25 February 2010 § 1 Comment
The reference strategy is, once again, Dreambound‘s. What I’ll try to cover here are the differences in setup our group, as well as particular tricks that apply maybe more to Discipline priests than anyone else.
We didn’t particularly change our set up, so we went with 2 tanks (paladin and DK), 3 healers (holy priest, resto shaman, disc priest), 3 ranged dps (shadow priest, elemental shaman, affliction warlock) and 2 melee dps (rogue and warrior). The fight mechanics are a bit weird: in theory, Chilled to the Bone and Unchained Magic penalise melee and ranged dps both. However, unchained magic basically takes one ranged dps out of the fight for a short period of time – regardless of how many ranged dpsers you have in the raid. Chilled to Bone, on the other hand, scales with how many melee you have – increasing the healing load, which is already pretty heavy in P3. So, once again, you probably want to have more casters than melee for this fight too.
I added Unchained Magic and Frost Beacon to my raid frames. I probably should have added Instability too, to know who to shield because they have a bad damage spike coming up.
This phase, for a healer, is pretty boring. A few seconds after the pull she will cast the first Unchained Magic. If you are a Disc Priest, wait until the debuff has gone out before choosing the dps to Power Infuse – whenever I didn’t I was sure to cast it on someone who was getting Unchained Magic soon after. This will actually turn out well because the cycle of P1-P2 is about the same length as the cooldown on PI, so you’ll be able to cast it again the next land phase.
If you get Unchained Magic, let the other healers handle the load: 2 healers is plenty for this phase, so don’t worry too much. I was even more conservative than Dreambound was, and hardly ever pushed my stacks of Instability to 3: during Unchained Magic I was simply casting PoM if it was coming off cooldown, Shield to keep Renewed Hope up, and Penance if someone had dipped particularly low.
My mark of shame in P1 comes from Icy Grip. Part of it is me being a keyboard turner, as I confessed before. Even when I used mouse to turn the camera and then pressed the two mouse buttons, however, I got some weird results, which often meant I was zig-zagging, or losing time, and then going splat! My solution is not particularly elegant, but it kept me alive: I was running away towards the opposite side of Sindragosa. The trick to this is to stand on that side for a short while, until you see the graphic for Tail Smash landing somewhere. See, as I found out, Blizzard lies: Tail Smash doesn’t hit only players behind her, and instead also hits mediocre priests running between her legs (which is definitely not behind her, unless my dragon anatomy is all wrong). Once you see the graphical effect, you’re safe to run to the good side of the platform, towards the stairs.
Shield the Frost Beacon target and renew them. This will make sure their health will be at 100% in the tomb before the Asphyxiation effect rolls in. Also, ask for a kind paladin to judge wisdom on the tombs and melee them – it’s not much mana, but hey, everything helps.
All hell will break loose, so be on your toes. To handle Frost Tombs, we designated two positions: one closer to her head (with 12 o’clock being her facing, tomb 1 was around 11 o’clock), while the second one was further towards her midriff (around 9-10 o’clock). We would start from position 2, grouping up as P3 started. The Frost Beacon would move to position 1, then everyone would follow once the tomb was down. Ranged would keep working on Sindragosa, while melee destroyed the tomb. When the second Beacon was out, that person would move to position 2, we’ll let the tomb fall down, and move to the second position.
Sounds easy? It’s not.
- Everyone is trained to spread out. Seriously, it’s almost second nature now. So much so, that as soon as the tomb was broken, many people’s instinct was to spread out immediately, when instead we were supposed to stay put until the second Frost Tomb was down.So, learn to group hug more!
- Out of line of sight of her, but in LoS (and range!) to the tanks. If I had to make the choice, my instinct was on self preservation: I would throw all I had on the tank (PoM, shield, renew, PS if up) and go hide behind the tomb. Keep in mind though that if you don’t run quickly behind a tomb, it’s likely to have disappeared before you get there AND the debuff runs off, so you may be better off staying out, skipping a tomb, and keep healing.
- Icy Grip still goes out – however, Frost Tombs protect you from it. So if you’re behind a tomb when she grips, you’re safe. The jury is still out, though, on whether the tombs protect you from Blistering Cold. My suggestion is to run far our anyway, just to be on the safe side. Also, if you’ve been pulled in when tombs are around, it’s doubly important that you stay on the “right side” of Sindragosa, where the rest of the raid is – so, no using of the special trick I mentioned before in this phase. Quite simply, you cannot risk being on the other side of the boss when you get a frost beacon. Finally, if you’re running out, try to avoid getting stuck on the tombs – keep in mind that quite likely your view will be partially blocked by the GIANT BONY DRAGON in the way, so try to remember where the tombs were….
In general, try not to get too frustrated. The fight is very easy at first, then with P3 jumps up to extremely difficult. All the same, P1 and P2 still have a lot of deadly stuff going around – battle rezzes are invaluable to pick up people who fail at something and die stupidly. If you don’t have them, then resign yourself to having long periods of buffs – setup – start the fight followed by short bursts of P3 where everybody seems to explode. It may seem like you’re not learning, but you actually are – it’s just that a lot of things have to click before you can last an appreciable amount of time in P3.