Tuesday, 1 December 2009

Anub'arak 10 hard mode - offtank tips

I had my first tries on Anub'arak hard mode last night (10 man as usual). 18 wipes in total, and we started to get solidly into phase three towards the end with our best try being 7%.

I was pretty rusty - I had not tanked for nearly a month - but by the end I was getting a lot better. I was the offtank, which is a pretty demanding role, and so some tips here. It is not a strategy guide, since you can get those on tankspot. It's just some tips for a warrior offtank.

- Gearing for stamina is not important here - avoidance and block are king. You also need nature resistance enchants on your helm and cloak, plus a nature resistance flask. Shaman/hunters in your raid should put up some nature resistance in phases two and three. I had 31k health unbuffed for this fight and was generally ok, although I need to add some more block if I can.

- The first two adds will spawn after about 10 seconds of the encounter. If you charge and bloodrage you should have enough time to put five sunders on the boss to help your physical dps before you need to go and pick up the adds. Don't muck about here though - any phase one deaths mean a wipe, and the adds are pretty fast initially so if you have time to put down only two or three sunders it is not that big a deal.

- Heroic throw the first add, then charge/shield slam the second. The boss should be positioned next to (or on) an ice patch and the raid should be hugged up behind him. Bring your two adds onto the ice patch and then call for dps.

- Three of your six dps (this is a two healer fight) should nuke the adds. They should prioritise abilities that do splash damage such as cleave.

- The adds sometimes try to submerge. Ignore this as they are standing on the ice. Occasionally they will try to "shadow strike". You have four seconds to interrupt this with a shockwave - both adds will try to cast it together and you will interrupt both with shockwave so no bother. A ret pally with avenging wrath can also help you out if you need it. I have only ever seen the adds try to cast this once in the fight - there appears to be a long cooldown on it which is longer that the cooldown on your shockwave.

- I should say that I didn't get any DBM warnings for the shadow strike. if you don't watch the add's cast bars carefully (and have enemy cast bars in your UI of course) then you might miss one, which means one or two dead dpsers and therefore a wipe.

- Once the adds are dead, put some more sunders on the boss, then go and look for the second adds spawn. You will offtank these adds for the rest of phase one. Bear in mind that the adds get slowed by the ice patches and so the speed that these adds will reach the raid varies. Your heroic throw will probably be on cooldown, so charge one add, hit it, then intercept the second and hit that. Drag the adds to an ice patch and tank them - dps will ignore them for now. I don't generally drag the adds next to the boss - although doing so is better for dps purposes, since they will be hit by splash damage from your dpsers, it causes problems in the transition between phases one and two. I prefer to tank them on an ice patch away to one side somewhere but with perfect execution (ie more skill than me) you may want to drag them back to the boss.

- After a while, the boss will submerge. You will get a DBM warning for this. About three or four seconds before this your MT should pull the boss off the ice patch and your raid should run away from where the boss is. If you are tanking the adds next to the boss then you need to move the adds to another ice patch, but you have an 80% slow effect from the ice patch which is a big problem. Intervening on a raid member can help, but generally this is fiddly which is why I try to avoid it.

- You need the boss to be well below 60% at this stage, otherwise you are going to need two submerge phases to get the kill. Two submerge phases is not necessarily fatal, but it means you are going to have to be amazing at kiting the boss in phase two, and you are going to have problems with the enrage timer.

- There is lots of talk about kiting strategies for the boss, but most of it is not necessary. You have six ice patches, and will need one for your next phase one. This means that if you are planning one submerge phase then you can use five of them. In none of our 18 tries last night did we run out of ice patches. The key here is to stay alive - try to kite the boss if you can, but bear in mind that the boss speeds up substantially the longer a kite progresses, and it is very easy to die to long ambitious kites. Also remember that if you use an ability to drop aggro (eg fade, feign death) then the BOSS SPEED DOES NOT RESET. This is critical - the next person to be targeted will have to move really fast to avoid getting nailed by the boss. If you are going to use one of these abilities then call it out on vent to warn others to be aware of the need to duck behind an ice patch fast.

- The reason that most people die in phase two is the small adds. They die quite quickly but when enraged they do considerable damage. They are untauntable, and can only be stunned if not enraged. They enrage if alive too long. We tried all kinds of clever strategies for dealing with the small adds, but in the end we simply told our dpsers to hunt down the small adds whenever they see one alive. Go after them rather than waiting for them to come to you. Dpsers should be aware of where the healers and clothies are and be prepared to help them out if they see them in trouble.

- After about a minute the boss will emerge. This is not a threat wipe, and dps can go all out straight away. The first pair of adds will spawn straight away. This is the hardest part of the fight for the offtank - the boss will not be positioned properly and it may not be easy to see the adds from where you are. The raid might be right next to the adds' spawn point. You must grab these two adds very very fast and pull them to an ice patch next to the boss - again, heroic throw is good here. As before your three dps will kill the adds and then go back to the boss.

- The next pair of adds will probably not spawn before you hit phase three. Don't panic when you hit phase three - wait for the adds to spawn, grab them (this might be tough because heroic throw will be on cooldown so charge/hit/intercept/hit is probably the way to go). Bring them to the ice patch next to the boss and call for all dps to focus on them and burn them down. I would not advise trying to get any sunders on the boss at this stage - make certain you get the adds under control.

- Once these adds are dead hit heroism and all dps nuke the boss. When new adds spawn pick them up but don't tank them on the ice - you want them to submerge.

- The key thing in phase three is for your healers to understand how much they need to heal people for to keep them alive and yet minimise boss healing. The boss' health drops fast in phase three after the first pair of adds are dead - if you can hold on then it is definitely doable.

Good luck!

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