June 15, 2013

ICC Strategy for the Raid Boss Part 1: Frostmourne and Helm of Domination

It's been a while since I've posted anything WOW TCG. I decided to pull my cards out again, excited at the prospect that I might bet back into the game when I move... at least casually. I don't have an awful amount of money to spend, but I want the maximum enjoyment out of a classic collection that I can share with friends and buddies, while having stand-a-lone raids (or something close to them) for fun. I've got at least two other pals interested, and possibly a third. That's enough for a raid night!

Someone asked me over social media why I'm not waiting for Blizzard's Hearthstone program to come out. Here's the thing. I already have a ton of cards, and I want the social experience of sitting with friends and battling it out and cracking open packs and rolling for loot. Mix a bit of alcohol in there and fun times will ensue.

I left the TCG a little after Icecrown Citadel was released as a raid deck. We got some use out of it in college, but I never sat down and actually looked into the contents of the raid deck itself. I've seemed to have misplaced my rulebook and box- hopefully I can find them because ICC is costly to replace at $33.99 a pop. The set features a lot of cards- so they want their money's worth.

Let's look at the breakdown of the deck. This will assume the deck is in it's stock configuration.


The Lich King deck features 22 allies, 20 abilities, 16 quests and 2 pieces of equipment. This deck will be a little short on quests (events), but from what I've played in the past the draw rate of abilities is excellent. Let's talk strategy for this deck. It has enough abilities to cause the enemy grief but enough allies of your own to get things started. Let's start with the head honcho himself.

The Lich King
Undeath's Armament- At the start of your turn, if you control two or more resources, you may search your deck for a card named Frostmourne or Helm of Domination and put it into play. On your turn, pay (10) and flip the Lich King.

[Flip] Fury of Frostmourne: At the start of your turn, the Lich King deals 300,000 unpreventable shadow damage to each opposing hero.

While molten core took a long drawn out approach to snuffing everybody in a coup de grace, the Lich King gets to business within 10 turns. The main focus of the boss player should be on stalling long enough to get to turn 10, especially with a raid party of 4+ players.

Frostmourne & Helm of Domination

The Lich King's famous weapons are available to grab [freely] from turn 2 if you didn't already place them down from your opening hand. Raid or not, a cost 1 sword that does 4dmg for 0 swing is OP. Frostmourne reads:

Harvest Soul: When the Lich King deals fatal damage to an opposing ally with Frostmourne, add a +1 ATK counter to it [Frostmourne], and the Lich King deals 2 frost damage to each opposing hero. Death Rattle

It's a good idea to get Frostmourne out, but in my opinion Helm of Domination should take priority if you choose this route on turn 2. Frostmourne is highly susceptible to Mage tomfoolery, interrupts and rogue shennanigans. Thus, I wouldn't put too much stock into it. However, you could use Frostmourne as bait, swinging with it to deal damage but not focusing on its text as a main strategy, due to death rattle bringing it back. That way, the opposition is wasting time popping that piece of equipment when they can use interrupts on other stuff.

Helm of Domination is much more dangerous, in my opinion. After all, it contains the soul of a mighty Orc.

Leader of the Scourge: Once per turn, pay (1), target ally has Ferocity this turn. Death rattle

Leader of the Scourge can provide for some nasty surprises that raiders will have to deal with. If you play it too early, I have found that rogues, warlocks or mages on standby will get rid of that card. It provides the Lich King with his only 5 armor points. This armor can keep coming back, but you need to watch your strategy if the raiding party has a Warlock. Warlocks have spells that can remove cards from the game, effectively ending any little sharrade the raid boss can pull off. Where the helm dominates though (pun intended) is by allowing scourge allies a chance at ferocity.

While any candidate is good for ferocity, there are four ally type cards that stand out for their high damage dealing:


Val'kyr Shadowguard (3/6/5)
Sindragosa (7/10/20)
Blood Queen Lana'thel (6/8/8)
Professor Farnsworth Putricide (6/10/15)

Playing the helm in combination with any of these allies will hurt. Though, if the raiders are well prepared enough they can deal with the helm by turn 2. If you can successively pump out low level scourge allies and use domination, hopefully with little crowd control you can begin causing some damage, something that the healer and opposing healing allies will have to deal with. They can keep popping the helm, but it will keep coming back. That is why it is recommended a Warlock be in the party to deal with this card; or a mage to use spell suppression.

When Helm is spell suppressed, all it becomes is a [5] armor piece of equipment. The strategy then for raiders is to keep that piece of equipment in play. The only way to deal with any kind of shennanigans like this is to use Soul Reaper or Defile, but a pain in the ass mage, and I know one who would do this- may keep spell suppressing to get you to waste your interrupts. Don't play into that trap and let it go if there is a mage present in the group.

Helm of Domination should create a problem for the raiders, and let them remain occupied with it. Simply keep using the helm for as long as you can to get ferocity allies out there. If an opposing ally with no obvious threat is on the board, keep hitting one of the heroes. The priority should be like this, from top to bottom of most important to least:

Mage/Warlock/Rogue (for interrupts)

This is why it is adviseable that the raid team diversify their ally pool incase the healer or tank is locked down. If that happens in a raid like Black Temple, the raid party can be screwed. Similar can be said here in the frozen halls.

No comments: