Tank Down! Tank Down!
So after our first two nights of flex raiding, we’ve had a lull until later tonight. I’m looking forward to getting back in, but in the meantime, I’ve been a busy bee working on getting my tank up and running.
As I mentioned a few posts ago, the Timeless Isle, or Isle of Alts as it will eventually be known, did wonders for getting my gear score up. In a single sitting, I went from sub-LFR score to ready for ToT LFR.
Still, a lot of other things needed doing, the most important of which was getting my confidence up. That was helped by tanking heroic achievements with a group of friends, which was a largely successful endeavor, but heroics aren’t what they used to be, and raiding’s always harder than it might seem, anyway.
I waffled back and forth between doing a lower tier of LFR and just jumping into ToT, but eventually the decision was made partly for me. My wife, apparently unaware of the valor cap, noticed she had 3000 valor – and nothing to spend it on. Thanks to 5.4, the only valor dump is Shadow-Pan Assault, a faction that my wife was only vaguely familiar with due to being under the ilevel cap for ToT until last week.
With that in mind, my wife, a healer, and I, a tank, queued for the first section of a weekend ToT LFR.
I was surprised first to see I had more hp than the other tank, but hp isn’t necessarily the best indicator; after all, I’ve heard that bear tanks – the hp kings – are by far the worst this expansion. I whispered the other tank to let him know this was my first time tanking ToT, and asked him to clue me in on important tank-relevant boss mechanics.
He replied it was his first time, too. Uh oh.
So while we pulled trash, I read up on the boss abilities in the dungeon journal. The thing is, as we all know, reading or even watching a boss fight is in no way preparation for the fight. As we got to Jin’rokh, I suspected we might have some tanking problems, but actually, things went relatively smoothly. As the fight went on, I slowly began to suspect the tank actually hadn’t ever tanked anything ever before, as there were many basic things he was failing to do, like turn the boss away from the raid (when possible, of course, on that boss), taunt effectively, and use his cooldowns.
Still, after a wipe due to some idiot dps dragging a lighting leash into the water and dps so sluggish we got to a 4th electrified water puddle (there’s a tiny spot underneath him right in the middle where you can stand safely), we surged forward. I was expecting problems due to the underwhelming dps, but we one-shotted Horridan with little trouble. I told the other tank to follow my lead on positioning the boss (since that I was keenly aware of from my dpsing normal) and we figured out the switch-at-each-gate tank mechanic pretty quickly.
The council, well, was another story. First, it started by a lock mis-pulling with his gate, which I’m so sick and tired of seeing in LFRs. It needs to be in big, red letters on the ability description: “THIS ABILITY WILL CAUSE AGGRO!” I quickly picked up my 2 dudes, having the other tank take care of Marli the priestess and her Loas. I knew from hearing about it that there was a bad phase where I would be “frozen” and unable to defend myself, but i wasn’t sure what that really meant or when it would be. By quickly reading my debuffs while establishing aggro and getting the bosses into position, I figured it out.
We ended up one-shotting that boss, too, even with the mispull, and so ended my first foray into ToT as a tank. The primary question, “Can I handle it?” was answered with a resounding YES, and the smaller questions about cooldowns, rotations, and thinking like a tank were all affirmatives, too.
This week I’ll try to mop up ToT on both my toons and jump into SoO on my dpser to test the waters. After that, we’ll see.
Stubborn (and tanking)