Tank like a girl
Dec 01 2009

The Secrets of Ulduar

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I recently had reason to look over my achievements, and it’s really interesting, to kinda read my guild’s raiding story via achievement dates. My guild started raiding in Ulduar in June. Every second weekend we would venture into Ulduar, plodding through. In mid-June we had our first bigger success, clearing both Siege and Antechamber for the first time. We moved on to the Keepers and managed to get Hodir for the first time a month after first clearing Antechamber. Another month later, we got both Thorim and Freya. Yet another month later we got Mimiron, killing all Keepers. Vezax we killed the first day we worked on him, and since then we’ve been working on Yogg-Saron. We extended twice, re-cleared to him, extended again.

On November 29, we killed Yogg-Saron for the first time, earning us the Secrets of Ulduar achievement. Five months after starting. It sounds like a long time, but it doesn’t feel like it took us that long, because that’s 20 weeks, meaning 10 raid IDs or less. We used the extension feature (am very grateful to Blizzard for implementing this) for Mimiron and Yogg-Saron to squeeze in an extra raid day to work on them.

From a tank perspective, I feel Ulduar offers a lot of very interesting fights, and it’s still a fresher raid to me than Naxxramas will ever be. Despite the relative urge of ToC I can only urge all up and coming tanks to try and go see this beautiful raid instance.

My personal favorites:

  • Hodir – It’s a very dynamic fight that requires a lot of movement, maneuvering him around to benefit from moonlight, while still busting ass to keep a threat lead and use of cooldowns for Frozen Blows.
  • Thorim – The gauntlet is fast-paced good fun and I enjoy tanking in there. I have yet to tank the arena, and that’s alright, I think DKs and paladins are universally more suited to excel there.
  • Mimiron – Another exciting fight where as a tank I feel I can shine. Use cooldowns properly for Plasma Blast, run out safely for Shock Blast, tank the head in P3, and then bring it all together in P4. Getting that first kill was exhilarating, and our first one-shot of him felt awesome.

I generally prefer fast paced fights that are not tank and spank, require movement and smart use of cooldowns. Where I have to struggle to stay alive and ahead in threat, without having to switch targets like crazy.

Fights I do not like that much:

  • Ignis – This is mostly due to personal failure on Ignis. I suck at tanking adds in this fight. By the time I have gotten one add Brittle, another is already eating healers for breakfast. As we have an OT who easily handles all adds himself, it must be me. I still find Ignis tuned stupidly for his placement in the raid. Thumbs down from me.
  • Freya – The whole area kinda blows. A little bit too much trash, and the encounter itself is kinda aggravating. I think I finally figured out assignments to make the elemental wave no issue, but the Elementals usually made or broke that encounter for us.
  • Auriaya – The difficulty of an encounter should not be based on ‘Can you pull her safely or not?’ Also, too much standing around waiting if you miss the perfect time for pulling.

Love-Hate relationship: Yogg-Saron

This has been the most complex encounter of my raiding ‘career’ and I can now understand why guilds broke up over Vashj and Kael. It took us 66 pulls to get him down. 65 wipes. A little over 12 hours of tries. Out of those 66 tries, we got to P3 around half a dozen times, around that number, so that should tell you everything you need to know about this fight. P1 can go horribly wrong, but it can also be executed perfectly. But oh boy, did I contribute to some horrible moments. With three guardians up, I couldn’t see the clouds around me and spawned lots more. There were a couple Leroy moments where my boss mod just went wild alerting me of guardian spawns. P2 was by far the hardest to learn. When we killed Yogg-Saron, we had perfect brain and tentacle DPS. It was the first time ever that we actually had downtime without a single tentacle up. There were no tentacles going into P3.

P3 itself had me shaking with sweaty hands and I was unable to spare a second of attention to pushing my Push-To-Talk button. Others had to do the talking, I was too busy tanking, trying to pick up Immortal Guardians before they oneshot someone. Unfortunately I failed and so our ret pally and our tree druid bit the dust, and we still pulled it off, in a 12 minute kill.

I really enjoy the complexity of the encounter. I love that it’s so challenging as solo tank, which is what we did, going in with six DPS. On the other hand, I felt more pressure than usual on me, because if you fail in P1 and someone dies, it’s basically a wipe. If you spawn too many guardians, it’s a wipe. If you don’t watch your sanity in P2 or suck at watching Brain Link, it’s a wipe. In P3 you need to be ready to pick up Immortal Guardians in that tiny window of 10 seconds, establish quick aggro and hold it against the DPS who are trying to get the guardians down quickly.

Yogg-Saron rewarded me for our diligence, I suppose, because I got the Royal Seal of King Llane that kill, which is amazing luck. Not sure if it will replace the Black Heart or the Brewmaiden trinket. Probably the Black Heart.

This is the first time that we have ever been at a point that we have beaten all raid encounters currently in the game. We haven’t done any hardmodes, but we have beaten all the normal fights. That’s a great feeling. I am looking forward to  new challenges in Icecrown. Right now I need to figure out where we’re going raid-wise in the meantime. Probably that one-room instance that I don’t enjoy so much. Hate Northrend Beasts so much. Or maybe Ulduar hardmodes.

Here’s to hoping Icecrown will be as satisfying as Ulduar was to me.

Thanks for all the support of you friendly readers, I got some great feedback for Yogg-Saron, and all your encouragement to keep at it and not succumb to burnout. Rock on!

18 Responses to “The Secrets of Ulduar”

  1. Edainne says:

    Grats on the Yogg kill! It’s really rewarding, after spending so much time in there! I was so happy when we finally got him down in my guild a couple of weeks ago(even though everyone else was celebrating the idea of never going back into Ulduar).
    I personally am with you – the instance is so beautiful and full of interesting fights!

    -Eda
    PS. First time commenting, but I really enjoy your blog <3 I love finding other female voices in the community, and I find the idea of a female guild really intriguing =D

    Reply

  2. Rob says:

    Congratulations! I have only just been stepping into Ulduar content with my guild and I am loving it. Last night we finally got the “Crazy Cat Lady” achievement. Can’t wait to see the Yogg fight. :)
    .-= Rob´s last blog ..My thoughts on Blizzard’s new pets =-.

    Reply

  3. Muron says:

    Congradulations on downing Yogg, it’s one of those fights I would put up there with Illidan as a feeling of accomplishment when finishing the boss.

    Nice to see people still doing Ulduar as well, honestly feel it was one of blizzards best designed instances to date (with ToC being one of the worst).

    I would advise blasting your way through ToC 10 and H ToC 10 now to get your gear up for ICC.

    P.S. Looks like you already decided on this but I would definitely go black heart, and seal.

    Reply

  4. Ren says:

    Big congratulations!

    And I am so jelaous. Doing whole Ulduar10 with guild who actually cares about it and don’t see it either as a waste of time (lol, dis loot no gut) or pushover (lol, we r in better epics!) was my personal WoW goal.

    But envy aside, again, congrats girls. You did well.

    Reply

  5. Kaly says:

    Congrats and thank you!

    I just started tanking in Ulduar a few weeks ago and enjoy the progression the “pug” group is making. This insight into the fights from a tanks view is very helpful!
    .-= Kaly´s last blog ..Murloc!!!!! =-.

    Reply

  6. BobTurkey says:

    Grats Kadomi.

    Ulduar rocks.

    Gobble gobble.
    .-= BobTurkey´s last blog ..Silly season =-.

    Reply

  7. Skraps says:

    While I have healed most of Ulduar 10 and 25, having just gotten, my tank to the Def cap I would love to try to tank some raid. not sure if I want to head back into Naxx, or attempt to skip it and farm early ulduar. Problem is, I cant seem to find a single raid team on my server doing the “old” wrath raids who need a tank.
    .-= Skraps´s last blog ..Wednesday night durnken…drunkings? =-.

    Reply

  8. Baruti says:

    Congratulations to you and the other Daughters! Nice way to go into 3.3!

    Reply

  9. Kudos says:

    very nice, grats to you and the DotH

    Wish I could say I was even close to downing Yogg, but sadly I’m not. Currently working on Freya with my guildies, and I disagree with you on the fight, I rather enjoy the whole section. Trash and all. Freya is still mostly new to me though, so that might be coloring my view.

    Ignis however, always gets my vote to skip… for much the same reasons

    Reply

    Kadomi Reply:

    Freya’s area is beautiful, I really like the work they’ve done there. I like the mechanics of the fight well enough, but we’ve sucked at the Elementals waves so hard that it has colored my opinion of the fight a bit. :)

    Reply

  10. Everblue says:

    Congrats Kadomi. My guild moved on from Ulduar before I’d killed Yogg, so I’ve never downed him. It feels like I have unfinished business there…
    .-= Everblue´s last blog ..Anub’arak 10 hard mode – offtank tips =-.

    Reply

  11. Squeegiemama says:

    Good to see another Bronzebeard Horde guild doing well.

    See you in Icecrown!

    Reply

  12. AC says:

    Congratulations! We’re working on Yogg at the moment, extending each week and spending 1-2 hours on him once a week. Our brain dps is still having some problems, but soon he’ll be ours. I just hope it’s before 3.3 so we can go in clear. Reading your blog is great just because your guild is about the same place as mine.

    Reply

  13. Gabbu says:

    Gratz !! Big one Yogg is not Easy :)

    As many posters said before, I would also go Seal + Black heart.

    And I also recommend to breeze through ToC10 and ToGC10 and be ready for icecrown, you still have plenty of time as Icecrown is so gated.

    ToC10 is fairly easy and you will clear is in 1 raid lockout trust me !! That Ardent Guard need to be in you MH =P

    Have Fun !!

    Reply

  14. drug says:

    “GZ!”, as we would say over here.

    I know you’re more than ready to burn through Icecrown. But anyways, I would be very curious as to how you’d like TotGC 10.

    Honestly, if you can beat Yogg10, this would be the place to go. Personally, I think the encounters are very well tuned and the loot is incredible. Also, you guys would already know the strategy for most encounters, because it’s just more damage incoming/enemy HP than on normal mode, while Ulduar HM are often very different from normal mode.

    Killing the ToC heroic bosses is very rewarding, it’s not uber-hard, the loot is very veeehry nice and you don’t need to clear trash, which you would have to do when working on Ulduar HM.

    The only thing everyone has to be careful about, is not losing motivation after the first 2-3 pulls. Yes the damage is insane. Goup damage will challenge your healers. Just bring three good healers and remember, that Northrend Beasts heroic is really the same thing as the normal mode, just harder. Killing those guys and getting heroic loot is really a good feeling.
    .-= drug´s last blog ..Introducing: Life in Group 5/Blueberry Totem/25 boxes =-.

    Reply

  15. Congratulations!
    .-= ArchDruid Angela´s last blog ..Ode to a Sexy Staff =-.

    Reply

  16. Angela says:

    Grats on Yogg! I haven’t downed him in 10/25 yet myself, although guildies are currently on Algalon now. While we did get Yogg down slightly earlier, it also took us a lot of tries and a couple of lockout extensions (just my luck I couldn’t join the raid the night they downed Yogg, lol).

    But yeah, mostly a “hi!” comment :) An online friend pointed me over here (Gerda in your screenshot ;) heheh).
    .-= Angela´s last blog ..WoW UI Screenshot =-.

    Reply

    Kadomi Reply:

    Oh hi, Jen-friend! And thanks a lot. :)

    Reply

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