Monday, April 12, 2010

Long Live the King

We have been slowly working our way through mastering the Lich King fight. We started out with Phase 1 and got the nuances of that Phase down. Then we struggled through and mastered the transition phase. That brought us to Phase II which started out as a complete gong show and still posses some problems when the Val'kyr and Defile happen very close together. There is a large component of RNG to the fight in who the Val'kyr will pick and who the Lich King picks for Defile.

But by Thursday we had made it through Phase II a couple of times successfully, only to be stomped down by the transition phase. The area of the platform that you need to stand on to be safe from Remorseless Winter doesn't exist when Arthas starts the cast so you have massive raid damage going out. We would suffer casualties in the transition and never get very far in Phase 3 before the Vile Spirits just destroyed what was left of our raid.

We had a little better group make up Monday night with 2 Ranged DPS instead of the 1 Ranged we ran on Thursday. Phase 1 never posed a problem. Not once did we wipe. Enraged Shambler, Boston (Blood DK Tank) just shrugs that right off. Phase 2 we had all the usual troubles. We had a Defile wipe, but what was most concerning to me was that I died to Soul Harvest. I would have given my left arm for a 4pc bonus like Druids/Warriors/Death Knights got. An extra cooldown to deal with Soul Harvest would have been welcomed.

The next pull started out like most of them. We had a good clean Phase 1, and a well handled transition phase. I was able to run in and pick up Arthas right where he stood after casting Quake. I have my Target macro set up and start spamming away when the Val'kyr was ready to spawn and as soon as I get her targeted I drop a Hammer of Justice. The first Val'kyr is pretty easy, but the second is tough. It came right on top of the Defile cooldown. Boston had the Lich King and I had dropped my stun on the Val'kyr. There she floated, not moving, right in the middle of a patch of Defile. I ran over and started to throw my meager DPS to what our real heavy hitters were bringing. We killed the Val'kyr with inches to spare.

I ran back to Boston and picked up the Lich King. We made it through a couple more Val'kyr and Defiles. Then we ran into a situation where I had Arthas and Boston got Defile and couldn't grab him. I'm watching so much this fight, it's hard to know exactly what was going on. My health got dangerously low. Bubble Wall was already on cooldown, AD had proc'ed and it wasn't looking good. So I hit my Corroded Skeleton Key, and ate a Cookie (Warlock Healthstone). I lasted just long enough for Stark (Resto Shaman), Black (Disc Priest), and Lakini (Resto Druid) to get me back up.

As we neared the next Transition Phase, both Jagdorc (MM Hunter) and I were trying to keep Boston appraised of the Lich King's health. I said, 'you got it?' and let him call the updates from there on out.

This is usually where our attempts went south. Around 43%, you gotta make a choice to burn him or go through the next Val'kyr/Defile. We pushed at 42% after a Val'kyr. It was another close call with just inches to spare. We pushed hard on DPS. Ofn (Assassination Rogue), Blue (Fury Warrior), Jag, Pink(Feral Druid), and Aggro (Destro Lock) unleashed everything they had. The Defile cooldown was under 1 second. Arthas was going to cast it. If he chose a melee, we'd be hard pressed to get out in time. But wait, he started running to the middle. NO DEFILE! We all moved to the edge as much as we could and Remorseless Winter did it's dirty work. This is usually where things got ugly for us.

Because I had speced into Improved Hammer for the Val'kyrs, I had to spec out of Divine Guardian. I could have really used it right then. But I had still taken Divine Sacrifice. Not as good as DG, but any help I could afford the healers was going to aid our cause. I had a much bigger health pool to take it than our DPS. So I punched it. We got into the Transition Phase and popped Bloodlust. We made it through to Phase III with everyone standing.

Boston had the last Raging Spirit on him and Ofn and Blue sat at half health. Time to give the Healers another chance to catch their breath. I blew my Bubble Wall. We got the raid stabilized. At some point, Lakini got put into Frostmourne and healed his branches off. I don't know what happens in Frostmourne. I'm up top with the Lich King. Up there, we are dealing with Vile Spirits. They spawn, hang around for a while and then go BLOW UP on somebody.

Both Boston and I tried to taunt them when we weren't tanking the Lich King. Somewhere between 15% and 12%, all the Vile Spirits ganged up on Aggro. He 'sploded. Lakini quickly threw him a Battle Rez.

Thing were starting to get dicey. Both Druids had used their innervate and we had another Vile Spirit spawn hanging out over our heads. Not to mention the small problem of only 45 seconds on the enrage timer. I decided to pop my Holy Mightstone. Yes, I've been carrying that thing around for 3+ years waiting for this fight. Time seemed to stand still as the Lich King hit 11%. I held my breath.

Then the Lich King wiped us all.

Everything that had happened from the moment we stepped off the boat in Northrend, and perhaps even sooner, had been a test. Arthas was looking for the best Azeroth had to offer so he could make us into his greatest agents of destruction. It was Tirion who saved us and brought up back to life.

No more Val'kyr. No more Defile. No more Vile or Raging Spirits. Just us and Tirion Fordring opening up a big old can of righteous whoop your arse on Arthas and bringing his reign of terror to an end.

We gathered for our Screenshot and celebrated a hard won victory. The Crossbow and the Feral Staff dropped. Gratz guys.

And now to thank the team that made this possible.

My guild/raid leader, my co-Tank, my wing-man, Boston the Death Knight.

Without question the best team ever charged with keeping my sorry behind standing upright, the backbone of our raid, our healers: Blackhaus the Priest, Lakini the Druid, and Stark the Shaman.

Finally, the bringers of pain, our DPS superstars: Blueshield the Warrior, Ofn the Rogue, Jagdorc the Hunter, Pinkshift the Druid, and Aggrogen the Warlock.

And just because they weren't in the raid for our kill, I don't want to forget the rest of our team. Donkatonk the Mage, CombatCow the Death Knight, Darolyn the Priest, and Danath the Warrior.

It's been an incredible ride and I've been raiding with some of these guys all the way back to Attumen the Huntsman in Karazhan.

Congratulations Devolve!

The King is dead! Long live the King!!


Orthien said...

Congratulations on your first Lich King Kill Honors.

Anonymous said...

Congrats on the kill. :) Sounds reasonably epic. We are still trying to figure out defile. :P

On a side note, I read (and followed) your lvling as Prot guide. I was lvl 18 when I started, now 72 (all thru LFD). The guide has been a great help. One quick question - is weapon speed of any concern for a pally tank?

Capn Skillet said...

Congratulations! Great post building up the excitement. Good luck with hard modes.

Bill D said...


I enjoy living World of Warcraft vicariously through you and your team. (I don't have a character over level 50, much less in the lofty heights of end-game raiding!) Thanks for sharing.

Tord said...

Grats mate! Must be an epic feeling to down him.
I'm about as far from that as can be. I'm learning the normal Northrend instances and enjoy learning from yours and others experiences. To help with that I'd like ro ask a couple of questions regarding your UI. I actually have pretty much the same addons but was curious as to the reason to have recount show Deaths?
What different uses do you have for Tauntmaster and Grid?
Finally, in the first ss, there's a frame that says something about Pet-Biggus. Where does that come from?

Tanks very much in advance!

Anonymous said...

Big Grats !!!


Anonymous said...

Awesome story! Glad popping the mightstone happened on your first kill. Totally epic use of it. :)

Anonymous said...

Excellent read. I've been using a 4pt9 set for that fight. The offset pieces from ICC help to off set the difference in HP, so I stay about the same.

Wankster of Magtheridon

*vlad* said...

Great stuff. Getting through by the skin of your teeth makes it so much more satisfying, too.

Mister K said...

Congrats, I too am saving my Mightstone for the LK, we have a ways to go to get him down but it looks awesome.

luvanwilder said...

Honors: Big time congrats on your kill. I must admit I was actually nervous for you because of the mightstone.I was thinking to myself, surely he will use it and not down the Lich King and thus be crushed, but you pulled it off. Well done sir, and a special congrats for pulling off the personal feat of carrying that thing around for all that time and actually using it to kill Arthas!

Honors Code said...

Finally, in the first ss, there's a frame that says something about Pet-Biggus. Where does that come from?

That is actually Decursive throwing that frame up.