Diffusal Blade

I just feel the urge to write about the most awesome AQ20 run I had yesterday, because I want to remember it forever. It was one of my guild's community runs - in Classic, a community run is a publicly posted raid hosted by one guild that organises the whole thing and usually brings the majority of the raiders as well, but others are welcome to sign up - usually because it's older content and not enough people in the guild are interested in running it anymore to sustain pure guild runs.

Anyway, this particular run was memorable to me because so many things went wrong in the most absurd of ways; I just couldn't stop laughing.

We were off to a late start because our main tank for the run - one of the officers who is usually impeccable in his attendance - had been delayed by real life. However, he still ended up making it inside the raid before our bard, who'd decided to join on his druid alt and was dismayed to find that we couldn't offer him a summon because we didn't have any warlocks in the raid. This is when we learned that he didn't even own a basic ground mount, "because it's only twenty percent faster than travel form anyway", so we were all standing there like numpties waiting for him to walk to AQ... on foot.

When we finally got started, we wiped after only a few trash pulls as we got three groups of wasps at once... though since we were still close to the entrance, a few people managed to run out I think.

On Rajaxx, someone did that thing everyone always says not to do and stood on the rocks. I'd never seen the effect myself but basically it can cause the fight to randomly reset... I didn't even fully realise what was happening until one of my co-healers (an alt belonging to one of our raid's main tanks, and one who is always very reliable) was suddenly running past me saying something like "nope, nope, nope". I followed him out of reflex more than anything else, and only noticed afterwards how all the waves we'd already killed had decided to respawn and had all aggroed on us at once.

This ended up killing all the friendly NPCs, and I didn't even know that they don't respawn when that happens. Without Lieutenant General Andorov's AoE healing aura we were running on fumes by the last wave on our next attempt. Oh yeah, did I mention that I was healing on my pally? I eventually blew my Lay on Hands on saving the main tank's life and fortunately the boss died and we didn't. It was exciting for sure!

On Ossirian we had a wipe because on the pull, while the main tank was trying to body-pull the boss away to a better position, the off-tank auto-attacked as the big bird ran past, which resulted in the boss comically turning around at the last second and smacking the OT dead. With one tank dead, aggro was an issue and our mages weren't helping themselves either:

I made this meme afterwards, based on a comment from one of our fire mages.

In general there was a lot of silly dying. There was the dps gnome warrior who kept faceplanting every other pull but declined my offer to replace his Blessing of Might with Salvation instead to reduce his threat. Another gnome, a mage, also kept dying but was strangely into it. We joked about how gnome sacrifices were a necessary part of a successful run and he seemed utterly delighted and even asked if he could come be our sacrifice again next time.

However, my favourite moment of all was when we got to Moam and realised that we had no warlocks or priests to drain his mana, and while we had several hunters, Viper Sting doesn't stack for some reason. Somehow this prompted our bard to ask whether rogues had a way to drain mana. (We did have one rogue in the raid, who had stated at the start that it was his first time in AQ20. I don't know how new he was to Classic in general.)

This seemed like a pretty absurd question for an experienced raider to ask, considering he's done these bosses dozens and dozens of times and should know better. However, one of our mages immediately responded in chat with "diffusal blade" and a couple of people on voice instantly agreed: "Oh yeah, diffusal blade!"

This made me pause in confusion because while I've never played a rogue to a high level, I was pretty sure that no such ability existed. However, it sounded like the sort of name a WoW ability could have, and also like it fit the theme of mana draining. Having several people bring it up was even more confusing. I found myself wondering whether it was maybe a proc from a rare weapon or something - after all there are a plethora of such oddities in Classic and I'm sure I barely know half of them.

So I opened Google on my second monitor, did a search for "diffusal blade" and got the result that it's an item from Dota 2 - and it does indeed burn mana in that game! Ahh, so it was a joke that had gone over my head... and the people who'd agreed had done so jokingly because they did get it. Pretty clever!

I wasn't the only one who hadn't got the joke though - and our bard wasn't applying his critical thinking either, but instead took it for granted that if a guildie told him that rogues had a mana burn ability called diffusal blade then that was clearly the case, so he started lecturing the newbie rogue about how this was the right boss to use it on. Meanwhile, the poor rogue must have been thinking: Dafuq?

I'm not entirely sure for how long that continued as I was laughing so hard at that point that I actually lost track of the conversation for a bit. I think in the end someone told him not to worry about it though.

For what it's worth we tried Moam with no mana burns except for that single viper sting, which resulted in him blowing up within 32 seconds and wiping us. We decided to just skip him after that.

The main tank and I were still talking about that run the next day. He commented that it was funny that messes like that make for much better stories than smooth runs and I couldn't help but agree.


  1. This ended up killing all the friendly NPCs, and I didn't even know that they don't respawn when that happens. Without Lieutenant General Andorov's AoE healing aura we were running on fumes by the last wave on our next attempt.

    They DO respawn, but it's a 10-15 minute wait time. I was in an AQ20 run where that happened, and after that wipe two of the OTs dropped, which directly led to the raid falling apart.

    And yeah, I was about to comment that there is no mana draining Rogue weapon out there, until I realized that I'd never gotten the joke either.

  2. What do you mean by the two references to bard? Is it slang for a rogue spec?

    1. Haha no, it's the guy's unofficial title in the guild as he loves to sing on voice (badly, I might add). His main is a holy paladin actually. :)