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Trial of the Champion

James Wood Posted:
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Well, now that Patch 3.2 is out, we can all look forward to Blizzard's next dungeon, the Trials of the Crusader (or Champion, depending on your difficulty).

Faster and more forgiving than Violet Hold and almost as easy on Normal or Heroic Difficulty with rewards that can match Naxxramas. It's a shame that this dungeon doesn't even come close to being a memorable experience.

1st Encounter: Champions of the Horde/Alliance

Time to put your Argent Tournament skills to the test. Pick up a lance from the nearby rack and get on your faction mount. Stack your shields three times before starting the encounter. If you're about to lose your mount, dismount near one of your faction mounts on the edges of the ring and take a fresh mount. Do it quickly, because the NPCs like to target dismounted players.

After a lengthy introduction for each of your party members, you'll face three randomly selected races from the opposing faction, each composed of three champions and one named champion.

You'll face those three champions in three fights each. Each Champion has below 100,000 HP. Have your party leader mark one of the champions for everyone to attack. One Charge from each party member should be enough to kill a Champion.

When you're done with the Champions, the named Champions will step forward. These have significantly more HP, approximately 300,000. Again, have your party leader mark your target and Charge, Charge, Charge until they start dropping.

Beware, these named Champions DO NOT go down easily. After being dismounted, they will attempt to get back on one of the mounts surrounding the ring and return to battle with a fifth of their HP. Once one goes down, have a party member stand on the Champion and use Shield Breaker on any surviving Champions until all three have fallen.

Phase 2: Dismounted Combat

Clump up immediately. There are five different types of champion. You'll fight only three of the five types every time,

Hunter (Zul'tore or Jaelyne Eversong)

Don't mistake the Hunter for the ones easily ganked, even if this one has only three skills. Multi-Shot hits targets for approximately 8,000 damage each. Lightning Arrows, which resembles a Hurricane on cast, adds Nature damage to the attacks. Disengage just makes room to continue attacking from afar. Attack from melee range the moment you dismount.

Rogue (Lana Stouthammer or Deathstalker Visceri)

Like most Rogues, they're fans of poisons, using them with their regular attacks and with the Fan of Knives. The poisons can be dispelled. If you see a poison cloud, stay out of it.

Shaman (Colosos or Runok Wildmane)

The Shaman is a simple tank-and-spank with a chain lightning spell cast every now and then. It's only their healing spell that puts them up here.

Mage (Ambrose Boltspark or Eressea Dawnsinger)

The Mage casts Fireballs, can knock your party back with Blast Wave and will Polymorph your party members as well. But like all other Polymorphs, it can be broken with damage or a little patience.

Warrior (Marshal Jacob Alerius or Mokra the Skullcrusher)

Simple tank-and-spank, but Mortal Strike will reduce the healing done to their target. There's also Whirlwind, so run for it if you take too much damage.

2nd Encounter: Argent Confessor Paletress or Eadric the Pure

Phase 1: The Lackeys

Just like the first encounter, you'll fight three groups of three adds, each of which has a Priestess, Lightbearer and Monk.

The Priestess should always be your first target. It's not because she can heal, but because she has a nasty Mind Control that can turn any of your party members against you.

The Lightwielder should be next, tanked-and-spanked into submission.

The Monk dies last for one reason: Final Meditation. Before he goes down, he casts a shield on himself and channels a spell that will reduce your movement speed by 70% and increase your casting and attack times by 70%.

Phase 2: Argent Confessor Paletress or...

Paletress deals a number of damage-over-time attacks, but it's the Memories that she summons that pose the greatest threat.

After you've dealt enough damage, she will cast a shield on herself and summon a random popular creature (even Hogger).

These Memories all have the same skills and should be downed quickly. Waking Nightmare casts fear on your entire party, so have a Shaman with totems ready or clump together to minimize the distance between your party members during the fear duration. Healers should watch for Shadows of the Past which reduces attack and casting speeds by 90% and deals damage-over-time.

And through all this, Paletress attacks you. Finish the memory and then finish her. She could stand to do with skimpier armor for a higher armor rating.

Eadric the Pure

Like Yogg-Saron's Lunatic Gaze, turn your character away from Eadric when he starts casting Blinding Light. The only other skills that should worry you are Hammer of Justice and Hammer of the Righteous. Hammer of Justice acts just like an ordinary Paladin's stun, but the added effect is that you will be a target for a nearly lethal Hammer of the Righteous.

3rd Encounter: The Black Knight

Guess who's back with a vengeance? After lancing him in 3.1, the Black Knight has come back with the Lich King's (and a voice actor's) aid.

Phase 1: The Zombie Knight

Tank and spank the Black Knight. He works like a Death Knight, attacking your tank with diseases. Kill the ghoul present to prevent a Ghoul Explosion.

Phase 2: The Skeleton Knight

Without his skin, the Black Knight can summon even more ghouls. He brings out his version of Army of the Dead. Destroy the ghouls with area-of-effect attacks before he causes them all to explode at the same time, wiping out anyone caught within the blast zone.


James Wood