Archive for the 'Icecrown Citadel' Category

Lich King Blues

My 10 man raid hit the Lich King last night for the third serious time. It ended ….. poorly. I really wish we could take the same group every week, but real life keeps getting in the way and we’ve always got two rotating spots.

Sindragosa was a pain again this week. I’ll look forward to the day when we can kill her without losing anyone to the AE, without messing up ice blocks, and without killing her right on the enrage. Anyways, we had about two hours on LK last night with two people who’d not seen the fight before.

Well, not all was bad. I privately compete with two other 10 man teams on the server run by friends, and I know we’re doing better than both. One of them can’t get out of phase one due to cleansing troubles, and the other is still stuck on Sindragosa. So that’s a yay! \o/ At least we’re on phase 2.

For reference, my 10 man usually 2 heals but switches to three for K. We have two pally tanks (I am the OT) and 5 DPS around 6k.

Phase One

Phase one is easy as long as the offtank cleanses herself on time (lawl). We haven’t had a rogue to FoK Tricks me for two weeks, and I was worried about grabbing enough ghouls, but it doesn’t honestly seem to matter. The MT always ended up with most of them while I grab as many as I could, and even a few ghouls on me was just fine. Phase 1 is easy for is now.

The MT is often complaining that Arthas jumps around if the adds are tanked too close- yay for unfixed positioning bugs! So I end up backing up a bit more than I expected at first. This makes it a little bit more difficult to grab ghouls – and if I get too far away, I can’t really get back without being extremely careful about where I point Shambling Horrors. So I often find myself with just 2 or 3 ghouls & too far away from the MT for my cleave damage to pick up more.

This worried me at first. But after a while I realized – it’s ok.

I keep encountering this situation in tanking – a problematic situation is sometimes much easier to deal with if I just relax, don’t panic, and avoid overcorrecting. It’s OK if I’m a bit further away. My raid is smart and knows how to run over to the adds to get cleansed, even if they have to run a few extra steps. If I’m really short on ghouls, I can just taunt a few, or warn my MT on vent and RD him, or RD off a dps or healer if they snag some ghouls. By the time I’m short on ghouls, phase 1 is almost over and plague has jumped enough that it’s gonna kill my second Horror just fine when it hits him.

I roll Seal of Command in p1 since I like the cleave effect to pick up ghouls.

We didn’t bother to tranq any of the Horror enrages. I just saved my stuns. Between Holy Wrath, Captain America Shield, and Hammer of Justice, I was fine.

Anyways, like I said, phase 1 was easy. Our healers especially appreciated the fact that we had a disc priest along this week. Apparently his bubbles are OP for Infest.

Phase Transition

Things that make Phase Transition more interesting: OT forgets to cleanse herself! \o/ Or, ranged runs towards OT as she is clearing herself of the raid to cleanse herself! No, don’t do that! I only have a few seconds to clear myself of the raid, don’t make my life harder! Anyways…. the phase transition is not difficult for us either.

Our lock solos the ice spheres.

Raging Spirits seem to die with agonizing slowness. I don’t know why they die so slowly. Our DPS is not low – although we are very, very used to 2 healing everything, so it’s odd to have one less DPS. Maybe they have a ton of HP – I don’t know. I’m always looking at percentages. I guess they must be pretty hard to kill.

The MT takes the first one, and I usually grab both the second and third. In practice, this means I’m tanking two at full HP as the LK moves into Phase 2.

Phase Two

Phase two is made much more fun and interesting by the fact that I have never seen all my spirits die before we wipe. I get into phase 2 with two very live spirits on me; the best we’ve done is kill one. Therefore I spend the whole time tanking hard-hitting adds with an awesome frontal silence! I drag them to the center, pile them on Arthas, and strafe over- so the adds are sitting on top of the LK but they’re not facing the raid or the MT. And theoretically they get burned down first, before the Valkyr comes out and becomes a priority.

The Valkyrs are problematic. They have a ton – just an absolute ton – of HP. I mean it. Damn things don’t die. I try to get a Hammer of Justice on them; if I see someone stun them first, I wait and throw my HoJ when I see theirs wear off. At least, that’s how it should go. We seem to be pretty short on snares. I did a WOL search though and all three of our pallies – me, the MT, and our pally healer – are stunning them. What other snares do we have access to? IDK… the fucking things just don’t die fast enough.

We managed to save one or two raidmembers this week, which was an improvement over last week.

And we also managed to not cover the entire floor with Defile four out of seven times! \o/

Look, it’s the little things that count, OK?

Final Note

A clarification on my Raging Spirit whining.

I realize that the third one spawns right before Quake; the mechanics of the fight are such that I will always have that third one in phase 2. Here is my problem with them. I end up in the center in phase 2 with an add at 100% and one around 80%. IN PHASE 2. The valkyr spawns when one raging spirit is half dead and the other is untouched. So yeah… my opinion is that DPS on them is being slow right now >>

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The Fastest Way to ICC from Dalaran

Getting to Icecrown Citadel from Dalaran is a bit of a pain in the ass.

I mean, first of all, there’s no flight path, which sucks. I’ve been spoiled by recent raids – TOC and Ulduar both had paths!

Don’t give me any of this “Anafielle, you have a 310 speed mount and crusader aura – it doesn’t get much faster than that!” bullshit. Look. Pointing myself in the right direction and zoning out is still more irritating than paying some taxi driver to get me there while I go down into the kitchen and mix myself a pre raid martini.

And not only do you actually have to FLY there, but furthermore, Dalaran itself gets in your way. Since Krasus’ Landing is on the wrong side of the city from ICC, you can’t fly straight there – you have to avoid the huge No Fly Zone that is the city. Like many of my raiding cohorts, I often find myself playing the “let’s see how far I can fly in the debuff area before I fall off my mount and have to float down through half the zone at a snail’s pace!” game.

And don’t give me any of that “But at least you’re a pally! You can click off the debuff and bubble right before you hit the ground!” bullshit. Look. I have three buttons on my keyboard. One of them is taunt. The other is my entire 96969 macro’d to a single key. The third is bubble/hearth, but you can’t hearth while you’re falling. No reason to confuse myself with more buttons.

Anyways.

There is another way.

Credit goes to Boogelawoof, a good real life friend and badass shammy healer. He discovered this gem of a method to get to ICC.

Hey everyone. So I hate going to IC from Krasus’ Landing cause I’ve been demounted an floated for days half way across the map. As such, I’ve been toying with ways to get to IC from alternate starting points. Some people that tried it out said I should put it on the forum so here I am.

Go to the purple parlor and walk outside. You can mount up there and it’s a beeline to IC. in case you don’t know how to get there, you have to go through the portal in the violet citadel that is opposite of the caverns of time portal. So you go right instead of left after you go up the big stairs. That is all, you may all go back to your day now.

A LIFE CHANGING DISCOVERY!

Look, I don’t care if this is not actually shorter than the traditional way. It’s probably just about the same length. However, it wins – absolutely wins – in terms of convenience. I’m alliance, so my hearth is right next door to the Violet Citadel. I’m always logged off in the Alliance Inn, the alliance-side bank, or the Jewelcrafting shop. Violet Citadel is practically closer than Krasus’ Landing.

Get there – zip through the portal – mount up – and fly in a straight shot to ICC!

Try it out. If you’re immensely lazy like me and dislike silly inconveniences like flying around a huge no-fly zone like Dalaran, you’ll love this new way to ICC.

Blood Queen Lanathel (10) Zerg Strategy

I’d like to make a short post here about our BQL 10 strategy, because people tend to look at me like I’m completely insane when I describe how we do this.


This is what we do.

We use a zerg-like strategy – two heals, six DPS, a tank, and an “off tank” in DPS gear (me). This stresses the healers, but allows us to put enough DPS on the boss to take her down before she hits the second air phase.

Tanking & Offtanking BQL

The OT takes damage from two things – Delerious Slash, a nasty DOT; and Blood Mirror, which mirrors the damage the MT takes in the form of pure shadow damage.

There are basically three ways to mitigate the Offtank damage:

1) The MT can stack armor. This will reduce the size of the Blood Mirror hits to the OT.
2) The OT can stack pure stamina to absorb all that shadow damage.
3) The OT can (I hear) stack shadow resist. We haven’t tried this.

Armor is extremely helpful in this fight – the more armor the MT has, the less damage both tanks take through the Blood Mirror mechanic. Armor, of course, does nothing for the OT. His damage is pure shadow damage. The MT can hold BQL throughout the fight, or the tanks can trade her off and cycle their cooldowns to reduce total damage done.

That having been said…

We sort of throw all that out the window by putting the OT in DPS gear.

Using a DPS as Off Tank

As the offtank, I remain in Prot spec, but I throw on my Ret spec gear, my “threat” axe and my shield. I go sword/board because half my protty abilities require a shield.

This allows me to crank out about 5.5k DPS while remaining in prot spec, giving me access to prot’s superior stamina scaling & Divine Shield/Divine Guardian for the air phases.

I sit on the main tank, with Righteous Fury off, doing a modified version of my rotation to optimize my DPS. When she flies into the air, I bubble out and pop Divine Sacrifice. (I don’t use my cancel macro; the idea is to help my party!)

This works if your healers can handle those Blood Mirror hits on an “offtank” (or a pure DPS) with a health pool around 32k when all buffed up. Our heals are absurdly badass, so we do it this way.

I’m pretty sure this strat is only viable on 10 man. :)

Variations

Personally, if I’m going to be wearing DPS gear anyways, I’d rather go all the way and switch to ret spec, significantly raising my DPS. My HP pool shouldn’t suffer much from the reduced stamina scaling, although my healers about had kittens when I suggested it… I’d have to stack a little stamina to make them happier, I think.

I was instructed to stay in prot spec so I still had Divine Sacrifice, which I pop on both the first and (if we have one) second air phase. Well, imo, we have three pallies specced into DS, I should be able to do without it… but I’m not calling the shots. We do it this way, and it works.

One day, I might secretly pop into ret spec, flask up for HP, put a stam piece or two on and see if it works. :) Until then, I will just sigh and keep going half-prot half-ret…

Comments!

Is my raid the only raid that does it this way?

I thought this strat made a great deal of sense when it was explained to me. My healers are certainly able to deal with it. Our trouble with this fight was rarely with me dying; it was more with DPS figuring out how to deal with the many crazy damage-causing mechanics.

But when I tell people I off tank in my DPS gear, they look at me like I’m crazy. “OF COURSE we use two tanks!” “Why the hell don’t you stack stamina?!” or “We taunt trade to cycle through our cooldowns” are usually the responses I get.

Huh. Well, it works for us! This is a damn tightly tuned fight, even on 10 man, and if the MT & the healers are willing to sacrifice about 20k of my health pool to take my DPS up a little, I’m not going to argue.

The ICC 10 man fights aren’t nearly as unforgiving as the 25 man fights, especially for a raid in largely 25 man gear. Our strat is completely viable, if a little nerve wracking for the healers. I have a feeling this is one of those fights that will come to be single-tanked as more 10 mans get comfortable with it. Especially as the Strength of Wrynn buff increases DPS and health pools.

Please tell me if you also use a DPS as the off tank (or a DPS/tank hybrid, the way I do it). I’d like to know that we’re not the only ones!

Divine Sacrifice, my new BFF

I am shocked by how long I tanked with talent points in this skill without ever using it.

Not the current, redesigned Divine Sac. I’m talking about the old Divine Sac. Think back to patch 3.0, 3.1, even 3.2 – the “Push this button for a good time” version of Divine Sac with a big red chance of death sign attached.

It kind of reminded me of the way Engineering items are taglined in the game. “Absorbs X percent of damage taken by raid members. Occasionally results in death, so don’t forget your bring your bubble!”

I realized soon after I started raiding that there was literally never a situation where I felt comfortable popping a skill as scary as DS. Oh, I’m sure it used to have its uses, but I guess I was too noob to know them. If I was tanking something, the extra damage was way too worrisome to contemplate. If I wasn’t tanking something, I still worried about killing myself. What if the healers didn’t compensate?

So Divine Sac sat on my bar, completely ignored, until 3.3 came along and changed things forever.

Patch 3.3 and the Divine Sacrifice/Guardian redesign.

Oh, how things change. First of all, the damage redirection became party-only and much, much safer. More importantly, those extra 2 points in Divine Guardian added a raid-wide damage prevention aura that lasts the entire 6 seconds regardless of when the spell gets cancels.

Enter the Cancel Macro. You are probably familiar with this if you have your bubble on a macro to clear debuffs. The Divine Sac macro is precisely the same:

#showtooltip
/cancelaura Divine Sacrifice
/cast Divine Sacrifice

Spam that button twice. You cancel the party redirect part, so no extra damage to you. Your whole raid takes 20% decreased damage for 6 seconds.

Wow. Holy shit. Read that again. A 20% raid wall. On a two minute cooldown. And it can be triggered at no personal risk to the tank. There is absolutely no reason not to use this all the freaking time.

It took me a long time to figure this out. Maybe I’m a slow tank. That’s why I’m posting about it now. I just started using Divine Sac a while lot about a month ago, and I can’t believe it took me so long to understand how amazing this spell has become.

Once Ignored, Now Beloved

Divine Sac was a completely neglected part of my tanking arsenal pre-3.3. Now its one of my absolute favorite abilities.

I pop it at least once on every raid boss. Even in farm content, I pop it because just it’s there and I can. No, seriously, that’s my reasoning. It’s there, and I can push it. Why not? Yeah, that’s right, this might be 10 man Marrogar and we could down this in our sleep, but I’m going to Divine Sac this bone storm just because I can. I do more than roll my face across the keyboard – sometimes I push interesting buttons, too!

I usually try to use it twice per boss fight. Its two minute cooldown happens to lines up flawlessly with several heavy raid damage times in ICC like BQL’s Air phase and Festergut’s Exhale Blight. I pop it early in a fight if I know I want it available later. Hell, if heals are light and I’m in sketchy tank gear, I use that thing in Pit of Saron when tanking those BK-phase-3-like mobs just before the final boss!

Divine Sacrifice and I are now BFF. I put it in a special place on my action bar.

Some Places where I use Divine Sac in ICC:

Marrogar: Bone Storm. Or, if tons of healers get spiked!
Deathwhisper: Phase 3, when the spirits start spawning.
Saurfang: After he hits Frenzy, when he gets high on BP.
Stinky & Precious: Don’t forget DS on these minibosses! Shortly after a Decimate.
Festergut: Pungent Blight. DS is back up for each one.
Rotface: Late in the fight when the slimes are spawning really fast.
Princes: On a Valanyr activation. I like popping it here better than on a Keleseth activation because theoretically the only person who should take damage when Keleseth is active is the ranged tank, and he’s getting other sorts of cooldowns.
BQL: Bloodbolt Whirl. DS is back up for each air phase. I usually bubble out of the first fear.
Valithra: on a Blazing Skeleton.
Sindragosa: Blistering Cold. Especially Phase 3, just before a tank (and hopefully no one else) eats a Blistering Cold.

When do you use Divine Sac? When should I be using it?

Tanking Festergut is Fun!

I love the Plagueworks wing…. tanking in here is never boring!

Even Festergut requires some thought and cooldown management to tank correctly. I can’t pop wings on the pull; I want them later. I can’t blow LOH in a panic if heals are light; Forbearance will screw me later.

The DPS buff makes me capable of pumping out some truly ridiculous numbers, like 6.4k on our very first kill. I’m Halleigh in those logs, and I was first tank. The mechanics of the fight are such that the first tank does about 50% more dps than the second. What? Strength of Wrynn, you say? Shh… I want to think I’m badass, OK? :)

Anyways… here’s a little rundown of how I tank Festergut as a pally. I know Festergut hasn’t been progression for a while for most people, but my guild downed him for the first time last night, so he’s on my mind!

Tanking First

I tank first because my MT (also a pally) prefers to tank the first cooldown intensive portion of the fight himself. Since that happens to the second tank, he tanks second. In keeping with my new addiction to Armor Potions, I chug one on my way in. Unlike most of the time when I’m tanking a boss, I don’t pop wings on the way in – I save them for later.

Tanking Fester first is easy. I pop Divine Protection when Fester hits 2 stacks of Inhale, just to ease things for the healers. It’s not necessary, but why not? I know it’ll be back up when I need it later. Cooldowns are there to be used, and I’m working on using mine more effectively.

While the MT has the boss

When Festergut is taunted off me, I toggle RF off, hit Hand of Salv, and go around to the back of the boss. I hate searching through my buffs to click things off, so I have a special /cancelaura Righteous Fury macro.

In fact, I have a few keybinds (Z and X) that I reserve for odd things I have to do that tend to change from fight to fight – generally macros, like target macros for specific fights, Gunship rocket, etc. On Festergut, I make sure /cancelaura Righteous Fury is on my X key.

My rotation changes a little to optimize DPS, while keeping a very close eye on omen. Hand of Salv works wonders, though. As soon as I can safely pop wings, I do so to lay the smack down on that bitch!

A Hand of Sacrifice on the MT helps when he’s tanking Festergut on 3 stacks of Inhale.

When I see Festergut casting Exhale Blight, I smack my Divine Sacrifice /cancel macro twice to trigger the 20% “raid wall”. Divine Sac is awesome on this fight; the two minute cooldown is short enough that it can be popped for both Exhales!

A Note on Raid Awareness

In this fight, it is incredibly necessary to know exactly who’s in melee range and who’s at range. We stick a lot of healers in melee range, so this is not always obvious. I always make sure, before the pull, that I know precisely who’s in melee and who’s at range. I want to be able to tell from that DBM raid announcement what spores are where without even looking for the spores on my screen.

As the not-actively-tanking tank I am the best choice to move if there are 2 spores in melee. When DBM calls out the 3 spore targets, if I’m one, and someone else has one in melee range, I move my butt out to the ranged!

Taking Festergut Back

I toggle Righteous Fury back on when the MT hits 7 stacks; I’m far enough behind in threat that I can do this safely.

Of course, this can be interesting when you’re a tank who buffs with PallyPower and doesn’t have RF on her bars. I panicked the first time I tanked this… oh god, MT is at 8 stacks. PallyPower doesn’t buff people when I try to rebuff them after battle rezzes in combat (I know; I’ve tried). Will it work on RF? Do I have to open my fucking spellbook?! Luckily, the Pally Power RF works mid combat. Oh, addons, how you complicate my life…

When it's time to taunt off the MT, I chug another Armor Potion. I'm getting addicted to those things. Rhidach, I'm sending the bill to you.

Festergut will quickly get his third stack of inhale, and it's cooldown time – Divine Protection, which I have on a cute Power Aura so I can see precisely when it's shielding me (I like visual cues). When it falls, I pop each of my trinkets and pray the healers are on top of their business.

He exhales. I smack my Divine Sac Cancel macro again. Two minute cooldowns ROCK. Just sayin'.

Theoretically, no one dies, including me. And if the DPS have popped their cooldowns right, Festergut will die on time!

Well, that's how I do it. Your mileage may vary. :)

Putricide: Riding the Abomination!

The Professor Putricide encounter is another one of those boss fights that makes me really love my job as off-tank.

I’m sure there’s a wealth of information out there on Abomination Riding techniques, but I thought I’d make some notes for the benefit of other off-tanks looking for more information.

Before The Fight

Watch the Tankspot video on Abomination Control. It’s always invaluable to see someone else do what you’ll be doing, and with limited attempts in place, you’ll want to see someone else do your job before you have to hop in and do it.

At the start of the fight, run over to Putricide’s table, click it, and run back to the raid – don’t be alarmed that you don’t transform immediately. You get a debuff that ticks down for a few seconds before you turn into an Abomination.

Slime Pools

As the abomination, your job is to sit in the slime pools that Putricide tosses out, 2 at a time, and drink them up. Your 1 key finger might ache at the end of 10 tries. I was spamming that key so hard, and mine sure did.

You want to drink each pool up until it is gone. This SHOULD give you enough Slime Power to use your Regurgitated Ooze ability when you need it, but you can drink the second pool slowly if you want to stock up a bit on Slime Power. You need to always have 50 slime power available for your next job.

Keep an eye on the whole room and make sure you know where both puddles are. Very rarely, two slime pools will spawn on top of each other and will act like one pool as you drink them up. This can leave you short on slime power if you’re not careful, so keep an eye out and drink with caution.

Unstable Experiments

Putricide casts Unstable Experiment regularly on a timer, spawning one of 2 types of adds which the whole raid will DPS down as fast as possible. Your job is to use your Regurgitated Ooze ability (the 2 key) to slow these adds. This ability takes 50 slime power (half your bar) and has a huge range.

Yes! You get to vomit on things! ENJOY IT! :D

Each add spawns, casts something, and then zooms across the room at a raid member. The timing of your slow is important– you don’t want to slow them too early and waste it, but more importantly, you don’t want to be late and let the add will zoom across the room. Definitely better to be early.

What worked best for me: add spawns, I immediately target it and watch its cast bar. I hit Regurgitated Ooze near the end of its cast.

I also found (on 10m) that even if I got cute with eating slime and stocked up on slime power, I really only had enough slime power to slow each add once. I hope one slow per add is all a raid should need. If I slowed twice, I screwed myself for the next add no matter how slowly I drank up slime.

Down Time

If you are on the ball about eating slime pools, you’ll probably have some down time after eating one set of slime pools and before the next set spawns.

You can use this time to lay some DPS on the adds or the boss. Go hit something, and spam your “3” attack (Mutated Slash). I generally DPSed adds if they were up because they really needed to go down fast.

The Abomination hits very hard. I was shocked to find, perusing the combat logs, that my Abom accounted for a large percentage of the DPS on each add. On 10m my Abomination was doing 7k with Mutated Slash and about 5k melee. I believe he does signifigantly more on 25m.

And That’s It!

Controlling the abom was a bit confusing for me at first but made perfect sense after several attempts.

Some notes. I believe a hotfix was implemented over the weekend that stopped slime pools from expanding during the phase transitions (when everyone is stunned for a while). Thank goodness – that was a huge pain the first time we saw this fight and led to slime pools so big they simply couldn’t be removed.

I also suspect that a hotfix was implemented that made the Unstable Experiments alternate regularly between green and orange – all the strats I read say that they spawn randomly after the first green one, but after 10 full attempts we noticed they were alternating perfectly. Perhaps this is unique to the 10man, perhaps there was a hotfix enabled.

Final Notes

I was really pleased in general with how interesting the whole Plagueworks wing has been – between tanks turning off RF to DPS, slime kiting, and Abomination riding, the second wing of ICC has been one of my favorite raid experiences in my admittedly small range of experiences in Wow.

Putricide is possibly the craziest one of all. Riding the Abomination is weird, fun, and a vitally important job! So enjoy it, off tanks, it’s our moment in the spotlight.


About The Author

Tankadin Errant is a blog written by Anafielle, a paladin tank on Drenden - US Alliance side. (Armory)

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