Archive for Tanking

Edge of Ruin vs Marrowstrike…really?

Posted in World of Warcraft with tags , , , , , , , , , on March 23, 2010 by Randul the Dwarf

Administrative Note:  I wanted to get on a schedule of Monday, Wednesday & Friday posts, but I was sick yesterday and therefore no post.  I will try to get one out tomorrow and stick to that schedule.

I was looking into terms people searched to get to my site, and was shocked to see that people are STILL debating which is better…Edge of Ruin or Marrowstrike.  While that debate was interesting in it’s time, it is no longer relevant and I’m going to answer the question here and now.

For DPS

Neither.  Tyrannical Beheader is the way to go.  Yes, it’s a harder instance and yes it’s still Heroic, but if you really want to farm something once every day, farm Heroic Pit of Saron for this weapon.

That’s the easy perfect scenario answer.  This world is rarely a world of perfect scenarios however, so the best answer I can give is, go with what you have.

If you happen to get Heroic ToC and Edge or Marrowstrike drops, roll on it.  (Unless you are a Fury Warrior, in which case do not roll on Marrowstrike.)  If you have Edge of Marrowstrike drops…roll if you aren’t rolling against a Hunter or Druid.  If you want to be nice that is, if you just want the lewtz go for it.

Having said all of that, there is a weapon that is extremely farmable that is comparable to both of these weapons.  Garfrost’s Two-Ton Hammer.  It drops out of NORMAL Pit of Saron and is the same iLevel as Edge and Marrowstrike.   It lacks the Armor Pen of those weapons, but it can have more STR when gemmed properly and is slower, therefore it hits harder.

For Tanking

Now we get into the shady area of Death Knight tanking.  Of the four weapons I’ve mentioned so far, Edge of Ruin and Garfrost’s are out.  Edge really lacks the Stamina and has no gemming option to fix what it lacks.  Garfrost’s has a gem socket, but has lower Stamina than Marrowstrike and lacks all the delicious goodness that Marrowstrike’s agilitly offers.

So that brings us to Marrowstrike & Tyrannical Beheader.  This is one of those gray areas where you have to decide what is more important to you, Stamina or Armor/Avoidance.

Tyrannical Beheader offers more Stamina (when gemmed properly) than Marrowstrike.  36 more Stamina to be exact.  However, Marrowstrike offers a whopping 106 Agility which provides Armor and Dodge.  (I don’t have specific numbers as to how much Armor/Dodge the 106 Agility has at the moment)

Most people would probably go with the Tyrannical Beheader’s Stamina.  Personally, I am using Marrowstrike and TB is sitting in my pack.  More because TB is ungemmed than any actual preference.  I will say this, however, in a primarily magic-based fight, TB will be stronger than Marrowstrike hands down.  In a physical fight, it is really going to depend on your character.

Hope this helps, look for a post with my awesome kid’s picture later today.

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Been a long time…

Posted in World of Warcraft with tags , , , , , , , , on December 21, 2009 by Randul the Dwarf

but I’m back.  Why was I gone?  A few reasons, really.  Swamped at work, swamped at home, having trouble getting my files from home to work and probably a little burnt out to be quite honest.  Not on the game, but  blogging.

Fact of the matter is, I just didn’t have anything to say.  My guild was in a bit of a pre-patch lull and nothing really interesting was going on.

Things, however, have changed.

My little 10-man guild has dropped 3 of the 4 bosses in Icecrown Citadel.  We are going to work on Saurfang tonight.  I believe we will drop him, but I’ll actually go in and try the fight before I make any sweeping proclamations.

We dropped Marrowgar the first week, you know, when he was hitting people like a train?  Yeah, our tanks are geared.

Then we wiped on Deathwhisper for the rest of the night.  We came back, however, and finally showed her who was boss.  As can be seen below:

Let’s be honest here, Deathwhispers little blue ball corpse doesn’t make for the best screenie.

Unfortunately, I forgot to get a screenshot of the gunship, but we actually one-shot something on our first attempt!  Craziness I know.

I did get an interesting shot of one of those random occurances that just blows your mind though.  I went afk while flying over Icecrown.  When I came back, I was being beat on by a frost wyrm while standing on this:

For those having trouble seeing, that’s me standing HIGH above the ground on a very thin piece of rock/bone/whatever.  Somehow, I managed to get dismounted by a Frost Wyrm while afk and luckily land on that thing.  One yard to the left or right and I’m splatter.

So I really like Icecrown.  It’s a fun raid so far.  I don’t love that they nerfed Marrowgar already, but I’m happy we did it before he became easy.  I figure we’ll see the difficulty go up quite a bit once the gates open, but for now I’m not finding ICC too hard.  Of course, I haven’t even attempted Saurfang yet.  Hopefully I won’t be singing a different tune tomorrow.

Tank Gearing 102: Gearing for Raids

Posted in World of Warcraft with tags , , , , , on October 20, 2009 by Randul the Dwarf

In yesterday’s Tank Gearing 101 post, I talked about how to gear for Heroics.   If you look at the gear from that post, you’ll see that the Stamina and Avoidance are still rather lacking.  Today, I will talk about how to use Heroics to get those stats up and prepare for raids.

The general strategy is run run run run run Heroics until your eyes bleed.  Each boss in a Heroic will drop an Emblem of Conquest, which can be used to buy pieces of gear.  In this day of Conquest Emblems, you will be expected to have much better gear just to go into Naxxramas than we had to have when it first came out.

As an aside, you should do the Daily Heroic quest every day you can find the time.  This will reward you with two Emblems of Triumph, which can be used to buy even better gear than Emblems of Conquest.

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Tank Gearing 101: Gearing for Heroics

Posted in World of Warcraft with tags , , , , on October 19, 2009 by Randul the Dwarf

I’ve helped two up and coming guild tanks get their gear in order in the past couple weeks, so I thought this might be a suitable time to do a post about gearing your tank.

Disclaimer:  While there are some slight differences between the plate-wearing tank classes, the primary rules remain mostly the same.  While some classes may put more stock in Block (Paladins) than others, the general guidelines I present here today will give any plate-wearing tank a good idea of how they should gear.  I’m not even touching Druids, they are a mystery to me.  Who tanks without plate?

The Rules

There are (currently) some rules to gearing your tank.

  • Rule #1 – To tank a raid, you must have 540 Defense (Heroics require 535)
  • Rule #2 – When Defense is no longer required, gem and enchant for Stamina.

Those are the rules, not overly complicated right?  Of course, there are exceptions, but these two rules will get you far.

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Is “That Guy” Keeping You Down?

Posted in World of Warcraft with tags , , , , , , on September 15, 2009 by Randul the Dwarf

Disclaimer:  This story is not about MY guild, this is about a guild I happened to get pug’d into last night.  I will not say the name of the guild or the characters to protect the innocent (or more to the point, the not so innocent).

Thoughts on the bosses I fought at the end of this post.

Last night I was logged on waiting for my Arena partner to come online so we could get out 10 games in for the week when the other MT from my guild, Jamason, asked me if I wanted to tank the final two bosses in 10-man ToC.  (We like to do more than the minimum 10, but we had a busy week.)

I thought about it for a moment, seeing as I’ve never even made it past the first encounter in 10-man ToC, but decided to go for it.  I get summoned and find out it’s basically a guild run, except for the two tanks.  I found it odd that a guild would even start a 10-man with no tanks of their own, but thought I’d see how it went.

Here’s how it went.  8 out of 10 folks were pretty much on the ball the entire time.  Paid attention to what they were doing and executed properly.  The 2 out of 10 that didn’t, were a dps and a healer.

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Death Knight Tanking in Cataclysm

Posted in Death Knight with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 1, 2009 by Randul the Dwarf

A bit of a depature from the norm today, rather than talk about the normal Warrior stuff, I’m going to talk a little about Death Knights.

My primary alt, who is quickly becoming more of a secondary main is Kered, a Death Knight.  He is dual-specced, DW Frost and Unholy Tank.  After reading an article over at wow.com entitled Lichborne: What Cataclysm might mean for Death Knights, I decided to throw my opinion into the ring.

The author talks about each of the upcoming changes individually, but the one I really want to talk about is his take on Defense going the way of the dodo.  The devs stated that tanks will receive their crit reduction in the way of talents, much like Bear Druids do.  He has a problem with what this could mean for DKs, in that it could mean DKs have to pick one talent tree for tanking.

My question is, why is this a bad thing?  Every other tanking class in the game has to pick one tree to tank, why shouldn’t DKs?  Originally the developers wanted to try this new heroic class that could do any of the class roles from any talent tree, but I think they probably found this wasn’t the best situation.

I suggest picking a tree and making it the tanking tree.  This would actually be unfortunate for me, as my preferred dps tree is Frost, which would likely be the tanking tree.

The other option available is to make the crit reduction talent on the first tier of one of the trees.  I think that makes it too easy for any tree to get it for pvp though, which would be kind of a big deal.

One of the commenters suggested changing Stoneskin Gargoyle from +25 Defense & some Stamina to -6% Critical Strike chance.  I think, if they want to continue with any tree for any role, this is probably the best solution.  It severely limits what enchants a Death Knight can have on their weapon, but it does what folks want it to do.

Additionally, a note on Dual Wield Frost

A few people have been getting to my site by searching the terms, Reaper of Dark Souls for Dual Wield Frost.  To answer your question, yes…get those weapons if you don’t want to buy the Titansteel Bonecrusher.  As far as purchasable weapons, they are really good.  They are pretty well itemized and they aren’t too expensive.

If you can get your hands on the Titansteel Bonecrusher, it’s quite a bit better as a mainhand.  The Bonecrusher is Main Hand only, so you’ll need something for your offhand even if you get it.  The Reaper of Dark Souls is good for this at least.

When I first went DW Frost I went with dual wielding two Reapers.  After that I did Heroic Trial of the Champion until I managed to get my grubby hands on Aledar’s Battlestar.  I probably would have got a Bonecrusher, but my guild was using Titansteel to make epic gems.

Right now I’m main-handing the Battlestar and offhanding the Reaper.  I have in my possession Maexxna’s Femur and Hatestrike which, according to Rawr, are very slightly better than the Reaper, but I’m digging the Reaper’s hit.  I’ll probably keep the Reaper until I can get my hands on Razorscale Talon or another Battlestar.

Oh and btw, Dual Wield Frost is VERY fun.  Love it.

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.

Abilities

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).

sampson-1

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.

auriayapic

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.