After dedicating last night to five-man craziness, with all its associated zone-in frustrations, my guild made its first foray into Icecrown Citadel tonight.
After getting our bearings on the trash (“Those big dudes appear like ninjas!”) we found ourselves face-to-face with Lord Marrowgar.
Marrowgar is based off an entirely new model, and he’s best described as half of a blue-tinged floating skeleton, with four disembodied skulls for a head and a jagged cleaver in his two bony hands. During the fight, he zooms around his chamber like Baron Harkonnen from Dune.
Marrowgar doesn’t require much strategy; he’s more of a survival fight, with an emphasis on making sure players are competent and awake with a few abilities that require quick movement. There are no phases to this fight, so you can Bloodlust early — just be sure to time your Bloodlust after Bone Storm, so you don’t waste valuable uptime running away (and unable to hit) Lord Marrowgar.
From a melee perspective, the four biggest things to watch out for are:
- Coldflame – A bright blue stream of fire on the ground, similar to any number of fights in previous raids. Where Coldflame gets a bit tricky is in its speed, and in its ability to temporarily box in a player, especially when that player’s hauling ass away from the whirlwind-esque Bone Storm.
- Bone Storm – The aforementioned whirlwind-style ability, Bone Storm ticks every two seconds. As melee, if you’re still standing near the boss when it ticks, you’re going to get hit for about 4k on normal mode. Outside his fairly large hit box, the tick drops to 2k. It’s unlikely most melee will get more than 30 yards away from him, as we’ve got to negotiate around Coldflame, but after 30 yards Bone Storm only ticks for 800 damage. (Nice and easy for the ranged, eh?)
- Bone Spike Graveyard – This is an impale with a three-second cast time. It targets a random raid member and ticks for 10% of the victim’s health per second, which means raid members should call out when they’ve been hit with it so DPS can break them out quickly. Any smart raid leader will have their ranged take care of it in 25-man, but if you’re short on ranged DPS in the 10-man version, it’s a good idea to have boots with a speed enchant because you’ll be spending a lot of time running back and forth between Lord Marrowgar and the players who get hit with Bone Spike Graveyard.
- Saber Lash – This is like an amplified cleave, so your tanks are always going to be grouped up on top of each other to absorb it. However, as melee (and particularly as a squishy Enhancement Shaman) you need to keep these two things in mind: 1) Stand far back, using Marrowgar’s wide hit box to put as much distance between you and the tanks as possible, and 2) DO NOT run to assist anyone who is standing near the tanks and takes an impale from Bone Spike Graveyard. If you do, you stand a good chance of taking a Saber Lash. Death Knights, Warriors and Ret Paladins can survive that. We cannot.
I make the latter point because I had the misfortune of taking a Saber Lash on our first attempt. A caster was hit with Bone Spike Graveyard, the tanks repositioned Marrowgar to avoid Coldflame, and suddenly I found myself with my back to Marrowgar’s axe as I tried to free my impaled guildie. On normal mode, the Saber Lash hit me for about 25k — dangerous, but survivable, for the plate-wearing melee classes, but a definite one-shot for Enhancement Shamans.
Bone Storm sounds intimidating, and on our first attempt it looked intimidating too — Marrowgar is not predictable, and he tends to change direction quickly and zoom toward a new corner of his chamber at whim. The good news is, the tick damage is relatively low on normal mode, and if you have Druids, Priests or Shamans on raid heals, topping everyone off is trivial.
Marrowgar dropped these for us tonight:
Most of us were crunched for time, so we took one crack at Lady Deathwhisper before we called it for the night. Until the next episode, here’s one of the better Youtube videos detailing the Lord Marrowgar fight, with nice big text explaining the strategy and the abilities as they’re happening:
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