Dramatis Personae

With the Lich King safely consigned to his icy tomb, the Leopards team had to find themselves something new to do. RS normal or ICC Heroic? We decided to put our new titles to good use and opted for a go at ICC hardmodes.

We blasted through the trash to Marrowgar, not even tripping any skeletons on the way. Additional fight mechanics include more health for the boss, an extra coldflame during Bone Storm, and Bone Spikes at each stop. First surprise: Coldflame hurts. Second surprise: Bone Spikes can kill you very easily if you don’t get enough heals. Third surprise: It’s very good to be freed from a Bone Spike, just not when there is coldflame underneath it, at least not without insta-heals.

Do I need to mention explicitly that we wiped? Three times, I think. Then a new strategy, adapted from a 25-man: Three tanks (or, in our case, two tanks plus a plate-wearing DPS — well volunteered, Mawquin) stand in a triangle, with everyone else in the middle. This forces Marrowgar to do his Bone Storm in a nicely-predictable triangle, with the raid “only” having to worry about moving out of cold flames. It worked like a charm, with only two deaths. Not being able to rez more than one person per fight is a real pain. Down goes Marrowgar!

We proceeded to Lady Deathwhisper. Trash summarily disposed of in the usual manner we had a look at the extra abilities: People get mind-controlled (don’t kill them please…), adds keep spawning after the mana shield is down, the Lady herself is untauntable and those annoying ghosts explode on contact, potentially killing a squishy clothie. We gave it a pull to see how all that would look in practice. I didn’t see much of the fight once the mana shield was down since healing went from frantic to insane, mana was a problem, people died (one got rezzed), and yet we hadn’t actually wiped. Surely we weren’t going to make this on the very first pull….? Oh yes we did — end of The Lady.

Having accomplished this much we knew we could do Heroic Lootship — after all, some of us had done this one before.  Key points, don’t stand in rocket targeting circles and, erm, not sure what else because that’s all a healer has to worry about (well, that and  healing). Heroic gunships is a long fight, requiring sustained concentration (and mana management) but it isn’t actually very hard. The Horde ship gets dispatched back to their cave, or wherever it is the Horde call home.

On to Deathbringer Saurfang. With no hunter nor shaman for slowing options, and Blood Beasts now lethal to anyone they come into contact with this, the two Resto Druids were co-opted into rooting Blood Beasts. Doubts surfaced in my mind… We gave it a pull, and Blood Beast 1 promptly ate the warlock while Blood Beast 2 expressed a preference for boomkin meat, so we wiped with Saurfang at 98% health, after all the lovely blood power we fed him. Nom.

By the way, Scent of Blood is a snare that really sucks — even if the Beast is rooted you can’t run away from it.

Clearly a new strategy was called for. Bear tank went Boomkin to give us another ranged dps, and Mawquin went tank. Blood-beast wise that went much better, and we gave it a few more pulls, learning the fight. Then we called it an excellent night’s raiding and called it, thinking of finishing off with the Naxx weekly.

Oh dear. Various people brought their alts who still needed the Justice Points, and, with a deluge of healers (it’s Naxx, for heaven’s sake, surely we don’t need three healers…?) I decide to take Tox as feral dps; her gear isn’t great but it’s only Naxx.

With that mindset we get to Razzuvious. It turns out that the finer points of using the Obedience Crystals had been forgotten in the lengthy interval since we last had to do it, the minions resented the mind control, and we wiped. In Naxx. Embarrassed! If this was a pug people would quit group now.

However, it’s a guild run so back in we go, with rather more determination. After all, we could do ICC10 hard modes, caving in to Razzuvious is not on. Or perhaps it is. Another wipe. This is getting silly. This time for sure. Finally, the crystals are worked with finesse and accuracy, the dps focus, the minions get healed, and down goes Razzuvious. Phew!

Key Facts

  • Number of Heroic bosses down: 3
  • Number of times Tox used Lifeblood for the haste buff: 4
  • Number of battle rezzes used per fight: 1
  • Number of battle rezzes needed per fight: More than one
  • Usefulness of loot: Meh, some minor upgrades
  • Difficulty of Naxx: A lot higher than we remembered

Excellent raiding, Leopards, more next week!