My Chars

Monday, July 28, 2008

Tanking Heroic Botanica

Last evening the Daily Heroic was Botanica. A couple of guild mates (mage and fury warrior) were looking for a tank and I thought I would give it a chance.
We were joined by a healer and a hunter from other guilds but good ones, so I knew this would be a good PuG.

Even so, Heroic Botanica is a hard instance for a druid tank, with many pulls consisting of large groups (4, 5 or even more mobs). The 2 CC did the best they could of course but it was hard going all the way and the run took about twice the time a well geared group with a Paladin tank would have. The BoK and Commanding Shout buffs helped me of course, together with a Flask of Fortification and a food buff I had just over 17k life which was sufficient most of the time.

First time we wiped was while fighting a group of 3 mobs too close to the end of the path of a patroling robot. After that you can bet I made sure to stay far away from patrols :)
I don't think we wiped again on trash but we were pulling/killing a bit slowely. The low DPS worked in my favor as a tank, since I could hold agro more easily, but it didn't make the run any faster. Also sometime people died here and there and we had to wait till they were ressed and ready for the next pull.

The first boss was actually easy, our DPS was high enough so that only one group of adds had time to spawn and I managed to get agro on them so that there was no problem taking them down after the boss.

Botanist Freywinn also didn't present us with any problems, everyone knew the tactic of running to the corner so that the lashers would have to follow us, DPS was again high enough that after ~3 repetitions the boss was down.

Thorngrin wiped us once. I pulled, the fight started okay, then the paladin healer got Sacrificed. No problemo, he simply bubbled... only then the boss proceeded to Sacrifice him twice more in a row, with predictable results. After we all ressed and were ready again, I positioned the paladin out of LoS and tanked the boss in the center of the room. The frequent loss of agro right after he casts Sacrifice was annoying and I kept having to run out of the AoE fire but otherwise the fight was straight-forward and we got him down.

Another wipe was on Laj. The first time I tried him, I got up on the podium when you first see him and tanked him there. I started taking really insane amounts of damage whenever the adds would come up and so did the fury warrior (hunter and mage were assigned to the adds). After we wiped, the warrior suggested he take the add while the mage nukes the boss, making the healer's job easier. In addition, I stayed off the podium, meaning almost no damage while the adds were up (Laj goes back on top of the podium whenever adds are summoned), so the healer's job was much easier. It also helped that the hunter put up his Nature Resistance aura. Turned the fight into a very easy fight actually :) Only other thing I noticed - near end of the fight Laj did an expanding cloud/ring of poison that was centered on my location, and I started taking large amounts of damage from it, so I moved from it after a while. Maybe that was what killed me first time...

The trash just before the last boss were really impossible for me to tank, as there were just too many for swipe to be any good and therefore the others easily got agro. The poor squishy mage died twice (once per pack) but thankfully we didn't wipe on them.

Warp Splinter himself was hard, we wiped/reset 2 times before taking him down. First time, mage pulled agro, pulling the boss to the group. I taunted but the mage had already blinked to me, which put him far from healer. Since Warp does AoE damage, the mage was soon dead and our DPS became too low and we had to reset. Second time we took him down to 1% before healer went OOM and died and soon after I died too. Last time was the charm, we gave it all we had and the boss went down :)
Warp is pretty annoying to tank as he stunned me every few seconds during the fight which made it really hard to build/keep agro. This also affected our DPS since both me and the fury warrior were stunned a lot during the fight. My main mistake during the fight was not turning Warp around, his Arcane Volley did quite a bit of damage to the group meaning the paladin had to work really hard. Ah well, live and learn :)

At least in terms of badges the instance was worth it - 4 badges + 2 from daily, but sadly I didn't get any new tanking gear. Maybe next time...

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