Category Archives: Tanking

Chimaeron write up is up!

Hi all,

Added a Chimaeron write up with video to the Encounters page.  Go check it out!



Encounter write ups

Just a quick one.

I have started to put together some encounter write ups using the strategies we use in my guild; Labyrinth of Lost Souls.

The first one is now up!  Funnily enough it’s Magmaw.

Check it out, hopefully it contains some tips you can use to help you refine your current approach.  On the flip side, if you know of any additional tricks, post a comment and let me know!

You can find the write ups using the menu option at the top of the site, or you can go straight to the Magmaw writeup there using this link: LoLS Magmaw Strat.



Attempts on Cho’Gall

We got through to Cho’Gall last night and had a few attempts on him to see what all the fuss was about.  I think we managed to see him down to 50%ish.

The plan is to head back in tonight and have a few more attempts on him but here are my impressions so far.

  • He feels much much easier than Nef.
  • Definitely a DPS heavy fight.
  • I think we can get him in the not too distant future.

When we were doing Nef, there was al ot going on (what with 2 dragons, adds and lava).  By comparison, Cho’Gall feels fairly straight forward.  What we lacked on our first few attempts was proper control of the adds in phase 1.  We missed a few interrupts on their aoe and this pushed up corruption levels pretty fast.  We also need much better management of the bloods that spawn.  I think once we get those down pat, which shouldn’t take too long, we will able to get him down.

Tanking him seems pretty straight forward.  Most of the work in this fight looks to be done by the healers and dps to be honest.  The Main Tank and I swapped on Cho’Gall when we got the debuffs or soon after and whichever one of us wasn’t on Cho’Gall at the time, picked up the summoned add and took it to the back of the room to be killed.

There was a fair bit of cooldown popping, but that may decrease once the healers get used to the damage cycles.  It was also pretty handy having a Warrior tank as he could shockwave the worshipping guildies (in addition to dps fearing, CCing, etc).

We havent seen phase 2 yet (I’m sure we will tonight though) so I can’t comment on it too much.  But from what I have seen, quick switching to the eye stalks will see us through.

I am hopeful we will do well tonight, we usually pick things up pretty fast and have good dps and heals which always makes a difference.  So far we have had 8.5 raids.  At 8/12 down in that time, we should be due for 9/12 tonight 🙂  Mind you, we havent even been in to Throne of the Four Winds yet and I hear that Conclave isn’t that difficult.

Here’s to a successful raid tonight!


Chimaeron – seemed a touch underdone

>I mentioned in my last post that we were about to have a crack at Chimaeron. On Wednesday we had a few dummy runs to see how the fight worked, seemed ok.

Last night we went in fresh, having cleared the first 3 in the one night we were all keen to have a good crack at Chimaeron. Little did we know what was in store for us, what was going through the heads of the 3 headed dragon (?).

We had a quick chat before we engaged; talking about positioning and the best way to do the collapse after the robot went offline. That was simple enough, collapse on the druid with the star, who happened to be standing right behind me.

The boss strategy itself, from a tanking point of view, is close to being boring to be honest. Main tank stands in front of him and holds agro. Off tank stands off to one side and taunts the boss when he gives himself a buff letting you know he is about the double strike. After you see the slash animation, you (as the main tank) taunt him back. Phase 2 involves staying alive with all your cooldowns for as long as you can. You will die though, no question. You don’t get any heals you see… the healers go all trigger happy and start spamming (bring back the wanding days I say!) the boss.

So anyway, we engage. Off tank and I play a little ping pong with boss, we push him into phase 2. I die shortly after. Our assassination rogue then evasion tanks him for a bit (5 dodges in a row I think he managed) and then dies. Then the boss dies.

First pull, no joke.

I didn’t think he would be that hard, but first pull? Really? Possibly the new lootship? It was probably harder for the healers? Maybe I just simply missed something, some uber epic mechanic that bugged out on us?
Still, it got us all going and was a nice start to the evening. Atramedes seems a different prospect but still not that hard, mainly a case of dodging stuff. I will put some more thoughts up on him once we get the blind dragon down.

Till then:

Lord Victor Nefarius: Stop fighting yourself THIS INSTANT Chimaeron!


Blackwing Descent – DK Tanking Magmaw, Omnotron and Maloriak

>Inspired by my guildmate Glowberry’s musings on healing in BWD, here are my thoughts on tanking in the same encounters. This will be a longish read so be warned.


The strategy we use for Magmaw only requires a single main tank, so for this fight I switch to Frost and get my dps on. I actually really enjoy dpsing this fight, not only because I can hit 20k but because I get to do something other than beat on the boss. This fight requires some thought on rune conservation and making sure Frost runes are available for the lava parasites.

From start to finish, here are my thoughts.

Until the first pillar of flame I simply work on the boss while keeping an eye on the pillar of flame cooldown. Once that starts getting under 10 secs, I stop using any abilities that use a Frost or Death rune. This is so that I have the maximum number of Howling Blasts (HB) available for the parasites.

As soon as the pillar falls on our pillar soaker who is standing at range (usually a Mage or Warlock) I run out dropping a Death and Decay over the spawn point. Once in range I then start spamming HB. I have specced into Chillblains and glyphed HB. This means that HB applies Frost Fever to all targets it hits and then Chillblains slow every target affected by Frost Fever by 25%. This gives me time to get 6 or 7 HB’s making sure that I firstly get the threat on all the parasites meaning I kite them away from the raid and secondly do an enormous amount of damage to them (this is sole reason I can hit 20k).

Once the parasites are down I switch back to Magmaw and the process is the same for the second pillar or flame. Once the main tank gets mangled (eaten), there is usually no more pillars, however this is not always the case so you need to stay aware and react accordingly if another one falls.
Once we are in the clear as far as pillars go, I simply wait for Magmaw’s head to be impaled and then go to town on it. The entire fight is just a rinse and repeat of this cycle. Hit the boss, kill the parasites, hit the boss; all whilst avoiding the fire. Cake.


This fight is a little more complicated than Magmaw but still not that bad once you are used to the 4 different golems. Due to the need for 2 tanks in this fight, I have switched back to Blood.

There are 4 bosses in this fight, each with their own set of abilities. Arcanotron uses arcane abilities, Electron uses electrical abilities, Magmatron uses fire abilities and Toxitron uses poison abilities.

By far the worst of these bosses to tank is Arcanotron. He has 2 abilities that make him irritating. The first is Arcane Annihilator, a fast cast that should be interrupted as often as possible. The problem is, a Blood DK only really has 1 reliable interrupt (whose cooldown is longer than Arcanotrons). The other is on too long of a cooldown, requires a blood rune and is on the global cooldown. The second ability is Power Generator, a swirly pool on the ground from which the boss must be moved as soon as possible as it gives a large damage boost to anything standing in it.

The other 3 bosses aren’t too bad from a tanking point of view, pretty much stand and deliver stuff apart from the occasional moving out of Toxitron’s poison cloud. There are however a couple of little niggles that you need to be aware of. The first is the change over, for a short period of time, you have 2 golems beating on you. This is the time when the raid is most likely to wipe as the tanks are tanking much more damage than usual. This can be partly negated by doing 2 things; making sure you have an emergency button available (Icebound Fortitude being the best) and place yourself a distance away from the activating golem where possible so that he has to run to you. Hopefully by the time he gets to you, the previous golem will have deactivated. This is possible because the golems retain their threat tables between activations.

Apart from the above, the only real movement you will have to do in the fight is when kiting Arcanotron around. Our guild employs a strategy whereby we move Arcanotron towards the group of ranged standing towards the rear of the room so that he drops his pools near them. This provides the damage boost but also gives some much needed mana regen. Occasionally the tank not on Toxitron will get a slime focussed on them, which will require some movement away from said slime.

It is also important to remember that you cannot hit the bosses while their shields are up. Thankfully they are only up for a relatively short period of time, namely from 45 to 30 energy. Once you pass 30, feel free to start beating on the boss once more, which in my case gives me the much needed Death Strike heals and blood shield.

This fight is another rinse repeat type deal, except that you need to be aware of what boss is activating next (usually this falls into a pattern after a couple of rounds) and make sure you are positioned correctly as well as proper use of cooldowns. We found it very messy until everyone was fully aware of how to interact with each of the bosses abilities. We are now at a stage where we can get them down in 3-5 attempts.

Its not too bad once you get a handle on it, just need to stay aware of what’s going on.


I started off as the add-tank on Maloriak, but we decided that wasn’t working so well so I switched to tanking him instead.

The shifting red/blue/green phases have no effect on the main tank at all; they are a problem for the dps and heals to worry about. What you do need to concentrate on in those 3 phases is controlling the flow of adds. Maloriak casts 2 add summons per coloured phase. He has a total of 18 small adds and 2 large adds. A small add cast summons 3 adds each time. The large add cast, which occurs at 25% summons 2 large adds. The key to this fight is controlling and killing the adds.

The strategy that we employ is as follows. I, as the main tank, interrupt the first cast of the first coloured phase (red or blue) then let the second cast through along with the following 2 casts of the second coloured phase (red or blue). This gives a total of 9 adds prior to the green phase. In the green phase these adds must be burned down by your dps as fast as possible. If not Maloriak gets kinda pissed and starts hitting you very hard indeed. If the adds don’t die, you most likely will.

However, whilst you are madly popping cooldowns to stay alive, you need to interrupt the 2 add casts in the green phase. These are really important. If they make it through, you will have 3 or 6 adds without the green vial debuff, meaning you won’t be able to kill them, meaning you are much more likely to die. Try very hard to interrupt these casts.

Thankfully the time between casts is longer than the cooldown on your Mind Freeze (MF) so it is possible to only use MF. Be aware that the cast will always follow an arcane storm, so don’t jump the gun and interrupt the storm, let the assigned dps handle that one. Abilities like Curse of Tongues really help here.

The red/blue/green vial phase will occur twice. By assuring that only 9 adds are released each time, you allow your add tank to survive, meaning you don’t wipe. If either tank dies, just reset the fight by running out.

The last phase, which occurs once the boss hits 25%, is a dps race. Maloriak has a 7 minute enrage timer and the first time we killed him, we did it in 6 minutes and 58 seconds… so high dps is a must. In terms of tanking this phase you need to make sure you avoid the fire where possible. There is no cast bar for this ability, but if you are standing in it when it is cast you will be thrown up in the air and suffer moderate fall damage. I finally worked out how to avoid it last night. Before each cast he will stop hitting you and stand in the one spot with his arms in the air. This is your queue to move. Simply strafe to one side as fast as possible. Note that if you don’t move early you will still get caught even if it ‘looks’ like you are out of the fire.

I tend to always move in the same direction, clockwise, so that I always have a direction in which to move. This ends up with me doing tight circles around the boss for the entire last phase. The add tank is kiting the 2 large adds this entire time, don’t even attempt to kill them, just focus on the boss.

I guess that the main tank doesn’t have to be the one interrupting the boss, but because you are always targeting him, it is just easier than sacrificing a dps during the green phase. This aspect of the fight really is key to getting him down. In future gear tiers, the off tank and healers may be able to handle more than 9 at a time which would change your interrupt pattern but for now, 9 at a time is about the limit.
So far I have really enjoyed these fights; they feel a more challenging than Wrath with a lot less room for mistakes. We have just ventured into Chimaeron’s lair so expect some more thoughts on that fight once we get him down.

Until then:

My demise accomplishes nothing! The master will have you! You will drown in your own blood! The world shall burn! Aaaghh!


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