Thursday, March 5, 2009

Can't Kill This?

Tuesday night I logged on and got ready for my first run with my new 10 man Team. Heroes run two 10 man ‘teams’ each week. We use the In Game Calendar to schedule Raids and to sign up. This is really great because I know a week or more in advanced what nights we are raiding, what the start time is and what zone we will be attacking.

This night our Team which affectionately calls itself “Blue circles are just as enticing as Red” was going for the Undying achievement. To get this achievement, you have to kill every boss in Naxx with no one dying. I felt something as I flew the Gyrocopter out to Dragonblight that I haven’t felt in a while. That nervous excitement of knowing you are going to have to play your very best and not let your team down.

We decided to start with the Death Knight wing. We cleared the trash quickly and got to Instructor Razuvious. I was on one crystal with my Death Knight co-Tank on the other.

Everything was going according to plan until I tried to release the Understudy. We generally do a release, then immediately mind control it again. I hit the key to release, and an addon Error box popped up on my screen. I closed it quickly and kept hitting the release button but nothing happened. When he broke on his own I had just taunted. I got him back but he was loose and my taunt was on cooldown. I chased him around the room, but it was too late and he had taken out the healers. We wiped.

I felt like a guy who had fumbled on the first snap of a big game. I’ve got to think the issue is with SpartanUI or Bartender4, but it could be any of my addons. I can’t really test it again until next week and I’m not sure I would want to risk it.

Our Raid Leader broke up the raid and had another person form it. We reentered Naxx, recleared the trash and got back to Razuvious. Since I wasn’t sure if the Addon would error again, we had a mage take the other crystal who had tanked the fight before. We one shot Raz with no problem.

Ellevis (Death Knight) and I swapped off Tanking assignments from Boss to Boss, and I really enjoyed working with him.

We had a close call on Gothik when I didn’t pick up a Death Knight quickly enough near the end of Phase 1, and he nearly killed our Mage. Fortunately for me, our Resto Druid did an amazing job and kept everyone alive.

Spider was fun. I was the Tank on Anub, and he seemed to throw me up in the air quite a bit more than prevoius attempts. Sometimes, as a Tank, you wind up in really odd places, like undernearth a huge Crypt Lord. But at least the wing was quick. When we did Construct we forgot to kill one of the Trash Abominations, so we got to fight Patchwerk plus and Abomination at the same time. Our healers were money and no body died.

We did Plague, and Noth was fun. I was on Add with Ellevis (Death Knight) on Noth We were a little slow killing the first set of adds so I didn’t have my body turned right when I went to throw my shield at the second set. I got a “Target must be in front of you” as the Plagued Warrior ran right by me. So I taunted with Righteous Defense. You’ll never guess who the Plague Warrior was targeting. Yep, Ellevis. And when good ole Righteous Defense went off, who did I taunt, why Noth, of course! Ellevis grabbed him right back so it didn’t cause any major trouble.

I got picked to tank Heigan. I was so really nervous, but I took a deep breath and zoomed my camera way out so I could see the Raid, Heigan, and the Green Fire of Death. I only messed up once by going out of range of heals. My threat was a little lower than normal, but I was more concerned with movement and staying alive, not producing max threat. We have a Boomkin who can really pull some big threat, so I had to be careful. For some reason Bosses don’t tend to like back to back 10k Starfires. I can’t understand it, but it really seems to upset them. But we all managed the Dance and I got my Safety Dance achievement.
We got to Sapphiron with the achievement still in our grasp, and I was selected to tank. There’s just something about a dragon beating the living you know what out of you that I just really enjoy. It’s a defective gene most likely.

We had made it all the way to Kel Thuzad with no deaths. All we had to do was kill KT and the achievement was ours.

We pulled and nailed down the adds pretty well. Nothing got close to our raid. Our hunter was virtually one shoting skeletons.

KT became active and was being tanked by Ellevis (Death Knight). I positioned myself away from the others, but with good visibility of all 4 portals the Adds would use to enter the fray.

Just before we hit the 45% mark, our Hunter goes down. It looked like our Shadow Priest had gotten Detonate Mana and had gotten too close to our Hunter when he blew up. The air kind of went out of our balloon, but we finished off KT. We were sooooooooo close.

The run was still fun and I picked up a couple of upgrades for my Retribution spec. Patchwerk dropped the Gauntlets of Combined Strength, and I got the Tier 7 Chest token from 4 Horsemen.

I also picked up a Tier 7 Head token from our Kel’Thuzad kill. We had 1 priest and 1 Paladin (me) in the raid. The Priest already had the Shadow and Holy versions of the Tier 7 Helmet.

For my ‘main’ protection set, I’m using the Platehelm of the Great Wrym from Heroic Sapphiron. For my ‘offset’ Retribution gear, I’m using the Spiked Titansteel Helm.

If I switch my Tanking helm to the Tier 7, I’d lose 40 Sta, 28 Str, 46 Armor, 5 Defense, 38 Dodge, and 67 Block Rating. All I would gain is a Meta Socket, a Blue Socket, 74 Block Value, and 30 Expertise.

If I went with an Austere Earthsiege Diamond / Solid Sky Sapphire in the slots, I’d actually pick up 26 stamina. (66 from the gems (32 + 24) minus the 40 less when comparing the two helms without gems.). The gems would mitigate the armor loss. But I would still lose out on the 38 Dodge, 67 Dodge Rating, 28 Str and 5 defense.

So what if instead I turn it in for the Ret head. Well I’d lose 23 Str, 44 Crit31 Hit to gain some Stamina and Haste. Both helms have the same sockets and because I’m a JC I can pretty much ignore colors because I have access to Prismatic gems.

I could turn it in for the Holy Helm, but if Honorshammer is Holy spec, something somewhere has gone very, very, very wrong.

It looks like I may want to pick up the Protection Helm, and stick the Meta in it and use it in my Heroic / Block Value set. It will also give me the options of wearing my T7.10 chest to make a set that gives me my 4 piece bonus until I can get the gloves from Sartharian. Platehelm of the Great Wyrm is clearly the avoidance piece, and I like to wear my avoidance gear for Bosses (Gauntlets of the Master, Greave of Turbulence, etc.)
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