Friday, August 1, 2008

Soul Train

Last night, instead of taking on Gurtogg Bloodboil or Teron Gorefiend, Dominion went straight to Requilary of Souls. I was nervous as our Raid Leader went over the tank assignments.
My role would be to take a turn at Phase 1 and let Essence of Suffering smack me around a bit then back out. My role in Phase 2 would be keeping Judgement of Wisdom up and helping out with whatever DPS I could do in tank gear. My role in Phase 3 would be to Main Tank Essence of Anger.
I had been reading on this fight for quite some time, and I understood the basics. But there is only so much you can learn from a video or strat guide. Eventually you have to put in the time and wipes and learn.
We did the gauntlet trash without too much of a problem.
It took me several attempts to get the transitions in Phase 1 down. I would be standing directly under Essence of Suffering, but the boss would basically ignore me and start running off for a Hunter.
When I did get him, the damage didn't seem too bad. I activated Holy Shield and blocked nearly every one of his attacks. I did get very low on a couple of attempts. There is absolutely no healing in Phase 1. Bandages, Pots, even good ole Judgement of Light will not heal you.
After 1 attempt, we were getting Phase 1 down without too much trouble.
Then we started working on Phase 2 which is considered the hardest phase of the fight by many. Our main problem was our raid was going OOM before we could kill it.
In Phase 2 Essence of Desire puts a debuff on you throughout the fight that takes away your max mana. Towards the end you can down a Mana Pot and it will only give you 20 mana, because that has become your max mana at that point. Eventually you are sitting there with 0 mana, and no regen.
We asked the DPS for more DPS. The issue seemed to be threat. A Warlock or Hunter would pull threat. We were running only two Paladins so most classes had only Kings and Salvation.
Our team needed to come together and help out. So we put a Shaman in the tank group for Windfury, and chained misdirects. Our Main Tank Warrior also switched around some gear to get more threat. That seemed to help as he was able to open up a decent lead on the DPS.
Our Rogues did a fantastic job with Kicks and interrupts. The Essence of Desire has a couple of attacks that should be interrupted and one ability that must not be interrupted but Spell Reflected. This ability is called Deadened. It increased the damage done to the victim. By Spell Reflecting it, you up the damage your raid can do to Essence of Desire. Guilds that don't overgear the content basically need Deadened to kill Essence of Desire in time.
On our best attempt we actually got Essense of Desire down. Between each attempt, you have little ghosts that come out and give you back full health and mana.
As the intermission was winding down, my heart began to pump. I prepared to picked up Essence of Anger.
I cast a couple of Holy Lights on myself and activated Righteous Fury a couple of times. My goal was to burn off a little mana so the first Soul Scream didn't hurt too bad. Soul Scream is an attack that burns your Rage/Mana, and does damage based on how much Rage or Mana you have.
Phase 3 is a DPS race. Essence of Anger Aura deals Shadow damage, and that damage increases every 2 seconds, but it also increases damage down by 5% every 2 seconds.
Some guilds use Seethe which is a Debuff that increases threat and is triggered by a change in targets. Basically you have 1 tank go in, and then a 2nd tank taunts triggering Seethe. That allows the 2nd tank to build threat with a 200% bonus. The problem is DPS has to hold off for at least 8-10 seconds while the transition is made and Seethe is up.
The advantage a Tankadin brings is that we shouldn't need Seethe. Our threat is 90% composed by pure damage, thus scaling with the % damage increase aura better than druids and warriors which have baseline aggro in their skill
I got into position to pull her and popped the Wings. I had my Seal of Righteousness and Holy Shield already cooking. I judged Righeousness, hit Consecration. Then I slammed my Crimson Serpent.
It was just like I had read in the forums. I had just enough mana coming back from heals to Judge, Seal, Consecreat and Holy Shield. It was beautiful. I check the threat meter briefly and I didn't see anyone close, but my attention was more on the boss, and my cooldowns to make sure I hit them as soon as they were up.
Everything was going great. We had the Boss down to 60% and we really felt like it might happen.
When I died.
I've been studying the WWS parse trying to figure out why I died. The biggest Soul Scream I ever took was 4k, which was likely the initial one. Essence of Anger's melee is nothing to sneeze at. He regularly hits in the 6k range.
It looks like I took a Crush right before I died, but he had hit me for bigger regular hits than that Crush. Not only that I have no idea how I could have taken a crush.
21:26'39.421 Honorshammer gains Holy Shield of Essence of Anger
21:26'41.390 Essence of Anger's Swing hits Honorshammer for 6337 Physical damage (crushing)
Holy Shield had been up for at least 2 seconds and that was the first hit from EoA. I have no idea what happened there. I don't think the Crushing made much of a difference. He had already hit me harder than that on a normal hit.
21:26'39.343 Essence of Anger's Swing hits Honorshammer for 7508 Physical damage (310 blocked)
I have no clue why I died. It was so sudden that I never had time to go for my emergency buttons. Some of the Soul Screams hit me for less than 500 damage.
I died at 21:26'42. EoA's first attack was at 21:25'55, so we had only been in Phase 3 for 47 seconds, and EoA was at around 60% life.
Threatwise, I felt like I was doing good, but one of our Rogues said he had to stop DPS because of threat. He thought he couldn't vanish, which he confused from Phase 1. You can't use any kind of Vanish, Ice Block, Divine Shield, Fiegn Death in Phase 1 as the Fixate target or Essence of Suffering reverts to a normal aggro table. This is generally a bad thing.
I don't remember seeing any yellow (Rogue) approaching me on my Omen.
I wonder if I would be better off with a static spell damage trinket like the Battlemaster Audacity or the Icon of the Silver Cresent. Both give a static spell damage increase. The advantage I saw the the Crimson Serpent was the on use for threat and it had a nice chuck of stamina on it. Neither the Silver Cresent or the Battlemaster has stamina. The Battlemaster has a survivability on use, and not a threat on use.
The Raid Leader decided we would try the Seethe technique on the next attempt.
We made another attempt after that one, but we didn't make it to Phase 3 again. Several people had to leave early so the raid got called. I was actually among them as my wife became suddenly ill, and I had to bail. I wound up have to take my wife to a doctor. (She's fine now, thank you.)
Later, I sent my raid leader an ingame mail, stating that I didn't feel we needed to go to the Seethe strategy right away. We only gave the non Seethe strategy one attempt, and it was the first time we got into Phase 3. No one ever pulled threat from me and we were getting Essence of Anger down. If I had stayed alive, I firmly believe we would have gotten the kill. In a DPS race, starting DPS from the get go instead of waiting 8 to 10 seconds seems like a good idea to me.
I was really excited to tank Essence of Anger. It was very cool and played out much like I had read.


Anonymous said...

You might try a destruction potion timed with the Avenging Wrath for a nice extra threat increase. I know that I use them on this fight, and when I'm 2nd or 3rd tank on rotation for bloodboil and need to pull threat in a hurry.
Avine of Madoran

Josh said...

For what it's worth:

My guild has the tank warrior from phase 2 grab initial aggro and then the prot paladin taunts to trigger Seethe and then opens up with everything he's got. The DPS hold for about 3-5 seconds after the Seethe is triggered, and then they go full bore.

I don't know that dumping mana early is a huge problem. Go through your regular rotation after the taunt and you should be fine, methinks.

Andover said...


You're exactly right, the only time you should ever need to use the Seethe mechanic is when a Warrior is tanking P3 since their threat doesn't scale like ours does. As a Paladin tanking P3 for months now this is the rotation I use:

P3 starts, toss shield, judge, spin her around consecrate...get the threat a cooking. Once she mana burns you getting healed QUICKLY is the key, not slow monster heals. For this Druids are key. Fast heals Honors, tell them to be quick, not big. The faster you get healed after the mana burn the faster you can get your Holy Shield back up, drop a consecration and get your seal/judgement going. At this point hopefuly you have 2 pieces of Tier 6 that you can use to get your 2 piece set bonus. It helps here.

One thing I also found helpful is to have 3 ranks of Holy Shield on your bar. Here's why, even under dire circumstances if you have a smidgen of mana left you can get HS Rank 1 up. Yes, you're not going to have the threat of max rank but you're also not going to eat a Crushing blow. I always roll with 3 ranks of HS on my bars. You never know, it's saved me more then once.

A 2nd trick to try is to hold off on blowing Wings right away. If you have a hunter, or two, in your raid you will get enough of a threat lead starting P3. Make sure you're using Flask of Blinding Light and Spell DMG food. EoA doesn't really hit all that hard, it should be easily healable by healers at this level. The real test to this fight is P2. So stack on that spell DMG for threat. Wait until you see the Mages/Locks creeping up on your threat...wait for that mana burn.....wait.....wait....BAM there it is. Hit a mana pot, pop those wings, hit your trinkets, use a destruction potion and wave goodbye to anyone even close to you in threat. Typicaly I save my wings for ~60-50% somewhere in that ballpark.

After that tell the Paladins to keep the heals flashing in on you with a Druid rolling HoTs and you're golden. If you get to P3 with your raid alive it should be GG.

Go get em!