Clearing the WayThe goal was a full clear, something neither guild had done. We burned through the first bosses pretty well, although I did go squish on Oregorger when the other tank and I got confused on the switch. They usually took two Acid Torrents in a row while our group normally switched after each one. I realized I needed to communicate better. Tanks, maybe more so than any other role, need to develop chemistry with each other. They need to know what the other one is going to do almost before the other one does it. They have to trust each other and that process takes time to build up.
Gruul, Oregorger, Hanz n Franz, Beast Lord, Operator, Flamebender and Kromog all went down. I decided to show off my Stupid Paladin Tricks on Kromog. The other guild’s tanks were a Druid and a DK. I wanted to show them some of the special things Paladins could do. I know all tanks are pretty homogenized at this point, but I still have that old Paladin pride. Kromog refused to drop Kromog's Brutal Fist. At this point, I think I will kill the last boss in Hellfire Citadel with my Butcher's Bloody Cleaver (655).
All that was left was Maidens, Blast Furnace and the big guy himself, Blackhand. We returned the following night and after a couple of attempts managed to get Maidens down as well.
Heating UpThe DCs had taken several shots at Blast Furnace but had never gotten further than early into Phase 3. I’m not sure if the other guild had downed him. From a tanking perspective, Blast Furance is almost relaxing. Most of the major work of the encounter is on the DPS to burst down the Elementalists at the right time and manage the bombs. As tanks, we have to pick up newly spawning adds and keep the Security Guards away from the Elementalists. We had a couple of wipes most due to kiters not getting the Elementalists shields down at the right time. We prioritized getting Foreman down before we got out of Phase 2 and that was a big help. Once we pushed into Phase 3 with most of the raid intact, the other tank picked up Heart of the Mountain and dragged him into a corner. It felt like he had done it before so I followed his lead. From there, it felt like a pretty easy finish. I won my third piece of Tier gear. I’ve now got my Head, Chest and Leg slots covered.
Only Blackhand remained. It was getting late so we only made one pull to see the mechanics. Next week, we will extend the Raid Lockout and spend all week working on and hopefully defeating Blackhand. It would be great to clear the raid (even on Normal) before the next one is out.
UpgradeI looted the final tablets I needed for the legendary quest so after the raid I flew out to Khadgar to turn them in. I had to choose which ring I wanted as a reward. I stuck with the tanking ring. I know I could buy the Ret version and if necessary, I will, but its like 2000g and that is like 1/10th of a Token. I'm making about a Token's worth of gold every 3 weeks and my subscription is covered out to August already.
The combined raids seem to be working out for now. It feels great to be raiding and progressing again. I hope our run of success continues.