On Monday, Team I took care of our unfinished business in Ice Crown Citadel from earlier in the week and cleared Blood Queen, and then the Plague Wing. We had a fantastic go at Professor Putricide and even with a new person we still two-shot him.
Let me give a shout out here to CombatCow our new Unholy DPS Death Knight. Welcome to the team!
I managed to pickup some new gloves for the Holy set from one of the Abominations (Festergut or Rotface I can't keep them straight). One improvement the Developers have made to the Raid scene in Ice Crown Citadel is the consistency in the number of tanks needed. Both Boston and I are Tank spec throughout the instance. There hasn't been a single tank fight in the entire place and I'm very happy to see that. Of course that means the old Holy set isn't seeing much use, but I wouldn’t call that a bad thing. Healing not as bad as it was in Burning Crusade, but I still much prefer tanking over healing any day of the week.
Then team had decided to forgo working on achievements in the Plague Wing in lieu of clearing it quickly to get some quality time with one cold lady, the Queen of Frost herself, Sindragosa. This would initiate night 3 of working on Sindragosa. Each time our raid leader Boston (Blood DK Tank) has tweaked our strategy slightly, and each of his adjustments to the game plan has gotten closer to defeating her.
One of the interesting challenges in 10-man Raiding is adjusting your strategy to the group make up you have. You won't have every buff and utility under the sun so you have to adjust. Some nights you are ranged heavy, some nights you are melee heavy. Some nights you have two battle rezzes. Some nights you don't have any battle rezzes, but you have a Soulstone. Monday night we were melee heavy with two Druids so we made ample use of Innervates and Battle Rezzes.
The first adjustment we had made was moving our tankspot from the middle to the stairs. Then when Sindragosa flies up in the air, the two people who are going to be put in deep freeze run to the bottom of the stairs. That changed seemed to simplify Phase 1 and the Air Phase.
Another interesting challenge to 10 man raiding is deciding how many healers you can go with. We try to do as many fights as we can with 2 healers. It puts tremendous strain on our healers to manage their mana and the raid's health pools, but it opens us up for an additional DPSer.
The problem we ran into was that with 2 healers, we couldn't keep people up in Phase 2, but with 3 healers we didn't get enough DPS on the Boss to get her to Phase 2 with enough time to beat the Enrage. Since our Healers weren't taxed in Phase 1, or the Air Phase, we told our melee heavy team to take more stacks. This changed allowed us to go from 4 Air Phases to just 3. We were getting into Phase 3 with plenty of time to spare.
The issue in Phase 3 now seems to be managing the damage as the stacks of Mystic Buffet get high. Mystic Buffet is not some trendy new place to grab lunch downtown. No, it's a debuff that Sindrogosa puts on everyone in the raid. It increases the amount of Magic damage you take and pretty much everything she does is magic damage.
The tanks trade her off in Phase 2. When Boston taunts her I boogie over to an Ice Block. Oh yeah, the whole, turn people into Ice Blocks thing goes on for all of Phase 3. We start out DPS on the back leg in Phase 2. Then when someone gets targeted for the Ice Block they move to the front leg. Once they become an Ice Block, DPS shifts to get them out and then they DPS at the front leg. The next person who gets targeted moves to the back leg. Rinse, lather and repeat.
We got two issues in Phase 2. First, people are dying to Magic Pull when they have stacks of Mystic Buffet. A frost explosion that was survivable in Phase 1 is deadly in Phase 2 when you have the debuff. We lose a DPS to Magic Pull and then we have less DPS breaking out the Ice Blocks, which is our other problem. We aren't getting time between Ice Blocks to get DPS on the Boss to kill her. DPS just need more time in Phase 2 to get practice at dropping their stacks and fast target switching.
I'm confident the next time we face Sindragosa Boston will have tweak to the game plan that will help us get the kill. I know we are close, and once we get her down, it will be on to Arthas.