Analysis of the Sub-30 Minutes SALAD BAKERS AQ40 Speedrun

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Analysis of the Sub-30 Minutes SALAD BAKERS AQ40 Speedrun



As this Darkmoon Faire comes to an end, the dust begins to settle after a wild week of speedrunning AQ40. As most people anticipated, the Alliance is continuing to lead the pack in regards to speed, as only 2 Horde Guilds were able to crack the top 10 and break the 33 minute barrier. SALAD BAKERS leads the way, being the only guild to shatter the 30 minute mark, which was relatively unexpected, even by them!

Current World top 10 runs as of October 14, 2020

Now that’s a lot of melee!

RISE, an Alliance Guild on Netherwind brought an absolutely insane raid composition, with only a two Warlock and one Hunter as ranged… zero Mages! This means they were able to focus more on melee, bringing a staggering twenty four Warriors and four Rogues, totaling 28 melee, 9 healers, and 3 ranged! Most guilds that come to compete are going to stack quite a bit of melee, as most guilds brought over 22, with only APES of Gehennas opting for less.

Only one Warlock??

Yes, you read that correctly, none of the above, Calamity, ONSLAUGHT, and Maximum Effort all brought ONE WarlockONE! If you’re wondering how you do the Twin Emperors encounter with only a single Warlock, basically they have to run across the room just like everyone else does. While that can be a huge problem, as Vek’lor will likely start casting Shadowbolt on the tank nearby after a Teleport, these speedrunning guilds come prepared, and have healers prepared to heal the Warrior tank in this situation. If you’re wondering how a Warrior can keep threat on Emperor Vek’lor (that is immune to physical hits) over a Healer, the tank spams Demoralizing Shout on Vek’lor after the swap, or continously refreshes Battle Shout. Demoralizing Shout is technically a Spell that puts on a Physical effect on the target. So, even though the effect is immuned, the Warrior does generate threat by using this ability! Pretty clever!

What about Fire Mages?

If you’ve been following the speedrunning scene in Classic, you might have noticed the heavy emphasis on melee since launch. Unfortunately that’s just how it is in Classic, as Melee benefit from World buffs and consumables at just an insane rate compared to spellcasters. However, the moment mobs in the raid stop being immune to fire in Ahn’Qiraj, Fire Mages really start to ramp up in damage. Many people were hoping there would be somewhat of a powershift in the meta of speedrunning, but as it stands right now, it just hasn’t really happened. If anything, it went more in the other direction!

APES has always maintained a relatively balanced raid composition, since their very first kill on Ragnaros, which just so happened to be world first. Here is a full breakdown on how many Mages each of the top 10 guilds brought with them during their most recent speedrun —

  1. APES – 7
  2. GOONS – 5
  3. Progress – 4
  4. Noobs – 4
  5. Maximum Effort – 4
  6. SALAD BAKERS – 3
  7. none of the above – 1
  8. Calamity – 1
  9. Rise – 0
  10. ONSLAUGHT – 0

When is the right time to Reck?

One of the most interesting things going into this Darkmoon Faire was the conversation around Recklessness. There were a few different schools of thought, ranging from Reck on C’thun Weakness for a guaranteed one-phase, Reck on Sartura and burn everything down quickly, to anticipating a speedrun over 30 minutes and maximizing uptime by casting a Reck right on the first trash pull and having it come off cooldown during the C’thun encounter! Here’s a breakdown on what the top 10 guilds did with Reck —

Recklessness on Battleguard Sartura
Noobs (1 Warrior saved for later)
Rise (1 Warrior saved for later)
ONSLAUGHT (2 Warriors saved for later)
Progress (4 Warriors saved for later)
Maximum Effort (6 Warriors saved for later)

Recklessness on first trash pull and later on C’thun
GOONS (14 Warriors used 2 Recks)
APES (8 Warriors used 2 Recks)

Recklessness on C’thun
none of the above (4 Warriors used before)

Split Recklessness across raid
SALAD BAKERS (13 Warriors used on first trash pull, 8 saved for later, 0 Warriors used 2 Recks)

SALAD BAKERS looks as if they were initially planning on having a speedrun over 30 minutes, as 13 Warriors popped Reck on the first trash pull! But because they finished sub 30, those 13 Warriors didn’t have another Recklessness up during the C’thun encounter. Luckily, 8 Warriors saved their Recks for the C’thun encounter, and it ended up working out anyway.

Rise ended up setting the world’s fastest Battleguard Sartura kill, at a lightning fast 21 second kill! To accomplish this, Rise had 22 of their Warriors pop Recklessness, Cleave down the adds, as well as multiple Goblin Sapper Charge to burn the boss! Here’s a great clip of the kill —

Sensualitygames‘s perspectiveduring the insanely fast Sartura encounter, where nearly all Warriors popped Recklessness!

Flask of Petrification

Lastly, one of the most controversial items in all of speedrunning, Flasks of Petrification continues to be one of the most powerful tools to a speedrunner for multiple reasons in AQ40. One of the most obvious is the “Petri skip” strategy, allowing for a player to pull a group of mobs together (sometimes out of the way) and using this flask to immune all the damage from the mobs. In AQ40, it does have other uses as well, giving the user the ability to wipe off the Plague debuff from Anubisath, grouping up Bug Tunnel mobs allowing for the raid to stay mounted up for longer, a quick way to immune the knockbacks from Vekniss Guardians if multiple packs pull, a way for Healers to avoid being pulled down into the stomach during C’thun, and as always, a last ditch ever to survive any scary situation that might crop up.

Breaking it down, here’s how many Flasks of Petrification that were used by each guild —

  1. Noobs – 18
  2. Rise – 13
  3. SALAD BAKERS – 5
  4. ONSLAUGHT – 5
  5. Progress – 4
  6. Maximum Effort – 3
  7. none of the above – 1
  8. APES – 0
  9. Calamity – 0
  10. GOONS – 0

How will the landscape of AQ40 speedruns look when the next Darkmoon Faire rolls around? Will Horde guilds climb up the ladder and represent their faction? Will more NA and CN guilds represent their region? And will guilds continue to leave their Mages on the sideline to spectate?





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