The third encounter, available from Wednesday Aug 19th is Faction Champions. After a short back and forth between Garrosh and Wrynn, the latter asks Tirion to let a group of Alliance heroes combat us as our next challenge (it goes the other way for Alliance raids).
This encounter is reminiscent of the Princess Delrissa encounter from the Magisters' Terrace 5-man instance and indeed many of the mechanics here function in exactly the same way. More on this up ahead.
This is very much like a large scale arena match. There are 14 possible opponents, one DPSer of each class as well as a healer of each relevant class, however we're only fighting 10 randomly selected ones.
You need to keep in mind that this encounter follows the same PvP rules as you'd expect and as you probably experienced in the Princess Delrissa encounter in Magisters' Terrace. In particular the following are important:
* There are no aggro tables and NPCs follow their own logic when deciding which player to attack. DPSers will very often all focus one player to nuke. Note that NPCs can be taunted for a short amount of time though, which might help with peeling.
* When a target is being focused, any non-CCed healer will switch to healing it.
* When a focused target is about to die expect it to get a Hand of Protection if available and expect it to use any form of survivability cooldown available to it, e.g., Bubble, Dispersion, etc.
* Expect NPCs to have every ability a normal player of the same class would have. For example, expect Mages to sheep, Warlocks to Fear, Priests to dispel, etc. That said, the Shamans do not Ankh.
* Diminishing returns on CC work exactly like in PvP. 3 consecutive Sheeps on the same NPC will result in them becoming immune to Sheeping and similar effects for a while.
* Equipping and using a PvP trinket is strongly recommended.
In addition to these, there are a few key class-specific abilities we should pay special attention to. This can also serve as a reference to which spec is which NPC.
* Melador Valestrider (Druid) - Various huge HoTs
* Shaamul (Shaman) - Healing Stream Totem, Bloodlust
* Anthar Forgemender (Priest) - Mana Burn, Psychic Scream
* Baelnor Lightbearer (Paladin) - Hand of Protection
* Irieth Shadowstep (Rogue) - Nothing special
* Velanaa (Paladin) - Hand of Protection
* Shocuul (Warrior) - Intimidating Shout
* Tyrius Duskblade (Deathknight) - Army of the Dead
* Shaabad (Shaman) - Bloodlust
* Serissa Grimdabbler (Warlock) - Nothing special
* Brienna Nightfell (Priest) - Psychic Scream
* Noozle Whizzlestick (Mage) - Nothing special
* Alyssia Moonstalker (Hunter) - Nothing special
* Kavina Grovesong (Druid) - Nothing special
You have to be quick to purge any beneficial buffs such as Hand of Protection, respond with a Mass Dispel to Bloodlusts and use DSac on badly timed fearbombs. The Resto Druid HoTs and the Shaman's Healing Stream Totem are two things we should pay special attention to as they heal for huge amounts.
Basic stratigy: nuke the healers, then kill off the rest :D