Tag Archives: icc

Healing ICC: Lord Marrowgar

This is the first of a series of posts going over some strategies for healing the encounters in ICC as a resto druid. I’ll go over both normal and hard modes, highlighting optimal spell choice and the best glyphs for the encounter. I focus on 25-man raiding, but most suggestions can be applied to 10s as well.

Lord Marrowgar

Normal Mode

Marrowgar is a two-phase fight. The damage pattern changes dramatically between the two phases.

Phase 1 healing:
During phase one most of the damage will be focused on the three tanks. One tank will be getting hit with normal melee swings and all three will be taking damage from Bone Slice. During phase 1 there will also be Bone Spikes which damage 3 random players at a time, and Coldflame, a line of fire which will go in a straight line from Marrowar to his ranged target. Most strategies involve having the raid stay in his hit box so the only people in danger of getting hit with Coldflame in this phase are tanks and hunters.

  • Keep Regrowth and Rejuvenation up on all three tanks
  • Throw in a Swiftmend or Nourish when any of the tanks start to get low on health
  • When Bone Spikes hit, target Marrowgar and cast a Wild Growth (I’m assuming that the raid is standing in his hit-box). Targeting Marrowgar for the WG is optimal as both tanks and non-tanks will be in range. I usually set the boss as my focus target so I can do this easily.
  • Spikes should go down rather quickly, but feel free to cast an extra heal on Bone Spike targets if it’s taking a bit longer, or if anyone missed your WG.
  • If a hunter is spiked cast a Regrowth and/or Rejuv on them as they will be out of range of AoE heals, and their spike may take longer to go down.

Phase 2 healing:
In phase 2, Marrowgar stops hitting the tanks, casts Bone Storm and starts spinning around the room. Bone Storm inflicts damage on everyone in the room; the closer you are to Marrowgar, the more damage you take. This lasts ~20 seconds. Coldflame behaves differently in phase 2. Each time he starts spinning in place, he will send out 4 lines of Coldflame in 4 different directions. The fire will stay on the ground for 3 seconds.

  • Cast Rejuvenation on yourself
  • Hit Barskin. It will not last through the whole phase, so you might want to wait to see where he goes before using it. If he starts spinning close to you, pop it; if he goes to the other side of the room, you can wait until he comes back your way.
  • Because of the damage reduction of Barkskin, I find it is easiest to stand in one spot (unless you need to move out of fire) for this phase. Pick a position close to the middle so you are in healing range of as many people as possible.
  • Go crazy with Rejuvenation
  • Regrowth if anyone is getting really low on health.
  • Continue to cast Wild Growth on Marrowgar to give extra healing to the people who get caught too close to him, or the melee who insist on continuing to dps through this phase.
  • When phase 2 is almost over, start putting your HoTs back up on the tanks.
Heroic Mode

Hard mode

The differences in hard mode are:

  • Marrowgar has more health and deals more damage
  • He will continue to cast Bone Spikes throughout phase 2
  • Bone Storm lasts longer
  • Coldflame stays on the ground for 8 seconds, rather than 3

Marrowgar is a fairly difficult fight on hard-mode, the damage ramps up a lot in phase 2 and positioning becomes very important. Be sure to Innervate yourself early and often on this fight. Phase 2 is very mana-intensive, especially when you’re learning.

Phase 1 healing:

  • Keep Rejuv and Regrowth up on all three tanks
  • Use Swiftmend and Nourish liberally to keep the tanks topped up
  • When Bone Spikes hit, target Marrowgar and cast a Wild Growth. Targeting Marrowgar for the WG is optimal as both tanks and non-tanks will be in range. I usually set the boss as my focus target so I can do this easily.
  • You may have to cast additional heals on the Bone Spike targets.
  • Don’t forget to toss some extra heals to hunters who are bone spiked.
  • When the timer shows that Bone Storm will happen in ~20 seconds, I start casting HoTs on the raid. I’ll cast Regrowth on the squishier people until ~10 seconds to Bone Storm then start spreading Rejuv around. This provides a nice buffer for the start of phase 2. I try to get one HoT up on each of the healers and ranged dps.

Phase 2:

  • A few seconds before Bone Storm starts, run to your phase 2 position (my guild splits the raid into 2 groups who go to opposite sides of the room – your strategy may differ)
  • Make sure you have both a Regrowth and Rejuv on yourself at all times
  • Barkskin when Marrowgar is headed to your side of the room. Having talent points in Improved Barskin is very useful on this fight.
  • Unlike normal mode, you cannot afford to stay put if Marrowgar is close to you – there’s too much damage.
  • Keep Rejuv up on everyone on your side of the room and cast WG on cooldown.
  • When someone on your side gets spiked, load them up with HoTs, and Swiftmend or Nourish when necessary.
  • If someone gets spiked and is in close proximity to Marrowgar, you’ll need to spam heals on them. Their health will drop very quickly.
  • When Bone Storm is about to end, start putting your HoTs back up on the tanks. A quick Swiftmend or NS/HT will often be a lifesaver as the rest of the raid is running back into position for phase 1.

Optimal Glyphs

Glyph of Nourish – Phase 1 consists mainly of tank healing, so this will certainly come in handy. I also use Nourish a fair bit on the spike targets in phase 2.
Glyph of Swiftmend – During phase 2, everyone is taking damage. You don’t want to waste any GCDs refreshing HoTs if you don’t need to.
Glyph of Wild Growth – The extra target can be helpful during P1 bone spikes as a well-placed, well timed WG can hit all three tanks and all three bone spike targets. This will also get a lot of use in phase 2.

I don’t recommend Glyph of Rapid Rejuvenation for this fight. Although I used it for my first couple hard mode kills, I find being able to have rejuv up on as many people as possible in phase 2 beats the faster ticks.

Why Sindragosa Sucks

I used to think that Sindragosa was a fun boss. I never understood why people complained about not liking the fight.

Sindragosa

Now, after working on All You Can Eat in 10 man, Heroic 25 with my alliance guild and seeing normal 25 for the first time with my Horde guild, I’ve changed my opinion. Sindragosa is a real bitch. Here’s why:

Voice acting

::shudder:: Now I know why some people play with their game sound off.

It’s very easy to cast blame

This is a fight where it’s difficult to hide your mistakes. It’s very obvious when someone gets hit with a Frost Bomb or Blistering Cold, gets Ice Tomb positioning wrong or fails to drop Mystic Buffet stacks. You may as well have a big red arrow over your head saying “Look at me! I screwed up!” Being aware of every mistake results in me having some rather uncharitable thoughts about my guildies (and I’m sure it goes the other way when I make mistakes). This creates a rather negative raiding environment. I think of all the fights in ICC Sindragosa gives the most opportunities for error.

Doing nothing sucks

Having to stop casting in order to not blow yourself up is an interesting mechanic, but this fight takes it too far. RNG, especially on heroic, dictates how much I enjoy the fight. Getting Unchained Magic 3 times in a row means I get to stand around and do nothing for 90 seconds. This is not fun. Of course, from the hunter side of things, this fight rocks – I only have to stop dps to drop my stacks once in a blue moon.

Frost resist

This one doesn’t impact me too much, but expecting tanks to trade out their shiny ICC gear for crappy 213 frost resist gear is lame.

The whole fight just seems backwards

Sindragosa, the frost wyrm who’s been annoying people on the sign-in screen for months, the penultimate boss of Icecrown Citadel, the last obstacle between you and the Lich King. This fight should be epic. When you break it down though, being successful requires 3 things: stopping dps/healing, running away and hiding.

What do you think of Sindragosa?

Double Kingslayer

Hot on the heels of my druid’s first 25-man Lich King kill, I went into ICC this week on my hunter got my first 10-man kill!

Lich King 10 kill shot

We had one night of attempts last week but couldn’t quite pull it off. This week we went in, everyone really focused and we were able to kill him within a few attempts. Defiles are significantly less stressful in 10 man and I thought the fight was a lot of fun (even though the hunter dead zone occasionally caused me some problems). I even got ported inside Frostmorne for the first time which was very cool.

In addition to that, my Horde guild got our first Putricide 25 kill last night.

It’s funny how progression works. Both my guilds were stalled for weeks. Then, BAM! new kills all over the place. Of course, the increasing ICC buff helps. But better attendance, competent raiders and improvement in performance helps a lot too.

Tonight I’ll be seeing 25-man hard modes on my druid for the first time. It’s been a while since I’ve been this excited about raiding. Wish me luck! (and shiny ilvl 277 gear 😛 )

Kingslayer

Finally!

After weeks of shoddy attendance and canceled raids, my Alliance guild finally got our act together and got in two whole nights of Lich King attempts in the last couple weeks. And now he’s dead! /dance

That was definitely the most intense fight I’ve seen in a while. My heart was pounding by the time we got to 20%. When the RL called for people to stop killing Vile Spirits and focus on the Lich King it got even worse. Running around avoiding spirits, healing the mass damage the raid was taking at the time, making sure our one surviving tank didn’t drop…so much fun!

My fiance came over after hearing my screams of victory once we hit 10%. “Why are you so excited? Everyone is dead.” I quite liked the end of the fight (although the thought that you can ruin it by pressing release is a little scary). This kill was extra exciting for me because I’ve never killed him on 10-man. I like that I got to experience it on 25 first.

Jasyla the Kingslayer. On to heroics!

A lone druid standing over the lifeless body of the Lich King.

Deterrence in ICC

Deterrence is a spell that hunters learns at level 60. If I’m remembering correctly, Deterrence used to be a talent in the Survival tree (in a much weaker form that it has now), and it was mostly associated with PVP. A lot of people still associate it with PVP and overlook its capability to avoid damage in raids. When used correctly, it can save you from major damage and help you live longer. But what abilities can it be used against?

Here’s what the tooltip says:

When activated, increases parry chance by 100%, reduces the chance ranged attacks will hit you by 100% and grants a 100% chance to deflect spells. While Deterrence is active, you cannot attack. Lasts 5 sec.

The description is inadequate, especially when it comes to spells. Does it work on direct damage spells only? AoE? DoTs? It’s not made clear.

Here’s a rundown of which abilities in ICC deterrence can be used on:

Lord Marrowgar

Deterrence prevents damage from:
Bone Storm
Coldflame

No effect on:
Bone Spike – No abilities can be used while spiked.

Tips: Deterrence is especially handy for those times when Marrowgar ends up right on top of you during Bone Storm, or if you get surrounded by Coldflame.

Lady Deathwhisper

Prevents damage from:
Shadow Bolt
Frostbolt Volley

No effect on:
Death and Decay

Kind of works:
Vengeful blast
– Deterrence will cause you to parry the Vengeful Shade if it’s attacking you. However, if it doesn’t despawn before your Deterrence runs out or if you don’t move out of the way, it can still get you with Vengeful Blast.

Tips: I haven’t found a whole lot of opportunity for Deterrence in this fight. If you happen to get aggro on an add, it can be used to deflect any melee attacks.

Gunship Battle

Prevents damage from:
Melee attacks from adds

No effect on:
Explosion

Tips: There’s not much reason to use Deterrence on this fight. Better to just stay away from the adds.

Deathbringer Saurfang

Prevents damage from:
Melee attacks from Blood Beasts

No effect on:
Boiling Blood
Mark of the Fallen Champion

Tips: This is another fight where there isn’t much reason to use Deterrence. It can be used if a Blood Beast gets too close, but I think FD or disengage would be a better choice.

Festergut

Prevents damage from:
Gaseous Blight

No effect on:
Pungent Blight – There has been a lot of confusion on this one. Deterrence does not work.
Vile Gas

Tips: The blight ticks are fairly insignificant with a couple good raid healers, so I wouldn’t recommend using Deterrence here unless your health is very low.

Rotface

Prevents damage from:
Weak Radiating Ooze

Strong Radiating Ooze

No effect on:
Ooze Flood
Mutated Infection
Slime Spray – When the Plagueworks was first released it was reported that deterrence could deflect slime spray. It no longer can.

Needs testing:
Unstable Ooze Explosion

Professor Putricide

Prevents damage from:
Malleable Goo – Only works on goo targeted at you. It will not do anything to prevent splash damage from goo targeted at others.
Mutated Slime –  Otherwise known as Slime Puddles

No effect on:
Gaseous Bloat
Volatile Ooze Adhesive
Ooze Eruption – Does not prevent the damage or the knockback
Tear Gas
Mutated Transformation
Choking Gas

Needs testing:
Choking Gas Explosion

Blood Prince Council

Prevents damage from:
Shadow Lance and Empowered Shadow Lance – Very useful if you are tanking Keleseth, otherwise, try not to pull aggro.
Empowered Flare – These are the mini fireballs that are shot from the Empowered Flame.

No effect on:
Shock Vortex and Empowered Shock Vortex
Flames
and Empowered Flames

Needs testing:
Kinetic Bomb Explosion

Blood Queen Lana’thel

Prevents damage from:
Twilight Bloodbolt – Only ones that are aimed at you. Does not prevent splash damage.
Shroud of Sorrow

No effect on:
Incite Terror
Pact of the Darkfallen
Splash damage from Bloodbolts aimed at others

Needs testing:
Swarming Shadows

Valithria Dreamwalker

Prevents damage from:
Lay waste – It works, but you should be killing the Blazing Skeletons.
Acid Burst
Frostbolt Volley
Rotworms

Needs to be tested:
Gut Spray

Sindragosa

Prevents damage from:
Nothing?

No effect on:
Frost Aura
Blistering Cold
Ice TombFrost Bomb

Lich King

Prevents damage from:
Pain and Suffering – Deflects damage if it is targeted at you. Does not prevent damage if targeted at others.
Raging Spirit – Can be used if you get aggro on a Raging Spirit (though Feign Death would probably be a better choice)

No effect on:
Infest
Remorseless Winter

Defile
Spirit Burst
Harvest Soul
Ice Burst

Needs testing:
Ice Pulse

If any important abilities are missing from this list, please let me know and I will do my best to test them. Also let me know if anything is incorrect. Bonus points if you have a combat log to back up any claims.

A few more general notes on Deterrence:

  • Melee damage will always get parried when you use deterrence, so it can be used if you happen to pull aggro on DW adds, blood beasts, Val adds, etc.
  • Deterrence will not negate the damage from DoTs.
  • You cannot attack while under the effect, but you can still drop traps.
  • You can parry attacks and spells from behind as well as in front.
  • Be judicious about how you use it. If it’s going to save you from a horrible death, definitely use it. However, the loss of 5 seconds of dps can do more harm than good when it’s not necessary.

Updates:
May 4 – Updated Putricide and Blood Queen abilities
May 6 – Updated abilities: Vengeful Blast (DW), Empowered Flames (BP), Empowered Flare (BP)
June 17 – Updated Lich King abilities
July 11 – Updated Sindragosa abilities

Sindragosa dead, on to the Lich King!

This weekend my alliance guild had two days of 25-man raiding for the first time in ages. Everyone was rewarded for showing up by having Sindragosa roll over and play dead for us. Yay!

Frostwing Halls 25 achievement

It’s funny how big of a difference a full raid group and a solid block of time can make for progression fights. After we killed her, we took a quick look at the Lich King before calling the raid early.

Obligatory shot of me and Arthas:

Jasyla and the Lich King

We only did one attempt (holy tank damage, Batman!). We managed to get through phase 1, then the RL told us to rush Arthas as we transitioned into phase 2, and everyone died a horrible, blistering cold death. That was fun.

After ICC 25, we formed a 10-man hard mode group. We cleared the first wing, then ran into an interesting bug. Deathbringer Saurfang died, and the door to the upper spire wouldn’t open. A soft reset of the instance didn’t fix it, so that put an end to raiding for the night. Regardless of that little annoyance, I’m ecstatic that we had 25 people show up on Saturday and managed to get a new boss kill.

Hard Mode Marrowgar

My photoshop skills are a little lacking, but I try!

Hard mode Marrowgar