Friday, September 19, 2008

The Council Is Dismissed

My team had done it. Wednesday night they had gotten Akama, Gurtogg, Teron, and Mother. That meant the entire evening would be devoted to a progression kill on Illidari Council.
I found myself back in my usual spot of handling Veras Darkshadow, the Rogue on the Council.
We were running 8 heals. After a couple of attempts, I was asked to bring tank the rogue closer to the raid so my healer could be in range of more of the raid while Veras was vanished. Our Holy Paladin was also helping my stunning the Rogue with Hammer of Justice.
I immediately started having more problems. With my original tanking location, I had a good idea of where the Rogue would spawn and I would be able to spot him as he came up. With my new tanking location, he seem to spawn just about anywhere, and would more often spawn behind me where I wouldn't pick him up as quickly.
He seemed to be getting Blessing of Spell Warding much more often in this new location, than he had in the old.
Then on the next attempt, I stunned him, and he immediately got Blessing of Spell Warding. It removed my Hammer of Justice debuff and he was free to wreck a couple of healers before I got him back.
My Raid Leader had had some reluctance to use me on the Rogue, fearing this kind of situation, and after that attempt, she assigned a Druid to tank him. I was really disappointed. Before this one attempt, anytime I had lost the Rogue, it was when we were already well on our way to wipesville. I didn't feel the Rogue was ever the cause of a wipe. We were having far greater problems with people bunching up too much for the AoEs.
She assured me I would still get my time in the 'limelight'.
Tanking is a strange gig in that you do often find yourself in the limelight. You are one of the most visible people in the raid and key to the raids success. Lose a tank, and it's pretty much a wipe.
Being in the limelight is not why I tank. I really could care less if I'm in the 'limelight' or not. That doesn't motivate me one iota.
I wanted to prove Paladins could tank this, and I wanted to prove I could tank it.
She told me it didn't have anything to do with my ability as a player, but moreso that this tanking situation was more easily handled by a Druid (Icarus) who had tools in his kit for both Blessing of Spell Warding and Blessing of Protection.
Disappointed that I didn't get another shot at it, I donned my healing set for the next attempt.
The Rogue got loose again, and wiped the raid. The Druid said his mouse had died.
So, we buff up and pull again.
The fight went much better. With me healing the Druid, it freed up the Shaman who had been healing me to Chain Heal the AoE damage that was going around and myself and the Holy Paladin could rotate Hammers of Justice on the Rogue.
At about the 50% mark the Rogue got Blessing of Protection, and the Rogue turned his focus to our Shadow Priest. I ran in and Hammer of Justiced the Rogue and after a couple of seconds he vanished. Even though I wasn't tanking him, I was still helping to control him, I was still helping my team defeat the encounter. I was still helping us win.
Then I got Envenomed for a second time that attempt, and my Nature Potion was gone. I hit Stoneform, but still took the poision damage. I thought Stoneform removed the poison? At that exact same moment, I got hit with Holy Wrath. I went for my Divine Shield button but I was already dead.
Now Icarus had no healer. The guy is an incredible Druid tank, but he would still need heals.
Over vent, I advised him to use his Bash (a stun), and the Holy Paladin used his Hammer of Justice as well, and we got to through til he vanished and Icarus could battlerez me. I got what buffs I could, and slammed a Mana pot.
There were some really close calls keeping the Druid up after that, but I got some help from the other Holy Paladin. (I'm feeling really bad that I already forgot the name of the new Holy Paladin we had last night).
Finally, after what felt like an eternity, the Council fell. That is one loooooooong fight.
We got one of each token. I was too far down on DKP to even think about winning a token, which didn't really bother me much because I have the Inscribed Legplates of the Aldor. Even under the old Loot System where tanks and healers got priority on loot, I would have passed because the Badge legs are as good if not a little better than T6.
As much as I don't want to admit it, The Druid on the Rogue and me healing had worked better. Now that I've had some time to allow the inital emotion to subside a bit, I'm not nearly as upset. Yes, it stunk getting pulled, and I didn't like it. But I look at this way. There are 9 fights in Black Temple. The only one I don't tank on are Teron Gorefiend, and now Council. Sometimes I tank on Najentus and sometimes I heal. My Druid friend basically only tanks when I'm not there. So now I heal on Teron and Council. That's not unreasonable. (If my raid leader is reading, I'd love love love a shot at Main Tanking Teron, if I'm ever online when we kill him).
But none of that really mattered at the moment. We were 8/9 in Black Temple and only one mob remained, Illidan Stormrage. The frustrations of Council were quickly forgotten when I realized we were about to walk up the stairs to pull Illidan.
When the expansion street date was announced people set different goals for themselves of what they wanted to do before the Expansion pack hit. I had set the rather odd goal of pulling Illidan. Not even nessessarily defeating him, just pulling him, and we were about to do just that.
Illidan is something like Magtheridon in that he doesn't aggro until you talk to Akama and start the fight.
We decided to take our screenshot with Illidan.
Fancy (Resto Druid), who had killed Illidan on her Priest helped explain Phase 1. Kee (Warrior) would be Main Tank for Illidan. He had to drag him from where he started towards one side. Every now and then, Illidan would jump up in the air and leave a fire on the ground that Kee would have to move him out of.She talked to Akama and they started their dialog. I know it will get old after our many wipes to come, but this first time, it was very, very cool.
Then Illidan uttered the words, I've been waiting to hear:

Excitedly, we dove into Phase 1.
The challenge of Phase 1 is Shadow Fiends. A set of them spawn from a randomly targeted person and if they hit anyone that person will spawn two more. We handled the Fiends quite well, but Kee died just as Illidan flew into the air to start Phase 2. I went ahead and grabbed one of the Flames of Azzinoth. He proceeded to hit me for 11k (30k resist) flame breath.
We will have an entire night to work on learning Illidan on Monday. I'm really looking forward to it.


Aurik said...

Congrats on the kill and /pat about having to 'sit out' as a healer - our Paladin is our Main Tank(tm)(we didn't have more than one warrior until recently) and even he has always had to heal on Teron :(

"I thought Stoneform removed the poison?"

Usually, yes, but as I found out - a lot of the 'poison' in Black Temple ignores this and cannot be removed by Stoneform. Sort of defeats the purpose of having a it as a racial if everything is just going to ignore it anyway eh?


Icarus said...

Hey Honnors... after vlads recomendation in the raid the other night I thought I would come over and check out your blog and upon reading this post thought I would make a few comments on this from the druid tanking point of view. I really like the set up with you off healing and me tanking for a couple reasons that you sort of outlined but I wanted to emphasize...

the first thing is when the melee sheild is up yes a druid CAN pick him up with moonfire but since my spell damage in my tanking set is ZERO this also doesnt prove to be very easy. I imagine it is not much more effective than when you are auto attacking when the spell sheild is up. I did pick him up this way once but it did require four or five spams before I had enough aggro on him to peel him off of the healers. So I feel your frustration.

The second thing as a druid in this fight... this is not a melee dps friendly fight. If we are on the main target the consecrate combined with blizzard and flame strike means a lot of aoes. not that it cant be done but the fewer melee the better.

so now more on the druid / pally tank in his holy gear combo. the biggest thing that you mentioned that I want to emphasize is that this frees up a healer. the rogue doesnt hit hard at all and thus you had no problems keeping me up. we basically free up one of the main healers in this fight rather than having to get a main healer cover another tank. perfect! but also with you healing me (I think it was your prot first holy second nature) you were right on the stuns for when the melee sheild was up. This I found to be much better than moonfire spams then I could feral charge taunt and hold him this way till the sheild was gone.

While I understand the frustrations of being benched becuase "youre not the best class for the job" (druids have it far worse here in BC.. you wont see Icarus main tanking illidan ever unless we decide to work out a shear rotation) I think this combo worked too well and benefits the raid exceptionally becuase basically we just cover each other and it also has the benefit of freeing up a healer and reducing one more melee aoe soaker