Thursday, September 2, 2010

Favorite Bosses to Tank

Today, we’re going to countdown my 10 favorite encounters in World of Warcraft to tank.

The first problem I encountered working on this post was I had way too many nominees. So I cheated. Well not really, its my blog, my rules. Basically, I combined a couple of similar bosses into one entry, since what I’m really after in this post is what made these bosses fun from the tanking perspective.

But before we get into the countdown, I have to find Casey Kasem to DJ for me. In the meantime, let me give a brief one sentence mention to the Bosses that didn’t make the cut. Consider these Honorable Mentions.

  • The Twin Val’kyr – I love the whole Light and Dark aspect of the bosses, it reminded me a little bit of Hydross.
  • Four Horsemen (Level 80) – The way you have to trade off the bosses, and trying to maximize threat to burn one down while staying alive.
  • Leotheras the Blind – Paladins had some unique advantages against this boss and exploiting those was fun.
  • Hodir (Hard Mode) – A test of how fast you could hit your Taunt button. That was fun.
  • Loatheb, Level 80 – Taking less damage than your healers is fun.
  • Reliquary of Souls – While Phase 2 stunk (you HAD to have a Warrior), Phase 3 was probably one of the few moments where Paladins really shined in Burning Crusade.
  • Moroes – It was fun being able to negate his main ability, called Garrote, three different ways with Stormform (Dwarves For the WIN!), Blessing of Protection and Divine Shield.
  • Thaddius – Not so much the boss, but his two guards Feugen and Stalagg would slap their tank across the room to the other guard. Flying tanks were fun.

Now I’ll turn it over to Casey.


Thanks Honors. We begin the Tank Countdown by going old school, all the way back to the first Raid instance of the Burning Crusade. Here at #10 on our countdown, Netherspite!

NetherspiteNetherspite was a dragon that lived in the upper reaches of the Level 70 entry raid, Karazhan. He makes the list because he had one of the most fun mechanics I’ve seen in a Boss fight. When you start the fight 3 portals form and shoot beams at Netherspite. Players had to stand in those beams. Standing in the Beam gave you stacking buff, and allowing the beams to hit Netherspite gave him a stacking buff. You wanted that buff hitting you and not him. For a little added fun, the beams were color coded. Tanks needed to stand in the red beam, and the position of the Red beam changed once a minute. In addition, you got an exhaustion type debuff after standing in the beam so you had to alternate with your other tank.

Part of what was fun about the boss was the stacking buff the Red Beam gave you automatically put you at the top of the threat list, but also kept increasing your Hit Points. As we discovered in ICC when the buff hit 30%, tanks find it fun to have silly amounts of HP. I don’t know that I’ve seen a boss with such a cool mechanic before or since, and it was a very fun encounter week after week. He also gets the nod because we did some really crazy stunts near the end of the expansion, like the night we had Holy Priest take the Red beam. She survived, and we all had a blast.


We continue the countdown by looking at the final raid instance of the Burning Crusade. Death Knights from all over Azeroth can meet the namesake for their AoE attack. From the deep in the Black Temple comes our #9 Boss, Gurtogg Bloodboil.

750px-Gurtogg_BloodboilGurtogg needs to enjoy his moment in the sun here because I promise you he won’t make any Healers top 10 list. The fight was really tough on healers. But I wasn’t a Healer. I was a tank. This fight used a mechanic similar to Lady Deathwhisper’s heroic mode. Bloodboil would put a stacking debuff on your tank that reduced armor, and also was an undispellable Damage over Time (DoT). A single tank could only take so many application before they would be unhealable. The healers had their hands full with something akin to unchained magic which meant only certain healers could heal at any given time. Normally stacking debuffs are no trouble, you simply tank swap. The twist for Gurtogg was that he wasn’t tauntable. Everyone, including your melee DPS had to watch Omen to make sure the Tanks were #1, #2, and #3 on threat. The Tanks couldn’t get out their TPS epeen either. You had to stay close to your fellow tanks, and execute tank swaps by manipulation of the Threat meter. To add to the fun, Gurtogg had an attack that reduced the threat of the current tank.

This fight was about controlling your TPS in a really skillful way. You needed to know when to back off, and when to put the pedal to the metal. You had to really work together as a tanking team, which is another part of the fight that made it very fun for me.

That’s as much as we have time for today. I’ve already got all 10 lined up, but the post was getting a little long so I decided to break it into 3 parts. Be sure to check back next week, when we will continue the countdown.


Tegoelf said...

Ah, bloodboil, that brings back memories, not about the end of BC but doing stupid stuff running BT in the start of Wrath. Nethersprite also brings back find memories of BC, we too did some stupid "stuff" in kara near the end (you can be even more "crazy" at this point if you want to) can't wait to see the rest of the list, and its good to see that the blog hasn't faded with your subscription.


Ellevis said...

This has nothing to do with your post but it looks like your "break" from wow might be short lived .... events are going live today.

Anonymous said...