Tanking for Dummies

Hard Mode Trial of the Crusader is Hard, pt. 2
September 16, 2009, 12:01 am
Filed under: Raiding, Strategy | Tags: , , , , ,

So, as established in the previous post, Heroic Mode Gormok the Impaler is hard.  As should be no surprise, it’s just as hard on 25-man.  Monday night there was a lot of death on my first Gormok Wipefest.

But we did it.

It was, as I thought, very much like Iron Council Hard Mode – careful coordination of cooldowns to live through the brutally high hits, particularly Impale.  Our method after the break.

Our tank composition for this fight was a Paladin and Two Warriors.  You have aproximately 3 minutes to kill Gormok before the Twin Jormungar show up, which will almost certainly result in a wipe or a fight reset.  This translates to roughly 7-8 tank transitions over the course of the fight.

The first technique you will need to manage is Impale, which for most raids will be the thing that kills you first.  This is made especially dangerous by the stacking Rising Anger buff which, by the time it reaches 4 stacks, will have Impale hitting for well over 45k.  Even prior to that, Gormok’s heavy melee damage can produce two hit combos with Impale for over 50+k in less than a second.  Needless to say, melee debuffs like Thunder Clap and Demo Shout should be up at all times.  Also, unlike in Normal Trial of the Crusader, he cannot be disarmed.  Fortunately, the painful Impale DoT can be cleansed by use of the Paladin’s Blessing of Protection, which is recommended.  With three tanks, we chose to swap out every two hits of Impale, though this is not necessarily enough that the DoT will have worn off, just most of the time.

As I said, Impale is handled through the careful management of cooldowns.  For us it broke down like this:

1st Impale – Paladin Tank eats one for the team

2nd Impale – Paladin Tank takes another one.

Warrior Tank 1 taunts.  Paladin Tank Bubbles self to cleanse the DoT.

3rd Impale – Warrior Tank 1 eats one for the team

4th Impale – Warrior Tank 1 uses Shield Block to avoid getting two shot.

Warrior Tank 2 taunts.  Warrior Tank 1 gets Blessing of Protection to Clense the DoT.

5th Impale – Warrior Tank 2 eats one for the team.

6th Impale – Warrior Tank 2 uses Shield Block to avoid getting two shot.

Paladin Tank Taunts.  Warrior Tank 2 gets Blessing of Protection to Clense the DoT.

7th Impale – Paladin Tank eats one for the team.

8th Impale – Paladin Tank eats another one for the Team.

Warrior Tank 1 Taunts.

9th Impale – Warrior Tank 1 gets Guardian Spirit/Pain Suppression/Hand of Sacrifice.  Shield Block should also be up at this point.

10th Impale – Warrior Tank 1 uses Shield Wall.

Warrior Tank 2 Taunts.

11th Impale – Warrior Tank 2 gets Guardian Spirit/Pain Suppression/Hand of Sacrifice.  Shield Block also.

12th Impale – Warrior Tank 2 uses Shield Wall.

Paladin Tank Taunts.

13th Impale – Paladin Tank uses Divine Shield to Live.

14th Impale – If he’s not dead by now, you are, because here come the Jormungar.  A last Guardian Spirit/Pain Suppression/Hand of Sacrifice might save the day though.

But wait, that isn’t all.

You also have to deal with the Snobolds.

The Snobolds can seem, at first like an annoyance.  Their damage is, by comparison, middling.  However, the firebombs they throw can quickly kill anyone who stands in them, and if one of your healers gets one it can quickly doom a raid, particularly if they are part of the Impale rotation.  Complicating this is the necessary DPS on Gormok himself to beat the Jormungar timer.  If you devote too much time to killing Snobolds, you won’t make it.

We settled on a compromise.  If a healer or a cloth ranged DPS got a Snobold, they would run into range of the Melee where all DPS would focus it down.  If a tank, melee DPS or Hunter/Elemental Shaman got one, we would leave it until after Gormok was dead.  We found this resulted in the best of both worlds, with the compromise that picking up DPS on the Jormungar would be slow.  We may revisit the strategy given that we have yet to make it much past the first submerge of the Worms, but for now it achieved our Day 1 goal of regularly getting to Phase 2 on the Northrend Beasts encounter.

Hopefully, your raid will also find this case study useful.


3 Comments so far
Leave a comment

We did a very similar strategy but only had four DPS on the snobolds constantly (ex-melee targets) in order to keep them under control. Its mainly important to keep them off healers, by leaving most of the DPS on the boss, we get him down with a bit of spare time to wipe out the remaining snobolds (usually 2-3 alive still at the end).

Comment by Dumb Arms Warrior

How much dps is needed for the 10 man version? currently our top dps is pushing around 5.5k-6k dps each. Also what healing composition would you recommend? Pally, Druid, Shammy?

Comment by jacob

This is a little bit outside of my expertise area, so bear with me.

Heroic-10 Gormok has 2,789,000 health. If you assume it takes 3 minutes to kill him, that means you 5 DPS would need to pull about 4kdps to down him if they were attacking him and nothing else. Since you need to kill Snobolds (and vice versa your tanks provide a pretty decent amount of DPS themselves) I would say that you should be able to knock out Gormok if your bring your “top DPS”.

As for healing, that is a bit sticker. I would say that you need two strong tank healers (Paladin, and Disc Priest, I’ve heard Shaman as well) and one strong raid healer (Holy Priest, Shaman, Tree). But you might benefit from hopping over to Snarkcraft and making a request with them to do a post on the fight. They handle all of my healing anyway ^_~.

Comment by Tarsus

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