Last week I’d mentioned on the Facebook that I finally decided to progress my solo campaign into ICC. I was pleasantly surprised to find that the once dreaded ICC is now actually quite easy to tackle solo as a strapping level 90 hunter. There are a couple of critical fight mechanics to be mindful of, especially with Valithria, but with a little know-how and some preparation, ICC 10 man can be completed by just about any reasonably geared hunter (with a quintet of Spirit Beasts on hand).
I completed the entire instance in ilvl 499 PvP welfare epics, using a Beast Mastery build like this. I made one small change to my build for Valithria which I’ve noted in this guide. I went through the entire instance with a Ferocity specced Spirit Beast.
I know many of you reading this have already cleared this instance and are thinking, ICC 10 man…that’s like sooo 10 months ago…
This guide is intended for casual noobs like myself, so if you’re like me, and you want to see some raid content you may have missed, AND you love soloing on your hunter, then read on.
With a little luck, ICC 10 man normal can be soloed in about 2 hours, and is a jolly good show.
The first boss in ICC is an easy kill provided you remember one important point…you must maintain more threat than your pet. Lord Marrowgar will occasionally cast Bone Spike Graveyard, which is basically a stun that ticks away at your health until you are dead. He will not cast it on the player with the most threat, and fortunately, he won’t cast it on pets either. As long as you’re atop the threat list, you can burn him down easy.
Strategy here is to make sure Growl is turned off, hit him with Distracting Shot as needed, and pew-pew. His attacks don’t do much damage to a reasonably geared level 90, so not much to worry about as far as survivalfullness is concerned.
This fight is really easy as well. Clear the adds in the room and then start in on Lady Deathwhisper. You can leave your pet parked on her the whole time and just burn her down. I dealt with a few of the adds that she summoned, but you don’t need to sweat them too much. Just burn through her mana pool while she’s using Mana Barrier during phase one, then blow through her health when the shield comes off.
This is actually one of the more difficult encounters to solo in here. It’s not too bad once you get the hang of it, but make sure you go into it prepared.
After you talk to the goblin and get your rocket pack, make sure to have it hotkeyed. If you need a macro for it, here you go:
Successfully soloing the encounter is easy if you do the following:
- Mount a cannon and blast the enemy ship, making sure not to let the cannon overheat. Just keep pressing 1 until the “heat” bar on the vehicle frame starts to reach the end, then press the number 2 attack to release the heat.
- When the enemy portal spawns on your ship, kill the attackers immediately.
- Right after you kill the enemy attackers on your ship, use your rocket pack to board the other ship and kill the Battle-Mage, then fly back to your ship and commence with step 1.
It’s a pretty easy process, provided you’re tight with it, which is why I suggest having the rocket pack hotkeyed. You don’t want to be fumbling around trying to click on it.
Highest priority during this encounter is killing the enemy boarding parties. As soon as they’re dead you want to be heading over to the enemy ship. You want to be firing at the Battle-Mage as you’re flying over so that you can get back to your ship and commence firing ASAP. If you’re not killing the boarding parties or the enemy mage, then you’re pressing 1,1,1,1,1,1,1,1,1,2…and so on.
This is an easy tank n spank. With decent gear, you should be able to burn him down pretty easily, only having to deal with one set of adds. The Blood Beasts go down quickly, so just drop them when they spawn and get right back on Saurfang. This encounter was not so easy back when I first tried it nearly 4 years ago, but it’s ridiculously easy now.
The spot right as you enter the Plagueworks can actually be a little bit of a problem if you pull too many mobs at once, so be careful. There’s a plague scientist along with a patrolling pack of those leaper guys, which can cause some hassles if you pull them all at once along with the abominations. You can switch your pet to Tenacity right here, cast Misdirection, followed by a few Multi-Shots just to be on the safe side.
Precious & Stinky
After entering the Plagueworks you’ll be greeted by the zombie plague dogs, Precious and Stinky. Engage each of them one on one, and stay at max range. They’re not hard to take down, but each of them will cast Decimate, which will take you down to 15% no matter what. Better to not have any adds to contend with after this is cast.
Another very easy tank ‘n’ spank. You can go straight up gangsta on him, then be sure to turn the lever just inside the entrance before you leave the room.
Same plan as Festergut. His damage is of little concern, so just pew-pew and then turn the lever afterward so you can unlock Professor Putricide’s chamber.
After you’ve downed both Festergut and Rotface (and turned their cranks), and cleared all of the adds, the door to Putricide’s room will open. Once you enter, the door will close behind you and a swarm of insects will attack. You won’t be in any danger, but this phase lasts for several seconds. AoE the bugs until the phase is over and then head into the professor’s chamber.
Putricide is not that difficult either. Just maintain DPS and avoid things that look like they’ll do damage. I’d forgotten the strategy for this encounter, but it really didn’t matter. I just kept pew-pewing and avoided anything that was green. It’s a pretty easy fight.
After you clear the Plagueworks, next on the agenda are the Crimson Hall bosses. There’s a Val’kyr mini-boss you have to face before you reach the princes, but she’s a pushover. After you’ve cleared the hallway and downed her, it’s time to face the BPC.
Blood Prince Council
The main thing here is to make sure you’re DPS’ing the proper target and to keep an eye on your pet’s health. During the fight, the Invocation of Blood buff will randomly jump from one prince to the next. Just make sure you always switch to the target with the buff. This is pretty easy to recognize, as the 2 princes without the buff will have only 1 HP.
Also, these guys will do a decent amount of damage so make sure to keep Mend Pet up throughout the encounter.
This fight is really easy easy. You just simply blow all cooldowns and tear her head off. Nothing fancy.
Now that you’ve cleared the Lower Spire, Plagueworks and Crimson Hall, it’s time to enter the Frostwing Halls to do your best healer impersonation. What..?!
Okay, now this is where things can get really frustrating for a hunter. Successfully finishing this encounter requires that we heal Valithria Dreamwalker to 100%. The fight begins with Dreamwalker at 6M HP. We need to heal her to 12M before the enrage timer, meaning we need to do 6,000,000+ in heals within 7 minutes, while also minimizing the amount of damage she takes from adds.
That’s madness, right?! We’re hunters…we’re supposed to kill things, not heal them..! But…lucky for us we have our stable full of trusty Spirit Beasts with their handy Spirit Mend spell.
Really…Is there nothing we cannot do..?! It’s great to be a hunter, am I right?!
Okay, so before you can even begin to think about soloing this encounter you’ll need to have at least 3 Spirit Beasts minimum. If you do not have at least 3, and you intend to solo ICC, then you’d better get to taming some more. I used 5, but there’s a video on YouTube which shows a hunter using a rotation with 3 SB’s plus some MoP bandages. I didn’t try using any bandages, so the method I’ll describe here is using a 5 Spirit Beast rotation.
So the way we need to do this is to cast Spirit Mend on Valithria, dismiss our current pet, summon a different Spirit Beast with Spirit Mend off cooldown, cast Spirit Mend again, and repeat… Meanwhile, you’re also going to have to deal with certain adds that come out, which will do damage to Dreamwalker, thus negating some of our precious heals.
This encounter requires some precision, as there is only so much healing we are capable of. If you don’t heal her to full before the enrage timer, you’ll be overwhelmed by adds pretty quickly. The adds will not only damage Dreamwalker, but they will interrupt your Dismiss Pet ability, and eventually you’ll get mobbed to the point of a solo style wipefest. If you don’t beat the timer, best bet is to dismiss your pet so that Spirit Bond doesn’t prolong the inevitable, and then just take a dirt nap and start over. You’ll know you’re hosed if you start seeing a ton of Blazing Skeletons come out, casting their AoE spell like crazy.
I honestly didn’t think this boss battle was going to be that difficult for me, but I was wrong. It was a royal pain. This encounter requires a very tight rotation of healing, which is very clumsy due to how we have to go about it. There is little room for error because, as I had mentioned, even though we are hugely awesome, we are a bit limited in our healing abilities. I also think RNG can play a factor here as well. If you don’t see a lot of crit heals, then you may find yourself up against it.
Note: The best place to position your character for this encounter is right smack in front of Valithria, in the center, just inside the pointy portion of the ring that encircles her. This makes it so you have very little ground to cover when trying to hit the Suppressors when they come out.
Alright, so the basic strategy for this encounter is to dismiss and re-summon your Spirit Beasts, casting back-to-back Spirit Mend so that you can heal Valithria from 6M to 12M. Also, you need to pay attention to the adds, making sure to deal with the Suppressors when they appear, as they will target Valithria directly, thus reducing your healing efforts. In addition to the Supressors, there are also the Blazing Skeletons and Risen Archmages which can be a bit of a pain. The Blazing Skeletons cast an AoE which can damage Valithria, and the Archmages cast an annoying knockback spell which interferes with your Dismiss Pet.
There’s a lot of work to do during this fight, but I’ve got some tips I can share with you which will make the fight considerably easier.
Better Huntering Through Macros
Those of you who’ve followed me over the years know that I’m a huge proponent of using macros, so I’m always calculating how I can streamline my play with them.
Here’s what I came up with for Dreamwalker…
I created 5 macros which looked like this, changing line 2 to: Pet 2, Pet 3, and so on…
/cast [@focus] Spirit Mend /cast Call Pet 1 /petautocaston Growl /petassist /petattack /tar Blazing /tar Risen
You could consolidate by adding modifier keys to add multiple pets to one macro, but I like to keep things simple, plus modifiers can sometimes get messy for me -especially when I’m in the thick of it. I like one clean button press.
I then bound my “Pet” macros to F1-F5 so that they were in a nice ordered line on my keyboard.
At the start of the encounter, I set Valithria as my focus. I then started with my Spirit Beast healing rotation by pressing F1, my Dismiss Pet hotkey (Shift+S), F2, Dismiss Pet, F3, Dismiss Pet, and so on…
What the macro does is this…
Summons a Spirit Beast, casts Spirit Mend on Valithria, makes sure Growl is on so that the adds target my pet and not me, sicks my pet on a Blazing Skeleton if one is out, and sends my pet on a Risen Archmage if one is out.
This leaves me with only having to deal with the Summoners when they appear. A couple of Multi-Shots and some Glaives handle those guys just fine, and my pet(s) take care of the rest of the adds.
One other thing that I did in preparation for my successful attempt was to swap in Glyph of Explosive Trap. The knock back helps to cut down on the interrupts while you’re casting Dismiss Pet -especially after an abomination goes down and all of the little maggots appear, nibbling at your feet. I tried to keep a Snake Trap down as well, as it also helps to keep mobs away from you so you can cast Dismiss Pet with fewer interrupts.
And that’s pretty much it.
The fight can get pretty chaotic, so be sure to try and memorize the order in which you have your Spirit Beasts. If things get crazy, you might be apt to slip up and forget what place you are in the rotation, so try and commit the pet’s name and number to memory. if you accidentally summon a Spirit Beast with Spirit Mend still on cooldown, that could be a fatal mistake.
Anyway, I hope those tips help, and best of luck if you should decide to try and solo this as a hunter! It’s frustrating but rewarding!
Once you’ve gotten Dreamwalker all healed up, it’s time to head upstairs and make your way towards the Lich King. After you’ve cleared the 3 wings, head to the center of the spire where the Val’kyr are flying around and go into the portal. This will send you out to meet Sindragosa.
On your way to Sindragosa you’ll go through a room with a spider gauntlet. While this isn’t really dangerous, there is a trick. If you kill the spiders too quickly, the encounter will bug out…snort, snort. Also, if you don’t engage them quick enough, that will cause the event to reset as well. Trick here is to use mostly auto attack and Multi-Shot, and no big red or other big cooldowns. This event was designed to wreak havoc on 10 and 25 man teams, so it doesn’t know quite what to do with one awesome level 90 hunter, so go easy on it.
Before you engage Sindragosa, you’ll need to drop 2 frost wyrms: Rimefang and Spinestalker. They can both be downed easily. Once they’re dead, Sindragosa will immediately come after you.
Sindragosa is an easy tank ‘n’ spank. Just DPS her until she casts Ice Tomb on you, then simply pull your pet off of her and send it on your Ice Tomb to free you, then get back on Sindragosa.
Arthas isn’t that difficult in 10 man normal, provided you do things correctly. The fight consists of 4 phases — the 3rd one being the most difficult. I’m a total noob when it comes to this encounter, but I will share what worked for me…
During the initial phase, I just DPS’d him from range, keeping Misdirection on my pet. I stayed maybe about 20 yards away from he and the adds so that I could easily run towards the group when Necrotic Plague was cast on me. Running to a nearby mob will cause Necrotic Plague to jump off of you and onto them, after which they die.
When Arthas gets to 70% he goes to the center of the platform and starts casting an AoE nuke. During this phase you head to the outer edge of the platform, outside of his AoE range. He’ll also start summoning Raging Spirits which you’ll want to burn down.
After a bit, the outer portion of the platform will start to light up, signaling that it’s time to move inward. The outer ring will then drop off and some Val’kyrs will appear, ready to swoop you up and drop you into the frosty abyss. To avoid the death drop, simply make sure you aggro Arthas every so often. An occasional Distracting Shot works just fine. As long as you get Arthas’s attention once in awhile, the Val’kyrs will leave you alone.
The Raging Spirits can do a decent amount of damage so you’ll want to avoid them, preferably by Misdirecting them to your pet, Disengaging away, feigning, etc… You’ll also want to burn down the frozen orbs that spawn. They move pretty slowly and go down quickly, so they’re not much trouble, but if you ignore them and they get near you, they will explode and blow you off of the platform.
After a bit, Arthas will move to the center again and start casting his AoE. It’s about this time when you should blow your cooldowns. During this phase is when you’ll sustain the most damage, so it’s a good idea to race through this portion of the fight as quickly as possible.
Raging Spirits will be in pursuit, so I found it helpful to stay moving during this entire phase, keeping them off of me as much as possible. Disengage when you can, and try to MD them to your pet.
Once Arthas reaches 10% health he kills you, then tries to resurrect you as a fearsome Death Hunter of Death, but then Tirion steps in and drops the hammer on Arthas, res’ing you to finish putting the hurt on him. If you make it to the 10% wipe, then you’ve basically won. The last bit is really easy.
Note: Right before Arthas reaches 10%, you must be sure to kill all of the adds. If Arthas wastes you with adds still up, the sequence with Tirion Fordring will not initiate and you will be stuck in limbo. Kinda like the Spider Gauntlet, the Lich King fight wasn’t meant to be a solo roflstomp, so the game will bug out if adds are still up when Arthas reaches 10%, as this fight wasn’t supposed to go down like that.
Alright, so that’s my noob hunter guide to soloing ICC 10 man normal. Since Valithria does not require additional healing for the 10 man heroic version, I think I’ll give that a go as well. If the tactics require some adjusting then I’ll be sure to update the guide.
If you’re like me and missed some of this content back in the day, then get in there and check it out! I have to admit, the lore nerd in me was pretty geeked to see the Frozen Throne and complete the whole Lich King fight. It was also really cool to see the cut-scene with Bolvar afterward.
Soloing ICC is the perfect diversion while you wait for Warlords of Draenor to come out, so I hope this guide will help those of you who might want to tackle this instance.
Good luck and have fun!