After tweeting to see what I should post about today, I remembered that Rhidach and Anafielle are tackling their first week of hard modes this Tuesday, and I thought it would be a good time for me to see if my memory can scrape together some tips and tricks of tanking some of the hard modes in ICC25 which I have not already covered. My earlier rant on the fact that Hard modes are Hard, and our first night of failure with Lord Marrowgar has that fight basically covered, so I thought I would delve into the plague wing and talk about some helpful things to make rotface and festergut a bit easier.
For the most part, these are two of the easier encounters in the instance, and aside from lootship, they have the smallest learning curve of any of the encounters. With that being said, lets not waste any more time!
From a tanking perspective, festergut is the same exact fight (at least for paladins). He employs some new tactics, but because of the fact that our threat is almost entirely based off of instant cast holy spells, one of his new abilities is negated. When hard mode is engaged, Professor Putricide shows up at the balcony to your right and begins to have some fun. He periodically throws malleable goo out which slows your casting and melee speed by 75%. As a paladin tank, this basically is a non issue, and I will never move out of it. Why can we get away with it? Well first things first, Festergut applies the same debuf to the tank as he does in normal mode, so your damage will be through the roof. I average around 8.5-9.5k dps for the duration of the fight, while I know tanks that break 10k.
So since threat is a non issue, what makes this hard? The raid damage from the gas cloud in the room is signficantly more potent, and the tank damage is nothing to laugh at when you get to the third enhale. For the most part this is a coordination fight and a healing check. Before there was a zone wide buff, it was also a dps check, as there is a tight enrage timer. With the 20% buff, the most important things to remember is that your dps and healers should avoid goo at all costs, and you have to work out a system to place the spores so that EVERYONE has three stacks when he exhales.
As a tank, you can afford to miss a spore or two, but that is because you have close to 70k HP. A dps with 20-25k will get one shot even with a hand of sacrafice. In order to do this, we used two warlock teleport portals and placed them at two key positions in the room, creating a triangle between the boss and the two portals. Once these markers are created, you place your dps and healers in a circle around the portals, preferablly with your holy paladins on the portal itself so that they do not have to move when a spore is called. This will give a predictable and visual collapse point for all spores. Spreading out around these circles and learning to collapse will be one of your first big hurdles.
The other thing that we do is have our melee constantly moving from hind leg to hind leg of the boss. Every time Putricide throws goo, it is called and the melee switch sides, left, right, left, right. This ensures that they are never standing in a green goo and get the debuf, which will decrease their dps througput considerablly. This bit of coordination seems very simple, but to get 7-10 people to move together is surprisingly hard.
Finally from a tank point of view, it is a fairly simple fight. You can skirt the edge of the room and I suggest that you do so before your pull so that you can position him correctly. I like to skirt to the right until you hit the first runeforge looking thing on the wall. This should put you in between the two balconies that are above you. When you pull run in about 4 steps to the grouping of three skulls on the ground and stop. This is where we position the boss, so that the melee has time to react to the goo being thrown at them, and the ranged has enough space to spread completely out. From here on out, it is a tank and spank, and the encounter is the same for us tanks as it is in normal mode. Just a quick side note, on normal mode, our guild tanked the boss in the middle of the room and had the dps spread out. For hard mode, that was not enough space for our portal strat, and as such we adopted the positioning that I described above.
With respect to cooldown usage, I saved my Wings for when I drop RF off, salv myself and see BIG NUMBERS! I also like to chain cooldowns for all of the third enhale portion of the fight. this means that I use bubble wall, get a HoSac from my other tank/healer, ensure my armor pot is still active or pop a new one at this time, and I also save my trinket use for this time. The one thing I will not use during the third enhale is DS/DG. I save that specifically for when he lets his nasty gas loose. This will ensure that you take some of the raid damage away for the healers. Tomorrow I’ll see what I can do about those pretty pictures to help, and go over rotface as well….
Good luck everyone!