Yogg-Saron is not your average tank and spank type of fight. In fact, there is an entire phase were we aren’t really tanking anything at all, that phase being Phase 2. Here is some advice for how to remain “useful” during this Phase and really help your raid do what needs to be done.
- Interrupting Diminishing Power. The Crusher tentacles have a channeled ability called Diminishing Power that, while active, reduces all damage raid-wide by 20%. This can stack if you have more than one Crusher up at a time. Tanks should be running around and interrupting this ability to keep the raid-wide DPS as high as possible throughout this phase. Heroic Throw is amazing for stopping the channel without getting in range of the Crusher’s punishing melee damage. Note: shooting it with a gun will not stop the cast, you have to use a melee ability to successfully interrupt.
- Sunder Armor and Shattering Throw. When a Crusher becomes active your first priority, after stopping Diminishing Power, is to get five Sunders up on any of the Crushers that are being actively DPSed. While this will only directly help your Hunters during the brain phase, once the tentacles are stunned and your melee can jump on they will already be hitting a fully-debuffed tentacle. Remember to put up Shattering Throw on the tentacle once they are stunned as well and you can really watch your melee just go to town.
If you have any more tips for tanking Phase 2 of the Yogg-Saron fight, feel free to post here.
Popularity: 24% [?]
Say hello to my new favorite progression enchant, Blood Draining!
How it works is that as you attack the target you gain up to five stacks of a buff called Blood Reserve, which combined can heal you for up to 2,200. That doesn’t sound like a whole lot but then again the amount healed isn’t really the best part of the enchant. The best part is that the enchant fires off automatically when you are reduced to under 35% of your total health pool. That means that it works much like the old Commendation of Kael’thas but instead of giving you dodge raiting it fires off a little extra heal for you. Does the 2,200 number not excite you? Well let’s look at some numbers:
The effect of a full five stack of Blood Reserve going off and healing you is equivalent to drinking a nearly maximized Super Healing Potion! “That’s not amazing, it’s just a Super Healing Potion,” I hear some of you saying and while it’s true you might be forgetting two things:
- It’s automatic. You never have to think about using it, it just fires off the instant you fall below 35% health.
- Potion Sickness. The days of being able to chain-chug pots as an oh-shit button are gone. We know this and we aren’t happy about it but we’ve adapted. I just recently looked at a WWS report from our Auriaya kill this week and I noticed that a healthstone I used gave me 4,337 health but, again, I could only use it once and I had to trigger it. I regained a total of 8,828 health from Blood Draining over the course of the same fight, that’s the same amount of healing as if I had used an additional two healthstones!
Bear in mind, however, that while Blood Draining is fantastic for progression fights where your raid might be a little under geared or new to the content that you’re attempting, it will be very much wasted if you are doing farm content since it will rarely, if ever, proc. If you are looking at farm content, look at other enchants.
Popularity: 70% [?]
Last night my guild was making progress on Auriaya in 25-man Ulduar and we got a string of unlucky breaks in terms of situational damage. Instead of boring you with details I’ll just say that I ended up taking a ridiculous amount of damage in a very short period of time. Directly after this huge damage spike four things happend; I blew Shield Wall, the discipline priest used Pain Suppression, I got Lay on Hands from on of our Paladins and to top it all off I got Guardian Spirit from one of our holy priests.
The only way to describe that is with a single word and that word is “overkill”. All in all it wasn’t exactly a stellar use of cooldowns but I lived so who cares, right? Well you can bet your ass that the entire raid did about a minute or so later when I took another huge string of damage and died because everyone was out of OH SHIT buttons to use on me.
Normally communication between our healers and tanks is very good but this is one of those times when it broke down and the entire raid suffered for it. It is hugely important that the tanks build a good rapport with the healers. Communication needs to be instantaneous whether it’s through raid warnings, class channels or over Vent. If someone uses a cooldown I need to know about it and so does everyone else so that situations like what I described above are as limited as possible.
Be good to yourself, be good to your raid and above all, be good to your healers. You’ll thank me later.
Polgera says: I’d like to just say the best thing you can do for your healer is to communicate well. My personal pet peeve is when a tank goes down and the tank who then picks it up doesn’t call it out. Sometimes a taunt war ensues and healers are left in the dark as to who is actually going to be tanking the boss. Please call it out on vent it prevents wipes and I guarnetee it will lower your healer’s blood pressure.
Popularity: 69% [?]
Okay so maybe 1001 is pushing it, but Intervene is such a potent and versatile tool that we have in our Warrior arsenal it’s a shame that 90% of the time, if they use it at all, you’ll only see tanks using it to peel a mob off of a DPSer or a healer who pulled aggro. There is a big problem with this mentality and that is that if you are running with a good group you’ll never ever use this ability.
Intervene is an extremely powerful ability when used in other ways, here are some examples:
- Pulls. Intervene is great for making those pulls that are too far away from your raid group, but need to be moved into another room either due to the pathing of other mobs or a bosses or because they have casters and you need to LOS them around a corner. Think back to Karazhan and the Arcane Anomalies directly before Curator. Since Curator paths right through the room that these mobs are in it is beneficial to have a raid member stand near the door way into the adjacent room, pull the mobs and Intervene back to your meatshie-errr, fellow raider. This will significantly reduce the amount of damage you take while getting back to your raid while also reducing the chance that you will put other raid members in unnecessary danger.
- Removing roots and stuns. With the addition of Warbringer to the game, Intervene is even more amazing since you can use it to break roots and snares just by Intervening to a party or raid member who’s nearby.
- Increased mobility. Imagine tanking the adds in phase one for Gothik the Harvester: you can charge a mob that’s far away, Shield Slam it then immediately Intervene back to a party member and grab another mob who just spawned. If you use some Heroic Throws you can handle an entire side by yourself and look like a total rock star while doing it, too.
- Corpse runs. There is nothing like annoying Rogues and Mages by being able to make your way from the back of the raid to the front of it after a wipe by using Intervene numerous times to get there. Throw in some Swiftness Potions and you can get some serious giggles out of it. Sometimes you have to just do little things to keep your spirits up after a series of crushing wipes and I find that this helps me. It’s self-prescribed therapy.
- Reducing aggro. What? Reducing aggro? Why would I want to do this? Well the last half of the tooltip reads, “as well as reducing their total threat by 10%” so why not use that to our advantage? Pretend for a second you’re tanking Malygos (arguably one of the only fights in the game where aggro matters at this point) and a Fury Warrior is right on your heels when Malygos begins to fly to the center of the platform to use Vortex. If you quickly Intervene to him you can knock his threat down by 10%.
Remember that lots of abilities can be used drastically differently then the way their tooltip states and the more of these uses you can find, the better tank you’ll be!
Popularity: 87% [?]
You’ve just hit 80! Congratulations! But I can see you asking yourself, “now what?” Well, read along. I’m going to assume in this guide that you leveled as Fury or Arms and haven’t picked up a single piece of tanking gear along the way and you are a loner with no friends who can craft anything for you.
Drops from heroics and badge items will be included in another post later this week.
Step One – Reputation
The very first thing you’re going to want to do is make sure you’ve done all of the quests in Dragonblight that have to do with the Wyrmrest Accord, this will save you massive amounts of time getting to Revered and picking up their amazing tanking pieces. I completely missed the long question chain that starts with A Strange Device and it cost me; don’t be like me. This quest chain also leads to the ability to do the Wyrmrest Accord daily which you should run every day until that magical limit has been reached.
- Honored – Cloak of Peaceful Resolutions
- Revered – Breastplate of the Solemn Council
- Revered – Sabatons of Draconic Vigor
Make sure to pick up your tabard and wear it in level 80 dungeons! Once you hit Revered, switch it out with the Argent Crusade Tabard and start working your way to Revered with them for the helm enchant.
Step Two – Crafted BoE Items
If you know a blacksmith, are a blacksmith, or have some gold laying around to spend on the Auction House, then I highly recommend getting these pieces to bump you up to the defense cap. These items should last you quite a while until you replace them with pieces from Naxx and heroics.
- Tempered Saronite Belt – 6x Cobalt Bars, 5x Saronite Bars
- Tempered Saronite Bracers - 13x Saronite Bars
- Tempered Saronite Gauntlets – 14x Saronite Bars
- Saronite Bulwark – 14x Saronite Bars
Total materials: 46 Saronite Bars, 6 Cobalt Bars.
Popularity: 41% [?]
There has been a lot of false information spread around the bowels of the internet lately about what the actual stat caps are for a tanking warrior at level 80. I’ve read up on TankSpot, Elitist Jerks and Something Awful (I highly recommend all of these links, by the way) to bring you the end-all-be-all of what you should be looking for as a tank in terms of your stats.
Defense for raiding: 540
Defense for heroics: 535
Hit (level 83 boss): 295 raiting
Expertise (remove dodges): 25
Expertise (remove parries): 57
If you would rather look at raiting required then these are the numbers you need:
Defense: 689 defense rating
Expertise (dodge): 205 expertise rating
Expertise (parry): ~500 expertise rating
Hit: 295 hit rating
Here’s stat conversion at level 80:
1% hit = ~32.8 hit rating
1% dodge/parry reduction = ~32.8 expertise rating
1 expertise = 8.1975 expertise rating
1 defense = 4.9 defense rating
Popularity: 20% [?]
When I first hit 70, I ran heroic Mechanaar only twice before the Sun Eater dropped for me. Other tanks in my guild had run it until Exalted without even seeing it drop, let alone getting it. Well apparently the World of Warcraft gods are cruel and unforgiving because I have run heroic Utgarde Pinnicle every day since dinging 80 and the Red Sword of Courage has yet to show it’s face to me.
A priest, a hunter and a DPS warrior in my guild have for Pete’s sake, but I haven’t even seen it drop. In the meantime I’ve had the Abomination Shoulderblades drop from Gluth in Naxx-10 (which according to WoWHead have a drop rate of 0.7% from Gluth since he drops everything else in the zone). My frustration has peaked to the point where the others who have it wear it around me before pulls and I’m going crazy.
Not to mention the Hammer of Quiet Mourning is one of the ugliest models and skins in the game.
Anyone else running into frustrating drop rates?
UPDATE (12/5/08): Woohoo it finally dropped for me!
Popularity: 17% [?]
This topic recently came up in a thread on TankSpot so I figured I’d give it a go myself in writing something up about it, perhaps I’ll even make it an on-going series of subject matter here provided anyone is interested.
There are exactly two instances I can think of off of the top of my head where it is okay to taunt a mob off of another tank. Hopefully you guys will help me think of a couple more.
- Boss strategy. When a boss encounter calls for it, like Vashj. When the main tank gets rooted (pre-Warbringer anyway) or stunned during Phase 1 or 3, it’s important for the OT to immediately pick her up.
- To preserve another tank. When you might be out of range of healers and the tank that has a mob is about to die. A good example of this is the Infernals that drop during Kaz’rogal and Azgalor trash in Hyjal. Another example was on our Illidan kill last night; one of our Flame tanks went down and I stepped in long enough for the first one to die, then the living Flame tank taunted it back off of me.
This means that if the situation you find yourself in doesn’t fall into one of the top two categories, do not taunt off of another tank. I don’t care if you’re a better tank or better geared or whatever the excuse is, it is a slap in the face of the other tank if you do this. On a very basic level you are saying to that tank that you do not trust them to do their job.*
We all accidentally taunt, just because you do doesn’t make you a terrible tank but please apologize for it. A quick, “sorry about that, Bob the Tank” in Vent can help smooth it all over and stop a potential flare-up from occurring. And believe me when I say that they will know what you’re apologizing for.
There is one situation in which taunting off of another tank’s target is acceptable, though it still isn’t the best idea in the world, and that is AOE tanking. As far as I’m concerned in these hectic situations as long as the mobs are not on the DPS or the healers it not a problem and you should not take someone taunting off of you personally, you should be happy that you are all doing your job and not allowing the raid to take unnecessary damage.*If you really don’t trust the other tank, instead of taunting off of them stop bringing them to raids.
Popularity: 16% [?]
Last night my guild did a run of 7/9 bosses in BT, downing both Reliquary of Souls and Mother when we had never seen either of those bosses before. To top it all off, we downed Mother when 50% of the raid wasn’t wearing any shadow resist gear and the other 50% had maybe 110 resist tops. We had an alchemist in the raid who made 20 or so Shadow Resist potions that the DPS and healers drank at when Mother hit 50% health. I have no idea how effective that was but we killed her and that’s what matters.
I have to be honest: the trash leading up to both of those bosses are an absolute blast with the new Protection changes, and the trash in Hyjal was so much more fun when we ran that on Tuesday. I had never seen any of that trash so being able to not only see the new content but tank it all was exhilarating.
Now some bragging: I got my Onslaught Shoulderguards! I have never been a fan of the look of the Destroyer Shoulderguards so this is a change I’m pretty happy with for both the upgrade and the anesthetics. Unfortunately my T5 looked better with the rest of my gear so I’m back to rollin’ through instances in a clownsuit but the shoulders were such a huge upgrade I just don’t care.
I was then faced with the dilemma of gemming. As you guys recall from my previous post about tanking gemming in the expansion, I said that hit gems into yellow slots and strength/stamina gems into red slots would probably be the way to go. Old habits die hard, though, and I ended up socketing for two +15 stamina gems and ignoring the socket bonus.
I just don’t know if it’s worth it at this point in the game to completely change the way I’m gemming because, frankly, threat has not been an issue since the patch went live so I might as well socket for survivability, right?
Popularity: 8% [?]
Last night after everyone got their UI problems out of the way, we grabbed 10 guild mates and ran Karazhan to check out the new abilities of our classes in a low-stress enviornment.
We did a complete clear in one hour and ten minutes. That’s right: one hour and ten minutes. This includes a wipe on Curator because I’m dumb and pulled all of the trash and him on accident. This includes me pulling and holding the entire audience on our way to Opera because I thought it would be funny. This includes pulling an entire table group, a Skeletal Waiter, all of the Moroes adds and Moroes himself and then tanking them on my own while we AOE’d them down.
According to WWS, here were the times on our boss fights:
- Attumen: 55 seconds. Single-tanked.
- Moroes: 1 minute, 15 seconds. Single-tanked all adds and a bunch of trash mobs we pulled on accident.
- Maiden: 36 seconds.
- Opera (R&J): 42 seconds. AOE’d them down while standing on top of each other.
- Nightbane: 3 minutes, 57 seconds. This would have been a lot shorter if he didn’t take off every 25%. He never got a chance to fear.
- Curator: 1 minute, 21 seconds. Never got to use Evocation.
- Illhoof: 52 seconds.
- Aran: 1 minute, 7 seconds.
- Netherspite: 52 seconds. Never went into Nether-form.
- Prince: 1 minute, 14 seconds. Only one Infernal landed.
I can hear you out there asking what the point of this post is other than tooting my own horn but the point is…
Get in there and do some stuff you haven’t done before. There is no better time for PUGs than now.
It’s experiance that will last you well into the expansion. Plus, it’s just damn fun.
Popularity: 10% [?]