Thursday, July 31, 2008

Shattered Sun Dailies

So let's say you just hit level 70. Congratulations! You have extraordinarily good taste and possess high intelligence so naturally you rolled a Paladin. Now that you've hit the level cap, you wish to pursue a course of putting yourself between your friends and the large scary demons and dragons that want to have them for lunch.

You have a couple of basic needs. You need gold, and you need better gear. The Shattered Sun reputation rewards include a really nice shield, and an excellent neck, so you'd love to get some reputation built with the Shattered Sun.

The very best way to spend your in game time may very well be Daily Quests on the Isle of Quel'Danas.

Daily Quests often entail killing mobs, and for all the strengths of the Protection Paladin when we are grouped, we do give up some ability for soloing.

But fear not, brave reader, for I, Knight-Lieutenant Honorshammer, Hand of A'dal, am here to help.

Aside: Am I the only one who thinks the Hand of A'dal title is a little strange considering that A'dal doesn't have.....well....hands?

Rule #1 Pick Your Battles

You are allowed 25 Daily Quests per day. There are way more than 25 possible quests to do. I try to stick to quests that don't require me to actually kill anything. Instance Quests (Heroic and Normal), Gathering quests, Bombing Runs, and Activity Quests are the ones I try to concentrate on. I'm going to talk about the individual quests at the end.

Rule #2 Make Friends

When you do have to do a Daily Quest that requires you to kill mobs, try to do them with a friend or two. The quests go much faster. Grouping with a DPS will obviously kill stuff quicker, but even grouping with a Healer you get quicker mana back from Spiritual Attunement.

Rule #3 Power Up

You should make a set of gear for Soloing, and it shouldn't be your tanking gear. This gear can be leather, mail, heck even cloth. The stats you are looking for are Spell Damage, Intellect, Mana per 5, and some more Spell Damage. If you are on a PVP server, you want some good ole stamina in there as well. The 2pc Tier 4 bonus is excellent for soloing.

Rule #4 Rotation

So you have to kill a mob and you have to do it solo. Remember Rule#1 and try to pick quests that have you killing Demons or Undead as you have a couple of extra attacks that work against them.

When I'm about to engage a mob, I always use Retribution Aura.

Normally what I do is Seal of Crusader and Holy Shield. Then I Avenger's Shield and Judgement. If I have the 2pc Tier 4 on, I'll Seal of Righteousness, but if I don't, I'll go Seal of Vengeance. If it's a Demon or Undead, I'll throw in Exorcism and start the Seal, Judge, Seal rotation. I tend to only use Holy Shield if Redoubt proc'ed and I only use Consecration if I have 2 or more on me.

The next mob usually gets Judgement of Wisdom depending on how much mana I have.

Rule #5 Rations

Regardless of what you do, you will be drinking. Buy the Naaru Rations and chow down.

Rule #6 Know The Quests

Remember these are only the Shattered Sun Quests. There are still dailies in Ogril'la (bombing run, Simon Says), Netherwing (though most are pretty annoying as a Prot Paladin), and Skettis (Bombing Run).

Highly Recommended

  • The Air Strikes Must Continue (bombing the Dead Scar) - This is a bombing run. You don't need to kill anything and it's a fairly quick quest. Bind the bombs to one of our main keys (I put it on my 1 key where Holy Shield usually is). Spam the key and click to drop bombs. I can usually finish the quest in one pass.

  • Open For Business (gathering Bloodberries) - Run around, and gather berries. Quick, easy and not killing required.

  • Know Your Ley Lines (click an item at the portals) - Run up to the portal and click it. Being it or put into combat does not prevent you from getting the quest done. It's also very handy to have a free port back to Shat for when you are finished.

  • The Multiphase Survey (click an item in Nagrand) - This has to be one of the my favorites. Put on the goggles and click them 6 times.


  • Keeping the Enemy at Bay (bombing the boats and killing blood elves) - Bombing the boats is easy and the Blood Elves are able to be AoE'ed down. Not a bad quest at all and if you can find a whole ship full of Blood Elves, you can get it done fairly quickly. I usually swim over to one of the other boats than the one with the flight point.

  • Further Conversions (killing Sentries and converting them) - The robots die pretty quick, but aren't close enough to AoE. It's best done with a DPS friend.

  • The Battle Must Go On (kill demons and put a banner in the Emissary of Hate) - Killing Demons is a Paladin speciality. Try to pick the winged demons and not the multi-armed girls or the big fire guys. The winged demons do a Warstomp (stun) and then do an AoE. As soon as you are stunned, start spamming your Consecrate key. When the stun wears off, you'll drop a Consecrate and get away from him as fast as you can. The demon will stand there in your Consecrate spamming away on his AoE. You can either Avenger's Shield or Exorcism from range.

  • Ata’mal Armaments (kill Orcs in Shadowmoon Valley) - The Orcs can be AoE'ed. Keep an eye out for the elite or if you are well geared just AoE him too.

  • Rediscovering Your Roots (kill Flayers for a drop, use drop to tame a pet, use pet to get roots) - The Flayers are essentially dual weilders so Retribution Aura, Blessing of Sanctuary, and Holy Shield really help.

Skip It

  • Arm the Wards! (killing the Wretched for mana remnants) - The mobs burn mana, and the drop rate can be horrid. You get the impression these mobs were made with annoying us in mind.

  • Don’t Stop Now… (kill Myrmidons for keys and gather ore from locked chests) - You've got a better chance against the Myrmidons than you do against the Sirens, but the drop rate on the Ore can be really bad. If you have the bag space/quest log space, just kill the ones that aggro you as you are working towards the portal and keep the ore. Over the course of a day or two you'll have enough to complete the quest.

  • Disrupt the Greengill Coast (kill Sirens for orbs and free murloc slaves) - Casters, don't you love them. Like the Myrmidon quest, just kill the ones you have to for the portal and do the quest over a couple of days.

  • Crush the Dawnblade (kill Blood Elves) - The Hunter type mobs are pretty easy to AoE, but the Warlocks are a pain. Avengers Shield to hit the Warlock and his pet. When its in the air, target the Imp, and nail him right after it hits. This is another one I do over the course of a couple of days, killing on those I aggroo when I go to get the portal reading for "Know Your Ley Lines"

  • Maintaining the Sunwell Portal (Kill Etheral for device, use device, gather stuff while fending off Worms) - I found this quest somewhat annoying, so I've only done it a handful of times, and each time with a DPS friend.

  • Sunfury Attack Plans (Kill blood elves) - Choose your targets well. Magisters are casters, you don't want to mess with those. Give yourself a definite time/kill limit. If it hasn't dropped, try again later. Also, as soon as you zone into Netherstorm start asking in General if anyone else is doing the quest. If it drops for anyone in your party everyone can loot it.

  • Blood for Blood (Kill Demons, use item on Blood elves) - The Demons go down rather faster, but the Blood Elves can be annoying.

  • Blast the Gateway (kill Fire elementals) - We can't block Elemental attacks so don't bother with Holy Shield. Fire Aura helps a little.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Gear Consolidation and 10 Loot Systems

(The following post contains information about Wrath of the Lich King)

Gear consolidation is a new reality being added to the game by Blizzard and I believe it will have a profound impact on guilds both large and small. Essentially, gear consolidation is the attempt by Blizzard to make each piece of gear that drops be appealing to at several classes and specs.
As an example, Protection Paladins, Protection Warriors, and Death Knights are having their mechanics tweaked such that each will want basically the same gear (Plate withStamina, Defense, Dodge, Parry, and Strength)
Healing and Spell Damage are being combined into a single stat called Spell Power, and setting up a conversion of Spell Power to Healing. Now both healers and spell based DPS will want Spell Power gear.
The impact I see this having on guilds and especially smaller guilds is that it may cause these guilds to reevaluate their loot systems for 10 mans.
Most guilds run a straight /roll system for 10 mans. I believe part of the reason for this is that any given piece of loot is sometimes desired, or best used by only one person in the Raid.
If you run Kara with a Paladin/Druid Tank/Offtank setup, and a +DEF piece of plate drops, the rest of the raid is mad, not at the Paladin, but that 'their' loot didn't drop. At most you probably have 2 to 3 people in the raid who even want a given drop. Most players have an understanding of what class/spec needs the loot.
Today, you hear people say "Oh that's a Mage Belt" or "Hmm. Looks like Paladin Plate and a Feral Staff"
Now fast forward to Wrath.
A Spell Power piece of Cloth drops and you have 2 Priest Healers as well as a Warlock and a Mage. All 4 players want the loot for their main spec upgrade. Now, the 3 who didn't get it are mad at the one guy who 'won the roll'.
The situation will be even worse when you start thinking about the non armor specific pieces like Rings, Trinkets, and Necks.
While you will always have generous people in your raid who will pass for others, you will also have people convinced that the loot will never drop again. In a situation where such a high percentage of the raid sees the item as a clear main set upgrade, I don't know how long a /roll system can fly before you start seeing major drama.
I've seen drops cause major drama in guilds both pre BC with items like Zin'Rohk and Dal'Rends, and also in BC with items like Trollbane and Tier 4 tokens.
Gear consolidation may cause even 10 man guilds to need more rigid loot systems like DKP or Suicide Kings (SK) or Effort Points/Reward Points (EPRP).

Hyjal Is Ours

(this post will be updated later with screenshots)
Mount Hyjal is a lovely place full of large pulls, and AoE packs.
I remember the excitement of the my first night in the place. I was fighting alongside Jaina Proudmoore, and the Dwarven Riflemen, Human Footmen, and Elf Priests. Then we moved on and fought with Thrall and the Horde, and finally with Tyrande Whisperwind and the Elves. It was like playing Warcraft 3 only as a Hero unit.
There are milestones and moments that let you know you are really arriving as a Raid.
  • Your first time in a new zone
  • Shade of Aran
  • Clearing Kara in one night
  • High King Maulgar
  • Magtheridon
  • Vashj and Kael
  • Clearing SSC in one night
  • Archimonde
  • Gurtogg Bloodboil
Last night, Dominion accomplished another milestone. Mount Hyjal cleared in one night. We accomplished this despite being a little light in the AoE department with only two Warlocks and two Mages. We had Hunters, and even Paladins get into the act with AoE.
I don't know how other tanks feel, but when I see my healer DPSing, I take that as a huge complement. He's basically telling me he's not worried I'm going to die in the next few moments or that he's going to need all of his mana to heal me.
It helped tremendously that everyone knew the fights, knew their assignments, and executed. Every boss and trash wave was one shot except Archimonde. There are so many random variables in the Archimonde fight that I don't know if he'll ever be a one shot.
Since I already had my Tier 6 helm, I volunteered to sit out for Achimonde. Our Raid Leader either missed the tell (I can't imagine how many tells she must get in a night), or decided to leave me in.
I was consistently at the bottom the Healing meter. I believe a large part of my problem was I spent most of the fight running from Doomfires and not healing. I was in the group furthest from Archimonde so we get very little warning on Doomfires. Each time I got caught, I had my Divine Shield off cooldown, so I could 'bubble' right out of it.
I did my main job of survival. I never cratered, and never died until it was a wipe. I just wish I could contribute more to healing. Even when I am in range, it seems most of my heals are overheal. With 5 healers on the Maintank, someone would invariably top him off just before mine would land.
On Azgalor, we were trying something new in the Doom Crew. Instead of waiting for the Doomguard to spawn and dragging it back to the NPC Headhunters, we decided the first person to get Doom would head back there and die so we could just drag him and the NPCs back to the melee. Wouldn't you know it, I was first person to get Doom. I started running back. The warlock had not gotten a chance to Soulstone me before I ran out of range (go go Boar's Speed), so I had to be Battle Rezzed instead.
We have gotten so many Priest, Paladin, Warlock gloves that one of our Holy Paladins got them to turn in for the Protection gloves.
I managed to pick up 2 new items for my Holy set. A Glimmering Steel Mantle, and Howling Wind Bracers. Both were going to be disenchanted if I didn't take them. Both of the Holy Paladins in the raid already had them and the one Holy who needed them was on his Shadow Priest. We've had the Bracers drop many times and no one needed them. So yea, more epics for Honorshammer.
But the real treasure of the night came from Kaz'rogal. He dropped another Hardened Heart. Illidari Runeshield still hasn't dropped and this was an upgrade in every way over my wonderful Aldori Legacy Defender, so I asked for it, and got it!
I made a +15 stam gem and slapped it in there.
With Hyjal down in just one night, it leaves the rest of the week open for Black Temple. I know we can knock out the first 3 in Black Temple, easy. Maybe if we are lucky, we'll even nab a 4th.
We are on a roll!

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Hello Gurtogg

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!

Gear Plan Through Sunwell Trash

Our Raid Leader has asked everyone to come up with a Gear Plan so we know right away if we want a piece of loot or not.
So here we go.
The first thought that came to my mind when I finished the list was "ZOMG, Honors wants everything!", but if you really think about it's not too bad.
The only items on the list I'm after are the one I have in purple text, and there's maybe a dozen on the whole page. All the others are stuff I'm interested in, but I'm well aware there are others in my raid group who have a greater need for the item. So it's stuff I'll get if and when it's not needed.

Purple Text = Major Main Spec UpgradeBlue Text = Nice To Have, But Will Pass To Another Class If It's a Major Main Spec UpgradeYellow Text = For My Holy Set, Pass To Main Spec Healers (depending on how often I need to be Holy)Orange Text = For My Ret Set, Pass To Main Spec DPSGreen Text = Won't Let It Get DE'ed




Illidan Stormrage

Illidari Council
  • Lightbringer Legguards [Link] - A side grade to my Inscribed Legplates of the Aldor. I would only take these to make the set bonus and would ask to win them on DKP grounds, not Main Tank priority.

  • Lightbringer Leggings [Link]

  • Lightbringer Greaves Link

Reliquary of Souls

Mother Sharaz

Gurtogg Bloodboil
  • Girdle of Mighty Resolve [Link] - Best Tankadin belt until Sunwell

  • Shadowmoon Insignia [Link] - Nice trinket, but I'm not 100% sure when I'd use it over the Commendation of Kael'thalas, and I like the 'On Use' of Moroes Pocketwatch as I feel it's a better 'Oh noes' Button.

  • Girdle of Stability [Link] - Best Warrior belt until Sunwell. I will replace it with Mighty Resolve. Once our Main Tank Warriors have this, and if Mighty Resolve hasn't dropped, I'll go for it.

  • Shroud of Forgiveness [Link]

  • Belt of Primal Majesty [Link]

  • Leggings of Divine Retribution Link

  • Unstoppable Aggressor's Ring Link

Teron Gorefiend
  • Gauntlets of Enforcement [Link] - Very nice expertise gloves which helps Paladin threat, but helps Warrior threat much more. What I don't know is how these compare to Tier 6 for a Warrior. If they are a sidegrade to Warrior Tier 6, I'd go for them, but if they were an upgrade I would certainly pass in favor of my Warriors.

  • Botanist's Gloves of Growth (Link)

  • Girdle of Lordaeron's Fallen [Link]

  • Shadowmoon Destroyer's Drape Link

  • Soul Cleaver Link

Shade of Akama
  • Praetorian's Legguards Link - These would go to my 'Hit' set, which I wouldn't use until Kalecgos. Very low priority.

  • Myrmidon's Treads Link - If Tide Stompers haven't dropped, they are an upgrade to my current boots. However, they are best in slot for Warriors until Sunwell, but I would replace them when and if Tide Stompers dropped.

  • Spiritwalker Gauntlets [Link]

  • Kilt of Immortal Nature [Link]

  • Shoulders of the Hidden Predator Link

  • Pauldrons of Abyssal Fury [Link] - Straight upgrade for both Warriors and Paladins.

  • Band of the Abyssal Lord [Link] - Pretty much equal with my current rings (BotED, RoSP, RoSS). My main use for it would be a specialized 'Hit' set which I wouldn't need until Kalecgos

  • The Brutalizer [Link] - Definately want this, but only after our Main Tank Warriors have it. Beta Paladins are reporting excellent threat with this weapon and some of our new skills.
  • Syphon of the Nathrezim - Another possible 'Wrath' weapon.

  • Naturalist's Preserving Cinch [Link]

  • Waistwrap of Infinity [Link]

  • Choker of Endless Nightmares Link

High Warlord Naj'entus




  • Tempest of Chaos Link - Technically the best Tankadin weapon going, but I definitely would pass on the first 2 or 3 that drop.

  • Cataclysm's Edge Link

  • Antonidas's Aegis of Rapt Concentration Link - Seriously lacking on Stamina, or defensive stats.

  • Lightbringer Greathelm

  • Savior's Grasp

  • Leggings of Eternity [Link]

  • Mail of Fevered Pursuit Link

  • Legguards of Endless Rage Link



  • Anetheron's Noose [Link]

  • Bastion of Light [Link]

  • The Unbreakable Will [Link] - Like the Brutallizer, another weapon that Beta Tankadins are reporting success with. Again, I wouldn't roll on it unit our Warriors had it or Brutalizer.

  • Don Alejandro's Money Belt Link
Rage Winterchill
  • Blessed Adamantite Bracers [Link]

  • Furious Shackles Link


Kael'thas Sunstrider
  • The Darkener's Grasp - Verdant Sphere [Link] - This and the RoS neck are about equal. I'd take either one.

  • Lord Sanguinar's Claim - Verdant Sphere [Link]

  • Telonicus's Pendant of Mayhem - Verdant Sphere [Link]

  • Sunshower Light Cloak [Link]

  • Crystalforge Chestpiece [Link]

  • Sunhawk Leggings [Link]

  • Crystalforge Breastplate Link

  • Thalassian Wildercloak Link

  • Royal Gauntlets of Silvermoon Link

  • Worldstorm Gauntlets [Link]

  • Girdle of the Righteous Path [Link]

  • Greaves of the Bloodwarder Link

Void Reaver

  • Phoenix-Ring of Rebirth [Link]

  • Girdle of Fallen Stars [Link]


Lady Vashj
  • Crystalforge Greathelm [Link]

  • Glorious Gauntlets of Crestfall [Link]

  • Coral Band of the Revived [Link]

  • Lightfathom Scepter [Link]

  • Belt of 100 Deaths Link

FathomLord Karathress

Morogrim Tidewalker

Leotheras The Blind

Hydross The Unstable
  • Shoulderpads of the Stranger Link

  • Ranger-General's Chestguard Link



  • Ring of Flowing Light [Link]

  • Ripfiend Shoulderplates Link


Gruul The Dragonkiller
  • Dragonspine Trophy Link

High King Maulgar


  • Justicar Chestpiece [Link]

  • Naaru Lightwarden's Band [Link]

  • Aegis of the Vindicator [Link]


  • Hauberk of the Empire's Champion [Link]

  • Two-toed Sandals [Link]

  • Dark Blessing [Link]

  • Jin'rohk, The Great Apocalypse Link

  • Berserker's Call Link

Hex Lord
  • Skullshatter Warboots Link
  • Bulwark of the Amani Empire [Link]

  • Enamelled Disc of Mojo [Link]

  • Brooch of Nature's Mercy [Link]
3rd Timed Chest
  • Signet of the Quiet Forest [Link]

  • Signet of Primal Wrath Link

2nd Timed Chest
  • Cloak of Fiends Link
1st Timed Chest
  • [Cord of Braided Troll Hair] [Link]

  • Trollbane Link


Prince Malchezar


150 Badges
  • Gavel of Naaru Blessings [Link]

  • The Blade of Harbingers Link
100 Badges
75 Badges
  • Clutch of the Soothing Breeze [Link]

  • Waistguard of Reparation [Link]

  • High Justicar's Legplates [Link]

  • Natural Life Leggings [Link]
60 Badges
41 Badges
  • Essence of the Martyr [Link]
35 Badges
  • Vambraces of the Naaru [Link]

  • Master Assassin Wristwraps Link

25 Badges
  • Necklace of Eternal Hope [Link]


Heroic Magister's Terrace

5 Man

Magister's Terrace
  • Kharmaa's Ring of Fate [Link]


Shattered Sun


BoE Crafting

  • Sun-Drenched Scale Gloves (Sunmotes) [Link]
  • Sunblessed Gauntlets (Sunmotes) [Link]
  • Sunfire Handwraps (Sunmotes) [Link]
  • Dawnsteel Bracers (Hearts of Darkness) [Link]
  • Ring of Flowing Life (Sunmotes) [Link]
  • Vengeance Wrap Link
  • Cloak of Darkness Link
  • Gloves of Immortal Dusk (Sunmotes) Link
  • Red Belt of Battle (Nether Vortexes) Link


  • Darkmoon Card: Crusade Link


Requires Rating

Doesn't Require Rating

Monday, July 28, 2008

A Commendable Performance

I logged onto my Hunter while I was waiting for Lakini to log in for our Arenas. I hadn't been on good when I saw someone paging guild chat for a group for Heroic Magister's Terrace. I had tried unsuccessfully to get a group Friday or Saturday night. The person asking happened to be my Raid Leader on her Mage alt.

My good friend, Aoesrus, was also in on the run. I haven't run anything with Aoes in what's felt like ages. I offered to tank it.

We needed a DPS and a healer. We managed to get Cfchief, one of our Raiding Shadow Priests, and Brightshade, one of our Raiding Rogues on his Holy Priest alt.

So basically you had 4 clothies and a Paladin tank against Heroic Magister's Terrace.

I figured it would be a quick run, an hour at the most. One of these days, I'll learn to not get into a Heroic Magister's Terrace run before I'm supposed to be doing Arenas with Lakini.

Vlad/Else marked up all the pulls. I paid close attention to what she was cc'ing and what she had me tanking. I need to get much better learning the pulls in this place so I can lead groups through there myself.

We had a death on the first pull when I lost my secondary target trying to finish off one of the enemy Imps.

We pulled to the first boss. At first we tried to DPS the crystals and had a sub 10% wipe. The next time we just continue to DPS the boss and had little trouble getting him down.

We continued to progress through the instance until we came to the 2nd boss. Our problem seem to stem from the adds that spawned. There wasn't much I could do except stand there and try to generate as much threat as I could while hoping the Priest could keep everyone up. It took us a couple of wipes but we finally managed to down him. Else picked up some new shoulders, so she was pretty excited.

Our group for the 3rd boss was MS Warrior, Mage, Rogue, and Engineer/Demon. At first we were sheeping the Rogue and the Mage but the Warrior was destroying us. I was in my PVE Healer gear, concentrating on controlling the Engineer/Demon and trying to throw heals were I could.

Our strategy proved less than completely successful so we changed it. We sheeped the Warrior and the Rogue. I feared the Demon after pulling him back towards us so he wouldn't aggro another group. The group was actually good practice for the Illidari Council encounter as there was plenty of enemy AoE damage to avoid.

We got the Mage and the Priestess down. Then we killed Demon and the Rogue. I ran in to break the sheep on the Warrior so he would intercept stun me and not the 'real' healer. He decides to do an Intimidating Shout instead. I start running in fear, right towards a group of mobs. If I had been thinking, I would have bubbled before I got to the group, but I didn't figure that out until later. I end up aggroing the group of mobs.

I still think like a tank, regardless of the gear you put me in. We had everything down but the Warrior. I had aggroed an additional group, so an wipe was inevitable, but if we kill the Warrior we win the encounter and get phat lewtz.

So I consecrate. It only takes a couple of seconds for the group of adds to wipe me out, but those precious seconds were enough for my group to down the Warrior, and for the Priestess to go all sparkly. The group of adds did wipe us out, but we had won.

Everyone rezzed, but I couldn't bring myself to loot the body. I've killed this Boss 7 or 8 times and never seen the tank trinket. Now Timbal's Focusing Crystal, that I've seen nearly every time. Random loot is random, I guess.

"Kael'thalas" I heard over vent. Both Aoes and Else/Vlad have a good sense of humor so I thought they might be pulling my leg.

You receive loot: Commendation of Kael'thalas.

WoW really needs a /feint emote. I couldn't believe it. I wanted that trinket soooooooooooooo bad, and now I have it!

So now when I dip under 35%, my Dodge goes up by 8%, and should an attack get though even with my increased dodge, it does 30% less damage from Ardent Defender. In addition, the trinket gives 60 more stamina than my Darkmoon Card Vengence. I can pop the Pocketwatch for even more Dodge.

Aoes had to drop, so we brought in one of our Raiding Shamans on her Hunter alt, Lauria (pretty name by the way).

We had one more trash pull and then onto Kael. It took us a couple of attempts to get our kiting down. I ended up having to eat a Pyroblast. It hit me for 45k. The next time I saw him winding that up, I ran away a little bit and POWER OF THE LIGHT! (hit Divine Shield) when the Pyro was in the Air. Immune!

Take that, Prince Sunstrider!

Kael dropped nothing but plate. I took the healing boots, but I passed on the DPS chest so one of the others would have something to sell.

The run was far from flawless, but after that first death, I think I did pretty good tanking. No one ever suggested otherwise.

It took us over 2 hours, so I ended up missing my Arenas with Lakini.

Afterwards, we blasted our way through Heroic Ramparts for the Daily.

I've kept pretty much to myself during my initial time in Dominion, but now I really need to start to get to know people. I think 5 mans might be the best way for me to start on that.

Quiz Bowl

Questions from my Email inbox.

Q: With Libram of Repentance and Holy shield up I have 0.2% above the needed 102.4%,(Unbuffed),and I might go higher with the SSO shield. So I thought,"Hey,why not put spell damage and stamina gems instead of the avoidance ones I'm using?",but I'm afraid I would go under the Uncrush cap I've been trying to achieve so much.

Be sure to check my article on using the mod Tankpoints to check your uncrushable calculations.

Don't socket spell damage, socket stamina only. I will now wave my hand like a Jedi, "You do not want to look at Honors gloves."

Basically what you have here is the need to do what my Dad refered to as a 'Sharp Pencil Exercise'. Let's take a look at the avoidance gems you might have. We pop over to the uber useful Tanking Gear Uncrushability Values guide on Maintankadin, and we find the gem you are thinking of taking of out. Let's say it's a Subtle Living Ruby. You can see from the post that the gem gives you 0.42% towards uncrushability. If you are only .2% over, you can't replace that yet, or can you.

Anytime you need to be Uncrushable, you are going to be in a Raid, and that means buffs. So what you need to do is figure out how far over your are buffed, however, the only buff I calculated on was Kings, because it's a buff I give myself, and as such I know it will available in the run. Some people also use Mark of the Wild in their calculations. Now you might not have a Druid with you in a 10 man, but you can almost guarentee at least one in your 25 man.

Q: I'd really like to go raiding beyond Gruul and Mag raid, but it seems that I am missing a fitting guild.On my server,we have the good raiding guilds, the PvP guilds whom I am not interested in, and the Casual guilds who won't give me what I seek. What should I do? And should I even bother with WotLK coming closer?

I put Wrath at 4 months out at a minimum. It depends on what you want to do with your Paladin during those 4 months.

The first step is to communicate your desire to move further into the end game to the leadership of your guild. You must find out if their vision for the guild is compatible with your vision for where you want to take your Paladin. Remember, it's their guild and the leadership sets the vision for it.

Let's assume that you come to the conclusion that you want more from the game than your guild does. Privately inform your Guild Leader that you will looking for another guild. Be prepared that he might gkick you on the spot, they then again they might not.

The next step is to make sure your gear is in order. Run Kara like a madman, and buy all the badge gear that's an upgrade for you and make sure your gear is gemmed and enchanted with high quality gems and enchants.

Then try to find a guild that is near your level or slightly above it. You may need to look offserver. You want to establish yourself in a guild, and try to get into their Raiding team. Do as much as you can before we all head off to the frozen north.

Q: When I instance,I seem to run OOM very quickly when using max rank Consecration. I believe my mana pool is very low yet I have no way to extend it..I end up Consecrating lower ranks,and generating less threat. Advice?

Your mana pool is your starting resource. As long as you have enough to Avenger's Shield, Seal, Judge, Holy Shield and Consecrate, you have 'enough'. I haven't done the math, but my gut is a naked level 70 Paladin has enough mana to go through that sequence once.

After that initial sequence, you have to figure out if you are in a mana deficit position or not. What I mean is are you in a situation where incoming damage is going to be enough for Spiritual Attunement to start refilling your mana bar. Arcand, who is much smarter than I am, has done the math.

"A maximum-threat rotation with perfect cooldown management and no Exorcism will cost 154 mana per second, sustainable if you're taking 1540 DPS. " - Arcand

Because of armor, and other variables, each Paladin has to figure out where in the game they take that kind of incoming DPS from the mobs they are tanking. If you find yourself in a mana deficit situation, and I seem to find myself there more and more as I gear up, you have to be a little more picky about skills. The good news is you are by definition, not in a situation where you are likely to die, so you can use a mana pot, instead of needing the potion cooldown for a health pot or Ironshield.

Q: I see many people using this add-on to see the difference between pieces of stats.What is it?

EqCompare and Ratings Buster

Q: Im writing to you regarding threat in Hyjal Trash and the use of TPS meters in a raid setting. I joined a new guild and we entered Hyjal on Saturday evening. Warrior tank(s) up front and 2 prot paladins picking up adds. The trash went fine I suppose, I was focusing on consecrating, holy shield and looking for loose mobs. I would "taunt" the other Paladin when he had too many. Nothing was really out of the ordinary except my mana, I was chugging pots. I have target of target on and I see that I'm getting mobs but not as many as my fellow prot pally who is geared a bit better about 1k more mana and 150 or more spell damage. After a horrible attempt on the 2nd boss some people had to leave and the raid was called. When it came time to tanks and healers I was told that my TPS was really low. Ok, no mobs escaped us. I would say my TPS was fine. What do I do and is it fair to count my TPS against me if no one pulled off of me and no raid members died due to trash?

The reality of raiding is, if your Raid Leader says your TPS was low, it means your TPS was low. It may not be true, and it may not be fair, but that's largely irreverent. It doesn't matter what the numbers were or how many mobs got away, the opinion of the Raid Leader is the definitive truth in his raid.

Try to educate your raid leader than Paladin TPS can be a little spiky. We tend to get a nice boost right after we judge. He's probably also used to the other Paladin who has higher spell damage and likely higher TPS.

The issue you had was a lack of incoming damage from the other Tankadin grabbing more mobs than you did with his higher spell damage. Some people may have the idea that since one Tankadin is good in Mount Hyjal, two must be even better, but in my experience, 1 Tankadin per raid is the way to go. In the situation you were in, I would suggest finding a single target like an Abomination or even an Necormancer and tank it, and leave the AoE tanking to the better geared Tankadin.

The issue with TPS is that it isn't like DPS. You can't post a meter at the end and say, yep I did 800 TPS on that run. Grab an Abomination and go to town. You'll have plenty of incoming damage and you can really concentrate on maximizing your TPS on that mob. Just hope the Raid Leader watches Omen during one of your spikes and don't be afraid to 'cheat' the meter a little by popping your wings whenever the raid gets to your target.

Q: My GM inspected my spec and suggested I spec for divine intellect and reckoning. I really prefer to have points in precision, one-hand specialty, and improved crusader. I prefer the solid hit and extra damage then the chance to gain extra swings.

Reckoning, and Improved Crusader are what I would refer to as flavor talents. They each provide a nice benefit and a case could be made for either one. One Hand Speciality and Precision are what I would refer to as fundamental talents. I wouldn't feel comfortable without them in my spec.

Divine Intellect is a poor choice for spending talent points as a Protection Paladin. A larger mana pool is only going to slightly delay how long it will take you to go out of mana. Either you are taking enough damage to refill your bar (mana surplus) or you are not (mana deficit). Extending the bar does not solve the problem.

Q: I have alot of gear. I never get rid of anything that is used for tanking. So I have options. How can I maximize my threat without regemming my 15 stam gems. It took a long time for me to get those 12 stam gems replaced by all epic. I have access to getting my 2set T4 bonus by either combination of legs,hands and helm.

It's going to depend on what non Tier gear you've got in those slots. I would advise making your 2 piece bonus from the hands and helm. The Tier 4 legs are the worst piece in the set and there are two really nice Badge gear options for your leg slot.

Paladins in Wrath

I was talking with a couple of Dominion's Paladins last night about the Wrath changes and someone asked "Where are you getting all this information"

So here are my sources:

Joanadark on Paladins in WotLK

Lore on Paladins in WotLK

There you will learn from Lore and Joanadark, the Jedi Masters who instructed me.

Siha at Banana Shoulders on Beta

Change is afoot (more just a straight reprint of Beta Patch notes)

Kaziel's at Kaziel's Thoughts


Rohan at Blessing of Kings

WotLK Beta - Protection

WotLK Beta - Judgements

WotLK Beta - Judgements II

WotLK Beta - Holy Builds

Salvation's End

Maintankadin has an entire board dedicated to Wrath of the Lich King

Thursday, July 24, 2008

An Embarrassment Of Riches

Wednesday is usually my night off. I knew Dominion was going back to Archimonde, and the way our raid was clicking on Tuesday, I knew they were going to kill him.

I went and got a 'Kitchen Pass' to play. The guys on vent found the term quite humorous. Basically, I talked to Mrs. Hammer and asked if we could move our date night this week. She agreed, so it was HAMMER TIME!!
Before the Raid, I was in Tanaris and leveled up fishing to 285. This is going to be a quite a grind to get to 375.
Tanaris makes no sense from a geographical standpoint. For there to be a desert that close to the ocean, you would have to have a major mountain chain almost right on the coast to break up the the onshore precipitation that would be nearly constantly generated by evaporating seawater. But I guess Azeroth doesn't have to play by our rules of science.
I was still Holy and assigned to Group 5. Our first attempt on Archimonde was very solid. We lost someone to a Grip + Airburst combo and couldn't recover, but it was a very solid attempt.
We regrouped for our second try. I got Airbust a couple of times, but I took very little damage. We were running from Doomfires and doing our best to stay alive.

I'm supposed to be over there, healing Kee, our Main Tank Warrior. There is a line of fire completely cutting me off from him.

We passed the 50% benchmark. We were healer heavy last night, running 10, but our DPS was still right in line for beating the enrage timer. We lost one of our DPS Warriors and a Feral Druid. I am not sure 100% why, but my guess would be a Doomfire on melee. Somehow, maybe because of all the healers, we were able to survive the Soul Charges.
I managed to finally get back in range and start healing Kee when a Doomfire spawned right on our group. I still don't understand the mechanic of a Doomfire spawning so far away from the Boss. I was nearly on the very edge of the healing range. We had no time to react and myself and one other person in my group got the debuff. I needed to heal myself, and run from the Doomfire. Healing on the run is not something Paladins tend to do well. My Bubble was already on cooldown from the Trinket/Bubble rotation we used to keep healers on the Main Tank at all times.
I stopped to throw a quick Flash of Light on myself and the Doomfire caught up. I was wearing my Tank boots because they have Boar's Speed on them so I was able to get away from the Doomfire again, but I knew then I couldn't stop to heal myself. I put my Health Potion and Healthstone on cooldown. We were almost away from the Doomfire, but my health was dropping. A grip or Airburst would have been the end of me. Even barring that happening, I wasn't sure I was going to make it.

Enter Dar. Dar was a Resto Druid who was running with my group. He hotted me up, and threw a quick Nature's Swiftness plus Healing Touch. I now introduce you to full health Honorshammer! After the Raid, I made a point of letting our Raid Leader know what a great job Dar had done. I left out the detail of exactly who she had saved though. Dar got some well deserved kudos over open vent.

We were really tight on the timer. With 10 healers, and 1 tank, we had only 14 DPS, and we were down 2, so we really had only 12. We needed to take off 12% of his health in the next minute.
Then we hit the 'magical' 10% mark. Everyone was bubbled by the Wisps, and everyone, even the healers ran in and started pouring on the DPS. I kept looking for my Avenger's Shield button, which, of course, wasn't there.
Just like in the end of the Battle of Mount Hyjal in the Warcraft 3 game, the Wisps came to surround Archimonde and destroyed him.


I was really excited. Mount Hyjal cleared in 1 and a half nights. Our raid has been really hot lately.

There was a Tempest of Chaos and a Helm of the Forgotten Conqueror (Paladin, Priest, Warlock) and 2 Helms of the Forgotten Defender (Warrior, Hunter, Shaman).

Under our Loot system, I was defaulted the Helm of the Forgotten Conqueror as a Main Tank. Kee, our Main Tank Warrior received one of the Defenders. Vlad, who also has Main Tank priority graciously passed on the helm and it went to one of our Hunters.

I grabbed the Keepers of Time head enchant. I was really luckily that ThLadyBlue, one of our Alchemist in the raid happened to have an Earthstorm Diamond. Doubly fortuneate that she is also a Jewelcrafter who cut the 18 stamina gem for me. We also had an Empyrean Sapphire available which I got cut to 15 stam.

I lose a little hit, and defense, but gain health, a huge amount of mana, spell damage, armor, and avoidance. So this helm increases my survivability and threat. I'll take that. It puts me to 2/8 Tier 6 and gives me the 2 piece set bonus. That rocks.

It is something of an adjustment for me as far as aesthetics . I've been wearing my Tankatronics so long they had become almost a part of me.

The night was still young, so the raid regrouped at the Black Temple. At first, Vlad (Raid Leader) had told me to just stay Holy, but after seeing we still had plenty of Heals in the raid, she told me to go back to Prot.

A week ago, Najentus had given them a challenge. I was assigned to watch 3 tree druids and one of our best DPS Rogues. My main responsibility was to remove spines from them. Any other damage or healing I could add was secondary. Sure enough, one of my trees got the first spine. I waited for the Raid Leader to call for it.

"Han will have that shield down, we've got to give him more time!"

3-2-1 Pop it. Najentus was one in one shot. He didn't drop the Paladin boots. I made a comment in Raid chat about it. I know I had JUST gotten an awesome piece of loot, but I'm afraid I'll end up like Mortel who has been farming Illidan for 6 months and still hasn't seen them drop.

At one point clearing trash, the Swiftsteel Bludgeon dropped. I let it get blown up. When a second one dropped, I rolled on it. It would be a nice weapon to try out the Hammer of the Righteous spell that Protection Paladins are getting with Wrath of the Lich King. I made some comment about seeing every trash drop BUT the one I wanted (Illidari Runeshield).
I hate that I seem so 'loot focused'. You know that little roller coaster ride you go on when you drop a Boss who can drop 'your loot'?
Woohoo! We got him!
Did it drop?
No. Bummer.
The rough thing when you need a Trash drop is that go though that, every time a mob dies.
We moved on to Supremus. This boss invariably gives up problems. Sure enough we lose a DPS Warrior, and a Rogue right off the bat. Is it just me or is that fight just designed to kill Rogues? Despite our early losses, everyone stayed focused and we one shot him too.
We started working on Akama's trash. We moved into the hallway going into Akama's room when we accidentally pulled two groups. Someone said over vent "It's a wipe!" which caused one of our Holy Paladins to DI our sole priest.
Between myself, the two Warriors and 2 Ferals we managed to get everything locked down. The priest clicked off the DI and somehow our team pulled it out, and didn't wipe. That's just the kind of week it's been raiding for us. Even when people makes mistakes, the other 24 team members rally around and pull it out.
After that, do you think Shade of Akama had a chance?
We did the final bit of trash when one of my Restos started acting a little weird.
I was assigned to break a sheep target and start tanking. My Resto friend goes from Tree to Bear form and Feral Charged and taunted. The healers reacted well so we didn't lose him.

Normally our raid leader is pretty quick to come down on people who pull from a tank, but since he was a Druid, she saw an Orange raid frame, which can be a tank, she probably didn't even realize it was a tree. The first time it happened, I thought it was odd. The second time, I was started to wonder what he up to.

Was he doing this to try to get a reaction out of me? Was he just bored because we had plenty of healers, but very little raid damage going on at the moment? I decided not to say anything. If he was hoping for a reaction from me, he was disappointed. I'm just not sure what was going through his head. He didn't do this on any other mobs other than those last two where I was assigned to break and tank.
We start the Akama event. It remains one of my favorite so far in Black Temple.
Can you see One shot?
And what should appear in the loot window on Shade's corpse: the bracers, The Seeker's Wristguards, which are the best Paladin Tanking Bracers until Sunwell.

I give up a modicum of health, defense, and avoidance to gain a major upgrade in Armor, and Spell Damage. I'm not even worried about the Shield Block rating as it will likely fall off the table in most situations. The bank was out of Greater Planars, so I picked up 10 off the Auction House for 160g. When it come to enchanting and gemming up my tanking gear, I don't have any problem dropping whatever amount of gold that is needed.
Two major upgrades in one night, plus another epic 'toy' for Wrath. It was truly an embarrassment of riches.

I can't remember if it was after the raid or near the end, but my Raid Leader made a comment to me about my last blog entry. In the blog, I was talking about being Holy for Archimonde and I said "I hope this is the last fight I'll have to be Holy for."
What my Raid Leader said was she didn't think that would be the case. Now, I've looked at every fight we will be doing, and each of our new fights (Bloodboil, Mother, Requilary, Council, and Illidan) requires at least 3 tanks, so I am at a lost trying to figure out which fight she thinks I'll need to be Holy for. The only one that comes to mind is Teron, but we should be doing Bloodboil right after.
I can't see her wanting me to spec Holy for one fight and then respec Prot for the next if we are doing them on the same night. If she plans on me being Holy more often, I will need to start bidding against the other Healers on healing gear, and I can't see that going over well.
I was recruited as a tank, and I have 'Main Tank' status in our loot system. I guess I will have to just wait and see.
The situation in the guild is incredibly positive right now. The Raid is a very fun and relaxed place to be
I am further progressed than I ever thought I would be. I am truly thankful to be in Dominion. We have a group of people who are focused on completing Burning Crusade before Wrath hits.
We are approaching the end of July, and the bank is full of Hearts of Darkness. I hope we make it to Illidan in time!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Surviving Kaz'Rogal As A Prot Paladin

When I first joined Dominion, the role of Prot Paladin on Kaz'Rogal was to find a nice spot away from the raid and wait to die. I found this unacceptable. I took it upon myself to figure out a way to help the Raid and stay alive.

My first strategy was to get into a combination of my Shadow Resist and PVP Healer gear. This set gave me a large mana pool, and large hit point pool and a little Shadow Resist to maybe resist a Mark or two.

This strategy worked pretty well until the night we lost our Main Tank, and I was unable to pick up Kaz because I wasn't in tanking gear.

I had to figure out a way to survive Kaz in my tanking gear with a mana pool of around 6000 Raid Buffed.

I was talking to Cathmor/Baelor of Eye For An Eye. He explained some of the tricks he used as a Ret Paladin for surviving Kaz'Rogal. A Ret Paladin has it even tougher on Kaz because while he has about the same size mana pool, he constantly tapping that mana pool to do damage. I was able to apply many of those tricks to surviving in Prot gear.

The first thing I do is get a Judgement of Wisdom up on the boss. This helps my mana regen, and also helps our casters, especially our Hunters. Once Judgement of Wisdom is up, I use Seal of Wisdom and start hacking away with my Hammer of Judgement.

As soon as I have lost 3000 mana, I use a Super Mana Potion. The next Mark of Kaz'Rogal that is cast, I use Divine Shield to remove the debuff so it won't drain any mana.

If my Mana Potion cooldown is not back up by this point, I'll use one of my Dark Runes. These have been appearing with alarming infrequency on the Auction House lately.

Sometimes, I get lucky and catch a friendly bounce of a Prayer of Mending or a Chain Heal, which gives me a little mana from Spiritual Attunement. The only mana expenditure I make it to reseal Wisdom once it runs it duration so I can keep the debuff up on Kaz.

If I run out of tricks, and I see my mana is near 3000, I go ahead and run out. I do try to make sure I get that last refresh of the debuff before I run so it will stay up for as long as possible. Although, my number one priority is make sure I don't kill the melee group

Generally, he dies before I do, sometimes it's closer than others.