Archive for September, 2009

No more walls of text for a few days, I promise. ūüôā I had a chance to run VoA 10/25 back-to-back this morning as both tank and DPS (tank for the 10, dps for the 25). I figured this could be good validation for the hybrid spec I recommended in part 2 of the tanking guide, so here’s my parse¬†from World of Logs. (For those that can’t¬†access WoL…clean 10-man run, no¬†wipes, solid threat; on 25m, 5400dps on Kora, 4700 on Ema with a few afk seconds, #5th overall¬†on DPS.)¬†I had the¬†same spec and glyphs for both runs (Maul/Frenzied Regen/Savage Roar…yeah, odd trio), just swapped gear and flasks.
Thoughts: Rip uptime was horrible with no T7 bonus and no Shred/Rip glyphs…but I still did okay, looking at the numbers (then again, Kora’s a very melee friendly fight). I’m pretty sure if i reglyphed/respecced for full-on DPS in my current gear (remember, no Pred. Strikes/MSS, either) I could easily get to 6500+ levels.


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This page has moved to my new site! Please visit http://fluiddruid.net/2009/09/the-feral-tanking-guide-part-2/.

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This page has moved to my new site! Please visit http://fluiddruid.net/2009/09/the-feral-tanking-guide-part-1/.

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The Feral Tanking Guide, Introduction

This page has moved to my new site! Please visit http://fluiddruid.net/2009/09/the-feral-tanking-guide-introduction/.

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So, Patch 3.2.2 is out, and I had a chance to jump into a 10-man PUG this morning and check out Onyxia. My initial tactics advice¬†is below. I believe 25-man has the same mechanics and numbers (just things hit harder), but I’m not sure about that at this point. I’ve now ran Ony 25 several times (alas, not yet successfully) and have updated the strategy below.

Onyxia’s Lair

Getting There: For those that don’t know, Onyxia’s Lair is in Dustwallow Marsh, outside of Theramore. There is a lvl 80 meeting stone there, so get a mage to port an advance party to Thera and summon the raid. (The first time that a mage port to Theramore was actually USEFUL.) The instance is very linear; there’s¬†a path with¬†four¬†tank-and-spank trash mobs to clear on the way, then Onyxia herself. Note: Onyxia has a large aggro radius, so people need to release and run back on a wipe. Unlike vanilla, the GY is right outside the instance, which is nice. Also, tunnel trash will respawn when Ony is pulled (and despawn on a wipe), so no crazy kiting strategies will work. This does, however, make PUG raids quite¬†painful if someone is griefing.¬†

Composition: 10M: 2T/2H/6DPS. A 3rd healer can be subbed for a DPS as needed. 25M: 2T/6H/17DPS, with¬†a 3rd tank¬†helpful for oops moments.¬† This fight is somewhat melee DPS unfriendly, so don’t take too many. Fire Resistance buffs, obviously, are helpful. Don’t forget the new LW/Inscription buffs are available¬†if you’re missing a priest/pally/druid (10m).

Assignments (TL;DR version):

  • MT: tank Onyxia for P1/P3 towards the back wall, tank Lair Guards whelps in P2. Call for AOE on whelps¬†as needed; if DPS is slow on Lair Guards you may need to hold a 2nd for a brief time.
  • OT:¬†DPS P1/P3 (or tank whelps if needed), tank whelps Lair Guards in P2.¬† Warriors are good here for disarm.¬†
  • Ranged DPS: DPS Ony P1/P3; AOE initial P2 whelps,¬†switch to Lair Guards when up, then DPS Ony. Help on later whelps as necessary (or you’re heavy on ranged) Stay away from Lair Guards.
  • Melee DPS: DPS Ony P1/P3; kill guards/whelps in P2, then flail about aimlessly trying to DPS flying Ony. When killing guards, run away on Blast Nova. In 25-man, two warriors/rogues need to alternate disarms on Lair Guards.
  • Healers: P1 on tank (watch the pull, a knockback can range him), P3 on tank/light raid healing. P2: Most healers on¬†guard tank, Couple on whelp tank/raid.¬†Most raid damage on this fight is avoidable, so your workload is based on your raid’s skill at avoiding deep breath.

Full Strategy:

  • Phase 1: Tank will pull and kite Onyxia to the back wall of her lair.¬†(I¬†didn’t get a chance to check, but I¬†think¬†Onyxia is untauntable, so DPS/healers will need to¬†display some initial caution.) Yes, Onyxia is tauntable, but don’t be a noob and die on the pull. Onyxia has a bunch of frontal cone attacks (including one knockback)¬†and a tail sweep in P1,¬†so DPS/healers stay to her sides.¬†At the east and wewst of her lair is a tunnel with¬†whelp eggs, which will spawn whelps if someone ends up over there (usually tailswiped)…the OT needs to pick them up if that happens. If everyone positions correctly, the only person taking damage will be the MT.¬†This part of the fight is a snooze, really.¬†At 65% HP, Ony will take off and start P2, which is the challenging part of the fight.
  • Phase 2: The hard phase, from 65% to 40%.
    • Whelps: A TON of whelps (40) will spawn at the beginning of P2, on the left and right of the raid. Have both tanks take a side, round up¬†their 20 pack,¬†then drag to the center for AOE.¬†(Your framerate will¬†die during the AOE; recommend turning your camera away, if possible.)¬†¬† If a couple peel off, they’re not that big a deal, but they can tie up a healer quite quickly. More will spawn in roughly every 60 seconds. Whelp tank needs to grab these and group up for AOE. It’s probably easiest to let the melee handle the whelps, and keep the group away from the Guards entirely. Bad early strat…melee will be tied up with Lair Guards. Have ranged switch to AOE’ing whelps when needed.
    • Lair¬†Guards: These large adds¬†will be spawning every 30 seconds from the entrance to the Lair. They hit pretty hard, cast Ignite Weapon which adds fire damage to their melee attacks, and (most importantly) cast Blast Nova with a 5s cast time.¬†Yes, ANOTHER boss with a nova. I guess Loken/Emalon/Brundir weren’t enough…I missed the memo where Blizzard said every patch from here on out would have a Nova-type ability to avoid. Same drill…run away, run back in, ya. Tanks can eat it or (preferably) run out and back in. They can be tanked anywhere, but it’s best to pick a place and stick to it,¬† (usually near the front of the cave) so the healers/DPS stay away from there when dodging Deep Breaths. This is where most PUG’s will fail…typically around the 2nd breath, two-three people will dodge a breath and run into the nova, or the converse.
      Anyway, these guys are the priority for DPS, as having 2 up really makes things tough…they hit hard enough in tandem that they’ll drop a single tank quickly, and if the whelp tank picks it up, the Guard¬†will inevitably stop and cast nova in the middle of the raid. In 25-man, a disarm rotation needs to be worked out, as they can gib a tank quite quickly.
    • Onyxia: While all this is going on, Ony has no threat table; she’ll be flying overhead, dropping weak fireballs on random raid members, and occasionally doing a “Deep Breath.” This will be preceded by a warning, “Onyxia takes in a deep breath…” When you see that warning, STOP what you’re doing,¬†and run to the side of the lair. The deep breath goes on a line from her current¬†location to the wall, and will one-shot healers and DPS that take a full breath. Ranged will be DPSing her down when not killing adds. Once you get her to 40%, you start P3 (and the hardest part is over)
  • Phase 3: Onyxia lands; treat it just like P1. I¬†think¬†she drops her aggro from P2 now, but I’m not sure (used to be, she’d eat all the ranged DPS after P2 while the tank frantically tried to get threat, since she was untauntable) Have your aggro drop/transfer abilities available, just in case.¬†She gains an AOE fear, an light raid damage attack, and a few whelps will wander in from time to time. Use Fear Ward/Tremor Totem/Berserk/racials¬†for the fears,¬†but they’re not that dangerous,¬†except on the tank (Ony loves to fear the tank into the raid, then breathe.)¬†This phase isn’t too hard if the tank/healers are¬†on¬†their toes, but the transition can be difficult. There’s usually a few adds still floating around that need to be killed, healers are out of position, the raid-wide fear, etc. When tanking this, I save all my CD’s for the P2->P3 transition.

Loot: T9 normal-level gear; weapons, helms, and cloaks, mostly. One person can claim Onyxia’s head, which can be turned in for a quest reward item, and if you’re very lucky, there’s a 310% flying mount as well.

Overall, it’s fun and a good encounter (and you can post some SICK AOE DPS numbers¬†on 40 whelps. :)) There’s a very good polearm in there for cats, according to Thinktank, and it’s use effect creates a very good bear weapon. I WANT…no more having to stick with Mongoose for dualspec viability.

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The Panther Creed

BBB has started a trend, with his excellent bear tank creed.

Alt Fanatic continued it, with his tree creed.

Here’s my humble contribution.


The Panther Creed.

I am a panther of death. Fear me.

I am a skilled and experienced fighter, trained to defeat my enemy.

If I fight alone, I am weak. If the enemy fights alone, he is weak. With my pack, I am strong. I can overcome all challenges with the support of my pack.

I shall provide my companions with the blessings of the jungle, to enhance their skills in the ways of war.

I shall not rely on my companions to provide enhancing sustenance; I shall provide my own, as I am self-reliant.

I shall follow my commander’s orders, even if they leave me no personal glory. There is no glory in defeat.

I shall always attack my enemy from behind, as the deadliest attack is the one unseen.

I shall let those with plate armor or bear posterior absorb the enemy’s blows. I will NEVER draw the enemy’s attention, as I fly far and crumple well when kicked.

I shall intimidate the enemy with my roars, so that my attacks strike deep.

I shall endeavor to keep the enemy bleeding and crippled, watching as his life slowly drains away.

I shall illuminate the enemy with faeries’ fire, so that my companions’ accuracy will be aided.

I shall glyph for Savage Roar, Rip, and Shred, so that my voice be stronger, and my opponent’s bleeding be torrential.

I shall remain aware of the conditions of my pack, so that I may restore a companion’s life or energy at a moment’s notice.

I shall remain aware of the battlefield. I will ALWAYS get out of the fire, as singed fur smells awful, and greatly displeases our clergy.

If our enemy defeats us, I will examine my equipment and tactics, to seek to improve my contribution to the pack. If we defeat our enemy, I will praise my companions for their efforts. I shall not revel in personal glory.

Above all, I am a Guardian of Cenarius, and a protector of the peoples of the Alliance. As I protect them, so does Elune protect me.

I AM…a panther of death. Fear me.

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A very fluid night

I just had one of those playing nights that reminded me how OP druids are much fun I have now having a druid main. (BTW, There’s an excellent post¬†on Altosis about how the continued accumulation of achievements, mounts, pets, etc. has made mains “more mainy,”¬†and some good discussion about hybrid classes vs. pure classes. Check it out.)¬†

  • 8:30 PM: Joined my casual guild’s Ulduar 25 raid, as a tree. (I haven’t been raiding much recently, since I’ve been spending more time with my family, so it was nice to be back.) Guild had been working on him for two weeks, mostly struggling with construct tanking, from the overheard vent chatter.¬†I log in, sub in for a DPS, and we one-shot him. (Yeah, it was all me! Really!) ūüôā ¬†2nd or 3rd HPS for the fight, if I remember correctly, a nice belt replacement for my healing set, and I finally got the Siege 25 achievement done. Went on to Iron Council…almost one-shot, but had a bad death rune/lightning whirl combo on Runemaster. Tried a couple more times, but Steelbreaker kept one-shotting our tank with rune-powered punches, so we called it for the night.
  • 10:30 PM: Switched to my Bearcat spec, pulled top DPS during a H Oculus run (daily), and did the 4 Ruby + healer strat on Eregos to get the Emerald/Amber Void achievements. Incredibly easy.
  • 11:15 PM: Win the easiest Wintergrasp ever…wow. On defense, I usually go resto and heal the zerg, but there was no zerg. Horde only had 1 workshop for probably 90% of the battle. Cool moment: About 6-8 horde successfully reached the wall,¬†killed a couple of our guys¬†and started clearing turrets. I ran back into the keep, spec-changed/gearswitched to Feral (Outfitter/DualSpec addons, how I love you for two-click changes.¬†BTW, Does anyone else feel that they need a phone booth or something when they change gearsets?), stealthed out to the group, and solo-killed the 2 demos that were rolling in before getting zerged. “Kitty’s in ur rear, shredding ur demos!”
  • 11:30 PM: Join a PUG VoA 10…I offer to tank or heal, but incredibly, we have enough of each, so I stay dps. One of the tanks bites it on Koralon at about 20%, so I blow my last CP”s and shift to bear, eating the Meteor Fists with SI+Barkskin. Sure, I died pretty quickly as the healers weren’t prepared…but I got the tank through that Meteor Fists, giving the rest of the raid enough time to finish him. AND…got my first piece of T9! It’s not much of an upgrade, though,¬†going from T8.25 legs to T9.10, though, so now I’ve got to rethink my EOT gear strategy. I had planned to buy the Duskstalker shoulders next (since I’m still using the T7.25 in that slot, with 4pT8), but I may buy the T9 gloves first for the 2pT9 set bonus, since I’m using T8.10 in that slot. Hmm.

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