Archive for the Tanking Category

Tank Fight of the Week: Auriaya

Posted in Raiding, Tank Fight of the Week, Tanking, World of Warcraft with tags , , , , , , on July 22, 2009 by Randul the Dwarf

Time to come back with a new Tank Fight of the Week.  This week I’m going to talk about Auriaya, as I feel I finally have enough experience with her to give a good walkthrough.


Auriaya has:

  • Sonic ScreechA Sonic Shockwave that deals 60125 to 69875 Physical damage to all enemies in its path.  The Shockwave damge is split between all targets in its path.
  • Sentinal BlastA massive blast that inflicts 3500 Shadow damage and increases Shadow damage taken by 100% for 5 sec.
  • Terrifying ScreechThe screech strikes fear into the hearts of all nearby enemies, causing them to flee in horror for 3 sec.
  • Guardian SwarmTargets a player to be assaulted by the Guardian Swarm.

Sanctum Sentries have:

  • Savage PounceA savage pounce that inflicts 2775 to 3225 Physical damage and an additional 2313 to 2687 Physical damage every 1 sec for 5 sec.
  • Strength of the PackThe presence of other members of the pack increases damage done by 30% to all members of the pack within 10 yards.

Feral Defenders have:

  • Feral EssenceEach essence increases the damage dealt by the Feral Defender by 50%.  The Feral Defender can revive itself at the cost of one of its Feral Essences.
  • Feral RushCharges an enemy, dealing Shadow damage and interrupting spell cast for 6 sec.
  • Feral PounceThe Feral Defender pounces the target stunning them for 4 sec and inflicting Shadow damage every 1 sec.
  • Seeping Feral EssenceThe Seeping Essence of the Feral Defender Inflicts 4500 Shadow damage every 1 sec.  (aka, bad stuff you do’nt stand in, occurs on death)

The Pull

First thing’s first, you have to nail the pull.  She’s not like other bosses where you just charge in screaming or use a ranged attack to pull, no sir…not this chick.  Whoever pulls this chick better not be the person who gets hit first or they are gonna die all over the place.

You see, Auriaya has two kittens (Sanctum Sentries).  They are cute and all, but they have some serious leaping and clawing ability.  If you are far enough way from them when they aggro, they pounce and you bite the big one.  The idea is for the puller to either transfer the aggro (via Hunter’s misdirect) or not be in LoS when they pull (via Death Knight”s Death and Decay or Shaman totems).


The pull is easiest with a hunter.  We have everyone stack up on the tank (see my fine art illustration) while the hunter goes out and misdirects to the tank.  The cats and Auriaya come screaming around the corner, but when they see the person they have aggro on they are too close to pounce!  Good news.


As the tank during the pull, my job is to live and get snap aggro.  As they are running towards the corner I am hitting shield wall and blood rage so I can immediately thunderclap and start beating on them with my normal rotation.  My job, once things stabalize is to keep Auriaya on me while the Pally tank holds the kitties.  The DPS kills the kitties one at a time and, for me at least, it becomes more of a tank and spank with a twist.

Other methods we’ve used to pull are the Death Knight dropping Death and Decay to get aggro while the Pally drops concecrate on the group.  The bad guys get aggro on the DK, but when they move into the Concecrate they get aggro on the Pally.  I’ll usually taunt Auriaya while the Pally keeps the kittens.  The craziest method we’ve done is to have the Paladin bubble himself and walk around in plain sight of the cat lady like he’s lost.  They aggro on him, but can’t damage him because he’s bubbled.  So they come looking for someone else to eat, which is supposed to be me.  This works because once they get to him and see they can’t eat him, they look for someone else, but everyone else is too close to pounce.

The Fight

Once things have stabilized and the first two Sanctum Sentries are down, I pull Auriaya out of the corner and put her back to the stairs she just came up to get to us.  At this point in the fight my responsibilities are fivefold.

  1. Don’t die.
  2. Hold threat.
  3. Keep her from standing on/near the Seeping Feral Essence.  (Bad stuff that is black and round and you can’t miss)
  4. When she casts Terrifying Screech use Berserker Rage so she doesn’t fear me.
  5. After using Berserker Rage to not get feared, interrupt her Sentinel Blast.

That’s it folks.  The hardest part of this fight is most definitely the pull.  Once you get the pull down, your job is to not get feared and interrupt her Sentinel Blast.  That’s why I am so awesome for this fight.  I never get feared, thanks to Berserker Rage and I can always interrupt thanks to Shield Bash.


Why I Love Vigilance

Posted in Tanking with tags , , , , , , on June 18, 2009 by Randul the Dwarf

Vigilance is a Warrior talent in the Protection tree.  What does it do?  I’m glad you asked!

Vigilance: Focus your protective gaze on a group or raid target, reducing their damage taken by 3% and transfers 10% of the threat they cause to you.  In addition, each time they are hit by an attack your Taunt cooldown is refreshed.  Lasts 30 min.  This effect can only be on one target at a time.

Why do I love this awesomeness?  Two reasons.  25-man Noth the Plaguebringer and add tanking on Ignis the Furnace Master.

On 25-man Noth, he blinks every 20-30 seconds, wiping all aggro and casting Cripple on everybody around his old location.  That’s according to wowhead.  In my experience, he blinks more than once.  He’ll blink, I’ll taunt, then he’ll blink again almost immediately.  This is where Vigilance comes in.  Sure I can taunt him once, but what am I to do after the second blink?

By casting Vigilance on the add tank on Noth, as long as their are adds up, my taunt is never on cooldown.  He blinks, I taunt.  He blinks again, I taunt again.  It’s a beautiful thing.

Ignis is a similar situation, with an aggro wipe.  The difference is, I am tanking adds.  This particular tactic is highly dependent on your Main Tank’s ability to hold aggro even with a 10% reduction.

Place Vigilance on the Main Tank.  He’ll be getting beat on by Ignis the entire time, so your cooldown should never be a factor. When adds come, the off tank’s job is the get 10 stacks of the fire debuff on them, causing them to become Molten.  When they become Molten, they wipe aggro.  Their aggro is very finicky at this stage.  In my experience, the aggro wipe doesn’t happen as soon as they become molten, but a few seconds after.

The point is, when they drop aggro and start heading for a healer, you always have a taunt available to bring them back.  As I said, your MT has to be able to hold aggro while losing 10% of it to you.  However, they will also be taking 3% less damage, which is a good thing.

These two fights are why I love Vigilance.  Sure it’s good on pretty much any encounter when you can just toss it on a DPS to get an aggro boost, but these situations really make it shine.

As a final note, Vigilance is not required to perform the necessary tasks in these fights.  It’s just a tool that can, when used properly, make your job easier.

Tank Fight of the Week: Razorscale

Posted in Raiding, Tank Fight of the Week, Tanking with tags , , , , , , on May 8, 2009 by Randul the Dwarf

In this installment of Tank Fight of the Week,  we’ll be talking about the Razorscale fight in Ulduar.

Razorscale is the one of three potential second bosses in Ulduar.  The first boss you fight will be Flame Leviathan, who is a blast, but doesn’t really involve tanking in the traditional sense.

Most people call this a 2-phase fight, but I consider it a 3-phase fight, because the two ground-phases are very different.

Phase 1, In The Air Tonight.

When you approach Razorscale, you don’t have to worry about unintentionally starting the encounter, unless of course someone talks to an Expedition Commander to start it.

When you start the encounter, Razorscale will be flying around in the air shooting Fireballs, dealing around 12,000 damage, at people and casting Devouring Flame.  Devouring Flame is a ground based AOE that you should STAY OUT OF!  It’s a blue fire.  If you are in the blue fire, move.  Tunnelers are going to pop out of the ground and adds are going to come shooting out.

Even though this will never be the tanks’ job, it’s good to know what’s going on.  As the encounter progresses harpoons become available to fire.  When two of them are fired at Razorscale she drops to the ground.  I’ll get to what to do at this point in a moment.

Set your group up inside the circle that’s been burnt into the ground.  Have an add tank (A Pally or DK help immensely here) set up shop near where the tunnelers are going to be popping.  Their job will be to pick up adds.  Your DPS will be aoe’ing the adds down.

Your other tank (this is usually me) will need to be hanging out waiting to make sure no adds get loose.  If they do, grab them and take them back to the add tank.  If they don’t, join in on the killing of the adds.  As a Warrior tank, you will want to keep Heroic Throw & your Taunt available at this time.  If an add comes off your add tank, you want to be able to peel it off the dps in a hurry.  Warbringer is nice here as well.

Three kinds of adds will pop out of the tunnelers.  Dark Rune Watchers, Dark Rune Sentinals and Dark Rune Guardians.  The Watchers cast a nasty chain lightning and should be interupted and killed as soon as possibl.e  The Sentinals do a nasty whirlwind and melee dps needs to get out of dodge during the WW and they need to be killed second.  The Guardiands need to be mopped up last.

As the harpoons I mentioned earlier become available, someone (preferably a ranged dpser) will be shooting them at Razorscale.  When she is shot twice, she will drop to the ground in the spot shown on my lovely illustration.


Phase 2, Stunned!

When Razorscale drops, all dps needs to go to her.  I usually have two or three adds on me at this point.  I pull them around to the front of Razorscale.  Razorscale DOES NOT need to be tanked at this time.  She’s stunned.  If you don’t have adds on you, stay behind her.  At the end of her stun phase, she will blow a Flame Breath that will damage anything in front of her, including the adds.  This is why I pull the adds around to the front of her.  I can live through it, and so can they, but it’s damage my dps doesn’t have to do.

She will also use an ability called Wing Buffet which knocks everyone back that’s within 35 yards of Razorscale.  Then she’ll take off again and the add phase will continue.

These phases will continue until you get Razorscale to 50%, at which point she will become permanently grounded.

Phase 3, Grounded For Life.

Now that Razorscale is permanently grounded, adds will stop spawning, but you will have to continue to deal with the adds that have spawned to this point.

When permanently grounded, Razorscale has some additional abilities as well as the Devouring Flame.

She will now:

  • Flame Buffet, which increases fire damage taken 1500 and stacks up to 99 times.
  • Fuse Armor, which reduces Armor, Attack Speed & Movement speed and stacks up to 5 times.

You will want two tanks here so they can taunt Razorscale back and forth when they get two stacks of Fuse Armor on them.  You will also want to strafe back and forth to avoid any Devouring Flames she might drop on top of you.

This is the easy part, in my opinion getting her to 50% is definitely the harder part of this fight.

That’s Razorscale, good luck and enjoy your epics!

Tank Fight of the Week: Maexxna

Posted in Raiding, Tank Fight of the Week, Tanking, Warrior with tags , , , , , , on May 1, 2009 by Randul the Dwarf

This week I’m going to talk about techniques for tanking the Naxxramas boss Maexxna.  Maexxna is the final boss in the Arachnid Quarter, and she is something of a beast.

Let me clarify this by saying that the Arachnid Quarter is the first quarter of Naxx my 10-man group cleared.  Maexxna was the third Naxx boss we downed on our first night in Naxx.  You would think she’d be easy-mode, right?  Not so much.

We’ve now cleared Naxxramas, taken Kel’Thuzad down three or four times and Maex can still be a big giant 8-legged pain when our group composition isn’t just right.


  • Web Wrap – Cast 20 seconds after engaging, and every 40 seconds after that. Sends 1 player straight to the western web wall, encasing them in a cocoon and incapacitating them. When encased, the player takes 2,475 to 3,025 damage every 2 seconds. The cocoon can be destroyed from the outside.
  • Web Spray – Cast every 40 seconds, incapacitating everyone for 6 seconds, and dealing 1,750 to 2,250 Nature damage. This ability cannot be resisted.
  • Poison Shock – Does 3500 to 4500  Nature damage in a 15 yard frontal cone.  Everyone but the tank should stay behind Maexxna.
  • Necrotic Poison- Poison effect that reduces healing taken by 90% for 30 seconds.  Having someone that can remove poisons helps immensely with this poison.
  • Frenzy – At 30% health, Maexxna will Frenzy, increasing attack speed and damage done by 50%.  Tanks & Healers should be ready for this.
  • Spider Spawn – Cast 30 seconds after engaging, and every 40 seconds after that. 8-10 Maexxna Spiderlings are spawned.  They spawn underneath Maexxna.  These need to be aoe’d down.

As a Warrior, when pulling Maexxna I charge in, and then do a 180 and back her to the wall opposite the raid.  This allows me to be the only person getting hit by the Poison Shock.

Here is your list of priorities for tanking Maexxna.

  1. Live through the web wrap.
  2. Hold threat.
  3. Keep Maexxna faced away from the raid.

That’s it folks.  I’ve already explained how to position her.  Holding threat is the same as any other tanked encounter.  So now, the rest of this article will be about living through that horrible web wrap.

I’m going to be honest here, DBM is necessary for this fight.  Sure, you could count it off or use a timer to know when she’s going to web-wrap, but to make it easier on yourself, someone needs to have DBM.

I don’t normally talk about how to heal on this blog, because it’s not my thing.  However, if you are the one calling out Web Wraps you need to know what is going to happen.  Using DBM,  I see when a web wrap is coming.  I call out in Ventrilo at 10 seconds and 5 seconds.  The 10 second call out is basically a heads up for the healers.  The 5 second call out is a call to action.

When I make that 5 second call, my healers are springing into action.  I get shielded by my disc priest and hotted by anyone who can.  This helps to live through the Web Wrap, when they can’t heal me.

As the tank, at this point I do something that I honestly have no clue whether it helps or not.  I live more when I do it.  So that’s a pro.  I’ve heard that it doesn’t help, so that’s a conn.

Bottom line, it doesn’t HURT to do it, and it might help.  What do I do?  At 2-3 seconds before the Web Spray I hit Shield Wall.  Can I block while incapacitated?  I honestly don’t know.  It seems to keep me alive though, so I would suggest you do it too.

Maybe I’m blocking while incapacitated.  Maybe I’m blocking the first hit when I come out of incapacitation.  Whatever it is I’m doing, I’ve found that I live through this fight doing this.  When I don’t do it, I don’t.

The only other thing you need to remember is Maexxna’s Frenzy.  This happens at 30% health.  At this point the dps should be going all out and right before the first Web Spray during the Frenzy, hit your Oh Crap! button.  Shield Wall, Trinkets, Last Stand, whatever it takes.  Frenzy, plus no heals = OUCH.

That’s it, that’s Maexxna.  Hopefully next week I’ll be able to talk about a newer boss, such as Razorscale.

Tank Fights of the Week: Faerlina & Grobbulus

Posted in Raiding, Tank Fight of the Week, Tanking with tags , , , , , , , on April 13, 2009 by Randul the Dwarf

That’s right folks, not one but two Tank Fights this week!  Why would I go absolutely crazy and do two, count them, TWO tank fights this week?  It’s simple really.  1) Grand Widow Faerlina is not the most cerebral of tank fights.  2) Nearly every hit I get off of Google is someone looking for Grobbulus tactics.  Ask and ye shall receive!

Grand Widow Faerlina


  • Poison Bolt Volley: Hits the 3 closest players for 2500 – 3500 damage.  Also applies a dot which can be removed.
  • Rain of Fire: Hits players in the area of effect for around 2,000 damage every 2 seconds for 6 seconds.  Move plz.
  • Frenzy: The enrage we will talk about.

Honestly, this fight is a piece of cake to Main Tank.  Other than your normal routine, you have to remember to blow your cooldowns when she turns into an enormous red witch.

With two tanks, your setup will go a little something like this.  Your higher AOE threat tank will be tanking the four adds that are standing to either side of Faerlina.  The other tank will be tanking Faerlina.

To start, we have our add tank go up and pull everyone, including Faerlina.  Then our boss tank comes up and taunts Faerlina off of the add tank.

I’m not normally going to go into a lot of detail for off tanking duties, but this is not necessarily the off tank but the add tank.  The add tank needs to make sure to keep threat on all 4 of the adds, damaging them to the point where they are close enough to drop as soon as they are focused by the dps, but not enough to accidentally kill them.

Why?  Because Faerlina likes to Frenzy from time to time.  To get her to stop being such a butthole, you have to kill one of her buddies.  You’d think it’d go the other way around, but maybe it scares her.

So the boss tank is standing there holding aggro on Faerlina.  If you have Deadly Boss Mods, which I recommend, you’ll have a nice little warning that tells you when she is about to Frenzy.  This is where you hit your “Oh Crap!” button, just in case your dps can’t drop an add quick enough.  She hits like a truck when enraged, so if you aren’t geared you are gonna pay.  If you don’t have DBM, you’ll know she enrages when she turns red and grows.  Oh, and your life bar will start dropping like a rock.

TL/DR Boss Tank:  Tank and Spank.  When she enrages blow survival cooldowns.

TL/DR Add Tank:  Hold AOE aggro.  Get them low enough to be 1-shot by the dps and stand there with your finger in your nose.

Grobbulus, by popular demand

Oh Grobbulus, how I do hate thee.  Actually, now that I’ve beat you, you aren’t nearly as bad as your puppy Gluth, but you are still a pain in the butt.


  • Poison Cloud:  Every 15 seconds Grobbulus farts.  Fart clouds will deal 2000 damage to people standing inside them, and will last for 75 seconds.  They also expand outwards in size.  To know when he does this, watch his arm that is a needle.  When it glows green, that means he’s farting.
  • Mutating Injection:  Grobbulus will cast these approximately every 20 seconds in the beginning of the fight, and more frequently as time passes. People injected with it will fart a Poison Cloud when the disease is removed or after it expires it will deal about 8500 damage to the person injected and nearby players.  Unless someone is dedicated to watching this disease and removing it at opportune times, just let it expire.
  • Slime Spray: A frontal cone spray that deals 6,300 to 7,700  damage. Every player hit by the Spray will spawn a Fallout Slime.
  • Fallout Slime: Spawned from players hit by Slime Spray, those deal 1,000 damage every 2 seconds to everyone within 10 yards of them.  Hey Off Tank, pick these up, kthx.

So on Grobbulus, as the main tank, you want to keep him out of his farts and allow room behind him for dps/healers/off tank to place farts of their own.  If all goes well, your sole responsibility will be to backwards walk him around the edge of the room stopping from time to time to give your melee dps some quality time.  (see my illustration for a sample path, with sample farts)


As the main tank, you should never be injected and you should never have to worry about fallout slimes, although there will be times when you’ll want to grab one, such as when your off tank is on the other side of the room farting.

Grobbulus does start injecting people faster as his health decreases, so blow cooldowns when he gets low to minimize the fast injection time.  He also enrages after 12 minutes and kills everyone.  Try to kill him before that happens.

Note for all non-main tank personnel.

Here are the rules for Grobbulus, I normally don’t worry about you folks, but people really want to know how to do this fight.

  1. Don’t get in front of Grobbulus.  If he blows his slime and hits more than one person, more than one Fallout Slime spawns.  While this isn’t a deal breaker, it is bad.
  2. When dropping your farts after being injected, a good rule of thumb is to go where Grobbulus WAS a few seconds ago.  The Main Tank should be leaving holes in between Grob’s farts for you to go fart in safety.

Hope this helped.  As always, comments are appreciated.  See you next week for Maexxna!

A Change of Pace

Posted in Death Knight, Raiding, Tanking with tags , , , , , , , on April 10, 2009 by Randul the Dwarf

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.

Stacking or Chaining the “OH CRAPS”

Posted in Tanking with tags , , , , , , , , on March 13, 2009 by Randul the Dwarf

This is a little debate for my fellow tanks out there, and possibly healers too.

I have an “OH CRAP” macro on my warrior tank that uses Shield Wall and both trinket slots at the same time for those close call moments.

Which would be a better use of these items/ability?

Stacking them together for a few seconds of “get out of dodge” time or chaining them one after the other for less survivability but a lengthier amount of it.

What got me thinking about this particular debate was the Maexxna fight in Naxxramas. At 30% Maexxna enrages.  My “Oh Crap” macro would offer a ton of survivabiltiy for a short burst of time, but not nearly the entire enrage.  However, chaining the abilities would give less survivability over a longer period of time.

It would be up to the tank to determine if one trinket, the next trinket and shield wall one after another would be enough survivability to get through the situation.

What do you think?  What particular situations do you think would warrant chaining over stacking?  What particular situations do you think would warrant stacking over chaining?