Blizzard‘s new requirement, in World of Warcraft: Warlords of Draenor, to complete Silver Proving Grounds in your chosen role before being allowed to queue for Heroic Dungeons and
LFR appears to be working as designed. Unfortunately, this is causing some problems for some players, myself included.
My main is a Draenei Restoration Shaman, and I breezed through both Bronze and Silver Healer Proving Grounds so easily I honestly barely remember it. When it came time to do the Bronze and Silver Damage Proving Grounds on my Goblin Destruction Warlock, though, I hit a massive road block. My knee-jerk reaction was to piss and moan about Blizzard building a generic encounter that proved more difficult for some Classes than others. I went and scoured the Official Forums and mostly ran into a lot of elitist jerks who simply replied to others’ pleas for help with L2P [Learn To Play (your class)]. I honestly really hate assholes like that. If you have nothing constructive to say, then STFU. Seriously.
Thankfully there were a few kind souls who made YouTube videos of their experiences, offering tips for Talent builds, rotations, and kill orders, and I managed to complete Silver Damage Proving Grounds on my Destruction Warlock after uncounted tries. The whole experience, though, did teach me to play a Destruction Warlock better so, as I said at the beginning, Proving Grounds appear to be working as designed.
When it came time to do Proving Grounds on my Night Elf Feral Druid, I knew I was in for another trip to school. Previous to Warlords of Draenor, Feral Druids had some decent AoE Damage abilities. Those were nerfed shortly after the launch of WoD. I knew, when I attempted to do Bronze Damage Proving Grounds and had trouble with the Bunny clusters, that Silver was going to require some research. It was a bit discouraging to find that there was only one YouTuber, Maxiimuss EU, who’d posted a video of a Feral Druid doing Silver Proving Grounds. Thankfully, he’s super nice and really responsive to comments on his videos.
His video is fantastic, and has a high enough resolution that at full screen you can make out which abilities he’s using when. Unfortunately, there’s no commentary or much detail in the video’s description. There’s more detail in the comments, as there have been folks who’ve reached out with questions. I asked a couple, and was rewarded with prompt, friendly responses.
Armed with his responses and copious notes I took throughout several viewings of his video, I was able to beat Silver Damage Proving Grounds with my Feral Druid on the first attempt, with time to spare, at iLvl 589. I was literally vibrating with adrenalin by the end I was so jazzed that all the planning worked.
To help any others who may be experiencing difficulties with Silver Damage Proving Grounds I’ve condensed my notes below and have included some generic tips that should help any Class.
- General Notes:
- Interrupts/Stuns/Fears: You’ll need at least one, preferably two, otherwise the Rounds that include Healers will almost guarantee failure.
- DoTs: If you have them, use them. Spread them around, especially during the Rounds that include Bunny clusters.
- Amber Blobs: They won’t just freeze you; they freeze ANYTHING they come into contact with. Guide them on to mobs with large Health Pools and/or use them to stun Healers.
- WoWHead.Com: This page was really helpful. It contains descriptions of the mobs you’ll encounter, their abilities, and their positioning in each Round. Study it. Knowing what to expect each Round will help you to best position yourself to take maximum advantage of the time allotted.
- Buffs: If you don’t have buff food, buy some from the Grummel in the Proving Grounds. Buy some Elixirs on the AH and use them as well.
- Feral Druid Notes:
- Talents: Wild Charge, Ysera’s Gift, Typhoon, Force of Nature, Mighty Bash, Nature’s Vigil, Claws of Shirvallah
- General Tips: Prowl between each round. I can’t stress this enough; starting off with the damage boost and other benefits helps a lot. For most targets, you’ll want to Rake, Shred to 4-5 Combo Points, then Rip and switch to another target. The DoTs from both Rake and Rip, I found, were enough to kill them while you’re killing something else. Drop a Treant with Force of Nature on targets with large health pools if Rake, Shred, and Rip aren’t enough. Use Thrash, Swipe, then Hurricane on Bunny clusters. Use Wild Charge for switching between targets when it’s off cooldown.
- Round 1: Do the Rake, Shred, and Rip combo on the Slayer (to the right with your back to Trial Master Rotun), then Wild Charge to the Guardian and kill him while the Slayer bleeds out. You must attack the Guardian from behind when his shield is up.
- Round 2: Do the Rake, Shred, and Rip combo on the Slayer, then switch to the Bunnies. Thrash and Swipe in the middle of them, then Channel Hurricane for its full cast time. Finish off any Bunnies with Rake and Shred as needed.
- Round 3: Do the Rake, Shred, and Rip combo on the Amber Weaver in the center. Switch to the Slayer on the right and do the Rake, Shred, and Rip combo. If the Amber Weaver gets off an Amber Blob, be sure to position yourself so the Blob hits the Slayer. It has a splash area, so don’t stand too close to the Slayer when the Blob hits or you’ll get frozen too. Switch to the Slayer on the left and kill him while the other two bleed out.
- Round 4: Do the Rake, Shred, and Rip combo on the Amber Weaver in the back. Switch to the pack of Bunnies and Thrash and Swipe in the middle of them, then Channel Hurricane for its full cast time. Position yourself so that any Amber Blob the Amber Weaver gets off before he dies hits the back row of Bunnies. Finish off any Bunnies with Rake and Shred as needed.
- Round 5: Do the Rake, Shred, and Rip combo on the Mystic on the front. Continue to auto-attack him until he starts casting his heal, then interrupt it with Might Bash or Skull Bash (whichever is off cooldown). While keeping the Mystic targeted, switch to the pack of Bunnies and Thrash and Swipe in the middle of them, then Channel Hurricane. When you see the Mystic start to cast his heal again, hit him with Mighty Bash or Skull Bash (whichever is off cooldown) and finish him. Finish off any Bunnies with Rake and Shred as needed.
- Rounds 6-8: From this point forward you’ll be seeing the same types of mobs as in the previous rounds. The Mystics are your top priority. Address them the same way you did in Round 5 (Rake, Shred, and Rip combo, then continue to auto-attack them until they start casting their heal, then interrupt it with Might Bash or Skull Bash). Amber Weavers should be hit with the Rake, Shred, and Rip combo and any Amber Blobs they manage to cast should be dragged onto Mystics or Guardians (whichever has the most health). Slayers and Guardians (must be attacked from behind) get the Rake, Shred, and Rip combo and then you move on to a new target. In Round 6 there are two Bunnies, one on either side of the Amber Weaver. I hit them with a Thrash whenever I was running between the two Guardians and it was enough to kill them.
And that’s pretty much it. The General Notes section, coupled with the WoWHead.Com page linked therein, should be enough to get you started with any Class. I hope this helps anyone having trouble in the Proving Grounds. I still have to do them on my other alts (Fury Warrior, Marksmanship Hunter, Discipline Priest, and Frost Mage), so I’ll be keeping all I’ve learned thus far in mind.
The biggest thing is to not get frustrated. Rather than look at it as some obstacle you must overcome, see it as an interactive way to learn to play your chosen class, in your chosen role, better. I know it’s helped me.