You are not prepared!
I am sure everyone in the blogosphere will be commenting on the drop of patch 3.3 today, and since I have nothing better to talk about today, I wanted to touch on two topics. First, with the advent of patch 3.3, Icecrown Citadel, and Chill of the Throne, I wanted to talk about my change in gear, gems, and enchants. I also would like to talk about the first boss, namely positioning, tanking strategy, and gear choices based off of the information that we have, as most of us will get in there tonight with out ever stepping foot on the PTR.
I need more STAMINA scotty!!!
After the announcement of chill of the throne, and subsequent lengthy discussion on the maintankadin forums, it has been identified that your best relative gains out of enchanting and geming your gear is pure stamina. There is a bit of a contradiction here when it comes to gearing philosophies, at our current levels of gear and avoidance in 245 to 258 gear, avoidance is a very attractive statistic for yours truly. Each additional percentage point of avoidance gets you that much closer to becoming passively unhittable with mostly avoidance (and not block rating). As your avoidance increases, each additional point of avoidance is more valuable. I slapped on a gimmick set to do Crazy Cat Lady a few nights ago and broke 70% avoidance while maintaining a respectable health pool.
However, with the advent of Chill of the throne, the opportunity cost of getting that next percentage point of avoidance is not worth the steep diminishing returns which are beginning to set in. Stamina, which does not suffer any diminishing returns, and also gives you a direct increase to your effective health, is the most attractive stat when it comes to TTL so far in ICC. With that being said, each one of my item level 258 items has pure stamina gems in then (Save one), and has stamina or armor on it as an enchant. Going forward I will be taking a bit more damage, but relatively speaking, the healers will see the hits getting “Smaller and smaller” as my health pool grows. I am currently walking around with about 44k unbuffed hp in my effective health set, and I plan on getting that up a bit more in the next few weeks with the new trinket and a few new pieces of gear.
So, in the end, the avoidance advocate of the MainTankadin community is finally stepping off his soap box and crossing the picket lines to the stamina camp. /nod mel.
The first boss of Icecrown Citadel is named Lord Marrowgar and he is a big ugly skeleton thing. He has several abilities of note, and most of them have to do with the “rest” of the raid. What we will be focusing on today is his damage intake on the tanks, and what we can do to properly prepare ourselves for this encounter. Below are his abilities in no particular order:
Bone Spike Graveyard – Hurls a massive bone spike which impales any enemies in the way. 3 sec cast
Bone Storm – Attacks nearby enemies in a whirlwind of bone, which causes them to bleed for until cancelled. Instant
Coldflame – Inflicts 9000 Frost damage every 1.0 sec for 8 sec. Instant
Saber Lash – Splits 300% of normal melee damage to an enemy and its two nearest allies. Melee range. Instant
Saber Lash – Prevents the target from being impaled while tanking. Unlimited range. Instant
The first thing that sticks out in my mind is FROST damage, as we are better at mitigating physical attacks, and we gear this way for the most part. However, upon closer consideration, we can predict that this is an ability that does not target the tank. While you can be targeted by it during P2 (we will get to that soon), when you are being hit by the boss, you will hopefully not have to worry about this. So, what do you have to worry about?
Saber lash is a frontal cone attack that hits the tank and his two closest friends. What this means is that you will more than likely have three tanks for this encounter, and two of them can go /afk popcorn for 2/3 of the fight. Saber Lash is pure physical damage, and the only magical damage is avoidable, so an armor heavy, stamina heavy gear set is what I recommend, I will be going into this fight with my highest AC possible, ensuring that I can mitigate as much damage as I can. This seems like the perfect chance to test out Theck’s new formula, and my new spreadsheet.
During Phase 1, which is a tank and spank for us, you will be tanking the boss in his spawn location, and facing him away from the raid. The pull will be executed by running through his body and turning him 180 degrees. At this point, you and your off tanks will settle into a nice little tps rotation for 1 minute.
At the end of 1 minute, Phase 2 starts. Phase 2 is a 30 second whirlwind extravaganza with all of the goodies to boot. Marrowgar still sends out blue flames at random raid members, and uses bone spike (unconfirmed). You will have to spread your raid out, and for the three off tanks, it just means running to the back wall and spreading out. At this point, your job is to avoid blue flames and ensure that you are in range when the music stops, so that you can pick him back up and position him correctly. Once the thirty seconds of P2 is complete, you can rinse and repeat P1 and P2 until you have your very first ICC shiny purples.
Good luck to everyone tonight with both the first wing of ICC, and the more important and devastating boss, the hamster powering your specific server. I know that from personal experience, I should not expect too much out of tonight, and that I should have a movie in the BluRay player so that I am entertained through the “world server is down” messages, but I really want to see some server firsts tonight!