Monday, 20 July 2009

Stepping up

I am normally offtank for our Ulduar 10 group. In practice this doesn't mean that I never tank the boss - our MT is a paladin and so he's better suited to adds tanking. This means that although I've main tanked everything so far, I normally only tank Ignis, Kologarn, Auriaya and Freya in any one raid. Last Friday was a little different though as our MT was away which meant that I was the raid's main tank, assisted by a DK alt (who although wearing inferior gear had more health than me, annoyingly).

The additional responsibility of main tanking as well as directing operations on the trash was wearing and so the raid was quite stressful, but we culminated with Hodir. Now normally I dps (badly) on Hodir, but Friday was my first attempt at tanking him. We got him second try and it was absolutely terrifying.

Some tips

1) Frost resistance

I banged on about this for ages before the fight, to the extent that I was told I was being a coward for insisting on three pieces of FR gear. By God I was right though - with 417 frost resistance (buffed) I was being hit for about 16k on the frozen blows phases, plus the aura, and the healers could only just keep up with it. With 40k health and gimped avoidance I had my normal MT healer being helped out by a resto druid who rolled hots on me during the frozen phases.

Linear increases in magic resistance offer exponential increases in mitigation and are not subject to diminishing returns. I think next time I will take an FR ring as well as the armour.

2) Mobility

I learned the value of moving the boss so that dps could stand in the light beams. The boss's health dropped much faster once I remembered to do that.

3) Focus

Any boss fight which requires movement and awareness also needs intense concentration throughout the encounter. These fights are very tiring and stressful. You need to be at your best form.

There was one awful moment when I got hit by the falling ice just before the flash freeze and bounced a long way away from safety. Fortunately I was able to charge the boss and sidestep onto the snow at the last moment, but I must have had less than half a second to spare. Small differences like that change a wipe into a kill - I was daft enough to get hit by the ice, but was lucky to be in range to charge and reacted fast enough to save myself.

My heart was beating like a drum at the end of the fight, but it was a real buzz and an excellent experience.

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