Thanks for all the comments on the Twinking post. I've decided to level my Hunter, and I've started working on a gear list for him. It’s almost like end game gear planning, which I enjoy, only with much less guidance. I've identified about 100 possible items. Now it's just a matter of ranking them.
Monday night was dedicated to learning the Lich King encounter. Rather than overwhelm us with everything from what is a very complicated fight, Boston just briefed us on Phase 1 and the transition to Phase 2. But even just Phase 1 is complicated enough. The Lich King is a two tank fight. This was a great relief to me. I know Boston and I both enjoy tanking and we would both get our time tanking the Lich King. Nothing against Warriors or Druids, but I find something very poetic in that fact that the Lich King is being tanked by one of his former servants (Boston's DK) and a Champion of the Light (my Paladin).
We started with Boston on the Lich King and me on the army of adds he spawns. The fight starts with about a minute of RP. Much like Deathbringer Saurfang, this gets really old, really fast. I'd much prefer you only get the opening RP between Tirion and Arthas on the first pull of the night. The Lich King periodically summons Adds. There are two types. There's a little Add that comes in a 3 pack and a big Add called the Shambling Horror. The Horror needs to be faced away from the raid at all times because he does a Shockwave. It's just like the Warrior skill, only it one shots people who aren't tanks.
Once I had the Horror, I was pretty much rooted in place, which made picking up the little ghouls much harder. I would Avenger's Shield, Righteous Defense and Hand of Reckoning but they generally stuck to Blue (Fury Warrior) or Stark (Resto Shaman). One time I used Righteous Defense and got a ghoul who was attacking Boston meaning I taunted the Lich King, too. Oops! I did my best to keep them on me, but Blue and Stark did a little tanking there, too.
The gimmick to Phase 1 is to get a disease that Arthas casts on a random raid member to jump to the Horror by cleansing it when that person is close to the Horror. The Horror's have massive hit points and the disease is the only thing that will get them down.
After a couple of wipes, Boston had us switch jobs. He can drop his AoE Death and Decay on the spot where I'm tanking Arthas without having to move. If I want to consecrate where he's tanking I have to physically move over there and that would turn the Horror towards the raid. This is when I discovered that Arthas really wanted to try out for Dancing with the Stars. Despite that fact that I was not moving, Arthas was moving all over the place. He'd move left, then right, then back center. At one point, he got so far to my left that I couldn't hit him with Hammer of the Righteous anymore. I had to turn my toon, which of course, started him moving all over creation again.
We finally were starting to push into the transition phase. Arthas runs to the middle and starts a big AoE cast. We cleared out so we wouldn't be killed. In the transition phase, we have Jag (Hunter) killing the little orbs that Arthas sends out at you. Meanwhile the rest of us are dealing with Raging Spirits. You get three in this phase, and here's the kicker, they silence. Boston was still cleaning up the last couple of Adds so I would pick up the Raging Spirit. We wiped a couple of times because we weren't getting killing the Spirits quickly enough, so our DPS team really needed to open up quickly. When I got silenced, the only attack I could use was Hammer of the Righteous. Everything else was locked out. It was incredibly frustrating to be crippled like. No other tank class looses even a single attack to a silence. Paladins lose everything but one attack. DPS were threat capped quickly, or pulled aggro.
I didn't realize it as we were fighting him, but the silence can be cleansed by a Priest or Paladin, just not you because, well, you're silenced. Instead we put Boston back on the Lich King and I went back to Adds. That helped some but we still had an Add up as we transitioned to Phase 2. When you transition to Phase 2, you have to run back in because Arthas will destroy the ledge you had to use to avoid his big AoE at the start of the transition phase. It's really important that you don't hit any left over orbs as you are running in because they will knock you off the platform, and it's a long, long way down.
With the Add still up, our transition to Phase 2 was a mess. We were out of position and that made us easy pickings for the Valk'yr that show up and Defile would soon cover the entire platform. Boston briefed us on Phase 2 so we knew what was happening, but our trouble with the Raging Spirits continued. I'm not sure how we can get more DPS onto the Raging Spirits to improve our transition to Phase 2.
We decided, much to my delight, to clear next week for nothing but working on Arthas. We'll extend the raid ID and devote our raid nights to learning this fight. There's nothing I want to do more, in game, than kill Arthas.