So I told some people that I would give a rough notion of what we… intended to do so far as positioning for the LK fight. I also promised it would have bad art and be confusing. I definitely managed the confusing bit. So, uh, if you really want to kill Arthas, this may or may not be the place to look, depending on your ability to decipher crooked lines and get through my walls of senseless text.
I first want to disclaim that we run 10-man groups and typically have one whole melee dps. Everyone else is ranged because we don’t want to get, like, blood and stuff on our sissy robes. My one melee (a rogue) is extremely competent so I don’t bother to pay much attention to what he does. In other words, this will be useless to you unless you’re a caster who can make sense of crooked lines and get through my walls of text.
The red triangle denotes where we have our main tank (a warrior) stand. She has her back to the X, which is where our paladin off tank stands and where the Shambling Horrors pop up. This makes for easy pickup of the horrors by the OT. Everyone else stands where the circle is and follows that green line for when they have a Necrotic Plague to drop off on the adds. This keeps them running forward (which is quicker, duh) and reduces the amount of the plague jumping to people it shouldn’t. I hope we’re not the only ones who ever got caught with the plague jumping between two people who kept trying to pass too close to each other.
Our cleansers count to three and then cleanse the plague, irregardless of whether the person is in the right spot or not. Better to have it jump to the wrong person than to kill someone. Speaking of cleansing, our healers have managed to deal with Infest both with and without a disc priest. With is easier, but it can be done without. (I would suggest having replenishment if you are trying without a disc priest. That’s something else we don’t usually have, so you can also compensate for not having replenishment. It’s just a lot harder.)
Right about the time we get our second Horror up, we lay down some AoE on the adds. As soon as we’re back down to one Shambling Horror, we finish burning Arthas to 70%, but also make sure to get one last Plague dropped off so that they won’t be a concern. Since we have had so many opportunities to run this portion of the fight, we typically go into the transition with almost no trash and oftentimes, the little we do have, dies quickly enough that the OT can come help pick up Raging Spirits.
During the transition phase, we start with the OT off where the X is, holding the adds until the plague kills them off. As soon as the adds from phase one are down, he comes over to help pick up Raging Spirits if needed. The MT stands about where that triangle is (and we do use that thicker crack as a landmark) and puts her back to the LK. Everyone else spreads out loosely facing the MT, so it’s very easy for her to pick them up and hold them facing away from the raid.
On a more mage-related note, I like to save my cooldowns for this part of the fight. Since I started using Mirror Images and everything else here, and asked everyone else to save cooldowns for this phase, we’ve had the Spirits go down very swiftly.
As to the Frost Orbs, we have one person assigned to deal with them throughout the phase. We usually have a mage on them. Of course there are always one or two still around when you start to head back into the center, so make sure all your ranged are taking a moment to get rid of them before getting too excited about getting to the middle.
Once the Quake comes, whichever tank has the last Raging Spirit follows the green line to the center. Ranged follow the yellow line so we don’t get silenced by running ahead of the tank with the spirit and the remaining tank makes a beeline for Arthas and picks him up.
Easily the most confusing part of this fight, phase two can’t really be explained through lines but I gave it a go. We start by stacking up where the bigger of the red circles is (you can sort of see me in the middle of it). Again, we actually look for and use that whiter portion of the ground as a landmark. This means that the first Val’kyr will follow that orange line, back towards the ledge we just vacated.
You have enough time to get a stun on the Val’kyr and do some damage to save your friend before the Defile comes. Defile is sort of a free for all, but we do try to have party one go more towards the stairs and party two go more towards the portal where you come in. As soon as you know who is getting defile, that person keeps running for a clear spot while the rest of the raid kills the Val’kyr. We head back towards the middle and group up loosely (where the yellow lines start, the purple lines being the return path). On the second Val’kyr/defile casts, they come almost right on top of each other, so this time it’s a matter of staying close to the middle and then fleeing as soon as the Val’kyr picks someone up. Then we stun and burn and stay spread out because it’ll be a defile first next time, followed by grouping up for a Val’kyr (where the smaller red circle is). Rinse. Repeat. Bang your head in frustration.
Through all of this there are of course tank swaps happening and healing is going at a frantic pace. Infest is such a bitch.
Obvious notes are obvious, but setting up a stun order on the Val’kyr is paramount. I believe it was key for us getting through phase two consistently. Also, if you have a warlock, pray for them to get defile and/or picked up by the Val’kyr. A warlock should always have their cheaty portal thing set up. If our warlock gets picked up by a Val’kyr we ignore him and let her throw him over the edge whereupon he ports back to his circle and all is well. Incidentally, slow fall and blink do not work. I tried.
As you get close to 40% first check to see which nasty thing is coming soon. If it’s a Val’kyr stop damage on the LK and wait until you’ve burned it. If it’s a defile, just start heading towards the edge but be aware that it could end up in a bad place if you’re not careful. We typically head to the same part of the ledge where we did the first transition.
We set up phase 2.5 in pretty much the same way we do the first transition, only we naturally have both tanks available straightaway. By this time, most cooldowns should be available again. If you have heroism/bloodlust, this is place to use it. There will be four spirits this time. Something we found is that many people would switch off the first spirit before it was dead. It was close, but not quite burned. We ended up with a lot more damage going out that way, so make sure they are burned in the order they appear.
And, of course, keep an eye on those frosty balls and don’t let anyone hug them on their way back in.
Phase Three was probably the easiest phase to pick up once we got there often enough to see it more than once and for more than 10 seconds. What ended up working best for us in all our ranged-heavy glory was to have each ranged person stand at one of the inside points of the spokes of the wheel. We just let the Vile Spirits come and damage whoever they would.
To deal with defile, we ran in circles again, trying to get it dropped at the far end of the point, as depicted by my gorgeous black circles there.
Of course, if you end up in the sword, there’s not a whole to say about that. Kill the guy in there if you’re a dps. Heal the other guy in there if you’re a healer. We had two healers end up in there, and we all survived, so it’s doable either way.
Just plan on surviving the last bit. Use healthstones, potions or whatever other tricks you can to keep some of the burden off the healers. This phase was a total blur for me when we got through it, so there’s not a whole lot I feel I can add.
Now, that’s all what was intended we should do as far as positioning. The actual positioning probably looks more like this:
Got it? Great. Go get em, Tiger!
PS – Nothing like coming out with a guide at the end of a an expansion, I know. But I think guides are something I would like to do more of in Cataclysm so if anyone has any thoughts as to the readability or potential helpfulness of doing something like this, please let me know.