Icecrown Citadel, The Frostwing Halls: Sindragosa

Long overdue, I know. As those of you who follow me on Twitter know, a few months ago I informed everyone that my blogging was being cut back by real life stuff. That hasn’t changed, but I still want to finish the strats for ICC and I can’t abandon my blog, it’s like a buddy! Onward to Sindragosa!

TLBC ICC Strats

trash!

A Word on Trash: If you haven’t explored Frostwing at all yet, you’ll find a big, circular room on the way to Sindragosa. Upon entering the center of that room, all of the doors will close and waves of adds will start to pour from the sides. Kill them for about a minute, and the door will open.

Kill the packs of whelps and then the two dragons Rimefang and Spinestalker. It doesn’t matter in which order you kill the two dragons, but be warned, as soon as both are dead you will engage Sindragosa. (Although it used to be possible to run back through the door and reset her, this has failed our last two kills, so I think it’s safe to say that it has been fixed).

A Note on Addons: Just as I supported the use of Vamp for Blood Queen, I’m also going to go in favor of AVR for Sindragosa-25. Let it be known, though, that on the whole, I hate AVR. You really shouldn’t need John Madden marking up your raid zone to succeed. That said, there are two ways that AVR was a huge help in the 25 man version of this fight: 1) we assigned places for those getting ice tombed in phases 1 and 2 to stand using the raid symbols DBM uses for those phases, and 2) we had two marked places on phase 3 that made handling those ice tombs much easier.

Could we have killed Sindragosa without AVR? Yes. Would it have resulted in a lot of people getting pissed off that Random Raider Number 4 tombed the whole raid six times in one night? Probably.

***Blizzard has announced that they intend to break the mechanic that allows AVR to function, so when patch 3.3.5 hits, this will no longer be a viable option!***

Phases 1 & 2

The first two phases alternate until 35% and will remind you of at least a few dragons you’ve fought before, having a ground phase and an air phase.

Ground Phase

Just like nearly every dragon in game, Sindragosa has a cleave and a tail swipe. We choose to tank her in the front middle, about 40 yards from the bottom of the steps (this is an approximation, I know that when I’m standing on the steps, I can’t reach her).  Our tank turns her so that her right side faces us, and melee attack her at the edge of her hitbox there, while most of the range obviously prefers to hang back by the steps.

During this phase, she will do two main abilities to your raid:

Unchained Magic/Permeating Chill

Okay, these are actually two separate abilities, but the way players handle it is the same.

  • Permeating Chill is a debuff that melee has a chance to get while attacking her (every attack has an equal chance to cause this, even auto). It stacks, and for every stack, it does 1000 damage per second every 2 seconds for 8 seconds
  • Unchained Magic will be cast on a handful of magic users (healers included). It causes a debuff called Instability, and it stacks and refreshes each time that person casts any kind of spell. If a person with Instability doesn’t cast for 5 seconds, the stacks will fall off, but will do 2000 damage per stack when it does (simple math, if you have 5 stacks, it will do 10k damage when it falls).

The only way to handle these is to watch your stacks and don’t go beyond what you can reasonably live through. While learning, I wouldn’t go higher than 5-8 stacks, and less during phase 3. That means when you see yourself get to 6 stacks, stop casting and let the debuff wear off before you start again.

Note to Druids: While you should try not to let your stacks get high right before air phase (watch your timers!), if you get Unchained Magic on the first cast after air phase, you can let your stacks get pretty high and then Barkskin when you let them fall. I’ve safely gone up to 20 stacks with no problem using this method–keep in mind, though, that Barkskin will add a stack!

Barkskin

Also, Moonkin: You’re going to get really irked with Instability (all casters do, but us especially). My best advice is to make the most of your time. Don’t bother with DoTs if you have Unchained Magic unless you’re refreshing for air phase. When your stacks get as high as you can comfortably let them, cast hurricane on the boss. No, it’s not ideal, but it will do continuous damage to the boss while you’re letting your stacks fall (only the initial cast counts as a stack) and it’s better than standing there twiddling your thumbs while you wait.

Icy Grip/Blistering Cold

Throughout the fight, Sindragosa will cast Icy Grip, pulling everyone to her (this is resistible, but if you resist you’ll still need to make sure you’re max range from her). Immediately after Icy Grip, she starts casting Blistering Cold. After 5 seconds, it will hit the raid as an AoE starting at her feet and going 25 yards. This has a very very very high chance to one-shot anyone but a tank! It is extremely important that everyone in the raid starts running the minute they get gripped. Turn your camera while you’re in the air and be ready. Start running back to the steps the minute your feet touch the ground, or you will end up an icy corpse.

The Air Phase

Sindragosa will fly up into the air, and your raid needs to run to a predetermined location immediately. For us, this is the top of the stairs. Once she gets into the air, she will target 5 people with Frost Beacon. These 5 will have blue arrows above their heads, and if you’re using DBM, these raiders will have raid symbols above their heads.  After 5 seconds, the 5 targets will be encased in…

Ice Tombs. Anyone within 10 yards of them will also get tombed so don’t stand next to them when they’re being tombed! Once in the Ice Tomb, the player is completely immobilized. Their Ice Tombs must be killed, because once Sindragosa hits the ground, anyone left in an Ice Tomb will begin to asphyxiate and will start losing health. However, you can’t kill them too quickly, because she also does…

frost tomb

I'm not cool, I'm ICE COLD!

Frost Bombs. Sindragosa will target an area on the ground and then send a frost bomb to that spot. The AoE damage from these bombs have no range! The only way to avoid the damage is to hide behind the Ice Tombs (remember Sapphiron?) and line of sight the bombs. Pay attention to where the bombs are being dropped, and be on the opposite side of a ice tomb from that location.

AVR. This addon makes it possible to place images in your instance. Our resident AVR “expert” placed the five raid symbols used for the Ice Tombs 10 yards apart from each other.

Whoever gets marked for Ice Tombs runs to the symbol that matches the one above their heads (I actually had to go into DBM and turn off raid symbols for Unchained Magic to make this work properly). This allows the 5 people to always know where to go and to always be in a good spot. This fight is totally doable without AVR, but if you find your raid repeatedly getting 4 extra Ice Tombs, this might offer you a solution.

Phase 3

Phase 3 takes place entirely on the ground, and for most guilds, this is where the fight actually becomes a challenge.

Unchained Magic/Permeating Chill and Icy Grip/Blistering Cold will continue as it did in the first phase. The way you handle these will not change, but you should never let your stacks of Instability/Chill go higher than 4 or 5 before letting them fall because the raid damage during this phase is intense.

Uh, no.

Additionally, Sindragosa will cast Mystic Buffet that places a stacking damage debuff on everyone in the raid every few seconds and Ice Tomb one person at a time at intervals throughout the fight.

We handle this by having two designated spots to run, one near Sindragosa’s head (but not in front of her!) and one near her hind legs (not her tail!). The Ice Tomb targets then alternate their locations, and no one else stands at these locations unless there’s already a tomb there. As soon as the tomb is killed, everyone goes back to the middle area.

Since Mystic Buffet shouldn’t get above 5 stacks, either, you can let your stacks fall off by standing behind Tombed people out of line of sight of Sindragosa. Because Permeating Chill is such a problem, our fastest meleers (and therefore the ones most prone to building stacks quickly) don’t dps the boss but instead focus on killing Tombs.

To make this a little more clear, here’s a scenario:

Raider 1 gets targeted for an Ice Tomb and is directed to go to the spot near Sindragosa’s head. He does so, turns into an Ice Tomb, and the melee begins to dps his tomb. A few people needing to remove Mystic Buffet stacks stand behind the Ice Tomb.

Raider 2 gets targeted with Ice Tomb and is directed to the spot near Sindragosa’s legs. He runs there and turns into a Tomb. A few people stack up behind him to let their stacks fall off. As soon as melee kill the first tomb, they run to Raider 2, while the raiders who were behind Raider 1’s Tomb go back to the middle.

A few seconds later, Raider 3 gets targeted and runs to the place by Sindragosa’s head, and the process continues.

Important notes: Phase 3 is NOT a DPS race, it is a fight of survival. Be cautious, pay attention, and stay alive. Between dealing with stacks of Instability and stacks of Mystic Buffet, stand in the middle and nuke the boss with all you’ve got. We usually Hero during this phase (Bloodlust for you hordies) to help sustain a good level of DPS despite the challenges.

Plan to wipe a bit to badly placed Tombs, poor runners (*cough* dwarf pallies *cough*), or general situational unawareness. Stick with it, though, and eventually you’ll kill the icy frostwyrm queen and be on your way to the Lich King!

CCT vs Sindragosa

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