Thursday, February 26, 2015

Flame on

We decided to continue our efforts in Blackrock Foundry. Our officers want everyone to hit the threshold of 15 bosses so that when the new Blackrock Foundry Garrison missions come out, we will be able to get Heroic gear from them. I'm not sure if its 15 or 21. Highmaul had 14 bosses and that's where people are getting the 15. I don't know if its higher because BRF has more bosses.

When I got invited to the raid, the game labeled me as a Tank since I was in my Prot spec. I typically run around with my Prot spec on. It's my favorite spec and if I'm not in a raid or heading out to do a daily or something, it doesn't matter what spec I'm in. In addition, having the shield on my back gives me one more open bag space.

I wonder how it works with Gladiator Warriors. I guess it is smart enough to know they are in Gladiator stance and label them correctly.

I saw that both of our regular tanks, who I will call Mr. G and Mr. S, were on and in the raid so as soon as I landed, I switched my spec and my gear over to Ret. I made sure we still had people at the stone to summon and zoned into the instance. As we gathered up for the first trash pull, our raid leader asked everyone if I should tank and have Mr. S go DPS. Although he had never been DPS in a raid with me (I always saw him tanking), he had a reputation in the guild for being a very good DPS player.

I basically recused myself from the discussion. I wanted them to pick me, but I didn't feel it would be right for me to say anything. This had to be their decision.

I don't recall there being much actual discussion. It was as if everyone pretty much shrugged their shoulders. Next thing I know, Mr. S has switched to DPS (Fury I think) and I frantically switched over to Prot before Mr. G could begin the pulls. Just like the previous raid, I hung back and let Mr.G set the pace and picked up anything I could. We had already killed Hanz and Franz, Gruul, and Oregorger so our next target would be Beast Lord.

I was a little nervous about handling the adds on Beast Lord. Paladins don't have a spell like Black Ox Statue or Mocking Banner. I talked to @Rhidach on Twitter and he confirmed my thought that Glyphed Consecrate was the way to go. The Glyph lets Consecrate be placed anywhere within 20 yards sort of like Death and Decay. In addition to Consecrate, if we don't glyph Focused Shield, we have a five target Avenger's Shield. As an added snap aggro tool, I speced into Sanctified Wrath.

The pulls didn't start out great. The first couple of times Beast Lord did Rend and Tear, I tried to move, forgetting that now I was tanking and he would be landing back on me regardless. That put a bleed on a couple of our melee, but I was lucky in that our healers were able to heal through it. We managed to push him all the way to final chimera stage but two of our healers got pinned and we ended up wiping.

We pulled again and got a couple of great breaths when we went into the chimera stage. He literally turned and breathed into a wall. Between that and our ranged doing better dodging spears, we put the Beast Lord down. Glyphed Consecrate, Avenger's Shield and Sanctified Wrath did a great job picking up the adds.

Everything else in Blackrock was progression. We had made some previous attempts on Flamebender so the officers decided she would be our next target. I was going to keep tanking until someone told me to switch to DPS.

At one point clearing Flamebender's trash, we overpulled and got two groups. My old Paladin instincts kicked in. When in doubt, round them up and Consecrate. That worked great until they started disorienting me. If I wanted to be CC'ed that much, I'd PVP and you know I don't PVP. Mr. G found that if we kited a little bit we didn't get disoriented. Still the pull wasn't looking great, in fact, one of our hunters started scouting out a good place to feign, but our healers were fantastic and we made it through without wiping. Just to prove it was no fluke, we accidentally double pulled the next group as well.

That certainly got the heartrate going. We got into position to start working on Flamebender again. Our major problem was the dogs. People would kite the fire chains through the raid or the dogs wouldn't die together. I also had some problems with my taunts. One time I hit my Sacred Shield keybind (shift+5) instead of my Reckoning keybind (shift+4). Another time, I got a line of site error when I tried to taunt Flamebender which made no sense to me. A couple of times ranged would blow us up with the meteor. I did my best to tank my dog near the boss for so melee could get some cleaves in but my main goal was keeping him pointed away so nobody but me got breathed on.

The most infuriating part of the fight to me was the spinning weapons she calls. One attempt, every single one of them appeared in melee. It felt a bit like the old Prince Malchezar fight from Karazhan. Sometimes we get good weapon placements (Infernal drops) and sometimes we get bad ones. Somewhere around the 4th or 5th pull, we starting making major progression. We went from wiping at 70% to wiping at 50% and getting through two puppy phases. When we had a 7% wipe, we knew we had it. But the next attempt was more a regression (a 60% wipe) than progression.

We were getting short on time.

We buckled down and pulled. Kiters kited. We got great weapon placement. Dogs went down. We knew we had to survive one more dog phase, and I dropped the Light's Hammer to help get us through the AoE. It was all mop up from there.

The Dirty Casuals had their 5th boss kill in Normal Blackrock Foundry. Between drops and bonus rolls I think about 3 or 4 of our team got their first Tier 17 piece. This would not include me. The tier piece wasn't Paladin and my bonus roll was gold. He also dropped a neck. It had bonus armor which meant tanks and Glad Warriors only.

I was a bit torn. Our loot council addon has each player roll MainSpec, Offspec, Minor Upgrade or Pass on each piece of loot. But was I now Main spec on Tanking gear or still offspec? I had spent the better part of the last two raids in Prot spec. I had been the tank for our last two progression kills (Oregorger and now Flamebender). I basically passed the buck, rolled Need/Main Spec and left it up to the Loot Council. If I messed up, they could simply tell me I should still roll offspec on tanking gear.

They awarded the drop to me. Of course, I had just put a 50 mastery gem in my old neck. That's the way it works. I know I'll have my blue 630 cape until I buy the Apexis one or spend the 10k gold for a 655 BoE off the AH! Then one will drop for sure.

We had a couple of minutes so we decided to go look at Kromog. He reminds me of Kologran from Ulduar.

It will be interesting to see what happens next raid. For now, I'm just trying to enjoy every minute I get to be a tank for this group.


Michael Green said...

I really hope you're able to keep tanking. I know once you've been a tank as long as you have it's in your blood.

Kromog is another fight where you can abuse being a paladin. During his smash phase, where the other people have to get in grasping hands, you can just bubble once he starts pounding the ground. Then for the second smash you can BOP/HOP yourself. Allows you to avoid taking that AOE damage and fall damage.

And you guys are approaching my favorite fight, Operator Thogar. That fight is great. And there is an addon that helps with the trains. Good luck sir, and I hope you continue to be the meat shield for your raid.

Honors Code said...

I'm going to keep Tanking until someone tells me otherwise. I feel like I've handled this much better than I have in my previous guilds.

Thogar worries me. It seems like it would be a really easy fight to mess up and either get squished by the train or have adds running loose all over the place.

I'm thinking a 'BeastLord' type of AoE build would be good for that fight. Consecration, Final Wrath, Divine Protection, Sactified Wrath, Light's Hammer, Holy Shield.

Honors Code said...


What's the deal with Kromog's Warped Armor debuff? We are taunting at 2 stacks but invariably after the grip phase my coTank will get his 2nd stack but I'll still have 20 seconds or so on my stacks.

Michael Green said...

@Honors Sorry, just saw this comment. The timers are weird on heroic. What my co tank and I have been doing is she takes first, gets one stack, I taunt get 2 stacks and then we're able to taunt at 2 stacks after that. If you let the first person get to 2 stacks it seems like the timers get weird and someone invariably gets 3 stacks. 3 stacks is survivable it just sucks and requires externals.

Honors Code said...

Thanks, Michael. We will give that a try.