The Faction Champions – Initial thoughts

As we wind down from yet another week of stressful and amazingly difficult raiding in the Trial of the Crusader, I wanted to comment on my opinions of the Faction Champions encounter and the role of a main tank and protection paladin.

My Raid’s Pro Pull

So when we got done one shotting the first two super difficult bosses (read this dripping with *sarcasm*), no one really knew what to expect from the faction champions. We had a descent thread in our officer forums going on about the PTR testing, videos, etc, however we didnt really know what was going to happen when we activated the encounter. So after everyone was buffed up and ready to rock, we talked the npc and started the event with the entire raid back by the entrance to the coliseum assuming that the champions would emerge from the gates as the previous two bosses did.

Boy we were wrong!

As the rogue jumped down and proceeded to destroy a few clothies, I found a paladin in the mix and marked it up as our first dps target. We were plowing away but really couldn’t put that big of a dent in her because the resto shaman and resto druid went unnoticed in the back, blissfully healing away. Then the paladin bubbled! Man how I love my bubble, however I loath it on a raid boss. Needless to say we were not prepared and coordinated and ended up wiping on the first attempt.

As soon as we got back into the instance, we grouped up on the circle in the middle of the room, started the boss fight again and to our relief saw that they mobs didnt instantly aggro. Now for our strategy (or lack thereof). The basics of our strategy was to contain all mortal strikes and wound poisons as much as possible, so we chain cced the warrior and the rogue. As for our kill order, we had rogues and dks on the three healers, interrupting every heal, as well as banishes when possible on the resto druid. One at a time they dropped like flies, then just pick your poison and kill the dps.

From a raid wide stand point, cc, interrupts, and focus fire are really all it takes to get this encounter down, but what of the protection paladin. I found myself low on mana for most of the fight, doing sub par dps and only really being useful for my awesome 30 second cooldown interrupts.

What can a protection paladin do to enable a raid’s success?

This fight in general was just as easy as the previous two in the coliseum, however, there is an added element of the fact that there are 10 mini bosses and they all have a multitude of abilites. As my grid began to light up with diseases, curses, and poisons, I get these horrid flashbacks of BT and Sunwell. For the Easy mode 25 man, I don’t really see any problems with cheesing your way to free 245 epics. However we started thinking about the challenges that we would face in the 25 man hard mode version.

From my perspective I do not bring great dps to the raid unless I spec ret. If i want to stay prot, or I didn’t have a dual spec, how could i contribute to the success of the raid? One word: Utility.

Cleanse, Blessing of Protection, and Blessing of Freedom…

Last night I racked up about 100 cleanses on our kill. The ability to relieve the healers from their duties of cleansing can free them up for the sporadic damage created by 10 mobs that do not have an aggro table. Moreover, the rogue and the warrior provide for some significant melee burst damage. A BoP can save a clothie’s life if timed correctly. With the amount of debufs being applied, you will be able to prevent a large amount of damage. In addition, cleansing and blessing of freedom can help melee close the gap on some of the mobs, as well as free up clothies to run away from the rogue and warrior.

So next time, I will be working on cleansing as much as possible while attacking the focus target to keep divine plea and judgement of light up.


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