Thursday I logged in and saw that Mal Katai would be running Naxx25. I got my stuff together for both my Protection Set and Retribution Set and hung around Dalaran. I'm still not 100% sure how Mal Katai decides who is going to get an invite and who isn't. All I know is that sometimes I get invited and sometimes I get virtually ignored.
I got a whisper from Cryak asking me what spec I was. I answered in the way I usually do, "Prot at the moment". I hope he takes that to mean that I'm prot right now, but if you need something else, let me know. Maybe I should just say that directly next time.
He then queried me as to where my gear was at. I told him the truth, a mix of blues and epics and around 24.5k unbuffed health. He must have thought that was good enough because a few moments later I had an invite to the raid. The other tanks appeared to be Cryak and Zelena. So you had Prot Warrior, Feral Druid, Prot Paladin.
Most of the trash was just an AoE fest with Cryak dragging the last mob from one group into the next group and chain pulling. We were light on Priests (as in we had zero in the raid, and had to pull someone in for Faerlina). So we opted for Spider, Plague and Construct since Razivious would have been just a tad difficult.
Anub'Rekhan: The Feral Druid and I were assigned to pick up adds that spawned, and I have to admit I did a fairly poor job. I had a hard time finding the adds, targeting them and getting them under control. Several times, Zelena had to pick up both adds because I had failed to get mine. In Burning Crusade, I had a whole host of targeting macros for these situations. It's time I start making them again. Despite my general failure, we still managed to one kill Anub in one shot.
He dropped the Inexorable Sabatons tanking boots. I don't see them as much of an upgrade over my Tempered Titansteel Boots. I actually would wear the 'blue' tanking boots from Heroic Old Kingdome over either if I had them. What I really want is the Sabatons of Endurance off of Thaddius or the Emblem of Valor boots, Kyzoc's Ground Stompers. Since the Inexorable Sabatons are BoE, they went to the Guild Bank.
Grand Widow Faerlina: My job here was to control an add until it needed to be mind controlled, then call out the symbol of the next add I would break and tank. I was really enjoying the new Hand of Reckonging spell Paladins received in 3.0.8 for this fight, though I wish Blizzard had come up with a better name for it.
Simply target the one you want to tank and hit Hand of Reckoning. The sheep/pig/turle/penguin/whatever else mages can turn it into will break and you will be at the top of the threat list. I felt like I did a pretty good job here. One time the mind control was applied too early so it wore off before it could be used. I simply grabbed another add and we used that one.
The Grand Widow had a little surprise for me, a Sand Worn Band! My rings had been one of my weaker points, so I immediately put in for the Ring, and won it. I'm not sure if no one else was interested or if I just had more DKP than others. The ring is considered 'Best In Slot' so I was very excited to have received it.
Maexxna: Here again, I was on add duty. I did a little better than I did on Anub'Rekhan, but not anywhere near well enough. Again here, I think a targeting macro would do wonders for my performance.
Everything was going along great, and then we lost Cryak. Maexxna turned around and started working over one of the Death Knights who had the presence of mind to switch into Frost Presence. That bought us a couple of hits, but soon the Death Knight was ...well....dead.
Now Maexxna sits at about 15%. We're clearly in the Execute zone. Cryak asked if I could pick her up. So I taunted. Cool, now a Big Spider was wanting to chew on my little dwarf behind. Uh, Enraged Big Red Spider wanting to chew on little dwarf behind! I hit my Monarch Crab, and Bubblewall. My heart was pounding in my chest. I watched as Maexxna's health slowly whittled away. 5%, ....4....3...2...1%, dead Spider mama.
It felt really good that I had been able to pick up Maexxna, and that the healers were able to keep me alive.
With the Arachnid Quarter complete, we moved on to Plague.
Noth the Plaguebringer: Again, I was on the Adds. And again, I would have to say my ability to pick them up was sub par. I've got to work on it. Luckily, I once again had Zelena there to help bail me out. He dropped the Gauntlets of the Disobedient. I'm really torn between these on the Gauntlets of the Master. It would seem Disobediant are the better Gloves, but I really like the Dodge on Gauntlets of the Master. I'm also not sure what I want to enchant them with. I should probably go with Armsman, but part of me wants to use Hand Mount Pyro Launcher. Both enchants enhance threat, but Armsman also gives a bit of Parry, and it’s more threat, but dag-gum I want to use my Engineering!
Heigan the Unclean: Time to put my dancing shoes on. I didn't do a whole lot better, but I also didn’t' die. I don't know if you have more room in 25 man, or if the extra healers gives you a larger margin of error, or if it was fact I was tank spec. I still don't feel real confident that I would know where to go if I was asked to main tank. I should watch the tank spot video a couple of more times, but I think until I actually do it, I won't have it down.
Loatheb: For the most part of the night, I had tried to be real quiet and just kind of blend in. These guys have been raiding for over a month now. I knew a good portion from my first stint in Mal Katai, but not all of them. I'm just trying to fit back into the group, show I’m a team player, and earn some confidence and respect. But I may have let my mouth get me in trouble.
We were fighting Loatheb and everything was going along just fine. Cryak was main tanking and I was ‘dpsing’. Someone asked me over vent if I wanted to grab a spark (the thing that makes you crit more). I replied I wanted to leave them for the 'real dps', and that's probably where I should have stopped, but I continued and said 'The way I'm climbing Omen, I don't think I should grab one.' I think that might have come off as bragging, and showing off. I didn't intend that, but it's not what you intend, it's how people take it.
If I had had a brain in my head, I would have clicked off Righteous Fury before I began 'Dpsing', but I didn't. I did get a tell from one of the DPS telling me he thought I did a good job for doing 1300dps as Prot spec. I know real DPS can do two and three times that much, but I guess every little bit helps.
Loatheb drops the Tier 7 Shoulder token and sure enough there was a Conqueror on the body. We had no Priests, but plenty of Paladins and a couple of Warlocks. I put in that I was interested. Ryken (Guild Master, Master Looter and Retribution Paladin extraordinaire) asked me to link him my current shoulders. I was wearing Crusaders Square Pauldrons. These are some of the best pre-raid shoulders you can get. There are two others, but both are Heroic drops that I had not seen yet. I went into the raid with the best Shoulders I could have had given the machinations of the Random Number Generator (RNG). Ryken saw the Tier token was a huge upgrade for me, and a smaller one for him, so he passed, and I wound up with the Tier token. This led to a little bit of a problem when I got back to the town after the raid as there were no Fel Armaments on the Auction House and my Sons of Hodir rep is sitting at Honored. So I don't have an enchant on them yet.
With Plague Quarter down, we moved over to Construct. We had a little trouble with Patchwerk's trash and specifically the slimes that need to be AoE'ed down by ranged dps. We had no trouble getting through the first time, but then we somehow aggroed them again when we were fighting the trash.
This led to a series of wipes where half the raid releases and half the raid is rezzed, then the half that released is stuck behind the slimes. With Blizzard's new bug on Warlock Summoning (2 mintue cooldown, thanks Bliz!!), we eventually had to get everyone to die and just do it all over again but we lost a lot of time.
Patchwerk: Then we came to Patchwerk himself and here I got a clue that I might have upset my Druid friend. The Druid and I are assigned to take Hatefuls, while Cryak (Warrior) main tanks.
The Druid opens up and his threat generation goes through the roof. He was putting out just amazing levels of threat. I wasn't worried too much about keeping up; because I knew I only needed to stay above the melee DPS. The Druid put out so much threat that he actually pulled threat and started main tanking moving Cryak to eating Hatefuls. Our healers adjusted beautifully and adjusted again as Cryak reestablished threat and moved the Druid back to Hatefuls.
Did my earlier comment at Loatheb make the Druid think I was crowing about my threat gen, and he wanted to show me he could put out some mean threat, too, or am I just reading way too much into the situation?
I haven't seen my health yo-y0 like that in a long long time. It was crazy, but we still got Patch down in one shot.
Grobbulus: Next up was Grobbulus. I found myself on add duty here as well. For the first time in the night I thought I did a pretty decent job of picking up adds. Cryak moved him around flawlessly and he was dead before we completed a circuit.
Grobbulus had a Chestguard of the Exhausted on him. I hesitated to show interest. I had already gotten a ring and a Tier token. I was very concerned that showing interest in the Chest would make me look like a giant loot (*&!^. I also already had my Tier 7-10 Chest, so it wouldn't be a huge upgrade.
I explained my dilemma over vent. Cryak told me it was much better than Tier 7-10 and Ryken encouraged me to roll despite my earlier drops. So I won my third drop of the night.
Gluth: Gluth was next and my job was pretty simple. I would taunt off Cryak when his Mortal Wound debuff got too high and he would taunt back once it fell off. Simple.
Only we lost Cryak at the first Decimate. Now I was tanking Gluth. Zelena (Feral Druid) quickly switched to Bear and helped taunt off me when my stack got high. Cryak paid me a really nice compliment "You take like no damage, that's really good." I don't know that there's a much better compliment one tank can give another.
Zelena and I worked together well, but in the end I died. “I’m down, I’m down” I called out over vent. “So is he.” was the response, so it was all good.
Thaddius: Our final boss of the night turned out to be Thaddius. I was tanking one of the minibosses to start the event but I didn't know about keeping him close to the Tesla Coil. We lost some DPSers and couldn't beat the timer.
During the next attempt, I kept running the wrong way. I was running to the right place, either with negative or positive charge but I was taking the right path. Left and Right kept getting changed around, until someone finally said counter clockwise. That clicked.
On the next one we lost Cryak and I actually ended tanking Thaddius for a good portion of the attempt. We again didn't have the DPS to beat the timer. At that point it was getting late, so we had to call and end to the raid.
I was really happy to have been given an opportunity to run Naxx25 with Mal Katai and to be able to tank a little bit. I was also very grateful for the drops that had been given to me. The added defense from the new items allowed to switch out my Daunting Legguards for the Legplates of the Infinite Drakonid, and still have the required 540 defense.
I'm right on the cusp of 26k unbuffed health, and I got a chance to tank in a 25 man. When people are looking for tanks for Heroics, 10 or 25 mans, hopefully they will think of Honorshammer and give me an invite.