Before we even get into how we killed the Lick King we have to start with Blood Queen, Professor and Sindragosa. Professor and Blood Queen had been previously conquered by the Clan, but we needed our tanks, healers and DPS to all be able to also perform during those fights. There are still only about 3 tanks that have the experience of tanking Putricide, Blood Queen and Sindragosa successfully. It has been about a month since we actually killed Sindragosa and we had kept that raid lock out to work on the king. The problem was that it was only about once a week that we were getting to really work on him and it seemed to be a different group of people every time.
Then the holiday weekend happened and we decided to start a full clear on that Tuesday to see if we could get back to Lich King fight with a single group. With only one replacement we were able to get a 3 hour 11/12 in ICC 10. It was a pretty cool thing to accomplish, but it was just the beginning.
We gave it some attempts with that group, but we really wanted to start working on it when everyone was fresh. For the next 10 days we had probably about 20 different people on the fight. Mime, Froto, Moondust, Drago, Cybrook all played the hunter role in the fight. Kabara, Chaudara, Unknown, Lyrics, Kiree, Theydrin, Booty, Zeal and others also took turns at the DPS. Sab, Fara, Mumbles, Sylei and myself took turns at healing. Last but not least, Achilles, Phaetel, Death and Arthren all took turn at the tanking. I know with confidence that the first two phases of the fight are pretty burned into everyone’s mind that had attempts with us. The third phase, well, we will get to that later.
For the purpose of talking about our kill I will simplify things by talking about 3 actual phases and two transition ones. They all get less challenging as you start working on them, but they are all very complex and just one new person to the fight can spell huge trouble.
From the first phase this fight separates itself from the rest of icecrown. There are a lot of things going on, but you have to get into a nice grove or you will be dead before all the adds have even spawned. The tanking is key to this part, but you also need solid healers or you will not make it to the first transition phase. The thing that actually was a huge hinderance to this part of the fight was actually the 15% – 20% buff. You see, you have to manage your DPS during this fight or you will be left with too many adds. You have to make sure that nobody kills the easy to down adds or the disease will not jump from mob to mob. (if you are confused you can read a strategy guide to kill Arthras, or read our forums where our start is posted)
Then the transition to 1.5 can also be very tricky and at first will feel like a full phase, but than as you get into the groove you will see that this is more of a mana up phase than anything else. Healing becomes secondary and Tanks and DPS really shine making sure the additional adds get picked up and focused fire down so they don’t kill the raid. Once over (and it is timed) you are left with some adds to deal with and running in while dodging exploding presents.
Phase 2 is probably the most frustrating phase because if everyone is doing their job its not all that difficult, but one mistake by a single player can end your attempt. This is what happened to us over and over, we would start the phase very well, but then we will have defiles all over the place and will get a stranded DPS or a healer picked up by a valk too close to the edge. This one is simply a practice and you will get it phase, but it takes time to get to it. If you have new people in the raid you will be stuck in the transition phase or in this phase for some time… and the people that have been there are not getting to practice the last transition and last phase which is actually challenging.
Once people can get past the defile and correct positioning you seem to get past this phase quickly. Having the right amount of range DPS will help quite a bit during this part of the fight. Having a lock and hunter also does not hurt at all. You spread out, and watch for defile and valks, time everything correctly (even for the unlucky situations) and you are golden.
The last transition phase is what I think makes it almost impossible to “one shot” this with a fresh player. You have to be aware of where the whole raid is and get to your position while dodging defiles on the ground. It is very easy to try to run out on the side opposite of your raid which will mean you are dead if it is the way that the adds are being faced or you are low on health. While it is easy to say that the tanks can control everything in this phase, this along with defile makes it that everyone on your team has to be on their game.
The last phase of the fight is probably the most fun but the one that you don’t get to practice much on. Once we has spend a couple of nights of attempts getting to it consistently I knew the kill was not far away. We put the group together for the kill based on who was available and conquered the fight as a true team. There is definitely a little bit of luck to the last phase; but it all comes down to teamwork and doing your job one player down (someone is going into the sword periodically).
In the end we were left with all healers being responsible for 33% of the healing, which was amazing. The DPS was also pretty evenly spread out and we all made it to the very last phase. We worked hard on it, from refining our strategy to teaching several people the fight from beginning to end. It was an amazing accomplishment that I certainly loved actually leading not just the kill but several of the unsuccessful attempts… we actually “beat the game!” even if it was with an extra buff it still feels awesome to wear the Kingslayer title. Now we just have to do it over and over again so the rest of the people that helped us get to it can also be proud to actual finish current content. Thanks again for all your help and hard work.