Archive | March, 2010

Why My Spec is Better Than Your’s

Just kidding. In fact, a need to revise my spec has led me to write this post.

Our basic PvE talent build these days is 5/5/55, with 5 points in Seals of the Pure for the obvious buff to SoV damage. However, this build still leaves 6 points to toss around. Where should I put them, you may ask? Let’s look at your options, sorted by tree.

Heisenberg doesn’t know where to put your talent points, but I do. Lysogen 1, quantum mechanics 0.

HOLY

Spiritual Focus – Garbage. Other than the occasional spot-FoL from an AoW proc, you shouldn’t be healing. This should be obvious.

Healing Light – Equally garbage. Again, not healing.

Unyielding Faith – Interesting. Could be situationally useful. Let’s keep this one in mind.

Divine Intellect – Not terrible, but we aren’t exactly shooting for a big mana pool here. This talent’s main value is in allowing us to reach a bit farther in the Holy tree.

Illumination – No.

Improved Lay on Hands – Again, no.

Aura Mastery – This spell would be the point of dumping points into the Holy tree. For us Rets used to having raid utility (RIP RaidSac), AM provides something to do. For heavy magical damage fights, you could activate a resist aura and double its effectiveness for 6 seconds. For heavy physical damage fights, you could activate Devotion Aura and give your tanks double armor for a small crunch period. The actual usage of this spell is somewhat limited, but it’s something.

PROTECTION

Do you got your Divine Strength 5/5? Ok, good. Now get out of this tree. Seriously. Since grabbing Seals of the Pure has become mandatory, you no longer have enough free points to grab Divine Sacrifice AND the talent that makes it not suck, Divine Guardian.

Besides, no other talent in the Protection tree within reach will increase your DPS or raid utility. Divinity used to be ok before they normalized JoL healing, but alas, no longer.

RETRIBUTION

You’ve spent 55 points in this tree and you want to spend MORE in it? Well… ok then.

Deflection – Wow. The fact that you’d even think about putting points into this is making me tear up a little. And angry. Right-click those points back and let’s pretend this never happened.

Vindication – I would consider this the main reason to dump your points into the Retribution tree. If you don’t have a prot paladin / warrior / feral druid / warlock in your raid, this talent can be very useful in lowering damage taken by your tanks. Communicate with your raid team and see what buffs/debuffs are available.

Eye for an Eye – Barely useful. Shouldn’t see this proc too much (probably only on trash pulls) if you have decent tanks / you can manage your threat. For now, I’m going to advise against taking this.

Divine Purpose – Situationally useful. Reduced chance to get hit by spells and ranged attacks is nice (i.e. Lady Deathwhisper’s Frostbolts), and the ability to get out of certain stuns (unfortunately, not Tear Gas) could be useful as well.

==============================

So, which build suits you? Here’s a hard-and-fast rule:

Do you have an AP debuff in your raid (via feral druid, warrior, warlock, or prot paladin)?

Yes: 11/5/55

No: 7/5/59

The theory behind the second talent spec is that since you shouldn’t be getting hit by much of anything, it makes Eye for an Eye useless, freeing up two points that can be put into Unyielding Faith. Less time in fears/disorient effects, the more time DPSing the boss.

Avenger’s Shield: The Lich King

If you’ve been following my guide posts, you’re probably looking at the title of this one and scratching your head.

You: “I thought his ret series was titled ‘Using that Mace’? And how did we go from Saurfang to the Lich King? Did we step on some funky time-machine teleporter that draws upon the powers of the Nether, draenei tails, and tax dollars?”

Me: No, silly. I just wanted to pen down my guild’s strat for this fight before it escapes the butterfingers of my short-term memory. And since I tanked this fight, and will tank heroic 10-man Icecrown Citadel, I figured the main focus of a new series would be (duh) tanking.

Therefore, I present Avenger’s Shield!

… Yes, like the spell. Ok look, Rhidach already took Righteous Defense, Galo got Ardent Defender, this was the best I could think of.

I’m sorry I ended that sentence with a preposition, damn vernacular.

There are so many things wrong (and right… giggidy) with this picture, but it’s relevant, so it stays.

In explaining this encounter I’ll be using some visual aids, a first for me (I think), so bare with the crude symbols and obviously-assembled-in-Word quality.

THE LICH KING

Well, you’ve made it. You’ve bested his minions, now you’re facing the big bad of Icecrown Citadel, the Lich King. Sitting at a whopping 17.4 million health, this is a fight you’re going to want to be comfortable for. (Damn prepositions, they’re everywhere!)

Let’s go over your pre-fight checklist:

  • Beverage?
  • Comfortable headset?
  • Seat cushion?
  • Hot wings, Cheetos, or some other sloppy snack that will get its residue all over your keyboard and mouse?
  • Gentleman’s bladder or adult diaper?

Just kidding about that last one… I hope.

The fight starts out with some RP, go figure. The Lich King will get pissed at Tirion and freeze him, making him completely useless. Honestly, it would have been nice if he would’ve given us a hand, but no…

For the first part of the fight (i.e. from 100% to 70%), one tank should pick up LK and the other get in position to pick up the Shambling Horrors that he summons every minute or so. The ghouls he summons, as long as they’re not on ranged or healers, can mostly be ignored. Below is my diagram of positioning for phase 1 (note: I’m assuming a raid comp of 3 ranged DPS, 2 melee DPS, and 3 healers).

The Horror tank will… tank the Horrors. Also, if the Horror tank is a paladin, he or she can help dispel the Necrotic Plague from your raid members so it can jump around the adds and burn them down. The Horrors and the Lich King should be tanked at least 10 yards apart, to prevent melee from getting the plague. Otherwise, rinse and repeat until about 71%, at which time you should be ready to run.

At 70%, LK will start casting Remorseless Winter, which HURTS. Also, ice blocks rise around the outside of the platform. Every single member of your raid needs to get on these. During this intermediate “transition” phase, LK will summon two types of adds.

The first are Ice Spheres. These should be taken down by ranged. While they have low health, if they reach the raid they will throw you off the platform and kill you. Just have ranged burn these quick and then they can turn their attention to the next type of add, which will require some fancy footwork on your part.

The second type of adds during this phase are Raging Spirits. Similar to the mechanic for the Val’kyr Herald trash mobs, a Spirit will knock a player down and spawn immediately beside it. Before 3.3.3, there was a slight delay in the spawning of the add and attaining aggro, making it easy for tanks to pick them up. With the new patch, however, these start demolishing your raid as soon as they spawn, so be quick. Tank them together to achieve maximum cleave-y potential.

There will be three (3) total Raging Spirit spawns, whether you’re ready for them or not, in this transition phase, which lasts a minute. After this time, the ice you’re standing on will crumble and fall, so you need to get back to the middle quickly. Prepare to enter phase 2.

When you enter phase 2, you’ll inevitably have at least one Raging Spirit still up from before, so just tank that off to the side, facing away from the raid (as they’ll silence anyone in front of them). This entire phase centers around two abilities: Defile and Summon Val’kyr. I’ve assembled two diagrams for phase 2; one of what your raid should look like a few seconds before a Defile, and one for a few seconds before Summon Val’kyr. Let’s discuss the pre-Defile diagram.

Your raid will want to be as spread out as possible right before Defile is cast. For this spell, the Lich King will target someone, then start a two-second cast for Defile. Once the cast is finished, a void zone-esque effect will spawn at that person’s feet. That person will want to flee as far as they can to the edge of the platform, drop off the void, and get back into the middle without running into it (if any raid member sits in it, it’ll get bigger and bigger, causing a wipe).

It should be noted that the rest of this encounter will involve a conscious effort of avoiding the Defile voids, so be aware of where they are and what you need to do to avoid them at all times.

Now let’s look at the Summon Val’kyr diagram. This one is pretty simple. When the Lich King summons a Val’kyr, the add will fly down, pick up a raid member, and try to throw them off the platform. In order to give your DPS the maximum amount of time to burst down the valk, position your entire raid as close to the middle as you can afford (voids notwithstanding).

As you can imagine, phase 2 is very headache-inducing, as it has you spreading as far out as you can and then packing in really close. There is one more ability to add to your migraine, however; Soul Reaper.

As a paladin tank, we have a few ways out of the insta-gibbing greatness that is Soul Reaper. First, we can pop Divine Protection. Our own little Shield Wall does a good job of mitigating LK’s ridiculous damage during this ability. Otherwise, receiving Hand of Sacrifice from another paladin tank OR holy or ret paladin can work as well, although less damage will be mitigated using this method. The third, and seemingly most last-resortish, is Ardent Defender. I wouldn’t recommend planning on Ardent Defender, primarily because you have at least one other option for staying alive during Soul Reaper, not counting healer cooldowns.

Phase 2 will last until the Lich King reaches 40% health, at which point another transitional phase occurs. This phase is almost exactly like phase 1.5, except four (4) Raging Spirits spawn rather than 3. Again, this phase lasts 60 seconds, so have your DPS burn the Spirits down as quickly as they can. At the end of the transitional phase, the Lich King will cast Quake again and drop the edges off the platform, so hurry up and make your way back to the middle.

When you get back to the center, phase 3 begins. Although he’ll still cast Defile and Soul Reaper, the Lich King will no longer summon valks. Instead, he’ll cast Vile Spirits, summoning a number of… Vile Spirits. These spawn directly above LK and float their way down to you. If they reach you, or 30 seconds elapses, they’ll explode, which hurts quite a bit, especially if there are several spirits stacked together. In order to give your ranged time to DPS them down, drag LK as far away from the spirits’ spawn point as you can. The fewer number of spirits that hit you, the better.

Essentially, phase 3 breaks down to dealing with Defile and its voids, killing Spirits, and managing tank/healer cooldowns for Soul Reaper. Just burn that mother to 10% and, before you know it, it’s game over.

LK will instantly kill you (I knew he had it in him, ‘atta boy), then some more RP stuff will happen. You’ll be resurrected by Terenas, at which point you’ll have to burn the Lich King down from 10% to 0. Pop wings, throw your shield, toss a hammer, go nuts.

How about some loot?

On 10m,

Troggbane, Axe of the Frostborne King

On 25m,

Mithrios, Bronzebeard’s Legacy

Conqueror’s Mark of Sanctification

(As there is no set BiS list for tanking gear, I’ll leave it up to you to decide if these are upgrades or not.)

Grats! Hopefully this (sarcasm) short (/sarcasm) explanation has been helpful. Until next time!

Using that Mace: Deathbringer Saurfang

Finally, I’m gifted with the free time to finish up my Lower Spire ICC guides! Just finished with my quantum chem midterm and am a mere one day away from spring break! Unfortunately, I’ll be stuck at work for the entire week I have off, but I’m a broke college student, so more money is always welcome.

Today, for your listening pleasure, I present you with some reading music. Enjoy!

So you’ve just blown up the other faction’s gunship, now what? All hands, brace for… docking!

Ah, the entrance to the Upper Spire, there it is… why is the door closed? What could POSSIBLY stand in our way now?

Oh… the Lich King resurrected Saurfang the Younger and turned him into an evil Death Knight-ish minion. Great, just great.

DEATHBRINGER SAURFANG

Your raid should be set up in two basic groups, melee and ranged. Don’t even ask me what group you should be in; bad ret, BAD.

There are two strats, that I’ve heard of, to deal with adds. I’ll cover the whole fight assuming one strat, then go back and say what would be different for the other.

The fight starts off simple enough. You’ll be hittin’ Saurfang for a little bit, life is pretty simple. You don’t really have to worry about the debuffs he tosses out (except for Mark of the Fallen Champion, which you’ll have to be healed through or die, nothing you can really do about it so don’t worry), so just keep swinging. But then, Saurfang casts a little spell called Call Blood Beast, and EXCREMENT HITS THE ROTOR!

Yes, a fan spins, grats. The Blood Beasts, when they strike players, add a stacking buff to Saurfang that increases his size and damage output, so these things should be taken down quickly.

The first strat I have encountered has melee dealing minimal AoE damage, for a number of different reasons.

First, in this scenario, the ranged will aggro and slow them, chipping away at their health slowly while making sure they don’t hit anyone, thus preventing Saurfang from gaining stacks of Blood Power and easing the jobs for healers/tanks.

If you pop down a Consecration while the ranged are trying to get aggro, you’ll get aggro instead, the beasts will start hitting you, and Saurfang will start stacking his buff, basically eliminating the point of the strat.

Second, the beasts have a buff called Resistant Skin, which pretty much makes AoE worthless.

Therefore, I’d recommend taking Consecration off your bar / out of your rotation for this fight, and use Divine Storm sparingly and conscientiously.

He’s lookin’ a little pale…

For the other strategy, which is the strategy my current guild uses, have melee take down the beasts quickly, single-targetting them and applying stuns judiciously. This should be used when you fairly outgear the encounter, basically when your DPS can take Saurfang down quickly enough before his damage becomes unhealable.

At 30% Saurfang will mini-enrage by popping Frenzy, basically decreasing the amount of time your heals can keep your tanks alive. Provided you have the DPS, you should down Saurfang soon and rejoice that you’ve just finished the first section of ICC!!!

Loot time? Yes, loot time!

On 10m, you’re looking at:

Ramaladni’s Blade of Culling  This axe is decent, except for the ArP and blue sockets (why they would EVER put blue sockets on a two-hander… oh wait, DK tanks…). All in all, use your best judgment, but if it’s an upgrade, go for it.

Blade-Scored Carapace  Great chestpiece (minus the gem sockets, AGAIN), just watch out for set bonuses!

Saurfang’s Cold-Forged Band  Only if no one else needs it / it’s better than a ring you’re currently wearing.

On 25m, here’s what you’re rolling on:

Conqueror’s Mark of Sanctification  This is it. Literally. I know you’re eyeing that Deathbringer’s Will, and I don’t blame you. Turning into a buffalo would be frickin’ sweet, but it’s just not that good. In fact, it’s terrible for us. Resist the urge.

Next up (when I get some more time on my hands), the Plagueworks!

Lysogen the Kingslayer?

FUCK QUEENS, I SLAY KINGS MOTHAFUCKA!!!!
FUCK LOOT, I WANT TITLES MOTHAFUCKA!!!!

And I actually got a good SS too! … Might have something to do with having time to find my button while I was dead (it was a PART of the mechanic, not my fault!)

Sorry about the NSFW beginning to this post, I wrote it like 2 minutes after we got the kill and I was just filled to the brim with ecstatic rage.

What a fight though, oh betsy…  I wish I had time tonight to go over our strat and our vacillation between stupid wipes and DEAR GOD 6% LEFT, MY COOLDOWN’S COOLDOWNS ARE DOWN AND THE OTHER TANK IS DEAD! So, another day, perhaps…

Oh, and after we downed L.K. (I don’t know why I insist on properly abbreviating his name), we decided to pop into ToGC 10 and see what we could do…

All in all, a great night to be a raiding ret paladin with a viable prot offspec. More updates to come!

Attn: Lich King

STOP SQUIRMING!!! I swear, if you forgot to take your benzos again, I am going to F-L-I-P…

Oh, and you’re officially on notice. Come Tuesday, it’s me, you, the main tank, the three healers, and the five DPS.

And Tirion’s there, I guess.

You know, you’d think the “Frozen Throne” would be cold, but snuggling with big daddy L.K. and Ava… man was it getting toasty.

(Yes, I did offtank the Lich King encounter, as well as Sindragosa prior to that, which we one-shotted… but L.K., not so much. Another, longer post to follow!)

Using that Mace: Gunship Battle

Oh snap, and here we are at boss encounter numero tres: Gunship Battle. Let’s do a quick recap:

You’ve boned Marrowgar,

You’ve silently told (ah, whisper, get it?) the Lady that she’s dead,

And now you’re on the elevator.

When you reach the top, you should be facing a group of Alliance NPCs battling some Horde NPCs. Why can’t we all just get along??? Come on, guys, group hug.

Yeah, I know, fat chance. Well, target the healers first, but still just cleave, cleave, cleave. There’s a lot of cleave contained within Icecrown Citadel; you just have to juice that melon until you’re left with dried out rind. You know what that rind is? The pile of dead bosses left in your juicy wake. Yup.

Ok, so I suck at photo editing. Let’s continue.

If you take a right at the T intersection (which you should), then you’ll only encounter two packs of these faction-specific trash mobs and a frost wyrm before you reach the gangway to the Gunship.

 
 
 

 GUNSHIP BATTLE

This is one of the more unique boss encounters I have experienced this expansion. One part vehicular combat, one part tank n’ spank with a twist of lime is how I’d describe this encounter.

The first thing (VERY first thing) you want to do when you get aboard your faction’s gunship (either Orgrim’s Hammer or the Skybreaker) is to grab a rocket pack from Zafod Boombox, equip it, and bind it to a hotkey. I don’t care if your raid leader says you’re going to stay on the ship the whole time or whatever, grab one. It’s epic.

What will essentially happen is that your ship takes off to travel to the Upper Spire of Icecrown Citadel and the other faction’s ship meets your’s and you guys duke it out for a bit. Again, WHY CAN’T WE ALL JUST GET ALONG?!

Anyway, the entire encounter can be distilled down to two phases. The first phase involves the vehicular combat and the second, the tanking and spanking. Your raid leader will assign 2 (on 10m) or 4 (on 25m) gunners, whose job will be to jump in the turret and fire on the enemy ship. If you’re assigned to do this, jump in before the encounter starts and familiarize yourself with the controls.

Warning: I have never been a gunner, so I’m using second-hand info here. Please correct me if any of it is wrong or if I omitted something.Thanks to WoWWiki and Wowhead, I found the abilities for the turret.

PHASE ONE

In the turret, you pretty much have two moves at your disposal (gotta love vehicles). The first is Cannon Blast, which you’ll start out firing. With each shot, heat will build up in the turret, which is where your next ability comes in, Incinerating Blast. When you reach 90 heat, or as close to 90 as you’re comfortable with, use that second ability. It will consume all of the heat “charges” and fire a fiery shot at the enemy ship, inflicting quite a bit of siege damage.

Just continue pumpin’ iron out of your cannon until a Skybreaker Sorcerer / Kor’kron Battle-Mage comes out and casts Below Zero on your turrets, freezing them and making them non-functional.

If you are not in the turret (and as I said earlier, I never have been), just try to avoid rocket strikes that are shown with a fancy-shmancy circle on the deck (like in the Mimiron encounter) and help out with adds spawning from a portal on your own ship.

PHASE TWO

With the turrets frozen, the priority becomes killing the caster that’s channeling Below Zero on your turrets so you can get back to damaging the opposing faction’s ship. If you’re on the “jump team,” as we call it, you will use your rocket pack to jump to the other ship. This is done by simply pressing your rocket pack hotkey, targeting a spot on the enemy ship, and clicking. Once you’re over there, DPS the caster down while your tank makes sure the enemy general (either Muradin Bronzebeard or High Overlord Saurfang) doesn’t cleave the cleave right out of you. When the caster is dead, just jump back over to your ship.

That’s pretty much the entire encounter. Just alternate between these phases and within a few switches you’ll cripple the other ship and, out of appreciation, your general will offer you some loot from the ship’s armory. Good job!

Now let’s see what you want to get your grubby little hands on:

On 10m,

Saronite Gargoyle Cloak  The socket bonus is nice, considering you’d probably stick a Bold Cardinal Ruby in there anyway (if you weren’t going to… do it, don’t question why).

Bone Drake’s Enameled Boots  Some fairly nice boots, the Expertise is welcome, but the ArP can stay home and watch Tool Academy as far as I’m concerned.

On 25m,

Polar Bear Claw Bracers  BiS bracers pre-heroic ICC. GET THEM NAO!

Skeleton Lord’s Circle  BiS (one of them, at least) ring pre-heroic ICC. Again, GET IT NAO!

Shadowvault Slayer’s Cloak  If you’re really desperate for a cloak, and for some reason, no one in your entire 25m raid wants this thing, go for it. Otherwise, hold off, there’s a better cloak heading your way in the Plagueworks.

That’s it for the Gunship Battle. Don’t touch that dial, Deathbringer Saurfang is up next!

Reason Number 46 of Why I Shouldn’t Have Children

Many of you may notice that I’m terrible at taking screenshots of action. Other bloggers are much much better at it but for some reason, when I get an achievement or something SS-worthy, my brain is just like “ohh, shiny” and I totally zone out.

Of course, I’m referring to my ICC posts lately; I’d try to put in some legit screenshots, but I’ve been having tryouts for this guild I’m apping to for 2 weeks now and every time I raid with them I’m trying to outshine this other ret paladin, who is actually pretty good. Even though I really want the spot, I tip my hat to you, Locien, and wish you the best of luck!

What I really wanted to talk about (briefly, as I’m still working on my ICC posts) is what I consider one of the most ideal boss fights for ret paladins seen so far this patch, and it is in none other than the Vault of Archavon.

TORAVON THE ICE WATCHER

We all should know this fight by now. In case you don’t, all you need to do is:
     a) Kill the boss, and
     b) Stay alive.

Pretty simple. Stay alive by not sitting in a Frozen Orb. Kill the boss by hitting it a lot.

But this is what I love: the usual “OMG I’m out-DPSing you” ranged peoples are (or should be) too busy killing Frozen Orbs to attack the boss much, making this fight melee-favored.

For example, I was in a 25m VoA last night and, for Toravon, I was first in DPS and overall damage at roughly 7900, with another ret paladin in second at 7400. Word.

How did I do that, you ask? Well, young apprentice, when something is melee-favored, I slam my keys twice as hard to get some bigger numbers. Or I use a baby, because babies are excellent facerollers.

It works, trust me.

Using that Mace: Lady Deathwhisper

As promised, here’s installment number 2 of my “Using that Mace” series for Icecrown Citadel: the Lady Deathwhisper encounter.

[Edit: I've been made aware of the fact that my commenting isn't working for some reason. So, to those of you that have just been dying to leave me a fart joke or something, I apologize and I'm trying to get to the bottom of it.]

I would’ve been able to say that I was writing this while plowed my way through a 10m ICC PuG and written the encounter ‘as it happened,’ per se, but no, I got saved to a 10m ICC PuG earlier in the day that was already on the second boss when I entered the instance and promptly got disconnected. Yay!

Anyway, so you’ve just downed Marrowgar, maybe got some loot, and are trodding up the stairs behind him. Eventually you’ll reach the top of the stairs and be looking out over the room containing the Lady herself and her few packs of adds.

The trash itself is pretty simple; your tanks will pull one pack at a time, while everyone else should be around one of the corners, LoS-ing the mobs until they reach the top of the stairs. Then just cleave, cleave, cleave away.

After these two packs are done, the only trash left before the boss are the two large guys on either side. Fairly simple tank n’ spank, however, if you get a debuff on you (blanking on the name) run away from everyone else.

LADY DEATHWHISPER

There are two phases to the Lady Deathwhisper encounter. The first phase is primarily add management, while the second phase is your standard ‘kill the boss’ phase.

On 10m, your raid should split into at least two groups: a tank and some DPS for the adds and some ranged on the boss. And some healers. Ok, maybe that’s three.

On 25m, you should split up similarly, only now each side of the room spawns adds every time, so each side should have its own dedicated add-killing team of tank and DPS. Also, your third tank should be positioned in the back of the room to pick up the errant add that spawns back there as well. Oh, and some more healers.

I should perhaps explain why there are a few ranged DPS on the boss. Deathwhisper has a Mana Barrier, similar to a mage’s Mana Shield, that protects her from harm by deducting damage taken from her mana instead of her health.

(Technically, damage she takes is first deducted from her health and then replenished from her mana, like a continual healing effect, but what ever.)

It is only when this barrier is down can you actually kill her. So your ranged DPS that are assigned to the boss will be slowly chipping away at that barrier. Anywho, let’s get on to the first phase.

PHASE ONE

When you “pull” Lady Deathwhisper, she will throw up her barrier and start summoning waves of adds on a timed basis (your DBM should inform you when the next wave of adds are gonna spawn, just an FYI). Deathwhisper spawns two types of adds: Cult Adherents and Cult Fanatics. Adherents are the ones that you want to take down first, as they toss up Shroud of the Occult, preventing ranged from really doing anything to them. Plus they’re fragile little clothies, and we ALL know how fun it is to tear a poor clothy apart.

After those are down, you should grind down the Fanatics, and if you’re on 25m, assist in taking down the add at the back of the room.

Periodically, an add will cast Dark Martyrdom, which will kill it and allow it to be resurrected as a skeleton. These need to be burned quickly. If it’s a Reanimated Adherent, go to town. If it’s a Reanimated Fanatic, let your ranged deal with it. However, if you’re DPS is high enough, you could completely avoid this.

Anyway, this will continue for a while until your ranged can bring down Deathwhisper’s barrier. It’s best to time this between add spawns, for obvious reasons.

PHASE TWO

Phase two begins as soon as her barrier drops, allowing you to actually do damage to her. This is mostly the burn phase, except that you need to watch out for the following:

No, they’re not going to help you with ghosts, stop calling them.

  1. Ghosts. They’re spawn periodically and chase people. Right before they die all a’splody-like, they cast Vengeful Blast, which… hurts. Just try to get away from them.
  2. Death and Decay. Deathwhisper will spawn one of these every once in a while, which appears as a bright green circle on the floor. MOVE. That’s it.
  3. Frostbolt. These should be interrupted because… well, simply because they can be interrupted. Realistically, we are not the go-to class for interrupts, but if you can toss an extra interrupt in there every once in a while, especially if someone says they can’t get the next interrupt, go ahead.
  4. Dominate Mind. The Lady only uses this in 25m, so don’t fret about it in 10m. Works just like any other Mind Control mechanic, just CC the affected individual for 12 seconds and you should be good.

Just rinse and repeat, and you should come out of the wash with a dead Lady Deathwhisper. Congrats! Loot time!

On 10m, some loot you might want:

Whispering Fanged Skull  Just an amazing trinket, apparently has a 35% proc rate and a 45 second internal cooldown, meaning that it will be up often.

Deathspeaker Zealot’s Helm  Pretty darn good helm, just remember not to break your 2pT9 until you get 4pT10!!

On 25m, some loot you might want:

Blood-Soaked Saronite Stompers  BiS boots before heroic ICC. GET IT NOW!

Ahn’kahar Onyx Neckguard  Also BiS neck before heroic ICC. ROLL ROLL ROLL!

Stay tuned for the Gunship encounter!

Using that Mace: Lord Marrowgar

It’s been really foggy around these parts lately. It makes me feel very mystical and lost in time… until I get into my car and drive through it! Can’t stop me, fog!

Anywho, Icecrown Citadel has been out for… quite a while now (three months-ish). The King has been slain. Hell, the heroic King has been slain as well! It’s only a matter of time (and ICC raid buffs) until everyone catches up with the top guilds. So, for some reason beyond my understanding, I have decided to write a ret’s guide to the Lower Spire!

[Edit: writing out a guide for Marrowgar and his associated trash took up many more words than I thought, so I'll be splitting up my Lower Spire guide, and most likely subsequent ICC guides, into the individual boss encounters.]

When you enter the instance, you’re greeted with Tirion and his band of merry Argent men. Luckily, Tirion brought some smiths with him, so you can come back here and repair whenever you need, using those oh-so-seldomly-placed teleport pads. Also, the ring vendor is on the left, so when you get Friendly/Honored/Revered/Exalted, remember to come back here and get a new ring.

The trash leading up to Marrowgar is what makes all the ladies swoon over us; Seal of Command + Holy Wrath + Consecrate = ….

Sick eh?

Just go with the flow for these pulls. Your tanks should mark some kill targets (which are typically the Servant of the Throne guys, as their Glacial Blast hurts but can be interrupted), but just cleave to your heart’s content. Your rogues might not disable some of the traps (or you might not have a rogue to do so), which just means that some big mean skeleton guys will come alive and try to kill you. Typical “don’t stand in front, let tank get aggro” business here. There’s just a couple rooms of trash and you’ll get to the first big bad.

LORD MARROWGAR

So… we’ve got a bone to pick with this guy. Just don’t work your fingers to the bone on this fight, the cold is not good for the circulation. I mean, if you’re not wearing your official Remember Jong! ret paladin sweater, then you’re going to get chilled to the bone in here.

Har. Ok, so we got a big, floaty, winged, four-headed bone monster. God, Arthas has some imagination, doesn’t he?

For us DPS, there’s a few important points to this encounter. First, the tanks will pick it up and do the whole facing-away-from-the-raid thing. You do NOT want to attack from the front on this boss, not just because you’ll do less damage due to the elevated expertise cap, but because anyone too close to the tanks will get hit with Saber Lash, which will one-shot you if you are closer than the second tank to the first tank that is getting hit.

Kinda confusing, but trust me, don’t go up there.

Another ability that will be cast rather frequently is Bone Spike Graveyard, which will impale randomly selected raid members on… bone spikes. No wai, amirite? These spikes are targetable and killable, so kill ‘em and save your buds. Depending on which strategy you use, you can just leave them and let cleave/splash damage from your raid DPS attacking the boss kill the spikes, as long as everyone stacks in one area. Just listen to your raid leader for the strat you’re using and adjust accordingly.

The last ability you need to look out for is called Bone Storm. During this phase, the boss will spin around the room and cleave anything that gets in his way. It doesn’t hurt that much, but it’s not recommended to chase him like how you chased that ice-cream truck last week. That was shameful, YOU’RE 28 YEARS OLD, TOM, BUY YOUR OWN ICE CREAM!!!

Aggro mechanics are ignored during this portion of the fight, but as of March 4th, 2010, he no longer drops threat at the end of his storm, so go ahead and hit him a few times to keep your SoV stacks up.

Finally, at any point in the encounter he’ll drop patches of Coldflame around random players, which extend outwards in a cross. It’s blue fire. … It’s fire. It is bad to stand in fire.

The encounter just alternates between these abilities. To recap:

  • Attack Marrowgar from behind (never by the tanks)
  • Stay out of the blue fire
  • Get people down from bone spikes
  • Stay away from the whirlwind of bony death

Mix those ingredients in a shaker and boom, loot time!

On 10m, loot that you might want from Marrowgar:

Citadel Enforcer’s Claymore (pretty nice, and the assloads of Hit on this piece allow you to jostle some gear around if you’re equipping a Mark of Supremacy, for example.

Shawl of Nerubian Silk (I’d only pick this up if no one else needs it (for either MS or OS) AND you’re wearing something akin to Might of the Nerub)

On 25m, loot that you might want from Marrowgar:

Bryntroll, the Bone Arbiter (/want)

Gendarme’s Cuirass (If you’re still rockin’ 2pT9 chest/something else, don’t give that up until you can get 4pT10, not even for this baby! Trust me, that set bonus is gooooooood)

Band of the Bone Colossus (Again, only if no one else needs it (for either MS or OS) AND you’re wearing something akin to Ring of the Violent Temperament)

Until next time… honor and vengeance, paladin!

Oh Excuses, Excuses

Sorry for the lack of posts lately, I’ve been really swamped with coursework so far this semester, especially my quantum mechanics class that they’re trying to pass for a chemistry class. I’m on to you, chemistry department.

Also, and this is perhaps more important than the lack of time to write posts, as previously mentioned, I haven’t had any motivation or inspiration of what to write about. I like writing for the sake of writing, sure. But I’ve wanted to make something useful lately instead of my normal ramblings and when I get stuck on something, I don’t like to just drop it.

I’m going to write something useful, damnit. I know I’m gonna.

Oh, AND I’ve been holding my breath lately for Ferarro’s latest contest for the Wind Rider Cub plushie

Hey, don’t judge me. Or consecrate me.