, random damage is particularly dangerous when it overlaps with Shock Pulse, which occurs on the third Shock Pulse of the phase, so your raid should use its strongest cooldowns during this portion of the phase.

Finally … Crawler Mines also spawn during Siege Mode. It is less feasible in this phase for tanks to get them all, as players typically get scattered and the Mines may be too far apart to be able to stomp on all three before they complete their Detonation Sequence. Other players with powerful personal damage reduction CDs should assist the raid by soaking Crawler Mines near them. Note that currently, it is possible to be thrown out of the encounter area, and locked out of the fight, if you stomp on a Crawler Mine immediately before a Shock Pulse. 

Restoration-Druid-IconMight of Ursoc and Barkskin can suffice to soak a Crawler Mine, but be sure to top yourself off first.

mistweaver monk iconDampen Harm can allow you to soakmultiple Crawler Mines, so long as you heal yourself between them.

restoration-shaman-iconAstral Shift will suffice to soak a Crawler Mine, since you should have fairly high armor thanks to your shield.

Strategy Summary

For Assault Mode, players should be spread out such that as few people as possible will have to move for any given Mortar Blast. However, it would be ideal for the entire raid to be loosely in the same region so that Crawler Mines do not spawn too far apart for the off-tank to reasonably stomp all three. Healers will need to handle heavy movement requirements as well as spiky, random damage.

Restoration-Druid-IconIn 25-player mode, I prefer Soul of the Forest for this encounter, as the constant random damage synergises very well with Wild Growth. For 10-player mode, the Incarnation cooldown may be more valuable in Siege Mode.

mistweaver monk iconInvoke Xuen, the White Tiger, is stronger than Chi Torpedo or Rushing Jade Wind due to lack of stacking. Similarly, consider Chi Wave over Chi Burst since there isn’t even a melee “pile”.

holy-paladin-iconEternal Flame is very strong in this encounter; Selfless Healer/Light of Dawn spam is viable, but you lose effectiveness on Holy Radiance since the raid is spread. Clemency is a must-have.

class_priest_iconCascade will be very nice for this encounter, as the positioning requirements of Divine Star and Halo are too strict.

restoration-shaman-iconRushing Streams is amazing for this encounter, especially in conjunction with the 2-piece Tier 15 set bonus, both for the spread healing requirements and mitigating Fire and Nature damage via Glyph of Healing Stream Totem.

For Siege Mode, players should maneuver  into a corner of the room with at least two surfaces that can prevent Shock Pulse’s knockback. While you don’t have to have your backs against the wall/fence the entire time, you should be close enough that Shock Pulse’s knockback will only throw you a short distance. The raid should attempt to cover as much of the Siege Mode’s 60-second duration as possible with raid cooldowns, being sure to save the most powerful for the final Shock Pulse/Demolisher Cannons overlap.

You will need cooldowns for: Non-tank players soaking Crawler Mine damage; Siege Mode, especially if a Cutter Laser is kited over a patch of Explosive Tar (raid CDs), and especially for the final Shock Pulse, which overlaps with Demolisher Cannons.

Dispels: None

Debuffs to track: Ignite Armor (tank debuff), Laser Burn (a DoT on random players), Cutter Laser Target (the targeting mechanism for the Cutter Laser in Siege Mode)

Points of failure:

  • Crawler Mines are allowed to expire without being stomped on, causing unhealable raid-wide damage;
  • Players fail to spread out for, or dodge, Mortar Cannon and Borer Drill effects;
  • Players allow the Cutter Laser to pass over them, dealing near-fatal or fatal damage;
  • The Cutter Laser Target runs the Cutter Laser through patches of Explosive Tar, causing unhealable raid-wide damage;
  • Players fail to defeat the Iron Juggernaut within the 10-minute hard berserk timer.

Because this fight is primarily high-movement, random spike damage, and because the berserk is not particularly relevant at 10 minutes, it is possible to run extra healers and simply endure until the boss is dead. 3-4 healers on 10-player mode is perfectly doable, as is up to 7 on 25-player mode.

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14 Responses to SoO You Think You Can Heal: Iron Juggernaut

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