Welcome to the 2nd installment of 25 Man WENSdays! Today I will be discussing the use of SD and FR in 25 man raids. They are both very different abilities and shine in totally different situations. This will simply be a boss by boss guide of how to appropriately use your active mitigation tools to their maximum effectiveness. (Note, I will be referencing logs from my raids, however they are not public so you will just have to trust my numbers). Keep in mind this is from a 25 man point of view, so it will be very different for 10 man bears.
The first question we have to ask ourselves is, what type of damage are we taking predominantly. Here’s a breakdown from my first normal mode kill:
75.5% Rend Flesh
6.5% Random Magic Damage (Mines, Jade Shards, etc)
Since Rend Flesh is a bleed, we cannot dodge it. Therefore over 80% of the damage you take in this encounter is not dodge-able. Therefore FR is the clear winner. You can’t avoid most of the damage so focus on healing it up. There are two methods you can use to do this. First, pool to high rage levels and use huge bomb heals when you get low on health. This method is very effective, but can often result in wasted healer mana. The second method (and I think better one), is to basically use FR on every GCD that you aren’t at full health. The result is a pretty powerful HoT on yourself. As long as you make sure to never cast it while you are at full you shouldn’t overheal much.
Feng the Accursed
Here’s the breakdown from my heroic kill this week:
15.6% Flaming Spear
26.3 Random Magic Damage (Epicenter, Sprit Bolt, Arcane Velocity, etc).
At first glance this seems like another great fight for FR. Most of the damage appears to be magic based. However, let’s think a little more about the fight. That 26.3% random damage needs to be removed form the calculation, because none of it is sustained while tanking. Sure, you should be FRing to heal it back up, but we care a lot more about what we use WHILE we are tanking.
That leaves us with 36.0% Melee and 37.7% combined DoT damage. Again, seems like FR would be the winner. But we need to keep in mind two more things. First, I was using SD heavily on this kill, so what we are seeing is SD REDUCED damage. This artificially lowers melee damage on the logs, because if we were to go with a solely FR route, we would be taking much more melee damage. Second, the average melee hit taken is almost twice what the DoT average hit is (125k vs 66k). Assuming a 2 second swing timer and 2 second DoT tick, this means that you are far more likely to die from melee hits than DoT ticks.
Having thought about that, it becomes clear that SD is very important on this fight for overall damage mitigation. My advice is to shoot for maximum SD uptime and save the FRs for when you spike low as usual.
Gara’jal the Spritbinder
Here’s the breakdown from my first normal kill:
28.1% Shadow Attacks
11.5% Spiritual Grasp
Gara’jal is an easy one. All of his Shadowy Attacks can be dodged. Therefore SD is a total no-brainer on this fight. Almost 90% of damage taken can be dodged, so make sure to get maximum uptime on SD. Period.
Here’s the breakdown from my first normal kill:
8.0% Massive Attack
9.6% Random Magic Damage (Charged Shadows, Cowardice, etc)
Another classic SD fight. Keep SD up the whole fight (Massive Attacks CAN be dodged). Remember that you can game SD uptime around various boss abilities. When Meng does his Cowardice phase, save up your SD charges so you can have them all up for his high melee damage phase. Let your charges recharge when Subetai casts Pillage and Volley. This way you can get a much higher actual uptime on SD than the “cap”.
Here’s the breakdown from my second normal kill:
14.2% Celestial Breath
15.9% Tanking Relevant Magic Damage (Total Annihilation, Radiating Energies)
16.6% Random Magic Damage (Discharge, Stability Flux)
Right away we can eliminate the Random Magic Damage, because it is not sustained while actively tanking. So we are left with 53.3% dodge-able attacks and 30.1% undodge-able. Looking pretty good for SD (keep in mind the artificial deflation since I used SD a lot on the kill). What really puts the nail in the coffin is how hard abilities hit. The Breath only hits for about 60k on average, whereas average melee is 93k. Total Annihilation proves to be the most deadly at 152k average.
What this tells us is that SD uptime is very important. The Breaths don’t hit hard enough to worry about. What is worth worrying about are the Annhilations, but since they don’t come very often and are predictable, just use a CD for every one.
My advice is to keep up SD as much as possible, use your small CDs for the Total Annihilations. If you spike low pop a FR but don’t sacrifice too much SD uptime for it.
Will of the Emperor
Here’s the breakdown for my first Will kill:
8.3% Titan Gas
0.8% Impeding Thrust
Hello SD. SD is your best friend on this fight. The Titan Gas is only a ~13k dps DoT at worst, and you have a CD up for it anyways because of the increased melee damage from the bosses. Guardians are actually very strong on this boss because we can stack SD massively in our favor. It’s very simply, during the dance phase recharge your SD charges, and use them all while tanking.
SD is very strong in Mogu’shan Vaults. 5/6 Bosses reward intelligent SD usage, and all of those fight have moments where you can game SD in your favor for increased uptime.
Remember though, that just because a fight is more SD oriented doesn’t mean you can’t FR yourself. Do you have excess rage? FR. Are you a split second from dying? FR.