Last Tuesday was a month in the making: the next wing of Icecrown finally opened! Raiders everywhere rejoiced, people prepped their raid groups, got their consumables, and marched into Icecrown… yet for some reason we all were surprised that we were hit with absolutely ridiculous server lag. After all these years of content releases, we continue to be amazed at the amount of fail the servers can be. While Avalonna and myself play on one of the oldest servers that is housed on one of the oldest data centers, we probably should expect it.

The Plagueworks is the next wing in Icecrown Citadel. It is not too dissimilar from a lot of Naxxramas: complete with Abominations, Slimes, Decimate, and bosses that yell at us if we kill their pets!

After killing Saurfang, you have your first idiot check of Icecrown: Frogger! While, this version of Frogger is a bit easier than previous versions, it doesn’t stop people from dying from it. (Pro Tip: when you phase into the Plagueworks wing, stop holding down your run key and wait for the zone to render– you can thank me later.)

After Frogger, we are faced with some pretty epic feeling trash. You have exploding mobs, Scientists that turn raid members into a Flubber, Geists, Precious, and Stinky (Festergut and Rotface’s pet dogs). The damage this trash can put out should not be underestimated, and the healers in your raid should be ready.

Precious and Stinky are pretty much minibosses, so I’ll go over them briefly. Be sure to pull them separately, and when you do pull one of them, try to drag them down the stairs a bit to be certain you don’t wind up with both of them at once.

Precious can apply a Mortal Wound debuff to the tank that can stack up to 100% healing debuff, so to mitigate that, simply have your tanks taunt back and forth every 2 stacks. Additionally she can cast Decimate, so raid healers shoudl be ready to top off your raids. Finally, she can summon waves of zombies that should simply be AOE’d down before their physical damage debuff gets too out of hand.

Stinky is a marginally more difficult than Precious, since she does a constant AOE Nature damage to the raid, which means raid healing after a Decimate will need to be quick. Stinky does not have a Mortal Wound, and does not summon adds.

Wow… trash that you can’t just faceroll/AOE through? Unheard of! It’s a step up from the TOC trash, right?

Festergut, was the first boss we faced last Tuesday. While his mechanics are not too difficult – adding in the server lag made it quite rough. On 25 man, the DPS requirement is fairly high. Ava and my guild (even with the lag) downed him with over 35 seconds to spare. (Go Dark Nemesis!)  However, I’d imagine many 25 man guilds will struggle with this. 10 man seems to be a bit more forgiving with the DPS requirement, as Blizzard expects that most 10 man make ups probably will not be min/maxing raid buffs.

Rotface, while mechanically similar to Grobbulus, has some really interesting mechanics. In my opinion, this fight is rather fun. The key simply is controlling the slimes and being sure your raid doesn’t take unnecessary damage. Coordination and communication regarding Mutated Infection and Unstable Ooze Explosion is critical to being sure you have this fight down pat. Perhaps the most important part of this fight is controlling the Small Oozes that spawn from Mutated Infection — remember the Small Oozes cannot be taunted, so be sure to not return to the raid group until the Ooze has been eaten!

Professor Putricide has got to be one of the funniest bosses that Blizz has come out with. There is a clear and obvious association with Professor Farnsworth. Due to the horrific server lag, my guild decided to wait until later tonight (Sunday) to not risk any of our 10 attempts on him. Instead of burning through those, we decided to have our 10 man groups learn him. Both Ava’s 10 man and my 10 man downed him with 6 and 5 attempts remaining. We’ll be putting up strategies on how we handled Professor and the other 2 bosses in the coming week. Putricide is clearly the biggest challenge we’ve seen yet in ICC! Strong DPS is required, strong tank and raid healing is needed, and intelligent tank kiting is critical as well. It is certainly a perfect storm!

The Plagueworks wing is definitely challenging and I expect a good deal of guilds will struggle with these bosses and their “checks”. What does sadden me is that many guilds are screaming for nerfs already. The wing hasn’t been open for a week yet… why are people giving up so quickly? Keep at it, learn the mechanics, tweak your strategies, continue to get upgrades as you reach the Plaugeworks… you’ll down them.

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