All sources indicate that tomorrow’s maintenance will open the second wing of Icecrown Citadel. A lot of us have already cleared through the first wing with considerable ease, so I think we’re looking at the opening with mixed emotions–excited to press on, but wondering if there’s going to be more challenging encounters ahead.
Before we get there, though; there are still plenty of groups making their way through Icecrown, so I want to do a quick and dirty ICC strat guide.
The Initial Trash
The trash pulls up to Marrowgar are almost a boss in themselves for some groups, so this is worth mentioning. Depending on how well your raid functions under chaos, you’ll definitely want to mark kill targets (at least skull and x), and you might want to consider CC (Shackle FTW). Follow the same rules as always: casters go first, and in this case, you’ll want to take out the Servant of the Frozen Throne in packs where they exist.
There are traps in the hallway leading to the boss. These can be seen and therefore triggered at will by stealthed rogues, but if you are unlucky enough to be without one, you’re very likely to trip a trap when you’re least expecting it. The trap releases some REALLY BIG skeletons from the wall. They’re not any more difficult than any of the other trash with the exception of Disrupting Shout. Shout works just like Ignis’s Flame Jets (a very popular mechanic in this expansion, I’ve noticed), so when you see him casting Shout, stop casting until it’s over.
This fight’s concept is extremely easy, but the execution can be ridiculously tricky at first. There are 3 abilities you need to prepare yourself for and react to:
1. Bone Spike. Intermittently, people in your raid will get Bone Spiked. If you remember Najentus’s spines, raise your hand–same idea. Instead of picking up the spine, however, you’re going to kill it. Have a macro ready to /tar Bone Spike and watch DBM (or listen for the boss to say “Stick around…”) so you can kill the Spike as soon as it spawns.
2. Coldflame. It’s blue, but it’s fire. Do we stand in fire, ladies, gentlmen, and chickens? NO. Don’t stand in the fire. Don’t. Stand. In. The. Fire. It comes out from the boss in straight lines (except for during Bone Storm, below), so head left or right if it’s coming at you.
3. Bone Storm. Marrowgar gets bored after he’s Spiked a few people and tried to Coldflame you to death, so he shouts “Bone Storm” and starts whirling wildly around the room. Bone Storm hurts a little, but what’s worse is a) the fact that everyone spreads to kingdom come (sorry, healers), and b) Coldflame spreads like a virus around the room. Stay away from Marrowgar and stay out of fire until he settles down from his tantrum.
Do that a few times, and you’ll be looting the first boss in Icecrown.
There’s significant packs of trash in her room, but they’re similar to General Vezax’s, so just mark and CC where applicable. Highly advise pulling them out of the room.
Once you clear the trash and you’re facing Lady Deathwhisper (who, by the way, talks more than any boss I can think of, except MAYBE Kael’thas, who was also a windbag), you’re going to see two phases.
Phase One: The Mana / Add Phase
During this phase, the Lady puts up a mana shield. Her mana shield has a 1:1 ratio, meaning whatever damage her shield takes is equal to the amount of her mana it uses. You’ll have a couple of casters who will stand there and dps her shield. I do this because she also has Curse of Torpor she likes to throw out ad nauseum, and I can easily shoot her, actually work up to a steady, significant dps output, and decurse.
While this is going on, there are adds that spawn in the room: Cult Adherents and Cult Fanatics. There should be dps teams assigned to these adds. Adherents are especially susceptible to physical damage, while Fanatics fall prey to spell damage. When either of these gains the “Empowered” or “Reanimated” status (Empowered Adherent/Fanatic, Reanimated Adherent/Fanatic), the appropriate damage classes need to turn, target, and burn that add. Unsurprisingly, I have a targetting macro for this, too. If you check out my Jaraxxus strat, you can use that same macro, replacing those targets with Reanimated, Empowered, and Lady.
Once you get her mana to zero, her shield will fall and she’ll become just another tank and spank with a twist (the twist being that she spawns ghosts that wander around the room. Yes, you should run away from them). Clean up the adds, kill the boss, and move onto my favorite raid event ever so far.
The Gunship Battle
For those of you who did Kara back when it was still new (read: still had an attunement), do you remember the first time you did opera? or the chess event?
Take that feeling, increase its cool factor by 92% and its blowing-up-stuff factor by 110 % and you have the Gunship Battle. I have two items for you to consider: Rocket Pack and Cannons.
Player Roles in the Gunship Battle
Note: I’m going to write this from the Alliance perspective, because that’s how I’ve done it. The horde strategy is the same, only the names and faction of the targets you’re killing will change.
Cannoneers. In 10-man there are 2 cannons; there are 4 in 25-man. Cannoneers will jump into the cannon, point at the other ship, and spam 1 until the meter on the right (same place you see pyrite levels in Ulduar) reaches about 85-90% and then hit 2. The first ability increases the damage of the second, but it can also cause the cannon to overheat. I usually get 14-15 of the first ability in safely before using the second, so that’s a good number with which to start. Cannoneers are shooting at the ship, but they can multitask by aiming for the opposing faction’s attackers (in the case of the alliance, Kor’kalon Axethrowers). This way, you’re helping the other dpsers in lessening the threat to your ship and also bringing down their ship.
The Away Team (the warlock leading our 10-man group earlier this week called it this, and I like it). Keep your casters on your ship; you need them there to AoE the adds that come to you as well as helping take down the Axethrowers (or their Alliance equivalent) on the other side. Pick a few melee (the fewer that can handle the assignment the better) and a tank to be in the Away Team. They’ll need to make sure they pick up rocket packs from the gnome on the ship (everyone can do this, they’re a lot of fun). At some point, the opposing faction is going to call in a battle mage who will come and freeze the cannons. At that point, the Away Team will rocket pack to the opposing ship, tank the commander (Saurfang/Muradin), and kill the mage. As soon as the mage is dead, rocket back to the ship. A healer or two will need to stand on the edge of your ship to reach the Away Team without having to join them.
The Home Side Tank & AoE Throughout the fight, the opposing faction will be portaling in adds. They are super easy to handle. Group them up, tank them, and let your AoErs go hog wild.
It’s really a blast, and you should be looting that chest in no time.
The final boss in the wing is Saurfang, but I’m going to deal with him in part 2.