This week we delve into Icecrown Citadel and see what these new bosses are all about. We face a bag of bones that won't sit still, a somewhat effeminate version of Kel'Thuzad, a lift boss that is actually supposed to kill you and an orc-gone-bad. All in a day's work for your warlock on the go.
Time to dance with the bone lord. There are a couple things to avoid here. First is the boss himself when he spins around and drunkenly staggers all round the room. He moves pretty quickly so there's actually little chance of avoiding him completely but it's not a bad idea to try and minimize the damage you take from him. This ability is called Bone Storm and is well announced, spreading out from others will reduce the chances of you getting hit while he molests someone else. The second thing to get out the way of is Coldflame. He'll be sending out four lines of blue fire frequently throughout the fight, radiating away from him. This happens even when he's spinning about the place. Simple and fundamental rule of raiding -- don't stand in the stuff on the floor.
You can completely avoid Coldflame between Bone Storms by standing close behind him, since they spawn just a little way out. This position is normally held by the melee and possibly the healers so you might not be welcome (more people means more risk when he starts to spin). If you are allowed to stand in there then a Circle might be a good idea to get back out fast.
After each Bone Storm his threat list is wiped, so you want to pay attention to your DoTs, especially Curse of Doom. Make sure you allow your tanks a chance to pick him back up and reposition him before nuking away.
The last thing you need to think about is the Bone Spike Graveyards. These get thrown on raid members semi-randomly and need to be targeted and killed very quickly. Melee should really be dealing with any that appear amid their ranks but ranged DPS need to deal with the others. I found that tab-targeting was fine but you might want to put together a macro that gets you onto the target more quickly; something like:
These should be going down in pretty short order so use a burst damage rotation. For destro locks it's the same as your normal one so carry on. Affliction and demo locks should just spam Shadow Bolts (swap to Soul Fire if you get the chance)./stopCasting
I find this the most interesting fight open in Icecrown Citadel so far but there's still little that is specific for a lock. I'm not about to fill this article with all the mechanics of the boss and the adds, you'll have to go look them up elsewhere (Wowhead or Wowwiki for example). The basics I will cover however. Phase one sees the boss put up a mana bubble that means damage done to her diminishes her mana; when it's all gone we enter phase two. Don't try to use Drain Mana, you will do far more if you just do normal damage.
During phase one a load of adds will spawn, don't get anywhere near them, they really hurt. You can't do any damage to the casters, so if you're not assigned to nuking the boss stick to killing the melee adds. If one comes for you then kite it away and let everyone else deal with it. It's worth spreading out somewhat as sometimes the casters spells splash from their targets. If you have a melee pet I suggest putting it on the boss the whole time.
During phase two you can just nuke the boss, this is a pretty easy tank-and-spank phase, the only thing you really need to be aware of is not standing in the green stuff, but that's true of phase one as well. Make sure all adds from phase one have been cleared up before turning onto her.
On the 25 man version she also casts Dominate Mind every so often. I found that Fear was a good defense against this as it's duration was about the same. Range is a bit of an issue but by standing in the middle of the raid you can fear almost anyone that gets dominated. I used Grid to see who had the debuff and a mouse-over macro to fear them quickly. They are buffed while dominated so can quickly pose a threat.
That macro lets you just hover your mouse over the dominated character's unit frame and press the keybind for the macro. I added the focus line so I could more easily track if the Fear dropped off.#showtooltip Fear
/cast [target=mouseover,harm,exists] [harm,exists] Fear
/focus [target=mouseover,harm,exists] [harm,exists]
This is a pretty easy encounter if people stick to their jobs, but it can get hectic if not. Before the fight have a word with the Zafod Boombox ("He's just this goblin, you know?") and get the Goblin Rocket Pack. Add this to your hotbar and equip it (it goes in the shirt slot). This can be used to jump between ships, it's worth having a practice before the fight starts. Watch out for any practical-joker priests putting levitate on you, it's all too easy to overshoot the edge of the ship... you might want to suggest Slow Fall to the mage, see what happens.
Since you have the awesome Rain of Fire spell you will probably be told to stay on your own ship and just AoE down the mobs that board it. If so just do this and dodge rockets. Runes will appear on the floor where rockets are about to land so stay sharp.
If you are put onto a cannon (not a great idea if you are demo) then use the ability bound to '1' to shoot the closest mobs on the other boat and build up heat. This heat is indicated on your pet (the cannon) mana bar. Don't let the heat reach 100 but when it's nice and high you can use the other ability (number '2') to fire a high-damage ability and dump all the heat. That '1' button can be mashed really fast, so go for your life. Also, build up a good bit of heat before you start the fight, to speed things up a little.
The only other job you might get is to board the enemy ship. If so then you want to kill the mobs on the far side of the ship most of the time. Every so often a mage will step into the middle of the ship and freeze your cannons. Oh yes, you guessed it, you kill the mage as a priority to everything else. Yay! Don't worry about the other boat's captain; they just need to be tanked out of the way to keep him busy. That tank may need to have a break from getting hit for a while, as the captain gains a stacking buff. This is done by everyone jumping back to their own ship. If he doesn't hit anyone for about twenty seconds the stacks drop off and you can carry on. Be sure not to get back over to their boat until it's safe to do so (not even to get that pesky mage) as one hit from the captain will reset the counter on his buff (and kill you).
I never actually spent any time on the other ship so can't tell you if Circle works for a quick return, but I expect it does and it certainly sounds like a good idea to me. That said, the rocket packs are fun.
Another great fight and one that seems to cause some problems though it doesn't need to, everything is quite manageable. As ranged DPS you need to stand as far from the boss as you can and nuke (easy so far), then when the adds spawn, you turn on them and nuke them till they all die (still pretty easy). The tricky part is making sure that the adds never touch you. This is done by killing them before they reach anyone -- either by killing them really quickly or by slowing them down. Frost traps, and earthbind totems are commenly employed for this second option, but your Conflag stun and (should you have it) Shadowfury can also help. Listen to the raid leader on how this will be managed but do everything you can not to get hit at all.
Here's why: Every time one of Saurfang's abilities, or one of those of his adds, does any damage he gains energy. When he has enough energy he applies a really nasty DoT to a random raid member. This will in turn also give him energy, so he starts to gain energy faster and apply more DoTs. The people with DoTs are about as hard to heal as the tanks so your healers start sweating and people might die. This is always bad but when the boss gains 5% health back each time someone dies (Saurfang does by the way) it's horrible.
Liberal use of Power Word: Shield around the raid helps a ton, but generally avoiding the beasties is the key. That and letting someone die... Not the normal way of doing things but actually letting the first person to get Mark of the Fallen Champion die is usually worth it (even if they are a healer). Don't be upset if that's you, but do send out a silent prayer for it to be the mage. Also, don't put a Soulstone on the marked person, while that sounds like a great idea the mark persists through death so they will just come back as a liability, die again and give the boss another hit of %5 health.
So it comes down to slowing the adds, kiting them if needs be (smart use of Circle again) and nuking the boss in between. Stick to direct damage on the adds as they are almost immune to AoE. Keep yourself safe and look forward to some nice tier tokens.
Blood Pact is a weekly column detailing DoTs, demons, and all the dastardly deeds done by Warlocks. If you're curious about what's new with Locks since the last patch, check out WoW.com's guide to patch 3.3 or find out what's upcoming in Cataclysm from the BlizzCon 2009: Class Discussion Panel.