Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Healing Through: Icecrown Citadel - Gunship Battle

Healing Through: Icecrown Citadel - Gunship Battle
My 25-Man alliance raid got some motivation last Friday and we downed the 3 first bosses of Icecrown (yet again, nothing to brag about but we're a semi-casual guild with a lot of far from optimum players that we still like to play with and bring into raid :P).
So I'm going to talk today about the third "boss" that is more an event than a boss. You got it, it is the Gunship Battle.

Gunship Battle: Trash Mobs.

There are 2 alliance (or horde if you're on the wrong side) groups and one dracolich that you have to fight before reaching the ship. They probably repop at some point but don't worry the ship will be down before they do.

As a fun note, if you ever do this encounter on both sides (horde/alliance) you will fight on the other part of the balcony that you can see when fighting the dracolich. In fact if you kill the undead trash after the dracolich, you'll reach this other side, quite funny :P

Boss Description

As I said before this is not really a "boss". The Gunship Battle is a fight between your ship and the other faction ship via the gunship cannons.
You have to man your canons (2 in 10-Man, 3 in 25-Man) and fire on the deck of the other ship. The canons are easy to use, first ability makes your heat meter go up, when it's near full (without ever reaching full) you can use your second ability for max damage. The first targets for your canons are the opposing "canons" that are rocket launchers on the other side of the ship you battle (Kor'kron Rocketeer / Skybreaker Mortar Soldier). If they still have time when these are down, the second targets are the Rifemen /Axethrowers.
Each 25% of life of the opposing ship, a frost mage will be called to freeze your canons. You then have to board the opposing ship and kill the mage.
Pro-tip: To go on the opponent ship you need to get and equip rocket-packs from your own ship (the npc giving them is nearby your ship captain). But the players assigned to the ship can also take them as they can be used to avoid/kite a mob which would aggro you on the ship.

Send in half your dpsers and one high life tank. The dpsers will *only* target the frost mage and come back as soon as he is dead. The tank will only tank the opponent captain (dwarf/orc depending on your side).
The captain tank should take care that the captain gains 25% haste each time he hits, so kiting is better if possible.
Pro-tip: Take care that firemen shoot at flying targets so kiting by using your jet-pack, which is the best option can be dangerous if you take a hit before launching and then get hit by the firemen. Be cautious also that changing ship reset aggro. If you leave your ship with aggro, healers will die, if you leave the opposing ship before anyone else, he will die.

Raid composition

For 10-Man you need 2 tanks, 3 healers and 5 dpsers. One of the tank and one of the healers will go into the canons and only be active during the frozen canons phase when your team has to board the opposing ship.
In 25-Man you still only need 2 tanks. You can go with 6 to 7 healers, depending if you put one or two in the canons with the boarding tank. Rest should be dpsers, it doesn't matter much if they are melee or ranged, this isn't a very hard encounter.

Advised Build

It all depend on your assignment.
If you're the boarding tank healer (assigning 2 healers on him is more secure), you will mostly only spam big heals (Holy Lights for paladins) on him during the time he's tanking/kiting the opposing ship captain, and you'll probably mana regen in a canon when you're not boarding. Obviously a Holy Light build is better for that.
If you're on raid healing, go for a quick healing build (Flash of Light build for paladins). Your ship tank will take a lot of fast damage, but much smaller than the boarding tank. And the aggro on the adds tend to be tricky which can result in short (hopefully) spikes on the healers.

Paladin Healing Tips

Paladins in this fight are better used as healers for the opposing captain tank, three good reasons for that:
  • Holy Light spam is the strongest single target heal stream any healer can do;
  • using Divine Plea when in the canon will allow the Holy Paladin to Holy Light Spam the whole boarding phases of the encounter;
  • using Beacon of Light on the boarding tank will allow the paladin to *stay on your ship* and still healing the boarding tank.
This last point can seem tricky, but it works wonder, at least as Beacon of Light works in patch 3.3. Here is the reason:
The Beacon of Light target will receive in full any heal casted by the paladin on any raid member no further than 16 meters away from the beaconed tank. The Holy Paladin stays on your ship, on the border near the canons, he will target any ranged dpser boarding the opposing ship and dpsing the frost mage (this ranged dpser needs to stay on the other ship border too so that he's in range for your heals). And all the heals incoming to this ranged dpser will hit the tank (unless he's more than 60 meters away which is highly unlikely).
This allows you to not have to board the ship, not get aggro from most of the ship mobs despite your huge heals, spam heals on your boarding tank even when he's flying towards the opposing ship or back to your ship, avoid any hit on your while flying because you can't cast anything during that time it's considered casting while moving.
Pro-tip: Don't miss to cast Beacon of Light on the boarding tank before he launches to the other ship, he could be too far away for that a few seconds later. The duration of the Beacon will be more than enough for your raid to kill the frost mage and the tank to come back. Talk with your tank to be sure he doesn't leave without it :)

And that's all, congratulations for the loot, this is mostly a "Have fun with rocket packs and get some nearly free loot" reward for having downed the two first bosses.
Enjoy it because serious fights start with Deathbringer Saurfang!

I hope this small guide was useful, see you soon for the 4th boss of Icecrown and the last from the entrance section: Deathbringer Saurfang.

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