Blade Lord Ta’yak Trick

Posted: by Arth


I mentioned this on the podcast last Saturday, but it bears repeating.

On Blade Lord Ta’yak, in the final phase, you’re playing “Frogger” with a series of tornadoes that come at you in three columns.  This happens twice, at 20% then again at 10%.  You can avoid the 2nd iteration of this dodging altogether.  At about 12% health, jump into the windstream on either side of the main wind tunnel.  It will shuttle you down to the other end incredibly quickly, just as the boss is switching sides in the room.  While everyone else is running across against the wind, you’ll be happily dps’ing away.  It buys you at LEAST 10-15 extra seconds of dps, and potentially more if you’re bad at the tornado dance.

If you know the fight, it’s simple.  If you’re confused, it’ll make sense once you’ve done the fight once or twice.

This is not my original idea; others discovered it well before it was relayed to me by a guildie.  Still, I hadn’t heard of it, and many others hadn’t either.  So it will be relevant advice for many.  Enjoy!

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  1. Sazda says:

    “While everyone else is running across against the wind, you’ll be happily dps’ing away”

    You better make sure to tell everyone else about this. Because if you are the only one doing it – or if there is no healer doing it – you WILL die while everyone else is running down there^^

    • Arth says:

      I was ok when I tried it, but it was also LFR. So you may be onto something, at least in regular or heroic.

      If you’re in a regular 10M, there’s no reason not to share this with your raid, though, so you won’t be the only one.

    • Ril says:

      it is a pretty viable strat to assign 3 people who stay behind (2 dds and one healers, preferrably the most mobile ones), while the rest starts running at 12%. it helps with beating the damage race by a huge margin. tough you might want to adjust the exact % point where you start running depending on your gear and dot power.

  2. Chuck says:

    Also, if everybody would do this, who does the remaining 2% until 10%?

    It’s a fine hint, but should be taken with that grain of salt as always.

    • Dave7x says:

      The dots would cover a decent chunk surely? And if not, just leave it slightly later to move

    • Arth says:

      All this takes is a bit of creativity. Leave later, make sure there’s enough dots to get him there, or leave closer to 11% and keep 1-2 in your raid behind to finish it off. It’s still a big potential gain, not just individually but as a group.

    • Skarn says:

      We did it last week and had to tweak it a bit. At first we tried “leaving” at 12% while the two tanks and one healer stayed behind. It worked ok, but most of us didn’t make it all the way over before dots and the two tanks pushed the boss under 10%. We also wiped that attempt.

      So instead we had EVERYONE leave at 13%. The whole group got all the way to the other side and Ta’yak showed up just after we did. It was perfect. That one was a super easy kill.

      It’s going to vary a LOT based on your raid composition. We had an Affliction warlock, Shadow Priest, Assassination Rogue, Survival Hunter, Fire Mage and Death Knight tank. That’s quite a lot of dot damage, particularly the Warlock who is ridiculously good (and/or OP). Because we have so much dot damage, we could afford to leave fairly early and not have problems. If your raid is low on dot damage, all you need to do is leave later. It’s a very useful strategy once you find that breakpoint. Makes the fight much easier and safer too.

    • CaribaLd says:

      Dots, and we leave our main tank there to get him <10%. It doesn't really matter if he dies as there is nothing left to be tanked, and he usually doesn't die anyway.

      The hardest part is dodging tornados after leaving the slipstream – even if you are in the 'safe' zone, you can get caught by tornados swapping directions.

  3. Zeherah says:

    Our group does this at 11% since everyone goes, then the dots tick him off. You don’t usually get all the way there this way but you get most of the way and you don’t risk him not actually pushing over.

  4. caps says:

    We usually designate 1 healer and 3 dps to do this at 13% (Usually the heals/dps with the least speed boosts so not a hunter) while the remainder finish burning him down. Works pretty well and can help those with trouble dodging tornadoes get back to the other side without getting killed.

  5. Baan says:

    My raid does this on a regular basis. Tank and dots can easily bring down that last 2 %, while some or all of the rest of the group rides the tornadoes.
    We’ve even had success having 2 dps and a heal skip the first frogger tornadoes and just wait for the boss to jump back for the last 10%. Seems to work well for groups that have a bad healing comp or that one or two dps that can’t avoid the tornadoes.

  6. Nina says:

    I do this at around 12%; I haven’t convinced many of my guildies to try it yet. When I get to the other side I have to pop my defensive cooldowns and act as an offhealer when folks start to get in range (prot pally). I usually get a lay hands on our boomkin just in time, our DK and our shaman make it over, and occasionally our spriest. And then 4 or 5 of us take out the last 10%, usually just the DK alive at the end. One of these days we’ll have a kill where there are more of us alive, but that still seems far away.

    • Skarn says:

      Fortunately, it’s not hard for me to get my raid to try things like this since I’m the raid leader. ;)

      Good luck convincing them! It really is a very useful tactic.

  7. Dibbler says:

    On 25 man heroic we send the majority of the raid when he breaks 14%. 2 tanks, 1-2 healers, and a few DPS who can help keep themselves alive fairly well and/or run through the gauntlet quickly (like paladins and feral druids with symbiosis on the paladins for divine shield) stay behind to ensure he hits 10%. Combined with DOTs he hits 10% and flies to the other side of the room right about the same time we get there.

    One important note: when you go into the slipstream, just allow it to carry you, don’t try to run to the other end. This way everyone stays grouped up and the healers can continue to use cast-time heals to keep people alive. You can try to go at a lower % and run in the slipstream so you still arrive at the same time as the boss, but people are probably going to die along the way.

    • Dibbler says:

      Also worth mentioning, especially for heroic: if you go too early you have to wait at the end for the flip, but if you go too late he flips before you reach the end and the slipstreams change direction with you inside them, which is probably going to mean a wipe. This is why our compromise was to go early but leave a few people back to make sure the flip happens, but only after the rest of the raid has reached the other side.

  8. Kheldul says:

    We do the first phase of tornadoes as a group with heals on the way.

    The second batch we get some druid stampede action and general dashing. If a druid likes you, you can get a Symbiosis from them and get sprint. It’s a wonderful thing that can take you half the hallway.

    This is one fight I will really desire a spirit beast for because of the sketchy healing with tornadoes.

    I use the Symbiosis-Sprint on the second half of the 10% (second tornado) phase. Then I pop my own pet stampede and 5x spirit mend. If I’m the only one there, that’s okay with those HoTs. Also definitely use the Spirit Mend (1x) in the other portions of the tornado phase. Healers may be down, distracted, or without the ability to drop an instant on you.

  9. Kinegos says:

    This has been our strategy from day 1 – we have one healer and 2 or 3 melee stay behind and everyone else goes at 11.5%. And using lock portals to get across the first time, coupled with rocket boots = awesomesauce.