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Guide to Ice Crown Citadel - Crimson Halls

Updated Mon, Mar 22, 2010 by Messiah

The third wing in Icecrown Citadel is the Crimson Hall which was opened January 19, 2010 for players.  There are only two boss encounters in the Crimson Hall.  The two encounters are against the Blood Prince Council and the Blood Queen Lana’thel. To reach this wing you must only have defeated the Lower Spire to reach the Upper Spire, you do not have to defeat the Plague Wing.

Blood Prince Council

The Blood Prince Council is a fight against the various Blood Princes that you have faced and defeated earlier in the expansion.  The three are: Keleseth from Utgarde Keep, Taldaram from Ahn’kahet, and Valanar from Naxxanar.  Here however you must fight all three at once since they are now resurrected as undead minions of the Lich King.

The encounter uses several mechanics, not the least of which is the use of a ranged tank.  The three bosses all need to be tanked individually, however two can be tanked normally and one needs to be tanked by a ranged tank since he can hit for too much damage to heal in melee. Taldaram and Valanar are tanked normally while Keleseth is tanked at range. A Warlock with a large health pool makes for a solid ranged tank.

The other major mechanics in the fight are the shared health pools for the bosses, and the invulnerability of two out of three of the bosses.  At any given time only one boss can be hurt due to the Invocation of Blood ability.  The boss that currently has the invocation is the only one that will have a health bar and therefore the only one that can be hurt. While the invocation is on that Prince they will also be empowered and cause significantly more damage.

Each boss has his own abilities as well, and there is a lot going on in the fight so pay attention at all times throughout the fight.  The main thing to get right though is to stay spread out and to switch DPS targets quickly.  Once you get used to the abilities and reactions to them the fight gets far less hectic.

Keleseth is the simplest of the bosses to tank since his only real abilities are to spawn Dark Nuclei around the room and to hit the tank with Shadow Lances. In addition if you get too close to Keleseth he will hit for more damage than you can take. The shadow lances are nothing to sneeze at either as they can hit for roughly 20,000 normally and up to almost 100,000 damage while empowered.  Luckily the dark nuclei grant a buff to anyone near them that reduces shadow damage taken by 35%; however they also cause damage over time to the player and themselves.

The ranged tank therefore must hold Keleseth while staying at distance and grabbing the Dark Nuclei that are spawned around the room. The ranged tank needs to have at least 4 nuclei attached to them to survive Keleseth’s shadow damage while empowered. The damage reduction is multiplicative meaning 4 orbs would reduce a 90,000 point empowered shadow lance hit to roughly 16,000, not completely mitigate it. 

Taldaram is the flame based Prince and can be normally tanked, however he must be faced away as he does fire damage to everyone in his front arc.  In addition he will randomly target players and send an orb of flame at them.  The orb does significant fire damage when it hits the target to the target and anyone within 15 yards, however the longer it takes to reach them the less damage it causes.  Players must recognize that they are targeted and kite the orb to do less damage.  While empowered the flame orbs do more damage and cause additional smaller launch out from anyone hit by the AOE portion of the orbs damage.  This causes a large amount of chain damage throughout the raid.

The last of the Princes is Valanar who deals physical damage through kinetic abilities.  His two main abilities are Kinetic Bomb and Shock Vortex. The Kinetic Bomb is summoned above the group and starts falling towards the ground, when it reaches the ground it deals significant damage to everyone in the raid and flings them away if they are anywhere nearby.  The Kinetic Bomb is not unlike a balloon at a child’s birthday party though and can be kept in the air by hitting it.  Any time it gets low someone should target it and knock it back up. 

Valanar’s other ability is his Shock Vortex which is cast on a random target and shown by a glowing glyph on the ground.  Players will have a few seconds to clear the area and if not away from the mark by roughly 15 yards will suffer big damage and be flung away.  If cast while empowered everyone within 30 yards will be have a vortex spawn at their feet.  This means that everyone will need to clear away or be hit by multiple vortexes.

Once everyone understands and can work around the different abilities, the main part of the fight is switching DPS quickly from one boss to the other as each becomes empowered.  The most important part is switching cleanly and quickly between the bosses, while still maintaining separation from each other.  After a few attempts players will start to get the hang of it, and it soon becomes second nature.

Heroic Mode – Blood Prince Council

In heroic mode the princes hit harder and have more health as is normal in a heroic mode.  Here they have roughly 1/3 more health. All of the physical damage goes up substantially as well as the damage caused by the Princes abilities.  Most abilities do almost double the damage and require everyone to be on top of what is going on.  Glittering sparks hits for double normal damage and slows you by 40% instead of 20%. Kinetic orbs drop faster and do more damage when they hit the ground.  Empowered flames move faster and do double damage, meaning that anyone hit can be killed if other players do not get in the way.

The main change to the fight however, is the addition of a new ability called Shadow Prison.  This ability puts a stacking debuff on anyone that moves and does 500 damage per second lasting for 10 seconds. This means that if you moved for 8 seconds you would be taking 4000 damage for the next 10 seconds.  It will clear once you are stationary for long enough that the debuff wears off. All the damage it causes is shadow damage so shadow resistance helps greatly. This changes the mechanics of the fight a little since you will want to stay stationary as much as possible instead of moving around a lot like you do in a normal mode fight.

Blood-Queen Lana'thel

The Blood-Queen Lana’thel is the last boss in the Crimson Halls in Icecrown Citadel. The fight itself is a frenzied DPS race to defeat her before she enrages roughly five and a half minutes into the fight.  The fight is loosely a two phase fight consisting of a ground and air phase.  The ground phase makes up the majority of the fight as she only launches into the air for a short period of time.

In the ground phase two tanks are required due to an ability called Blood Mirror.  This ability hits the closest person to the main tank with the same damage that the main tank takes.

While attacking the main tank Blood-Queen Lana’thel will also use several abilities on other players.  She has a direct damage spell call Twilight Bloodbolt that hits a random player for a significant amount of shadow damage and also damages anyone near by. She also targets random players to link with Pact of the Darkfallen.  It will link three  random players together with a debuff that causes damage to everyone within 10 yards of any of them until all three players group up within 5 yards of each other, at which point the debuff is cleared. She can also hit random players with Swarming Shadows which causes a void zone to spawn on the ground behind them every second for 6 seconds that causes shadow damage to anyone that stays in it.

Lastly Lana’thel will use Vampiric Bite on players, this is the key mechanic in the fight.  She will bite a fresh player every 30 seconds after the fight starts.  Once bitten the player gains the Essence of the Blood Queen buff which allows them to cause 100% extra damage and heal themselves for 15% of all the damage they cause.  In addition their attacks cause no threat.  However after 50 seconds with the buff they also get the Frenzied Bloodthirst debuff.  This debuff lasts 10 seconds, and during that time they must bite another player.  Once they bite a player both players now start with a 50 second Essence of the Blood Queen buff.  If the player does not bite someone within the 10 seconds allotted they become mind controlled and will cause havoc in the group.

Blood-Queen Lana’thel has a huge amount of health and is a very hard DPS check.  Bite orders need to be worked out to maximize DPS done.  Also because at some point you will run out of players to bite, it is important to allow your biggest DPS to continue to bite players longer than your lower DPS.  You are likely to get to a point right at the end with 2-3 players mind controlled in a mad race to down her before enrage.

The Blood-Queen also has a brief air phase at roughly two and a half minutes into the fight, where she will move to the center of the room and fly into the air.  While in the air she casts a volley of Bloodbolts that will hit all players three times.  Because of the damage these cause to anyone nearby spacing is critical or you will wipe.  As soon as she starts moving for the center ranged needs to move back so allow the tanks and melee room to spread out.

As you can see the fight requires careful spacing most of the time, with periods of movement mixed in where players must either congregate or separate more.  It also requires communication on who has which buff and the priority for the next bite.  This fight is definitely a challenge to get by as the movement required defiantly lowers DPS’s possible output, yet they still need to put out crazy high numbers. The buff helps but only so much, numbers that I have seen thrown around by guilds and in logs where it has been done is DPS averaging 10k in 25 person raids and 8k in 10 person raids.  You will certainly have some DPS much higher than that due to having the buff most of the fight, but other DPS will obviously be much lower.  It is a hard fight.

Heroic Mode – Blood Queen Lanathel

In heroic mode the Blood Queen gains about 25% heath while her enrage timer remains the same making the fight even more of a DPS race than it already is on normal mode.  In addition her slash also inflicts more damage on the off tank than in normal mode.

The biggest change to the fight though is the addition of a new ability called Presence of the Darkfallen.  This ability grants the queen a stacking buff every time another player is turned into a vampire.  Each stack allows her Shroud of Sorrow ability to cause 5% more damage.  This gets especially deadly by the time she launches into the air for the second time.  At this point there will be 4 vampires and the shroud of sorrow will be doing an additional 20% damage.

The rest of her abilities stay the same, so if you have the DPS to beat the enrage timer it just becomes a matter of surviving the second air phase through the use of cooldowns.

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