How to not fail at Halls of Reflection

It’s inevitable. You’re doing random instances, you get a group, and the instance splash screen loads. It’s Halls of Reflection. God damnit…

At this point you have two choices. Bail and look like a wuss. Or give it a try and possibly subject yourself to failure and high repair bills. Personally, I prefer to give any groups a chance at least till the 15 minute random cooldown is done. In the interest of seeing more success from random people in HoR, I’d like to give you a view of the instance from a geared to the teeth Prot Warrior’s eyes.

The Gauntlet:
Without a doubt, this is the worst part of the instance. There are only three viable places to station your group for this part.

  • Left alcove
  • Right alcove
  • Door across from the entrance

All three of these work for funneling the mobs to the group, but with varying degrees of ease. The alcoves are the best for line of sighting mobs to you, but you end up with mobs usually reaching the group one at a time. As a Prot Warrior, I’d rather the mobs get to me in clusters. That way I can make better use of my AOE threat gains. The door across from the entrance seems to deliver mobs in this fashion, but due to line of sight the ranged mobs are a little harder to deal with. Try both, and see which one you prefer. Remember, too, that if you have a DK they can Death Grip those Mages to you. It’s extremely handy.

Let’s go ahead and assume you’re a monster tank. You soundly crack 50K buffed and you’ve seen it all. You’re familiar with the zone, and you have no threat problems under normal conditions. What could possibly go wrong?

Over-zealous DPS is what can go wrong… Attention all DPS! The time to start DPSing is NOT when your tank still has three mobs to round up. Until the incoming swarm is under control, what threat your tank has is there to keep them off the healer. Not off of a T10 geared Retardin spamming AOEs at the first thing that moves into his field of vision. If you pop your Whirlwind, Devine Storm, Blizzard, whatever as soon as you see the tank touch a single mob, you are going to take agro, you are going to die, and the group is probably going to wipe. Don’t be an idiot. Sure, I put a Shield Slam on that Mercenary. Guess what? Now I have to change targets and Heroic Throw to silence that Mage. While I’m off the Merc, pulling the Mage in, you’re getting yourself killed by the Merc because you couldn’t wait 4 seconds to start humping Recount.

It’s very easy to tell when most Prot Warriors are comfy with things under control. Usually we don’t blow Shockwave until the mobs are where we want them (in a cone in front of us). Use that as your signal that it’s safe to go in and start DPSing as per the kill order.

What is the kill order, you ask? Well, better to ask that of the tank at the start. Everyone seems to have a different opinion. For me, it’s this…

  1. Priest
  2. Footmen
  3. Rogue
  4. Mage
  5. Hunter

Why? Because the Priest has a very strong heal that *will* prolong the fight. The Footmen have a very nasty attack that ignores armor and which they tend to use frequently. The Rogue has nasty poisons and will shadow step to attack random people, including your healer. The Mage does not randomly nuke people, but she does hit like a truck full of smaller trucks, both single target and AOE. The warriors are basically harmless, and the Hunters, while annoying (frost traps, ice arrows, etc) are not really that bad to just heal through.

Even with a solid tank, smart DPS, and an established kill order, you can still die. Usually this is due to a weak healer. This is a very high damage instance, and if your healer is going OOM after three waves, making inexperienced spell choices, or simply lacking the spell power to make it happen… then you’re going to die.

Let’s assume you’re gotten the gauntlet down though. There’s a boss in the middle and one at the end. Let’s cover those…

Falric:
This is the first boss and the first “checkpoint” in the gauntlet. Kill him, and you’ll be able to start from the middle should you wipe in the second half. He is basically a warrior with some fears, debuffs, etc… the only real trick to this fight is his AOE Fear + DoT that he’ll inflict on the party at regular intervals. This can be removed with PvP Trinkets if you really want to, but it’s not required to win. I’ve seen a *lot* of healers fail on this, but it’s not at all hard.

When the fear lands, everyone runs around taking damage. The damage is about half your total HP. When the fear ends, top off the tank, then top off everyone else. That’s it. If you fail at this, then the next AOE Fear + DoT is going to wipe out your group. Have a non-fail healer and this is an easy kill.

Marwyn:
The end of the gauntlet, and even easier than Falric. There’s really no trick to this. There’s some group healing, but it’s pretty much a tank and spank with void zones to move out of. By this time in the game, if you haven’t grasped that standing in crap a boss spawns under you is bad, then you deserve to die to it and be mocked by your group. After he’s down, all that’s left is a simple trash encounter, and then the flight from the Lich King.

Run Away!:
So you start up the event where the Lich King chases your party and Sylvanas while sending mobs after you. This is not a very hard encounter, so long as you observe a few rules.

  1. Do not pass Sylvanas or you may get trapped on the wrong side of an ice wall and be unable to save her.
  2. Kill Witchdoctors first. They are squishier than Abominations and more annoying to reposition since they’ll just stand there and cast.
  3. Abominations have a frontal spew. Try to keep them facing away from the group.

A note to DPS: Make god damned sure that when you are blowing your AOEs that you STOP when a new wave of mobs is heading in! For the love of god, why is this hard for people to understand? You know what happens when two Abominations walk into your Blizzard? You get “first contact” bonus agro and now I have to bust hump to pull them off your stupid ass… probably dragging the Abomination I was already tanking along with me, exposing you and likely the healer to the frontal cone spew. Just… don’t be stupid. New mob = stop and let the tank get control of it.

Now, there is an easier way to do all this… but it’s also not as fun and probably considered an exploit.

Doing Arthas from Behind:
As you walk out from where he’s fighting Sylvanas, there’s a ledge on the left. Have your party stand there as you start the event. Arthas will walk by, start his AOE cloud, and all of the summoned undead will run to you. Since the travel time is much less (they don’t need to run from him to where you are near Sylvanas in a normal execution of the event) this makes for a faster clear. It really, completely trivializes the event as well as the achievement for doing it quickly. If your group is having a hard time with doing it right, you might as well try this method. Even severely special groups can pull this one off.

And there you go. Halls of Reflection is a gear check, yes, but it ultimately comes down to your tank having enough HP, your healer having enough oomph, and your DPS not being stupid. Which, really, isn’t that the case any time you don’t grossly out-gear an instance? I think with all the T9 going around, people forgot that stuff use to be hard back in the days of heroics in blues and greens. Don’t run from this challenge. It’s doable. It’s even puggable… so long as you know how to not fail.

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~ by Udiyvli on 01/22/2010.

17 Responses to “How to not fail at Halls of Reflection”

  1. I used that kill order for awhile then wondered what was causing chunks of my health to disappear. It was the harmless looking spectral footmen and their “Spectral Strike”.
    This ability causes 100% weapon damage and ignores ALL armor. I’ve been hit for 13k on my feral tank and from what I can tell they like to spam it.
    I can see your point in wanting to get rid of the stuns the mercenaries do, but would it not be more effective to get rid of the mob causing all that damage to the tank first?

    • Hmm… I had not noticed that before. Seemed like most of the on tank damage was coming from the Mages. It’s an interesting thing you point out though! I’ll experiment with removing the footmen earlier and see if it feels any less hectic.

    • That seemed to work quite well actually. Thank you for the tip 🙂 Editing kill order in the post.

  2. You speak of the damage done here, but personally the thing I find most annoying is their constant shield slam spamming on me. (I’m a shaman healer)
    I have no problem tanking a hunter and a mage, even the rogues I can handle, but the shield slam is what usually kills me off. Personally in this instance I tend to be the “puller” in the way that I leave a little health missing on a team-member just before the next wave, and then heal it just as we get into combat again, thus ensuring ALL mobs will run past the corner, to where I chain-heal the tank out of reach for most of the ranged mobs, and even if the dps start running around I can still heal them, but one shield slam on me too much? The entire instance is done, you can of course have a tank move away enough to have them _not_ shield slam me… but how do you explain to a loling “tank” that they aren’t supposed to tank on TOP of me… (when I have problems enough explaining that hey aren’t supposed to run into the middle of the room to pick up the mage that’s already running for me into the alcove?)

    Anyways, if you ask me the footmen are the first priority due to the huge damage they do, and the annoying interrupts, I have no problem with taking one or two mobs attacking me, but those footmen are just horrible.

    • Well of course ideally your tank isn’t letting anything get to you 😄

      I’ve found that putting the group near the door the Lich King walks out of and myself heading out to catch the various incoming mobs works best. I’ve tanked it on my Prot Warrior, Frost DK and Bear, and I’ve had very good results without using much of a LOS trick at all. It seems that the pillar LOS trick is really best for Pallies though. Pretty easy to just drop Consecrate on top of the group and wait.

      It’s also handy if you have any sort of CC or help with ranged mobs. Someone to death grip a mage to me is wonderful, but so is shackle, freezing arrow, or just someone smart enough to interrupt their cast at range.

      Sad, isn’t it, that “lawl AOE” has made people so lax in simple things like ranged interrupt to help the tank out?

      • The tanks aren’t always capable of picking up every ranged though, and as they target me the tank doesn’t have to worry about dragging them over to the corner where we’re all hiding, as for me not getting hit.. oh yes I am.

        I mostly find warrior tanks for it, and thus this actually helps a lot, since they lack multiple ranged interrupts and such, and of course in most instances I have to actually use wind shear all the time, nobody else interrupts, obviously… that’s the healer’s job. -.-

        I’ve been a lot in Ahn’kahet lately, and I’m rather shocked at how people ignore my marks, and say out loud that the spell flingers should be killed first, as I am not hit capped and can’t interrupt every single spell. Of course… after the tank dies they catch up quickly, a 40k hp tank getting hit by two 30k shadow bolts dies, that’s not my fault, and when they refuse to listen to what I say… urgh. >,>

      • Oh, and while I remember (and since I can’t edit my previous post) Most tanks actually aren’t fast enough to pick up all mobs, paladins don’t count of course, (1-click-win). Warriors especially since they have such a limited amount of AoE, and both those spells have large cooldowns. It’s as if a paladin would have a consecration with six seconds between each tick. I have a warrior tank myself and when people refuse to get in the corner on the heroic version it’s extremely hard for me to pick up aggro, and then you can add in one trigger-happy warlock and the group is disbanded because “The tank sux, can’t hold rain of fire aggro”.

      • And since I utterly fail and click submit too early: Yeah, the whole ignoring CC is rather stupid, the only classes I’ve really seen try to help me as a tank are rogues, where a rogue would on purpose pop ToT on me, then run up and nuke the mage, as well as interrupt so they’d run to me, solving the whole problem with those pesky casters. But the whole part with that nobody cares to even try CC is annoying me more and more, I remember back in the day when I played a hunter, both pre-BC and in BC, and I was an important part of my raid group because I was good at CCing, I wasn’t in the best gear, I had fairly good DPS; but the reason I was always in the group was because I always kept two mobs CCed easily… I miss CC.

        (Survival huntard is fun… wyern sting, freezing trap, new freezing trap, and readiness for when the wyern sting breaks ^^;

      • I’ve tanked it as Bear, Frost DK, Pally and Warrior… honestly I find Pally the hardest 😄 But then again I’ve always found Pally to be weird to play. Not enough buttons to press IMO.

        Bear is probably the easiest. No LOS needed at all. I can swipe/maul spam pick up all mobile adds and hold aggro on anything at range with mouse-over Faerie Fire. If there’s one ranged, of course just park the mobile mobs on top of it.

        Warrior’s second easiest to me. But, high mobility has always been a big part of my tanking style. I make extensive use of charges and intervenes to move around and gather mobs before they get to my group. Heroic Throw is great vs Mages too.

        DK’s a bit harder. Lot of cooldowns to worry about, and as a Frost tank I’m not specced into Morbidity. 100% up time D&D would help a lot to make it super easy for a DK tank, but those are poorly spent talents for Frost.

        Of course I say this with the caveat that I rarely ever run a random as a tank without at least two guild DPS. This vastly limits my chance of having that idiot trigger happy Warlock seed spamming while I’m still trying to gather the wave. ><

        As for interrupts… don't get me started. My Warrior and DK have handy interrupts, thank god, but when I tank on my Bear or Pally I really feel the lack of my group mates bothering to interrupt. When I'm on my Ele Shaman, I'm all over the interrupts… same if I'm DPSing as Fury or on my DK. I so rarely see others helping though. Phantom Blast at the end of FoS H? That shit HURTS. Mind Freeze please!

  3. I usually just ignore the Phantom Blasts, they’re so easy to heal through, but you should have tried tanking heroic Ahn’kahet in the start of WotLK, 23~k hp tank taking 30k shadow bolts = fun fun.
    I’ve tanked as a bear, paladin, warrior and DK as well, and I found Pally to be exceptionally easy, just keep consecration up and nothing gets off you, ever… except if the dps horribly outgears you. Then again.. I used to pally-tank in BC, WotLK, and I know the aggro from holy damage has been vastly reduced, and I still have spellpower items on that paladin… but with the thrown shield for silences, judgements and considering these mobs are all _undead_ … I would guess that HoR would be easy, you can track them to find out where exactly they stand, you can throw your shield to silence them, and you can spam hammer/consecration/judgement for threat… don’t see the big problem there ^^;
    DK is all up with runes, if you’re focused on AoE tanking, its easier, if you’re focused on Single-target tanking and aoe adds come: You’re fucked, no runes are ever off cooldown… panic runic weapon and get D&D up.. and then you might survive. I tank as a blood DK, and with all the self-healing there I find it kinda funny, you can heal yourself for about 15% with one hit, and your bloodworms heal for quite a lot too. Morbidity is of course a must if you’re blood, and want to AoE tank… you got strangulate for ranged mobs, as well as death grip, and if you’re specced for death grip that is a very good combination, and I’m guessing that a DK in that gear (I haven’t played my DK since Naxx was the big thing), it shouldn’t be too hard… bear is by far the easiest now that they buffed swipe, I agree with that… If you’ve ever tried tanking as a bear in early levels, you’ll know that Faerie Fire (Feral) is the ONLY thing you can do to hold aggro, nothing else works, which is quite stupid… your attacks deal far too little damage compared to the threat they give.

    • Oh yeah, I was tanking heroics when Wrath first hit. That Shadow Blast thing in OK was a group wiper (by way of one shotting the tank). I think that’s why I find it so shockingly awful when people don’t know to kill that mob first or to interrupt that cast. I mean, I remember when Meathooks in Culling H would kill my tank if the healer ate two chains back to back. 😄

      These kids today with their T9 and their player crafted 264…

      • Oh yeah.. I hit level 80 on my death knight about two-three days after realm first, which I found hillarious… someone had beaten me to 80 though, so I got no feat of strength for my feat… oh well.
        I started tanking, which was fun… as I was a DK, I ALWAYS interrupted that spell, which made me not think of it at all.. it wasn’t till I started HEALING that I actually found out what a threat it was, because I had always interrupted it before.. I’d NEVER seen it finish a cast. On my warrior however, I did the exact same.. so I never saw the damage for what it really was there either, I just thought it was a stupid spell that they were weak against (Shield reflecting every single one).
        Anyways… as for the TOPIC OF YOUR ENTRY HERE! -cough- I just did HoR properly on heroic, and I have to say that the footmen, if they die first… the rest is CAKE.
        I stood in the corner, chain-healed the tank, an occasional healing wave… and that was it, I spent more time trying to target the footmen and put skill/cross with my hotkey on them than healing… we went directly through the instance with no deaths at all, and an average DPS of no more than 3000… we entirely skipped CC, and to be honest, I think the reason most fail at the instance is that they don’t recognize the threat from the footmen.. the ONE time the paladin tank’s consecration wasn’t up, I got interrupted and we almost wiped, went fine though… Got my achievement: “We’re not retreating: We’re advancing in the opposite direction” as well, which rather shocked me too… but yay for that. Interrupts were barely needed at all, I did a total of 6 in the instance.. and not even the mages can do enough damage to beat chain-heals’ healing… so it was just as mentioned before: Kill the footmen, then it’s cake.

        As for all the player-crafted 264 gear… I just frown at them, I can perfectly manage to heal TotC in my naxx-gear without a problem.. while I see healers in 264 gear not able to heal through a heroic.. it makes me facepalm, how horrible are some healers? (my item level average just recently traveled from 210~ to 226~… with a few drops I got in TotC normal.) What I miss most these days is raiding, though I’ve got work and a friend I enjoy playing with.. so I’m sacrificing the joy of watching bosses die and get good loot to just enjoy two-manning everything we can in the old world, still having problems with two-manning AQ40 though 😀

      • Oh! You mentioned how hard you found it on the paladin tank: Here’s what our paladin tank did, first run out into the open of the alcove, drop consecration, then run in together with the rest… our dps actually hid as well, so when the mobs came they all got hit by the consecration and thus it was all easy after that, we did about NO AoE, which is exactly how this is supposed to be done, treating each mob as a threat that needs to be single-targeted down, Footmen, and then working your way down… neither me nor the tank cared what died when after the footmen were dead, and I noticed that the dps even skipped to the next target to leave the footmen to die of DoT… it worked perfectly, best group I’ve ever seen, and I didn’t really think it’d be too bad since I have some confidence in myself as a healer ;p

      • I guess I should be more clear on the pally tank thing… it’s not really that I find it hard, it just feels weird to me 😄

        I’ve been a warrior tank for so long that the relative lack of button destroying done by a pally tank is an odd sensation. It’s not nearly as bad as BC Pally tanking though. I mean at least I have mana post-3.0 😉

  4. How to tank BC as a pallytank: Un-equip gear so you can take damage to regenerate mana! Whooooo!

  5. i am a healer, shaman resto, and i usually find falric to be a real pain, more-so than marwyn and the chasing part. The debuff that literally kill the healing make it very hard to heal through, and it’s not rare that i am OOM at the end. But then it’s rare i wipe on it. Blowing trinkets / heroism is something i keep for that sole fight.

    I am also a mage arcana. In the gautlet part, i usually counterspell the mage to help the tank get it in range.

    Really, this dungeon is a place i recommend to do to practice healing / tanking, without having to go into a raid (mana management for healers, difficulty of aggro’ing stuff for tanks). Of course it doesn’t replace the experience of a raid environment, but.. it help.

    Well, i’d also like to tell you : great blog ! You can thanks ‘Cadistra’ from http://woweh.com , since she did some publicity for this blog xD

  6. I know these are old posts, but I just found you and I am loving “catching up”… I used to have a ‘regular’ 5 man group when the ICC-Trio (as we called it) came out. It took us a week (we are non-raiders) to get to the point where we had our group composition perfect, and we managed to finish HoR on Heroic. (Regular made it feel so EASY!)

    We would stand at the entry, and we had a CC heavy group: Paladin Tank, Priest Healer, Shadow Priest DPS, Ret Paladin DPS, and Warlock DPS (I was the useless one for CC, but I was also the “big cannon”.) We would CC: Priests, Mage, Hunter. We would kill Mercenaries first, because they REALLY loved to shadow-step and insta-gib our healer.

    Learning it that way has made it very difficult when ending up in a PUG for H-HoR. Too often, because three of us queue together, we end up with a Warrior DPS (who has obviously never tanked) and a DK DPS (who fails to use silences or death grip to help the tank). I’ve learned – if we wipe during the first trash wave, unless it is due to a healer-gibbing, I won’t stick around. It’s going to be wipe after wipe after wipe. (…like the warrior who started the event as two of us were zoning in from the wipe. his response? “lol”)

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