Believe it or not one of the most difficult encounters in Icecrown Citadel is the Lady Deathwhisper encounter.  Hard to believe, huh?  As the saying goes: “Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned.”

Let’s start by just throwing the standard hard mode changes out there.  Everything has more health and everything does more damage, and while that’s not out of the ordinary, the bonuses force you to take the Berserk timer into account.  You have ten minutes to slaughter her cultists while breaking through her Mana Shield so that you can activate the actual encounter with enough time left to actually kill her.

The first phase should not last you more than three to four minutes or you won’t have enough time to finish the encounter before Lady Deathwhisper goes Berserk.  The cultists are spawned quicker than they are in the normal version and have more health on top of that, so be sure to group them up so that cleave and area damage is more potent, else you’ll be quickly overwhelmed.  The way the raid handles the cultists will dictate the amount of damage it can pour into Deathwhisper’s Mana Shield and health reserves, so be sure that everyone is taking full advantage of cultists groupings to maximize their DPS—your raid’s ability to put them down quickly will make or break your attempts.

Now, what makes this encounter unique when compared to its baseline is the fact that the second phase of this fight is significantly different than it is normally.  If you think back to Mimiron in Ulduar, the hard mode version created a totally unique encounter by introducing complicated mechanics to an already taxing battle, and you’ll see the same thing here.  Once Lady Deathwhisper’s Mana Shield has been broken, your encounter with her begins, but cultists will continue to spawn, though they do so at half the rate that they did in the first half of the encounter, and since Deathwhisper is severely lacking in the mana department, they cannot be reanimated or empowered.  In addition, the untargetable ghosts that spawn (we at Blood Legion affectionately refer to them as shrimps) now deal 25,000 Shadow damage, and they do so in a twenty yards explosion.  What does that mean?  Well, it means that if anyone is unable to avoid being hit by a shrimp . . . BOOM!  There go three to five people.  Oh, and did I mention that three people are Mind Controlled at a time instead of one?  =)

For those of you that remember the original M’uru encounter (and for those of you that have blocked it out like Vas and I), you will definitely have some bad memories resurface here.  Having to deal with adds, Mind Control, and exploding, untargetable ghosts that have no determinable target is just such a ridiculous number of things to have to be considerate of during an encounter in which you also have to feed damage into a target that will eventually activate as a boss, and that’s only half of it.  You have a Frostbolt volley that will snare your raid just the same as it would normally, but what makes it dangerous is that now the untargetable shrimps are dangerous to everyone in the raid, not just their unfortunate target, and if one spawns near a player while they’re snared, there is a significant likelihood of multiple raid deaths, and losing those people you will likely allow the Berserker Rage timer to expire. This is a tightly tuned encounter.

Communication is absolutely essential to this encounter.  Your raid must be sure the Frostbolts are being interrupted or your tanks will be one shot.  And everyone has to be sure to burn inconvenient cooldowns such as Aura Mastery, which will make Deathwhisper immune to interrupts, Blind, Recklessness, and so-on, because one bad mind control can put the raid on the floor.

Luckily Overlord Hellscream and King Wyrnn are available to assist in this dire battle.  Their zonewide buffs provide support for when players make mistakes, but if you decide to challenge your raid and send the leaders away, then your raid is in for one of the toughest battles you will encounter in Icecrown Citadel.

The heroic Lady Deathwhisper encounter will weed the inattentive and lazy players out of your raids and give them a taste of what’s in store as you approach the Upper Spire and the more difficult fights of Icecrown Citadel.  Tread softly adventurers, because what awaits you is something you may not be prepared for, and it may very well lead to your demise.

Good luck and have fun!