Going back and beating old raids single-handedly is nothing new for most World of Warcraft players. Armed with infinitely more powerful gear and way beyond the intended level range, players can easily slaughter bosses solo that once required dozens of coordinated guildmates to kill. I'm talking about raids that are years out of date, but beating a raid boss that was released less than a year ago? That's remarkable.
Mionee is a solo savant who takes on Warcraft's toughest bosses one on one, and their latest kill is Gul'dan, the famed warlock that players finally took down earlier this year in the Nighthold raid. That's incredible considering the Nighthold is still a very active and challenging raid for many players.
Here's the video.
Despite taking most raid parties over 10 minutes to beat, the fight with Gul'dan took Mionee over an hour to complete. This is doable thanks to the Demon Hunter tank specialization, which is the most self-sufficient class Blizzard has ever made. They're constantly able to heal themselves during a fight, but you can't overstate how crucial Mionee's skill and ability to strategize was in pulling this feat off.
In the video's description, Mionee breaks down exactly how they killed Gul'dan solo.
"This encounter would be pretty simple if it did not have an enrage timer, however I can safely say that timer is unbeatable with current DPS," Mionee writes. "Gul'dan himself has 1.04 [billion] HP, while enrage happens at 12 minutes. That's around 1.4 million DPS [that Mionee would need to kill Gul'dan before he enrages], even disregarding phase 1 where he's immune to damage."
Enrage timers are a system most raid bosses use to enforce a time limit on the fight. If a raid party can't beat the boss quickly enough, they enrage and begin dealing insane amounts of unbeatable damage—that's the idea at least.
"But of course, enrage timers aren't really a thing that have stopped me in the past, have they?"
Mionee discovered that Gul'dan only enrages for 30 minutes before returning to normal as Blizzard likely never thought players would survive that long. If Mionee could survive those 30 minutes, then the rest of the fight would be relatively simple in practice. In execution, however, it's a nightmare. "It requires bandaging on [cooldown] and accurate [cooldown] usage [plus] positioning in order to survive the +900% damage Liquid Hellfire casts."
On top of that, Mionee specifically equipped their Demon Hunter with gear to help in the fight, like maxing out avoidance to reduce damage from area-of-effect attacks.
Things get even more complicated, however. During phases two and three of the fight, Gul'dan summons eyes that attack the party. When he enrages after 12 minutes, all other monsters in the fight also get a massive damage boost. "Of course, that includes the eyes he summons even after Gul'dan himself is not affected by enrage anymore, which leads to the major struggle of this fight; how to deal with eyes that have a 900% damage buff? That's 2.5 [million] damage taken per second, per eye. Each eye also buffs its damage with every tick, and duplicates relatively quickly if not killed, so it is imperative to dispose of them ASAP."
To put it simply: Mionee is looking at tanking and surviving an entire raid party's worth of damage every second while simultaneously fighting Gul'dan.
Over on Reddit, Mionee explains their method for tackling such intense fights. "I just play out the encounter in my head and very quickly realise what's going to be an issue, and what won't. Then you do basic napkin math, how much dps/healing do I need and how far away from that am I at the moment?"
It's amazing to see how far theorycrafting can take you in World of Warcraft. And Mionee's YouTube channel is full of similar videos worth checking out. But the big question remains, with Gul'dan defeated, will Mionee attempt to kill the current raid boss, Kil'jaeden?
"[I] don't think [Kil'jaeden's] enrage will be beatable. Survivin' til enrage shouldn't be too hard, might even be possible now if you kite a lot [to be honest]."
I hope Mionee finds a way.