A Change of Pace

Knowing that I am a Tank, most people would probably see the title of this post and assume I’ve switched to a DPS spec or a PVP spec, right?  In the words of Lee Corso, “Not so fast, my friend!”

Last night we started our weekly raid an evening early.  Easter weekend is going to complicate things, so we thought we’d spend Thursday and Friday raiding this week.  Some of us thought we’d do Malygos, others thought we’d do Naxx.

Personally, I voted for Malygos.  I had two reasons.  1) We have yet to kill Malygos and I’d like to clear all content (10-man) prior to Ulduar showing up.  2) I didn’t think we’d be able to do a full Naxx clear in two evenings when people had to work the next day.  (My wife works on Saturdays until noon)  MOST of our gear upgrades are going to come from Sapphiron and Kel’Thuzad, so if we don’t get a full clear we aren’t going to get a lot in the way of upgrades.

However, the guild voted a 50/50 split on what to do, so we put the decision in the hands of a coin and Naxxramas won.

When we took the vote, I happened to be on my Death Knight, Kered and I happened to be tanking specced.  Here comes the change of pace.  Instead of taking Randul back into Naxx with no hope of an upgrade, I asked if anyone had a problem with Kered off-tanking since Jamason, our other MT was in the raid that evening.  Kered is undergeared, but we are a good group and I am a good player so we decided it was alright.

When it was all said and done we cleared Plague Wing and Military wing in just over 2 hours.  I know that’s probably not a speed run for everyone, and honestly it isn’t even super great for us, but it was above-average.

After six bosses, Kered had 4 new pieces of gear.  Did I mention his only tanking epic prior to this run was the Titansteel Destroyer?  I would normally feel a little bad about getting all this loot, but it was just going to be disenchanted anyway.  The two end bosses for the wings both dropped DK, Rogue, Mage, Druid Tier Tokens.  As we have no druid and the rogue & mage in our raid already had both pieces, I gots me some Tier Tokens.

Kered was originally supposed to be my DPSer, but I certainly don’t mind tanking with him.  I like tanking and I’m good at it.  It’s definitely different though.  Here are my observations:

  • Mad DPS.  Kered, in fairly crappy gear, out-dps’d Randul’s tank dps by about 200-300 dps.  Randul usually hovers between 1000 – 1200.  Kered hovered between 1200-1500.  That makes a pretty big difference.  Trash goes down quicker, bosses go down quicker.
  • Spike damage.  Kered can take some serious damage spikes.  While my dps and aggro was high on Kered, I never felt quite as safe on him as I do on Randul.  I should keep in mind, however, that Kered doesn’t have the gear Randul has.
  • Cooldowns rule.  There were some close calls, especially on 4-Horsemen.  I was getting REALLY low when all of a sudden I’m hitting icebound fortitude and cruising back to full health.  It’s one of those situations where I KNOW I would have died without it.
  • Healer confusion.  Both my wife and the other priest we had in the raid last night commented on how it seemed I didn’t take hits for a LONG time.  Personally, I don’t really understand it, but I’ll take their word for it.  DK’s do concentrate on avoidance, but Kered’s avoidance is still lower than Randul’s.  A lucky string of avoidance I suppose.
  • Don’t be a Deathtard.  For the entire gauntlet after Noth, I was in Blood Presence.  For those keeping track, Frost Presence is the tanking presence because of improved Armor, Health & Threat.  Blood gave me more dps and extra healing.  Huzzah!

What’s in store for tonight and the future of Kered?  For the future, truthfully, I don’t know.  I’m still rolling main spec DPS.  I probably won’t change that for the time being.  That being said, I do have a level 70 Rogue and a level 68 Hunter just waiting to start working to 80.  How many DPS do I honestly need?

The fact of the matter is, our guild has two tanks and our raid has three.  Usually only two can make it on a given night, and I am the most dependable.  For the time being, I’ll be tanking in raids.  Whether or not that is Randul or Kered remains to be seen.  I had no trouble tanking the two easier wings of Naxx on Kered, so he might stick in there for a while just so tanking upgrades aren’t going to waste.

For tonight?  Once again, I don’t know.  Our Pally Tank also has a level 80 DK.  He’s better geared as DPS than I am, but I don’t know about his tank gear.  If he’d like to try to get some gear and tank Naxx tonight, I’d be happy to hop on Randul and let him off tank.  If he isn’t comfortable tanking on a class he’s never tanked on, I’ll probably roll with Kered again.

This is already a long post, so I’m going to wrap up with a quick recap of what pieces of gear Kered obtained last night.

A quick explanation.  I took the DPS Tier Shoulders because as of now, Kered is a DPS character.  He was just filling a tanking role last night.  I chose the Tanking Tier Chest because I had already looted the Chestguard of the Risen Soldier that night, which is a very good DPS chest.  Trying to stay flexible here.

That’s it for now.  Join me next week for Tank Fight of the Week: Grand Widow Faerlina.

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