Tank like a girl
Oct 11 2010

Kadomi the Kingslayer

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Yesterday, on 10/10/10, my guild Daughters of the Horde killed Lich King-10 for the very first time. We first pulled him on August 1, and yesterday marked our 10th raid day working on him. As we only raid 1-2 days a week, it simply took us that long to get there. 2 months of hard work on him.

Kingslayers are us!

The first couple weeks were marked by the brickwall of Phase 2. At first, we simply could not coordinate getting the valkyrs down fast enough. Practically every pickup meant the person would be dropped. We lacked the coordination to deal with valks and Defile close together. We simply could not keep people alive. It took us until late September to first see phase 3, which promptly meant we wiped right at the start of it.

On Oct 3 we finally had the raid where we got into P3 just about every other try. We still transitioned with 3 Raging Spirits up, but we did not wipe when the first Vile Spirits were summoned. We were getting there.

Yesterday, it happened. We made it. It was a messy kill. I tanked the Raging Spirits in both transitions. Thanks to input from Naithin (psst, start reading his blog right now!), I tweaked my spec to sacrifice Damage Shield and Focused Rage in favor of Deep Wounds and Safeguard. My fellow tank Lashe had the Lich King in P3 while Spirits were up, and Safeguard allowed me to Intervene on her whenever Soul Reaper was cast, to give her a 30% damage reduction. The healers said it really helped them with dealing with the Soul Reaper damaged and allowed us to not taunt off each other in that part of the fight, until Raging Spirits were down.

Once the Spirits were down, I picked up Lich King and Lashe started soaking Vile Spirits instead. But I was sloppy, I did not always use my cooldowns at the right time, and so at around 25% I went down. I got a battle rez from one of our two druids. At 18% I went down again, hit by Soul Reaper. There was no more battle rez available. At first I was shocked, we were so close, should that be it? Our ret pally Kaylexanna who always helps me with leading the raids (and keeping me sane) asked if Pain Suppression was up for the surviving tank, which marked the point where I managed to shake out of staring at my screen in blank horror. From that point on I did countdown, asked the healers to use cooldowns and to keep Lashe up at any cost. Down his health went. At about 16% one of the tree druids died when she was harvested. Two healers left. We kept the raid moving away from the Vile Spirits. Down and down his health went. I was sitting there, shaking, frantically, seeing his health bar slowly going down. Finally he was at 11%, then he used The Fury of Frostmourne and our Vent exploded.

Kingslayers with Arthas' bodyI have no words to describe how happy this kill makes me. I was so worried that I wouldn’t be able to down the Lich King before 4.0, just like we hadn’t been able to down Zul’jin in the week before 3.0. We have come a long way since then as raid.

I think Ulduar taught us the most raid-wise. I think without the experience of wiping on a complex encounter that we got in our weeks on Yogg-Saron, we wouldn’t have been able to deal with the repeated weeks of defeat on the Lich King. Not when you’re from such a small guild with such a small pool of raiders. Both fights are complex, long, and require perfect execution. In general, I really enjoy execution-based fights, because eventually you get to the point where it clicks, and that’s awesome.

I will say that repeated wipes in Phase 2 of LK are an excruciating way to die over and over again. You have already spent like 5 minutes in the fight, to the point of utter boredom as Phase 1 is very easy, and then you run into a wall. Still, all in all a satisfying experience and worthy of being the final boss of the expansion. I am not really counting Halion, though we will now take the time to peek in on him.

Throughout Wrath of the Lich King, our roster changed a lot, from Naxxramas to Ulduar to Trial of the Crusader to Icecrown Citadel. We had a lot of fluctuation tank- and healer-wise. For quite some time I stopped tanking and healed instead, especially in the early days of Icecrown Citadel, when my tanking burnout was the worst it has ever been. But I rediscovered my love for tanking raids, Kadomi’s still my girl, and I am so happy that I got the Kingslayer title on her.

My big thanks go to everyone in my raid group who suffer through me as their raid leader and tank. I am neither the world’s best leader nor the best tank, and not always easy to deal with, so kudos to everyone for dealing with me. ;) I am particularly grateful to those who stuck around with DotH. I think all of our current raid members are excited to be a part of our guild, and that makes me very happy. Guild perks are awaiting us in Cataclysm, I am really looking forward to them. We will level more slowly than other guilds, but we’ll get there.

I can now take a deep breath and start looking forward to Cataclysm instead of suffering from WoW ennui. That feels good.

22 Responses to “Kadomi the Kingslayer”

  1. Spinks says:

    Congratulations to all of you! Very well deserved!!


  2. Shayzani says:

    Congratulations on a well-earned kill!


  3. Arencey says:

    Congrats, that is one satisfying looking screenshot.


  4. Odd, I would think that a Death Knight would not need Intervene support for Soul Reaper. Was she not aware that you can do a cycle of AMS -> Vamp Blood -> AMS -> IBF -> Repeat?
    Rilgon Arcsinh´s last blog post ..Dig For Victory!


    Lashe Reply:

    Yes I was using my cooldowns, but between everything else happening in p3, deaths were still happening a little too frequently. Intervene really helped everyone have a little more breathing room before Kadomi took LK from me so that I could soak the spirits. It just made it so that p3 was not nearly so frantic.


    Rilgon Arcsinh Reply:

    Fair enough. I’ve found that, when I’ve tanked it on my DK, it was easier for the Warrior to soak them with Shield Wall and for me to simply ride every Soul Reaper. But hey, it worked for you guys, so congrats! :)
    Rilgon Arcsinh´s last blog post ..Dig For Victory!


  5. [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Kadomi, Lewis Gregory. Lewis Gregory said: RT @Kadomi: New blog post: Kadomi the Kingslayer http://bit.ly/aRT6eF [...]

  6. Will says:

    Congratulations to all of you! :)

    I’ve come to terms with the fact that I’ll never see the fight, but I’ve been keeping track of your Tweets as you made progress through the Instance. I’d been rooting for you from the sidelines.

    Bask in the glory of your victory. You’ve earned it. :)
    Will´s last blog post ..WJRez- @riththewarluid If I could give you a massage- I would -


  7. Wulfstan says:

    Congratulations on a well deserved kill! As a long time reader of your blog, I’m so pleased you managed to do this before 4.01 hit.

    I agree that LK is an extremely well designed fight: it also gave me massive satisfaction on downing him. Plus there’s something special knowing that you’ve tanked the baddest ass in Northrend :-)


  8. Naithin says:

    Congratulations once more, Kad. I can’t tell you how happy I am for you that you achieved your goal of doing it before the patch hit. That it was by such a narrow margin just makes it that much more epic in my opinion! :)

    So indeed, much happiness for you and your guild!
    Naithin´s last blog post ..Reviewing my 2010 Predictions


  9. Everblue says:

    Congratulations! I had 82 wipes on LK before the first kill, so I can empathise with your catharsis.

    Having been a guild officer, one way or another, for 2 years now I can say that nothing really brings a guild together like a really difficult raid achievement. Everyone who was there will be buzzing for weeks, and those that weren’t there will wish they had been. It really builds some momentum, which going into an expansion is no bad thing.

    But for now crack open a beer, kick back, and stare at your armory for like a week.

    (BTW – What dropped?)
    Everblue´s last blog post ..Warrior raid buffs in 401


    Kadomi Reply:

    Tainted Twig of Nordrassil which went to our hunter Shivali and Warmace of Menethil which was won by our DK tank Lashe.

    No Troggbane for me, but that’s totally fine. :)


  10. BobTurkey says:

    Congratulations Kadomi! I remember how awesome that felt.

    Gobble gobble.
    BobTurkey´s last blog post ..Discipline 40x guides


  11. red cow says:

    A very big grats to you!

    I agree that constant wipes in phase 2 are really the most excruciating way to learn the fight. At some point phase 1 becomes a joke, so it’s easy to get distracted and make mistakes going into phase 2.

    Wear your title with pride :D
    red cow´s last blog post ..spoilers Goblin Journal 3


  12. Smush says:

    Congratulations on downing LK to you and your guild.

    Additionally, I can’t wait to read your thoughts on 4.0.1.


  13. Slatsette says:

    I think you are a wonderful raid leader. You are very good at inspiring us and keeping us going even when it is frustrating. I feel very blessed to be in your raids, as I have learned so much and had so much fun.
    Don’t sell yourself short! <3


  14. Zellviren says:

    Grats, Kadomi, I honestly worried that you wouldn’t get there and how crappy it would probably make you feel had you not.

    No more need to worry!

    And as a side note, it’s well worth remembering the sobering fact that the majority of the WoW playerbase *still* never killed Arthas in Icecrown Citadel, so you’re amongst esteemed company.

    Here’s to Cataclysm Kingslayers!


  15. hanago says:

    congratz, kingslayer~ :)


  16. Bea says:

    Congrats! I’ve been following your blog for a while. My husband is a warrior tank and he has you on his links list. My main is a warlock. :-)


  17. Frank says:

    I have a warrior dk pally and druid tank small piece of advice. You have a great tank setup for future attempts. In my 10 man we have a warrior tank and myself on my dk, what has worked great for us is to have the warrior vigilance me. So that he can free taunt adds in the first phase. Then in second phase as long as the warrior is not picked up you cycle cc’s on the valky’r. You never really need to intervene on a dk we have so many cd’s we’re not going down to soul reaper. Then the third phase becomes a breeze with a warrior off tank you have the main tank kite the lich king from one side of the platform to the other when he cast vile spirits then you stand away from the raid and free taunt them to you :) Just friendly advice I love reading your blog


    Frank Reply:

    Oh and I just wanted to show you what I got the last time I killed him :) Its the axe its so sexy http://www.wowarmory.com/character-sheet.xml?r=Gorgonnash&cn=%C3%88velin


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