Archive for December, 2009


What to do with Emblems of Frost

Badges, we don’t need no stinkin’ Badges (part Deux)…

There has been a lot of discussion on Icecrown Citadel, the bosses, the trash, the gear, the reputation grinds, the primordial saronite, and the patterns, and I am sure that these discussions will continue for quite a few weeks to come. However, there are a few things I would like to focus on, for both my own personal gain as well as my desire to inform our community of our upcoming decisions. Before I get into the options we have for our badges, I wanted to give everyone a heads up that I am looking to throw up a post regarding the trash in ICC, and how to best handle it. But, since we blew through it and AoE’ed it down, I have forgotten more than I remembered.

Back to the topic at hand. Currently we are limited in our ability to acquire badges. For me personally I run both the 10 and 25 man Icecrown Citadels on Tuesday, the weekly Raid quest, and one to two heroic dailies a week. One of my biggest concerns is not being able to gear up quick enough to stay ahead of the gear curve. At that pace, I will be earning approximately 25 badges a week. While that is not something that I would give up, it is still not enough to actually give me enough gear before the second wing comes out. Because of our nature as tanks, and my specific need to get all the gear from the badge vendor that I would use in any of my five gear sets, I need a lot of badges. Couple that with the fact that you need them for your tier gear and you are placed in a difficult dilemma.

We have three more weeks of farming the instance. After that, the next wing will open up and we will have three more bosses to accumulate badges from. Until then, we have to make a wise first choice on what we should spend our badges on. Below I will discuss our options, the pros and cons of each piece, and my personal recommendation for what to pick up first.

Come meet your newest Quartermaster!

For myself, Magister Arlan will be getting a lot of business in the coming weeks. He has quite a few things to offer us, and should we choose to purchase the goods that he has to offer, we also do so at the expense of our tier gear. So we will choose wisely…

Corroded Skeleton Key

I will start with the no brainer. Even if you are running around yelling “I’m the JUGGERNAUT BITCH” because you have the 245 and 258 trinkets from the Champions Cache in Trial, this is still a juicy upgrade netting you with a 36 stamina upgrade. For anyone that is using anything less, you are just benefiting more from using this BiS trinket. This trinket costs 60 Emblems of Frost, and will for me be my first acquisition.

Sentinel’s Winter Cloak

For those of you who are starting to ask yourselves about all the bonus armor flying around and what you should do about it, here is your answer (in my opinion): pick up any and every bonus armor piece you can get your hands on. Most of them have comparable stamina values, and just sacrifice some avoidance or expertise/hit for bonus armor. While it would not be the greatest idea to go in there with all bonus armor pieces in there and no avoidance,  a mixture of bonus armor pieces will allow you to increase your ability to mitigate damage. If you take a look at the stats, you have ample defense and dodge to go around, as well as a yellow socket. This will net you, with a 30 stamina gem, 154 stamina and 737 armor from a CLOAK!

When you compare this cloak to your other options, it seems like a very nice upgrade. For anyone but the few that are running around with a Pride of the Demon Lord (heroic) and a Cloak of the Unflinching Guardian (sorry I dont know the alliance terms, but the two 258 cloaks), this cloak is also a no brainer. If you are using anything but the 258 cloaks this will be a massive upgrade in stamina and armor, with little to no loss in the avoidance area. This is exactly the itemization we are looking for in a progression set as we charge towards Arathas.

Libram of the Eternal Tower

There has already been some discussion on this topic over at MainTankadin, and I am in agreement with most of them. 30 badges for 19 dodge rating that needs a ramp up time is not worth it. Eventually you may want to get this one, but for now, I will be sticking with my trusty Libram of Defiance. I would say that this goes towards the bottom of the list when it comes to upgrades that will require badges (almost everything!). Remember this libram will be competing with your Tier gear when it comes to Emblems of Frost. You will get a much better return on investment by upgrading to T10.

Verdigris Chain Belt

Now we are getting to the meat and potatoes of the currency controversy. The plate items. While I chose to talk about the belt first because its a great item, the chest and the gloves will be a bit more difficult to figure out. You will want to pick them up, however if those are two pieces that you want for your T10, then you have to make that decision on whether or not you are willing to go with out our juicy threat from the two piece T10 set bonus. Alas, I digress. Back to the belt, this bad boy has got some great itemization, and by the looks of the gear in ICC, parry will be somewhat attractive because of teh 1.88:1 ratio issues we may run into. What I mean by this is that the gear out of ICC has a lot of dodge on it and we will more than likely face a point at which parry will give us more per itemization point than dodge.

If you compare this to the Belt of Bloodied Scars, you gain everything! They swapped dodge for parry, so that you can take advantage of the diminishing returns on dodge that you will be facing. And they gave you 688 bonus armor over the Belt of bloodied scars. With an 11 stamina and 6 strength gain to boot, I don’t see how that squeezed that much out of a small item level upgrade but they did. This should definitely be second or third on your list, depending on what your bigger gain is, belt or cloak.

The rest of the pieces

As I stated above, there is a chest and gloves with bonus armor on them from the Emblem of Frost vendor, and I will be picking them up eventually, however with the methods in which you pick up tier gear, you may want to start on gathering some T10 before you go for off set pieces. Unless you are wearing full 258 gear, the T10 will be a nice upgrade for you, especially if you can get your hands on some “Trophies” to change a 251 piece into a 264 piece. Really what we are looking at with the chest and gloves is bonus armor over other stats. I personally love the fact that the T10 gloves have tons of Stamina, dodge, and hit on them. As these pieces are more for gear sets and not direct upgrades that I would want to take before gathering my T10 set, I wont touch as much on them. By all means if you have a very weak piece in the chest or glove slot they are very good pieces of loot, but they are marginal upgrades when it comes to T9.

My order: Corroded Skeleton Key > Cloak > Belt > T10 pieces…


Another Tribute…

Mad Skillz…

Last night was a very successful night for our guild. We went into ToTGC with a bit of hesitation because of some of the changes that the 3.3 patch has brought us. However, we walked right in, and one shot everything with relative ease up to anub’arak. 50 attempts left and we were getting ready for the pull. A flawless phase 1, and the kiting began. All of a sudden it fell apart and Tribute to Insanity was lost, along with Wrathy the Grand Crusader.

Such is life, we got back in there, and went from 17 attempts remaining to 48. A marketable increase from our first kill. As usual, our guild has always prided itself on farm status the week after we kill something for the first time and this encounter did not disappoint.

Busy Busy Busy

Today was a very busy day so I do not have time for a long discussion on my thoughts about what we have ahead of us, with the advent of the daily random heroic, the three new dungeons, the need for lots and lots of badges. However, tomorrow is another day. Good luck to everyone in their ICC journeys.


Icecrown Strats

New Section on Avenging Wrathy

I wanted to put a brief post up to let everyone know that I created a “tricks and tips” section for Icecrown Citadel on the blog which highlights most of the little things I picked up last night from tanking the encounters. As I learn more, I hope to share more with you guys to make your jobs easier. I know that MainTankadin has the ICC forums, but as of today they are still locked so I will post things here until they open up. Good luck to everyone in ICC!


The Door Boss and Icecrown Citadel

The door boss has crit you for 1 hour

The patch day has come and gone, and after looking back on the night, I am quite impressed with how well it went from a stability stand point. I would have to say that for our server personally, this was one of the smoothest major patches I have had the pleasure of experiencing. I still remember the opening of the gates with AQ 40, (even though it wasnt actually the patch day) and how crappy the servers were. I remember Ulduar, and the door boss. We would get 20 people from our raid into the instance while the other 5 were sitting at loading screens. I remember servers going down every 15 minutes because of one thing or another. Last night, the server was up all night, and with the exception of the door boss, everything went smoothly.

When I logged in last night, I was surprised to see the server so stable. We started up the raid group and I tried to get into the instance so that we could seed it and start piling up in there to get ready to kill some new bosses. I was hovering high above Icecrown Citadel on my drake when I logged in because I did not want to get stuck in an endless cycle of logging on and disconnecting because of the sheer volume of people in Dalaran. I flew down to the instance portal and ran in….

All I saw was a loading screen with no blue bar! It took us nearly an hour to give up and check on the 10 man instance. We had sporadic people in the 25 man instance, but most of us could not get in. At the same time, we kept receiving messages that Crisis, the best guild on the alliance side was in and killing bosses already. We made an executive decision. 10 mans or bust. We split our raid into two 10 man groups, reluctantly leaving out some of our main raiders. We had such a showing that we couldn’t get everyone into the 10 mans. While 20 of us zoned into our respective instances, the other 15 were blindly running in and out of the instance portal trying to get into the 25 man.

Lord and Lady who?

Marrowgar was a pushover in 10 man, you didnt even have to avoid the whirlwind or the flames. The damage was negligible. We had a harder time with learning the trash, than we did with the first boss. I will have to say that I love the fact that most of the mobs are undead because my Anub’arak spec was kicking butt. 15 second Holy Wraths and SoComm were tearing up the TPS and DPS meters. After we figured out the trash, which we unintentionally AoEd most of it at once down, we stepped up to face Lord Marrowgar. One pull later we had shiny purples and we were about 5 minutes ahead of the second 10 man group (I know because Elayn, our DK tank, who sits 3 feet from me was in the other group and I kept looking at his screen).

The two officers in our 10 man assessed the situation and decided to plow onto the second boss, while the first 10 man killed the first. So on to Lady Deathwhisper we went. The 10 man version of this fight was disappointingly easy, we were done with the second boss before the first group finished up Marrowgar. Mid way through the second boss, we got news that the people that were not in the 10 man groups had gotten into the 25 man instance. So with a few new 251 purples in our bags, we headed off to clear the first wing of ICC.

Normal Mode impressions and loot!

After seeing the trash on the 10 man version of the instance, we were a bit better prepared for what was to come. In 10 man we had pulled multiple big guys at once, and we didnt want to make that mistake in 25 man so we started out with an ample amount of crowd control. This quickly gave way to an AoE fest, and once again pulling two big guys at once. It was still easily manageable, and we survived with the raid standing. Even after killing Lord Marrowgar in the 10 man instance, I was surprised at how quickly he died. However, he did take a small piece of Crypt Friends with him in his last percent, ME. With about 1 percent left, I was backing him out of the raid after P2, and I got ahead of my off tanks. I got Saber Lashed for about 55k (1k overkill), and ended up with my face in the dirt. This tells me that on Normal mode at one point you will be able to single tank this.

Before I was resurrected, our raid leader was asking over vent, “Wrathy who do these go to?” I have to admit I wasn’t really paying attention to loot, I was looking at what killed me and If i could have done something to survive it. I looked at the loot that was linked and did not recognize anything. Of course I wouldn’t, because I have never seen the gear in this place. After a quick glance, I picked up some shiny new bracers and we headed off to the next boss. For those of you who do not know, we run a DKP system for loot distribution, however we loot council (aka Wrathy-council) tank gear.

Lady Deathwisper and Empowered Adds…

So far we were one for one on boss kills in Icecrown Citadel. We marched up to Lady Deathwisper and pulled. Everything was going fairly well, but the adds were not dying fast enough. I had assigned too many people to damage the mana shield. We were plowing through the shield, but the adds were getting out of hand. A few of them got empowered and our DK went down. Wipe number one of the night in the books. After a bit of talking, we found out that it wasn’t the empowered adds that were causing the most problems, but the single spawn at the back stairs that was getting to the healers and distracting them. We had tried gripping and silencing the add that appeared there, but it just wasn’t controlling the adds that spawned there enough. We ended up having a third tank for the back adds. I feel that if I was a warrior, it would have been a different story, but my lack of interrupts made it really hard to pick up all the adds.

The next pull went much smoother, and before you knew it, we were in phase two. The tank debuf was interesting, and I am glad to say that you can taunt the boss, but aggro was still a bit of a problem because we first thought we could not taunt the boss. I can only assume that the first taunt we tried was a miss and not an Immune. After that small issue, we had another boss down and more epics. This encounter would set the pattern for the night. One wipe to figure out some small part of the encounter that we were unaware of, one kill.

Call me the Rocketeer!

We moved on to the Gunship Battle after clearing some more AoE trash. We CCed the first pack only to find that they hit like kittens and pulled the next pack as if we were back in Naxx. I personally had assumed that the lag boss would get the best of us and so I didn’t do any research on the last two bosses. I spend some time reading the information that was available on this fight, and then explained the fight to the raid. Ironically as I told the raid some of the mechanics, I was on such an auto pilot, I was not paying attention myself. First pull and I let the stacks on bronzebeard get too high. One wipe, then one kill. This battle was kinda boring from my PoV. I tanked bronzebeard  till 20 stacks, retreated until the stacks wore off, then repeated. That was it.

Deathbringer Saurfang

We got off the gunship and started the Saurfang encounter only to be presented with a one minute speech for the lore junkies. While a lot of people enjoyed it, I don’t really care for lore at all. I already can tell that I am going to hate this fight when we are doing it on heroic, and not because of the encounter, but the 1 minute of yapping before you can pull. It is like ToTGC all over again, talk talk talk….

We pulled and we were doing fine until the first set of adds spawned. The blood beasts were aggroing on our resto druid and not making it to the frost traps. Even after this set back, we got him to about 7% when someone said something in vent about his health. Our dps immediately got tunnel vision and stopped killing the Blood Beasts. This started a chain reaction of events that ended up wiping us. Healers got aggro and started dying, our DK tank subsequently died, and I had the Rune of Blood. Needless to say, people quickly got marked and he got healed, A LOT. After we got our required one wipe in, we walked back in and promptly killed him. The chest was opened, and we had the same beautiful loot that we did on our first anub kill, DOUBLE VANQ. Stupid vanquisher….

Well this one got pretty long, but I have to say that it was Tuesday night and we were done with ALL progression fights, 10 and 25 man. Back to ToTGC for us tonight, and hopefully Mad Skill / Insanity (Gasp) and some Conqueror tokens or a shiny new weapon and ring.


Icecrown Citadel is Upon Us

You are not prepared!

I am sure everyone in the blogosphere will be commenting on the drop of patch 3.3 today, and since I have nothing better to talk about today, I wanted to touch on two topics. First, with the advent of patch 3.3, Icecrown Citadel, and Chill of the Throne, I wanted to talk about my change in gear, gems, and enchants. I also would like to talk about the first boss, namely positioning, tanking strategy, and gear choices based off of the information that we have, as most of us will get in there tonight with out ever stepping foot on the PTR.

I need more STAMINA scotty!!!

After the announcement of chill of the throne, and subsequent lengthy discussion on the maintankadin forums, it has been identified that your best relative gains out of enchanting and geming your gear is pure stamina. There is a bit of a contradiction here when it comes to gearing philosophies, at our current levels of gear and avoidance in 245 to 258 gear, avoidance is a very attractive statistic for yours truly. Each additional percentage point of avoidance gets you that much closer to becoming passively unhittable with mostly avoidance (and not block rating). As your avoidance increases, each additional point of avoidance is more valuable. I slapped on a gimmick set to do Crazy Cat Lady a few nights ago and broke 70% avoidance while maintaining a respectable health pool.

However, with the advent of Chill of the throne, the opportunity cost of getting that next percentage point of avoidance is not worth the steep diminishing returns which are beginning to set in. Stamina, which does not suffer any diminishing returns, and also gives you a direct increase to your effective health, is the most attractive stat when it comes to TTL so far in ICC. With that being said, each one of my item level 258 items has pure stamina gems in then (Save one), and has stamina or armor on it as an enchant. Going forward I will be taking a bit more damage, but relatively speaking, the healers will see the hits getting “Smaller and smaller” as my health pool grows. I am currently walking around with about 44k unbuffed hp in my effective health set, and I plan on getting that up a bit more in the next few weeks with the new trinket and a few new pieces of gear.

So, in the end, the avoidance advocate of the MainTankadin community is finally stepping off his soap box and crossing the picket lines to the stamina camp. /nod mel.

Lord Marrowgar

The first boss of Icecrown Citadel is named Lord Marrowgar and he is a big ugly skeleton thing. He has several abilities of note, and most of them have to do with the “rest” of the raid. What we will be focusing on today is his damage intake on the tanks, and what we can do to properly prepare ourselves for this encounter. Below are his abilities in no particular order:

Bone Spike Graveyard – Hurls a massive bone spike which impales any enemies in the way. 3 sec cast
Bone Storm – Attacks nearby enemies in a whirlwind of bone, which causes them to bleed for until cancelled. Instant
Coldflame – Inflicts 9000 Frost damage every 1.0 sec for 8 sec. Instant
Saber Lash – Splits 300% of normal melee damage to an enemy and its two nearest allies. Melee range. Instant
Saber Lash – Prevents the target from being impaled while tanking. Unlimited range. Instant

The first thing that sticks out in my mind is FROST damage, as we are better at mitigating physical attacks, and we gear this way for the most part. However, upon closer consideration, we can predict that this is an ability that does not target the tank. While you can be targeted by it during P2 (we will get to that soon), when you are being hit by the boss, you will hopefully not have to worry about this. So, what do you have to worry about?

Saber Lash

Saber lash is a frontal cone attack that hits the tank and his two closest friends. What this means is that you will more than likely have three tanks for this encounter, and two of them can go /afk popcorn for 2/3 of the fight. Saber Lash is pure physical damage, and the only magical damage is avoidable, so an armor heavy, stamina heavy gear set is what I recommend, I will be going into this fight with my highest AC possible, ensuring that I can mitigate as much damage as I can. This seems like the perfect chance to test out Theck’s new formula, and my new spreadsheet.

During Phase 1, which is a tank and spank for us, you will be tanking the boss in his spawn location, and facing him away from the raid. The pull will be executed by running through his body and turning him 180 degrees. At this point, you and your off tanks will settle into a nice little tps rotation for 1 minute.

At the end of 1 minute, Phase 2 starts. Phase 2 is a 30 second whirlwind extravaganza with all of the goodies to boot. Marrowgar still sends out blue flames at random raid members, and uses bone spike (unconfirmed). You will have to spread your raid out, and for the three off tanks, it just means running to the back wall and spreading out. At this point, your job is to avoid blue flames and ensure that you are in range when the music stops, so that you can pick him back up and position him correctly. Once the thirty seconds of P2 is complete, you can rinse and repeat P1 and P2 until you have your very first ICC shiny purples.

Good luck to everyone tonight with both the first wing of ICC, and the more important and devastating boss, the hamster powering your specific server. I know that from personal experience, I should not expect too much out of tonight, and that I should have a movie in the BluRay player so that I am entertained through the “world server is down” messages, but I really want to see some server firsts tonight!


Four Piece Set Bonuses

I logged on briefly last night to chat it up with the guild and see if any of our newer recruits needed anything, only to talk to one of my friends over whispers about an interesting topic, the four piece set bonus. Now while we had a brief discussion on the merits of the Druid tier 10 four piece set bonus versus the paladin four piece set bonus, the discussion digressed into something that sparked my interest enough to blog about it. Specifically there are some classes where the tier 9 set bonuses are far superior to the T10, and there are some classes where the tier 10 set bonus is just godly. While this shouldn’t really pose that much of a problem for almost all of the guilds in the world, we are sitting on the cusp of the new patch having killed Anub and will only have four to five weeks of kills before we phase out ToTGC and start running ICC hard modes.

Because of the fact that we will have somewhere between 10 and 20 tokens for 258 gear, it is essential that we give them to the right people, and not just the person with the highest dkp. In preparation for the great debate that will ensue over this mini loot council that will take place, I wanted to do some research into the four piece set bonuses and which one is better for each class. Now, it is important to know that the purpose of this is to evaluate the tier 10 251 item level gear with the tier 9 258 item level gear, as everyone will be swapping over by the time we have the normal instance on farm and we are accumulating a good deal of trophies. I for one will be spending my first badges on the trinket, so I am not too concerned with the fallout of not picking up 251 gear. The tanks and their set bonuses are as follows….

Paladin four piece Set bonuses:

T9 – 4 pieces: Decreases the cooldown on your Divine Protection ability and reduces the duration of Forbearance by 30 sec.

T10 – 4 pieces: When you activate Divine Plea, you gain 12% dodge for 10 sec.

Initially, my intuition says that I would love to have 12% dodge for 1/6th of the time, with my current dodge percentage I would be pushing 80% Pure avoidance. However, we all know that Chill of the Throne is coming, and as such, this set bonus is much less attractive than a reduction in our bubble wall. To me, for new content, as long as the fight is longer than five minutes, the T9 set bonus gives you more utility and survival than 12% dodge for 1/6th of the time. Now we will not know this for certain until the patch hits and we can actually see the fights, the amount of magic damage being thrown around, and the amount and frequency of melee hits that we are taking, but I believe that dodge will just not do as much as a flat damage reduction. This leads me to believe that the 258 T9 is superior to the T10 until you have the ability to pick up the 264 gear. Now that does not mean that you couldnt wear all offset gear, and in fact that will more than likely be my road, a max armor / stamina set from all of the bonus armor pieces.

Druid four piece set bonuses:

T9- 4 pieces: Reduces the cooldown on Barkskin by 12 sec and increases the critical strike chance of Rip and Ferocious Bite by 5%.

T10 – 4 pieces: Your Enrage ability no longer decreases your armor and instead decreases all damage taken by 12%, and the periodic damage done by your Rake ability can now be a critical strike.

When you look at these, you can see that there is no contest that the T10 four piece bonus is far superior to its T9 counter part. A 12% decrease in all damage taken every minute coupled with ensuring that you do not decrease your armor value during enrage is huge. This is going to be the most powerful tier 10 tanking bonus. For those of you who do not know anything about druids, and this includes myself, Enrage is on a 1 minute cooldown and has the following instant activated ability: Generates 20 rage, and then generates an additional 10 rage over 10 sec, but reduces base armor by 27% in Bear Form and 16% in Dire Bear Form. So, Druids gain a 12% damage reduction once a minute, couple this with the fact that barkskin also has a 1 minute cooldown and has the following instant activated ability: The druid’s skin becomes as tough as bark.  All damage taken is reduced by 20%.  While protected, damaging attacks will not cause spellcasting delays.  This spell is usable while stunned, frozen, incapacitated, feared or asleep.  Useable in all forms.  Lasts 12 sec. These abilities can be used in tandem with T10 four piece, and as you can see, just reducing barkskin by 12 seconds is no where near as effective.

Warrior four piece set bonuses:

T9 – 4 pieces: Decreases the cooldown on your Shield Block ability by 10 sec.

T10 – 4 pieces: Your Bloodrage ability no longer costs health to use, and now causes you to absorb damage equal to 20% of your maximum health. Lasts 10 sec.

Warriors are a bit trickier, because of their set bonuses, skills, and scaling of their ability. Shield block is very nice because of the talents that warriors have to give them the chance to critically block. Shield block Increases your chance to block and block value by 100% for 10 sec. This is a very powerful physical mitigation skill, and as it is on a one minute cool down, the T9 four piece brings that down to 1/5th up time you will be mitigating a SIGNIFICANT amount of damage. On the other hand, warriors are the only ones who have a T10 set bonus which scales with the gear. Their bonus will allow them to absorb damage, giving them a mini shield once a minute, which scales with health. This means that the more gear a warrior gets out of Icecrown Citadel, the more their ability will absorb. A typical warrior in full T9 (ilevel 258) is probably sitting at about 56k (don’t quote me), giving them an 11,200 absorb. While this absorb is a one time deal, it works on physical, magical, and bleed damage, making it a very powerful damage mitigator.

Death knight four piece set bonuses:

T9 – 4 pieces: Decreases the cooldown on your Unbreakable Armor, Vampiric Blood, and Bone Shield abilities by 10 sec.

T-10 4 pieces: When you activate Blood Tap, you gain 12% damage reduction from all attacks for 10 sec.

Deathknights also have a more grey distincition between their four piece bonuses. The T9 bonus is very nice in that it reduces their one of their damage mitigation cool downs by 10 seconds, however you have to take a look at these cool downs to understand what relative benefit you get. Unbreakable armor is on a 1 minute cooldown and has the following instant activated ability: Reinforces your armor with a thick coat of ice, increasing your armor by 25% and increasing your Strength by 10% for 20 sec. This can also be enhanced by a major glyph that gives you 30% increased effectiveness. While this is nice, it is a pure armor increase, meaning that it does nothing for magical damage or bleeds, but is a very powerful physical damage mitigation factor. Vampiric Blood is also on a 1 minute cool down and instantly activated, and it gives you: Temporarily grants the Death Knight 15% of maximum health and increases the amount of health generated through spells and effects by 35% for 10 sec.  After the effect expires, the health is lost. This can also be glyphed to increase its duration. Lastly Boneshield is, as we see the pattern forming here, also on a 1 minute cool down and has the following instant ability: The Death Knight is surrounded by 3 whirling bones.  While at least 1 bone remains, <he/she> takes 20% less damage from all sources and deals 2% more damage with all attacks, spells and abilities.  Each damaging attack that lands consumes 1 bone.  Lasts 5 min.

As you can see each of them are specific for a different situation, and most high end dk tanks should have a dual talent spec with two different trees so they can take advantage of these abilities. While 15% health seems to be the nicest, and it can be there for up to 15 seconds, the T10 offers something similar. Blood tap is an instant spell on a one minute cool down that offers the following: Immediately activates a Blood Rune and converts it into a Death Rune for the next 20 sec.  Death Runes count as a Blood, Frost or Unholy Rune. To me, DKs will also benefit more from the T258 gear and the 4 piece T9 if they are blood, but I am sure gravity can provide more insight into that than I can.


If you are faced with a similar situation as my guild and have to decide where those last few pieces of gear go, this analysis shows us that Paladins and Death knights will be wearing their T9 deeper into ICC than their Druid and Warrior counterparts. So if you have to distribute loot from Anub’arak’s cache and you have a choice between your members and who should get the trophies, Dks over druids, Paladin tanks first, and warriors, well give it to the non tanks.


Weight off my shoulders

The calm after the storm…

Last night I was a bit too tired, and a bit too excited to put  a lot of effort into a post so I thought I would just drop the screnie and the achievement completion on the blog. Now that I am rested, fully overwhelmed with work to do, and in need of a break, I thought I would comment a bit further on our epic kill and answer some of your questions. First, I am no photoshop wizard so I give you the prettier screen shot, courtesy of one of our officers:

p.s. thats me with the wings and the oversized monk on the left…

The Encounter

Over the past few days, now that we had a full raid to go into ToTGC to kill Anub’arak, were promising with respect to the attempts that we had. We were seeing progress with the modifications of our strategy from three tanks to two tanks. I had a steep learning curve when it came to picking up all four adds, and it took me a while to get everything perfect. Really the hardest part of this fight is seeing around Anub’arak’s gigantic hit box when trying to target the adds. I found that the best way to do this was literally turn your camera 90 degrees, and look at the encounter from the side. Once I figured this out, I was able to target the front to mobs and pull them with AS and Hand of Reck.

We had a mixed bag when it came to issues that caused us to wipe. The major issue that the officers knew needed to be fixed was the penetrating cold healing. Now this is not to say that our healers were screwing up or that they were not capable of doing their job. On the contrary, they were pretty pro at it. The problem was that they needed to see enough phase threes to get used to the mechanics and the fight. The past two nights of raiding did just that. We were successfully getting deep into phase three quite often and they were getting better and better at keeping people alive.

I think that one of the turning points last night in our raids performance was when our raid leader decided to start setting benchmarks. If you didn’t get to phase three this attempt, we are calling it and going to do some ToTC 25 man normal. Once that was said, we got him to 10% with out anyone screwing around on the kiting phase, or pulling aggro at the start of the encounter. After that, it was “better than 10% or we are calling it…” Unfortunately I dc’ed on that attempt as soon as we pulled. I ran in got on top of the permafrost, targeted the first add and nothing happened… I was off line.

Do-overs are ok

I got back in and we got him to 8%, not much of an improvement, but progress none the less. The very next attempt started off great, phase 1 down, and anub was especially low. Phase 2 went well, with a clutch BoP by yours truly on the second person being followed. Rinse and repeat, nothing special to see here folks, just keep plugging away. All of a sudden, phase three was upon us and it came quickly. I slammed my armor pot, picked up the first four adds, and they were dead before I knew it. Second set came and went. At this point I was getting nervous, we were doing well, most of the raid was up, and Anub’arak must have been taking enough damage to be quite low.

Third set of adds spawned and people started dying to PC. At this point the raid encounter gets a little fuzzy, and I am doing everything I can to stay alive, bubble wall, lavanthor’s talisman got activated, health stone, and all of a sudden I heard over vent, “Screw the adds, PUSH THE BOSS!” The officers had decided that if we get him to 5 percent and the adds were above 70% hp, then we were going to swap all dps to Anub and see if we could beat the spawn timer of the next set of four adds.

People were dropping, and army of dead was taunting the crap out of the adds. Then it happened, screams. The boss was dead, and I was one happy pally. It was so nice to know that I did not have to tank another attempt of that fight, because its quite stressful as the off tank, tricks of the trade and MDs aside, you still have to do everything in your power to get that initial aggro, and I continued to switch mobs the entire time that they were up so that the mages would not pull off me. Combine the constant tab targeting with the interrupt that had to go off every 30 seconds, and you have one stressful job.

To the victor goes the spoils

As soon as he was dead, I didn’t really know what to do, I usually check the loot on the bosses and see if there are any upgrades for me (yeah I know, I am a loot whore, but only so I can perfect my gearsets). This time, I didnt know what to do, I took a deep breath, and got up to stretch. When I got back to my computer, I checked the loot, and there was nothing on his body that I could use, Plate DPS boots, a melee dps cloak, the pole arm, and the caster mace. No go there, but wait, I am the last tank standing in the guild with priority on loot, maybe there were some juicy items in the cache. Alas, double vanquisher. Well, better luck next week for me, and for our happy DK and ret pally, who snatched up two pieces each, nice upgrades to already overpowered dps. Our dk pulled 11k dps overall on the Anub fight, while our mages were fast on his heels with 10k a piece.

Interesting side notes

The highlight of the night was deffinately the kill, however there was a close second that left us all with a unique story to tell for a while to come. We had been getting a few applicants to the guild here and there, but nothing to crazy. Two nights ago, a mage approached a few of our members and said he was interested in joining our guild. Now normally I do not get excited about mages, as we have two excellent mages that push their dps quite well. However, this particular individual has been on our server since the days I was a warrior who loved to PvP (aka a LONG TIME AGO), and he has always had a reputation to be an excellent player. I regularly remember charging at him with my Hand of Rag and hoping that I got some lucky burst before his POM pyro macro toasted me. He was online on Wednesday night, and we had talked to him about joining our guild. He said that he wanted to run a “trial” run to see how our raid atmosphere was, as the guild he was currently in was not his style.

We made room for him in our raid and took him on a trial run to Anub’arak hard mode. Most initiates would not get this type of chance, but he was part of the first alliance guild to implode who was in the top 100, and had many attempts on anub in the past. Having him in the raid gave us a bit of a twist to our great kill of anub’arak, as he was still a member of his former guild (also known as Titans of Industry, the guild that was competing for top horde spot on the server). The minute we killed Anub’arak, his guild got a nice little spam that said:

Snufyy has completed [Call of the Grand Crusade (25 player)]

He was promptly gkicked from his guild, and we invited him to ours to make him feel welcome in his new home. Now you have to understand that our guild prides itself on letting our actions talk for itself. We dont post on the general forums or spam trade or general chat when we kill bosses, we prefer our competition to find it our for themselves on the progression sites or wow armory. However, with this new development, the entire horde side of the server knew what we did by the time we got back to Dalaran, and I got no less than 10 whispers of congratulations in the first 10 minutes after the kill. That was a new feeling. Now, all that is left is my title and some loot, GIMME!


  • What is this nonsense? HoPo and a total overhaul. It's going to be a long weekend of playing around.. 8 years ago