The Lich King encounter is unforgiving on 10 man, and very unforgiving on 25 man. I’m not going to do a full guide here, but I am going to talk a little about how to handle the big raid blocks in phase two: Val’kyr and Defile.
The first phase is very easy. The transition to phase two can be rough, but phase two is what kills many raid groups. Especially on 25 man. The mechanics of this phase are that every so often, he’ll summon a single (for 10 man) or 3 (25 man) adds which will pick players up and fly them over the edge of the fight. Once they’re dropped, they can not be battle-rezed. Additionally, and sometimes simultaneously, he’ll cast the mother of all void zones under a random raider.
The hard part of this encounter is that you need to stack up in the middle for the valks, and you need to spread out for the defiles. Defile placement is incredibly important, because if you drop it in the middle of the room with a couple of other players in range, it will quickly cover the whole field. Even if everyone does manage to escape, there will be almost no ground left to actually fight on.
Luckily, Deadly Boss Mods has a fairly accurate cooldown timer for this fight. Make sure it’s up to date, because older versions seemed to be a little out of synch. Here are the steps you can take to get the best chance of killing this dude:
- If DBM is telling you that the next ability that will be cast is a defile, find your position before he casts it. Use stutter-stepping and disengage wisely to reduce DPS lost to moving, but when that cast goes off, you should already be in the perfect position in case you get it. Ideally, standing close to max range or next to another defile. If you’re the target, the defile you drop will overlap either the edge or another defile.
- If DBM is telling you that the Valks are next, DPS where you are until you have 5ish seconds left, and then stack up with the rest of the raid. If this means you’re in melee range until the valk picks a target and can’t DPS, volley. On your way in, drop a frost trap. Ideally where you think the valks will path over. If that’s not feasible, drop a frost trap before you volley.
- If DBM shows that the defile will happen first, but that the valks will be immediately after, spread out, but not as far. Instead of standing at the edge for optimal defile placement, just stand somewhere without anyone in range. If a defile gets placed close to the middle, but doesn’t expand, it’s recoverable. If the valks pick people who happen to be badly located, it’s also recoverable- you can pop DPS cooldowns, arrange for extra CC, or ignore a lock with a demonic circle. Having a defile go off and expand in a bad position is much harder to recover from than losing a person, especially with the 20% buff these days.
The valks will fly their victim straight to the nearest edge. Use this knowledge to choose a stacking point that will have all the valks going together in the same direction so any splash damage and AOE stuns are not wasted. If your raid is unable to keep them slowed or stunned for the whole flight, consider speccing into Concussive Barrage as marks. This will let your multi-shot and chimera shot daze them. Concussive shot should be a last resort, because it will cost you at least a steady shot. If it’s needed, use it, though. Missing a steady shot is better than letting the valk fly at full speed.
If you are the target of the valk, mentally prepare yourself to try to disengage back. Here’s how to do it:
- You will be facing inwards when you are dropped, so to have any chance of success, you need to disengage after turning around. Wiggle your mouse while holding the right mouse button (for mouse turning) facing outward. Just like when a rogue stuns you in PvP- as soon as you have control over your character, as long as your mouse is in motion, you’ll instantly snap your character 180 degrees so it’s facing outwards.
- Spam the disengage key while doing this, or if you have a really low latency, time it so you press disengage as soon as you’ve turned around.
- Sometimes, your valk won’t go down fast enough. If it’s carrying you over a defile, the melee can’t get to it, and that’s a large source of stuns and snares. If you feel like you’re going to be dropped, ask for a clutch slow fall. It seems to increase the chances.
- If you’re an engineer, you are far more likely to make this jump than anyone else, however you have to macro your chute to your disengage.