The Frozen Halls is the complex of the three new 5-man instances added in Patch 3.3, of which Halls of Reflection is the third and most difficult. To get there, start facing the door of Icecrown Citadel, and fly right and up–you should see a ledge with banners hanging from it. On that ledge is a tunnel which leads into the room with the three entrance doors. (Note: I HIGHLY recommend you go find this for yourself the first time, before taking advantage of the LFG system’s Teleport to Dungeon. You don’t want to be the guy/girl holding up the group after a wipe because you can’t find your way back.)
Note: I am incredibly indebted to Kelriia’s(the_ivorytower) guide on LJ (has spoilers). Lots of good stuff there too.
- This instance is hard. It’s certainly tuned to a higher level than any other 5-man. If you’re still gearing up your toon, I’d run everything else a few times before trying this on Heroic. This includes DPS, as the whole encounter is timed.
- For the second gauntlet, tanking mobs farther away from the wall gives you more DPS time (since they won’t run as far) but may require more movement. If you’re going for the achievement, it’s definitely helpful.
- Don’t try to attack the final boss. :)
- Those CC skills/ranged interrupts you’ve never used/haven’t used since BC? Put em on your bars. This depends on your group and strat, but here’s some abilities for each class that can be used proactively:
- Priests: Shackle
- Pallies: HOLY WRATH (not a long cc, but awesome), Turn Undead, Repentance
- Hunters: Freezing Arrow, Silencing Shot, pet tanking
- Rogues: Dismantle, Sap(maybe)
- Warriors: Heroic Throw
- DK’s: Grip/COI, depending on strat; Strangulate
- Druids: Root, Cyclone
- Mages: Counterspell
- Shamans: Wind Shear, Hex(maybe)
- Locks: Felhunter Spell Lock, pet tanking
The First Gauntlet:
The first part of HoR occurs all in one circular room, with small sections cut out of each side. There will be multiple waves of spawning mobs and bosses, similar to Violet Hold. There are 10 waves total, with Falric appearing on wave 5 and Marwyn on wave 10. Each trash wave consists of 3-5 mobs, which spawn in at random points around the room (starts with 3, and gradually increases). The mobs are randomly selected, so you’ll frequently have multiples of the same kind. You only have a few seconds to drink between trash waves (like 5 or so), and another wave will spawn if you’re not killing the first group fast enough, so DPS can’t slack. You do get a small breather after Falric, before the waves spawn again.
Mobs and abilities (in recommended kill or cc order):
- Ghostly Priest: Melee healer/caster. Casts Dark Mending, a 50kish heal; also casts a low-damage curse DoT, an AOE knockback, and occasionally fears people (dispellable). These guys go down fast, but their fear sucks when it’s your healer/dispeller, and if they’re left for later, they’ll heal another target up. Kill first. Hard to keep CC’ed, since they run into melee range.
- Phantom Mage: Ranged caster. Worst spell is Flamestrike, an area AOE that hits for 5k and does 1k DPS for 8 sec to anyone standing in it. (Flamestrike’s AOE effect isn’t very noticeable, especially under the hunter’s frost trap.) This spell is what frequently wipes groups, especially ones using the LOS strategy (see below) if people are too bunched up. He also casts Fireball/Frostbolt/Chains of Ice…none of which are too bad on their own, unless the target has been cursed by the hunter. At 50% HP, he’ll blink away and create a Phantom Hallucination where he was standing; the hallucination has the same abilities as the mage (but starts at 50% HP) so finish off the mage, then kill the hallucination. The hallucination explodes for a LOT (10k) of damage when it dies, so if you’re tanking or dps’ing it, back off when it’s close to dead and let the ranged DPS finish it. CC first; kill after priests.
- Shadowy Mercenary: Melee rogue. They throw around some weak poison (heal through it), occasionally stun the tank for 3s, and randomly shadowstep to a party member, hit them hard (8k or so) and come running back. Not a big threat, except for the shadowstep, which can finish off someone low from a Flamestrike. If the tank keeps his distance from the rest of the party, he’ll spend a lot of time running back and forth, and not be a large factor.
- Spectral Footman: Melee fighter. These hit VERY hard…they have an attack that ignores armor, and can enrage to attack twice as fast for 8s. They also Shield Bash, which works as a cone attack and locks out spells for 4s. Let the tank handle these…stay away if you are a DPS’er/caster. Note: If you have more than one, be prepared to use cooldowns (tank/healer). Rootable. Protip for feral tanks (that I just thought of…grr why didn’t I think of this the other day when I was tanking it): Nature’s Grasp is usable in bear form, so if you can position yourself to where a melee hits you first (preferably a footman), you can auto-root it and move away.
- Tortured Rifleman: Ranged hunter. Not a large threat; doesn’t hit hard. Can frost trap his target, but the trap only lasts 2s, so not a big deal. He does throw a curse that increases magic damage taken by 50%, which should be removed if possible. CC second, if available.
While waiting for the event to start, gather your party into one of the nooks on the left and right hand side. The healer and DPS should stay off to the side, out of LOS of the spawning mobs; the tank waits in the nook entryway. Once the mobs spawn, the tank picks up aggro on melee mobs with his AOE ability, and initial aggro on ranged mobs with a ranged attack of some kind. How you handle the ranged from that point depends on your composition. If you have a priest/hunter/pally, they can (and should) keep a ranged mob cc’ed. (Boomkin can cyclone, but that only lasts 6s, so that’s tough to keep up… a hunter/lock can sic their pet on them, but it won’t last very long.) If you decide to bring the ranged in and just tank them all, that’s doable with a well-geared tank and healer. You can use a ranged interrupt to bring the mage in, but the hunter is a bit harder (Dismantle works). Best is to just let them aggro on the healer, have the healer LOS them so they run in, and have the tank pick them up. Note to pally/DK tanks: Don’t expect your consecrate/D&D to pick up aggro for you. I’ve healed HoR a few times, and been one/two-shot by mobs that ran straight through and only got a single tick.
He”s mostly a tank-and-spank, with two major abilities. The first is Hopelessness, which reduces your damage and healing done by 25%. This stacks 3x, and is applied at 75%, 50%, and 25% HP. The DPS reduction isn’t a big deal, but the healing reduction is bad in combination with the second ability, Defiling Horror. This is an AOE horror (not fear, fear breaks don’t work) that does 16k damage over 4 seconds to the whole party. Your healer will find it difficult to keep the tank and party healed with 3 stacks of Hopelessness. Not a lot of strategy involved, except on the healer’s part. (You may have to let a DPS die.) Falric also throws around a magic debuff that stuns for 6s after 6s…dispel this if you can. (Druids, Tranquility was MADE for this fight.)
Not a big challenge. He can hit a tank pretty hard, throw a nasty DoT on a party member (which if dispelled, spreads out the remainder of the damage over the whole raid) and cast void zones. Drop him and keep moving.
The Second Gauntlet:
After some nifty moments (which I won’t spoil if you haven’t seen them), you start the second gauntlet, which has the party running down a path which is periodically blocked by summoned walls (four). In order to break them, the party has to kill waves of adds running in. (There’s one wave per wall, with two on the final wall). There are two types of adds you have to worry about…Abominations, which cleave and have a vomit attack, and Witch Doctors, which have an AOE shadowbolt attack. Generally, I recommend AOE to maximize DPS; however, classes with ranged interrupts will need to use them to get the Witch Doctors in the kill zone. (You have to kill the adds in a certain time.)
Finish, get your loot, and relax, knowing you’ve beaten this awesome instance. Then start getting ready for ICC10. :)