As I mentioned in a previous posting, I didn’t go to my guild’s Karazhan day one. Day one is bosses from Attumen to Aran. We’re not close to clearing Karazhan in one day yet, so we try to clear to Aran in one day, and do the rest the next day.
Even when I don’t go, I have the habit of staring at the WWS report for hours, to find weaknesses and sources of improvement. This week I was particularly curious to see how the lesser geared protection warriors had fared.
And then I was flabbergasted when I noticed the amount of Crushing Blows both warriors ate, until I remembered that until I started tanking Kara, I hadn’t known the danger of crushes either.
So here’s my blurb about Crushing Blows, why they’re bad, and what you can do to keep them from happening.
A crushing blow is an attack made by an NPC that is 150% of the Damage caused by a normal successful attack. On bosses, that’s a whole lotta damage. A guy like Moroes usually does 4k crushes on a tank in Karazhan starting gear. The first time I ever tanked Prince, he crushed me for 7k on my 12k armor. Now that I have 17k armor, I still get a few crushes in phase 2 (three last time) that still hit for 5k. So, as anyone can see, avoiding a crushing blow is an absolute priority as tank, to ensure your survival and to ensure the healers will have the longevity to keep you up even in longer fights. Crushes can cause damage spikes you want to avoid.
To be immune to crushes, you need a total avoidance of 102.4%. While it’s possible to reach this magical value and be completely crush-immune as illustrated by Veneretio it’s not the norm to be geared like that. As most warriors will not be crush-immune, you have to rely on Shield Block. Improved Shield Block increases your block chance by 75% for two attacks. The mechanic behind block is that any attack you block automatically cannot be a critical hit (which you’re immune to anyway past the defense cap) and more importantly cannot be a crushing blow.
What this means is that on bosses you must use Shield Block every cooldown to push crushing blows off the table. While you might be used to uing TC or Shield Slam as very first skill, on Kara bosses I run in, and the first skill I use is Shield Block. Because a Crushing Blow to the face as first hit is no fun. I use Omni CC as cooldown count, it’s one of my most important addons. It counts down numbers of the cooldown on my action bars and so I can hit Shield Block again the moment it’s available. Basically, boss tanking for me is just balancing all my cooldowns. I have never played any other class that requires focusing on cooldowns so much, I swear.
This is all old news for most tanks, but I thought it bears repeating as one of the stumbling blocks of newer Kara-level tanks. Use that Shield Block, yo. Don’t make me cry about 28 crushes on Moroes again.