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ICC Crimson Hall-Blood Princes

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After tanking this encounter in 25 last night and reading the posts here, the abilities and strategies are more clear. I have therefore updated the OP. A normal tank is preferable on Keleseth, mainly due to the nature of the dark nuclei shadow reduction buff. By the way, I'd appreciate it if a math-type would check my numbers in the OP. A normal tank has no issues gathering nuclei and even meleeing Keleseth for threat (a cooldown is advised here, however).

Ironically, this fight seems easier in 25 man, due to the flexibility in healing and the ease of handling Kinetic Bomb.

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Prince Keleseth will cast a stronger version of his shadow bolt. By the time these start hitting, the ranged tank should have at least 3-4 dark nuclei on him. Because the shadow damage reduction is multiplicative, and not additive, the ranged tank should try to keep 4 nuclei on him. There is very little benefit to having more than 4, though more should be added before current nuclei die.

2 Nuclei: 47.25%

3 Nuclei: 51.55%

4 Nuclei: 52.05%

Wouldn't it be a combined reduction of 1-(0.65^N), where N is the number of nuclei?

1 Nuclei: 35% reduction

2 Nuclei: 58% reduction approximated

3 Nuclei: 73% reduction approximated

4 Nuclei: 82% reduction approximated

If, as you suggest, 4 nuclei was only 52% damage reduction, the empowered shadow lance would do around 45-50k damage, which is inconsistent with the damage our warlock was taking.

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Something's really wonky with your math regarding the Nuclei damage reduction.

1 Nuclei - tank takes 65% damage

2 Nuclei - tank takes (0.65^2)*100% = 42.25% damage

3 Nuclei - tank takes (0.65^3)*100% = 25.46% damage

4 Nuclei - tank takes (0.65^4)*100% = 17.85% damage

5 Nuclei - tank takes (0.65^5)*100% = 11.60% damage

I'm not sure if it's possible to have more than 5 due to their short lifespans.

I wouldn't go as far as to say that the fight prefers 3 tanks, after all the mechanics are largely the same in 10man where it's unlikely you have 3 tanks and pretty much have to use a dps to tank Keleseth. I feel that the benefit of the larger health pool of a traditional tank is pretty much neutralized by generally weaker ranged abilities for nuclei pulling and the larger amounts of damage he takes from having to go to melee for threat generation.

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Searing totems are quite effective in keeping the Kinetic Bombs flying if they aren't near a boss. The duration of a searing totem is just as long as the Kinetic Bomb lasts. Shadowpriest's are quite effective as tanks on this fight as they can dispersion when Keleseth empowerers to buy the healers a bit more time.

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We found the best method in 10 man to be:

1 tank holding Valanar and Taldram in a corner (we used the door up to Lana'thel on the right)

1 DPS holding Keleseth near the middle of the room (obviously though he'd move to pick up Nuclei)

We had our second tank spec DPS and used 3 healers (resto Druid, resto Shaman, Disc Priest).

Had 1 hunter cover all the Kinetic Orbs, it was relatively easy and some boss DPS time was still definitely manageable.

Our kill was just under 3 minutes and was drastically easier than when we tried 3 tanks because it allowed the 2 healers to focus on the 2 tanks and the druid could toss around Rejuv on the raid when needed.

Wall positioning also worked well because having the mobs stacked allowed faster target switching.

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In 25 man we saw a max of 4 bombs up at once, and they appear to spawn randomly around the room. Myself and another hunter split the room up North/South and were in charge of keeping the orbs up. With 2 bombs you could do some damage to the current prince, but with 3 it became a full time job just to keep them up.

I'm surprised you saw 4. Across both pulls where we had them under control (2nd to last pull + kill) it was reliably 3. And it was pretty much guaranteed that as soon as one despawned, the next one spawned.

I know this because we had 3 ranged w/ pets on them (including me) and we would each mark the bomb we were keeping up - whenever mine vanished I'd immediately start looking for the next one - which would appear a few seconds later.

They started bunching up a bit presumably due to his other abilities moving the timer - but it seemed very reliable that a new one spawned shortly after the previous one despawned.

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Searing totems are quite effective in keeping the Kinetic Bombs flying if they aren't near a boss. The duration of a searing totem is just as long as the Kinetic Bomb lasts. Shadowpriest's are quite effective as tanks on this fight as they can dispersion when Keleseth empowerers to buy the healers a bit more time.

Searing totems are dangerous in the sense they can't be controlled.

If they decide that nuclei are more worth being attacked than the kinetic bomb you're back to square one with the kinetic bomb not taken care of AND an extra annoyance for the Keleseth tank.

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Thank you ciopo and Cartesian for fixing my math. I've updated the OP. Also, Redcape's thoughts on using demo shout/roar/Vindication is very important. In 25 last night, it seemed the AP debuff reduced their melee swing damage by 3-5k damage.

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I think it would depend on what kind of tanks your guild has to fill the slots. Or rather I should say, if you don't have a Prot Paladin, it may not be worth the effort to tank Keleseth, not to say it wouldn't be possible. A Paladin already has a large arsenal of abilities as the previous post has highlighted, the key fact of which, is that they can be used at range.

A warrior would be damn near impossible to efficiently tank with out running the risk of a (melee + emp. lance + anything else) combo. The damage is already very spiky across the board, adding regular melee swings would not be recommended. In addition warriors have the worst ranged capabilities.

Druids fair slightly better than warriors with savage defense to reduce the melee portion of incoming damage and feral faerie fire to tag nuceli. It could work, but whether or not it's more efficient to do so is yet to be determined.

DKs are probably the only other traditional tank that are equipped to handle it. Melee/Dot in-between casts, DnD, and DC to tag nuceli. A DK probably wouldn't even need to be tank spec'd.

The key factors in choosing a traditional tank for Keleseth will be who your raid has available and the individual skill level of the persons in question.

I'm not sure how a warrior would have any problem surviving the melee swings. Furthermore, you only get meleed if you are in melee range, which is something you should not be doing during the empowered phase (since you are constantly collecting new nuclei).

Also, warriors are a highly mobile tanking class with potential to use intercepts and intervenes to cover distance. Add in the ranged weapon and they should be quite adept at picking up nuclei.

I will agree, however, that a DK is well suited to the job. Regardless, this is not a typical tanking job and you really do need to consider more than you usually would when deciding who can handle it. A warrior, with all the things I have mentioned (intervene, intercept, ranged weapon, and a few other things), should be just as capable as a paladin in this role.

I wouldn't go as far as to say that the fight prefers 3 tanks, after all the mechanics are largely the same in 10man where it's unlikely you have 3 tanks and pretty much have to use a dps to tank Keleseth. I feel that the benefit of the larger health pool of a traditional tank is pretty much neutralized by generally weaker ranged abilities for nuclei pulling and the larger amounts of damage he takes from having to go to melee for threat generation.

You still don't want to ranged tank it on 10-man. Just have one of your tanks tanking both melee mobs while the other tank handles Keleseth.

This, by the way, is also viable on 25-man. You shouldn't ever have to, but you can.

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In our 25man alt run, I did the first couple attempts as a range tank on my SPriest. But due to the insta-gib of the melee when he'd follow me but not stop, we settled on having a pally tank take care of him due to their ability to grab orbs from at least some distance and survive the occasional melee. It worked out really, really well.

On a side-note, the fight is a lot more fun if the whole raid puts up their "Twilight Vanquisher" titles and glares/emos at Edward, er Taldaram.

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A couple observations from our kill last night (25-man):

We started with having a warlock tank Keleseth, but were having problems with survivability, especially from random melee swings due to movement. We switched to me tanking him, and had no issues with aggro or incoming damage. His melee hits are pretty significant though, clocking in around 25k with no demo shout up. The one time I died to him was due to allowing too many of my nuclei to die without getting more during his empower. It seems beneficial to have someone designated to bring nuclei to the tank, especially during the empower so that he can be planted so the melee don't need to move while dpsing him. Having hunters MD Keleseth to his tank on cooldown can help immensely on threat, especially given that kill shot is available for a large portion of the fight with the prince at 1 hp.

Looking through our logs, I can find no instance of a pure AE ability even hitting the nuclei, the only ae-like abilities that I can see hitting them are Heart Strike, Cleave, and Chain Lightning. I have no way of verifying if those were used initially targeting the nuclei, or if it was the secondary hits going to them. Given that I run a frost tank spec and use HB quite often, if they were affected by AE I should be seeing quite a few hits from that at least. This should mean that there are no worries about dps stripping nuclei from the tank from incidental abilities. (I am pretty sure the chain lightning was during one of our earlier attempts after our warlock had died. The Heart Strikes and Cleaves, however, seem to cluster mostly during the empowered phases, so it's possible they can still hit the nuclei as secondary targets. Since you don't really want to stand in melee range during the empowered phase anyway though, you should be able to mitigate this risk relatively easily.)

The final portion of the op also says that "shadow lance can only receive 52% reduction through Dark Nuclei", which is not true, as I have several instances of 7.5k empowered hits with no absorbs (it does not appear to be partially resistable), that would equate to a minimum of ~91% reduction. Even taking frost presence reductions into account, the reduction is still significantly over 52%.

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Just a note, besides knocking the orbs up through the ceiling and aggroing Blood Queen (which wastes an attempt), we had a situation where a boomkin with the seagull staff had his Valkyr end up smiting Blood Queen (which also blew an attempt).

We believe it procced on an orb and then when the orb ended, the Valkyr switched targets to Blood Queen. Just a heads up to people assigning ranged with [item]Nibelung[/item] to the orbs.

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I'm still not sold on 1 tank for both physical princes in 10 man, then again if it is a pally tank, sure why not...

Last night was the first time many of our raiders saw the fight, and we killed it on 25. Several wipes were due to kinetic bombs, one of them apparently detonated on the ceiling according to one of our hunters. So while we did not agro the Blood Queen, we did find new and interesting ways to wipe.

Even the Tankspot video commented on how Empowered Vortex -> Empowered Flame = wipe, but there is a simple solution to this problem which we tried last night: no one goes within 30 yards of Valanar. It vastly simplifies the fight if you stick Valanar in the corner and only have ranged/healers over there, let the melee spread out or keep up dps debuffs on the other princes. With no known enrage timer, we just turned it into a control fight around orbs and the vortex spawns, blew heroism when the fire prince had invocation of blood.

As far as Keleseth tanking, I did that. I simply ran up to him and wailed on him at the start, better chance of avoiding his melee strike at the beginning vs. eating his shadow bolts, then I just ran around the room collecting nuclei and dropped DnD/IT on Keleseth from time to time. The raid would inform me when I got targeted with Empowered Fire Orb, and I'd just stop moving and pop AMS to take care of that.

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For those conventional tanks that have tanked Keleseth can you confirm or deny which of your abilities worked to pull nuclei onto you? It was mentioned that strict AE abilities were not (which would suggest DnD and consecrate shouldn't) but there are a bunch of quasi AE abilities that could e.g. thunderclap, cleave, shockwave, hammer of righteousness, avengers shield, swipe, demo roar/shout (shouldn't i imagine) among others.

The idea being if some of the easier to maintain AE abilities worked you could have a stationary keleseth tank have a ranged dps or healer shuttle nuclei into the area and wait for the AE to go off and the nuclei attaches to the tank. The best example would be a pally keeping consecrate up in the same place and having 1 ranged pick up nuclei and run them into it. This would work as well for other abilities listed.

My gut tells me that abilities that DO work will be the same ones that do full damage to bloodbeasts and faction champs that arent strict AE spells.

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For those conventional tanks that have tanked Keleseth can you confirm or deny which of your abilities worked to pull nuclei onto you? It was mentioned that strict AE abilities were not (which would suggest DnD and consecrate shouldn't) but there are a bunch of quasi AE abilities that could e.g. thunderclap, cleave, shockwave, hammer of righteousness, avengers shield, swipe, demo roar/shout (shouldn't i imagine) among others.

The idea being if some of the easier to maintain AE abilities worked you could have a stationary keleseth tank have a ranged dps or healer shuttle nuclei into the area and wait for the AE to go off and the nuclei attaches to the tank. The best example would be a pally keeping consecrate up in the same place and having 1 ranged pick up nuclei and run them into it. This would work as well for other abilities listed.

My gut tells me that abilities that DO work will be the same ones that do full damage to bloodbeasts and faction champs that arent strict AE spells.

Here's the full list of debuffs that affected the dark nucleus in the 8 pulls we did (hopefully tables will be readable enough so that these don't end up as ridiculously long lists):

[table]Misery|Frost Fever|Curse of Agony|Judgement of Light

Holy Vengeance|Vindication|Vampiric Touch|Mangle (Cat)

Devouring Plague|Explosive Shot[/table]

Here's all the damage sources vs. the nuclei:

[table]Arcane Barrage|Arcane Missiles|Auto Shot|Chain Lightning|Cleave

Corruption|Curse of Agony|Death Coil|Devouring Plague|Explosive Shot

Fire Blast|Flame Shock|Frost Fever|Heart Strike|Holy Vengeance

Icy Touch|Improved Devouring Plague|Judgement|Lava Burst|Mangle (Cat)

Melee|Mind Flay|Pillar of Flame|Quick Shot|Rune Strike

From these, it looks pretty safe to conclude that Demo Shout/Roar, Howling Blast, Consecrate, Divine Storm and Holy Wrath don't affect the nuclei. (All of these were used fairly liberally during our pulls. The odds of every nuclei being oor of every instance of their use seems improbable at best.) The only outliers seem to be HS, Cleave and CL. I would definitely be interested in others' experiences with those abilities especially.

I was generally using Icy Touch to get orbs on me, and we had a shadow priest shuttling the farther ones to me (one tick of mind flay or a wand hit is all it takes to tag them). Death Coil would also be an acceptable choice for transferring the orbs. I just went with IT because the dot means it's less likely that someone will accidentally take them from me and the total damage is about the same, with an assistant shuttling orbs their longevity is rarely an issue.

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The only outliers seem to be HS, Cleave and CL.

If I am not mistakes, those are not outliers, because they are actually multi-target-abilities. In contrast to AE-abilities, multi-target abilities often work where AE does not (faction champions, blood beasts).

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The only outliers seem to be HS, Cleave and CL. I would definitely be interested in others' experiences with those abilities especially.

With Chain Lightning it appears that each jump of it can tag a nucleus and pull it as we saw last night. This happened when the tank got too close to Kel in the alt run and CL jumped to the orbs.

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For those conventional tanks that have tanked Keleseth can you confirm or deny which of your abilities worked to pull nuclei onto you? It was mentioned that strict AE abilities were not (which would suggest DnD and consecrate shouldn't) but there are a bunch of quasi AE abilities that could e.g. thunderclap, cleave, shockwave, hammer of righteousness, avengers shield, swipe, demo roar/shout (shouldn't i imagine) among others.

I do recall on a wipe where I tried to steal our warlocks nuclei, I ran over to them, dropped shockwave and followed up with jump/thunderclap. I didn't hit a single thing. Either they were too high, I experienced some odd lag/desync at that exact moment, or they cant be hit normal AEs.

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If I am not mistakes, those are not outliers, because they are actually multi-target-abilities. In contrast to AE-abilities, multi-target abilities often work where AE does not (faction champions, blood beasts).

Are you sure? Is this a recent change?

All through 3.2, Heart Strike would suffer from the Champion's Aegis effect making Blood a nightmare to try and play as on Champs, especially since cleaves can break CC as well. I haven't been Blood since 3.3 started, so I wouldn't know if they did something to change that or not. However, I am skeptical.

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Re: Zynth

It would have been the latter - I recall in situations like Oculus and Mt. Hyjal where there were mobs flying very high above, Shockwave/Thunder Clap were still able to hit them as long as they were within range. Similarly, I was able to FoK the Gargoyles in Hyjal a few days ago even though they were mere specks in the sky above.

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Not sure if this represents an actual hotfix or just random chance, but on last night's 25 man kill I tanked Keleseth (as a prot warrior) and received zero melee hits during the encounter. That would suggest to me that they may have removed his ability to melee, as I was most definitely in melee range on a regular basis.

log for reference

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Just wanted to update players on the hotfixes that have been applied recently to Icecrown Citadel...

Blood Prince Council

- Prince Keleseth will no longer melee players. So if you get knocked into Keleseth or happen to move by him, he won't swipe in between his casts and kill a non-tank.

- The first Shadow Resonance should appear earlier in the fight, which will allow the Keleseth tank to have more orbs on him or her if Keleseth is empowered second instead of third. We didn't want which Blood Prince was empowered second to be a major element of the difficulty in the fight.

- We reduced the melee damage for the Princes by 10% for the 10 player difficulty. They were doing less damage than the 25 player before the hotfix, but this change lowers the damage further.

- Empowered Flames will now run out of power after shooting fewer firebolts in the 10 player difficulty. We did not change the initial impact damage.

This is a confirmed hotfix. It pretty much removes the option to use a ranged tank, since aggro generation shouldn't be any problem now for the regular tanking classes, which was the only real benifit of having a ranged tanking class. Well, that, and maybe the ability to gather orbs more efficiently although in my opinion that's more dependant on the player than the class.

Edit: You didn't really need a ranged tanking class in the first place.

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This is a confirmed hotfix. It pretty much removes the option to use a ranged tank, since aggro generation shouldn't be any problem now for the regular tanking classes, which was the only real benifit of having a ranged tanking class. Well, that, and maybe the ability to gather orbs more efficiently although in my opinion that's more dependant on the player than the class.

Edit: You didn't really need a ranged tanking class in the first place.

I'm really not sure where you reach the conclusion that this removes the option of using a ranged tank. If anything, this is an improvement for ranged tanks. Previously, ranged tanks had to worry about melee hits and survival issues if Keleseth was the second empowered mob. Both of these issues have been removed.

Now, don't get me wrong, I'm a firm believer that no one should use a ranged tank on this fight. It's still a much higher risk than using a proper tank

I also don't see how you figure that this helps with aggro generation in any way for proper tanks. I was able to generate more than enough threat to have Keleseth stick to me while I spent the entire empowered phase and most of the other phases grabbing new nuclei. Threat was never a concern for proper tanks, though I could certainly see it being a concern for ranged tanks.

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Thanks for posting this hotfix quote, Ashika. I agree that melee tanking and ranged tanking of Keleseth are both improved by this change, but that it makes more sense to melee tank him. Another result of this change is that having 1 tank grab both Valanar and Taladrim is more feasible in 10 man, bringing this fight in line with most other ICC 10 encounters where 2 tanks are mandated.

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The melee hits prevented regular tanks by actually standing in melee range in order to get the most out of their aggro generating abilities. Sure you could take the extra damage like a man, but that would only strain your healers (which on the 10 man version of the fight isn't really that desirable).

Like you said: there's no reason to use a ranged tank. Even when it has become easier to tank with a ranged class now then before. Sure, the option to use one is still there (and my phrasing was probably off, indicating that you couldn't), but why would you bother in the first place? Most likely you'll be bringing 3 tanks to the instance anyway when doing the 25 man version, and the 10 man version allows one of your tanks to tank 2 Princes at the same time.

Edit: Yes, you could probably try to use 2 tanks on the 25 man version, but I can't really comment on that since I just run 10 mans with my guild along with some 25 mans PUGs that usually don't make it past Saurfang.