Tanking for Dummies


Trial of the Champion
August 10, 2009, 12:01 am
Filed under: Analysis, Gear, Strategy | Tags: , , , ,

First off, let me ask your forbearance dear readers.  I’ve only been managing two posts a week or so for the past few weeks.  Not exactly the finest record.

I will say though that at least this week, part of the contributing factor has been my pushing with two things.  The first of these is the new Trial of the Champion 5-man, and I’m going to tackle that today.  The second is my new offspec, Arms, which I will get to later this week.

There is a lot of comparison between Trial of the Champion and Magister’s Terrace.  Both present a good jumping forward place for people hoping to tackle more difficult content, something that newcomers and old hands with alts are sure to appreciate.  If you haven’t had a chance to get a look at it though, let me give you the highlights.

Your first encounter has two parts, the joust and the melee.  The trash before this encounter is easy, 3 groups of 3 equally incompetent jousters.  Your 5 man group will take them out even if you suck at jousting.  The encounter itself is not much more difficult if you keep a mind on your stacks of the “Shield” buff.  If you focus fire them you’ll find that they go down very quickly.  The melee itself is more difficult.  You’ll get a random choice of 3 opponents from a list of 5.  The Warrior (Human, Orc), is by far the most dangerous because of his Mortal Strike debuff, and if you are melee heavy you should beware of his Bladestorm.  Next most dangerous is probably the Rogue (Dwarf, Undead) because of poisons and the AoE poison pool she drops on random players.  Needless to say you shouldn’t stand in that, and if you can, you should dispel the poisons (especially important on Heroic).  The Hunter (Night Elf, Troll) and the Mage (Blood Elf, Gnome) are probably the next most dangerous thanks to their relatively high DPS.  Depending on your composition, it may be necessary to prioritize one or the other.  For a warrior, the Mage is fairly easily neutralized as his spells are easily reflect-able, interpretable,  and his haste buff can be wiped off with a single Shield Slam.  Just beware that if he polymorphs your healer you may need to pop a cooldown if it can’t be cleansed relatively quickly.  The shaman is by far the weakest of all of these, even though he can heal, so I recommend leaving him until last.

The second encounter is also easy for a warrior to handle, as is the trash proceeding it.  If you kill the trash in the order of Priestess, Lightwielder, Monk I can all but guarantee success.  The bosses (a choice between a priest and a paladin) are also equally straightforward with limited tricks.  Argent Confessor Paletress is a straight manner of DPSing her until she bubbles and summons up a random boss from past battles (thus far I’ve seen Cygnosia and Ingvar) which hit for moderate melee damage and occasionally cast a fear effect called Waking Nightmare.  It also casts a debuff which slows cast speed so it can be dangerous if it hits your healer.  However, once you defeat the nightmare, Paletress will be attack-able again.  If you want to be done quicker, remember to use your Shield Slam to dispel her Renew and things will go swimmingly.

Eadric the Pure, the other possible boss of the Second Encounter is (if anything) even easier than Paletress.  He hits for moderate Melee damage and has two tricks.  The first, Radiance, is very obvious.  Simply turn away until after he finishes casting it to avoid the Blind debuff it applies.  (Don’t be shy about this, he doesn’t attack while casting, so there is no danger of taking extra damage with your back turned.)  The second attack is something of a combo, with Hammer of Justice (stun) followed up by something called Hammer of the Righteous.  The latter does a good bit of damage (about 15000), but if you are not stunned when you get hit by it you gain the ability to throw it back at him for that much yourself.  Trust me, you can’t miss the opportunity.

And then, at last, you get to face off with the Black Knight.  A three phase fight, there are a two tricks to keep in mind that can make your life much easier.  First is to try and remove the Diseases he places on you as they will dramatically increase the amount of damage you take.  The second is to save your Cooldowns until phase 2.  In phase 1, he will summon a Ghoul which you should grab and kill first.  Tanking them both at the same time is not so much of an issue as the Ghoul will die quickly.  In phase 2, he will use Army of the Dead to summon a Horde of Ghouls.  Have your party group up for the summoning portion then run out.  Have ranged DPS AoE them down and Melee DPS kill single ghouls they can pull out of the pack.  After a short time, he will start using Corpse Explosion on them, and I recommend using a Cooldown once he starts doing this to give your healer a break, because it can be a lot of damage. (As a side note, you can kill the ghouls before he starts using Corpse explosion if your DPS is high enough).  Lastly, Phase 3 is a flat DPS race as he will increasingly stack a debuff on you that increases damage.

Overall, I found the instance to be short and fun, but on the easy side at my gear level (perhaps no surprise).  That said, there are some pretty astounding upgrades here, particularly in the trinket department.  I am sure The Black Heart would be an upgrade for many tanks, and well worth running the Normal version of the instance over and over again to get it.  I know I am going to (I’m on my eight attempt now having spent most of Saturday evening going for it).  The gear that drops off of the instance in both modes is excellent for tanks looking to boost threat stats like hit and expertise, and if you’re looking to build an Arms set, heavy on Armor penetration, this seems to be the place to do it as well.  There are also a lot of neat touches to the presentation that will make RPers smile a bit inside, a rarity in instance design.  In short, with its brevity and quality of gear, it is probably an instance we’re all going to be running repeatedly for a long while into the future.

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13 Comments so far
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You totally forgot to include the first phase: the Monologue Phase, in which the NPC dude spends about 10 minutes talking about how awesome you and the guys you’re about to grind for loot are, thus ensuring that you are bored to tears by the time the fight actually begins.

Insidious.

Comment by Yuki

I acutally ran it about 10 or more times before I got the trinket. Lots of epics which is very nice if you dont arent completly decked out.

I have seen: VanCleef, Herrod, Prince Malchezzar, Archimonde so far.

Comment by Darraxus

@Yuki – I learned the other night that if you have one person go in and start the event and then have the other four run in when the player announcements are over you can cut it down to like 3. >.>

@Darraxus – The guild bank is very happy with all of the shards we’ve been giving it. I think the Saturday deposit was 20+. The bottom is going to drop out of that market for sure.

Comment by Tarsus

Hey, Blazeaxe here. Long time listener, first time caller, and proud prot warrior.

Even on the regular difficulty, I am having troubles pulling in all the joust bosses after the dismount. Most of the time, the bosses are spread out over the arena, and even when I try to get the rest of the party to stack on me, it’s been a beast to grab aggro on all three of them. I think I’ve been able to tank them properly after the dismount once, every other attempt has ended in a frustrating wipe.

Comment by Blazeaxe

Depending on the selection you get, this can be a big issue, yes, particularly the mage and the hunter.

Under that situation, personally, I find the key to this is using the silencing effect under Gag Order to bring them in range. If you grab whichever one of the melee-types you have with a quick shield slam and then drag them over to the first closest ranged, Shield Bash/Gag Order them and then drag them both over to the third ranged, for a Thunderclap/Shockwave combo, I’ve generally found this to be enough threat to keep them off the healers.

If the drag distance is very far, you can also Heroic Throw/Gag Order to either extend the silence on the mob you have or bring the one your going after closer.

Another Pro-tip, you have a few seconds while they are getting up to a couple hits in before they start doing things. If you hit “V” to show their health bars, you’ll see them pop up the moment that they are target-able.

Comment by Tarsus

Thanks for the reply.

The problem became obvious to me when I made my first attempt on Heroic ToC last night, we pulled the Pally/Mage/Hunter combo for the bosses. I simply wasn’t ready for it. We never got past ’em and cashed in after the 4th or 5th wipe. I think it was because whenever I grabbed one, the other found a way to slip out. Even with charge and intervene, I couldn’t keep their aggro, and the healer would get whacked. I think my gear is pretty good for H-5mans, so I’m pretty sure it was just poor handling.

Worse is that on reg ToC with the bosses having less HP and Damage, it’s almost too easy to rely on as good practice for the heroic version.

Comment by Blazeaxe

I’m having the same problem as a new tank(adin). I don’t have Tarsus’s level of skill yet — and probably never will — so we just … cheat (i.e., run out to reset the encounter at phase 3).

/shameface

Comment by Elleiras

You know, you say I’m pretty skilled, but I had no idea that you could do that.

>.>

Comment by Tarsus

I don’t recommend it unless your tank is awful (like I am >.>). We found out last night that resetting the encounter counts as a wipe, so you don’t get the second piece of loot if you do it. Oops.

Comment by Elleiras

I was lucky i got the trinket in my first run through, though my tanking sucked, since i had never been there. Its still very confusing to me to tank it. Anything i should keep in mind while mounted?

Comment by Fatbassterd

My recollection of the event is shaded by time, it’s been a while since I did it, but while mounted I found the best thing is communication to focus fire targets and keep the ones that are down actually down (have someone assigned to target them every so often and hit them with a lance). Everyone is pretty much the same when mounted so there’s no specific best order.

Oh, and don’t forget to re-equip your weapon. It’s easy to do when you’re a warrior and your first instinct is to hit shield slam.

Comment by Tarsus

I’ve found running out to be the best and easiest way to handle it, too. The three bosses are almost always widely spread out and, inevitably, one of them gets on the healer. If everybody knows to run out, there is time to re-equip weapons and prepare for the pull in a less harried manner.

Comment by Lujanera

Well, it’s good to know that you don’t have to die to get them all lined up in a row.

Comment by Tarsus




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