Lookit's Guide to Tanking Heroics

Moderators: Fridmarr, Worldie, Aergis

Lookit's Guide to Tanking Heroics

Postby Lookit » Fri May 09, 2008 2:38 pm

Making the transition from tanking Normal instances to Heroics can be a challenge for freshly dinged paladins. Between other players being leery of a tank that's not in full epics, and mobs that can seemingly grind you into the dirt faster than you can type "Hold me!", most players find their first badges to be their hardest won.

This guide is an attempt at making a newer tank's initial foray into heroics guided by sound principles and as relatively pain-free as possible. There is definitely an easy and a hard way to do them, and the more you know about the easy way the better off you'll be.


The most common mistake newer tanks make when gearing for heroics is to sacrifice stamina by trying to become "uncrushable" by getting 102.4% combined block & avoidance. The simple fact of the matter is that no mobs in heroics can crush, so this is completely unnecessary. Only mobs 3 levels higher than you can deal crushing blows, and the highest level mob you will encounter in a heroic is 72. Instead of making avoidance your first priority, when putting together your gear set for heroics you should focus primarily on stamina, followed by balanced amounts of spell damage, block value, and avoidance. This means gemming and enchanting for stamina when possible, since those are the areas of your itemization fully within your control and not left to the cruel mistress of drop luck.

Avoidance is still certainly useful for heroics, as an attack you dodge is just that much less damage for your healer to worry about, but when first starting out your healers will generally have an easier time keeping you up with an extra 2k health instead of an extra 5% avoidance. Additionally, between Blessing of Kings and the prot talents that increase stamina by 16%, paladins get a lot of extra bang for the buck when it comes to stacking stamina.

It requires 485 defense to be uncrittable in heroics, and you should consider that the bare minimum amount of defense to have in a heroic. You can substitute resilience for this if you have some PvP gear in your set, and particularly when starting out, both the Season 2 Merciless Gladiator's Gavel and the Merciless Gladiator's Shieldwall are solid choices, due to the spell damage on the gavel and the high armor on the shieldwall. To determine if you have enough combined defense and resilience to remain uncrittable, check your character screen and make sure that your reduction in chance to be crit from defense and from resilience add up to at least 5.4%.

Since you will generally be the only tank in a 5-man group, don't pass up on tanking gear that may end up being useful down the road. Items that may seem to be a downgrade to you now may come in very handy in the future as you continue to juggle your gear around to reach uncrushability or put together a solid threat set. Being a dedicated tank means having different sets for different situations, whether it's "Max Avoidance", "Max Effective Health" or "Max Threat".

With these general gearing guidelines in mind, here are some great resources for relatively easy to get tanking gear:

http://www.wowwiki.com/BC_tanking_equip ... paladin%29

The above list, while far from comprehensive, offers an excellent overview of the tanking gear out there of interest to paladins.

http://www.wowwiki.com/BC_tanking_equip ... 9/Karazhan

The above list has several easy to get pre-raid tanking pieces, although since its purpose is to get you ready for Kara, it focuses on uncrushability more than stacking stamina. Still an excellent resource.

Just remember that in the beginning, your gear choices will be dictated by what you have access to. Particularly as you're trying to create both a heroic set and a raidboss set, there is going to be a lot of juggling. You are not going to start out having a perfectly themed heroic set, but just bear in mind the different requirements of heroics vs raids to help give yourself an advantage when choosing what to wear for each.

Assembling a Group

We've all had the nightmare PuGs. The mage who opens every pull with a pyroblast and pulls aggro. The hunter who cannot seem to remember that multishot will break sheep. The warlock who enjoys pulling when you and the healer are out of mana. I therefore implore you to take time to cultivate a decent friends list, and to find a guild that runs heroics regularly! By running with the same people, you will spend more time sailing through instances and less time explaining loot rules and which targets mean what. Take the time to be polite to your groupmates, and let them know if you thought they did a great job and you'd love to run with them again. Don't leave your party makeup to the grim whims of fate, or you will be haunted by hunters that randomly go afk for 20 minutes and feral druids who seem to think Tranquility should never under any circumstances be used.

Working as a Team

When you are just starting out and still a bit undergeared, the best thing you can do to increase your survivability is to get your whole team to work together at keeping you alive. Most DPS classes think that keeping the tank alive has nothing to do with them, but every class has ways of reducing the amount of damage you'll take. Here is a short list of things you can ask your party to do to help make the run overall smooth and successful:

Rogues: Stuns and spell interrupts can dramatically reduce the amount of damage you end up taking. Ask them to use Kidney Shot on hard hitting melee mobs, and to Kick whenever possible. Interrupting a shadowbolt is 3k damage that you won't have to take, and interrupting heals greatly shortens fights with healers. Mind Numbing poison is great for caster-heavy instances like Magisters' Terrace, as it greatly reduces the number of spells mobs will be able to cast.

Warlocks: If you are undergeared, having a warlock use his imp means an extra 1k health for you, which will help keep you alive, even if the warlock's dps would be higher with another pet. The warlock's extra DPS isn't going to do much good if you keep dying when another 1k health would have saved you. Curse of Weakness is great to use on hard hitting melee mobs. For example, in Slave Pens on the two naga guards that cannot be CC'd, have the warlock put CoW on the second one to be killed, while using a dps curse on the first one. The first target will still go down fast, while the second one will hit for less for the full duration of the curse. It's also helpful if you take a second to HoJ the second target, so that any stuns your rogue may get off on the first target are fully effective.

Warriors: If you happen to have a dps warrior with you, ask them to always keep up Demo Shout and Thunderclap on melee mobs. The amount of mitigation gained from these is huge.

Mages: Mages can be extremely helpful with proper use of Spellsteal. Many mobs have very powerful buffs that are great when used against them. The Astromancers in Mechanar are a great example - have your mage spellsteal their swirling fire buff, which does AOE damage to everyone near them. Not only is life easier on your healer, but the mobs will go down faster. The only problem is the sizeable amount of aggro the mage will be generating, but since you're a pally tank you won't have much trouble holding onto the mobs, right? :)

Shaman: Spell interrupts and purges make a skilled shaman a tremendous asset. If you have a caster heavy group, get them to use Wrath of Air totem, which gives everyone an extra 101 spell damage (!!). This is a huge boost to your threat. If threat is not an issue but survivability is, ask them to drop Grace of Air for the extra agility and resultant dodge.

Paladins: If you have either a holy or ret pally in the group, let them know that they are welcome to use HoJ as much as possible. Stunning a mob for six seconds means they do less damage and have less time to use annoying abilities like fear. I have yet to meet a holy pally that didn't jump at the chance to get into the mix and lay some smackdown on the mobs instead of standing in the back spamming flash heal for an hour :P

Priests: Possibly the easiest way to cheese an instance is to have a priest begin every pull with Mind Control. Keep in mind that MC functions as a taunt, so if the mob survives the MC it will beeline for the priest as soon as it breaks. Taunts are typically not effective for at least 4-6 seconds after the MC breaks, so the best way to keep your priest alive is to HoJ the mob when it frist breaks and then taunt as the stun is wearing off. This can completely trivialize some of the more difficult pulls in Magisters' Terrace and Shadow Labyrinth.

Druids: A skilled druid is a thing of beauty. Whether it's the feral dps druid that pops into caster form to cast Tranquility when the party is low on health, or the balance druid who keeps Insect Swarm up on any hard hitters, there are plenty of ways for them to save the day. Not to mention going bear form and tanking if you should go down unexpectedly. Battle rezes are also very handy.

Hunters: There are often pulls where it's risky to use Avenger's Shield, as it can bounce around and pull more mobs than intended. The first large room of Shattered Halls is a prime example. Have your hunter Misdirect pull something to you when the shield just won't work.

Knowing what exactly your teammates are capable of and encouraging them to use those utility abilities that help keep everyone alive even if it comes at the expense of their personal DPS is key to leading smooth runs. Remember though that no one likes to be told how to play their class, so try to approach from a position of teamwork instead of bossiness. Asking someone "Would you mind terribly using kidney shot on these mobs instead of another finisher? That extra 6 seconds of breathing room makes it a lot easier to down these guys" will generally get much better results than "wtf why aren't u stunnin these gusy??"

Crowd Control

As much as every pally with 14k unbuffed health likes to say "Pallies don't use CC in heroics" the simple fact of the matter is that when you are starting out and have barely 10k health, pulling 3 heroic mobs is most likely a death sentence. Don't be afraid to use CC, but learn to use it effectively so that you can still use consecrate to keep a healthy lead on threat and prevent any un-CC'd mobs from running to your healer.

Be sure to let mages know that it's extremely helpful if they start casting sheep right when they see your holy frisbee leave your hands. If they wait until the mob gets to you to sheep, it can be difficult to use Consecrate without breaking it. It's also great if you can manage to hit their sheep target with your shield before they sheep, since that will give you a healthy chunk of threat on the mob so that it will run to you instead of the healer when the CC breaks. Remember that if you don't have any threat on the sheeped target, the first thing that will generate aggro on them when sheep breaks likely be a heal landing on you or a HoT ticking. This means that they will often run to your healer when the CC breaks, so it's helpful for your healer to stand behind you so that you can easily pick up the mobs as they run to him. It's also important for you to keep an eye on CC'd mobs so you can grab them before they get to your healer.

Shackle is a priest ability that works only on Undead mobs, but is otherwise functionally identical to Polymorph, with the added bonus of not healing the mob. You typically will not get a lot of use out of it in heroics though, as there are not many Undead mobs in the existing heroic dungeons that require CC of any kind. Auchenai Crypts and Sethekk Halls are the only two that come to mind at the moment.

Now that Avenger's Shield no longer targets CC'd mobs, it's much easier to use Sap effectively in heroics. Keep in mind though that the shield will still bounce to a third target, so for example in Botanica right before the first boss, there are 3 groups of 3 mobs that can be pulled separately. If you sap one of the first 3 mobs and pull with AS, the shield will skip the sapped mob and bounce right to the next group of 3 and you suddenly have a 6 mob pull. (Incidentally, always kill the stewards first in those pulls, and HoJ their arcane flurry.)

Hunter traps are also very nice, but remember that if your AS hits the mob marked for trap, the hunter will have a *very* hard time pulling it off you and over to the trap. There are several potential solutions to this:

- In a 4-mob pull, target the mob farthest from the trap target, so that your shield will not hit it.
- Use Rank 1 AS so that you build less threat on the trap target
- If you can do so without body-pulling another pack, pull your target with JoR.
- Have the hunter Misdirect skull onto you, after which he can trap his target

Also remember that trapping is really only viable against melee mobs, as the hunter will have a very hard time getting caster mobs to come to him. And if you happen to have two hunters trapping, they will need to space out their traps - if a mob walks into two traps set on top of each other, that one mob will set them both off, wasting one of them.

As you can see, trapping is arguably the most inconvenient form of CC to use, and coupled with the fact it functions best with melee mobs (which are usually unnecessary for a paladin tank to have CC'd) you're often better off not using it. An exception to this is Magisters' Terrace, where trapping either the Blood Knights or the Mage Guards is extremely useful.

Banish is of course the ideal CC to use on any elementals or demons, as it cannot be interrupted by damage, so there are no issues with breaking it. Warlocks can also Enslave demons, which can be very effective. In Magisters' Terrace, the succubi can be enslaved and then used to offtank any number of mobs - their melee hits for about 3k, so they generate a ton of threat and are great dps.

Obviously, as you (and your healer) gear up you will have less need for CC, ultimately skipping it completely. But while you're still working to replace those last few green items, proper use of CC will mean the difference between a smooth (and slightly slower) run and a frustrating wipefest with everyone wanting to point fingers at everyone else.

Marking & Pulling

One thing that any group will appreciate is a leader who quickly and effeciently marks targets. My personal setup is having keys 1 through 8 on my Num Pad bound to the various symbols, so that I can very quickly set up targets on a pull. If you already use those keys for something else, you could bind them to Shift-1, etc. I typically use the following marks, which are fairly universal on my server at this point.

Skull - Kill first
X - Kill second
Moon - Sheep
Star - Sap
Square - Hunter Trap
Circle - Warlock CC, either Banish or Enslave
Diamond - Mind Control or Fear
Triangle - Used to mark a pat to make it easier to keep track of

One of the fastest ways to make a pull go bad is if people are unsure which target to attack, which target to CC, etc. If you reliably mark every pull, often with just a Skull and an X, the group will generally work together much better and the run will feel much more organized.

For kill order, you generally want to kill casters first, as your armor does nothing to mitigate their spell damage, whereas melee mobs have a great deal of their damage mitigated. In a typical 2 caster, 2 melee pull, I would usually kill a caster first, CC the second caster, and mark one melee as X and leave the second unmarked (simply because I don't really have a "Kill Third" symbol).

Line of Sight is your biggest asset when pulling. Any group with a caster mob in it should be LOS pulled if possible, so that the casters get nicely grouped up in your consecrate and within HoJ range. To LOS pull, simply mark up the group as needed, toss your shield, and then run behind the nearest corner so that all the mobs are forced to run right to you in order to hit you. If you don't LOS pull, then casters will just stay ranged and cast spells, and if you leave them alone they will eventually switch to the healer because of healing aggro, and if you run to the mob you run the risk of bodypulling any other nearby packs.

If a LOS pull isn't possible due to terrain, then ask a mage (or anyone with a ranged silence or interrupt, like a shaman or shadow priest) to Counterspell the mob so that it will run to you while it is unable to cast. As an example, if you're faced with a Caster/Caster/Melee pull in a long straight hallway with nowhere to LOS pull to (think certain parts of Ramparts) you might mark it Skull/Moon/X. Before the pull say "Please counterspell Skull after you sheep moon." Then when you throw your shield at Skull, it hits all three, Moon gets sheeped, X starts running towards you, and Skull begins casting a spell. As soon as the mage counterspells, Skull will run straight for you. Then when sheep breaks, it will run straight for you since you hit it with your shield before the sheep. Picture perfect pull :)


Superior Wizard Oil - it's between 5 and 10 gold on the AH for five hour-long charges of +42 spell damage that persist through death. Basically, a godsend when you're still low on spell damage from gear. You will definitely want to always have a stack or two of this in your bags.

Righteous Fury - The cornerstone of paladin threat generation. Remember to buff it at the beginning of each run, every 30 minutes thereafter and anytime you die.

Seal of Righteousness vs Seal of Vengeance - My personal preference is SoR in nearly every situation. It's a guaranteed proc, and if there is one thing you want your threat to be, it's consistent. With zero additional spell damage, SoV definitely produces more threat than SoR, but as you gain spell damage the gap narrows. For longer fights, it's quite worthwhile to start with a JoR and then switch to SoV/JoV, while for trash you are better off sticking to SoR entirely.

Judgements - For trash, you will typically want to start each pull with JoR for the healthy lead on threat it will give you. For most trash, that will be the only judgement you use, although on mobs with a lot of health (large single-pull mobs) you may consider using JoWisdom to help eliminate downtime between pulls or JotCrusader to help your threat.

On bosses, you will want to start with a JoR initially so that you don't lose aggro right away, but then on your second or perhaps third judgement you should use either Crusader to boost your threat, or Wisdom to help maintain the groups mana.

Remember to use Exorcism on any Undead or Demon mobs you fight - it is a great source of threat and virtually guarantees that you won't lose aggro. It is also a great way to pull mobs in situations where your shield might bounce around and grab more than you want (grabbing the Instructors in Blackheart the Inciters room in SL, and much of Arcatraz, for example).

Ideally, Consecrate should be going at all times, as it is a very significant amount of TPS, especially on multiple mobs. However, it can be very mana-costly to do so. The solution is to use Rank 4, which is almost half the mana cost, but still retains the benefit of your spell damage, unlike lower ranks which are penalized. You might typically open with a max rank Consecrate and then use R4 subsequently.

Holy Shield - Be sure to have it going pretty much all the time. Less useful against casters, of course, but still valuable because they do tend to melee in between spells.

Clearing Debuffs

The following macro is extremely useful for clearing debuffs while you are tanking:

/cancelaura Divine Shield
/cast Divine Shield

Press it once, and you will bubble. Press it again, and you will unbubble. Tap it twice quickly, and you will clear any debuffs without losing aggro. Divine Shield does not cause you to lose any of the aggro you've generated, but since it makes you invincible, mobs will ignore you if they have any other possible targets.


Here are quick and dirty rundowns of each heroic boss in the game. I found that whenever I was tanking a heroic boss for the first time, I'd pull up WoWWiki real quick, hoping to get the gist of the fight, but instead I'd have to read through 3 pages of detailed information about their abilities while thinking "Gah, give me the two-sentence version of what I need to do here." If you want additional information, check out WoWWiki or any of the other great sites out there, but here I've tried to just include the basic information that you'll need for each fight.

Hellfire Citadel

1st Boss - He has two healer adds. Burn down one add, CC the other, then the boss is tank & spank. If no CC is available just burn down both adds first.
2nd Boss - He summons felpup adds that drain mana. Taunt them off your healer if they get aggro, and judge Wisdom on the boss to help with mana. Keep Consecrate up to keep as many of the adds on you as possible.
3rd Boss - Use Fire Resist Aura. Phase 1 is the rider - be sure to avoid the flame patches and tank as normal. After a short while the Dragon will descend and head straight to your healer, so be ready to pick it up with JoR. Each time it breaths fire at you, it will leave a flame patch on the ground, so you will need to constantly move out of that, while doing your best to keep him faced away from the group.

Blood Furnace
1st Boss - Tank him facing away from the group and remember to use Exorcism. Tank & spank.
2nd Boss - There are several waves of adds before the boss, meaning you usually start the fight low on mana. If you have a priest, Mind Control the last add before the boss so everyone can eat/drink, trivializing the fight. Otherwise, use JoW on the trash beforehand to keep everyone topped off, and the JoW on the boss. You'll have to keep moving slowly backwards as you tank him to get out of the poison cloud he leaves behind. Again, Exorcism.
3rd Boss - Kill adds first to engage boss. Counterspells etc are great for getting the caster mobs grouped up on you. For the boss, every time he yells "Come Closer!" he will pull everyone to him, and everyone must run away from him asap before he gets off his AOE attack. Resume tank & spank after that.

Shattered Halls
1st Boss - Boss will engage once the last add is killed in his room, so be sure to drink up before killing last one. He drops void zones under random people, they need to move out immediately or they will die. At low health, boss will begin doing a whirlwind melee & ranged spell attack, so he should be burned down asap by ranged dps. Anyone in melee range will go down fairly fast. Use Hammer of Wrath and AS, as well as JoR from max range.
2nd Boss - On heroic, there is an extra boss at the end of the guantlet event. Clear the 4 adds in front of him seperately, and then pull him with his two archer adds after everyone has had a quick chance to drink up. Simple tank & spank.
3rd Boss - Ogre boss who does a complete aggro wipe everytime he emotes. Let people know to hold off on DPS every time he says something so that you can regain aggro. Untauntable. Use BoP on his target if he goes for someone else and you're having a hard time regaining aggro.
4th Boss - Tank him near the stairs you entered on, as there will be a steady stream of adds coming from that way, and you want to pick them up in your consecrate. Everyone will need to stay spread out, with ranged towards the back away from where the adds spawn. He does a VERY nasty cleave that will decimate anyone standing too close to each other. Be sure to taunt any adds that get past your consecrate and go for the healer. Let everyone know they should be prepared to pot, bandage, and do whatever else they can to survive, as there's often more damage than a healer can handle.

Coilfang Reservoir

1st Boss - On heroic, this guy drops a TON of mushrooms, that must be avoided. Try tanking him in a slow circle clockwise around the edge of the platform to avoid the mushrooms. At low health, he entangles himself and DPS should halt until he stops.
2nd Boss - Boss has a knockback, so you must not tank him on his platform, but rather pull him back down along the ramp and tank him with your back against the wall. He has a frontal acid spray and a tail cleave, so melee dps must attack him from the side. Tell dps to just wait at the wall while you and the healer go get him and drag him back.
3rd Boss - Tank both Hunter and Bear with your back to a wall, and kill hunter first. Bear has a nasty armor-reducing debuff, but it should not cause too much trouble. Just let your healer know to expect a little more damage on you when you have the debuff so they can ramp up the healing.
4th Boss - DPS down boss, and do not dps adds. Make sure everyone runs fully into the room, because the boss will reset if anyone still stands in the hallway. Taunt any adds that aggro on to your healer. Bubble out of the first levitate you get. If it looks like a wipe, have someone run out to the hallway to reset the boss.

Slave Pens
1st Boss - Tank & Spank. Have one of the dps (preferably melee) on Totem duty.
2nd Boss - Tank & Spank. Remind your healer that the only way to clear the bleed debuff the boss applies is to fully top off their health. Or bubble of course :)
3rd Boss - Tank him facing away from the group with your back to a wall. He will target random players with his acid spit, so have everyone spread out so it only hits one person. While it's useless to taunt him for the brief second that he has someone else targeted for the spit attack, be ready with a taunt if he happens to go for someone else right after the attack.

Steam Vaults
1st Boss - If possible, have a warlock banish one of the adds. If no warlock, dps down both adds then boss, tanking all three. It is IMPERATIVE that everyone move out from under the storm clouds as they appear, yourself included. If everyone can manage that, it's an easy enough fight.
2nd Boss - Try to pick up all the adds with consecrate and taunts, and tell dps to kill adds first, then boss. The adds will heal the boss. Beyond that, tank & spank.
3rd Boss - The key here is to DPS the water tanks down as soon as the boss starts syphoning from them. Tank him near a tank so that melee doesn't have far to run when he starts syphoning. Casters should watch out for the spell reflect.


Auchenai Crypts - I've never actually done this instance. Lol at me.

Mana Tombs
1st Boss - Shadow resistance aura. Everyone needs to stop dps (including you) when he "enters the void".
2nd Boss - Tank & spank, but be sure to tank him in a position that allows your ranged DPS and healers to stay at max range, so they can avoid his ground stomp. Melee dps will often die to that, but we cannot spare pity for their kind. :P
3rd Boss - If you have an extremely high-DPS group, it's possible to ignore adds and just dps boss down. MUCH safer and more reliable however is to assign two (hopefully ranged) dps to add duty, and dps the boss when possible. The adds come fast and can quickly overwhelm any healer. You and any melee dps should be on the boss, while occasionally taunting your healer if you see their health go down even just a bit.

Sethekk Halls
1st Boss - Keep consecrate going the whole time so that the adds will stick to you when they spawn. Tell DPS to focus on boss until adds appear, and then to quickly get the adds down before returning to the boss. Too many adds can easily build up otherwise and overwhelm the group.
2nd Boss - You will definitely want Decursive for this fight, to help cleanse the polymorph. Tank him between the first two pillars, and have everyone run behind the right pillar when the boss teleports and starts doing Arcane Blast. You want everyone to run behind the same pillar so that the healer can top them off and so that you can taunt whoever the boss goes for after the arcane blast. Be ready to cleanse polymorph and slow off your group.
Optional Druid Boss - If you have a druid in your group who's done the appropriate questline, there is an optional boss that can be summoned. The druid will be cycling HoTs on the three stone birds that appear, as they give the party significant buffs while they have druid spells on them, while you tank the main boss. Periodically, the boss will banish himself and summon several bird adds. They will usually head for your healer, so run to your healer and drop a consecrate and AOE the birds down. Return to tanking the main boss when he comes out of Banish.

Shadow Labyrinth
1st Boss - The safest way to tank him is in one of the hallways at either end of the room, and face him away from the group. He fears, so tremor totem and fear ward are great to have. Since being feared no longer means the boss will attack someone else for the duration, it's not as deadly as it once once.
2nd Boss - A potentially annoying boss. He peroidically mind controls the entire group. Use all your cooldowns (namely Avenging Wrath) before the first MC, otherwise you will likely be using them against your teammates instead of against the boss. Remind your party to do the same. Holding aggro is difficult, so be ready to taunt often. Tank him with your back against a wall to avoid the knockback.
3rd Boss - I prefer the South-North-South strategy of kiting him. When you first engage, slowly kite him to the southern end of the room, avoiding any of his adds that spawn. After he warps everyone to the platform, kite him to the north to avoid all the adds that have accumulated in the south. After the second warp, kite him again to the south. It's helpful to assign one ranged DPS to add duty, but let them know they don't have to hunt down every last add they see, but should instead just focus on the boss and then DPS any adds that begin to get close to him.
4th Boss - Ah, Murmur. A right pain in the rear. On heroic, everyone needs to stay INSIDE the flat part of the circle that Murmur is in (standing on the slanted part is too far away). Then, when Murmur begins to draw energy from the air, everyone must IMMEDIATELY run out, and then IMMEDIATELY run back in after he casts the sonic boom. Let people know that they wont have time to turn around and THEN run out, so they'll have to DPS murmur while facing their side to him and then just strafe out when the time comes. He also has a very large hitbox so any melee will want to be as far away from him as possible so they have less distance to run away during the sonic boom. The final wrinkle is that when he casts Murmur's Touch on a random party member, the rest of the party will be dragged to that players location. Everyone else will want to run away back from the affected person, so they can blow up without hitting anyone else.

Caverns of Time

1st Boss - Tank & Spank. Let your healer know to be ready for the mortal strike effect, which you can also bubble out of.
2nd Boss - Kill the two adds first, then DPS the boss.
3rd Boss - Waves of adds will come from the west, then south, then west again. The casters are deadly and should be counterspelled if possible. The final boss should be tanked with your back against a wall. He gains an aura that will periodically wipe your buffs, the most problematic part of this being losing Righteous Fury. Keep an eye on your buffs, and recast RF if you lose it. If possible you'll want to have a shaman Purge, a priest dispel, a hunter Arcane shot, or a mage spellsteal his aura so you don't have to worry about it.

Black Morass
1st Boss - Tank & Spank. You may wish to let the adds go past and beat on Medivh's shield for a bit to help make the healer's life easier, and then just clear them up after the boss is down.
2nd Boss - This boss has a nasty healing debuff that can stack up to 7 times, each stack reducing healing received by 10%. It cannot be bubbled out of, so the most reliable way to prevent it from stacking is to get as much avoidance as you can. Dodge trinkets, etc are great for this fight. When starting out, you will probably want to let the adds go past you and then clean them up after the boss is down. Boss also has a haste effect that can be spellstolen or dispelled - it increases his attack rate by 200%, which causes the healing debuff to stack up much faster. Removing the haste buff is a definite priority. On heroic, he has a spell reflect, which casters should look out for.
3rd Boss - As he spawns, the boss will run up and start beating on Medivh's shield, but he drains its power very slowly, so your party has ample time to drink up before engaging. He hits fairly hard, and will periodically time freeze the entire group for a few seconds. You need to have either HoT's ticking on you or be fully topped off before this happens, otherwise you will go down while everyone is frozen.

Tempest Keep

1st Boss - Tank & Spank. There is a debuff that you'll want to cleanse off yourself, or have your healer take care of. She will summon adds at some point, but she is usually dead long before she does so. If you do see the adds though, just consecrate and ask a priest, warlock or warrior to fearbomb them. Finish off the boss then finish off the adds.
2nd Boss - Tank him at the every edge of the bridge, and keep up consecrate to keep the little adds stuck to you. When he goes treeform, immediately run to the left out of LOS and AOE down the adds. As soon as the adds are down, he will pop out of tree form and you can resume tanking him at the edge of the bridge again.
3rd Boss - Use Fire Resist Aura. He drops aggro often, so you'll want to be ready with taunts, Exorcisms, and AS to get it back. He will periodically cast Hellfire, during which everyone needs to run away from him to outrange in. He will also sacrifice random party members.
4th Boss - Tank Laj right on the little platform that he starts on. Periodically he will summon two adds, so you'll want to assign one ranged dps to left add and one to the right add. Tank & spank.
5th Boss - You'll want to pull him back to almost where the ramp is (pull him all the way there and he will leash, so not all the way). He spawns many slow moving adds that will heal him when they get to him. It's easiest to have a rogue or hunter use wound poison or aimed shot for the healing debuff and just burn him down without worrying about the adds. The boss has a warstomp that is annoying but not too deadly. Tanking him back towards the ramp simply means it takes longer for the adds to get to him so you have more time to burn him down.

1st Mini-Boss (on left side of instance)- Tank him facing away from the group with your back against a wall, and don't worry when you start to see your party's health go down - he does a buzzsaw attack that hits random targets.
1st Real Boss - Big robot. Easiest way is to tank him standing on the side of the stairs, so that he's in front of you and below you. The bombs he emits will just bounce off the wall and head back. On heroic he doesn't do the reflecting shields, so you can just tank him the whole time. DPS will need to move if they get an opposite charge as you. You can designate a side for each, i.e. "Positive charged people go to the left, negative charged go right."
2nd Mini-Boss - Demon with a huge claw hand. Tank him in the open area where the robot boss was patrolling before you pulled him back to the stairs. Simple tank & spank, but run away from him when he "raises his claw menacingly". Anyone still near him will probably die, so warn the others too :)
2nd Real Boss - She spawns 3 fire elemantal adds that will choose a random target to slowly move towards, and they leave a trail of fire behind them. Fire Resist Aura for sure. You'll have to tank the boss while on the move, avoiding the fire elementals. She has two troublesome attacks - one is a Dragonbreath that disorients you for a few seconds, sending her after the next on the aggro list. Your healer can cleanse this, or you can just wait it out - the boss will head back to you as soon as the effect wears off. The second attack is a knockback that reduces your aggro - make sure you have a taunt available for every knockback. You can also BoP the person who gets aggro if taunt resists or is on cooldown.
3rd Boss - After you kill the final wave of elves in the gauntlet, the boss will wait about 30 seconds and then run towards the group. Be sure to drink, rebuff etc beforehand. Run consecrate the whole time so that when adds spawn they stick to you, and ask warriors, priests or warlocks to fear the adds as much as possible while the group burns down the boss. He doesn't have much health so it's a short fight as long as the adds are kept under control.

1st Boss - Use Shadow resist aura. Tank him with your back to a wall, but swing your camera out so you can clearly see the ground beneath you - he spawns void zones under random targets that must be moved out of immediately. As long as no one stands in a void zone, the fight is fairly easy.
2nd Boss - She will periodically do a whirlwind attack that melee must run out of (including you). Immediately after she finishes the whirlwind she will begin casting a heal which MUST be interrupted. Shaman and mages are best for this, as their interrupt is ranged, whereas a rogue will have to run back in after the whirlwind and may not make it in time. She also casts a debuff that should be cleansed.
3rd Boss - Tank him with your back to a wall. He will periodically charge a random target, leaving a trail of flame behind him. Stay out of the fire and run Fire Resist Aura.
4th Boss - There will be 3 random mini-bosses before the final boss, all of which are tank & spank mobs. It's helpful to use JoW as much as possible to maintain mana, since this is an endurance fight. Once the final boss spawns, immediately mark him with a Skull. Periodically he will spawn a clone of himself - the original mob will stay marked, so you need to immediately DPS down the unmarked clone.

Magister's Terrace
1st Boss - Tank & Spank. On heroic he has a nasty mana drain and drain life, both of which you can interrupt by cleansing yourself. Be sure to use JoW. I prefer to tell DPS to not attack the crystals and instead just focus on the boss, because the extra damage he does if you don't attack the crystals helps me get more mana back from heals.
2nd Boss - Assign two DPS to add duty, equip a little arcane resistance if you can, and when the boss goes into overload at 20%, bubble. Aggro is no longer a concern, so you bubbling is one less person the healer needs to heal. Let them know beforehand that they won't have to heal you once the boss overloads, so they can focus on keeping the rest of the group alive. The boss in untauntable, and your threat will be hampered by not getting use out of Holy Shield, because the bosses melee attacks are unblockable. I suggest Judging Crusader on the second or perhaps third judgement, and using a threat libram.
3rd Boss - There is quite a bit of strategy and analysis out there for this encounter. Suffice to say, you will be most useful to your group in high-stam healing gear, making full use of BoP, HoJ, and heals. Kill the priestess first, keep the Naga warrior CC'd if at all possible, as he is by far the hardest-hitting mob. Banish the demon hunter or engineer if possible. Be sure to fight in the open area away from the pillars, so that you are never out of LOS of a heal. Just treat it like a 5 on 5 arena match, CC as much as possible, focus fire targets, and you should be fine.
4th Boss - I recommend Fire Resist aura for the first half and Concentration aura for the second. Kael's fireballs appear to be unaffected by fire resistance, but FR aura will help with the phoenix's AOE damage and Flamestrike (both of which are easily avoided, but better safe than sorry in my opinion). Tank Kael, assign all ranged DPS to kill the phoenix when it spawns, followed by the egg. Get your DPS to interrupt as many of Kael's fireballs as possible, since they hit for 5k each. Get out of the flame strike. When he begins casting Pyroblast, run away from him. As soon as he casts it, bubble while it is in midair. You will avoid the damage, and he won't switch targets and cast it on someone else in your group, which he will *sometimes* do if you bubble while he is still casting. At 50%, just help with healing and dont get hit by the arcane orbs.

Additional Resources

Diocaskas Guide to Elixirs, Flasks and Foods is a fantasic list of the various consumables out there that can give you the edge you need in the beginning. Stamina food in particular is a relatively cheap way to beef up your health pool.

I hope you are able to get some use out of this guide. I found myself replying to so many threads with basically the same advice, I decided it would just be easier to write it all out in one place. Again, it's directed towards the tankadin who's starting out in heroics, and not as much towards the seasoned pro, with less emphasis on theorycrafting and more on simple, practical advice. Any suggestions, feedback, or corrections are welcomed!

Many thanks to Worldie, Aerfalle, Guillex, Barathorn, and Moraus for their help making the guide better! And thank you to Lore for the sticky.
Last edited by Lookit on Fri Aug 01, 2008 3:17 pm, edited 6 times in total.
User avatar
Posts: 255
Joined: Tue Apr 08, 2008 10:17 am

Postby Kelaan » Fri May 09, 2008 4:58 pm

Excellent guide -- I appreciate it.

When gearing for heroics, clearly good effective health is important, but how should one weight the merits of block value (or other mitigation) vs avoidance, for example?
User avatar
Posts: 4037
Joined: Thu Jan 03, 2008 12:01 pm

Postby Lookit » Fri May 09, 2008 5:24 pm

Kelaan wrote:When gearing for heroics, clearly good effective health is important, but how should one weight the merits of block value (or other mitigation) vs avoidance, for example?

Let's take a look at a little napkin math.

According to this page: http://www.allakhazam.com/wiki/Itemizat ... mulas_(WoW)

1 block value has .65 the itemization cost of 1 dodge rating. This means that 18 dodge rating (~1% dodge) has about the same itemization cost as 28 block value.

Let's grossly oversimplify and say that tanking a heroic means taking a steady stream of 1k hits. Let's also assume that we're running Holy Shield the whole time, with a base block percentage of 15%, for a total of 45% chance to block.

After being hit for 1k 100 times, 1% dodge will have prevented you from taking exactly 1 of those hits, so 1k damage avoided.

After being hit for 1k 100 times, that 28 block value would have been applied 45 times for a total of 1,260 damage blocked.

Obviously, as the hits get larger, avoidance becomes more valuable and block value becomes less valuable. Avoidance is absolutely a great thing to have in heroics, but my reasoning for placing little emphasis on it in the gearing section is that I see too many paladins sacrifice stamina by trying to hit uncrushable in their tank set, and then wondering why heroics are so hard when they use that tank set in them.
User avatar
Posts: 255
Joined: Tue Apr 08, 2008 10:17 am

Postby Moraus » Fri May 09, 2008 5:26 pm

personally disregard block value in a 5 man and go for

HP > Spell > Avoidance
Posts: 51
Joined: Tue Jan 29, 2008 5:18 am

Postby guillex » Fri May 09, 2008 8:08 pm

Actually, in a 5 man, be it heroic or normal, you want to be blocking more. It works out to more threat.

I wouldn't prioritize avoidance over it, but I wouldn't disregard it either.

Stamina > SD/BR/BV > Avoidance

When you're building up to uncrushable (yes, I know it doesn't factor into 5 mans because mobs can't crush, but hear me out), the easiest stat to stack to get there is BR. Block Rating means more blocks, and if you're using Holy Shield, means more threat.

Though, it's another personal deal.
Póg mo thóin
User avatar
Posts: 7490
Joined: Mon Jul 09, 2007 8:32 pm
Location: Montreal, Quebec, Canada

Postby Eltanko » Fri May 09, 2008 9:27 pm

Great guide!
Posts: 6
Joined: Sat May 26, 2007 1:34 pm

Postby Eltiana » Fri May 09, 2008 11:32 pm

You need to run Crypts :P.
User avatar
Posts: 302
Joined: Mon Dec 17, 2007 1:49 pm

Postby Lookit » Sat May 10, 2008 2:09 am

Eltiana wrote:You need to run Crypts :P.

I know! I've farmed over 530 badges and still never done it! I just don't think I've ever had anyone ask "Hey, wanna tank Auch Crypts?"

In addition to being able to complete my guide, I could use that hot 12 agility to boot formula that drops in there. Danged rogues are always asking me for that!

Regarding avoidance vs block value, I may perhaps do some rewording in the gear section to emphasize the following points:

- When you're starting out, get yourself some stam. Gem stam, enchant stam, and get your spelldamage from your weapon and wizard oil. Then go for avoidance and block value. I just hated to see guys with 10k health who gemmed pure dodge and parry gems, but were still well short of uncrushable.

- In the beginning, your gear choices will be dictated by what you have access to. Particularly as you're trying to create both a heroic set and a boss set, there is going to be a lot of juggling. You are not going to start out having a perfectly themed heroic set, but just bear in mind the different requirements of heroics vs raids to help give yourself an advantage when choosing what to wear for each.

Thank you all for the feedback, much appreciated :)
User avatar
Posts: 255
Joined: Tue Apr 08, 2008 10:17 am

Postby Aerfalle » Sat May 10, 2008 1:53 pm

In your Bosses section, why not add to it with suggestions for heroic trash pulls? Or, at least for those which might be attempted earlier. Ramps can turn into a wipe fest if you don't know how to pull the trash.

For gearing, another big mistake that new tanks make is not carrying around lots of gear to swap in! And not rolling on all situationally useful gear in 5 mans.

You might also emphasize how inconvenient a hunter trap is as CC, or suggest RL pulling, R1 AS pulling (necessary if you really need that target trapped). Shackle isn't listed, but it might only get used in Sethekk?
User avatar
Posts: 183
Joined: Wed Apr 16, 2008 12:09 pm

Postby Toxi » Tue May 13, 2008 6:59 am

Fantastic post. Being a soft-boiled tankadin on the the threshold of heroics/T4, I'm all over this place for hours on end (ok, mostly 2-11a PST on any given Tuesday). This post is THE most useful for me I've yet to see on MT.com.. around here, that's saying something. Thanks for taking the time to put the relevant information into a clear, concise posting.
User avatar
Posts: 27
Joined: Tue Apr 29, 2008 9:28 pm

Postby Lore » Tue May 13, 2008 7:11 am

Pssst... there's some excellent gear guides here as well ;)

User avatar
Global Mod
Posts: 7757
Joined: Wed Mar 21, 2007 11:52 am

Postby koldawne » Tue May 13, 2008 7:49 am

Thanks so much Lookit! This is great for me! Maybe someone who has done the other instance can add thier thoughts?

Something else that would be great is just a really brief note maybe with minimum stats that would be good for each instance or if theres a certain class that would make it better to have for cc or what not?
Posts: 188
Joined: Sat Dec 08, 2007 5:06 pm
Location: Ottawa, Canada

Postby Worldie » Tue May 13, 2008 8:20 am

Great post, but some small errors.

Underbog: The 3rd' boss bear add debuff... it's useless to bubble out of it, the boss and bear hit like gnome girls anyway.

Slave Pens: The last boss spit is randomtargeted, since you can't taunt him while he spits, let people spread out so only one is hit. Make sure to taunt him back when he's done spitting if he changes target.

Sethekk Halls: The druid boss has only 3 statues, not 4.

Durnholde: The last boss gains a aura that dispels buffs.... simply enough, have a Shaman purge, priest dispel or mage lolspellsteal, buffing dispelled problem solved.

Botanica: The first boss deals arcane damage, so make sure to cleanse the debuff from yourself ASAP.
theckhd wrote:Fuck no, we've seen what you do to guilds. Just imagine what you could do to an entire country. Just visiting the US might be enough to make the southern states try to secede again.

halabar wrote:Noo.. you don't realize the problem. Worldie was to negative guild breaking energy like Bolvar is to the Scourge. If Worldie is removed, than someone must pick up that mantle, otherwise that negative guild breaking energy will run rampant, destroying all the servers.
User avatar
Global Mod
Posts: 13740
Joined: Sun Sep 02, 2007 1:49 pm
Location: Italy

Postby guillex » Tue May 13, 2008 8:21 am

Worldie wrote:Botanica: The first boss deals arcane damage, so make sure to cleanse the debuff from yourself ASAP.

This should probably be highlighted ... Getting wtfpwned when the adds spawn because you have a 5 stack of the debuff is NOT cool at all.
Póg mo thóin
User avatar
Posts: 7490
Joined: Mon Jul 09, 2007 8:32 pm
Location: Montreal, Quebec, Canada

Postby Barathorn » Tue May 13, 2008 8:23 am

Really good guide Lookit. Might be worth adding a section on food buffs in there for the added bonuses which can make a big difference.

Sabindeus wrote:I feel like I should get a t-shirt made for me that says "Not Socially Awkward, Just Fat".

Brekkie wrote:The world will always need people to dig ditches.
User avatar
Posts: 7114
Joined: Thu Jul 05, 2007 1:08 am
Location: Hitting Panda's over the head with a cricket bat shouting Get Orf My Lawn!


Return to 5 Mans / Heroics

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest

Who is online

In total there is 1 user online :: 0 registered, 0 hidden and 1 guest (based on users active over the past 5 minutes)
Most users ever online was 380 on Tue Oct 14, 2008 6:28 pm

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest