Taking a short break from my Soloing Northrend series, I feel that it is time to defend my most beloved character's spec.
Now, every mage worth her salt is familiar with the common assumption that Arcane is the king of specs, followed by Fire, and very, very, VERY distantly by Frost. In fact, other classes think this way too.
"LFM ICC10 whisper with class and spec" "Hey there. I'm a mage, about 5k gearscore and 5-6k DPS, specced frost with Replenishment." "lol no" "Why not?" "frost DPS sucks go arcane"
This infuriates me. My DPS is fine--I probably don't have enough gear for ICC, not yet, but I know what I'm doing and can do far more as frost than arcane. I did, actually, respec one afternoon,and performed the 4x arcane blast, arcane missiles when barrage procs, and that...other, shiny spell to clear stacks if I hadn't gotten a proc.
I ran out of mana in what felt like a few seconds and did a steady 3k DPS. Frost, on the other hand, goes on forever with inspiration and a low-mana frostbolt, plus I usually spec to get arcane concentration, which gives me a free spell fairly often. Frostbolt is also the fastest non-instant mage spell (correct me if I'm wrong) and I usually have an insanely fast cast time when everything decides to proc at once.
Frost's rotation is also easy to learn. Hit frostbolt. Again. Again. Again. Again. Fingers of frost procs, and you hit it, then hit it again and slam deep freeze just as the second finishes casting for a huge crit. Weave brain freeze procs in with frostbolt when you can, especially when you have the two-piece Tier 10 set bonus, which gives us another 12% of that delicious haste.
Frost also gives you the biggest crits of, dare I say, any class. I've gotten Deep Freeze crits up to 30,000 damage. Yes, that's right, that's damage from an instant spell. And let me tell you, seeing those numbers pop up feels pretty amazing. I'm sure that mages with better gear would see even more mouth-watering numbers.
So I call out to you, mages of the world. Give Frost a chance.
I've returned (considerably the worse for wear), and in between sucking down large amounts of boiling cider and Motrin for the horrifying throat virus I have, I will try my best to fight my way online.
I write these posts as I'm doing the instance, so at this moment I have no idea if I'm going to survive. I guess that there's only one way to find out!
Ahn'kahet, the Old Kingdom
This place is so truly, truly cool. I wish Blizzard had actually implemented it as a zone. I like the blue spectral bats a lot, too.
Buff up and run down the spiderwebs. Go into cat. Survey your surroundings. Now bypass all those 20k damage shadowbolts with ease. There are no beginning guards in normal Ahn'kahet.
No huge ugly flesh-constructs either. At least, not yet.
Stick to the edges, and you'll easily make your way to some annoying swarmers. And the first boss, of course. Elder Nadox is fairly simple--swipe the adds into oblivion and shift your focus to the guardian as soon as it spawns, just like on heroic mode.
Here, Brood Plague is the greatest threat, dealing over 1000 damage every 3 seconds. And it's a disease, so you can't cure it.
I got to around 30k health, but he went down without me having to use more than Barkskin.
Onwards, now, to the second of the Cullens, Prince Taldaram. You will have to kill the second and third groups of Plundering Geists, as they go up the web ramps to the orbs that dispel this boss' shield. The groups of four guarding the orbs are mildly threatening--they do a lot of magic damage. Maul and swipe will destroy them before your health drops far enough to be worrying, however.
Kill them, pop the orbs, and sneak your way to the San'alyn. Time to see if that blood drain still works when you're solo...
Well. It does. And he killed me, just like his brother. /sigh
I'll try again, for your sake!
YES! YES! Mark of the Wild made all the difference, as did a good survival instincts+frenzied regeneration+runic healing potion.It was damn close. I have 2k hitpoints when he keeled over. But at least I can keep going through Ahn'kahet!
Sneak your way to Jedoga Shadowseeker, say a brief prayer, and dive in. Try and use Barkskin right after the worshiper gets sacrificed-it's almost impossible to kill them in time. I found her extremely easier--much more so than Taladram.
Onto the final boss!
If you tank Herald Volazj in the absolute western corner of the room, you do not have to do the trash. Barkskin during Mind Flay, and if you're getting low on health, root your double during the insanity and heal yourself up. It can't do much damage, anyhow.
EDIT: Pictures aren't working on this post. I'll try to get them up as soon as possible.
Here we go again!
I've always found AZ to be particularly beautiful. The lost remnants of an ancient, eight-legged civilization and all that. Unfortunately, now that it's fallen to the Scourge, it's time for me to break out the bug spray and go spider squashing.
The first pull is simple. One caster, one melee. I hate the Webspinners (that web is a nightmare like Keleseth's ice blocks) so they're going to die first.
Be warned. Without a party, that web wrap in an unbreakable 9 second stun. It can be lethal.
Kill the spinner, then the skirmisher, then the warrior at the entrance to the Azol Nerub Baggage Check.
On Krik'thar's groups, just follow the basic pattern of taking down casters, melee, DPS, warriors, and then the bosses with AOE. There is not much time to eat between waves, but a quick Tranquillity can help if you are at critical health.
Edit: If there are no webspinners, kill the bosses first. They can web you too.
Krik'thir himself is cake. Swipe the adds, bash Mind Flay, and he's down.
Now, tiptoe into room of Spidery Spiderful Spiderness. Don't fall off the bridge unless you want to get eater by Anub'ar crushers. I don't advise using the cheat to despawn the mobs. They'll start coming back before you can kill Hadronox, since your bear DPS is fairly low.
Don't stand in poison. Put abolish poison up when...you know, she poisons you. Wait for her to kill the adds first. She's fairly easy.
Now ruuuuuun down the ramp and jump in the hole. Smashing the spiderlings is optional, but highly therapeutic.
Hop out, dry yourself off, and lumber over to Anub'arak's two special friends. Scary, aren't they? Haha :D Keep scurrying down the path, and sneak into the Tiny Circular Platform Suspended In The Middle Of A Huge Cavern But Yet You Can Still Apparently Burrow Through It Without Falling To Your death. TCPSITMOAHCBYYCSABTIWFTYD for short.
Because I mean, really, if you're burrowing in there you're essentially stuck inside a giant soup bowl. And when you're a massive mutant spider thing, that's going to be hard to maneuver in. However Anub'arak does it, this fight is still a dificult test of endurance. Dodge every single Pound, without question. You'll need the health for the add phases. Swipe will take care of the little adds, while focusing fire on the big ones will bring them down fairly quickly. This is a tough fight. You may wipe once or twice. Don't get hit by spikes either.
Thank you for reading! Next up.../drumroll...Ahn'kanet! Oh you know you want to watch me start screaming in horror :D
It's a heck of a long flight to get here.Seriously. Get a book or something.
I do think, however, that Coldarra is very pretty. See, here's Laia swooping in on Shatterscale! Zone in and buff thyself, young druid. The creepy masquerade mask is optional.
Go kitty, hit prowl, and take the first left. The patrolling Azure Warders/Magi can detect stealth, so hug the walls. Hang on...he's awfully tough....
Oh. Heh. Make sure it's not on heroic. Even on normal, he managed to find me, though. Remember, skinners, you can skin almost everything here. I got several stacks of leather. Now, it's time to sneak past the patrolling mage and his pack of dogs. And guess what? they detect stealth too. Wait in an alcove for them to pass you, then you can avoid them without aggroing. The doggies may turn to growl at you in the alcove, but you're perfectly safe. Next is the Room of Way Too Much Air Conditioning.
These are all very easy to stealth by, but we want the boss, don't we? If you are very, very careful, you can get right behind and tank him and his adds against the wall. Kill the priests first. Spam Mangle with Berserk up and they should crumple like paper. Got him! Unlike his heroic counterpart, though, Mr. Horde Commander only drops a green. Pathetic. Sneak out of the Room of Way Too Much Air Conditioning, past another set of patrolling doggies and up a short tunnel. They aggroed on me, though :( Now, we're in the YMCA-Young Mage's Club of Azeroth. They're all a bit high off of all the latent magical energy, so they are quite easy to sneak past. Even the bodyguards to Miss Telestra's "Private Area" aren't very alert. Get behind the Grand Magus, and begin the process of clawing her into tiny shreds. You can strafe to avoid Firebomb, but it's really not necessary. Chew on her until she splits, then burn down the copies: Frost, Fire, then Arcane. You can even heal up a bit while she's reforming. Also, I would save Berserk...you can avoid her guards, but you might get thrown into them when she does her Nether Chains thingy. After that, tiptoe out of the YMCA and down another corridor, complete with another set of patrolling doggies. This corridor is extremely wide, so the dogs should be easy to avoid. Now we come to the Cavern of Ten Thousand Sparkles. You can stealth past everything here, as long as you are careful to give even the scrawniest mob a respectful berth. Beware of falling off the edge like I did. Prowl your way up to Anomalous. The portal thing might shock you-run up the ramp a bit and Shadowmeld (or kill them). Enjoy the scenery. Then kill Anomalous- he does a good bit of magic damage, but swipe, glyph of maul, and berserk will slaughter the portals. I advise taking the long way down-you might not make the jump while Prowling. Turn left, then go straight ahead, past the mana elemental and group of dragons, and into the Woods of Glowingness. The little trees here are EXTREMELY annoying, but they can be avoided. Go all the way to Ormorok and squash him. He can reflect Faerie Fire when Spell Reflect is up. Drag him up into the icy tunnel to avoid having to kill his guards. Also, try to not get hit by ice spikes-you'll take 8000 falling damage. Now, it's only a matter of prowling to poor Keristraza's room. You need to kill the patroller in there- he can detect stealth. So can the guards in the adjacent hallways. Final boss time! Hop like a freaking madman, here, and shift out and immediately back into bear to break Crystal Chains. You're going to be taking a considerable amount of magic damage-consider using barkskin and any trinkets you have. Survival Instincts+Frenzied Regeneration should be saved for a serious emergency. (Actually, I lied. I barely lost 4,000 health :D ) There you have it! Good luck on your solo journey!