Thoughts on tanking in Firelands

18 Jul

So, my guild has gone 2 for 7 in the Firelands now. First week, we killed Shannox, and this past raid week we killed Baleroc. I’ve gotta give Blizz some real credit, cause it seems to me they’re trying out a lot of new mechanics for the FL raid bosses. They make things interesting, that’s for sure. First there’s Shannox and his goddamn dogs. Ugh. Although he’s relatively easy to tank, you really have to keep your eyes open. Stepping on an Immo trap as a tank is gonna cause you to take a SHIT ton of damage, and possibly even die. Stepping on a crystal trap is pretty much instant-wipe. If you’ve taken a look at our kill video for Shannox (in my youtube channel) then may noticed that I strafe along the outside of the cleared area to avoid stepping in the traps. It also helps keep the traps in a predictable area so my melee DPS avoid stepping on them as well. The downside is that placement of crystal traps aren’t always in the best of spots for catching Riplimb when your tanks need to drop their stacks of Jagged Tear. In my video (it was our guild’s first kill, so it was VERY messy), you may notice that both the Riplimb tank and myself reached pretty high stack counts a couple times during the fight.


Baleroc is a fight that makes me happy in the pants. Since, as a tank, I can’t measure my epeen the same way DPS do, THAT fight continues to increase my health pool the longer it goes on. I saw myself pop over 2 million when I hit Frenzied Regeneration, and there’s absolutely no chance at all that I was cackling like a mad scientist. Nope… Not at all. >.>

Anyway… In spite of the mind-boggling health pool, this fight is absurdly stressful. The healers, the DPS, and the tank (we decided to one-tank it, because we’re cool like that) all have a LOT of communication to make with each other. Decimation Blades is one of those abilities, that just… every time I see it pop up it makes me cringe a bit. Luckily, as a bear, i’ve got an insanely high dodge chance, so only 3 out of the 9 Decimating Strikes actually hit me. Looking back through the combat log, I actually dodged over 50% of ALL of his attacks, so in the grand scheme of things, I could have taken *WAY* more damage, but i’m not sure I could’ve survived it. There were a couple times where I was so close to dying, i’m pretty sure I flailed at my keys looking for a cooldown to hit (and luckily, I always had at least one up, except near the very end).

Now, i’m not going to go into full on strategies or anything, but Baleroc is an intense encounter. If you’re not careful, there can be a LOT of confusion going on. We actually had to take the healer team and myself into another vent channel so the DPS could coordinate their crystal rotation without interfering with the healer’s stack/proc rotation (which was, admittedly, less rotation and more “Okay, my buff is ending.”, “Okay, i’ll take it”). The only reason I went into the healer channel as well was to call out the Decimation Blade, so they weren’t caught offguard with “OMFG HE’S GONNA DIE” health. I also definitely didn’t laugh quite a bit when I dodged an entire round of Decimating Strikes. >.>

Either way it goes, i’m pretty proud of my raiders overall. We had to come back and say “okay maybe later” to Alysrazor and Rhyolith, because there’s just something that’s not clicking for us just yet… who knows, we may find it by the time we kill Beth’tilac. By and large though, i’m pretty pleased with this raid tier. Yeah, some guilds are blowing through it at breakneck pace, but that’s not us, and it probably won’t ever be us.. Honestly, we don’t want that. Too much stress, for me personally.

3 Responses to “Thoughts on tanking in Firelands”

  1. Kotakh July 18, 2011 at 8:04 am #

    Imo, you have awesome healers…

  2. Krikket July 18, 2011 at 12:44 pm #

    Although it’d be nice to be dropping bosses like flies, and collecting lots of shiny purples, we would be SO BORED until the next tier came out, and who wants that, really?

    I’ve always been a fan of slow & steady. We’re making enough progress that we’re not getting discouraged without feeling like we’re facerolling through everything.

  3. Pixelated Executioner July 19, 2011 at 12:34 pm #

    They’ve also had to fix Rhyolith – we might be able to beat him now without wondering why we’re taking so much damage all at once. XD

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