Illorien, Renakashin, and I finally managed to get another scheduled guild run into ICC 10-man Wednesday night.
This is just our second outing as a group. One of our guild officers was running a second 10-man group in parallel that night as well. Epic Adventurers had not, as of the beginning of these groups, downed any boss in ICC except for Marrowgar, and the group the three of us were leading had not even done that.
Wednesday was a day for progressing!
We had a bit of a time sorting out players for each group and a lot of turnover at the last two DPS spots in our run, but we ended up with this group dynamic:
Illorien and Myself
Renakashin, another Holy Paladin, and a Resto Druid
Hunter, Warrior, Mage, Warlock, Ret Pally
So a bit late we started in. My last post on ICC10 detailed our troubles with regards to the trash leading up to Marrowgar. Tonight there was no such trouble. We managed to lose a player or two to lacking of target marking and not being quick enough on taunts of the trap-spawned saber-lashing Deathbound Wards, but no wipes and we were shortly facing down the monstrosity that is Lord Marrowgar.
We originally stayed with the strategy we had tried (and been getting better with) on our last run - tanking Marrowgar in the middle, spreading out the DPS and trying to contain the insanity. Our first attempt was going fairly well until I crashed and had to reboot. I didn't see what happened while my computer was starting up again, but I can't imagine it was pretty.
When I got back in it was suggested that we tank him off to the side of the room instead of the middle. Something about him only being able to use his fire in the same general direction or something - being a tank, I'm in front of him and I can't tell you what it looks like from the other side, but somebody felt this would help with being able to avoid the fire (or possibly bring everybody closer together for killing bone prisons.) It was also noted that he seemed to like to be in one corner or the other at the end of his whirlwind, which would mean less moving him and the raid having to avoid it.
It was an excellent suggestion, and our second attempt was flawless. Illorien and I occasionally had to switch sides of the room - he really did end his whirlwind in one end of the room or the other basically every time - but with Feral Charge I was able to close the distance quickly, and Illorien was quick enough to stay more or less with me. Our DPS worked well at breaking prisons and getting back on the boss, and he went down without a single player death. Progress for our crew and Frost Emblems for the win!
The trash before Lady Deathwhisper didn't provide anywhere near the challenge that the trash before Marrowgar did our first time in. Then again, if we'd known anything about the Deathbound Wards the first time in, we wouldn't have had nearly the issues we did. In any case, it was a simple matter to pull a small group at a time and down them healers, casters and melee. The two big spider-looking guys are a minor pain, but they went down without causing us any issues.
For anybody that hasn't done this fight (and if you've found your way here, you probably have!), it's not an exceptionally difficult fight, if you have reasonable DPS and good coordination. Simply put, you have to maintain enough DPS on Deathwhisper's shield to kill her before she enrages while still having enough of the right kinds of DPS to take out the adds in each wave before a new wave spawns.
We tried a couple of different plans, but the one that worked for us was this: We put the ret Pally on Deathwhisper full time. The Warrior and Hunter were targeting the Adherents, while the Warlock and Mage targeted the Fanatics. Once all of any group were down, the ranged DPS switched to Deathwhisper until the new group of adds spawned. We had the Pally and the Warrior switched at first, it took folks awhile to figure out exactly what was needed on the adds, and Ill and I found out we needed to mark targets for DPS to focus on when there were multiple targets for physical/magical DPS.
While Ill and I had to tank the Fanatics, our damage was focused on the Adherents, since that's where we were limited less. I did discover fairly soon, though, that I had one single ability that could do more than 100 damage to the Fanatics: GO GO FERAL FAERIE FIRE. Yeah, I know, 1000 damage every 6 seconds or so isn't much, but it helps, dangit! One of our attempts ended up doomed when we lost both our Mage and our Warlock with multiple Fanatics up. Let me tell you how much you're not going to be able to kill them without magical damage.
I think Illorien and I failed a little in our explanation of the fight - our successful run had more than once in which the adds went down with 15+ seconds to spare before the next group spawned. I can only surmise that we had DPS switching to the wrong adds because we were calling out to focus fire on an Empowered Adherent or Deformed Fanatic, and we hadn't clearly laid out that you need to stay on the correct type of add because you can't really help with the others.
On what was to be our last attempt of the night because of time, we broke through her shield with all adds down and just under 3 minutes left on her enrage timer. The nice thing about this point in the fight is that it takes a ton less time to take her down than it does to take her shield down. It took us less than 2 minutes to bring her down after her shield fell. On a high from a successful fight, we decided to press on and try the Gunship Battle.
The trash in between is PVP-ish except for the frost drake. None of it caused us much issue, though. Unlike the Faction Champions fight in ToC, these aren't true PVP-like mobs, and they go down a LOT easier. The drake's a chump, too, and easy to kill.
The Gunship Battle!
It took awhile to explain this fight because most of our raid hadn't been here before. There's a lot of random stuff to talk about, but here's the gist of what we did.
Our raiding party to the other boat consisted of Illorien, Renakashin, the Warlock, and the Warrior. Our guns were manned by the Hunter and the ret Pally. Everything was going well up until the end of our first raiding party trip across to the other side. Rena had issues getting back across and died. Fortunately, she was close enough to the edge that our tree was able to Rebirth from our boat, and before long we were up and going again. Our Warlock went down, then our Mage. I tried to Rebirth the Mage but a portal opened up and he got one-shotted by the mob that appeared on top of him.
We added our hunter to the raiding party going across. Somehow, through all this craziness, we managed to stay ahead of the Horde. When we lost our ret Pally shortly before the end of a raid to the other boat, some folks were ready to wipe - but we were close enough to the end that Illorien hopped in the cannon in his place, and before another battle mage came out, Orgrim's Hammer fell from the skies.
With no more trash and still on the high of success, we put off sleep for just a little longer to give a shot at Deathbringer Saurfang.
I probably didn't do a good job of explaining this fight - I know I failed to mention why I was spreading everybody out as much as I was. We failed, but with it already being late and in a one-more-shot mode for the last 2 encounters we decided to call it for the night. The deathblow was 2 of our healers going down. I think we gave up a little too much blood power before that happened anyway - I was off on my taunt from Ill, among other things - although we did burn down the blood beasts relatively quickly. I'm positive our next run will be even more successful.
EA's other group had also reached Saurfang by the time we ended. As of the time of writing of this post I do not know if they were successful or not. In either case, our guild made a huge step in progression through the Citadel.
Thanks for joining me on this little detour! I know we may be a little behind the curve, as new content dropped this week and we haven't quite cleared the old content yet, but this was a big success for us and we look forward to more consistent success in the future.