I’d like to make a short post here about our BQL 10 strategy, because people tend to look at me like I’m completely insane when I describe how we do this.
We use a zerg-like strategy – two heals, six DPS, a tank, and an “off tank” in DPS gear (me). This stresses the healers, but allows us to put enough DPS on the boss to take her down before she hits the second air phase.
Tanking & Offtanking BQL
The OT takes damage from two things – Delerious Slash, a nasty DOT; and Blood Mirror, which mirrors the damage the MT takes in the form of pure shadow damage.
There are basically three ways to mitigate the Offtank damage:
1) The MT can stack armor. This will reduce the size of the Blood Mirror hits to the OT.
2) The OT can stack pure stamina to absorb all that shadow damage.
3) The OT can (I hear) stack shadow resist. We haven’t tried this.
Armor is extremely helpful in this fight – the more armor the MT has, the less damage both tanks take through the Blood Mirror mechanic. Armor, of course, does nothing for the OT. His damage is pure shadow damage. The MT can hold BQL throughout the fight, or the tanks can trade her off and cycle their cooldowns to reduce total damage done.
That having been said…
We sort of throw all that out the window by putting the OT in DPS gear.
Using a DPS as Off Tank
As the offtank, I remain in Prot spec, but I throw on my Ret spec gear, my “threat” axe and my shield. I go sword/board because half my protty abilities require a shield.
This allows me to crank out about 5.5k DPS while remaining in prot spec, giving me access to prot’s superior stamina scaling & Divine Shield/Divine Guardian for the air phases.
I sit on the main tank, with Righteous Fury off, doing a modified version of my rotation to optimize my DPS. When she flies into the air, I bubble out and pop Divine Sacrifice. (I don’t use my cancel macro; the idea is to help my party!)
This works if your healers can handle those Blood Mirror hits on an “offtank” (or a pure DPS) with a health pool around 32k when all buffed up. Our heals are absurdly badass, so we do it this way.
I’m pretty sure this strat is only viable on 10 man. :)
Personally, if I’m going to be wearing DPS gear anyways, I’d rather go all the way and switch to ret spec, significantly raising my DPS. My HP pool shouldn’t suffer much from the reduced stamina scaling, although my healers about had kittens when I suggested it… I’d have to stack a little stamina to make them happier, I think.
I was instructed to stay in prot spec so I still had Divine Sacrifice, which I pop on both the first and (if we have one) second air phase. Well, imo, we have three pallies specced into DS, I should be able to do without it… but I’m not calling the shots. We do it this way, and it works.
One day, I might secretly pop into ret spec, flask up for HP, put a stam piece or two on and see if it works. :) Until then, I will just sigh and keep going half-prot half-ret…
Is my raid the only raid that does it this way?
I thought this strat made a great deal of sense when it was explained to me. My healers are certainly able to deal with it. Our trouble with this fight was rarely with me dying; it was more with DPS figuring out how to deal with the many crazy damage-causing mechanics.
But when I tell people I off tank in my DPS gear, they look at me like I’m crazy. “OF COURSE we use two tanks!” “Why the hell don’t you stack stamina?!” or “We taunt trade to cycle through our cooldowns” are usually the responses I get.
Huh. Well, it works for us! This is a damn tightly tuned fight, even on 10 man, and if the MT & the healers are willing to sacrifice about 20k of my health pool to take my DPS up a little, I’m not going to argue.
The ICC 10 man fights aren’t nearly as unforgiving as the 25 man fights, especially for a raid in largely 25 man gear. Our strat is completely viable, if a little nerve wracking for the healers. I have a feeling this is one of those fights that will come to be single-tanked as more 10 mans get comfortable with it. Especially as the Strength of Wrynn buff increases DPS and health pools.
Please tell me if you also use a DPS as the off tank (or a DPS/tank hybrid, the way I do it). I’d like to know that we’re not the only ones!