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This is part 1 of my series of ‘How to’ for the new Cataclysm dungeons. This will be about the normal versions only. I might post an updated version once we get to Heroic, depending on different things are. I hope they will be!
Instance: Blackrock Caverns, level 80-81, average ilevel required 226.
How to get there: Breadcrumb quest from Mount Hyjal, at 43, 28. Quest giver is Finkle Einhorn, and he gets you a ride on a mole machine. Otherwise, travel to Searing Gorge or Burning Steppes, head towards the meeting stone and run downwards to discover the instance entrance.
Mobs here do not hit that hard, so BRC is actually a very gentle introduction to Cataclysm pulls. Crowd Control can make pulls a lot easier, so it’s a great opportunity to actually get used to CC again. Most useful will be forms of humanoid CC, and in the latter parts of the instance a warlock’s Banish can be very useful. Most trash pulls contain casters, so make sure to utilize Heroic Throw, Spell Reflect and even line of sight pulls to cluster the mobs towards you.
- Quake, an AoE ability that will cause damage to everyone in the party. To avoid it, move out of the dust cloud underneath your feet immediately.
- Wounding Strike, a Mortal Strike ability that will reduce healing on the tank
- The Skullcracker, which he will cast after he has done a magnetic pull of all group members, and chained them in Chains of Woe. The chains can and must be targeted immediately and burst down before the cast finishes. Run out and live! If you don’t manage to kill the chains, it is a wipe.
When pulling him, make sure you have pulled back all of the trash groups in the front half of the room. There are a couple patrolling mobs that wander from group to group. As soon as you pull the boss, he will call for help, and any trash left alive to hear the call will add to the fight.
Notable tank loot:
Shield of the Iron Maiden – Oh yeah. Let the mastery items roll in. I like the shield model too.
- Dark Command, a fear effect. If this hits someone who is standing in one of the beams, make sure that someone else blocks the beam in their turn.
- Death Grip, same thing applies as above. Apparently she pulls people randomly with it.
- Drain Essence. This is the main mechanic of this fight and involves blocking beams. I am getting pleasant Netherspite flashbacks.
Corla will cast two beams, and there will be two cultists alive who want to stand in the beam to get the Evolution debuff. After 100 stacks, the person in the beam will turn into an Evolved Twilight Zealot, a nasty drakonoid that packs quite a punch. The key to this fight is to control the evolution. As tank, pick up Corla and pull her to one of two beams. The other beam will be blocked by ranged DPS or a healer. As the stacks pile up fast, people will need to take turns. They simply need to stand in the beam. As soon as someone moves out, someone else moves in. People must make sure they do not get 100 stacks either, as that will mean they will be mind-controlled for the rest of the fight. It won’t take long until the non-blocked beam turns the cultist into a zealot, which you then immediately pick up to tank. The zealot gets killed first. After the zealot is down, head to the other beam, have it unblocked, kill the second zealot after he has evolved. Kill Corla. Win! What also works is that you block both beams and simply kill Corla without zealots, but that won’t be an option on heroic, so you can already practice the proper strategy in this normal dungeon.
Notable tank loot:
absolutely nothing to see here. Boo!
Karsh Steelbender – Here’s where you control if this is a wipe or success!
- Quicksilver Armor. Reduces all damage by 99%. If this stays on, this could be a loooong fight.
- Superheated Quicksilver Armor. Stacks, increasing damage on him by 5% per stack. Melee attacks on him cause fire damage.
- Cleave. Your average Cleave, do not want anyone but the tank in front of him.
First, you have to pull the two Conflagrations back to the ramp, one by one. If Quicksilver mobs add, pick them up as well. The Conflagrations are no joke and deal a lot of party damage. Once the Conflagrations are down, you can move onto the bad boy. Make sure people are aware to not stand on the circular grate ever, because everytime Karsh gets the Quicksilver Armor buff again, a Wall of Fire will go up. Now, as soon as you Charge in, you have to pull Karsh into the pillar of flame at the center of the room. Every second he stands in that pillar, he gets a stack of Superheated Quicksilver Armor and you can actually do damage to him. However, with every stack, he will cause increasing AoE fire damage to the whole group that cannot be avoided. You will not be able to stand in the pillar indefinitely. I found that 3-5 stacks are ideal, so please do not linger too long in the pillar. Pull him out, and as soon as Superheated Quicksilver Armor runs out, you pull him back in. Rinse and repeat. I will have to admit that we wiped quite a bit here the first time as I had to learn how long is too long. 3-5 seconds are not a long time at all, I tell ya.
Notable tank loot:
nothing in particular, though there are two good upgrades for plate DPS. But for tanking specifically, nada.
Beauty – Not the puppies! They are making me kill puppies!
- Berserker Charge. This angry dog momma will charge a random player and deal a good chunk of damage with it.
- Flamebreak. Causing fire damage to everyone within 10 yards. Means all ranged should be a good distance away. Does a knockback.
- Magmaspit. Fire debuff on a random target, with a DoT effect. Do not dispel, it’ll make them explode!
- Terrifying Roar. Your average fear effect.
Beauty is a corehound momma with four puppies. Three of them are in the front of the room, the last one is far behind her, with the name Runty. If you kill Runty, she will enrage, so we can leave one soon to be orphaned puppy alive. :(. The other puppies can be pulled individually to the entrance of the room. Tank them against a wall, strafe out of the magma puddles. No one but the tank should be in front of the little ones. Once the three front puppies are dead, you can pull her. As Beauty does a knockback, you will want to have your back against something solid. There’s a rock on the left side of the room that I use for that. As warrior, use Berserker Rage to break the fear, and move back to your regular position. Mostly tank and spank.
Notable tank loot:
Beauty’s Plate – A tanking chest with parry and mastery. As Spinks noticed as well, parry is very predominant on early Cataclysm tank drops. Not a bad chest!
- Stone Blow. 150% melee damage and a knockdown. I hate knockdowns.
- Thunderclap. Around 12k damage to people around him, slows movement speed. Why does my Thunderclap not hurt like that?
- Twilight Corruption. Magic debuff, a dot that does 4k per tick. Dispel!
The major mechanic of this fight are the two Shadows of Obsidius that hang about. You can compare them to the Dark Nuclei in the Blood Prince Council fight of ICC. They have no real aggro table, they will aggro on whoever hit them last. If they are in the vicinity of Obsidius, they will reduce healing on their current target. Worst case: tank pulls Obsidius, Thunderclaps, no one ever touches the Shadows, and eventually the tank dies to the healing debuff. So what should happen is that you assign one DPS, ideally a hunter, to simply tag both Shadows and lead them on a merry chase. Obsidius will randomly switch places with one of the shadows and reset aggro, so when that happens, you as tank need to be fast to pick him up, and the kiter needs to be fast to pick up the Shadow again.
Notable tank loot:
Carrier Wave Pendant – a parry/mastery tanking necklace.
Notable Quest Rewards:
Raz’s Breastplate – for the final quest of killing Ascendant Lord Obsidius. Didn’t replace my Cataclysmic Chestguard, but if you had any other WotLK chest, it just might!
Hope you enjoyed! If you have any other special strategies I forgot to share, as always please comment.
So now you’re a fresh 80, ready to jump into heroic content to get all the things from my shopping list.
First, the good thing: as tank you’ll get groups just about the moment you queue up. We’re still the least played role, even less so than healers, so groups will be all over you.
The bad thing: no one is under as much scrutiny as the tank. There will be times that you join a group and people will start bitching about your health pool, your blue gear, the speed of your pulls.
Here’s Kadomi’s survival tips for fresh tanks using LFD:
- take a deep breath if people complain about your health/gear/skill. Remember that you will be able to find another group the moment you queue up, unlike the possibly bitching healer or DPS. DPS are looking at queue times of 10-30 minutes after all.
- know your stuff. Being a fresh 80 is no excuse for ignorance. Know your rotation. Especially when it comes to building AoE threat. Your DPS will want to lay the smack down and focus fire is often a completely unknown method in PUGs, so AoE threat will be your game.
- learn the pulls. There are no differences in trash pulls between regular and heroics. When in doubt, run them on regular first. Know which mobs are casters, which one are melee, what trash is problematic. Typical examples of trash mobs that you should know on sight and how to handle them: Anub’ar Skirmishers, Stormforged Runeshapers, Dark Rune Theurgist, Twilight Worshippers, etc. Understanding all pulls can make or break a run, especially in an instance like H OK where trash pulls can be somewhat unforgiving.
- be polite. Egomaniac tank divas have a crappy reputation, well within reason. Just because you can get groups more easily than others, you’re not automatically a better player. You are not a special snowflake. You just chose to fill a role others didn’t want to play. Bonus points if you thank your healer for saving your butt on a bad pull. Allison Robert from the wow.com team wrote some choice words for tank divas as well, so I am only re-stating her point.
- don’t rush it. There will be groups that will carry you to success. Overgeared DPS and healers with an endless mana pool make chainpulling easy. But wait a couple pulls into the instance to get a feel for your group. You gain absolutely nothing if you leave behind the fresh healer who’s drinking in the back. Learn to eye mana pools. Being considerate never hurts. As example, I had a newer paladin tank who decided he’d run to the end of the gauntlet in H CoS. Well, he forgot to pick up a couple elites who decided to eat my face off as his healer. He didn’t even notice that I was dead when he called for heals. Pay attention, tanks.
- if you’re a warrior tank, watch the threat meter carefully at the start of an instance, to choose your Vigilance target. Especially if tanking heroics is still new to you, the 10% extra threat from a strong DPSer will be a great boon. Don’t forget to use Vigilance.
- above all, try to have fun. Gearing up and running instances has never been as accessible as it is today. Make the best of it!
Got your own tips for fresh tanks? Please share.
If you’re in battlegroup Cyclone and ever end up in a group with a female orc tank wearing a Red Winter Hat, don’t forget to say hi to me. Happy holidays, all of you!
The addition of the new 5-mans plus the easy availability of Emblems of Triumph call for an update for the gear list for protection warriors who are just hitting 80. If you follow the list, you should be able to hop into the raiding scene in little time. It’s never been easier.
I will list several pieces of gear per slot. The top piece listed is your entry gear into heroics, and the further down on list, the better the piece.
- Tempered Titansteel Helm – buy in AH or bring the mats to a friendly blacksmith.
- Helm of the Crestfallen Challenger – 2nd encounter, H Trial of the Champions. Once you’re comfortable with tanking H ToC, this is what you should pick up next.
- Second Helm of the Executioner – Forgemaster Garfrost, H Pit of Saron
- Headplate of the Honorbound/Faceplate of the Honorbound – 75 Emblems of Triumph. Definitely more attractive than the T9 warrior helmet, with tasty amounts of expertise
- Titanium Earthguard Chain – buy in AH or bring mats to a friendly Jewelcrafter
- Shard of the Crystal Forest – available for 19 Emblems of Conquest, so you will have to downgrade some emblems. Nevertheless, still a very solid piece, if you don’t dare set foot into the Icecrown instances yet.
- Fossilized Ammonite Choker – Arthas encounter, H HoR. A tough instance and encounter, with a great necklace as reward.
- Crusader’s Square Pauldrons – common as dirt BoE drop in CoS (reg or heroic). Should be able to pick this up cheap anywhere.
- Regal Aurous Shoulderplates – Confessor Paletress, H ToC. Lovely shoulders from H ToC with a socket. Grab ‘em!
- Shoulderplates of Frozen Blood – Forgemaster Garfrost, H Pit of Saron. Excellent upgrade, with nice expertise. Too bad it has no socket.
- Shoulderguards of Enduring Order/Shoulderplates of Enduring Order – 45 Emblems of Triumph. Spiky shoulders with a nice red socket for expertise or dodge gems. Again, better than the T9 counterpart.
- Cloak of Peaceful Resolutions – Honored with Wyrmrest Accord, your companion for a long time
- Platinum Mesh Cloak – still a valuable buy at 25 Emblems of Valor
- Eerie Runeblade Polisher – Falric and Marwyn, reg. Halls of Reflection. I have revised my opinion, it’s better than the Platinum Mesh Cloak, due to stats being a touch higher. If you are having bad drop luck though, and spare badges, the PMC is still great.
- Breastplate of the Solemn Council – Revered with Wyrmrest Accord
- Scourgelord’s Frigid Chestplate – Scourgelord Tyrannus, reg. Pit of Saron
- Hellscream’s Breastplate of Conquest/Wrynn’s Breastplate of Conquest – 50 Emblems of Triumph. Absolutely solid chest for warriors, no complaints here.
- Breastplate of the White Knight – crafted by blacksmiths. With the price of Crusader Orbs dropping every day, this is now a most excellent chest alternative superior to the ilevel 232 T9 chest.
- Tempered Saronite Bracers – Starting out with the crafted bracers should be sufficient to get you to…
- Bindings of Dark Will – in H CoS, a fairly common drop off the 2nd boss
- Bracers of the Herald – H OK, the best you can get outside of a raid instance unless you invest gold into…
- Saronite Swordbreakers – crafted by blacksmiths. Mats are pretty reasonable, now that Crusader Orbs are available relatively easily. Strong bracers.
- Mercy’s Hold – fabulous gloves from reg ToC, well worth running this until they drop
- Hellscream’s Handguards of Conquest/Wrynn’s Handguards of Conquest – 30 Emblems of Triumph. Cheap to get and one of the better pieces of 232 T9 for warriors, so the route to success is pretty easy here.
Waist: nothing has changed for this slot at all
- Waistguard of the Risen Knight – common BoE drop in H DTK, should be cheap.
- Ancient Aligned Girdle – a direct upgrade in H A-N
- Shieldwarder Girdle – available for 28 Emblems of Conquest, unless you want to get yourself the crafted…
- Indestructible Plate Girdle – made by a friendly blacksmith, mats should be not too expensive now
- Legguards of Abandoned Fealty – first encounter in reg. ToC
- Legplates of Frozen Granite – Devourer of Souls, reg. Forge of Souls. Lots of hit instead of avoidance, but pretty solidly itemized otherwise
- Hellscream’s Legguards of Conquest/Wrynn’s Legguards of Conquest – 50 Emblems of Triumph. Definitely a threat piece, with all the SBV and all the hit, but the best you can get for that slot.
- Tempered Titansteel Treads – grab a cheap pair of those crafted boots to start tanking heroics.
- Boots of Heartfelt Repentance – Eadric the Pure, reg. ToC. These boots will take you a long way.
- Black Spire Sabatons – Devourer of Souls, H Forge of Souls. Awesome boots, definitely nice to grab.
- Spiked Deathdealers – crafted by blacksmiths, cost a pretty penny, but are most excellent. Two sockets give you an EH edge, so I place them above the Black Spire Sabatons.
If you already have the Spiked Deathdealers, you’re set, if you don’t, save the gold and get the Black Spire Sabatons.
- Titanium Earthguard Ring – fabulous ring, crafted, save up some gold and profit
- Signet of the Accord – BoE drop in Obsidian Sanctum-10, should be up in the AH or…
- Keystone Great-Ring – if you’re still def-capped anyhow, drops in H Drak’tharon Keep
- Alternatively any of the blue tanking rings from heroics. Eventually replace the above with…
- Mark of the Relentless – beautifully itemized ring from H ToC, just no defense on it.
- Clutch of Fortification – 35 Emblems of Triumph. Simply perfect ring. Armor, stamina, avoidance.
- Seal of the Pantheon – regular Halls of Lightning. Should it just not drop, have Dabiri’s Enigma or Adamantine Figurine as standby.
- The Black Heart – the sacred grail of stamina, available in regular ToC
- Glyph of Indomitability – 50 Emblems of Triumph. Clearly a mix of EH (due to the high armor) and avoidance trinket, it’s on use should allow powerful avoidance. For someone who only does heroics pretty useless, but in raids it should rock.
- Wanted: Ragemane’s Flipper – start out with any of the quest rewards as per race and personal taste.
- Axe of the Sen’jin Protector or Teldrassil Protector – if you enjoy the Argent Tournament Dailies, these are available for 25 Champion’s Seals.
- Peacekeeper Blade – 2nd encounter, H ToC. The turkey knife is nicely itemized and has a socket. As there’s no def on the sword, you might have to gem it for defense.
- Lucky Old Son – Bronjahm, reg. Forge of Souls. If a baby rattle is more your style and you like inherent def on weapons, this drop might be for you. Not a huge upgrade, but slightly higher DPS.
- Falric’s Wrist-Chopper – Falric and Marwyn, H Halls of Reflection. This is it for orc tanks. Go figure that Blizzard had to hide it in one of the most difficult dungeon encounters ever. This is best pre-raid for orcs, however if you’re not one of us, you’d rather go for…
- Rimefang’s Claw – Scourgelord Tyrannus, H Pit of Saron. No wasted item budget on block rating, all around solid stuff. Looks pretty nice too.
- Titansteel Shield Wall - crafted by blacksmiths
- Royal Crest of Lordaeron – with a lead on avoidance, this drops from H CoS and is still your best bet outside of raids
- Splintered Door of the Citadel – Falric and Marwyn, reg. Halls of Reflection. Whew, they changed the model, no one wants to carry around a face, trust me.
- Blades of the Sable Cross – makes no sense to buy the engineer gun anymore. Go straight for the thrown weapon for 25 Emblems of Triumph.
To get all Emblem gear listed here, you’d have to spend 25 Emblems of Valor, 47 Emblems of Conquest and 310 Emblems of Triumph. Remember, tanks get instant gratification when queueing up for random heroics, so you can get those emblems faster than any other role. Happy hunting.
My my, time flies and I keep forgetting to post on Kadomi’s Blogroll Fridays. But today, I am back in business, and I bring you the blog of a fellow horde protection warrior: Achtung Panzercow!
Not only is this name made of win (yup, sucker for German references, German language represent!) but Linedan is posting one of the most solid guide series out there, how to level from 1-80 as protection warrior. He’s basically doing what I wanted to do and kinda fell flat on, he’s leveling another warrior, to show you how it’s done protection-style. Leveling builds and guides are still really popular, and you’ll be hard-pressed to find a better one out there.
So get the good stuff from Linedan and add him to your prot warrior blogrolls, well worth the read.
That’s one of my favorite lines whenever I pug on my DK. Whenever I see some tank doing something silly, I keep thinking ‘Dude, go back to tanking school!’. But there is no tanking school. We all have to learn the basics from experience, with no experience you cannot obtain the skills.
As tank in a group, you have the ability to control a pull and set the pace for your whole group. While in the beginning, you will probably pull carefully, once you understand the basics, you can proceed through instances and raids at a steady pace. That is the skill that the non-tanks in the group will appreciate the most. It will also enable you to move your raid through farm content quickly once you start raiding. You should never be shy and insecure about pulling. Someone’s gotta get the ball rolling.
Trash is inevitable when doing group content, and usually comes in groups of 3-4 mobs. When faced with new content you’re not completely familiar with there are some easy guidelines you can follow.
- Are there any mobs that look like casters? Blizzard makes it relatively easy to spot those. Guys in dresses, most female Vrykul, dragonkin wearing hoods, they’re all identifiable as casters at a glance and should probably be killed first. Often the name also hints at their abilities. Casters should generally die before any melee mob, because they often have abilities that damage all group members, silence, heal, all the nasty stuff that clothies do. Healer-types should die before normal mage-type casters. This is e.g. why you usually kill the shaman in ToC before you kill the mage.
- If there are no obvious casters, pick the mob that looks the biggest. Yes, sometimes it is that easy. Size usually signifies how hard mobs hit so you want to kill the big guys first.
- If there is no obvious size or name that hints at a mob hitting like a truck, you have free pick. Should you spot a mob that looks like it does ranged DPS, like a hunter (e.g. in Utgarde Keep) you want to pick them first, just because their mobility and uncanny habit to go back at range are irritating.
This is an important concept that every tank should live and breathe. Every class has different tools for clustering a pull (though I think feral druids got the shaft here?). Until level 80, we only have Charge available to cluster a pull but at 80 you receive a very powerful tool, Heroic Throw. But first, what is this Clustering? It means that you pull and keep all mobs in the group tightly together, so that your AoE tanking abilities like Thunderclap, Shockwave and Cleave all have their full effect on the group. It means that somehow you manage to bring ranged mobs into your range and keep them tanked together with the melee. You cannot build threat on a mob that’s outside of your range, risking healer or DPS death due to being unable to maintain proper threat.
Our tools for clustering:
- Charge. Tried and true, it’s a bit more effective for pulling now than it used to be in the past. 2 melee and a caster? Charge the caster, keep the group in place. Is there another group close by and you’re not 80 yet? Warn your group, pull the caster, run out of range of the caster’s range, let him come towards you, Charge. If you’re just pulling with a gun and you do not use the opportunity to Charge, you should get used to it.
- Heroic Throw. At level 80 you receive Heroic Throw, which will make Clustering even easier. If you picked Gag Order (and why wouldn’t you), HT will silence a mob. The above mentioned pull would be even easier now. Heroic Throw the caster, have them all run towards you, then boost your rage by charging at the group as they come running at you. Thunderclap, then position yourself for Shockwave, and they should be all yours. But not only does Heroic Throw silence a caster, it also causes quite a bit of front threat. If you’re pulling and HT is up, use it.
Now assume we have a group of two casters and two melee (like e.g. dragonkin in Nexus or Vrykul groups in Utgarde Pinnacle). The above-mentioned method usually means you have three mobs charging at you, and one caster staying behind. Sub-optimal! If you now try to just move your group to the other caster, you will end up with the same situation, as the other caster will stay behind. Soon, all hell might break loose. To cluster a group like this takes practice, but I love ‘em, because we get to use our tools. Set your /focus to one caster, Heroic Throw your focus target, and then charge the other caster. The silenced caster and the melee will come to your Charge target, eh voilà, your pull is clustered. Thunderclap, Shockwave once you’re in position, tank, loot, repeat.
Another way of clustering that I see tanks struggle with is when it’s ranged mobs, like the hunters in the Nexus hallway with the Commander. Pro-tip for clustering ranged hunter-mobs: go into their melee-range, then slowly strafe away to where another hunter might be. The secret is to not move too quickly. As long as you stay in their melee range, they will follow you around. They are that dumb. So imagine a group of iceblocks with two hunters and a berserker in H Nexus. Charge one hunter, then walk her over to the other. TC while you’re strafing, Shockwave once in position.
I keep mentioning ‘Shockwave once you’re in position’. Our 51 point talent is an amazing talent, very fun to use but it does require proper execution to work. If you are struggling with this, I highly recommend practicing in my favorite farm spot for rhino meat in the Storm Peaks. Find one of those large groups of roaming rhinos, Charge into the aggressive rhino, use Demoralizing Shout to aggro all the yellow ones and then position yourself. Shockwave is a frontal cone effect within 10 yards, so mobs to the sides of the cone or behind you will not get hit. You want all mobs to get hit by it. The easiest way to accomplish this is to Charge in, Thunderclap and then walk backwards, one or two steps, before using it. The frontal cone will hit more mobs this way.
If you want to test clustering with mixed caster-melee groups, the fortress of the Scarlet Onslaught not too far from Naxxramas in Dragonblight is good. Densely packed with mobs, you can test your moves there. Any area that has a lot of caster mobs mixed in works to practice this.
I might follow this up with a companion-video if there’s any interest. If you have any advice, suggestions or questions, please do let me know.
The latest addition to 5-man instances in WoW is Trial of the Champions. If you look at LFG and /trade on my realm, you could almost think there is no other instance out there. Farmed and farmed and farmed and farmed. However, it’s easy to understand why. Both normal and heroic versions of this instance have pretty amazing drops for 5-mans, item level 200 on normal (on par with Naxx-10 or better) and item level 219 for heroic (on par with Ulduar-10).
What’s expecting you if you haven’t set foot in there? A very fast-paced instance (once you’re past the lengthy intro dialogue), on heroic a surprising amount of damage and hefty DPS as requirement to get shiny loots. Always remember that it’s got a super short corpse run, so if DPS dies, they can always come back, as the instance is not locked!
You can get five possible champions here: a hax warrior, a mage, a rogue, a shaman, a hunter. The jousting part is easy enough. Charge and shield-break kill the three trash mobs in each wave, have the leader mark in what order you want to knock the champions off their mounts, don’t forget to trample them once they’re down and then…either pray that the pickup works, or do what most groups seem to be doing these days and have everyone run out. Due to the nature of the champions getting dismounted sprawled out across the room, it is incredibly difficult to pick the three champions up without one or two party members getting insta-gibbed, unless you manage to dismount them pretty much on top of each other (which we made happen once!) I wish it were different, because I hate the feeling of defeat of running out, but it is definitely easier.
Kill priorities: The shaman heals, so he’s a great target to focus on first. Always number one or two on the list should be the rogue when she is around (female dwarf rogue, wtf?!?). Her poison pools and FoK spam can be lethal and leads to a burden for the healer. Same with the warrior, his Bladestorm and the knockback charge plus Mortal Strike are a PITA. The only problems with mage and hunter are that they are ranged, so it can be difficult to cluster them with the melee mobs. This is more difficult with the hunter, as you can effectively bring the mage into melee range using Heroic Throw or Shield Bash if you are spec’d into Gag Order. Use the normal trick with NPC hunters, slowly move backwards and they will stay in melee range.
Summary: choose a good kill priority, interrupt casts whenever you can, move out of poison pools. Don’t forget to keep the ranged champions clustered with the melee so you won’t lose aggro on them.
- Legguards of Abandoned Fealty (normal mode): fantastic pants easily outshining the legs from heroic Violet Hold
- Mark of the Relentless (heroic mode): fabulous ring very similar to Signet of the Accord, just without defense and increased stats. If you can pull off wearing it despite it not having defense, it’s awesome. I put a +30 stamina gem into it.
No matter which of the two bosses you get for the 2nd encounter, you have to deal with three groups of three trash mobs. A priestess, a lightbringer aka paladin and a monk. Unsurprisingly, the priestess heals and on heroic she also MCs, so make sure to interrupt both. The Lightbringer does annoying paladin things. The monk bubbles at the end which slows you down, and that’s just about all it does, annoying each and every person. Pull the priestess with Heroic Throw and tank and spank ‘em.
The two possible bosses have similar loot tables, but they’re not quite identical, so I will list all possible loot for them individually.
Argent Confessor Paletress
The scantily dressed clone of Scarlet Monastery’s Whitemane that listens to confessions on the tournament grounds is the more annoying of the two bosses and on heroic is a serious DPS check. If your DPS does not break 1.5k DPS, you will have a hard time here as some serious damage is flung about that will tax the healer. When she first aggros after the last trash mob is down, she will cast holy spells like Smite and Holy Fire. Smite has a very short cast time but you can time your Shield Bash and force her into melee, which looks funny, and the healer will like it. Once she’s at 25%, she will knock people back, cast a reflective shield on herself and summon a Memory. No matter which Memory you get, be it Heigan or Hogger, they all have the same abilities. The Memory fears for 3 seconds, causes shadow damage and slows down, and puts a bleed on people. Ah, and not to forget the melee damage. The Memory has a big healthpool, 390k to 485k depending on which mode you are in. It’s ideal to have a shaman with a tremor totem, but if that’s not available, use Berserker Rage to break fear. The Memories fear frequently, so BR might be on cooldown still at times.
Once the Memory is out, the encounter turns into a DPS race. The Memory needs to be burned, because while it fears and all the good stuff, Paletress will cast Renew on herself and the Memory and she will smite without any kind of aggro table, which places a strain on the healer. It is only when the Memory is down that her reflective shield drops and you bring her down. Dependent on how long it took you to get the Memory down, she might be at full health again. Dispel all subsequent attempts at Renewing with your friendly Shield Slam and collect some shiny gear at the end of it all.
Summary: burn her, interrupt her holy spells when you can. Burn the Memory, break fear, bring high DPS. Once the Memory is down, it should be no problem to get her down as well.
- Mercy’s Hold (normal mode) – lovely gloves, easily beating our T7 gloves
- Regal Aurous Shoulderplates (heroic mode) – say it isn’t so, but these shoulders are fabulous. I will have to replace my beloved T7 shoulders with these boring looking ones. But the stats are awesome.
- Helm of the Crestfallen Challenger (heroic mode) – same ol’ look as the Tempered Titansteel, this winged helmet is heavy on parry, stamina, hit. It’s a steal. And a blue socket. This can be turned into a stamina monster.
- Peacekeeper Blade (heroic mode) – turkey knife, or lovely itemized tanking sword that has no no defense? It has a yellow socket however, so you can gem it for defense without losing the expertise bonus, or whatever you want to stuff in there. WTB more tanking axes.
Eadric the Pure
Compared to Paletress, he’s a harmless loot pinata. As a paladin, he will throw his Hammer of the Righteous at people. This can be dispelled. Or you throw the hammer back at him, as your main action bar will be replaced with a hammer button once the stun wears off. Other than that, you only need to pay attention to his Radiance spell. He loudly announces the cast, you turn your back to him until he’s done, and then you continue. Harmless, easy, tank and spank.
Summary: tank and spank, turn your back on him when he casts Radiance.
- Boots of Heartfelt Repentance (normal mode) – perfectly itemized tanking boots that easily beat Noth’s boots from Naxx-10.
- Peacekeeper Blade (heroic mode) – see above
- Helm of the Crestfallen Challenger (heroic mode) – see above
The Black Knight
This three phase encounter is the most heal-intensive and challenging of the three encounters. I would be lying if I didn’t say that I myself am at times having problems keeping phase 2 under control.
The Black Knight is a pretty default DK, who uses diseases and summons the herald he killed as ghoul. As the herald will annoyingly jump around siwtching aggro and will also explode after a while, he should be quickly burned at the start of the fight. I have not been able to interrupt Death’s Respite, which is the knockback he casts on random party members. This is a very easy phase.
He comes back as a skeleton who immediately starts casting Army of the Dead. It’s easiest here if everyone piles up on the tank because trust me, running around like a headless chicken peeling single ghouls of the 8 ghouls that are summoned is no fun whatsoever. If everyone’s on top of the tank, it is a lot easier to keep this encounter under control. These ghouls need to be killed quickly. If you see them start growing you must run out immediately, as the explosions hurt a lot. It is important to move out of the Desecration that the Black Knight will cast on random targets. If you can get rid of the ghouls quickly, this is not too bad at all.
This is the ‘Let’s pray enough people survive’ part of the fight. It’s made infinitely easier by having Shadow Protection from a priest or paladin available. The Black Knight will cast a stacking shadow damage attack at people, plus he will cast a non-dispellable debuff on someone increasing damage by 200%. So basically, if you’re unlucky and the healer gets hit, this can get rough. Save cooldowns for this part of the fight, and blow them all, this is the ultimate DPS race.
- The Black Heart (normal mode) – this trinket makes the place the place-to-be for any tank. 126 stamina and a frequent proc is amazing. Do it, become a member of the Black Heart club!
- Girdle of the Pallid Knight (normal mode) – definitely on par with the EoH belt, and a very welcome addition to a weak slot in ilevel 200 gear.
- The Warlord’s Depravity (heroic mode) – the BK’s only tank drop on heroic is a pretty nice necklace that has dodge and a whopping 104 SBV. I merely use this for threat fights, the very easily obtainable Shard of the Crystal Forest is far superior as far as necklaces go.
Hope this is helpful to some of you. Enjoy running the place, and may the loot gods grant you better tank favor than they’ve granted me lately! *mumbles about spellpower plate*
It’s been a while since I posted versions I and II of the shopping list (pre-heroic and heroic gear). Ulduar is live, and then there’s the good ol’ Naxx gear, so it’s time to look at the three top pieces of gear for all slots, for the 10-man raider. Before you ask, I won’t make a 25-man list, but Wowraid has comprehensive prot warrior lists that include the 25-mans and their Ulduar hard mode drops. There’s plenty of tanking blogs out there that will run T8.5 content, so I reach out my welcoming arms to those who will remain in T8 content, like me.
To help out beginning raiders in finding upgrades, I will include a minimum of one Naxxramas-10 drop in each category. Also included is badge-gear that can be purchased with Emblems of Valor.
- Valorous Siegebreaker Greathelm – Mimiron, Ulduar. I am not fully sold on the itemization of this helmet, block rating, huh. Still, a strong piece, as one should expect from the T8 headpiece.
- Ironbark Faceguard – Freya, Ulduar – Now that’s a sweet piece, with plenty of expertise. My gut feeling prefers this hat to the T8 one.
- Thane’s Tainted Greathelm – Four Horsemen, Naxxramas – Easily beats the T7 hat for avoidance, and is your best bet for avoidance fights. Would prefer having it for starting Ulduar.
- Heroes’ Dreadnaught Greathelm – Kel’thuzad, Naxxramas – For me the weakest piece of the T7 set and the part I swap out for bosses. Very heavy on threat stats, so it gets its time to shine when tanking trash or farm content.
- Mark of the Unyielding – Kologarn, Ulduar – a beautiful avoidance piece which is a direct upgrade from the Naxxramas necklace listed below.
- Fervor of the Protectorate – Ulduar trash drop – Not really the best itemization for warriors, but if you’re heavily loaded with defense, you might use it as a threat piece. If not, I would pass it to a DK who is interested in tanking.
- Amulet of Autopsy – Heigan, Naxxramas – The smaller version of the Kologarn neck. Armor, str and sta, def and dodge. Not bad.
- Medallion of the Disgraced – Naxxramas Trash – Here’s your warrior threat piece, with some lovely SBV value. Would not recommend for avoidance fights, but it’s lovely for sets heavy on SBV.
- Valorous Siegebreaker Pauldrons – Thorim, Ulduar – Another hybrid piece, with avoidance and threat stats both, but certainly nothing to sneeze at.
- Valorous Dreadnaught Pauldrons – 60 Emblems of Valor – Still a great piece of gear, with sockets, high dodge and some block rating.
- Shoulderguards of the Solemn Watch – Kologarn, Ulduar – More hybrid shoulders, and definitely weaker than the T8 shoulders, as they are itemized for parry and block rating. They also have no sockets at all. Maybe as a buffer piece until you get the T7.5 or T8 shoulders
- Abomination Shoulderblades – Patchwerk, Naxxramas – The best avoidance shoulders you will get in Naxxramas.
- Heroes’ Dreadnaught Pauldrons – Loatheb, Naxxramas – Last but not least, the T7 shoulders are also decent, the set bonus is great, so hold on to them for the bonus alone.
- Saronite Animus Cloak – General Vezax, Ulduar – I would consider it a sidegrade to the badge cloak, as it uses parry instead of dodge for avoidance.
- Platinum Mesh Cloak – 25 Emblems of Valor – a very nice cloak that doesn’t cost too much in badges.
- Gale-Proof Cloak Sartharion +1 – The only cloak with a socket, adding some flexibility to the cloak.
- Durable Nerubhide Cape – Leatherworking – Still a fabulous avoidance cloak to head into Ulduar and Naxxramas with, if you have the defense to afford wearing it.
- Cloak of Armed Strife – Maexxna, Naxxramas – This is definitely a threat piece, so is quite nice in a threat set. Would not wear it for progression.
- Valorous Siegebreaker Breastplate – Yogg-Saron, Ulduar – The next-to-last boss in Ulduar is hoarding chest tokens, so depending on your progression it might be a while until you see it. Definitely the case for me. Another parry heavy piece, Blizzard expects us to be very high on dodge at this point, I believe. This so far seems to be the only chestpiece that drops in Ulduar-10, which I find very disappointing.
- Heroes’ Dreadnaught Breastplate – 80 Emblems of Heroism/Four Horsemen, Naxxramas – Sockets, dodge, this is definitely a piece to buy with badges unless you get lucky with drops right from the start.
- Massive Skeletal Ribcage – Sapphiron, Naxxramas – Not a bad piece, but I prefer the T7 chest. Also, do not want to look like a DK.
- Flamewatch Armguards – Flame Leviathan, Ulduar – So the loot pinata of Ulduar drops these bracers. Bracers are a tricky piece for protection warriors, so there’s much love for getting shiny new bracers so early in Ulduar.
- Bracers of Dalaran’s Parapets – 60 Emblems of Valor – If you’re having no luck with the above, you can always buy those badge bracers. However, that also depends on your progress in Ulduar as slow progression means slow rate of getting badges.
- Minion Bracers – Naxxramas trash – The only bracers that drop in Naxxramas. I was lucky to get them early on, so cross your fingers every Naxx raid.
- Valorous Siegebreaker Handguards – Freya, Ulduar – On top of the avoidance, you get some hit, which is not as good as expertise, but not bad per se.
- Gauntlets of the Iron Furnace – Ignis the Furnace-Master, Ulduar – Armor penetration, wtf? A very strange stat to find on tank gloves, but probably part of the Blizzard drive to make armor penetration attractive. I don’t quite see it. Still, they score higher for avoidance than other gloves, so they might be worth a shot.
- Adamant Handguards – Ulduar trash – The same as the above can be said for these gloves. Higher on survivability, and yet they come with stuff like block rating.
- Heroes’ Dreadnaught Handguards – 60 Emblems of Heroism or Sartharion – One of the first badge purchases of every prot warrior, I would say.
- Indestructible Plate Girdle – Blacksmithing – I was on the fence if I should post the blacksmithing gear from Ulduar. The plans drop in Ulduar-25 after all, and this is a 10 man list. However, if you are rich and can find a crafter on your server, that’s the best you can shoot for.
- Stormtempered Girdle – Razorscale, Ulduar
- Waistguard of Living Iron – 40 Emblems of Heroism – A very solid choice, and not significantly worse than the above belts.
- Waistguard of the Tutor – Instructor Razuvious, Naxxramas – Merely listed for completion’s sake, this belt would do well in any SBV set, but is definitely inferior for avoidance.
- Gilded-Steel Legplates – Flame Leviathan, Hard Mode, Ulduar – Very heavy on defense, parry and expertise at the cost of 25 strength and a socket compared to T8. If you are ready to tackle hard modes, you’re probably justified with preferring parry because of dodge diminishing returns. I really need to check when DR make dodge less interesting.
- Valorous Siegebreaker Legguards – Hodir, Ulduar – Why we get stuff like SBV on our tier sets, I really do not understand.
- Archaedas’ Lost Legplates – Auriaya, Ulduar – This is for the discerning tank with no defense problems. Tanking pants with no defense at all in their budget, amazing stuff! :O If you can make them work using the yellow socket for extra defense, make it so, because they are pretty amazing, all things considered.
- Valorous Dreadnaught Legguards – 75 Emblems of Valor – T7.5 are still an option, if you cannot get a hold of any of the above before accumulating so many emblems.
- Heroes’ Dreadnaught Legguards – Thaddius, Naxxramas – If you are still in the Naxxramas bracket of raiding, Thaddius drops the token for the T7 legs, which aren’t bad at all.
- Legplates of Inescapable Death – Loatheb or Gluth, Naxxramas – The other pair of pants coming from Naxxramas are heavy on SBV and again best suited for a trash/heroics/farm set.
- Spiked Deathdealers – Blacksmithing – Another of the Ulduar-25 blacksmithing plans, so prepare to spend a lot of gold if you wish to get those made.
- Kyzoc’s Ground Stompers – 40 Emblems of Valor – Considering there are so few options when it comes to boots, this is likely going to be my first EoV purchase. Especially as Noth just isn’t coughing up my boots.
- Plague-Impervious Boots – Noth the Plaguebringer, Naxxramas – The only option for boots that actually drop in a 10-man raid.
- Shiver – Hodir, Hard Mode, Ulduar – This weapon was recently buffed, so is even nicer now. Disappointing for me that maces are what it’s at in Ulduar, but time for dwarves and humans to rejoice for extra expertise.
- Legacy of Thunder – Thorim, Ulduar – Holy moly, that’s a big mace to the face. No socket like Shiver, but beautiful stats otherwise. Do want.
- Slayer of the Lifeless – Gothik the Harvester, Naxxramas – Our tanking weapon drop from Naxxramas is a sword. Nice stats, and yet, why couldn’t it be an axe?
- Axe of the Sen’jin Protector – 25 Champions’ Seals – Technically speaking, this is not a raid drop, but it’s only a recent addition to the game not covered by my previous list. This is the axe for every discerning orc tank and all those tanks who are not having any luck in Heroic Utgarde Pinnacle. Easily obtainable if you can suffer through the monotony of the Argent Tournament dailies.
- The Boreal Guard – Hodir, Hard Mode, Ulduar – Hodir’s hard mode will probably be the dream to crack for any aspiring tank. Both the shield and the main hand are obtained that way.
- Shieldwall of the Breaker – Auriaya, Ulduar – Not a crazy huge upgrade from Malygos’ shield, but if you are already at the dodge cap for expertise, definitely worth replacing, for extra armor and stamina options. However, the stats are changed in 3.1.2, with extra expertise, so I don’t know which shield would be the winner anymore.
- Barricade of Eternity – Malygos – Ever felt like lugging around a Greek pillar? Here’s your shot. Pretty design, awesome stats.
- The Skull of Ruin – Grobbulus, Naxxramas – The only shield offering in Naxxramas is itemized for threat, and belongs into an SBV set. For avoidance fights, I would revert back to either the H CoS shield or the crafted one.
- Signet of Winter – Hodir, Ulduar – This BoE ring drops off Hodir and has no defense at all. If it didn’t have parry, it would scream druid ring. If you can afford wearing it, it’s certainly a strong offer.
- Signet of the Impregnable Fortress – 25 Emblems of Valor – What kind of name is that?? Packs huge defense, so it’s a very nice, early badge purchase. Lesigh, I should PUG Archavon some, shouldn’t I?
- Deflection Band – Anub’rekhan, Naxxramas – The tanking ring from Naxxramas drops very early in, has solid stats, not a bad option.
- Signet of the Accord – Sartharion – This BoE ring should be available on the AH, considering how easy a kill Sartharion with no drakes is.
- Furnace Stone – Ignis the Furnace Master, Ulduar – Prepare to fight feral druids for this trinket. Tons of avoidance, and a big armor boost on the on-use effect.
- Royal Seal of King Llane – Yogg-Saron, Ulduar – Massive amounts of stamina. The on-use might not be as useful as some, but it’s still good. Effective health + avoidance, always cool in my book.
- Repelling Charge – Thaddius, Naxxramas – Otherwise known as ‘the trinket that drops when I am on my healer’. This should fill any defense gaps, and the on-use is -nice-.
- Valor Medal of the First War – 40 Emblems of Heroism – one of the mandatory badge purchases, IMHO. In a time where you don’t easily have access to a lot of avoidance trinkets, this should do the trick on progression content.
Hope you enjoyed. Wish me the best of luck, we’re heading into Ulduar with an expeditionary force on Saturday, to see how we will fare there.
Remember my first shopping list for prot warriors? Wildly popular! Got everything you needed from that list and are eager to run your first heroics? Then let’s do that and check out where you can get the next best gear upgrades.
I am assuming that you have 535 defense, the value to be uncrittable in heroics. If it’s any less, go back to the older list and gear up some more, do your group a favor.
All gear listed will come from four possible sources: BoE crafted or drop, reputation rewards, heroic instance drops or gear you can buy with Emblems of Heroism. If you enjoy spreadsheets, check out the spreadsheet version of this list.
- Tempered Titansteel Helm crafted by blacksmiths. Easy to get, this is still the top dog for me, because of the changes in 3.0.8. A meta and a blue socket? Yes please!
- Arcane-Shielded Helm – Grand Magus Telestra in H Nexus. Meta and a blue socket, yes please! (Sense a theme here?) Also, very high dodge, this is the avoidance helmet of this list.
- Ground Tremor Helm – Moorabi in H Gundrak. Meta and a red socket, sure! This is the threat helmet, with the red socket just asking for a nice threat gem like e.g. Guardian’s Twilight Opal, and the hit rating on it.
- Chained Military Gorget – 25 Emblems of Heroism. What a sweet piece of necklace. I am looking forward to buying this as the first thing I’ll buy with badges.
- Titanium Earthguard Chain – crafted by Jewelcrafters. Until you can afford the badge necklace, this is still a fabulous piece. Befriend a JCer now.
- Shadowseeker’s Pendant – Jedoga Shadowseeker in H Ahn’kahet: The Old Kingdom. If neither of the epic necklaces are available to you, this is a very solid drop with avoidance on top.
- Durable Nerubhide Cape – crafted by Leatherworkers. As long as you can stay crit-immune, this is an incredible cloak.
- Tattered Castle Drape – BoE drop from H Utgarde Keep. Pretty much a sidegrade to the Wyrmrest Cloak but great for SBV sets, if you’re building one.
- Cloak of Peaceful Resolutions – Honored with Wyrmrest Accord. Still really easy to get, and still a very solid cloak to wear until you can get a better one.
- Wapach’s Spaulders of Solidarity – World Drop. I hate it when world drops are the top of any list, but these are the best pre-raiding shoulders you can get. Wishing you the lucky break!
- Pauldrons of the Colossus – Drakkari Colossus in H Gundrak. Unusually, they have shield block rating as second stat, and they have a socket. Pretty nice piece.
- Iron Dwarf Smith Pauldrons – General Bjarngrim in H Halls of Lightning. Last in line with that item-level, they’re solid, though I prefer the flexibility of a socket. Also, prefer most other stats to parry, but beggers can’t be choosers, so I’d take them if I ever dared set foot into the heroic version of that instance.
- Heroes’ Dreadnaught Breastplate – 80 Emblems of Heroism. If you don’t want to wait for the lucky day that you get the T7 token into your hands, you can spend 80 emblems on buying it. Interesting approach to tier gear. The 2 piece bonus already sets my heart aflutter.
- Breastplate of the Solemn Council – Revered with Wyrmrest Accord. Do your dailies, grab this incredible chestpiece. It really is that good.
- Sun-Emblazoned Chestplate – Sjonnir the Ironshaper in H Halls of Stone. I prefer the expertise of the Wyrmrest chestpiece, but if for some reason you’re really set on getting your hit up instead, this would be a good chestpiece for you.
- Bracers of the Herald – Herald Volazj in H Ahn’kahet: The Old Kingdom. This is one of those must-haves from heroics, the best bracers you will find. Let’s just hope you can brave the Insanity long enough to be able to loot it.
- Bindings of Dark Will – Salramm the Fleshcrafter in H The Culling of Stratholme. Good bracers are few and far between these days, so if you don’t want to wear the Tempered Saronite bracers forever, these are a good bet.
- Svala’s Bloodied Shackles – Svala Sorrowgrave in Utgarde Pinnacle. The state of the prot warrior bracers is so dire that I am listing this drop from normal UP. They’re still the third best.
- Heroes’ Dreadnaught Handguards – 60 Emblems of Heroism Got a socket, are very well-balanced, clearly the top of the pack, especially when you’re not raiding yet.
- Horn-Tipped Gauntlets – Gal’darah in H Gundrak. Holy moly, look at all that expertise. Do want.
- Fireproven Gauntlets – Exalted with Kirin Tor. If you’re not having drop luck to get the gloves from Gundrak, or simply do not care to run the instance (I have heard nasty stories), these gloves are almost as good, and just about the only reason for prot warriors to grind KT rep.
- Waistguard of Living Iron – 40 Emblems of Heroism. Very solid stats, so if you have nothing comparable and don’t want to run H Azjol-Nerub much, this is the belt for you.
- Ancient Aligned Girdle – Anub’arak in H Azjol-Nerub. At least you have this ray of sunshine waiting at the end of one of the harder heroics out there.
- Skadi’s Iron Belt – Skadi the Ruthless in H Utgarde Pinnacle. On your way to gaining your Red Sword of Courage you should be able to pick up this lovely belt that makes a great addition for any SBV set.
- Bolstered Legplates – Cyanigosa in H Violet Hold. Not much to say, best until Naxx, very good piece of gear and thanks to coming from H VH probably one of the easiest ones to get.
- Ley-Guardian’s Legguards – Eregos in H Oculus. This instance is probably my least favorite because there are so many annoying factors in there, including vehicle combat. Nevertheless, there’s some fine tanking gear to get.
- Legplates of the Infinite Drakonid – Chrono-Lord Epoch in H The Culling of Stratholme. The lack of socket puts it lowest on my pants totem pole, but they’re still pretty good stuff, until you get the Bolstered Legplates.
- Tempered Titansteel Treads – crafted by blacksmiths. They are easy to obtain, have the highest stamina and the highest armor. This is why I rank them highest. In reality, they’re really tied with the other two pairs of boots I am listing, which really makes this a tie between the crafted boots or the Wyrmrest rep boots, unless you’re a huge avoidance fan.
- Greaves of Ancient Evil – Herald Volazj in H Ahn’kahet: The Old Kingdom. Lots of dodge, for avoidance fans.
- Sabatons of Draconic Vigor – Revered with Wyrmrest Accord. Easy to get, excellent boots.
- Red Sword of Courage – King Ymiron in H Utgarde Pinnacle. The Sun Eater of a new generation, we are all facing running this instance whenever we can (and get past the Skadi gauntlet) just to get our greedy hands on it.
- Infantry Assault Blade – Prince Keleseth in H Utgarde Keep. No luck in UP? Visit the easier instance downstairs and the first boss might have a sword for you. Unfortunately it’s slow, but still quite nice.
- Cloudstrider’s Waraxe – Varos Cloudstrider in H Oculus. As discerning orc, this axe would make a shiny toy for me until I get that sword, but sadly, it just has to drop in Oculus of all places. Boo!
- Crygil’s Discarded Plate Panel – 35 Emblems of Heroism. As badge competition is high, you might wish to pick up one of the other shields first and burn badges on this very nice one later. All the top shields are pretty nice.
- Royal Crest of Lordaeron – Mal’ganis in H The Culling of Stratholme. Such a beautiful model, though there are silly cries that use horde tanks should not use it. Pfft, I say. Stat-wise, ahead of the Titansteel one, so if I get my hands on it, it’s mine!
- Titansteel Shield Wall – crafted by blacksmiths. Easy to get, so still top of the line.
The next two categories, rings and trinkets, are not listed in order of priority, I just picked six very good candidates for those slots. Your own mileage may vary. Rings and trinkets are best for rounding your character, to fill stat gaps and such.
- Titanium Earthguard Ring – crafted by Jewelcrafters. It’s awesome, it has a socket, it can be bought for gold from any jewelcrafter with the design. Win!
- Keystone Great-Ring – The Prophet Tharon’ja in H Drak’tharon Keep. Screams druid, but if you’re above the crit-limit defense-wise, this is very tasty.
- Band of Torture – Drakos the Interrogator in H Oculus. Much armor on this ring, which makes it pretty attractive.
- Nerubian Shield Ring – Elder Nadox in H Ahn’kahet: The Old Kingdom. Lots of armor rings available, looks like. The differences to Band of Torture are minuscule.
- Ring of Earthen Might – crafted by Jewelcrafters. Armor, dodge, str/sta and a socket, and reaaaaally easy mats.
- Woeful Band – Maiden of Grief in H Halls of Stone. I don’t care too much for parry, but that’s what this ring offers aside from the staples of str/sta and defense.
- Essence of Gossamer – Hadronox in H Azjol-Nerub. 111 stamina? Hot diggity damn. A mitigation effect proc? That’s some fine trinket to me.
- Valor Medal of the First War – 40 Emblems of Heroism. My, you look a lot like Moroes’ Lucky Pocketwatch, don’t you?
- Darkmoon Card: Greatness – Darkmoon Nobles’ Deck. So much strength. Of course you can also get the agility trinket, for extra mitigation and crit, but I would go for strength, most likely. The proc would be strength for prot warriors. There’s a reason cards of the nobles deck are insanely expensive atm. Befriend a scribe.
- Seal of the Pantheon – Loken in Halls of Lightning. Wot, a normal instance drop, listed? Yup, because it’s still the only defense trinket, and defense is awesome. The on-use is also nice. Never dropped for me, of course.
- Offering of Sacrifice – Gal’darah in H Gundrak. Your basic armor trinket that offers an extra Last Stand effect. Combine with Enraged Regeneration to save your ass.
WotLK brought us the new vehicle system, and a lot of quests where you have to use vehicles, amongst them a bunch of rep dailies. I know some of my guildies are struggling, I certainly was cursing and struggling with some of them. Nowadays I just breeze through, and I thought I’d share my mini-guide on the three worst offenders.
Defending Wyrmrest Temple:
This is probably the easiest of the three quests in this guide, but it can still get frustrating. It’s fairly buggy, so targetting the blue dragons around the temple gets annoying at times, as the dragons are either tapped or you get ‘Target not in line of sight’ errors. The fastest way to get this quest done is to fly out to the Azure Dragonshrine right away. Zoom down into the ley-line in the center, press 5, fly out again. This action alone will have aggro’d a lot of the dragons around the shrine, so be ready to hit 3 for Renew and start breathing fire on the mean blue dragons. Azure Drakes die very easily. One Fireball and one fire DoT and they’re dead. DoT a drake, use the main attack and then switch to another target. Azure Dragons are trickier. They have a lot more health. It will take two breath attacks, plus two DoT durations to kill them. Again, start with the DoT, two fireballs, reapply DoT, move on to the next target. Should you get more than 3-4 dragons on you and your Renew doesn’t keep you up, there’s no shame in using 4 to quickly fly away to safety. It’s less frustrating than being shot from the sky, that’s for sure. I get this quest done in 3-4 minutes, and I am daydreaming of actually getting the 2 minute achievement one fine day.
TLDR Summary: 2, 1 for Azure Drakes, 2, 2×1, 2 for Azure Dragons, 5 at the ley-line. Use 3 and 4 when necessary
Another Wyrmrest daily, so more dragon action. It’s also training for Malygos phase 3 as you get to control the same dragons there. The first couple times I did this I thought I’d never be able to beat it, but once you follow a specific strategy, it just works. The most important part is that you need to be able to see buffs on your vehicle unit frame. If you don’t you might have a problem. Once that’s settled, this is almost easy. Once you have hopped onto your dragon, press 3 five times for a fully 5-stacked Revivify on your dragon. Then quickly grab the closest dragon by pressing 1 and keep doing this 3-4 times. If you have low latency, even 5 times. Press 2 to use your shiny combo points, then immediately press 3 to keep your 5-stack of Revivify up. The key is that you keep Revivify up, because a fully stacked one will keep you alive. However, keep a close eye on the cast bar of the blue dragons. If you see them cast Arcane Surge and their health is above 50%, press 5 immediately to protect you from massive burst damage.
TLDR Summary: 5×3 then repeat 4×1, 2, 3
Thrusting Hodir’s Spear
Both the coolest and the most frustrating of the vehicle dailies, and the only daily where you can die and get no parachute to safely glide to the ground with when you get knocked from the sky. If you fall, you get to smash on the ground. Next time you see a corpse in Dun Niffelem, feel for them. Btw, this particular part of the guide is dedicated to Niza, one of my guildmates. She gets the giggles whenever I complain that Thrusting Hodir’s Spear is hard. It must be the hormones, after all the horn-blowing and helmet polishing she’s done for the Sons, that she finds this funny In this quest a proto-drake picks you up and all that you have is a spear and your hands holding on for dear life to best this drake. The fight against the drake has 2 phases, with two different skillsets to use.
Phase 1: Keep your eye on the grip debuff and never let this get below 30. If it’s below 30, spam it 2-3 times. When Dodge is off its cooldown, use it. When 4 is off cooldown, always use it, it’s your big damage attack. Always use 1 after 4 to get your grip up again. If neither 2 nor 4 are available and your grip is up, spam the hell out of 3. Your goal is to get the drake to 25% health way before it’s flying above Dun Niffelem, the faster the better. The longer it takes, the harder it is to keep your grip up, until grip decays so quickly that it’s impossible to hold on.
Phase 2: Once the drake is at 25% health, he will want to snack on you in its maw, so now you only have two actions available to you. A stackable debuff trying to open the maw of the drake, and Fatal Strike. The more debuffs you have stacked, the higher the chance that your Fatal Strike meets the target. Again, this phase is a race for time, as you will steadily lose health from being chewed on. Spam 1 until you have at least 10 stacks up, press 3, pray it hits, and if not, spam 1 some more while 3 is on its 5 sec cooldown and hope you’ll be alive to try another time.
TLDR Summary: in phase one, press 1 when grip < 30, spam 3, use 2 and 4 every cooldown. In phase 2, spam 1 til you have 10 stacks, 3 until dead. Collect 500 rep and the feeling of being awesome!
Time for another reference guide, mostly for myself, hopefully of interest for others too. A new expansion means new consumables, from buff foods to elixirs to flasks. Let’s see what’s out there.
- The Health pot du jour is called Runic Healing Potion this time around. Due to potion sickness, chain-chugging is a thing of the past, so time your potion use carefully.
- As alternative to using a health potion, you could try an Indestructible Potion instead. That’s a lot of armor that might help in encounters with Enrages or very heavy melee damage.
- Guru’s Elixir raises all stats by 20, so is quite the excellent choice.
- Elixir of Expertise does exactly what the name suggests, raising expertise. Strong stat for tanks, so it’s a very good consumable to use, if you’re not using a flask.
- In a similar vein, you could also use Elixir of Accuracy for hit rating for threat.
- If you can’t get either of those battle elixirs, I would use either Elixir of Lightning Speed, Elixir of Deadly Strikes or Elixir of Armor Piercing, but I personally don’t think they’re as strong as the other two.
- You want to use something that scales with Blessing of Kings? How about Elixir of Mighty Strength for bigger Shield Slams?
- If you’re of the druidic persuasion, Elixir of Mighty Agility is probably the best option.
- Elixir of Mighty Fortitude is very nifty, and offers tons of extra health plus regen.
- Defense is a very strong avoidance stat nowadays and still worth stacking beyond the crit cap, so I highly endorse Elixir of Mighty Defense.
- Elixir of Protection offers extra armor, I will have to test if I get more mileage out of extra armor than any of the others.
- Flask of Stoneblood is the tanking flask, I suppose. It’s a shame that it’s just health now, no longer any extra defense.
- If health is no concern and you want to increase your personal DPS and threat, there’s Flask of Endless Rage.
All the new buff food brings back all the stats that show up on gear these days. You get to choose between strength, agility, expertise, hit, haste, armor penetration, crit rating plus 40 stamina. Which one you want to use is really up to you. Used an expertise battle elixir? Combine it with buff food that gives you extra strength, e.g.
- Strength: Dragonfin Filet
- Agility: Blackened Dragonfin
- Expertise: Rhinolicious Wyrmsteak
- Hit: Snapper Extreme
- Haste: Imperial Manta Steak or Very Burnt Worg
- Armor Penetration: Hearty Rhino
- Crit: Spiced Wyrm Burger or Spicy Blue Nettlefish
Lots of options. Think I missed anything? Leave a comment.