Last night was a pretty interesting night for me. I log in expecting to be in a Karazhan raid as usual, but am put on stand by since I pretty much have all the Kara gear I need. Not a bad deal since the guild gets to spread the wealth and I got to take care of things around the house, so I didn't mind one bit. Towards the end of the raid, I received a whisper from one of my first acquaintances in WoW and my first real Guild Master. He is currently the raid leader for a much more active guild than I am in, and he was hoping to make use of my 'lock's DPS on Tempest Keep, in instances I have never ventured into. I figured that since my guild's raid was almost over (which it ended up not being, but that's a story for another time), I would jump in and help out. If nothing else, I could learn something useful.
Now like I said, I had never been in TK before last night, so I had no idea what to expect, how my spec would match-up against their TK-seasoned Warlocks, or even where I should be standing at any given moment. Thankfully, the trash had already been cleared and before I knew it, I was standing beneath Al'ar the Phoenix God herself. After a quick run through of what to expect, she was pulled. I peed a little.
/cast Curse of Recklessness. Normally I would put up an Agony or maybe even a Doom if I'm feeling a little devious, but since all of us Warlocks had our Curse duties set, and since this was not my guild, I figured I should abide by their rules and not my own. How rude of me if I were to do otherwise, right? Besides, being my first experience with Al'ar, I was more concerned with taking in the encounter than with my DPS... lol, okay, maybe not, but I WAS learning.
During Phase 1, it's apparently all about DPS'ing her down to 0%, and we did that just fine. I was 2nd in damage done at that point via DoT'ing with Corruption, Siphon Life, and Shadow Bolt nuking, making sure to Dark Pact or Life Tap while running between platforms (while Al'ar is out of range). Throughout the first 20-25% or so, I was casting Immolate until I finally realized that hey, it's a Phoenix, there's a reason my Immolates aren't landing. GG on my part. =)
Phase 2 was bit more complicated than your average nukefest, with Al'ar casting Meteor spells and summoning Phoenix adds to the floor. Being fairly spry as an Affliction 'lock, I kept everything DoT'ed as best I could, cycling between Al'ar and her adds and Shadow Bolt spamming the adds at every opportunity (when they die, they drain 3% of her current health, so initially, they take priority). Everything was going rather smoothly through the first 50% of Phase 2, but eventually the off-tank was unable to keep the adds off the rest of the raid and we wiped. That's pretty much what happened during all 3 attempts.
It was a seemingly simple encounter that is very sensitive to simple mistakes. I believe the only reason the raid did not down her was because after our 3rd attempt, people had to log for RL reasons. Had that not been the case, another couple of attempts would have probably seen her fall for sure. But as should always be the case, RL takes priority, and everyone was happy with the progress they had made as a guild.
From a Warlock'ing standpoint, it should be no problem for our class to get top DPS in this encounter, especially if you're Affliction spec. Just being aware of your DoT cycles (on Al'ar and all adds) and SB nuking when you can should do it. With that approach, I had the highest Damage Done for all attempts combined, and having never seen the encounter before and while being overly careful, I was very happy about that.
Now if I can just remember to keep from casting Immolate next time. See you then. =)