Tag Archives: Tanking

5.0.4 makes my blood boil!

29 Aug

Okay… I hope you’ll pardon the pun in the title. I’m actually quite thrilled at the DK changes i’ve run across. Crazy amounts excited about the blood DK changes. I spent some time playing with it last night, and some little things REALLY caught my attention that just made me happy. A lot of them are tiny little quality of life issues, but still, some of them are just AWESOME.

I went in and blew through Naxx 10 solo, just to get a feel for things. Initially, I was going to play around and test out the different rune regeneration talents (level 75 tier). The first one I went to check out was Blood Tap, and the first boss I went after was Patchwerk. I gotta be honest guys, after doing Patch with Blood Tap on, I was sold. I didn’t even WANT to try Runic Empowerment (because I already know how it feels, it’s what blood’s been using ever since release). Macroing Blood Tap into all of your main abilities really is the ONLY way to regenerate runes guys. It is so smooth and seemless…. it’s just awesome.

Another thing that I hadn’t really paid attention to before, but made itself ABUNDANTLY clear when fighting Patchwerk… Crimson Scourge is now baseline for blood DKs. Previously it was a talent that we didn’t really pick up because… well blood boil was kinda worthless, even with that extra damage. Well, now I can freely admit that blood boil STILL doesn’t hit very hard, but now, they’ve made a pretty big changed to Scarlet Fever… For those of you playing along at home who AREN’T clicking on links… Blood Boil now refreshes diseases.

Let me say that again, in case you just skimmed over it without paying much attention.

Blood boil. Now. Refreshes. Diseases.

Holy batshit you guys, that’s amazing. Not only does it solve the problem generated by moving Outbreak back to a 1 minute cooldown across the board, but when combined with the Scarlet Fever passive, it means that our diseases pretty much will NEVER fall off the target. Why’s that? Because you ALWAYS have blood runes to get rid of. The *easy* answer is that you can simply replace heart strike with blood boil, but that’s a relatively inelegant solution (although perfectly viable). Ideally, you’ll want to use heart strike as much as possible, only spending a rune on blood boil if your diseases are JUST about to fall off and you don’t have a proc. It is possible, but probably won’t happen that often. Generally, save runes for heart strike, and CS (Crimson Scourge) procs for blood boil.

Now, a caveat to the above statement. Crimson Scourge *also* gives you a free death & decay. It doesn’t reset the cooldown on it, but it’s extra damage. This is one of those things that Blizz gives you a way to seperate yourself from the pack. It’s perfectly acceptable to do nothing but blood boil. Your diseases will guarantee to never fall off, and you’re only sacrificing a modest amount of DPS. But the DK tanks who can properly weave in heart strikes, and even Death and Decay (I confirmed that it DOES do more damage, even on a single target at zero vengeance, than blood boil) properly will squeeze out that extra bit of dps. With the way vengeance no longer has a cap, I suspsect that it’ll become more and more significant as the content you run becomes harder.

Now… The other thing I noticed while playing, that I hadn’t noticed before, was the Scent of Blood change. Interestingly enough, this accrues with *every* auto-attack swing. This will be a little more curious to see how it plays out in the grand scheme of things, but I suspect that some of the absolute “Best of the Best” tanks will somehow find a way to time their death strikes properly after getting a couple stacks of this. Big damage incoming? Stave off the Death Strike for a bit and get a couple charges. Take the big hit, heal yourself back up massively, watch the healers go “wait what just happened?”, laugh yourself silly. Fun times for everybody!

This ties in to my (ever ongoing) indecision on which class i’m going to play for Mists. I figure I will spend a week on each toon (druid and DK), exclusively. Raid tank with it, run 5-mans with it, the whole shebang. At the end of each week, I will post my overarching thoughts, and then I will compare the two. My comparison may go into another blogpost, it may not… I haven’t exactly decided yet.

By the way… Pretty much ALL THE TIME, my DK will be on the Headless Horseman’s mount. LOOK AT MY HORSE, MY HORSE IS AMAZING!

MoP Rep Gear – Bears & DKs

25 Aug

So when writing my gear lists last week, I stumbled across something unexpected. It turns out that there are 4 factions who have rep gear, purchasable with VP, that is 489 ilvl epics. Of course, these are probably going to be gear pieces you would be interested in, but which factions have the best pieces for you? Which factions should you focus on, or ignore?

It’s worth noting that each of these factions ALSO have ilvl 450 blue gear, that is purchasable with JP at honored. It’s possible that you may run across honored without even trying, so these may be an early, good way to boost your ilvl getting ready for heroics as well. I will mention each faction, and what they offer to both DKs and bears, much in a similar way that my other lists were formatted, except they will be by faction instead of by gear slot.

Golden Lotus – In addition to some nice gear, the Golden Lotus also have mounts purchasable at exalted. Win!

Guardian Druids – Bears *really* clean up with the Golden Lotus. The 489 shoulders and chestpiece are about as nice as you can find outside of raiding (and would probably only be replaced by tier pieces. I haven’t honestly looked at tier itemization yet). Also, feel free to pick up the ring. Haste may be garbage, but jewelry has always been one of those hard to find, harder to replace pieces.

Surehand Grips – 450 gloves. Crit/Mastery, no socket.

Amulet of Swirling Mists – 450 neck. Haste/Mastery, no socket.

Mogu Rune of Paralysis – 450 trinket. 751 mastery, stun use.

Imperion Spaulders – 489 shoulders. Hit/Crit, yellow socket (60 agi)

Softfoot Silentwrap – 489 chest. Hit/Expertise, blue/yellow socket (120 agi)

Anji’s Keepsake – 489 ring. Hit/Haste, no socket.

Blood DKs – The weird itemization we saw in heroic blues continues on here for DKs. Why they have strength as a socket bonus on a clearly-tank item is beyond me. Perhaps they changed the Str-to-Parry conversion rate to make it far more attractive… I dunno. Anyway, Either 489 chest will work out for you, just depending on which you prefer to have more of. It probably would be worthwhile to pick up both and swap them out according to what feels better to you.

Serrated Forearm Guards – 450 wrist. Expertise/Mastery, no socket.

Gorget of Usurped Kings – 450 neck. Dodge/Hit, no socket.

Mogu Rune of Paralysis – 450 trinket. 751 mastery, stun use.

Cuirass of the Twin Monoliths – 489 chest. Dodge/Expetise, blue/yellow socket (120 str)

Dawnblade’s Chestguard – 489 chest. Hit/Expertise, blue/yellow socket (120 str)

Shoulders of Autumnlight – 489 shoulders. Dodge/Expertise, yellow socket (90 stam)

Alani’s Inflexible Ring – 489 ring. Dodge/Parry, no socket.

Shado-Pan – The Shado-Pan also have some mounts purchasable at exalted. The cloaks alone make these guys worth working on until revered, at the very least… besides, their mounts look effing SWEET.

Guardians – I know the “Hawkmaster’s Talon” has a kind of bunk on-use ability, but that much agi is hard for anybody to pass up, and it would be well worth a pick up on fights where you spend a lot of time DPS-bear’ing instead of actively tanking.

Tough Mushanhide Leggings – 450 legs. Hit/Mastery, no socket.

Mark of the Dancing Crane – 450 ring. Crit/Haste, no socket.

Red Smoke Bandana – 489 head. Hit/Mastery, meta/blue socket (180 agi)

Lao-Chin’s Liquid Courage – 489 trinket. 1619 stam, 15s mastery use.

Hawkmaster’s Talon – 489 trinket. 1079 agi, 15s haste use.

Blackguard Cape – 489 cloak. Hit/Mastery, no socket.

Blood DKs – Nothing special here really. I’m surprised to see such a big stam socket bonus on the helmet, but I expect that’ll be corrected sooner or later. Again, this is still beta.

Thunderstone Ring – 450 ring. Parry/Hit, no socket.

Yi’s Least Favorite Helmet – 489 head. Dodge/Mastery, mega/blue socket (270 stam)

Lao-Chin’s Liquid Courage – 489 trinket. 1619 stam, 15s mastery use.

Yi’s Cloak of Courage – 489 cloak. Parry/Mastery, no trinket.

The August Celestials – More awesome (flying!) mounts that kinda remind me of Mushu. These guys have your “stepping stone” blue cloaks before picking up the 489’s from the Shado-Pan.

Guardians – Nothing particularly noteworthy here. It would figure that somewhere along the line we would have a VP purchase with haste on it… Arginfriggin boots.

Bladesong Cloak – 450 cloak. Crit/Haste, no socket.

Refurbished Zandalari Vestment – 450 chest. Haste/Expertise, no socket.

Fingers of the Lonliest Monk – 489 gloves. Expertise/Mastery, no socket.

Quilpaw Family Bracers – 489 gloves. Hit/Crit, no socket.

Tukka-Tuk’s Hairy Boots – 489 boots. Hit/Haste, no socket.

Blood DKs – Standard valor point gear here. Nothing spectacular to see.

Cloak of the Silent Mountain – 450 cloak. Parry/Expertise, no socket.

Leggings of Ponderous Advance – 450 legs. Crit/Mastery, no socket.

Battle Shadow Bracers – 489 wrist. Parry/Hit, no socket.

Gloves of Overwhelming Swarm – 489 gloves. Parry/Mastery, no socket.

Yu’lon Guardian Boots – 489 boots. Dodge/Parry, no socket.

The Klaxxi – This appears to be one of the few factions that has level 90 weapons for sale with rep, and the only place that the Alliance can get a scorpion mount. They do have the 489 necklaces for sale as well, so they’re definitely worth sinking time into.

Guardians – The belt is weird, with a crit rating socket bonus, but whatever. Drop whatever kinda gem you like in there.

Cruel Mercy Bracers – 450 wrist. Crit/Mastery

Choker of the Klaxxi’va – 489 neck. Hit/Crit, no socket.

Dreadsworn Slayer Legs – 489 legs. Crit/Mastery, red socket (60 agi)

Klaxxi Lash of the Borrower – 489 belt. Crit/Mastery, blue socket (60 crit)

Blood DKs – The Klaxxi are weird, in the direction of tanks. They have mastery on two pieces of plate that are clearly meant for DPS. Take your pick, I suppose.

Chestplate of the Stone Lion – 450 chest. Hit/Mastery, no socket.

Klaxxi Lash of the Consumer – 489 waist. Parry/Hit, blue socket (60 parry).

Kovok’s Riven Legguards – 489 legs. Dodge/Expertise, red socket (60 str).

Paragon’s Pale Pendant – 489 neck. Parry/Hit, no socket.

In general, this is your basic, JP/VP gear list, with the added oddity of needing rep to buy these items as well. In addition  to that, the JP pieces are lower ilvl than what you get from heroic dungeons… VERY weird if you ask me, but whatever I suppose. I’m not sure how it’ll work out, by and large, but I assume either people will buy these items or they won’t. I suppose it doesn’t much matter anyway, because when the second full content patch of MoP comes out, we’ll be largely ignoring these items anyway.

Mists of Pandaria – Pre-raid gear for Blood DKs

21 Aug

I debated with myself for a while whether or not I was going to write one of these, but I figured, “why the hell not?” I’ve seen several gear lists floating around, but they’re mostly for healers and such. I honestly hadn’t seen a single pre-raid gear list for bears OR blood DKs, so… why not me, right? Anyway, gearing up a blood DK will, by and large, not be any different come MoP than it is today. There may be a little more call for hit/expertise, but generally it’s going to be Mastery > All else. Avoidance (dodge/parry) are still going to come out on top of hit/expertise, but by a lesser margin than before… although, admittedly, it will still probably be a larger margin than it is for bears.

Anyway, same deal goes here as it did for the bear list. This is all PRE-raid gear. Heroics, craftables, and BoEs. You *shouldn’t* have to step into any raid to get any of the gear on this list. That said, this is still beta info, and is subject to change at any time really. Here’s hoping that with just over a month till Mists, that this won’t change much. Any crafted epics (with the exception of trinkets) are pretty much ALWAYS going to be better than heroic blues simply because of stat scale. More stam and more str (which means more parry), and generally, better sockets as well.

Chestpieces –

Durable Plate of the Golden Lotus – Parry/Mastery, no sockets. Drops from a dungeon quest maybe?

Hateshatter Chestplate – Expertise/Mastery, red socket (60 str). Drops from Taren Zhu in H-Shado-Pan Monastery.

Canine Commander’s Breastplate – Dodge/Parry, blue socket (60 str.) Drops from Houndmaster Braun, in H-Scarlet Halls.

Breastplate of Wracking Souls – Parry/Expertise, blue socket (60 parry). Drops from Instructor Chillheart in H-Scholomance.

Breastplate of Ancient Steel – 476 epic. Dodge/Mastery, 2 yellow sockets (180 stam). Blacksmithing.

Unyiedlding Bloodplate – 496 epic. Dodge/Mastery. 2 blue sockets (180 stam). Blacksmithing.

As far as the blue items go, the winner of this slot is the Breastplate of Wracking Souls. 60 parry is a… weird socket bonus, but with a blue socket, you could drop a Mastery/Stam (green) gem in, or simply ignore it and go for pure mastery. The Canine Commander’s Breastplate is an oddity, at best, because it gives you a strength socket bonus, but has dodge and parry. It’s not terrible, really, but it would probably be one to avoid. Of course, if you can afford it, the Unyielding Bloodplate is unquestionably the way to go, just for pure stat numbers alone.

Boots –

Stonestep Boots – Dodge/Hit, yellow socket (60 str). Drops from Lorewalker Stonestep in H-Temple of the Jade Serpent.

Wraithplate Treads – Parry/Mastery, yellow socket (60 str). Drops from Jandice Barov in H-Scholomance.

More odd socket bonuses found, in two pieces that have CLEAR tank stats, but give strength for their socket bonus. I guess it doesn’t matter much, as they’re both yellow gem slots, so go to town. Technically, the Wraithplate Treads are better (because mastery), but you could pretty safely pick up either one and be okay.

Gloves –

Hive Protector’s Gauntlets – Hit/Mastery, no socket. Drops from Raigonn in H-Gate of the Setting Sun

Gauntlets of Resolute Fury – Dodge/Mastery, no socket. Drops from Mastery Snowdrift in H-Shado-Pan Monastery.

Axebreaker Gauntlets – Parry/Hit, no socket. Drops from Xin the Weaponmaster in H-Mogu’shan Palace.

Gauntlets of Ancient Steel – 476 epic. Parry/Mastery, red socket (60 dodge). Blacksmithing.

Gauntlets of Battle Command – 496 epic. Parry/Mastery, red socket (60 parry). Blacksmithing.

To be perfectly honest, either of the first two would be the ones I pick up. Dodge/Mastery wins out, but i’m sure you’ll want SOME amount of hit rating at the start of things. Make your own choice to fit your own gear. At first, I almost scanned right by the crafted gloves, but either one of those will do you better than any of the blues. Again, use your own judgement and based on what you can afford.

Helmets –

Sightfinder Helm – Crit/Mastery, meta, red socket (180 str). Drops from Commander Vo’jak in H-Siege of Niuzao Temple.

Helm of Rising Flame – Parry/Hit, meta, blue socket (180 str). Drops from Brother Korloff in H-Scarlet Monastery.

Reinforced Retinal Armor – 476 epic. Variable stats through cogwheels, meta & 2 cogwheel sockets (180 str). Engineering ONLY.

The crafted helm is probably better left to DPS, but you could put an obscene amount of mastery on this helm through cogwheels if you like. The Str/Stam is, of course, a solid amount higher than the heroic blues. Speaking of, at first sight, Sightfinder Helm appears to be better suited to plate DPS (and it probably is), but I included it for 2 reasons… First – it still has mastery on it, and second, there’s really only one other plate tanky helm if you’re NOT an engineer. Feel free to grab whichever one you prefer.

Leggings –

Sap-Encrusted Legplates – Dodge/Parry, blue socket (60 parry). Drops from Vizier Jin’bak in H-Siege of Niuzao Temple.

Legplates of Durable Dreams – 476 epic. Hit/Haste, no sockets. BoE.

Those legplates may be labelled epic, but they kind of fall short of really convincing me of it. No socket, whereas the blue pants DO have them? Also, hit and haste… You’d probably be better off going with the heroic blues instead… I know what I said at the beginning of this blogpost, but this time, honestly, you’re not getting anything BUT more str/stam. It hardly seems worth it. Don’t waste your money on the BoE’s unless you’re looking to fill out an offset (and even then, you could probably do better).

Shoulders –

Spaulders of Immovable Stone – Dodge/Parry, red socket (60 parry). Drops from Wing Leader Ner’onok in H-Siege of Niuzao Temple.

Vigorsteel Spaulders – Parry/Hit, red socket (60 hit). Drops from Darkmaster Gandling in H-Scholomance.

Spaulders of the Scorned – 476 epic. Parry/Mastery, no socket. BoE.

I’m a little thrown off by some of the weird itemization shown here. 2 out of 3 pieces with no mastery, red sockets on tank plate, one piece with a “Hit” socket bonus, and the highest ilvl piece with NO socket. /headshake. In spite of the lack of socket, the 476 shoulders are most likely your best bet, if you can find them. I don’t know where they drop, so prices will most likely be high for some time. Of course, the Vigorsteel Spaulders are still a fair alternative, because of hit rating as it’s side stat, and socket bonus. If you’re looking for blues, feel free to go whichever direction you prefer.

Belts –

Sparkbreath Girdle – Dodge/Parry, no socket. BoP zone drop from H-Shado-Pan Monastery.

Waistplate of Imminent Resurrection – Dodge/Expertise, no socket. Drops from High Inquisitor Whitemane in H-Scarlet Monastery.

This would be another flip of the coin, depending on if you prefer pure avoidance, or having some threat stats to help your self healing along. Sparkbreath will probably be easier to find, as it technically can drop off *any* mob in Shado-Pan.

Bracers –

Bubble-Breaker Bracers – Dodge/Parry, no socket. Drops from Hoptallus in H-Stormstout Brewery.

Ri’Mok’s Shattered Scale – Dodge/Expertise, no socket. Drops from Commander Ri’mok in H-Gate of the Setting Sun.

A lot of the same itemization. No mastery in this slot, again, has me a bit confused, but sure… why not. Pick up whichever fits your preference better.

Cloaks –

Soulrender Greatcloak – Dodge/Parry, no sockets. Drops from Thalnos the Soulrender in H-Scarlet Monastery.

Phantasmal Drape – Dodge/Hit, no sockets. Drops from Jandice Barov in H-Scholomance.

Zom’s Rain-Staned Cloak – 476 epic. Dodge/Expertise, no sockets. BoE.

Finally some pieces that favor dodge over parry… From what i’ve seen, you’ll probably be sitting on more parry than dodge, so any of these would be good to pick up (but of course, I could be completely wrong. Base it off of your own gear requirements, of course). The winner is, of course, the 476 purple.

Necks –

Necklace of the Dark Blaze – Dodge/Expertise, no sockets. BoP zone drop from H-Scholomance.

Armsmaster’s Sealed Locket – Parry/Mastery, no sockets. Drops from Armsmaster Harlan in H-Scarlet Halls.

Durable Necklace of the Golden Lotus – 489 epic. Parry/Mastery, no sockets. Quest Reward in Vale of Eternal Blossoms.

The 489 necklace as a quest reward is a curiosity (but it’s by far the best)… it makes me wonder if I bypassed one for bears when doing my other gear list (i’ll have to make another list because it turns out there ARE several things I did miss… I’ll make a secondary post to hopefully encompass both bears and DKs before this weekend, I think.) I’m assuming that quest reward is going to be your big thing for finishing the entire zone up, but it seems worthwhile, even bypassing the Raid Finder necklaces.

Rings –

Crystallized Droplet – Dodge/Hit, no sockets. Drops from Wise Mari in H-Temple of the Jade Serpent.

Lime-Rimmed Signet – Parry/Mastery, no sockets. Drops from Yan-Zhu the Uncasked in H-Stormstout Brewery.

Always go for the mastery, folks.

Trinkets – As per usual, folks, these are going to vary a lot depending on your personal preference, and your guild/raid group’s setup, as to which trinkets you prefer. I’ll do my best to list the viable ones, of course.

Iron Protector Talisman – 1270 Stamina, 15s dodge proc. Drops from Gekkan in H-Mogu’Shan Palace.

Heart of Fire – 847 Mastery, 20s dodge use. Drops from Master Snowdrift in H-Shado-Pan Monastery.

Bitterest Balebrew / Bubbliest Brightbrew Charms – 470 epics. 1356 stam, pointless use. Drops from Coren Direbrew (during Brewfest ONLY).

Brawler’s Statue – 470 epic. 904 Dodge, 20s dodge use. Drops from Coren Direbrew (during Brewfest ONLY)

Relic of Niuzao – 476 epic. 12s dodge use. Darkmoon Ox Deck.

As I mentioned in the Bear gear lists, the darkmoon trinket is exceedingly disappointing for it’s item level. Yes, the on-use ability is a LOT of dodge (about 10% if these numbers I have are correct), but with no base stats to back it up, and nothing to reforge into/out of, then that’s ALL it is… and that leaves it just being pretty mediocre, especially given what it’s liable to cost for at least the first few months of MoP. If it were me personally, i’d shoot for the Talisman and the Heart of Fire, and try to pick up the Brawler’s Statue as well to hold on to as back up (extra mastery, since you can reforge that base 904 dodge). Feel free to pick up whichever you like though.

Weapons – Weapons are funny things for DKs… they always have been. I’m not going to list every single 2h strength weapon, but if they have a stat we can make GOOD use of (mastery/hit/expertise/dodge/parry), then it’ll go in the list.

Warmace of Taran Zhu – Crit/Mastery, no sockets. Drops from Taran Zhu in H-Shado-Pan Monastery.

Lightbreaker Greatsword – Expertise/Mastery, no sockets. Drops from High Inquisitor Whitemane in H-Scarlet Monastery.

Mograine’s Immaculate Might – Haste/Mastery, no sockets. Drops from Flameweaver Koegler in H-Scarlet Halls.

Gravetouch Greatsword – Hit/Crit, no sockets. Drops from Instructor Chillheart in H-Scholomance.

Goresoaked Headreaper – Crit/Expertise, no sockets. Drops from Rattlegore in H-Scholomance.

Masterwork Spiritblade Decimator – Crit/Mastery, no sockets. Blacksmithing.

Mogu’Dar, Blade of the Thousand Slaves – 476 Epic. Hit/Crit, no sockets. BoE.

Aside from the 476 pulling away based on Str/Stam alone, your best choice here would be the Lightbreaker Greastword. Haste and Crit are useless stats for Blood DKs as a whole, and all of these items has at least *one* of them, except that sword. Expertise/Mastery is hardly the ideal combination, but given the cirucmstances, it would be the one to shoot for until the price on Mogu’Dar goes down, or you happen to have BOATLOADS to drop on a BoE… or you get painfully lucky.

Now then, I mentioned earlier that I would have to make a follow-up post to this, and I will… I discovered only a few hours ago that there will be items from rep vendors that will be purchasable at Revered with valor points. When I started making these gear lists last week, I *completely* omitted VP gear, because I wasn’t entirely sure where it was… it wasn’t showing up as it normally does in Wowhead’s gear listings, so I just completely overlooked it. Now that I know exactly what i’m looking for (rep gear, not vendor gear) I will make a follow-up before this weekend, probably encompassing both bears and blood DKs, covering the rep items I passed up.

Mists of Pandaria – Pre-raid gear for bears.

18 Aug

In keeping with tradition (I did it pre Cata, and when Firelands came out), I am setting up a shopping list for you Guardian types out there. This will consist of Heroic 5-man gear, and crafted epics only. I’m not including Raid Finder gear because well… it’s still raiding, isn’t it? ;D  Blue heroic gear is 463, raid finder non-tier gear appears to be 476, where as LFR tier sits at 483, and normal tier sits at 496. This list is as inclusive as I can make it, but there’s a good chance I will miss something, or get something wrong, because I have very little information on some items.

In case you’re wondering why i’m doing it in such an odd order, it’s the order wowhead has their filters set up. This way I don’t get myself mixed up (cause it’ll happen). When possible, I will also include where the item can be acquired.

Chestpieces –

Nimbletoe Chestguard – Crit/Haste, blue socket (60 agi). Drops from Ook-Ook in H-Stormstout Brewery.

Korloff’s Raiment – Hit/Crit, yellow socket (60 agi). Drops from Brother Korloff in H-Scarlet Monastery.

Delicate Chestguard of the Golden Lotus – Crit/Mastery, no socket. Unknown drop location at this time. (A dungeon quest maybe?)

Greyshadow Chestguard – 476 Epic. Crit/Mastery, 2 yellow sockets (120 agi). Leatherworking.

Chestguard of Nemeses – 496 Epic. Crit/Mastery, Red & Blue socket (120 mast). Leatherworking.

The obvious winner is going to be the Chestguard of Nemeses just for sheer ilvl/stats, but it will probably be scary expensive to craft for some time. The Greyshadow Chestguard is a much more reasonable (and STILL quite good) alternative, even if you’re losing out on quite a bit of stats. As far as the 463s go, I would pick “Korloff’s Raiment” above the others for the time being. Crit is turning out to be one of our most desired stats for rage generation, to keep Savage Defense uptime high, and Hit is… well… Hit. I can’t imagine we’ll be drowning in it through our first tier of raiding (we NEVER are), so that’s the option I would go with, dropping an agi/crit or agi/dodge gem into the socket. If you DO pick up the 496, then go with one straight agi red gem, and one agi/stam, agi/hit, or agi/exp for the blue socket.

Boots –

Boots of Plummeting Death – Haste/Expertise, yellow socket (60 agi). Drops from Xin the Weaponmaster in H-Mogu’shan Palace.

Dashing Strike Treads – Crit/Mastery, yellow socket (60 agi). Drops from High Inquisitor Whitemane in H-Scarlet Monastery.

Haste is still a stat we don’t have much need for, although the expertise is nice. I would still shoot for the boots from Whitemane.

Gloves –

Hound Trainer’s Gloves – Expertise/Mastery, no sockets. Drops from Houndmaster Braun in H-Scarlet Halls.

Tombstone Gauntlets – Hit/Haste, no sockets. Drops from Darkmaster Gandling(?) in H-Scholomance.

Greyshadow Gloves – 476 epic. Crit/Mastery, red socket (60 crit). Leatherworking.

Murderer’s Gloves – 496 epic. Crit/Mastery, blue socket (60 agi). Leatherworking.

Mastery > Haste, so go for the gloves in Scarlet Monastary if you’re shopping for blues. Otherwise, naturally, the 496 > 476 > blues.

Helm –

Windblast Helm – Haste/Mastery, meta/red socket (180 agi). Drops from Wing Leader Ner’onok in H-Siege of Niuzao Temple.

Soulburner Crown – Hit/Crit, meta/yellow socket (180 agi). Drops from Lillian Voss in H-Scholomance.

Agile Retinal Armor – 476 epic. Meta/2 cogwheels (180 agi). Engineering *only*.

If you’re an engineer, the choice is clear (hey that rhymes). If you’re NOT an engineer… well the choice is still pretty clear. Soulburner Crown wins out this battle of the blues.

Legs –

Wall-Breaker Legguards – Expertise/Mastery, red socket (60 mastery). Drops from Raigonn in H-Gate of the Setting Sun.

Ghostwoven Legguards – Crit/Haste, yellow socket (60 haste). Drops from Jandice Barov(?) in H-Scholomance.

As usual, leave all that haste to the rogues, kitties, and maybe monks. Go for the Wall-breakers.

Shoulders –

Fizzy Spaulders – Crit/Haste, red socket (60 haste). Drops from Yan-Zhu the Uncasked in H-Stormstout Brewery.

Doubtridden Shoulderguards – Hit/Expertise, red socket (60 expertise). Drops from Sha of Doubt in H-Temple of the Jade Serpent.

Seeing an item with expertise as a socket bonus is… weird to me. Nevertheless, those are the ones you want to pick up. Pure threat stats, with a threat socket bonus… weird.

Belt –

Belt of Brazen Inebriation – Hit/Expertise, no socket. Drops from Hoptallus in H-Stormstout Brewery.

Icewrath Belt – Crit/Mastery, no socket. Drops from Instructor Chillheart in H-Scholomance.

There’s really no wrong answer with these belts. If you want the pure threat stats, or if you want the mitigation stats… just flip a coin.

Bracers –

Saboteur’s Stabilizing Bracers – Haste/Expertise, no socket. Drops from Saboteur Kip’talak in H-Gate of the Setting Sun.

Lightblade Bracer – Crit/Mastery, no socket. Drops from Armsmaster Harlan in H-Scarlet Halls.

I think by now you can probably figure it out. Haste is bad, mmkay? ;D

Cloaks –

Wind-Soaked Drape – Crit/Mastery, no socket. Drops from Wise Mari in H-Temple of the Jade Serpent.

Aerial Bombardment Cloak – Hit/Crit, no socket. Drops from General Pa’valak in H-Siege of Niuzao Temple.

This is pretty well a tossup, depending more on how comfortable you are with your hit rating than anything else.

Necklace –

Engraved Amber Pendant – Crit/Haste, no socket. Drops from Vizier Jin’bak in H-Siege of Niuzao Temple.

Scorched Scarlet Key – Hit/Expertise, no socket. Drops from Flameweaver Koegler in H-Scarlet Monastery.

Another winning piece with only hit/expertise on it. No complaints here, because the lower tiers always seemed to be lacking hit and expertise in general anyway.

Rings –

Signet of Dancing Jade – Crit/Expertise, no socket. Drops from Liu Flameheart in H-Temple of the Jade Serpent.

Seal of Hateful Meditation – Hit/Haste, no socket. Drops from Taran Zhu in H-Shado-Pan Monastery.

Pulled Grenade Pin – Crit/Mastery, no socket. Drops from Saboteur Kip’tilak in H-Gate of the Setting Sun.

Seal of Ghoulish Glee – 470 epic. Hit/Crit, no socket. Drops from the Headless Horseman (Halloween event ONLY)

Perculia’s Peculiar Signet – 476 epic. Hit/Haste, no socket. World drop, i’m assuming? BoE so you’ll see it on the AH at some point.

Even though haste is “bad”, the extra agi/stam outweighs it, so if you can pick up the two epics without too much trouble (financial or otherwise) then by all means, use them. Otherwise, Dancing Jade, or Grenade Pin are the blue rings of choice here.

Trinkets – (It’s worth noting that these may be a little harder to quantify, and will most likely rely more on your personal tastes as a tank as to which ones you want)

Windswept Pages – 847 Agi. 20 second haste proc.

Searing Words – 847 Crit rating. 25 second agi proc. Drops from Darkmaster Gandling in H-Scholomance.

Flashing Steel Talisman – 847 Hit rating. 15 second agi use. Drops from High Inquisitor Whitemane in H-Scarlet Monastery.

Heart of Fire – 847 Mastery rating. 20 second dodge use. Drops from Master Snowdrift in H-Shado-Pan Monastery.

Iron Protector Talisman – 1270 Stamina. Dodge proc. Drops from Gekkan in H-Mogu’shan Palace.

Brawler’s Statue – 470 epic. 904 Dodge rating. 20 second dodge use. Drops from Coren Direbrew (Brewfest event ONLY)

Bubbliest Brightbrew / Bitterest Balebrew Charms – 1356 Stamina. Pointless use abilities. Drops from Coren Direbrew (Brewfest event ONLY)

Relic of Xuen – 476 epic. 956 Agi. 15 second agility proc. Darkmoon Tiger deck.

Relic of Nuzao – 476 epic. 12 second dodge use. Darkmoon Ox deck.

As I mentioned, a lot of these are going to vary based on personal preference, experience, or your group’s needs. That having been said, I would stay away from Relic of Nuzao unless you can get it EXCEEDINGLY cheap. For the 2nd expansion in a row, the tank-specific DMC is flat out disappointing (WotLK didn’t even *have* one)… and THIS one doesn’t even have anything to reforge out of that you could find useful. Save your money. Xuen, on the other hand, could be VERY good for agility-heavy bears. I tend to favor one stam, one avoidance/mitigation trinket. So for me, something like Iron-Protector Talisman and Heart of Fire would be the perfect combination. Mix and match to your tastes.

Weapons –

Ghostheart – Crit/Haste, no socket. Drops from Xin the Weaponmaster in H-Mogu’shan Palace.

Amber Spear of Klaxxi’vess – Hit/Haste, no socket. Requires The Klaxxi – Exalted.

Spear of Xuen – Crit/Mastery, no socket. Archaeology.

Snowdrift’s Bladed Staff – Expertise/Mastery, no socket. Drops from Master Snowdrift in H-Shado-Pan Monastery.

Firestorm Greatstaff – Crit/Haste, no socket. Drops from Brother Korloff in H-Scarlet Monastery.

Inscribed Tiger Staff – 476 epic. Crit/Mastery, no socket. Inscription (bind to bnet account)

If you have a scribe, for sure, go for the Inscribed Tiger Staff. If you don’t, then the Spear of Xuen or Snowdrift’s Bladed Staff are probably your best bet. As it is, you have plenty of options between staves and polearms, so you shouldn’t have any issues finding a solid weapon… just those are the BEST ones for bears.

As a side note, this entire list could, more than likely, be applied to Brewmaster Monks just as easily, but I didn’t specify them because I’m not anywhere near as familiar with their stat priorities. Do they like haste? Do they prefer more mastery and less crit? I honestly don’t know…  I haven’t much kept up.

One other thing to note is that NONE of these items are bought by JP. When I first wrote this gear list, I didn’t see any JP items for sale in the list, and only recently did I discover why. JP items are actually lower level than heroic 5-man drops. They are ilvl 450, and they ALSO all require rep. I won’t include the list here (because this post is long enough), but you can find the complete listing of JP/Rep 450 gear here. Also, as of the last beta build (it may have changed, but I don’t know for sure) the requirement for level 90 heroics was ilvl 440, and LFR requires 463.

Soloing Things Part Deuce

15 Aug

The other day, I wrote a post about soloing old raid content, and covered pretty much all of the raids that were in Burning Crusade. Today, i’m going to move up to Wrath’s raids, and show you what i’ve been able to solo, and give a few tips on doing them as well. Keep in mind, I have done all of this on my two well-geared tanks, unless otherwise noted.

Naxxramas – A couple bosses in here are problematic to solo. Gluth has a ridiculously high DPS requirement, Razuvious requires lots of good RNG avoidance streaks, and Thaddius… well you can’t get to him until you kill Gluth, as far as I know. But even if you could, killing both of his guardians before the tesla coil revives them would be a pain, at best. But lets look at the other bosses.

Without a doubt the plague quarter is the EASIEST to solo. Noth the Plaguebringer hits like a wet napkin, he’s just time consuming because of the blasted “teleporting away” mechanic. Unless your DPS is obscenely high, expect to get 2 teleport phases before you kill him.

Heigan the Unclean is another one who hits like a wet noodle. Keep him up on the platform until he begins channelling, and then do the dance. It’s brutally simple, and you won’t even die right off if you accidently overshoot.

Loathieb, I initially expected to be an issue because of the healing aura, but really he isn’t. Plus, you get a HUGE crit buff from killing the spores, so just take one out every now and again, and you’ll drop him quicker than you think. (It’s especially funny to solo this guy on the druid and have over 100% crit chance. LOL BIG NUMBERS FOREVER).

Spider Wing is second easiest, but Anub’rekhan *can* be an issue if you’re not careful. He knocks you up into the air, and while it’s not a LOT, you *do* take some fall damage, and it can add up over time. The big problem comes with when he does his locust swarm and you’re completely unable to act. Druids can shift into cat form and outpace the locust swarm pretty easily, but if you don’t have any sort of movement speed increasing abilities, you’re going to be pacified at least for a FEW seconds (DKs can stave it off some with AMS). It’ll hurt a bit, but it’s completely recoverable. The crypt guards should die as quickly as possible, because their stacking poison dot can be pretty painful if you let it go unchecked.

Grand Widow Faerlina is as simple as the entire plague wing. Don’t feel like you need to save the adds for dispelling enrages, because even enraged, she doesn’t hit particularly hard against our large health pool. You might have to move out of the rain of fire, you might not. Just watch your own health and do what you feel is necessary.

Maexxna is also quite simple. The poison dot she puts on you is really quite tame, and the spiderling adds she summons are barely noticeable. Take them out with cleave damage (spread diseases, thunderclapped rends, etc) and just keep hacking away at the big lady. She web-wraps you on occasion, but never sticks you to the wall since you’re solo, so it’s pretty tank-and-spank.

Construct wing i’ve already briefly touched on (with Gluth and Thaddius being ridiculously hard to solo), but to go into more detail, Patchwork *can* be difficult, depending on your gear. I had issues with him on my DK at first, but she was significantly lower geared than my Druid… and I was also *really* rusty at rune-gaming. I still have to be more careful about how I approach him on my DK, but on my druid it’s pretty much a lolercise at this point. When he enrages (sub 10% i think?) be prepared to use some of your cooldowns if you feel you need to. Patchwerk want to play.

Grobbulus, on the other hand, is a simpleton. Move him back out of clouds (there’s no mutating injection if you go solo, so he just farts clouds behind him) and cleave damage the slimes that occasionally spawn, and he’s dead pretty quickly.

Military quarter can be an issue. Instructor Razuvious is a pain in the ass. Unbalancing Strike will still hit you for about 30-40k, and he does it roughly every 10 seconds or so. You need to be EXTREMELY lucky and have large streaks of dodge/parry to be able to survive it. If you’re a druid, you can stealth past him and head to Gothik (which I did. I was unable to take him down on my DK)

The Harvester calls, and he’s most likely calling on one of those fisher price telephones. The first 3 minutes or so, prepare to be bored to tears. Seriously. The only thing remotely exciting to happen during the add phase is when the dead side all rushes over at once… and even then it’s not very exciting. When Gothik comes down for himself, just go apeshit on him. He doesn’t hit hard, and his only “redeeming” quality as a boss at this point is his stacking debuff, reducing all your stats by 10%. I think I only got 3-4 stacks by the time I killed him. He’s a joke.

Four Horsemen wrap up the military wing. Initially, I wouldn’t have imagined this encounter to be soloable, but it definitely is… and it’s not terribly hard (but hard in comparison to most of the other naxx bosses). When you aggro the bosses, you want to start at the front of the room, starting off with Zeliek, burning him as quickly as possible before Korth’azz reaches you. Kill Zeliek first, then drag Baron and Korth’azz back to Bleameaux (back right-hand side) and use your big DPS cooldowns to kill the men first. Finish Bleameaux off last, avoiding the void zones on the ground, and you’re golden.

Moving on to upper-Naxxramas, Sapphiron is time consuming, but not terrible. Circle strafe to stay out of his blizzard, and outdamage his drain-life. It’s pretty simple really. There will be several air phases, but they’re not to worry about since you’re the only one around to get ice blocked. Long fight simply because Saph has a good bit of health, and heals a little bit of it, but still mostly tank-and-spank.

Kel’thuzad can be a bit more tricky. Generally, I stay in the middle during the first phase, and let the mobs come to me. Skeletons are easy to deal with of course, and the aboms barely hit you at all. The banshees can be pretty obnoxious though. I’ve found that you can generally run in and get one good hit on them before they send you flying, so make it a hit that counts. I also like to drop a D&D in front and outbreak them (on my DK) after they’ve moved ahead of the pack. That’s a significant bit of damage and makes dealing with them a LOT easier, but you’ll still have a few left when KT finally attacks. They’re your first priority. Don’t worry, KT doesn’t ice block you when soloing, but you do still need to worry about the purple void zones that spawn… they’ll take somewhere around half your health if you’re not careful. Once all the banshees are down, KT is easy. Avoid the void zones, interrupt frostbolts as you can, and chip away. When the guardians come out and attack you, they tend to block your view of the ground, so be sure you’re watching carefully for the purple beams.

Vault of Archavon – Fire and Ice, i’ve never actually managed to kill. I’ve come *so* close to killing Koralon (fire) on my DK, that I know it CAN be done, I just haven’t managed it yet. I haven’t attempted on my druid yet, but I think I can manage it on him better because of the increased DPS (ETA – no i can’t). Toravon , i’m not even going to try at 85 because his ice damage just ramps up too fast.

Emalon the Storm Watcher is pretty simple. The lightning novas are very little to worry about, and the chain lightning will hurt some, but nothing you can’t overcome with regular tanky-heals. When he overcharges the add, you still want to bring him down fast, because it will do a good bit of damage, but it’s not an insta-gibb like it used to be. Pretty easy fight to overcome, all things considered.

Archavon the Stone Watcher is as simple as it gets. Tank and spank. Avoid the earth shards (if you want), dps him down. The only thing i’ve noticed… you’ll probably want to stay away from the edges of the room. I’ve had him accidently throw me into one of the stone pillars, and i got stuck there for just a second. He started to reset and gained about half of his health back, so it was probably a one in a million fluke, but still something to be on the lookout for.

Ulduar – This was fun… and started completely on for a laugh, out of boredom. I honestly didn’t think I would get past the first boss, but I did.

Flame Leviathan was actually easier than I expected. It helps that your machines’ power and health scales with your gear. I took a siege engine and just steamrolled my way to the room where FL is, but didn’t engage the two giants in front of his gate. Sit there and wait for everything to start gathering upon you and just clear it out, healing as you need to (60s cooldown on the heal is definitely doable). Also, take out the two towers right in front of the boss’s room. Now then… kill the trash in front of Flame Levi’s wall, and at this point you’ll have to engage FL on your demo and let him kill you. Just… trust me on this. Now then. Run back in and take the teleporter right there, and hop in a demo. The key is all in hitting the right buttons, and stacking your pyrite so it lasts as long as possible. It’s a race, in every sense of the word. Do NOT spam pyrite barrels. Throw one pyrite barrel, and then two boulders, one pyrite barrel, two boulders. That’s all. When he gets close to you, switch one of the boulders for one ram. So, Pyrite, Ram, Boulder. He should die right around the same time as your vehicle does, which leaves YOU still alive to loot him and move on.

Ignis the Furnace Master isn’t terribly difficult, but the damage will steadily ramp up as your fight lasts longer and longer. The idea is to stand right in the edge of the water, so when he casts his scorch, you can run out of it and it’ll despawn after just a few seconds, letting you run right back in. He continually summons guardians to join at his side, but they have nearly as much health as he does, so don’t even worry about them. Focus all your damage on Ignis, and he’ll eventually drop.

Razorscale is a pain in the ass fight. You’re going to take a lot of damage through the air phases because of the targeted fireball casts. The little adds barely hit for anything, and they have next to nothing for health, so just take them down with cleave damage when you harpoon her to the ground. Deal as much damage as possible when she’s harpooned, because you want as few air phases as you can get. Once she’s down on the ground, she really doesn’t hit that hard. Keep slowly kiting her around the room and moving her out of the fire. Eventually your armor will get fused together and you’ll be unable to act. If you’re EXTREMELY unlucky, this will happen right before she breathes fire on the ground at you… hope this doesn’t happen, but if it does… blow your cooldowns and heal up as fast as you can, as soon as you’re able. It takes a little time, but you’ll be able to bring her down. Definitely one of the more difficult fights to solo. I couldn’t quite manage it on my druid, but i got REALLY close. The self-healing the DK gives really makes a difference in this fight.

XT is pretty easy. Kill the trash on each heap and then run to the middle to fight XT. Keeping him on the stairs is what my raids have always done, so that’s what I did when soloing him. He will put Light Bombs on you, but there will not be any Gravity Bombs, so no extra damage for you to worry about. When his heart spawns, unleash as much damage as you can WITHOUT killing the heart (which brings him back to full health). He will eat an occasional repair bot, but you should be able to outpace the healing with your damage relatively easily. I think I got 3 heart phases on my DK when I killed him. Definitely a lot easier than the first 3.

Kologarn is extremely simple. He will not grip you with his right hand if you’re soloing, so focus all your damage on the body (AND DON’T CHARGE HIM FOR THE LOVE OF GOD). Strafe back and forth to avoid eyebeams, and he will drop like a stone (heh. get it?) soon enough.

Auriaya isn’t terribly difficult, but make sure you dont’ make the same mistake I did and engage her while you’re still fighting the stone guardians.. >.> You can’t handle damage of that magnitude. Either way, the crazy cat lady is simple enough. Take out her guardians as soon as possible (because they’ll put the REAL hurting on you), and then focus on beating her down quickly. Try to stay somewhere safe that you don’t get feared too far away from the boss. I had way less trouble with her on my DK thank my Druid. Again, self-healing makes a big difference here. I never had to kill the respawning defender on the DK, but I had to on my druid. The shadow barrage can be pretty painful (she starts casting it when she fears you), but if you can hit her before the cast goes off you save yourself a good chunk of damage (20-30% per tick maybe?)

Hodir was the only one of the keepers I gave attempt to, and I was unsuccessful in killing him. The fight wasn’t terribly difficult as long as you keep moving as much as you can to keep the stacking dot from getting too high, and stand on the piles of ice to keep from getting flash frozen. My issue came with my damage output. Sadly, I didn’t have the numbers to beat him down before his enrage timer expired, and he smashed me into a blue stain upon his floor. Still, quite a bit of fun to try, as I may go in again at some point and try to get more DPS out of myself (and avoid more flash freezes >.>) (ETA) I went in with my druid and gave him 3 honest shots. Freeing the person on the far right is a huge help, as she will cast Hand of Freedom on you when you get frost nova’d in place. I still didn’t quite have the DPS for this (my best attempt was just sub 1-million), but it’s one of those “OH MY GOD I’LL GET YOU YET” moments

I tried Iron Council only on my druid, but not the DK. I’m not sure I have it in me to solo them either. The fusion punch from Steelbreaker just hits too hard, and druid’s dont have enough self healing to come back from it. I’ll have to give it a shot on my DK though to see how that turns out.

I’m not sure I could’ve managed Thorim (because of the whole arena bit), and killing Mimiron would’ve been… interesting, to say the least, so this brought an end go my Ulduar run. It really was a *lot* of fun, and I feel like i’m a better tank as a whole because of doing what I needed to do to survive, without simply thinking “Oh the healers will get me”… It’s all about pressing your buttons at the right time, and making every last cooldown matter.

Expect to see some videos of these encounters on my youtube sometime over the next couple weeks.

Soloing things!

12 Aug

Those of you who are curious… No, I *still* haven’t decided whether i’m going to Druid or DK for Mists. And as such, I haven’t decided whether i’m going to race change my DK or not. These things are important okay? Seriously folks, i’ve tried the “pros and cons” list, i’ve tried the “close your eyes and imagine the first class you’re playing sort of thing, i’ve tried pretty much everything I can think of and all I can come up with is a big fat goose egg.

In the meantime, i’ve been slowly chipping away at my Loremaster (3 zones left on the Fuzzy one!), and in between that, still soloing old raid content. Last week, I got a wild hair to try and solo Ulduar. Why? Because I was bored mostly and it was like 2am haha. I realized that there’s a LOT of good money in soloing these old raids for the time being, but it’s also a great way to put your tanking skills to the test. It helps you hone your survivability like normal raiding or even 5-mans just aren’t on par with. I realize i’ve talked about this briefly before, a couple weeks ago, but I want to get into more details on which bosses you can solo, and which ones will give you more problems than others. Keep in mind, that i’m soloing these as my tank spec, and both toons are pretty well normal Dragon Soul geared (DK is 386, Druid is 397).

Burning Crusade raids –

Karazhan – All of these bosses can be soloed, no problem. Hell you could do them in your DPS spec without issue. The Chess event takes a *lot* more thought than it would with 2-3 people, but i’ve found the most reliable way is to move the pawns in front of the King and the King-side Bishop (priest) forward one square, and take control of the bishop for most of the event. Move him and the king forward out of fire when Echo of Medivh cheats, and keep healing everyone around you as much as you can. It’s time consuming, but overall, not terribly difficult.

Magtheridon – This can be a little tricky, especially if you’re undergeared, because it’s VERY difficult to kill the channelers on your own. Mainly because when one hits around 25%, the other 4 get into the “I need to heal him” mode, and you can sometimes get lucky and catch him before they go off, but usually not. So it’s a couple minutes of stasis – attacking mobs that you really can’t kill very quickly (as a tank, mind you. As a DPS you’d have a much easier time with this I’m sure), and then Magtheridon comes to attack. Now the boss is pretty much a wimp. He doesn’t hit very hard, and you *can’t* interrupt the flame nova solo, but it’s pretty tame these days.

Gruul’s Lair – Sadly, I wasn’t able to make it past the High King fight to actually *fight* Gruul. I’m sure there’s something I am missing in that fight, but it’s rather difficult when you’re being consistently CC’ed, and one of them is constantly healing the others. I’m sure the trick is to kill the healer first, but it probably requires a good bit of luck. I’m not giving up on this one, so i’ll keep you posted.

Serpentshrine Cavern – Lady Vashj, to my knowledge, is unsoloable. I haven’t actually *tried* it, but i’m pretty sure that’s just the mechanics of it.

Hydross The Unstable had me stymied at first, but that’s mostly because I was unfamiliar with the mechanics. You simply cannot just tank and spank him, because the debuff will get too high, and you’ll take far more damage than you can overcome. Move him out of the beams at 50-100% of the debuff (depending on how comfortable you are), kill the adds when they spawn and you’ll have him down in no time.

The Lurker Below can be an absolute pain in the ass to solo, mostly because of the whole knockback. Simply put yourself right in front of the giant pillar and it’s usually not an issue, but where the BIG problem comes into play is when he submerges and spawns the adds. Chances are, you won’t be able to kill them all before he resurfaces, and the first thing he does is the giant water beam of knockbacky annoyance. Make sure you’re near the big pillar when that happens so he doesn’t send you screaming off into nowheresville to be eaten by those damnable frenzy fish.

Leotheras the Blind can be tricky. His whirlwind isn’t particularly painful, but his stacking fire debuff will hurt…  a LOT. The trick is to time your cooldowns carefully. DKs can really help with AMS to keep the buff from stacking too high, but druids just kinda have to eat it up. The trick is, don’t drop him below 500k until that debuff is COMPLETELY fallen off of you, or the last few percent will be enough to make you grind your teeth.

Fathom-Lord Karathress is pretty easy, all things considered. None of his 3 minions hit very hard, but one of them will juggle you up into the air pretty often. Kill the healer first, then kill the others in whichever order you prefer, saving Karathress for last. You’ll occasionally get frozen, but it’s not a terribly big deal. Nothing really hurts very badly on this fight, but the juggling can be kind of annoying. Just make sure you’ve cleared the room first.

Morogrim Tidewalker is also easy, but he has a big health pool, and he will occasionally cast a slowing debuff that lowers your swing-speed (thus rage generation for bears/warriors) and haste (thus rune regeneration for DKs) pretty significantly. I don’t believe this debuff can be avoided by AMS, but I could be mistaken (or my timing could’ve been off). The murlocs he summons are no big deal. When he drops below 25%, keep kiting him around the room to keep the bubbles from freezing you and just slowly chip away at him. He’ll go down soon enough.

Tempest Keep – I haven’t actually tried soloing Kael’Thas, because i simply haven’t felt like it. I know it is possible for some classes who can wield the dagger (i think?) that prevents you from getting Mind Controlled, but all things considered, it’s easier to just come at him with a group.

A’lar is *annoying*, but pretty simple. Be prepared to do lots of running around the room to catch up with this fucking bird. The second half of the fight (after she dies and is reborn), is a lot easier because you can keep her on the ground level. Simply move out of the way of where her bomb falls and keep chipping away at her. She goes down for good eventually, and you’re 250g richer (plus drops!).

Void Reaver has long since been known as the Loot Reaver, and soloing it at 85 is absolutely no different. Simple tank and spank. He silences you pretty regularly if you’re in melee range, so depending on your class, that can be problematic or completely ignorable.

High Astromancer Solarian is even *more* annoying than A’lar. Not because he’s difficult, but because every 10 seconds you get rocketed up into the air. Thankfully, you don’t take any fall damage, but it makes the fight run about 3 times longer than it should. Whenever adds spawn, kill them because they DO cast heals on Solarian, but they’re dropped pretty quickly if you can keep your feet on the ground.

I didn’t go into Sunwell Plateau, because I have it on pretty good authority that Kalecgos is impossible to solo, and Brutallus is pretty impossible to solo as well. I’d like to try Brutallus on my DK, but i’m not sure if I can get past Kalec to get there.

This post ended up a *lot* wordier than I had originally expected, so I will break this into two parts, and deal with Wrath raids in a few days. I may even put some videos up on my youtube to show exactly how I did it. Keep an eye out!

The Battle Rages On

30 Jul

Fair warning ahead of time… this post will probably be pretty disjointed, and I think i’m going to end up talking about 3 or 4 different things in here. Consider this making up for not posting for 2 weeks.

I still don’t know what the hell i’m going to play come MoP. Right now, it’s a tossup between my druid and my dk. I decided to dust off my DK a few days ago and work on tanking with her again. It has been… a while since I gave DK tanking an honest shot, and man I had forgotten just how much fun it really was. So I poked Kia and asked if she wanted to run some dungeons with me. (For the record, her response was “/blinkblink…are you feeling alright?”).

So, I ran several dungeons, and absolutely NOTHING dropped for me. Go figure. So, LFR, I thought. “I’ve had no luck in dungeons, that must mean my luck in LFR will be better, right?” Well… I was half right. I picked up two upgrades in the first 4 bosses, and nothing in the last 4, but it still went pretty well overall… and I had a ton of fun. Also, I had a good reminder of just how damn powerful their defensive cooldowns are (HELLO ANTI-MAGIC SHELL!) when used at the right times. I also realized that I was pretty damn rusty at proper rune-gaming for Blood DKs, but thanks to a brief conversation with Rades I have that figured out pretty well also. (It takes work to do it “perfectly”, but it’s definitely much more effective than what I was doing.)

Well, after going and getting my DK some tanking gear, I decided that I wanted to transmog  her tank gear to look like an actual “blood” set (and this is the gear you see in her armory picture). This is a big part of what got me into the “OH MY GOD WHICH CLASS DO I WANT TO PLAY” conundrum I find myself faced with. Both the druid and the DK have some great bonuses, and some drawbacks. (One of the drawbacks of the druid is that I can’t see his mogged gear very much…  Go figure)

Also, over the last few days, i’ve spent a significant amount of time soloing old raid content. Partly, because it’s pretty damn good money (seriously, i made 5k in a day and a half on the DK), and partly to see if I could, and partly because raid bosses are having their gold amounts nerfed into oblivion adjusted to depend on the size of the party. I figured I might as well “get while the gettin’s good”… or something.

Man, it just felt wrong to type that, but I digress.

Soloing old raid content is a lot harder than I had expected. Well… some of it was anyway. I took my DK (who is considerably lesser geared than my Druid) into SSC, TK, and Naxx to see how I would fair. All told, I did alright, but I had to work a *lot* harder at it because of the gear disparity. Also, my druid puts out some *beastly* DPS for a tank, and my DK, who isn’t terrible by ANY means, just doesn’t compare right now. Taking the DK into older raids, however, DID give me the chance to see things that my druid might not have survived, and see things that my druid probably would have excelled at comparatively. It gave me more of a chance to see the variations between bear and blood rotations, and how they handle different problems. Also, it helped me realize that my DK needs a fuck ton more hit/expertise overall… sigh.

Sidebar on that topic: My druid is currently *bleeding* expertise to the point where it’s reforged off from every piece that has it, and i’m STILL over the soft cap. On top of that, he also has a modest amount of hit rating. My DK on the other hand is a draenei, so she has the built in 1% hit, and as a blood DK comes with 6 expertise or something like that, baked into the spec. My druid has 31 expertise, and about 3% hit, whereas the DK has 10 expertise and 1.48% hit. What the shit. Anyway.

Soloing old content is a lot of fun, but the money from bosses (like 130-180 from naxx 10, and 250 from BC 25 man raids) is about to go away, and that is sad. It’ll still be a good moneymaker if you can pull it off, between trash drops and gear being sold, plus you get a lot of practice at learning how to stay alive. All told, that in and of itself is very good exercise for a tank who wants to improve his game. Go solo Naxx or SSC or something. I would be willing to bet that you’ll find SOME way to get better. Hell, even if you don’t? You made a good chunk of change for your efforts. Win-Win situation.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go take my druid into the Battle for Mt Hyjal and see how that goes.