Thursday, October 8, 2009

[General] Trinkets, tanking and you part 2 - the answers

As promised (though a bit late) here's the followup to the previous post about trinkets.

First off, this is the list of responses overall:

KT Hodir NRB Anub Mimiron
Juggernaut 5 9 9
Glyph 5 2 1 10
Bheart 5
3 5 8
DM:G 5 3 5 5 2
6 2

It's an interesting spread. No one would ever use the balebrew trinket on KT, no one would use the heart on Hodir, no one would use Juggs + Balebrew on Anub, and no one would use glyph on mimiron. Interesting.

Here's what I either have chosen or would have chosen:

Boss 1: Kel'Thuzad (25-man) tanking the adds (at T7 levels of gear): I'd go with glyph and Black Heart. Huge health is nice on this, but not essential, and while you hit SI at the end this can actually hurt you if KT picks that moment to freeze you in a giant chunk of ice, as it does a percentage of your damage. Armor is awesome here, as it works against multiple mobs well and it deals with being stunned/frozen. I would also want an extra CD just in case, and glyph is great.

Boss 2: Hodir (25-man) tanking the boss at just starting T8 levels of gear. For this, you want a fairly large chunk of stam. I didn't mention, but I assumed you'd be one-tanking it. If that's the case I'd go with Juggernaut and Black Heart. For a bear, two stam trinkets (even at barely T8 levels of gear) is going to put you well over the frozen blow limit for stamina, so you don't need raw stam only. Black Heart gives stam for the frozen blows and gives armor for when he's not.
(bonus: does this change if you're trying for the hard mode?)
Yeah, and as many alluded to chances are you don't need the stamina trinkets and are going for minimum healers, so DM:G gets the nod here - as does some other threat trinket, most likely. Or an avoidance one. Given the choices the best 'threat' trinket is likely the balebrew charm. :)

Boss 3: Heroic Northrend Beasts (25-man) tanking Gormok with one other tank, then tanking the stationary worm, then DPSing on Icehowl (at barely T9-levels of gear). This one was surprising to me, as while almost everyone picked Juggernaut, very few went double stamina. That's what I do, by the way - I go Juggernaut + either Heart of Iron (what I did to start) or Black Heart (what I do now). The extra CD from Heart of Iron was too good to pass up. On my first kill tanking it I went Defender's Code + Heart of Iron to get the extra CD, but it wasn't reliable enough and would lead to my death anyway.

Anyway, my experience here is that more than anything else, raw stam is great.

Boss 4: Heroic Anub'arak (10-man) tanking Anub'arak (at T8-levels of gear) This is another interesting one. Everyone picked glyph, and it was the only unanimous pick of the whole test. But then choices were between Black Heart and DM:G. On 10-man, I went with Defender's Code and DM:G to start, but with the nature resist strat I actually went and equipped more stam, going for defender's code and heart of iron instead. Now that I'm doing it in 25s, I'm using glyph and juggernaut. The reason this works is that I'm getting rid of stamina in other ways. And the cooldown from juggernaut is useful, even though it heals; damage can be very rough.

The way I justify this is that I'm losing about 8k total health in using the other non-stamina trinket, the flask, and the various enchants. So I gain a bit back. So far, it's worked out ok.

I'm not a fan of DM:G on this because the worst case doesn't allow you to block and DM:G doesn't have an on-use. Dodging is good, don't get me wrong, but the thing that kills tanks is unlucky melee+slash+ leeching swarm more than anything. And since you're stunned, the main way to deal with that is by armor and stamina (and resistance).

Boss 5: Mimiron (10-man) tanking phase 1, then tanking adds in phase 3, then tanking all parts in phase 4. Again, most people picked Juggernaut as the first trinket choice. Many picked Black Heart, but that was puzzling; what actually hits physically hard on this fight? The assault bots don't, the boss doesn't; the dangers are almost entirely magical. I was expecting more Balebrew charms. For the record on normal mode I just did this with HoI and DM:G.

(bonus: does this change in hard mode at all?) Yes, it did - I went pure stamina and would do so again, so that I could hopefully survive the plasma blasts. It's tough.

Onto the comments:

Anon - the hydross trinket didn't have an internal CD, but it didn't proc all that often. I had an uptime of about 50%, give or take. Which makes it a bit less valuable than Glyph on the normal case, but it's not predictive and not on demand. It's kinda meh, but if you want to maximize armor no matter what? Probably a decent idea.

Frederic, Edward Nigma's wife is totally awesome as an answer.

dtc (and others) - I didn't put Heart of Iron on there because I wanted y'all to think a bit. Namely, is 170 stamina without an on-use good enough? Otherwise the answer is almost always "Juggernaut + HoI" over and over again, and that's boring.

Liz - RNG is a bastard on beasts, but RNG is really an illusion. The only really dangerous times are on impales, and you know exactly when an impale is going to hit, without question. Time your CDs (and use external ones) for these, and you will be golden.

As to Beasts and dtc's question, we do use only two tanks on beasts and so far it's been fine once we worked out a few kinks. Our rotation looks like this, kinda (from memory, so forgive me if it's wrong)

I start. Note that 'impale x' means 'have CD used for impale x', so if it says barkskin on impale 1, that means that barkskin is up in time to eat impale 1.
impale 1: barkskin
impale 2: trinket CD
impale 4: warrior taunts
impale 6: trinket
impale 8: I taunt, barskin
impale 9: GS
impale 10: SI
impale 11: warrior taunts, LS, I get BoPPed
impale 12 (if it happens): Shield wall
impale 13: PS

then warrior gets bopped.

Nowadays we don't get to impale 12 unless we got very unlucky on snobolds.

It is a shitton of damage, but it allows for faster DPS on all three phases and is fairly easy. With this rotation down we're no longer getting gibbed randomly due to tank death; the only issue is if snobolds decide to go kill nothing but healers. That's basically the only RNG part.


Torosso said...

I have been torn between going for more stam (I have BHeart and HoIron) or using Glyph + HoIron and having more armor and another trinket CD for H-Beasts.

Currently I have going with the latter.

We use a 5,5,2,2 strat with BOP's on each tank once they get a 5 stack. The dangerous part starts at Impale 3-5. The early impales is where i use my trinket CD's. I save barkskin (3+4) and SI (5) for late impales.

It takes a while for the rising anger buff to get to max stacks so we can take more impales early on in the encounter. Once the buff is fully up most tanks can only survive 2 stacks before getting gibbed.

Changing trinkets for encounters is always my first thing to consider when doing a new encounter. I always have my default goto trinkets if I am unsure.

Paulwalker said...

Hi there. I've been reading your blog for quite some time now, but have always been a resto druid for pvp and pve. I've recently switched one of my specs to full bear pve tanking, and have fleshed out a "decent" tanking set.

I didn't really know where else to post this on your blog, but I was just curious on your thoughts of bear tanks being "squishier" than the other tanks?

The reason I ask is because I'm one of three druid tanks that I've seen on my server, and I'm curious if there's a reason behind it.

I don't raid much, just VoA 10/25, Ony 10/25, and the occasional Naxx runs on the weekends when I can find/lead a pug. Mostly I just run heroics.

Anyways, a bit winded, I was just curious if we're at a disadvantage because we can only dodge for avoidance and cannot parry/block. I understand having a bit higher armor and health than the other tanks might make up for some of that, but obviously not all of it. Or is it just druids preference on my server?

Thanks for any passing responses from other commenters too. And if you've posted a recent post about this, I apologize in advance for not finding it.

- Paulwalker, US-Galakrond

Shamad said...

Slightly shocked to see nobody had picked Juggernaut for Anub, it's clearly the best after Glyph. I guess you might consider Defender's Code, but since as MT you do sacrifice some HP it's good to try and make up for it otherwise.

Torosso; that sounds like a really scary Beasts tactic...just do more frequent tankswitches instead and use a 3rd tank if possible, the 3rd tank can also help out by switching in and out on p2 to allow the Dreadscale tank to go free the Acidmaw tank.

Also I don't get the KT choices, it's either full stam(MT) or full armor(OT), I really don't see a reason for using DM:G unless you're trying to dps p2 as OT, which is just adding more risks of chaining ices in melee and not worth it.

ps. Tribute to Insanity 25man yesterday <3

Shamad said...

Paulwalker; Druids are not squishy currently, there was a period during Ulduar progress when Druids weaker cooldowns left them slightly weaker overall, but when it comes to fights with higher portions of continous damage or physical damage, druids are very strong.

In terms of gearing, the differing DR's make sure that each tank class is somewhat similar in terms of avoidance, although in WotLK avoidance hasn't really been much of an issue anyway. What really works in the druids favour though is the ability to sacrifice stats for gimmick encounters, resulting in FR druids on S3D, Resi druids on Thorim and now NR druids on Anub. This is also the reason it's always good to have a druid somewhere in the wings for new content, since there's almost always a fight he can trivialize.

Frédéric said...

My guild and I started fighting 25 Heroic Beast yesterday, and Oh my god, Gormok hurts! So definitely Jug + Black Heart even if I go for damage in phase 3.
But, since I don't have Jug, I go for Glyph + Black Heart...

We use 3,4(BOP),3(BOP),1,2 but I wonder about 4,4(BOP),3(BOP),1,1 instead since difficulties are in the end of P1 for tank healing and at transition P1/P2. I think it certainly one of the best compromise...

Anonymous said...

For Hodir Hardmode (at closer to T9 levels of gear), (esp. if are dual-specced kitty and would reasonable to have the dps trinket), I would think about looking at the Death's Choice trinkets. Not totally sure, but Greatness and D.C. seem like they would be very useful if you were threat capping dps early in the fight.

Shamad said...

Again, 3 tanks, each takes 2 impales and then a switch. Armor trinket geats stam here.

Ironhyde said...

Warning-this is a way off topic comment

I was wondering if anyone had any thoughts on kitty dps for 25 man heroic Anub. I am currently in danger of losing my raid spot and am really not sure what I can do to improve my dps. I seem to be tops on the meter during the first two add phases before the burrow but after, during the scarab phase, my dps plummets. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Kalon said...

Wow, Torosso - that's hardcore. We just let the 4-impale fall off; by the time 9 hits, the damage isn't so high that healers can't deal. I'd probably go glyph in your shoes.

Paulwalker - yes and no. It really depends on incoming damage profiles. My personal view is that anything that has large, slow hits favors druids heavily. Anything that has faster hits favors avoidance tanks more. The main reason that there aren't that many druid tanks? Resto is so strong.

There aren't many tanks of any spec all that often, but I think for the most part people that are drawn to play druids to start aren't doing it because they're planning on tanking. That isn't the case for warriors or paladins.

In any case, druids are at a disadvantage due to not having as much overall avoidance as other tanks. However, this is more than made up for by the strong advantages that the highest health potentials and the highest armor gives a druid, and combine that with decent damage output, great gear flexibility, good aoe threat, and some very useful cooldowns and druid are very well off right now.

Grats, Shamad! I guess I don't know -are you still tanking, or are you on your priest?

Frederic - i would strongly recommend taking as many stretches of impales early on as you can. It really helps in the later phase. 4-4-3-3 works great for us, and it means the bops happen when the impales are hitting hardest.

Anon - the death's trinkets are pretty strong for bears, especially as threat ones. They rank higher than DM:G for that.

Ironhyde -Well, ferals are going to suck on the scarab phase. They aren't ranged, don't have a lot of early burst on targets, etc. Where they shine is their ability to kite mobs and take punishment if needed.

That being said, you should probably go for even more armor pen if you can and go away from grim toll if your goal is to do as much aoe DPS as you humanly can. You can lose some hit/expertise that way too, but mostly - go as much as you possibly can. Honestly, Feral cats aren't the best choice here, especially compared to rogues and DKs, and you might have to lose a spot - but you can at least do a lot more aoe damage than you are now.

Shamad said...

Still on priest, we're only raiding with one feral atm and that's Elumarom, our Anub MT. If we take in another feral it'll prolly be another former member who switched servers but it back now, but tbh we're allready drowning in exceptional melee dps so the raidspots are hard to come by.

Paulwalker said...

Thanks for the responses on druid tanking!

I know all of you are much more progressed, but I just tanked VoA 25 for my first time (normally just heal it), and it was probably the most fun I've had in the game. Koralon was fun, but being the add tank on Emalon is exceptionally fun to me. I used to be resto, and I just can't heal in PvE anymore after tanking. I honestly feel a lot more involved in the fights as a tank, probably just perspective.

Kalon your blog has helped me very much in gearing up and knowing what to gear towards so far! Thanks again!

-Paulwalker, US-Galakrond

Mittnacht said...

I think the more interesting trinket choice is for Twins. All that magic damage made me pick stam trinkets, but the only time tanks really take a beating is during twin's pact when the non-shielding twin dual wields. That's the only time I have felt vulnerable. So, does anyone use avoidance or armor for this fight?


bearmount said...

Twin's is something like 40% physical dmg on your tank and 60% magic damage. You could basically wear whatever trinkets you want in the sense that there are few times in this fight where you're going to be in real danger of dying, but you'd get so little benefit out of a mitigation or avoidance trinket I wouldn't even bother. Best way to deal with this fight is pop a dodge trinket like Heart of Iron during Twin Spike to deal with the faster attacks and then use whatever other trinket you want. In my mind there's no substitute for Juggernaut's here.

I dunno how many people do this, but we just leave our tanks in during AOE, having them stay the same color throughout the fight. I pop barkskin and either Survival Instincts or Juggernaut (both if its the last one). I dont think its ever killed me. Worst I've seen happen is I forget to pop barkskin for a couple seconds and get down to 30% hp. Never get nearly this low on Twin's Pact, so that's my reason for stam stacking.

Basically you cant reduce your damage taken much in this fight through trinket choices so might as well go stam (with a dodge on use). If you really want to reduce damage best way is grab those resist rings from Onyxia.

Shamad said...

Bearmount; we do the same, tanks just take the damage from the vortex, it's never been an issue for us atleast.

Frédéric said...

Shamad :
We first try with 3 tank, and we had problem because healer were too much splitted between tank and we only had 1 pally when we try, then we try with 2 tank and it was really better.
We went for 4-4(BoP)-3(BoP)-1-1 yesterday and it was really enough and easier, nearly every P1 passed... Then comes the lot of death in P2... Our raid is full of melee (about 10 sometimes more...)
It's our first serious timer on Argent Coliseum Heroic 25, so we need a little more practice, but I'm sure we'll pass these beasts! ;)

Shamad said...

Frederic; as always with tank switches, make sure to call them out clearly on vent before the switch, say 5 seconds should be a sufficient time for healers to heal up their current target, refresh hots and shields and prepare spam on the new target.

Frédéric said...

Yep :) Thank you for advices :)

Kalon said...

Paulwalker - that's great to hear. Congrats! :)

Mittnacht, I'd probably go with threat trinkets for Twins. The damage is only scary when the other twin has a vortex, and even then not so much. Threat isn't an issue, but you can at least put out fairly gross DPS as a tank with it. Really, the only things that stress a tank are Beasts and Anub'arak. Everything else is mostly noise.

bearmount and shamad - that's what we do as well, just leave our tanks in and let them eat the vortex. It's only like 50k damage, and with one CD (not even SI) it's perfectly manageable.

Frederic - that's one reason I very much favor Black Heart - because it gives you more mitigation on tank switches. And that's awesome. But yes, especially when it's a scary new fight we call out on vent 'taunting in 3,2,1,taunt) so that healers can make sure to switch at the right time.

This is why I think 2 tanks are easier than 3 on beasts - because tank switches are dangerous times. 2 tanks requires less coordination and more raw healing, but raw healing in my experience is easier to do than coordination :)

Shamad said...

Tsk tsk Kalon, you're doing yourselves a BEARS favour by not forcing your healers to practice their co-ordination every chance you get. The guilds who didn't bother learning to rotate tank CD's on Sarth3D were in worse position for Ulduar with things such as FF p1 plasma blasts and Thorim HM.

Kalon said...

Shamad, I guess that's a fair cop. I'd still say it's easier, and there's plenty of coordination to test when you get to Anub'arak.

Night said...

Don;t suppose you have a list somewhere of the NR gear for tanking heroic Anub25, getting smashed on our attempts into p3 so far