08
Dec
09

Icecrown Citadel is Upon Us

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.

Lord Marrowgar

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

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!

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2 Responses to “Icecrown Citadel is Upon Us”


  1. December 8, 2009 at 10:41 pm

    We did ICC normal tonight. It’s definitely… normal mode. We ended up going with 4 healers (2 priest, 1 druid, 1 shaman) because the rest of our healers didn’t have working UIs yet.

    Marrowgar was a total pushover, nobody will have any problems with it.

    We wiped once on Lady Deathwhisper to empowered adds, primarily for being so light on healing, and having no holy paladins to bomb through the big damage. I strongly recommend more than 4 healers.

    Gunship Battle was also a cakewalk. We retreated from the horde ship once, when Saurfang had 35 stacks of his buff and was starting to hit for real, this is definitely an avoidance-stack fight, although a planned retreat doesn’t hurt you at all. Just wait for a Battle-mage, kill it, and send your team away. Next week, I’ll have avoidance trinkets on, though.

    Deathbringer Saurfang is really easy, disappointingly so. Your best bet is to use 2 tanks, I think, and swap at Mark of Blood. Doing this, avoidance isn’t really rewarded. If you want to solo-tank it, you’re going to get a lot more Marks on the raid, and you definitely want to wear all the avoidance you can. However, it’s pretty easy to ignore the mechanics on this fight and just burn through, which is what we did on our pull. I solotanked in EH gear, he put marks all over the place, we just dealt with it.

    All in all, it’s harder than ToC normal mode, I think. I’ll let you know, though, when we go with a balanced raid with working mods. We actually wiped on a normal-mode boss. I think Deathwhisper is the least forgiving boss of the 4.

  2. 2 Wrathy
    December 9, 2009 at 8:30 am

    I will have to agree with you that it is definitely normal mode. We were not as coordinated as you, so I think we wiped once on each of the last three bosses. We wiped for the same reason you did on deathwisper, our tank on the other side just got clobbered by the empowered adds. We wiped once on the Gunship because I was being stupid and let the stacks get too high (although 258 gear must make a difference because I was having to retreat at 20 stacks), and we wiped once at like 5% on Deathbringer because people stopped dpsing the adds to try to kill the boss.

    Really, as I will elaborate in todays post, I think that these encounters have the potential to be quite difficult on Hard Mode, and I look forward to it. It was, regardless of relative ease, a nice change of pace, and I really like the atmosphere in the new instance.

    Also, I was surprised by… TRASH! I was a bit disappointed in how much of a pushover the trash was, but it was nice to see some trash, because people forgot what to do with it.


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