Withered Away

The Withered Army Training, a solo scenario world quest for the Nightfallen.

Available once you’ve unlocked not just the general World Quests, but also the Nightfallen world quests by gaining the questing achievement Nightfallen, but not forgotten, the Withered Army Training sees you leading a group of Withered through the ruins of Falanaar.

Unfortunately you’re not given very many hints as to how to proceed from there.

TL;DR:

  • The more withered you have, the easier it is
  • Learn to how to get the Withered to do all the damage
  • Take your time
  • Stuns and CC work and can make things much easier
  • Use body pulls if not a tank or have small Withered army
  • You can’t get everything in a single run through – build up your forces over several runs
  • Run at exalted for gear and artifact power. Also a chance for toys and a mount

The Basics

Unlocking

Unlocking the Withered Army Training world quest means unlocking general World Quests and completing the quest achievement Nightfallen, but not forgotten.This leads to First Arcanist Thalyssra offering you the Withered Army Training scenario as a normal quest – it doesn’t cost any ancient mana to start.

Once that has been completed the Withered Army Training world quest will be available every two days or so.

Starting

The world quest will be on your map when it is available; head to Thalyssra who’ll have the text “I’ve come to helped the withered with their combat training

If Thalyssra is suffering from mana withdrawl you’ll need to feed her mana before you can do this

withered-thalyssra-dialogue

Originally I said that the Ward of the First Arcanist wasn’t that useful as when I tried it early in the expansion, the killing blow it prevents is still taken as ending the scenario.

Apparently this has since been fixed and Dro quickly kills himself on the barrier, making the Ward of the Frist Arcanist very useful early on. Thanks to RessyM for the correction!

Numbers count

The number of withered you take with you depends on the mana you spend, with 2,000 mana needed for all 20

The scenario is much easier with more withered so try to always go in with the maximum number of Withered you can

  • 400 mana: 8 Withered
  • 650 mana: 10 Withered
  • 900 mana: 12 Withered
  • 1,300 mana: 15 Withered
  • 2,000 mana: 20 Withered

That said, you can pick up Withered as you go – there are ones to take control of randomly spread over the scenario. I’ve started with 15 Withered before and ended up with ~30 at the end.

… wait, I can only carry 400 mana!

Unfortunately you’ll not be able to carry that much mana to start with – you can increase the mana you can hold by doing the Nightfallen quest lines, opening up all of the Leyline stations and using a number of items.

WowHead’s Suramar guide has a good section on how to increase your mana cap

I have a 2k mana cap, but I can’t get that much!

I tend to run around Surama City looking for Ancient Mana, which comes as plants, leypetal powder, glowing tomes or arcwine; the areas I tend to concentrate on is the market area near the Waning Crescent or the Vineyard:
withered-mana-cityGatherers may find it easy to farm materials in Surama as you can get quite a bit of mana that way – certainly my 105 DK herbalist was getting quite tired of hearing “You can’t loot any more of those” pre-7.1 when she gathered Startlight Rose!

These guides say its really easy, but I’m not finding that!

The class you play will make a big difference to your experience of the Withered Army Training.

Tanks
Tank classes have it easy – a lot of the “it’s easy!” guides seem to have been written by tanks. This is mostly thanks to them being able to tank the mobs & let the withered nuke from afar
Damage dealers
Things get easier as your item level increases, but you end up using all sorts of tricks to make life easier for yourself
Healers
Healers will have problems – whilst you can heal the withered, their health just decays back to what it was before you healed them.

Absorbs do work so Discipline priests can use some of their healing toolkit.

I’ve also heard good things about Holy priests using Holy Nova and the rest of their toolkit

Points mean prizes!

At the top of the screen is your score in the scenario; you’ll get points for each non-boss mob killed

  • Most mobs give 3 points; the tiny spiderlings only give a point each
  • Elite Fal’dorei mobs give 10 points
  • You get roughly 1 rep per point scored, to a maximum of 450 rep
  • The more points you gain, the better the other rewards seem to be

Since the rep tops out at 450, I’ve tended to aim for 450 or so points with the view that give access to most of the rewards.

You can get much higher though – I’ve heard of people reaching 600 or more.

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Welcome the Withered

When you enter the scenario you need to speak to Thalyssra to summon your Withered army. The below is the 20 Withered I normally run with, with 5 being special ones you gain with perma-buffs found during previous runs of the scenario.withered-army-normal

The Withered start out in Follow Me! mode; they follow you and attack any target you start to attack – throwing rocks which have a small AoE damage area. Whilst 15-20 rocks flying at a mob will do very large amounts of damage, around 65-75k per rock – 975k to 1,500k per hit – there is a problem.

The rocks have a slow travel time.

It is common for you to start attacking a mob, have the withered throw the rocks and then the mob runs towards you – thus taking them out of the damage area for the rocks! The following animation shows this best. Your attack is deemed to have started when the ranged attack actually damages or interacts the mob and not before!

withered-anim-normal-anim-layers

How to get around this problem? Well, there are several ways to handle this.

Melee can just run up to the mobs and hit them where they stand – that keeps the mobs in place whilst the Withered rain down rocks on them.

Ranged have a few options:

  1. Use the “Hug the mob” method melee use, although that could be hurty
  2. Pet classes can send in the pet and let it tank the mobs in place
  3. Turn a starter attack into a macro and use /startattack at the front of it
  4. Stun, hold in place or otherwise slow the mob with your attack

The last is what I normally do on my shadowpriest – pulling with Mind Flay or the AoE stun Mind Bomb. Other classes will have other tricks – eg warlocks can ranged stun, frost mages can use their pet’s ranged freeze followed by Blizard. Curiously, frost mage’s pet freeze doesn’t cause the Withered to attack.

This normally results in something like the following, with the mob frozen in place waiting for your attack & that of the Withered to hit them.

withered-anim-freeze-anim-layers

In the normal “Follow Me” mode you’ll notice you have an extra action button labeled Mayhem:

withered-control-mayhem

The 75% damage increase is a major buff, but there is a downside. Your Withered become somewhat distracted and will wander around the place and attack all sorts of things – mostly things they probably shouldn’t be!

They don’t really follow you that closely – a major problem as when they stray too far away they’ll drop out of your army.

withered-army-mayhem

The mayhem buff is very useful if you put it on for short periods – there are certain trash mobs where its handy and its almost essential to use during the boss fights.

You can put them back into the “Follow Me!” by using the extra action button again:

withered-control-follow-me

If a Withered health gets too low it’ll may end up fleeing – if it does Thalyssra will emote “One of the Withered is running away! Catch it before it is lost in the tunnels“.

You then have a few seconds to find the Withered with the fearskull over its head and dispell its fear.

Fortunately you just have to click on the feared withered to dispell the fear & bring it back into the army.

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The layout of the scenario

The full scenario layout is shown below – including the treasure chests which contain buffs for the Withered and the bosses which often guard them.

The larger chests which cost Withered to teleport out only have to be looted once per account; once you’ve got their contents once you’ll never have to get them again. Small chests – containing gold, mana and sometimes teleport scrolls – always spawn in the scenario randomly.

withered-zone-map

  1. The locked door requires two Withered Berserkers to open
  2. The locked door needs you to have at least 10 Withered in your army to open

    Behind the door you’ll find the boss Lapillia – stay clear of the Withered when you fight her

    The 10x Withered Chest contains a Berserking Helm for your Withered

  3. This chest is downstairs; once you’ve gotten this 5x Withered chest there is little reason to go down there. Unless Withered in Mayhem mode decided to go play down there, as they’ll often do!
  4. The locked door needs you to have at least 10 Withered in your army to open

    Behind the door you’ll find the boss Brood Guardian Phyx who guards a 5x Withered chest

  5. The locked door needs you to have at least 10 Withered in your army to open

    Behind the door you’ll find the boss Volatile Wraithlord

    The 10x Withered chest contains a Spellmask helm for your Withered

  6. The door is unlocked by the key Laystalker Dro drops – more on him later

    The 10x Withered chest contains the helm which allows you to see hidden treasure

  7. The locked door needs you to have at least 10 Withered in your army to open

    The hidden chest – requires you to have the helm from the chest at #6 – contains a Spellmask helm for your Withered

    This door is very handy to open as it’ll always contain 3 Withered for you to add to your army

  8. You can’t interact with this door until you’ve killed the Fal’dorei Silkwitch in the room oppposite

    In the same room the 10x Withered chest contains the second Berserking helm for your Withered

  9. The area in red is the Spiderling gauntlet – large numbers of small spiders constantly spawn!

    The boss in the room is Furog the Elfbreaker

    The Spiderlings continually spawn until you’ve reached the boss Psillych; easiest way I’ve found to handle them is to move up the stairs, put Mayhem on, move further up, put Follow Me on to get the Withered with you & then use Mayhem again. There are a few Withered you’ll be able to add to your army here. Mayhem gives you time to collect them

Laystalker Dro – the black skull above – is a boss you have to kill every time to reach the second half of the scenarion as he drops Dro’s Key which opens the door at #6 on the map.

However he moves around and for added fun is stealthed! The map below has all the areas I’ve encountered him at:

withered-dro-path

Thalyssra yells “Look out! when Dro is close enough to attack you.

If you kill the hostile mobs from the cocoons it seems like he is more likely to appear, but its not guaranteed. He is a somewhat annoying fight – you must interrupt his charge spree ability via a stun otherwise your Withered army will be cut own very quickly.

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Meet the Mobs

A number of mobs – especially when you’ve got less Withered early on – are made easier by using a body pull. That is, running up to a mob to aggro it and then running away to kill elsewhere. You want to avoid doing anything to the mob – no stuns or silences – otherwise the Withered will start to attack and that’s what you don’t want to do.

The animation below shows how I’ve pulled a Volatile Wraith around a corner so it was safer to use Mayhem! on my Withered.

withered-anim-body-pull

withered-mob-shambler Withered Shambler

The basic hostile mob you’ll encounter; melts in the face of the Withered army

withered-mob-volatile-wraith Volatile Wraith

A nastier mob, made easier by stuns and putting the Withered into Mayhem! mode

  • Interrupt the arcane blast – it does AoE
  • At low health the mob does an non-interrupting explosion which will do a lot of damage to mobs near it. Either stun it or nuke down
withered-mob-spiderling Spiderlings

Coming in packs of three or four, these don’t have much health, but they leave nasty debuffs on you and your Withered.
In some rooms you’ll find eggs which if you or your Withered touch will break to let Spiderlings out. Break the eggs from afar and nuke the spiderlings as they run towards you

withered-mob-shardmaiden Shardmaiden

Looks like a corrupted Dryad; melts just as well as the shamblers do!

withered-mob-skitterer Skitterer

Looking like the crystaline crabs you’ll find in Deepholm, these die quickly

withered-mob-web-wrap Web Wrap

The web wraps can hold two different mobs. Most of the time you’ll get a Shambler, but sometimes you’ll get a Withered you can add to your army

withered-mob-slicer Faldori Slicers

These slicers don’t present much of a threat; they tend to come in packs of two

withered-mob-spinner-pack Web spinner packs

You’ll often see Faldori Webspinners with a couple of Faldori Slicers

withered-mob-ambush-slicer Ambush mobs

In typical spider fashion, some like to dangle from the ceiling and drop down when attacked. Or you aggro!

Don’t forget to look up in the central area of the scenario!

The bosses mostly guard chests you’ll only loot once; the only boss you’ll kill every scenario is Dro.

Most of the bosses are just a matter of clearing mobs near them, popping Mayhem! and bursting them down. Using stuns and interrupts make life easier here. Notable boss are:

Leystalker Dro
The boss you have to kill every time to access the 2nd half of the scenario, he is stealthed so you can’t plan when you fight him

Use a stun when he starts his Charge Spree otherwise your Withered army will be decimated in short order

Lapillia
Keep away from your Withered when the debuff on you wears off – does an AoE pulse
Volatile Wraithlord
A larger version of the Volatile Wraiths, you’ll need to keep away from your Withered and stun during the final explosion

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The route I take

Now that I’ve gotten all of the buffs for the Withered the below is the route I take; its mostly aimed at getting the 450 points which maxes out your reputation gains.withered-route

I also recorded my route; you can see it below. Its been sped up in a number of places to make the video a little faster to watch. You’ll probably note that I failed to use Mayhem! on Dro, but still got him down without too many issues. Using Mayhem! would’ve made it faster though!

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Buffing the withered

On the layout of the scenario there are a number of chests available; these give the Withered army buffs which become available the next time you run the scenario.

A fully equipped Withered army will have:

2x Berserkers
These continually taunt, charge mobs and act like the worst tanks you’ve encountered in LFG. That said, they do hold mobs in place for the other withered to drop rocks on them
2x casters
The caster helms give two Withered powerful spell caster abilities, including chain lightning

The army will also:

  • Let you see hidden chests
  • Have 25% more health
  • Do 25% more damage
  • More focused attacks
  • Not as likely to flee when at low health

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Practising before you go in

The scenario takes place in a series of tunnels under Surama and it turns out that you can visit the tunnels outside of the Scenario.After all, the scenario is based in the ruined tunnels of Falanaar on the Western side of Surama; the following map shows the location of the start and end points for the scenario, along with the Ruins of Falanaar portal you unlock as you progress down the Surama quest line.

withered-in-world

The following map has the scenario map laid over the world map. You can drop down in the middle of the scenario area as its exposed to the sky in the real world – a useful way to get out if you need to there. Not sure what happens if you try to leave the scenario that way!

withered-in-world-overlay

Using this you can explore the areas you’ll going into in the scenario and experience some of the mobs you’ll encounter.

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Conclusion

Whilst it looks like a lot to take in, it shouldn’t take too much practise before you’re womping your way through the scenario, laying waste to all who come before you with your army of Withered.Just remember to take it slowly at first and to build up your Withered army using the chests – you’ll soon get an army of Withered to be feared!

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5 Responses to Withered Away

  1. I loathed this when I first did it, I think my first score was a 42, this guide would have helped immensely. I now enjoy doing it for fun as I don’t need the rep. I have slowed down on my mana collection though so don’t hit it every three days anymore.

  2. Dobablo says:

    I hate the withered training. Most days I have time for a handful of dailies and maybe a heroic/mythic instance. The last think I want to do with my precious time is to spend 45 minutes running those tunnels for the umpteenth time in spite of the rewards.

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