It took us a couple of days and a ton of wipes, but Shadow Rising has finally downed the first raid boss of the MoP expansion, the Stone Guard from Mogu’shan Vaults! I will admit, I didn’t think this boss would be that difficult, but after we got the mechanics down, it was time to put these stone pups to sleep.
The Tank Dance
This fight is definitely a tank check for raid groups. It takes some good coordination and communication between the two tanks to make this fight work. Here are a couple of points for the tanks to keep in mind in the 10-man version:
- Make sure to get that initial aggro on the dog or dogs you’re assigned to at the start of the fight so that they don’t go running all over the place or munching on dps fiends *cough*Zug, Fayle*cough*
- Keep the two groups of dogs spread at least 20 yards apart, or the width of the carpet in the middle, so that the solo dog does not gain any energy as much as possible.
- Make sure that the dog that is casting Petrification is always paired up with the lowest energy dog.
- A dog will not cast Petrification twice in a row. So once it Overpowers, be ready for one of the other dogs to cast and plan your swap accordingly.
- Avoid the bad stuff on the floor, but maintain your distance from the other tank.
As you can see, the tanks have a lot to keep track of. Not only do you have to worry about which dogs to swap to and when, but you have to be aware of your distance, move away from the pools/mines/etc., all while using your tank cooldowns to survive and your dps rotation to keep aggro and assist with the other dps to take these dogs down.
This week, we had the Cobalt, Jade and Amethyst dogs up. So we didn’t have to worry about Jasper’s chain link ability, but we still had a lot of bad stuff on the floor to avoid from with Cobalt’s frozen mines and Amethyst’s purple pools. Adoe initially was calling out the switches, but then Lyss suggested that the tanks should be the ones to call out swaps. This allowed Adoe to focus on his dps more and call out other alerts, like when to break the mines when Cobalt was casting Petrification or using raid cooldowns. I was still feeling sick like a dog, pun intended, coming back from my trip to NY/NJ last week and really didn’t want to talk on vent. But I sucked it up and called out the swaps, even though it costed me several houndred coughs and 3/4ths of my lungs to come out, lol.
…is the key to tanking this fight. You have to be ready and quick to make the swaps and making sure the correct ones are made. An incorrect swap almost always results in a wipe, unless you get lucky and two of the dogs don’t Overload at the same time. For me, it got to the point where I was calling out the scenarios out loud to myself if I only had control of one dog. Something like:
“Moog has Cobalt and Jade, Jade just Overpowered and reset. I have Amethyst, if Amethyst starts to cast, I need to taunt Jade. If Cobalt casts, then we’re good and no swap.”
Seriously, I was saying this throughout the fight out loud to myself, lol. Hey, whatever works, right?
Pre-targeting also helps for quick taunts, especially if you have dogs with high energy already. In the above scenario, once Jade Overpowered, I had him targeted right away in case Amethyst was the next to cast. If Cobalt was next, I could just tab back to Amethyst and continue dpsing him.
This is a pretty challenging fight for tanks and it really keeps us on our toes, like Ultraxxion and, yes, Nefarion. =P Just plan you swaps ahead and you should be able to get these dogs down too.