Tanking for Dummies

Ulduar Journal: Auriya and Hodir
May 8, 2009, 12:01 am
Filed under: Raiding, Strategy | Tags: , , , ,

Welcome back to Ulduar.  Let me tell you, things are fresh.

Axiom continues in it’s fantastic capacity to clear all bosses already killed in one night (that would be Wednesday).  As of this writing, that includes Flame Leviathan, Razorscale, Ignis, Deconstructor, Kologarn, Iron Council, Auriaya, and Hodir.

The best part? I’ve been there for every new boss kill save Flame Leviathan and Ignis.  I know after a while I’ll be hurting for a new tanking weapon, but right now it feels pretty awesome to be able to document personally some progression raiding.  It feels like I haven’t done that since… well… Tempest Keep.

It also means I’ve been slacking keeping you updated, dear reader.  I shall stop this travesty right now.Dear Auriaya: Not so tough without your kitties, are you?

If someone has already covered this pardon me, but I cannot stress this enough: it really is all in the pull.  She’s a panzy without her little kitties.

To review from last time: Auriya has four adds in 25-man that need to be tanked separately.  A tank cannot pull them by their lonesome because of their pounce ability, which when applied four times in quick succession will kill them, even if they’re using cooldowns.  The trick is to prevent them from pouncing… but how?

Props must be given to Yakra for pointing out that a Hunter’s Flame trap will work well to pull the group.  That we use the ground effect of a Mage’s Flamestrike is irrelevant to the point that this works as the most key part of the equation.  Why it works though is key to understanding the rest of the pull though:  Pounce, like charge, has a maximum and minimum range.  A Mage (or hunter) can drop their damage and book it out of range of pounce, hence avoiding quad-pounce instant death.  The cat tanks then, should stand at the top of the stairs, directly in the path that the angry kitties will be traveling along to eat the puller’s face.  When they’re in melee range, you taunt.  Make sure you’re in melee range too.  I cue up my auto attack so I can be sure because I can’t pop Bloodrage (rage generation is more agro than you’ll get off the tick from the Trap/Flamestrike) or I’ll get eaten by all four panthers (two of whom will probably pounce).  I just wait until I see the melee motion start then I hit Taunt.

Cat tanks then pull the panthers away from each other and DPS will burn them down.  Personally I found it helpful to blow Shield Wall when the pull happened anyway because the first couple of hits, when they’re still close together hurt a lot (they have a stacking aura that increases their damage) and there is no guarantee that a taunt from one of the other tanks won’t be resisted leaving you stuck with the possibility of eating a pounce when you use Demoralizing Shout or other AoE Ability.  The cats die quick – and then you’re done.

…okay not quite.  But it can feel that way after wiping on the pull for an hour.

You, warrior tank, may be tempted by many options in the rest of this fight if you are the off tank.  There is the summoned swarm of kitties and the ever elusive “if only I had an agro table, omfg I’m going to drop a Void Zone on your raid!” Feral Defender.  This is not your task.  Let your Death Knight, Bear, or Paladin worry about these things because you have bigger fish to fry.  I’m talking about Sentinel Blast.

Warrior Tanks are the best suited for the job of interrupting Sentinel Blast.  Why?  Sentinel Blast always follows Terrifying Screech, which can be broken with Berserker Rage.  Being a tank, your paused DPS while you hold your GCD won’t hurt the raid.  Best of all, should you be a wee bit late hitting your Berserker Rage button, Warbringer means you can get back into melee fast enough to get your interrupt off.  Sentinel Blast is the only thing that is really going to kill you dead if left alone (provided your raid isn’t bathing in the Void Zones), so you will be a hero and you get to slam someone in the face (okay, kneecap) with your shield.  Is this awesome?  Yes, it is.

I know I got every one.

Hodir: Needs more Phallus Jokes

I know I’m not the only one, but damn; after being a good little raider and grinding my penis giant Sons of Hodir rep to exalted I was kind of anticipating someone more along the lines of Rocky Horror.  I mean, I like a man in a kilt as much as the next person, but when the king of polishing helms and thrusting spears is less phallically inclined than the architects of Dalaran you have a problem.  This guy needs Kael’thas’ crack decorating team stat (and a thong while you’re at it).

More seriously, Hodir’s trash brought back memories of Molten Core with the dangerous tendency of wandering packs of elementals to jump on your raid while fighting a giant.  It didn’t feel it was as dangerous as, say, getting jumped by a Core Hound, but it was a nostalgic start to the event of getting stomped into the ground for ninety minutes or so.

Hodir is a two tank fight at most, the smallest number needed that I have seen so far.  (I was, sadly, stuck on DPS duty but it did give me a chance to learn that I suck at Fury right now, so not all was lost.)  There is a tank for the “Physical Phase” and tank for the “Frost Phase.”  Here’s hoping you got that Frost Resist Gear crafted when it was still cheap to make.  I knew resist fights were too tempting for Blizzard to keep them away for long.

The ability that makes this happen is called Frozen Blows, which (to make a complicated description simple) means he does a piddling amount of physical damage and a crap-ton of Frost damage.  When Frozen Blows is up, so is the Frost Tank, when it’s down, the Physical Tank is up.  Got this so far?

Next up is stuff falling on you from the ceiling.  If you see snow falling on you – move – an AoE Icicle (ice phallus perhaps?  inquiring minds want to know) is about to drop on your head.  These come in two flavors, with stuff on the floor and without.  Getting hit by either will hurt and knock you halfway across the room.

Stuff on the Floor Icicles will leave behind large white spots which I suppose are snowdrifts.  You want to jump on these because if you see them it means that Hodir is about to cast Flash Freeze.  Failure to jump (and I do mean this, do not simple walk onto the white stuff) onto the right spot will get you frozen into an Ice Block.

Not that you wouldn’t be jumping anyway.  Why?  Because otherwise you get Biting Cold.  I hope you are ready to put the lessons you learned on Keristrasza to work.

This covers what you need to know from a tank’s perspective, but (lest it go without mention) there is a very important other side of the fight which DPS needs to take care of.

There are NPCs on this fight.  Not only do they contribute significantly since there are so many of them, they also provide buffs which are absolutely necessary to victory.  Unfortunately, they’re about as smart as Marshal Windsor so they will not actually run to get on the white stuff when Hodir freezes everything.  DPS needs to break these guys free as quick as possible.

The attempt all DPS got that through our cranium was our victory, so don’t let it be said that I didn’t tell you how important this is.

He didn’t drop a new shield though.  Next time maybe.

What next?

Thorim and Freya I am betting, and maybe Mimiron.  Our initial attempts on Thorim were full of fail gauntlet but hopefully we can do better this time.  I’m there after all, We’ve downed two new bosses every time they brought added Cow Power.



7 Comments so far
Leave a comment

Thanks for the props! Flame traps are sweet.

For Hodir – I recommend one tank in FR gear, just so that healers don’t have to switch/re-HoT a target when Frozen Blows start (since they have a bunch of other stuff going on at that point, with the raid wide damage). Also, *turn on projected textures* so that every icecicle has a rune under it. This is HUGE.

And Thorim – I just wrote up how we did the hallway, since its a really tank intensive fight. See if any of those tips help you guys out.

Comment by Yakra

@ Yakra – I think our DK tank might be able to pull off the combo to remain def capped in his FR gear. I know he has at least one of the Defense Trinkets. (I will add how much I hate projected textures as it makes my frame rate go through the floor)

As for Thorim – Great write up there. I’ve linked it in our Thorim strat thread on our forums.

Comment by Tarsus

Huzzah! I can’t wait to hear how these fights are in the 25-man version.

We’ve cleared everything in 10-man except for Mimiron, Vezax, and Yogg-Saron. For us this is all training for the 25-man versions so keep the stories coming :D

Comment by Tigerfeet

I think the quota of cock jokes was met by Ignis and his rape bucket, sadly.

Comment by Yuki

Jumping onto the snow drifts? Bad Advice. The game doesn’t update your position until you land, so if you’re jumping onto the snow drift, and the freeze comes before you land, you’ll get frozen anyways. Besides, jumping doesn’t grant you any sort of movement speed increase over running. Jumping is best saved for when the tank get’s hodir into a nice spot where the Melee can bask in a moonbeam for a bit.

Comment by The Renaissance Man

@ Rennaisance – I may have been misinformed, but it is my understanding that simply running over onto to the snowdrift may not actually cause you to be considered “on the snowdrift” for the purposes of Flash Freeze. I haven’t tested this myself.

@ Yuki – I tend to think of it as a sporran of death.

@ Tigerfeet – I’ll be blogging about our progress every week until we kill Yoggy. Then maybe more sporadic updates about Hard Mode versions as we attempt them.

Comment by Tarsus

Just running onto the snow drift is fine. I had one instance where I was on the snow drift and jumped and the freeze caught me while I was in mid air !

Also speaking as a Druid tank , I had no problems tanking both phases with 2 pieces of frost gear (belt and boots).

The biggest problem I had was keeping above dps when they managed to get all buffs going. My advice is when tanking, back yourself into a monbeam and stay there jumping and building threat when possible :-)

Comment by Satyrical

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