Tanking for Dummies


You’re not Hardcore Enough: Icecrown Gating
February 11, 2010, 11:08 am
Filed under: News, Raiding | Tags: , ,

In case you missed it, the most pernicious part of Icecrown Citadel’s Gating vanished on Tuesday:

After each region’s maintenance this week, raids will no longer lose attempts on wipes in Normal mode for Professor Putricide, Blood-Queen Lana’thel, Sindragosa, and the Lich King. There will still be limited attempts in Heroic mode.

We will continue to monitor developments in Icecrown Citadel in the future, especially since the Heroic difficulty has been unlocked by a significant number of raids. (Source)

I will admit, I was expecting this development at some point, but this felt too soon.  Should I feel ashamed or something that Axiom was not among that “significant number of raids”?  Or, you know, even among those that had unlocked the Lich King?

I can’t say that I am.  I can’t really speak for Seri, or others in charge, but since we’ve focused our time on working on the non-attempt locked bosses I’m assuming that they were laboring under the same assumption that I was – namely that we’d at least have a few weeks before the counter was removed from normal mode.

For those of you feeling like Blizzard just poked your Bloodrage button – I can understand.  The Lich King had only been unlock-able a week.  You could be forgiven for thinking that Blizzard only put this “feature” into ICC to put the reigns on the top tier of raiding guilds.  Which is to say it failed utterly since the Lich King was dead 24 hours after the potential to do so was made available.

The effect was really only to make it more difficult for the next tier of raiders to take down (or even take shots at!) the Lich King that first week.  A kind of double kick in the no-no parts of raider pride.  You cannot say now “Well, we’re not a top 100 raid guild – but at least we killed the Lich King when he required attempts to do so.”  Either you killed him in the first week it was available – or you’re just a scrub.

Oh.  Wait, there is that matter of the buff.  So there is some hope left to distinguish yourself from the unwashed masses.

Better do it quick though – no telling when Blizzard will start implementing that one.  Recent developments indicate it could be as soon as next week.



Rotface is one ugly fight
January 18, 2010, 12:38 pm
Filed under: Raiding, Strategy, Stupid Tanking | Tags: ,

We have been wiping on Rotface enough that I feel like I have a pretty good idea of the way this fight is supposed to work.  I will say, however, that I don’t feel like we’re particularly any closer to beating him because of it.  Let me tell you, tank boys and girls, Rotface is one ugly bastard.

In this drama, I play the tank with the easier job – actually tanking Rotface.  Now, he can melee pretty hard, but mainly My job is to keep him in the middle of the room, and play monkey in the middle with him and the DPS.  By that, I mean that when he sprays, the DPS runs behind him, and right before he goes back to melee I step in front of him.  It keeps the DPS up by making them move only the once.

The harder job in this fight goes to a Paladin tank, kiting the big slime around the room.  There are several reasons for this:  First and most importantly is it gives the kiting tank control of dispelling Mutated Infection.  Second, Paladins have quite good ranged threat capacity. And Third, should it be necessary, the Paladin can use Blessing of Freedom to run through the green slime pools without be slowed down.

We have this execution down really well, we on the tank team.  Yet, despite this, the following problems occur:

  • A shaman (generally) pulls healing threat on the small slime that spawns right after Mutated Infection is dispelled, resulting in a small slime in the raid.  Supposedly, this is impossible, but I’ve seen it often enough to know that this is not really true.
  • Same as above, but as the result of the mutated infection victim dying.
  • During the Unstable Ooze Explosion, we run out too early, spreading the explosion way too far and killing people.
  • Same as above, but too late and getting people with lag killed.

Now, don’t get me wrong, we can execute this dance of death repeatedly without incident very very often.  However, the major block for us right now is the fact that each time the dance gets a little faster (and hence, the above conditions happen more often) and eventually it nails us.

And here is the clincher after a fashion:

In the weeks and months after all twelve encounters are unlocked, additional attempts against the final four boss encounters become available. This represents the Ashen Verdict growing more powerful and gaining a stronger foothold in Icecrown Citadel. To further help raids, Varian Wrynn and Garrosh Hellscream will begin to provide assistance by inspiring the armies attacking Icecrown Citadel. This is represented as an additional zone wide spell effect applied to all players that will increase their hit points, damage dealt, and healing done. This effect will also increase in effectiveness over time. Players may opt out of the spell’s effect if they so wish.(Source)

We have a limited time to do this with our pride as raiders intact.  Now, my understanding is that this won’t start up until after the Lich King is available – but if we’re stuck trying to get to Putricide until after that buff goes off – it is going to hurt.



Wrangle-em Cowtank: Lady Deathwhisper 25-man Strategy
December 18, 2009, 12:01 am
Filed under: Raiding, Strategy | Tags: , ,

While it is still fresh in my mind, I want to go a bit more in depth with my description of killing Lady Deathwhisper – more so than I did on Wednesday.  Of the fights available, Lady D is probably the most technical from a tanking perspective, so it wouldn’t hurt to touch on the strategy that Axiom used to take her down.

The important elements of this fight are as follows:

  • Appropriate division of Melee/Ranged DPS.
  • Focused DPS
  • Effective Crowd Control.
  • Quick mob recognition.

Continue reading



I <3 High Overlord Saurfang
December 16, 2009, 12:01 am
Filed under: Raiding, Strategy, Stupid Tanking | Tags: , , , ,

Last night was the best night of raiding since 3.2 came out.

It didn’t start out seeming like it was going to be the win that it turned out to be.  We had some trouble with Lady Deathwhisper on Thursday, and we were coming at her again with an off-spec tank and only 5 healers.  But with some changes in strategy (using crowd control on the mobs closest to Lady Deathwhisper when they spawn, and keeping 3 shadow priests on the boss through the whole of phase 1), we brought her down the second time we made it to phase 2.

Which means we got to do the gunship battle.

With THIS MAN.

Continue reading



The Plan for Looting Icecrown Citadel (Thus far)
December 11, 2009, 12:01 am
Filed under: Analysis, Gear, Raiding | Tags: , , , , ,

First off, I’m not going to go into the 5-man lootables.  In case you missed it, Kadomi did a super job covering that stuff already.

What I am going to do is talk about Raid and Emblem loot (or at least what we know about it thus far).  I’m not going to worry about “Heroic” versions of these items either. You’re not going to see them until, well, I guess February or March anyway.

Continue reading



Icecrown Cidadel is Comming
October 23, 2009, 7:35 am
Filed under: Gear, Lists, News, Raiding | Tags: , , , , ,

This is no great surprise if you have been paying attention.  But for those of you who haven’t, let me point you at some linkage:

No loot yet to parse and list for you, but you know it’s coming.



Car Door Shield has Returned!
August 26, 2009, 12:01 am
Filed under: Gear, News | Tags: , ,

I’ve made no secret of my love of the Elementium Reinforced Bulwark.  It’s “forged from the door of a Mercedes” look is forever impressed into my heart as a kind of measure against which all other shields are judged.  I am sure then, dear reader, you can appreciate my un-abated joy at the revelation of a worthy successor.

Make sure you get a good look at the full picture hosted by our dear friends at MMO Champion.  Sure, you say, it doesn’t have the riveted to an armored Mercedes door look of the Bulwark – but damn if it isn’t the door to a Tesla.  I mean – look at the heft on that thing!  It’s like it was hewn out of a giant slab of icy iron just to sit on our arms and say “Now just imagine how this will feel when I hit you in the face. “

Nothing quite says hello like Shield Slam, especially when it’s accompanied by a shield that looks like it has it’s own architecture.  You know what I mean?

Of course you do.

Move over Arthas, we’re not coming to kill you.  We’re coming for your SHIELDS.




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