Category Archives: Strats

Icecrown Citadel, The Plagueworks: Rotface

TLBC Strats: ICC

Maybe you’ve already killed Festergut, or maybe you’ve decided to try Rotface first.  This fight is all about awareness and coordination, so if you’re ready, let’s get to it!

There’s a lot of things that happen in this fight, so I’m going to try to explain everything in the order in which it generally happens:

The Pull We’ve found the best positioning to be three groups forming a semi-circle around the boss.  The tank runs in and grabs aggro, swinging Rotface around.  Melee and healers stand directly behind the boss, while the ranged are split into two groups, one of them 90 degrees to the left of the boss, and one of them 90 degrees to the right.  One sucker–I mean, offtank–stands at the edge of the room.  You’ll see why this poor guy is pretty darn important soon enough.

slime spraySlime Spray We have found that Rotface doesn’t target a player for this, but he does turn in the direction of a group of players, which is why we’ve split into three groups.  He will choose one of the groups, turn, and cast Slime Spray.  Once he turns, he won’t move, so if the boss is facing your group, you need to run to the side or behind him.  He will do Slime Spray in a cone in front of him which does just enough damage to kill a person if they stand there without a heal (or even with, depending on the cirumstances).  Don’t stand there, kk?  This will continue, happening every few seconds, throughout the entire fight.

Mutated Infection Sometime right around the first Slime Spray, someone will get Mutated Infection.  This is a disease that hurts  A LOT.  Please, healers, for the love of all things holy (or resto, or discipline), heal the person with Mutated Infection.  The person with Mutated Infection must immediately run to the poor offtank on the outside of the room (really, this is the suckiest job ever).  They must be cleansed (you need ONE PERSON assigned to do the cleansing, at least until 20%.  You may find you need a second cleanser at that point).  When they are cleansed, a small ooze will spawn at their feet (if a person dies with Mutated Infection, they will spawn TWO oozes.  So don’t die!).  It cannot be taunted, but it can be CC’d to some extent, if necessary. This will happen continuously and with increasing frequency throughout the fight.

The first person to get this ooze is going to have to stay with the offtank, as the offtank will be unable to taunt him.  The second person to get the Mutated Infection will run to the offtank and the first ooze.  At this point, the two oozes will merge, and the affected players can go about their business.  The offtank will taunt the big ooze and kite it around the room as it does a ton of AoE damage.

For the rest of the fight, everyone who gets Mutated Infection will need to run IN FRONT of the big ooze, get cleansed, make sure their small ooze has merged with the big ooze, and then return to their original position.

Professor FarnsworthThe Poison Slime Pipes Your offtank will be kiting the add around the room and simultaneously dealing with big puddles of slime on the outside edge of the room.  Professor Putricide will announce that the poison is coming.  At that point, one of the spouts positioned around the outside of the room will begin to sputter slime.  A few seconds later, a huge slime pool will fill the edge of the room on that side.  While the offtank can probably run through this pretty safely as long as he’s got healers, keep in mind that the slime hurts and slows you, so those with Mutated Infection should NOT run into the slime.  Wait for the offtank and meet him on the other side.

Unstable Ooze Explosion When 5 small oozes have merged into the big ooze, it will stop where it is and begin casting Unstable Ooze Explosion.   When it explodes, it will send slime flying through the air, landing where randomly-chosen players were standing when it was casting.  As soon as it starts to cast, our entire raid clumps in the middle of the room, on the boss.  When it finishes its cast and starts to spray, everyone runs for the outside edge of the room.  This way, the explosion lands in the middle of the room, where (hopefully) no one is standing.  Once the big ooze has finished exploding, you start again merging the oozes.

The Soft Enrage Rotface doesn’t have an enrage timer; however, like Saurfang’s marks, eventually so many people will be getting Mutated Infection that there will be slimes everywhere and your raid will be overrun.

CCT v Rotface

That’s it, that’s the entire fight.  It sounds pretty easy, but there are so many ways to wipe the raid, you’ll probably work on this one for at least a little while.

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Icecrown Citadel, The Plagueworks: Festergut

TLBC Strats: ICC

If this is your first trip into the Plagueworks, you should check out Plagueworks: Getting There for tips on handling the trash.

Lower Spire: history.  Precious’s Ribbon: equipped.  What’s next?

At this point, your raid can choose one of two bosses:  Festergut or Rotface.  Rotface is a situational awareness check (it reminds me of Illidari Council in that regard).  Festergut seems to be more of a healing check.  Our healers are rock solid, but sometimes our situational awareness is not, so we found Festergut to be the easier of the two.  For that reason, we’re going to start with him.

Here are the major things you need to be aware of:

Gaseous Blight.  I’m going to tell you right now, “Festergut” is absolutely accurate.  This guy needs some serious Gas-X.  Gaseous Blight is an orange cloud on the ground.  It starts at full strength, hitting everyone in the raid for 4-5k AoE.  Festergut inhales this crap at regular intervals, and each time he inhales, the cloud gets thinner and does less damage.  However, each inhale gives him more strength with which to hit the tank.  By the time he gets to 4 inhales, Festergut has swallowed all the gas in the room, but he’s hitting the tank for massive amounts of damage, so healers need to plan on this and balance their healing around it.

fat cat

Festergut is this bloated but not nearly this cute.

Pungent Blight.  So now he’s swallowed a whole room full of gas…I’ll bet you can guess what happens next.  At this point, after 4 inhales, he’ll belch out all the gas.  This hits really, REALLY hard on the whole raid, which is why there is a mechanic in place to handle this…

Gas Spores.  Between inhales, Festergut will throw spores on people (3 in 25-man, 2 in 10 man).  You can’t miss them, they look like big, orange, spiky balls hanging over people’s heads.  After 12 seconds, the spore will explode and place a minimal-damage DoT on anyone nearby.  When the DoT ticks off, that person is inoculated.   This keeps Pungent Blight from hitting quite so hard, so everyone should be inoculated with 3 stacks before he gets to 4 inhales.  I’ll explain the best way to do this below.

Gastric Bloat.  Once again, tanks have to switch off.  Throughout the fight, the tanks will be getting Gastric Bloat stacks, taking increasingly more damage.  At 10 stacks they will explode and it’s insta-death.  You can’t switch off at 3 stacks; it lasts too long.  I think 8 or 9 stacks is the switching point for us.

Vile GasVile Gas.  There’s one more thing, but this is just a minor snag.  Throughout the fight, Festergut will occasionally target players and cause them to start vomiting (yes, it even does the graphic; ew).  They will be disoriented (kind of like being blinded by a rogue) while they have Vile Gas, and they will do AoE damage to anyone nearby.  A simple /distance 10 fixes the problem.

As you can imagine, if everyone is left to their own devices on this fight, it quickly dissolves into chaos (just like every other boss fight in the history of the World…of Warcraft, right?).  Here’s our plan that works quite well:

Three Groups.  We split three groups around the room:  North, South, and Melee.  Half the ranged and a healer on North.  Half the ranged and a healer on South.  Melee has the rest of the healers (mostly) and obviously a big mess of dps warriors and rogues and other people who like to hit things.  All the ranged should absolutely be /distance 10 from each other.  The room is circular, so just spread out in a small curve on your side.

Run to the Tree! While we have Resto druids filling this role, anyone can do it.  We use the trees because they’re ridiculously easy to spot.  We have one tree druid on the North side, between the ranged and the boss, and one on the South side in the same position.  They never move.  When Gas Spores come, everyone on either side collapses on their tree so that everyone is in range of the inoculation (note: if you have someone else fill this roll, make sure you mark them!).  The melee group collapses on the tank.

Tree Durid is 4 healz (& hugz).

When the Gas Spores spawn and everyone gets to their spots, it’s really easy to see who has spores and who doesn’t.  If any of the groups has two spores, we call on vent for one of them to run to the group without a spore.  To make this a little more simple, here’s a scenario:

Gas Spores spawn.  A DPS warrior, a rogue, and a South-side Shadow Priest are hit with the spores.  Everyone immediately collapses on their respective target, and someone calls out, “Rogue, go North!”  The rogue then runs to the North side tree (or marked target) and stands there until his spore explodes.  Now everyone has been inoculated–the DPS warrior’s spore hit the melee, the Shadow Priest’s spore hit the South group, and the rogue’s spore hit the North group.

That’s it.  /distance 10, collapse for spores, and make sure everyone gets inoculated.  He has a 5 minute enrage, so make sure you’re doing everything you can to maximize your DPS in the middle of all of this.

Loot the big ugly guy and get ready for his equally big (and equally ugly) brother.

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Icecrown Citadel, The Plagueworks: Getting There

TLBC Strats: ICC

Yes! Saurfang’s down and you’re taking your first steps into the Upper Spire, headed to the Plagueworks.

All the trash is tied to the last boss of the wing, Professor Putricide.  Since this trash is the same regardless of which boss you’re on, I’m not going to take up space explaining it on the boss strats.

Note:  When you first walk in the door, there will be steam sprays.  They’ll kill you.  Wait for them to subside before passing through.  There’s a lever visible only to stealthed rogues that turns these off.

The first trash you run into are Val’kyrs.  They’re super easy, but they do spawn Severed Essences, which are basically shadow versions of a few of your raid members.  They don’t generally hit very hard, so just kill everything and move on.

The Abominations come next; there are two of them.  Face them away from the raid and focus fire them down, easy peasy.

Next, if you’ve done Pit of Saron, take Ick’s trash and give it a familiar mechanic.  Instead of putting down slime pools, these guys work like the gargoyles back in Naxx:  when they’re health gets low, they’ll start casting Blight Bomb.  If they aren’t killed by the time the cast gets off, they’ll blow up people around them.  Focus fire and get past these guys.

You’ll see lots of geist packs that can just be AoE’d down.  There will be a colossus you’ll want to pull down the stairs a bit to avoid pulling extra trash as you get closer to the bosses.  You’ll also run into a couple of Plague Scientists that are a breeze to kill.

Stinky is Gluth’s younger brother.  He does a vicious aura that can’t be outranged (at least not on 25-man) and must be healed through. He also does Decimate (you remember Decimate, right?  Drops you down to 1% of your health or so?), so healers need to prepare themselves.  Pull him down the stairs, stay alive, and kill him.

Stinky

Precious is Stinky & Gluth’s sister (I hope Precious is a “girl,” I really do).  She also does Decimate.  She has no aura; instead, she summons zombies.  Heal through the damage, kill her, and then AoE the zombies.  She also drops Precious’s Ribbon (you can see a picture of my husband’s main wearing it here).

Finally, there are traps on either side of the hall leading to the bosses, so make your rogue look for them or just keep everyone together.  They spawn geists that will gank anyone who happens to go AFK after killing Precious.

Trash is down (until it respawns), so now we press on to the bosses!

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Icecrown Citadel: Lower Spire, part 2

TLBC Strats: ICC

I cut part 1 off before Saurfang only because a) the post was getting long, and b) if you’re still making it through Lower Spire, Saurfang’s probably going to be your stumbling block.  So, without further adieu:

Deathbringer Saurfang

Blood Points.  This is the reason for almost all of the other things I’m about to go over.  Where his mana bar would be, Saurfang has a Blood Points bar.  For every bit of damage (excluding regular melee hits) he does, he receives a blood point.  When his points reach 100, he will place a debuff on a random target.  This debuff is called…

Mark of the Fallen Champion.  Whoever gets Marked will have that mark throughout the entire encounter, and it will do significant amounts of damage to that person.  Healers MUST heal this player.  If this person dies, they should not reincarnate, use a soulstone, or be battle rezzed, as they will still have the mark when they are rezzed.

The reason Mark is such a big deal is this:  the more marks that get out, the more damage he’s doing.  The more damage he’s doing, the more blood points he’s getting.  The more blood points he’s getting, the faster he’s putting marks on people.  Track with me here, sniper:   if people take too much damage in the raid, you will get to a point where it’s unhealable and you’ll be done.

ouchie

It is very important, then, to make sure as few people get damaged as possible.  Sounds crazy, considering all of the ways you can get hurt, but this is how you prevent it:

Spread Out.  When you think you’re spread out enough, spread out some more.  If you’re using DBM, you can set your /distance to 11, and you should.  You need to be 12 yards from every other player.  For heavily ranged groups (as we generally are) this is a PAIN, but it can be done.  He does an ability called Blood Nova that does damage to a random raid member AND to anyone within 12 yards of that person.  You can’t do anything to prevent one raid member from getting hit with it, but if you can limit the AoE’s effects, that’s fewer Blood Points for old Saurfang.

Yeah, I cast it.

Kill Blood Beasts.  He’s going to frequently call Blood Beasts (5 on 25, 2 on 10).  It is extremely important that ranged kill the Blood Beasts as soon as possible.  It is also extremely important that melee doesn’t touch them.  Every single time a Blood Beast hits a raid member, it will give Saurfang more points (this is starting to sound like some sick video game…oh, wait).  Oh yeah, and they’re almost unaffected by AoE damage.

There are several ways to handle this.  Ours is a free-for-all method that’s scary but somehow works.  We let ranged start dpsing Blood Beasts as soon as they spawn.  If one of us gets aggro from a beast (of course we do), then we have to kite it and not allow it to hit us.  For me, this means speccing and unglyphing Typhoon and using roots if necessary.

Other ways to handle Blood Beasts include creative uses of Typhoon and Earthbind Totems/Frost Traps, like using two Moonkin to Typhoon them to the doorway and killing them there, or having a Moonkin, or Moonkin and partner (like a lock or hunter), get aggro from them and then Typhoon them away when they get close.  There’s a lot of Moonkin in these strats; I like it.

Boiling Blood.  Sorry healers, this one is all on you.  A handful of random raid members will occasionally get it with Boiling Blood, a DoT that ticks for around 5k eight times.  It hurts, and it gives Saurfang points, but there’s nothing you can do about it but heal people through it.

Rune of Blood.  And tanks, this is all on you.  Once again, this is a fight where you’ll have to taunt off each other.  If a tank has Rune of Blood, then every melee hit will also give Saurfang points.  Not surprisingly, this means you’ll need 2 tanks to rotate, making sure that a tank with Rune of Blood is never his target.

Finally, consider using Amplify Magic if you have enough mages to spread it around without too much groaning and crying.  All of his abilities are classified as physical damage, which means Amplify Magic will only affect healing.

The name of the game is minimizing damage.  Do that, and you’ll be watching the majorly cool cut-scene type moment that comes with his death, not to mention moving into the Plagueworks.

cct v saurfang

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Icecrown Citadel: Lower Spire part 1

TLBC Strats: ICC

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.

Marrowgar

Marrowgar

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.

Lady Deathwhiser (from mmo-champ)Lady Deathwhisper

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.

away teamThe 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.


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