Wednesday, 15 December 2010

Barely tanking Throne of the Tides normal

So Throne of the Tides. This instance is located deep underwater in Vashj'ir. Again check for a guide on how to find the entrance. Now there is a quest for Throne given inside the entrance, unfortunately according to Wowhead you have to complete all the quests in the Vashj'ir zone before you can pick it up. This is a shame as one of the rewards is a pretty nice chest piece. Still, no way am I doing all of Vashj'ir for something I'll replace at level 83 with some Hyjal reputation reward.

The trash again was reasonable, we did use crowd control on some of the bigger pulls, using mind control and letting the mind controlled mob die. The packs of goblin mages and hunters were a bit of a sod, initially we thought to AOE them, but unfortunately they do a load of damage to their target, so we switched back to good old single target DPS. This trash will be a bugger on heroic I suspect.

Lady Naz'jar
Lady Naz is a fairly interesting fight. She will firstly do a big attack called Shock Blast which you should interrupt, I was able to Skull Bash her reliably every time.

Her other gimmick is the old circles of stuff under people, she will cast blue circles under a party member (including the tank), and after a few seconds a big geyser will erupt and throw the party member into the air, thus interrupting casts and giving fall damage. This needs to be moved out of, including the tank.

At 60% she summons 3 adds and goes immune, they are 2 casters and 1 melee type. It is best to get the party to kill the casters first and interrupt their chain lightning if possible, then the melee dude. Some chaos happened as I tried to tank all three! This is also a DPS race, she comes out of her bubble after a fixed amount of time, so you need to be quick killing those adds. Then things are back to normal, and she will do this again at 20%.

Sadly she doesn't seem to drop anything useful for Druids, so best kill her quick and move on.

Commander Ulthok
This guy is a big Faceless type mob. He will do an attack which drops a big void zone underneath him, so the tank needs to kite him around. I tried waiting until he cast, then moving backward, but this is prone to error - a small delay and you will get the void zone under you and take massive damage. I think the best approach is probably to keep him moving slowly around the outside of the room. I have also seen an approach on Rurikhan's video where you strafe when he casts the spell, which is quicker than walking backward. You still need to move him around if the space to the left and right are full of void goodness, but this is a promising tactic.

Ulthok also occasionally grips someone into him and carries them for a bit, then drops them. If this happens and he is still stood on one of his void zones, bye bye party member. So it is doubly important to keep the ground under him clear.

Loot of note is Caridean Epaulettes which are very nice.

Erunak Stonespeaker
Now you may have seen him as you quest around Vashj'ir, but I have not yet finished all the zone quests, so I'm not sure what he is doing in Throne of the Tides.

In any case, he has a few special abilities to worry about. Firstly is a massive magma cone attack which makes sure you need to keep him facing away from the party. Then there is a lava bolt which does 20k to a random party member, which I think can be interrupted, or just healed through. Given healers have to watch their mana these days, interrupting seems wise.

At 50% the squid sat on his head will release itself and go wandering around, this is then a tank-and-spank fight. The squid, Mindbender Ghur'sha, will put a big cloud of bubbling green gas under itself which stops spells and does damage, so get out of it. He will sometimes shield himself, and any damage done will actually heal him, so the DPS need to be watching for that and stop damage.

After a while, the squid then latches onto someone in the party and mind controls them! You then need to tank them while they are spanked by the group to 50% health, after which the squid detaches and it is back to tank-and-spank on Mindbender.

After a lot of running around madly, we got this guy down. Notable loot is the Porcelain Crab which I actually got, woot.

The final encounter features Neptulon standing in a room, channeling magic to purify the water while you defend him from various waves of adds (think Tribute of Ages), then you get to spank Ozumat the giant octopus. Bad octo!

The first wave consists of Murlocs which can be AOEd and Faceless ones which can be tanked (Vicious Mindlashers I think). There will also be a big faceless one who should be tanked, the Unyielding Behemoth, he does an front cone spray attack occasionally so should be kept away from the party, while the smaller ones can be left for the DPS to kill off as they do magic attacks mostly. Waves of these mobs come a few times until phase 2 hits and new adds appear.

In phase 2, you get more Faceless adds who channel a spell onto Neptulon, Faceless Sappers, and during the phase several Blight Beasts (like Blood Beasts from Deathbringer Saurfang) will appear. The DPS should be killing the Sappers while you try to kite the beasts around. There are also black puddles on the floor, but we all know to avoid things on the floor by now (I hope). Some crazy spamming of Feral Faerie Fire is done in this phase to keep the beast's interest and you can even help out DPSing the Sappers.

Then its into phase 3, where you all get super powered and Ozumat attaches itself to the outside of the room and tries to kill Neptulon. Just clean up any left over beasts and wander across to the room wall, Ozumat can be targeted and attacked. Now if you get right up against the wall, a bug will make him disappear, but you can still attack. Once the beasts are dead, you can even go Cat form for some awesome John Madden type action! This is a really fun fight with a lot of running around, feral charging everything in sight.

Loot of note is Nautilus Ring, which I didn't get.

This instance felt a little harder than Blackrock Caverns, there is a bit more tanking trickery involved and sudden death situations to skillfully avoid (or not, as the case may be). It is also really quite pretty.

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