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Patch 3.3 PTR: Sindragosa impressions

Sindragosa. Her very name strikes fear into the hearts of mortals. This once majestic dragon was a former member of the blue flight. In fact, she was a consort of Malygos. Sindragosa was available for testing earlier this evening and she'll be another boss in the upcoming patch 3.3 Icecrown raid. If she looks familiar, you might've seen her in the Wrath of the Lich King intro cinematic. It's the same dragon that Arthas summoned.

Of the two encounters I've seen so far, Sindragosa has proven to be the most fun to heal in Icecrown. I'll tell you what you can expect when your raid faces her behind the cut below. Also, our Icecrown gallery has been updated with more Sindragosa screenshots.

Today, the gates to the instance promptly opened up. They were on time which was great! Unlike the night before, we didn't have to wait around for half an hour before being able to go in. Our crew of 10 waltzed in and took the teleporter up to Sindragosa's lair. Some fancy camera work revealed that there would be several trash packs to clear out before the blue dragon herself would face us.

The trash

We gathered at the top of the stairs and opted to pull conservatively. Ended up having 2 paladins tanking many whelps (left side). Nothing special as they're just whelps who happen to shoot bolts of frost at range. Both groups also had handlers looking after them. They didn't last long either.

Once we cleared out a set of trash, one of the frost wyrms would land on the platform as if though to taunt us. It's best to proceed with engaging whelp trash first and then the corresponding frost wyrm. One of the big wyrms has a fear ability. Start the pull by clearing out the whelp group on the right.

Spinestalker and Rimefang

If you followed my advice, Rimefang should be the first frost wyrm your group will deal with. Rimefang starts off on the ground doing standard dragon things like breathing before taking off and hovering in the air. The big ability that Rimefang will do is target players and drop patches of ice on top of them while she is in the air. Don't worry, Rimefang will mark the locations with a giant blue rune. You can't miss it. Not only do these patches slow down movement speed, but players will take damage while standing in them until they are clear of it.

Stay out of the ice (not fire).

Spinestalker will touch down after the left whelp pack gets cleared out. I'd say he's a little easier to deal with compared to Rimefang. All he does is an AoE fear which can be mitigated with Fear Ward or Tremor totem. I don't remember them being Dispellable or anything like that. It's reminiscent of Onyxia except without the many whelps nor the air phase.

Once that part of the trash is done with, it's time for everyone to get back up the stairs. Make sure you're actually not on the stairs when Sindragosa lands. She has a massive aggro radius and will go after players who are even on the 4th step from the top. One of our tanks picked an unfortunate time to go AFK and he found that out the hard way.

Before moving on, I hope your raid has some type of Frost Resistance Aura. I'm not sure if frost resist gear is needed as the damage is healable from what I've seen.



Sindragosa's ground phase

The first thing I noticed was she had 9.76 million health.

Toggle on that Frost Resist aura as Sindragosa herself radiates her own Frost Aura debuff which deals a solid 4000+ damage to the entire raid every few seconds. I happened to be sneaking a peek at several livestreams that were going on at the time to gain some idea of what to expect. The tank was directed to pick up Sindragosa and have her facing the stairs (entrance). The rest of the raid stacked on the left side of the room.

Why?

As all dragons do, Sindragosa has a Tail Smash which will knock players back. She also has a conical Frost Breath which will knock out any players who are stupid enough to stand in front. Now tanks aren't stupid but they can at least survive one of these. So don't stand in front of her.


Oh and she Cleaves.

Every once in a while, she's going to Icy Grip the entire raid directly on to her position. Stop what you're doing and run outwards. Violet Hold's Cyanigosa was part of the blue dragon flight. She must have learned that icy grip and explode ability from Sindragosa. 5 seconds after Sindragosa death grips you in, she'll cast Blistering Cold which will blast anyone too close for 35000+ damage. It might be possible for the tank to stay in. We had ours run out but it might be easier for the sake of positioning to simply eat the Blistering Cold and rapidly heal him up after the fact. Otherwise Sindragosa will end up chasing after your tank.

For casters, there's another specific ability to watch out for and this one is a real pain in the butt. It nuked me the first time before I realized what had happened.

2 players on 10 man will get a debuff applied called Unchained Magic. Healers, this is an ability you will specifically wish to add to your debuff window. This debuff stays for about 20 seconds. When it is active, you must be careful of how many spells you cast. Every time I healed, I gained 1 stack of a debuff called Instability. After 8 seconds of not casting any spells, Instability will go off resulting in 2000 damage multiplied by the amount of spell casts before it.

In other words, if I have Unchained Magic and I cast 8 Flash Heals followed by a Circle of Healing and a Power Word: Shield, after 8 seconds I'll take 22000 damage. It seems to happen also when the Unchained Magic debuff itself wears off. Whatever Instability stacks are on the player when Unchained Magic wears off will immediately detonate.

If you have Unchained Magic, take it easy for the next several seconds. Slow down on the spell casts. Use your spells in quick bursts and let Instability go off before opening up again.

Mages and paladins, it appears to be possible to render yourself immune and wipe the ability. Ice Block and Divine Shield will remove Unchained Magic.

I do believe her phases are tied to time elapsed on the fight. I didn't notice a specific percentage that would trigger Sindragosa's air phase as we were DPSing all over the place.
Sindragosa's air phase

This is where we separate the pretenders from the contenders. This is one of Icecrown's biggest situational awareness check fights and I'll tell you why. This part strongly reminds me of Sapphiron.

She's going to mark several players in the room with a Frost Beacon. A few seconds after that, they will be completely encased in a block of ice. The ice serves an important purpose. You see, Sindragosa is going to fire Frost Bombs in the area. The bombs have a large radius and will damage anyone who is within line of sight. The ground will have a slight swirly effect which signifies where the Frost Bombs will land. When I did this, I called out the direction of where the raid should be running to on vent (North, south-west, and so forth). Stay close to the Ice Tomb to reduce the amount of movement you need when strafing around.
As you can guess, the objective is to position yourself in such a way that the Ice Tombs containing frozen raid members are between the raiders who are still free and the location of the Frost Bombs. After the first few attempts, we decided that all marked players should run to the middle of the room. Unmarked players should stand near the bottom of the stairs before moving up close to the Ice Tombs.

Unlike Sapphiron, the Ice Tombs do not simply wear off. On 10 man, they had around 270k health. It's up to your raid to DPS them down at the same time during this phase. Another benefit of having marked players together is so that the rest of the raid can deal incidental AoE damage to them as they are focusing on breaking down the blocks. Players inside the Ice Tomb will die of Asphyxiation if they aren't broken out of.
Note that any player who gets caught in the radius when an Ice Tomb is cast will also get tombed even if they are not marked.

After she fires 4-5 Frost Bombs, Sindragosa will land again. Pray that your main tank is free and is able to pick her up. Feel free to place her on top of any Ice Tombs still up so AoE damage will still damage them.

Low health phase

Once she gets to about 30% (I didn't catch the actual percentage), Sindragosa will no longer take to the air. At this point, the raid is in a full burn phase. You have a soft enrage timer to compete with.
Sindragosa will Frost Beacon a random player every few seconds and then encase them in a block of ice. If a player gets the Beacon, they have to run out of the raid immediately as far as possible or they will get Ice Tombed along with any players around them. There is no time for the raid to break down the Tombs. I believe she gets progressively stronger (or the raid gets weaker). Either way, this is the Heroism/Bloodlust portion of the fight where full DPS must be wielded.

All in all, I'd give this a 9 out of 10 for encounter fun-ness as a healer. The encounter mechanics are simple in theory but can be difficult to execute. There's a ton of damage going around and if a player is even a sliver out of position, they will die. It's certainly a tense fight that will keep any healer on the edge of their seats and zeroed in on their raid frames.

Patch 3.3 is the last major patch of Wrath of the Lich King. With the new Icecrown Citadel 5-man dungeons and 10/25-man raid arriving soon, patch 3.3 will deal the final blow to the Arthas. WoW.com's Guide to Patch 3.3 will keep you updated with all the latest patch news.

Filed under: Patches, Analysis / Opinion, News items, Raiding

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