The Priest and the Lower Spire
Posted February 19, 2010on:
By now, all my healers except poor little Nesme have seen the Lower Spire of Ice Crown Citadel (don’t feel too bad for her, though, since she did just get Quel’Delar). I think it attests to the ability of Blizzard to create a raid where I’m not snoozing until I get to the last half of the instance (ToC, I’m looking at you. *evil glare*).
Along the way, I’ve managed to pick up some tricks that maybe will help someone else out there conquer the lower half of ICC. I was going to do this in one great gigantic post, but I figured that would create a wall of text so large it would put some of my verbose guildies to shame. So, today will be priests (of both the discipline and holy nature, as I’ve *gasp* raided the first 4 bosses as both) and next time we’ll look at what I’ve found as helpful as a druid and a shaman. Most of you have probably already figured this stuff out, but maybe you’ll be able to apply some of the tricks to other Blizzard encounters that are similar!
The trash leading up to Marrowgar is pretty simple but you can make it even simpler on your healer friends!
The Dead skeleton duders that usually come in packs of 4 or 5 explode upon death; your tanks don’t really feel the pain, but your melee sure will. I like shielding all the kittehs, rogues, enhancement shamans, warriors, and dinosaurs in my raid when I got my bubbles going on (ret pallies don’t exist). Otherwise, I make sure to blanket them with soft fuzzy renews before the first dies. Speaking of those guys, I always make sure that I have a Pain Suppression or Guardian Spirit ready for my bladestorming gnome-turned taunka or rawr!cat. Because the only thing worse than a dps pulling aggro is a dps splattered on the floor.
There are 3 pulls, all in the middle of each room, with 2 Nerubian casters. They can be shackled. Remember that? You probably haven’t had it on your spell bar since Burning Crusade, I know. But trust me when I say that those pulls go so much smoother when you don’t have to turn every two second to smite the tree out of his cocoon. Another thing about shackle: just because people keep breaking it doesn’t mean you should stop casting it. Shackles will interrupt the Nerubian when it’s casting the web wrap or dark mending spells. And a non-healing spider is a good thing.
The only thing left are the giants that come out roaring when someone steps on their traps. Guardian spirit can be useful when cast immediately on the tank to keep him in tippytoppy shape until the other tank gets there to share the saber lashes. Other than that, be grateful that you have all those neat instant cast spells and try ever so hard not to get interrupted. Unless you like wanding down big bone giant, which is very much a possibility.
The trash in here is pretty easy, though if you ever feel overwhelmed remember that you can always sprint back to Light’s Hammer and everything will leash back. If you ARE running away, make sure that you keep yourself protected with bubbles or wings or whatever else you have in your arsenal. If you’re really bored, you could always have a healthy competition with the other healers to see which of you does the most dps. My bets are on the aggressive penance priest.
I’ll admit, it took us a bit of time to really get Lord Marrowgar down. It can be hard to get used to switching gears between every phase, but you’ll certainly get the hang of it!
If you’re not standing in his hit box, do it! Now! Standing with melee isn’t cheating; it’s simply making your life easier by not having to dodge each of his flame breaths. Plus there’s the bonus of your bonespike being quickly taken care of by all those nearby melee dps! It’s their payment for having you always saving their aggro-pulling behinds.
During the BOOONNEEEE STORRRMMMM phase, bubble yourself before you start running away. Chances are you’ll get hit for a tick or two of his giant whirlwind, but even on 25 man this can be easily mitigated by a bubble. Also, tossing renews/bubbles out like they were rice at a wedding will help cover raid heals until you can find a spot far enough away from the twirling skeleton of doom and his blue flame patches to triage those who need immediate attention.
The only other thing I can think of, and this seems much more pivotal on 25 man than on 10, is to keep guardian spirit or pain suppression up on a designated tank as often as you can. They really do take quite the beating while everyone else gets to stand still. And if they’re moving out of Cold Flame constantly, the more extra healing they receive, the better the attempt is sure to go.
I love mana burning her during this encounter. Usually, we don’t need me to do this anymore, but when we were first starting ICC, it’s seemed to help tons to mana-burn her while the dps were chasing down adds. I’m not sure if it reduces her mana with both the burn and the little bit of damage the spell does as well, but it’s definitely worth a shot if you’re feeling a bit tight on dps.
Dispel is your friend. Those the green horrors romping around in purple shorts? If you’re worried about your kiting tank getting smoshed by them, you can always dispel their buff. This is incredibly helpful when you don’t happen to have a mage to spell steal or a shaman to purge. Sometimes I forget that a priest’s dispel is both offensive and defensive. Usually, I’ll tab target my way through adds to make sure none of those beasties is doing more damage than it has to.
The last thing I have to say about Deathwhisper is that if your tanks are kiting her on her platform away from the death and decay puddles and the pink ghosties, I’d recommend jumping up there with them so there are no line-of- site issues if they duck behind a pillar. Otherwise, suggest having them come down her front stairs so you have the majority of the room to work with.
I think the gunship battle is my favorite fight in the lower half. And if you ever get the chance to be in one of the cannons, go for it! It’s incredibly fun and a really good way to relax mid-raid if you’re finding yourself stressed.
Rocket butt keybind! I always happen to jump over to the other boat. I find it safer to have someone there just in case people beating on the battle mage start getting hurt. I usually place my rocket pack on my bars wherever I have my abolish disease keybound; you won’t use that spell at all during the fight, so I find that’s the easiest one to replace and remember to use. Using the keybind will allow you to fly over there sooner, rather than having to click on the shirt, and then click on the placement of the landing point. Right before I land (either on the Horde’s ship or back on my own), I’ll cast a bubble and a prayer of mending on myself. It helps negate the damage you take upon landing. One other note about landing – when you land on the opposite boat, try your hardest to land on top of some of the axe-throwers in the front row (Sorry, I don’t know what the Horde equivalent is.) so that you can bring their health down a bit lower.
Keeping up the other boat’s tank. The opposite faction’s leader will be hitting his tank quite hard, especially as time goes on. I like keeping a renew and either a guardian spirit or pain suppression up on that tank when I can. Stacking up serendipity can also be useful to get out lickity-split greater heals (shorter than the cast time of a flash heal!) if Saurfang/Muradin are stacking their buffs really high. Also, since you’re leaving the ship earlier than your tank, it’s helpful to have a few instant casts ready to go so that you can heal him as you’re flying through the air.
Discipline priests were just too overpowered for this fight, with their bubbles of awesomeness preventing DBS from gaining any blood power. So, Blizzard (rightfully) scaled back the effect bubbles have on DBS’s blood power bar. I usually heal this fight as discipline anyways, but that’s just because this fight is still primarily all predictable damage that you can mitigate.
Using pain suppression on the tanks when the Blood Beasts appear is really helpful. Some tanks, especially, paladins, can generate enormous amounts of threat on nearby targets without even trying. Tossing pain suppression on the tank will help decrease their threat on the blood beasts, allowing the dps who are going to kite them pull them away more easily.
Bubble as much of the range as you can right before a blood nova. On 25 man, there is less room for everyone to spread out, making it much likelier that more than one person will get hit by the blood nova. To make this easier to heal through, mitigate as much of the outgoing damage as you can by peppering the raid with bubbles!
Remember, Divine Aegis and your normal bubble will both absorb damage. I usually will hit someone with Blood Boil with a shield and then with a heal that can proc divine aegis so they’ll absorb the majority of the damage, rather that just what the bubble would absorb on it’s own.
Binding heal is your bestest friend. Normally, this is a heal I usually forget to mention. It’s second nature in my own play style, but I never remember it when I’m talking to others. Binding heal just might save your life if you have a Mark of the Fallen Champion. By using it to heal yourself at the same time as another, it helps you keep yourself alive through a thoroughly wicked debuff. Guardian Spirit is also a very good spell to keep on players who have Marks on them as it will increase the healing done to them as well as prevent them from becoming Deathbringer’s snack.
I think that concludes my priestly thoughts on the first 4 bosses. I’ll try to get some druid and shaman tips up by the beginning of next week. Since I don’t happen to have any experience pallydining it up in the Citadel, be sure to check out Cel’s advice for holy paladins at I Like Bubbles! And if you’re a priesty who has any other advice or tricks for the first wing of ICC, please share in the comments or on your own blog!
Happy weekend, all!!!