Defeating The Stone Guard revolves around two concepts:
This means that the Guardians will have to often be moved close and away from one another, in such a way that the petrifying Guardian is always within 12 yards of another Guardian (so that he gains energy, in order to overload). At the same time, you should minimise the amount of energy that non-petrifying Guardians get, by rotating which of them is in close proximity of the petrifying Guardian.
In 10-man, you should have two locations for tanking the Guardians. In one location, your off-tank should keep a Guardian that is not casting petrification, while in the other, your main tank should keep the petrifying Guardian together with the lowest-energy Guardian.
The Guardians only have to be more than 12 yards apart in order not to gain energy, so it is advised not to have the two tanking locations too far apart.
The rest of your raid members should stand close together near the center of the room. There are two important positioning challenges for your raid members.
Finally, Jasper Chains also requires that the affected raid members move, which can cause some interactions with the abilities mentioned above, although it should not be problematic.
The energy generation of the Guardians is determined entirely by their positioning, so it is up to the tanks to make sure that the strategy of the encounter is executed properly. We believe that it is optimal, for several reasons, for the tanks to remain stationary in the pre-assigned tanking locations, and to simply perform taunt switches between them, whenever a Guardian must be moved.
Tanks must expect to taunt Guardians roughly every 20 seconds, which is neither problematic in terms of the cooldown of taunt, nor in terms of the diminishing returns of taunt.
The tanking locations we provided in the previous section are approximate, of course, since tanks will sometimes have to move, due to the location of Amethyst Pools or other damaging abilities.
The principle for managing the energy of Guardians optimally can best be summarised as always have the petrifying Guardian next to the Guardian with the lowest amount of energy.
The best strategy is to rotate the Guardians, always moving the petrifying Guardian next to the lowest non-petrifying Guardian. The ideal time to move the Guardians is every 50 energy in 10-man.
Naturally, when you find yourself in a situation where the energy of the non-petrifying Guardian you are currently using is less than or equal to the energy of the other non-petrifying Guardian(s), you should maintain the status-quo, for convenience. This is because you will need to choose a non-petrifying Guardian to gain more energy than the other anyway, so it might as well be the one you are currently next to.
The encounter checks if your raid members are able to react accordingly to a number of abilities, while maintaining the required amounts of DPS, HPS, and threat. In this section, we will go through each ability and the way in which it should be dealt with.
Amethyst Pool is simply avoided by stepping out of it. As the fight goes on, the floor of the room will become increasingly covered by the pools, but finding safe spots should not be an issue.
This ability can interact with Cobalt Mine, which can root players in place.
Cobalt Mine should be avoided by moving away from the crystal shard. However, since the floor of the room can become quite crowded, your raid may opt to detonate some mines on purpose (while making sure that no one except the detonating player is within 7 yards of the crystal).
When the Mine is detonated, it damages and roots all players within 7 yards of it. The root effect lasts for 6 seconds, and is dispellable. The root effect can interact negatively with Amethyst Pools, preventing players from moving out of the pool. In this case, healers should be quick to dispel and heal the affected players.
The ideal time to purposefully detonate Cobalt Mines is during Cobalt Petrification, since the 90% damage reduction renders them practically harmless. However, if the mines are becoming problematic and a Cobalt Petrification is not forthcoming, you will have to detonate them and simply heal the damage.
Jasper Chains links two random players together. In order for the chains to disappear, the players must stand 10 yards away from each other for 15 seconds. However, standing at this distance causes the chains to deal damage to the two players, so this is not always the best option.
There is no other way to get rid of the chains!
We advise your raid to implement a "buddy system" for handling the Jasper Chains. In short, the system relies on not breaking the Jasper Chains that link two players, and having the two players stand close to each other for the rest of the fight. This is made possible by the fact that there is a limit to how many chains can be active at one time (3 in 10-man; unknown yet in 25-man), meaning that your raid will only have to control a few buddy pairs.
The system we propose works as follows. Every time two players are linked by chains, they become each other's buddy. The two players should always stand next to each other (within 10 yards), and move together throughout the remainder of the fight.
Since it is problematic if a healer and a melee DPS are linked together, undesirable links can be broken while there is a Jasper Petrification going on (since the damage the chains deal will be vastly reduced). Your raid can continue to do this until favourable links are formed (melee DPS with melee DPS, healer with ranged DPS).
As we mentioned earlier in the guide, the linked players do not need to spend 15 consecutive seconds apart - this effect is cumulative, so they can simply move in and out of range of each other and still eventually break the chains.
Healers will have to contend with the following sources of damage:
Important: Cleaving and Multi-Dotting
Since two Guardians will always be tanked together, classes with cleave effects (Arms Warriors, Combat Rogues) or DoTs (Warlocks, Shadow Priests, Balance Druids) can boost their (and the raid's) DPS greatly by taking advantage of the situation.
These techniques are highly advised, especially since the Guardians have a shared health pool.
When to Use Heroism/Bloodlust/Time Warp?
The fight does not have different phases, nor does its difficulty change as it goes on. You should use Heroism/ Bloodlust/ Time Warp at the start of the fight, to maximise the benefit of players' potions and initial cooldowns.
Achievement: Must Love Dogs
The Must Love Dogs achievement is part of the Glory of the Pandaria Raider meta achievement. It is a very simple achievement for your raid. It simply requires that each one of your raid members is accompanied by a canine non-combat pet (companion) when defeating The Stone Guard.
As the encounter is stable in difficulty, and no new phases are unlocked by reaching a certain stage of the fight, the best way for your raid to learn the fight is to ensure that everyone understands fully how to handle each of the mechanics individually.
When the Amethyst Guardian is within 12 yards of another Guardian, it gains energy which it uses to cast Amethyst Overload. If no other Guardian is within range, it instead gains the Solid Stone effect.
When the Cobalt Guardian is within 12 yards of another Guardian, it gains energy which it uses to cast Cobalt Overload. If no other Guardian is within range, it instead gains the Solid Stone effect.
When the Jade Guardian is within 12 yards of another Guardian, it gains energy which it uses to cast Jade Overload. If no other Guardian is within range, it instead gains the Solid Stone effect.
When the Jasper Guardian is within 12 yards of another Guardian, it gains energy which it uses to cast Jasper Overload. If no other Guardian is within range, it instead gains the Solid Stone effect.
All four guardians have access to these abilities: