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I remember watching videos of guilds performing the chaotic criss-cross "expand and collapse" maneuver that was needed to mitigate the debuff.The strategy alone was intimidating, never mind the unheard of tanking requirements. I considered it an accomplishment just to have six Warriors in the roster!Back in September of '06, we put our two best priests on that duty: the officer Haribo and his protege Volitar, a player who would go on to assist with raid leadership (albeit for a short time) during The Burning Crusade.It was through precision timing, and calm, clear communication that Haribo and Volitar were able to pull off the unconventional roles imposed upon them, securing us a kill.Instead of the mind-boggling weeks and weeks of attempts that only the very best guilds in the world defeated the original Four Horsemen within, our execution took but a single pull.Sapphiron was tricky: the raid had to allow him to freeze players by purposefully eating an Icebolt, then use those blocks of ice as human shields, a line-of-sight protection against Frost Breath.Mind-controlled players were easily dispatched with Frost Novas and Polymorphs; even simple Ao E fears did the job. As for Kel'Thuzad himself, well, his attacks were insignificant, unmemorable, and sad; a kid having a meltdown for not getting enough birthday presents. The only real risk of the entire encounter ended up being the blocks of ice he froze players into, which spiked their health down sharply, as its damage was based on a percentage of their health.
Other times, players positioned themselves perfectly behind an ice block..died anyway. Shadow fissures erupted under our feet, forcing us to be perpetually mobile.Bugs aside, Sapphiron ended up only taking two or three attempts, and we left his bones in a pile as we headed down the final hallway, where we came face to face with Kel'Thuzad himself. Kel'Thuzad would, at times, detonate the mana our casters relied on to power their pyroblasts, frostfire bolts, renews and rejuvs.Those mana-fueled bombs wrecked players standing too close to one another; we had to be mindful of where we positioned ourselves.I say tricky not due to difficulty, but due instead to the encounter being very buggy.
Players in our raid would die from the Icebolt, giving us nothing to shield us from the intensity of Frost Breath.
But as we worked our way through the Death Knight Cavaliers, Captains, Deathchargers and Dark Touched Warriors, the greater mystery still loomed: why had raids become so much easier? Maybe they were too focused on getting through Naxx, and moving on to Malygos. It was a gimmick fight: the original encounter called for two Priests to mind-control Raz's understudies, turning his students back upon the teacher.