Come to me from @buglamp! We were having a lovely discussion around my fail ZA run with @DiscoPriest! Basically Disco and I zoned into ZA as a tank and healer at Eagle, with no timer. After it took 2.5 minutes to kill Eagle, I was paranoid. By the time I made it to Bear, I totally got why the other tank and healer left the group. The hunter who’s number 1 ability was auto-shot, who broke all the CC (including his own). The fact that Bear did the following transformations before dying: troll -> bear -> troll -> bear -> troll. Yes, that’s TWO full bear forms. I didn’t know that was physically possible. I also didn’t know I would top the damage meters as a tank. I politely told them there was no way in hell we were making it through Dragonhawk trash and that I wished them luck. And thus, Bug shared these epic words of wisdom:
I came here for the satchel, not for you guys to lick windows while I drive this short bus off a cliff.
Except for the fact that there was no satchel in it for me :(
I’m not even going to black out names in the screenshot…I used up all my effort trying to get through those 2 bosses…
EDIT: I looked at the armories of my three lovely DPS. Hunter was 359 ilvl, Ret was 358, and the mage was 357. Hunter was reforging into hit over hit cap, the mage was rocking spirit gems, and I don’t even want to guess what the ret was doing.
Healing!?! Wait, I thought you tanked?!? Well, I sorta do a little bit of both! For raiding, definitely doing the tank thing! But for goofing off, I have fun healing–it helps me stay on my toes and stay in touch with how I started playing a Paladin.
Like all good raiders, a group of us try to get together and do our weekly VP grind as guild randoms–less chance to get people who aren’t on the ball, who’s play style we don’t know, etc.
Aldous is normally our crazy Boomkin, but he tanks as needed (or when he’s bored and I don’t feel like tanking). We needed to cap our VP in Zuls (too lazy to wait for raid), so he agreed to tank and I said I’d heal. We took Nerys on his cat and Mal on his fury warrior, and ended up having to PuG the final slot due to lack of interest in guild.
All was going well–we were steamrolling everything and easily got 3 chests. It wasn’t until we saw the timer at 3 chests that we realized we stood a chance. Suddenly, we were all sitting at our PCs, hearts pounding and I said in vent “pull ALL the mobs, we’ve got this.” We proceeded to start chaining pulls like madmen, stuff was falling over as we ran to the next pack. We engaged Lynx and went for the gold. Until I thought I had gotten a bubble off and hadn’t. And fell over dead -.- BUT! We had a druid (2 of them in fact!)! Who battle rezzed me (thanks Nerys!)! And then promptly keeled over dead >< BUT, the DPS managed to keep it together, I managed to keep everyone up, and we did it!
To make it even sweeter, I managed to win the pink bear. It coordinates well…sorta..maybe not.
Either way, I can now say I’m competent enough healing with a great tank and crazy DPS to make a bear run. Now we just need to finish getting them for the rest of the team!
We ended up doing ZG with the PuGged hunter after ZA, who asked us if we wanted to do the achievement in Jin’do. I did something stupid and died on his platform and was like “umm…how about no since I derped?” The hunter laughed and we finished up without issue.
I’ve also been trying to figure out how to spend an abundance of JP points that I don’t need for ANY of my gear sets. It just so happens that we were discussing doing Guild Rated BGs and Arenas. Now, ignoring the fact that I haven’t healed an Arena, EVER, and that I haven’t healed a BG since Wrath, I thought “sure, why not?” It’s not like I don’t already have 2 other gear sets (not counting my avoidance pieces in my bank), on top of also being an enchanter (why do I do this again?). So I have begun the fun of gathering PvP gear, researching specs/itemization/etc. so I can participate in crazy PvP fun! I’ve gotten 2 pieces so far, but still went in to Tol’Barad (needed to win it before raid) in my PvE gear and had success!
And a lot of bonus PvP achievements to prove I didn’t do a lot of PvP on Raz <.<
I may or may not amuse you with more healing stories at a later date. But I wanted to share this one (and post another “Raz won a mount against a party of people AGAIN” post).
Her fiery webs reach far overhead, daring her adversaries to simultaneously face their fears of both spiders and heights. Only by taking hold of her webs and climbing into her domain yourself will you find a way to thwart her evil designs.
Spiders. Fire. Heights. SPIDERS AND FIRE AND HEIGHTS.
Oh Beth’tilac…how I loathe you…
That being said, the Beth’tilac fight is fairly simple as a ground tank. @_Rades summed it fairly easily on Twitter. The ground tank is only responsible for taunting Cinderweb Spinners, tanking Cinderweb Drones, and swapping with the web tank on Beth’tilac during phase 2.
At some point I may be on the top of the web, but so far I haven’t been gifted (or is it cursed?) with that role. As our healer, Mittenz, puts it: “You’re watching out for fire on a fiery web in a fiery red zone. It sucks.” So, no fiery web talk from me! Instead, you’re getting a fairly generalized discussion of what it’s like to hang out down on the ground.
For our first kill, we used the following team:
- Protection Warrior – Web Tank
- Protection Paladin – Ground Tank
- Discipline Priest – Web Healer
- Restoration Shaman – Ground Healer
- Restoration Druid – Ground Healer
- Marksmanship Hunter x 2 – Spiderling Kiters
- Frost Death Knight – Web DPS (up for 2 cycles)
- Enhancement Shaman – Web DPS (up for 3 cycles)
- Balance Druid – Spinners
Phase 1 is an interesting experiment in communication. On the pull, your responsibility should be to taunt a Spinner down and tank it while your web tank takes the thread up to the web. A DPS should be taunting another Spinner down alongside you so that your healer can get up the web as well. Time is of the essence when starting the Beth’tilac fight; she is raining down Venom Rain on your raid if no one is on the web, so you want to get your tank up on the web as quickly as possible to interrupt the strain on your healers. Once your tank is up, the healer should soon follow. Depending on your raid make-up, you may need to bring down 1-2 additional spinners to send DPS up on the web. Usually I will taunt 2 Spinners (one for my co-tank, one for a DPS) in total before getting ready to pick up the Drone.
The Cinderweb Drones always spawn from the same location. Drones need to be faced away from the raid (who should try to be grouped up in the center of Beth’tilac’s area) due to a conal attack that they hit the tank with. This is one of those moments where you want your DPS to remember to be BEHIND the mob (if this is something they struggle with). Your responsibility as Drone tank is to 1/ keep the mob facing away from the raid, and 2/ drag them around Beth’tilac’s area while keeping the baby Cinderweb Spiderlings as far away from the Drone as possible. I usually have assistance from my DPS calling about Spiderling spawn locations (it varies), and if I need to move the Drone due to Spiderling encroachment. You don’t want the Drone and the Spiderlings to interact–if Spiderlings get too close to the Drone, the Drone will eat them and receive a buff (each Spiderling heals a Drone for 20% of it’s maximum health and allows the Drone to gain a stacking buff which increases their damage done and movement speed by 20%). Basically, you never want Mr. Drone to meet the Spiderlings.
While you are having a blast dragging a spider around with your melee (if any), your ranged DPS will be killing off any remaining Spinners that are hanging out above your heads and assisting on Drone killing.
Three times during Phase 1, Beth’tilac will case Smoldering Devastation, which is the web-team’s warning to get down off of the web! The ground team will still be doing their previous tasks–melee who come down off the web should be assisting the Drone tank to finish off the add, and your ranged are still going to town on the Spinners and Spiderlings. For the last 2 Smoldering Devastations, I’m usually not taunting any of the Spiderlings down (I’m usually distracted with Drones), so your melee DPS need to make sure they are coordinating with each other to get your tank and healer back up on the web.
Once the third Smoldering Devastation has been cast, Beth’tilac will come down her web and Phase 2 begins.
Your goal during Phase 1 is to try and bring Beth’tilac’s health pool down as low as possible, thus reducing the time you are kept in Phase 2. Your goal in Phase 2 is to kill Beth’tilac before she makes quick work of your tanks.
Phase 2 brings 3 new abilities into the fight:
- Frenzy – Stacking buff which increases her damage done by 5% per stack.
- The Widow’s Kiss – A 20 second debuff on Beth’tilac’s main target. The debuff places Widow’s Kiss on the target, which reduces healing taken by 10% per stack. Tanks inflicted with the debuff also want to be away from their co-tank and raid team, as they will damage their raid if anyone is within 10 yards of them.
- Consume – Beth’tilac heals herself by 10% of her maximum health should she land on any Spiderlings that are still alive when she comes down.
The responsibility of the tanks are to swap their threat leads on Beth’tilac once she casts The Widow’s Kiss. If the raid is positioned properly, only the tank afflicted should be taking damage from the debuff.
Blow cooldowns in a good order and soon the spider should be crushed under your heel! Collect loot and move on to your next boss of the night!
Nothing really stands out to me on this fight specifically, aside from good and measured use of your cooldowns. I will cast Holy Radiance when Beth’tilac first goes up the web to help out with healing. When going into Phase 2, make sure you have all of your cooldowns available, as you will probably be chaining your shield walls as Beth’tilac gains more Frenzy stacks.
First Beth’tilac World of Logs post can be found here.
Kill video will be published as soon as I find time to edit it!
Been busy with trying to square away RL and take care of a whole bunch of stuff in WoW. Several updates today between my meetings! <3
The first time -.- I apparently hit API cap on Twitter again. AGAIN. Yes! Miri is a social butterfly!
There was RP discussion with @snack_road (spillover from yesterday) that involved Raz dealing with an elf obsessed warlock who likes to Death Coil him and as Snack put it:
She just wants to get to know Raz, lose herself in his perfect hair, to learn his hopes, his dreams, his fears. Especially fears.
So Raz had to remind her about the whole “Alliance sorta screwed us” past between the High Elves and the Alliance. But she’s a sweet warlock (with a grumpy Draenai friend played by @outbirk), so who knows what will come in the future! O.O
Other things that happened–discussion about using Fraps to review raid footage, how epic paladins are, how all the Twitter warlocks ganged up on Raz (I have NO CLUE), how me retweeting a blog post from @Rhidach got both of us featured on a Star Wars blog (where I’m apparently a big submitter, wait, what?)…
And right before I was so rudely cut-off by Twitter’s API limit, there was great discussion between @_Rades, myself, @Buglamp, and @no_funeral about making a machinima STARRING FABULOR, with supporting roles from Shieldplay and Raz. The music? Well, something that @healbot linked today in Twitter:
So on the bright side, I can use my “block” from Twitter to get caught up on work, and work on the long overdue tanking strat guide (short and sweet on this one guys!) for Beth. Oh, and I need to finish editing/splicing together the Beth kill video and recompress Shannox so you can actually SEE something.
So Orv decided to rally the Twitterati Tanks in opposition to the Twitter Healer population, and present the Circle of Tanking to the masses. This brave Paladin decided to tag me right from the start, so here’s my submission of the newest tanking meme!
1. What is the name, class, and spec of your primary tank?
Razíel, Blood Elf Paladin, 0/31/10
2. What is your primary group tanking environment? (i.e. raids, pvp, 5 mans)
I am one of two tanks in Tsu Tain Guu Faitaa‘s (Drenden-US) raid team. When I’m not raiding, I’m usually running 5-mans for the guild or putting myself through PuG hell for satchels.
3. What is your favorite cooldown for your class and why?
Hmm…part of me wants to say Holy Shield, just because of the changes to it in 4.2, but I also really like the capability of Guardian of Ancient Kings. Chaining it along with Divine Protection and Ardent Defender (if necessary), can really help reduce the stress on healers when you’re getting your face beat in due to a boss enrage mechanic.
4. What tanking CD do you use least for your class and why?
I actually use the majority of my CDs! I don’t consider it a tanking CD, but I never use Hand of Salvation on my DPS! Usually because I’m trying to keep up with all my other keybinds, and I’ve already assigned Hand of Protection and Hand of Freedom to Healbot.
5. What do you feel is the biggest strength of your tanking class and why?
I’ve got to agree with Orv on this one. The great thing about Paladins is their toolkit. We have so many things at our disposal; raid walls, damage reducers, “oh shit” heals, etc. The fact that I can take care of myself and help my healers out makes me a very happy tank–if I can reduce my healer’s stress by utilizing my cooldowns when things get hairy, then I’m a happy player!
6. What do you feel is the biggest weakness of your tanking class and why?
Again I have to agree with Orv–the lack of a gap closer can be frustrating. Especially when I need to get somewhere quickly and the person I need to assist is too far away for Righteous Defense . When I play my alt Warrior, I love charge! When I come back to my Paladin, I have to remember that I have to run my little belf butt over to the mob (or Avenger’s Shield) to say hi!
7. In a raiding environment, what do you feel, in general, is the best tanking assignment for you?
Adds, adds, and more adds! With my large amount of block, being able to mitigate a lot of incoming damage is very nice, and my healers always have nice things to say about healing me! I’ve been slowly working on piecing together an avoidance set, but I like being able to handle ALL THE MOBS.
8. What tanking class do you enjoy tanking with most and why?
Much to the sadness of my Paladin brethren, I love tanking alongside a warrior. I think between the two classes, we can handle anything that comes at us. With my self-healing capabilities, a warrior’s gap closers, and all the effective cooldowns we have available to us, I think that we work well together. It’s something about 2 shield toting buddies running at a dreggin that keeps it fun!
9. What tanking class do you enjoy tanking with least and why?
I have a vague understanding of Death Knight tanking, from tanking my only geared alt Blood for grins (questing, no instancing so far). I don’t understand bear tanks at all. I know nothing about their coolddowns and I’m not sure what they can bring to the table that works well with what I have to offer. Same deal with Death Knights.
10. What is your worst habit as a tank?
I jump. A LOT. I jump for no reason at all. I jump when I tank, I jump when I wait for a pull. It may be part of the race, but it drives people batty. I also either go all out on CDs, or I completely forget about them because I’m so focused on something else (avoiding fire, grabbing adds, etc).
11. What is your biggest pet peeve in a group environment while tanking?
People’s lack of awareness. I’m usually told that I am a very aware tank–I have a large expanse of monitor space (30″ of flatscreen goodness) to see what’s going on in the game (which is why all my recordings have everyone looking REALLY TINY), and when I see people not observing their surroundings, running into bad, getting too close to someone, etc., it frustrates me. I make it a goal to bring my A game each time I’m running with others. When other people don’t want to put forth that effort for the team, it bothers me. I realize there’s a lot going on for everyone, but being aware of your surroundings can be the difference between a wipe and a kill.
12. Do you feel that your class/spec is well balanced with other tanks for tanking?
I think Paladins and Warriors play well together. I think that Death Knights are still lacking some of the abilities that Paladins and Warriors have (AoE taunt anyone?), and bears could also be in a weird situation, but as I mentioned earlier, I know zilch about bear tanking. I wish that Blizzard had done a better job of addressing tank concerns in their Ask the Devs Tank discussion–I think that Death Knights really got screwed there–they had some very valid concerns that needed to be addressed, and they were basically ignored.
13. What tools do you use to evaluate your own performance as a tank?
I use my guildies as my primary tool. We have some incredible DPS that can keep me on the edge of my seat at the beginning of a pull. If I can stay ahead of them and push some serious threat, then I know I’m performing well. I keep an eye on my threat via Omen and use it to let me know if I need to push harder. I also spend time looking over every World of Logs report from our fights to see if there were any moments I took spike damage, if there was any trending that I could find looking over attempts or past kills. I look to see what killed me, how much healing I was requiring from our healers, etc. A tank is only as good as the knowledge they have!
14. What do you think is the biggest misconception people have about your tanking class?
A lot of people look back at Paladins in Wrath and think “2 button wonders” who could generate HUGE amounts of threat and basically AFK. And you know what? I was a lazy tank in Wrath. Threat on a Paladin was incredible. The running joke was that I was going through my “max threat” rotation with one hand and checking my email on my laptop. I was regularly zoned out while tanking, and it didn’t require much effort in Wrath. With the changes in Cataclysm, we do need to work to generate threat and KEEP it. I have to intelligently use my skills to stay ahead of the DPS threat curve. While Paladins may have been AFK and WIN tanks, we do have to work and earn our threat like Warriors, Druids, and Death Knights currently do. People haven’t caught up with this sometimes :)
15. What do you feel is the most difficult thing for new tanks of your class to learn?
Learning how to quickly and efficiently generate threat, and how to use their cooldowns, and to REMEMBER their cooldowns. Nothing is more frustrating for me than when I am not on my Paladin and I have a Paladin as my tank, and they don’t know how to use what they’ve got. I’ve had Tankadins who do nothing but Judge and Crusader Strike. I’ve had tanks who have a boss at 1%, haven’t used a single CD, and ask me “what?” when I’m frantically typing in chat “LoH! USE LOH!” while I lay on the floor with the rest of the party.
Please please PLEASE take time to study the spells in your spellbook. Take the time to do some reading on various websites (Rhidach writes a great and easy to understand Tankadin weekly column on WoW Insider if you don’t want to get deep into the numbers), take time to learn about what gear you should be using (Int gloves, Agi rings, and DW Blood DKs are just SOME of the things I’ve been told about in LFD lately). There’s a wealth of knowledge out there just waiting to be looked at!
16. So, how about that whole vengeance mechanic, eh?
It’s great when it kicks in, but raiding with a Frost DK, a Boomkin, and some crazy Hunter DPS? The rockiest part of a fight is the first pull and trying to push as much threat out as possible so I can beat them in the race to the top. Once Vengeance is active and I’ve got a good stack of it, I’m good and able to focus on other things, but I describe each pull as “balls to the wall” due to our DPS!
17. Stamina, Combat Table Coverage, or total Damage Reduction?
CTC baby! The fact that I’ve almost capped (and will definitely cap this Tier) the table with coverage makes me a happy camper. I like when my healers say “You are so easy to heal”–it makes me feel like I’m making their lives easier–and everyone knows, you want to keep the healers happy. If the healers aren’t happy, your raid is dying! You never want to have a healer who hates healing you–because then they aren’t having fun and you’re stressing about the hits that you’re going to take. If I don’t have to worry about my healer’s stress, then I’m able to focus on my task at hand.
18. What tanking class do you feel you understand least?
Bears–if you want to talk Bear to me, I will give you a very confused expression. I just don’t understand Druids all that well. I’ve been an awful Cat, a better Boomkin, and a decent tree in a past life. I never got Bears in all my WoW years.
19. What add-ons or macros do you use, if any, to aid you in tanking?
I use an overall formatted UI called RealUI, which addresses a lot of the visibility concerns that I normally have. The addons I use while tanking are as follows: HealBot, TidyPlates, Omen, Recount, DBM, and RSA.
I use a couple macros while tanking, but not many!
For pushing debuffs off:
/cancelaura Divine Shield
/cast Divine Shield
For absorbing my cotank’s incoming damage (great on Shannox!):
/cast [@focus] Hand of Sacrifice
Cho’gall interrupt fun (why yes, I top the meters!):
/cast Avenger’s Shield
All the macros came from a blog post that Rhidach had done on WI a while back. They get regular use!
20. Do you strive primarily for balance between your tanking stats (stam, mastery, avoidance), or do you stack some much higher than others, and why?
I’m a Mastery junkie, which has pushed me over 61% block (which isn’t bad considering I JUST started raiding again when 4.2 hit). I focus first on Mastery, and then work to balance my avoidance stats out due to diminishing returns. The fact that healing me has been described as Cruise Control Healing by my healers is comforting–they aren’t worried about me suddenly losing a large chunk of my health and having to go into panic mode to keep me up. I think my focus on Mastery has benefits for myself and my healers, and happy healers result in an alive tank!
Even though I’m a dirty Horde Paladin according to Vosskah, I’m going to tag him as the next tank that I want to see participate in this Circle of Tanking!
Thanks for reading!
The ferocious flamewalkers of Firelands are terrifying enough, but Shannox has brought companions to his side in defense of the Firelands. This mighty hunter will require that you find a way to deal with his blazing pets before he burns you to a crisp.
Shannox, the chief hunter of Ragnaros’ domain, the Firelands, is an incredibly fun boss fight that requires awareness and clear communication between the raid members to have a successful kill.
The Raid Group
Due to July 4th being a holiday in the States, we were having issues fielding a raid with very short notice on July 3rd in order for us to try and get some attempts in on Shannox. Phone calls were made, Trade and General were bothered and we eventually got started. We were running with a non-normal comp, so we were trying to make due with what we had until more guild members trickled home.
We started working through trash, swapping PuGged members out as necessary, and had some spectacular trash deaths when we got over zealous and bit off more than we could chew!
We probably poked around with trash for over an hour trying to get Shannox’s emotes to continue before he finally spawned, practically on top of us due to a missing 3rd emote! Thanks for the warning buddy!
When we were settling in for our last collection of attempts, our raid group was populated as follows:
- Protection Warrior – Shannox
- Protection Paladin – Riplimb
- Holy Paladin – Shannox Tank
- Restoration Druid – Riplimb Tank
- Holy Priest – Raid
- Frost Death Knight
- Beast Mastery Hunter
- Marksmanship Hunter
- Frost Mage
- Enhancement Shaman
The Sweet Spot
Once we had Shannox active, we moved into our preferred spot for the boss fight. We like to use the southwestern part of the Molten Fields, over near Beth’tilac’s Lair, for our fight.
We messed with positioning several times, trying to position Riplimb far enough away from Shannox but still stay within 60 yards of each other to avoid the enrage that happens when they get too far apart. There was also the challenge of finding Crystal Prisons to stash Riplimb into right before Shannox tosses his harpoon. Utilizing the Crystal Prisons helps the tanks drop their Jagged Tear stacks, which reduces stress on the healers.
We ended up using (roughly) the positioning pictured below:
This gave us enough movement for me to drag Riplimb to the Crystal Prisons, Shannox’s tank to maintain the 60 yard radius, and still allow us enough spacing for harpoon tosses and AoEs.
The intelligent use of the Crystal Prisons (IE, not by your raid team) can make or break this fight.
Both tanks are taking a bleed from Shannox and Riplimb that is called Jagged Tear. Jagged Tear is a stacking debuff that deals 3000 damage every 3 seconds for 30 seconds. If Riplimb can be stashed into a Crystal Prison right before Shannox’s spear lands, it enables the tanks to drop their stacks of the debuff (Shannox is applying Jagged Tear via his harpoon–if he is not in possession of the harpoon, the Shannox tank can drop his stacks) before picking up their respective mobs again.
Riplimb can be afflicted by a buff called Wary, which enables him to be immune to traps. If Riplimb pops Wary, the Riplimb tank will be unable to trap the dog just prior to the harpoon toss, which will result in the inability to shed Jagged Tear stacks.
If tanks are unable to drop their stacks, their incoming damage will skyrocket. The graph below shows my incoming damage after several failed traps due to Wary–I was carrying multiple stacks. If the timing is good, I can pop Divine Shield to let stacks fall off, but that’s assuming I have less than 8 seconds left on my stacks. In the graph below, I was unable to drop stacks and there were some stressful moments for both my healer and I!
Our strat for Shannox was as follows:
- Tanks pick up their targets and move into position.
- DPS begin to whittle down Rageface, keeping in mind that a 30K hit is needed to have him drop his focus (AKA his Face Rage target) AND that whoever performs the hit will proceed to tank Rageface 15 seconds.
- Should Rageface end up in a trap, all DPS switches to Riplimb.
- The Riplimb tank is targeting Crystal Prisons (the dark red hunter looking traps) for preparation for a harpoon toss to trap Riplimb (and being mindful of the Wary buff).
- Riplimb tank traps Riplimb when the harpoon graphic appears and hangs out waiting for Riplimb to retrieve the harpoon, deliver it to Shannox and run back. If Riplimb cannot be trapped, both tanks will need to kite their respective mobs until their Jagged Tear stacks fall off.
- DPS kills Rageface, which gives Shannox the Frenzy buff, which increases attack speed by 30% and physical damage dealt by 30%.
- Ranged DPS swaps to Riplimb and take him down to 6% before switching over to Shannox and pushing him to around 35%.
- If the Riplimb tank hasn’t killed Riplimb by this point, ranged switch to Riplimb, kill him (which applies a second stack of Frenzy to the Shannox tank), and all CDs are blown. At this point, our hunters were MDing Shannox onto me in case we lost our warrior tank. You are now in a DPS race to kill Shannox before he kills your tanks.