Dating Sindy – Shadowpriest advice

After the really good advice posted by Cass at Hots&Dots on the Heroic Putricide fight, I decided to reciprocitate with some advice on Heroic Sindragosa. In some ways, this fight is easier – instead of a difficult coordinated dance, you will reach success once the people with the debuff succeed at minimizing damage.

Caveat Raidor

First off, I am assuming here that you know the regular Sindragosa fight, since explaining the fight would already take up three paragraphs. Hence, I will discuss only that which is different from the normal mode fight.

Second, about the pull. Many people are unclear about when you pull her if you get on the floor. The safest bet is to stay withing the grey lines that run around the foot of the stairs. You can move a little bit ahead (up to the notches in the “road” leading to the middle) but if you are not comfortable with it, do not take the risk.

Accidental pulls are not nice ways to lose a Hard Mode attempt.

Phase 1 (Ground/Air phase)

In phase one you will first be confronted with a new and nasty side-effect of Unstable Magic – it is now an AoE. This means that it will hurt not just you, but everyone in a short range from you. And since there will be several people getting this debuff, it can quickly kill the entire raid.

With Sindragosa being tanked roughly in the middle of the room, and the raid positioned just off the bottom of the stairs, a good way of dealing with this is having people run away the moment they get the debuff to explode there. This way they will not hurt anyone. In our setup, we had healers run left and right of the raid, while DPS moved back up the stairs. This worked fairly well.

The second nasty thing is an additional ice block during Sindragosa’s flight phase. This makes for a total of 6 blocks on 25man, and it can be very chaotic, especially with people exploding from Unstable Magic.

What we did was that we all gathered up just above the bottom of the stairs (say third step) and the moment Sindragosa casts her marks on people, DBM gives them a raid mark. Before the raid we decided on a set position for each raid mark on the grey line in front of the stairs, evenly spaced.

This means that with everyone clumped up in the middle, they knew where to run with their mark, and never had to run further than half the stairs. Just to be safe, the raid leader also spammed a macro during the air phase, putting up a raid warning like this: “Moon – Skull – Cross -0- Square – Circle – Diamond” so everyone can quickly see where to go. This is using symbols, not the words, of course.

Main priority for people is to hide from the Frost Blasts – they will kill almost anything instantly if they hit you on Hard Mode.

Phase 2 (35% and lower)

In this phase, there are many things going on that deal damage. Unstable Magic is still an AoE, people get ice tombs, there is the permanent frost AoE coming from Sindragosa, and healers are often out of the fight with Unstable Magic.

Frost Tomb placement here is a key to victory. If you look down the stairs, you will see that the “road” leading to the circle in the middle, the one flanked with the grey lines, has a set of “notches”, two of which are opposite each other. If you get marked for a Frost Tomb, place it at the intersection with those notches, aside the big “road” to the middle.

We choose to put the first tomb right, second left, and keep switching. This works well to allow the tanks to hide periodically to drop their debuff stacks. Note that if you put them in that position, and get pulled in before Blistering Cold, you can still hide behind these ice blocks and be safe from the AoE.

Hide behind every ice block, to drop your debuff stacks. In this phase, neither healers nor DPS cast any spells (ideally) when they have Unchained Magic. With current gear and the 30% damage buff, the enrage time should not be an issue anymore.

Tips and Advice for Shadowpriests

Sindragosa is the best fight for pre-potting a Haste pot and going to town. Just before she lands (as the red circle of her hit box hits the floor) you can pre-pot and have another potion available during the fight. Cast Fade as the tank engages her, and then unload all you can. You never know if you will have a second chance, considering the Unchained Magic (Grr, I hate that debuff!)

You will often get the Unchained Magic debuff, and not be able to cast much. This is bad for us, because it means we have to restart our DoT cycle as well, taking a huge hit in DPS. What I did when I got the debuff was to refresh DoTs and Mind Flay, run out to explode, and ran in again. This way at least your Shadow Weaving and Shadow Word: Pain stay up for as long as possible.

If you are pulled in which Unchained Magic and some stacks on you just before Blistering Cold, cast Fade in mid-flight. This will remove the slowing effect (Improved Shadowform) but also reset the stack’s timer. When running out, move away from the raid to a corner near the stairs and cast Dispersion just before the buff runs out. Dispersion does not trigger a new stack, but will eat any damage you are taking quite well.

During the air phase, inside an ice block, cast Dispersion just as the 4th ice bomb is coming down. You will take less damage from Suffocation, but if the ice block is accidentally killed too soon, you will live. Target the ice block around you to keep a good idea of its health.

If you are not in an ice block, keep DoTs running on at least four ice blocks. On Hard Mode, they have a lot of health, and keeping your DoTs running is relatively safe damage and keeps your Shadow Weaving up.

Use Shadowfiend after the first Air Phase, if you were not iceblocked. Else, use it just before Sindragosa hits 35%. This is a bit trial-and-error, as it depends on your Raid’s DPS how many air phases you will have.

In the last phase, what you do with Unchained Magic depends on how your raid handles it. In learning the fight we had all DPS and healers who had it stop what they were doing, but responsible people could presumably DPS a little (maximum of 2-3 stacks ideally). We have an advantage in that Mind Flay is a channeled spell, and only adds 1 stacks but passes the time nicely.

Coordinate with your other priests regarding Divine Hymn. I like using it in the last phase, just after Blistering Cold. Everyone’s still running, so healing is not back to full yet. The last phase is really a survival fight, not a DPS race. Health Pots, bandages while having Unchained Magic (on others too!), Healthstones – do what you can to survive.

This also means that sometimes you find that 3-4 healers have the debuff and cannot heal or just a little bit. A quick Holy Nova, Prayer of Mending, or a Binding Heal if you are hurt might save the day. This last phase is where your DPS will be lowest, but clear thinking and team spirit will win over in the end.

This is also the only fight where Lightwell rocks, for those of the Holy persuasion. Even with Unchained Magic it’s only 1 debuff stack to cast it, and everyone normally standing there wanding with the debuff can click it for healing instead. Considering the idiotic raid damage in this fight, it is finally good for something. Since everyone’s hiding behind every Ice Block, making sure there’s one standing there helps minimize accidental explosions as well.

Images courtesy of WoW.com, since I didn’t have any “empty Sindragosa Room screenshots”

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5 Responses to “Dating Sindy – Shadowpriest advice”

  1. Always remember on heroic you can disperse to lower damage on yourself but the aoe thingy will still hit everyone in 20y. Also, if you see you have too high stack after the pull and won’t be able to run out in time run the other way from raid and disperse.

    If you manage to convince people to not get anywhere near you it is possible to stay outside the rest of the raid and DPS with the stack getting relatively high, though anyone getting anywhere near you will be risking death.

    • Yeps, certainly possible.

      I always like to think survival-first though. If something happens and you lag, or accidentally disperse too late or too early, it can be a real issue. The central theme of Sindragosa is to show constraint, and value survival over DPS.

      Generally, it won’t be an issue to stand in a corner and DPS, but you will need Dispersion at higher stacks, because of Blistering Cold, other people exploding and the constant frost AoE.

  2. The bit that worries me is getting Unchained Magic and then being pulled in for Blistering Cold … and then blowing up the raid.

    I guess the idea is Fade (refresh Instability with a new stack) and then run the heck away from the raid?

    Thank you so much for the guide.

    I’m tempted to try and convince my guild that I, and our other Shadowpriest, ought to be allowed to stand out and DPS. Surely you could have a couple ranged standing near the balcony that only rejoin the raid after Blistering Cold, right before air phase?

    • To do this, there are two simple ways:

      1) DPS up to a max of 3-4 stacks, meaning refresh dots and Mind Flay. Make sure to stay well away from the raid, but in healing range. If you get pulled in, cast Fade, return to your spot and explode there. You have to be very careful to not be near anyone else, or your 4 stacks (8K damage) goes to everyone in range, which is a lot of healing to catch up with.

      2) Convincing the raid? Put you in the healer group for 500 or so HPS to them, so they can heal and notice their own stacks less. Add Replenishment to that, and perhaps that will convince people.

  3. I just had to boast: we got H Sindragosa last night!

    And I came 1st on the Damage Done meters – can you believe it?!

    I’ll be the first to admit I was very rarely afflicted by Unchained Magic. And our strategy morphed into one that allowed Mages (we have 2) and Shadow Priest (2 of us) their own spots in the clear where we could cast while under the effect of UCM.

    I wore the Glacial Belt and the Titanium Frostguard Ring (we all wore at least 1 piece of Frost Resist gear and didn’t increase our number of healers). If I got UCM I could easily absorb the damage of an 8 or 10 stack without using Dispersion. If I stacked it over 10 (say going into an Air Phase) I would Disperse.

    I played it cautious and let my Instability stack fall off when Icy Grip/Blistering Cold had 5 seconds left on the cooldown and I didn’t start casting again until after running out from Blistering Cold. If Icy Grip came up just before I could drop my stacks I used Fade or Dev Plague to buy me a few more seconds to run out before exploding.

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