Halion, the Twilight Destroyer

I'll admit that, after we downed the third mini-boss in the Ruby Sanctum last night, I was initially underwhelmed by being confronted by a giant fuchsia dragon. The only lasting disappointment, however, is the color.

So, a bunch of us were in various Vault PUGs yesterday evening when, essentially, "WTF, Ruby Sanctum is available?" happened. A few minutes of, "Do you want to go to..." mixed in with, "I'm in VOA at the moment but..." and, "Wait, we're all in VOA at the moment," ended up with ten of us in Ruby Sanctum at about 7:30 EST last night.

The trash took some time - the dragons have a lot of health. There was much giggling about "Help me! I'm trapped in this tree!" The first miniboss (on the left) wiped us once because, hey, raid marks don't stick when he splits. The first of the five-dragon trash packs half-wiped us, but we quickly picked up that the commanders had to die first, and splitting the second of those packs went much better. The second miniboss, the drake, almost wiped us, because, hey, that patrol comes over really close, but we recovered with only two deaths. (And, hey, another chance to use Tranq Shot.) After that, the third miniboss was surprisingly not too bad - misdirecting the adds as they came in made it much smoother after the first wave. I think all that took us maybe a half hour.

Halion took us the next hour and a half or so; I was 6 minutes into my third flask when he died. (Note to self: Get more flasks before Thursday's raid.) To be honest, I didn't mind the wipes. This is, hands down, my favorite raid encounter of the expansion. (Sorry, Ony! You're still my favorite Vanilla raid boss.) I think I like it because while it requires "don't stand in the fire," the actual fire is forgiving enough to let you move out of it, and there's plenty of room to maneuver. The basically insta-gib laser in the Twilight phase is, if you're paying attention to the rotating orbs, easy enough to avoid, but not forgiving if you're not watching for it. Good DPS was important, but it wasn't a DPS race; balancing DPS, backing off or jumping over to the other phase if needed in phase 3 was more important.

In short - it requires coordination, it requires some precision, but it's not as frustratingly unforgiving as Sindragosa. (Sindragosa could have been much more fun if the whole fight were just phase 3. Maybe without chaining ice tombs.)

If the Ruby Sanctum is indicative of Blizzard's continuing evolution of raid encounters (that is, if it at all foreshadows what bosses in Cataclysm will be like), Azeroth 2.0 can't come soon enough.

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