Okay kids, I told you the story of how to clear Forge of Souls and Pit of Saron. What I didn’t tell you is that the last dungeon of this trinity will cost you your sanity. You know, back in 2010, Halls of Reflection were pretty much THE shit to do if you were hardcore enough. And I should really drop my How I Met Your Mother marathons. Anyways, Halls of Reflection.
*just an insert – names used for this guide are Alliance related. So if you play Horde, please replace Jaina with Sylvanas. Thank you.
Halls of Reflection is pretty short and not large dungeon, all there worth it is the wipe ensuring first room with two bosses, a little “woo I am a giant and I will stomp you” intermezzo and then the hasty escape from Lich King himself aka we’re not retreating we are just advancing in opposite direction.
Generally, this instance is pain to heal. It’s a bit better as a shaman, but still probably the most fucked place to heal. I even recall arguing with my real life friend who said it was harder to tank it than heal it (bear) and then went on to try and heal it on his paladin. He said that he can tank it any day, but he’s never going to heal it again. Take that with grain of salt though, as I can’t imagine worse class to heal here with than holy paladin.
The first room encounter
As soon as you enter, you will stand in a hallway entering this round room with two alcoves to the left and right. In middle of the room is an altar. There is this sissy human mage Jaina Proudmoore too who will start the encounter. The encounter starts with Lich King coming in and retrieving his Frostmourne in order to kick ass and take names in Icecrown Citadel later on and is not part of the encounter. The ghosts and champions he makes to spawn however are. These ghosts spawned around the room will in waves attack you. There is a grand total of 10 waves, wave 5 and 10 being boss fights (Dark Portal, Violet Hold). There are three usual ways how to deal with the waves, the door tactic, the middle tactic and the alcove tactic. I will break these down in a second with their pros and cons. Now though, let’s look at the mobs we will be healing against:
- Ghostly priest: Shadow Word: Pain: 2,500 shadow damage every 2 seconds for 8 sec. Circle of Destruction: : 3,194-3,806 shadow AoE + knockback. Cower in Fear: 4 second fear. Dark Mending: Heal for 51-59k; these chaps don’t pose direct threat, you have to consider the SW:P healing, but other than that they are rather paper dolls and burn quickly. Lower priority.
- Phantom Mage: Human. Fireball: 6175-6825 fire. Flamestrike: 5625-5375 + 8000 over 8 seconds. Frostbolt: 5225-5775 frost. Chains of Ice: 6 sec root. Hallucination: Summons in a hallucination with same health as mage. Mages are quite annoying depending on tactics. They either are all over the place nuking everything, or spamming your space with Flamestrikes. Worth to be on the look out of them and Wind Shear them to tank. Medium priority.
- Phantom Hallucination: Human. Summoned by the mage at ~50% with same health/abilities as mage. Explodes for 10k damage when killed. Annoying bastards these guys. If you are lucky, those tend to spawn when there is quite some control of the fight established. Medium priority.
- Shadowy Mercenary: Human rogue. Deadly Poison: 1065 nature every 3 sec for 12 seconds. Shadowstep: 7,000 damage. Envenomed Dagger Throw: 1065 nature/3 sec, -15% movement speed for 12 sec. Kidney Shot – 3 sec stun. Probably the most annoying feckers in the packs. Shadowsteps, rolling poisons and debuffs those should die first. Cleansing totem pwns for those bastards!
- Spectral Footman: Human warrior. Spectral Strike: 100% weapon damage, ignores armor. Shield Bash: 20% weapon damage, 4 second interrupt. Tortured Enrage: +100% melee attack speed for 8 sec. Those keep pretty much just bashing on the tank so they are not that much annoying. Two of those at the same time can give you hard time with tank healing though, so pay attention! Medium priority, they often die in the collateral dps.
- Tortured Rifleman: Dwarf hunter. Shoot: 4163-4837 damage. Cursed Arrow: +50% incoming magical damage for 15 sec. Ice Shot: 5700-6300 damage, 2 sec stun. Frost Trap. Avoid the traps, and watch out for the debuffs – the cursed arrow makes the mages suddenly deadly. If people can move and don’t do stupid things, these aren’t as dangerous. Medium to Low priority.
Okay. That’s the first room mobs. Before we start on the three tactics, please bear in mind using Crowd Control on this fight does not make you a wuss, it makes you survive. Do not be shy to ask for CC, traps, shackles, repentances, ask the dps DK to yank strain casters. Most importantly, don’t panic. Especially waves 7-9 are hard as hell to heal through, you will fall behind on global cooldowns and people might die. It happens. Prioritize your heals, do your best. But don’t panic. Now, the tactics.
The Door Tactic:
The very early tactic. It’s quite simple as to the idea of it – everyone stands near the entrance to the room and with smart use of interrupts and CC the mobs come in. You nuke those that come and then run out after the CCed or not pulled in range are to be nuked. Collapse back and repeat. It works well for the first four pulls and if people get into the right pace and do okay with the CC and interrupts there is good chance you will manage through waves 6-9. The pros are having enough open space and room to manoeuvre, the cons are the need of CC and lack of any LoS breakers.
The Alcove Tactic
Probably the safest, bruteforce tactic. Everyone hides around the corner of the alcove. With people disciplined enough, you are able to pull everything in melee range (which almost never happens as people tend to break the LoS cover upon first contact with enemy). This is tactic that will make us shine as you can squeeze the maximum juice from your Chain Heal, everyone is in range of totems and there is way less CC or interrupting needed to get some control in. However, staying in such tight spot means not much room to move and that you will have to move often, as all the AoE will land and cover more than half of the alcove. Pros: easiest to bruteforce, natural LoS breakers, allows for easy force-control of encounter. Cons: Little room to move, lots of AoE flying down and damage at the same time. And it’s the most boring one, all you do is spam heal without much thoughts, just to keep everyone topped off.
The Altar tactic
This is the most advanced and fun tactic that relies on everyone’s skill and ability to max out their performance. Usually prefered by warrior tanks due to their extreme mobility. As you probably guessed, the tactic is about keeping everyone in the middle and rounding up the mobs or killing them as they stand. Now, this needs great tank first and foremost. The tank must be able to pick up everything, there must not be any loose aggro. However, it’s really the most fun you can get out of the encounter and I suggest you try it in guild run or something if you already haven’t. A very important note – the little moronic altar serves as LoS breaker – which is great to pull mobs close but not so great when it cancels out your heals. Have that in mind. Pros: Lots of room to breathe and most fun. Cons: You really need good party to pull this off. If you’d compared this tactic to the alcove one, it’s like comparing heart surgery to wood chopping.
Frost resistance and Cleansing totems are great help here if you have no other means of Frost resistance. Nature resistance totem is optional.
Fine, that’s waves tactics. Let’s see the two champions we will fight there too. Repeating again, instead of Wave 5, Falric will come. That’s the one on the left side. Ending the encounter instead of Wave 10, Marwyn will come. That’s the one on the right side.
Falric is the annoying guy. You can’t counter any of his abilities so all you gotta do is to heal like mad to compensate. The main annoying mechanic of the fight is Hopelesness – a stacking spell that reduces damage and healing done by party members by 25%, stacking up to 75%. Which means your heals will be miserable at the end of the fight. He does an instant strike at tank reducing tank’s dodge chance by 20% (magical debuff), a stun that if not dispelled will make you cower in fear for another 6 seconds and the very annoying fear (Tremor does not work) that will spread people all over the place and make them almost dead. You have to heal that up as soon as possible. If you can’t, prioritize. You, tank, best dps. It’s okay if people die as long as it’s not a wipe. There will be time to ress and drink after fight. Heroism is quite a good idea here as you really want to max out the dps to counter the buff. Don’t forget Healing Stream totem.
This boss is quite fun really. Your party needs to be spot on about moving from void zones, as they quite hurt and there already is enough to heal in the fight. Again, he does Obliterate which is instant strike supposedly to hit for 30K on heroic (before armor I believe). As mentioned above, he will spawn small purple circles, just move away and throw a little heal on people who moved out. The fun abilities are Corrupted Flesh, which is a debuff lowering target’s hitpoints to 50% – can be cast on anyone. Second is Shared suffering, a shadow debuff dealing 10K damage every 3 seconds for 12 seconds. It’s healable through and can be dispelled, when dispelled all party members share the remaining damage. Use your own judgement on dispelling the thing – if tank has debuff and there is obliterate coming, you can’t nuke heal two targets at once, so just dispel, save tank and then save the party. Again, put a Healing Stream totem for a good use here.
So, after you killed Marwyn, ressed, buffed and refreshed, you are ready to head deeper into the instance. Up front you see Jaina fighting Lich King but before you reach them, you need to kill Frostsworn General. This is huge Vrykul giant that will A) throw a shield with stun at random party member sweeping everything on it’s way, so spread mmkay? and B) summon a mirrors of your party that explode when you kill them. So stay spread, mmkay?. Anyways, this is easy but rather long encounter – the twat has like 440K hitpoints plus the images. Quick spot on healing and some chain soothing when mirrors explode, what up?
Lich King gauntlet
When you arrive to room with Lich King, feel free to whack him for good measure, chances are you won’t be able to punch him in Icecrown Citadel for quite a while. After few seconds, Jaina will Iceblock him or whatever and nudge you to leave. She will then stand near the exit from the room and wait for you to talk to her to start the encounter. So take it easy, eat up, drink up, iron your kilt and polish your shield, this will be a bumpy ride. You will run on this ledge trying to escape Lich King who will pursue you and launch waves of his undead minions at you. While Jaina breaks the Ice walls that he will spawn to block your way, your task is to keep party alive while they sort our the adds. If at any point Lich King catches up, game over. Oh and for god’s sake, don’t try if there is “invisible wall” at the edge of the ledge. There isn’t. Trust me, saw it happen. The rogue missed his Frosts that run. Okay, let’s see the adds:
- Raging Ghoul: is a ghoul. So it is very likely to come in large packs, hit like baby on steroids, leap and well serve mostly as rage / proc build up till some serious stuff comes.
- Risen Witch Doctor: is a nnoying. Ranged caster, shadow bolts and shadow bolt volleys. Especially tha later ones hurt a lot and having two overlapping is almost end to the party. Pay attention to the volleys and lock on secondary Witch Doctor to Wind Shear the crap out of him. These have to be killed first, as there is the highest risk Arthas will catch up with you on them.
- Lumbering Abomination: is a bomination. It does cleave so no one but tank should stand in front of them and they should be faced away from party. Moreover, they do this diseasy belch that hits enemies in their frontal cone. What was it? Oh yes. Keep those turned away. Cleansing totem helps if you don’t have better results with Healing Stream (ie if only tank is getting belches, HST wins. If dps is retarded, you need more cleansing).
If I recall correctly, there will be four walls coming up. Save heroism for third or fourth, as you should not have problems earlier. Yes, as anywhere else, the waves get stronger and stronger, and even if you pop heroism halfway through last wall, it will still be used to the fullest. Once the last wall is down, get the hell away and enjoy the cut scene.
Congratulations, you just completed the current hardest heroic out there. Be proud! Learn from your mistakes and stop shaking. You did it!
And can anyone explain to me how come a few boulders can stop Arthas from kicking our asses all over Icecrown? Seriously, what is he thinking there?
“Crap, boulders. Now I am fucked. Oh well, let’s get cup of warm cocoa.”
Man up for god’s sake.