How to properly use Guild Cauldrons in a 10-man raid

Not actually pictured: Cauldron of Battle. Shush.

(I had been sitting on this post for a while and had actually forgotten about it, until I read Zel's post yesterday regarding Cauldrons.)

Like many guilds, my raiding team has unlocked the awesome Cauldron of Battle (reward from completing the Mix Master guild achievement) and I now churn out these lovely Flask receptacles each raid night. We also have the Guild Perk Chug-A-Lug, which increases the duration of Cauldron Flasks by 50% (1.5 hours instead of 1 hour).

Sounds great, right? Well, yeah, except for one problem - who uses the Flasks?

The Cauldron only creates 7 Flasks (until we reach guild level 20 and get Happy Hour) so that leaves 3 people cold, unloved and Flask-less.

FURTHER complicating matters is the fact that when used by Alchemists, Flasks of Battle last for THREE hours instead of 1.5 hours (due to Mixology) and we have three Alchemists in our raid team. Usually.

So who uses the Flasks from the Cauldrons and who uses normal ones - the Alchemists or the non-Alchemists? And is it actually better to simply drop three Cauldrons and make 21 Flasks of Battle, even though that means there's extras?


Disclaimer: These numbers are based off a few assumptions. If these traits are different from your guild or server, then I have no idea if the math is correct for you.

• 3 hour raid time
• 10-man raid team, consisting of all guild members
• Guild has Mix Master, Chug-A-Lug, but not Happy Hour yet.
• Flasks are equal in terms of cost (to create or purchase)
• Minor cost of Deathblood Venoms ignored (needed to make the Cauldrons)
• Healers want +Intellect Flasks, not +Spirit (Cauldron Flasks give casters +Intellect)
• Anywhere from 1-3 Alchemists (minimum 1 to create the Cauldron; more than 3? No idea.)



Quick Answers:
• It's better to drop 3 Cauldrons instead of 2. (Costs less Flasks & the extra Cauldron Flasks can always be used after the raid or for mid-raid role switching, such as single-tank fights)
• It's better to have Alchemists use a regular flask instead of a Cauldron Flask.


With ONE Alchemist:
• 3 Cauldrons costs 12 Flasks with 2 leftover Cauldron Flasks. [math]
• 2 Cauldrons w/Alchemist using regular Flasks costs 16 Flasks, with the Alchemist having 60 minutes left over. [math]
• 2 Cauldrons w/Alchemist using a Cauldron Flask costs 16 Flasks, with a non-Alchemist having 30 minutes left over. [math]

With TWO Alchemists:
• 3 Cauldrons costs 12 Flasks with 3 leftover Cauldron Flasks. [math]
• 2 Cauldrons w/Alchemists using regular Flasks costs 15 Flasks, with both Alchemists each having 60 minutes left over. [math]
• 2 Cauldrons w/Alchemists using Cauldron Flasks costs 15 Flasks, with two non-Alchemists each having 30 minutes left over. [math]

With THREE Alchemists:
• 3 cauldrons costs 12 flasks with 4 leftover Cauldron Flasks. [math]
• 2 cauldrons w/Alchemists using regular flasks costs 14 flasks, with all three Alchemists each having 60 minutes left over. [math]
• 2 cauldrons w/Alchemists using Cauldron Flasks costs 14 flasks, with three non-Alchemists each having 30 minutes left over. [math]


BORING MATH BELOW. CLICK HERE TO GO TO BOTTOM/COMMENTS.




1 Alchemist, 3 Cauldrons

0:00 (Cauldrons #1+2 = 14 total)
1x Alch - use Cauldron Flask (3 hours)
9x Non-Alchs - use Cauldron Flask (1.5 hours)
(4 Cauldron Flasks leftover)

1:30 (Cauldron #3 = 7 more Cauldron Flasks for total of 11)
1x Alch - 1.5 hours left
9x Non-Alchs - Expired, use Cauldron Flask (1.5 hours)
(2 Cauldron Flasks leftover)

3:00 - Raid Over
1x Alch - no time left
9x Non-Alchs - no time left
(2 Cauldron Flasks leftover)

TOTAL COST: 3 Cauldrons (12 Flasks)
LEFTOVER TIME: 2 Cauldron Flasks




1 Alchemist, 2 Cauldrons, Alch using regular Flasks

0:00 (Cauldron #1)
1x Alch - use Flask (2 hours)
7x Non-Alchs - use Cauldron Flask (1.5 hours)
2x Other - use Flask (1 hour)

1:00
1x Alch - 1 hour left
7x Non-Alchs - 30 minutes left
2x Other - Expired, use Flask (1 hour)

1:30 (Cauldron #2)
1x Alch - 30 minutes left
7x Non-Alchs - Expired, use Cauldron Flask (1.5 hours)
2x Other - 30 minutes left

2:00
1x Alch - Expired, use Flask (2 hours)
7x Non-Alchs - 1 hour left
2x Other - Expired, use Flask (1 hour)

3:00 - Raid Over
1x Alchs - 1 hour left
7x Non-Alchs - no time left
2x Other - no time left

TOTAL COST: 8 regular Flasks + 2 Cauldrons (8 Flasks) = 16 Flasks
LEFTOVER TIME: 1x 60 minutes.




1 Alchemist, 2 Cauldrons, Alch using a Cauldron Flask

0:00 (Cauldron #1)
1x Alch - use Cauldron Flask (3 hours)
6x Non-Alchs - use Cauldron Flask (1.5 hours)
3x Other - use Flask (1 hour)

1:00
1x Alch - 2 hours left
6x Non-Alchs - 30 minutes left
3x Other - Expired, use Flask (1 hour)

1:30 (Cauldron #2)
1x Alch - 1.5 hours left
6x Non-Alchs - Expired, use Cauldron Flask (1.5 hours)
3x Other - 30 minutes left
(one Cauldron Flask leftover)

2:00
1x Alch - 1 hour left
6x Non-Alchs - 1 hour left
2x Other - Expired, use Flask (1 hour)
1x Other - Expired, use Cauldron Flask (1.5 hours)

3:00 - Raid Over
1x Alch - no time left
6x Non-Alchs - no time left
2x Other - no time left
1x Other - 30 minutes left

TOTAL COST: 8 regular Flasks + 2 Cauldrons (8 Flasks) = 16 Flasks
LEFTOVER TIME: 1x 30 minutes




2 Alchemists, 3 Cauldrons

0:00 (Cauldrons #1+2 = 14 total)
2x Alchs - use Cauldron Flask (3 hours)
8x Non-Alchs - use Cauldron Flask (1.5 hours)
(4 Cauldron Flasks leftover)

1:30 (Cauldron #3 = 7 more Cauldron Flasks for total of 11)
2x Alchs - 1.5 hours left
8x Non-Alchs - Expired, use Cauldron Flask (1.5 hours)
(3 Cauldron Flasks leftover)

3:00 - Raid Over
2x Alchs - no time left
8x Non-Alchs - no time left
(3 Cauldron Flasks leftover)

TOTAL COST: 3 Cauldrons (12 flasks)
LEFTOVER TIME: 3 Cauldron Flasks




2 Alchemists, 2 Cauldrons, Alchs using regular Flasks

0:00 (Cauldron #1)
2x Alchs - use Flask (2 hours)
7x Non-Alchs - use Cauldron Flask (1.5 hours)
1x Other - use Flask (1 hour)

1:00
2x Alchs - 1 hour left
7x Non-Alchs - 30 minutes left
1x Other - Expired, use Flask (1 hour)

1:30 (Cauldron #2)
2x Alchs - 30 minutes left
7x Non-Alchs - Expired, use Cauldron Flask (1.5 hours)
1x Other - 30 minutes left

2:00
2x Alchs - Expired, use Flask (2 hours)
7x Non-Alchs - 1 hour left
1x Other - Expired, use Flask (1 hour)

3:00 - Raid Over
2x Alchs - 1 hour left
7x Non-Alchs - no time left
1x Other - no time left

TOTAL COST: 7 regular Flasks + 2 Cauldrons (8 Flasks) = 15 Flasks
LEFTOVER TIME: 2x 60 minutes.




2 Alchemists, 2 Cauldrons, Alchs using Cauldron Flasks

0:00 (Cauldron #1)
2x Alchs - use Cauldron Flask (3 hours)
5x Non-Alchs - use Cauldron Flask (1.5 hours)
2x Non-Alchs - use Flask (1 hour)
1x Other - use Flask (1 hour)

1:00
2x Alchs - 2 hours left
5x Non-Alchs - 30 minutes left
2x Non-Alchs - Expired, use Flask (1 hour)
1x Other - Expired, use Flask (1 hour)

1:30 (Cauldron #2)
2x Alchs - 1.5 hours left
5x Non-Alchs - Expired, Cauldron Flask (1.5 hours)
2x Non-Alchs - 30 mins left, grab Cauldron Flask
1x Other - 30 mins left

2:00
2x Alchs - 1 hour left
5x Non-Alchs - 1 hour left
2x Non-Alchs - Expired, use Cauldron Flask (1.5 hours)
1x Other - Expired, use Flask (1 hour)

3:00 - Raid Over
2x Alchs - no time left
5x Non-Alchs - no time left
2x Non-Alchs - 30 minutes left
1x Other - no time left

TOTAL COST: 7 regular Flasks + 2 Cauldrons (8 Flasks) = 15 Flasks
LEFTOVER TIME: 2x 30 minutes.




3 Alchemists, 3 Cauldrons

0:00 (Cauldrons #1+2 = 14 total)
3x Alchs - use Cauldron Flask (3 hours)
7x Non-Alchs - use Cauldron Flask (1.5 hours)
(4 Cauldron Flasks leftover)

1:30 (Cauldron #3 = 7 more Cauldron Flasks for total of 11)
3x Alchs - 1.5 hours left
7x Non-Alchs - Expired, use Cauldron Flask (1.5 hours)
(4 Cauldron Flasks leftover)

3:00 - Raid Over
3x Alchs - no time left
7x Non-Alchs - no time left
(4 Cauldron Flasks leftover)

TOTAL COST: 3 Cauldrons (12 Flasks)
LEFTOVER TIME: 4 Cauldron Flasks




3 Alchemist, 2 Cauldrons, Alchs using regular Flasks

0:00 (Cauldron #1)
3x Alchs - Flask (2 hours)
7x Non-Alchs - Cauldron Flask (1.5 hours)

1:30 (Cauldron #2)
3x Alchs - 30 minutes left
7x Non-Alchs - Cauldron Flask (1.5 hours)

2:00
3x Alchs - Expired, use Flask (2 hours)
7x Non-Alchs - 1 hour left

3:00 - Raid Over
3x Alchs - 60 minutes left
7x Non-Alchs - no time left

TOTAL COST: 6 regular Flasks + 2 Cauldrons (8 Flasks) = 14 Flasks
LEFTOVER TIME: 3x 60 minutes.




3 Alchemists, 2 Cauldrons, Alchs using Cauldron Flasks

0:00 (Cauldron #1)
3x Alchs - use Cauldron Flask (3 hours)
4x Non-Alchs - use Cauldron Flask (1.5 hours)
3x Non-Alchs - use Flask (1 hour)

1:00
3x Alchs - 2 hours left
4x Non-Alchs - 30 minutes left
3x Non-Alchs - Expired, use Flask (1 hour)

1:30 (Cauldron #2)
3x Alchs - 1.5 hours left
4x Non-Alchs - Expired, use Cauldron Flask (1.5 hours)
3x Non-Alchs - 30 minutes left, grab Cauldron Flask

2:00
3x Alchs - 1 hour left
4x Non-Alchs - 1 hour left
3x Non-Alchs - Expired, use Cauldron Flask (1.5 hours)

3:00 - Raid Over
3x Alchs - no time left
4x Non-Alchs - no time left
3x Non-Alchs - 30 minutes left

TOTAL COST: 6 regular Flasks + 2 Cauldrons (8 Flasks) = 14 Flasks
LEFTOVER TIME: 3x 30 minutes.

6 Responses Subscribe to comments

  1. gravatar
    Mittenz

    Leftover time isn't always a bad thing. I often have time leftover, and I just log out straight after the raid and don't log in on that character until the next raid. But then, my raiding characters don't really need to be doing heroics, and I have other characters I can play if I want to hang out, be sociable, or whatever.

    Additionally, I think non-guilded people might get 1.5 hour long cauldron flasks as long as their guild has the associated perk. I haven't been able to confirm this yet though.

    June 16, 2011 at 4:01 AM

  2. gravatar
    Anonymous

    Another thing to think about is that sometimes the guild cauldron benefit isn't the best thing for the player's spec, or the player will be swapping specs between fights. For my prot paladin, until 4.2 nerfs agility the agility buff is the best thing for Halfus heroic and Chimaeron. So I pass on the cauldron buff and use my own. I suspect that there are other class/specs/playstyles out there that have the same thing.

    June 16, 2011 at 5:41 AM

  3. gravatar
    Anonymous

    You're also assuming (even though you do point out earlier you don't have it yourself) that people don't have Happy Hour.

    I'm in a guild that's been lvl 25 for weeks now, but doesn't manage to raid more than the occasional Halfus and such :(

    June 18, 2011 at 3:34 PM

  4. gravatar
    Rades

    @Mittenz - Oh, I regard leftover time as a good thing - I mean, all other things being equal, I'd rather have an hour left on my flask after raid than no time! Can do a Zulroic, or like you said, save it for next raid night.

    @Anon 1 - Swapping specs can be a problem normally, which is why the 3-cauldrons method is so great. Those extra flasks are perfect for role-swapping. As for the Agi flask being best, that's true, sometimes there are specific cases where the conventional flasking isn't ideal. Healers wanting +Spirit flasks, for example. Nothing we can really do about that for now, I guess.

    @Anon 2 - That is a very good point. I have added an additional note in the assumptions about having Mix Master, Chug-A-Lug, but not Happy Hour yet.

    June 18, 2011 at 3:45 PM

  5. gravatar
    Mittenz

    When are they adding spirit cauldron flasks as an option for healers anyway? I thought they said they were going to.

    June 19, 2011 at 2:05 AM

  6. gravatar
    Anonymous

    Good bye, sentimental chum :)

    April 29, 2012 at 3:11 PM