Trial of the Champion, a new instance at the Argent Tournament grounds, is quite fun. You walk in, grab a stick, and start beating the loot pinata. Seriously. Well, in the first groups I had been fortunate to be in, it was easy. Let's describe my horde party. We had two tanks, a paladin and a death knight. For damage, we had a shadow priest (not me) and a 79 moonkin. Delgada was in her holy form, being generous and healing. We beat down the instance a couple of times on regular mode. Easy Peasy. Now, we are all pretty well geared, with some Naxxramas gear, and a stray piece of Ulduar gear in the mix. I think the reason it was so easy was the two tank set up, and the aoe healing holy specialty provides. I was also fortunate to be in a group with mostly Ulduar geared raiders when Halinka got to go a few times. Much fun, and many upgrades were added to her closet.
Now, last night, Delgada agreed to heal, yet again, as the boys got ready to do their heroic beatdown of the night. Our group for regular Trial of the Champion? Death Knight tank from the evening before, an enhancement shaman, a level 79 death knight, and an arcane mage. This group was painful. The other death knight was not a tank. We got the job done, but we died a few times. Semi satisfied that we were doing alright, we changed out the dps death knight for that same guy's hunter, and we started off. Oh, the pain. We had such a time trying to stay alive. I let the mage and the hunter die off, and kept the shaman and the death knight up to finish round one. Resurecctions were performed, loot was handed out, and round two commenced. It was the paladin, and I showed off my healing prowess by standing backwards to heal the whole fight. Go me! That boss gave us less problems, and we handed out loot, refreshed buffs, and went for round three, the Black Knight. Well, Delgada was not being smart this fight, and stood too close when he exploded his minion. Thanks to my glyph of "you fail so you can have this healer for a little longer", I was able to stay in Spirit form long enough to see phase three of this fight, but it was a losing battle. As soon as he popped into spirit form, he pretty much two shot everyone. So, back into the instance, buff up, and start from square one. The details from here get foggy, it was late, and it was frustrating. I seem to remember it taking at least one more wipe before we decided enough was enough and pounded him into the ground. He dropped a nice healing trinket and pair of pants for Delgada, though. Yay. Just what Delgada wanted. More healing gear.
So, to examine what went wrong on the second time around. In the first part, jousting happens. We were all facing up with different targets. This, just like a regular fight, should have a kill order. Mark them up if you can when they come out the gate. Healer goes down first, the rogue second, then deal with the caster or hunter third. When jousting, keep this kill order just for convenience. It will help everyone stay focused. Keep your shields up. I alternated throwing shield breaks and refreshing my shield ( I had a mob chasing me throughout one joust). Charge if you can and whack them with the melee hit when your charge brings you into range, then ride away, refresh shield, and throw shield breaks again. If you see your mount getting low on health and you aren't being pursued, ride to to the edge, dismount, and grab a new mount. This should help you get through phase one of this fight.
The second phase of this fight knocks you off your mount. Make sure you have replaced your lance with your main or two hand weapon. Our paladin tank forgot to, and although he is the best tank ever, he felt the difference. The tank, or tanks, should round up the three mobs and the group dps should proceed to kill the targets in order. The healer goes down first, then the rogue (those nasty poison vials really suck the life out of you if you aren't paying attention), then the ranged mob. This should go down easily, so long as a kill order is followed and the tank(s) can hold aggro on the mobs.
Fight number two is different all the time. At the beginning, you have a paladin or a priest. After taking down the trash mobs (make sure to take down healers first,who also mind control, and to kill lightwells), the tank will pick up the boss and dps will take it down. Somewhere between 25 and 35%, the boss will force everyone to wait while it summons another boss, this time a "nightmare" from a past experience. If you have a way to break fear, do it, and be ready to kill as quickly as possible, as this mob is healed by the other boss(a renew which can be dispelled), and fears frequently. Once that boss is done, the other will need to be taken down. This is where the fights start to differ. If you have the paladin, he does a holy attack that does a bit of damage that can be avoided if you turn around when it is announced(hence, the healing backwards) and does a hefty hit called Hammer of the Righteous to a player causing 14000 damage. If your dispeller is quick and can get Hammer of Justice off that player, the next hefty attack can be caught and thrown at the boss. I was not able to do this yet, so I will be trying again. With the priest, I don't remember any special attacks, though during the heroic I believe I was being mind controlled (kept getting the message, "Target is friendly" when trying to dps down the nightmare).
Third fight is the Black Knight. He will kill the master of ceremonies, and resurrect him as his ghoul. In the first phase of the fight, stay out of his desecration, and watch out for his exploding ghoul. This phase is pretty simple. Second phase, he will summon an army. Kill his adds one at a time, as they explode at low health. I have heard Area of Effect spells are a no go on this phase, probably because you would have many exploding ghouls at the same time. Take down the boss, and you'll be on the next phase. Phase three, he turns into a ghost. This part is very healing intensive, as he throws shadow damage all over. Use all your cool downs and trinkets and kill him quick, and you will have your prize!
Once you have this down, you are on your way to gearing up yourself and friends. Here is a link to the gear that drops from the dungeon, on both modes (second comment on the page). They gave you a stick, now go beat your pinata!