The L is silent.

Posts tagged “Orthanc


I gathered this information from my own experience and a number of sources listed at the end in the hopes of making a concise guide to help those unfamiliar with the raid run successful PUG groups. If you find something I have left out or would like to see me include, please leave a comment. ~ B.B.

Pinnacle of Orthanc

Aka Sarumadness!


  • ·         Before beginning, each raid member should have a generous amount of healing/power potions and max-level wound/disease/poison/fear draughts.  Short/long-term food is also highly recommended along with hope tokens and battle/warding scrolls.  Don’t be that person who has to beg food or pots off someone because you haven’t prepared.
  • ·         No one should retreat from the fight (per usual for boss fights) as you will be locked out for the duration.
  • ·         Ring bearers (described more in-depth below) must be alive at the end of each round.  If a ring bearer goes link dead and cannot return before the end of the round, wipe and restart since the raid cannot advance into the next phase.  If a ring bearer does go link dead, you can prolong the round by not killing the last Saruman clone until the person returns.  This becomes more taxing the further the group advances.
  • ·         A useful setting is to ‘show dispellable effects only.’ This becomes vital in phase three so that members can see and call out who needs to use a draught.

Party Make-up

  • ·         2    Tanks – keep agro on clones off of dps/healers (GRD, WDN.)
  • ·         1-2 Captains – buffs, off-heals, rezzes.
  • ·         1-3 Lore-Masters – de-buffs on Saruman/s, power, off-heals, tactical mitigation.
  • ·         2-3 Healers – heals, rezzes (MINI, RK.)
  • ·         ?    Dps – dps. (Pew-pew, shing-shing…)

The Fight

The battle occurs in five phases, six if you count the last bit with Saruman himself.  Each stage is triggered by five ring bearers countering Saruman at the appropriate positions (color-coded.)  Each ring has different abilities (described below) that aid in the combat.  After the rings are assigned and all are claimed, the battle begins after Saruman monologues a bit.  Each phase (keep reading) happens slightly different, so different tactics must be used.  Once the last Saruman clone is downed each time, the ring bearers should be in place to claim their rings so the next phase can be triggered.  In T1, the rings may be triggered in any order.  However, in T2, they must be done in the order Saruman shows with his staff, or the phase will not advance.  You will have to repeat the latest phase over.  For challenge mode in T2, no one can die. After phase five, the raid briefly fights Saruman before completion.


  • ·         The dps team should stay tightly bunched to assist healers through the battle.
  • ·         (Kill order may vary from group to group, but the one listed is one I’ve seen used successfully.  Mechanics on each Saruman are better described in the first resource listed below if you are interested.)
  • ·         The area around the center Saruman results in a ‘silence’ effect, so tread around the outside of the ring if that affects your class skills.
  • ·         Tanks split clones with dps group following the kill order listed.  Lightning should be tanked away from the dps group whenever it’s not being taken out.
  • ·         Dps-side tank should keep the clone turned away from the group but within melee range when possible.
  • ·         Saruman clones can be crowd-controlled, but adapt after one mez. This ability be extended using the frost ring.

The Rings

  • ·         Spare tanks and primary healers the responsibilities of the rings.  They will have enough on their plates.
  • ·         Tactical mastery classes are best suited for most of them. (LM, RK, CAP, MINI.)
  • ·         All de-buffs and buffs become available again each round.
  • ·         Ring bearers need to know their positions and how to trigger additional phases.


·         Shadow corruption goes on shadow clone first.  No one should remove corruptions until the corruption is at T3 (20+ seconds.)  Once it is removed, it does a massive amount of damage.  All members can remove corruptions at will once this is complete in each phase.  Be sure to arrange who will remove the corruption at the right time.

  • ·         The defensive boon is good to use when the dps team is near the dps-side tank and in dire straits.
  • ·         Any class works, though a high tactical mastery will greatly increase the amount of damage done.  Even better if it is one that can remove corruptions, since that’s one less bit of coordination to fret about.



  • ·         The defensive boon is great to give to high dps class (champ, hunter.)
  • ·         The offensive skill is a distributed nuke. 
  • ·         This ring can be wielded best by a red-line tactical mastery class (lore-master, rune-keeper.)


  • ·         The offensive boon is used well early on, so that either the first or second clone can be destroyed quickly.
  • ·         The defensive skill can be used whenever a player is getting low on power or is getting hit by a clone they shouldn’t be getting hit by.
  • ·         Any class works well for this one.


  • ·         The defensive skill is best placed on one of the tanks early on when they are acquiring agro.
  • ·         The adaptations can be removed if a crowd-control skill is regularly being placed on any of the clones.  It is best used later in the fight otherwise, when fighting clones that have been buffed by earlier ones.
  • ·         CC classes can use this ring well though any could if they knew what to watch for.


  • ·         Both skills are offensive in nature.
  • ·         Place the boon on someone who already causes high dps. (champ, hunter.)
  • ·         This ring can be wielded best by a red-line tactical mastery class (lore-master, rune-keeper.)

Phase I

  • ·         Kill-order:  Shadow, Venom, Storm, Frost, Fire
  • ·         Battle begins once Shadow ring is claimed.
  • ·         Ring bearers return to their spots before the last clone has 20k morale.
  • ·         The fight can be prolonged to allow for skill cool-downs and power regeneration if needed.
  • ·         Eat short-term food once out of combat. Ring bearers use their first ring skill once it lights up to hold their ring aloft.  In T2, go in the order that Saruman shows with his staff.

Phase II – “Overheal Phase”

  • ·         Kill-order:  Shadow, Venom, Storm, Frost, Fire
  • ·         Environments begin.  Ignore them. They buff their corresponding color clone, but usually change too quickly for the dps-side tank to worry about. (The first resource has more on this topic for interested tanks.)
  • ·         The venom clone will randomly put massive poison DOTS on raid members. The DOT is cleared once the targeted player is healed to maximum morale.  All healing classes should assist as the healer calls out who to “overheal.”  The poison de-buff appears as a green box with a cross.
  • ·         Once the venom clone is defeated, healing is no longer such an issue.
  • ·         Ring bearers return to their spots before the last clone has 20k morale.
  • ·         The fight can be prolonged to allow for skill cool-downs and power regeneration if needed.
  • ·         Eat long term and short-term food once out of combat. Ring bearers use their first ring skill once it lights up to hold their ring aloft. Refresh captain buffs/scrolls/tokens, etc.

Phase III – “Potting Phase”

  • Kill-order: Shadow, Frost, Venom, Storm, Fire
  • The central Saruman becomes active in this phase and should immediately be de-buffed by the lore-master using improved frost lore. This and other de-buffs should now be run continuously on the central Saruman until the end of the raid as they affect all clones.  This lowers the amount of damage they are able to deal.
  • The frost clone causes pot-able effects on random players.  These must immediately be potted or else the resulting effects can quickly cause the raid to wipe.  Until the frost clone is eliminated, the most important part of the fight is quickly removing these effects before they cause massive damage/death. They must be removed within 8s.
  • Saruman will also randomly cast purple fear clouds that raid members must maneuver out of.  Moving continuously clock-wise seems to be the preferred tactic of dps groups. Always move behind clones instead of in front of them.
  • Pot-able effects end once the frost clone is defeated.
  • Ring bearers return to their spots before the last clone has 20k morale.
  • Ring bearers use their first ring skill once it lights up to hold their ring aloft.

Phase IV

  • Kill-order: Shadow, Venom, Storm, Frost, Fire
  • Pot-able effects no longer occur.
  • The group must maneuver continuously dealing with purple fear and green poison clouds. 
  • Shadow clones drop healing clouds that they should be pulled out of.
  • Venom clones drops the poison clouds and should be defeated second so he stops.
  • Ring bearers return to their spots before the last clone has 20k morale.
  • Ring bearers use their first ring skill once it lights up to hold their ring aloft.

Phase V

  • Kill-order: Shadow X 2, Venom X 2, Storm X 2, Fire X 2, Frost X 2
  • Dps group should move as a group from doorway to doorway since non-dispellable knockbacks occur through the round.  A ring bearer overboard is wipe news for your raid, so be sure to stress the importance of keeping against the doorway walls to minimize the chance this will happen.
  • A mezzing class should immediately mez the second shadow clone that is not being destroyed.  They have healing corruptions and they need to be interrupted as long as possible until both can be taken down.  If the mezzer has the frost ring, they can use its one ability to make it so the shadow clone can be mezzed a second time.
  • Ring bearers return to their spots before the last clone has 20k morale.
  • Ring bearers use their first ring skill once it lights up to hold their ring aloft.


  • ·         The group should gather immediately against one of the doorways facing Saruman. Dps him at range until he monologues again.  A special friend gives you a lift and the raid completes. 


Good luck!



& other random comments and pictures I found


Persistence Doesn’t Pay At All!

Utter disaster, dear readers!

I have just escaped from the dungeons tucked away deep beneath Orthanc!

That Saruman is a lying bastard!  Would you believe he had us locked up?  All over this…

Chillin' on the White Throne

We played the bit and the wizard left to go do whatever wizards do when they leave the room, and I thought I’d have just a bit of fun.  I don’t even know how the old crow knew, but he came back into the Hall like a hailstorm, hair flying and arms waving, stark raving mad!

‘Banish them to the dungeon,’ he cried, all cliche-like. ‘Work them to the bone!’

‘My nails!’ bemoaned Aegthil.

And in the dungeon we went.  It was truly awful, particularly because I was stuck in a cell adjacent to the nastiest of nasty men.  Good thing I am unwashed, ugly me, as all the unsavory prison attention was diverted to Aegthil, that old prison pro.

Aegthil was angry I had sat on the throne. I pointed out I was not the one wooing Saruman's favored chambermaid.

There were all sorts of unsavory seediness taking place beneath the great tower and all types of terrible forced labors.  I was forced to play for the worst-smelling orc brutes I have ever encountered as they took their even more disgusting chow.  Imagine poor me, gagging on the foul air as I filled my windbag and played every old Dale song I could remember.  The knots even had enough gall to request Orcish opera!  Good thing I have had years of conditioning standing next to doused-in-awful-cologne Aegthil at gigs, or else I would have never survived.

Pipin' for the lads in the mess hall

When I wasn’t piping, I had to carry weapons everywhere with my minder, a no-fun fellow.  For all his wisdom and glory, Saruman has never heard of the Industrial Revolution or of a contraption called a conveyor belt.  The forge was a hot mess, much like the BBB’s latest moving picture!

Large, blunt metal object, anyone?

Well, it was apparent it couldn’t go on forever.  You can’t keep a good BBB down, and needs dictated we find a way out lest we meet an unnatural end.  While I’m not one to mind being sweaty and dirty, I’d lost enough weight on the Orthanc diet (patent pending) and missed my daily kegs.  Aegthil broke two and a half nails.

Capitalizing on a theme for ‘hope and change’ like the master pitchmen we are, Aegthil and I rallied the other prisoners to stage a riot.  We escaped to the surface in the ensuing gory aftermath.  It was a bit like this artistic interpretation.

Dramatized Reenactment

Recuperating beside the bar at The Haunted Inn, I have vowed never to enter the tower again, but to see it fall in flames.  At least I have not left empty-handed from my experience.  Amidst the chaos of our casual stroll away from Isengard, I may have slipped one of the wizards’ prized palantir into my robe, but I don’t dare paint it as it’s so mesmerizing!

Persistence Pays Appropriately

Long ago in my youth, I renounced the ongoing battle my kin the Beornings waged through the High Pass and travelled south on a journey to experience everything there was to behold in Middle Earth.  Since then, I have travelled far and wide in my quest for knowledge worth knowing, and the years have slipped past as wind in dust.

Needless to say, it has come to this:


This one's the plumber.

Weary from our tiki tour through the annals of Dunland, I suggested we stop by Orthanc and pay respects to Saruman, who is known as the great White Wizard.  A man I took falconry lessons from as a young man always spoke highly of him and said his tower had been a sight to behold through the many ages of man.  A veritable repository for the depth of knowledge I admire, I was most impressed indeed as we viewed its expansive height.  I had seen it but once long ago on a rare expedition, and it looked nothing as I remembered it.  The lush green forest of the vale I had recalled so fondly had largely been destroyed, and a foul chemical stench permeated the air.  Something was much amiss.  Even worse, two nasty-looking and foul-smelling trolls stood guard before the gate, blocking any chance of seeing what nefarious activities were stirring at the tower’s base.  For all the racket, it sounded like a stellar party.  One we hadn’t been invited to.

Despite the obvious warning signs that we should have turned about at that moment and left, Aegthil was very keen to sell Saruman some bat fur protection devices (bfpd.)  Something about major market potential and battle stirring tensions and I didn’t pay attention to the rest.  It was just too disturbing, as is much of what Aegthil says.  Best just to ignore him, and we just had to have an audience.  He set to charming the trolls in his usual manner, but they ignored us depite repeated attempts.  I’d like to say that I spoke up as the voice of reason at this point and insisted we leave, but I had always wanted to see the tower’s inside myself and it was getting rather late.

‘This one’s the plumber here about the pipes out back,” I said, using my most convincing drawl.

Nope.  Diddly.  The trolls would not budge.  Not for a delivery, not for a bribe, not even a candygram or a shiny wrapper.  It was nearly dark by this point, and Isengard is no place to go camping beneath the stars.

Desperate times call for desperate measures, and so Aegthil took his theorbo from its weathered case.  A round or six of “Lament for Aegthil” in a mixolydian minor would surely change their minds.  So we played… and played… and played, so loud I might add that I split two reeds.

Just when it all seemed pointless, a great commotion could be heard coming toward us from the great tower. The White Wizard himself soon stood before us.

Isengard bids five.

“Bids five, whatever for?”

Come inside he says and play for a bit, and he would buy all the b.f.p.d. we had between us and give us board for the night!  Whan an easy gig and I would finally get to see the inside of Orthanc!  Exuberant elation!  I’m sure it will be great.  More to follow…

I mean, c’mon, it could be worse…

Dorf Mating Rituals

Much, much, worse…

Baldies Behaving Badly