Wednesday, December 2, 2009

We’re still doing it wrong

I’ve come to the conclusion that Parabola is simply an enigma wrapped in a puzzle, with a crunchy riddle coating. What do I mean by that you wonder? It’s simple – we never do anything the ‘right’ way.

Here’s the latest example.

Anub’arak – ToC 10H

Our tanking duo is a Paladin (me) and a feral druid (The Famous UnbearabullTM). This combo was formed up with the intent that we a) weren’t rolling on the same tank gear, and b) that we had DPS/Heal offset options. We don’t get to exercise those offsets very often, but they’re there when we need them.

Enough back story, on to the point of this post.

Back when we started learning Anub’arak we had a small issue with threat due to our high DPS raid, and Unbearabull not being expertise capped (this was when we were learning him on regular). After a couple bad pulls, we swapped tanks and proceeded to roll him over. Seeing as this combination worked in regular, we naturally carried it over to Heroic.

There was a slight learning curve with the shadowstrike interrupts, but by a) killing the adds quickly and b) using a liberal application of Bash and Arcane Torrent (here’s to having 5 Belfs in a raid), we managed to work through it. This isn’t to say that our kills are always clean – in fact they’re usually downright messy (1 or 2 deaths minimum) – but this strategy has worked for us, and worked quite well.

What the internet says

Since I read a ton of blogs, and spend a fairly sizeable chunk of my time researching the game mechanics, I’ve seen where using a block tank on Anub can trivialize or even eliminate the threat from the adds. Willing to try anything, I cobbled together the pieces of a block set I had left (about 3300 block with Holy Shield up, and about 50%) and we traded tanking roles.

Why this was a bad idea

First, we tried it on normal mode – but since we kill him on normal before he has a chance to burrow once (and there’s no shadow strike) – it wasn’t a real good test. The only thing we discovered was that my block completely mitigated the damage being done. So one part down anyway.

We hit Anub with all 50 attempts remaining, and with some reservation on my part, we decided to swap roles again. What. A. Mess.

I will take some responsibility for the wipes, due to either poor positioning, or not getting interrupts off on the shadow strikes in time. I also seemed to have a harder time holding the adds, and Unbearabull was getting folded by Anub. What was the problem? Where were the issues coming from? Why didn’t this “best practice” method work for us?

Who knows.

What I do know is after three or four wipes we swapped back, changed our gear around, and promptly one shot Anub with two people dying again. At 8% the fight was summed up quite nicely “Screw the right way. We win again.”


Simply put, I think there were three things that made the switch a poor choice at this stage.

  1. Unfamiliarity with add abilities. This was simply me not catching the interrupts properly.
  2. An expectation of threat. Generally I don’t have threat issues on snap pulls. I was probably hitting taunt a touch early though, and thus losing the add before I could secure it – because the DPS opens right up.
  3. Lack of CDs on the bear. Even with his higher armor value, I’m still only about 5% mitigation behind our bear when we hit phase 3 (Indestructible potions). I have two mitigation trinkets, and my damage reduction CD is better than his. Plus I cheat and have an extra life.

Going forward we’ll stick with the plan. Do it our way, and forget about the “right” way of doing it.


  1. We have a paladin tank that adds, but it's not a block set he wears, it's a hit set, to ensure that Holy Wrath connects for the interrupt every time. We can heal though the damage, but shadowstrikes are murder.

  2. For me the win is always more important than the how it happened. I can always look at the how later and if a better option is found then great but getting the W is all I really want



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