It’s been a while since I’ve done a legitimate theorycrafting post. We’ve had everything in MoP figured out for so long that there hasn’t been much incentive to do anything further. However now that we’ve started getting information about Warlords, there’s new things we can do! But first, a story.

A while ago I wrote a little story about how I got into theorycrafting. Normally this wouldn’t be pertinent, but part of this story was about making sure things are accurate and how to do that. One of those ways is of course, to ask for someone to look at your work. Kind-of like proof-reading.

Something that you may also not know (well some of you will) is that while I’m pretty decent at algebra, I’m really terrible at calculus. So I’ve had people review my stuff before, and did so again today. Thankfully both Theck and Ahanss made sure I wasn’t totally off my rocker. Theck may have also implicitly questioned my intelligence (he’s my friend, he’s allowed). I kid, I kid.

In any case, I’m here to talk to you today about Guardian Rage generation in Warlords of Draenor. At least, what we know about it from the alpha patch notes. Well, the first half of it anyway.

Spreadsheets and Simulations

In the current iteration of Guardian development, there are two different distinct possible rotations: With and without Pulverize. Today’s post is going to focus on the latter, more simple version of this rotation. Now, before we get into anything specific it’s important to understand that the most accurate way to investigate this kind of thing is through simulations which replicate gameplay. However it’s very possible – and usually much easier – to get most of the way there using a simple spreadsheet. Enough in any case, to pick up on any potential problems that might occur as gear improves throughout an expansion.

You may have seen me mention on Twitter that I want to get into working on SimC. I originally thought I would simply re-teach myself Java and build my own simulator, but Theck convinced me otherwise. Until I manage to teach myself C++ (or whatever they use) to a degree that I’m able to do anything productive, I will approximate situations using spreadsheets as best I can. That’s what I’ve done here. In order to do that though, I made a few assumptions.

Assumptions of Play

The results I will describe shortly are based on a set of assumptions of how a Guardian would play while tanking a boss. These are:

Fortunately I can prove all of these assumptions – with a reasonable degree of accuracy – using math. First, we know that Thrash‘s duration is 16 seconds. We also know that the chance of not getting a Mangle proc on 2 consecutive Lacerates is 75%*75% = 56.25%. Bare nekkid our GCD is 1.42857 seconds (5% Haste raid buff). That gives us 16 / 1.42857 = 11.2 GCDs every 16 seconds, or almost 12. That means the chance of not being able to use a Thrash on the 3rd GCD after a Mangle is only around 3% ((1-0.5625)^4).

Second, we know that the RPS to maintain 100% SD uptime (for 42 seconds) is only 6.6666~ if you bank 100 Rage before swapping. Since Mangle and Lacerate together generate at least 10 RPS without considering Mangle procs (60/6) or Haste, then that is definitely possible. I also assume around 10% base Dodge from Agility, which is about what we had at the start of the expansion after suppression.

My third assumption is pretty obvious, since Mangle does the most damage and generates the most Rage. As is by extension, the fourth. The actual formula for calculating the number of Mangles is something I re-purposed from Helistar by removing the “miss” and changing it to a variable GCD based on Haste. We know this formula is accurate to at least 3 sig-figs because of Tangedyn’s simulations during MoP Beta.

The fifth and final assumption is implied from the wording of Primal Fury although never confirmed.


The “TLDR” version of the results is that we’re going to be swimming in Rage, and Crit is worse than Haste in the current build until you reach GCD cap. The longer version has a bit of exposition along with visual aids. For example, this is what the graph looks like when you are completely naked and only have raid buffs.


We start at just over 18 RPS with this rotation. To provide a relative example, this is approximately the same amount of RPS we have now in heroic SoO gear. The obvious difference between the two examples is that Tooth and Claw is now free. This liberates an absolutely huge amount of our Rage for Frenzied Regeneration. But what happens when we add around 500 Crit and 500 Haste, an amount you might attain in Warlords dungeon gear?


Haste is still better, and our base generation has grown to 19.5 RPS. What about 1000 Crit and 1000 Haste, something you might see in the first raid tier?


We’re nearly hitting 21 RPS, and Haste is still clearly the superior stat. But what if we choose to purely stack Haste, since it’s clearly objectively better than Crit?


Over 21.5 RPS, and Haste still generates more Rage than Crit until the GCD cap.


There are two very clear conclusions visible.

  1. Crit is objectively worse than Haste until GCD cap. Even if the two generated similar amounts of Rage, Haste would still win because of the mitigation benefit from Tooth and Claw, and the increased uptime of Ursa Major.
  2. We are potentially generating too much Rage simply by executing our rotation.

In order to fix (1) Crit needs to either generate substantially more Rage than Haste, or also contribute to our survival in some other manner. However even if you simply increase Crit’s contribute to the Rage pool, I’m not convinced that the additional benefits of Haste won’t continue to outweigh it. Especially given how much base Rage generation we have.

(2) is something that is impossible to evaluate without knowing what Blizzard’s targets are. The concept makes sense from a high level though. The higher our base Rage generation is, the more incentive we will have to seek out secondary stats that do not contribute to Rage generation. I’m just really worried that our base generation will be too high, especially after Tooth and Claw becomes free.

If you want to play with the SS yourself, the link is available under “The Maths Corner” above.


Hello Guardians! Earlier this evening Blizzard posted a first cut at their alpha patch notes. In this post I’m going to dig deep into them and dissect the changes as much as possible. As per normal (even more so) remember that these changes ARE ALPHA AND SUBJECT TO CHANGE. That being said, let’s get started.

Some of these changes we’ve already seen at Blizzcon, but a lot of the Guardian specific ones are new.

General Mechanics Changes

Agility no longer provides an increased chance to critically strike with melee and ranged attacks or abilities. The base chance to critically strike is now 5% for all classes. There are no longer different chances to critically strike with melee, ranged, and spells. There is a new passive, named Critical Strikes, which increases chance to critically strike by 10%. It is learned by all Rogues, all Hunters, Feral and Guardian Druids, Brewmaster and Windwalker Monks, and Enhancement Shamans.

Removing dual-Crit scaling makes sense really. It was just really messy in reality to have to worry about multiple sources of Criticals. In return we get a baseline increase to make up for the difference. That’s fine.

Each point of Agility or Strength now grants 1 Attack Power (down from 2). All other sources of Attack Power now grant half as much as before. Weapon Damage values on all weapons have been reduced by 20%. Attack Power now increases Weapon Damage at a rate of 1 DPS per 3.5 Attack Power (up from 1 DPS per 14 Attack Power). Attack Power, Spell Power, or Weapon Damage now affect the entire healing or damage throughput of player spells.

I’ll be honest, the whole Attack Power and Weapon Damage thing was just getting really confusing for a lot of people. 1 AP per point of Strength or Agility just makes everyone’s lives easier, and I like the conversion of 3.5 AP to Weapon Damage as well. The nerf to weapon’s damage is likely just to accommodate the removal of base ability damage.

Celestalon later confirmed in a tweet that only the appropriate classes will benefit from Strength or Agility. That means we won’t have to worry about wanting Strength items after this change, or vice-versa.

The amount of Dodge gained per point of Agility has been reduced by 25%.

Nobody cares about the Dodge gained from Agility nowadays anyway. But it makes sense that they’re reducing the contribution of passive mitigation stats in favour of more active mechanics.

All players now have a 100% chance to hit, 0% chance to be dodged, 3% chance to be parried, and 0% chance to glance, when fighting creatures up to 3 levels higher (bosses included). Thick Hide now also reduces the chance for attacks to be parried by 3%.

We’ve known this was coming for a while, but now we know exactly what the changes are. This shouldn’t surprise anyone, and everyone is happy to see these stats gone anyway.

Weakened Blows was a debuff that mattered almost exclusively to tanks, and that every tank automatically applied. We removed the debuff and reduced creature damage to compensate.

Yay! It was a stupid debuff anyway that was a relic from Vanilla. Good riddance.

Weakened Armor and Physical Vulnerability were effectively redundant, both filling the role of increasing Physical damage taken by the target. So, we removed Weakened Armor and widened the availability of Physical Vulnerability a bit.

Yay! The difference between these two was actually quite annoying, and it was very critical to have both.

As part of a push to combine the different types of Haste in the game as much as possible, we merged Spell Haste and Attack Speed into just Haste, which benefits everyone.

And there was much rejoycing! Plus it’s an actual haste effect, which means GCD reduction (more on that later).

We like that tanks can provide meaningful DPS to their group, however, it swung wildly based on the fight, even surpassing the dedicated damage dealers occasionally. To solve this, we’re going to remove the offensive value of Vengeance, but preserve the defensive value, by making it increase the effect of your active mitigation buttons, instead of Attack Power.

Nobody saw this coming. Nope. Noone. Not a one. /sarcasm

In all seriousness this is a good change. Vengeance cheesing was probably the most common thing to take advantage of this expansion, and Druids mostly got the short end of the stick on that one. It’s a great boon to tank balance overall.

Resolve: Increases your healing and absorption done to yourself, based on Stamina and damage taken (before avoidance and mitigation) in the last 10 seconds.

Cool. Neat buffs to survival with a shorter window, which means more responsiveness to changes in incoming damage. Sounds fine by me.

Druid: Revive, Monk: Resuscitate, Paladin: Redemption, and Shaman: Ancestral Spirit now cost 4% of base mana (down from between 10% and 50%).



Guardians have gotten a bit of an overhaul in the latest set of patch notes. Mostly good changes, but a couple annoyances here and there. Let’s start with the perks as seen on WoWHead. Note that apparently these are earned randomly while you level, but you will have all of them by level 100:

  • Enhanced Tooth and Claw: Tooth and Claw now also makes Maul free, and can accumulate 1 additional charge. This pretty much solves any problem I ever had with T&C. In ToT you heavily modified your rotation around whether or not you had a proc, and if the next swing of the boss was already capped out or not. This outright solves that problem by removing the Rage cost, which means it’s always an advantage to press the button. The extra charge meanwhile basically makes it impossible to waste procs, given that they take so long to generate anyway (on average).
  • Empowered Berserk: Increases the duration of Berserk by 5 seconds. What’s not to like about this? It now becomes an even 15s (10 GCDs with no Haste), rather than the silly 10 seconds we have now. Great change.
  • Enhanced Bear Hug: You are no longer immobilized by using Bear Hug. Again, nothing not to like about this change. That was the single most annoying thing about that button in the first place, and now it’s gone.
  • Improved Mangle: Your Mangle deals 20% additional damage. Uh, sure. I guess.
  • Improved Maul: Your Maul deals 20% additional damage. Weeeeeeeeeeee.
  • Empowered Thrash: Increases the periodic damage of your Thrash by 50%. More damage. ALL THE DAMAGES.
  • Empowered Bear Form: Bear Form grants you an additional 20% Stamina. More EH? Sure, why not?
  • Improved Barkskin: Barkskin provides 10% additional damage reduction. It’s important to note here that there’s no reference to removing the buff to Barkskin’s cooldown that we received in 5.4. But it’s more likely to be a difference maker now.
  • Improved Frenzied Regeneration: increases the healing from Frenzied Regeneration by 10%. Can’t say no to more healing.



One of the changes mentioned is something I’ve alluded to for a very long time, both here and on various forums or podcasts.

Mastery: Primal Tenacity causes the Druid to gain a Physical absorb shield equal to 16% of the attack’s damage when they are hit by a Physical attack. Attacks which this effect fully or partially absorbs cannot trigger Primal Tenacity. Mastery: Primal Tenacity now also passively increases Attack Power by 12% (percentage increased by Mastery), in addition to its current effects.

Obviously our +Armor Mastery was very boring, and to be quite honest, mostly worthless. Our new Mastery gives us a shield of (2*Mastery)% of the last physical ability that hit us. It’s not clear what specifically qualifies as a “Physical Attack”, but I suspect the wording is general enough to imply that anything Stagger works on, our new Mastery would work on. This makes it very effective at smoothing out incoming damage not only from melee swings, but abilities that plagued us throughout this expansion (Blood Rage, Snapping Bite, Triple Puncture…..). The benefit is also low enough that it won’t be effective to stack pure Mastery or anything, but getting a little bit here-and-there will most certainly be beneficial….depending on the encounter of course.

The extra DPS bit is just to make it do something offensively, and therefore have tank DPS keep pace with your real damage dealers.

Rage Generation

Another one of our sore points this expansion was the almost complete passivity of our Rage generation. This has been significantly overhauled.

  • Auto-attacks now generate 5 Rage (down from 10.9 Rage).
  • Lacerate now generates 10 Rage, has no cooldown (down from a 3-second cooldown), but no longer has a chance to reset Mangle’s cooldown. and apparently still resets the CD on Mangle.
  • Thrash now generates 2 Rage every time it deals direct or periodic damage, has no cooldown (down from a 6-second cooldown), but no longer has a chance to reset Mangle’s cooldown.
  • Faerie Fire no longer has a chance to reset Mangle’s cooldown.
  • Primal Fury now generates 5 Rage (down from 15 Rage) when you dodge or non-periodically critically strike (up from only Auto Attacks and Mangle).
  • Mangle now generates 30 Rage, and its cooldown is reduced by Haste.
  • Bear Form no longer increases Haste and Crit from items by 50%, but instead causes Haste to reduce the global cooldown.

So close. Oh, so close. Each of these changes individually is a great change. Less reliance on Crit, a GCD that scales with Haste, more control over Rage generation, and AoE Rage generation. All good changes. The teensy problem is that our “rotation” is now even more boring than it was before. With the removal of FFF and proccing Mangles, our rotation is now 100% fixed – which is bleh. The only thing that changes is that you get to spam more Lacerates between applications of Thrash at higher Haste levels. /barf

You’ll see why I’m so salty in a second when we get to talents.

Ability Pruning

A number of buttons that we kind of expected to die have in fact, become deceased. These are:

  • Enrage: Not surprising. Became mostly irrelevant after T15 and was annoying to use anytime other than the start of a pull because it costs a GCD.
  • Innervate: YAY! I was sick of seeing this button my bar. For srs.
  • Swipe: I don’t particularly care about Swipe. We’re gaining AoE Rage generation anyway, plus this button would just feel absolutely horrible to press with the other Rage changes.
  • Symbiosis: This one I wasn’t expecting, but am not surprised by. I’ve previously referenced a tweet from Holinka indicating that it was going to be changed to be defensive CDs only. But think about that for a second. How would a Guardian having Cloak or Deterrence not be the most fucking overpowered thing in the universe? It was impossible to balance, and I’m glad they finally figured that out.

In return for losing Symbiosis, we gained something else:

Survival Instincts is now available to all Druid specializations. Survival Instincts now reduces damage taken by 70% (up from 50%) with a 2-minute cooldown (down from 3), and for Feral and Guardian specializations can have up to 2 charges (up from 1).

I literally have nothing bad to say about this. Literally 0. I actually think it’s probably way too overpowered to be completely honest. Of course that 100% depends on encounter design, but taking that at face value and putting it into SoO mechanics I’m like “welp I guess I literally just never die? mmmk”. We’ll see what happens though.’


I’ll admit, there’s some doozies here.

Heart of the Wild no longer provides an increase to Hit chance or Expertise while active, and no longer increases Stamina, Agility, and Intellect.

I don’t have a problem with this change, at all. We were always the ones that benefited the least from the “main role boost” to begin with, so that’s not really a loss. We also retain the best parts – the ability to assume another role for a period of time when we’re not tanking. Fine by me.

Dream of Cenarius – Guardian: No longer increases the critical strike chance of Mangle.

This is now way way way way way too expensive. You’re essentially costing yourself 10 Rage every time you use an HT, and since they’re no longer boosted by Vengeance/Resolve (except when you use them on yourself) there’s actually 0 incentive to press the button except when you’re not actually tanking anything at that very instant. It remains to be seen how it specifically ends up being balanced against Frenzied Regen, but I just don’t see that happening. This talent is basically dead to me until the HT becomes off the GCD.

Nature’s Vigil, while active, increases single-target damage and healing caused by healing spells by 16% (down from 25%), and all single-target damage spells also heal a nearby friendly target for 35% of the damage done (up from 25%).

Once again Nature’s Vigil will probably turn out to be the clear winner in most encounters. Splash healing with no extra thought required. Granted it won’t be as “smart” as it is now, but at least you can use it while tanking something.

Guardian of Elune – Savage Defense now lasts 4 seconds, and increases your chance to dodge by 100%.

I actually think this is pretty neat. Imagine how awesome it would be if you were guaranteed to dodge every single Snapping Bite? That would be really awesome. Obviously this will purely be a choice made based on encounter mechanics, but it’s a pretty neat talent that plays into our active mitigation. I like that.

Bristling Fur – You bristle your fur, reducing all damage taken by 50% for 3 seconds.

Much improved over the previous incarnation (huehue) for sure. Having an extra major cooldown is nothing to shake a stick at, and I would be very surprised if this doesn’t see at least some use.

Pulverize – A devastating blow that consumes 3 stacks of Lacerate on the target to deal 500% weapon damage, generate 30 Rage, and reduce damage taken by 20% for 10 sec.

And now you understand why I’m so salty. This is literally the perfect missing piece to the new rotation. I expect most Guardians will end up with this purely for the rotational engagement, when there’s no very specific reason to pick one of the other two. It’s just so terribly disappointing that Pulverize is a talent, when it should quite clearly be part of the core rotation. Heck, you could even scrap the damage reduction if you wanted. Just please please please please please make it a rotational ability.

And then Celestalon had to go and tell me they re-added the chance for Mangle to reset on Lacerate hit. Ok. The entire previous paragraph is worthless now :|

It actually makes Pulverize more tricky to use than first appears, since you have to balance Mangle procs vs Pulverize uptime. I almost think that the duration should be extended to maybe 12 or 15 seconds in order for you not to feel like you’re in panic mode when trying to manage Rage generation and Pulverize. In any case, I feel significantly less negative about it now.

Hello Guardians!

There isn’t really any “news” to talk about per-se, more like some community driven content I wanted to draw your attention to. These aren’t in any particular order, mostly just whatever came to my brain first.


My friend Kristin has started a weekly community-driven newsletter about Blizzard’s products, called Blizzlist. It’s a really neat way of distributing important and/or neat content from Blizzard or the community to others. I highly recommend subscribing. You won’t regret it!

SoO Raid Guides

If you didn’t know yet, for this tier I’ve been doing video guides specific to Guardians for each encounter in the Siege of Orgrimmar. They start out rather rough but over the course of the tier I’ve managed to nail down the overall look and feel rather well I think. Obviously going into Warlords the goal is to produce the videos at a much faster pace, split amongst Reesi, Buraan, and myself. In any event the two sets of guides are linked below.


New Player Guide!

Late last week WoWHead published their set of “New Player Guides” designed to help players that boosted to 90 get a handle on their chosen class and spec. I had the pleasure of providing the content for the Guardian Guide. Obviously I don’t think anyone here will be particularly interested in it, but I did want to mention it as something I had fun participating in.

Sentry Totem is Live!

Sentry Totem is another project that I’m excited to be helping out with. Sentry Totem is a site where you can receive expert advice and assistance on how to improve playing your chosen class and spec. I am obviously not implying that you now have to go there to ask questions or get help as a Guardian. I am participating to help out Tickle, and nothing more. I actually seriously doubt many – if any, even – Guardians will post there. TiB isn’t going anywhere nor will I stop helping people here.

I wanted to make this crystal clear to everyone because I’ve seen instances in the past where assumptions have been made about the actions of one person or another on the internet. I obviously don’t want anyone to make any ridiculous assumptions about me or my association with Sentry Totem, hence my post here. I should also clarify that I am not receiving any monetary compensation for any work I do at Sentry Totem – by my own choice – nor will any “tips” be passed on to me – again my by own choice – if you want to support TiB, we have a donation button up in the top-right corner. Again I’m not asking you to do so, I’m simply telling you that if you want to contribute to the Guardian community and feel that $$ is the best way for you to do so, go ahead and donate. The money is deposited into an account that can only be used for site maintenance and hosting fees.

Anyways, enough soapboxing from me. Enjoy your week!

Hello Guardians!

In case you missed it, this weekend, myself and Arielle were on Finalboss TV discussing all things Guardian, and that episode is now up on youtube:

We had an absolute blast doing the show, so thanks again to the guys at FinalBoss tv for having us on, and I hope you guys enjoyed it also.


Hello Guardians!

My guild has finally completed our relatively relaxed transition from a 10 man guild to a 25 man guild in preparation for Warlords of Draenor’s 20 man Mythic raiding.  Which means we now have a roster of slightly more than 25 people and I have now done all fights on 10 and 25 man on heroic as a guardian, and actually re-progressed some of the later fights in the instance as 25 man.  Thus I thought this would be a good time to discuss some of the changes that I faced as a tank and as a guardian as a result of moving between raid sizes.  Even if you aren’t going to be going to 25 man any time soon, or even if you are waiting for warlords then going to 20 man, I hope you find some of this useful.

Are there any gearing differences?

Well, yes and no.  If you are changing to 25 man at this point in SoO, you are probably largely overgeared for most of the encounters, even on 25 man, so you shouldn’t need to worry too much about gearing differently than you would in a 10 man.  If you are worried however and feel like you aren’t so UBER geared, I would suggest putting on a stamina trinket like the Malkorok trinket until you feel more comfortable.

I personally just ran with the tanking cloak for the whole of the first raid along with the tanking metagem, which was partly because I was also having to deal with organizing 25 people instead of 10 and several of them hadn’t seen the fights before, not to mention I had to adjust the strategy slightly for 25 man. So for my own peace of mind, I went with an RPS build with tanking legionaries, I don’t actually have heroic Malk trinket, else I may have used that also.   I will say here also that, although a lot of people think that the tank cloak is relatively garbage, when you don’t know how hard stuff will hit, and you are doing something you haven’t done before, it can be really useful.  It allows you to push right to the edge and die, meaning you find your limits much quicker and you don’t cause a wipe to the raid in the process.  I will discuss this more in some future blog posts about ranking and dps.

All in all for gearing, the damage difference from 10 to 25 isn’t so amazingly great and with the gear should you have at this point you probably won’t see much trouble, but do feel free to play a little safer whilst you see it for yourself.

Are there any major differences to the bosses that a tank should be aware of?

Probably the best way to do this is boss by boss, so here goes:


Not really, this fight actually feels significantly easier on 25 man, the only thing to really think about is that because there are 50 stacks on the boss and 25 people (so the same stacks as there are on 10 man) the adds will basically all spawn at once.  This means that you’ll be tanking them all at the same time, instead of bit by bit in 10 man.  They will hit like a truck if you have all of them on your face at the same time, but realistically this shouldn’t cause you problems.   If this boss was tuned harder in general, there may be some things you’d want to optimize, but you should find this so simple as a tank.

Fallen Protectors

Fight is essentially identical to its 10 man version, bosses just have more health, so just go with what you usually do, if you normally get your tank to soak the mark or arrogance however, I’d probably suggest against it here, at least initially.  Besides, you have so many people in your raid, you should have some classes that can soak it with ease.


The main thing here is that there are a lot of people in your raid to send down, we did 5 groups of 2 for the dps. Where the tanks just do their thing and healers go whenever as long as the healing is fine.  As a tank, the challenge phase isn’t really any different, there could be a little more damage on you, but if there was, it wasn’t hugely noticeable for me.  The real thing is that there are going to be more orbs more often because you will be sending more dps in, so the tanks job is to get through your trial asap and get out to soak whilst the other tank goes in. I guess you could 3 tank if you really had issues, just to have more orb soakability (ye that’s totally not a word).  I’d be a bit careful taking too many stacks from the boss, but I managed about 10 this week without to much issue (stacking it up on purpose).

Sha of Boring

So as a tank, you swap the same, move the same, do the same prison in the same way, and the boss still hits like a wet noodle.  If you were to say there was any change it is that adds are probably more problematic to get aggro on, as they’ll be all over the place.  Additionally, there are 2 large adds instead of 1, but we usually never tanked them, if you did however, you probably aren’t going to be able to. Don’t forget to soak rifts!!


The only thing I found here really was that it is a little harder to make sure you have aggro on all of the down adds when they are active with so many people dpsing different things, and you only have so many taunts.  However, you probably have a hunter or two and maybe some rogues, so ToT and MD if you struggle.  Nothing really scary in this fight, you can still stand in for the skullcrack thing that the 2nd “boss” mob does and survive…your melee may thank you for moving out though so they can keep dpsing.  You will also have a billion stuns/grips/knocks for the adds so if you had issues with those on 10, you won’t (read: shouldn’t).

Iron Juggernat

There is a bit more damage going out, feel free to ask for the many available external cds, sacs/vigilances etc if you need them.  You can still basically spam click 3 mines and not die.  This fight is more about managing more people so there will be some stricter positioning for your ranged, which could mean that you may need help on a mine from time to time.  This is because you would probably have 2 people standing  out at range to get the sawblades, so if they get a mine on them, they’ll be quite far away.  Normally though they’d be classes that could soak the mine if it spawned on them anyway, so just make sure to communicate if you can’t get to it and I’m sure they’ll take it for you.

Dark Shaman

Here, we went with 2 tanks up the side and 1 in the middle part, the nice thing here is that you can have all of your melee dps join the 2 tanks up the side, which means that you will have no melee around you causing problems when the blobs spawn, so that aspect of the fight is easier.   The only thing to watch is around the explosion of the meteor if there are blobs spawning, just pop a minor cd to survive.  With regards to the tanking up the side, it is really not complicated or hard, I haven’t done that part on 10, but in 25 it was so simple I couldn’t really imagine you would have any issues if you have done it before.  You could go with the strategy of having ONLY 2 tanks take haoramm, but just be aware that you will have a lot of melees near the other boss when the blobs are spawning, so make sure to move away so that you don’t kill them.

General Nazgrim

We 2 tanked this on 10 man, but went with 3 for our first few kills on 25 man, and to be perfectly honest, I almost fell asleep.  If you 3 tank, have 2 on the boss near the door to malkorok, and the 3rd tank just stands near the add spawn and tanks all the adds.  If you choose to 2 tank it, it is still doable, you just may need to help tank some of the adds, and keep an eye on the execute timer, but in reality you can still take one to the face as a bear and live if you are at full hp.


There’s not much to this one either, main thing is the adds, there are now 3 which means you can’t just taunt them all (except for when you have incarnation up).  Melees can help you taunt adds in, dks especially with grip.  I tend to try to hit 1 or 2 with thrash or swipe and taunt the extra, which works most of the time. The other thing about this fight is the blood rage phase, which if you are planning on soaking, you’ll need a LOT of cooldowns on you, if we were at a disadvantage compared to other tank classes for this mechanic on 10 man, 25 man is a whole other ballgame.  It is still doable, but you aren’t ideal for it.  Just make good use of your plethora of external cds.

Spoils of Pandaria

Basically no change for you. GL HF  oh and if you thought the brewmaster buff hit hard on 10 man…, I’ll let you figure that out yourself.


Here we went for a simpler kiting pattern on 25 man (so just up and down instead of in a circle and THEN up and down) it just made things easier for new people to learn.  We still solo tanked it (even though I played tank still) and I just took the bats when they spawned, so that they can be in range of the melee dps, and also provide a backup tank if something went wrong.  You can basically do any thock strat here, so you could actually 1 tank properly, or 2 tank or whatever really. …and you can still sometimes be the only people left alive when the boss dies (yep we 2 manned the last ~20 million or something)

Siegecrafter Blackfuse

This is where things get a little more interesting, that little bit harder that the boss hits can gib you when he gains the haste when the belt is finished.  The shredders have a little more hp, so you need to put slightly more effort into killing them.  We stayed with the same strategy we had for our 10 man kill, with the exception of 1 of the belts, picking mines instead of missiles.  This is something that you will have to figure out for yourself,  whatever works for your guild is best, you can probably get away with the same strategy as your 10 man kill, but it could be advisable to avoid the missiles on 25 man.  Particularly as you should have a lot of add control for the mines.  For the stacks we don’t go for any crazy stacks, (the most I take is 5) I am however working on a strategy where I basically never drop stacks and dps every single add….more on that some other time however.  In short this is a fight where you have to manage your dps cds well to kill the shredders, and manage your defensive cds, both personal and external.  If you have killed this on 10 man though, you won’t have too much of a hard time, just have patience whilst the rest of your raid learns the fight (yeah, I know).

Paragons of the Klaxxi

These bosses hit hard….like proper hard, they did on 10 man but holy crap man. Just ensure that towards the end of the fight you have some defensive cds available.  The main thing here is using the scorpion buff to the best of your ability to help your raid.  Here is the dps meter from our most recent kill, I messed up a little at the end, but you get the idea:

The fight is a bit of a cluserf**k on 25 man as there are people everywhere, additionally, you have to be more particular about who dpses what and when.  As a tank however, just make sure you stay alive, don’t position the bosses badly, and zerg the crap out of the boss in the scorpion (make sure you get externals whilst you are in it).

Garrosh Hellscream

To be perfectly honest, this guy is quite fun on 25 man, he does do a little more damage to you, so be prepared for that, but if you play properly, you can pretty much 1 tank this boss.  The adjustments we made for 25 man were basically positioning related, and also vengeance sharing when you have 3 tanks (if you go for a monk kiting strategy for the adds).   Be careful with thrash around when the mind controls come up.   Other than overarching strategy changes for this boss however, there’s not much different for tanks.  The only thing I can t hink of at the moment is that in p1 the adds which will fixate on people will do a little more damage, so they can be quite dangerous if  you leave them beating on the raid.  This just means it is important to control them well, but you should have been doing this on 10 man also.  Lastly…you’re still the best person to kite the iron star….  /cry

General 25 man things

So apart from gearing and strategy things, there are several aspects to raiding 25 man that felt different to me.

The first of these is that OMG the cooldowns, wow.  There are so many cooldowns available for you to use if you need them, so figure out how to communicate with your raid to let them know when you need them.  Make sure you track them, and definitely don’t be afraid to ask for them.

The second thing I felt was that although even in 10 man, the tank is relatively prominent person in the raid, and it is important that you play perfectly, on 25 man it feels almost doubly important, as there are many more people who rely on you being consistant.  Many more melee to yell if you spin the boss in an odd way, or people to get annoyed when you die.  Just be ready for a little more pressure and take extra care of your surroundings, maybe even modify your UI a little if it helps you. I will probably be redoing my own in the coming weeks and I will post about it when I do.

The third thing was the lag, larger raid means more people, more spells, and a much busier combat log.  We actually have a guy who is having to buy a new graphics card to try to handle 25 man raids.  So be sure to check your graphics settings, and don’t be afraid to turn them down a little.

The last thing is for 25 man, you need a little more patience.  You now have 25 people who can mess up, who can dc or lag out, go afk randomly.  25 people to mess up at mechanics on a boss.  Obviously you want as tight a raid as possible, but whilst your guild gets itself together for the next expansion, you are going to have to deal with sub-par players, or pcs that can’t handle the larger raid until your roster is fully set for WoD.  If you are the officer in your guild, this is your responsibility to make sure that people pull their socks up, and sort their stuff out.  If you’re not, you are just going to have to be patient, and ensure that you aren’t one of the people causing the problems.  Make sure you have looked over the fights on the new raid size, if you want you can watch some of the VoDs from my stream:, or even hop on live and feel free to ask questions.

Ok, one last last last thing, voice comms on 25 man can be a lot busier than your 10man, so make sure you communicate in the most efficient way possible when asking for cooldowns or coordinating with your co-tank, so that the raid leader can get the most clear air time possible.


This transition has been quite long and arduous for us.  Right when you would normally be able to chill and relax after progression we had to keep right at it, even when guild members move on to their new homes for Warlords of Draenor and we have to replace them.  To be perfectly honest, we considered going 25 man back in Throne of Thunder because of warforged loot, but the task seemed way too daunting to really be feasible.  Having been forced into transitioning was quite tough at first, but I think in all, it hasn’t been maybe as bad as it could have been.  I’m sure there are guilds either better or worse off than us.  So to those of you still going through the transition, and those of you who haven’t even started yet, best of luck in your raiding and preparation for Warlords of Draenor and I hope you find a great home for the next expansion, so we can all enjoy face mauling together.

Until the next time: