Today I’ve decided to go over the second of the “new” dungeons in the Ice Crown Citadel: the Pit of Saron. Of the three dungeons that make up the ICC 5-mans, this is definitely my favorite.
The Pit is my favorite for a number of reasons. Firstly, it is an outdoor instance, and outdoor instances mean mounts. Also, you can see a good portion of the instance from the start, so you get a better feeling for how big it is and how long it is going to take as well as where the instance fits in the storyline. The main reason that I love the Pit of Saron is the cool boss and encounter mechanics. Let’s take a look at a standard run through the dungeon.
The trash leading up to the first boss is fairly light; there are only about a half a dozen pulls and the pulls themselves are quick containing one or two more powerful mobs.
The first boss in the instance is Forgemaster Garfrost. He’s a frost giant who wants to smash you or perhaps freeze you. When the fight starts, a fair number of adds are drawn to the tank, but they go down relatively quickly. Garfrost’s has a couple of cool mechanics which I will go over very briefly. The first is a stacking debuff on anyone that is in line of sight within a wide range. the debuff increases frost damage taken by X%, and it stacks pretty high (I’ve seen it go up to around 30). The debuff doesn’t last long, but because it keeps getting refreshed, it can get high unless you hide from it. Every so often Garfrost will throw a Saronite boulder at a player, hitting for significant damage. However, the boulder also creates a nice place to line of sight the frost debuff. He will also go to his anvil to forge his main attack into frost damage, which gives players the opportunity to break the refreshing of the debuff if they choose.
The second boss of the instance is aptly named Ick. Ick is a plaguebringer, spewing all kinds of nastiness about him. He’ll shoot out piles of goo which it behooves you not to step in. He’ll also cast Pursuit, which targets a random party member and causes Ick to run after that party member and try to whack them. Just move away and you’ll be fine. He also can throw out purple mines all over the ground that explode after a couple of seconds for light damage. The most potent thing that Ick has to offer is a poison nova spell which he tends to cast when getting low on life, and it hits pretty hard. More than once I’ve seen careless DPS explode just as Ick dies. Okay, I got nuked once too, but don’t tell anyone.
After defeating Ick, the players fight their way to a cavern. This is probably the coolest part of the dungeon. Once the players enter the cavern blocks of ice will begin to fall on the floor. Where the blocks are going to fall is marked by glowing runes, so just avoid the runes and you’ll be fine. The trick is to run through the gauntlet and grab all of the mobs and fight them in the middle of the cavern, where there is a safe spot. I like this part because it forces the group to move as a team to keep up with the tank, but also to keep the tank moving.
After completing the gauntlet is the final boss fight, the magnificent and maleficent Scourgelord Tyrannus, who you know is a baller based on his name alone. Plus, he’s got a kick-ass dragon, Rimefang, to back him up. Oh yeah, and it’s a skeletal dragon to boot. Rimefang will periodically call down ice bolts from the sky. Luckily, Tyrannus himself isn’t too difficult to deal with. He’ll do the usual bossy things: temporary damage bonuses, knocking the tank back, and the like. The only thing that you’ll need to watch out for is a damage reflection debuff that will cause damage to be transferred to your tank. Yikes. I only remember dying on this fight once, and it was back when I was even less geared than I am now, and got nuked by one of my DPS. Oh well.
Overall, I like the Pit of Saron a lot. I think it’s cool because each of the fights requires a fair amount of spatial awareness. Garfrost has his Saronite blocks, Ick has puddles of goo & Pursuit, the gauntlet is plain fun straight up, and Tyrannus rounds out the collection with a few frostbolts and miscellaneous abilities. In fact, I would say Tyrannus is the weakest boss (in terms of enjoyment) in the whole dungeon. I hope that Blizzard does lots of cool stuff with Cataclysm dungeons. I know that there are videos out there (TotalHalibut has a few on YouTube), but I’ve tried to stay away from them as much as possible so that the dungeons are scary at least the first time I run through them.
Till then, I’ll have to do any final preparations for Cataclysm. I spent some time messing around with a dwarf shaman, Wildbeard. Perhaps we’ll see more of him in the future.