WoW Ulduar Raid Boss Guide - Auriaya
Auriaya is found patrolling the Ring of Observation right past Kologarn and the Shattered Walkway. She is nicknamed the Crazy Cat Lady because of the various ways in which she uses cats during the fight. One such cat is a Feral Defender that has nine lives.
Auriaya, aka "The Crazy Cat Lady", is a boss that patrols around the Observation Ring, just past the Shattered Walkway and Kologarn in Ulduar. The trash mobs around the ring are linked to her, and will no longer respawn once she has been defeated. While it is possible to get to the other Watchers without killing her, it is recommended that you do so.
Positioning and Pulling Auriaya
After clearing the two trash packs on the southern side of the Ring, you need to get into position to pull Auriaya. She patrols around the ring with two Sanctum Sentries (four on Heroic). The pull is definitely the most difficult part of the fight, especially on 25-man, and it is common for a raid to spend more time learning the pull than the whole rest of the battle. If you remember level 60 Naxxramas Razuvious, you'll understand.
The Sentries that patrol with Auriaya are extremely difficult to handle. Once any player is put on the aggro table, the Sentries will Savage Pounce that player, which deals massive instant damage and inflicts a deadly bleed. Any player that is not a tank will likely die if they get pounced even once. A tank is unlikely to survive a pounce from both Sentries without using damage reducing cool downs. Once the pull is made, two off-tanks (four on Heroic) need to taunt a Sentry and pull it away from all the others. Make sure you have tanking positions and assignments determined before the pull. The rest of the raid needs to stay out of site to avoid going on the aggro table and getting pounced. Fortunately, there are railings and alcoves that make perfect raid hiding spots. For the initial pull, the offtanks need to be out of line of site as well.
The reason Sentries need to be far from eachother is they give eacnother a stacking buff that increases their damage by 50% per stack. There are several ways to do the pull, depending on your raid composition and gear level. Sometimes, the main tank can take Auriaya and eat both pounces while using damage reducing or death preventing cooldowns. After the initial pull, the off tanks taunt their Sentries and you burn them down in a determined order.
If your tank isn't up to that challenge, you can also use a Shadow Priest using dispersion to eat the first two pounces. Note: It is very likely the Shadow Priest will still die - you need to decide if that is an acceptable loss. If you don't like your Shadow Priest very much, I suppose it is!
Yet another method is to have a Shaman place totems in Auriaya's aggro radius. This engages her but since the Shaman is out of line of site he can't be pounced. As the Sentries come closer the off tanks can pick them up, and the main tank can grab Auriaya. A Hunter snake trap is also quite effective when used in a similar manner.
Fighting Auriaya and the Feral Defender
Once the pull has successfully been made, and the off tanks have their Sentries in their designated area, the raid needs to focus on burning them down quickly. No DPS should be on Auriaya at this time. Once all of the Sentries are dead, the raid can put in valuable DPS time on Auriaya before she summons her Feral Defender.
Auriaya doesn't hit particularly hard in normal melee, but she has a couple of abilities that need to be handled a specific way. One of these is Sonic Screech, a Meteor-esque ability that deals massive damage split between all enemies in its path. Because of this, the tank must have Auriaya facing the raid, with everyone stacked on top of (or right behind) him. She doesn't do a cleave of any sort, so this isn't dangerous to the raid. Melee DPS should still attack from behind her.
Auriaya will also periodicly use Terrifying Screech, an AoE fear. Right after casting the fear, she will cast Sentinal Blast, which deals shadow damage and inflicts a stacking debuff. It is interruptable, and if allowed to run the full duration will wipe the raid. Before every fear, an interrupter like a Warrior or Rogue needs to be prepared to break fear (Will of the Forsaken, "stance dancing", Fear Ward, Tremor Totem, Cloak of Shadows) and stop the cast. It should never hit the raid more than once, or it will make your healers' lives much more difficult. After Fear breaks, everyone needs to return to their previous positions.
Auriaya's final ability is Summon Swarming Guardian, which summons a swarm of smaller panthers. An AoE off tank or plate wearer should pick these up so that they do not eat healers, and all AoE classes should focus on burning them down. They die quickly.
Dealing with the Feral Defender
The Final component of the Auriaya fight is the Feral Defender, which she summons roughly one minute after the fight begins. The Feral Defender has nine lives, an the Feral Essence stacked buff that increases damage by a percentage. Each time it dies, it loses a stack. It also will spawn a very large and very deadly void zone upon death. The Feral Defender can be partially tanked, but it will still do random pounces on the raid. It is stunnable, and anyone with a periodic stun should use it on the Defender so that its damage is marginalized.
When the Feral Defender first spawns, DPS should switch to burning it down. When its health gets low, the tank should drag it far away from the group and let ranged DPS finish it off. This keeps the whole raid from having to reposition to avoid the void zone. After roughly 30 seconds, give or take 10, Auriaya will resummon the Feral Defender, this time with one less stack of Feral Essence. Again, DPS should switch to and kill it (remember to pull it away for the void zone!) After two deaths, the Defender's damage should be diminished enough that you can safely ignore it (other than letting an off-tank hold it). If you kill the Defender nine times, you'll earn the achievement Nine Lives, but keep in mind that also means nine void zones.
The fight is consistent all the way through, with timeable fears, the same abilities, and the Feral Defender going about its normal business. Just stay focused, and you'll easily be able to defeat Auriaya!