1 0 Tag Archives: lady deathwhisper
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Her end was inevitable

It seems like a lot of guilds out there have stopped progressing really this summer, which makes me proud of my plucky little guild that we’ve continued plodding along in ICC 25 even in the middle of the summer doldrums. We racked up a latest progression kill last night, on heroic Lady Deathwhisper 25. Obviously the 30% buff is a big help, and helped us cheese a few aspects of the fight (I’m specifically thinking of making ghost explosions 30% less deadly than they could be) but ultimately I don’t think that diminishes our accomplishment. Just reduced how much wall-head-banging was required.

In any case, we started working on this mouthy lichess last week and put about 2 hours in before I switched it back to normal so we wouldn’t fall behind for the week. Our best attempt we got her to around 30%, which is not to shabby.

Then this week our very first attempt and we got her to around 23% before the raid wiped in a ghost-ignited explosion. I was filled with hope, but then on the second go we had some serious issues with ghosts and wiped at around 40%, which me start to Frank out a bit, like Bruce Banner after getting a paper cut. I reiterated my philosophy of “ghost=death” and insisted that melee get away as soon as they come up to prevent a ghost that was perhaps zeroing in on a tank from turning them into a puddle.

Third attempt was much, much better on the ghosts. It still ended ingloriously, but seeds were obviously planted. There was little to no tunnel-visioning and I heard very few tell-tale ‘splosions from the raid.

Fourth attempt we got it down to 7% before we were completely overwhelmed by adds and the raid was finished off. I was officially in full-blown “we can do this” mode.

Fifth attempt I set up a dedicated adds team of three ranged and two melee, rather than just assigning people on the fly based on their position in Omen. Adds as a result went much smoother, and ghosts were awesome, but it got really sticky at the end. As her health plummeted we had a really bad ghost explosion in ranged that took out a couple of healers and a few ranged. We steadily worked our way down to the 3% and I was holding my breath just doing whatever I could via Hands, Raid Wall, or screaming “GHOSTS” to keep the raid going. A cold sweat pouring down my face, we finally knocked her over dead.

We didn’t even have to do the first kill via bubbles post-enrage. I think that’s a first for progression.

In any case, another few seconds and we surely would have wiped, we were severely overwhelmed. So you can imagine how proud I was of the raid for holding it together in those crucial last seconds.

Next week I’m sure will see a much, much cleaner kill.

On a different tangent, I was also really happy with the two newest recruits we brought into raid last night. One was a DK who did great dps, and the other was the equally awesome Antigen of Haz Mace, Will Raid (I am collecting paladin bloggers it seems) who had a great first showing in his first 25man with us. I love when recruits click.

Great night over all, and the best thing is we’re ahead of schedule this week. I think we can turn that around into a full clear of ICC25 tonight.

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The Plagueworks opens

Finally, the next wing! Last night was very exciting as all new content nights are. Everyone was pumped, and a little punchy. We didn’t know what to expect, which is always a fun feeling.

For the initial trash I put on the trash spec and started mowing through trash. I felt bad (and hell, still do) because as a Paladin, aoe-tanking a swarm of undead is child’s play, but for a warrior tank and their underpowered aoe threat, it was a huge ordeal for him. He eventually switched to dps spec and I continued to solo tank the trash.

We cleared out both from corners of the room then I moved to one of the back corners. Immediately someone pulls the group in front of the stairs, so I swung around and used a Holy Wrath to grab their attention. Then, apparently a hunter pet dashed off and grabbed the pull in the opposite back corner, so suddenly another pack was incoming. I got those together too and just started aoeing and switching targets as fast as I could. With me belting out an off-key rendition of POD’s “Alive” we slowly aoe’d them all down.

I ended up doing 11k dps, one of the shadow priests did 25k… it was nuts. I know this is just trash, but still, I love my heroics spec.

Anyway, for the first four bosses we did the usual burn through. Deathwhisper is a joke now that her adds and mana shield were so nerfed. Next week we can easily pull one melee off the adds groups on both sides and onto the boss, push it into phase 2 even faster. Gunship was, scarily, almost a wipe when two healers dc’d, Demo died on O, and neither myself or the druid had rocket packs on.

So O turned into the melee quickly jumping over, the healers frantically trying to keep them up, and then them all fleeing as soon as the mage died. It was impressive and I learned a valuable lesson about equipping my damn rocket shirt.

Saurfang was Saurfang. Not much trouble, and even better, when he died I bolted over to the chest and was elated to find not one, but two Conqueror’s tokens in there. Finally! I scored one and still have enough DKP to grab the next one that drops.

After Saurfang the mage (yes, we only have one) darted through the open doors into the next area. Like something out of The Last Crusade, he immediately bought the farm. All we heard was woosh and his head came tumbling back out past us. Another person ran in and made it, emboldening the third who then died to whatever mysterious force was executing people in the next hall.

Apparently this was Frogger 3.0, and traps on the wall would expel gas on people and generally kill them. Unfortunately, they are disarmable by rogues, so our sneaky buddies went to town and we made our way through.

Or, you could just warp up to the Upper Spire. But Frogger is way more fun.

Banging a louie, we entered the Plagueworks for the first time. Picking off some geists and scientists in the initial hall we spotted two giant Gluth look-alikes. I remember something I read from one of Matticus’ PTR reports back on that mentioned they share Gluth’s abilities.

We pulled Precious and comically wiped to him the first time, not sure how it was going to go. Once we regathered, what we did was Demo and Purraj (the druid) tanked and switched off aggro on Precious since he applies the mortal wound healing debuff that Gluth had. I hung behind, in heroic spec, and whenever adds spawned I’d use Holy Wrath and pick them all up and help the dps aoe them down. Demo and Purraj kited Precious around the stairway to give me room to grab skeletons.

As for Stinky, again we wiped because we weren’t expecting the decimate+poison aoe combo. And yes, both dogs do decimate, healers need to be ready for that. Anyway, with Stinky his big thing isn’t spawning adds, it’s the periodic poison aoe he does around him. Aspect of the Wild or a Nature Resist Totem helps, since it’s nature damage. Stinky is generally pretty easy, just make sure healers are prepared to quickly get everyone healed a bit so they don’t die to the first poison aoe after the decimate.

Festergut, the big, stinky enchilada that pays a visit the next morning.

Interesting fight to say the least, and a major dps check. Here’s our log of the kill so you can see what we were working with on 25man. 40.4 million hp, 5 minute enrage. Generally that means a lot of dps with five healers and two tanks. I’ve read 7.5k, which seems about right. Also, keep in mind the tanks will be doing around 4k, rather than 2.6k, which will help.

It took us a few wipes to establish some things and for people to hit their comfort zone. This includes the wipe where we had Festergut down to 4000 hp before he enraged and nuked us all. It was horrifying as I’m sure you can imagine.

What we did was figure out it’s generally a good idea to have five to six ranged in the back. Less than that and we got Vile Gas in melee, I don’t know what the magic number in ranged is, probably could have gotten away with an extra spriest or something in the melee pile. Heals stood in melee.

The fight sort of has four phase that rotate. Initially for the first two phases the room has thick orange gas on the floor and he does lots of raid damage but little tank damage. Once you hit the third phase (when he has 2 stacks of his buff) he starts hitting the tank for a lot more. Once he gets three stacks, he’s hitting the tank for around 25k a pop. And he hits fast, so cooldown coordination with healers is a must. We had priests calling out Pain Suppressions on vent while Demo and I juggled our own cooldowns. I also tossed Demo and Hand of Sacrifice and used Divine Sacrifice to help out.

As for tanks, we’re getting a stacking debuff called Gaseous Blight. Each stack increases our damage by 10%, but once it hits 10 stacks we explode. The debuff also takes almost two minutes to fall off. So tanks need to be really quick on switching aggro at exactly nine stacks once the other tank loses their stacks. We had two wipes directly attributable to taunt misses and a tank exploding.

Now, the awesome side of this debuff is the stacking damage increase. When Demo pulled off me, I immediately hopped behind the boss, cast Hand of Salv on myself, popped wings, and poured in the damage. I didn’t think of this at the time, but taking Righteous Fury off would probably also be ideal so you don’t get threat capped by the other tank and can help contribute to getting past the enrage timer.

The other huge thing everyone needs to watch out for are the Gas Spores that spawn. It’s paramount that everyone in raid gets three Innoculate stacks before the end of the last phase when Festergut exhales and does massive shadow aoe. As a tank you can probably live with 2 stacks but most healers and dps will be one shot or severely hurt with less than the full three stacks.

So whoever in melee has the Spore needs to stand directly under the boss so it gets spread to the tanks as well. Dps and tanks should also try to stand as close to Festergut as possible without accidentally turning him around or (in dps’s case) being considered in front of the boss and then creating parries.

Eventually this fight boils down to staying alive long enough through Innoculates to beat the enrage timer. We were riding the timer pretty hard for most of the night but on the last attempt I think the execution clicked for everyone and we eventually killed him with 20 seconds left on the clock.

Tonight is Rotface, and pending a fix of the Putricide encounter I guess that’ll be it for the week aside form 10mans. So far, so good. I like what I’ve seen and I’m a huge fan of the ramped up challenge factor and love how well my guild has been tackling it thus far.

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January 6, 2010
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A night of heartbreak and failure in ICC

Ah… just kidding, another one shot night. I’m just getting tired of doing a raid recap of “oh mang, we iz gud.”

We only had two marks on Saurfang last night (maybe a third at the last second). That’s pretty “gud” though, eh?

Anyhoo, during the course of our sub-two hour ICC-25 run I noticed a couple of things. For example, every week without fail someone just notices the Alliance mobs between Deathwhisper and Gunship don’t give rep. Whoever notices this will find this incredulous. But why would our reputations with the Ashen Verdict improve for killing non-undead folks?

Moreover, I hate when people snark about playing with game sounds on. Maybe if you’re dps you don’t need to pay attention to auditory cues, but as a tank I find it helpful to hear a mob sneaking up behind me. On the Deathwhisper fight it’s increased my chances of surviving a Deformed Fanatic to 100% because I hear the lichess shout out “I release you from THE CURSE OF FLESH” and my first instinct is to immediately back away from the Fanatics I’m tanking. I’m on my toes, not surprised. I don’t know why some people would take it as a point of pride to be potentially caught flat-footed in such a situation. No matter how sweet that iPod playlist you put together may be.

But I digress. I’m hoping for Putricide next week because the same four bosses has officially gotten tired, especially when we’re looking at a 1.5-2 hour clear. If that’s the case, then we’ll probably spend Tuesday next week on the same old, same old plus Rotface and Festergut. Then Wednesday we’ll do 10mans and get everybody familiar with the basics of the Putricide fight. Then Thursday, knowledge in hand we’ll hopefully kill him in under the 10 attempt limit. The less learning wipes we need the better. Plus, god help me, I need a Conqueror’s Mark of Sanctification, which for me is like the Titanguard of this patch cycle.

During the pre-Marrowgar trash I was doing around 9-10k dps with the heroic spec. In-effing-credible. I wish I could do that single target in my normal raid spec!

I wish last night was a bit more interesting (so there’d be something to write about!), but I suppose there’s nothing wrong with a smooth and uneventful run. Stuff will get more interesting in the coming weeks.

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December 30, 2009
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The one night raid week

Another raid reset day, another one night ICC clear. Thankfully we really could only swing one raid night this week, with the holiday and all, so it’s not like we’ll be spending the rest of the week sitting on our hands.

Because of Christmas, we were missing a few regulars. Especially three of our best healers, which was painful and cast a pall on the possible success of the raid.

Demo (the gm and other tank) and I have an interesting dynamic where we tend to always be on opposite sides of various things. For example, if a raid looks iffy he tends to go full out chicken little while I have to crap sunshine and vomit rainbows to keep the guy from throwing himself off Icecrown glacier.

If we agree on the viability of a raid, god help us all.

So last night I was playing the part of the eternal optimist and thankfully I was right. Sure there was that harrowing first wipe on Marrowgar where some dps was obviously ignoring spikes and the backup healers were getting the dynamic of the fight worked out. But after we reformed we easily dropped him; though I found myself screeching “stay away from the tanks!!” a little too often.

After Marrowgar we went over to Deathwhisper and soundly one shot her. Our first time pulling that off too. Dps did a fantastic job on adds, they really got the hang of the fight.

It’s amazing to think we went from spending a night of wipes to down the Lady the first time to one shotting. I’m proud of how quickly the raid translated our learning wipes into actionable knowledge.

So after Deathwhisper we plowed through the Ally trash to get to the gunship. I switched to my heroic, SoComm spec for tanking D. The spec worked awesomely, giving me some badly needed snap aggro for the mobs pouring out of the portal. I definitely recommend having SoComm in some capacity for tanking D, it makes a world of difference.

After we nuked the Ally ship (I have a sick fantasy that it crashes into the Crusader’s Coliseum) we gathered for the last boss of the wing, Saurfang.

This fight even I was a little worried about, on account of the three healers that had never done the fight before. We did wipe intially, and spectacularly at that, with three marks up before 50%. Eek.

After regrouping we then remembered a few things we always forget til after the first wipe: p:ws the Blood Boils, Amp Magic, yell a few times the phrase “13 yards, you bastards!!” Etc.

And then we killed him.

I rushed over to the chest, hoping to spy a Conqueror’s Mark of Sanctification, but my hopes were dashed.

After the 25man disbanded we put together an ICC-10 run, and ran back into the breach. Of course the run went exceptionally smoothly and we really didn’t have trouble with anything.

I whipped out the heroics spec in the pre-Marrowgar trash and pulled around 5k dps and second damage done overall. Not too shabby. Next week I’ll use it on that trash in the 25man.

Overall, great night and great raid! I’m happy to rest on our laurels this week but next week is going to be hard to burn through everything in one night and then bum around for the rest of the week.

I guess there’s always ToC… /shudder.

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Amazing turnaround in ICC!

Last week, as you may recall, it took us three nights to “clear” ICC-25. The first night was the usual lag-fest filled with trash wipes, a three-shot of Marrowgar, and then some initial attempts on Deathwhisper. Night two was entirely spent in Deathwhisper’s room, to the point where we got trash respawns, finally offing the lichess on the last attempt. Night three was the Gunship and then hours of Saurfang, again killing the boss on the declared last attempt of the night.

Yeah, we cleared ICC last week, but it was uphill both ways. We had to claw and scratch our way to the top.

This week? Um, we cleared the place in two and a half hours last night.

The whole thing. So to speak.

We walked in and started generally on time (listen, if we don’t start 30 minutes late, it’s on time, dammit). Demo announced 5 dkp if we didn’t wipe on trash and 10 dkp if no one dies in a trash pull. And, by anyone, that generally means Falowin, the rogue who could find a way to freeze to death from Chill of the Throne.

We marched our way to Marrowgar, disarming the giant skeletons to save time. Marrowgar generally put up no resistance and we dropped him pretty hard.

Then on to Deathwhisper, who I was a bit worried about because of the complexity of her fight. We wiped once to–as Demo put it–shake the rust off. Then, we came back and easily smoked her.

Onto Gunship which as always is no contest. The ship even docked this time after we took out the Alliance boat, miracles of miracles. Inside the loot chest was the Corpse Tongue Coin which I got for a song. I’m pretty enamored with the trinket, especially for fights like Saurfang which is high physical damage. And considering Chill, any avoidance is good avoidance right now.

And speaking of Saurfang, we then rocketed up to his terrace and put in three attempts trying to work out some tweaks to the strategy. The fourth try we basically did it like we did last week (though, this time we let the first Mark die) and dropped him. It was pretty hard fought, however, with several marks dying at the end periodically and dealing with Saurfang constantly yo-yoing up and down in the 10% range. Our healers are pro, however, and once we hit that final 5% they kept all the Marks up and we had a white knuckle finish.

Great, great week all and all, though it’s kind of anti-climactic. Right now we’re stuck in the same situation we were with ToC where we’d bang out the current raid content in one night and sit on our hands for the rest of the week. After ICC last night we ducked into Ulduar and killed Ignis for the weekly quest. I guess tonight we’re going back to the Coliseum to farm off-spec pieces, fill some gear gaps, and give some alts some love.

I’m also pumped that I’m sitting at 56 emblems right now (thanks to doing the random heroic every day and basically anything else that could net me and Emblem of Frost), which means my first purchase is on Thursday.

I know initially I stated I’d be going for the Corroded Skeleton Key, but I’ve changed my mind. If ICC-25 has taught me anything it’s that, at the moment, I have enough stamina. At the moment. The next wing could change that, but for now, I’m comfortable with my time-to-live.

Damage intake is pretty steady and I’ve yet to be in a situation where I’ve felt “I don’t have the health bar for this!”

In any case, I’m going to swing around and shore up my avoidance (hence the Coin) and bee-line right for the 4pc bonus. The Key will have to be my fifth purchase, after I score the fourth piece of tier.

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The lady whispers her last

Last night was probably one of the most intense raiding nights I’ve had in months. After months of slogging through ToC, I knew ICC was going to be a little higher tuned, but I suppose I was not truly prepared. Lady Deathwhisper is no Jaraxxus, this much is true.

As I wrote in my last post, we tried Deathwhisper a few times but it was clear we didn’t really know the strategy and since it was so late, Demo and I called it so we could come back fresh the next day with a better idea of what to do. I did a lot of research yesterday and settled on a Hail Mary strategy which, unfortunately, didn’t work and just ended up wasting time. We blew about an hour and a half on that nonsense.

Finally we decided just to go with the tried-and-true split-the-raid strategy and after a series of wipes, each getting more progressed than the last, we were starting to run out of time. 11 server, our usual stop time, was looming fast. I admit, I was getting worried, but most of the raiders were optimistic. In fact, I was very impressed and my blackened raisin of a heart was warmed by how gung-ho everyone was.

We lost a healer at around our 9th or so attempt (without explanation, probably an escape maneuver, and perhaps that fellow’s last raid invite). We had 6 healers initially, and just decided to wing it and bring in another dps instead of scraping up another healer. That turned out to be a turning point for the attempts.

Much more than earlier, we were on fire. Our fourth to last attempt we finally pushed it to phase 2 for the first time, the third to last we got her to 75%. The second to last attempt was an enrage wipe, with about 11% of her health remaining. When that happened, there was consternation, sure, but dammit we could do this. Just need to tighten up and bring her down.

It was past 11 and people were getting tired, so we declared this the last attempt of the night, kill or not. Armies of Dead beckoned and the boss was pulled. I picked up my adds and went through the excruciating motions of the first phase. Just casually when I had a moment of respite I clicked on Deathwhisper to see where her shield was and was stunned to see it very low, almost at phase 2. The timer was inquired, and with a healthy stretch of time to the next add spawn we called for dps to bring the boss to phase 2.

She was pushed over the line and Demo collapsed in to grab the boss while I picked up the remaining adds. Melee washed over the Adherents and ranged picked off the Melee and everyone turned their attention to the boss, fully.

Excited panic was in the air (although that might have just been me) because we still had 3 minutes on the enrage timer… plenty of time to bring her down. Just need to stay alive!

Everyone went to town, pushing as hard as they could on Deathwhisper. We had a few missteps, mostly someone in melee getting MCd and then immediately dying to the splash damage. We lost a few dps that way, which was frustrating, but that was more a tanking issue since we should have dragged the boss away from them to avoid splash.

Finally, we were getting down to the wire. Hit execute range with a minute left on the clock, and I was swearing up a symphony of profanity just wishing for this awful bitch to bite the dust.

10% left, and steadily dwindling. Then, 5, 4, etc. With a gasp she fell to the floor and coughed up her purple. A shout of elation rang out in vent, the kind of which I haven’t heard since we killed Thorim for the first time months and months ago.

Say what you want about the easiness of ToC, it never gave us those moments of pure joy when we killed a boss for the first time.


Just for the hell of it we followed up by taking the elevator up to the Gunship area and killing the Alliance npcs. The night was over though, and thankfully we have a much easier night ahead of us tonight.

As a sidenote, only six other guilds on our server have killed Deathwhisper, and all six of those guilds were 4/5 TotGC. Contrawise, we’ve (shamefully) never killed a single boss in the heroic 25, which means we were operating at a serious handicap compared to those other guilds. I take that as a point of pride for Enveloping Shadows, that we were able to overcome a steeper gear barrier. Sure, it took us 15 wipes, but now we know how to do it, and we can down it much, much more easily next week.

I really am very, very proud of my guild after this hard-wrought kill.

How we did it

Looking at the room from the stairs, to the right of the boss two Adherents (casters) and one Fanatic (melee) spawn. On the left, two Fanatics and one Adherent. On the stairs it’s random what spawns (Adherent or Fanatic).

We split the raid into two melee “pain trains,” 5 in one and 3 in the other. The 5 melee group was assigned to the side with two Adherent spawns, and the 3 went on the other. On each side two ranged were assigned to help the tank with Fanatics so we wouldn’t get backed up, and then when the Fanatics were dead they’d switch to the boss. Three melee were on the boss at all time and ranged by default were on the boss (if not assigned to Fanatics duty).

I was on the side with one Fanatic spawn, so when adds would appear, I’d Reck and shield toss the Fanatic and then check out the stairs. If it was a Fanatic I’d pick him up, and if not I’d save Recks for pulling the Adherents on my side onto me.

Adherents generally do not *need* to be tanked, per se, but if they’re not shadowbolting the healers, that’s a good thing. Melee on my side would wash over the casters then jump to my Fanatics if they were still alive. When the side was cleared they’d go to the boss.

For tanking one serious thing to watch out for: Fanatics cleave, and their cleave hurts. Try to kill them facing away from the melee, and as far away from the healers as possible.

Now, the part where the fight gets interesting is occasionally the boss will reanimate a Fanatic or Adherent, who will then be immune to physical or magical attempts, respectively. When that happens, melee or ranged need to quickly drop what they’re doing and burn it down before it slows down add kills too much. Demo and I would toss marks on these when they appeared.

And where the fight gets REALLY interesting is ocassionally Deathwhisper will turn an add into a Deformed Fanatic or Empowered Adherent. Deformed Fanatics are incredibly dangerous and, if not one shot, will easily two shot you. The only way to deal with them is run away. A DK on the other side of the room from me would taunt the Deformed guy, who would then lumber towards him. I’d then, in my most frantic voice, call out for all ranged to drop him. The mob would be marked and ranged would burn it.

Likewise the Empowered Adherent would need to be nuked by whatever melee was on the side is spawned on. No crossover from the other side was needed.

The mind controls the boss would toss out were a huge annoyance and required immediate crowd control. I’d make a point of taunting them when they first turned gigantic and red so they would pick off a healer before getting CCd. As long as your dps are smart enough not to kill your raiders, this shouldn’t be too much trouble.

The Death & Decays were an annoyance, but not the end of the world. I saw people stay in them and eat 2-3 ticks without dying. These aren’t Kel’Thuzad voidzones.

Now, as for phase 2, you need to make a serious judgement call based on the progress toward the enrage timer and how long until the adds spawn. If you have 5 seconds left before more adds come in and Deathwhisper is almost at phase 2, you should burn the adds then push her over. Our second to last attempt we had the worst combo possible and pushed her over just after the adds spawned, so we lost a lot of people in the ensuing confusion. Hopefully the timing will work out in your favor.

Be careful when tanking that if someone in melee gets mind controlled, immediately pull the boss away so that person doesn’t get bladestormed to death. Make sure your raiders are aware of the little ghosts that’ll explode, and that they continue to avoid D&Ds. Phase 2 is over pretty quickly, and is generally straightforward.

That said, I can’t imagine this fight is any easier for other guilds in our position. It’ll be interesting to watch wowprogress and see how many people kill her this week. I wouldn’t be surprised if this is the first fight that gets tuned down in the usual round of post-patch difficulty hotfixes.

Stand STILL, dammitall


One other thing I wanted to bring up (oh, and enjoy the random screenshot of my hero in Halls of Reflection–everyone’s done this by now I assume, so I wash my hands of any spoilers); that thing being mob pathing has been seriously broken in this patch. Especially in ICC and the new 5 mans I cannot for the life of me keep mobs from doing an endless dance with me. This was a killer on Deathwhisper where our avoidance is already heavily neutered and now we have adds whacking us in the back like hunter pets on crack.

Something to watch out for in there, friends. And, Blizz, please, fix that!

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December 10, 2009
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Storming the Citadel

Ah, finally, a proper raid recap that doesn’t have to be two paragraphs long because we’re doing a raid that’s 45 minutes. And trash! Sweet, glorious trash, how I missed you, you squishy jerks. ICC seems to have gone the Naxx route with lots of AOE-able trash. Except for some specific mobs that should be focused, the trash packs up to Lady Deathwhisper were pretty cut and dry.

The server last night was a different matter. I logged on initially when Lightninghoof came up at like 5 or so. Didn’t have much trouble getting in, poked around a little, and flew off to do some dailies. I went to open my inventory to get my Mote Extractor when I realized Bagnon was busted. Whatevs, I confidently said to myself, just log out, download the latest version and go back in.

Of course at that point the server decided it wasn’t going to let any more people in. I didn’t get back onto the Hoof until 7:30.

Once the server was brought back up it was clear things weren’t entirely settled. Guildies were routinely DCing. So, we postponed raid an hour waiting for folks to get their stuff in order and their addons set to go. Apparently the delay wasn’t completely helpful as some raiders spent most of the night disconnecting.

At 8:45 server (T-15 til raid) I ran off for ICC to battle door boss and snag us a Raid ID (oh, memories of a few months ago). After two tries I managed to sneak in, and poked around at the different npcs battling the random mobs that would occasionally rush the barricades. One I accidentally aggroed onto me, so I ran over to Tirion, screaming like a girl, to get him to pull it off me.


Lucky for me, he came to my aid.

Oncemore into the breach

Once invites went out it took about twenty minutes for the other 24 folks to assemble in the raid instance. Most of the delays were due to people not being able to find the raid entrance (hey guys, how about the front door?!) and, of course, a wave of DCs. Finally, finally, at 9:30 server we did the first trash pull of ICC.

Trash was pretty easy, and like I said, very Naxxesque. Each pack was generally AOE-down-able, so we didn’t have much trouble with it. As for Chill of the Throne, I noticed being hit more, but my health bar seems overall pretty stable. The trash was definitely not hitting like Ulduar trash on the first night, which was just constant yo-yoing.

When we pulled the last pack before Marrowgar, we got mobbed by four giant skeletons. I’m assumed they spawned in the previous room and we just didn’t notice them, but by the time we did it was too late. Never saw that wipe coming!

We’re boned

Once we regrouped and dispatched those four (now wandering in the previous room) skeletons and the last trash pack, we gathered up for Marrowgar. I read out my crummy little strat and we charged in. I’m sad to say we wiped twice getting the strategy down, but now we have a pretty good handle of it.

Basically, everyone spreads out around Marrowgar in a 180 degree arc, to avoid to many folks getting impaled or caught in a coldflame trail. When someone is impaled, melee kill it if they’re next to it, and ranged switch no matter what. Marrowgar has a gigantic hit box, so your dps can really exploit that to spread out far enough. Eventually Marrowgar will whirlwind, which people should spend running away from the boss (while still in range of healers) and out of any coldflame patches.

Once he stops spinning, he drops aggro, so dps needs to halt until tanks pick the boss back up. Marrowgar is, sadly, taunt immune so we need to just tps our way back to the top. Though, I think he retains some threat, as generally we were able to quickly shoot back up to the top.

As for the Sabre Lash, it wasn’t too bad. Healers seemed a little stretched so we did three tanks on the last (successful) attempt, and that really helped avoid tank death.

Marrowgar dropped pretty quickly on that third attempt once it snapped for everyone what they had to do. He spilled his purples and yours truly nabbed the Bracers of Dark Reckoning. Not too shabby.


I love the dungeon design in what I’ve seen so far. You fight Marrowgar at the base of the Icecrown Spire. Look up!

She was always a quiet one

After Marrowgar was downed we ran up the ramp and immediately found the next boss room with Lady Deathwhisper in it. Her room is a little chapel and has two huge groups of worshipping cultists and two Nerubians in the back. We initially pulled one group of cultists but accidentally got the second as well. At first I was worried, but then noticed they were easily AOEd down. Good, I suppose, but somewhat anticlimactic.


The Nerubians in the back were a little more difficult. They put a debuff on someone who will get life drained, and life drain anyone around them. The first time we did one of these we didn’t know what the debuff meant so a chunk of folks died unnecessarily. The second time we made that debuffed person run out and the mob died cleanly with no friendly fire.

When we finally got ready for Deathwhisper (at about 10:15 server) we had some confusion on how to handle adds. All the way bad to Thorim, fights where you need to split the raid up for adds has not been our strong suit. Last night was no different. We tried it a few different ways: one where we split the raid directly in half, each side killing adds and then the boss when no adds were up (which was fine but after about 8 minutes the boss was at half health), then we sort of drifted to range staying on the boss while melee deals with adds.

Generally that idea was working but we need to work on ranged switching to empowered fanatics/adherents and killing them asap so we don’t lose people to those souped-up adds. We got a few attempts in, each time rejiggering the strat but to no avail. Finally 11 server hit, about an hour past our normal quitting time, and we had to call it.

But we’ll be back

I did some reading today and one thing I’m certain I’ve been doing wrong is trying to pick up the caster adds. From the looks of it they stay at ranged and just try to cast stuff, so if melee targets them first and the casters not being dealt with are shackled, we shouldn’t have to worry about shadowbolt spam. I can just fret about picking up the melee adds.

I think knowing that the fight seems a lot easier. Tonight Lady D shouldn’t be too much issue.

Annoyed as I am that we didn’t get farther in ICC, there wasn’t much we could have done about server stability. Hopefully tonight will be smoother and we can knock out Lady D and get up to Saurfang. I know next week we can bang out Marrowgar in much less time than we did last night, so we’ll probably be able to get what bosses are available down in two nights starting next week. Considering we have four weeks with just this first wing, we’ll get lots of undivided practice on them.

All in all a great night, and I’m hoping for much more success tonight!

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December 9, 2009