Tanking 101

Edit: Updated the Taunting and Threat section.

A friend of mine returned to the game recently and has been leveling a few classes. She asked me about tanking and if it’s difficult or not, and how she would know how to do it. So I thought I’d write a quick and easy guide to the basics of tanking. As with any guide of mine, it’s not the be all, end all guide – just a few basic pointers to get you started.

The Very Basics

  • Be a class that’s actually a tank!
  • Be in the tank spec of said class (while at lower levels some classes may be able to tank anyway, it’s not recommended to someone new to tanking, and it does make things more difficult).
    – Druid: Guardian
    – Paladin: Protection
    – Warrior: Protection
    – Monk: Brewmaster
    – Death Knight: Blood

Pulling

You want to be the person pulling at every time, both for trash and bosses. It helps you with initial threat (keeping the mobs attacking you), and building your vengeance which will assist in further threat. When doing 5 man instances, you may find yourself with people who aren’t content to let the tank pull, and sadly there’s not much to do about it. If you ask them politely not to do it, and they still do, you just have to try to do your best anyway. (Fortunately at lower levels, this isn’t something you need to worry too much about, since often they won’t die due to the instances being fairly easy.)

When pulling, if it’s a trash pack with one Elite mob and several non-elites, you’re usually best off focusing your attacks on the Elite – since it’s the one that would do the most damage if it got loose and attacked others. With several Elites, you will want to distribute your threat equally. Some classes have an easy time with this, having abilities that strike all targets, while other classes have some abilities that hit a limited amount of targets (often 3). If you have such abilities, you will probably want to tab target/switch targets within the group every now and then to make sure you build enough threat on everything.

Another thing to keep in mind, is that you’re best off not pulling using only Taunt, but quickly follow it up with something that does some damage. On boss fights especially you may want to use a damage cooldown at the pull to make sure you put out enough threat, since your dpsers are likely to be hitting their own damage cooldowns and may be doing a lot of threat at the pull. (I’m looking at you Warriors!)

Taunting and Threat

Threat is basically the level of aggro a mob has towards players, and as the tank – you want them to hate you the most. Generating threat is done through dealing damage to the mob, and healing (which is why mobs who aren’t attacked by anyone likes to run to the healers). As a tank your damage does more threat than a regular dps (five times as much), and so in general you should have no difficulty holding aggro.

If you lose aggro, or you need a mob to switch their aggro from someone else to you, you can use the Taunt ability. Taunt will force a mob to attack you for 3 seconds, and it grants you a level of threat equal to that of the player who had aggro when you taunted.

It’s worth noting that Taunt has a diminishing return, and every taunt within 15 seconds will have a reduced time of attacking you. If too many taunts are done in that window the mob will essentially become immune.

After taunting, for 3 seconds, your abilities will generate 200% more threat. There is no point in using any threat building/damage abilities before taunting, since you will be given the other person’s threat anyway. Instead, taunt and then use your damage/threat abilities, which will generate 200% extra threat at this point, and should give you a good lead on threat.

Taunt gives you 3 seconds of the boss/mob’s undivided attention, but if you do nothing – you will lose the aggro again, since the person you taunted off of will still have the same level of threat as you (possibly more if they continued attacking and you didn’t do anything). This means that taunting something that you have no way of reaching (maybe it’s out of melee range and you have no ranged abilities), since the odds are that if it can’t reach you in the 3 seconds you have aggro, it will turn right back around and attack whoever it was when you taunted.

Tank Switching/Taunt Switching

There are fights out there that require two tanks and a switch between the two. (In fact, majority of raid fights work like this). You need to make sure that you know when to taunt (often when the other tank reaches a certain number of debuffs or following a certain boss ability), and then use it at the correct time. Following your taunt, always use your high damage/threat building abilities to make sure your threat puts you above the other tank (or they will have the boss back after the 3 seconds).

When the other tank is taunting off you, if they’re not getting a high enough threat lead (you can use an addon like Omen Threatmeter to see exactly how much threat either of you have), you may want to hold off on using your highest threat building moves, or if needed even stop attacking completely for a couple of seconds. With the addition of the 200% threat buff after taunting though, this shouldn’t be needed most of the time.

Positioning

There are a few things to keep in mind regarding positioning of bosses. You’ll generally want to face them away from the raid since a lot of them have cleave type abilities that are done in a frontal cone. It also helps the melee dps since they will want to attack from behind the boss. If it’s a dragon type boss, you’ll want to angle it slightly sideways since in addition to a frontal cone attack, they also generally have a tail lash attack – so no one should be stood behind them.

The most important thing for you to remember when it comes to positioning; never have your back towards a boss (mob) that is attacking you. When turning your back towards a mob, you cannot dodge, parry or block any attacks. This means that you will be taking a burst of damage while your back is turned. It’s a waste of your healers mana to have them heal you extra, but not only that – if you get an unlucky streak of attacks it might even kill you.

If you need to move a mob, you should strafe left or right. This will keep your side towards the boss (meaning you still dodge, parry and block) and it doesn’t slow your movement speed (like backpedaling would).

Cooldowns

Know your class’ cooldowns and when to use it. Knowing the mechanics of the fight helps with this, since you will know which of the boss’ abilities you will need to cooldown for. Try to cycle through your cooldowns, and don’t use them all at once. You often have one survival cooldown that’s on a shorter cooldown (30s to 1 minute), which is often worth using as often as possible.

Siege of Orgrimmar Tanking Cheat Sheet (Part 3+4)

This is the second part of my basic tanking cheat sheet for the Siege of Orgrimmar. Part one can be found here.

Do note, that these are not full tactics! It’s the bare minimum for you to know what you’re going to do as the tank. It might help as a reminder to people who are forgetful, like I am, or as a quick guide if you want to try your hand at tanking in LFR.

The Underhold

Malkorok

– Tank the boss in the middle of the room where he stands when you engage. Move around him as he casts his frontal cone attack, Arcing Smash.
– Taunt off the other tank at 15 stacks of Fatal Strike. (Less if you notice the other tank taking too much damage, as long as your own has worn off.)
– Stay out of the areas where Arcing Smash has hit so that you don’t get killed when he does Breath of Y’shaarj.
– There’s no healing except for during the intermission, only a shield the healers put on you. Help out by using self-heals (to buff your shield) and cycling through your own cooldowns.

Spoils of Pandaria

Raid is split into two groups, one on each side and you’ll be the sole tank on your side. Your job is to pick up and tank, well, everything. There are boxes, and you open them to spawn adds.
– Start with opening the two boxes that have green marks – it will buff your healers once those adds are defeated.
– Open the two biggest boxes, but not at the same time. Open the second one as the first one is about to die. If you’re not taking a lot of damage, feel free to open some small ones while killing the big.
– Continue on and open medium/small boxes as needed. As many as you can without getting overrun.
– Drag mobs out of void zones and similar on the floor since they usually either buff or heal them.
– The Kor’thik Warcallers could potentially hurt if they become Enraged depending on your gear. If they hurt a lot, kite them during enrage.

Thok the Bloodthirsty

– Tank him so that the raid can stand on his side, or they’ll get hit by breath or tail swipe.
– Taunt off the other tank at the following stacks: Roar – 3, Acid Breath – 2, Freezing Breath – 4, Scorching Breath – 2
– If not tanking, stand to the side together with the raid or you’ll get the stacks as well since it’s a frontal attack.
– During the phase shift, stay away from the boss. Taunt the jailor that appears, kill it – loot key and open one of the cages along the sides of the room.

Downfall

Siegecrafter Blackfuse

– Taunt switch the boss and the adds (automated shredder) that appear. If you kill the shredders quickly enough, you can do the taunt switch whenever a shredder is dead.
– One tank start on the boss, and when the first shredder appears, have the second tank taunt the boss. That way you start on the shredder with some stacks (which makes you do more damage to it).
– Keep the shredder in the big saw blades as much as possible for extra damage to it. Move away when it does Death from Above.
– Move out from the areas where the explosions will occur for Shockwave Missile. Should be easy since it’s shown clearly on the ground where it will appear.

Paragons of the Klaxxi

They will become active with three at the start, and then a new one becomes active any time one dies. So you will always have three active paragons, until the end when there are no more to become active. Starting set will be Rik’kal, Skeer and Hisek.
– Let one tank taunt Rik’kal and one Skeer. You can’t taunt switch these because they do a debuff that makes you take more damage from the other.
– If you’ve tanked Xaril, you cannot tank Kil’ruk when he comes down (last one) because of a debuff that makes you take more damage.
– If tanking Korven, use cooldowns when he is about to cast Shield Bash, since you will be taking a lot of damage (Vicious Assault).
– If tanking Kil’ruk use cooldowns when he’s about to use Gouge, since you will be taking a lot of damage (Mutilate).

Garrosh Hellscream

– In Phase 1, have one tank take Garrosh and the other tank all of the adds. Tank it all in the middle of the big circle on the floor, but move out when the big iron star comes through the room (in LFR there may not be one since they may choose to kill all engineers).
– Transition phase; one tank go left and one right, kill all adds. Attack Garrosh (no need for tanking, just stay out of his frontal cone). If Terrace transition, just run forward and kill all the adds in front of Garrosh.
– Phase 2; taunt switch Garrosh on 3 stacks. Move out during Whirling Corruption if you’re not tanking right then. Help kill adds, silence mind controlled people.
– Phase 3; the same as phase 2, just everything hitting harder and the whirling weapons can’t be killed so you may have to move the boss to clear areas of the room rather than staying in the middle.

If you want to read the Cheat Sheet for the first two parts, you can find it here.

Siege of Orgrimmar Tanking Cheat Sheet (Part 1+2)

As I’ve mentioned before, I’ve switched to tanking for my guild on my Paladin. We were having a lot of issues finding a second tank that stuck around, and so I kept having to jump on an alt to tank. In the end, I felt that it was just easier to become a tank full time, since I don’t have the time (or energy) to maintain a decent gear level on both my Warlock and a tank. So for now, I’m tanking.

I’m actually quite enjoying tanking. When I first started this blog in Wrath of the Lich King I was tanking for my guild as a Warrior (after having switched to it from my Warlock around Ulduar for the very same reasons that I’m switching now.. maybe I should just give up and always be a tank?). I’ve played every tanking class in the game at one point or another, and it’s a play style that I really enjoy.

However, I have the memory of a goldfish. So when it comes to tactics, I always struggle to remember the small details. Like, do I taunt on three stacks or four? To make things easier for myself, I tend to make a little cheat sheet, where I keep the basics that I need to know for each fight. In case anyone else could find some use in it, I figured I’d post it here as well (with some added notes of course to make it readable by anyone but me!).

Do note, that these are not full tactics! It’s the bare minimum for you to know what you’re going to do as the tank. It might help as a reminder to people who are forgetful, like I am, or as a quick guide if you want to try your hand at tanking in LFR.

Vale of Eternal Sorrows

Immerseus

Stationary boss, don’t run through him – it will hurt you and knock you back!
– Tank the boss facing away from the raid, but make sure that the tanks don’t stand on top of each other since his debuff is put on people in his frontal cone.
– Taunt off the other tank when they get the Corrosive Blast debuff. (And again, make sure not to stand on top of them since then you’ll have it too!)
– In the transition, help kill/stun the little blobs.

The Fallen Protectors

Three bosses; only He Softfoot and Rook Stonetoe need to be tanked. Sun Tenderheart will stay in the middle of the room and cast spells at random raid members.
– If tanking He; move him to the side away from raid. Turn your back to him when he casts Gouge. Move out of poison on ground.
– If tanking Rook; tank him facing away from the raid.
– Pick up Embodied Misery, Gloom, Sorrow when they spawn.
– When Sun casts Dark Meditation, He’s tank can safely go into the bubble for less damage, but He’s should stay out due to the cleave.

Norushen

– Tank switch the boss to avoid too high stacks of Self Doubt. (We usually do 3 stacks.)
– Tank the big adds that spawn (they ones that move, little ones are stationary), if you’re not tanking boss.
– If your corruption level isn’t full, soak the black orbs left behind when the big adds are spawned.
– Watch out for the big beam that moves around the room (between boss and wall).
– In LFR one tank (usually there’s not time for more) will be pulled into the “test realm”. On normal/heroic your raid leader would assign you and you’d click an orb. While in the test realm there are a few things to look out for; Titanic Smash – move out of it, frontal cone damage, Hurl Corruption – silence/interrupt it, then two attacks that you just have to use cooldowns/mitigation/heals to survive.

Sha of Pride

– Tank the boss the way he’s facing when he spawns (the raid will gather up behind him).
– Unlock the Corrupted Prison to the left of the boss by standing on one of the lit areas. (Tank who’s currently tanking should get the piece closest to the boss).
– Tank switch the moment the other tank gets Wounded Pride (or they’ll build pride). Do note that in LFR this debuff doesn’t exist, so essentially one tank can tank the entire fight. However, one person still needs to stay up front to help with the Corrupted Prison.

Gates of Retribution

Galakras

The fight will consist of several waves of mobs that need to be tanked before the boss comes. One tank needs to stay down and tank the waves, while the second tank needs to move up into the towers to tank the mini-bosses. One mini-boss per tower, and two mini-bosses that will spawn on the ground. Decide beforehand which tank goes into the towers.
– Tank the waves of mobs in the Blizzard provided by the NPCs for extra damage. Try to interrupt the heals if possible.
– The tank on the ground should pick up the named mini-bosses. Korgra (wave 3), who needs to be moved out of poison clouds that are put down, and Thranok (wave 7) who needs to be tanked facing away from the raid. He will also do an aoe move around him that it’s best to move out of.
– The tower tank needs to enter the tower after the Demolisher has been killed. This will happen twice. First for the tower on your left side, and then another Demolisher before the tower on your right. If you enter the tower before the Demolisher has been killed/destroyed you will take too much damage from its attacks and most likely die.
– In the towers, there’s a mini-boss on the top of each. Just tank them. When they do their big frontal cone type damage (they will run to the middle of the platform and do it), make sure you move behind them/away from it, or you will be knocked off the tower. Krugruk is on the left tower and does Arcing Smash. Dagryn is on the right tower and will do Muzzle Spray.
– Once Galakras itself is grounded, tank him facing away from the raid (away from the docks). The tank not currently tanking should stand to his side as to not get the debuff.
– Taunt off each other at 3 stacks of the debuff. It’s important to remember to move to the side when you get taunted off of!

Iron Juggernaut

– Face him away from the raid. If possible, try to have his back towards a wall or similar that will catch the raid members when he does his knockback.
– Tank switch at 3-4 stacks of Flame Vents. When not tanking, don’t stand in front of him, since you will get the debuff.
– When not tanking, click on the Crawler Mines to disarm them. You will take a fair bit of damage, so be prepared.

Kor’kron Dark Shaman

– Two bosses that have to be taunt switched. You will switch when Froststorm Strike reaches 5 stacks on one tank.
– Lots of AoE being put on the ground by the two bosses; keep moving the bosses out of it (try to stay together).
– When you’re tanking Earthbreaker Haromm, he will gain the ability to cast Ashen Wall later on in the fight. It puts up a very damaging, long line of elementals in front of him. Try to position it so they won’t cut through your entire raid. Then just move away.

General Nazgrim

– Taunt off on 3 stacks of Sundering Blow.
– During Defensive Stance no one should attack, but if you have Sundering Blow on you, you’re free to do so.
– When not tanking, help out the raid with the adds that spawn. Stun/Interrupt them when you can.

Want to read the Cheat Sheet for part 3+4, click here.

Destruction Warlock Spell Rotation (5.0.4)


Today the patch finally went live on EU realms as well, meaning that everyone now should have their updated Warlocks. As mentioned previously we’ve had quite a few changes to the Warlock class and I will try to write down the basic rotations at 85.

This is not the be all end all guide, but just the pure basics to get you started with your changed rotation as Destruction.

The Basics

We no longer need 17% Hit, but only 15% (1537 rating at 85).

You now pick a specialization, but the actual talents are the same for each one. To change your talents you don’t have to visit a Class Trainer anymore, but you do have to visit one if you wish to switch from one specialization to another. Switching talents now is similar to switching glyphs, and you need Dust of Disappearance just the same as well.

Destruction

Talents

You can pretty much choose whatever you want for your talents depending on your personal preference and the boss mechanics. The one talent that actually has a bearing on your actual dps is the tier 5 talent where you choose your grimoire. The suggested one for Destruction is Grimoire of Supremacy, which turns your demons into the stronger versions. Supposedly at 85 Grimoire of Sacrifice may yield a little bit more dps, so you can go for that if you prefer. As for me, I’m sticking with Supremacy, because hey… those demons look awesome!

Stat Priorities

Intellect > Hit (15%) > Haste > Crit > Mastery

Glyphs

Major: Burning Embers, the rest you can choose depending on the fight
Minor: Your choice (I personally like Nightmares)

Pet

As Destruction you’ll want to use the Felhunter, or if you chose to go with Grimoire of Supremacy, the updated version; the Observer.

Spell Rotation

Use your dps cooldown Dark Soul: Instability every cooldown, but try to do it when you have as many Burning Embers as possible so that you can cast several Chaos Bolts.

Also, try to save up Burning Embers for when the boss is about to hit 20% so that you can use several Shadowburn straight off.

And obviously don’t forget to use your Summon Doomguard (or Summon Terrorguard if you went with the Supremacy talent.)

Enjoy your new Warlock changes and let’s get out there and dominate!

Warlock Changes in 5.0.4

Next week patch 5.0.4 will be hitting the live servers and a lot of changes are going to be happening. Not only to Warlocks, but everyone – so it’s time to get ready! Please note that the tooltips may not be entirely correct since things are still changing somewhat.

General Changes

These are some of the changes happening to the game in general:

  • The Theramore Scenario, a lead-in to the Mists of Pandaria story. (Won’t be active straight away.)
  • Account-wide achievements, pets and mounts.
  • AoE looting!
  • Prime glyphs are gone and we only have Major and Minor glyphs, both of which have had big changes.
  • We get the new talents, abilities and skills for all classes.
  • BattleTags are finally in WoW!
  • Head Enchants will be removed.
  • Ranged weapons no longer have a minimum range.
  • Relics, wands, thrown and ranged weapons are gone or changed to take up a main weapon slot.
  • Spell Penetration is gone, and instead we will see PvP Power on items.
  • The current Arena season will end.
  • You can no longer obtain Valor or Conquest points, everything will award Justice/Honor points.
  • Items previously bought with Valor/Conquest can now be bought with Justice/Honor.
  • Your current Valor points will be converted to Justice points, and current Conquest points will be converted to Honor points.

Warlock Specialisations

As Warlocks a lot is changing for us in the patch, since Blizzard has done quite some work on the class. First of all, each spec now has its own resource system. Affliction will keep using Soul Shards, while Demonology uses Demonic Fury and Destruction will have Burning Embers.

Once we choose our spec, the actual talent tree will be the same for all, and you can choose whichever talents you feel suit you since most are situational or might just simply suit your personal playstyle better. The only talents that actually increase dps are the level 90 ones, which we obviously can’t access yet. However, the tier 5 ones (Grimoires) have ones that are generally considered better per spec. This might still change of course, since the beta is still open.

According to Elitist Jerks, the grimoires we should use would be:
Destruction – Supremacy or Sacrifice (at 85 Sacrifice may be a tiny bit better, but the difference is rather small.)
Demonology – Service
Affliction – Sacrifice

Our new talent tree.

Spells & Abilities

There have been quite a few changes to our spells, and I’ll try to go through them all. The first thing to remember is probably that spells are now split in two categories; Core and Spec. Core abilities are ones that you have regardless of which specialisation you choose, while Spec ones are only available in their respective specialisation. In an effort to avoid this post being huge, I will only list the abilities that are new or changed for the Core ones. However, I will list everything for each Spec so that you know which spells belong where.

Core Abilities

Destruction

Demonology

Affliction

Glyphs

As mentioned earlier Prime Glyphs are gone and we’re left with only Major and Minor glyphs. Few glyphs provide an actual dps increase, and instead may be useful in certain situations or are just there for fun/visual changes. Below is a list of glyphs that will be available to us as of the patch.

Major Glyphs

Minor Glyphs

Suggested glyphs per spec:
Destruction – Burning EmbersConflagrate
Demonology – Imp SwarmShadow Bolt
Affliction –  Soul ShardsSoul Swap

These are the major changes happening to Warlocks next week. Let me know if you have any questions, and I’ll try to answer them as well as I can.

Darkmoon Faire: “Test Your Strength” Tip

In this slow period between expansions there may be people (like I), who don’t necessarily complete a raid and therefore may need to farm for their Darkmoon Faire: “Test Your Strength” quest. Some time ago I found the perfect place to farm for these, and I thought I’d share it with you!

It’s in Deepholm, and it takes between 10-15 minutes to farm the full 250 grisly trophies, depending on how lucky you are with respawns. It’s the area to the west, and you will fly from one end to the other killing the little packs of flying stone bats. While there, I usually kill the larger packs of jaspertip swarmers as well.

Just start in one end and fly to the other, then back down again. If you’re lucky with respawns you won’t need to do the full route more than once.

Stay inside the red-marked area. There are stone bat packs all through it.

Pack of stone bats.

Jaspertip Swarmers running around.

Through a Glass, Darkly – a Warlock How-To

I’m writing this guide to explain how I went about to complete the Through Glass, Darkly quest in the Legendary quest line. It’s not meant to be the end-all, be-all guide, but just how I did it and what worked for me. I’m sure there are many ways that work, but this might give you some tips on how to complete it.

I will not discuss the lore of the quest, but if you don’t want to know what happens beforehand, you may not want to read this post, just in case.

The Scene

You’ve collected your 25 eternal embers from Firelands bosses, bought your 3 sands of time and turned the quest in to Anachronos. He will then send you to Coldarra (which will be phased) where you will meet Tarecgosa. You will meet up with her in a special version of The Nexus.

This version of The Nexus you have to do alone, so no guild members or friends can help you out. Tarecgosa however will be with you for most of it.

Preparations

Initially I went in without respeccing, but after a couple of tries I realised that my Felhunter kept dying, and so I respecced my Affliction spec to give me 2/2 Fel Synergy. While I was respeccing I also took 2/2 Demonic Aegis.

I also switched my Shadowbolt glyph for the Felhunter glyph.

I’d suggest bringing a health potion, something which I personally forgot. You definitely want to have a health stone ready, even if you have a potion.

The Hallways

As you enter The Nexus Tarecgosa is with you. The first mob she will make you invisible and you don’t have to worry about it.

After that you get to a room with a big sentinel and two dogs. Now, I was Demonology for this part, but I’m sure it works just as well as Affliction or Destruction. I killed the two dogs first, letting Tarecgosa tank the big sentinel. Just set my demon on them and dotted them up. Make sure to move out of the fire patches that the sentinel puts on the ground and you’ll be fine. Once the dogs were dead, it was an easy job killing the sentinel.

You’ll now start walking down the path towards where the first boss normally is. Watch out for the frost walls coming out of the sides, you have to pace yourself. It’s pretty much the same as the hallway in Icecrown Citadel if you remember it.

You’ll meet another couple of big dudes, but Tarecgosa will keep you safe. Then, however, she will run off and leave you alone to deal with 3 dogs. It’s no worries really, just set your demon on them and dot them all up. Use Drain Life to keep yourself alive if you need to.

Now there’s the hallway leading up to the landing before where Grand Magus Telestra can normally be found. This is a bit of a gauntlet event with lots of small adds who will keep re-spawning if you’re not quick enough.

I just powered my way through it with Hellfire and my Felguard using Felstorm. I’m sure as any other spec it can be done as well, just make sure you keep moving. Use Drain Life to stay alive if needed. I killed one set of adds (they sort of spawn in packs), then ran up to the next one.. killed it.. and so on.

When you get to the top, keep moving forward to Telestra’s room, or you might risk pulling the pack at the top when it respawns. In Telestra’s room you’ll see Tarecgosa frozen by two sentinels. They won’t aggro you though, so you have time to regain mana/health before you attack them.

I just burned them down one at a time (you seem to only aggro the one you attack, so you can take a break for mana/health in between if needed), while remembering to move out of the freezing ground ability.

After this Tarecgosa will run down the next hallway where a big wall of ice will be blocking the way. She will work on breaking it down while asking you to watch her back. A named, big dog will appear. He’s easy though – just keep your pet on him and dps him as usual while moving away from the shadowflame he will breathe towards you.

The Platforms

Once the ice wall is down you will see the old room with the ramps and platforms, only now there are only floating little platforms there. On each platform is a dragonkin. There’s a little disc in front of you which you will have to jump onto, and it will float you towards the closest dragonkin.

Your pet will bug out at this point and not join you, so you’re on your own. Make sure you’re at full health and mana before you jump onto the disc.

The dragonkin will cast shadowbolts, so use your Shadow Ward liberally. There are also floating orbs at the edge of his platform (a total of 4 I believe). Make sure you always use one before he does his big shadow damage move (you’ll see a warning that he’s powering it up).

Be careful no to cast anything after clicking the orb until you see a protective shield around yourself. I’ve heard that it can bug out/delay if you’re casting.

After the big add is down, jump onto his platform. Don’t jump any further yet because two small adds will appear and you’ll have to kill them. Once they’re dead, make sure you get health/mana back before jumping onto one of their discs to get to the next platform.

Rinse and repeat until you land safely on the other side of the chasm.

Don’t worry about the many adds here, Tarecgosa will appear and nuke them all for you. Quickly make sure you have your pet, get mana and health back, and run up the platform to where Anomalus usually is.

The Boss

Now you will be facing the boss himself, a Twilight Dragon named Thyrinar. He does some abilities that you need to be aware of.

Ability 1: Twilight Blast
Use your Felhunter to silence it as much as possible. Shadow Ward on cooldown.

Ability 2: Twisting Twilight
A beam of shadow that follows you and puts shadowflame on the ground. Make sure you kite it around the edges of the room. Don’t get hit – you’ll die!

Ability 3: Twilight Restoration
This is a big self-heal buff and also makes him take 50% less damage. Make sure you use your Felhunter to Devour it!

He will also summon adds that do a Fire Nova ability. Try never to be close to the adds. Let the pet tank them, and fear them if they get too close to you.

Tactic:

Put your pet on Passive, because if he attacks the boss he will bug out (due to the boss flying). Make sure your pet is always in range to dispel the healing buff, and silence as many twilight blasts as possible.

When the boss summons an add (it will come running up the ramp), set your pet on it. Put an instant dot or two on it. I didn’t always do this, and the pet seemed to kill it anyway. However, I did notice that without 2/2 Fel Synergy the pet died (probably because I used Soul Link).

Just keep all your DoTs on the boss, use Drain Life as your filler (you’ll need it!) instead of Shadowbolt. The Felhunter glyph will help with health as well any time you dispel the self-heal.

You will spend most of the fight putting up DoTs, using Drain Life and silencing and purging the boss. Remember to put your pet on the add and kite the beam around the edges (make sure your pet doesn’t stand in it though!). Don’t forget to use Shadow Ward every cooldown as well, since he casts the Twilight Blast almost constantly, and your pet’s silence can’t get nearly as many as we’d like.

It took me a few tries to get him down, but it wasn’t nearly as hard as I had expected. The changes to Fel Synergy and the Felhunter glyph made a huge difference!

To help with the silencing and purging (and you’ll want this done as reliably as possible), I set the boss as my Focus target and keybound the following two macros.

#showtooltip Devour Magic
/cast [@focus] Devour Magic

#showtooltip Spell Lock
/cast [@focus] Spell Lock

 

Good luck with your quest!

Using Spirit and/or Resilience gear

There are some simple truths out there when it comes to gear. All classes have stats that are useless to them, and other that are useful. Some are more useful than others.

For Warlocks we know that Spirit is one of those horrible, useless stats that give us absolutely nothing. I’ve read comments and guides by people saying that you should rather wear a green item than an item with Spirit.

Now, that’s not entirely true.

Gearing up relies in large part upon luck. You have to kill the bosses, which you may argue is skill – but then the boss has to actually drop the pieces that you need, and you need to win them.

I know that for the longest time I could not get my hands on a pair of good bracers. The only pair I got had Spirit on them! I eventually switched them for a pair of PvP bracers. (Another big no-no from a lot of people.)

Thing is, you can only choose to equip items that you have. And choosing the best item that you have is what I want to look at today.


Stat Weights

I’m sure you’ve heard the term before. Basically, each stat in the game has a value to your character in regards to how useful it is. The way to find out the stat weights for your character specifically is to run Simulation Craft with your data plugged in.

This does mean that your stat weights can change if you get a new piece of gear and you may want to check again.

Once you have your stat weights, you know which stats are the most important to you – and they have an actual numerical value.

This is where you can use your stat weights to determine which piece of gear is better for you to wear, even if it has Spirit or even Resilience.

The Calculation

For the sake of this post, I will use some dummy numbers (I don’t remember my own off hand), but they shouldn’t be too far off.

Intellect: 2.7
Hit: 1.8
Crit: 0.9
Haste: 1.1
Mastery: 0.7

Spirit and Resilience both have 0 value.

So let’s compare two items to see which one is the best one to use. We do so by adding the values they get if you combine the stat weights and see which one ends up with the highest number.

I will use the PvP bracers I ended up using instead of the Spirit PvE bracers which was the only piece I had at the time.

Vicious Gladiator’s Cuffs of Accuracy
Intellect: 201 (201*2.7 = 542,7)
Hit: 134 (134*1.8 = 241,2)
Resilience: 134 (134*0 = 0)
Total Value: 783,9

Baron Ashbury’s Cuffs
Intellect: 168 (168*2.7 = 453,6)
Mastery: 112 (112*0.7 = 78,4)
Spirit: 112 (112*0 = 0)
Total Value: 532

According to this calculation, the Resilience bracers are better. However, we also have to take into account reforging. I would reforge the Spirit on the Bracers to Hit. So let’s do a calculation on the bracers with the Spirit reforged to Hit.

Baron Ashbury’s Cuffs
Intellect: 168 (168*2.7 = 453,6)
Mastery: 112 (112*0.7 = 78,4)
Spirit: 67 (67*0 = 0)
Hit: 45 (45*1.8 = 81)
Total Value: 613

In this particular case, the resilience bracers are still better. It’s all about what kind of luck you have with drops, and wrist especially was a difficult case for me personally for quite some time. In fact, it still kind of is. I’ve now upgraded to a pair of epic Spirit bracers. I swear Lady RNG hates me.

But let’s look at another possibility. I recently had the option to upgrade to an epic head with Spirit on it, or keep my blue ilevel 346 head. Those situations can be tricky. Is the Spirit item better or worse?

Cowl of Pleasant Gloom
Intellect: 242 (242*2.7 = 653,4)
Crit: 182 (182*0.9 = 163,8)
Hit: 162 (162*1.8 = 291,6)
Total Value: 1108,8

Crown of Burning Waters
Intellect: 281 (281*2.7 = 758,7)
Spirit: 228 (228*0 = 0)
Mastery: 168 (168*0.7 = 117,6)
Total Value: 876.30

Even if I reforged the Spirit to Hit (which would give me 92 Hit = another 165,6 points), the epic item would not be better than the blue ilevel 346 item.

While, in this case, the Spirit item ended up being worse than the non-Spirit item – there will be times when the Spirit items come up ahead.

The best thing you can do is find your own stat weights, and find out for yourself. Then you know when to switch a piece of gear for a Spirit piece (or on the odd occasion a resilience piece)

Wands are another one of those items that are difficult to get, and I know for a lot of people Finkle’s Mixer Upper ends up better (since there are so few good wands out there). With the Spirit reforged to Hit it beats a lot of the blue wands available.

In Conclusion

Don’t automatically assume that a higher ilevel is a better item for you. Especially if it has an undesirable stat. Spirit especially, but it can also be Mastery if you have an item with Haste+Hit. Make sure you compare the items to see which one is actually better according to your stat weights.

However, there are times when it’s okay to use Spirit items – if they end up better than what you have.

May Lady RNG shine her luck, I know she hates me – maybe she likes some of you better!

Warlock Raid Loot (Tier 11)

This is not a “proper” post, but a list of available gear from the current tier of raids. I know it’s late, and we’re soon getting another tier – and I intend to make a loot list from that once it hits. This is just to complement the Warlock Pre-Raid Gear list (which has been updated to include ZA/ZG gear) and the future 4.2 gear list.

This is a list of loot available to Warlocks from the current raid content. Note that this is not a Best in Slot list, but I will list all items available to us.

I don’t personally believe in Best in Slot lists. While they might be interesting and something to aim for if you’re in a high end guild, I find loot a little too random to know what you will get. What is generally considered BiS, may not be BiS for you right now because it would make you lose too much Hit for example.

Spirit items are not listed because Spirit is a useless stat for Warlocks. However, there may be instances where a Spirit item may be better than a blue piece you might have, in which case feel free to grab it and reforge the Spirit to something useful. I just won’t include the item on the list.

I don’t want to clutter the list, so I’m listing the non-Heroic pieces. Pretty much everything has the same item, but as Heroic version from the Heroic raids.

Note: The gear from Throne of the Four Winds have random stats, so they may or may not end up useful to a Warlock.

HEAD
Power Generator Hood (Blackwing Descent – Omnotron Defense System)
Shadowflame Hood (Blackwing Descent – Nefarian *Token*)

SHOULDER
Shadowflame Mantle (Throne of Four Winds – Al’Akir *Token*)
Shadowflame Mantle (Bastion of Twilight – Cho’gall *Token*)
Mantle of Roaring Flames (Blackwing Descent – Atramedes)

CHEST
Shadowblaze Robes (Blackwing Descent – Nefarian)
Dizze’s Whirling Robe (Trash)

WAIST
Soul Breath Belt (Throne of the Four Winds – Conclave of Wind)
Belt of Arcane Storms (Blackwing Descent – Maloriak)

HANDS
Hands of the Twilight Council (Bastion of Twilight – Cho’gall)

WRIST
Bracers of the Bronze Flight (Bastion of Twilight – Halfus Wyrmbreaker)
Bracers of the Dark Pool (Bastion of Twilight – Trash)

LEGS
Soul Breath Leggings (Throne of the Four Winds – Al’Akir)
Flame Pillar Leggings (Blackwing Descent – Magmaw)

FEET
Einhorn’s Galoshes (Blackwing Descent – Chimaeron)

BACK
Planetary Drape (Throne of the Four Winds – Al’Akir)
Shadow of Dread (Blackwing Descent – Nefarian)

NECK
Valiona’s Medallion (Bastion of Twilight – Valiona & Theralion)

FINGER
Planetary Band (Throne of the Four Winds – Conclave of Wind)
Signet of the Fifth Circle (Bastion of Twilight – Cho’gall)

TRINKET
Theralion’s Mirror (Bastion of Twilight – Valiona & Theralion)
Heart of Ignacious (Bastion of Twilight – Ascendant Council)
Bell of Enraging Resonance (Blackwing Descent – Atramedes)

WEAPON
Stormwake, the Tempest’s Reach (Throne of the Four Winds – Al’Akir)
Blade of the Witching Hour (Bastion of Twilight – Valiona & Theralion)
Incineratus (Blackwing Descent – Magmaw)
Maldo’s Sword Cane (Blackwing Descent – Trash)

OFF-HAND
Book of Binding Will (Bastion of Twilight – Halfus Wyrmbreaker)

WAND
Theresa’s Booklight (Blackwing Descent – Trash)