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Heroic Culling of Stratholme - Getting Your Dragon!

Hello all, we've become pretty good at this and I thought I would post some tips and tricks. In the Heroic version of Culling of Stratholme, you have the opportunity to get a Bronze Drake for someone in your party. You have 25 minutes from the time wave 1/10 begins to kill all 10 waves, get through the building with the Infinite Dragonflight, through the gauntlet, and then finally kill the dragon boss to claim your mount. Here are few pointers to get you going:

  1. You need to have decent gear. Most of this is a DPS race, you have to have heroic gear to be able to do this successfully.
  2. We were only successful in a group with one healer. We tried a few times with 2 healers because of availability, but we wiped both times with one minute left, low DPS unable to get the boss down. Heartbreaking!
  3. For the first 10 waves, you should be able to run nonstop and know where you're going at all times. That means starting off right on top of the first wave of ghouls and making quick work of them. As soon as the flag for the next wave shows on your map, your tank should be taking off and going. Ignore zombies along the way, they will be part of the AOE destruction at your destination. We find that getting casters down first in all instances works well, and AOEing every group. The bosses in these waves are both very easy. You get a slight break after Meathook (wave 5), use it to reposition the party at the middle so the next wave is a short run in either direction. We can usually get through these 10 waves with at least 17 minutes left on the timer in our best group.
  4. After wave 10, sprint to the door of the next location, kill all the zombies, and wait for Arthas. As soon as he arrives talk to him so he advances the story. A good tank will know exactly where to position himself to pick up the dragonflight as they spawn in this part of the instance. On the pull where you have casters at one end of the hallway and melee at the other, have the tank stand with the casters and have melee DPS pull the melee into the meatgrinder of AOE from the other end of the hall. The boss here is also cake, and a good metric is that if you get the boss down with 7 minutes or more remaining, you have a good shot at getting your mount. But you have to hurry!
  5. It's very important that the SECOND the boss comes down that you talk to Arthas, he has to open the bookshelf for you. Now you have a choice. If you 10 minutes or more, I recommend talking to Arthas at the bottom of the stairs and doing the guantlet normally. If you're around 7 or under, don't talk to Arthas again after the bookshelf! He spawns more adds and makes the guantlet take a bit longer. The only downside is that to finish the instance you have to go back and reclear the guantlet if you don't talk to him at the bottom of the stairs.
  6. The guantlet is very chaotic and very fun. It depends a lot on the tank's situational awareness and his knowledge of his party and what they can handle. The basic strategy is to pick out the elites from the mob, charge them, get enough threat to hold them, and pick out the next elite, etc. You have to know how much your party can handle and when to stop, and a lot of it depends on how much time you have left. Usually we take 3-4 elites and 10-20 zombies at a time. You have to move fast, but wiping is worse than moving slow. It's hard to keep threat on everything here while charging around grabbing more adds so apologize to your dps beforehand :P
  7. Run through the gate to the unburned part of Strat and RUN PAST THE END BOSS. You don't need to go down that tunnel to get your drake. At the end of the other tunnel is the time boss, grab him and tank him. Make sure your healer is within range of your tank. He isn't hard and has about 400k hp, so you can kill him pretty easily even with only 2 minutes left. We used to pull him away, but we ran out of time on one attempt and he runs so quickly back to the portal that kiting him away doesn't help. You simply can't catch him to finish him off so wasting the time kiting isn't worth it.
  8. Loot your new mount!