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Icecrown Citadel: The Lich King (Phase 1 & Transition)

Ahhhhh, finally. It feels really good to get here. Unless I do a Ruby Sanctum strat, this will be the last time I write a strat for this expansion.

Whoa, really? That’s nuts! We’ve come along way from Ulduar together, you and I.

All right then, ladies and gents, night elves and tauren, let’s take on the Lich King!

ICC: Strats by TLBC

In it’s entirety, the Lich King fight seems pretty complicated, but if you think about it in phases, it’s really pretty simple. I didn’t consciously decide to do it, but I think I really saw each phase as a fight of its own, and that made it a lot easier to understand and then execute properly.

This fight is like a song with three verses and a chorus. You’ll do Phase 1, then a transition phase, then Phase 2 followed by another transition, and then Phase 3. So we’re going to lay it out just that way.

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Icecrown Citadel, The Crimson Halls: Blood Queen Lana’thel

Phew. I don’t know how your guilds are doing, but we’ve fallen on some tough times lately. Raiders getting bored and frustrated and just not showing up seems to be a pretty big problem across the board right now, and we’re no exception. Thankfully, we’ve had great raids the past two nights, getting my first BQL kill on Monday (although apparently the guild had previously killed her on a night I was out; I had no idea) and a 10-boss clear to Sindragosa on Tuesday.

TLBC Strats: ICC

Now, finally, the  BQL strat:

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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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Preview of Ignis in Ulduar

Actually, it’s more like the preview of Ignis’ trash in Ulduar, since Blizz turned him off with a world server crash on our last trash pull.

Either way, it was smokin’ hot.  Despite the whiners in General (you know the ones; they couldn’t finish Karaz in Burning Crusade but they got through Naxx and 1 drake Sarth and now think that’s how raiding is supposed to be), the trash pulls weren’t difficult–just another learning curve.  Remember learning the first few pulls in Tempest Keep, or heaven help us, the first time pulling trash in Sunwell?  Wasn’t even that hard.

When you’re facing Ignis, the first two mobs you see are these monsters:

The good news is, you can walk past them without aggroing them; so if you’re not interested in fighting them, move on.  We pulled them for the heck of it, and decided that if we were going to make it to the boss, we’d have to leave these guys alone for now.

If you walk between them, you’ll enter Ignis’ room:

There are two types of trash.  The short red ones are constructs.  They have significantly more health than the AoE pulls we’ve gotten used to in Naxx and Obsidian Sanctum, but strategy-wise, they’re easy.  Group them up (pally tank ftw) and AoE them down.  Watch your mana; I ran out and had to innervate on the first pack.  The second time I predicted it and backed off a bit, throwing a few wraths and dotting while my  mana regenned and it worked fine.

The walking flames are fire elmentals called Magma Ragers.  They’re bigger versions of their crystallized fire-dropping brethren in Storm Peaks, and a lot more determined to kill you, as  they create cyclones of fire that spin off of them and chase members of the raid.  It took us a few tries to figure out these pulls, but once you get it, they’re not hard.  Personally, I think they should be misdirected to the tank, although our pallies didn’t have any trouble avoiding the other packs when they were careful.  The tank should be positioned against the wall, particularly the corner of it at the bottom of the ramp.  The raid should fan out around them (if you clump up and a cyclone heads towards someone, the raid is as good as dead).  If a cyclone comes towards you, run up the ramp away from the raid.  If you’ve done Archimonde, then you  know the princple.  Running fire over healers = you suck.  Focus fire is important here; AoE will prolong the encounter, meaning more cyclones and more deaths than necessary.  Mark your targets and kill them one at a time.  If no one noobs up and gets eaten by a cyclone, you’ll get this down easily enough.

I didn’t get the chance to kill the boss, but I can tell you what we knew of the strat.  As every single other fight in WoW, this is a tank and spank with a twist.  Ignis should be the only thing that needs tanking, if our strat is correct.  Throughout the encounter, he will summon constructs (see the dark statues in the picture?  they won’t be dormant forever).  They will most likely head for the nearest healer, followed by dpsers.  If you get targeted by a construct, run to one of the two water pools on either side of the room.  Upon touching the water, the constructs will turn brittle and can be easily killed by their target.  Remember Leotheras the Blind?  Time to drag that smite back out onto your bar, healers.  React quickly and stay alive, and you win.  Supposedly.  When I finally get to actually kill Ignis, I’ll confirm or completely rewrite this strat for you.

Last night was awesome.  Learning trash pulls is cool; I hope they don’t nerf it for the babies.  I’ll try to get in a few more Ulduar groups as the bosses cycle through and bring you the strats as they come.

Yay for real progression raids!

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