Solutions to Common Problems on Heroic Sindragosa (25)

I have now learned Heroic Sindragosa 25 with two separate guilds. I have killed her twice, both times with my previous guild. I have wiped to her a significant amount of times. Probably more times than I dare to consider. Definitely more times than I have wiped to heroic Putricide or heroic Deathwhisper, most with my previous guild.

When I left my previous guild and joined my current guild, I was aware that I would have to relearn how to do some encounters and would have to learn along with the guild how the guild was going to do the heroic versions of Dreamwalker, Lady Deathwhisper, Professor Putricide, Sindragosa and, perhaps, the Lich King as well.

Dreamwalker was rescued in the first reset I had with the new guild. Deathwhisper was two weeks later. It took much longer for Putricide to go down, but he finally did. So now our attention turns to Sindragosa.

I have noticed several issues in our attempts on her and what’s interesting to me, at least, is that the issues are the same, exact ones my previous guild dealt with. I’m not just talking about screwing up some of the mechanics, either, although that’s part of it and part of learning.

Sindragosa is a challenging encounter because of the amount of coordination it requires. Putricide on heroic is hard because everything is random — Unbound Plague targets, ooze targets, gas targets, who gets which buff in transitions. Sindragosa is not challenging for that reason. Most of the things that happen on Sindragosa are constants. There will always be three healers and three casters with Unchained Magic. Ice Tomb targets are random, but you can plan where each person goes. P3 Ice Tombs are placed with regularity on one side or the other.

The issue is coordination — you need to stop, start, move, run, start again, stop again, watch the ground, watch your debuffs, and you need to be able to rely on your fellow raiders to be doing exactly what they’re supposed to be doing as well.

So today… Solutions to Common Problems on Heroic Sindragosa (25).

1) Parries. Sindragosa parry hastes. What does this mean?

From WoWWiki:

Swing timer

After a successful parry, the defender’s “swing timer” is reduced by 40% of your weapon speed (or even reset), unless this would result in a reduction to less than 20% of your swing time remaining. This results in an average of .24 extra swings per parry; thus parry favors slower, higher damage weapons.[1] Note that with a slow weapon and fast incoming attacks, it is possible to gain multiple speed reductions. While tanks like to profit from this effect, melee damage dealers should attack from behind whenever possible, both to increase their own damage and to avoid causing unneeded damage to the tank through the enemy’s parries.

Your swing timer is always running any time you are able to parry (you can’t parry during spellcasting, stun, etc.), and since it resets on a predictable basis, there are several addons that can display it. Using such a timer and monitoring incoming events, you will note that parry affects only your current swing, and only the time remaining when the parry occurs. In order to display parry events accurately, you must know the correct swing speed (including haste effects) and the elapsed swing time.

Note: When a mob parries an attack, its swing timer also advances in the same manner. This does not apply to certain raid bosses for which parry-haste functionality has been explicitly turned off by the game designers, e.g. Brutallus.

The vast majority of ICC bosses have parry haste turned off, like Brutallus in Sunwell Plateau. The following bosses are those in T10+ content in Wrath of the Lich King who have parry haste turned ON:

Lady Deathwhisper, Sindragosa, Halion.

So three things here:

a) Tanks need to make sure they have a fair bit of expertise, even if they’re wearing frost resist gear. Maybe some Rhinolicious Wyrmsteak? For tanks, you’re almost certainly not going to be able to eliminate the parries, so your goal is to minimize them.

b) Melee need to eliminate parries, period. This is achieved by making sure you’re at the expertise soft-cap of 6.5% AND making sure you’re standing in the right place! Do not stand near the dragon’s front shoulders. Stand right near the back legs, just a bit towards her midsection. You obviously don’t want to stand in the back o f the dragon because of her tail swipe, but standing near the hindquarters should allow the game to believe you’re hitting her from an angle where you’re technically behind her.

c) If you’re a caster or a healer, don’t stand next to the dragon and auto-attack. We have pretty much no expertise and can easily cause a parry. This can happen particularly when a paladin judges from afar and then runs in close without turning off the auto-attack. While this doesn’t matter much on a Blistering Cold cast, since she’s not actively hitting the tank, be careful that you’re not beating on her with your dagger or staff or mace or even your sword.

Pro-tip: If you parse your attempts with World of Logs, you can tell who’s being parried by selecting the attempts you’d like and then going to the Expression Editor. Use this string:

(fulltype=SWING_MISSED) and targetname=”Sindragosa” and missType=MISS_PARRY

To see if this causing an issue, look at individual fights and examine your tank’s deaths. If it was due to melee attacks around 0.9-1.2 seconds apart, this is likely a parry haste.

2) Icy Grip & Blistering Cold. So many people die to Blistering Cold and it just plain isn’t necessary!

When you see by your boss mod timer that there is 5 seconds left on the Icy Grip cooldown, prepare yourself. Move very close to the dragon (making sure your auto-attack is off!) and continue casting/hitting, etc.

When she casts Icy Grip, she’ll pull you to her. Since you’re so close to her, you’re barely moving. Just turn (using your mouse) and run or strafe out 25 yards from her. The single biggest issue I see with Blistering Cold is people being way the hell away from her when she casts Icy Grip, so they spend a couple of seconds being pulled TO her and don’t have enough time to run out.

Pro tip: Tuskarr’s Vitality (or Cat’s Swiftness) is seriously the best boot enchant you can get if you don’t have a talent that increases your speed, like Pursuit of Justice. You would be shocked at how often it saves you on this fight and so many others throughout this expansion.

3) Frost Bombs. On regular, they weren’t too much of a problem. You ducked behind an Ice Tomb and if you got hit, so what? No big deal. On heroic, they one-shot you, unless you’re a bear and you pop Barkskin and Survival Instincts. ;)

The proper way to deal with the Frost Bombs is thusly:

a) Hide behind an Ice Tomb.

b) Look at the platform for the projected texture that shows you where the Frost Bomb will land. It’s a small, blue circle. This is a terrible quality screenshot, but here:

If you cannot see that little rune thing, check to make sure you have Projected Textures turned ON. If you do and you still have trouble seeing it, turn down your Particle Density. The above screenshot is with Projected Textures on and Particle Density at the lowest setting.

c) Move to make sure the Ice Tomb is blocking you ENTIRELY from the frost bomb. As my brother said the other night on regular Sindragosa 10m (his first time there), “man, you really gotta tuck in there, don’t you?” The answer to that is yes. Cling to the tomb.

d) Make sure you move to properly line up the Ice Tombs between you and the bombs for ALL FOUR BOMBS.

e) Make sure that no tombs are broken until after the last bomb drops. You then have several seconds for the tank and healers to run out to meet Sindragosa during which you can finish off the Ice Tombs. It is ideal for all Ice Tombs to be below 15% or so health by the time the last Frost Bomb hits and then finished off before anyone is asphyxiated.

4) Frost Damage. There are three main ways to help combat the persistent frost aura (which only gets worse with stacks of Mystic Buffet up). I like to use all of them.

a) bring extra healers. Like, 8.

b) Wear 1-2 pieces of frost resistance gear. I personally wear the belt. Tanks should probably wear 2 pieces (belt/boots) and should pop either version of Sindragosa’s Flawless Fang on Blistering Cold (and ONLY on Blistering Cold!) if they’re planning on eating them in order to keep Sindragosa standing still.

c) Have BOTH Frost Resistance Totem and Frost Resistance Aura up. Drop the totem near the tank, in melee range, so that when the raid runs away from the tank during Blistering Cold, the tank still has 130 Frost Resistance added, thanks to the totem.

5) Unchained Magic, Instability & Backlash. Run away from the raid. Let Instability drop when you’re 20 yards away from others. Don’t get gripped into Sindragosa with any stacks — if you do, keep casting instants every 3 seconds so that you don’t blow up the whole raid. More on dealing with Unchained Magic on heroic here. I strongly recommend not casting at ALL in P3 with Unchained Magic.

As well, the whole of the ranged contingent of the raid (casters, hunters, healers) should be clumped up together very tightly.

6) Unchained Magic, Instability, Backlash and Iceblock, Divine Shield & Dispersion. Mages, paladins and shadow priests can avoid dealing with Unchained Magic once or twice or so per attempt on Sindragosa by using their immunity effects (Iceblock and Divine Shield) or by using Dispersion. However, for mages and paladins, if you’re going to IB or bubble it off, you MUST NOT have any stacks of Instability on you when you do! If you do, this will cause your Instability to fall off immediately and hit all people within 20 yards of you. IF you have a stack or more, run out, cast to your heart’s desire, THEN bubble/IB. Otherwise, bubble or iceblock FIRST, then continue casting as normal.

Shadow Priests can stack Instability to truly ludicrous amounts if Dispersion is up, but again, just because you’re taking almost no damage doesn’t mean you should blow up the raid around you. Run. Out. Of. The. Raid.

7) Ice Tombs. Ice Tombs cause damage AND they can chain to other people. Ice Tombs cause about 10k damage and if you’re within 10y of other people getting tombed, you’ll cause 10k damage to each other. So stay 10y away from others, even if you’re given a particular location to go. Do not stand on top of others, do not stand too close to others. This can be a problem in P3 where people are running around like chickens with their heads cut off.

It’s also really important to get a shield or a hot or two up on the people who are about to get Ice Tombed, so that they’re absolutely topped off by the time Asphyxiation kicks in, if that’s an issue. Hell, I even toss a Sacred Shield and FoL on someone if I can. Make sure Frost Beacon is on your raid frames, healers, that’ll show you who’s going to get tombed.

8) Phase 3. Keep it simple. If you have Unchained Magic, don’t cast. If you get a Frost Beacon on you, telling you you’re going to be a Frost Tomb, run to the appropriate side. Drop Mystic Buffet stacks every other tomb. Give tanks a chance to reset their stacks. Run out from Blistering Cold.

Above all, keep calm. The big problem I see in P3 (or P2, if you don’t count air phase as P2) is people panicking. Quit panicking!

9) Communication. While this is not imperative during the entire fight, it’s particularly important between healers in the final phase.

My previous guild, which did not use Vent or any voice communications, came up with the idea of using macros between healers to indicate who had Unchained (and was, therefore, not healing). The macro looks like this:

/6 *** UNCHAINED MAGIC *** on Madrana!

/in 29 /6 *** Unchained Magic *** is done on Madrana!

/6 is the healer channel we used so replace that with your own channel number. What you do with this is hit it when you get Unchained Magic. UM lasts 30 seconds, so this is an approximate macro that will count 29 seconds before telling your fellow healers that you’re able to cast again. Depending on when you hit the macro after getting UM, it might be a little late in announcing you’re ready to cast, but it’s better than nothing, particularly if you don’t use voice communication or officers are calling out things like where to drop the next Ice Tomb or whatever.

I think that’s all the advice I have for Sindragosa on heroic. Just keep it simple and think through the consequences to your actions. Good luck!

5 Replies to “Solutions to Common Problems on Heroic Sindragosa (25)”

  1. Another helpful tip for dealing with Icy Grip/Blistering Cold is that Sindragosa is affected by Curse of Tounges. If you have one of your warlocks take a DPS loss nad keep a CoT up on her – it will mean that it takes her so long to cast blistering cold that even the most disoriented, slow, keyboard turner can get into safety before she can get the cast off!

    Another tip that I can offer for your resto druids is that (assuming they do not have unchained magic) as they are running out from blistering cold if they toss a 3 stack of lifebloom up on the tank (ours eat BC) as they run out, and then let it bloom, it does amazing things for keeping the tank stablizied while the other healers are running back into position to post up and heal again.

    I hope those tips help!

    I did a write of how we did this encounter over on my blog – if you are interested in a different perspective on the encounter :)

  2. Pretty solid strategy similar we do but we have everyone with at least 2 frost resist gear and everyone uses a resist flask. This coupled with me and our ret pally alternating aura mastery on blistering cold helps alleviate any slow pokes wont always save them but it does help. And yeah definetly would reccomend a passive speed increase I have my offspec as a pursuit of justice spec specifically for blistering cold (I run a holy/prot spec on other fights). Also we have our holy paladins save divine shield for p3 in case we get bad luck with unchaineds and tombs. But all in all great guide.

  3. To continue what Beruthiel said, in addition to CoT, (Arcane) mages can also slow (i have ours cast at the 5 sec warning) and I believe rogues can use Mind-numbing poison to slow cast time. Of the 3, I think the mage route is the least dps loss but like was said, it makes the cast time seem really long, we stopped losing people to Blistering Cold as soon as we switched to that.

  4. Thanks Kurn and Beru! It never occurred to me that if I’m close to the boss, I’ll fly less and have more time to run… and LB just isn’t something I do, like ever.

    That is, if we manage to get 10 people again before Cataclysm to get wyrms for the guys who are missing them…

  5. I don’t believe being soft-caped for Expertise (dodge cap of 26) will prevent parries. What you have probably seen is melee dps getting to close to the dragon, going inside the hit box. Since her hit box is so large, you can be ‘behind’ her to be able to trigger things like backstab, and still get your attack parried.

    Being to close in the hit box can also get your melee dps tail smashed.

    TLDR: Parries only happen from the front, dodges happen from front and back, so position is everything!

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