I’ve fallen in love …

August 17, 2009 at 2:24 pm 4 comments

… with tanking!

My baby paladin isn’t a baby anymore.  Thanks to a whirlwind heroic spree and some insanely good luck (including an Essence of Gossamer and Ancient Aligned Girdle out of her very first heroic!), “little” Larissyn went from stumbling through regular Halls of Lightning to off-tanking Ulduar 10 in a little less than two weeks.

It started on Wednesday, when I joined an alt-friendly “guild PuG” of VoA 25.  Several of our real tanks were there, but they opted to DPS and let me MT (mostly because of the strangled noises I made on Vent, I’m sure >.<).  After I stopped /flailing — at this point, I had yet to tank anything harder that Heroic Trial of the Champion — I buckled down and …

Hey, no deaths! 

On Thursday evening, Jef’s baby retadin — the oh-so creatively named “Retnewb” /cough — and I joined a (mostly) alt run of Naxx 10.  I off-tanked for my guild’s main tankadin … which means that I ended up perfecting my prot-DPS rotation, because holding aggro against a full T8.5 tank with BiS everything was near impossible.  Still, Eanin let me MT a few bosses, including Maexxana but excluding Thaddius (because they still don’t trust me to make that jump). 

It was at this point that my luck turned slightly sour: only one tank drop — a defense trinket I didn’t need with my current set, but pocketed for future use) — but a ton of spellpower plate that Retnewb wouldn’t touch with a 10-foot polearm (if he happened to have one, that is; the RNG has not smiled upon He Of The Porcupine Hair).

Dear Naxx,

You’re about as subtle as a wolvar in the Venture Bay Aquarium. 

No, I do not want to heal.  Thankyouverymuch.  If I found clicking brightly colored boxes in no particular order fun and stimulating, I would be a shaman.

Oh, wait …

No Love,

Nonetheless, I threw on my new Holy gear and hastily assembled dual-spec for Sapphiron and Kel’Thuzad, to help our druid healer  in the event of an untimely iceblock.  (I feel compelled to mention that the sapling in question is the alt — the alt! — of one of our core hunters.  He solo-healed all four wings with no wipes and only the occasional clothie death.  Seriously: nerf druids.)

I was feeling a little better about my fledgling tanking skills after that Naxx 10, so when a few of the guild’s better geared alts decided to run a late night Uld 10, I said “screw you” to sleep and volunteered to off-tank.

Naturally, they PuG’d a Death Knight.  Thanks for the vote of confidence, guys!

The Death Knight ended up /afking out while the group was still in the (seemingly interminable) forming stages, so I was pulled in it at the eleventh hour and in an act of what I’m sure was sheer desperation. 

And, lo and behold …

It went well.  Shockingly well, given that both tanks were alts, both healers were alts and DPS ranged from our guild’s powerhouse of a ret paladin, to an enhancement shaman who dies so often he really should consider training Spirit of Redemption, to my fiance’s woefully undergeared altadin (who nonetheless pulled third damage on a few fights).

Flame Leviathan.  Piece of cake.  My paladin actually helped three-man him when she was still in Ornate Saronite, and her ilevels have improved considerably since then.

Razorscale.  Easy one-shot.  I was terrified of adds running amok and slaughtering clothies, but they were actually easy to pick up and control.  I noticed after the first wave of adds that our MT would walk his pack over to mine, presumably to to make things easier on DPS, so I started trying to meet him halfway.  The taunt rotation on Razorscale went smoothly, although I needed a quick crash course on Vent.  (“Announce it when you get your third stack; taunt when he gets his.”  Simple enough.)

Ignis.  I was on construct duty.   Since we were running a pretty strong group, even for alts, we decided to tank the constructs and simply burn Ignis.  By the end of the fight I had five or six constructs on me and was barely feeling it.  I did mistaunt at one point, which led to a loose construct in the raid (my healer resto-tanked it for the eight seconds it took for my taunts to come off cooldown >.>), but I eventually managed to get him back.  (Note to self: mouseover macros!)

XT-Deconstructor.  Add duty again.  We accidentally triggered hardmode (oops!), and I somehow managed to get targetted for no less than six light and gravity bombs in a row, so I spent most of the attempt running back and forth, taunting the spark towards the melee and dropping void zones as far away from the ranged as my size 6 sabatons could take me.  It was frantic and fun, but we just weren’t prepared for hardmode so we ended up wiping it and going for the fast, normal kill.

Iron Council.  I tanked Stealbreaker, and then Runemaster after Stealbreaker went down.  I don’t think I completely sucked at kiting Stealbreaker out of runes of power … which I know from our many, many 25-man hardmode wipes is kind of, sort of important. (Jef said I did great, but has ulterior motives so I tend not to believe him.)

Auriaya.  Ugh.  I had the hardest time controlling the kitties!  I threw my shield at them as soon as they were in range, but one of them escaped and went straight for my healer.  She got a couple of good swipes in before I finally managed to pull her away.  This fight, more than anything else in the real or virtual world, reminds me why I’m a dog person.

Thorim.  Tunnel duty!   The arena team actually wiped on our first attempt (Our priest died, so we were forced to activate hardmode so the resto druid who had been healing me could jump down into the arena to save the MT … but solo-healing hardmode Thorim on an alt run?  So not happening.), so I had two opportunities to tank in the tunnel.  Fortunately, I’m often assigned to heal Keaton while he tanks this in our achievement run and in Uld25, so there were no real surprises.  I was a little nervous about the tanking rotation on Thorim himself, but between Jef whispering me when to taunt and DMB announcing it in big blue letters, I was able to figure it out.  >.>

Mimiron.  P1 = Prot DPS.  P2 = More Prot DPS.  P3 = OMG-THERE-ARE-ADDS-EVERYWHERE-TAUNT-IS-ALWAYS-ON-COOLDOWN-AND-LOOK!-THE-SHADOW-PRIEST-IS-DEAD-AGAIN!.  P4 = … I’m facedown on the floor, but so is Mimiron, so.  Whatever.

We called it there. 

Niether tank had a FrR set for Hodir, and it was a little too late in the night to contemplate the small wilderness that is the Conservatory of Life.  We may pick it up again tonight, if our achievement run isn’t able to field a group (we’re currently working on Firefighter on our mains /shudder), or we may just let the ID reset and try again next week. 

The hands down best part of the run?  Hearing “… Hey, when did Elle break 40K HP?” on Vent. 

That totally made my night.  T8 shoulders and a new holy shield were just icing on the cake.


Entry filed under: WoW. Tags: .

On a lighter note … Introducing: Elam!

4 Comments Add your own

  • 1. shamanonramen  |  August 17, 2009 at 3:41 pm

    I would like to say that I consider dying an art form, and that the floor is a comfortable place to be.

    Also, you’re the one who body pulled the adds that killed me! D:

    So looking forward to picking it up again tonight if we do. Accidental hardmoding thorim and xt was pretty pro. ❤ (Also, since I pulled off at 400 and staarted hitting assault bots for fun AND I have no dots, hardmode XT was -so- not my fault. Blame Fleaton. :D)

  • 2. BobTurkey  |  August 17, 2009 at 4:58 pm

    Given your other exploits in the post you could probably risk doing hodir without FR gear. 🙂

  • 3. Light  |  August 17, 2009 at 6:02 pm


    Strange, I switched my druid over to tanking recently and have been trying to tank heroics…

    Stop channeling 🙂

  • 4. TheReaper  |  August 18, 2009 at 1:43 am

    I love tanking on my alt pally as well, its a really nice change of pace from dpsing all the time (even though my rogue has successfully evasion-tanked a few Uld25 bosses ^^).
    Btw, next time you mistaunt, remember that you have two taunts on separate cooldowns (remember that our “AE-taunt” only grabs mobs from one specific player, so unlike the warrior/druid ones it can be used without taunting the boss), so there should be no need for your healers to tank 😉


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