This is part of a series of posts about the role of rogues in Ulduar. The focus is on 10-man raids, but on occasion mention will be made about 25-man strategies as well. This is not meant to be a general strategy guide. It is completely targeted at rogues, their abilities, and their strengths in specific combats. Much of what is written could apply to other melee dps as well.
Hodir is one of the Keepers – essentially he is a good guy that has fallen under the control of the Old God Yogg-Saron. As such, you won’t actually kill him. When you get him down to 1% health he becomes friendly and gives you a chest as a reward called the Cache of Winter.
All four of the Keepers are challenging fights. This one takes a bit of practice to get the rhythm down.
There is a large amount of raid damage going on, most of it frost. I actually switch out a couple of pieces of my gear for crafted frost resist items here (Polar Boots and Polar Cord), although if you have well-geared raid healers that is less necessary.
(FYI – one the way to Hodir’s room there are snow piles that each spawn a group of jormungar… wait in stealth until they are all spawned, then TotT and FoK. Its a good way to pad your dps numbers)
When you look in Hodir’s room you’ll see the boss and four NPCs (eight in 25-man) that are encased in ice blocks. They can be freed by attacking the ice. When freed, they give beneficial buffs and they will also help attack Hodir and can even free rooted players from ice. Thus, freeing them is usually priority #1. They will be re-frozen periodically during the fight, and you’ll want to free them again.
Lets take this fight one item at a time. First, there is the Biting Cold debuff. This is much like the aura in the Keristrasza fight in the Nexus. If you stand still, the debuff DoT will stack on you. You must keep moving to keep it from stacking. Unlike the Keristrasza fight, though, moving does not wipe all of the stacks, but rather removes one stack at a time. To be safe, you should always be moving.
Ah, but Hodir has another trick up his sleeve. He will periodically cast Freeze on a person in the raid. That person and everyone nearby will get rooted to the ground for 10 seconds. If you let the Biting Cold debuff stack for that long, you’ll die, so you must free yourself. Cloak of Shadows works, as does Vanish. If you have points in Improved Sprint then that may work too, but I haven’t tried it. A priest or paladin can dispel it as well.
Those are the easy parts to avoid. When the fight starts, the tank will pick up Hodir and all the dps will run around freeing the frozen NPCs. Keep moving to avoid the debuff. Don’t let yourself stay frozen in place for too long if you get rooted. Once the NPCs are freed, get behind the boss and start dps. The tank will likely be dragging the boss around the room, so you’ll have to keep moving to stay in range.
Why is the tank moving the boss around? Falling ice! Keep your camera angled slightly toward the ground so that you can see your feet. Often, you will see a cascade of snowflakes from the ceiling and a white circle on the floor. GET OUT! That means that ice is about to fall there. It will do a bunch of damage, knock you back, and put undue strain on your healers. Keep a close eye out for them. They are not hard to avoid, unless you happen to get rooted by a Freeze right under a falling icicle. I try to save my Cloak or Vanish to escape from that situation.
The big deal in this fight is when Hodir casts Flash Freeze. You’ll see a raid warning that says that he is casting it. It is a long, uninterruptable cast. When he starts, you will see two LARGE white circles appear on the floor (3 of them on 25-man). Move next to one of them, but not in it. You will see a very large ice block fall there… and as soon as it hits the ground it leaves a snowdrift. Run onto the snowdrift ASAP. If you run in too early you get hit by the falling ice and knocked back. If you run in too late you’ll get hit by the Flash Freeze.
When the Flash Freeze goes off everyone in contact with the ground gets encased in an ice block. This will include the four NPCs who are not smart enough to get on a snowdrift. Hopefully it won’t include anyone from your raid. Once the Flash Freeze is cast, everyone encased in ice must be freed. If anyone is still in an ice block the next time Hodir casts Flash Freeze, they are instantly killed. So you and all the other dps will be running around attacking ice again to free everyone who was frozen.
One other important thing is that Hodir will periodically gain a buff called Frozen Blows. When this happens he hits the tank with massive frost damage, and everyone in the raid takes AoE frost damage. Its a big strain on your healers. Use Feint to reduce the AoE damage. Cloak of Shadows should work too.
Let me sum up all of that information:
- free the NPCs
- keep moving to avoid the stacking debuff
- attack Hodir
- free yourself or let a pally or priest free you if you get rooted
- AVOID FALLING ICE by watching for white circles on the ground
- when Flash Freeze is being cast, move next to the large white circle
- when the large ice block falls, run onto the snowdrift to avoid being ice-blocked
- run around freeing anyone who is in an ice block
- Feint during Frozen Blows
- get back to Hodir and repeat steps 2-8
He has an 8-minute hard enrage. The damage done by the NPCs is crucial to your raid until you are well-geared. Also, the buffs they give (to ranged and casters – not to you) is very helpful.
Note that if you can defeat Hodir on hard mode (kill him in under three minutes) he drops the Rare Cache of Winter in addition. The 10-man version has nothing for rogues, but the 25-man one has the Drape of Icy Intent for the back slot.