I logged on last night and almost immediately got called to vent with my Raid Leader. I'm thinking, 'oh no, what did I write in the blog, this time?'
As it turned out, the meeting had nothing to do with the blog. She wanted to talk to me about Bloodboil. My raid leader does her homework and reads copious amounts of information on every boss we go after. She found examples of guilds using every kind of tank set up with any number of Warriors, Druids, and Paladins.
She also realizes she isn't an expert on all the classes, so she wanted to get the scoop on Blessing of Protection and Divine Shield. She needed to know duration, cooldown and what they removed.
We went over everything and then she asked me if I felt like I could keep up on threat with her and Kee (Warrior MT). Confidence is an important part of tanking. She needed to know that I was confident (not cocky) in my own abilities. I got the impression that some people were thinking a Druid would have been a better choice than a Paladin.
Druids are amazing tanks, and the only tank class that doesn't lose any of their threat moves if they are not the current target. Vlad decided to stick by me, stick up for me, and use me as the third tank. That meant a lot to me. Part of her reasoning was that the Druids would be able to DPS harder if they didn't have to worry about tanking.
We formed up the raid with 11 heals, 3 tanks and 11 DPS, and started clearing the trash.
There are some large pulls where we used 5 tanks (go go Feral versatility). I was assigned to tank two Shield Bearers. These mobs actually run around with the Bulwark of Azzinoth, and throw it at different people in your raid. Besides an annoying stun that made it difficult to get them into position, they were pretty easy to tank.
Then you have the Behemoths, giant Orcs that charge (yes, they give that blasted 'Charge a Random Clothie' move to EVERY bloody Orc in the game). Vlad decided to test all the tanks threat production by having us count to four and then open up.
Avenging Wrath, Avengers Shield, Judgement of Righteousness is a huge amount of burst damage, and I briefly pulled aggro on one of the Behemoths. Then Wrath was on cooldown, so I had a little tougher time. There was no raid damage to speak of so I found myself dry (out of mana) pretty quick.
The other trash you face is a scaled up version of the 'Fight Club' trash in Shattered Halls. You have two big ole Orcs banging away on each other surrounded by smaller Orcs watching. I was responsible for rounding up the 'audience' and we AoE'ed them down.
Then we came to Gurtogg himself. Kee would go first and we would save misdirects to help the other tanks.
Basically what I was looking at was Grull 2.0. I had to keep up on threat, but not pass Kee until a switch was needed.
These are what my stats looked like as we prepared to pull. I could have had a little higher dodge but I went with the Figurine - Crimson Serpent over Moroes Lucky Pocket Watch for an on demand threat boost.
As with any Boss fight, it took a couple of attempts to get familiar with the Boss.
Our Ranged DPS and Healers were doing some sort of hokey pokey dance with the Bloodboils.
##Okay, group 1 in, now group 1 out, then group 2 in and you shake it all about.##
I sealed Crusader (gonna miss you) and Judged it on the pull. As Kee got Bloodboil into position, I started working on a stack of Seal of Vengeance. I would then lay down my Consecrate and start watching Omen. Sometimes I was right on Kee's threat, other times I was lagging behind. It took a couple of attempts for Vlad, Kee and I to get used to working with each other. Any one of us was capable of building a pretty big lead if we wanted to.
It would seem like just as I got up to force a transition, Bloodboil would do his Knockback (reduce your threat by 25%), or I would get a disorient. Some attempts I would keep him on me for quite some time, and other attempts I hardly had him at all. Those attempts where I didn't get him much I was hurting for mana and drinking mana pots like a lush.
When I did get him, I would let me stack get to around 4 or 5, and then do nothing but keep Holy Shield up. The highest the stack ever got was about 15 before I bubbled it off.
During one attempt, I was rocking a 10 stack when we made a tank transition. I didn't want a cleave to refresh the DoT, so I moved from his side to more in back of him. Somehow, I got aggro back (Knockback + Dirorient?). He cleaved and took out one of our Rogues.
After a couple of attempts, the healers were getting their little Bloodboil dance down, and the tanks were figuring out their threat. We used Blessing of Protection to force a tank transition if it was needed, and I used Divine Shield to clean my stacks off nearly every attempt. I found it very useful to use the Fel Rage phases to get my mana back by using Seal of Wisdom. You cause no threat in the Fel Rage phase, so it was a good time for a little regen.
We seem to do okay on the Fel Rage target as long as it wasn't a Mage or a Priest.
Our best attempt of the night was the 'last try'. Kill or no kill, the raid was going to be called after that attempt. We were fortunate that the Fel Rage targets were Hunters, Druids and a Warlock twice. Our healers were really on the ball and kept everyone up.
The Enrage timer was at about 1:20 and he was at 15% health. During the next Fel Rage, we threw everything at him, Heroism, Elementals, Trinkets, Fel Iron Bombs, and a Kitchen Sink.
We had him down to 1% as the Enrage timer ticked down.
He squashed the current Fel Rage target, and came after the highest person on threat list.
And that would be me!
He then proceeded to one shot Vlad and Kee. His health sat there, teasing me, at 1%.
Everyone started to pour on DPS. Hammers of Wrath flew, Smites and Moonfires were cast.
Finally, Bloodboil surrendered.
We had won! 5/9 BT. (I'm the dwarf on the left with the wings).
The fight was so intense from a Tank perspective. You vacillate between max threat generation and no threat generation. Speed up! Now, slow down! Oh no, speed up!! No, no slow down!
I can't begin to imagine what the healers must have been going through. Heal Kee, no wait he's on Honors, heal up that Bloodboil, now he's on Vlad. Fel Rage! Switch to the Fel Rage target. Okay, he's coming back to ...Honors, no, now he's on Vlad, don't lose Addic, okay, back to Kee.
Our healers were absolutely amazing. They deserve a big pat on the back. Gurtogg has been described as a Healer check. Then ours passed with flying colors.
The night was very entertaining and enjoyed every minute of it. We got Gurtogg down in basically one night of attempts.
Next up is Requilary, then Mother, then Council, then The Betrayer himself.
Hold off just a little longer, Lich King, we are almost there!