Counter-Disengaging knockbacks on Al'akir

One of Al'akir's trickiest mechanics is avoiding his various air dangers in the first phase. Wind Burst will knock players back towards (and possibly off) the edge of Al'akir's platform, Ice Storm travels slowly around the platform leaving ice patches which slow and damage players standing on them, and Squall Line will sweep a line of tornadoes around the platform, forcing players to dodge through a single gap in the line or else be picked up and take heavy damage. Players also have to stay split up in small groups to reduce the damage from Lightning Strike.

On their own, these hazards are somewhat slow, predictable and easy to avoid, but it can get pretty nasty when you have to deal with all three at once! For example, if a Wind Burst is coming up, but so is a Squall Line with a gap near the outer edge, what do you do? Stay close to Al'akir so Wind Burst doesn't knock you off, and get caught in the tornadoes? Or avoid the tornadoes, but then get blown away by Wind Burst?

Players need to be able to multi-task and address all of these dangers at the same time, which can be very challenging for some people. However, Hunters have an amazing tool to counter Al'akir's annoying abilities: Disengage.

For starters, if Wind Burst knocks you off the edge, a prepared Hunter can quickly turn and Disengage back onto solid ground. Daring Hunters can even purposefully leap off the platform to avoid an incoming Squall Line, and Disengage back behind the tornadoes. Kinda risky, but pretty awesome too. Here's an excellent Youtube montage of some great Disengages.

You can also use Disengage's movement to directly negate Wind Burst's knockback. Look at this scenario.

Al'akir has started casting a Wind Burst, and the Ice Storm and Squall Line are both sweeping towards me in a counter-clockwise direction, with the gap right next to Al'akir on the inside. It's a really bad situation. If I get knocked back by Wind Burst, I might not be able to run all the way to the front in time to dodge tornadoes, especially since I'd have to run through Ice Storm. But I can't just stay up front, because Wind Burst will knock me back right into the tornadoes as they pass by.

The solution? After getting knocked back by Wind Burst, immediately Disengage back towards Al'akir. Not after you've landed - I mean in mid-air, as soon as Wind Burst goes off. When executed properly, Wind Burst will knock you back a few yards, and then Disengage will hurl you back into Al'akir. He's surrounded by an invisible wall, so you won't go through him or anything. And don't worry about minimum range - Hunters can stand as close as possible and still shoot unimpeded.

Al'akir only casts Wind Burst in phase 1, but coordinating the timing of knockbacks and dodging into Squall Line gaps can really throw players for a loop. That moment of split-second indecision and uncertainty can be paralyzing! Hunters (and Goblins, with Rocket Jump) really get a free pass here, and should be able to master this phase with little difficulty.

3 Responses Subscribe to comments

  1. gravatar

    While not as universally effective due to range issues, Bears and Warriors can also use their respective Charge abilities to similar effect.

    June 24, 2011 at 2:48 PM

  2. gravatar

    Mages can Blink and Warlocks can use their portal.

    I love my portal on this fight.

    June 24, 2011 at 2:56 PM

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    I've only done Al'akir on my mage; soon I'm going to have to do it on my pally and I'm terrified of having to figure out how do deal with the wind burst/squall line without a blink available.

    June 27, 2011 at 8:25 AM