Archive for the '10 Man Raiding' Category

Lich King Blues

My 10 man raid hit the Lich King last night for the third serious time. It ended ….. poorly. I really wish we could take the same group every week, but real life keeps getting in the way and we’ve always got two rotating spots.

Sindragosa was a pain again this week. I’ll look forward to the day when we can kill her without losing anyone to the AE, without messing up ice blocks, and without killing her right on the enrage. Anyways, we had about two hours on LK last night with two people who’d not seen the fight before.

Well, not all was bad. I privately compete with two other 10 man teams on the server run by friends, and I know we’re doing better than both. One of them can’t get out of phase one due to cleansing troubles, and the other is still stuck on Sindragosa. So that’s a yay! \o/ At least we’re on phase 2.

For reference, my 10 man usually 2 heals but switches to three for K. We have two pally tanks (I am the OT) and 5 DPS around 6k.

Phase One

Phase one is easy as long as the offtank cleanses herself on time (lawl). We haven’t had a rogue to FoK Tricks me for two weeks, and I was worried about grabbing enough ghouls, but it doesn’t honestly seem to matter. The MT always ended up with most of them while I grab as many as I could, and even a few ghouls on me was just fine. Phase 1 is easy for is now.

The MT is often complaining that Arthas jumps around if the adds are tanked too close- yay for unfixed positioning bugs! So I end up backing up a bit more than I expected at first. This makes it a little bit more difficult to grab ghouls – and if I get too far away, I can’t really get back without being extremely careful about where I point Shambling Horrors. So I often find myself with just 2 or 3 ghouls & too far away from the MT for my cleave damage to pick up more.

This worried me at first. But after a while I realized – it’s ok.

I keep encountering this situation in tanking – a problematic situation is sometimes much easier to deal with if I just relax, don’t panic, and avoid overcorrecting. It’s OK if I’m a bit further away. My raid is smart and knows how to run over to the adds to get cleansed, even if they have to run a few extra steps. If I’m really short on ghouls, I can just taunt a few, or warn my MT on vent and RD him, or RD off a dps or healer if they snag some ghouls. By the time I’m short on ghouls, phase 1 is almost over and plague has jumped enough that it’s gonna kill my second Horror just fine when it hits him.

I roll Seal of Command in p1 since I like the cleave effect to pick up ghouls.

We didn’t bother to tranq any of the Horror enrages. I just saved my stuns. Between Holy Wrath, Captain America Shield, and Hammer of Justice, I was fine.

Anyways, like I said, phase 1 was easy. Our healers especially appreciated the fact that we had a disc priest along this week. Apparently his bubbles are OP for Infest.

Phase Transition

Things that make Phase Transition more interesting: OT forgets to cleanse herself! \o/ Or, ranged runs towards OT as she is clearing herself of the raid to cleanse herself! No, don’t do that! I only have a few seconds to clear myself of the raid, don’t make my life harder! Anyways…. the phase transition is not difficult for us either.

Our lock solos the ice spheres.

Raging Spirits seem to die with agonizing slowness. I don’t know why they die so slowly. Our DPS is not low – although we are very, very used to 2 healing everything, so it’s odd to have one less DPS. Maybe they have a ton of HP – I don’t know. I’m always looking at percentages. I guess they must be pretty hard to kill.

The MT takes the first one, and I usually grab both the second and third. In practice, this means I’m tanking two at full HP as the LK moves into Phase 2.

Phase Two

Phase two is made much more fun and interesting by the fact that I have never seen all my spirits die before we wipe. I get into phase 2 with two very live spirits on me; the best we’ve done is kill one. Therefore I spend the whole time tanking hard-hitting adds with an awesome frontal silence! I drag them to the center, pile them on Arthas, and strafe over- so the adds are sitting on top of the LK but they’re not facing the raid or the MT. And theoretically they get burned down first, before the Valkyr comes out and becomes a priority.

The Valkyrs are problematic. They have a ton – just an absolute ton – of HP. I mean it. Damn things don’t die. I try to get a Hammer of Justice on them; if I see someone stun them first, I wait and throw my HoJ when I see theirs wear off. At least, that’s how it should go. We seem to be pretty short on snares. I did a WOL search though and all three of our pallies – me, the MT, and our pally healer – are stunning them. What other snares do we have access to? IDK… the fucking things just don’t die fast enough.

We managed to save one or two raidmembers this week, which was an improvement over last week.

And we also managed to not cover the entire floor with Defile four out of seven times! \o/

Look, it’s the little things that count, OK?

Final Note

A clarification on my Raging Spirit whining.

I realize that the third one spawns right before Quake; the mechanics of the fight are such that I will always have that third one in phase 2. Here is my problem with them. I end up in the center in phase 2 with an add at 100% and one around 80%. IN PHASE 2. The valkyr spawns when one raging spirit is half dead and the other is untouched. So yeah… my opinion is that DPS on them is being slow right now >>

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The Fastest Way to ICC from Dalaran

Getting to Icecrown Citadel from Dalaran is a bit of a pain in the ass.

I mean, first of all, there’s no flight path, which sucks. I’ve been spoiled by recent raids – TOC and Ulduar both had paths!

Don’t give me any of this “Anafielle, you have a 310 speed mount and crusader aura – it doesn’t get much faster than that!” bullshit. Look. Pointing myself in the right direction and zoning out is still more irritating than paying some taxi driver to get me there while I go down into the kitchen and mix myself a pre raid martini.

And not only do you actually have to FLY there, but furthermore, Dalaran itself gets in your way. Since Krasus’ Landing is on the wrong side of the city from ICC, you can’t fly straight there – you have to avoid the huge No Fly Zone that is the city. Like many of my raiding cohorts, I often find myself playing the “let’s see how far I can fly in the debuff area before I fall off my mount and have to float down through half the zone at a snail’s pace!” game.

And don’t give me any of that “But at least you’re a pally! You can click off the debuff and bubble right before you hit the ground!” bullshit. Look. I have three buttons on my keyboard. One of them is taunt. The other is my entire 96969 macro’d to a single key. The third is bubble/hearth, but you can’t hearth while you’re falling. No reason to confuse myself with more buttons.

Anyways.

There is another way.

Credit goes to Boogelawoof, a good real life friend and badass shammy healer. He discovered this gem of a method to get to ICC.

Hey everyone. So I hate going to IC from Krasus’ Landing cause I’ve been demounted an floated for days half way across the map. As such, I’ve been toying with ways to get to IC from alternate starting points. Some people that tried it out said I should put it on the forum so here I am.

Go to the purple parlor and walk outside. You can mount up there and it’s a beeline to IC. in case you don’t know how to get there, you have to go through the portal in the violet citadel that is opposite of the caverns of time portal. So you go right instead of left after you go up the big stairs. That is all, you may all go back to your day now.

A LIFE CHANGING DISCOVERY!

Look, I don’t care if this is not actually shorter than the traditional way. It’s probably just about the same length. However, it wins – absolutely wins – in terms of convenience. I’m alliance, so my hearth is right next door to the Violet Citadel. I’m always logged off in the Alliance Inn, the alliance-side bank, or the Jewelcrafting shop. Violet Citadel is practically closer than Krasus’ Landing.

Get there – zip through the portal – mount up – and fly in a straight shot to ICC!

Try it out. If you’re immensely lazy like me and dislike silly inconveniences like flying around a huge no-fly zone like Dalaran, you’ll love this new way to ICC.

Blood Queen Lanathel (10) Zerg Strategy

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.


This is what we do.

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. :)

Variations

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…

Comments!

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!

Blood Princes: I am no Orb Whisperer

My 10 man is 10/12 now, which is close enough to the Lich King that we have moved into “focus focus power through” mode.

Unfortunately, Blood Princes and Blood Queen Lanathel decided to be assholes this week and set us back by about an hour apiece before we finally killed them, limiting our time on Sindragosa. Because Blood Princes in general frustrates me, I wanted to rant about it today.

Smack Those Balls

We don’t use a ranged tank. We use me (prot pally) instead, while the MT takes both the other two. So, basically, I run around the room collecting Dark Nuclei while keeping Keleseth as my focus, throwing Hammer of Wrath on him to keep my threat high.

Yes. I am the ball collector. This involves lots of cute comments in /raid. “Don’t ignore the balls, Halleigh!” “You’re our ball expert.” “I’m sure you’re used to chasing balls around all night.” “Don’t hit them too hard. Gently.” Mmmhmm.

Anyway. For a while, I could not figure out why I had so much fucking trouble with this. Those balls just do not stick. They float away. Uncontrollably! I can’t figure out why they leave sometimes. It can’t be healing aggro! And they die – very, very quickly. I try to load a lot of threat onto them, in case they are being ripped off me by healers, but all this does is kill them faster. I usually had 4 or 5 balls when Keleseth activated. Then, the raid came over to kick his ass, suddenly I find myself with 1 or 2, panicking.

I started to figure out what was going on.

1) It appears from looking around on the internet that they don’t really have an aggro table; they just latch onto whoever hit them last.

2) It seems like there are only a total of 6 (?) balls in the room at any given time. Instead of keeping 5 almost-dead balls on me, I began paying close attention to their HP and burning down the almost-dead ones in favor of grabbing a new, full-HP ball.

I have a feeling that when the raid came over to DPS Keleseth their splash damage was both ripping balls off me and killing them

My job was not really the problem. Seemed like we were wiping for execution problems in other places. But I was still frustrated! Silly balls, stick to me next time please!

Frustrated with my Ret DPS

Last night I came along to a guild 10m OS3d run – they were happy to bring me, since I already have the drake. :) I should have tanked it, but I actually requested to come along as DPS.

I had an ulterior motive. I wanted to test out my Ret DPS. I sometimes have to go ret for those increasingly rare 1 tank fights. My DPS set is full of nice gear from badges, ICC10, and TOGC10 and there is no excuse not to be pulling competitive DPS.

I was exceptionally disappointed to find that I was only pulling around 5k. That’s including flask, str food, 10m raid buffs, potion of speed, heroism… I expected better.

I don’t know if there’s much I can do better as far as gemming, enchanting, and rotation goes. I think some more of my noobness comes from plain inexperience with melee DPS.

Positioning: I am a little slow to position myself in the right place (behind the mob, in melee range) because damnit when I am tanking the mobs come to me. Getting behind mobs with the camera zoomed out & big nameplates is sometimes a challenge …

Adjusting FCFS: I use CLCRet with priorities set as the EJ thread says maximizes DPS for ret. But I don’t know how to adjust my “rotation” to account for multiple mobs vs single target fights, or whether I should. Does ret adjust? Should I be popping Consecration or DS at the beginning of a multiple-target fight? Or should I start with Judge -> CS -> DS -> Consecration as usual?

Appropriate cooldown use: I figured popping my trinkets, Avenging Wrath & my Potion of Speed when heroism goes off is the best way to maximize the DPS boost. Is this right? What order…?

Spec Adjustments: I’m sure my spec needs some looking at. I know prot specs inside and out, but I’m a little clueless about ret.

Gear Adjustments: I should probably bite the bullet and buy a Darkmoon Card: Greatness for my ret set. That expertise trinket really isn’t doing me any favors since I am so long on expertise. I wish my nice ICC10 weapon didn’t have arpen and expertise on it.

Ugh.

Any other suggestions? Recommendations for me? Spec adjustments from ret pallies? Good blog posts about how to melee DPS without being a noob?

I mean, 5k isn’t bad, but I have strong enough gear to theoretically raid as ret and 5k is not great from that perspective.

Apparently Onyxia has no enrage timer

I like to put together 10 man VOA/Ony runs at the beginning of the week. We were rolling with mostly alts for these easymode raids, although I was MTing on Halleigh (my main).

Ony came down much faster than I expected and landed just as some whelps and a big add came out. Everything got a little messy as I was backing her up and positioning her for phase 3. Notes for next time: tell the ranged to hold off at 45% if we’re about to get an add spawn, ensure adds are managed, and then land her. Anyways, while I was positioning her for phase 3 and the adds were being taken care of, people started dying left and right.

Several unlucky fears + cleaves + tail swipes later we were left with three people alive: Druid heals, myself tanking, and one mage DPS (an alt). Ony was at 1.5m health. I sighed and thought, wipe on Ony 10? Seriously? So easymode…

Of course, she has no enrage timer!

Oh, we took her down. I saw my healer’s mana get low, started popping cooldowns, and figured we were done for, but Innervate for the win! 3 manned from 1.5 mill to zero. Everyone on vent was impressed. Reminded me of some Heigan kills I’ve tanked, except on Ony deaths can just be bad luck.

I love pulling a kill out of what looks like a wipe. It’s a great feeling! :)

H Lord Jaraxxus Down!!!

jaraxxus

YEAH!!!!

Two shot Lord Jaraxxus on Heroic mode!

After perusing some World of Logs logs, we saw that most of the groups who downed him used 2 tanks, 2 heals. So we dropped to 2 heals and beat the snot out of him :)

Yours truly had Jaraxxus. I always feel special when I get to tank the boss (even when it’s because the MT takes the harder job, the adds). Instead of moving him around the outside like I do on 25 man, we just kept him in the center and I kited him just a little bit when necessary. This actually helped keep everything centrallized.

Firefighter (10 man) proved to be more of a challenge. We saw Phase 4, but were not very close to downing him. I was DPS and was certainly feeling my inexperience in ret quite keenly. We are also very short ranged DPS, which makes things in phase 3 exceptionally complicated.

I half expect to be left out of Firefighter next week because instead of the second tank in her DPS spec they should really grab another ranged. On the other hand, I know the guild wants to keep a constant roster on the 10 man, and my DPS isn’t too shabby. We’ll see…..


About The Author

Tankadin Errant is a blog written by Anafielle, a paladin tank on Drenden - US Alliance side. (Armory)

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