Last night was a really fun night.
I started off working on my Engineering, when I got an invite to Gruul's Lair.
We made 3 or 4 attempts on him. I was again in the Hurtful Strike Tank role. The challenge of the role is trying to ride the Main Tanks threat without going over the Main Tank, but stay ahead of the melee DPS and the backup Tank.
We use 3 tanks on Gruul. The Main Tank who is usually Lanorah, myself as an Offtank, and then Raydz as a third tank in case one of the first two goes down, which is exactly what happened on each attempt.
The struggle I was having was when to start building my threat. I go too early and I pass our MT, too late and I can't get enough incoming damage to keep my threat up.
This is just what happened on our final attempt of the night. We pulled, Lan started attacking and I hit Gruul with a Judgement of Righteousness. Now maybe it crit. I can't see it, the number usually shows up off my screen, but I immediately pulled aggro off Lan. This had happened to me once before and it took what felt like a minute for Lan to pull it back (it was probably more like a couple seconds). I literally stood there not attacking. Well this time, instead of just standing there, I bubbled. This causes the mob to ignore me. I still have all my threat, but I'm skipped on his aggro table because I'm an invalid target.
This allowed Lan to get him back, however it meant I couldn't use Avenging Wrath (+30% threat for 20 seconds) for a full minute. Forbearance debuff FTL. By the time I got back into my rotation, Raydz was well ahead of me. I threw everything I could at Gruul to get him mad at me, but it was no use. Without incoming damage, I ran my mana pool dry and banged a Pot.
Realizing that I wasn't going to get him back I called out on vent for my healers to heal Raydz. I saw in my scrolling combat text that I was still getting heals, so I again called for them to heal not Raydz and not me. I really really hope I didn't yell. I get very excited during a boss fight and sometimes when I get excited my volume goes up without me knowing it.
I start Seal Dancing. Judging Wisdom, then Crusader, and swapping between Righteousness and Vengeance. The basic idea was to keep as much mana as I could and turn that mana into threat.
Warriors get rage for doing damage. Paladins only get mana back from taking damage and getting that damage healed.
Then, as had happened in all our previous attempts, one of the tanks goes down. This time it was Raydz. Tralic, who was raid leading, got all the melee out of range so I was the only other person in melee. Since I was taking damage, and getting heals, I was able to launch into my threat rotation full bore. It took a few moments, but I got 2nd threat and melee was back at it.
He was under 5% and I could see I was too low. So I used Lay On Hands. Nothing quite like an instant 17k heal.
Lay On Hands is a great panic button, but it has such a ridiculously long cooldown (1 hour) that you have to really pick your spot. There is nothing worse than blowing your Lay On Hands and then seeing like 4 heals drop on you, or using my own LoH, and then having a Holy Paladin use his.
Mal Katai got their 2nd Gruul kill. No loot dropped that I needed, but I'm sure that at some point, it will. I have terrible luck with loot drops.
With Gruul dead, I asked a couple of people to go kill Nightbane with me. Without realizing it, we basically put together about 80% of the original Mal Katai Kara group.
These guys were basically going to do a boss they had done dozens and dozens of times just to give me a shot at some new tanky loot. My guild rocks.
I tried every which way to explain to them how bad an idea it was for me to tank this fight, but they weren't hearing it. So here we go, I'm Main Tank on Nightbane. Fortuneately, Lisa (Dora) was there to keep me with Fear Ward, and I have my Flash Bubble macro ready (Bubble, and immediately cancel).
We one shot him. I'd love to sit here and think it was my tanking, but honestly, it was much more the incredible healers and sick DPS that I was running with. Of course, he drops nothing that I was looking for. Drew got a nice healing neck for his Paladin and Luvshock got an offhand.
Also, last night, my old guild, Heroes Inc, made its way into Gruul's Lair, and actually downed High King Maulgar. I am really really happy for those guys. I honestly didn't know if they would be able to do 25 mans. For them to not only be able to do Gruul's Lair, but to get High King down on their first night in there speaks very well for them. I can't say enough good things about those guys. So a hearty /salute to Beilin, Ferth, Sameth, Bacon, Wichita, Rhubarb, Regolos, Jag, Krawl, Origami, Lakini, and all the other Heroes who made it last night.
After the Raids, I went back to grinding up my Engineering. I managed to get it to 225 before the need for sleep overtook my skill up fever. It was during this grind, that it was announced that Sneakyfeet and myself had been promoted to Sub Officers in Mal Katai. The promotion took me somewhat by surprise. When I came to Mal Katai, I was looking to settle myself into a community and do more 25 raids than I had done previously. It seems I've managed to accomplish both of those goals.