I’m not kidding, the crimson hall is very challenging…
The Crimson Hall
Last night we decided that we needed to see the Blood Queen in 10 man before we pushed any more of our attempt counter. So, with that in mind, we split our raid up into three 10 mans and went into ICC 10 for a shot at the title. The first seven bosses died in quick succession, and we even picked up a few achievements on the way. I personally felt pretty good about our group, we had some solid players who really knew what they were doing. Each dps was averaging upwards of 7k minimum on most fights, our healers were some of our best, and I was tanking with our fury warrior in offspec tank gear that puts our new recruit main tanks’ loot to shame. Then the crimson hall hit us like a brick wall.
The Blood Princes
Yesterday, I did not have much to say about this trio of blood elves, as our 25 man made quick work of them. During the 25 man, I was concentrating so hard on avoiding stuff, cleansing off the spirit finger sparkles, and using all the utility I could muster between my hands spells and raid wall (DS/DG). Last night was another story. I had some quality time to analyze the fight and see it from every aspect as we wiped over and over again. All three of our 10 mans were having major issues with the princes, and were all stuck there for a very long time after plowing through the first seven bosses.
Our particular 10 man group was having problems with a few key issues of the fight. Namely, the empowered flames, the initial pull before our lock could get enough of the nuclei on him, and the nock backs from the shock vortex’s sacking on the raid. We tried a lot of things. And each time we tried something, a new issue creeped up and bit us.
We initially tried to two tank it with me on Valanar and Taldaram with our lock on Keleseth. With a priest and shaman as our healers, and the requirements of spreading out constantly, we found that there was way too much damage on the tanks. I was doing fine, but would every now and then drop to about 30% because I would take back to back hits from both princes. We decided that it would be easier on healers if we went to three tanks, so our fury warrior went back to tanking and we had one person per boss. At this point, we were running into issues with shock vortex.
While the issues with shock vortex’s knock back were short lived as people were good about spreading out, the shock vortex itself was a bit more problematic a few more times before we got our kill. There were plenty of times where our lock tank just dropped from the damage, and there were quite a few times when the empowered conjured flame was the source of our wipe. We were also victim to some unlucky combos of shock vortex and empowered flames. Finally we conceded that we needed three healers. So, our dk logged over to his disc priest, and we one shot it.
Apparently we should have thought about that earlier….
The Blood Queen Lana’thel
With a fresh set of attempts, and this time 15 and not the 10 we got in 25 man, we started in on the queen. Once again AoE damage was really plaguing us and our ability to sustain. We were watching people die to the first bite damage, Delirious slashes, and pact of the darkfallen. This fight seems pretty straight forward if you can heal through the raid damage. I was main tanking with our warrior OTing the mirror. The biggest hit I took was in the 11k range, and that is easily healed through when i have around 56k hp in 10 mans.
The encounter got me to thinking about the gear that you should wear for this fight to minimize the damage done to both the main tank and the off tank. I am conflicted in my opinions. Part of me wants to say that I should be stacking pure armor to mitigate the damage as much as possible. This will enable me to take less damage and as a result will double dip with the off tank taking less damage too. The other side of me is wondering if an avoidance set would be powerful. There were strings of 10 seconds where the MT/OT were taking 0 damage because I was avoiding all of the hits. While this is not a sound plan for surviving burst damage, that is not the concern of this fight.
We may have found our first fight where avoidance as a MT is truly rewarding. She does not hit that hard, and her swing timer is fairly slow, leading me to believe that avoidance is the best solution to damage prevention. I know that we have squashed the theory that avoidance is as good as stamina in ICC, however this may be one of those exceptions to the rule, and a fight where it may truly shine. Stacking stamina in this fight does nothing to prevent the incoming damage. We say that stamina is beneficial because it allows you to take more burst damage, of which there is none on this fight, as well as extending the range of Ardent Defender. Extending AD would be great if I got below 35% but I did not once drop below 50%, making more stamina worthless.
In the end, we called the raid with 9 attempts remaining because it was late and we all had work in the morning. I think I am going to give the avoidance set a shot when we get back in there for the last 9 attempts, and see what happens.
10 man difficulty
I know that there are quite a few people on the MainTankadin forums that are claiming that 10 man ICC is srs bsns and its a joke in terms of difficulty level, but they must be in a different instance than I am. I took a group of 10 people in 258 gear into the instance and spent three hours on the Crimson Hall. One of our three groups cleared the hall, but they did it with a Resto Shaman, Holy Priest, and Holy Paladin. In my opinion if you cant heal through any type of damage with those three, you should consider getting rid of your healers.
There is a known bug on the 10 man Blood Princes encounter which made me feel a bit better, and allowed me to congratulate our group after wiping for so long. The bosses hit as hard in 10 man as they do in 25 man. The damage was not scaled down, and as such your healers will be stressed to the max. For all of you who have cleared it, your healers are excellent players and deserve a pat on the back, I know ours do.