Moonkins and hardmodes in ICC go together like bread and butter or peanut butter and jelly. However, the strats you use in regular ICC do not necessarily translate over to hardmodes. Let me give you a rundown of a moonkins strategies in hardmode ICC based on every fight except LK, since we are still working on it in 10 man and have not touched it in 25 man.
Lord Marrowgar – The biggest new mechanic is that he still Bone Spikes during Bone Storm. This is great for moonkins since this means we can Starfall on cooldown and we are going to hit 2 mobs all the time, whether the boss or spikes. In 10 versus 25 man, the strat changes slightly. In 10 man, all of the DPS and healers group up on one side with the tanks on the other to allow for the Bone Storm to go between them. In 25 man, we split the DPS and healers in two groups to go to the two sides while the tanks are against the wall. Little hint: Tanks cannot be Bone Spiked. Beyond that, normal stuff including avoid fire, DPS during Bone Storm, etc.
Lady Deathwhisper – Moonkins have a very important role in this fight and, unfortunately, it is not DPS usually. In 10 man, you may have a mage who can sheep the mind controls leaving you free to DPS. However, in 25 man, you do not have an option since there are 3 mind controls. The ability for you to Cyclone mind controlled players is more important than your DPS. Beyond that, DPS the fanatics, Starfall after mind controls but not right before the bosses mana shield breaks as this will make you get aggro and there is no taunting in 25 man hard mode, and avoid ghost since they one shot you.
Lootship – Don’t change anything. Not that hard.
Deathbringer Saurfang – The biggest change I have noticed between normal and hardmode is that you don’t Typhoon. Now, it seems weird to say that, but it is true. In 10 man hardmode, you will likely have the melee killing one blood beast while it is stunned and the ranged killing the other. In 25 man hardmode, you will have melee killing one blood beast while it is stunned and the ranged split between the other 4 blood beast. Since melee is killing blood beast in hardmodes, the last thing you want to do is Typhoon unless a blood beast gets near you. Beyond that Starfall normally and DPS normally. Realize that Marks do come out a lot quicker in hard modes and hit harder so be ready to use Barkskin if you are a Mark to give your healers a little break.
Rotface – Remember the Vile Gas from Festergut. Well, Professor Putricide throws it out during the Rotface encounter. This means like Festergut, you will need ranged spread outside of the room. The big thing this also means is you have to put up with the slime filling the room. However, let me give you a little secret. At no point in the encounter is slime filling both sides of the room. What I mean by this is if you are on the right side of the room, it will not fill up both the back and front areas on the right side of the room at the same time. This means if it is on your left, just move right. If you see it coming on your right, start heading left. Beyond that, it is normal mechanics including move out for slime explosion, etc.
Festergut – Remember Malleable Goo from Professor Putricide. Well, now you have to put up with it in Festergut. The easiest way I have noticed to take care of it is to angle your camera at what would be about a 45 degree angle behind your character where you could see the floor. If you see green area under you, move. The tough part is when you are grouped up for spores and you see a green area below you. At this point, you have to communicate to everybody on the spore to move to avoid the Malleable Goo. Also, if by chance you only get two spores (which you shouldn’t do on hard modes since you really need all 3), you can throw up Barkskin to maybe save yourself with some heals. Beyond that, DPS normally.
Professor Putricide – We have downed him on 10 man but not on 25 man, but most of the mechanics are the same. This is a communication fight especially with the Unbound Plague. 6 raid members need to hold it for 10 seconds each. Also, once a raid member has held it for 10 seconds, they cannot hold it for another 60 seconds. The best way we have had to go through this was to have a rotation with clean ranged people in the middle of the room who could take the plague while those on cooldown were on the outside of the room to avoid giving it to the same person since you take more damage if you take it again and reset the timer. Also, we line up on the right side of the room where the green slime comes out to help group on who it is targeting. Also, the transition phases do not involve tear gas, but something much more sinister. You get both an orange and a green slime at the same time. In 10 man, you can DPS both. Yes, Starfall does work great for this. On 25 man, you get a debuff that says whether you can attack the green or the orange. Starfall is still pretty good, especially if you can get near Putricide and hit him with the Starfall as well. Also, transitions are important because if you tip him at the wrong time, you could end up with 3 slimes, which is almost certainly a wipe. Beyond this, DPS normally and avoid stupid stuff like Malleable Goo and the orange bottle he throws down.
Blood Princes – A hard mode that encourages you not to move. (What is better for ranged?) Every movement you make gives you a stacking debuff called Shadow Prison, which increases shadow damage. So the first thing is do not move unless necessary. Also, kinetic bombs become a huge problem in hard mode and it becomes the responsibility of every range to hit them if possible. Especially on 10 man where you may only have 2 ranged. However, moonkins have a great trick for dealing with kinetic bombs. Starfall is direct damage to the bombs and will send them back up. So not only use Starfall on cooldown, but use it near kinetics to drive them back up so you can keep DPSing.
Blood Queen – In terms of mechanics, there is not a whole lot different. The major mechanic difference is she hits harder the more vampires there are. However, you will likely still use the same bite order and will have to do the same things to survive the air phase. So really, there is not a lot different than normal besides more damage.
Valethria Dreamwalker – For ranged DPS, the mechanics are not really that different. The major difference is it will be your job to take down the zombies since melee will get killed by the explosion. This also means you may have to get aggro and kite them a little bit. If need be, typhoon them too. Beyond that, DPS normally.
Sindragosa – We have not touched Sindy on 25 man, but I can give you our 10 man hard mode strategy. There are two major differences. One, Unchained Magic causes an AOE effect when it goes off and causes more damage around you the higher the debuff gets. This means during the first two alternating phases, you will just move out from the middle with the ranged and healers if you get Unchained Magic. During Phase 3, you just don’t DPS if you have Unchained Magic because you will still need to shake your stacks of Magic Buffet and you don’t want AOE behind the blocks. The other mechanic is that the frostbolts during the air phase will one shot anybody. Now on 10 man, there is still only 2 blocks and they go down easily. We just maneuvered behind the blocks while doing some minimal damage and then destroyed them after the fourth frostbolt. On 25 man, I can tell you already that this will not be an option so it will deal more with how we arrange the ice blocks during the air phase.
So, hopefully, this information will get you started on your way to taking down the hardmodes in ICC. As we get our strategy for 25 man HM Sindragosa and HM LK down, I’m sure there will be some updates to this.